Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Halloween Tips!

Tip #1
If you eat a lot of candy, fast the next day and drink ginger tea until your tummy feels better and your tongue is pink!

Tip #2
If you’re eating pumpkin seeds chew them up good! We don’t have teeth anywhere else and they might hurt coming out…

That’s as wise as I get today. Have FUN! xoxo

Bit of Wisdom {30}

Feel overwhelmed, dizzied, maybe even grumpy about all that you have on your plate? Well you know some nice people, so ask them for help :) They can’t read your mind, so ask. Don’t be shy, you’d do it for them. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart, strengthens relationships, and brings you peace. Just do it, they’ll help. I promise. xoxo

A Day in the Life of MonicaB

Do you all know about the daily routine?! Ooooo…if you don’t you should because it’s one of the BEST things you can do for your health. Most of it is easy because it’s just making sure you are doing the right things at the right time. No mystery! Just a switching of the clock is all.

I promote the routine to my clients and get asked a lot, “Monica, what does your routine look like? Do you do all that Ayurveda stuff?” So I thought it would be fun to run through my day so that you can see it’s not really that tough to incorporate Ayurveda into a 40-hour work week grind. Did I say grind? I meant…thine lovely waking hours of the day at thee establishment of employment, Monday thru Friday ;) I’ve highlighted everything in PINK that is according to Ayurveda. If it’s BLUE, it’s not Ayurvedic. This is kinda fun since I’ve never written it out before so let’s see how I do.

Please note: It has taken me 3 years to get this far. Slowly I made the changes. If you want to adopt some of these, great!! But do them one or two at a time until they become habit. If you do everything at once, it will not stick. And, as you can see, there is still room for improvement. I’ll always be learning about Ayurveda, forever :)

MONICAB’S DAILY ROUTINE

MORNING!

6:15 a.m. (it’s really dark right now which makes it tough)
6:15 get up
Pee (I don’t poop)
Brush teeth, scrape tongue, drink warm water
Take dogs for a brisk 25-30 minute walk, come back and feed them (feed someone else before you feed yourself).

7:00 a.m. The BEST part of the day
• Sometimes I eat an english muffin with ghee at home. Most of the time I make oatmeal with ghee at work.
Go in our spare room, turn on my yoga salt lantern, my “facing east” pandora station, and write “morning pages” (based on The Artists Way) for 10-15 minutes
Then I sit and do So-Hum for 10 minutes OR kapalbhati for 5-8 minutes
Kiss George goodbye as he leaves for work

7:20 a.m. Personal Hygiene
Shower. I use Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap (natural)
and shampoo with chemical crap in it.
• Get out of the shower. Our 2 dogs that were sitting on the floor mats come over to lick the salt off my ankles and the cat jumps in the shower to play in the water (animals make us happy)
Quickly apply almond oil to my legs, arms, torso and with what is on my hands, I do a quick eyebrow and cheek massage. If I was following Ayurveda, I would do this before my shower. I will work on making this change.
I don’t wash my face in the morning, I just rinse it with warm water. I use Rose Du Jour moisturizer by Simply Divine Botanicals (natural & awesome), unless my skin is really dry and then I use Amazing Face moisturizer.
Take 2 amalaki tablets (detoxification, rejuvenation, heart tonic, pitta & vata balancing)
Dry hair w/blowdryer, use non-Ayurvedic hair products (Aveda, which is based on Ayurveda but owned by Esteé Lauder. So I count them as a no). Get dressed.
• Go to kitchen, grab leftovers for lunch and heat the chai I made last night in the microwave, then put in my to-go cup

7:55 a.m. Commute
Drive 5-10 minutes to work. Yeah, not really a commute…

8:00 a.m. Work Day!
• Say “Good Morning!” to Marshall, Sharon & Lisa. Put my stuff down, turn on computer. Go get a warm glass of water (I have not pooped yet) and make my oatmeal with ghee that I borrow from Gavin’s desk (he only has ghee ’cause of me anyway…)
Sip my homemade chai
• Go through emails, listen to voice messages, do all the easy things on my list, poop (the water works every time!), help people get jobs (even with positive thoughts), be nice to coworkers, clients and talent. Sip warm water, sniff lavender

12:00 Lunch
I usually eat my leftovers at my desk (this is not Ayurvedic, I should take a full hour and I should eat away from my computer). Sometimes I come home for lunch and eat on our porch with the dogs. That’s the best!!!
Do the challenging work and meetings in the afternoon.
• By 3:00, I’m antsy. I usually wave my arms around, stretch, yawn (loud, stick my tongue out), sigh, look at coworkers through binoculars (two fists around my eyes making to peek through) and sometimes I go lay on the floor of someone’s cubicle and then leave with a happy butt dance. I end all of this with some tea and go back to my desk.

5:00 p.m. Quittin Time!
Get home, kiss George and take the dogs for another walk together 30+ minutes. We talk about our day.
3-4 days a week I do yoga or ballet workout after the walk

6:15 p.m. Making Dinner
Dinner! George usually picks up ingredients for a vegetarian friendly dinner together and we make enough so I can take leftovers the next day. We always eat a light together, at the table and sometimes while watching football.

7:30 p.m. Down Time
• Any mix of: Heymonicab projects & blog posts, practice violin, study, reading
Sometimes I do my yoga or ballet here

9:00 p.m.
Most of the time, I follow my own guidelines and turn off the computer. Sometimes I’ll get in bed and read, which always feels luxurious.

10:00 p.m. Bed!
Wash face with Black Velvet skin cleanser and moisturize with Amazing Face.
• If it’s dry or I’m feeling old (hah!), I put a little almond oil at the corners of my eyes
I lay on my right side and do So Hum…I don’t know how long because usually I fall asleep

That’s my day in a nutshell. The great thing is that I don’t stray too much from it, which balances my vata. Vatas need routine. I’ve changed my eating habits to include warm meals (to balance vata and my varied digestion) and I often bring my lunch from home, which also saves money. I have more energy because I get up early and the almond oil in the morning feels awesome on my skin. Using high quality facial soaps and moisturizer is KEY to keeping skin hydrated and wrinkle free! A job is a job is a job, so I make it fun for myself and the people around me. Life is too short not to have fun! Walking the pups and getting some exercise feels like recess and I can catch up with George then too. Dinner is usually light and full of warm veggies mixed with pastas, noodles or rice. Bed time is key! If I’m not in bed by 10, I’m up until 1:00 a.m. and a tired, crabby disaster the next day.

Try some of this stuff!! These are good, fun, easy tools you can try. If you try it, really commit to doing it for two weeks. You will notice a difference. Share your stories with us – we all want to know!! You have a big cheering squad, so go for it! Be well my friends. XOXOXO!

The Giggling Guru!

HAHA! Check out the Giggling Guru. He cures by laughing! He’ll be on Brian McClure’s show for A Conversation with Dr. Madan Kataria (Laughter Yoga). Should be great!! http://conta.cc/apewDJ

Ommwriter

Hey fellow writers out there! I ommwriter! It’s a zen space that calms monkey mind while you get your write on. It has plunky music, pretty delicate backgrounds, and won’t let chat pop-ups and emails  bug you.

Perfect for vatas who love to create, yet fall victim to distractions! Chill out, create, enjoy! http://www.ommwriter.com/

Falling for Vata

Crisp air, crunchy leaves, apple cider, Halloween costumes, and Sunday football games all tell us that it’s fall! And in Ayurveda that means it’s vata season! We exited pitta season (summer) about a month ago (sorry for the delay!) and now there’s a whole new set of rules to follow to keep us balanced for fall and winter.

Rather than repeat myself from what I wrote last year, I wanted to explain a little bit more about why so many of us feel the effects of vata energy so often. We live in a very vata imbalancing society. As we know, vata is the energy of movement so anything that moves within us or around us will increase that energy. Our world has become so fast and so filled with “instant gratification” that we are all racing at the speed of light. Whether it’s battling traffic on our commute or not having enough patience to stand in line at the grocery store because our meter will run out, these anxieties and constant rushing only increases the vata within all of us. It happens whether or not vata is part of our natural balance.

Take for example, the internet. How much stuff is thrown at you daily? We have personal email, work email, calender notifications, IM/chats, ads on websites, flash animations, facebook (emails here too, things to respond to), twitter (links to check, things to read, people to connect to), daily news…and that doesn’t even include what you’re doing for work! There are SO many things to look at and respond to that we sort of get this internal buzz (vata!) happening. Right!? Do you ever feel that? For some of us, it is fun to look at all of these blinking, dinging, flashing things as part of our to-do list. But over time it can be a constant annoyance of information overload. We become easily distracted, fatigued, and anxious as our heart races out of panic at seeing how large our inbox is. Am I wrong?

Those feelings my friend are 100% vata imbalance. This is a perfect example of how we are affected and governed by the energy around us. That’s why, we really have to learn how to counterbalance the fast, cold, rough, dry, light qualities of what vata season brings. We have a lot of these qualities in our daily lives, but now add on top of it Mother Nature. That said, a lot of us are NOT naturally vata, but we might feel these effects. If you are a pitta or kapha feeling a vata increase, follow the vata balancing tips below. You should balance out fairly quickly and then return to your normal routine.

AND!! I am in the works of creating Seasonal Bloom for vata season, so do not fret. It’s in progress (not making deadlines is typical vata behavior. I got married so I’m trying not to be hard on myself :) xoxo!

Tips for everyone for fall!
• Turn off the computer at least one hour before bed. Vatas are prone to insomnia and this is a great way to avoid that
• Enjoy a vata-balancing diet which includes warm teas, warm meals, cooked veggies, oils/fats, nuts, squashes, bananas, warm apples & pears
• If you are feeling out of whack, enjoy kitchari for a few days until you feel like yourself again
Balance your dinner plate so that it’s vata-balancing (if you are a pitta or kapha, follow those plates)
• If you get gas or bloating, eat a small piece of raw ginger and you’ll feel better instantly
• Stay well oiled inside and out. If you have dry skin, use oils instead of lotion! Or you can pick up some lavender salt scrub from Trader Joe’s!
• You may want to put a layer of oil on your skin before showering. Put it on your full body and let it sit 5-10 min. Then shower. The oil will absorb and act as a barrier since water dries out our skin
• Stick to your routine. Doing the same thing at the same time every day will bring a steadiness to vata. It will reduce anxiety, stress, and you will be more productive
• Cover your ears when outside in the cold! Wind (vata in nature) gets in the ears (where vata lives) and can cause vata imbalances like overall chilliness, headaches, ear aches, anxiety, and panic
• Fill your ears with soothing, calming music
• Light plenty of candles. Warm light will counterbalance cloudy skies and our shortened days. You will feel warm, happy and cozy

Ayurvedic Bride (That’s me!)

HEY!! I’m getting married todaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (hence why over the past few weeks my posts have not been as frequent)!!!

When we talk about LIFE (Ayurveda is the “science of life”), getting married is one of the most life-enhancing events there is. I was planning on writing a blog post on how to be a modern and Ayurvedic bride, but you know what!? I’m not going to. If I was counseling YOU, I would say, “Nevermind the blog, just savor, enjoy and breathe every moment of this day!” So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to write my tips for being a physically, mentally and emotionally healthy  bride (word is still out on the emotions…I’ve already cried once this morning and it’s only 8:30). I will do that after I enjoy my wedding with friends and family. And after my honeymoon with my new husband. Because THAT my friends, is life. And it’s pretty sweet.

I’ll be back in a week and a half or so (and yes, the next version of Seasonal Bloom is coming after that too!).

LOVE-AND-LIGHT!!!
MonicaB. (and yes, it’s staying as B. ;)