Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post Holiday Revival

We hear about cleanses all the time but we rarely seek out if it is right for us or not. We are a nation who constantly wants to scrape, clean, cleanse and diet.....but we are also a nation that is worn out, depleted and running on reserves. If we keep scraping and don't do anything to build, we will dip into our reserves (ojas in ayurveda terms) and will slowly deplete our life force energy. So, I offer you a nourishing cleanse after the holiday in order to recover from the larger quantities of food eaten and the extra cocktail that was too yummy to pass up. Don't feel guilty of what happened this holiday, hold fond memories of the wonderful gathering of friends, family and food and then get back on your horse and slowly detox and come back to your healthy eating patterns.

7 Tips For a 7 Day Gentle Cleanse

1) Wake up and drink a glass of hot water with lemon, then drink another glass of warm water on its own. Stay standing until the urge to go to the bathroom is strong so that you know the intestines are working to let go of the waste accumulated over night. If this does not work right away, keep at it for a few days, this will help you get on a healthy elimination schedule.
2) Breakfast: if you are not hungry just have a bowl of fresh fruit and/or some herbal tea. If you are hungry have a small bowl of oatmeal (no sugar) or a bowl of steamed veggies and quinoa. Add ghee!
3) Stick with three meals per day. Try not to snack. Eat Kitchari for at least 2 of your meals. Fresh fruit or light soup can make up the third meal. Click here for kitchari recipe. If you don't have the desire or time to make Kitchari (which takes no more than 20 minutes in your kitchen) then just have steamed veggies and quinoa or white rice on hand to warm up whenever you are ready for your meal. White rice is easier to digest then brown rice so it is better for this type of cleanse. I use quinoa for protein, but if you need, add an egg to your lunch for extra protein.
4) Don't eat past 7pm.
5) Eliminate all sugar, animal protein and deep fried foods from diet.
6) Allow yourself to rest and get a full nights sleep. Rest is very important in order to help the body detox and rejuvenate. To help with sleep rub organic, pure sesame oil or almond oil on your temples and feet before bed. A hot bath in the evening can also help yourself wined down. No TV or computer at least 2 hours before bed, allows your mind to start to calm down from the day.
7) Make sure to move just enough, but not too much. We don't want to deplete the body, but we want to keep the blood pumping and our heart active. Opt for 30 minutes of walking, yoga, outdoor bike ride or skiing. Get outside for fresh air!

Follow these simple 7 steps for just 7 days and I am sure you will feel great starting off 2014! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Travel Tips

It is that time of the year! Most of us will hustle and bustle to the next town, city, state or even country. Traveling is exciting but can also leave us feeling light headed, ungrounded, frazzled and even sick. Traveling can be very taxing on the system but with a few Ayurveda based tips, you will feel better, keep the travel sickness away and enjoy your destination.

1) Sip warm water throughout the entire trip. Travel with a thermos. Any time you can, fill it with hot water.  Bring some lemon and lime pieces with you if you need a little flavor (but don't drink lemon/lime water the entire time, too much citric acid is hard on the enamel of your teeth).  Flying (and driving) is very dehydrating and dehydration makes you more susceptible to headaches, dry nose, jet-lag  and  catching a cold/flu.
2) Stay away from: sugar/candy, cold foods and icecream, soft drinks, and dry snack foods like chips, peanuts and crackers. All these things have either dry, light or cold qualities and the sugar creates a breeding ground for germs. You need more grounding and rich foods when you fly. So find some oatmeal, soup or a a hot sandwich. Better yet, bring some of your own food to snack on like home made muffins with almond butter, veggie and fruits slices, steamed greens with ghee etc. By eating these warm, heavier, nourishing food you will feel more grounded and settled. Stay away from fast food!
3) When you land at your final destination, drink a cup of warm milk (almond or organic whole milk preferred) with a dash of cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, turmeric and a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder. Ashwagandha is very grounding, calming, nourishing and building to your nervous system, which has been depleted and rattled from flying or driving. You can purchase capsules or powder here. Make up the spice mix before you leave home and carry it with you so you have it right away. If you can't have the warm milk right away, drink it before you go to bed that evening.
4) Get outside as soon as possible and take a 10 minute walk. Fresh air and sunshine will help to settle your nerves and system and help the body come back into its element.
5) Get in the time zone ASAP. Try not to take a nap, go to bed when night time comes, that way you can wake up around the same time as everyone else and get into the grove quicker.

All tips apply for car and plane travel.

Safe and happy travels and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Drink Your Immune Booster - Turmeric Tea

Turmeric Tea - An Immune Booster/Helper
Any time you start to feel a scratchy throat or signs that you might be getting sick, make this tea and relax while you help boost your immune system. It is a great idea to drink this during busy travel times too. 

1 cup hot water (DO NOT Boil)
1-2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp unpasteurized honey (raw)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 - 2 teaspoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar or 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced

Mix everything BUT the water together in your favorite drinking mug. Then pour in the hot water and mix together. Drink while hot.

-Pasteurized honey actually creates mucous so you do not want to use pasteurized honey in your diet.
-Do not boil the water, boiling water and honey, when they come in contact, creates a toxin. So make sure that the water is just under a simmer. 
-Turmeric is an immune helper, has anti-inflammatory properties, has antioxidants and works directly on the back of the throat.
- Raw honey helps to sooth the throat while drying up mucous.
-During cold season keep sugar consumption down because it causes mucous. 

Turmeric Drink for Kids (or Adults)
1/2 cup hot water (DO NOT Boil)
1-2 tsp turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger  or  1/8 - 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
3-4 whole cloves
2-3 cardamon pods
1/2 teaspoon Funnugreek seeds (optional, helps turmeric and ginger to do its job, has synergy with these spices)
1/2 cup almond, coconut or cows milk
1/2 - 1 tsp unpasteurized honey or maple syrup 

Place spices and water into a pot, bring to a simmer, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and bring to a simmer again. Strain contents by using a wire strainer or cheese cloth, into a favorite drinking mug. Add honey or maple syrup. This is medicinal but also very enjoyable. A chai sort of drink for those days when you need something soothing. Kids will like the creaminess of the tea and it should help with their fold or flu. 

-Fennugreek seeds can be found in Indian grocery stores. But if you do not have them then this tea will still work to help with immunity. 
- When making the drink for a child, start on the lower quantities for the spices and then work your way up, making sure that it is not to spicy for them.You can always dilute it with more milk.