Archive for May, 2010

At Home Yoga

My latest obsession besides detox baths: Yoga at home.

For the past few weeks I’ve been indulging my downward dog cravings each morning. Just 20 minutes incorporated into my morning routine has made a noticable difference in my day. Not only do I get a little bit of exercise first thing in the morning, but yoga is a wonderful way to stretch and bend out all those nighttime kinks (not kinky. Kinks)

I’ve discovered Exercise TV on Demand (NY TIme Warner channel 1025). They have about 15 yoga routines to choose from, ranging from 11 minutes to over an hour, all different levels and types. I’m fond of Zen in Your Den for my early morning routine and the Sunset yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe to wind down at night.  Of course the channel also has many other workouts to choose from, like the “10 Minute” series, cardio, and Jillian Michaels.

So, try, just try, to get up 20 minutes earlier, break out your yoga mat in the comfort of your own home, and get your downward dog on early. I swear it will make you feel SO much better!

***THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST UNTIL THE WEEK OF JUNE 7TH. I’LL BE ON VACATION!!****

May 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm 1 comment

Relief at the end of a very, very, very long day

I am a fortunate New Yorker because I have a bath tub. Actually, it’s a pretty amazing bathtub. It was the ONE thing (OK, one of many) that I demanded when Matt and I renovated our bathroom in our apartment. 

The best thing I’ve found to help me wind down at the end of the day is a bath. Most New York apartments have bathtubs but they can be a bit grody. People, it’s worth the money to invest in eco-friendly cleaning products and scrub that thing clean so you can use it!

Lately I’ve taken to detox baths which are THE greatest gift to yourself at the end of a long day. Run the bath with hot water–as hot as you can stand it. Add 2 cups of epsom salts (you can find at drug store or even supermarket) and 1 cup of baking soda. Add about 10 drops of Lavendar oil (or your favorite essential oil) and you have one heck of a detoxifying, relaxing bath. You’re muscles will be soothed by the epsom salts, and your body will sweat out its toxins.

For an added bonus, after you dry off from the bath head right into bed, get under the covers, and continue to sweat for 10 minutes. Don’t be grossed out..it’s not a gross sweat like after you work out. I swear like your own personal steamroom.

I cannot tell you how friggin good this feels. Try it and report back!

May 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

Ditch the measuring spoon

Ok, not really. But in case you’re in a bind, in the store reading a label, or just plain ol’ snacking and want to quickly know what a portion size looks like, here are some handy references:

*A serving of cheese is 1 oz and is about as big as 4 dice.

*A serving of rice measures 1 oz and is about as big as half a baseball (use your imagination!)

*A serving of a bagel that measures 4 ounces and is about as big as a hockey puck

*A serving of meat measures 3 oz is about as big as a deck of cards

* A serving of peanut butter (ah, my downfall!) measures 2 Tbsp and is about as big as a ping-pong ball

*A serving of pasta measures 2 cup is about as big as a tennis ball.

And if that isn’t good enough, try these hints:

*Thumb tip (tip of finger to 1st knuckle)= 1 tsp

*Thumb (tip of finger to 2nd knuckle)= 1 Tbsp

*Palm= 3 oz

*Tight fist/one open hand: 1/2 cup or 4 oz liquid

*2 hands cupped together = 1 cup

May 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Journey Dancing My A$$ Off!

I hope you had a lovely weekend! Mine was quite fabulous, thank you.

On Sunday I had the pleasure of going to the West Side Pure Yoga  (OMG, have you been to that place? It’s drop dead GORGEOUS!) for a workshops where I danced, hardcore, for 2 straight hours. Incredible DJ, fun people, free-form dancing, letting my freak flag fly, sweating more than I have in ages. Sound up your alley?

This, my friends, is Journey Dance, created by the amazing Toni Bergins. To take Toni’s class–let alone be in the same room as she–is magical. She has the most incredible, abundant, radiating energy I have ever experienced. Sorry to get woo-woo on you, but it’s true.

So, what IS Journey Dance? According to the website:

JourneyDance is a grooving celebration that will have you loving your body and loving your life! Weaving simple, guided movement sequences and free exploration, JourneyDance reconnects you with your innate state of joyous well-being. Your mind becomes clear, free, and positive, and your body feels supple, energized, and powerful. Practiced to inspiring world music, your dance is an empowering journey to self-acceptance and transformation.

And if you’re still confused, check out this Youtube video to see a class in action.

I highly recommend signing up on the website so you won’t miss out on Toni’s next New York adventure (she rarely comes to NYC!). Oh, and btw, this is an fantastic workout..my entire body is sore, but in the “good” sore type of way.

May 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm 2 comments

Zumba!

Have you tried this? I’m slow on the uptake with this one, as my gym has never offered it. My local yoga studio  has started offering classes on Thursday night’s so I thought I’d give it a go.

(For those of you who aren’t quite sure of what Zumba is, it’s a new exercise craze that incorporates latin dancing–salsa, meringue, etc–in a fitness class)

I love stuff like this. I’m not really coordinated, but I love to laugh and be a fool while I’m working out. I was surprised, then, when last night I left the class feeling only “meh” about it. Granted, I did enjoy the clapping to the beat and attempting to swivel my hips, but still..

The teacher neglected to break down the steps for the newbie so I was lost a lot, and I didn’t break much of a sweat in the class. That being said, I DID have a good time. I am a firm believer in trying everything at LEAST two or three times, so I’ll give it another go.

Do you Zumba?

May 14, 2010 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

Easiest Dish Ever!

Ready for it?

Step 1: Open can of organic beans (I like Eden, no BPA in cans).

Step 2: Put in glass bowl and heat.

Step 3: Chop up some Rosemary.

Step 4: Mix beans with rosemary and a drizzle of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Enjoy!

BOOM. ROASTED.

May 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

All About Faux Gras and an Interview with the Regal Vegan

I have a super special treat for you today, friends. I have sampled the most delicious new food product out there in the market (called Faux Gras) and I just NEED to share it with you.

Not only that, but the creator of Faux Gras (a vegan alternative to Fois Gras), Ella Nemcova aka The Regal Vegan has been gracious enough to answer my questions.

Let me repeat: Faux Gras is amazing. I never liked the original stuff (who needs all that fat and cholesterol) and the thought of eating liver kinda skeeves me out. Faux Gras is smooth, creamy, tasty, and best of all, healthy. It’s a staple now in my refrigerator.  Check out the website for some more information.

Cake & Carrots:  How long has Faux Gras been in the making?

Ella Nemcova: I ran a Vegan dinner delivery service for 3 years, so I had the opportunity to experiment with lots and lots of food. Faux Gras came out of a Russian dish called “The Anastasia” as an homage to the food I grew up with.

C&C: You used to be a chef making vegan meals…what made you want to change your focus?

EN: The delivery service was so awesome for so many reasons, but limited in its reach. When I think of my mission to make delicious, healthy food easy for people to get and financially accessible, it isn’t the service. With Faux Gras now in 17 stores – it’s much easier to get good foods out there, and lays some groundwork for more healthy creations.

C&C: What has been your biggest success? Biggest hurdle?

EN: Well, the success right now is people love the stuff. Some die-hard vegans tell me they have made it part of their regular food rotation, some non-vegans claim to be addicted, and some jewish grammas are convinced there is liver in there. So that’s been amazing feedback.  The biggest hurdle is the learning curve around running this kind of business. I love certain parts of it, and others I would like to hide in a closet and not open for many years.

C&C: Where can we find Faux Gras?

EN: Faux gras is available at these fine stores:

 Park Slope: Blue Apron Foods, Back to the Land, Park Slope Food Coop

Williamsburg: Sunac

Fort Greene: Green Grape

Brooklyn Heights: Perelandra

Ditmas Park: Natural Frontier

 Lower East Side: Earth Matters

East Village: Commodities

West Village: Lifethyme

Gramercy: Natural Frontier

Upper East: Natural Frontier, East Side Health Upper West: Health Nuts, Columbus Natural Foods Midtown East: Health Nuts Midtown West: Westerly

C&C: Does it come in any other “flavors?

EN: It is currently only sold in one flavor – but I do sell a truffled version at markets and I am working on a Påté de Campagne version with some big herb flavor and more chunky vegetables.

C&C: What can we expect from you next?

EN: Not sure when “next” is going to happen – but stay tuned. I tend to debut new products at the foodie markets (one in Greenpoint coming up May 22). I have a pasta sauce that is ridiculous, some seed crackers I love and a basil spread that is too good for primetime.

C&C: And, of course, tell us all about you!!!

EN: I’m a Brooklyn native, born in Latvia. I worked in advertising for 9 years before leaving to pursue my passion of travel, and good food. I came back and worked with a health counselor to get really healthy and feel amazing. I spend so much of my time talking about food that she thought I should be in the food world. Once I went on a cleanse and found a way to make it a “foodie-friendly” cleanse, with no gastronomic deprivation, I kept eating that way. Eventually, people started to ask me to cook for them – and The Regal Vegan was born. I then pursued my own health-coaching career at IIN – and now spend most of my time making and promoting healthy eating. I love experimenting with food and learning new techniques – as in my Macchaifi Kanacha green tea Kombucha  and my nascent Shiso spouts, I have a fetish for interior design, and love to dance to soulful house music.

Thanks, Ella, for sharing with us. Visit Ella at The Regal Vegan to learn more about her services and Faux Gras!

May 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm 1 comment

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