What to Eat to Stay Healthy in the Summer Heat

In Ayurveda, the diet is personalized for each person based on their constitution, imbalances, age, digestive fire, disease (or lack thereof), and also the season.

When I work with patients, I assess all of those things as I create a personalized diet and lifestyle plan. There’s no one-size-fits all diet for an individual and there are few things you can do during one season that carry over to the next.

summer-sceneRight now, we’re officially in the midst of summer, so your diet should be adjusted accordingly to account for longer, hotter, and drier days. That means the diet that worked for you in the spring, fall, and winter needs change.

In the past, I’d eat the same thing throughout the year and I’d often get all sorts of summertime maladies like rashes and hives. TMI? Ok, let’s look at the basic principles of summertime diet plus some tips on foods to enjoy and avoid right now.

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Fear and Disease: the Mind’s Role in Health

fear is the mindkillerWhen I first read Angelina Jolie’s account of her preventative double mastectomy,  family history of breast and ovarian cancer, and why she decided to remove her breasts after a positive genetic test, I freaked out a little bit.

I began to worry about my own chances of contracting cancer as breast and ovarian cancer appear on both on my mother and father’s sides of my family tree.

My paternal grandmother was in her early 40s when breast cancer claimed her life after a long and painful struggle and my maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer when she was in her mid 60s.

Does that mean I’m genetically doomed?

Fear is the Mind Killer

In one of my favorite science fiction books Dune, the main character Paul recites a mantra to dispel fear throughout the book. I often find myself thinking these words when I’m scared of something: Continue reading

How You Eat is Just as Important as What You Eat

eating-contestYeah, you read right. Sure most of us have every intention of eating right.

Yet you could eat a healthy diet, eat  the right quantity, and exactly what’s right for your body, but that all goes out the window if you were to, say, wolf down that very healthy meal while walking down the street and talking on your phone.

Hey, I’m not judging. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not perfect and have eaten burritos while driving, sandwiches while walking, and scarfed down bowls of piping hot soup while on conference calls (thankfully there’s a mute button).

During my 20s, I had lots of shame around eating, staying thin, and often felt horrible if I ate anything containing carbs or fat. I relentlessly counted calories and subsisted on salads, raw veggies, low-fat, fat-free, and aspartame-filled junk masquerading as food.

As a result of all the shame, mixed with raw veggies, constant snacking, weird toxic food-like substances, and rarely sitting down to eat, my digestion was jacked up something fierce. And so was my health. I was anemic, bloated, moody, had water retention horrible skin, miserable anxiety, and every meal gave me indigestion.

Thanks to lots of Ayurvedic wisdom and counseling, my eating patterns have shifted and my digestion and overall health have improved. But even if you don’t change your diet, you can make a huge impact on your health by only changing how you eat.

In Ayurveda good agni (literally digestive fire) is the key to good health. So here are a few tips for making sure your agni stays strong:

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