Thursday, August 26, 2010


Hi friends!  I know, I know...I haven't been around in a while.  This is primarily because there are some new exciting changes are going on in my life.  I have been working on a new webpage and blog and will no longer be blogging here on blogspot anymore.  I've decided to kick my professional life "up a notch" (a la Emeril Lagasse) and expand my passion to the masses. 
The new blog will still pretty much be the same (although, now entitled "The Hip Yogini") with a lot of extra goodies and a lot more information about what I do and why, along with tons of helpful tips, information and resources. So basically, better. ;)

The new site is still completely under construction (don't judge), and will probably be changing quite a bit from the way it is now.  

But for now, you can visit:  

Feel free to comment and let me know if there is anything specific that you would like for me to add or any information that you would like included! :)  Thank you all for your support and patience!!! Much love to all! xo



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lychees! No, not leeches!

Don't panic, I don't have leeches.  I bought lychees!   It's Summertime and I have been eating my share of fruit.  It's incredibly refreshing, hydrating, and tasty on a hot 100 degree day like today!  On my trip to the Asian market, I bought a big bag of fresh lychees.  Yes, again, this another delicious fruit that I had in Thailand, but also ate a lot of growing up.  My Mom always used the fruit in Thai desserts and yum, it's soooo good!  Trust me.

Just in case you've never heard of it...

(According to Webster's Dictionary)  
Lycheeli·tchi also li·chee \ˈlē-(ˌ)chē, ˈlī-\  1 : the oval fruit of a Chinese tree (Litchi chinensis) of the soapberry family having a hard scaly reddish outer covering and sweet whitish edible flesh that surrounds a single large seed—called also lychee nut

Most people that have tried the lychee may have tried it in a martini at a Thai or sushi restaurant or sometimes you'll see it as a sorbet.  Lychee martinis seem to be a trendy thing right now.  A lot of times restaurants use the canned version for their popular libation.  While I won't pass up a lychee martini if its presented to me, the fresh, real-deal is the best!  They have a sweet, almost floral, tropical flavor with a grape-like texture.  It truly has a unique taste of its own.  I say a lychee tastes like...lychee.  
Lychees are low in calories - only 63 in 10 average-sized fresh ones, which also provide about 69 milligrams of vitamin C, more than you would get in a small orange or half a grapefruit.  Awesome, right?
I have also seen the fresh lychees at Whole Foods Market, and sometimes you can see them at your fancier grocery stores from time to time.  If you come across them don't be afraid to try it! 

So this is how it's done.  (please excuse my photos - they were taken with my iphone)

 Rinse the lychees under cool running water

Peel about a quarter off of the thin leathery skin at the top. Squeeze the bottom and pop the fruit into your mouth, being careful not to eat the seed in the middle.

The seed, or lychee nut.  Looks kinda like a kalamata olive, huh?

Here's a little spread I made for the hubby.  I like to have fresh fruit ready for him as a snack when he comes home from work.  It keeps him from snacking too much before its time for dinner. I stuck with a red theme: red cherries, dragon-fruit, and lychees!

 Yay, he loved it! 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of ... Dragon-fruit?

Happy 4th of July

Penn's Landing

So, yesterday, Allan and I went to Penn's Landing to watch the amazing fireworks display that were over the Delaware River.  We packed our bikes in the back of our car and parked at his work, allowing us to just ride around the area and avoid all of the messy traffic.  It was a great idea.  We were able to maneuver around herds of people and look at things in the area.  Allan showed me lots of ships and boats in the area and told me a little about each of them.  He is becoming quite the mariner.  ;)  We had a fabulous time; the night, water and fireworks were gorgeous - and it was very romantic!  :)
Beforehand, I made Allan stop by the Asian Market to get some things.  We saw that there were lots of fun exotic fruits that Allan had not tried (that I love) and had to get! I purchased a few other things, including these seaweed snacks that I'm ridiculously addicted to, roasted black sesame seeds (so I can make more of that yummy cabbage salad), and some candied ginger (great for a sore-throat or nausea).  Random, but fun nonetheless.

seaweed snacks/chips: another not-so-normal (but great for you!) addiction of mine (Thanks, Nancy!)

I bought some, well "a" dragon-fruit, which obviously isn't local (we payed $7.00 for one piece of fruit!).  I joked with the lady at the register that we must have been paying for the shipping, but I don't think she understood me.  Then I felt old saying that - ugh, it sounded like something embarrassing my Mom would say!  The dragon-fruit doesn't fall far from the tree...haha!
Anyways, I try to buy local and seasonal things as much as possible, but Allan really wanted to try it, so we got it.  I think I've told him a couple of dozen times about how it was one of my favorite types of fruit that I had in Thailand.  It may just because of the name.  Dragon-fruit. exotic.
When you go to the Asian market, there are just some things that you can't get anywhere else and you just have to try it.

So this is the Dragon fruit.  Gnarly looking fella, huh?  The outside is a pretty red with wavy tendrils, that sort of resembles a dragon's beard.  Well, at least all of the dragons I've seen.  ;)

Cut it in half, then scoop out the soft, white flesh with a spoon. Notice the black seeds in the middle - it's similar to the seeds in kiwi.

I like to dice it up and put back in the halves for a pretty presentation.  I used little bamboo knotted toothpicks for easy pickin's.

The flavor has been compared to a strawberry and pear mix, also melon and kiwi.  It really has its own distinct thing going.  For a fruit that looks so fantastically exotic from the outside, it is actually quite... bland.  Not bad by any means, just simple and delicate. I think it tastes best chilled.  It mixes really well with other fruit to make a beautiful fruit salad.  I think it would be awesome mixed with freshly cut pineapple, mango and papaya for a tropical feel. Shock your friends by adding this to your fruit salad!

Dragon fruit is extremely high in anti-oxidants and are a rich source of Vitamin C.  Its also low in calories and high in fiber, while the seeds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  They  are great for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure as well as excreting heavy metal toxins from the, I'm not talking Metallica or Iron Maiden here.  This fruit is great for you, try it if you ever get the chance!



Friday, July 2, 2010

Orange Sesame Cabbage Salad

Try this yummy Orange Sesame Cabbage Salad in place of your boring old cole-slaw this summer.  I give it two thumbs up!  It's super tasty, simple, and healthy (no fatty mayo).  Its great to take along on a picnic or use it to top a salmon burger - like I did! (I used the combo orange-pineapple juice carton and toasted white sesame seeds because that was all I had, and it came out great!)
A zesty summer salad recipe from the Gaiam Café Kitchen.
Serves 6 to 8
Salad ingredients:
1 head Napa cabbage, chopped
1 head red cabbage, chopped
1 red pepper, cut julienne
1 scallion, chopped
½ pound bean pods, cut in halves or thirds
1 cup slivered toasted almonds
2 T black sesame seeds
Dressing ingredients:
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 nub of ginger, thumb size
1 orange (to zest)
1 lime (to zest)
4 T sesame oil
1 cup vegetable oil
Combine all prepared salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside. Once dressing is prepared, mix it in thoroughly with salad. Best served chilled.
Dressing preparation:
Zest nub of ginger into the blender. Add rest of the ingredients to blender, excluding the oils. Blend for 2 minutes. Slowly add sesame oil, then the vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TBC (The Birthday Challenge) Starts Today!

I thought I'd elaborate a little on The Birthday Challenge just a little bit.
So, the challenge is 2 months long, ending August 23, which happens to be my, ah hem...32nd birthday.

Here are the guidelines:

1. Eat at LEAST one salad a day- I figure this will be one easy way to get most of my daily servings of veggies in per day. (You should have at least 3-5 servings per day) I try to eat as organic as possible. Here is a cute little graphic that I have obtained that can help you decide what is high in pesticides. I thought I'd share.

I add many other veggies into my salad such as carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, or broccoli.  You get the point.
If you are trying this too, I recommend not using iceberg lettuce, which is mainly water and little nutrients. Try some of the great leafy greens that contain way more valuable nutrients such as vitamins A, K, D, and E.  Some of my favorites are arugula, dandelion greens, and thinly chopped kale.  A box/bag of spring mix or spinach will work too.

2. Eat at LEAST one serving of fruit a day-  Now, this one sounds so simple, but I can't even begin to tell you how many days have gone by without having even one piece of fresh fruit!  One piece is only the minimum, but shoot for 2-4 servings of fruit per day.  This can easily be done by adding cut fruit to your morning oatmeal or fiber rich cereals, making a delicious and healthy morning fruit smoothie, or adding some berries to some greek yogurt. This would be a perfect time to take full advantage of all of the yummy fruits that are in season for the Summer.  Try some fresh berries, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, and citrus.  Get brave and try some of those fruits that you never dared to try before!  I love going to the Asian market and getting some dragon fruit, jackfruit or fresh lychees.  It immediately takes me right back to Thailand.  Yum!  Have you ever tried fresh guava or papayas?  If you haven't you are totally missing out!

3. Get at LEAST 30 minutes of exercise a day- This can be walking the dog, practicing yoga, swimming, getting on the elliptical, or on a bike (Those will be my personal preferences for right now). I'm still in post-surgery recovery so I have to take it somewhat easy, but just getting out and moving for as little as 30 minutes a day will make a significant difference in my health.  My home yoga practice is usually about an hour and and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. I'm going to try to do this as many days as possible to work on gaining my flexibility, strength, and mobility back. But really, anything goes here, you can dance, jog, weight train...It's all about just getting off your ass really.

Today has been great!  I started the day with some detox tea instead of coffee, and practiced yoga (also watched some great football games - its World Cup Mania over here in the Storm household!) I made a large dandelion salad and cut some watermelon for lunch, and still have more salad to have for dinner.  For dinner, I will have some veggie soup to go with that salad.  I'm staying away from the "whites" white bread, white rice, white potatoes, white pasta, etc.  Too many starchy sugars!
I'm not forgetting to drink tons of water--shooting beyond the 8 glasses per day general rule. I just have a refillable water bottle basically in my hand at all times.
I'm feeling better already! haha!

Its all about making behavioral changes. Research says that you have to do something 21 times to form a habit.  So after these two months, I should be in good form!  With these simple steps, hopefully, you will too!

Signing's to happy health! (I'm "cheersing" you with my water.)  ;)



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fruits & Veggies Need Love too & The Birthday Challenge!


It's official!  I'm off of the post-surgery blood thinners and can eat all of the Vitamin K enriched fruits and veggies that I want!  Woo-hoo! 
To some this may not be all that exciting, but to me it was torture not being able to freely eat broccoli, kale, kiwi, salads, and all of the delicious greens that Spring had to offer.
I am now so appreciative of the power that fruits and veggies have on our diets and what they can do. I now have to get my self back on track by eating well, exercising with this healthier hip, and slowly getting back into my yoga routine.  In celebration of this, I am making a pact to have at least one salad a day, at least one piece of fruit and participate in at least 30 minutes of some form of exercise until August 23 (my birthday). Yes, you heard it here, folks! I think this will be simple as long as I always keep my refrigerator stocked with fruits and veggies. I do have a farmer's market right down the street (within a bike ride), just in case of emergency, so that's a plus.  A weekly shopping trip should do the job as organic boxes of salad are always readily available at the stores.  I'm sure I will have to get creative and will post some fun salad recipes as they come along.  Anyone out there want to join me in the same?  We can swap recipes and encourage each other to stay on track and keep healthy. Fun! On August 23, 2010 I can celebrate being 32 (yes...shush) and healthy!  I hope someone else out there wants to celebrate too!

Email me or post me a message below if you want to join in this fun challenge!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've been recovering nicely.  Almost too much so.  My nurse and physical therapist might even say that I need to slow down a bit.  I am just anxious to get back on my own two feet and practice yoga again.  I have been told that I am ahead of the game in recovery but behind in strength.  It has to do with the fact that I had two back to back surgeries.  Go figger...
In the meantime, I've had a lot of time to think...I need to vent and reflect...

Things that I dislike about post-surgery rehab:

  • Getting shots--thank God, my home nurse finished her last blood draw from me on Tuesday!  (I have been giving blood 2 times a week since surgery...yuck!)
  • Always having crumbs down my cleavage from eating my meals on a tray on my lap
  • Sleeping on my back all the time
  • Getting my 32 staples removed--eeek!
  • Being cooped-up in the house all day
  • Not being able to let the dogs out 
  • Being on a vitamin K restricted diet due to the Coumadin (blood thinners).  That means no green tea, kale, broccoli, lettuce-no leafy greens at all.  No salads, what?! Blasphemy!
  • Not being able to properly shave my legs or put lotion on my feet--not being able to bend over in general.  You don't realize how much you do that everyday. 
  • No physical yoga practice...ahhhh!!!!
  • Not being able to drive
  • Missing out on a lot of fun Philly Springtime events 
  • Having a giant, fresh scar down the side of my leg (I know someday I will proudly appreciate the battle wound, but right now it really sucks)
  • Being sucked into the black-hole that is Facebook and Twitter...more often than I would like
  • ridiculous muscle spasms and pain in my hip...especially when I sneeze!
  • Not being able to go on bike rides or walk the dogs
  • Painful and extremely humbling physical therapy sessions
  • Not being able to drink alcohol--this girl needs a margarita!

Things I LOVE about post surgery rehab:

  • Lots of cuddle time with the pups (I truly think they know I'm hurt and try to make me better)
  • Having both my Mom and Genny here to visit and help take care of me
  • Allan being my live-in murse (man-nurse)
  • Having others cook for me
  • Plenty of time to journal, write, and daydream about the future
  • Getting to practice a lot of reiki on myself
  • Allan doing all of the grocery shopping ;)
  • All of the wonderful care-packages, flowers, and cards! FUN! xo
  • Catching up on my Netflix queue (I've been really diggin' documentaries lately)
  • My comfy couch
  • Meditation
  • Downloading fun music/playlists to use when I teach classes again
  • Lots of popsicles! 
  • Giving my new hip the nickname "Shakira" ...yes!
  • Cute Band-Aids such as: Hello Kitty, Curious George, Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, and the box of various Mustaches--Nurse Sherri's favorite!
  • WWF, no not the old-school wrestling federation. That would be Words With Friends--a Scrabble application on my iphone that I'm addicted to.  Aimee Bolton, I will beat you one day!  ;)
  • My three gals: Martha, Ellen and Oprah  (I can't help it)
  • Time to read, catch-up, and reflect 


Saturday, May 15, 2010

yeah, i'm hip

Yup, thats my new hip (the Shakira model, I think) ;)

Surgery #2 has come and gone... I am now in recover-mode and by this Tuesday, it will have been 2 weeks since my surgery.  The surgery was successful, with a few obstacles.  My blood levels were extremely low--apparently I lost a lot of blood during the surgery.  I had donated two units of my own, but they still had to transfuse two more units after that!  The surgery took double the time, due to some of the hip abnormalities that I had that were God-given.  I was pretty sick at the hospital, energy...all due to the fact that I was low on blood.  The medical staff considered transfusing two more units after the surgery, but Dr. Valaik put his foot down and said, No.
What a great Dr. I am fortunate to have!  He told me that because I am so young (although weak at the time), he wanted me to build my blood levels back up on my own, rather than risking the 1 in a million chance of contracting something through someone else's blood.  I really thank him for that. It was a wise decision. The whole staff there at John's Hopkin's Good Sam. was amazing!  Kevin, the P.A., Berny, Dr V's coordinator, Megan from physical therapy, David "Davey" Jones, Nurse Lakita...I mean really, these people were the best!

I even took the time in the hospital to jot down on a notepad how I felt at my worst:
At my worst, I felt as if I were totally drunk and wasted, trying to strap my adult self into a child's car-seat in the backseat of a very hot car on a Houston's summer afternoon.
 I remember that feeling vividly--tired, sweating profusely, my face, lips and tongue a pale whitish grey.  It was awful.  Surgery #2 was much different from the first.  It really isn't any better knowing what to expect.
Allan slept on the little window couch all week!  :(

Allan and I spent our 7 year wedding anniversary in the hospital when I was feeling my worst!  Johns Hopkins didn't have penthouse suites, so Allan did the best with what we had.  He was so awesome. When I woke up that morning, he surprised me by decorating my room with a banner that read, "Happy Anniversary", and had balloons, plants and flowers everywhere.  It was so very sweet, and had me teary-eyed.  How did I get so lucky?
Allan showered me with gifts, getting me a beautiful, silver, LOVE necklace that resembles the statue in Love Park in Philly.  I love it, and have worn it everyday since! He also took the time to burn our wedding and honeymoon films on to dvd's for me.
So, that evening, after eating our delicious orange jello (haha!), we got as cozy as possible in the hospital room and watched our wedding videos--it was absolutely perfect.

So here I am, at home now and still currently getting poked and prodded by needles.  Ugh, I loathe needles!  I have a home nurse that comes by twice a week to clean my incision site, draw blood, and make sure that I am comfortable and doing my physical therapy (my PT also comes to my home).  For the first several days after I came home from the hospital, my poor husband had to give me injections into my stomach (blood thinners, so I wouldn't get blood clots)...that was crazy!  Nerve racking, to say the least.  He would start, then we would giggle a bit (nervous laughter), then he's have to stop, then we'd both take a deep breath then he'd poke the needle in my tummy...then, I'd CRY!  No...just kidding. It wasn't actually that bad.  The pain of the medicine would sting afterwards and the fact that it bruised and left leopard spots on my stomach sucks.
Allan is once again, a great murse (man-nurse).

 My little Mama  :)

My beautiful Mom came up from Houston and spent a week taking care of me.  Allan had to get back to work so it was super helpful.  It was so great having her around.  She made her delicious homemade Thai food, which was the only thing I could keep down for the first week out of the hospital. She helped with the laundry and dishes, letting our dogs out, and getting me dressed, etc.  I'm on crutches, and it is really hard for me to do very much of anything due to the precautions that the Dr. gave me.  Well, that, and the pain.  Having Mom here was great!  I loved being able to finally spend a Mother's Day with her, and enjoy a  little one on one time.  We can bicker like siblings, yet she cracks me up and has such a nurturing spirit about her.  She left yesterday, and I miss her already.

Tonight, my mother-in-law comes in from Colorado to take her turn at helping me get around. I can't wait to spend time with her too.  She said I'm out of luck if I'm expecting all of the cooking like my Mom did.  Haha!  That's okay, we already have plans to do some knitting and crocheting.  I think I want to make Romeo and Kekoa winter sweaters.  ;)

So far, I seem to be healing nicely.  I'm already off the heavy pain meds and my incision site looks great.  As great as 32 staples down the side of my thigh can be anyways...

I'm in great spirits and I'm even going to hobble my way to the Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer event tomorrow morning.  My team has raised over $3,000 dollars for this cause--I'm so proud.  I have to go and support my team, and be the cheerleader for them, as so many were for me while I was in the hospital.  Allan is going to participate in the actual yoga class "in support of me".  What a guy--I can't wait!

Thanks to everyone for the cards, flowers, balloons, facebook messages, emails, energy, prayers and thoughts of wellness.   I am so privileged to have such a support system of loving arms around me when I need it.  Believe me, that's what kept me pushing forward.
I love you all! xoxo


Bionic Storm

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Ending Has A Beginning

some of my beautiful yogini sisters

I'm happy to say that I'm back to attending a couple of yoga classes a week and teaching Allan at home (best student ever!).  My yoga teacher training ends this weekend, and its going to be extremely bittersweet.  I've been on this journey since the beginning of October, and still have a little make-up work to do (because of the ol' hip hurdles).  It's been a long road, and I can't wait to put all of this knowledge to good use.  I've met some of the most amazing women who have inspired me, lifted me up, challenged me, opened their hearts and shared their stories with me. They will always have a near and dear space in my heart.  I thank them for that.

I've had lots of time to think lately, and it has brought me back to what made me love yoga in the first place. What got me here?
It all started in Puerto Rico, 2006 .  I was a bored, military spouse, living on base with nothing to call my own.  I knew that yoga was supposed to be good for me, and I knew that with all of my hip pain--it couldn't hurt.  So, I started out doing random yoga dvd's in my living room with my girlfriend, Carina. We laughed and joked and took none of it seriously.  I later decided to give it another try and moved on to local classes that were only in Spanish. That was quite funny. I could swear that the handsome Puerto Rican yoga teacher was walking past me was telling me that I was excellent, only to find out he was telling me to exhale.  Yeah, I know.  My ego was crushed, and my spanish got a lot better after that.  ;)
Yoga friends in Puerto Rico
The Secret Garden

Then I started going to this place in Rincon, PR.  A place called the Secret Garden.  Yes,it was as magical as it sounds.  It was an art gallery, guest house, and "yoga studio". There was a giant, wooden, yoga deck outside that faced the ocean and was canopied by luscious green tropical trees and plants.  Random dogs would come by and you never knew if they belonged to the owner, or if they were just strays that wanted to hang out there as much as I did.  I didn't blame them.  The setting was serene and peaceful.  Cool ocean breezes randomly gusted at you while practicing and no music was needed--the sound of the ocean was enough.  It was amazing.  I was hooked.  How could you not be?  
After practicing there for a bit, I decided to take some workshops and I did a teacher training when I went home to Houston to deepen my practice. I was not really sure if I'd ever teach, but I knew that I needed to know more.  The thought of teaching had always appealed to me, I just don't think I ever had the confidence to do it.  Its not like when I was actively involved with theatre. Teaching yoga is not like doing a play, you have to be yourself, and if you're not--it really shows.  No masks, no stage-makeup or costumes, or script.  Just you--bare bones, open-hearted. That's scary to me for some reason.  

 a temple in Northeast Thailand

Things really changed in the Spring of 2008. I visited Thailand for the first time with my Mom and her husband. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime--getting to meet my family for the first time and see where my Mom lived, grew up and eventually met my Dad...
Those things did happen, but it ended up being a really hard and emotionally challenging trip for me.  Luckily, I was able to tap into my yoga and meditation practice to ease my pain.  I knew that it could calm me, and put my mind at ease.  I knew it was a safe comfortable place for me to be when I was sad, couldn't sleep, or simply missed my husband.  It allowed me to control my anxiety and find peace. Thats when I really realized that it was more for me than just some exercise.
Thailand, in general, is a very spiritual place.  It was everything I imagined--beautiful, exotic, full of smiles, and I felt comfortably at home there.  We spent a lot of time visiting beautiful golden wats (buddhist monasteries) and temples with large buddha statues, and even met with a monk.  It hit home for me not only spiritually, but in a weird deep-rooted, these-are-my-peeps kind of way.  I had never been to Thailand, and although the trip was not easy on me emotionally for various reasons, it was just what I needed to fill an empty void in my heart.  I had a moment of, ahhh...I understand. That "other" half of me made sense now.

We soon thereafter transferred to Philadelphia, and a lady had recommended that I go to an "amazing yoga studio" called Yoga Schelter.  I came home, looked it up, and it was literally around the block from me--walking distance...SCORE!  It was meant to be. She was right, it is amazing, and I have been a regular student there ever since.
This leads me to where I am now, in the Yoga Schelter/RYAH yoga teacher training.  I have decided that it is now time for me to take this whole "yoga thing" to a whole other level. Its been an interesting experience--some days sweeter than others.
 Everything seems to fall in place, though.

During this journey, I have realized that it's okay to be who you are, that I can't do everything alone, but yet, I can do a lot on my own in the same.  I have learned that I am incredibly emotional (many of you know this already--I cry at the drop of a hat), and truly care about other's well-beings.  Also, through this YTT I have come leaps and bounds with the healing of my hip and getting on this hip surgery(s).  This was a huge discovery for me, considering I may have waited years to feel better.  All of this had to happen when I was ready, and I feel that I am.  I do believe that the universe has set this up for me, and that there is a reason why I am here doing what I am doing right now.  I just have to trust it and go with the flow, count my blessings and put out what I want in return.

My yoga teacher training may be ending soon, but I feel like its just the beginning...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yoga Unites For Living Beyond Breast Cancer

I am blogging to let you know that I am participating in a very important event on Sunday, May 16, 2010 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.(Since this event is right after my 2nd hip surgery, I will not be participating physically in the yoga class, but I will be there in spirit and support.)  This cause is truly important to me since I have personally witnessed many friends and family members who have been affected in one way or another by breast cancer. I'm the team captain for Team Yoga Schelter, and we are trying to set our goals high this year and raise $4,000.00 all together! I think it can happen. :)
Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer is an annual fundraising event that provides an opportunity to join the community in celebrating the lives of those who have had breast cancer and try an activity that promotes a sense of well-being and a healthy lifestyle. You can support me, our team, and Yoga Unites/LBBC by making a contribution today!

Click here to donate!

Pics from: YOGA UNITES for LBBC 2009

This is a beautiful event--class led by founder of Yoga Unites, 
Please consider participating or donating.
Thank you, & much gratitude!

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. 

Monday, April 5, 2010


I've been juicing quite a bit since I've been in recovery from hip surgery #1.  I'm attempting to flush out all the toxins that are in my body from the anesthesia and medications.  It just feels good to drink fresh, organic juice that you make on your own, knowing that there are no added sugars or preservatives.

A lovely friend of mine that I met while doing a vinyasa yoga teacher training workshop in Puerto Rico, Mary McGuire*, recently wrote a book called  The 7 Day Total Cleanse.  It is absolutely perfect for anyone considering a cleanse for health, weight loss, or just ridding themselves of the everyday toxins that we all encounter.  The book has a holistic approach, which incorporates yoga, meditation, juicing, and even daily beauty regimens (Mary calls them indulgences--and ooh, they are!), with an addition of creative inspiration exercises.  You don't have to be a skilled yogini to do this cleanse--she explains everything to you.  I haven't done the full cleanse and won't until after my second surgery, but I'm so excited to do it full-out!  

I've been tinkering with some of the recipes in the book, and here I tried some of the "yellow" and "green" juices.  The juices are cleverly categorized and coordinated with each of your body's chakras.  Yellow juices in the book are representative of the third chakra (located in your solar plexus) and Green is focused on your fourth chakra (your heart chakra), and so on...  If you are not familiar with the body's chakra system, Mary does a fine job explaining it to you simply.  

You could also go to
 I feel this website has some helpful explanations.

Each juice has qualities that help to open up that chakra.  Its pretty profound, yet very simple to follow.  You should give it a try. Maybe we can do it together once I get out of the hospital.  I know my guinea pig, Allan, is game.  ;)

All organic, pineapple (rind intact), green apple, lemon, celery, ginger and cilantro

by Mary McGuire-Wien

This one was sooo good! Pineapple, celery, cucumber, lemon, and yes, jalapeño!

The jalapeño in this juice adds the perfect little kick.  Its actually very refreshing!  I use my Breville juicer which to me, is the best.  It really could juice a baseball, I think.  I juiced the pineapple rinds (scrubbed well, of course) and everything!  Its well worth the investment if you think you might like to make your own fresh juice.  

I've been juicing kale, apples, carrots, ginger, oranges, pears, herbs, well...almost anything I get my hands on, really.  Its a great way to clean out the fridge!  :)
It is yummy-goodness, I swear!!! 

(Who knows some of you may be lucky enough to actually look cute in a pair of Juicy sweats after drinking enough of these! ha!!!--I think those things are horrible!)

**Mary also is the owner of American Yogini, and a beautiful eco-retreat "hohm" located on the East End of Long Island, near the Hamptons. Check out her website--its incredible! (Definitely on my bucket list!)  

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Just in case anyone out there was wondering...I haven't been blogging in a while because my computer was "out of order".  I had to get a new internal and external hard-drive and blah, blah, blah...(All I have to say is, God bless the people at the Apple Genius Bar). Anyways, I'm just happy that I didn't lose any of my photos or music.  My babies. :) 
 I did lose some contacts, but these days, with Facebook around, I don't think that will be too hard to retrieve. 

Enough about that.  I've been doing really well since the surgery.  I am no longer using two crutches, and only using one when I know I will be walking around more than 100 yards or so.   I seem to have it down around my home and down the hallways in my apartment building.  I skim the perimeter of the building or rooms like an uncoordinated child ice-skating for the first time.  It's pretty funny.  One hand on the wall at all times.  I just never know when my leg will give out.  I feel stronger every day.  

Actually, today, the husby and I went for a bike ride.  Weird, I can totally bike, but walking seems to be a problem.  I biked 11.4 miles!  I thought that was pretty amazing--considering.  It was just way too beautiful outside, and I wanted to keep going.  
We had a couple of breaks here and there.  Pit stops for water ice (I had cherry and Allan had watermelon), and lots of photo taking of all of the beautiful Spring colors outside.  Today was a sunny day in the low 70's, and the yellow daffodils were standing tall everywhere and pink and white cherry blossom trees were canopying picnic-goers all up and down Kelly Drive.  It was just gorgeous!  Ahh, I love Spring...ahh-choo! 

What a romantical day...

Love that Philly skyline!

Boat House Row

Mr. Goose (I'm guessing its a male???)

Now, I am just awaiting my May 4th surgery date (for surgery #2).  Yes, and my 7 year wedding anniversary (May 6th) will be spent at the hospital...ooh, lucky us!  We will be staying in the penthouse suite at the Johns Hopkin's Inn.  At least there is a gift shop where Allan can get me flowers!  HA!  I just had a visual of rose petals splayed all about on my hospital!  Hmm...maybe some champagne in my I.V.?  

Happy Spring and Happy Easter, everyone! xo

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's hard out here for a gimp.

Me, post-op.  So it's an awful picture, but you get the point.
 (photo skills by Allan) 

My surgery was Tuesday, and unfortunately it didn't go as planned.   Allan patiently waited for me in the waiting room, and at about hour 3, Dr. Valaik came out to speak to him.  He let Allan know that he had been spending the whole time trying to get a piece of hardware out of my hip that had been there since my last hip operation (from when I was 3 yrs old!).  So much bone had grown over and around it, that it was almost impossible to get out.  The Dr. had to use some kind of diamond head tool to basically chisel the plate out of my bone.  Ew. Terrible, I know.

The doc said that it would be wise to wait for the actual hip replacement surgery for two reasons:

1. So my bones could mend from the holes and chisels that were taken from my bone. (This still gives me the eebie jeebies.)

2. There were tiny bits of metal remnants that are still left in my leg (apparently, he got out as much as he could) that could interfere with the new materials that he would be putting into my hip. Therefore, resulting in a hip replacement that would wear out much more quickly and only last half of the time that it is supposed to.

Dr. V said that 6-8 weeks would be in ideal time for me to come back for the surgery and get the new hip.  Poor Allan, he had to tell me all of this just after I got out of surgery.  Good thing I was still extremely doped up, because I don't think I actually "got it".  I still don't really.  I mean, I understand why and all, I just wish it could have been done and over with.  The more I ponder on it, the more it bums me out.  So, I am trying my best not to linger on it and move on.  This is something that is out of my hands.  I know that this is all happening for a reason, I'm learning a valuable lesson from it, and blah, blah,'s just hard.
I need to stay postitive and think of it as phase 1 of a 2 step process...yeah, that's it. (sigh)

Practicing walking with crutches the day after surgery! 
(Note the fancy socks)

This leads me to where I am now.  Home. Recovering. Rehab.  I'm actually very glad I am home.  No more nurses jabbing me with needles and making me their living, breathing pin-cushion (getting the IV in my vein took 3 tries, ending in a blood bath on the floor that was wiped-up nervously with white towels making me extremely teary-eyed right before they wheeled my into my operation. yeah, no bueno.), AND no more tubes and catheters making me feel all sorts of uncomfortable.

Anyways, I hobble around the house on my crutches, taking tours of the rooms in circles, and I am already learning how to do lots of things by myself. I have a cool claw-like device that helps me pick things up on the floor--I've been having tons of fun with that.  But you know, they need to invent something that picks up your claw from the floor when you drop that too!  That's a dilemma. Hee, hee...
I also have this other stick/lasso device that helps to lift my leg up onto the couch or bed without having to have another person physically lift it themself.  Thats helpful.  Damn, I'm such a granny!

Allan has been an amaaaazing murse (man-nurse).  He has been changing my dressings and bandages, helping me put on my TEDS (these awful thick ugly white stockings that I have to wear so that my legs dont get blood clots).  He's been making my meals, letting the dogs out, and making sure I have plenty of things to read and movies to watch.  I don't know what I am going to do when he goes back to work on Monday!  I am so grateful for having such a great husband.  Honey, I am not saying this because of the oxycodone, I swear.  xo

All in all, I like to think I am in good spirits.  I'm determined to get around on these gimp-sticks, and my physical therapist is coming again on Monday to help me with new exercises to practice at home.  I may not be able to physically practice yoga like I used to, but I can still do as much as I can seated, just to stay sane.  I think this will be a good time to practice yoga "off the mat".   I will still practice my pranayama (breathing) and meditation, read lots of yoga texts that I never had the time to get to, and do whatever minimal movements that I can do with my limited mobility.

I can do this.  I will do this.

 Thank you everyone for the well wishes and love.  You have no idea how nice it is to read facebook messages, emails, and texts from all the people you love, knowing that they are all behind you 100%.  I thank my lucky stars everyday that universe has blessed me with such awesomeness.

Love & Namasté.