Tag Archives: organs

EATING FOR A PRODUCTIVE HAPPY LIFE, EVEN WHEN IT’S WINTER!!!!!!!!!

Warm, Nourishing Foods: Balancing Vata Dosha

Every season is associated with a dosha in ayurveda — spring with Kapha, summer with Pitta and fall and winter with Vata. Each of these doshas has a tendency to increase within the physiology during its season. Thus, the heat of summer tends to aggravate the Pitta in us, while a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata.

These seasonal fluctuations of the doshas within us can be balanced by eating appropriately for the season. Desh (place) and kala (time) are important considerations in choosing what you eat. If you reflect, some of these choices come naturally to most of us — we head for cool beverages on a hot day and yearn to wrap our fingers around a steaming mug of soup on a chilly evening.

Vata dosha is composed of the air and space elements, and it governs all movement in the body. According to The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians, Vata is the dominant seasonal dosha from mid-October to mid-February. Even for those with less Vata in our makeup, it is important to take steps to keep Vata in balance during this time because of its seasonal influence.

Signs of an aggravated Vata include an irregular digestion, gas, constipation, intestinal cramps, poor assimilation and fatigue.

Eating to balance Vata

“Warm” and “cooked” are key factors in the Vata-pacifying diet. Nourishing soups and stews, hot cereals, hearty grains, wholesome beverages and heavy desserts like rich rice pudding all feel welcome on cold winter days.

To keep Vata in balance, favor the sweet, sour and salty tastes and avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods. All dairy products, for example, pacify Vata. Always boil milk before you drink it, and drink it warm, with a pinch of cardamom or dry ginger in it. Sweet lassi is an excellent lunchtime beverage. Favor sweet, sour, heavy fruits, such as oranges, bananas, avocados, grapes, cherries, peaches, melons, berries, plums, pineapples, mangos and papayas. Vegetables should be eaten cooked; reduce raw salads. Beets, carrots, asparagus and sweet potatoes are good choices. In moderate quantities, the following vegetables are also fine, especially if they are cooked with ghee or oil and Vata-reducing spices: peas, green leafy vegetables (chopped small, with thick fibrous parts discarded), broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini and potatoes.

Vata-pacifying spices include cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed and black pepper in moderation. Organic Vata Churna from Maharishi Ayurveda is a convenient, ready-to-use Vata spice mix. The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians advises cooking with it rather than sprinkling it on prepared foods as the preferred way of assimilating the benefits of the spices.

Favor foods that are liquid rather than dry, and warm rather than cold. Drink lots of warm water and sip 2-3 cups of Organic Vata Tea during the day.

Good eating habits

Vata dosha is balanced by regularity in routine. Eat three nourishing meals a day, and eat them at around the same times each day. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Eat lunch, the heaviest meal of the day, close to noon. Eat a lighter meal, such as mung bean soup, for dinner. Your last meal of the day should be done at least three hours before you go to bed. If you snack in-between meals, eat nuts and raisins soaked in water (dried fruits aggravate Vata) or stewed fruit for a healthy dose of energy. Most nuts are Vata-pacifying.

HUMAN BODY ENERGY CLOCK

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The Chinese Body Clock is based on Chinese medicine and the body organ Qi(energy) cycle. It’s the idea that there is a cyclic flow of energy through the body that moves in two hour intervals through the various organ systems. See diagram above. Click on the diagram for a larger version.

So for each two hour window, there is an organ system operating a peak energy.

“When one organ is at its peak energy, the organ at the opposite side of the clock, 12 hours away, is at its lowest ebb. For example, between 1-3 a.m., the liver reaches its peak, doing its work to cleanse the blood, while the small intestine, the organ responsible for the absorption and assimilation of many key nutrients, is at its ebb. What does this tell us? Principally, that it must be taxing to the system to deal with late night meals and snacking. The body is not programmed to accommodate the modern habit of late-night screen-based stimulation and the eating habits that go with it. When we eat late at night, food is not well absorbed by the small intestine and the liver has little opportunity to do its job of housekeeping.

The idea, then, is to try when you can to plan daily activity around an organ system’s peak energy, while avoiding actions that can tax a system when its energy is at its lowest ebb. Think of lifestyle habits you might modify in order to better synchronize your system’s energy ebbs and flows:

Lungs: With the lungs at their peak energy in the early morning, you might want to schedule aerobic exercise at this time rather than later in the day. And, if you must speak through the long work day, presentations given earlier in the day benefit from greater lung energy. Laryngitis can set in late afternoon when lung energy is depleted .

Large Intestine: To get the day off to a good start, give yourself enough time early in the morning to honor the normal elimination function of the large intestine.

Stomach/Pancreas/Small Intestine: Try to eat heavier meals early in the day—at breakfast when the stomach is at its peak, and at lunch, to catch Qi’s expanding/warming energy as it crests at midday. Eating larger meals of the day early delivers nourishment to the small intestine when it is strongest, which aids absorption and assimilation.

Kidneys: The kidneys are aligned with the adrenals, the glands that produce cortisol to help us spring out of bed in the morning. Early morning, from 5 a.m.-7 a.m., is when kidney energy is weakest—a reason that people with depleted kidney energy often have trouble waking up to a new day.

Liver: The liver stores and cleanses the blood, a fact that becomes more interesting as we consider personal experience. Have you ever partied too much in the evening, and awakened in the wee hours of the morning feeling “off” and unable to fall back to sleep? Chances are good that you were tossing and turning between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. when your alcohol over-loaded liver was struggling to do its work. The timing of the liver’s peak activity also speaks to consuming the last meal of the day as early as possible. The liver’s daily programming assumes an early dinner and bedtime. Before electricity and the light bulb, people ate supper and retired early, allowing time for the last meal of the day to digest so that the liver could be most effective in its peak hours of activity. The “work shift” of the liver, then, reinforces the concept of making the last meal of the day a light one that is consumed on the early side. The more time that passes after food is eaten before peak activity of the liver, the better the liver will be able to carry out its myriad of functions.”

http://yoganonymous.com/infographic-explore-your-human-body-energy-clock

INNER SMILE & CHI KUNG

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Qigong

Qigong is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in China more than 4,000 years ago; the word QI means “breath, air” but also “life energy”,“life force” and the word GONG means work.

There are very many forms of Qigong practiced in the world and developed though thousands of years: sitting, walking, lying down forms and each one of them handed down from one generation to the next.  In Qigong the practitioners learns how to guide the Qi, their life force in their body so to make it circulate and flow.

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INNER SMILE

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