Sunday, June 30, 2013

Racetrack Moonshine

Lammer and I spent yesterday at the Monmouth Racetrack with a ton of friends.  Since beer is no longer a part of my life (damn you gluten), I have to pack my own shoot as far as booze goes.  My new thing is grabbing a ball jar and pouring a little Tito's vodka, then some coconut water into it.  I squeeze a wedge of lime and rub some mint sprigs into it and close the top.  When I arrive to wherever I'm partying, I'll fill the rest of the jar up with seltzer water and ice.  It's my own moonshine, without the whiskey - HA!  I can't tell you how many asks I get about the drink because it looks so refreshing.  Give it a whirl and enjoy responsibly.

Above, Lammer and I are enjoying ourselves at the track...and Lammer looks like he is wearing a giant sombrero.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

CYH's Moment of Yoga: Be a Peace Frog

Check out this "peace frog" that sits atop my desk at work.  He's got a comfortable seat, a sweet-Buddha smile across his face, and a peace sign right at his heart's center.  His grin is contagious and instantly makes me feel light-hearted.  

Umm, this is a 7" sculpted piece of cement.  If this can bring me so much joy, how can genuine smiles given to one another throughout the day make a difference?  They can change the course of someone's day.  If you keep a peaceful attitude in your heart, will others feel it when they are near you?  You bet.  

 Exude peace in every aspect of your life...feel it stem from the core of your center, enveloping your heart, showing through your smile, actions and words.  Be a living peace frog!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Popsicles

There is a blurb in Food Rules by Michael Pollen where he said, "Eat all thhe junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself."  I love this and abide by it a good 95% of the time.  So, remember those decadent fudgsicles you enjoyed as a kid?  Can you imagine what the heck were in those things to make them so dang good?  Lots of nonsense but think no more, because here they are again - made over in a quick and healthier fashion.  

Chocolate Hazelnut Popsicles

2 bananas
1 "sippy" carton of unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon cocoa (or raw cacao) powder
1 small pouch of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients until super smooth.  Pour into BPA-free plastic popsicle molds (or small paper cups), leaving a bit of room at the top, and freeze for fudgsicles. (If using paper cups, put a wooden popsicle stick into each cup.)  If any is left over in your blender, enjoy it right then and there!  

Notes: I love keeping a pack of unsweetened coconut milk "sippy" cartons in my cupboard for recipes like this, or for baking/adding to sauces in small quantities. Even better, next time you crack open a can of full fat coconut milk, pour remainder into an ice cube tray and use as needed.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Morning Shake

Just one of the amazing bunches of greens in my share this month!
After our first drop off from this season's CSA, my fridge was bursting with beautiful bunches of fresh and glorious greens!  I'm doing everything and anything to make use of them, and created this totally yummy shake for my commute to work.  

Summer Morning Shake
1 stalk of kale
handful of spinach
juice of half a lemon
1/2 an apple
coconut water
tablespoon of almond butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil 
1/4 teaspoon raw/local honey
sprinkle of hemp seeds

Blend well and add more coconut water (or water) to desired shake-texture.  
This makes one mason jar shake.  Enjoy the fresh taste of summer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Makes Me Happy Now: Plants, my dad, opportunities & lazy Sundays!

I woke up in my new place with the sun light streaming into my room and onto my face.  What a lovely way to start the day!  I rolled right over and grabbed my pen and gratitude journal to jot down a list of 10 things right off the top of my head that I'm ever so grateful for.

1.  Hibiscus plant in my backyard.  
Lammer lived in Hawaii way back when, so he loves keeping a
hibiscus plant in our backyard.  The thing is gorgeous and produces these amazing bursts of color in the corner of our yard.  He'll pick one for me every few days and either leave one on the table, next to my bedside, or walk right up to me and stick it in my hair!  

2.  My office plant.  Speaking of plants...I absolutely adore the office plant (that my wellness coordinator, Jamilia got me!) that sits right next to me while I work.  It's so refreshing and super simple to maintain.  

3.  Danny, my Dad.  Today is father's day and my brother just happened to be visiting, so we Facetimed with our Dude for a bit.  Facetime is awesome for moments like this!  We were all able to hang out with our Dad for a bit because of little computers we held in our hands.  My father totally rocks!

4.  Opportunities.  I've got a fantastic job and one of the best parts about it is that I'm subject to some really great opportunities.  Last week I hired the amazing, Andrea Beaman, to come speak at Amscan.  She was an absolute inspiration to the employees, and has always been to me!  Check out more on her at 

5. Sunday = Funday.  Sundays are the laziest day of the week for me, and also the one day where I can hang all day long with my honey.  We make a huge breakfast at home and then come up with a plan for what we'd like to do for our day.  We'll hop on our bikes, go for a (stand up) paddle, head to the beach, or stay in to watch movies.  Whatever it is, it's awesome to unwind, reconnect with nature, and be with one another.  Yesterday we rode our bikes into town and played ultimate frisbee on the lawn of Riverside Park for hours.  =)

Back in March of 2012 I decided to do these posts because it's really easy to be suckered into negative thoughts when we're surrounded by stressful media, unhappy people and whining Facebook status updates. Swami Vishnudevananda says that for every negative thought you have, replace it with 2-3 positive ones. I love this concept and practice it regularly. I usually find the most effective way of climbing out of a negative attitude is to think about something that I'm grateful for. Feelings of gratitude really lift you up. In honor of this concept, I'm starting a post with this same theme and will blog it regularly. I'll list a few things that make me happy, lift me up and keep me smiling! Let's face it, world peace is something that will never happen. However, I can create my own little world of peace and happiness in my mind through my thoughts! Please give it a try as well and share how it affects you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Savor Your Savasana

Who doesn't love a nice long savasana?  It feels so delicious!!!  Savasana (the corpse pose, or better known as the relaxation pose - pronounced SHA-va-sana), is a crucial pose in any yoga practice.  It's so important to let go and completely relax at the end of your practice so that you can really reap the benefits of all of the other yoga poses you practiced!  Try not to skip it or skimp on it.  Use those few minutes to melt into your mat and drift off to another place.  REST and savor your savasana!

These were my students resting in their savasana one Wednesday night at the Power Yoga Center.  Stop in for my class Wednesday nights at 7pm!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stand Up Desk at Home & Work

I spend and hour and a half in the early morning sitting in my car for my commute to work.
When I arrive at work I sit for approximately 9-10 hours (there may be a bathroom break or walk to the copier in their) at my desk in front of a computer.  
After work I spend another hour and a half sitting in my car commuting back home.
I prepare a light dinner and sit down to eat it.
I like to catch up on my reading by sitting up in bed before I fall asleep. 
Noticie a reoccurring theme here?
I do a whole lot of SITTING.

My home office standing desk.
It's not cool in any way shape of form.  Even though I practice yoga each day and love working out a few times a week, my sitting triumphs it all and my body is finally starting to speak to me.  I've had loads of tension in my neck and shoulders for years, uber tight hips, and more recently have found my back beginning to pain me.  Not to mention, I've suffered from stomach issues for quite some time...not that sitting invokes these problems, but it certainly doesn't help!  Our bodies literally use no energy at all to sit.  While I teach my yoga classes I'm constantly making references to un-doing the damage of sitting at a desk all day and the effects it has on so many aspects of our body. After much research, I decided to take my own advice and turn both of my offices into standing workplaces.

For my birthday this spring I wished for Lammer (my fiance) to get me a standing desk for my home office.  My wish was granted and I've not got a standing workplace at home!  It's inviting, it's comfortable, it's energizing, I'm in love with it!  With a push of a button I can easily lower the desk so that I can take a seat when needed.  So far, that hasn't happened because standing feels so good.

My DIY stand up desk at work.
At work, it was a different story.  Since I already have an existing desk structure in my office, I had to build my own standing desk.  Thanks to loads of bloggers out there who have done the same (because official stand up desks are a pretty penny as you'll see below).  I am constantly moving bending down to write on my desk or to open drawers, and can easily stretch as needed while I stand to work.  I now can work comfortably at work on my own two feet and not have the worry of my body going to crap.  It's funny, now I actually look forward to my commute where I can sit for a bit!

To share with those of you who are looking to purchase a stand up desk or convert their existing one, I've gathered my own research and will provide you the links below to make your life a bit easier.

Make your own Ikea stand up desk, (thanks to Colin at This is how I built my desk at work.  I purchased a few more of the Ekby Viktor shelves to give it a little more of a lift (just stack them on top of one another), but this depends on your body and the position that your arms are comfortable at.  This came to not even $50.  If you're interested in other creative ways to create a stand up desk on top of your existing on, check out Brit & Co.'s blog post which gives some really great suggestions!

Ergotron Workfit-D Sit-Stand Up Desk.  This is the desk I requested for my birthday that is in my home office.  I purchased the Mounting Arm for Keyboard with this as well.  This came to roughly $750 at the end of the day.  (Thank you Lammer!)

Gel Pro Anti-Fatigue Mat - This is a MUST!  I actually bought both of these mats before the desks.  If you do not have one, you'll be exhausted and sore by the end of the day.  I didn't skimp here.  Our feet are awesome and they deserve the best since they take us wherever we want to go.  I got the 20"x32" for $79.95 for my work office and it's totally fine.  For home I got the larger 20"x48" and it's a bit longer and really nice too.  My feet, knees and low back have a sweet smile of relief every time I step onto it!

Do you use a stand up desk?  Or are you interested in using one?  I'm open to any comments or questions below.  Let's create even more of a buzz about this and start talking about it!  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

You're so damm precious!

This should be on everyone's bedside, on their mirrors and folded up in their pockets! 

This picture was snapped at a place called Woody's Burgers in Port Antonio, Jamaica.  It was the sweetest little burger joint run by a lovely woman.  She whipped up the most delicious burgers for Lammer and I (yummy veggie options of course).  I couldn't help but snap a bunch of shots while we waited!  I left so inspired.  

Choose FUN Workouts!

We all have jam-packed lives, but we know squeezing in a workout is key to good health.  However, if our workouts aren't something that we enjoy, what the heck is going to make us stop all that we have to do to go do one?!  Lately, I've been uber crunched for time, but dying to get in workouts.  I set up stations in my living room to change things up a bit and to bang something out really fast.  For example, I'll set up 3-4 stations and do 1-2 minutes at each, and move right to the next, a total of 3 rounds.  One station may be hula hooping (as seen above!), another may be ab-work or crunches, another is jump roping, another is kettlebells, another is incorporating a large exercise ball, another may be lunges with weights, etc.  A few of these may all be happening while blasting my favorite work out tunes in the back to keep me going.  
Moral of my workouts is that whatever I do, it's loads of FUN & movement!    

Drop any ideas you may have of what a workout has to look like and take a moment 
to think about what physical activities excite you.

How can you incorporate more of those activities into your weekly routine so that you can move more?

Monday, June 3, 2013

CYH's Moment of Yoga: Observe & Savor

"Begin your (asana practice) by sitting on the floor in any comfortable position. Feel the energy in the room. Observe the colors and shapes, and be aware of how you feel. Then close your eyes and breathe deeply, gently. Savor the air for a moment as you hold your breath, then release it slowly. Do this three times, reminding yourself that you are an integral part of the universe. Pay attention to your posture, the feeling-tone of you, and be relaxed and motionless. Then say a short prayer or invocation."   -Erich Schiffman