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Honeymoon In Tulum, my Recs!

Honeymoon In Tulum, my Recs!

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honeymoon picsThis winter in Upstate New York is kicking my butt and has me dreaming of beautiful beaches, sunny days and my golden bronzed tan. Oh my tan, so pale right now... I digress.

As cabin fever firmly sets in, it seems like the perfect time to share about our honeymoon and get you inspired to plan your own trip, you deserve it! We went to Tulum  last June, choosing it for its beauty, short flight, and affordability and had such a great time!

I read all kinds of blog posts and travel reviews of Tulum before going and spoke to quite a few friends who had traveled there so I compiled a list of restaurant recommendations and places to visit. To be honest, we barely did anything but eat and lay on the beach, though we did make it to the Ruins one day, and they are a must see.

Here are my reviews for the awesome places we visited while on our two week vacation.

The Hotel: Jashita Hotel

hotel picsMy husband and I just stayed at Jashita Hotel for 9 nights for our honeymoon and loved it. We had a deluxe oceanfront room, room 22 and we walked right out onto the beach and water.

Breakfast was amazing, my husband would go back just for the food, and the staff was so nice! The atmosphere is so relaxing, we enjoyed the water activities, swimming, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding.

We liked the restaurant and also loved walking to Chamico's a little known place on the other end of the beach that made the best ceviche ever! We spent many an afternoon drinking frozen margaritas and munching on guacamole there after a nice kayak ride.

We definitely want to go back and enjoyed everyone we met while there. I don't remember the last time I slept so well, the beds were so comfortable! If you are thinking of going here for your honeymoon, I recommend it because of it's privacy and atmosphere.

Room Tip: We loved the oceanfront room and have heard amazing things about the honeymoon suites! The oceanfront room was more affordable and just as special so keep that in mind!

Where to Eat:

IMG_5881Our favorite restaurant? Los Aguachiles, this little gem was inexpensive, the staff were super warm and accommodating and the vibe was perfect for us. Get the figurines (pictured above) if you like ceviche! The Guacamole was the best we had during our whole trip and we loved all the dipping sauces!

hartwood 3hartwoodIMG_5997Every blogger and travel site I read recommended Hartwood Restaurant and after eating there I know why. The food was simply excellent and the atmosphere awesome. People start lining up outside of the open air restaurant before it even opens for a chance to enjoy this excellent spot. Hartwood is the type of place you would expect in Tulum, zero carbon foot print, local food, friendly people, right across the street from the beach.

Oscar & Lalo was another recommendation from friends. While I thought it was beautiful and the food authentic, it wasn't my favorite of the places we tried.

Sahara Cafe was the restaurant at our hotel. I loved breakfast, liked lunch, and enjoyed dinner; but it was more Italian than Mexican food for dinner and I wanted the real thing! The staff was very nice, they all remember your name and made wonderful recommendations on where to go for drinks, dancing and exploring, plus you couldn't beat the convenience of simply walking across the sand for a nice night out.

What to explore:

IMG_6087The Tulum Ruins are located right on a cliff looking out to the ocean. They were breathtaking and I was in awe of the type of structures ancient civilizations were able to create. King Iguanas were everywhere and seemed to take over and make this ancient city their own.

tulum pics 2Walk around in Tulum on the beach. We strolled all over, took pictures, had drinks on the beach, watched World Cup Soccer and didn't adhere to any schedule, just what we needed after the wedding craziness.

coqui coquiCoqui Coqui is a beautiful perfumery right on the beach. Many of the posts I read spoke highly of it and I enjoyed visiting but didn't feel the need to purchase anything personally.

Drinks:

IMG_5943Gitano was my favorite drink spot. We ate here as well and it was delicious but I could have just gone for drinks to be in the beautiful open air bar environment. Their decor was something else, and it made me wish I could turn my backyard into such an oasis.

If You Love Yoga:

IMG_6312Check out Amansala Eco-Chic Resport and Spa, for yoga classes, awesome food, and tree houses!

tulum random picshoneymoon pics 2IMG_5996

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Valentine’s Day Love Ideas That Will Last You All Year Long

Valentine’s Day Love Ideas That Will Last You All Year Long

ShannonPrzemek11

ShannonPrzemek59I love LOVE as you have probably noticed if you've read any of my bridal blog posts. I love all kinds of love, friendship, familial, romantic, between Dog and owner, you get the drift.

Many people I know don't like the concept of Valentine's day since there are so many expectations and it's not an authentic way to show someone you care. I honestly don't have any problem with a day devoted to love, to me it's like your birthday being a day about you, or your anniversary a day about the two of you, or Thanksgiving a day to give thanks. I never knock an excuse to celebrate and express the way you feel.

So if Valentine's day is a day devoted to expressing love, can you do that whether you're single or in a relationship? Yes, absolutely. Pick someone you care about and do something to show them that you love them. Write them a hand written note telling them how wonderful they are, invite them to the zoo if they love animals, plan a girls night in with wine and animated movies, anything really.

If you are in a relationship and resent the commercialism of this day make it about committing to showing love everyday in one small way so that your partner knows how loved and cherished they are year round. My husband makes me a cappuccino and breakfast every morning. Do you know how much I love that? He knows I don't "do" mornings well so he gets up extra early and does this to make my life a little easier and my day a little brighter. Something as small as taking out the trash can be pretty damn romantic if it's coming from a place of loving someone enough that you are choosing to do something to make them happy and take off some of their burden. Kind of makes shoveling the snow or cleaning the toilet sexy doesn't it? It's all about intention and perception.

And those of us on the receiving end? Let's show our gratitude. Sure it's easy to gush about the grand jesters, but I'd personally rather have a man who always remembers my favorite things when he goes food shopping and is sure my jacket is zipped all the way up so that I don't catch cold than receive a piece of jewelry and flowers once a year.

What can you do on Valentine's day that will make someone you care about smile? What can you do year round to show someone you care? Focus on the LOVE and you can't go wrong.

 

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Sugar cravings? 5 simple reasons and shockingly easy solutions

Sugar cravings? 5 simple reasons and shockingly easy solutions

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img_7787I recently had a reader write to me to ask about her sugar cravings. She is healthy, exercises most days of the week, eats a vegetarian diet, and has a real interest in health and wellness, yet everyday the inevitable sugar craving hits and once she starts it's hard to pull back the reins. After responding to her email, I realized she is probably not alone. Here are the 5 reasons I often see my clients reaching for a cookie even though they have the best of intentions.

Do you ever feel like you are caught red handed like we were in this picture? Well then keep reading...IMG_5631#1-Your dehydrated, this is a more common cause of sugar cravings than you may realize. Years ago, I would wake up in the morning craving sweets and my health coach at the time recommended I drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes to see if the cravings subsided. Guess what? It worked! Now I give my coaching clients the same advice, drink two glasses of water and walk away for a few minutes, if the craving goes away there you go, if not, if could be one of the other 4 culprits on this list.

#2-You might need to add a bit more sweet to your life. Are you stressed out? Do you feel like you don't have any "fun" time or "me" time? It's time to start loving life a bit, add in the sweet. You can start by taking a half hour of alone time a day to do something that really nourishes your soul and by adding in more root veggies and naturally sweet foods like fruits, sweet potato, carrots, honey, and beets to give your body what it is craving the healthy way. I have some great recipes to try out here.IMG_6548#3- You're exhausted! Amen sister, me too! When you don't get enough sleep your body gets all out of whack and lowers your leptin levels (the hormone that controls your appetite) so you are more prone to over eating. When you are sleep deprived your body also becomes more susceptible to glucose intolerance that can lead to diseases like diabetes. And cortisol, that pesky hormone that causes all the belly fat? That goes up. To summarize, not sleeping enough causes an increase in belly fat producing hormone combined with a decrease in appetite suppressing hormone and that spells disaster.

#4-Your Protein deficient. This was the case for me for a really long time while I was a vegetarian. It just didn't work for my body. When I work with clients, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or eat all types of protein I ask them to really pay attention to how their body feels after they eat certain proteins. Do eggs help curb the inevitable sugar craving better than almond butter for them? Would adding in chicken once or twice a week, or some high quality, wild caught fish be a good idea? If you are a vegetarian, I recommend avoiding processed soy foods and stick to tempeh, miso, and tofu since they are all fermented and easier for your body to break down and process. Add in some nuts for healthy fats, and legumes like peanuts and lentils which are high in protein and delicious. I love a good hemp protein powder in my morning smoothie and some almond butter on an apple as an afternoon snack. If you are getting adequate protein that your body can readily process you will start to notice your sugar cravings decreasing and your energy levels evening out as your blood sugar levels stabilize.

#5-You Vitamin-D levels are too low. It's cold, it's grey, there is very little direct sunlight, if you're feeling blue, it could be the winter blues dragging you down. You may be reaching for sugar filled foods because your body wants a quick pick me up, a quick boost to get your serotonin levels up and get you feeling good. Vitamin D (which you get from the sun) helps increase sermon levels, that when low, can lead to depression. While sugar has a similar effect, the effect is short term and followed by a very big dip in both energy and mood so you wind up feeling worse than when you started. Try incorporating in a high quality Vitamin D supplement or eating foods rich in Vitamin D like eggs from free range chickens, free range beef and butter from pasture raised cows.

If you find that once you start eating sugar you just can't stop, remember, sometimes we all need to indulge our sweet tooth for whatever reason, hormones, emotions, just plain old fun, and that's okay! Enjoy it. 90 percent of the time, eat the best you can, and 10 percent, realize that no one is perfect and allowing yourself some fun will allow you to stay on track longer and take away the guilt that would have led to a binge. img_7532-1

 

 

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Three Cheese, Truffle, Pesto, and Kale Pizza

Three Cheese, Truffle, Pesto, and Kale Pizza

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FullSizeRenderI apologize that these pictures aren't amazing but I barely had time to snap them before this was being devoured by myself and my very hungry family. We are unpacking and getting a house in order, which works up quite the appetite; at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

My Mom called this the best pizza she has ever had, I don't blame her.

My Dad said that if I keep cooking like this he is coming over everyday, I'm fine with that.

When I told my friends about it, they told me I should quit my day job and cook full time. So really, it's just the best pizza ever and you should all give it a try!

I recommend it for a Friday night with some delicious beer, I mean who doesn't love those kind of nights?! And the best part, you are eating your veggies when you indulge in this pizza so no guilt allowed!

Ingredients:

  • Pre-made Pizza Crust, easy to heat, Organic if possible
  • Onions or Scallions
  • Spinach Pesto
  • Kale
  • Chive Goat Cheese
  • Truffle Brie
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Truffle Oil
  • Herbs- Basil, Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional:

For you meat lovers, I fried up some bacon nice and crispy on the side and added that to the top of my Dad's pizza. I didn't cook the greens in the bacon grease since my Mom is a vegetarian, but that's one way to do it.

Tips:

We actually bought all of the ingredients at BJ's Wholesale Club since we just got a membership there to keep our grocery bill down. The key is seeking out a few high quality ingredients you can use in many meals. I am sharing this because you can truly prepare and enjoy amazing food, no matter where you live and what your resources are, as long as you are willing to get creative in order to make it work. :)

If you are gluten free and want to try this recipe, just purchase a gluten free crust, Bob's Red Mill sells one I like.

If you are vegan and want to try this out, substitute the cheese for cashew cheese and the pesto, either make from scratch (olive oil, spinach, arugula, salt and nutritional yeast in a blender; for a thinker consistency add cashews) or swap it out for a marinara sauce.

The Steps:

1- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
2- Place the pizza crust on an un-greased metal baking dish
3- Spread Pesto evenly over the crust
4- Cut chunks of the brie and goat cheese and layer them all over the pizza, evenly spaced
5- Cut up the onions into rounds, the pieces don't have to be very small
6- Place the onions into a pan over medium heat and sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper
7- Once the onions start to caramelize (about 2 minutes) add in a few handfuls of the kale and stir
8- Add in herbs, basil, red pepper, oregano and any other herbs you like, keep stirring so that the kale doesn't burn
You don't have to cook this for long since it will also be baked in the over, only keep the kale on for about a minute, until it's vibrant green and  tender
9- Evenly spread out the kale over the pizza, drizzle with truffle oil, add salt and pepper to taste
10- Bake in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your crust
This cook time is for a crust that was already cooked so keep that in mind and adjust accordingly based on the directions you see on your dough,  you can also just look in the oven and take it out once the cheese starts to melt
11- Serve and enjoy! FullSizeRender-3

 

 

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Major Milestones of 2014

Major Milestones of 2014

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are taking care of yourselves now that the hoopla has died down. It's time to nest and hibernate as winter settles in so you are ready for Spring!

This time of year I always look back on what has happened over the past year and check off the major life milestones that only happen once. First it was finishing college, then getting my first job, buying an apartment, getting engaged.; this year was full of more major milestones than ever before. My top major changes of last year were:

1-I got married! I've written extensively about this in previous posts so I won't go into a ton of details but I will say, BEST DECISION EVER.bella-1024x7692-As soon as I got back from my honeymoon I changed my job. After years of being in sales I decided that stress wasn't worth the paycheck anymore and moved my role within my company. I like having my evenings, weekends and holidays back. It's a thing of beauty and because of the normal hours of my new job I was able to...

3-Sign up for a yoga teacher training program, something I have been wanting to do for years! I'm well on my way to being certified, I finish next month and I've loved every second of it so far. It has also helped me to start an (almost) daily breath awareness and meditation practice which is a small thing that will lead to big benefits long term. I have already seen this practice as a daily sanctuary during our last crazy month. I've been interested in the idea of meditation for years but now I even have an alter and yoga room set up to inspire to me sit with myself and breathe each day. It's amazing what insights come to you when you allow your brain some down time.FullSizeRender4-We bought our forever home and moved out of NYC after 10 years to the country! We had been working on purchasing our home since early September so it was quite a long and arduous process filled with uncertainly but finally at the end of December we closed! It's been just a week but already we love our new home, I can see myself raising my children there and see Przemek and I on rockers on the porch watching our grandchildren play.  You can check out my new home updates on my Instagram account. A huge perk for me is moving so close to my parents who I see all the time now instead of just once in awhile like I used to.photo 4A theme I'm noticing is that I have made major shifts to add love in, cut stress out, and add in more quiet, reflective time to my life this year. I can't wait to see what 2015 brings!

What do you feel good about accomplishing both big and small this year?

 

 

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My Christmas Wish List

My Christmas Wish List

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christmas 3Christmas wish list 2malasIt's that time of year again, the Holidays are here!

I've picked out a few things I'm just dying to get this year, a lot of them for our new home! The boots are inspired by our move upstate so I can stay warm while sleigh riding and trudging in the snow, plus they are super cute!  Of course, I had to throw a bag in there, I am a girl after all! :)

These malas are my all time favorite, I already have one but want a half Mala to layer now, since my other is blue, I'm thinking Pink!

Hopefully these will inspire you for some last minute gift giving ideas, or to add to your own wish list if your style is rustic chic like me! I have included the links to everything below, alas the Eat sign is not available at the moment but can we found in the Sundance Catalog when it is!

What do you think? Are you putting any of this on your wish list this year?!

EAT Sign & Gather Sign

Antique Tiled Floor Mirror 

Ice Cream Parlor Clock

The Transport Tote

Women's Sorel for J.Crew Joan of the Arctic Boots

Nala Malas Beautiful collection of unique handmade Malas

Andalusia Wool Dhurrie Rug

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Cold Remedy Tea

Winter Cold Remedy Tea

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It's cold outside and I have a cold. Every year no matter how healthy I am, I get a cold when the weather drops. My cousin who studied biochemistry explained to me something about the spores in the air, but I really didn't follow. Maybe she will read this and comment so that the mystery will be solved.

Moving just over a week ago, starting a long commute, doing yoga teacher training homework and assignments, and being really busy in my day job have created a lot of stress and not very little sleep. My diet also isn't nearly as clean as I would like, with all of the change I've been turning to comfort foods more often than I should be.

Needless to say, this year, I'm run down and not surprised to find myself feeling the effects in the form of a big ol' head cold.  I'm thinking of this cold as the reminder I need to slow down and treat myself better.

Now that I am sick it's time for my cold remedy tea. I've included the recipes along with all the information about why it's such  good thing to have when you aren't feeling great below.

Other helpful things I'm doing to kick this cold in the butt fast are:

1- Oil of Oregano- diluted in water, straight up, I just can't handle it, that stuff burns! I had some today and knew I was really and truly sick when I couldn't even taste it. Check out this cool article about all it's uses on Dr. Oz's site.

2- Green juice with lemon and ginger. Vitamin C cold fighting heaven and immune boosting power all wrapped up into one.

3-Supplements, echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, fish oil, and vitamin D. My favorite brand is Metagenics but there are many good ones out there.

Recipe for Cold Remedy Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1-2 shakes cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ginger, about an inch cut up into small chunks

Optional ingredients for added benefit but gross flavor:

  • A garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Lemon juice has antibiotic effects, and is high in vitamin C which is vital for your immune system to function properly. Raw Honey is a natural antihistamine. Honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory this will help sooth and stop your cough. Cayenne Peppper helps treat sinus infection and has been shown to help reduce a fever due to it's detoxifying qualities that help you sweat. It also has anti-irritant preparers that will help with sore throat and coughs and it's anti fungal, anti bacterial, and anti allergen. Ginger will boost your immune system and help you sweat out your toxins. Ginger also contains germ fighting properties to repel both bacteria and fungus and to help you get rid of your infection. Ginger is my idea of nature's antibiotic.

Garlic is high in vitamin C, eaten raw it will literally burn that cold away with it's antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic is definitely part of nature's doctor's bag right along with ginger. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to reduce blood sugar; colds feed on sugar so you are cutting off their "food" source. It's also full of healthy bacteria and probiotics that support optimal immune system functioning. Apple cider vinegar supports lymph system function and will help decrease sinus congestion. Apple Cider Vinegar is actually amazing for a whole host of reasons, check out this awesome Mind Body Green article about the benefits here.

This really helps! I'm already feeling better after 1 day since I drank this religiously yesterday. The combination will get you sweating out the toxins and start to break up any mucus you have and will also help to begin draining the mucus. Eeeeeaak I hate that word and I just wrote it 2x, my apologies!

Try it the next time you are feeling run down or sick to bounce back extra quick! (I'm rhyming now, I must be loopy.)

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photos

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5 Tips to Maintain your Weight and Sanity over the Holidays

5 Tips to Maintain your Weight and Sanity over the Holidays

img_7532

img_7532It’s that time of year again! The holidays have arrived and with them, Holiday parties, pastries, happy hours, you get the picture. I used to use the holidays as an excuse to go completely nuts with my diet. Then it would be my personal mission to join the millions of other people January 2nd who flock to the gym and get on the kale and dust diet, (eat my dust as I run by). By January 20th, I was miserable, and off the bandwagon once again.

This went on for years, until I started working with my health coach and became one myself. I no longer dred the holidays, the temptations, and the thought of kicking my own butt come January 2nd. I don’t feel the need to do that anymore since I don’t treat the holidays any different than I do the other 365 days of the year.

I have found setting expectations helps a lot though, so here are 5 tips that are easy to do, work for me and my clients, will leave you satisfied; never deprived, and just might change your mindset about what the holidays are all about.

Here are my holiday tips to keep you on track:

1-      Focus on the conversations. I used to be so focused on the food at these events that I would forget the whole reason I was excited about the holidays to begin with. They are a chance to really reflect on what we are grateful for and to appreciate and reconnect with family members. I love the spirit of the holidays, the love, the focus on things that matter like family. Food is fun and it’s great to have yummy options but it’s not why we get together and it's something you have everyday, no reason to make it the central focus.

2-      Bring a side dish you will enjoy. I love this one. Each year I try to bring something filled with veggies. This not only fills me up, and gives my body some much needed balanced nourishment on days like Thanksgiving, but it also gives me an opportunity to turn my family members on to new foods they may not have tried before. I have turned many a family member onto kale, beans, and sweet potatoes over the years. Try my Roasted Sweet Veggies Recipe or my Kale with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil Recipe, they are sure to be a hit!

3-      Go on fill up your plate with everything you want, one time. For Thanksgiving I have a rule. I can have whatever I want, but I can fill my plate just once. There is no going back for seconds, that is what leftovers are for.  I don't need to eat everything in one sitting and neither do you. I am usually satisfied after about half of my plate is cleared. If the urge to keep eating hits a bit later, I go back to my same plate and eat what is there. I don't fill it up, and then fill it up, and then fill it up again. I have ended too many Thanksgivings pacing the living room with my arms around my waist, in pain, for me to repeat that one. When I do overeat, I don't punish myself but I do try to really think about what that feels like, how uncomfortable I feel, so that I don’t repeat those behaviors the next time.

4-      Have dessert, but pick just one. For Thanksgiving I need Pecan Pie. My Mom learned the hard way not to disappoint on this one. I have to have a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream It’s the one time each year I eat Pie and Pecan it must be! No other dessert can compete. I go in ahead of time knowing this so that I don’t mindlessly eat all of the other desserts knowing it will all come back to the pecan pie anyway.

5-Be Grateful-this is such a great time of year. There are many people who are alone today, be thankful to be surrounded by friends and family. Be grateful to have some down time to enjoy your life for a few days. You only get a finite amount of Holidays to make memories with the people you care about, don't waste them totally fixated on something that doesn't really matter.

What are you grateful for this year? I'm grateful to have married the love of my life. I'm grateful that we are in the process of purchasing a home we will raise our family in. I'm grateful to my parents who have been a sounding board to us every step of the way. I'm grateful for my amazing friends. I'm grateful to be in training to become a yoga teacher. I'm grateful to you for reading this post and supporting me! Thank you for that.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have an amazing time wherever you plan to be!

 

 

The post 5 Tips to Maintain your Weight and Sanity over the Holidays appeared first on Whole Foodie Booty.

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5 Tips to Maintain your Weight and Sanity over the Holidays

5 Tips to Maintain your Weight and Sanity over the Holidays

img_7532

img_7532It’s that time of year again! The holidays have arrived and with them, Holiday parties, pastries, happy hours, you get the picture. I used to use the holidays as an excuse to go completely nuts with my diet. Then it would be my personal mission to join the millions of other people January 2nd who flock to the gym and get on the kale and dust diet, (eat my dust as I run by). By January 20th, I was miserable, and off the bandwagon once again.

This went on for years, until I started working with my health coach and became one myself. I no longer dred the holidays, the temptations, and the thought of kicking my own butt come January 2nd. I don’t feel the need to do that anymore since I don’t treat the holidays any different than I do the other 365 days of the year.

I have found setting expectations helps a lot though, so here are 5 tips that are easy to do, work for me and my clients, will leave you satisfied; never deprived, and just might change your mindset about what the holidays are all about.

Here are my holiday tips to keep you on track:

1-      Focus on the conversations. I used to be so focused on the food at these events that I would forget the whole reason I was excited about the holidays to begin with. They are a chance to really reflect on what we are grateful for and to appreciate and reconnect with family members. I love the spirit of the holidays, the love, the focus on things that matter like family. Food is fun and it’s great to have yummy options but it’s not why we get together and it's something you have everyday, no reason to make it the central focus.

2-      Bring a side dish you will enjoy. I love this one. Each year I try to bring something filled with veggies. This not only fills me up, and gives my body some much needed balanced nourishment on days like Thanksgiving, but it also gives me an opportunity to turn my family members on to new foods they may not have tried before. I have turned many a family member onto kale, beans, and sweet potatoes over the years. Try my Roasted Sweet Veggies Recipe or my Kale with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil Recipe, they are sure to be a hit!

3-      Go on fill up your plate with everything you want, one time. For Thanksgiving I have a rule. I can have whatever I want, but I can fill my plate just once. There is no going back for seconds, that is what leftovers are for.  I don't need to eat everything in one sitting and neither do you. I am usually satisfied after about half of my plate is cleared. If the urge to keep eating hits a bit later, I go back to my same plate and eat what is there. I don't fill it up, and then fill it up, and then fill it up again. I have ended too many Thanksgivings pacing the living room with my arms around my waist, in pain, for me to repeat that one. When I do overeat, I don't punish myself but I do try to really think about what that feels like, how uncomfortable I feel, so that I don’t repeat those behaviors the next time.

4-      Have dessert, but pick just one. For Thanksgiving I need Pecan Pie. My Mom learned the hard way not to disappoint on this one. I have to have a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream It’s the one time each year I eat Pie and Pecan it must be! No other dessert can compete. I go in ahead of time knowing this so that I don’t mindlessly eat all of the other desserts knowing it will all come back to the pecan pie anyway.

5-Be Grateful-this is such a great time of year. There are many people who are alone today, be thankful to be surrounded by friends and family. Be grateful to have some down time to enjoy your life for a few days. You only get a finite amount of Holidays to make memories with the people you care about, don't waste them totally fixated on something that doesn't really matter.

What are you grateful for this year? I'm grateful to have married the love of my life. I'm grateful that we are in the process of purchasing a home we will raise our family in. I'm grateful to my parents who have been a sounding board to us every step of the way. I'm grateful for my amazing friends. I'm grateful to be in training to become a yoga teacher. I'm grateful to you for reading this post and supporting me! Thank you for that.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have an amazing time wherever you plan to be!

 

 

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Yoga Teacher Training Update Post Weekend 3

Yoga Teacher Training Update Post Weekend 3

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I just finished the third weekend in my yoga teacher training and while my hips are sore and my body is tired, my mind is very much alive. I'm sitting here in West Elm Market at Brooklyn Roasting Company's cafe drinking a coffee and having a Dough donut treat as I write this so I'm feeling very Blogger-ish and cool. The best part? They allow dogs so Bella is on my lap, it's funny that wherever we go, she gets way more attention than I do. :)photo-20Over the past few weekends I've learned about what yoga is not just on the physical level but on the life and spiritual level.  I've learned about sequencing, ways to find balance in the poses for the body, and ways to start assisting. I've also done a shit ton of yoga, day in and day out, yoga and relaxation and meditation have been built into my life.

This past weekend we had a discussion on Pema Chodrin's When Things Fall Apart one of the books on our reading list. Like most of the things I've been reading and practicing while at home, it's the group discussions that bring illumination to it. I realized in the discussion just how many people connect with her ideas and could use some help coming to terms with the fact that everything, both the good and bad, it's all okay. She gives you permission to not feel like you need to fix things, but just live in the moment. It's one of those books you can read at any time and find something to relate to, for me it was the perfect book at the perfect time in my life; let me tell you why.photo-22I'm injured. The week before training started, my right wrist started really hurting. If I'm being honest, it started hurting about a month before that but I ignored the whispers until it full on shouted at me to lay the hell off. So I did, for a few weeks, then when it wasn't really healing, I went right back to practicing, thinking fuck it, I'm not letting this hold me back. Guess what? It started getting worse, no surprise there, but worse to the point that even double wrapped with support my arm was shaking whenever I was in plank or push up pose. Needless to say, it was time for a doctor, and the orthopedic specialist I saw let me know that I need to stop thinking I can "walk on my hands", told me to rest it for  a few weeks and gave me a really annoying immobilizing sling brace that was specially fitted. Ligament issues, ugh. The good news, my wrist is still fine, so long as I lay off, stop trying be to a tough girl, and let my body heal itself.

After the doctors appointment, I broke down, called my mom and started crying on the streets of NYC. Really classy. It was a breaking point for me though. There is an aweful lot going on in my life right now (that I haven't even written about yet), and this brace, the order to stay off my hand, it was like the icing on the cake. All I could think about was how unfair it was when I've waited 3 years to do a yoga teacher training and now I couldn't even fully participate. Then this weekend, when we started talking about the book, I realized this too shall pass. All the overwhelm, all the feelings of everything happening good and bad at the same time, it would pass. And guess what? I'm not the only one who was injured this weekend. We yoga people have this tendency to push when we should pull back. So the teachers directed us to really slow it down, give 25 % instead of 125% how does that feel? Listen to the whispers. I could try to make my injury a good thing and recognize it as an opportunity to learn how to modify and how to take care of myself, to really get to the essence of the pose since I'm not in the thick of it. But that's not the point, the point isn't to try to make something better, it's just to acknowledge it for what it is.photo-21Here is the other thing the book and consequent discussion made me realize. All feelings are okay. We don't need to brush anything under the rug. It's okay to feel the way you feel, whether good or  bad. I've been stressing about a lot of the changes happening with my job, with where I'm living, with having every waking minute filled up with classwork, mental work, and physical work. The people I talk to about this keep stressing that it's all for good stuff so I shouldn't let the stress get to me. Okay yes, it's all for good reason so then I feel guilty for complaining about the stress. But after this weekend I realized that those comments were actually making me feel like my feelings were unacceptable. I felt like I was being invalidated. Though the book I realized that all the feelings, whether good or bad, are okay. It's natural to feel that way and that too shall pass.

When I was at the doctors, waiting to check out, the receptionist came up to me and saw I was reading. She asked me with a huge smile, "are you reading anything good?" I showed her the book, not thinking anything of it (hello the title is When Things Fall Apart Heart Advice for Difficult Times) her expression immediately changed, she did a double take, a look of concern coming across her face and blurted "well is it helping?"  I didn't know what she meant for a second, I thought the book was pretty cool, but then I realized oh god, she thinks I'm depressed I have to fix this. I explained that I had to read it for a training, nothing wrong here. Then I proceeded to cry on the street. See the problem there? Denying what you need, denying what you are feeling, means living inauthentically. Caring so much about what others think that you invalidate your own feelings and feel bad about yourself? No Bueno. Change takes time, relearning patterns and habits takes time. But me, I'm intrigued, and a book like this, it came at the perfect time into my life to help me accept just where I am, in this moment. Do any of these ideas resonate with you?

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