Holistic Health Care For Women – San Francisco, CA
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My living room the night before I left for my birthday trip

My living room the night before I left for my birthday trip

This is what my living room looked like the night before my husband and I left town for a couple days to celebrate my birthday.

If you look closely, you’ll see crumpled clean laundry on the couch buried beneath pillows, blankets and assorted papers. On the table are multiple days of tea mugs, unopened mail, checks to deposit, a stack of books, an apple I meant to eat for a snack two days earlier, a pair of glasses and an aromatherapy spray bottle. On the floor are more books, assorted receipts, bags, paperwork and several pairs of shoes.

I’m posting this photo here on my website (somewhat sheepishly) because as I stood in my living room and surveyed the damage, it reminded me of something important: I’m never going to get to the end of my to-do list, and that’s okay. (more…)

As I mentioned in my previous post, the sweet taste enhances feelings of contentment. It’s easy to forget that the sense of taste is just one of the ways we invite nourishment and satisfaction into our lives. In Ayurveda, we understand that well-being is impacted by everything we take in through our five senses. Therefore, what we eat, touch, smell, hear and see affects our physical health and state of mind. Have you ever found yourself craving junky sweets when you’re not getting enough nourishment from other aspects of life like your relationships, career or self-care practices? I know I have. Here are some ways to increase sweetness in your daily life through the other four senses:

Ayurvedic warm oil massage

Ayurvedic warm oil massage

Touch: Soaking in the tub, any form of loving touch like holding hands, long hugs, cuddling and gentle massage with warm oil. The word sneha in Sanksrit means both “oil” and “love.” Ayurveda recommends daily warm oil self-massage through a practice called abhyanga.

Smell: Flowers, essential oils like cardamom, cinnamon, jasmine, neroli, sweet orange, rose, vanilla, or ylang ylang. Use a diffuser or purchase a small spritzer bottle and add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Keep it by your desk or in your bag for whenever you need a little boost.

Sound: Kind words (especially self-talk), any soothing, calming or uplifting music.

Sight: Earthy colors, pastel colors, spending time in nature, bringing nature into your surroundings at home or work.

Some of my other favorites include smiling, laughing, getting more sleep and taking deep belly breaths.

Right now, jot down a few simple and pleasurable activities that help you to feel more nourished. The next time you find yourself craving a cookie or some other treat, take out your list and pause for a moment to reflect. Do you actually want to eat that specific food or is your craving indicating that another area of life may need some TLC? When is the last time you did something on your “pleasure” list? Perhaps there’s a way to satisfy the craving with a more nutritious form of the sweet taste. Or maybe you decide that what you really, really want right now is the treat. If so, honor that craving by giving the experience your complete attention and savoring each bite with the fullest pleasure.

When the weather turns cold in fall and winter, you may notice an increase in your appetite or a desire for heavier foods like sweets and animal products.

However, now that the holidays are over, many people are starting diets or doing cleanses to “repent” from the indulgences of the past couple months. Guess what? Even though we’ve entered a new calendar year, it’s still winter!

Photo: smiteme

Photo: smiteme

Now is the time to build strength, not deplete your resources. In winter, the body still needs warmth and grounding to fortify immunity and protect against cold weather. Spring is a much more effective time for cleansing.

Craving more of the sweet taste is natural during winter AND it’s possible to satisfy your cravings in healthy, balancing ways.

The sweet taste promotes the production of healthy tissues, relieves thirst and gives strength. On the emotional level, it enhances love, compassion and a sense of contentment. Is it any wonder why we tend to crave this taste during times of stress?

The sweet taste is naturally found in most fruits, root vegetables, squashes, pumpkins, cooked grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, healthy oils, fresh dairy, sweeteners like dates, honey and maple syrup and spices like allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, licorice root, nutmeg, saffron.

Experiment by making some spicy sweet herbal tea or dusting off your slow cooker for nourishing one-pot meals like hearty lentil and root vegetable soups or oatmeal with chopped apples, pears, dates, cranberries, ghee and warming spices. Try this date and almond shake for a tasty, soothing snack, or check out Spinach and Yoga’s delicious and healthy winter dessert ideas. Please note: if you do consume milk, it should be taken warm and with spices like cardamom, ginger or nutmeg to avoid creating congestion.

What are your favorite foods for keeping the winter chill at bay? Let me know in the comments.

This summer brought a lot of big changes into my life. My husband and I moved into a new home in July, and I also opened my own full-time office near Mission and 21st Street in August. It has all been very exciting and, to be honest, quite exhausting.

Now that the boxes are unpacked and the dust is settling, I’m ready to share a new offering with you. In addition to my one-on-one patient care, I am thrilled to be launching Find Your Flow: a six-week small group coaching program for women that begins on Tuesday, October 9th.

You may be laughing at the image above, but I chose it very intentionally. For me it represents a time when relationships with other women were more straightforward. Many women I know (myself included) have painful stories to tell about jealousy, betrayal and friends tearing each other down. It can be profoundly healing to spend time in the company of other women and simply offer each other the gifts of friendship and mutual support. (more…)

Over the last two years I’ve spoken with many women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who think that suffering through the last week or so of their cycle is just part of being a woman. What a lot of people don’t understand is that PMS is an early warning light telling us something in our lives is out of balance. If it’s not addressed, it can lead to more serious health concerns later in life.

Women who experience moderate to severe PMS may be at greater risk for postpartum depression and a difficult menopausal transition. The underlying hormonal imbalances can also make conceiving a baby more challenging. Even if women don’t experience these more serious concerns, they often find that over time the symptom-free window gradually shrinks and they spend more and more of their month feeling trapped by PMS. (more…)