Monthly Archives: December 2011

At the end of the year life is pretty good

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and I mean it. I can not complain this week. I took a break from work for Christmas time and I am simply enjoying it day by day. I can not remember the last time when I took a nap in the middle of the day without fear that I will oversleep and be late to my classes or when I read a book in the middle of the day. Tom is off too so we synchronized our workouts routines in the morning and in the evening I am taking my yoga. It took me a few days to get used to be at home during the week and just relax but have to admit – I love it. If only I could live without rushing (in this pace) when I got back to my typical work life…

Well, it’s another idea for the New Year’s Resolution-I guess.

 And what about you-how do you spend your Christmas break? Does it feel weird for you to be at home and have nothing to do beside relaxing?

 As we are getting closer to the weekend and New Year’s Eve celebration, I am getting all these thoughts about what’s coming and this almost past year…I am sure you are with me on this one.

So to wrap it up:my year was TOUGH, shook me completely out off my roots but now I think the changes were positive. Many events happened that changed my perspective on life and how it supposed to be. First of all I change my job and life style completely. Yes, it was a pretty traumatic experience but turns out that now I can do what I really love and what I believe in. At the end of the year I can say:it was the best thing that could happen to me.

I do love teaching yoga full time and I wouldn’t turn back to my paper work and corporate world.

I do love people with whom I work and am surrounded by.

I do love positive progress with health and I can take care of it.

I do love to wake up everyday.

I do love that I can take time to develop my interests and I have time for keeping myself in shape.

 So for New Year there is not too much left to wish for. I hope my family and I will continue to live a healthy and joyful life where we can find peace and balance in everyday rush. And this is what I wish You All as well in 2012!!!

Of course there is always room for improvement and I am making some resolutions for myself (hopefully not only for January;)-we all do it and as long as it will be a realistic vision I believe we can keep it and make it happen.

I wish you a fantastic New Year !!!

xoxo

Izabela

 

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Christmas Summary

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How are you doing bloggies after Christmas craziness? I am doing pretty OK compared to last year’s recovery but still I had some digestive issues along way. It took me two pretty stressful days to prepare the food but yeah it was worth it overall.

Eats list:

Greek fish

borscht

cabbage stew

kutia (ground poppyseed with nuts and honey)

meat loaf

vegan lentil loaf

Tabbouleh salad

beets salad

traditional cheesecake ( I think this was the last time I made it. After a few pieces I felt really bad and apparently my body can not handle it anymore)

We had a lovely dinner on the Christmas Eve with my in laws. Everyone made something so there was lots of food to choose from. I forgot to take a picture of the table;( The dinner was followed by opening presents and just spending time together.

After coming back Sophie got her gift too. I made her Peanut Butter Muffins and here is her new best friend

On the Christmas Day we relaxed at our home for half a day – doing absolutely nothing. How nice is that? I spent some time with myself practicing in the morning and then I was working on a surprise for you guys (stay tuned!) later on another visit and another dinner;)

Xoxo

Izabela

Challenging the tradition

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Since I faced so many changes in my diet in the past year I am in a state of confusion on how I should move forward with my home Christmas tradition this year. Let’s face it-Polish cuisine is not really healthy, or light. It’s pretty damn heavy and fatty. Although if you really think about it- most of traditional foods are vegetarian. Especially The Christmas Eve dinner is meat free (in the Polish tradition anyways). But what is on the table for the next few days is a different story…Usually I would give myself a break from healthy food during the holidays but then again I’ll suffer,,,and have this tremendous guilt:why did I eat that if I knew it will make me sick…

I am positive that I am not the only one that has this feeling afterwords. What is different that my belly is extremely sensitive even with foods that are healthy e.i. cabbage, beans or whole grain products. So now I have 2 more days to figure it all out. I already decided not to make croquettes with cabbage and mushrooms (although I miss them) or any heavy similar dishes.

So how does it all looks like?

Traditional all the family is gathering on the Christmas Eve for dinner with (12…)fasting meals on the table. It has to be a big family thou;) Everyone should try at least a little bit of each dish. We serve: fasting borscht from red beets with dumplings, croquettes or/pirogues with cabbage and mushrooms, all kinds of fish, kutia (with poppyseed), cooked beets, anything that is made with cabbage again;), vegetable salads, sauerkraut and so on. On that night we exchange gifts, sing carols and the fun part starts and last for the next two long days. On the second and third day we would serve all kinds of meat dishes. There is a lot of little customs to add to it: we won’t start the dinner until the first star come up, there is always an extra plate on the table for anyone who is homeless or lonely and would come knocking on your door. I do love Christmas and all these traditions, obviously nowadays it’s hard to follow all of them (especially if it’s not in your homeland) but let’s keep it simple and what’s most important let’s enjoy this special time of the year.

We are going to my in laws so Thank God I don’t have to do everything by myself but still during this special time you want to eat something that is festive. I will try my best to customize Tom’s & my diet. I will try not to overeat this year and not to freak out if I do;). As a Christmas present I will make my husband happy with some meat loaf and cabbage stew and traditional cheesecake. (I truly believe if I won’t make it they will kick my out from the family;) And it’s all for you honey!

I need to get back to my kitchen now but I just wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!!!

with love

Izabela

Christmas decorating and tasty Parsley Basil Pesto for dinner

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Last weekend was all about preparation to the upcoming Christmas. We spent our weekend on Christmas shopping and finally creating some Christmas spirit in this house. This year I tried to go easy with the decor and so I don’t feel overwhelmed by ornaments hanging out from the celling wherever I look around. Simplicity is my theme this year. Don’t you love an evening when we dress up the Christmas tree, while carols are playing in the background.

Some Christmas ornaments:

My favorite Christmas ornament that I got a few years ago at the Nutcracker Ballet.

A creative Christmas Candle holder

We had Parsley Basil Pesto for dinner.

*Adding parsley to your diet prevents water retention in your body – especially useful when you feel bloated. You can add parsley to your smoothies, green juices or create an easy meal.

Ingredients:

½ bunch of parsley

½ bunch of basil

½ cup of pine nuts

2 cloves of garlic ( I used garlic powder)

salt& pepper to taste

3tbsp Virgin olive oil

To increase volume I added kale leafs

rice noodles ( “Tai-Tai Vermicelle”)

Cook the noodles according to the recipe. Toast pine nuts in the oven for around 10 min. Mix the rest of the ingredients in the blender or food processor. Transfer on to the pan:noodles, blended pesto and pine nuts. Cook for a few minutes stirring together until it gets softened. Enjoy.

Xoxo

Izabela

 

Time to give back – Yoga Jammy Jam at Lululemon

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Christmas is one of these times during the year when we want to give back and support others in our community. So when my friend told me about a charity event that she is organizing it definitely grabbed my attention. Yesterday I attended Yoga Jammy Jam at Lululemon, a yoga class in support of a local Women’s shelter. We collected 36 pajamas for those who can not afford them on their own. Providing such a basic need as pajamas and giving them some comfort is the least what we can do. So I was happy to be there. In my previous job I worked closely with a Women’s shelter.. Even thou I am always up for some yoga this class felt just right in my heart.

Don’t ask what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you alive and do that. Because what the world needs is people who come alive.-Howard Thurman
This quot has stayed with me in the past week, maybe because I wish some things would be different but Yes, this is definitely the time to answer this question and be grateful for what we’ve got and that we’ve got that at all. Because others may not have it.

This brings me to the thought about being present and alive in each precious moment. How often we tend to forget about it. Being a yoga instructor I feel almost obligated to remind my self and others in my class of this approach.  Especially when we “get the pose” that we were aiming for …then the passiveness comes. We are all just human beings that get lazy when we are in our comfort zone. So starting from basics and being present on your mat when you do Worrior II a million times again and again how easy it’s not to be in this pose. And there you go: how you do anything is how you do everything in your life…
And we all know that, we all experience that, and we all don’t want to hang out with people like that…
So
What makes you smile?
What makes you love?
What makes you to wake up?
If you know the answers to these questions, commit to being alive and be that person. Share your positive energy with others and appreciate all good things that you have… even that you are well enough so you could make it to your mat today.

Sorry for a philosophical post, I am just in a mood;)
Have a wonderful day!
Xoxo

Izabela

 

First Christmas Party of the Season

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After yesterday I am so in a Christmas mood. Ready to get my Christmas decoration out of the box and display them around the house, watch Christmas movies and listen to carols. I am usually very careful with not decorating my house too early because I don’t want to get sick of these decorations before even Christmas Day arrive. But I think it’s just about time to start.

Although I was tired by the time we got there, the party was so much fun. I woke up at 6 am to teach a class then I was running errands and finally I spent a few hours preparing food.

When the presents where wrapped and ready:

I made Quinoa and Avocado Tabbouleh Verrines (thanks to Leanne for the inspiration!)

My friends loved it and it was the first step to break the myth about vegan cuisine…

My Kale Chips were a hit too:

They disappeared so fast.

I also brought Raw Vegan Brownies:

And Coconut Balls

But there was so much more food and it was impossible not to over eat.

I was happy with what the Santa brought me. You can not go wrong with a Lululemon Gift card for a yoga teacher;)

Every girl got a French braid at some point

and “family”: picture at the end:

When too many photos are taken at the same time it’s hard to get people to look at your own camera;)
Today I don’t feel like doing anything,,,we are just chilling all Sunday at our house, enjoying the rest day.

Have a relaxing Sunday night guys,

Izabela

 

Even if you are not a Yoga girl

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… you will enjoy this video

Christmas craziness just arrived. We are going out on Saturday to a Christmas party with friends. For the past few years we’ve going to Tom’s work Christmas Party (since all the guys are work together) but this year I think we are starting a new tradition:home party. I am already getting email back and forth who is bringing what and to be honest I still didn’t decided what am I going to make. The thing is that I want to enjoy the evening without paying for it the next few days. So I want to bring something healthy.

Whenever the word “healthy food” comes up people automatically assume it’s going to be bland and not tasty… So obviously I am concern what can can be sweetand healthy but not scared others;)
Any ideas??? Please help
I am thinking about some kind of a side dish like a Tabbouleh salad or Rice pilaf and maybe a combination of the dessert?
Well I still have two days to decided. We are doing Kris Kringle presents so Tom and I did some shopping on the weekend, we have got this part done. Now his favorite part- packing the gifts. Also the deal is to wear something red…I bought red socks for Tom;).

Some eats from the past week

After my morning workouts I usually enjoy some Green Juice or take Smoothie On the Go

This one was: a bunch of kale leaves, 1 kiwi, 2 apples and 1/2 an organge.

I did have my very first attempt to make my low carb bread-turned out pretty weird in colour (I think chia seed and egg whites combination make the bread a bit green). It was good and I was proud of myself so let me try it one more time and this time I will take a picture before eating it;)
Today’s lunch was a pretty random salad:

Iceberg salad, red/green pepper, cherry tomatoes, scrambled egg+roasted squash (fries) with dressing: 1tbsp of Apple Vinegar and “Sabra” hummus-who would of guessed this can be actually pretty tasty…

I think I am in trouble: I MUST have a dessert every single day now,,,or you can call it an addiction to nut butter…so any kind of
nut butter+scoop of protein powder+some coconut flakes/a few dates will mix in to a tasty energy snack. The question is when do you stop eating them;)


It’s Thursday evening already so get ready for the weekend and enjoy your day!
xoxo

Izabela

PS. I used some Chakra guided meditation and it’s going pretty good so far.