Grow Your Own Herbs & Save Money!

Jersey City, NJ

So as the economy continues to weigh on us, it effects the prices of all food including, meat, baked goods, produce and even herbs. In supermarkets like ShopRite, fresh herbs range $2.50-$5.00 and adds up at the register at check-out. As the spring is now here and sun is shining, take advantage of this weather and grow your own herbs. If you live in an apartment with no backyard, don’t let it discourage you, it can still happen! All you need is natural sunlight shining into your window seal or if better a small patio or firescape. I am going to show step-by-step on what you need and how to grow your garden in your home.

Planting Tips [Step-By-Step]

  1. Head to your nearest HomeDepot, Lowe’s, or a local farmer’s market. Look for your Garden Center and pick out 3-6 herbs that you would like to grow. [I chose basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, & cilantro]
  2. Before you leave, make sure get MiracleGro Potting Soil, Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, garden gloves and two rectangular pots [depending on how many herbs you purchases, herbs needs space just about 3 in. apart]
  3. Once you get home, pick a perfect spot on your window seal or fire escape with the most sunlight. Layout pots and fill half full with soil. In your pot, make three separate holes in the soil to give plenty of place for the herb’s roots.
  4. With each herb pod, cut the side carefully without snipping any roots and place into soil holes. Place careful and be sure its well into the pot.

Watering/Care Tips

  1. Water every other day, just making sure that the soil stays moist. Use the plant food twice a week, mixing one tablespoon with a gallon of water.
  2. Herb plants needs at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Storing Herbs

  1. For herbs such as Basil, Dill, Parsley, and Cilantro, it can stored in a glass water, like you would with a bouquet of flowers.
  2. For herbs such as oregano, thyme, and rosemary can be stored in damp paper towel in a sandwich bag. For great flavor, don’t rinse until you’re about cook with them.

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Let’s get cooking! Your herbs will taste so much better in your food and you’ll have a sense of pride that you’ve grown it yourself. Guys don’t be afraid, Green Thumbs Up!

Isaiah Kelsey

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Yoga To The People!

Photo Credit http://dnaifo.com/

New York, NY

In a day and age where businesses take every dollar they can get from people, harassing us with advertising, and pushing us to keep spending exorbitant amounts of money, well Yoga to the People is a fresh breath of air. It is a donation-based yoga studio with the suggested donation of $10, but people can pay as little or as much as they want for each class.

The classes are taught in Vinyasa Power Flow, a form of yoga known for it’s diversity.  Since there are many different ways to teach Vinyasa, the teachers at Yoga to the People can adjust the levels of difficulty so that it can be done by all of the students. Essentially it means that the class will be challenging, but still doable, and likely include a Sun Salutation sequence, which is slightly complex, but not difficult.

Yoga for the People is right for you! Yoga is beneficial to people’s health and it should be available to all. Yoga increases flexibility, betters breathing, increases and assists healthy and active blood circulation, dramatically reduces stress, betters hand-eye coordination, and can decrease chronic pain and anxiety. Some other benefits include better depth perception, balance, weight regulation, and posture.

A yoga class.

A yoga class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many men are skeptical to participate, as yoga is often perceived as being somewhat feminine. This is a common misconception; over 3 million men proactive yoga, and many professional sports teams practice it, such as members of the NFL.  It is a great compliment to rigorous workouts, and contrary to what many believe, you don’t have to be in pain to have had a great workout. Yoga is excellent for building muscles, including ones that you typically can’t reach with just weights or running. It hits hard-to-reach places in your entire body, and will help with breathing, giving you a better night’s sleep to recuperate and have more energy.

All that Yoga for the People attempts to do is give you the option of having access to super affordable yoga that will increase your well being. Men, women, and even children are welcome at this open establishment. Check out yogatothepeople.com to look at the schedules of when classes are. On weekdays there are 8 classes a day, on the weekends 5-6. So mosey on down to the closest one and give it a try if you are so compelled.

You have the option to attend any of these five locations in New York: St. Marks, 26th Street, 27th Street, 38th Street, and Brooklyn. If you happen to be on the west coast check out  locations in Seattle, San Francisco, and Berkeley.

Gabriela Garcia                                                                                                                           U.F.P Contributor

Health Kick: Get Juiced in the Upper West Side

New York, NY-

Feeling sluggish? Had one too many martinis last night? Or perhaps you’ve eaten your body weight in meatballs and mozzarella. Whatever your need for a detox and body-refresher, these are my picks for the three best Upper West Side cafes to help get back on your healthy track.

Cafe Blossom: As you walk into this vegan bar/restaurant haven, the sprawling bright wood with arbor-inspired decor has an immediate calming effect on the weary liver. Though Cafe Blossom is more conducive to sitting down and relaxing, you can take your order to go as well. When I asked for a recommendation on their juice blends, the waiter responded immediately with “the Pink Lady” and it was so enthusiastic I’d be a fool not to trust him. This blend of pineapple, carrots and apples is incredibly refreshing with a kick of ginger to balance out the sweetness. This Pink Lady nearly compelled me to belt out a couple of Grease songs.

466 Columbus Ave. (b/t 82nd & 83rd)

http://www.blossomnyc.com/

 

Juice Generation: Juice Generation is always bustling and frequently packed to the door. But the wait is worth it seeing as they use all fresh ingredients sweetened with agave nectar, real fruit and are unbelievably fast with their service. Their menu is extensive enough to keep you coming back almost daily for a month without replicating the same order, however after finding a favorite smoothie it’s always hard to stray from the tried and true flavors you love. I’ve had the Antioxidant All-Star which is a hearty berry-centric smoothie chock-full of mangosteen, pomegranates and rounded out with the sweet, full flavor of bananas. For those looking for a tropical, coconut-inspired escape, try the Mucho Mango or the Acai Extreme Energy for a natural way to power up.

117 W. 72nd St. (b/t Columbus & Amsterdam)

http://www.juicegeneration.com/menu

Courtesy of OrganicAvenue.com

Organic Avenue: If you can’t find feel-good bliss in their charming glass bottles and minimalist approach to fine juices, smoothies and coffee, there is little hope that you’ll rid yourself of bad toxins. Organic Avenue has blown up all around the city, so this is by far one of the most accessible and easy-to-locate health stops. From healthy mint chip and chai smoothies to bottled rarities like Turmeric Tonic and Green Coco, there’s a blend for every taste bud. But Organic Ave. makes its unique mark selling cleanses; pre-bottled and scheduled detox juices and supplements to aid in cleaning out your precious insides. From 1-5 day delicious detox programs offered, Organic Ave. will deliver these right to your door and before you know it, you’re back to your glowing, beautiful self.

461 Amsterdam Ave. (b/t 82nd & 83rd)

http://www.organicavenue.com/

Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                            U.F.P Contibutor

Going Organic at Yoga Integral Natural Foods

New York, NY

A recent trend that has been on the rise is going organic. Many celebrities have gone vegan or all natural, and food ethics has been on everyone’s mind since galling photos came out of the “pink slime” meat manufacturers were selling to super markets and restaurants. In our everyday lives, how do we escape the corruption and chemicals present in today’s food industry? All natural food markets are a place to start.

Integral Yoga Natural Foods is smaller and more personable than your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and is strictly vegetarian and organic. There are fresh coffee bean dispensers with a grinder, large jars of beautiful raw summer honey, walls of gorgeous fresh spices, and rare products like Kombu Sea Vegetable, as well as packets describing the details of the rarer products and how to use them.

The best and most popular section of the store is the to-go food and juice bar. I try out a tiny but delectable Sweet Potato Muffin, so moist and perfect that I’d be happy to pay another $2.89 for another one, or try out one of the juices, which vary in price but go for an average of $7.00 a pop. The customers in line are all usuals, and when baited they go on about their love of Integral Yoga Natural Foods for days.

One customer buys the bakery goods as the treat portion of his diet, and raves about all the flavors, though he whispers to me under his breathe that “it’s a little expensive.” Indeed, he ends up blowing a hefty sum on a three very small items. Another woman says she shops there for ethical purposes, as she can trust what’s on the shelves. When the sprinklers come on in the produce section to hydrate the greens, and the tangerines in the front smell like God’s gift to the planet, I can’t help but fall in love. Integral Yoga Natural Foods may empty your wallet, but it will make your taste buds and conscience happier than they’ve been in months.

Photo Credit: Closetcooking.com

Shiitake Dashi (soup)

6 1/2 cups water4 slices kombu (4 inches long)

5 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 teaspoon light soy sauce (optional)

1 pinch sea salt (optional)

1 green onion

Directions:

1) Place kombu in pot of water and slowly bring to a simmer over medium high heat, but do not boil; about 10 minutes on the stove.

2) Remove the kombu just before the pot boils and add the dried mushrooms

3) Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let the pot sit, uncovered, for 20 minutes

4) Remove the mushrooms and store the dashi for use in another recipe, or prepare it as a simple soup by adding the soy sauce, salt to taste and sliced green onion.

Visit Intregal Yoga Natural Foods at 229 West 13th St or http://www.integralyoganaturalfoods.com/
 Gabriela Garcia                                                  U.F.P Contributor