Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New workshop....

Hi, all!  Well, I don't have much to share with you today...oh, except for this HUGESCARYEXCITING thing I'm doing very soon!  My very first workshop!  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. 

I'm both excited and SUPERTERRIFIED....although I alleviated some of my fears today by working on the content with the lovely owner of Center for Relaxation & Health at Plainsboro, Michele Granberg.  We even made a Facebook live video!  Check us out HERE.

I've been telling folks that included in the cost of admission is the possibility that I might pass out from terror from public there's that😉  But if you are in the area and know anyone who would be interested in seeing me pass out in this subject, please feel free to share.


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly recap, March 20-26th...

Monday:  Kale & Wild Rice Bowl
Kale and Wild Rice Bowls with Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette combines wild rice and fresh kale with apples, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and chevre tossed with a sweet-tart Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette. |
One of our favorites from Iowa Girl Eats, we've had this one a million and one times since she's shared this recipe.  Bonus:  It made enough leftovers for lunches a couple days last week!

Tuesday:  Slow cooker enchilada casserole + salad
Leave it to social media to inspire not one, but TWO meals this week (see Friday as well😉).  I saw this float through my Facebook feed and knew immediately I had to try it.  3 steps & one slow cooker pot to clean?  Sign me up😉

Wednesday:  Zucchini noodles with meatballs + salad
Gravy & meatballs on Sunday = leftover gravy & zucchini noodles on Wednesday😉

Thursday:  Leftover calzone + salad
It was kinda sad how excited I was to finish off my leftover calzone from last week😉  Not only was it DELICIOUS, BUT any time we finish things off in the fridge and it doesn't go to waste? = 😍  Not wasting food is my happy place😉

Friday:  Cauliflower crust pizza
Yet another one inspired from Facebook (thanks, Lori!).  I was in charge of the crust and I left Scott in charge of the cheese.  Who, as you could imagine, was SUPEREXCITED to be eating cauliflower pizza to begin with (😉, he's a good sport)  So I cracked up when I took the pizza out of the oven and it was nearly end to end covered in cheese😉  Can't blame the man...and he ended up liking it to boot😉

Saturday:  2 quesadillas + rice from Cancun
Getting our taxes done over the bridge in PA led us to dinner at this VERY fun & yummy place.  I already can't wait to take Katie back there because I know she'll LOVE it.  That dueling quesadilla smothered in their fabulous cheese sauce was certainly a decadent option...but holy moly was it just delicious.  Super fun.  (I mean, anything's a step up from that cauliflower pizza, AMIRIGHT?😉)

Sunday:  Cheesy Hash Brown Chili
While the chili + hash brown sounds like a no brainer on the 'yum' scale, we actually were surprised just HOW good this really was.  Great for a cozy, drizzly Sunday night.

Other treats this week:

From a cold, drizzly Sunday, rewinding to Friday night where the weather cracked, um 60...and immediately made me crave ice cream (hold me).  And since I told you I am obsessed with ALLTHEMINTOREOTHINGS, that's exactly what I (& Katie!) got... a mini size😉

Sunday morning:
So remember I told you how I can become FASCINATED with recipes in cookbooks??  So I think a Dutch Pancake was one of the very FIRST recipes I found fascinating in my old Kids Cookbook from the 80's😉  I still remember thinking all the 'HOW'S' with this one😉  And after alllllllll those years?  I finally got around to making one on Sunday morning...ironically, the recipe was again from Chrissy Teigan's cookbook and it was just sublime😍  (made in my Grandmom's old cast-iron skillet to boot!)

Sunday night:
So after the Dutch pancake & Cheesy chili, this is how we rounded off our Sunday (thankfully "lunch" for me on Sunday was just a handful of almonds in between yoga classes😉)  My plan was to make the "Truffle Brownies" on the back of my bag of new coffee flour....only to realize the 'recipe' was a box of brownine mix + 3 tablespoons of flour.  HUH???  That's not very exciting.  
So I ended up using a small box of leftover brownie mix from the cabinet and used about a tablespoon of flour to the mix.  OK, so the brownie WAS very good...but is that really that hard of a task??  I gotta figure out something WAY more creative to do with the ENTIRE rest of that bag of flour before it becomes a cabinet fixture for the next...ummmm...400 years😉
But I DID go back to Trader Joe's and ended up getting that Kona cookie ice cream I mentioned in the video and oooooooooooooooooooohhh was THAT good!  Coffee ice cream is not my 1st pick, but this one was EXCELLENT.  PLUS COOKIE PIECES...weeeeeeeeeeeee!

OTHER recipes this week:
So despite those few treats this week, I managed to focus a LOT on healthy items this week.  I even started taking some extra vitamin supplements (calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron & vitamin C to be exact) and feel REALLY good.  MUCH more mindful this week and MUCH more prepared for a healthy week ahead from doing a bit of prep work on Sunday.  I even kept a running list of items in the fridge (ON the fridge😉) to have for healthier breakfasts & lunches this week: then it was right in my face and knew I could have a healthy, quick meal in moments.  Which REALLLLLLLY helps keep you mindful.

Eaten, um, in the car on the way to teach😉

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites:
Born out of the facts that:  
A.- I had a bag of riced broccoli from Trader Joe's in the fridge 
B.- Lunch had become SUCH a pitfall for me the past few months that, if I didn't pack a snack to have during all my morning driving arounds, I would come home FAMISHED.  So I NEEDED to recognize that I HAVE to have quick & healthy options ready to go so I can just heat & eat.  
These little babies?  I made a batch on Sunday and they reheat in ONE MINUTE in the microwave.  In that time, I would throw a quick salad together and have lunch in under 90 seconds.  Done & done.

Again, worth mentioning these sugar free/flour free banana oatmeal muffins on the right.  They were perfect grab & go breakfasts or snacks for all of us.  Plus those mini chocolate chips help curb that sweet tooth.

I always forget how much I actually REALLYREALLY like this stuff and all you need to do is google 'Golden milk' to find out ALL of the benefits of this turmeric tea.  I also added a teaspoon of coconut oil & a dash of black pepper.  The coconut oil is for, um, every reason Google will tell you that coconut oil is good😉, and the black pepper helps with the absorption of the effective ingredient in turmeric.  I'm trying to have a cup of this a day...normally in the mid afternoon time frame when I'm CRAVING warmth but want to skip an extra cup of coffee.

Add to all of this, plus making sure to have at least one salad a day, but more often two.  Also paying more attention to meal planning and staggering the meals.  As in: one day we have an EXTRA healthy meal (salad/zucchini noodles), in between 'normal meals' (enchilada casserole/chili.)  And being EXTRA mindful for alllll the other breakfast/lunches/snacks through the weeks will help balance out all those extra decadent meals throughout the week.

At least we try our best😉

And on the exercise front, I had to unfortunately cool it a bit last week after pulling my back a bit at the beginning of the week.  Doing what???  OVERDOING in yoga on Tuesday.



I told some of my classes this week with that old 'parenting' adage: 'do as I say, not as I do.'😉


Tuesday:  Taught gentle & vinyasa yoga + took gentle yoga (where I pulled my back in a SIMPLE FORWARD FOLD...oy!)

Wednesday:  Taught gentle yoga 

Thursday:  Taught 2 Hatha classes & 1 gentle class

Friday:  Taught gentle

Saturday:  Taught Hatha yoga + took Body Jam class

Sunday:  Taught vinyasa & Power yoga 

So not too much balance on the exercise front but hoping to toss in a few more walks this week now that my back is feeling better.  + my teaching schedule is extra hectic this week, so that'll help get me up & movin.

And on yet ANOTHER front, Scott & I have been EXTRA mindful the past few weekends about really being present & enjoying our time together and the result has been feeling VERY happy and refreshed when Sunday night rolled around.  So many times we all just kinda go through the motions of the day and not pay too much attention or being present.  So we've been making extra effort to just BE MINDFUL of time together and it's been refreshing to the soul.  Now THAT is my happiest of happy places, for sure.
It's just always worth taking a sec to realize where you feel like you're falling short or not paying enough attention and to just give those areas of your life a little extra focus.

And I write all of that as much of a reminder to MYSELF as well that it's a simple change of focus to bring more presence to your life vs. just going through the motions...yaknowwhatImean??

OK...I'll shut up now😉

Hope you guys have a great week!

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Food for the Soul...

Hi, everyone!  Ya made it to Friday...yipeee!  So I thought I'd leave you with a few thoughts to take with you through the weekend.  Hopefully bring a little perspective and maybe some calm to your day.  And I'll start off with a little wisdom that came to me when I was talking to one of my students this week:

"It's easy to move.  It's HARD to be still."
I always say my journey through yoga has been completely backwards, where the 1st yoga I tried was Power yoga.  And don't get me wrong, I STILL love power & vinyasa to this day.  BUT, it took me yearssssssssss to understand the importance of stillness and I ALWAYS try to stress this in my classes.  You can do a handstand on one hand and hold it for an hour while ya knit a sweater?  Great.  But ya know what's more difficult?  Just breathing, being and surrendering to stillness.  We (myself included) often confuse the importance of the two, but make no mistake that trying to be still in a world that is pulling you with a million distractions every moment?  D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T to say the least!  Being still is the REAL work.

I JUST came across THIS one and it's perfect😊
Posted 3/9 Letting go is the hardest asana! Come to Clarkston Hot Yoga in Clarkston, MI for all of your Yoga and fitness needs! Feel free to call (248) 620-7101 or visit our website for more information about the classes we offe:

Here's a few more I've shared with my classes...
something to think about for sure!:

Image result for don't be in such a rush to figure everyone out. embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you tiny buddha


Kushandwizdom - There is power in knowledge: Photo:

you're so hard on yourself. take a moment. sit back. marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. despite everything, you still grow. be proud of this.:
...and when I read this for the 1st time, BTW, I read 'wisened' as 'WIZZ-end.'
Words are hard.


And one I read to my class today that I JUST LOVED😍
Very true...let it come to you #Meditation/ @allLove2:


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some days....

So my first post back about 'mental weight loss' in a VERY long time and guess what??  I have to share with you what's currently going on that I haven't worked my way out of yet...because this is real life and what's actually going on at the moment. (it's not that bad...let's not be so dramatic here😉)

So I haven't really been able to get myself to the place I KNOW where I feel best:  where I'm eating well & working out consistently.  I'll kinda do one or both for a few days and then a few days slip into blah.  And in the spirit of being kind to myself, I quickly forgave myself for any slips and moved on.  THIS has been GREAT from a mental standpoint.  Just being able to move on and NOT beat yourself up is heads & tails from where I was over a year ago.

That's the good news.

The 'bad' news (again, not THAT bad) is that after a few days of one (two, three...) too many sweet or salty treats in a day, I woke up on Saturday morning PHYSICALLY feeling bad.  Just knowing I needed to try a LOT harder to get myself back into a healthy place.  Knowing I did NOT want to sneak any more excessive (EXCESSIVE) bites of rice krispie treats covered with rainbow star sprinkles for the kids.  It's one thing to have a treat and enjoy's ANOTHER thing to just keep having treat after treat (after treat after treat...) and not enjoy it at ALL, but rather just compulsed to eat.  Without even a good reason why.  It's honestly the part of 'unhealthy' eating that I DESPISE the most.

ADD to this, after teaching my yoga class on Saturday mornin (remember I already FELT bad at this point), I got to try out a class they were going to be offering at our gym soon.  I'm pretty game for anything, so I thought I'd give it a try.  "I teach yoga and feel like I'm pretty active, so..."

And guess what?

I could NOT HANG. COULD. NOT.  I can hold a boat in yoga for quite a few breaths...but holding boat for MINUTES while throwin in twists, sit-ups, etc.  Yeah.  Not so much.  And that was just one of the exercises that felt defeating.  Couple that with the instructor being ROCK SOLID muscle and me feeling like a hot mess that day.  Yeah.  Not great for the self-esteem.  We've all had those moments.

So, here I am a few days out and am still not feeling completely at peace with how out of sorts I felt in that class.  I have been double (tripling) down on vegetables this week, but I'd be lying if I said it hasn't taken EFFORT.  Not ease.  Like I actually have to THINK about adding in salads, verses my usual just remembing to have them.  Having to be sure to place all of the extra healthy stuff in the front of my fridge before I got distracted by anything my eyes could catch on.  Making sure to have healthy breakfasts/lunches/snacks on hand so I didn't immediatly default to...say chips & cheese and call it lunch👀  These things are usually pretty normal but, like I said, are taking effort at the moment and sometimes it's just worth acknowledging you NEED more effort.  And that's OK.
I immediately left that class, trudged to Trader Joe's and picked up ALLTHEJUICE they have to offer in an attempt to flood my body with nutrients ASAP, but I can't say they were necessarily enjoyable...but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So why am I writing all of this when I don't have any answers or 'way out' at the moment?  Basically to share with you one thing that I've come to acept in my weight loss AND spiritual journey:  That some days it's just all an ebb & flow.  I have fooled myself on approx. 293840238 occasions thinking I've finally "GOT IT,"  got all the answers, got it all figured out and "NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN."  (this in terms of healthy eating AND having that elusive perfectly clear mind)  Only to fall, some times out of nowhere, and it feeling even WORSE since I thought I'd never find myself there again.  What I've learned in the last year is that every thing is cyclical.  Some days ya eat great, work out, feel great, meditate like a rockstar and just feel like a shining beam of light.  Other days?  Not so much.  And worse, other days you do ALL of those things and STILL not feel that great.  The key I've learned is, even when ya hit that bottom, ya just gotta breath and ride it out.  Just like everything that goes up, must come down...well, everything down will rise to the top again.  The trick is in how you handle it, trying your best not to descend into those depths (or at least not for too long).

Easier said than done.  

Believe me.  I KNOW.

Right now I'm just trying to take all my 'good yoga knowledge' and just breath while things are difficult and accept that they'll turn around the quicker I try to embrace them and make a change.  Today I worked on a lonnnnnng mediation about balancing (this one specifically) and felt all of that healing energy.  So now every time I feel my brain getting a little fuzzy, I try to breath and reengage in that energy.  And just like I teach my classes:  the more healing/happy energy you cultivate...the more you have it at your disposal for when you need it.  Hopefully this helps lead the way out MUCH quicker.  Breathing can never, ever, ever lead you wrong.

Hippie yoga advice wrapping up now😉

Just another reminder that I am walkin the walk right along with you😊  Let me know if you guys relate.  Or you think I'm crazy.  Either is probably definitely applicable😉

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly recap, March 13-19th

Monday:  Short Rib Pot Roast from Silver Diner
So not your standard Monday fare, but we were down in South Jersey after a fun day at Katie's favorite 'Dinosaur Museum' (aka-The Garden State Discovery Museum) ...

...and we've been wanting to try out this place for ages.  The menu is pretty fancy for diner grub (reminds me of San Francisco's Fog City Diner) and there were about 96 things that sounded REALLYGOOD.  But since old man winter was chillin the bones last week, I went with one of the coziest sounding dishes on the menu...

...made only cozier when I unearthed a dollop of mashed potatoes hidden in the mix.  Swoon😍

And because I have been OBSESSSSSSSED with all things Oreo & mint (ICAN'TGETENOUGH!) AND I've seemed to pass on this love to my child, Katie & I had Peppermint Pattie milkshakes...selected from a todiefor milkshake selection.  And, like, how GOOD does a milkshake from a diner sound??  Sounds great!, because they are😍

Tuesday:  Stovetop Stuffing meatloaf + baked potato
See also:  What to make on a snow day when you just CAN. NOT make salad that day.  This recipe seems silly...but, ya know, enjoyable😊  

Andddd not only was it a snow day, it ALSO was PI DAY (which I would have had no idea existed if it wasn't for good ole social media).  So what's a gal to do?
Image result for undertales pie nerdy nummies
One of Katie & my favorite things to do is to watch Rosanna Pansino work her baking decorating magic on her Youtube show "Nerdy Nummies," and this cinnamon butterscotch pie had been in the back of my mind since we watched the video.  It was soooooooooooooooooo good!  I actually had halved the recipe and made 2 mini pies to create only 4 slices (made in 2 mini ramekins) and I almost immediately regretted that decision because this pie was just SO DELICIOUS.  It should be an air freshener scent😉

Wednesday:  Lasagna soup
Yet another salad night that got thwarted by our MARCH NJ winter arrival😉  (to be blamed for my spontaneous trip to Trader Joe's from this video)

Thursday:  1/2 small cheese calzone
The only thing I wanted for dinner that night??  CHEEEEEEEEEESE.  So we got take-out and I ordered one thing I think I've NEVERRRRRR ordered...and it hit the spot!  SOO good...even if I didn't take a photo😉

Friday:  Ummm....
So I had to teach an early evening class and didn't feel too hungry when I got home, so this kinda hit the spot.  (no worries, Scott & the kids had leftover meatloaf along with their broccoli & potatoes😉)  And FYI-I normally would only have eaten 1/2 of that LARGE baked potato...but understand that thing had been cooking about 3 hours by the time I got home and was PERFECT crispy skin/soft potato perfection.  BLISS.  
And I mean...the broccoli was green for Saint Patty's day, no? 

Saturday:  2 slices of pizza + salad
Typical Saturday night fair😊  Even better was the rice krispie treats we had after that Katie had made with a couple of her friends...weeeeeeeee!

Sunday:  Spaghetti & Meatballs (and salad)Irish Soda Bread
Because Sundays😉

And our treat for Sunday was the Chocolate studded Irish soda bread with salted honey butter that I hinted about on my video this week.  HOLY MOLY THIS WAS SOOOO delicious.
PS-The muffins of the right are these no sugar/no flour Oatmeal Banana Chocolate chip muffins I made a few years ago.  They'll be quick grab & go breakfasts and snacks for this upcoming week.

Anddddd...I have to share just because it's adorable😊  Katie helped me make both of the treats above and even kept honing her egg cracking and measurement pouring skills (I was impressed and surprised😉)

...but she ALSO wanted to help me put stuff in the oven.  Cue a LOT of instructions and warnings😉  And before hitting the oven, OF COURSE she had to 'suit up'...
I CAN'T with 5 years old.  It's ADORABLE.

Other treats this week:

Turkey Sausage + oranges
One of my favorite breakfasts to remember to whip up because it's just so filling.  Make a batch of the sausage on Sunday and enjoy a quick reheat for the rest of the week.

From one of my 'Christmas cookbooks' from 2 years ago "Seriously Delish."  Noting this smoothie for 2 reasons:  1.- Katie split it with me & loved it as well, and 2.-'s color matched the snow on snowday!😉  Ironic, I know.

And finally:
Cause come Saturday morning, I felt like my body just NEEEEEEEEEEDED THIS.  I'm planning on this week being MUCH heavier in the veggie department than this past week.  And THAT, my friends, is called balance😉


Wednesday:  Taught gentle yoga + Bob Harper Weight Loss Yoga (MY OGGGGGGG yoga video!  It's been soooooooooooooo long!)

Thursday:  Taught 2 yoga classes

Friday:  Taught gentle + Vinyasa yoga

Saturday:  Taught Hatha yoga + Soul Barre Class (may share more about this on Wednesday)

Sunday:  Taught vinyasa yoga (and sweat.  A Lot😉) + Booty

Hope you enjoyed the peek at my week.  Have a great Monday!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Food for the soul...

So I've been wanting to do this for MONTHS.  MONTHS, I tell ya!

One of my favorite parts of teaching my yoga classes is wrapping up the class with a quote.  It feels like it seals up the class with a collective recogition to take our practice "OFF THE MAT," hopefully leaving them with something to ponder or a little bit of extra confidence as we walk out the door.  Now, I either have a running collection of ones I've found in books or scrolling social media (ironic...I know)...OR...I'll wait till the end of my class, give a quick check to my phone and see what is the 1st appropriate quote that pops up.  TO ME, that means that SOMEONE in the room must need to hear it (and 9 out of 10 times, they'll strike me to heart as well.)  So since some of my LOVELY students have started to check out my blog (hi Eileen & Diane!), I thought I'd start posting some on here that I've read through the week.  See which ones resonate with you!

So, without further ado, here's some soul food for you this Friday!

 : "The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." - Oprah Winfrey - Here are some facts that you may not have known about Oprah Winfrey at:
(cause Ops knows what's up!)

by Stephenie Zamora ››

Best advice I ever took from friends... I vowed I'd never "settle" again. It'll take a rocket scientist to figure out how to win this heart.:

I've been teaching a 'prayerful yoga class' the last 2 weeks and here was one I found for class yesterday.  Thought it was great perspective of Lent.
Image result for lent fast feast franciscan

And one interesting moment where I was walking into class, 'something' said to 'scan my quote folder, snap a photo and don't look at it till the end of class.'  Here's the trio of quotes that popped up at the end❤

And here's one of my ALLLLLLLLL-TIME FAVORITES!!!!!!!  My voice cracks nearly EVERY single time I read this out loud.  Every word is SO. TRUE.
And nearly EVERY time I read it, someone inevitably asks me where it's from.  And it's hilarious when I have to tell them it's not from some great old tome, but rather a great old WB TV show😉  (EVERWOOD, FOREVER & EVER & EVER❤)

I already have a great one to share with you next week...but not till I share it with my classes THIS week😉  Have a great weekend!

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