Summer has finally arrived in Vancouver, and boy- is it a hot one?! I personally thrive in this weather, having been raised in the intense heat of south India. However, the heat does challenge our system (both mind and body), so it's best to take some care to stay balanced through the summer.
There are foods and drinks that are good for keeping the body cool and hydrated in peak summer heat. Here is a recipe for an Ayurvedic favourite - buttermilk.
I am excited to share this guest post from one of my favourite Vancouver yogis, Maitreyi. Its a recipe that every Ayurvedic practitioner knows and loves; and a drink that adults and children can both enjoy equally. Its is a great alternative to tea and coffee, with the same pick-me-up quality, and unlike regular chai, no cost to your life-force levels. Enjoy!
Chai chai recipe...And the Tantra of Tea
Chai means tea in Hindi and masala chai means spiced tea. My grandmother never let the kids have chai because tea and coffee according to ayurveda are habit forming. Plus both are said to increase pitha and acidity , which increases grey hairs. No woman wants that!
Khichari or khichadi is a simple one-pot dish that is used in Ayurveda for healing, cleansing and rebuilding. It is very nutritious, easy to digest and balances all the ‘doshas’ or constitutions. Ayurvedically speaking, its good for anyone to use, anytime! Khichari is a complete food. It has a unique combination of rice and dal (protein and carbs) that contain all 20 amino acids for maintaining and building your body. It has the essential fats you need for everyday health and if you add vegetables, it officially has all the daily food groups.
Khichari is one of those dishes that, once you try it, you can’t help but make part of your weekly meal plan. It’s just so satisfying, and also ridiculously easy to make. I often put a pot on while I eat breakfast and then pack into thermoses for our family’s lunches 20 minutes later. Here is the recipe I use.
I am about to share with you a little trick that will help your body recover after you eat a decadent dessert and have a surge of sugar flooding your system. This trick will leave you the talk of your holiday gathering.
But first, lets talk about Turmeric, that vividly yellow powder you can buy at the grocery store and put in your curries. Turmeric is currently trendy in the West and has been for some time now. You have probably seen “Turmeric latte” listed at your local café, or tried a fresh turmeric shot at the organic juicer.
Flu season is around the corner, and viruses are getting more vicious by the year. It is time to pay attention to the health of your immune system. Ayurveda provides incredible insights on how to use food and good eating habits to keep the immune system resilient.
The first thing to understand about the Ayurvedic approach, is that it sees each person as unique - an individual product of genetics, lifestyles and age. If you find yourself generally susceptible to colds, you may need to take more care than others who are graced with a more robust system.
Fall is upon us! If you are anything like me and love the freedom that summer brings, then the fall may bring sadness, and perhaps panic. Something like: “Holy crap! It’s back to routine. Lunches and dinners and schedules! Help!!!”
As a health coach, the first thing I recommend to my students (after a deep breath, of course) is a meal planner. Take a moment on the weekend to plan what you will eat in the week. Design your week of eating, make your grocery list, and put it up in your kitchen for easy reference.
The meal planning strategy is especially helpful for those who want to eat healthy, keep off the "emergency" junk food, and avoid late dinners and expensive take-out.
The summer season brings heat. Of the 5 elements (space, air, fire, water and earth), it is the element of fire that dominates this season. For those of you who have a healthy dose of fire or Pitta in your constitution, it is a time to be careful, because your internal fire is amplified by the heat of summer. The summer is also a time of weakness in the body. So pay attention to what your body is asking for and don't push it beyond its capacity. I often give up my intense weight training for cooler options like hiking and swimming.
Think cool. Think alkaline. Think gentle.
Yes, I know... life is full! If your life is anything like mine, then the appropriate word may be
"relentless". There is work, and children, and making lunches and dinners, and deadlines, and uninvited sickness, and did I even mention sleep??
So if you feel like you need a cleanse, but the idea of a detox this spring is unfathomable, then try these 4 steps to give your body some basic support. They may sound simple, but they will go a long way in helping your body release and reset. You should be able to add them into your regular day without too much restructuring.
My family has recently gotten into granola in a big way. Its a nice, hearty breakfast for those days when we need something snappy.
From the Ayurvedic perspective it is a bit dry for some people (such as myself) whose bodies predominate in cold and dry energies, and so I eat mine in warm almond milk to make it more nourishing for my system.
I started making my own granola when I once tried to buy it, and was appalled at the price- at least for the balanced, clean kind that I wanted. Over the last year I have been playing with it a bunch, and this is where it has settled.
The wintertime is a time for indulgence: rich and decadent food, extra sleep, celebrations with drink and such like, and often a more sedentary lifestyle. The body is amazing in the fact that it will endure all that and stay as balanced as possible.
In the spring, however, as the weather warms, and the ice in the mountains starts melting into gushing streams, our body also starts to release the heaviness that has accumulated in our tissues from the winter. Impurities within the tissues melt into streams and flood into the micro channels inside us.