Eat close to source
Always be-active
Practice degree of stress reduction (Medtn, Yoga etc)
Most important: A sense of belonging, belong to a Community.

"Health is a state of  complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely absence of  disease or infirmity"

We are very grateful to Vaidyaji for having blessed us with her presence and sharing with us the gems for leading a healthy and happy life! Vaidyaji comes from a place in Kerala and a lineage of 718 years with predominantly women healers in the family and practicing strictly vegan life from the age of 4.

She also says at one point in her lecture that her family, if traced back is been vegan for the last 465 years and it's a no joke vegan life style that leads to a fulfilling and happy life. It's like 18 generations of her family completely away from using any type of dairy products. Amazing!!!

Five Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta)
Vaidyaji started by sharing the role of the 5 elements that makes up each and every organism on the face of this planet, that is air, fire, water, earth and space.
Every individual has all these elements, one may have a little more another a little less. She also explained the 3 dosha (body constitution) that an individual is made of, one may be dual doshic or have all 3 dosha in right amount in them, this combination is very rare and only a few may be found to have this type of combination. It's really a very good combination to have according to many healers.

The 3 Dosha are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata= air + space (vayu + akasha) = movement
Pitta = fire + water = transform                    
Kapha = Earth + water = sustain

Rise before the Sun
It's a very big deal to get up before the sun, Vaidyaji says it's the best medicine for Vitamin-D deficiency  and getting up early gives the energy that is needed to go through the day. Best time to get up is between 5 to 6 am in the morning.

She also touched upon the detox parameters to have a healthy body.
Start by quitting:
Refined Products
Carbonated beverages
Animal Products
It needs to be done for 42 days.

She also talked about a daily practice of Yoga and cardio as it's very necessary to build in the strength and endurance for our daily life. If we can practice yoga every day for an hour and cardio for 3 days atleast 30 min, it will help us to be energetic and it has been seen that it helps to deal with many diseases and reduces depression as well.

Vaidyaji also talked about the right amount of water needed for each individual, she said it is good to have atleast 3 litres of water everyday, the book that talks more about the relationship of water to a healthy body is here
1)Your body's many cries for water
2) You are not sick, you're thirsty.

Vaidyaji also mentioned about the AMA(toxins in the body) not be mistaken for American Medical Association which can be also considered if you see what it's doing...misleading people over the years.. AMA happens because of our lifestyle and wrong eating habits, if we can get rid of these two factors, there is a chance for a better health and life! AMA is the white color substance that accumulates on the tongue and it can been seen first thing in the morning before brushing or cleaning the tongue.

It is same kind of procedure that is seen as Acupuncture or Acupressure in Chinese medicine. There are 365 meridian points in Acupuncture and in Marma there is 107 points with 108th being the mind. Marma is the combination of Yantra, Mantra and Tantra -- Yantra being the healing stones like jade, copper or silver, Mantra is specifically said for the particular organ in the body, Tantra is the technique with which the Marma is done on the particular individual.

Food On Time
Having the right kind of food at the right time is very important, for example:
Breakfast : 7am to 8am
Lunch: 12pm to 2pm
Dinner: 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
No snacking in between, allowing the food to be completely digested and eat only when we feel hungry.

Meditate Every  Day
Relaxing the mind atleast once or twice a day, so that we are ready to take on everything that is thrown our way with out any glitches for the rest of the day.
It's a good idea to sit in silence for atleast 15- 20min once in the morning and once in the evening. It's always good to connect with our self, go inward so that it's easy to deal with external things later on..

Good to go clutter free specially under the bed and this will free up the stagnant energy in the home as well as in our own mind.

It's good for one self to go to sleep by 10pm in the evening, and have a restful sleep for 7-8 hours every day. For children it's 9 - 10 hrs every day, best if they could be in bed by 8:30pm.

Physical Benefits of Vegan Ayurvedic lifestyle:
Weight loss
Healthy Hair, Nail, Skin
No longer suffering from PMS
No more body odors and allergies
No Migraines.
Lastly enjoy lot of time with the family and friends, but remember to let go of people who no longer want to be in your company and do not feel bad when it happens, also forgive others when they hurt us and in all live a happy, abundant life :-)

Kale is another vegetable that not only has nutritional values but it's very tasty as well.. I made some indian kale pakodas last week, it was the first time i tried it and it turned out good and we both enjoyed it on a cloudy day with some nice peppermint tea!! try it out and enjoy:-) Once in a while fried pakodas really tastes good :-)
1 cup kale finely chopped
1 cup of besan
1/2 tsp chili pdr
salt to taste
oil for frying

Mix the besan, kale, chili pdr with water into a thick paste, you can either drop these with hand or use a spoon to drop them into oil, fry them until light brown and there you have it... enjoy it as it is or with green cilantro chutney.

Spices not only add flavor to food, it also has the power to heal and help to regain health in every individual who seeks it.

Various kinds of spices that are never been found in other parts of the world are abundantly grown in India.  To this day Indian spices have established a unique identity in the global market place. Indian spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, turmeric, ginger etc flavorful spices have also been contributing for significant economic development of India.

Indian spices have been known for ages to have healing power when used in moderate quantity and used according to ones body constitution.

The ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda has been widely using spices as medicine. Majority of Ayurvedic medicines are prepared in combination of one or many of these spices.

I love the spices, their smell, flavor just makes me so creative while preparing the food. Each spice has a unique flavor and when combined it's taste is just so divine! 

Generally, most of the spices are flovorful, heating and drying in nature, they are either pungent, bitter, astringent or sweet in taste. Spices not only improve appetite for food but they also activate the digestive systems so that food that we consume is completely broken down and disgested. When consumed in moderation spices help to balance that health through 3 doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) they are protecting our over all health. However when consumed or taken in excess they can excite our dosha (constitution) which can drastically cause damage to health. Therefore all the spices always have to be taken in moderate quantity, only then they are tasteful to tongue, soothing to the stomach.

Next time don't be scared to use the spices, it is only when we use them we get to know their true healing power and enjoy the benefits, that the nature is abundantly providing us at all times.

We were gifted with the tickets to this must watch documentary and indeed it was one of the days that we will remember for the rest of our lives...

Queen of the Sun...what bees are trying to tell us? a documentary was screened in our community past Friday in a very historic Bal Theatre in San Leandro, a unique theatre to encourage community based activities and much more...

Some of the insights that emerged from watching the movie:
Bees: an exquisite creature shows all humans, how to lead a life of service, selflessness, letting go of ego, and working towards every ones benefit!

The movie also showed us that beauty of one seed is that it can multiply into a million and bees are the ones that help one seed to become a million through their work of pollination.

Bees also show us that there is no competition, no getting ahead of pack, no stars, everyone works with humility and do whatever is needed to build a thriving community, we totally believe in this and these values are most important to build  healthy, happy and compassionate families and kids.

At one point one of the bee-keepers in the movies pointed out a very fascinating point, that is-- humans and bees are drawn to similar beauty in flowers, similar texture, aroma and reflecting on it, we too felt it's very true...

The movie also explores the effects of the pesticides and GMO (genetically modified) seeds on bees, when bees are exposed to these pesticides and GMO plants and seeds, they loose their innate sense of direction and sense of their colony and as a result they get lost and tend to become isolated and die...Imagine for a moment how would it be to forget our own home, family, and everything that we have known in this life time? It also brings up this question - how can we humans choose to use such dangerous chemicals that has detrimental effects on our overall ecology?

Call for Action:      
1. Grow bee friendly variety of flowers.
2. Grow naturall, don't  use any pesticides, GMO.
3. Buy local organic honey.
4. Maintain clean water source in neighborhood for bees.
5. Become a bee keeper.
6. Don't grow mono-agriculture crops, such as hundreds of acres of almonds in central valley, Ca, instead support around the year bee friendly bio diversity agriculture.
7. Campaign for policy change to support for urban bee keeping.
8. Learn the truth about bees, not all bees are same, honey-bees move in swarms, don't fumigate or terminate their hives when they start building around your homes, opt  to rehab them in a safe, non-violent way  and gift bees a new safe home :-)

What a life...we are grateful to have the vegetables that are grown locally and I can not ask for more. I am just glad i do not need to eat the fancy good looking vegetables that are injected with hormones and what not!! We have been very regular at the farmers market and it's not just a place for us to buy vegetables and fruits, as i have said in my earlier blog.... it is a place to build more strong connection to these hard working brothers and sisters.

Growing up in India, it was hard for me and my family  to cook anything without vegetables like okra, tomato, egg-plant, methi leaves, bell peppers, potatoes etc etc...  Being in US for a few years now and frequently using  the farmer's market, I see that nature gives us different vegetables and fruits every season and reflecting more and more on it seems like it's the only choice I have, follow nature and rest will be taken care of.

I have been exactly doing that it has opened me up to be more creative and use given resource wisely.. Below are some vegetables from this weeks farmers market and I specially like "kale", it not only reduces the high cholesterol levels it also has a very fine taste... Try it next time, do not hesitate to try new vegetables... just remember to saute it with garlic and ginger... as my friend says.... with a big smile :-)

Kandha Poha... Is a very well known dish in Maharashtra and one of my favorite food, I can feed on it anytime of the day and I must say it's healthy, tasty and easy to make.This dish use to be a regular in my home growing up specially when we lived in a place known as Sangli on the bank of river Krishna, wonderful small town, known for it's turmeric and grapes and very friendly people!
I am trying to reproduce what I had learnt from my mom here, I may never be able to fill her shoes in terms of creating the same taste... but just a try and this blog is dedicated to my mother and grandmother for teaching me everything about cooking and it's one thing that I enjoy the most.
I specially remember this one instance :  As usual my mom made this dish for breakfast and then as you all know we have guests visit us anytime of the day in India, (which I miss the most in USA) any way my mom always welcomed anyone and everyone and never sent them away with out offering them food and so u know now what happened, myself and my sister were left with a little amount of poha and I should say that it was one of the tastiest poha I have eaten till date and all my attempts to recreate it like that day continues.... I am hopeful one day I will be successful in these attempts...   

Any way here is the recipe:
Thick Poha 2 cups
Onion 1no.
Peanuts 2 tsps
Mustard 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli 1no.
Curry leaves 1 strand
Coconut 1/2 cup
Cilantro 1/2 cup
Lemon juice 2 tsps

Place oil in the vessel and once it is heated add mustard, cumin, peanuts, curry leaves, red chilli once u hear popping sounds,  add the onion and turmeric and fry it for 5 min until onion are done and soft and then add the poha and mix well and then add the coconut, cilantro leaves and lemon juice and u are done!!

Serve hot to all loved ones and enjoy with all!!
We have been surrounded by "Love Warriors" who inspire us to be of service to Mother nature every moment of our precious life! Few weeks back we all (includes loving pets and kids) got together at the garden located on main st in Hayward and we got to serve the soil, plants and trees. It was a beautiful spring like day and were able to support , learn and grow from this experience.

We were able to harvest some of the vegetables and cook them under the sun using a solar cooker and I can only say that this was the best food that I had fed my physical body in a long time!

It's such a privilege to harvest and eat from the garden knowing that it comes with no added chemicals and trust me that's what is needed to survive, clean vegetables and fruits and nothing else!!

We were all able to clean weeds, turn compost, feed the same to plants and water all the existing trees and plants, in all a very fulfilling day :-)
We feel very blessed to be part of Hayward community who deeply resonate with earth friendly practices and it includes a beautiful weekly Farmers Market  and we look forward to this weekly market, where we get to converse with many hard working souls and they are our heroes and this blog is dedicated to them and we are eternally grateful to all our farmer brothers and sisters for what they do to bring in a little more authentic vegetables and fruits in to our world, which is otherwise filled with harmful products and lately it's hard to distinguish whether it is real or not.
We are happy to see many organically and locally grown vegetables right in our community. Farmers market basically help us to take only what we need and according to seasons rather than eating away all the food that we come across in a very inhumanely way.

Farmers market reminds me of the quote:
"Take care of the land,
   it will take care of you;
   Take what you need from the land
    but need what you take"
                                             -  Aboriginal law
Past week we were gifted with a Chilacayote squash by one of our love warrior who is regular at Monday Yoga  and hayward community gardens. Chila cayote was quite big one for just 2 of us and so we decided that it has to be shared with many more and as the saying goes "a gift is not a gift until it is gifted away"  we decided to gift it away to casa de paz  by cooking it in a south indian style curry.

Here is the recipe with pictures for Chila cayote squash, make it whenever you get a chance and don't forget it to share with many that come across your life to make it more beautiful!

Chila Cayote squash 1 big one
channa daal 4 tsp
urad daal 4 tsp
mustard 2 tsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
turmeric 1 tsp
red chilli 4 no
curry leaves 2 strands
coriander leaves 1/2 cup
coconut 1 cup
lemon 1/4 cup

Chilla Cayote Squash and then cut and grated to small pieces.


All other ingredients needed for seasoning on the plate, then place some oil in the vessel and once the oil is heated , then add all the seasoning ingredients and fry for  2-5 min until you hear the popping sounds.


Then mix in all the cut ChilaCayote squash and turn in well until all is mixed well and has uniform yellow color all over. Later cover it well and cook  for  next 10 min until it is soft.       

Once the cayote is well cooked and soft add the chopped coriander, lemon, coconut and salt to taste and the dish is ready to be served with rice or roti.