ayurveda

My top 10 self care tips

My top 10 self care tips

I dieted for years.

I was always trying the latest and greatest diets throughout my college years - Atkins, South Beach, The Zone to name a few to try and keep my overindulgences in check.

I learned a lot with those diets, but it wasn't until I started to learn about eating clean and organic that things started to really shift.

Anti Aging Remedies

Anti Aging Remedies

About a month ago I started to look at myself in the mirror and think, 'wow I'm looking like I'm getting old!' I guess that's what happens when you're in your mid-30s! I don't know about you, but I plan on aging gracefully (and as naturally as possible)!

A Simple, Satisfying, Supercharged Breakfast

A Simple, Satisfying, Supercharged Breakfast

Inspired by my friend Natalie, who's a super cool Beach Body Coach with tons of awesome recipe inspiration, I amped up my vata-pacifying breakfast of almond butter and honey, and spruced it up with banana slices and bee pollen! The end result: Pure perfection!

Getting a Good Night Sleep

Getting a Good Night Sleep

If our nervous system does not get adequate nourishment, we slowly start to come apart at the seams. Ensuring that we get a good night sleep can help us keep our immune systems strong, peace in our environment, and a sense of safety and security in our surroundings.

New Breakfast Delight

New Breakfast Delight

Good Morning! Breakfast was originally designed to 'break the fast' - 12 hours without food. So as you start your morning, it's best to eat something that's gentle on the stomach. Ideally, starting your morning with a cup of hot water and lemon to cleanse, and then slowly take in your 'spiritual meal', as Ayurveda refers to it.

Healthy Hair Habits to Restore Natural Color + Luster

Healthy Hair Habits to Restore Natural Color + Luster

I read a Hair Health article the other day on the insight blog by Banyan Botanicals, and took some notes to share with you all! I've mentioned in a previous blog post about my love for using Healthy Hair Oil as a treatment once a month, but here are a few more cliff notes on why your hair self care routine is so important to your overall health!

Menu Planning {+ Recipe}: A Nourishing and Tasty Lunch Idea

Menu Planning {+ Recipe}: A Nourishing and Tasty Lunch Idea

As most of you probably know already, I have practiced the art of cooking and eating through Macrobiotics, and Ayurveda, to heal myself with food.

Ayurveda literally translates to mean, "the study of life", and is derived from the Indian / Yogic culture, while Macrobiotics translates to mean, "The Big Picture of Life", which is derived from Chinese Medicine, and actually initially derived from Ayurveda.

Ayurveda came first, as did Yoga, when the first inhabitants of the world were learning how to take care of themselves, but once the sages expanded outward towards Asia, new methods of preventing disease were discovered.

Healthy Habits: Why I Eat What I Want and Don't Gain Weight {within reason}

Healthy Habits: Why I Eat What I Want and Don't Gain Weight {within reason}

A friend of mine asked me this the other day: "why is it that you can eat anything you want and you don't gain weight?" Now, I may fluctuate a few pounds here and there (as a women, that's a normal part of our monthly routine) but for the most part this question was fair, and I have an answer for her, and you!

Healthy Habits: Women's Healthy Cycle Support

Healthy Habits: Women's Healthy Cycle Support

I just finished watching one of my fave Ayurveda Experts' livestream video on Women's Health, according to Ayurveda practices and it was so inspiring that I thought I'd sum up what I learned and share it with you all.

Health: Do you Feel Called to Cleanse?

Colorado Cleanse Breakfast option of rice cake, avocado, salt and sunflower seeds This is the third year that I've done a spring ayurvedic cleanse, aka panchakarma, but the second time I've done the Colorado Cleanse (a version of the panchakarma). Usually cleansing comes easy to me, until this time...

Since I've been eating a little bit of everything these past few months, and getting lots of joy out of it on many levels, limiting myself to this diet for two weeks was a struggle, to say the least! I felt hungry and deprived of eating yummy fun food!!!:(

During the cleansing process we get in touch with the emotional and psychological aspects of how we relate to food. There is no snacking allowed so as to regulate our blood sugar levels, and we eat the same thing at every meal for an entire week (kitchari) which gives the digestion a break and delivers healing herbs to our bodies!

One of the benefits of this protocol is to take us away from the auto pilot habits of grabbing and going! It creates discomfort within that though, which helps to strip you down to your emotional state of being and how food offers that source of comfort and joy that we are all seeking.

If you're new to eating whole, clean foods, this is a necessary thing to raise awareness and take the first steps of establishing a healthy relationship with food.

But here's the thing, I've gone through so many years of eating clean, whole foods that my diet basically consisted of a cleanse in and of itself! Now that I've incorporated a little bit of everything into my diet, and have felt so much happier and peaceful, I realized that I probably didn't even need to do a cleanse this time around in the first place, because I've found such a good balance! What a miracle!

During my macrobiotic days, I finally came to realize that I was practicing eating a 'healing diet', and I wasn't trying to heal anything anymore, so I could finally let go of it since it was only causing me to go in the opposite extreme of 'cleansing'! Now that my diet has evolved, I'm realizing that the old ways of feeling like 'I should cleanse' are still lingering and that that was really why I chose to do it this time! I honestly don't even feel like I needed to cleanse because I have really started to find that balance! HA! But I guess I did need to to realize this epiphany!;)

Newman's O's

Cleansing and dieting could be lumped into the same category because they are both short term concepts that take us from one extreme to the other! (Check out my Dieting Domino Effect Post for more on the matter) I mean, the first thing I did after this cleanse was eat my cravings of Newman's O's cookies, pizza, and amy's organic coconut ice cream! Not to mention that we cheated on our cleanse last week at an event! Cheated! On a Cleanse! The thought of cheating on a cleanse is not even an option! Who do I think I am?! But you know what, there is no 'Cleanse Police', right?! We did the best we could in trying to also live our life, and that's healthy balance I think!

While I do believe that cleansing comes in very handy if you're looking to hit that reset button, or you've gone too far and need to reel it back in, it's really just short term, and the real work exists when you come out of it! How you function in your daily life is the real challenge! How can you find balance in nourishing yourself, having fun and being conscious of how you treat your body?

I feel like I've finally found a balance that works for me,  even though I may need to cleanse every so often just because of the modern world we live in with all of it's toxins, but drinking water, getting good sleep, breathing long and deep, taking triphala each night, and practicing yoga are all daily detox-ers anyways though, that I practice regularly!

This cleanse helped me realize how much I love cooking my own food, the importance of staying hydrated (drinking half of your ideal body weight in ounces along with hot water to stimulate the lymphatic system) and how important it is for me to eat an early/light dinner so I can get a good night sleep! I think it's a great tool to fall back on but I am so glad I realized that it's not something I feel like 'I Should' be doing every spring or fall!

I am so grateful that I am in tune with what does and doesn't work for me and what is truly important to my well being! Food is everything, there's no escaping it, it's what we revolve around, and it's amazing how many people do not have a healthy relationship with it! It is an intimate relationship and propels how we are in this world! I hope you too have found a healthy relationship with what's on your plate, and if not, I hope cleansing and eating whole foods will inspire you to develop one!

In good health!

KATE-SIGNATURE

 

 

Health: Anti-Inflammatory Bedtime Drink Recipe

Golden Milk TeaFor the love of Ayurveda and all of it's wisdom! This Golden Milk Tea is so cozy and relaxing to drink before bedtime. Turmeric is the mother of anti-inflammation, along with ginger, and together, they make a great immune boosting duo! I don't know how I came across this particular recipe, but nevertheless, I made it, and have also tried some other variations along the way, but I think this one is my fave!

Serves 2:

2C almond milk

1tsp turmeric powder

1/4tsp black pepper

1inch ginger grated

1tsp raw honey to sweeten after all ingredients are heated up in a saucepan on the stove.

Whisk ingredients together and heat over medium till it starts to bubble, then turn it down to simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the ginger, add the honey and enjoy! <3

Check out the article for the low down on all the health benefits of this drink, and see more of my fave recipes here!

Enjoy some self care and self love with this delightful tea!

KATE-SIGNATURE

Health: An Ayurveda Resource + Recipe

carrot ginger parsnip soupJoyful Belly Ayurveda is a great website and tool for learning all there is to know about the amazing lifestyle of living a balanced, harmonious, healthful way of eating and being. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll receive weekly inspiration on the latest tools for staying healthy through the changing seasons.

As we transition into spring, we can start lightening up with brothy soups and keeping our immune systems and digestive fire strong with garlic and ginger!

Here's the link to the recipe I received in my inbox that I made last night. It was perfect and just what this overindulgent chocolate eating girl needed! ;)

Be sure to take a look at all the ayurvedic notes in the link! There are so many wonderful words of wisdom in them!

In good health my friends!

Sat Nam.

KATE-SIGNATURE

 

Happiness: Moods, Menses and the Moon {includes remedies}

moon madness gladness teaAs I sit here and write, I am drinking my "Moon Madness Gladness" Tea from the local herb shop here on Cape Cod to balance the effects of my period. The ingredients include: Bupleurum, Wild Yam, Ginger, Dandelion root, Licorice, yellow Dock, Dong Quai, Vitex berry, Orange peel.moon madness gladness tea ingredients I have recently been getting regular periods again (Yay!) after losing them for a couple years, due to my Macrobiotic diet. (I was told my body needed to cleanse itself and therefore my reproductive system took a back seat.) Ever since incorporating a more Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, I've been able to nourish my depleted Vata and Pitta reproductive system. Now, I've completely synced up with the cycles of the Moon, and I'm realizing just how important it is to do that as a woman ~ to be soft and fluid and receptive (the qualities of the moon)!

The woman, or the feminine energy, is ruled by The Moon. Conversely, the man/masculine energy is ruled by The Sun. As beings, we encompass both energies, but as a woman, we nurture and support life itself! The Moon is that powerful!

A healer friend of mine told me recently, that when women are PMSing (and during their menses) they are the most powerful versions of themselves. It's ironic then, the stigma thats placed on women in society during this time of the month. There is so much to learn from this intuitive place of power.

The Moon rules the tidal changes ~ the water energy that allows us to ebb and flow through our emotions, and it's what increases our intuition and heightens our sensitivities during the Full Moon. It makes sense that the Moon has such an intense effect on us beings here on earth, because as humans, we are made up of 80 percent water. The Moon is talking to us, so we need to harness the capacity to LISTEN to her. She comes to us in our dreams so it's important to journal them so we can learn.

The Moon is a neutral energy. It's associated with emotions and feelings. It ebbs and flows. It waxes (2 weeks from new moon to full) and wanes (2 weeks from full to new). It feels. It nurtures. It's changeful. Moon energy can cause indecisiveness, moodiness, and stagnation. When a woman is totally in sync within herself, her period should then sync up with the moon's cycles - starting her period on the new moon, and ovulating during the full moon...aahh nature and the universal forces of energy, you are just so cool!!

Every Monday we feel the universal energy of the Moon, and 53 days after your birthday (following your Sun period), you will feel the effects for 52 consecutive days. Our own feelings and emotions become heightened and sensitized just like that of the Full Moon effects, so be mindful that you may experience being extra moody, extra indecisive, you may get more headaches, and be super sensitive or emotional.

The best things to do when under the Moon energy is:

Drink lots of water!

Let go of emotions ~ let them pass through you by breathing!

Do left nostril breathing to access the lunar energy (blocking your right nostril with your right pointer finger and breathing only through your left)

Make a conscious effort to keep yourself cool and fluid, like water.

Take walks near water to help.

And know, just like everything, the emotion will soon pass, so BREATHE and FEEL the amazing qualities of the Moon and get in touch with your feminine energy.

I suggest reading this article about women and their cycles.

Banyan Botanicals

A few teas and tonics to nourish your Moon energy are:

Cardamom Rose Women's Health Tonic from Alicia Diaz of Banyan Botanicals

1C almond milk

1C hot water

1tsp cardamom

1/2tsp ginger powder

1/8tsp rose water (food grade)

1tsp coconut oil

(pinch of natural sweetener (cane sugar/honey)

Pour hot water over the rose petals, cardamom, ginger and coconut oil then add the almond milk, rose water and natural sweetener and stir.

Blissful Women's Smoothie given to me from my Ayurvedic Practioner, Julie Wardwell

1-2 tbsp soaked organic Sesame Seeds (best if soaked overnight and prefer black colored)

4-5 tbsp organic Coconut Flakes (for extra smooth texture, you can soak the flakes for 2 hours)

4-6 organic Medjool Dates

1/2 tsp organic Vietnamese Cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp freshly grated organic Ginger Juice

1/2 tsp organic Amalaki powder

1/4 tsp organic Shatavari powder

Water as needed

Blend away…this smoothie’s thick and creamy texture is an indulgent treat to the taste buds. Consuming soaked sesame seeds is considered a treasure in Ayurveda during this time of the month. Excellent during heavy menstrual days as they help in reducing cramping and heavy flow. And yes, these seeds are one of the highest source of iron. A word of caution, sesame seeds are warming in nature, in order to get the benefits of regulating the menstrual flow they must be mixed with a natural sweetener to have the right effect. Dates and sesame seeds go very well and taste amazing!! Coconut flakes are cooling to the body which offsets the warm quality of sesame seeds and also helps in hormone balance.

Shatavari “the” most valuable and versatile herb for all phases in woman’s lifetime. One can proudly say this herb is Ayurveda’s gift to all women! It is an excellent vata and pitta pacifier. The steroidal-saponins in this herb help in regulating menstrual cycle.

Amalaki (also known as Indian gooseberry) is popularly used for its highest source of Vit C. This herb helps to rebuild new tissues and increase red blood cell count. I like to use this in my smoothie mainly because it has all the five of the six tastes (except salty) to keep my appetite balanced and nourished during this time of the month.

Enjoy, and bask in the lunar energy!

 

KATE-SIGNATURE

 

Hair Help: Dry Scalp?

upstyling classOne of the most common questions I'm getting recently in the salon is "what do I do about my dry scalp?" First off, any skin condition, whether it be dry, flaky, red, inflamed, itchy, etc. is a reaction of what's going on in your gut. It is most likely that your stomach has an overgrowth of the bad bacteria (like candida) and is causing inflammation inside your digestive track, leading to many issues like skin problems...the best way to avoid dry skin is to go to the source! Read my Clear Skin article for my story and my cures!

A few things you can do right away are:

Start taking probiotics if you aren't already, to replenish the good flora in your stomach.

Become more alkaline by eating lots and lots of greens, drinking kukicha tea, avoiding dairy and reducing animal proteins.

Do a cleanse to remove toxic build up, and ditch the alcohol, gluten and sugars for awhile...(good reason/excuse to cleanse).

Meanwhile, to find some sort of relief, you can start moisturizing your skin and scalp with sesame oil (the kind that's made for your body found in the health food stores). Sesame oil is balancing for vata doshas in Ayurveda because of their tendencies to become dry.

We are in the Vata season now from Nov--March, so dryness is inevitable. Sesame oil will ground you and deeply moisturize. You can apply a small amount to your scalp and body before a shower and let it seep in for about 10min. The warm water from the shower will push the oil into your body further and will strengthen your immune system. Do not scrub it off with soap; just use mild soap in target areas and let the water rinse the excess.

*For your hair however, it will be greasy if you don't wash it out, so be sure to apply your shampoo on dry hair and lather it up before you wet it, that way the oil will actually come out.;)

Read my Winter Dryness article from last year for more tips and say bye bye to winter dryness!

KATE-SIGNATURE

 

Evolve: Practicing Moderation

peaceI was talking to a friend the other day about how within this last year I've luckily been able to find new balance in my life, and avoid the extremes of my former Macrobiotic lifestyle, to invite in a new life that is now teaching me the art of moderation. I had to soften and open up by way of Ayurveda and my Vinyasa Yoga practice, to be able to invite in a little more play and exploration, but it has been a long journey out of the rabbit hole I dug for myself!

The topic of balance is something I've grappled with for a long time and have briefly touched on it in past posts, but have since found a newfound understanding of the significance in finding balance between two extremes.

As many of you know, I was a 'hard core Macro manic' a few years ago and completely dug myself into a hole that I couldn't find my way out of! I had no idea how I could stop the intensity and rigidity of my ways because I wanted to do everything perfectly! How could I pull away from one area without it all falling apart?!

I was inspired by becoming healthy through this new lifestyle, but was wondering where that other person who used to be so fun could have possibly been hiding! It was as if I left her completely...there was no trace!

I had swung from one side of the pendulum of having too much fun of drinking alcohol, eating sweets and such, to the complete other side of a strict self care life of no sugar, no alcohol, and obsessed with following 'the rules'! I was able to see that my new 'good' ways had replaced my old 'bad' ways, and that really it was just as bad to be good as it was to be bad, but I didn't know where to begin to find moderation!...extremes are never good, even if they're meant to be...

bostonIt was a slow climb out of the rabbit hole of my 'healthy' extremes when I started realizing I couldn't even enjoy being social anymore if I were to break out in a blood blister if I ate something that I didn't normally eat, or if I had a horrible night sleep after only one glass of wine...I was struggling to save a part of my old self while culvitating a new and improved one. I talk about it in one of my posts.

I'm now cultivating moderation! Ayurveda helped me to soften out of my strict Macro ways, but now that I'm newly enjoying being in a relationship, I'm learning that I can enjoy all the things I love without going to one extreme. Ha! Who knew this is what I needed?!

I'm finding I'm living outside my 'safe comfort zone of routine' by staying up late, eating later than usual, eating things I wouldn't normally, drinking wine, etc., but here's the amazing part ~ I'm not even feeling the extreme effects I normally would have before because I'm exploring more by introducing new ways of enjoying life, and I'm relaxed!!! When your mind, emotions and body are relaxed, everything is assimilated with grace! Wahe Guru!

This may sound easy to you, but it was so hard for me to drop my attachments of what I 'knew' (ego driven mind set) to be good for me and open up to the possibility of maybe a new paradigm of what could be 'good for me' as well.

Moderation is good for me. Balance and flow are key. By softening and relaxing the mind around these attachments, I slowly released my emotions of anxiety and fear around stepping out of my rigidity, and into a place that actually felt safe to explore life's treasures of joy.

The physical body follows suit. It all starts in the mind and manifests itself in the physical body. My mind said NO to many things, so my emotions became fearful and my body rejected  things accordingly. Now my mind says YES (with mindfulness) and my fears fall away and my body relaxes to accept, assimilate and digest what I'm feeding it.

It's a whole new world of exploring joy, which is love, which is peace, which is light, and truth! Cultivating balance is yoga and meditation in action. Life is a balance, a yin and yang, a time for play and a time for self care.

I thank God for the gift of finding Macrobiotics to teach me how to heal and cook for myself and I also thank God for helping me out of that lifestyle that became too rigid.

While Macrobiotics healed some parts of my body, it also aggravated others, so I feel grateful to have eased out of my extreme through Ayurveda practices, which allowed me to nourish what needed nurturing, and to strengthen and soften so I could open up to love and play, which in turn invited in a boyfriend who is now giving me the gift of learning how to find more moderation, more fun, more light, more flow.

Wahe Guru!

KATE-SIGNATURE

 

Food Fave's: Barley Breakfast Bowl

Vegan Barley Breakfast Bowl This is for all you healthy, veg - eaters out there, sans gluten free! I’ve had my mason jar filled with Barley for months now! I haven’t used it because I’ve been on a Kitchari kick!! When I was deep in my Macrobiotic lifestyle, I was rotating my daily grain with a vengeance, and had every grain on hand, but once I discovered my constitution (primary doshas), and learned that grains, like Millet weren’t ideal, I stuck to just a few essentials, forgetting about my other grain friends!

I’ve recently turned a corner with my diet and am implementing some new foods and practices with my newfound understanding of Ayurveda! It’s Spring Time, which means it’s Kapha Season! Kapha qualities are wet and heavy, so in order to dry them out, and lighten up, we can eat grains like Barley, along with millet, asparagus, celery, corn, etc!!

Check out my yummy Barley Bowl Breakfast porridge inspired by John Douillard of the 3 Season Diet book to help detox this spring!

As I was cooking up my daily goods yesterday morning, I got a pot of barley going, brining 1/2C barley mixed with 1 1/2C water to a boil. Adding a pinch of salt and then covering and simmering with 1/3 of a diced apple for about 20min. I mixed it with a handful of raisins (dried fruit is best for spring), a handful of pumpkin seeds and some honey placed it in a bowl. It was a simple, satisfying, light way to start my day!

I hope you try it and enjoy!

Ps: Barley Tea is perfect for spring time also:)

KATE-SIGNATURE

Spring Detox Recipe

Ayurveda CleanseAnyone looking to shed a few pounds? To lighten up? It's time for Spring Cleaning in my kitchen! Spring is a time for renewal--to let go of the old and make room for the new! Spring trends offer new inspiration for coming out of hibernation and into a new and improved version of you! Why not give yourself that spring makeover starting from the inside? The only way we can fully embrace the newness of spring on March 20th, is to make room for it by letting go of the old by way of detoxing--not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too! In yogic traditions, we honor the break from winter to spring by giving our bodies a rest from all the hard work our digestion has been doing. During the winter months, we are energetically storing warmth and comfort by eating hearty meals to stay nourished. Once spring sneaks up on us, we lighten up as the layers start to come off! Yay!! The best way to align with nature, is to lighten up with the foods we are putting into our body.

In Ayurvedic practices of the yoga world, we cleanse by eating Kitchari, a traditional Indian, Ayurvedic dish comprised of basmati rice, mung dal beans, ghee and spices. Vegetables can be added for a one-pot meal. When this dish is eaten for all 3 meals of the day for the duration of 7-10 days, your body experiences a well needed rest. The spicing satisfies the 6 tastes that lie on the tongue, leaving us feeling satisfied, while the nourishing qualities of ghee, pushes the spicing deep within our organs, prepping the body to release all the stored toxins.  What’s left is a revitalized, vibrantly beautiful body, that’s ready to take on a healthier, clearer lifestyle this season! No need for any juice fasts or starvation mode here! The idea is to eat, but to eat very simple foods so that the spicing can go to work for our organs!

During this time, take a time out for yourself and journal. Write down whatever comes to mind! It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense! You are energetically moving from the duality of your mind and into the truth of your heart by writing with your hand! Get it out of the endless loop of those wildly running incessant thought patterns! Once it's on paper, you've detoxed it so it stops affecting your emotions!

IMG_5644Calm your emotions and your nervous system by doing less! Take time each morning and night (3-11 minutes preferably) to focus on your breath. Sit up straight and inhale through your left nostril by blocking your right nostril with your right thumb. Hold at the top of your lungs for a moment and then exhale through your right nostril by blocking your left nostril with your right pinkie finger.  Repeat the cycle with your eyes closed and focused at your third eye (the space between your brows). Feel peace, finally.

Try cooking this dish to learn for yourself the effects that Kitchari will have on your mind, body and spirit by following the recipe below! My Ayurvedic Practioner can help guide you through a cleanse, or you might want to read The 3-Season Diet or check out the joyfulbelly.com for more info on how to stay aligned with the season changes and to rid yourself of toxic disturbances in the body.

Ayurvedic Pitta Khichari

 Ingredients: 

1 cup basmati rice 1 cup split mung beans

1-2 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes, peas/pea pods, kale, swiss chard, spinach, summer or winter squashes)

6 cups water

Pitta Spicing:

3 tbsp. of ghee or unrefined coconut oil

1 ½ inch slice of ginger finely chopped

1 ½ tsp. of pitta spice mix

½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt or best you can find

Or mix your own Pitta spice…….

Make your own Pitta Spice Mix – Pitta

3 tbsp. of ghee or unrefined coconut oil

1 ½ inch slice of ginger finely chopped

½ tsp. coriander seed powder ½ tsp. fennel seed powder ¼ tsp. turmeric root powder ¼ tsp. cumin seed powder

½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt

Toppings:

Chopped fresh cilantro

Fresh squeezed lime juice

Unrefined virgin coconut oil

Unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Soak overnight to enhance the digestibility of the beans. If you forget to soak overnight, you can also do it for 2 hours before cooking.
  2. Wash the rice until water runs clear.
  3. Heat ghee in a saucepan on low until warm. Add the spices and sauté for a few minutes until aroma emerges.
  4. Cook rice, beans, and vegetables. Stir to coat with spices.
  5. Add water and salt. If you like less soupy dishes, use 5 cups of water.
  6. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add rice and vegetables and cover them simmering for 30-45 minutes until the beans are soft.
  7. Serve warm topped with fresh chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and unrefined coconut oil, and shredded coconut.

Glow On!:)

KATE-SIGNATURE

Love yourself First <3

Patricia's Heart at the BeachTaking care of yourself is a full time job, but if you can't take care of yourself first, you can't take care of others! These past few years, I've really dived head first into the constant, sometimes chaotic routine of giving to myself first. Putting all the attention on your self may seem overwhelming at first ~ It sure did to me! I was in over my head with trying to keep up with myself not too long ago. I barely had time to work! But once you dive in and give it a go, you'll naturally fall into a groove, I promise!

You'll start to notice things that don't work for you anymore.  It seemed crazy for me to think I needed to give up my job schedule and living logistics at first, but once I gave myself some space to care for myself, 'everything started to fall into place', as my step father always says. Things naturally start shifting in your life as you evolve. What ever doesn't work for you, will just leave your life, and new ways of being will open up! I used to love going out partying, and now I'm finding that I don't enjoy drinking or staying out late much at all anymore. Sounds boring, I know, but I love my new lifestyle!

We have a physical, emotional and spiritual body within each of us, so we need to attend to all three entities.

In our physical bodies, to stay healthy, we must keep our immune system strong by way of keeping our digestive track clean. We do this by the foods we eat, and not just what we eat, but why, how, where, and when we eat as well, via our own hands, which are an extension of our heart. Cooking for ourselves is the best way to put loving kindness into our being. You can go to a restaurant and order a super healthy meal, but who is preparing your food? What type of energy are they pouring into it? That's why it's recommended to only eat out to 3 meals per week, according to Ayurveda and Macrobiotics philosophies and practices.

Keeping our gut healthy requires proper elimination, and mild cleansing/detoxing techniques! Our skin is our biggest organ, so pimples and rashes may live here if the digestive system isn't operating optimally. You can aid in the elimination process by giving yourself a hot body scrub and/or dry brushing, and/or an Abyhanga self love massage daily, to keep the lymphatic and circulatory systems moving and pushing out toxins though the skin.

Tongue scraping and oil pulling help as well. As soon as you get up, before brushing your teeth or drinking anything, scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper to remove all the toxins that have built up while your body was sleeping/cleansing. See Ancient Art of Cleansing post. Then, swish a tablespoon of sesame oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes to pull out toxins and to eliminate bad breath, and to enhance the health of your teeth and gums.

Proper sleep, relaxation and movement also keep the immune system strong but really assist in balancing the nervous system and keeping your emotional body calm. Waking with the laws of nature as the sun rises, and eating breakfast by 9/10, lunch by 1/2, and dinner by 6, followed by sleep time by 10, will keep you aligned with the rhythm of nature, so that your body can be in harmony with the sun and properly digest and assimilate all that you've taken in throughout the day.

A daily walk / exercise of some sort in nature to fill your body with the prana from the trees, coupled with yoga practices and meditation will calm the nervous system and restore your body's natural ability to heal itself, keeping your own chi/prana/life force moving fluidly. Whenever the chi stops and becomes stagnant, is when problems may arise.

Your electromagnetic field/aura is your spiritual body that needs to be catered to as well. By practicing yoga and long deep breathing or other yogic pranyama exercises, you balance your nervous system, but you also strengthen your heart which cleans your auric field. You radiate at 9ft in each direction as a being, so it's just as important, if not more so to pay attention to this spiritual body rather than just your physical body. Your physical body houses your spiritual body, so one does not work without the other. Everything starts in the spiritual body and manifests itself in the physical, so go to the root for all healing and raise your vibration to receive only good things in your life!

Schedule yourself first, it's worth it! It also helps to have a friend who is going through the same evolution in life as a support system. It's a lifelong journey, so take each day at a time. Remember, it takes 40 days of doing something consistently to remove a pattern, another 40 days to neutralize the pattern, and 40 more days to replace the pattern with a new one.

Fall in love with yourself and have fun doing it!

Sat Nam.

KATE-SIGNATURE

What brings me back to balance

I finally have a stocked kitchen again! YAY!! Who knew just how much I would crave grocery shopping, unloading my bags, and making a mess in the kitchen until I didn't have one to do it in! As you know, I have been in a transition of moving, and so I hadn't really placed myself anywhere until just about a week ago. See post: http://gowiththeglow.net/2013/10/16/are-you-moving-or-escaping/ While it was fun eating out every day, it sure didn't lend a grounding effect for me, as much as I do love all my healthy, vegan restaurants in LA!

Having already lived here, I had my favorite spots to frequent, but in a pinch, I type in 'vegan' in the yelp app search and see what's surrounding me. It's also helpful that you can find a Whole Foods or natural food store pretty much anywhere these days and get something on the run. This all sounds pretty great, huh? Easy to get sucked into this routine, but it doesn't have the grounding effects I need!

All this eating out could quickly become an 'easy' habit, and even if the restaurant choices are the best case scenarios, it will still never compare to my own cooking! Not to say my cooking is nearly as good, but it's my own energy being poured into the food and therefore has healing, and loving benefits that you just can't get from a mass producing kitchen, let's face it!

I was craving the ritual and relationship I have with my cutting board, my knife, my little routine of having some leftovers in the fridge, and planning my day ahead, that I couldn't wait to make a Trader Joe's and Whole Foods grocery run! It's amazing how important this ritual has become for me, now that I've learned how to cook for myself--It grounds me and brings me into harmony! Ideally, I like to cook dinners for myself 4/5 nights a week so that they can turn into lunch leftovers, which then frees me up to enjoy going out the rest of the week--win/win:)!

Just unpacking my grocery bags made me smile! Now, when I open the refrigerator door or the pantry door, I can have freedom to make whatever I feel like! it's so inspiring and exciting to have my vegetable/fruit bowl filled up, my array of leafy greens in the fridge, and tupperware filled containers of leftovers just waiting to be eaten!:)

I'm always brought back to balance when I make my 'go-to' Macrobiotic and Ayurvedic healing dishes: Nishime, Kinpira (see below photo), and Kitchari to name a few.

Just look at how grounding this meal looks!:

Kinpira

Cooking for myself brings me back to balance, into a state of harmony and peace. This is what happiness means to me!

The other 2 most important elements of balance for me are a daily yoga/meditation practice, and daily walks! I'm starting to realize just how important being grounded really is, and how ungrounded I can become! Now that I've adopted this yogic/healthy lifestyle, I'm sensitive to the effects of becoming overly stimulated/scattered.

Computers, iphones, sugar, alcohol, eating out, not moving your body, or cultivating quiet, can really weaken your adrenal glands, your nervous system and your kidneys, which ultimately creates stress and anxiety in the body. Needless to say, unplugging for little periods of the day are so so important for me!

Taking the time to go for a 30 min walk, to include a daily yoga/meditation practice, and to cook a meal for myself are the best ways to bring me back to balance--back to my center. Check out this post on other ways of 'zen-ifying' and how our gadgets are draining our inherent energy source:http://gowiththeglow.net/2012/03/07/zen-ify/.

Being near the ocean, surrounded by palm trees, feeling the breeze and the warm sunshine on my face, I am instantly uplifted and peaceful. Wouldn't you be if you were here:):

Palisades Park Walk

Being able to sneak a walk in is easy, but getting back into a groove of a yoga schedule wasn't quite as seamless. Finally, after two weeks of no yoga, I am back in business! There are so many yoga studios and teachers to choose from in this Santa Monica yoga mecca, that it is easy to pop in for a class, just as easy as it is to pop into a coffee shop--the hard part is just getting it on your schedule!

That's why I have to look at my schedule in the beginning of the week and plug in the times like I would with any appointment--it's a date with myself!:) And O.M.G. it's soooo worth it! Just breathing new life into all the cells of my body, becoming present to my mat, and opening up all the meridians in my body makes me feel oh so good!

So there it is folks, the ways in which I can bring myself back to my happy place, in it's most basic forms: cooking, walking and moving (yoga). If I make it part of my schedule, and stick to it, I've cultivated healthy boundaries and therefore created a grounding effect, anchored in my core values--health and happiness! I hope this inspires you to do the same for you!

Lots of love

In health and happiness,

Kate

Hot Water Benefits

Welcome to Sunday's 'Healing Benefits' feature! On Sundays, I plan to bring you tips on the ways you can improve your health and well being, one ingredient at a time!

I've talked about the benefits of Hot Water with Lemon before in this post: http://gowiththeglow.net/2011/12/07/lemon-love/, but it's important to bring it up again!

In yogic traditions, hot water is known to 'go where it needs to go'. Water cures all--that's why it's essential to our survival and why it's so precious! We know our body is made up of 80% water, right? And the world is too? Coincidence? I think not. Water correlates to the Moon. It's a fluid energy that moves stagnation. Whenever something stagnates within us, it ferments and creates toxins, also known as 'Ama' in Ayurvedic practices. Water pushes it through our lymphatic drainage system, so that we can detox/remove impurities.

But make it hot, and the detoxification process is that much more efficient! We know our bodies radiate at 98 degrees, so it makes sense that hot water is more easily assimilated when we take it in that way.

Cold water, by contrast, creates a shock to the system, and therefore does not have the same healing benefits of pushing out toxins as efficiently as hot water does.

It is best to drink water at either room temperature or heated. The body naturally does not like cold foods or drinks because it's harder for the body to digest, making it work harder than necessary--it needs to be heated up before it can be digestible.

Drink a cup of hot water before each meal, and you will digest your food better because your digestive track is warmed up, like a car would be. Drink a cup of hot water upon rising in the morning, after tongue scraping and brushing your teeth, and you will flush out all the toxins your body worked so hard to bring up while it was sleeping/cleansing itself.  Check out this post on the science behind this practice: http://gowiththeglow.net/2013/05/01/the-ancient-art-of-cleansing/.

Add half a juice of lemon to your cup of hot water in the morning, and you will enhance the detoxification process and set a healthy pH for your body that day! Yay! Namaste.

Hot Water with Lemon

In health and happiness,

Kate

xo