Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CYH's Song of the Moment: Ready, Able by Grizzly Bear

I have a long list of favorite songs, and this is one of them on the list. It's from Grizzly Bear's album, Veckatimist (2009), which is on my top 10 best album list of all time. Gorgeous.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tulsi Tea - Benefits of Holy Basil

During my first trip to India in 2009, I was introduced to Tulsi tea, also known as 'holy basil' tea. I was told to drink it each day I was there to keep my immune system strong. Apparently, it worked because I remained healthy throughout and following my trip. I brought some back with me and have been hooked ever since! Luckily, Organic India makes a delicious line of Tulsi tea's that you can find here at all health food stores, and even in some supermarkets. I swear by the original flavor, but they have many different kinds. My favorite flavor is the Honey Chamomile all summer long, then I fall in love with the Orange Mint during the Fall and enjoy the Vanilla Creme when it's colder. My tastes clearly change with the seasons! If you see a box the next time you're food shopping, give it a try! Read below for all of the wonderful health benefits of this holy basil tea.

About Tulsi Tea

Tulsi tea, which originated in India thousands of years ago, is known for its rich antioxidant and adaptogenic properties that are known to promote wellness by building the body’s immune system, reducing stress and promoting mental clarity. It is recognized as one of India's most sacred herbs because of its health benefits and healing properties. Tulsi Tea's antioxidants protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals that facilitate the cause and progression of various types of diseases. Also referred to as holy basil tea, this herbal brew’s adaptogens serve as powerful anti-stress agents that protect your body from a wide range of health concerns. The adaptogens guard against and deal with physical, chemical, environmental, and emotional factors that produce high levels of stress that compromise physical and mental health.

Potential Health Benefits of Tulsi Tea

· Strengthens the immune system, promotes longevity and enhances well-being.

· Promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.

· Reduces the negative physical and psychological effects of stress.

· Increases the body’s efficiency in using oxygen, which improves stamina, strength and endurance.

· Promotes respiratory health.

· Helps with digestion and gastrointestinal problems.

· Neutralizes dangerous biochemicals that contribute to cancer, degenerative diseases and premature aging.

· Facilitates healthy liver function.

· Reduces cell and tissue damage from sun rays, radiation therapy and other radiation sources.

· Relieves inflammation from arthritis and other diseases.

· Helps fight infections.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Art Journaling

Before I am a yoga teacher, holistic health coach or corporate wellness director, I am a multimedia artist.
I draw, paint, sculpt, take photographs, make jewelry, collage, scrapbook, craft, journal, and create delicious meals. Creativity seeps out of my pores. I think in colors, shapes and designs. I'm a natural illustrator so when I hear certain words or sentences, a design or idea immediately transforms in my mind.

Myself as an artist is constantly evolving, and throughout the past few years I've been expressing myself best through art journaling. This is a chance for me to take my love of mixed media and bring it all together. I sit down, grab my sketchbook, jot down some thoughts (either how I'm feeling at that moment, a song lyric that I can't get enough of, a colorful word, etc.), then allow myself to play! I'll sketch around the words, cut and paste images on the page, paint, scribble, etc.

Some of the pages are personal, for no one's eyes other than mine. Others are meaningless and quite silly (see citrus doodles on right!). Either way, this art form has resonated with me the most out of any other particular medium because I'm free to incorporate all the different aspects of art that I love onto one page. That creative freedom is so liberating! Then of course after I'm finished creating in my art journal, I enter my kitchen where my creativity has been taken to a whole other level and my tools are foods, spices and herbs. Even while planning my yoga classes, I'm designing routines to dance through with my students.

Art is everywhere. From as young as I can remember, I always said that I would be an artist. And here I am, in my 30's, creating art each and every day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jersey Shore GLOBAL MALA: September 18th, Sea Bright, NJ

On Sunday, September 18th, 2011, we'll be getting our yoga on for an awesome cause at Sea Bright Beach from 4pm - 7pm for this year's GLOBAL MALA. Global Mala is an annual event to bring all yoga studios and their communities together as ONE in celebration of peace. I'll be teaching at this year's event, where we'll flow through 108 rounds of sun salutations on the Sea Bright boardwalk over the gorgeous ocean, under the setting sun! For this particular Global Mala all proceeds will go to Clean Ocean Action.

Please purchase your ticket here. And don't let the 108 sun salutations scare you. Come to this event with an open mind and only do what you're comfortable with (unless you want a challenge!). There's no judgement in yoga, so you can relax in child's pose or take a water break whenever you need one throughout the practice. It will be a beautiful event, so I encourage you to come!

Sponsored by Brahma Yoga Spa, Elevate Yoga, Fair Haven Yoga, Live.Breathe.Grow and Hot Yoga Revolution.

Friday, August 5, 2011

1 - 2 - 3 Guacamole!

The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.

This quick recipe is unbelievably easy and could go many ways depending on the tastes you desire and/or what you have in the house! Pair your guacamole with chips, slather it on a wrap (can be substitute for cheese!), drop some on your rice and beans or stuff it on your sandwich. It’s all good!


2 ripe avocados

1 lime, juiced

½ teaspoon olive oil

sea salt to taste

½ handful of fresh cilantro (optional)

Other Optional Ingredients:

Feel free to add some finely chopped red onion to your guacamole if you have some. Same goes for tomatoes, add one ripe, chopped tomato (seeds and pulp removed). The acidity from the tomato will actually help the guacamole from turning brown. If you prefer your guacamole with garlic, add a minced clove to this recipe.


Peel and mash avocados in a serving bowl. Stir in other ingredients. Season with remaining lime juice and sea salt to taste. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors, keeping the pits of the avocados in the bowl until it’s served. See, it's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3! ENJOY!

Benefits of Avocados:

Avocados have gotten a bad rap because of their fat content. However, fat is a macronutrient much need by the body. Fat insulates the body, helps transport hormones and is a source of stored energy. Remember, it is the quality of fats that you take into your body that needs attention. Avocado is a quality source of monounsaturated fats which aids the absorption of its fat soluble vitamins E and K. It is important to note that avocados also contain B vitamins and Vitamin C and its potassium content is three times that of a banana!

Restore Your Health Through Digestion

Heartburn, bloating, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, indigestion, constipation, gas, allergies…the list goes on and on. Digestion is everything. Gut health is crucial to good overall health. Below are some smart ways to keep your belly happy and healthy.

1. Eat Real Foods. Shop the perimeter of grocery stores in the refrigerated sections for real food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are foods that are “alive” and contain the healthy enzymes that your body needs to digest foods properly. Foods that are found in packages on the inside aisles of the store are “dead” foods that contain NO enzymes that your body needs to digest.

2. Fermented Foods/Probiotics. Consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir and tempeh keeps the gut flora healthy because they contain natural probiotics that our guts need to stay healthy.

3. Eat Seasonally. Our body can assimilate produce better when eaten during its peak season. When we eat in harmony with nature, all systems of the body are more at ease.

4. Stay Hydrated. Keeping your system hydrated is key for overall health, especially with digestion. Water helps to lubricate your organs allowing them to help guide your digestion and elimination smoothly along.

5. Eat Your Fiber. Be sure to include plenty of fiber in your diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are some of the best sources of dietary fiber that will keep your gut healthy and may help to rid you of some diseases and illnesses.

6. Trust Your Gut. Connect with that instinctual “gut feeling” when you have one and trust it. Be true to yourself, to others and in every other aspect of your life.

7. Take 3 Deep Breaths. Eating in a relaxed environment as often as possible is important for healthy digestion. Sit down before you eat and pause to take a few deep breaths before you begin eating. Slow down, relax.

8. Chew Your Food. Try to chew your food at least 10 – 20 times before swallowing. Digestion begins in your mouth and will flow a lot smoother through your digestive tract when food is chewed properly.

9. Avoid Sugar. Limit your sugar intake, especially any artificial sugars.

10. Have a Cup of Tea. Calm your belly and digestion with a cup of hot, herbal tea. Chamomile, ginger, peppermint or fennel tea are very soothing to the stomach.