Fall is a perfect time to cleanse, reboot and revitalize body, mind and spirit. In fact, when done at the fall equinox folklore says it will keep you from getting sick the following season. Prepare for fall by releasing the heat of the summer.
The Fall Equinox this year falls on September 22nd. This easy -to-follow Fall Equinox Juice Fast is a full body tune-up in just 24 hours (see below.)
Equinoxes are moments in time when day and night are equal. They measure fullness and balance in nature. Honor this moment as a time to balance. We are beings conjoined with nature, not separate from it. Now is the time to acknowledge in ourselves what is plentiful and ready to harvest just like in our gardens.
6:30 am - 8:00 am - warm water and lemon; gentle stretching; meditation
9:00 am – 10:00 am - High C Drink
2 Large Carrots
1 Turmeric Root
10:00 – 11:00 - Drink Herbal Tea and Water, Apply Sesame or Almond Oil to Skin, Warm Water and Salt Netti Pot (add a drop of oil), Begin Decluttering Home and Car.
11:00 – 12:00 - High Sun Detox Juice
1 Medium Red Beet
1 Large Green Apple
1 Cup Kale Leaves
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm - Green Juice
2 Cups spinach
3 Leaves Yellow Beet Greens
2 Large Celery Sticks
½ Cucumber Peeled
1 Cup Green Grapes
1 Inch Fresh Ginger
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm - More Green Juice
2 Celery sticks
3 Leaves Kale
1 Cup Parsley
1 Green Apple
1 Inch Fresh Ginger
1 Peeled Lemon
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm - Drink Herbal Tea and Water
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Happy Hour Seasonal Shift Juice
2 Cups Butternut Squash
2 Apples or Pears
Dash of Cinnamon and Nutmeg
This juice is wonderful served warm
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm - Vegetable Stock
Use trimmings from veggies and boil in 3 cups of water for mineral broth to sip on
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm - Herbal Tea, Warm Almond Milk with Cardamom, or Water
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm - Gentle Stretching, 20 Squats, Focused Breathing. Brush Teeth, Floss and Oil Pull for 10 to 15 minutes, Shut Down ALL Electronic Devices, Journal or Read.
10:00 – 11:00 - Bedtime
GIVE THANKS FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED.
Ojas is a Sanskrit word in Ayurveda which means the state of one’s immune system. Your physical health is a product of ojas.
Ojas permeates the whole body and is infused with life force and radiance. It creates stability in the heart and the brain which allows for calm and poise in an individual. A person with strong ojas is resistant to disease. Ojas gives lustre and strength to the body. It is shiny, sweet, and slightly yellow in color.
Now more than ever we need to be responsible for maintaining our own healthy immune systems. In this article I will offer techniques to build Ojas by using its beautiful essence of yellow color in your life. Below is a list of several foods with deep yellow colors that contain phytonutrients. These are essential to keeping the plant alive by protecting from insects, fungi, and the sun.
(Clarified butter), revered as one of the most precious oils in Ayurveda, a tonic slightly golden yellow in color it is known to help build ojas with healthy fats in the form of omega-3’s or 6’s, it is lactose free and helps keep our joints lubricated, skin and hair lustrous, insulate our bodies, provide protection for our internal organs, power our brains, lower cholesterol and prevent acute and chronic disease.
Loaded with vitamin A, B6, C, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium it has ample amounts of calcium, iron, and beta-carotene.
During summer when the body loses water and vital electrolytes through sweating these are an excellent way to hydrate. This sweet pepper is drenched in vitamin C.
Botanically considered a berry. Bananas are a rich source of carbs, high in fiber and starchy pectin which makes it great for cultivating gut health. Be careful not to eat too much as banana’s are high in fructose and therefore high in calories.
Give flavor to baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, marinades, drinks, and desserts with lemons. They are also a good source of Vitamin C which is essential for health. The early explorers knew this and took lemons on their long voyages to help prevent or treat scurvy, a life-threatening condition that was common among sailors.
These flowers are more than a stubborn weed that grows in your yard. This blood purifier is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The flower itself opens with the morning sun and closes in the afternoon. The dandelion flower is full of polyphenols which are micronutrients that improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Put a few flowers in hot water with golden honey for a healthy blood tonic.
This blend of turmeric, honey, ghee, cinnamon, and warm milk (vegans can use almond milk) strengthens the immune system by reducing inflammation, preventing cell damage, improving mood, supporting brain function, and preventing heart disease. It also reduces the risk of cancer and lowers blood sugar levels.
Another way to boost Ojas is to strengthen your 3rd chakra. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. This wheel can spin at a rate that is harmonious with the health (ojas) of a person or it can spin out of control wreaking havoc on the body. Strengthening can be done with yellow sapphire, gold jewelry and pastel yellow clothing or gaze upon a yellow flame for meditation. The 3rd chakra is where we draw our will-force from and is considered our power center. It also harbors the health and strength of our pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and small intestine. Our power center dictates our mood, our self-esteem our self-discipline and our instinct. It also is what gives warmth to our personality.
Lastly, I want to impress the importance of yellow Sunshine. When natural sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the body's production of vitamin D aka the “Sunshine Vitamin”. It is a crucial ingredient for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function. Sunshine reduces depression by increasing serotonin and bathing in the sun in the morning hours is best.
There is so much more to share about yellow, gold, and ojas. For now, my hope is to strike your curiosity about what it means to have a strong immune system and that every time you reach for yellow or gold your intention is strength, stability and Ojas. The point is we must seek to be aware of the strength of our immune system. You can bet that if your angry, tired, malnourished, dehydrated, feel anxious and unloved your immune system is low. On the flip side if you feel joyous and grateful, shiny, and bright with stamina, calm, radiance, and light you are blessed with health and a strong immune system.
Blessings on your yellow journey!
Cookies and candy canes, turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and yams! Holiday staples, as well as sipping our favorite drink by the fire with family and friends...but, PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO ADD LENTILS TO CLEANSE!
The story of Lentils goes back to Neolithic times, at least 8,000 years and is the first domesticated food
source known to man. They are grown all over the world in warm dry climates and Canada is the largest producer of this little pearl of a gem.
Rich in amino acids, folate and fiber, vitamins and minerals, the lentil is considered the richest source of plant-based protein available. A meal for less than five dollars, lentils come in red, yellow, green, brown and black each with their own unique texture and flavor. They are nutrient dense, easy to digest, great for blood sugar regulation, preventing cancer and are great for the stomach and heart. Lentils by far are the healthiest food in the world!
This beautiful bushy plant grows to about 4 to 5 feet and is super easy to cultivate. Due to their "sattvic" nature (Ayurvedic term meaning clear, clean and light) lentils are considered a life-giving food. With less than 1 gram of fat, this low-calorie high fiber food becomes a perfect meal when rice and some kale are added. Lentils bump up the immune system, rebuild the microbiome and alkalize the body.
Bring this dish to your table during the holiday season! As a gift of giving make it for family and friends, contributing to their health by sharing food that will offer relief for the gut, less calories and more benefits.
Here is a recipe my Italian Momma makes:
3 to 4 parts water
1-part rinsed and clean green or brown lentils
Brown rice pasta
Carrots, celery, onions and a dash of garlic
Mom makes it like a soup and calls it Pasta Fagioli. This may be her own version but there are many
ways to make it. Check the internet. Add some thyme, a bay leaf, a tad bit of rosemary and a small sprinkle of parmesan if you'd like. You have a hearty & healthy meal in 20 to 30 minutes.
The Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid represents the latest nutritional science. The widest part at the bottom is for things that are most important. The foods at the narrow top are those that should be eaten sparingly, if at all.
While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select and eat more of the healthiest options from each category.
Source and further reading: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm
Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. The truth is that while some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important.
The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
By using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create—and stick to—a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Wellness Coach as well as a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.