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Core Strength!!!

Hey everybody, happy memorial day! Hope you had a wonderful long weekend. I have been studying and catching up on my nutrition classes, seeing as my test is next Monday! Also I have made some truly delicious meals/desserts this past weekend. I especially love to cook extra on the long weekends, meal prepping and getting even my morning smoothies ready so that all I have to do is take my bullet cup out of the fridge, attach for 1 minute blend and bam I’m good to go to work! It’s the simplest thing, but it really helps when you wake up at 5:30 every morning to catch a 6:30am bus to NYC for work. Trust me, every extra minute you can sleep is precious! 😉

On that note there are3 new videos up on my youtube channel. OF COURSE MY FAVORITE is the core one! It is not an actual work-out full on yoga video. It is simply meant to show you about 4-5 diff. forms of strengthening your yoga practice and your core. It is up to you to do them as your own pace and levels…. maybe 3 rounds of 8… maybe just one round, or maybe each for 1 minute…. if you take 2 minutes a day to do each of these exercises you will gain so much core strength to help you get ready for inversions or even just to simply help with low back issues…. strong core=strong back!!

As far as my dinner and dessert tonight here ya go:

20170529_193952So there is nothing difficult here some broccoli and cauliflower steamed…. and I made an avocado dill dip to give these veggies just a little bit more flavor. The dip is soooo simple!

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 squeeze of lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bunch of dill chopped
  • salt to taste

Of course if you like spice you could always add some red chili flakes, peppers and onions or even tomatoes, if that’s up your alley! Once you have all the ingredients your choice to blend them or just mash them up and mix really well.

And for dessert I’ve made banana oat muffins… for a little extra flavor and fun, I’ve added some toppings, to almost be cupcakes, this is a great way o get kids eating healthy without even knowing it! They are delicious!20170529_200055

1 cup of greek yogurt

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of oats
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cacao
  • fresh apples or pears chopped up (this helps get them a little sweeter)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts if you’d like

 

And for toppings: on 1 I’ve added dark chocolate peanut butter, and the other has raw honey with bee pollen on top instead of sprinkles! Wo said baking healthy couldn’t be fun?!?!?! Feel free to even use some left over fruit as a topping.

 

Namaste..Doing Yoga… xoxo

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3! 3! 3!

So as promised I will go further in detail about Italy. I will be sharing my 3 favorite meals, my 3 favorite events, and the 3 most important things I learned as a yogi and for my own practice and teaching.  Every morning started with a yoga class and breakfast at the hotel. The afternoon was spent doing site seeing, relaxing, and getting to know the group on a personal level. At 6 pm there was another yoga class followed by a 5 course dinner with the group every night….. Picking favorite foods is probably the biggest challenge I face for this post. Lol…Here we go!

3 Favorite Meals:

– eggplant with tomato mirror and fresh mozzarella and paprika with a cream sauce. This was an easy first choice for me bc as some of you know eggplant is one of my favorite things in the world!

– next would be these amazing spinach raviolis at a place called Aida. They were so thick and fluffy. And rather than being in tomato sauce they were in garlic and oil with fresh tomatoes on top. Talk about so good!!! 

– and the last choice (although trust me everything was amazing!!!!!) Would have to be this zucchini pizza!!!! And I am not ashamed to say I ate that entire pie by myself! It was from a brick oven place that was one of he first original in bolzano (I am currently blanking on the name). But I’ve never even thought to put zucchini on pizza like this before…and as fancy as some of the other things we ate were….sometimes, especially being from Brooklyn and being italian you just want a good piece of the pie….Or in my case…the whole pie 😉

 (And guys don’t even ask me to choose my 3 favorite desserts bc I have such a sweet tooth that it’d be impossible….they were all incredible…and all 4 gelato places we went to were great too lol).

As for my 3 favorite events:

– the hike we “accidentally” took. Along our travels we went to town to walk along the water and eventually have lunch…. We saw some signs that said 70 minute hike this way….now this seemed like an easy idea at the time….but little did we know somewhere along the way we took the much longer 2 and a half hour hike going many more miles than expected….so why was this such a wonderful experience? Well we got to know an amazing girl Liz and her mom Jeanette really well and they were so positive and making jokes along the way that it felt like “we got this”. To top it off the mountain views were breath taking and at any time you wanted to give up if you looked up…you were in disbelief that you were truly in such a beautiful area of the world. I also love hiking so it was great exercise and with amazing company. This was the view guys!

– 2nd favorite was the day my bf and I went to the castle (Castle Runkelstein). I promised him for coming on a yoga retreat with me that I’d do some history stuff for him. The castle was not large at all….in fact it was probably no bigger than the mansions you see in diker heights Brooklyn…but it had a nice history to it and several love stories of art work amoung the walls…. I guess the best part was that we got to go together and he was really enjoying all the old architecture. To top it off we decided to walk back from the castle to the hotel….most of this was extreme uphill hiking but we got to pass these amazing lilac trees and got to see the city of bolzano from all different heights…although we had no water bc we had no idea how difficult the hike was….we really enjoyed each other’s companies and the amazingness of the journey itself. 

– and lastly I truly loved our wine tasting/tour. The wine itself was not my favorite but we just had so many laughs that day as a group. The basement itself was really cool to see the old barrels and just how large these wooden barrels can be. I think they were about 3x my height (not that that is hard to do). But that day in itself was a really fun day. I guess also the nerd in me got to come out as well with my 10 years experience in flavors and fragrances…everyone waited for me to smell it and taste it first so I could give them a great description… I do deff. Love what I do in every “sense” and that is something I am truly grateful for. It was a nice get together and it was only 10am…. Hee hee 😉 

Now the 3 things I learned:

– ROUND THROUGH YOUR UPPER BACK!!!! So important on so many levels. It forces you to engage your core so much more than you realize and for inversions it keeps weight off your head or wrists that could potentially be harmful or injure you. This was always something I knew to do for certain poses…but not in plank or headstand…it made everything much easier.

– SPREAD THE TOES!!!! I think Candace said this every pose…every 5 minutes…and you know what?! It worked! Using those tiny little muscles we don’t realize we have keeps everything engaged…keeps the legs tight, foot flexed, core engaged and man does it really help for balance!!!!!

– and lastly something Candace reminded me of is “yes I can!” As a teacher I always tell my students and encourage them to try challenging poses and reinforcing that they can do anything they set their mind to…but often we are hard on ourselves and we forget that we can too! What you think you create….keep your thoughts positive bc they do become actions…habits…ideas…and our destiny! It was amazing to hear someone you idolize tell you that you have the strength to do these poses…you have the power to get past your fear….that was probably the greatest gift of all that I got in going on this retreat. 

I will be looking into doing another one of her retreats in the following years. It was an amazing experience. We all had a wonderful time and it really taught me so much about myself. I am so thankful I got to share their journey with such an amazing group. Big thanks to the bear for coming with me and loving every second of it….and a biggest thanks of all to Candace for making this happen. Until next time bolzano! Ciao Bella! Namaste. Xo.

Italy was amazing!!!

Woooooow! I cannot believe how great this trip was. The scenery was incredible the yoga was beyond inspiring and informative and the group with us was a so awesome. Everyone was so nice there was no drama all amazing sight seeing, hiking, shopping, etc. I cannot wait to share all the tips and tricks I’ve learned for yoga and just to even build my own practice. Candace said something that I’ve always agreed with is that there is always room to grow in every part of your life. So for you yogis who have your strong practice and think ok this is it… Its not! There’s so much more you can challenge yourself with. 

My private lesson with Candace was probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself. I am so thankful and grateful and I will deff go on another one of her retreats in the future.

The food guys. …I can’t even! Breakfast buffett every morning….and I’m not talking just bread and eggs with bacon….no… 5 different fruits, 20 toppings including honeys, chia seeds, dates, granola, preserves…yogurts home made fresh, eggs, 7 types of meat….5 to 6 types of cut up cheeses….croissants, cappuccinos…and that was just breakfast. 5 course dinner every night….. And lunches were all over the town of bolzano Italy while we toured, shopped, hiked, etc. 

I will go into greater details next week. I’m still jet lagged and exhausted but I had to post something! Xo. Namaste

Time for Italy!!!!

So for those of you who know or don’t know I’m going on a yoga retreat to Italy today!!! I’m having a mix of emotions…. I’m not a good flier I get really scared and sick in the belly (no surprise there if you’ve read my health issues lol). But I’m so excited to be going to a country I’ve never been and of all things to do yoga my passion and heart! To top it off my bf will be coming with me as he does do yoga with me or takes my classes this is a big step for him. He enjoys it but deff not the way I do….for that I am so thankful. I never thought in a million years this would happen. I’m also a bit nervous about meeting new people and perhaps trying to not have any expectations for these new yoga classes with more challenging poses. I know that it will be so much fun and great. I can’t wait to be there already. 

I got up so pumped up that I made myself this amazing breakfast smoothie that you all should try!! Let me know what you think.

Cchocolate Cinnabun

1 banana

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cupof oats

1 tbsp of dark chocolate peanut butter (or a 1/4 tsp of cacao and 1 tbsp peanut butter).
So many updates coming from my yoga retreat. Can’t wait to share it with you all. Xo Namaste.

My first yoga video!!!!

Hey everybody!!! So my first video is officially up! If you’re stuck in the house due to this Nor’easter storm Stella as I am and you can’t make it out to a yoga class… come check out my first video and do yoga with me!

Now please keep in mind I did not do any editing to this video, nor even cut out me walking onto the screen…. why you may ask??

Well 1st off I just started to learn about video editing programs and I am clueless as to how to do certain things just yet. And 2nd I wanted to make this the video that I can come back to in a month and say wow look at all this progress! The reality of it is… the goal for my videos is not to worry about what I look like or if it’s perfect…. b/c you know what? I’m not! No one is. The truth is in the yoga…. when I even teach my yoga classes sometimes I call hands feet and knees elbows… we all do it. We’re human. So as I pondered trying to figure out how to make the first video the best, I realized… it probably wasn’t going to be the best video ever…. it was going to be me…. and that’s what you as my audience will get to know. Teaching to no one in the room and just a camera was actually more of a struggle than I expected. My heart was racing more than if I had to teach to anyone in person…. feeling like everything had to be perfect and omg what if I say the wrong word or say left and mean right…. I could have re-done it… I could have edited out the beginning or the end… but for now… here I am.

What I hope you will gain from this is a fun practice… a bit of a balance challenge, a bit of a core work out and some confidence in yourself that everyone has flaws and not everything you do has to be so perfect all the time. You don’t have to be so hard on yourself… this is yoga!!! Namaste my yogis! Please comment below and let me know what you think. Keep in mind the next 1 will cut out me walking on and off camera and will have brighter lights. =)

 

Here is the link to the first video:

Urthbox excitement!

So I’ve been seeing all these ads for urthbox and I decided to order 1 and see what it cane with before just getting a 3 or 6 month membership. Well it’s awesome!!!

I chose the classic box seeing as I am not vegan or gluten free but those options are available for those of you that are and I’m sure they’re just as good!

The first thing that caught my eye was they sent organic MINION animal crackers!!! For those of you that don’t know I have a minion tattooed on my thigh and it was my nickname at work with some friends for a long time. That in itself had me sold lol. But on a serious note….I’m so excited to try all of these things. The great thing about the box is that many of the granola bars protein powders and healthy options or ones that we’re never sure if we should try in the stores for such a high price. By getting a sample of each brand you can then determine what you may want to buy more of at your local stores and what flavors. In a sense I kind of like the element of surprise with the urthbox but let’s face it sometimes it’s hard to find something so specific to our diets that we are crazy about without spending a ton of money. This is such a great way to show people all the things that are out there that we might not even know about.
Last night I tried a brand called True. They were powder packs of different citrus’ and each packet was equivalent to 1 wedge of fruit. I put 1 true orange and 1 true grapefruit in my water and it was delicious!!!!! They sent me about 10 of the fruit packets and several lemonade and limeade combo packets. I’m super excited to try them during the week. It gave me a ton of energy and no artificial products added to anything!!! We can all afford to drink a little more water and get rid of chemical based artificial products.

As the week progresses and I try more of these snacks I will keep you posted on likes and dislikes and why! For those of you curious to try these boxes go to urthbox.com and even check out the smallest box. Enjoy everybody!

Ps Gary bought me the video camera for Valentine’s day and videos have started to be recorded for my yoga sessions! A big thank you to my better half…I may not have come this far with my goals without all your support. Love you bear!!! 

Videos coming pretty soon so get ready!!!!

Acai bowls

  1. So for those of you who have me in Instagram or Facebook you know I love my acai bowls. Acai is a fruit rich in antioxidants and absolutely delicious. It is an anti cancer agent even more so than blueberries! Acai bowls can be made at home or bought at most local juice shops. I’ll admit some mornings it’s easier to buy 1 at Juice generation than it is to make 1 at home but it’s deff a lot more expensive too lol. So here was tonight’s recipe…I had no fresh fruit in the house other than apples which I don’t generally use for these but it wasn’t bad 🙂 

    -2 frozen acai packs (bought from whole foods)

    -3/4 cup almond milk (Can use any type)

    – 1 tbsp of almond butter (can use peanut butter)

    – 1 tsp acai powder (just to boost up the antioxidants and flavor)

    – 1 tsp green protein powder 

    Blend all of this together until smoothie type texture.

    Toppings: 1 tbsp of each: raw honey, almond butter, bee pollen, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. 1 cut up Apple and a handful of granola.

    Eat and enjoy 🙂

    Acro fit…always try something new!

    Hey everybody so yesterday I went to an acrofit yoga workshop. I’ve been doing acro on and off for about a year now. It combines acrobatics with yoga and is with a partner. 1 person is a base the other a flier….. Depending on the pose I try to do a little bit of both for a great way to learn body control and the different stretches and feelings of each. 

    However acrofit was something I had never done before. It combines cardio (kind of a cross fit workout) and then goes into acro poses from there. Well my acro partner Melissa invited me to this at prana yoga center in Denville nj…hosted by an amazing guy Angel. His body moved in ways I thought only Michael Jackson could. Lol. He was a great teacher and guide and was extremely fun. I strongly suggest going to a workshop by him. However my arms and body are exhausted….from planking and push ups all the way across the room to geckos and cartwheels…its safe to say I got one hell of a workout and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

    Here’s something Melissa and I finally nailed…a pose we’ve been working on for quite a while. Enjoy everybody and remember if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you! Namaste enjoy your super bowl Sunday!!

    Sunday Funday!

    Hey everybody! Hope you’re having a great weekend. On Sundays I always like to make time to make some healthy snacks to get ready for the week. I will post my recipes for you guys to share and enjoy!

    Today’s snacks featured 3 different types of chia seed pudding. I LOVE chia seed pudding it is so delicious and so healthy for you. It takes only about 5 minutes to make which is extra awesome! I store both this and overnight oats in these adorable owl mason jars (I love owls). Makes it a little more fun for kids too. I bought the owls at http://www.ltdcommodities.com 

    So what’s inside?!

    The green owl: matcha 

    The purple owl: key lime pie

    The orange owl: chocolate peanut butter

    My regular go to chia seed pudding recipe is:

    1 1/2 cup almond milk (can use hemp, coconut, etc)

    1/2 cup chia seeds

    1 tbsp of raw honey and vanilla extract

    Pinch of cinnamon for taste is optional.

    So to get the other 3 kinds here all I did was add a 1 tsp matcha powder to the green, lime zest, lime juice and blended avocado to the purple owl (the avocado gives this a creamy texture and keeps the lime from being too bitter), and 1 tsp cacao powder with 2 tbsp of peanut or almond butter to the Orange owl.

    In the morning I’ll top them off with some fresh bananas or berries and there you have it! Breakfast, snacks, or dessert for 3 days with just a few basic ingredients. Feel free to experiment with all kinds of fruit and toppings you may like.

    I hope you enjoyed this post. More coming soon.
    Namaste.

    Welcome!! Here’s my story:

    Hi everybody! Welcome aboard. This is my first time ever using a blog so bear with me while I figure out how to use this site and make the updates I need to. In the mean time, let me tell you a little bit about my yoga path.

    Back in  Brooklyn college (2007) a good friend of mine got me into yoga, however my practice only got extremely serious about 3 years ago. I loved it from all the way back in 2007, but I was an athlete and put more time into pitching softball and shooting hoops only doing yoga 2-3 times a month. So why did my practice get to the point of me going to yoga classes 7-10 times a week?!!? When I moved to NJ I didn’t really know anyone other than my coworkers. They were wonderful people, but most of them had families of their own and were nearly 2x my age; therefore we weren’t exactly spending any time outside of work together. I needed to do something in order to make new friends, learn the good go to places of NJ, and just keep myself busy. I am one of those people who doesn’t like to have too much down time. For a short while I bar-tended for some extra cash and to get to know the neighborhood, some people, etc. As much as I enjoyed the conversations I had with all of my customers and made friends along the way… I never really quite enjoyed it. I don’t drink much myself and to be contributing to something that isn’t really all that good for the body was never really something I got pleasure in; it almost goes against everything I stand for.

    The long hours of standing on my feet and few hours of sleep were not doing me any good. Between the stress in my personal life and constantly working, my health started to go down the drain. I kept having stomach pains that were out of control. No matter what I did there was this terrible burning sensation throughout my body… whether I ate healthy, unhealthy, small amounts or large… the pain just got worse and worse. Imagine your worst acid re-flux and multiply by 100. It got to a point where even taking a sip of water was excruciating. I went to over 6 doctors all throughout the NJ and NY area… all of them just kept prescribing me different acid medication and told me I was fine… but I knew I wasn’t.  You know in your gut when something is wrong and this time it was quite literally in my gut that I knew was off. When I’d call the doctors and tell them even with the medication it still hurt they told me to “up the dose”… for how long did they expect me to keep taking these pills with all these terrible side effects… and they weren’t even working. I had gained 15-20 lbs and I wasn’t even eating… I was starving and thirsty… it was awful… and then it got petrifying…

    I woke up one morning with bruises all over my abdominal body, almost as if someone took a bat to my ribs. Now clearly, I’d remember something like that…. I was horrified. Rushing to the doctor immediately they did over $30,000 worth of tests. Finally finding a doctor that listened to me, he found a hiatal hernia.The term hernia is not really a good name for it, b/c it is actually a hole in your esophagus, forcing your stomach to rise up into the hole and block any food from going down. To top it off mine had gotten so infected that I had internal bleeding behind my kidneys that needed to be drained. It had gone undetected and gotten worse from all the medication these other doctors put me on that it cause all that blood to fill up, causing my spleen to actually be popping out and appear swollen. Luckily this doctor found everything….however, this is not something that ever goes away, so between complete change of diet, exercise, and paying close attention to your body you can keep it from getting inflamed and infected. While all of this was going on a new studio Jinga Yoga was opening up right around the corner from me…. this was my sign. Sometimes we do things and we don’t know why our hearts are telling us we need to do this, but you learn the reason later. Ironically my dr informed me that having an extremely strong core was really important to this health issue… he suggested Pilates and/or yoga. Heading into the studio, I felt this warm sensation up and down my body… this beautiful feeling of peace. It had been so long since I actually did anything for myself and took time for me to really heal myself in every way possible. The teachers were so encouraging and from there on out, I knew this was for me. That studio became my second home. I started going 2x a day when I could, learning every pose possible. My stomach finally felt good again… I was hungry and able to eat. It had been so long since that happened. Not only did I get to do yoga but I was able to work with a health coach and nutritionist to figure out the best possible diet for myself. I started following youtube videos for when I couldn’t make classes, finding Yoga by Candace… and between her, my friend from college, the teachers at jinga (and one other health issue we’ll get to later down the line)…I realized….I NEED to teach… this is my passion, this is my heart and my life.

    I did my certification at Tula Yoga in Aberdeen, NJ. It was incredible… the program is out of this world, for any of you yogis out there thinking of doing it, check them out! The friends I made, the knowledge I gained… I am forever grateful. It’s funny because everyone was so nervous to take their final practicum and teach for 30 minutes, and I thought I would be too… but it didn’t feel weird or out of place… in fact it felt like the thing I was missing in my life… that’s why we all should do what we love best… when we enjoy what we do we can so much better help the lives of others and ourselves.

    Now that I am certified and have been teaching for about a year and a half I am getting my certificate to become a health coach…. at this point I don’t think you’ll be questioning why that is, lol. After that I will be going for an accelerated Masters of Science in Nutrition. Although I love my chemistry job now… there is a bigger path out there for me and when the time is right I will get there. For now it is a long journey of learning, growing, and helping everyone that comes into my life.

    Every day is an opportunity to better yourself… take some time right now to close your eyes and listen to your breath. Bring one hand to your belly and one hand to your heart. Feel your breath…. inhaling fully and exhaling completely…. stay there for as long as you need to… this is where your passion comes from. Listen to it.

    Namaste my yogis!! Can’t wait to start posting videos and photos!