Dear Ayurveda Friend,
Our physical, emotional and spiritual balance is so important to keep us afloat in these challenging times. One main driver for our well being besides our base constitution (check out the dosha questionnaire) is our daily input: foods, sensory input, the type of work we do, ... all of those have qualities (stimulating, calming, heavy, light, heating, grounding etc) that affect our equilibrium. The sensory input is a vastly underestimated source of health or imbalance of our mental and emotional "real estate". We should manage that space the same way we manage the space in our garages (or not!). How much room do I really give to what kind of input? Watching the news 24/7 means I am giving all my mental and emotional resources to something with very little nourishment but a lot of (over-)stimulation. Adding 10 min of a meditation in the day, playing an instrument or going on a walk in nature for an hour will connect me back to my real deeper self (as opposed to my naturally restless mind). Very few of us have the luxury of giving a 100% of their time to balancing activities and inputs. We have to go to work or do our taxes. But consciously reserving a small amount of quality time and space for nourishing sensory input will go a long way.
Claim your space, claim your time.
The good intention season is here
If you are in for changing some habits or building new ones here is a good advice I saw recently:
Delay any "bad" action for an hour or any other predetermined time span. Think sweets or the glass of wine or anything else you want to control better - just wait for an hour before reaching out to the object of your desire. The "never again from now on" doesn't always work especially if the habit is an old one. But delaying the action is very feasible, it is a much gentler approach, it gives you a sense of progress and you can increase the delay time slowly as you go along. A lot of times we simply forget the urge as we delay the action.
For the good habits that you want amp up a little - exercise, regular meals and sleeping times and the likes - do them right away. Don't delay.
With the holidays behind us now I am getting questions on the after-holiday cleansing or detoxing. While anytime is a good time to reduce some bad habits and amp up some of our good habits, the cleansing time in Ayurveda are the transitional seasons of spring and autumn. Right now, due to the cold outside our bodies are in "hibernation mode" holding on to our insulation and energy sources. However in spring, with the new warmth of the season, the juices of nature and our bodies will be flowing again and our bodies will happily release some of the stored up excess material. As always in Ayurveda we want to work in alignment with the rhythms of nature. If you are interested in the upcoming spring cleanses around March/April - please reach out for more information.
From the Herbal Kitchen:
Home made veggie broth or paste
Here is a genius recipe to make your own veggie broth. It is a raw veggie paste very easy to make and preserved by the salt in it, so it lasts for months in the fridge or outside. You'd use a teaspoon or so any time you want to add a full veggie flavor to a salad dressing, a quick sauce, cooking water for rice, kitcharee or a quick and easy soup... I found it a few years back in a German magazine (Zeit Magazin No. 45/2016, "Gegen die Würfel!", Elisabeth Raether) and have it always in the fridge ever since.
Ingredients - organic if possible:
8 sticks of celery
3 garlic cloves (optional)
1 bunch of parsley
Variations: add some fresh turmeric, celery or parsley roots
You’d need a big bowl for the above ingredients. Chop up all the veggies in thin slices and weight the mix. For each 100g of veggies put 12 g of salt (Himalayan pink salt works great!). So that's 12% of the weight of the veggies for salt. Mix salt with veggies and let it sit for 15 to 30 min until you get some juice. Then puree with a stick blender. Fill the paste in clean glass jars - that’s it! The above gives you about 4-5 12-oz jars.
With my best wishes for a safe, healthy and inspiring 2022,