Schedule
Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Smoothies’

Defeating Fall Dryness

Can you feel that?
The qualities of the world around you as we settle into autumn?

You might notice a certain crispness in the air, you might feel the wind blowing through, the dryness of the leaves as they become more brittle and fall to earth. You might also sense a change in the pace of life — as kids go back to school, as we rededicate to work. Things seem to speed up, responsibilities swirl around, and all of a sudden it feels we have a lot of balls in the air.

And you might be wondering: What does all of this have to do with Me?

Well, according to Ayurveda, it has a LOT to do with you.
*
Check out our Intro To Ayurveda Article for some context*

Autumn is the Vata time of year, and just as these qualities of dryness, cold, increased movement, and wind affect our environment, they can affect our physical and mental wellbeing.

~ Just as the leaves get dry, you may notice your skin thirsting for moisture.
~ Just as the leaves blow in the breeze, you may notice your thoughts     whirlwind.
~ Just as the days start to shorten, you may notice your energy reserves waning and you might become more fatigued.

As you tune in to the natural rhythms around you, you can begin to see how they are mirrored in your own health. And from there you can begin to create balance.

Ayurveda is a lifelong study and practice, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few easy ways you can incorporate this wisdom into your daily routine.

Here are Three Easy Ways to Boost Your Moisture This Season:

1. Heighten your Hydration with Aloe

Of course we need to be drinking water, and yes, perhaps even more now that it’s so dry out. But why not benefit from one of nature’s incredible super-plants as well? Known as the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians, LIL003_Xlaloe is perhaps best known in the west as a soothing topical ointment for burns. It’s aloe’s soothing, moisturizing and nourishing actions that help regenerate skin, and taken internally the same principals apply. Aloe juice and gel is now widely available for purchase, and goes great in smoothies at home – here are a few delicious recipes. If you’re buying a store-bought aloe juice drink, be sure to check the sugar content – many of the bottled beverages add refined sugars, which are dehydrating… kind of defeats the purpose! Aloe is with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and around 200 active plant compounds, so while it is incredibly hydrating, it also supports good digestion, healthy blood sugar levels, skin health, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity.

2. Supplement Your Suppleness with Coconut Oil Capsules 

Coconut has been having a moment. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s been lauded for countless health effects, and the oil has a plethora of uses from cooking, to “oil pulling,” to topical moisturizing of skin and hair. And of 522874-Coconut-capscourse coconut water is a delicious and hydrating beverage. Well there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s already a favorite: Coconut Oil Capsules. In New York where time is precious we appreciate when something beneficial can be made convenient, or even down right easy! Coconut oil capsules can be carried with you so you can take them a couple times day, and they’re great for travel. Best of all they moisturize from the inside out.

 

3. Show Yourself a Little Love with Abhyanga

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of massaging the body with warm oil. It nourishes the body and lubricates the joints, benefits circulation and of course, softens skin, along with a host of other effects. There are specific techniques for abhyanga, and different oils can be used for different conditions and constitutions. But even the simplest version will have a great impact. Sesame oil is particularly beneficial in the fall, but coconut, almond, even jojoba will do just fine. My favorite way to include Abhyanga in my routine is to warm the oil (the same way you’d warm maple syrup, in a glass in a pot of water on the stove), apply the oil (using long strokes on the limbs and sweet, round circles on the joints), let it sit for about 20 minutes and then take a nice hot shower. The hot water will drive the oil into your system, and then you can go on about your day without being all greasy! If you don’t have time to do your whole body pick the joints that are asking for it. The word for oil in Sanskrit is sneha, which also translates as “love.” And indeed this practice is nothing less!

 

 

 

The Best Green Smoothie

Sipping green juice and blending healthy smoothies is all the rage these days. Our bodies buzz with abundant energy as we soak up a rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the effects of juicing can be felt immediately, the leafy greens can taste bitter making this morning practice less than appetizing. 

 

The trick to cutting out the bitter undertones of raw leafy greens is easy breezy. Simply add a healthy dose of cinnamon.

 

When you add cinnamon, the bitter flavor disappears, not to mention this incredible spice boosts your metabolism, decreases blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is chock full of antioxidants. But don’t take my word… the proof is in the smoothie.

 

And remember, there is no need to suffer through the process of nourishing your amazing bod! Healthy foods and drinks can (and should) taste delightful… especially your green morning smoothie. This Green Goddess Smoothie is a perfect treat before yoga class and can pick up your energy during an afternoon slump. So, before you reach for the coffee or sugar, consider blending your greens.

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cinnamon
  • 16 oz. coconut water (you can also use fresh apple juice to keep the smoothie local and seasonal)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding blueberries or fresh peaches to the mix or turn this smoothie into a meal by adding coconut milk or an avocado.

Directions:

  • Place the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into your favorite glassware and savor.

*makes 2 servings

 

sources:

*banner image taken from www.publichealthalert.org

*cinnamon image taken from npr.org

Summer Smoothie Bowls

In a place like NYC — lively, spirited, and demanding our attention and effort from the moment we wake up — it can be difficult to remember to eat breakfast. With crazy time crunches in the mornings, it’s hard to squeeze in a meal before your 7am yoga class, let alone have time to digest and get ready for your day. Although there are some who can successfully do fasted workouts in the mornings (working out on an empty stomach), not every body functions the same. Personally, I can’t practice asana on an empty stomach. If I don’t eat anything prior to my practice, I get lightheaded and start thinking of all the things I’m going to eat right after savasana. The foods I’m envisioning in my head aren’t always the healthiest, and I’m no longer present in class.

My solution is to wake up each morning and make a smoothie bowl (gluten-free and vegan), packed with fresh fruit and nuts. It’s easily digestible since it’s more water-based, and the fruit offers both soluble and insoluble fiber to help start your day with the Right Nutrition. The nuts add a yummy crunch to the smoothie and helps pack in healthy fats and protein. Both recipes take around 10 minutes to prepare, but they can be prepped the night before if you’re short on time. — Meme Tsung

 

  • Cashew BowlBanana Dream Smoothie Bowl
  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • Chill in fridge for 10 minutes. Blend and top with cashews, rest of banana, blueberries, more chia and cinnamon

 

Bluberry Bowl

 

  • Blueberry Bowl Smoothie Bowl
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients. Garnish with more blueberries, handful of cashews and some cinnamon! Ta-da!

 

Thanks to Meme for sharing this delicious post! Come and visit her in the studio for one of her lively, flowing classes!