Almost Done!

almost_done

Dude. Do you know how EASY it is to write a blog post after spending the past year, nose down, writing and designing a 235 page book? Blog posts all day long, baby. They are EE-ZAY.

Right. So! My book is out for proofreading while I’m putting all the touches on the design. Whee! The pretty parts is what is left! This thing has grown to be WAY bigger than I ever thought. Last May I was like, “I wanna make a cool, pretty, 45-page Ayurvedic workbook with big graphics!” Um no. Apparently I can’t shut up about Ayurveda cause this thing is pretty mighty. The crazy thing — As I wrote, I only got ideas (and new knowledge) for more books in the future. Heeeeeee.

Want to know more about the book? It’s a happy journey through all the parts of Ayurveda stemming from the foundation to nutrition (new-trition!) to home therapies (om-therapies!). My favorite part is that it’s a workbook! Handbook I guess. I want to call it a handbook because work sounds…worky. Anyway, you can learn a bit and then answer questions about your own life. Are you eating all the foods best for you? Are you following the daily routine? If not, that’s cool. So where can you improve? Things like that. Think of it as if you took your life and sat next to Ayurveda’s life and you compared notes – just like that! So yes, it will teach you all about Ayurveda but will also teach you about YOUR life in comparison.

As a mega-bonus, I am completely honored and blessed because the whole thing has been reviewed by the 2nd American licensed Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) for Ayurvedic accuracy against the classical Ayurvedic texts. So not only does it have my shenanigans and modern day twists, but it’s got the pure authentic goods as a root. Big, great awesomeness to unfold soon!

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay updated especially before launch! Over to the right in the pink box! There will be updates and sneak previews as I prepare to launch. AND there will be a fun, free webinar (party I say! And you’re all invited) where we can all get together and “woo hoo!”

Meantime, it’s SUMMER and it’s HOT outside.

Enjoy some summer pitta-balancing tips:

• Walking in cool grass in the evening soothes the eyes

• Coconut water makes a wonderful cooling drink

• Make a watermelon mint shake as a treat

• Enjoy fruits of the season, but remember fruits are best eaten alone. Solo. Like a rebel.

• Stock up on some of the best summer foods

• Keep rose water on hand and spritz your face, arms, legs, or your coworkers (you only get points if you take them by surprise. just kidding)

• Skin is governed by pitta so use that sunscreen and wear a big hat!

• If you haven’t read it or aren’t sick of it yet, read up on Pitta Seasonal Bloom. It’s old (what an endorsement, hey?) but it’s still pretty decent.

• Don’t forget your daily meditation and just sit for 5-10 minutes. Even if you do nothing but breathe, it will do a world of good to calm the mind and help you remain peaceful enough to ENJOY this beautiful season!!

Okay back to it! See you guys soon – and sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss a beat!
XO!

Pitta Season

 

Pitta Season! Ahhh, a 3-day weekend, what could be better (as you shout “a 4-day weekend!”)!? Memorial Day is often spent picnicking with family, bbq’ing with friends and enjoying the warmer weather that we know is just going to get better in the few months ahead. Fruits are looking better and fresher in the produce department as berries and stone fruits start making their appearance for the season.

We might feel energized, uplifted, as we enjoy the smells of cut grass, blooming flowers (jasmine are my favorite!), and fresh air. And of course we bust out our sunglasses and sun hats to protect our eyes and heads from the sun. Memorial Day usually marks the day that water and amusement parks open for the summer too because schools let out soon. And because we are spending so much time outside, we also apply gobs of sunscreen.

Now, if you take all these pieces and you use your Ayurvedic smarts, you will realize it’s all for good reason. Because it’s the start of pitta season! :) I know, you’re probably thinking, “Already!?” YEPPER! It has crept up on us and here we are right on top of summer. Take a moment to think about it. The fresh fruits that are in season are cooling and are the fruits that balance pitta the best (berries, stone fruits, melons). Walking on cool grass is good for pitta’s sensitive eyes–and so are the sunglasses. Sun hats protect our heads from overheating (overeheated pitta-heads will get cranky and headaches from the heat). As we enjoy more time outside the giant fire ball in the sky (pitta in nature) could burn our skin (governed by pitta) so we need to apply sunscreen. Blooming flowers and full trees are pleasing to the eyes (again governed by pitta) making us feel more at ease and less stressed (a common pitta problem). And then, the water parks! Pittas love the water because it’s instantly cooling for them.

Golly this makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Do you feel better now because you remember why you are suddenly feeling a shift?! Yesss. And friends, if you have not checked out Seasonal Bloom Pitta, there are loads of tips and lifestyle recommendations for summer.

So, what was your favorite pitta-balancing thing you did this 3-day weekend (besides wish it was 4)? We would all love to know what works for you! xoxo!

 

“I Don’t Need You…”

…like, where did that ever come from? How did I learn that or why is that my default? Is anyone else like that? Sheez, I used to pride myself on not “needing” anyone except myself. I would take on the world and “you watch!” cause “I’m gonna live in San Francisco on my own and run away from it all.” Yes! I can do it! And, that is true. I can survive on my own, sure. So, congratulations, Bloom.

But as I approach 40 this year, I realize, that’s bullshit. I need people. I need my husband. I need my kid and my family. I need my close friends and far friends. I need my network of supporters and readers that have been reading since 2008 when I didn’t know much about Ayurveda except, a recipe for ghee.

Why is this top of mind? Because a few days ago, I reached out on Facebook to get help on technical aspects of this book design (I’m doing it, on my own…so to speak…but I’m not…I have help). Out of nowhere, a friend from high school responded. He said he knew a reputable editor who could help me. Like, out of the blue and a shimmer of hope and a message of “Dude, Monica B. It’s there for the asking. You need help, so take it.” Without pause, I humbly thanked my friend and said, “YES PLEASE! I would love help!”

Since Sunday, Kristen and Denise, who are experts in PR have offered help also. On top of it, every single Ayurvedic school/clinic/resource I have reached out to have said, “YES!” and offer full support of my book.

For almost 40 years I have been thinking, “I’m on my own. I gotta crush it myself cause if I don’t, then I suck.” And you know what? Forget that. Life is better with friends. Life is better with support. Life is better with people you LOVE hanging out with. You don’t have to be on your own and you’re not. You have life and love around you. You just might need need to speak up a bit, hey? Pittas, I’m especially talkin’ to you.

So great, now that it’s in the open, work on it. And I will too. We all want to see each other succeed. We all love to be part of fun projects while helping one another. I challenge you, do it. Who can you help, tomorrow? And who can you ask for help, tomorrow.

Go run! Go find! Tell us what you did. GO SHINE! XOXO!

 

Bit o’ Wisdom {52}

YOU bring the fun

My Gopher Hole

Book progress. Words are done, I am making changes to the edits in digital form. I get anxious about it all (it’s due in May, MAY I say!)…and my husband says, “You have people that love you. You just need to keep pushing out content and interest and they will share with their friends and it will just keep going! And it only takes a second.” With that thought, my heart and brain freeze with overwhelming anxiety. I can’t even think about creating more or sharing more right now. I am in my gopher hole, focused, writing, editing, illustrating and designing. By myself, no distractions. I am a one woman show with too many plates spinning. I am anxious but SO excited. I LOVE the journey and progress. It feels amazing yet scary.

So, I told the huz that I LOVE the idea of pushing out more of my content on social media channels…but the thought of me sticking my head out of my gopher hole makes me sick and anxious. I can’t.

So, back in my gopher hole I go. If I’m not writing blog posts and pushing content, it’s because I’m writing. And preserving energy and time for this beloved book which is much larger to reach even MORE people.

I love each of you, I know you’re out there. I know you’ll be there when I’m done. But I’m a little scared, overwhelmed yet having fun, and have to get this done so I can share my gift with the world. It won’t be long and I’ll come out shining (with glitter!) with all kinds of good stuff for you to learn and share.

xoxo and back in my hole…

My Book Update!

book_update

EE! Ok Friends! The book is well underway with 185 pages written. I am shooting to have all the words done by the end of January, with editing to happen February. While editing happens, I’ll be working more on design and graphics. Projected launch is in the beginning of May.

It’s been a LONG process. I’ve had this idea for years and years, but finally started getting it down on “paper” (and digital file obviously) in May 2014. I’ve been working on it on and off since then as I balance my job and family obligations. About three weeks ago, I tore the whole thing apart and realigned the material. I even started making thumbnails again on paper! The content was there, but the flow was not.

And since I did that, I am SPRINTING!!! After years of being steady and running long distance with Ayurveda,  I’m ready to SPRINT, SHAKE, STOMP, TRANSFORM, BURST, my knowledge and design to the world. We truly have to be ready for transformation, don’t we? Something (I can’t put my finger on it, but maybe ’cause I’m turning 40 this year) has lit a major fire and I am so ready to birth this thang. Btw, birthing is so scary! I was scared when birthing my child and this scares me too, but the result of a birth is creation, unmatched!!

The book will be for the Ayurvedic beginner who might already know a little, but could also be for people who have no idea what Ayurveda is. It is perfect for yoga studios or healing centers to have on their shelves. And here’s where it gets cool…so many of you have been reading my blog for years (Thank you thank you thank you, the gratitude FLOWS!) and you now know so much more about Ayurveda than most people. How’s THAT?! Did you even realize that? Because YOU know and love Ayurveda, my book will be a tool that you can use to help introduce Ayurveda to your loved ones as we all strive to live our best, healthiest lives.

Isn’t it beautiful? It all comes from the inside out anyway. Here I am giving my insides to you (the outside), which you are reading and absorbing on your insides. As you apply and learn, you might have loved ones in mind thinking, “Man, so-and-so should really know this. They would love it.” Right! Yes! That’s how it goes, you guys!!

Everything comes from the inside out. So as I continue to work on my insides in my creative cocoon here, it will soon be available to you. And then you can share with those you love, all while you transform, heal, and evolve yourself as well. Man I love life. SO GOOD SO GOOD! Send me good vibes of concentration, focus, and creativity as I SPRINT these last few months. I can’t WAIT!!!! BOOK SOON! MUCHO LOVE!

Gratitude Tree

 

gratitude_tree_2014I made a little gratitude tree! I have been reflecting on 2014 and getting ready to set intentions for 2015. Setting sights on creating dosha-lutions, new year’s wish lists or beginning your new year’s cleanse is definitely going to transform you and help you to evolve. But before zooming to the future, take a moment to be grateful for what got you here! I created this little gratitude tree for myself and thought it inspiring enough to share.

There are 25 circles where you can fill your tree up with great stuff. Print it out and keep at your desk or wherever you need a reminder of life’s sparkles and blessings from 2014. Might make a cute New Year’s gift from your yoga studio or new year’s party or keep it just for you :) Enjoy! xoxo.

Lotus Turkey

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.59.37 PM

Gobble Gobble! Lotus Turkey is here to remind you how to have a simply divine Ayurvedic Thanksgiving!

1. Morning exercise. Start the day with a little sweat to release toxins and stoke agni.

2. Write gratitude list. Super important! Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Then write 10 more.

3. Put on good music. Cause, yes!

4. Prepare a dish to share. Contribute to the feast, enjoy making it and put love in the food!

5. Have a glass of wine. Wine stokes agni and prepares for digestion. Yes in Ayurveda wine is actually used as medicine in some cases!

6. Bless the turkey. With sincerity say a little blessing (even if it’s to yourself), “Thank you turkey, for giving your life to me so that I can be nourished.”

7. Have potatoes with ghee. Potatoes (sweet ones are best!) are grounding ghee is awesomely nourishing.

8. Don’t over-stuff yourself. You know you’ll feel like crap so don’t do it. Eat to 1/3 capacity and leave room for the food and liquid to mix.

9. Help clean up. Don’t let the hostess do it by herself. Lend a hand to give back for all he/she has done for you.

10. Take a post-meal walk. Grab the crew and go for a leisurely walk around the block for fresh air.

11. Snuggle and cuddle. That’s what the end of Thanksgiving is all about. Cuddle with those you love (even if it’s your animals) and tell them why you love them so much.

*SMOOCH* Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Oil Massage for Busy People

 

oil_massage_busy

Oil Massage for Busy People?! Yessssss. In Ayurveda we looooooove the benefits of a good daily oil massage. Great. Now, raise your hands if you are thinking, “Yeah awesome for the people who who have time for luxury but pssshhht, there’s no WAY I can do that daily! I’m so busy — I can’t even remember to bring my lunch much less do a massage before work. Monica B, you are crazycakes with this suggestion!” Um. Perfect! That’s why we are talking about oil massage, or abyhanga, for busy people! Because that’s you—and that’s me! In my busy world with my job-job and hideous 3 hour commute, I still do it and I’ll tell you how.

YOU’LL NEED

Sesame oil (for vata)
Coconut or Almond oil (for pitta)
Sunflower oil (for kapha)
{Psssst…if not from Banyan, you can get these oils from any grocery store in the oil section! Get the organic cold/expeller pressed kind.}
1 small plastic squeezy bottle. Like a travel size shampoo bottle or a mini ketchup bottle with a tiny cap
1 towel you don’t care about

HERE WE GO

1. Put your oil in the squeezy bottle
2. Keep the oil in the bathroom near your shower
3. Stand on the towel you don’t care about.
4. Apply the oil from toe to head. We want absorption, not an oil slick, but also no tugging on the skin. Should take 3-5 minutes. Start with your feet and legs. Use long strokes on the bones with some pressure up toward the heart, then go back down with less pressure, then back UP toward the heart. Clockwise circles around the joints. Clockwise circles around the belly and belly button with some pressure. Don’t forget your booty. Get your back the best you can, upward toward the shoulders. Long strokes on arms up and toward the heart/shoulders. Get hands starting from the base and Clockwise again around joints. Upwards on the neck. And don’t forget your face.
5. Get in a nice warm (not scalding*) shower.
Wash your hair (optional), pits, bits, and feet. Don’t scrub anything!

6. Get out and DAB yourself off. The oil will be absorbed into your skin, leaving it super soft!
7. Finish getting ready with your busy self :)

Your bod will feel really smooth, warm, and you’ll be calm in the mind! It will set the tone for your whole day, I promise! Even if you are super busy, you will really benefit from this simple practice as it tells our entire being that we CARE enough to nourish it, daily. Try it for a week and I bet you’ll LOVE it! Let me know how it goes. XOXO!

*Scalding water is very drying to the skin.

Benefits of Massage (Abhyanga)

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to injury or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.” Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89

It’s winter, vata time. Vata time is windy, cold, light and dry. Brr. Don’t forget your oil massages in the morning! Before your shower, warm some sesame oil and give yourself a head-to-toe massage for about 15 minutes. Daily in winter time is ideal, but at least do it once a week.

Benefits of applying warm oil to the whole body
• Brings strength, tone, and suppleness to the body and all tissues
• Makes our skin more elastic so we look younger (anti-aging!)
• Strengthens and improves vision
• Gives the body nourishment inside and out
• Increases longevity
• Helps us have sound sleep!
• Strengthens our ojas
• Tones our tissues, bringing vigor and vitality to the body
• Improves circulation to extremities and internal organs
• Calms vata and pitta while helping kapha flow

Benefits of applying oil to the scalp
• Helps hear become soft and glossy, sometimes thickens it
• Works directly on the sense organs to soothe and stimulate
• Lessens (even removes!) facial wrinkles

I mean, why would you not do it? ;)

What are doshas, exactly?

Hello Lovelies!

For those of you NEW to Ayurveda this might help answer your question, “What are doshas, exactly?” :)

I manifested our house!

house_drawing

My mind! She’s blown! I manifested our house! It’s quite the miracle story, good enough to share and hopefully inspire.

For anybody who doesn’t know what is happening in the San Francisco bay area, there is a MAJOR tech boom goin’ on. People are moving here in droves to capture a piece of “the boom” so it’s crazy expensive, ultra competitive and uber-piled with people. I did not move here for this reason, I find it annoying and could give a rip about tech. I moved here in 2003 because to me it’s the most beautiful land in all the world. I feel like I have a wing span miles wide when I am here—limitless in thought, creativity, expansion, and possibility.

So knowing this place is a freakin’ gong show at the moment, let’s bring in some magic. Or manifestation, if you prefer. I enjoy the word ‘magic’ because when I see the word I hear, “blliiiinnnngggg!” and I see twinkles of glitter. Since our eyes are sometimes able to interpret a better story than our words, this is going to be a visual story.

About two weeks ago, my husband found a sweet little house listing and IM’ed it to me at work. Instantly the poor man’s IM was inundated with “IT’S MY HOUSE!…MINE!…THIS IS MY HOUUUUUSE…I’VE ALWAYS SEEN IT…HOLY…” Fill in the gaps with shitcakes, holy nuggets, and a few f-bombs because my mind, was totally blown. I’m sure my enthusiasm was endearing (or obnoxious) but he really didn’t understand at the time that I had seen this house in my mind for years.

Below is an excerpt of the love letter we wrote to the seller…

Screen shot 2014-10-08 at 10.51.26 AM

 

We submitted our offer at 11:00 am on 10/3/14. By 3:10 pm our offer was accepted.

 

You saw the drawing, right?  Now…see the house below.

 

house1_gotham

RIGHT?!?!?!?!

CRAAAAAAAAAZY?!?!!??!

We beat 4 other offers! One was an all cash offer with a higher bid than ours and zero contingencies. And still, WE GOT IT!!! We had an amazingly supportive and speedy team of realtors and a stellar mortgage broker too, but the determining factor was the seller. She used her HEART to decide. I have no explanation as to why we got this house. We were even denied putting in a pre-emptive offer and thought for sure we were goners. What I know is that I never let go of my vision, nor did my confident ground shake as I stood strong amongst the competition. I was slightly nervous but not barfy or overly anxious. I threw the decision up to the stars and kept telling myself, “I KNOW this is our house.”

So here we are, in the thick of escrow, and in two weeks we will have the keys. NUTS?! Today our house was appraised so we got over that hurdle with these exact words from our real estate agent, “Hello Monica, In 23 years doing real estate, this is fastest freaking appraisal I ever got.” The stars have clearly aligned and we are moving fast…but not furious. Fast with graceful confidence I would say.

How awesome will it be to finish writing my ayurvedic book in this super pretty space!? I can’t wait to get in there at the end of the month! I still don’t know how I got it…well, or maybe I do. I emailed this story (with letter and house pics) to my former life coach and said, “My higher self is seriously shitting bricks. Actually, my physical self is shitting bricks. My higher self is nodding and grinning because she knew all along.”

Who else has a story like this!? I know so many of you do. Please share!!! Can we please rally with our fun stories of what our higher self knew before we did? XOXO. Eternal thanks goes to Harriet, Ana, Pascal, Ted, Anet & Pat!

Ayurveda Life Series

namaste

To those of you who have found your way here through prAna or Banyan Botanicals, WELCOME! Namasté! *high kick!* And for those oldie moldies who have been reading for years, Heyo! Glad to see your shining face! *smooch!*

You guys I’m kinda beside myself. A couple months ago, totally out of the blue, I was invited to be a contributing author as part of a project prAna and Banyan Botanicals were working on together. UmlemmethinkYES! It’s been a hard secret to hold in! So now that I can flap my gums (pun intented) about it, let me tell you what’s going on. Banyan and prAna partnered to create a blog series called “Ayurveda Life” where they will be sharing loads of articles with their audience on Ayurveda. I believe it will be for a full year and they’ve selected a handful of fresh, new articles I wrote to share as content. I am humbled to the core to be part of this elite group.

Please enjoy the first article I wrote for the “Ayurveda Life” series on the doshas. You’ll recognize the art :)

I am excited for 18 million reasons, but the biggest reason is between prAna and Banyan and myself, we should be able to reach MANY more people. SHINE that light on Ayurveda!!! It brings tears to my eyes that this came out of the blue—I never could have planned it. I could not have dreamed up something so perfect. Here are two of my most favorite companies with such large hearts and pure intent to make it a better world. And I get to rally with them!? I could not be more lucky. Thank you prAna and Banyan–Squishy warm hugs and tons o’love!

I will share more articles as they post. Meantime, send me good book-writing vibes (115 pages now!). Back to it!

Grouch-o-rama?

Unnecessarily grouchy or tired? Ask yourself if you had too many “spirits” this weekend. Too many spirits can quickly dampen our own spirit. If that’s the case, drink lots of extra water, have lots of fresh fruit and veggies (no meat!), do some pranayam (alternate nostril breathing, or long and deep ‘so hum‘) and write a gratitude list to set your energy on higher ground. XO!

(yes I’m still writing my book)

Ayurvedic Summer Guide

Please enjoy my ayurvedic summer guide or as I like to call it, Pitta Seasonal Bloom! :) Wondering how to stay balanced for summer? An oldie but GOODIE…a super-mega charged GOODIE, in fact! :) It’s not new. But it’s a GREAT refresher for you. And a good introduction to Ayurveda for your friends and family. Especially the ones who have no idea what that Aaaayyyyurrr stuff you talk about really is :) Share among the people! Let’s keep improving how people LIVE! Thanks and love you! xo! (And yes, still working on the book)

Click on le photo to download this lovely little ayurvedic summer guide, Pitta Seasonal Bloom.

Ayurvedic summer guide

 

 

Chill Summer Playlist

Happy Summer! I’m still plugging away at the book, but you are never far from my thoughts! Thought you might enjoy a chill summer playlist during the heat of the season. XO!

 

chill_playlist

Favorite Summer Foods

favorite_summer_foods

 

Something totally mind-blowing occurred on accident (don’t you love it when that happens?!). On facebook yesterday I asked, “What is your favorite in-season summer food? The one that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?” I got a bunch of great responses and then had a teeny epiphany.

Examples of what you said were your very favorites: Mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, all sorts of home-grown tomatoes (<–lots of people said that one!), cantaloupe, peaches, fresh basil (w/fresh mozzarella), corn on the cob, cherries, berries, asparagus, nectarines and ice cream!

**Monica’s MIND BLOWN here**

Um. Kay. Notice anything about these foods? Like, what they have in common?

ALL these foods are fruits and vegetables!! Almost ALL these foods are pitta-balancing! It’s pitta season and isn’t it amazing (in the true sense of the word) that nature perfectly makes available the VERY best foods for the season! On top of it, we actually CRAVE and APPRECIATE those foods! **is your MIND BLOWN yet?** Perfect by design, these foods are all wonderfully light and cooling, which keeps our pitta levels down (in all of us) and balanced so we don’t overheat and get cranky.

One food that is not pitta-balancing are tomatoes. But vatas and kaphas can have them, and love them! Pittas can have tomatoes in small amounts, but they should be small and sweet like cherry tomatoes. Overall, tomatoes are heating and can be a bit too acidic for pittas and in the hot weather (like, don’t inflame your eye like my ma did once). Tis why it’s good to balance hottie tomatoes with cooling cilantro (like in fresh mild salsa) or cooling fresh mozarella (like a caprese salad). See how nice they go together?

I also couldn’t help but notice what didn’t make the list: bread, rice, mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, meats, potatoes, root vegetables, pumpkin, chili, stews, pasta. Those foods make us feel heavy and hot this time of year and are therefore more balancing in the winter to keep us grounded and warm :)

Tip: The more red in color the tomato is, the more of the fire element it has in it. So if you are a pitta, you might want to pick the cute yellow or orange ones for a sweeter taste.

For those of you who weren’t on the facebook party, you’re not left out! What are YOUR favorite summer foods?? Tell us! It would be quite a most awesome party if we all showed up with our fruits and veggies together! Under a sun umbrella of course. And with good music. And the vatas would dance. Party on! XOXO!

Time Out. Writing an Ayurvedic book!

time_out_book

It’s time! I’ve had my beloved HeyMonicaB site for almost six years now and it’s time to evolve and grow. I’m writing an Ayurvedic BOOK. Yay! As you know, I still work a full time 40-hour a week job in San Francisco with a 2.5 hour daily commute (that commute is not Ayurvedic in the slightest). I also have a family. So instead of doing new content for my site, I will preserve my time to focus on creating the most beautiful and impactful Ayurvedic book in the world. Ha! ;)

I’m not going to disappear, there is plenty of Ayurveda to share. My site is chock full of Ayurvedic information, so continue to read and learn. Ask me general questions if you have them: monica@heymonicab.com.

So keep visiting here and let’s stay connected:
• I will be posting “The Best Of” on my site!
• Email and ask me general Ayurvedic questions: monica@heymonicab.com
• Find my facebook page. I give weekly quizzes, inspirations, tips and have conversations
• I do newsletters, so sign up for those! (look right! pink box!)
• If you want to be the first to know when the book is done, get on the mailing list (look right! pink box!)

Since I am prone to changing my mind and absolutely love giving you guys good information, I might sneak in a new post here and there. But I’m going to try and stay focused. So much love to all of you!! This is exciting! Thank you for reading. There will be  MUCH MORE SOON! *mmmmwwwaaaahhh*

What causes 90% of all disease?

90_disease

On the HeyMonicaB facebook page, sometimes I like to do Ayurvedic quizzes! Last week I asked, “What causes 90% of all disease?” and I got great participation with varying answers. Some of the most common guesses were stress, inflammation, bad diet, ama/toxins, mal-functioning agni/digestion, and our thoughts.

The answer? Mal-functioning agni (digestive fire)

Let me point out that all those other answers are not wrong!! Everything is connected, right? Aaaalll those other things actually contribute to mal-functioning digestion. Even in modern medicine stress is the number one cause for disease and death. The reason is because stress causes so many other problems! When we are stressed, we are not digesting our food properly because the body is busy trying to keep your mind calm. For example, when something traumatic happens, like, let’s say you break up in a relationship or learn that someone you love just passed away. Don’t you feel sick to your stomach, like, punched in the gut? That’s a signal. It’s like we instantly feel so sick we can’t eat. Our mind tells the body, “Everything on pause. I have to tend to these emotions because we are under high stress and sadness. I cannot process food right now.” Now, those are extreme examples but if we are under even a fraction of that kind of stress daily…our body responds the SAME way. Our agni doesn’t work right, foods don’t get digested, and we accumulate ama, which causes even more mal-digestion. And so it goes like that for…years sometimes.

The best thing you can do for your health is keep that mighty agni STRONG, eat the right foods for who you are (menus here) and follow the nutritional guidelines. Don’t forget to eat HAPPY. If we are rushed, angry, upset, sad, worried, etc., we are not going to digest our food well. Emotions matter in everything we do! Do it with love and you will not go wrong. XO!

state_of_mind_eating

A Kapha Goes to Costco

kapha_costco

A Kapha Goes to Costco, an Ayurvedic Story.

My kapha husband wanted to disappear last night for an evening of carousing, by himself. Do you know where he went? Costco. Yes, Costco because there are BIG things in multiples there and in BIG discounts (kaphas love shopping, sales, and multiples). Kaphas are all about the accumulation and care-taking for everyone around them (cause they are so sweet). In a nutshell, Costco is kapha’s heaven and vatas want to run screaming.

So check it out. My jolly kapha husband comes home with a 5lb bag of kettle corn. Cause we need that. Popcorn is the snack of choice for kaphas and toss in some sugar (a kapha vice), they are in total bliss. Now we have 5 fluffy pounds of…bliss for the husband. He also got a 6-pack of electric toothbrush heads because we need 6 of them for 2 of us. Yes, yes we do. Six. He also got a 4-pack of sunscreen for just $9 (“At Target, these are $17 for only 2!”). And a big box o’ tupperware.

We live in a 900 sq ft apartment without many closets. Costco was not made for us. BUT my kapha husband was made for me, so I’ll just take this with humor and grace. Don’t think my pitta didn’t try to control the situation. Before his journey, I asked if he could take my car and get me gas (of course he’ll do it, he’s a kapha) in my Mini Cooper. BOOYAH! Mini Cooper + Kapha + Costco = Can’t buy all THAT much stuff ;) Mwwaaahahahaaaa (evil, yet loving laugh).

The end.

Ayurvedic Cleanse

Ayurvedic_cleanse

Heyo! I’ve been getting a string of questions from several of you around a common theme: An Ayurvedic Cleanse.

Let me ask, do you know why a cleanse is important? {have a think}

It’s important because we use our bodies every single day and without taking time to clean it and nourish it, it will start to break down in places. It’s kind of like a car. If we don’t give our cars oil changes, tune-ups, and repair small problems as they come up, the damages later would be very costly (and much worse). Same with our bods! We breathe things, see things, smell things, our skin absorbs things, we eat things, we get emotionally affected by things…and over time all those “things” stick on us and clog our bods and minds. As a daily habit, sleeping is good to restore the body and so is eating the right foods. But even with those two things in place, we still need to take time to cleanse at least once a year and/or as the seasons change because our body is in constant use!

The biggest reason for cleansing is to get rid of any ama that has built up over time AND to rebuild our agni (digestive fire) to a powerful state. Remember, mal-functiong agni is reponsible for 90% of all disease! That’s a mighty statement and GOSH is it true! Ama is – sticky, thick, white goo – a blockage which hinders our bodies, minds, and emotional well being. It’s basically a collection of old food-stuffs (old emotional-stuffs too!). We want to make sure our energy is running smooth and clear from head to toe so we can be our very best and brightest selves.

Time to clean it out. Alright, let’s do this. Below are instructions for a light kitchari cleanse and then a deeper kitchari cleanse with herbs, detox tea, and warm oils for massage.

Cleanse 1) A kitchari cleanse. This simple kitchari cleanse can be done any time you need it! Simply commit to 3-7 days of eating a monodiet of kitchari. How do you know if you “need” it? Are you feeling any ickiness in your mind, body, guts, joints, mood, etc.,? Eat some kichari for a few days and you should start to feel better. Any anger, irritability, anxiety, worry, sadness, should start to lighten and dissipate. Any feelings of heaviness, bloating, indigestion, or constipation will go away. Any cloudiness of mind, confusion, uncertainty, or indecisiveness will start to gain clarity. Hooray!

How to do it?
• Make a nice batch of kitchari <—recipe! If you want one-stop shopping, you can buy the Ayurvedic Cleanse Kit from Banyan Botanicals
• Sip ginger tea in the morning. If you are hungry, have some kichari. If not, sip ginger tea and/or hot water (can add lemon) until you feel hungry.
• Have kitchari for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• If your tongue is pink, add ghee to the top (vatas and pittas can have a nice amount of ghee, kaphas have less). If your tongue is not pink (yet, it will be soon), wait to add extra ghee until your tongue is pink.
• You can sip herbal (caffeine free) teas during the day and have as much water as you like
• If you are very hungry between meals, have a piece of fruit (banana, peeled apple or pear, berries) and some tea
• Be sure to fill up during meals and have as much kitchari as you like.
• Do this for 3-7 days. You can journal how you feel along the way!

After the cleanse (just as important as the cleanse itself!)
It is important to slowly rebuild agni to be good and strong. So 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 right away. I suggest to have liquid soup with veggies the next day. Next day have soup with rice or noodles. Next day have rice and veggies. Next day you can start eating normally. See that? A little step-by-step process to eating normal again. HINT: Do this with ANY cleanse, even if it’s not this one. It’s really important!!

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Cleanse 2) The deeper cleanse is not quite panchakarma (more on that soon, too much for this post), but it’s about as good as you can get by doing it from home. For this one the Deluxe Ayurvedic Cleanse Kit has everything you need. You can even download their little booklet on Ayurvedic Cleansing too. Or, you can compile your own items for the cleanse. This cleanse includes detox tea, herbs, and daily head to toe self massage with sesame oil.
• Follow the same instructions as above (they also have instructions) but you’ll be including massage, herbs, and the tea

When you are doing cleanses (even just a short one for 3 days), remember to RELAX. Make time and space for it. This is a cleanse for the mind and spirit and emotions just as it is for the body. If you cannot take off a day or two from work, be sure to unplug, unwind, and spend some time relaxing. Walks are good. Yoga is good. Intense exercise is not good. No tv or computer, books instead. Nice music, candles, warm socks, incense, sunsets, windows open…are all good things. NOURISH.

Yeah? What questions can I answer for you about cleansing? HAPPY AYURVEDIC SPRING CLEANING! XOXO!