As Local as Local Gets

photo 1Another great (and delicious) community event under my belt thanks to Slow Food East End. I’ve come to the conclusion that summer actually may not be the busy season around here. No, I don’t mean crowded, I mean productive, educational, and valuable. Summer has wrapped up and we’re getting back into our routines. For Hamptons locals, the ‘off-season’ caters to so many opportunities to get more involved in the community, meet new people, take on new goals, help a cause, or educate yourself and others. Personally, I’m making it a goal to take advantage of these possibilities. One of the ways I’m doing so is to educate myself and become more involved in local causes related to health and wellness. That started with a potluck dinner at the Shelter Island Historical Society with Slow Food East End.

Slow Food is a National nonprofit board with the mission of promoting “clean, fair food for all.” Slow Food’s East End chapter works to educate, advocate, and promote access to clean, fair, food for all. In few words, this means healthy, local, and accessible food. I am definitely behind this movement for food that is both good quality and affordable. While we’ve made a lot of progress already, we have a LONG way to go. Unfortunately, the best quality, non-GMO food is also expensive. While it’s an investment in health, let’s be honest, it’s expensive. In order for more people to eat healthier, it’s got to be more affordable and accessible. Slow Food, in addition to lots of other organizations nationwide, fight to recognize the discrepancy between health and accessibility. (As an MSW, I could talk for hours about this topic! But, lucky for you, I won’t!)

It is something I’m passionate about, though. Especially within this amazing community. It’s a good mission and I like it. My point, however, is actually much more broad than this one organization. The point is to get out there and get involved. Get local. Explore the real goings on in your community, wherever your passion or mission may lie. This is really what One Healthy Hamptons stands for; activating, both individually and together, a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Health and wellness are applicable on so many levels, not just in your kitchen. There’s a whole world out there, right in this community. Think outside of just your own body, your mind, and your family’s quality of life. Wellness extends throughout neighborhoods, communities, and cities. Take a step in the right direction, explore this world. Figure out what makes your community unique. That’s as local as local gets. Get involved, read, learn, teach, grow, cook, share. Get involved, however you can, however you want. And enjoy it.

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One Healthy Breakdown: What will you do to expand your local world of wellness?

Tips From a Yogi

Intro from Kiley: I’m always interested in listening to a yogi about their journey and practice. Emily Puccio, practicing yogi and yoga instructor, teaching classes over on the North Fork, weighs in on her own yoga experience, with some great tips for beginners:

I’m often asked how to begin a yoga practice. Even though yoga has gained dramatically in popularity over the past decade or so, it seems that there are many potential yogis sitting on the sidelines wondering where to start.

lieb yogaWhether you decide to take a group class, hire an instructor for a private session, use a DVD, or access many of the online classes and tutorials that are available today, I encourage new-found yogis to keep these things in mind:

1. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Don’t worry about what the instructor or the person on the mat next to you can do, and don’t worry about what doesn’t feel accessible to you on your own mat in your own practice (either at home or in a studio). As I tell my students, it’s called a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect, for a reason.

2. Try it out a few times before you decide to commit and make it part of your regular routine or try something else. There are elements to any practice that are unique to yoga (not the least of which is the use of sanskrit words) that take some getting used to.

3. At the heart of yoga is a practice of self-awareness. So if you experience any “edges,” simply acknowledge those feelings (they could be physical – like difficulty maintaining a pose or keeping up with a quicker-paced sequence – or emotional – like frustration or uncertainty) and watch how you respond physically and emotionally/mentally. This will heighten the practice of awareness and maybe even help you focus on one thing at a time.

One Healthy Breakdown: With these ideas in mind, you have helped to clear a path for a healthier you. Namaste!

Bio: Emily Puccio began practicing yoga on a borrowed mat and with a borrowed DVD in 2000. Immediately recognizing the physical benefits, she incorporated yoga more regularly into her wellness routine, and eventually understood that one of the reasons she felt so much better when practicing yoga was because of the mental clarity, focus, and centering the practice invokes on and off the mat. Through the years, she has explored many styles of yoga, and in July 2012, Emily completed the 200-hour intensive Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training and currently teaches group and private yoga sessions on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island. Click here for info on her Aquebogue classes and here for info on her Cutchogue “Yoga in the Vines” classes!