Seasonal Bloom – Kapha 2016

HEYO! Ayurveda promotes living according to the season. Here is a freebie 2016 Kapha Seasonal Bloom, just for you. mmmwah!

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Your mark in the world will disappear

Afro woman blowing soap bubbles outdoors

This is for all of you who overachieve, bust your ass on a daily basis, or feel pulled in several directions. If days/weeks/months fly by without even realizing how you’ve spent your time, life is too short for that!! Recent perspective shifts have changed my life — I hope this inspires. Love, Monica B.

Backstory: Since I was 20 years old, I’ve been trying to figure out how much stuff I can cram into a day. Because you know, I was supposed work my ass off in order to climb the corporate ladder. And then I would make good money (forget about being an artist! You’ll starve.) to buy a house and save for 401k and my children’s college funds. And frankly, I also wanted to make a mark in the world! Cause we’re supposed to, or something!! Well jeez, that’s a lot of stuff to think about, so I figured I better get crackin’ early. Because of those early beliefs, I’ve never had just one job. For 20 years I have consistently had a full time day job and a part time job, always. At one point I was working from 4:50am until 8:00pm. And yes, I had terrible vata aggravation — for years I never stopped moving. It’s felt like a constant chase.

2012 until recently: I had a 2.5 hour daily commute and a stressful, what felt like round-the-clock job managing a team of eight. I didn’t even like that job, yet all my time was spent doing it because I believed I had to in order to be “successful.” I consistently came home crabby and sad. My reprieve was my family and my book.

Ten days after I launched my beautiful book as part of my personal mission to “make millions of people healthy and happy,” (<–there’s that whole ‘mark in the world’ thing) my dog Blossom died. My heart broke. Everything stopped. My first thought was, “She left too soon. I should have taken her to the park more.”

Instant perspective change: Spend time doing what I love as much as possible. 

A few months later, we went to L.A. and saw a dinosaur exhibit at the museum. Dinosaur bones are 65 million years old. Do you know how flippin’ old that is?! Crazy old! Then I started thinking that dinosaurs probably were competing for territory. Some were probably squabbling over shelter or food. Some wanted to be the best dinosaur, ever! Maybe they had names or addresses. Maybe they built stuff. Maybe one was a saint. I bet some dinosaurs busted their ass to climb the corporate dinosaur ladder, only to arrive there disappointed. I’m sure T-Rex thought he was making his mark in the world. And then, *WHAM!* Meteors hit the earth and they all died. And that’s it. WTFruit?! Millions of years and they are wiped out just like that. They can be summed up in one sentence, “Dinosaurs once roamed the earth.” My stomach pitted when I realized that. What the heck have I been doing all these years and for whom? Cause…I just wanna laugh and paint!

More perspective: I will eventually become unknown or forgotten, so I can ease up on the over-achieving thing. 

Today: Since “more parks” and “dinosaur bones,” (my new mantras) I have chosen a different route. I no longer manage people. I work from home more often. I moved into a design & creative director role where I design all day long! My boss (she’s awesome) and teammates know that my life’s work is Ayurveda and in the near future, it will become my full time job. I started taking violin lessons again. I began cooking more. I hang with friends more. I spend more time outside. I started painting old trucks (I’m obsessed with old trucks but didn’t think they exactly “go” with Ayurveda. But since dinosaur bones, who cares! I’ll paint trucks if I want to). I am now centering my focus into delighting and inspiring people (you!) with whomever wants to join me. As a result of my new route, I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUUUUUN! I LOVE MY DAYS!!

So. If you knew that someday you will be completely forgotten, how would you live differently? If the only reason you are ‘busting your ass’ is to ‘make a mark in the world’, you are missing the point. Life is to be enjoyed. Marks in the world are not permanent. Dinosaurs die.

Whatever it is you do, enjoy your every day. You will find that marks or waves you desire to create will only come when you extract your best, most authentic self and have fun sharing your gifts. Life is short and marks in the world are not permanent anyway — just make your every day awesome. LOVE YOU with my BIG FUZZY HEART!!

If you want to support what I’m doing with Ayurveda and bringing MORE life goodies out there, grab a copy (and hold on tight, life is a wonderful ride!) of my book and spread the word on Amazon with a review! Xoxo!Buy_book_here

Bit o’ Wisdom {55}

SOUL copy

Post-cleanse eating

post-cleanse

Spring is a popular time to do cleanses. Whatever the garden variety of cleanse (there are tons), everybody is talkin’ about cleansing. Here’s what nobody tells you: We should not eat normally right after the cleanse!

Below is an excerpt from my book In Your Elements on ensuring digestive benefits from your cleanse.

After the cleanse is just as important as the cleanse itself.

It is important to slowly rebuild agni to be good and strong. Don’t say, “Yay! My cleanse is over! I’m going out for steak and wine and chocolate cake!”

No, no, no, don’t do that. If you eat normally right after the cleanse, agni won’t be strong enough, and you will start building up ama (toxins) right away. Counterproductive!

Instead build the digestive system back up slowly.
The day after the cleanse, have liquid soup with veggies. The next day, have soup with veggies and rice or noodles, maybe a slice of bread. You could even make a batch of kitchari. Next day you can start eating normally.

See that? A little step-by-step process to eating normal again. Note: You must do this with ANY cleanse or you will reverse the benefits and actually make your digestion worse. It’s really important!

Has anybody experienced a good or bad end to a cleanse based on what you ate immediately after? Inquiring (yet judge-free) minds want to know! XO!

Take an every day vacation

take an every dayvacation

 

You just got back from a wonderful vacation and after 2 days back in daily life, you’ve already lost your bliss and relaxation. What the Fruit?! Well truth is, life is long and vacation is not. So, let’s learn how to bring joyful aspects of vacation to our every day — daily enjoyment is what life is all about. While taking time to luxuriate might seem impossible (or makes you roll your eyes), it’s not. It just requires a little prioritization and focus. We work hard — we all deserve to take an every day vacation.

What do we do on vacation that we don’t do daily?
{we don’t work • we spend more time outdoors  • we have the luxury of time • we see beautiful things • we eat yummy, fresh food • we listen to different music • we get extra sleep}

So let’s bring these to life.

7  enjoyments to take an every day vacation:

1) Work. In general, I believe most of us like to work as long we are doing something we enjoy. We like to produce, create, think, and watch things grow based on our efforts. Remember we are getting paid – holy flip! – to do what we love to do, daily. Now, for those who really hate the ol’ jobby job, switch jobs if you can. If that’s not possible, then realize the job now serves a purpose and will pay for necessities and things you enjoy, while you seek/create the job you love.

2) Time outdoors. On vacation we spend time outdoors and even exercise outdoors. At home, we might hit the gym, workout class, or jump on the treadmill in the basement. Notice those are all indoors? As beings of nature, nature revitalizes us. We feel amazing in nature because it’s our home. Get outside, daily! Even 20 minutes will do wonders.

3) Luxury of time. How can we get more time into the day? We can’t. Time is time. But we can use the time we have, better. Instead of noodling online, put on sneakers and power walk for 30 minutes. Instead of complaining to a coworker, go outside, find a bench, sit n’ breathe. Wake up early, enjoying the twilight into sunrise while you light a candle and journal intentions for the day (no complaining in your journal — rainbows and sunshine).

4) Beautiful things. How can we bring in more beauty to the daily-daily? Flowers on the table. Beautiful, transportive photos at home or work. New dangle earrings, a mala bracelet or sparkly crystal. Can you work by a window? Can you get a natural light lamp? Himalayan salt lamps are awesome. What do you see on vacation that you could bring to your every day?

5) Eat fresh, yummy foods.  You are the one choosin’ your groceries so…choose ones that make you feel amazing! Does mango make you feel like life is easy? Get it. Avocado make you feel spoiled? Do it. An afternoon chai latte? Have it and savor. Hand-made pasta? Take some extra time on a Saturday and make it. Thai food your fav? Get a Thai cookbook and commit 1 recipe to memory.

6) Happy music we normally don’t listen to. Pandora, Spotify, Google Music (formerly Songza). All of these give us world music at our fingertips. Some of my favorite transportive music stations on Pandora are: “Wes Anderson” (makes me feel like I’m pedaling around Paris with flowers and bread), “Tycho” and “Washed Out” (makes me feel like I’m on a hazy beach in SoCal), “Nightmares on Wax” is another easy chill mix, “1901” makes me want to dance. Google Music is also super fun where you choose songs based on your mood or how you want to feel.

7) Getting extra sleep. No you can’t sleep in daily like you can on vacation, but there’s an easy fix. Go to bed earlier. Spend 1 week going to bed at 8pm or 9pm and see how fantastic you feel. Use this when needed. When I was writing my book, I would stay up mega-late 2-3 nights in a row and then balance with 2 nights of going to bed at 8pm.

Whattaya think? Are you inspired? What other ideas do you have – do share!

If we spent more time enjoying each day and less of a focus trying to escape it, we would feel nourished and enriched, every single day. That is the good life, my friends. Finally, please enjoy my favorite little story about the Mexican Fisherman and The Investment Banker. Love!

6 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance the Time Change

Time_change

Oh man, our clocks changed! Just as we got used to the glow of the sun waking us, it’s pitch black again when the alarm goes off. The reward is a longer day, which, “Hooray for daylight!” but the time change can still throw us off. Time change in Ayurveda affects vata because, well, we’ve made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained an “extra hour.” It can take some of us weeks to adjust but hopefully the tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature’s rhythm quickly.

6 Ayurvedic tips to balance the time change

1. Wake up before sunrise. Ha! Easy enough to do now, ’cause you kind of have no choice. My point is, just because it’s dark at 6:00 a.m., don’t go hittin’ the snooze until the sun comes up. We already know waking up during vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because as we rise in the energy of movement. So keep doing that! Yes it’s dark, but you’ll have more energy than if you pull the covers over your head until sunrise. Not only is sunrise kapha time and therefore slow time, but you’ll be late for work (pssst, ’cause work still starts at the same time).

2. Cook at home, with fresh ingredients. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. During the time change, it’s especially important. Best is to make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of fruits and veg. Not too much dairy!

food ideas!
• Instead of Chinese take out, make fried rice at home, use extra veggies and less soy sauce (salt).
• Instead of delivery pizza, pick up some pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has it), brush some olive oil onto the crust (bonus if you want to infuse the oil with garlic) or a little sauce. Add a wee, thin layer of cheese. Then load up the crust with all your favorite vegetables like kale, zucchini, peppers, whatever you love.
• Do I even need to tell you a nice batch of kitchari will help set you straight?
• Instead of sit-down Mexican, grab all the supplies including beans, meat (if you choose), avocado (yes please!), peppers, corn tortillas (bonus if you make them yourself), rice, fresh cilantro and all the fixin’s. You will have far less salt and sugar in what you make at home. I advise skipping the taco seasoning and make your own mix with cumin, chili powder, and other spices.Or, a little salt & pepper is all you might need. Choose the fresh-made salsa in the produce isle instead of the room-temp stuff in the chip isle. Below is a pic of my dinner last night: homemade spanish rice, homemade tortillas, avocado, bell peppers, cilantro and hot sauce. mm!

Time_change_meal

3. Limit salts & processed sugars. Tons of excess salts and sugars lurk in foods especially from chain-restaurants, pre-packaged foods or frozen foods. Eating those foods at any time can make it extremely challenging to wake up in the morning (cue the, “I’ve feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat” wake-up). Salt holds water and creates heat so it’s great for vata-types in winter, but no bueno for kapha season. So again, keep foods as veggied and fruitied and grainy-ed as you can! Fresh fresh!

4. Oil Massage! “Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages.” Dude, but since time change is a vata change and we calm vata directly through the skin, now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages. Plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.

5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold and no ice (vata-imbalancing). You might be drawn to choosing extra coffee or stimulants to keep your peeky eyes awake since you got up early, but try not to have any more (if any) than you normally would. Choose extra water since water flows…it will help you go with the flow

6. Normal bed time. It’s only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 10:00 p.m. and think, “Pah, it’s really only 9:00…I can stay up for another hour.” No, it’s really 10:00 p.m. ;) So get your lil’ booty to sleep on time so you can wake up in the dark easier (hehe).

7. So Hum. As you prepare for sleep, lay in your right side and do “so hum” mantra and meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you fall asleep before you’re done with the 10 minutes, bonus!

If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won’t even notice the time change, I promise.
Hint: You can use these same tips for air travel!
Double Hint: You can do these things daily and change your entire life! <—10% off with code 6ZE83B8R thru 3-31-16.

XOXO!

Ayurvedic Lunch at Work

LunchTips

 

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I’m a school teacher and trying to have a freshly cooked hearty lunch at school is proving a little difficult. We have limited kitchen area and limited time at lunchtime (theres a microwave but I don’t like to use a microwave). How do you feel about Thermoses? – Michelle.

Thermoses are awesome! I have some lunchie tips to share when your kitchen set up is limited. And I mean, who has a full range in their kitchen at work!? Not many people…unless you are a start up in San Francisco. No wait, they have every meal catered so not even them (*snark*).

I usually never use the fridge at work a) because nothing is going to mold/rot in a matter of hours b) because I don’t want it to be so cold that I have to heat it in the microwave. So, while I have a fridge at work, I never use it and I don’t use the micro either.

Below are some of the things I do to keep work lunch as healthy and warm as possible.

Ayurvedic lunch tips with a limited kitchen

• Put any kind of one-pot meal in a thermos or some other “keeps things warm” container. Foods you could put in it are soup, rice/veggies, pasta, barley/veggie, veggie curries, fried rice, lots of things you could make!

• I’ve also been known to make a “kitchari burrito” – it is room temp, but they are tasty and don’t get soggy by lunch!

• Make roasted veggies or steamed veggies the night before and bring in a container with pasta and a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.

• Bring pieces to assemble a good lunch, like tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella cheese slice, and basil. I’ll bring an extra tortilla and make a wrap at work!

• Pesto and hummus are fun accessories. Basil can be used with pasta (sprinkle some pine nuts & sundried tomatoes – mm!) or spread on a wrap. Hummus can be used to dip steamed/cooled veggies or used as a spread on some naan.

• Make a dish in a crock pot or rice cooker at night so it’s ready in the morning.  Bring some of that for lunch in your thermos or other insulated container.

• Use a little hot water from the water-cooler and add to warm up soup or soften and warm up a rice dish.

And you know what?! You are smart. I bet you have workplace lunch ideas to share with us too. Send them in the comments below so we can all see and have better lunchies. XO!

Bit o’ Wisdom {54}

Sacred Mind

Bit o’ Wisdom {53}

Where_I_am_supposed_to_be

Ayurvedic Tune Up

Who needs a tune up in the new year!? Just about ev’rybody. Over the course of a year (or more!) we accumulate build up in our physical bodies, emotions and minds, so now is a good time to release, remove, and correct any imbalance. Please enjoy this Ayurvedic tune up where we say goodbye to 2015 and ring in 2016 with a clean slate, ready to create our very best in health and life! xo

A Life For Creating

 

12_Creating

On the 12th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me

A LIFE FOR CREATING!

What a GIFT! We have a LIFE! And we can do anything we want with it! We can customize it to our liking. We can use our body and mind as they work together to keep us healthy and happy. We have the opportunity to make the very MOST of what we are given, every single day.

So. Did you go through Day 11 and make a list of what you were thankful for and what you need to let go from 2015? Yay! Then you are ready to move forward into 2016 and start CREATING.

Yay but…where to start? In Ayurveda, we start with the most simple yet consistent changes — those make the biggest difference. The foundation of my book, In Your Elements, makes Ayurveda relatable and easy to apply. When we add digestible, bite-sized changes, they are easy to fold into our life because they become part of us.

Here are some ideas to jumpstart your new year:
• Download the Vata Seasonal Boom
• Remedies for cabin fever
Ayurvedic New Year’s Cleanse
• Work on a Dosha-lution
• Write up a New Year’s Wish List
• Create your own Ayurvedic path with my book, In Your ElementsGet your copy here.
• Join me for a FREE webinar for an “Ayurvedic Tune Up” on Wednesday, January 13 at 9PM EST/6PM PSTReplay here.

Alrighty…if you sing the whole thing, it goes a little something like this (if you send me requests, I might just make a video of myself singing it. But only if you ask)…

On the 12th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…

12 A life for creating
11 A moment for reflecting
10 Appreciating simple things

9 Phew, I found my grounding
8 Time and space for breathing
I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
AND

1 Permission for my authenticity

A Moment for Reflecting

11_Reflecting

 

On the 11th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me

A MOMENT FOR REFLECTING

Psst…the holidays are over. Happy New Year! Phew, we made it. Today might be the first day in a while that you’ve had nothing “to do.” It’s a great day for relaxing — you know like fuzzy jammies, the parade of roses, new slippers on thine feet — and appreciating what was awesome in 2015. It’s also a good day for reflecting on things that were not awesome in 2015 — things we might want to leave behind that no longer serve us.

I am a firm believer that before we can move onto something new and fresh, we have to give thanks and release the past. That way we can move forward cleansed, refreshed, with lessons learned and build upon something new for this year.

So! In celebration of the new year, first I have some questions for you from 2015. It’s good to write these down in a little journal or wherever makes you happy. You can save them or put them ablaze in the fireplace — whatever inspires you.

RELFECTING ON 2015

Make a list, as long as you want, of what you were most grateful for in 2015.
What were your 3 most favorite moments or accomplishments?
What were some of your biggest challenges?
What were the most impactful lessons learned (take these with you)?
What can you absolutely leave behind (don’t need it, leave them)?
Do you have a rant for 2015? Write it all out…get it out of your system…go ahead.

This will essentially “cleanse” your 2015 energy to start 2016 anew.

And the rest of em…

10 Appreciating simple things
9 Phew, I found my grounding
8 Time and space for breathing
I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
AND
1 Permission for my authenticity

Appreciating Simple Things

On the 10th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me

APPRECIATING SIMPLE THINGS.

 

10_simple_things

Oh boy! It’s been busy, hey? Travel, family, friends, food, drinks, gifts — there are so many things happening at once that we blink and Christmas is over. By now we might be calming down from the flurry of all we had been getting ready for for weeks.

When it’s all over there is pause, quiet. After our recent busy-ness, we might find ourselves gravitating to a space of finally appreciating the small things. We might spend an entire day lounging around to enjoy our new gifts or watching mindless movies. Or, maybe we reflect on an impromptu conversation that turned out awesome, a new discovery about a loved one to help deepen our connection, or maybe simple foods as a contrast to abundant rich food over the past couple days.

Personally, I am enjoying these simple things: sinking in to my new feng shui book, having nothing I “must” to do, no time constraints, and looking forward to watching a Packer game today with my dear friend.

Your turn! What simple things are you enjoying now that Christmas is over?

Sing it back down….

9 Phew, I found my grounding
8 Time and space for breathing
I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
AND
1 Permission for my authenticity

Phew, I found my grounding

9_Grounding

On the 9th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,

PHEW, I FOUND MY GROUNDING.
Phew! Breathing actually works, hey? The power of staying still and breathing is super underrated. I mean, we live in a a world that keeps us addicted to busy-ness. We try to move as fast as possible to accomplish as much as we can with the least amount of effort. This speed and lack of adherence creates increased vata for everyone as we become totally ungrounded. By the way, putting in effort is also underrated. Books do not get written without effort…just sayin.
Here’s something to remember: When we stop, the world actually doesn’t! The world will keep spinning even if we slow down or stop. Slowing down is necessary. If we keep grounded and consistent our daily practices of good breath, quality food, heartfelt love, sound sleep, and putting in good effort work, that’s enough in a day.
My favorite quote is “There is more strength in surrender than there is in forging ahead.”  So this holiday and in the new year ahead, let’s sloooow down and ground.

Time and Space for Breathing

8_Breathe

On the 8th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…

TIME AND SPACE FOR BREATHING

In the midst of holiday busy-ness, party-ness, giving-ness, cooking-ness, mailing-ness, spending-ness, decorating-ness, traffic-ness, etc., many of us feel overwhelmed and exhausted before the holiday celebrations even get here!

One of the fastest ways to calm, ground, and nourish ourselves is by (wait for it…) breathing. Yep, that’s it. Our two lovely little nostrils are the fastest passageways to the mind, so breathing slowly tells our mind, “It’s all good. We got this.” And the mind relays that message to the rest of the body so we can fully relax. Let’s make some time to breathe today.

Today, please find 5-10 minutes (use a timer if you want) to sit down in a chair, feet flat on the floor, back straight, eyes closed, palms facing upward on your lap. Just breathe slowly through the nose (mouth closed) until the timer goes off.

Let me know how you feel afterwards :) xo!

And let’s take it back down…

I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
1 Permission for my authenticity

I Might Be Overspending

7_Overspend

On the 7th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…

I MIGHT BE OVERSPENDING.

Here’s the truth. Nobody wants you to go broke buying presents — they just don’t. More than anything they want time with you. Consider presents that offer an experience instead of a physical object. An experience could be something focus on one or more of the five senses: hear, see, touch, taste, smell. For example, treat your sister to a yoga class together (touch/hear) and enjoy warm tea (taste) afterwards. Or, do at-home mani’s (touch) while watching Love Actually (see) with yummy snacks (taste). Or, take the dude in your life on a hike (see) or out for pizza (taste) at his favorite place. Possibilities are endless — they are kind of like little dates with the people you love most! And who doesn’t like a date?

That said, sometimes handing them a heartfelt gift to open is so much fun! If you would rather get gifts, set a “below-your-means” (or you can easily overspend. keep it low.) budget, divide the monetary love, and stop when you reach budget. You will feel awesome about how thoughtful/creative you can be with a small budget.

My favorite story about saving money at Christmas was when I had just moved to San Francisco in 2003. There was no way I could afford presents for everyone. So, I bought 1 case (12 bottles) of 2 Buck Chuck ($2 per bottle) wine, which cost $24. Then, I bought several cookie cutters in the shape of a boat, a bridge, a tower, a trolley, a bus, victorian house, seal, a fairy (oh yes I did!), etc., — all little pieces out of a scene from San Francisco.

I made an extra-sturdy, wrap-around duct tape handle and brought the case of wine on plane as my free carry on. When I got to Wisconsin, I made the cookies. Each person got a mix of fancily decorated San Francisco sugar cookies and a bottle of 2 Buck. My family had never heard of 2 Buck and thought $2 for a bottle of wine was pretty funny. They loved their gifts and the cookies turned out to be a conversation piece as I walked through what each of them meant to me. *everyone cheers* The end.

My advice is to keep it simple! Straight from the heart. We really don’t need more “stuff” and you don’t need to go broke. Release expectations and just give a little something that says, “Hey! I love you!” xo!

And let’s take it back down…

6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
1 Permission for my authenticity

E-gads I’m Overeating!

6_Overeat

On the 6th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,

E-GADS I’M OVEREATING!

…Eeep despite our awesome knowledge and best intentions about mindfully eat healthy for our dosha, SOMEtimes during the holidays, we just over eat. Or, we just eat a lot of sweets. Or, maybe a lot of cheese. Or maybe the olive and pickle platter (salt) is our downfall. Each person will have some kind of tantalizing vice they can’t wait to get their mits on during holiday.

Um, I’m not going to take that away from you, nor am I going to make you feel bad about it.

That goes for you too. If you overate or ate the “wrong” things, please do not judge or scold yourself. You were probably having fun. You were probably momentarily swept away by celebrating love, generosity, laughter, spirit and joy — which is not a bad thing! Heck, even if you snuck some extra chocolates at the “snack area” (by the printer?) at work, I only hope that you SAVOR-ed every single one of them as they melted in your mouth. And I hope you said to yourself, “DANG that was good.” Because THAT is mindful eating.

I am not going to list “10 Ayurvedic Tips to Losing Holiday Pounds” Nope. That’s not how we roll here. What if, you just sit and notice how you feel instead of super-fast trying to fix it? That is, being in our body and experiencing it. What if we told ourselves, “Well, these are not the results I wanted obviously, but man that was fun. And! I know myself and the tools I have to get back to balance. On we go…” Our knee jerk reaction often is, “Gah! Get these pounds off and fast! Like, in 2 days!” But that’s such a rough message to send ourselves and makes us just feel…BAD. No sense in that. Be kinder. If we feel extra heaviness, of course we want to get back to feeling lighter, but let us do so in loving kindness to ourselves.

Here are MonicaB’s gentle loving tips about overeating during holiday:
• I hope you payed enough attention to savor it all
• No judging
• You can eat light or fast until you are hungry again
• You can move your body a little extra
• If you indulge one day, have much less the next day (keeps the balance!)
• If you indulge for an entire week, put a special focus on mindful eating and moving your body for the next week or two

And a Monica B full on confession: I plan on eating those green Cornflake wreaths made with marshmallows and decorated with red hots. Like so…

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They might be the most Un-Ayurvedic thing I could put in my body. Green food coloring, people! My mom makes them with love. I look forward to them. I eat them once a year and I love the sh*t out of every bite. I’ll stay balanced because 90% of what I eat is high quality and balancing for my dosha, so these sugary little do-dads won’t have a long term effect. But I will freak out (every time) when my poop is green.

 

And sing it back down…

5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices
3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
1 Permission for my authenticity

Oops, Too Many Cocktails!

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On the 5th day of Ayurveda, my spirit gave to me…

OOPS, TOO MANY COCKTAILS!

Well so much for using your wisdom to make right choices, hey? Hehe. Just kidding. During the holidays it’s easy to throw caution to the wind as we enjoy an abundance of food and drink with people we love. Because we are so busy socializing and having fun, our mind is likely not in our food and also not paying attention to how many “spirits” we’ve had. We usually don’t know we’ve over done it until it’s too late and then we feel like junk.

To avoid too many cocktails: Start the evening off with one or two mocktails (see below) or sparkling waters before your first glass of wine or cocktail. This way, your mind stays clear in the beginning of the night. The main reason why we over-drink is because alcohol causes our mind to get lax and then we lose adherence to make right choices and follow through with right action. We totally lose our wisdom. Ever do anything dumb while drunk? Right. See? No wisdom. But, if we allow ourselves 1 or 2 drinks over the course of a night, we are more likely to take is slow, savor and enjoy. Space it out with water or a mocktail in between. You will feel SO good about honoring your modern Ayurvedic self without feeling like you’re missing out. And! The next day you’ll feel awesome.

Mocktail ideas: Experiment! It’s part of the fun and for maximum festivity, serve mocktails in a fancy glass. Note: These mocktails are not Ayurvedic necessarily, they are just alternatives to alcohol with ingredients likely found at parties or a bar. In Ayurveda, we don’t strive for perfection, we strive for “better.”
Warm apple cider. Heat in a pot with cinnamon sticks & a few cloves. Strain & enjoy. You can also add honey if needed. Garnish w/one cinnamon stick.
Cranberry w/splash of orange juice and top with seltzer. Have with or without ice. Garnish with an orange slice or float 3 little crannies in the glass.
Pomegranate juice, dash of orange juice. For optional fizz: Top with seltzer
Pomegranate or cranberry juice mixed w/ginger ale
Grapefruit juice, splash of cran, & seltzer. Dip a lemon wedge in sugar for garnish :)
MY FAVORITE: Cranberry juice with seltzer and a lime. mm!!

Ginger ale will give fizz and sweetness. Seltzer just adds fizz. Orange juice ads sweetness, pineapple juice is also good for that, very sweet. Pomegranate and cranberries are astringent, soaks up and cools down heat.

And counting it back down…
Wisdom for right choices
Staying in the present
A path for evolving
AND
Permission for my authenticity

 

Wisdom for Right Choices

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On the 4th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,

4) WISDOM FOR RIGHT CHOICES
3) Staying in the present
2) A path for evolving
and
1) Permission for my authenticity

As some of you know from readying my book, In Your Elements (Ooooo…TODAY 12/13 is the LAST DAY FOR 10% off! use code MC8RC2WV), one of the most powerful tools we have as an intelligent being is full ownership over our own choices. Our choices our so powerful, in fact, that making the wrong choices is actually one, out of only three, causes for disease.

The excerpt below is from my book on how lucky we have to have our wisdom and why we should listen to it.

From In Your Elements: “There is a wise, little part of our mind called buddhi (boo-DEE). Buddhi is our inner wisdom, kind of like the “good angel” sitting on our shoulder whispering the right things to do in your ear. Our buddhi always helps us adhere to choices that would be best for us, whether big or small. When we listen to our buddhi we feel accomplished, are highly productive and are more likely to make the right choices by following through with right action.

If we do not listen to our budhhi, we will not make the right choices, which is the root cause of all kinds of problems. There’s a waterfall effect for bad- choice-making as one thing leads to another. Let’s walk through two examples together 1) when we do not listen to our buddi and 2) when we do.

You did not listen to your buddhi
Let me be dramatic for a sec. After a wonderfully tantalizing meal, you are full, but the food was so good you want a second helping. Buddhi says, “One helping is enough or you will feel overfull.” You know you don’t need a second helping, but it was just so tasty! Against buddhi’s advice, you have more food anyway. That second serving pushed you into a food coma and now you are too lethargic to take your 30-minute evening walk. Instead, you veg in front of the TV watching House Hunters. You feel a bit disappointed in yourself and are irritated by small closets being a deal breaker, so you watch more TV (Shark Tank, anyone?) and you still feel very full. Since the TV is an addicting little bugger, you might stay up past your 10 p.m. Ayurvedic bedtime. As the night goes on, you get snacky. Buddhi says, “Don’t do it! Just go to bed!” But you reach for the chocolates anyway because your sweet tooth is calling for it. Besides, you already screwed up the night so who cares. You get a sugar surge, so you stay up even later and have restless sleep because of the caffeine in the chocolates. You have a hard time waking up the next morning because your belly is still full from the night before. And then you wake up feeling like physical junk from too much food, guilt from watching too much TV and staying up too late. And all because you made the wrong choices ­­­­­— this was nobody else’s fault.

You listened to your buddhi
Now let’s say, you listened to your buddhi and only had one delicious helping at dinner. You felt physically nourished and had enough energy to clean up the kitchen and reward yourself by enjoying a leisurely evening walk outside at sunset. The walk refreshed you because you were out in nature able to enjoy some down time after a long day. Perhaps you even experienced something interesting on your walk, which may have sparked a nice conversation with a loved one when you got home. When there is downtime, our mind relaxes and we have pause. When we have pause, new ideas have a window to enter. Maybe you still watch House Hunters but limit to one episode because you know you can get sucked into TV for hours. After one episode, you have had your fill of small closets being a deal breaker and turn to a favorite book, knitting project, phone call to a friend or journal before bed.

Notice the difference of this scenario vs. the first one!?
Like night and day! Each of your awesome choices influenced the next awesome choice. Once we start choosing and doing the right things, we will feel increasingly fabulous and we will want to do it more and more! However, the same happens if you make the wrong choices. It can easily end up in a domino effect of bad choices and then we feel like junk. We will not be perfect in our decision-making but at any time we derail, we can stop and make a better choice.”

Staying in the Present

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On the 3rd day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me,

STAYING IN THE PRESENT,
A path for evoloving,
and
Permission for my authenticity

The best way to slow down time is to stay 100% present in whatever we are doing at the time (Anyone ever play Scrabble for 3 hours? I did that once and will never play that game again). Conversely, the fastest way to speed up time is to spend a ton of time online or on smart phones. *zip!* Time gone. Our spirit loves it when we fully experience the present and take the time to *INHALE* and absorb our surroundings. *exhale*

One of my favorite pieces of advice to couples on their wedding day is to take several moments to pause, be completely present, and take it all in. Taking a breath to look around at their friends and family having fun in their honor is an experience they will never forget. But if they move too quickly, they will miss it. Taking conscious pauses sloooooows time doooooown so we can fully immerse ourselves and remember the moment.

Holidays are similar. Some of us are really good at slowing down to decorate, spend time picking out the perfect gifts, and carefully craft recipes for the dinner menu. Others of us race until we are so tired that we fall on our face in bed with our contacts in and shoes on. Too much speed, noise and aggitation overtime can leave our spirit starving (and our body-minds exhausted). The spirit likes to savor life, sometimes through experience and sometimes simply as observer.

So, keep it simple. During meals (or appetizers!) take time to chew well, letting the yummy food and drinks dance on your tastebuds. Look into the eyes of the person you are talking to and instead of jumping to what you want to say next, listen and respond. Take a minute to enjoy the fire in the fireplace (good therapy for the eyes too). Slow down on streets with holiday lights and enjoy the sparkles.

Slowing down to experience simple joys is what being in the spirit and of the spirit, is all about. xo!