Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fall in (love with) New York

Standard

I just spent three amazing days in New York. I can’t even describe all wonderful things I saw and did there. The point is:

I am in love.

I have always wanted to go there and see this busy chaotic place, a symbol of USA’s economic power, so modern, ….huge huge diverse architecture and of course the newest trends. The drive was pretty short and sweet. We made it in 8 hours which is a pretty good record. After checked in in the hotel, we started to wonder around.

If you have big expectations there is always a risk that it will be a disappointing experience. But in this case, not even close. I am amazed how NY remind me of Europe which I have not expected at all. Coffee-gourmet shops, kiosks and flower shops on ever corner, humongous old tenements and churches between powerful high-rises. I can’t have enough of traffic on the street, noise, smelly sewers, horns and taxis.

The most important part- we haven’t used any transportation for last 3 days. We walked everywhere. In 3 days we did around 40K and I need to admit we haven’t have any energy for working out while vacationing. Although my legs hurt so much I surrendered myself with hip-openers and legs stretches at the end of ever day.

Even thou we walked all day long I still feel like I gained weight there. We couldn’t resist coffees, and brownies on the way. As I mentioned before I researched on healthy places to eat in and actually there were not hard to find. New Yorkers are definitely health conscious. Tons of places where you can find salads, vegetarian dishes-and it’s where we ate. Tom was a bit disappointed that almost every time we landed in such a place and not in an Indian or Chinese restaurant. But the truth is when the hunger was getting to us there was either fast food or healthy place on the way. Next time do your own research! I went through reviews of the vegan/vegetarian places and got them on my NY map. From those I found I actually managed to try just one – Energy Kitchen. Honestly I was not impressed. The salad was OK, not enough dressing and no washroom inside. Btw-there is a law in Canada that any place where you can eat needs to have a toilette inside – apparently there is no such law NY. Even Starbucks didn’t have washrooms in all their locations. This is of course the minus when you are walking all day long without access to your hotel room. My stomach was so so there, stressed out about the trip, food that we will be eating etc. didn’t give me vacation from bloating or pain, even thou I was feeding it with healthy food choices – almost ;), I guess it is what it is. Now that I am back I will have more control and maybe in a few days I will get back to my IBS “normality”.

We visited the most important tourists attractions of course. The Empire State Building was just in front of the hotel, The Rockefeller Centre, Time Square. We walked through Broadway back and fourth tons of times, World Trade Centre, Statue of Liberty and of course Central Park. But more fun was just wondering around, from the place to place, playing with photography and being between the crowd, energy of the city – was just inspiring.

Check out the gallery for more pictures. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you New York! You are wonderful. I will be back soon to continue my endless exploration.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

xoxo

Izabela

Advertisements

Packing to NY-what should I take?

Standard

Hey bloggis,

I hope your days were less chaotic than mine this week. After a bad night sleep I woke up at 6 today. Even thou I am an early bird in this house I love to surround myself with quiet in the morning, just to get set my mind for the rest of my days. But I need to be rested. Instead for a last few days I am not feeling well at all: with my belly, I have weird dreams and I am just fatigue all the time. Having said that a lots of things going on and I am maybe anxious because of that and excited as well.

First of all this time I am really looking forward to my upcoming-extended-weekend. I am leaving for NY on Saturday morning. Yupi! It was my dream to actually get away from my life and second to see NY in the fall. We didn’t really go anywhere this summer so this was what I was waiting for. So chaotic this week was … I am just thinking about my trip now. .

I didn’t have time to cook anything separate for myself this week so yesterday Tom prepared a lunch for me after I came back from the studio. Delicious Salmon with the green raspberry salad and Sesame oil.

Thank you, it was delightful.

Then I ran to the photo shoot at the studio. Oh yeah, It was weird…I am not a fan of posing but this was obligatory for the stuff. I just followed what the guy was telling me to do. I don’t expect great results from that. Not to mention we were doing this in a hot room but let’s wait and see.

Any trips make me anxious about how am I going to feel there, what I will be eating and if I can enjoy my time. We will stay in the hotel so obviously there won’t be chance to cook! Maybe that’s a good thing;) but I need to be very careful so I am planning what to take with us to have access to my safety food as well. I made Gluten/guilt/ free breakfast almond cookies already and roasted some almonds for the ride. Should I take oats: cooked or raw-with me? I bought a small packages of soy beverages as a milk substitute. I even have a small kettle for coffee and tea to the hotel. What else? Can I take any nut butter? Am I going to survive without it;)

Thanks to The Fitnessista for sharing the recipe. I changed it a little bit.

1 cup of Almond flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3 tbsp grapeseed oil, 3 tbsp almond butter, 1/4 cup of Maple syrup, 1 egg,

1 tsp lemon juice. Combine all ingredients. Bake for 15-20 min in 350 F.

I researched about healthy places to eat around the hotel so in general it should be Ok but it’s better to be prepared. I think the most concerns I have is with my breakfasts. I like them on the sweet side as smoothies, oats in all variations.

Besides the food-should I take my workout equipment with me? Should I go to the gym or have a real vacations? Meh… knowing me-there is no such thing as a vacation from yoga or working out so maybe in a different form but we probably won’t skip this part.
Any thoughts on this for me, please advise.

And how you are preparing for your trips?

Besides if you didn’t notice yet – I am so excited!!!!I don’t think I will be sleeping much tonight. I think NY is one of the cities where I always wanted to go and melt there in between buildings…

Although It’s gonna rain…. so I will soak there for sure;).I promise to log my life there so stay tuned.

Xoxo

Izabela

Faced the music…

Standard

I didn’t wake up with much excitement today. My morning adventure was to visit the dentist for a root canal. Hrrr… rather traumatic experience. And… they made me wait for an hour and a half which just deepen my fear. After two injections I went numb and from that time you can call me: Crooked mouth.

Before that my day was pretty relaxing. I was playing a good wife! and prepared a delicious breakfast for Tom, (who just finished the night shift week). He came home for the Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes!

2 tbsp of peanut butter+scoop of chocolate protein powder+1/3 cup of milk of your choice.

Stir until there will be no lumps. I used Coconut Oil on the pan. On the top sprinkle some blueberries and raspberries. I took a photo before he came in and this is what I had to deal with…

As the day continues it brings more negatives. My mom just called letting me know that my God-mother is hmm…not dealing well with her cancer….I don’t even know what to say or think and why do I raise this here.

I am so far away,,,I can not even support my dad (his sister) with this one. So now I am thinking about you all, my close family 7000 km away…

As the numbness in my mouth goes away I will practice yoga tonight keeping all of you in my heart. Hopefully I can send some positive energy there.

Izabela

Weekend Mission Accomplished

Standard
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
~Old Zen Adage

I read that this morning and I can completely relate it to this passing weekend. As I had 2 full days for myself…, without any family gatherings or evening events I was terrified that this will be boring and lonely time. Hmm I guess I should stop thinking this way. This just sets my mind in a mood of doing something all day long. I had three classes to teach this weekend and that’s Ok.  Besides that I came up with all sorts of housework. I’m not even going to mention “feeling guilty” that I didn’t go to the gym since I could of, just didn’t feel like it.

And of course it’s a weekend so we should eat something yummy. I have this huge craving of treating myself with a lasagna for a while. My IBS doesn’t really like it so some cravings needs to wait until I can not handle it anymore;) Yesterday I finally made my experiment work. Vegan TVP Lasagna turn out great without any unusual “belly behaviors” this morning.

I used: Brown Rice Pasta from All Natural “Rizopia”,  TVP, “Veggie Slices” soy-based mozzarella, pure tomato sauce, spices and veggies such as asparagus, red, yellow peppers, zucchini, onion.

Treat everything like for a usually lasagna. Cook pasta al dente, saute veggies in tomato sauce with spices- make your sauce thick! Prepare TVP on the side. Then layer sauce, pasta, TVP and mozzarella and so on. Put into the oven in 375F for around 40 min.

So good!!!

Another thing I have in mind for a last few days is something with chocolate and pumpkin.

Raw Dates Chocolate Bar

Blend ½ ripe avocado, nuts of your choice(e.i. 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds), 1-2 tsp cocoa powder. Layer on raw coconut flakes, mash it and freeze overnight. Next day just cut into the shape you desire.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee-it’s the season right?

Since everyone is talking now about the pumpkin season how could I miss that. Here it is.

1/2 cups soymilk
1-2 shots espresso OR 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
2-3 tbsp canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
You can add some sweeten to taste (I used 1 tsp Maple syrup)
1/2 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend pumpkin, milk and spices together. Heat it on the oven or microwave to make it warm. Pour coffee to the cup and milk pumpkin on top.

Other “accomplishments”:

cleaning windows,

cleaning 1 closet

going to the dog park twice

shopping

cleaning the entire house…

dishes 10 thousand times…

teaching 3 yoga classes, taking one

2 cardio for 30 min on elliptical

Am I that bad???

Finally it’s late Sunday night-beauty time. Last craving of this weekend – hot bath with some essential oils to relax before next week. And maybe I will add some meditation at the end.

Talk to you soon.

Izabela

Just ordinary week

Standard

Whoa! The air is so crisp today. Walking the dog in my flip flops definitely made me chilly.

I love fall, especially after such a hot summer we had, it seems very refreshing to me. I can’t wait to see all the colours coming up. I find I need to switch my perspective on life from time to time. After stagnancy for a while I am finding my comfort zone and staying in the same spot for a long time. So Fall and Spring time makes me to think about some changes, ideas, and looking for something new. For the last week I am taking it to my mat as well. Some yoga poses are not challenging anymore or doesn’t give me the same benefits as it used to. So I am trying to dig deeper in my teaching and my personal practice.

I am repeating the same sequence all over again. Each time maybe by finding more engagement in my feet, core, shoulders or whatever is lacking in the same Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). I am looking for some new sensation there, deeper stretch, more heart expansion and so on. I highly recommend that practice from time to time just to rejuvenate your practice.

Besides that my week went very fast. Tom is working night shift so I can not count on any help from him. Everything is on my hands. Poor me;). Although Sophie doesn’t seem to complain and each morning I find this:

The good thing is that every night when he is gone I can put some music on and get creative in the kitchen. Make as much mess as I want to and I don’t have to explain that to anyone! I am trying to come up with my breakfasts and lunches a day before. In between classes I can just eat, change and go back to work again. Yesterday I played Nelly Furtado (don’t ask me why, I guess I have some sentimental issue for her or feminine music in general). I made Raw Vegetable Spring Rolls with Easy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

You can combine all vegetables you have in the fridge. I put, red and yellow peppers, cucumber, zucchini, salad, and half avocado blended with 4-5 baby carrots, asparagus . Roll it into Rice paper.

For the Peanut Sauce:

the same amount of:

Peanut butter,

Apple Cider Vinegar

Sesame Oil and Maple Syrup. ( if you don’t want this to be too sweet reduce the amount of Maple Syrup). For one person 2 tbsp blend it well in a food processor. Refrigerate overnight.

Lesson learned after taking this picture: when you are taking a picture with some sauce on the plate, hmm spread it out nicely . Fancy lines around your meal would work better then just dumping a spoon of the sauce on the plate.

For quick and sweet breakfast: rice cake with peanut butter and dried figs on top. Yummy

For my afternoon coffee always goes with something sweet: Fig & Banana Bliss

½ cup of oats blended with a spoon of chocolate protein powder or cacao, add 1 tsp of vanilla. Refrigerate overnight, whenever you ready blend 1 frozen banana, 1-2 fresh figs, spoon of greek yogurt and raisins on top.

And what was your favorite dish this week?

xoxo

Izabela

 

Yin/Yang class – a sweet torture…

Standard

On Saturday morning I had the most painful yoga class I have ever attended.

As usually I went to my Saturday class to teach. Since I experienced a lot of pain in my hip flexors I decided to stay for the following my class – Yin/Yang yoga. Holy guacamole!!!

Ok, I admit since I started to do weight lifting training I feel a lot of tightness in my hips, not to mention other parts of my body. And yes, if you are an instructor you don’t get a lot of chances to actually practice on your own. You know how they say:” …. a shoemaker walks without shoes…”.

Often I sacrifice my own stretching over workouts I am committed to follow already. And of course it just gets worst and worst. Besides that I was always very flexible. I didn’t have the need to spend an hour doing not my type of yoga- simple stretching. You can torture me with physical activity – I don’t mind but….at the class I had to fight to ignore the pain: “should I stay or should I go”. And again I tired this class a few times. I struggled with the pain and my mind and I know that it’s sooo good for me. Still I have lots of excuses why I need to go back home and not stay for this particular class. Yesterday I kind of felt I don’t have a choice here. I could barely walk.

The idea of Yin/Yang class is to fuse an active and passive asanas that counter-balance one another.

Yin part refers to passive practice and gets to the deep connective tissues, ligaments in the joints. Held for several minutes or longer, passing the muscles and looking for the state of being uncomfortable. Over time it can lengthen these tissues and increase range of motion. Yang part refers to muscular energy, incorporates standing postures, power yoga poses. This combination helps to archive the perfect balance. Often compare to day and night, light and dark. Relaxes and straightens your body and your mind. 

So this was my Saturday morning. I was crying like a baby there, felt someone was tiring my tenors. I felt burning fire in my hips. This very intensive torture but felt so sweet after words.

I am considering committing to do it on my own, at least once a week. Maybe this will eliminate tears each time I am stretching my hips.

Btw I am working on creating the simple hip opener sequence for you so we all can get a chance to try it out without excuses. Stay tuned.

After I came back I felt like I need an award. Tom ate my strawberry overnight oats… forgive me, but there won’t be any picture of that. Lucky enough a few days ago I prepared and froze a new Banana Oats Goodie inspire by Elise from www.hungryhungryhippie.com

So I’ll just throw it in the oven and here it is-Yummy.

Ingredients:

1 mashed banana

½ oats

1tsp of baking powder

1-2 Tbsp grounded flaxseeds

nuts of your choice (I used raisins, walnuts ans some almonds).

¼ of cup almond milk

a bit of warm water

nutmeg spice on top

Stir it and freeze it. When you are ready throw it into the oven for around 45 minutes.
Have sweet dream!!!

Izabela

When was the last time someone made you smile?

Standard

It’s miserable out here. No question that we have September already. I just want to climb on my bed again, hide under the blanket and read some books that are still waiting for me. Unfortunately I don’t have time for that.

I prepared my breakfast a day before- (Protein) Almond Blueberry overnight oats.

Blend or just mix 1/3 cup of oats with ½ a banana and handful frozen blueberries,    add  1tbsp of almond butter, a bit of almond milk, sprinkle with cocoa and 1 strawberry (or if you are concerned about your protein intake add ½ scoop of chocolate protein powder). Refrigerate over night. Ready to serve when you wake up.

I had to drive to the studio for Mid-day flow yoga class. It’s quite a new place for me so I am not very familiar with people yet. But last week I complemented one teacher on her bracelets, they look so colorful and pretty on her. And today there was a small surprise there left by her. I got two very cute and cheerful bracelets. This gesture just made my day and put a smile on my face on this rainy day. Listening to Alanis Morissette I couldn’t stop smiling on my way back.

And when was the last time someone surprise you? If you don’t remember, try to make someone smile today.

After I came back there was no time to be creative but even though it was raining my bbq lights up and my lunch turns out into a pretty tasty meal. Simple Chicken with roasted vegetables and Dijon mustard.

Ingredients:

1 hand size portion of chicken breast with herbs of your choice

fresh veggies: asparagus, zucchini, red and green peppers

2-3 sundried tomatoes

romanian lettuce

mix grape seed oil with 1 tsp of dijon mustard,

add some basil, smear on top of the veggies and chicken,

grill for about 10 minutes

I have two more classes to teach so put a sweater on and stay warm,

Izabela