Staying Grounded During the Winter Season

The late fall and winter period corresponds to the Ayurveda mind-body principles of “Vata season” because it is comprised of the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, moving, dry and changeable. If these elements are in balance, then it is much easier for a person to thrive in the fall and winter season. However, an individual can easily accumulate too much Vata if they do not engage in practices to maintain the balance. Imbalances may manifest into physical and/or emotional symptoms, such as dry skin, anxiety, depression, insomnia and a general feeling of not being grounded.

Since we are all susceptible to too much Vata, we need to be particularly vigilant about staying in balance during the fall and winter seasons. The following are a few, simple ways to help keep you balanced and grounded during these colder months.

Diet:

It is recommended that you increase your intake of root vegetables and drink plenty of warm fluids in the form of teas, soups, and warm water.

Some Common Root Vegetables are:

  • Beets
  • Burdocks
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac (a.k.a. Celery Root)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet Potatoes (yam)
  • Turnips
  • Yuca (cassava)

These vegetables can be added to just about any dish including soups, casseroles, or by themselves.

One of our favorite soup recipes is this Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup. It is great tasting and chock full of root vegetables. You will find this recipe and others at the following link:

http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/12/roasted-parsnip-and-garlic-soup-with-mushrooms/

Sipping warm tea is another activity that greatly helps to reduce excess Vata. There are many companies that make Vata balancing teas. One of our favorites is Vata Tea by VPK.

Another great Vata balancing drink is an Ayurvedic recipe called Ghee Milk. It is warm, delicious, and easy to make. You will find this recipe at the following link: http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/29/ghee-milk/

My final recommendation is daily abhyanga (oil massage). It is best to perform this massage in the evenings right before going to bed. Ayurvedic medicine recommends sesame oil, but a mixture that includes coconut or almond oil is also fine. Massage each foot for 1-2 minutes with approximately 1 teaspoon of oil. This will help ground the Vata energy that you accumulate throughout the day as well as help you to have a more restful sleep.

Remember, the best defense is an early defense, so use these tools to proactively care for your health.

Please share this with everyone who will benefit from this!

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo

Ghee Milk

Ghee is the Sanskrit word for clarified butter. In a process using heat to separate out the solids, butter is further purified into ghee. This nutty and butter-like substance is great for cooking as it aids digestion, often used in natural medicine to treat constipation and ulcers. A good vegan substitute for ghee is organic coconut oil.

Ghee Milk may sound like a strange idea, but it can work wonders in treating insomnia. Next time you’re struggling to fall asleep, make a glass of Ghee Milk and sip it an hour before heading off to bed.

In a glass of organic rice, coconut, hemp or almond milk:

Add 1 tsp organic Ghee or organic coconut oil
Add ¼ tsp each of coriander, cumin, and cardamom.
(These can be purchased in most health food stores, or Indian spice shops.)

Simmer until warm and drink before bed.

It’s delicious! Enjoy.

Creamy Kale Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches chopped kale leaves
  • 1 bunch chopped collard greens
  • 1 large chopped butternut squash
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • Coconut oil to taste
  • Water for boiling

1.  Add kale, collards, garlic and squash to a 4 qt pot. Cover with water and boil.

2.  Reduce heat and add herbs, nutmeg and sea salt.

3.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes then turn off heat.

4.  Add a few tablespoons of coconut oil.

5.  Use an immersion blender to puree your soup or add soup to your high-speed blender to make creamy.

Healthy Fats

Fats Can Be Healthy for You!

Much of the information regarding dietary fat intake is confusing and conflicting. Most people try to avoid all fats because they are misinformed.

Optimum health requires optimum fat intake. This is why low fat and fat free diets are dangerous to your health. In other words, you need fats in your diet — but it must be the right kind. Approximately 95% of the U.S. population does not get the right kinds of fats to stay healthy. They eat refined, processed, overheated, hydrogenated and solvent-ridden oils.
How And Why Are Trans Fats Produced?
Trans fats (or trans-fatty-acids) are produced when liquid vegetable oils undergo a food refining process called “hydrogenation”. During this process, hydrogen is added to make the oils more solid. Food manufacturers produce these “hydrogenated vegetable fats” because they deteriorate at a slower speed thus permitting food products a longer
shelf-life.
Avoid all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats. These are the bad fats and they are poisons to your system. Never eat margarine again!
Why Are Trans Fats Unhealthy?
A growing body of medical evidence indicates that consumption of trans fat raises levels of LDL – the bad cholesterol- and reduces levels of HDL – the good cholesterol. This double whammy increases the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which itself is an independent risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Trans-fatty-acids are also suspected of causing certain cancers, including breast cancer.
What Foods Contain Trans Fats?
Trans fats are commonly found in foods like: shortenings, margarine, cakes, cookies, crackers, pretzels, snack foods, fried foods, donuts, pastries, fatty cheeses, baked goods, and other processed foods made with “partially hydrogenated oils”. In addition, small amounts of trans fatty acids occur naturally in various meat and dairy products.

Essential Fatty Acids are the good fats. They are called essential because it is essential that you eat them. Your body does not manufacture them.

The two basic categories of essential fatty acids are: Omega 3 and Omega 6
Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1 – three omega 6 for one omega 3.
Most Western diets range between 10 and 20 to 1 in favor of omega 6, which is not good for health. We eat too much omega 6 fat and not enough omega 3 fat.
The primary sources of omega-6 are corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oils, and in raw nuts and seeds. These oils are overabundant in the typical diet, which explains our excess omega 6 levels. (Primrose, grape seed, black currant and borage oils are also high in omega 6). Omega 6 essential fatty acids are also found in raw nuts and seeds.

Omega 3 are typically found in Alaskan salmon, sardines, mackerel, lake trout as well as in flax, walnut and cod liver oils.

Increase your intake of Omega 3 and decrease your intake of Omega 6

One delicious way to add Omega-3 to your diet is by adding the Flax/Oilve oil dressing to your salads.

*Recipe:
1 cup olive oil
1 cup flaxseed oil
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
**4 finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
**4 finely chopped kalamata or green olives
Black pepper to taste
**Optional

This dressing must be refrigerated and never heated or used for cooking

Olive and Flaxseed Oil Dressing

Ingredients:
1 cup organic, unrefined, cold pressed, olive oil
1 cup organic, unrefined flaxseed oil (make sure it is refrigerated when you buy it)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Combine all ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake vigorously
2. Keep refrigerated when not in use

This oil has a healthy blend of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids.

The problem with trans fatty acids

Many oils are hydrogenated, which increases shelf life at a high cost to consumer health. This process involves the use of extremely high temperatures and super-saturation of the oil with hydrogen. Hydrogenation of oils results in the formation of unnatural trans-fatty acids. These trans-fatty acids interfere with the body’s ability to utilize essential fatty acids. Medical research has proven that the human consumption of trans-fatty acids increases cholesterol, LDL (the bad form of cholesterol”) while decreasing HDL (the “good cholesterol”) all of which increase the risk of heart disease. Trans-fatty acids are also suspected of causing certain cancers, including breast cancer.

Essential Fatty Acids for health and weight reduction

Essential Fatty Acids are the good fats. They are essential because your body does not manufacture them; therefore it is essential that you eat them.

• Essential fats help with excess fat reduction because they:
• increase caloric burning
• reduce food cravings
• reduce appetite help improve digestion
• increase stamina
• improve digestion
• lower cholesterol and triglycerides

There are two basic categories of essential fatty acids:
Omega 3’s -alpha linoleic acid and EPA (eicosapentenoic acid)
Omega 6’s – Linoleic acid and gamma linoleic acid

Sources of Omega 3’s
Omega 3’s: Deep water fish Salmon, sardines, mackerel, flax oil, walnut oil

Omega 6’s found mainly in raw nuts and seeds legumes and vegetable oils: primrose, grape seed, and borage.

Most oils are heated at high temperature to increase shelf life and they are extracted with chemical solvents, which increases dangerous free radical production.

In order to supply the body with essential fatty acids these oils must not be subject to high heat in the processing or cooking. Ideally you want to buy unrefined, cold pressed, organic oils.

If you need to use oils for higher heat cooking, I suggest you use organic refined expeller pressed grape seed or sunflower oil. These oils are high heat tolerant.

Esseential oils are a very important part of vibrant health and nutrition program.