You Are What You Eat: 3 Ways Food Impacts Your Mood

(As published on Elephant Journal)

“You are what you eat.”

How often have we heard this phrase in regard to health, nutrition and wellness?

We read it in books. We hear it on TV. Maybe our own mothers remind us of this from time to time, too.

It might even make sense to us, on some level. And yet, what in the world does this phrase really mean, and how do we start to actually eat what we want to be?

Ayurveda, the ancient sister science of Yoga, holds the answers to this question and teaches us three potent ways that food can profoundly impact our mood.  Continue reading

Why I Love Every Ounce of Fat in My Body

(As published on Elephant Journal)

“You look fatter, Ripa,” my Ayurveda teacher said to me recently.

I smiled and replied “I never thought I’d take that as a compliment as much as I do now.”

Having once struggled with anorexia nervosa, starving myself for long periods of time to achieve a feeling of “skinny,” I have now come 360 degrees on my journey. I have not only been able to gain much-needed weight, but have experienced a transformation in my whole attitude towards my body. Ayurveda, the ancient art and science of life from India, has inspired me to now love every ounce of fat in my body.

Here’s why:  Continue reading

Don’t Lose Sleep Over It: Ayurveda’s Top 3 Insomnia Solutions

(As featured on Elephant Journal)

Do you feel pain all over your body?

Have a heavy head? Experience excessive yawning and drowsiness? Have indigestion often? Do you feel like you just don’t want to do anything most of the time?

These are all signs that you may not be getting enough sleep.

As a veteran of New York City, the city that very literally never sleeps, I once could raise my hand and answer “yes” to all of the above questions.  Continue reading

Why Getting More Exercise Doesn’t Always Mean Getting Healthier

(As originally posted as “Featured Today” highlight and in the “Popular Lately” section on Elephant Journal)

Eat well and get plenty of exercise.”

We hear this blanket statement of ‘health’ all the time in the health and wellness world. Doctors prescribe it, the media promotes it, and so we practice it.

We work out and we feel better. We even come to crave the release of endorphins that accompanies our exercise routines. It makes us feel so good that the more we do of it, the better we will feel, right?

Having fallen (hard) for the endorphin release that comes with a great workout in the past, I can say from hard-earned experience that getting more exercise does not always equal gaining more health.  Continue reading

4 Surprising Ways That Ayurveda Can Aid Poor Digestion

(Originally published as “Featured Wellness Article,” in the “Popular Lately” section and Top 10 Blogs of the Week on Elephant Journal)

Are you experiencing heaviness, bloating, and pain upon elimination?

Do you also suffer from inexplicable chest pain and headaches?

Do you feel tired all the time, yet have difficulty sleeping and not know why?

These are all signs that your elimination system could be compromised. Unlike the popular elimination diets promoted by modern, western science and mainstream media, the ancient, 5,000-year-old Indian science of Ayurveda recommends certain health-increasing dietary and lifestyle practices that need not be discontinued after a specified time period.  Continue reading

Make Every Day a Spa Day With Ayurveda

(As originally published on Elephant Journal)

Have you ever walked out of your favorite spa wishing you could somehow make enough money to always feel the way you do when you step out of a spa? While there were no “spas” in the ancient times when Ayurveda was revealed to Rishis (sages) living in the Himalayas and faraway forests of India, these Rishis have discovered an incredible daily ritual to make you feel like every day is a spa day – regardless of your annual income.  Continue reading

The Danger of More in Modern Yoga

(As published on Elephant Journal)

Even as Yoga explodes in popularity, its essence is being lost.

In recently performing an internet search for “Yoga in America,” I was saddened to see the latest of the slew of scandals related to Yoga (that happen not just in America, but throughout the world) appear at the top of my search results. Yoga, an ancient eight-fold practice originally designed to assist sincere spiritual seekers to access deep inner states of meditation and contemplation, seems to have become connected with a pervasive myth that more is better.

There is more music played in Yoga classes, more asanas (physical poses), more competition, more heat, more intensity, more challenging poses, more sexy clothing, more scantily clad students and teachers, more scandals.  Continue reading

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