Ayurvedic Reset: Day 3 Doshas

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The three Doshas and the five elements that create them 
According to Ayurveda, the five elements of nature found on earth (Space, Air, fire, Water, and Earth) combine in the body as three components known as Dosha (vatta, Pitta, and Kapha). The three doshas relate closely to the element of nature and to specific functions of the body. For an optimal health, it essential that all the doshas are balanced.

Everyone is sort into one of three doshas or constitutes (Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha). While we all have elements of all three doshas, in most people, one dominates, influencing physical and emotional health, behavior and more. Doshas are determined at the time of conception, also relates to an individual’s physical makeup and personality. Most people are considered to have a combination of doshas, with one type usually being predominant.

These Doshas are energies used to describe your body, food, mind, environment and everything else. They are also used to help identify, customize and prescribe lifestyle changes and remedies that will balance your energies, prevent diseases, and preserve health.

Dosha Quiz: Eat Feel Fresh Dosha Quiz: 

1. Vatta (Air and Ether)

Characteristics: 
·Vatta is made up of the elements air and ether. Air gives it characteristics such as mobility and dryness, while their makes it subtle and light. 
·It is the most important dosha in the body and mind. As it is the force of all movement (e.g. blood circulation) and sensation. The main seat of vata is the colon

Function: 
·Providing movement, such as for breathing, circulation, transmission of nerve signals and elimination of waste/providing all sensation in the body, igniting agi (digestive fire)/supporting memory, drive and understanding.

Mind and Body: 
·The vata mind is influence by air and ether, giving it properties of movement, lightness, speed, irregularity such as being able to understand and learn, but also quickly to forget. 
·A person with a Vatta makeup tends to have a small, thin build and wispy physically, lively, chatty, and always on the move (all over the place). On the other hands, people with this dosha are more expose to insomnia, anxiety, and the inability to focus.

Imbalance Symptoms:
·Emotions such as anxiety, fear, or nervousness 
·Dry, rough, or chapped skin
·Gas or bloating after meals 
·Dry or dry stools 
·Feeling uncomfortably cold

2. Pitta (Fire and Water)

Characteristics: 
·Pitta takes on characteristics such as heat and sharpness from fire and fluidity and oiliness from water. 
·In the body, it is the source of transformation (digestion) and provide internal heat. The main seat of Pitta is the stomach and intestine

Function: 
·Digesting food and Fueling agni (digestive fire)/producing blood and coloring the skin/providing intelligence and self-confidence/provide insight

Mind and Body: 
·The fire and water give them properties of penetration and transformation such as a sharp intelligence and a proneness to anger. 
·The pitta body style is more of a medium, and muscular build; and tend have a fire burning within. Persons with Pitta dosha are often intense, intelligent, goal-oriented, excellent leaders and public speakers. However, too much of pitta leads to compulsive, obsessed behavior, irritability and heartburn.

Imbalance Symptoms: 
·Having an overly sharp, highly critical or uncompromising mind 
·Experiencing hyperacidity, burning sensations, tightness in the belly, or inflammation in the gut 
·Acute inflammation

3. Kapha (Earth and Water)

Characteristics:

·Qualities received by Kapha from earth include heaviness and stability; and from water include illness and smoothness. 
·It gives the body substance, strength, cohesion, lubrication, cooling, and immunity. It is also responsible for healing. The main seat of Kapha is the stomach and chest.

Function: 
·Providing moisture to food in the stomach 
·Providing strength and cooling to the heart and the sensory organs 
·Stabilizing and lubricating the joints 
·Providing taste

Mind and Body: 
·The earth and water give Kapha mind properties stability and endurance, such as cool headedness and good memory. 
·The Kapha appearance is usually bigger and well-developed. Kapha tend to have their feet firmly planted on the ground. They are strong and muscular physically, and are emotionally stable, calm and patient. Unlike vata, Kapha are prone to holding grudges, sluggishness, and weight gain.

Imbalance Symptoms:

·Excessive sleep or difficulty waking up
·Over-eating, or turning to food for emotional comfort 
Carrying extra body weight

Ayurvedic Reset: Day two

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What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an ancient type of healing system and traditional medicine that has been used in India for thousands of years (5,000 years). It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a dedicated balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Each of the components must be in state of harmony – neither too strong nor too weak – for the body to remain healthy.

Ayurveda further emphasizes good health and prevention treatment of illness through lifestyle practices (e.g., yoga, meditation, massage, and dietary change) and the use of herbal remedies.

In Ayurveda medicine, optimal health and even one’s spiritual growth starts with prevention. Prevention is based on a balance lifestyle that is in harmony with the cycle of nature.

Origin:

Ayurveda is a Vedic Science. Another Vedic Science, often called Ayurveda’s sister science, is Yoga. All Vedic science are primarily teaching for the development of full human physical, mental and spiritual potential.

Ayurveda’s base of knowledge was recorded in a large body of Sanskrit literature that originated in India, called the Vedas. The Vedas are considered to be the oldest written recordings that describe, often in metaphors, ancient principles, practices and spirituality

The Meaning of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a science of life – the word Ayurveda origins from two separate Sanskrit words (Ayur-Life, Veda = science or knowledge).

Ayurvedic medicine is holistic, which means viewing the body and mind as a whole – Ayurveda treats not only the physical body, but also changes lifestyle practices to help maintain or improve health.

The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda:

1. The mind and the body are connected 
2. Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind,

According to Ayurveda, the five elements of nature (Space, Air, fire, Water, and Earth) combine in the body as three components known as Dosha (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). The three doshas relate closely to the element of nature and to specific functions of the body. For an optimal health, it essential that all the doshas are balanced.

*Doshas will be further discuss tomorrow*

Ayurveda and yoga:

Ayurveda is often refer to as the sister science to yoga, as such if yoga is the path to achieving wellness and enlightenment, then Ayurveda is the system that supports a healthy body and mind for yoga’s practices.

Both practices come from the same philosophy, however Ayurveda focuses mainly on the goal of dharma (living the right way), while yoga focuses on the goal of moksha (enlightenment). Both are practical system with a holistic perspective - persons are seen as being with a unified body, mind and consciousness.

My Mindful Morning Routine

6:00 -6:10 am // wake up - check email and social media

I know this is a big no no! but I still do it, the first thing I do when I get up is walk to my kitchen and grab my phone (I charge my phone in my kitchen because it;s recommended to not have your phone in your bedroom) and lay on my bed, and scroll through emails and social media (Instagram for cute cat videos to give me a cuteness boost)

6:11-6:13 am // get up and drink a big glass of lukewarm lemon water + take supplements

After going through my social media and motivated by cute cats videos, I like drinking a glass of lukewarm water with lemon, and take all my supplements (to make sure I don't forget to take my supplements, I usually place all my supplements on my kitchen counter the night before).

6:15 - 6:25 am // Sun Salutation, Meditation and Intention for the day

Doing a simple sun salutation and mediation before I start the day allows me to be intentional with my day and be present.

"Today, accept what is instead of resenting what isn’t"

6:30 - 6:50 // Take shower, brush, do hair, make up

 I usually have a full shower the night before, which allows me to have a quick shower in the morning and put my make up while listening to my favorite podcasts (Ear Biscuits, Why Won't You Date Me, POD Save America, POD Save the World, Congregational, etc.). Getting ready doesn't take that much because my closet is super minimal,  so I often don't encounter the morning paradox of going through my clothes and saying "I have nothing to wear".

6:54 - 7:15 // Eat breakfast, and prep lunch

Given my tendency toward habit, my breakfast is always oatmeal - Last month and this month is Bagel with cream cheese. While eating breakfast I might catch up on the news, or watch clips from my favorite late nigh show (e.g. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, John Oliver etc.), as well as prep my lunch if I haven't done it the night before.

7:30 // Leave the house - ready to tackle the day

I always leave the house at 7:30is - this gives me enough time to drive and park my car, and then walk another 1 blocks to my work.

Monthly Intentions: December

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New Month, who dis? Tis the season to be jolly!! it's December and I am already exicited by the idea that Christmas is in 25 days. This month intentions is all about the holiday season and preparing for the upcoming 2018 (i.e. paying my credit card bill). In addition to getting into the holiday spirit my intention for this month include paying more attention to my inner voice, embracing all my feelings and speaking to myself with more passion and love. On top of the list is getting back into blogging again, which begins with this post.

Journey to Health and Wellness with Kyra Ann: Overcoming auto-immune disease & Leaky gut

IG: kyrholistics

IG: kyrholistics

Kyra is a Utah native with a passion for health and wellness. When she's not blogging or posting amazing photos on her Instagram page, Krya loves spending time in nature, hiking, creating beautiful food, buying excessive amounts of plants, and most importantly spending time with her husband Michael & playing with her baby boy Shilo. Below, Kyra talks about her journey to health and wellness, and overcoming an auto-immune disease and leaky gut.

This is a two part interview, make sure to check out the blog for the second part of the interivew in the coming week. 

"I am so grateful to be a stay-at-home mama & spend every moment with my little one. It’s the best job ever! Although, it’s also been one of the most difficult things I’ve done, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually…  I wouldn’t ever change that, because it’s caused me to grow, learn, and ultimately help me attain so much knowledge about myself, and about holistic healing – which is my passion" 

When did your interest in wellness relating to food begin?

I became interested in a healthy whole food diet once I became pregnant with my babe because I wanted him to grow into a healthy little sprout. However, that passion accelerated a few months after he was born when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease & leaky gut. I was determined to heal naturally using food. From this point it became a large part of my life and I spent countless hours learning as much as I could about the benefits of eating whole foods, especially through experience. Once I saw that I was healing and how much real, healthy food was changing my life, I knew I had found my passion!

How would you describe your diet now?

I would describe my diet as a real, whole foods diet. I do eat primarily plant-based but I focus more on intuitive eating and listening to my body than I do on labels.

Do you avoid anything?

I do have some food intolerances and foods that seem to cause inflammation for my body. The foods that I avoid are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, refined sugar, anything processed, vegetable oils (canola oil, etc), and most grains & legumes. I don’t think that everyone needs to avoid these foods, this is just what I’ve learned through trial and error are the foods that cause me to feel bloated, inflamed, fatigued, or cause an allergic reaction.

Can you tell us a little about your auto-immune disease & leaky gut experience and how it influenced your current health and wellness lifestyle?

Like I mentioned briefly before, 3 months after my little son was born I started experiencing systematic inflammation. My throat would close off, I was fatigued beyond belief, and I was bloating after every meal. After meeting with a gastroenterologist I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE). This is a chronic, incurable disease that is in the same family as asthma. Basically what it is, is an auto-immune reaction to what your body perceives as “toxins”. When I eat certain foods, my body will try to protect itself by sending little eosinophils (anti-bodies) to my throat to fight off the toxin. Unfortunately my body helps out a little “too” much, leading to my throat closing off not allowing me to eat until the inflammation is somehow reduced. It was so scary. I was choking on my food and not able to breathe on a regular basis. I was prescribed medications, steroids, and basically told I would never heal. At this time I was also experiencing extreme bloating after every meal, gas, excruciating bowl pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, etc. but no tests confirmed anything. I self diagnosed leaky gut based on hundreds of hours of reading on the condition. I did NOT want to take pharmaceuticals for the rest of my life and submit myself to the idea that I just had a disease and that there was nothing I could do about it. That is when I completely changed my life style, started eating whole foods, herbs, and super foods… and implementing yoga and meditation into my life. My disease helped me realize that I needed to make a change and start taking care of my body. My body was trying to tell me something – that something was off. I listened, and through the listening process I was able to heal. It completely changed my life.

What are specific changes you were forced to make because of that experience?

Here are the biggest changes I made:

1. My diet. I stopped eating junk and started fueling my body with vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of high quality animal foods like pastured eggs and wild caught fish.

2. Adjust my type of exercise (more gentle and mindful) which includes yoga, walks, stretching and light weight lifting. I had to stop focusing so much on losing weight and more on what my body needed.

3. Getting enough deep restorative sleep. Going to bed early, stop using electronics and tv late at night, winding down, and blacking out my room.

4. Taking time for self-care

5. Adding supplements/herbs to my diet. My favorites are adaptogenic herbs like maca and medicinal mushroom extracts.

6. Having a positive outlook/never losing hope. Positivity is everything. I had to put myself in control of my situation and learn to manage stress by being optimistic.

 7. Meditating daily and just always expressing gratitude for all the amazing good I have in my life.

What is currently your favorite workout?

Definitely restorative yoga. I feel my best after a practice that includes a lot of balance practice & twists.

Can you tell us a little about your blog and why you were motivated to start?

My blog shares some holistic tips I’ve learned for healthy living as well as plant-based or gut friendly recipes. I wanted to start a blog to help me to be excited about my change in lifestyle and also to help other people who are struggling with the same health setbacks as I have, and hopefully find the same healing as I have as well.

What are some of your favorite holistic remedies?

When I was experiencing a lot of digestive problems I loved starting my day with warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar. It also helped to soak in a warm bath with Epsom (magnesium) salt and lavender oil in the evenings.

Drinking bone broth or bone broth protein powder when my leaky gut symptoms start acting up also help to reduce bloating and inflammation.

Tumeric latte. Coconut milk, tumeric, black pepper, and Ceylon cinnamon sweetened lightly with raw honey or monk fruit extract help to reduce inflammation in the body.

 Peppermint oil rubbed on my temples to relieve headaches or help increase energy on a day I’m feeling particularly fatigued. I do not drink caffeine, and this helps.

How do you stay motivated (health, wellness, fitness)?

My greatest motivation is a sincere love for myself and my spouse/son. Once I learned to truly love myself then that was and is now the catalyst for my motivation. I also want to be my best self for the ones I love and I know that I’m not when I’m not making healthy lifestyle choices.Staying motivated includes a practice of constantly trying to love myself and who I am. True love is the greatest motivator.

Take us through a day in the life of your food?

Wake up: I drink an herb elixir that usually contains cacao, maca, reishi mushroom & he shou wu mushroom OR bone broth. Breakfast: A superfood smoothie. Usually packed with frozen veggies like cauliflower, sweet potato, zucchini, spinach… fruits like banana, blueberries and avocado. Then I throw in sunflower seed butter, hemp hearts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and almond milk. Then whatever toppings I feel like…. I spoil myself there hehe. Snack: Handful of nuts or an RX bar with a drink of kombucha. Lunch: Usually some kind of salad. Greens like romaine, spinach, arugula, then some zucchini, cabbage, carrots, strawberries, sprouts, pasture-raised chicken breast and one of my homemade dairy free dressings or just some oil & balsamic vinegar. Snack: An avocado on rice cakes or with an egg & saurkraut. Dinner: One of my favorites is zoodles with a homemade tomato or dairy free “cheese” sauce with some wild-caught salmon. Before bed: I’ll drink some “natural calm” magnesium drink or bone broth if I’ve had a bad digestive day.

How do you decide what to make, day-in-day-out?

I just listen to my body. I wake up and try to tune into what I’m craving, and what sounds good to me that I know will nourish my body. I try my best to balance my day with a variety of foods and nutrients. That is basically it! Just intuitively trying to nourish my body with what it needs, which changes all the time.

When do you feel best in your body?

Right after a good yoga class I feel amazing. I also feel my best when I have spent my day being active (walking, running errands, cooking, cleaning) and especially when that day includes serving others. I get depressed and feel sick when I am too idle or not doing anything important.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

“Eating evolved” dark cacao chocolate bars (drooling)

Where can people reach you?

I am the most active on Instagram, my tag is @kyrholistics. You can also check out my blog at www.kyrholistics.com or email me at kyrholistics@gmail.com

Journey to wellness with Melyna Amyot

Melyna Amyotc (@melynaamyot) is a Toronto based Instagramer, whose journey to wellness began 3 years while going through a difficult time. What started as a 30 day challenge has now turn into a lifestyle. Here Melyna shares her story of how she got into wellness, how she stays motivated and and favor work out.

When did your interest in wellness begin?

I'd say my journey began roughly 3 years ago. I had just dropped out of Art School and was going through a difficult time which resulted in fostering this really negative relationship with my body and food in particular. I was sick, tired and unmotivated. A friend suggested I try going Vegan for a month and that's all it really took ! I had to really research what I was putting into my body to fuel it properly and the more I learned the more I became passionate about cooking and understanding the power of plant based food. 

From there it was only natural that as I felt better internally, I could only keep improving externally. And that part I'm still figuring out.

How would you describe your diet now?

Plant based/Experimental are the words I would use. I'm always very curious to understand people's  specific allergen restrictions or food sensitivities so I myself will personally go without wheat, soy, or whatever it may be to really identify and understand how to build proper meals around these modifications. As well as try and educate myself and introduce certain diets out there such as Keto or Paleo for instance while staying true to my plant based roots.

What is currently your favorite workout?

Circuit training and Boxing ! I'm obsessed with the inclusiveness and energy of group training but also love that empowering feeling of one on one time with my boxing coach.

How do you stay motivated (health, wellness, fitness)?

Set a schedule and stick to it ! Holding yourself accountable for your own progress is really what motivates me the most. Reminding myself that no one is going to make the changes I want to see  really puts me in that positive mindset.

Takes us through a day in life of food?

My day starts with half a litre of water and a coffee. Always.

Unless I have a prior morning engagements I practice fasted cardio, meaning I don't eat my first meal till right after my workout.

Breakfast is typically a Smoothie Bowl, loaded Oats or Chia Pudding. Often a  second coffee.

Afternoon snack is a protein shakes with almond milk and Sunwarrior protein.

Lunch is usually Raw. Weather it be a salad or some kind of concoction of whats left in my fridge.

Mid day snacks are veggies and hummus or rice cakes with avocado and nutritional yeast.

Dinner is more often then not some type of stir fry. Whatever is fresh and whatever is available. Usually over brown rice / quinoa or some type of spiralled vegetable. 

I usually end the day with some type of snack.

Where do you go food shopping?

I prefer to stick to local markets (Dufferin Grove is my fav !) but I also know how difficult sourcing locally year round can be so when I do shop at major grocery store I tend to pick up organic produce.

Who is (are) your favorite Food instagramer that you follow?

@ErinIreland ! Erin has been such a role model to me over the last few months. Her passion for food and vegan advocacy is so refreshing and inspiring. She seems like she has it all figured out.

How do you decide what to make, day-in-day out?

It's always a surprise. I never follow recipes and because I enjoy sourcing locally it's whatever's in season that hits the table. Sometimes it's a disaster but often then not I end up with something new and different.

Where do you get recipe inspiration?

Mostly Instagram. Obviously visual representation doesn't always mean it will taste good so I try and take inspiration from beautiful dishes and try my best to make them really flavourful and put my own vegan twist on them.

Favor dish to make?

Smoothie Bowls & Vegan Mac & Cheese !

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

1000% Chocolate. Zimt & Fitzy's are my favourite. (Both Plant based & Canadian !)

Favorite place to get  healthy food  in Toronto?

Hibiscus, One Love vegetarian, Calii Love & Sweethart Kitchen.

Advice for anyone struggling with getting into health and wellness lifestyle?

Whenever and wherever you decide to start, do so at your own pace. Listen to your body. Thank it everyday for deciding to begin, for being strong, for being able. Be patient and kind to it. It's your forever home.

Favor self-care ritual?

STRETCHING ! I often avoided this step when I first got into fitness and trust me I learned quickly to never skip a stretch again. 

When do you feel best in your body?

I feel best in my body those minutes following a tough workout. My face is red, Im struggling to catch my breath, I feel my heart racing in my chest, my hair has taken on a new life, my body is dripping with sweat and those are the moments you need to be thankful for. You brought yourself to that exact place. There is nothing more gratifying and beautiful to me. 

You can find more of Melyna and inspiration on her Instagram.