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Keep Calm & Relax

You know the old saying.. you tell two friends and they tell two friends? Well I am "re-sharing" a very nice article from a friends Blog.  But she shared it first.. Good advice from an Ayurvedic Colleague.


Keep Calm And Relax

By Asrael, www.ayurvedicbliss.com
January 29th, 2015

Reprinted here for STACK vol 1 #4 (if not already subscribed click here)

I am so excited to share with you this guest blog by Samsara Mind and Body of London.

   Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system, still widely practiced today. It teaches that illness arises when the body is in a state of imbalance and, in order to maintain good health, we must ensure our energy systems are in sync with each other. These energy systems are known as the three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The way in which the Doshas interact directly affects your physical, mental and emotional health.

In the modern would, we’re more prone to illnesses caused by stress and anxiety. The key to overcoming and preventing such issues lies within our ability to cope with the demands of everyday life. Here are some of the top tips, taken from the Ayurveda approach to health, to help you keep calm and relax:

Make Time Each Day to Unwind and Relax
Relaxation and meditation are both key to good health. In order to ensure balance between the three Doshas, we must take time out of each day to unwind.

Not only does the time out enable you to relax, but it can also help you gain mental clarity and gain an improved self-understanding. The benefits of meditation are far reaching, and have also been linked to the prevention of physical ailments (e.g. hypertension).

Indulge in Ayurvedic Treatments
A wide range of Ayurvedic treatments are available to help accelerate the process of achieving a balanced state and improve your ability to relax and unwind. Many of the treatments have been designed with relaxation in mind, and use a variety of techniques (e.g. the application of medicated oils and massage) to address your individual requirements.

To get the most from your Ayurvedic treatments, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve. This will enable you to choose the treatment package most suited to your needs. Many therapists will offer a special de-stress package to address problems related to stress and anxiety, helping you unwind and relax. For example, Samsara Mind and Body offer a package to include a whole body massage (Abhyanga), a foot massage (Pada Abhyanga) and forehead oil flow treatment (Shirodhara).  If you are in London, you can visit Samsara Ayurveda.  If you are in British Columbia, visit Asrael at Ananda Ayurveda for these luxurious and nourishing treatments.

Pay Attention to Your Diet
Central to Ayurveda is the principle that most ailments can be avoided with good nutrition. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you should eat according to your body type, which is characterized according to the most dominant Dosha within your body.

If you have an imbalance led by Vata, you may experience symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and dehydration. If you eat large amounts of bitter or spicy foods, you’re likely to make the problem worse. Instead, you should focus on sweet, sour and easily digestible foods, such as fruit, cooked vegetables, and warm milk.

Listen to Your Body
It is important to listen to your body, and assess any signs of imbalance. If it feels like something is wrong, it’s an indication there’s an imbalance between your Doshas. Correctly assessing the symptoms can help you attribute the problems to dominance within one Dosha, enabling you to recover and restore balance.

To assess the symptoms, you need to take time each day to think about how you’re feeling, and recognize any difficulties you have experienced during the day.

Monitor and Disengage from Negative Thoughts
Negative thinking is one of the leading causes of stress and illness in the modern world. In order to live a peaceful, relaxed life, you must learn to disengage from the negative thoughts. To do this, you should actively monitor your thoughts, and learn to recognize when a negative thought enters your mind. Once you’ve identified a negative thought, it’s important to accept it, without allowing any further negative energy. Take control of the situation, whilst understanding why the negative thought has entered your mind. You should counter the negative thought with positive thoughts and actions.

Info On Samsara Mind And Body:  Samsara is London’s leading Ayurveda center. We offer a range of Ayurveda treatments that include Shirodhara, Mukhabhyanga and Akshi Tarpana. All our treatments begin with a full consultation and our team have many years expertise. We’re located in Wandsworth South London.

Info on Ananda Ayurveda: Ananda Ayurveda is located in beautiful Cowichan Bay, British Columbia.  A serene and peaceful seaside village, that is infused with healing energy. Asrael offers bodywork, counselling, consultations, yoga, and Jyotish Astrology.

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Base Camp Maine?

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
— John Muir

The notion of the The Beekeeper's House as a base camp is an idea that occurred to me as a concept only recently. I have lived here 12 seasons and the home and area are well settled in my life experience as a gift of sorts. Each day I spend in Maine, in this natural environment I call home, deepens my connection to nature and enriches my experience and adventure of living. I was living in my new home nestled in the woods about 3 weeks when I first noticed the sun's setting pink light hitting the tops of the White and Red Pine trees that rise some 60 plus feet above the woods floor.  You may not notice this till you are here for a day or two of your visit. You will notice this phenomenon when your inner self calms and your perspective changes as is the tendency while in vacation mode. When you do notice this pink haze up in the Forest canopy you will wonder why these pines are so tall. During the 1700s and 1800s this Brunswick property and the Harpswell area were home to 17 shipyards. These shipyards made a significant contribution building 77 ships in all. The same pines that were used in these ships influence and inform the current Bee Keeper's House as the home structure is Timber Frame and was built with these same trees harvested here on the property that were grown for masts of Schooners and Tall Ships. 

It is here among the pines, nature, history and salt air you can make a base camp for yourself. Let it be a main/Maine encampment where you can stash your supplies, shelter yourself, and stay connected with the world before your launch. It is a starting point; a place where you can prepare for the adventure, obtain your provisions, study your maps, and acclimate to a new pace of life during  your retreat or vacation. Base camp is not a destination but a starting point. Go and engage in a wide range of activities or go inward for a deep connection to your own nature. The adventure is here and out there.

 

Quick Beekeeper's House Base Camp Facts:

Geography:

  • 3.6 miles from Bowdoin College, 15 minutes from Freeport
  • Located at the top of Harpswell Cove; a still private, unchanged and unspoiled tidal cove.
  • We are field, woods and water. Home to Osprey, Eagles, Herons, Owls, Turkeys, Fox and Deer.

When to Visit

  • ALL YEAR LONG! Maine is famous as a Summer travel destination. Summer months are a tempting time to visit as the region offers what Mother Nature has dished up for entertainment in accessible abundance. Inland mountain hikes or coastal beach experiences are both day trips from our location. But FALL & WINTER are getaways that are uniquely quintessential to the Maine way of life.

What to Eat

  • If you are willing to work for your meal, Mussels, Stripers, Lobster, and Clams all are obtainable in the private cove. 
  • Fine dining is nearby and you are only 4 miles from a traditional grocery store and Morning Glory, Brunswick's very fine natural food store.
  • Honey of course! Most years it is in great supply and we are happy to sell you some.

Wifi

  • Not a problem!! People think we are more "back country" than we are. If staying connected to your inner techy persona while kayaking on a cove is your thing... you can do this here.

Mind Body Wellness

  • Options and add-on opportunities are offered to each guest to address your wellness regimen. Our philosophy is based in the 5000 year old tradition of Ayurveda, based on Nature's cycles and is customized to the individual. 

Factoids.....

  • We are home to a Bald Eagle nest.
  • The property has a certain spiritual feel.
  • The Maine house has a secret closet. 
  • Two Choices. You can come short term or long term. Some stay a month and return for another month the following year.
     

  

 

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Radical Hospitality

Hello

After a full year of operating The Beekeeper's House I still question what I am doing. I get confused as to whether to run workshops here and all the time I ask myself how I can be of service to you. In the end I am certain of one very clear vision. I AM OPEN and you are welcome here. "Here" is a place where I offer my hospitality. I share my home with you. I have a love of living a life close at hand and close to nature. My lifestyle you see is my work, my lively hood. I have had this notion for a while of sharing my home and life with those that stay here for sometime, but have always struggled with how to express this. I ran across the perfect phrase recently while reading a book called A Man Apart: Bill Cooperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living. Written by Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow. The book is a wonderful read and speaks wholly to my personal philosophy and values. The words popped off the page... "Radical Hospitality". Eureka!!! That's it... the phrase I have bee looking for to express my desire to share my home, open up my life to both friends, strangers, and clients that become friends. There is a desire for me to be in relationship with each person that visits, to share my experience of respite and well being. So that's it! You are welcome here. There is a Giant Welcome sign in my mind that invites you to experience The Beekeeper's House I cherish. This lifestyle of mine is healing and the property is a respite from the shared chaos that pervades most of our lives. "Radical Hospitality" is a shared experience, an invitation to experience every day... a better slowed down life and perhaps our better selves.
 
Please comment below. I would love to here your thoughts on this concept of mine...

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Those Dandelions

gathered from the lawn Spring 2016

gathered from the lawn Spring 2016

Dandelion Leaves

By John Immel, www.joyfulbelly.com
February 11th, 2011

reprinted here for STACK vol 1 #2 (if not already subscribed click here)

This is a great article I am sharing with you on the health benefits of the Dandelion. The Dandelion is everywhere in my yard this year so I am sharing this wisdom as I advise you to chummy up to this fabulous plant. While we use it for our own well-being it is worth noting the Dandelion's pollen is commonly thought to have the highest protein content of all flowers and is a wonderful early Spring food source for honey bees. Honey bees need the dandelions to build up their stores and broods in the spring. Have too many of them ??? The best sustainable way to control them (in my opinion) is simply to pull the flower off with your hand. This way those seeds never hatch to blow on breeze!  Enjoy the read!!!! (teaser: the second sentence is VERY revealing!)


Dandelion Leaves: The Ayurvedic Perspective

"Dandelion would be a rare plant if people knew its health potential." - Seven Song (herbalist from Ithaca, N.Y.)

Dandelion arrives on the spring scene just when the herb is needed most. Many herbs have this amazing quality - proliferating just when their healthful properties can really make a difference. The inspiring yellow flowers of dandelion celebrate spring's full swing, and the promise of good health in this new cycle.

Maybe dandelion's charm does not strike you - are you pulling them from your garden, or cursing their appearance on your lawn? Then you are missing out on a prized medicinal herb that holds helpfulness in its leaves, roots, and blossoms. The plant is a perfect spring tonic that cleanses the liver and cools the hot nature of Pitta, which is beginning to ascend in springtime.

Dandelion is a cholagogue, clearing the liver and gall bladder while removing cholesterol from the blood. The delightful dandelion holds your hand in the transition from winter to spring to summer, helping to eliminate the heaviness of winter's indulgences, making you light for spring, and also keeping the coming heat of summer from accumulating. The so-called weed also helps to process the environmental toxins that burden our modern civilizations.

This herbal ally's attributes don't stop there. Dandelion root regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics. Its high potassium content makes it a strong diuretic, relieving high blood pressure and the water retention that causes spring sluggishness. Feeling puffed up in the April warmth? Try dandelion leaf tea, or dandelion leaves in your spring salad.

Dandelion is definitely drying; it makes the mouth dry and tingle. It dries the eyes and makes the frontal lobe alert. It aids in digesting a fatty meal. Dandelion is a mild laxative, but should be combined with ginger or cardamom to counteract its cold quality. Be careful and don't be too zealous with this potent food medicine; for instance, too many raw dandelion leaves makes the stomach cold, curbing the appetite.

About
When most people think of dandelion, they think of pulling this pesky weed out of their manicured lawn. It's the poster child for weeds. This is especially ironic because colonists brought the dandelion to the Americas as an important medicinal plant. Since then, we've lost the knowledge of our ancestors. The bitter spring greens devoured by our forefathers helped them tremendously, and have the potential to bring us all to better health.

Dandelions originally come from Eurasia, the country of Georgia, where they have been enjoyed by humans for at least 3,000 years. Many homeowners are challenged to treasure the furry yellow flowers, to give up weed killers for a season, and to enjoy the wild plants that are nature's plan for green spaces. The nutritional power of dandelions remind people that growing food instead of lawns brings us back to a personal intimacy with the environment and health. The medicine you need is growing right under your feet, the dandelion's sunny petals remind us.

The best things in life are free, and dandelions are no exception. Healthfulness is a consumer impulse for some, but it is important to remember that our needs are fulfilled by the nature all around us. Medicine pops up all around us all of the time. Dandelions grow on the back lawn, and that's the best place to find them. Like many weeds, they are prolific and full of hearty plant wisdom. All people are in danger of ignoring what is around us and shrugging off what seems merely common. When it comes to dandelion, it's important to remember the dignity of common weeds, and the miracle of the relationship between humans and plants.

Grocery store dandelions are great, and dandelion leaves from the farmer's market will work just fine, but go ahead, and stalk the wild dandelions growing in your back yard. They pack a more vital punch. Wild food has to contend with elements, and compete with other plants, while farmed food is coddled, often fed fertilizers, and may be treated with pesticides. Frank Cook (the late herbalist from Asheville, N.C.) would say that the difference between grocery store food and wild food is the difference between a dog and a wolf. Find out how you can go wild!

Eating wild foods brings you closer to the land. When you eat a dandelion, you are communing with the natural world, taking in the strength of thriving plants. You become a part of the land. Eating wild medicinal foods has a potent effect. If you ate 20 dandelion flowers for three days, a part of your brain would be vitalized; perhaps your life would change forever. Who would have thought that these wild and under appreciated plants like dandelion have the vitality to keep us strong and healthy?

Be simple and organic: Find a lovely dandelion flower, get on your hands and knees, and eat it right off the stem. Or, take some leaves, chop them, steam lightly with mint for easy digestion, and eat like greens. Use dandelion leaves as you would use greens, in soups, or with eggs, or even pulsed raw into a verdant pesto with olive oil and pumpkin seeds. Immerse the dandelion leaves into hot water for a bitter tea.

Every part of the plant is edible, the flower, the leaves, the seeds, and the roots. However, it's important to separate seeds from the white fluff, also called papas, which can get stuck in your throat.

Once you eat a dandelion, there's no going back. Soon you'll be munching on many of natures delights, including lamb's quarters, nettles, purslane, and chickweed. Make your favorite dressing, bring a big salad bowl, an instructional manual on how to identify and forage for wild greens, and venture into wild land. Your enjoyment will connect you with your ancestors, who may have spent whole winters without fresh greens. Imagine the ecstasy, biting into those fresh leaves that trumpet the arrival of spring!

Comment below and let us know your thoughts....

Do you like 'dandelion leaves'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'dandelion leaves'?

 

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Ways To Relax@The Beekeeper’s House

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter…….

A time for being in nature. This beautiful part of the country offers majestic natural landscapes that make for wonderful getaways–that time in nature is so important to our physical, mental, and emotional restoration! Here are our top ways to enjoy The Beekeeper’s House during the changing seasons.

  • Warm yourself in front of the outdoor fireplace. 
  • Hammocks! Need we say more? Sway in the soft breeze and rock yourself into a blissful summer dream.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Front Field. Taste the bounty of local Maine Farms. Shop at Morning Glory Natural Foods, or pick up prepared food from Wild Oats Bakery.
  • Get lost in the views from our bench areas tucked away among the trees.
  • The Gardens! Located between the main house and the Barn Building is a lovely organic garden. Come work the soil and enjoy the bounty.
  • Bird watch. Soak up some rays or relax in the shade. Let your mind wander….
  • Kayak on our cove
  • Fish for Stripers, or dig for Clams. Our private cove offers up both
  • Meditate with your Beekeeper. Learn the technique of Heart Based Meditation
  • Learn about the bees. Just ask if you have a question. Want to learn more??? Schedule a private class.
  • Schedule an Ayurvedic Assessment
  • Take a deep breath. This is what The Beekeeper’s House is all about. 

Coming soon…..

  • Schedule an appointment for a massage in The Barn.
  • Arrange for a private Yoga session
  • Take a Sauna by (appointment only)

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Kitchari with Dry Roasted Spices; A Bee Keeper's Favorite Recipe

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Kitchari with Dry Roasted Spices; A Bee Keeper's Favorite Recipe

(Note: If you are participating in the Spring Cleanse with The Bee Keeper's House, all the ingredients to prepare this recipe are included in your Cleanse Kit, which is included in the price of your Cleanse)

Kitchari, a traditional Ayurvedic dish, is the food we eat during our cleanse. I just love the flavor of this particular recipe as the roasting of the spices bring out the flavors.

This recipe makes enough to last you for 3 or 4 meals. You can play with the mixture of spices. Many people prefer this recipe when the spices are doubled (or even tripled).

1 cup Split Yellow Mung Beans* (see for ‘weak digestion’ below)
1 cup White Basmati Rice
1 Tbs Fresh Ginger Root
1 tsp each Black Mustard Seeds, and Cumin and Turmeric powder
½ tsp each Coriander powder, and fennel and fenugreek seeds
3 Cloves
3 Bay Leaves
7-10 cup Water
½ tsp Salt (rock salt is best).
1 small handful Fresh Chopped Cilantro Leaves

It’s important to get SPLIT MUNG DAL beans because they are easy to digest and due to their cleansing qualities, they pull toxins from the body. They are available at most natural food stores. Different spellings include mung and/or dahl. Please note that you do not want the whole mung dal beans, which are green, or yellow split peas.

Wash split yellow mung beans (dahl) and rice together until water runs clear.
Heat a large pot on medium heat and then add all the spices (except the bay leaves) and dry roast for a few minutes. This dry-roasting will enhance the flavor. (boy and howdy it does!)
Add dahl and rice and stir again.
Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dahl and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
The cilantro leaves can be added just before serving.
Add salt or to taste.

bon appétit!! (recipe adapted from Dr. John Doulliard, Life Spa)

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Breakfast was WEIRD this AM.

cereal smile.jpg

Breakfast was WEIRD this AM. How did I recognize this? Food consciousness. Conscious eating is the hallmark of good eating. A funny feeling in your tummy can inform you as to what to eat and how to eat during any given day. I ate stewed pears with prunes seasoned with clove and cardamom, drizzled with organic honey! YUM!

3 Reasons breakfast can be weird

1: you are rushed

2: You aren't actually hungry

3: You just aren't sure what a healthy breakfast might be.

This morning I woke up with a belly ache. I  know many of you out there think Ayurvedic practitioners are totally healthy, but of course we have our ups and downs physically just like everyone else. This is why I want to share with you some basic Ayurvedic approaches to eating.

One: Never rush your meals
When we are rushed our digestion is not working at it's optimum. Eat sitting down and always eat in a settled environment.

Two: Ask your self if you are hungry
Ayurveda says we should always eat till about 75% full. If you find you are not hungry at any given meal this could be the first indicator that you ate too much at the previous meal or you that you may have a slow digestion which could be a precursor to more chronic digestive issues.

Three: How do I know what to eat?
GOOD QUESTION!!! If you are asking your self "How do I know what to eat?" then you are well on your way to developing a practice of Food Consciousness. In this culture we are trained to eat only through our eyes; ie. what looks good or tastes good, or we eat to satisfy our emotions ie. a treat would be good now, or I need a break so I will go for a snack.

So next time you are at a loss as to what to eat ask yourself first if you are hungry or feeling full. If feeling hungry feel free to eat a bit more. If full why not take something light for breakfast. If you are eager to learn more about the Ayurvedic perspective on the food/health connection, stay tuned as The Bee Keeper's House will be sharing more information about the wisdom of Ayurvedic nutrition all during this Spring Season. Next post... how to know what foods are right for you.

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