Pitta Season in Ayurveda :: Summer Guide

As I write this, it’s the beginning of July and the heat is on! Summertime means long, bright hot days. It is a time of joyfulness, feeling energized and connecting with friends and family. 

In Ayurveda, summer is known as pitta season. Pitta embodies the element of fire – hot, sharp, light and mobile. These are the characteristics you might notice of the summer season – hot temperature, intense heat and thunderstorms, lots of socializing and traveling. In Ayurveda, like increases like, and opposites balance. For the summer season, you want to focus on qualities that are cool, soothing, nourishing and grounding. Keeping these qualities in mind make choosing the food we eat and our self-care practices with the seasons simpler. Below are some tips on how to do this to navigate your way through the summer season without burning yourself out! 

Foods to Balance Pitta

To bring balance to pitta dosha in this time of year, focus on eating foods that are cooling, soothing and grounding. Balance the heat of summer by enjoying fresh, cooling, hydrating fruits, smoothies and salads. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Reduce your intake of heating foods and beverages like hot and spicy food, fermented foods and alcohol. Overall, keep your meals light and refreshing.

Incorporate the following foods into your diet:

  • Cooling fats – coconut oil, ghee, avocados
  • Mildly spiced food – add mild digestives like fresh ginger, fresh cilantro, coriander cardamom, fennel to your food
  • Sweet taste – fresh fruit like peaches, melons and berries, tropical fruits
  • Bitter taste – lettuces, kale, collard 
  • Astringent taste – apples, pomegranate, fennel stalk, mung beans
  • Cooling foods – avocados, cucumbers, coconut
  • Add lime juice to your water or squeeze lime over your meals to help keep you cool and aid digestion
  • I love to eat chia seeds to help me stay hydrated in the summer… here is a recipe for chia pudding: https://coribernardo.com/2016/06/05/recipe-mango-vanilla-chia-pudding/

Lifestyle for Pitta

Think relaxation. Pitta season is associated with the fire element. Fire is hot and mobile. The opposite of mobile is stable and grounded. This is the time of year to consider slowing down, and staying cool.

  • Limit time in air conditioning as it compromises your bodies ability to deal with the high temperatures
  • Try moonbathing! Go for a walk at night under the moonlight to refresh your body and mind.
  • Avoid overexposure to the sun and wear light, breathable clothes
  • Splash face with cool water in the morning and take cooler showers
  • Get to bed by 10-10:30 pm
  • Take time for peace, quiet and reflection

Herbs for Pitta

In pitta season, use herbs and spices that help cool and calm the body and mind, and gently your digestive fires strong. 

  • Make a cooling tea of hibiscus, mint and add a splash of time. Or try this hibiscus ginger tea recipe: https://coribernardo.com/2017/06/26/recipe-ginger-hibiscus-iced-tea/
  • Chewing on fennel seeds after meals can be a helpful digestive
  • Spray yourself with rosewater to cool down
  • Favor mild digestive herbs and spices for your food like coriander, fresh ginger and fresh cilantro

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Ayurvedic Cooking Class (Virtual) :: Summer Season

Join Cori Bernardo, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and plant-based cooking expert for a workshop exploring Ayurvedic cooking for summer. This workshop is part lecture, and part interactive cooking – we’ll learn and cook together (at home)!

Summer is an important time to stay cool to counteract the hot and fiery energy of summer. We’ll learn what tastes and foods to eat more of at this time, along with how to cook and feed yourself to stay balanced during the summer season. The workshop ends with the creation of a fresh, nourishing, vegetarian meal that will be easy to replicate for everyday meals!

You will receive a grocery list and recipe book prior to the class.

Date: Saturday, June 26th
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Workshop is virtual over Zoom, a recording will be available 24 hours after the class
Investment: $45

Register here:

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The email that you use to check out with Paypal is the email I will use to send you the Zoom invitation, grocery list and recipe book.

Refresh for Spring with Yoga and Ayurveda Workshop

Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to feel energized and light! Join Cori, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Yoga Teacher, to refresh and invigorate for spring using Ayurveda and yoga. Ayurveda is the “science of life,” a 5,000 year old system of natural healing. Yoga is the sister science to yoga, and together they help bring balance to mind and body to achieve health and happiness. Ayurveda is a way of living that is connected with nature, being in tune with the seasonal shifts and circadian rhythms.

In this workshop you will:

  • Discover foods appropriate for the spring season
  • Be inspired to create a daily routine to stay connected with nature during spring
  • Explore yoga poses and movement that is most beneficial this time of year with a heated slow flow practice.
  • Learn basic principles of Ayurveda to live a balanced life, not just this spring, but for a lifetime.

Date: Sunday, May 16th
Time: 1-3 pm
Location: YogaSix, Northfield (8216 Northfield Blvd Unit 1330, Denver, CO 80238)
Investment: $25 YogaSix members / $35 non-members
To register: YogaSix members please register on the YogaSix app; non-members please email Cori at healthcoachcorib@gmail.com. Non-members will be charged when they check-in for the workshop.
Bring: Pen and journal to take notes, yoga mat and props you like to use, wear comfortable clothing. We will be doing a heated slow flow yoga practice

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Spring Ayurvedic Cleanse and Reset :: 10 Day Guided Cleanse

Spring Ayurvedic Cleanse and Reset
10 Day Guided Cleanse: April 10-19
Introduction, Precleanse, and Preparation: 4/7/21 7-8 pm MST (Wednesday)
Active Cleanse Check-in: 4/16/21 10-11 am MST (Friday)

Join Cori Bernardo, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and yoga teacher, for a seasonal Ayurvedic cleanse this spring! Ayurvedic cleanses provide a physical, mental and emotional reset. Detoxing has been practiced at seasonal transitions for thousands of years, and plays an important role in your overall well-being. Using the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda, this workshop will provide the knowledge and resources to complete a 10 day detox cleanse.

The Ayurvedic approach doesn’t involve juice, spicy lemonade, fasting and depriving yourself of solid food. Instead, it focuses on cooking and eating warm, nourishing and comforting foods and teas that encourage a gentle release of toxins built-up over time. It also includes self-care practices that promote both cleansing and rejuvenation.  You’ll notice a renewed sense of balance, inner-peace and calmness as you move through the cleanse.

This guided cleanse includes:
*Two live group calls over Zoom for support and instructions
*E-book that has all of the information about the cleanse including the schedule, recipes, shopping lists and other resources

The cleanse will last 10 days and starts April 10, 2020. The Zoom call schedule is below.

Zoom Dates (all times MST):
Introduction, Precleanse, and Preparation: 4/7/21 7-8 pm (Wednesday)
Active Cleanse Check-in: 4/16/21 10-11 am (Friday)

Cleanse Dates: April 10-19. Note that you are not actively cleansing the entire length of this time frame – this includes a precleanse phase.

Investment: $65

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The email address you use to checkout with on Paypal is the email I will use to contact you. Zoom invitations and e-book will be emailed to you 24 hours before our first Zoom session.

Learn how to make your own ghee!

Make Your Own Ghee Workshop and Live Demonstration
Saturday, March 20th: 10-11 AM (MST)
Virtual Zoom Class

Ghee is a sacred food in Ayurveda. In modern times, it is a versatile cooking oil that has many health benefits and is delicious! Join Cori, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and cooking expert, as she teaches you how to craft a perfect batch of ghee. Learn the benefits of eating and crafting your own ghee and watch a live demonstration of making ghee.

This workshop will cover:

  • Live demonstration of how to make ghee
  • How to choose the best butter source
  • All about ghee and its benefits
  • Inspiration for you to make your own ghee!
  • Live Q&A session
  • A pdf file of Cori’s ghee recipe

#holistichealth #holisticliving #holistic #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #foodismedicine #ancienthealth #ayurveda #naturalliving #eatrealfood #herbalmedicine #ayurvedicmedicine #yogalife #yogi #mindbody #recipe #ayurvedicrecipe # ayurvedicmeal #healthydigestion #ghee #cookingclass #ayurvediccooking

Virtual Ayurvedic Cooking Class :: Saturday Feb 6th

Join me for a workshop exploring Ayurvedic cooking for the winter season. This workshop is part lecture, and part interactive cooking – we’ll learn and cook together (at home)!

Winter is an important time to stay warm and nourished to counteract the cold and dry energy of winter. We’ll learn what tastes and foods to eat more of at this time, along with how to cook and feed yourself to stay balanced during the winter season. The workshop ends with the creation of a warm, nourishing, vegetarian meal that will be easy to replicate for everyday cooking!

You will receive a grocery list, recipe book and Zoom meeting link prior to the class.

Date: Saturday, February 6th
Time: 10 am – 12 pm MST
Workshop is virtual over zoom, a recording will be available 24 hours after the class
Investment: $45

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The e-mail you use to checkout with on Paypal is the e-mail address I will be sending the instructions, Zoom link and recipe e-book to prior to class.

#holistichealth #holisticliving #holistic #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #foodismedicine #ancienthealth #ayurveda #naturalliving #eatrealfood #herbalmedicine #ayurvedicmedicine #yogalife #yogi #mindbody #recipe #ayurvedicrecipe # ayurvedicmeal #healthydigestion #wintermeal #cookingclass #ayurvediccooking

Winter Feel Good Soup Recipe

This soup is for those winter days when you are feeling cold and run down. Make this soup and feel nourished!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 daikon, chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2” piece ginger, grated
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Water (or vegetable broth or bone broth)
1 tbsp wakame seaweed (or any other seaweed variety)
2 tbsp miso paste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the celery and carrots, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the daikon, mushrooms and ginger, and stir for one minute. Add water to the pot to 1-2” above the veggies (depending on how soupy you want it). Bring to boil, then add the seaweed and simmer for 25 minutes or until veggies are soft.

Once the the veggies are soft, turn the heat off and let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir in the scallions, miso, black pepper and vinegar. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

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Vata Balancing Breakfast Recipe

Have you been feeling really cold? Have dry skin, dry scalp and chapped lips? Feeling a little spacey, pulled in too many directions and basically ungrounded? That is the energy of vata dosha, and we are in the midst of vata season. Vata dosha has the qualities of cold, dry, light and mobile. In Ayurveda, to balance the force of doshas we use opposites. So, at this time of year we focus on things that are more warming, heavy, and grounded. And oily and unctuous, which are the opposite of dry.

One great way to help balance vata is to eat a warm and grounding breakfast every day. This is a basic oatmeal porridge recipe with some extra add-ins to make it more appropriate to balance vata. Grains, like oats, are very balancing to vata as they are heavy and grounding. The spices in the oatmeal – ginger, cinnamon and cardamom – add some heat and help make the other heavy ingredients like oats and dates more digestible. Dates are also heavy, and they also build ojas. Ojas is your resilience and immunity – definitely needed at this time of year. The chia seeds, hemp seeds and sunbutter are grounding and are healthy fats that help balance dryness in the body.

1/2 cup oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cardamom pod, smashed
Grated ginger from 1/2-1” inch ginger root
Pinch of mineral salt
2 chopped dates
Optional: 1/2 cup of fruit (I like to use apple)
1 cup water
1 cup oat milk 
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp nut butter (I use sunbutter)
1 tbsp hemp seeds

Add the oats, dates, dates, fruit, spices, oat milk and water to a small pan. Heat on high until it’s boiling. Turn to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. It should be creamy. Turn off the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Let sit for a few minutes to let the chia seeds absorb liquid. Put the porridge in a bowl and top with hemp seeds and nut butter. Enjoy! Makes 1 good size serving.

#holistichealth #holisticliving #holistic #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #foodismedicine #ancienthealth #ayurveda #naturalliving #eatrealfood #herbalmedicine #ayurvedicmedicine #yogalife #yogi #mindbody #recipe #ayurvedicrecipe # ayurvedic breakfast #breakfastrecipe #healthydigestion #oatmeal #porridge #vata #winterbreakfast

What to expect from an Ayurvedic Consultation

So, you decided to schedule an Ayurvedic consultation to learn more about your mind-body type, and the ideal diet and lifestyle unique for you. Or maybe you are looking for some support for a health issue that hasn’t been helped (or maybe even acknowledged) by western medicine. It’s very possible that you don’t know anyone else who has done an Ayurvedic consultation, and maybe you’re wondering what to expect. You might not even know what Ayurveda is! If you’re feeling a little apprehensive, don’t worry. I’m going to describe the process for you, so that you feel more comfortable about your upcoming Ayurvedic consultation.

First up: paperwork and photos!
The first part of the process is… detailed paperwork. Prior to your appointment, you will need to complete an intake form asking you many questions about your current health and health history. Just relax while you are doing this – there are no right or wrong answers. You’ll also be asked to provide a list of supplements and medications, as well as a list of foods eaten over the last few days.

Since appointments are currently done virtually, you’ll also need to provide some photographs of yourself. Most of these can be taken by yourself as long as you have access to a mirror. Physical observation is one of the diagnostic tools that I use. This information all helps me determine your mind-body constitution and any current imbalances. 

Be ready for lots of questions…
At your appointment, be prepared to answer many questions about your health. Like, a lot more questions than your health practitioner has possibly ever asked you. Filling out the intake form will give you a good idea of the types of questions I’ll be asking. For instance, you will be asked questions about any digestive issues, past and current health issues, the foods you eat on a regular basis, how or if you exercise, your daily routine and your stressors. 

Some questions might seem personal and even kinda uncomfortable to talk about – like questions about your sweat, urine and poop. This information is crucial to help us know what is going on inside your body – especially the presence of toxins and your digestive strength.

You will stick out your tongue
Another diagnostic tool is analyzing your tongue. You’ll be asked to send me a close-up of your tongue in natural light and/or show me your tongue during our appointment. You might be wondering, should you clean your tongue before your appointment? It’s actually better if you don’t, as this lets me observe your tongue coating. Observing the size, shape and coating of your tongue is helpful in determining the presence of toxins, digestive strength, and other imbalances.

What you get
After our appointment, you will be getting diet and lifestyle tips, as well as herbal recommendations from me that help address your current imbalances. These tips are specific to you and won’t be helpful for your family members or friends. Don’t be overwhelmed when you see these, as most Ayurvedic practices take weeks or months to implement. It’s all about the baby steps you take on the way to your healing. I recommend people tackle one diet and one lifestyle change a week. Together we will decide if it would be supportive of you to have a followup appointment.

I hope after reading this, you’ll feel more comfortable scheduling an appointment to see an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. I am currently available for appointments via Zoom. Please e-mail me at healthcoachcorib@gmail.com to set up our consultation.

#holistichealth #holisticliving #holistic #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #foodismedicine #ancienthealth #ayurveda #naturalliving #eatrealfood #herbalmedicine #ayurvedicmedicine #yogalife #yoga #mindbody #integrativenutrition #ayurvedicnutrition #ayurvediclifestyle

Recipe: red lentil butternut soup (instant pot)

It’s early December, and we are in the midst of Vata season. In Ayurveda, the seasons are characterized by the doshas – vata, pitta and Kapha. Late fall and early winter are vata season – and have the qualities of dry, cold and light (think of fallen leaves blowing in the wind). Have you noticed the weather is dry and cold? Have your skin and sinuses felt drier? Have you felt more ungrounded than usual lately? That is how the energy of vata manifests in your mind and body.

To balance the dry, cold and ungrounded energy of vata – we use opposites. One way to do this is through the foods we choose to eat. Soups are very balancing to vata as they are moist and warm. Adding heavier ingredients like butternut squash, and healthy fats and proteins, like lentils and coconut milk, are grounding as they balance the lightness of vata.

Don’t be put off my the long ingredient list for this recipe. It comes together quickly, then goes right into your instant pot. You can make the recipe easier by using frozen, precut and peeled butternut squash. You could also choose to not blend your soup after it cooks in the instant pot.

2 cups chopped & peeled butternut squash
1 cup red lentils – soaked overnight
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1” of fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garam masala 
Pinch of black pepper
1 tsp mineral salt
1 quart of broth (vegetable or bone broth)
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
Optional: plain coconut yogurt as topping.

Set the instant pot on the saute function. Melt the ghee in the pot, then add the onions and celery. Saute, stirring, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and other spices and saute for 2 minutes. Add the butternut squash and red lentils, stir and cook for 1 minute. Turn off saute function.

Add the broth and salt and put the lid on the instant pot. Set on manual for 30 minutes (on mine I can also use the “soup” button). Sit back and let the instant pot do its thing. After its completed cooking, let it natural release for 5 minutes. Let out the rest of the pressure and add the coconut milk, stir. To make your soup a puree consistency, let it cool a bit then blend in batches. Or, use an immersion blender and blend it right in the instant pot (my preferred way). Optional, top with a dollop of coconut yogurt. Enjoy!

#holistichealth #holisticliving #holistic #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #foodismedicine #ancienthealth #ayurveda #naturalliving #eatrealfood #herbalmedicine #ayurvedicmedicine #yogalife #yogi #mindbody #recipe #ayurvedicrecipe # ayurvedic soup #healthydigestion #soup #butternutsquashsoup #autumn #vata #vatadosha #instantpot #instantpotrecipe