I have just gone through what could be the most painful couple of weeks of my life to date. On February 13, I lost Madie, my 7-year old Chow Spitz. I never thought it would take me this long to grieve over her passing. I’ve lost family pets in the past and although it hurt each time, there has never been anything that has affected me as much as this. Continue reading On Healing : 5 Things I Picked Up from Hitting an All-Time Low
Let me tell you a few things most people probably don’t know about me. I was the kid who rubbed Aloe Vera gel onto her scalp straight from the stalk I picked from my parents’ garden while I watched TV. I was the girl who snacked on Kamias, Macopa and Aratelis fruits for kicks. And I was the whacko who handed Nic a shot of pure Calamansi juice and a tablespoon of Moringa powder when she was feeling under the weather. Hey, call me weird but that concoction really worked! Not that I don’t believe in today’s methods and medicine, let’s just say I never really needed to tell my mom to “call the doctor very quick”.
So just imagine my fascination when I learned about the practice of Ayurveda during my Yoga Teacher Training. Look it up on Google and you’ll find that it is the traditional Indian system of medicine. I say it’s the practice of those who want to take charge of their health. Ayurveda means “Life-Knowledge” and when you know enough about your own body, you have the ability to keep it at its best without much effort. Continue reading Age-old Methods for Modern-Day Healing: Arogya Ayurvedic Center
This is a dish I shared on Facebook and Instagram a couple of months ago. And today, because of the cold weather brought about by the typhoon (and because many have been asking), I ‘m finally sharing this easy Kitchari recipe.
For those of you who are wondering, Kitchari is a soupy porridge known in Ayurveda for its cleansing benefits. This warming dish improves digestion and rids the body of toxins. Most of us may be unfamiliar with the practice of consuming grains during detoxification, but in India, Kitchari is eaten during periods of fasting. Too good to be true, if you ask me. This dish is crazy tasty, and really does the body good. The combination of rice and mung beans provides the body with amino acids. The spices stoke the digestive fire, allowing your stomach to easily process the food you take in and absorb nutrients better. Turmeric boosts the body’s self-healing abilities too.
Now, there are many ways to prepare Kitchari. Each version has its own list of ingredients. The one I have here is the easiest I’ve tried with ingredients that are accessible and easy to find.
BASIC KITCHARI RECIPE
1 cup Basmati rice (Replace with brown rice if you want to add fiber to your meal)
1/2 cup split green or yellow mung beans
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds (ground)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp hing (Okay if you can’t find this, it’s only available in Indian grocery stores)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter (vegans may skip this)
Cilantro (up to you to decide how much)
Chopped veggies (optional)
1. Soak mung beans in water for 3 hrs or overnight
2. Wash rice and beans twice
2. Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil
3. Add in rice and mung beans.
4. Add the sea salt, spices and vegetables that take longer to cook such as potatoes, carrots, yams.
5. If you’re adding leafy greens, throw them in around 3-5 mins before taking the dish out of the fire.
6. Top with cilantro and serve with a slice of lime
If you’re looking at going on a short detox, you may double or triple the recipe and store in the fridge. Reheat (preferrably on the stove) before consumption. You may eat Kitchari any time you feel hungry during this period. The detox may last for two-three days. I’m personally not a fan of fasting for more than two days but if you do decide to do it, please listen closely to your body and stay well-hydrated.
1. It doesn’t look appealing enough to drink
A series of experiments done at the University of Illinois showed that image or presentation is linked to the amount of food or beverage a person consumes. The more attractive or enticing it looks, the easier it is to consume more of it.
Find a container you like to drink from and keep it with you at all times. It could be a glass, bottle, a mason jar, or a tumbler. I personally like to purchase and collect hydration bottles. I like the ones that pop out with color but are very handy. I make it a point to switch them up every now and then just to keep things interesting. Nothing like using a “new” bottle all the time, right?
2. You think straight water is the only way to go
If you think plain water is boring, you’re not alone. Straight water being plain and well…tasteless is one of the main reasons why we often choose another beverage over it. There are tons of healthy ways to make your water much less boring. Try adding some of these things:
- Lemon or lime slices
- Mint leaves
- A sprig of Tarragon
- Fresh, whole strawberries
Okay, who am I kidding? The possibilities here are endless. Fresh fruit (Just don’t squeeze the juice out) and herbs are guaranteed to keep you drinking. Apart from the numerous health benefits, this still guarantees maximum hydration.
3. You wait ‘til you’re thirsty
Chances are, your body is already moderately dehydrated when it starts sending thirst signals. At this point, it’s more difficult to replenish whatever has been lost to the point of hydration. We constantly lose water—and I’m not just talking about sweat, or urine but what’s called the insensible losses through our skin, feces and even through our breath. So, if the body constantly loses water, it only makes sense to constantly rehydrate it.
Thirst (as in the desire to gulp a big-ass glass of cold beverage) doesn’t have to be the signal you wait for before taking at least a sip. Go for more subtle ones such as slight dryness on the lips and in the mouth. I find this the best indicator because the lips dry out the fastest and easily show signs of dehydration.
4. You chug it down all at once
This one’s closely linked to #3. Remember that there’s no need to down a full glass right away. I mentioned that the body loses water all the time. If it’s through so much sweat after a physical activity, then a larger intake is needed. Although it’s always best to drink 1-2 cups of fluid prior to excessive sweating to avoid dehydration. Otherwise, just take small but frequent sips of water.
According to Ayurveda, the traditional system of Hindu medicine, there is a proper way of drinking water: take a small sip, swallow, breathe and repeat. This allows the body to fully absorb the fluid rather than just let it pass through the body, which happens when we down everything right away. The good thing about this is that it doesn’t fill the stomach with so much water, allowing you to take another sip sooner than you would if you had taken in more. When you take smaller sips, you’re actually able to drink more in the long run.
5. It’s too cold
Growing up in a tropical country has got me thinking there’s no point in drinking water if it isn’t cold or iced. I probably am not the only one used to drinking cold water to cool the body most especially in the hottest weather. What most of us don’t know is that cold water brings no benefit to the body. In fact, according to Ayurveda, it literally douses the digestive fire. This means it sets your digestion off and out of whack.
Warm or room temperature water is enough to bring the body back to its normal temperature. Cold fluids (not just water), on the other hand, only cause distress to the body. While it may feel refreshing as you drink, you might notice that your body will only allow you to drink or take in so much. Apart from that, you get this false feeling of satiety after you’ve practically soaked your warm organs in an iced beverage. When this used to happen to me, I felt like my thirst was satisfied longer. But now as I look back at it, I think the reason why it took me awhile to rehydrate after a cold drink is because my body needs more time to recover from the temperature I put it in that it doesn’t want to take any beverage until it’s gone back to normal.
There is honestly, no single way to properly drink water because every body is different. But one thing is for sure: we all need to constantly make up for the water we lose every second, with every breath. So do it. You owe it to yourself.