Golden Mylk for Vata Pitta and Kapha

 

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”

– Marcus Aurelius

 

Morning is my favorite time of day. As a Vata with days full of movement, different projects, clients, and classes, I prize the moments of stillness and quiet before the excitement begins.

 

One of the best parts of my morning is a warm beverage. I gave up caffeine about 2 years ago (here’s how), so I usually switch between hot chocolate and golden mylk.

 

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Pineapple Collaborative Recap: Acceptance and Change

Self-blame and humiliation lead to passivity, not intelligent awareness and resolve. Taking responsibility for ourselves doesn’t mean ignoring the circumstances of our lives. Instead, it inspires us to recognize a situation for what it is, then plot a new course of action.

-Sharon Salzberg, Real Love

 

(Note: this is part 1 of a 2-part blog post. Check out part 2 here!)

Women’s relationships with food are complicated at best. From familial norms to social pressures to our own desire to find control in a crazy world, combined with monthly hormonal changes that change our appetites and cravings, there are a host of forces creating a perfect storm of fear, anxiety, control, shame and sadness.

 

Last night at Logan Exchange, I spoke on a panel (alongside Jennifer Sterling, Joanna Andreae, and Lina Salazar) for the Pineapple Collaborative about Food Freedom.

 

One theme that came up again and again was the dichotomy between acceptance and change.

 

We fear acceptance of things we don’t like. Acceptance can sound like condoning or giving permission; if we accept, why would we ever change? This came up in a question about the body-positive movement: if we say “I love my body no matter what it’s size”, is that ignoring the potential negative health consequences of having a larger size? Or in another question: when it comes to  our past experience, how do we deal with past negative eating behaviors and attitudes around food?

 

I was reminded of the quote above by Sharon Salzberg in her *fabulous* book Real Love (I’m only partway through, but the learnings have been so great, I couldn’t recommend it enough.)

 

Blame doesn’t work. Guilt and self-flagellation doesn’t spur us forward, it keeps us caught. We know from studies and experience that telling people (or plants) that they are bad only beats them down and keeps them caught in their current behavior, it doesn’t allow them to thrive or move forward. And whether the voice telling us that we’re wrong is a parent, a friend, a teacher, or ourselves…it makes not difference. If anything, the self-talk is more dangerous because we’re with ourselves for so much of the day.

 

On the other hand, acceptance based on “I don’t know/I can’t/I’m not good enough to change” isn’t acceptance. That’s fear and resignation.

 

Rather, true acceptance says “what’s past is past. This is my current state. I have the opportunity to choose anew.”  True acceptance honors reality (past), and says that in this moment I can choose again.

 

Here’s an exercise I did with a breakout session last night around acceptance and understanding. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

  • Find a comfortable seat, feet firmly planted on the floor, and a tall posture. Close your eyes or have a soft gaze.
  • Take a few deep breaths, inviting air to fill your lungs and rib cage.
  • Take about 10 breaths to feel amazement for your body: you have a trillion cells working in perfect synchronicity. Your blood is flowing. Your organs are working. All without asking you to. Your body is taking care of you, every moment of the day, simply because it wants to. And even with injury or illness or any other ailment, there is so much more going right than there is going wrong.
  • Next, bring your attention to a moment where you have felt anger, sadness, fear, or shame around food. A time where you haven’t experienced food freedom. Breathe deeply into this experience and really put yourself there. See what you were wearing, the weather, anything about this moment. Notice the emotions that you feel and see where they are in your body. Is it a clenching in your stomach? A hardening of your heart? Caught in your throat? Bring your attention to that sensation and feel it. Be with it.
  • Invite yourself to see that moment. To notice it’s presence. To say “I see you. I accept that you happened.” You might be able to thank the moment for bringing you this awareness, but that’s not a requirement. Just simply see it.
  • Next, bring your attention to a moment where you have felt positive feelings around food. An experience of food freedom. This might be a moment that already happened, or this might be a future experience that you wish to have. Again, really put yourself there. See what you were wearing, the weather, anything about this moment. Notice the emotions that you feel and see where they are in your body. Where are the sensations in your body and what do you feel? Bring your attention to that sensation and feel it. Be with it.
  • In this moment, say “I see you. I accept your possibility. This moment is possible.”
  • Then, bring your attention back to the center of your heart. Thanking your body for it’s awareness and it’s messages. For all of the information and intelligence it has.
  • As you’re ready, open your eyes, coming back into the room.

 

Invite acceptance, and invite the possibility of a different future. They can coexist.

 

Thanks to Pineapple Collaborative for inviting me to this fabulous event and thanks to all of the attendees who were so open and willing to share. We could have talked for hours – it is such an important topic. 

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

 

P.S. Ayurveda for Relationships is coming up February 17th!

P.P.S. Discover your Dosha Quiz is available here!

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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Ayurveda’s View of Perfect Health

The vast, incredible, immeasurable space is your true nature. Your true nature is endless and boundless existence. Live in the present, in the state beyond time and aging.

-Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 1

 

As I’m gearing up to speak on a panel about Food Freedom with Pineapple Collaborative, I’ve been thinking and journaling about what food freedom means to me and why I feel that Ayurveda is such a powerful way to experience food freedom.

 

For me, food freedom means that you are able to make eating decisions that promote your balance and well-being. Sometimes, promoting well-being is eating kitchari. Sometimes, it’s scones or something we’d consider “less” healthy.

 

Ayurveda teaches us that medicine can be poison, and vice versa. That WHY you eat and HOW you eat makes just as much of a difference as WHAT you choose to put in your body.

 

But beyond that, the concept that I’m still trying to embody and live and accept in myself is that Ayurveda assumes that we’re perfect. In Ayurveda we start from balance, and it’s the experiences and decisions that we make through our life that lead to imbalance. We’re not trying to fix a problem in order to be healthy. Instead, the closer we are to our natural state, the more we live in harmony with nature, the closer we are to our perfect, beautiful self.

 

Perfection is no longer a goal, but rather a state of being that we already have.

 

That to me is true empowerment. That we are strong and healthy and powerful and free when we settle into our natural rhythms, rather than trying to fight our bodies.

 

You can hear more of my thoughts on Food Freedom on the Pineapple Radio podcast.

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

P.S. Ayurveda for Relationships is coming up on Feb 17th!

P.P.S. Interested in discussing how Ayurveda can help you recognize your state of perfect balance and health? Take your Dosha Quiz or check out my Ayurvedic consultations here.

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.


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Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?””

Seneca the Younger

 

Last night, I was watching an interview with Tim Ferris on Marie TV last night and he touched on this quote and explained how he (and several other successful people he knows) puts it into practice.

 

I’ve seen fear play out in my own life in disempowering ways: choosing jobs or career paths I’m not passionate about, staying in relationships (personal or professional) for longer than I know is healthy, or getting 60% immersed in a project instead of going all in.

 

Fear is most paralyzing when we don’t name the actual outcome that we fear. When we just say “I’m afraid” instead of actually walking through the worst case scenario and seeing what would happen.

 

With my growing collection of adaptogens, vitamins, powders, and supplements, I decided it was time to take a few days to go back to the roots of what Ayurveda is all about – simple, wholesome food and routines. I’m embarking on a day of eating kitchari (a simple meal of rice, lentils, spices, and veggies) to remember that I can survive without ashwagandha, maca, and dark chocolate. Health can wear simple clothing, and contentment can too.

 

Here’s the kitchari recipe I’m following today:

Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4 portions
Ingredients
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • pinch asafoetedia (hing)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 cups mung beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1 large chopped zucchini
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 2 large handfuls spinach leaves
  • water
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, mustard seed, and fenugreek, stirring.
  3. Let simmer for about 1 minute (until garlic is *starting* to brown, but is not burnt).
  4. Add beans, rice, asafoetedia, zucchini, carrots, and water to cover.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice and beans have softened, adding water throughout the cooking process if needed.
  6. Stir in spinach and salt to taste.
  7. Drizzle a little more olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice if you desire.

*This is a simple recipe that you can play with.

Pittas: use coconut oil instead of olive oil, remove the garlic, and add fennel seeds.

Kaphas: you can use more cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and broccoli

Vatas: add a little extra oil or almond yogurt if you need some extra sustenance.

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

**Check out our February 2018 Events here.

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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February 2018 Events!

From yoga to Ayurveda to nutrition, check out the fun and informative events we have planned for February!

 

If you’re interested in hosting me as a speaker or yoga instructor, please send an email to sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com.

 

Food Freedom – Tuesday January 30th – 6:30-8:30pm

Join pineapple for an interactive evening of “food freedom” with 4 women we admire in wellness–Jennifer SterlingJoanna Andreae of Wandering WellnessSamantha Attard of Happy Healthy Human, and Lina Salazar of Live Well –to have an open conversation about our identities with food together. We’ll explore our emotions, actions and desires RE eating and drinking and meditate set intentions together to summon whatever habits or mindsets we seek.

Join us in making friends with each other & our bodies during a panel discussion and breakout sessions. Register here!

 

 

Partner Yoga – Saturday February 10th – 1:30-3:00pm

I’m co-teaching with Vanessa at Spark Yoga Arlington. Come by yourself or with a friend to learn fun partner poses and assists that you can do at home to deepen your practice! Register here!

 

 

Ayurveda for Relationships – Saturday February 17th – 9:30-11:00am

Join us for a workshop at Take Care DC.  We’ll use the framework of Ayurveda to explain why you get along so well (or not) with certain types of people, plus how you can create more productive and positive relationships.

You’ll learn what your unique mind/body type is as well as the strengths and the pitfalls of each type in interpersonal relationships. Then, we’ll discuss how to identify (and deal with) the other mind/body types so that you’re connected, confident, and successful both personally and professionally.

Full Heart Yoga Winter Retreat – Saturday, February 24th – 9:30am-5:00pm

This retreat at Blueberry Gardens is an incredible opportunity to journey within, to call ourselves home and tend our self-nourishing root system, and to honor and refine the current spiral of our transformation. On this deeply nurturing and inspiring retreat, we will steep ourselves in the rich wisdom of divine feminine archetypes from around the globe as well as the powerful teachings provided by all of Mother Nature’s energies.

 

 

This retreat is led by three fabulous women: Gabrielle Fouche Williams, Whit Sweet, and Elizabeth Lakshmi Kanter.

I’ll be making a nourishing, vegan lunch for everyone!

You can learn more about the retreat and sign up here.

 

 

Kitchari Cleanse with Laurel Street Kitchen – February 26-28th

Kitchari is a rice and lentil dish prized in Ayurveda. for it’s health and wholesomeness. With Renee of Laurel Street Kitchen, we’ll be leading through the why’s and how’s of a 3 day kitchari cleanse so ease you through the seasons.

Stay up to date by sending an email to sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com. There are more details to come!

 

Vinyasa & Power Yoga – Daily – times vary

Come out to Spark Yoga for a range of vinyasa and power yoga classes! They’ll leave you feeling energized, centered, and joyful. Check out my schedule here.

 

 

Other events

Fun events and opportunities are always popping up! The best way to stay informed is to follow me on Instagram – @behappyhealthyhuman.

 

I also offer private events for small groups, yoga teacher trainings, and corporate clients. If you’re interested in hosting me as a speaker or yoga instructor, please send an email to sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.


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Planning your Day According to Ayurveda

This topic is inspired by a question that came up during a recent workshop on Ayurveda that I led.  You’ll learn how Ayurveda can help you structure your day for your greatest productivity and peace of mind.

 

Just like there are dosha times of year, there are dosha times of year.

 

After that question from a student, I started applying more practices related to the dosha times of day to my daily routines. I can say that the changes I’ve experienced have been revolutionary. Following these daily practices makes me not feel guilty for those times that I just don’t feel like working, and it provides the structure that this vata-entrepreneur needs.

 

Let’s go!

 

 

2-6am and 2-6pm: Vata Time

Vata time is a time to be more creative and spiritual. There’s a reason why monks of all traditions wake up before 6am for their morning prayers. Vata time is the easiest time to feel connected to the world and to our best selves.

 

Because Ayurveda takes morning rituals such as meditation and exercise very seriously, Ayurvedic theory suggests that we should wake up before 6 (or as close to 6 as we can).

 

For the afternoon Vata time (2-6pm.)…it explains why we can’t seem to get anything done in the afternoon, doesn’t it?! For me, late afternoon can leave me feeling pulled in multiple directions, and I have a hard time getting “real work” done. However, vata time of day is the perfect time to brainstorm, start new projects, read, and make connections.

 

 

6-10am and 6-10pm: Kapha Time

Kapha time is an important one. Waking up in the 6-10am timeframe makes us feel sluggish and tired. We hit snooze again and again, we start endlessly scrolling on social media, and it takes us an extra 10 minutes to get out the door.

 

To balance this kapha time, Ayurveda asks us to get moving – exercise, get out of the house, and get the day started. Especially if you have a more kapha constitution, don’t eat too heavy of a breakfast or it will weigh you down.

 

At work, use your kapha time to connect – have meetings, check in, or work on correspondence.

 

For the 6-10pm time frame, this is the perfect time to wind down, see family, friends, and connect. Enjoy your kapha time by spending it with people you love.

 

10am-2pm and 10pm-2am: Pitta Time

Pitta is our most fire-y and energetic time. There’s a reason why we get a “second wind” if we’re up too late at night – our pitta takes over and we get our energy all fired up again.

 

For the daytime – make lunch the largest meal of the day. At noon, our pitta digestive fire is at it’s strongest, and we can handle the most food without slowing down our digestive systems.

 

Pitta time is also a great time to get stuff done at work. This is the time to pitch an investor, close a deal, and finish the books. Do methodical, detail-oriented work during this time, and you’ll find success.

 

Here are some ideas on how to put this into practice. Know that you don’t have to do all of them, in fact, that might put you out of balance! Instead, take a look at your day, and choose one or two changes that you think would positively impact your day.

  • Wake up as close to 6am as possible to avoid the dreaded snooze button.
  • Work out in the morning to burn off some of your kapha.
  • Once you’ve gotten to work and checked in (briefly) with emails, get to your most important, detail-oriented work. Finish some projects and move forward on concrete tasks.
  • Eat your largest meal at lunch time.
  • After 2 or 2:30, you can do another (brief) email break, and then dedicate 1-2 hours to brainstorming, creative work, new projects, and passion projects.
  • Enjoy relaxing time with your family and friends from 6-10pm.
  • Get to bed before 10pm.

 

I’m going to reiterate – you don’t have to try for all of these all at once. Investigate your day and the times you feel lowest in energy or unhappy. Those could be the places where making some changes would bring the biggest gains.

 

So, how in line with Ayurvedic principles are you? Where can you adapt?

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

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Eating Seasonally (and Ayurvedically) at Sweetgreen

eat seasonally at sweetgreen photo 3
In true Vata style, “build your own” bowls and meals at restaurants can leave me paralyzed. There are just SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

Well actually, I take that back. Sometimes, there aren’t that many options. As a plant-based eater who focuses on eating unprocessed food, it’s much more likely that I face a plethora of cheese-filled or sugar-laden choices at most restaurants.

 

So I should actually say: “in true Vata style, whenever I look at the menu at Sweetgreen, I’m so excited by all of the fabulous options that I get overwhelmed.” Which is really not an awful problem to have.

 

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Communicate with your boss at work: Ayurveda style

About two weeks ago, I gave a talk on Ayurveda to a group of employees at a large advertising firm in DC.

 

We covered the usual topics like the three doshas and how to eat in a way that supports that dosha. However, the truly game-changing conversation was from our discussion of how you can use your knowledge of Ayurveda to have a better communication and a better relationships with your colleagues, including your boss.

 

Communicate at Work with Ayurveda

Seriously! When you understand your colleagues’ dosha, you can set up meetings and communicate in a way that will resonate with them.

 

Your dosha determines your body type, but it also relates to what you value, how you communicate, and what causes stress. If you go through your day assuming everyone has the same preferences and communication style as you, you’ll run into issues pretty darn quickly.

 

Instead, use your knowledge of doshas to better understand the people you’re working with and making sure that you can work productively with people, especially if they have a different dosha then you.

 

If you don’t know where to begin, figure out what your dosha is and learn about these three mind/body types.

 

Then, start to think about how the principles of Ayurveda apply to your boss and colleagues. The kind of work they do might give you a clue into their dosha. Their preferences and daily habits could let you know.

 

 

Then, you can apply this handy information below to work and communicate most productively and with your colleagues and bosses.

 

Communicating at work with a Vata

  • Don’t surprise them with a meeting. Schedule it beforehand or ask them “when’s a good time to talk”? Give them a heads up, so they can clear their mind of their other projects and pay attention to what you want to talk with them about.
  • When you meet (and even beforehand), tell them why you’re there and how long it will take, so they can feel certain and grounded in what the conversation is about.
  • Don’t have the meeting in a crowded, busy, or loud place.
  • Bring them a tea or something warm if it’s in a cold or drafty place.
  • They might be resistant to making a decision RIGHT at that meeting. Instead, say “think about it, and let’s have a meeting about this next Monday”. Give them time to get used to the idea and mull it over, rather than trying to force them to make an on-the-spot decision.

 

Communicating at work with a Pitta

  • Definitely set the meeting ahead of time. Pitta’s are busy! Give them a start and end time, and get bonus points by sending them a calendar invite. Show them that you’re acknowledging and respecting their time.
  • Have a plan for their meeting. You can even send them bulletpoints or a checklist beforehand! Make it linear, on target, and without a lot of extra unneeded small talk.
  • Be on time. Which means 5 minutes early.
  • Bring them water with mint or cucumber to cool them down.
  • If they’re giving you a hard time, remind them: you’re a team. You’re supporting them and they’re supporting you. Make sure they know you’re on the same side and you’re there to support them.
  • Do have a final action item – a decision or a follow-up plan. Just make sure there are concrete next steps.

 

Communicating at work with a Kapha

  • Schedule the meeting, but don’t make it too early in the morning.
  • Even better – make your meeting over lunch or coffee so there’s a feeling of connection and purpose.
  • If they’re late, don’t take it personally. (This is true for all of the doshas, but most likely to happen with the kapha.)
  • Ask them about their family and other hobbies before getting down to business. They’ll appreciate you caring about them as a real person.
  • Bring them some spicy roasted pumpkin seeds or a nettle tea.
  • If you need extra support for something, remind them of the community and the team. Let them know you’re working together and ask them for ideas on how to support that team effort.
  • Make sure to celebrate them and the team as people, not just workers.
  • Give kaphas small tasks with fast deadlines/turn around times. Just saying “get this huge project done” can lead to procrastination. So make them small, doable tasks that they can just get moving on.

 

With these tips, you’ll communicate more effectively and ultimately have a more productive team.

 

This can seem like manipulation, but I actually think of it as respect. You’re respecting their desires, preferences, and strengths so that the team can be a success.

 

If you’re trying to figure out how to deal with the Vatas, Pittas, and Kaphas in your life (including yourself!), consider a consultation with me. Learn more here, or send me an email at sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com.

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.

 


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Grain Free Vegan Zucchini Muffins

grain free vegan zucchini muffin photo 1 It’s been a pretty crazy year. Starting a food company apparently takes time (I know…crazy!). Between making, packaging, and selling snacks, teaching yoga, and Ayurvedic coaching, my weekdays and weekends have been pretty hectic.

 

 

The stress and days without a break started to get to me. I was working with my coach on how to create more space, and we decided to start slow. My goal was to have one weekend morning off each week (seriously, that’s how much I was working).

 

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