Deborah Keene will present “Ayurvedic Nutrition: Fall Foods as Medicine” at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Keene is an Ayurvedic practitioner and a registered yoga teacher, and the owner of the Ayurveda Yoga Center in Liberty. Ayurveda’s philosophy states very simply that living in harmony with the rhythms of nature is crucial for a healthy and happy body, mind, and spirit.

“This means that our diet, lifestyle, and daily practices should change according to the seasons,” said Keene in a news release.

“I teach according to the seasons,” added Keene, “and therefore I will focus this talk on fall foods. I will talk about foods, herbs, spices, and cooking methods to emphasize during the fall season to help maintain optimal health.”

The talk will also cover an overview of Ayurvedic medicine. Keen will talk about making the connections between the way one lives and how one feels; the Ayurvedic perspective on nutrition and why it’s important to eat according to the seasons; and the importance of the six tastes. The “six tastes” are part of the fundamental principles of Ayurvedic cooking, and Keene will discuss how they can be used to restore or maintain balance to the body, mind, and spirit.

“For example,” she said, “if a person is feeling cold then we may want to emphasize a bit more of the pungent taste, which is heating, and include garlic and onions in our meal along with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, or ginger. On the other hand, if someone is experiencing excess heat, say in the form of hot flashes or indigestion then the astringent and bitter tastes may be helpful. Including bitter greens, dandelion root, and/or broccoli along with cooling spices such as coriander and mint will help reduce the excess heat in the body.” Handouts will be provided.

Everyone has heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” Most Americans interpret this as a reminder to steer clear of junk food calories. Yet for centuries food was used to create life balance. It was medicine for maintaining wellness and getting through illnesses. The kitchen cabinet and backyard garden was the family pharmacy. With all of the different diets, studies, and theories about food how do you know which foods are healthy for you? Ayurveda, pronounced “ah-your-vay-dah,” means the “knowledge of life.” It is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world, originating in India over 5,000 years ago, and is becoming recognized as a leading form of holistic medicine.