Practice

IMG_1276“show up day, after day, after day, after day and practice..that’s it, that’s your yoga.”

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The world as your yoga mat.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 7.48.03 AMAt the close of my last yoga class, our teacher said a phrase that resonated with me, “remember this feeling that you have right now, and carry it with you throughout your day- remember the world is your yoga mat.

What a wonderful way to carry our yoga practice to our daily events, from getting up and making breakfast, to commuting, to our work day – treating each moment as a moment on the mat.  Love this so much :).

This month has been an amazing one..:) 2014 looks so so bright.

Christmas 2013

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This year was a year of changes, ongoing and ad nauseum

A new job, challenged, embraced, a daily practice off the mat

A new city, from dessert to the beach and back again and again

A new apartment, in-between, mountain views, suburban streets

A new yoga studio, with all my love, my personal peace. an oasis

This Christmas, a time to reflect, a respite from the monotony

Yoga flow, ocean runs, grocery runs, PCH, crystal clear at the cove

New car with hippie roots, like he who said stay hungry. stay foolish

Biscotti with almonds, chestnuts, fresh nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves

Reindeer cards, sparkly lights, 75 degrees and sunny, always

Photo books with the family, the puppy, the memories of the year

Merry merry merry christmas from la to the bay and back again

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Thanksgiving 2013

This year, today I’m thankful for…

A stable job, that I enjoy!

Living near my close-knit family

My peaceful apartment, which I’ve come to really love

My yoga studio, and my amazing teachers

Living near the ocean, beach runs on days off

The opportunity to host this year’s dinner, creating a delicious healthy meal to share with family & friends!

 

Favorite Breakfast Lately

I’ve given up my Ezekiel toast with avocado, and gone to a new favorite breakfast.  Lately I’d been looking to shake up my breakfast routine since I noticed some bloating after breakfast.  I took out the wheat (even though it was whole, and sprouted) and the bloating disappeared, literally right away.  I thought I would miss having bread and wheat in my diet, but honestly it’s been so easy to give it up.  I also noticed that I have higher, and more even energy throughout the day.  Pretty happy with my new routine!

The best part about this breakfast is that you can prep it all the night before and have a delicious meal waiting for you in the morning.  It’s commonly seen around blogs as overnight oatmeal, but it’s more similar in recipe to the traditional swiss bircher muesli.

Click on the below photo to refer to the traditional Bircher Muesli recipe (photo from source)

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Best breakfast: Simplified bircher muesli (dairy-free)

1 organic apple

1/4 cup gluten free organic oats

1/4 cup organic plain Redhill goat milk yogurt (I like Redhill since their farm’s are certified humane)

2 tablespoons of favorite roasted nuts & seeds

spices:  1-2 shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg & 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

Cut half of your apple into cubes and place in a small blender ( I use the Cuisinart individual blender) with 1.5 cups of water and your spices & vanilla- this will create a delicious applesauce.  Now add in the other half of the apple- chopped finely (this gives texture) .  Stir in your oats evenly and leave overnight in the fridge.  In the morning top with yogurt & sprinkle your roasted nuts- top with fresh seasonal berries when available, and enjoy!

This creates a great filling and balanced breakfast, which I enjoy with a small green juice/smoothie and a jasmine green tea.

Semi-homemade & All healthy. Goat & Tofu Cheese Recipe.

I love all the specialty health foods that cost way too much money.  And since I’m on track to save for my future beach home, I’ve been starting to do a semi-homemade number ( a la Sandra Lee) on many of my favorite products- both to stretch my dollar and also to healthify them just a bit more.

Like many others, I adore cheese.  I always buy those uber expensive raw humanely raised goat cheeses that always cost more than the Sunday edition of the New York Times.  I’m not one of those people who avoid tofu due to recent soy concerns- but I do stick with sprouted organic tofu- and not too much.  Asians use tofu as a side dish, and eat it in small quantities- not as a main course every single day.

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This semi-homemade trick is great with Raw goat cheese, and creates a creamier cheese that really stretches your dollar without sacrificing too much in taste per calorie.  Cheese is afterall, all about pleasure.

Goat & Tofu Cheese

1 block of Redhill raw milk feta goat cheese

1/2 block of Wildwood organic sprouted tofu (extra firm)

1/2 lemon juice squeezed + 2-3 grinds of celtic sea salt

Method:

Blend all of the above ingredients into a food processor until creamy.  Taste the cheese- add more salt for umami, or lemon for acid as needed.  You can also add in fresh herbs, tumeric (for color),  or add more feta and less tofu as your taste buds dictate.

This will essentially double your little expensive cheese block, and last 1 week.  It’s great on rice cracker thins, as a veggie dip or thinned with water into a yummy salad dressing.

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yoga daily

yoga daily

Crystal Cove

 

Yoga Daily

I re-started my morning yoga routine at home- and it feels amazing to start each day going through a few simple poses, feeling out the body, calming the mind and setting the energy right for the day. Right after my routine, and I can jump right into the day with a calm, focused mind and a lighter heart.

Even with my home practice and regular gym workout, I haven’t given up my regular studio here in OC- since it really has been my touchstone each week to come to the studio with other like-mind yogis, and flow together.

I now know which teachers I love at my new studio – I’ve been lucky to connect with a few teachers who have great energy and inspired practices.  So I always go out of my way to practice with them regularly.  I come at least 3 days a week and I always leave blissed out :).

Have an amazing week. Breathe through it!

Baked Sundays: Rasberry + Coconut-Almond Scones

Lately…the weeks have been endless and repetitive: working full-time, commuting (with podcasts making it infinitely better, lately loving WTF, Slate and On Point)  and working out (yoga or zumba at equinox) have been my life.  I’ve always prioritized art, leisure, quality time with loved ones, so this isn’t ideal to say the least.  I’ve been so supremely focused on finding the ideal routine here in my new city, while excelling at my new job, that my life seems to have become a pathetic shadow of what I’d ideally like it to be at this stage…full of friends, family, culture, nature, novelty, adventures and peace.   Hopfully this new week brings some balance.

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I’m back to baking on Sundays!  I miss this so much.  Lately, inspired by the insanely expensive low carb bread I found at Wholefoods and this recipe by Anne Getty on theChalkboardmag.com, I’ve been going paleo with my baking- meaning coconut/almond flours, psyllium seed and egg whites!  The results have been great.  These are just sweet enough, and are  fluffy, delicious, and healthy.

Rasberry Coconut-Almond Heart Scones

Dry:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup psyllium seed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Wet:

3/4-1 cup organic egg whites

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup gently mashed rasberries

1 mashed banana

1/4 cup organic soy or almond milk

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Mix: wet ingredients, and fold in blended dry ingredients.  Let set until it thickens.  Put a spoonful of the thick batter into a muffin top or scone pan (I used Wilton’s heart shaped scone pan, which I “buttered” with coconut oil).  Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

These are perfect slightly warmed with some lavender black tea and the New York Times.

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Yoga Teacher

Yoga Teacher

Such an important component of my yoga practice is the energy of my yoga teacher, as well as my classmates. When I was doing my yoga practice on my own for the previous year when I’d moved back to northern california (since I’d been unable to find a studio I loved), my practice just wilted, and eventually stopped completely. I know many people who have a great home practice, but to me, the teacher just nearly makes the class, and my yoga practice what it is.

Today I had the most amazing, new-to-me teacher, and I’m going to make it a habit to go to her class every Saturday morning! The practice was flowing, challenging, and her sweet & spiritual demeanor just infused the class with a lovely prana. It just really spiritually elevated me after a long week, and I felt completely rejuvenated afterwards- amazing!

Love yoga, Love my teachers.

Yoga Daily

My most effective energizing and calming routine, that I’ve re-started recently, is my daily yoga practice at a studio.  I’d been trying to practice at home for the previous few months- and it may work for some, but for me, it’s all about the energy of the class, and especially the teacher!

To work, then to home, then on repeat- this can be exhausting and enervating.  Going directly from work to the yoga studio, regardless of how I’m feeling  this week, has literally saved my week and helped me to manage myself amazingly well this week.  It’s continuously surprising how much yoga effects change in such a positive way in my life.

Since moving to a new area (orange county), I also tried to practice at a few studios closer to home- one was corepower yoga and the other was purple yoga- let me tell you, both of them just weren’t for me.  After about 1-2 weeks worth of classes and some $$ I went right back to my regular yoga studio, which I drive an extra 15 minutes for- well well worth it.  I find heated yoga, a bit too much like a gym/bikram/cross-fit style of yoga – which is oddly enervating for me.  If you’ve tried different styles of yoga, you know exactly what I mean.  The energy was so different.  And people who haven’t tried standard yoga (such as that found at yogaworks, definitely need to try it to see what yoga truly means).

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