Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Washed Out - Within and Without
Youth Lagoon - Year of Hibernation
Braids - Native Speaker
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Theivery Corporation - Culture of Fear
Mutemath - Odd Blood
Panda Bear - Tomboy
The Roots - Undun
Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
...and since these are just a few tracks, Pickwick - their only few songs are loaded with soul (album coming in 2012, I hope!)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Clementines are a sweet citrus fruit available throughout the wintertime, mid-November through March. They are packed with fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. They are also very rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene as well as ascorbic acid, nutrients which when consumed on a daily basis reduces age-related vision loss. Yay!
History & Fun Fact
The history of the clementine is unclear in many ways. Some believe it was an Algerian monk that first discovered the natural hybrid fruit. (Clementines are a hybrid between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin.) Others believe that the clementine originated in China much earlier. Either way, in 1909, the fruit came to the USA, and is now enjoyed as a winter favorite by Americans everywhere. The majority of clementines are imported from Spain, Morocco and North Africa. Although its always better to eat locally grown produce, we can make an acceptation for these! Clementine Jane, (pictured on left) is also my best gal pal's doggie. She is the sweetest girlfriend in Manhattan and each time she see's her Auntie Lauren she starts yelping and screaming with excitement!
Selection & Storage Tips
Clementines should be bright orange and slightly glossy. Purchase those that are firm, yet give a slight indentation when you squeeze them. Make sure they have no blemishes, and especially no shriveled skin. They can be stored up to a week in a bowl at room temperature. They will last two weeks in the refrigerator. Clementines make a great snack anytime, and are also a nice addition to salads, both fruit salads and green, leafy salads. The juice of clementines can be added to salad dressings for a sweet, refreshing tang! However you prefer your clementines, enjoy them all through the winter while they are at their best. Go buy some!
Friday, December 2, 2011
I'm excited to announce that I'll be featuring video blogs from my talented and beautiful friend, Davina Thomasula, of Fork+Plate! This past year she was on the reality TV show on Food Network, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle where her and her partner WON! Please visit her site for plenty of more How-To videos in the kitchen!
Here is a video with Davina on how to make hummus!
Forknplate.com is run by a brother sister team and we share our love for cooking and passion for dining with the world. The main focus of the site is to make basic cooking techniques available for your everyday home cook without them having to spend money on cooking classes through simple, fun, how-to videos. We also do restaurant reviews in New York and find some of the most cost effective, trendy and best places to eat in this culinary saturated city. Our site also has a section of food maps of all your favorite food shows on television and the locations of the places to eat that have been featured on each show. We also have an updated version of our app for Android devices and one in the works for Apple devices coming out soon. Forknplate.com also has a section for food events happening in our city and we encourage locals to get out there and support and take advantage of great culinary events happening daily in New York.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
My clients are always asking me what the difference between a sweet potato and a yam are. Here is a quick explanation below with a delicious recipe to try!
In the United States, the term "yam" is usually mistakenly used to label orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Yams—thick, white tubers with little flavor—are actually not related to sweet potatoes at all. Sweet potatoes originated in South America and come in dozens of varieties; the orange-fleshed ones in question are only eaten in the United States. Yams, on the other hand, are rarely available in the United States, though they are popular in South and Central America, the West Indies, many Pacific islands, and parts of Asia and Africa. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have a rich, sweet flavor; yams are particularly bland, starchy vegetables that are best used as a background for more flavorful accompaniments. Sweet potatoes typically have a smooth skin, while the skin of yams is rough and somewhat shaggy.
In the supermarket, you will generally see what is technically a sweet potato labeled as a yam. You are unlikely to find a true yam at your average supermarket, although they are slowly making their way to some, so if you are shopping for sweet potatoes, you should be safe putting a "yam" in your cart. When recipes call for yams as substitutes, most are referring to red-skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes that have been labeled as yams—not the white-fleshed, bland tuber.
Difference in Health Benefits:
Sweet potatoes are relatively low in calories and have no fat. They are rich in beta-carotene , having five times the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A in one sweet potato, as well as loaded with potassium. These nutrients help to protect against heart attack and stroke. The potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure.
Wild Mexican "yams" which are related to the sweet potato, seem to have anti-weight-gain, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties. True yams do not contain as much Vitamin A and C as sweet potatoes.
Information above adapted from: http://www.bonappetit.com
Sweet Potato Wedges
3-4 sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
a few generous dashes of cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg
sea salt to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes and remove blemish spots and dried ends. Slice into thin sticks and place in large bowl. Drizzle on remaining ingredients and toss to distribute evenly. Spread coated potatoes in single layer on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip slices and bake another 10-20 minutes or until tender and browned (cooking time will vary depending on thickness of potato slices and stove). Serve hot & enjoy!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Say that word 3 times. Isn't it so pretty?! I am not one for supplements, but this one stole my heart as soon as I heard it's lovely name. I'm lucky it did, because it's brought me a host of benefits, including jet lag relief on my recent trip to California.
About Ashwagandha: Ashawagandha, also known as the Indian ginseng, originated in India and Northern America. When I mentioned this name to one of my yoga students about how it helped me with my jet lag, she emailed me the next day saying that she was trying to google whatever she remembered of the name but all that came up was an African Prince-HAHA! The name was actually derived from Withania somnifera which is a Sanskrit name.
Ashawagandha is a shrub that has yellowish -green flowers. It is regarded as an adaptogen (a type of herb said to strengthen your resistance to stress while enhancing your energy). Often used to boost the immune system after an illness, ashwagandha is also included in formulations that aim to treat these conditions:
...and supposedly it helps with jet lag! At least it helped me. I made sure to take it 2-3 times throughout the day before I left, during my traveling, and throughout the 1st day at my destination. Then, I did the same on my last day of my trip, traveling back, and 1st day back at home. It worked wonders! Now keep in mind, when I travel on planes I make sure that I pack healthy food and snacks (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, apples, trail mixes, lara bars, etc.) and stay VERY well hydrated. Herbal teas in the airport terminal, a glass of water every time the drink cart strolls by me, and a comfy neck pillow to doze off so that I'm not skipping much sleep is also part of my travel plan. Once I arrive at my destination I make sure to bask in the sunlight (when applicable) to help allow my body to adjust and recharge. This is always a great opportunity for me to sit in the sun, drink some more water, and journal about my travels. Also, ashwagandha is a great supplement to take during the winter months since it helps keep our immune system strong. This is also helpful when traveling because we all know how yucky that germ infested dry air is on a long flight! Yick-
How to take it: Ashwagandha can be taken in powdered form, dried root, capsules or tablets. Recommended dose is between 1 to 2 capsules everyday, available mostly in health drugstores. There’s no side effects reported in taking ashwagandha in various forms as pills, tablets, or capsules. Although large doses might result in irritation to the mucus walls or perhaps gastrointestinal problems. Make sure to take it with food. This herb should not be used with any other medicinal sedatives. Pregnant, breastfeeding or nursing moms should not take this herb as well with children.
Although ashwagandha is an all-natural supplement that includes lots of possible advantages to one’s over-all health and wellbeing, it is advised to consult a doctor prior to taking it or ANY other herbal supplements.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
My wishes for a very happy and joyous Diwali!
This is a day when members of some of the world's oldest religions celebrate the triumph of good over evil. May the festival of lights bring continued peace, prosperity and health into all of our lives & the blessings of the divine mother be with you always.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
1. Take a break. Most office jobs leaves us sitting at a desk for long periods of time, allowing us to sink into our chairs. Set your computer to ding every hour as a signal to stand up, stretch, roll your neck/shoulders and readjust. Get up to grab a drink of water too, it will help get the blood circulating, give your eyes a rest and rehydrate you.
2. Raise your car's rear-view mirror. Angling your mirror up slightly teaches you to sit up straighter behind the wheel and elsewhere.
3. Move your monitor. Your neck is an extension of your spine so tilting your noggin down or back to see your screen can promote poor posture. Adjust your screen's position at your desk so that you gaze straight ahead. Also, be mindful of your position as you use gadgets such as laptops, iPads, even gadgets such as phones for long periods of time.
4. Stand tall in mountain pose. Practice tadasana (the mountain pose) by balancing your weight equally between both feel and imagine they're rooted to the floor. Visualize the crown of your head being pulled from above and you keep your abs tight. An easy way to bring yourself into a correct posture at any time is to tightening your abs, that will always align your spine correctly.
5. Do kegals. Contract your pelvis as if stopping a flow of urine. Working the pelvic floor and other muscles of the core stimulates muscles along the spine that encourages it to lift and elongate. It also is a great exercise to help prevent incontinence.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Fall is my favorite time of the year where the weather cools, leaves change colors, and pumpkin spice coffee is available everywhere. Let’s not forget the most important part of fall is of course your fall wardrobe and the fun of digging through your attic and retrieving all your fabulous lost cowl neck sweaters, cashmere scarfs, and leather boots. Until recently when I was asked to do this vegan piece, I never really thought to myself just how much “animal” we actually wear during the colder months. My task was to find your classic fall staple pieces while making sure they are animal friendly or Eco conscious finds. I think all my vegan and even non-vegan friends will appreciate these great looks that that are animal friendly and will also help to reduce our carbon footprint!
Here are my top tips for your animal friendly fall wardrobe:
1) You can never go wrong with “Leather Inspired” pieces! You get the look and the feel of leather without sacrificing an animal. Free People offers a nice selection of leather inspired vegan pieces.
Nordstrom’s Big Buddha Bag features: A supple faux- leather satchel topped with double rolled handles. The animal-friendly style is also 100% vegan.
2) For those that just have to have leather try opting for a pair of boots that is made partially with leather and 100% recycled components such as lining, buckles, etc. all while being produced in an ethical and environmently friendly manner.
Zappos Features: The Earthkeepers™ collection contains durable, high-quality footwear made in an environmentally-friendly way.
3) Buy Bamboo! As far as clothing goes look for 100% organic cotton or better yet bamboo fibers. Bamboo is a great sustainable and renewable source, which grows faster and stronger than any plant and we most likely will never run out of bamboo EVER!
Revolve Clothing Offers 100% organic and bamboo cotton pieces.
4) Another great way to get your leather fix is to try shopping for great vintage bags or boots. You get to wear leather and one of kind pieces and this way no additional animals are harmed and it’s a great way of recycling and reducing.
Check out these Etsy vintage finds:
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Today is the anniversary of my guru, Swami Sivananda’s birthday.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Swami Sivananda that remind us how to live a Divine Life:
"Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize."
"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."
"Thinking of disease constantly will intensify it. Feel always 'I am healthily in body and mind'."
"There is something good in all seeming failures. You are not to see that now.
Time will reveal it. Be patient."
"Practice meditation regularly. Meditation leads to eternal bliss.
Therefore meditate, meditate."
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
As the air turns crisp and the kids are headed back to school, take a moment to commit yourself (and your family) to a healthy Fall. Things tend to get a little hectic with the change of season, especially with work and the holidays in the distance, but this is actually the time of year we need to slow down. It is time to gather, store, organize, and wind down from summer's high tempo and the relentless forward momentum that modern living usually demands. As the days grow shorter, it's perfectly okay to allow yourself more time to rest since your circadian rhythm is shifting, along with the earth's. This could mean going to sleep a little earlier, waking up a little later, even taking a catnap in the afternoon. Focus on you and your family’s health, so you can really enjoy the Fall. Try these tips below:
Get it together.
Take a lesson from your kids as they prepare for a fresh new school year with their new outfits, school supplies and excited attitudes. Start fresh like they are this month by recalling back to your new years resolutions, working on that project that you keep putting off or committing yourself to a goal you lost track of. Organize something in your life, whether it is a closet, a cabinet, your desk area, your bathroom, a kitchen pantry, your files, etc.
Schedule in self-care time.
Schedule in at least one hour per week of self-care to focus on yourself and let go. This can be curling up and reading a book, scheduling a massage, treating yourself to a pedicure, taking a long walk outside, journaling, etc. Work on a project that you’ve been putting off, cook a meal to soft music and enjoy it by candlelight. Write in your calendar when you'll do these things or set your phone alarm to remind you so that you don't let them fall to the wayside! You deserve it.
Work it out.
Aim to work out at least 3 times a week (if not more!). Aerobic activity improves the exchange of oxygen in your body to keep your immune system strong and your lungs clear, which is important during this time of year. No matter what your physical activity of choice is, just be sure to do it. Get outside for a nice walk. Crunch those fall leaves under your feet, get a whiff of wood smoke, and watch the colors change!
Enjoy healthy, seasonal foods.
Make an effort to embrace the Fall through all of the abundant seasonal foods. Think of creative ideas for healthy snacks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. Dice a crisp apple in the afternoon and toss it with ground cinnamon and nutmeg to satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep a log of any recipes you and your family enjoyed to make again or to share with others. Spread the goodness and healthfully welcome Fall!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
5 Tips to Slow Down at Meal Time:
- Take 3 deep breaths before your meal.
- Place your fork down between each bite, or use chopsticks to eat.
- Chew your food at least 30-50 times before swallowing.
- Savor the flavors and textures that are happening in your mouth.
- Eat in a calm, relaxed atmosphere as often as possible.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
About Tulsi Tea
Tulsi tea, which originated in India thousands of years ago, is known for its rich antioxidant and adaptogenic properties that are known to promote wellness by building the body’s immune system, reducing stress and promoting mental clarity. It is recognized as one of India's most sacred herbs because of its health benefits and healing properties. Tulsi Tea's antioxidants protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals that facilitate the cause and progression of various types of diseases. Also referred to as holy basil tea, this herbal brew’s adaptogens serve as powerful anti-stress agents that protect your body from a wide range of health concerns. The adaptogens guard against and deal with physical, chemical, environmental, and emotional factors that produce high levels of stress that compromise physical and mental health.
Potential Health Benefits of Tulsi Tea
· Strengthens the immune system, promotes longevity and enhances well-being.
· Promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.
· Reduces the negative physical and psychological effects of stress.
· Increases the body’s efficiency in using oxygen, which improves stamina, strength and endurance.
· Promotes respiratory health.
· Helps with digestion and gastrointestinal problems.
· Neutralizes dangerous biochemicals that contribute to cancer, degenerative diseases and premature aging.
· Facilitates healthy liver function.
· Reduces cell and tissue damage from sun rays, radiation therapy and other radiation sources.
· Relieves inflammation from arthritis and other diseases.
· Helps fight infections.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.
This quick recipe is unbelievably easy and could go many ways depending on the tastes you desire and/or what you have in the house! Pair your guacamole with chips, slather it on a wrap (can be substitute for cheese!), drop some on your rice and beans or stuff it on your sandwich. It’s all good!
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
½ teaspoon olive oil
sea salt to taste
½ handful of fresh cilantro (optional)
Other Optional Ingredients:
Feel free to add some finely chopped red onion to your guacamole if you have some. Same goes for tomatoes, add one ripe, chopped tomato (seeds and pulp removed). The acidity from the tomato will actually help the guacamole from turning brown. If you prefer your guacamole with garlic, add a minced clove to this recipe.
Peel and mash avocados in a serving bowl. Stir in other ingredients. Season with remaining lime juice and sea salt to taste. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors, keeping the pits of the avocados in the bowl until it’s served. See, it's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3! ENJOY!
Benefits of Avocados:
Avocados have gotten a bad rap because of their fat content. However, fat is a macronutrient much need by the body. Fat insulates the body, helps transport hormones and is a source of stored energy. Remember, it is the quality of fats that you take into your body that needs attention. Avocado is a quality source of monounsaturated fats which aids the absorption of its fat soluble vitamins E and K. It is important to note that avocados also contain B vitamins and Vitamin C and its potassium content is three times that of a banana!