Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 20 - My Love of Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Today was about restocking. I was out of tea, ghee and groceries. It was time to blend another batch of herbs for my personal blend herbal tea. I was also dangerously low on ghee (clarified butter). These two things have become a staple in my Ayurvedic lifestyle. I have a new recipe from the “Eat, Taste, Heal” cookbook I wanted to try so I had to journey to the grocery store to pick up provisions.

I’ve noticed that the ghee or clarified butter helps my skin and my digestion. I happen to love the taste so I load it up on almost everything – my soups, my rice, my bread, and my veggies. I also use it to sauté my chicken and fish. I’ve made an observation that when I have at least two tablespoons of ghee per day I enjoy more of a smooth move when it comes to my bowel movements. For that reason, I make sure to keep ghee on hand at all times.

Ghee is very nourishing to the digestive tract, the skin, and the eyes. It’s a great substitute for butter and even for cooking oil. It can be used topically to moisturize the skin and can be used as eye drops to wash away impurities from the eyes. Ghee is used extensively in Ayurvedic Medicine because of its therapeutic and nutritive properties.

Ghee is super easy to make (check out my post titled “Better than Butter – The Health Benefits of Ghee”). You can also purchase it in the ethnic section of the grocery store or at your local health food store. I’ve noticed it typically costs around $7 to purchase a jar of ghee. For some of my clients it’s more convenient to buy it rather than make it. Personally, I prefer to make it myself and put my loving energy into the golden liquid.

Another great benefit of ghee is it can be added to warm mild and spiced with cinnamon, cardamom or saffron for a delicious beverage before bed. Milk and ghee is very calming and acts as a sleep aid. It’s a wonderful antidote to insomnia and to calm the mind of excessive thoughts before bedtime. I’ve noticed that I start getting relaxed and sleepy within 15 minutes of drinking a glass of warm milk and ghee. It’s absolutely delicious and extremely nourishing.

Tonight I plan to make another batch of immune soup and kitchari. My husband and I are having a craving for this meal. I think immune soup and kitchari has become our new form of comfort food. Besides, I’ve got dance shows booked for the next three nights so it’ll be nice to have a warm and nourishing meal on hand to keep me grounded.

Ten more days to go on my Ayurvedic journey. So far, I’m loving this lifestyle.

For more information on Ghee visit

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 19 - Emotional Healing

I had a feeling that there might be some emotional break downs and/or breakthroughs during these 30 days. It’s hard not to separate detoxing the body from detoxing the emotions as well. So as predicted, some “stuff” came up today that challenged me emotionally.

You see when I got into Ayurvedic Medicine and I began “working” on myself and actively choosing who I always wanted to be, I discovered I was a “yes” person. I grew up thinking that in order to fit in and to receive love I had to please people. For years I would be, do or say what I thought others wanted me to in order to keep the peace, make sure others were happy or simply to ensure that I was well liked. This plan of action only worked for so long until I began to feel depleted and depressed because I wasn’t being who I wanted to be, I was trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be.

Obviously I was angry at myself for not speaking my truth and I even felt angry at others because I felt as if they were making me do things I really didn’t want to do. Of course, no one can make you do anything. I’m the one who chose to put others needs in front of my own. I “taught” them that I was OK with inconveniencing myself for their sake. I was the one that kept saying “yes” when I really wanted to say “no”.

It’s taken years of self discovery and reprogramming for me to be able to speak up and stand up for myself. There are times that I begin to get fearful that if I say what I really mean it might hurt the other person or they might get offended. But, I learned that doing the opposite was hurting and offending me.

Yes, there are times that speaking honestly about how I feel and what I want or don’t want causes the other to react unfavorably. But, there are also times that speaking my truth causes the other to react with a higher level of respect for me. Of course it’s not my intention to offend others and I’m learning how to speak my truth in a soft way rather than harshly throwing it out there.

Today, I had an experience where someone was offended by something I did. It was a situation where the person did not know or understand me or my work. It was a simple case of misunderstanding and lack of education and rather than trying to understand where I was coming from, this person chose to react in fear and anger. The old me would have felt so badly that I offended someone, I would have wanted to crawl under a rock in fear and loathing of myself for inadvertently causing someone emotional pain.

But today is a new day, and I am a new person. I opted to react with compassion on this individual who did not understand me. I chose not to beat myself up for not being who this person thought I should be. I held my head high. I left the situation knowing who I am and being proud of who I am, even in the face of adversity. On some level I knew that I invited the experience to give myself an opportunity to make a new choice.

I’m not going to pretend it didn’t affect me at all. It brought up some old emotions. But in the end I realized that I don’t have to apologize for being me and I don’t have to be ashamed. It was a liberating experience and I felt like I had leaped over a huge hurdle that had been facing me for years. I’m not the frightened little mouse I used to be, I’m a confident tiger.

I’m reminded of the famous quote by Rita Mae Brown, “The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” It’s OK if you can’t please everybody and it’s not worth the price you pay when you try to.

For more information on Ayurvedic Medicine visit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 18 - Caffeine is Not My Friend, and it's OK

Well, I definitely felt an increase in Vata today. My body was a little achy from the demands of last night’s show and overall I felt more tired than usual. I opted out of yoga to give my muscles a break and I waited until the evening to meditate. In retrospect it would have been better to go ahead and do my meditation in the morning. I would have felt more centered for the day.

My plan was to keep things simple today but I got wrapped up in tidying up my house. All that movement and expending of energy caused the Vata to rise and by early afternoon I was feeling like I needed to take a little power nap.

I ended up getting an unexpected call from a client which required me to do some traveling to meet with them in the evening. Again, more Vata. I kind of made matters worse by meeting my client at Starbucks and I ordered a hot, soy Chai tea that contributed to my state of Vata. You see, Starbuck’s Chai teas have caffeine in them and that’s usually too much stimulation for a Vata-Pitta body type with a Vata imbalance. When I drove home I felt the caffeine buzz and I didn’t like it.

When my husband got home from work, I was already back home and busy making dinner. He noticed the Vata right away because I was talking incessantly. Thankfully, I made a very grounding meal of Biryiani with mint coconut sauce. Biriyani is a spiced, rice and mung bean dish with raisons, pistachios and carrots. It definitely helped my Vata craziness.

After dinner I asked my husband to do some passive stretching of my legs that were still aching from last night which also helped to relax and ground me. We followed it up with a 30 minute meditation. Before bed I decided to do another self massage to relax my body/mind. My only problem was I had an upset stomach, most likely from the caffeinated Chai tea.

I found myself waking up in the night still feeling my upset stomach. At about three in the morning I got up and decided to put a heating pad on my belly. This helped a little but I knew it was more than physical. There was some emotional cause to my stomach issue. I realized that I had judged myself harshly for drinking that Chai and the guilt over having some caffeine turned to poison in my belly.

In Ayurveda, we do something called Tarpana. It’s an emotional cleansing where we call forth family members or others we have special relationships with in our minds eye and we “speak” to them. We talk to them as if they are right there with us and we say all of the unsaid words. It’s a time of emotional release and letting go. It’s also a time for us to forgive. I recognized I needed to forgive myself for judging my caffeine consumption.

As I breathed into my belly and imagined my higher self sitting in front of me hearing everything I needed to say to myself, I realized that I am my harshest critic and I often treat others with more compassion than I treat myself. I made a renewed commitment to love myself more completely, to refrain from judging myself and to treat myself with the same loving kindness I treat others. After that the pain in my stomach magically disappeared and I was able to go back to sleep.

Again I say, I am so blessed and grateful to have the knowledge and understanding of Ayurveda and the fortitude to use its principles to heal myself. We all have the ability to heal ourselves, the power is within us. Its day 18 and today I’ve experienced an awakening and a sense of forgiveness. I’ve discovered that I love myself and I want to be kind to me. What a concept.

For more information on Vata body types visit
To learn more about your own metabolic body type take the body type quiz at

Day 17 - Tricks of the Trade

I had to dance in another show this evening so I spent the day doing what I needed to do to keep myself relaxed and grounded for the event. My delicious herbal tea served me well today and I made sure I packed a bottle of it in my dance bag to take with me to the gig. It keeps me hydrated while at the same time allowing me the nourishment and therapeutic benefits of the herbs.

Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga Flexibility was the perfect way to start out my morning and to ensure my muscles were nice and limber for my performance. It’s a 30 minute yoga video and I follow it up with 30 minutes of meditation. I can’t think of a better way to get my body charged and my mind centered for the day.

For breakfast, I tried out another recipe from the “Eat, Taste, Heal” cookbook – Hot Quinoa Cereal with Warm, Spiced Milk and Honey. It was incredibly tasty and there was enough left over for my husband and I to enjoy another helping tomorrow morning. It was extremely important to me that I fuel my body with healthy foods for a night of dancing.

I spent the morning lying out in the sun – thankfully the weather had warmed up enough to allow me this luxury. Time in nature is a sure fire way for me to charge my internal battery and relax my mind. After that I enjoyed a fresh veggie burger and some roasted veggies as well as some chilled berry soup.

I prepared myself for my dance show by doing my dry skin brushing before my shower and my self massage after. I was also sure to pack my dance bag with different essential oils and oil blends. This makes me very popular among my fellow dancers who know they can count on me for essential oils that help to relieve headaches, increase mental clarity (so we can remember our choreographies), peppermint oil for breath and digestion as well as blends to relax tight muscles. I also brought a vial of Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic remedy that relieves stress. I find this is helpful for pre-show jitters, anxiety or stage fright.

The show went off without a hitch. I felt really centered and focused during all of my dances and felt energetic with no stress before, during or after the show. I made sure I gave myself another rub down with my personal massage oil before bed to relax my muscles and to calm my body for sleep. I did find that my mind was reeling a little as I laid down to sleep, but I found I was focusing on the joys of the night rather than the mistakes like I have so many times in the past.

It was still pretty tiring so I’m sure I’ll be taking it a little easy on myself tomorrow. It’s not always a good idea for people with a Vata imbalance to be up late at night with a lot of activity so I’m going to have to continue my maintenance tomorrow to make sure I stay in balance.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 16 - The Ultimate Food Orgasm

I’m proud to say that my new cookbook, “Eat, Taste Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Healthy Living” arrived this week. I’ve never been so excited about a cookbook before. I breezed through it and made mental notes of the recipes I wanted to try and made my list of the ingredients I’d need to get started.

The cookbook is broken down according to body types and what recipes apply to each. It also offers modifications of recipes to make them appropriate for other body types. For breakfasts, I’ve already made the Spiced Oatmeal and the Stewed Apples with dates and cinnamon. Phenomenal! I think the Stewed Apples could also work well for a dessert – it was the perfect fall/winter treat.

I’ve also experimented with the Mint and Cinnamon Lassi, the Braised Chicken, the Roasted Tuscan Vegetables with fresh cilantro sauce and the Berry Soup. Everything was so scrumptious; I think I had a “food orgasm”. I already knew that healthy meals can be fun, but this is just over the top delicious. I think I’m in love.

The recipes are pretty simple and don’t seem to take too much prep time. For people on the go, I’m sure you could prepare some things ahead of time to make it easier. For example, when you come home from the grocery store, immediately chop your vegetables and store them until you’re ready to make the meal. If you have to think ahead, do it. It’s worth the time and effort to eat such beautiful foods.

Food is life. Preparing it is an art. We have a saying in my family, “everything tastes better at Grandma’s house”. That’s because she cooks it with love. Her love goes into the food, blessing it and making it taste even better.

There are studies out there that clearly show the molecular changes that happen in water when it is blessed with positive thoughts or words. The book “Hidden Messages in Water” by Masura Imoto, shows how gorgeous crystals form in water that has been blessed with simple words like “love” or “gratitude”. Words like “hate” or phrases like “You fool!” cause the water molecules to mutate.

Our bodies are mostly water. Fruits, vegetables and many other foods have a fair amount of water in them. If that’s the case, why not take the time to bless your food before you put it into your body? For that matter why not bless your body and others by offering kind words rather than insults?

We think we don’t have enough time to cook fresh, healthy meals for ourselves and our families. But can we really afford not to? Our bodies aren’t just machines – they’re alive. They need living, healthy foods to keep them from getting sick and tired. Do yourself a favor, put some care in the foods you eat. Your body will thank you a thousand times over.

I can tell you from first hand experience, now that I’m consciously choosing the foods I eat and putting care into their preparation, my body is responding by expressing itself with vitality, happiness and improved overall function. Fast food could never compare to what I’ve got going on in my kitchen.

Day 15 - The Colonic Revisited

Today marks the halfway point of my 30 day journey. I’m starting the day off with my second colonic. After yesterday’s symptoms of detox I was more than happy to return to the scene of my initial colon irrigation in the hopes of finding some relief.

It was fascinating, really. Within the first 5 minutes of my therapy session I already felt better. My headache went away and my abdomen was relaxing. The second colonic went even smoother than the first. I was able to relax into it and even felt like falling asleep as the process lingered on.

According to my Colon Hydrotherapist, a lot of “stuff” came out. My body is responding well to my clean living by draining the toxins efficiently. The best part was that I was complete in 40 minutes. My colonic two weeks prior took nearly an hour. By the time I left I felt so much better and so ready for a nap.

The success of my colonic left me feeling so good and I was pleased to note that all of yesterday’s symptoms were gone. No headache. No nausea. No bloating. No stomach pain. I felt lighter, happier and after I short nap my energy was returning. It’s amazing what a little colon irrigation can do.

Alain, my Colon Hydrotherapist mentioned that I may need to come back again as my body continues to drain the toxins. He said I’ll know when I’m ready. He also said the colonics will get easier and easier as the body gets cleaned out.

I’m looking forward to a glorious weekend now that I’m feeling better. I just got a new yoga DVD rental in today. Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga Flexibility. I’m looking forward to giving that a try as I continue my quest of Ayurvedic Healthy Living.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 14 - Feeling Detox Symptoms

Well, I’m feeling a little gross today. Having some symptoms of detox including: headache, feeling nauseated, bloating, body aches and low energy. I also noticed that my attitude is a little crappy. It occurred to me that my Colon Hydrotherapist mentioned that I might need another colonic. He said that if all those toxins came out of my colon, then the rest of my body has toxins floating around too. He mentioned that there would come a time that all of the sudden I wouldn’t be feeling too well and I’d know it was time to see him again. He was absolutely right.

It makes sense because my body is cleaning itself out. The toxins are draining from my body and sometimes when that happens it’s too much for the colon to keep up with. The colon is where most absorption happens in your body. If it’s full of toxicity, chances are the toxins will be absorbed back into your body. After all the work I’m doing to keep myself in check, I don’t need a set back like that. So, I booked another appointment for a colonic at nine in the morning tomorrow. Yippy skippy.

For supplement that aid in detoxification of the body visit

Today was a day of yuck. It’s typical to feel those detox symptoms when your body is going through a cleanse. I’ve experienced it before when I’ve gone through liver flushes, gall bladder flushes and last year’s Ayurvedic detox and rejuvenation program (Pancha Karma). It’s like shaking loose all of the toxicity so it can be removed from the body. When you shake things up you feel symptoms of illness like I am today.

Since I’m feeling lethargic, I’m listening to my body and taking it easy. Thankfully I have enough barley and vegetable soup left over so I don’t have to cook. The soup is very nourishing and easy to digest, a good thing to have on a day when I’m feeling a little queasy. I opted out of yoga again today. No worries. I gotta do what my body is telling me. I’m keeping up with my tea and my supplements and looking forward to a good release tomorrow.

It sounds crazy but I’m actually looking forward to tomorrows colonic. I’ve been feeling so good lately and I don’t want anything to stop that positive momentum. It’s not a therapy that is as glorious as a full body massage, but it’s a therapy I would recommend to anybody. If you’re tired and achy, if you’re aging, if you’ve got a poor diet, if you’ve got body odor, if you’ve got a crappy attitude – I don’t care what anybody says – you’re toxic. Time for some colon irrigation.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 13 - Menstration Minus the Madness

Well, I got my period today. I was very curious to see how the cramping situation was going to unfold. First, let me say that there was no preliminary cramping prior to the actual flow. Usually I’ll have the tell-tale cramps or at least the lower back ache to give me some warning. Not this time.

Another thing I found interesting was the fact that I didn’t have the low energy I usually feel a few days before my period starts. I typically start feeling lethargic and have virtually no sex drive two to three days before my period. Not this time.

I’m not going to pretend it was all rosy. It was the first day after all. And even though I felt good enough to do my yoga I found myself feeling uncomfortable and a little tired as the day wore on. There was some discomfort in the low back area and I did have some mild cramping but I wasn’t incapacitated with pain like I had been in months past. Considering the excruciating pain of last November’s period (just two months prior) I definitely felt this was an improvement. I would have been happy with no discomfort at all, but I’m willing to give it time. Some improvement is better than none.

By the end of the day I was feeling normal again and pain free. I listened to my body and took it easy opting not to do the rigorous dance rehearsal as I had originally planned. But that’s OK.

You know, now that I’m thinking about it. I had no chocolate cravings and my face didn’t break out either. A pimple or two is a usual premenstral indicator for me. So I can safely say there has been some improvement in the menstruation department. Thank goodness. There’s only so much menstrual madness a girl can take.

For more information on supplements to support womens health issues visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 12 - The Happy Tummy

Today I became acutely aware of the relaxation I’m feeling in my abdominal cavity. Ever since I was a teenager I would find myself contracting my abdominal muscles for no good reason. When I was in high school I’d be sitting in class and realize that my abdomen was tense and I would have to breathe and force myself to relax.

Of course, the contracting of my abdominal muscles would cause my back to hunch slightly causing poor posture. Looking back with the knowledge I have now, I understand that part of this contraction was due to emotional issues such as fear and low self esteem. But it was also due to a poor diet and the toxicity I was storing in my intestines.

Part of the reason I was drawn to holistic healthcare was because of being rather sickly as a child. A poor mental diet of negative emotions and a poor physical diet of junk food left my immune system compromised. We used to have a joke in my family that if I was in an odd numbered grade in school I was sure to get some sort of illness (strep throat, mono, ear infection, flu, you name it).

As I got older and began to consider the person I always dreamed of being, sickness was definitely not part of the equation. After going through many years of being in pain due to a car accident I was in my senior year of high school, I finally decided enough was enough. I was in my early twenties and I thought, ‘I’m way too young to feel like this. Something’s got to change.’

I got into holistic healing because I was attracted to the idea of healing myself. It’s no wonder why I chose Ayurvedic Medicine as the modality I wished to practice. And now here I sit on my 12th day of healthy living according to Ayurvedic principles thanking my lucky stars that I chose a new way of life.

Back to my comfy tummy… I’m attributing it to good food, obviously. I know the colonic made a huge difference; I’m having smooth and comfortable bowel movements three times a day. I also believe that the daily yoga is helping. Taking time in the morning to open up my spine, stretch and breathe into yoga postures is such a healing practice. My posture is improving and my vertebrae don’t feel “stuck” like they used to causing pain and discomfort. My abdomen is free to relax.

I’m nearly halfway through my 30 day journey and I’m seeing my body transform. I’m so glad I decided to give this gift to myself. I’m so glad I loved myself enough to make the necessary changes to improve my health and well-being. Self-healthcare is a gift and a blessing to give to your Self.

I can honestly look at myself in the mirror, place my hands in prayer position and bow to my Self and say “Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.”

For more Ayurvedic supplements that assist digestion visit

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 11 - Better Food - More Energy

Wow, I feel really good today! I am really digging this Ayurveda stuff. It’s crazy. I’ve been an Ayurvedic Practitioner for 4 years and I thought was pretty passionate about Ayurvedic Medicine. But I think I was passionate about the idea of it. It made sense to me. I’ve seen what it can do for other people. Last year I even went through a 7 day Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation program called Pancha Karma and felt like I was on top of the world because I felt so good.

But here’s the difference between then and now… During Pancha Karma your Ayurvedic Practitioner and the supporting therapists do everything for you. They cook for you. They do all the therapies on you. They give you different “homework” assignments to assist you in your personal growth. But it was always someone else doing the work. You see, that’s the difference here. This time it’s all me. This time no one else is doing it for me. I’m doing all my own cooking. I’m giving myself the massage. I’m initiating the yoga. I’m listening to my body and doing what’s necessary for me and my state of balance.

And I feel so good! Today I had extra energy in the afternoon and decided I really felt like going on a power walk around my 2.5 acre property. This from a person who in previous months felt like she couldn’t get through the afternoon without a power nap. I’ve gone from an afternoon power nap to an afternoon power walk. How cool is that?

Two things I was really hoping to get out of this: more energy and more excitement about the whole cooking thing. My desire to cook used to go in fits and starts. I now realize that in most cases I can makes something that’s healthier, tastier and better for my individual body type than what I could find at a restaurant.

I know there are people out there who say they don’t have time to cook. I understand. I used to be one of those people. But in these past 11 days I’ve noticed myself getting more excited about cooking and about the possibilities of delicious foods that I can make. I also see the way my body reacts to the food. I can eat more without getting that false full feeling and my body is digesting better and utilizing the nutrients in a more efficient way.

Today I tried my first hand at Thai cooking. I made a sumptuous green curry chicken with steamed vegetables and rice. Tomorrow I’m planning on making a vegetable and barley soup.

On our way to the grocery store today I said to my husband, “Do you want to hear something crazy?”

“Sure.” He replied.

“Now that I’m into cooking all these fabulous meals, I’m actually excited about going to the grocery store.” That’s a new one for me.

Day 10 - Communing with Nature

Today was all about communing with nature. I always enjoy a time to relax the night after a dance show. I decided not to indulge in my DVD of Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga – Strength, and decided to listen to my body who was asking for a rest.

My husband and I spent time in the sun, soaking up some rays down by the river in our back yard and watched our dogs frolic with delight in the warmth of the noon time sun. In true Ayurvedic fashion we had our biggest meal of the day for lunch and felt blessed to partake of delicious food on this lazy Sunday.

We spent the afternoon working on projects. I decided to work on sewing one of my costumes which I hope to have completed for my show next Sunday. The evening was reserved for building a fire as my husband, myself and the dogs sat around it mesmerized by its warm glow.

After performing at the birthday party last night and experiencing the surreal energy of the DJ, loud speakers, strobe light and fog machine, it was nice to get back to basics and be with the earth, air, fire and water. I felt very much like I was giving myself this gift of time in nature. And I felt, as I always do, like nature was giving back to me.

I feel extremely blessed to be educated in the ancient ways of Ayurvedic Medicine and to have the fortitude to bring its wisdom into my modern life. I know it’s not possible to experience Ayurveda in its purest form like the sages of ancient times, but we do what we can. So I didn’t do my yoga today… big deal. I still found my inner peace in the comfort of my own back yard.

Day 9 - Two Worlds Colliding

Today I noticed the aftermath of my inappropriate meal choice from Chili’s yesterday making its way out of my body. My first bowel movement of the day was not pleasing. Although I made sure to take my triphala supplements before bed last night to ensure a detox of the Chili’s experience, my BM wasn’t exactly a smooth move. OK, I got it. Lesson learned.

I was thankful for the experience from the standpoint that I have to dance in a show tonight and the hostess is providing dinner for the entertainers. Since I wasn’t sure what types of foods I could expect I made sure to bring my churna (spice blend), my personal herbal tea blend and some “Stomach Ease” tea just in case. My new motto for eating out will be, “Churna. Don’t leave home with out it.”

I performed for a Latina girl’s 15th birthday party tonight – complete with a DJ and 200 guests. In short, lots of teenagers and loud thumping music. It was also cold tonight and my costumes aren’t exactly warm and wooly. So I had to prepare myself for an evening that could potentially cause imbalance.

I spent my morning doing my usual hot tea, yoga, meditation and daily Ayurvedic practices. My afternoon eating warming foods (you can never go wrong with immune soup and kitchari) and taking time to relax. I was even lucky enough to have my husband massage my neck and shoulders so my muscles would be loose and ready for action.

Before I left, I gave myself another self massage with my personal blend body oil. This practice would keep me grounded and seal my skin with a protective layer, like an aromatic body armor.

When I arrived I was in a great mood and ready for anything. I chose wisely from the foods offered at the buffet table, doused everything in churna and only drank the herbal tea I brought with me. I was feeling good until halfway through the show when things started getting a little crazy. The energy was up, the crowd was lively, the room was chilly and the show didn’t flow quite as smoothly as I had hoped. The lack of flow got my anxiety up a bit.

Once the show was over I sat down to enjoy my herbal tea while watching my friends, the break dancers, put on a little performance. Before long I began to experience a headache from the pounding of the bass and the energy of the wild teenagers, who by this time, were totally enthralled with the break dancers and wanting to bust a move themselves. I found myself sneaking off to the dressing room for refuge.

When you commit yourself to peaceful, balanced living and are thrown into a wild nightclub-like atmosphere, it feels like two worlds colliding. When I left the party and walked out to my car I could literally feel more and more peace the further I got from the building. The thumping of the bass seemed to alter the cadence of my heartbeat. It’s just an unnatural environment and not exactly Ayurvedic. Oh well, the show must go on.

I was more than happy to drive home to find my zen-like state again. My headache subsided when I arrived home and I kept that momentum of peace going by giving myself another massage before bed.

I noticed that by the time my head hit the pillow I was relaxed and comfortable. Usually when I return home from a gig I have trouble getting to sleep, my mind keeps spinning and going over the different choreographies - what was good and what went wrong. This time I slipped into a restful sleep. I mentally patted myself on the back for taking precautions to keep myself in check in spite of the not so zen-like environment I just performed in.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 8 - The Learning Experience

I had an interesting experience today. It’s Day 8 and it’s Friday night. My dear husband really wanted to go out to eat. He wanted to indulge in a giant cheeseburger. I understood this desire; I used to have the same craving every once in a while. He wanted to go to Chili’s but was concerned that I might have trouble finding something appropriate to eat. I assured him that I could make due. “I’ll just bring my churna and I’ll be fine,” I told him.

It was a lovely thought, but I realized when we were a third of the way there that I left my churna on the counter. I really didn’t want to turn around so I chalked it up as a learning experience. When we arrived the hostess was very excited to tell us that they had a new menu for us to check out. I sat down and in front of me was a page with the title “Triple Dipper” – 9 menu items to choose from with dipping sauces. It looked wonderful. I didn’t even bother opening the menu. I declared the “Triple Dipper” as my ultimate choice for the evening.

I ordered a hot tea, hoping that would ease any digestive issues and vowed to eat slowly and chew everything very well. I ordered the spinach-avocado dip, southwest egg rolls, and some sort of glazed chicken thing. My husband ordered the mushroom-swiss burger.

When the food arrived I was all a flutter. His burger looked divine and my goodies didn’t look too shabby either. I tried to put in the back of my mind the fact that the southwest egg rolls and the chicken looked deep fried and decided to start off with the two celery pieces they gave me (the only real vegetable on the plate).

About half way through the meal I felt my stomach getting angry. It didn’t matter much how slow I ate or how long I chewed. The deep fried items were causing a ruckus. I desperately longed for my churna. I chose not to beat myself up and planned to make a cup of Yogi brand Stomach Ease tea when I got home.

By the time I left the restaurant my stomach was cramping and was noticeably distended. My angry stomach was retaliating by creating a gas bubble. I could only anticipate belching and flatulence in my near future.

Thankfully, when I arrive home I made myself a cup of hot, stomach ease tea and put a drop of peppermint essential oil on my tongue. It wasn’t long and my stomach was back on track. The stomach ease tea made a huge difference. My bloating went away, but it required some gas to be expelled. My husband and I spent the night burping and farting. It was a romantic way to end the evening.

I saw a sign on the wall of the restaurant that said, “There’s no place like Chili’s”. This is true, but my stomach would have to agree with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Especially when we’re talking about healthy, well cooked food.

For Ayurvedic supplements that aid digestion visit

Day 7 - My First Successful Week

OK, today marks my first official week on my Ayurvedic regimen. So far I’m loving it. I realized today that not only am I sleeping better, I don’t have the back pain I typically wake up having. I’m attributing this to my daily yoga sessions which are helping me my posture and alignment.

I’ve noticed that during my yoga the different postures allow me small adjustments in my vertebrae, hip and ankle joints. I’ve been a patient of chiropractic care ever since I was a little girl. Various falls and then a couple car accidents later in life tweaked my spine and pain was a normal way of life for me. I feel like yoga fits perfectly with my recipe for self healthcare. It’s a discipline that I’m finding is well worth it.

Additionally, I’ve noticed that my complexion is improving. I’ve noticed that my skin looks more radiant and I’ve got this lovely, creamy complexion. The wonderful intake of foods and the daily self massage is doing wonders for my skin. I’m sure Monday’s colonic played to small role in my improved complexion as well. It’s amazing what happens when you get your colon cleaned out.

I seem to be getting into the cooking thing too. I’m sinking into the mode of chopping veggies, juicing, and preparing my well cooked, well spiced meals. After only one week, I’m starting to make this a way of life for myself. I can see now that the benefits far outweigh the perceived inconvenience.

I used to go through spurts of wanting to cook, then wanting to leave it up to someone else, like a restaurant chef – after all they’re getting paid to do it. But when you cook for yourself and your family you’re taking care in what you do. You’re making meals with love and with you and your family’s health in mind. That energy goes into the food making it more potent and more nourishing.

When I sit down to eat, I do it in a relaxed way. I give thanks for what I have and for all of the people who made it possible for it to be brought to my table. I find myself thanking the earth for providing such wonderful nourishment for my body. I’m noticing too that I don’t have that false full feeling after I eat. I don’t feel bloated or like I’m going into a food coma for overeating. My body seems to be digesting more efficiently and utilizing the nutrient rich food.

Food is medicine. It’s life. If I am what I eat, then I can feel confident that I am life affirming, delicious and nutritious. My body is thanking me for taking such care in what I put in it. I can see it in my skin, my energy level, my attitude and even in my output of waste. My urine is no longer cloudy, my bowel movements are more productive and don’t seem to smell bad. Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed any body odor lately either. I guess it’s true what they say in Ayurveda, ‘Clean going in and clean coming out.’

Day 6 - Doing What I Gotta Do to Keep My Balance

Today’s events caused me to be traveling a bit which is a very Vata inducing activity. Since Vata is a combination of air and ether and air is all about movement. Excessive travel has the ability to aggravate Vata and since I’ve been working so diligently to reduce my Vata, it was important for me to take the necessary precautions to ensure that I did’t get myself out of whack today.

It was a chilly day today so I made sure I bundled up appropriately. Winter is a Vata season so the cold and wind that Winter brings can wreak havoc on a Vata body type. I’ve learned that even though I live in Florida it doesn’t mean that it can’t get chilly. I’ve also learned that sometimes it means I have to dress warmer than the average Floridian. Sometimes people make fun of me for my scarves and gloves but I’d rather be warm than look cool.

I started my day with my usual routine hot herbal tea, grounding yoga, warm spiced oatmeal and made sure to give myself a good rub down with my personal massage oil. I also packed my supplements and my churna (spice blend) in my purse since I knew I was going to be having lunch with my mom. I kinda felt like I was packing an Ayurvedic diaper bag for myself.

After my first appointment of the day I drove to my mom’s house. She was kind enough to make me a delicious smoothie of greens, grape juice and fruits. I was little nervous when I discovered she used frozen fruit to make her smoothies. On this cold day a cold smoothie was not the best option for my Vata body. I made due by putting my jacket back on while I ate it and was sure to follow it up with a cup of hot tea to balance the out the coldness.

Since my mom is on a 30 day fast in preparation for a trip to India she will be making in 3 weeks I wasn’t too concerned about the lunch she had in store for me. I was delighted to have a luscious plate of yellow rice with vegetables served to me with a peach vinaigrette on the side. I was sure to sprinkle a heavy dose of my trusty churna which added the necessary digestive spices to complete the meal.

After that it was off to the Indian grocery store to pick up some more split mung beans and ajwan seeds for my next batch of kitchari I plan to make tomorrow. I also picked up some cardamom seeds, an expensive spice that they had for a very reasonable price.

Tomorrow I plan to make another batch of immune soup to go with my kitchari. This will be my third batch of immune soup in two weeks. For some reason I just can’t get enough of it. But that’s OK, if that’s what my body wants, I’m more than happy to oblige.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 5 - The Joys of Self-Healthcare

On the fifth day of my journey I noticed how connected I’m beginning to feel to this thing called self-healthcare. All of the things I have learned about Ayurveda and understood conceptually began sinking in today. I don’t know that I have ever been so committed to my Self and my well-being. I’m really starting to feel empowered by this experience.

I find that I wake up in the morning, I immediately begin to consider what I need to do to keep myself in balance for the day. All the little daily practices like drinking my tea, brushing my skin and doing my self massage really make a difference in how I feel. I’m noticing that I each night I have a more restful sleep. I even realized today that I haven’t had any sweet cravings since I started this 30 day dedication to my health. Obviously the pau d’ arco and olive leaf extract supplements are helping.

When I cook my food and when I sit down to eat it in a peacefully, I begin to feel what my books and teachers always said, “Let food be your medicine.” I’m carefully choosing what I put into my body and my body is responding so well to my renewed commitment to it.

I was thinking about my past lack of discipline today. I thought about the times I chose convenience over wellness. Those days I didn’t feel like cooking and opted for something quick and cheap as my meal of choice. I was comparing the delicious foods I’ve been making now to the junk I would settle for in the past – over processed, toxic, dead food. What was I thinking? Did I not love myself enough to give my body the proper nourishment it deserves?

Our bodies are amazing machines. They do their best for us even under the horrible conditions we put them in. Our bodies work so hard for us every day to maintain the balance that they need to perform their millions of functions. Why have we become so complacent about how we treat them and what we put in them?

Most of us treat our cars better than we treat our bodies. We know that if we don’t put the proper gas in our car, get an oil change, a tune up and a new set of tires after so many miles it won’t run efficiently for us. The same is true for our body. Do you really want to drive a car that’s almost out of gas and low on water, needs an oil change and has bald tires? Probably not. But you’re willing to operate your body like this on a daily basis. What’s up with that?

Today I’m thanking myself that I decided to stop the madness and commit myself to 30 days of healthy living. It’s only day five and I’m really loving how I feel. What an awesome way to live.

To learn more about Ayurveda visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiffany's Personal Blend Body Oil

Daily self massage is an important aspect to Ayurvedic living. Personal blend body oils serve as a protective layer for the skin. Essential oils added to the blend have therapeutic properties that act on the body systems and organs to relax the body and relieve certain conditions.

Within my 30 days of living according to Ayurvedic Medicine, I massage myself once or twice a day. I find that my personal blend body oil scents and softens my skin and makes me feel peaceful and relaxed. Oiling the body relieves the stress of excessive travel and protects the body against negative energy.

Below are the essential oil ingredients for my personal blend massage oil and the therapeutic properties specific to my current imbalances.

Angelica – female tonic
Cardamom – cough, digestion
Champa – aphrodisiac
Eucalyptus – respiratory conditions
Lavender – calming and relaxing
Rose – female reproductive system
Spikenard – grounding, calms nerves

Consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner who can blend a personal blend massage oil that's right for you.

For more information on self massage visit

Tiffany's Personal Spice Blend

According to the recommendations from my Ayurvedic Consultation, it was necessary for me to use a churna to help my digestion. A churna is a blend of spices that aids in digestion. Specific culinary herbs are used, each on has its own therapeutic properties and all of them help digestion and assimilation.

Whenever I make a churna for one of my Ayurvedic clients, I encourage them to take it with them whenever they go out to eat or if they happen to eat some place that may not have foods that are appropriate for their body type. For example, if you've been invited to your Grandmother's house for dinner and find that she's made a lovely meal that does not fall in line with your Ayurvedic diet. It may not be appropriate to say, "Gee, Grandma, thanks for the meal, but I really can't eat any of this because your food is not right for my body type." Maybe you're son's soccer team has a pizza party and you know your stomach is going to hate you for indulging. It's OK. All is not lost. Simply sprinkle your churna on those questionable items and you'll find your digestive system thanking you for it later.

Obviously my churna was custom blended for my body type and current imbalance. Below is a list of culinary herbs in my churna as well as the therapeutic properties that make them appropriate for me.

Allspice – digestive stimulant
Asafetida – flatulence, nervousness
Basil – sinuses, colds
Black Pepper – stimulates circulation, memory
Cayenne Pepper – colds/ flus, constipation
Cardamom – cough, colds
Cloves – sinuses, colds
Curry – digestive aid
Fennel – muscle spasms, detoxifier
Ginger – colds/flu
Nutmeg – cough
Rosemary – joint paid, dispels phlegm
Sage – dries up mucous in nose and lungs
Salt – clears mucous from stomach
Tarragon – menstral irregularity
Thyme – menstral cramps, respiratory conditions
Turmeric – anti-inflammatory, natural antibiotic

If you're having digestive issues, consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner who can help you determine which culinary herbs are appropriate for you.

Tiffany's Personal Blend Herbal Tea

My personal blend herbal tea was custom made for my body type and current imbalances. Therapeutic intake of a personal blend tea is between 4-6 cups per day. This herbal tea acts as my medicine. Herbs have medicineal properties with a variety of effects on the body. Herbs do not act as quickly on the body as drugs, often times it takes two weeks of consuming your herbal tea to notice major changes in the body and improvements in your current health conditions. That's not to say that you won't notice any change at all. I've had Ayurvedic clients that say they notice a difference after just one cup of tea.

Below I've included a list of the herbs in my personal blend tea as well as the reason I chose them as part of my recipe.

Angelica – female tonic
Chrysanthemum Flowers – sooths liver, relieves menstral cramps
Elderberries – relieves cough
Fennel – digestive aid
Gotu Kola – brain tonic
Jasmine Flowers – female aphrodisiac, antiviral
Milk Thistle – liver rejuvenative
Peppermint – digestive aid
Rose Petals – female reproductive system
Valerian Root – calms nerves, muscle spasms and menstral cramps

If you are interested in a personal blend herbal tea, consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner who can determine which herbs are appropriate for you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 4 - The Colon Cleanse

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the day of the colon cleanse.

Well, I only did about 20 minutes of yoga this morning to give myself plenty of time to get to my appointment for colon hydrotherapy. I was happy to note that I had a productive poo this morning thanks to the five capsules of triphala I took last night. It’s always good to prepare the colon before a cleanse. Triphala helps to break up toxins stuck on the walls of the colon making it easier for them to slide right off.

I arrived at my appointment psyched and ready for action. I set an intention for an efficient cleansing with minimal discomfort. The colon hydro therapist asked me several questions about my current state of health. He wanted to know what my diet looked like, when my last colonic was, if I exercised, how often I have a bowel movement and so on. I explained to him that I had been sick in recent weeks with a respiratory thing complete with cough and congestion and that it had been a year since my last colon cleanse.

He informed me that it’s best to get a colon cleanse every three months, when the seasons change. That made total sense to me because it mirrored Ayruvedic philosophy that also suggests cleanses during seasonal changes. Before I knew it I had a tube up my bum and water streaming into my colon. It was a little uncomfortable so I just tried to breath and relax and imagine how good I was going to feel when it was over.

Alain Menard, my colon hydro therapist was a wealth of information during my treatment. He’s been doing this for nearly 30 years and explained to me that colon hydrotherapy is actually a cure for HIV/AIDS. He had offered to speak at an HIV clinic in Sarasota but unfortunately the doctors were uninterested in what he had to offer. It seems HIV/AIDS, like Cancer, is big business. They wouldn’t want their patients to know that Mr. Menard had the pleasure of curing one of his clients from AIDS in just one treatment that cost the man only $50.

Alain also cured a client of his from ovarian and breast cancer in just five treatments. No chemo, no radiation, no surgery. He explained that the body makes hydrogen peroxide. Oxygen plus water equals hydrogen peroxide – with that our bodies can fight off anything that poses a threat to our immune system. The more toxic build up we have in the body, the less oxygen we have and therefore, the less ability we have to keep ourselves disease free. Oxygen alkalinizes the body and disease can not live in an alkaline environment.

Apparently, Alain also does ozone implants. Since ozone is oxygen and can’t be patented. It’s something the doctors and pharmaceutical companies can’t make money off of so it’s best to keep the masses uninformed so they can continue there business of “sick-care” rather than healthcare and make money off of our misery.

I appreciated Alain’s commentary for two reasons, it was extremely informative and it got my mind off of the tube that was up my butt and the pressure wash my large intestine was undergoing. He said the toxicity in the body is what makes us age. If our bodies are clean we don’t age as much. The body completely regenerates itself every five years. If that’s the case, why do we see ourselves looking older? Because our toxic load is putting years on our faces and bodies! Remove the toxins, reverse the aging process. I liked the sound of that. Forget plastic surgery – go get a colonic.

Alain noticed a lot of “stuff” was coming out during my cleanse. It was no secret why I had been sick for several weeks prior. He said there was a lot stuck at the beginning of my ascending colon, near my appendix. For females, this creates pressure around the ovaries. I started to understand why I was having severe cramps during my period with most of the pain being on the right side.

Alain also suggested that I consider doing a liver/gallbladder cleanse. It had been a few years since I did a gallbladder flush and he said twice a year is a good frequency for that type of cleanse. I just might have to incorporate that into this 30 days.

After about 50 minutes I was good to go. My abdominal cavity felt so relaxed and so happy I can’t wait to see how my energy level skyrockets after this experience. By the end of the treatment my body felt really good and really tired. It worked very hard for me and was ready for a nice meal and a nap.

Alain suggested that I come back for another colonic in a couple of weeks. Now that my colon is empty my body is free to dump all the toxins it’s been holding into it and I’ll be ready to get rid of them again. He said, I’d know when it was time and to give him a call and we can do it all again. Yippy!

All in all it was well worth the time and the $70 I spent to get the job done. My colon is squeaky clean. I feel like I have a fresh start. Tonight I’ll begin taking acidophilus tablets. When you have colon irrigation it strips the colon of the good bacteria as well as the bad. Acidophilus tablets bring the good bacteria back into the large intestine. I picked some up at the health food store and will be taking them between meals for the next few days.

I feel lighter. I feel cleaner. I feel younger. I feel glad it’s over. God bless those brave men and women we call Colon Hydro Therapists.

For more information or to purchase triphala supplements visit

Day 3 - My Body is Starting to Like Me Again

Day three began as usual with my herbal tea. I notice my morning tea ritual gives me the time I need to ground myself and begin my day gently as opposed to starting the day by running around like a chicken with its head cut off like I had been for months.

My first bowel movement of the morning found me having that beautiful feeling of relief I’ve been longing for. In recent months I just haven’t had that feeling. This new development is partly due to the triphala supplements I take before bed and partly because of the healthier diet I’ve been enjoying lately. My body is starting to like me again.

This morning’s yoga was divine. My husband, Chris and I did an hour of yoga together followed by meditation. We felt extremely relaxed afterwards. It was a wonderful way to start a Sunday morning. I can already feel my posture improving and even though I’ve only been back into it for a few days, I already notice a change in my strength and flexibility. Good stuff.

I made Kitchari for lunch, an Ayurvedic dish made of mung beans, rice and spices. Kitchari is used in Ayurvedic detox programs because it’s easily digestible and it binds to the toxins and moves them out of the body. My husband loved it so much he asked that we make it a regular staple of our diets. I saved him enough to take with him for his lunch tomorrow. His favorite thing about Ayurveda has always been the food. Can’t blame him, really.

Before lunch was ready I chopped up a bunch of veggies to make another batch of immune soup. Immune soup is something I came to love while I was going to school for Ayurveda. It’s got loads of immune boosting veggies and spices that are cooked in water on the stovetop and then pureed. It was the perfect complement with the left over kitchari for dinner. Yummy!

This evening I had a dance rehearsal. I dance with a production company called International Productions in Sarasota, FL. I noticed that the yoga made my body much more limber and the grounding foods and teas I consumed today helped me to feel strong and solid for the hour and a half of dancing that was required of me. I used to drive home from rehearsals feeling tired, depleted and a little frazzled. Not so, today. Since I’ve been building my body back up, I’m able to enjoy life with more strength and flexibility – physically and emotionally. I love this Ayurveda stuff. Makes me wonder why I had tortured my body with months of slacking previously. Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk. I’m patting myself on the back for making the renewed commitment to my heath. And this is only day three!!

Tomorrow is colon cleanse day. I’m greatly looking forward to the results, but a little nervous about the actual event. Gotta do it. Stay tuned for Day Four.

Better than Butter: The Health Benefits of Ghee

Ghee, or clarified butter, has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for thousands of years. It has a multitude of uses and health benefits, and it’s easy to make.

Ghee is highly nutritious and very nourishing to the bones, skin and digestive tract. It can be used as a substitute for butter or cooking oil. Ghee actually strengthens the liver rather than clogging it like most fatty oils do and can be stored at room temperature without spoiling.

In Ayurveda, Ghee is used as food for the bone marrow, nerve tissue, the brain and skin. It can be used internally as a gentle laxative, topically as a moisturizer or as an eye wash to remove impurities from the eyes. Medicated ghees infused with herbs or essential oils are used to treat a variety of imbalances.

How to make:
-Heat unsalted sweet cream butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
-Stir frequently as butter melts and comes to a boil. Spoon off the film of foamy fat that rises to the surface as it boils.
-Continue stirring and spooning off fat for about 45 minutes or until ghee becomes a clear golden liquid.
-Strain and store in glass container at room temperature

Day 2 - The Joys and Challenges of an Ayurvedic Diet

The second day of my journey I found myself waking up hungry. I decided not to wait until after yoga to eat something. I had my tea and a piece of Ezekiel bread with ghee. I noticed a little more sinus congestion today so after I brushed my teeth and did my tongue scraping I immediately did a nasal rinse. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same relief as yesterday so I opted to do an inhalation with essential oil of eucalyptus which seemed to do the trick.

Ayurveda is all about self-healthcare so it’s important to have an awareness of your own body and its individual needs. Today I needed food right away and I was OK with that. I also felt complete only doing 30 minutes of yoga rather than an hour. I listened to my body and paid attention to what it was telling me.

Due to yesterday’s intake of herbal tea I found my urine wasn’t cloudy this morning. Still have some mild constipation though, as I noticed my stools are still sinking not swimming. I’ve got a colon cleanse scheduled in two days, we’ll see what happens after that lovely experience.

The amount of cooking I did yesterday had me slightly overwhelmed. My schedule was pretty easy yesterday but how am I going to handle it on days that are a little more hectic? I ordered an Ayurvedic cookbook called “Eat, Taste, Heal” on which boasts delicious Ayurvedic meals in a fraction of the time. The typical modern westerner doesn’t exactly have the time for hours of cooking everyday and the subsequent pile of dishes that follows. Microwaves are not something we like to utilize in Ayurveda because it has the waves have the ability to alter the food making it unhealthy for the body. So that means more prep time and usually more dishes that need to be washed.

Since I neglected to soak my oats overnite I chose a fresh juice over oatmeal. I decided to have some fun with it and juiced up carrots, celery, spinach, cilantro, a little parsley, a beet, apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon and allspice. It was a delicious treat. Raw vegetables aren’t preferred for Vata body types because they’re “cold” and uncooked veggies are more difficult to digest. Vatas body types need warm, well cooked foods. Juicing works because it’s easier for Vata’s to digest raw juiced vegetables especially if you add warming spices things like cilantro and parsley or even fresh ginger which act as digestive aids. I’ll be expecting reddish colored poo tomorrow because of my intake of beet juice. That’ll be fun.

Staying on my Ayurvedic regimine is a discipline, but I don’t have to be rigidly attached to certain things. It’s not realistic and it doesn’t promote balance to try to be perfect all the time. Case and point, I had my parents over today and my mother was kind enough to bring us dinner. It was a vegetarian meal of wild rice, veggie stir fry with peaches. There was broccoli and cauliflower involved which is something I was told to avoid during my Ayurvedic consultation.

Rather than opt out of dinner completely, I graciously accepted the lovely meal and did not beat myself up over the fact that I ate some veggies that are not on my plan. As we say in Ayurveda, it’s what you do most of the time that counts. A few broccoli and cauliflower aren’t going to send me into oblivion. The food was well cooked, blessed and made with love. And that my friends, is very Ayurvedic.

For more information on how to do a nasal rinse visit

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 1 of Ayurvedic Living

Before I went to bed last night I thought I’d try the Rescue Remedy Sleep. Well, it definitely worked, I slept 45 minutes later than usual. I’m typically up by 7:00 and this morning it was a quarter to 8 before I finally got my butt out of bed. I’m not complaining, but I new I had at least an hour of yoga I had to get to.

My personal herbal tea was already made the day before so I started my morning with a nice hot cup of tea. I must say that I wasn’t completely looking forward to the yoga as I was still feeling pretty tired. But I found that once I got started it was a simple transition. The yoga felt fantastic. It cured the stiffness I felt when woke up and helped me to feel peaceful and grounded. I was totally present and didn’t seem to start my day worrying about what needed to be done. The hour went very smoothly but I found I could only make it through a few minutes of meditation at the end because I was so hungry.

Breakfast consisted of oatmeal that had been soaked overnite along with raisons and almonds. It’s always best to soak these items for Vata body types so we can digest them easier. I sautéed some apples in ghee (clarified butter) with cinnamon and added them to the mixture along with some spices (cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, coriander, nutmeg and allspice). Topped it off with a delightful mango-honey sauce and had some Ezekiel bread toasted with ghee on the side. Another cup of herbal tea along with my pau d’ arco and olive leaf extract supplements and I was good to go.

Before I hopped in the shower I made sure to do my tongue scraping, dry skin brushing and a nasal rinse with my trusty neti pot. The nasal rinse proved successful – a big glob of yellow mucous broke loose which made my head clearer. Goodbye congestion! I followed up my shower with a wonderful self massage using my personal blend massage oil which made me feel relaxed and peaceful, not to mention the fact that my skin moisturized and I smelled wonderful.

Not a bad way to start off the day. But I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t have any appointments until later this afternoon because it took me a good two hours or so to accomplish all of this. If I’m going to keep this up for another 29 days, I’m definitely going to have to get up earlier.

There was a lot of cooking going on today. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to find a way to streamline that process as well. Lunch consisted of tilapia with a coconut curry sauce, jasmine rice with parsley and lemon juice and spaghetti squash. Delightful! I also had another dose of my pau d’ arco supplements along with my shatavari. For dinner I enjoyed a fresh veggie burger with lettuce tomato, Boursin cheese and balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a bowl of immune soup.

By days end, I drank about eight cups of my herbal tea. Seeing how therapeutic consumption should be about four to six cups per day, I’d say I did pretty well. But then again, I drank only tea I drank all day long.

Before I go to bed I will take my triphala supplement, give myself another rub down with my essential oil blend and have some more Rescue Remedy Sleep to ensure a restful sleep. All in all I felt the day one was pretty successful. I felt more grounded and more peaceful than I have in quite a while. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, day two.

For more information on Self Massage visit

A Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda

Ayurveda, (pronounced Aa-yer-vay-da) is a holistic system of healing that originated in ancient India. According to Ayurveda, health and well-being is a state of dynamic balance. Balanced living can be achieved when we live in harmony with the natural cycles and rhythms of the Earth and our bodies.
According to Ayurveda, the universe is made up of five elements. Ayurveda believes that our bodies are microcosms of the universe with all of the elements represented in different forms. In Ayurveda, there are three main body types that exist through a combination of two elements.

Air + Ether = Vata Fire + Water = Pitta Earth + Water = Kapha

Ayurvedic Wellness Programs are custom designed for the client based on his/her body type and conditions using natural methods of prevention and self healthcare.
Ayurvedic Wellness Programs can support the health of people of all ages, particularly those who are looking to enhance their lifestyles through: stress reduction, increased mental clarity, more restful sleep, increased energy, greater sense of well-being, and improved organ function.

“Ayurveda, said to be a world medicine, is the most holistic or comprehensive medical system available…. The secret of Ayurveda’s individualized healing method was preserved in India, whereas it has been lost or superseded in other cultures.” *
* Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha

For more information on Ayurveda and to discover your metabolic body type visit

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Step One - The Ayurvedic Consultation

Before I begin my 30 days of Ayurveda I’ve got to evaluate my current state of health. I enlisted a fellow Ayurvedic Practitioner, my good friend Greg Soucy, to help me out. Greg agreed to give me an Ayurvedic Consultation and regularly check my progress. Greg has been an Ayurvedic Practitioner for 12 years. He is truly gifted in what he does so I feel confident in his recommendations for me as I move forward. I took an Ayurvedic self test and according to the results I am a Vata-Pitta body type with a Vata imbalance.

I gave Greg the scoop on my current observations regarding the state of my health. We discovered that I’ve got some mild constipation going on and some cloudiness to my urine. I’ve been eating too much broccoli and cauliflower (not good for my body type or current imbalance), and I’ve been craving carbs and sweets. The holidays caused some intake of junk food and holiday treats so some detoxification is in order.
The social side of me prefers to eat with friends, and when I’m alone I tend to put projects before nourishment. I exercise fairly regularly since I’m also a dancer and I do some power walking. Probably 2-3 times a week I engage in some type of exercise yet I still have low energy. I typically feel like a nap in the afternoons and find myself regularly falling asleep on the couch before bedtime.

My menstral cycle is such that I’m experiencing major cramping and back pain. I haven’t been getting a restful sleep in a while. I find myself having strange dreams, needing to get up in the night to pee. I tend to wake up in the night to think and worry about what I need to do the next day rather than enjoying a sound sleep.

My relationships are pretty good. The only major issue I seem to be experiencing is with my husband. For me, a Vata imbalance equals a low libido. My mind and emotions are affected by my imbalance too. I tend towards fear, frustration and worry.

Lately I’ve been trying to get over an illness so I’ve got some excess mucous clogging up my sinuses, lungs and colon and a cough that’s been lingering for weeks.

Greg gave me a pulse evaluation and felt the Vata imbalance right away. We also discovered that my digestion is weak, there’s some congestion in the colon and lungs and my kidneys were a little sluggish from not drinking enough water.

So that’s where I’m at before I embark upon my 30 day journey.

Recommendations for My 30 Days of Self Healthcare:
Greg and I came up with a customized Self Healthcare plan for my 30 days of conscious Ayurvedic living. We’re going to start by making a personalized herbal tea blend for my body type and imbalances. Greg suggested roots to lower my Vata and keep me grounded and some flowers to keep my Pitta in check as well. A personalized essential oil blend for daily self massage will also be in order. I’m also going to make a spice blend called a churna to sprinkle on my foods for help with my digestion. These are the custom blended items typically suggested by an Ayurvedic Practitioner with your first consultation.

So here’s the deal. I’ve been instructed to eat a Vata reducing diet, that means eliminating the broccoli and cauliflower. I’m going to begin taking specific supplements like olive leaf extract with pau d’arco for my sweat cravings. These are to battle any excess yeast I may have in my body. Triphala nightly for constipation and digestive support as well as Shatavari for my menstral issues. Triphala is the most famous Ayurvedic herbal blend and Shatavari is an Ayurvedic herb that is useful to the female reproductive system.

Additionally, I will be investing in a homeopathic remedy to help me sleep. Greg suggested Rescue Remedy Sleep. Abdominal self massage before bed will be incorporated to help my elimination and to relieve any possible pressure that may be on my ovaries causing massive cramping.

I’ve got to schedule a colonic to help with the congestion in my colon. I will also be doing steam inhalations with eucalyptus oil to help with the congestion in my lungs and doing daily nasal rinses to relieve my sinuses of excess mucous. Dry skin brushing before my shower to exfoliate and also help with lymphatic flow and self massage with my personal blend oil after my shower for the medicinal benefit of essential oils to be absorbed through the skin. I can also do the self massage before bed to help me sleep.

One of the main issues causing imbalance within my mind and emotions is the fact that I don’t regularly take time for myself and do things for me. Greg suggested the practice of yoga morning and even at night as well as meditation to help center my mind and help me feel that peace and calm I’ve been lacking for months.

I realized I do some of these things some of the time and now I’m committed to do it all for the next thirty days. I’ve got to pick up some supplies at the health food store. I’ve rented some yoga DVD’s. I’m considering my Vata reducing grocery list and what meals will be appropriate during the next 30 days. It all begins tomorrow.

Getting My Health on the Right Track for 2009

Why is it that most people have a lot of knowledge and understanding about what they need to do to make themselves healthier but they just don’t do it? It’s not like the information isn’t available. Whether we want to have a better body, improve our diet, lose weight or reduce our stress – we tend to know the basics we just seem to lack the gumption to apply what we know.

Hey, I’m no different. I’m an Ayurvedic Practitioner and a massage therapist. I have an excellent understanding of my body type and what it takes for me to maintain my individual state of health and balance. I know what foods are best for me, the proper daily practices to maintain optimal health and how to take care of myself using Ayurvedic Medicine as my foundation for harmonious living. So why am I not doing it on a consistent basis?

It’s easy to get out of balance, but creating and maintaining balance takes discipline and willingness to change. Now that 2009 is upon us and the New Years resolutions are on my mind I’m ready to make a change. So I’ve decided to commit myself to 30 days of living according to Ayurvedic Medicine’s individualized practice for self healthcare. That means for 30 days I’m going to eat foods that are right for my body type and current imbalances. I will maintain a daily self care regimen based on Ayurvedic principles and truly live a health centered existence for 30 days.

This blog will be my diary to document my progress to find out what happens when you superimpose an ancient system of holistic healthcare, like Ayurveda, onto a modern 2009 lifestyle. I’m ready.