My husband is reading the book “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think” by Hans Rosling. Rosling was a Swedish M.D. who spent years in Africa, turned to public health, and became a tireless educator, teaching the world about public health statistics. The basic premise of the book is that health, infant mortality, female education, and life expectancy have dramatically improved throughout the world. He shows how it no longer fits the facts to talk about a gap between the rich and the poor in the world -- most people are now in the middle. You can watch many of his TED Talks here.
Rosling said that he was accused of being an optimist. He vehemently disagreed. Instead, he called himself a “possibilist.” In a world where there is much negative and triggering news, it can be hard to notice the bright side or to believe that we are making improvements and progress as a human race.
Plant-based foods are gaining more traction as people realize the environmental impacts of consuming animal foods such as milk. Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers can degrade local water resources. And unsustainable dairy farming and feed production can lead to the loss of ecologically important areas, such as prairies, wetlands, and forests. But we love milk in our cereals, in our hot drinks, and as a part of the base for making fettucine alfredo. So, what to do?
Alternative milk is more sustainable than dairy milk as it uses less land and water and generates lower amounts of greenhouse gases. A trip to the grocery store shows us that plant milks are becoming widely available and popular. However, given the varieties available such as oat milk, almond milk, and soy milk, how do we know which one to pick?
Almond milk is complicated because even though it has the lowest greenhouse...
It’s hard not to feel rising anxiety levels during this time owing to daily sensational updates on the coronavirus pandemic, unrest and strife in the world, and looming natural disasters.
One helpful technique to combat anxiety is called the full yogic breath, otherwise known as the 3-part breath. It’s called 3-part as it involves: 1. diaphragmatic breathing (into the lowest part of your lungs), 2. thoracic breathing (into your chest) and, 3. clavicular breathing (into the top most part of your lungs).
Breathing through your nose, begin by placing your hands on your belly and exhaling all of the air out. Then fill the belly with air like a balloon. Fill it up with air and exhale to deflate the balloon. The tummy swells out because you are expanding the diaphragm. Repeat this process several times. The chest and shoulders should be relaxed and not moving. You can spend from 1-5 minutes enjoying this abdominal breathing.
In the second step toward Full Yogic Breathing, fill...
I hope you are doing well. We are sending so much love to our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, Haiti, Lebanon, California and all the places where fear, sadness, and suffering are running amok. Prayers that you continue to protect your heart and your health and keep kindling the light of love, peace, and kindness in your own ways.
One way that we are trying to protect our mental and physical health in our house is by eating more vegetables and fruits. I recently read a medical study that said that 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression as much as some medications. Isn’t that incredible?
Have you ever heard of the plate method?
The plate method is an easy way to add more veggies and fruits to your plate. Using the plate method, ¼ of your plate is protein, ¼ of your plate is starch or grains, and ½ of your plate is filled with vegetables and fruits.
For breakfast, this could look like oatmeal cooked...
Happy Summer 2021! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and this summer already feels so much better than the Covid summer of 2020. I hope you can feel the hopefulness in the air.
The theme of June in my classes is "service." After all, the more you give, the more you receive. I know that you all do so much for so many. So, for me, service is not necessarily about "doing" more. It is about cultivating an attitude of service. I once heard Deepak Chopra say that one mantra that he repeats all day long is "How may I serve?"
I did this recently in the grocery store. The line for the one open check-out was really long and the customers (me too!) were getting flustered and edgy. I took the approach to start repeating "How may I serve?"
Another cashier soon showed up and made the announcement that the next person in line should come to her check-out. Of course, when this happens...which customer is actually next? There were like six of us.
So, I nudged the guy ahead of me to...
During the last few months I was brought to my knees by an acute episode of insomnia. It is interesting how our systems are so fragile that all kinds of things can come along and destabilize us, sometimes permanently.
We can't escape the lessons to be learned from physical suffering just because we may eat well, exercise regularly, and chant OM.
Anita Krizzan said, "When it hurts - observe. Life is trying to teach you something." This period of pain has been teaching me about humility and about readjusting my values back to selfless service, deepening my knowledge about yoga, exploring creativity, and trusting God to take care of me.
Forward bending is often associated with humility. Swami Satyananda Saraswati said, "An inability to bend forward may indicate a stiff, proud, or stubborn personality." In my yoga classes, the month of May will be dedicated to forwarding bending asanas and the virtue of humility.
I wrote my first yoga poem, and I want to share with you.
Have you had a chance to watch the new documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy? It is an absolutely shocking look at what is happening to our fish populations and our oceans.
When I finished it, I felt truly gutted. Scientists are saying that by the year 2050 our oceans will have run out of fish. The biggest reason is that industrialized fishing is destroying our seas.
We now have these giant, trawling fishing nets that not only capture the fish that people eat, they also capture tons and tons of bycatch. Bycatch are animals such as marine sea mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, dolphins, and sharks. These fish are usually thrown back into the sea dead or dying. According to some estimates, global bycatch may amount to 40 percent of the world's catch, totaling 63 billions pounds per year
Even tinned fish brands with "Dolphin Safe" labels are actually not safe or sustainable at all for dolphins, or other animals. It turns out there is no real way to stop the bycatch practice...
I hope you are having a good beginning of Spring 2021.
I wanted to share with you one of my favorite vegan pasta dishes which is the One-Pot Creamy Rose Pasta from the Pick Up Limes site. It is made with penne pasta, tomato sauce, hummus, nutritional yeast, plant milk, red pepper flakes (yes, this is a spicy dish!), roasted red bell pepper, artichoke hearts, and other veggies. This dish takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, and it is delicious. We have made this for non-vegan friends who loooooved it. Give it a try, and let us know if it was a hit.
Speaking of cooking, our Cooking Session #2 is coming on April 24th. Join our fun group for some delicious and healthy live online vegan cooking.
Vegan Japanese food on April 24th: ramen with homemade shitake mushroom broth, miso braised carrots, tofu seaweed salad, and matcha panna cotta dessert
Vegan Middle Eastern food on May 22nd: baked falafel shawarma (sandwich) with tahini sauce,...
I have been extremely blessed to come across the yoga path in my life. The different aspects of the yoga system have fortified me and healed me in so many ways. Some of the pillars of yoga are: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, a vegetarian diet, positive thinking, and meditation.
Meditation practice was my entry to the path of yoga in 1996. I have been practicing consistently for 25 years. Meditation helps me to quiet my mind and live more from the space of my heart. Meditators notice that with a balanced mind, we can stay more in control of our thoughts and emotions.
Positive thinking was my second step into yoga when I became a certified life-coach in 2006. In my training, we learned about how we create and attract the various aspects of our life with our thoughts. Training ourselves in positive thinking allows us to experience more wisdom and inner peace over time.
In 2007, I completed my yoga teacher training in which I learned about proper...