Friday, January 28, 2011

Cosmetics that won't kill us.

Hello my Darlings!

Just a quick post to share something new in my ever widening attempts to make sure everything we use and eat is as low in toxins and cruelty free as possible.

This is the only line I have found so far (that looked good to me, anyway) that rates 1-3 on the cosmetic data base website for low toxicity. SO excited to finally find a make up line that isn’t full of poisons and animal urine. If anyone has found any other good companies, please share! Also, they are out of North Carolina....bonus!

Also, I have been looking at the shampoo/conditioner dilemma for a while and what I really like to use is Dr. Bronner’s lavender liquid castile soap as shampoo and then two of their products (see below) as a conditioner and leave-in product. I buy the Dr. Bronner’s by the gallon and use for hand soap, cleaning, hand-washing clothing, all sorts of stuff. The peppermint is great too!

Where to buy: Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap:

Conditioning rinse:

Hair crème:
This looks really good, but I haven’t tried it yet:

Use EWG to look up brands and chemicals. Be informed and powerful in your choices! Vote with your dollars and we will all see a healthier planet and people!

Happy Friday! 

Peace and Love,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Please help this wonderful farm for Wolf Dogs.

Please help this wonderful farm in Black Mountain, North Carolina that is doing wonderful work to help rescued Wolf Dogs. They are beautiful and amazing creatures...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Food for a Winter's Day: Marrakesh Stew

I made this for Mike and I and it is a new favorite! 

I found it in one of my favorite cooking magazines, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food (Jan./Feb. 2011). The Garam Masala is my addition and you can leave it out if you don't have any.

From a yogic perspective (or Ayurvedic perspective – that is the health branch of yogic philosophy) this is exactly the sort of thing we should be eating on a cold, winter's day. All of the spices in the dish are warming to the body, as are the vegetables used. The chick peas add some nice protein, and serving over quinoa will give you even more. This is a very satisfying and complete vegetarian dish. It also freezes very well.

So make up a nice big pot and enjoy!

May your body, mind and spirit be nourished and blissful,

Marrakesh Stew
Serves 8 * Active time: 10 min. * Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, diced large
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 larged diced tomato
3 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 small eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Served on top of cooked couscous or quinoa.
(1) In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 mins. Add spices, and cook until fragrant, 2 min. Add carrots, potatoes, and squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 5 mins. Add tomato and broth (vegs should be completely covered by liquid; add water to cover if necessary). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 mins.

(2) Add eggplant, stir to combine, and simmer until eggplant is tender, 20 mins. Stir in chickpeas, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until chickpeas are warmed through.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Awareness and Intent

Awareness and Intent
'Tis the New Year and the time of resolutions. While I am a big fan of clarity and "plotting a course" for the future, I think the way a lot of us go about making new year resolutions actually sets us up for failure. We set up an all or nothing laundry list of goals and things that we will give up that often ends up hanging over us like a leaden weight. When we "mess up" on some part of the list we feel like a failure and all the critical voices in our heads come to the forefront. 

Yoga can help us approach the changes we want to bring to our lives in a mindful and compassionate manner. It helps us do this in the same way it helps us grow a beautiful, sweet and steady yoga asana on the mat: by cultivating awareness and intent in every moment.

In our yoga practice, when we "fall out of a pose" we learn not to slump into a heap of criticism and self-loathing, instead we say, "How wonderful is this moment? Hmmm, why did that happen? I notice that I came out of my pose and now I have an opportunity to correct it!" Suddenly,  we are back in the present, back in the pose and have an opportunity to recognize what factors caused us to come out of the pose in the first place. We can then go forward with continued mindfulness and equanimity. Over time we become steady and unmoved by the whims and winds of change that swirl around us.

Life is a "practice" also. Nothing, especially change, happens all at once. We cultivate it little by little and with lots of practice.

We can approach what I like to call our, "intent for change" in the same manner. Let's say I have decided my intent for the year is to eat a more wholesome whole-food diet that will nourish my body, mind and spirit. On the very first day my husband bakes my favorite cookies. My favorite! I remember my intent, but the cookies call to mel — so yummy and fresh out of the oven. I eat FOUR. Sigh. I feel the sinking feeling of failure approach, I start to cut my self down for being so weak, but then, I stop. I say, "OK, I ate these cookies. This was not part of my intent. My intent is a good one, it is one I truly want and I can embrace it in this moment and go forward. I am a good person and I can observe myself and make postive adjustments when I need to." I also ask myself, "Why did I need that cookie so badly? What need was it filling inside me? Did I even really enjoy it?" By asking these questions I open a revolutionary inquiry into my own mind, into the depths of who I am and what makes me tick. I start on a journey of a thousand miles with that one step, instead of sitting down in the dirt to cry and give up.

I wish you peace, progress and compassion in all of your intentions this year. May you be steeped in awareness and surrounded by light.