Monthly Archives: March 2016

Take an every day vacation

take an every dayvacation

 

You just got back from a wonderful vacation and after 2 days back in daily life, you’ve already lost your bliss and relaxation. What the Fruit?! Well truth is, life is long and vacation is not. So, let’s learn how to bring joyful aspects of vacation to our every day — daily enjoyment is what life is all about. While taking time to luxuriate might seem impossible (or makes you roll your eyes), it’s not. It just requires a little prioritization and focus. We work hard — we all deserve to take an every day vacation.

What do we do on vacation that we don’t do daily?
{we don’t work • we spend more time outdoors  • we have the luxury of time • we see beautiful things • we eat yummy, fresh food • we listen to different music • we get extra sleep}

So let’s bring these to life.

7  enjoyments to take an every day vacation:

1) Work. In general, I believe most of us like to work as long we are doing something we enjoy. We like to produce, create, think, and watch things grow based on our efforts. Remember we are getting paid – holy flip! – to do what we love to do, daily. Now, for those who really hate the ol’ jobby job, switch jobs if you can. If that’s not possible, then realize the job now serves a purpose and will pay for necessities and things you enjoy, while you seek/create the job you love.

2) Time outdoors. On vacation we spend time outdoors and even exercise outdoors. At home, we might hit the gym, workout class, or jump on the treadmill in the basement. Notice those are all indoors? As beings of nature, nature revitalizes us. We feel amazing in nature because it’s our home. Get outside, daily! Even 20 minutes will do wonders.

3) Luxury of time. How can we get more time into the day? We can’t. Time is time. But we can use the time we have, better. Instead of noodling online, put on sneakers and power walk for 30 minutes. Instead of complaining to a coworker, go outside, find a bench, sit n’ breathe. Wake up early, enjoying the twilight into sunrise while you light a candle and journal intentions for the day (no complaining in your journal — rainbows and sunshine).

4) Beautiful things. How can we bring in more beauty to the daily-daily? Flowers on the table. Beautiful, transportive photos at home or work. New dangle earrings, a mala bracelet or sparkly crystal. Can you work by a window? Can you get a natural light lamp? Himalayan salt lamps are awesome. What do you see on vacation that you could bring to your every day?

5) Eat fresh, yummy foods.  You are the one choosin’ your groceries so…choose ones that make you feel amazing! Does mango make you feel like life is easy? Get it. Avocado make you feel spoiled? Do it. An afternoon chai latte? Have it and savor. Hand-made pasta? Take some extra time on a Saturday and make it. Thai food your fav? Get a Thai cookbook and commit 1 recipe to memory.

6) Happy music we normally don’t listen to. Pandora, Spotify, Google Music (formerly Songza). All of these give us world music at our fingertips. Some of my favorite transportive music stations on Pandora are: “Wes Anderson” (makes me feel like I’m pedaling around Paris with flowers and bread), “Tycho” and “Washed Out” (makes me feel like I’m on a hazy beach in SoCal), “Nightmares on Wax” is another easy chill mix, “1901” makes me want to dance. Google Music is also super fun where you choose songs based on your mood or how you want to feel.

7) Getting extra sleep. No you can’t sleep in daily like you can on vacation, but there’s an easy fix. Go to bed earlier. Spend 1 week going to bed at 8pm or 9pm and see how fantastic you feel. Use this when needed. When I was writing my book, I would stay up mega-late 2-3 nights in a row and then balance with 2 nights of going to bed at 8pm.

Whattaya think? Are you inspired? What other ideas do you have – do share!

If we spent more time enjoying each day and less of a focus trying to escape it, we would feel nourished and enriched, every single day. That is the good life, my friends. Finally, please enjoy my favorite little story about the Mexican Fisherman and The Investment Banker. Love!

6 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance the Time Change

Time_change

Oh man, our clocks changed! Just as we got used to the glow of the sun waking us, it’s pitch black again when the alarm goes off. The reward is a longer day, which, “Hooray for daylight!” but the time change can still throw us off. Time change in Ayurveda affects vata because, well, we’ve made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained an “extra hour.” It can take some of us weeks to adjust but hopefully the tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature’s rhythm quickly.

6 Ayurvedic tips to balance the time change

1. Wake up before sunrise. Ha! Easy enough to do now, ’cause you kind of have no choice. My point is, just because it’s dark at 6:00 a.m., don’t go hittin’ the snooze until the sun comes up. We already know waking up during vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because as we rise in the energy of movement. So keep doing that! Yes it’s dark, but you’ll have more energy than if you pull the covers over your head until sunrise. Not only is sunrise kapha time and therefore slow time, but you’ll be late for work (pssst, ’cause work still starts at the same time).

2. Cook at home, with fresh ingredients. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. During the time change, it’s especially important. Best is to make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of fruits and veg. Not too much dairy!

food ideas!
• Instead of Chinese take out, make fried rice at home, use extra veggies and less soy sauce (salt).
• Instead of delivery pizza, pick up some pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has it), brush some olive oil onto the crust (bonus if you want to infuse the oil with garlic) or a little sauce. Add a wee, thin layer of cheese. Then load up the crust with all your favorite vegetables like kale, zucchini, peppers, whatever you love.
• Do I even need to tell you a nice batch of kitchari will help set you straight?
• Instead of sit-down Mexican, grab all the supplies including beans, meat (if you choose), avocado (yes please!), peppers, corn tortillas (bonus if you make them yourself), rice, fresh cilantro and all the fixin’s. You will have far less salt and sugar in what you make at home. I advise skipping the taco seasoning and make your own mix with cumin, chili powder, and other spices.Or, a little salt & pepper is all you might need. Choose the fresh-made salsa in the produce isle instead of the room-temp stuff in the chip isle. Below is a pic of my dinner last night: homemade spanish rice, homemade tortillas, avocado, bell peppers, cilantro and hot sauce. mm!

Time_change_meal

3. Limit salts & processed sugars. Tons of excess salts and sugars lurk in foods especially from chain-restaurants, pre-packaged foods or frozen foods. Eating those foods at any time can make it extremely challenging to wake up in the morning (cue the, “I’ve feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat” wake-up). Salt holds water and creates heat so it’s great for vata-types in winter, but no bueno for kapha season. So again, keep foods as veggied and fruitied and grainy-ed as you can! Fresh fresh!

4. Oil Massage! “Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages.” Dude, but since time change is a vata change and we calm vata directly through the skin, now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages. Plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.

5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold and no ice (vata-imbalancing). You might be drawn to choosing extra coffee or stimulants to keep your peeky eyes awake since you got up early, but try not to have any more (if any) than you normally would. Choose extra water since water flows…it will help you go with the flow

6. Normal bed time. It’s only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 10:00 p.m. and think, “Pah, it’s really only 9:00…I can stay up for another hour.” No, it’s really 10:00 p.m. ;) So get your lil’ booty to sleep on time so you can wake up in the dark easier (hehe).

7. So Hum. As you prepare for sleep, lay in your right side and do “so hum” mantra and meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you fall asleep before you’re done with the 10 minutes, bonus!

If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won’t even notice the time change, I promise.
Hint: You can use these same tips for air travel!
Double Hint: You can do these things daily and change your entire life! <—10% off with code 6ZE83B8R thru 3-31-16.

XOXO!

Ayurvedic Lunch at Work

LunchTips

 

question_masthead

I’m a school teacher and trying to have a freshly cooked hearty lunch at school is proving a little difficult. We have limited kitchen area and limited time at lunchtime (theres a microwave but I don’t like to use a microwave). How do you feel about Thermoses? – Michelle.

Thermoses are awesome! I have some lunchie tips to share when your kitchen set up is limited. And I mean, who has a full range in their kitchen at work!? Not many people…unless you are a start up in San Francisco. No wait, they have every meal catered so not even them (*snark*).

I usually never use the fridge at work a) because nothing is going to mold/rot in a matter of hours b) because I don’t want it to be so cold that I have to heat it in the microwave. So, while I have a fridge at work, I never use it and I don’t use the micro either.

Below are some of the things I do to keep work lunch as healthy and warm as possible.

Ayurvedic lunch tips with a limited kitchen

• Put any kind of one-pot meal in a thermos or some other “keeps things warm” container. Foods you could put in it are soup, rice/veggies, pasta, barley/veggie, veggie curries, fried rice, lots of things you could make!

• I’ve also been known to make a “kitchari burrito” – it is room temp, but they are tasty and don’t get soggy by lunch!

• Make roasted veggies or steamed veggies the night before and bring in a container with pasta and a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.

• Bring pieces to assemble a good lunch, like tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella cheese slice, and basil. I’ll bring an extra tortilla and make a wrap at work!

• Pesto and hummus are fun accessories. Basil can be used with pasta (sprinkle some pine nuts & sundried tomatoes – mm!) or spread on a wrap. Hummus can be used to dip steamed/cooled veggies or used as a spread on some naan.

• Make a dish in a crock pot or rice cooker at night so it’s ready in the morning.  Bring some of that for lunch in your thermos or other insulated container.

• Use a little hot water from the water-cooler and add to warm up soup or soften and warm up a rice dish.

And you know what?! You are smart. I bet you have workplace lunch ideas to share with us too. Send them in the comments below so we can all see and have better lunchies. XO!

Seasonal Bloom – Kapha 2016

HEYO! Ayurveda promotes living according to the season. Here is a freebie 2016 Kapha Seasonal Bloom, just for you. mmmwah!

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