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

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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Sin City to Sick City, Healing When You Feel Like Crap

Sin City = Sick City in my book. Time to get healthy.

Sin City = Sick City in my book. Time to get healthy.

Not only is Vegas Sin City, but it’s also Sick City in my case.

The smoke, air conditioning, windowless rooms (no I don’t do that kind of work), the stress of the work itself, shaking hands with lots of potentially sick people, and the travel to get there.

In my experience, Vegas has pretty much been a magnet for illness. (Let’s hope the Vegas tourism board doesn’t read this!)

Four days in Vegas for work two weeks ago left me with a pretty nasty flu last week. Fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, headache, congestion. My symptoms reminded me of those Nyquil commercials from my childhood.

That old adage about feeding a fever, starving a cold? It doesn’t hold true at all in Ayurveda. Well, it’s half true anyway. When you’re sick, you should almost always fast or at least eat light.

I blogged a few months ago on tips to heal a cold, now here’s an explanation of why we get sick and an easy recipe to make when your immune system is compromised.

The reason we get sick can best be explained with an analogy (this, courtesy of Ayurvedic practitioner and one of my very brilliant teachers Mahesh Sabade).

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