Monthly Archives: June 2010
HeyMonicaB.com turns two today! How fun. Any guesses on what the first post was about (no cheating by going to the archives)?
Come on guess!!
OK I’ll tell you.
It was GHEE!
haha! I think there are even non-working links on that page. What a rookie. All I wanted to do two years ago is tell people how fabulous ghee was. And look! Things have expanded and hopefully you are learning lots while being mildly entertained.
SO! That brings me to a question. What do YOU want out of the next two years (and beyond…!) from heymonicab.com? Advice column where you can ask questions? Product advice? Seasonal health guides? Tell me! I have some things in the works all ready but I want to hear from you. Afterall, Ayurveda is ALL ABOUT YOU anyway, so bring on your wishes! Let’s incorporate them. Let’s make this thang even better.
THANK YOU for your support and great questions. This is just the beginning, my sweet friends. I hope you continue to enjoy and share Ayurveda with your friends and family. First we heal ourselves, then we heal our loved ones, and then we can heal the masses…that’s MY goal anyway ;)
To start it out with a bang, I’ve created some summer pitta artwork on little cafe press store: www.cafepress.com/heymonicab
There are two designs to choose from and a bunch of products (I think they’re kinda fun). I will create more artwork for other doshas as the seasons change. I hope you likey!! Enjoy my friends and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to TWO! *clink* (that was a cup of chai btw). Namasté sweet ones.
I would love to know who’s had cereal for dinner in the past week. Anyone? Confession: Me me, I had cereal tonight!
Yesterday began summer solstice which means we are full into pitta season. Long days, lots of sun and heat begin to increase pitta’s fire in each of us. So when it comes to meals we are probably not reaching for spicy chili, heavy rice dishes, or mashed potatoes. Nope, that stuff feels too heavy and warm for us. So, we might crave something light and sweet, like cereal!
While your mom may have said that cereal is not a good dinner, I’ll tell you that cereal is actually not a bad dinner during summer! It’s light and easy to digest. The milk has a cooling effect on the body (plus, liquid calms down fire), it’s a mild laxative, and instantly calms stress and anxiety. The cereal is dry and light, so it soaks up any excess oils and heat. Both cereal and milk have what is a “sweet taste” in Ayurveda which is the best taste to balance pitta.
SEE?! Don’t you feel better? Craving cereal in summer is not strange, it’s totally natural! Our bodies call for exactly what we need. Next time you get a craving for cereal for dinner, check the weather because I bet it was a warm day
*Choose cereals wisely. Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Coco Pebbles and the like are FULL of sugar, which will jack you up and crash you down! No bueno! When in doubt, shop the natural foods section of the grocery store. You also can’t go too wrong at Trader Joe’s.
A few years back I dabbled in improv. I took classes, was in a troupe and even taught improv for a corporate sales meeting in Vegas (gawd that was fun). One of the foundations of improv is, “Yes, and…” So, when one of your fellow improvisers gives you an idea or a thought, you confirm and build on it by starting your next sentence with, “Yes, and…” For example, “Hey, that’s a nice hat.” “Yes, and my mom made one for you too.” See? From there the story can unfold. Whereas if the person said, “Hey, that’s a nice hat.” And then, “I’m not wearing a hat.” DOH! The scene is ruined and everyone feels uncomfortable.
Improv is all about going with the flow. If you flow against it, you’ll ruin the story (and make the audience uncomfortable). Now, what about applying that principal to life? We get thrown things ALL the time that we don’t plan for or even like all that much. We usually end up complaining how life is so unfair and we get the short end of the stick…blahdeeblah. But what if we took those things that aren’t quite so great, turned them positive and then ADDED something better to them!? Holy moly that is rockstar!!
Lets practice saying, “YES!” “Yes, and…” could be anything really.
• Your manager wants you to try a new task at work, “Yes and if it works I can teach others.”
• Someone tells you they are sorry and asks if you’ll accept their apology – how powerful is THAT one? “Yes and, I’m sorry too…” LOVE it.
• Or how about, “Babe, I’d like it if we could keep the house cleaner.” “Yes, me too, I’ll do a better job of helping with dishes.”
• “Can you please help me move the table?” “Yes and when we’re done would you mind helping me grab the chairs.” “Sure!” Seeeee…harmony!
When you say yes, you give others the chance to do the same. If you shut them down by saying no or negating their ideas, the relationship will have some strain. It might feel like you are Yes-Anding a lot in the beginning, but I also think you might be surprised at how well received it is. As you become more positive, watch the world around you change for the better. I promise. xoxo
*disclaimer! There are boundaries. If you are a “yes” person and bust up your own life for the needs of others, that is not what I’m talking about here. In Ayurveda (and on airplanes!) you always have to make sure that YOU are taken care of first, before you take care of others. Cool? Understood? Right. Love yourself first and love for others will follow with ease. xoxo (again)
Now, it’s been two months since I started and my skin has almost completely cleared up (I also went for a facial from my new favorite lady, Narine!). I got a reduction in medication two weeks ago from my doctor and I have to wait another 4 weeks to get my TSH levels checked. If the levels are normal, we’re in business!! That will mean that my thyroid has started working on it’s own again.
The good news is I got my period normally (tmi? whatever.) which NEVER happened when I was hypothyroid…so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.
In addition, a friend of mine found this cool site that has free yoga, pranayama and meditation classes. This yoga class is specifically for the endocrine system! I haven’t tried it just yet, but I will soon enough. An fyi, in case it seems weird, the “hummmm” sound she makes in the beginning is the vibrational sound of the 5th chakra (throat).
Anywho. Come on little thyroid…you can do it…go go go!! :)
Ah, wrinkles. We try so hard to avoid them, don’t we. In Ayurveda we can read the entire body on the face! Depending on where the wrinkles are, we can see where imbalances lie in the body. A face that has lived a life of laughter, love, and nourishment is quite different from a face that is stressed, worries, and angry. Right? You’ve seen them – think of faces. Some are bright, some are dull. Some you want to stare at and some scare the bejeezes out of you. Emotions manifest in our body and our face reflects our body. Therefore it is true that our faces reflect our emotions.
Vata skin will be the first to wrinkle because their skin is dry and thin. Think about the earth when it’s dry…it cracks. Same with our skin. Vatas have are like an emotional rollercoaster and they tend to race ahead and worry a LOT. They will get the lines across their forehead first and next in line would be crows feet.
Pitta skin will not wrinkle as fast because they have oilier skin. They will likely have crows feet first because they are constantly thinking and squinting. Pitta rules the eyes and if the eyes get “burnt out” (from pitta fire) this person will need glasses or contacts. So, they squint, analyze, criticize and disect what’s in front of them. Pittas are the folks who see sun damage first.
Kapha skin has sort of everlasting youth and doesn’t wrinkle very easily. Their skin is thick, oily, and resistant to most crud in the atmosphere. Kaphas are very mentally sound and they don’t get stressed or shaken by negative emotions as often as vata and pitta. Because their mind stays steady, so does their body, and therefore so does their skin. Lucky are the kaphas!
I have some light crows feet although I think they were worse like two years ago. I don’t know if they are from squinting at a computer screen or from laughing a lot. Probably both. I also have light horizontal lines on my forehead from worry (I like to worry. It’s annoying). Other signals are the two vertical lines between the eyebrows, which reflect deep seated anger or frustration. For more information on goodies like this, Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur has all you could ever want to know about skin care. I am completely in love with that book.
Here are some tips to help avoid wrinkles, hooray!
• Yoga inversions. Plough pose, shoulder stand, handstand, headstand, feet up the wall. All great for blood circulation and reducing wrinkles. It works! I’ve seen it on my own face!
• Eat well. What you eat turns into your physical body. Garbage in, garbage out.
• Put good stuff on your skin. Your skin eats too so spend some money on it. I love these products from Simply Divine Botanicals – my skincare line of choice!
• Almond oil for crows feet. I do this nightly when it’s really dry outside. Apply a little bit with your ring finger and stroke from the outside of the eye and trace right along the cheek bone. Do these strokes (one direction only) for about 30 seconds and then hit the sack.
• Almond oil over the eyebrows. Start from the inner eyebrows, trace the brow bone (press firm & go slow) to the corner. Releases tension!
• Give yourself a natural face-lift. It’s a really simple technique but works wonders to liven skin!
• Breathe. For goodness sakes, please breathe away that tension.
• Stop smoking and drinking too much booze. Enuf said.
• Call me and let me practice facial massage on you :D
Let us also remember that while we can do everything in our power to avoid it, we will eventually get wrinkles. It’s just gonna happen at some point, but it’s kind of a beautiful think because in a way, it’s a map of your life. Make sure to fill it with laughter, enjoyment, serenity, good rest, healthy breath, a career you love, good food, and most of all GREAT LOVE because everyone will see it on your face. mmwwaaaah! xo
An all too common theme lately: emails & words that hurt. If you have been a recent recipient, please remember their dagger may have hit you, but it’s not about you. It’s about them. Send silent blessings and compassion. Feel free to cry your eyes out to let it go. But don’t hold onto it – it’s not yours to hold. Namaste sweet friends.
Woohoo! An Ayurvedic posting on coffee! Yesssss. Who knew such a happy thing existed?! When advising my clients, I don’t usually make them rid their coffee. Why? Because depending on the person’s dosha, coffee might not be that terrible of a thing for them.
Authentic Ayurveda says that we should not have coffee, not because of the coffee but because of the caffeine. Caffeine constricts flow, it makes you pee (diuretic to be fancy), it can make you manic/anxious, and it’s addicting. Yes, we all know that. And there is a Starbucks on every corner! THIS is why I write a little post about coffee. I know you. I know you’re going to have your coffee regardless of what myself or Ayurveda say. So! I’ll work with ya a little bit and give you the best coffee -making combinations for each dosha, to keep you balanced and happy.
Coffee’s Ayurvedic Qualities
Coffee has a bitter (cold, dry, & light qualities) taste, which is imbalancing for vata, but balancing for pitta and kapha. The bitter taste is a blood purifier (blood ruled by pitta), detoxifies the body, liver tonic (liver ruled by pitta), depletes tissues (kaphas tend to have excess tissues), especially reproductive tissues. In simple terms, bitter increases vata because it will increase the cold, dry & light qualities. Vatas need to stay warm, unctuous, and heavy, so too much coffee will be their worst enemy. The manic, scattered, jittery folks that drink coffee are most likely high vata. On the flip side coffee will cool pitta, while it dries and uplifts kapha! See the beauty of how this works?
Customize Your Cup O’ Joe!
VATA COFFEE: Vatas need lots of warm milk in your coffee to balance the bitter qualities. Start with at least 1/2 mug of warm milk and add brown sugar, stir, then add the coffee. If the coffee is strong, add warm water (use the office water cooler/heater!) to your milk and then a splash of coffee. Coffee should amount to no more than 1/2 mug. This way you get a taste of the coffee, but overall this is a nourishing, calming drink for vata without sending anxieties through the roof. As a MEGA-BONUS, vatas can add ghee to their coffee. Their coffee should always be hot.
PITTA COFFEE: Pittas can also make vata coffee because pittas will benefit from the sweet taste from milk and sugar. Pittas can handle a slightly darker coffee with a little less milk. They won’t get as anxious as vata with stronger coffee because pittas are more sturdy. Pittas are sort of in the middle. The people who are angry or crabby before their morning coffee are likely pitta people, because they need the bitter taste in coffee to “cool” them down. Pittas can also have an iced coffee during summer. Also…as a MEGA-BONUS, pittas can add ghee to their coffee too!
KAPHA COFFEE (how fun is that to say): Kaphas will actually feel uplifted from drinking coffee, rather than manic like vata. Kaphas need a little kick in the pants because they don’t like to move. They can enjoy a stronger coffee, but it should be pretty dark with less milk. Milk and sugar are NOT friends for kapha. The heaviness and sweet taste will have them craving sweets all day long. If kaphas need a sweetner, they can use honey (drying, scraping, heating)! Mind you, kaphas would love to tip the sugar shaker and hold for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ seconds until their drink tastes like candy. But if kaphas use the bitter taste in coffee to their advantage, they can get the energy they need without the sugar crash.
Pinch of cardamom – reduces the effects of caffeine, warming, digestive. Good for vata & kapha
Cinnamon – super spice! Tri-doshic (heating, no for pitta in summer)
Brown Sugar – saweeeeet. Good for vata & pitta
Honey – sweet, but qualities are drying, heating, and scraping. Good for kapha.
Nutmeg – aphrodisiac, heating. Good for vata & kapha