One Love

One Love
"We need to move beyond the idea of 'environment' and fall back in love with Mother Earth." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wheatgrass Express

One of my favorite things about Northwest Arkansas is the entrepreneurial spirit that encompasses the region. I recently visited a new business in Springdale called Wheatgrass Express. When I called to ask for directions, Ross, one of the owners, told me to look for the red truck with wheatgrass all over it.

Wheatgrass Express is the one stop shop in NWA for seeds, sprouts and growing equipment. At the front of the building, there is a small retail store that offers various types of high quality, organic seeds; equipment to grow sprouts and wheatgrass; and a reasonably priced hand juicer.

Wheatgrass Express is a husband and wife team that sells their wheatgrass and sprouts to area restaurants and juice bars. My first experience with a wheatgrass shot was at Inta Juice in Fayetteville. Ross said that they saw a need for sprouts and wheatgrass in the region and decided to fill that gap.

The growing facility is very clean, bright and open. The grass and sprouts are grown on trays and are carefully managed. There is a system in place for making the grass grow at an even height. Wheatgrass Express does custom orders for various restaurants and juice bars throughout the region.

I must admit that my favorite part of the tour was when Ross pulled out some cups and asked if I wanted to try a fresh wheatgrass shot!

The shot was bright green, smooth and had a sweet after taste. Two of the health benefits that I like are the shots stimulate the thyroid gland and increase energy levels. You can read about all of the health benefits on the Wheatgrass Express website.

Ross was such a great host and sent me home with a couple of bags of sprouts to try. I couldn't resist and started to munch on the sunflower sprouts on the way home, pretty delicious! I have been using the sprouts on wraps and toppings for various dishes such as chili and stir fry, they add a nice crunch.

Don't be afraid to try a green shot of wheatgrass packed full of antioxidants, you may end up craving the shots like I do.

You can also find Wheatgrass Express on Facebook. Let me know if you have any experience with wheatgrass shots or how you use sprouts in cooking.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Active Life Acupuncture

My friend Hayden recently launched his business Active Life Acupuncture. While I had tried acupuncture in the past, I didn't feel like it was for me. I didn't like yoga either and now I am in training to be a teacher.

Hayden's office is located in downtown Fayetteville on School Avenue, in a super cute old house. His office is warm and welcoming with a lot of natural light. Hayden is a board certified acupuncturist, Diplomate of Oriental medicine and certified yoga teacher. At Active Life Acupuncture he offers acpuncuture, fire cupping, medical massage, Moxa, Chinese herbal medicine and private yoga lessons.

I recently had my initial appointment with Hayden. The first appointment begins with an interview. The interview tells Hayden why you are seeking acupuncture, any areas of the body that may be in pain, health history and getting to know each other. After the interview, he evaluated my posture, took my pulse and asked me to move my injured shoulder in several directions.

Since I have had acupuncture in the past, I wasn't nervous about the needles. The needles are sterile, very fine and are never supposed to hurt after they are adjusted. 

My personal experience is a slight shot of tingling, which Hayden told me is your body's normal response to recognizing what is happening. I have also experienced a dull ache but not to the point where I can't relax. Hayden informed me that sometimes it will feel like the needle is in for a few hours after the visit. For me, the worst part of acupuncture is the needles in my ear. I can hear the needle poke into my skin, but it doesn't hurt.

The last part of acupuncture is the best part, relaxation! Hayden made sure that I was warm enough and left the room for about 15 minutes. I was so relaxed and comfortable that I drifted in and out of sleep. After resting, the needles are gently taken out and you can go about the rest of your day reaping the benefits.

I chose to seek out acupuncture for depression; however, acupuncture can treat a variety of ailments from immune disorders, pain management, addiction and various other issues.

If you are curious about acupuncture and alternative medicine, I recommend giving Hayden a call, his easy nature and genuine desire to help is sure to put you at ease.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's no longer summer

This weekend it hit me, summer is over. It won't get up to 90 degrees and I won't swim over lunch break but it's the perfect time to go camping.

In my opinion, snowfall, the ocean and fire are three of the most mesmerizing natural occurrences. Furthermore, food cooked over the campfire tastes so much better then food cooked in the oven. We were lucky to have the best campfire cook with us! Mark cooked foil packs of sweet potatoes, onions and squash from the Bentonville Farmers Market. The meat eaters enjoyed chicken from Adams Acres on Clear Creek.

I am pretty sure that the dogs had the best weekend ever! They enjoyed swimming, sleeping in the tent and being around their people. Keema continues to amaze me with her sweet and gentle soul, I know she is here to teach me something. Dogs really make you see what it is like to live in the moment. They weren't depressed by the past or anxious for the future, they just enjoyed.

I hope that you have a chance to go out and connect this fall. Connect with nature, other living beings and your friends; feel what it is like to disconnect from whatever it is that doesn't concern you in that moment. Truly find joy in just being here, now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I want to be honest here, I am not sure if the vegan lifestyle is for me. I have not exactly been 100% faithful, although I try.

The vegan chocolate bar I was noshing on last night!

Almost a year ago, I decided to only eat meat and eggs if it was local and I knew where it came from. Local meat is expensive, so I ate less and less. One day, I splurged and bought an $18 steak. The smell of meat cooking has always made me nauseous, this day was no different. I ignored the smell and sat down to cut into the juicy steak. I couldn't eat it. I could taste the iron and feel the muscle fibers as I was chewing. That day sealed the deal and I stopped eating meat.

A serving of four raw shiitake mushrooms has only 26 calories and less than a gram of fat. They also provide 2 grams of dietary fiber, helping to keep you feeling full and satisfied, and nearly 2 grams of protein. -Maia Appleby

I have been trying very hard to cut out animal products all together. I do feel healthier and have been losing weight without additional exercise. However, I have been thinking about several things. I personally know several dairy farmers who love their cows and treat them with the utmost respect. They live in clean and healthy environments and are treated like pets. What would happen if cows were suddenly released to the wild? Roam the streets, hungry and sick? Do I agree with large scale agriculture, no. What I do believe in is small farmers and revolutionizing our food system.

Speaking at Crystal Bridges Museum at CR(EAT)E about local food.
I used to have chickens, that I loved and they all had names. Red, one of my favorite hens, would wait outside the back door and follow me around "helping" wit chores (eating spilled grain). Sometimes she would lay down until I picked her up and would sit on my shoulder. Without a rooster, the eggs hens lay are wasted. Why should the unfertilized eggs not be utilized as a food source for humans or other animals? In the fall, chickens molt. What this means is that they start losing feathers and regrow long ones. They also stop laying eggs so they can conserve energy to regrow feathers. When I had my chickens, molting time was just a time that I didn't eat eggs.

There is a season for everything, a season for tomatoes, squash, eggs, blackberries and mint tea. Personally, I believe in finding a balance, in taking care of myself as well as animals and the environment. If one becomes more important then the other, then both are being damaged. So do I want to label myself as a vegan? No, labels suck anyway :) I do want to eat consciously, with respect to how my food was grown, what season we are in and how my body feels.

Keema says there is also a time for pumpkin hats and toys!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Farm to Table: Beans & Brunch

Part of my role as the Bentonville Farmers Market and Community Programs Manager is to promote local food. Farm to Table events combine local food, musicians, venues and community. The third Farm to Table of 2014 was Beans & Brunch!

The beans portion of Beans & Brunch was Airship Coffee. Bags of green coffee are stacked in rows, the roaster is huge and shiny and the aroma of coffee fills your nose. 

Mark and Amber, the owners of Airship, import specialty, green coffee from farmers that they have a personal relationship with. Mark's relationship with the growers is special because he is committed to help the farmers improve the quality of the coffee as well as drive demand. Airship provides coffee to many local restaurants and can also be found at the Bentonville Farmers Market. 

Brunch was served up by TrickDilly, a new local food truck. Troy and Rebecca are committed to doing a much local sourcing as possible and can be spotted shopping the market on Saturdays. Troy was so fun and easy to work with and created specialty tacos just for Beans & Brunch. 

Two and a half hours before the brunch was to be served, I delivered frozen bacon from Mason Creek Farm; sweet potatoes, red potatoes and apples from Horn Farms; and arugula and basil from Rocky Comfort Natural Farm and Troy and his team made it happen! Tacos were coming out of the trailer at a perfect pace, still fresh and warm but fast enough to fill our bellies!

Going on blind faith and several good review from friends, I booked The Sons of Otis Malone and they couldn't have been more perfect. Their lighthearted lyrics and upbeat rhythms kept the brunch lively. 

I believe that Farm to Table events allow us to connect. Connect to our local food system, business owners and each other. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Yoga Teacher Training - Day 5

On the last day of, the first 50 hour training, we were asked about our experience. My response was this: There were times that I really wondered what the hell am I doing here. There were also times that I knew I was in the right place. I learned that yoga is much more than posture practice and that I have been pushing my body through things that it isn't ready for. I learned that I was the youngest person there with the most work to do to correct my body. Part of that work is rolling around on the floor like a baby every morning to reawaken muscles deep inside.

Going to the Circle Yoga Shala is really transformative. Staying on a sustainable farm with compostable toilets and a plethora of "garden food" brought me out of my normal comfort zone and reset my mind. There were times that I had to shut down and be silent to recharge and there were times where I laughed until my stomach hurt.

Part of the training was teaching. The feedback I got from my teaching style is that I have a soothing, calm voice, I am good at teaching inquiry and that I connect to people. My major critique was that I need to be more confident. The thing about being immersed into a studio with yogi's is, you can't fake it.

The next 50 hour session will be in November. My work before November includes fixing my posture, strengthening my shoulder (old injury that never was addressed) and finding my confidence again. Friends, know that you are enough. Inquiry is not to condone or approve of, it is to observe, like science.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 1 - Yoga Teacher Training

In the spirit of being authentic, I want to go home. I want my space and what makes me comfortable. To put this in context, after farmers market I go home and sit, in silence. People take a toll on me and I know this about myself. During the next four nights I am sleeping in a room with two other people; constantly around people, energy and noise. I am actually enjoying my finance homework, on the down time, because I can be alone in my head with numbers.

I feel as if I need to have a part of me die so I can learn and grow. I need to learn to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. However, I also want to honor my authentic self. At the same time, I am not sure that I know my true self.

Don't get me wrong, this place is full of love and peace with a lot of good energy. The instructors are so kind and knowledgeable. The other students certainly have a passion for yoga, but I am having a hard time connecting because I just want to be still. I don't want to come off as rude, I am just a reserved person and I don't know how to communicate that.

Today was all about hands and feet as well as the history behind yoga. I taught about hands and feet to a partner and got some great feedback. I am excited to see what tomorrow brings, I just need to push through the doubts. Put one foot in front of the other, take one thing at a time and be present.

I can't wait to share about the farm and the food! Peace be with you my friends.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Eating out while vegan

I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes, but I really love to go out to eat! One of the initial fears I had of adopting a vegan lifestyle was eating out. Would I be able to find something for me? Would it be good? I played it safe for the first trip out and went to The Farmer's Table Cafe in Fayetteville. With a tagline of "where locals meet and eat" and a garden outside, you know it's going to be good! 

The restaurant aims to support local farmers and provide the community with fresh local food. I figured this cafe would be the perfect place to have my first vegan meal outside of the home and it was! 

I had previously met our waiter, Cody, in acro yoga class! After looking over the locally sourced menu, I decided on the Garbanzo Burger with no bread (wasn't sure if the bread had butter), extra tomatoes, with shitake mushrooms from Sweden Creek Farm and homemade hummus with a side of veggies sautéed in coconut oil. This meal made me do a little dance in my seat it was so delicious! 

I was a little bit overzealous and started eating before I snapped a photo!
I noticed on the way into the restaurant that the special's board had a vegan, gluten free peach pie listed. Cody told me that the pie was from Kind Kitchen! I was so full from the meal that Cody brought me the pie to go. So that answers the question was it good, YES!

One of my main concerns on this journey is how this lifestyle will affect my social life. I believe that when you share meals together you get to connect with people on a whole other level and I don't want to lose that. 

Tomorrow, I will drive down to the Circle Yoga Shala to start my yoga teacher training! I am excited to start teaching and further my practice.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day three of deciding to go vegan

It is day three of deciding to go vegan. I already did away with milk and prefer coconut milk at home and use coconut oil and olive oil instead of butter. The tricky part will be my beloved lavender latte from Onxy coffee.. The harder part is giving up cheese, but after a bad encounter with spoiled mozzarella that isn't proving to be to hard.

My typical morning routine is; take my thyroid medicine (I have to take it 30 min before eating), run the dogs and get ready for work. I typically make a smoothie for breakfast consisting of: coconut milk, plant based protein powder (in bulk at Ozark Natural Foods), frozen bananas and another type of fruit. I used to love adding raw kale from friends at Rocky Comfort Natural Farm to my smoothies but found out that cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, are considered goitrogenic foods and that people with thyroid problems should cook their cruciferous veggies before partaking.

It is hard for shepherds to get up in the morning! 

One of my new guilty vegan pleasures is indulging in vegan indian tacos at Kind Kitchen, who just so happens to be outside of my office window. It is actually pretty horrible because I can SEE people eating the vegan cupcakes from outside of my window and my will power is only so strong..

Last night, I dreamt of ordering a cold brew and the barista insisting on put half and half in the coffee. This dream proceeded the dream of a piping hot breakfast sandwich with stringy cheese, eggs and bacon. It is funny because I haven't had bacon in a good month! Time will tell if the vegan lifestyle is right for my body. 

Any other vegans out there have "forbidden" food dreams when first becoming vegan?