Yoga and Nutrition

Tweets and a poem

This is just to say that I've finally joined Twitter: @CaraAnselmo. (With such a bird-like name, it's a wonder I didn't get into it sooner.) Follow me for all manner of fun, important, serious, and utterly ridiculous tweets about nutrition, yoga, chocolate, and whatever else life brings.

Also: Any time I hear or use the phrase "this is just to say," I have to recognize one of my favorite poems, by William Carlos Williams, which recognizes one of my favorite fruits, which reminds me of summer. How I hope summer will arrive again soon, and the rain and chill will go away.

As so I conclude this somewhat stream-of-consciousness entry. Good night and love.


My agenda: Eat less meat.

Someone recently asked me if I have "an agenda" with regard to what I post here, and how I encourage friends and clients to eat. I certainly have an agenda, but it's not nefarious. It's to help improve people's individual health and quality of life, as well as promote compassion for all living beings.

In case you haven't read about it yet, a study published in the online Archives of Internal Medicine earlier this week shows, yet again, that eating less meat is more healthful. We already know that a diet lower in animal products and higher in whole plant foods may reduce chronic disease risk. This research also suggests that mortality (all-cause, cancer-related, and cardiovascular-related) increases with a higher consumption of red meat -- both processed and unprocessed.

It's not only about what you don't eat, though. Replace your hamburgers, ounce for ounce, with ice cream, and you're unlikely to benefit very much. (Not that I don't love ice cream, but...!*) Replace your red meat with nuts, legumes, and grains, however, and you may decrease your mortality risk by almost 20%, according to this new evidence.

So yes, I have an agenda. I post about information I believe will improve our individual and collective wellness, and I'm not ashamed to say it. Eating less meat is part of that.

* If you get your ice cream from one of my favorite places on the planet, Lula's Sweet Apothecary, you can kiss two birds with one peck: most of their ice creams are nut-based rather than dairy-based. My favorite flavor combination, for the record: double chocolate chip + strawberry. Yes.


Playlists from yoga asana class

Some of you lovely people who come to my classes at NY Yoga ask me about songs and playlists. I'll be posting a few this week, with gratitude toward these awesome artists. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do!

Playlist #1

Haldi - Flunk
Soldier of Love - Sade
Dheere Dheere - Alisha Chinai
Believer - MIA
Feeling Good - Nina Simone
Shiva Shankar - Jaya Lakshmi
Aham Premal - Donna De Lory
Forever - Little Dragon
Pashupati - Sharon Gannon
Storm of Prayers - Craig Kohland


Three reasons for a vegetarian Thanksgiving

1) Ahimsa: Non-violence.

It's best if we don't cause any innocent being harm or suffering through our own willing actions.

2) Brahmacharya: Restraint.

Just because something pleases our senses (eg, tastes delicious, feels good) doesn't mean we have to possess it.

3)  Vegetables, fruits, grains...

These vegetarian recipes from the NY Times look scrumptious!


Requisite fall recipes, #5

Last recipe here, and it's a goodie. Try these cookies still warm, with a glass of almond milk or a cup of ginger tea. Then, if you like them, make a batch to give away. (After all, we always -- and only -- get back what we offer out!)


RECIPE #5: Chocolate chip cardamom cookies



¼ cup organic butter

¼ cup canola oil

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 organic egg

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup chopped-up good quality chocolate (if you're using chocolate chips, I recommend Ghiradelli)


1) Preheat oven to 350 F. 

2) Cream butter, oil, sugars, and vanilla until smooth.  Add egg, beat thoroughly.

3) In a separate bowl, mix flours, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices. 

4) Add dry ingredients gradually into butter mixture. Stir until just combined, then add chocolate bits. 

5) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 7-8 minutes or until tops of cookies just start to brown. Remove from oven promptly and let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool thoroughly.