a peek inside: my beach bag

We’ll blame it on being a Virgo, but I have designated bags for everything and the beach is no exception. Living on the coast of Southern California, I’m a frequent beach flyer. My fair-skinned complexion is absolutely no competition for the sun’s brute strength, specifically its UVA and UVB rays, so whenever I hit the shore I make sure I’m stocked with all the necessary tools for a safe and pleasant beach day.


SUNSCREEN
Two of the most important items in my tote are my facial and body sunscreens. Crucial. We rarely see cloud coverage down here but even if we do, clouds block as little as 20% of UV rays. So the bottom line is that sunscreen is critical to skin protection.

There are a few criteria that skin products must meet before they get the green light from me. Organic, sustainably made, and cruelty-free are all musts. Through my product research, I was introduced to another checkbox which applies exclusively to sunscreens: reef safe. Sunscreens that are manufactured without Oxybenzone or Octinoxate are legally classified as “reef safe” — another simple way to limit your environmental footprint.

The sunscreens pictured above are my most trusted lotions. I was using Sun Bum on my face for a few months until it began to sting my eyes whenever I got out of the ocean. Since it was doing a great job shielding the rest of my body, I figured I’d just look into a new sunscreen for my face. I narrowed the search down to Badger Sport and Coola Sport but ultimately went for Coola. It’s been about 2 weeks and I can honestly say I’m thrilled with it. No drips, no tears, and no burns. Plus, it meets all of my requirements. It’s the stuff, people.

For the face: Coola Suncare Suncare Citrus Mimosa Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
For the bod: Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50


REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE S’well Bottle 25oz
My water bottle and I have been in a strong committed relationship for almost 2 years. We’ve been everywhere together. Since I bought the bottle back in ’16, I can honestly say I have purchased less than 15 plastic water bottles. Aside from that, I’m able to measure my water intake and ensure that I’m staying hydrated in the hot summer sun and/or year round. It’s looking pretty dated these days, but it still keeps my water fresh and cold. I prefer the tinier mouth compared to other reusable bottles that have a wider mouth; I find that it makes drinking easier and less messy… I’m known for spilling. As for cleaning: I rinse my bottle out every day and soap every other.

SHADES Ray-Ban Round Metal
Admittedly, the time for me to invest in a solid pair of polarized sunglasses has come and gone but I’ve been slacking and still wear the American classics, Ray-Ban.  They do a decent job of protecting my eyes from the sun, but I’ve gotta step my game up and get a pair of shades that are built for high sun exposure. Will report back.

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SPEAKERS 
OontZ Angle 3 PLUS Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you haven’t noticed from my monthly playlists, I’m a big music buff. Whether you’re solo or with others, speakers help liven things up. Again, there were a handful of criteria that the chosen speakers had to meet before I settled on them: sand-proof, water-resistant Bluetooth,  long battery life. Check, check, check, and check. They’re lightweight and the sound quality is spot on. Never hit the beach without them.

TOWEL Slowtide Haven Tassel Beach Towel
Towels on the beach are for both comfort and functionality. We nap on them, dry off using them and sometimes use it as a hold-all for our belongings. My current beach bud is my Slowtide beach towel. First of all, it’s beautiful. There’s way more to Slowtide than meets the eyes, though. They follow slow manufacturing processes and are transparent when it comes to their responsibilities as a company.  As someone who’s always keeping an eye out for a solid sustainable brand, this one was a home run.

Happy beaching.

Your Gal, Shaye

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a peek inside: my medicine cabinet

where the skin magic happens

Whether or not the Fountain of Youth actually existed is a question that remains unanswered but we do know one thing: if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.

Although growing older is inevitable, signs of aging are something you can delay, depending on the precautionary measures you take. They key is to start from the inside and work your way out; eat well, drink boatloads of water, and exercise. But we mustn’t forget that tending to your outer shell comes in at a close second in terms of importance, which is why I take skincare so seriously.

It began with my seemingly ageless mother, who’s been stressing the significance of a good skincare regimen since I was a tiny thing on the beach, slathered in SPF 50 rocking a silly hat that was bigger than me. It was these practices– which I dreaded at the time–that instilled in me some of my most valued habits– the ones that help me maintain a healthy and [mostly] blemish-free complexion.

With that said, I’d be lying if I said my skin was perfect. I have unruly breakouts sometimes, too, but through research and trial-and-error, I have managed to find a handful of all-natural products and practices that keep that nonsense under control. Knowledge is better when shared so I’m going to let you in on a few of my best-kept secrets– the trusty products I keep in my rotation.

the “in” crowd

As discussed in gal’s spring skin glow-up guide, your skin is the body’s largest organ so it’s crucial that we’re mindful of how we treat our skin. More specifically, we must be careful about what we put on it because whatever it is will ultimately get absorbed. That’s why I roll with this crew: products free of chemicals or other harsh, potentially toxic ingredients. *If you can’t pronounce it, chances are you should steer clear.

Step 1: CLEANSER Trader Joe’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil

I have been using this face wash for about 7 years. Yes, years. It’s thorough, refreshing, and doesn’t break the bank. TJ’s all the way.

Step 2: TONER Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel

No facial regimen is complete without toner and Thayers is your best bet. They’ve been in biz since 1847 so it’s safe to say they’re doing something right. The rose petal scent is delicate and feminine and does a great job of wiping away any excess dirt your face wash missed. It pairs well with reusable cotton rounds.

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Step 3: FACIAL SERUM Odacité Papaya Geranium Serum Concentrate

This serum is my newest buddy and we’re getting along very well so far. It smells great and leaves your skin feeling like a million bucks. This Pa + G serum is specifically designed to help with hyperpigmentation and other dark spots, some of which I’ve gotten via sun damage. So far, I have seen a slight improvement in my skin but it’s too soon to really tell. * I usually wait about 5 minutes post serum application before I move on to the moisturizing step.

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Step 4: FACIAL MOISTURIZER Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil or Hynt Beauty Sun Prep Broad Spectrum SPF 25

I don’t have enough fabulous words to describe Kahina’s Argan Oil. I discovered the miracle worker three years back while on the hunt for a new moisturizing oil. This was my morning and night oil until recently when I made a commitment to sun protection and invested in Hynt Sun Prep. Now, Kahina serves solely as my bedtime facial oil. It leaves your skin with a dewy glow after every single use.

In addition to the quality of the product, Kahina Giving Beauty is a highly respectable company. All of their products are “thoughtfully produced from start to finish with an eye toward cultural and environmental sustainability.” Kahina4lyfe.

Unless it’s raining outside, Hynt Sun Prep is my morning go-to. I strongly dislike the scent of sunscreen so I wanted to find a daily moisturizer that had SPF and that smelled like anything other than sunscreen. That’s when I stumbled upon Hynt! It boasts a fresh florally smell, goes on smoothly, and doesn’t leave any thick residue. I think it’ll be sticking with me for a while.

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Extra: ESSENTIAL OIL Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil

If I have any blemishes or problem spots, I apply Trader Joe’s tea tree oil to the particular area. It’s been a game changer. I started using it back in high school when stress and hormones wreaked havoc on my face-  we’ve been best friends ever since.

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Step 6: BODY MOISTURIZER MyHavtorn Organic Body Oil or Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

MyHavtorn body oil is heavenly. There, I said it. MyHavtorn is a family-owned company which hails from Sweden and “inspired by the power of nature.” I’m with it. It spreads like butter and smells… well, heavenly. I use the organic body oil sparingly because I love it so much and don’t want to run out, but whenever I do my body has the post-spa feeling.

I use TJ’s coconut oil on a more frequent basis. It never fails to quench my skin’s thirst for moisturization and again, smells amazing. If you couldn’t tell, the smell of a product is very important to me. Anyway, I apply coco oil post-dry brush + shower nearly every day. Major props to coconut oil for sticking by my side and keeping me moisturized. You’re the truest.

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Many things in life, like aging, are out of your control, but the way you treat yourself and your body is not one of them. Investing in quality products and routines are gifts that keep on giving. If you’re on the market, these products are worth it.

Your Gal, Shaye
P.S. If there are any ah-mazing all-natural products that you think I should know about, please let me know! 🙂

tru·isms: your spring skin glow-up guide

March showers bring dewy skin

The last few weeks have been wetter than usual in LA, which has provided nature with a much-needed revitalizer as it transitions from winter to spring. There is a shift for us, too, and it’s crucial that we take our skin into consideration as it adjusts to the new climate and warmer weather.

Springtime is the best of all worlds; brisk during the morning and nighttime hours but pleasantly balmy during the day. With that said, as the temps begin to rise and we spend more time outdoors, taking the necessary measures to adequately protect and nourish our skin is key. This means investing in a skincare routine that you’ll stick to. When you give your face and bod consistent TLC, it creates a difference you can see, and more importantly, feel. I’m talking: radiant glow.

As far as products go, I do my best to avoid any made with chemicals. When you can, always opt for organic. It needn’t be anything fancy. Despite popular belief, naturalproducts don’t always come with a hefty price tag.  My regimen is fairly inexpensive and I’m confident that my skin is smiling 90% of the time. You just have to find the balance that works for you.

gal’s spring skin glow-up guide

  • CLEANSE
    • Skincare 101- this should come as no surprise. During the day (and night) our skin gets covered in bacteria, oil, pollutants, and other debris that are floating around in the air. Cleansing your face rids your skin of these impurities that could otherwise lead to clogged pores and other potential skin-related issues. It also encourages skin hydration, which we love.
      *Also, exfoliate about two or three times a week, depending on your skin type. Exfoliating is an extra step you can take ensure that your face is an impurity-free zone.
  • TONE
    • Often overlooked, but toning happens to be my favorite. Toner helps wipe away excess dirt that your cleanser missed. It also restores your skin’s pH balance, moisturizes, and can help tighten cell gaps after cleansing, adding an extra layer of protection. On top of that, it’s like drinking a cup of cold water with cucumber on a summer day- so refresh, so clean.
  • SERUM
    • Not sure what serum is? You’re not alone. Serum is a product that should be applied post-cleanse and pre-moisturize. It’s a water-based product that is composed of molecules with the capacity to penetrate deeply and directly provide skin with the benefits of its powerful active ingredients. Think: Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Peptides, Glycerin, green tea, stem cells, and other various botanical extracts and oils.
      • Bottom line: Serum is essentially a skin power food, which feeds your skin with the benefits of each potent ingredient. They are known to make skin firmer, smoother, increase moisture levels, and for their anti-aging properties.
  • MOISTURIZE
    • After *pat drying* your face post-cleanse, do you notice that tight botox-esque feeling? Your skin has been stripped of its moisture and is crying to be quenched. Applying moisturizer helps hold water in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. In other words, it helps keep your skin hydrated which trickles down to a number of other benefits. It helps fight wrinkles and maintain the elasticity in the skin, keeping your skin lookin’ young and feelin’ fine.
  • SPF
    • So important. Sunscreen is usually associated solely with the summer, but it should be worn every day. Ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage and skin cancer are always present- rain or shine. Even if its overcast and we don’t see any visible rays, UVB rays are still shining down, hitting your precious face. Protect it!
      • Minor league tip: If you’re like me and don’t love the smell of sunscreen, there are two-in-one moisturizers that don’t sport the smell. That’s your best bet.
  • HYDRATE
    • Ladies, this is the root of the magic. Without water, our organs cannot function and with the skin being our largest organ, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. Water provides moisture as well as essential nutrients to the skin and its cells. Additionally, it replenishes the skin tissue, aiding in elasticity. It enhances complexion, delays signs of aging and combats certain skin disorders.

This may be called the spring skin glow-up guide, but these guidelines should be referred to all year long. Different climates and seasons warrant specific care, but if you keep these six power steps at the core of your routine, you’re lookin’ good.

Your Gal, Shaye

P.S. If you’re curious about which brands and products you can trust, fear not. In the coming weeks, we’re going to take a peek inside my medicine cabinet to check out which brands I rely on. I’ve been known to be a matchmaker in the beauty department. We’ll let you be the judge of that 😉 .

tru·isms: there’s an herbal tea for ‘that’

Afternoon tea, anyone?

For generations, people had no choice but to live off the land and work with what Mother Nature gave them. Lucky for them, our planet was fully equipped with all of the ingredients necessary for a fruitful life.

Several of those ancient remedies continue to be whipped up to this day, which speaks to their potency. One of my favorite magical herbal mixtures is none other than herbal teas. Not only is cuddling up with a cozy mug of organic goodness a gift to your taste buds, but it’s also a mega treat for your body.

Herbal teas, otherwise known as tisanes (pronounced tea-zahn), are not to be confused with regular teas. Interestingly, the word ‘tea’ really only accounts for the mixtures derived from the camellia sinensis plant. This includes black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are essentially just infusions (or decoctions) from any other plant that is brewed in hot water and thus, creates a sizzling bev.

These soothing concoctions have been around the block a few times and can be definitively traced back to Ancient China and Egypt, where they were consumed for the same medicinal and sheer enjoyment reasons.

Pro-tip: Using muslin bags and loose-leaf tea is an easy way to reduce your footprint and lessen the amount of waste you produce.

What’s your type?

There are a slew of tisanes that fall under the herbal umbrella, all of which are categorized based on the part of the plant they come from.

  • Leaf:  lemon balm, mint, lemongrass and verbena
  • Flower: rose, chamomile, lavender, and hibiscus
  • Bark: cinnamon, slippery elm, and black cherry bark
  • Root: ginger, chicory, and echinacea
  • Fruit/berry: peach, blueberry, raspberry,  and apple
  • Seed/spice: fennel, cardamom, and caraway

I’m here for the benefits (and the taste).

I love the way tisanes taste, but I’d be lying if I said the benefits didn’t play a role in why I drink it on the daily. Here are a few of the biggest draws for me:

  1. Aids in digestion: can help ease bloating, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea.
    • Try chamomile, peppermint, fennel, or ginger.
  2. Diuretic & laxative: helps eliminate toxins from the body, which in turn relieves stress on the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver.
    • Try dandelion, hibiscus, or hawthorn.
  3. Boosts brain health: Adding teas to your diet can help prevent oxidative stress in the brain. It is also credited with boosting focus and concentration.
    • Try rosehip, ginger, or rooibos.
  4. Relieves stress, anxiety, & sleep issues: Certain teas can help relieve stress and anxiety which in turn helps lower levels of depression, boost energy, and reduces inflammation. By reducing inflammation, you can decrease gastrointestinal distress as well as arthritis, headaches, and hemorrhoids.
    • Try chamomile or valerian for stress & sleep-related results.
    • Try turmeric, peppermint, eucalyptus, or ginger if you’re solely looking for tisanes with anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Antioxidants: In layman’s terms, antioxidants neutralize and remove the free radicals from the bloodstream, which is crucial to our well-being. Herbs naturally contain antioxidants which provide solid benefits when consumed. With that said, every herb is created differently thus antioxidant levels vary depending on the type of herbs used in each tisane.
    • Try elderflower, lemon balm, or thyme for a tea rich in antioxidants.

It’s brew time.

There are two ways to make and indulge in herbal teas.

  1. Infusion: This method is simply pouring the boiling water over the herbs. Remember to strain out the berries or plants, although there’s no harm in swallowing a few.
  2. Decoction: This method of preparation is commonly used for root, bark, and berry tisanes, as the longer boiling time extracts more of the flavor from the ingredients. It consists of placing the plants in the water to boil and boiling 2/3 of the water away, creating a rich, thick mixture.


The low-down: my faves.

Now that we’ve covered the herbal tea basics, I’ll give some personal insight on what my favorites teas are and why.  As mentioned in previous posts, I try to avoid prescribed or over-the-counter meds at all costs and usually turn to herbal or holistic remedies instead. Recently, herbal teas have been huge players in my healing game.

These are the MVPs:
1. Peppermint: This tea never fails to put some ‘pepp’ in my step. Similar to one of my other favorite, fennel, peppermint is great for soothing an upset stomach. It’s one of my most-consumed during the colder months as it’s a natural decongestant, which helps clear out your sinuses. Added bonus: it’s refreshing and lowers stress and anxiety levels.
2. Fennel: I’ve struggled with digestive issues for a while (bloating, cramping, nausea) and fennel tea has helped significantly in alleviating those nasty feelings. It also has antispasmodic effects, which come in handy if you’re a menstrual cramp sufferer.
3. Chamomile: Relaxation mode kicks in immediately at sight of a steaming cup of chamomile tea. Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, so they’re perfect to enjoy around bedtime. Last week I had a cup of chamomile right after I applied lavender oil and right before I hit the hay and, I kid you not, I had the best night sleep I’ve had in years. Another fun fact about chamomile tea that many people don’t know is that it helps lower and regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Echinacea: Okay, so Echinacea tea isn’t in my rotation– yet. After doing some research, that’s going to change real quick. It has some impressive immune system-boosting qualities and has been proven to reduce cold and flu-like symptoms. On top of that, it’s known to relieve pain related to swollen joints and muscles. Sign me up.

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Chamomile tea being enjoyed from one my favorite mugs, courtesy of Goodwill ($2.99).

It’s officially tea time on the west coast.
That’s my cue. Cheers!

Your Gal, Shaye

Ayurveda P2: dry brushing

As to avoid overwhelming you, I’ve decided to break my follow-up post into a couple of separate pieces, rather than cramming too much info into one post. This will help you digest all of the delicious knowledge I’ll be throwing your way. The first Ayurvedic practice up to ‘wow’ you with all of its benefits is dry brushing.


Brush it off

Dry brushing, known as garshana, is just as it sounds. It is quite literally the act of brushing your skin when dry. It sounds harsh, and maybe even slightly off-putting, but dry-skin brushing can reap you major benefits. It promotes lymphatic cleansing and is very effective when it comes to ridding the body of ama (cellular waste products). Modern-day dry brushing is typically conducted using a brush with natural bristles, though silk or linen gloves are the more traditional tools. The process takes no longer than 10 minutes (if you’re feelin’ the self-love) and within seconds, you feel the exhilarating results.

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(Top Brush, Bottom Brush)

So…why and how?

WHY:

The skin is the largest organ, so it should come as no surprise that paying it some extra attention goes a long way. It is responsible for eliminating up to one-third of our body’s toxins and by brushing off the dead skin cells, it helps expedite the process.

Often times, internal deficiencies are reflected externally in the shape of dry skin, acne, rashes, bumps, etc. There is a proven correlation between your skin and what’s happening on the inside. You can even go as far as to trace where the root of the problem is coming from, depending on where the skin issues are arising (for example, pimples between the eyebrows can be linked to the liver, so after a weekend of drinking you might notice a few new friends have popped up).

If we want results, we’ve gotta work for ’em, or in this case, brush for ’em. Adding dry brushing to your morning ritual will only tack on a few minutes and will leave you with all of this:

  • Improved lymphatic circulation- The lymphatic system is the network of vessels through which lymph (a fluid that contains white blood cells) drains from the tissues into the blood. By stimulating the system through brushing the skin, you promote the efficient removal of metabolic waste.
  • Improved immune function- Dry brushing helps circulate white blood cells and rejuvenates the nervous system.
  • Major exfoliation! – Helps unclog pores and improve skin texture by removing dead skin cells. Unclogged pores also help your skin absorb all the good stuff- nutrients! Regular exfoliation also helps slow done the aging process… wrinkles and fine lines, be gone.
  • Prevents and/or reduces the appearance of ingrown hairs- This is something I have always struggled with and can personally vouch for. Since I started dry brushing, I have seen a dramatic decrease in ingrown hairs, both under my arms and by the bikini line.
  • Increases muscle tone and aids in the even distribution of fatty deposits- Dry brushing activates the nervous system, which in turn stimulates muscle fibers that improve muscle tone.
  • Boosted energy-  Dry brushing gets your blood pumping, which leaves you feeling tingly in the best ways. As your blood circulates, your energy levels naturally increase.
  • Less stress-  If you make dry brushing a morning ritual and do the deed in a relaxing atmosphere (think: candles and ‘Nature Sounds’ on Spotify) it becomes highly meditative. Knowing you’re doing something that your body will thank you for inherently de-stresses you out.

Now that you know why you should do it, I’m sure you’re dying to know how to do it. That would probably help, huh?

HOW:

As I noted earlier, dry brushing is as easy as it comes, but following the ancient Garshana techniques closely is imperative.

  1. Brush in the morning before you bathe or shower to remove dead skin and get your day started on the right foot. Dry brushing in the shower or bath is a good idea, as it avoids a messy clean-up (skin cells will be shed).
  2. Begin brushing at your feet and move in long sweeping motions, working your way up. Give extra love to your inner thighs and underarms, as both closely help the lymphatic system. Always brush up, toward your heart.
  3. After feet and legs, move in this order: arms, back, abdominal, behind. For abdominal and booty areas, work in a clockwise motion until you reach a tingly feeling and your skin becomes a rosy color.
  4. Save the chest and neck for last. Both of these areas are more sensitive, so in the beginning, brush delicately. Over time, your skin will adapt.
  5. Let the water flow and cleanse yourself of whatever doesn’t serve you.
  6. Once you’re squeaky clean, it’s time to moisturize. Your pores are open and ready to receive some quality nutrients after that detox. My beauty regimen consists almost solely of natural oils, so I choose to lather up with coconut oil and Argan oil post dry-brush and shower.
  7. Put your dry brush somewhere dry and within reach. The next dry-brush sesh in on the horizon.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. It might not sound like much, but I can promise you will feel the difference.


Garshana based on your Dosha

If Ayurveda isn’t for you, and you’re just here for the technique, feel free to move on to another galtruism post that better tickles your fancy. All dry brushing basics have already been discussed, I just want to offer some extra Ayurvedic knowledge to those interested.

  • Vata:  2-3 times per week.
  • Pitta: 4-5 times per week.
  • Kapha: Daily.

These suggestions are based on the typical energy levels, deficiencies, etc. of each particular dosha. None of these are definitive or proven, they are simply suggestions. I, for example, associate myself with the Vata dosha but I dry brush 4-5 times per week. In the end, it’s entirely up to you and what makes you feel good.

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Whether or not you’re an Ayurvedic supporter or believer, the proof is there. I know that adding another bullet to your morning routine sounds grueling, but dry-brushing is a worthwhile addition that you should consider. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t truly believe in it.

Ayurveda P2: Dry Brushing – done.
Ayurveda P3: Tongue Scraping – next up.

See ya there.

Your Gal, Shaye

Ayurveda P1: the ancient medicine you should know about

In this ‘Part 1’ post, I will introduce you to the magic that is Ayurvedic medicine (if you aren’t already familiar with it). You can expect a follow-up blog post that will highlight a few popular Ayurvedic practices and touch on their particular benefits (woo!).

Homeopathic remedies have always been my chosen path to wellness, so naturally, Ayurveda is a practice lifestyle that I can identify with. There is an undeniable correlation between our minds and bodies, so keeping the two in tune is paramount to maintaining a balanced life. This idea, along with the notion that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind, are the two principles that Ayurveda was founded on thousands of years ago (yes, thousands).

Ayurveda, which translated literally means science or knowledge of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge), was designed by Indian sages to help people realize their full human potential. It encourages awareness through meditation and consuming only natural foods, preferably cooked, as certain foods are easier for the body to digest when cooked.

*Balanced diet suggestion: Include the 6 Ayurvedic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent).


Despite my organic gravitation toward natural living, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really learned about the mind-body health system. As per the suggestion of one of my friends, I ordered Sahara Rose Ketabi’s book, Ayurveda (Idiot’s Guides). As the title indicates, the book is for beginners and covers everything from doshas to daily morning/ nighttime routines. Super informative. Highly recommend.

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Other than being a warm lemon water enthusiast and sporadically sprinkling turmeric onto my lunch and dinner plates, I was a complete stranger to the ancient practice. I learned that Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health, and understanding your mind and body, is the key to achieving wellness. By this, I mean that everybody is different, so it only makes sense that our needs differ as well. To fully grasp this, it helps to familiarize yourself with the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.


The Doshas

In Ayurvedic medicine, doshas are the energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. Sounds a little loopy, I know, but once you learn more about your personal dosha and see how much you relate, the wheels will start to turn.

  • Vata: Qualities reflecting the elements of Space and Air = cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick, changeable.
    • Physical Characteristics: Commonly have a light frame and very agile. Tend to experience roller-coaster energy, going from bursts to extreme fatigue. Dry skin and cold hands/feet. Sensitive digestion.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Driven by excitement and new experiences. Easily angered but quick to forgive. When balanced, Vatas are creative, flexible, and very outgoing. When imbalanced, they are prone to anxiety.

Sound like you? Learn more here.

  • Pitta: Qualities reflecting the elements of Fire and Water = hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp, acidic.
    • Physical Characteristics: Commonly are medium size and weight. Warm body temperature, abundant energy, strong sex drive, and appetite. When imbalanced, Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, heartburn, and indigestion.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Very powerful intellect and ability to concentrate. Great makers, teachers, and speakers. Sharp-witted and outspoken. When imbalanced, Pittas may be short-tempered and/or argumentative.

Sound like you? Learn more here.

  • Kapha: Qualities reflecting the elements of Water and Earth = heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, oily.
    • Physical Characteristics: Have a strong build and excellent stamina. When Kaphas succumb to excess, they are more susceptible to weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies, than the other doshas. When out of balance, may become overweight, suffer from depression, and sleep excessively.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Kaphas are calm, thoughtful, loving individuals. Loyal, patient, supportive. Sometimes have difficulty letting go of things that no longer serve them (material items, jobs, relationships).

Sound like you? Learn more here.


Since researching and reading Ayurveda (Idiot’s Guides), I have taken small steps to incorporate general Ayurvedic practices as well as those that specifically cater to the needs of my dosha, Vata. After reading Sahara Rose and The Chopra Center’s breakdown of each dosha, it was crystal clear that I was predominantly Vata with some Kapha characteristics. I am always cold, small-framed, and go from bouncing off the walls to napping in no time…Vata, Vata, Vata.  So, I started with simple lifestyle techniques, such as dry brushing, tongue scraping, and the continued use of organic oils and feel a noticeable improvement.

As far as the eating thing goes, that’s an area I’ve been gradually exploring on a shallow level. My boyfriend’s mom, Rary, gifted me an amazing Ayurvedic cookbook for Christmas, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, so I’m really looking forward to taking the next step and giving my diet an Ayurveda makeover, which I will keep you guys updated on.

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In my following post, I will dive deeper into why dry brushing, tongue scraping, and oils are so important to include in your daily routine. All natural and designed especially for you may sound too good to be true, but it’s not! Changing your lifestyle is intimidating, this I know, but improving it shouldn’t be. Being your best ‘you’ is in your hands, and this is a step in the right direction.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Your Gal, Shaye