Eating Sattvic: Everyday Ayurveda

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Sattvic is a sanskrit word translated to mean purity. A sattvic diet was also considered a yogic diet. Ayurveda and yoga are 5000 year-old sister sciences and feed one another.

The foods consumed in a sattvic diet are light and easy to digest. They are reported to enhance focus, clarity, energy, harmony, and a balanced mind and attitude.

A sattvic diet is easy on the digestive system and nourishing for the body, mind and spirit.

Following a sattvic diet assists with meditation by calming the mind and easing digestion. It’s difficult to settle into silence when you feel like you have a brick in your gut. Likewise, the practice of yoga becomes easier with ease of digestion.

You can play with this one yourself. See how various foods affect your own practices.

A basic principle of a true sattvic diet is “do no harm”. Any food that caused the harm of anyone during its cultivation or preparation would not be considered sattvic. With this, meat is excluded from the pure sattvic diet.

One doesn’t have to be a purist in order to experience the benefits of sattvic eating. Begin by adding more sattvic food choices into your diet and your day. Make slow and gradual changes for simple and lasting effects.

 

Simple, sattvic suggestions:

vegetables (potato, sweet potato, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, cabbages, dried peas)

fruits (mangoes, figs, pears, lemons, grapes, apples, bananas, coconut, papaya, pineapple, raisins)

legumes (mung beans, lentils, kidney and lima beans)

cereal grains (rice, blue corn, wheat, barley, oatmeal, cereals)

ghee or butter

yogurt (lassi)

fresh milk

pure honey or raw sugar

pure water (spring water is an excellent source)

nuts (almonds, pistachios)

dried ginger

This rice pudding is a great way to begin incorporating sattvic foods. Try mangoes and honey with dried ginger instead of blueberries and cinnamon. Sattvic prefers fresh to leftovers. If making a fresh pot of rice makes this dish out of the question, leftovers will do.

Incorporate a daily sattvic smoothie, a spin on the traditional lassi. Add mango or papaya, perhaps banana and pineapple to yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk or fresh cow’s milk. Add honey and a pinch of ginger. A simple, nourishing breakfast.

 

Additional sattvic suggestions:

Eat only when you are hungry. Reduce snacking just for the sake of snacking. Enjoy water or herbal teas instead.

Moderation and balance is key. Eat until you are satiated, not stuffed. Taking your meals more slowly will assist with this.

Chew all food thoroughly and slowly. Enjoy both the preparation and the process.

If you can grow your own… even better. Happy garden, happy belly.

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Recap.

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If you missed the 12 days of detox and feel the need for post-holiday purification or simply wish to create a nourishing daily routine for the new year, here is a summary just for you. Start at 1 and add a step each day to gradually enjoy all 12 or choose several that appeal to you and build your own custom daily wellness ritual. Click on each day for the full detoxing details.

On the 1st day of detox, atONE gave to me…
 
It’s important to know where you are heading before you can get there. Meeting yourself face-to-face is an excellent and accessible method of detoxification. Find out how to begin the nourishing process of purification and discover the most vibrant you!
Every breath provides a channel for detoxification through the exhalation of waste and the inhalation of oxygen. Most of the day, however, our breath is shallow. As our shoulders slowly creep up to meet our ears throughout the stresses of our day, our breath also becomes more shallow and often quicker, limiting the supply of oxygen to our lungs and blood. Dedicating time each day to sit and breathe deeply or reminding yourself throughout your day to do so, infuses the body with fresh air and releases the stale air pooled deep in the lungs. Practice simple breathing techniques in 2 cleansing breaths.
Remove any mental ama with a daily mind detox. Committing to a daily morning practice sets the tone for your day, integrating dreamwork and clearing the mind for the day ahead. An evening practice surrenders thoughts, stress and worry of the day as you slip into deep relaxation before sleep. Learn a simple daily meditation practice in 3 meditations.
Food as medicine and medicine as food. That’s how ayurveda views eating. At least three times a day we have an opportunity to create vibrant health through our food choices. Foods that burn cleanly and completely, nourishing our bodies and assisting with the removal of ama, serve us well during detox. Simple whole food choices sustain us while cleaning out the pipes. Find out foods that support vibrant health and detox in 4 foods that heal.
5 Yoga Poses

Adding 30-60 minutes of yoga to your daily routine aids digestion, elimination and detoxification through postures, breath and sweat. Even 10 minutes of yoga every day allows you to feel the benefits of a regular practice. You may choose to seek out a convenient class near you, pick up a DVD to assist with a home practice, or simply enjoy a few poses each day. Committing to sun salutations every morning is a simple start. Practice before eating, particularly detoxing poses such as twists, forward bends and inversions, to aid in the process of cleansing. Discover daily detoxing poses in 5 yoga poses.
A little-known detox gem, Dr. F. Karach presented oil pulling in the early 90s. The practice dated back considerably further, however. In ayurveda it is called kavala graha, a medicine for the oral cavity, and has been used for centuries to detoxify the body and improve health. Learn a few ways to spice up your swishing in 6 spicy swishes.
Use self-massage in the morning before you shower to wake up the body and promote detoxification, or at night before bath to relieve stress and ama from your day, preparing you for a restful sleep. Discover ways to enjoy a daily massage in 7 layer massages.
Himalayan salt contains the same 84 essential minerals found in our bodies. It is praised for relieving a variety of conditions from acne to halitosis, eczema and psoriasis, and for drawing toxins from the body. The salts can be purchased in large crystals or more finely ground. Read the full post on 8 salt baths for natural additions to enhance your bath.
There are many herbal detox programs available. Purchasing a reputable herbal cleanse provides a prepared, easy to follow plan you can fit into your daily routine. If you choose to buy or follow an herbal program, do your research and make sure the product is top quality. Consult a herbalist or naturopath for professional recommendations. Read the full post of 9 cleansing herbs for some of the most popular herbal cleansing choices.
“Sweat and laugh every day,” said Yogi Bhajan, and turning up the music to groove and move with yourself, your kids, family, friends or a community is an invigorating and uplifting way to detox body, mind and spirit. A daily ritual of dance, whether 10 minutes in your living room or a 1 hour class at a local gym or dance studio, lubricates the joints, sheds excess baggage from the body and the mind, and lightens the spirit.
Empty that melon and make room for new thoughts while taking inventory of all the old ones running through your mind and all the old story running through your life. Your experiences to date, your ideas and stories laid out on a page, whether in prose, webs, design or image, allow you to review where you’ve been, gain new insight and acceptance, and even spark new inspiration.
You don’t need to be a yogi to use mantra and affirmation. Employ this powerful ancient tool to assist you in success with your commitments and all you wish to be and create in the new year. Choose or create your own affirmation.
 
Here’s to a clear, calm, simple and nourishing new year, naturally!
 
 
The information presented is intended to inform, not diagnose or treat health conditions. 



 

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 9

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On the ninth day of detox, atONE gave to me…

nine cleansing herbs,
Herbal cleanses
There are many herbal detox programs available. Purchasing a reputable herbal cleanse provides a prepared, easy to follow plan you can fit into your daily routine. If you choose to buy or follow an herbal program, do your research and make sure the product is top quality. Consult a herbalist or naturopath for professional recommendations. There are also a variety of herbal teas specifically blended for detox that you can incorporate into your day. Pukka makes a tasty blend called Cleanse. Bija Deep Cleanse is another detox herbal blend. Living Strong gives us 4 herbs that assist detox naturally.And 4 more popular cleansing plants you can investigate for your own personal program.

For an ayurvedic addition to the herbal detox, try Amalaki, Amla or Indian Gooseberry, 3 names for 1 vitamin C rich herb. I have added Amla powder to smoothies, made an Amla shot in a bit of water before bed, decocted the dried fruit for tea and infused it in oil for nourishing hair treatments. Very bitter, Amla is best added to a flavourful blend.

Consult a professional if pregnant, nursing or have existing medical conditions, before using herbs.

Bonus detox tip: Knock knock. Who’s there?  Doris. Doris who? Doris locked, that’s why I’m knocking. I borrowed that one from Ellen DeGenerous. A good belly laugh a day is reported to boost immune function, mood and your number of friends. See for yourself just how beneficial a good laugh is for your overall well-being. And it’s free. Find, or better yet, initiate laughter in your day today and every day. It’s contagious. If you’re struggling to get started, Ellen is always good for a dose of laughter medicine.

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 6

Mouthwash, naturally.

 

On the sixth day of detox, atONE gave to me…

six spicy swishes,
Oil Pulling
A little-known detox gem, Dr. F. Karach presented oil pulling in the early 90s. The practice, however, dated back considerably further. In ayurveda it is called kavala graha, a medicine for the oral cavity, and has been used for centuries to detoxify the body and improve health.

 

A simple daily process of swishing oil around inside the mouth for up to 20 minutes, allowing the oil to draw toxins from the body, then spitting the oil out, yields a variety of reported benefits. Some of which include: brightened teeth, reduced sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink, and stabilized loose teeth. Other individuals have reported relief from the following: body pains, headaches, allergy and respiratory problems, arthritis, constipation, heart disease, digestive issues and skin problems. Best done on an empty stomach, in the ayurvedic tradition, kavala graha is a practice in itself, a meditation of sorts where nothing is done during the swishing, other than conscious swishing.

When I followed this practice 3 times per day, before meals, for several weeks, I enjoyed the meditative benefits as well as whiter, less sensitive teeth and softer lips. My oil pulling now flows into my morning routine as 5-10 minutes of swishing while I prepare my morning tea. As 1 sun salutation is better than none and often leads to more, a few minutes of swishing is better than no swishing at all. There is some controversy as to whether to perform oil pulling if you have dental fillings. I have found no conclusive research supporting either side. Do your homework and consult a professional for further information. After your morning visualization, breathwork, meditation and yoga, try some swishing while preparing your lemon and ginger tea. Or make your swishing your morning meditation. The whole morning detox routine up to now can take as little as 30 minutes. If you have the time, an indulgent hour or more can be dedicated to you, your health and your best self. Set your alarm a little earlier and savour time for self care. A delicious way to start your day.

Bonus Detox Tip: As a lover of infusing oils with herbs, I took oil pulling to another level and created spicy swishes that also lend themselves to improved health. See if one of the natural mouthwashes has you salivating.

Congratulations on reaching the halfway point in your body, mind, spirit detox. Still cleaning out the closets?

 

 

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 1

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December is a magical month. An ideal one to detoxify the body and clear out residue accumulated over the past year.
Ayurveda refers to this residue as ama: a buildup of waste in the body, products not used up or transformed from their old state to a new one via digestion or metabolism. Accumulation of ama blocks the flow of energy within the body and is viewed as the root cause of all disease.
As body, mind and spirit all connect, cleaning out the body of last year’s consumption also assists with cleaning out the mind of last year’s habits, thoughts and ideas. Clearing out any emotional residue, struggle, pain and fear, assists the body in lightening its load. How about your environment, the spaces you occupy; your home, office and relationships? What waste has accumulated in those areas?
This is the perfect time to detoxify yourself- body, mind and spirit- and your life, from any residue lingering from the past year and beyond.
Purge what’s stuck. Remove the residue and gently dislodge the ama wholly and naturally. Make room. A clean slate for the new year. A fresh pallette on which to paint your year ahead.
The 12 days of detox guides you effortlessly through a purification process, gradually building each day. Simply complete day 1 and then add to that practice the subsequent days’ detoxing tips. One at a time, step by step, day by day, you will ease into a detox program that both nurtures and nourishes you. One you can choose to continue beyond the days of Christmas and into the new year. Say a fond farewell to all you’ve been up until now, and a sing-songy helllloooooooooo to new possibilities and the limitless potential of a brand new year, yours to create as you wish.

On the first day of detox, atONE gave to me…
the most vibrant vision of me.


Visualization
It’s important to know where you are heading before you can get there.  Meeting yourself face-to-face is an excellent and accessible method of detoxification.

With eyes closed, relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw, feel your feet on the floor or your bum if you’re sitting, and notice your breath. See yourself before you, your best self: vital, vibrant and energized. See clearly your glowing skin, clear, bright eyes, flexible, strong body and healthy interior. See your organs functioning at optimal levels, your body moving with ease and grace, exuding radiant well-being. Envision the most stunning, healthy you right before you, smiling and peaceful. Sit as long as you like with this vibrant version of you and when you are done communing, inhale deeply, drawing your complete vibrant self into your physical body. Feel that radiant version fill you from the inside out, expanding into your own body as you merge and every cell is infused with your best self.

Open your eyes. Breathe deeply into the new you and exhale a long audible sigh of gratitude for your vibrant self. Revisit the visualization as often as you like, at least once per day, perhaps when you wake and before you go to sleep.

Bonus detox tip: clean out one item per day of the 12 day detox. In your home, office or car. One simple item; a drawer, closet, cupboard, filing tray, pantry shelf, the clogged sink, kids’ toy chest, fridge shelf. Keep a donation box or bag handy for any items ready to go to someone else and return any borrowed items you find to their rightful owners.