Peak Fitness High Intensity Exercising – Less Time exercising for better results!

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Anyone Interested in Exercising for less time and more results!  I’ve recently added this to my routine, and will let you know how it works for me.  (This is courtesy of Dr. John Douillard)


Choose a form of cardiovascular exercise to practice using the 12-Minute Workout prompts below.
This can be walking, jogging, riding a bike or using a cardio machine. It can also be jumping jacks, running
up and down stairs, jumping on and off a curb.

12-Minute Workout
Step 1: Warm Up
Exercise slowly for 2 minutes while breathing deeply in and out through
your nose.

Step 2: Sprint
Start exercising faster, like a mini sprint, for 1 minute. Using the nasal breath
during the sprint will keep you from overexerting yourself. Don’t push it here.
Start slow and build yourself up to a faster sprint over time. Try to do a sprint
pace that you can maintain for one minute. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be
sprinting like a pro.

Step 3: Recovery
Slow the exercise down to the warm-up pace for one minute, maintaining
the nasal breathing if you can.

Step 4: Second Sprint
Start another sprint for one minute. Make this a little faster than the first
sprint if you can.

Step 5: Second Recovery
Recover from the sprint with one minute of deep nasal breathing at the
warm up pace. If you cannot maintain nasal breathing during the recovery,
it’s an indication that the sprint was too hard. With each sprint, it will get

Step 6: Continue Sprints and Recoveries
Continue sprints and recoveries for a total of 4 sprints and 4 recoveries.
Follow the nasal breathing if you can.

Step 7: Cool Down
Repeat Step 1. Exercise at the warm up pace, gradually slowing down, for
2 minutes.

More details:

The 12-Minute Workout is based on the principles of heart rate variability – which aims to strengthen
the heart by increasing the difference between the resting heart rate and maximum heart rate during
If you don’t yet have an established exercise routine, the 12-Minute Workout is a fabulous start.
Here are some of the benefits:
􀁴 Increase fat metabolism
􀁴 Calm the nervous system and mind
􀁴 Support healthy glucose and insulin levels
􀁴 Increase calorie burning
􀁴 Boost energy
􀁴 Create a sleeker, stronger, and more toned physique
􀁴 Enhance sex drive
􀁴 Improve lymphatic drainage, leading to healthier skin and detoxification
􀁴 Amplify exercise endurance and performance
􀁴 Raise human growth hormone – which may be responsible for all of the above

Clean Eating for Your Daily Detox!

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Clean Eating for Your Daily Detox!

I was just reading an article in Natural Foods Merchandiser about the decline of Detox Products as consumers realize that a clean daily diet negates the need for extreme detoxes.

This truly supports the principles behind Ayurveda, which emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed, fresh foods for each meal. While it can be difficult to take the time to from scratch, there are many steps that you can regularly take to keep your diet clean and eliminate or decrease the need for extreme detoxes or fasts. It’s really your daily habits that will determine your overall health and energy levels. Below are some Ayurvedic principles that I have incorporated in my life for a “daily cleanse’ that pay off big time!

Drink a large glass or room temperate or warm water, preferably with a squeeze of lemon or lime, first thing in the morning, before tea or coffee.
• Make sure to drink ½ your ideal body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces.
Take one day a week to plan meals for the next week. I typically like to do this on Sunday, before the weekly pressures start. (Or at the least, plan one day ahead) Shop for your ingredients beforehand so it’s easy to cook up fresh foods. I like to cook warm basics during the winter weekdays like split pea and lentil soups, chicken (baked breasts) with veggies, baked sweet potatoes, veggie stir fry with wild rice or quinoa (high in protein), fresh fish with veggies…you get the idea. Invest in a cookbook with simple, healthy recipes if you are not sure where to start. (One of my all-time favorites is Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar)
Many of these dishes can be eaten for multiple meals. For example, cook enough split pea soup for both dinner and lunch the following day, just make sure to eat it within 24 hours of cooking it so it is fresh and full of nutrients. Embellish with sliced avocado, pumpkin seeds and an apple and you have a delicious meal!

Invest in a good pressure cooker and slow cooker (Crockpot). These are life savers in my world. My grandma used a pressure cooker and I have to admit, it scared me. Now I’m a convert – this is a huge time saver, and modern pressure cookers are easy and safe to use. Picture this: Get home from work and take 10 minutes or LESS to chop a few veggies, quarter some potatoes and throw them in the pressure cooker with some chicken breasts, spices and perhaps a can of coconut milk. Set the pressure cooker to 6 minutes and walk away. Decompress while dinner cooks! You’ll be eating within an hour of arriving home. (Pressure cooker takes a few minutes to come to pressure)

• With the slow cooker, start your lentil soup before you leave the house for the day, and you’ll literally salivate when you walk in the door to the savory scent of a fresh cooked meal! Prepare your ingredients the night prior for quicker prep the next morning.

• During the winter months, eat warming foods such as STEEL CUT oatmeal (not processed instant), amaranth (a grain like seed full of nutrients) or quinoa. Since they aren’t processed and may take 30 minutes to cook, simply start them, turn the oven to low, then go take your shower, etc. (I meditate) until ready. Add apple while cooking and sweeten with maple syrup, honey or stevia and add chopped nuts for a delicious, healthy breakfast.

• Many of us constantly snack, having been taught that eating every couple of hours is good for us – not so for most of us. Your body doesn’t have the chance to digest the prior meal if you are constantly eating. See if you can teach yourself to go at least three hours between meals.
• In an ideal world, lunch is your largest meal, when your digestive fire is burning the best.
Finish dinner early! Dinner should be more like “supper,” a lighter meal. Ideally you will give your body a mini cleanse every day between dinner and break – fast. That means finishing dinner by 6:30pm if you eat breakfast at 6:30 am. This is optimal for brain health, digestion and sleep. Eating late allows toxins to accumulate and sit in your body.
I’d love to share more tips with you on how you can keep your body clean so you don’t go through the ups and downs of detoxing then alternating with eating or living off balance. Come in for a consultation or ask me about my next workshop or Ayurvedic series!

Carrot Cake Cookies – Gluten Free

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Carrot cake cookiesGluten Free – Carrot Cake Cookies


Dry ingredients – Mix together

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup Amaranth Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cardamom (all spices optional)

Wet ingredients

1 stick butter – cream

4 eggs – add to butter

Add to butter and egg

1/3 Cup applesauce

1/2 Cup Molasses

1 Cup (or a little more) grated carrot

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add dry ingredients to butter mixture with a hand blender at low speed.

Stir in

1/2 Cup quick cooking oats

1/2 Cup raisins

3/4 Cup walnut pieces

Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 on greased baking sheet.  To insure even baking, rotate pan halfway through.  I found about 13 minutes total to be plenty.  Watch the cookies until they turn golden/brown.  Makes around 24 large, or more if you form them to be smaller.



5 Tips to Kick Start your Digestion this Holiday Season

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5 Tips to Kick Start your Digestion for the Holidaysholiday meal

It always seems like this time of year rolls around so quickly, and while I am excited to share meals with good friends and partake in holiday cheer, I also know that my digestion easily gets overwhelmed with too much of well, everything. For much of my life until I discovered Ayurveda, I had crappy digestion. Following the simple tips below has made a tremendous difference for me and hopefully will for you too!

  1. Stay away from cold, icy drinks! Your digestion is like a fire, and ice cold drinks dampen the flame. Once that happens, it doesn’t “cook” your food, which may just sit in your belly like a rock.  Simply request “no ice” when at a restaurant, and at home, get used to drinking room temperature water.  It’ll become a habit before you know it!
  1. A strong digestive fire (AGNI) will help you to digest your food better, moving it through your system efficiently so it doesn’t turn into fat, or create a belly ache. So, you ask, how do you fuel the flames?  Drink about 8-12 ounces of water about 15-20 minutes BEFORE you eat, preferably with a squeeze of lemon or lime. This prepares your digestive track for food, stimulating all the necessary digestive enzymes. It is ESSENTIAL to drink your water before and not during or immediately after your meal. When you drink during your meal it dampens your agni, creating bloat, gas and general discomfort. You can sip on a little water during your meal only to wet your whistle. Wait at least a half hour after your meal before drinking a beverage, although you can sip on hot tea such as ginger tea.
  1. Most people really like this suggestion: according to Ayurveda we should eat desert first! The body digests the sweet taste first. If you fill your belly with lots of turkey and stuffing, then add a piece of pecan pie, your body will naturally digest the sweet pie first, leaving everything else to sit. You’ll know when that happens by the reaction of your tummy.  So, start a new tradition this Thanksgiving and serve those pies as appetizers. J
  1. Finish your final meal of the day around sunset. Our bodies mirror the rhythm of nature, so our agni is actually highest at noon (when the sun is peaking), meaning we can eat more and digest i better at that time. If you schedule allows, even if it’s just on the weekends, eat your largest meal of the day at lunch, followed by a lighter “supper” around sunset. I suggest a nice, savory soup during the cold, dark winter to help keep you warm and enkindle your agni. (See link to pumpkin soup recipe below.)  If you finish eating for the day around sunset or shortly after, and just say no to the holiday cookies calling your name (at least a few days a week), it will be really be helpful in maintaining your weight.  You’ll probably sleep better and feel lighter and more energetic in the morning.
  1. Now here’s a biggie. We’ve been told to eat often to quell hunger, but that isn’t Ayurvedic. According to Ayurveda, most of us should stick to three meals a day, giving our bodies several hours to digest the prior meal and start to rely on our bodies’ fat stores for additional energy.  In order to do this, eat a decent size lunch and be sure to have some fat and protein with each meal.  If you must, have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts for a snack.

Here are some herbal formulas that I recommend for digestion:

Click here and order these herbs asap!

Triphala – Gently cleanses and detoxifies the system

Pitta Digest – for digestion that is too quick

Vata Digestion – for those who suffer from constipation, gas and bloat

Kapha Digest – for Sluggish Direction

Liver Support –Promotes proper digestion of fat and a healthy metabolism.

Make Your Own Ghee!

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Oven-made Ghee

Ingredients: 1 pound organic, unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 215 degrees F. Put the butter in a 1½ to 2 quart casserole or oven-proof pot. Place the butter in the oven without a lid and allow it to clarify, undisturbed, for 2 hours. The ghee is ready when it:

  • Changes from a cloudy yellow to clear golden color
    • • Stops foaming and making crackling noises
    • Milk solids form on the bottom of the pot

Pour the ghee through several layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass storage jar, straining out and then discarding the milk solids. To make it easier, I like to initially pour it into a large, 4 cup glass measuring container with a spout. I can then easily pour it into a smaller glass jar from there. When the ghee is completely cool, cover tightly and store in a dry place away from direct sun light. It doesn’t require refrigeration.  Makes about 2 cups.

Experience the Healing Power of Ayurveda with 5-Week Hands-On Series

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Experience the Healing Power of Ayurveda with 5-Week Hands-On Series

Learn how to incorporate Ayurveda’s guidelines for healthy living into your daily life for less stress & more energy. During this 5-week series, you will:

  • Learn about your dosha (constitution) and what makes you tick
  • Cook and eat a delicious and balancing Ayurvedic meal, “kitchadi,” to detoxify your body
  • Make your own digestive herbal formula to keep your tummy happy as Turkey day approaches
  • Breath in balancing aromatherapy scents and discover which ones are right for you to keep anxiety from creeping up
  • Stretch into balancing yoga and Chi Gong to keep you in the flow during the upcoming holiday season
  • Relax deeply with special breathing techniques, try your hand at anti-aging self-massage, and more

WHEN: Five sessions – Mondays 6:30– 8:00 pm; October 19- November 16

WHERE:  Om on the Range, Old Oak Park Road, Arroyo Grande

COST$108 for pre-registration by October 8; $118

REGISTER:  Holly Padove,; 805-440-4561

Keep Your Pitta in Check This Summer with 10 Cooling and Calming Tips

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Keep Your Pitta in Check This Summer with 10 Cooling and Calming Tips

The pitta dosha is primarily comprised of the Fire element, and summer, when heat predominates, is the pitta season. What does that mean to you? Pitta represents the Fire principle in the body. If you tend to run warm, you may be pitta in nature, and summer can be a bit overheating for you. Too much pitta can create havoc on your system, causing everything from anger and frustration to heartburn, skin irritations and insomnia. Here are a few tips on how to keep your pitta in check, and here is a link for a great Pitta balancing formula from Banyan Botanicals.

1. Plan your outdoor activities for before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. The Pitta time of day is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is at its highest. If you are exercising in the mid-day heat, for example, you will aggravate your Pitta, bringing more unwanted heat into your mind and body. Instead, try exercising in the morning or late afternoon, the cooler parts of the day.If you must be outside during the hottest part of the day, be sure to protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.
2. Avoid hot and spicy foods. Instead favor cooling foods such as sweet juicy fruit, cucumbers and leafy greens. (Yay- even ice cream is ok an occasion during the summer!) Instead of indulging in heating red wine, enjoy a cold beer instead.
3. Wear cooling colors such as blue, green and white. Colors even hold energy, and the lighter colors are cooling and calming in nature. Not only can you wear these colors, but you can seasonally decorate or accent your home with the cooler colors.
4. Spritz yourself with cooling and sweet aromatherapies such as rose and sandalwood, jasmine, mint and lavender, to name a few. Aromas work on a subtle level to keep you emotionally balanced, and rose is one of the top fragrances to keep you emotionally balanced. Make sure to utilize essential oils instead of artificial fragrances.
5. Get enough rest instead of burning the candle at both ends. With more summer light, we tend to push ourselves, which completely imbalances Pitta (and Vata). I was recently in Alaska, where this was very evident, as it never gets dark out during the summer, and people can be found hiking or fishing at midnight! Be sure to get enough sleep, striving to hit the sack as close to 10 p.m. as possible, and sleep seven to eight hours.
6. Give Sitali breathing a try to cool the body and soothe aggravated pitta. Get in a relaxed, comfortable position. Curl your tongue out of your mouth and breath in through it, exhale through your nose. Do this for a few minutes. Can’t curl your tongue? Then open your mouth, bring your teeth together, and inhale through them, exhaling again through your nose.
7. Drink herbal teas and try herbal formulas that balance pitta. Try brewing your own tea from fresh mint, licorice, fennel hibiscus and rose petals, or you can get pre-made balancing tea.
8. Listen to relaxing music, whether reggae, acoustic or classical –whatever calms you.
9. Try a cooling a calming yoga practice. Instead of doing a Power yoga class, try a restorative class, or move slower, emphasizing stay cool and calm. You may also want to try a Chi Gong class, which I would describe as a cross between tai chi and yoga. While it may seem counterintuitive for the striving Pitta types – it is actually extremely balancing and beneficial. Remember balance is everything in life!
10. Keep your cool – Pitta season tends to bring out the hothead in many warm blooded folks. Count to ten before you react, and utilize the above tips to keep balanced, both physically and emotionally.

Hit Your “Reset” Button as We Bloom Into Spring

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Hit  Your “Reset” Button as We Bloom Into Spring

Luckily for those of us that live in California, we haven’t experienced the frigid winter condition that most of the country has been hit with. As the fragrant jasmine starts to bloom, those of us who live in a warmer client can start thinking about a strategy to change up our diet for spring, sort of like a spring clean for our body, which influences our mind and spirit as well – remember – everything is connected!  (If you live in true winter conditions, wait another 4-6 weeks, until the evidence of spring starts appearing.)

As I come across enormous amounts of fur in my house and one-acre mini ranch from my shedding pets, horse included, it reminds me that as the days grow longer, it’s almost time for us humans to start shedding our winter layer as well!  By doing so, we prepare are systems to stay in tune with the change of season, spring chickenand as a consequence, are much less likely to deal with allergies, a seasonal cold or digestive disturbances. Plus, you’ll feel more energetic.

The qualities that are most present in the spring time are “Kapha” in nature (heavy, cold and moist) and in order to balance these qualities we choose the opposite, not only in our food, but other lifestyle choices as well.

In Ayurveda, the traditional way to shed that winter layer is through eating a lighter, simpler diet, choosing the bountiful produce that is available in the spring.  Instead of fasting, or going on the latest fad diet, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend eating a kichadi diet for anywhere from three days to a week, then go on a lighter, detox diet for a couple more weeks. Kichadi consists of split mung beans, rice and spices (recipe here).

I’m giving an afternoon workshop at Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, March 22 called “Spring Cleaning Your Body, Mind and Spirit,” and will go into detail on how to shift with the season. It will be Spring Equinox, and the ideal time to push the reset button!  I will also be offering a 5-week Intro to Ayurveda Series (On Mondays from March 30 – April 27) where I will go into these details and much more.

Meanwhile, here are a few tips to consider as we approach a new season:

  • Choose produce that is in season – look no further than your local Farmer’s Market
  • Eat more cooked veggies, including leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Choose cooked vegies over salads this time of year.  (Don’t worry, you can enjoy lots of salads in the summer!)
  • Choose grains such as quinoa, barley, amaranth and millet, while decreasing or even eliminating wheat as it is considered heavy in nature.
  • Avoid cold foods and drinks as they dampen the digestion and can create toxins in the body.
  • Always favor fresh, organic foods over processed, canned, frozen or packaged items.
  • Sleep during the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the time when your body can best go to work to burn away “ama” or toxins.
  • Get moving! Best time to exercise is between 6-10 a.m. and late afternoon.


Please come to my workshop, or attend my 5-week series to really get the lowdown on resetting for spring.



Introduction to Ayurveda Series 3/30 – 4/27 2015

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Understand Yourself and How to Create Balance!

Introduction to Ayurveda Series 3/30 – 4/27

 VATA, PITTA or KAPHA, which “constitution” or “dosha” are you?  Why does it matter? Do you wonder why one person is inspired to run 10 pre-dawn miles, while another can’t wake up without two shots of espresso?

The “Introduction to  Ayurveda” workshop explains these differences and shows you how to understand your dosha so you can keep yourself in balance, and have the tools and know-how to do so. Considered the healing side of yoga, Ayurveda, a 5,000 –year-old healing science from India, offers a natural, balanced approach to optimal health.

 Taught by Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist Holly Padove, the inspiring five-week workshop will reveal easy-to-implement Ayurvedic choices that balance body, mind and spirit, and will be especially tailored for the spring months, the ideal time to hit the “reset” button.

WHEN: Five sessions – Mondays 6:30– 8:00 pm; March 30-April 27

WHERE:  Om on the Range, Old Oak Park Road, Arroyo Grande

COST:  $89 for pre-registration by March 21; $99

REGISTER OR MORE INFO:  Holly Padove,; 805-440-4561

The five sessions will cover Ayurvedic topics such as:

  • Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements and discovering your dosha (constitution)
  • Balancing your dosha with food choices, food combining and cooking techniques
  • Cooking and eating an Ayurvedic meal together!
  • Common herbs and spices for balance and health
  • Harmonious daily routines
  • Yoga, meditation and exercise best for your dosha and the spring season
  • Meditation, colors and aromatherapy for the doshas

This is a must for any student of yoga, as yoga and Ayurveda are intricately intertwined!

About the Instructor:  Holly Padove is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist.  She has a private Ayurvedic practice, Balanced Living Ayurveda, located in Arroyo Grande where she offers private consultations to clients.  Holly is also a Registered Yoga and Teacher and certified Qi Gong instructor.

Ayurveda’s Take on Exercise

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Ayurveda’s Take on Exercise

I’ve always been a big fan of exercise, and can be found hiking, riding my horse Bella, doing yoga or chi gong, or something almost every day of the week!  I think exercise is important not only for a healthy body, but for a balanced mind as well – I know it helps to keep me sane.  That said, Ayurveda offers some basic principles to follow in order to optimize the benefits that we get from moving the bod.

WHEN to Exercise:

According to Ayurveda, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is the “Kapha” time of day, and when our bio rhythms are best suited for exercise.  Kapha’s qualities are heavy and grounding, so by exercising and moving during this time, we are creating balance in the body (opposite qualities create balance).   The second best time is EARLY in the evening, around 5 or 6, but not too close to bed time, otherwise, it may affect your sleep.

When not to exercise

  • when you are exhausted
  • when you’re sick
  • When you are overly hungry or thirsty
  • Right before or after meals, except for  taking an easy walk after a meal, which helps your digestion
  • According to Ayurveda, and I have a difficult time with this one, women should exercise only lightly or not at all during menstruation, pregnancy, and for some time after childbirth.

Here’s another principle that Westerners don’t always adhere to:

50% of one’s capacity = maximum benefit
Too much exercise can be just as unhealthy as too little. Yet what is the right amount for you? Most medical experts recommend exercising up to 75-80% of one’s maximum heart rate. But Ayurveda gives a simple rule of thumb: when you begin to sweat profusely, or when breathing begins to be heavy or labored (when you can no longer breathe through your nose but must instead breathe through the mouth) – at that point you should stop or slow down.

Exercise should above all contribute to maintaining the inner balance of the physiology as a whole, strengthening all organs and making the immune system more resistant to disease. Exercise enhances well-being, and should reduce rather than increase stress. Over time, this is more enjoyable, and in the long term is healthier than pushing one’s body to the limit. After exercise you should feel better and more energetic than before. According to Ayurveda exhaustion is a sign of “unhealthy” exercise.

I’ll write more on this later, but at least you’ve got some food or movement for thought!

*Some of this material is sourced from Maharishi Ayurveda