I Love Farmers Markets

Farmers Market

by Joshua on January 28, 2012

The Daily Garriga classic!

Okay, the truth is I don’t often go to farmers markets. I don’t cook much these days since I am in a temporary nomad state. I do, however, love the idea of these markets. I imagine a time in the not too distant future when I will be cooking regularly. I can see myself hauling bags of fresh produce, fish, and grains into the kitchen and then planning delicious and nutritious meals for the rest of the week.

Here are my top five reasons why farmers’ markets can’t be topped:

1. Healthy Eating!
Shop at a farmer’s market and you can find food that not only tastes good, but is good for you. You won’t be playing Russian Roulette the way you do at the supermarket. A farmer’s market will be full of perfectly ripe produce, chock full of nutrients, as well as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy that comes from free range livestock. A farmer’s market is your best bet to avoid “Frankenfood.”

2. Selection!
A great farmer’s market will have nearly every food item you could possibly want. Need to get your groceries for the week? Hit your local farmer’s market instead of Whole Foods and you’ll find an even better selection.

3.Price!
If you’re looking for healthy food at an affordable price, you can’t do better than a farmer’s market. No overseas shipping or corporate markups here. [click to continue…]

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The Daily Garriga classic!

I’ve been working out off-and-on now for about 20 years. Sure there have been times when I’ve disappeared from the gym for long stretches, but when I get in a training groove, I feel like a championship caliber athlete. I often find myself finishing up a workout, feeling like a lion who has just devoured his prey, knowing that everyone in sight is looking at me with a careful respect. When I was in my twenties and at my peak, I was 6’2”, 240lbs, and as strong as an ox. My max bench press was 375lbs – not bad for a kid who was skin and bones in high school. I may have slowed down a bit over the last five years, but I can still crank it up in the gym when I put my mind to it.

Over the years I’ve worked with lots of newbies in the gym and helped them develop the knowledge and confidence they needed to master the art of working out. Let’s face it, when it comes to working out, the battle is probably 90% mental. Once you understand the mental aspect of training, you are able to push yourself to physical boundaries you never imagined you could reach. I often tell people that the body, mind, and spirit are so completely unified that it is impossible to master one while ignoring the others.

There are a number of reasons that otherwise phenomenal people choose to ignore the development of their body through weight and cardio training. You may not be able to afford a gym membership, you may work long hours and have no free time to go to the gym, you may not have convenient access to a decent gym, or you may simply not enjoy working out. These are all understandable reasons for not going to the gym, but they can all be overcome through creative approaches toward exercise and fitness.

And for most men, these are not the real reasons they choose not to go to the gym.

Most men who want to get in shape, but choose not to work out, do so because they are intimidated by the gym.

Yes, the intimidation factor is the most common reason men do not work out. It is also the least acceptable reason. If you can discipline yourself to overcome the first few weeks of mental intimidation and physical discomfort, you can position yourself to enjoy a longer, healthier, and more rewarding life.

There are four primary mental obstacles that must be overcome before a newbie can feel comfortable in the gym. [click to continue…]

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Kevin Garnett: Dirty Player or Celtic Warrior?

Kevin Garnett

by Joshua on January 12, 2012

Kevin Garnett has been described by opposing basketball players as a punk and a dirty player. Take a look at Garnett’s track record:

  • He nearly choked New York Knicks forward Bill Walker.
  • He hit (tapped?) Phonix Suns forward Channing Frye in the groin.
  • He once made Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche cry.
  • He made his own teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis cry.
  • Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, who has a medical condition that caused him to lose the hair on his head and face, accused Garnett of calling him a “cancer patient.”
  • Filmmaker Spike Lee accused Garnett of cursing him out during a game against the New York Knicks.

The list goes on and on…

But do these antics/tactics make Garnett a punk or a dirty player? Hardly.

Kevin Garnett is a throwback. He plays the game of basketball with a mean streak. He despises his opponents. He wants to destroy their will to compete at every opportunity. Garnett may be the last NBA superstar to play the game this way.

Today’s NBA is filled with coddled stars and overinflated egos. The best players today grew up traveling the country together as amateur all-stars and many carry their friendships into the pro level. At times it seems as if they’re more interested in partying together after the game than they are in competing against each other. [click to continue…]

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It’s 3:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about all of the projects, trips, and special events I have planned for the coming months. I’ve got to get an entire department at work reorganized, I have to plan for my upcoming trip to Colombia, and I need to get serious about watching my diet and getting back in shape. And somehow, in the middle of all this, I need to make time for my family and friends.

How am I going to get everything done??? Sigh…

It’s not uncommon to lose focus and feel overwhelmed by the myriad challenges facing us in life. We all go through it.

The key to overcoming a defeatist mentality and to conquering these challenges is to develop, and constantly redevelop, a laser like focus. Follow these ten steps to stay focused and achieve your goals.

1. Be Afraid!
Forget the “No Fear” slogan you’ve heard for years. Expecting anyone to have no fear is unreasonable and unrealistic. Fear is a natural part of our makeup and there is no escaping it. Sure you can use anger, recklessness, despair, or even apathy to mask your fear, but that doesn’t change the fact that the fear still exists somewhere inside you. Instead, just go with it. Allow yourself to fear and try to process what exactly it is that is causing you to be afraid.

In my case, I know I want to succeed at work, I want to travel the world, I want to be healthy and energetic, and I want to have strong relationships with the people I care most about. So, it makes sense that I would be afraid of failing on any of these counts. Now I just have to harness this fear and use it as fuel to reach my goals.

2. Eat Right!
Your body is the machinery that allows you to function in this world. You won’t have the energy and clarity of mind to maintain your focus over the long haul if you aren’t fueling your body properly. Want to stay focused longer? Try skipping the cheeseburger and greasy fries and go for a healthy salad instead. Over time, you’ll find that your mind seems cleaner and clearer. Your goals will feel much closer than they did before you started eating right.

3. Exercise Regularly!
Okay, so you’re eating right. Now what? Again, you’ve got to keep your body healthy if you want your mind functioning at it’s highest capacity. So many people in this world underachieve because they haven’t figured out that the couch is not your friend. Take time out at least three times a week to get in a good workout. Remember, focus comes through harmony between body, mind, and spirit.

4. Seek Inspiration!
It doesn’t really matter where your inspiration comes from. It could be music, literature, good company, Sunday service, a vision board. Find what works best for you. You just need something to excite the neurons in your brain into firing away. You can read some of my old blog posts here, here, and here for a small dose of inspiration. [click to continue…]

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Decorated Children

Crazy Nephew

by Joshua on December 27, 2011

An original poem by Nora Garriga.

Oh my decorated children
With pants that tripp
Rainbows of color in your hair
And skulls strapped around your neck

Oh my decorated children
Deceptive raccoon eyes
Bullrings, Snakebites
And Marilyn Monroe’s

Oh my decorated children
Red bulls and monsters
Skateboards and scooters
Vampires and zombies

Oh my decorated children
United colors
Strappy platform boots
Corset piercing body mods
The Hot topics of today

Oh my decorated children
With your interesting stories
Paragraphs of design
And chapters of uniqueness

I would chose no other book

12.20.2011 n.g.

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R.I.P. Patrice

Patrice O'Neal

by Joshua on December 1, 2011

Patrice O’Neal
1969 — 2011

One of the best comedians to ever do it. He will be missed.

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Beauty

Beauty

by Joshua on November 30, 2011

An original poem by Nora Garriga.

What is beauty?

Is it a certain color of skin?
Or is it defined by what one can afford to buy?

To me beauty is…
A flower’s first bloom as winter gives way to spring’s sunlight.
The kaleidoscope of colors as the sun kisses the horizon goodnight.
The shadows thrown against a sidewalk during a stroll on a moonlit night.
The hug of a parent letting a child know everything will be alright.

What is beauty?

Is it sold at the hottest department store?
Or is it captured in a photograph in a stylish magazine?

To me beauty is….
The comfort of your pet beside you when you are feeling low.
The poetic melody of music that inspires the soul.
The fresh, crisp, quiet of newly fallen snow.
The flickering, crackling, smoking of an autumn campfire warming my toes. [click to continue…]

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How Bad Do You Want It? Success Is A Choice!

Joshua Inspirational

by Joshua on November 27, 2011

We all want to be successful in life. We all want to be fulfilled by our work, family, relationships, and social life. And for many of us, we want something else. We want to be great at some thing that we believe defines us. You may want to be a great skater, writer, dancer, lawyer, teacher, computer programmer, entrepreneur, parent, or community organizer. It could be anything, really, that you wish to achieve. The question is, how bad do you want it?

Are you willing to make the sacrifices needed to achieve the success you dream of? Are you willing to alter your lifestyle to create the conditions needed to achieve the results you desire?

For example, if you wish to become a famous singer, are you willing to:

  1. Practice every day, without fail, to improve your craft?
  2. Develop and perfect a style that makes you stand out?
  3. Seek out and learn from singers with more experience than you?
  4. Join a band or a choir to give yourself exposure?
  5. Identify and network with people connected to the music business?
  6. Take risks and capitalize on opportunities to make yourself known?
  7. Remove naysayers and negative influences from your circle?
  8. Sing your best when the stakes are highest?
  9. Face rejection time after time without giving up on yourself?
  10. Work harder than you’ve ever worked at anything in your life?

If your answer to each of these questions is yes, then you’re on your way to having a shot at becoming successful. The difference between those who become successful and others who fall short may come down to who wants it most. By this I mean, who is willing to fight hardest for the longest?

Becoming successful is rarely instantaneous or easy. It takes a commitment to excellence. It involves belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. And it requires a willingness to do whatever it takes to put yourself in a position to succeed. [click to continue…]

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The Wanting

The Wanting

by Joshua on November 21, 2011

An original poem by Nora Garriga.

I forever wonder
Blue
Do you think of me?
As I think of you?
It’s so hard to share a glance
With you
Blue
I do not want to face these feeling
There is too much truth

But here I am
Red
At the opposite end of the spectrum
Waiting
Waiting
When will I be good enough?
My fists pound until they bleed
Red
Forever red!

Pain not provoked
By a sharp knife
Or a burning ember
Nor the slap of a hand across my face
But emotion
Of the worse kind
The wanting…

I steal glimpses
Of blue
The wanted hue
In the sunset on my horizon
Not green with envy
Red
With rage
I cannot accept
It is not meant to be

I day dream
Of being together
The blue wanting me
Touching
Swirling
Combining
To purple
The two
Become one

But that day will not come

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The Daily Garriga classic!

The first and only time I ever met public sage and Princeton professor Cornel West was when he spoke at Harvard Law School with Tavis Smiley a few years ago. I happen to think that Dr. West is one of the most provocative and inspirational public figures who has ever lived. His relentless pursuit of truth, morality, and justice gives me hope that it is still possible to find public leaders who seek leadership for the right reasons – not because they wish to be rich, famous, and powerful.

I sat through Dr. West’s speech attentively and then got my camera ready to snap a quick shot of him before he left. To my surprise, West stayed and started signing autographs and taking pictures with folks who approached him. I moved closer, but my path was blocked by a throng of female undergrads who were screaming like groupies and practically climbing over one another to hug the legendary professor. The crowd was huge and kept growing. Dr. West stayed for more than an hour before he eventually tired and decided it was time to go. It was amazing to watch West make his way through the crowd with arms outstretched saying: “I just want to touch everyone before I leave.”

Okay, so I may have entered groupie mode myself, but I did manage to get a picture, a short conversation, and a man-hug from Dr. West. I remember how he put his arm around me and asked how things were going for me at Harvard. I told him that it was a struggle, that I was still adjusting to the environment. He looked me straight in the eye and said: “Don’t adjust too much!”

I spent a lot of time after that thinking about what Dr. West meant when he advised me not to adjust too much to the environment at Harvard. I thought about how Harvard’s then president Larry Summers pushed Dr. West out because West cared too much about hip-hop and the young people who listen to hip-hop. I thought about how so many of the students of color in my graduate program came from other countries, thus leaving Black and Brown Americans painfully underrepresented in the student body. I thought about how many of the Latino students I knew were proud to be Latino in private, but then seemed to conveniently lose interest in their Latino identity when around white students – almost as if they were determined to avoid being a minority. I thought about how Harvard granted generous public service scholarships to students who then went on to accept six figure salaries in the private sector immediately upon graduating, while many students who took low-paying public service jobs received no scholarship and struggled with six figures of student loan debt. I even thought about the folks who would gravitate toward me when I talked about my story of perseverance and redemption, but who then demonstrated a perfidious attitude toward me when I assumed leadership roles. [click to continue…]

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