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Ayurvedic bedtime drink

Today I would love to share one of my favouritest (is that a word?) drinks with you. It is the version I have adapted from Dr Johan Douillard’s website. If you would like to learn more about ayurveda from an ayurvedic physician, I recommend exploring his site for some great information.

Milk is really good for helping us go to sleep and this drink is a wonder when it comes to pacifying vata dosha.

In ayurveda, food is considered in terms of it’s qualities, instead of it’s calorie count or vitamin or mineral content. In ayurveda, the quality of milk is cold, sweet and heavy. When we heat it and add warming spices, we make it easier to digest. It is really good for vata and pitta types. Kapha types may like to spice it up with ginger or nutmeg and use soy or almond milk. Milk is really nourishing for the tissues.

You can use organic, unhomoginised cow’s milk, rice, almond, hemp, good quality soy or any other milk you like.

The addition of the ayurvedic herbs makes it more potent. Please check with your health care provider if you are not sure about using the herbs. Ayurvedic herbs are very powerful.

  • Shatavari is the wonder herb for all women. It translates as “strength of 100 husbands”. It contains unusually high amounts of plant derived oestrogen used to balance the female hormonal system and strengthen virility. It is good for PMS, menopause, help with lactation and to balance the menstrual cycle. Please check with your health care provider about it’s safety during pregnancy.
  • Ashwagandha has a calming effect on the mind and nerves. It translates as “strength of 10 horses.” It strengthens the  bones and muscles and is particularly beneficial for reducing anxiety as well as reversing sexual debility in men.

Here is my recipe:

Bring half a cup of milk and half a cup of water to a boil on the stove.

While the milk is coming to a boil, add:

  • One chopped date
  • One tablespoon of almond meal
  • One tablespoon of coconut meal
  • One teaspoon of ghee
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of shatavari powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder

Once milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and blend. You can use a stick blender in the pot or pop into into a big blender.

Strain any sediment through a fine sieve and enjoy with one teaspoon of raw honey.

Drinking this for three months will build up your ojas (strength and immunity) and help you to have a beautiful sleep.

I hope you enjoy and don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you. John Douillard adds saffron, but my body doesn’t seem to like it, so I don’t add it. My body is craving cardamom, so I am quite liberal in my addition of it.

Ayurveda is all about connecting with your own body and it’s needs. Use this as a base and feel into what your body needs.

I would love to hear from you once you have tried it. Let me know if it makes a difference to your state of mind and if you feel better after drinking it.

I also make it for my children without the addition of the ayurvedic herbs and they love it too.

Blessings to you.

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Easter 2014

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter in 2014.

May you find peace in your heart as you value the gift of service. Our inherent nature is to serve – find that peaceful place within where life flows through you.

Take the time to laugh, play and just be.

Blessings to you.

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In praise of the afternoon nap

Hi gorgeous!

How are you doing? If you are reading this and it also Autumn for you, I hope that you are managing to slow down. When I wrote about Ayurveda’s take on Autumn in this post, I mentioned how Vata time (the quality that is most prominent in this season) makes us a bit heady and spacey. This is because the qualities of air and space are prevalent, so we naturally amplify those qualities within ourselves.

One thing I haven’t mentioned is how different times of the day are also more prominent. These are rough guides and they can vary based on the time of year and your latitude, but, generally, Vata is most active between the hours of two and six. This is applicable in the afternoon and in the evening.

Do you ever wake at two in the morning? Ha, ha, that is Vata time! Meditation is recommended before six a.m. because Vata is the most “airy” time of the day, so we are very receptive.

But, this is a post about afternoon naps, I digress.

Basically, if you have Vata in your constitution, a Vata imbalance or it is Vata season (windy, cold, dry) outside, you need to take extra precautions at Vata time to stay balanced.

Vata needs warmth, grounding, sweetness and routine.

An afternoon nap (20 minutes or so) is a perfect way to ground Vata, since it slows down the movement that is inherent in Vata. If we don’t consciously slow down at this time of the day, we can get a bit frazzled and feel really worn out by the end of the day. Do this for a couple of years and you start waking at 2 a.m. (I know because I have done it!)

When I first started working on balancing my constitution (My Vata was out of balance), I would nap every day if I could. On the days that I couldn’t, I made a point of sitting and having a cup of tea.

Now that I feel much more grounded, I still have a nap if I feel like it.

Or else, I make myself a cup of chai with a cookie (remember I said Vata needs sweet – I have just given you permission to have some cake in the afternoon!). I also read or watch something inspiring, sit outside, or just lie in bed. I do this between two and three p.m. before I pick up my children from school. When they come home, we have some more afternoon tea, all together. (You can’t have too much afternoon tea, I say!)

My husband has a job in the city and does not have the luxury of lying down for an afternoon nap, so I have encouraged him to go for afternoon tea with his colleagues and to eat something sweet (fruit is really good to have at this time) between the hours of two and six. He says that it really makes a difference to his day and he also doesn’t come home ravenous.

I hope that is helpful to you. Give it a try and let me know if it makes a difference to your day.

Blessings to you.

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Almond milk

(This is an updated version of a post I did in 2102. Enjoy!)
I love almond milk. It’s full of healthy protein, highly prized in ayurveda and a great alternative if you don’t drink cow’s milk.
And it’s really yummy too!
But have you seen the ingredients on the box if you buy it in the shop? Sugar, salt, rice (?!?!).
Never mind the price.
Never fear, here is a recipe that won’t break the bank and tastes sooooo much better than the box variety.
Soak one cup of almonds in water overnight.
In the morning, drain your almonds and rinse.
Pop them in the blender.
Add three cups of filtered water.
It lasts about 3 days in the fridge.
(Recipe from Sara Avant, I love her work.
Get her amazing book over here.)
Blessings to you.
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Progress on Claude Monet’s garden

Hi beautiful.

I hope that you are well. It is definitely cooling down over here and this seems to have reignited my enthusiasm to create a magnificent garden like Claude Monet’s in Giverny. Due to my inherent Pitta (fire and water) constitution in ayurveda, I tend to find the warmer weather a little bit challenging. I have to watch that I don’t over heat and I need to make a point of really cooling down my activities.

I thought I would share a few photos and tell you what I have been doing in creating the garden of my dreams. I am learning that creating a garden of my dreams in such a hot and dry climate is going to be a life time of learning. The soil in our garden is very poor. Sohail has been digging holes for me to plant a few fruit trees and he digs up sand and rocks! I am filling up those holes with lots of compost, rock minerals and potting soil. So far, I have planted a Japanese plum, a Brazilian cherry and another Japanese plum is planned to go in to the ground soon. I am hoping that the trees will provide us with shade on the lawn in summer and beautiful blossoms in spring.


If you have a look outside Monet’s house, near the front door, you will see that there is a sea of forget me nots, with pink tulips growing amongst them. I have endeavoured to create the same thing with a pot next to my front door. I have planted some tulips in a pot with the forget me nots. One thing I have added to my organic potting mix is rock minerals. This really nourishes the soil. I am noticing that my seeds have started germinating just four days after planting. I always add a handful of rock minerals to whatever I am planting.


The first thing that Monet and his family did was to plant a vegetable garden that would supply them with delicious food. I have got four vegetable planters in the backyard and here is a picture of one of the tomato plants going crazy. The tomatoes are all green. Even though it was very hot in summer, the summer has not been very long, so I suspect that is why the tomatoes have not ripened. I have picked and put them in a bowl near a window, but they are also not ripening. Can anyone give me some wisdom on growing tomatoes? Should I just let the plant die down and wait for the fruits to turn red, or is it too late? I have some peas that have self seeded and are starting to climb up the bottom there. I love how mother nature is just doing her own thing!


The last thing I will show you is my nasturtiums. I am so pleased with how they are growing. Monet has a Grande Allee underplanted with nasturtiums on both sides. The nasturtiums creep all along the path and cover it completely by the time it is autumn. I have planted them near my vegetables and they have grown beautifully. I am so pleased with them that I am planting some more on the other side of the vegetable garden too. I think that if I work up the soil, they will grow even better next year.

I will leave you with a quote from Elizabeth Murray, who helped to restore the Giverny gardens in the 1980s:

“Cultivating beauty nurtures spirit, which blossoms into creativity, rooted and sustained in love.”

I am wondering if you are doing anything special in your outside space? If you would like to see what else is inspiring me to get outside, you can have a look at my Pintrest board. If you have one too, I would love to know what it is, so that I can see what inspires you.

Blessings to you.

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