Hello, Unexpected, Come On In


open to the unknownThis morning I was in my nightie, hair all a mess, listening to some kiddie music with my daughter and wondering how we were going to fill our morning since the sitter had the day off. Or so I thought. Right at 9 a.m., said sitter rang our doorbell, reporting for work. Can you say, miscommunication?

My first reaction was “Oh, sh*t!” (Something I’ve got to stop saying immediately before I hear that same phrase pop out of Lil’s mouth!) I had gotten my mind set for a morning in the park. And I was in no way ready to be seen by a non-family member. Read more…

Downtime Is Not a Dirty Word


take a timeout from stressWhen I was in my mid-20s, I loaned my car to a friend. On his way to pick up a friend at the airport, he was rear-ended and the car was totaled (thank God, no one was hurt). A few months later, I received a settlement check from the other driver’s insurance company in the mail. What did I do with those low five figures? Did I save them? Or put them toward higher education? Nope—I took one look at that check and decided on the spot to quit my job. (Did I mention I was in my mid-20s?) It may seem an irresponsible thing to do, but during that time I had my first taste of many things that have grown to become important parts of my life. I finally had time to take my first yoga class. I also discovered Ayurveda, learned how to feed myself on home-cooked food instead of relying on takeout, and began relying on my bicycle as my primary mode of transportation. Taking a break from the working world created an opening of time that changed and improved the course of my life. Read more…

Self-Care Shortcuts: Homemade Stock


Homemade Broth

When it came time to write this Vegimental, my worst writing nightmare came true—I had no ideas. Not even one. So I decided to make lunch and mull it over. Nothing like a little homemade, healthy food to get you headed in the right direction, I figured.

So I heated up a bowl of leftover tortilla soup. And one bite in, I knew what I wanted to write about: homemade broth. It’s so simple, it had almost slipped my consciousness. And because simplicity is the hallmark of a brilliant self-care technique, I knew I had a good Vegimental on my hands. Read more…

Self-Care Questionnaire: Jillian Michaels


jillian michaelsYou know about my complete adoration of The Biggest Loser. So you can imagine how incredibly excited I am to bring you Jillian Michaels’ Self-Care Questionnaire! Jillian is a personal trainer on the show who kicks total butt in the gym and delves deep in to the psychological realm, always encouraging her contestants to be mindful of what’s happening in their bodies, minds, and spirits. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for an upcoming article in Body + Soul and worked up the gumption to ask her to fill out this questionnaire. She happily (and speedily) obliged. So without further ado… Read more…

Don’t Think, Just Obey


officestretchHow many times today have you thought to yourself, “My back is aching, I should really get to a yoga class.” Or, “I am all over the place today! Wish I had some time to meditate.” Or, “I could sleep for days.” ??

That, my friends, is your inner wisdom talking. No matter how many times you ignore it or rationalize it away, it keeps sending you little signals in the hope that one day, you will actually listen and give yourself some of the TLC you’re so desperately craving. So here’s your weekly tip: Listen to this voice!!!! It is a hotline to your soul. You don’t have to quit your job or change your life to heed its advice. Read more…

Get Growing


grow-your-own-garlicIn the past when I heard the phrase, “Grow your own food,” I imagined people in overalls with lots of land and time constantly hovering over a vast array of plants. Lately, though, I’ve begun to think about it differently. I have started to see it as something that even I—who have little plant knowledge, low levels of sunlight, and poor urban soil—can do.

I mean, I’m not about to believe that I can grow every lick of food I consume, or even a fair proportion of it. But I am realizing that I can grow a couple of edible treats with very little effort, a big sense of accomplishment, and a much-needed feeling that I am connected to the natural world. Read more…

Smooth Out Life’s Bumps with Sphinx Pose


sphinx poseMarch is my least favorite month. There, I said it. One day it’s 60 degrees and sunny and the next it’s a high of 32. Even when it’s sunny it seems there’s a vicious wind making you wish you hadn’t left your scarf at home. Here in the North, at least, March is one bumpy ride. Luckily, there’s one yoga pose that, practiced regularly, can help make that ride feel more like waterskiing than riding a bucking horse.

Sphinx pose restores the curve in your lower spine, which tends to flatten when you sit all day. You want to take steps to keep that curve nice and curvy because is a natural shock absorber – it helps you keep on keepin’ on when you hit physical and metaphorical speed bumps. Read more…

Eye Yi Yi


acupressure for eye strain and headacheI love writing for a living. And as I recently admitted, I love reality TV. The sad part is, both of these callings require many hours spent staring at a screen. Hours that result in dry, red, and strained eyes. What’s worse, all this eyeballing can get me trapped in my head to the point that I can forget I have a body altogether (until my full bladder or aching shoulders tell me otherwise). Read more…

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