When we think about nature and health, we think of green.
Green vegetables contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect our cells. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Leafy greens give the body folate. The word folate describing the B vitamin originates from the Latin root word folium, which means leaf. The function associated with folate is varied and works in conjunction with other nutrients. Folate deficiency is common, and leads to a multitude of health problems including digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and most famously perhaps, birth defects. Folate is also crucial in epigenetics (external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off without changing the DNA sequence), through a process known as methylation, where folate acts as a methyl donor promoting cellular differentiation. Folate is also essential for DNA and RNA synthesis, amino acid production, and cell division. To put it plainly, you really, really need folate in your diet.
Greens lead to longevity.
Ingredients You’ll Need
2 cups greens, kale, spinach, chard, and arugula
1 pound broccoli florets (about 10 cups)
4 large eggs
8 ounces sugar snap peas
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked grains, such as farro, quinoa, and/or brown rice
2 cucumbers, halved, sliced
2 avocados, halved, pitted, sliced
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup edamame
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup Bulgarian yogurt
2 1/4 teaspoons himalayan salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup mixed chopped cilantro, parsley, chives, and tarragon
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss broccoli with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until charred and tender, 15–20 minutes.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add eggs, cover, and cook 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water (keep cooking water boiling) and let cool. Peel eggs.
Add sugar snap peas to boiling water and cook until bright green and just slightly tender, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with ice water.
Purée yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a food processor until smooth.
Toss grains, 1/2 cup dressing in a large bowl. Mix in broccoli, edamame, snap peas, cucumbers, and the mixed greens into the bowl. Top with avocado slices, pumpkin seeds, sliced eggs, and remaining herbs. Use any remaining dressing for drizzling atop your mix!
In the vast and mystical Chihuahuan desert, Marfa, Texas is an oasis of alluring mystery and transcendental experience.
Located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, Marfa was originally founded as a railroad water stop. Now one of the minimalist art and design meccas of the nation, Marfa attracts creatives and adventurers from far and wide.
During the 1920s, the community in Marfa began to grow. By the 1950s, it was nationally famous for its mysterious Ghost Lights. The source of the Fata Mortgana has long been rumored to be anything from UFOs, to wandering spirits. This mysterious phenomena has also been attributed to atmospheric reflections of campfires and headlights, although the first recorded sighting was in 1883, before automobiles were on the market. In modern times, atmospheric scientists hypothesize that the lights are a sort of mirage caused by sharp temperature gradients between cold and warm layers of air.
Marfa Army Airfield was the training grounds for several thousand pilots during World War II. In the 1970s, the army base lands were bought by Donald Judd, an acclaimed visual artist from New York City. In 1979, Judd began transforming the fort’s buildings into art spaces with a vision to house large collections of individual artists’ work on permanent display. Though Judd birthed the contemporary art movement in Marfa, when he died in 1994, Marfa quite literally became a ghost town. Tumbleweeds the size of shopping carts could be seen blowing down the road, and storefronts were completely baron and overlaid with dust. In the early 2000s, Marfa was resurrected, and thus began a kind of renaissance. Artists and Artisans opened new galleries and chic hotels, and the Texas government decided to make a roadside viewing post for the Marfa Mystery Lights.
Today in Marfa, you can expect to find modern art galleries, bohemian boutique hotels and restaurants, eclectic campgrounds, funky bars, and far-out festivals with the ever-ethereal backdrops of reverent desert tones. Take a dive with us through the dreamy high desert..
The start of the week is an opportunity to renew and revitalize your energy.
In ways, the beginning of the week is a kind of rebirth of your sense of self, resolutions, dreams, and responsibilities. Cultivating a drive to revive your inspiration and stimulate your creative forces can be done simply through formulating a ritual.
Whether you commute to your place of employment, or work from home, begin your week by taking 30 minutes to an hour to fully dedicate to setting an intention, and engaging in a form of mindfulness practice.
Meditation is not an easy practice for a busy mind, but it can do wonders for the health of your mind and body. You can begin meditation with a simple breathing exercise using your hands, creating a space for concentration and grounding.
Begin by taking a seat somewhere peaceful. Light a candle, or burn some palo santo, create an environment that makes you feel warm and comfortable. Cross one leg over the other, and begin to align your spine. Imagine each vertebrae perfectly stacked on top of one another, keeping a long neck, slightly dropping the chin, and lifting tall through the crown of your head.
Hand Counting Pranayama is an ancient Indian ritual used to engage the mind in meditation. Closing your eyes, stack your hands together on your lap, with the dominant hand on top. With an open palm, and use your thumb to draw a spiral, counting each joint of your fingers until you have completed 12 deep, rhythmic breaths. If you break concentration and lose count, begin again. Bring your mind’s awareness entirely to the 12 cycle spiral of breath.
Inhale deeply through your nose, opening the back of the throat to a point of making a course, audible breath. Envision the air flowing into your body and circulating like blood does within your veins. Exhale through your nose, until all the air has been expended fully. Repeat these deep cycles of breath while completing the 12 count spiral on your hand, as many times as it takes to feel completely relaxed and centered. Become completely still and aware of the present moment.
Once you feel really connected to your breath, and have quietness of the mind, you can begin visualizing all that you wish to transcend or achieve in the following week. Maintaining your lightness of being, keep your mind away from negative thoughts and energy. Only allow your focus to be on tangible, positive notions.
Formulate positive affirmations to support the success of all that you do. After reflection, begin writing your affirmations and revelations in a journal. Carry confidence with you to your next task, and next meal. Make each household chore a time for quiet contemplation, each movement becoming a motion of zen. The next time you eat, concentrate fully on each bite of food you take, chewing slowing, savoring every flavor, and feeling gratitude for the nutrients you are taking into your body.
Release all resistance to the natural flow of the day. This means being gentle and patient with yourself, listening to your body and its needs, and releasing control over matters that are not directly within your grasp to navigate. Take care of tasks that are your responsibility to complete, and allow anything else to flow towards you. Remember that what you seek, is seeking you. The positive things that are of real necessity in your life will inevitable cross your path. Walk with openness and lightness of being!
Located in the Northern area of Thailand along the Ping River, breathtaking Chiang Mai is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country, surrounded by lush forests. Dubbed the cultural capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai has been awarded the title of Creative City by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and repeatedly received recognition as one of the top destinations in the world.
The climate of Chiang Mai is that of the tropical savanna; with low latitude and relatively high elevation, the weather is warm to hot year-round. With over 300 Buddhist temples to visit, you will have no shortage of stunning architecture to marvel over. Chiang Mai also has its fair amount of museums, botanical gardens, and street markets full of exquisite local treasures and foods. The surrounding areas are verdant and mountainous, with national parks for trekking, Hill Tribes to visit for cultural immersion, and elephant reserves that you may visit for opportunities to volunteer.
WHAT TO PACK
Lightweight pants and skirts, sundresses, shorts, yoga pants, tunics
Baby wipes, it’s very humid and you might want to keep your face clean!
Lightweight scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders inside temples
Swimsuit, hiking shoes, comfortable sandals, and water shoes
Comfortable sandals and sneakers for walking around the city
Lightweight hiking pants and shirts with long sleeves for mosquito protection
Waterproof phone case and waterproof backpack or bag
Santorini, or classically known in Greece as Thira, is situated in the stunning Aegean Sea amongst the 6 thousand other Greek Islands.
The island of Santorini is part of a circular archipelago in the the metamorphic complex of the Cyclades islands group. This group is a remnant of a volcanic caldera, or sinkhole formed by a collapse following the evacuation of magma. Essentially, Santorini is the result of an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed what was once previously one larger island, creating the current geological formation. It is one of the biggest highlights for tourism in the Aegean Sea, and a world mecca for volcanologists.
The main stretch of Santorini curves around a 32 square mile lagoon with three edges consisting of cliffs towering nearly a thousand feet above the water. The rest of the island slopes smoothly down into the Aegean Sea, with white, black, and red sandy beaches, and rocky reefs adorned with colorful coral and aquatic life.
Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety. White varieties also include Athiri and Aidani, whereas red varieties include mavrotragano and mandilaria.
Assyrtiko is famed to be the Grecian island’s essence in a bottle, and is renowned throughout Europe. During the rule of the Venetians between the 14th and 16th century, Santorini wine was some of the most valuable and sought after in all of Europe.
While visiting vineyards in Santorini, you will notice the extraordinary and unusual way the vines grow. In contrast to the majority of grape vines around the world that grow along trellises, in Santorini, the vines grow in tight bunches almost like tumbleweeds. Woven closely to the earth along the rocks, their growth is tightly bound, seeking shelter from the powerful gusts of sea air. The fresh oceanic breeze, along with the rich volcanic soil, imparts the refreshing acidity for which the wine has become so well known.
Santorini’s whitewashed villages, blue cupolas, flawless beaches, exquisite Grecian food and wine, and breathtaking sunsets make it a destination for millions from across the Earth every year. Take a peek at some of these stunning captures of the island’s magic!
Palo Santo, or the holy tree bursera graveolens, is native throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and the Galapagos Islands. It belongs to the same family of trees as the resins Frankincense and Myrrh, and it emits resonant aromas of citrusy sweet, earthy tones.
Palo Santo trees grow in groups of one male surrounded by eight females. The lone male outlives his female counterparts by up to a couple hundred years. Wood from female palo santo trees is golden, solid and heavy, whereas that of the male is white, hollow, fragile, and light. Shamans teach that Palo Santo trees have a distinct spirit that lives in the wood long after the tree’s life has ended, so they strongly consider this tree as a sentient entity.
This sacred smudging instrument has been utilized ceremonially for ritual cleansing, purifying, prayer, and healing for thousands of years. In traditional folk medicine, indigenous peoples and shamans across the Americas use Palo Santo to aid both physical and spiritual ailments ranging from stomach aches to stagnant or repressed energies. It is common for it to be forbidden to harvest the holy wood from live trees, but only collected from fallen branches and twigs, and must be allowed to dry and cure for 3-5 years. During this period, a magical chemical transformation occurs. The sap, once fluid in the living tree, proceeds to crystallize and form deposits, giving the Palo Santo its rich resin deposits that are the very essence wood. Thus, Palo Santo must undergo a metamorphosis beginning with a tree falls under natural circumstances, and remains resting for years.
The Incas of Peru and Ecuador use the rising smoke of Palo Santo to eliminate mala energía, or bad energy, rid negative thoughtprints, and clear misfortune. Indigenous peoples also prepare teas and tinctures from wood shavings to aid indigestion, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Essential oils produced from Palo Santo are used as topical emollients to treat arthritis and joint pain, and are widely used in aromatherapy as a pleasurable means to treat coughs and bronchial conditions.
Try a sample of this heavenly scent, and notice the healing properties take hold. How do you like to use Palo Santo? Where is your favorite source to buy it? Submit comments and questions below!
With exotic and profoundly beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and a wild kingdom of flora and fauna, the mystique of Africa and its traditional decor have captured the eyes and hearts of millions across the world.
The saturated color palettes, earthy and hypnotic patters and textures, and infusion of natural elements is what gives African style interiors their allure.
Africa is the largest continent on Earth, with fifty-four countries, and the second largest continental population in the world. We are only beginning to scrape the surface of the vast array of traditional styles from each culture and tribe, but have a taste of these selections with origins primarily from Central and East African regions.
Our blue Planet Earth is a world with surfaces primarily consisting of vast bodies of water. Believe it or not, the landmass only makes up of 29% of our planet! One third of Earth’s total landmass constitutes of deserts of all varieties. The term desert is defined as any land area that has an annual deficit of water, which could range from arid canyons to frigid polar planes.
Integrating modern homes into extreme climates has become more than a necessity to natives of such zones; it is an architectural and artistic niche fueling the passion for millions. Desert design is innovative endeavor of insulating each space to create a temperature neutral interior climate, melding materials with the geographic landscape, and maximizing use of solar energy by taking advantage of natural resources, and fuzing elements of modern technology.
Each of these unique designs presents contemporary designs with state of the art technology, creating a new world of modern living in extreme climates.
The Desert Villa by Studio Aiko
This design has mastered merging the magical scenery of the desert with modern design and architecture. Don’t be fooled, this marvelous beauty doesn’t quite exist yet, this is just an artistic rendering!
Alavi House is situated at the foothills of the Zagros Mountain range at the edge of a desert. The 194-square-meter solar roof features 104 solar modules capable of meeting a minimum of 29,000 kWh a year, far exceeding the average electricity consumption of an Iranian household. Tesla is revolutionizing the way we power and build our homes – and architects are taking note. Due to the arid climate, the architects used the prevailing winds from the south and southwest to inform the roof’s sloped shape and direction.
“With a roof tilted toward East, we can create effective zones of negative pressure at the climax of the roof helping to ventilate the building naturally through most of the year,” wrote the architects. “Controllable vents, at the climax of the roof have a sucking effect, together with the large openings to the south of the building. Air filters by flowing through a broken line of evergreen trees (Cedrus deodara) and over a pool in the outdoors and then by passing over an indoor garden of Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) which is known to be a great air purifier (NASA Clean Air Study) and over a pond.”
The home is finished in concrete save for the double skin on the sloped roof that would be clad in the nearly imperceptible Tesla solar cells installed 30 centimeters above the roof. The operable double skin roof can rotate open to allow the sun to heat the concrete roof and warm the interior.
Alternatively on colder days, the roof rotates close to provide shade from the sun, while simultaneously optimizing conditions for generating solar energy.
Steven Holl’s Planar House, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Using raw Concrete and Corten Steel to create a great prefabricated home and art gallery. Planar House, named for its geometric planes features strategic skylights and windows add to the dramatic angles. The rooftop boasts a spectacular view of the desert and Camelback mountain – and has its own sculpture garden.
This unusual home is designed by Oller & Pejic Architecture of Los Angeles, partnered with Marc Atlan of Yucca Valley, California. Its dark mystique features geometric intricacies which give it an intriguing allure.
Tasked by the Biomimicry Institute’s Student Design Challenge with finding solutions to every day challenges by looking to nature, a team of students, Elnaz Amiri, Hesam Andalib, Roza Atarod, and M-amin Mohamad from the Art University of Isfahan in Iran decided to design a house that is self-cooling – just like a snail.
Hesam Andalib told Fastco. Design that the snail has remarkable qualities that has allowed it to stay both cool and moist in even the harshest temperatures. He and the rest of the design team found its form, the material of its shell, and its coping strategies to be qualities worth emulating in architecture.
Remarkably, they found that this unique design works like a charm, and the home is delightfully comfortable without air conditioning in even the most formidable heat.
This ingeniously resourceful desert technology features a concave roof system to collect rainwater, help cool the buildings, create filtered drinking water, and integrate water into interior graywater systems. The bowl-shaped roof design addresses rapid evaporation, used to channel even the smallest amounts of accumulated rain, coalescing them into drops big enough to harvest before they evaporate.
The concave roof systems also provide optimal shade for the structures below, creating an additional cooling system.
Situated in the dramatic landscapes of the Palm Desert, this stunning modern home captures the warm gradients of the terrain, while integrating cooling oasis-like plant life and pools to surround the property.
The Helal New Moon Residence, The United Arab Emirates
Islamic culture is embodied and has been reinterpreted through modern technology and design in this 35,000-square-foot residence in the United Arab Emirates. Searing temperatures and ample desalinated water allowed the desert site to be transformed into an oasis with pools and landscaping.
The canopy forms a crescent moon – symbolic of new life – reminiscent of a Bedouin tent, sheathed in shimmering aluminum, adorned in moucharabieh traditional lattice, and lined in fountains, pools, and date palm grove aisles.
“Like Dubai itself, the house is adapting traditions while working toward the future.”
Paris, the city of love, and the global headquarters for gastronomy, couture, elaborately lavish design and architecture, the bohemian legacy, and world-class arts. Its timeless charm, historic monuments, and iconic architecture make it familiar and intimate for both first-timers and those well acquainted with its wonders.
Whether you only have a week to escape, or a few months to fully delve into the glamorous Parisian dream, we think you’ll marvel over these exquisite interiors!
With a culture richly infused with African, Portuguese, and indigenous roots, Brazil is a riot of colors, lively music and dance, sensual language, and poignant cuisine. Millions of people come from far and wide each year to get a taste of its exotic delights.
Over the three centuries that Brazil remained a colony of Portugal, the language was lavishly marinated with hundreds of words from indigenous languages, primarily Old Tupi. Although enslaved Africans were forced to convert to Catholicism, an immense impact was made by their cultural traditions that vividly shine through Brazilian music and dance. From Forro, Samba, Bossa Nova, to Sertanejo, there is no lack of flavor and rhythm that wont get your body moving.
In the 1960s, the cultural movement in Brazil, Tropicalism, or Tropicália , combined unique and exotic materials, objects, textures and colors to form experimental and eclectic interior designs. In modern times, we see a truly inspired fusion of avant-garde and traditional elements in Brazilian design and architecture.
Here are some of our favorite modern homes from the wild paradise of Brazil!