Ghee: An Ayurvedic Elixir

gheemainI’ve just returned from part three of my Ayurveda Yoga Specialist training at the Himalayan Institute. This weekend’s focused on the six tastes, the different forms of agni (digestive fire), and how to make ghee, kitchari and medicinal teas to help balance different issues. Coming home I felt ready to putting our knowledge in to action and in particular, make my own batch of ghee.

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, has many benefits including a high smoke point, so it can be used as an oil when cooking; it is rich in vitamins like A, D, and E and also butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid known to be beneficial to colon health because of its anti-inflammatory qualities; and it’s also known to be good for casein and lactose intolerance because the skimming and straining process removes those elements making it easier to digest.

In Ayurveda ghee is said to balance the doshas and help support or build ojas, a vital essence of the body and mind. Ayurvedists use ghee to deliver herbs and other medicines to the body deep in to the tissues.  Because of it’s known digestive and health benefits, I was eager to give ghee a try. I started using it in my cooking a few months ago and have felt a big change for the better in my UC and digestive symptoms and overall health.

Ghee is relatively easy to make and can be stored at room temperature. I have ours out on the counter ready to use. It also ages well, like wine. It is said that the older the ghee, the more healing properties it contains. It is recommended to take no more than three teaspoons of ghee per day and it should never be taken in equal parts with honey.  [Read more…]

Healthy Foods for Good Digestion: Bananas and Smoothie Recipe

bananaWith a sensitive gut like mine, it’s hard to find fruits that I can easily digest. That’s why I love bananas. They are my go-to morning staple. Bananas are packed with fiber and potassium, both of which are essential to happy gut functioning.

Potassium plays a major role in muscle function. Normal gut functioning requires muscular contractions, or the peristaltic wave, to help guide your food through the digestive system. Potassium is a key mineral in keeping this functioning working. Combine that with the high levels of fiber and you’ve got a digestive gem in this little fruit.

I eat a banana with breakfast each morning, but you can enjoy any time of day, any way you like it. Try on its own or in a smoothie. [Read more…]

Drink it Up! | Ginger and Lemon Water

ginger lemon waterDrinking warm lemon water is an easy, healthy way to start your day. Among many benefits, warm lemon water helps to flush toxins from the body and helps get your digestion going as it helps eliminate waste by ensuring smooth bowel functioning.

Since lemons are rich in vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C, calcium and potassium, you’re giving your body a one-two punch of awesome goodness. Lemons are a known antiseptic and also help boost a healthy immune system.

I like to add fresh ginger and honey (or agave) to my lemon water. Adding a bit of sweet helps to cut the acidity and the ginger is amazing for digestion, as it helps settle the tummy and promote good gut functioning. [Read more…]

The Senses, Digestion and How Yoga Can Help

Did you know that our senses are directly linked to our digestion?

Scientifically speaking, digestion starts in the mouth. However to fully understand how yoga can help digestion, let’s go beyond that traditional thinking. Everything we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell works together to stimulate our digestion and literally get our juices going. Our senses play a much bigger role in digestion than we realize. Given this, it is no wonder that if we eat when we are stressed or when we lack an appetite, food often sticks around, leaving us feeling lethargic and heavy. Do that too many times in a row and your bowels become a toxic wasteland for whatever crosses your lips. [Read more…]

5 Best Yoga Poses for Digestion on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I’m sharing the 5 best yoga poses for digestion on this gratitude filled day.

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? The holidays are among us starting with my family’s favorite, Thanksgiving. They go bizonkers for this holiday! With menu planning starting in September and a multitude of guests to entertain, it can be a lot of fun, but also overwhelming at times. That’s why I’ve come up with a great strategy to enjoy the offerings, but still keep my stress levels low and my gut thankful for a little yoga-aided digestion.

Let’s be honest, the holidays are stressful enough without adding the additional discomfort of digestive issues. Over indulgence of food and drink (and dare I say, friends and family) can lead to gas, bloating, constipation, and so much more. Who can be grateful when your bowels are that unhappy?

Here are my top 5 Best Yoga Poses for Digestion on THANKSgiving

[Read more…]