Monthly Archives: December 2010

MonicaB Radio Show!

Okay guys and gallies, starting Tuesday, January 4 I’ll have a weekly radio (all internet based) show on Ayurveda! Yipee!

I will be part of the wonderful You Are What You Love network. You will be able to stream the show directly from heymonicab.com by pressing play on the little blue “You Are What You Love” icon (top left column) during show time. Or, you can go directly to {http://www.blogtalkradio.com/purplev} and listen there.

The show will be one hour on Tuesday evenings at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Each week we’ll cover one simple topic on Ayurveda and then I’ll open up the phone lines so you can call in! Yay! Just like Ayurveda, this show will help to uncover the authentic YOU so please call in with your questions (949) 272-9508.

This will be super fun and I can’t wait to connect with you in person! Also, there will be archives of all the episodes on the radio page where you can download and listen. Yay! All great things ahead!!

Pomegranates: Worth The Putz

Pomegranates are worth the putz! Check it out, I’ll tell you why. Pomegranates are delicious, juicy, poppy, little seeds that have a special affinity for the blood, heart, reproductive system, and are cooling for the digestive tract.

The pomegranate is tridoshic but it is especially cooling for pitta in the digestive tract to help inflamed stomach and intestines. It is useful in ulcers, IBS, hyperacidity (use as an antacid), diarrhea, even hemorrhoids. Okay ready for more?! Not only all that but it strengthens the heart and nourishes rakta dhatu (that’s, blood tissue). A good clue that it works on the blood and the liver (both pitta locations!) is that the color is bright red. It’s also good to reduce hot flashes and keep tempers cool during menopause when the body moves from pitta lifecycle into vata lifecycle.

Basically the pomegranate is astringent so it dries and cools (balancing for pitta and kapha). Vatas be mindful because it can cause constipation. In fact, boiling pomegranate peels for 5 minutes then drinking the water will stop a severe bout of IBS or non-stop diarrhea instantly. If you have oily skin and/or reddish skin with pimples, splash that same “pomegranate peel” water on your face for a facial tonic. Your skin will tighten, become less red and will feel cooler :)

Since they are in season, go pick some up! Eat the seeds, drink some juice and play with the peels! If you are a vata, have a little bit less and do not ever drink “pomegranate peel” water – you will be so sad. However, if you have any pitta-type disorders, pomegranates are a God send. Make friends with them. There is a little putzing to peel them, but check out this Produce Picker Podcast (I don’t know him, but his intro is kinda funny and I liked the instructions) to learn how to get the seeds out easily. If it takes longer than you wish, chill out, sing, enjoy the process. Some things are worth a little extra effort and little pommeys are one of those things! xo

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!! Ahhh…the hustle and bustle is finally coming to an end and it’s time to enjoy this day. By now you are probably settled in with loved ones, maybe you even opened a gift or two. Maybe getting those gifts were not nearly as fun as watching someone else open the gifts you gave for them.

Remember the best gifts don’t come in a box or under wrapping paper. You will find them in a phone call, a laugh, a hug, a nourishing meal cooked by a loved one, and a sense of serenity. Enjoy this day of love, peace, celebration and gratitude. Namasté.

Holiday Mocktails!

Recently a loyal reader of mine had a question about drinking alcohol because she’s menopausal. She noticed she was getting terrible night sweats when she would have beer or a glass of wine. Yes, it was because of the heat in alcohol and her moving from pitta stage (heat escaping) to vata stage of life. I recommended several recipes of non-alcoholic beverages for her so she could still participate in festive toasts without having to have a boring glass of water.

I thought you all might like to have a non-alcoholic creative approach to cocktails as this holiday approaches. Or as I like to call them, “mocktails!” Here’s the thing, we are all going to parties and events where there is a lot food and boozin going on. The bottom line is that you can and should limit how much you take in (we all know this, it’s no big news) to stay balanced.

That said, I like to enjoy a glass or two of wine myself, but I use my trick so that I stay mindful and don’t over do it.

The Best Trick:
Start the evening off with one or two mocktail or sparkling waters before your first glass of wine or cocktail. This way, if you are thirsty you drink something decent and avoid slugging down the boozey drink. And, this way everyone else will be on their 2nd drink, but you’ll just be having your first. You can savor it and enjoy. And! You can feel good about honoring your modern Ayurvedic self without feeling like you’re missing out.

Please note, this won’t work if you choose the wine or cocktail first, following with a mocktail. Why? Because your good decision-making has been altered by the alcohol and you likely ignore your good judgment and carry on with more boozies. If you want to succeed, have the non-alcoholic drinks first. Trust me!

Below is what I wrote to my sweet reader about making her own mocktails at home AND about ordering them when she’s out on the town.

Have any variety of these handy:
Apple cider, cranberry, orange, grapefruit, and/or pomegranate (pricey but perfect for holiday AND it’s red!! So fun!) juice. And have seltzer and/or ginger ale.

To make at home – you’ll have to experiment, but that’s part of the fun!
1. 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.
2. Cranberry w/splash of orange juice and top with seltzer. Have with or w/out ice. Garnish with an orange slice or float 3 little crannies in the glass.
3. Pomegranate juice, dash of orange juice. Optional fizz: Top with seltzer
4. Pomegranate or cranberry juice mixed w/ginger ale
5. Grapefruit juice, splash of cran, & selzer. Dip a lemon wedge in sugar for garnish :)
6. You can always have sparkling cider (delish!) or non-alcoholic beer/champagne (never tried it…)
7. 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.

If you still want to experiment with alcohol
1. 1/2 glass light pilsner beer and add 1/2 orange juice – I love this combo
2. 1/2 sweet white wine (like a riesling) and 1/2 seltzer – a refreshing “white wine spritzer”

Make the bartender your best friend. At a bar or restaurant, they have most of these juices and can make you whatever you want. Or! Make it fun and challenge them to come up with a non-alcoholic concoction that you love. You’ll get more ideas that way too! Embrace it :)

Remember, more than the alcohol, these events are all about celebration. And no substance can take that part away from you. Put your concoctions in fun glasses (wine, high ball, tumbler, mug, flutes) with cool straws, garnish, or wine charms. Dress is up and don’t be afraid to celebrate!!! That’s what life is all about.

A Cup of My Chai

Look! I made chai spice mixes in a cute mug! After my quest (albeit whiny) for spectacularly spiced chai, I decided to make some myself. In addition, a while back I wrote a post about having a good morning and my friend Hollie said, “That graphic makes me happy. You should put it on a mug. I would buy it.” LOVE that Hollie o’ mine. Great idea! So while I was making chai recipes, I modified the mug and then added ten inspirational goodies on the back. I mean, why not have healthy, happy reminders right in front of our eyes each day?!

After that, I thought it would make a nice gift to put my chai mix in it. And hence, the little chai mug was born! I quite like it. It’s way happy.

If you need a last minute gift for holiday, I still have some left! It comes with 4 chai spice mixes, 16 servings total. You add water and your choice of milk (happy cow or coconut). Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62205507/good-morning-mug-wtea-chai-spices

And if you don’t care for chai, you can just get the mug and put root beer in it instead: http://www.etsy.com/listing/64422741/good-morning-mug-with-10-happy

Happy Shopping!!! xoxo

Extra Holiday Eating

Oh my goodness. Who else is inundated with client/vendor lunches? During my day job, I service lots of clients and now is the time for end of the year reviews, i.e. lunches up the wazoo. It’s a mad scramble to try and fit everyone in during December before holiday ends and that’s a LOT of eating out!

My schedule over the past three weeks has been work parties, work lunches, and dinners out. While I’d much rather bring my own lunch, what can you do!? It’s part of our job.

So no wonder we get lethargic and might notice that our pants are tighter. Yeah yeah, we all know about gaining weight over the holidays and it’s no wonder, what with holiday work parties, parties with friends, get togethers with family, cookie exchanges, white elephant exchange, and work lunches…that adds up to a lot of extra food that we aren’t used to! Not only that, but it’s probably not the most healthy foods either.

So, what to do?
I have some ideas to keep our minds in our food during all the holiday lunches, parties and snackies.

• Practice Mindful Eating.

• Remember the Plate Portions according to who you are. Especially when there are snack foods, the best thing to do is grab a plate. Fill it up so you can see what you are eating. That helps the mind understand how much the body is consuming. The mind is like the body’s guardian.

• If you are talking, don’t eat. That’s a good rule of thumb to keep our mind in our food. You could throw down 3 lacey cookies in 2 minutes while talking to your friend about her new boots. See? You don’t even remember that, do you.

• Say NO to the cookie/candy snackie area. If you can’t resist the cookie/candy area at work, take a different direction to get back to your desk.

• While on a client lunch, keep portions under control. Soups (not creamy) or wraps (not mayonnaisey or fried stuffs) might be a good option. Ask for a little roll with your soup. Eat only 1/2 the wrap and choose healthy sides like pasta salad, fruit, side salad or seasonal veggies.

• Order hot tea with your lunch. It increases agni AND you will have to sip it instead of guzzling a coke and then getting a refill 5 minutes after you sat down (that’s already about 400 calories).

• Make sure you are truly hungry before putting food in your mouth. Clear burps are a good sign!

• FAST. If you eat a lot for lunch, skip dinner. If you are not hungry for breakfast, skip it and have ginger tea. Really. THIS is where true Ayurvedic balance comes in. Give your digestion a chance to catch up cause holiday time is also prime ama time! No bueno. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s hungry.

If you have other ideas for our reader-friends on how to have healthy client lunches, do share! Love you guys! xo

Tip: Bring the light inside

Bummed about the lack of sun light lately? Light some candles in the morning while you are getting ready or during your yoga practice. Enjoy your fireplace or more candles in the evening. If you don’t have a fireplace, buy the Wellness & Harmony: Fireplace Atmosphere DVD. Haha! I used to watch this in my tiny apartment in San Francisco. Mmmm…warm.

Kapha Shopping

Kaphas like to shop the sales. And they tend to buy multiples of the same thing because once they find something they like, they stick to it. Now as I unpack the Christmas box, I find 11 stockings (eleven!) and 6 are the same. I’ve been told there was a nice sale last year.

I Feel Swirly

Hi I feel swirly. Like my life is one big swirl and I can’t make it stop. My friend Jan, Director & Franchise owner for Ladies Who Launch Los Angeles, send me an email this past week that said, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” It’s like she read my mind.
Since I posted Seasonal Bloom, I haven’t been blogging quite as often as I normally do. It probably doesn’t bother you and maybe you didn’t even notice, but for me, it weighs on my shoulders because this is my passion. And I like it to happen fast!

I cannot discount that I also have many many other lovely things going on in my life, but those too, take up space.

So here we have this swirly colorful organic shape (I wish I could animate it because it’s always changing and it’s quite pretty) that represents how I feel. All beautiful things. All nice shapes. All somehow fitting in with one another. But MAN there’s a lot of them! I’ll count every single one of my blessings and by no means am I complaining, I just need a clone. Hah! I need reprieve. I need the world to stop for a second so I can get off and catch my breath. Right?! I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I actually had to go back and reread a post I wrote about how to manage all this stuff because I had forgotten my own advice! I guess sometimes it’s much easier to see other peoples’ lives than it is to see our own.

So anywhosies,  I’m just a little swirly. I’ll get back on track soon no doubt, but I definitely needed to get off the ferris wheel for a bit cause I was feeling sick. If you ever feel swirly, I would love to know what YOU do to stay steady (and productive!). Or maybe you just lay low for a bit and surrender. That’s kinda what I did. Afterall, if we aren’t strong enough for ourselves, we’re no good for anyone else either. Everything starts from the self and radiates outward.

Ah! So maybe my words of advice are, sit still and take care of you first. That’s how it has to be. Do you need sleep? Do you need to knit? Do you need to do your yoga? Do you need to say no to a dinner party because you can’t afford to keep going out? You see, even in airplanes we are supposed to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others. True that! Breathe easy my friends and take care of yourselves. Remember, rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. And the world will keep going round while you take a few days or weeks to collect yourself. xoxo.