I remember when I was little, living in Tehran, our lives as children were simple and empty of most gift giving, toys and stuff in general. I think it was like that in most places but specially in that decade when there was war between my country and a next door country, we were considered lucky if we got our bottle of milk every morning! Let alone luxury of having stuff. When it was our New Year celebration, once a year, on the first day of spring equinox, we would receive money that was carefully placed in-between pages of an old Hafez or Rumi book for months and blessed by our grandparents. Once you were lucky enough to receive this precious, blessed abundance you were then told to save it for future education!! I am not saying that was right or wrong, trust me, it made many of us want materialistic stuff we could not have then...I do believe there must a balance.
Now that I am 37, living in a consumerist western country, I can not help but reflect back on what it means to celebrate...
Fall marks a time of coming together and tending the hearth if you allow the season to draw you inward. Fall brings new reverence for the familiar, and to re-establishing routines. You may experience a sense of nostalgia as fall's immanence dances in the air. If you resist this inward pull, you may feel scattered and anxious (Vata season) as you ease your way back into the world of responsibility. The winds of change are blowing. And keeping in mind where we live, you might begin thinking about winter preparations. Traditionally, fall is a practical time of year to line up your ducks in a row before the long, hard winter. Healthwise, supporting your body in September is essential to strong immunity and resilience all winter long.
September comes as a surprise and shock to your system as winds pick up and temperatures fluctuate. The days are noticeably shorter, with less humidity in the air. Change is in the air, which always aggravates Vata. Altogether, these have the characteristics o...
The summer has definitely begun! This year in Ontario, it took a long time to see it coming but finally it is here. The heat outside is unbearable!! So how do you take care of yourself beyond the iced lemonade?!
The heat and humidity of early summer is especially challenging to Pitta Kapha individuals (like myself). As muggy as it is outside, your body is experiencing the same "weather" internally. The heat and moisture naturally present in Pitta and Kapha constitutions leads to swelling and puffiness in June. Heat dilates blood vessels, causing water retention in Kapha individuals. Fungal and parasite infections thrive in this climate. Read on to find out how to address this.
End of spring, beginning of summer purges the last bit of water from the body as the weather really heats up. While Vata's dryness leaves them especially prone to dehydration, everyone needs to be mindful of water intake and electrolyte balance. Though there's lots of heat and moisture in the air, sweat easily pour...
Spring is here, Kapha season, where water and earth elements are dominant! Think of mud, it is heavy and dense. In the same way when spring is in the air we feel the effects of heaviness, humidity, dense qualities of air, heavy rains and growth in our body and mind. There are many ways in Ayurveda to balance this, one is with the food we eat.
Instead of looking at the individual components of foods—ie: carbohydrates, protein, fats, and calories— Ayurveda identifies six “tastes” of foods. Each taste has specific effects on the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). By including all six tastes in each meal we satisfy our nutritional and dietary needs without the need to count calories or consult a manual. Kaphas should focus on eating more of the Pungent, Astringent, and Bitter tastes, ie: leafy greens, lentils, dried beans, pomegranates, potatoes, cabbage, apples, and all digestive herbs and spices are good choices for Kapha or really for anyone in the Kapha season.
1 tablespoon organic tangerine peel (orange can be substituted)
¼ cup blanched almonds, chopped
¼ cup date sugar (or less)
Chop the dates finely. Mix the dates, water, syrup, vanilla, and tangerine peel in a small heavy skillet and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water has evaporated off and the dates are a thick mass. The thicker it is, the easier it is to work. Stir in the almonds and let cool. When cool, form into 1 inch balls (you can grease your hands with a bit of ghee, but basically you’re going to get sticky with these). Roll the balls in date sugar (to get them dry enough to serve).
2 cups whole milk (non-pastarized) or coconut milk
½ cup raisins
½ cup blanched almonds or almonds and pecans
4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
15 to 20 threads of saffron
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grind the nuts in a blender into a fine powder. Wash and grate the butternut squash. Saute the butternut
in 2 tablespoons of ghee, just enough to coat it. Stir in the milk and raisins.
Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan or iron skillet and transfer the mixture to it. Cover and bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until all the milk is absorbed. If you need to, uncover the halva in the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the milk to dry. When all the milk is absorbed, stir in the rest of the ghee, nutmeal, cardamom, and saffron. Press back into a flattened shape. Add sweetener (such as brown rice syrup) if desired. Cut in small pieces and serve.
March's weather is unpredictable. You might step out to find wind, rain, snow or sunshine - anything can happen. There's enough warmth and sunny days to spawn the big yearly melt of snow externally as fat "melts" internally. As rivers begin gushing with ice cold water, your chest and sinuses begin oozing with phlegm. Everything feels wet. The earth is soggy and fertile, rich with possibility. You may notice moisture and puffiness in your skin, even your forehead feels cool and moist. As hibernating animals come back to life, so should you. The longer and brighter days beckon you to enjoy the sunshine. Catch it when you can - heavy clouds might be on the horizon!
The wateriness of March has emotional repercussions as well. Psychologically, March is a month of lamentation, sadness, grief and release of deep seated emotions. Breathing exercises (pranayama), such as bhastrika and kapalabhati can flush out heaviness from the chest.
For those of you who know basic Ayurveda, you know what Dosh...
When I was in my 20s, I had goals, life goals that I was going to make reality no matter how hard I would have to work or whom I would have to convince to help me along the way. Later in life as I reached my 30s I started realizing that putting my attention where I wanted to direct my life was so important and was working perfectly but the outcome of that was completely out of my hands. I was planting the seeds and every time I would go to a direction I wasn't supposed to, I would so very clearly hear the messages of the universe trying to warn me, and if I kept going the results were harsh, heartbreaking lessons, it however always led to where I was supposed to be, something much bigger, magical and beautiful that I had ever imagined!!
I learnt if I let go of what I thought things must be like, that they became what they should be. I learnt that there is this mysterious, magical force in the universe that conveys everything, it connects everything together and only if it knows tha...
Pitta: Pacifies Pitta mainly because Asparagus is a blood cleansing vegetable and the blood is a pitta tissue.
Kapha: Pacifies kapha
2 c ASPARAGUS
1/4 tsp BLACK PEPPER
1 tsp CUMIN
2 tbsp GHEE
1/4 whole LEMON
1 c RISOTTO
2 pinch SAFFRON
1/2 tsp SALT (MINERAL SALT)
Grind saffron with a mortar and pestle. Place a few drops of water and continue grinding until saffron is completely dissolved. Let sit ten minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pot bring 1 quart of water to a boil and set aside. Clean and dice asparagus. Sautee the cumin seeds in ghee in a large pot.
Add risotto, asparagus and other ingredients to the cumin while the seeds are still aromatic, before they begin to brown. Sautee for an additional 30 seconds. Add 1c of boiling water and lower heat to a simmer. Continue adding 1c of boiling water from the other pot every five minutes.