All posts filed under: the yoga life

How to Do: Side Crow

Arm balances just makes me soooo happy, I can hardly stand it. I mean, honestly, every time a yoga instructor calls out an option for an arm balance or an inversion, I’m literally like, YAAAAAS GAWD. Unless I’ve eaten all the things right before class and feel as though I’m made of bricks. Then I’m like, WHHHHYYY, make the lambs stop screaming!!! Yoga is cruel to the gluttonous, just so you know. But when a girl’s gotta eat, she’s gotta eat. Even if it’s right before class. Here’s the thing I like to tell my own clients regarding the oh-so-tricky art of arm balances and inversions: it should be fun. Sure, it’s difficult—really difficult. After all, you’re both balancing and holding yourself up on a tiny portion of your body. But this isn’t the time to go Type A or let your perfectionism kick in. This is the exact moment to practice patience and give yourself grace. Before you even start, lay your ego at the door. Hey, I know you just skimmed that sentence! …

When Dairy-Free Milk Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut

Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes. It seems like everyday, more people are ditching cow’s milk and switching to healthier options, like nut milk. With increased demand comes increased supply, so many mainstream food brands are now marketing nut milk of every variety. Many people switch to nut milk in pursuit of healthier options, completely unaware of some companies using ingredients that are highly inflammatory for your intestinal tract and harmful to your gut microbes.This should be a good thing…but it’s not. While you’d might think consumers should be able to waltz into any grocery store and not have to worry about what the hell is in our food, that world just doesn’t exist anymore. The food industry is a massive business and, like many other businesses, it’s more concerned with product sale than people’s health.  The simple truth is not all dairy-free milks are created equal, but there’s …

(Best Ever) Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve had a lot of chicken noodle soup in my day, and I do believe nothing cures the common cold except a big bowl of hot soup. That was before I went vegetarian, of course, but I still make it for the carnivorous people I heart. My husband is about 80% vegetarian, and what meat he does eat is usually more in the style of Asian cuisine, where the meat is an accent–not the main dish. Whenever he gets sick, he always special requests my chicken noodle soup. I love cooking up a big batch of this soup whenever I make it. It smells soooo good, and it takes me back to so many happy childhood memories. To me, childhood smells like coming in from a snowy day and finding a big pot of chicken noodle soup simmering away on the stove. My mom is pretty awesome, for sure. Except she refused to let my sister and I eat Captain Crunch, which I think is ethically questionable and highly cruel. Aaaaaanyway. I can’t take credit for …

Nutrient-Dense Delicious Pho Recipe

The only good things about winter are snowboarding, snow, hot chocolate and soup. In no particular order. Everything else is just meh. Ok, ok, those aren’t the only good things. Some people hate on winter (like the Starks a la Game of Thrones…I’m still weeping over Ned Stark. Oh, and Rob Stark. And Catelyn Stark…basically, all the Starks and the long list of characters which fell prey to the GOT bloodbath), but I actually love all the seasons. I’m a hippie at heart, and each season brings with it some amazing outdoor playtime. D.C. winters are pretty mild (now that I’ve written that, the weather gods are probably going to send a raging snowpocalypse on the DMV area), but my husband Samuel and I get our fill of winter, because we usually go skiing at least two or three times a month to some of the surrounding resorts in-between our trips to Colorado. We love the snow so much, we would build an igloo and camp out if we could. I’m probably going to be featuring non-stop …

Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Two Ways

I don’t know about where you live, but the weather is moody AF here in Washington, D.C. What’s up, mama nature?! While I tend to prefer meals that are heavily plant-based, sometime life calls for some good old Southern comfort food. My mom has a collection of the best southern dishes, and while they taste ah-maaaazing, they certainly aren’t healthy. The good news is just about any recipe can be modified to fit your dietary needs. I adjusted my mom’s mac & cheese recipe two ways: 1) gluten free noodles using organic milk and cheese, 2) vegan using creamy cashew sauce Both of them tasted so delicious, I almost forgot we’re in the clutches of winter. Almost. But not quite. MAC & SMOKED GOUDA CHEESE  _________________________________________________________________ SERVES: 6 PREP TIME: 10-15 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40  INGREDIENTS: 4 cups dried GF macaroni 1 whole egg 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 1/2 cups ORGANIC whole milk 2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired) 1 pound Gouda cheese, grated (not pre-grated cheese) Seasoned salt …

Review: Best Yoga Books (for yoga addicts like you)

I collect two things in life: books and music. And according to my bank account, I apparently go a little overboard with my obsession for both. I am unrepentant. I am without question a book fanatic/literarazzi/reader-of-all-the-things. I don’t know about you, but any location that houses books in a happy place: libraries, used bookstores, Barnes and Noble, that random pop up store down the street, etc etc etc. I’m not kidding when I say I read at least a book or two a week. I will happily turn down social engagements to snuggle up with a my fat cat and a book. HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH—called my sofaaaaaaaa. Anyway, now that we all know the real reason I’m sometimes a terrible friend (those books aren’t gonna read themselves, people), I wanted to share with you several that I’ve found really beneficial to my yoga practice. Inspirational and philosophical books are pretty easy to come across, but books with a technical focus are often difficult to find. I’ve curated several gems along the way, and they’ve made …

Use This, Not That: Deodorant Swaps

The many of the ingredients that go into our every day, run-of-the-mill products are a little bit terrifying.  Worst of all, when it comes finding out just how unhealthy a product really is, the burden of proof falls on the consumer. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately, if we want to stay healthy, we can’t completely trust the FDA or consumer reports. There’s a huge chance you’re using a hazardous product right now. Aluminum is directly linked to Alzheimers and a slew of other health problems, but guess what we put directly into our lymph nodes every day? Yup. Aluminum, brought to you by way of your trusty deodorant. I don’t know about you, but this makes me mad AF. All I want in life is to smell fresh as a goddamn daisy, without risking putting my husband through a Notebook type of scenario. My memory is pretty sketchy as it is, so I need all the help I can get. Since it’s approximately a million degrees outside right now (depending on the sun’s …

Is Yoga Enough of a Workout?

And there it is. The question I get asked all the time: IS YOGA ENOUGH: to stay fit, to lose weight, to keep the weight off. When a person says they do yoga, that’s a pretty broad spectrum statement. There are a million different types of yoga, and I don’t think one is better than another, so long as it benefits the body and the soul. Most gyms in the States have an increasing demand for yoga-fusion classes: cycle-meets-mat, barre-meets-yogini, weights-meets-flow…you get the idea. I’m sure what I’m about to say is an annoying purist statement, but I’mma gonna say it: those hybrids of yoga are not yoga. They’re a workout routine, not true yoga. Yoga is a discipline with strong spiritual roots and those who are faithful yoga practitioners reap crazy health benefits, but true yogis don’t do yoga to get fit. That’s a side benefit, and a great one. BUT let’s face it, most people find their way to the mat because they want to get lean and limber. Nothing wrong with that. Fitness might bring us …

Hazelnut Biscotti (So Good, You’ll Wake Up for It)

I’m kinda sorta completely obsessed with all things hazelnut related. If someone asked me what I wanted for my last supper on death row, I’d promptly reply, “First, it’s called dinner not supper, but allegedly the South will rise again, so don’t you worry yourself over vernaculars. Second, I want nutella over nutella filled cupcakes, piled on top of a pillow of nutella cakes…AND HOLD THE GLUTEN!” What the heck, it’s death row, I can handle the gluten. During my travels abroad, I came across a hazelnut biscotti that was so insanely delicious, I literally woke up extra early to stomp over to the local cafe for my daily biscotti and coffee. Note: I do NOT do mornings, and I’m not a huge coffee drinker unless it’s a legit cup o’ Italian brew or French pressed, so this was an act of devotion. When I got back home, I decided to experiment with some recipes to make a vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free recipe. I was anticipating gross cardboard-like sticks of non-deliciousness, but to my surprise, the …

Smoothie Fail: Is Your Drink Making You Gain Weight?

Smoothie drinks, smoothie bowls…they’re all the rage now. It seems like almost everyone I know is throwing their not-so-healthy, sugary yogurts in the trash in favor of the smoothie trend. Smoothies are a great way to get a huge amount of nutrients with minimum effort. Everything about this seems awesome…right? So why are people worrying that their oh so healthy smoothie might be the culprit behind their weight gain? Is it even possible to gain weight from something so healthy?! The terrible answer is yes, but don’t freak out! I’ll break down why your smoothie or shake might be sabotaging your weight goals and what you can do about it! So let’s get down to business. My milkshake does bring all the boys to the yard, only it doesn’t have milk or sugar. It does have all the nutrients my body desperately needs and then some, but it’s easy to ruin a good thing if we fall into these traps: PORTION CONTROL Unfortunately too much of a good thing can be high calorie. ARGH! MUST …