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.
I have a cool story to share.
Two weeks ago my dear friend and I were chatting on the phone and she told me that six weeks prior, her 31 year-old sister collapsed from a thyroid condition. The docs said the thyroid had gone wack (paraphrasing) and so they removed it. After that they did a scan of some sort (MRI if I remember correctly) and they found a mass over her sister’s heart. A HUGE mass the size of a piece of toast, they said.
As my friend was telling me the story she started crying. I could hear the desperation in her voice and I felt SO sad for her and her sister. They had been worrying about this for six weeks, thinking that her sis would have to have open heart surgery to remove the mass. My friend said, “Monnie, I just want it to GO AWAY! I want that thing gone!” To which I responded, “Then tell it to go away. You can do that. Just tell it to leave.” I counseled her on the power of healing thoughts and said, “If you want that thing gone then, peacefully yet sternly, tell it it’s not welcome here and that it needs to leave.”
We talked loads more and I gave her some tools (below) on how to visualize healing her sister. At the end of our conversation, she had stopped crying. She sounded grounded and confident. She said she felt empowered and lighter and agreed to try the visualization that night.
Now, I kid you not (she reads this blog, maybe she’ll respond), the very next day I got a text message from her. It said, “Monica…my sister was misdiagnosed!!! She is going to be fine!!! No surgery!!!!” I freaked out!!! OMG, Holy Crud! It works THAT fast?!?! No WAY!!
And I think she did it. I think she wished it away. My friend said that after talked that night, she envisioned a jackhammer, hammering away pieces of the mass. And when she took her dogs out in the morning, she saw doves, which she thought was weird because there aren’t doves where she lives.
My friends, this kind of healing is REAL. We have the capacity to heal ourselves in ANY way we choose. Our minds are large and powerful. If we open our hearts and believe in an all-encompassing universe where all energy is connected, we can heal each other. Sending someone a healing thought is immensely powerful, but the trick is to REALLY feel it. With passion, peace, and confidence. One of my favorite Ayurvedic sayings is, “When faith is there, the mind is powerful enough to make the ‘medicine’ work.”
HERE ARE THE TOOLS:
The first step: see it. Visualize the thing, like REALLY picture it. Is it squishy? Sandy? Fluffy? Rocky? What did it look like? In my personal healing, I had “coffee grounds.”
The second step: thank it. During hard times we learn lessons, which cannot go without gratitude and a spiritual hug. As hard as it is, give thanks because these lessons are how we gain our wisdom.
The third step: tell it to leave. Might go something like, “Hey thing, thanks for the lessons. I get it and I have learned XYZ (then list everything you have learned and be sincere). You taught me a lot and while I am grateful, I don’t need you any more. You are no longer welcome here and you need to leave.”
The fourth step: get rid of it. Clean it out!! Maybe it gets sucked away by a vacuum. Maybe it dissolves. Maybe it melts. All sorts of things can happen and it will differ per person. Just clean it up.
You can do this visualization daily. One important thing to remember, always make sure it is done with peace. Negative emotions like anger or desperation can have opposite effects. So stay peaceful, stern, and confident. No doubts.
Try it out – it can work on anything. If you are anxious, make the anxiety float into the clouds. If you are angry, tame the fire with a slow exhale. I’ve even done this with weird neighbors (I always wish them a better apartment/house/job)…and before you know it, they move! Anything goes! Have fun. It would be fun to TELL US what you do! You don’t have to tell us why or exactly what it is, but I would love to know what you see and how you clean it out.
I just did a little thing: I sent fuzzy pink loving light to all your hearts. I saw a big map with many pink dots. You all lit up like E.T’s finger. Let me know if I made anything cool happened ;) Namasté, sweet friends out there. MMwwaaaah!
Our repetitive thoughts manifest in our bodies, whether good or bad. If we replay traumatic events, angering or stressful situations, our bodies will respond as if we are reliving them over and over. These stress patterns will eventually appear in our physical bodies as disease. Breathe. Move on. Detach. Forgive. Love. Be at peace with this moment, enjoy the now and look forward to the future.
Lately my fiancé and I have been hooked on making our own pizzas with leftover scraps (that sounds bad, but you know what I mean) from the fridge. They are SUPER easy, healthy, and way better than any pizza I’ve had in LA. Sorry LA, your pizzas have yet to impress me. I’ll be kind and blame the water! We use any veggies we’ve got laying around and any cheese we have hanging out in the fridge. Most of the time we wing it with what we have in the house and it always turns out amazing.
Bonuses about making your own pizza:
A!) Use any veggies from the farmers market! If you have left over veggies that you need to use, slap them on the pizza. Healthy and balancing! When we buy from farmers markets, we ensure that we’re getting the freshest seasonal produce and our bodies LOVE it.
B!) Use the bbq so you don’t heat up your home. That’s what we do and the pizza has a nice “brick oven” flavor to it…only it’s not. It’s bbq. So maybe I could just say it has a nice “bbq” flavor…
C!) It takes LESS time to whip up your own than it does to call the pizza dude. It tastes better, it’s healthier and it’s cheaper!
D!) Divvy up the pizza as necessary so everyone has their favorite ingredients on their portion.
E!) Never underestimate the joy of yummy leftovers.
Lookey. Here are some pics of one I made recently. One side has red sauce, spinach, red peppers and a little shredded mozzarella. The other side has pesto as the sauce, fresh mozzarella blobs, and grape tomatoes.
Here’s how to make it. Keep in mind, I am the laziest “cook” in the world. Lazy. Pants.
1. Get some pizza dough from the grocery store (Trader Joe’s has whole wheat and herb doughs in addition to plain!). You will probably need to let it sit for 20 minutes before smooshing it flat. You can take a walk or do yoga while it sits :D
2. Smoosh the dough flat onto a floured cookie sheet or round pizza pan.
3. Add sauces (homemade pesto, olive oil, ghee, or red sauce), a little cheese (a little goes a long way, keep it healthy and don’t “over cheese”), and veggies galore!
4. Stick in the oven 10-12 min. DONE!
1. Smoosh dough on a well floured cookie sheet (to shape it) and flip the pan so that the dough lands flour-side down onto the grill. It will lose it’s shape, you may need to restretch a little. It cooks quickly, so wait like 1 minute and check the bottom. When the bottom looks toasted, remove and bring inside (the top will be a little raw).
2. ****Most important part**** Flip it over so that the grilled side is facing up and the undercooked side is on the bottom. Add your sauces and toppings.
3. Place back on the grill so that the bottom can cook. Wait til cheese bubbles in the middle and DONE!
You can also add pepper flakes, garlic flakes or make a garlic oil with olive oil and garlic in a pan. The sky is the limit. My personal favorite is: Carmelized onion, dates, and a little bleu cheese on an olive oil crust. HEAVEN!!
Have fun and use what you have. That’s what life is all about afterall. You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to make something great. Often what you already have is greater than anything else you can find out there :) xoxo!
Hey Gardeners! 10 Homemade Organic Pesticides! Neem (an Ayurvedic herb which soothes skin problems and high pitta problems) tops the list. Personally I’m a fan of chili powder. Keeps cats from poopin in your garden too…just sayin.
HOHkay, I think this challenge will make a huge impact for you. I
For 1 week, do not eat while standing, walking, or sitting at your desk
My friends, I’ll tell you why it’s important to put your mind in your food.
Numero Uno! We will actually pay attention to taste. Digestion starts in our mouth with saliva and teeth. When we taste, it stokes our agni and preps us to digest food. Healthy agni is key to heath!
Numero Dos! We will be able to feel when we are full and therefore will less likely overeat (overeating is a huge factor in causing disease). When we calm down the other senses, our mind stays with our food
Numero Tres! You deserve time to eat for crying out loud! Sheez. Who said that we have to work through lunch? Last I checked (and I am a recruiter by day), the law says that you must take a 30-60 minute lunch break for every 8 hours worked. Take that break because it’s yours and you deserve it.
And if you want a piece of candy, take it from the dish, walk with it, sit down in a chair (if you are at your desk, face away from the computer), unwrap it and TASTE the darn thing. You might love it and be satisfied with just one. Or, you might decide that Hershey’s kisses taste like wax and they aren’t worth it ;) Whatever the outcome, at least you are fully aware of what you’ve eaten. And THAT is mindful munching :) xo. Tell me your results!!!
Happy Independence Day Weekend!! I am back in Milwaukee (my hometown) this weekend to celebrate in 4th of July festivities with family and friends. The journey started out a bit rushed and I didn’t get to eat breakfast on the first leg of the trip. During our stop over in a pretty major city, I was excited to find a little deli sandwich and maybe a piece of fruit cause I was staaaaarving.
What I found was Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald’s, Panda Express, and Ben n’ Jerrys. I got instantly sad. I looked around and the lines were pretty long at each of these places. I got sadder. I felt bamboozled, like the fast food places were laughing at me (insert scary clown face) saying, “Mwwahahaa MonicaB, you think you make it easier for people to choose wisely for themselves in life. Well now you’re out of California and even YOU have no choice. mwwaahahaaa…” I felt awful and duped! Duped. Not an apple, banana, bagel, wrapped sandwich, yogurt, nothing!!
I got rockin angry. And thought, ” OMG we really are at the mercy of corporate America and what they make available for us to eat!”
Or are we?
I was so starving but refused to get that food. I walked a little further and found a Schlotsky’s Deli. I got a veggie and cheese sammy on warm wheat bread. That works! “‘Mmwwaahahaa’ back at cha clown face in my head, nothing stops MonicaB from taking care of herself!”
My friends we have a choice. You and I choose every day what goes in our bodies. Use your buddhi (booDEE), your wisdom to make right choices. You can DO it! Nobody else will do it for you, nor can you rely on outside sources to make decisions about your heath. It might seem like, “Duh, if these places are in business they can’t be that bad for you.” But our nation is getting sicker and sicker. OUR nation. WE. US! U.S.!!! And we know it.
Remember that YOU are independent. YOU make your choices. YOU have the power in your entire being to take care of yourself! Start choosing the right foods, not just the “easy” foods. If you get confused, a basic rule of thumb is eat as close to nature as you can. If you know where a food came from, you’re in pretty good shape. If you don’t know where the food came from, how it was made, or the full ingredients, make a different choice.
Sorry for the little rant, but I love you and I want you to take CARE of yourself!! I will change this nation, even if it takes til I’m 90! I swear I will because we deserve better!!! (sigh) Ok, huggies. Nightey-night.
HeyMonicaB.com turns two today! How fun. Any guesses on what the first post was about (no cheating by going to the archives)?
Come on guess!!
OK I’ll tell you.
It was GHEE!
haha! I think there are even non-working links on that page. What a rookie. All I wanted to do two years ago is tell people how fabulous ghee was. And look! Things have expanded and hopefully you are learning lots while being mildly entertained.
SO! That brings me to a question. What do YOU want out of the next two years (and beyond…!) from heymonicab.com? Advice column where you can ask questions? Product advice? Seasonal health guides? Tell me! I have some things in the works all ready but I want to hear from you. Afterall, Ayurveda is ALL ABOUT YOU anyway, so bring on your wishes! Let’s incorporate them. Let’s make this thang even better.
THANK YOU for your support and great questions. This is just the beginning, my sweet friends. I hope you continue to enjoy and share Ayurveda with your friends and family. First we heal ourselves, then we heal our loved ones, and then we can heal the masses…that’s MY goal anyway ;)
To start it out with a bang, I’ve created some summer pitta artwork on little cafe press store: www.cafepress.com/heymonicab
There are two designs to choose from and a bunch of products (I think they’re kinda fun). I will create more artwork for other doshas as the seasons change. I hope you likey!! Enjoy my friends and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to TWO! *clink* (that was a cup of chai btw). Namasté sweet ones.
I would love to know who’s had cereal for dinner in the past week. Anyone? Confession: Me me, I had cereal tonight!
Yesterday began summer solstice which means 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 also can’t go too wrong at Trader Joe’s.
A few years back I dabbled in improv. I took classes, was in a troupe and even taught improv for a corporate sales meeting in Vegas (gawd that was fun). One of the foundations of improv is, “Yes, and…” So, when one of your fellow improvisers gives you an idea or a thought, you confirm and build on it by starting your next sentence with, “Yes, and…” For example, “Hey, that’s a nice hat.” “Yes, and my mom made one for you too.” See? From there the story can unfold. Whereas if the person said, “Hey, that’s a nice hat.” And then, “I’m not wearing a hat.” DOH! The scene is ruined and everyone feels uncomfortable.
Improv is all about going with the flow. If you flow against it, you’ll ruin the story (and make the audience uncomfortable). Now, what about applying that principal to life? We get thrown things ALL the time that we don’t plan for or even like all that much. We usually end up complaining how life is so unfair and we get the short end of the stick…blahdeeblah. But what if we took those things that aren’t quite so great, turned them positive and then ADDED something better to them!? Holy moly that is rockstar!!
Lets practice saying, “YES!” “Yes, and…” could be anything really.
• Your manager wants you to try a new task at work, “Yes and if it works I can teach others.”
• Someone tells you they are sorry and asks if you’ll accept their apology – how powerful is THAT one? “Yes and, I’m sorry too…” LOVE it.
• Or how about, “Babe, I’d like it if we could keep the house cleaner.” “Yes, me too, I’ll do a better job of helping with dishes.”
• “Can you please help me move the table?” “Yes and when we’re done would you mind helping me grab the chairs.” “Sure!” Seeeee…harmony!
When you say yes, you give others the chance to do the same. If you shut them down by saying no or negating their ideas, the relationship will have some strain. It might feel like you are Yes-Anding a lot in the beginning, but I also think you might be surprised at how well received it is. As you become more positive, watch the world around you change for the better. I promise. xoxo
*disclaimer! There are boundaries. If you are a “yes” person and bust up your own life for the needs of others, that is not what I’m talking about here. In Ayurveda (and on airplanes!) you always have to make sure that YOU are taken care of first, before you take care of others. Cool? Understood? Right. Love yourself first and love for others will follow with ease. xoxo (again)
Now, it’s been two months since I started and my skin has almost completely cleared up (I also went for a facial from my new favorite lady, Narine!). I got a reduction in medication two weeks ago from my doctor and I have to wait another 4 weeks to get my TSH levels checked. If the levels are normal, we’re in business!! That will mean that my thyroid has started working on it’s own again.
The good news is I got my period normally (tmi? whatever.) which NEVER happened when I was hypothyroid…so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.
In addition, a friend of mine found this cool site that has free yoga, pranayama and meditation classes. This yoga class is specifically for the endocrine system! I haven’t tried it just yet, but I will soon enough. An fyi, in case it seems weird, the “hummmm” sound she makes in the beginning is the vibrational sound of the 5th chakra (throat).
Anywho. Come on little thyroid…you can do it…go go go!! :)
Ah, wrinkles. We try so hard to avoid them, don’t we. In Ayurveda we can read the entire body on the face! Depending on where the wrinkles are, we can see where imbalances lie in the body. A face that has lived a life of laughter, love, and nourishment is quite different from a face that is stressed, worries, and angry. Right? You’ve seen them – think of faces. Some are bright, some are dull. Some you want to stare at and some scare the bejeezes out of you. Emotions manifest in our body and our face reflects our body. Therefore it is true that our faces reflect our emotions.
Vata skin will be the first to wrinkle because their skin is dry and thin. Think about the earth when it’s dry…it cracks. Same with our skin. Vatas have are like an emotional rollercoaster and they tend to race ahead and worry a LOT. They will get the lines across their forehead first and next in line would be crows feet.
Pitta skin will not wrinkle as fast because they have oilier skin. They will likely have crows feet first because they are constantly thinking and squinting. Pitta rules the eyes and if the eyes get “burnt out” (from pitta fire) this person will need glasses or contacts. So, they squint, analyze, criticize and disect what’s in front of them. Pittas are the folks who see sun damage first.
Kapha skin has sort of everlasting youth and doesn’t wrinkle very easily. Their skin is thick, oily, and resistant to most crud in the atmosphere. Kaphas are very mentally sound and they don’t get stressed or shaken by negative emotions as often as vata and pitta. Because their mind stays steady, so does their body, and therefore so does their skin. Lucky are the kaphas!
I have some light crows feet although I think they were worse like two years ago. I don’t know if they are from squinting at a computer screen or from laughing a lot. Probably both. I also have light horizontal lines on my forehead from worry (I like to worry. It’s annoying). Other signals are the two vertical lines between the eyebrows, which reflect deep seated anger or frustration. For more information on goodies like this, Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur has all you could ever want to know about skin care. I am completely in love with that book.
Here are some tips to help avoid wrinkles, hooray!
• Yoga inversions. Plough pose, shoulder stand, handstand, headstand, feet up the wall. All great for blood circulation and reducing wrinkles. It works! I’ve seen it on my own face!
• Eat well. What you eat turns into your physical body. Garbage in, garbage out.
• Put good stuff on your skin. Your skin eats too so spend some money on it. I love these products from Simply Divine Botanicals – my skincare line of choice!
• Almond oil for crows feet. I do this nightly when it’s really dry outside. Apply a little bit with your ring finger and stroke from the outside of the eye and trace right along the cheek bone. Do these strokes (one direction only) for about 30 seconds and then hit the sack.
• Almond oil over the eyebrows. Start from the inner eyebrows, trace the brow bone (press firm & go slow) to the corner. Releases tension!
• Give yourself a natural face-lift. It’s a really simple technique but works wonders to liven skin!
• Breathe. For goodness sakes, please breathe away that tension.
• Stop smoking and drinking too much booze. Enuf said.
• Call me and let me practice facial massage on you :D
Let us also remember that while we can do everything in our power to avoid it, we will eventually get wrinkles. It’s just gonna happen at some point, but it’s kind of a beautiful think because in a way, it’s a map of your life. Make sure to fill it with laughter, enjoyment, serenity, good rest, healthy breath, a career you love, good food, and most of all GREAT LOVE because everyone will see it on your face. mmwwaaaah! xo
An all too common theme lately: emails & words that hurt. If you have been a recent recipient, please remember their dagger may have hit you, but it’s not about you. It’s about them. Send silent blessings and compassion. Feel free to cry your eyes out to let it go. But don’t hold onto it – it’s not yours to hold. Namaste sweet friends.
Woohoo! An Ayurvedic posting on coffee! Yesssss. Who knew such a happy thing existed?! When advising my clients, I don’t usually make them rid their coffee. Why? Because depending on the person’s dosha, coffee might not be that terrible of a thing for them.
Authentic Ayurveda says that we should not have coffee, not because of the coffee but because of the caffeine. Caffeine constricts flow, it makes you pee (diuretic to be fancy), it can make you manic/anxious, and it’s addicting. Yes, we all know that. And there is a Starbucks on every corner! THIS is why I write a little post about coffee. I know you. I know you’re going to have your coffee regardless of what myself or Ayurveda say. So! I’ll work with ya a little bit and give you the best coffee -making combinations for each dosha, to keep you balanced and happy.
Coffee’s Ayurvedic Qualities
Coffee has a bitter (cold, dry, & light qualities) taste, which is imbalancing for vata, but balancing for pitta and kapha. The bitter taste is a blood purifier (blood ruled by pitta), detoxifies the body, liver tonic (liver ruled by pitta), depletes tissues (kaphas tend to have excess tissues), especially reproductive tissues. In simple terms, bitter increases vata because it will increase the cold, dry & light qualities. Vatas need to stay warm, unctuous, and heavy, so too much coffee will be their worst enemy. The manic, scattered, jittery folks that drink coffee are most likely high vata. On the flip side coffee will cool pitta, while it dries and uplifts kapha! See the beauty of how this works?
Customize Your Cup O’ Joe!
VATA COFFEE: Vatas need lots of warm milk in your coffee to balance the bitter qualities. Start with at least 1/2 mug of warm milk and add brown sugar, stir, then add the coffee. If the coffee is strong, add warm water (use the office water cooler/heater!) to your milk and then a splash of coffee. Coffee should amount to no more than 1/2 mug. This way you get a taste of the coffee, but overall this is a nourishing, calming drink for vata without sending anxieties through the roof. As a MEGA-BONUS, vatas can add ghee to their coffee. Their coffee should always be hot.
PITTA COFFEE: Pittas can also make vata coffee because pittas will benefit from the sweet taste from milk and sugar. Pittas can handle a slightly darker coffee with a little less milk. They won’t get as anxious as vata with stronger coffee because pittas are more sturdy. Pittas are sort of in the middle. The people who are angry or crabby before their morning coffee are likely pitta people, because they need the bitter taste in coffee to “cool” them down. Pittas can also have an iced coffee during summer. Also…as a MEGA-BONUS, pittas can add ghee to their coffee too!
KAPHA COFFEE (how fun is that to say): Kaphas will actually feel uplifted from drinking coffee, rather than manic like vata. Kaphas need a little kick in the pants because they don’t like to move. They can enjoy a stronger coffee, but it should be pretty dark with less milk. Milk and sugar are NOT friends for kapha. The heaviness and sweet taste will have them craving sweets all day long. If kaphas need a sweetner, they can use honey (drying, scraping, heating)! Mind you, kaphas would love to tip the sugar shaker and hold for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ seconds until their drink tastes like candy. But if kaphas use the bitter taste in coffee to their advantage, they can get the energy they need without the sugar crash.
Pinch of cardamom – reduces the effects of caffeine, warming, digestive. Good for vata & kapha
Cinnamon – super spice! Tri-doshic (heating, no for pitta in summer)
Brown Sugar – saweeeeet. Good for vata & pitta
Honey – sweet, but qualities are drying, heating, and scraping. Good for kapha.
Nutmeg – aphrodisiac, heating. Good for vata & kapha
Hey! For those of you practicing or those who have been wanting to try yoga, I found this great list of 40 ways yoga heals! I got it from a super yummy book, Yoga As Medicine by Timothy McCall, MD.
Yoga and Ayurveda are ancient sisters and they work hand in hand. To put it simply, yoga is the practice that gets our minds ready for meditation. You might say, “But hey, yoga is physical, not really mental.” Well, in a nutshell (a very tiny nutshell) the physical poses in yoga work to calm the mind, so the spirit can open.
And, Ayurveda is the lifestyle that compliments yoga practice. Vice versa one could say that yoga practice completes an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Ideally in life, you would do both of them together because they sort of rely on each other. Ayurveda will encompass diet, lifestyle management, cleansing (panchakarma) therapies, herbal recommendations, pranayama (breathing techniques), and massage therapies. Yoga is the asanas (poses) that touch on the subtle channels of the body, to promote flow and help the mind calm down. Hopefully this wee nugget of info can help you understand the difference between these two lovely sisters.
For tired or irritated eyes, soak cosmetic pads in rose water and rest on closed eye lids. Cucumber slices also work. Both will reduce redness, soothe the eyes, and add sparkle!
Every month I get a really wonderful fruit box in the mail, but this month I got papayas that were past their ripened stage and a little funky lookin’. I called the company and because they are awesome, they are sending me new fruit. But it left me thinking, “What should I do with these papayas?” My first instinct with over ripe fruit is to put it on my face. Hah! I love taking ingredients from the fridge or over ripe fruit and mixing some sort of facial goo.
So, I ran and grabbed a newly favorite natural skin care book, Return To Beauty written by Narine Nikogosian. AND, I’m super excited because I’m going to get a facial from her this week for the first time! *squeal!*
Anywho, her book has over 200 recipes ALL with foods, oils, fruits and things you can eat. Our skin is our largest organ and anything you put on it, gets absorbed into the body. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
The handy part about the book is that you can look up the fruit in the back and it takes you to the recipes in the book. The one I used for papaya is a moisturizer and it’s SO pretty! It looks like orange sherbet and it made my skin super smooth.
I HIGHLY recommend getting your hands on the book! Now I just need a tiny refrigerator for my bathroom so I can keep my sour cream facial cleaner and papaya-nut-yogurt moisturizer in there without having to run up and down the stairs to the kitchen ;) xo
Every day new cells are created. Every day we have the option to renew our bodies and minds. Bad habits & wrong choices become our cells & our physical bodies. One new choice, one deep breath, one kind gesture, one big hug will begin to change our cells, slowly creating a whole new you. You are WAY more powerful than you give yourself credit for. Believe in yourself, MAKE it happen!!
“You should drink 8 glasses of water a day”
“Drink a glass of water before your meal for weight loss because you won’t eat as much”
“Divide your body weight by half, change that to ounces, and that’s how much water you should drink a day”
Any of these sound familiar? These are just three examples of information we are given about drinking water. AND, I’m going to say, don’t listen to them. Listen to YOU. We are all different bodied, minded, beautiful people and we all have different needs. Ayurveda has a totally different take on drinking water and as always, it has to do with who YOU are. It also has to do with nature’s clock and how strong one’s agni (digestive fire) is.
Think about it. A kapha person is made of water & earth. Kaphas don’t like to move, so they rarely sweat (thus keeping water inside). Kapha people also have low digestive fire and tend toward weight gain. And what does water do to fire? Yep, puts it out. SO! If a kapha person followed the second statement above in a quest to reduce their weight and drank a glass of water before each meal, their agni is instantly squelched and so is their ability to digests the meal properly. They just put out their metabolic fire. And they probably created ama. SEE how these blanket statement water rules can go wrong!?
Another example, pitta people are hotter (sweat, metabolism, stress) than a vata or kapha. Therefore, pittas are more thirsty because their fire is constantly burning and they need water to cool down and replenish. For them, more water helps them balance. SO! I’ll help set the record straight and I’m sorry if I confuse you. Please read with an open heart and an open mind. I want you to be healthy and I’m here to make life easy and happy!! xoxo.
RULES FOR DRINKING WATER
• No ice! Ice shocks the system, hampers digestion, and closes channels. Pittas can have cool water, but no ice.
• Sip small amount of warm water or tea with a meal. Have water 1 hour after the meal. Sipping a little warm water will help the food soften and prepare for digestion. But, if you drink cold water before, during or after a meal, your digestive fire will get put out. It’s the fastest way to weight gain, lethargy, indigestion, and ama (toxins). In Ayurveda, drinking water right after a meal is considered a poison.
• Drink when you are thirsty. Not because you are trying to match a magic number or because you think you have to keep your water bottle full. If you are a sweaty athlete, you will require more. If you work behind a desk (ahem!) you won’t need as much because you are not exerting heat or water.
• Have a glass of room temp water first thing in the morning. Awesome to flush the system from it’s night time processing. Good for the bowels, liver, kidneys.
• Know your agni. If you have strong metabolism, you will burn up water in your body faster, which will require more water. If your digestion is sluggish and you are prone to weight gain (kapha) or bloating (vata), sip warm water and don’t guzzle agua with your meals.
• Vatas need the most water (dry dry dry), pittas need moderate water and will likely slug water all day, kaphas need less water.