Living Energy

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Lately, I have been practicing more Living Yoga and Subtle Body work, rather than my regular physical Asana practice. It’s a nice change. Slowing down my practice is allowing me to examine the pace of my life. When my life is at a slower pace, I have more access to the quality of my energy and in turn, the quality of all my relationships is enhanced. I am ok with going a day devoid of chatturangas in exchange for taking time to hold a conscious space with my own subtle energy.

To be honest, I noticed my connection to God, prayer and faith becoming diluted by the faster pace of life. While meditation and reminder to pray when things became challenging was still a part of my practice, I know that prayer, mediation and God needed to be my daily medicine no matter what the day may bring.

Recently, I watched AWAKE, the film about the life of Yogananda. The basic message of Yogananda was that the spine and the brain are your altar to God, or universal consciousness. You don’t have to be a part of a church or any organization to connect you with God. Your connection is already within you, in the form of your brain and spine, the home of your Living Energy centers. Through connection to your own living energy, otherwise known as chakras and subtle energy systems, you can connect yourself to the Universal Consciousness of everything.

Inspired by this message, I have taken time each day to connect to the energies that are within me. The time I would take running like crazy at the gym has now been replaced by more time and work (because this too is work) connecting to my inner world. Through breathwork, meditation and awareness of the different energy systems within, I have noticed my life feel lighter. My intentions are more clear, my gratitude for the simple abundances of each day is more intuitive, and prayer is becoming a more natural ritual in my life. In turn, I feel more balanced, all my relationships are in a great place, that which I desire is manifesting, I’m more motivated and enthusiastic about life in general. As I write this I’m seeing that this is the point of Yoga. To pause, slow down, connect to how you hold space for yourself and to watch life become less frustrating and more enjoyable.

This Sunday, 11/15 from 12-2p we are hosting a Living Energy workshop thats teaches you how to connect to your own Subtle Body. Join Kristina Kuzmich from for a rich exploration of the subtle body as she opens up the room for lecture and discussion on Living Energy, followed by a practice in energy awakening, Pranayama technique and a guided meditation with Crystal Healing bowls. No Yoga experience is necessary, only an open mind and heart to explore!

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Our Daily Dose of “Medicine”

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What have you done today that was healing for you?

Our Yoga practice allows us to be conscious of the medicine we need for the day. After our practice we feel well. We never regret our decision to go, and our day is enhanced because we made a quality choice of nourishment for our self. In this way, we are learning that our human being-ness needs a daily dose of spiritual medicine, as a way to awaken us to our own savory aliveness.

Our daily medicine can also be thought of as ritual, devotion, and most traditionally, Sadhana. A Sadhana can be defined as  “simply a daily spiritual practice designed to allow oneself to turn inward and perceive life as it truly is”. I appreciate the term medicine, because it reminds me to take care of myself today. What have I done today that was medicinal for my soul? 

Reminding myself of my daily medicine opens me up to any and all ideas that I can make time for in my day to take care of me. It could be a Yoga class, my morning meditation, writing, drawing, taking a bath, getting a pedicure, cooking a healing meal, drawing, breathing consciously, applying lotion with essential oils, walking in nature, sitting by the ocean, etc. It doesn’t have to be an accomplishment or a grand event. A moment or two honoring and acting on what your soul needs. Just knowing that each day there is an opportunity to receive. It is in this receiving to my soul that makes it medicine.

By giving to ourselves, we can be more present and alive with everything we do, and our relationship with our life evolves respectfully. Making devotional and healing choices for ourselves becomes a habit that carries over into our relationships and the rest of our life. Eventually everything we do has quality and care, because we have cultivated quality and care in our relationship with self.

One of my favorite teachers, Elena Brower, writes:

“Each moment spent in that state of respect is felt through all we do.
“How may we cultivate devotion daily? 
“Moving intentionally.
“Sitting quietly.
“Noting when we interrupt, and when we gracefully navigate our interactions.
“Granting unexpected kindnesses.
“Arranging ourselves with abundance in our thinking, and our loving.
“Orienting ourselves toward daily ritual until reverence becomes the only offering we make to ourselves, even when we falter.
“Remembering to respect even in the face of disrespect, until respect becomes all we offer everyone, every time, everywhere. 
“And what if those around us seem less than reverent?
“Our work is to hold to our own internal devotion. This is why we keep up our practices – to keep reminders of reverence nearby, so when doubt enters our environment (our own or another’s), we can hold the space naturally and effectively until the doubt dissipates.”



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reTREAT yourself! Idyllwild Yoga + Hiking Retreat October 2-4

4-20141124205041We love the fall the most! The Autumn season is a fresh and welcome change of pace after the growth, activities and heat of the summer months.  Oftentimes there is a lot of chaos left behind. The mind can get scattered and distracted by the joys of summer. It is important now to find clarity in the aftermath of so much outward activity. Our Idyllwild Yoga + Hiking retreat couldn’t come at a better time. From Friday, October 2-Sunday October 4, we will be retreating to our neighboring mountains to enjoy the simplicities that this world can offer. Everyday you can enjoy: 

  • Morning meditation
  • Yoga
  • Organic vegetarian meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments and snacks)
  • Hiking
  • Cooking class
  • Lounging on the deck overlooking the mountains or in one of the cold and/or hot tubs
  • Restoratives
  • Conversations with like-minded nature loving Yogis

Coming back, you will feel like a new person. Fresh, present and ready to move forward with more peace and intention.

We have one spot left on our retreat! Our private room with a King bed is a great one to have all to yourself, or share with someone you know and love. We are offering this for $850 for single occupancy, or $575 per person for double occupancy. 

Please email for questions or inquiries on our last spot!

Here are some more photos of what to expect:





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September is Yoga Month!

New classes to Yoga Bound: Kundalini and Vinyasa 60! September is National Yoga Month; join our challenge. Foundations Yoga Workshops with Kristina and special guest, Nancy Epstein is back on Hypnosis, Yoga and Prental Care. Only 2 spots left for the Idyllwild Yoga + Hiking Retreat!
New Classes Starting September
6 – 7am 
Tuesday + Thursday
Vinyasa 60 with Alana

8 – 9:15am
Kundalini Yoga with Robin
Sign Up For A Class
Join The Yoga Challenge
Two Week Yoga Challenge
Sept 15 – 30
September is National Yoga Month and we are celebrating!
$50 for two weeks of unlimited yoga!
Must practice 10 out of the 15 days to complete the challenge. Those who complete the challenge will receive 20% off anything at Yoga Bound
(not included: auto-pays or intro specials; must be purchased by 11/1)
*Not applicable with any other discounts or coupons. Auto-pay contracts may participate in the challenge with no additional charge.
Upcoming Workshops/Events
Foundations Workshop
Sat, Sept 12th 1 – 4p
This fundamental workshop provides helpful anatomical tools and a safety net to explore the traditional vinyasa yoga practice. Diving into postures of Tadasana (mountain pose), Half-forward fold, Plank, Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward Facing and Downward Facing Dog, prepare to learn and understand proper alignment for your body, breath connection and the benefits. These poses are the blueprint postures to all other poses practiced in yoga. Gaining awareness on one’s bodies strength and weakness in these poses will help one evolve safely and freely into inversions, arm balances and even twist and back bending!  Learn more…
Mind, Body + Spirit: Hypnosis Workshop
Sat, Sept 19
1 – 3p
Similar to Yoga, Hypnosis is a focused concentration : a deep form of relaxation that allows the Sub conscious mind and body to work in concert. Through guided meditation, introduction of diaphragmatic breathing technique and Hypnosis. We will learn how hypnosis can be used to relax and open the mind, calm the central nervous system and oxygenate the body to invite a deeper connection to spirit. You will experience what it is like to drop into this state of super consciousness and profound relaxation in minutes. You will have an understanding of Hypnosis as a practice that will enhance every aspect of your life and relationships . Learning hypnosis provides new tools to bring about positive change, new appreciation and gratitude. This workshop will excite learning, provide a good Yoga stretch and invite you to have some fun. Learn more…
Prenatal Yoga + Hypnosis
Sun, Sept 20
1 -3p
Through guided mediation, introduction of special breathing techniques. We will also learn how hypnosis can be used to relax and visualize a healthy and anxiety free birthing. This kind of concentration is consistent with your Yoga practice as you will prepare your bodies to be connected and strong. You and your baby will be in the dance towards a healthy calm birthing. You will be guided through a Pre natal Yoga practice perfect for expecting mamas that will open your hearts and your hips! Joining like-minded Goddess Warriors, you will be able to practice together and share energy with women in all stages of pregnancies, as well as be able to take home a practice that supports the growing life inside you, prepares you and your partner for the welcome of your child in a calm and loving manner. Learn more…
Only 2 Spots Left!
Idyllwild Yoga + Hiking Retreat
October 2 -4, 2015
Nestled between pine trees is the historic quaint town of Idyllwild, CA rich with hiking, art, and music. Enjoy daily yoga, hiking and meditations with Kristina and delicious cuisine prepared by Alana. Take in the autumn leaves while absorbing in the views from the hot tub!  Learn more…
This is a weekend to rejuvenate, invigorate and excite the Soul! 
Yoga Bound | 2697 State Street | 760-720-YOGA | Email | Website
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We Are Moving!

Grand Opening Saturday, August 1st!
July brings big news for Yoga Bound! With new classes, new teachers, special workshops and a new studio space, we are indeed excited to share all this amazingness with you. It is bittersweet to say goodbye to our little “house”, but we realize that after three years, we have outgrown it’s space. It is because of you and your dedication to our community that these big changes are able to happen and we are beyond grateful for this next step in our growth within the Carlsbad Village community! Thank you for being a part of our evolution!
Yoga Bound’s New Address: 2697 State Street / Carlsbad Village, California 92008
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Yoga Music Feature: DTO Music


Our 3rd Year Anniversary Nepal Fundraising eventthat is happening this Saturday, June 20 from 4-7 has had a great response in our North County Yoga Community. When we were casually looking for a musician, any musician, who would kindly donate their musical talents for free, we were astounded when DTO connected with us because he is kinda a big deal in the San Diego Yoga scene. DTO is a gifted musician that performs piano, guitar, and electronic music with yoga classes, workshops, corporate/public events, and weddings. He is kinda a big deal in the San Diego Yoga Through his music he soulfully heals and uplifts the human experience.He has co-created yoga + music with Cristi Christensen, Fig Newton Campbell, and Kino MacGregor.DTO released his iTunes debut with Grammy-nominated producer, StoneBridge. His full-length album, Nameless Energy, will be available summer 2015.

One of the best ways to experience epic music is by connecting the music to a Yoga practice. DTO will be live at Yoga Bound this Saturday, June 20th from 4-7p so you can hear this talented artist play while Kristina Kuzmich guides a compassionate Yoga flow, followed by sound bowls and chanting. Get ready for your heart to explode with amazingness.

We are so grateful for DTO Music and the generosity of all our community vendors. This is what life is about! Coming together, raising our vibration and offering our selfless service to uplift the planet of which we all are apart.

Click here to listen to DTO Music and get pumped up for Saturday!

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In 2012 an opportunity crossed my path that profoundly changed my life. I was asked to join a non-profit organization called Bridges Between (BB) whose primary focus at that time was building schools in rural villages of Nepal. I was living in Vail, Colorado then and the organization was based out of Snowmass, Colorado. Life has a funny way of presenting things to us though. With this particular story I actually met the founder of BB on a shared cab ride in Cabo San Lucas, having no idea how much my life would forever change from that day; that cab; that offering of my sun hat to Brooke Paparo.


Swayabhu Stupa

Swayabhu Stupa in Kathmandu

As time would unfold, James Bengala and I made a huge life decision together. We were only six months into our relationship and we were going to Nepal for three weeks to volunteer.  We would be a part of completing the third school and the building of a cold food storage at the Takinsdula Monastery in the Himalayas of the Solukhumbhu region. The only problem was that we really didn’t have a lot of money. So, we both moved out of our apartments and into a shared house with three other roommates paying the cheapest rent possible in the hopes to save money for our trip. We also hosted a very large fundraiser in Vail, and with the help of the locals and lululemon we raised over $8k dollars. We were ready financially to take the leap across the big blue, and we had no idea what we were about to get ourselves into. 



Kristina at the Taksindula Monastery with the Himalayas in the background

It was late October when we arrived to Kathmandu, after nearly two days of airplane travel. Karma Sherpa, owner of Sherpa Mountain Travel and a Board Member of BB, had arranged for his brother, Phurwa and nephew, Lakpa to pick us up at the airport. We were exhausted. Sipping on our first of many milk teas as we discussed the project plans, we could barely keep our eyes open. After nearly 14 hours of sleep, we woke the next day, ready to explore the culture and people of Nepal. Phurwa was a great guide taking us all over Kathmandu sight seeing the beauty and chaos of how the city pulses. Dust everywhere, dirt roads, no street lights, cows roaming the streets, family of three on mopeds with no helmets, trash everywhere, and hot, we became intoxicated on the buzz of Kathmandu. So much history in each Hindu temple and Buddhist stupa; so many stories in the eyes of the locals – it was truly a fascinating journey and it had only just begun. 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”



two older women

Two women enjoying the community farmers market near Phaplu

After a very sketchy plane ride to Phaplu, a two day trek stopping in Ringmu and ending in Taksindula, we arrived at our destination, just two days hike away from the entry city to Everest. We were nestled in the cloud lines, at 11,500 feet, sleeping in tents. The days were warm with the exposing sun and the evenings were extremely cold, one night dropping to zero. Wake up call was at 6am, with the crow of the rooster and the barking of the dogs, followed by a sweet voice outside our tent saying, “good morning, milk tea, coffee?” and a bowl of warm water for washing. Needless to say, at then nine months into our dating relationship, James and I had moved past that awkward stage as we bathed together in our tent daily. 


working with everyone

James, the monks and the locals putting up the side wall to the cold food storage

We worked closely with the monks of the monastery and the local towns people building the cold food storage that would be shared by the surrounding villages. Those villages include, Cchulemu, our home base of BB and where Karma and his family are from, as well as Ringmu, Taksindula, Deku and a few others. There is no internet, very little electricity, no heating other than the stove in the kitchens of the peoples homes, no air conditioning, no cars, no showers, only outhouses that one squats in with a small window for ventilation, no clean water, no “luxery” if you will. It is simple and slow living. To transport goods, one carries them on their heads from one village to the next. This made building our cold food storage challenging as we waited for product to arrive. I remember one day our two by four’s arrived. The porter had carried them for two days from village to village, alone, on his head. I was blown away. He warmly welcomed a cup of the famous milk tea upon his arrival. 


bb school with kiddos

Kristina drawing with the women and children at the Cchulemu BB school
dilkumar carrying supplies

Dilkumar carrying supplies – the traditional way to transport goods

The people are hard working. They wake early, women in the fields, tending to the crops, alongside the men, and the children attend the local Nepalese schools. Many trek an hour a day to arrive to their schools. These treks are not easy. The roads are dirt, contain boulders and jetting rocks and sometimes the elevation gain is over 1,000 feet. Our teachers of BB astound me. After teaching for the government Nepalese schools 6 days a week, they trek an hour to our schools to teach 6 days a week from 6-9pm. Mostly, children and women attend our schools, were the women mainly learn how to read and write in their own language and the children learn English. They are happy people. The happiest I have ever met. Genuinely offering their food and time, even when they have very little. They are a devoted people to their culture. Crime is very low and everyone honors one another’s religious choices, as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Muslim faiths are all practiced and respected. There is something to be learned from such an outlook and practice. 


brooke and harmony painting

Founder of BB, Brooke Paparo (below) and Harmony Scott (standing) painting the inside of the cold food storage

It was hard coming back to the United States. It did not feel right buying anything other than food for myself. I didn’t treat myself to a mani/pedi for an entire year. For the first time in my life, it seemed odd to paint my nails. Conversing with people felt like it was missing something, a back note, a depth or a sincerity. I didn’t find myself judging, just very awake to things. The life was fast, noisy, and unmindful and I struggled returning. But like all things, we become conditioned and about two months later, I returned to my hustle and bustling ways of the American lifestyle, though not completely. There will always be a piece of me that was touched by a compassionate and mindful way of daily living. My outlook had changed and over the years, what I learned during my travels in Nepal, my service of building and assisting to the request of the people, has forever changed me. There are things I saw or lessons I learned then but did not understand while I was there in 2012 and now as I continue to evolve, I understand them more. It is almost as if I had stored them away, knowing, one day, it will click – the “a-ha!” effect. It has. 


three young porters resting

Young porters taking a break along the road

There is something profound about helping others, about taking time to truly offer an act of service. In yoga we have a name for this; it is SEVA. It means Selfless Acts of Service. I suppose you could call it “selfless”, and in a way, yes it is, but the rewards of volunteering and seeing the eyes of a child light up, to offer your tennis shoes to an old man walking around in his bare feet and to see his smile, to know you are doing good unto others, that reward is beyond fulfilling. Even now, just remembering those moments, tears of joy come to my eyes, my heart was so touched by giving. In yoga we talk a lot about how we are all mirrors for one another. I suppose when I see the joy of my service in someone else, I cannot help but feel and see the joy inside myself; after all, I am seeing myself in them. I think this is why volunteering is so life changing. We realize how simple life really is; how connected we all really are. 


nepal relief kid photo

Photo captured after earthquakes in Nepal

With the recent earthquakes in Nepal, my heart is filled with much sadness. I found out that our friends are ok and safe, healthy and alive. But many others are not. Homes are lost, food and water is scarce and there is so much rebuilding and reconstruction of the city and surrounding villages that needs to happen. Karma’s family lost their home in Cchulemu, our schools are destroyed and the Taksindula Monastery was badly ruined. One of our beloved guides, Pasang, who works for Karma was missing for a week after the initial earthquake, but were are happy to report he is well and safe. As a result, Karma has put together an immediate relief organization and since day one, he has had a team of people on ground working to help. So far, we have raised over $50k dollars. 


jb and kkb at the wong festival

James and I after the Wong (empowerment) festival the day before my 32nd birthday. We were blessed by Lama Sarsun Rinpoche.

Naturally, James and I had an initial reaction to go to Nepal and volunteer. We took some time to sit with this and realized that right now is not the right time. Rather instead, I have decided to spread awareness and to host a fundraiserfor Karma’s organization. I have teamed up with Yoga Bound in Carlsbad Village for its three year anniversary on June 20th to celebrate the people of Nepal, bringing together local organizations, food, music and yoga as we raise money for the Nepal Relief. I have lead two very large format fundraisers, and two smaller ones now since 2012 and even though it is lot of extra work, it is always worth it in the end. It is such an amazing way to bring people together, spreading awareness and remembering how impactful and important selfless acts of service is to our overall health and well-being. 

Your presence at the fundraiser is encouraged. Entry is $10 which also gifts you one raffle ticket. Upon entry, we will sell more raffle tickets 1 for $5 or 5 for $20. The raffle prizes keep flowing in which is a testament to SEVA and compassion. It brings so much joy to my heart to see so many people wanting to be a part of this cause. I am pleased to be leading a yoga practice with the beautiful beats ofDTO live music! We will have samples of food from Gaia Gelato and Choice Juicery, as well as pop-up shops, tables and so much more If you cannot attend, but would like to donate to the relief, please do so by going directly to Karma’s site HERE. Even $10 goes a long way.

Nepal Fundraiser Flyer


WHEN: Saturday, June 20th

TIME: 4 – 7pm / Yoga 5-6p / Raffle 6:30 – must be present to win prizes

WHERE: Yoga Bound in Carlsbad Village / 3043 Harding Street

ENTRY: $10 also gifts you one raffle ticket

Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or want to learn more about how you can be involved!



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Travel Tuesday// Best Yoga Pose for Travelling

By Alana Bray, Owner of Yoga Bound

Processed with VSCOcam with x3 presetHappy June! Summer is just around the corner and most of us will fill up our days with activity, sunshine, and travel. While all these happy themes of summer are fantastic, they can take a toll on the body. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall) is one of the best poses you can do to restore and replenish your cells from a day of activity, sunshine and travel. Also known as Inverted Lake, this pose is a mild inversion that has anti-aging and therapeutic circulatory benefits. Many old Hindu scriptures like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika claim that with this pose “Grey hairs and wrinkles will become inconspicuous”. Although some of these scriptures should be taken with a grain of salt, it won’t hurt to do it after some long days spent out in the sun this summer.

If you are like me, after traveling, I feel tight, energetically congested and swollen in my feet. The first thing I do when I get to rest is put my legs up the wall for 10 minutes. This is also a very grounding pose, nice after a day of flying up in the air. With long, slow, deep belly breaths, this pose relieves my swelling, travel angst, and I feel fresh, calm and centered.

How to: Start seated with one hip close to the wall. Lower to forearms, and on an exhale, gracefully swing both legs up the wall. Scoot your sit bones as close to the wall as is comfortable, making sure your tailbone stays on the earth and your shoulders are relaxed. Option to place a blanket or bolster under your pelvis for added support and inversion for your abdominal muscles. It is also nice to loop a strap around the calves to hold your legs for extra relaxation. Stay here for 5-10 minutes with conscious breaths.

Benefits Include:

  • Calms the mind
  • Relieves swelling in the feet and ankles
  • Grounding
  • Restorative
  • Assists circulatory system
  • Anti-Aging
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Gently stretches the back of the legs
  • Softens the shoulders and neck
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Wellness Wednesday// “It’s time to get real about food”

By Studio Manager, Kristina Kuzmich Bengala


I have a voice and I will use it!!! Will you?

“Last nights dinner conversation with the hubby turned to the talk on food, illness, eating healthy, what is healthy and onset problems that are fast growing in children. This conversation prompted me to play the movie called Fed Up, that I have seen a few times already but my main squeeze had not. Every time I see this movie, I find myself lit up, passionate and nearly speaking out loud to the television. But I already feel this way everyday about how food in America is and how it has been administered and okay’ed by our government as safe and un-harming to ourselves and the future of our species. The fact is, it is harming us now and it will only continue to get worse.
If you have yet to watch this inspiring, de-mystifying, and food revolution movie…if you have yet to understand the serious problem we have on our hands…if you have yet to grasp the severity of this situation and for the future of the human species (our children and our children’s children), I urge you to take some time out of your amazing long weekend and watch this film. We are the change makers. We are the revolution and it won’t stop, it can’t stop, until we all start speaking up, buying food differently and thinking about FOOD AS OUR MEDICINE; realizing that we have been eating poison. Processed food is poison. We still have yet to learn from our previous mistakes. Take tobacco. Remember when it was okay’ed by the government. Remember when it was cool? Now, we know (though the high ups already knew before) that it is the leading cause to lung cancer. If that was ok, think about how much food that is processed that we have been eating since when? Childhood? Infancy?
Did you know that statistics are currently showing that the next generation will not live as long as our generation? Did you know that Diabetes is growing in number not just in America but all over the world? Did you know that “low fat” really just means, double the sugar? Did you know that sugar has been shown to be more addicting than cocaine?
This is REALITY. Nearly 80% of the food on the shelves in grocery stores is processed and loaded with added sugar. We are being poisoned. It is time to wake up. If not to join the revolution of food and speak out, then at least do it for your own health and your children’s. Do it for your livelihood and for the longevity of this amazing and miraculous thing we get to have – LIFE!!!!”


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Wellness Wednesday: “Pasta Salad”


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What to do with leftovers? From a beLiving Well perspective, you can make anything into a salad, especially leftovers. Any of our beLiving Well warm meal recipes can be turned into a hearty salad the next day. We love to do this with almost anything: the filling from our collard greens burrito, quinoa, beans, even chili and vegetable soup! Today we are making last night’s brown rice pasta into a simple, nutritious and affordable meal.


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