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ayurvedic treatment

Benefits of Protein Shake Before Bed

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Benefits of Protein Shake Before Bed

As you all know I am still recovering from a rotator cuff tear. After researching a fair bit I found out that a healthy diet, namely high protein, fibre, carb and plant based could aid and escalate the healing process by 40%. Using the right protein powder at the right time will build lean muscle mass faster and also help in repairing tissue and torn muscles structures.

I have been through a lot of dietary proteins. Currently I am using one from The Beauty Chef, and I have heard amazing things about https://www.onnit.com/hemp-force-vanill-acai/ . Check these wonderful brands out.

Consuming adequate protein at night could help your body heal and regenerate faster than if you had your protein in the morning. There have been studies indicating a positive benefit in consuming protein supplements before bed claiming that they increase muscle protein synthesis. Various athletes have adopted a nutritional strategy of consuming a protein shake before sleep to help prevent muscle breakdown.I personally use protein and under armour repair sleep ware to aid in my muscles recovering.

So next time you think of having a protein shake, think about an evening time one instead!!!

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Kaayasekam or Pizhichil

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Kaayasekam or Pizhichil

Kaayasekam

Today I had a wonderful treatment called Kaayasekam on my full body. The therapists warm some therapeutic oil and do a rhythmic pouring of this oil all over my body. The oil was mainly ‘murivena’, a very good herb for pain management and inflammation. Also used for certain cases of arthritis etc. During the treatment I felt love, warmth and grace. It was really such a luxurious and calming feeling. Apparently this treatment enhances nerve conductivity and circulation and the strengthening of joints. Slipping and sliding on the table is part of it; the feeling during the treatment was of love being poured all over my body. What an amazing feeling of warmth and security. 

This treatment, feels like it would pacify my already over active vata. After the treatment, I felt tired and somewhat drained. Being pretty active usually, I have learnt to slow down and allow the therapy to work its magic on me. Even though I really wanted to do some form of light exercise today, I opted for the passive approach of resting. Lets see if this approach pays off. Hopefully it will help to alleviate some of the stomach issues that I am having. 

Part of  rejuvenation therapy for Ayurveda, one must really figure out which dosha is accumulating, which dhatus or tissues are affected, and whether Agni is high or stagnant. This indicates health. If Agni is strong, usually disease can burn itself out or purify itself, even if dhatu Agnis are high, the metabolic waste can be purged out, BUT if it’s not, AMA, or undigested food particles accumulate in the gut, spread through the blood, and accumulate deep within the tissues. This sticky mass, can be thick and hard to eliminate. Thus Ayurveda uses thick substances, similar to that of Ama, to remove it. 


The next treatment that I am doing is Choorna Pinda Sweda, which is one of powdered bolice applied to skin via transmission of heat and just a tad of oil for enabling  herbs to transmit to the skin. The idea of the powder is known as ‘Lekana’ which pacifies and is administered before any oil therapy. ‘Lekhana means reducing, reducing tissue mass, or reduction of toxic accumulation. I guess the best way to explain this is catabolic vs anabolic. The reason behind this is because oil or anything nourishing or building can aggravate accumulation of Ama, and m are matters worse. 

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In the Clear

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In the Clear

In the Clear / Clean & Clear

Methods and means for clearing the lungs the Ayurvedic way

 

Respiratory problems can be the result of a poor diet, bad posture, lack of exercise or even deep emotional trauma. But most commonly, they occur at the crux of the seasons, when cold turns to hot, or dry becomes humid and vice-versa, we well as when pollution levels are high.

 

The respiratory system carries prana (life force) and oxygen to the lungs. As such, it is one of the body’s most important systems. It is therefore key that any issues relating to it are addressed. As ever, it is always best not simply to treat the symptoms but to seek out the cause and address that. 

 

Individuals who identify with the kapha dosha, or who are kapha-dominant, can be the most susceptible to the kind of imbalances that result in respiratory issues. These usually surface in the form of excess mucus, which is produced in the stomach and accumulates in the lungs. This depository of mucus can cause colds, congestion, coughing, phlegm, swelling and water retention or stagnation in the respiratory tract of kaphas. Those with vata or pitta doshas are not immune to respiratory issues, but their symptoms will usually present themselves as asthmatic (vata) or infectious (pitta). 

 

The excess mucus that the body produces when its dosha is out of balance is usually indicative of low agni, or digestive fire. It is therefore important to stoke that digestive fire. The most obvious way to do this is through diet.

 

As would be expected, a sluggish digestive fire does not need heavy, dense foods. These weigh the system down, so it’s best to avoid foods such as meat, cheese and anything fatty or fried. Eliminating dairy can also be beneficial. Fire your digestive system up by adding warming spices to your meals – ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are particularly good options, and sip hot water with lemon and honey throughout the day. Consider the time of day you are eating and try and start and end it with lighter meals, making lunch the largest meal of the day. It goes without saying that eating and drinking to excess will be detrimental to regaining balance in your dosha.

 

Diet is not the only thing that can fire up you digestive system. An active lifestyle can work wonders, particularly for those with a more sluggish kapha dosha. Warming the body through sport can help to liquefy any accumulated mucus, bringing it back into the digestive tract where it is more easily eliminated. Exercise also usually involves an increase your breathing rate – cardio is particularly beneficial – and this gets your lungs going and will improve their functionality.

 

To speed the process along and to aid recovery, there are some specific Ayuervedic supplements that help with clearing the lungs of mucus. Nasya oil is often used to lubricate the nasal passages to ease breathing when there is congestion. Consider using a neti pot to help remove mucus and any pollutants from these passages and to cleanse and refresh them.

 

Many of these healing means focus on the body. But it’s also worth thinking about the mind. Meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness. As it involves regulating breathing patterns, it can be beneficial to those suffering from respiratory problems, too. Extend your meditation into a yogic practice where you link breath with motion; this will help nourish your lungs. Yoga can also improve flexibility in the areas that surround the lungs, allowing them more space to do their job, while yogic breathing revitalizes prana in the body to support them.

 

Making yoga, meditation or some form of exercise a regular part of your daily routine and looking after your diet are not only beneficial to healthy lung function but can bring many other benefits to body and mind. They not only help to stave off the imbalances that result in respiratory problems, but will help to maintain balance in the body and serve as a preventative measure for a wealth of other health issues.

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Kicharee Cleansing

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Kicharee Cleansing

Cleansing the Ancient Way: Kichari 

Kichari (pronounced kich-ah-ree) is known as a staple food originating from India, and combines mung lentils with basmati rice. These two ingredients being the most digestible of the group, mung beans in particular are considered the most digestible of all its cousins. The word defines ‘mess’, meaning porridge. It is a warm dish, as digestion is in fact a warm process, and is packed with optimal protein and nutrition for nourishment of all the cells and ‘dhatus’ (tissues, in Ayurveda there are 7) of the body. 

The type of cleanse is compared to that of a mono diet, which helps the body reach homeostasis in its quest for optimal balance. From day 1 to 3, you may notice the boredom of the diet may urge you to cheat, however, by day 4, you’ll feel a slight and noticeable difference in your energy levels as the digestive system is given a much needed break. The journey of cleansing is not so extreme, it adds value to removing unwanted toxins without the negative effects of a total juice fast. However, leading up to any cleansing, one must try to avoid, animal products, even dairy and cheese, caffeine is a tough one but necessary, otherwise the body may go into major healing crisis with caffeine withdrawals. Sugar is another story, and if you remove refined sugar before partaking in this cleanse it can drastically help the removal of toxins and it has a less harsh effect on the healing. Gluten can be avoided as well.

So give the cleanse a try and see for yourself how beneficial fasting is. This coupled with a yoga and cleansing program can help city dwellers to reach a state of inner peace and calm without spending top dollar on health products or vacation spas or retreats. 

 

Happy Cleansing. Below is a recipe to help you along the way; 

 

Kitchari- Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 3 ⅓ cups (800ml) water
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) split mung beans
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) red lentils
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 5 pepper corns
  • Step 3
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ lemon
  • ¼ lime

 

Procedure:

Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add mung beans, lentils, rice, turmeric, curry leaves, and fresh ginger. Once it is boiling again, reduce heat and simmer. In the meantime, grind cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and pepper corns in a coffee grinder. Add 1 teaspoon of the spice mix to the kitchari.

Add carrots, zucchini, kale, and salt. Cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and the mixture resembles a thick porridge. Stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary.

Heat ghee in a skillet. Add . teaspoon cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Add rest of the ground spices from step 2, then immediately add a little bit of the kitchari to prevent burning and stir well. Add the spice fry to the kitchari and stir.

Garnish with fresh lemon and lime juice and cilantro.

Variation: Add fresh chili peppers and fresh ginger in step 4 for a spicier version.

 

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Sesame! Five ways sesame oil can change your life for the better. by Ally Barnard

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Sesame! Five ways sesame oil can change your life for the better. by Ally Barnard

Sesame has been around for more than 5,000 years, but it may be one of the most nutrient-rich foods still in use today! It’s capable of improving skin, hair and heart health, stimulating bone growth, reducing blood pressure and even helping to manage anxiety and depression. Talk about multi-tasking!

Here are five ways sesame oil can make you look and feel healthier, and stay that way.

Smooth, Silky Skin

Sesame oil is full of zinc, an essential mineral for increasing your skin’s elasticity and making it smooth and silky to the touch. Applied directly to the skin, it can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots by creating a protecting layer that defends against UVB rays and toxins like pollution. Very handy on those hot, smoggy days in Hong Kong!

According to Ayurveda, sesame oil is also ideal for use in morning self massages or Abhyanga. This aims to remove toxins from the body, reduce physical stress, strengthen tissues and improve the appearance of skin. To do this, warm sesame oil to the temperature of tepid water and massage copious amounts firmly into your skin. Then, just chill out - don’t wash it off for 15-30 minutes! This massage is ideal for a pre-shower rub down before your morning shower, although of course you can use it any time you like!

Healthy, Happy Hair

Many of us damage our hair every day without even thinking about it, whether through the use of soaps, shampoos, hair colouring, rollers or straighteners. Sesame oil can help return your hair to its natural, healthy state and can even darken hair colour and stop hair loss. Just as with your skin, sesame oil deep conditions the scalp and improves the quality of hair follicles.

Frazzled, frizzy hair? No problem - apply warm sesame oil to the scalp as part of a deep conditioning treatment! Massaging the ends of your hair with sesame oil can also get rid of split ends. Dandruff or psoriasis? Sesame oil provides nourishment to your hair follicles, reducing flakiness and dryness.

Going out and need your mane to shine? Just take 4-5 drops of sesame oil and run them through your hair using your fingertips. What’s more, its anti-bacterial effects can help to eliminate any pathogens that might attack your scalp or hair. That means it’s even a natural way to attack your children’s inevitable attacks of nits!

Heart Health

Sesame oil isn’t just good for rubbing into your skin - it tastes delicious too! Both your tastebuds and your heart can thank its fatty acid content for that. As well as being a tasty alternative to cooking with vegetable oils, ingesting sesame oil keeps your cardiovascular system in balance and your cholesterol low. This means that a regular dash of sesame oil in your cooking can protect you from heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.

Sesame oil can also safely lower levels of blood sugar, combating diabetes and improving the effectiveness of some antidiabetic drugs in Type 2 patients.

Smile Brighter

Sesame oil can make your smile shine! It’s highly recommended by dental professionals for a process called “oil pulling”. That simply means swishing oil around your mouth and spitting it out. The powerful antibacterial effects of sesame oil can lead to whiter teeth, less dental plaque, better breath and protection against certain streptococcus bacteria that can cause illnesses from sore throats to meningitis.

Combating Cancer

Sesame oil has been directly linked to a slowing of development of some cancers, including lung, ovarian, prostate and renal cancers as well as leukemia. It’s anti-cancer effects are thanks to an organic compound it contains - phytate. It also contains high levels of magnesium, which have been found to be beneficial in preventing colon cancer.

Whether you massage sesame oil into your skin and scalp, or add a little to your daily cooking, you’ll soon feel the benefits and find yourself stocking up on this most ancient of condiments. Enjoy!

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