Saturday, February 10, 2018

Oil Pulling for a fresher mouth

Oil pulling is the practice of using sesame or coconut oil as a mouthwash, swishing it around in your mouth for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. This is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual that in recent years has become more popular as people are becoming aware of its many advantages.
Oil pulling detoxifies by pulling toxins from the mouth. It is excellent for the teeth and gums and also has breath-freshening effects. When done on a regular basis, oil pulling has a rejuvenating effect which helps to enhance the senses. Ayurveda gives a lot of importance to the tongue, as it is believed to be intimately connected to various body organs. Purifying the tongue with oil therapy is believed to be beneficial for the whole body. Why not try it?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Ojas increasing Bliss Balls

These mildly sweet bliss balls are nourishing and pretty easy to make. A perfect snack for when you are craving something sweet or need a quick pick-me-up. They are super healthy and everyone including your children will enjoy them!

  • Very Sattvic, increases ojas, rejuvenating, tonifying, nourishing, and a great source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, calcium and magnesium.
  • Good for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas. (You should enjoy 1-2balls/day, though Kaphas should eat fewer- or make the balls smaller)
  • Good for the nervous system, memory, bones and joints.

1 cup dry coconut flakes 
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 cup dates/cranberries (If you don’t like to use dates or cranberries then use Maple syrup/ honey.)
1/4 cacao nibs
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp triphala 
Dry roast all seeds and nuts, including coconut.
Roast all ingredients separately since they need different heat, roast to a golden brown.  Almonds need the most heat, and blanching and removing skins prior to roasting is best if you’re up for the task. You might blanch, skin, and then pop these in the oven at 350.  Flax, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds will toast more quickly, and need more attention.  Use a clean pan and lid with no oil and shift the pan while cooking- pretend they’re popcorn, when most have popped, you’re done.)  Do the coconut flakes last.  They will toast REALLY quickly-  don’t look away!

Let all the seeds, and nuts cool and put them into the food processor.  Keep the coconut flakes out. Grind into a course powder. Add cardamom, cinnamon, triphala, toasted coconut and 1 cup of dried fruit and cacao nibs. Pulse all ingredients until the crumbly mix stays together. Roll into small balls with your hands. Roll in shredded coconut and keep in a glass container. Shelf life of 15-20 days. No need to refrigerate. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ojas Rasayana, an insomnia buster.

This is one of my basic insomnia staples ~ great for calming Vata, or any spacey, scattered, restless, anxious, busy, can’t settle down sort of energy.

If taken an hour before bed, it can bring on a night of sweet dreams and peaceful slumber.

"Ojas" is the Ayurvedic word for deep nourishment and vitality, our underlying reserves of energy. Ojas gives patience, contentment, longevity,  stamina, endurance, strength and stability. In the autumn, when Vata dominates, ojas is available to us through seasonal foods like root vegetables, grains, ghee, nuts and seeds, dates raisins and wholesome autumn fruits.

Rasayana is a principal word used in many contexts, including an entire branch of Ayurveda. Generally it means rejuvenate, and more commonly, "anti-aging" or "stress-reducing". 

10 almonds, soaked 2-3 hours then peeled
1 cup whole milk(dairy, almond or flaxseed)
2 tsp. ghee
4-5 dates, preferably medjool(pits removed)
8 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. each of cardamom, cinnamon
A pinch of cumin, turmeric and nutmeg

Liquify all ingredients in a blender until it becomes a smooth texture. Pour into a pot and bring to a very gentle boil. Stir and serve

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to ease cold symptoms the Ayurvedic way

With no official cure for the common cold, you might feel powerless against this bothersome imbalance. And while Western medicine doesn’t have much to offer for the common cold, Ayurveda does. It is possible to prevent colds living an Ayurvedic lifestyle by taking care of yourself throughout the year, and even fight colds with holistic remedies.

Why do people get sick?

Ayurveda has a concept of immunity known as ojas. This is your vital essence. It is ojas that gives you your endurance, vitality, glow, and immunity. When ojas is drained due to poor diet, irregular sleeping, or stress, your resistance to disease is diminished.
This helps explain why one person in a family can have a cold while others stay healthy. Two people with different quality ojas who are exposed to the same cold germs will be affected differently. The person with low quality or weak ojas will get sick, while the person with strong ojas is less likely to become ill.
If your ojas is compromised and you happen to fall prey to a cold, you can assist your body by maintaining balance of your doshas. This includes strengthening your digestive system and supporting the digestion of ama or toxins. The better you take care of your body while you’re sick, the less severe the cold will be and the faster you will begin to heal.

This immune boosting tea fights off viruses, digests toxins, and opens the respiratory channels. Here is how you can make your own! 
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 tulsi(holy basil) tea bag
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mug. 
  2. Allow the ingredients to simmer in 2 cups of water for five minutes. 
  3. Drink three times daily.

Rest, rest, rest

During a cold, the body needs rest more than it does activity. So, skip yoga your workouts, and other strenous physical activity. If possible, take the day off work at the onset of a cold. Allow your body focus on getting better. While this may seem ridiculous,  it is possible to stop a cold dead in its tracks.

Keep Warm

Do you think that it is impossible to catch a cold from being cold? Sleeping in an overly air-conditioned room or going without a coat for too long in the winter is enough to make you sick. Wearing an undershirt that covers your chest (a main site of kapha, which is out of balance during a cold) and layer with a warm sweater. Drying your hair after a shower or bath and always cover your head and body when going outside.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cauliflower and Swiss Chard Curry

I tried this the other day and it was so good I wanted to share. This recipe is balancing for both Pitta and Kapha and slightly increasing for Vata.

1 tbsp ghee or sesame oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
4 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne, to taste
   - to reduce Pitta: omit
1 tsp Himalayan salt, to taste
1/2 ground black pepper
4 cups chopped Swiss chard
   - to reduce Pitta use 2 cups
1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large pot on medium-high, heat oil. Toast cumin seeds for 30 sec. Then add cauliflower, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with oil and spices. Add 1 tbsp of water. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 3-4 minutes. Add chard and cook for another 3-4 minutes, covered, so vegetables can steam. When cauliflower is tender, remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and serve over fresh cooked basmati rice. 
Makes 4-6 servings

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Feeling Bloated? Try this Ayurvedic tea

Do you often feel bloated after eating or find yourself retaining some extra fluid? Here is a simple tea you can drink that will help. This tea is a very popular Ayurvedic tea that you can sip on all day. Because of its diuretic nature, don't consume in the evening and if you are a predominantly Vata type make sure you pay attention to your body for signs of dryness.
What makes this tea so wonderful?
Fennel — is said to be excellent at promoting digestive health, and can be used to    effectively treat problems with the stomach and intestines. It is also said to improve the health of your elimination system. It can lower blood pressure, boost libido, and even improve respiration. (It may also curb appetite). 
Cumin — is reported to be quite effective at reducing blood glucose, making it ideal for diabetics. It can also help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, lower cortisol, protect the liver, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis. “It’s a potent spice that can boost metabolism.” 
Coriander — may help with swelling in the body. The detoxifying properties of coriander can clear up skin problems, reduce liver toxins, and flush out blood impurities. It is also thought to help fight high cholesterol, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, heal ulcers, prevent allergies, fight anemia, and more! 
 Ayurvedic Tea Instructions
You’ll need these ingredients :
  • 1t cumin seeds
  • 1t coriander seeds
  • 1t fennel seeds
  • 3-4 slices of fresh ginger
Follow these instructions :
Simply boil 1 quart of water, add the spices, bring to a boil, then let simmer for a few minutes. Strain the liquid. Use a thermos type bottle for the liquid and sip throughout the day.

How's Your Agni?

The Digestive System and why it is the key to good health:

Agni or the ‘digestive fire’ is central to Ayurveda. This digestive fire is seated within the lower stomach and small intestine. It is related to Pitta dosha, which is the energy of heat and transformation. Maintaining a healthy agni is the corner stone of Ayurvedic preventative health. When agni is balanced, we feel good. When it is not, we feel poorly.

Ayurveda teaches that there are three types of improper digestion which is the result of eating the wrong types of foods, eating in excess, eating too late or at irregualr times, eating a lot of processed foods, drinking too much liquid with meals and not getting enough exercise.

1. Variable digestion is erratic, sometimes quick and sometimes slow. It is typical of aggravated Vata. Symptoms can include: irregular appetite, bloating, constipation and gas. It can be aggravated by not having a good eating and sleeping routine. Following a routine and adding herbs such as fresh ginger, cumin, and fennel can aid in helping this problem.

2. Rapid digestion, or too much heat and liquid in the digestive system, is a sign of aggravated Pitta. Food is digested too quickly which can cause excess thirst and hunger, diarrhea, low blood sugar levels, and acid reflux or heartburn. Eating smaller, more regular meals and avoiding hot spices such as chilies, fried foods, coffee and alcohol can offer relief to this issue.

3. Sluggish digestion is the main cause of ama being formed and is the root cause of many diseases and is the result of Kapha vitiation. This is an increasing problem due to diets heavy in processed foods, white flour and dairy. Eating smaller meals consisting of mainly fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, and adding herbs such as Ginger and Triphala can help speed up a slow digestion.

Tips for preventing or reducing ama:

- Drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning to start the digestive system.
-Choose seasonal, local food that is fresh and preferably organic.
-Use digestive spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel and ginger to aid digestion.
-Chew food as many times as you can as digestion begins in the mouth.
-Sip small amounts of room temperature water with meals as too much fluid dilutes gastric juices. Avoid iced water which cools the digestive fire.
- Eat at regular times each day with lunch as your biggest meal.

“Wholesome food is one of the causes of growth of living beings and unwholesome food for the growth of diseases.” Charaka Samhita

Avocados, Yes Please

  Avocado has natural properties to reduce vata and pitta dosha and increase kapha. Ayurveda recommends avocado for those who are naturally high in vata and pitta dosha . Vata individuals can have their dosha increased in cold seasons, such as in autumn and winter. When this dosha is aggravated they may experience insomnia, anxiety, and constipation. Ayurvedic dishes including avocado provides the needed nutrients to balance Vata.
  Pitta predominant individuals may have difficulties in late spring and early autumn when they feel overheated and agitated. Consumption of avocado during these seasons helps them maintain the dosha balance.
  Kapha individuals generally are more hearty and have lethargic feelings when out of balance. When kapha is aggravated individuals may experience swelling in the body or mucous in the throat or chest. They are suggested to avoid avocado.
  Avocado oil is good for the skin. It is good for Vata-type skin that is more prone to dryness and wrinkles. Weather conditions such as cold and excess heat affect the skin. Todays modern living conditions with air conditioning or lack of nutrition may also cause this. Ayurveda uses avocado to boost moisture and nourish the body inside and out.

Oil Pulling for a fresher mouth

Oil pulling is the practice of using sesame or coconut oil as a mouthwash, swishing it around in your mouth for anywhere from ...