help create a new standard for our country’s food.

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Please join Vani Hari (from Food Babe), Lisa Leake (from 100 Days of Real Food), myself, and thousands of others in the fight for eliminating dangerous chemicals, additives, and food dyes from our food.

Sign this petition on Change.org to get the message out to Kraft Foods (and many others) that we, as a nation, don’t want to consume these dangerous (and deceptively hidden) ingredients! Especially since these same companies send out additive & chemical FREE versions of these foods to other countries who have already voiced their concerns over these ingredients and have successfully banned their use.

For more information on this issue please read Food Babe & 100 Days of Real Food’s informative article:
How Food Companies Exploit Americans With Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

 

Are you as passionate about this as I am? Then…
Get involved.
Sign the petition.
Help create a new standard for our country’s food.

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YogaWorks 300hr Professional Program Final Project

When I found out that we had to do a final project for the YogaWorks 300hr Professional Program I, of course, gravitated towards something food related. I remember being pretty fascinated with how my mentor Joan Hyman ate during our 200hr Teacher Training last year so I thought: “hmm, I wonder what other Los Angeles based yoga instructors eat?”

I ended up “interviewing” a handful of YogaWorks senior teachers asking them 7 questions:
#1. Do you follow any type of “diet” or “eating lifestyle” such as vegetarian, vegan,  raw, Ayurveda, etc? If so, do you care to share your thoughts on how this improves your over-all health and practice?

#2. What is your go-to meal or snack that you feel fuels your body before a yoga class? Or do you practice in the morning before eating anything at all?

#3. What is your favorite post-yoga meal or snack?

#4. If you go out to eat in Los Angeles, where do you like to go? Is there any specific reason you choose this particular establishment?

#5. Is there one food item that you feel you cannot live without?

#6. I’m asking everyone to share one of your favorite recipes. It can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or even dessert; it can be simple or complex. Whatever you love to cook at home that you feel is a good representation of your preferred way of eating and contributes to your overall health and yoga practice.

#7. Do you have any tips or suggestions regarding food, health, and how you feel this relates to yoga?

 
I compiled the answers and organized them in a little pamphlet-type-book titled food & yoga and I am really happy with how it turned out! I love how similar these teachers answers are and I also love that I agree with so much of what they had to say.

I presented this to my 300hr TT group as well as my mentor this past weekend and I wanted to share it with you:

f&y cover

f&y pg2f&y pg3f&y pg4f&y pg5f&y pg6f&y pg7food&yoga pg8

A special thanks to Joan Hyman, Carmen Fitzgibbon, Anne Van Valkenburg, Kia Miller, Lisa Walford, and Jennifer Elliott for their contribution to this project!

ted talk tuesday: why i’m a weekday vegetarian

I try not to push any sort of agenda in terms of a particular diet or eating lifestyle because I feel that each person needs to find their own way and discover what works for them. However, there is incredible data available that shows how reducing your meat intake can not only improve your overall health, but can really impact the planet in a positive way as well.

The “Meatless Monday’s” movement has been gaining in popularity (and was even endorsed by our Los Angeles mayor recently); but I also like Graham Hill’s idea too, especially if you arent ready to make the jump to being a full-time vegetarian:

new blog to check out.

My mom recently introduced me to the Food Babe blog.
She said it was interesting, informative, and that it was “right up my alley” because the author of the blog is incredibly health conscious and does extensive research about ingredients, food companies, etc before consuming any food.

I added the link in my bookmarks but didnt get a chance to really start reading some of her entries until this past week.

All I can is: my mom was right!

Food Babe is a great blog filled with amazing information.
I quickly subscribed to her blog and “liked” her page on Facebook to stay updated on her latest posts…. and you should too. Click the photo below to go to her page. Happy reading!

 
[photo from Food Babe] 

current favorite things [November]:

current favorite things [November 2012]
1. Pressed Juicery
I am completely addicted to and obsessed with Pressed Juicery’s juices; particularly their “Greens 3” and “Citrus 2” flavors. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of juice “cleanses” (see my previous post regarding that) but I do think grabbing a fresh, cold-pressed juice is a great way of getting some extra vitamins & minerals (however, keep in mind: with juicing you aren’t getting any fiber; that only comes from eating the actual fruits and vegetables) and is an excellent snack to tide you over until your next meal. They have several locations all over the Greater LA area (West Hollywood, Brentwood, Studio City, Downtown LA) and you can even get their juices delivered right to your door. I cant talk highly enough about the quality of their product and everything I’ve tasted so far has been delicious.

2. Yogi Tea: Green Tea Kombucha Decaf
This is my go-to tea. There is a caffeinated option; but considering the amount of caffeine I get with my morning coffee- I don’t really need any more throughout the day. The flavor of this tea is amazing and it gives you a refreshed and energized feeling without the jitters. Its the perfect tea to sip on while at school… studying… or after a yoga class.

3. Arbonne “Fit Essentials” Protein Powder
I drink one of these protein shakes every morning. They are perfect to drink on your drive to work or school and are filling enough to tide you over until mid-morning. I usually drink my shake around 7:30am and have a snack (a banana, bran muffin, etc) around 10am and then I’m good until lunch. I typically alternate between the vanilla and chocolate flavors (both are delicious) and will sometimes even add a scoop of the Arbonne Fiber Boost to the shake as well. The great thing about this Arbonne protein powder (as opposed to many of the other protein powders out there) is that it tastes great AND is completely vegan. It offers 20 grams of vegan protein along with 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving. I highly recommend it!

I also use (and love) the shaker cup… its BPA free plastic and the cap closes tightly so I can throw it in my purse or school bag without any worries about it leaking or making a mess.
*Please note: if you decide to purchase something via Arbonne.com you will need a consultant’s pin number to place the order; here is my consultant (and dear friend’s!) pin# 19789388

4. Good Belly
In an effort to add more probiotics to my diet without adding any more dairy (kefir, yogurt, etc) I discovered… and have since fallen in love with…. Good Belly. Their organic probiotic juice drinks are delicious and contain 20 billion live & active cultures. They are also dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, as well as kosher. I drink a few ounces of Good Belly each day to promote healthy digestion.

YogaWorks + Murad.

for those of you in the Greater LA area, check out this opportunity!

Head to El Segundo this weekend for a Health+ Nutrition+Yoga event hosted at YogaWorks SouthBay and being led by Murad Inclusive Health Medical Group.

Here’s some of the info:

What:
Dr. Murad will focus on how Yoga and improvements in diet can help support your plan to
achieve physical, emotional and spiritual health as part of an Inclusive Health Lifestyle.
Followed by Q&A and healthy snacks courtesy of Whole Foods South Bay.

When:
Saturday, September 15th, 9am – 10am

Where:
YogaWorks South Bay
740 Allied Way
El Segundo, CA 90245

RSVP:
Call 310.322.6500 / RSVP by September 14

Additional details:
All guests will receive a free 15-minute Inclusive Health consultation
at the Murad Inclusive Health Medical Group in El Segundo and
first 50 guests will receive a goody bag.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? Combining HEALTH, NUTRITION, and YOGA (three of my favorite things!) all in one place! AND, its being held at SouthBay studio; which I used to work at!

snacks.

I LOVE snacks… and I rely on them quite frequently to get me through my hectic schedule.
But, snacking is dangerous territory when it comes to pre-packaged foods; between the potential trans-fat, high sodium and high-fructose corn syrup content…. snacking can lead to an incredibly unhealthy part of your day. So, since I’m such a big snacker, I have come up with some of these easy, and healthy snack ideas:

My go-to snacks (for school, teacher training, and just around the house) are:

– cherry heirloom tomatoes, a wedge of laughing cow cheese, and some Raincoast Crips crackers

– an apple and a packet of Justin’s nut butter

– Plain Fage or Voskos greek yogurt with walnuts and/or blueberries

zucchini muffins (but use whole wheat flour, not all purpose!) or banana-flax muffins (the recipe is towards the end of the post) or fruit muffins. all of these are great to make ahead of time and freeze, you can take one out of the freezer and put it in your lunch/snack bag and by the time you want to eat it it has defrosted

– homemade hummus and pita chips.

– a kale, spinach, mango, banana and coconut water smoothie

homemade trail mix

– a Think Thin bar and a GT’s Kombucha drink

– a banana and a 365 Cereal Bar (from Whole Foods)

between a few Mason Jars, a few Weck Jars, and insulated lunch bag or one of these (which I have and love) and a few reusable ice packs– you can take any of the above snacks with you to work, school, road trips, etc.
AND, especially if you use reusable silverware and a reusable napkin; there is no waste and its much cheaper and healthier than pre-packaged foods.

my new favorite summertime breakfast.

I love Mason Jars.
I love oatmeal.
I love breakfast.
I love having a yummy, filling breakfast that I can eat at home OR take with me to school or on a roadtrip.
So, when I found out I could combine all of those great things into a refreshing and filling summertime breakfast, I was thrilled! 

I heard about “refrigerator oats” thanks to Pinterest… so I took the general idea and created my own little recipe:

Chilled Chia-Oatmeal

1/2 cup Rolled Oats (not instant, not steel cut)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar (can also substitute honey or agave nectar)
walnuts (or any other nut you may prefer) to taste
1 cup milk (I use Almond, but you can use Soy, Hemp, or cow’s milk)

Add all ingredients into a pint-sized Mason Jar, put the lid on, give it a little shake, and chill in the fridge overnight.

The next morning you will have a yummy, filling, healthy, and easy to take with you breakfast (that’s also environmentally friendly!)

pair it with a banana and you will be good-to-go until lunchtime!