BodyGuruBlog

Health, Wellness, and My "Multi-Life"

Birthday Campaign Goes Live

photograph of baby elephant with prosthetic

Mosha, the inspiration for the Elephant Parade — Click for a short video

I am so excited – my Birthday for Giving campaign for The Asian Elephant Foundation just went live! You can read more about it in the previous post. While the campaign won’t dominate my blog, I will give periodic updates as it continues.

If you love animals or have enjoyed any of my previous posts, please consider donating $5 (roughly the price of a peppermint mocha) to a wonderful cause. What’s more, donations pledged on Tuesday December 3 will be matched at 5% by Indiegogo as part of #GivingTuesday. Thank you for reading this, and please pass it along!

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Click to be taken to the campaign

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Birthday for Giving

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People always ask, “What do you want for your birthday?” or “How are you going to celebrate?” Since my birthday is November 30, I have been thinking about this quite a lot. I knew there wasn’t really anything I wanted, and after years of bar crawling and all-night dancing (on occasions not limited to my or anyone else’s birthday) I really wasn’t interested in painting the town. What I do want is something that makes a genuine contribution. I’m not a billionaire, so I won’t be able to build a hospital or arts center, but we can all do something to help leave the world in better, fairer, and more beautiful condition than when we first arrived. Right?

It turns out that Tuesday December 3–the Tuesday following my birthday–is #GivingTuesday! What is Giving Tuesday? From their website: “#GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.” Learning about #GivingTuesday and their partnership opportunities with Indiegogo inspired me to turn my birthday into an occasion to do something positive. I figured if all my friends, family, and fitness participants contributed $5 to a cause instead of buying me a cappuccino, a fancy cocktail (which would be more like $10 anyway), or even a card, I could collect around $500!

Choosing the cause was easy. I love elephants, and because of the recent surge in poaching, their plight had been all over the news. Choosing the organization, however, proved rather difficult. There are countless, wonderful foundations dedicated to elephants–everything from the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, which houses retired zoo and circus elephants to Soraida Sawala’s amazing Elephant Hospital in Thailand, which adopts orphaned baby elephants and has provided prosthetic limbs to animals injured by landmines.

One of my key considerations was convenience. I couldn’t choose a charity that didn’t accept U.S. dollars or required a complicated bank transfer to a foreign bank. I’ve done that myself once before to pay for a yoga retreat in Veracruz–and while the process made me feel like James Bond, it’s a bit complicated, complicated enough to deter potential donors. I ultimately decided on The Asian Elephant Foundation. TAEF not only supports Soraida’s work, they also work in tandem with the Elephant Parade, which is an international open-air art exhibit that brings awareness to the Asian elephant and raises funds for all of TAEF’s projects. I was lucky enough to visit the first U.S. Elephant Parade in Dana Point, CA this past October.

photo of me at the U.S. Elephant Parade

Floppy and me at the Elephant Parade!

Since we had visited the Elephant Parade as a sort of early birthday celebration for me, it seemed only right to use my real birthday to give back to the organization that made the parade possible. I am so excited to share with you my first (and hopefully annual) Birthday for Giving. The Birthday for Giving campaign is live and will last for approximately 30 days. Click on the image to see it.

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Click on the image, please!

More information, more yoga, and more recipes forthcoming!

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Where have I been?

Funny how I can jet off to Chicago for a weekend and still have time to write 3 posts, but give me a week to spend at home, and all you get is internet silence. What have I been doing with my time? I’ve actually been working on a longer post about my recent pixel laser treatment.

The short version: I got a pixel laser done on my face on Thursday June 13. The pixel laser is far more aggressive than glycolic peels and microdermabrasion. It basically “nukes” your skin cells in a pinpoint pattern, forcing them to regenerate. Even though the pixel laser only blasts 20-25% of the skin’s surface, you probably would not want to be out and about for 3-5 days post-pixel (unless you happen to be the kind of person who doesn’t mind stares). Honestly, it looked as though I had run face-first into a burning screen door. Since I can be shameless when I believe I am helping people, I taught all my regular fitness classes – first with a red face (like nightmare sunburn) then, as it started to heal, with flakey patches of brownish and burlap-textured, dead (fried!) skin. Not surprisingly, a few participants told me that they might want more information, but only after they could assess the final results.

Before going “under the laser,” I managed to squeeze in a night out with my boyfriend to celebrate our 31 month and one day anniversary (and people call me “un-romantic!”). If you look at a photo he shot, you will notice that my face changes color to the left of and below my cheek. Behold the ravages of time, genetics, and tropical excursions!

NOTE: suspecting he would shoot a few photos, I slathered on the BB cream. What you see here is an un-retouched photo with makeup.

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You can expect a longer and more detailed post (with gruesome photos!) about my pixel at a later date. In fact, I’m making a whole separate category called TMI for posts like that.

Also in the works are posts (with recipes) about our weekly CSA. What is a CSA? Enrolling in a CSA (community supported agriculture) basically amounts to investing in a “farm share.” You pay up front for a regular “share” of the harvest, guaranteeing a market for the farm and a regular supply of fresh produce for yourself. CSAs are also a sly way to rack up some karma points since you will: 1. support local farms, 2. eat cleaner and greener. So what if you don’t believe in karma? Joining a CSA will probably force more nutrition and variety into your diet. Here’s how ours works. Every week we pick up a bunch of locally grown, organic produce at our farmers market. But there’s a catch – although we know the produce will be seasonal, we never quite know what we will be getting until we pick it up. In that way, a CSA can be a little like a weekly Iron Chef challenge. And who doesn’t enjoy a fun challenge when the prize is a healthy and delicious meal? This week we received broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, garlic scapes, blueberries (our share always includes one fruit item), a huge cucumber, a little bag of spring mix, and fresh sage. Since we have some potatoes leftover from a previous share I’m looking forward to Salad Niçoise … and then maybe pasta with broccoli and garlic-scape pesto for a quick mid-week dinner. Once in a while you might find something mysterious (like garlic scapes) included in the share.  Luckily, the man who hands over the produce will identify unusual items such as sorrel or mizuna and even offer cooking ideas.

Anyway, I’m quite green at this blogging business, so my writing and posting probably seems a bit irregular. But in the immortal words of Shri Patthabhi Jois, “Practice and all is coming,” which is my way of saying,  “Thanks for your patience – more posts soon.”

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