For over a week, I have been wracking my brain for something to say on this darn blog. I have literally sat down twice and begun writing things, only to get distracted and never finish. Let’s just say that my attention span is limited to visual appeal. I am of the kind that can remember your face, what you wore, if you smiled, how you smelled, and generally everything about a person except their name and ‘how they were that day.’ With this said, I think it is very suiting that I recently finished my bachelor’s degree in photography. So, what do photographers blog about…
This past weekend was one of great enjoyment for me. I spent all day Friday at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur listening to a slew of bands, two of which really caught my eye, War Paint and Sleepy Sun. War Paint is a band I had never heard of before, but will definitely see again. Consisting of 3 women and one man, this psychedelic folk group captivated the audience with their soulful and melodic tunes. Their style blended the teenage angst of Minor Threat and the saucy vocals of Crass with heavy psychadelic riffs more influenced by Phish and later Anastasio projects. Sleepy Sun is a local Santa Cruz band who I have been following for a quite a while. There is no way to put my finger on their sound and style other than saying that they are the high minus the drugs. I saw them once, and have gone to every show since for over a year now. Here is my favorite picture of the week of their lead singer, Bret.
The other day I was in Los Gatos at Sur la Table, and a certain kitchen gadget caught my eye: the Misto olive oil sprayer. Misto is a refillable canister which can be hand-pumped to produce a fine mist of oil. After a week of using Misto, I am quite impressed with its performance and would recommend it to anyone who uses olive oil in home cooking. Here’s how it went:
I filled my Misto with olive oil and pumped feverishly until I felt too much resistance to continue. It is a pretty easy process, but after a while can get a bit tiresome. (You pump the Misto by pushing the cap up and down over the canister) If you have enough will to pump the Misto totally, the charge lasts for a few meals. Otherwise, you have to pump it each time you apply a mist. Overall, the pumping is the worst aspect of the Misto, but not enough to turn me off in comparison to all its positive benefits.
I like using the Misto to lubricate pans and baking dishes before cooking with them. The Misto produces a mist that works just as well as Pam or any other kitchen spray, but doesn’t have an unnatural taste or residue like those store-bought mists. I will even use the Misto to top broccoli or pasta instead of tossing the food with oil, as the coverage tends to be a lot lighter and even. I don’t really eat salad, but I imagine that the Misto would be an awesome substitute for too-rich vinegarettes if you added some balsamic to the salad and then sprayed a light layer of Misto over the dish.
I have begun to use the Misto almost daily in my cooking, and I feel like it has improved my diet a lot. My foods are less oily and taste fresher and crispier as left overs. I also can appreciate the money Misto saves by using less oil and saving me from buying cooking sprays. I am not sure if other oils can be used in the Misto, but it would be worth trying out. For about $10, I think the Misto is a great buy in all aspects.
Live Green. We hear this catch phrase tossed around so often these days. But until a few days ago, living green only meant recycling and biking to work for me. I never knew that applying this statement to every aspect of my life could be so rewarding and easy, until my first nutrition consultation with Jocelyn last week.
Going in, I was a little nervous about letting my employer in on my history of dietary indiscretions, picky eating habits and lack of exercise. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the baby steps Jocelyn was willing to take with me.
Despite the fact that there are only about 4 or 5 vegetable which I will really eat, Jocelyn had a world of information on how to incorporate these, and other not-as-nasty-as-I-thought greens into my diet. We found ways to work greens into my morning routine through treats like broccoli pancakes and sweet beet smoothies. She also taught me that a little spinach goes a long way, but does not add any “green” flavor to smoothies or shakes. Getting my daily dose of greens as early as possible really helps sustain my energy and health throughout the day, even if I don’t get a chance to eat another serving later.
Before my nutrition consultation, I was scared of the word, color and taste of green in reference to food. But now I realize that there are so many ways to get this important food group into my daily routine without much effort at all. Little by little I am living greener everyday. I even tried kale for the first time yesterday, and to my surprise, it really wasn’t that bad.
Sometimes I think we forget that we live in Santa Cruz. Not in a medically concerning way, but in a getting caught up with life and bills and work kind of way. We forget that the air we breathe is that little bit cleaner and crisper than most folks. We forget that wildlife still gets to be wild around us. We forget that the epic and enamoring Pacific Ocean is right on our doorstep.
This afternoon I felt the walls closing in on me at home and so I stepped out into the lovely warm sun and wandered toward West Cliff. Being a Tuesday it was not jammed with weekend cyclists and tourists, so I strolled peacefully along the coast. I thought about lots of little things and made plans for the rest of the day. It was calm at sea so instead of watching surfers battle it out for the next wave, I watched two guys goof around in kayaks. At the surf museum I sat on a bench and listened to the sea lions honk. A man wearing a shirt that looked like it used to be a curtain in a Hawaiian breakfast diner made me smile. And then I walked home.
All in all I probably spent 40 minutes escaping the same old routine and thinking back over it tonight, it was the best part of my day. I’m promising myself to do it more often. After all it’s the summer. We should all be soaking up Santa Cruz!
So Jocelyn and I are at the downtown farmer’s market on Wednesday (which is our regular Wednesday date now for more than 12 years!) a little later than usual because Jocelyn’s 4:00 p.m. client had called to say she couldn’t make it. No sooner had we approached our first stand when Dana calls and tells Jocelyn that her 4:00 p.m. client is there and ready for her appointment!
So, we finished up at Route One (thanks Ora) with carrots for juicing and green plums for devouring and headed back to NOURISH. Jocelyn goes in with her client and I am left to fly solo at the market.
Particularly in the summer having two of us is great. Not just because Jocelyn looks awesome in her summer attire, but also because there is such a bounty to gather and return with. So I gather the bounty myself: two bags full of onions, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and 1 full flat of Frog Hollow peaches, nectarines (white and yellow) and apricots.
I’ve got the smaller of the 2 bags on top of the 10 lb+ flat of fruit, which I am carrying in both arms like an offering, and the larger of the two bags over my left shoulder. Sure the bags and box are heavy, but that is not my dilemma.
My dilemma is that I am a yogi. So after years of practice my shoulders have a natural inclination to NOT hunch, which means one of the straps of the large bag is falling off my left shoulder and I’ve got all this ridiculously beautiful if not fragile fruit in my arms. Luckily, I’ve seen hunched shoulders, so had some idea how to do it and safely transported all the produce back to NOURISH.
Luckily for me, Jocelyn was the one who had to bring all that stuff home.
It’s been such a great morning! I just finished consultations with fantastic clients who are motivated to transform their health. It is so great to see people get excited about having a new list of healthy groceries to buy, breakfast menus to try, and energizing snacks to carry with them on the go. Though our sessions are packed with information, I remind people of the easiest way to improve their nutritional well-being-one bite at a time.
When the idea of yoga, nutrition and wellness was first put forward to me by my beautiful wife, I approached it much like a toddler approaches broccoli… with fear and trepidation. After eventually succumbing to her pleas to take me to a yoga class, I was pleasantly surprised… and embarrassed; most of the class breezed through the poses while I ached from muscles I never knew I had. Still, it gave me a new found respect for everything I had previously dismissed as “for hippies” and sparked my interest.
Arriving at Nourish a year later, I promised myself I would embrace everything with an open mind and try to make some healthy changes. I’ve been here just over a month now and although I’m still a while away away from doing head stands and turning my back on pepperoni pizza, I can honestly say… I feel better. Just spending time in an environment that puts an emphasis on health and wellness has made me make better choices inside and outside of the Nourish studio. They are not big changes, but everyone has to start somewhere. So now, I try to take a yoga class every week, and I stretch every night and a few days ago, when offered the chance of a fried pork sandwich or vegetable pasta, I went for the pasta. Why? Because there was broccoli in it. And these days, I really love broccoli.
I am so excited that the lending library at NOURISH is finally up and running! Victor and Jocelyn have generously supplied NOURISH with tons of yoga and wellness related materials for clients to enjoy.
Clients can check out up to 3 books or magazines for a period of 2 weeks at no cost. How cool is that?! In addition, many of the books are available for purchase at the reception desk (along with copies of Victor’s Yoga and Travel Yoga videos).
We have books about yoga theory, poses, buddhism, achieving inner peace, general wellness, cookbooks and much more!
Some of the authors in our collection include: Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, B.K.S Iyengar, Leo Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King Jr. We also have various magazines and compilations published by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
There is something for everyone to enjoy, so come check it out!
I am so loving being at NOURISH! Our central location in downtown Santa Cruz gives so many more people access to our full schedule of yoga classes. Better yet it’s only $50/month for unlimited classes! Since we’ve opened I’ve seen students who previously practiced yoga only once or twice per month now practicing yoga 3, 4, 5 times a week and some nearly every day!
How awesome is it that Jocelyn and I offer our services in the same place now?! Not only do we get to see a lot more of each other and collaborate professionally, but our clients and students are seeing the powerful combination of yoga and mindful eating.
Additionally, massage is an integral element of our menu of services, with 6 practitioners practicing more than 15 styles, our clients and students are stoked to be able to care for themselves all under one roof!