Matcha Cacao Latte Recipe

Happy return of the light... We've moved through solstice and the light is growing each day.

Still, it's cold and there are many winter days ahead. On cold days where my motivation needs support, I've been digging this delicious matcha cacao latte. Maybe you'd enjoy it too. It's cozy, comforting and rich and also invigorating and clarity enhancing.
I love it when medicine converges with deliciousness and beauty...

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Matcha - gorgeous, vibrant grass green, has been used ceremonially in Japan for around 800 years.
She has a beautiful mix of L-Theanine to create a feeling of calm, enough caffeine to give a lift, and phytonutrients to nourish your cells. The combo of caffeine & L-Theanine that we find in green tea imparts a relaxed sort of awareness so you feel clear and productive. Matcha has way more antioxidants gram for gram than most other superfoods (like açai or goji berries). It has an antioxidant in the catechin family called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) which has cell protective effects and supports healthy weight balance, cardiovascular health, blood sugar balance, and memory.
Use 100% organic ceremonial grade matcha without additives, make sure there's no sugar. You can even use a matcha + medicinal mushroom blend!

Raw Cacao - abundant in magnesium, a little caffeine for a lift, rich in antioxidants, a good source of plant-based iron & calcium and ahhhh that rich flavor.

Use organic raw cacao with no additives. I've tried many kinds, and my absolute favorite is Navitas brand.

You can make this with dairy milk (use whole, organic, non-homogenized or raw)
OR use homemade or store-bought almond or coconut milk

Ingredients:

1/2 cup hot water
1 cup milk of your choice
1 teaspoon matcha
2 teaspoons raw cacao (use less if you want to taste the matcha more and cacao less)
1 teaspoon raw honey (add once the tea is in your cup and not steaming hot - honey should never be cooked)

How to:

Heat water and milk in a small sauce pan
Turn off heat and add matcha & cacao powders
Whisk well with a small whisk
Pour into your favorite mug or tea bowl
Add honey when it's cool enough to drink
Enjoy! :)

 

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A Big Fat Update and the joy & grief of the season

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Wow, I am so happy to be finally sitting down to WRITE. It's not that I haven't wanted to, not that I haven't been inspired to. As happens to so many of us, I've simply had only so many hours in a day, so many hours to do, and so many hours to be quality company with my family and with those that are dear to me. Writing to you all is dear to me too, so here I sit.

A note about this time of year... 

We are in a time called Yama Damstra in the Vedic calendar. In Ayurveda, the junctions between seasons are very important to take care of our health and clear accumulating doshas and āma (toxins). This particular junction between fall and winter is especially important. It’s a time to really take care and to turn inward, to see the inner light. Yama is the lord of death, and it is said that in this junction, the souls of all those who will not be strong enough to make it through the winter are collected. So it’s a time of re-affirming self-care and strengthening of resolve and practices - toward those which affirm life and health, and away from unconscious tendencies, ill health and ultimately death.  This is a great time to strengthen our own inward practices of breathwork and meditation, of various sorts. As this is also a time of celebrating winter holidays, usually with rich food and drink, it will be a time to ask oneself "is this wise action right now?" If you ask me, moderation would be wise. Do enjoy though, being light of heart is good medicine.
I see this also as a time of tending to our loved ones and those in need. Maybe they need us to help them get strong as this is not their time to go, and maybe some need our support to help them make that ultimate transition. Pull your community close, lend your support and ask for help for yourself if it's you that needs it.
Last year at this time, a dear co-madre left this world during this very time. She was pregnant, her death a complication of her pregnancy. I think of her so often, as she was also an Ayurvedist, midwife and a force of compassion and light in our community. She continues to inspire me, whispering in my ear "isn't life just beautiful? Don't take it for granted for one single moment!"

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A couple weeks ago, on the dark moon, I went to my daughter's school in the evening to watch the children carry paper maché lanterns they'd made themselves (these are pre-schoolers, so sweet) and sing songs about their lanterns reflecting the light of the stars above. It was so beautiful and such a perfect meditation for this time of year.

So can I share with you what's happened since I last wrote? Well, at least what seems most pertinent here, because I mean, lots has happened that probably won't interest you.

Co-founder Kerry Meath had a new baby and moved on to new work. I'm flying solo over here, other than my excellent collaborators that jump in from time to time, such as Karina Mirsky who contributed some beautiful content for the Ayurveda for Women course. I love being on my own in many ways, but will continue to bring in dynamic people who have beauty to share with us.

I'm pregnant! when Mama Ayurveda co-founder Kerry Meath was pregnant, we blogged weekly about what she was experiencing. I had hoped to share about my experiences more, but time gets away and now I'm 28 weeks pregnant, entering the 3rd trimester. This is my second pregnancy and I experienced a lot more discomfort in the first trimester than I did with my first. I have a whole new level of compassion for women who are very sick in pregnancy. I had several weeks there, where I could do almost nothing, and where I had to be on top of calories, protein, remedies constantly in order to ride the wave of illness and not let it overtake me. I totally get it. And that experience is really informing my support of pregnant women.
Finally, at about 16 weeks, I really started to feel like myself again. Phew! I'm once again planning a home birth and really looking forward to being more empowered than ever to enjoy the process of this birth. Because, I mean, what an amazing opportunity to birth a baby?! As a student midwife, I have seen more than 20 babies come into this world since I had my own last birth experience. And I've studied much about all things birth. I can't imagine not being able to take my new perspective and try it out on another birth. Mainly, I plan to welcome what comes, breathe a lot, try the birth tub this time, stay vertical as much as possible, and enjoy the experience of bringing forth life - because again, what an amazing opportunity it is!

As far as taking care, there's a lot to remember to do in terms of self care - but it's so worth it. Now that I'm into the 3rd trimester, staying off my feet more, getting gentle exercise, taking time at home to rest and rejuvenate often, staying on top of hydration & protein needs, and regular oil massage are just a few of the things I'm working on. For postpartum, I'm looking forward to trying a simpler menu and care plan, having learned from making things a bit too complicated the last time.

The Ayurveda for Women course was launched. This is the pilot year of this 8 module 16-week course. I was gifted with an exceptional group of women and am forever grateful to them for taking this journey with me. We are into our last month of the course and I've learned so much, as I always do from teaching. I teach, in large part, to learn more and this course has been no exception. This was a tall order: solid overview of Ayurvedic Foundation, plus women's health, pre-conception, pregnancy, and post partum. And creating the curriculum for it has been much like growing and birthing a child - and it's been a marathon birth. But I have enjoyed every bit of it, and continue to.

What's next? 

  1. Ayurveda for Women graduates are being offered a mentorship option to take their studies to the next level while prioritizing the areas of study most interesting to them. 
  2. In the next few months, I'll be releasing a series of mini courses on pre-conception, pregnancy and post-partum. These will be directed at moms-to-be and will be very affordable. If you know someone that would love to have a guide for the childbearing year, based on Ayurvedic principles, please let them know about this. 
  3. Ayurveda for Women 2016! Early registration will open in May and will include a discount, with the main registration opening in June at the regular tuition rate. I will be limiting the number of participants, so it's a good time to begin pondering whether this is the course for you. This course will take place over 4.5 months, with two 1-week breaks for digestion and holiday time. This course is designed for beginning to intermediate students of Ayurveda and women's health. In terms of Ayurveda, we start at the very beginning and go deep into Ayurvedic theory, the art & the science of this ancient system of medicine. And in terms of women's health, we work every week on practices to enrich our own health, and learn, what for most, is an entirely new way of looking at our health. Seasoned Ayurvedic students may be offered the option of taking the women's health portion of the course on its own. 
  4. Down the road, I'll be offering online birthing classes and a baby's first year class for parents, with Rebeka Rose, LM, CPM (midwife). Though we share a last name we aren't sisters by blood (though we are sisters to be sure!)

Do let me know if there's anything in this list you're just itching to see happen right away. While I can't just snap my fingers and have it be done, I'd love to hear what you're looking forward to.

In health and LOVE, Sunny

A Great Little Fertility Guide

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It's no secret that Kerry Meath and I have been hard at work on our post partum book. I had hoped for a release date of now-ish, but as these things tend to go, I'm updating the release date to June.Following that release, I'll be working on a pre-conception / fertility book, which means a guide to preparing for pregnancy for couples, and then a pregnancy book.

So here's the news - I came across this great little guide put out by Banyan Botanicals, one of my favorite Ayurvedic product companies. It was compiled by Dr. Vrinda Devani, an OB/GYN who was a student at the Ayurvedic Institute and graduated last year. I had the pleasure of being one of her supervisors in the student clinic. Anyway, she's done a beautiful job putting this together, and while I work on my book, which will be much more detailed, this guide will be a great help to many. Enjoy! 

In health and love, Sunny

Fertility Awareness: Kindara App Review

I must confess I am rather new to natural fertility planning and charting. I did not even know it was a thing until I was already pregnant with my first child. Once I found out about it and got “Taking Charge of your Fertility” my mind was blown. I could not understand why, in my 25 years, I had not heard of it. It was amazing. I kind of didn’t believe it was possible. that your body gave you all sorts of signals to show what was going on. AMAZING. I was very excited when my cycles returned postpartum and I could FINALLY try out this seemingly magical information. Long story short, it did not disappoint (our bodies are amazing guys). Being a pretty tech savvy lady, I decided to use an app as part of my charting. There are many apps out there from very simple and free to all the bells and whistles. For me Kindara was the perfect fit and here’s why.

1. It can be as simple or complex as you want. It charts the basic basal body temps, cervical fluid and menstruation, but also allows you to add custom data that you feel is helpful or specific to you.

2. I found the chart view to be clear and pleasing. The prediction of fertile days was spot on for me after only charting one cycle. This simplicity of reading chart results was a must for me. I didn’t want to spend a time of time ‘interpreting’ the results.

3. There is a large community you can tap into to learn more about charting, analyze other charts and ask questions (They call this feature community support).

4. WINK! I am very excited about this. The company has developed a new basal thermometer that will sync wirelessly with the app! It vibrates when temp has been taken and syncs both the temperature but the time with the app to help with accuracy. I can’t wait to try it out!

I have tried a few other apps with mixed success. Some were cumbersome for me with lots of information to fill out and unclear chart results. Others were just for achieving pregnancy. Kindara has a cheery reminder that sounds if I haven’t input my data for the am, and tracking ‘intimacy’ with my partner helps this mama of two keep our ‘love life’ front and center in my mind. For me, Kindara is great whether you are trying to get pregnant, trying to avoid getting pregnant or just looking to learn more about you body, it does it all and I love that. And it has a ‘free’ portion of the app, so you can give it a no obligations try.

(Kindara is currently available for iPhone and Android. If you order your Wink using this link, you and Erin will both get $10 off!) 

Kerry Meath-Sinkin: Transitions

As I reflect on this past year with Mamayurveda, a project Sunny and I started almost a year ago, I feel so much joy and gratitude for what we have accomplished. We both took on Mamayurveda because of our strong love for Ayurveda and desire to help provide accessible information to women during the childbearing years. I have personally enjoyed and learned a great deal from our journey together and feel so much gratitude for the experience to learn and grow with Sunny and our readers. During this past month an great opportunity has presented itself to me. A transition in my career that will leave little time for me to stay as invested in Mamayurveda, in the way I believe it needs to continue to grow in it’s own way. There is so much Ayurveda has to offer women during the childbearing years. I will stay on as a contributor, but I am handing off the reigns to Sunny who will lead the charge from here.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support, and sharing this journey across the past year with me. I will continue to write a few additional posts about the third trimester, and preparations for birth, but they will be much more limited as I need time to move inward and prepare for my next journey.

With so much love and gratitude,

Kerry Meath-Sinkin

Get Gingered this Holiday Season!

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This is a reminder to chew and enjoy your food! It's really step one  - the less we overindulge and the more we eat slowly and consciously, the more we can allow our digestion to do its job. But, if you're feeling rushed or end up eating too many types of foods at the workplace potluck, or just want to keep your digestion moving - then a ginger, lemon, honey tea is a helpful sidekick. Ginger Lemon Honey Tea

  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, sliced or grated
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 quart water

Boil ginger and water 10-20 minutes. Once it has cooled to lukewarm, add 1/2 - 1 squeezed lemon, and 1/2-1 teaspoon of honey (honey should never be cooked or added to very hot recipes). Enjoy!

Healthy Fall Eating: Basic Tips

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As we move into Fall, the dry, light, mobile, clear, cold and subtle qualities in our environment naturally increase. These are the qualities of Vata and can lead us to feel more scattered, anxious, cold, tired, and constipated. So what can we do? This is the perfect time to start slowing down, and simplifying life. It’s time to naturally let unnecessary activities or thought patterns things that aren’t serving us fall away, and incorporate more of those juicy hydrating activities that allow us to feel nourished and relaxed. Easier said than done as parents, especially with holiday season looming. But here are some tips to get started! For a longer explanation visit a local youtube video Kerry just created for Yoga Illumined Ayurveda. Overall Focus on: warm, nourishing, and hydrating foods that have a little kick

Roast Those Roots: Favor lots of local root veggies like yams, squash, carrots, beets and pumpkins.

Sautée Up the Greens: Greens are always great, but cook them up with oil & spice.

Cook Them Apples: Apples are a great local fall fruit. In addition to that raw treat, try cooking apples. Cooked apples are more digestible, and especially good when experiencing cold or constipation in the system. You can bake them or stew them, for example.

Add a little kick: Add digestive spices such as ginger, clove, black pepper, turmeric, fenugreek, fresh dill, cumin, saffron, cardamon, and hingvastak churna (this is great for gas and bloating that often shows up in the fall).

Warm & Spice Up Your Drinks: Warm spiced milks, chai, and digestive teas such as fennel, fenugreek tulsi, and ginger. Draksha (Ayurvedic spiced wine) is a great digestive with meals.

Tastes to Emphasize: Sweet, sour, and salty tastes

My Pregnancy Week 16: My Birth Journey with Kris

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For some reason this past week my mind has started to explore and think about this little one's birth. My last birth was certainly a wonderful journey, and one that I think was a necessary part of my experience, but also one that I would rather not repeat if I don't have to. My son Kris's birth happened at a very nice hospital in North Austin. I delivered with an amazing midwife/obgyn team, who I trusted completely. It was that trust that I think got me through what was a rather difficult labor...

My water broke on Saturday evening, and by Sunday morning I still had no contractions. My midwife suggested that we start inducing that morning, because I would likely have more energy at that point than after a day of waiting around. By law, a hospital has to start induction within 24 hours of a woman's waters releasing. In an effort to simulate natural birth as much as possible, we decided to start a very low dose of pitocin that morning. Unfortunately, by about 2-3 AM on Monday morning I was still only about 5 cm dilated. It was getting to the point where an epidural or even C-section might be on the table. From what I can remember at about 4 AM the contractions were really intense and Kris's heart rate dropped. At that point they stopped the pitocin for a short time, and let me get some rest. They started the pitocin up again and finally by about 4 am I was 7 cm dilated, and by 5:30 am I was fully dilated.  Somehow I was able to push my beautiful Kristopher out by about 6:00 am on Monday morning. I am extremely blessed that pitocin was the only medical intervention I needed during the birth, but certainly felt constrained, constant fetal monitoring, non-stop IV's, pitocin, and very little food if any. Walking to the bathroom and hospital bed were about the only movement options I had. In looking back I think I can honestly say that was my journey with Kris, but also that I would love to at least set an intention for a more natural experience this time around. One that allows my body to go through the journey without an induction.

Given my ease of pushing last time, and my health last time, so far during this pregnancy I am a good candidate for a home or birth center experience instead of the hospital. So this time my husband and I are planning to use a birth center located directly across the street from a great teaching hospital in San Antonio. I will admit that I did and still have a few personal fears about avoiding the hospital model because of my ingrained thoughts growing up, but the more I learn the more confident I feel in this decision for our family. I was able to listen to a great interview with Dr. Aviva Romm, and read her blog about choosing a birth location, and feel that at least so far this is a great choice for me.  I think and know for myself that being able to relax and surrender completely is crucial in my birth journey, and unfortunately, something I didn't feel I was able to experience in my last birth.

If you are on the fence about where to birth, I highly recommend checking her out, and becoming empowered to make the right decision for your family.  Stay tuned to my next blog for more about birthing options, and some great insights from a recent set of workshops I was able to listen to.

With Love, Kerry

My Pregnancy Week 14-15: Surrender

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I'm sitting down to write another post for Mamayurveda, and today I am having a harder time than normal. Usually there is something obvious that is easy to write about in one simple post. However, today I truly feel all over the place, and pretty emotional. Maybe that's why writing seems a little bit harder - because I haven't felt as balanced as normal. But I'm figuring that is also helpful to share. Hope so??! The last few weeks have been filled with more stress than normal, and left me feeling more confused and cloudy around my pregnancy. I received borderline high TSH level results, which upon further testing were almost normal, but certainly left me with a few days of worry over the best way to address the imbalance. I have always had functionally high thyroid levels, and even my teacher Dr. Lad mentioned hypothyroid problems in my future, but addressing that issue during pregnancy felt pretty overwhelming. Like I said, it turns out I can make some diet adjustments, and keep an eye on it without further measures at this point...whew.

Also, my husband and I, after weeks of frustration, felt that we needed to move care providers. Which isn't a huge deal, but still annoying and stressful when you feel fear and discomfort around where you are going to have your baby. Luckily, we just found a birth center that feels much better! I am blessed that these were all pretty minor blips in the pregnancy journey, but in the moment they felt very real and very stressful to me...especially with all the emotional swings that can happen normally during pregnancy.

While I can't give any profound advice about how to keep life and your mind relaxed during pregnancy, I have noticed that during these times it always helps me to honor and acknowledge the emotions or changes, instead of trying to suppress them.  AND this is pretty much true in my life as a mother, or human being on the planet. I noticed (once again) that during the moments of stress or a racing mind, some of the best actions I could take was actually to honor the process. The more I tried to rationalize or push away what I knew were irrational thoughts, the harder they came back at me. The more I honor my emotions, the more I am able to give them freedom to move out of my mind/body, instead of lying dormant or suppressed in my system. I say this because I think often as pregnant women we try to stay calm and healthy for the baby, worried that any negative emotion might cause them irrevocable damage, but I think that babies are more resilient than that and I think they need us to experience the reality of our life. So what does it mean to surrender to our emotions? I love the following quote from our teacher Dr. Lad, and hope you find the words helpful anytime your emotions feel they are getting the best of you.

"Half an inch behind your suffering there is bliss. Give complete attention to your grief, your sadness, to your anger. Let it flower. Don't counsel it, suppress it, or analyze it. Your grief is your reaction. Your grief is your projection. Suffering is within. It does not come from without. The moment you realize the real relationship between yourself and suffering, it ends. Suffering comes to you to awaken you. Use your suffering as a springboard and dive deep within. Be with your emotions. You can't avoid pain by pursuing pleasure. I do not know the name of the pleasure which does not end in pain, Look at your sadness, your anger, your jealousy. They are but a mirror. Look at the emotion and look also at the looker of the emotion...As you feel the emotion, observe the movement of your consciusness and let it pass. Then you are born again, anew. Out of the womb of that anger, out of the womb of that grief. Before the emotion can pass, it must be thoroughly digested. Emotions which are unripe cloud the thinking and block awareness. How to ripen uncooked emotions? Bring total awareness to the sensation. Give yourself totally to the sadness, to the grief, to the fear. Ripen the emotion with the flame of awareness. The moment you become aware your reaction flowers and melts into nothingness. Swallow the hurt, digest it completely and let it yield pure awareness. Emotion is reaction. Love is total action." ~Dr. Vasant Lad

With Love, Kerry

Sunny's Chai

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I make chai every day with rare exceptions, and with seasonal variation.If you are sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing I recommend Red Rooibos tea substituted for the traditional black tea. Rooibos is also very high in antioxidants, even higher than green tea! If you're aiming for a little kick, Organic Assam is my favorite black tea to use. It's tough to find an organic black decaf, but if you can, you'll preserve the classic flavor of traditional chai.

Ingredients: *amounts are approximate. play with the recipe over time until you find your perfect quantities without any measuring, it's a lovely chai meditation. i like my chai strong both from a spice and tea standpoint, if you do too and it's not strong enough for you as is, you know you should add more spices or tea the next time.

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups whole raw milk (or organic, non-homogenized milk such as Kolona or Strauss)
  • 2 Tbsp loose organic black tea or decaf black tea, OR 3 Tbsp red rooibos tea
  • 5 whole cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced thin, grated or minced
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon bark, crushed or 1/2 tsp cinnamon chips
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (these are the little brown inner seeds, green pods removed), crushed
  • fresh grated or powdered nutmeg to taste
  • Sucanat, rapadura or coconut sugar to taste
  • optional: pinch of pink organic rose petals, small pinch of saffron, 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions: Bring the water and all spices to a boil. Leave out the rose petals and saffron for now. Simmer until reduced to 2 - 2 & 1/2 cups Add the tea and allow to steep about a minute (don't boil) Add milk (and rose, saffron, and vanilla if desired) Allow to warm until tiny bubbles form and you reach your desired color of rich golden brown (don't boil the milk) Serve with sugar of your choice. I recommend coconut sugar for its caramel-like flavor and low glycemic index.

Makes 3 - 4 servings

An Ayurvedic Overview: The Second Trimester

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We wanted to provide a brief overview how Ayurveda views the second trimester of pregnancy and provide some simple and safe recommendations during this second phase of the pregnancy journey. For an overview of the basics of pregnancy and general guidelines, visit our last post on the “beginnings of pregnancy.” What's Happening with Your Baby During the fourth month, the vital organs are formed and start functioning. By the 4th month the fetus starts to express its desires through the cravings of the mother. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends to honor these cravings as much as possible, within reason. In the fifth and six months focus is placed on nourishing the uterine muscles and nourishing the embryo.

By the end of the 6th month the baby is about 15" long and weights about 2 ½ lbs. The hairs have developed, facial expressions begin, and the fetus begins to gain strength and resemble a miniature human.

What is Happening in Your Body You may begin to notice some of the discomforts of the first trimester disappearing such as nausea and fatigue. Additionally, since the uterus is rising into the abdomen with the growth of the baby, there can be some temporary improvement in that feeling of having to pee all the time (it does tend to return later in pregnancy however!) Around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy you may begin to feel your baby moving for the first time!  Be gentle with yourself in the realms of exercise - the hormone Relaxin is causing your ligaments and joints to be looser, so it's easier to overstretch or injure yourself, especially with the change in your center of gravity.

Around 24-28 weeks a typical growth spurt occurs in the baby and you may gain 5-10 pounds during this time, as your blood volume expands considerably. You may notice an increase in your appetite and possibly your fatigue level due to the increased needs of the baby and your body's need to expand your blood volume. Be sure to eat lots of iron rich foods during this time such as dark leafy greens, stewed dried fruits, and if you eat meat it's a good time for meat soups and iron-rich meats. Check with your care provider to be sure, but if you have been needing iron supplementation, this is the time to step it up. We recommend Floradix or Blood Builder. Also be sure to eat enough calories, with ample protein (70-100 grams/day), healthy fats and plenty of veggies.

During 2nd trimester you will probably also begin to experience toning contractions. This is the normal healthy way that your uterus begins to prepare itself for labor.

It's very common to go for an ultrasound around 20 weeks to determine the sex of the baby. From a midwifery perspective, I encourage women to wait until at least 23 weeks, and longer if possible, as prior to that time it's much more common for "problems" to be found. The reason for this is that the baby is developing quickly and not fully developed. Sometimes couples are unnecessarily frightened by unclear pictures that show up in earlier ultrasounds and further testing is done, often with the end result that in fact, all is well. Some needless worry can be saved by waiting a few more weeks to catch a glimpse of your babe.

Second Trimester Suggestions for Almost Everyone By the second trimester the fetus gains stability, and the vital organs are developed and start functioning! It is believed this is also when the mother’s cravings should be satisfied as a way to nourish and welcome the divine soul in, which is expressing itself through cravings. As the fetus becomes stabilized, we naturally have more energy, and want to get back to being more active. In addition to what is mentioned in our first trimester post, this is a great time to start a prenatal yoga practice, begin daily walking if you haven’t, and engage in more pranayama.

Food:

  • Remember fresh, local & organic
  • Continued emphasis is placed on liquid nourishment, lots of warm herbal infusions, warm milks, and water
  • The Ayurvedic texts also recommend eating ample amounts of rice, milk, butter, ghee and curd, fruits that are orange and yellow, and leafy greens
  • Generally speaking it's important to eat a pitta pacifying diet
  • Remember that if you are suffering from imbalances it is also helpful to remember to eat foods balancing for your dosha (See below for a reminder)

Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips:

  • Continue to avoid hard, uncomfortable seats; suppressing your natural urges; too much or too intense exercise; lengthy trips (long periods in the car on an airplane without movement); very loud sounds; and sex until the 5th month.
  • General massage with a trained practitioner or gentle abhyanga is now a beneficial practice. See our previous post on abhyanga for more information.
  • Prenatal Yoga. Visit a local class, check out Shiva Rea's prenatal yoga DVD, or Yoga Mama Yoga Baby by Margo Bachman. We'll have a later post with some nice routines.
  • Deep breathing and/or pranayama including gentle alternate nostril breathing. If pranayama is new to you, start by observing your breath, and practicing some deep breathing.
  • Deep Breathing Instructions from Yoga Therapist Genevieve Yellin
    • Place your right hand on your chest, your left hand on your abdomen. Break the inhalation and the exhalation into two parts.
    • Inhalation: The first half of the inhalation is drawn into the abdomen (expand the abdomen), the second half into the chest (expand the chest). Make the count for the first and second part equal (e.g. a count of 3 into the abdomen, and a count of 3 into the chest).
    • Exhalation: Reverse the process of inhalation, first expelling air from chest, then abdomen; at the end of the exhalation, draw the navel in toward the spine to complete the exhalation. Keep the same cadence as was counted for the inhalation.
    • Walk Walk Walk!

General Ayurvedic Changes During Pregnancy & How this Impacts Diet

From a doshic or elemental perspective a woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. The more we understand our constitution, the more we can use diet and lifestyle to bring balance. We are providing a brief overview of the doshic changes below, but if the word dosha is new to you, we strongly recommend getting our booklet to learn more about where you fit.

VATA Vata dosha is responsible for the expansion and intense transformation happening inside. This can also mean excess Vata dosha (too much of the dry, light, mobile, cool, or clear qualities), which may lead to constipation, dry skin, nervousness/anxiety, absent mindedness, or difficulty sleeping.

PITTA The changes in metabolism and increased bodily heat are due to Pitta dosha (hot, sharp, light, penetrating, or oily qualities), which may also lead to irritability, anemia, morning sickness, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, bleeding tendencies, or trouble falling asleep.

KAPHA Finally, the increase in bulk (especially later in pregnancy) is due to, and can lead to excess Kapha (slow, heavy, dull, sluggish, cloudy, cool, and oily qualities), this may contribute to excess weight gain, fluid retention, excess congestion, yeast infections, or excess sleep.

This information helps us to understand, at least briefly, what we may be experiencing at a given time, and how to begin finding balance. Yes, food can help us alleviate some of the annoying pregnancy ailments. For those who want more detail about doshic diets during pregnancy, we strongly recommend checking out the pregnancy booklet, which we will make available within a few weeks.