Monthly Archives: November 2011

Positive Takes Practice

Staying positive isn’t always natural, it takes practice! Make a conscious effort to find the silver lining out of what you might normally see as a bummer. When you ask, “What could possibly be good about this?!” you will find the good. Over and over we practice, and soon our internal world becomes much sunnier no matter what is happening around us :)

Sad Little Balls

Cheerio! It’s vata season and over the past week, I’ve received several requests for me to talk about constipation and other vata digestion issues. I’ve always been pretty candid (pitta) and there’s no turning back now, so I’ll just keep going. Here’s what. My dear friend had a question for me this week about her poo. She said she was only pooping sad little balls. That made me sad, so I put together some ideas so that her poo gets back on track. Please see below and excuse (or enjoy?) the candor of the emails below. Here’s to happy pooping!

I’m not sure you want to hear about this, but my poop has been coming out in little balls lately.  From what I research, it’s a lack of hydration in the colon, but I drink freakin water all day long!!  It could also be sugar, processed food and alcohol (just wine in my case).  I love my wine, but I’ve cut back a lot.  I’ve never been a big processed food eater, but it could be the sugar.  The halloween candy has been a-flown into my mouth as of late.  I think I need to do a little detox. Also, from your article I gleaned that it’s a vata thing and I need to eat more oils/fats.  I’m not really sure how much tho?  I’m already dealing with a hefty 5lb increase because of those damn candies, so I don’t want to increase this too much.

Ah yes, you need oils/fats, Sweetie. Little balls is dehydration but water isn’t heavy or warm or unctuous (oily) enough to pull out the poops. Water is helpful for hydration but you need oleation. I know you may have gained 5lbs on candies, but you you still need oils. Oils for vata does NOT make you fat!! Does not, repeat DOES NOT. What it actually does is helps you feel satisfied so that you are not inclined to eat all the candies – instead, maybe just one or two and you’re done.
Could definitely be the sugar and the wine. AND it’s vata season! The root cure is actually to stop the candies and incorporate oils instead.
The munch munch munchie is typical vata eating, but it’s largely because they are rarely full and never satisfied. The lack of satisfaction is because of lack of proper fats. Good fats settle the nervous system, feed the brain, help the poops, and nourish all tissues so we aren’t walking around like dried out sticks. Dried out sticks break. And dried out sticks have NO immunity so they get sick easy because their ojas (life essence, vitality, immunity) gets depleted. Instead we want to be a flimsy palm tree that can bend and sway with the wind :)
Here is what I recommend for you. Take a little oil in a container (almond or whatever you have in the house – even olive would work) and keep it in the shower. At the end of your shower, put the oil on like lotion with firm strokes toward the heart. Let the water sort of rinse it off but don’t rub it off. This will help your skin and tell your body *ding ding* that it has nice oils.
• Get in the habit of drizzling your veggies with olive oil. Italians live a hell of a long time and it’s because their bodies are kept youthful by all that olive oil! When we dry out we look and feel older.
• Drizzle a little olive oil on your hummus (that’s the way they eat it!) in a circle (looks pretty) and have with some olives or olive tapenade and pine nuts. Serve with warm naan (not toasted).
• Dust your bread with some olive oil and then toast it – sprinkle w/ salt and pepper
• Foods that are friendly and happy, satisfying fats: avocado, salmon, walnuts, almonds, oils!!
• Grounding foods: rices, mashed potatoes, sweet potato (excellent for vata! superb food), beets (warm), hearty soups, thai, indian, goopy foods with lots of moisture.
• Put some raisins (best to soak over night in water and use the water to make the oatmeal) in your oatmeal. Dates are also great. These increase rasa (plasma) tissue which will increase ojas and elasticity in the tissues. When the tissues are elastic, your poop will be too (wtf. the things I say sometimes).
•  Shoot, even FRIED foods right now would help! French fries – you have my permission.
•  Do you like prunes? Sorry, dried plums? ;) If you do, eat 3-5 of them in the morning on an empty stomach and drink some warm herbal tea or warm water with them. You should go in about 4 hours.
• Normally I’d be pushing the ghee because it’s freakin magical for this kind of thing AND it rev’s metabolism so unless you are super kapha with ama (toxins), it’s highly unlikely to gain weight from ghee. But I respect your non-dairy approach so I’m trying to give other options :)
Ummmmmmmm…this is long. Does this help!?!
Lemme know if this makes sense or if you have more questions. I hope this resonates.
(I might even turn this into a blog post, sans your name of course).


Quick Massage

Hey! Tip! If doing the full body oil massage in the morning takes too much time, I have a little short cut for a quick massage. Keep a little container of sesame (vata) or almond (pitta) oil in the shower. After you soap up and rinse off, apply the oil like you would a lotion! Your skin will stay soft, circulation will improve, your mind will be easy, and your vata will be balanced. On the weekends, do the longer massage :)

As It Should Be



Smoothies? Or Roughies?

My question is about green smoothies. As you know, they are all the rage now and the concept is pretty appealing. BUT as vata, with all the “fun” digestive issues that entails, I have wondered if they are something to embrace or avoid.
1. They are cold. 2. They are raw. Got a take on this?
– Karen, South Carolina

Awesome question. Okay, raise your hands if you’ve heard of incorporating green veggie smoothies for good vitamins, good energy, good veggies, and good digestion. Alright, now leave your hands up if you’ve eaten green smoothies as part of your daily meals/snacks. Now, leave your hands up if you are drinking these smoothies during the fall, vata season. Those of you with your hands up will definitely want to read the below.
We already know vata’s qualities are cold, dry, light, mobile and rough. Therefore, vatas need to keep warm, unctuous (oily/moist), heavy, static, and smooth to stay balanced. A reminder that in Ayurveda, like increases like, while opposites balance. The other fact about vata is their digestive fire is variable and during vata season, it tends to be very weak. If digestive fire is weak, they have a hard time digesting their food which can result in constipation, bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, even headaches!
In the case of smoothies, raw green veggies and usually a raw apple are blended to create a smooth, liquidy, green drink packed with nutrients. Which is totally true! Nutrients there are. But let’s look at the rest of it. Raw veggies are cold, dry, light and rough. ALL vata! Remember, like increases like? These smoothies are likely going to rough up a vata person’s insides instead of making them flow smoothly. Vatas need a real smoothie, like ghee or oatmeal or something smooth in texture. Raw veggies are actually very rough on the digestive system and Ayurveda does not promote raw foods. Bottom line, if you are a vata, raw veggies and even some raw fruits (apples & pears) are going to hamper your digestion especially during the fall and winter. There is no heat in nature and there is no heat in the food, therefore there is not much agni (fire!) in our bodies or in the nature around us to help digestion. Because our bodies are influenced by nature, this double whammy will leave us puffy-bellied, gassy, and even crampy.
If you have digestive issues definitely avoid smoothies in fall and winter. You can try them again in summer when it’s warm outside and if your digestion can handle the raw veg then, fine. But if not, don’t be sad. It’s not the end of the world. Just throw your smoothie into a pot and call it soup. You’ll still be cool in my eyes. :)

Don’t Need Anything

Not sure if it’s motherhood that’s making me extra soft and smooshy, but lately I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude. I was rocking my baby before her bed time and I stepped out on the balcony to give us some fresh air. I took a big inhale as I paid special attention to the trees and the sky. I saw tiny airplanes and some faint stars trying to shine before it was dark, while little clouds were taking their time just hanging out. I automatically started to hum a little tune that I had forgotten existed. Waaaay back in the 90s I was a big fan of Toad the Wet Sprocket. To me, their lyrics and tunes were raw, touching, funny, smart and poetic (and also enough to depress the dickens out of me! Ah, grunge.) The lead singer of Toad was Glen Phillips and he’s since started a solo career with songs equipped with more optimism and beauty than those grungy days.

The song I started humming to my daughter is called Don’t Need Anything by Glen Phillips. It’s simple. If you’re feeling a little blue, overwhelmed, anxious, like you’re not doing enough, I encourage you to take a listen to the song and enjoy the words. They touch the heart. The lyrics are sattvic which promotes harmony in mind and body and promotes an open heart. For the past few nights, I’ve been singing this little tune to her before she sleeps to teach her about gratitude and remind her that we are lucky lucky people. Every time as she closes her eyes in my arms, I get a little teary. There are too many blessings to count.

This feeling of overwhelming gratitude pervades our entire being into our tiniest cells, and it begins to change our structure. And ayurvedically speaking, good music, good sound, and good lyrics is therapy. I hope to give you a little positive cell structure change :) Enjoy the gratitude and positivity, my friends. Listen: Don’t Need Anything by Glen Phillips.


Radio Show on Pause

Radio Show on PauseHowdy folks! As most of you know, since January 2011, I’ve had a weekly radio show on Ayurveda. If you didn’t know that, you must have a listen! We had great fun with live questions from our listeners as we all had a great time learning. As you also know in June I had a baby and my shows have only been live a couple times since then. Now, with going back to work a couple weeks ago and then coming home to be a mom (well, I guess I’m a mom even when I’m at work, but you know what I mean) it’s been really hard to get in a new radio show each week.

So, here’s a fun story. Last week I was emailing with the network owner, Vaishali, and I told her it might be too ambitious of me to continue on with the show. She totally understood with grace as I told her I would probably not renew my radio spot in 2012. I was thankful she was so supportive, but I still thought “Holy smokies. How am I going to finish out this year’s shows with a new job and a new baby? And still blog! And still do consultations. And keep my sanity. Aiiieeeee!”

Then. Get THIS. Yesterday Vaishali called me and said there was a billing error and that our whole network was going to be ending on Nov. 1. Um! Wow. Apparently Blog Talk Radio started the clock on our 12 month payment when we payed initially last November and not in January (such as we thought). How about that for timing, hey?! While I will really miss the show, I am also relieved to have a little pause. I always say how it’s not good to be too too busy because creativity cannot grow when there is no space for it. I feel like now, I have some space. And I can feel good about practicing what I preach.

THAT said…you can’t get rid of me that easy! Mwaahaahaaa (evil laugh). I will be putting together some podcasts instead. I’m not sure of the details yet, but I’ve got plenty of great topics and guests to invite back like Heidi the Professional Coach, Kimberly the yogi, and Elizabeth skincare expert, before the end of this year! That way you can still get your Ayurvedic radio fix, I can blah blah blah to anyone who wants to listen, and hopefully the world will start to heal. That said, if any of you know how to create a podcast and play it at a specific time so we can all chat on facebook during the show, let me know! I would love any techy advice. Anywho, it’s not an end, it’s just a shift :)

In the meantime, please listen to the archives and share with your friends! Everyone deserves the gift of good health, love and laughter. I whole-heartedly think that my radio show was filled with all of those things. I will let you know as soon as I have a podplan. xoxo!