A Water Bottle More Square Than I Am!

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Clean Bottle, a company that specializes in BPA free water bottles – in the past focused primarily on cycling bottles – recently contacted me and offered to send me one of their new Tritan Square bottles to try out. After researching the bottle, and the company, I agreed, and I’m happy that I did.

The company describes the Tritan Square this way:

The Square is the last water bottle you will ever need.  Its iconic shape prevents your bottle from rolling if dropped, while it’s wide handle is perfect for comfortable carrying.  Both caps use a simple quarter-turn twist to remove, and the bottom cap makes cleaning your Square easy, no matter what you may have left in your bottle.  The Square uses durable silicone gaskets in both caps to ensure a leak-proof seal everytime.  The Square’s elegant shape is sure to get you noticed, and don’t worry, it still fits in most cupholders.  Plus, the Square has an optional Water Filter or Fruit Infuser, so you can customize your Square to be perfect for you.

The bottle is 25 oz (.75L), is BPA free, and is dishwasher (top rack) safe. It also has a lifetime guarantee, which I love.

My Square arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been testing it thoroughly, to make sure that I could give you a good review.

What I love:

  • The bottle opens on both the top and the bottom, making it easy to clean out very thoroughly. This, to me, is the biggest sales point. I have thrown away more than a couple of water bottles because I was worried about what might be lurking in the depths.
  • The handle makes the bottle really easy to carry/grab. It’s so handy for running around campus with or taking a walk. I haven’t tried it, but I suspect you could use a carabiner to hook the bottle to your bag.
  • The infuser works perfectly and is easy to clean. So far, I’ve made lemon water, lime/mint water, cucumber/mint water, and cucumber/lime water. The only time any bits got into the water was when a mint leaf got pulled to pieces in my haste to move it along.
  • The colors make me happy. I have been trying out a green bottle, but I want an orange and a blue (school colors).
  • The twist on bottom and top seem very secure and there has been no leaking, even when the bottle did fall over.

What I less than love (but don’t actively dislike):

  • I don’t actually dislike the square shape. I just have no feelings about it one way or another, other than it is different. I guess if I was camping or otherwise doing things where I might be setting the bottle down on uneven surfaces, it might be more useful to me.
  • At the moment, I’m happy with the top/bottom quarter-turn locking. It does make me a little nervous, however, that it could get knocked loose in a bag. It hasn’t happened though. I’m keeping an eye on it and will report back if it does.

All in all, I really like this water bottle. My daughter saw it and wants one, so I suspect I’ll be purchasing some for upcoming holiday gifts (they have a Buy3Get1Free deal).

Clean Bottle was kind enough to send me 2 extra bottles to use as giveaways for my lovely readers!

Tritan Square Giveaway

Batch Cook: Chunky Marinara

IMG_0374 IMG_0376I’ve been batch cooking on weekends when I’m home to help get my family through the week. This week, I have made some baked tofu, will do biscuits and gravy later, and have a giant pot of chunky marinara sauce on. I thought I would share the marina recipe here (though it’s an easy one). This makes a HUGE batch. It freezes well and can be kept in the fridge for a week. I suggest keeping it in a glass container or jar.

Chunky Marinara

Ingredients
3 sweet onions, chopped
8-10 celery stalks, diced
6-8 summer squash, diced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 large (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
2 large (28 oz) cans of tomato sauce
6 T Italian seasoning
3 T salt
1 cup nutritional yeast
Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a large pot (I use a pressure cooker with lid off). Bring to a boil and then turn heat back to maintain a simmer for several hours. The longer it cooks, the sweeter it will get.

Serve over pasta, on pizza crusts, on bagels, over rice, or over roasted vegetables.

Yoga from the Third Eye Chakra: Or Trusting My Intuition

third-eye-chakraAs you have probably noticed, things have been pretty quiet around here. Over the last year, I was enmeshed in several projects on the work and home fronts that slowed down my blogging and refocused my attention. In the month of June, I spent a lot of time packing and preparing to end a job at a place I had worked for 18 years. And then on July 1, I started a new position that involves working away from home for much of the week. This has cut down on my cooking and, when I do cook (I batch cook on the weekends), I’m in a hurry to get it all done and don’t take pretty pictures. Eventually, I’ll probably post my batch cooking plans, but for now it’s been a bit of a drought of blogging.

To be honest, I don’t anticipate the blogging rate picking up much while I’m getting into the swing of a new job, but I thought I would share a little bit about where I am with my yoga practice at the moment.

With several health issues, including a major surgery, a severe infection (related to the major surgery), a fall down a flight of stairs resulting in a broken tailbone, and a plethora of RA flares, my practice really waned in the last two years. It never completely left, but it wasn’t very present either. As I relocated, and had a little space with no one in it but me and a cat, the possibility of leaving a yoga mat front and center at all times seemed to make it more possible to get in a regular practice.

Five plus weeks later, I find myself practicing at least 5 days a week, sometimes more, for at least 40 minutes a day. Whee! I started out doing a very traditional vinyasa/ashtanga surya namaskara a & b pattern, followed by a planned set of poses that I had often used in my vinyasa classes or been led through in classes I attended. After a week or so of this, I gradually let go more of that pattern and began to really tune in to what my body needed in any particular moment.

At this point, I’m calling this “intuition yoga” when I think about it. If I get on the mat and I need sun salutations to warm up the muscles and get the joints lubricated, that’s what I do. But, if my joints are very painful, I’ll opt for an easier flow followed by more static poses. If the front of my body feels really tight, I focus on opening it up. If I’ve accidentally slept on my back and wake up with horrible tailbone pain, I do very gradual standing forward folds that take the muscles surrounding that area to the edge and stretch them gently, but never move beyond. Because of the sacral pain, I’m rarely doing seated folds, even the ones I enjoy (like janu sirsasana) because I know my body will pay me back for that momentary pleasure with hours of spasms.

Doing yoga this way is working well for me right now. I have seen my practice change so much in the last 8+ years of serious yoga focus that I know it will likely shift again, but if feels good to know where I am and what is working for me and notice the positive impacts on my body and mind as I move through my day.

Do you follow your intuition in your practice, or are you more of a “by the book” kind of yogi right now?