Fave To-Go Food Brands

Here is what I look for when I look for to-go health food brands:

  • Low glycemic index
  • Portable
  • Cute packaging (I judge books by their covers, I just do!)
  • High protein
  • Minimal ingredients

Many of these “qualifications” I’ve cultivated go hand in hand; they are natural byproducts of eating whole foods. However, what I’m including here are whole foods that don’t require any fuss…because they come packaged and are therefore less obviously whole. That’s why I find these finds so special. Here’re the goodies my tummy has been loving lately.

Betsy’s Best Bar None

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These are my favorite post-yoga breakfast! I especially love the cinnamon cardamom ones!

Kind Bars

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What I love about KIND Healthy Snacks is that they are true to their brand name; they promote kindness on a global level through offering grants and video contests. Insider tip: go for the ones with less than 5g sugar.

Core Defender Oatmeal Meal Bars

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Talk about a meal on the go! The minimalism of these ingredients and the protein content make Core Defender Meal Bars a total winner and – I rarely say this – worth their $4 per bar.

Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurts

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If you can believe it, Siggi’s are actually a creamier version of Greek yogurts!

written at good coffee on se division st in portland, or 

Curiosity

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In my broken-legged days and because it was finally time, I watched every single episode of Friday Night LightsThis came in response to the series finale of ParenthoodWhat do FNL and Parenthood have in common? Those not well-versed in the beauty of well-done point-and-shoot television might not know the answer. Heck, I didn’t know the answer until my mom hosted their mutual creator, Brian Grazer at the 92nd St Y. And, because she knows where her loyalty lies, she swiftly mailed me a copy of Grazer’s latest book: A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life.

A Curious Mind arrived to my Portland mailbox at just the right time. With three months left to my AmeriCorps service, I am beginning the job search. But, after reading this phenomenal book, which made bus rides oh-so-pleasurable (this is the power of reading!), I feel like I should call my job search my Curiosity Quest instead. Why? One of the ways that across the board people have suggested I look for my next endeavor is through informational interviews. I’ve been reading up on them all over the place, especially on my new fave website, The Muse. The conflation of the informational interview and what Grazer calls “curiosity conversations,” however, is mine and mine only; among Grazer’s rules for harnessing curiosity conversations, he states that they shouldn’t be about “getting something” out of the conversation. That’s a good thing for my job search process – my Curiosity Quest – because I always get the best results when I don’t go in with expectations!

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But I digress – back to this fabulous book. Reading what Grazer has to say on the subject of curiosity, which he deems as a quality, which is “so little valued, taught and cultivated today,” has made abundant sense. How else would a California man who thought he was going to be a lawyer end up creating a show about a small town Texas football team? He was curious…he found a doorway to knowledge.

Here are some gems from the book:

Curiosity itself is a form of power, and also a form of courage.

Creative thoughts didn’t have to follow a straight narrative line. You could pursue your interests, your passions, you could chase any quirky idea that came from some odd corner of your experience or your brain.

Even when you’re in charge, you are often much more effective asking questions than giving orders.

A big part of “growing up on OM” is understanding what it means to give myself an education post-college. As the next class at my alma mater graduates next weekend, I’ve started to reflect on what true growth means. It means continuously learning and engaging in the cyclical process of reflecting on what it is we are learning (praxis!). This book is an excellent foray into a quality we could all use a lot more of: curiosity.

So tell me: What is it that you want to learn today? What strikes your curiosity?

Alliterative Formula for Weekend Bliss

If there is anything I have learned in the working 40 or more hours a week world it is how to make the most of my weekends. April was a truly crazy work month. Yet I had some of my best weekends to decompress from and refuel for some cray cray weeks. Without even trying, I have come up with a formula for weekend bliss. Let’s call them the four F’s

Friends + Food + Fitness + Flaneur

Friends

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Spending time with the people that make us smile is vital for our happiness. Study after study, past after past has proven to us that we need community to thrive. Spend time with your friends. Do what they love to do thereby being exposed to even more awesomeness. Introduce them to what you love to do. Share your life with the people you love; it’s almost guaranteed to give you more laughter (necessary for happiness) than just chilling out by yourself.

Food

me and the roomies at the waffle window on hawthorne

me and the roomies at the waffle window on hawthorne

One word: #treatyoself. Okay, maybe that’s three words. Use your weekend to indulge in what makes your body and your taste buds feel good! I’m lucky. I’m blessed with both foodie friends and probably the foodiest city like ever (easy to say when I write this from a patisserie that, if not for the chill American pop music, could be straight out of France). Eat out. Try a new food cart. Bake. Cook something fancy that allows you to take your energy out of your brain and into your hands.

Fitness

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Take a yoga class! Go for a run if that’s your thing! Use the weekend to refuel. That means eating well, hanging out with those who uplift us and it most definitely means moving our bodies! Sometimes, the week can make us feel stale. I can guarantee you (it’s how I feel today after going to YoYoYogi yesterday and the gym the day before) that there are few feelings better on a Monday than a balance and well-used body!

Flaneur

taken by julia during my 1st trip to PDX...some things don't change!

taken by julia during my 1st trip to PDX…some things don’t change!

It was during my sophomore year Anthropology of Cities class that I discovered the concept of the flaneur, written initially, I believe, by theorist Walter Benjamin, and realized in turn that I most certainly was one. In middle school, I discovered my love of walking, of exploring new neighborhoods, of getting lost on busy streets and beaming at the newness one naturally comes across when they let themselves wander. Lately, I’ve been walking in downtown Portland for long swathes of time on my weekends. While some need nature to refuel, I need the feeling of busy streets and urban life.

Have a lovely Monday…and know that Friday (and the other four F’s) will be here soon!

Namaste,
Shira

written from St Honore Boulangerie & Patisserie on SE Division St

April Link Love: Teachers, Thrive-ing + The Times Talks Yoga

Introduction to the monthly Link Love column: One of my favorite blogs (and a total blogger role model of mine) is Gala Darling. Every month, Gala Darling publishes a link roundup in a narrative form of what she’s been reading. Lounging in bed on lazy Friday mornings (when I was in college) or Sunday mornings (now that I’m a working lady), I open up the links Gala posts like presents on Chanukah evenings. I want to create a similar experience for my readers…with the added bonus of documenting these reading gems so I no longer have 17 tabs open on Google Chrome. So, without further adieu, thank you Gala for the inspiration. Here is a delightful (Central Park) link carousel of my own.

I met Nicole during Bhakti training as part of my 300-hour with Laughing Lotus. I love her teaching website because it gets to the essence of what she’s about and wants to provide for others.

Speaking of the fabulous Lotus, I got lots of inspiration through Ali Cramer’s Lululemon Ambassador video, where she takes you on a tour of NYC’s Chinatown and her favorite place to buy herbs (for an Ayurveda expert, that’s a big deal!). And speaking of Ali-ma, here’s a one-on-one interview with her and the Adhara online mag.

Via Harper’s Bazaar (an expert on such things), an art director on why she wears the exact same thing to work every day.

For the Yogathon, Living Yoga shares fundraising strategies and special classes in April!

Greatist shares the only 7 things you can control in life.

I love it when the New York Times talks yoga! Especially when it was so relevant to all the travel I was doing – I did every single pose this article recommended…on my cross-continental flight!

A Yoga International article on the mission behind the make-yoga-accessible movement. And speaking of, they’re having their first conference in September!

I can’t sing the praises of this interview and how it brings two aspects of my life together more, but here it is, folks, Melanie Klein, founder of the Yoga + Body Image Coalition, interviewed on Feministing on the power of the intersection of yoga + feminism. #mylyfe

Speaking of, here is a truly earth-shatteringly fabulous interview with curvy yoga Instagram star @mynameisjessamyn.

BUST Magazine reviews the IUD…it’s like a movie review, but more useful.

Here are some Maya Angelou quotes to make your day.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

This girl I went to school with is the new face of herpes (happy STD Awareness Month, BTW!). She’s interviewing her exes on her blog and me and my friends are loving keeping up with her press tour, both internal and external.

Last chance to donate to the Living Yoga Yogathon (sorry not sorry, I had to).

Via HuffPo, Lena Dunham tackles the stigma of mental health with a workout selfie. Bottom line, again and again, it’s about feeling good and Lena Dunham is just quite simply amazing.

BUST lists 7 female musician memoirs you should read. (I want to read Joni’s!)

Via Yoga International, inspire your teaching with the language of the yamas and the niyamas.

Elena Brower, the yoga business machine, did it again with this gorgeous and innovative new website for yoga teachers.

Meg Cabot writes more about the new PD books and I. Am. Getting. So. Impatient.

This SEED program is sparking my educational interest because it is an academic approach to incorporating diversity into both public and private school settings.

The website THE MUSE is absolutely fantastic and coming into my life at just the right time (i.e. as I try to figure out WTF I’m going to do come September).

BUST shares 10 mason jar meals to take to work…time to get domestic!

Via Gala Darling‘s own “carousel,” here are questions to ask before giving up.

Here are 20 career tips from entrepreneurs in a lovely narrative form.

To all the single ladies going through breakups out there, a. I get it right now and b. here are some reasons why jerks show up in our lives, via Danielle LaPorte (also via Gala’s Carousel).

Thrive Forward is a program on Low Glycemic Index clean eating (a process I am beginning on). What a great resource!

Via NYMag, here’s what happens “when rich people marry poor people.” A very interesting topic, especially after meeting a couples finance blogger last weekend at the blogger meetup.

I got quite Glamour.com happy this month. Here are 8 ways to know “he” (I always find the impersonality of their pronouns to be quite amusing!) is in love with you. Now, I read this one for the fashion: profiles of the best plus-size models out there! What TV couples teach us about relationships (because those are, of course, just so realistic!).

Aron Chilewich, fellow Wes grad ’14, wrote this very, very interesting piece on when Burning Man meets Passover (A likely combo? I think not…but he makes it work).

This infographic on where and why people practice yoga…and for how long, is fascinating!

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Happy May, folks!

Namaste,
Shira