The Hawaiian Way of the Adventurer

If you’re in my entourage then you are well acquainted with my (other) odd fascination with all things Hawaiian, and for everybody else this is me coming clean.

Magnum PI had a lot to answer for in the early years but as I have supposedly become a grown-up so have surf legends, the appeal of fierce raw Nature, Lomi Lomi massage and Hawaiian shamanism for some.

Huna

Serge Kahili King from whom I draw king-sized inspiration describes shamanism as a distinct form of healing and Hawaiian shamanism as a distinct form of shamanism. Whilst most shamans follow the path of the warrior aiming to develop power and combat skills in order to deal with fear, illness or disharmony, Hawaiian shamanism focuses on developing skills of love, cooperation and harmony. In that tradition illness is viewed as a self-generated effect of stress – which is a strong statement for sure but one that would make sense at least to a degree. And all Hawaiian words for healing have undertones of causing energy to flow, implying the release of stress-related tension.

Everything we do creates stress to a level but the patterns become un-natural when we deal with sustained stress. In a natural flow of life the cycles of stress and tension would be followed by relaxation but modern life often cuts us off from that relaxation period and we go from one stress to another building tension in the body and mind without an outlet.

Serge explains that the source of stress is resistance. There is a degree of natural resistance that we live with to function physically and deal with our circumstances but again resisting overly creates undue stress. You resist over and beyond healthy behaviour when you are in fear or anger, when your expectations do not meet what life and others can bring to the table, going into defence mechanisms. Hawaiian shamanism offers a rainbow of tools to re-pattern and create relaxation in the body and mind as well as implement healthier ways of living.

Pikopiko

A short relaxation technique for coming back to your core and calm whenever you need it: inhale with your attention on the top of your head, exhale with your attention on your navel. Intend to relax or be energized, whichever calls. Give up trying to move the energy or interfere in any other way, just continue giving your full attention to your breath and the top of your head and navel alternatively. Perfect for a quick energy boost.

Kaulike

Kaulike is a very simple seemingly casual but profoundly caring technique which literally means “balance or harmony” that Serge describes as a Magic Touch.

Simply “stand in front of the receiver and touch him or her with the fingers of alternating hands for about the length of two heartbeats on the crown, throat, chest, solar plexus, and navel. Then use both hands on either side of the body and touch in turn the jaws, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. Finish by raising your arms out to your sides and above your head, and sweeping your hands palm-outward down in front of the receiver to about hip level. That’s it.”

Performed with the right attitude from both the giver and receiver it engages your subtle energies, subconscious and conscious mind and does what it says on the tin.

Tiki

Tiki is a type of creative meditation – or object of meditation to be more precise – designed to develop powers of concentration and allow you to “journey” within and learn much about yourself as well as give you the opportunity to work on what you don’t like. It uses created images of sight, sound and feelings.

Here is one easy example:

“Imagine yourself in a meadow in springtime. A stream cuts across the meadow and you are seated beside it. Build this image in as detailed a way as possible, using every one of your senses. Feel the grass with your fingers. Dip a hand in the stream. Is there a breeze? Is it cool or warm? Do you hear birds or insects? Are there flowers? Can you smell them? Are you alone in the meadow? Is this a place you have been to before or seen in a picture, or is it brand new? Explore this meadow carefully with all your senses. This is going to be your place for re-attuning yourself to your own nature.

When you are ready, take a deep breath and bring yourself out of meditation to consider the experience. Was it pleasant, or did you experience things you didn’t like? The meadow represents one part of your mind. Your conscious mind creates the overall meadow pattern by design or intent, but your subconscious fills in most of the details. Anything that was imperfect in the meadow is a reflection of imperfections in your thinking.

If you can correct the imperfections in the meadow by using your creative imagination during meditation (e.g. cutting the grass if it’s too high to permit you to see anything) you will be taking a giant step towards correcting the problems they represent in your daily life. A careful analysis of everything in the meadow as if the whole thing were a reflection of yourself will increase your self-knowledge greatly.”

On you go

For those missing Ayurvedic specifics take a look at http://www.halepule.com a website and in-person as well as online programmes in Ayurveda founded by Myra Lewin out of Kaua’i, Hawaii. It is chockablock full of Ayurvedic tips and recipes.

The lovely Clare Raggozino of Vidya Living has also relocated to the islands and is a breathing living example of walking the path of Ayurveda.

And finally for those local to me here in Dorset, England I cannot recommend Alice’s kahuna  massage more if I tried for deep bodywork Hawaiian-style. http://www.AliceLilaFlynn.blogspot.co.uk

I leave you with a little sense of fun & adventure but practical solutions too. Hawaiian shamanism is very much of the opinion that if you meet an obstacle, say an animal that bears its teeth at you, you smile back. If that doesn’t work and nothing else does either, let it eat you, be transformed, come out the other side, and keep going. Basically try all the practical solutions and finally evolve with it, come out renewed and stronger.

This is a path of cooperation, community, solution-finding, way-finding, love and a very pragmatic lifestyle in a way that works and brings happiness. Now I’ve gone all Moana on you…

And of course it is very much to do with energy, raising your energy and building abundant Mana which is the Hawaiian equivalent to Prana, the life-force but with an added sense of confidence in yourself and your skills. Nothing wrong with that!

### I pinch a fair amount from Serge this week so if it appeals please do check out his books and his work with Aloha International.

Abracadabra!

img_1390Not long ago I read and chuckled at a post by Mammasaurus where she lashed out at the word ritual and its “all-trendy” status making it the rage these days. Now, I love the word ritual. I loved it all the way back when it was not the hype and puff it is now, blame the Owens sisters. And yes like her I realise its implied connotation of routine, domesticity, the habitual and ordinary. Yawn. But I also strongly feel we can turn this around on its head.

Ayurveda is all about daily practices and I think using the word rituals makes it exciting, fun and slightly sacred – as in my-body-is-a-temple kind of sacred. Ayurveda is literally practical magic for the body, mind and soul. The nourishment one gets from performing simple conscious acts every day in its due time firmly builds us up for strength, energy, and an all-around powerful sense of wellbeing.

Indian Summer or not, as we enter the witchy season with the end of summer harvest and Halloween not too far around the corner I am enchanted by all the little things Ayurvedic self-care preaches about the turning of the season. From cozying up at home in the evening looking for the warmth and the ceremony of tea to autumnal recipes of baked apples and the smell of spices in the cauldron. From a mushy bowl of kitchari garnered with garden vegetables and a drip of oil to family gathering around a good old hocus-pocus film and turning in early for well deserved ZZzzz-time. It’s all about the hubble-bubble, conjuring the joy and buoyancy of the colours and smells this time of year, the ripening of the natural rhythms of the earth cycles. At Mabon, the agricultural autumn equinox festival, we feast at the altar of life enjoying the fruits of our work in the kitchen. Add a healthy dose of mischief with cake and ale and Paul Hollywood would be proud! If this isn’t hygge then what is? Oh look at us, we’re right on trend again.

And as for the simplicity of Ayurveda, a wise wizard once said “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Happy birthday Roald Dahl!

P.s. Just for fun since we’re all about sorcery today here’s an interesting fact about Brownies. I never quite made it as a Brownie but I once was a Rainbow. So here in England it seems Brownies pledge allegiance to the Queen. I, on the other end, born and raised in France, pledged allegiance to Joan Of Arc. Burnt at the stake as a witch by the English. See the irony there?

 

Make it a habit

Working on my online course today, I am writing about evolving and creating new healthy habits, starting by considering our “crimes against wisdom” or Pranjapradha as Yoga and Ayurveda calls it. It sounds very serious and scary but basically why do we continue to do what we know is not good for us? All this to say that thanks to Amy Landry’s last newsletter I came across this great little TEDx talk about “crimes against wisdom”. Not so scary I promise, quite inspiring actually…

Ojas: the essence of life

imageThe word Prana has become somewhat mainstream if not for the famous yoga clothes brand also for its actual Sanskrit meaning of life energy. A word you may not be so familiar with from the yogic world is Ojas which describes the essence of immunity and vitality in the body.

Ojas is closely related to Kapha dosha and recognised as a “primal vigour”. It gives endurance and strength. It brings stability and nourishment of the muscle tissues. Frank John Ninnivaggi, M.D. in his book “Ayurveda, a comprehensive guide to traditional Indian medicine for the West” describes it as “the bio-energetic bodily material that contains the life force (prana) and serves the vital functions that maintain the body’s energy reserve and proper immune status.” If unclear what this means, the accent is on “contains”. If prana is a moving energy, the intelligence behind all mental and physical processes then Ojas is the resulting subtle substance or sap, the building blocks to your health and wellness. Ojas is said to be the body’s counterpart to pure joy, the cellular equivalent to bliss.

Good Ojas sustains you and helps you fight disease. Good Ojas derives from your inherited genetics and also your “acquired” health reserves, based on nutrition, lifestyle and environment. Good Ojas is based on quantity and quality.

How would you know if you have good Ojas?

– are you mostly happy and cheerful?

– loving and compassionate?

– content and calm?

– have strong immunity?

– glowing skin?

– sparkling eyes?

– shiny hair?

– excellent strength and endurance?

Or on the contrary do you often suffer:

– deep fatigue?

– lack of stamina or zest for life?

– often sick?

– poor muscle strength?

– are you quite thin or emaciated?

– poor self-confidence?

– feel cloudy and unclear?

– dehydrated and lacking luster?

– have an hyperactive mind?

You get the picture.

Ojas is affected by stress and lack of sleep, poor nutrition and digestion, overwork and excess anger, grief or worry as well as too much sex.

Ojas can however be replenished or made stronger by:

– following a diet and lifestyle appropriate to your constitution (refer to my posts on doshas and check out relevant diets)

– eating organic, wholesome, nourishing foods such as almonds, walnuts, honey, saffron, ghee, whole grains, some legumes such as mung beans, root vegetables and small amounts of good quality dairy products (milk should preferably be raw if you can source it)

– spending time outdoors in nature

– sleeping soundly

– switching off your electronic devices, TV, phones, computers

– practising meditation, chanting and certain pranayama exercises (yogic breathing practise)

– rejuvenating herbs such as shatavari, ashwagandha and amalaki which is a primal ingredient in the Ayurvedic herbal honey Chywanaprash (see the Pukka website in my resources page)

The lustrous glow you have when you get back from a holiday? That’s Ojas.

So here you are equipped with a few very simple but effective tools. It doesn’t sound like much but if you investigate new health routines for yourself you will witness a deep shift.

It works.

 

 

Start the year with a fresh palate

I am slowly waking up from my deep winter hibernation to wish you all a happy new year. And so you’d have guessed I’m not referring to a new colour scheme for your wardrobe but mouth hygiene. Where’s the glamour in that? Better health begins this January. If we want to start the year the way we mean to carry on then now is as good a time as any to introduce a new habit. I would like you to consider a simple technique to do daily to help eliminate toxins and freshen up the breath: tongue scraping. New habits are more likely to stick if they can easily squeeze in to your schedule and are small but impactful which fits the picture perfectly.

img_1399Why do it?

The benefits are multiple and run deep.

Cleaning your tongue first thing in the morning is like brushing your teeth only it is even more important. Ayurveda makes it an essential practice. The body uses the tongue as a tool for detoxification. During sleep our digestive system continues to remove toxins from our body which will regularly show up on the tongue. Using a tongue scraper to cleanse the depot (ama) on your tongue will give you a fresh feeling and protect teeth from bacteria, removing both the bacteria and gunky phlegm that coats your tongue on waking – preventing them being re-absorbed. This supports your immune system. Scraping helps prevent bad breath and a side-effect is to improve the taste of foods when eaten by increasing your sense of taste. In “Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis” Walter Kacera D.N. Ph.D explains that using tongue scraping allows to use less toothpaste “which simply kills the mouth and throat flora, allowing those substances to reach the stomach and intestine”. So tongue scraping = taking in less nasties from your toothpaste.

Brushing your tongue with your toothbrush does not do the job as it will only move the bacteria and gunk around and you risk being too harsh. It is best to use a stain-steel tongue scraper which you can easily buy online. Holding each side of the scraper start at the back of the tongue and scrape gently towards the front 7 times to activate the tissue layers. The procedure is said to boost your digestion also by improving your tastebuds & causing saliva production. It decreases plaque, dead cells and oral debris.

Finally tongue scraping will also stimulate all the pranic nadis (energy channels) that terminate in the tongue and massages the internal organs that are linked to different parts of the tongue. A pretty punchy benefit for such an easy, quick practice.

See Lorien’s clip for a fun illustration right here.

Blessings of love and light for the new year!

 

Liquid gold

imageI’ll keep this post real short with having a mad dash week (haven’t we all) but that doesn’t make this advice any less important.

Sip. Hot. Water.

All day.

Ayurveda has a different view to drinking water to the one we have all grown to in the West. One that naturally agrees with me but as always you must test it for yourself and do what’s right for you and your personal constitution. It must work for your specific nature.

We usually hear a recommendation to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. I know I get uncomfortable, especially if I drink around meals or food. In fact Ayurvedic wisdom does not advise drinking too much with your meals or just before/after but keep your liquid intake a good distance from breakfast/lunch/dinner. Drink when you’re thirsty, not because you have to (beware in older age though as you lose your sense of thirst & must drink more than you think). Drink room temperature water or warmer but not chilled/frozen drinks. And sip small amounts all day rather than chug a large amount in one go. Simple rules.

For extra support with your digestion and on-going cleansing, sip hot water all day. Keep a thermos with boiled water and sip small amounts every hour or more frequently if you’d like. The water should be hot to a level you can just about drink it (don’t burn yourself though, there’s nothing worse than burning your tongue and losing your taste buds in my book!) You could add a little freshly grated ginger to taste. This effortless method will gradually rid you of ama (clogged up waste matter). You might start noticing coating on your tongue as toxins are eliminated. The habit of drinking regularly will keep you focussed on your body & health, and awareness is the best medicine. Urges for unhealthy foods might even start falling by the wayside.

Cheap & easy, why wouldn’t you?

 

 

When life throws you lemons

Organic Bush Lemon's (3)This beautiful picture of organic Bangalow Bush lemons is my inspiration this week and it comes credit to Lorien Waldron from Wholesome Loving Goodness all the way over the pond in sunny Byron Bay, Australia.

I absolutely love this picture and from now on it will be my blog profile picture and a banner on my website, alongside some of my more humble shots of a local Dorset beach and the Shiva Temple at the Ganga Talao lake in Mauritius from a recent trip.

But back to Lorien! I have been following her through social medias for a few years now and she’s been a bit of a muse with her business sharing Ayurvedic wisdom as a Lifestyle Consultant. She has a real passion for pursuing healing through food and teaching Ayurvedic cooking to the community. What a wholesome goal! She’s also a photographer so check her out on Instagram or via her website, details in the Resources page.

In a previous post I made a quick suggestion that you start your day with a glass of warm water & a dash of lemon with perhaps even some grated ginger and/or honey. Lemon water is a kitchen staple in Ayurveda. Make it fresh every day. It is cleansing upon waking and prepares your digestive system for breakfast. It helps flush toxins out and you’ll feel much more energetic once your digestion is back on track, which this simple technique will help with.

Although lemons are a citrus fruit and acidic in nature they actually have an alkaline effect on the constitution when metabolised, after the minerals dissociate, and so help counteract acidity in the body and over-acidity in diet which is a well-spread issue nowadays. Long term acidic environments are damaging to the cells structure & function and to the human tissues which causes health problems.

Some of the benefits of lemon water first thing in the morning are:

– fighting bad cholesterol

– relieving abdominal colic pain & gastritis pain due to indigestion

– reducing mucus

– helping with weight loss

– detoxifying (reducing ama) and alkalising

– boosting immunity

– glowing skin

– generally supporting to the digestive system, it improves digestive enzymes

There are multiple ways to use lemons particularly as a salad sauce mixed with herbs. Here is a side-dish recipe from “Eat, Taste, Heal” which can’t fail to give you some zing and takes absolutely no time to rustle up:

” Steamed Kale with Lemon and Dill Butter

Ingredients

3 to 4 cups chopped curly or flat kale leaves

1/3 cup organic unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or fennel leaves

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1) Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the bottom half of a steamer or in a saucepan with a steamer insert. Put the kale in the steamer, cover, and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes

2) Put the butter, dill, lemon juice and a lemon zest in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper

3) To serve, spoon a dollop of butter on each serving of kale

Vatas can add thyme or rosemary; and Kaphas could replace the butter with safflower oil, and the dill with thyme or rosemary. The Kapha version is dairy-free and gluten-free.”

If you liked this post, join the tribe and leave me your email address to receive weekly inspiration and calls to action. And in return I’m delighted to announce that you’ll get a copy of my freshly pressed free new guide: “The How-To Of Food Shopping, My Top 10 Tips” (and you’ll recognise Lorien’s lemony picture in the background again).

 

The Art of Eating Well

image“The quality of digestion is a major factor in promoting vital biological energy” Deepak Chopra

A few weeks in and I’m really laying out my panoply of Ayurvedic instruments already.

Healthy digestion is the foundation of healthy bodily tissues. From proper food assimilation and the elimination of toxic impurities the layers of our body are built one on top of the other – plasma, red blood cells, muscles, fat tissues, bones and cartilage, marrow, nerve tissue, connective tissue, reproductive tissues.

Not only that but on a more basic level supporting healthy digestion means freeing tons of energy otherwise mobilised in over-work.

So this week I want to focus on your digestion again and offer a few simple suggestions for looking after it day-in day-out. How you eat is nearly as important as what you eat.

1) Eat in a calm & quiet setting. This might surprise you but experts in my field reckon this is one of the most important principles for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Make sure to create a harmonious environment around your meals. Turn the TV off. Try and make an attractive table even. Put your attention fully on eating and the flavours of your meal to support your digestive system and extract the intelligence from the food. If your awareness is distracted your power of digestion weakens.

2) Take your meals at regular set times every day, your system will get used to the routine and digestion will automatically improve.

3) Always sit down to eat and try and sit upright even if snacking. You will digest more thoroughly, firstly because it helps relax your digestive track and again as a result of your awareness being fully engaged. Focus on the taste, sight and aromas of the meal.

4) Don’t eat when you’re anxious, upset or disturbed in any way. Just pause and resume eating when you are calmer and fully present with it. Eating when you’re emotionally upset can trigger IBS and related symptoms. If under stress try closing your eyes for a brief moment and noticing where uncomfortable physical sensations might sit in your body. Fully experience the sensation and it should pass. When you open your eyes you might notice your emotions have lifted too.

5) Don’t overeat or you won’t leave enough space for your stomach to function properly. Eat to three-fourth of your capacity or in other words only until you get to a point of comfortable satisfaction. This leaves space for digestive enzymes to function effectively and for the food to be fully metabolised.

6) Avoid ice-cold foods and drinks which quite literally freeze the digestive fire and are a known culprit in the accumulation of ama, toxic residue clogging the system instead of being eliminated through the digestive process.

7) Don’t talk while chewing your food, you’ll avoid swallowing too much air and diluting your attention.

8) Eat at a moderate pace, eating too fast makes good digestion difficult. Take time to chew thoroughly.

9) Don’t stack your meals, that is don’t eat anything until you have fully digested your last meal. It’s the principle of adding cold water to a dish cooking at boiling point. The cold water will slow down the cooking process. Only eating when you’re hungry is a good sign that digestion is complete. Fruits are the best snacks inbetween meals, being light and easily digested.

10) Sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal to allow digestion to begin and avoid a nervous stomach.

Changing habits is a big deal and you don’t want to feel so overwhelmed that you don’t follow through so may be start with the suggestions that seem the easiest for you. You may think these take some excitement out of your life but you’ll reap huge benefits for your digestion and energy levels if you try them out.

As always I’d be delighted to hear how you get on.

P.S.

I realise I’ve been lashing out tons of resources and other blogs, professionals, inspiring peeps for you to look at and probably spilling out but I can’t help share this delightful post from Dillon at Oh Holy Basil about chocolate pie and Diwali, total bliss right there. Dillon has put into words exactly my thoughts about The Festival Of Lights and Oh Boy, that chocolate pie recipe!!!

Get it here http://www.ohholybasil.com/salted-chocolate-avocado-pie-in-a-hazelnut-crust-a-festival-of-light/

Time to cleanse

I’m lucky enough to have extended my summer by a couple of sunny weeks in the South of France but I’m quite aware that after a most glorious summer, Autumn has been knocking at our door early in the UK and other parts of Europe. The change of seasons are taken very seriously in Ayurveda and especially so the turn from summer to autumn and from winter to spring. The subtle and not so subtle changes in our environments are said to have a profound impact on our bodies and temperaments and I must say that I wasn’t surprised when I first learned of this, it explained a lot of my sluggishness, low mood and the small ailments I seemed to face come the cooler and airy months.

Just as you should follow a pitta soothing diet and lifestyle during the summer or “pitta season” and follow each season’s best practises to support optimum health and well being; it is also important to support the mind-body system with special routines during the change of the seasons.

This is best done with cleansing and detoxing the body, ridding it of toxins (Ama) and rebooting your metabolism (Agni). A better definition for Ama is any food or substance that the body has not fully digested or absorbed and is left clogging the system. Agni refers to our internal fire, our digestive system, the ability for our mind and body to absorb and transform what it ingests into what we become – we are quite literally what we eat and digestion is probably “the” cornerstone of Ayurveda. Good digestion is considered absolutely essential to good health and most illnesses can be tracked back to poor digestion, poor care of our digestion or poor quality food.

You will benefit from detoxing the most if you’re feeling heavy, are congested, suffer from seasonal depression, allergies, skin problems or a generic feeling of cloudiness and blah. A good detox programme will have a period of preparation, say a week, followed by a week of detox proper then a week of rehabilitation where you start reintroducing some of the foods you’d excluded on the cleanse. This is the period of healthy nourishment after the purge.

The ideal time to start such a programme is around the mid-October (I am giving you an early heads up) as you are likely to still feel the impact of accumulated summer heat in the body and environment in the earlier autumn period which you should balance with cooling foods.

A good detox will also provide a schedule of activities and advice about exercise and your overall day’s routine rather than just tell you what to eat. But for today I just want to offer you a couple of simple methods you could use if you’re strapped for time.

If you have just one day I would suggest a full day cleanse following a kitchari diet (yes I did say a full day, breakfast, lunch & dinner and obviously no snacking inbetween). Kitchari is a bit of a miracle cure when it comes to detoxing. It’s an Indian recipe based on basmati rice and dhal (mung beans), see the recipe below. It is said to be healing, rekindling for Agni/your metabolism and nourishing for the tissues and immune system. It is easy to digest which means your body will spend less energy on supporting the digestive system and will be able to clear more Ama/toxins/residues. Kitchari is alkaline, the herbs (coriander, fennel, cumin, turmeric and ginger) make it anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing. It is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids and will sustain you and curb cravings.

Kitchari is balancing for all the doshas. Vata types and most Pitta types will find it very nourishing but Kapha’s and healthy Pitta’s may find much benefit from a 1-day detox based on purely ingesting liquid – this meaning that they can take any (healthy) food they would like but in a liquid form. The 1 day liquid diet can be done weekly or whenever you feel a need for cleansing. It will rev’ up your system and help with weight issues.

Give these a try and let me know what you think here.

Ingredients for your kitchari:

Basmati rice, split mung dhal, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, fresh ginger, turmeric powder, coconut oil or ghee, natural rock salt, squash, peas or green beans, lime or lemon (all ingredients should ideally be fresh, organic, from a good source, powdered herbs & seeds in good shelf date). You will probably need to buy the dhal from a specialist health food store.

Instructions:

Soak the Dhal overnight

Melt 1tblsp ghee or coconut oil

Add a 1/4 of teaspoon of cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and grated fresh ginger until they slightly roast

Add 2 cups of the beans (dhal) you have soaked overnight and then rinsed

Add 1 cup of rice

Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir

Add 8 cups of boiling water, stir and bring to boil again

Add a pinch of salt

Add squash cut in cubes, peas or green beans volume to taste

Stir regularly

When the rice and beans are cooked through and creamy, turn off the heat & allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice to nourish all the 6 tastes.

Eat in a calm, beautiful environment if you can and switch off from all other activities. Enjoy!

(Check out banyanbotanicals.com for a free downloadable detox based on your dosha incl. bi- and tri-doshic advice & an extensive list of the benefits you might notice)

Choosing Health

image“With access to better information people invariably make better choices for their health” David Wolfe – Food Matters

There’s a very good reason why this post is called Choosing Health and that is because it is the exact title for a White Paper the National Health Service (NHS) published in 2004, one that concluded with the creation of a new NHS profession: Health Trainers. The tag line for the paper is “Making healthy choices easier”. The paper basically sets out to give background to the evolution of our health system and outlines the need for “a new approach to the health of the public”. It recognises the dramatic changes in our society over the past 50+ years and some of the issues they have created for public health. After an extensive consultation with the people of England, the following 3 requirements were drawn for the new public health approach:

– Informed choice

– Personalisation

– Working together

Without going into all the details of the paper and how this affects our NHS system, I am proposing that Health Coaching can offer just that response. In fact a Health Trainer or Health Coach, however you want to call it, is the exact solution needed to help individuals with giving them the tools to be healthy whilst providing the independence of choice that the public asked for. It’s also my opinion that it is not only individuals in difficult social environments that need help understanding how to better their health routines. Health Coaching is a booming profession in the US, close behind a Life Coach (google it, you’ll know what I mean). We live such busy lives it seems we rush through our daily activities stretching ourselves being over-scheduled, over-stimulated, often living in de-natured environments, to the point where we need help and guidance and even a little encouragement in order to focus on something as essential as staying healthy.

The profession is offering to help willing individuals make informed lifestyle choices and “identify their own priorities for health and the changes that they feel ready to make, to obtain online guidance about what will make the most impact on their lives, and to receive tailored advice on how to go about making changes and sticking to them” (quote from the NHS paper).

Now I must be very clear on this, I do not work for the NHS – however my intention is to provide a Health Coaching programme that will do exactly that. I want to share tried techniques and tools, simple advice that I learned and that worked for me when I needed them. I am largely inspired by my study of Ayurveda because again it offers exactly such a highly practical system of daily rhythms and seasonal routines and also has the knowledge to tailor advice based on your unique metabolic type. It is more than a form of medicine, it is a total way of living that can inform every part of your life to bring health and keep you on-purpose. I should know because this is what saved me when I was working in London, stressed out of my mind on the corporate ladder, in a highly competitive and critical environment whilst going through fertility treatment at the local hospital over my lunch hour. Lacking sleep, overweight, suffering crippling digestive issues, you get the picture.

This was then, where I am now is a totally different space of wellbeing and personal best. And this is where I would like to take you. When I say those tools are tried and tested, I don’t just mean by all the generations that have come before us but I can attest by them myself.

If my story talks to you then you’ll want to join the study group I’m creating and a community of like-minded people who’ll have each others back. Although of course you won’t need to be in such an extreme situation to take the programme and benefit from a new health regimen.

Still hungry to read more about the subject? I highly recommend this article posted on the Pukka Herbs website, the author refers to a Natural Health Service. For reference Pukka are one of the best known if not the best known provider of Ayurvedic products and they’re based in Bristol, UK.