Okinawa summer salad with ponzu-sesame dressing

okinawa summer saladWell, it’s blazing hot here on Okinawa. Pair the heat with the high humidity and it’s like a non-stop sauna. Wahhh! My husband is REALLY enjoying this weather, but it’s making me a lot bit cranky. I’ve been looking for ways to keep cool and keep my pitta nature under control. Ding ding ding! Cooling, refreshing salad!

I went to the local farmers market and came back with a bunch of summer veggies that I wanted to experiment with. You’ll probably be seeing some of these in upcoming posts. I’ll be using Okinawa varieties of produce, but I’ll list substitutions next to the ingredients in case you don’t have access to the same produce. I’ve also included picture of these ingredients and the label in case you are in Japan. Continue reading

Stewed Apricots with Vanilla and Cardamom

stewed apricot overheadLe sigh. Is it just me? Doesn’t this just SOUND luscious and yummy? I intended this to be a breakfast post, but I think it would also make a lovely dessert, perhaps with some coconut milk?

So, fruit for breakfast is a good ayurvedic start to the day. Ojas and all.  Continue reading

Stewed Apple Breakfast

stewed apple lightI know. It sounds lame. Uninteresting. Boring even. BUT! It is delicious. Simple. And nourishing.

Ayurveda says that fruit in the morning is like gold. It’s the best time to get the maximum nourishment from fruit. Cooked apples in the morning help create ojas. We want ojas! Ojas is beauty, health and immunity.

If you’re a light-breakfast kinda person, like me, this will be perfect! If you need a heartier breakfast, eat the stewed apples 30 minutes before you eat anything else for best digestion. Ok! On to…  Continue reading

DIY Ayurveda shampoo

shampoo ingredientsI 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

The three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

elementsWhat 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

The bee’s knees for your face

honeyHoney. Put it on your face. Like right now.

I’ve been reading up on mead lately. It’s got me thinking about how awesome bees are and how I used to use honey on my face. Somehow, during the move to Okinawa, I forgot how great honey was as a cleanser and moisturizer. I’m bringing that back this week!

I used local unfiltered wildflower honey. It gave my face a very gentle scrub since it still had propolis and other hive particles in it. Honey has anti-bacterial properties as well as antioxidants. It smells nice. Oh, and my favorite part is that it’s FOOD, so it’s nourishing for your skin. It makes my skin feel dewy. Continue reading

Ayurveda Overview

temple flowersAyurveda is the science of life. This comprehensive system includes all aspects of our lives: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It’s a system of natural health that’s roughly 5,000 years old! Known as the “mother of all healing,” it’s regarded as the oldest healthcare system in the world. Are you wondering why you haven’t heard much about it? Well, it’s going through a revival now. The British colonization of India resulted in a massive decline of ayurveda. Western invasion invited allopathic medicine and left India’s native medicine behind. It wasn’t until Mahatma Gandhi came along that ayurveda really took off again. Continue reading