Ayurvedic Cleanse

Eat Healthy 2 Comments

This past week I underwent a brief Ayurvedic Cleanse.  I took this on at the suggestion of my friend the nutritional counselor, Suzanne Monroe.  It just so happened that this cleanse was also in my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training text book.  I basically eat nothing but Mung Beans and Rice with a little fruit in between from time to time, from Sunday evening through Thursda morning.

This is a cleanse which is very good for the digestive system.  After reading up on it some more I realized that it is probably best done in the winter time, because its rather firey.  The main challenge in this cleanse is the prep time.  It takes about 1.5+ hours to prepare this meal and I found myself needing to make another large batch on day 2 of the process.  I could have gone on longer, but I really didn’t have 5 hours during the week to put into food prep.

It’s kind of strange though, all day long we put hours upon hours into work and play.  But we tend to cut corners when it comes to providing ourselves with food that really nurishes our body.  We tend to cut corners with activity that really nurishes our body for that matter, activities like Kundalini Yoga ;-)

I intend to perform cleanses off an on for a while from here on out.  I suspect I’ll revisit the mung beans and rice one in the winter time.

If you are trying a cleanse for the first time, make sure you are cleared medically to do so and have proper guidance.

Yogi Tea, Simple, Powerful, Healing

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Yogi Tea is a wonderful potion which was provided by Yogi Bhajan.

Sometimes as one travels the path, any path, we forget the simple things which bring health and healing to our lives.  Yogi tea is one of them.  In my teacher training we even had a class on how to make Yogi Tea ourselves.  Which was greatly appreciated.  I now make yogi tea on a bi-weekly basis in batches so that I can drink it in the morning as opposed to the coffee I used to always drink.  I’ve found that making it myself adds some extra good healing energy to it.  However, the Yogi Tea which is available in the store is extremely tasty and has several specific healing capabilities to help people.

(Gotta give a shout out to the folks at Busy People Inc. Organic Food, for providing the space for our class in Teacher Training.)

I’m actually sipping some Yogi Tea as I type this, he he he.

Okay so back to it, Yogi Bhajan and his students have developed a series of teas for very specific ailments.  For example, there is Yogi Tea for sore throats, Yogi Tea for pregnancy, Yogi Tea for energy, Yogi Tea to enhance breating the list goes on.  These are herbal remedies that have been mixed together using scientific understanding of the properties within them to promote healing.  It’s simply great stuff.  Oh and the Yogi Tea in the stores comes with great little inspirational messages on every tea bag, which are really fun.

As a Kundalini Yoga Teacher in the Aquarian Age one of my roles is to help spread the teachings.  And Yogi Tea is such a simple way to do so.  Here’s what you do, pick up some Yogi Tea, take it to work with you drink some, then share with your coworkers.  Before you know it, if they are tea drinkers, you coworkers will say mmmm that’s good.  I happen to share some tea with a virtual priest, who I work with.  She tried some tea and next thing ya know she goes to the store and buys some more.  Now we have Yogi Tea time in the office ;-)   That was a very simple means of sharing the healing.  The power lies in the tea itself.

Like I said to start, Yogi Tea, Simple, Powerful Healing.

Stress Reducers: Yoga and a Balanced Diet

Eat Healthy, Science of Yoga 5 Comments

I believe stress reducers are key to sanity in this day and age.

I recently wrote about Kundalini Yoga as a stress reducer. I can honestly say that without my regular practice I would be completely stressed out.

A few ways yoga reduces stress:

  1. Exercise, a physical workout is good for your body
  2. Breath control (pranayama) managing ones breath helps to control the flight or fight response mechanism, which has been necessary for a time for survival, but is a stress mechanism
  3. Stretching one of the best self massages available to us
  4. Meditation, the benefits of meditation are vast, to come under greater control over the thought forms within ones mind allows control over stress creators

It has become clear to me that people need more stress reducers in their lives, because it seems as though all throughout ones day things are adding to the stress levels. I decided to ask my friend Suzanne Monroe, who authors Online Nutrition Counseling about stress and eating.  I got back a great response packed with great info on how we can reduce stress through diet.

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Stress in the body comes from emotional stress or physical stress that we put on the body through our activity, our environment (toxins) or the food we eat.
With the food we are eating, if it is highly processed, full of sugar and artificial ingredients, etc. our body has to do a lot of work to process it.  Take sugar for example, our body has to pull on our own reserves to process it because it has been stripped of all of its fiber, minerals and nutrients.  So we pull from our own mineral reserves and this is taxing. Especially day after day when this is the bulk of what we eat.  By cutting out the sugar, including processed, refined grains (white pastas, baked goods, crackers etc.), you will experience an increase in energy that will allow you to more easily cope with other stressors, like emotional stress from work, relationships, being stuck in traffic.

Stress eating:  you eat to get through an emotional stressor like a bad day:   stress, anxiety, etc.  This is when we may eat and keep eating and end up in a food coma – its numbing.   I relate this to a storm,  you come into the kitchen and begin eating as much as you can, and then the storm dies down.  You are using food to cope with whatever is going on in your life at that moment.

To end stress eating, the first step is to recognize that you are not physically hungry, rather emotionally hungry.

Cravings are a signal to you.  They are your body’s way of talking to you.  They are sending you a message that something is out of balance, either with your food or your emotions.   And it’s not just what you are feeling intense emotions about when it comes to food, it’s what’s causing those intense emotions in you. 

So your emotional eating is really not about the food, its about what’s behind your cravings.    

The question then is “What is your food covering up?”

If we eat emotionally, whether it the stress eating, boredom eating, unconscious eating or fear eating, we have to shut down our present awareness, our consciousness, for a time period so that we can binge on what we are eating.   We do this so we don’t have to be conscious or present with our emotions. 

Stress Reducers
  1. Becoming present with your emotions:  Do not choose to just eat through them.   One way to start doing this is journaling.  Keep a journal and write in it in the morning or at night.  Find a quiet place for a few minutes and just write down whatever comes to mind.   If this activity is difficult for you, just start out by writing one thing that went well in the day and one thing that didn’t go well and how it could have been better.
  2. Eating for Energy:  Emotions that are stressful or full of anxiety, fear, worry cause stress in the body.  Stress depletes our energetic stores, so we go looking for more energy usually in the form of sugar and quick energy.  But what we want to do is begin eating for energy.
  3. Water: is going to keep us hydrated.  This is very important because the signal sent to the brain that tell us we are hungry is almost identical to the signal for dehydration.  We sometimes mix these signals up because we are too busy (stressed) to pay attention.  Staying hydrated will help reduce our cravings.
  4. Whole Grains: help balance our blood sugar, unlike refined sugary carbohydrates, which affect our mood.  They are also  high in magnesium which helps relax our muscles, (or reduce stress.)

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Suzanne, this is some great info!  I believe that a consistent yoga practice along side with a mindful diet can really pump up the volume on stress reduction.  Yoga supports the ability for one to get more in tune with themselves and as such I propose that they would be more likely to be able to identify that they are emotionally hungry, rather than physically hungry.  (Yogi Bhajan used to say…”hungry for love.”)  I am going to suggest another means to leverage drinking water to reduce stress.  Today a large proportion of individuals are hunched over a computer desk all day long and rarely get up for breaks.  This causes repetitive stress and is not good for the minds balance.  I suggest regularly drinking water, which reduces hunger er dehydration symptoms to the brain, and over time will cause you to need to get up a relieve yourself.  This mixes up the pattern you are plugged into and helps with sanity as well.

Another means of alleviating stress is with herbal remedies. Yogi Tea provides an excellent blend for stress reduction in their calming tea.

Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce stress?  Please share!

Spring Cleanse- Prep for Spiritual Work

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I am on day 3 of a spring cleanse of my system through diet. Suzanne Monroe, recently gave a tele conference on how to cleanse the system. The primary diet changes are no white sugars.

Let me tell ya, I never realized how addicted I was to white sugar, until I took it out of my diet. Overall I am very pleased with the diet, aside from a craving or two. It consists of eating healthy and I am a fan of that, more vegies, more fruits and I can even have organic protien (chicken and fish which are my saving graces for this diet, I realize a traditional yoga diet does not include meat, but I am not there yet.)

The all natural Fruit Smoothies are a lot of fun to make and drink!

This Spring Cleanse is actually well timed for a very busy spiritual weekend ahead. This Friday I go to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

And then on Saturday I am headed to the Lake Geneva Yoga conference.

A rather synchronistic event occured to me then, I received a Yoga Journal e-letter that mentioned a recent public teaching given by the Dalia Lama. The Yoga Journal is putting on the conference I am attending right after I listen to the Dalia Lama’s public lecture. Talk about being in the flow.

I am interested to see if this cleanse can help to faciliate a higher vibration, and I suspect that the events I have planned for this weekend will be good testing grounds.

Be well

Krishan Singh

aka Hershel

Shiitake and Kale, Yum Yum

Vegetarian Recipes 1 Comment

In my endeavors to eat healthier I have subscribed to a friends, Suzanne Monroe’s, Healthy Living Newsletter.

Suzanne Monroe, is a Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor, accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practicioners and graduate of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition, an extension of Columbia University in New York City.

In her latest edition of Healthy Living Suzanne provided the following recipe.

Shiitake and Kale

Preparation time- 2 minutes

Cooking time- 10 minutes (WOW quick, yummy and healthy)

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 pound of Shiitake mushrooms

1 Table spoon of Olive Oil

1-2 cloves of crushed garlic (I love garlic)

1 bunch of Kale

a pinch of salt

Directions

1. Warm oil in pan on medium heat with minced garlic until aroma of garlic is released, 2-3 minutes

2. Add chopped Shiitake Mushrooms and stir fry for 5 minutes (might i suggest just the mushroom caps)

3. Then add chopped Kale and stir fry for a couple minutes

4. Add a splash of water and a pinch of salt, cover and let steam for 4 minutes
I highly recommend this recipe, it is yummy yummy yummy and oh so good for you!

enjoy :-)

H~