Maria Recommends

The Dinosaurs in My Backyard

by guest blogger Leah Zerbe. All over the United States, people are opening their lawns and gardens to prehistoric animals, allowing them to peck at pests, feast on weed seeds, and slurp down blades of grass like spaghetti. I myself have about 80 dinosaurs running around the pastures of my family farm.

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Salt

Two days. That’s all it took. When I was at the spa in Australia, the chefs did not use any salt in their food, so for two days I was salt free. At first, I balked. Soup without salt can be a very sad thing at first. But a funny thing happened. By the end of the two days I had recalibrated my tastebuds and suddenly, I didn’t need salt.

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Yoga Twists to Strengthen and Cleanse

by guest blogger Holly Walck. Once, after reaching into the backseat of may car resulted in days of back spasms, I discovered how essential twisting postures were for the health of my back. As a bonus, twists cleanse the liver and kidneys. They strengthen the digestive system and give the body a much-needed wringing out after the heavier meals of winter and the rainy days of early Spring.

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Breaking the Webs of My Weaving

by guest blogger Renee James. Several years ago, I referenced a poem, “A Wish for My Children” by Evangeline Paterson, in a column I wrote to mark the passage of time as my boys were growing up—living through those exploratory years that bridge the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence. What I didn’t quite recognize at the time—even though the poem references it so beautifully—is that they were beginning grow stronger—and away from me—already. In my mind, we had so many more years together.

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The Case for Heirlooms:
More than Just a Pretty Plate

by guest blogger Robyn Jasko. Growing heirlooms is a great way to preserve the flavor, sustainability, and legacy of these unique varieties for generations to come. Unlike hybrid plants, heirloom vegetables produce seeds that will grow into a variety identical to their parent plant. This means that if you grow heirlooms in your garden, you can grow your own seed supply and be completely self-reliant.

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Sydney vs. Melbourne:
It’s Like Chalk and Cheese

My last day in Sydney was a day of utter perfection. When I finally got to the Icebergs ocean swimming pool on the beach at Bondi, I truly felt like I had reached the destination of my pilgrimage to Australia. Then I took an 11-hour train ride from Sydney to Melbourne. At first, after the gloriousness of Sydney, I was a bit bummed. But as I started walking and exploring, I started to see the deeper side of Melbourne, which is highly creative and artistic.

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Spring Healing Through the Arts

by guest blogger Pam Peeke. Healers come in many forms, from traditional doctors and nurses to complementary practitioners like acupuncturists, yoga instructors, and massage therapists. There’s now plenty of science to show a whole range of positive benefits from regular use of each of these modalities. Flash-forward to the present and we’re witnessing the emergence of a whole new group of healers—artists.

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The Effortless Effort

I first heard that phrase when I was a teenager and was friends with an elderly mystic. I remember thinking at the time that it must be some weird, complicated spiritual thing of unknown origins. Being a teenager, I promptly forgot about it. It turns out it’s a Taoist concept known as wu wei. The basic concept is that if we align ourselves with our true nature, we live the way nature does—effortlessly.

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