March 27, 2011


OK princess, time to clean out the castle!

Now that you have cleansed your body, your other temple needs tending to. Here's how to detox your sacred space:

DETOX your KITCHEN, tips from Raw Food Detox Diet author Natalia Rose:
~ Remove all food from the kitchen/pantry.
~ Throw away the crap (edible food-like substances).
~ While the food cupboards/storage spaces are empty wipe them down clean.
~ Put the great stuff back in, wiping every item in the process.
~ Maybe transfer grains/snack to clear glass containers for a pretty look and easy-access.

Apparently, most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. DETOX your wardrobe and be ruthless. CLICK for tips. Except: hang or fold like items together (t-shirts, cardigans, yoga pants...) and color-code. Do not organize by outfits, as this article suggests, that's just ludicrous.

Natalia Rose revelation: Clutter can cause weight gain, since people tend to eat to avoid a task. By clearing out your junk and making your space a highly functional part of your life, you and your body will be all the more inclined to follow suit.

When your person is clean and your environment is pristine; this blank canvass is an invitation to get GLAM. On your body and in your surroundings allow only the most beautiful things. Things of high quality that look and feel rich.

 Yes, we can be clean, green yogis and all the while glam too:
"Opposites by their very nature are extreme and therefore inherently glamorous." -Scott Joyce

Of course, like all great things, true glamour is no easy task:
"Part of being glamorous is taking risks." -Jay Jeffers

March 24, 2011

one-day cleanse

Let Spring in with a one-day cleanse!

The Hippocrates Health Institute philosophy is founded on the belief that a vegan, living, enzyme-rich diet — complemented by exercise, positive thinking and non-invasive therapies — are integral to optimum health. Brian Clement, PhD, LNC, from Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach Florida is one of the leaders in the field f natural and complementary health care and education. Dr. Clement believes a weekly 1-day cleanse, combined with a pure diet and an exercise program, is the best means of self-maintenance at our disposal.

This one-day cleanse is adapted from Super Cleanse, Detox Your Body for Long-Lasting Health and Beauty by Adina Niemerow. This "One-day Wonder Cleanse" will reset your body and re-calibrate your palette. It's a raw food extravaganza!

Throughout the Day ~ Hot water with lemon
Breakfast ~ Heavenly Green Juice
Mid-morning ~ Watermelon Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
Lunch ~ Chunky Green Gazpacho
Dinner ~ Sassy Sausalito Salad

In Adina's version you would choose 3 of the 4 meals above, but I had it all... If you don't have a juicer omit the juice, have the watermelon for breakfast and then continue your day with the gazpacho and salad.

Sip hot or warm water with lemon through-out the day and aim at imbibing about 1 liter of water per every 30 lbs you weigh or 3 liters at the very least! Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your water a-la Master Cleanse. 

Heavenly Green Juice
1/2 head celery (four large sticks)
6 leaves rainbow chard or beet greens
1/2 apple
2 cups pea sprouts*
1 small cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

There's nothing better than Green juice to give you energy, get your digestion going and to calm unwanted cravings. This is the only part of the day that I didn't find that tasty. Drink it anyways.
* My Jack Lalanne juicer doesn't love sprouts, but I love my Jack Lalanne juicer. You can eat the sprouts in your soups and salads later if, like mine, your juicer doesn't do well with small entities. Check out the benefits of sprouts here CLICK.

Watermelon Salad:
2 cups chopped watermelon
2 cups arugula julienned (i used a bunch of parsley, dandelion greens would be good...)
1/4 cup diced jicama (optional)
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds (I used at least 2 tablespoons.)

toss with combined:
2 tablespoons flax oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
pinch of salt

Get your vitamin C and A from the watermelon plus so much more...

Chunky Green Gazpacho (Adina calls it "Blissful Blend Broth")
1 cup water (the good kind)
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
minced garlic clove
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup sprouts, any
1/2 large avocado (whole if your hungry)
handful fresh herbs of choice (parsley, basil, cilantro...)
salt, cayenne, lemon juice and hot sauce to taste

Blend, but leave a little chunky. This soup is pretty amazing. I was weary when piling the layers of raw veggies into the blender, but man this stuff is good. After a small taste, J said he would eat a whole bowl of it and looked a little disappointed I didn't make him extra. Tip: include those around you on your cleanse... these recipes do not have to be taken alone, they will have lots of benefits when supplemented with a regular diet. J would have enjoyed a cup of the soup as a snack for sure.

Sassy Sausalito Salad
1/2 head of romaine, chopped
1/2 cup endive
a few cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup arugula (I did not have any and put in some parsley.)
1/2 avocado chopped (Of course, I am a trash-compactor so I used a whole one.)
2 tablespoons raw almonds (I use the raw almond butter incessantly so I substituted raw pistachios.)

dress with combined:
2 tablespoons flax oil
juice of one lemon
minced clove of garlic

Make extra if you are dining with others this salad is great with a meal as well. Because I am a pansy when it comes to cleansing, and a monster when it comes to eating I snacked on a little avocado, a handful of raw nuts and some extra watermelon throughout the day.

Adina's book Super Cleanse contains different types of cleanses of different lengths–– eg "Urban Revitalizer" 5 day cleanse, "The Three-day Face-Lift Cleanse"––  that all involve juices, salads and/or soups: a gentle, but powerful way to cleanse accessible to us all. The above cleanse can be repeated as much as once a week and, like Dr. Clement of the Hippocrites Health Institute, many health practitioners believe one day a week is more effective maintenance than lengthier cleanses in less regular bouts. 

Cher 's main thrill in life is a makeover, it gives her a sense of control in a world full of chaos. You will feel the same way about this detox. 

Alicia Silverstone is a Vegan. 

March 21, 2011

i wear my rose-colored glasses at night

Wrinkles and depression be gone! Great for skin, uplifting the mood and improving circulation: rosebud tea soothes and calms.  Use 2 tablespoons of buds per cup, soak in just-under-boiling water for 4 minutes. 

March 20, 2011

Aspen Magazine

Happy first day of Spring! J and I were engaged one year ago today. 

You can click and zoom on the pic for the article... or I included it below. A better digital version of this page to replace the above photo is coming soon–– but I couldn't wait! for a copy

Kindred Spirits

Astrid Parker & Julian Kirschenbaum

 Who? A pair of high school sweethearts from Cleveland who met at a school dance at age 15. They moved to Aspen straight out of college, Astrid working as a yoga instructor at O2 Aspen, Julian as a ski instructor for Aspen Skiing Company. The two now live in San Diego (while Julian attends Law School) but hope to return to Aspen as soon as an opportunity arises.

Where? The Ceremony took place at Ajax’s summit, with cocktails at the Aspen Mountain Club and dinner and dancing at the Sundeck–– all catered by The Little Nell.

What? A three-day extravaganza with a different theme for each day: Aspen Chic, Rustic Elegance, and Wild West. Thanks to the faultless planning of Astrid’s mother and events planner Jason Burns, Astrid claims that her engagement and wedding were one hundred percent stress-free.
            Aspen Chic materialized as an evening of pure glitz and glam at the Nell–– mountains of caviar, free-flowing champagne, an oxygen bar, a huge floating monogram in the pool, and fabulous fireworks to round off the night.
            Rustic Elegance, being the big day, demanded classic black-tie elegance on top of the mountain, with a dreamlike palette of creams and pinks coupled with sheer white cloth draping and tea-light chandeliers. However, the bride’s stunning pink, cream, pale yellow, and gold plaid dress kept things fresh and unpredictable.
            At the start of the ceremony, a fox came right up to the couple and quietly watched their nuptials from start to finish before scampering off into the backcountry, at which point Julian turned to the congregation and said, “Astrid is one foxy lady!” The newlyweds believe that the animal was the spirit of those who had recently passed–– Astrid’s father and Julian’s grandfather–– coming back to join them for their special day.
            The final day, with its Wild West theme, threw formality to the wind with a boot-scootin’ hoedown at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch. But the lowering of the pomp certainly didn’t equate to a lowering of standards: a well-known bluegrass group, Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband, kept the party alive well into the night. 

March 19, 2011

yoga off the mat

The awe-inspiring Carmen photos and enlightening poster are courtesy of

...And here we (you) thought it was all about the poses. The exercise, the asana, flat abs, perky yoga butts, push-up Lululemon bras and acrobatic handstands; that is yoga, right? Well, yes, but it's not even the tip of the iceberg.

Trying to describe the many dimensions of yoga beyond the gumby moves and clean smelling sweat is no easy task, but the above chart does so beautifully. The physical movements are one of many limbs to eternal bliss. 

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 8, 2011

There can be no yoga without TAPAS

As human beings, we are constantly involved in an activity that can affect our lives in two basic ways: it can either reinforce our conditioning or serve as the ground for positive change.

Within each of us lies the potential to reduce and ultimately to eliminate undesirable characteristics, dysfunctional patterns, and impurities from our systems.

TAPAS: Purification. The fire of disciplined practice destroys impurities and leads to the mastery of the body and the senses. The means by which we purify and transform ourselves.

In depriving ourselves of something to which we are habituated we resist acting on our habitual patterns and this resistance creates an internal heat that purifies, strengthens and transforms us. In order to get rid of something undesirable in our systems we must break patterns. We strengthen ourselves in order to break the cycle of habitual and addictive behavior that keeps us enslaved.

Stop anything you do mindlessly.
Dietary restriction: become aware of nourishment we take for granted, recognize our reliance on food for emotional well-being and as a source of entertainment.
-Recognize how we are slaves to our habits and addictions.
- Take note of things while generally attractive to us are nonetheless harmful to some dimension of ourselves.

TAPAS requires discipline and enthusiasm. It is using your will to overcome your conditioning.
Discipline is actually a path to happiness.
all of the above is a summary from Yoga for Transformation by Gary Kraftsow. Chapter 2 Transformation Through Practice, Part I Tapas: The Purifying Heat.

Another Lenten option for the next forty days: 40 days of yoga with Baron Baptiste

 "Why forty days? Because the number 40 holds tremendous spiritual significance in the realm of transformation. Jesus wandered the desert for forty days. Moses and his people traveled through the desert for forty years. Noah sailed his ark for forty days and forty nights. According to the Kabbalah it takes forty days to ingrain any new way of being into our system, and that is what we are aiming to do here: wipe out he old and welcome the new." and let's not forget Buddha sat meditating under his tree for forty days.

March 7, 2011

more vegan baking

To this simple chocolate cake I added chocolate chips. This cake is not a new age-y vegan concoction, but rather a tried and true mainstay reminiscent of world-war-times when eggs and butter were scarce commodities. It is not about rebelliously staking my claim as a non-meat-eater (although I respect that wonderfully powerful stance.) Instead, this chocolate cake has me romanticizing over my European roots in a time when looking into ones ancestry is de rigueur. Do you know your family history?

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, followed by Ash Wednesday, the first day of forty day Lent. Though I did not grow up in a religious household, Lent is the perfect time of year (just before Spring) to pare back. It is a time to simplify and, if you wish, restrict yourself from an indulgence you take for granted. Traditionally, animal products are abstained from, and that will likely be my personal sacrifice, but you take your pick. Choose something that improves another's lot or evokes genuine self denial. Until then...

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup water

1. Sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt.
2. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar and water.
3. Mix until smooth. Stir in any add-ons (nuts, chips...)
4. Bake in a 9x5 loaf pan at 350 for 45 minutes.
5. Cool and enjoy.

This recipe and the recipe for vanilla cupcakes are better the next day (I refrigerated them and thoroughly enjoyed the chilled results.) Scroll down for the Vanilla Cupcakes!!! Both are from (as well as Dana's Weeknight Brownies CLICK and Faux Vegan Chocolate Mousse CLICK.) Lots of Chocolate for Fat Tuesday! Enjoy!