Tag Archives: anti-aging

One Small Change, One Step at a Time

Often the path to health and wellness seems daunting. If you were to look at a list of how many things you could do to improve our health and well-being, the thought of implementing all of them could make you sick! After all, how many things do you already know that would help you to feel healthier but you are not doing them? If your list is like mine, it’s pretty long and I’ve been implementing change in my life for the past 23 years!

How many of you know that you would feel better if you would go to bed earlier but sometimes stay up too late? How many of you know that you would feel better if you woke up earlier and had a relaxed morning, perhaps went for a walk or did some yoga and yet just don’t do it. I know, it’s a long list. Do you only eat organic? Do you only eat whole foods? Do you use herbs to heal yourself first before going to the medical doctor for drugs? Have you given up toxic behaviors like cigarettes and alcohol? What about stimulants like coffee? I know, it’s a long list. And if we look at the list for too long or too closely we tend to start feeling bad. We feel guilty about our indulgences and our lack of self control. One student told me today that being so good was “boring”. Indeed, it can seem that way. So then what do we do? How do we become empowered to attain optimum health and well-being?

Here are a few tips that my patients and students have found useful.

  1. Go slow. Make just one small change in your life at a time. When that one change is established. Then take on another. It’s amazing how one small change at the level of consciousness will positively impact your physical and emotional well-being.
  2. Don’t worry about those things you are not working on right now. That’s right. If you are not working on transcending alcohol or cigarettes, then completely enjoy the moment when you are indulging. Life is too short to feel guilty.
  3. Keep moving forward. Don’t get discouraged. Pick just one thing to focus on. Keep it simple.
  4. When you get overwhelmed back off, don’t give up. That’s right; it’s OK to reduce the number of healthy life changes you are making. When you do, you will go back to your core positive habits and focus on those. These are the habits already ingrained in your consciousness. Once you settle down, you guessed it. Choose just one new habit to work on.
  5. You don’t have to be perfect. If you measure yourself against perfection you will always fall short. Just do your best, stay focused.

Be kind to yourself. It’s a long journey. Throughout our lives, we will strive to improve ourselves. Some say we have just one life to perfect our nature. If so, chances are, you still have a few more years or decades to work on yourself. Others say we have lifetimes to perfect ourselves. I’m with that group. So, there is plenty of time. Start by accepting where you are today and loving yourself NOW. It’s ok not being perfect. Ayurveda is about being perfect. It is about being conscious and mindful of where you are, and where you are going. Then the journey is walked one step at a time.

 

 

Protect Your Skin with Oil from Acai Berry

Who doesn’t want beautiful looking skin? Most people want skin that is free of wrinkles, abnormal pigmentation and perhaps most of all, free of cancer. One of the promising herbs that may provide this is Acai berry.

Acai berry (Euterpe olercea) is about the size of grape and native to the region of the Amazon rain forest. It comes from the Acai Palm tree, the same tree that gives the delicious “Hearts of Palm”. The berries can be taken internally and the oil of the seeds within the berry can be applied topically. One of the exciting findings about acai berries is that they are a whole food rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have numerous benefits in the body. One of them is to protect the cells of the body from damage, particularly damage to the DNA.

The acai berry has very large seed content. These seeds are gathered and then pressed into natural green oil. The cold pressed oil has a very high antioxidant value and can be applied topically to the skin. Applied topically, acai prevent the skin from being damaged.

Acai Fruit Harvest and Market
Acai Fruit Harvest and Market

There are a few major causes of skin damage. The key players are sunlight, cigarette smoking, polluted air and the intake of pesticides. These substances damage the skin cells creating what is called “free radicals.” Free radicals are rogue cells that then go on to damage other cells creating more free radicals. Some of the cells however with damaged DNA go on to become cancerous cells.

Free radicals are normally kept in check by antioxidants in the body. The goal of super-nutrition and the use of topical products are to prevent the formation of free radicals and to destroy the free radicals that are formed. The chemicals that destroy free radicals are called antioxidants. Antioxidants are found throughout nature in our fruits and vegetables. They help to combat the effects of environmental toxins. However, as environmental stress rises, so too does the need for the use of those substances that have a high concentration of antioxidants. Acai berry appears to be one of those substances. The Acai berry has high levels of vitamin C, poly phenols and anthocyanins (flavonoids) each of which are powerful antioxidants. In fact, the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of Acai berries is extraordinary. The ORAC value is a system of rating the antioxidant benefits of various substances. The ORAC value of Acai berries are one of the highest among all fruits!

There is not much that is known about the ayurvedic energetic of Acai at this time. Neither the fruit nor oil are used in India. I’ll continue to experiment with the oil and write about its ayurvedic energetic at a later date.

The pure science supports the benefits of Acai berry however it is important to note that human studies have not been performed and thus it cannot be stated with certainty that Acai offer miraculous benefits. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that it is beneficial and there is no evidence to suggest that it is harmful. For these reasons, I highly recommend the use of acai berries internally and its oil topically.

References:
1. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Jun; 9(6 Suppl):S72-81; quiz s82-3.Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. Fowler, Woolery-Lloyd H, Waldorf H, Saini R. Source University of Louisville, Division of Dermatology, Louisville, KY 40202, USA. fowlerjoe@msn.com.
2. ORAC Values: http://www.oracvalues.com/sort/orac-value

Golden Milk Recipe: An Ancient Ayurvedic Treatment

Cardamom Seed pods
Cardamom Seed pods

Indian folks have been using Turmeric for a long time to help “lubricate” the joints. Though this bright yellow powder may not look like a mega-healer at first glance, it can purify blood and assist women in maintaining female reproductive organs.

You’ll need to start by bringing a cup of milk – or almond, hemp or soymilk if you prefer – to a boil. Add:

  • 3 cardamom pods (you can skip this if you don’t have any)
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil

You can also add cinnamon and honey or syrup to assist with the flavor.

Golden Milk is a great way to get that extra joint boost.

Look to ÉlanVeda for information to help you pursue natural alternatives to increase your health and wellness. Try one of our quality ayurvedic products today!