Tuesday, January 31, 2012

yoga: build some heat!

sometimes we just need a workout - something that's going to challenge us and really build some heat!  with yoga's boundless benefits, it's not only fabulous for centering yourself and de-stressing, but it's an amazing full-body workout as well.  you get everything you need all in one place : )  when you're in need of some heat, try out this 10 minute sequence i designed to do just that!

namaste : )

Monday, January 30, 2012

om monday: be there

maybe you've heard the saying "wherever you are...be there", but it's simple wisdom is worth repeating.  i cannot tell you how many times throughout the day my mind is not where i am.  i'm thinking about my to-do list, our weekend plans or what to make for dinner, and consequently, i'm totally out-of-touch with the here and now - the present moment.  but every time we choose to dwell on the past or wonder about the future, we're denying ourselves the only moment we ever have...this one.
credit {here}
when you become aware that your mind is elsewhere, don't judge, don't label, just notice.  and then breathe.  in yoga, we're taught to align both mind and body with the breath and by doing so, we become mindful and fully embrace the present moment.  yogi or not, you can use that tool, too.  the breath is a wonderfully simple way to ground yourself.  by focusing on your inhales and exhales, you begin to quiet the mind chatter and begin to slowly sink into the moment at hand.

believe me, it's not easy to get in the habit of noticing when you're mind has drifted away (i'm still working on it!), but if you can begin to cultivate that skill, you'll receive the gift of the present. 

namaste : )

Friday, January 27, 2012

yoga: tone your abs

we all would love super-flat, sculpted abs, but in order to get there, you first need to build some core strength.  and, you guessed it, yoga is a phenomenal way to tone the abdominal muscles and build strength throughout the entirety of your core.  if you're ready to whip your stomach into shape, check out these yoga postures that will build muscle and heat!

namaste : )

Thursday, January 26, 2012

weekly wrap-up: delicious dinner & de-stress with yoga

well, the weekend is almost upon us, so i wanted to share some helpful links to keep you well-fed and grounded.

s'mores pies that i found on foodgawker - recipe {here}
looking for a healthy, delicious and carb-free dinner?  try this super easy and yummy {baked spaghetti squash}. even pasta-lovers will be converted!

feeling over-worked and stressed out?  yoga could be the answer.  check out this {short yoga sequence} that links movement with breath-work to de-stress with the breath!

love food?  who doesn't?!  my new obsession is {foodgawker}.  their beautiful food photos will provide you with endless meal inspiration...and, they have an iphone app, so you can gawk on the go!

happy birthday, han!  a yellow cake, found on foodgawker, just for you : )  recipe {here}

and last, but certainly not least, happy birthday to my little sister, hannah!  we have a whole weekend of celebrating to look forward to, starting with a happy (birthday) hour at our fave bar, bobby simone's!  can't wait : )

so mavens, have any fun weekend plans?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

foodie wednesday: baked spaghetti squash

i've had a spaghetti squash sitting on my baker's rack for a week now, and i finally decided to do something about it.  after surfing the internet for a short while for inspiration, this is what i came up with : )  this stuffed spaghetti squash recipe is both hearty and healthy and is a great option if you're trying to cut back on your pasta intake.

1 large onion, chopped
1 spaghetti squash
1 cup pea shoots
½ tbsp butter
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp minced garlic
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp bread crumbs
olive oil
salt & pepper

preheat oven to 425

1.      split squash in ½ length-wise (this will take some muscle!) and scrape out seeds.  put on baking sheet and drizzle both halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  bake for 30-40 min until flesh is tender.

2.     while the squash bakes, sauté onion in olive oil.  after onion cooks down a bit, add garlic and continue to sauté until onion is caramelized.

3.       take squash out of oven and allow to cool.  scrap out flesh and in a large bowl, mix with onions, yogurt, parmesan, pea shoots and season with more salt & cracked pepper.

4.       refill squash with mixture.

5.       melt butter and mix with bread crumbs.  sprinkle evenly over top 2 refilled squash halves.  put back into 425 degree oven for another 10-15 min until top is golden brown.

allow to cool for 5 min before serving.  this recipe will serve 4 as an entree (1/4 squash each).

bon appetit!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

yoga: de-stress with the breath

as you may already know, yoga is a great way to de-stress and reduce anxiety.  by linking breath with movement, yoga works to align both the inner and outer body in the most optimal way.  (which feels great, by the way!)  if you need a little "me-time", indulge in this simple 10 minute routine that i developed to help you reconnect with your authentic self.

namaste, mavens : )

Monday, January 23, 2012

om monday: funky feelings

did you ever notice how bad moods or frustration or stress tend to breed more bad moods, frustration and stress?  and yet, even with that knowledge, it still can be extremely difficult to pull yourself out of the "dark place".  somehow it seems like you're accomplishing something by hanging on to that negative emotion - analyzing it, dwelling on it, ruminating about it.  but, it is in those moments, when we choose to just let it go that we can experience the greatest growth and uncover the deepest insight into ourselves.

credit {here}
the first step is just bringing some awareness to the situation.  just noticing - hey, i'm totally pissed off right now.  and realizing that the "pissed off" attitude is not you.  it's just something your experiencing, a shifting, changing, fleeting emotion that can be dealt with any way you choose.  i know, easier said that done, but just breathing some space between you and the negative emotion will help it dissipate faster. 

now, that you've recognized the emotion, don't judge yourself or beat yourself up for feeling blue, or angry or annoyed.  instead, just breathe.  that's right - just breathe.  you've heard that one before, right?  turning to the breathe, and consequently quieting the mind is one of the most effective tools for moving beyond difficult emotions.  as you breathe, you may begin to feel the sharpness of the emotion begin to dull and begin to slowly melt away.

credit {here}
from there, slow down.  i find that my negative emotions are often coupled with a propensity for rushing and not being present, which in turn makes me more frustrated, because i'm not being effective, efficient or present.  when i slow down, i see things more clearly.

next time funky feelings creep into your day, just notice them.  recognize that they are not you and therefore can be changed.  breathe and slow down.  and everytime you consciously choose to move past your negative thought patterns, it will get easier - i promise.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

weekly wrap-up: helpful & healthy links

hello, mavens!  i hope you're having a wonderful week so far.  happy (almost) weekend : )  i wanted to share some helpful and healthy links with you today in hopes of inspiring you to cultivate health and unearth happiness in your own life.

credit {here}
wondering what yoga style is best for you?  don't know the difference between bikram and ashtanga?  check out this {comprehensive guide} that will help you decide which practice best fits your lifestyle and needs.

don't have time for breakfast?  check out this nutritious, delicious and {super easy breakfast} that you can make the night before so you don't have to waste any precious morning time cooking.

want to shape up in 2012?  (who doesn't?!)  yoga might just be the key.  try this {arm sculpting} routine or {strengthen and tone your legs} with this simple practice.

i hope these links help you to reach all your health goals.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

foodie wednesday: ranch eggs

let's face it, plain scrambled eggs can be a little boring.  if you're looking for a super easy way to infuse your sunday breakfast with more flavor, give this recipe a try.

credit {here}
6 large eggs
1/4 cup light ranch dressing
1 tbsp butter
salt & pepper to taste
1) melt the butter in a cast iron skillet.
2) whisk eggs and ranch together. add mixture to skillet and scramble over medium-low, stirring constantly until are the eggs light and fluffy.
3) salt and pepper to taste.

serves 4-5

other ideas?  serve eggs with roasted veggies for a hearty option, substitute egg whites for 3 of the eggs for a healthy version or mix in fresh herbs for a fresh kick!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

yoga: tone your arms

there's no denying it, we all long for toned, sculpted arms.  though the primary reason i practice yoga is because it makes me feel amazing on the inside, i certainly don't mind the strength and flexibility it has brought to my physical body.  above is a simple and effective 5 minute series to tone your arms and give you beautifully sculpted muscle definition as you link movement with the breath.

namaste : )

Monday, January 16, 2012

om monday: create your life

credit {here}
a few weeks ago, my sister gave me journal with the above quote on the cover.  "life isn't about finding yourself.  life is about creating yourself."  in yoga, we're taught that we create the world in which we live by how we live in it.  if we create beauty, we find more beauty.  if we cultivate our compassion, we see more compassion in our world.  and, contrastly, if we perpetuate negative thought patterns - the more negative thoughts and experiences we will have.

i don't know about you, but this quote is both uplifting and a bit overwhelming.  the notion that the world in which we live is a mirror on how we live our lives is kind of scary, because that means we have a lot of responsibility in making the world as we wish it to be.  but with that responsibility comes empowerment - knowing that if we seek a change, we much be the change.  and with this, we become the creators of our own universe.  very cool.

namaste : )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

yoga: get in the know

if you're thinking about venturing out and giving yoga a try this year, make sure you're "in the know" before you go.  vinyasa yoga is a popular, flow-style which is taught in studios across the country.  if you're relatively new, or would just enjoy a bit of flow, check out this simple sun salutation series to warm up your body.  you're sure to find this sequence is almost any class you take!

namaste : )

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

foodie wednesday: bbq onion pizza

this past weekend, we attended a post-holiday party thrown by our wedding photographers, a husband and wife team...who are both awesome, by the way.  i offered to bring an appetizer and was trying to think of something creative as i stared into my fridge.  what to make...?  and then it came to me...bbq onion pizza : )  yum!

1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup bbq sauce, your favorite
1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 dough recipe {here} (or one store bought crust or ball of dough)
olive oil
salt & cracked pepper

preheat oven to 425

1. saute onion in a bit of olive oil until lightly caramelized (season with salt)
2. prep your pizza stone or baking tray with some olive oil and corn meal
3. spread the dough and top evenly with bbq sauce
4. when onions are done, distribute them evenly over the crust as well and then sprinkle with bleu cheese
5. top with a bit of cracked pepper and drizzle with oil olive
6. bake for 15-20 min until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown

before baking
allow to cool for 5-10 min before cutting if you want to enjoy it right away : )

after baking : )
mangia!  mangia!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

yoga: thinner thighs workout

today, i wanted to share this super simple flow called dancing warrior.  this series builds heat in the thighs; strengthening and sculpting them.  incorporate this short practice into your exercise or yoga routine to build heat and tone your legs.

namaste : )

Monday, January 9, 2012

om monday: wise words for the new year

i found the following on mariel hemingway's blog last week, and this small but meanginful passage completely spoke to me.  i hope you, too, find the words inspirational.

i do not ask to travel the easy road
but for the courage to endure the road i am on.

i do not ask for fulfillment
but for the humility to accept what is in my path.

i do not ask for perfection in all i do
but for the wisdom not to repeat my mistakes.

i do not ask of these gifts before saying
thank you for all you have given me.

- chief red cloud, ojlala sioux 1819-1891

these words were written well over 100 years ago, yet i feel i could ask for the very same.  life isn't perfect, and we'll never be happy all the time, but if we approach our lives with a sense of wonder and gratitude, we will see the magic in the every day.

credit {here}

namaste : )

Thursday, January 5, 2012

yoga: 6 min detox

after the holidays, we all could use a little detox.  i've put together this short series of detoxifying twisting postures.  all are simple, easy and leave you feeling great! 

namaste : )

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

foodie wednesday: overnight oats (the encore)

yes, i have posted about overnight oats before, but they are so simple and delicious, they are definitely worthy of a second mention.  overnight oats are my go-to breakfast.  this awesome breakfast is hearty, healthy and will leave you feeling completely satisfied and ready to take on your day.  even better?  you whip up this simple recipe the night before, so when you're ready for breakfast the next morning, there is no wait!

1/3 to 1/2  of a (very) ripe banana
1/2 cup soy milk (you can also use regular milk or another nut milk)
1/2 cup oats (both quick oats and old-fashioned oats work great)
cinnamon & nutmeg
(1 tbsp peanut butter)

1. in a small bowl, sprinkle banana with a some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg and mash with a fork until smooth

2. mix oats into banana and then add milk and stir

3. cover and place in fridge overnight - by morning you'll have thick, creamy oats

have oats?  will travel.  craig's are ready "to-go" and mine are all set for breakfast at home.
4. in the morning, uncover and heat in the microwave on 50% power for approx. 2 mins

5. add a dollop of peanut butter and sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon, if desired  (they are also great with a drizzle of honey, chopped nuts or raisins!)

finished oats with cinnamon & peanut butter
happy breakfasting : )

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

om monday: believe in yourself

credit {here}
when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

credit {here}
happy new year, mavens!  believe in yourself & your dreams, and 2012 will be the best year yet.


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