Seasonal Ayurvedic Cleansing

Ayurvedic Cleansing

“Cleanse” may have taken on the tinge of a trendy buzzword but, in reality, it is a function that our bodies, when in balance, perform naturally and regularly.

The detox channels of the body – or the channels through which the body cleanses damaging toxins – are the same as the digestive channels. There is an intimate link between these two processes.

According to Ayurveda, the goal is always to optimize the body’s natural ability to cleanse, which is the safest and surest way to know you are not storing dangerous toxins in your fat cells and brain.

A couple times a year, Ayurveda recommends an intensive cleansing regimen to reset the digestive function – which can get boggy and congested over time – and provide rejuvenation for all of the organs that work so hard to keep us functioning.

In America, poor digestion is incredibly common. Modern-day exposure to preservatives, pesticides, plastics, and environmental pollutants has put us in a vulnerable position. Digestive strength can also be weakened from over-eating and eating foods that are inappropriate to the season.

A more intensive cleansing regimen can kick your natural detox function into a higher gear, encouraging the body to do a better job of cleansing on its own.

3 Keys to an Intelligent Cleanse

  1. An intelligent cleanse will always seek to open up the detox channels first.

This will ensure that once toxins are released, they are quickly eliminated through the excretory or eliminatory system, lest they be pushed from one fat cell to another or default back to the liver, which often sends them back into the bloodstream.

You want to make sure that the cleanse you are doing has a clear plan for where the toxins will end up – and you want that to be outside of your body.

  1. An effective and carefully-designed cleanse will have the goal of balancing the blood sugar.

Unstable blood sugar is the root cause of many common imbalances in the west. It wreaks havoc on the brain, skin, adrenals, cells, heart, gut, joints and more.

If the cleanse is extremely restrictive, low in calories, lack fiber, nutrition and/or are mainly liquid, you are going to run into blood sugar spikes and crashes.

  1. A thorough and complete cleanse will include the resetting of digestion.

Resetting the digestion after a cleanse is key, as healthy and well-functioning digestive pathways equal healthy detoxification pathways.

Doing so allows for the balancing of digestive fluids, such as the stomach acids, pancreatic enzymes, and bile. A good balance of these fluids allows for efficient flow, and for them to do their job of breaking down food in the stomach and small intestine.

Resetting the digestion is also a critical factor in the proliferation of diverse strains of healthy microbes. They are responsible for immunity, detox, mood, evolutionary changes to DNA, and just about every other human function. The goal is to create the perfect environment for the good microbes to thrive.

Do Your Research & Cleanse Smart

Make sure that any cleanse you do can outline in detail the process it sets in motion to accomplish these steps, that its ultimate goal is to restore rather than deplete, and that the benefits are logical and long-lasting.

Want To Learn More?

>>> Learn more and register for a 14-Day Ayurvedic Digestive Detox and Lymph Cleanse here
>>> Join us! A Group Cleanse is taking place October 17-30th, 2017!

 

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Protected: Restorative Yoga with the Gongs

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Sore Muscle Rub

Ever wake up with a crick in the neck or stiffness in the back? Do you long for the days of youth?

Well this won’t necessarily bring back your youth, but it might help you sleep better and feel better because of it.

I’ve always been interested in alternative things and I learned this along the way … food is medicine, the skin is the largest organ in the body, food is the best food for the skin. So, did you know nutmeg is great for tired and/or sore muscles? It is, some folks feel a warming sensation, some cooling. Think maybe nature knows more than we do?

Ghee, clarified butter that has been washed and prayed with. Clarified butter is a good substitute, but Ghee is better. I get mine locally – sort of. I get it at the Ashram in Taos, NM, it’s made from local grass fed cows milk. This stuff is the most amazing Ghee I’ve ever had.

So to make the Rub …

Get some of the best quality Ghee in your area (Health Food or Indian Store). Take about a 1/4 Cup for a small batch, melt it in a double boiler over lowish heat. Get some whole fresh nutmeg (again a Health Food or Herbal Store), finely grate in the nutmeg. I use about a 1/4 or the nut. Let this be warm for a while, maybe 10 minutes, don’t let it boil, just meld. Pour into a small jar and allow it to cool. Cover and leave it alone for about a week. After a week or so, mix it up and enjoy. Of course it’s edible, you could put a little on some cauliflower at dinner, but rub it into your sore areas before bedtime. This spreads really nicely on the skin, you don’t need much to cover a large surface. Notice if there’s a difference in the morning. Use as needed, take breaks from it, as we can become sensitized, usually a week on a few days off is good.

nutmegmusclerub

Nutmeg Muscle Rub

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Eat Wheat? Read this!

That’s right – Eat Wheat – A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat AND Dairy Back INTO Your Diet, by Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP.

So this is incredible right? All of us with sensitivities toward certain foods…wheat, dairy; we get a second chance? Indeed. I must say that the wisdom contained in this book, as well as, the ancient knowledge of Ayureveda has allowed me to eat wheat AND dairy again.

I know that some of you really enjoy the scientific evidence base, and you surely will enjoy that aspect of the book. Intertwined within the pages are Ayurvedic wisdom, current research, as well as, time honored recipes and advice. Dr. John is adept at making Ayurveda and scientific studies accessible and understandable to the average Jane/Joe. The book covers modern additives, GMOs and other toxic load our modern society contends with, not to mention proper food combining, what we can add to heal and repair our gut to be able to enjoy – wheat and dairy again. He explains the different aspects of our digestion, how digestion changes with the seasons and how we can find optimal health through it all.

In addition to digestion, the book covers the lymph system in quite a bit of detail. Most of modern medicine does not understand much about the lymph and its importance to optimal health. Ayurveda has had deep understanding of this system for thousands of years. Dr. John covers simple routines we can follow to optimize our lymph AND digestion in order to find health and vitality at any age.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will remain a reference in my arsenal. If you have struggled with any food allergy or issue, I really encourage you to get this book and begin integrating it’s wisdom into your every day life.

This book is available through pre-order and includes some additional free gifts …

PRE-ORDER PAPERBACK ONLY*

Estimated delivery of the book and all digital bonus material is the week of January 10th, 2017.

*Pre-order your copy through LifeSpa and get:

Eat Wheat paperback (free domestic shipping)
Eat Wheat Research Supplement eBook (over 270 additional studies curated by the Oldways Whole Grain Council)
Miracle of Lymph eBook and Digital Audio Lecture bundle – PDF and .mp3 ($14.95 value free)
Restore Energy Digital Audio Lecture lecture – .mp3 ($9.95 value each)
Lose Weight Digital Audio Lecture lecture – .mp3 ($9.95 value each)
Exclusive Live Teleseminar and Q&A Session with Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP on Gluten and Dairy Sensitivity (Date TBD)



The BOOK + FREE GIFTS!

There is also an option for the eBook version at this link


I met Dr. John a couple decades ago at a workshop in Massachusetts, up in the hills, the place was Star Seed Retreat Center. He had been working on another book – Body, Mind and Sport. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and was able to eat taboo foods in a short period of time following his advice. It is wonderful to have this information in one place.

Pam Williams is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher in the San Luis Valley, Colorado

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Protein Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls coated in Chocolate

Peanut Butter Balls coated in Chocolate


Let’s face it, we all want dessert. How can we integrate healthier foods for dessert? After workout protein punch?

When I was younger an aunt used to make bull’s eyes for the holidays. I believe it was like powdered sugar, highly processed peanut butter, potato chips of all things and “dirty” chocolate. I LOVED those things, creamy, crunch, salty, sweet, chocolate, what’s not to like?

I’ve always loved chocolate. Over the years I have become quite the chocolate snot! Really I have. I can’t eat our American made chocolate companies chocolate any more. It’s really become the darker the better, little to no sweetener and organic please. This recipe can adjust easily to sweeter if you like. Experiment, change your palate.

I encourage you to buy organic, if you want to use canned beans, please use BPA free cans and organic beans – they really aren’t that much more expensive. You can add texture to these delights with cereals (organic of course), adding chopped nuts, dried fruit, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

So here’s what you’ll need. A good food processor – a hand mill or grinder or high powered electric food processor. Parchment paper is helpful for no stick. Clean hands.

Ingredients

1 15-oz BPA-free can of Organic Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 cup Fresh Peanut Butter (no sugar or salt, just ground peanuts)
10 Dates (5 if using medjool)
fresh cracked salt (optional)

1/2-3/4 Cup Organic Chocolate Chips for coating (low or no sugar, I sometimes use Ghiradelli)

Putting it all together

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, put in food processor or grinder, process until pasty. Add in peanut butter and process again, add in dates, process until smooth. You may need to scrape down sides a couple of times. (Takes me about 5 minutes with a couple scrape downs)

Turn out into a bowl and mix with hands or stiff spoon. Roll into dime to quarter size balls or press into 8 x 8 pan – use parchment paper to help release balls or pressing later. Place in fridge for 3-4 hours or freezer until very firm. (See notes for pressing.)

When the balls are firm, melt the chocolate – I like to add 3-4 Tbsp. of organic cacao powder, to make it darker. Be sure to use the smallest bottom bowl you have, makes it easier to dip evenly easily. Take balls from fridge and roll in chocolate, place on parchment paper – do this as quickly as you can. Some folks like to double dip, but be sure to re-chill between dippings.

You decide – Press or Ball

both

You decide, press or ball

If I think I’ll get through the batch quickly (I share a lot), then I keep them in the fridge, otherwise I keep them in the freezer 1 or 2 to a small bag or wrapped in parchment so I can grab one or two at a time.

NOTES:

Variations – Use soaked almonds to replace peanut butter and blend it fresh. Cashew butter makes an excellent option as well.

When pressing or rolling, you can put on a little salt – use a good salt, I like Himalayan.

Instead of chocolate, roll through crushed organic puffed cereals or salt.

Replace dates with a tablespoon or two of raw honey.

A little about pressing – after you pour the chocolate, let it set a few minutes, then cut the pieces – if you wait too long the chocolate will crack when cutting.

Well that’s about it! Enjoy!

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Peppermint Recipes for Pamper and Drink

Ahh the time of year for candy canes, hot chocolate, sunny cold days. I love to curl up with a good book and sip hot chocolate.

Peppermint Plant

Peppermint Plant

Peppermint has many therapeutic properties. Used traditionally for digestive issues, it has cooling properties and is said to help reduce tension.

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It has a lovely fragrance that is refreshing, uplifting one might say.

Easy Hot Chocolate – simply make your favorite hot chocolate and add 1 drop of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil. Enjoy.

Sugar Scrub with Peppermint

Sugar Scrub

Sugar Scrub

Refreshing and uplifting. Use as a pick me up in the afternoon or whenever you feel tension building …

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub:
o Containers (I use 12 oz Mason jars)
o Sugar 2 whole cups
o Peppermint Essential Oil (not Peppermint Extract for cooking and baking)
o Coconut Oil about 1/3 cup
o Coloring (I used beet juice)

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1. Warm 1/3 of a cup of Coconut Oil on the stove until liquefied. (More coconut oil can be added, but too much will make the scrub hard since coconut oil is solid at room temperature. This can easily be remedied in a warm shower by running the jar under warm water and scooping out the desired amount of scrub.)
2. Put 2 cups of sugar into large bowl, liquefied coconut oil, and peppermint oil, and stir.
3. Put half of the sugar and oil mixture into another bowl, add color, and stir. (More or less peppermint oil can be used based on how strong of a scent you’re working to achieve so experimint, intentional mis-spell.)
4. Layer the scrub in your container and enjoy! Compacting the layers a bit will help to keep the colors differentiated.

Sugar Scrub Recipe

Sugar Scrub Recipe

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DIY – Laundry & Mold Solutions

Laundry Solutions

Ever have those smelly gym clothes? Maybe it’s greasy from working on the car or cooking in the kitchen? Here’s are simple solutions to these common problems.

For a few years, I lived in the country. I didn’t have a washer and dryer, so I got me a 5-gallon bucket, plunger and dryer rack! I had a big sink. I put the bucket in the sink, added a few pieces of laundry, plunged away – rung it out and hung it! Simple right? Time consuming yes! Guess what I used – baking soda (can help soften water and clothes), vinegar (can help with static and soften clothes) and essential oils (cause they smell nice and can help cut grease).

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Now I have the HE machine. I work with oils as a massage therapist and usually wind up with some on my pants. Here are 2 recipes I find invaluable in helping with the laundry. Comes out clean and fresh, soft and little to no static. (I don’t use dryer sheets.)

laundrysolution

Laundry Solution

stainremover

Stain Remover




Some folks don’t like the orange smell of essential oils, so just use lemon or another citrus.

Now on to …

Mold and Mildew

The bathroom’s favorite thing to grow. Sometimes we don’t turn the fan on or maybe we don’t have one. Perhaps the tile grout gets neglected. Of course there are many types of mold and mildew, but I’ve found this combo to be quite successful.

moldandmildew

Mold and Mildew

So if you have a chronic problem, best to start with leaving on for 30 minutes and working from there. As a maintenance you may want to dry everything a couple times a week and spray on for a maintenance dose.

Be sure to follow safety protocols if it is a large amount. We want to be safe. You may need a mask and gloves, maybe even professional removal. Please use your own common sense.

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DIY Salt Scrub

salt scrub

Salt Scrub

What is a salt scrub? A salt scrub is some oil, salt (good salt/fine grain) and some essential oils. How do you use a salt scrub? Use it like a bar of soap, scrub and rub. What does it do? It helps to exfoliate (loosen/remove dead skin cells) and moisturize, it also stimulates and invigorates underlying tissues.

I LOVE salt scrubs. It helps me keep my working arms and hands soft and supple. In the winter I also use them on my feet, during the summer I want me feet to be tough. It is possible to give yourself a full body salt scrub, that’s up to you. Sign up for the newsletter here to receive other helpful recipes …

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So let’s get started …




Ingredients

Sea Salt, Dead Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salt or any other high quality salt. Be sure that it does not contain additives such as iodine or anti-caking chemicals.

High Quality or Organic Oil I personally like apricot kernel oil, jojoba and sunflower oils together. You could also use coconut (solid or fractionated), sweet almond, etc.

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils contact me for my recommendations. In the video below I used Clary Sage, Lavender and Lemongrass.

salt blend

Salt Blend

oil mix

Bottle of oil (sunflower, apricot kernel and jojoba)

So now we have a short video showing the simple steps for a delicious Salt Scrub …

And here’s a video using the salt scrub we just made.

Enjoy!

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Top 10 Essential Oil Recipes to Diffuse

General Guidelines:

The following blends are meant to be used in a cold-air diffuser. These diffusers usually require a small amount of water to be added, along with the oils. Clay diffusers work well too.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions on your diffuser.

If you don’t have one of the oils called for in the recipe, you can still try the recipe without it.

I always use cold-air diffusers, since anything that heats the oils can damage some of their beneficial properties.

  1. Immune Booster Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    A perfect option during cold and flu season:
    • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
    • 1 drop clove essential oil
    • 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
    • 1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil
    • 1 drop wild orange essential oil
  2. Anti-Stress Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    Feeling frazzled? This is one of my favorite combos:
    • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
    • 2 drops bergamot essential oil
  3. G’Night Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    For a sweet night’s sleep:
    • 2 drops lavender essential oil
    • 2 drops chamomile essential oil
    • 2 drops vetiver essential oil

    (affiliate link) (affiliate link)

  4. Seasonal Support Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    These three oils together are super for helping to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response. I use this blend especially during the spring and summer months.
    • 2 drops lavender essential oil
    • 2 drops lemon essential oil
    • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  5. Deep Breath Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    I adore this blend for the evenings when I’m trying to slow my brain down, and I also like to diffuse it in the bedroom as I fall asleep:
    • 1 drop bergamot essential oil
    • 1 drop patchouli essential oil
    • 1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
  6. Let’s Focus Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    This is a much-loved combo, and for good reason! It’s perfect to increase alertness, or when you need a quick pick-me-up.
    • 2 drops wild orange essential oil
    • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

    (affiliate links)

  7. Odor Eliminator Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    If you have children or pets, try this comb. It freshens up the air in no time:
    • 2 drops lemon essential oil
    • 1 drop melaleuca essential oil
    • 1 drop cilantro essential oil
    • 1 drop lime essential oil
  8. Fresh and Clean Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    This blend is wonderful for creating a welcoming atmosphere in your home. It’s bright and fresh:
    • 2 drops lavender essential oil
    • 2 drops lemon essential oil
    • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  9. Citrus Explosion Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    This makes my house smell happy and clean.
    • 1 drop lemon essential oil
    • 2 drops wild orange essential oil
    • 1 drop lime essential oil
    • 1 drop grapefruit essential oil
  10. Respiratory Support Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
    Try this blend to support respiratory function–especially during the winter months.
    • 1 drop lemon essential oil
    • 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
    • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
    • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
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Beginning Yoga – A Journey

Beginning

The hardest part for me – getting back into yoga. I had learned some yoga as a child, forgot about it during my teens and re-awakened to yoga in my early 20s. I had body image issues, lacked self-esteem, too busy, too tired. I had aches and pains someone much older should have – not ME, not MY age!

Ah but my body and my mind knew that this would be a good thing. I began checking out every book about yoga at the library. I began a mostly daily practice. I hit a wall. I needed more help than could be found in a book.

Timidly I began attending classes. Kept my head down, didn’t look anyone in the eye, stayed toward the back. I found a couple of teachers I really liked. They would come over to me, make suggestions (they WORKED!). I became more comfortable, began engaging, moved forward in the room. I became a part of it, it became a part of me. I eventually became a yoga teacher myself.

Any of this sounding familiar? Is it resonating with you?

Let Gaiam Be Your First Yoga Mat

Committing to Practice

I could see how yoga was helping me, changing me for the better. I began having less discomfort and more ease. I decided to make a commitment – to MYSELF. I decided I would do some yoga every day for a month. No excuses. No cop-outs. I would take a class a day and if there was not class I would do Sunsalutes.

I started with the Sunsalutes. Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit

sunsalute

Sunsalute

These Sunsalutes – meditation in motion. I linked movement with breath. My mind would focus a little more, become quiet at times. Sometimes it’s hard to sit, try a movement meditation with the Sunsalutes.

Here is a short demo video to get you started.

Let Gaiam Be Your First Yoga Mat

The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health regime.

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