The hot water opens the pores in the skin and lets the oil seep deeply into your tissues for repair and rejuvenation. This is not a cetyl-alcohol-filled-lotion application where it just stays on the surface of your skin and you wonder why you are always still dry. This is a legitimate, skin softening, health improving practice.Read More
We all know the facts, our bodies are made of 80% water, we can survive longer without food than we can without water, e.t.c. There is no denying it, water makes us feel better by cooling us down in the heat, replenishes some of what we are losing when we exert ourselves, and it's really nice to swim around in.
However, we also now know that water is not everything we lose when we void our bodily fluids. These minerals are vital to keeping our bodies cool and our 'pitta' or fire element in check. If we let the fire burn too hot we will not only persistently be dehydrated but our skin, bladder, kidney, digestive, and heart health will suffer. If you experience UTI's, heart palpitations, burning sensations such as heartburn, rashes, or have loose bowels one culprit could be not enough of the RIGHT hydration.
Ayurveda has a host of natural remedies so that when you lose electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium you can replenish quickly and effectively!
- Pomegranate juice with a pinch of cardamom
- Coconut water
- A squeeze of lime in room temperature water
- First cup of water in the morning is slightly warm with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of himalayan sea salt
- Steep mint leaves in water, add maple syrup, lime juice, and a pinch of himalayan sea salt
- Cucumber juice or steeped in water and lemon/lime juice with a little coconut sugar.
- Cilantro juice! Juice it with cucumbers, celery, and apple. If that doesn't cool you down, I don't know what will.
- Cooled milk: warm the milk on the stove with cardamom, rose water, and a little maple syrup/coconut sugar. Let it cool to about room temp and drink.
Don't use ice in your drinks! Very cold liquid makes it very difficult for your body to absorb. If you use ice and pee a lot or feel you can never get enough water try just taking out the ice and see what a difference that makes!
Photo by Alan Carrillo on Unsplash
Through Ayurveda's perspective all aspects of life are made of different qualities. Foods, drinks, weather, places, people, relationships, experiences, even feelings. These qualities could be hot or cold, dry or moist, rough or smooth, cloudy or clear e.t.c. These qualities help us understand how to balance our imbalances, as like will increase like and opposites are very attractive here.
Take for example the Vata dosha. The Vata dosha is our constitution made of air and ether elements, so naturally as air is, the qualities that make up these types of foods, drinks, feelings, people, and experiences are as follows: light, cold, dry, rough, mobile, subtle, and clear.
Now let us apply those qualities to our feeling of anxiety. When we experience anxiety it could show up as a whole host of physical ailments. Some of which are heart palpitations, inability to breathe, racing frantic mind, fear, uneasiness, insomina, not being able to sit still, dry mouth, nausea, tense muscles, dizziness, or cold/sweaty/numb/tingling hands or feet. Almost each and every one of these sypmtoms have qualities of air: light, cold, dry, rough, mobile, subtle, and clear.
So if one was to have an anxiety attack, which action do you think would help calm the anxiety: quickly pacing around your room breathing shallow wringing your hands, or sitting down in a quiet place with your eyes closed focusing only on breathing slowly? Hard to do at the time of an anxiety attack but we both understand that similar actions to air or Vata will only increase the problem.
The causes of anxiety can be many different things but the root of it almost always points to a traumatic event-- whether getting in a car accident or being in an abusive relationship. Each and every one of these types of experiences rock our nervous system and unfortunately we are not trained in how to nourish our nervous system after the event or series of events. Therefore, anxiety can slowly creep into our lives and never leave, especially if we live a busy//crazy//hectic//stressfull//pressure-filled life.
Below is a list of foods, drinks, and actions I hope are helpful in understanding how your diet and lifestyle may be perpetuating your struggle with anxiety.
Opposite qualities of Vata: heavy, warm, smooth, nourishing, substantive, oily, and stabilizing.
Foods that cause anxiety:
Generally frozen/dry/raw/ vegetables, artichoke, black olives, bitter gourd, bitter melon, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, celery (fully cooked is fine), dandelion greens, kale, lettuce, watercress, sprouts, cabbage, green beans, peas, ANY bean besides red lentils and tofu/tempeh products, hummus, white potatoes, raw foods, raw veggies, salads, chips, popcorn, rice cakes, dry granola, dried fruits, persimmons, pomegranates, raw apples and pears… do you see a trend of cold, dry, and rough/cruciferous?
Drinks that cause anxiety:
Alcohol, caffeine, bitter teas such as dandelion, astringent teas such as hibiscus, jasmine, nettles, mint teas, rosehips, or passion flower, frozen smoothies, any drink with ice in it or very cold drinks
Actions that cause anxiety:
Running, travelling, driving, jumping, frantic/hectic movements, too much screen time, standing or talking while eating, excess stimulation-- especially noise like loud music or excited music, always having ear buds in, constatntly talking on the phone, listening to audiobooks while driving/in motion.
Foods to counteract anxiety:
Making sure your food is warm, cooked, well spiced, and well oiled; any fresh raw fruit besides apples and pears (apples and pears you stew with a little ghee/coconut oil and cinnamon), pumpkin, sweet potatoes, soaked nuts, avocado, asparagus, cucumber, okra, squashes, mushrooms, lean meats, beets, carrots, corn, garlic, onions, oils, grains that are spiced and oiled well, goat dairy... see a trend of moist and heavier?
Drinks and teas to counteract anxiety:
Lavender, chamomile, lemongrass, fennel tea, Tulsi-brahmi tea, aloe vera juice, coconut milk, coconut water, grape juice, lemonade or limeade, licorice tea, warm spiced and sweetened milk drinks.
Actions to counteract anxiety:
Walking not running, yoga that DOES NOT require you to be in a new pose every 30 seconds (think ashtanga, hatha, iyengar, or well thought out vinyasa sequence), choose calming meditative music at some point in the day if you listen to a lot of music, meditation or find at least once in your day to sit in silence for 10 minutes with just yourself no distractions, try moving slower from place to place or cut out unnecessary rush, sitting down to enjoy each meal and chew thoroughly, cutting out screens for at least an hour before bed, journaling, self-massage or abhyanga... take a minute to figure out in your day how you can cut down stimulation and move a little slower.
Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash
I love to recommend an ayurvedic herbal smoking mix to those wishing to quit tobacco, nicotine, or marijuana OR to those who wish to supplement their toking routine with other herbs to combat the harsher more negative effects on their lungs and sinuses.Read More
“According to Ayurveda, substances which are sweet, unctuous, nourishing, heavy and which can cause excitement of the mind are aphrodisiacs. Have milk products and meat-based soups regularly. Fish in general are aphrodisiac but rohu fish (carp) cooked with ghee is the most aphrodisiac food. One who takes it regularly does not suffer from sexual debility and low sperm count.”
Avoid foods in excess of salty, sour and pungent tastes.
All meals should be cooked well, warm, spiced appropriately and gooey with ghee.
Grains and grain based snacks:
- Rice cooked with ghee and spices (you can add them after)
- Gluten free toast with ghee and honey or tahini and maple syrup
- Barley Soup --- Use chicken or turkey instead of beef
- Amaranth or quinoa: use in soups or as breakfast porridge with seeds, almond milk, honey, and raisins/cranberries
Whole fruits or the juices of mango, plum, pomegranates, dates and grapes.
Spices: Aniseed, nutmeg, cardamom, garlic, cinnamon, clove, coriander, fennel, mustard, basil, ginger, black pepper, sesame, and saffron. These are loaded with antioxidants, which are great for overall health, including libido.
Vegetables: carrots, dark leafy greens such as dandelion/spinach/kale/arugula/chard/beet greens-- just make sure they are well spiced and cooked thoroughly, broccoli, onion, garlic
Protein: Lean, light meat like turkey and chicken are best. Fish and oysters also help in sexual health. Men’s erections require a steady release of nitric oxide. The omega-3s found in fish are one of the most proven nutritional paths to heart health and help in blood circulation.
Date Sesame Cookies Ingredients:
- 1 cup chopped Medjool dates
- 1 cup walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds (you can mix them in equal parts to make a cup or choose your favorites of the three)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for coating
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix
Directions: In the bowl or a food processor combine dates and walnuts and process until finely chopped and sticking together, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Add coconut flakes, honey, sesame seeds, salt, herbs/spices--pulse until forms a thick paste, about 1 minute more.
Fill a small shallow bowl with sesame seeds. Scooped a rounded tablespoon of paste and roll into a ball using your hands. Roll ball in sesame seeds to cover and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining paste. Let cookies chill in refrigerator until snack time but try not to eat them cold.
- Ghee (melted), 1 cup
- Saffron, pinch
- Cinnamon, pinch
- Cardamom, pinch
Fill a jar with the dates. Melt the ghee on the stove, mixing in the spices. Pour the ghee over the dates and store on the counter. Enjoy a date every morning!
*Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash
Ayurveda teaches life. It connects the rhythm of your being to the rhythm of the Earth, of the universe. It synchronizes our daily life activities to the activities of the sun, the moon, the wind of autumn, the snow of winter, the defrosting of spring, and the fire of summer. Ayurveda clears away the superficial worries and superfluous habits and detrimental patterns so that we know why we live, why we wake up each day to navigate this world.Read More