As we reopen to the outside world, lets remember to sleep.
This month I have been focusing on building strong immunity, sleep is the pillar of good health and strong immunity. Its at night, from 10pm-2am, that our organs get a chance to repair, metabolize waste and rejuvenate. However with stimulating technology and to-do lists on our minds it can be easy to get a second wind at 10pm, and then later finding it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake feeling rejuvenated. Nothing depletes us more than being in a cycle of turning the midnight oil.
To honor your immunity, I strongly recommend creating nighttime rituals that support your transitions from activity to rest. Guided Meditations or relaxing music are a great way to deregulate the nervous system to a more relaxed place. Breathing practices like Nadi Shodhana can be soothing for a busy mind. Another thing you can do is try to use binaural beats to get your brain waves to a certain state.
If your having trouble falling asleep, wear blue blocker glasses in the evening and try turning all screens off by 9pm, dim your lights, sip Golden Milk or Cardamom & Saffron Sleep Tonic before bed. Use tranquil mind essential oils. Transition with an evening meditation and quiet music. Here is a cello, base and singing bowl meditation my husband and I made with a friend of ours.
If your having trouble staying asleep, try taking a hot bath and massage warm oil onto your feet before bed. Grounding heart centered prayers and intentions before or upon awakening at night help.
If your having trouble waking up, a grounding gratitude practice, where you are thankful to Mother Earth for supporting you and creating the beauty all around you before you ever get out of bed. Try waking before the sun and start the morning with mindful movement, Sun Salutations and breathing practices to wake up your mind and body.
Finally, its good to keep in mind to limit your EMF exposure, especially at night. To do this you can simply turn off your in home WiFi, don’t sleep near your phone, if you do, put a piece of shungite stone between you and the phone. You may also want to consider painting your room with EMF blocking paint or purchasing a Lumerian Plug or a Tachyon Disk.
Cardamom and Saffron Sleep Tonic
This Ayurvedic tonic recipe is both a remedy for better sleep and building overall vitality. The combination of soaked almonds, ghee, sweet dates and raw honey are considered to be rasayanas ~~ foods that nourish and build vitality.
This recipe uses ashwagandha, a unique adaptogenic herb that enables the body to reserve and sustain vital energy throughout the day while aiding restful sleep at night. It is considered one of the best herbs for supporting the nervous system, which can often cause difficulties staying asleep at night. Saffron is also a potent medicinal spice with many benefits from supporting the reproductive organs to relaxing the nerves. Make this drink after dinner to satisfy a sweet tooth and to help you wind down after a long day and prepare for a restful night sleep.
2 cups fresh almond milk (or organic milk of choice)
1-2 pitted dates
1 TBSP Ghee
1 TBSP raw honey
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2-3 threads saffron or pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp ashwagandha powder
Its been a full summer and as many of you know I am deepening my practice of Ayurveda. Drinking liquids that nourish me instead of deplete me has been key in keeping me hydrated and helping to purify, stimulate digestion, help elimination, reduce gas and bloating, provide antioxidant protection, clear wastes and toxins from the body and helping me to feel nourished. I have been infusing herbs into water and adding the water to my drinking water throughout the day.
The overall purpose of this water is to keep it simple, nourish the liver and kidneys to help them function and clear out excess ama (waste material/toxins). This recipe must be made fresh each day. Use only whole seeds or tea-cut size pieces of ingredients. Use only organic, food grade flowers and petals, without stems or leaves.
Basic Wise Water Recipe:
- 1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 quart of blessed water
- steep for 15 minutes
- add to water or drink straight up throughout the day either hot or warm to room temperature.
Why are these spices so important? They deliver hormone balancing effects at the same time that it gently clears out cellular wastes that may otherwise block the action of the hormone on the tiffs.
Coriander Seeds have a cooling effect and enhances urine flow and the removal of toxins from the blood, liver and kidneys. Overall it balances all three doshas (the three energies that define every person’s makeup) but especially pitta (fire and a little bit of water).
Cumin Seeds are cooling overall but this miraculous spice is a key digestive aid in many recipes and is especially helpful in moving gas and clearing out bloating. Cumin has specific detoxifying effect on the whole body. It helps to reduce inflammation. It also purifies both the blood and the uterus and enhances the reproductive essence.
Fennel Seeds are a premier digestive aid and are especially helpful in moving gas downward and out of the intestines. It helps reduce spasms. Balancing for both vata (air & ether) and pitta. It is also mildly phytoestrogens and balancing for the reproductive system of women.
You can also add other nourishing herbs and spices! I have been adding brahmi, it is known to rejuvenate the mind, enhance memory, improve concentration, and to directly influence the quality of consciousness. Alma is used to support normal ranges of blood sugar, build blood and support liver function. Cardamom aids in digestion and fat metabolism without creating excess heat in the body, and it tastes delicious! Rose petals can benefit your body in a number of ways, not only are they great for the skin but they can also help you relax and even relieve digestive issues.
Making this everyday has given my water a little flavor and the health benefits are numerous! Start making your own today!
This soup is nourishing and detoxifying, and when eaten regularly can help replenish nutrient deficiencies, boost immunity and restore vitality. Its delicious and you can use different greens to vary the nutrients and the taste!
1 Tablespoon Ghee or Olive Oil
2 Cups Blessed water or Tea (Astragalus, Pau d’Arco, Echinacea, Nettle, Chamomile)
1 teaspoon Masala
1 teaspoon Pink Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/8 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 Cup Crumbled Fresh Soft Cheese (dairy or non-dairy) ~or~ you could use 1/2 cup soaked Cashews or 1/2 cup cooked lentils instead
1 Pound Leafy Greens such as Chard, Beet Greens, Collards, Spinach, Arugula, Kale &/or Sprouts.
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley or Cilantro
Garnish with Fresh Lime Juice
In a medium saucepan add oil and spices, simmer and add 2 cups blessed water or tea and cheese. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. While cheese is cooking, prepare your greens: wash, stem and tear them so they blend well ~ this should yield about 8 packed cups or so. Gradually add the greens and parsley, turning them over until they wilt but still remain their vibrant color (about 3-5 minutes). Turn off heat and leave soup uncovered to cool down a bit before transferring to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Reheat to desired warmth.
Garnish with lime and serve hot.
*Adapted from the book What To Eat For How You Feel by Divya Alter
Enjoy! Many Blessings!
Thought of the moment:
Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity to change ourselves. ~Eknath Easwaran
Lately I’ve been utterly obsessed with kitchari. Its amazing! Through all of my food adventures I have found kitchari to be the perfect food dish for creating balance in the body and mind.
In Ayurvedic philosophy, health starts in the digestive system. The function of the whole system is dependent on the proper digestion, assimilation and elimination of our food. If these things aren’t happening properly, we become vulnerable to disease. The metabolic energy of digestion, called agni in sanskrit, literally means fire. This fire must be strong for us to properly digest and assimilate our food and so its strength is a direct indicator of the health of our entire system. And so, beyond just cleansing the body of toxins, called Ama, kitchari will rekindle low agni, paving the way for greater balance in the entire system.
1 Cup of yellow mung dal
1 Cup of basmati rice
6 Cups of blessed water
2 Cups of easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, winter squash, yam, sweet potato, turnips or zucchini), cut into bite sized pieces.
2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil if you prefer
2 Inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
1 stick kombu seaweed (optional)
Soak the split mung dal overnight (or for at least four hours). Strain the soaking water, combine with the rice and rinse the mixture at least twice, or until the water runs clear, and set aside.
In a medium saucepan or soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, and fresh ginger. Stir briefly, until aromatic. Stir the rice and dal mixture into the spices and sauté for a few moments, stirring constantly.
Add the water, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf and kombu. Then, add hard vegetables like turnips, sweet potato, yams, winter squash, carrots or celery. When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Add your softer vegetable half way through about the kitchari’s cooking process, stir in the vegetables and allow the stew to return to a boil. Continue to simmer until the rice, dal, and vegetables are fully cooked. I like to have very little water remaining when finished. The consistency is more like a thick stew than a broth. Make sure your beans, rice and hard vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.
Some great add ons to kitchari are chutney, cilantro, plain yogurt, raisins, mixed greens, (romaine, spinach, chard, kale, sprouts), sesame seeds, shredded carrots & beets.
“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” ~B.K.S. Iyengar
Each ingredient plays a specific role in this dish. Kitchari can stimulate your circulation, invigorate your metabolism, and clear out congestion. The beans are alkaline forming and blood-purifying, they also provide protein and nutrients to nourish the body. Cumin and bay leaf reduce water retention. Coriander promotes liver function and bowel movements, balances blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory and is great for the lungs. The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer. Mustard seeds fight inflammation and cancer. Fennel is great for bone and skin health as well as digestion. Kombu is great for digestion, immune health, supports metabolism, a great source of iron, and is excellent for bone and teeth health. The rice is easily digested, the warming sites kindle the Agni so that we can become digestive superstars!
In conclusion, balanced agni is what gives us vigour and optimal health and well-being. Our bodies are incredible and intelligent, and incorporating kitchari into our diet gives the body a chance to reach homeostasis and beyond. Such a simple dish can initiate drastic improvements in the quality of digestion, assimilation, elimination. It can also shine light about your cravings, energy levels, and overall joy for life!
If you want more info on the next Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse Im leading, click here.
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison
There has been a frenzy on the internet about the solar eclipse. People driving long distances, camping, eclipse parties, the desire to pick up eclipse glasses to watch the event, makes me think of the acronym FOMO or fear of missing out. 😂 It”s been fascinating to watch.
What we perceive and what we understand depends upon what we are.
~Aldous Huxley ☀️
The Sun (Surya) that illuminates our world, its our source of light and cosmic power. It is often a symbol of the universal Father, of rebirth, strength, health, passion, vision and even the light of our soul. The Moon (Chandra) is often a symbol of the universal Mother, immortality, eternity, enlightenment, the dark side of nature or the soul. When the moon shadows the sun, it is occluded from our vision and the Sun’s normal functions are suspended. This is energetically powerful. Historically eclipses bring about sudden, unexpected and often times of undesirable events. When I think about our current political unrest, the rise of terror and hate, natural disasters, threats of war. It seems to be intensifying daily and these types of events are magnified near eclipses.
In Vedic astrology, the Sun represents our soul. Our soul is what travels from lifetime to lifetime. Metaphorically, during the time of the eclipse our soul is hidden from ourselves. I will take the time during powerful eclipse energy to go inward to focus my energy on my spiritual practice, chant a mantra, pray, play the singing bowls, visualize peace from within and then out. I will journal and pay special attention to my own professional status, personal ambitions, self-realization, will, optimism and relations with my father.
Wisdom of the Native cultures such as the Navajo believe that the moon and the sun are sacred the way they were created, and you are not supposed to watch the moon or look at, stare at it for a long time. It affects your mind and your body. Especially for women who are carrying a baby. It is said that if a pregnant woman sees an eclipse of any kind, be it solar or lunar, it might affect the mind of the woman or also in the future it will affect the health of the baby. An eclipse either lunar or solar, is a sacred time where the sun, the moon and the earth is kind of like in an intimate position when they line up, it’s such a profoundly sacred event that it is inauspicious to view….. out of respect and reverence for every man, woman and child. Its also of common practice to abstain from eating and even drinking water, its a time to just go into the house until it passes.
Ignorance is the night of the mind. A night without a moon by which clearly to see. ~Confucius 🌙
The Maya found eclipses to be disturbing. Although many representations of eclipses appear in Mayan art, such events were generally understood to portend bad tidings. Solar eclipses, known as chi’ ibal kin, or ‘to eat the sun,’ were a particular cause for distress among the Maya people. Mayan priests went to great lengths to predict eclipses and calculate all manner of astronomical phenomena. The stars are powerful forces, the sun and the moon in particular are the most powerful luminaries in the heavens in relation to planet earth.
We can never tell how these once in a lifetime events can affect us, until later on. Whatever you choose to do during the eclipse, may it not only affect your life in a positive way, but also, create more awareness globally.
Peace and love to you, now and always!
Food provides us with more than just nutrients – carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Food is a condensed form of energy. This energy is very powerful because it gives the human body life sustaining energy from the food we take into our body. When you eat, you process and absorb the forces of nature that is contained within the food. Plants are amazing because they store light through photosynthesis. Eating plant food releases energy and nutrients from the plant and absorbs to the body. Taking in fresh, whole, live, organic foods creates a physical and energetic force that interacts with the body on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Now thats powerful!
Compare this to feeding the body processed foods that contain chemicals of artificial colors, flavors, preservative, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), this can undermine the health and quality of your life. Add the problem that when we eat these sorts of foods we experience an extreme that includes cravings, because our body is not getting the sustenance it needs to be in balance.
Some people use food as a way to control negative emotions and weight. Fad diets and strict calorie control is horribly restrictive and destructive to our body, mind and soul. These sorts of habits lead to food cravings, mental and emotional imbalances as well as sustenance abuse and other extremes like dieting, fasting, gorging, starving, bingeing/purging. Another way people use to control or hide emotions is by other addictive tendencies, like using drugs or alcohol.
Sustenance is a way to nurture and support the body for balance, vitality and health. If we are abusing our body by becoming obsessed with restricting our body through conscious control or dieting or using drugs and alcohol, this can lead to mental and emotional imbalances like irritation or explosive temper, weight fluctuations and digestive issues all related to stress.
One way to create balance and soothe the digestive system without imposing calorie restriction or hiding by using drugs and alcohol is to focus on easily digestible foods like soups and pureed foods. Choosing these foods that are easily digestible instead of restricting the body tends to be kinder to your body and helps balance your mood, blood sugar and weight more easily.
Some great food choices are:
- pureed foods
- fresh organic fruits
- fresh organic vegetables
- sprouted seeds
- soaked nuts
- pinto beans
- golden beets
It is important to note that our liver and kidneys must work harder to process chemicals from non-organic foods and therefore eating pure, clean, organic food is critical. It is also important to note that when you eat meat, you take on the animal’s energy, including the energy of how it was raised and the fear and trauma of the animal being slaughtered. This is very powerful.
Sugar and caffeine and stress contribute to hypoglycemia and adrenal exhaustion that affects 70-90% of individuals in the United States. This is because sugar and caffeine create temporary bursts followed by crashes that lead to low energy and has hard core effects on your blood sugar, pancreas and adrenal glands. White flour and white sugar are so devoid in essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and water that this further depletes the body.
Stress creates more of a deficiency in the body. Inviting stress reducing practices into your life will help restore and maintain balance within the body for optimum health and vitality.
Create balance through non-food practices:
- self care
- self love
- martial arts
- smart exercise
- walking in nature
- sit ups
Making small steps in changing your diet and lifestyle is important to creating a balanced body, mind and spirit.
To regain your personal power think about this:
I am receptive to Divine energy moving into every cell of my body. I am committed to expressing my creativity, to accepting my responsibilities, and to making decisions that are balanced and supportive to my spiritual growth. I am guided and receptive to Divine will at all times.
You have the power to transform your life, to live in complete harmony with nature and to create the life you have always wanted! Try Kitchari! Do a three day cleanse eating only kitchari to give you digestive system a rest!
Create balance within, then without!