11.25.2010

thankful

‎"Be grateful of the Divine plan that will expedite the karmas of all the sacrificed turkeys, and be grateful that you are not one of the turkeys on the table." - Yogananda

11.23.2010

The Infinite Yoga Studio

I have been volunteering at The Infinite yoga studio since Sep 2010 and taking Kundalini classes with Dana and I am so happy about the way I feel after class, when I step outside into the world...I have yet to experience all the other wonderful classes they offer....check out their info below....


The Infinite is a unique yoga and movement center in Downtown Long Beach, CA that helps people prepare their bodies, minds and spirits for living a conscious, healthy lifestyle in these times.

We are a "give what you can, take what you need" center, providing a variety of classes and workshops by donation in yoga, movement, and whole life care.

The Infinite is dedicated to providing our entire community with a warm, open environment so they can develop a meaningful yoga practice and be happy, healthy and whole.

~ Experience Your Highest Self ~

~ Realize The Infinite Within You ~


http://theinfinite.us/

11.22.2010

Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Traditions...

Today I simply want to forward you all to a great post from The Veg Blog on the topic of Thanksgiving Traditions, and following traditions in general.
Hopefully it'll get you thinking about our upcoming American "Thanks-giving" holiday and how you'll spend it this Thursday.


Blog post below from 11/18/2010 via The Veg Blog

Just a quick post today about Thanksgiving and the “tradition” of eating turkey…

I used to be all about tradition, especially with regards to Thanksgiving. I loved the food, the family, the football, everything. These days, the family/friends portion of it more than suffices. After becoming vegan, it eventually became clear: tradition doesn’t always equal “good” or “right” and thus shouldn’t be some sort of magical excuse able to be applied to anything that someone wants to do. As has been said many times before, there have been a lot of “traditions” throughout history that have been pretty evil. There is nothing implicitly good about something just because it’s the way it’s always been done.

With that, two things you should read:

To My Friends at Thanksgiving by Mary Martin,

Traditions are decided upon. They are consciously, intentionally repeated. And new ones can be created at any moment. I choose to opt out of traditions that cause harm and are the direct result of the exploitation and commodification of beings just like Charles, but who look a little different. And I want Baby Sky to grow up in a home where there is just as much respect for chickens and calves and fishes as there is for greyhounds and cats and people. Of course, the world outside of our home tells a different story. But we can bring our story to that world.

and my favorite of the Buddhist sutras, the Kalama Sutra (emphasis mine).

Do not go by revelation;
Do not go by tradition;
Do not go by hearsay;
Do not go on the authority of sacred texts;
Do not go on the grounds of pure logic;
Do not go by a view that seems rational;
Do not go by reflecting on mere appearances;
Do not go along with a considered view because you agree with it;
Do not go along on the grounds that the person is competent;
Do not go along because [thinking] ‘the recluse is our teacher’.

Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are unwholesome, these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; and when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them…

Kalamas, when you know for yourselves: These are wholesome; these things are not blameworthy; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness, having undertaken them, abide in them."

11.19.2010

Good 'ol Cloris Leachman

I had no idea she was a vegetarian!

As soon as I realized that I didn't need meat to survive or to be in good health, I began to see how forlorn it all is. If only we had a different mentality about the drama of the cowboy and the range and all the rest of it. It's a very romantic notion, an entrenched part of American culture, but I've seen, for example, pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and their hysteria and panic was something I shall never forget. ~Cloris Leachman


*Also, note that yesyerday I made a post entitled "Simple Shoes", but it for some reason posted back on 11/15/10. So if you are interested in reading about or getting some new eco-friendly, hemp, vegan tennis shoes.....then check out the post!

11.18.2010

A random mix of awesome

I found out about a new website called the Vegan Voice where you can seek tons of information about veg activism and the general lifestyle: food, restaurants, resources, jokes, etc.  The images above and below were taken from there.



Also, I don't want to pass up the opportunity to share this awesome video with you all. It's not related to veganism, but it'll certainly make you hopeful. Plus, the illustration is awesome. Enjoy!

11.15.2010

Split Pea Soup!

This is a recipe that I adapted from 2 places: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's "The Vegan Table" and the 101 Cookbooks website. It came out delicious. I also baked a fresh loaf of flaxseed bread to enjoy with the soup.

1 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (this replaces the ham that is usually in this recipe; it gives a smoky flavor)

paprika
EVOO drizzle (since it's a fresh drizzle, use really good olive oil; otherwise leave it out)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium, high heat. Add onion and spices and cook for a minute or two until soft. Add the split peas and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas are al dente. Add the liquid smoke. Take an immersion blender and insert it in the soup and puree to your liking. Some like it completely pureed and some like it super chunky. You can leave it as is also if you'd like a more brothier, really chunky soup.

Top with a sprinkle of paprika and a drizzle of EVOO. Enjoy!

Simple Shoes-100% sustainable


I have been needing new tennis shoes for a while now. My old ones (non-vegan) officially FELL apart today. And how fitting that my Simple Shoes came in the mail today. They retail for approx $55 per pair, but I was able to find some on Ebay for $25 + $5 shipping. And they were only worn once!

Simple was recommended to my by Eco Vegan and my good friend in Georgia. I went online and checked them out. They have a great website and each of their pairs of shoes has reviews listed, which is super helpful. I wanted to make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for working out and can get wet in the rain.

Here are some of the materials used to make Simple Shoes (as per the top of my shoebox I received today).

Latex-is a natural rubber. It's easy to mold and provides lots of cushioning.

Recycled car tires-We collect used and landfill-bound car tires, cut them up, and use them as outsoles.

Bamboo-is an endless resource because it's so plentiful......it's super soft too!

Organic cotton-Our cotton is 100% organic.....that means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or additives.

Water based glue-We use all water based glues. Better for the shoe makers and better for you.

Crepe-A natural rubber. It's tapped from the hevea tree.

Recycled inner tubes-We reuse rubber from landfill-bound car tire inner tubes on many of our shoes.

Hemp-Is soft and one of the strongest vegetable fibers available and it grows like a weed.

11.11.2010

Story of Stuff: Promoting Awareness

I'm super excited to share the newest movie from the people at The Story of Stuff: The Story of Electronics which "takes on the electronics industry’s “design for the dump” mentality and champions product take back to spur companies to make less toxic, more easily recyclable and longer lasting products. Produced by Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the eight-minute film explains  ‘planned obsolescence’—products designed to be replaced as quickly as possible—and its often hidden consequences for tech workers, the environment and us. The film concludes with an opportunity for viewers to send a message to electronics companies demanding that they “make ‘em safe, make ‘em last, and take ‘em back.”



It's less than 10 minutes long and will encourage you to watch the other videos produced by Annie Leonard's team which are all equally brilliant.

Speaking of which, I can't wait for the stuff they have lined up for 2011: "Season Two will include explorations of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy, inspired by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision; the perverse role government subsidies play in undermining environmental sustainability and public health; and the central role consumer debt plays in the overconsumption—and economic instability—of American families. "

AWESOME!!!

11.10.2010

Hi my name is __________ and I am addicted to sugar

Fact: Over a third of the calories we eat is from sugar or white flour

Fact: Sugar give you an initial high, then you crash, then you crave more, then you consume more

Fact: Sugar is a mood altering drug

Fact: Rats when given the choice to drink water tainted with saccharin or intravenous cocaine, 94% preferred the saccharin water. Sweetness is more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.

I learned these intresting tidbits from my Goop newsletter this week (www.goop.com). Read more from Gwyneth Paltrow's interview with Dr. Frank Lipman. He is an integrative medicine doctor based out of New York.

http://www.goop.com/newsletter/103/en/

11.09.2010

11.08.2010

Meatless Monday: Cool Mint and Wild Rice Salad


1 to 2 cups wild rice
1/2 chopped medium red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 big cucumber, or 2 medium chopped
2 to 4 heirloom ripe but firm tomatoes rough-chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cook rice according to the directions on the package. While rice is cooking chop the cucs, tomatoes, garlic and red onions; mix together in large bowl and set aside. Chop mint and squeeze the lemons. When rice is done, rinse well in cold water and drain. Mix rice with the chopped veggies and mint, add in lemon juice and stir all together. Add the olive oil and mix again. Salt and pepper to taste, then put in fridge until ready to serve. Can also be served immediately at room temperature. Finish with a sprig or two of mint.

Recipe from magazine? by Sharon Hall

11.02.2010

A Yoga Pose for the Body and Mind, Dr. Weil's Tip of the Day


"Yoga is an excellent promoter of relaxation as well as a good form of nonaerobic body conditioning."

-- Andrew Weil, M.D.

This active version of Bridge Pose calms the brain and rejuvenates tired legs.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (SET-too BAHN-dah) setu = dam, dike, or bridge,bandha = lock

The Bridge Pose is a powerful tonic for body and mind. It provides an invigorating stretch for the chest, neck and spine. Traditionally, its benefits are said to also include:

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
  • Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid
  • Rejuvenates tired legs
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with support
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache and insomnia
  • Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis

It is also held to be a therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis.

Contraindications/Cautions - Use caution if you are currently or have experienced any of the following:

  • Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Step by Step

  1. Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
  2. Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
  3. Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
  4. Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it's resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
  5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Modifications & Props
If you have difficulty supporting the lift of the pelvis in this pose after taking it away from the floor, slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on this support.

Variation
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (pronounced ACHE-ah PAH-dah, eka = one, pada = foot or leg)

On an exhalation, lift the right knee into your torso, then inhale and extend the leg perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then release the foot to the floor again with an exhalation. Secure the foot again and repeat with the left leg for the same length of time.

Beginner's Tip
Once the shoulders are rolled under, be sure not to pull them forcefully away from your ears, which tends to overstretch the neck. Lift the tops of the shoulders slightly toward the ears and push the inner shoulder blades away from the spine.

Deepen the Pose
Once in the pose, lift your heels off the floor and push your tailbone up, a little closer to the pubis. Then from the lift of the tailbone, stretch the heels back to the floor again.

Partnering
A partner can help you learn about the correct action of the top thighs in a backbend. Perform the pose, then have the partner straddle your legs and clasp your top thighs. He/she can brace your outer thighs with his/her inner legs. Next the partner should strongly turn the thighs inward and encourage the inner thighs down toward the floor (as you resist the tailbone toward the pubis). Recreate this action in all backbends.

Please consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.

Information courtesy of Yoga Journal.

11.01.2010

Meatless Monday: Banana Crumble

I'm a big fan of bananas in my smoothies, PB sandwiches, and as a snack but I'd never made a dessert with them besides the occasional banana bread (which I haven't perfected quite yet).
I sought a fabulous recipe from the fantastic Colleen Patrick Godreau (in The Joy of Vegan Baking) and I was surprised to find she didn't have one! Shock! Horror? Well, kind of, but then I saw she had something called "banana crumble," checked that I had all the ingredients and therefore decided to go for it.
It was AMAZING! Wowowow!


A combination of bananas foster and a pecan-oatmeal cookie, served alongside a generous serving of Tempt vanilla ice cream (made from hemp milk) of course... Seriously good eats.
I highly encourage you to do it next time you find yourself with a couple of overripe bananas. Simply slice them and arrange them in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of brown sugar. Then combine your basic crumble (oats, flour, earth balance, vanilla extract, etc) and bake until crispy on top and bubbling on the bottom. Serve warm or at room temperature. YUM!