Category Archives: Health

Core of Gratitude {Yoga Challenge} and My Thoughts on Future Challenges

Core of Gratitude Yoga Challenge
Core of Gratitude Yoga Challenge

This month’s challenge benefits Odanadi, an organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate sexually exploited and trafficked women and children. If there are 50k posts (counted by hashtags), $1000 will be donated, and if we make it to 100k posts, $2000 will be donated. The challenge itself focuses on core strength and flexibility, and as always is geared towards everyone, from complete beginners to the more advanced. There will also be three people who will win a Liforme Yoga Mat. The challenge is hosted by @beachyogagirl and @kinoyoga. Make sure you post every day, tag the hosts. and use the hashtag #coreOfGratitude.

My Thoughts on Participating in Future Yoga Challenges

At the end of last month. I was debating whether or not to continue to participate in Instagram yoga challenges. I’ve been doing them for about a year and a half now, and they’ve been incredibly helpful for kicking my butt into gear and getting more serious about yoga. Yet, I found myself not posting pictures for a few days and having to catch up, which has happened in the past when really busy or traveling, but I didn’t have that excuse this time. I still practice just about every day, but it’s kind of a pain to set up the tripod sometimes and try to get a good picture. It’s getting too cold in the sun room, which has the best light, and the living room has weird shadows depending on what time it is. Sometimes I only have half an hour in the AM or in the afternoon, so I do a quick practice, but then have to take my picture at night before bed. I’m also getting bad about posting them, I usually take a video and then check it/post it later, and sometimes I forget completely. Basically, I love to practice daily, but sometimes it feels like a chore to take a good photo and post it to social media.

I decided I wanted to participate in this month’s challenge because the number of total posts raises money for a charity. Posting a photo is a pretty easy thing to do every day and it could help someone. It’s also really encouraging to be able to look back at my photos and see what progress I’ve made, especially during challenges that work on one specific skill (the back bends, arm balances, and splits challenges all helped me make a lot of progress). The challenges force me to practice things I wouldn’t normally practice some days as well. Lately, I’ve been trying to work on the Ashtanga Primary Series, and I’ve been going slow, and only working to a certain point. I’m trying to master and internalize the practice, but that means I might not make it to handstands or Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose). The challenges force me to practice those poses anyway, which is a good thing. My last reason for wanting to continue the challenges is because they have really helped me, and I would love to inspire someone to practice.

What do you think? Do you participate in social media yoga challenges?

Related Links:

October Yoga Challenge – October Yoga Spice

October Yoga Spice {Yoga Challenge}

October Yoga Challenge - October Yoga SpiceThis month’s yoga challenge is called October Yoga Spice.
It’s hosted by @beachyogagirl and @kinoyoga, and sponsored by  @aloyoga.

This month there is a charity donation going to @yogisheart to fund youth yoga scholarships. For every 50,000 posts $1,000 will be donated and for 100,000 posts, Kino and Kerri will match and make the donation $2,000!

As an added incentive to post, @aloyoga will also be giving away $200 each week to one participant.

About the challenge:
These yoga postures will focus on creating balance, strength and playfulness in your practice. As always, all levels are encouraged to participate and there will be modifications given.

How to participate:
1. Starting Oct 1, share a photo on Instagram of the challenge pose for that day after your practice.
2. Follow and tag @KinoYoga, @beachYogaGirl, @aloyoga, and @yogisheart and tag #OctoberYogaSpice in your daily posts!
3. Have fun! Join the yoga community on Instagram by commenting and liking other people’s photos who are participating in the challenge. *Make sure your account is public so all can see!

Leave me a comment on Instagram if you’re doing the challenge too!

 

 

 

Vegan in NYC: by CHLOE

Outside

My mom and I are huge Chloe Coscarelli fans. Her recipes are some of my favorites because they use simple, normal ingredients, and always come out delicious. When I learned Chloe was opening a restaurant, I immediately told my mom and we vowed to go when it opened. Well, they are opened two weeks ago, and we made the trip to NYC to check it out.

Casaer Salad
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING

Food

We spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at the menu (and pictures on Instagram) trying to decide what to order when we got there. Despite how amazing the burgers looked, I had my heart set on the Casaer Salad. I haven’t had one in years and it just sounded too good not to get. I decided to get a side of fries and an order mac n cheese too. I almost ordered the pesto meatball sub, but I’m glad I didn’t because after the huge salad, I could barely finish the fries and didn’t even touch the mac and cheese until later. The salad was humongous and delicious, and the shiitake bacon was the best not-bacon I’ve ever had. It was crispy, salty, fatty, and sweet. The fries were very much like other fast food fries, and you would never know they were air baked instead of fried. I generally don’t care for ketchup, and my mom doesn’t like beets, but we both loved the beet ketchup and special sauce that came with the fries. I ate the mac n cheese when I got home, my mom also got an order, and we agreed it was the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. I realized when I got home that I had made her recipe for mac and cheese with sweet potato sauce before, but I don’t remember it being that good.

My mom got the Whiskey BBQ burger, and also loved it. Every single thing on the menu sounded so good, I wish they had a sampler with tiny portions of everything. We also ordered peanut butter banana smoothies (YUM) and desserts to go.

The cupcakes didn’t quite make it home in one piece but they still tasted wonderful. You can see what the Raspberry Tiramisu cupcake looked like when I ordered it below.  I had to order it since it was one of her winning Cupcake Wars cupcakes! The Chlotess cupcake had the perfect chocolate ganache and little vanilla loops. The chocolate chip cookie was the most perfect cookie, it was chewy with a little bit of crunch…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.Desserts

IMG_20150809_225742
MAC N’ CHEESE – SWEET POTATO-CHEESE SAUCE, SHIITAKE BACON

Fries

IMG_20150809_230214
WHISKEY BBQ – SMOKY PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS & SEITAN, SAUTÉED KALE, ONION MARMALADE, GRILLED PINEAPPLE, BOURBON BBQ, POTATO BUN

Price

The prices were very reasonable…especially for New York. My salad was $9.95 and was huge. My mom’s burger was $10.95 and also filling. The sides we got, sweet potato and regular fries, and mac and cheese, were $3.95 and $4.95. The 16 oz smoothies were $8.50, the cupcakes were $3.50 and the cookie was $2.50. Our bill was higher than we’d normally spend at lunch, but that’s only because we went a little crazy and got extra food to go.

Casaer Salad2
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING
Peanut Butter Banana Shake
PB – PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, RAW CACAO, HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK, RAW AGAVE

fries2

tirimisu
RASPBERRY TIRAMISU CUPCAKE
chloestess
CHLOSTESS CUPCAKE
cookie
OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
trio
Dessert Trio

The Interior

The restaurant was packed when we got there, which was peak lunch time, at a little after 1pm. I took more pictures of the inside but it was mostly the tops of people heads or their backs. The decor was very modern and I would’ve loved to really look around and see the other merchandise she was selling, but I didn’t want to waste time or be in anyone’s way. We had to stand and wait a little bit for a seat, which was okay, and it was slowing down a little bit by the time we were leaving. The lines/people standing around waiting was a little confusing. I ended up standing in line 3 times (more about that in a second) once behind someone who was waiting to get their food, not order it, and the second time I decided to ask the person in front of me just to be safe and he responded like “of course I’m in line, why else would I be standing here.”

to go

The Service

I ended up in line the second time because after we sat down, I was looking at my receipt and realized the woman at the register missed a bunch of our food. I went back and reordered what was missed, so no big deal.

When we were ordered, my mom asked me if Chloe would be working there and I said I wasn’t sure. When we were eating she was walking around asking people how their meal was and was giving smoothie samples out. She was also cleaning tables, and asked my mom if she could take our trash when I was ordering desserts.

I can only image how hard it is to run a restaurant, especially in NYC. And while I have no clue how much of the business responsibility is on her, I saw first hand how hard she was working. Chloe has been one of my favorite “celebrity” vegans for a while and I love her even more now. She is incredibly inspiring and is showing people vegan food can be reasonably priced, filing, and delicious.

fries3

Overall

If you’re in the tri-state area, get to By Chloe, and come hungry. If you can’t get to NYC to eat at there in person I highly recommend her cookbooks. They are all filled with easy, recipes that everyone will love.