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Grab Bag Meditation Station:

RESTORE

I say meditation can be found in many places; once you tune your mind to what it feels like, you can go there while singing, while walking, while refinishing a door (but that’s another story).

bird-singing walking refurbishing-entry-door

As someone who dabbled with meditation in my 30’s, then hooked into it from a whole different perspective much later, I can wholeheartedly endorse your practice and assure you that the positive effects of meditation are directly correlated to the amount of time you give to it. Perhaps a bit of a struggle at first, think of it as a mind massage that will, in due time, be available to you wherever and whenever you choose.

The internet brings free guided meditation right to you. Try some of these sites:

A Moment of Calm

Three Minute Meditation

Calm.com

The Chopra Center

The Art of Living

The Ocean Breath

Point of Focus

Sahaja Meditation

Here’s a brief video byte that helps to remind us why this practice is perfect.

Meditation Then and Now

Grab Bag Green Tea Update:

green-tea

It has been awhile since I have espoused the many virtues of my best friend, Green Tea. In this post back in 2011, I talked about the “gift of thin” that green tea can bring, and mentioned my weed of choice, Teavana’s Gyokuro.

Recent analysis by ConsumerLab.com has confirmed that Teavana’s Gyokuro (or really any loose leaf Gyokuro) may be one of the best choices, for reason’s other than taste. If you are drinking green tea for health reasons, it’s all about the catechins derived from it. Those are the antioxidants that do such amazing things for your whole body. From the New York Times:

Another phase of the study looked at green tea in its more natural forms – loose tea leaves sold by Teavana and tea bags sold by companies like Bigelow and Lipton. A single serving of Teavana’s Gyokuro green tea, about one teaspoonful, was chock-full of antioxidants, yielding about 250 milligrams of catechins, a third of which were EGCG. It also contained 86 milligrams of caffeine, slightly less than a regular cup of coffee.

A single bag of the green tea sold by Lipton and Bigelow contained somewhat smaller amounts of antioxidants than Teavana’s green tea and generally minimal amounts of caffeine. But Teavana’s recommended serving size was large, and the tea was also far more expensive, resulting in a higher cost per serving. The report calculated that the cost to obtain 200 milligrams of EGCG ranged from 27 cents to 60 cents with the tea bags, and $2.18 with the Teavana loose tea leaves.

But the most surprising phase of the study was an analysis of the lead content in the green tea leaves. The leaves in the Lipton and Bigelow tea bags contained 1.25 to 2.5 micrograms of lead per serving. The leaves from Teavana, however, did not contain measurable amounts.

I will also share that very new studies (and there aren’t many really big, shiny studies on tea because…. well… there’s not bags of money to be made by doing them) have shown contrary advice for green tea preparation.

Traditional instructions will always say to avoid boiling water (too hot for the delicate leaves), and to use 170℉ water. They may also suggest you steep for no longer than 90 seconds.

The new study showed that maximum catechin release is achieved with boiling water, and the longer the steep the better (20 minutes was the max release tested). The taste will change and not be so delicate, but the benefits may increase. All depends on what you are drinking it for.

Grab Bag Query Quest:

It’s all in how you ask…..

The Question

Grab Bag Troop Scoop:

The Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders made a video of themselves lip-synching “Call Me, Maybe”. Some of their biggest fans were all the way over in Afghanistan, and wanted to mimic in appreciation… here are the two videos, side by side, for your enjoyment.

Call Me, Maybe

Thanks to SlimPaley.com for finding this 🙂

Grab Bag Outfit Outrage:

OK…. let me take just a few moments atop this digital soapbox to vent.

And by vent, I mean to first ask the world at large…. how do you respond when you see outrageous prices on very mediocre goods? How do you feel when you see stickers in the stratosphere for things that just don’t seem that special?

• Is it a “to each his own” shrug?

• Or perhaps a “WTF are they (the sellers) thinking?

• Conversely, it might be “WTF are they (the buyers) thinking?

For me, I get kinda perturbed with this. Actually, more than kinda. Don’t get me wrong…. I am so very appreciative of art and design in all its forms. And I’m OK with placing value on uniqueness and craftsmanship.

But when I see really mediocre… even truly bad… design priced outrageously just because they can get away with it… well…. I’m gonna call that BS.

And this issue hit me square in the eyeballs this week when I saw these pieces of clothing from Michael Kors, recently marked down (gee…. I wonder why??). The prices I quote here are the original prices for these pieces… all of which are, in my estimation, either incredibly ordinary or downright heinous, the likes of which can be seen at your local discount chain… or garage sale:

895MKors

$895

3995MKors

$3995… wow

2295MKors

$2295

1595

$1595

795MKors

$795

1495MKors

$1495

$1495MKors

$1495 (perhaps the ugliest, cheap-looking, thrift-store, expensive outfit ever)

6995MKors

$6995 (!!!)

1195MKors

$1195 (really??? How special does this red cardy look??)

1895

$1895

1495MiKors

$1495

So, Mr. Kors… if you’re wanting to charge caviar prices, please don’t try to spoon feed women this kind of salmon-egg schlock.

CavBait

OK… I’ll step down off my cyber soap box now.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Very cool… an auditory game for the brain. This surprised me, as I consider myself to be fairly musical… but I flopped on this… more practice for me 🙂

Music Memory

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Someone had fun at Barnes and Noble…

Well Played

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