Yoga pose of the week: hero pose

This week’s yoga pose is hero pose, or virasana. It’s absolutely perfect for meditation, especially at Hebron Falls in western NC where I am in the picture below : )

What does it work?

knees, hips, upper back

Benefits:

– Improves posture & circulation

– Loosens hips, knees, and thighs

– Strengthens arches of the feet

– Helps with digestion

– Great position for extended meditation

Variations:

– Place a towel under your ankles if it is too painful to sit on them.

– Feel free to put your hands in prayer position at heart’s center or above your head.

 

Do you all like hero pose? Do you use it for meditation?

 

Source: Yoga Journal

 

 

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Avocado dip recipe

Avocados are known as one of the super foods for all of the goodness packed inside them. It’s an added bonus that they’re ridiculously yummy! While I love eating them plain, sometimes its nice to mix it up. This avocado dip is great with multigrain crackers or nachos. Or, just eat it straight from the bowl like my boyfriend does. Its kinda like guacamole (but better). Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 whole avocados

1 cup chunky salsa (I use Pace Mild)

1 bunch cilantro

1 tbsp lime juice

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Peel & pit the avocados. Then chop into small pieces.

2. Add everything into a bowl and mix! I like to mash up the avocado pieces but still leave some chunks for more texture.  Also, adjust the amount of cilantro to your liking. I LOVE it so I add a ton!

3. Serve immediately with crackers/chips or store chilled in the refrigerator. It would also be yummy as a spread on a sandwich!

 

Image

 

Vegan menu: Starbucks

I’m ADDICTED to hot tea. I mean addicted. Like I can’t get enough. I know plenty of you are the same way about coffee! So I bet you’ve been to a Starbucks more than a few times in your lives. It’s not cool that they only offer soy milk as an alternative to dairy milk but still… there a few things we can snack on and sip on to satisfy our cravings:

 

Food:

– Ginger molasses cookie

– Perfect oatmeal

– Fruit cup

– Bagels (multigrain, plain)

– Cranberry flax scone

 

Drinks:

– Regular coffee

– Americano

– Caffe latte with soy milk

– Cappucino with soy milk

– Espresso

– Tazo hot tea

– Shaken iced tea lemonade

– Tea latte with soy milk

– Apple juice

Source: Image

Study smart at top vegan-friendly colleges

As a college senior, I have experienced the notorious ups and downs of our campus dining hall. While I appreciate their increased efforts to offer healthier food choices, they have not done anything for us vegans! So day after day, I eat salad after salad, raw veggies after raw veggies, fruit after fruit. Don’t get me wrong…all that stuff is delish! But it would be incredible to be able to eat other yummy dishes from time to time. Walking in today and seeing another counter filled with mac & cheese, chicken parmesan, and grilled chicken salad, I started dreaming of another school. A college where there was an entire section of awesome vegan entrees. Which led me to write this post (with the help of PETA) naming a few of the top vegan-friendly colleges:

Northwestern University

Almost half of students select a vegan/vegetarian entree everyday and the university participates in “Meatless Mondays”.

George Washington University

Home to VegFest, a huge festival for veggies to try yummy food and hang out, GWU has a wide assortment of vegan dishes, including vegetarian sushi!

Georgetown University

The school claims they serve over 2100 vegan meals per week. And they offer vegan tortellini soup. Um… yum!

Brown University

Brown offers a “Roots & Shoots” station that has vegan and veg dishes. Also, the university has a separate dining hall, the Ivy Room, that is ALL vegetarian. WOW! (Random fact- Brown has been named the number one college for “happiest students”… coincidence that they’re also super vegan?? : )

American University

American makes its veg dishes from fruits and veggies grown right on campus by the Eco-Sense club. That’s a really cool idea… going vegan and going green at the same time!

Oberlin

Over half of the dishes served at Oberlin’s dining hall are vegan or vegetarian. What’s more is they offer a vegan eating guide on their website to help steer you in the right direction!

After reading this list, where does your college stack up? If you’re one of the lucky ones to be attending a great vegan university, check out PETA’s 2012 contest in search of the most vegan-friendly school in the US and vote for yours!!

Sources: Image | PETA

Roasted lime & cilantro cauliflower recipe

The one herb I have a huge weakness for is cilantro. That + cauliflower + lime juice = the yummiest side dish ever! Say hello to roasted lime & cilantro cauliflower.

 

Ingredients:

Cilantro & lime juice (use however many of each you like)

1 head of cauliflower

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Directions:

1. Chop up the head of cauliflower and toss with olive oil.

2. Add lime juice and cilantro to taste and toss again until everything is well mixed.

3. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle on a pinch of salt or pepper.

4. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

ENJOY!

Source: Image

Stop breast cancer… go vegan!

Last week, I bragged about how October is all about vegetarians and vegans because its Vegetarian Awareness Month. Well, turns out this month is about something else equally important. It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I found an interesting article over at the Sacramento Bee that ties these two awareness initiatives together and it got me thinking… could going vegan really make a difference in stopping breast cancer in its tracks?

 

Why is a meat-heavy diet not so good?

Animal foods high in fat increase estrogen levels, making cancer cells grow faster. In fact, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, of the famous documentary Forks Over Knives, claims “no chemical carcinogen is nearly so important in causing human cancer as animal protein.”

Why is a plant-based diet better?

A vegan diet (whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, soy, all that yummy goodness) is high in phytochemicals, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and get rid of carcinogens. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider the statistic that vegans are 40% less likely to get cancer than non-vegans. Also, cancer cells struggle to survive in an environment with plenty of oxygen. Eating unprocessed foods and avoiding carcinogens help oxygenate your body and encourage an alkaline balance.  And it helps much more than you think. A Harvard Medical School study of 90,000 women revealed that those who ate the most meat were almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer.

With all of that in mind, start loading your plate with a few more veggies and, if you don’t want to go full out vegan, at least cut back on animal products. Then pin on your pink ribbon and go support all the beautiful breast cancer survivors out there!

Other sources: Natural News

Vegan menu of the week: Panera Bread

Yummy vegan choices at Panera Bread, one of my favorite places to drink tea, have a bagel and do some homework!

Food:

  • Bagels: plain, everything, blueberry, sesame, sweet onion, poppyseed
  • Black bean soup
  • Bread: sourdough, three seed, stone-milled rye, artisan french, ciabatta, country loaf, sesame semolina
  • Dressings: greek, balsamic apple, asian sesame
  • French baguette
  • Fresh fruit cup
  • Garden vegetable soup w/out pesto
  • Greek salad w/out feta
  • Mediterranean veggie sandwich w/out feta
  • PB&J on one of the listed vegan breads
  • Southwest tomato and roasted corn soup

*hint: don’t be fooled- all whole wheat & whole grain breads/bagels at Panera have honey in them as sweetener.. not vegan!

Drinks:

  • Cappucino with soy milk
  • Coffee
  • Hot tea
  • Iced green tea
  • Iced tea
  • Latte with soy milk
  • Lemonade
  • Orange juice
  • Smoothies w/out yogurt

 

Image: Hot Plate