All posts tagged: health and fitness

Use This Not That: Sunscreen Swaps

Summer is officially here, and according to my Siri, it’s going to be a million degrees with a UV ray index of off the charts. This is what happens when you don’t recycle, people! Mama Earth gets angry at us all and then gets hotter than Hades! All that aside, I’m a delicate little flower when it comes to the sun. My skin is so white, I glow in the dark like a ghost. I really do; true story. I could effortlessly play a Walker on The Walking Dead, especially if I didn’t get any coffee when I woke up.  I’ve never been into tanning (read: the sun and I are genetically incompatible). It takes a lot to keep this Walker skin ridiculously young-ish and protected from the sun’s death rays, so I used to pile on the sunscreen. Then I found out most sunscreens might cause as much damage as sun exposure. I can’t even.  The reason sunscreens are harmful is because most are laden with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get directly applied and then …

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 …

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 …

Ditch the Sugar, Lose the Weight

  Pour some sugar on me… But not on my food. No way, no ma’am, no thank you. I not-so-secretly adore sugary things. Actually, I love salty foods. Fatty foods. Fried foods. If it is dyed an obnoxious color, I’ll probably like that too. (Those chewy Swedish fish make my day. Some part of my brain knows it’s not a real food, that fish are neither chewy nor bright red nor sweet, but I become 100% committed to devouring the entire box the second they’re in my hands.) I use so much salt on my food, it looks like a literal snow blizzard has descended upon my plate. But out of all my vices, I think my sweet tooth is the worst. Scratch that, it’s not a sweet tooth, but teeth. Like, a mouth full of ’em. I’m pretty sure my body is out to get me. When science is finally confessing sugar is silently killing us and likens it to a hyper addictive drug, what’s a girl to do? Find ways to cut sugar out …

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 …

Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics (and how to take them)

Happy New Year! Praise baby Jesus, 2016 is over. …Damn, 2016. You were vicious! Don’t even get me started on all the celebrities we lost, because we lost our humanity for a hot minute and I think that’s a bigger deal. It was like a poop cloud of negativity hung over the entire year in the form of politics, social media, and the news (ok, and celebrity deaths). Most of the time, I felt like I was a very reluctant extra in a HORRIBLE episode of North & South. On a personal level, it was actually a good year for me and my husband. DESPITE the presidential debates, we can’t complain (#DodgedThe2016Bullet), but man, our hearts have been breaking for so many dear friends and even strangers who are hurting from last year. Here’s all I have to say about the Wretchedness Which Was 2016: whatever  personal opinions and views we value, let’s make sure we value people as well. I hope 2017 is marked by our kindness and desire to unite with one another instead …

Nail Your Handstands & Forearm Balances

My mentor and teacher Kino MacGregor is a yogini extraordinaire. Her handstands are like whoa! Actually, I think all of her asanas (poses) are ah-maaaaa-zing, but those handstands! OMG those handstands! SO fabulous! It came as a huge surprise to me when Kino confessed handstands are her weak point, literally. She’s naturally more flexible than she is strong, and she loses strength easily and has to work hard to build it back up. The fact that Kino has Mere Mortal Syndrome is both a huge relief and also tremendously inspiring. She has perfect inversions, because she trains to have perfect inversions. The take away: you can nail any asana with diligence and consistency. I’m still working on building up strength so that I can easily do my handstands and forearm balances even after doing a million vinyassas during my practice, but I’ve learned a lot after training with Kino both one on one and also in various yoga intensives. I wanted to share some of her knowledge. Another great way to get handstand training is …

How to Weekend + Travel Proof Your Health Game

Current situation: living across the pond in London proper for most of the month of September. Health game: Staying mooooostly on point, despite the massive attack (musical pun for you fellow fans out there!) on clean eating by way of incredible dining and wining in one of my favorite cities.  Let’s face it, weekends and vacations do a number on our health, and it can be incredibly difficult to reel ourselves back to reality. Many people, myself included, can testify that the “occasional indulgence” or exception accidentally become the norm. It’s so much harder to get back on track than to stay mostly consistent with our lifestyle. I’m speaking from personal experience of course; in all honesty my will power waffles and wavers entirely for a fancy pants meal, bottomless brunching, and/or an amazing bottle of wine. What’s a girl to do? Never dine out? Skip traveling? Forget it! That sounds like zero amounts of fun. I have major wanderlust and frequently travel both nationally and internationally. When I’m home, I’m fortunate to have a lovely network of friends …

Healthy Gluten Free Ramen Noodles with Aromatic Veggie Stock

Hello, from London my darlings! Despite being just a teeny tiny bit jet lagged, we’ve been bashing around the city with great abandonment. No food is left uneaten, no wine not drunk, and no site unseen. London is one of my favorite cities to visit, and each time I come here, it feels like home. I am so thankful to be able to experience this wonderful city with my amazing husband. We’ll be here throughout the month of September, in part for pleasure and also because I’m doing a 100 hour Ashtanga traning course with Kino MacGregor and her husband Tim Feildman. OMG GIVE ME ALL THE ASANAS! In the meantime: soup! Let it not be said I don’t love me a good soup recipe. They’re fast, easy to throw together, and have endless possibilities. Best of all, when soups are homemade, they have the opportunity to be incredibly nutritious.  Because I don’t live life like a typical 9-5 American, I’d rather take a Japanese bento box to work than buy food. Asian inspired recipes …

Chili-Lime Shrimp Tacos + Mango Salsa

I’m starting to panic, because mango season is coming to a close. Therefore, I am virtually living on mangoes so I can cherish each and every last second with one of my favorite foods. If someone asked me if I wanted to eat ice cream or a mango, I would say, “Um, duh! A mango!” and then I’d probably eat both, because I have a bit of a problem with gluttony. Since I’m on basically an Atkins diet, only the meat is replaced with mangoes, it goes without saying that I’ve been finding all kinds of ways to sneak them into my weekly menu. One way you can never go wrong is in a freakishly delicious salsa. I do eat vegetarian/vegan oh, say 97% of the time, but this week Tex-Mex Tuesday did feature some goddamn deliciously seasoned chili-lime shrimp for my husband and guests; I piled greens and salsa on mine and chowed down! The spice rub on the shrimp played so well with the sweet mango, that it was basically an Olympic dream …