Nourishing Wisdom - Certain Foods To Never Combine

 

Nourishing Wisdom
The ancient science of Ayurveda flourished in a civilization vastly different from life today. Many thousands of years ago people were very connected to the great rhythms of life - the rhythmic cycle of seasons, day and night, life and death. That said, the wisdom of Ayurveda is still just as relevant today than ever before. Fortunately for us, the wise sages understood health as being dependent upon being in harmony with nature. Let us now discuss some of these teachings centered around food combining; more specifically - food incompatibities.

 

“How you eat is as important as what you eat.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

 

Cultivating A Healthy Lifestyle
Before discussing food incompatibilities it is important to also bring about some awareness to the basics; the state of mind while eating. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who suffer from digestive conditions and often it’s the simple considerations which have the greatest impact. Therefore, here are some simple considerations to help cultivate a more balanced approach towards digestion.

“Pearls Of Wisdom”
- when eating, eat.
- eat in a relaxed and peaceful manner.
- eat fresh and seasonal foods.
- eat only when you are “truly” hungry.
- avoid overeating. *leave 1/3 of your stomach empty

 

Poor Food Combining - Food Incompatibilities
According to Ayurveda, the improper combining of food items is a major cause of digestive conditions [i.e. indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain]. It is thought that by combining incompatible food items that this leads to a disturbance in the normal functioning of the digestive system and can even result in a form of toxicity [i.e. fermentation, putrefaction] within the gut flora.

 

Thou Shalt Not ... 

Milk
It is recommended not to combine milk with the following items:
- bananas
- fish
- melons
- yogurt
- sour fruits
- bread made with yeast

Eggs
Eggs should not be combined with:
- milk
- yogurt
- melons
- cheese
- fruits
- potatoes

Starches
Starches should not be combined with:
- bananas
- milk
- dates

Corn
Corn should not be combined with:
- dates
- raisins
- bananas

Lemons
Lemons should not be combined with
- yogurt
- milk
- cucumber
- tomato

What About Fruit Smoothies?
This is considered a big “No-No” according to the basic principles of Ayurveda. Although some blended fruit smoothies made with all fruit [no dairy] may be considered acceptable, it is generally best to avoid fruit smoothies - especially mixing bananas into a dairy mixture.

Source:
The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies; Dr. Vasant Lad. Three Rivers Press.


What's Your Dosha?

 

What's Your Dosha?
If you have spent anytime in the Ayurveda and Yoga community you may have come across the term “Dosha”. The science of Ayurveda explains that the human body is a replica of the vast external universe and - “that” -  which is in the universe is also contained within the body. Although seemingly complex, let us simply discuss the concept of doshas keeping in mind that no single word can translate the exact meaning which the ancient texts have described many thousands of years ago.

 

Ancient Wisdom:
“Vata, pitta and kapha move in the whole body producing good or ill effects upon the entire system according to their normal or provoked states. Their normal state is prakrti and thier abnormal state is vikrti.” - Charaka Samhita Ch. 17 Sutra 62

The word “dosha” can likely best be described as ‘vice' or 'fault’. Interestingly, the word “dosha” comes from the Sanskrit word ‘dus’ which means ‘to err’ similar to the Greek prefix “dys” meaning ‘ill‘ and ‘bad‘ [i.e. dysfunctional, dyspnea, dysmenorrhea, etc.]. In Ayurveda, dosha refers to the three humours of the body namely vata, pitta and kapha which can disturb [“vitiate”] bodily tisssues [i.e. dhatus].

 

Dosha Type - Your Signature
Ayurveda looks at each individual as being unique with a varying combination of qualities. This unique set of qualities can be thought of as your signature “dosha type”. For example, some individuals are always moving about with great excitement and creative enthusiasm eagerly exploring the world around them. That would be a classic “vata-type”. Another example would be the typical “Type A Personality” driven by ambition and wanting to succeed to the top. This particular individual would be considered a “pitta-type”. And we all know the loving and accepting individual who is willing to embrace all that life has to offer in abundance – that is, in a way, a “kapha-type”.

 

Great Video: Introduction To The Ayurvedic Dosha Types! 


VATA DOSHA:
Vata individuals are made primarily of the air element and therefore, just like the wind, are always moving. Due to the ‘air’ element, vata types often experience cold, dry, light, and mobile qualities. Therefore, from a simple perspective, management for vata types is centered around principles of:

  • Warming
  • Moistening and
  • Weight Promoting

 

Managing The Ever Mobile Vata Types:
Ayurveda describes an interesting relationship of taste and its influence upon the body. According to this philosophy, vata types often are most balanced by sweet, sour and salty tastes. Interestingly, these tastes [sweet, sour and salty] are considered to be moistening and nutritive in action; the very management goals for vata types.

PITTA DOSHA:
The very first thing which should come to mind when thinking of pitta is the brilliant blaze of fire. Pitta types are hot, fiery, oily, and intense. Therefore, management for pitta types is centered around:

  • Cooling
  • Calming and
  • Moderation

 

A Healthy Dose Of Loving Compassion For The Fiery Pitta Types:
Since pitta types also have an inflammatory component, which is inherent to the element of fire, make sure to address pitta types with an extra dose of loving compassion. Likewise, pitta types often are most balanced by sweet, bitter and astringent tastes as these are considered to be cooling and pacifying.

KAPHA DOSHA:
When we think of kapha types we often think of loyal and compassionate individuals with a stable quality about them. This unique stability of kapha arises from the predominant elements of both water and earth which can also make kapha types vulnerable to cold, moist, slow and heavy characteristics. Therefore, management for kapha types is centered around:

  • Warming
  • Drying
  • Lightening

 

Management of The Overly Comfortable Kapha Types:
Kapha types often are most balanced by pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes as these tastes are considered to be drying and lightening in nature with catabolic actions.

 


Chyawanprash - The Famous Ayurvedic Elixir

 

Chyawanprash - The Ayurvedic Elixir
Long ago, sat in the forest an old wise sage named Chyawan. It has been said that the old wise sage had been sitting in mediation for such a long period of time that he eventually became covered with moss, twigs, leaves and branches. One day, a beautiful princess found herself joyfully singing through the forrest as she played a game while being blindfolded. Accidently, the beautiful princess’s hand had gently grazed the head of sage Chyawan. According to the rules of the kingdom - whomsoever the beautiful princess touches will be destined to be her husband as she was only to touch one man in her lifetime.

"Restore Youthfulness & Vitality"

How could such a beautiful princess marry an old man? Suprisingly, sage Chyawan agreed to marry the young princess; however he insisted several months of preparation. During these months of preparation sage Chyawan sought out a combination of herbs which would restore his youthfulness and vitality so that he might offer to his newly beloved wife many years of conjugal bliss and joy. After the several months of preparation the young beautiful princess had returned to marry the now handsome and youthful Chyawan. Due to the remarkable rejuvenating qualities of this formula - “Chyawanprash”, it has for thousands of years been esteemed as an Ayurvedic Elixir.

Amrit Kalash
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

 

THE ELIXIR OF LIFE
Chyawanprash is a remarkable tonic as it rebuilds not only the body but also helps to rejuvenate the sense of wellness within the mind. Chyawanprash is a unique a mixture of 35-37 powerful ayurvedic herbs [some say up to 49] with amla [indian goosberry; Emblica officinalis] being the base of this formulation. Chyawanprash is also found to be a potent immune enhancer, largely due to the high bioavailability of vitamin C from amalaki. In fact, Chyawanprash is thought to have as much as 30 times more vitamin C than an orange and is therefore helpful with strengthening the immune system.

Premium Amla Berry
Supports natural immunity; works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages.

Great Video On Amalaki - One Of The Main Ingredients in Chyawanprash

Because Organic Digest Tone contains three elixirs in one compound [including AMALAKI],
it is considered one of the most valuable herbal preparations in the world!!

Other Ingredients Of Chywanprash Include:
- ashwaganda
- pippali
- cardamom
- nutmeg
- cinnamon
- clarified butter and honey [as the base]
- plus so much more ...

Other Benefits Of Chyawanprash Include
:

- increased immunity; antioxidant
- rejuvenative to all bodily tissues
- reproductive tonic; enhances fertility
- provides increased strength; “balya”
- helps alleviate cough
- helps with urinary disorders
- improves skin complexion

Special Note:
- often can be taken with milk to help carry this formulation to deeper tissue
- may also consider taking with almond milk for those avoiding dairy

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Photo credit: “Archana’s Blog”
Click: ‘Easy To Make Chyawanprash!‘


Ayurvedic Tips To Help Manage Heartburn + 3 Easy Soothing Recipes

Ayurvedic Tips To Help Manage Heartburn
Do you ever get that burning, stinging sensation rising from your stomach and chest to your throat? Of course you have. In fact, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Digestive Diseases, 60 million people experience heartburn at least once a month and 25 million experience these symptoms daily. Staggering!

Basic Guidelines To Help Prevent Heartburn:
- avoid spicy food
- avoid fermented food and pickles
- minimize intake of citrus and sour fruit
- avoid overeating

Easy Soothing Recipes

EASY RECIPE #1
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
- 1 pinch of baking soda

Simply mix these two ingredients and drink. This will help to provide immediate soothing effects upon the burning sensation common to acid reflux and GERD.


EASY RECIPE #2
- 10 drops of lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of organic sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

Mix all three ingedients together making sure to add the baking soda last. This simple recipe will help to neutralize the excessive acid within the stomach and therefore help to alleviate the symptoms common with acid reflux.

EASY RECIPE #3
- 1 cup of papaya juice
- 1 teaspoon of organic sugar
- 2 pinches of cardamom

Mix all three ingredients together and drink. This recipe will also help to alleviate the the symptoms of both acid reflux and indigestion. A cautionary note, avoid this recipe if you are pregnant since papaya contains a natural estrogen which may affect the natural progression of pregnany and increase the risk of a miscarriage.

 INTERESTING VIDEO ~ "The Heartburn Myth" by Dr. Berg

Basic Guidelines For Better Digestion:
Although very simple these basic principles, if followed routinely, are often enough to improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

- All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
- Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
- We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
- Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun is at its peak
- Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

Click Here - For Simple Tips To Help Manage Indigestion


3 Tips For Healthy Living - Finding Balance From An Ayurvedic Perspective

3 Tips For Healthy Living
The ancient science of Ayurveda has described health to be a state of perfect balance. Likewise, it’s very intuitive to acknowledge that this state of health and balance is brought about by maintaining a certain lifestyle in accordance with nature.

Cause And Effect
Although the world seems to be more unpredictable by the day - we know that disease often does not just appear from nowhere. Commonly, before any of the obvious signs and symptoms of disease appear there are often more subtle expressions of disease which are present - yet, unfortunately overlooked. In the same manner, if we were to come across a tree in the forrest we know with certainty that there was once a seed and fertile ground for that seedling to sprout and come to full bloom. So true with disease according to the teachings of Ayurveda.

3 Tips For Healthy Living 
1. Food and Diet
2. Seasonal Changes
3. Stress - Emotional Concerns


"If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.

If diet is correct, medicine is of no need"
- Ayurvedic proverb

1. Food and Diet:
In ancient times food was considered medicine. This being the case, people valued food much differently then. For example, considerations such as from whom and where we buy our food, the state of mind when preparing and eating food all matters and has subtle effects upon our state of health and well-being. Therefore, always seek out locally grown organic sources of food and eat in a peaceful manner in order to help nourish your body and mind.

Likewise, from an ayurvedic perspective, the setting which one eats should be as clean and pure as a sacred temple. This same sense of austerity should also be projected upon oneself [i.e. state of mind] when eating. Also, when eating we should eat with a balanced state of mind in order to appeciate the nourishing qualities we introduce into our body. Finally, ayurveda considers the unique needs of each individual - such as “vata”, “pitta”, and “kapha” individuals. Therefore, in order to help maintain health and balance we should learn to eat accordingly to these very needs.

2. Seasonal Variation:
The teachings of Ayurveda explain that each person is a reflection of nature. Just as nature has seasonal variations of fall, winter, spring and summer - so too do we also reflect these same variations from within. More simply, as nature changes throughout the seasons - so too shall we adjust in order to stay balanced despite seasonal variations.

Below are simple examples on how to stay more balanced even despite seasonal changes. After all, we are a reflection of nature and the seasonal variations in nature also reflect within both our body and mind.

FALL:
Fall is often associated with qualities such as dry, light, cool, rough, and windy. Therefore in order to remain balanced and promote health during fall season we should consider introducing more warm, soothing, and easily digestible meals [i.e. warm soups] into one’s daily routine. This is the season to keep warm and avoid the gusty winds which can lead to increased dry qualities within. This dry and rough quality of nature may expresses itself within as constipation, dry and rough skin, and irritation to the eyes - these are just a few basic examples.

WINTER:
Winter, on the other hand, is known to be cold, damp, cloudy, and heavy. As mentioned above - according to Ayurveda, we are considered a miniature reflection of nature. Also, Ayurveda explains a concept of “like increases like” - which means the increased cold quality of winter for example will also increase the cold quality within; hence the tendency to catch a “cold” during winter. Therefore, in order to remain balanced during winter season we should consider something as simple as drinking more warming herbal teas [i.e. ginger and cinnamon tea] ... just like grandmother used to make. Yes, your grandmother was correct as she likely understood seasonal variation.

SPRING:
Interestingly, from an Ayurvedic perspective, spring is the king of all seasons because this is the season which Mother Nature seems to wake up and spring forth. The quality of spring is moist and full of energy. This is the season where snow of winter begins to melt, flowers develop a full range of color, and birds sing joyfully. Because of all this, spring is the season of allergies, “spring colds”, and hay fever. Therefore, during spring we should consider focusing on removing this excess quality of ‘moisture‘ [i.e. allergies, cold & congestion] from within. Just as we ‘spring clean’ our home during this season, it is advisable to consider spring cleaning the body with an Ayurvedic practice called “panchakarma”. Panchakarma is a purification cleansing process only to be performed under the guidance of a trained professional provider.

SUMMER:
Summer is well known for being hot, sharp, and bright and it is intuitive to balance these "fiery" qualities with something cool, soothing, and refreshing. Therefore, summer is a time to enjoy cooling herbal teas such as CCF tea [cumin, coriander, fennel] and enjoying cooling meals such as a simple salad. Likewise, you may also want to cool down with applying cool coconut oil as a daily massage.

3. Stress - Emotional Concerns:
With the world moving at an increasingly faster rate than ever before it is to no suprise that mental health is becoming more relevant in present day. It is well established in the science of Ayurveda that our health and well-being are centered around factors involving both the body and mind. It is becasue of this that Ayurveda recommends a daily routine [i.e. Dinacharya] which consists of consuming a nourishing diet, establishing positive and loving relationships, and devoting time for meditation and contemplation to help alleviate and prevent the occurence of stress.

Some Basic Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

“Sleep is the best meditation” - Dalai Lama
Although the above quote may not be technically correct, it does stress the importance for sound sleep.
Click Here: 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

 


The Root Cause Of All Disease - An Ayurvedic Perspective + Practical Tips To Improve Digestion

The Root Cause Of All Disease
Ever get that heavy feeling with unclear thinking and tiredness especially after a meal? According to the science of Ayurveda [“The Science Of Life”] this lack of vitality is often due to the formation of toxins [“ama”] - which arises due to poorly digested food material and is considerered unsuitable to the body. After all, if we eat food to gain energy - why then should we feel deprived of energy after the consumption food? The answer is quite simple as we shall see below.

Respect Your Digestive Flame
In most ancient cultures fire was revered because it provided light, warmth and the ability to cook food. In some cultures [i.e. vedic culture], fire is considered sacred as it represents the transformation between the mortal world and the heavens above. We can use this same metaphor to represent the flame within - the digestive flame called “Agni”. We can think of this digestive flame as a metaphor for all metabolic functions in the body. Therefore, it is thought that by simply respecting the digestive flame “Agni” we can directly influence all significant transformations of the body - digestive function, cellular metabolism, mental perception, and overall health and well-being.

The Importance Of "Gut Health"
Currently there is much attention centered around “gut health” in the scientific community. In fact, Hippocrates - the father of modern medicine is often quoted as saying, “you are only as healthy as your digestion” and “all disease begins in the gut”. Even more impressive is the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda which has stated this same very concept thousands of years ago.

Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
"When food is digested improperly because agni [the digestive flame] is low the undigested food becomes vitiated [disturbed] and collects in the stomach. It is known as ama [toxins]."
- Astangahrdaya Samhita 

The Root Cause Of All Disease - "Ama"
As mentioned above, “ama” is considered undigested or poorly digested food material which is thought to be toxic to the body. We can think of this simply as poorly digested food material which then enters into the colon only to create a hostile environment within the G.I. tract; i.e. supporting unhealthy gut flora. Not only does this support an unhealthy gut flora but even worse it supports the process of fermentation and putrefication. Now, if that sounds pretty toxic to you - you’re absolutely correct, because it most certaintly is.

Common Causes Of Ama:
The main cause for the formation of ‘ama‘ or undigested food material is impaired digestive function. Therefore, factors which impair digestion and increase the formation of ama include:

- overeating and consuming cold substances
-  irregular eating habits
- overconsumption of raw food
- eating heavy and fried food
- incompatible food combining
- eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress]
- sleeping before food is properly digested

Practical Tips To Help Improve Digestion
Although very simple these basic principles, if followed routinely, are often enough to improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

- All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
- Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
- We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
- Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun it at its peak
- Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

Another Great Consideration ... Trikatu - The Digestive Herbal Formula:
Trikatu is a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.

Wait There’s More! ... 10 Golden Rules For Healthy Eating
1. Food should be warm
2. Food should be unctuous [oily]
3. Food must be taken in proper quantity
4. Allow enough time between meals
5. Avoid food with contradictory properties
6. Do not eat in a hurry
7. Do not eat too slowly or too quickly
8. Pay attention to your food while eating
9. Do not eat food which is too hot or too cold
10. Take food with proper respect for yourself


The Six Tastes Of Food - An Ayurvedic Perspective + 5 Quick Tips For Digestion

The Six Tastes Of Food
Have you ever wondered why when we are sick we often lose our sense of taste and even have a diminished appetite? The science of Ayurveda explains an interesting relationship between taste, appetite, and the power of digestion. Often we simply connect tastes and flavor with enjoyment value rather than connecting tastes with its corresponding therapeutic value. Ayurveda has a simple yet elegant explanation for all of this and even provides a correlation which considers the natural order of these six tastes and the corresponding stages of digestion, as we shall discuss below.

The Six Tastes:
Although food should most certainly should be flavorful and delightful - we should also consider the therapeutic effects which food has upon both the body and mind. The six tastes that we will consider are the following:

1. sweet
2. sour
3. salty
4. pungent
5. bitter
6. astringent

1. SWEET TASTE - First Things First!
The first taste that should be consumed in a meal is the sweet taste such as rice, wheat, maize, etc.  Ayurveda explains that sweet tastes helps to nourish the mucosal lining of the stomach as well as helps stimulate the gastric juices and digestive enzymes required for digesting the meal. In ancient days, providing something sweet first was a way of helping to promote the digestive strength in a more smooth and gentle fashion rather than shocking the system with other harsh flavors. Sweet considerations may include almonds, dates and raisins.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Astringent Taste ]]
“The sweet taste promotes the growth of all bodily tissues and Ojas [vital essence]. Aiding in longevity, it is soothing to the five sense organs and the mind, and gives strength and good complexion.”
- Charak Samhita

2. SOUR TASTE - The Second Taste
The next flavor which should be introduced into the meal is the sour taste with items such as pickles. The sour taste is thought to help further stimulate digestive juices [i.e. hydrochloric acid] from the lesser curvature of the stomach. From an energetic perspective we can think of sour as being heating and this “fire” element is what breaks up [i.e. digest] food with its hot and sharp qualities.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Astringent Taste ]]
“Sour taste improves the taste of food, enkindles the digestive fire, adds bulk to the body, invigorates, awakens the mind, gives firmness to the senses, increases strength, dispels intestinal gas and flatus, gives contentment to the heart, promotes salivation, aids swallowing, moistening and digestion of food. It is light, hot and wet.”
- Charak Samhita

3. SALTY TASTE - The Third Taste
The third taste which should introduced into the meal is the salty taste. From an energetic perspective, salty taste is made up predominately of fire and water elements which helps to secrete bile acids in order to further digest both protein and fat.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Salty Taste ]]
“Salty taste promotes digestion, is moistening, enkindles digestive fire; it is cutting, biting, sharp, fluid. Salty taste promotes salivation, liquifies mucus, cleanses the vessels, softens all the organs of the body, gives taste to food. It is heavy, oily and hot.”

4. PUNGENT TASTE - The Fourth Taste
The fourth taste which should be incorporated into the meal is the pungent taste. Pungent taste is thought to stimulate normal peristaltic movement within the gastrointestinal tract which is required to properly churn the ingested meal.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Pungent Taste ]]
“The pungent taste is cleansing to the mouth, enkindles the digestive fire, purifies food, promotes nasal secretions, causes tears and gives clarity to the senses. It helps to manage conditions of obesity, abdominal swelling and excessive liquid in the body.”
- Charak Samhita

5. BITTER TASTE - The Fifth Taste
The next taste to consider is bitter taste such as bitter green vegetables. Bitter taste is thought to stimulate the release of specialized enzymes within the jejunum and ileum in order to further digest food within the lower gut.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Bitter Taste ]]
“Bitter taste, though it does not taste good in itself, restores the sense of taste. It is detoxifying, antibacterial, germicidal, and kills worms. Bitter taste creates tightness of the skin and muscles. It kindles the digestive fire, promotes digestion of toxins and helps scrape away fat. It is dry, cold and light.”
- Charak Samhita

6. ASTRINGENT TASTE - The Sixth Taste
Finally, the meal should end with the astringent taste. This is the reason why most indian meals end with a cup of lassi. Lassi is freshly prepared butter milk or yogurt and is often mixed with water and a pinch of roasted cumin powder.

[[ Ancient Wisdom Regarding Astringent Taste ]]
“Astringent taste is drying, firming, contracting. Astringent taste promotes absorption of bodily fluids; it is dry, cooling and light.”
- Charak Samhita

5 QUICK TIPS TO AID DIGESTION:
Although we have discussed the relationship of tastes to the power of digestion - we will conclude with a few tips to help aid digestion.

1. Before each meal, consider eating 1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root with a pinch of rock salt and a squeeze of lime juice. This will help to stimulate the digestive fire [“agni”] which will then help increase the secretion of digestive juices.

2. Consider adding small amounts of ghee [clarified butter] to the meal which will increase the digestive fire [“agni”] and help improve digestion.

3. Having a small quantity of pickle with a meal, such as lime or mango pickle will also help to improve digestion.

4. After having completed the meal, consider chewing a teaspoon of roasted fennel seeds, mixed with roasted dhanyaka daal as this will help with digestion.

5.  As mentioned above, consider having a cup of lassi at the end of the meal as the astringent flavor will help complete the digestive process. You can make lassi by blending about 1/4 cup of fresh yogurt [yogurt not cold; rather room temperature] into a cup of water and then adding two pinches of ginger and cumin powder.


THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO AYURVEDA

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO AYURVEDA

A Brief Introduction: “Hi. My Name Is”
Welcome to one of the oldest medical systems known to mankind. I will be your guide on this journey and I will do my level best to help make this journey as enjoyable and educational as possible. Let me quickly introduce myself. I am Mike Dhaliwal, M.D. and for a long time i’ve had the passion to further explore and seek out life’s greatests secrets. At the same time, I’ve equally had the same passion for medical advacements such as stereotactic biopsy and resection of malignant brain lesions to extreme cases of emergently cracking open a patient’s chest in the E.R. for life-saving maneuvers such as cardiac massage and so much more.  I cannot lie, all this fascinates me. However, having been in the clinical setting for nearly 15 years, I can confidently say that i’ve seen it all - the good, the bad, and the deadly [ugly].

From Clinical Insight Into Deeper Meaning: 
Often in the clinical setting, I am able to see a patient and vividly reflect upon how disease must have naturally unfolded throughout the years for many of my patients. To me that is quite remarkable and it is with this remarkable ability that I have sought after something far more meaningful - the ability to see disease naturally unfold back into a state of vibrant health. Ayurveda [‘The Science Of Life”] is just that as we shall explore together.  There is a beautiful sutra which comes from the ancient text of Ayurveda.

The Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
“The aim of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of the healthy and to cure diseases of the sick.”
- Charaka Sutrasthana 30:26

Let Us Continue Upon Our Journey:
Imagine if you will - time immemorial. Although challenging, let us think back as far as the mind will allow. Imagine the qualities of nature moving about ... naturally. Those same very qualities of nature are doing just that now in the present moment. It is because of this one fundamental principle [i.e. the law of nature] that the science of Ayurveda is considered timeless and everlastingly signficant.

AYURVEDA ~ THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
Ayurveda comes from two root words. "Ayur" which means 'life' and "veda" which means ‘the study of’. Therefore, Ayurveda is the science and study of life. From the most basic and fundamental principle we can state with certainty that health is a state of perfect balance. The all-encompasing science of Ayurveda takes into consideration just that - the perfect state of balance between the body, mind, and consciousness.

The Forces Of Nature:
Without getting into great details, Ayurveda explains that there are governing forces of nature. For simplicity sake, consider these forces to be that of dynamism and movement [vata], heat and transformation [pitta], and stability and preservation [kapha]. All things in nature contain a unqiue combination and variation of these governing forces. From this perspective, if we further develop an understanding and further align ourselves with these governing forces of nature - we then begin to discover the keys for living a more balanced and meaningful life. Afterall, health is considered a state of perfect balance as mentioned above.

WHAT’S YOUR DOSHA?
Ayurveda looks at each individual as being unique with a varying combination of qualities. This unique set of qualities can be thought of as your signature “dosha type”. For example, some individuals are always moving about with great excitement and creative enthusiasm eagerly exploring the world around them. That would be a classic “vata-type”. Another example would be the typical “Type A Personality” driven by ambition and wanting to succeed to the top. This particular individual would be considered a “pitta-type”. And we all know the loving and accepting individual who is willing to embrace all that life has to offer in abundance - that is, in a way, a “kapha-type”.

Want To Determine Your Dosha Type?
CLICK HERE:
Free  "Dosha Type" assessment upon registration.
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 AGNI - THE DIGESTIVE FIRE:
Now imagine if you will, a beautiful radiant flame. This fire that you imagine is representative to the digestive flame within your belly. The ancients explained this fire as “agni” which literally means fire. It’s interesting that both “ignite” and “agni” have the same linguistic root. In truth, agni is not only the digestive fire but instead ... everything. More accurately, agni can be thought of that which allows for proper digestion, aborption, assimilation, metabolism, perception, vitality, clarity and alertness. In other words, agni is responsible for just about everything.

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The Benefits Of Meditation + Overcoming 5 Most Common Struggles of Meditation

 

The Benefits Of Meditation
It seems that research centered around the benefits of meditation have now been rolling in steadily validating the ancient wisdom common to both Ayurveda and Yoga. Ayurveda is an ancient science which literally means ‘the science of life’. A basic fundamental premise to both Ayurveda and Yoga is that - both a sound mind and sound body are integral to one’s overall health and well-being.

“Meditation is mind without agitation.”
- Narasimhan

Just Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Meditation:
- greater clarity and inner calmness
- increased creativity and happiness
- improved sense of emotional stability
- reduced level of anxiety and depression
- improved brain function and memory
- reduced level of stress
... the list can go on and on ...

Interesting Video ~ The Scientific Power Of Meditation! 

Overcoming The 5 Most Common
Struggles With Meditation:

 

1. “I can't stop thinking.”
When people first begin to meditate, they often have the misunderstanding that one is not suppose to have any thoughts [while meditating]. Due to this false belief there is commonly a notion that one is doing something “wrong”. Unfortunately, it is this very act of judgement which can result in one meditating less.

Instead ...
Consider meditation an act of simply observing your thoughts as they arise and allowing them to flow without fully attaching and identifying to them.

2. “It’s impossible for me to sit still.”
One of the initial challenges of meditation is simply remaining still. Whether this stillness is of the body or stillness of the mind - many people find this to be a great challenge.

Instead ...
Simply consider focusing on the breath. Whether this focus on the breath is for one hour, one minute or even a few seconds - this focus on the breath will help to create a sense of being centered and will naturally create its own stillness.

3. “I fall asleep soon after I close my eyes.”
It is no surprise that many of us are overworked and sleep-deprived. Likewise, as the body begins to sense a level of relaxation - it naturally wants to further enter into a deep level of relaxation [i.e. sleep].

Instead ... 
If you do need sleep - by all means, sleep. However, as you continue a regular practice of meditation you will likely develop a greater sense of overall well-being including more profound sound sleep at night. As the quality of sleep improves at night this will provide for greater awareness during the day - which will allow you to meditate with a level of passive alertness without the tendency to falling asleep during meditation.

4. “I just don’t have time to meditate.”
Unfortunately, this may not only be the most common struggle but rather the most common ‘excuse’ not to meditate. Recently, I saw a clever post online which said, “if you have time for FB, you have time to meditate”. Taking into consideration that there are nearly 2 billion people on FB - there are 2 billion people who have time to meditate.

Instead ...
Consider setting up an alarm for the time you have carved out to meditate, or physically write it in your day planner; usually early morning or the evening. Also, instead of setting aside a large span of time to meditate - begin with just a few minutes dedicated to sitting quietly to meditate and do your level best to stick to this routine. Soon, after you begin to realize the actual benefits of meditation, the time you dedicate for meditation will increase exponentially!

5. “I don’t want to sit around and ‘do nothing’”
One of the most ‘real’ challenges in our ever increasingly fast-paced society is the concept of doing more and more and it would only seem counter-productive to ‘do nothing’.

Instead ...
Consider the act of sitting quiety and ‘doing nothing’ as a way of gaining new perspectives and insight which ultimately creates clarity of the mind. Likewise, as mentioned above, meditation has been shown to improve brain function and memory which will help to approach the ‘to-do list’ more effectively.

Parting Comment:
Make sure to bring that sense of peace and calmness from your daily meditation into your daily activies. Dr. Andrew Weil nicely explains ... “Remember the breath while walking - as with any meditation technique - should not be pursued with a grim determination to ‘get it right’. The point is to cultivate openness, relaxation and awareness, which can include awarness of your undisciplined, wandering mind.” - Dr. Andrew Weil


5 Ayurveda Tips For Transitioning Into Fall Season

Ayurveda Tips For Transitioning Into Fall Season
Ayurveda defines the transitioning between two seasons as “rutu sandhi”; "rutu” being season and “sandhi” being junction or transition. During this seasonal transition it is recommended that one should change clothes, lifestyle, and attitudes from the old season and enter afresh into the next season.

Fall = Dry, Light, Cool, Rough & Windy
From the perspective Ayurveda, each season is dominated by characterstic qualities. For example, summer is hot and fiery while winter being icy and cold. Likewise, fall is considered a transition period characteristic of being dry, light, cool, rough and windy - all which naturally increase vata conditions [i.e. dry skin, constipation, arthritis, stiffness of the joints, rheumatism].

 

5 AYURVEDA TIPS FOR FALL SEASON:

 

1. Wake Up Before Sunrise:
There is a sense of increased movement during fall season. As the winds are more gusty and turbulent, so too is the mind. Therefore, one should wake up early while there is still an extraordinary silence and peace within the atmosphere and simply sit quietly. This will help one to remain more balanced throughout the day.

2. Brush Your Teeth With A Special Powder:
Brushing your teeth with a special powder made of roasted almond shell, licorice, haritaki, and a little mint will help soothe the all-to-common drying and rough qualities of fall upon the oral mucosa.

Ayurveda Toothpaste
All-natural ayurvedic formula with neem (azadirachta indica) extract helps cleanse deep toxins from the teeth and mouth.

3. Gentle Tongue Scraping:
After brushing your teeth, you want to next consider gently scraping the tongue to help remove the pesky bacterial growth that happens throughout the night. It is also thought that by scraping the tongue - it also stimulates the internal organs via thier reflex and meridian points.

Silver Tongue Cleaner
A traditional Sterling Silver Tongue Cleaner will help whisk away bacteria and impurities found on your tongue in the morning.

4. Sesame Oil Mouth Swish:
After gently scraping the tongue to help remove any bacterial build up on the tongue you then will want to consider rinsing your mouth with sesame oil. Swishing and holding sesame oil within the mouth [without actually swallowing the oil] for about 2-3 minutes is a great way to keep the oral cavity lubricated throughout the drying aspects of fall season.

5. Cup Of Warm Water:
After brushing your teeth, next consider sipping on a cup of lukewarm water which will naturally help to stimulate a bowel movement. Since constipation is more common during fall season it is also recommended to perform a breathing exercise known as “pranayama” to further stimulate this progressive and downward movement; again in order to promote a healthy bowel movement.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PANCHAKARMA - A COMPLETE AYURVEDIC CLEANSE

DIET CONSIDERATIONS:
Organic Vata Calming Spice Mix
100% organic, ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Calming Vata Churna is a blend of seven ingredients, including cumin, ginger and fenugreek.

Amrit Kalash & Other Antioxidants
Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system

  • 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
  • powerful food for the brain
  • significantly boosts immunity & vitality
  • best taken with Amrit Nectar
  • vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)

 

Breakfast:
- warm oatmeal
- cream of wheat
- quinoa

Lunch:
- basmati rice with mung dal soup
- kitchari with steamed vegetables
- avoid dry, rough and raw foods during fall season

Dinner:
- steamed vegetables
- rice with ghee
- mushy soups

Dessert:
- halva
- cream of wheat with peeled almonds

Other Considerations For Fall:
- eat warming, soothing, and easily digestible meals
- eat foods which are primarily sweet, sour and salty in taste
- drink warming herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon and cardamom tea
- keep warm and stay out of strong winds
- do regular yoga, meditation, and pranayama breathing exercises

Reference:
Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda, vol 3.  Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.