It’s January and everyone’s talking about their dry skin. My clients are soaking up extra massage oil. They report using plenty of lotion, but sometimes, their skin still needs help. A professional massage goes a long way, but did you know that Ayurveda has just the cure? You can zap dry skin with a daily self-massage. Continue reading
Hey, smoothie lovers! It’s time to think about swapping that raw, cold smoothie for something to balance the cooler weather. The autumnal equinox is right around the corner; time to shift gears and start nourishing our ojas for the winter. Continue reading
In Japan, Houzuki is a “ground cherry.” It’s not that the fruit is mashed up, but that it is a low growing plant. When ready to be eaten, it tends to drop its fruit on the ground, hence the name I suppose. They ripen in their husk to a golden hue. I’ve heard the ground cherry likened to a gooseberry, but can’t attest to the similarity.
The ground cherry has a lively flavor that is at once sweet and acidic, like pineapple or tomato. The local farmers markets are flush with beautiful fruits, so I wanted to make a fresh fruit salsa. Continue reading
I’ve been on a chutney kick lately. Chutney goes well with rice, pasta, corn cakes, and idli (fermented bean and rice cakes). It makes a great dip, but it’s so good that I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful. If you struggle with finding new ways to pack a ton of vegetables into a meal, then chutney is a great choice. Continue reading
Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, tell me about them. If not, I suggest that you add warm lemon water to your morning routine, known as dinacharya in ayurveda. It’s uncomplicated and effective, valuable attributes in resolutions if I do say so myself. Continue reading
Yesterday, I would have traded a slice of chocolate cake for this bitter melon dish. Crazy, but true. I wouldn’t have traded a whole chocolate cake for it though, I’m not insane. I blame the heat. My body needed some cooling bitter taste.
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawa classic. This knobby green bitter melon is useful during the hot, humid summers of Okinawa. Chanpuru means “to mix” and can be used with any number of vegetables. The usual recipe has goya, onion, egg and pork of some variety. I didn’t do anything fancy here. I just wanted the goya. I guess it was a teensy bit fancy since I bought both green and white goya. What’s the difference, you ask? Not a clue. Continue reading
I hate buying shampoo and conditioner. Even the organic, SLS free, phthalate/paraben free kinds have a bunch of funky ingredients. Those brands sure aren’t cheap, either. It’s one of the only remaining conventional beauty products that I’ve been purchasing.
I wash my hair a lot. I’m just not one of those people that can go several days without a shampoo. I run and do a lot of sweaty yoga nearly every day. I live on an island with blazing heat and lots of humidity. 2-3 showers a day just to keep cool during the hottest bits of summer. My hair is prone to being oily in a pitta provoking climate like this one. Continue reading
Ghee is clarified butter. It means that the milk solids are removed from the butter fat. It is shelf stable because the water and solids have been cooked out or removed. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, it will be solid or liquid. Ghee has a very high smoke point which means it’s difficult to burn and it won’t create dangerous free radicals as many vegetable oils will at high heat. Its short chain fatty acids are easily metabolized by the body.
An Indian kitchen is incomplete without ghee. In ayurveda it is so highly regarded that it is called the “single most ojas producing food on earth” by Maya Tiwari. Ojas is health or juiciness. It’s essential for a well-functioning immune system. When you see someone that looks really healthy, that is ojas shining through. Ghee is not only food, but is used as medicine in ayurveda. 100 year old ghee is prized for use as medicine, and is passed down from generation to generation. If one could produce an essential oil of love, it would be ghee. I think that’s a nice thought. Continue reading
What is a dosha? Ayurveda groups the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) into three basic types of energy, collectively called Tridosha. These elements make up everything around us. The Sanskrit word, dosha, literally means fault, impurity or mistake. This sounds a bit harsh, but dosha can simply be a way to organize things. When the doshas are in balance, there is no impurity or mistake, it’s just a way to describe one’s nature. When the doshas are out of balance, we would then use it to mean fault. The following are the Tridosha types:
- Vata– ether and air
- Pitta-fire and water
- Kapha-water and earth
Everyone is born with a specific ratio of all five elements, this is known as prakruti. Prakruti is organized by the doshas. The ratio of the doshas you were born with will be balanced for you. Everyone has a difference combination of doshas, which is why one diet will not work for all people. Continue reading