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