A Good Lesson I have learned
A Good Lesson I have learned
Sip hot water throughout the day? What?????
I always guzzled cold water and lots of it! I drank so much I felt like I was swishing when I walked.
The one thing I didn’t realize was, that the temperature of the water I was drinking kept me chilled to the bone all the time and threw a wrench into my digestion process. Who knew! Not me evidently!
My real wakeup call was during a conversation with one my western herbalist teachers. We were in an air-conditioned restaurant, and I was drinking cold bottled water and was freezing. Literally shivering in my chair.
He brought up three important points about water consumption:
One was, “like feed like”. If you are cold, adding more cold into your body will increase cold. It makes simple sense!!!
Additionally, when cold water reaches the stomach, it takes time and precious body energy to warm up the water so the digestion process can take place. The cold stagnates digestion and depletes energy.
Another point was too much water dilutes the digestive juices that break down food and allow the digestion track to do it's job.
Along my journey, I learned about the wholistic system of Ayurveda. The science of life and longevity from India.
Ayurveda recommends starting your day with hot water because it is more hydrating and healing than something cold. Warm beverages like tea or hot water and lemon cleanse the body, dissolves toxins from your system, stimulates your digestive fire and enhances metabolism.
Now, I sip warm to hot water all day long and when at a resturant I order hot water with a side of lemon and wow what a difference!
Winding Down for a Long Winter's Nap
DIY Warm Oil Foot Massage
Eastern Healing modalities have know that the feet are not just for helping us move from place to place but can also be one of the gateways to access wellness throughout the body.
Benefits of Nightly Self Foot Massage:
Relax and calm the nerves and release tension from your day.
Stimulate the organs into detox.
Makes feet more flexible
Aids in deep sleep
Creates a sense of ease before bed.
Warm up your oil container in a cup of hot water before using.
Comforting Cashew Night Tonic
Ending the day with a tonic is a great evening ritual. While the routine alone creates a calm setting, you can choose to add ingredients to your tonic based on how you feel and how your day and week have been. This tonic has not only adrenal-hugging ashwagandha, but also nutmeg, which can support sleep and relaxed muscles, and comfort your agitated mind.
• 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
• Approximately 2 cups filtered water
• 1 teaspoon maple syrup
• ½ teaspoon vanilla bean, ground
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
• ½ teaspoon ashwagandha powder
• Pinch of sea salt
Make homemade cashew milk by adding soaked cashews to a blender with enough filtered water to fill 1 inch above cashews. Blend until smooth. (You will use 8 ounces of the milk in your recipe and any extra will keep for a few days in an airtight jar or bottle in your refrigerator.)
Add cashew milk, maple syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, ashwagandha, and sea salt to a small pot. Heat on high, removing before it comes to a boil. Stir using a spoon, whisk, or milk frother to be sure everything is combined.
Relax and sip away once cool enough to drink.
Warm Winter Chill
Ayurveda recognizes winter as a kapha season with strong vata undertones.
It is characterized by cold weather, a sense of heaviness, increased moisture (usually in the form of rain or snow), cloud-covered days, and the grounded, slow feeling that sends many animals into hibernation.
While it's cold outside, it's time to snuggle up with a spicy aromatic tea blend to keep you warm and feel nurtured inside.
Chai Tea Recipe
One of the top Ayurvedic super foods is Ashwaganda Root. It has been use for centuries because of it's adaptogenic properties. We are constantly being bombarded with toxins and stress. Ayurveda ( the science of life) understands the connection of body, mind and spirit along with the rhythmic cycles of nature and man.
Ashwangandha can give you daytime energy and help you sleep soundly at night. It is also known for it's ability to boost immunity and vitality.
Ashwagandha Root Recipes:
Energy Balancing Truffles
Nothing says comfort food like a sweet dessert. After you push your dinner plate to the side, you can pull out these truffles made with ashwagandha and ojas-building dates. They’re sure to make you and your adrenals smile.
• 10 dates, dried and pitted
• 2 teaspoons ashwagandha powder
• ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil, refined
• Sea salt and sesame seeds for topping
Using a blender or food processor, blend the dates and ashwagandha into a paste.
Roll into small balls. If too sticky to shape, refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
Dunk the date balls into the chocolate to coat, and rescue with a spoon.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds. Refrigerate or freeze to set chocolate.
Eat while slightly chilled to avoid melting.
Grounding Trail Mix
Snacking isn’t that great for your digestion, but neither is raging hunger. Chances are, if you’re in a situation where adaptogenic herbs will be helpful because of your level of stress, you’ve likely missed a meal or two in your day. This isn’t meant to be a meal replacement, but something to keep you from abusing your energy if you get into a bind and need to quickly reach for nourishment. The use of cardamom and cumin in this dish reassure that you’ll digest this well, but please always sit and slow down to eat!
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil, refined
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
• 1 cup golden raisins
• 1 cup pumpkin seeds
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• 1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
In a small pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.
After the oil becomes liquefied, add cumin and cardamom.
Heat the oil and spices for 1 minute or until they become aromatic.
Add the raisins, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds to pan and stir to evenly coat with oil and herbs.
Leave over heat, stirring occasionally for 3–5 minutes or until the seeds start to brown. Remove from heat and stir in ashwagandha. Transfer to parchment paper to cool. Eat while still warm for an extra grounding effect.
* Recipes from Banyon Botanicals
Add Spring Into Your Step
Focus on detoxifying foods
Get rid of the Junk in your Trunk
Un-stagnate your gut and your channels. After the long winter every cell in your body is begging for you to press the reset button. Spring is the season of burning the fat and turning on the inner a.c. before summer. Don’t miss out on nature’s season of the reset button... and you’ll feel and look vibrant.
Move it or Lose it
Spring is the easiest season to up your exercise. It’s Kapha season, which means your body is strong and ready for endurance. Turn up your workout. Play your edge. Put some hustle in your bustle.
Prioritize Prana Pathways
Our nadis (subtle and not so subtle energy channels) get clogged. Drain-o your nadis each morning with deep nasal breathing. If you can’t inhale through your nose-try to exhale a “humming” sound. The Humming Exhale breaks up the junk and helps your blood take up oxygen.
Allergies, Sinus + Spring Cold Relief
As things start to bloom and pollen is floating in the air do this: make a hot drink to clear mucus with ginger juice, lemon juice, cayenne, hot water and raw honey.
Get in the habit of having an early dinner and then playing outside. Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Weed your garden. Just get out. And don’t make the mistake of being out and then eating late, or you’ll burn out before summer’s end.
Start Sprouting at Home
Sprouts have more protein per pound than lean meat and bucket loads more absorbable and
diverse nutrients. That’s right! Sprouting takes 2 minutes a day. Buy your seeds and sprouter and get going. Don’t waste plastic. Sprout your own. Aim for 1 cup per adult per day.
Chlorophyll is the color of spring. It’s natural for primates, like yourself, to eat green 3 x a day, especially in Spring. Use green drinks or juices, salads, cooked greens and living soups.
Drink Your Dandelions:
Wild weeds, including our invasive friends like Dandelion + Thistle are superfoods. Both detox your liver, blood and fat, while replacing long lost minerals from your caffeine addiction. Plus they’re free once you stop spraying your yard. Add young dandelions or thistle to make your fruit smoothies green.
Get Down and Dirt-y:
You’re at the start of the active food growing season. If you’ve been eating green you’ve noticed you spend more on your greens and sprouts than anything else. Grow your own. Upgrade your outside with grow boxes or hoop\ houses. Getting your hands in the dirt is the quickest way to ground yourself and discharge stress. If you’re already a gardener start to permaculture
* Adapted from Cate Stillman's information, Ashawaganda Root
Cool Down Your Summer Heat
Summer Pitta Season
Summertime is considered a Pitta season which correlates to the elements "Fire and Water". Summer heat feels, hot, humid and bright.
Qualities to Introduce: cooling, neutralizing, slow and relaxing.
Qualities to Reduce: heating, sharp, acidic, quick, fast paced, intense.
Summer Food Guide
Make it easy. Follow what nature provides and buy local. Favor foods that are cooling, calming and slightly dry. Enjoy bitter, astringent, and sweet tasting foods.
Summer Shopping List:
Veggies: beets, corn, cucumbers, fennel, lettuce, summer squashes, zucchini, parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil, mint and dill.
Fruits: apples, berries, dates, melons, peaches, plums, lemons, limes.
Grains: barley, quinoa
Beans: chickpeas, white beans
Fats: avocados, coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, goat cheese, yogurt
Spices: cardamon, coriander, fennel, turmeric
Extras: chickpea flour, coconut water, hemp protein, rose water
Summer Lifestyle Guidelines:
Use coconut oil for self massage unless your body runs cold in warm weather. You may add essential oils like jasmine, lavender, rose essential oils. Self massage in the morning and in the evening.
Practice moderation in choosing activities and avoid over scheduling yourself.
Engage in non competitive exercises, like swimming, gentle yoga, and walking.
Take cool baths and showers.
Stay out of the midday sun, but do enjoy nature. Spend time outside when the sun is lower in the sky or try moon bathing instead of sun bathing.
Drink room temperature or cool water, not cold or ice water.
3 cups water
1/4 cup lime juice (juice of 2-3 limes)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp coconut sugar dissolved in 1tbsp hot water
Mix all ingredients in a small pitcher or 23 oz. glass jar
Serve in 2 tall glasses with 2 ice cubes per cup
* Info from Kate O'Donnell's book The Everyday Ayurvedic Cookbook
Tips to Weed Your Inner Garden in Spring 2021:
We have been cooped up, not breathing properly, bombarded with Do's and Don'ts for a year now. Talk about stagnation in our bodies and minds !!! Just as our gardens need to be cleaned and weeded out in Spring so things can fully emerge, we too need the same. Here are some great tips to get rid of the "Covid" and Winter gunk so we can feel energized and alive again.