< Listen Here >
It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Self-care should be uppermost in our minds during the COVID-19 crisis, for several urgent reasons. Self-care returns a sense of control over your own life. It gives you an integrative approach to mind and body. It aligns you with the best knowledge currently available about who is more at risk for developing acute symptoms after being infected.
Your immune status is complex, and in mainstream medicine the chief determining factor is traditionally considered to be genetic. However, there are strong links to underlying low-level chronic inflammation connected to lifestyle that is found in most if not all common disorders including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and even obesity. COVID-19 has a mortality rate that increases with age and pre-existing conditions, as we all know by now.
You’ve probably read the warnings to wash your hands, avoid shaking hands with others, and cough into your sleeve during colder weather or when you are not feeling well.
Yet taking precautions can go much farther. For instance, have you taken steps to boost your immunity? After all, a healthy immune system is your best defense.
“Strengthening and maintaining immunity is a vital part of any wellness program or approach,” says Chris Clark, M.D., former Director of the Raj Ayurveda Health Center, and author of Ayurvedic Healing. “You want to give yourself the best opportunity for health, and for that you want to optimize your immune system.”
According to Dr. Clark, immunity is weaker during the seasonal transition from winter to spring. As temperatures fluctuate, so does our gut health, causing toxins to overwhelm the digestive system. At the same time, sleep cycles and other biorhythms are disrupted in the days after Daylight Saving Time begins.
“So there are two factors happening at the same time: the change of seasons and the disruption of normal circadian rhythms due to Daylight Saving Time,” Dr. Clark says.
Fortunately, Maharishi Ayurveda offers a wealth of health tips to fortify immunity no matter what your age. Here are five simple ways to shore up your immune power.
Having a well-stocked pantry is always a good idea. And in uncertain times, it becomes all the more important. No matter what happens in the world, you’ll be healthier, your stress will be lower, and your immune system will be optimized if you have plenty of good, healthy food to eat! Here are some pantry foods (and freezer foods) you might want to consider stocking up on. As always, going organic can help you steer clear of exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides.
This is the list my family put together, based on the pantry and freezer items we stocked up on. I’m posting it here because I hope it might help you and yours, too!
Diseases point the way to the future if we pay attention. This holds especially true of the global outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. It is clear that some important lessons have emerged already. Some of these are obvious because they are so visible: Uncertainty is a major cause of panic. No one could miss that lesson. Economies reflect mass psychology. This lesson follows from the first, because the plunge in worldwide markets has been driven by uncertainty.
But if you look a bit deeper, COVID-19 exposes a need to take human well-being more seriously. The great push to create a welfare state is around a century old, and certain countries like Sweden and Denmark went much further than the United States. But even in places where democratic socialism won the day, true human welfare wasn’t addressed. The basic right to have guaranteed housing medicine, and education—the cornerstones of the modern welfare state—treat people as economic units.
Actual well-being looks very different. Its hallmarks are community and mutual support, valuing happiness as essential to human life, affording lifelong good health, living in an environment with pure air and water, a lack of violence with a necessary emphasis on peace, equal acceptance for all, and the abolition of us-versus-them thinking of the kind that builds barriers of every kind.
Gabrielle Williams says, “And hard times are good in their own ways too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well, it's all about light and shade. Balance.”
Feeling lost is an evitable part of life. It comes with the territory of being human. Being human is an adventure of a lifetime and comes with its fair shares of ups and downs. Like Gabrielle, Williams says without the bad, how would have we learned to appreciate the good.
The hard times in our lives make us stronger. They teach us that we can withstand anything that comes our way. When we feel lost, we feel as though we don’t know who we are. In psychology, it is called positive disintegration.
Positive disintegration means when our personality starts to disintegrate, and we feel like we cannot relate to the person we used to be. We feel lost, and we don’t like the same things we used to before. The movies, the songs, the friends, and the food we used to like before – now we don’t.
It’s as if the old us is falling away, and we have not yet met the new us, and so we are left in between feeling lost and confused. And as great masters teach us, such a time is a blessing. Such a time, even though it feels hard, is a time when we can reinvent ourselves so a new ‘us’ can emerge.
Here are 7 ways you can reinvent yourself when you are feeling lost and shine through like the sun.
Bananas aren’t just for monkeys. In fact, among humans, they’re one of the most popular fruits in the world — and for a good reason. They’re delicious, inexpensive, and they even come in their own convenient packaging.
But is this delicious fruit good for you? Are they sustainable? And are there any downsides to this beloved fruit, other than the danger of slipping and falling on a peel? And what are some of the best ways to enjoy bananas?
Bananas are the fruit of the Musa acuminata plant. The word “acuminata” means tapering or long-pointed and refers to the flowers, not the fruit itself. Before the banana was called the banana, around the 17th century, it was named “banema” in Guinea.
Bananas originally came from the Indo-Malaysian region, stretching down to northern Australia. Historians guess that people started spreading the wonder of edible bananas in the Mediterranean region in the 3rd century, B.C. It wasn’t until the 10th century, A.D., that bananas are presumed to have first arrived in Europe and began their spread around the globe.
Wachuma is a plant cactus medicine with origins in the ancient Andean Mountains of Peru. The medicine is considered a masculine, Father plant teacher. The journey Wachuma inscribes onto our souls is one that brings us through to our darkest shadows so might we transcend our inner barriers and reach Heaven on Earth. Due to experiences of healing with Wachuma (but also religious subjugation), the Spanish renamed the medicine upon their arrival. They called it San Pedro, “Saint Peter” in English. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus declares to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Wachuma was named after Saint Peter because the Catholics viewed Wachuma as the key to the gates of Heaven. Pilgrims who undergo sacred journeys with Wachuma report dealing with emotional baggage unknown previous to their journeys. They return from these journeys feeling lighter and better able to transcend the weight of their lingering afflictions.
I’ve always followed the food trends—what’s in, what’s out? They can be as trendy and entertaining as fashion. As the new year, new food articles come out, sometimes I laugh and sometimes I grit my teeth. We’re inundated with how to be healthy and hip.
Apparently in 2020:
Eating blue food is in. (Blueberries have always been “in” for me.)
Awareness that how we eat affects global warming is up. (A necessity, not a trend.)
Impossible Burgers lead the food industry parade of new food. Everybody’s excited about a burger made of plants with meat-like qualities. (But—are they really made of plants?)
Wouldn’t it be great to take the stress out of going into the kitchen? Make cooking NOT this complicated thing in our lives, especially when there are so many demands on our time?
We’re all being bombarded by a LOT of information, about the planet, the politics, your kids, your dogs… life happens fast, but we have to keep ourselves nourished. We need to find a simple way.
I look back at my first cookbook and think gosh, could I have made this recipe more complicated? With a laundry list of spices, including ⅛ teaspoon of cardamom? Like I couldn’t live without that? I say this as the author of 5 cookbooks and someone who’s helped chefs in restaurant kitchens, home cooks, community cooks… the whole spectrum.
I’m putting it out there, the challenge I’ve set myself that I think will help many of us. What if it could just be simpler?
This practice is definitely a case of teaching what you need to learn: I’ve been working through a big bucket of tasks lately with little chance to rest. (I console myself with knowing that the bucket is emptying a lot faster than it’s filling with new tasks.)
Sometimes you can really feel what you need to do by feeling what’s happening for you when you don’t. “Don’t,” that is: ease up, unwind, recharge, put your feet up, take a load off, just chill. Because when you don’t rest, you wear out, wear down, and start running on empty. Then you’re not much good for yourself or anyone else.
But when you get some rest, and get more rested, you have more energy, mental clarity, resilience for the hard things, patience, and wholehearted caring for others.
I promised my wife this would be my all-time fastest JOT to write. Because I really need some rest!
And you do, too.
Pain that is stuck in your body can cause many physical and emotional problems, and blocks out the enlivening flow of love, peace and joy – the flow of Spirit.
Growing up, all of us had pain from the loneliness, grief, helplessness and heartbreak of rejection, loss and engulfment. As little ones, we could not manage these huge painful feelings, so we found ways to avoid feeling them, which resulted in storing them in our body.
As adults, these painful feelings get triggered when others are rejecting or controlling, or by other painful events and circumstances. If we continue to avoid feeling our painful feelings, they may eventually result in illness, failed relationships, and even more loneliness and heartbreak.
No one likes to feel pain, yet chronic pain has become so prevalent in our society, it almost seems to be the norm for many people. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. One in 10 Americans experience pain every day for three months or more with an estimated 1.5 billion people suffering from chronic pain world-wide (National Institutes of Health).
Chronic Pain Is A Blockage of Energy In The Body
When looking at pain through the lens of Energy Medicine, chronic pain is nothing more than a blockage of energy flow. In our most natural state, energy flows freely through our bodies constantly. When it becomes blocked, it begins building up, much in the way water pools when restricted by a dam. It’s this “pool” of energy that creates overstimulation, irritation and inflammation, resulting in pain in our physical bodies.
This blog aims to edify its readers about the benefits of doing yoga in the morning. So, start your day on a fresh and healthy note with morning yoga.
There is something magical about misty mornings. And that’s the cool breeze, the fresh environs, and the sunny sun, right? However, we often miss the glorious mornings. The laziness is to be blamed for it.
Would you dare to jump out of your bed early in the morning if you get to know that practicing yoga in the morning is the best? Well, we guess you would. Why wouldn’t you? After all, yoga is the ancient discipline that heals the body, mind, and soul.
The yoga teacher training in India curriculum emphasizes on morning yoga routine. Thereby, all the practitioners or those wishing to walk the yogic journey should aim for morning yoga for reaping these benefits.
What’s the spark and what’s the fuel?
Positive emotions – such as feelings of gratitude, love, and confidence – strengthen the immune system, protect the heart against loss and trauma, build relationships, increase resilience, and promote success. Based on studies that have already been done, if a drug company could patent a happiness pill, we’d be seeing ads for it every night on TV.
Technically, emotions can be organized along two dimensions: intensity (how strong they are) and hedonic valence (how good they feel). Tranquility, for example, has low intensity but can feel really really good, a profound inner peace.
Soul food is a variety of cuisine originating in the Southeastern United States. It has been a cultural staple among the African American community for centuries — starting as a means of survival during the many decades of slavery and evolving into many modern-day variations.
Writing for the blog, Black Foodie, Vanessa Hayford tells us: “During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved African people were given meager food rations that were low in quality… With these rations, enslaved people preserved African food traditions and adapted traditional recipes with the resources available. Over time, these recipes and techniques have become the soul food dishes we are familiar with today. This food genre… was born out of struggle and survival.”
Happy New Year. HELLO, 2020!!!
A new decade has arrived with much wonderful fanfare and big promise and potential brimming for us all. This year could prove to be your most amazing yet. I for one am happy to say goodbye to 2019—a disruptive chaotic year with so many twists and turns it was like being in a spiritual disrupter machine. Kinda like having your own magical snow globe but instead of having it in your hand and shaking it and going “oooo looky—sparkles!” for many of us this year it was like waking up inside the thing and having some big green giant alien shake it while you are trying unsuccessfully to hold on to your world while watching everything get turned upside down.
Did you feel that? The best part, of course, is using the energy of 2020 vision to look back and go wow that was some ride! Am I ever glad all that sh**t happened! Do you feel that way? After chaos and disruption so many good things can be rebuilt on much sturdier and stronger foundations.
Here is a quick list of some things to keep you on track this year that I know work.
Few foods generate as much passion as chocolate. Perhaps it was inevitable with a plant given the scientific name of Theobroma (Greek for “food of the gods”) cacao.
These days we may still consider chocolate to be a heavenly substance, but we consume far more of it, in vastly different ways, than the ancient Mesoamericans who first harvested and prepared it. And this, of course, has health consequences.
Is chocolate bad for you? Should you limit your consumption, or try to get it out of your diet altogether? Or is it actually a health food?
And what about reports of child labor, slavery, extreme poverty, and environmental degradation related to the chocolate trade? Is it possible to obtain “guilt-free” chocolate? If so, how can you tell which chocolate products contribute to the welfare of chocolate farmers and their communities?
The Theobroma cacao tree is native to Central and South America. The Azteks believed that the seeds were gifts from Quetzalcoatl, god of wisdom. For several centuries in premodern Latin America, cacao beans were considered valuable enough to be used as currency. Both the Mayans and the Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical properties, suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage, and death.
For much of its history, chocolate was served as a bitter drink, either heated or fermented into alcohol. When Columbus introduced cacao beans to European high society following his return from the Americas, it started a cacao craze that led to European colonization and enslavement of large areas of Mesoamerica and West Africa in the rush to grow and control cacao plantations.
The industrial revolution in 19th century Europe applied new methods to chocolate production. Alkalizing salts reduced bitterness. The “Dutch cocoa” process separated cocoa butter from the liquor and made it easier and cheaper to produce in large quantities. In the US, early 20th century inventors and entrepreneurs Milton Hershey and Franklin Mars turned chocolate from a local, artisanal product into a mass-produced industrial foodstuff. Hershey’s milk chocolate in particular, combined with epic amounts of sugar, was sweet enough to convert an entire nation into chocoholics.
These days, Americans consume about $18 billion worth of chocolate each year, for an average of just under 10 pounds per person. And keep in mind that’s just an average: some people abstain, so there are folks who eat way more than that!
There’s no question that chocolate can be delicious – but what about its effects on your health?