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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.
Please forward this post to a friend, and/or click the FB like button below.
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.
In some popular styles of Yoga, students are encouraged to aspire to an ‘optimal alignment.’ While safe alignment is very important, I’ve seen much forcing in postures, the ‘ideal’ of a posture pushed like a cookie-cutter onto an unready body.
These kind of classes foster competitiveness, and echo much of our modern culture, which values appearence over substance.
Look where that focus has brought our society.
I think these lineages of Yoga mean well, but sometimes the language used can project that there’s something wrong with where we are currently at. You are where you are, and it’s a perfect place to start a Yoga practice.
Let your practice validate you on the way to transforming you.
Raise your right hand, make the peace sign, and take the Yogacratic oath…
Say: “I’ll do no harm.”
In our classes together, we adapt the postures to the current state of our bodies. Not an impose, but a Yoga pose, now helpful in the context of our lives. We foster a safe place where there’s nothing to prove, and we support each others unfolding.
In practice, we are not looking for paper mache’ shells of experience, but true postures, fully embodied, with substance and purpose.
Postures from the bones-out. Yes, Yoga is an inside job.
The true ‘optimal alignment’ is where the posture is safe, and of benefit to your whole being. Steady, with even breath, a meditative quality in your mind, and a clear sense of purpose. This place can be elusive. We get there by feel, and this takes practice.
Practiced this way, your favorite Yoga posture can be the one you are currently in. There’s just no place you’d rather be. From these peaceful places we can contemplate higher thoughts, like offering peace and compassion to all beings.
Our grandfather of Yoga, Sri Patanjalii suggested our postures be steady, and sweet, and on that note, I’ll close with some sweet postures:
Have you found yourself in a competitive class? Did you win? how did you feel after?
Om Shanti, I’ll see you in class. -j
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.
Food is life, it becomes part of us. Literally. I make the majority of my food at home, with quality ingredients, and tend to eat in restaurants where I know the owner, I believe that food created with intention is better for us.
Sometimes I resort to ‘food’ bars while on the road. Not too often, cause most of them seem to have just too much sugar for me. I feel better when I can pack something more substantial, simple, and real.
I’ve just hooked up with this great company that makes custom nutritional bars! there’s a great web interface, you choose your own tasty ingredients from a menu. They even print your chosen name on the wrappers! and, I’ve arranged a 5% discount for us.
My new favorite thing:
I’m really excited to send ‘make your own bar’ gift certificates to my friends and family, and make bars with their names on them.
I ‘made’ myself a nice vegan bar with no added sugar, and called it by my nickname.
Make your own bar, perhaps name it after your favorite Yoga pose, and! Yes, I called the chef.
Anthony over at YouBar hooked us up. Remember to type in YogaJohn for a coupon code and get 5% off your order!
Check out youbars.com, and have a blast! let me know what you end up making, we could trade and have a taste-test.
how about a SuryaNamaskarBar?
Om Shanti, see you in class.
P.S. Just A few spots still open in the special Restorative Yoga class next Sunday, and check out our Invoking Shiva class the following Saturday of May 2′nd. This will be the last workshop this season. see the events page for more info!
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.
Came across an interesting slideshow on what typical families around the world eat in one week.
Click here to see the slideshow: What the World Eats
This expose comes from an amazing book: What the World Eats, a rare glipse into 30 families in 24 diferent countries. Families that spend from $2 to $500 a week on food.
What would your weeks food look like? What counts is how we live when nobodys looking. A good practice is to pretend there’s always someone watching.
Remember the simplicity Mantra? Om I have enought ahum…
Take care, I’ll see you in class,
Join us for a free class I’m teaching at Lulu Lemon in the Natick Collection Mall, June 22′nd, 10am !