Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Exercise

Too often we get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we forget to take the time to relax and release our stress and tension. Many people, when asked what they do for relaxation, say they watch television, play video games, or read the newspaper. They believe that since these activities are not work related, it is real relaxation. But what they do not realize is that they are simply substituting one form of business with another. The idea that one must take time every day to relax and to exercise is considered outrageous, because few people think they can find enough time to do both. Some people are able to schedule time for exercise, but they still forget about relaxation time. In our busy lives, what can we do?

Hatha yoga, or physical yoga, is a form of exercise that combines all the important aspects of a complete exercise program: stretching and toning, increasing the heart rate, and deep relaxation. Every day I go to yoga class, feeling stressed about work, relationships, and upcoming events, and every day I leave class feeling completely relaxed and at peace with myself. My yoga instructor guides me through a series of postures designed to awaken my body and mind, alternately raising, then lowering my heart rate. Each asana, or posture, requires complete concentration throughout its duration, and then is followed by a rewarding deep relaxation posture. My mind is on nothing other than the present, moving into and out of each pose, being mindful of my breath. It is a beautiful sight when I open my eyes and observe that everyone around me is totally "in the moment." After every class I feel such self-confidence, because I could reach just a little bit farther, breathe just a little bit easier, or balance just a little bit longer. It is so different from any other exercise program I have done, because rather than beating my body into shape, I am urging it gently to do more than it could the day before.

I tend to worry and carry around a lot of extra tension. Sleepless nights and groggy days used to be my daily routine. Yoga has given me sleep-filled nights and tension-free days. It is amazing how much one and a half hours a day can change one's life. Even better, a vegetarian diet is recommended to support a yoga student's progress. The yoga student quickly learns that yoga is more a way of life than strictly an exercise program. Regularly emphasized by most yogis is the idea of "ahimsa," or non-harming. Yoga (meaning union) is a way to physically, mentally, and spiritually carry out one's vegan ideals.

Randi D.
Indiana

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Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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The Food Allergy
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