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Hello Friends! Check out my latest endeavor Mind-Body Wellness Cleanse!

manhattan beach, hermosa beach, redondo beach, torranceThe Southbay Seasonal Spring 2012 Mind-Body Wellness Cleanse is a 3 week Journey of re-discovering your body’s incredible capacity to heal & be whole. Experts in the field of physical therapy, holistic health, nutrition, and integrative medicine will help guide you towards vibrant states of health utilizing a mind-body approach to wellness!
Dates: April 15,22, & 29 2012
Time: 5p-7p
Location: 409 N Pacific Coast Hwy #205 Redondo Beach, CA (@ studio pulse)
Price: $150/person
Contact for more info: info@mindbodywellnesscleanse.com
If not now, then when? Sign up Today!

Mind Body Wellness Cleanse

 

 

 

simple salmon cakesKristen Taylor, salmon cakes, aioli, and allium flowers, September 12, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons License

Just made these super simple Breaded Salmon Cakes- a recipe I tweaked from Stepahnie Lecovin, MS, RD from nutritionhousecalls.com

These guys are dairy free, gluten free & to DIE for! BREADED salmon cakes that are gluten free you say? Yep, it’s true, you can use BROWN RICE “bread crumbs”, genius! Use Brown Rice bread crumbs the same way you’d use regular bread crumbs: breading for seafood, chicken, beef, or pork, use in casseroles, meatloaf or croquettes, or as stuffing mix. I, personally, used Hol Grain Brown Rice Bread crumbs. The ingredients? Straight up Medium Grain brown rice & that’s it.

  • Made from 100% Brown Rice
  • No Sodium
  • No MSG
  • No Sugar
  • No Cholesterol
  • Fat Free

                                                    Simple Diary-Free, Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes 

  • 1-2 lbs of salmon, skin & bones removed, cut into large chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Brown Rice bread crumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  1. Place Salmon, Egg, Salt, Pepper, & Lemon Juice in food processor
  2. Process for about 10 seconds until thoroughly combined- CAREFUL: OVERMIXING= MUSHY SALMON.
  3. Form into patties
  4. Sprinkle both sides of patties with brown rice bread crumbs
  5. Put a bit of olive oil in saute pan & cook patties over medium heat until patties are browned and salmon is thoroughly cooked from within, about 2-3 min per side.

I did 1 lb of Salmon which yielded 6 patties, using 1 1/2 -2 lbs of salmon will yield approx. 10-12 patties. Make them even smaller, stick a toothpick in them & you will be appetizer maker extraordinaire!

ONION LOVERS: Heat ~1 Tbs of olive oil in saute pan. Add 1/2 red onion finely chopped (1/2 onion yields ~1 C chopped). Saute on low to med heat until  onions are browned. Remove from heat & set aside in medium bowl. Begin following the steps listed above. After, mix all the ingredients in Step #1 in the food processor, add salmon mixture to bowl & fold in the onions until combined. Move onto Step #3.

Cheers to Clean Eating!
xoxo
ar

Check out more ar-yoga healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free recipes here!

 

hello, 2012Hello, 2012! 2012 is definitely bringing in lots of change & excitement! Are you ready to take it to the next level? Now, more than ever, is THE time to be in the present moment. INHALE in new beginnings & EXHALE out old patterns that no longer serve you. Breathe in all this fresh, new energy & breathe out all that old, stagnant, stale energy. Be HERE, right NOW. The molecule of this moment is where life is happenin’. Get excited about change, get comfortable with the unknown, and step into the year as the BEST version of yourself! New year, new opportunities. READY, SET, SHINE ON!

Coming into the next cycle & phase is always a reminder to be grateful for where I’ve been and gets me super amped up keep things moving forward. Last year, on 1/1/11, I launched AR-Yoga.com. The times & seasons have come full circle & I am happy to say AR-Yoga has officially turned 1 year old :)

This past year I launched 60 pages worth of content, 53 blog posts & now am offering AR-Yoga services! To continue nourishing my positive and healthy lifestyle, I am happy to say this past year I stepped up my Reiki game, dabbled in shamanism, survived another year of physical therapy school, incorporated more intuitive work into my physical therapy practice, re-connected with Corepower Yoga & started teaching for them again, had major breakthroughs, formed and maintained healthy and positive relationships with myself and others, and accomplished so many more blissful things. So, 2012, BRING. IT. ON!

Within the past year creating this website/blog from the ground up has been equally amazing as it has been frustrating. I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by supportive family & friends who encourage me to pursue the things I’m passionate about. AR-yoga.com gives me an opportunity to unite & connect through all things that bring me joy. Last year I said, 2010 allowed me to heal & grow & 2011 was the year for me to continue expressing my Truth. In 2012, my theme is rise & shine. I intend to wake up early, appreciate the sunrises, be prepared to conquer & welcome BIG opportunities, expand my talents, and be ready rise to any occasion that comes my way. Overall, I am committing to put  forth the absolute best version of myself in effort to grow, shine, & expand on all levels, minus in the waistline, of course :).

I rang in 2012 surrounded by good people & healthy food. Check out more of my healthy celebrations on a budget “how-to’s” below!

How-To: Throw a Healthy Dinner Party for 15

Hosting a healthy dinner party doesn’t have to be stressful. I hosted a NYE dinner for 15 people at my place, but to keep it simple I asked guests to bring healthy items for a pot luck dinner. If you’re going pot luck style, simply set the stage by throwing out some healthy suggestions for your guests to bring, and as the host provide a super healthy main entree. From there you’ll have a good base and then lots healthy supporting actors. I decided a simply baked slab of salmon, quinoa with veggies mixed in or brown rice, some sort of green salad, and ground turkey lettuce wraps were going to be the bulk of the dinner, from there I delegated other items out & hoped for the best. We had a good turnout of delicious & nutritious dishes. Here’s a peek at some of the items that ened up on our final menu…

  • Baked salmon
  • Ground turkey lettuce wraps
  • Quinoa with veggies mixed in
  • Green Salad with pears, grapes, and cranberry vinaigrette dressing
  • Tomato basil pasta salad
  • fruit platter
  • veggie platter
  • Cheese spread with whole wheat crackers
  • stuffed mushrooms
  • chips & salsa
  • Almond, cashew, cranberry trail mix
  • pumpkin muffins
  • 4 gourmet cupcakes for everyone to share
  • 1 small red velvet cake

How-To: Decorate for a party on a $ 25 budget

Setting the ambiance for a party can add another element of fun! I decided I was pulling the room together for under $30. My thought processes on how I made that happen is outlined below…

Color: I decided the color scheme for the party was going to be pearl white & gold. Without a doubt, color will set the tone for a party, whether it’s a bright and bold summer soiree or a romantic upscale kinda night.

Do it yourself Hanging Pom-Poms: Made 4 of these for $7. Thank you martha stewart! Check out visual instructions here!

1. Stack eight 20-by-30-inch sheets of tissue. Make 1 1/2-inchwide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

2. Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over center of folded tissue; twist. With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.

3. Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4. Tie a length of monofilament to floral wire for hanging.

 Do it yourself Banners:  I made “hello, twenty twelve”,  “happy new year!”, & “cheers” banners using key items I already owned: stock paper, letter stencils, black marker, glue & gold glitter. Choose a few key sayings based on the party you’re throwing and then get to makin’! The reason I like banners is because you can spread them across the entire wall and that’s a lot of real estate that you now have decorated. I chose 2 banners to go over door frames & the the “cheers” banner to go over the drink area.

Lighting: I choose to do soft lighting. I used Christmas lights I already had to outline window frames. I lit a few non-scented candles and since a lot of people were coming over, for safety reasons, I used flameless candles. I headed over to the christmas clearance section at Target & CVS & scored 6 flameless candles for $8! I also happened to be at Goodwill dropping off old clothes and found 3 brand new flameless candles for $3 and 6 brand new floating candles for $2. Never underestimate all the goodies that can be scored on the cheap at second hand stores and thrift shops :) All my lighting cost $13

Table cloths & Napkins: Again made out like a bandit in the holiday clearance section at Target. I Bought 3 gold table cloths for $3. I used the table cloths to: cover the dinner table, drinks table, counter top (makes for easy clean up!), & even covered art I already had on the walls with the gold table cloth & attached my glittery “cheers” banner to it. And for $1 I got 24 gold and white stripped napkins, how fitting :)

Dinner-ware: The beauty of having white as a part of the color scheme was that I was effortlessly able to incorporate the all the plain white dinner plates I already had.  I needed bowls to put salsa, trail mix, & fruit in, so I took what I had and simply covered it in aluminum foil. Whala! Now we’ve added silver to the gold and white mix, but the colors still blend together nicely.

Home made wine tags: I had plenty of wine bottles on tap and had several wine glasses that I collected over my many wine tasting adventures. Wine tags needed to come into play so that my guests could keep track of their wine glass throughout the evening. My homemade wine tags were one of my favorite things I made! I had a ton of big in your face decorations, these were the minor detail decoration that helps bring everything together. Other minor detail decorations included sprinkling glitter on the tablecloths and hanging Christmas tree tinsel from the lights and spreading it around the wine glasses & wine bottles

  1. I took a whole foods paper bag, placed it flat, and cut out 24 circles.
  2. Using tape, I attached a Christmas ornament hanging wire (which by the way, I got on clearance for 5o cents) to the back of each circle. If Christmas season is not around while you are reading this, paper clips will work just fine.
  3.  I added an outline of gold glitter to the edges of all my circles.
  4.  Finally, I choose positive words that would inspire my friends to start the new year on a good note. I found a font that gave off a vintage typewriter vibe and printed my words, cut them out, & glued them to the center of my circles. Words I choose:Breathe. Wonderful. Dope. Beautiful. Peace. Health. New. Hope. Love. Grateful. Begin. Alive. Fresh. Abundance. Inspire. Heal. Shine on. Happy. Brilliant. Bling. Hello. Prosperity. Truth. Keep it real. Leader. Magic. Surf. Flow. Do.
  5. I washed all my wine glasses & wrapped the wire around the stem & set them out as a very functional decoration. I had extras so I wrapped them around the neck of the wine bottles. Upon arrival, all the guests were encouraged to choose a wine glass that “spoke” to them or close their eyes and choose a random word that would be their theme for the year.

So that my friends, is how my happening new year came to be. Hopefully, I’ve gotten your gears grinding on how you can add a dash of health & lots of pizzaz into your future shin-digs. To everyone that has supported AR-Yoga in 2011, Thank YOU! Get excited because AR-Yoga has a lot more fun, fresh, exciting content in store for 2012 :)

Shine on party people,

xoxo

ar

 

willow spa inside ar-yogaThis past week I had a day well spent exploring the Westside of LA. I crafted this day with the intention of wanting to gift my main squeeze, Ciav, a day of peace. Ciav is a computer programmer with such high energy he could power a small village. Although I am always amazed by his ability to keep his mind dialed in & body in motion, it is a well known fact that no one can operate at such intensity all the time. Hence, I arranged for his holiday present to be a day of being mellow & completely unplugged from technology. Sit tight as I re-cap the agenda of one of the healthiest, awesomest, most organic, most relaxing Mondays I’ve had this year! In the words of Raw Chef Ani Phyo “I love living in LA. Blessed to have access to the best organic produce, nature, fashion, restaurants & food, green businesses, & great people.” Perhaps I’ll inspire YOU to explore all that LA has to offer.

Agenda

8 am: Pick Up

Ciav arrives at my place & all he knows is that there is a day planned full of surprises. He received some clues the night before in instructions that stated: “Pick me up promptly at 8am & wear workout clothes. Bring yoga mat, towel, water, a casual outfit, & something to read for about an hour-technology is NOT allowed :)”

8:15 am: On our Way

It’s official ladies & gentlemen, Ciav’s out of the “bubble” aka his comfort zone. We are exiting Manhattan Beach & traveling north on the 405. The anticipation is killing him- Where are we going? What are we doing? What’s the surprise? Where’s the surprise? Can I know? Can you tell me? Now, I know Ciav doesn’t do well with surprises, but OoOooO-Weee, he has taken it to a whole new level this time. Of course the torture ensues, & I tell him to keep on driving. After heading north bound on the 405 for about 30 minutes we pull off at the Wilshire West Exit. I teach at the Corepower Yoga Wilshire location, so Ciav is convinced we are headed to the studio. C’mon now, would I be that obvious? No way. MmmHmm, that’s right mister, keep on driving, in fact turn Right at the street BEFORE you pass the studio ;)

9:15 am: Pressed Juicery @ 13050 San Vicente Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

We arrive at PRESSED JUICERY! FREE street parking, heck yeah! It’s a bit tricky to find because it’s not located on the storefront, it’s actually tucked away in the courtyard of the complex. Good energy in the courtyard- tables, plants, fountains, & outdoor space heaters! If you see a Starbucks you’re in the right building. Don’t be tempted to make a “quick” stop in Starbucks! Think outside the confines of your coffee cup & keep walking! Fresh Pressed Juice awaits you a few steps beyond the iconic coffee shop.

So what’s this place all about? Juicing? The concept of juicing at PRESSED lies in the mentality that “our bodies require vital nutrients to function at their optimal levels, and the quickest and most natural way to get them is through fresh juice.” They also have a unique method in which they extract their juices- the employee at the storefront informs us that the whole process takes about 7 hours. Read on….

“Our juices are produced on a hydraulic press which extracts the finest produce straight from the pulp, minimizing oxidation and releasing vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into each juice that are impossible to yield from a normal juicer. Our juice is 100% raw and unpasteurized, giving it a three-day shelf life. Your mind and your body will thank you for delivering pure, living nutrients straight to your bloodstream, energizing and alkalizing your system back into a balanced state.”

They have quite the selection of about 28 PRESSED juices, waters, & signature drinks to choose from- everything from greens to roots to detoxes to “milks.” I choose “Greens 3″ a delicious concoction of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, & ginger! Ciav picks “Detox 2″ a simple blend of pineapple, green apple, & mint. We also get almond milk consisting of almonds, dates, vanilla bean, filtered water, & sea salt. Juices come in 16 oz bottles & are $6.50, 16 oz Signature drinks run for $8.

We notice that they have supplements too. We read, “Our natural boosts contain blends of Chinese, Aryuvedic, & other medicinal herbs & extracts designed to be take alone or added to any of our juices for additional health benefits.” OoO! Our interest is piqued! All weekend, leading up to this extravagant Monday, Ciav was plagued by the sniffles, so we think it’s appropriate to check out the “Cold & Flu Buster” which claims to be a maximum strength immunity  boost, composed of elderberry, goldenseal,under tounge supplement ar-yoga astragalus, & echinacea, among others. It is designed to ease symptoms of the common cold & influenza once they’ve started. For a little pick me up to begin our day we also get “Energy,” a blend of ginseng, gotu kola, rhodiola, riboflavin 5-phosphate & other nutrients to help your body adapt to stress, recover fatigue & rebuild stamina. Since I know the overall theme of the day is unwinding, “Relax” seems to be very fitting too. Chamomile, L-theanine, & passionflower are said to reduce stress, tension, & anxiety, promoting a sense of calm & well-being. Supplements come in 1 oz jars & are $10 a pop. We were told that you dispense one droplet underneath your tongue, ideally in the morning. Each container has about 30 droplets so they should last you about a month. According to the employee, there are no storing instructions to follow (their display of supplements is at room temp) & they don’t have expiration dates, but I am assuming you want to avoid extreme temps & the longer you store these concoctions, the more likely they are to dilute over time- that’s my take.

juices and supplements ar-yogaWe take a seat in the courtyard, LET THE TASTE TESTING BEGIN! I love my “greens 3″ juice! Lets be real, “green” drinks are more of an acquired taste, but this tastes fresh & has a hint of sweetness, thank you apple! & a bit of zing compliments of the supporting role played by ginger. I’d highly recommend it! It took Ciav 2 sips to agree. Ciav’s “detox 2″ drink is a bit sweeter so it went down a little easier, but the mint is a clutch ingredients for this balanced blend. We like! We used the almond milk the next morning in our oatmeal…mmm AWESOME! It went down a little TOO smoothly :)

Now onto supplement testing! Ciav puts a droplet of “Cold & Flu Buster” under his toungue & oh man, that face doesn’t look like he’s diggin’ that so much…haha. He manages & reports it was tough at first, but now that it’s washed down he hardly notices what it tastes like. Onto “Energy.” Similar face elicited by “Energy.” My turn to taste. Interesting- harsh taste of herbs in YO FACE. Okay, it’s not that bad, just overwhelming at first. That was fun. Probably 15 minutes after the “Energy” hit, I am starting to feel a good zap of energy flow into my body & I am ready for the next event! I consult with how Ciav is feeling & he says he still feels about the same, which is probably a good thing because his high energy questioning about where we are headed is ALREADY gotten to next, next, neeext level.

Read more about PRESSED Juicery here- You can buy cleanses or juices in bulk, and check out their full menu and other locations throughout LA.

10:30 am:Core Power Yoga @ 11819 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

Okay, so I did say bring a yoga mat, towel, & water aaand we are in the vicinity of a CorePower Yoga, so yes, Yoga is on the agenda. The CorePower Yoga Wilshire location is only 2 miles away from PRESSED Juicery, a quick 5 minute drive- so it would actually be a shame if we didn’t squeeze in an hour long flow into our day! Plus, FREE Parking in the underground garage- zing! The plan was to start our day on a healthy note with nourishing juices, then keep the momentum going by incorporating an invigorating workout into our day. If you’re thinking “yoga” & “invigorating workout” shouldn’t be in the same sentence, think again! We attend the 10:30 am Yoga Sculpt class. Yoga Sculpt is a unique flow that incorporates weights to strengthen & lengthen, all while staying true to the philosophy behind yoga. If you’re intimidated, don’t be! A heated room (about 90 degrees) & music set the stage to get you moving & the invigorating flow challenges not only the strength of your physical body, but also the mind & spirit.

I teach Yoga Sculpt on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at Wilshire which makes me even more motivated to get my booty into other instructors classes because it keeps things fresh. Sitting in the student seat & handing over the reins to another instructor is always a humbling experience. Perhaps other instructors can relate- it’s tough to not hyper-analyze- “Oh, I would do this.. or Ah, I am definitely going to do that in my next class…” Taking other instructor’s classes is a blessing & a curse, but that’s the only way you can keep your sequences fresh & find growth in your own practice. Here, the Ego is NOT your Amigo. So alas, I had energy, I brought the noise, & when I felt spent, I modified. Every second of sweat dripping off my bod was well worth the work. Feeling alive & awake in my own body- LOVE IT!

yoga sculptPrior to class starting, were sitting on our mats getting settled into the room & Ciav turns to me & asks, “what are we doing next.” I’d like to think I didn’t snap, but maybe I did? Who knows. I said something along the lines of, “Is it possible for you just to enjoy what we are doing right now and stop asking what we’re doing next? We get to one destination and you can barely show up to the occasion because you’re so caught up in what’s happening next. You’re at yoga and that’s what’s happening NOW, so don’t be concerned about anything else. I think today is going to be day for you learn the lesson of being “present” in your life, how’s that for a present?” Surprisingly, my tough love is well received as he nods in agreement & says, “You’re right, I am going to focus on being here.” At the end of our 60 minute sweat sesh he comes up to me and tells me that he set the intention to be present on his mat & that it really transformed his practice. Very Cool! If you’re interested in some transforming of your own, check out CorePower Yoga Wilshire, your first week is FREE. Just make sure to tell ‘em you were reading this awesome blog & Amanda R. sent you ;)

Now that we’ve put in WORK, we take our time as we shower up because CorePower has the BEST locker rooms out of any other yoga studio I’ve been to (I am not just saying that because I work there). They are well maintained & fully equipped with all the necessary amenities- from shampoo to blow dryers & everything else in between. After swapping sweaty clothes for casual get ups, we have definitely built up a well deserved appetite. At this point, I don’t think it will make or break any surprises if I reveal that lunch is scheduled into our day :)

seed bistro 11917 Wilshire ar-yoga

12 pm: Seed Bistro @ 11917 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

Seed Bistro is literally right down the street from CorePower Yoga, like POINT one mile, 2 minute walk status. We walk over to Seed Bistro- which has kinda funky lunch & dinner hours- open 11:30 am – 2:00 pm Monday thru Friday • 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm Monday thru Saturday • Sunday closed. As we head over, my taste buds are dancing because I’ve previously experienced Seed’s culinary amazingness. I have only eaten at the Venice location (read my review here), so I am curious to see what this Bistro is all about. To sum it up, this is what they have to say about themselves….

“We believe that food is an essential source of our energy, health and happiness. In the same way that a seed provides the beginnings for a vibrant plant, the food we eat provides the beginnings for a vibrant life. At Seed Bistro we strive to share with you the fundamentals of our beliefs, experiences, and source of strength and happiness through the food we serve. The cuisine at Seed inside seed bistro ar-yogaBistro is organic, vegan, and macrobiotic, handcrafted and beautifully designed by Chef Eric Lechasseur and his wife, Sanae Suzuki, a macrobiotic counselor. At Seed Bistro the food is prepared fresh daily using macrobiotic principles to create a balanced meal., and we use locally grown organic produce whenever possible. Macrobiotic means “big life” and is a system of eating and a lifestyle approach that support and nourish your mind, body and spirit. Chef Eric prepares also gluten free dishes and his specialty desserts are all refined-sugar free, and some gluten free. The lunch menu is reminiscent of our sister location, Seed Kitchen in Venice, California which is Grab ‘n Go fare, but Seed Bistro steps it up to casual fine dining. The dinner menu is absolutely delicious healthy foods with beautiful presentation. Satisfying the eyes, the mind, and the body, you will look and feel great after eating Seed Bistro’s food. At Seed Bistro, we make our best efforts for offering a healthy plant-based menu that not only nourishes the mind, body, and spirit, but helps reduce our impact on the planet as well. As an eco-friendly restaurant, everycelery root soup ar-yoga detail goes into consideration for the health and well-being of our customers as well as our planet.”

I dig Macrobiotics because you embrace natural, seasonal, local, organic foods and balance your physical, mental, & spiritual states. Macrobiotics is DEEP- it goes beyond just diet recommendations, there’s actually a whole philosophy behind it. I enjoy that the philosophy entails using food & awareness to create a rich, fulfilling, exciting, & satisfying life for yourself. If you’re interested in reading more check it out my Macrobiotic explanation & insights here!

Onto the FOOD! We start with the soup of the day which is Celery Root Soup. Rich, creamy, delectable- this is vegan, right? Can’t tell the difference. Yum! Ciav has no idea what Macrobiotics is, but I love that he likes being exposed to new things. We want to try a bit of everything, so we choose to split a cold salad & a hot lunch entree. The salad we pick is kale, quinoa, avocado lemon,seed salad ar-yogawasabi, nori, and dill for $12. The presentation of this bad boy is impeccable; Kale and quinoa have never looked so darn sexy stacked on my plate like that. We also choose to indulge in the sai sai donburi macro bowl for $12. It’s a steamy plate of  kale, bean of the day, squash, shitake, bean sprouts, pickled vegetables, & a choice of brown rice or quinoa- we load up on more quinoa for an added protein boost. WHfoods.org provides tons of reasons why quinoa is a superfood- but most notably, “not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all 9 essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.”

Food is delicious. We both enjoy the Macro bowl more. I know I liked it more because I was craving some warmth since it was chilly outside. Look at me, finding the balance in life, hot food to even out the cold weather- how “macro” of me. But for real, it is cold outside, I know this is supposed to be LA & all, but sunny SoCal is 44 degrees, thus we opt to try some warm green tea & brown rice blend. Sounds interesting, why not? It was good enough that we order a second round.

As we take the time to indulge our senses & take in this whole experience, Ciav gives me my Christmas gift. seed bistro macro bowl ar-yogaHe presents me with socks (I told ya, it’s cold outside!) & a KINDLE TOUCH! Ohh, the irony of planning a day of “unplugging” from technology. From this day we must subtract the moments I used my camera to capture all these beautiful moments aaand this moment right now in which we are going to take to play with my new Kindle!!! eeeek! so excited! Geek mode moment of thinking how much more interesting my research articles are going to be when I read them on the beach from my glare free screen. Okay, I know I was complaining that I was cold, so pardon my bratty I am gonna go read on the beach moment.

So somewhere in between macro bowl and plugging back into technology we decide were totally game for DESSERT! We are seed bistro pumpkin pie ar-yogahuman, ya know. No questions asked, the $9 pumpkin pie it is. I DIE. It’s beyond amazing, more! more! MORE!! Delicious pumpkin pie, you certainly HEAL me. We ask the waiter where they source the crack they put in it & he tells us they are usually pretty open about telling you what’s in their dishes, but the desserts are a whole different ball game- TOP SECRET. He gives away the obvious ingredient- pumpkin. Thanks, guy. Who cares what’s in it though? I could go on for hours talking about this beautifully presented, sinful dessert, but I’ll spare you. All you need to know is try it. Check out more about Seed Bistro here!

2 pm: Willow Spa @ 3127 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404

After being fully satisfied, we get up and bring movement back into our bodies by walking a mere 0.8 miles (15 minutes) to Willow Spa. Now this place is a real GEM. We have both been here before & received massages so Ciav doesn’t know where we’re walking to, but when he arrives, he will know exactly where he is. He’ll know he’s stepping into THE definition of an urban oasis.

“Willow Spa is a Tropical Asian influenced Wellness Spa, offering personalized, effective and unique treatments not found elsewhere in LA. The spa not only provides a unique, lush escape from the burdens of everyday life, but captures true holistic care, offering education and expert advice on health and well-being. You can be guided as much or little as you’d like along willow spa inside ar-yogayour path towards balance, relaxation, and rejuvenation.” Apparently Willow Spa was started by 3 women, 2 chiropractors & a massage therapist who decided to join forces to offer services that combined the traditional spa with the preventative discipline of a clinic. I LIKE…A LOT!

We change into the lounge wear & slippers provided by our greeter & then meet back outside. Thank God for blankets & space heaters! The scenery is gorgeous… complete with exotic, fragrant flowers, the sound of running waterfalls, streams, and lantern lit stone walkways leading to cabanas and day beds around a lush relaxing garden. I take this opportunity to revisit our supplements from PRESSED. We add a droplet of “Relax” under our tongue. Wow, this one actually tastes good! I feel okay, but literally 15 minutes after Ciav says, “I’m totally feeling this. Are you? I feel completely relaxed.” Interesting side note that I am more mellow and was more affected by “energy” & Ciav’s body- super high energy- was more influenced by “relax”.  These supplements are onto something with the ability to balance your chemistry. Neat.

It is a Monday, so it’s not crowded whatsoever- we kinda get to sprawl out! I chose to go on a Monday because they run a promotion called Detox Mondays- When you book an Enzyme Bath with a facial, you get 50% off your facial. YES, Please!

While I get my hour long facial, I encourage Ciav to read the book he brought, but he ends up peacefully napping. That works too. I got the Eminence Organic Facial. The Eminence line is handmade, all-natural organic products from Hungary and are a delight for your senses. Using medicinal herbs and fruits to give lasting results, you’ll have a clear, balanced and revitalized complexion. Highlights include using paprika to open pores, natural fruit acids to remove dead skin cells, naseberry or stone crop to hydrate, lemon to clarify, and peach to provide vitamins to the skin. Just what I needed.

Ciav heads in next for his FIRST facial. He’s a dude’s dude, has no idea what to expect so I took all the guessing out & booked him The Gentlemen’s Organic Retreat. This is a real man’s facial using natural organic products especially selected for a man’s skin and individual needs. This treatment is excellent for all skin types including those suffering from over exposure to the sun. This facial is wonderfully relaxing and fantastic for keeping a man’s skin in optimal condition. Treatment features Eminence products. Meanwhile, I read some magazines & relax. He comes out & his skin is GLOWING, he looks great!

willow spa foot bath ar-yogaOne of the greatest things about booking a service with Willow Spa is that you get a complimentary foot massage. This is no “standard” foot bath. It’s 15 minutes of pure bliss for your feet. They are immersed in warm water, sprinkled with Epsom salt, rose petals, and grapefruit slices, all while someone delightfully massages out any foot aches. HEAVEN. We enjoy our foot soak and massage as we drink a woodsy enzyme tea and Akatsuki Enzyme Drink that soothes the body and stimulates enzyme activity within. All done right before we head into our ENZYME BATH.

ENZYME BATH? Explanation Please. You are in your bathing suit and are guided into your own private wooden tub and gently covered with a combination of finely cut wood shavings, rice bran, and fruit and vegetable enzymes. The natural activity of the enzymes breaks down the other ingredients to create a deep, penetrating, heat. While immersed in the Willow Enzyme Bath, your body’s muscles begin to relax, your circulation is increased and your skin is cleansed. This deep heating treatment was originally developed in Japan for the athletes in the Olympics. Max treatment time in bath is 20 minutes and every 5 minutes you are provided with a refreshing amanda spa ar-yogalavender compress for your face and water to drink. It’s hot in there! After your bath, your technician assists you out of the bath to another area where the wood shavings are brushed and rinsed from your body. Then you go into the relaxation area where they top it all of with a Thai massage for the lower body. The Benefits of an enzyme bath include…

  • Instant relaxation from the soothing heat
  • Boost circulation
  • Detoxify the body
  • Improve mobility
  • Relieve joint and muscle pain
  • Ease tension and fatigue
  • Improve digestion
  • Reduce injury
  • Calm nerves

enzyme bath ar-yogaWe both emerge from our Enzyme Bath Sessions totally zen-ed out. Perfect end to the day. A day full of indulgence indeed! Learn more about what Willow Spa has to offer here. If you go, tell them Amanda Ramirez referred you :)

In order to work this day of yummy-ness into my budget, I taught extra yoga classes the month of November and cut back on spending in other departments. Life is all about balance, work hard & reward yourself often, ideally before you burn out. You don’t need to do something extravagant every time you reward yourself, try finding joy in the act of going on a simple walk in the middle of the work day. This mentality is summed up in the following scene from one of my favorite books, Eat, Pray, Love….

Luca Spaghetti: Americans. You work too hard, you get burned out. You come home and spend the whole weekend in your pajamas in front of the T.V.
Liz: That’s not far off, actually.
Luca Spaghetti: But you don’t know pleasure. You have to be told you’ve earned it. You see a commercial that says: ‘It’s Miller Time!’ And you say, That’s right, now I’m going to buy a six pack. And then drink the whole thing and wake up the next morning and you feel terrible. But an Italian doesn’t need to be told. He walks by a sign that says: You deserve a break today. And he says, Yes, I know. That’s why I’m planning on taking a break at noon to go over to your house and sleep…with your wife!”
Giovanni
: We call it “dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing.

After a day of of healing & relaxation, we walk back to the car while eating green apples & discussing how re-charged we are from the day.You can consider this our version of “dolce far niete.” This Christmas present certainly taught us both  how to value surprises, peace, & presence.

This holiday season stay grounded & find new ways to ignite the spark that inspires you to live a more vibrant life! xoxo ar

 

 

I love finding new ways to incorporate more squash onto my plate this fall season. Squash & chickpea moroccan stew, courtesy of Yoga Journal’s Nov. 2011 issue, was just the meal I was jonesing for.  It’s grounding, comforting, delicious, & nutritious. Its a vegan recipe, but for all my omnivore friends out there-try adding in some boiled chicken (the kind that’s tender & falls off the bone). For a bit of a protein boost, I chose to mix the stew with quinoa. WHfoods.org provides tons of reasons why quinoa is a superfood- but most notably, “not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all 9 essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.”  1/3 C of quinoa has 6 grams of protein & a  general rule of thumb is that an ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein. Another added bonus is that quinoa is gluten free.

Winter Squash is in season and there are many compelling reasons why it should be incorporated into your life this fall. Check out it’s nutritional profile (provided by WH foods) on the right. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, this veggie is a vibrant orange hue thanks to the fact that it packs tons of carotenoids. What can high-carotenoid foods do for you?

  • Their powerful antioxidant effect can protect the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals
  • Provide a source of vitamin A
  • Enhance the functioning of your immune system
  • Help your reproductive system function properly

Winter squash is rich in vitamins- A, K, C, E & B, trace minerals- manganese & potassium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid.

For other fun fall meals check out Favorite Healthy Vegan Recipes for the Fall & Holiday Seasons

Squash & chickpea moroccan stew

4 servings

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 C vegetable broth
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled & diced large
  • 3/4 pound red potatoes, dice large
  • 2 C drained, cooked chickpeas
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • pinch saffron, optional
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped (Many Moroccan & Middle Eastern recipes call for preserved lemons- lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices. I did not add this, but if you’re feeling up to it, try this preserved lemon recipe from epicurious)
  • 1 C brined green olives, preferably Cerignola
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin, & cinnamon. Cook until the onions are soft & translucent, about 5 min.
  2. Stir in the broth, squash, potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, & saffron (if using). Season with salt & pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, & simmer until the squash & potatoes are fork tender. 30-45 min.
  3. Remove from heat & stir in preserved lemon and olives.
  4. Serve over couscous or quinoa

Looking to make all of this absolutely effortless? Try throwing everything into a crockpot!

Happy Cooking!

xoxo

ar

 

 

You’ve already been warned the Fall is by far my favorite season. Something about the cool, crisp weather, knee high boots re-emerging, crocheted beanies, changing of the leaves, family and friends gathered around food- it just does it for me. Here I share some of my all time fav- vegan, mostly healthy (depends who you talk to), but none the less, deliciously satisfying foods for the fall & holiday season. There’s something about cooking that soothes my soul. I love that cooking provides me with the opportunity to pour my energy into something that can be so incredibly nourishing for the body- they say that food can be your medicine or your poison. Everything I create in the kitchen is usually made with organic, local foods & infused with lots of love, good energy, & positive vibes. Take the time to become a powerhouse in the kitchen and create something sacred and sublime with these simple recipes :) I love that my dinner & side dish recipes below can pack a powerful punch in taste whether you keep it vegan or you incorporate chicken or fish into the menu. No judgement on my end, I just think it’s a healthy and easy way to please all involved. Check out other ways to welcome Autumn’s energy by clicking here OR Learn more about seasonal eating here by looking over fall recipes & putting together a menu using fall ingredients!

happy cooking!

xoxo ar

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Brown Rice

This recipe is too easy! Just make brown rice on the stovetop using vegetable broth  and add either pumpkin or butternut squash into the mix. Viola! Don’t get caught up in the recipe, I only provide it as a guideline. ..note that different types of brown rice call for different ratios of liquid and vary slightly in cooking times.

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a soft boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-50 min, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Serves about 4.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

My best friend Jessica & I stopped in at Karyn’s on Green- a Chicago-based, contemporary, stylish, vegan eatery with delicious food and a vibrant bar scene. We had a curry cauliflower dish there that left us begging for more. My friend actually found this recipe by Sandy Todd Webster that resembles the dish to a T!

  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoky paprika (optional)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves & core removed, florets cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Preheat Oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, curry, salt, paprika.
  3. Add cauliflower slices & toss to coat.
  4. Spread in a single layer on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean up).
  5. Bake until cauliflower is tender- crisp and brown, about 30 min.
  6. Sprinkle with lemon juice from the left over half of the lemon & garnish with cilantro.

Serves about 4.

Spiced Wine

My go to for all holiday parties that I host. There are endless varieties out there, but the following is my favorite.

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 (750 milliliter) bottles red table wine- experiment with organic, local, & sustainable varieties
  • 1 (3 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/3 C brown sugar, or to taste- can also use honey, but honey can also create a very sweet end result- I’ve done both in the pas, ultimately up to your taste buds.
  • 1/4 C brandy or Grand Marnier (optional)- I usually do not add this, but depends, how hard are you trying to party?

You can also add a little bit of nutmeg for an extra zing!

  1. Sometimes I just slice the oranges and toss them into the mix like that, or you can also use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the oranges. Then, juice the oranges into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. The reason I like to slice the oranges is because then I can toss them into the serving mugs later for decoration, but why not do both ways?
  2. Add in the wine, ginger, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and brown sugar (or honey) into the pot; stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Cover and heat over medium-high until heated to the point that when you stick a thoroughly washed & clean finger in, it’s warm to touch, but not boiling (you don’t want to burn off the alcohol), reduce the heat to medium-low and heat for 1-2 hrs to allow all the flavors to meld together. The longer it sits & warms over low heat the more flavorful it becomes, I’ve let it settle for up to 3 hours before. Adjust the sweetness by adding more brown sugar or honey, as necessary. Strain and serve hot with a splash of brandy or Grand Marnier, if desired.
  4. I serve it in a mug garnished with an orange slice & a cinnamon stick. Mmm, warms you from the inside out!

Dark Chocolate Bark

A friend, Jackie, introduced me to this recipe that comes from Stephanie Lecovin, MS, RD from Nutrition Housecalls. Check out her website, it is filled with tons of yummy recipes to try! This dark chocolate bark is not only packed with antioxidants, but is outrageously decadent. A total hit!

  • 3 Tbs canola or walnut oil
  • 6 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 C raw pecans
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (less if you can’t stand the heat)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  •  ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 C dark chocolate (~70%)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and maple syrup until bubbling. Add pecans and stir until they are well coated, then mix in salt and seasonings. Cook for 4 minutes, then remove pan from heat.
  3. Place nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place sheet in oven and roast for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. In a separate saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate, stirring often. Pour chocolate into a parchment lined 13 x 9 glass dish or onto a larger baking sheet (depending on whether you want the bark to be thicker or thinner).
  5. Break up the pecans and sprinkle over the chocolate. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly back and forth.
  6. Allow to sit out until set, 1-2 hours. Break apart into chunks.

Raw,Vegan, Gluten Free- Almond Milk & Frosted Carrot Cake Balls

After developing an almond milk recipe that I love, I was always left with a ton of “almond pulp” that I never knew what to do with. My friend Melissa, The Raw Food Stylist, provided the amazing recipe for carrot cake balls so that I no longer had to waste my almond pulp. In one of my mad scientist evenings in the kitchen, I went on to add the raw cashew frosting, and haven’t looked back since. Making these 2 delicious concoctions practically go hand in hand because once you realize they have similar ingredients, and that some ingredients for one depend that you make the other,  it becomes pretty obvious that these 2 recipes were just meant to be made together- because what sounds better than frosted carrot cake & warmed almond milk? Read the recipes & follow the sequence of events depicted below to make this process as seamless as possible, because trust me, it can get messy!

Almond Milk

  • 3 C nuts or seeds (I do 2 C of almonds, 3/4 C cashews, 1/4 C hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon nutmeg (pumpkin pie blend works perfectly)
  • 5 C fresh coconut water  (ideally straight from coconut, but fresh water works as well)
  • 1 C of mellow date water
  1. soak your nuts: place nuts in a bowl, add fresh water, & soak at room temp. Generally, the more dense the nut, the longer the soaking time.  Soak almonds for 8-12 hrs & Cashews for 2-3 hrs.  Once soaking is complete rinse off nuts.
  2. blend: place all the ingredients into the blender, except for the coconut & date water. Fasten lid. Begin to blend as you slowly add the water through the small opening at the top of the blender.
  3. strain: place a cheesecloth over the opening of a large pitcher. Strain the mixture from the blender through the cheesecloth. Breakdown this process by only straining half, squeeze out any milk from the solid particles contained in the cheesecloth, place in a separate container, repeat with remaining nut mixture.
  4. enjoy! :)

Carrot Cake Balls

Makes about 25 balls

  • 1 C carrot pulp (Use pulp left over after juicing or I throw carrots into my food processor until they are so finely chopped they are more of a mushy pulp vs solid and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 C almond pulp (left over solids from making almond milk)
  • 1 C of dates (soaked & pitted, you want them to have soaked long enough that they are mushy & pliable)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (when I use fresh vanilla bean, I cut it in half lengthwise & scrape the insides & use 1/2 of the vanilla bean here & the other 1/2 for the frosting)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon mix (make your own blend by mixing cinnamon, nutmeg, clove- I only use a bit of the nutmeg & clove as they can be overwhelming spices & use more cinnamon)
  • dash of sea salt
-With your hands, mash all the ingredients together in a bowl. You want to rip & mush the dates apart and really work it into your mixture so it becomes somewhat sticky. If it’s not sticky enough, try adding a bit more “stick factor” by adding a couple more dates.
-Roll into small balls (Tip: Make balls small rather than big because these bad boys are going to be sweet and you don’t want to have an overwhelming amount in your mouth all at once. Better to eat 2 small ones vs one giant one)
-From here you can get fancy & roll them in coconut flakes, frost them (recipe below), or keep them simple by doing nothing else
-Place balls in refrigerator (If making these for friends or a party, I usually make them the night before. I find that leaving them in the fridge overnight allows them to really hold their shape.

Frosting

  •  1 C cashews (soak for at least 30 min & no more than 1 hour)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 pitted fresh dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla (when I use fresh vanilla bean, I cut it in half lengthwise & scrape the insides & use 1/2 of the vanilla bean here & the other 1/2 for the frosting)
  • fresh purified water
-Except for the water, place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
-Begin to blend & slowly add water.
-Watch for the mixture to become creamy. Feel free to stop the blender & taste test for the desired consistency. Better to go slowly than add too much water and make a watery frosting.

[cincopa A8GAbuaEzyL8]

 

 

 

fall, autumn, energySpring’s energy rises, Summer’s energy expands, Late Summer’s energy dissipates the full blown expansion of the summer, and Autumn’s energy is all about pulling us in.  This time of year, we come home & draw in earlier because dusk comes sooner, which is a change of pace from the long, drawn out days of summer. Shorter days and longer nights give us the opportunity to self reflect. That calls for a bit more of a serious tone in comparison to the sunny, fun, carefree days of summer. Gathering our thoughts and being introspective allows room for transformation. On all levels we see this contraction of energy during the Fall- from foods, to nature, to families & friends gathering around the dinner table to celebrate. Leaves transform by changing colors, and then settle into the earth to be mulched into something new. Fall tends to be a rich, warm time of year, which in reflected by the deep red, orange, and nude/brown hues that tend to rule the season to our food choices. We prefer slow cooking and warm root vegetables. The foods in season that we tend to crave around this time have lots of gathered energy at their core- Think, apples, pumpkins, persimmons. Autumn’s energy influences the lungs & large intestine. From a relationship standpoint, you may find that you need to create more space for yourself. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, they say, and the cycles of the seasons are no different. All that upward energy of the Spring needs to find its balance with the inward energy of the Fall. In a partnership, it is important that both individuals take the time to draw deep into themselves and sift through their own issues in order to make the relationship stronger.

ways to welcome Autumn!

    • Experiment with the foods that are becoming readily available in Autumn! HELLO! short-grain rice, pumpkins, apples, persimmons, pears, and warming spices like cinnamon! Check out the seasonal eating section for interactive seasonal maps, seasonal ingredients, menu planners & recipe ideas!
    • Draw Inward!  Shift your focus onto you and get right with yourself! A healthy relationship with yourself allows you to view the world with increased clarity. Autumn facilitates you going deeper into the core of your being.  NO matter what comes up, stay positive, and acknowledge that going through this process is the first step in transforming yourself & shifting your vibration to higher levels. Re-visit your goals- get motivated by reading ar-yoga’s posts dedicated to goal setting, write in a journal, start a blog, when making decisions, draw in and listen to any strong feelings stemming deep from your core aka your intuition, meditate-check out the meditation page to jump start your practice, focus on your overall wellness and look over yoga suggestions, & incorporate some core exercises into your fitness routine in order to allow Autum’s energy to seep deep into your mind, body, & spirit!
    • Energetically focus on your sacral chakra! In Autum it’s all about pulling into your core, so draw your attention to the sacral/navel chakra. Location: between the navel & base of spine. Color: orange. Visualize a warming orange color clearing any imbalances that may lie here. Interested in a more detailed chakra balancing exercise? Try this: 1) Check out the chakra page 2) Find where each chakra is located by looking at the chakra body chart 3) Read up on each one by clicking its specific link 4) Starting from the ground up focus on the chakras one at a time 5) Dedicate 30 seconds or more to balancing each one by saying “I am releasing any issues associated with this specific energy center and it is now harmoniously balanced and flowing with ease” 6) Seal that intention by visualizing that part of you body glowing a vibrant (insert color associated with that chakra). There are endless ways to balance your chakras, here’s an example using the Sacral chakra: Bring your focus to the sacral chakra, located between your belly button & base of spine. Imagine it glowing a warm orange. Repeat 5x ” I know that who I am & what I do is enough. I have enough rest, energy, food, fun, & money. I link my self-worth to appropriate things, and have the ability to create healthy boundaries to protect myself & my vital life force” With each repetition visualize the orange glow coming from your sacral chakra become increasingly brighter and healthier.
    • Speaking of core, Focus on the diaphragm when you Breathe! The lungs & large intestine lie within your core and are influenced by Autumn’s energy. The Diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle that lies horizontally within your core and assists in respiration. Above it you will find the lungs and below it you will find the large intestine. Learning Diaphragmatic breathing draws you into your core and can reduce your stress levels, deepen your yoga & meditation practice, and encourage a more efficient breathing pattern. Learn how to do it and get acquainted with your anatomy by watching the video below & if you’re still hungry for more check out this link which goes in depth into diaphragmatic breathing!

signed, sealed, & delivered with love, hugs, and rich warming vibes of autumn!

xoxo ar

 

This past August I embarked on a Yoga, Surf, Music Road Trip up the California Coast! Starting point: Hermosa Beach, Destination: San Francisco. We headed to Outside of Lands 3 day Food, Music, Wine, and Art Festival in Golden Gate park and intended to squeeze yoga, surfing, healthy eating, and lots of exciting adventures in between. Minor detail… to keep things interesting, we rolled up to SF in style by crusin’ up the coast in a mint green 1979 VW bus named Betsy. Ohh yes we did. Besides showin’ up in a FRESH ride, we had another goal in mind…keep it as healthy as possible. Here I summarize how it is realistic to keep road tripping and camping healthy. With a little planning and positivity, here’s how we kept the trip from LA to San Fran fun, fresh, and free of preservatives! We strived for all of our fruits and veggies to be local and organic and our meat to be free-range. If you’re planning on coasting the Legendary California Highway 1 while trying to keep it healthy, you’re at the right place. I give you recipes throughout, highlight some of our most memorable stops, chronicle our trip via some RAD photos, and at the end of the post, I provide a copy of our grocery list,  some of our healthy camping meal ideas, and list off all the things from A-Z we thought was necessary to bring along on our yoga, surf, music roadtrip!!! If you have any questions about our healthy road trip, connect with ar-yoga on the Facebook Like Page and ask away. Look forward to hearing from you :)

  • Hermosa Beach: took off munching on some HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX: almonds, sunflower seeds, dried apricots cut in small squares, farmer’s market dried cherries no preservatives
  • Found a perch with a great view to eat our super spinach salads- Vegan & gluten free. Super easy & simple ingredients too! SUPER SALAD: Spinach, cooked quinoa, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans, roasted pumpkin seeds, edamame. CARROT GINGER MISO DRESSING: carrots, olive oil, sesame oil, water, ginger root, shallots, seasoned rice vinegar (water, rice, sugar, sea salt), shiro miso (organic rice, organic soybeans, water, sea salt, koji), and salt.
  • Cayucos state beach to check the waves
  • Arrived at Big Sur & coasted around the cliffside bends wishing it wasn’t past sunset…oh well, you live, you learn.
  • Esalen hot springs at night overlooking the expansive ocean lit up by the moon & stars for $20. Yelpers are LOVING this spot & so did we!
  • Got a campsite at Pfeiffer state park to make brunch. $10 for a day pass which was valid at all state parks until sunset
  • Did a bit of back tracking because we heard McWay Waterfall trails was a MUST and I do concur it was STUNNING even on a semi foggy day. Check it out!
  • We were going to check out Nepenthe Restaurant, but decided to park at an overlook and watch the sunset there instead. No matter where you stop it’s always a rad view, but I hear Nepenthe has a stellar overlook and it’s worth doing a glass of wine there during sunset.
  • Slept at the overlook & woke up to a cop telling us it was illegal to sleep on the side of the road. Ooops! And he told us we were going entirely too SLOW and that we had about 30 cars behind us the previous day and we needed to pull over more often…double Ooops! Guess you stick out like a sore thumb when you’re in a mint green 1979 VW bus, huh? We didn’t mind the early wake up call because it was MC’s birthday! Honoring the fact that it was a day to both celebrate and meditate, we were excited to party & squeeze in some yoga!
  • We headed to Santa Cruz to check out Steamer’s Lane, world famous surf spot. We did bring along 2 mini cupcakes & purchased 2 chai teas at a local coffee shop to do a bit of guilt-free birthday indulging on our trip. By this point, we deserved it :) All in moderation. We met up with an old friend who gave us a tour around town and of the Digital Media Arts Center at the University, so fun!
  • Did some birthday vinyasa yoga at Donation Based Urban Flow Yoga in SF. Got down with MC Yogi, who taught a super dope class with an intelligent and intuitive sequence and was an incredibly chill dude. You gotta go!
  • To balance out the previous day’s flow, we hit up Bend Yoga for a restorative class in preparation for 3 days of MUSIC! It was a great class in an intimate studio, and just what we needed.
  • The next 3 days at Outside of Lands Music, Food, Wine, and Art festival at Golden Gate Park was INCREDIBLE. Words don’t describe, so happy I got this as my birthday present this year :). There was food trucks galore, good music to jam out to, people watching for dayyyysss, not to mention that we were surrounded by life and nature. BOMB.COM. I learned from the veterans I was with, first and foremost, key is to go with a group of friends. Spread out a blanket and all your belongings (backpacks & water bottles allowed) at 1 stage with most of the acts people want to see. Everyone wanders around going to check out the different stages and sets while 1-2 people are responsible for holding down the fort. Works like a charm! No body gets lost because you always come back to home base, we also had fun sign (the gaggle we called it) we threw up from time to time so people knew where we were when they tried to find us! Genius!
  • We were told at MC Yogi’s class we had to go to Rusty Well’s class on Sunday…it was described as “going to church.” And that it was! Challenging flow, but the energy in the room was joyful, and Rusty brings it. A mindblowingly spiritual vibe connected the room and we left vibrating at a higher frequency FOR SURE! Highly recommend it.
  • Fav Restaurant: Zazie’s for brunch- Lemon Lavender water, need I say more? Long wait, but check out Finnegan’s bar right next door, garden is great on a sunny day :) We lucked out, weather was perfect.
  • GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE…Betsy made it :)
  • Headed up to do a bit of R&R with friends in Healdsburg, CA. Checked out the local bar and grill for lunch, fell off the healthy wagon for a second and treated ourselves to mango sorbet & honey lavender gelato..(yum) from powell’s sweet shoppe, went kayaking, Picked fresh lavender, veggies and fruit straight from our friend’s mega magnificent garden, made a farm to table fresh dinner (oh my! can you taste the difference!!), drank good wine with good people, and slept well. Just what the doctor ordered.
  • Made our way back to LA on the 5…man oh man is that route a drag. Nothing but sand and 110 degree weather. Pick up fresh fruit and healthy snacks in SF if taking this route, nothing but gas stations and fast food for the majority of it. Right when we though Betsy survived, she died on us turning into the alley to the driveway. Hahah! We pushed her into the garage and were grateful we had a BEYOND amazing trip. No worries, she was back in working order the next day after a quick alternator belt fix and good ol’ fashion jumper cable start.
  • Hope your travels up the California coast are just as memorable and health conscious :)

[cincopa AQNAHs6QgGkk]

GROCERY LIST BREAKFAST #1
water granola cereal hasbrowns, grilled
ice eggs artichokes, eggs, fruit
baked garbanzos trail mix BREAKFAST #2
apples nectarines honey nut granola,
nuts gum almond milk, banana
dried apricots banana LUNCH #1
almond milk carrot cake balls super spinach salads,
celery sticks chicken chicken, carrots,
hummus salmon hummus, fruit
almond butter fingerling potatoes DINNER #1
grapes artichokes brown rice, fish/
carrots salads chicken, veggies,
oatmeal salad dressing wine
rice cakes edamame
avocado veggies for stir fry
seaweed chips dry mango
olive oil granola bars
seasonings berries
SURF PERSONAL floss aluminum foil
booties Drivers License deodarant paper towels
drying rack ID body lotion trash bags
fins Debit Card body scrub/soap dish soap
fin key Credit Card first aid kit tuppaware
leashes (extra) Cash lip balm sponge
pickle Passport razors spatula
rash guard keys shaving cream knife
surfboard cell phone aloe vera cutting board
towels phone charger toilet paper grill forks
wax camera toilet wipes tongs
wax comb camera charger vaseline bottle opener
wet suit memory card towels can opener
YOGA watch wash cloth cups
block books bucket for water mixing bowls
book magazines hand sanitizer gel ziploc bags
mat TOILETRIES tweezers pots/pans
strap medication nail clippers flash light
CAR mirror CAMPING bug candles
car phone charger shampoo cooler bug spray
extra gas & oil conditioner lantern water filter
jumper cables hair brush/comb batteries chairs
proof of insurance hair tie air mattress scissors
proof of AAA bobby pin mattress pump duct tape
CLOTHES make up blankets pocket knife
sunglasses hair products sheets
hat face wash mattress pad
laundry bag make up wipes tent
swim suit mosturizer/SPF sleeping bag
towels for face & eyes hammer
flip flops glasses pillows
running shoes contacts grill
jeans contact case matches
belt contact solution fuel/propane
shorts eye drops charcol
t-shirts q tips fire starter
socks cotton balls newspaper
sweatshirt/jacket sunscreen plates
underwear kleenex bowls
bra/ sport bra mouthwash silverware
beach towel toothbrush baking sheet
yoga clothes toothpaste skillet
 

raw food

santa monica raw food

Finally got a chance to check out Better Life Cuisine in Santa Monica, CA with my friend Melissa, the raw food stylist! MMmmmM! Check out more details & pics of our Delicious & nutritious raw food under the healthy restaurant review tab :)

What’s “raw food”? Read more about raw foods under the insights tab!

 

And then came the day when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom. -Anais Nin

The month of March officially welcomes SPRING! Spring’s energy is dewey, refreshing, renewing, light, and colorful! Spring is the beginning of an upward rising energy- spirits are uplifted, flowers begin to bloom, & we welcome the season of upward rising veggies and fruits! The lighter vibes are here, are you ready for this joyous upward surge?! It’s a good time to do some spring cleanin’ & lighten up the eatin’! Your relationships with yourself, family, friends & significant others are affected by this rising energy too! Clear, open, healthy partnerships allow Springtime’s lightness & happiness to easily settle into the relationships. Take the time to shake off any stagnant issues from the Winter because as Spring’s mighty upward surge comes barreling through, unresolved issues will also come rushing to the surface….consider your relationships getting a Spring cleaning of their own :)

ways to welcome SpRiNg!

  • Experiment with the foods that are becoming readily available in the Spring! HELLO! Apricots, artichokes, asparagus, collard greens, grapefruits, green peas, guava, mango, oranges, papayas, parsnips, strawberries, swiss chard! Check out the seasonal eating section for interactive seasonal maps, seasonal ingredients, menu planners & recipe ideas!
  • Fuel your creativity with color! More vibrant colors are slowly creepin’ back into our lives. The scenery is sprinkled with more greenery & bursts of boldness- be inspired by it. Check out my motivation for bringing the vibrancy back into my life!
  • Detox your life! Get rid of what no longer serves you! Clean out your living space- get rid of clothes that’s not flattering, say buh bye to that stack of papers you haven’t sifted through in years, wipe the dust off the nooks & crannies! Letting go makes you feel lighter & a clean environment will allow Spring to settle into all the right places. Go as far as getting a haircut and chopping off all the dead ends. Shift your focus onto the people who support and love you vs hanging onto those who don’t have your best interest at heart. Most importantly, get right with yourself! A healthy relationship with yourself allows you to see things more clearly, even more so now that Spring is lending itself to bringing in renewing & clearing forces. Check out meditations to help you get on track, look over yoga suggestions, & incorporate some fitness into your life to make room for Spring in your mind, body, & spirit!
  • Let your Liver breathe! The liver & gallbladder are sensitive to upward energy, as they are governed by it. Spring’s energy gives your liver a natural boost. The liver is one of the body’s major detoxifying centers, so make sure your liver is healthy & clear so you can express your creativity and harness your own personal power. A stuffy, gunky liver can make you lethargic & irritable.

signed, sealed, & delivered with love, hugs, and upward rising vibes!

xoxo ar