Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A few things to inspire NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

 I love New Year's Resolutions.  It's fun to set goals and even more fun to meet them, the trick is to make your resolutions attainable.  And I think it really helps to make it fun.  Treat yourself to some new yoga pants or some nice gear to compliment your goal.  If you are trying to be more organized, get some nice bamboo organizers, make sure you have the tools to see it through.

Every year the resolution I hear most about  is to improve eating habits.  I do NOT recommend going on a "diet".  If you are going to refine what you eat to be healthier---great.  But don't torture yourself.  It has to be a lifestyle change and it has to be enjoyable or it probably won't take.
Enter APPETITE FOR REDUCTION, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I have all her books and have relied on them for my baking needs (scones, cupcakes, muffins, cake...after all that we needed her recent effort).  For a while I was baking all the time because I was having so much fun with her books and I really appreciated not having to veganize conventional recipes.  She has done a lot for dispelling the myth that vegan food equals rabbit food or that it's not satisfying.

APPETITE is just as fun--look at the sassy cover.  As with her other books, I love the little shadow box tips and the way she anticipates the readers needs.  The book includes gluten free and soy free recipes immediately identifiable by icons. The tone is conversational and often humorous and the book is not just about leaner recipes.  Appetite refers also to environmental impact, animal cruelty and your bank account. 

If one of your goals is to have a calmer 2011, or to get in the habit of  mediating, there are tools for this as well.  Time factors heavily in meditation.  That temptation to wonder how long you've been sitting there, the urge to peek over at the clock..this is distracting!  And sort of the opposite of meditating.  This MEDITATION TIMER from Sage Meditation is a nice solution for this.  You set the time you want your meditation to last from five to sixty minutes, and a pleasing gong sound goes off at the start and at the end, allowing you to slowly come out of your meditation.  You can hear what it sounds like on the website. My five year old loves this--we have started with the five minute increment which is actually quite great for a child--and he enjoys the ritual.  *I like Sage Meditation's offerings and plan to become an affiliate in 2011.

Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
LIFE IS A VERB: 37 DAYS TO WAKE UP, BE MINDFUL, AND LIVE INTENTIONALLY would be a fun way to start the new year. As the title indicates, there are 37 creative and fun exercises to live intentionally.  I love the ephemera-type multi media artwork and short little stories that inspire. 

Bosu Balance Trainer Home Version
I think this is a good thing to have for at-home fitness, particularly for small spaces.  It  works great as an alternative to the mini trampolines and large fitness balls.  It works your core and is fun at the same time.  My five year old got very excited about it and enjoyed the dvds that come with it.  Of course he's too small for it, but at our house, anything that helps expend that excess winter energy in a safe way (it worked for us) is welcome.  I think it's fun too, and appreciate that it is multifunctional. 

A Year in Art: The Activity BookA Year In Art: The Activity Book is fabulous for art lovers with kids.  The book's format is to introduce a new work of art to your child each day of the year.  There are little exercises and spaces to color or draw and learn about different artists and movements.  My little one loves this book almost as much as I do.  The cat on the cover is fuzzy, making it instantly enticing to little ones, although I think I would have wanted this book even if I didn't have a child.
Manduka BlackMatPRO 85-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat 
If yoga is on your list for the new year, consider treating yourself to  Manduka's Black Mat ProYou can't go wrong with anything from Manduka, I love all their stuff and find it inspiring to practice with such beautiful and functional gear.  This is the nicest mat I've ever used and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.  

To keep all your yoga or meditation equipment contained, this extra large Yoga Pro Duffle bag from HUGGER MUGGER.  It's big enough to hold at least two yoga mats, small yoga balls, blocks, straps, etc.  It's also big enough to house your meditation cushions.  It converts into a backpack for easy transport.

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