Bit Of Wisdom {32}

How do you stay life-full?

An observation: Now that my internet has been down for a week, I feel more blissful, more life-full. All I want to do is create things!! I feel dreamy & eyes are open! In your world, notice what is life-draining. Can you reduce or eliminate it so that you are more life-FULL? Do you spend too much time on things that don’t matter? Have a think… XOXO

Happy Valentine’s Day

{HUG} Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I wish I had time to cut out doilys and make hand made Valentine’s for the special people I love. Remember those? I used to love making special Valentine’s out of doilys. Even more than that, I enjoyed that once a year I could use the word, “doily.” Doily doily!

Since we are far apart and I can’t hand you a Valentine, how about I provide some Ayurvedic facts about the heart. Enjoy these. I got these from a lecture by Dr. Lad when we were learning about the chakras.

• 4th chakra is the heart chakra, color is green, not red

• the heart is the seat of the mind

• the heart is the seat of pure consciousness and  innocence. When you say, “me” your hand goes to your heart as if to say, “here I am,” and we point to our hearts.

• the heart is the seat of surrender and letting go

• the heart is the seat of stress. Stress is the #1 killer {so hum, so hum, so hum…}

• tears are the language of the heart. Shedding tears can open your heart (and relieve that stress)

And finally, faith will flower into the truth. Never lose your faith. Faith lives within the heart and will flower into the truth.

XOXO, MonicaB

Hello Dahl-ey


Hi. Do you have the song in your head now? ;) Still love me. HEY so here’s what. I get so many questions about mung dahl because there seems to be a lot of confusion on what they are exactly. I’m with ya. When I first started learning Ayurveda, I didn’t know what a mung (or moong) dahl (or dal) was either. So, let me help you!

Not long ago I was in my local Indian “sweets & spices” store. And while waiting for them to make my lunch, I like to shop and see what kind of Indian goodies jump out at me. On this fun day, I saw mung dahl (the right kind) and next to it, I saw mung dahl (not the right kind) and I thought, “Ah-HAH! I’m totally going to take a picture cause this stuff is confusing as all heck.” And then I decided to take a photo of the other kinds of little yellow beans that might be mistaken for mung dahl too. YAY!!

In Ayurveda, we make kitchari as a nice meal and it’s even used as a cleanse. One of the most crucial ingredients in kitchari is mung dahl. It’s a complete protein and it’s a sattvic food which means that it’s totally pure for the mind and body. So, I’ve been asked, “Can I substitute yellow split peas for mung dahl?” and, “I got the green ones. Are they okay?” and “I got these yellow split beans, chana dahl, are those the same?” Not to mention, it’s spelled different ways too, like: {mung, moong} and {dahl, daal, dal}. All those spellings mean mung dahl and that’s what you want.

So let me clear the air. Simply put, none of those other dahls, beans, or peas have the same qualities as mung dahl does. Therefore, your kitchari will not behave the way that it should and therefore it won’t do the “job” on the body-mind that kitchari should. Those dahls will not hurt you of course, but they won’t have the effect on you that kitchari should.

Have a look below and hopefully you’ll be clear as day!

(above) The green mung beans are whole, so they are tougher to digest and can aggravate vata. Once the whole green beans are shelled and split, you get mung dahl which is what we want! So these two mungs are the same, but they are in different forms. You want the yellow ones, not the green.

(above) HOHkay. Look how confusing this can be! All these pretty little yellow lentils look the same, but only one is mung dahl. Notice how much smaller the beans are than the other two and they are much smaller than yellow split peas.

SO! Does this help?! Gosh I hope so. It’s not easy being an American and trying to seek out this Indian-esque stuff on our own. That said, they probably don’t have mung dahl at your regular grocery store. I believe Whole Foods has it, Trader Joe’s does not. Any Indian grocery will have them and if you find them online somewhere, tell me and I’ll post the links.

Carry on good people. Carry on and enjoy the body-mind cleansing effects of a happy and correct kitchari. Yay. xo

Viver Ayurveda | Training in NC

Hey! For those of you interested in a weekend of Ayurveda, I’d like to share this Viver Ayurveda training in Chapel Hill, NC | April 27-May 1 | 703-307-1523 | PDF Download

It’s being presented by Arjun from Brazil, whom I love!! He and I have crossed paths a couple times and only through email. He is a world-reknown teacher of Ayurveda and is the Founder of TriGuna Institute in Brazil. What a treat to learn from him live. Don’t miss the opportunity!

A little bit about the program: The program Viver Ayurveda presents an intensive immersion on the essential topics for building a better and healthy life style as a life celebration act. Learn, Experience and Share. Engage yourself in recovering your well-being then heal the community promoting the culture of vitality, rejuvenation and detoxification based on an integrated approach from Nature using Sound, Meditation, Gems, Nutrition, Herbs and Spices, Massage and Aromas.

This very special Ayurvedic training has been designed to cover the classical principles and authentic background of Ayurveda from its history and philosophy to anatomy and physiology. You will be introduced to the elements which help us to engage Ayurveda vividly in our life. Disease is honored as an inner teacher which shares its message of knowledge and in so doing helps us to remove the ignorance and invites the wisdom and poetry of the cure.

Tip: Licorice for Acidity

If you have any acid-reflux or heartburn issues, drinking licorice tea will help! Licorice (the real stuff not Twizzlers!) is cooling, heavy, and smooth. Will cool down, weight down and “smooth” out any heat and irritation. :)

Where’s My Bliss?

Where’s my bliss? The other night I was reading an interview with this cool illustrator/Pixar artist, Sanjay Patel. He created a sweet website (come on, how cute is the name?) where he sells books and products. Tip: You can get a cute, free Ganesh screen saver if you go to the products page :) Anyway, he’s Indian and he grew up in America with devout Hindu parents. He didn’t really jive or understand the Hindu religion so when he got older he became interested in how to make the stories simple and portray the dieties in a child-like manner. The books are super adorable and beautifully illustrated.

As a former graphic designer and wanna-be artist myself, I really admire his dedication and craft. In one of the interviews someone asked him if he practiced religion (he doesn’t, really) and he said, “I know I feel absolutely at peace and totally satisfied when I’m working. I completely lose myself and that’s the greatest feeling. No crticism, no desire, just absolute bliss.”

Whoa. Then I had this notion that…I don’t really ever feel that way. I mostly feel satisfied only once I’ve accomplished something or can check something off a list (can you say, pitta?). And during the process I find myself critiquing my own work and playing mind games where I often end up talking myself out of my own creative process. When I write blog posts there is definitely a healthy dose of passion and love involved. However, sometimes that gets trumped by my concern that the topics are interesting/helpful enough, that the graphics are nice enough, and that…what if someday, I run out of things to say!! Even in playing my violin, I swear to myself sometimes in my head instead of just listening to the cool sound I’m making on the instrument. Of all things, that should be blissful! Where’s my bliss? I don’t paint or draw with my hands any more, which could actually lose me for a period of time, which makes me a little sad.

I want my bliss back! So. In an attempt to rediscover “just being,” I came up with a list (damn you and your lists, pitta) of when I actually feel somewhat blissful. And, it’s really small (here is pitta again, judging how small my list is) Here it is:

1. Sitting in the hot tub on our honeymoon enjoying my milky coffee
2. Siting in the hot tub at my parents’ house in Vegas reading a magazine
3. Doing yoga
4. Savasana (SHA-va-sana. Laying on my back after yoga for 5 minutes and letting myself melt into the floor)

Um. And that’s it. In learning from Sanjay’s words, I feel like I need a little more bliss time. I’d like to start creating simply out of enjoyment without my expectations surrounding everything all the time. My husband (kapha) is very good at living in a blissful little world and daydreaming. I could learn a little from him also.

So I want to know, what’s your bliss? When are you most blissful and totally at peace? What are you doing that you lose all track of time because you are immersed in pure enjoyment? Tell me! Maybe I just need a little inspiration. But clearly, I need a hot tub ;) xo.

Bit of Wisdom {31}

Ahhh…we just talked about this on tonight’s radio show (episode 5). I thought it was brilliant enough to post for your pretty eyes and heart to absorb. From Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur:

Ayurveda teaches the value of bringing our awareness to all things, including preparation and enjoyment of our meals. As you become more conscious of how you eat, you naturally become more conscious of what you eat and what influence it produces in your body and mind.

World’s BEST Oatmeal

Heaven on Earth!! Eeee! Okay in many places it’s the dead (or like I like to call “dread”) of winter. This hearty breakfast will leave you satisfied and sooo happy. If you are an oatmeal fan, you MUST make this oatmeal. Please trust me. I got the recipe from my Ayurvedic Vaidya (doc) and teacher, Arun Deva, and it’s AMAZING! I had a consultation with him last week and he added fabulous accessories to my otherwise routine oatmeal with ghee.

Get THIS! Here are the rules for the World’s BEST Oatmeal!
• Take 7 almonds and soak overnight in water. In the morning remove the peels (it’s easy). Peels are hard to digest so soaking and removing the peels is like giving our digestion a head start.
• Soak a small amount (10-15) of raisins overnight. Use organic raisins found in the produce dept. Soaking them adds moisture which eases digestion and eliminates raisin gassies. Skip Sunkist or Sunmaid brands, those have sulfur and other unnecessary crap added.
Use the raisin water to make your morning oatmeal (genius!). You can use slow oatmeal or if you are a fast American, use one packet of Trader Joe’s Organic Oatmeal.
Add the raisins and naked almonds to your oatmeal. Stir in brown sugar and ghee. OR use honey (but not honey + ghee). You can also add 1/2 banana, a handful of blueberries, 2 dates, or any combo of those! HEAVEN I say!

The key is to add a small amount of each thing, otherwise it’s just too big. Here we have a lovely balance of carbs, protein, and fats. We also have a good amount of iron, folic acid and anti-oxidants. Ayurvedically speaking this recipe will nourish ALL the dhatus (tissues): rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), meda (fat), majja (bone marrow), and shukra (reproductive) and your body will hum along in harmony. Best for vatas and pittas, may be too heavy for kapha types.

AND if you choose to add ghee, guaranteed you will be a happy pooper. YAY!


Itchy Dry Itchy Dry

OMG is anyone else out there itchy!? Fortunately in the San Francisco Bay Area, we don’t have sub zero temperatures, snow storms or terribly gusty winds, but it’s still vata season. It’s been kinda chilly and it’s very dry here. Both are vata increasing and my legs are so itchy I think I might die. I’ve woken up in the night because of them and when I scratch it leaves red, dry marks. It’s just downright painfully itchy and I can take no more.

To make things worse, I have a space heater on at work most of the day, which is just adding dry, hot air to my skin. I bet it’s making it worse. SO! I have been on a mission to end the itchies and wanted to share some ideas with you, not only for itchies but for dry skin in general.

For Body! Oatmeal, milk & aromatherapy bath. Take instant oatmeal (when it comes to itch, I am impatient) flakes and put 1 cup into bathtub with warm water, 1 cup milk, and drops of calming aromatherapy (lavender, rose, geranium) and sit for at least 10 minutes. Hot water increases dryness AND you will end up with biggest bowl of oatmeal in the world!
If you don’t have a tub, you can use a bucket and just drizzle the oatey water on your legs. Also an option, when the oats get pastey, apply the paste to your legs and gently massage. Empty the oats into the toilet or garbage disposal cause if you dump them down the drain, you might clog it.
Epsom salts.
Listen to Grandma! Salts have wonderful healing properties (swimming in the ocean will cure almost any skin problem!). Using epsom salts in a bath also calm down the itch.
Lavender Salt Scrub. Speaking of salts, I have this in my shower constantly (I realize I ran out over the past 3 weeks…could be why the “legs”) and it’s the bomb!
Soothing Skin Balm
from Banyan Botanicals. This I could not live without! This balm has saved me many days at work and nights when I woke up from itchies. I’ve used almost the whole jar. It’s thick so it’s best used in a small area, but I’ve been putting all over my lower legs. The nice thing is that the herbs in here will begin to correct the root problem. I use it all the time!
Oils. You knew I was going to mention oil massage, didn’t you? Yippee if you did! Precede your shower by using oils Sesame oil is great in the winter for dry skin, but pittas beware. Sesame oil is warming and it might make your sensitive skin itch (mine does, at least on my legs). Almond oil is nourishing and lovely and so is safflower oil. Sesame (vata) is thickest, then almond (pitta), then safflower (kapha) is thinnest. Please buy these oils in the cooking section of your grocery store (they should be $4-$7) and make sure it says “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed.” You get a lot of good oils for little money and remember the rule, if you can’t eat it, it should not go on your skin.
We bought one today so that we get some moisture in the air! Even my husband is going around the corners of the room and itching his back on the walls like a desperate cat. :(

For Face!
Almond & Milk Scrub. I LOVE this combo! 1 tsp almond meal to 1/2 tsp milk powder and a pinch of sugar (I made a batch big enough to fit in a jelly jar). I got the recipe from Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur and about three times a week instead of using cleanser or soap in the morning. Mix with a little warm water to make a paste and massage on the face. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Only Wash at Night. If you have dry skin on your face, only wash your face at night to remove make-up, sweat, and dirt. In the morning clean the crud out of your eyes, give a nice lukewarm rinse and then moisturize. Over-cleansing will lead to drier skin.

Banana or Avocado Mask. I heart using fruits on my face! This is a great exfoliant for winter because it also moisturizes. Use a ripe banana or avocado. Mash up and put on your face. Kick your feet up above your heart and chill for 15 minutes. Rinse off.

***Confession*** Today I broke down and bought some Aveeno Baby fragrance free lotion (with oatmeal!) for my wee legs. It’s totally not Ayurvedic. I didn’t see any sinful ingredients because there was no listing of ingredients at all – um, is that legal? However, I kinda just needed some reprieve. It seemed to work – for the time being. I picked the “baby” version because I figure their skin is also sensitive. Anyway, I had to let you know that while I try my darndest to live Ayurvedically, despite baths, soaks, balms, and bucketsfull of natural remedies, I broke down at Target. And no, I don’t think I can eat it, so I’m breaking my own rule. It was either that or Monica goes seriously mental. If anyone knows of a good natural lotion (that I can eat! hah), I’m all ears!!! XOXOXO

Tip: Omit Brown Rice

Something to note! Brown rice is actually pretty tough to digest – it takes a long time to get through the system. In Ayurveda, digestion is #1 importance! If you feel heavy, bloated, are not hungry, or are not pooping, switch to white rice, like basmati. You’ll probably feel a lot better.

Ayurvedic New Year’s Cleanse

Show of hands, who LOVES 2011 so far?! (my hand is up, high!) I think it’s super groovy and really believe there are fantastic things ahead for all of us! Feels good!

That said, maybe 2010 has left you feeling like you have residue from holiday parties, client lunches, junk foods sitting on the filing cabinets at work, and maybe too much champagne. I’ve received quite a few inquiries about cleanses and which ones are best to do. A lot of them I see marketed are raw veggie and fruit cleanses. But remember it’s still vata season and raw, cold things are not our agni’s (digestive fire) friend right now because it’s cold outside! In Ayurveda like increases like. And therefore, Cold + Cold = Coooooold (and throw a hefty “brrrr” in there for good measure). Cold/raw does not ignite or sustain a nice fire, which is what we want our digestion to do. We want a nice roaring fire in our bellies so that we can digest food properly. Again, we all live in different places on the earth and we all have different constitutions. Maybe you have a favorite cleanse that you do and that’s cool.

But if you don’t, I’d like to offer a very simple, cheap, effective, Ayurvedic new year’s cleanse:
The Ayurvedic cleanse is a mono-diet of kitchari (rice, mung beans, cooked veggies, and Ayurvedic spices), so basically that’s all you eat. You can have kitchari for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eat until you are satisfied. Do this for 3-5 days. In between meals if you are hungry, you can have fruit (not banana). For liquids have water (not iced or cold) or herbal teas (a little honey is okay, but no sugar). I promise you will not be hungry. Don’t do major exercise, just yoga and walking. Make sure to go to bed by 10 and get up by sunrise, latest.

The benefits of the Ayurvedic New Year’s cleanse:
• Digests ama (toxins)
• Gets digestive system back on track (i.e. nice poops! less constipation, bloating, and gas
• The food is sattvic (pure harmony) and it will clear your mind
• Brings a sense of calm, serenity and focus
• Nourishes all bodily tissues to eliminate toxins and rejuvenate them as well
• Reduces our sensation of taste (our tastebuds are often over sensitized by salts, sugars and fats) so that when you begin eating regular foods again, you will notice flavors much more. Therefore you will be satisfied with less AND you will notice just how much salt/sugar you were eating before!

Go here for the Kitchari Recipe
Go here for the Ghee Recipe (or you can buy ghee from Pure India Foods or Whole Foods if you are near one or check your local Indian grocery)

Let me know if you try it and if you like it! It’s lovely food, really. I like to do a mini-cleanse for about 3 days every 4 months or so. It resets my clock and  feels amazing for the body, mind and soul. Happy New Year my friends! 2011 is going to be a great one. Start it out with a clean slate because as we know all healing starts from the inside out! :)

YAY! Fun show, thank you!

YAY! Fun show, thank you!

Thank you to all of you who listened and called in to the first HeyMonicaB radio show tonight!! I will always post show notes and archives on the radio show page so you can catch up in case you miss it. This way too, when people call in with questions, I answer them on the show but can also follow up with articles I’ve already written on the topic so you can read at your leisure. It’s really helpful to go back and read about it! AND if I haven’t written anything on the topic yet, it gives me good reason to write a post about it! Cause this is all for YOU.

THANK YOU AGAIN! You guys feed my soul. Love, MonicaB

MonicaB Radio Show!

Okay guys and gallies, starting Tuesday, January 4 I’ll have a weekly radio (all internet based) show on Ayurveda! Yipee!

I will be part of the wonderful You Are What You Love network. You will be able to stream the show directly from by pressing play on the little blue “You Are What You Love” icon (top left column) during show time. Or, you can go directly to {} and listen there.

The show will be one hour on Tuesday evenings at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Each week we’ll cover one simple topic on Ayurveda and then I’ll open up the phone lines so you can call in! Yay! Just like Ayurveda, this show will help to uncover the authentic YOU so please call in with your questions (949) 272-9508.

This will be super fun and I can’t wait to connect with you in person! Also, there will be archives of all the episodes on the radio page where you can download and listen. Yay! All great things ahead!!

Pomegranates: Worth The Putz

Pomegranates are worth the putz! Check it out, I’ll tell you why. Pomegranates are delicious, juicy, poppy, little seeds that have a special affinity for the blood, heart, reproductive system, and are cooling for the digestive tract.

The pomegranate is tridoshic but it is especially cooling for pitta in the digestive tract to help inflamed stomach and intestines. It is useful in ulcers, IBS, hyperacidity (use as an antacid), diarrhea, even hemorrhoids. Okay ready for more?! Not only all that but it strengthens the heart and nourishes rakta dhatu (that’s, blood tissue). A good clue that it works on the blood and the liver (both pitta locations!) is that the color is bright red. It’s also good to reduce hot flashes and keep tempers cool during menopause when the body moves from pitta lifecycle into vata lifecycle.

Basically the pomegranate is astringent so it dries and cools (balancing for pitta and kapha). Vatas be mindful because it can cause constipation. In fact, boiling pomegranate peels for 5 minutes then drinking the water will stop a severe bout of IBS or non-stop diarrhea instantly. If you have oily skin and/or reddish skin with pimples, splash that same “pomegranate peel” water on your face for a facial tonic. Your skin will tighten, become less red and will feel cooler :)

Since they are in season, go pick some up! Eat the seeds, drink some juice and play with the peels! If you are a vata, have a little bit less and do not ever drink “pomegranate peel” water – you will be so sad. However, if you have any pitta-type disorders, pomegranates are a God send. Make friends with them. There is a little putzing to peel them, but check out this Produce Picker Podcast (I don’t know him, but his intro is kinda funny and I liked the instructions) to learn how to get the seeds out easily. If it takes longer than you wish, chill out, sing, enjoy the process. Some things are worth a little extra effort and little pommeys are one of those things! xo

Merry Christmas!

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.

Holiday Mocktails!

Recently a loyal reader of mine had a question about drinking alcohol because she’s menopausal. She noticed she was getting terrible night sweats when she would have beer or a glass of wine. Yes, it was because of the heat in alcohol and her moving from pitta stage (heat escaping) to vata stage of life. I recommended several recipes of non-alcoholic beverages for her so she could still participate in festive toasts without having to have a boring glass of water.

I thought you all might like to have a non-alcoholic creative approach to cocktails as this holiday approaches. Or as I like to call them, “mocktails!” Here’s the thing, we are all going to parties and events where there is a lot food and boozin going on. The bottom line is that you can and should limit how much you take in (we all know this, it’s no big news) to stay balanced.

That said, I like to enjoy a glass or two of wine myself, but I use my trick so that I stay mindful and don’t over do it.

The Best Trick:
Start the evening off with one or two mocktail or sparkling waters before your first glass of wine or cocktail. This way, if you are thirsty you drink something decent and avoid slugging down the boozey drink. And, this way everyone else will be on their 2nd drink, but you’ll just be having your first. You can savor it and enjoy. And! You can feel good about honoring your modern Ayurvedic self without feeling like you’re missing out.

Please note, this won’t work if you choose the wine or cocktail first, following with a mocktail. Why? Because your good decision-making has been altered by the alcohol and you likely ignore your good judgment and carry on with more boozies. If you want to succeed, have the non-alcoholic drinks first. Trust me!

Below is what I wrote to my sweet reader about making her own mocktails at home AND about ordering them when she’s out on the town.

Have any variety of these handy:
Apple cider, cranberry, orange, grapefruit, and/or pomegranate (pricey but perfect for holiday AND it’s red!! So fun!) juice. And have seltzer and/or ginger ale.

To make at home – you’ll have to experiment, but that’s part of the fun!
1. Warm apple cider. Heat in a pot with cinnamon sticks & a few cloves. Strain & enjoy. You can also add honey if needed. Garnish w/one cinnamon stick.
2. Cranberry w/splash of orange juice and top with seltzer. Have with or w/out ice. Garnish with an orange slice or float 3 little crannies in the glass.
3. Pomegranate juice, dash of orange juice. Optional fizz: Top with seltzer
4. Pomegranate or cranberry juice mixed w/ginger ale
5. Grapefruit juice, splash of cran, & selzer. Dip a lemon wedge in sugar for garnish :)
6. You can always have sparkling cider (delish!) or non-alcoholic beer/champagne (never tried it…)
7. MY FAVORITE: Cranberry juice with seltzer and a lime. mm!!

Ginger ale will give fizz and sweetness. Seltzer just adds fizz. Orange juice ads sweetness, pineapple juice is also good for that, very sweet. Pomegranate and cranberries are astringent, soaks up and cools down heat.

If you still want to experiment with alcohol
1. 1/2 glass light pilsner beer and add 1/2 orange juice – I love this combo
2. 1/2 sweet white wine (like a riesling) and 1/2 seltzer – a refreshing “white wine spritzer”

Make the bartender your best friend. At a bar or restaurant, they have most of these juices and can make you whatever you want. Or! Make it fun and challenge them to come up with a non-alcoholic concoction that you love. You’ll get more ideas that way too! Embrace it :)

Remember, more than the alcohol, these events are all about celebration. And no substance can take that part away from you. Put your concoctions in fun glasses (wine, high ball, tumbler, mug, flutes) with cool straws, garnish, or wine charms. Dress is up and don’t be afraid to celebrate!!! That’s what life is all about.

A Cup of My Chai

Look! I made chai spice mixes in a cute mug! After my quest (albeit whiny) for spectacularly spiced chai, I decided to make some myself. In addition, a while back I wrote a post about having a good morning and my friend Hollie said, “That graphic makes me happy. You should put it on a mug. I would buy it.” LOVE that Hollie o’ mine. Great idea! So while I was making chai recipes, I modified the mug and then added ten inspirational goodies on the back. I mean, why not have healthy, happy reminders right in front of our eyes each day?!

After that, I thought it would make a nice gift to put my chai mix in it. And hence, the little chai mug was born! I quite like it. It’s way happy.

If you need a last minute gift for holiday, I still have some left! It comes with 4 chai spice mixes, 16 servings total. You add water and your choice of milk (happy cow or coconut). Here is the link:

And if you don’t care for chai, you can just get the mug and put root beer in it instead:

Happy Shopping!!! xoxo

Extra Holiday Eating

Oh my goodness. Who else is inundated with client/vendor lunches? During my day job, I service lots of clients and now is the time for end of the year reviews, i.e. lunches up the wazoo. It’s a mad scramble to try and fit everyone in during December before holiday ends and that’s a LOT of eating out!

My schedule over the past three weeks has been work parties, work lunches, and dinners out. While I’d much rather bring my own lunch, what can you do!? It’s part of our job.

So no wonder we get lethargic and might notice that our pants are tighter. Yeah yeah, we all know about gaining weight over the holidays and it’s no wonder, what with holiday work parties, parties with friends, get togethers with family, cookie exchanges, white elephant exchange, and work lunches…that adds up to a lot of extra food that we aren’t used to! Not only that, but it’s probably not the most healthy foods either.

So, what to do?
I have some ideas to keep our minds in our food during all the holiday lunches, parties and snackies.

• Practice Mindful Eating.

• Remember the Plate Portions according to who you are. Especially when there are snack foods, the best thing to do is grab a plate. Fill it up so you can see what you are eating. That helps the mind understand how much the body is consuming. The mind is like the body’s guardian.

• If you are talking, don’t eat. That’s a good rule of thumb to keep our mind in our food. You could throw down 3 lacey cookies in 2 minutes while talking to your friend about her new boots. See? You don’t even remember that, do you.

• Say NO to the cookie/candy snackie area. If you can’t resist the cookie/candy area at work, take a different direction to get back to your desk.

• While on a client lunch, keep portions under control. Soups (not creamy) or wraps (not mayonnaisey or fried stuffs) might be a good option. Ask for a little roll with your soup. Eat only 1/2 the wrap and choose healthy sides like pasta salad, fruit, side salad or seasonal veggies.

• Order hot tea with your lunch. It increases agni AND you will have to sip it instead of guzzling a coke and then getting a refill 5 minutes after you sat down (that’s already about 400 calories).

• Make sure you are truly hungry before putting food in your mouth. Clear burps are a good sign!

• FAST. If you eat a lot for lunch, skip dinner. If you are not hungry for breakfast, skip it and have ginger tea. Really. THIS is where true Ayurvedic balance comes in. Give your digestion a chance to catch up cause holiday time is also prime ama time! No bueno. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s hungry.

If you have other ideas for our reader-friends on how to have healthy client lunches, do share! Love you guys! xo

Tip: Bring the light inside

Bummed about the lack of sun light lately? Light some candles in the morning while you are getting ready or during your yoga practice. Enjoy your fireplace or more candles in the evening. If you don’t have a fireplace, buy the Wellness & Harmony: Fireplace Atmosphere DVD. Haha! I used to watch this in my tiny apartment in San Francisco. Mmmm…warm.