Posts Tagged ‘Doshas’

Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables

This is such an easy recipe from the creators of The Great Gift of Ghee (more on this cookbook below). I love how you can personalize it with your choice of seasonal vegetables or flavors, and how the ghee makes all the yummy difference.

RECIPE

From: The Great Gift of Ghee

Serves: 2 medium portions

Ingredients

  • 2 – 4 cups of your favorite vegetable combination, in bite sized pieces (green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus, sweet potato, bell peppers, onions)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Cookware

  • Skillet that is 2 inches deep
  • Ladle or wooden spoon to stir

Preparation

In the pictures shown, I used different color baby potatoes, fennel, Swiss chard, baby beets with greens and an assortment of zucchini.

I browned the boiled potatoes first in Ghee and cumin for that special roasted taste and added the fennel, zucchini, beets, and Swiss chard raw since they cook so quickly—I favor them a little crunchy anyways.

Step-by-Step

  1. Boil or blanch the vegetables as needed to cook. Root vegetables like sweet potato or yams should be cooked separately. Beans, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower can be blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and then rinsed with cold water to retain their crunch. Bell peppers and onions should only be sliced or diced.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp Ghee. Add cumin seeds and swirl for a few seconds. Add the garlic, stir for a half-minute or so. Do not brown the garlic.
  3. While sizzling, add the blanched vegetables and stir for 2 minutes on high heat. Add the salt, turmeric and chili flakes. Stir for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour half the lemon juice over the  vegetables. Add half the chopped cilantro and toss. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  5. Serve with lemon juice on the side.

The origin of the recipe and others to try

This recipe was shared by my friend Susanne Jarchow-Misch who art directed and co-published The Great Gift of Ghee. Check out this beautiful cookbook for more heirloom Indian recipes that are nutritious and easy to make for each season—as well as ancient wisdom related to cooking. For more about the creators, visit www.sansaar.co.

More seasonal flavoring tips

Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavors that are balancing to your constitution. For example, if pitta is your primary dosha and you make this in the summer, there are many cooling spices and herbs you can try. See my blog 5 Ways to Stay Cool as a Cucumber This Summer With Ayurveda for details.

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5 Ways to Stay Cool as a Cucumber This Summer With Ayurveda

Beach Setting - Staying Cool This Summer

Long days. Outdoor fun. Travel. Relaxation. Summer certainly has its perks. But the heat of summer can also throw you off balance, aggravating your mind and body in many ways. According to Ayurveda, the ancient “science of life,” there are reasons for that—and some helpful practices to keep you calm and cool.

What summer has to do with Ayurveda

Before we dive into Ayurvedic practices for restoring your balance, it will help to have some background. To put it simply, Ayurveda can show you how your body reacts to the elements around you and within you, plus what you can do about it.

The season of pitta/fire

All five of the primary elements (air, fire, water, earth and ether) and the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) exist in everything and everyone, but in different proportions. That means each season—and person—have elements and a dosha that are predominant, making them unique.

Summer aligns with the pitta dosha and the element of fire because of its hot, penetrating, sharp and oily qualities.

How pitta can affect you

The pitta within you is closely related to your digestion, metabolism, body temperature, thoughts, emotions and more. These can be prone to imbalance as you’re exposed to summer’s heat and other pitta qualities. This is especially true if pitta is your primary dosha.

When your doshas are aggravated, there can be many physical and emotional signs.

Signs of excess pitta

  • Uncomfortably warm
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Loose stools and diarrhea
  • Red, inflamed or light-sensitive eyes
  • Inflammation
  • Infections
  • Impatience and intolerance
  • Irritability and anger

Even if you experience these already, they may show more often when pitta is aggravated.

5 tips to help balance pitta in the summer

In Ayurveda, it’s believed that “like increases like.” So things that are hot, penetrating, sharp and oily (pitta characteristics) can aggravate your body and mind during the summer. Try to cut back on them and increase what’s opposite of pitta—calm and cool—to keep your body and mind in harmony with this season.

1. Choose cooling foods and drinks.

This is the most effective way to balance pitta. Good choices include:

  • Sweet fruits like pears, melons, mangos, apples, grapes, dates, figs and prunes (Avoid citrus and other sour fruits.)
  • Sweet or bitter vegetables like peas, sweet potato, cucumber, leafy greens, celery, zucchini, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (Cut back on pungent varieties like onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.)
  • Cooling or astringent spices and herbs like neem, shavarti, amalaki, burdock, cilantro, parsley and fennel (Avoid cayenne, garlic, chili pepper, mustard seeds and dried ginger.)
  • Cool (not iced) beverages like water, coconut water and coconut milk. Teas like chamomile, mint and coriander seed can be good if room temperature or cool. (Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially beer and wine.)

2. Cool down your exercise.

Adjust your physical activity during summer for optimal balance.

  • Time of day: ideally early morning when it’s not as hot, especially if exercising outside, otherwise in a cooler environment
  • Intensity: no more than 50 percent of your maximum capacity
  • Refreshing activities to consider: swimming, gentle yoga like moon salutations (instead of sun salutations), walking, hiking and cycling

3. Limit heat exposure.

In addition to being mindful of exercise timing, you should also:

  • Minimize all sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear sunscreen if you go outside when the sun’s rays are the strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to avoid a pitta-aggravating sunburn and other effects of the sun. Sunscreens are definitely not created equal, so check out EWG’s guide to safer sunscreens.
  • Avoid hot tubs or steam rooms.

4. Take it easy.

To balance pitta, it’s especially important to prioritize self-care, calm your mind and slow down.

  • Go inward. Meditate or practice personal prayer or reflection, daily.
  • Be mindful of your emotions. Observe your feelings and how you react. Try to be patient and tolerant, and turn your focus toward positive thoughts.
  • Take deep breaths. Whenever you have to wait, deal with an unpleasant situation or simply want to enjoy more calm, try to take long, slow, deep breaths.
  • Relax. Make time each day for rest and relaxation. Listen to peaceful music, or enjoy silent moments. Lie on a blanket and take in the beauty of the moon and stars.

5. Follow an Ayurvedic daily routine that’s pitta pacifying.

Another powerful way to harmonize your mind and body is with a daily routine that’s in alignment with the natural rhythms of day and night. Check out my previous blog post for 11 day-starters that promote overall balance and health.

Start to experiment with these cooling suggestions and you’ll be on your way to harnessing all the wonderful qualities of summer with fewer pitta-related aggravations.

Until next time, here’s to a cool, calm and balanced summer!

Luciana

All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on bluberrybunch.com is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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The Rejuvenation Retreat in India

Join us and restore your beauty from the inside out.

Ayurvedic Health and Wellness Coach Luciana Ferraz and Fernanda Jabali invite you to The Rejuvenation Retreat in India January 31 – February 8, 2020. In a place overflowing with Ayurvedic living and tropical beauty, you’ll have a unique opportunity to renew your mind and body and deepen your knowledge of the “science of life.”

SKIP TO REGISTRATION


MORE DETAILS

ABOUT THE LOCATION

The AyurSoma Ayurveda Resort is located in Somatheeram, an Ayurvedic village with 60,000 square meters of tropical gardens in the state of Kerala, South India. It offers stunning sea views and is within walking distance to Chowara Beach. Both the resort and the village have been recognized with numerous national and international awards for excellence in Ayurvedic treatments. Learn more (starting on page 10) or watch a video clip.

RETREAT SCHEDULE

Every day, we will enjoy purification, relaxation and rejuvenation through an Ayurvedic routine consisting of yoga, meditation, consultations with Ayurvedic medical doctors and treatments tailored for your doshas. Learn more (starting on page 8).

PAYMENTS AND CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY

  • A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required to hold your space for this retreat and it is due at the time of registration.
  • For the remaining amount, you have the option of paying in full or setting up a payment plan.
  • After you submit the registration form below, we will follow up to initiate your choice of payment via credit card or debit card.
  • The full amount is due by October 15, 2019.
  • If you have to cancel, a full refund minus the $500 deposit will be issued as long as you cancel by November 30, 2019.
  • Travel health Insurance is mandatory.

RATES AND WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in double room (shared with a roommate) or single room of choice with a sea view (See room rates and descriptions starting on page 2.)
  • Initial, daily and final consultation with Ayurvedic doctors
  • Free medicines during the treatment period
  • Protocol to take home (cost of medicine not included)
  • Daily Ayurvedic treatments (2 hours per day for 7 days)
  • Delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Individualized diet recommended for your dosha
  • Ayurveda class
  • Cooking class (upon availability)
  • Guided yoga and meditation
  • Transfer from Trivandrum Airport (TRV) to/from AyurSoma Ayurveda Resort
  • Other resort amenities

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Transatlantic flights from the USA or Brazil to India
  • Domestic flights to Trivandrum (TRV)
  • Personal expenses and gratuity
  • Travel insurance
  • International health Insurance (mandatory)
  • Flight changes and cancellations
  • Visa fee
  • Additional Ayurvedic treatment and herbs
  • Cost for optional excursions and outings

ABOUT YOUR GUIDES

Luciana Ferraz and Fernanda Vivone Jabali

Luciana Ferraz is an Ayurvedic Wellness & Health Counselor, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Yoga teacher. She empowers clients to implement a healthier lifestyle and harness the body’s natural ability to heal itself and work to its greatest potential. She has a degree in Ayurvedic Wellness from Sai Ayurvedic College, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certification from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and certifications from Yoga Alliance and Evolutionary Global Prana Vinyasa Yoga. Luciana has also completed the Gurukulu Program from the Institute of Ayurveda in Pune, India, and also holds a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College. She is currently completing a practitioner program and internship at Kerala Ayurveda Academy and Clinic in Kochi and Bangaluru. More about Luciana

Fernanda Vivone Jabali specializes in life mediating, chanting and heart-centered hypnotherapy. She has participated in PTI (Personal Transformation Intensive) retreats for the past two years and looks forward to assisting in future workshops. While she completes her internship in heart-centered hypnotherapy through the Wellness Institute in Seattle, Fernanda is helping develop and open Heart’s Tapestry, South Florida’s first community Healing Center. A native ofSao Paulo, Brazil, Fernanda also holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology and a master’s degree in child development.

REGISTRATION

    PERSONAL INFORMATION

    EMERGENCY CONTACT

    ACCOMMODATIONS

    Palace Deluxe: spacious sea-view room and bathroom

    Yuvaraja Royal: spacious sea-view room with living area and bathroom

    Maharaja Royal: spacious room with a separate living room and bathroom and a sea-view

    Single vs. double rooms: Double rooms are shared with a roommate.

    For full descriptions, see page 2 in the "rates/rooms" link earlier on this page.

    PAYMENT CHOICE

    You can either pay in full following registration or set up a payment plan. After your register, we will be in touch to initiate your payment.

    Pay in fullSet up payment plan

    How the Payment Plan Works

    July: $500 deposit

    August: second payment*

    September: third payment*

    October 15: final payment*

    * For amount details, see page 3 in the “rates/rooms” link earlier on this page.


    HAVE A QUESTION?

    Send a message to: info@blueberrybunch.com

    All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on blueberrybunch.com is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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    Discovering Ayurvedic Practices for Daily Balance and Health – Infotalk

    In our 90 minutes together, you will be introduced to the origins of Ayurveda and receive a brief assessment of your doshas, including basic characteristics and how they are influenced by the rhythms of nature.

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    Take control of your life with dinacharya: a powerfully balancing Ayurveda routine

    Do you ever start the day thinking, “I’m going to work against myself today?” Of course you don’t. Not knowingly. The thing is: The way you go about your day does affect how you feel and how your body functions. So if you’re like most people I talk to, who could benefit from greater life balance, let’s talk about something that really works. There is a way: how to intentionally start your day so your mind and body can work in harmony as you’re challenged with day-to-day tasks, distractions and everything else that comes your way. It’s an Ayurvedic practice called dinacharya.

    What dinacharya is and how can it help you

    Dinacharya is a powerful daily routine used in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, the word dinacharya means to follow the knowledge of the day, and that’s what we are doing: following a schedule of practices that are aligned with the natural rhythm or flow of life. This puts you in control of your day—and it can bring radical change to your mind and body. For example, it stabilizes your circadian rhythms, eating patterns, and bodily functions, which in turn improves your digestion and your overall feeling of happiness.

    What it means to follow the rhythm of the day

    Even if you’re not well-versed in Ayurveda, you probably already know how certain things like sleep are best to keep at the same time each day. To understand it from an Ayurvedic perspective, let’s look at our day in terms of doshas. During the day, we flow through different phases: vata, pitta and kapha. Just as these three doshas, or energetic forces of nature, make up your personal constitution, they are also represented in the day. When our practices follow the flow of the day, we set ourselves up for optimal digestion, focus, productivity, health and wellbeing.

    • 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is kapha time. This can be a sluggish and heavy time, making it ideal for lighter eating and Ayurvedic practices (introduced in the next section) to start your day well.
    • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is pitta time. This can be characterized by increased heat in the air and in our bodies, which can be harnessed for productivity and high agni (a Sanskrit word meaning “digestive fire”).
    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. is vata time. This is generally a time of transition, good for promoting creativity, problem solving or peaceful comfort, depending on your nature.
    • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is kapha time. The return of sluggish and heavy feelings influence a smaller meal and winding down in a soothing way.
    • 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. is pitta time. Active qualities return in the form of internal cleansing.
    • 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. is vata time. As another transitional time, it can promote deep rest and peaceful rising.

    11 Dinacharya day-starters that promote overall balance and health

    Here are my 11 favorite Ayurvedic practices for starting the day. They’re things I like to do before breakfast and looking at my phone. I realize that may sound like a lot, but don’t let it overwhelm you. When adopting Ayurvedic practices, start gradually and realize even small, consistent changes make an impact. For me, these morning rituals take 1 to 1.5 hours and make all the difference, helping me feel more grounded and peaceful as I go about my day.

    List of My Top 11 Dinacharya Practices

    1. Wake up early for optimal refreshment.

    It is best to wake up before sunrise, or on average before 6 a.m. It can be far more refreshing to rise and start your day when vata is dominant rather than kapha’s heavy, sluggish period. Before going to bed, set an intention to wake up early and dedicate it as a time of self-care. It’ll be your opportunity to create inner awareness through silent practices. Putting it first allows you to harness this energy throughout your day and ensures other demands won’t get in the way of this important practice.

    2. Set an intention before getting out of bed.

    Say a positive affirmation, prayer or mantra with personal meaning to set your intentions for the day.

    3. Makeover your mouth with oil pulling.

    Oil pulling cleanses your mouth and strengthens your teeth, gums and mucus membrane. It also aids with bad breath and inflammation when present. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil to your mouth, swish it around 5 minutes, spit it into the trash and then rinse. I love Banyan Botanicals’ Daily Swish. Another option is swishing herbal tea.

    4. Enhance skin and circulation with dry brushing.

    Dry brushing promotes cell renewal by exfoliating dead skin while also increasing circulation and helping flush out toxins. Use a dry brush with natural bristles to brush your entire body, starting with your extremities and working in toward the lymph nodes. This practice can be done daily or three times per week.

    5. Massage your body with warm oil.

    Abhyanga massage is widely practiced in Ayurvedic medicine and is a good daily health practice. In addition to nourishing and softening the skin, it enhances circulation, lubricates joints, removes metabolic waste and helps balance your doshas. After dry brushing, incorporate a few minutes of self-massage with coconut (pitta), almond or sesame (kapha), or sesame oil (vata), and follow with a shower.

    6. Clean your teeth naturally.

    Use a natural toothpaste, such as a neem clove toothpaste to brush your teeth. Herbs like neem and clove have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and pain relieving properties that not only cleanse and freshen breath, but also enhance taste buds and help with sensitivity. This toothpaste can be found online and in some stores where vitamins or natural products are sold.

    7. Detoxify with tongue scraping.

    Use a metal tongue scraper to remove residue that has built up over night, including bacteria, dead cells and toxins you don’t want to reabsorb. Tongue scraping should be performed lightly 1 to 3 times with a stainless-steel tongue scraper, or copper if it’s available and you are kapha-dominant. They can be found at most drug stores and online—just refrain from choosing plastic.

    8. Hydrate with warm lemon water.

    Drinking warm water with lemon in the morning is a great way to energize, rehydrate, increase your metabolic rate, stimulate your digestion, maintain your body’s pH balance, help fight infections and help your liver flush out toxins that have accumulated overnight.

    9. Tune into your breathing with pranayama.

    Using breathing (pranayama) techniques helps balance your body’s energetic channels (nadis) and bring heightened awareness and clarity to your mind. These are some techniques you can try while seated:

    • Alternating nostril breaths (nadi shodhana)With your right hand, you will use your thumb to control passage of air through your right nostril and your ring finger for your left nostril. To begin, gently close your right nostril and breathe in slowly through the left nostril. Next, close the left nostril while opening the other so you can exhale slowly through your right nostril. Inhale slowly through your right nostril, and repeat for around 12 total rounds, or longer if you’d like. This can be practiced no matter your constitution.
    • Cooling breaths (shitali): Stick out your tongue and roll the outside edges inward so your tongue forms a straw-like tube. Inhale and exhale through your rolled tongue around 16 times. Since it has a cooling effect, it can be especially balancing for pitta.
    • Short, fast breaths (bhastrika): Inhale and exhale through your nose forcefully so your abdomen expands and contracts with equal duration—about one or two seconds each. Complete around 10 breaths, rest with a couple of normal breaths and repeat (slowly building up to 5 or 10 rounds). Since it can have a warming effect, pitta should practice gently, in moderation. Do not practice this if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or any illness.

    10. Activate good vibes and focus with meditation.

    Meditation offers a feeling of relaxation followed by a release of energy boosting endorphins. It’ll help spring you to life—without coffee—and get your mind into a flow state to handle the day’s challenges with greater ease. If it’s new to you, start with a 5- or 10-minute practice, and work up to 15 minutes or more a day. There are many techniques, such as mantra meditation or Empty Bowl Meditation, as well as many resources like local classes and mobile apps.

    Contact me if you’d like direction, and don’t think of meditation as taking up time. The focus and energy you get can make you happier and more productive.

    11. Get moving with exercise.

    In Ayurveda, regular physical activity early in the morning increases stamina and stimulates the immune system while promoting circulation and burning accumulated fat. Yoga is by far my favorite physical and mental activity as it also encourages the flow of oxygen, moves toxins, nourishes joints and stimulates the digestive fire in the body. Ayurveda generally recommends breathing through your nose and exercising at 50 percent capacity, until you break a mild sweat. Or from a doshas perspective: mild exercise for vata, moderate for pitta, vigorous for kapha.

    Important healthy practices for other times

    I could fill a whole new post with practices for other times of the day, but there a few I feel just have to be shared now.

    Take a digital detox and get your Z’s.

    A good night of sleep is extremely important for good health. During the night, cells repair more rapidly. Your digestive system gets a break, giving the elimination process an opportunity to catch up. Your mind also needs plenty of rest. Plan to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day. To help you sleep well, lower your consumption of TV, cell phones, iPad, computers, etc., at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Remove electronics from your room, and if an alarm clock is essential on your cell phone, place it in airplane mode.

    Flush toxins with a steam treatment.

    Swedana is a treatment performed at an Ayurvedic clinic that consists of an oil massage followed by a steam bath. The heat enlarges your pores and increases circulation, aiding digestion, the release of impurities, elimination of excess water weight and reduction of inflammation. It also promotes healthy, glowing skin and deep relaxation. It can be a great treatment to have when you’re dealing with a cold, sinusitis, aches, some digestive issues or as a pre-operative procedure.

    Pamper yourself with another favorite.

    Have you heard the saying, “Take care of yourself before you take care of others?” Self-care is absolutely essential for a happy life—and when you tend to your own needs, you are more open and present to support others. Choose one of your favorite pampering rituals and make that part of your weekly routine. Whether you take time for a massage, acupuncture, a visit to the nail salon, a walk on the beach, or something else, taking regular “me” time is a very important part of healing and balancing your dosha.

    Now that you have several ideas you can incorporate into your dinacharya, don’t think of this as another to-do list. By aligning the activity of your mind and body with the natural rhythms of day and night, you will set yourself up for optimal health, happiness and productivity. Commit for a few weeks and start gradually. Add more only as you feel inspired and don’t be hard on yourself if you veer off course. Simply return to what serves you best, and enjoy.

    Until next time, live well!

    Luciana

    All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on bluberrybunch.com is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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    6+ holistic tips for healthier, more comfortable air travel

    Whether you’re planning a visit with loved ones, a business trip or another adventure, thinking ahead with a holistic approach can make your flight more enjoyable and get you to your destination feeling your best.

    There’s no doubt flying can take a toll on your body, especially with frequent or long-distance travel. Throughout my years of flying, I’ve developed a strategy for healthy air travel that helps me enjoy being on the plane, lower the effects of jetlag and restore balance to my body. Add some of these ideas to your upcoming travel plans if you’d like to arrive feeling more relaxed, refreshed and healthy.

    1. Understand how travel affects your body

    When you fly, your vata can naturally be aggravated, causing gas and bloating. Traveling also naturally dehydrates the body. Consuming nurturing foods is one of your best allies in preventing jetlag, balancing your vata and transforming you into a pro traveler.

    Not familiar with vata? Vata is one of the three doshas, a foundational concept in Ayurveda that can help you understand yourself better. Doshas are essentially energetic forces found within everyone and everything, but in different ratios. When your doshas become aggravated or imbalanced, they can disrupt your body in many ways. The good news: Ayurveda offers many natural remedies to restore balance, heal and even prevent health issues.  

    2. Nourish and hydrate your body with healthy air travel in mind

    • Eat a healthy meal with greens and low-sodium foods before boarding so you are not at the mercy of high-sodium airline foods.
    • Drink plenty of water before and during the flight to stay hydrated. Dehydration increases jet Take tea bags of your favorite herbal caffeine-free tea. Peppermint and ginger are great choices to sooth your stomach, and chamomile will help you to relax and sleep on overnight flights. Bring an empty water bottle that you can refill and keep with you, too.
    • Consume fruits high in vitamin C like oranges and lemon to give your immune system a boost prior to flying. Drinking water with lemon is a great choice.
    • Consider supplements like the I Travel Well liquid extract from Banyan Botanicals. I add it to water, and I love that it helps calm the mind and energize the body.
    • Pack healthy foods. Nuts are my go-to food when I fly. I roast raw nuts at home with lots of different herbs, vata pacifying spices and a touch of pink salt so they are full of flavor. Healthy snacks like nuts and fresh fruit can also be great for curbing hunger during meetings or excursions, until you’re able to grab a healthy meal.
    • Avoid alcohol and coffee. It’s not only going to increase your jetlag upon arrival, but the sugar in certain drinks can also agitate you and prevent sleep.

    3. Dress comfortably

    I am one not to compromise style, especially if traveling for business or arriving at a stylish destination. At the same time, I’ve learned that there is no point in looking good at boarding and a complete wreck at my destination.

    • Wear clothing made with soft stretchy fabrics and comfy tops. The last thing you want is to have your belly compressed by skinny jeans and tight buttons during a flight. Cashmere, cotton tops and leggings are great options.
    • Bring layers. Airplanes tend to be cold, so I always have a few layers in my carry-on and an extra pair of comfy socks.
    • If you wear high heels, leave them for when you land. A good pair of sneakers is my best friend walking through terminals and the easiest fit after a long flight.
    • Stow jewelry if you can. Fingers and wrists get swollen during flights. When possible, I keep my rings, bracelet and watch inside my carry-on or purse. It’s not only more comfortable to sleep, but I won’t have to use soap to squeeze the rings off of my fingers.

    4. Tune into your personal care

    Your skin can be affected by the airplane’s dry air and also LED lights. Most of the time, I wash my face with mild soap and hydrate my face and eye areas more. There is a good selection of balms and face oils that work wonders.

    • If you wear makeup when you fly, apply a serum prior to boarding and add a thick layer of moisturizer under your makeup. Before arrival, you could even use wipes to freshen up your face and apply a quick coat of makeup.
    • Protect your skin from LED lights and sunlight. Most plane windows are not tinted and will cause skin damage. The LED lights have the same effect as sunlight, so apply your SPF as your part of your normal beauty routine.
    • Flight attendants swear by face mist. I took their advice and on long flights I carry a small bottle of rose water or jasmin. I not only love the smell, but also keeps my face hydrated.
    • Hands and cuticles also need care. Carry a travel-size hand cream and apply as often as possible.

    5. Relax and get your Zs

    While there are plenty ways to pass the time on a flight, air travel can offer you can that perfect opportunity to do what can be challenging elsewhere: simply relax. Try these ideas to get as much R&R or Zs as possible.

    • Try to avoid blue light. I personally prefer reading over watching movies or working on any electronic device. The blue light will affect your levels of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Reading can also help you fall asleep. If you do watch a movie or work on your computer, listen to calm music after—it will help you to relax.
    • Mediate! Even if you are not familiar with this practice, there are plenty of apps with guided meditations that are super helpful at all times. I use the Insight Timer app during flights. It helps me to stay relaxed but also prevents me from listening to the loud engine noise.
    • Follow a bedtime routine. If you’re taking an overnight flight, brush your teeth, wash your face and follow as many other bedtime rituals as possible. Bring an eye mask as well. Sunlight is a major part of our internal (circadian) clock, so I find that a soft eye mask helps my body adjust to a new time zone.
    • Apply lavender, Jatamansi and nutmeg oils on the crown of the head and temples. These essential oils can promote better sleep. You can apply them to pillows and bedding as well. Look for a USDA organic source, such as Floracopeia.

    6. Make adjustments upon arrival

    There are few things I like to do at my new destination to give me a fresh start, and they help me recover from jetlag.

    • Continue drinking water and eating nourishing meals. Green juices are another favorite for healthy
    • Eat smaller portions more often during the first few days if changing time zones. I find this helps me adjust to the local meal times.
    • Take a nice shower using favorite lotions and potions. This practice makes me feel grounded and like I’m at home.
    • Do self-massage (abhyanga) upon arrival, which nourishes your tissues and is very grounding for the nervous system. Choose an oil appropriate for your constitution:
      • Vata: a warm, grounding oil like untoasted sesame or almond
      • Pitta: a cool, hydrating oil like coconut
      • Kapha: a light, warming oil like almond or sesame
    • Schedule extra time for rest after a long day of adventure, meetings or running around, or even in between activities.

    Next time you fly, experiment with some of my tips and see what works best for your own body.

    Here’s to healthy, comfy and safe travels!

    Luciana

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    Ayurveda and the doshas: setting the foundation for better balance and health

    In our busy world, finding balance can often feel like a crazy, uncoordinated dance. We often over-caffeinate and over-stimulate, staying close to screens and allowing our interactions and workloads to overwhelm and stress us. We also turn to food as comfort instead of medicine, tending to look away from our habits and questioning whether our lifestyles truly suit us. But there is another way, a better way, one that helps bring awareness to our imbalances, empowers us to make changes to our bodies and bring health rituals to our daily lives—and that’s Ayurveda, the world’s oldest intact healing science.

    Ayurveda spices for health and healing-blog Blueberry Bunch by Luciana Ferraz

    Practiced in India for over 5,000 years, Ayurveda (which translates to “science of life” in Sanskrit) has been gaining more attention in the western world. Although it’s an ancient science, Ayurveda offers many practical applications for our lives today. By gaining a few insights into its basic principles, you can set the foundation for how to apply Ayurveda to your own life.

    Understanding your body type in terms of Ayurvedic doshas

    According to Ayurveda, you have a unique constitution, established when you were conceived, that represents your natural mental, emotional and physical state. Your constitution is made up of a ratio of the three doshas (energetic forces of nature)—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—and you’re likely to have one or two doshas that are predominant.

    While your constitution will remain unaltered during your lifetime, your constitution does respond to changes in your environment. I’ll explain the significance of this in the next section, but first I’ll give you some detail on each dosha so you identify a few unique characteristics.

    Vata

    • Composed primarily of these natural elements: air and ether
    • Governs these functions in the body: movement of all biological activity, including elimination and breathing.
    • Signs of a balanced Vata individual: creative, artistic, sharp, quick thinking and loving

    Pitta

    • Composed primarily of these natural elements: fire and water
    • Governs these functions in the body: digestion, metabolic functions and body temperature
    • Signs of a balanced Pitta individual: energized, sharp and quick minded, goal-oriented, productive and enthusiastic

    Kapha

    • Composed primarily of these natural elements: water and earth
    • Governs these functions in the body: provides the body its structure, form, nutrition and groundedness.
    • Signs of a balanced Kapha individual: calm, dependable, loving and affectionate

    Knowing your primary dosha and how it can become imbalanced

    Knowing your constitution (which one or two doshas are primary for you) is key. It will help you know what imbalances you’re susceptible to, issues those imbalances can cause, and how to bring harmony and healing to your body.

    While you can experience an imbalance in any of your doshas, you’re likely to be most affected by an imbalance in your primary dosha. Each dosha is associated with certain health issues, which can include disruptions to your sleep, energy levels and the function of many systems (respiratory, reproductive, digestive, muscular, neurological, etc.).

    So, what factors can aggravate your dosha and create disease? There are many, including the food you eat, what you drink, your emotional state, relationships, exercise routine, workplace, environment, how you sleep, the climate/weather, sounds and stress. Again, what affects you is very personal and related to your constitution.

    Restoring balance to your constitution

    Ayurveda offers you many holistic ways to get your individual equilibrium back, heal your body and prevent disease. Empowering you with lifestyle changes and rituals that are specific to your constitution, Ayurveda takes the preventative approach of Eastern medicine, rather than the curative approach of Western medicine, to keep you well.

    When you or your Ayurvedic counselor recognize an imbalance in your primary dosha, these are a few ways you might address it.

    How to balance Vata:

    • Eat a Vata-balancing diet. This may include eating warm, lubricating, grounding foods that are rich in healthy fats and protein as well as sweet, sour and salty tastes—while avoiding fried, cold, raw and low-fat foods.
    • Take time for self-care and allow plenty of time in between activities.
    • Practice Pilates, yoga and meditation, and take long walks.
    • Perform Abyangha, a self-massage with oils soothing for Vata, such as sesame oil.
    • Use a diffuser with calming essential oils, such as clary sage, vanilla and clove.

    How to balance Pitta:

    • Eat a Pitta-balancing diet. This may include eating cool, astringent, sweet and bitter foods, including lighter proteins, dark greens, peppermint tea and lime—while avoiding red meat, caffeine, excessive spices and foods that are deep fried or processed.
    • Make time to relax and play, but limit competitive activities that could aggravate you.
    • Practice yoga, swimming, biking or fast walks while avoiding the warmest times of the day.
    • Play soothing music.
    • Use a diffuser with calming essential oils, such as lavender, rose and lime.

    How to balance Kapha:

    • Eat a Kapha-balancing diet. This may include eating fresh cooked vegetables; lighter proteins; light grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat; and especially astringent, pungent and bitter foods—while avoiding high-fat foods, dairy, gluten, red meat, sugar, salt and foods that are fried, processed or sour.
    • Practice self-acceptance and positive body image.
    • Practice cardiovascular activities, such as biking, running, martial arts or any other vigorous type of exercise.
    • Use a diffuser with uplifting essential oils, such as tulsi, cinnamon and frankincense.

    More Ayurveda resources and support

    Want to discover dietary recommendations and other ways to integrate Ayurveda into your life? I’ll be posting more about Ayurvedic living in the future. I also welcome you to connect with me personally to learn more about your unique constitution, and how to support yourself with this ancient science of life.

    Until next time, live well!

    Luciana

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