Happy New year!!!

Ok folks it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated this blog. My apologies… I’m deff not the best at this social media stuff but I’ll get there I swear!!! Lol

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday whatever it is you celebrate. New years are always great motivation to start over, rid all the gunk from the year before, and create new goals! I refrain from using resolutions because that word is always so stressful and it implies something wasn’t working previously, and that is deff not always the case.

So let’s talk about 2018 plans and how you can keep these goals in check.

Try this little activity:

Write down 3 to 4 goals you have for this year, they can be as simple or complex as you want, you can always add to this list later. So don’t freak out if you only have 1 goal right now.

Once you have these goals then write down 3 to 5 ways/steps you think you can achieve them. So for example if you want to learn a new language, perhaps some steps would be take a class, buy a book, use audio tapes, and maybe eventually be ready to travel to that country! If you’re having trouble with finding ways to achieve these goals, skip it and let’s move on to the next step.

Next, list 3 to 5 reasons why these goals are important to you. What they mean, why do you even have them? Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re suppose to do or be based on the media or what’s on the cover of a magazine that we make resolutions or goals that are not important to us; we keep it up for a month or so but by the spring we’re bored, hate it or don’t want to put in all this effort for something we realize we didn’t even truly want in the first place. So for example last year my goal was to try at least 2 new recipes a month (could be anything dessert, dinner, lunch)… My reasoning was to keep the tradition I had with my friend before he passed away from leukemia. It meant a lot to me so it was really easy to keep it up. Don’t stress if the reasons you have aren’t that deep but try to really figure out what you value and be true to that. It will be a lot better than the typical “lose 10 lbs bc social media says I should be a size 2 at my height”.

Lastly, keep this list on the fridge or somewhere you always look, maybe a desk, a bedroom mirror, wherever it is… Read these to yourself at least 1 to 2x a week if not daily…. Remember your reason why…. If something changes along the way…. Write it down… You can always add to your list or make changes…. At the end of each month or maybe even quarterly (your choice) take a look at the progress you’ve made and write down 3 successes you’ve had. Remember that your goals can’t happen without you!!! Give it your all because you deserve the best.

In case you were wondering….

My goals for this year:

– use my new cork blocks for yoga especially for strength building and advanced poses.

– decrease the amount of sugar I eat

– start the application process for my masters, including taking all the necessary exams

– meditate more
I’ll let you know how this progress develops!!!! Stay tuned.

Comment below and let me know your goals and if you need help achieving them!!!

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Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope wherever you are you are having a great day. I have had the luxury of having a 4 day weekend and it’s been well needed! As most of you know I work a good 65+ hours a week doing all of the things I love but sometimes we need that extra relaxation time. So what have I done all weekend!?!?

On Friday I had the amazing opportunity to teach glow in the dark yoga for a fun 2 hour workshop. We did some basic flow on our mats, got off the mats and worked with a partner and even did some strength building exercises to get us into some inversions!

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Saturday and Sunday I taught regular vinyasa flow classes (as I do every weekend) in the mornings and then spent the day relaxing. On Sunday we went up to bear mountain for a hike (was a little too hot for this so we did not get very far) and we saw Despicable Me 3…. was realllllllllllllllly cute! and we went to one of our favorite little spots to eat a meal out side called Catch on the Hudson in Haverstraw, NY (check it out, it’s well worth it!). For the 4th they do fireworks as well so it was a nice extra bonus, but the food is amazing and speaks for itself. See some photos below!

Yesterday and today have been more relaxing and cleaning up around the house while getting some good BBQ foods in. Today I made  the absolute greatest breakfast ever!!! I have already posted on Instagram some amazing photos and now I’m going to post the recipe as promised!

Matcha Waffles!!!! Not only are they so easy to make they were even more delicious than I expected. As someone who loves to bake and cook, the texture and consistency of a waffle is really everything… too thick and it’s gross, too thin and they burn… we’ve all had those mess ups! These however were perfect! And to be honest, when I searched for recipes it took a while to find one that didn’t have all these strange ingredients or extra steps or tons of sugar… but once I found it… I thought, I have to give this a try I love matcha iced lattes and ice cream… how can this be bad? I feared that the flour, milk, and eggs might over-power the matcha and not be enough but I was so wrong, the taste was really there and nothing over-powered the other flavors. They were fluffy and delicious.

So let’s get to the recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour (I used regular, but I’m sure you can use whole wheat)
  • 1 tbsp. matcha powder (make sure it is culinary grade, will say on the package)
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. vanilla extra (I used a whole teaspoon)

Turn on the waffle iron and use butter or oil to grease the pan. In the meantime add the flour and matcha to a bowl, mix thoroughly, allow the flour to take on a green color. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into waffle maker and then enjoy! Super easy and delicious! I topped mine with some mangoes, kiwis, and white nectarines, and maple syrup… you can use any fruits you’d like or none at all… I contemplated adding my dark chocolate peanut butter to them, but this time I just wanted to see how they tasted on their own (I shall try that tomorrow). Freeze or refrigerate the left over waffles and enjoy them again tomorrow… if you don’t eat them all right away. This batter makes about 10-12 waffles depending on the size of your waffle maker.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their day and weekend and if you make these waffles be sure to mention me on Instagram #namastedoingyoga or @namastedoingyoga can’t wait to see what you do with them!

 

 

 

IIN program

Hey everyone for those of you interested this is the program I am getting my health coach certificate from. I am half way through the program and at this point I have started doing health histories and will start coaching in the fall! So exciting and how fast time flies!
When you click on the link below it will give you a free sample class to explain what the program is truly about to determine if this is something you’re interested in. Specifically for this program if you either call IIN or use this link you can save some money on the program. How’s that for awesomeness?! Check this out and don’t forget to mention that Stephanie Garafola referred you for extra savings.

Why else I do yoga….

Ok everyone, months ago I promised to give you a little bit more of my history about why I do yoga. I revealed plenty of information about my health history and stomach issues, etc. but I also mentioned there was something else…. well here goes…

I am writing this today because it is father’s day and this path has everything to do with my dad. Let’s start out by saying I am deff. a daddy’s girl. I was born on his birthday and I look just like him too. My father was originally a hair dresser who owned his own salon for many years in Marine Park, Brooklyn. My sister is 10 years older than me and after I was born the shop itself was just not enough financially to make things work with 2 kids so he became a school bus driver for handicap children while continuing to own his salon for another 10 years. Since I was a little girl he had always worked 2 jobs but always made sure to have dinner with us as much as he could…. even when we was late it was just by an hour and I’d still sit at the table with him telling him all about my days at school. My father has the patience of a saint, he rarely gets mad (but if he does, you’d better run), and never was one to scream or lose his cool. He loved what he did and he loved being a dad to 2 girls. While he is not ever one to get all mushy/gushy you know that he cares about his family and is a very loyal humble man. He taught me to play guitar and about all the best classic rock music out there. He taught me how to draw and take beautiful photographs and how to ride horses (he used to raise horses during his younger farm days and can draw them incredibly!) and do cartwheels and pull ups and anything artistic. He never went to college but something inside him always loved science, he would always watch all these weird shows that mom never enjoyed, even I sometimes thought ughh not again but my love for science is from him and all these moments of us doing different science projects together. (don’t get me wrong mom taught me a lot too.. but different stuff). So now that you have an idea about who this man is let’s get down to the real serious stuff that happened just about 2 years ago…

While this is very difficult for me to talk about it is just as hard to write. My father has a hereditary disease known as Huntington’s. Now most people have no idea what that even is…. it is something that is rarely diagnosed because people don’t always realize they have it or what to do with it. It can be mistaken for a lot of other things like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s , and even maybe Tourette’s. The disease is neurological and has a lot to do with being able to control your physical movements. It can cause server depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, lack of balance and ability to walk, uncontrollable motions, anger, rapid weight loss, memory loss, and complete apathy. There currently is absolutely no cure. It is detected based on a DNA test (without getting too scientific) there are certain strands of our DNA that are meant to repeat several times…. when Huntington’s is present this particular DNA strand repeats over 40 times… the higher the repetition the worse the condition of the person diagnosed. While my father’s number is not very high it just means that the disease’s symptoms will not occur as rapidly… however my father is almost 70 now and for years he would not get tested. Like his mother, who also tested positive for this disease, he refused to believe anything was wrong with him. Part of that is just the Italian stubbornness in him, but the other part of the disease is denial…. most people who have this don’t realize they are twitching constantly or acting different…. emotionally they don’t notice. After being diagnosed the drs told us about the studies that have been done to help the disease…. we all constantly hear about a body in motion stays in motion…. specifically for this disease it is so important to try and keep to a calendar, a very strict schedule for yourself even if the tasks are very small ones like mop the floors every Tuesday at 11am…. it is also soooo important to keep moving…. what a lot of studies show that if the brain was focused on doing a specific motion or task or something else that required physical movement the brain and nerves had less time to twitch and have these ticks of the arms flailing or legs shaking. Some studies have also showed that doing yoga, even if it were just yin yoga…. balance was better in patients and the mind was more focused on the stretching or the pose and again less time was being put into twitching or even anxiety, etc.

When we learned about this disease not only did the drs at Columbia do basic explaining of what to expect they did about 4 or 5 sessions of family therapy and tried to help us better understand what to look for. Now luckily, my father has not become depressed or suicidal, his spirits are always pretty high… but his motions are very uncontrollable, he is terribly skinny b/c of all the movements and it is harder for him to process information. Simple tasks like doing the laundry and mopping the floors are becoming more difficult by the day. While he is not in any pain what-so-ever it is painful for us as a family to watch him go through. What used to be this strong independent man, working constantly, and raising a family is now someone who is weak and can’t always tell any sense of time or even walk without losing his balance often. Everyone who sees him in public doesn’t understand, maybe even thinks he’s mentally handicapped or just that crazy old guy… it’s most deff. rough. When you watch someone you love and admire fall apart you want to do anything you can to help them. The worst part is that my father feels guilty and has apologized to my mom, sister, and I that he has a hereditary disease that there is no cure for… I however, believe that even if he knew this 37 years ago he would have still had my sister and I maybe he just would have done a little more physically, but I can’t imagine the pain of having to tell your own family that this is how life is going to be when you reach my age… upon seeing all this and going through these many emotions of anger, sadness, and fear I knew that now was the time to become a yoga teacher….. my father is very proud that I have accomplished this, and he makes sure to tell me every time he sees me and ask about my crazy yoga poses…. he won’t ever do the yoga with me or my mom, we try to get him to… but he won’t have it…. sometimes we can get him to do a few poses, but it’s very seldom… it’s hard to help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves… but I do know that for me and my future this will help. In our family it seems that the disease doesn’t truly start until the late 50s early 60s…. and from what I hear my great grandmother who also had this disease (of course they didn’t know what it was back then) had a lot milder a case because until she was 90 she was staying active, using her brain, working in drs offices, and playing bingo with the ladies at night….. I know that I am always such a go-go-go person… and yes that is just a little bit of who I am but I have most deff. become a lot more schedule based and stricter on myself to keep going so that I am not as affected as greatly. It is scary to know that there is a history of disease running in your family that barely any studies are done on, or that people don’t know about…. it’s a scary thought to think about your own future, having children, and trying to almost force yourself to live at a faster pace now because you know one day you might not be able to…. it’s not to say any of us are guaranteed anything in this world, but it puts a different feeling inside you when you know what the odds are and you see it first hand….

With all of that being said, I know that if I stay on this path, I am going in the right direction…. it may be hard to explain but internally I can feel it…. and the look in my dad’s eyes knowing that I have started now to better my future has been more than enough to keep me motivated to do any yoga pose ever…. no matter how many times I have to fall or practice… I will get there.

This is not easy to talk about and I hope some of you will do some of your own research about this disease; information is key! I hope you all had a great father’s day as I have had fun going to dad’s favorite roast beef place in Brooklyn called Brennan & Karr…. been there since 1932…. one of the best places ever! Check them out if you haven’t already and enjoy! Namaste. Xo.

 

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