Soul Warming Chai

IMG_4259As you may have heard, we’re a little snowed in here in the DC metro area. Though winter storm Jonas has made it’s way out of here, we’re now dealing with serious dig out. Feeling chilled by the cold and wetness, I decided it was time to make chai—one of my favorite drinks.

Chai is a type of Indian tea made by boiling water, milk , sugar and spices together .It has been popularized here in the west and can be found at any good coffee shop. However, I find the syrups used at most of these establishments to be too sugary and overpowering. One sip of homemade chai and you’ll never go back! [Read more…]

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…]

Self-love and Self-acceptance: The First Steps Towards Bliss

“Self-acceptance and self-love are the first steps to bliss.” -Vasant Lad

7453fb5de216c887510440be824d46b3A few weeks ago I began my studies in Ayurveda at the Himalayan Institute. I have always been drawn to this practice, partly because of it’s whole picture approach to lifestyle management, but also because of it’s emphasis on healing the body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda is a complete system of healing that stems from the ancient Vedic texts, and what I’m coming to learn, rooted deeply in self-acceptance and self-care.

It’s hard to believe, but a year ago this week I found myself in the hospital for five days due to a major flare with my colitis. You can read about that here. My doctors believed it be due to my pregnancy, which was a major factor, but I know there were other culprits at play. Stress, especially the emotional kind, has always been a trigger for me.  [Read more…]