Autumn Eating Tips (and a Pumpkin Stew Recipe)

Fall recipes are nourishing and counteract the heat and dryness of the season.

Fall recipes are nourishing and counteract the heat and dryness of the season. Even Mr. Cookie Jar wants a bite!

Our bodies reflect the changing seasons outside, essentially mirror what is happening in nature. In fall, dryness is abundant as leaves change color and fall off trees and grass turns brown. Our bodies tend to get dry, too, (as vata increases). There’s also heat left over from summer, so pitta is fired up.

To counteract the hot and dry properties, fall is the time to focus on kapha-promoting foods which means a sweeter, more nourishing, and slightly heavier diet than we had in summer. This gets us ready for winter, too.

So support your body this time of year, forgo dry and carbonated stuff (goodbye, beer, chips, raw salads, and popcorn) and cut back on heating food while you’re at it (chiles, eggs, red meat, garlic, red wine, raw onion, eggplant, and fish).

In fact, looking up what fruits and veggies are in season where you live is another way to ensure you’re eating what’s appropriate for the time of year. If you live in California, specifically the Bay Area, this chart from CUESA has a list of what you can get when. Continue reading

How I Met My Guru

gurujpg Guru is a Sanskrit word that means remover of darkness. Buddhists and Hindus hold festivals and elaborate ceremonies on a holiday called Guru Purnima, which happened this week, in fact.

This significant holiday is an opportunity for students to honor teachers and express gratitude for those who have taught important lessons, removed shadows of doubt, and shined a light on blinding ignorance.

Here’s the story of meeting my guru. Continue reading

The Doshas Explained

The images from this blog’s banner represent the panchamahabhutas (five great elements): ether, air, fire, water, earth.

In the vast world of Ayurveda, the subject that gets the most attention is the doshas. You may have heard about the doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) from listening to Dr. Oz, in magazines, or just in general on the Interwebs.

There’s a lot of misinformation about what the doshas are, why they’re important, and how to balance them, but to truly understand the doshas, you have to first understand five great elements (called pachamahabhutas in Sanskrit or MBs for short).

Every living thing, every inanimate object, pretty much everything and everyone in the Universe, as Ayurveda sees it, is built from these five elements. The MBs determine physical characteristics, personalities, what diseases we are prone to, sleep patterns, to name a few.

From subtle to gross, smallest to largest, the mahabhutas are:

Continue reading