by Erin Casperson, Kripalu School of Ayurveda Intern According to Ayurveda, one of the keys to maintaining health is to practice ritucharya—seasonal routines. Adjusting our daily self-care rituals to seasonal changes helps us maintain balance and reminds us that we are a part of the natural world. Spring is ruled by the kapha dosha, whose [...]
Nutrition and lifestyle choices to support the body’s natural release of toxins “Detoxification” can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Kripalu’s Healthy Living programs teach people how to support the body’s natural detoxification process. Detox is conducted primarily by the liver, which removes toxins from the body by converting them from a fat-soluble state [...]
Spring has sprung! Kind of, sort of—well, just enough to get me in the mood to clear out the old, stale, winter energy and usher in some fresh air. This means combing through closets, the pantry, and recirculating stuff that no longer serves. It also means cleaning out me. Winter is an inherently stiller time—that [...]
Spring, glorious spring, with its air of fresh possibilities, is the perfect time to do some cleaning and cleansing. Gather up everything green you see in the grocery store and make yourself a big pot of Spring Greens Gumbo. You’ll have so much energy that the spring housecleaning will feel like a summer breeze. Spring [...]
Almost right away, our teacher asks us to draw a “memorable food experience.” Nothing gets adults past their fear of anything, even drawing, faster than food. Gripping crayons passed around in paper cups, we sketch elaborate Thanksgiving tables, giant pots of comforting stew, and quite a few lobsters. When our teacher, Kripalu nutritionist Kathie Madonna [...]
Clean organic produce is more widely available than ever before, yet whenever I check out at my whole foods grocery, I imagine my father (a rural farmer cash-on-the-barrel sort of guy) fainting dead away at the grand total. The price of grass-fed meat, high-quality dairy, and organic produce can be daunting, after all. If you desire [...]
With real winter weather settling in, I decided that a hearty stew dinner was in order last weekend for a gathering with family and friends. As I get many requests for our Harvest Stew and Creamy White Bean and Roasted Fennel Soup recipes, I decided to make both! Not only did the soups turn out [...]
Every relationship has its milestone moments—the ones that not only change the course of one’s life but also perhaps even more significantly for a chef, change the look of one’s kitchen! Yes, I did it. I made the ultimate sacrifice for love this past weekend as I bade a fond farewell to my beloved six- burner, deep red Bertazonni range (and having total control of my kitchen) and moved in with my fiancée, Jim.
We’d decided on the plan months before, and for the past few weeks I’ve been clearing out the old: organizing and packing up a life lived 16 years in one place. And then came moving day. In a blink of an eye every knife, pot, pan, bowl, spatula, whisk, and tea accoutrement was packed away out of site only to reappear hidden deep inside a box stacked high in the middle of what was to be their new home– at least for some of them. Ah, mergers! Unlike our previous cohabitating experiences with our first spouses when we were each young and less encumbered with stuff, Jim and I faced the daunting equation of adding one home to one home and producing “one” home!
It’s a lot simpler than we think.
At the Union for International Cancer Control’s recent World Cancer Congress,Washington University School of Medicine researcher Graham Colditz, PD, DrPH, reported that more than 50 percent of cancer could be prevented if we implemented certain “lifestyle changes,” including quitting smoking and avoiding obesity.
Seems somewhat obvious, right? Maybe, maybe not. Although we read enough to know that eating right, exercising, and minimizing our exposure to known toxins (cigarettes among them) can limit our risk of developing cancer, most of us don’t necessarily believe it. “Many people are still under the impression that most cancer is genetic,” says Susan B. Lord,MD, a faculty member in Kripalu Healthy Living programs. “But the real figure is actually five percent.” That is, five percent of cancers have strong genetic ties, and the rest are related to environment and lifestyle. This means that the disease is far more preventable than we tend to think it is. In fact, Dr. Colditz estimated that improvement in diet could reduce cancer incidence by 50 percent, and increases in physical activity could reduce cancer incidence by as much as 85 percent, in five to 20 years.
Does eating organic make us mean?
A recent study conducted by researchers at Loyola University New Orleans looked at how food related to morality: how and whether what we eat influences how we think and act. The results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, revealed that eating organic foods can most definitely impact morality, kindness, and attitudes toward others—but not necessarily in a good way. Participants who were exposed to organic foods, the study reported, volunteered significantly less time to help a stranger in need. They were also far more judgmental about others’ actions as they related to food and non-food subjects. In short, people who ate organic food were more likely to be jerks.
While most of the organics-loving people we know are kind, generous, lovely non-jerks, the results of the Loyola study could perhaps be explained by what Aruni Nan Futuronsky, a certified life coach and program advisor for Kripalu Healthy Living programs, calls “the curse of consciousness.” That is, the more we know, the more we want to impose that knowledge onto others. As we make changes for ourselves it becomes easier to notice those who have not made those changes for themselves, or who otherwise live differently. We may then judge them, even unconsciously.