Saturday, January 30, 2010

Guest Post: Water Conservation Tips

Today’s guest post is from Faye, part of a PR team that works with Niagara Conservation, a company that manufactures water-saving and energy-efficiency products, including the EcoKits available at

Most households use the vast majority of their water indoors. This drives utility costs up and is damaging to our environment.

Many countries and cities now have water-usage restrictions during specific seasons or drier months, as well as during emergencies. As water shortages increase worldwide, it is important for everyone to use water as efficiently as possible.

The following tips will help you bring down your utility bills and do your part to preserve this critical natural resource:
  • Use water-efficient fixtures throughout your home.
  • Routinely check any water-using devices to ensure they are working properly and efficiently.
  • Take showers instead of baths and save up to 40 gallons of water per shower.
  • Take shorter showers when you can – the water you save this way will add up tremendously in the long-run.
  • Drop all bathroom waste in the trash instead of flushing it – this will save gallons.
  • Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Make sure all your faucets have aerators.
  • Cooking food in as little water as possible not only saves water, but keeps most of the nutrients in the food.
  • Consider buying mugs you keep in the freezer rather than using ice to cool soft drinks, lemonade, or other beverages. This will save water and keep your drink’s flavor intact.
  • Use insulated coolers rather than ice buckets to keep bottles and food cool while traveling.
  • Don’t run your washing machine when you don’t have a full load to wash.
  • Don’t pre-rinse dishes unless it’s necessary – most newer dishwashers will thoroughly clean your dishes without needing pre-rinsing under normal circumstances.
  • Use “gray” water from activities like washing dishes (unless you use harsh detergents) and showering to water plants.
  • Fill clean bottles or containers with water and refrigerate them rather than letting the faucet run until the water is cool enough to drink.
  • Thaw food out in advance or use the microwave if needed on short-notice – don’t thaw out food by running water over it!
  • If you notice a leaking fixture at work, a hotel, or a restaurant, inform someone so they can have it fixed.
  • Wash your car by hand with a bucket or at a carwash that uses recycled water.
  • When buying plants, consult with your suppliers. Native plants grow more easily and require less water and maintenance.
  • Water your lawn during the early morning hours only – this is when less evaporation occurs.
  • Talk with your co-workers and family about ways to save water – education is the first step!
More conservation tips are available on Niagara Conservation's Web site at: Kinetic Go Green Food Storage Containers Giveaway!

The other day I was shopping online for stools and I came across the website I noticed that they carry lots of great eco-friendly products such as Energy Star appliances, eco-friendly cookware, and recycling bins! So when they asked if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway I jumped at the chance!

Enter to win the Kinetic Go Green Glasslock Assorted 6-Piece Food Storage Container Set!

Set Includes:
•Rectangular 1.75 cup (14 oz.) food storage container with lid
•Rectangular 4.25 cup (34 oz.) food storage container with lid
•Rectangular 8.5 cup (68 oz.) food storage container with lid
•Square 2.13 cup (17 oz.) food storage container with lid
•Square 5.13 cup (41 oz.) food storage container with lid
•Square 11 cup (88 oz.) food storage container with lid

•Tempered glass construction
•Silicone-sealed lids create air and liquid-tight seal
•Microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe
•Eco-friendly non-toxic materials
•1-Year limited warranty

The Giveaway:
One lucky reader will win the Kinetic Go Green Glasslock Assorted 6-Piece Food Storage Container Set show above!

To Enter:
Leave a comment an let me know your fave stool at (One of the many stores at *Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. Please leave your email or have it visable in your blogger profile.)

Extra Entries:
(Leave a separate comment for each extra entry!)

-Follow me on twitter (Worth 1 entry. I will follow you back!)
-Follow me on Google Friend Connect publicly (Worth 1 entry)
-Grab my button and put it in your sidebar (Worth 3 entries. Leave a link to where I can find it)
-Tweet the following: "Kinetic Go Green Food Storage Containers Giveaway from @mgonyeo" for 1 additional entry per day (please leave me the url)
-Make a blog post linking to this giveaway and leave a comment with the link to it (worth 3 entries)

Giveaway ends Feb 13th @11:59PM PST. US only. Winner will be picked via, posted here, and contacted via email. Please respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

This was not a paid post and honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own may vary from others. Thank you to who supplied the product for the giveaway.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Today’s guest post is from Matt Voorhees who is the Business Development Representative for Niagara Conservation ( and, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency residential conservation products for over 30 years.

The forerunner of the modern-day flush toilet was invented near the end of the sixteenth century by a courtier and poet whose risqué literary works put him out of favor with Queen Elizabeth I on a regular basis. While his “water closet” was somewhat more popular in the Queen’s court than his poetry, it was nevertheless considered an oddity beyond the court, and it took another two hundred years before someone, this time a watchmaker, capitalized on the design by inventing a sliding valve that could work between the w.c. bowl and the trap beneath it. A few years later, a locksmith came along and created a hinged valve for the bottom of the bowl. And a while after that, a man of science picked up on the basic idea and created a “wash-out” closet featuring a shallow pan that emptied into an S-trap. By the time a pottery manufacturer came up with the idea of a single-until ceramic (and therefore more sanitary) toilet, it was already 1870, and many more seemingly complex inventions—such as the typewriter, sewing machine, combustion engine and telegraph—had already had their debuts and were making life easier in many corners of the world.
All of the w.c. progress noted above took place in Britain. When settlers came to the New World, they left their toilet knowledge behind and we had to start here from square one. The “wash-out” became the “wash-down” when American inventors learned to combine the pool of water in the bowl with a P-trap. And by the end of the century, they had discovered that by diverting some of the water from the cistern to the bottom of the bowl and changing the shape of the P-trap exit so it would act like a siphon to the waste going out, a jet flush could be generated. While we caught up quickly once we got rolling, the chamber pot and the outhouse still remained the only choices for both rich and poor in large cities throughout America—as well as in Europe—well into the nineteenth century.
Although absolutely essential to our lifestyle, toilets simply did not get the attention they deserved for a long, long time. One can only guess that the associations necessarily conjured by a fixture that carries our waste away from our bodies made people reluctant to talk about it. The evolution of the modern-day toilet (I’m emphasizing “modern-day” because the ancients, in fact, had some good working models) seems excruciatingly slow in proportion to the need.
Today the importance of the toilet—and its correlative, various water-waste systems—cannot be underestimated, especially when considering the growth that we have seen in this country over the last one hundred years. Our population could not have stood up to the potential for humans to suffer disease without a sanitary toilet and sewage systems. Typewriters and sewing machines, and even telegraphs and combustion engines, are luxuries by comparison.
Just as we had to create dependable, sanitary toilets before we could start building high- rise, multi-housing units (Can you even imagine living in a high-rise and having to use an outhouse?) and commercial buildings such as factories and plants, now we are faced with another toilet challenge. We have to find ways to create toilets that deplete very little of our ever-diminishing water resources. This became a mandate in the mid 1990s, and manufacturers quickly responded to it. But the first low-flow toilets paid for their conservation correctness with their flushing power—so much so that for a while there, “low-flow” became a dirty word.
But Necessity will always be the mother of Invention, and ultimately designers and manufactures found ways to make low-flows more powerful. Part of the solution was as easy as creating wider flapper valves and trap-ways. And instead of relying totally on gravity, pressurized air could be used in tanks to “push” the water into the bowl more forcefully, compensating for the lower water usage.
In recent times we have seen the invention of the flapperless toilet, a gravity-flush toilet that controls water flow with the use of “tipping bucket” technology, eliminating rubber flappers and flexible seals in the toilet tank. Not only does the flapperless design ensure a powerful low flow, but it also prevents leakage due to common seal deterioration—because in the true flapperless, there is no seal.
And even more exciting may be the “pressure assist” toilet. Its high-performance flush is the result of a bladder inside the tank that uses compressed air to ensure sufficient expulsion.  One gallon-per-flush (GPF) and even .8  (GPF) is ridiculously low when you compare it to the 7.0 gallons-per-flush that was accepted as the standard only 50 years ago.
Whereas the modern-day toilet began its evolution in the minds of a few creative individuals, now huge multi-million dollar companies are devoting all of their creative energy to ongoing refinements. Each improvement to the toilet means thousands of dollars in savings over the lifetime of the product, and of course it means vast energy savings for the planet as well. Realtors and builders and property managers are beginning to understand that by changing out old toilets for new—in homes, schools, government facilities and commercial buildings—they are appealing to a trend that is driving consumerism all over the country. Retailers and utility companies are accelerating this large-scale “retro-fitting” movement by offering clients and consumers discounts and rebates that make it impossible not to retrofit.  Especially now, in this otherwise weak economy, new toilet sales—along with those of other green products—are hard not to notice. If ever there was a moment in the sun for that once-so-neglected fixture—the toilet—it is now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Fave Links of the Week!

Here's what I've been reading lately:
  1. 7 Delicious Vegan Recipes
  2. 15 Fun Feng Shui Tips
  3. An Almond Smoothie to Boost Your Energy
  4. Alkalize Your Body to Get Healthy and Reach Your Ideal Weight
  5. Life without Plastic Bags
  6. 8 supereasy detox juices
  7. Natural Cleaning; 5 Uses For Lemon
  8. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows [New Book]
  9. Some Dude’s Mom Will Reknit Your Old Sweater Into a New Scarf for $30
  10. Six Essential Superfoods
What are you reading?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yantra Mat - Fully Tested and Approved!

So I finished week two of testing out the Yantra mat and this is my final review. If you missed the first two parts please read those first: What is a Yantra Mat? and Yantra Mat Review (Week 1).

This past week I tried all of the basic positions shown on

This is the position that I recommend starting off with. It is very comfortable especially if rest your head on a folded towel. The first week I wore a tank top, but this week I tried it with just a sports bra as is shown on the website. Even with the sharp points on my bare skin I was still very comfortable.

I found this position very comfortable with a tank top on and with a folded towel under my head. However, when I tried this position with just a sports bra on as shown in the picture below I found it VERY uncomfortable. I guess my stomach is just too sensitive.

In this position you have the mat on a chair and sit on it as shown here. I liked this position a lot. If I cound sit on this at work without everyone thinking that I was a weirdo I totally would.

This position totally surprised me. After trying the stomach with just the sports bra position I thought this position would be horrible. I am not able to lay my head down on the mat as a pillow the way it shows in the picture because my ears are too sensitive, but just pressing my cheek onto the mat for a couple minutes completely relieved my jaw pain! I have very bad TMJ so this is really amazing. I will be doing this position often.

I learned that lying on the mat energizes me too much, so I can't use it right before bedtime as is recommended in days 5-14. I believe I will continue using the mat almost daily as a way to reduce stress and relieve jaw pain when I get home from work.

I personally think the mat is totally worth the $69 price tag (for the medium size), if you are looking for a new way to relax and relieve pain. What do you think? Would buy one? Let me know your thoughts!

This review is solely my opinion. Other people may have different experiences with the product. I have received no compensation for my review other than receiving a sample to test.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guest Post: Parmesan Polenta Recipe

Today's guest post is from Robyn Webb who is an award winning nutritionist, cookbook author, chef and teacher, Robyn Webb has been a passionate advocate of cooking well and eating wisely for most of her life. Because of health problems within her own family, mostly notably diabetes, Robyn learned early on the importance of a balanced, healthful approach to eating.

In 1996, Robyn received the prestigious President’s Council on Fitness, Healthy American Fitness Leader Award, co-sponsored by the National Jaycees and Prudential Life Insurance Company. She is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and serves currently as the past chairman of the Cooking Schools and Teachers section. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition and Florida State University with a Masters of Science degree in Nutrition. Robyn is also known for her upbeat TV appearances, classes & workshops (she owns Pinch of Thyme Cooking School in VA). and she is the Food Editor for Diabetes Forecast Magazine.

This recipe is vegetarian, but not vegan so even though it sounds delicious I will not be testing it out. But, if someone would make some for my husband I know he would be very grateful!

Polenta is one of those great comfort foods that reminds me of the little black dress: you can keep it plain and simple or jazz it up; either way it’s a standout.

I got hooked on polenta many years ago while in Italy and ever since have been on a quest to find the polenta I remembered having in Rome. It was very smooth, went down like silk and was more white in color than the typical yellow colored one offered here in the US.

While having lunch one day at the Tasting Room, a wonderful restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, I stopped next door on the premises to their store called the Butchers Block that sells wonderful and interesting gourmet products. Tucked into a little basket in the corner was Moretti, a fine grained polenta that through the package I guessed might be the end of my quest to find that Italian polenta I still dream about.

I decided to a be bold and test this out on a my students at Open Kitchen one night for a Tuscan class. I figured why not go beyond my opinion to see what the masses thought. Well, all I can say is that I had everyone asking, now how do you spell Moretti?

Moretti Polenta can be found at Butchers Block, King Street, Alexandria, Va 22314

4 servings

Polenta Pointers
Make sure you have a long handled wooden spoon to stir. You will be stirring A LOT and the wooden spoon will give you some stability.

When you add the polenta, do so slowly in a steady stream. This will ensure the polenta comes out smooth and creamy.

Polenta may be made with milk, but I prefer the lighter taste with water.

Learn a basic polenta first. It’s one of the most classic Italian dishes to learn how to prepare well. Then get crazy: add herbs, spices, serve with sauteed meats on top, etc, etc.

This is the classic porridge style polenta. I prefer this version. If desired, you may pour the contents of the cooked polenta into a square pan, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, cut the polenta into squares or diamond shapes and grill or broil the pieces. Serve them with a nice marinara sauce on the side.

4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup imported polenta
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese (please don’t use the stuff in the green can!)
1 Tbsp butter
Garnish: basil leaves

1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a 3 to 4 quart saucepan set on medium high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta.
2. When the polenta has been whisked in, begin stirring with a long handled wooden spoon, wearing kitchen mitts to avoid splattering yourself. Reduce the heat to medium and stir for 7-15 minutes until the polenta is thick and comes away from the sides of the pan.
3. Add the cheese and butter and stir well. Taste and correct for seasoning.
4. Pour onto a flat platter and serve immediately. Garnish with basil leaves

Photograph: Olga Berman

And now a few words from Olga: When Robyn gave me this recipe to test and photograph, the directions said to stir polenta for 20-30 minutes. However, when I started to make this recipe, it was perfectly done after about 9 minutes. I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised: that meant there was no need to stir polenta for 30 minutes, and my arm did not feel like it was going to fall off. I called Robyn, and she said she just wanted to make sure I was getting the same results as she did: I passed the test!
In other notes, I did not have basil, so used dill. Feel free to use any fresh herbs you have on hand.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yantra Mat Review (Week 1)

If you follow my blog you know that I had never heard of a Yantra Mat before I received one in the mail last week. Since then I have used it for ten minutes a day and have enjoyed every minute of it!

(Sorry about the horrible picture!)

According to the website "For the first few minutes, you will likely experience discomfort; this will subside." I actually didn't experience any discomfort at all, which surprised me because the points are very sharp to the touch. This may have been because I wore a tank top each time which put a layer in between my skin and the mat.  So far I have only tried lying on my back with my knees bent, but this week I plan on trying out some other positions.

My only previous experience with acupressure is when I have squeezed my hand in between my thumb and pointer finger in order to alleviate headaches. I found that lying on the mat gave me the same sensation! It kind of felt like my brain is a little tingley, in a good way. This does not explain the sensation well, but it is the only way I can think to describe it. I felt very relaxed and comfortable the whole time.

I have also noticed feeling more energetic than normal this past week. I'm not sure if this is related to the mat or not. I will have to see if this continues in the next week!

From On the back of the Yantra Mat you'll notice an Indian meditation symbol, the Yantra. This word comes from the Sanskrit word yan, which means “form,” and tra, which means “free.” The Yantra symbol will remind you to breathe deeply and relax, even when you're too busy to lie down.

The Yantra Mat is made of 100% cotton. The spiked flowers are made of 100% non-toxic ABS plastic.

The mats are available in 2 colors: purple and green (I have the green one)
They come in 3 sizes: medium, large, and extra large (I used medium)

This week I will start using the mat for 20 minutes a day. I will update you next week on how this goes!

So, what about you? Have you ever tried acupressure? Would you like to try a mat like this?

This review is solely my opinion. Other people may have different experiences with the product. I have received no compensation for my review other than receiving a sample to test.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guest Post: Top 10 Reasons To LOVE Being Vegan!

I would describe my diet as 95% vegan working towards 100%. Here is a guest post from Tess Challis --vegan chef, author, wellness coach, healthy cooking instructor, meditation instructor, and weight loss coach. Her website is Radiant Health Inner Wealth.

This post was inspired by all the wonderful New Years Resolvers (A word? Not a word?) who are new to being vegan. I've received countless messages from folks who are making veganism their New Year's Resolution this year! So, I thought they might enjoy hearing why a seasoned (19 years of spice) vegan loves it so much!

So here goes...

The Top Ten Reasons Being Vegan Rocks:
1. The food tastes amazing! Who could possibly feel deprived while eating "Chocolate Bliss Pie" or "Soba Noodles with Vegetable Tempura and Ginger-Daikon Sauce?"

2. The health benefits are profound. For example: Not only did my acne and chronic health conditions clear up when I went vegan almost two decades ago, but they have never returned!

3. Being vegan brings a peace and harmony to your whole being. Basing a diet on plant foods reduces the "bad karma" that arises from eating animal foods, as well as elevates your state of consciousness. Yes, I know this sounds new-agey! But I also know it's true. Try it for yourself - give up animal foods for a month and observe the difference in your state of mind.

4. You'll end up spending less money in the long run. Yes, I know organic produce can cost a small fortune. But, when you're not shelling out big bucks at the doctor's office, you'll still come out ahead!

5. You'll discover a whole new world (a delicious and fun one!). Have you ever used things like coconut butter, cacao nibs, shiitake mushrooms, or bean thread noodles? You will now, and your taste buds will give you that long overdue trophy.

6. Being vegan automatically reduces (drastically at that) your risk for all kinds of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

7. It's just good clean fun. When you "lighten your load" with your diet, you begin to feel lighter in all aspects. You feel better. You wake up energized. You enjoy life more and more on every level!

8. It's the most versatile diet on the planet! Sounds crazy, but once you stop thinking about all the things you "can't" have, you'll be amazed at how much more varied your diet will actually be! Thinking back to what I ate in my pre-vegan days, it all sounds so boring to me now. Chicken nuggets and burgers don't hold a candle to Thai Spring Rolls and Chili-Lime Noodles (two foods I knew nothing about before going vegan)!

9. With all the great products on the market these days, you won't miss a thing! Even if you want to keep eating basic things like "chicken nuggets" and "cheese pizza," it's no problem! There are delicious vegan options for anything you can think of these days. Try some Daiya cheese on your quesadilla or some crumbled tempeh in your chili. It will still please the palate, while simultaneously keeping you happy and healthy!

10. My 6-yr-old contributed this last reason. She's been vegan all her life and loves it too! In her words, "Lots of reasons. But I guess mostly just cuz I don't want to hurt animals."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Guest Post: Is the phone book obsolete?

Just the other day I was thinking about how long it has been since I have used my phone book. The I saw this article at posted by is a website where you can get paid for recycling your used printer cartridges, cell phones, and M3P players.

When you want to find the phone number of a local residence, where do you look for the information? Do you haul out the white pages to “let your fingers do the walking” through the entries, or do you search online using one of the internet’s free directory services?

According to, as many as 5 million trees are cut down to create the white pages phone books that are dropped on our doorsteps each year. Additionally, taxpayers spend $17 million per annum to have these books recycled.

In rebuttal, a detailed Yellow Pages’ blog demonstrates the process of making paper for the Yellow Pages industry uses mainly woodchips and saw mill byproducts as well as recycled newspaper and directories.

Regardless of which data is more accurate, when you consider that today’s consumers most likely use online directories, social networks, and mobile phone applications to find the contact information they need, some feel it simply does not make sense to have the white pages phone books automatically delivered to us every year.

According to a recent survey, over 80% of consumers would support an ‘opt-in’ program (only receive a white pages phone book upon request) if they knew it would have a positive impact on the environment and save taxpayers money. has gathered more than 20,000 signatures for its “Ban the Phone Book” campaign, which seeks the creation of “opt-in” programs for white pages phone books so they are delivered only to people who request them. The idea is so popular that its fanpage has already garnered nearly 6500 fans on Facebook.

According to an article at the New York Times, “Legislation aimed at limiting the distribution of white pages directories only to people who request them — or at least providing customers with a way to opt-out — has already been introduced in several states, including Alaska and New York.”

According to the article, state laws require telephone companies to print and distribute free phonebooks to their landline customers. Free deliveries began in California and many other states more than a dozen years ago as a way to minimize calls to directory assistance and promote yellow-page advertising programs. However, in this digital age, many feel the books are simply a waste of paper. Some of the telephone companies agree and are testing their own white pages opt-in programs.

“It’s all about choice,” said Fletcher Cook, a spokesman at AT&T, in an interview with the New York Times. “We want to act with an environmental conscience but also respect our customers’ preferences.”

To assist consumers with this choice, the Yellow Pages Association, a trade group representing most phone book publishers in the United States, has created a “Yellow Pages Opt Out” site that allows users to type in their ZIP code to obtain a list of local publishers; it is then up to the consumer to notify them directly if they want delivery stopped.

If you want to join the white pages opt-in movement, add your name to the petition at More than 16,000 people already have signed the petition.

Meanwhile, don’t just toss your outdated phone books into the trash! I keep a copy in my car to help when I’m trying to locate a business while out and about. Or, contact your local Yellow Pages publisher for phone book recycling drop-off locations.

Creative Commons photo credits:
Wet phone book by / CC BY 2.0
Trashbin of phone books by: / CC BY 2.0
Phone book recycling by:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How my Husband Became a Pescatarian

Here is a guest post from my dear husband about how he came to be a Pescatarian. You can find my husband at his blog or on twitter @lost_in_beer.

My lovely wife asked me to write a guest post over here at TheStyleMD, specifically asking me to talk a little bit about my transition away from eating meat. Melissa went veggie last Winter. After observing the wifey go without meat for a number of months, I came to two main conclusions, which follow.

#1: I don’t like what’s in most meat.

During the spring months when I was still eating meat but she was not, we began learning a lot about the health benefits of abstaining from meat. We listened to a few books on tape (the titles I can’t recall) and watched Super Size Me. Furthermore, Melissa passed along tid-bits of information as she ran into it on the interwebs.

Side note: While I have a chance, I want to throw in a plug for the movie Food Inc. I had already stopped eating meat by the time the movie hit theaters…but nonetheless it’s an excellent film that everyone should see.

In learning about factory farming, I was most concerned with the various additives, preservatives, and medications that could be present in meat. For example, I’m an engineer by day, so my analytic side freaked out when I learned that ground beef could have meat from dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of cows. Contemplating the exponential number of “bad” things that one could be exposed to in just one hamburger was a big deal for me.

#2: I don’t NEED to eat meat.

We were trying a number of meat substitutes. Many of which were sub-par, but quite a few which were quite good. In once instance involving a particular brand of soy-based hot dog, I liked the “fake” version WAY better. You can eat a couple of these particular hot dogs without getting that bloated “ugh, I just ate two hotdogs” feeling. You could call this my “AH-HA” moment.

I didn’t need to eat meat to be happy. In fact, NOT eating meat PHYSICALLY made me feel better, and thus made me happier.

Finally, I had watched Melissa go veggie for months. It looked really easy, and the diet seemed so much healthier. The fact of the matter was, when we ate at home, we were eating a vegetarian diet (after all, we weren’t about to make two dinners – a veggie one for her, and a meaty one for me). Neither of us missed eating meat.

So in early summer 2009 I became a pescatarian: a big scary word a vegetarian who also eats fish. I couldn’t give up sushi; sorry fishies! Since then I really haven’t missed meat. Every time I think I miss it, I watch someone eating it and get grossed out.
To everyone who eats meat: Learn about what you eat. I won’t ever try to push my views or my lifestyle on anyone else, but I HIGHLY recommend that everyone learn about what they are eating, where it comes from, and what is in it. You owe yourself that at the very least!

To anyone considering going veggie: I recommend you just give it a try. If it isn’t for you, you can go back to meat. No one will hold it against you. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What is a Yantra Mat?

I had no idea until I received this in the mail today.

I opened the mat.

Hmmm.... The mat is about 2 1/2 feet long and a 1 1/2 feet wide (without using a ruler). There is foam inside and lots of white plastic circles on top with sharp points sticking up. Still don't know what to think...

Then I checked out the website to figure out what I am supposed to do with this.

Here is what I found on the website:

•Stressed out?
•Sleeping poorly?
•Experiencing fatigue?
•Muscle tension?
•Back or neck pain? 

You don’t need to be interested in yoga or acupressure in order to use the Yantra Mat. Just lie down, and the mat will take care of your rest.

In minutes, you’ll feel warmth along the parts of your body touching the mat – that’s an increase in blood flow, a natural response to acupressure. Improved circulation means lower blood pressure and better nutrient delivery.
Additionally, the Yantra Mat’s 8,820 acupressure points provoke the kind of clarity and focus that usually comes with prolonged meditation or intense physical activity. A more relaxed state further improves circulation.

I do have a problem with muscle tension in my back and neck and who doesn't want to reduce stress? So, I decided that I will test this mat out for ten minutes a day for the next few days and then come back and post my experiences.

So, have you ever heard of an acupressure mat? Would you ever try one? Wish me luck!

This review is solely my opinion. Other people may have different experiences with the product. I have received no compensation for my review other than receiving a sample to test.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Love the Green Giveaways!

I am a totally giveaway addict. Here are some green giveaways that I'm entering with right now!

Yogavive Yogachips ~ Flavored Organic Dried Apple Chips Giveaway from Leslie Loves Veggies!

Village Naturals Bath Products Giveaway from Mama's Money Savers!

Eat Cleaner Biodegradable Fresh Produce Wipes Giveaway from A Giveaway Addicted Mommy!

Sweet Leaf Bath Soap Giveaway from Canadian Natural Mama!

Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Lotion Giveaway from Three Different Directions!

Let me know if there are any green giveaways that I have missed! Good luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2010!

2009 was a great year for me. I made a lot of important changes in my life in the last year. I became a vegetarian and started practicing yoga. I got braces to correct a jaw issue which had caused me to have debilitating headaches almost every day. I started twittering and blogging about green and vegetarian issues which cause me to learn a great deal. All of this was very life changing in the best way possible. Also, thanks to my sister, I got a brand new nephew who I am madly in love with! 2009 was a really great year.

But, I know there are more good things to come so I am looking forward to 2010.

Here are my resolutions:

-Cook more. My husband and I rely too much on processed, packaged foods. This is not good for our health or the environment. I'm a terrible cook, but I think I just need more practice.

-Become more flexible. I am going to start to stretch a little bit everyday to improve my yoga practice and become more flexible.

-Be able to do real push ups. My upper body is so weak and I would love some beautifully toned arms.

I think these are all very doable, which is important so I don't get discouraged. I will let you know how I do!

How was 2009 for you? What are your New Years resolutions?