How to hydrate: get your minerals!

 

 

“Drink more water” is one of the most popular refrains in health right now. We use water to cure fatigue, to get better skin, to help your blood pressure, and to boost your immune system abilities. I’m right there with the rest of the health care professionals… drinking more water is one of the core habits I work on with many of my clients.

 

But as I’ve dived deeper into Ayurvedic theory as well as the optimal ways our bodies function, I realized that (like everything), the conversation on hydration has to be more nuanced.

 

Yes, drinking water is good. No doubt about it. But for some people, simply drinking more water doesn’t bring the benefits that are promised. They drink tons of water, go to the bathroom all the time, and are still left in a slightly dehydrated state.

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The Law of Giving and Receiving

 

 

Rumi said “you are the universe in ecstatic motion”. And in truth, the entire universe is in ecstatic motion. In physics we call this entropy. There is randomness and movement in every atom, every cell, every being.

 

Sometimes we forget about this motion. With the development of the word (and concept) of “I”, we create a distinction between ourselves and others. There is “me”, and then there is “not me”. Many (even most) of our actions are designed to protect “me” and make sure that “me” is doing better than “not me”.

 

This isn’t a path to happiness according to Buddhist and yogic philosophy. In these traditions, they say that we are all one. That you and me are not separate. They are interdependent. AND, when we accept this interdependence and feel this sense of one-ness with all things, we are happier.

 

The concept of “you vs me” is a theory of scarcity: if I take more of the pie, you get less. Buddhists follow a theory of abundance: the world is a bakery, and if I take some pie, we all make more.

 

This theory of abundance sounds good in theory, but it can be hard to put into practice.

 

When I read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, one of his laws helped me reframe this notion of “all are one” into a practical way of expressing this in my every day life.

 

Here’s what Deepak says at the beginning of the chapter on the Law of Giving and Receiving:

“The universe operates through dynamic exchange…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”

 

His law says that we are all in motion. We are constantly giving and receiving, and when we give intentionally, we receive intentionally as well.

 

If we accept that motion is always occurring, the logical progression is that we are always exchanging energy with others. Rather than trying to conserve our good energy and push out our bad energy, we have to give what we want to receive. If we try to poison others, we only poison ourselves.

 

How I put the Law of Giving and Receiving into practice:

When I walk into a meeting, a class I’m about to teach, or a hang out session with a friend, I ask what I want to receive from the encounter. Maybe I want to feel empowered, or trusted, or joyful. Whatever it is, I then set the intention of giving those energies to the people around me. In the example of meeting with a friend, if I’m going there to relax and laugh, then I have to show up in a way that helps the other person relax and laugh. I can’t wait for them to do all of the work!

 

When we consciously give, we start to notice all of the ways that we receive as well. One step at a time, we lessen our grip on scarcity and realize our abundant universe.

 


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Pitta Work: Connection and Opening your Heart

 

Pitta type people make our society possible. Pitta dosha is why we have laws, order, accountants, and doctors. Pitta type people are smart as a whip and are fabulous planners. They know how to do things efficiently and effectively.

 

And as always, positive attributes come with a shadow side. For pitta type people, their fast paced, regimented life can lead to a lack of heart. Here’s why that happens and how you can make strong connections again.

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The cracks are where the light comes in

 

“Moving between these two polarities you learn how to balance.”

-Hafiz

 

We seek comfort. We’re biologically wired to. But we’ve all experienced discomfort. We’ve been sick, or felt exhausted from exercise, or have grieved. Though we seek comfort, that’s not what life always provides.

 

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How to enjoy cooking

 

 

The job of cooking can seem never ending. As soon as you finish a meal it’s time to start cooking again. Our desire to minimize the time spent in the kitchen has resulted in an obsession with meal prepping, getting pre-cooked freezer meals, or just getting takeout.

 

I was there with you – doing anything possible to get the cooking DONE. I got into a bad habit during grad school of buying a box of spinach, carrots, and avocados, and making salads basically out of those three ingredients for months on end. Not good for my vata, I’ll tell you that.

 

About 6 months ago, I read “The Path of Practice” by Maya Tiwari. This is a beautiful book full of recommendations to bring Ayurvedic practices into your life through breath, sound, and food. Something that I really loved from this book was that she asks the reader to see the beautiful ritual of cooking. She asks us to realize that the face that we have to cook/eat 3 times each day isn’t a nuisance, it’s an invitation for mindfulness. Just like the nun Jeong Kwon on Netflix’s Chelf’s Table, we can view food preparation as a time to rest and rejuvenate, rather than get stressed out.

 

I thought this idea was so incredibly important, especially because so many of my clients have an imbalance in vata (the moving, anxious energy) that result in wide-reaching effects like mood swings, excess weight, hormone imbalance, and skin issues. What if in that busy schedule we turned our food preparation into a time of nourishment, rather than just another thing we have to do?

 

How to Make Cooking a Balancing Ritual

  1. Play music while you cook. This tip comes from Maya in her book. She says that no matter what you’re cooking, play some music. It could be classical, rap, or you could be singing. But these vibrations help calm you, imbue the food with good vibes, and make it feel more enjoyable. Podcasts are OK, but they activate the thinking brain a little too much. Try to stick with simple music you love.
  2. Notice your slicing and chopping. I can be a messy cook. Trying to get each ingredient in the pot as quickly as possible. My fiance does a little better. He meticulously cuts ingredients to make things the same size. And even though my brain wants to say “that’s so slow!!”, I know that in truth it doesn’t take that much longer. And the more you do it, the better (and faster) you’ll get. The important peace is that you’re putting care into what you’re making and you’re respecting the ingredients before you cook.
  3. Look critically at your recipes and methods. I am always amazed at how people complicate food. Growing up, my mom worked WONDERS with a big skillet on stovetop, and I’ve continued the same way. Casseroles and baked dishes sound great until you realize that you have to keep things in the oven for 2 hours. Some recipes seem simple until you realize there’s 20 ingredients in it. Ask yourself if there’s a simpler version. The smaller you cut your ingredients, the faster they cook. Sometimes you don’t need thyme AND parsley AND sage. Take a look at what you’re making and ask yourself if there’s another cooking method that could give you a similar dish without the extra time. (I love minimalistbaker.com for recipes that are simple in their ingredient list and their cooking methods.)
  4. Adjust your mood. When you change from “I have to” to “I get to”, magic happens. When cooking becomes a relaxing break from work, or an opportunity to bond with your kids, instead of “just another thing to get through”, the entire process will become more enjoyable.

 

Now, cooking might not become your favorite thing overnight. And meal prep Sundays and takeout Tuesday might be a staple in your routine. But when we reframe cooking from being this dreaded chore to an opportunity to nourish ourselves, we can actually see the cooking as a gift in our day.

 

Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you started:

 

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

 

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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Omega 3 Fats, Women’s Health, and Pregnancy

 

Let’s dive into another one of our most famous supernutrients: omega 3 fatty acids. Over the last 10-15 years, we’ve had more and more research on the importance of omega 3 fatty acids for brain health at the beginning and the end of life, leading to a plethora of products designed to help us be healthier.

 

 

And it’s true, omega 3 fats are incredibly important, because they’re one of the nutrients that we can’t make ourselves (we need to eat it). Omega 3 acids are an important component of our brains, but they also relate to a healthy immune system, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and better skin. (For a deep dive into the different types of fats and how to use them, check out this post!)

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The Benevolent Assumption

 

Our Immediate Assumption:

  • The person in the car cut you off because they wanted you to get hurt.
  • Your friend rescheduled because she’s flaky.
  • You had a difficult workout because you’re not good enough.
  • You hit snooze because you’re lazy.

 

 

The Benevolent Assumption:

  • The person in the car cut you off because their family member is in the hospital.
  • Your friend rescheduled because your friendship is so strong she can trust you’ll understand.
  • You had a difficult workout because your body is getting stronger.
  • You hit snooze because you need more rest.

 

Which side of the spectrum are your assumptions? Are they immediate/malicious or benevolent?

 

The benevolent assumption brings more peace to our bodies and to our lives. We’re no longer fighting against ourselves or others, we’re working WITH.

 

You might be scared that you have it wrong. And if you take the benevolent assumption you’ll get taken advantage of. I totally get it!

 

But here’s the crazy thing: even if you’re wrong, and the person has a malicious intent, there’s no harm in taking the benevolent assumption. There’s no harm in rewiring the brain towards goodness rather than anger and distrust. Because in those situations, taking the malicious intention doesn’t help you any. When someone cuts you off, you could scream expletives or you could say “travel safely”. When you hit snooze you could say “you’re so lazy”, or you could say “you deserve rest.”. These only serve to pacify your world, not harm it.

 

One of my favorite little parables goes as follows: “If you have a hard time with someone over breakfast, that person might be hard to work with. But if you have a hard time with someone at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, check in and see if you’re the one that’s hard to work with.”

 

Same applies here: when you assume benevolence, you’ll get more benevolence back. AND, your spidey senses will be tuned to see maliciousness when it occurs.

 

Run an experiment.  Assume benevolence today, and see how your world changes.

 

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

 

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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