Text ebook

The Energy Manual - for Busy Moms

A Holistic Approach With Yoga and Ayurveda Wisdom

[intro]

Dear reader,

Welcome to The Energy Manual, your clear and easy to read guide to reclaiming vitality and balance in your busy lives through the transformative practices of yoga and Ayurveda. In this handbook, we'll embark on a holistic journey to revitalize your energy, restore your well-being, and empower you to thrive amidst the demands of daily life - all in only five clear steps.

Throughout the pages of this manual, you'll discover a wealth of wisdom, practical tools, and actionable steps to help you navigate the challenges of modern motherhood with grace and resilience. Drawing from the ancient traditions of yoga and Ayurveda, we'll explore simple yet powerful practices that will rejuvenate your body, calm your mind, and nourish your spirit.

Here's what you can expect from The Energy Manual:

Step 1: Energize Your Mornings In this first step, we'll delve into the importance of routines and unveil The Ultimate Morning Routine to kickstart your day. Learn about the significance of daily rituals, explore Ayurvedic morning practices, and understand how the doshas influence your energy throughout the day.

Step 2: Nurture Your Evenings Wind down gracefully with evening routines designed to promote relaxation, restful sleep, and rejuvenation. Explore Ayurvedic practices for winding down, learn tips for creating a peaceful bedtime routine, and embrace the art of self-care to nurture your body and mind.

Step 3: Fuel Your Body with Ayurvedic Nutrition Nourish your body from the inside out with the wisdom of Ayurvedic nutrition. Discover delicious recipes, meal plans, and dietary principles that will support sustained energy, balance your doshas, and enhance your overall well-being.

Step 4: Cultivate Calm and Relaxation Find moments of peace and tranquility amidst the busyness of life with calming practices and relaxation techniques. Learn mindfulness exercises, deep breathing techniques, and mini-meditations to reduce stress, increase resilience, and promote inner peace.

Step 5: Ignite Your Energy with Movement Infuse your day with vitality and movement to boost your energy and uplift your spirits. Explore simple exercises, yoga sequences, and mindful movement practices to invigorate your body, awaken your senses, and cultivate a sense of joy and vitality.

Together, let's reclaim your energy, revitalize your life, and embrace the joy of living in alignment with your true nature.

Here's to thriving as busy moms and radiating with vibrant energy!

Warm regards,

Kalinka

Step 1 Energize Your Mornings

In this first step, we'll delve into the importance of routines and unveil The Ultimate Morning Routine to kickstart your day. Plus you get a bonus morning meditation to set the tone for a peaceful and productive day ahead.

Importance of Routines

Having a daily routine is like having a roadmap for your day. It helps you stay organized, focused, and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. But when does something become a routine? Well, it's simple – when you do it regularly, day after day, for at least 21 days! I hope this manual will keep you on track.

Morning Routines in Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, the way we start our day sets the tone for the rest of it. By incorporating simple yet powerful morning routines, we can align ourselves with nature's rhythms and promote balance and vitality.

Understanding Doshas

Ayurveda teaches us that each person has a unique combination of three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – which influence our physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Paying attention to these doshas can help us optimize our daily routines. Click here if you are interested in the three doshas

Doshas in the clock

Did you know that waking up before 6 o'clock can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day? That's because from 2 till 6 o'clock is Vata time, a period characterized by movement and creativity, making it easier to rise and shine. On the other hand, from 6 till 10 o'clock is Kapha time, which can make it more challenging to get out of bed.

The Ultimate Morning Routine

To Beat Fatigue and Lift Up Your Energy

What if there was a way to start your day on the right foot and regain your energy? Enter the Ayurvedic morning routine, a powerful set of practices designed to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.

In Ayurveda, the morning is considered an important time for the removal of toxins from the body. According to this ancient healing system, the accumulation of toxins (known as ama) can disrupt the natural balance and functioning of our body and mind and can therefore be the cause of a low energy level.

  1. Rise and Shine: Waking up early, particularly before 6 am, aligns with the Vata time in Ayurveda. Vata is characterized by qualities such as movement, creativity, and inspiration. When we wake up during this time, we tap into the natural energy and vitality of the Vata dosha, setting the stage for an energizing day ahead. This early morning period allows us to connect with our inner creativity, find clarity, and start our day with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm.
  2. Tongue Scraping: A simple practice with surprising benefits. Did you know that tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that promotes oral hygiene and overall well-being? It helps to remove toxins, it freshens your breath, and enhances your digestion. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, just use a spoon and scrape all the toxins off in the early morning.
  3. Dry Brushing: Rejuvenate Your Skin and Stimulate Energy Discover the rejuvenating effects of dry brushing—an Ayurvedic self-care practice that involves gently brushing your skin with a natural bristle brush. This technique removes dead skin cells, promotes blood circulation, and invigorates your energy levels.
  4. Drinking a Glass of Warm Water: Warm water helps with flushing out toxins from the body. It supports the natural detoxification processes. Drinking warm water in the morning is also good for the digestive fire (agni) in your body. This helps to kickstart the digestive process and prepare the body for optimal digestion throughout the day.
  5. Yoga, Meditation, or Walking: Explore the transformative power of yoga, meditation, or a simple walk outdoors as part of your morning routine. These practices help calm the mind, release tension, and cultivate inner balance. It sets the right direction for your day. Need help with this routine? Listen to the ‘Bonus Morning Meditation’ I made for you, to help you wake up and set the right tone of the day.

You deserve to feel vibrant, energized, and fulfilled. Waking up early can have a transformative impact on your day. Not only does it provide you with a boost of energy, but it also gives a serene and peaceful start. With the kids still asleep, you can indulge in self-care and engage in activities that nourish your soul. As the world awakens, the early morning becomes your moment of solitude…

 

Step 2: Nurture Your Evenings

In Step 2 of The Energy Manual, we'll explore the importance of evening rituals and unveil The Ultimate Evening Routines in 5 steps to prepare you for a restful night's sleep. Discover how simple yet powerful practices can help you wind down gracefully, promote relaxation, and rejuvenate your mind and body after a busy day. Plus, don't miss the bonus Yoga Nidra meditation to help you unwind and drift into a deep, peaceful sleep.

Importance of Evening Rituals

Just as morning rituals set the tone for your day, evening rituals play a crucial role in preparing you for rest and rejuvenation. By set up a calming bedtime routine, you can signal to your body and mind that it's time to unwind and prepare for sleep.

The Ultimate Evening Routines in 5 Steps

Unwind and Prepare for a Good Night Sleep

  1. Digital Detox: Disconnect from screens and electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to reduce exposure to blue light, which can interfere with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Instead, engage in calming activities such as reading, journaling, or gentle stretching to help transition your mind into a state of relaxation.
  2. Herbal Tea Ritual: Brew a cup of calming herbal tea, such as chamomile or peppermint, and sip it slowly as part of your evening wind-down routine. The warmth and soothing properties of herbal tea can help relax your body and promote better sleep. Check selfoclock.net/herbal-teas if you want more information about herbal teas and their soothing properties. And don’t forget to take a small cup to avoid nighttime peeing.
  3. Early Bedtime: Remember Vata dosha in the morning that helps you to wake up early? Something similar goes for the evenings. Aim to go to bed before 10 pm to align with the Kapha time of night, which spans from 6 to 10 pm. During this period, the Kapha dosha is predominant, characterized by qualities of heaviness, stability, and lethargy. Going to sleep before 10, you can take advantage of the naturally calming and grounding energy of Kapha time, allowing yourself to ease into sleep more effortlessly.
  4. Gratitude Practice: End your day on a positive note by practicing gratitude. Reflect on three things you're grateful for from your day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can shift your focus from worries and stressors to the blessings and abundance present in your life, promoting a sense of peace and contentment as you drift off to sleep.
  5. Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra literally means yogic sleep. It is an ancient technique where you enter the deep states of conscious relaxation and is therefor the perfect preparation for a restful sleep. During Yoga Nidra you move awareness from the external world to the inner world, facilitating a state of deep relaxation where the senses, intellect, and mind relax. If you incorporate Yoga Nidra into your evening routine it will help to release tension, calm the mind, and prepare for a restful night's sleep. In the early morning you wake up feeling energized and refreshed.

 

Incorporate these five simple yet powerful evening rituals into your nightly routine to create a peaceful haven for deep, restorative sleep. Wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the day ahead. Listen to the ‘Bonus Yoga Nidra meditation’ I made for you, to help you unwind and prepare for a good night sleep.

 

Step 3: Fuel Your Body the Ayurvedic Way

Welcome to Step 3 of The Energy Manual, where we delve into the importance of fueling your body with the right foods to sustain energy levels throughout the day. In this section, we'll explore the fundamentals of Ayurvedic nutrition and how you can apply them to your daily meals to optimize your digestion, your energy level and your overall well-being.

If it’s hard to include all the steps, see if you can apply at least one.

Warm Water

If incorporating all the Ayurvedic principles in step 3 seems overwhelming, start with one simple step, such as switching to warm water instead of cold, and notice the positive impact it has on your energy levels and overall health. In Ayurveda, warm water is considered a powerful tool for supporting digestion and detoxification. Unlike cold water, which can slow down digestion and shock the system, warm water helps to kickstart your body's natural processes.

Here's why warm water is so beneficial:

  1. Aids Digestion: Drinking warm water before or during meals helps to stimulate the digestive system, making it easier for your body to break down food and absorb nutrients. It also helps to prevent bloating and indigestion.
  2. Supports Detoxification: Warm water helps to flush out toxins from the body by promoting sweating and urination. It also helps to dissolve waste and move it through the digestive tract more efficiently.
  3. Boosts Overall Health: Staying hydrated with warm water helps to keep your body functioning optimally. It improves circulation, supports joint health, and keeps your skin looking healthy and radiant.

Incorporating warm water into your daily routine is simple and can have profound benefits for your health. Start your day with a glass of warm water and continue to sip on it throughout the day. You'll soon notice the difference it makes in how you feel!

Certainly! Here's a simpler version:

Intermittent Fasting

Think back to our ancestors, who didn't have supermarkets or regular meal times. They hunted or gathered their food, sometimes going without meals for hours or even days. Our bodies are still used to this way of living.

Why Fasting Can Be Good

Surprisingly, not eating for a while can be healthy. It gives your body a break from digesting food all the time. It also helps clean out old and damaged cells, keeping you healthier. Some studies even say it can help you live longer!

If you're interested, start slowly. Maybe skip breakfast once a week and see how you feel. It's okay to feel hungry for a bit. As you get used to it, you can try skipping more meals or fasting for longer. Just listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard.

Be Careful

Fasting isn't for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with health problems, and those who've had eating issues should be careful. It's a good idea to talk to a doctor before trying fasting.

By trying out fasting, we're reconnecting with how our bodies used to live. It's like giving our bodies a little break to stay healthy and strong.

Food Combinations

One key aspect of Ayurvedic food guidelines is the concept of food combining. According to Ayurveda, the way foods are combined in a meal can have a significant impact on digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall well-being. By understanding the principles of Ayurvedic food combining, you can optimize your meals to support digestive health, enhance nutrient uptake, and promote harmony within the body.

Basic principles

  1. Eat fruits alone: Ayurveda suggests that fruits are best eaten on their own and not combined with other foods. This is because fruits have a quicker digestion time compared to other food types. When fruits are mixed with other foods, especially those with different digestion rates, it can lead to fermentation in the gut, causing bloating, gas, and discomfort. Eating fruits alone allows for optimal digestion and absorption of their nutrients, ensuring maximum benefit for the body.
  2. Avoid combining incompatible foods: In Ayurveda, certain food combinations are considered incompatible as they can create digestive issues and disrupt the body's natural balance. For example, mixing dairy with fruits or yogurt with grains is generally discouraged. Dairy products and fruits have different digestive properties and can produce toxins when combined, leading to digestive discomfort. Similarly, combining yogurt, which is sour, with grains, which are predominantly sweet, can impair digestion and cause imbalances in the body. So no more fruit in your yogurt!:)
  3. Consider taste combinations: Ayurveda categorizes foods into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Each taste has specific effects on the body and plays a role in maintaining balance. A balanced meal should ideally include all six tastes in appropriate proportions to satisfy the body's nutritional needs and promote harmony. For example, including sweet foods like grains or fruits, sour foods like citrus fruits or yogurt, salty foods like sea salt or seaweed, bitter foods like leafy greens or turmeric, pungent foods like ginger or garlic, and astringent foods like legumes or certain vegetables ensures a well-rounded and nourishing diet. By considering taste combinations, you can create meals that not only taste delicious but also support your body's health and vitality according to Ayurvedic principles.

Warm Foods

In Ayurveda, warm foods are preferred because they are believed to kindle the digestive fire, known as Agni, which is essential for proper digestion and metabolism. Warm foods are easier for the body to digest and assimilate, promoting efficient nutrient absorption and preventing digestive discomfort. Additionally, warm foods help maintain the body's internal temperature, supporting overall balance and vitality.

 

Putting Ayurvedic Wisdom into Practice

So, how are we putting all this information into practice? Don't worry; I'm here to guide you through it. We'll start by introducing you to some delicious and nourishing Ayurvedic recipes that align with the principles we've discussed. After the recipes you will find a shopping list for the lunches and dinners. And how to make

For breakfast: Spiced Oatmeal

Here's a delicious recipe for Spiced Oatmeal, a comforting and nutritious breakfast option with Ayurvedic flavors:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water or plant-based milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Chopped nuts or seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds) for topping
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for topping

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rolled oats, water or milk, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the oats are tender and the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency.
  3. If using, stir in the maple syrup or honey to sweeten the oatmeal to taste.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the oatmeal rest for a minute or two to cool slightly and allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Serve the spiced oatmeal hot, portioned into bowls, and topped with your favorite toppings such as chopped nuts or seeds, and shredded coconut.

 

  1. Enjoy this warming and nourishing Spiced Oatmeal as a comforting breakfast to start your day on a healthy and satisfying note!

Feel free to customize the Spiced Oatmeal with your preferred spices and toppings to suit your taste preferences. Experiment with different combinations nuts, and seeds to create your perfect bowl of Ayurvedic-inspired goodness.

For breakfast: Quinoa Porridge

Here's a recipe for a delicious and nutritious Quinoa Porridge, perfect for a wholesome breakfast with Ayurvedic flavors:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Chopped nuts or seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds) for topping
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for topping

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa, water, and milk.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Stir in the ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and a pinch of salt.
  4. If using, add the maple syrup or honey to sweeten the porridge to taste.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the quinoa porridge rest for a minute or two to cool slightly and allow the flavors to meld together.
  6. Serve the quinoa porridge hot, portioned into bowls, and topped with your favorite toppings such as chopped nuts or seeds, and shredded coconut.
  7. Enjoy this nourishing and flavorful Quinoa Porridge as a wholesome breakfast to fuel your day with energy and vitality!

Feel free to adjust the sweetness and spices according to your taste preferences. You can also experiment with different toppings such as a drizzle of nut butter, nuts or seeds to create your perfect bowl of Ayurvedic-inspired Quinoa Porridge.

Lunch or dinner: Kitchari

One popular warm Ayurvedic meal is Kitchari. It is a nourishing one-pot dish made from a combination of rice and split mung beans, seasoned with digestive spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger. This simple yet nutritious meal is easy to digest, balancing for all doshas, and provides a complete source of protein when combined with rice and lentils.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup split yellow mung beans (moong dal)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice and mung beans under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until they start to splutter.
  3. Add the grated ginger and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the ground turmeric, ground coriander, and ground cumin, and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the diced carrot, chopped spinach or kale, rinsed rice, and mung beans to the pot. Stir well to coat the grains and legumes with the spices.
  6. Pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the Kitchari to simmer gently for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice and mung beans are tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve the Kitchari hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the dish. Enjoy this nourishing and comforting meal!

Feel free to adjust the vegetables and spices according to your taste preferences and seasonal availability. Kitchari is highly customizable and can be enjoyed as a standalone meal or served with yogurt, pickles, or chutney for added flavor.

Lunch or dinner: Vegetable Dal

Here's a simple recipe for Vegetable Dal, a nutritious and flavorful Ayurvedic dish:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (such as carrots, peas, cauliflower, or spinach), chopped
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Rinse the red lentils under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until they start to splutter.
  3. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the pot. Sauté until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, and garam masala (if using). Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften and release their juices.
  5. Add the rinsed red lentils to the pot, along with the water. Stir well to combine.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the dal to simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the mixture has thickened.
  7. Once the lentils are cooked, add the chopped mixed vegetables to the pot. Stir well and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  8. Season the Vegetable Dal with salt to taste, and adjust the spices if necessary.
  9. Garnish the dal with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the dish. Enjoy this hearty and nutritious meal on its own or with steamed rice or flatbread.

Feel free to customize the Vegetable Dal with your favorite seasonal vegetables and adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Enjoy the comforting flavors of this wholesome Ayurvedic dish!

Lunch or dinner: Vegetable Stir-Fry

Here's a simple recipe for Vegetable Stir-Fry, a delicious and nutritious Ayurvedic dish:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup snap peas or snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) for garnish
  • Cooked rice or quinoa for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sliced onion to the skillet and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the julienned carrots, sliced bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, and snap peas to the skillet. Stir-fry the vegetables for 5-6 minutes, or until they are tender-crisp and lightly browned.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet and toss to coat evenly.
  6. Continue to cook the vegetable stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  7. If desired, sprinkle the stir-fry with sesame seeds for added crunch and flavor.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and garnish the vegetable stir-fry with fresh cilantro leaves.
  9. Serve the vegetable stir-fry hot, with cooked rice or quinoa on the side. Enjoy this colorful and nutritious dish as a satisfying main course or as a flavorful side dish.

Feel free to customize the Vegetable Stir-Fry with your favorite vegetables and adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. Enjoy the vibrant flavors and nourishing goodness of this wholesome Ayurvedic dish!

Lunch or dinner: Ayurvedic Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle and pop, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the ground turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to the pot, stirring to toast the spices for another minute.
  3. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the pot, and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in the minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  5. Add the rinsed red lentils and water or vegetable broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened.
  6. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the lentil soup hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice for added brightness.

This Ayurvedic lentil soup is nourishing, comforting, and packed with warming spices that support digestion and overall well-being. Enjoy it as a light meal or pair it with a side salad or some whole grain bread for a more substantial dish.

Lunch or dinner: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked rice or naan bread, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pan, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne pepper, and cook for a minute to toast the spices.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and coconut milk to the pan, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chopped spinach to the pan and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the spinach and chickpea curry hot, garnished with fresh cilantro, and accompanied by cooked rice or naan bread.

This Ayurvedic spinach and chickpea curry is rich in flavor, packed with nutrients, and perfect for nourishing your body and soul. Enjoy it as a comforting meal on its own or as part of a larger spread with other Ayurvedic dishes.

Shopping List for the lunches and dinners

Produce

  • Spinach (for Kitchari and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Onions (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Garlic (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Ginger (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Tomatoes (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Carrots (for Vegetable Stir-Fry)
  • Bell peppers (for Vegetable Stir-Fry)
  • Zucchini (for Vegetable Stir-Fry)
  • Cilantro (for garnish in Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Lemons (for garnish in Vegetable Dal)

Canned Goods

  • Chickpeas (for Kitchari and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Diced tomatoes (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
  • Coconut milk (for Spinach and Chickpea Curry)

Grains/Legumes

  • Basmati rice (for Kitchari)
  • Lentils (for Vegetable Dal)
  • Quinoa (for Vegetable Stir-Fry)

Spices/Herbs

  • Cumin seeds
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground turmeric
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cardamom
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Other

  • Ghee or coconut oil (for Vegetable Dal and Spinach and Chickpea Curry)

Make sure to check your pantry for any ingredients you already have before heading to the store. Happy cooking!

Batch Cooking

Now that you've chosen your delicious Ayurvedic recipes and stocked up on all the ingredients, it's time to streamline your meal preparation process with batch cooking. This approach will not only save you time during the week but also ensure you have nutritious, ready-made meals at your fingertips whenever you need them.

How to Batch Cook

  1. Set Aside Time: Dedicate a few hours on the weekend to batch cook your selected recipes. Choose a time when you're less likely to be interrupted, perhaps when the kids are napping or engaged in other activities.
  2. Prep Your Ingredients: Wash, chop, and measure out all the ingredients needed for your recipes. This includes vegetables, grains, legumes, and spices. Having everything ready to go will streamline the cooking process.
  3. Cook in Batches: Start by cooking the grains and legumes required for your recipes. You can use separate pots and pans or a pressure cooker to speed up the process. Once cooked, set them aside to cool.
  4. Prepare Your Recipes: With your ingredients prepped and cooked, it's time to assemble your dishes. Follow the recipes you've selected, combining the ingredients and spices as directed. Cook the dishes according to the instructions and allow them to cool before storing.
  5. Portion and Store: Once your dishes are cooked and cooled, portion them into individual servings using airtight containers or meal prep containers. Label each container with the name of the dish and the date prepared.
  6. Refrigerate or Freeze: Depending on when you plan to enjoy each meal, refrigerate or freeze the portions accordingly. Refrigerated meals should be consumed within a few days, while frozen meals can be stored for several weeks.

Tips for Success

  • Double Up: Consider doubling or even tripling your batch cooking efforts to stock up on meals for the weeks ahead. This can be especially helpful during particularly busy periods.
  • Variety is Key: While batch cooking can save you time, it's essential to maintain variety in your meals to keep things interesting. Rotate your recipes each week to prevent meal fatigue.

By incorporating batch cooking into your routine, you'll streamline your meal preparation process, save time during the week, and ensure that you and your family have nutritious, homemade meals ready to enjoy whenever you need them. Happy cooking!

Step 4: Mindful Moments

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that we don't have enough time for mindfulness. You might think, "I'm too busy," or "I'll do it later," as you rush from one task to the next. But what if you pause for a moment and consider where your time truly goes?

Take a moment to be honest with yourself: How much time do you spend scrolling through social media each day? And more importantly, how does that make you feel? While it may offer a temporary distraction, does it truly nourish your well-being and happiness?

Imagine if, instead of mindlessly scrolling, you took a mindful pause. A moment to center yourself, reconnect with your breath, and anchor your awareness in the present moment. What if you could infuse small pockets of mindfulness into your day, transforming ordinary moments into opportunities for greater clarity, calmness, and contentment?

In this section, we'll explore the power of mindful moments. Simple, yet profound practices that can help you reclaim your time, reduce stress, and cultivate a deeper sense of well-being. From mindful meals to mindful toilet breaks, each moment offers a chance to shift from autopilot to awareness, from busyness to presence.

So, let's challenge the notion of "not having enough time" and instead embrace the richness of each moment. Let's discover how mindful moments can enrich your life and nourish your soul.

Incorporating Mindful Moments

In our hectic lives, finding moments of stillness and presence can seem like a luxury. However, integrating brief mindfulness and relaxation practices into your daily routine may be easier than you think. Here are some examples of how you can infuse mindfulness into everyday activities:

  1. Mindful Mealtime: Instead of viewing mealtime as only a functional task, transform it into a mindful ritual. Set aside distractions such as television or electronic devices, and focus solely on the act of eating. Begin by taking a few deep breaths to center yourself. As you eat, engage your senses fully—notice the colors, textures, and aromas of your food. Chew slowly and deliberately, enjoying each bite. Pay attention to the sensations in your body and the subtle shifts in flavor as you eat. Cultivate gratitude for the nourishment your meal provides, and allow yourself to fully experience the pleasure of eating.
  2. Mindful Toilet Time: Even the most mundane activities, such as using the restroom, can be transformed into moments of mindfulness. Instead of rushing through this daily task, take a few extra moments to pause, breathe, and center yourself. As you sit, feel the support of the ground beneath your feet and the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Notice any tension or discomfort in your muscles, and consciously release it with each exhale. Use this time to check in with yourself mentally and emotionally, allowing any stress or worries to wash away. By leaving your phone outside the restroom and tuning into the present moment, you can cultivate a sense of calm and relaxation, even on a busy day.
  3. Mindful Movement: Incorporate mindfulness into your daily activities by practicing mindful movement. Whether you're walking, stretching, or engaging in household chores, use these opportunities to tune into your body's sensations and movements. As you walk, notice the feeling of your feet making contact with the ground, the rhythm of your breath, and the sights and sounds around you. During stretching or yoga, pay attention to the sensations of stretching and releasing tension in your muscles. Even mundane tasks like washing dishes can become opportunities for mindfulness—focus on the sensation of the water against your skin, the sound of dishes clinking together, and the repetitive movements of your hands. By bringing your full attention to the present moment, you can turn routine activities into opportunities for relaxation and inner peace.

Three-Minute Breathing Space

The Three-Minute Breathing Space is a mindfulness practice that can help you ground yourself in the present moment and find calm amidst the chaos of daily life, in only three minutes and three steps.

This simple mindfulness practice involves three steps: becoming aware of your thoughts and sensations, gathering your attention by focusing on your breath, and expanding your awareness to include your body and surroundings. It's a powerful tool for centering yourself in the present moment, especially during times of stress or overwhelm.

  1. Awareness: Begin by bringing your attention to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Notice any tension, discomfort, or racing thoughts without judgment.
  2. Gathering: Shift your focus to your breath. Take a few deep breaths, allowing your inhalations and exhalations to be slow, steady, and intentional. Feel the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation of air passing through your nostrils.
  3. Expanding: Expand your awareness to include your entire body and your surroundings. Notice the sensation of your feet on the ground, the sounds in the environment, and any points of contact with your surroundings. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment, grounded and centered.

Want to try? The first few times it can be helpful to use an audio recording. But after a few practices, you can try and do it by yourself. Good luck and enjoy!

Listen to the ‘Bonus Three Minute Breathing Space’. Good luck and enjoy!

Benefits of Nature and Trees

Spending time in nature, especially among trees, has many benefits for your health and energy level. Trees release phytoncides, natural compounds that have been shown to boost immune function, reduce stress levels, increase energy levels, and boost your mood. Taking a nature walk or simply spending time outdoors can help you feel more grounded, centered, and rejuvenated.

So spend some time outdoors, preferably daily, connecting with nature. Take a leisurely stroll through a park or forest, and notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you.

Click here if you want to know more about how ‘Nature Walks’ can make you healthier.

Restorative Yoga Sequence

Restorative yoga is a gentle and soothing practice that can help you release tension, relax deeply, and restore your energy levels. By practicing restorative yoga poses, you can calm the nervous system, quiet the mind, and promote a sense of deep relaxation and renewal. Practice a restorative yoga sequence especially after a stressful day can help you unwind and prepare your body and mind for restful sleep.

Watch and undergo the ‘Bonus Restorative Yoga Sequence’

Step 5 Energize through Motion

Have you ever considered how much our modern lifestyles differ from those of our ancient ancestors? While our predecessors were constantly on the move, hunting, gathering. Nowadays we spend most of our time sitting in front of screens or desks. The shift from an active lifestyle to a sitting lifestyle has profound implications for our health and well-being.

Research has shown that excessive sitting is associated with a lot of health risks, like fatigue, muscle stiffness, and decreased energy levels. Poor moving not only affects our physical health but also takes a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. The human body is designed for movement, yet our modern habits often undermine this fundamental need.

In Step 5 of The Energy Manual, we'll explore the transformative power of motion and how incorporating movement throughout the day can boost your energy level and make you feel better. From simple tips to get you on your feet more often to insights into the importance of strength training as we age.

Let's dive into this last step and learn how to feel more energized by staying active throughout the day.

Incorporating Movements

In our fast-paced lives, finding time for movement can feel like a challenge. However, integrating movement into your daily routine doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some simple ways to incorporate movement into your day:

  1. Active Meetings: Instead of sitting through meetings, suggest short standing or walking meetings. This not only adds movement but can also boost creativity and productivity.
  2. Ergonomic Work Setup: Enhance your workspace by considering alternative seating options such as a standing desk or a balance ball chair. Standing desks provide the flexibility to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, promoting better circulation and reducing the risk of prolonged sitting-related health issues. Additionally, standing desks can help increase energy levels and improve focus by encouraging mild physical activity while you work. On the other hand, sitting on a balance ball chair offers a dynamic seating solution that engages your core muscles and encourages movement throughout the day.
  3. Social Walks: Opt for a leisurely walk when meeting friends instead of the usual cafe or restaurant setting. Not only does walking provide an opportunity to catch up and engage in meaningful conversations, but it also offers the added benefit of gentle exercise. Walking side by side encourages a natural flow of conversation and allows you to enjoy the outdoors while nurturing your social connections.
  4. Take the Stairs: Incorporate a bit of movement into your daily routine by choosing the stairs over the elevator whenever feasible. This simple change not only adds a touch of physical activity to your day but also helps you avoid the sedentary trap of elevator rides. By opting for the stairs, you can sneak in some extra steps and contribute to your overall daily movement goals.
  5. Park Farther Away: Embrace the opportunity to add a bit more movement to your day by parking your car farther away from your destination. Rather than circling for the closest spot, consider parking a bit farther away to give yourself an excuse to enjoy a short stroll. Similarly, if you use public transportation, consider get off one stop earlier to incorporate some additional steps into your journey. These small adjustments may seem insignificant, but they can add up to a significant boost in your daily activity levels.

By incorporating these small changes into your daily routine, you can increase your overall movement and contribute to a higher energy level.

Mindful Walk

Integrating mindfulness into movement activities can be a powerful way to cultivate inner peace and presence amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. During a mindful walk you bring your full attention to each step and the sensations of walking. By moving mindfully you tap into a deeper sense of presence and connection with yourself and the world around you. Research has shown that mindful movement practices help reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and promote overall well-being.

How does it work?

Mindful walking, also known as walking meditation, involves walking slowly and deliberately while maintaining awareness of each step and the sensations of walking. Unlike traditional meditation practices where we sit still, mindful walking allows us to integrate mindfulness into our daily activities, making it accessible to those who may find sitting meditation challenging or uncomfortable. To practice mindful walking, simply find a quiet and peaceful place where you can walk without distractions. It’s all about noticing the sights, sounds, and smells around you, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the experience of walking.

In the accompanying audio meditation below, you'll be guided through a mindful walk practice that you can listen to while walking outdoors. Whether you're walking in nature, strolling through the city streets, or navigating the sidewalks of your neighborhood, mindful walking can be practiced anytime, anywhere.

Consider incorporating mindful walking into your daily routine by taking a mindful walk during your lunch break, on your morning commute, or as a way to unwind at the end of the day.

Let's step into the present moment together. Listen to Listen to the ‘Bonus Mindful Walk Meditation’.

Yoga For Energy

In our quest for increased energy and vitality, movement plays a vital role in strengthening both the body and the mind. While practices like mindful walking offer a gentle and meditative approach to movement, there are times when we crave a more dynamic and energizing experience.

Yoga has long been practiced for its ability to cultivate strength, flexibility, and balance, but its benefits extend far beyond the physical realm. A well-rounded yoga practice incorporates breathwork, movement, and mindfulness, creating a holistic experience that nourishes both body and soul. Through the practice of yoga, we can tap into our energy reservoir to fuel our daily activities.

In the accompanying yoga sequence, you'll be guided through a dynamic and invigorating practice designed to awaken your body, enliven your spirit, and ignite your inner fire. This sequence features a combination of flowing movements, strength-building poses, and energizing breathwork, all designed to leave you feeling empowered, energized, and ready to embrace whatever the day may bring.

Let's move, breathe, and connect and awaken your fire. Join me in the ‘Bonus Energizing Yoga Sequence’.