Urban Monk Nutrition Blog

What is a Taoist Monk?

What is a Taoist Monk?

As you may already know, “The Urban Monk,” Pedram Shojai, spent some years as a Taoist monk. But what is a Taoist monk? Or for that matter, what is Taoism? Is it a religion? Is it the same as Buddhism? Let’s take a closer look. What Is Taoism Taoism (pronounced Dow-ism) is an ancient Chinese philosophy. It’s said to be based on the writings of 6th Century philosopher, Lao-tzu (sometimes referred to as Lao Zi). Interestingly, Taoism is considered both a philosophy and a religion. Lao-tzu’s...

May 9, 2019
Caraway Seeds: The Forgotten Spice

Caraway Seeds: The Forgotten Spice

Have you ever heard of caraway? If not — it comes as no surprise. Caraway seeds are notorious for being underappreciated and underused in kitchens across the nation. But in my opinion, caraway seeds have a distinct flavor that’s floral, peppery, and extremely memorable. (After all, I could NEVER imagine pastrami on rye without it!) So, to help the two of you get better acquainted, here’s some insight into how you can start using this long-forgotten spice — and a little bit about its incredible...

May 2, 2019
All About Spanish Saffron

All About Spanish Saffron

If you’ve ever eaten paella or bouillabaisse, you probably recall the orange-yellow hue and the nutty, sweet spice in the dish. That flavor, which might be hard to pinpoint, was Spanish saffron. Spanish saffron is one of the most distinct looking spices, and it has an equally distinct, complex flavor. With its sharp-yet-sweet fragrance, deep red color, and wiry appearance, it’s stunning. And this type of saffron is also one of the most expensive spices in the world per ounce. Spanish Saffron...

April 30, 2019
Calming Foods to Keep You Zen

Calming Foods to Keep You Zen

You might know the old saying, “you are what you eat.” But did you know this statement is true for your body AND your mind? As it turns out, there are actually certain foods, known as calming foods, which may actually help to ease stress hormones (and their symptoms) and promote a “zen” state of mind. So, how do calming foods work? Well, it actually has to do with your blood sugar levels more than anything else. Balancing blood sugar levels can do wonders for not only your physical health, but...

April 23, 2019
3 Zen Principles For Greater Happiness

3 Zen Principles For Greater Happiness

When life gets overwhelming, you have a couple of choices. You can stress and worry about it in the tradition of the Western world. Or, you could turn to the East, and allow yourself to be guided by the ancient (and infinitely wiser) insight of zen principles. What is Zen Philosophy? Zen philosophy comes from the ancient Mahayana Buddhist teachings that are thought to have begun in China in the 5th Century. From there, these teachings spread throughout the East. The word “zen” comes from the...

April 3, 2019
What Is Kombucha?

What Is Kombucha?

When you read or hear about the wonders of probiotic foods, a little drink known as “kombucha” always seems to pop up, along with the more familiar yogurt and sauerkraut. But... What is kombucha, exactly? Does it taste any good? Can you make your own? Kombucha is a fermented, fizzy, sweet tea drink with a slightly tangy taste. It’s considered to be a probiotic drink because it’s brimming with friendly bacteria and yeast. Now, for kombucha to “brew” (or ferment), it requires something called a...

March 19, 2019
Holding in a Sneeze? Think Again

Holding in a Sneeze? Think Again

It’s happened to everyone at some point: You’re enjoying a nice visit with good company when you suddenly feel a tickle in your nose. You don’t want to sneeze all over everyone, so you grab your nostrils and hold it in. But is holding in a sneeze dangerous? Sneezing is as common as an itch, but it’s nowhere near as subtle. A sneeze can be so startling for those around you for several reasons. First, it can be sudden and startling. And also? It might raise alarm bells with others that germs...

March 5, 2019
Instant Gratification and Negative Effects On Your Health

Instant Gratification and Negative Effects On Your Health

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: Good things come to those who wait. But, do they really? It’s hard to believe that when staring down your favorite dessert! Instant gratification is something the modern world has come to expect, for better or worse. Whether it’s diet, dating, or shopping habits, impulsiveness is often the name of the game for some of us. But is immediate gratification harmful in the long term? The Time Is Now No matter how disciplined a person is -...

February 19, 2019
Have You Considered Cutting Sugar from your Diet?

Have You Considered Cutting Sugar from your Diet?

The holiday food pyramid usually involves a less-than-healthy dose of cookies, candies, cakes, and desserts of all kinds. By the time winter is over, you probably feel like you’ve had enough sugar to last you a whole year – and you probably have! With that in mind; have you considered a sugar-free diet? Cutting sugar can seem tough at the start, but there are so many benefits of not eating sugar. Is it time for you to give a no sugar diet a try? Well, with some easy-to-execute substitutes and...

February 5, 2019