Archives for the month of: February, 2014

Check out my article at Doyouyoga.com!

Aw shucks, the nice folks over at Doyouyoga.com posted an article I wrote about yoga retreats vs. yoga vacations.  Check it out! 🙂

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That’s what the label on my new jar of “Aztec Secret” Indian Healing Clay (“The World’s Most Powerful Facial”) says. Sort of intense for a label, no? So while I decide if today is the day I experience this pulsating facial (seriously?! Could they have picked a word that maybe doesn’t conjure “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” flashbacks?), here’s a nice little recipe. If I don’t post again by next week, please send for help.

A while back, after I made The Loaf, I was rooting though my cabinets one afternoon in search of a snack. My search turned up some nuts, some dried fruit, and some leftover seeds from The Loaf experiment. In other words, nothing terribly exciting when regarded individually. However, together:

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Why, that’s granola!
I poked around the internet a bit for some recipe inspiration. My search turned up the following basic outline for a recipe:
Preheat oven to 250 or 300
2 cups (or thereabouts) of a base – I went the traditional route and used oats.
1/2 cup each of a couple different kinds of nuts – I had slivered almonds and cashews.
Additional fun items like a handful of coconut flakes, a tablespoon of flax or hemp seeds, you get the idea.
An oil – I used about a 1/4 cup of coconut oil, heated up.
A sweetener – I mixed about 1/4 cup maple syrup into the coconut oil. Also you can add vanilla extract into this if you like!
Some spices – I love cinnamon so I added about a tablespoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg. I’m interested in experimenting with this, though. I think cardamom, clove, ginger, even fennel could give this a unique kick.
A bit of salt
I baked this for about 30 minutes total at 300 degrees, stirring it halfway through. After I took it out, I added dried berries.
It turned out pretty awesome! It made enough to last me through the work week. This is a really forgiving recipe, and a fun way to use up leftovers from a baking spree!

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I have been burning the candle at both ends lately. I’ve been subbing a lot at the yoga studio, and my day job has been extra demanding. On top of this, I’m trying to do as much reading and writing as I can.

I learned an easy, very FUN shortcut for making my new favorite “candy” smoothie. These little life hacks cut off a minute of prep here and there, and also make you feel like a frickin’ genius (even though, if you’re like me, you read it on Buzzfeed or something but happily preach to every willing ear – “oh I saw this thing on the Internet, you have to try this!”).

Here’s the trick:
If you have a blender with a screw-off bottom (mine is a Hamilton Beach), you MIGHT be able to attach it to a wide-mouthed mason jar and make your smoothie right inside the jar!!! Even if you’ve heard this and do this every day, please just pretend to be impressed right now!! This blew me away! When I tried it the first time, I was (very) afraid that the Internet lied to me and I’d soon be picking glass shards out of the kitchen wall and maybe my face. Nope! The Internet came through, as it always does, with 100% accurate information (to my intense relief, let’s be honest, I was really expecting the glass shards).

Here’s my recipe and below that, photographic proof of this awesome life hack:
The “Candy” Smoothie
1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
1 cup (ish) of coconut or almond milk
1 or 2 dates because I get the unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
Shake of cinnamon or nutmeg if I feel spicy
Scoop of almond butter if I want more protein
Sprinkle of chia seeds or flax seeds if I remember

Stuff it all into a mason jar, then screw in the blending attachment and hook it up to your blender (if you’re feeling brave! Also fine to regular blend; I may not be totally over the fear of this going horribly, horribly awry). Here’s how mine turned out:

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Ugh! The winter blahs have me firmly in their grip. As I write this, snow falls gently outside my window (AGAIN), and temperatures discourage anything but staying inside. I have been working a lot, which is probably the only thing keeping me sane.

Last week, I made a really wonderful, bright kiwi salsa that will be added to my permanent collection. It’s simple, lovely, and the fresh flavors hint at warmer days, something I desperately needed.

In yoga news, last month I completed a Restorative Yoga training with Stephanie Keach at the Asheville Yoga Center. Besides being a wonderful teacher, Stephanie has created something really special at AYC. It encouraged me to commit to pursuing my 500 hour YA certification. I have a very, very long way to go, but making the commitment is the first step. The more I teach yoga, the more I learn there is to learn. I’m taking a second training in Charlotte in April. In the meantime, I will continue to teach and study here in Charleston.

I am taking a vacation to Vancouver next month! I look forward to exploring the food and yoga scenes, both of which, I understand, are top notch.