Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Game Changers…

Not sure why but 2011 feels particularly auspicious to me. I woke up feeling inspired to share some of the rewarding insights that years of yoga and work in the natural foods industry have revealed. If you’re looking to make some positive lifestyle changes, I can personally testify to the benefits of the following:

1. Make Sambazon Breakfast Bowls… My favorite recipe includes 2 packs of Pure or Pure Fuzion Sambazon Açaí Smoothie Packs (both are unsweetened), a couple scoops of organic rice/hemp protein powder (whole food powders/no isolates), a scoop of Amazing Grass brand Chocolate Superfood, Eden Blend organic rice/soy milk and any other organic berries you enjoy. Top with Ezekiel sprouted cereal and some honey.

2. Get Your Juice On… I highly recommend investing in a low RPM, twin gear juicer such as the Green Star juicer. Juicing organic fruits & veggies is a complete game changer. Pickup some Green Bags and use them instead of the standard plastic bags from the produce section; in this way, your veggies will last in your fridge for a good 5-7 days. Go easy on the apple and carrot and be sure to incorporate things like fresh turmeric and ginger root, cilantro, parsley, kale, broccoli, celery and a whole lemon (peel included).

3. Sprouting… Sprouting is downright awesome. Just get a seed sprouting jar or two so you can keep a good rotation going. Avoid making this complicated because it couldn’t be easier or more fun! Just rinse your sprouts before you leave for work and then again at some point in the evening. You’ll have more delicious sprouts than you can eat; and so, if you have a surplus, just juice ‘em!

4. Composting… I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to utilize the pulp left over from my daily juicing to produce gorgeous organic soil for my house plants and garden. Just get a small compost unit for your countertop and make a larger one out of an old storage bin for your back stock. You’ll also need composting worms commonly referred to as ‘red wigglers’. Learn more from The Ecology Center and How to Compost.

5. Learn how to breathe… properly : ) Pranayama can be referred to as the scientific art of mastering the breath. Of course, most of us are born knowing how to breathe properly. However, stress and traumatic events in our lives can cause us to sub-optimize the manner in which we breathe. All breathing patterns have a corresponding affect on the mind; and so, mastery of the breath brings about a profoundly calm and serene state in the mind. You can learn simple techniques from your local Yoga, Tai Chi or Qugong teacher or contact me directly if you’d like to learn a particularly elegant system of breathing techniques called Kriya Kundalini Pranayama.

6. Letting go… The foundation for all successful meditations, i.e., pro-actively letting go of all of that which robs you of your peace. Most of us don’t think twice about our daily hygiene rituals, e.g., brushing our teeth, bathing etc. One can think of meditation as good mental hygiene. Consistent, intense practice of meditation promises profound improvement in our own lives as well as those we interact with.

7. Sunlight: Be sure to get at least 20minutes of direct sunlight each day. In this stage in our evolution, we spend a lot of time indoors inundated with electromagnetic radiation. Sunlight not only yields Vitamin D but will also help you look and feel your best.

Helpful keys to the successful implementation of positive lifestyle changes:

1. The things that will work best for you are those you’ll do. It’s always best to start with something that fascinates you.

2. Be sure to give it an honest try before moving on to the next thing. In yoga, we work first towards 44 days of consistent intense practice for a new habit to begin to take hold and a 144 day milestone for it to become part of your character. Remember, if you don’t give up, you’re bound to succeed!

Lastly: When it comes to discouragement and frustration, remember, if it’s not one thing in life, it will always be another. So, when you encounter negative emotions relax, smile and cultivate the opposite quality of whatever negative emotion you’re encountering, e.g., cultivate courage and contentment when you experience fear or frustration.

* Skanda gives regular weekend seminars into classical yoga all over the globe. Please contact him directly if you’d like to learn more.


direct: 949 244 5651

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Every Brand Needs a Logo...

We returned from our first trip to the Amazon full of inspiration and low on cash. Knowing that our new company was in need of a logo, a dear friend of ours introduced us to two of his talented buddies one a DJ, the other a DJ and graffiti artist; both, self-taught graphic designers.

We spent some time with the dynamic duo recounting stories of our journey through Brazil and did our best to convey the ephemeral aspects of the Amazon and newfound obsession with açaí.

We explained that while on a tour through the Amazon forest we learned that sales of açaí fruit were more profitable to its inhabitants than selling less sustainable forest goods and that we’d decided to name the company SAMBAZON to memorialize our intention, i.e., the Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon via market driven conservation.

Although we’d decided on a name (albeit long and somewhat tricky to pronounce), we offered the guys little more than the two adjectives: mystery & power. After several iterations, the Sambazon logo was born.

We’ve come to view the warrior in our logo as the protector of the forest. His stoic expression reminds us to remain steadfast through challenges and the beams of light emanating from around him represent the light that shines within each of us.

With Love & Devotion,


Friday, May 27, 2011

BBQ Açaí Tempeh Burger

Warm nights, fresh produce, and a long weekend ahead of us. Grilling season. Like usual, I had to add the superfoods and turn the classic burger into ultimate vegan tastiness - and I think you'll like where it ended up. So here's to friends and BBQs and a great summer ahead of us all.

Açaí BBQ Sauce
(Enough for 2, size up as needed)

1/2 Sweet yellow onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Sweet piquanté peppers (they are from South Africa and sometimes called Peppadews or peri peri peppadrops)
1/3 ketchup
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp chili powder (just use your favorite)
1/2 Sambazon Açaí Pure Smoothie Pack

Saute onion in oil till translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for a couple minutes. Pour into a blender, and blend till smooth.

The Burger

Yellow crooked-neck squash
Romaine lettuce

Douse tempeh with BBQ sauce and rub squash with olive oil and add to a hot grill. Let cook till brown lines appear, flip and do the same. Add extra sauce to your tempeh each time you flip it. After about 10 minutes, or until desired doneness, add your buns to the grill to toast them briefly. Then pull everything off and assemble as you please.

Great with sweet potato fries (make them yourself of buy them frozen) and Açaí Sangria!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

B Corp: Certified Sustainable

We founded Sambazon (Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon) eleven years ago with a desire to create positive social change through a “sustainable” business. Our philosophy was, and continues to be, based on a triple bottom line, which aims to achieve social, economic, and environmental success in all that we do. During this period, that very word, sustainable, has started to loose meaning as companies big and small adopt “sustainable” practices that have any range of positive influence from vast to none.

We’re not a fan of greenwashing any more than you are, so in a quest to seek out credible measures that would both demonstrate our transparency and keep Sambazon at the forefront of this movement, we continue to work hard to push the envelope with respected third parties to grow our certified USDA organic and Ecocert Fair Trade supply chain. And today, I’m happy to announce that Sambazon is honored to call itself a B(enefit) Corporation.

A certified B Corporation is a mission-driven organization that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems – and that mission is built into its legal DNA. Not only can companies become certified after passing a rigorous review process that looks at how a corporation treats its employees, consumers, community and environment, but B Corp is also working state by state to pass Benefit Corporation legislation – they are working on our home state of California right now.

You can see how Sambazon stacks up in the ranks of B Corporations in our public profile. If you see something we should work on, let us know. We appreciate your insights and know that the ultimate success of our society is dependent on all of us working together to create the future we want.

Ryan Black, Co-Founder + CEO