Category Archives: The Best Of

21 Days of Ayurveda!

 

Join me LIVE on Facebook at 11am Pacific time from July 7 thru July 27!

I will be sharing 10 minutes of Ayurvedic teachings each day, which is an absolute JOY for me and should be super helpful for you to start bringing more Ayurveda into your daily practice.

If you want to see me LIVE, you must do these 2 steps:
1)
 Like my Facebook page: HeyMonicaB
2) IMPORTANT: select the drop down next to “following” and check “see first.” Facebook only shows content to 6% or less of the audience who like the page, UNLESS you check “see first.” Then you’re good. If you skip this step, I can’t reach you. *sad trombone*

YAY! I can’t wait to see your shining faces there and await all your awesome comments and questions for me to ponder. XOXO!

Qualities of Pitta

In Ayurveda, one of the main rules is “like increases like” and so we will look at the
qualities of the dosha and use the opposite to stay balanced.

Pitta qualities are hot, sharp, slightly oily, smooth and mobile.

To stay balanced, pitta will use the opposite qualities which are cool, calm, soothing,
slightly dry and grounding.

Please note  “cooling” does not mean ice cold. It means comfy cool. A pitta would enjoy a lukewarm or cool bath, but if it’s way freezing, it will shock our bodies and constrict channels and probably piss off a pitta. In addition to their bodies, pittas need to keep their mind cool to prevent getting hot-headed or overly stressed.

Too hot for pitta in summer

Red meat, yogurt, sour fruits, super-spicy foods, peppers, fermented or pickled foods, excess salt, tomato-based foods and alcohol. Exercising mid-day in the sun. Hot yoga. Sun-bathing.

Cooling & perfect for pitta in summer

Sweet fruits, ghee, fresh vegetables, cottage or mozzarella cheese, cool pasta salads, ice cream, coconut water, pomegranate juice, mint tea. Exercising early morning. Most yoga. Sitting in the shade and enjoying down time.

For even more tips on pitta dosha and pitta season, get the free Pitta Seasonal Bloom download here.

I am pitta!

Cereal For Dinner?

I would love to know who’s had cereal for dinner in the past week. Anyone? Confession: Me me, I had cereal tonight!

We are full into pitta season. Long days, lots of sun and heat begin to increase pitta’s fire in each of us. So when it comes to meals we are probably not reaching for spicy chili, heavy rice dishes, or mashed potatoes. Nope, that stuff feels too heavy and warm for us. So, we might crave something light and sweet, like cereal!

While your mom may have said that cereal is not a good dinner, I’ll tell you that cereal is actually not a bad dinner during summer! It’s light and easy to digest. The milk has a cooling effect on the body (plus, liquid calms down fire), it’s a mild laxative, and instantly calms stress and anxiety. The cereal is dry and light, so it soaks up any excess oils and heat. Both cereal and milk have what is a “sweet taste” in Ayurveda which is the best taste to balance pitta.

SEE?! Don’t you feel better? Craving cereal in summer is not strange, it’s totally natural! Our bodies call for exactly what we need. Next time you get a craving for cereal for dinner, check the weather because I bet it was a warm day

*Choose cereals wisely. Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Coco Pebbles and the like are FULL of sugar, which will jack you up and crash you down! No bueno! When in doubt, shop the natural foods section of the grocery store. You mostly can’t go wrong at Trader Joe’s too :) 

Change your energy

Our energy is a CHOICE. If you don’t love your day yet, you have all the power to change it in an instant. One of the best things I suggest to people is to move their physical bodies. Action transforms things. When we are transforming we are changing, and when we change with the right mindset, we can jump up quickly to a higher level of positivity.

This requires MOVING your body. Again, it’s action that will move you to higher ground.

Ideas on how to change your energy:

Get up, move. Touch your toes. Reach for the sky! Swirl your hips in a circle. Neck rolls! Clasp hands in front, then clasp hands behind. Take 10 deep, long inhales and exhales. Turn on a great music playlist. Do 20 squats. Drink a big glass of water. Give someone a big, sincere smile. Say “Thank you!” for anything and everything you possibly can. Find someone and say, “You rock. I appreciate you because fill-in-blank!” Go for a walk. Skip! Clap your hands! Sit for a 5-minute meditation. Make a gratitude list.

Next time you find yourself not loving the day, it probably has to do with the energy you are putting into it than the energy you are gleaning from it. The more we complain, the worse we feel. So stop that! haha. Eek!! Sorry but it’s kinda true! I don’t say that out of judgement, I say that coming from a place of empowerment. Don’t let your day take you for a ride, be the boss of your day. Change your energy. Own it and change it to a positive ANY time!! *raaawwwr*

Don’t over think your food.

You guys, one of the worst things we can do for our digestion is to fear, judge, or second guess the foods we are eating. That kind of worry will cause maldigestion before the food even hits our tongue. Why? Because the mind is so powerful! Let’s stop judging our food and take a second to enjoy it, savor it. If a certain food doesn’t bode well with you, leave it alone, no matter who else is eating it. Your body! Your life! Your choices.

I give 3 takeaways in this video on how to ENJOY your food and stop over thinking it!

xo

Western Medicine vs. Ayurveda

For those of you that don’t follow my facebook page, why NOT?! Haha. Kidding. I do live videos there and was particularly inspired to do this one highlighting the differences in Western Medicine vs. Ayurveda. In the video I reference “traditional medicine” which means, conventional, western, modern, allopathy, whatever you want to call that lil’ thing we call “healthcare” nowadays.

I hope this sheds some light on the differences between the two. You’ll notice, they totally don’t overlap! Each has their place. If we start using Ayurveda in the home as prevention, with proper diet and lifestyle according to the individual, we will have powerful ownership over our own health and well being! Yay Ayurveda!

Monica B’s Entrepreneur Story

Monica B’s Entrepreneur Story

I am thrilled and honored to be a featured guest on Jan McCarthy’s Entrepreneurial Voice podcast.

In this episode, I share my story of how and WHY I took the leap from the corporate world to begin my career 100% as an Ayurvedic teacher and healer. It was a long road — 8.5 years before I actually made the leap! I hope it sparks a little inspiration for whatever is your dharma (life’s work), so you keep moving toward that dream with bravery, optimism, tenacity, and passion! xo

Below are several platforms for you to listen and look for “Monica Bloom” in the list.

iTunes

Stitcher

Soundcloud

iHeart Radio

What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?

This question stemming from several of you!

“What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?”

Overall, vatas and pittas are going to be balanced by kapha season. Happy day!

I quickly made this crude little chart (it shows up reversed in the video), but in very simple terms, these are how the qualities shake out in kapha season.

 

In general vatas and pittas will be balanced by kapha season. In Ayurveda we talk a lot about the qualities and we use the opposite qualities to stay balanced.

Kapha qualities are: cold, wet, heavy, static (non-moving) and dull.

Vata qualities are: cold, dry, light, mobile, and rough.

All vata qualities except COLD are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will balance vata for the most part. However, vatas need to stay warm in their environment, body and diet in spring.

Pitta qualities are: hot, slightly-oily (a little wet), light, smooth, mobile and sharp.

All pitta qualities except wet are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will also balance pitta for the most part! However, anything too humid, wet, or oily will not suit pitta in spring. They should favor the dry qualities in their environment, body and diet.

In a nutshell, vatas and pittas should feel quite awesome in spring. If you are a kapha, learn more on how to balance your mind, body and spirit with this kapha seasonal bloom.

Much more learnings on my YouTube channel and Facebook page too.

XOXO!

 

 

6 tips to help kapha declutter

Kapha declutter

Muy importante! 

Those over-filled closets, basements, garages and storage spaces need attention! Kaphas, be mindful that one of the best things for you is to clear the clutter.  You see, kaphas are the glue emotionally, physically and…materialistically. They like to keep stuff, like, forever if they could. However, this clingy energy bogs them down which is the last thing kapha needs.

Kapha needs more space, lightness, and flow. When we have posessions that are all piled up, we can’t even see what we own, much less enjoy what we have.

A good bi-yearly cleanse of nooks, crannies and closets followed by a trip to the donation station will bring joy and lightness to their lives. For any kaphas having a hard time parting with “stuff” it might be easier to swallow when you know you’ll be giving it to someone else who will love it. Kaphas are very generous and will gladly help those in need, so this could be an easy sell to tell yourself ;)

Detaching is a challenge for kapha. Even emotionally, they can become overbearing, possessive and get depressed if their feelings get hurt too severely. It’s just hard for them to detach sometimes. Kaphas can also hold grudges which will weigh them down preventing their lustrous beauty to shine through.

Here are 6 tips to help kaphas declutter:

  1. Music! Kaphas, put on dancey, happy tunes while decluttering. I created a kapha playlist here. You’ll love it.
  2. Appreciate the mess. We will make a big mess before things get more clean. It might feel terrible but just keep going. Make a mess knowing it’s the only way to get clearance (Clarence. Who got that joke?!).
  3. 3 Piles Only. Keepers, Garbage, Donations. No maybes piles because that can get folded in to garbage bags and put somewhere else.
  4. Don’t reminisce. Don’t get stuck flipping through the beloved scrapbook or photo album. You’ll lose time. Just say, “Keeper pile!” and move on. Reward yourself afterward and look through the memories when the cleaning is done.
  5. Set a timer. Maybe you only have 30 minutes to dedicated to cleaning today. GREAT! Put on the playlist and/or timer and go fast as you can. Or, sock away 3 hours and get it all done at once. Either way, a timer is awesome.
  6. Reward! Plan something FUN to do when it’s over. You can keep your eyes on that prize while digging your way out of clutter. MAN what a great day. Decluttering AND a reward. You’ll sleep like a happy baby.

Vatas and pittas can use this too, but this is not usually a problem for them. Pittas are neat n’ tidy by nature because they love to organize. Vatas tend to throw stuff away and then wish they hadn’t. Ha!

If kaphas can forgive, detach, and let go, they will feel light on their feet — in their hearts, minds, and spirits too.

2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom

Kapha Seasonal Bloom graphic. An Ayurvedic guide to late winter and spring health

Woohoo! 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom is ready for ya! Download your copy today to enjoy and learn all about kapha dosha, kapha people, and kapha season.

Those of you who live in cold climates could not be happier to see kapha enter in! Tulip and daffodil leaves start poking up through the snow, limey green buds pop up on the trees, snow and rain does this lovely dance which makes…slush. Ha! But it’s good! Nature is thawing and creation is happening. The brisk, bitter, and dry cold from vata season begins to soften and mellow to welcome the life and freshness of spring.

We begin daydreaming about vacation and are excited to plan some R&R. Our bodies crave warmth as we eye up the sundresses and flip flops at Target — and maybe smell the sunscreen just for fun! Inspiration to buy new stuff and throw out half of the uninspiring things that we currently own does not feel like an impulse as much as it feels like a necessity. We have an overall sense of renewal, creation, and happiness. And finally, we might feel like slowing down to enjoy the ride a bit more and maybe take the long way home. Sauntering never felt so good. YAY! Kapha is here!

Imbalancing for KAPHA: Yogurt, ice cream, cheeses, heavy comfort foods, fried foods, red meat, fish, salts, sugars. A sedentary lifestyle. Having too much stuff. Eating large portions late in the evening. Carrying old, negative emotions, grief or sadness.

Balancing for KAPHA: Vegetarian or vegan diet, apples, pears, berries, lentils and dahls, brothy and spicy soups, barley, rice, rice noodles. Zumba or dance class with a buddy. Clear out cluttered spaces. Saying no. Expressing your desires. Release old emotions that don’t serve you. Skip dinner at least once a week. Citrus scents. Bright colored clothes. Get outside once a day and walk. Uplifting beauty, such as a vase of flowers.

For so much more on kapha dosha and kapha season, enjoy the free download of the 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom. And! If it has served you, share it!! It takes a village to share Ayurveda (it really does! Way back 5,000 years ago, they did the same!) in an effort for ALL of us to live abetter. So, if you benefited from it, do me a favor and share this with 3 people, especially your beloved kaphas.

Kapha Seasonal Bloom inside spreads

What IS Ayurveda?

I’ve been writing about Ayurveda for 8.5 years now and have watched it grow rapidly. I’d like to take a step back for a second and answer the question, “What is Ayurveda?”

When I started heymonicab.com in 2008, I would say, “I study and teach Ayurveda” and nobody had a clue what I was talking about. But now I say, “I teach Ayurveda! Have you heard of it?” They say, “Yes! I’ve heard of it.” I respond with, “Do you know what it is?” And they usually say something like, “Mehhh, kinda? No, not really…” This funny looking word has gone from something nobody knew about to something that people now recognize. It’s not quite so foreign anymore!

This is where I come in. If people are able to recognize it now, they’re ready for more information. I created this video to answer the question, “What is Ayurveda?” to give the newbies a broad idea of what it’s all about. Enjoy!

3 Ayurvedic Tips to Help Overcome Emotional Eating

Answering a fantastic question from one of you who wants to know if I have any advice on how to overcome emotional eating. It’s a complex question with complex answers that will be different for each of us! But I do have 3 great tips on how to uncover what the emotional eating might be all about AND how to bring more “higher food” into your life. I hope this inspires, moves some obstacles and inspires new way of thinking about food and your life. You got this!

 

Ayurvedic Coloring Book

Introducing, A Blooming Ayurvedic Coloring Book!

There’s nothing like it and it’s perfect for holiday. Makes a great office gift, teacher gift, or a throw a yoga studio coloring party! Life is your creation and so is your art.

 

Vata Empathy

empathy

Empathy.
How does a vata express empathy? Vatas are a total split on the spectrum — either insensitive or hyper-sensitive. Other people’s feelings might not register on their radar at all (me, me, me). Or, vatas can be rocked to the core by another person’s pain because they feel SO much empathy.

Practice healthy empathy by listening, offering help and following through with it (if you are not going to follow through, don’t offer). But don’t letting someone else’s struggle consume your thoughts and emotions. Instead, send a blessing like this, “I send you blessings that all will be well soon and you learn the lessons needed to evolve.” Then let it go like a sparkly mylar balloon in the blue sky. Their struggle is not yours to keep.

This little insight couldn’t fit in the 14-page seasonal guide, Vata Seasonal Bloom. Let’s use our empathy in this world, just not so much that it takes us down. 

2017 Vata Seasonal Bloom

vsb_spreads_kajabi

Download Blue Button

I’m EXCITED for you to have these Vata Freebies!
You get Vata Season Webinar + Vata Seasonal Bloom (14-page health guide)!

Let’s talk about vata + the weekend for a sec.
Computers make us feel anxious, so why don’t you print Seasonal Bloom and read it by the fireplace or in your favorite chair. Print is more balancing than the screen, plus it is so lovely you will want it in your hands.
*inhale* *exhale*

We live in a HIGHLY imbalanced vata world with things like computers, smart phones, traffic, and social media. We get anxiety over what we think we should be doing and who we think we should be. *breathe* You are perfectly aligned on your path. You are already doin’ it. The world is just moving faster than ever (hyper-vata) and you can feel that zippy energy, which can create an internal panic.

Let’s slow it down and use this weekend to disconnect from all that stuff.

Find a pumpkin. Cook a meal. Sink into a long bath. Free flow on a bike ride. Catch views from your favorite hike (even if it’s urban). Bust out your paints. Go to the high school football game. Say hello to the yarn basket. Savor a magazine. Power walk with your favorite person. {insert your ideas here}

Let’s bring it down. You are perfectly as you should be, perfectly on your path.
You don’t need to move faster, just trust and slow it down.
*inhale* *exhale*

BIG LOVE! (it’s not you, it’s just vata!)

 

 

Ayurvedic lunch ideas for kids

lunch_for_kidsRaise your hands, who has kids? 1, 2, 3…good! At least 3 of you do so this is good to share and even if you don’t have le kiddos, you can use this for yourself!

Anyone struggle coming up with new and healthy ideas for the kids lunches? *me raising my own hand!* I did! My 5-year old just started kindergarten and so it’s a new game making her lunches every day. Without a plan, I knew I’d be harried and absent-minded when trying to cobble together a good lunch. So I said to myself, “Girl! Get it together and just write it all down.”

So I did! I wrote down a bunch of lunch and snack ideas on a piece of paper and stuck it to the inside of my cupboard. Then I thought, “Hey I would make this pretty and my Ayurvedic peeps might love this too!”

A gift from me to you, please enjoy this list of lunch ideas for kids.
NOTE: They are not pure Ayurvedic…they are kind of “Ayurved-ish.” (see below for why)

dload_orange_button

Why are these not Ayurvedic?
#1 lunch should be the biggest meal
#2 eat happy and calmly
#3 meals should be warm
#4 fruit should be eaten alone 
#5 eating for the doshas will vary per kid

Let’s first talk about #1: Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. I mean, if the kid eats, you can pack a big enough meal. Or like most, they will be totally distracted by their friends that they will skip most of it and smoosh the rest back into the lunch pack. And they will come home starving (*shakes fist* anyone see how our eating habits can become backwards at a very early age?).

#2: Eat happy and calmly. She’s happy for sure. But some only get 15 minutes for lunch (*shakes fist again*). No way can a child fit in a “big lunch” in 15 minutes.

#3: Meals should be warm. Little thermoses help this! Most of her lunch is room temp (which is better than from the fridge)

#4: Fruit should be eaten alone. Yes, yes it should. My daughter knows the rule, but will chow fruit however she pleases when I’m not around. We can’t control how they combine their food.

#5: Eating for their doshas will vary. Depending on their dosha, some foods will benefit them more than others. Don’t over think that at this point, just do the best you can. Here’s what goes through my head for my pitta-vata kid, “She needs grounding/carb foods, a little protein, fruit, veggies, healthy fats and water.” You can reference the dosha menus to see what foods in general work best for your kiddo, depending on their dosha.

Whattaya say is this helpful for you? If I confused the dickens out of you please let me know. AND! OR! If you have ideas to add, we’d all love a sharing of more great lunch ideas and recipes so feel free to share in the comments.

XO!

 

Ayurveda Class

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Ready for beginner’s Ayurveda class? Watch the video for my story on how Ayurveda changed my life and let’s start bringing Ayurveda to YOUR life! 

I just launched an online Ayurveda class steered toward the beginner. In this 6-week course, you will begin to understand and APPLY Ayurveda to YOUR life! The class is a self-paced 6-week course which will never expire. We will use my book, In Your Elements, as a guide through the course as we dive into Ayurvedic foundations and craft your own personal Ayurvedic plan. YOU are the creator of your own well being. Ayurveda at its best works because of participation of the client (that’s you!), so my friends, you’re the driver. *vroooomm*

Here’s what you’ll learn:

• An Ayurvedic foundation which you can use forever!
• Dosha discovery (who are you and what makes you tick?)
• Create your own customized nutrition plan
• How to use the daily routine so you feel awesome each day
• Preventative habits to avoid getting sick
• Personalized guidance and unlimited questions throughout the course
• Tips on how to use Ayurveda easily in our busy-busy world
• How to build an Ayurvedic plan any time you need it
• You’ll get weekly worksheets, planners, and some of my art too!

Remember, this class never expires, so you can review it again and again. Life is long, we need constant balancing and reminders. And besides health is not a finish line, it’s a never-ending journey of daily practice.

YEAH! Come on with me and I’ll teach you how to CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE!

BIG LOVIE LOVE, Monica B.

Ayurvedic Daily Routine Video

You will learn how to live vibrantly, productively, energetically once you watch this Ayurvedic Daily Routine video! Watch it now to begin changing your life, right away.

The Ayurvedic daily routine is the foundation in living according to nature’s flow. Only by following these guidelines can we begin to achieve optimal health – without it, we are missing a HUGE and simple component to becoming as healthy as we can be.

You will never look at your day the same way. And yes you might watch this and be like, “Duh, that makes sense.” A lightbulb might pop on as you begin to pair the simplicity of Ayurveda with it’s power. And that’s the beauty. Simple power. You can improve your health and life quickly just by knowing how nature rules time.

In this video you’ll learn WHY certain times of day are best for:

Eating
Working/Productivity
Exercise
Sleeping
Relaxing
Strategizing
Meditating

What you’ll find in the video is very practical, just looking at our schedule coming from a different philosophy. So get ready to commit to 1-2 changes (If you are inspired to share, I would love to know what they are) as you practice creating a whole new vibrant way of shaping your day.

Enjoy if you love it, share it with those you love. Let’s share Ayurveda among our families in friends like they did in villages 5,000 years ago — it’s meant to be shared so everyone can benefit!

For more Ayurveda, grab a copy of my book In Your Elements. It’s a simple, modern guide to simply and effectively applying Ayurveda to your life. xo!

 

Where do I start with Ayurveda?

One of the questions I get the most is, “Where do I start with Ayurveda?! Ayurveda is so big and complicated and I get overwhelmed. Where do I start?”

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not alone by any stretch! There are so many people just beginning to learn about the power of Ayurveda so it’s ok! We all have to start somewhere.

In this video I give my top 5 recommendations to started with Ayurveda right away. You don’t need to know anything about Ayurveda in order for them to work. Keep an open mind and don’t be surprised if they sound simple. They ARE simple! Like I said you don’t need to know squat about Ayurveda in order to start practicing them. But fair warning, just because they are simple, don’t dismiss them as too simple to work.

Often we can overlook powerful healing practices in our day-to-day because the action is itty bitty. Or we tell ourselves a story about why it won’t work.

So I ask you: TRY them. Try 1 of these things for 2 weeks and see how you feel. They are simple, but if you feel like crap all the time, my guess is that you are not doing all 5 of these things. They are free, you are empowered, you have new knowledge now so GO GO GO! *whooosh* That was a big gust of wind in your sails. No more feeling like crap, let’s start to change what we practice, especially in the day-to-day.

If you are enjoy this video, here are some other videos to check out:
Ayurvedic eating made simple and customized to YOU
The Ayurvedic Daily Routine
How to fix insomnia and avoid an energetic hangover

Enjoy learning – Ayurveda is all about you so take it slow, open your mind and heart and you will begin to experience the benefits quickly!