not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cous Cous Salad

I don't know how the hell I came to make this recipe, but it's freaking delicious! Light and delightful and perfect for summer!

2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cous cous
2 small granny smith apples, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup pinenuts

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

(if fresh, 1/4 cup each. dry...i heaping tablespoon each)
1 tablespoon dried mint
salt (optional) to taste

Bring vegetable broth to a boil- once boiling add cous cous - cover pot, take off heat + let sit for 5minutes. Add apples, cranberries, almonds, pinenutes + herbs. Mix in cous cous. Add olive oil, maple syrup + apple cider vinegar. Mix it up - give it a taste. It may need another drizzle of olive oil or a touch of salt. Enjoy.

Strength through Daily Practice.

Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, Emotionally Stronger
through Daily Practice.

Back on the East Coast, and desperately in need of a good yoga class. Thank the heavens above...Michelle had a class this yesterday at the community center. She's outstanding. Checked in to the blog today, and she reminded me of why I love yoga - and why it is so important for my well being...physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Thanks Michelle!

"...Sometimes there's nothing like me and my mat. All alone. Just the two of us. Tonight I was flowing like Shiva Rea. No Sanskrit names for these twisty tightrope asanas. I'm not even sure I'll remember exactly what I did. (Erin...if you're reading, you can attest to this!).

But..ahhh. It felt so good just to move without thinking. Our body always tells us what it needs. Sometimes we say "nont ahh" and do exactly opposite of what we really need, either pushing ourselves when we need to restore, or adopting a slower pace when we need to ramp it up.

The best part about a yoga practice is that it can offer us exactly what we need when we need it, whether it's gentle, sweaty or upside down yoga. Practicing everyday, no matter how our body or mind feels, also makes us stronger. Physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally." -Michelle Kirsche Whelan

Suzanne Caroline, Esterillos Oeste, CR
*This is my friend Suzanne who I met in Costa Rica. She is an amazing yogi who also has a daily yoga practice. I just thought that this photo was so beautiful, and wanted to share it with you.

Sat Nam.

Of course erin's tie for her dress would make a heart! She's blessed!

So, my friend Erin Williams is pretty outstanding. If I had not met this vibrant, sassy young lady then my stay in Encinitas would have been fun, and only a week long. She introduced me to so many wonderful things, places and people in Encinitas...most importantly Gray and the Yurt. On her foot she has "Sat Nam" tattooed, a phrase that they say 3x at the end of Kundalini class. Well, I've been practicing lots of meditation exercises that Nicole gave me {a certified Kundalini teacher}, so I've been ending every meditation with three rounds of Sat Nam. It's extra special because not only did I just end a beautiful meditation, but every time I chant Sat Nam I think of Erin {and Nicole!}, and a smile instantly comes across my face.

I did some research and this is the best description...

Sat Nam is a mantra commonly used in Kundalini Yoga and amongst its practicioners. It is frequently repeated three times at the end of a yoga session. But what is the importance of Sat Nam, what does it mean.

I’ve heard the following interpretations for Sat Nam via my Kundalini Yoga instructors:

  • Truth is my identity
  • My identiy is Truth
  • My True Self
  • Truth is our identity

It has been called the process of naming ones self Truth. It can be used similar to Namaste, (the divine in me aknowledges and pays tribute to the divine in you.) Where the “Truth” is the divine.

Being one who likes to get to “Source” info, I decided to do some further research into the nature of Sat Nam. I made an assumption that Sanskrit is a rather root dialect and that “Sat Nam” in Sanskrit would provide supplemental information on the nature of Sat Nam.

I found this Sanskrit Dictionary, and looked up the words, Sat and Nam.


  1. being
  2. real
  3. that which really exists
  4. the real existent truth

I’ve seen it written that Sat means Be, or more apprpriately Be-ness. Which would be the essence of being. (HPB’s Secret Doctorine) I suspect some careful analysis would find an interesting correlation between Be-ness and emptiness. (For those of Buddhist faith)

but onward to Nam.

  1. To bow
  2. To submit or subject oneself

And so one is bowing to Truth, to Be-ness the essence of being.

And the active interpretation of Sat Nam emerges.

Sat Nam

{ }

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Living The Dream

Tony, Ben, Nate, Me, Lenny, Travis, Brian, Neil.
Samara, Costa Rica December 2010

This past December I headed up to Samara to meet up with my friend Brian Bourgeious. He rented a house and invited me up for a "vacation" from my vacation. They were going to be doing some filming for a promotional video for a development they are working on, and they were also going to be getting some footage of his cousin, pro surfer Ben Bourgeious, for Reef. I made the second video...check it out!! {By the way: This is the trip that I met thanks to Brian for inviting me up so that I could meet Lenny so that I could discover Encinitas and all the epic people who reside there!}

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Encinitas Love

Still sitting in the Chicago airport…still killing time, and still missing all the wonderful people, places and things in Encinitas. I feel so much gratitude towards everyone that I met this trip for offering me the most epic hospitality that I have ever experienced over these past few years of traveling. Outstanding. You people sure do know how to make a girl feel loved.

Here are some things about Encinitas that make me really happy:

  • Yoga @ Yoga Swami’s: This is where the magic happens. Erin took me here on our “first date” when I had just arrived into town. Had I not met Erin I would have never discovered the Yurt, and I would not have extended my trip past the planned departure date {which was only for 10 days}. The Yurt is where I met Gray, as well as a whole slew of other outstanding human beings, and it is also where I began my spiritual journey. This has been an amazing year for me – the best year to date. But it has also been a very serious year, going through some of the heaviest shit I’ve ever experienced. The Yurt was a safe place for me, a place where I could totally release all of the shit that was still lurking around inside of me. A huge thanks to the yoga instructors Katie and Kristen for guiding me along, helping me discover, release and start fresh.
  • JUST PEACHY: Fresh fruit and veggies, international goodies and Kombucha. What more do you need? And it’s all in one spot…Just Peachy in Leucadia, the BEST produce store around. This is where I did all of my shopping for my many dinner parties, and not once did I need to venture elsewhere for the things on my ‘shopping list’. Service was always with a smile and small places like this, where you are always greeted by the owner, are ranked high in my book. Thanks for all the goodies Just Peachy!
  • Gray’s House: Perhaps I am biased because I love Gray so much, but many will agree with me in the statement that his house is filled with love + positive vibrations. The sun is always shining in, the couches are comfy, the record collection is outstanding, the outside shower is refreshing, the kitchen is inviting and always filled with great food, and this is where the BioSync magic happens. The best part of all, you ask? The fountain outside, trickling water 24/7…it’s pretty much the most wonderful thing in the world. Tons of praise to Gray for the hospitality, not just for me – but for always having an ‘open door’ policy to anyone and everyone. You’re a good man Gray, and your house is a reflection of that.
  • Neptune Street: I just love this street. Lenny lives on the corner of this street, and I have several friends that live in homes along it as well. It’s the street that runs parallel to the beach, and it reminds me of our little slice of heaven back home – Strathmere. Everyone knows everyone, biking down the street on oldschool Cruisers and people sitting on their front lawns drinking beer. There’s something very “East Coast” beachy about this street, it reminds me of home – and I like it.
  • Seaside Market: Probably the best supermarket that I’ve ever been too. Super expensive, but the quality is unmatched. They have a huge variety for such a small store, and their prepared foods section is rockin’. Someday when I’m rich I’m going to do all of my foodshopping here – but until then I’ll just aimlessly walk up and down the aisles, inspecting their goodies with complete happiness and amazement. I <3>
  • The Encinitas Sign: I am counting down the days for when I am pulling back into town and the ENCINITAS sign comes into view. It just makes me happy.
  • 2063 ASHRAM, Cardiff by the Sea: I stayed a ton of places while I was in Encinitas…all of them wonderful, but this one deserves a special shout out. Nicole’s apartment in Cardiff is a 3 bedroom place, with another apartment behind {3 bedroom as well} where Bri lives. The doors to both apartments are always open and there is always people coming and going from each abode. At any given moment there are a few interesting, eclectic people hanging around – ready to participate in some yard yoga, kundalini meditation or a sporadic jam session. It makes me happy to know that a place like this exists in the world. Even better? I know that the door is always open for me to return…to eat good food, indulge in great conversations, and connect with some pretty outstanding individuals.

Mad Rambling to the Next Spot.

Sitting in the airport right now, sipping on a damn fine cup of Armenian Mint tea from ArgoTea. This is the first that I’ve seen this company, and I’m impressed. I was weighed down by my bags, with way too much time to kill – so I decided that I’d post up and sip on a cup of tea. Starbucks was to the left, and this unknown Argo Tea was to the right. Everyone at Starbucks had a serious look on their faces, all dressed in black. Behind Argo Tea’s counter were hippies with long beards wearing brown and green t-shirts. It was pretty much a no brainer. MmMm, I made the right choice because this tea is damn delicious {I asked for it with warm milk…if you add it yourself then it cools down the tea, bleh}. Right now I am sitting across the aisle, in Starbucks little “seating area”, because I don’t think that Argo Tea can afford the airport space yet for their clients. I’m getting the evil eye from the ladies behind the Starbucks counter who don’t quite appreciate me sipping from an ARGO TEA cup, but I feel like I’ve earned this seat after all of the Americano’s I’ve purchased from this mega-empire over the years. Anyways – lets get down to the nitty gritty details of my final hours on the West Coast…

Monday night singing bowl meditation followed by Nicole + Bri’s “Monday Meditation” threw me for a fucking spin. An amazing, fulfilling but completely unexpected spin. Tuesday morning Nicole and I woke up early and sipped our respective beverages {americano for me, chai tea for Nicole…she’s a good yogini like that!}. Chris stopped over with his dog Sparky to say goodbye, he was heading up to SanFran to hang some art pieces of his.

He gave me a rad t-shirt that he’d designed for Patagonia {one of his sponsors} and a crystal that he’d hunted in Mexico on his most recent surf trip. The crystal is beaaautiful, something that I plan to place on my little ‘meditation/prayer altar’ I’m going to make once I’m back home. Chris is just such a freaking cool person, a genuinely cool person. Speaking of cool people, Nicole joined us after our gift exchange and the 3 of us {+Sparky} did Chris’s signature “Seven Circles” daily warmup. What a bunch of goonies, standing in the yard in our PJ’s circling all of our body parts. I love it. It felt so right. Del Moro had to hit the road so we said our farewells. Nicole and I packed up the truck and headed out for some very small but fun and glassy surf @ Swami’s. Today was redemption day for me – the day before I had gotten caught off guard by a set, thrown over the falls with my LB, and almost killed a poor, innocent shortboarder. Bah. Whatta kook! In the water was just Coley and I, nose walking and trash talking. Short session followed by an epic lunch and lots of errands. Packing my bag is always an adventure, so Nicole and Erin “helped” me out aka watched and were kind enough to be my drinking partners.

Panties for Packing the rails.

what a friggin tacklebox. 7months of stuff.

Later that night we had everyone over the house for a farewell party.

I made babbaganoush, a black bean dip, marinated kalamata olives, and a strawberry/blackberry salad with a balsamic reduction. Nicole made the best wrap that I’ve ever had in my LIFE, hands down. No lie. She roasted a bunch of diced up root vegetables {beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc} in the oven along with fresh thyme and garlic, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and some Bragg’s Liquid Amino. Then in a whole wheat wrap she puts all of this jazz and some peppery arugala for the best wrap ever. Ugh. So good. We sipped wine and laughed our asses off…the chemistry amongst the varied and oh-so-eclectic crew was amazing and the conversation flowed like water. We played some music, chanted a round of “Ohm”, and some of us even indulged in a shot of Patron! Vavavoom!

Sean + Me...patron shots.

Erin Cyrus and I

Garth, the man, serenading us.

Around midnight I said goodbye to the crew – promising to see all of them sooner then later. Nicole and I ended our night lying in her bed talking to Gray for about an hour – laughing so freaking hard that both of us were crying, I was gripping at my sides and gasping for breath, and Nicole was letting out a steady amount of snorts. HA. Woke up at 6:30 this morning, fully en fuego. Writing out cards, rallying up my stuff, and percolating some espresso in my beloved Bialetti. Bri came by early for some café con leche, and I helped her to start up her blog: Seed of Love. Bri is probably the most amazing raw/vegan chef that I’ve ever encountered. Her ability to make the most interesting, delectable completely raw dishes is outstanding. I beggggggged her every night for her recipes, and eventually forced her to create a blog so I can follow all of the yummy goodness coming out of her kitchen. Joining us for coffee was Kristen Watson {who ALSO gave me a gorgeous crystal yesterday…two crystals from two epic people in ONE day!} and Miss ERIN. We had a little love fest, hugging and hugging and telling eachother how much we looooveeee one another. Sigh. I was missing them already and I was still in the same room as them!

I was dropped at the airport with my tacklebox of a boardbag, was charged $225 by the evil lady behind the American Airlines counter for my tacklebox of a boardbag, and then vowed NEVER to fly American Airlines again…and to never travel with this tacklebox of a boardbag ever again. I sat next to a really nice lady, Sue, on the flight to Chicago – our conversation helped pass the time. Now I’m sitting in Chicago’s airport, enjoying {ahem, loathing} a 3.5hour layover. Actually, with Argo’s Armenian Mint Tea in hand and the computer at my fingertips it’s not so bad. Now only if there was some internet – and I was back in Sunny California…..

side note: couldn't resist...had tea #2 @ Argo Tea. this time EARL GREY with hot milk and it was EUPHORIC. so so so delightful. argo tea, i love you - and you bet your sweet bottom i'll be sending you a hand written letter saying so!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Healing Sounds.

I know, more hippy dippy shit. But you know what, I love the hippy dippy shit. I am the hippy dippy shit ... and here in California, in Encinitas, I can fully embrace and fully be the "hippy dippy shit". It's ammmmaazzing!

Anyways...tonight Nicole, Chris and I went to a sound meditation - with tibetan singing bowls and a gong. Probably one of the most oustanding things I've done in a long time. The room was crowded but we finagled it so that everyone had a little space to lay down on the floor. The man running the show was a short, soft spoken, kind hearted man from Nepal. All of the proceeds (it was a $10 suggested donation) go to an orphanage that is in Nepal. While we were waiting to find our place on the floor, I stood with Nicole and Chris as they chatted about something, I think it was about our surf session from earlier that day - nothing of profound content. And out of no where, I felt like someone kicked me in my chest...hard. So hard in fact, that I almost couldn't catch my breath. My cheeks were hot, my ears on fire, and my eyes welled up. I realized that I was about to cry, and not just cry - but sob. It finally hit me that my final day here was approaching...and that my days wouldn't be filled with Sound Meditations, "Meditation Monday's", Katie's classes at the Yurt, bike rides down Neptune with Erin, Dinner Parties turned Dance Parties - or sporadic yoga sessions on Nicoles Lawn. Standing in front of me were two of the most oustanding people I'd ever met, who challenged me to be a "better me", but who loved each and every bit of me for all that I am. CHRIST. This is some heavy shit to process while waiting for my floor space in sound meditation. I tried to gain some composure and then made my way to my 5' x 1' space on the floor. We started the class with a seated meditation that was about 10 to 15 minutes long. To begin the session we chanted OM three times. Det spoke softly, working through the chakras and playing the note that was in accordance with each. Again I felt a flood of emotions as I was focusing on each chakra, absorbing and acknowledging that chakra, and releasing the unnecessary. I cried, and cried - but still wasn't quite sure what the tears were for. Dad? Shawn? Leaving this town and these people? Or returning to the town I'm returning to? Or worrying that I won't be able to maintain this higher level of self that I've created here in Heaven? Again - heavy shit to be experiencing in a tiny yoga shop in a tiny strip mall in a tiny town in Southern California. After this we worked our way down to the floor, lying in Savasana - open to whatever would be coming our way. The singing bowls are divine. A heavenly, pure sound which calms and helps to center the body and mind. These bowls were scattered throughout the room - all around. I had one directly next to my left ear and one just off my right elbow. Did I mention that I was basically underneath the gong due to cramped quarters? Ugh, epic. The sounds vibrate through your whole body. Chris said it right, the singing bowls seem to lift up your soul - lets them spiral around - and then the heavy tone of the gong is like a blanket almost, pressing you down into ground. Tears rolled down my face for half of the sound meditation. I finally set my intention for myself, instead of for another, that my heart could find peace in the flow of life right now. When we left I felt so very satisfied. To have such an amazing release is...well, amazing. Shawn always used to joke that "The reason women don't get ass cancer and all that other crazy shit is because you ladies just cry. It's phenomenal. Why can't us men just cry? We'd live so much longer!" I took a few deep breaths outside, got it together, hugged Chris, hugged Nicole and then we hopped in the car and headed home for "Meditation Monday"...what an awesome transition of events! There was a fantastic turnout, and everyone brought some really delicious goodies to contribute. We started with Nicoles Krea {i know im spelling this wrong}, about a 7 minute routine (which can range from 7minutes to 20minutes). It involves different mudras as well as varying breaths. Following that we did a 4 minute candle meditation. It was so wonderful to see the meditation circle grow, filled with people who are living life on the same wavelength as me. When meditation was done everyone started snacking and I fell into conversation with one of the AllStar yoga teachers around here, Kristen - a phenomenal Jivamutki instructor. I told her about my release at the sound meditation, and how it confused me because I couldn't figure out if they were sad tears or happy tears, and she just responded "Your glass is full. And that's fulfilling and overwhelmingly happy". Fuck. My glass is not just full - it's freaking running over! I just wanna yell it from the rooftops. It feels so GOOD. Kristen also added {having grown up in Wildwood!} that I shouldn't be upset about returning to Jersey where there aren't meditation nights and singing bowls - because now it's my duty to cultivate this and share this. So Jersey - get ready to sing some Ohms, and chant some "Ong Nomo, Gudu Dev Namo"s!

If you'd like to know more about singing bowls, check out this really awesome informative website:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bloggity Blog...Fellow Bloggers.

Wow. There are some people out there who share my passion for mad rambling! HOORAY! Since I've been here on the West Coast I have come across some outstanding blogs that are so amazing - they must be shared. They concern yoga, food, surfing and all things concerning a happy + healthy life. Also on the list are some oldies but goodies that dare not be forgotten! So turn off your TV, and tune into the wonderful world of blogs.

Creator: Chris Del Moro

Collectic Life:
A Hub For Random Wonders Of The World, Useless Junk, Shredding and Mindless Scribbles

Content: Wow. That's what I have to say about Chris. Wow. Since the day I met him I knew that he was special. You know when you meet people sometimes and you just know that they are pretty amazing? Chris is a lover... of life, travel, yoga and healthy living. He is freakishly good at everything he does, humble beyond belief, and kind- kind, kind, kind. A Pro Surfer without an ego - impossible? No. Possible! Did I mention that he is a mean hung drum player? His blog is a random collection of LIFE...random tidbits that are not to be missed. Tune in.


Love, Respect and Gratitude
Creator: Zach Keenan

Content: I met Zach at one of Nicole's "Meditation Mondays". At first I thought that he was mute. Then, when he finally spoke - I realized that Zach is a profound person - with profound thoughts and profound things to say. He isn't a rambler at all, quite the opposite actually. When he speaks, you want to listen. An advocate for a green world, he is about 90% Raw {for anyone not 'hip' to the health world, most of his diet is COMPLETELY raw. nothing cooked. nada. no dairy, no nothin'}. It takes a huge commitment to live a Raw life, and Zach is embodying the amazing path as a "raw-est". His blog covers everything from surf trips, to some amazing natural food companies to random tidbits about mother earth. Also an ego-free, down to earth pro surfer - Zach is calm, kind, and AWARE. The name of his blog says it all "Love, Respect and Gratitude". Namaste, Zach.


Creator: Michelle Kirsche Whelan

Content: Michelle is not only the most amazing Momma, but she is a badass ROCKSTAR yogini! By far the best instructor that I have ever had, her classes put you into a happy place {as well as into positions that you never ever ever thought were possible}. Her passion for yoga is contagious, and whenever I'm feeling disconnected or discouraged from my practice, I head to her blog for inspiration. Michelle has been a radiant bit of sunshine, a tall glass of water, a breath of fresh air - all if it, since the moment I met her. She is compassionate, passionate, and 150% genuine. She has been a safe haven for me whenever one is needed - an oustanding mentor, patient and informative - and an oustanding friend. If you're new to yoga, looking to reginite your yoga flame, or just cruising for some yogic inspiration then YogaBabyMomma is the blog for you!


Music + Veganism
Creator: Charlotte Littlehales

Content: Veganism. And a bit of Music. Charlotte Littlehales is pretty phenomenal, and if you haven't heard of her yet then you should be forever in debt to me for introducing you to this person of epic proportions. I met Charlotte about 3 years ago in Philadelphia @ The World Cafe. We had both been selected for the Beta Hi-Fi Emerging Artists Music Festival contest for SingerSongwriters. There were a ton of applicants so it was an honor for her and I to be selected. At the time the name of her band was Des Mers, though currently she just plays under her name (Charlotte Littlehales). She is a UArts Vocal Performance graduate, and lemme tell you - her voice will bring you to tears, and if her voice didn't do it then her lyrics will. A blessed singer-songwriter, she is equally talented when it comes to being a vegan chef! I'm not gonna lie - I'm no vegan, hell I'm no vegetarian - but her vegan recipes could sway the best of us to start playin' for the other team. As of January 19th, 2010 Charlotte has taken a sabitical from her blog - but there is plenty of witty, delicious content to go through - plus she has a slew of recommended blogs concerning veganism, gardening and music that are worth checking out.

For Charlotte's music + touring schedule check out

Sunday, May 23, 2010

it's not an OIL, it's an ESTER.

Jojoba's not actually an oil, it's an ester.

Gray got me hooked on it - and every day he'd preach about how wonderful and amazing Jojoba Oil was, and that it was even more amazing because it was an ester rather than an oil. Now for those of you who know Gray you know how incredibly passionate he is about EVERYTHING that he's passionate about. Cacao smoothies, jojoba oil, and agave just to name a few. I gotta admit it, 97% of the time...he's spot on.

Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is a botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree (Simmondsia chinenis). What’s interesting about it is that it isn’t actually an oil, but rather what they call a wax ester. Why do we care? Because out of all of the compounds in nature, this wax ester is the most similar to human skin oil (sebum). It is theorized that applying jojoba to the skin can “trick” the skin into thinking it is producing enough oil, thus balancing oil production. The bottom line for us is that jojoba oil is non-comedogenic so we can use it without fear.

Benefits of jojoba oil

  • Provides all day moisturization – jojoba oil doesn’t evaporate like water based moisturizers can.
  • It is theorized, but not yet proven, that because jojoba oil is so similar to human skin oil, it can "trick" the skin into thinking it has produced enough oil and thus balance oil production.
  • Very stable – jojoba oil does not become rancid or lose antioxidants even after long periods of storage.
  • Spreads well and absorbs well.
  • The organic variety is free of pesticides, GMOs, and is sustainably farmed.
Uses of Jojoba Oil
  • Moisturizer – After dispensing any facial moisturizer onto your palm, try adding a few drops (I use 6 drops) of jojoba oil to make it into a super moisturizer. Flakiness will subside and the moisturizer will have an improved feel on your skin.
  • Make-up remover – Since jojoba oil is not an eye irritant, nor allergenic, you can use it to remove eye makeup. It also easily removes foundation, blush, and lipstick.
  • Lip balm – I use jojoba oil as a lip balm all the time. I just put a few drops on my finger and apply to my lips. Lots of lip balms tend to contain comedogenic (clogs pores) ingredients, so jojoba oil is a nice alternative. This is especially nice at night because, excuse the grossness, but if you tend to slobber when you sleep whatever you put on your lips will come into contact with your face. Jojoba oil is great for this purpose. As a side note, if you need major help with dry lips, pure petroleum jelly is non-comedogenic and works as well.
  • Hair conditioner – You can mix a few drops of jojoba oil into your current conditioner or use it on its own. You can also add it to damp hair before drying. Also, you can add it to dry hair to promote shine. Jojoba oil also moisturizes the scalp, helping prevent dandruff.
  • Shave prep - Put a whole bunch of jojoba oil on your beard area beneath your shaving cream (lather from cleanser or other non-comedogenic shaving cream) for a more comfortable shave. This helps prevent razor burn and leaves your skin feeling nice and soft.
Jojoba Oil comes from the seed of a desert bush yet it’s molecular structure is very similar to human skin oil… or sebum. It penetrates the skin down the hair follicle and also through the pores, coats the cell membranes and inhibits moisture loss. It has Vitamin E as a natural component to slow down the aging process. Jojoba Oil dissolves the wax form of sebum so it opens the skin allowing toxins out and oxygen in as well as allowing the natural oils to the surface of the skin.

My legs get super dry, so Gray concocted a SUPER MOSTURIZER for me. Firsts of all we went "hunting" for aloe vera. Drove the car and sliced up some aloe from a womans hillside, filled up a whole bag. Then Gray sliced them open, collected all of the juice and cut out the meat. Next step, he mashed the hell outta the aloe with one of those kitchen utensils you'd use to make smashed potatoes. Then he put the smashed aloe through a cheesecloth, just getting out the juices. He mixed this with coconut oil, Vitamin E, Skin Food, and Jojoba Oil. BOOM. The Master Mosturizer.

Now of course, Gray doesn't promote just any Jojoba Oil - there is one brand in particular.

Heather Loraine Cosmetics.
Our motto is: "If you wouldn't put it in your body, don't put it on your body."

Golden Jojoba Oil is heavier and penetrates more slowly. This is a good quality for symptomatic relief of skin problems like psoriasis, seborrhea, cradle cap, acne, rosatia, eczema and very dry skin.

Filtered Jojoba Oil is much lighter and will penetrate quickly without leaving and oily residue on the skin. It is an excellent carrier oil in aromatherapy or for use with other heavier oils to facilitate penetration.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

you are what you make up your mind to be.

It's amazing to me how the mind-body connection works. Fascinating. Fire Log. Ugh. I hate doing fire log. Whenever a teacher instructs us to move into this posture I let out a groan and secretly curse them for putting me in this super uncomfortable, super challenging pose. Bah. But today my hips were pretty open and my mind was open as well. As Katie moved us into this pose I just went with it, and mentally didn't fight it. Well, go figure. I did it. And it didn't hurt {well, it wasn't god-awful!}, it actually felt pretty good. So go ahead - embrace poses that you usually loathe. It's amazing how having a positive outlook and an open mind can take you to places you never dreamed you'd go. You are what you eat, and you are what you make up your mind to be. Fire Log Pose aka Agnistambhasana

Step by Step

Sit on one edge of a thickly-folded blanket, knees bent, feet on the floor. Lightly shrug your shoulders up, strongly roll the heads of your upper arm bones back, and press the bottom tips of your shoulder blades into your back.

Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip, and lay the outer leg on the floor. Then, stack your right leg on top of the left. Be sure the right ankle is outside the left knee (so the sole is perpendicular to the floor).

If you have more flexibility in the hips, you can slide your left shin forward directly below the right to increase the challenge; otherwise, keep the left heel beside the right hip. If you're tight in the hips, you may find that bringing the ankle to the outer knee is difficult or uncomfortable. In this case, simply sit with your shins crossed in Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

Press through your heels and spread your toes. Keeping your front torso long, exhale and fold forward from your groins. Be sure not to round forward from your belly: Keep the space between your pubis and navel long. Lay your hands on the floor in front of your shins.

As you inhale, notice how your torso rises slightly; when it does, lengthen from your pubis to your sternum. Then on the next exhalation, fold deeper.

Hold 1 minute or more. Inhale the torso upright and uncross your legs to come out of the pose. Repeat for the same length of time with the left leg on top.

Just last week I got into the full King Pigeon Pose! It was amazing.

Wallaby Organics for when the Craving Strikes.

Last night we had a huge dinner party @ Lenny's house, my old home-away-from-home. The whole crew came out and we had a freaking blast. Actually, we had too much fun. Went out after dinner to The Saloon and were drinking vodka out of water glasses! Needless to say I was pretty useless today. Moved in with Nicole and her roomies over here in the lovely ladies commune/ashram! This morning as Nicole was finishing up her Kundalini training the rest of us just laid around, ate food, chatted, ate more food, and watched the history channels Alien marathon. I felt like I had to do SOMETHING today, so I headed out the door @ 4:30 for Katie's yoga class at the Yurt. At the beginning of class Katie mentioned that she's been eating lots of chocolate lately -- and then she mentioned it at the end of class too. Well, I couldn't shake the thought. I stopped at my favorite Seaside Market and scoured the aisles for my fix...not sure exactly what I was craving. I picked up chocolate milk, chocolate soy milk, chocolate bars, granola bars, bananas. Bah. And then I found it - Wallaby Organics "Down Under" Yogurt, with dark chocolate! The bottom 1/4 of the yogurt is the most amazing, creamy, delicious dark chocolate yogurt, and the rest of the container is an equally amazing vanilla yogurt. I mixed it up and ate it in the parking lot! Scraping the bottom of the container to get every last little bit of chocolate goodness. Boom. I'm not sure if they have this brand in Jersey, but if they don't - I'm going to write to the company and demand that they share their magic with the East Coast.

Just a side note...I also grabbed some Coconut Bliss chocolate 'ice cream' bars on the way out.....

Wallaby Yogurt Company was born out of an adventure that began Down Under. During the Christmas season of 1992, founders Jerry and Faith traveled to Australia for vacation. They were awed by the country’s many natural wonders, but interestingly enough, one of their most impressive discoveries turned out to be the yogurt. It was fresh, subtly sweet and creamy in a way that they weren’t used to finding in the U.S. They wondered why this style of yogurt was not available back home – they were sure that Americans would enjoy its unique qualities. Being somewhat naïve, but genuinely inspired, Jerry and Faith decided to quit their technology industry jobs and dedicate themselves to building a yogurt company that would make this happen. They already knew what they would name it – Wallaby Yogurt – in honor of where the idea got its start.

Today, what began as an Australian adventure continues in the form of Wallaby Yogurt Company. But it's more than smooth yogurt that makes Wallaby Yogurt Company unique. As a business, Wallaby strives to maintain a company culture that emphasizes respect and concern for all people. This effort is evidenced in the company's commitment to sharing its success with its employees and producing only organic products of the highest quality.

Rishikesh? Yes.

As this years travels are coming to an end, next years plans are formulating. I arrive back in Jersey this coming Thursday. I'm going to hit the ground running - work, work, work, work, work. Then the game plan per this very moment {which is always subject to change} is to leave Jersey mid October, spend one week in Encinitas, followed by 2 months in India {and a bit of time in Nepal}, 3 months in Costa {work, surf, work, surf} and then 2 months in Bali. Vavavoom. Rishikesh, here I come!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Aloha Gray

Today Gray left for Hawaii. He's only going for a week, but he won't be back in Leucadia until the day of my departure. I took him to the airport, said goodbye - and was sad, but totally overwhelmed with happiness at the same time. Gray is a very special's rare you meet someone as kind, genuine and aware of the world as him. A superb human being, a profound healer, and above all an amazing friend. An enormous thanks to Gray for the outstanding hospitality, the healing BioSync sessions, and for helping me to become a better version of myself. Namaste.

Aloha Gray, I'll be seeing you around!

Meditation Mondays

Nicole + Mister...leading Meditation.

Meditation Mondays...and Dance Party Meditation Wednesdays!

One of the people I've fallen in love with here in Encinitas is Nicole. She's been studying Kundalini yoga and is just now finishing up her 9 months of training! I met her through Gray, and we've started having Meditation nights on Mondays at her place in Cardiff. We start out with a short Kava Ceremony followed by meditation, lead by Nicole. After meditation is my favorite! It's all delicious, nutritous {vegan for the most part} food. Lots of raw goodies and just tons of amazing spices. The other day Nicole called me up and asked if I was up for some meditation and yoga - of course I was! Gray dropped me off and then Chris, Nicole and I hung out in the front yard. Chris played the Didgeridoo, I played some guitar, we soaked up some sun - played with puppies and then started on some yoga. Chris had us start off with his daily routine of "Seven". You circle your wrists 7 times in one direction, 7 times opposite direction. Then you circle your elbows 7 times in one direction, 7 times opposite direction. Shoulders 7x one time, 7x opposite. Just let your arms hang and then swing them back and forth 14X, keeping your gaze forwards, moving from your core. Hip circles {hands on hips circling out in front, to the side, back , and to the left, making a complete circle} 7x one way, 7x another way. Knees, ankles, neck. Then the trippiest one of all, your eyes. Eyes open, look up then towards the right, to the bottom, to the left - making a complete circle with your eyes. 7x one way, 7x another way. That was our warm up - Chris's daily warmup. I like it. Recap: Wrists, Elbows, Shoulders, Full Swing, Hips, Knees, Ankles, Neck, Eyes. Nicole warmed us up with some fun kundalini practices....basically jogging in place, then laying on our backs, knees raised to the sky, swinging our calves up and down. We did a couple other poses doing "Breath of Fire".

Breath of Fire - for Energy, Focus, and Vitality
Breath of Fire is a rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breath that sounds like powerful sniffing. The breath is forcefully exhaled by rapidly contracting the diaphragm and pulling the navel point toward the spine. The inhale occurs naturally as the diaphragm relaxes and air flows effortlessly back in without a sharp intake or effort. The inhale and exhale are equal length and usually occur 2 to 3 times per second. This breath is great as "pick-me-up" if you are feeling lethargic or unfocused. It can be done throughout your day- for 30 seconds to 3 minutes- if you need to increase your energy.

How to do it:
  • Take a deep breath in, through your nose, and feel your stomach relaxing outward. Exhale, through your nose, as you pull the stomach back in.
  • Inhale again. As you exhale out this time, pull the solar plexus (the area above the navel) back toward the spine with a pumping motion. The exhaled air should leave the nose in a forceful sniff.
  • Immediately relax the solar plexus and let the air come back in with a sniff.
  • There should be no pause between the inhalation and exhalation. Continue the pumping motion with the sniffing breath.
  • In the beginning, it may be easier to simply concentrate on the exhale as you pull in on the solar pelxus and let the inhale come naturally as you relax the solar plexus.
  • At no time should the breath of fire be practiced beyond your current level of comfort. If at any point you begin to feel strain, breathlessness, or pain, stop the attempt at breath of fire and relax the breath.
  • If often takes practice and time to become familiar with this breath and, when familiar, there is a sense of joyful rythm and boundless energy.

Following this we did meditiation, a meditation for Prosperity. To start any kundalini meditation we start by inhaling and exhaling "Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo" - which is pronounced "ohn namo, gudu day namo". This translates to "I bow to all of the energy of the vibration in creation. I bow to the teacher within". The prosperity meditation is as follows. Seated in meditation seat, palms facing down to ground, around heart center (half way between the ground and your head). Your pointer fingers are pressing together, and your right thumb is nestled under the left thumb. Elbows by your sides.Your eyes are partially opened, and your gaze is at the tip of your nose. To be comfortable, it helps to place a pillow under your butt to raise the pelvis. Alternately hit the sides of the hands together. The pinky fingers and the bottom of the palms hit when the palms face up. When the plams hit facing down, the sides of the index fingers touch, and the thumbs cross below the hands, with the right thumb under the left. You continuously chant "Har Har" (which is pronounced "Haad") for 11minutes.

Our prosperity chant was followed by an amazing Savasana - just lying in the grass, completely relaxed. Nicole played the Crystal Song Bowl and then it was DANCE PARTY TIME. We came into the house, turned some good tunes onto the iPod, danced away, and then ate some salad + black electrified chick peas!

Just your typical Wednesday Afternoon.


Kundalini yoga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline built around the physical and meditative techniques found in the teachings of Raja yoga, Shakti yoga, Bhakti yoga, tantra, Kriya yoga, Laya yoga, Nada yoga and the principles and sutras of Patanjali.[1][2] In its simplest dilution, it describes a set of yoga exercises (kriyas) and mental practices (meditations) which are designed to awaken ones consciousness to the universal nature of the soul and ones spirituality.[3] Kundalini yoga is sometimes called the yoga of awareness because it "awakens" the kundalini which is the unlimited potential that already exists within every human being.[4]

According to one tradition Kundalini yoga is a pure spiritual science which relies upon a technique called shaktipat that leads to enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.[5] Other traditions believe that kundalini energy can be awakened by practicing a combination of yogic techniques, including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.[6] The awakening of kundalini means awakening of inner knowledge, awareness and evolved consciousness.[7][8][9], diabetes, pain, stress-related diseases, healing and rehabilitating addictive behavior, and treating mental disorders.

Kundalini Yoga has been documented as a system of exercises and meditations and claims to provide extensive benefits for personal growth, health and improving mental and physical well-being, including asthma, Alzheimer's disease

Kundalini is a concentrated form of prana or life force, lying dormant in chakras in the body. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent (literally, 'kundalini' in Sanskrit is 'That which is coiled.' Sanskrit kund, "to burn"; kunda, "to coil or to spiral"). The serpent is considered to be female, coiled up three and a half times, with its mouth engulfing the base of the Sushumna nadi.[citation needed]

In the classical literature of Kashmir Shaivism kundalini is described in three different manifestations. The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the different manifestations of kundalini .[13]

The path of Kundalini is said to proceed from the Muladhara Chakra at the lower end of the spinal column up to the Sahasara Chakra at the top of the head. But its awakening is not thought to be a physical occurrence; it consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. According to some sources, awakening of kundalini brings with it pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.[7]

According to one source, the word kundalini literally means "the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.".[14][15] It is a metaphor, a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness which already is said to exist within each person. The practices are said to enable the person to merge with or "yoke" the universal self. This merging of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness is said to create a "divine union" called "yoga"

Namaste, Motherfuckers.

Namaste, Motherfuckers. This - is an inside joke, one that only people who were at Carly's yoga class @ the Yurt would understand, and right now they are probably crippled with laughter. So for the rest of you who might find this phrase mildly offensive -- well, I'll just have to explain another time!

Wow. FUN things have been happening. Amazing, super fun, oustandingly phenomenal things. I'm so excited that I found "my spot" takes some people years, and years and years - but I've found it, at the ripe age of 23. People talk about ideas, not other people. People sit around and sip chai, instead of slamming beers. People hang out and have "Meditation" parties, instead of heading out to the bar. I LOVE this place. Here's just an average week in Encinitas....

Started off this Saturday night with a Summer of Love dance party @ Jet's house. This night we passed up the chai for some vodka with a FRESH SQUEEZED citrus blend {grapefruit, lemon, orange...thanks Gray!} and traded in our regular digs for some hippie gear.

Kundalini Crew. Erika, Bri, Nicole + Michele. All fellow female rippers as well!

"WE LOVE THE YURT" Posse. Gray, Andy, Me, Erin, Christian and Haley -the chocolate chip cookie fairy.

Summer of Love Dance Party 2010.

Peace + Love.

Next thing on the list was a small dinner gathering, cooked up by Chef Chris Del Moro. Just back from an epic trip in Baja, he tickled our palate with some amazing homemade pizza - the first pizza I'd had in months. We dined at Gray's parents condo, on the beach in Leucadia, and watched the Celtics game (Erin is addicted!).

Chef Del Moro, and Sous Chef Williams.

The view from "Grand View", Grays parents condo.

Chris dedicated this outstanding veggie pizza to me - much love from one chef to another.

MmMm fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and kalmata olives. Sublime.

Of course there were many other meals, jam sessions, delightful conversations, long walks, "Meditation Mondays" @ Nicoles, and yoga classes in the mix. I am so in love with Katie's class at the Yurt - this is definitely going to be something that I miss.

Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.
-- A. Cornelius Celsus

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Milk + Molasses

I love coffee...whether it's from the percolator, bialetti, french press, costa rica coffee sock - any and all of it! But I will say that I'm pretty specific lately about how I take that cup o' joe. I moved in with Gray for a few days, until the 20th - when I'll be moving to another couch. At every house I've stayed at I have been the barista - serving coffee in the morning to my host. Well, for any of you who know Gray, he is very particular about his diet, and very dead set on his views of food. Dairy is definitely not something he consumes often, especially not milk. Never milk. No, No, No. "Have you ever thought if the cows are uncomfortable when they are being milked?" Call me cold, call me heartless...but I don't care, I want milk in my coffee - and that's that! A little bit of steamed milk, just a tab'll do ya {don't worry, I don't torture the cows too much} - and then some molasses. Yep, molasses. Crazy right? But oh-so-delightful! I was on agave for the longest time but I am loving the molasses, and after some research - turns out my body is doing backflips for molasses as well! Molasses is chock full o' nutrients, and you only need a touch to sweeten your cafe to perfection. But listen up - this doesn't go for just any molasses, especially not the watered-syrupy shit that Coca-Cola makes and tries to pass off as "Molasses"...I'm talking about the real deal Blackstrap Molasses.

Molasses FYI

Select and Store:
Look for UNSULPHURED Blackstrap Molasses. It should be stored in a tightly sealed container in a refridgerator or a cool, dry place.

Health Benefits:
Blackstrap molasses is a sweetner that's actually good for you!

Blackstrap molasses is what is removed from sugar cane to make sugar. Sugar has no nutritional value. All of the nutrition is in the blackstrap molasses, which is the highest food source of potassium. One tablespoon of regular molasses has 340 milligrams of potassium, while a tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses contains 720mg! More potassium in the diet can help with high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Also a good source of chromium, which is needed by the body to digest sugar.

You can substitute blackstrap types for other forms of molasses; it still has that distinctly sweet but smoky taste with a tangy finish, and is slightly more bitter than other forms of molasses. You can drizzle it on hot cereal, use it in baked beans, pumpkin pies, gingerbread or a variety of other recipes that call for molasses.