Managing the sinuses in dry weather

Especially in drier climes, it’s not unusual to experience dry, irritated sinuses and nasal passages. Unfortunately, this condition is not only uncomfortable, it also compromises one’s pranic absorption. Blocked sinuses can contribute to depression, fatigue, and brain fog. An easy solution is performing neti every day and following up with a few drops of medicated herbal oil in each nostril. For neti make sure to use distilled water and get the water to body temperature. Use 1/4-1/2 tsp fine ground salt. If you get the temperature and salinity right, it should feel very pleasant–like hardly anything at all. I made a nice nasya oil with a sesame oil base, gotu kola, slippery elm, and fresh basil. If you are trained in making medicated oils, have at it! If not, you can buy pre-made nasya oils from Ayurvedic suppliers like Banyan Botanicals–or talk to our local Ayurvedic practitioner about it. Performing daily neti and following up with nasya oil has made a huge difference in my ability to breathe freely!

The Power of Probiotics

Radiolab: Gut Feelings

This is definitely worth a listen. More reasons to eat plenty of probiotics. Not only do they assist in proper food digestion, they may also be linked to a boost in serotonin and mood. In my personal experience, I have felt generally calmer and more clear-headed when I am getting a healthy supply of probiotics in conjunction with a good veggie-heavy diet and other wellness promoting practices. This episode was really cool! Give it a listen! Further affirmation of the Ayurvedic theory that all good health begins with great digestion.
Also, in terms of probiotic sources, there are many to choose from. I like Bubbies pickles and sauerkraut, homemade sauerkraut, kefir, umeboshi paste, and cultured cottage cheese or cream cheese. Diversity is a good thing, so eating from a variety of probiotic sources will give you more diverse strands.

Hemp Milk

After successfully making my own hemp milk today, I shall never buy milk again! Super easy and it came out creamy and delicious. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner!

1/2 cup raw shelled hemp seeds

2 cups water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

a few drops of vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients, strain with a cheese cloth or nut milk bag if desired. Store in fridge in a glass jar. Makes 16 oz.


Thirteen Gems: a small collection of original and unusual vegetarian recipes

Thirteen Gems: a small collection of original and unusual veg. recipes

I just completed my first recipe book! Purchase a copy directly at From now until December 26, for every book you buy $3 will be donated to my family’s nonprofit Karimu International Help Foundation. That $3 will be matched by a generous donor. The money will provide for one school child to eat lunch for a whole month! Makes a great holiday gift. Get a copy today. Soft and hard cover available.

Kickstarter for local woman entrepreneur

As you know, I generally write about the internal care and wellness of the body. However, on this occasion, I would like to shed the spotlight on a friend and local Bay Area designer, Diana Mitchell, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign for her new active wear and yoga clothing line. As we know, yoga and wellness are an internal process, but art, fashion, and beauty sure add to the fun and joy of life! Also, cheers to local women succeeding in business! More info here…
Company founder and designer Diana Mitchell’s aesthetic for the new line is far more polished than the neon “gym wear” worn by many women who would rather not be seen in it. Each DDCC garment is engineered with sleek style lines and color blocking, “anti-muffin top” waistbands, and flatlocked seams, to fit and flatter a woman’s body with streamlined comfort as well as performance.
The result is a line of garments that are functional in the gym but also fashionable on the street. The goal of the line is to flatter the woman on the outside while inspiring her active and fun spirit on the inside.
“For so many women like me, working out just can’t be some boring ‘task’ – fitness has to be a positive and social experience. So I wanted to create an activewear line that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time inspires real women to get up, get out and get active in new ways,” Mitchell said. “DDCC’s mission is to make garments with a combination of design and function that enable women to experience friendship, fitness and fun together.”
Just as the design is creative and new, so is DDCC’s approach to bringing it to the marketplace: The new line will be funded through a month-long Kickstarter campaign running from November 12 through December 10. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, DDCC’s new line has a planned arrival date of March 2014.
“My new line is about combining the functional and the social, so I decided to take the same approach to funding it,” she said. “Through Kickstarter, I hope to reach women who are inspired by my design approach and who want to support a woman-owned garment business that’s both designing and producing product in the USA.”
A former teacher, Mitchell launched her design career idea that women with on-the-go lifestyles needed comfortable clothing that was also fitted and fashionable. Her first collection included three hoodies that, she soon discovered, her customers were wearing for working out. That inspired her to refine her design approach to reflect her customers and develop an activewear collection.

To test the collection, Mitchell has “stress tested” it herself, wearing it to Bikram and Iyengar yoga, Cardio Barre and even to run her first half-marathon in early October. It confirmed for her not only the performance of the garments but also their ability to enchant and motivate real women like her.
“I used to think it was cheesy when people said that activewear inspired them to work out, and now I totally get it. Now when I see this cute new line in my closet, I want to put them on – and once they’re on, I find myself inspired to get up and get out,” she said. “But I also love it that I can put them on sometime and just hop on the couch, watch some TV and eat ice cream.” (#yogapantseveryday)
For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mitchell’s new line will be on display at Fashion on Fire!, a Pop-Up featuring five local designers. The event will be held at Firehouse, 8 Pacific Ave. in downtown San Francisco, beginning with a Happy Hour shopping on Friday, November 22 from 3-9pm, and a Kickstarter party from 6-9pm. Additional daytime shopping will be available on Saturday, November 23 from 11am-6pm, with a free gift for the first 25 purchases.
For more information on DDCC please use the following links:;;;;;

Support her new active wear line here!