SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
cooling herbal teas
Posted on July 9th, 2019
Usually in the Summer I love a good iced black tea. But all the ice teas in the store are now in plastic bottles. Since I’ve been really trying to be as plastic free as possible, I just can’t buy them anymore. It’s really frustrating! You might ask “Why don’t you just make it?” But it just never tastes the same….so thanks to the inspiration of Plastic Free July and the intense humidity, I’m compelled to make an herbal cooling tea that I will love. Oh and according to Ayurveda, caffeine is heating and aggravates pitta dosha, the fire element, which is definitely true for me….(see above)!
Last week I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions of their favorite Summer refreshing cooling drinks. Wow! so many people had great suggestions! Some I know and others like, “watermelon, beet, lemon, and mint”, I had never tried before. It’s been fun experimenting with the plethora of cooling herbs that help us make it through this sweltering heat: mint, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, hibiscus, rose petals, roasted barley, chamomile, nettles, comfrey, dandelion, fennel, jasmine, kukicha, lemon balm, passion flower & other Summer favs – lemon, lime, and cucumber.
According to Ayurveda, Summer is the season when Pitta Dosha , the fire element can become agitated. You might be noticing some of the signs of Pitta out of balance as the heat kicks up. Are you irritable, cranky, or impatient? Is your skin itchy? Do you have hives, heat rash or acne? Are you stressed out, feeling obsessive, or judgemental? We can effectively cool our system and stay hydrated with refreshing herbal teas so that we can fully enjoy the joyous expression of the Summer’s radiance!
I’ve been experimenting and love the pitta cooling mixture of lemongrass, lemon verbena, and fresh mint tea with a touch of lemon and honey. It’s incredibly refreshing, and makes me feel very relaxed. In fact, I’m sipping on some right now! Lemon verbena soothes inflammation, aids digestion, and offers calming qualities which also makes it a great sleep aid for those suffering from insomnia. Lemongrass detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation, fevers, infections, and swelling, and offers the bitter flavor and mint, our favorite Summer cooling herb, offers the sweet flavor both which calm pitta dosha. Lemons detoxify pitta in balance, though due to their sour flavor may stimulate aggravated pitta. Honey is heating to pitta, so use it sparingly. Enjoy!
Today I went to pick up some hibiscus and rose petals at Flower Power in the East Village. I’ve been trying my best to be plastic free and they have an incredible selection of loose, organic herbs and spices. I brought my own refillable cotton bags with me, but they also have small paper bags. It’s #plasticfreejuly and small daily plastic free choices make a big difference in the landfill & the sea. AND small daily dosha balancing choices have a huge impact on our well being. So today I made the choice to purchase herbs for tea that would cool my system instead of agitate it and I chose to support a business that offers herbs without any plastic footprint. Every little bit helps us find balance within ourselves and the planet.
SPRING GREEN SOUP
Posted on February 28th, 2018
Are you starting to feel a little gunky inside as the weather outside keeps shifting between Winter and Spring? Are you experiencing tight shoulders, headaches, eye issues, tight tendons, stiff necks, eczema and other skin problems. Are you getting agitated and irritable lately? These are signs that your Spring organ network, liver and gall bladder organs, are starting to get overwhelmed with the rising energy of Spring and need some loving attention.
SPRING GREEN SOUP
In these first sightings of Spring, warm sunny days sandwiched between snowy or rainy cold mucky days, my insides start waking up and dancing a little “I want to cleanse jig”. But I know that it is still too early to do a juice cleanse or a full on detox. According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, you should wait until true weather to do a juice cleanse because it is too cooling and depleting for your system in the cold weather. But as we start shifting into Spring, I start gently sweeping the main pathways with a Spring Green Soup. It is warm, nourishing and starts the cleansing process in a very gentle way. I just made my first Spring Green Soup of the season! The recipe is from my dear friend, Nishanga Bliss, author of “Real food All Year”. Back in the 90’s she introduced me to the Chinese Medicine Seasonal food practices and we started our Seasonal Yoga workshops which blossomed all the way into my Yoga Sukhavati Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training!
The Spring Green Soup is delicious and easy to make! I chose to use Dandelion greens as part of my cluster of greens to include because of their bitterness and potency in cleansing the liver and gallbladder to help them stimulate bile production which helps break down foods and filters and detoxifes the blood. According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the time to cleanse the liver and gall bladder, the wood element. So in went the dandelions to my Spring soup! I also added the digestive powerhouse and diuretic, Fennel to help relieve some bloating and indigestion I was experiencing. I’m feeling so much better after 2 days eating this soup & taking my purifying baths! When cleansing it is essential to offer ways for the toxins to leave your body, so I’ve been taking balancing, nourishing and purifying baths this week. Before I bathe, I do a simple skin brushing to get my lymphatic system in tip top shape. The skin is the largest organ in your body and a large part of our detoxification process Check out our Spring Practices post on purifying seaweed baths!
SPRING GREEN SOUP
2 tablespoons ghee, lard, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 bunch spring or greenoinion, white adn green parts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fennel ore celery, coarsely chopped
1 quart Bone Broth, Poultry stock, or vegetable stock
2 small potatoes or turnips, diced into 1/2 cubes
1 bunch leafy greens, such as spinach, or arugula, or dandelion (include some others in addition to dandelion), coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tsp fresh or dried dill
2 tablespoons chickpea miso or white miso
juice of 1 lemon
Join me for my Spring Cleanse Flow workshop on Sunday March 25, 2018 at Sacred Sounds in Manhattan, NY or April 15 at BodyWorks in New Hampshire. Or you can download my Spring Cleanse video, and sweep out the cobwebs from home!!
2 Fall warm drinks for vata dosha!
Posted on October 6th, 2017
Happy Fall! Its windy and cold out there & vata dosha, the air element, is on the rise.
Often when the wind picks up in the Fall, Vata dosha, the air element, goes out of balance. Our mind gets very active with ideas spinning a mile a minute. We feel like we want to do everything and be everywhere–We’re the wind after all! So we try to do it all, over plan our schedules and get totally overwhelmed, fragmented, and can’t get anything accomplished. Often as vata dosha goes out of balance, we have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Sound familiar? This week as the leaves start turned turning glorious colors and the wind is picking up & blowing them off the trees, I’ve really been feeling my vata go out the roof . So what to do????
It’s time to curl up with a yummy warm drink & get all cozy!!! This will really help you stay grounded and calm the anxious vata mind so that your creativity and visionary brilliance can shine this Fall. I have two favorite warm drinks this Fall. India’s Ayuvedic gem, “Golden Milk” to help you get a good nights sleep and from the heights of Peruvian Andes, “Vegan Hot Maca Chocolate”, to wake you up in healthy style!
To help me prepare for sleep, I’ve been drinking Ayurveda’s “Golden Milk” every night before going to bed. My friend, Jen Kuipers, gave me her favorite recipe and it is totally rocking my world! The gem of Indian medicine and cooking, Tumeric has incredible digestive, anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties. Coupled with ginger and the spices, it becomes a digestive powerhouse and immune booster, as well as a magical sleepytime elixir! I’ve been drinking it every night. I love the ritual of grating the fresh tumeric & ginger and grinding the spices. The pepper unpacks and increases the benefits of the tumeric. Cardamom helps cleanse the body during the night with it’s detoxification properties. Cloves are a digestive stimulant as well as a great boost for the immune boost system helping release sinus & bronchial congestion. Cinnamon is also a digestive tonic. Nutmeg is an amazing sleep aid. The coconut cools all the heating spices down creating balance.
I find it the ritual of making Golden milk comforting and helps me start to relax. Then I light some candles, and put some essential oils in my diffuser (lavendar, clary sage, geranium, and bergamot are my favs these days) and curl up on my couch and sip my “Golden milk”. It makes me deliciously relaxed and sleepy! Try it – You’ll love it!
1 mug of milk (almond or other nut milk, or coconut milk )
1 tsp fresh tumeric
¼ tsp fresh ginger
4 black peppercorns
2 pods green cardamon
½ tsp coconut mana
honey to taste
Heat up the milk and simmer. Grate the fresh tumeric & ginger and add to the milk. Grind the peppercorns, cloves and cardamon and add with coconut mana, cinnamon, nutmeg to the milk. Whisk until it becomes a gorgeous golden color. Strain & add honey. It’s deeeeelicious!
In the morning or afternoon, if you want a healthy picker upper which is a great alternative to coffee, try my other Fall favorite drink a yummy hot chocolate made with Maca, the Peruvian superfood. I’m drinking it right now to wake me up and let the words flow!
Originating high in the Andes, maca root grows at 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Perhaps it is this ability to live in such an extreme environment, that creates the beautiful adaptogenic quality of maca which helps keep you balanced in times of internal or external stress. Esteemed for centuries for it’s healing properties, maca is a complete protein and packed with vitamins & minerals. Maca increases your energy by balancing the endocrine system so that it helps regulate your hormones. It is a gift for women’s health, helping to smooth the hormonal roller coaster the menstrual cycle and menopause. Maca increases libido and fertility, making this Superfood an exquisite elixir!
Vegan Hot Maca Chocolate
by Pauline Hanuise
1 mug almond milk (or your favorite substitute)
1 heaping teaspoon maca powder
1 heaping teaspoon cacao powder
1 pinch cinnamon
honey to taste
Carefully heat your almond milk to a simmer. Then blend it for a few seconds with your maca and cacao powders.
Pour the liquid into your favorite mug and sprinkle some cacao nibs and cinnamon on top.