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Low Carb Enchiladas, let’s get this!

Well Cinco De Mayo is tomorrow and if you’re no virgin to this holiday than you know that you do not want to leave your house for some celebratory food. Every restaurant serving up Tacos, Nachos and Margaritas is going to be a mad house and full of a lot of people that you have probably tried to avoid the past 364 days of the year so why run into every single one of them today. So to have an amazing meal at the comfort of your own home with the friends you choose to invite here’s a recipe to make the day complete!

What you’ll Need to get this party started:

6 Peppers (I bought 2 Yellow, 2 Green and 2 Red)

1 container of Mushrooms (I bought local and organic from Whole Foods)

1 can of Refried Beans

1 can of Black Beans

1 jar of Enchilada Sauce

1 Package of shredded Cheddar Cheese

3 TBSP Sunflower Oil

 

Let’s Crank out this Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by making the filling, add the refried beans, black beans, oil and mushrooms into the blender. Pulse until it is a thick, dull, black mixture.

Now lets’ begin slicing each pepper by standing it up on its bottom. Slice into four pieces, one time on each side of the stem. This will result in you getting 4 pieces from the pepper. Repeat this to all 6 peppers. Once the peppers are sliced, lay down the first layer in the pan. From the Beans and Mushrooms, take a scoop and place on top of each pepper.

Cover entire layer in enchilada sauce and than cheddar cheese. Now create a second layer, place the bean mixture on top, sauce and finally all the cheese you want.


Slide the pan into the oven and let cook for 25 minutes or until you are satisfied with the gooeyness of the cheddar.


Let’s serve this deliciousness up!

Carrot Chili Coconut Soup+ Carrot Top Pesto Drizzle

This soup is bonkers good! The flavor that is packed into one bowl is insane and a mouthgasm just waiting to happen. It’s sweet, Spicy and spiced, all making the perfect combination for your taste buds.

What you’ll need:

1 Whole Bundle of Carrots with carrot tops

3 Cups Sunflower Oil

5 Cloves Garlic

3 TBSP Pepper

2 TBSP Salt

2 TBSP Chili Paste

2 Cans Light Coconut Cream

2 Cups Vegetable Stock

2 TBSP Grated Ginger

2 TBSP Grated Turmeric

Let’s get Cooking:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Than cut off Carrot Tops, and place beheaded Carrots on a baking sheet, douse in Sunflower Oil and pop into oven to roast until soft, usually 20 minutes. While Carrots Roast, Begin to pick greens off of the carrot tops. Place bounty of greens into blender. Add 2 Cups Sunflower Oil, 3 TBSP Pepper, 2 TBSP Salt, 5 Cloves Garlic. Pulse Blender until we have a nice thick green mess. Transfer Carrot Top Pesto into separate container and rinse out blender. At this time the carrots should be done roasting and be nice and soft. Place Carrots into Blender, but worry about bending them just get them in there. Add top layer from two cans of Light Coconut Cream. Next pour in two cups of vegetable stock. Get out the Chili Paste and add two big spoonfuls to the blender, aka two tablespoons.


Get out your Ginger and Turmeric Root and grate 2 tablespoons of each into blender as well. Turn blender on and let go for a few minutes so the carrots get truly mutilated and everything blends together perfectly.

When finished, Pour desired amount onto stovetop pan and heat, place into bowl. Heat desired amount of pesto into Stovetop pan, heat and drizzle on top of soup. Dig in!

Asparagus, Ricotta & Pesto Flatbread

I recently went home with my boyfriend to his mom’s house in New Jersey and she was very impressed with my cooking. She was also very happy to know I was cooking for Matt regularly so that he could move off his traditional diet of Ramen, Canned Soup and Pasta. I’m talking it was really bad, as someone who loves food and at the same time is slightly specific about the quality of food I will eat, I was definitely not impressed when I opened up his cabinets and even slightly worried. We’ve finally gotten to the point of there being no more soup, no more ramen and we’re even on the last of the cheap peanut butter (there was 4 jars of it when I moved in!) So Naturally Marcia and I bonded over how terrible Matt’s eating habits were.

I found out Marcia is a big fan of Readers Digest and so she decided to share some of her favorite saved recipes. She showed me a picture of an Asparagus Pizza, and though I didn’t read over the ingredients I was inspired and whipped up this Asparagus, Ricotta & Pesto Flatbread the night we got home.

What You’ll Need:

1 Roll of Phyllo Dough

1 Bunch of Asparagus

1.5 Cups Ricotta

3 TBSP Sunflower Oil

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Carrot Tops from whole Bundle of Carrots

5 Cloves Garlic

3 TBSP Salt

4 TBSP Pepper

2 Cups Sunflower Oil

 

First let’s prepare the Pesto:

This is a Carrot Top Pesto, Which first off means expect a carrot recipe soon and second means you need a bundle of Carrots. If you don’t like carrots or feel like buying Carrots replace Carrot Tops with Basil. I myself Cut off the Tops of the carrots and picked off the greens, one by one, which can be tedious work. Once you have a whole heaping of your base (carrot top or basil) throw it all into the blender. Add 2 Cups of Sunflower Oil, 4 TBSP Pepper, 3 TBSP Salt, and 5 cloves of Garlic! Blender until a thick Green mess.

 

Let’s Move on to the whole Pizza:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and roll out Phyllo Dough onto baking sheet, I used a dough which was 5 sheets thick, as phyllo is very tempermental and fragile. Feel free to brush with a little bit of water if you are afraid of it falling apart in your hands. You won’t need Oil as the first ingredient you will be placing onto the dough is the way Pesto which is filled with oil. Spread Pesto all over as much or as sparingly as you like. Next Top off with splotches of Ricotta Cheese, a teaspoon here a teaspoon there kind of thing. Now get your asaparagus and chop off the rough and thick bottoms, which no one likes to chew on. Once the ends are removed place Asparagus onto Pizza, I suggest pressing it into the Ricotta so it is as if it is stamped in place. Now Drizzle Sunflower Oil over the Asparagus so they cook fully as the pizza cooks entirely at the same time. Lastly let’s  Sprinkle this thing with some Parmesean cheese.


Place in Oven and let cook for 15 minutes or until phyllo edges brown to your liking.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

I constantly crave cheese! And I’d be a liar if I said I Didn’t eat it ever as I am vegetarian, but I have come to really love a lot of the alternative options I have created. Many people think I am a vegan as I so far have only posted vegan recipes, and do eat mostly vegan but I choose to eat dairy from time to time with my boyfriend, like a random Friday night to get Pizza or Quesadillas. I only cook vegan at home though and not like to matters but would say I eat a vegetarian diet only about 15% of the time and vegan the rest.

Anyway…. Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy delicious sauce:

1 Cup Nutritional Yeast

4 TBSP Earth Balance Butter

1/2 Cup Sunflower Oil

2 Cups Almond milk (Unflavored)

2 Cloves Garlic

S+P for Tasting

Time to Prepare:

Heat Stove top to Low Medium Heat. First heat Sunflower Oil, trying to avoid it coming to a boil or splatter. Than add butter, let it fully melt. Next add in the almond milk and let mixture start to thicken. Add Nutritional Yeast and start to feel a slight heaviness, a creaminess coming to the sauce. Last add any spices you’d like for flavoring. I add some chopped garlic Cloves, and just a little salt and some extra pepper.

 

Perfect to serve over Pasta, Zoodles, Pizza 🙂

International Women’s Day Spoken Word

Today is International Women’s’ Day, a fact I am sure has gone unnoticed due o social Media and the news. Today has been a day not just about strikes ans marches but powerful feminine in general. This day is about being reminded that women as a whole, everyone is strong, talented and capable.

Though I could not participate in any Women’s Day activities today I felt inspired enough to create some spoken word. I have never shared my voice, my creative words before but today seemed like a day to be heard.

Remember that to some you will always be too loud or too soft spoken, too soft or too hard, too much or not enough. Those are not your people.

Journey to Handstand

Handstand is something I’ve wanted for a while, but yet I haven’t put too much focused practice into it. In the past I’d try to throw myself up into one, from time to time and would wonder why I would never see improvement. After hanging out with some fellow yogis the other week, and seeing them throw themselves into inversions with such ease I knew I needed to find a regiment for myself to start drilling. The only way to find improvement in a focused pose is to work on it exclusively. I take plenty of yoga classes a week and teach them, but my home practice was lacking, that stops now. A week into my journey to handstand, I had a student and friend ask me about techniques to work on achieving this same goal, so this post is for Buck.

Exercise 1, Journey to Handstand, Navasana Roll Ups

Navasana Roll Ups are an underutilized and many times overlooked exercise. This Exercise starts with you rolling yourself back into plow pose, halasana, and then using momentum to roll yourself up to navasana, boat pose. This type of momentum could easily have you rolling all the way up to seated or falling on your face so the trick is to be able to stop yourself balancing on your tailbone. The control it takes to stop the body in this position rather then to keep going forward is the same kind of control that is needed in achieving handstand. In handstand you can easily throw yourself up into the pose and use too much momentum and fall over. A lot of control is needed to be able to jump up, stack the joints and hold the body here rather than topple over. Practice Navasana Roll Ups and begin to feel comfortable being able to halt the body just like you’ll discover in Handstand.

Exercise 2, Journey to Handstand, Lotus Lifts

Lotus Lifts are a great exercise to find the activation we want through our pelvic floor and through our core when working towards handstand. By keeping the arms right by our side we can also work on finding the stacking of the shoulders, elbows and wrists. This exercise helps us  work on the type of strength we want in our shoulders and helps us begin to work on the activation you need through the hands, pressing into the heels and gripping through the first finger pads.

To find this pose, either bring the legs into Lotus or you can also cross the ankles for Sukhasana, easy pose. Once you have the leg placement that works, place your hands right by your sides, stacking the joints. Take a big inhale and as you exhale press into you hands and lifts your bum off the ground. Take at least one full round of breathe and then bring the body down. Repeat as many as you can do.

Exercise 3, Journey to Handstand, Seated Wide Angle Lifts

Seated Wide Angle Lifts is just another way of working on the same focus’ as Lotus Lifts. Once you feel you master the Lotus Lifts try to challenge yourself and try these Seated Wide Angle Lifts. The hands are different as one hand is forward and one is behind you, but the press through the heels of the hands and through the fingers tips is the same. This is also a great exercise to working on your breathing. Being inverted is a wild and fun feeling but once you stop breathing the pose is over an you’ll most likely need to come out of it as soon as possible. Once you feel your bum and heels lifts off the ground, work on taking as many breathes as you can before you release your body all the way back down to the mat. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can.

Exercise 4, Journey to Handstand, Egg Shaped Crunches

The Egg shape is the first shape we want to achieve in free-standing handstand. Before letting the legs rise up we want to work on first finding stability in the egg shape, the same shape we work on when first exploring headstand.

To do the Egg Shape Crunch, start lying on your back with your feet on the ground (like bridge pose) and have your hands cradling the back of your head. Inhale lift your feet up off the ground and bring the knees toward your chest aka The Egg Shape. Exhale, lift your head and shoulders up off the ground and Inhale, lift your tailbone off the ground, crunching deeper into The Egg Shape really engaging your core. Core engagement is key to finding handstand so let’s start here.

Exercise 5, Journey to Handstand, Handstand Pops

This exercise is meant to create an understanding of how much strength goes into pressing through the hands and shoulders, and engaging the core to lift the feet ever so slightly off the ground.

To get into this exercise, start in downward facing dog and than walk the feet in towards the hands until the shoulders, elbows and wrists are as stacked as the body allows. Take a big inhale and with trying to keep the legs straight, exhale and press the ground away, lift all the way through the shoulders, engage your core and just let your feet ever-so slightly rise up off the mat.

Exercise 6, Journey to Handstand, Headstand Lifts

Working towards handstand is a whole lot of core work. Achieving Headstand lifts teaches us just how much ab work goes into finding handstand and achieving control to hold this peak pose.

Headstand Lifts start with you coming into tripod headstand. There are now three different options on what kind of lifts we will do. I have shown these from the hardest (Pike), to the Intermediate option (Straddle) to the easiest level (egg shape). I like the idea of pushing myself to achieve the hardest option, so maybe I only do one Pike, and than 2 Straddles and than 3 egg shapes. Train your body with these lifts to find balance and strength.

Exercise 7, Journey to Handstand, Egg Shape Jump Ups

It’s finally time to take everything we’ve worked on and start putting towards the actual handstand.

Come into Downward facing dog and walk the feet in a few steps. Really press into the heels of the hands and the finger tips, know your grip. Inhale bend your knees so your hips come back towards the heels of your feet, Exhale use your core, your shoulders and momentum to lift your hips up over your shoulders, try your best to achieve The Egg Shape.

There is a ton of exercises one can practice to work towards handstand, but these are some of my current favorites. Know that I am in this journey with you and we are all in this together. Enjoy this routine and feel free to ask any questions.

Namaste Friends!

Triceps and Biceps routine

Well it seems I hurt my neck last week while practicing the Star Pose in Acroyoga. When I came to the gym on Monday to lift and went to do my usual routine, I right away was feeling a strain in my neck and shoulder. I had to try out a few things and see what body parts I could work without creating a sensation and after some trial and error I decided to focus on my Biceps and Triceps.

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Routine:

1st Exercise: One Arm Curl and Extend Back (10x, per arm)

2nd Exercise: Bent Over Curl and Extend Back (With arms reaching down and elbows in at the side, take a curl with both arms. Rotate arms so Wrists is pointing back, and extend arms back and pull triceps together) 10x

3rd Exercise: Anvil Curl+ Pull Back (One arm holds a weight and lifts weight towards shoulder and than drops it down towards the thigh. The other arm pulls the weight toward the shoulder and than pulls it down and back to engage the tricep) Switch arms and perform 10x, each side

4th Exercise: Lying Tricep Lift (Place the weights down behind your head with the elbos pointing up, lift up above head and repeat) 10x

5th Exercise: Tricep Shoulder Tap (Lift arms up and than drop weight down to opposite shoulder, continue repeating from one arm to the next) 10x