Anatomically we are capable of more than 300 different kinds of movement, yet in our modern culture, by the time we are adults, we are down to a range of about 30! With COVID, we have been unable to move together as a community, but there are plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day. I am not talking about a stroll, although also good, I am talking about a kitchen dance party! Where you move all 13 joints! Try it! Your body will thank you!
That seems like a good mantra to recite every day while we maneuver through the challenges of COVID. It might not be enough, however. A good foundation for a strong immunity begins with the fundamentals: hydration, sleep, stress management, good hygiene and a well balanced diet. Immunity enhancement can mean the difference between an enchanted evening with your partner and one spent at home surrounded by balled up tissues.
Start with oregano, garlic and thyme: they are naturally antimicrobial, which means they will kill bad micro-organisms trying to attack. They are great to cook with, have in tea or ingest through oil or supplements. Include goldenseal, a power herb, for additional support. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps regulate the activation of immune cells. Finally consider astragalus, an adaptogenic herb that stimulates the immune system.
There are so many options for cooking oil on the shelf that it can be very confusing. Peanut vs. Olive??? Here is a break down on what oils to use when. Oils with high smoke points such as light refined olive oil or light virgin olive oil are best for searing and browning. Medium-high smoke point oil such as canola, peanut and soybean oil are good for oven cooking, stir frying and baking. Oils with medium smoke point such as palm and virgin coconut oil are best for low-heat baking, sauces and sauteing. Hope that helps!
Nia is the practice of the Joy of Movement. What does that mean? Focus inside on joy. Think thoughts of joy. Feel the sensation of joy. See yourself in joy. As you connect to the joy inside you more often, your whole world will shift to reflect that joy. The Universe will move people, circumstances, and events to deliver joy to you-because you are magnetizing joy!
It has been way too long! Nothing but life that gets in the way of doing what you love. I really have no excuse. I am sure many of you can relate. You have something that you love to do, but somehow that thing gets put to the back burner and you wonder why you just don't feel like yourself? Then something happens to remind you to get back to the authentic being you were meant to be. I look forward to sharing with you on a regular basis, like I once did and am committed to bringing you tidbits of life that I have found to be useful. Even if it doesn't resonate with you, I hope that you will join me and it will at least be a topic of discussion for you and your friends.
The Ayurvedic approach to fitness is a lot like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, not too much, not too little, but just right. Nia is Goldie Lock's answer to exercise! Any form of exercise that makes you breathe heavily and through your mouth, activates the sympathetic nervous system. Your heavy breathing is signalling that you are in danger and being chased by a tiger! Anytime your sympathetic nervous system is activated your body burns the quickest and easiest fuel available, which is sugar. You stop using fat as a fuel source. This is the reason why some people say that they are working out and doing lots of cardio but not losing weight. You want to trick your body into believing you are not in danger and that it may burn excess fat as energy. Although you may choose to work at a higher intensity at any time during a class, the goal of Nia is to relax the body and engage the parasympathetic nervous system while at the same time receive cardio and strength training benefits. Check out the Nia tab for times and locations near you!
Mindfulness and meditation have become the buzz words of the decade, but do you know the difference? One is designed for monks, the other is for people with busy minds and busy lives. Mindfulness is a "directed focus" mental practice, meaning you need to have some point of concentration during the exercise. It is the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment and is very effective at handling your stress right now. Most mindfulness practices are designed to bring your awareness into the body and into the right now, making it a wonderful tool to help you stop reviewing the past or rehearsing the future. Some examples of mindfulness exercises are counting your breath, visualizing or listening to guided audio, all very lovely. Mindfulness helps you feel better right now.
By contrast, meditation helps you get rid of stress from your past. It deals with issues in your tissues that have accumulated there over many years. Every bite of fast food you have ever eaten, every wine night, every stressful event you have encountered, all get stored in your cellular memory. Meditation gives your body the deep healing rest that is needed to rid your cells of the accumulated stress. Your body has the ability to heal itself from stress and the less stress you have in your body, the easier it is to perform at the top of your game. Meditation is a practice born our to the Vedas and is a 6,000 year old practice. It requires no effort, no focused concentration and no struggle to clear the mind. The tool we use to help with this is called a mantra. For more information on how you can incorporate meditation into your life, please contact me.
The season of fresh green salads is in full swing! On hot days, spring greens and shoots of asparagus will assist in purging the last bits of spring dampness. Bitter and astringent tastes are helpful in the wet season of late spring and early summer as both alleviate the sogginess of left over winter heaviness. Light and refreshing spring greens like arugula also support spring cleansing and increase liveliness in the body. Also good are endive, chicory and red leaf lettuce. Beets and carrots make a vibrant garnish to top salads yet still have the lightness needed for May and June. Good selections for herbs are fennel seeds, lime zest and cardamon, which are all cooling. Cilantro deserves special mention in May as it's cooling properties make an excellent digestive this time of year. It also cleanses the liver, calms the immune system and clears inflammation of the urinary tract.
For most, spring is a time of joy and relief. The days are longer and brighter, the dull winter feeling has passed. It's a time for growth, cleansing and renewal. However, many people, particularly those with Kapha tendencies, will experience less desirable side effects due to the change in climate. The added warmth and moisture in the air can wreak havoc on our respiratory tract and digestive system. Just as the snow begins to melt, so does excess Kapha. Hay fever, sinus congestion, excess mucus and sluggish digestion are a few of the symptoms. We need to assist our bodies through this process of eliminating excess liquid by modifying our diet. Check out next week's blog to find out how.
As a life long learner with a ferocious growth mind set, Kammi devotes a minimum of 30 minutes a day to reading. Join her as she passes on abridged versions of the topics she finds most interesting. Enhance your life by taking what you need and leaving what you don't!