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Friday, August 31, 2012

MBSY Yogi Newsletter: September Edition

I am super excited to announce that the September Edition of our Newsletter is out and ready for you all to read!!  Want to check it out? Just click here!  It includes upcoming events for the month. A review of what went on in the previous month. A few articles and more! If you have any ideas of what we could include in the next issue, please let us know!

Want to subscribe? You can do so by hitting-up our Facebook page.  Want in on a little secret about our Facebook page? Once we get 100 'Likes' we are going to have a SUPER AWESOME giveaway! So you TOTALLY don't want to miss out! So, 'Like' us and tell your friends!

We hope you enjoy the newsletter!


Foodie PenPal: Let the Awesomeness Begin

So I was surfing the blog web one day and I cam across something that made me stop. I mean REALLY stop. It was a blogger who had the ingenious idea of connect other bloggers and blog readers through food. Yup, you read that right, through food!! Naturally I was like "Sign Me Up!!!" so that is exactly what I did.

My only concern was that I might end up being paired with someone who is not as conscious about what food goes into their mouth.  Well, I need not have worried. I was blessed to have been paired with Julie from ROJ Running. She asked me if I had any food preferences or allergies. I responded and this is what I got in return...

Seriously guys, how awesome is she? Not only was everything a healthy snack, they all tasted AMAZING!!! I mean, can you SEE the super cute mug she sent me??? So, let me give you the low-down of everything, going from left-to-right:

 Almondina® (The Original Almond Biscuit): these things were crunchy, sweet but not too sweet and were a great way to satiate my sweet tooth without me going overboard. All in all, I'm going to go buy these to restock our bellies :)

Setton Farms® Mixed Veggie Chips: I'm not sure HOW she knew I loved salty snacks, and how I avoid buying potato chips since I have a problem to eat just one. But somehow she must have, and in turn introduced me to these babies. Let me just say that I almost ate the whole tub in one sitting... almost.

The Ginger People® Ginger Chews: These are the ONE snack I have not tried yet. I used to love ginger, I mean LOVE. And I still do love fresh/pickled. But when I was pregnant with my little man I had such bad nausea I tried everything under the son to stop it, and candied ginger was one of them. So, every time I look at the box that feeling resurfaces and I continue to walk past it.  I will try it one day though. I promise!

World Market® 100% All Fruit Bars: Julie sent me Strawberry, Apricot, Blueberry and Apple. I would love to tell you which one was my favorite, but I honestly CAN NOT decide. Nom nom nom.. so good!

Summersaults Snack Co.® Cinnamon Crunch: Talk about yummy in my tummy.These little things are like little mini-crunch cookies. The sunflower seeds give it an amazing taste and texture. My little man even loved them. He sat down beside me after I opened them and just ate through the bag one by one, until I realized how much he had eaten and I had to put it away for another day. Yeah, he wasn't too happy about that.

Wild Garden® Traditional Hummus Dip: Ok so at this point I'm starting to wonder if Julie can read my mind. She sent me hummus. HUMMUS!! Y'all, I can not begin to tell you how much I L.O.V.E. hummus. Throughout college it was my dinner at least 3 times a week. Seriously. I can easily finish a freshly made container in one sitting. I could tell you numerous stories about my love-affair with hummus, but I won't. What I will say is, knowing that I have an emergency stash in my purse makes my life complete.  Julie, you're an Angel and my new best friend :)

All in all, I kinda wish I had Julie EVERY month. She was super awesome! To top it off, her blog is so inspirational. It makes me feel like I can go run a marathon (I ran my first 10K this past Spring which was a HUGE accomplishment for me. So a marathon is NOT in my near future. I just feel like I could run one.)

Now, I bet YOU want in!! No problem, check below for details!!

The Lean Green Bean

Here are the Foodie Penpals details:
  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
  • If you’re new and interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
  • You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th! You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours if you sign up. IF YOU DON’T GET ONE, send an email to Lindsay at!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good place...

I am in such a good place right now.  I finished up another training last weekend. I met some wonderful people in Houston's Yoga community and got to catch up with some old yoga friends. I got to spend a week with my family while they were in town for Eid. I watched as Little Man played with his cousins, crashing toy cars, impromptu dance sessions and his favorite, chasing his older boy cousin around screaming like little boys do. It was pure bliss.

So often we have moments where we feel like everything is right in the world. Then we turn on the TV and hear about countries in political turmoil, States evacuating to avoid Storms, crazy gunmen shooting aimlessly and you suddenly feel guilty for having just been so happy. But I am here to tell you, DON'T.

Although we may not understand how the world works and why sometimes we are blessed with evil and sometimes we are blessed with good, we can not discredit what the evil teaches us. If we did not experience the evil, how would any of us understand the good that is all around us? It is important to appreciate where we are when we are in it. There is a balance to everything. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend it, but that is why it is important to always strive for more knowledge. Always keep learning. I do not mean always read text books, although I do not discredit it.  I mean, when you meet a new person, try to learn about them and how they became who they are.  When you eat a new dish, try to understand the different flavors that were combined to make that one perfect bite (or if it wsn't your flavor, try to pinpoint what flavor exactly you are not digging). When you hear a new song, try to figure out what the artist was intending when he/she was creating.

Whatever it is you learn, you will find in time that you will start to enjoy the little every day tasks so much more because you have realized what is has taught you and what it can teach you. Even something as simple as washing dishes can go from a chore to a fun game of order and efficiency. With time you will begin to find your good place and the good that can come out of anything that you once thought was negative.

The dangerous yet beautiful rocks of the Pacific Ocean |  Cabo, Mexico

I know that some of you may not agree with me and that is good. The fact that we can peacefully disagree is part of all the beauty around us.  Although I may not always have been this way, I now like to live my life looking to the future reciting... There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just might have to work harder to find it...


Monday, August 27, 2012

Shameless Plug!

Hello loves!

So today's post will just be me shamelessly plugging my FB page. In an attempt to get the word out about Mind, Body, & Soul Yoga, once our FB page gets to 100 "LIKES' we will host a giveaway. So, check out our FB page, 'Like' it and share it with your friends! We are lining up some great prizes, so you really don't want to miss out!

[Click here to go to FB page!]


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Candida what? It sounds like a Harry Potter character...

So this post is going to be a bit more serious, long and personal, but hopefully it will help others out...

It all began in high school with horrible cramps and irregular cycles. I always had irregular hormones, but I started to feel different, less like "myself". Through the years I just assumed it was typical "growing" pains, as in growing up.  Your body changes so why would I expect it to "feel" the same.  But as I got older and things never changed, I started going to the doctor, trying to find out why I just did not feel "right".  I was getting nauseous A LOT.  I was starting to get brain fog and was having a harder time with school (which began a slow decline in self-esteem...). I was always feeling tired (but I figured I was doing too much). My stomach was in a consistent cramp. And to top it all off, I was SOOOO irritable. I was told from test after test after test that I was fine. Such a small powerful word that you would normally expect to be received happily, but really just made me feel like I was a hypochondriac.

Then, one fateful day in October, while getting ready for school, I crumbled into a ball in the shower unable to move because of the pain.  Now, usually I had felt similar pain during my cycle, but NEVER this bad and for this long.  Nothing I did alleviated it. It was just there and it was HORRIBLE. I finally mustered enough energy to wrap myself in a towel and go get my mom who was in her room and ask her to drive me to the ER. I was completely FREAKED OUT.

It turned out that I had 2 cysts rupture, which is what caused the pain. I was given a few prescriptions and sent on my way with some recommendations to see a few doctors. I made the appointments so the doctors could assess how I was doing. I was doing fine, but I was told that I may have fertility issues. I was devastated to say the least. I was sitting here planning my wedding and now I had to tell my future husband that we may not be able to have kids. We were bombarded with a whole new world. Hormones. In vitro. Surrogates. Adoption. It was overwhelming to say the least.  So we talked about it and made peace that whatever God willed was what was best for us.

About a year later I was at a client's site, working away, a happy newlywed when I started to feel nauseous. I figured I must have eaten something, so I did not give it much thought. But during my drive home from work it just kept getting worse.  And worse. AND WORSE. I changed into yoga pants and a t-shirt in hopes that an increased comfort level would decrease the pain. But it kept on getting worse, and I started to have HORRIBLE pains like I did when my cysts ruptured. I called my sister and asked her to take me to the ER (hubsman was still at work). She rushed over and drove me there.  As we waited I started to feel a bit better but I couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right.  After various tests, I was deemed fine and was told it was nothing. However, the OB who read my file asked to see me again for a follow-up.  I went to the follow-up and was greeted by a doctor who took the time to really see what I was feeling. He sat there and listened to everything I had to say with follow-up questions.  SUCH different bedside manners from the other OBs I had seen.  He told me that what I had been feeling all this time, through all these years seemed to point towards a thing called endometriosis.  Unfortunately, the only way to truly tell besides ruling out other things that it might be, was to have invasive surgery which would undoubtedly leave a scar.

So, after much ruling out I was left at a cross-roads, assume it is Endometriosis and go on hormones to treat it or go through with the surgery (which my doctor really did not want to perform) and get a definitive answer. Only having these two options seemed silly to me. Why is it that in modern medicine we are always told either surgery or drugs? I am a strong believer that God has given us most of our medicine in the form of food and by having the ability to listen and feel what our body is telling us.  So, I decided to try a holistic approach, because really what did I have to lose?

I contacted a friend of mine who was a Holistic Nutritionist and we set up an appointment. We began my testing and found out that my ENTIRE system was weakened. So, we put me on a balancing regimen and set-up a follow-up appointment. At my follow-up appointment I had come far enough along to be able to test for specific sensitivities. I head mentioned my concern with Endometriosis, so we decided to test for that. What we found out was that my candida albicans was off the charts. I mean WAY off the charts.  So, I was put on a strict diet for a month along with supplements to help balance me out. And let me tell you... it was life changing.


 I began to feel like me again. The foggy brain began to disappear. I started to lose the weight I had gained, and in addition, all the fluid I had been retaining from an overstressed immune system  was gone. I no longer felt "squishy". If ever there was a moment in real life where clouds part, the sun starts to shine and a harp starts to play, this was it for me. Once I got the candida albicans under-wraps, I no longer suffered from the symptoms of Endometriosis. In fact, I had my OB/GYN do a blood screening for my hormones and to determine where I was fr having kids, and everything came out fine. In fact, it came out more than fine. It came our EXCELLENT.  I had never had a blood test for hormones come out any better than borderline normal.  So you can imagine the elation.

Want to know the best part?  Less than a year after starting holistic treatment for candida albicans, I became pregnant with my beautiful little man. Yup, I was able to conceive just fine.

So, what was the purpose of this post?  It was to shed some light on a topic that I knew little about when I began my journey.  I had no idea what candida albicans was. I had no clue what Endometriosis was. So, I especially had no clue of their correlation. I am consistently amazed at how "Eastern" and "Western" medicine can so seamlessly work with each other when given the chance. I just wish that Houston had more people out there who performed Meridian Stress Assessments (the friend I went to has since closed shop). So sadly, I am unable to give a recommendation. I am on the hunt at the moment and fingers crossed I may be on a lead... I'll be sure to let you know if something materializes.

In the meantime, I have come across some websites that I plan on using to help me perform my own cleanse as I feel that I am coming down with all the same symptoms again (minus the weight gain). Of course, do not do anything without consulting your doctor. I am not trained in this field, everything I am writing here is based upon my own experiences and research:

I would love to know your thoughts on the matter or if you too have had experience with candida albicans. Or even if you know of a holistic professional who performs MSA. I would love to be steered in the right direction! Feeling like "yourself" is the best feeling in the world.  Everyone should have a chance to feel it...

PhotobucketI have come

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oooh la la! We wrote a guest post!

Short and sweet... well not really...

Today we wrote a guest post for the beautifully talented and adorable Jenna. She is currently in Paris prancing around the Champs-Elysee while eating fresh macarons and sipping cafe au lait (or at least that is how I imagine her). Although she absolutely loves her readers, she wanted to be able to immerse herself in her much anticipated trip and decided to have some guest bloggers. Today I was lucky enough to be one of those ladies.

Paleo Gluten-free Salmon Croquettes
[Salmon Croquettes]

I chose to write about a paleo version of Salmon patties. Or, as they say in French, Salmon Croquettes. Why paleo you ask? For starters, Jenna is all about the Paleo. So, skip on down to her part of the inter-webs and check out my piece for a slightly healthier version of a classic.  Au revoir mes amis!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Liebster Award

So, we are super excited to announce that the totally AWESOME Bolu by Rima has nominated our little blog for a <<Liebster Award>>!!

We are so stoked to have even been on Rima's radar since she blogs all the way in the warmth of Sunny Southern California. If you haven't checked her out yet, you should zip on over there and send her some love because she is hi.lar.i.ous!  So, what is a Liebster Award you ask??

The Liebster is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers and it's meant to be a nice, welcoming way to get to know each other in this lovely little blogging community.

So here are the rules:
1. Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you plus you MUST create a set of 11 new questions for the people you will nominate.
3. Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
4. Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.
5. Absolutely No tag backs.
6. Remember to only tag bloggers with less than 200 followers.

11 Random Facts about me in 5..4..3..2..

  1. I am the youngest of 4 girls
  2. To this day I have no clue how to pronounce "rinse" and I am ALWAYS getting slack about it from hubsman and friends
  3. I have a Masters in Accounting and do not plan to go back and use it... 
  4. I do not regret my masters because it's helped me out alot with setting up Mind, Body, & Soul Yoga
  5.   Hubsman and I have been together for going on 10 years!! 
  6. I have a horrible fear of robbers (yes I still call them robbers...)
  7. I am a grandma driver
  8. But if a Hummer wasn't so inefficient and a huge carbon footprint I would drive one in a heartbeat (It climbs WALLS y'all... WALLS!!!!)
  9. Almost ANYTHING can make me cry
  10.  I have freakish strength
  11. I did a study abroad in Spain in college and would DIE to move back there... *sigh*

And now, here are Rima's questions and my answers... enjoy!

  1. If you can choose an animal to represent yourself, what would it be and why?  Man, she started this off with a tough one! I guess it would have to be a wild cat.. any kind. They are beautiful, majestic, strong and so intelligent!!
  2. Favorite Dish to Make? Share a recipe with me! I wanna try *wink wink* My newest favorite recipe is my Mint Cacao Lover Smoothie. It is SOOOO good and so good for you!!  That is such a rare combo!!
  3. Tell me a little about your town/city. Do you love living there or are you dying to move out of there?!  I absolutely L.O.V.E. Houston! It is such a diverse city, which is very important to me. My parents came from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and met here in Houston. If it weren't for this city, I would never have been born!!
  4. What is your ethnicity background? I LOVE to meet people with variable ethnic backgrounds. I think every ethnicity has their own awesomeness. This is a fun one :) My father is 100% Palestinian (he lived there until college) and my mother was born and raised in Peru (she moved away for college as well. See #3) but is of Spanish/Italian heritage.
  5. What are you obsessing right now? It could be weird. Weirder the better for me.  Honestly? With figuring out how to make super flavorful meals that are healthy for you. Especially ones that are a healthy version of a super not healthy favorite (i.e. my fudgy brownies... I'll be posting a recipe soon!)
  6. If timing was allowed, list 5 things you would save out of your house if there's a natural disaster. I am going to assume that my husband and son are ok, so after that it would be: Water, skin care, purse, clean underwear and toothpaste. Boring right?? lol! But I am a freak about all of the above!!! Plus I am assuming everything is getting destroyed so what would I need to survive... and yes moisturizer/SPF is necessary to survive!! At least for my survival :)
  7. Every girl loves to dream about that perfect proposal... How do you describe your perfect proposal? Or if you're married or engaged, who did the Mr. did it? Oh man this is a fun story... so we were going out to dinner for our anniversary but I had eaten a late lunch with my parents earlier and was really not hungry. So, all through dinner he was grumpy and I was feeling bad for ruining dinner.  After dinner he asked me what I wanted to do, and me, feeling guilty said whatever he wanted.  So we drove around for a bit and finally decided on checking out a local garden that was attached to a super nice restaurant because I had never been there and he said i just had to see it. So we went there and were walking around the gardens when he suddenly became obsessive with a group of people who were standing in the gazebo (this is really weird behavior for hubsman because he is sooooooo chill). I was getting tripped out by it and was starting to get irritated when they left and he quickly suggested we go check out the gazebo.  I was still in pleasing mode so I said sure. When we got there I sat down while he proceeded to kinda look around (again not in his nature, but somehow i still had no idea what was up). We were chatting about our week when he suddenly noticed a trinket and started talking about it.  "Hey! I wonder what that is! You should go take a look"
    "No, I'm fine"
    "Do you know what it is?"
    "No, but its not mine either so its fine."
    "But it looks cool, just go look at it."
    "Really, why are you being weird, its not ours so just leave it."
    "I just want to see what it is" *proceeds to go to the trinket which was a glass bottle with a paper inside.* Oh cool! Look at this! You should check it out"
    "Seriously! Just put it down, its not ours and we shouldn't be touching it."
    "Why don't you just take a look at it!"
    "UGH! Why? You are being so weird! Just leave it!"
    "Just look!"
    "Fine! But you have to put it away!!!" *I proceeded to take the paper away from his hand and began to read it.* I did not get past the word "Tania" when my eyes filled with tears and everything started spinning. I was sobbing uncontrollably to a smiling and unsure hubs-man who was at that point on one knee with the ring. I, of course, said a very teary-eyed "yes". Then I was prompted "Are you even going to look at the ring" to which point i laughed, said "Oh!" and looked at the beautiful ring he had apparently purchased for me from the first time we went ring shopping and I had fallen in love with it. My story always makes me laugh!
  8. What's the best thing since sliced bread? SMOOTHIES!!! the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!!
  9. What's one beauty item that you can not live without? Moisturizer without a doubt! See #6 :)
  10. Who's your favorite band/singer of all time? NO DOUBT!!! September 25th BABY!
  11. If you're only able to watch one movie for the rest of you life, what would it be? This is a tie between 13 Going on 30  and Disney's Cinderella :)  I have seen them both like a million times, although one lazy summer day I did watch Cinderella 5 times in a row...
Ok so now that I have answered those, it's time for my nominees and their 11 questions... 

The nominees are...

"Adventures of Josh & Britt"


"Taylor Brione: The Black Barbie"


"Country Roots City Living"

And now for my 11 questions!!

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging and keep on blogging?
  2. What is your dream job?
  3. What is your ultimate fitness goal?
  4. If you were told that you had to pick one exercise and you could only do that to stay fit for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite city in the world and why?
  6. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  7. What is your favorite health food snack option?
  8. If you were told you were only able to choose one cheat food for the rest of your life (the rest HAD to be healthy) what would you pick?
  9. Who do you admire most?
  10. What do you do to keep a balance in your life?
  11. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
One last thing, I wanted to also thank the ladies above that I have nominated.  If you did not have your blog and I hadn't found it and enjoyed it, I would still be looking for nominees.  And since now I get to go to sleep, you guys are even more awesome in my book!


Our new home

Did you guys notice anything different around here? 

You DID?!?! Doesn't it look awesome?? Hubs-man and I have been working HARD on trying to come up with a template that reflects Mind, Body, & Soul Yoga.  We wanted it to look calm, clean and reminisce the fun times to be had on the mat when you are in class with us.  Normally, changes can be a bit scary, but sometimes you have to embrace them.  You can be surprised how much you like the results!!  I think we did a pretty good job with this change!  What are your thoughts on it?? Do you normally embrace change or is it something that you veer away from?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thoughts of the day...

I've been finding it hard to balance sleep, housework and work work during this month. Fasting has really thrown me off my schedule. 

I keep telling myself as I get into bed 4 hours later than I planned, that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will just accept that I can't get everything done and that I need sleep more than I need an organized home. But tomorrow comes and goes and I find myself in the same dilemma. Up way too late stuck on something that could have been done in the morning.

I realize that its because I never truly believed I would sleep early the next day anyways. I was just hoping I wouldn't be up that late. I don't know why I lie to myself, pretending it will be different but I do know that I need to take control and make it stop. The reality is that not sleeping at a normal hour is bad for your biological clock and messes up your body's functionality in so many ways. I know this, but I still do it.

Hopefully now that I have admitted it, I will make a stronger effort to not do it anymore. We'll see :) feel free to berate me if u see anymore 3 AM posts! In the meantime, I would love to hear what things you do that you keep promising you will stop. Maybe telling me will help you on your way too...

Sleepless eyes + yawns,
<3 T

Friday, August 10, 2012

Desserts = LOVE

So, those of you who know me know that 9 times out of 10 I will always definitely order one of the healthier items off the menu. 

I try to live my life making as many healthy choices as I can on a regular basis.  This allows for me to enjoy myself at birthday/dinner parties where I have little control over what goes on to my plate.

That being said, 9 times out of 10 I will also ALWAYS order dessert, with some concern as to its calorie count. I have tried to make an effort on this because lets' face it... the dessert that hits my lips DEFINITELY finds its way to my hips!! So, when I find a dessert recipe that looks pretty easy and is a bit healthier than eating a cup of ice cream, I jump on it!

That's where the No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies join the scene.   I don't know how I found these, and I don't know why I decided I had to make them, but let me tell you I am so glad I did! These things are delicious!!! Mine did not turn out as pretty as the ones on Brown Eyed Baker but based on her description of how they tasted I am pretty sure they taste the same!! I'm not sure if using the Simply Jif had anything to do with with my weird texture on the "dough", but I'm bummed because I usually have freshly ground PB in the house.  When I was getting the ingredients together I found this tub that hubs-man had bought a few months back, I realized now was as good a time as any to try it since we didn't have the other one.  So, go ahead and try out these amazing cookies and tell me what you think! I'm thinking I will try to figure out a way to make them even healthier next time... what do you think?

High Fiber & chocolatey goodness,

<3 T


No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies  Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes

½ cup (1 stick) butter  
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats

Add the first four ingredients (through the cocoa powder) to a 4-quart saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.

Add in the oats.

Stir the oats until the oats are all properly coated with the chocolate mixture, making sure not to let the chocolate cool too much in the process or it wont set properly.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

Let cool until set.

(Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake as posted by Brown Eyed Baker)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

As Kermit says, "It's not easy being Green"

I am super excited about this post because of all the new amazing things I learned.

I was invited by Brenda Ruiz of Hello Houston! Media to attend an event at Ruggles Green- City Centre that would showcase what they were doing to help the environment and just why they have the "green" in Ruggles Green.

To start off the night was Lydia Smith, Ruggles' Green Liaison. She gave us a quick background about Ruggles and introduced to us Federico Marques, The Green Guy.  Now, Mr. Marques has one interesting background!!  With previous positions at Bayer and NAFTA, this patent carrying, invention toting "Green Guy" was just what the industry needed. His extensive background is what helped Houston Open up it's first Certified "Green" Restaurant, Ruggles Green, in 2008 at 2311 W. Alabama. Opening just a few years later, Ruggles Green- City Centre boasts the titles of "Greenest Restaurant in Texas" and "3rd Greenest Restaurant in the Nation".  But that's not all! Ruggles Green was not satisfied with being just "one of" the Green Restaurants.

So, through much work and determination, it led them to the current construction of Sugar Land's very own Ruggles Green, set to open late August, with a Grand Opening in September. So, what's so special about the Sugar Land location? I'm so glad you asked! It will be the greenest restaurant in the world. That's right, WORLD! How you ask? (Seriously loving these questions!) Well, a restaurant's "green" factor is based on a point system set-up by the Green Restaurant Association. The association takes into account several things:
  1. Water Efficiency
  2. Waste Reduction and Recycling
  3. Sustainable Furnishings and Building Materials
  4. Sustainable Food
  5. Energy
  6. Disposables
  7. Chemical and Pollution Reduction 
Each category is a way to earn points.  The more points you accumulate the higher the rating you will receive. Currently, Ruggles Green- City Centre has a 4-star rating.  However, the Sugar Land location is set to have a 5-star rating. Yup, FIVE star. Do you know how many other Green restaurants have a 5-star rating? No? That's probably because NO OTHER RESTAURANT has it!! Can you tell I am excited about it?? Some of the ways this will be accomplished is from having Energy efficient dish washers, rain water collectors to irrigate the herb gardens out on the patio, low-flow toilets, HE A/C units, and Federico's baby and research project, LED lights, which will be used to light the restaurant. This is just a taste of what great steps the Ruggles Green management is taking to ensure a pleasant experience with the smallest possible carbon footprint.

But that's still not all!!! Ruggles Green also boasts a very friendly menu, as in: gluten-free friendly, vegetarian friendly, and dairy-free friendly. Lydia ordered for us to try the High-Protein Hempenadas, Ruggles Green Margherita Pizza, Fresh Vegetable Pizza, House-made Organic Chickpea Hummus and finished off with the delicious Hemp Brownies (which sadly I did not get a picture of).

Ruggles Green Margherita Pizza

Fresh Vegetable Pizza

High-protein Hempenadas
House-made Organic Chick Pea Hummus with Plantains

Now tell me, aren't your tastebuds BEGGING for you to take them there for your next meal? If not, I don't think you looked closely enough at the pictures, take a look again, I will wait... doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo... Ok, hungry yet? Good. Since every item on the menu boasts natural ingredients (as in nitrate free, preservative ffree, antibiotic free and no HFC) I personally and happily go to Ruggles Green- City Centre at least 2 or 3 times a month, and considering my family only eats out about 5 times a month, those are some good odds! So, listen to those singing taste buds and head on over!!! You might just run into me at the City Centre location.  Afterall, I have been a regular since 2009 ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Can I have a hug with that?

I learned many, many things in yoga teacher training (YTT) and I like to think that all of it resonated with me and made me a better person, teacher, wife, mother, sister and friend.  I was truly blown away at how much I GREW (not physically sadly, I'm still a short 5'4").   I honestly was not expecting that much inner reflection to happen, but I am so glad it did. It helped me to realize how closed off I had been making myself and it also helped me to realize why.  But those stories are for a different time and day.  For now, I want to share how I learned to survive.

One day we were discussing how being a yoga teacher can sometimes mean that we will be confidants for our students.  How you react to this is very important. Sometimes the student may just need an open ear, and other times something as simple as a hug. One quote that our amazing YTT teacher read us really struck a cord...


“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
—Virginia Satir, family therapist

I realized at that moment that one of the reasons I had been having such a hard time dealing with my own emotions, my families emotions and my baby's emotions was that I was not putting enough weight on the importance of touch. It's something so simple. 

For example, when you first get married, you are so happy and excited and want to spend every second cuddled up on the couch next to that person snuggling.  Then as time goes on, you still feel the same way, but you allow yourself to make other things priorities. Suddenly the cuddling doesn't happen as often. You realize you aren't holding hands as much. Before you know it, you realize you have been living two parallel lives under one roof. And even though you sneak a quick hello kiss or goodnight kiss as you each tuck away in bed for the evening, the amount of actual physical contact you experience is minimal. This is why so many seemingly happy couples can end up in unhappy marriages

To take it to a personal level, giving yourself that mental hug of approval on a daily basis does wonders for the soul. Often we forget to show that love we have for others to ourselves from fear of becoming "vain" or "self centered" (but what good is taking care of someone else if you don't even take care of yourself?) 

Or even just hugging your parents or loved ones when saying hello instead of a quick peck on the cheek. Little personal interactions like this can be so powerful to not only your emotional health but your mental health as well. I like to imagine little protons and electrons transferring between our bodies, creating happy positive energy with each hug.

So, I propose that you go and write down how you feel, at this moment. Then for the rest of the week aim to get 12 hugs a day in and see how you feel at the end of each of those days. And I don't mean 12 "awkward I really don't want to be doing this" hugs. I mean 12 "if I don't do this I am going to be dead so I am holding on for dear life" hugs, even if its just for a second. Do this for a week writing down how you feel at the end of each day and let me know what you think... 

+s & -s,

<3 T

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hi Pillow, It's me, Tania. I miss you...

Dear Pillow,

Oh how I have missed thee!  These past few weeks I know I have been neglecting you, but I promise it won't always be this way. I am not avoiding you, I swear! Ramadan and trying to find ways to get the word out about Mind, Body, & Soul Yoga have led me to working late nights and early mornings rises. I promise once Ramadan is over I will begin to "sleep in". We will once again snuggle cozily listening to the faint hum of the baby monitor as Zaki snoozes away... until his 6AM wake ups of course.

Please do not take our time apart personally. My skin misses you MORE than you can ever imagine!! Its gone crazy, not knowing what to do with itself from lack of sleep. And oh what beautiful sleep!!! You always know JUST the right way to regenerate my skin and keep it dewy fresh.

Please pillow, just give me one more chance. The moon sighting is in just two weeks... I promise I'll be back then. I love your smooth Egyptian Cottony wonderfulness...

Until we meet again,

<3 T

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Arch Nemesis #1: The Cartwheel

Hi there. My name is Tania, I'm 29 and I can't do a cartwheel.

I know, I'm a yoga instructor who can't do a cartwheel, how lame is that? It's so embarassing to see 6 year olds running around watching someone else do it and on their FIRST TRY master it. FIRST TRY!!!

And here I am, 29 years old and the best i can do is a miniature donkey kick up into the air... at best. Hee. Haw. :(

Now, don't get me wrong, I have some killer core muscle. My core can defo hold me up. My arms are toned and can happily be in plank, down dog, etc for a while without serious dying (just a minor death, no biggie ;) ). But ask me to do a cartwheel and its like watching a one year old trying to walk for the first time. Sad thing is that it is like that EVERY time.

I've just come to accept it as a fact of my life. I'm 29 and I can't do a cartwheel. So what?! I will keep trying but I won't lose too much sleep over it. I will continue to rock my yoga workouts, and try and overcome the fear of falling.  Yes, the sole reason I am unable to do a cartwheel is because I instantly envision myself falling head first, breaking my neck and dying. And I bet you know why... "Stop doing that! You will break your neck child!" Yup, although she may not believe it, those warnings/threats have always stuck with me. You see mom, I WAS listening... and now I am 29 and cartwheel-less. 

However,  I will continue to try.  Asking people during teacher trainings or talking to friends when we are in a studio.  Just getting a practice in here and there, always determined that "today" maybe the day.  That's how I accomplished crow (also difficult do to the "breaking your neck syndrome") and maybe one day I will be able to say, "Hi. I my name is Tania. And even though I am 40, I can FINALLY do a cartwheel!"


Dreams & donkey kicks,

<3 T