It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. During the winter season, the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward. We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation. In preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.
An Ayurvedic approach to winter
There is a rule in Ayurveda that “like attracts like.” That is why the kapha and vata doshas can become provoked and aggravated during the dry, dark, cold months of winter. This is because the climate is alike the qualities of these two doshas. If kapha or vata are triggered, digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your doshas this season.
Medicine doesn’t always come in a pill. In fact, some of the most powerful medicines are delicious and can be found at your local supermarket or “farmacy.” Healing foods have been used for centuries in Asia as part of the cuisine. In fact, in Asia, food and medicine are often the same thing.
Here are five superfoods that you may never have heard of but that can be found at most Asian markets and even places like Whole Foods. Try them. You might be surprised by their unique and extraordinary good taste. And they may help you lose weight, reverse diabetes, lower cholesterol and prevent cancer.
I find color fascinating. The light frequencies we experience as color define our world in wondrous ways. Visualize an azure ocean, a verdant forest or a crimson sunset — these are all examples of color environments, which positively influence our emotions and restore our health.
As an interior designer, I know the power color has in defining a space and ‘creating a mood.’ We have all experienced that instant chill when entering
a ‘cold room,’ which has nothing to do with its temperature. Conversely, we automatically feel more relaxed and engaged in a warm-hued environment.
Think of a dining room painted a luscious burnt umber (dark red orange), such as Pantone’s color of 2012: Tangerine Tango.
I’m also mesmerized by the blue winter hues that abound right now and their accompanying reflections in snow — so dreamlike and otherworldly. This is the time of year we ‘go inside,’ both physically and figuratively. It is a wonderful time to do what the earth does: retreat deep within and cultivate inner renewal (hence, the perfect time for resolutions).
Unfortunately, it is also during these short days when many of us experience the ‘winter blues.’ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is now recognized as a common
disorder, affecting some people severely. But there are ways, other than jetting off to a tropical island (which I also recommend), to make these cold days
Well, October has ended, and I don’t know about you, but I am a little “pinked out” these days. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and of course it’s wonderful that organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for breast cancer research over the years. I hope that cancer research eventually finds a cure for this awful disease, and I fully support getting out and racing for a cure and even buying a pink umbrella or Cuisinart if you’re in need of a new one.
But the cynical side of me — and the side that’s a mom of a young daughter — is a bit irked that the commercialization of breast cancer has overshadowed any talk of prevention, specifically the lifestyle choices we can make to help protect us from the disease.
We’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.
As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.
One day, vitamin D seems like the cure for everything, and the next, we are inundated with warnings about dangers and lack of science. Confusion is rampant about the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Calcium and Vitamin D recently released from the Institute of Medicine.
These days, it seems like almost everybody does. Celebrities, athletes and even former president Clinton’s head of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, are all proud to wear the white “milk mustache.” After all, everyone knows that you need milk to be healthy …
Dairy is nature’s perfect food — but only if you’re a calf.
By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelly Branning
When I lived in Alaska, I went from my heated house to my heated car to my heated exercise room. Now, in South Carolina, there are days that I go from my air-conditioned house to my air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned exercise room. If you find yourself gazing out the window mid-workout, lingering just a little longer when you retrieve your morning paper or volunteering to walk the dog … don’t fight it! It’s time to get outside.