Oolong 101

For many, green tea is the gateway to cultivating a love for fine teas. Black teas remain classic and time-honored, as they are the teas most ingrained in our culture, an influence of the British. Oolong is a class of teas that finds itself in between Green and Black teas, in terms of flavor, caffeine content, color, and oxidation level. For this reason, the more accessible Greens and Blacks can sometimes obscure Oolong tea in America. However, it is well worth the effort to open our minds and taste buds to the allure of Oolong, which is an extraordinary and sophisticated category of tea that ranges in flavor from sweet and floral to dark and nutty.

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Baked Mochi – A Delightful Snack!

We have a new favorite snack at Arogya: baked brown rice mochi topped off with a bit of raw honey and sesame seeds.  This warm delight is a perfect compliment to a hot cup of tea, especially in the dead of winter.

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Aunt Gayathri’s Ragi Roti

During my most recent trip to South India this January, I had the privilege of spending time with my dear friend Gayathri Muralidhar and her family.  I met Gayathri in 2006, when I visited Myosre, Karnataka for the first time.  In the years since, Gayathri has become like an aunt to me, and her house a second home. In addition to being one of the most kindhearted and generous individuals I have ever met, Aunt Gayathri is an exceptional chef.  In fact, her food is by far some of the best I’ve ever had in India (and the world) and I find myself longing for it all year long.

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Overnight Muesli Viva Recipe

I recently returned from a trip to central Brazil, far from the rain forest, and days from the beach, in a savannah-like region known for its national park, hundreds of waterfalls and quartz crystal deposits. There’s nothing like escaping the cold of winter to a warm climate! Though it was challenging to leave behind the sun, waterfalls, fresh mangos and papayas, I was able to bring back something that is as easy to enjoy here as it is in Brazil; a recipe called Muesli Viva, or “raw, live muesli”. It’s a combination of rolled oats, soaked nuts and seeds, rehydrated dried fruit, and whatever seasonal fruits are available. Muesli Viva makes a wonderful breakfast, hearty snack, or healthy dessert. I’ve been enjoying this treat in the mornings and whenever I need a nutritional boost.

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A Perfect Breakfast or Anytime Biscuit

In August of 2006 I did two things for the first time. First, I made a trip to Karnataka, South India and fell in love with the place. Secondly, I tasted what would become one of my favorite grains of all time: Ragi, or finger millet.

Ragi is a red, gluten-free millet varietal that’s notably high in iron, calcium, fiber, protein, and the amino acid methionine.

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A Resolution for the Earth & Your Garden: Compost!

Over the holidays, I was particularly excited to receive a new compost bin from Wei and Gregor of Arogya. I know… this doesn’t sound like the most glamorous gift, however it will play an invaluable role in nourishing my gardens and a small but still important part in combating global warming.

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How a Yoga Teacher and Therapist is Giving Back

A few days ago, I published a blog about my recent visit to the Deenabandhu Trust Children’s Home, an organization in Karnataka, South India that’s committed to building brighter futures for orphaned and destitute children. Today, I’d like to expand upon the giving efforts of Anouk Prop, a psychologist, yoga teacher, and trauma-healing therapist from the Netherlands who has been volunteering at Deenabandhu for the past four months. I feel so fortunate for the time I spent with Anouk and the ability to witness her work.

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A Visit to India and to a Place that’s Changing the World

Over the past 10 years, I have been very fortunate to visit India 11 times. The purpose of these travels has been to volunteer, study yoga and meditation, and, most of all, explore and soak in the rich experiences this massive land has to offer. There is one place in India that has influenced my life more than any other. This is the Deenabandhu Trust Children’s Home, an organization in the rural town of Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, South India that provides care, shelter, education, and emotional support to over 80 orphaned and destitute children.

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Dense & Nutritious Banana Bread

I was at the grocery store the other day and noticed that they were selling dozens of very ripe bananas.  This sparked my desire to try and create a healthier yet dense version of banana bread.  After some experimenting, I was really satisfied with the following recipe and wanted to share it with you.  It uses a combination of nutritious barley and protein-rich almond flour.  Barley is is a low-glycemic grain that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as hearty amounts soluble and insoluble fiber.

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Reflections on Fall

Autumn is a magical time of preparation, transition, and integration. As the days become shorter, I notice that my skin is calling for more hydration, I’m craving more sleep than I do in the summer, and I’m catching myself contemplating the mysterious cycle of life as I see each burnt-colored leaf hesitatingly twirl towards the deep lull of Winter. Because the Fall can be very busy for most people, it is essential to listen to our bodies, and to honor what it is calling for.

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