Monthly Archives: March 2012

wednesday wisdom: kerouac

image via rachelswandesign.tumblr.com

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
Jack Kerouac

meatless monday: spicy lentils with sweet potatoes

spicy lentils, kale, sweet potato. a bucket of health. image via Eat, Live, Run.

Self Magazine just published a list of the top 10 foods you should add to your plate for the best wellness possible, and three of them are included in this MM today. Score! Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run.

Spicy Lentils with Sweet Potatoes
1/2 c. green lentils (SUPERFOOD!)
1/2 large carrot, peeled and small diced
1/4 c. onion, small diced
1 tsp. garlic
1 stalk celery, small diced
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 serrano pepper, whole (or diced finely if you want REALLY spicy)
Sea salt to taste
1 sweet potato (SUPERFOOD!), peeled and chopped into 1/2-in. cubes
2 tsp. olive oil (SUPERFOOD!)
2 c. vegetable stock

Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot. Once hot, add onion, celery, carrot and sweet potato and cook for about six min., until softened. Add garlic and kale and continue cooking until kale wilts.

Add lentils, bay leaf, rosemary sprigs, serrano pepper and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 min. until lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.

Season with salt to taste and remove bay leaf, whole pepper (unless you opted for  diced serrano) and rosemary sprigs before serving. Serve with crusty bread.

wednesday wisdom: confluence + fellowship

Meet together, talk together, let your minds apprehend alike; in like manner as the gods concurring accepted their portion of the worship.

Common be the prayer of these assembled, common be the acquirement, common the purpose, associated be the desire. I repeat for you a common prayer, I offer for you with a common oblation.

Common by your intention, common be the wishes of your heart, common be your thoughts, so that there be union among you.

The final mantras from the Rig Veda, an ancient Vedic text of Sanskrit hymns. These verses are borrowed from Ashtanga Yoga New York’s blog post about the recent Ashtangi Confluence in San Diego, a weekend gathering of yoga teachers who met to discuss the future of yoga. A hot topic, made especially relevant in the wake of current controversies.

happy vernal equinox!

beauty in the city.

March 20, 2012: today marks the first day of spring! We barely had a winter to speak of here in New York (for which I’m very, very grateful), and today hardly feels like early spring (at 70 degrees and bright sunshine, it’s more like summer), which usually involves biting breezes, raindrops, and little blossoms bravely, desperately clinging to their frail branches.

Today’s springtime ritual involved: a happy run in East River Park, a simple lunch of arugula, lentils and apple topped with a hardboiled egg and miso dressing, a long walk with Bella, a New Orleans iced coffee from Lost Weekend. Wonderful.

According to Ayurveda (India’s “life science” system of well-being and balance), Vernal Equinox marks the start of a predominance of kaphaone of the three mind-body types. Kapha types, at their best, are grounded, supportive, compassionate, introspective, forgiving, sweet. When there’s an excessive amount of kapha, as in our current spring season, kapha types are low-energy, stagnant, lazy, withdrawn, slow to change and transform. Water is the predominant element that governs kapha, and during the spring thaw, accumulated kapha runs out of the body (explaining why many of us suffer from those early spring colds, hay fever and allergies).

Here are a few helpful hints to balance your kapha, adapted from Blue Lotus Ayurveda in Asheville, NC.

THINGS TO DO IN SPRING:
– Eat a kapha pacifying diet: lentils and garbanzo beans, apples, apricots, leafy greens, radish, beets, and other red fruits and veggies. If you’re non-veg, chicken, fish, turkey and eggs are okay.
– Eat light, easily digestible meals.
– Eat bitter, pungent and astringent foods.
– Drink warming teas, such as ginger, cinnamon or dandelion.
– Use raw honey as a sweetener.
– Do daily yoga, pranayama and meditation.
– Keep warm and dry.
– Do daily nasya (nasal administration).
– Slowly increase your activity to burn away excessive kapha (hiking, walking, running and light weightlifting).
– Fast one day a week.

THINGS TO AVOID IN SPRING:
Kapha increasing food, such as red meat, wheat, bread, pasta, melons, bananas, squash.
– Fatty, fried foods.
– Heavy breakfasts.
– All heavy foods.
– Cold or iced drinks.
– Snacking between meals.
– Cold drafts and air conditioning.
– Exposure to dirt, dust and pollen.
– Daytime naps, which aggravate kapha and slow digestion.

Pada Abhyanga: the Ayurvedic leg and foot massage.

Here’s an energizing, kapha-pacifying essential oil blend to help invigorate and rejuvenate body and mind. Dab this blend onto your wrists and throat, add a few drops to a warm bath, massage into hands and feet, or add water to a spray bottle and spritz your linens and towels.

Add 4 drops lemon, 4 drops myrtle, and 2 drops manuka into 4 tsp. a carrier oil (like apricot kernel or sweet almond).

(Want to know about your own dosha? Take the Chopra Center’s Dosha Quiz and find out. Online quizzes are fun.)

What are you doing to celebrate Vernal Equinox? 

meatless monday: avocado toast and spicy eggs

I’ve got a well-documented love for obsession with the avocado. It’s one of nature’s most perfect foods, both a nutritional commodity and a versatile, sustenance-giving ingredient. I won’t waste your time because you know this about avocados already.

yes, i'd wear this.

A sign of warmer months to come is the California Avocado Commission gearing up for its season (avocado is a summer fruit, after all. Chips and guacamole are poolside, not fireside fare!). To commemorate, yesterday’s post-NYC Half Marathon brunch was held at The Fat Radish, and the world’s most perfect meal (in my humble opinion) was consumed. Avocado toast with spicy eggs. I would eat this for every meal, for all eternity, if possible.

our friends & neighbors, one block south of lost weekend nyc: the fat radish.

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an assemblage of ingredients. Adapted from The Fat Radish’s brilliant brunch offering, also The Harmony Hotel’s breakfast staple, with my own little twist.

Avocado Toast with Spicy Eggs
Serves 2

4 eggs
1 ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 lemon
sea salt
pepper
red pepper flakes
2 slices high-quality bread (SL suggests: hearty 7-grain, thick French or Italian bread, the best of the best of bread)
olive oil
Sriracha or other hot sauce
arugula

First, poach your eggs. In a bowl: mash the whole avocado with lemon juice, sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Toast your bread slices and spread with avocado mash. Arrange toast on two plates, place eggs in the center, drizzle whole thing with Sriracha and a little olive oil. Sprinkle some arugula over the top and season with just a bit more sea salt and pepper, if desired. Eat immediately.

beachwear, lip balm, and bolaño: the essential costa rica packing list

It’s almost here. The annual YOGA | SURF | RETREAT in Nosara, Costa Rica gets me all worked up. Right around this time of year, I realize that in a few short weeks, I get to teach and practice yoga with the nicest people in the best place on the planet. Then I get to surf on the most lovely stretch of beach while the orange sun sinks into the ocean. It’s really incredible, to call this my job, and I’m reminded of the many blessings of having a career that’s all about helping people feel better about themselves on every level. It’s the greatest gift of being a yoga teacher. I’m so grateful. Our week in Costa Rica serves as a gentle reminder of these blessings.

After contemplating gratitude for a bit, it’s time to pack. (Yes, I start packing a tid bit early). And I make lists, because I find list-making to be strangely satisfying and cathartic. This will be my fourth trip to Nosara, so I’ve got the necessities down pat. Here’s what I’ll be taking with me this year…

ethereal: shipley & holmas.

indian floral by AKA.

SUNDRESSES.
You can’t have too many of these in Nosara. Words that come to mind: breezy, airy, skin-skimming. Yumi Kim makes some bright, floral-y ones. Choose cotton silk blends for coolness; choose bright, bold colors for fun-ness.

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NAIL POLISH.
Oh yes, the requisite mani/pedi will happen prior to vacation, that’s an essential. But yoga (rolling over your toes over and over on a sticky mat during vinyasa) and surfing (getting wax stuck to your nails –and in your belly button) both do a number on your polish. That’s why you bring a little bottle in your matching shade to do a touchup, poolside, whenever necessary. Bright shades are best (and will match your dresses): Butter London’s Cheeky Chops and Underground are current beloveds.

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YOGA CLOTHES.
And not just ANY yoga clothes. Your thick black Lulu Groove Pants have no place in CR. Too hot. You need light and tight. Electric Yoga makes  cool, sweat-wicking clothes in bright colors (can you tell I’m slightly excited about bright colors?). Short shorts, sporty tanks, easy tops. This hot pink seamless tee also doubles as a rash guard for surfing. Recycling!

BOOK.
The current most important book in my household: 2666 by Roberto BolañoFor one reason or another, all reading projects of late have been huge, epic novels that double as doorstops. This is no exception at 912 pages. But it’s masterful and lovely. Recommend.

silk + beads from bhati beads.

cuzco cuff from maryam nassir zadeh.

FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS.
You read that right: friendship bracelets are back in, and my fifth grade self could not be more thrilled. Maryam Nassir Zadeh stocks several in various thicknesses that look awesome stacked on your wrist with reckless abandon.

mesh by minimale animale.

BATHING SUIT.
Surfer girls: wear string bikinis at your own risk. Minimale Animale makes this totally awesome mesh one-piece. A one-piece is safe, but not too safe (I mean, look how libidinous these suits are). All credit goes to L.A. designer Cassandra Kellogg, who also happens to be a classmate of mine from middle school. Hi, Cassie!

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LABELLO LIP BALM.
Discovered while living in Italy, impossible to find stateside, always stocking up whenever I’m in a European airport. Goes on silky, moisturizes for hours. The BEST in lip service if you happen to care about lip service.

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JEAN SHORTS.
What else can be said here?

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FLIPPY FLOPPIES.
Same.

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STRAW HAT.
Protect your face and neck and still look chic.

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BUMBLE & BUMBLE SURF SPRAY.
CR is the place that invented surfer girl beach hair, and somehow mine needs a little extra assistance. B&B always does the trick.

Are you going on vacation this spring? What do you bring with you?
Happy travels! xx, S 

wednesday wisdom: the very best journeys

nosara, costa rica. via icecreamisbetterwithafork.tumblr.com

The very best journeys end
by giving you answers to questions
you never even asked in the first place.
Unknown