Friday, November 20, 2009

water or coke?

just HAD to repost this one!! water or coke? hmmmm shouldn't be a tough choice

Monday, November 9, 2009

my 80/20 theory

80% healthy choice and 20% indulgence, because life's too short to live it unhealthfully and too short to live without the guilty pleasures. i will elaborate more in a little bit, but for now, let's think about 80/20.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

getting needled

i totally get acupuncture (yes, i mean literally and figuratively!). i'm a firm believer in what chinese medicine calls "chi". chi, in its simplest meaning, is the energy that our bodies transmit/possess as living organisms. its that immeasurable influence that is analogous to what is considered the "virtual domain" where deepak chopra refers to as "the level of the spirit that connects, orchestrates and synchronizes everything". the easiest way to understand this concept, in my opinion, is to think about identical twins. how is it that you hear endless stories of when twins, who live thousands of miles apart from the other, still can feel each other when one is hurting, sick, happy or going through something? not that i'm here to make a case for quantum phyics, but i figure for the skeptics, this is always a good example.

i found dr. rena zhai from a referral, and i would recommend that you find your healers in the same way. i'm so lucky that i did find her because she is a true healer. she is thoughtful, inquisitive and knows her stuff. she will recommend a treatment program according to your need, not according to how often she can bill your insurance company - which, unfortunately so many health practitioners do - both western and eastern alike. i go to her for almost any concern, this last session was because i came down with a terrible cold bug and i wanted to knock it out. i also had some major neck tension from stress and being in bed too much. you can get needled for many things, muscular issues or internal issues. you can even just get it if you're feeling low on energy or just super stressed out. i like the idea of going once a month to getting a body "tune up" - much like what happens when you get your car tuned up, get things tightened up, loosened up and encouraging all the systems in your body to work as efficiently as possible. the thing about dr. zhai is that she asks for your medical records, like your blood work and is really great about combining western medical practicalities with eastern modalities. this type of care is the best that anyone in modern day los angeles can ask for.

some people tell me that they have had bad experiences or never really felt anything. i'm here to tell you folks that you have to be very discriminating when it comes to choosing your healers and in my opinion, especially when it comes to this incredibly complex yet simple and delicate healing modality. think about it, someone is manipulating the energy in your body by accurate placements of needles! i don't know about you, but i'm terribly picky about massage therapists as well, someone who is a novice can easily aggravate a tense area if they dont know what their doing. well, apply the same rules to acupuncture, and then multiply by 1000. just like with anything regarding your health, you have to be very careful and smart about who you chose to treat you, okay?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

why i need yoga

i've heard its been a rough week. i, myself, can say that it's been rough. between really stinky egos, the santa anas and some topsy turvy timing, wednesday can feel like hell. they call it humpday for a reason. for us weekend warriors, it symbolizes the climax of the week, where you're supposed to both deliver and plan. it's when you've reached a certain height to your efforts and your thoughts are starting to include what you want to do when you rest or play. this feeling can be isolating and uncomfortable.

wednesday night yoga with joseph van arsdale is my medicine. it helps me let go of the anger, hurt or sadness that can permeate my spirit. i helps me work out all of those bad feelings and thoughts as i focus on how my body feels, how it moves, where it aches or where it is tense. as i hold my iyengar poses, i pinpoint my weaknesses and work to strengthen them. i feel where i am clutching or gripping and imagine the area lengthening and receiving its much needed oxygen as i breathe.

sometimes i dont have the energy to go, because i know that i'll be putting in more work, but yoga has never let me down. ever. i have always felt better afterward. so i go. sometimes i curse my teacher out because it can hurt; sometimes he makes me laugh and i feel like slacking. but no matter what, i end up putting in the work anyway, stretching, breathing and twisting. i imagine the length of my spine as i forget everything else. i stay in the moment because there's a lot to think about when you're trying to gain control of your body! the meditation that comes from holding still can be so rewarding.

yoga, too, gives me a sense of accomplishment. but this time, it's not so much of a conquering feeling, but a surrendering. during savanasa all you do is lay there, like a corpse (which is what the word means). laying still after challenging movement your body, mind and spirit have a chance to reconcile with each other. it's where you're not quite asleep, yet not quite awake - its state of transcendental bliss. this is why yogis practice. because this bliss feels right. it feels like everything is where its supposed to be, like you are where you're supposed to be - not thinking about what happened a couple hours ago or where you need to be. its comforting to know that you can be still, just for these few moments, and the greater world surrounding you continues as it does, and you're still part of it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

why we need cardio

so this past weekend saw the next cooking class fundraiser that i put together for the charity where i currently work. this time, the class was led by the incredible chef antonio mure of ado ristorante in venice, ca. for this lesson, chef toni was accompanied by food historian/author linda civitello - who, as a graduate from vassar and u.c.l.a. (as well as a slew of other speciality schools in europe) enriched our guests with a ton of fun and interesting food facts.

i love watching great teachers teach, and you could tell that chef toni was a great teacher who cooked with alot of heart. he was animated and charming, but also was humble - it was fun to see how he and linda worked out their disagreement of where pasta came from though! he asserted it came from china, whereas she asserted it came from italy. the truth is, is that the idea of the pasta noodles certainly came from china, whereas the flour used to make traditional pasta came from in this sense, both were right...

the class was taught demo style and all of the guests enjoyed the three course meal at the end of class. the menu featured a butternut squash soup starter, filet mignon with risotto and barolo truffle sauce entree and crema di vanilla dessert. needless to say, i broke my nutrition guidelines by enjoying alot of sugar, butter and meat- but heck, i worked hard and deserve to enjoy the perks of this job!

at the end of the day, over $1500 was raised for the culinary training program and we made an impression on more new people. chef toni and linda both enjoyed their audience, the ctp students got a very rare chance to work alongside a very well-established chef and i had a chance to make people look good and do good for a cause. now bring on the crema di vanilla!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

spinning sugar

every tuesday morning i spin now. i never thought i would want to get up as early as 5:45a to spin. but here i am! doing it! i dropped off for a while, but i'm pleased to say that my new favorite spin teacher, ronit koren, has filled a void that was once occupied by spinning great stacey griffith at equinox. stacey had a number of followers, i being one of them, who would religiously spin with her three times a week at noon. however, she has left us to create a new life elsewhere and for a while i was floating around "spinless" in westwood, getting fat and eating too many cupcakes. i had the yoga practice down, but i was struggling with my cardio.

but this class has become a treat that i now look forward to it every week! music is a huge part of the ride, for me, at least, so it took a while to find a great teacher who had just the right energy. a teacher that i love, andrea lawent, is too far away for me in hollywood.

ronit warms you up quickly out of your sleep, motivates you to maintain a high energy level and paces you out for the best challenge. you watch her move and want to move with the same amount of strength and ease. her music is driving, fun and heavy on bass. prime spots fill up fast! thank goodness for equinox's online bike booking, or else i'd have to get to class an hour before to sign up (which i NEVER would want to do that early on a weekday). thanks ronit!