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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Help save the Yamuna River

About the Yamuna
The Yamuna flows through many of India’s most significant attractions, including the capital New Delhi, with a population of almost fourteen million; Vrindavan, an international pilgrimage site visited by tens of millions annually; and the Taj Mahal, a World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Over fifty million people rely on the Yamuna for their daily needs, using the water for religious observances, agricultural needs, and bathing, washing, and cooking. In addition to benefiting the human population, the Yamuna has supported a vast ecosystem of wildlife, such as fish, turtles, crocodiles, river dolphins, and aquatic plants.
Aside from agricultural, ecological, and domestic uses, the Yamuna River has long been regarded as a cultural icon and defining symbol of India. Ancient scriptures, traditional and contemporary art, music, festivals, and even the Indian National Anthem, demonstrate the reverence in which the river is held.

Basic Facts

  • The Yamuna River is the largest tributary of the Ganges River, with a catchment area (345,848 sq km / 133,533 sq m) that constitutes 40 percent of the total Ganga River Basin.
  • The river is 1,376 km (855 miles) long and passes through seven Indian states.
  • The Yamuna is water source for 57 million people.
  • 97 percent of the river’s water is directed away from the riverbed not far from its source. The balance dries up within a few kilometers. None of the original river water flows beyond that point north of Delhi.
  • Whatever little water reaches New Delhi does so through various canals entering the riverbed. A Central Pollution Control Board of India report in 2006 stated that there is “almost no fresh water in the river” beyond New Delhi. The report declared that for 580 km (360 m) south of Delhi, the river is “critically polluted.” A subsequent report in 2009 states that, “There is no doubt that the river is a cesspool for Delhi’s waste.”
  • The levels of pollution in the water flowing through and out of Delhi are so high that even bathing in the water is dangerous. The water from the river is also replenishing groundwater in the area, resulting in highly polluted well water, which threatens the health of millions of people.
  • Many accounts of severe illness and death have been attributed to the toxic state of the river’s water quality downstream of New Delhi.
You can help by joining the Yamuna Network's efforts. Follow them on Facebook and learn more at their website,

The Yamuna Network is a nonprofit coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals whose sole purpose is to stop Yamuna River's waters from being diverted and prevent industrial and municipal waste from entering her waters, restoring the river to her past glory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

By God's Grace

Practical wisdom, a connection to the divine, and global action - these are the traits of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati that have made him one of India's most renowned and beloved spirutal teachers.

By God's Grace celebrates his lifetime of devotional service to humanity, the environment, and the Supreme.

The book traces Pujya Swami's journey from childhood in the jungles of India to the company of world leaders, from Himalayan villages to the podiums of the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and other venues of global change.

His projects are unprecedented, including a cleanup of the 1,560-mile long Ganges River and a six-million-word encyclopedia of Hinduism. Swamiji's teachings are profoundly simple, frequently wrapped in humor, and applicable to all.

The prodigal variety of stories ranges from evocations at the mountainous summit of the world, from cacophonous urban battlefields to silent forest retreats - an impassioned life, a one-man civilization drawn in bold strokes and bright colors. Here is a journey of the enlightened life to be cherished again and again.

By God's Grace
Hardcover | $50.00

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Because we have many staff members who are vegetarian, we often host meat-free celebrations at the office and get asked to share recipes with those who are seeking vegetarian options for special occasions.

While the recipes from our cookbook, Vegeterranean, are Italian, there are many wonderful ideas we thought would make a superb and unique vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. Of course, you could create these recipes any day of the year, and there are many more found inside the 296-page book, but these are just a sampling of our favorites.

Prima Colazione - Breakfast  
Torta di Mais

The corn provides a healthy boost of energy (perfect for new moms). Aside from the health benefits, the subtle sweetness and the appealing texture of corn blend deliciously, especially when complemented by tea or a cappuccino.

Antipasti - Starters

Primi - First Courses
Risotto allo Zafferano

Vegetable Stock (from ingredient list above and below):
4 cups

8 cups water 2 basil leaves
1 carrot, peeled and halved lengthwise 1 potato, peeled and quartered
1 onion, quartered 1 zucchini, quartered
1 celery stalk, halved 1 garlic clove, gently smashed
1 sprig parsley Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for
45 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, cool, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Secondi - Second Courses
Pizza e Minestra

Dolci - Dessert
Torta di Ciocolato e Noci


Feel free to pin these recipes on Pinterest or share with family and friends. Leave us a comment if you attempt one of the recipes from Vegeterranean: Italian Vegetarian Cooking. We'd love to hear how they turned out for you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Goruck Challenge

Our staff members work behind-the-scenes, creating our books, editing the pages, designing the layout, or helping the office and company run smoothly from all departments.

While we work hard throughout the week, we also have employees who challenge themselves outside the office.

Callum, from our IT department, participated in the Goruck Challenge in San Francisco this past Friday, and had been training for this event for quite some time with physical trainers from Corey's Gym (conveniently close to our office).

Several of our staff members have been training at this gym together, supporting one another and continuing to get stronger and healthier through a Crossfit program.

Callum's team was supporting the Green Beret Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c) 3 foundation that provides financial resources, immediate need supplies, caregiver assistance, and educational scholarships to wounded or ill Army Special Forces warriors and their families. 

Check out the Flickr photos from the Goruck Challenge and make sure to subscribe to our blog to learn more about what our staff members are up to along with more info about our new books and upcoming titles, many of which also go to support non-profit organizations that give back to our community.