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

No Pain, No Gain? Crafting a Healthy Exercise Routine

Everything is wrong here! If you're puking, you've already done major harm to your body.

If you’re puking, you’ve already done major harm to your body.

One of the important lessons Ayurveda has taught me is the importance of moderation. (Though arguably I’ve exercised a bit too much moderation with my blogging lately.)

Ayurveda means “the science of life,” helping those who follows its principles to live a very long, balanced, and healthy life.

While I’ve written quite a bit on the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, I have yet to tackle the topic of exercise.

In the United States, we’re consumed and defined by our fitness routines, crave impossibly skinny physiques, and take our exercise regimens to extremes (ultra marathons, cross fit, hot yoga, to name a few). But this comes at great cost. I’ve seen so many patients, friends, and family with a range of exercise-related disorders that include plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, torn meniscus–you get my point.

Another source of inspiration for this post came from this fantastic blog post on shocking “fitspiration” photos (see above) detailing all of the irresponsible fitness guilt-trip images making the rounds. You know the ones, “strong is the new sexy” with a highly Photoshopped, skinny yet surprisingly toned form depicted. Or “quitting is unacceptable.” You wuss, just ignore that pain–your body’s natural response to something that is not healthy–because long-term health is not nearly as important as having big biceps.

In Ayurveda, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Healthy exercise takes into consideration age, the season, any sort of imbalance or disease present, as well as the person’s constitution (vata, kapha, or pitta).

How to Create a Proper Exercise Regimen
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