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

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

Ayur Water

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Over the years, I've noticed that many of my clients drink quite a lot of water and yet feel and appear dehydrated.I find that drinking electrolyte beverages is usually more useful than plain water, however most electrolyte beverages on the market are full of things we don't want, like colors, flavors and sugar.

Here's a recipe from our teacher Dr. Lad, for a tasty hydrating drink that he calls "Ayur Water."

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of filtered or purified water, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Grade B pure Maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt (I like pink salt, Real Salt, or Celtic Salt)
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime (depends on size and juiciness)

Mix the ingredients in a quart jar and enjoy throughout the day. On hot days or when working or exercising outside, drinking 2 quarts of Ayur Water per day is my recommendation. In addition to plain (or lemon) water first thing upon waking.

*It's the quality rather than the quantity of hydration that's important. In fact, many people drink too much water, thinking that more is better. According to ?yurveda, it is possible to drink too much water, depending on your constitution, climate and activity level. Since your body still needs to digest water 2-3 quarts of water or Ayur water per day is ideal for most.

Summer Eating: Tips and Recipes

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There is more heat, humidity, and sunlight in the summer. So what does this mean for our internal body? During summer there is naturally a greater presence of fire and water (Pitta dosha), and its associated qualities including hot, sharp, penetrating, light, liquid, and oily. An excess of these qualities can lead to rashes, acne, burning eyes, rosacea, hot flashes, heavy sweating, hyperacidity, diarrhea, headaches, indigestion, heart burn etc. While mitigating severe heat imbalances requires a detailed personal consultation, there are some basic foods that everyone can incorporate to stay cooler. Luckily nature provides us with most of those foods during the summertime!

Which foods heat the body?

  • Eating hot, spicy, or oily foods including tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, onions, garlic, hot sauces, and more
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol

How can we pacify the additional heat that summer brings?

  1. Favor cooling, hydrating, sweet, bitter, and astringent foods in the summer. Sweet foods include most grains, maple syrup, milk, and licorice. Bitter foods include aloe vera, dandelion root, sandalwood, turmeric root, bitter melon. Astringent foods include pomegranate, green beans, peas, okra, alfalfa sprouts, most raw vegetables, goldenseal, neem, chickpeas. Cooling drinks such as coconut water, limeade or hibiscus tea are helpful.
  2. Avoid coffee and alcohol. If you enjoy alcohol, favor something more cooling like beer (especially IPA), punch, or white wine
  3. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Favor early morning or late evening sun and wear a hat if you must be in the midday sun.

Recipes

Hibiscus Cooler

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus
  • Maple syrup
Instructions:
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add cinnamon, ginger, and hibiscus.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Let simmer 10 minutes.
  • Strain and serve, sweeten with 1 tsp maple syrup per cup or to taste.

Cucumber Pumpkin Seed Salad

Salad

  • 5 cups chopped cucumberCucumber on White
  • 1 cup shredded carrot

Dressing (makes ~ 1 cup)

  • ½ bunch cilantro (1/2- 1cup chopped)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp rock salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 2 ½ Tbsp lime juice (fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Combine ingredients together and shake.  You can also blend all ingredients together for a creamier dressing.

Fresh Cilantro Sauce: Great on rice, salad, just about anything! This was a favorite while we were in Ayurvedic school.

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantrocilantro
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp organic yogurt (substitute coconut milk if pitta is high, or goat cheese if kapha is high)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Put all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  • Step 2: Pulse in salt and pepper.

 

A Kid Favorite!

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If you were like most kids who grew up in the 70s and 80s, you loved Jello. Unfortunately, my health knowledge now pretty much forbids anything like Jello from coming into the house. Luckily, I found a recipe that my kid loves and I feel good about giving to him. Fresh squeezed oranges (getting to the end of their season her in Texas) and pure bovine gelatin. Feel free to get creative with it. In the winter you could use a strong ginger tea with orange juice and grapefruit juice, or make up your own blend. While it isn’t traditionally “Ayurvedic” it is extremely nourishing, fabulous for the gut, and fun. *Since oranges are aggravating to Pitta, use another your juice if your child is heated.

Recipe 2-4 T 100% Pure Bovine Gelatin (Bernard Jenson is a great brand get it here) 4-5 oranges (freshly juiced) ¼ cup water

Boil ¼ to 1 cup of water. Add 2-4 T of Gelatin to boiled water (more gelatin=firmer). Stir until dissolved. Add fresh juice and water and gelatin. Pour into glass jar. Refrigerate for 2+ hours and eat!

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

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These are a great treat for the kiddos!

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil 1/4 cup sugar (coconut, sucanat, brown sugar)- I don’t like too much sugar, add more as desired 2 eggs (egg free- 2 T ground chia or flax mixed with 6 T warm water water, whisk and let sit for 5-10 minutes) 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups ground oats (oat flour) 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½-1 teaspoon ground or fresh ginger 1 ½ cups oats ½ cup raisins ½ cup shredded carrots

Instructions:

1) Cream the sugars and butter. 2) Add the eggs and vanilla 3) In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except oats), mixing well. 4) Stir into the creamed mixture. 5) Stir in the oats, raisins, and carrots. 6) Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours 7) Preheat oven to 350 F or 325 F for convection 8) Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart. 9) Bake for about 10 minutes. 10) Cool on parchment paper and store in an air-tight container with wax paper or parchment paper between the layers so they don't stick together.

My son is still pretty fussy about vegetables, so it’s a great way to sneak some into his day, and he loves baking them with me. Enjoy!

Sunny's Everyday 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, decaf black tea or red rooibos tea 5 whole cloves 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated or minced 1 small piece of cinnamon bark or 1/2 tsp cinnamon chips 1/4 tsp fennel seeds 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (these are the little brown inner seeds, green pods removed) 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 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! Makes 3- 4 servings