Yoga Summer Maintenance

One of the countless things I love about summer is how the added heat and humidity makes my yoga practice feel even more cleansing, relaxing, and opening than usual. With the additional warmth and sun, however, also comes added precaution to take on the yoga mat as we’re at a greater risk of dehydration and overheating.

We hope the tips outlined in this blog can help you maintain a full and healthy practice all summer long.

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Iced Berry Blend Tea

Our organic berry blend is one of our favorite teas to serve over ice for a refreshing summer brew.   Made from raisins, hibiscus, cranberry, elderberry, and blackberry, it’s delicious as is or with a bit of lime juice and natural sweetener like honey or agave.

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Dandelion Greens Pesto

As someone who recently relocated to the woods of Easton, CT from New York City, it’s challenging to accurately describe the feelings of gratitude and contentment I feel every time I visit Sport Hill Farm. I am continually inspired by the tireless work of Patti and Al Popp, who founded this neighborhood farm in 2001. From late spring until the autumn harvest, their rustic market shelves are overflowing with fresh, sustainably grown produce.

Last month, I noticed bundles of dandelion greens for sale at the farm. Admittedly, the few times I had tried cooking this humble weed in the past, I found myself recoiling from its bitter bite.  Patti Popp completely renewed my interest in dandelion one day when she told me that she transforms the greens into flavorful pesto. The idea was enticing and I had to try it myself.  The result was a delicious and versatile spread that tastes quite different than traditional pesto.  I chose to add some toasted walnuts and blanch the greens, which significantly cuts back on their bitterness.

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Garlic Scapes are in Season!

The first time I saw garlic scapes at a farmer’s market, I thought, “What on earth is that?!”  I soon learned that garlic scapes are the lime-green, curly flower stalks of the Rocombole hard-neck garlic plant.  As you can see in these photos, it’s no wonder they’re sometimes referred to as “serpent garlic.”

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Create a Hummingbird Friendly Garden

Though I grew up in Fairfield County, CT, I had no idea about the abundance of Ruby-throated hummingbirds that venture up this way for the summer. This changed when my younger brother, Charlie Plimpton, completely opened my eyes to an incredible world that exists right in our backyard. Charlie, who is completing his bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation biology at the University of Rhode Island this winter, has loved hummingbirds since he was a boy. Initially, he began hanging sugar-water feeders around the yard for these magnificent little creatures. A few years ago, he began cultivating a passion for gardening, which led him to create an ever-expanding oasis of hummingbird friendly flowering plants.

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What’s Your Mantra?

First, what is a mantra? 

The word mantra, which literally means “instrument of thought” in Sanskrit, originally described sacred and vibrational sounds or Sanskrit words or phonemes repeated as an offering or to deepen one’s meditative state.  As the world has grown smaller and more interconnected, the definition of mantra has expanded to mean a phrase, in any language, repeated with regularity.

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Welcoming Summer

Summer is around the corner. The other day I was speaking with Laura Wittmer, who is a teacher at a Waldorf School, an educational system that aims to inspire creative thinking and a holistic passion for learning. We were discussing the importance of not over scheduling children’s summer vacations.

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Coconut Black Rice Pudding

This coconut black rice pudding makes a delightful and healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert.  It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and processed sugar-free, too.

Black rice is indigenous to Southern Asia and an excellent source of iron, vitamin E, fiber, and flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins.  In Chinese medicine, it’s considered a good blood tonifier.  Black rice has been consumed for centuries in China.  In fact, because of its rich nutritional value, legend has it that it was reserved solely for the emperors’ consumption.  As a result, it was granted the names “emperor’s rice” and “forbidden rice.”

Enjoy this simple pudding warm or cold.  As always, feel free to be creative in the kitchen!

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Soothing Tea Eye Compresses

Looking to get even more healing benefits from your organic Arogya tea?

Try using our green or chamomile teas to make soothing tea eye compresses.  Resting with chilled tea bags over the eyes for 10 to 20 minutes can help reduce and prevent puffiness and nourish your skin.  It’s also a wonderful way to unwind anytime of day.

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