This is so exciting!

One of my (if not my most) favorite DVD programs is Travis Eliot’s “The Ultimate Yogi”. Whether you follow it as a guided 108 day program, or use it at your own pace, it’s a wonderfully supportive and effective home program that really touches on all elements of yoga and can guide you through a major body/mind shift.

Udaya Yoga (which has a massive online catalog of yoga classes) has shared on their YouTube channel for free this video, also viewable above, which is the entire cross training session from “The Ultimate Yogi” DVD set.

If nothing else, it’ll show you just how much of a workout yoga can be! But that aside, something I love about Travis’ teaching style is even through a tough workout, he always keeps form and true yoga principles at the core of his instruction. It is well-balanced, and works from the inside out.

No matter your level of yoga experience or exposure, I strongly encourage you to check this out – take it slow, listen to your body and do what you can. I think and hope you’ll like it as much as I do!

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Spicy Sesame Peanut Buckwheat Noodles with Vegetables and Tofu

Peanuty, sesame-tinged sauces so nicely compliment a tangled plethora of vegetables and noodles. And the flavors can be be wonderfully varied by by playing around with ingredients and quantities. I think I make it a little differently every time, but it never disappoints!

A few years ago, I shared a recipe for cold & spicy sesame salad, and I recently made a slightly tweaked version of it: Spicy Sesame-Peanut Buckwheat Noodles with Julienne Vegetables and Roasted Tofu (vegan + gluten-free). I made the sauce very similarly, but modified by using rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and adding in a tablespoon or two of Sambal hot sauce instead of a fresh hot pepper (which I didn’t have on hand). I also made about 1.5x the amount in the original recipe.

For the veggies, I had a ton of julienne vegetables. I often tend to roughly chop or dice, but thought it might work well to mirror the cut of the vegetables to be more similar to the noodles accompanying them, allowing for consistent fork-twirling when consuming. My OXO serrated peeler did the trick for ribboning the zucchini, carrots and cucumbers, and I thinly slivered everything else by hand.

For the noodles, I used 100% buckwheat soba noodles by Eden Foods. Buckwheat has so many great qualities: it tastes wonderful, should be tolerated in people with gluten sensitivities as it is not actually wheat-based (though it’s always best to assess carefully on an individual basis), high in good-quality protein (including all essential amino acids), and high in flavanoids (especially rutin) – among much more. It can be a little finicky to cook though, so make sure you have plenty of water in the pot to prevent the noodles from clumping together.

In total, this fed 3 of us with plenty of leftovers remaining.

Hot or cold, freshly made or as leftovers – this recipe doesn’t disappoint!

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Healthier Pumpkin Squares

by letthegoodin on September 25, 2014

healthier pumpkin squares 3

As mentioned in my last post, I love fall. Across the country, it’s a season that to me reveals itself beautifully… changing leaves, cooler nights, a generally cozier feel. Also with the onset of fall comes an onslaught of pumpkin everything… including another recipe here. I couldn’t resist.

healthier pumpkin squares 2  healthier pumpkin squaresWhile I don’t really like pumpkin “flavored” (aka artificial) things, which unfortunately is what is usually pumped into coffee cups or takes up much of the real estate on grocery store shelves, the real deal is one of the unique foods that to me can seamlessly translate into a sweet or savory recipe, and has a unique warming richness to it.

Unlike most pumpkin breads/bars/cakes, which while delicious can be heavy and overly laden with sugar or oil, this is a much lighter alternative. Considering it breakfast, dessert or a snack wouldn’t be a stretch by any means. It’s also almost too easy to make – hard to beat a one-bowl recipe!

After you make it, wait until someone tries it (and undoubtedly enjoys it) and then shock them with the “secret” ingredient of chickpeas. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who can truly taste them in there, but they add a wonderful moistness to baked things – not to mention good protein, fiber and other nutrients.

Recipe: Healthier Pumpkin Squares (vegan and gluten free)

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Vibrant Green Uber Juice

by letthegoodin on September 21, 2014

Vibrant green uber juiceFall is such a beautiful, wonderful time of year. My favorite, actually! But it’s also a common cold season, so it’s as prime a time as ever to make sure we care for ourselves and our immune systems -  which we can do in part by staying hydrated, getting proper sleep, managing and reducing stress, and nourishing our bodies with vitamin/mineral/antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruit.

Fresh juices are an effective way to intake super-doses of such nutrition, on top of whatever else you’re consuming (hopefully also plenty of veggies and fruit!). Due to sheer volume, drinking juice makes it easier to take in more produce than you’d other wise likely be able to eat. Sip it straight, use as liquid in your smoothies or freeze into ice cubes for long-term smoothie addition.

Peter and I are frequent travelers, and in the enclosed space of airplanes recently I have definitely noticed a increase of sniffles and coughs. So amidst continued busy schedules at home and more travel coming up, we’re trying to also recharge and take advantage of our time at home – which includes putting our juicer to use!

Making a big jug of one of my go-to juices – a vibrant green “uber juice” – felt like a smart choice tonight, to get our week started right. And I encourage you to do the same!

I call this uber juice because it’s so full of so many health-supporting nutrients. Here’s the recipe so you can make it too – but of course, depending on your taste buds and produce availability, play around with what you use. You can’t go wrong!

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Skin Care: What’s On the Outside Must Go Inside

by letthegoodin on September 17, 2014

I’ve paid a lot of attention for years on what I put in my body – but it was only in more recent years that I also started more closely considering what I put on my body. What now feels like a very obvious notion was slower to creep up on me… all that lotion we rub into our skin of course isn’t just disappearing, but being absorbed through our skin and going much deeper than the surface.

Quite literally and simply, whatever we put on our outsides also goes to our insides.

Above all, staying well-hydrated, properly nourished, minimizing/managing stress, getting regular exercise and breathing plenty of fresh air will do wonders for your complexion and body chemistry. Stick with those pillars and it’ll be much easier to streamline what products you really need or want to use to feel and look your best.

But, many of us want to or enjoy using products to boost, soothe and care for our skin – so what follows below is a list of some of my personal favorite brands and specific items. I’ve compiled this based on a lot of research and experimentation (on my own dime – no paid promos or product placement here). The good news is that for all of the chemical-laden products out there, there is also an abundance of wonderful, clean alternatives! All I’ve chosen to list here vary in terms of composition, but among other things, all are free of artificial colors/fragrances and toxic chemicals, and are paraben-free and phthalate-free. The reality is that we come in contact with some of these things on a regular basis simply by living in our beautiful, modern world, and typically we don’t need to worry about this, but why not try to minimize exposure to such things by selecting products that don’t contain them, and instead allow our skin to be as gently cared for as possible?

If you’re already in the habit of looking at ingredient labels for food, it’ll be even easier to make a new habit of reading product ingredient lists. Consider it just as important!

I realize that many of these products can be much more expensive than many others found on typical drugstore shelves (though there are plenty of those that are also up there in price) – and cost certainly plays a role when choosing what to buy and use. It’s a frustration and important consideration for me too. The good news is that with many of these higher quality products, a very small amount almost always goes a very long way, making them last quite a long time – much longer than products I used to use that were cheaper upfront and of lesser quality, and that I had to re-buy with much greater frequency because I’d run out so fast. And discounts/coupons can often be found by signing up for e-newsletters from your favorite brands’ websites, or through official online retailers/websites such as DermStore.com – it just takes a little Googling.

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Dr. Kim A. Williams: Vegan Cardiologist

August 6, 2014

Dr. Kim A. Williams, the next president of the American College of Cardiology, is getting some much-deserved attention for a recent essay he published on MedPage Today about his experience reversing his high cholesterol by switching to a plant-based diet. He followed some of Dean Ornish, MD’s principles (based on scientific evidence), which he had [...]

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Redesigned Reuben

July 31, 2014

Quickie recipe! A reuben is a wonderful, classic sandwich – but also one that is piled with heavy meat, cheese and creamy dressing. Luckily, like many things, it can easily be made without meat or dairy (and become a bit healthier in the process) while still retaining some of the essence of a traditional reuben [...]

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (vegan + gluten free)

July 28, 2014

I don’t know many people who don’t love the tangy heat – varying degrees of heat, that is – of a good buffalo sauce. And of course, buffalo sauce is synonymous with chicken wings. But if you’re like me and you choose to very infrequently eat any meat if at all (and for me personally, [...]

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Salad Inspiration

July 24, 2014

Who says salads are bland or boring? They can literally be anything you want. And whenever you’re struggling with what to make for a meal, let this be your fall-back. Can’t go wrong! Stick with these building blocks: Use greens (can switch out what kind) as a base and change up whatever else you add [...]

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Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

July 23, 2014

We’re in the middle of summer, which for most of us means we’re in the thick of heat, be it dry or humid. I wast just in CT and NY and felt that old familiar humidity there, only to fly back to AZ and be hit with 112 degree temps in Phoenix (dry heat aside, [...]

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