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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.
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.
Show of hands, how many people think that eating/taking extra fiber will help them poop? Okay put them down. Show of hands, how many people eat/take fiber and it works? Okay put them down. Show of hands, how many people eat/take fiber and it makes you more bloatey, gassy, and your stomach puffs out like a balloon? Leave your hands up!!! YOU might be a vata person, but at the very least, it is highly likely you have vata digestion.
And do you know who has problems pooping the most? Vata. And you know what? It’s vata season, right now! Know what else? Vatas (and all of us) have been told that taking fiber helps you poop. And I’M here to say. That IF YOU ARE A VATA, TOO MUCH FIBER MAKES YOUR DIGESTION WORSE!! Oh yes I did! I said that. Now, I’m not calling the fiber-makers evil. But fiber-makers don’t tell you is that fiber is light, dry, rough, and airy. Pssssst, cause they don’t know what a vata is. Hear me out and I will demo.
Vata = light, dry, rough, airy
Fiber = light, dry, rough, airy
In Ayurveda, what do we say? “Like Increases Like!” Great!! Who said that? Give the dude in the striped sweater a fabulous prize (Monicab is getting closer to actually giving those out by the way!). Fiber is great for kaphas who have a tendency to collect thick goo in their bodies, afterall kaphas are mostly thick goo, so the more light, dry, rough, and airy things they have the better! Fiber has a scraping quality (rough) which will help scrape out anything that is in the way and kaphas need that! If a kapha person takes fiber, they will poop nicely, feel lighter, more energized, they might lower their cholesterol, and all happy things happen.
Same with pitta. Pittas have a tendency to burn through their food causing their digestive fire to give them the runs more often than vata or kapha types. So! When a pitta takes fiber, the light, dry, rough, and airy fibers hold together their hot, runny (sorry to be gross, just deal) poops and then they too have nice poops, feel less hot, and all digestion goes happy.
Vatas are NOT the same as pittas and kaphas. My dear sweet vata souls, the “fiber is good for you!” marketing rah-rahs are not meant for you. They don’t know you, but I do!! I desperately wish the fiber-makers would recognize that one size does not fit all and that some people get redonkulously, (and painfully!) bloated from Raisin Bran. Sad. Here is an example, my coworker (married and kapha) came up to me and said that he loved fiber but that my other coworker (his wife and pitta/vata) couldn’t poop so he was giving her fiber. I was like, “NO! She can’t have that, it’s going to make her worse!” So I gave her ghee, which she happily accepted. Next day, she pooped and high-fived me.
Here’s why: The little vata colon has a tendency toward dryness, gassiness, bloating, and constipation. The constipation is there because there is not enough heaviness or oily sustenance to help the poop out. So, take a vata person who thinks that fiber will help them poop, cause it’s what they’ve been told. If a constipated vata takes the light, dry, rough, airy fiber, it’s just adding more of the same qualities to what is causing the problem in the first place!! Imagine the fibers are like popcorn. Once the kernels get into the colon, they puff out and expand. All that’s there is more…puff! There is nothing grounding, oily, or heavy to pull out that poop. Vatas need oils and grounding foods like grains, root veggies, cooked veggies, and warming fruits like citrus. Even apples or not-quite-ripe pears will make vatas tootey. Vatas please don’t have too much fiber. Leave large amounts of Raisin Bran, lentils (except mung, those are good), black beans, pinto beans, cauliflower, broccoli, etc., to our pitta and kapha friends to enjoy.
That’s all I have to say. Oh, and you can put your hands down now. Love you guys.
Since we are in the thick of vata season now, I would like to challenge you to NOT drink carbonated beverages for one week. For some of you this will be a piece of cake. But for others, this might be tough. You might not know just how much carbonation you consume until you attach your mind do it. Ah! Mindfulness! During fall, the goal is to focus vata energy moving downward (so we can poop, concentrate, stay warm, etc.,) and bubbles…well, they go up! So drinking carbonated bevys reverse the body’s natural flow, which is counter-intuitive to all the vata-balancing work you are doing.
So for one week, try no carbonated beverages. My guess is that you might notice a difference in digestion, concentration, sleep and if you have any problems with constipation, that should subside too :)
Lemme know how it goes!
Feel overwhelmed, dizzied, maybe even grumpy about all that you have on your plate? Well you know some nice people, so ask them for help :) They can’t read your mind, so ask. Don’t be shy, you’d do it for them. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart, strengthens relationships, and brings you peace. Just do it, they’ll help. I promise. xoxo
HEY!! I’m getting married todaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (hence why over the past few weeks my posts have not been as frequent)!!!
When we talk about LIFE (Ayurveda is the “science of life”), getting married is one of the most life-enhancing events there is. I was planning on writing a blog post on how to be a modern and Ayurvedic bride, but you know what!? I’m not going to. If I was counseling YOU, I would say, “Nevermind the blog, just savor, enjoy and breathe every moment of this day!” So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to write my tips for being a physically, mentally and emotionally healthy bride (word is still out on the emotions…I’ve already cried once this morning and it’s only 8:30). I will do that after I enjoy my wedding with friends and family. And after my honeymoon with my new husband. Because THAT my friends, is life. And it’s pretty sweet.
I’ll be back in a week and a half or so (and yes, the next version of Seasonal Bloom is coming after that too!).
MonicaB. (and yes, it’s staying as B. ;)
Thanks for the questions Magdalena!! I am happy to answer. In Ayurvedic cooking, it is recommended that veggies are cooked. Cooking veggies aids agni in digesting food because the food has the “fire” element (heat, cooking, grill, whatever) is already introduced before it hits our stomach. If we eat raw veggies, they are cold, rough, and hard which means it takes a really strong fire to digest them properly. So in general, any sort of heating your food will help you digest better.
There is a little Ayurvedic science involved in the cooking methods but when you remember that the 5 great elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) govern everything, it will make your life easier.
If you boil veggies, there is heat (fire), but what other element is there? Anyone? “WATER!” Yes hooray. Prize goes to the lady in the purple shirt. Therefore, boiling veggies is better for folks who need more moisture. Vatas are the most dry of the three doshas so a little extra water will help keep their digestion happy (don’t forget to drizzle ghee on the veggies for more lube!).
If you grill veggies, fire is the main element and there is also air involved. This will be a great method for kaphas or sluggish digestion because the fire in the grill will heat and stoke our fire within.
If you roast veggies, it will depend if you roast them dry, which is good for kapha and pitta. Or you can roast them in oil or ghee which is good for vata.
Frying is…hot oil! Which dosha needs something warming and oily? “VATA” Wow! The lady in the purple shirt is cleaning house. Vatas can actually have fried food in the winter when it’s freezing and dry outside. As long as the oil is fresh and we don’t eat too many fried foods, vata will feel comfortable and “buttered” after a little friedness.
Always remember that the 5 elements make up every wee piece of matter and energy. Just five tiny things! When in doubt, see if you can pick out what elements are involved. From there use your knowledge and choose the opposites to balance. Hopefully I didn’t confuse you too much. Slowly absorbing this information is key to really applying it. With enough practice you can be like the lady in the purple shirt…and you could win…A NEW CAR! Just kidding. I live across the street from where they film The Price Is Right. Not kidding. Aaaaannnd, scene.
Hey, folks in the LA area!
There is a cool Health Freedom Expo in Long Beach coming up on March 26th & 27th. Unfortunately I will be out of town that weekend but if you are interested in going, I have been given access to free tickets. NOW who’s your favorite Ayurvedic chick!? Just kidding. These tickets were generously given to us by the fabulous folks from The Business Muse. Thank you thank you Business Muse!!!
Hey! I’m in India (well, not yet but I am en route. well, not really but tomorrow I will be!). I am going with a group of Ayurvedic students and will be led by Dr. Shekhar who is the Founder of Ojas Wellness Center in Allentown, PA. I’ll be there until mid-February.
First we are going to a place outside of Chennai to work at a medical camp for 6 days. One of Dr. Shekhar’s life goals is to treat 100,000 people for free in his lifetime :) After that we fly down to Kerala where we get in-depth and hands on training for panchakarma (the fancy cleanses).
I don’t think there will be wifi for the first part of the trip, so I probably won’t be blogging until I get to Kerala. Even then, I will be focused on my studies and soaking in my surroundings so I may not blog as much. But I PROMISE to keep a detailed journal and learn lots of great things to bring back and share with you. That’s the main reason why I’m going afterall, so I can bring this back to YOU!
THANK YOU my dear readers for having interest in Ayurveda. It all starts with a little interest, which spreads and creates more interest…and before you know it there is a little community! Together we can grow Ayurveda into something more mainstream and accessible for all people. That is MY dream! I take that intention to bed with me now cause it’s certainly past 10 ;) Namasté friends and be well. xoxoxox!
Hey hey! I’m at the NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medicine Association) conference in Chicago. There are so many faces here that I normally only see on my text books (cause they’ve written them). What a trip! When I saw Dr. Lad in the hallway, I tried to tell my friend Rose but I couldn’t get out any words…not even a whisper. I feel so priviledged and fortunate that I am able to listen and learn from these grand teachers of Ayurveda. I can’t even really express my gratitude. I am so so lucky.
The coolest thing is that I hope to meet a ton of great practitioners nationwide and then I will put them on HeyMonicaB so YOU can see them all. And then you can recommend them to your friends, family and maybe you will even see one someday. Then hopefully you will realize Ayurveda is spreading everywhere and perhaps you might even go see one of these practitioners or counselors someday. Then when your life balance is improved ten-fold you will be a fan of Ayurveda and maybe you’ll tell some friends…
And there ya go…Ayurveda spreads! That’s my goal anyway.
For now I’m going to just enjoy learning and meeting cool people. I’ll fill you in on what I learn. I’m sure there will be plenty of goodies to share!