Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do you feel it in your gut ?

The quirky urge. A funny tingle. That little voice in your head. These are your gut feelings talking. But what are they telling you, and should you listen? Here’s how to make the most of your own innate wisdom.
Most of us have experienced the sense of knowing things before we know them, even if we can’t explain how. You hesitate at a green light and miss getting hit by a speeding truck. You decide on a whim to break your no-blind-dates policy and wind up meeting your life partner. You have a hunch that you should invest in a little online startup and it becomes Google.
If only you could tap into those insights more often, right? Turns out you can, especially if you learn to identify which signals to focus on — whether they’re sweaty palms, a funny feeling in your stomach, or a sudden and inexplicable certainty that something is up.
According to many researchers, intuition is far more material than it seems. Hope College social psychologist David Myers, PhD, explains that the intuitive right brain is almost always “reading” your surroundings, even when your conscious left brain is otherwise engaged. The body can register this information while the conscious mind remains blissfully unaware of what’s going on.
Another theory suggests you can “feel” approaching events specifically because of your dopamine neurons. “The jitters of dopamine help keep track of reality, alerting us to those subtle patterns that we can’t consciously detect,” Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) notes.
So how do you choose which gut feelings to trust? Judith Orloff, PhD, a Los Angeles–based intuitive psychiatrist and author of Second Sight (Three Rivers Press, 2010), suggests that it’s a matter of “combining the linear mind and intuition,” and striking the right balance between gut instinct and rational thinking. Once you’ve noticed an intuitive hit, she says, you can engage your rational mind to weigh your choices and decide how best to act on them.
To that end, here are five gut feelings that Orloff and other experts recommend you pay attention to — and some reasons why you’ll be glad you did.
1. “Something feels wrong in my body.”
Listening to your body’s subtle signals is a critical part of exercising your intuitive sense, says Orloff, who also trains UCLA medical students and psychiatric residents to use intuition when treating patients.
“Your body is a powerful intuitive communicator,” she explains in Second Sight. “Intuition allows you to get the first warning signs when anything is off in your body so that you can address it. If you have a gut feeling about your body — that something is toxic, weak or ‘off’ — listen to it. Go and get it worked up.” She’s seen too many people ignore their sense that something isn’t right with their bodies, and subsequently find that small problems have become big ones.
Physical symptoms can also have symbolic value. “If you’re around somebody and your energy goes down, that’s an intuition not to ignore,” Orloff says. Sudden sleepiness can mean that you’re in the presence of an energy-draining person or circumstance; it can be your body’s way of communicating that these conditions are taking more energy than they give. If you stay in a situation that makes you feel instantly depleted (like taking a job after you left the interview feeling exhausted), it can easily lead to a situation where you become depressed, anxious and — not surprisingly — stuck.
Ronald A. Alexander, PhD, a psychologist, mindfulness expert, leadership consultant, and director of the Open Mind Training Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., also recommends paying close attention to any sudden physical sensations you experience during the course of an interaction. He tells a story of traveling in India where he decided not to get in a cab because of a “burning sensation” in his gut, and he later saw the driver being arrested in the train station for suspected robbery. He says he typically feels intuitions in his chest or his stomach; the latter is relatively common given that the intestines house the enteric nervous system, sometimes called the “second brain.”
“That second brain really is the intuitive brain,” Alexander explains, and he recommends that when it speaks, you listen.
2. “I’m in danger.”
The feeling you get about a person in the first 10 seconds expresses an “ancient biological wisdom,” says Myers in his book Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (Yale University Press, 2002). Early humans who could speedily detect whether a stranger was friend or foe were more likely to survive, he says, and they would create descendents who were able to read emotional signals in another person’s face almost instantly.
Of course, the human capacity to judge can go badly awry, as it did in the 1999 fatal police shooting of Amadou Diallo in New York City. Police fired when they thought the young Guinean man was reaching for a weapon, but he was actually unarmed and digging in his pocket for his identification.
Because social conditioning helps to create unconscious beliefs, and these beliefs can produce first impressions and snap decisions that are utterly flawed, Orloff suggests that it’s important to check your gut feelings against your rational mind whenever possible. And there are simple ways you can attend to what feels like a warning signal in the short term, she says.
“If you don’t trust somebody, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, it is something to pay attention to,” she explains. “If you’re walking down the street at night and you get the feeling ‘stay away from that person,’ just cross the street.”
3. “I want to help.”
While you might think of our gut instincts as something we’ve maintained mostly to avoid danger, the human species has evolved an equally powerful capacity to sense when our fellow beings need support. “Sympathy is one of humanity’s most basic instincts, which is why evolution lavished so much attention on the parts of the brain that help us think about what other people are feeling,” notes Lehrer.
Since evolution has made you a quick read of other faces and their emotional signals, you don’t always need to wait for a verbalized cue before you reach out. The sympathy instinct nudges you to change the subject when wedding talk makes a newly divorced colleague cringe, or to start up a conversation with a nervous seatmate during an airplane landing — subtle gestures that can make a big difference in someone’s day. The capacity to empathetically identify with other faces can even be what compels you to donate money after a natural disaster. Studies of humanitarian relief efforts show that people are markedly more compelled to give after seeing a photo of an individual in need than after reading statistics about damage.
Finally, this ability to “read” other faces isn’t just good for those you help. One recent brain-imaging study suggests that generosity makes the pleasure centers in the brain light up like the Las Vegas Strip. When participants were given $128 of hard cash along with the choice to keep it or donate it to charity, the reward centers of those who chose to donate went wild.
Multiple studies have also demonstrated a phenomenon known as the “helper’s high,” which causes individuals aiding others to experience improvements in mood, immunity and overall well-being. That’s why following your instincts for sympathy and generosity generally turns out to be a good investment in your own health and happiness, too.
4. “I know how to do this.”
Basketball announcers can be merciless when otherwise talented players choke at the free-throw line, but most of us can identify with the player’s sense of panic. You might have a well-developed yoga practice with one pose that still stumps you. Or maybe you’re a stellar driver who forgets how to parallel park whenever your intimidating sister-in-law is in the car. Or you’re a great cook who botches your favorite dish each time you make it for guests. In situations like these, the can-do instinct you’ve developed through years of experience is being drowned out by an onslaught of overthinking.
“Choking [among athletes] is a vivid example of the havoc that can be caused by too much thought,” Lehrer points out. “Such deliberate thought processes interfere with the trained movements of their muscles.”
He cites a study at the University of Chicago showing that, while novice golfers did better when they thought carefully about their putts, the performance of more experienced golfers got much worse when they reflected on what they were doing.
Rational thought served the beginners, it turned out, because they were still developing muscle memory and technique. But for those players who had already integrated all that information, instinct naturally took over — and did a far better job. Overriding instincts and neural patterning in favor of logical thought absolutely destroyed their performance.
“Once you’ve developed expertise in a particular area — once you’ve made the requisite mistakes — it’s important to trust your emotions when making decisions in that domain,” Lehrer insists. If you know you can do it, trust your gut — not your head.
Next time you’re tempted to think too much about something you know how to do, try a little therapeutic distraction. Say the alphabet backward when your yoga teacher orders you into the dreaded handstand, or sing a favorite song to yourself at the free-throw line. Briefly engaging your conscious mind with something other than the task at hand can leave your instincts free to do their job — and free you to enjoy the satisfaction all that practice has made possible.
5. “This is it!”
When your intuition signals that you’ve found something or someone truly right for you, the choice often becomes strangely easy. “It feels healthy; it feels good; it doesn’t feel like you’re forcing it, there’s not a lot of conflict,” says Orloff.
Lehrer agrees that when you’re poised to make a big decision with lasting repercussions, like choosing your life partner, you’re best off deciding from the gut. Based on the bulk of his research into the cognitive mechanisms of decision-making, he actually recommends that you “think less about those choices that you care a lot about.”
According to Lehrer, the rational mind is really suited only to limited concrete choices, like deciding between two brands of car insurance. In situations where there are just a couple of relevant factors involved, the prefrontal cortex can weigh the comparative rewards of each and yield an excellent result. But there are so many factors involved in a complex decision like, say, buying a house, that the limited space in the prefrontal cortex gets overwhelmed. In that state, it becomes the wrong part of the brain for the job.
Several studies support the wisdom of emotional decision-making in the realm of big choices. In one study, Dutch researchers shadowed shoppers at IKEA, observing their shopping behaviors. Later interviews indicated that those who spent less time making their choices ended up more satisfied overall. Choosing a couch and choosing a spouse are decidedly different acts, to be sure, but both tend to provoke the kind of agonized overthinking that leads to poor choices. Using your intuitive brain in these situations, on the other hand, will almost always point you toward a lasting fulfillment.
Of all the reasons to use your gut instincts to make big decisions, this may be the best: It leads to the choices that are most fully satisfying — decisions that can improve the quality of your life.
“It allows you to find relationships that resonate for you, instead of what looks good on paper,” Orloff says. “It allows you to connect with people on a heart level, it allows you to deeply experience life instead of just letting it wash over you, and it allows you to be really smart about how you make your decisions.”
From the Vedic times, it has been part of the culture as well as an Ayurvedic prescription to take care of one's gut and digestion.Maybe,it was to harness the fabulous quality of "I feel it in my gut.."
Always be happy..
Vaidya Priyanka


Dear All,
I have been recommending Vega shake powders for many years and it has come to my notice that there was an
URGENT recall and I wanted all of you to know.
Please read further and pass on.
Vaidya Priyanka
Recall -- Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Vega Issues Voluntary Withdrawal of Vega One Nutritional Shakes and Vega Sport Performance Protein Product Due to Traces of the Antibiotic Chloramphenicol Contact
1-866-839-8863 x 366
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 8, 2013 — Sequel Naturals Inc., dba “Vega,” announced today that it has taken the precautionary measure of voluntarily withdrawing a limited quantity of its Vega One Nutritional Shakes and Sports Performance Protein products due to finding trace amounts of chloramphenicol (CAP), a naturally occurring antibiotic.
Chloramphenicol is a prescription drug commonly used to treat typhoid fever and eye infections around the world. It should only be used under medical supervision. It has been associated with rare cases of aplastic anemia and allergic reactions in some people. A leading expert on CAP says that there have been no known cases of anemia caused by residual amounts found in food. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid this medication. N
one of the Vega product formulations include CAP as an ingredient; however, an enzyme that was provided by a third party supplier, which constitutes less than 1% of the product ingredients, was found to contain trace amounts of CAP.
As a precautionary measure, Vega is voluntarily withdrawing all of the listed product from the market and has taken steps to ensure all future products are CAP-free, including using a different source of enzymes to prevent further potential contamination and assure consumers of product purity. These actions complete a voluntary product withdrawal and ingredient resourcing that applied to Canadian products as well.
“We’re doing this out of an overabundance of caution and to ensure that when you go to the shelf, you never have to wonder about the purity of a Vega product,” said Charles Chang, Vega President and Founder.
The Vega products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.
People who have severe sensitivity or allergies to chloramphenicol may run the risk of an allergic reaction if they consume these products. There have been no reported allergic reactions from the listed products.
The following products listed here are being voluntarily withdrawn from sale:
Product Description Size FG Lot Expiry
Vega ONE Nutritional Shake Berry 15 oz 47047800 08/2015
Vega ONE Nutritional Shake Berry 15 oz 47043100 07/2015
There are several other flavors,please refer to www.fda.gov for more details
All the product from the lot codes listed are completely safe for the general population. This voluntary withdrawal does not apply to any other lot of Vega product distributed anywhere in Canada or the United States.
If you have purchased a product from any of the lot codes below and wish to return it, please call or email Vega for a full refund: 1-866-839-8863 or www.vegarecall.com

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Maya Angelou Poetry

Whatever happened to those school girl days of reading, just reading for the appreciation of fabulous words strung together like pearls of the mighty Ocean..
Some poetry to rekindle that joy and startle the senses from one of the greatest poets of all time..Mayaji.
On the Pulse of Morning
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no more hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.
The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,
Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.
The River sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.
Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.
Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers- desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours- your Passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.
For the power and love of words,
Vaidya Priyanka

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Holstee Manifesto

“This is your life.
Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing, life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.
Life is short.
Live your dream and share your passion.”
Truly inspirational and a must read for everyone on the planet.Period..
More details on http://shop.holstee.com/pages/about
Stay inspired..
Vaidya Priyanka

Quite a quote !

Dear Blessed Beings,
How was this week ??
Mine was a huge mixture of this, that and the other but all of them truly wonderful..
Had to share this quote with all of you..
"FOOD is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and EXERCISE is the most potent yet underutilized anti-depressant." -Bill Phillips
Who is Bill ?
From Wikipedia, William Nathaniel "Bill" Phillips is an American entrepreneur and author. He is the author of the fitness book Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength. He is the author Eating for Life, founder and former editor in chief of Muscle Media magazine and the former CEO of EAS, a performance nutritional supplement company. Bill and Shawn Phillips, his brother, also made a promotional movie called Body of Work which was filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada and chronicled the very first EAS Challenge. On June 21, 2010, Phillips latest book, "Transformation: The Mindset You Need. The Body You Want. The Life You Deserve" was released.
It is truly fabulous that as a country, we are starting to think in the right direction of prevention is way better than cure.
Have a fabulous weekend !
Vaidya Priyanka

Monday, October 7, 2013

Calendula- My New Love..

I was introduced to this truly remarkable flower by the "Gardening Girls " ,my friends Susan and Christel. During one of our numerous cooking sessions, captivated by her hue, I started adding Calendula as a highlight garnish and ingredient to sorbets, salads and soups alike.It might be a good idea to refer to her as a lady.
Get to know her: Other names :Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, Zergul.
Introduction: The calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or with every new moon. The term "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, and the flowers are used to honor her during Catholic events. The Egyptians considered calendula flowers to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of Gods and Goddesses in our temples, as well as a colorant in food, fabrics, and cosmetics, and of particular interest, in the 18th and 19th century calendula was used to color cheese.
Constituents: Calendulin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, isoquercitrin, narcissin, rutin, amyrin, lupeol, sterols, and volatile oils. The flowers also contain complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties.
Parts Used: Dried flowers and I use them fresh as well..
Typical Preparations: Creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes.
Summary: Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought to possess powers for the protection and benefit of humans. One of the more outlandish claims was that wearing an amulet or necklace made of calendula petals, a bay leaf, and a wolf's tooth would ensure that any words spoken to the wearer would be kind, peaceful and honest. The German Commission E has approved calendula to support mild inflammation of the oral mucosa. It is externally approved to support the skin and assist with minor wounds. Its efficacy in supporting healthy skin has been supported in additional clinical trials. It is traditionally used to support healthy skin, and is a common ingredient for herbal oils, salves and lip balms.
I am a student again learning all about Western uses of herbs with a wonderful teacher called Bridget.It is a true joy to learn more of how the West views herbs, for us in Kerala, it was as commonplace as salt and pepper.Not surprisingly,there are so many similar uses.More to come on the blog as I explore..
Resources: www.mountainroseherbs.com www.pacificbotanicals.com
Love and Blessings,
Vaidya Priyanka

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

AUMcuisine website is launched !

Presenting www.AUMcuisine.com
After many years of contemplation, here we are..
A promise to make more videos on food and a vedic lifestyle..
Thanks to my tribe for helping me through this creative process..
Lots of love,
Vaidya Priyanka

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Favorite Dr Seuss Quotes

Life can hand you many new situations..some which you never expect..
One of my best friends got "dumped" by the love of her life and I was at quite a loss for words to console her.
It is very easy to say,"move on" but moving on is easier said than done, especially when you did not see it coming.
She adored,loved and cared for him more than any woman can or will for the rest of his life..we all saw that love and one day,just like that he broke up with a text message when she was just about to board a transcontinental flight.. I can only imagine how difficult that flight could have been for her.
All of her friends got together and compiled a series of quotes from Dr Seuss and she looks at it every morning for therapy,It has been reported that it works..
1.Today was good.Today was fun.Tomorrow is another one.
2.Think and wonder.Wonder and think.
3.You have brains in your head.Feet in your shoes.You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
4.You are you.Now isin't that pleasant ?
5.Only you can control your future.
6.Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.nothing is going to get better.It is not.
7.Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
Pass on the love... and always remember true love stories never have endings..
Vaidya Priyanka

Friday, April 26, 2013

Life and Energy Boosters Part 1

Life and Energy Boosters 

holistic solutions to an energy filled life without your cup of Joe.
Let's get down to the basics

  1. Get rid of your clutter If you are still living with clutter,in the form of boxes or "stuff" that is not organized,just because you think in your mind that you will need the contents of that box someday.You are wrong.Hoarding stuff will always leave you in a state of mental mess and conflict.Order makes you  want to do beautiful things in life.Creation needs clarity.
  2. Turn on/off the lights. Your body responds naturally to changes in light.Make sure you sleep in a dark place and work in a bright place.
  3. Get more sleep at night. Many people try to get by on a lot less sleep .. While each person's needs will differ, 7-8 hours a night is a good goal, and will help you feel more rested and better able to concentrate on anything throughout the day.
  4. Examine your emotions. Stress, depression,loneliness,addictions and other negative life emotions and issues can take a heavy toll on your energy levels. Your exhaustion may have a lot to do with how you are feeling in your head, so take the time to deal with your emotions or get help if you need it.
  5. Meditate I am a TM Siddha and I can tell you for a fact that this technique works.Get more information on www.tm.org
  6. Exercise Make sure you exercise in the morning.I do a variety of different things.I take long walks,bike rides,yoga,cardio vascular at the gym and such.It gives me a glow on my face and an energy boost that lasts all day long. 
  7. Friends with your doctor It is always a good idea to be best friends with your doctor.Make sure you see someone you trust on a regular basis,who treats you as a friend and not as a patient.Get your blood work done atleast once a year and combine Eastern and Western approaches to your healing and wellness.That marriage works wonders.
  8. Date your sleep cycle Make sure you get to bed around the same time everyday.This definitely contributes to longevity.
  9. Stay motivated,happy and excited I always ask my clients and friends alike to make sure they are surrounded by material things that they love.Things that remind them of fabulous and inspirational times.just make sure you meet someone new every week who you have always wanted to meet.Cherish your old friends but make new ones too.
  10. Be an optimist This is an important aspect,being a pessimist actually makes you very tired.
  11. Remember your gratitude Spending a few moments everyday being grateful for what you have and the people in your life will definitely improve everything about you and put you in perspective.
  12. Try something new. Getting into a rut can make your day seem boring and tedious and drain your energy levels. Change things up, try new things and seek out new experiences to spice up your day a little and keep you alert and awake.
  13. Diet Eat wholesome wonderful meals that are colorful.Share.Grow your own garden.Remember your body is a place of worship,do not litter it.
  14. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. I always remind my clients that infrequent eating can cause their blood glucose to spike and crash, leaving them tired and hungry.it might be a good idea to eat smaller meals and see how that makes you feel.
  15. An apple a day Eating fruits can be a great way to get a quick energy boost. Fruits are more easily digestible than many other foods and can give the fuel you need to get going.
  16. Drink enough water. Your body is mostly composed of water. It makes sense that you need to get enough in order to function at your peak. I recommend 2.4 liters a day.

I will keep writing a series of blog posts on this topic.

Stay focussed..
and BLOOM 
Vaidya Priyanka

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I believe it is super important to be ORGANIC especially in this time and day where every direction you turn and every mouthful of food you eat is laden with chemicals and pesticides.

 If you cannot go all organic for any reason,at least make sure that the DIRTY DOZEN that you buy for your family is all organic.

 Dirty Dozen 2013:
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cherry tomatoes
 Hot peppers

 Stay Healthy
Vaidya Priyanka

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The dictionary says that disappointment is the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.

 There are no two ways about it; we have all experienced disappointment before. We have been disappointed in ourselves, others, outcomes, the weather, profession,education and a host of other things from the mundane to things that really matter.
Just like all of you,I have been disappointed several times in my life.
The truth is when you are feeling down in the dumps about anything or because of anything,there is really nothing out there that can help you deal with it.But,it is definitely a reason to go in,what I call the greatest journey,the journey within.
 Life does not happen according to a plan or a mandate. It is normal for things to not happen the way that we envisage it,sometimes. It is true that people could let us down. During the course of my life,I have been disappointed with so many things in the world,in my home,with people,with myself,but,I realized very quickly that sulking or getting depressed is not the way out. Disappointment is an opportunity to move forward,to create ,to excel,to shed skins,to move on.. Imagine that a chance to prove yourself,to exhibit your talent,an opportunity that looked very promising falls through.The first thing that most people will do will be to react,instead try indifference,do not even allow it to bother you the slightest and before you realize it ,a bigger and better opportunity comes knocking at your door.
This happens often with people.No one is perfect.
There have been many people in my life who I held in the highest regard and before I realized it ,there was plenty of backstabbing and hurt.Remember that if you react,that process of hatred becomes an unnecessary vicious cycle.My advice is to indifferent.Then,there is victory.
Maybe,you are going through disappointment right now and do not want all this advice that you are dismissing as flowery.How about reading and re-reading and maybe in that distraction,you have a AHA moment and not just the bulb goes off,there are fireworks. When I notice people going through adversity,I never say "it will be okay." because that belittles that person's disappointment and melancholy.Even sadness has an honorable place.
It is a good idea to listen if that person wants to talk and not offer advice.Sometimes,by lending a listening ear,you can offer more solace then by speaking. Usualy,the answer to problems is within the person who has them.Articulating the words,helps with the solution. As humans,we are wired to become attached to certain outcomes, we are destined to experience it right throughout the course of our lives. When I go through painful disappointment,it deepens my faith in the Divine and makes me stronger in my belief system. Treat disappointment as a friend and not as the enemy.Learn through it.Observe your emotions.
Journal..and think,will it really matter a year from today ? and if the answer is yes,start thinking why ? What does not kill you,only makes you stronger.
 Stay true to yourself.The best is yet to come..
Many Blessings
Lots of love
Vaidya Priyanka

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Chocolate Moratorium


suspension of activity

This has been the most difficult habit or activity that I have curbed in recent times.I am CHOCOLATE SOBER from the 3rd of January,2013.People who know me really well know how much I love the taste of chocolate or should I say loved ? 

The first 3 days were crazy and very difficult (truth be told) but over time,I have realized that there is no craving at all.Very simple yet profound,I am bigger than an inanimate square or bar of pleasure.

It is one of the most common cravings in the world..But,where is that line between a craving and an addiction ?

If you cannot do without a piece of chocolate everyday,that is definitely termed as an addiction.

We generally crave foods due to external prompts and our emotional state, rather than actual hunger. We tend to be bored, anxious, or depressed immediately before experiencing cravings, so one way of explaining cravings is "self-medication for feeling miserable".

Chocolate is the most frequently craved food in women, and many women describe themselves as ‘chocoholics.’ (men,too)..come on gentlemen we like company (in wellness and in health and in moratoriums).Chocoholics insist that it is habit-forming, that it produces an instant feeling of well-being, and even that abstinence leads to withdrawal symptoms.

When we eat sweet and high-fat foods, including chocolate, serotonin is released, making us feel happier. This partly explains the cravings common in seasonal affective  disorder (SAD) and pre-menstrual syndrome.
In many women, the craving occurs on a monthly cycle, which suggests a hormonal issue. A recent report in the New Scientist magazine suggests people can become overly dependent on the sugar and fat in fast food. Dr. John Hoebel ,Princeton University researcher found that rats fed on sugar became anxious when the sugar was removed. Their symptoms included chattering teeth and the shakes – similar to those seen in people withdrawing from nicotine or morphine. Dr. Hoebel believes high-fat foods stimulate opioids or “pleasure chemicals” in the brain. This theory is backed up by many other studies.
Just think about it,there is a reason why refined sugar and other "addictive" substances are both powdery white in colour ?.EUREKA..

My "moratorium"journey has been filled with different observations and I am making non-chocolate choices and surprisingly there are many of them..I am not going to beat myself up and be on a chocolate moratorium for life but this is definitely a good start.Hoping that I would inspire my good friend,very visible chocolate addict Hari to quit.

Chocolate contains several biologically active ingredients, all of which can cause abnormal behaviors and psychological sensations like those of other addictive substances. Researchers at the University of Tampere in Finland found that self-proclaimed chocolate “addicts” salivated more in the presence of chocolate, and showed a more negative mood and higher anxiety. 

Chocolate is seen as “naughty but nice” — tasty, but something which should be resisted. This suggests that the desire is more likely a cultural phenomenon than a physical one. The inability to control eating may be a result of inborn traits and today’s environment.
“Humans used to have to search for food,” according to Baylor College of Medicine researcher Dr. Ken Goodrick. “Now food searches us out.”

The stress of modern living often makes us turn to food for comfort, then return to a restrictive diet. The attempt to restrain ourselves before we are satisfied increases the desire for chocolate.

HOW TO QUIT CHOCOLATE (at least for some time..)

For most chocoholics,giving up chocolate for more than a week seems completely impossible..
But,just imagine how you would feel if you had more power than something that is wrapped in paper !?!

I ask many of my patients to give up or restrict many food items during the course of their treatment for different ailments.So,I decided to put myself to the test and the following are tried and tested (by me) and believe me..they WORK..

1.First of all it is important to determine if your craving for chocolate is emotional..
Stress is a very common reason..emotional stress..issues with your primary relationship or friendships..self-esteem..anger or even depression..
I realized that for me it was a combination of not having enough time to do the things I really wanted to do for myself and my wellness.Some relationships that had suddenly gone bitter and sad.Some situations where I had no closure and so on.All our lives are similar and I realized very quickly that I was using chocolate as my "feel good" drug of choice and I was not going to continue on that path.I just told myself so.

2.I realized that moderation is "not" the key.Like I often say in my lectures,you can never be a little pregnant.You are either pregnant or not.It is that simple.Very binary.
I did try to quit in December last year and my internal sense of moderation was completely messed up when the stresses and emotions of everyday life built up.
Matters were made worse by a visit to New York and "Chocolate by a Bald Man"(fantastic place to visit,taste and rejoice when you are planning your chocolate moratorium).
So,I decided to quit cold turkey..NO MORE CHOCOLATE was my mantra of quitting and it has worked so far.It is beyond will and self control.It is a constant dialogue,sometimes a monologue,in some instances,silence.But,it works..

3.Do not eat anything especially chocolate if you are bored.I do not have this issue cause I am seldom bored but if you are feeling bored and/or restless.It is a good idea to distract your mind with a book,a new recipe,emails,cleaning your clutter,running errands or calling a friend.The craving will pass.

4.I always eat healthy but I have kept and keep even more healthy food nearby.I ate and eat more fruits ,cut vegetables and marinated vegetables.I replaced my sugar or chocolate craving with Justin's vanilla or maple almond butter.Even though I knew this in theory,I realized that when my blood sugar levels were stable,I did not have any cravings.I also started journaling times and emotions of when I felt the cravings.It gave me an opportunity to understand the origin of my cravings and I realized that succumbing to chocolate was just a cover-up procedure.The end result,I know myself better from a deep place within.

5.I did NOT throw away all the chocolate from my home or my work.I kept it all and initially would see it often and salivate but then over a period of time,it is there and I am there and I do not have any emotions or cravings towards it.When I finally decide to give up on my moratorium,I will have a little bit here and there but I know for sure that the craving will not be as severe as before,especially last year.

6.I have had that stubborn 23.5 lbs to lose for years.(I have no one except myself to blame).This seemed the best time.I have a fabulous support group of friends who go to the gym with me almost everyday and I do take walks with people who I have to meet rather than be in a closed office space.The outdoors does a lot of good and who does not like fresh air !
My excess calories are burning and my metabolic rate is on the rise.Exercise releases endorphins,which works against stress and hormonal imbalances.

7.List the people in your life who you are truly grateful for and dedicate your moratorium to them.

8.Find an alternative energy boost.Some things that have worked for me are steamed kale or spinach,almond butter,goji berries,fresh fruits and marinated vegetables.

9.Go see your dentist,you will be told that your chocolate habit has not been kind to your teeth.That will inspire you to commence your moratorium.

Chocolate addiction is not a "true addiction".But,the release of endorphins brought about by eating chocolate creates a physical dependency to obtain the mood "high" over and over,thereby suggesting it is possible to be addicted to chocolate.What I understood is,however you "sugar"coat it,it is hard to resist chocolate..A combination of craving,physiological reasons,emotions,taste and a sugar high is like trying to fight off a dragon that is breathing fire at you when your ship is caught in the high seas.Yes,it is that bad..

There might be other reasons,some very deep rooted in your sub-conscious,some from childhood,fears,etc that are contributing to such behavior.It is a good idea to start journaling to get some of these emotions out of you..In some severe cases,if you find yourself hoarding chocolate in a stash,it is time to see a therapist.

If you find yourself arguing that chocolate has benefits,the famous "anti-oxidant excuse",as I call it.You are lying to yourself and convincing yourself that your chocolate does not have nutritionally empty calories,when in reality it does.This will add to your weight issues if you are on the fat battle or will contribute towards making you a low energy person.Chocolate definitely has benefits,good health benefits,antioxidants et al but the fat and the sugar content do not help.

Maybe,you are not happy until you have consumed your chocolate everyday.Maybe,it has taken over your life as a habit.This prolonged habit is creating chemical imbalances in your body.Sure enough,the one square of chocolate soon becomes one bar.Create a healthy habit,if you have issues with your will power,do not keep chocolate at work or at home or in your car or in your purse or in your anything.Humans are hunter gatherers by DNA and we WILL find it ,if we know it is there.
Maybe,your body is signaling you to stop eating chocolate and you are so addicted that you do not stop to notice or you just succumb and ignore.
The truth is you will lack in energy,half an hour or so after eating chocolate,what is other wise called the sugar crash and most people eat more chocolate to counter act this effect.
I do have some patients and friends who just plain lie about eating chocolate,because they know that they have people in their life who will disapprove.Many also do not tell the truth when asked out of shame.People feel that they have betrayed those who love and care about them.
I have noticed that my skin is doing much better.I do not have even the occasional female monthly breakouts.I do not put my body through nutritional stress or strain.I tell myself that I own my body and I am going to take very good care of it.
I have a patient who is on minimal wage but she has a strange addiction to very expensive brands of chocolate and she told me recently that most of her cheque is going towards chocolate.I told her to meet a financial manager and he was able to help her with what a therapist failed at.Choose your "help"heroes.
Many eat chocolate as a meal to save money,especially students.Common brands have other crap as ingredients and it is inexpensive and readily available.
You could probably be addicted to it because of the mere pleasure and memory of chocolate.The fact that it helped you heal through a miserable break-up or a pink slip or so you think.

Once you have identified the reason or reasons behind what is making you crave chocolate,deal with it in a very healthy and methodic way.Be sincere,kind,calm,compassionate and patient with yourself.

Do not substitute other unhealthy foods to take the place of chocolate..Make healthy choices.Think of your body as a place of worship.No littering allowed.

It is normal to feel withdrawal symptoms.Distract and do not procrastinate on the start date of your moratorium.Some people even get flu like symptoms when they quit.Some have emotional highs and lows,Some even get depressed.Drink a lot of water,take a walk,stay motivated.Keep your friends and family in the loop to help.

I have more respect for myself now and it feels good to know that I am the boss of my body.No craving is worth the treasure of your wonderful mind,body and soul..

If you would like to connect and share your journey with me,please do email me on vaidya.priyanka@gmail.com

Good Luck !

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

and this is life...

One of the most trying times of my life but I still approach it with a smile..The fact that I do my TM program with gratitude every morning and night definitely helps..

In the name of the freedom of speech,there are some people who have sold their souls and have taken to writing about others..rather crudely..very unhealthy and very disappointing..Many have been the target of such abuse and so have I.
... but I will not give permission to be abused..

As many masters have said,"if you are doing something good,people will always say nasty things about you and if you do not hear enough nasty things,it means you are not doing enough good things."

I am a mere mortal who loves to take care of people.I love to cook with the traditional ways intermixed with flavours of the world..My aumcuisine reflects who I am..AUTHENTIC..UNIVERSAL AND MEDITATIVE and the beautiful thing about life is nobody can take that away from me..
Ayurveda and its vedic magic is in my genes and my blood..It is as natural as breath..effortless and nurturing..

I actually love it in some sense when negativity brews on the internet..If people have to believe words written by people they do not know rather than believe and trust people who they meet..it is better they walk different paths..

I am not upset just curious on how people have the time to write without any basis.

Rumi has the words and the explanation of such happenings as below.


Whatever comes, comes from a need,
a sore distress, a hurting want.

Mary's pain made the baby Jesus.
Her womb opened its lips
and spoke the Word.

Every part of you has a secret language.
Your hands and your feet say what you've done.

And every need brings in what's needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.

Having nothing produces provisions.
Ask a difficult question,
and the marvelous answer appears.

Build a ship, and there'll be water
to float it. The tender-throated
infant cries and milk drips
from the mother's breast.

Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring.

A village woman once was walking by Muhammed.
She thought he was just an ordinary illiterate.
She didn't believe that he was a prophet.

She was carrying a two-month-old baby.
As she came near Muhammed, the baby turned
and said, "Peace be with you, Messenger of God."

The mother cried out, surprised and angry,
"What are you saying,
and how can you suddenly talk!"

The child replied, "God taught me first,
and then Gabriel."
    "Who is this Gabriel?
I don't see anyone."
  "He is above your head,
Mother. Turn around. He has been telling me
many things."
  "Do you really see him?"
He is continually delivering me from this
degraded state into sublimity."

Muhammed then asked the child,
"What is your name?"

"Abdul Aziz, the servant of God, but this family
thinks I am concerned with world-energies.
I am as free of that as the truth of your prophecy is."

So the little one spoke, and the mother
took in a fragrance that let her surrender
to that state.
  When God gives this knowing,
inanimate stones, plants, animals, everything,
fills with unfolding significance.

The fish and the birds becomes protectors.
Remember the incident of Muhammed and the eagle.

It happened that as he was listening
to this inspired baby, he heard a voice
calling him to prayer. He asked for water
to perform ablutions. He washed his hands
and feet, and just as he reached for his boot,

an eagle snatched it away! The boot turned upsidedown
as it lifted, and a poisonous snake dropped out.

The eagle circled and brought the boot back,
saying, "My helpless reverence for you
made this necessary. Anyone who acts
this presumptuously for a legalistic reason
should be punished!"
  Muhammed thanked the eagle,
and said, "What I thought was rudeness
was really love. You took away my grief,
and I was grieved! God has shown me everything,
but at that moment I was preoccupied within myself."
The eagle,
   "But chosen one, any clarity I have
comes from you!"
    This spreading radiance
of a True Human Being has great importance.

Look carefully around you and recognize
the luminosity of souls. Sit beside those
who draw you to that.
 Learn from this eagle story
that when misfortune comes, you must quickly praise.

Others may be saying, Oh no, but you
will be opening out like a rose
losing itself petal by petal.

Someone once asked a great sheikh
what sufism was.
 "The feeling of joy
when sudden disappointment comes."

The eagle carries off Muhammed's boot
and saves him from snakebite.

Don't grieve for what doesn't come.
Some things that don't happen
keep disasters from happening.