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Is water good for weight loss?Do you know someone (yourself even) that eats ‘moderately’ sized meals, exercises, is always drinking lots of water etc, but still can’t shift those excess kilo’s? Frustrating huh?

There may be a reason – here’s something to think about (even if you aren’t trying to lose weight).


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The Doshas of Ayurveda 

Understand your Mind-Body Constitution (Body-Type) to know what diet, exercise, work, relationships and stress are right for you ... and which are not!

 

Three people get stressed at work, one has a nervous breakdown, one has a heart attack and the other develops diabetes. 

Why do three different people on the same exercise program get three completely different results?

Have you ever wondered why any of the millions of diets that have been invented, none ever work for everyone?

In fact, if you looked closely, you would find that any diet or exercise regime, works great for about one third of the population, is averagely successful for another third, and for the other third, they are downright damaging to one’s health.

 

Why is this so?

Just had my first salt room therapy session. What’s salt room therapy you might ask? It’s a new natural therapy that is showing tremendous potential and results for helping with conditions such as sinus troubles, if ever, asthma, pain, bronchitis, allergies, eczema, snoring and general energy levels.

Here’s a good little tip for knowing how much exercise/activity to do on any given day. Ideally, we should be so in tune with our body (from being ‘self-referral’ / listening to our body), that we ‘just know’ when & how much to exercise. However, a good objective way to guide you is through your ‘waking’ heart rate.

According to the time-tested principles of Ayurvedic medicine eating heavy hard to digest foods at night is the seed for all disorders – from fatigue, excess weight through to serious disease.

These problems are magnified if also eating late. Eating a ‘light’ dinner (according to appetite) reasonably early (digested by the time you go to bed) is one of the single most important things you can do for your lifelong health, happiness and personal performance.

*Perfect for fresh, hot, cooked, convenient & tasty meals…whenever you want

Ideal for Vegetable Pasta, Rice, Semolina, Dhal, Noodles etc

For pasta, semolina, cous cous, noodles etc

This is a great little recipe for having on dry biscuits, or dipping celery or carrot sticks etc. into. Great as an afternoon snack, or for serving at lunch/dinner parties for your friends.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Approx. ½ – 1 tsp unrefined sea salt or good quality, natural salt e.g. Himalayan Crystal salt
  • Optional (Mark loves this) – Organic coconut cream

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients into a blender (a good quality one that can handle nuts) and mix.
  • Add a couple more nuts if your mixture is too liquidy, or add some more olive oil if it’s too dry.
  • Use more or less coconut cream, salt or lemon juice to taste.

Also known as Vegetable Fritters.

Kids and adults alike love these. This recipe is based on the Indian Pakora, which is a fried vegetable fritter dish made with besan (chickpea) flour. When the fritters are cooked with this flour it adds flavour and crunchiness. They are ideally served with chutney.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Quick Tip:

  • If you have a food processor, to save time, instead of grating the vegetables, put them all together and chop them up in the processor.
  • To make your own Besan flour, add dry chickpeas in small batches to a food processor, coffee grinder or blender and process until pulverized and smooth. Then run through a sieve to remove any large particles. Use as directed in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Besan Flour – ¼ cup
  • Wholemeal Flour – 1 cup
  • Coriander powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tspn
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Ghee or Olive Oil – appx 1 Tblspn – for shallow frying.
  • 4 cups of grated/finely chopped seasonal vegetables – a combination of any if the following depending what you have in the fridge: eg. Pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, red capsicum, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leek, fennel.

How to Make:

1. In a medium bowl, mix the besan and wholemeal flour together. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt.

2. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Gradually pour in the water and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.

3. Add the grated vegetables into the flour mix and combine well.

Ingredients:

  • rolled oats/oatmeal or ground semolina – both available at health food shops and some supermarkets)
  • turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger, saffron (optional)
  • fresh dates and/or raisins
  • raw or preferably unprocessed sugar (Rapadura or Muscovado)

How to Make:

In a saucepan, before turning on any heat…

  • add about 1/2 a cup per person of oats or semolina
  • add milk according to the consistency you like (usually about double the quantity of oats or semolina* If trying to lose weight, instead of using skim milk, use 1/2 milk and 1/2 water
  • Stir the mixture to an even consistency before adding heat (this will reduce lumps)
  • Put on low/medium heat and while regularly stirring…
  • Add cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric & ground ginger – 1-2 pinches per person
  • Saffron – 4-5 hairs (optional)
  • 1-2 dates cut into small pieces or 15- 20 raisins
  • Sugar to taste
  • Continue stirring (and adding more milk or hot water if needed) until cooked.

This will be just a few minutes with semolina or oatmeal but longer with rolled oats (see packet).

To assist your body’s natural ‘elimination cycle’, take one of the following, first thing each morning.

  1. One Glass of ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER (even better if boiled for 5+ minutes first & then cooled)
  2. One Glass of BOILED WATER with 10-20 drops of FRESH LEMON JUICE and 2 teaspoons of ALOE VERA JUICE

* Females – Do NOT take the Aloe Vera if menstruating!

As above

+ 2 pinches GINGER POWDER
+ 1-2 pinch TURMERIC

Having trouble getting to sleep or would just like a more settled sleep?

From Western science, we know that an essential amino acid called ‘tryptophan’, helps promote sleep. In the science of Ayurveda, it is known that ‘warm nourishing’ things, help settle the nervous system and therefore assist settled sleep. Put the two together and we see why ‘warm miilk’ (milk contains ‘tryptophan’) is a great age-old remedy* for sleep.

Try this ‘sleep-inducing’ recipe.

1/2 cup of milk * must be boiled – see below
2 pinch ginger powder
2 pinch cardamom
3 pinch nutmeg – * don’t have nutmeg during day or before driving etc as it can make drowsy in higher doses.
3-4 hairs of saffron * optional – not essential
A little raw sugar if like.
Bring to boil – boil for 1-2 minutes and drink about 15-30 minutes before bed.

Important Notes:

1. Do NOT use Soy Milk or Skim Milk for this purpose – Soy can be okay for other purposes, but neither are ‘real’ milk, which is important for this purpose.

2. If you have trouble with milk or are ‘weight-conscious’ etc, use low-fat’ milk or half milk & half water.

* While this drink can give great results, it is really just a ‘symptomatic’ remedy. If you have a chronic sleep problem, it is of course, important to treat the real underlying cause. This is usually more to do with poor daily routine issues, stress, over-activity at night etc. We will take a more comprehensive look at ‘proper sleep’ at another time.

* Do not drink medicated milk straight after a late dinner as it does not mix with savoury foods. Better to have medicated milk a minumum of 1 hour after dinner.

Alternative Breakfast to ‘Processed’ Cereals

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 green apples (some varieties cook more easily than others) or pears
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 pinches ginger powder
  • Optional – Rapadura sugar (or other unrefined sugar or Stevia), cardamom, cinnamon, licorice (to taste), raisins

Quantities: based on 1 person – increase accordingly.

Pre-preparation

Peel the apples/pears and cut/dice into small pieces.

In a saucepan

  • Put in the apples/pears and add ½ cup water (you may need to add more as you go)
  • Put on low heat and cook slowly
  • Add cloves, ginger and anything else you like – e.g. raisins, sugar, 3 pinches cardamom
  • Put a lid on the saucepan and cook slowly till fork friendly (soft but not mushy)

Notes:

This is a general guide only – vary to suit

Re; sugar – generally 1/2 a teaspoon or so is okay but depends on individual.

Ingredients

  • fresh ginger (fruit & vegie shop)
  • turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds, others you like (supermarket)
  • black mustard seeds, asoefitida/hing (Indian/ Asian market/grocers)
  • semolina (coarse best) or cous cous (both in supermarket/health shop)

Quantities: based on 2 people

Pre-preparation

  • have all spices ready in advance
  • finely cut/grate fresh ginger – approx. 1 tspn
  • cut vegies
  • boil water in a pot/kettle (to add to food while cooking)
  • i. Cous cous (wash 2 large handfuls and drain) ii. Semolina (dry roast until light brown)

In a saucepan

  1. pour in some oil (olive etc) – approx 3 tspn or according to recommendation
  2. heat oil on low/medium heat
  3. Add black mustard seeds – approx ¾ tspn (have lid on!!!)
  4. Wait until seeds have danced (popped)
  5. Add cumin seeds – ¾ tspn
  6. Add fresh ginger
  7. Add turmeric – approx. ¼ teaspoon
  8. Add asoefitida/hing – 1-2 pinch (small quantity)
  9. Add other spices you wish – coriander, cloves etc
  10. add vegies and stir into spices (brings flavour into)
  11. add water (hot) and cook
  12. when veggies are 3-4 minutes from being cooked add semolina or cous cous plus enough hot water for the consistency you like
  13. stir regularly adding water when needed until cooked – 3-4 minutes

*** add salt near end of cooking

Notes:

This is a general guide only – vary to suit

Add chutneys, churnas etc to taste

Ingredients:

  • fresh ginger (fruit & vegie shop)
  • turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds, others you like ( supermarket )
  • black mustard seeds, asoefitida/hing (Indian/ Asian market/grocers)

Quantities: based on 2 people

Pre-preparation

  • Have whatever you are spicing ready in advance – cut vegies, wash rice/dahl etc
  • Finely cut/grate fresh ginger – approx. 1 tspn)

Directions

  1. In a saucepan pour in some oil ( olive etc ) – approx 3 tspn or according to recommendation
  2. heat oil on low/medium heat
  3. Add black mustard seeds – approx ¾ tspn ( have lid on!!!)
  4. Wait until seeds have danced (popped)
  5. Add cumin seeds – ¾ tspn
  6. Add fresh ginger
  7. Add turmeric – approx. ¼ teaspoon
  8. Add asoefitida/hing – 1-2 pinch (small quantity)
  9. Add other spicesyou wish – coriander, cloves etctomato great with dahl (add here)
  10. add vegies or rice or dahletc and stir into spices ( brings flavour into)
  11. add water and cook

*** add salt near end of cooking

Notes:

Dry roasting rice first makes it lighter ( easier to digest )

This is a general guide only – vary to suit

I had a pizza while out with some friends some time ago …yes, I said a pizza!!! “oh my God, the health guy eats pizza”!!!

It’s true, but don’t tell me you too have been brainwashed into thinking pizza’s are necessarily ‘bad’ or too heavy for dinner.

If you get a gourmet vegetarian pizza and take off the excess cheese (easier if you get cheese cubes not melted), what do you have??…toasted bread & vegetables.

 Background (from Mark)

For pretty well all of our married life, my wife (Karen) and I experienced the cancer journey. Karen was diagnosed with breast & bone cancer throughout much of her body just a few months after we were married. Amidst all the usual challenges and difficulties we all appreciate with such journeys, for the most part it was also an amazing time full of the most wonderful things in life. A great marriage and a generally very blessed life.

Throughout some of this time, Karen recorded various ‘personal’ lessons, learnings, sources of laughter and other bits and pieces that she thought she might one day put into a blog or similar in case something might provide some encouragement or help for others going through a cancer, or other challenging health or life journey. While she never got to do that herself, I’ve taken some of what I thought might be interesting pieces from her journal and notebooks that I felt she might not mind being shared. (Most likely, just as in when she was in her physical incarnation I’m sure I won’t have got it quite right … but we mere mortals do our best!)

Having read them myself, I personally believe a lot of the messages are equally applicable to all of us, whether (delete perfectly) healthy or otherwise. Anyway, if any of it is of interest, great, if not, that’s great too.

Why on earth could consuming the same amount of foods like fish, bananas, tomatoes, cashews etc over the next few months as you did during winter, have a significantly different effect on your health? Well, because summer is just around the corner and just as the seasons change, the clothes we wear change, the foods we eat should change also. Naturally we do this to some extent (more salads less casseroles, more seasonal fruit, cooler drinks etc) but often due to our focus/pre-occupation with calories, fat levels etc, we tend to overlook the different ‘qualities’ in food (how heating/cooling they are, if they are sweet or sour etc). In Maharishi Ayurveda, the overall effect of these qualities has a tremendous bearing on your level of balance, health & happiness. Eating too much of certain foods at certain times of the year can directly lead to health imbalances & conversely eating certain foods can eliminate problems & create perfect balance.

Today we take a look at…The Best Foods for Staying Happy & Balanced in Summer.

New International Best-Selling book just out featuring 16 of Australia’s leading health and well-being experts (oh … and me! They needed 16 and were one expert short!

Further Book & Purchasing Info Here

A new study just out, adds even more weight to be the importance of people ensuring they have adequate vitamin D levels. As you know, I have been writing about this for over five years – Sunlight & Vitamin D Health – and this is another example.

The study showed that women who were vitamin D deficient had children who were more likely to have ‘significant’ problems relating to speech skills and language. They are much more likely to have difficulty gaining complex language skills and their overall speech development is impaired. I’ll say it again. If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels tested recently, please go and get a blood test ASAP. And, ensure your doing everything you can to most naturally optimise these levels.

The more expensive your runners …the more likely you are to get leg injuries!

* Even if you do not jog or run, read on.

“When you run on the earth, and run with the earth, you can run forever ”
- Tarahumara Indians

The more you pay for runners …the more likely you are to get injured!