June 2014 Hi , One of my favorite words in Ayurveda is rasa. It is generally translated as juice, taste, essence. Rasa is also plasma, the watery co

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June 2014

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Hi ,

One of my favorite words in Ayurveda is rasa. It is generally translated as juice, taste, essence. Rasa is also plasma, the watery component of our blood. When rasa is sufficient in the body and mind, we feel calm, nourished and content.

To maintain health in summer, we need to build rasa by incorporating its cool, smooth, moist qualities through food and lifestyle choices. I'll teach you how in the article below. Those of you who tend toward heartburn, loose stools, rashes, irritability and criticism will especially benefit from building your rasa.

In case you need extra motivation to make some seasonal changes, here's what you should know: by generating high quality rasa during the summer, you'll also reduce your chances of getting sick when the weather turns cold and dry in early fall. The mucous membranes in your gut and respiratory system will be well-nourished and better able to protect against circulating bacteria and viruses.

If you do nothing else, take advantage of the incredible array of fruits and vegetables currently available at your local farmer's market! They'll guide you in the right direction. At the bottom of the newsletter, I've included recipes for a cooling cucumber avocado salad and a cardamom fig smoothie.

One more thing: a gentle remind you that registration for the digestive health program closes this Tuesday. If you're interested in joining us, now's the time to secure your spot.

We're less than 10 days away from the solstice, so please savor these long, beautiful evenings before they start to disappear!

I look forward to connecting with you next month.

with care,

P.S. If you know someone who would benefit from receiving my newsletter, would you consider forwarding this email to her? Scroll down to the very bottom of the newsletter and you'll find the Forward button. My practice grows primarily via personal referral, and I so appreciate your willingness to help spread the word.


Get Juicy This Summer


CC image courtesy of liz west on Flickr

In Ayurveda, we use the principle of "like increases like, opposites balance each other" to guide our actions. That means we treat an excess of a particular quality by introducing more of its opposite.

Let me give a few examples. When it's hot, we try to consume foods that are cooling. When it's dry, we try to consume foods that are moist.

When it's both hot and dry, what do you think Ayurveda recommends? You've got it: moist, cooling, rasa-building foods and beverages.

This is the time of year when it's actually appropriate to indulge in occasional sweet treats like ice cream. Hooray! (In moderation of course, and during the day rather than at night so it's less likely to produce mucus)

The best tastes to favor in summer are sweet, bitter and astringent because they are cooling. Conversely, it's beneficial to minimize foods that are salty, sour and pungent (spicy) because they are heating.

Care For Your Digestive Fire

You may have noticed that your appetite decreases when it's hot outside. The digestive fire disperses during the summertime to keep us cool.

As a result, favor smaller, lighter meals when the days are long. Think fresh fruit salads or green smoothies for breakfast, rice with veggies and protein or hearty salads for lunch and light soups for dinner. Veggies and fruits make up a large proportion of the summer diet.

A Sampling of Foods to Favor

Vegetables and fruits: asparagus, celery, cucumbers, leafy greens, lettuce, potatoes, snap peas, summer squash, avocados, berries, coconut, figs, limes, melons, nectarines, peaches, sweet grapes

Beverages: lots of water, diluted fruit juices, coconut water, aloe vera juice, mint tea, hibiscus tea, licorice tea (avoid if you have high blood pressure)

Herbs and spices: basil, cardamom, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, mint

Dial Back The Intensity

People often complain about how fast summer goes, but they don't actually take the time to slow down and enjoy the more languorous pace. Here are some ways that you can adapt your daily activities to compensate for the summer heat.

Become a morning person: Hot days can zap your energy and leave you feeling like a puddle by mid afternoon. Ayurveda teaches that it's easier to wake up early during the summer. Start your day an hour or two before you normally would and try to finish your most complex/important tasks by lunch. You'll get the added benefit of extra time to relax in the evenings.
Decrease the heat and intensity of your physical activity: If you normally do hot yoga, mix in some yin or restorative yoga. Try switching to swimming or bicycling instead of running.
Spend time in nature: Walk barefoot in the grass, pack a picnic dinner, take a leisurely walk in the evening, watch the sunset, spread out a blanket in your backyard/local park and stargaze.
Incorporate cooling scents into your bathing routine: Some of my favorites are lavender, jasmine, peppermint, rose, sandalwood and vetiver.

To learn detailed food and lifestyle suggestions for your specific constitution, check out this article from Banyan Botanicals on maximizing your summer health.


Workshop: Heal Your Digestion

Kiwi heart

Registration closes June 17

This Tuesday is your final chance to sign up for Vital Roots, my month-long small group coaching program on food and digestion.

Why am I teaching about this decidedly unsexy topic? Because I see so many people who have resigned themselves to feeling bad on a daily basis. I want you to know that it doesn't have to be this way.

Frequent gas, post-meal indigestion and skipping days between bowel movements are just some of the signs that you’re not digesting your food properly. These same digestive problems can be at the root of other symptoms like PMS, painful periods, fatigue, anxiety, skin breakouts and a weakened immune system.

Your digestive system is the foundation of your overall health. When you heal your gut, the rest of your body responds with increased vitality.

As a thank you for being a mailing list subscriber, I'm happy to offer you $30 off your registration fee. Use the promo code june14news when you register.

Please click here to learn more about the program and to sign up. Remember, registration closes on Tuesday.

If you know someone who struggles with digestive issues, would you share the program with her? Thank you for your help spreading the word.


Recipe Spotlight

cucumber avocado salad

Cucumber and Avocado Salad With Lime, Mint and Feta

Salad Ingredients:
2 cups chopped cucumbers (3-4 medium cucumbers or 2 larger cucumbers)
Salt, for drawing water out of cucumber
1-2 ripe avocados
1-2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta (adjust to taste)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

For step-by-step recipe instructions, head over to Kalyn's Kitchen.

fig smoothie

Cardamom Fig Smoothie

I recently learned that figs actually have two growing seasons, a brief one in early summer and a longer one starting in August. Take advantage of the first figs of summer with this delicious smoothie.

Figs, 2 handfuls
Blueberries, 1 handful
Plum, 1
Lime (juice and a bit of zest)
Water, 1/2 c
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cardamom, dash or two
Medjool date, 1-2

Put everything in the blender and mix on high-speed a little longer than usual to be sure everything is well macerated.

* Replace plain water with coconut water or coconut milk.
* If you don’t have dates, add a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Recipe source: Food - A Love Story

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