ROCK YOUR INSPIRATION...HEALTHY HEDONISM IS THE NEW HEALTHY.
I'm sitting in Tuscany, Italy--a tiny, Medieval hill town called Montalcino, to be exact.
Every time I tell someone that I lead annual Wine & Yoga retreats here they look at me like I'm insane. What?? They say, either admiringly or totally confused, as if they cannot compute that one could pair the detoxifying practice of yoga with the admittedly retoxifying--yet-- what I consider to be a soul-and-tastebuds satisfying element of life: vino, aka: fermented grape juice.
Well, you can, and I do.
As an Italian-American woman, I was raised to not only respect, but revere the art and sensory delights inherent in simple, good food, well-produced wine and enlivening company. I think this pause, to balance work with living passionately and purely, is something we can so easily miss out on in our rush-till-we-drop lifestyles.
At the end of the day, are you going to remember a special evening spent with your friends and partners where you cooked together, laughed together and bonded more deeply? Or that time you worked an extra three hours on someone else's dream, or worried about the bills or obsessed about what your lover, or kids, or co-workers were doing?
For me, the polarity of all-or-nothing...only eating cardboard and taking your hemp shakes to yoga 7 days a week versus only eating fattening foods and not exercising...are over. Healthy, to me, no longer means cutting out what you enjoy in order to live longer. In fact, the populations with the greatest longevity, happiness and health in the world eat meat, cheese, and wine along with other fresh, unprocessed foods. They eat about 40% fat from animals, fish, olives, nuts, cheese and avocados.
I'm not saying you have to eat one thing or the other, but just to point out that as we evolve our ideas of what healthy is, we see it can actually be fun, delicious, and not just another way for hidden control issues to masquerade as a holier-than-thou diet and exercise program.
So let's lighten up, free ourselves of lifeless, boring health food and programs, and put the delight back into our diets, our working out, and our life's work. One way to do this immediately is to get more social with people you really enjoy being around.
CORE MISSION #1: SET A DATE FOR A FABULOUS DINNER PARTY, TODAY!
And here's a recipe from Giovanni, The Tuscan Chef, and our friend and chef on the Tuscany retreats, to get you started:
TUSCAN PASTA ALLA NORMA
thanks to Giovanni, the Tuscan Chef for this secret recipe!
I don't know who this 'Norma' is, but she's got a freakin' fantastico eggplant-tomato sauce named after her.
Ingredients: (buy according to how many people you're cooking for, but this recipe serves 2).
2 servings Italian pasta (preferably penne)
2 cloves garlic (or, if you're me, a thousand).
Liberal pour of olive oil (Italians never measure this).
1 small eggplant
3 ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup ricotta or other soft, creamy cheese
Parmesan cheese to taste
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Directions: While you boil some salted water in a pot big enough to cover your pasta:
Thinly slice the garlic. Sing "That's Amore" out loud. Just sayin'.
Put in a low-heat, olive-oiled wide pan and saute till browned, about 3-4 minutes.
Chop the eggplant into small-ish cubes and saute in the garlic pan.
Put the penne into the boiling water, with a little olive oil so it doesn't stick. Stir and watch it until it's done A LITTLE LESS COOKED than the way you like. Sorry to shout--but you must know this. Strain and dry the pasta with a paper towel.
Chop your tomatoes and put into a bowl. season and stir them with salt and olive oil. add tomatoes to cooking eggplants. Keep stirring occasionally until sauce is done to your liking.
Add penne to the sauce pan. Cook at high heat. Add some water if it's getting too dry, then add the soft cheese. Finally, sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Toss the whole thing for 1 minute, serve, and enjoy!
OMFG! I WROTE A BOOK! YOU CAN FINALLY GET IT FOR YOUR OWN.
My brand new book with Random House, The 21-Day Yoga Body: A Metabolic Makeover and Life-Styling Manual to Get You Fit, Fierce and Fabulous...in Just 3 Weeks, is now available for preorder. If you get the book now, you will also get a free download of my 14-Day Detox and Yoga Course too! The book itself will be out on November 5, but this is the only way to get my additional gift for free.
This book is the first to give you easy, and results-turboboosting daily yoga, whole food diet plan, inspirations, action adventures--and even cocktails! Yes, cocktails. This ain't your momma's yoga book.
Let's rock your body, mind and spirit--inside and out--to your next, best you ever....in less than a month! Yes, it's possible.
MY VIP FREE YOGA VIDEOS JUST A' FOR YOU.
I have two vids that only thee VIPs can see...
FIRST...WARM IT UP!
TUSCAN SUN DETOX FLOW...ALSO GREAT FOR HANGOVERS!
Yeeeeeahhhhhh. I might have had a bit too much Brunello wine the night before this vid. So when I woke up foggy and cranky, I knew I had to get to the mat. Or...the grass.
Here's a powerful way to change your body, work out, detox and refresh--all in just 35 minutes! And....hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
SEE IT HERE:
THEN COOL IT DOWN...
SEE IT NOW: http://youtu.be/uyalxyZ3Il0
Do you know that stretching your muscles after you've worked them can actually make you much stronger and leaner than if you don't? That's because your muscles shorten when you activate them in more challenging poses, and if they stay bunched up, they tend to build less new muscle fiber, and what does build will be moRe bulky, and can keep you restricted and tight.
When it comes to practicing yoga, most people do a good job of their strong poses. We all know what it feels like to work, and work up a sweat. However, the counterbalance, just like making sure you save ample time to be (stress free) with your friends, family and lovers, is to ensure that you always do a closing sequence that seals the yoga deal.
This means that when you've worked your body, your fascia, or interwebbing over every muscle, is now heated, and ready to stretch and cool down and reset into (hopefully) a new, more aligned shape. What happens all too often, is that students do a couple of stretches they like, then get up off their mat at home before the fascia has cooled.
This leads to re-setting the body into asymmetry again, something I call 'Emailasana', because if you jet from your cool-down, skip Savasana (Final Rest) or hold it for less than 5 minutes, and then go check your emails, you're going to mold into a shortened, seated position instead of a long, lean one.
But don't worry--you don't have to spend another 30 minutes doing stretches and rest. I've designed a quick, simple and super effective sequence you can do after any style yoga practice--or teach it in your classes if you're an instructor--that will ensure you have lengthened, and made your muscles available for even more strength building, even as your fascia cools down into awesome, optimal alignment.
I hope you enjoy! Namaste!
SALES AND EVENTS!
PS--make sure to check my SCHEDULE page for all my upcoming cool events--maybe near you!
And my YOGA page for the Evolution and Rockstar Teacher Trainings that are more than 50% off on SALE now. xo!