Category Archives: Nutrition

In Your Elements Launch Party

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If you missed it, you can catch the recording!

Ideas to par-TAY:

• Gather your yoga peeps and listen online at the studio
• Get together with friends or family, huddle around the computer online together (take turns sharing the chat box!)
• Put on your fanciest dress or comfiest head-to-toe fleece
• Get your fingies ready to type at me to share insights and ask questions
• Put on fuzzy socks, turn on the computer and dance-skate across your hardwood floor (triple bonus: listen, workout, clean the floor. That’s for you, vatas)

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Ayurvedic Thanksgiving Tips

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Happy Thanksgiving! *NOM-nom-nom*

Wait a minute! That’s not how we eat in Ayurveda.

In Ayurveda, we eat like this *Taste <pause> Chew 32 times. Taste <pause> Chew 32 times*

Only kidding. I do not judge your nom-noms and in fact, enjoying the meal is the best part about eating! You probably already know this but in Ayurveda, how we eat is even more important than what we eat. Enjoying all the flavors and sampling a little bit of everything is a great way to balance the six tastes and stay mindful of how much food we are putting in our bellies. When we are mindful to fully taste the food, we digest it better.

Another digestive bonus of Thanksgiving is that the food is made fresh that day! It is truly a day of cooking and eating — in Ayurvedic philosophy, this is how every meal should happen, every day. We don’t always have time for that on a daily basis, but on THIS day, WE DO and WE CAN! What a treasure.

Enjoy these Ayurvedic Thanksgiving tips.
Emphasis on the THANKS!

  • Open your eyes *blink blink* and write a list of 25 things you are grateful for. Counting your blessings is sure to bring a smile in your face and in your heart first thing in the morning. Imagine if you did this every day and not just on Thanksgiving!
  • Drink a glass of water. Water replenishes the bod after its nightly fast.
  • Go for a brisk 30 minute walk or light jog in the crispy fall air. Take 5-10 minutes for stretching, a set of sun salutes or your favorite stretchy yoga poses. Exercise gives agni a nice boost first thing in the morning. Stretching or yoga keeps muscles from getting too stiff and provides a sense of grounding which is good for vata season.
  • If you are hungry for breakfast, keep it small and warm. If you are not hungry, skip breakfast and drink ginger tea (honey optional).
  • Have 1/2 tsp Indian appetizer 30 minutes before dinner. This lil’ appetizer gives agni a big boost so we can digest our food better.
  • At dinner, serve others before you serve yourself.
  • Thank and bless your food. Think about where the food came from and all the people involved in getting that food onto your plate — the farms they were picked from and your auntie that made it.
  • Go for a leisurely walk after the big meal to aid digestion. Notice, leeeeeeiisurely. A stroll.
  • Do not go back for more helpings late at night! Eating more food especially late at night will create a back log of old food stuffs, which could cause heartburn, insomnia, ama, and will make it very hard to get up in the morning.
  • Drink ginger tea and fast Friday morning to let your agni digest all the food from the day/evening before. Don’t eat again until you are hungry.
  • Bring a copy of the Ayurvedic Coloring book as a hostess gift :) It’s beautiful and print-it-yourself. You can have it ready-to-go in 5 minutes.

Wishing all of you a MOST happy, gratitude-filled Thanksgiving.

XO! Monica B.

 

Recipe for Life!

We create our recipe for life everyday! A little of this, a little of that and it shapes our day. What are you currently filling your day with? What does your recipe look like? The key is to fill your days and life with the things that make you feel BEST and do it often. Enjoy this little article on a Recipe For Life. xo!

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If you make a big pot of tomato sauce from scratch, do you taste test it to make sure it’s good? Sure. And if it’s not good, you adjust right? Add a little more salt, pepper or garlic. Maybe a smidge of sugar or extra basil. Perhaps it needs oregano! And you putz around adding things and testing until you have your pot o’sauce exactly how you like it! You might write it down as a recipe and use it for future.

For those pittas who will write to me because they can’t stand tomatoes —-> What about a guacamole? Maybe a little more lime or salt is needed to make it taste just how you like it. And tomato-free, of course!

My point is before you make a large batch of anything, you will test it. If you absolutely love it and look forward to having it again, you might even craft a little recipe.

The SAME THING relates to our life! You’ve heard of recipes for happiness, so how about a recipe for life! Your recipe for life, that is, because everybody is different ya know. In Ayurveda, we try things — a dash of this, a dabble of that, but the base (like the tomatoes or avocados) should stay the same, which is the daily routine and balancing our dosha(s). Added “ingredients” are various ways to exercise, all kinds of food choices, and ways to manage our stress. When we put together ingredients that work for us, we feel it! So maybe we add our favorite exercise, our go-to meals and daily meditation to our life’s recipe. We know that when we do those things, we will feel awesome.

Conversely we might test some things out that might not work for our happy life recipe. Like, “Do red peppers really give me heartburn? Lemme try and see…Yes, yes they do give me heartburn.” But with every miss, there is a learning behind it.

So don’t be afraid to test things out as you craft your recipe. This is life-long learning! Try some things and if they suit you, write it down so you remember! My book In Your Elements is FULL of stuff you can refer back to. It helps you craft your life and build your recipe for healing and happiness.

Do any of you have a “go-to” life recipe that you use? I’ll share mine – here it is: morning walk/jog before sunrise, meditation on the bus, light yoga in the evening, write gratitude list before bed. If I miss any of those things daily, I feel a bit off. If I miss those things for a week, I feel very off. If I miss those things for a month (it has happened), I feel completely out of my skin, I am easily irritable, I cry a lot and feel overall saddness. The beauty is, I know exactly how to get out of it — the recipe!

Now YOUR TURN! Tell us some stories about what’s in YOUR recipe of life! You go! I’ll hang out while you do compile your list… xoxo!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS is here!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE! 

 

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EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!

Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*

BUY IT HERE.

In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.

My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.

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So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.

For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B

 

Favorite Summer Foods

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Something totally mind-blowing occurred on accident (don’t you love it when that happens?!). On facebook yesterday I asked, “What is your favorite in-season summer food? The one that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?” I got a bunch of great responses and then had a teeny epiphany.

Examples of what you said were your very favorites: Mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, all sorts of home-grown tomatoes (<–lots of people said that one!), cantaloupe, peaches, fresh basil (w/fresh mozzarella), corn on the cob, cherries, berries, asparagus, nectarines and ice cream!

**Monica’s MIND BLOWN here**

Um. Kay. Notice anything about these foods? Like, what they have in common?

ALL these foods are fruits and vegetables!! Almost ALL these foods are pitta-balancing! It’s pitta season and isn’t it amazing (in the true sense of the word) that nature perfectly makes available the VERY best foods for the season! On top of it, we actually CRAVE and APPRECIATE those foods! **is your MIND BLOWN yet?** Perfect by design, these foods are all wonderfully light and cooling, which keeps our pitta levels down (in all of us) and balanced so we don’t overheat and get cranky.

One food that is not pitta-balancing are tomatoes. But vatas and kaphas can have them, and love them! Pittas can have tomatoes in small amounts, but they should be small and sweet like cherry tomatoes. Overall, tomatoes are heating and can be a bit too acidic for pittas and in the hot weather (like, don’t inflame your eye like my ma did once). Tis why it’s good to balance hottie tomatoes with cooling cilantro (like in fresh mild salsa) or cooling fresh mozarella (like a caprese salad). See how nice they go together?

I also couldn’t help but notice what didn’t make the list: bread, rice, mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, meats, potatoes, root vegetables, pumpkin, chili, stews, pasta. Those foods make us feel heavy and hot this time of year and are therefore more balancing in the winter to keep us grounded and warm :)

Tip: The more red in color the tomato is, the more of the fire element it has in it. So if you are a pitta, you might want to pick the cute yellow or orange ones for a sweeter taste.

For those of you who weren’t on the facebook party, you’re not left out! What are YOUR favorite summer foods?? Tell us! It would be quite a most awesome party if we all showed up with our fruits and veggies together! Under a sun umbrella of course. And with good music. And the vatas would dance. Party on! XOXO!

What causes 90% of all disease?

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On the HeyMonicaB facebook page, sometimes I like to do Ayurvedic quizzes! Last week I asked, “What causes 90% of all disease?” and I got great participation with varying answers. Some of the most common guesses were stress, inflammation, bad diet, ama/toxins, mal-functioning agni/digestion, and our thoughts.

The answer? Mal-functioning agni (digestive fire)

Let me point out that all those other answers are not wrong!! Everything is connected, right? Aaaalll those other things actually contribute to mal-functioning digestion. Even in modern medicine stress is the number one cause for disease and death. The reason is because stress causes so many other problems! When we are stressed, we are not digesting our food properly because the body is busy trying to keep your mind calm. For example, when something traumatic happens, like, let’s say you break up in a relationship or learn that someone you love just passed away. Don’t you feel sick to your stomach, like, punched in the gut? That’s a signal. It’s like we instantly feel so sick we can’t eat. Our mind tells the body, “Everything on pause. I have to tend to these emotions because we are under high stress and sadness. I cannot process food right now.” Now, those are extreme examples but if we are under even a fraction of that kind of stress daily…our body responds the SAME way. Our agni doesn’t work right, foods don’t get digested, and we accumulate ama, which causes even more mal-digestion. And so it goes like that for…years sometimes.

The best thing you can do for your health is keep that mighty agni STRONG, eat the right foods for who you are (menus here) and follow the nutritional guidelines. Don’t forget to eat HAPPY. If we are rushed, angry, upset, sad, worried, etc., we are not going to digest our food well. Emotions matter in everything we do! Do it with love and you will not go wrong. XO!

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Seasonal Bloom: Kapha

kapha_2013_iconHAPPY Kapha Season! Kapha season goes from late winter through spring, and the time is now! If you have already read the seasonal bloom in the past, maybe take another look! And then pass it along to a friend :)

NEW inside this one, I created a kapha playlist! That’s right, music to shake your booty to while spring cleaning. Nothing better to get a kapha moving than some great tunes! *shake it!*

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KAPHA SEASONAL BLOOM HERE

I also ask that in return for reading, absorbing and hopefully loving the information, that you share this with at least three of your friends or family. We ALL need more Ayurveda in our lives. It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work and I am grateful I can share this with you. Please share with more people so my reach gets larger!

Ghee in my Coffee?

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Vata Menu Question

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I happened upon your site through way if your oatmeal recipe so I decided to explore some other pages. I am very excited about what you’re doing and enjoy your zest. I am just wondering about your recommendation for dried fruit and nuts as a snack as I have heard (or read, I think in one of Dr. Vasant Lad’s books) that dried fruits are no good for vata since the constitution lends itself to dryness. Could you please explain this? Also, your site is the first place I have read that brown rice is no good for vata. I thought it was classified as part of a sattvic diet and therefore compatible with all doshas. Finally, I had read that beef is good for vata yet I find here that not to be the case. All of the information I’ve gathered is pretty much from dr.lad. He is a higher up at the ayurvedic institute and even some if the info they have posted conflicts with his earlier work. Like I said earlier I love what you’re doing and I am not looking to criticize I am simply looking for clarity. I will be overjoyed once I’m back in school learning it for myself.

Yes, would love to lend some clarification based on the vata menu you are referring to. Dried fruits are indeed dry, but some are also sticky and sweet. Dates, raisins, prunes are all good for vata. A vata person could pair these with warm tea and/or warm water to “fluff” them up – to give the water quality back. For example, constipation is a dry problem, but prunes w/warm water and tea (on an empty stomach) will help. NOW! Prunes ideally should be soaked in water (raisins too) for best results, but having them with water can help. Keep in mind, vatas are usually a) picky eaters not wanting to soak anything in water and b) they are usually grab-and-go types, hence my trying to make life easier for them by saying, “eat dried fruits and nuts!” See? I got your back.
As far as meat goes, vata does need some meat for strength. Think of them like a bird. They have mostly grains and fruits, but sometimes they need a good worm :) That said, beef is rajastic/tamasic (depending on where it comes from) and too much meat can easily affect the sensitive vata mind. And yeah, brown rice is very hard to digest. Pittas can usually handle it (and sometimes not) but the others should steer clear.
And all this said, there are several sources/books that contradict each other with Ayurvedic foods/menus, even by teachers who have been doing this a long time. So much depends on the individual and situation. A bit of advice though: if we look at our foods as WHOLE foods rather than individual pieces, we will fare just fine :)

And please let me be clear, I LOVE DR. LAD! He makes me cry (in a good way). Every time I see him my heart lights up and tears plop out without even trying. He’s so wonderful. I wish I knew everything he does :)

Mood Food

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Hey! Did you know that the food you choose directly affects your mood? Maybe you did, cause you are so Ayurvedically smart (if so, permission to *high kick* with pride!). You should know that every morsel we put into our body has energy connected to it. Consider it mood food. Yessiree that energy is what we ingest and therefore what we become. If foods we eat are made from bummer ingredients, we are going to feel like the world is one big bummer. Flip that and instead if we eat lively, fresh foods, we are going to feel lively and fresh. You might be thinking that’s a really literal way of assessing food, but man, it’s totally true.

Do you remember our friends sattva, rajas and tamas? In Ayurveda, these are the trigunas or three qualities, of the mind (download the chart). A quick recap, sattvic foods are pure harmony and help us make right choices. Rajasic foods create turbulence, competition, and are goal-oriented. Tamasic foods create darkness, stagnation, and lifelessness. Download this handy dandy list of sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic foods for reference. Just as important as foods right for your dosha, are the trigunas of the foods. Our food MUST be high quality – it’s essential!! We are built of the stuff!

Foods that are highly sattvic are veggies, fruits, and grains. Notice anything these foods have in common? They all come from plants! Plants are always happy, they have no emotions or stresses. They know that the sun will come out, rain will give them a drink and they grow while they reach for the stars. Pretty great, right? Wouldn’t you like to be like that too? Me too. Happy and reachin’ for the stars, I say!

Now! Let’s look at the other side. Foods that are highly tamasic are red meat, alcohol, canned, stale foods. These foods have no life. They have never seen sun, or if they have, the prana they had originally has been processed-to-death. Literally to death. For a second, let’s look at meat. Are animals always happy? Not necessarily. Do they live in the sun? Mmmm…they might, but not guaranteed. Animals have emotions, fears, stresses, anxiety and panic. Whatever life that animal lived, we eat it. True for us, if we eat those animals that lived under stress, we will become the same. Please make sure your meat comes from happy animals. And if you aren’t sure, don’t eat it.

SO! What foods create good moods? Plants! Veggies! Grains! Fruits! Ghee from happy cows (<– like from my man Sandeep! They’ve been making grass-fed ghee for generations!). AND, dairy if it comes from a good place. Always buy full fat and local organic dairy, if possible. In addition to foods, make sure to drink plenty of water. Plants wither and animals throw their water dish around when there’s not enough! Your body withers too, but your mood will be affected first, as a warning sign. Aren’t our bodies so smart to give us warning signs? Love the bodies. So, be thankful for being an evolved being who gets moody enough to know that you’re not eating the right things :) Incorporate more happy foods, full of sun, nourished by water and nature will give you peace, happiness, and innate knowing that all is well.

Who has questions!?!? xoxoxo!

Snacky.

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question_mastheadI’m a vata/pita girl. Vata is most present. I eat as following: breakfast (8.00) mostly oatmeal with fruit, raisins, spices and nuts. lunchtime (13.00) I eat my diner and @dinertime (18.00) I eat soup with one slice of bread. In between (10.30 and 15.30) I try to eat as less as possible, fruit with some nuts but I notice it’s not enough because @ 16.00 I’m mostly very, very hungry. And because of that the change is higher that I eat not so healthy things like chocolate in the evening. What should I do?

Great question! First of all, whenever you are hungry, eat. The body is telling you it needs food. Now, there are guidelines. For a vata-type person, they could easily spend the day snacking away, which is not good. So! Make sure you are eating enough lunch, remembering it should be the biggest meal of your day. If you are having a nice, hearty lunch and are still hungry at 4:00, then have a snack. If you eat dinner in super-starvation mode, you will likely overeat too late at night or have munchy chocolatey things :) It takes 4-6 hours for us to digest a meal and it sounds like you are doing that in about 4 hours. No problem, just honor that hunger by having a substantial, hearty lunch and/or a snack around 4:00pm to tide you over. Does this help?

Tri-Dosha Menus

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Tri-dosha menus

From my hands and heart to yours, here are three dosha menus in ONE post for your downloading and sharing ease. Groovytown!! *high kick!* These menus are not meant to box you in, rather, they are created to expand your mind into the world of foodie concoctions that are awesome for you.

Something to keep in mind, if you eat a “wrong-for-your-dosha” food, don’t stress about it! Just do better next time, it will not kill you. In fact, someone once told me, “You cannot kill anyone with Ayurveda.” SCORE! Well, I suppose if you struck the wrong marma point hard enough you could, but that’s beside the point. If your body responds well to the food you are eating, keep doing that! If you are not digesting well, try some of the menu recommendations according to your dosha and see if you begin to feel better.

Again, there are a myriad of foods we can choose and frankly we should have a diet balanced in all six tastes, organic when possible, and eat with a happy mind. If you do all those things, you will be in far better shape than you did before you found this crazy lil site :) Enjoy your dosha menus and if you like these, please please share!

Any other questions I can answer or Ayurvedic information you are dying to know about? Email me! monica@heymonicab.com. XOXOX!

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Kapha Menu

E-gads! My sweetest, dearest kaphas, please accept my apology for the delay in creating your lovely menu (print print print & share share share). But here it is and maybe at theee perfect time. For those of you who want to eat lighter after holiday, following a kapha-balancing menu will be wonderfully balancing. Free of dairy, heavy, oily, and starchy foods, kaphas will enjoy foods that are light, warm, and spicy. Kaphas, are the most sensual dosha (it’s all that water in them) and are true lovers of food. They indulge, savor and appreciate every smell, texture, and spice in a meal. Because of their sticky nature, kaphas can tend to overeat because they want the experience to keep going (sticky-sticky-sticky) for as long as they can. Bland foods do not excite them, but bring on the spice (garlic!) and your kapha will be dancing in the streets.

Kaphas do best with a vegetarian diet and light grains that also serve as protein, like quinoa and soba noodles. The trick for kaphas will be to nurture and nourish themselves as they do for every one else. Kaphas, shine the spotlight on YOU for once and cook yourself some yummy meals. Spice it up! You will feel light, full of energy, and fresh as the morning dew when it’s time to wake. Any questions?! Please please ask me! xoxox!

Note: When you download, you’ll get all 3 dosha menus. Kapha is on page 3 :)

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Eatery

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Holiday eatery! Once Thanksgiving commences many folks toss in the nutrition towel until the new year as they are bombarded with food, busy-ness, no time for exercise, and tons of holiday treats in the office. Gaining an extra 10 lbs seems inevitable, simply because we don’t adhere to right choices. So let me remind you that this is not a time to say, “F-it!” (As in, “forget it”…get your minds out of the gutter.) as far as living an Ayurvedically managed life during the holidays. This is a time to tap into our Buddhi and get a little wiser to stay a little healthier. Because when we feel healthier we also feel happier.

Standing around, eating, talking, drinking, all at the same time is a quick way to completely lose our minds while eating. And we know that Ayurvedic nutritional guidelines say, our mind and hearts should be on the lovely meal in front of us. We should chew enough so that we can digest the food properly (our stomachs don’t have teeth…), we should taste the food, appreciate the food and thank the food. Now, do you do all that when yapping with friends at a holiday party? My guess is no because e-gads there’s a party goin’ on! Chitter-chatter chitter-chatter, drink, chew twice, gulp, chitter-chatter…then “Wait, did I even eat?” Right! So…

Instead try this:
1. Serve yourself one glass of your favorite beverage. It should not be too cold or have ice.
2. Take a plate and have your favorite samplings of foods (yes, even if it’s small appetizers). One plateful.
3. Find a person you really enjoy
4. Sit down with that friend and eat together, enjoying the food and the company.
5. You should be full and happy!
6. Now you can chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter til your heart is content, because your belly is content :)
7. If you are having cocktails, don’t have more than 2 and space it out. More than 2 and your better judgement and wisdom goes out the window, so you are likely to overeat AND overdrink. Better still, have mocktails and you’ll feel awesome all night and even in the morning ;)

 

Sickness Tea

I’ve been inspired to share my Ayurvedic sickness tea with the world. Dude! Who caught this got this nar-sty cough/snot/ache/fever thing going around?! Show of hands! 1, 2, 3…omg that’s just too many. That’s IT! I’m fed up. It’s time to take action and make a video!! Oh yeah, and what I failed to mention in it, is to strain the tea (you don’t have to drink soggy cardamom blobs or clove bits) and take as many steam showers as you want! I did 3 steam showers and 2 pots of tea in a day. Last time I was sick, I beat the thing pretty quickly. This time, it’s taking a little longer to kick. Regardless it’s sooooo much fun to share Ayurvedic recipes and remedies with you…I wanted to bring some extra LIFE into it! What do you think? warning: the husband called me the Swedish Chef of Ayurveda.

 

Pitta Menu

 

As promised, here is the pitta menu! Overall, pittas tend to have great digestion. But! Let us not abuse thine great digestion, dearest pittas. Just because you can digest a tin can, doesn’t mean you should. You can digest a lot of things well, including red meat. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. And, well, because you like rules, I know I won’t have to preach too much about you eating the right things because you always want to do right. But I also know you can be stubborn. So, mold the ideas on the menu according to your likes, but really try to adhere to the main foods that are good for you. A steak once in a blue moon will not kill you. A steak once a week won’t kill you either, but you’ll probably end up with heartburn and unwanted pounds. See what I’m sayin? Balance, my good people, balance. Ok I’ll stop yapping. Pitta menu (click to download and print it) !!! Share share share! xoxoxo!

Note: When you download, you’ll get all 3 dosha menus. Pitta is on page 2 :)

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Ayurvedic Toddlers

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question_masthead

I was wondering just how early doshas can begin to be known and addressed in children? I have two 2 1/2 year olds with very different but very definite temperaments — are wee ones able to eat following doshic principles that seem to apply to them? Just what is it like to be an Ayurvedic toddler in our world?

Please know that they are already being fed the most nourishing and healthiest foods and are very healthy and thriving. Just thinking about making sure foods aren’t aggravating or causing anxiety, etc. or seeing how to add foods that decrease this, etc. This kind of thing.

Hey hey! This is a grrrreat question. First off, our prakruti (unique doshic combination) is created at conception! So your little ones already have their doshic balance in place now. That’s why they are so different from each other :) Wee ones will thrive when following doshic principles, yes, however they are also in kapha stage of life. Kapha remember is the builder, creator, lubricant, and structure. The little ones are growing at a rapid pace and need support in building a healthy foundation. Mostly with the little ones, they will let you know what they need. For example, have you ever seen a toddler chow down on a stick of butter? Mine did that last week (with ghee of course!) after a series of days where she didn’t eat much, and she finally just wanted fat. “More ghee on my bread please, mama” and then she would lick it off, not eating the bread. Two minutes later, “More gheeeeee please, mamaaa…” and she flapped the soggy bread at me. And to honor her lil bod, I kept piling on the ghee. I figured she needed it because eating-like-a-bird (vata) the previous days were not nourishing enough for her. Suddenly, she needed fat, structure, and lubrication, mamaaaaa. ;) My point is, don’t over think it too much. The little ones are likely to tell you what they need because they are still in their naturally balanced state, so they will likely make the right choices.

I try to really honor what my daughter is craving (she doesn’t eat junk), because she must need something in it. However, we are the guide, the boss, the mentor, the ultimate in their tiny eyes, so there are some things we can do to help them live more Ayurvedically.

Some tips on how parents can help toddlers live Ayurvedically:
• Tots need sleep. A good lot of it, or they will fall to emotional and mental pieces.
• A consistent schedule (that’s no mystery, hey?) where we lead by example including wake up time, meal times, nap time, sleep time.
• Make sure they are pooping every day.
Eat with your tots, don’t let them sit at the table by themselves.
• Tots should eat what you eat, so they can taste everything and feel part of the community (1st chakra! the root). And, it will help you adhere to good choices on your plate too!
• Tots need a variety of healthy food choices (organic when possible) of veggies, fruits, healthy carbs, dairy and meat if you choose. Meat, more or less, is to let them try it. They will eat it if it jibes with them and if not, they’ll turn their nose. Always offer, but don’t force.
• Favor nourishing foods like organic whole milk, ghee, dates, bananas, mushy and easy-to-digest carbs. Favor warm foods.
• Do not mix milk and fruit. Give fruit at least 30 minutes to digest before giving milk.
• Do not mix yogurt and fruit. They don’t need yogurt (please refrain), although if you want them to have some, make a tasty lassi.
• No milk with meals, water instead.
• Oil (almond or coconut are my favs) massage after or before bath. And note: if you do before bath, choose bath toys that can be easily cleaned because the oil sticks to them.
• They need enough fats. If they don’t have enough fats, they can get cranky, constipated, acid reflux/heart burn, and poor sleep.
• Most of all, lead by example. In all you do, what you eat, what you say, how you say it, how you go potty, how you dress for the weather, how to get ready for bed, how to give to others, etc., ALL of it! They are following you because they think you are the coolest thing on the planet – they love you SO much. They are not only digesting their food but in the many ways you are showing them how to live. Powerful mama you are in so many ways! :)

 

Vata Menu

Yo! I get countless requests for vata menus. Ya’ll are like, “What should I eeeeeeeeat?” I have emailed (typing it out new on each email – definitely not the fastest) suggestions probably 100+ times. So, by popular demand, here is a very simple vata menu! You can click on it to see it more clearly and print it too – yeeehaaaw!

If you are a typical vata, having a little menu will help you decide, commit, and plan your meals (Hello, vata! I am structure! Learn to love me.). Get creative too. There are LOTS of great meals for vata. JoyfulBelly is a great resource for Ayurvedic menus per your dosha, so play around there too. In general, carb it up, keep it warm, keep it goopy, mildly spicy, not much meat.

Now, the pittas are probably thinking, “Wait! Where’s mine!? Me too, me too!” The kaphas are probably thinking, “Oh this is so lovely! Maybe there will be one for kaphas someday. In the meantime, I will wait while smiling.” Yes pittas and kaphas, I am creating yours too. Stay tuned! Meantime, who has questions about this menu? Comments? Love it? Am I missing anything? Lemme know! *high kick!* XOXO!

 vata_menu

WOW, kitchari cleanses work

wow1 Hi Monica! Just to say I’ve tried the kitchari cleanse and loved it! Actually I’ve only done it for 3 days – the taste was lovely (my parents were jealous of my food), but I just couldn’t keep eating the same thing for a longer time (vata!) I’ve done it from Thursday to Saturday. Today I went to see my Ayurvedic Practitioner and guess what? She examined me and said I had no ama :) Hehehe Thank you Monica! Wish you all the best! Xx

Ayurvedic Fasting

fasting

question_masthead

Julia, 23 vata-kapha from Brazil asked a question about ayurvedic fasting. Goodie! Thank you, Julia! xo!

Hey Monica! I’m from Brazil, I’m 23 and I’ve been practicing ayurveda for 3 months now. Could you please speak a little more about Ayurvedic fasting, and the different ways of fasting? As I said, I’m a kapha-vata and my kapha is a bit out of control, so I put some weight during the last year and my agni is veeeery low. I tried fasting (with ginger tea, and other types of tea) but I couldn’t manage to do it – I felt anxious, tense and hungry (maybe emotional). Is that because of my vata constitution? Only “pure” kaphas can fast? Being a kapha-vata makes me mad sometimes! Hahaha. Thank you sooo much! And good luck with you time/energy managing! I’m sending you good vibes from Brazil!

Ah yes! Fasting in our modern world might sound a little torturous (is that a word?) but it’s really one of the best things we can do for our digestion. And! In Ayurveda, optimal digestion is crucial because it affects evvvvverything else! The reason why fasting is good is because it gives our digestive fire (agni!) a chance to digest any extra food we have hanging out in our insides. Think of it as cleaning out your closet. If you ignore it, you will collect stuff you don’t want, don’t need anymore, AND you won’t have room for good new stuff. Same with food and our digestion.

Depending on your dosha, you will have to fast in different ways. Let me briefly outline for you.

Vata Fast: three square meals
Pitta Fast: fruit/veggie-fruit juice fast
Kapha Fast: at least once a week (think: skip dinner one evening and breakfast the next day)

As a vata-kapha combo, Julia is torn between the vata fast and the kapha fast because they are opposite! She is getting light headed without food because vata can’t handle that, however her kapha really needs a break and her agni a boost. So my advice, Julia, is to do a kitchari cleanse :) Kitchari is the BEST EVER cleanse in Ayurveda. It completely cleans out residue oldy moldy food stuffs, stokes agni, and you’ll be eating so you won’t feel hungry. I suggest doing this cleanse for 3-5 days and you can repeat as often as you need. Hope this helps, Julia!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE KITCHARI CLEANSE.