simple tips for pitta season

6/29/2020

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tips for pitta season-2

Summer is the hottest time of year. You already know that. But did you know that there are ways to stay healthy, balanced and cool all summer long? Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, offers an interesting way of looking at summer, and all the seasons really, that can help us make lifestyle and food choices to stay balanced. 

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda has been around longer than Yoga has. The word itself means the "science of life," so basically you can use the Ayurveda to look at any aspect of life. Mostly, in modern times, we think of Ayurveda in terms of lifestyle and food as medicine. Depending on the predominant dosha, or energetic quality, you can use the lens of Ayurveda to know what foods, exercise, and other lifestyle practices can help you maintain a healthy, balanced body and mind.

What are Doshas?

There are three main doshas, or energetic qualities, made up of the five elements. Each season has a predominant dosha, but so can your natural constitution.

  • Vata is air and space, and represents the colder, dryer season - late-Fall and Winter - as well as the seasonal shifts.
  • Kapha is earth and water, and represents the wet, muddy and rainy season, in the late-winter and Spring. 
  • Pitta is fire, and represents heat, mugginess, and oiliness. Pitta is most prevalent in summer.

What does this have to do with me?

So, now that you know a little about the doshas let's get into the one prevalent right now, pitta. When pitta is out of balance, which happens for many of us during pitta season, it shows up as skin irritation, overall irritability and frustration.

The good news is we can minimize these specific emotions and side effects with some simple practices.

  • Nutrition is the key to balancing your dosha. Take a walk to your nearest farmer's market and take a look at what they are selling. You will see watermelon, leafy greens like arugula, cucumbers, and cooling herbs, like cilantro. These are sweet, bitter, and astringent. It will help if you avoid high fat, overly salty, and processed foods during pitta season. Basmati rice, quinoa, coconut water, and coconut oil are also great for cooling the body.  
  • Your self-care routine must change from season to season. If you practice abhyanga, the practice of massaging oil into the skin before showering, switch to coconut oil in the summer. Coconut oil is cooling. Follow your abhyanga with a refreshing lukewarm shower. (Note: this means you can't use coconut oil all year round. When it starts getting cooler outside, you need a more warming oil, like sesame oil, to maintain balance.)
  • Your summer exercise and meditation routine should be grounding and cooling, as well. Go for a walk barefoot in the water or wet grass. Practice a loving-kindness meditation for 15 minutes. Exercise, while still important, can sometimes over heat the body, which is unhelpful. Try a cooling yoga practice, or do your exercise routine at the coolest time of day, early in the morning.

Try a few of these tips, and notice how and what you feel, not only in your body, but in your emotions too. If you find yourself getting overly frustrated, try cooling off with a dunk in a lake. Or take a walk out in the shade of the woods. Most of all, enjoy your summer. It doesn't last forever!

[recipe] Everyday Cereal Recipe

4/8/2020

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Everyday Cereal

 

This recipe comes to you from Kate O' Donnell's first cookbook The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook. Everyday cereal is easy, healthy and fit for each season. Grains are extremely nutritional and help with digestion. This dish can be paired with different fruits and nuts, depending on the season. 

For the recipe you will need grain of choice, liquid of choice, pressure cooker, slow cooker or large pot, coconut oil or ghee, cinnamon or other spices of your choosing (try the sweet spice mix suggested below), nuts of your choosing, and dried or fresh fruit of your choosing. Using your pressure cooker, you will want to add all your ingredients, then select the porridge setting. Allow your cereal to cook for 5 min in a sauce pan or until it begins to steam. I typically like my cereal to be full of different textures, but if you desire a smoother consistency, you can use a hand blender to mix everything together

Here is Kripalu's recipe for a Sweet Spice Mix, or you can make your own variation:

Sweet Spice Mix

  • ¼ cup cinnamon powder
  • ¼ cup ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cardamom

Ingredient recommendation for Spring Cereal

  • 2 cups of amaranth or rye 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp  raisins or chopped prunes and flax seeds
Ingredient recommendation for Summer Cereal
  • 2 cups of quinoa or barley  
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of sliced peaches and/or blueberries
  • 1/2 a tsp of ground fennel seeds
Ingredient recommendation For Fall Cereal
  • 2 cups of oats or bulgar wheat 
  • 1 cup of Almond milk
  • 3 tbsp of grated apple or dried apricots and chopped almonds
  • 1 tbs of Ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of Sweet Spice Mix  

Ingredient recommendation For Winter Cereal

  • 2 cups of oats or bulgar wheat
  • 1 cup of cows milk 
  • 3 tbs of chopped apples and/or chopped dates
  • 1 tbs Ghee
  • 2 tsp of Sweet Spice Mix

Immune Boosting Practices and Recipes for Spring

3/29/2020

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Immunity BOOSTING practices and recipes!

The transition to Spring can be really tricky for many people. With the weather quickly shifting from cold to warm to freezing to hot, our immune systems can tank easily. Check out these tips from Veronica Wolff-Casey, our in-house Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, on how to keep your immune system strong during this time of year.

Check out the video tips from Veronica

  • Sleep, sleep and sleep some more! Being rested will ensure a stronger immune system.
  • Wake up at the same time every day, and scrape your tongue! Scraping your tongue is an Ayurvedic practice. It removes gross gunk that sits in your mouth all night. Guess what's in that gunk? Yep, you guessed it, bacteria. Get rid of it before you do anything else, except sleep, sleep first then remove the gunk.
  • Rinse your hands, face, eye and nose when you wake up in the morning.
  • Move! Get outside and breathe the fresh air, or do some gentle yoga. Whatever you do, please, move your body.
  • Eat well-cooked, well-spiced and warm seasonal food. Veronica always says that our health is determined by our digestive system, so we need to care for our digestion. Try making kitchari, a simple dish of rice and split mung beans that's easy on your digestive system. Here's a recipe for you.
  • Minimize dairy, wheat, and cold foods and drinks. This won't help, and will actually reduce your ability to digest things properly, which can make your immune system tank.
  • Meditate and keep your nervous system calm and regulated.

Try the tea recipes below. They are recommended for Kapha season, because they get things moving in the body. Try a warm cup about 15-20 minutes before you eat dinner, or after, if you feel you've eaten too much. The teas both have a warming and digest effect, and can help digestion and relieve gas and bloating.

Ginger tea:

Boil water in your tea kettle and put dried ginger in a mug. Allow it to steep for 5-8 minutes and drink up.

Black Pepper Tea:

Boil water in your tea kettle and put a few black pepper corns in a mug. Allow it to steep for about 5 minutes, and drink up. With black pepper, a little goes a long way, and you may be able to use the same peppercorns to steep another cup.