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We can live very-well, and also stretch our dollars far by making smart choices. For years now, I've been buying much of my brand name food, teas, bars, superfoods, grains, soaps, toothpaste, cleaners, oils, and supplements online from Vitacost.
Their prices are *great*, their selection is vast, I get free shipping, and customer service is just the best. Yes, companies like this still do exist. So, why do we deal with the ones that don't treat us as nicely?
I wish they would teach Verizon a thing or two! A few clicks, and one to two times a month, and I get a big box from them. So simple. I would pay more for this kind of service…. but the kicker is, their prices are *much lower* than whole foods, and the shipping is free.
I also support the local health food store, and farmers market in season for my fresh veggies, a few stops a week and my shopping is complete. Here's just one instance: I pay under 5 dollars for 100 good quality organic green teabags. (yeah, I drink a lot of tea.)
A great deal: They just started this great referral program, for a limited time they are offering a no-strings attached ten-dollar coupon for your first purchase. I hope you can pardon the commercial nature of this post, but I only endorse what I personally use, and I know you'll love this company as much as I do. You'll save time and money. It's gets better, (for me!)
When you place your first order, they credit my account with a bonus as well. Win-Win-Win, I don't expect this offer to last long. To get ten-dollars off your first order (and keep a Yoga teacher flush with tea-bags) click on this link to signup: —-> Vitacost Free Food New Customer Signup Promotion.
Like I said, no strings, no hype, just good prices and great service. I only spread the word for products and services that I use myself. Enjoy! and let me know how you make out
Thanks Vitacost, Keep up the great work and low prices, I'll be sure to send everyone your way. Please Help us spread the word, encouraging more reasonable food prices.
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Om Shanti, I'll see you in class. -john P.S. Bindy's playing her singing bowls for our Monday 4pm class. Please come early so we can start right on time. Check the events page for more info, and the scoop on Thanksgiving weekend.
The second topic I'm asked about most frequently is food. Students know that I'm passionate about simple, good, clean, mostly-organic Vegan food.
I don't like the idea of pesticides on my food, poison for us, for the bugs, and they make a mess of the environment. But, we can't always find or afford what we'd like in the organic section. I love the Environmental Working Group's annual list of The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, which produce has the most and least pesticide residue.
By choosing more of the cleaner foods and less of the contaminated foods, we can reduce our pesticide intake by up to 92% before even springing for the organic veggies.
I'd still suggest buying organics when you can, it's just better for the land, it's a more sustainable choice, and often tastes and looks better than the conventional. But when you need to decide where to best-spend your organic dollars, this guide can really help you navigate the farmers markets this summer.
Here's the list, Let me know what you think, where you try and spend your food dollars. If you need some inspiring recipes to whip this amazing produce up with, check out Alicia Silverstone's lifestyle blog: The Kind Life.
The Dirty Dozen (wash really well)
The Clean 15
Who can remember all of this? Click on The Dirty Dozen – Clean 15 for a nice printable, wallet-sized card form EWG.
For Yogis, everyday is Earth-Day.
From the light of awareness we can see clearly how our choices, no matter how small or large, are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. The good news is, We can each substantially lessen our impact on this world with minimal effort.
Did you know that if we all chose to eat just one meatless meal, one day a week, it would be like taking 500,000 cars off the road? This is the power of our forks and knives, and what is good for the planet is good for us as well.
Recycling your junk mail is noble, but not getting it in the first place keeps the trees where they belong.
Catalog Choice is a free service that nixed most of the catalog type junk mail I was getting. It's quick, super-easy, and effective way to save trees and fuel, and a sure-way to improve your tree pose.
To create exponential change, forward this post to your friends, asking them to forward it.
Print one page to help save millions!
Print out their Earth-Day Poster and hang it up, help your community reduce junk-mail and lets keep some of our trees around.
Happy Earth Day – Make sound choices, not just for today…
Tags: green yoga
I packed very-light for this trip, just what I 'needed' went in the bag… the basics, and some precautionary medications.
Heading out for a day-trip, I left most of my things in Mumbai. The day-trip turned into 4 days on the road, sleeping on floors and in cars. Without my bag.
Traveling even lighter left room for new levels of gratitude. I found myself basking in the treasured cup of warm water I made each night.
Of course, if by design the next place had no power. Sigh, it's all perfect.
Through challenging our consumptive ways, we gain clearer perspective on our needs vs. wants. Our needs are mostly simple. It's our unchecked wants that get us into trouble, setting ourselves up for Duhka, or suffering. Was it needs or wants that crashed the economy?
On the stiff mattress, I wished for the cozy bed at home. sleeping on the floor I desired the stiff mattress, and trying to sleep in the car made the marble floor a dream. Back at civilization, if by magic, the impossibly-stiff matress is now luxurious.
If we could cling less to comfort – Raga, and resist discomfort less – Dvesha, we'd be more content. One of the points made in Yoga Sutra II.3
How much do we really need to pad ourselves from reality? These are the conditions we place on our happiness. As Yogis, we choose to peel away the padding… we dare to un-spoil ourselves.
We seek a closer connection to the earth. Sthira Suhkam Asanam.
Many here sleep in the streets. Whole familes sleep soundly in a row, their heads literally 2 inches from the passing tires. In the first few weeks here, seeing things like this would surprise me.
On return to Mumbai, My host family slept on the floor, insisting I sleep in their bed. A very humbling experience, and I was sure to lighten my bag before moving on.
We don't need to sleep in the street, but we can learn from those who do. Before indulging, pause… do you need it, or want it? How will it serve your intentions?
Perhaps try a little less on for size.
Practice gratitude, and sleep well. I'll be back soon.
This Thursday is Ram's appearance day. Ram is known for virtue, a word that has almost dropped from our vocabulary. Our politicians lie, our icons lie, the banks lied, even A-rod lied. 100% natural, new and improved, green? Who can you believe, who can you trust? Ram never lied, Ram always did the right thing. Even when it was very hard.
Don't become cynical. Refine your self-awareness until your subtle body becomes a finely tuned truth-detector, then follow that bliss. When we sit down for practice, our mind often takes some time to settle down. Our endless to-do list. Dissolve these concerns with a long focused breath out.
Finding peace and stillness takes practice. Asana, Mantra, Kirtan, Meditation, a walk in the woods, listening to your favorite music, dance… a good run. What makes you feel connected? Do more of that. Double digit returns on your spiritual 401k ! This is how we bail ourselves out. Connection.
There's a resurgence of the Kirtan wave in the Boston area, and throughout the country. People are gathering in Yoga studios, halls, and living rooms to share simple songs of connection. When we are connected, we make more appropriate choices, for ourseves, for others, and for our environment.
If you're curious about Kirtan, come to our gathering at Yoga and Nia for Life in W. Concord on Saturday, April 4'th 6pm. it's very low-key. Come listen, come sing along, and bring an insturment if you'd like. There's no cost, and We'll have information about the local Masters who have been cultivating these gatherings for years. Prajna, Ahsara, Shubal, and others. It's a party, you'll be glad you came!
In Honor of Ram's day, this Thursdays Yoga classes at 4, and 5:30 will be inspired by Satya (truth), and Virtue, and of course, by Sita, Ram, and Hanuman We'll crank up the harmonium and our voices to make space for truth, connection and virtue.
Yoga is Balance. Sun-Moon, Sita-Ram, Masculine-Feminine, Mom, and Dad… Mom’s soup was a tremendous hit, so, straight from Dad’s kitchen, here’s his latest favorite. Enjoy!
p.s. Yoga is about nourishing our whole-selves, body, mind and spirit. Create your soup with gratitude, with some great music on, with the best ingredients you can find. Be sure to share you soup.
Dad’s Navy Bean and Kale Soup
1 lb. navy beans, soaked, or quick soaked, see below.
8 cups vegetable broth
1 lg. can of diced tomato with juice
2 cups of carrots sliced
2 cups of celery sliced
1 large onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 small can mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped.
2 bay leaves, your best olive oil.
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste, pinch of red pepper.
Quick soak beans: cover with water, boil 2 mins. Shut off heat, let sit for 1 hour then drain off liquid.
Heat oil in large pot. Saute onion and garlic until soft.
Add drained beans, carrot, celery, vegetable broth, tomato, mushroom, bay leaves, and w-sauce. Add a pinch of salt, and a few twists of the pepper grinder.
Bring to boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 1 hour or so. Stir well, Adjust salt and pepper to taste, optional pinch of red pepper. Add chopped kale and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
Serve with crusty bread and a glass of something nice… Let us know what you think by leaving a comment! -j
Kate, Natalie and I send our thanks for contributing to our wildly successful Yoga benefit class for the Acton Food Pantry. This was a day about raising the bar of generosity.
A record 45 people came to class at Yoga and Nia for Life in West Concord, MA. (edit… our new record as of 2011 is 65 people for Yoga class)
I led a brief meditation to get everyone centered, then Kate led a spirited flow of Elemental Yoga. Some of this Yoga was new to us, and the focus in the room was incredible.
Natalie's guided restorative session led us into a Shavasana that was truly welcomed by all. After the sighs, You could've heard a pin drop as people soaked-up their practice in serene-stillness.
Food, food, and more food! We counted 70 bags that weighed an average of 13 pounds. When I sent the original invite How To Recession-proof your life, I asked that people offer-up their favorite foods. Add in the generous donations by Whole Foods of Wayland of a case of olive oil and some great sauces and we're around 1,000 pounds of food. A new record at the Acton Pantry
There's still some donations coming in, 100 more pounds and we're at half a ton! (edit.. we did make it to 1/2 ton!) Just look at what a committed group of Yogis can do:
I appreciate your huge hearts and participation in our yoga benefit. Bringing your favorite foods ensures a quality holiday dinner for many families in need. You've made a measurable difference. Our next step is to embrace this level of generosity year-round.
Thanks to Maria Skinner, owner of Yoga and Nia for Life for donating her beautiful practice space, Kate Millen for her skillful-compassionate teaching, Natalie Engler for easing us in for a peaceful landing, and Whole Foods of Wayland for their generous and thoughtful donation.
But most of all, thanks to you all! We're blessed with the most amazing Yoga students in the MetroWest area. Your presence at these events makes our teachings possible.
Om Shanti, I'll see you in class.