Finding your guru…

These first weeks back in NYC have been great. Now, I am the first one to say that everyday we encounter teachers–in physical form and in the form of situations, etc., and also that we ourselves are great teachers and all have gurus within us. On the other hand, there are people out there waiting … Continue reading

2011–That’s right 2011.

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This post is out SO late! Let’s just pretend it’s Jan 1st…the first day of the new year… As I reflect on my roles of 2011, I can’t help but smile. I’ve had the opportunity to play SO many! The New Year began for me in my hometown in Arkansas, where instead of the glamor … Continue reading

Thanksgiving: Food, Fun, Meditation…

       So many interesting events of the last few weeks. Thanksgiving happened. I had a wonderful experience with my good friend, Karley, and her family down in Baltimore. Karley is my own little guru…constantly introducing me to new ways of thinking, yoga events, books, etcs. She told me about “The Power of Now” by Eckert Tolle, which is a book that I can definitely say redefined my life. With her family, we held hands before every meal and silently cultivated gratitude, went to yoga class, and even sat together one evening for a meditation. This was such a nice and unique experience. I am grateful for all the family/friend situations I encountered growing up–they are wonderful experiences–but they are all very similar. When I first met Karley doing a show together in TN, I just loved talking to her and hearing all about her life growing up and how different it was from mine. We have been friends ever since (almost 4 yrs later) and got to be roomies (again) in NYC. Just the other day she finally got me to leave my Queens apartment and come to the upper west side in winter time (which is something I rarely do) to visit her yoga studio, World Yoga Center. (check them out at worldyogacenter.com). I attended one the best mediation classes I have ever experienced with WYC’s founder, Rudrani. The room and people were filled with such a wonderful energy and I was able to quit my mind and body for a little glimpse into peace. Rudrani leads the group in a way that is perfect for beginners as well as experienced meditators over the course of an hour and fifteen minutes. I was back the same time the following week. This time we did some chanting, which is something I want to do more of and have little experience with.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha. Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.

A very powerful chant to Ganesha–remover of obstacles!! Chanting helped me to easily clear my mind and stay focused. I love how the vibration of these words and sounds connects us all to each other and to ourselves and to the world around us. OM–meaning the sound of the universe! The sound that is a combination of all sounds. It is a form of music, and as we all know, music can release tension and set us free! My favorite part of meditation and any energy work I’ve done over this past year, and sometimes when I am very focused in yoga class, is connecting with my loved ones who have passed on. I can feel them around me and sometimes even see them in forms of light. It is a very sacred place where we can be connected again and I am very thankful for this gift of communion I am learning to cultivate.

And thanks again to my luminous friend, Karley.

And back to Thanksgiving.  Of course, lots of good food and different family recipes sampled this year. Shain and I hosted a mini celebration at our house, preparing a Guy Fieri variation from Food Network! Shain made turkey cordon bleu for the meat eaters and an even more terrific Veg option created with grilled pablano peppers stuffed with cheese, tofurky ham, wrapped in filo dough! I made a green bean casserole from scratch–topped with baked shallots, and healthy twice baked potatoes–made with greek yogurt and low fat cheddar cheese. And the healthiest possible apple pie.

I made my pie crust (always using less butter than called for) and then added a bunch of chopped walnuts to the filling.

***I just read an idea that I am going to incorporate in to future pie crusts…replace 1/2 flour with 1/2 of chopped nuts of any kind. It will give your crust a different flavor, take out some carbs and replace with a healthy fat. Use anything you think will taste good with your pie, ie. walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.!

I was very proud of myself for not overindulging! I think we should all take time to think about what a holiday’s true meaning is before resorting to what it has become. It is actually a little sickening to me to think about how Thanksgiving is like a big gorge fest and Turkey massacre Day. It is truly not okay for everyone in the US to have a day of gluttony while so many in the rest of the world live on less than 1/2 cup of rice per day. I like to think of the holiday as first, a day to reflect (as we should be doing daily) on our many blessings, second, a day of spending time with family and/or friends, and third, a day of cooking up delicious AND wholesome foods that have perhaps been passed down through the generations. In this way, I keep the holiday holy for myself.

Note to self: I will not be consuming ANY turkey next year. For the past two years I have eaten a bite and remember each time that I actually do not like Thanksgiving turkey and I do not like to be a part of the great yearly Turkey massacre.

And lastly, add pumpkin to whatever you can while it’s still in season. (Yes you could used canned but a simple pumpkin puree is worth working for!) Try these Pumpkin BAM-Cakes! (A “bam-cake” is a word Shain and I created, meaning: pancakes that have protein powder!)

1 Cup Flour (perhaps wheat or a mix)

1 Tlb organic sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 ground cinnamon

a little freshly ground nutmeg…if you like

1 scoop of plain or vanilla protein powder

Combine these in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together:

2 egg YOLKS

1 C milk (perhaps soy, almond etc)

1 C pumpkin

2 Tlb smart balance oil

Then beat the two egg WHITES and fold into batter for added fluffiness.

Pour batter into hot skillet that has been sprayed with olive oil–making giant, silver dollar or medium sized BAMcakes! When bubbles start to form on top, then flip. ENJOY!

Here are two pics of the way I enjoyed two days of these BAMcakes. Once with a side of tempeh bacon and once topped with cooked apples and homemade whipped cream and a side of moningstar veggie bacon. Please note that vegetable are missing from these plates, so drink your V8!

Peace and love~

Citygal

How to’s of healthy crepes + homemade vegetable soup & mexican cornbread!

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Bonjour there! Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for the crepes I made this week. These are actually healthy compared to most other crepes you may encounter. A Crepe, for those of you who may not know, is defined as a thin, delicate pancake and it is YUMMY. Here is my super … Continue reading

Discovering NYC…


Ahhhh another week in the big apple. Overall I am very happy here. I was also very happy in Arkansas. I believe that is a testament to “living in the moment” and cultivating peace moment by moment–all these types of things that I have been studying and working on over the past two years. So far, I am not making enough money to live within my means here. It is promising because I now know how to make money here and I have relationships with lots of different places that I have fairly easily gotten back in touch with–it just takes time to get back into systems and back on schedules. Also my yoga training takes up a lot of time. Which is great–I love it, but it takes up money making time so I hope that when I return to Arkansas in December/January I will be working my tail off at Nirvana and resuming with my private clients! Anyway, like I said, though I am very happy and having lots of fun experiences here.

Most recently, I have now seen How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Mr. Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe. Check out the website at http://www.howtosucceedbroadway.com. It was so fun and refreshing. We laughed through the whole thing. This was truly musical comedy at its best! Daniel feels like he’s your childhood friend–I’m sure it’s due to “growing up with him” over the past 10yrs with Harry Potter. I find myself rooting for him “Isn’t Daniel just doin’ such a great job?”! He is very talented. I also got to see him in Eqquis several years ago–an amazing but haunting and sickening show. (Yes, this also means I saw him naked).  He has a remarkable career–getting the opportunity to play such an wide array of character and venues.

Also, I got to see Elaine Stritch’s Cabaret at Town Hall which was a such an experience. I took my BBF. (I got $25 tickets that were actually good seats!!) She wore her traditional cabaret outfit, apparently…a long sleeve white button up blouse with black hose and heels…and that’s all. Wow. She does have some long thin legs though. She’s looking good at 86! She decided to do an evening of Stephen Sondheim songs. I think she only made it through two without asking for word help from her amazing accompanist. But I didn’t care one bit. For one, she’s a 86 yr old Broadway legend and I’m pretty sure that means she can do whatever the hell she wants to. Also, she managed to stay right there in the moment with the same emotional connection despite asking for words. She is raw and unrestricted and the result was an amazing show experience. She told so many stories, did a monologue of Everyday a Little Death, (which I sang in Putting It Together), and sang her iconic version of Ladies Who Lunch, which I, personally, never wanted to end. I also got to see her last year in A Little Night Music, but this was a great night and experience.

I am finding all kinds of delicious food and restaurants. They are as follows:

My favorite bakery, close to Union Square, Birdbath, Your Neighborhood Green Bakery. All organic and awesome!! I bring my reusable mug to yoga class every weekend and get a hot tea for $.30!! Have also sampled  a small plum tart and a chocolate chip cookie. (Thank goodness for all the walking and yoga!)

Favorite place for Indian: Bhojan Vegetarian Resturant in “little India” on 27th & Lexington. Food coma inducing.  This Thalis plate included a samosa and sprouted lentil salad as appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 vegetables, rice and raita (yogurt sauce), 3 breads and a dessert. woah. Also we had mango lassi’s to drink. (All this included in a $18 Groupon. Again woah.)

Already Favorite felafel place: Chickpea. I go to the 14th St and 3rd Ave location but I believe there are at least 2-3 more. It has evolved SO much since I first went there 4yrs ago and it was a little hole in the wall. Now it has a remodeled interior and fancy fillings for your BAKED falafel pita like jalapeno scallion hummus and tabbouleh/salad/corn salsa/olives/bell peppers/onions/pretty much anything else! For $5. They have not recently had baklava though and it’s on the menu, so they’re going to need to remedy that.

Kyle took me to a cute French Bistro, Saju, on 44th right off of Times Square. We agreed there were a lot of tourists there, but that they were tourists who had asked locals where to go! We had pots of mussels and french fries. (But I immediately felt vegetarian guilt and only ate 5-6. Don’t worry, Kyle ate the rest of mine.) Best part is the huge bowl of olives they serve you–my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Some other NY things I am loving…

Yan Yan. This is a delicious unhealthy snack/dessert. These are Japanese cookie sticks that you dip in icing, pretty much. I like the vanilla one. The stick have animal phrases on them such as “zebra…herbivore, Octopus…lucky number 8, & sheep…wool sweaters.” Heehee.

Trader Joe’s. Well that’s the first thing–just having access to Trader Joe’s is wonderful. Then TJ’s Fast Flavor sticks you add to your water–delicious and NOT sweetened with aspartame but stevia. It’s healthier crystal light.

I love these Stevia Tabs I found at the health food/grocery store in my neighborhood. I bought this for about $6.50. There are 100 tabs, so this ought to last me a long time. I have just been keeping this in my purse so I have it to add to hot tea etc. Believe me, I wish I was adding it to iced tea, but that is, sadly, something NYC is missing. (And I’m missing too. You really can’t get iced tea anywhere–and free refills? Forget about it!) Also, no individual little packets and I think I can recycle this metal container when it’s empty.

Twisty Tie Art covering poles at Astor Place. I realize they may have another more appropriate name, but I like Twisty Tie Art.

Funny Subway advertisements! This is for storage–HA!

And on ending note…one of my favorite things, among many, that aren’t in NY…baby Shogun. Finally all healthy and healed, one eyed, a little dirty faced and precocious.

And now, communication and kindness towards your fellow man…

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So today I seemed to be high on life. I walked loving every breath I took and and the sunshine beaming down on me and my delicious breakfast sandwich and coffee from a bodega for $3.75. I have a new job working as a chiropractor’s assistant at health fairs, which I am, surprisingly, loving. I … Continue reading

I moved to NYC! And making homemade yogurt…(My blog is SO predictable!)

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Hello out there…I did it! I made the move today! I am back in NYC after two years back home in Arkansas. Holla! It was all bittersweet, as always, with a million emotions and thoughts flooding my last several days in Jonesboro. Pros and Cons constantly coming to me, but when I arrived, all was … Continue reading