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Some years ago I went regularly to yoga classes in San Francisco led by this yogi Pete Guinosso. Pete was more of a coach figure than a spiritual leader, and he’d make me laugh out loud on the mat. Many people go to yoga for a calm...
Some years ago I went regularly to yoga classes in San Francisco led by this yogi Pete Guinosso. Pete was more of a coach figure than a spiritual leader, and he’d make me laugh out loud on the mat. Many people go to yoga for a calming, zen-like experience, but I have a hard time keeping it together without giggling at yoga and like being alert to work on my form – so this higher energy environment was the perfect fit for me. Pete’s teaching style was fun, athletic, and he was an insightful guide. As someone with a lot of disconnect between brain and body (to the great consternation of my weight lifting coaches), Pete was always able to make suggestions that clicked for me, allowing me to really dig into my poses and get the most out of my practice. Once a week, Pete led a Candlelight yoga class, about as close to zen as I could get without feeling weird about things. The studio was warm, dark, and cozy, and we’d settle into deep poses with nothing but the light of flickering candles around us. It took me years of yoga that I didn’t like all that much to find this class that I loved, and I was deeply sorry to leave it when I moved out East. So lately – me and yoga? We’ve been having a rocky relationship. It’s easy to feel like giving up when you are forced to move on from something so comfortable and right. Since then, I’ve had a hard time finding a class that I love. I went to a dozen classes at Prana, but I don’t do so well with hot yoga, and could never find a time that stuck. And then there was the class where I had less than six inches between me and my neighbor, and he kept on flinging sweat in my direction, so by the end of the hour I had a puddle on my mat that wasn’t my own. After that delightful experience, I sanitized the mat in bleach, rolled it up, and couldn’t compel myself to go back. But I guess times are changing, that’s what the fall does for me – opens me up to new experiences. On Monday morning I woke up before sunrise to head into town to try a new class with my coworker Elyse. Our team does a lot of extracurricular fitness in the mornings – there are the resident golfers, the 40-mile-ride-before-9 a.m. contingent, the gentlemen who do speed work on the track, the November Project stadium climbers (and Summit Ave. summiters), and I’m always up for a little peer pressure to get some early morning workouts in. Cara Gilman, a Boston yogi who happens to be married to one of my coworkers, was leading a free class at Back Bay Yoga, with my fave lunch spot sweetgreen providing breakfast, so I thought it’d be the perfect chance to ease myself back onto the mat. Oh, this class!! We spent a lot of time opening the shoulders, working the upper body, and practicing balance. While my flexibility will take some time to return to where I once was, I felt strong and energized throughout – a world away from the last few classes where I spent a lot of time curled up in child’s pose. Afterwards there was yogurt, granola, pumpkin bread, cider, and $5 free credit to sweetgreen – so, pretty much the best reason to wake up before 7am ever. Next month? I’ll be back for sure.  That’s me on the left with Cara and Elyse, post-yoga, but pre-coffee. The matching sweatshirts? No, we didn’t plan that. Have you found a yoga class you love? Back Bay Yoga 364 Boylston St Boston, MA backbayyoga.com Sweetgreen 659 Boylston St Boston, MA sweetgreen.com
about 4 hours ago
Torpedo Sushi 25 Grand Ave., Uptown Oakland Phone: (510) 228-4111 Web: torpedosushi.com Status: Opened yesterday Torpedo Sushi, Oakland's first sustainable sushi spot, is open in Uptown as of yesterday. Like SF-based mini-chain Sushirri...
Torpedo Sushi 25 Grand Ave., Uptown Oakland Phone: (510) 228-4111 Web: torpedosushi.com Status: Opened yesterday Torpedo Sushi, Oakland's first sustainable sushi spot, is open in Uptown as of yesterday. Like SF-based mini-chain Sushirrito, its menu is based around "torpedoes," giant handheld sushi rolls that use nori in place of a tortilla. Owner Luis Sanchez is a 15-year veteran of the Boston restaurant scene, former chef-owner of a sushi bar, and recent Bay Area transplant, and he plans to buy 80 percent of his fish from Water 2 Table, which sources from day boats off the Northern California coast. For the remaining fish, he's promised to follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide. The torpedo rolls are fun and nontraditional, with options like the Cali Roll (Dungeness crab salad, avocado, lotus chips, cilantro, jalapeño, cucumber) and the Holy Trinity (fried oysters, prosciutto, shiitake mushrooms, pickled red cabbage, shallots, cucumber, Racer 5-anchovy aioli). Most items are under $10, and Sanchez also offers catering with a $50 minimum. A beer and wine license is forthcoming, with craft beer, wine, and sake on offer. Torpedo is currently open for lunch, with plans to expand to dinner as soon as the license comes through. Hours are Monday-Friday, 11 am-3 pm. · Torpedo Sushi Opens on Grand Avenue [East Bay Dish] · Oakland's first sustainable sushi restaurant opens [Oakland North] · Torpedo Sushi [Facebook]
about 5 hours ago
Bob's Donuts after midnight. [Photo: wynnie/Flickr] · The Eight Best Donuts in SF [Thrillist] · An Exhaustive Guide to Fruitvale Taco Trucks [Berkeleyside Nosh] · Gayle Pirie Reflects on Stars and Jeremiah Tower [Inside S...
Bob's Donuts after midnight. [Photo: wynnie/Flickr] · The Eight Best Donuts in SF [Thrillist] · An Exhaustive Guide to Fruitvale Taco Trucks [Berkeleyside Nosh] · Gayle Pirie Reflects on Stars and Jeremiah Tower [Inside Scoop] · The World's Best Hotel Restaurants [CNN] · What's in a Name? A Restaurant's Success Can Hinge on It [Guardian] · How Salt and Pepper Became the Yin and Yang of Condiments [Gizmodo] · In Search of Fortune Cookies [WSJ] · Eight Food Risks Going Unmonitored During the Shutdown [Salon] · Watch a Carrie-Inspired 'Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise' [-EN-] · The Government Shutdown Is Taking a Toll on Restaurants [-EN-]
about 6 hours ago
The Drunktionary is a wonderful Internet gem that music editor Ian S. Port unearthed yesterday when we were brainstorming names for SF Weekly's new bar column, debuting next Wednesday. It's a c...
The Drunktionary is a wonderful Internet gem that music editor Ian S. Port unearthed yesterday when we were brainstorming names for SF Weekly's new bar column, debuting next Wednesday. It's a c...
about 9 hours ago
I never mean for it to happen. I make enough pasta for two meals, and the idea is, I’ll eat half the bowl, and save the rest for tomorrow. What happens is, I’m watching TV, and then at some point, I look down and realize I ate everything...
I never mean for it to happen. I make enough pasta for two meals, and the idea is, I’ll eat half the bowl, and save the rest for tomorrow. What happens is, I’m watching TV, and then at some point, I look down and realize I ate everything. I also notice I can barely breathe because I ate too much. “I can’t do this again!” I tell myself. Of course, it happens again. It’s funny, but I’m really troubled about my lack of control. Why can’t I will myself to eat just enough and no more?  What does it say about me that I can’t? How can I change my relationship with food? Of all the Food & Spirituality stories I’m producing for KQED News this fall, the feature on Mindful Eating hits closest to home.  While I’m not a Buddhist, I genuinely believe that distress is an invitation to pay attention, and then engage. At Spirit Rock Meditation Center for “Mindful Eating; Mindful Body: The Science and Practice of Mindful Eating.” Photo: Wendy Goodfriend So, earlier this year I went to Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin for a retreat called “Mindful Eating; Mindful Body: The Science and Practice of Mindful Eating.” Of all the Mindful Eating retreats in the Bay Area — and you know there are a lot — this particular one caught my eye because it featured three experts, each in a different field: psychology, biology, and Buddhism. Mindful Eating retreat teachers (left to right): Jampa Sangmo, Andrea Lieberstein and Elissa Epel. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend Andrea Lieberstein was the lead teacher. She trains people in Mindful Eating in her private practice, and directs Mind, Body, Spirit Programs at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. “Eating is a wonderful tool to awaken,” she tells the class of about 100 people; “To remember who we are, to remember our connection with all of life.” That is not, of course, what I use eating for. I use it to feel relief from hunger. I use it to bury boredom, and stave off exhaustion. I use it because it’s readily available, and legal. Even when I’m being a good girl and passing up the mango ice cream pops in the freezer…you should see the way I eat frozen blueberries. It’s compulsive. I don’t stop till I get to the bottom of the plastic clam shell. Lieberstein is a nutritionist as well as a therapist, but she says the practice of mindfulness does not require following any particular diet. Whatever sensible diet you’re pursuing will do. The key is training yourself to be conscious about eating. Turn off the TV set. Put away the New Yorker magazine. Sit with your food. Appreciate the journey it took to get to your table. Appreciate its color, smell, texture, taste. Be in the proverbial moment. “In slowing down,” Lieberstein says, “There’s more space. We touch that place of inner wisdom, where we’re not at the mercy of the automaticity of all our habits and our thoughts and our beliefs. We can pause and notice that impulse to eat — and in that space, make a different choice.” Rachael Myrow contemplates lunch at the Mindful Eating retreat at Spirit Rock. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend Lieberstein has the class conduct an experiment. Attendants pass out Dove chocolate squares. We’re encouraged to take two or three.  We draw out the moment as long as possible, until every cell in our bodies is focused on the promise of chocolate. “And then,” Leiberstein intones, “Slowly begin to bite into it, noticing the flavor, the taste of that first bite.” It’s like…a nuclear explosion, the most satisfying experience imaginable…rich, silky…just like the commercial promises. Then we’re invited to have a second square. It’s the same chocolate, but the intensity of the satisfaction is…weaker. I suddenly realize that I could have been just as happy eating one chocolate. If you’re really paying attention as you eat, you enjoy it more. It satisfies earlier in the process. Also, my brain has registered that I’ve had enough.  So says Elissa Epel, a health psychology
about 10 hours ago
Little City Gardens photo courtesy of Little City Gardens Post by Brie Mazurek, Online Education Manager for CUESA (10/4/13) “Operating on a month-to-month lease means you never know what will happen tomorrow or the next day,” says Caitl...
Little City Gardens photo courtesy of Little City Gardens Post by Brie Mazurek, Online Education Manager for CUESA (10/4/13) “Operating on a month-to-month lease means you never know what will happen tomorrow or the next day,” says Caitlyn Galloway of Little City Gardens, a 3/4-acre commercial farm in San Francisco’s Outer Mission district. “It makes smart investments in our business, like longer-term tools and infrastructure, much riskier.” Galloway’s predicament of uncertain land tenure is one faced by many new farmers, both rural and urban. But a new California law just signed by Governor Jerry Brown might take some of the risk out of the equation for urban farmers by making longer-term leases an appealing proposition for landowners. The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act (AB 551) is based on a simple premise: It allows cities and counties to designate “incentive zones” in urban areas (250,000+ people) where landowners can get a substantial property tax break in exchange for dedicating their vacant land to commercial or noncommercial agricultural use for at least five years. Under this arrangement, property taxes are based on an assessment of the agricultural value of the land, instead of its much higher market value. The goal is to financially reward owners of undeveloped parcels for entering into agreements with urban farmers. “For businesses like ours, the potential for having a much longer-term arrangement with a property owner could completely change the playing field,” says Galloway. Removing Barriers for Farmers The seeds were planted when Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) reached out to the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA) for ideas on how to promote urban agriculture at the state level. A team of urban agtivists, including representatives from Little City Gardens, SPUR, and others, pitched several ideas. The one that stuck was presented by Stanford Law School graduates Nicholas Reed and Juan Carlos Cancino of the Greenhouse Project. “We came to the realization that even when the ordinances that prohibit the sale of produce grown locally are repealed, there’s a still a fundamental barrier for urban farmers: property tax,” says Reed. They proposed legislation modeled on the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (also known as the Williamson Act), which enables local governments to offer tax incentives to rural landowners. Photo: University Mound Nursery photo by MattyMatt/Flickr.According to Cancino, the concept was inspired by Little City Gardens as well as University Mound Nursery in the Portola District—two acres of greenhouses that were once home to the Garibaldi family’s rose business but have been abandoned since the early 1990s. Cancino and Reed have hopes of reactivating the greenhouses for community use, but they have had difficulty engaging the owners. “We thought about this tax incentive as a way to reopen that conversation,” says Cancino. SFUAA member Eli Zigas of SPUR took the lead in liaising with Ting’s office and drumming up support for the statewide campaign. “I think it’s an exciting development for urban agriculture,” he says. “It was really heartening to see bipartisan support at the state level for this, and I think it’s a good example of California being willing to try new things.” Connecting Farmers and Landowners The proposed tax incentive would be a blessing for Aaron Roland, who owns a 5,000-square-foot vacant parcel at 18th and Rhode Island in Potrero Hill. For many years, he grew cantaloupes, tomatoes, corn, and other crops on the sunny plot, but after he moved to the Mission, it became harder to tend the land himself. In 2008, he granted Permaculture designers Kevin Bayuk and David Cody access to the property, which is now a thriving educational garden. 18th and Rhode Island in Potrero Hill. Photo: CUESARoland admits that the value he is providing to the community does not come cheap. “There’s a huge opportunity cost in letting your property be used for a ga
about 21 hours ago
If you've ever been pinched for time and settled for one of those blander-than-bland canned lentil soups, this quick lentil soup recipe is for you! My trick is to use Trader Joe's steamed lentils (in the refrigerator section) to save ti...
If you've ever been pinched for time and settled for one of those blander-than-bland canned lentil soups, this quick lentil soup recipe is for you! My trick is to use Trader Joe's steamed lentils (in the refrigerator section) to save time, but you could easily adapt this recipe to add some serious fresh flavor and seasoning to a canned lentil soup. Fresh potatoes, carrots, portobello mushrooms, kale and spinach all compliment those sturdy lentils and I played with the spice/herb combination on this soup to fab results! Herbes de Provence, ground cumin and a little fresh rosemary, along with garlic, shallots, kalamata olives and a little tomato paste added a warming depth and complexity to this soup in a hurry. Don't skip the sherry vinegar - it really brightens this soup.And keep in mind, lentils are anything but bland nutritionally. Protein, fiber, and iron rich, lentils are filling and really don't need fat to dress them up. Excellent for balancing blood sugar levels, this lentil soup makes the perfect power lunch that won't slow you down. I like to add a little butter to the mushrooms, but, if you're vegan, leave it out or use a vegan substitute.Want a spicy soup? Add finely diced fresh jalapeno along with the root vegetables.Quick Lentil Soup with Greens, Mushrooms & Root Vegetables:1 TBS olive oil1 garlic clove, minced1 large shallot, finely dicedpinch of Herbes de Provencepinch of ground cumin1/2 cup potatoes, small dice (I used fingerlings)1 large carrot, peeled and small dice1 tsp butter (or vegan sub)2 portobello mushrooms, diced1 inch sprig fresh rosemary, stem removed3 cups vegetable broth1 cup water1/2 cup kale leaves, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces5 kalamata olives, finely chopped1 tsp tomato paste (invest in a tube of tomato paste - always handy for rounding out soup broth)8 oz cooked brown lentils (TJ's pack is 17.6 oz, so half the pack)1 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar3/4 cup baby spinachsalt & black pepper to tasteIn a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the minced garlic and shallot for 2-3 minutes. Add the Herbes de Provence and ground cumin and stir like crazy, cooking for 1 minute. Add the diced potatoes and carrot, cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring once to make sure the vegetables are evenly cooked. Add the butter, melt, then the mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir well and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, water, kale leaves, olives, tomato paste and cooked lentils and cook uncovered for 5 minutes (If using a canned lentil soup, skip the broth, water and cooked lentils and add the can of soup with the kale and tomato paste at this point). Add the sherry vinegar and cook 5 more minutes. Add the spinach, cook until just wilted, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
about 21 hours ago
Wesburger When: Sundays beginning Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m. Where: Mr. Pollo The rundown: Wes Rowe's burger pop-up Wesburger has joined forces with Mr. Pollo in the Mission. This week, Rowe will be ...
Wesburger When: Sundays beginning Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m. Where: Mr. Pollo The rundown: Wes Rowe's burger pop-up Wesburger has joined forces with Mr. Pollo in the Mission. This week, Rowe will be ...
about 21 hours ago
A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people has been linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California. Photo: PR Newswire Post by Allison Aubrey, The Salt at NPR Food (10/8/13) The U.S. Depar...
A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people has been linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California. Photo: PR Newswire Post by Allison Aubrey, The Salt at NPR Food (10/8/13) The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a health alert warning that an estimated 278 illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says illnesses have been reported in 17 states, with the vast majority — 78 percent — in California. The outbreak is ongoing, so it’s possible that people are still being sickened by the chicken. The CDC says about 42 percent of the people who’ve gotten sick (among those for whom information is available) have been hospitalized. The strains of Salmonella Heidelberg that have made people sick are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. And according to the CDC, the resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or make the illness tougher to treat. News of the outbreak has gotten a lot of attention since it comes during the federal government shutdown. Many stories have raised the specter that no one’s on the job at a critical time. But the USDA tells The Salt that its work has not been at all slowed down — since its inspectors and investigators have stayed on the job. As we’ve reported, the CDC unit that tracks outbreaks has been working with less than half its normal staff. To help handle the current outbreak, the agency tells NPR it has called back about 30 furloughed workers, including 10 who work in the foodborne division. “This is the kind of thing that you’ve got to get information into consumers’ hands,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And she says that since the communications staffs of both CDC and USDA are working at reduced capacity, it’s a concern. “The agency’s ability to push out the information is a lot more limited than it would be otherwise.” CDC has been monitoring this outbreak since July. It’s likely that this outbreak is connected to a prior cluster of illnesses in 2012, also linked to raw chicken produced by Foster Farms. Foster Farms has issued a statement on its website stating that it is working with the USDA and the CDC to address salmonella associated with raw poultry reportedly linked to three of its facilities in California. The statement says that no recall is in effect and that “products are safe to consume if properly handled and fully cooked.” So, how did the USDA investigators begin narrowing in on Foster Farms? Well, they received a call from CDC officials in July explaining that they were monitoring a cluster of illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg on the West Coast — and epidemiologists were finding a link to chicken. Acting on this information, says David Goldman of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, “we decided to do some intensive sampling [for salmonella] in four different Foster Farms plants.” What they found is that three of the Foster Farms plants were producing products that were contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg. And the chicken “contained the outbreak strains [of salmonella] that the CDC had identified to us as causing the illnesses,” says Goldman. You can tell if you have a package of chicken produced in one of these facilities by looking for one of these codes on the packaging: P6137 P6137A P7632 As always, the USDA is reminding consumers to be careful when handling raw poultry, to use clean surfaces and not let raw chicken contact other food, and to cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Copyright 2013 NPR.
about 22 hours ago
THE INTERNET—Another restaurant reservation bot has arrived: the founder of Tablesweep claims he's been able to use his service to score seats at Saison and NYC's Carbone. Anyone who tries it owes us a full report, with bonus point...
THE INTERNET—Another restaurant reservation bot has arrived: the founder of Tablesweep claims he's been able to use his service to score seats at Saison and NYC's Carbone. Anyone who tries it owes us a full report, with bonus points for getting into State Bird Provisions' books when they reopen. [EaterWire] OAKLAND—Food blogs are popping up all over the place, but until now, we've never had a food podcast. Enter Real Food Real Talk, which interviews Bay Area restaurateurs, food artisans, and food justice/sustainability folks. [EBX] SAN FRANCISCO—Here's a charming tribute to the power of bartender-customer interaction from New Easy barkeep Alfie Turnshek-Goins. [Serious Eats] POTRERO HILL—As many restaurants add pink fundraising drinks to their menu for Breast Cancer Month, Breast Cancer Action is taking a different tack with their Action Speaks Louder Than Pink event. Their Thursday fundraiser will include a four-course dinner prepared by the chefs of Haven, Hillside Supper Club, Millennium, The Plant Cafe Organic, and Calafia Cafe; tickets are $125. [EaterWire]
about 22 hours ago