Foodie Friday

OH BOY, it’s back! I don’t know how long it’s been since my last Foodie Friday but it is way overdue. I’m keeping it simple and sharing my favorite avocado toast! This tasty, trendy, and expensive plate has been popping up on menus all over the place; so naturally I had to put my own spin on it.

avacadosFirst, why is everyone so obsessed with avocado?? Deliciousness aside, this creamy green fruit has 20 vitamins & minerals with only 80 calories. In 1/3 an avocado you get a nutrient dense treat that can be used to make brownies, ice cream, pesto, etc… and this awesome toast!IMG_1089I love herbs & think they’re a great way to add a lot of flavor. When playing around with this recipe I tried a few different combos but consistently came back to dill, cilantro, & parsley. If you prefer something else – go for that!

Avocado Toast (4 servings)

  • 4 slices of multigrain bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1-3 sprigs of parsley, cilantro and dill (stemmed and rough chopped)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

The hard part of this recipe is picking a good avocado, and the harder part is poaching the eggs. If you’re not into that sort of thing you can soft boil, fry, or even scramble your eggs but I find it really simple. Add water and vinegar to a pan and set your stovetop to medium heat. Let the water come to a soft simmer (no hard bubbles) & crack in the eggs. Allow eggs to cook for 3-4 minutes (white fully cooked) and turn off the heat. The vinegar should keep the egg from sticking to the pan & you just remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. While all that exciting stuff is happening you can pop your toast in the oven, slice open your avocado, & combine it with the remaining ingredients listed. Spread your avocado mixture on the toast, top with your perfectly poached egg, & enjoy!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

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Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day Friends!

IMG_0554I am over the moon and so excited for today you have no idea! In a few hours I will be giving my first corporate wellness presentation here in San Francisco. I have been prepping like a mad woman while balancing the family visit and thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I plan to talk about today.IMG_0569Since the target audience is modern business professionals I’ve included 10 tips to energize your day without an energy drink or excessive coffee consumption.

  • Energize your Day
    • Try a mid-day work out to keep energy up and avoid that 3pm slump
    • Have some chocolate! Dark chocolate has caffeine but also¬†cognitive and mood boosting properties from¬†Flavonoids
    • Believe it or not your mom was right: some fresh air will do you some good, so try to get outside for 10-20 minutes.
    • Sit up Straight! Slouching can cause fatigue whereas sitting straight helps comfortably support your frame with less effort (plus it gives you a little confidence boost which is nice)
    • Leave your desk to eat as often as possible – including snacking if you can help it.
      • the body needs to know its ‚Äėfuel time‚Äô
    • Opt for complex carbs that break down slowly and keep your blood sugar regulated
      • always drink plenty of water too
    • Try to listen to music at your desk or pump it through the speakers to boost mood, focus and energy
    • Sipping on green tea in the afternoon after your lunch has been known to improve cognitive function, aid digestion, keep you fuller longer, and fuel your body with antioxidants and flavonoids.
    • Chia seeds, especially when paired with water are proven to keep you full and fueled for the day
    • Red is associated with confidence and winning…brighter colors can also keep you more alert and awake. ¬†

I hope you find ways to incorporate one, or some, of these tips to help keep you energized, the healthy way!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Motivation Monday #4

Welcome to the start of another exceptional week friends!

yoga-photography workshop-5.jpgWhile my family has been in town we’ve been keeping busy with long walks around the city, bike rides over Golden Gate Bridge, Paint Nite, rooftop dinners, and awesome city meals! I feel like Phil and I took a mini vacation even though we never left the Bay Area.IMG_0533.JPGWe have one more day until Mom & Dad fly home which isn’t keeping us from staying committed to kicking butt and keeping¬†healthy for the 4th of our 16 exceptionally motivated weeks. My day started bright and early with a bike ride, yoga class, and some meditation. Then its a little more family time and crossing my fingers the weather holds out for my parents. I also have to squeeze in some work because there are some great projects in the works¬†this week that¬†I am super excited to share with you…soon!IMG_0540For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another week of healthy eats and awesome exercises to stay healthy, motivated and feeling like your best! There is nothing quite like time with family to leave you feeling full of energy and ready to tackle another week!

Week 4

“Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger!”¬†

Weekly Exercise: Yoga Daily, 45 minutes cycling 2x week, and HIIT 2xweek

Routine: Pyramid Style  (2x week)                                                                                                                     (10sec, 20 sec, 30sec, 40sec,30sec,20sec,10sec rounds w/15sec rest btwn)

  • burpees
  • lunges
  • mountain climbers
  • skaters
  • plank

Breakfast: scrambled eggs whites with cheddar cheese & spinach on sprouted toast and orange juice OR oatmeal with banana and walnuts

Lunch: tuna salad with mixed greens OR tofu bowl with veggies and quinoa

Dinner: cauliflower pizza, fish tacos with zesty slaw, OR whole wheat pasta w/roasted veggies & marinara.

Snacks: Health Warrior Chia Bars, Trail Mix, Hummus w/cucumbers, carrots & pita chips, and apple w/peanut butter

 

’til next time, keep smiling ūüôā

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

We’re mid-way through another wonderful week and I for one am beaming today! There is a lot to be grateful for everyday but today especially because my sister and parents are coming to visit!! That, and things are falling into place more and more with my career and our live’s here in San Francisco.yoga-photography workshop-10 In the coming weeks there are lots of exciting things happening! Everything to come¬†has¬†to do with growing in my career, so I couldn’t be more excited that I have time with some of my family beforehand; which brings me to today’s Wellness Wednesday topic, balance.¬†Work-Life-Balance1When I mean balance, I don’t mean the kind I do on my head or in the picture above ūüėČ I mean happily and effectively managing all the different aspects of life. I used to get this tunnel vision when it came to the different aspects of my life: I would focus on whatever I wasn’t happy about and figure out a way to fix it or¬†make it bend my way. Sometimes I would succeed but most of the time I wouldn’t and I would end up morwheele unhappy than when things started. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was really able to make a sift‚Ķthings just were not working. Now, my focus is on finding time for the little things, working smarter, and allowing myself downtime.¬†I know as life continues and children are added to the picture, things will get even more exciting and the challenge of balancing things out might become more tricky¬†but in the end, its ALL doable. Whatever your priorities in life, you’ve got time for all of them and the stuff you want to do too, it just takes a bit of balance. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by taking 5-10 minutes to be silent, alone, and just see what pops up.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Motivation Monday #3

Hello Friends!

IMG_4750.JPGI am filled with love and excitement from such an incredible weekend at Yoga Journal Live San Francisco and I can’t wait share everything I absorbed with my students! This week is going to be a little crazy with Phil traveling AGAIN¬†¬†and family visiting but we’re both doing our best to stick with regular exercise and smart dietary choices.¬†img_00342
Our routine for the week is going to be a little harder to follow but we’re happy with how things have been going and excited¬†for the weeks to come as well! Yoga is obviously at the center of all I do, but I’m doing some cycling to supplement this week and emphasizing simple foods to see how that feels.

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Week 3

Exercise:

  • Yoga everyday
    & Cycling 4x/wk

Diet

  • Breakfast: sprouted toast w/pb and greens powder
  • Lunch: Salad w/pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing
  • Dinner: Salmon burger, carrot sticks & sweet potato fries
  • Snacks: Popcorn, Protein Shake, Apple, or
    Walnuts
  • Dessert: 4-6 oz red wine, dark chocolate

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

 

 

Motivation Monday #2

Welcome to another wonderful week friends!

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I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and are gearing up for another amazing week!¬†Phil and I are feeling energized and ready to tackle week 2 of our diet and exercise routine. We took some time to indulge in moderation this weekend with a little post yoga lunch out in the Mission and it felt perfectly satisfying – a little vegan french onion soup and mushroom, gruyere grilled cheese…perfect on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

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Homemade Salmon Burgers w/sweet potato chips, sprouted bread & slaw

One of the biggest parts of our ‘change’ is leaving time for rest and not depriving ourselves of anything…it’s more about making the healthy choice most of the time and allowing for a little wiggle room.¬†We’ve got such a busy week with Phil SF16_FB_Timeline3traveling for business and me working the yoga journal conference but we’re committed to sticking with our routine. If you are in the bay area and haven’t¬†gotten your passes for Yoga Journal Conference this coming weekend use code NEW YOU at check out to get 15% off your passes. I am so excited to be a part of everything and I hope to see some of you there too!!

“PUSH YOURSELF! No one else is going to do it for you.”

Week 2

Workout Routine:

  • 35 min. cycling or running ¬†3x/wk
  • Body Weight Intervals ¬†3x/wk (4x w/30 sec. btwn rounds)
  1. 10 push ups
  2. 10 burpees
  3. 10 lunges
  4. 60 sec. forearm plank
  5. 10 jump squats
  6. 60 sec. mountain climber

Each morning starts with 15 min of meditation/stretching and detox tea

  • Breakfast:
  1. Greens powder water & oatmeal with apples and pecans
  2. Greens powder water & cottage cheese and apples
  • Snack:
  1. Hard Boiled Eggs
  2. Celery w/peanut butter
  • Lunch:
  1. Vegetarian Chili with multi grain tortilla chips & cheddar cheese
  2. Grilled Chicken or Tofu with brown rice and veggies
  • Snack 2:
  1. Hummus w/cucumber & pita chips
  2. Trail mix
  • Dinner:
  1. Mushroom and Fennel pizza w/cauliflower crust
  2. Salmon Burgers w/sweet potato fries
  3. Carrot Souffle w/tofu nuggets
  • Dessert:
  1. ‘Almond Joy’ protein shake
  2. Dark Chocolate & Cherries
  3. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

 

 

‚Äôtil next time, keep smiling ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day Friends!

I have had a great couple of classes this week and am really looking forward to the ones to come. This week, my focus is on Warrior II, Virabhadrasana B, with all of my classes.

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Over the few weeks leading up to the holidays I started to notice my students anxiousness in Warrior II…everyone wanted to move just as soon as they arrived in the pose. “Where are we going next?!?!”¬†seemed to be the thought on every mind in the room, instead of focusing on the nuances of the posture at hand. So in an effort to bring more awareness to their Warriors, I have been holding my students in Warrior II for 7-10 breaths (which in a 55min class is significant).

Warrior II has always been up there as one of my favorites because it’s always a little different…there are so many different components at play. Starting from the base of the feet and working all the up to the head, there are endless things to think about.virabhadrasana-ii

Basic Alignment:

  • Separate feet almost twice hip width apart and raise arms straight up from sides reaching left to right
  • Turn right toes to the right and bend right knee so its directly over the ankle and the right thigh is parallel with the mat
  • Gaze over right figure tips, relax shoulders, and engage the lower abdominals to the spine

From there you can check a number of things but most important (I think) is making sure your knee cap is tracking directly over your fourth and big toes. If your knee looks like its rolling inward, press into the pinkie toe side of your foot. In contrast, if your knee cap is turning out, press the big toe mound into the floor.

Benefits:

  • stretch hips, groin, and shoulders
  • strengthen legs, ankles, feet, and core
  • increased focus, balance and concentration
  • improved circulation, respiration
  • lower back pain relief

My hope is you’ll find these and the coming weekly tips helpful in your own practice and daily life.¬†If you’re in SF and want to come flow with me, check out the yoga page for classes and how to sign up!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

 

 

Final Days

Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!IMG_4587It’s official…Phil and I have survived our first Christmas away from family. While there were¬†definitely tears and sadness, we also managed to laugh a ton¬†and have¬†a lot of fun!¬†IMG_4580IMG_4646We enjoyed LOTS of champagne and delicious food, as well as fun and shenanigans with friends around the globe. Between FaceTime with the family and yoga challenges with friends in other time zones, the Christmas weekend has been a testament to how technology makes friends and family feel closer. It was great to watch my Godson opening his first Christmas presents, and equally delighting to share holiday fun with my yogi family across the globe – posting videos and photos as part yoga challenges made me feel more connected to the people I love, even though they’re all miles away.¬†IMG_3867I loved this¬†amazing year with¬†all the incredible¬†milestones and adventures 2015 has offered. I think the most important take away from 2015 is to live in the moment. Life is a crazy roller coaster of excitement, blessings, heartbreak, happiness, love, sweat, tears, and lessons, AND if you are looking too far ahead or behind you’ll miss what’s happening right in front of your face…life is too precious to miss even a moment!¬†IMG_4503I’m making a point to take it all in for 2016…really absorb and appreciate every sunset, hike, bike ride, adventure, restaurant experience, and moment the year has to offer – and if you find me deviating from my mission, please call me out in the comment sections below! 2016 will be the best year for Livingleen¬†yet and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds and what lessons I’ll learn along the way!

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I am saying goodbye to 2015 and looking forward to firing up the new and improved Livingleen in 2016. I am so grateful for all your love and continued support, and look forward to continuing to offer meaningful content to my health conscious and balanced living loving readers. I can’t wait to share all the exciting offerings of 2016 and hope it will help take your healthy living quests to new heights.

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

What a weekend!!!

Hey there friends!

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I hope everyone is getting in the holiday spirit!¬†Even though we likely won’t be seeing snow in San Francisco for Christmas, frost covered peaks are just a few hours drive away. Phil and I spent our first weekend of the season in Tahoe and it did not disappoint! We didn’t hit the slopes because we’re still working on our gear situation but we explored Squaw Village, got settled into the house, and watched the snow fall from the hot tub – not a bad way to getaway! Even more exciting, for me anyway, is the discovery that one our housemates is also a yoga instructor in SF – WHOOT WHOOT!!! I am so excited to have a fellow yogi at the house and to get to know another bay area teacher…it’ll be fun to flow together and ¬†nerd out on yoga stuff!

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It’s Phil’s birthday tomorrow !!!!! I had a few tricks up my sleeve but he has to travel for work last minute ūüė¶ , so we’ll have to save them for another time. Instead we’ll be celebrating with friends Friday at Dosa since Phil loves Indian…I still might have a thing or two planned! ūüėČ I have a lot to do for him in preparation for Christmas next week but can thankfully say I am done with everyone else. We’re going to be spending the holiday away from family this year so I think we’re both trying to make an¬†extra¬†effort to make¬†it special!

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It’s going to be so much fun to fill this space below the tree with gifts for him and have a nice dinner just the two of us. ¬†Since we’re doing Christmas here I am so excited to¬†be¬†shooting up to Tahoe for some skiing for New Years!!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

It’s December…when’d that happen?

Hey there friends! Is anyone else completely shocked it’s December?!?! I mean, HOLY MOLE, where did the year go? When I think about all the big life adventures and ‘firsts’ of 2015 it seriously blows my mind: we moved across the country, I started pursuing a full time career in yoga, we got married, I traveled to France and Italy for the first time, and the other¬†week I spent my first holiday away from my family.FullSizeRender-2Phil and I celebrated Thanksgiving just the two of us at our place and while I missed the family, it was nice to have a low key holiday. I made a full Thanksgiving spread, including homemade cranberry sauce that isn’t in this picture. There was no actual turkey but I did offer to make one for Phil – he declined because tofurkey is AWESOME!!!FullSizeRender.jpgSince the honeymoon neither Phil nor I have been the best about our diet. There was bound to be a little post wedding indulgence but we’re both feeling the results in what I will refer to as ‘love fat.’ Neither of us are all that concerned, just aware and making a plan to hit the ground running in 2016. One of the new additions to livingleen for 2016 is weekly menus and exercise routines every Monday to motivate and start the week off on the right foot!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüėČ