Do princesses wear hiking boots?

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I spotted this book in the general store at the Ranch at Furnace Creek in Death Valley. One day in the future, I will read this book to my daughter and teach her that princesses absolutely do wear hiking boots, with pink hiking socks, of course.

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Good Reads: Or, one awesome yoga vid

This past week – between driving to Sacramento, Delano and Santa Cruz for work – I had no time to read. (The closest I came to reading was buying books at Bookshop Santa Cruz, pictured above, to take with me on the Epic Sister Adventure to Joshua Tree.)

So instead of offering you some Good Reads this weekend, I offer you one, awesome Yoga by Equinox video, featuring Briohny Smyth.

Hope you’re having a great weekend! My next post should be from Joshua Tree.

Good reads: Gourmet Tijuana, special split pea soup, and Occupy Yoga

For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • More than tacos in Tijuana

This one goes out to my fellow ‘New Yorker’ readers: Did you catch ‘The Missionary,’ a ‘Letter from Tijuana’ in the Jan. 30 edition?

The article is about chef Javier Plascencia, and his goal of converting Tijuana’s reputation from a border town to a foodie destination.

“People don’t feel very proud of Tijuana, because it’s always been a town of alcohol, sex, and drugs, and made up of everyone who wants to cross the border but can’t,” Plascencia said to the New Yorker. “I’m trying to make Baja and Tijuana a food destination, like San Francisco.”

Writer Dana Goodyear expertly weaves Plascencia’s culinary goals with a tale of his family’s history in Tijuana, and the history of the city. Foodies and world travelers, this article is for you!

  • Winter comfort food

It may be a 65 degrees in Fresno, but this Pink of Perfection post, ‘Winter Budget Meals,’ really resonated with me.

I made the split pea, coconut and brown butter soup last Sunday. The soup was as guilty good as the episode of ‘Gossip Girl’ I watched while eating it.

I think the winter squash stew with peanuts and cilantro is next on the list!

  • Occupy Yoga

Not in the mood to read? This Yoga Slackers video says it all.

Have a great weekend!

Good reads: Taking leaps, avoiding processed food, climbing Half Dome

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are links to three articles I’ve found thought-proving this week.

  • How many times have you dreamed about escaping your real life and responsibilities to, I don’t know, travel around the world and climb rocks?

On her blog The Traveling Writer, Alexis Grant provides some tough-love advice on how to make following your dream financially viable.

“If it was easy to make a living doing what you love, everyone would do it,” she writes.

She doesn’t dissuade seekers and schemers from following their dreams. She just encourages them to think hard and creatively about ways they can make money, while pursuing their dream.

“Having the determination and ingenuity to find the intersection of your passion and your income is where most people fail,” she writes. Or, she writes, it’s always a work in progress.

If there’s a leap you’ve been meaning to take in your life, sign up for Grant’s e-mails. They seem to arrive in my in-box every time I need a gentle kick in the pants.

  • I eat mostly vegetarian and I shop the perimeter of the grocery store. In terms of avoiding processed foods, I thought I was doing pretty well.

That is, until I read this Grist article, which lists five packaged foods you never need to buy again. Right now, three out of five of those items are staples in my kitchen.

I’ll take the challenge to stop buying vegetable broth, canned beans, and hummus, and prepare my own. What changes are you making to eat healthier and support the environment?

  • If climbing Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is on your Bucket List, don’t miss this: The Fresno Bee reports that a new lottery system should make the process of obtaining permits to climb the granite peak more fair.

Here’s an excerpt from The Bee:

One online lottery will be held in early April at recreation.gov to acquire permits for the 2012 season, scheduled for May 25 to Oct. 8. (Those dates could change depending on conditions.)

The lottery replaces a first-come, first-served system that was plagued by scalpers who created automated programs to snap up permits the instant they became available, then sold them on the Internet for several times their value.

Lottery applications will be accepted during March at recreation.gov or by phone at (877) 444-6777. Applicants will then receive an email in early April notifying them of the lottery results, or they can get them online or by phone.

What are you reading this weekend?

Good reads: Peace, dangerous yoga, and vegan bodybuilders

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are links to three articles I’ve found thought-proving this week.

  • As a reporter, I’m constantly tuned in – following breaking news on Twitter, sharing interesting articles on Facebook, and listening religiously to National Public Radio when I’m in the car.

But as a yogi, I’ve experienced the benefits of a quiet mind; and as a traveler, I’ve experienced the rejuvenating benefits of spending time completely off the grid, immersed in nothing but the moment.

So last Sunday evening, when I returned from a day-long ice skating adventure in Yosemite National Park, and read Pico Iyer’s beautiful essay, ‘The Joy of Quiet,’ in the New York Times – it really spoke to me.

Turn off Twitter, the television or your background music before reading this piece. It’s worthy of your complete attention!

In the article, writer William J. Broad argues that “a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga.”

 Among them:  “The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners of yoga typically squatted and sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, or asanas, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day walk into a studio a couple of times a week and strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility and other physical problems.

I wouldn’t want the article to deter anyone from trying yoga, or practicing it. But the article does reminds us to be mindful of not letting our ego control our practice, and not pushing past our own physical limits.

That’s coming from a girl who injured her shoulders doing too many chaturangas in a New York ashtanga studio, and who wound up in the Emergency Room after attempting to drop back into wheel-pose.

  • On a lighter note, I was completely amused by this New York Times article about vegan bodybuilders.

Vegan bodybuilders, really? Yup. According to the Times, the Web site www.veganbodybuilding.com has more than 5,000 registered users.

The article contains awesome details, like this: For a midafternoon snack, Jimi Sitko sometimes eats 10 bananas.

And it contains gems of quotes, like this one: “I laugh at the drug tests,” said Billy Simmonds, a vegan bodybuilder in Las Vegas. “I don’t even eat meat.”

Out of curiosity, I checked out the nutrition plan for a female vegan bodybuilder. To be honest, the meals look pretty good. Maybe I missed my calling?