Monday, June 11, 2012

Easy Tikka Masala

I love Indian food. Well, I love all food. But I've always been a bit intimidated about trying to replicate some of my favorite Indian dishes at home. Enter Trader Joe's Masala Simmer Sauce. This served as the main ingredient for a super fast and easy weeknight meal. Throw the sauce in a pan, add diced raw chicken, potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, zucchini, and whatever else you like in your Tikka Masala, and let it simmer to perfection! I threw in a lot of fresh garlic, paprika, and cayenne since I like spicy, but the sauce was pretty good without any help too. Serve over basmati rice and enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Juice Cleanse

Have you tried a juice cleanse? I just completed my second 3 day juice cleanse of 2012 and it went really well! It wasn't about trying to lose weight or anything, but moreso to give my digestive system a break and detach from my (constant) thoughts of food/eating/cooking/grocery shopping. My first time I tried the Kaeng Raeng cleanse, and this last time I tried the Pressed Juicery cleanse. While I appreciated that the Kaeng Raeng cleanse was cost effective, vegan, and they outline that you can enjoy unlimited raw fruits and veggies while detoxing, I had a better experience with the Pressed Juicery cleanse. The Pressed 3 day detox is more expensive than Kaeng Raeng's, but I happen to LOVE their juices, and since they are made with a hydraulic press, the vitamins and minerals from the produce are transferred right from the pulp to the bottle.

Pre-cleanse I was feeling regularly bloated, a little low on energy, and I was dealing with breakouts here and there. While cleansing, I naturally experienced some cravings, but I reminded myself that this one only 3 days of my life and I would survive. Day 1 was hard (more mentally than physically), but during days 2 and 3 I wasn't experiencing hunger pains, my yoga classes felt amazing as my senses were heightened and I became more aware of the movement in my body, I was getting amazing sleep, and feeling like a had a lot of increased creative energy. To be quite honest- I wanted to keep going for 5 days, but at about $50/day I decided it was best to stop at 3. Post cleanse I felt light, my stomach was flat, I wasn't in any rush to eat my favorite comfort foods, and  my skin was glowing. I will definitely be doing another cleanse before the end of the year. Have you tried a cleanse? Would you? Share your thoughts! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Avocado Hair Mask

It's safe to say that here in California we are spoiled with the abundance of delicious avocados we have available Spring through Fall. I have a bag full of this wonderful little fruit ripening on my counter as we speak, so I decided to get creative with an easy moisturizing hair mask. My hair gets especially dry during the summer months when you add the sun, chlorine, and salt water to my poor color treated and regularly heat treated hair. The 3 simple ingredients are essentially just a mix of good fats. Mash them all together and apply to your hair to soak in for 30-60 minutes. After rinsing the result is soft, shiny, and moisturized hair. Give it a shot with these common kitchen staples:
  • 1/2-1 avocado ( I used a whole one since my hair is pretty long)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I'm going to try coconut oil next time)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Overnight Oats

As much as I love my eggs for breakfast, I decided to switch it up this week and try these overnight oats. I thought this recipe sounded great for summer since you eat the resulting 'breakfast porridge' chilled, and right up my alley with super healthy ingredients like old fashioned oats, greek yogurt, chia seeds, soy milk, and fruit. I loved that I could just throw everything together at night and then have a really tasty, balanced breakfast ready for me in the morning. I've already tried the blueberry maple and apple cinnamon variations, and next I'll probably get creative with dried cranberries and walnuts. I think this is a great option for breakfast on the go or even for a Sunday brunch. The image below is the recipe doubled in 1 larger jar since I didn't have smaller jars. I imagine this would work fine in tupperware or pyrex containers as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Checklist

With one of my favorite seasons kicking off this weekend, I thought it would be a perfect time to compile a summer to-do list. Here are some of the activities I can't wait to dive into in the coming months.
  • Road trip through Big Sur with my sister
  • Try out all the awesome Yoga studios in my backyard in Santa Monica (Bhakti Yoga Shala, Bryan Kest's Power Yoga, The Yoga Collective, Hot 8, and Yogis Anonymous to name a few)
  • See a spooky movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Ok so I got a head start and actually accomplished this one this past weekend. It was awesome! Silence of the Lambs at a creepy cemetery with a picnic and wine?!? I'll be going back again before summers end)
  • Frequent the farmers market and cook with seasonal produce
  • Go beach camping (and try surfing or stand-up paddle boarding)
  • Hike. A lot
  • Wine tasting in Malibu
  • Visit my friends in San Diego for a weekend
  • Host a Sunday Brunch complete with Mimosas
  • Check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market
  • Go to concerts in the park at one of  these awesome venues
  • Visit MOCA, the Getty, LACMA, and the Griffith Observatory
  • Expand my herb garden to include some veggies and fruit

images via

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

I've made quinoa a couple times in the past and was never really crazy about it, but I wanted to give it another shot since it gets so much attention for its health benefits. Quinoa is a gluten free grain (technically a seed but we cook it and eat it as we would a grain) and it is a complete protein. It doesn't have much flavor so it can be easily sweetened up for breakfast porridges or desserts, or turned into a savory side dish or salad. I decided to make a batch by cooking the quinoa in a can of vegetable soup instead of water. Instant pilaf and awesome flavor! Naturally I added a ton of spinach, English peas (since they are in season and so tasty right now), chopped green onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. I had it first for breakfast with a fried egg on top, and later as a side dish with some crumbled feta and ground turkey. I'm officially converted and I plan to keep this healthy alternative to rice in my pantry moving forward. (Thinking I'll probably give this variation a go next week) See below for my recipe, but don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with veggies and herbs that you like!

Quinoa Pilaf
  • 1 14.5 oz can of vegetable soup
  • A little less than 1 cup of dry, rinsed quinoa
    • (the ratio to cook should be 2 parts liquid/1 part grain)
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper or any other herbs you like to taste

Bring soup and quinoa to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes covered. Add in peas, spinach, and green onion or any other veggies you want in the last 3-5 minutes to steam and add flavor. Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012


I've been thoroughly enjoying making playlists for my yoga classes. Some days it's actually hard to tell which I'm more excited about; sharing a carefully crafted sequence with my students, or revealing a purposefully designed playlist full of songs that speak to me, and will hopefully be well received by my fellow yogis. Either way, here's a glimpse of part of one of my playlists on Spotify. If you are a fitness instructor, or even just an enthusiastic playlister, I'd love to know some of your favorite songs that speak to you on a fitness level!