Butterflies on the echinacea


Butterflies
Originally uploaded by macro808

When I was looking at all the flowers on the Kushi Institute grounds, I was amazed to see the butterflies on the echinacea. Sometimes, nature just grabs you and doesn’t let you go, holding you in her mystery. I love that feeling of wonder and how such simple pleasures tug on your heart and make you feel so happy to be alive.

Breakfast with Sanae

On this final morning before heading off to get ready for the summer conference, I had a wonderfully simple and satisfying breakfast of brown rice and quinoa hot cereal, greens, apple sauce and miso soup. I shared the table with Sanae (of the incredible cookbooks Love, Eric and Love, Eric and Sanae) and heard about her retreat that they do in Yosemite. I’m planning to check it out. She’s the sweetest person!! Her husband, Eric, sometimes cooks for Sting and Madonna. They also have a cafe in their home on an occasional basis (once a week, or once a month?? I forgot what she said) where they prepare the meal for people and eat by candlelight as a way to protect the environment. I’ll post their website info soon so people can go and look at it.

Greetings from the Kushi Institute

I have been up at the KI now for a few days enjoying a little bit of R and R before the summer conference begins. I’m getting lots of rest, eating 3 gorgeous meals a day, going for walks through the forested roads, taking in the fresh mtn air, and trying to do yoga when I can. Level 4 is going on, and I do wish I could take this level while here!

Tonight’s dinner was marinated tempeh with carrot sauce, hijiki with sauteed onions, greens, two types of homemade daikon pickles, and a brown rice salad with vegetables. It was so satisying.

I’ll be off to set up for the conference on Tuesday and to check out the Boston area. Hopefully I can post pictures of some things soon.

Bharadvajasana 1


YOGA
Originally uploaded by macro808

Yoga students Sarah Myhre, left, and Leslie Ashburn show Bharadvajasana 1, Stage 1.

(Pose Dedicated to a Sage) » This sitting twist relieves lower back pain and increases the spine’s suppleness. Regular practice helps tone the kidneys and increases the range of movement in the shoulders. Here, we present the first stage of the pose. People who are unable to sit on the floor can do the chair twists we have shown in earlier exercises.

1. Sit on the floor with the legs straight (dandasana).

2. Fold your legs to the left with the front of your left ankle resting in the arch of the right foot.

3. Keep your knees close to each other and sit the left buttock on the right heel. If your pelvis tilts down to the right, raise the right buttock on a folded blanket or two. The pelvis should be level.

4. Keeping your buttocks down, lift your trunk as you inhale, then exhale and turn to the right. Hold your right knee with your left hand and take the right hand onto the floor behind your left buttock.

5. Use your arms to help you turn your trunk to the right. Use the breath. As you inhale, lift your trunk, exhale and turn. Keep your chest open and your shoulder blades down and into the back. Gaze over your right shoulder. Stay for up to a minute then return to the center. Straighten your legs and repeat to the other side, reversing the directions.

Ray Madigan and Shelley Choy are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors, and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor’s approval before commencing this yoga practice.

starbulletin.com/2007/07/15/features/yoga.html

Fertility and Diet

Low-Fat Dairy Products Linked to Increased Infertility Risk

A new study found low-fat dairy product consumption is linked to an increased risk of infertility. A total of 18,555 premenopausal women from the Nurses’ Health Study II who attempted a
pregnancy or became pregnant between 1991 and 1999 were evaluated for the association between dairy products and infertility. Women who consumed two or more servings per day of low-fat dairy products had 1.85 times the risk for infertility. While total dairy product intake
was not associated with an increased risk of infertility, the majority of fat in dairy products is saturated fat, which is linked to increased cholesterol, insulin resistance, overweight and obesity, and other health problems.

Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, Willet WC. A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Hum Reprod. 2007;22(5):1340-1347.

Meat-Eating Moms Have Less-Fertile Sons

A new study in Human Reproduction finds that a pregnant woman’s meat consumption can reduce her future son’s sperm count. Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York analyzed the relationship between various sperm parameters of 387 men and the eating
habits of their mothers from the Study for Future Families. The more beef a mother consumed, the lower her son’s sperm concentration. Sperm count was 24 percent higher in men whose mothers consumed less beef. The difference may be due to steroid hormones found in animal products. Six hormones are commonly used in the United States to induce increased growth and development in cows, and measurable levels are routinely present in the animals’ muscle,
fat, liver, kidneys, and other organs. Cattle raised without extra hormones still have significant hormone levels in their tissues because of endogenous hormone production, and the nutrient profile of animal products tends to elevate hormone levels in the human body.

Swan SH, Liu F, Overstreet JW, Brazil C, Skakkebaek NE. Semen quality of fertile US males in relation to their mothers’ beef consumption during pregnancy. Hum Reprod. Advance access published on March 28, 2007

Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables are virtually fat-free, low calorie and one of the richest sources of minerals in the vegetable kingdom as they have ready access to the abundance of minerals found in the ocean. Sea water and human blood contain many of the same minerals in very similar concentrations. Sea vegetables contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorous and are extremely high in magnesium, iron, iodine and sodium. One of seaweed’s most prominent health benefits is its ability to remove radioactive substances and other heavy metals from our bodies. Components of the sea vegetables bind with the toxins in the intestines rendering them indigestible and carry them out of the system. Nori is exceptionally high in vitamin A and protein. Types of sea vegetables include arame, hijiki, agar-agar, wakame, kombu, nori, sea palm, and dulse.