All posts tagged: Winter

7 Tips to Prevent Spring Allergies & Boost Digestion

Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth are popping up in backyards, street beds and random corners of neighborhoods. With their sparks of color, these flowering bulbs are a reminder that spring is upon us—and so is pollen! From the lens of Ayurveda, the body’s response to the seasonal shift can be indicative of the diet and lifestyle choices made in the prior season. What we did or did not do, ate or did not eat, or drank or did not drink in the winter can play a role in how the immune system will respond in the spring. Ayurveda & Spring  Ayurveda refers to spring as kapha season. Kapha translates to “stick together”. Giving us insight into the qualities of this dosha—cold, sticky, heavy, slow and wet. After a dry winter season, kapha qualities bring balance to the environment. An increase in rainfall adds moisture to the air and soil. While more sun hours transforms snow into water and warms-up the earth. Inspiring hibernating bulbs to bloom. As the season shifts from winter to spring, the body, mind, …

Sesame Honey Ladoos (Balls)

Remember the sesame brittle candies wrapped in clear twisted plastic..often found at the check-out counter? These sesame honey balls from Divya Alter’s cookbook, What to Eat for How You Feel remind me of them. But without the sticky fingers and teeth. Since the beginning of winter, I’ve been wanting to make sesame “candies” from scratch. They’re the perfect, nourishing winter treat. Rich in immunity-boosting nutrients, healthy fat, anti-oxidants, and minerals. With a warming energy to balance with the cold season. Sometimes, it’s hard to wrap my mind around how a yummy “candy” can also be nutritious. Traditionally, sesame “candies” are made in the cold season. Often in the form of a laddu (ball) or as brittle (I love the diamond-shaped versions). Instead of honey or refined sugarcane, South Asian recipes most often call for jaggery, an unrefined sweetener that comes from sugarcane. It’s often given to kids melted on a chapati with ghee for their iron and mineral content.  A snack after my own heart. Jaggery is also used in nuts and seeds based spiced treats made specifically for women, post childbirth. …

Nourish the Body & Mind, Sesame Love

You say sesame seeds, and I say my nana (maternal grandfather) and his blazer pocket.  The three are forever synonymous in my mind.  They go together like sesame seeds melded together with honey— remember the little rectangular “candies” wrapped in rice paper and twisted in clear plastic. They were always stashed in my Nana’s navy blazer. Each one slightly tacky and perfectly gooey from traveling on his day-long adventures. Even into my adult years, out came the little one bite wonders from his navy blazer. The treat never grew old. Just gooier and gooier between my teeth. When I formally started studying Ayurveda, sesame seeds took on a whole new light. What was once associated with “Nana candy”, was now seen as nourishing and detoxifying food for the body and mind. In class, if we weren’t talking about how to cook with them we were talking about using their oil in treatments for the skin, mouth, throat, nose, and ears. I quickly learned how revered these tiny seeds were in Ayurveda. Touted for their not only for their …

5 Spices to Heat Up Your Spring Pantry

It’s time to fall out of autumn and leap into spring! Soon, flowers will be blossoming to express the new season. A gentle, quarterly reminder from Mother Nature to start shifting lifestyle choices and harmonize with her spring energy. Generating heat and movement internally will support balancing the cold, wet and heavy qualities she exudes in the spring. While helping to prevent common spring imbalances such as congestion, sluggishness and stiffness. A natural antidote for producing internal warmth to break-up and move stagnation within the body are heating spices. The intoxicating flavors and aromas will lure the cook. While their medicinal magic will bless the meal with the ability to heal. Generally speaking, all spices can be enjoyed year round, simply by adjusting their quantity according to the season. Ayurveda, determines the seasonal recommendations based the spices’ inherent cooling or heating energy. Spices which foster heat, are recommended in the cold season—winter into early spring. The heat warms the cold and dries the wet qualities. Lightening up congestion not just in the chest but also in the gut. Helping to balance the …

Rose-Mary Citrus Platter

It’s a Rose-Mary Citrus Party

Citrus season is in full swing in California. Local markets are filled with an abundant array of varietals, from juicy tangelos—don’t you just love the ring of it? To sweet ruby reds and blood colored oranges. On a cold winter’s day, walking through the citrus aisle warms the heart like a gorgeous sunset. The vibrant colors and invigorating scents activate the sluggish winter mind, while their sour taste activates digestion. As energizing as citrus fruits are, they are also heavy. All that juicy goodness, may be hydrating, but water can be weighing. Lucky for us, Mother Nature provides a little balance through the bitter pith and membranes. Bitter, one of the six taste in Ayurveda, is naturally detoxifying. In eating citrus with the membranes retained, the intended balanced nutrients are received—sweet with a little sour and bitter. In comparison to citrus juice, which can reduce fiber content and the bitter, detoxifying element. Juice also increases the serving portion from one piece of fruit to perhaps three or four. Something to consider, when sugar intake is of concern. Citrus fruits also …

Tuesday Tip #18: Preventing Colds

Prevention, prevention, prevention. It’s all about prevention! We spend so much time fighting  colds, let’s try and prevent them from occurring in the first place. We have the power, it just requires the will to adjust our lifestyle and align to the season. Mantra: Like attracts like, opposites decrease Here’s 4 tips to help get on the prevention path: #1 What are you eating & drinking? Making small adjustments to our diet can help harmonize our internal environment with the external environment. Using the mantra above, reflect on your winter diet. Are the qualities or texture of your food/drinks similar to a cold? Are they heavy, gooey, mucous-y, cold, sticky? If what you eat and drink match these qualities, consider making dietary adjustments. Like attracts like, where as opposites create balance. Enjoy foods/drinks that light, moist, warm, and liquid-y. Choosing the opposite qualities will help get you on the path to prevention. #2 Keep it moving. With winter comes cuddle time—in front of the fireplace, staring at the Christmas tree or snuggling up on the couch with …

Kapha Dosha – What is it?

Maybe the word “Kapha” (pronounced Kah-fah) has been floating aroundyour ether, you’ve seen posts, taken a “what’s my dosha” quiz, you have a kapha imbalance, or you’re curious and want to know more. Well, hopefully, this post will explain what kapha is, how to recognize its qualities, and why understanding this seasonal dosha help you stay healthier during kapha season. What is a Dosha? To understand kapha, we first need to know that it is 1 of the 3 doshas in Ayurveda, a time-tested medical system from India. Doshas are particular patterns of energy that are expressed through physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Each dosha—vata, pitta, and kapha—are composed of 2 of the 5 elements, or pancha mahabhutas. Which are considered to be the building blocks of the universe. Ether, space, fire, earth, and water are the 5 elements, which when paired, produce the 3 doshas. Doshas surround us and exist in every cell of our body. Although we are composed of all 3 doshas, each of us has a primary and secondary dosha. Similarly, each dosha has a primary function, …

sarsoon ka saag

Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens), a Delicious Punjabi Winter Dish.

For the first time this winter I made Sarson Ka Saag. I love this Punjabi dish!  I had it for the  first time a few years ago when I lived in Toronto. My Punjabi roommate at the time made it one COLD Toronto evening and since then its been on my “must make” list. I didn’t grow up eating sarsoon (mustard greens), perhaps due to the region my family comes from (now known as) Gujarat, where it doesn’t get quite gets as cold as Punjab (a region split between India & Pakistan). Due to its heating properties, sarsoon ka saag is associated with cold, wet winter months. Its main ingredient mustard greens are tender, bitter, heating making it perfect green to enjoy during Kapha season.