Autumn is here! Have a healthful September by letting go of lifestyle habits that may not be serving you anymore. Changing up old habits can be challenging, but if you keep your goals small and simple, you'll set yourself up for success. Here’s a 30-day plan to get you started.
September weekend 1: skip the fries
How often do you ask for French fries instead of salad or steamed vegetables as your side order at a restaurant? Switching to greens or baked fries is much better for your body. Generally speaking, Ayurveda recommends steaming, stir-frying, roasting, and slow cooking as ideal cooking methods.
Sample recipe: stir-fried zucchini
Peel and grate a zucchini. Heat some ghee in a pan, toss in a few cumin seeds, and when the aroma is released, add the zucchini and sauté on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Season, sprinkle a little lemon juice, and toss lightly. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
September week 1: get a good sleep
One of the most refreshing habits you can cultivate is getting a good night's sleep. A huge number of us have forgotten how—or just never learned—to give ourselves the much-needed daily quota of rest.
Easy sleep tips:
A simple way to get a better sleep is by turning in by 10:00 p.m. every night. If you are a chronic late sleeper, push your bedtime forward by just 30 minutes a night so that your body is eased into the new rhythm. For help falling (and staying) asleep, try Maharishi AyurVeda's natural sleep-care system. The herbs in these formulations will soothe your senses and calm your mind, both of which support a good sleep.
September weekend 2: curb cravings naturally
Chocolate, potato chips, ice cream, and pizza—food cravings happen! It’s fine to indulge now and then, but if you find yourself eating more of those things than feels good, it might be helpful to explore other ways to satisfy your soul.
Sometimes cravings actually come from dehydration. Are you thirsty? Try a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea sweetened with honey.
Does your body need a shot of protein? Try a handful of almonds or walnuts. Adding dates or raisins to the mix will up your nutrient intake and satisfy your sweet tooth. Our date milk shake recipe makes a delicious mid-afternoon treat. Another great snack: apple slices with almond butter.
If you’re feeling lethargic and peckish, you might benefit by going for a walk or doing some yoga asanas.
September week 2: add zest to your diet
In her book A Woman's Best Medicine for Menopause, Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., suggests dietary tips that nourish the heart. Here’s a sampling.
Easy dietary tips:
- queeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime on your food just before serving.
- Add a few sprinkles of freshly-ground black pepper to your meal.
- Include fresh pineapple in your diet.
Simple, yet flavorful and inspiring!
September weekend 3: awaken your higher self
According to the ancient texts of Ayurveda, pragya-aparadh (“mistake of the intellect”) sometimes causes health issues. When a person forgets the essence of their true nature (spirit), their mind, body, and spirit can start to pull them in different directions. The resulting imbalance can lead to health issues.
Easy ways to enliven mind and body
To address pragya-aparadh, it’s beneficial to do activities that enliven your cells to the truth that you have a Higher Self. This sounds tougher than it is! The Council of Maharishi AyurVeda Physicians tips in this regard include:
- Taking a walk in the early morning
- Sipping a cup of tea to sweeten the mind
- Listening to birdsong
These simple things are unbelievably powerful, says The Council, in their capacity to reunite all parts of your being.
September week 3: fine-tune your digestion
This week, focus on your digestion—the key to good health in Ayurveda. When your digestion is out of balance, it can set off a chain of unhappy consequences. Not only does it feel uncomfortable, it can also lead to increased allergen sensitivity (a whopping 100 million Americans have issues with allergens).
Easy digestion tips:
There are several steps you can take to reset your digestion and keep allergens at bay. Apart from following a regular routine and eating fresh, fibrous foods; you may want to try Aller-Defense, a powerful formula that 1) supports better digestion and 2) promotes natural immunity. In this precisely combined formula, the synergy of herbs—like holy basil, turmeric, and amla—is the key to its effectiveness. And be sure to check out our allergen wellness hub!
September weekend 4: try aromatherapy
How often do you light a fragrant candle or inhale the vapors from a healing aroma oil? In Ayurveda, aromatherapy offers a powerful way to harmonize the mind, body, and senses through natural aromas.
Your sense of smell is powerful. Pure essential oils can calm, invigorate, or help with sleep, depending on your need.
Easy aromatherapy tips:
Light an aroma candle and let the perfume seep into your senses. Your whole being will thank you for it. Explore our collection of aromatherapy oils, incense, and candles to learn more.
September weekend 4: reconnect with loved ones
In the past few months, have you forgotten to send a birthday card, or overlooked connecting with friends? In the rush of modern living, many of us often forget to bond with people beyond the primary circle of our office colleagues and family.
Easy ways to connect:
One easy way to break this habit is to close your eyes and call some of your most cherished loved ones to mind. It works like a Post-It note! Once they pop into mind, you'll be more inclined to pick up the phone or send a note.
In Ayurvedic terms, reconnecting with loved ones helps a person to get rid of toxic emotional ama (toxins) and build sattva, or positive mental qualities.
Last weekend of September: try vegetarian fare
Ayurveda strongly recommends both vegetarian and organic foods for their pure, sattvic qualities. So shed off the sluggishness of your Saturday morning, and head to the farmers' market for some fresh, regional produce! Your body—and taste buds—will be grateful.
Have a healthful September! And, looking ahead, here are some tips for a healthy Halloween next month.
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