Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tip: Warm Socks

Tip for damp kapha weather. Take a sock. Put over the end of a blowdryer. Turn on blowdryer. Put sock on foot. *toasty* Repeat other side.

Tiny Bit Better

As you go around our lovely planet, leave things just a leeetle better than you found them. Just a little bit, ain’t no thang, just a tiny bit better. Lots of tinys add up!

Tea or Coughy?

(Back in 2012, daycare almost killed me…but then I made tea and am still here today.)

Hiyeee! Daycare might kill me. I’ve been healthy for 3 weeks this year so far. My daughter started daycare on January 3rd and since then at least one of us has been sick in the house. Maybe there is a reason (as there is for everything) and I’m supposed to practice my Ayurvedic remedies on myself? I will chalk that up to a big fat, “Yes!” And since it’s approaching kapha season, I know I’m not the only one with a cough and snotty nose! So I share.

I had a really deep cough with a little mucus, a clogged nose, and aches. It all sucked. I couldn’t even think. The cough was really forceful–felt like my tonsils were going to fling out and my chest was going to collapse. So I decided to put on my Ayurvedic hat and make myself some tea.

Here’s what I know:
Black Pepper reduces/liquifies kapha (mucus) in the chest and lungs. It’s heating and drying which loosens anything thick, wet and sticky. It helps breathing and rejuvenates the respiratory system. Brill.
Cloves stop a cough in its tracks. If you suck/chew on a clove, your cough (or hiccups for that matter) will stop instantly. Cloves are also heating and they benefit the throat. They are also an expectorant. Yay!
Cinnamon Sticks work on the lungs because it clears mucus and reduces aggravated vata (*cough* *cough* *cough*). Sa-weet.

On top of it, these three spices all work to reduce ama. And as we know ama is the root cause for most illnesses. Whee! Lookey there. I’ve covered all bases from spastic vata cough to mucus in my kapha chest. This sh*t was going to cure me.

Then I put it to the test.
Pittas, forgive my lack of accuracy but you are going to have to wing this recipe a little (I have to say that or the pittas will email me). Take a small amount to fill the crux in your curved palm (you know, the small sink hole), 12-15 black pepper balls, 10-12 cloves, and 2 medium cinnamon sticks (more if they are small) and throw in a tea pot of water. Boil the water for 5 minutes. It’s going to smell rockin’ good, provided you can smell anything. I strained the tea and poured over a bag of ginger tea and added honey. Disclaimer for pittas: You can’t screw this recipe up. If you use too many cinnamon sticks, it’s still fine.

Ginger. is good for almost everything. Known as universal medicine in Ayurveda, it is dry, heating, and light and works on removing ama from all tissues (goodbye aches). One of the many things it does is kindle agni and alleviates cough. This was sooo going to work.
Raw Honey has what is called prabhava in Ayurveda, which means “special quality.” It looks and feels like it is sticky, thick and cold, but it actually digests as heating, sharp, and dry. That’s why we put honey in our tea when we are sick :)

Guess what? I sipped the tea for two days and this SH*T worked!!!!!!!!!! I had a cough for 3 days, not to mention while drinking the tea, my cough stopped completely, my nose started running (so I could actually blow something out of it), and my chest felt open. My husband (didn’t drink the tea) had/has a cough about 10 days and my coworker (no tea) for 10-14. Friends, will you please SHARE this information with your loved ones!? I kid you not. I want to see all your little facebooks with a link that says, “Have tea instead of coughy, from MonicaB!” and I want to see all the happy links all over the internets. That’s your homework. Now, let’s go heal the world. Love you! xoxo.

A Mess In Your Head?

I got a super fun phone call from my mom yesterday. She was all excited because, “You were right, Monica. The mess was just in my head!” Why was she excited that there was a mess in her head? Because that’s the only place it existed – it wasn’t reality.

You see, my mom has always been my grandmother’s sidekick and caregiver (and vice versa of course). They are a tight unit, living quite close to each other for as long as I’ve been alive and well before that. The problem is, my sweet 86 year-old grandma lives by herself and doesn’t have a great memory anymore. In fact, her short term memory is really bad. She fell once too and couldn’t remember how. So when I was talking to my mom about what to do about taking care of my grandma, we went over lots of options including; assisted living (crazy expensive), granny daycare (that’s what I call it, not sure if it exists), a senior’s companion come visit her, living with my mom, living with my auntie, etc., At one point my mom said, “OH the whole thing is just a MESS!!” I paused and said to her, “It’s not really a mess, it’s just a mess in your head.” And from over 2000 miles away, I felt my mom’s shoulders drop. Her tone softened, “That’s true,” she said. I kept on, “Watch it all play out and you will become clear. Play with all the options because you are seeing a very black and white picture. There is plenty of gray space and the pieces will fall together.” She liked that.

(fast forward to the next day)

My mom calls me yesterday, all excited. My auntie came into town to spend the weekend with my grandma and from her point of view, grandma is just fine where she lives! Grandma gets herself ready, knows where everything is, finds something to eat when she’s hungry, makes coffee, and even has a neighbor that calls to remind her to watch mass on tv (ha!). Her kind neighbor even calls her again when it’s over to see what she thought of the sermon! Pretty smart. So, in a nutshell, grandma just needs more activities with other vibrant adults her age. Three cheers for granny daycare (if it exists)!!!

I tell you this story because how many times have you tried to race to a conclusion in a situation that wasn’t ready to be concluded yet? Ah-HAH. Look at all the hands! You’re not alone! We do this all the time and often make decisions before we have all the real information. How cool is it to know that the mess is only in your head? That’s it. It’s just there. It’s not reality and it’s not going to ruin your life. And even when the real information might seem like a mess, wait a day or two or maybe a couple weeks. With no effort on your part, you will open up to ideas you’d never thought of to solve your problem.

So congratulations on the mess in your head! Take a breath. Do some nadi shodhanam, so hum, or simple deep breaths to calm you down immediately. And then sit back and fill yourself with faith, knowing that your problem may just dissolve itself.


Ayurvedic Leftovers?

I have one question. I know vatas are supposed to avoid leftovers and eat freshly cooked warm foods esp. in winter which is what we are coming into down here in Melbourne, Victoria. How can I do this at work without taking in my whole kitchen? Any tips?

Ayurveda says that each meal be prepared fresh…and Ayurveda is also 5,000 years old. They didn’t have the jobs and lifestyles like we do now. So here’s what I say: Having leftovers from your home-cooked meals is WAY better than not bringing a lunch, having to search for lunch, spending too much money on going out for lunch, and who-knows-what is in that take-out lunch. I actually advise my clients to cook a dinner larger than normal and take the rest for lunch the next day. Easy! :) That way your leftovers aren’t too old, you’ll get the food you need, and you will have peace of mind because you know you don’t have to go searching for lunch. Hooray!