Yoga Reaches Out: An OMazing Event

A balanced well-being & proper self-care is something that I preach about daily. Whether in my own daily life, my freelance writing or my yoga teachings, it is something I take great pride in. So, when I was approached about spreading the love about Yoga Reaches Out, I jumped at the chance for sure. Not only does it encompass my favorite workout of all time YOGA, but the money raised goes to organizations that impact the health, education, and well-being of children and their families. Through acts of selfless service (seva) those attending, sponsoring and donating to Yoga Reaches Out CAN make a difference!


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The YRO New England Yogathon  is taking place on April 30th 2017 at Gillette Stadium’s Empower Field House from 9am-5pm. For the seventh consecutive year, the Yoga Reaches Out Yogathon will bring together yoga practitioners, marketplace vendors, sponsors, and volunteers from across New England to enjoy a day of yoga, community, FUNdraising, and empowerment. The proceeds will benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital wellness center, which is basically a place where the parents and family of those being cared for can take care of themselves through yoga, meditation, reiki and more! How OMazing is that?

There is a total of 4 – 4 1/2 hours of yoga throughout the day and the Yogathon is open to participants of all levels, ages 14 and over. Between the sessions, you may experience live music or performing arts demonstrations, hear from the organizations who benefit from Yogathon, walk through the Marketplace for yoga and wellness related goodies to sample and purchase, have lunch with friends, or enter a raffle for some amazing prizes. You can attend the entire day or a portion of the day.

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If this sounds like a splendid way to spend your Sunday, then I urge you to consider attending. Registration is OPEN for this event and you can join as an individual or set up a team for a fantastic day with friends! If you can not make it to the event, please consider donating if you can. If you wish to donate, you can do so here.  Whether you donate, sponsor or register for the event, you can feel grand knowing that all monies raised will be utilized in a way that benefits all. Your selfless act can help put a much deserved smile on someone’s face.

Will I see you there?

Namaste~
Joy

 

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LuLaRoe: A simply comfortable review *and giveaway

Do you have a LuLaRoe unicorn that you’ve been dying to get your hands on, only to have someone snag it first? Have you fallen in love with the Carly, Joy or Mimi yet? If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you must be living under a rock. Kidding, well not really! Maybe you don’t have a piece to call your own yet, but you NEED to get on that! I am here to give you an honest review!  I’m plus size and proud and these clothes make me feel GORGEOUS! And unique!  Good thing prints with LuLaRoe are as unique as they come and are only available in limited quantities!

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Tamara Glennon, an Independent Fashion Consultant for LuLaRoe and friend reached out to me to try two new pieces (new to me) from her collection. She provided me with the elusive ANA & the ever so popular Irma! I already had some pieces but was thrilled to add more to my closet! What started as an invite to a party on Facebook, ended with her becoming a consultant a few months later! She wanted something that would work for a mother’s schedule and the fit couldn’t be more perfect.  I asked her to answer some questions because I am fascinated by this company and the women (and men) who choose to be a part of it. Maybe it will help you understand that this company is more about selling clothes.

What is your favorite piece? That is tough because we all love the leggings. But I would have to say the Julia dress or the Amelia. Both dresses can be worn a multitude of ways, and when you put them on you instantly look put together with little to no effort.

What do you love most about the company or product? This is truly a company that loves their consultants. It is like a great big family. The owner is so humble and kind and you truly get the feeling that she has put 110% of herself into each and everyone of our successes.

What do you offer for your customers? I offer it all!  We can easily do in home parties (you bring all your friends and shop), online hostess parties, album sales, Facebook Live sales, periscope sales, vendor events and even fundraisers! Yes, LuLaRoe will match fundraiser amounts! Amazing!

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I’m a little bit feminine, a bit edgy but always stay true to my boho-chic vibe. My body type is what some would call strange. Tall, but large hips with a small waist with an even bigger bust. And my shoulders, let me just say BROAD CITY!  I am not symmetrical in anyway. The amazing thing with this company is, I can wear all their clothes, in ALL different sizes and yet they look like they were tailor made for ME! They really take fashion to a whole new level when it comes to comfort! Comfort is key for me when purchasing anything!

The sizes I am wearing are labeled in each photo! And my two other dresses (Amelia & Nicole/not shown) are are an XL.  Everything fits a bit differently and that is GOOD! It means you have more options and styles to choose from! I could fit into a size XL in the Ana. But, the 3XL fell differently on me. It flows better on me. But, when I want a more fitted style, I can search out patterns in the XL! See, the possibilities are endless! My one word of advice is, get to a party! Try on as many styles and sizes as you can! Even if you don’t like the prints. Knowing what fits and how it hugs you will help you in the long run! Plus, it will make shopping easier!

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I want you to feel as confident in yourself as you possibly can! These clothes bring so much happiness to my wardrobe and Tamara wants you to feel that way as well! That’s why she is offering a lucky winner a $60 Gift Certificate to shop with her! How amazing and generous is that? The gift certificate can be used on her Facebook albums, in-home sales or live sales!

Namaste~ Joy
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Pedal For A Purpose

Want to pedal for a purpose? Well, then join me at the 2nd annual Body Armour Spin-a-thon Fundraiser this Sunday October 30th! For those who might not know, my niece was tragically killed in as car accident as a passenger one night 5 years ago. It is something that we as a family will never forget. Each year, the Elanna Zuller Memorial Sports Fund hosts fundraisers and events to raise money for local kids, sports organizations, scholarships and more. Body Armour is graciously hosting their spin-a-thon again this year in honor of Elanna Zuller!

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There’s no better way to show you care than donating to a good cause and burning some calories while you’re at it!  A Spin-a-Thon is just like a walk-a-thon, except that participants cycle on stationary bikes rather than walking.  Cyclists gather and members trade off cycling time to raise money through sponsors and donations. One hour is all it takes to help make a significant positive impact in the life of a local family. Your participation in this event will help support those in need in our community; all proceeds raised will benefit the Elanna Zuller Memorial Sports Fund, and your $10 registration gets you a Tshirt and a bike.  Bikes are still available for timeslots! $10 holds you a bike and you raise whatever denomination you wish!

Some Fundraiser Day Activities: 

8am Spin (instructor Rosemary)
8:15-8:45am The Art of Yoga with Joy (kids yoga and art project)
8:30 Pumpkin decorating goes all day long!
9 am Spin ( Instructors Amal & Jenna)
9:30-Noon Face Painting begins with Hazey Daze Creations 
10 am Spin (Instructors Jess & Tara)
10:30-11am The Art of Yoga with Joy (kids yoga and art project)
10:30-noon Complimentary lunch provided by Jersey Mikes
11 am Spin (Instructor Pete)

There will be snacks and drinks served all day. Raffles to win. Items to purchase. Boot camp demos. Fun to be had! The event itself is FREE. However, $10 registers you for a bike to take a spin class! Don’t want to spin? No worries. Come join in on the fun and support by trying to win some of the great raffles we had donated graciously by local companies and friends! Perhaps purchase some merchandise or just donate directly to the Elanna Zuller Memorial Fund.

I would love to have you pedal for a purpose with me!
Namaste~
Joy

 

A Busy Moms Guide To Staying Active

If you know me, you know I adore fitness. Not for vanity reasons. I am what society likes to call “plus-size”, so I think the vanity portion is lost on me! I adore fitness because of how it makes me feel. I feel strong. It clears my racing, anxious thoughts right away. It sends a dose of happiness right to my brain. I am over 1 year free of my anxiety medication because I turn to fitness. Plus, it is fun. Yes, fitness can be fun. It can social. It can be life-changing. It can be what gets you through the day. It can be whatever your heart desires. But, only if you commit yourself.

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No, you do not need to go all in. You don’t need to start running 5 miles per day and spending hours at the gym. You can start small. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Chances are if you run into something without taking the time to properly see what works for you, you might end up jumping ship real fast. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. I want you to succeed. Whatever your definition of success is. Everyone’s success is measured differently. Just as everyone needs to find what works for them!

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I recently wrote an article for Rhode Island Health & Fitness entitled, A Busy Moms Guide to Staying Active. I talked about some of the ways we as moms, or any individual can fit more activity into their lives. We are a nation that is constantly living in the fast lane. Self-care can’t happen if you don’t slow down and make the time!  Check it out here, and perhaps there are some tips you could take into your lives today and become happier & healthier!

Namaste~
Joy

Comfort Food Gone Clean: Chop Suey

Comfort food. I know there has to be more people out there like me that crave it after a bad day! Or how about just any day for that matter? Comfort food is, well comforting. It does something to our insides. That is GOOD & BAD. It tastes delicious and can actually make us feel better when we treat ourselves to our favorite food. However, chances are the food in question is full of fat, sodium and carbs and really has no nutritious value to it. Fear not, I am determined to makeover some of the most well-loved comfort food dishes out there! Comfort Food Gone Clean. I will turn them into delicious, lean & nutritionally valued meals for all to enjoy! First up- Joys Chop Suey.

Chop suey is usually filled with sodium and carbs, and really no amount of veggies that go into it matter much. Other than the protein of choice, chop suey is not something you want to consume on a weekly basis. I, however have come up with a dish that you can eat daily (if you wish) and is PACKED with nutrition. Not only is it delicious, it is so easy to make! I challenge you to try the recipe and let me know your thoughts! Remember, it will never taste “exactly the same” as traditional chop suey, but it comes pretty darn close and definitely will satisfy your craving!

Ingredients:
99% lean ground turkey (or chicken)
1 large organic yellow pepper
1  organic Vidalia onion
1 package of organic mushrooms
1 cup of Butternut squash noodles (I bought them already made at Whole Foods)
1 15oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
Spices to taste preference:
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
4 long stems of basil (diced)

Recipe:
Dice up the pepper, onion, mushrooms and saute in oil of your choice. When that combination is almost done cooking, add the butternut squash noodles to the same skillet. Once the noodles have cooked (about 5-7 minutes), remove the veggies from the skillet. Add a small bit of oil back to the pan and place the ground turkey in. Top with all the seasonings (minus the basil) and cook until browned. Once the turkey is cooked, add the can of tomatoes and bring to a slight boil. Push the turkey mixture to the sides of the skillet, creating a empty circle in the middle of the pan. Add the veggies back to the skillet and reheat for a few minutes. Once you feel the veggies have reheated enough, mix all the ingredients together. Portion out 4 servings and top with fresh basil.

Comfort Food Gone Clean

Super easy, one pan and so good! I don’t know what else to say other than you have go to try this! Be creative with it. Add different chopped veggies, your favorite seasonings etc. Maybe try it with zucchini noodles as well? This was packed full of protein and fiber and ZERO carbs! It was so satisfying, it is on the menu weekly from now on. Try it and let me know what you think! For those friends who are following the 21 day fix meal plan, you’re in luck! It is 21 day fix approved! It’s time to make mealtime delicious & nutritious!

Namaste~
joy

 

Fun Foodie Friday: Shakeology Mug Cake

We all have seen mug cakes right? A few ingredients mixed together in a mug and pop into the micro and out comes a cake! About a few months back on one particular day,  I found myself looking at the clock and realizing how late it was. My first thought was; I still have so much to do before I can go to bed. My second thought was that I didn’t drink my Shakeology yet!  I was in the mood for something sweet. So, I decided to make a  Shakeology Mug Cake! My friends all rave about them, so I decided it was time I tried it for myself.

Shakeology Cake

It was so easy. And so delicious. Did I mention it was so easy? Even if you don’t drink Shakeology, any protein powder will do. You can satisfy your sweet tooth all while watching your weight, adding protein to your diet and doing so in under 2 minutes! Everyone has time for that!

Shakeology Mug Cake Recipe:
Serving: 1 serving, 1 1/2 Red containers (21 day fix equivalent)

1 scoop of Shakeology/protein powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of Himalayan salt (my preference, but any salt will do)
3 Tbsp. of water
1 egg

Optional Toppings *
Fruit, nut butters, honey, seeds, coconut flakes, whipped cream…

Directions:
In mug, mix together the Shakeology/protein powder with the baking powder and salt. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add in the egg and water. Mix until most of the clumps are gone. Place in your microwave for no more than 90 seconds. If this is your first time making this, microwave for 60-70 seconds first. Some microwaves are a tad stronger. Mine usually cooks perfectly in 80 seconds! I like my interior to be a little gooey. It reminds me of a molten lava cake!  Remove from the mug and add your toppings! ENJOY!

What’s your favorite mug cake recipe? What toppings do you like? I would love to hear your take on this (healthy) dessert!

Namaste~
Joy

J.O.Y.S Yoga Workshop

A few months ago, I was tasked with writing a piece on kids mental health for the Rhode Island Health & fitness magazine.  For years, I have been practicing yoga, coloring and mediation for stress management. Throughout that time, I started sharing my experience with my son. Not only was my stress a little less “stressful” to manage, but so was my sons. Kids are not impervious to stress. So, my article began to write itself in my mind and it turned into a cover story and one I am so proud of. You can read my full article here: Helping Kids Stress Less and Live More. 

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When I started combining yoga, coloring and visualization into my son’s routine (weekly) I started to see a difference. Even for myself, the change was almost instant. After a quick yoga session or 15 minutes of coloring I instantly felt alive, awakened and an overwhelming sense of calm. This was the type of euphoria I was longing for as I sufferer of anxiety and depression most of my life. Yoga, coloring and meditation are just 3 more tools in the toolbox for coping with stress.

When I was editing my article, I realized that this would make a great program in schools. And then as quickly as the thought popped into my head, it went away. I never thought I would have the courage to branch out that way. About a month after I finished writing and sent the article to the editor, it was published. I received such great feedback.  I truly believe the more tools we have at a younger age for combating stress, the easier it gets to recognize our bodies responses and what we can do to help ourselves.

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Since the response was so great, I decided to take a leap of faith and present it to my son’s school. I grabbed the thought from the back of mind and  J.O.Y.S Yoga Workshop (Journal Out Your Stress) was formed. And let me tell you it has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. It has helped me overcome some of my own anxieties’ and fears. The kids (all 15 of them) are so unique and so enthusiastic. We have one session left and they are already asking to sign up for more. Bless their hearts.

I spent 2 1/2 months planning the curriculum. Every session has a different theme and I make sure all activities follow suit, which was only capable by doing the research and putting the time in.

Beginning: Basic stretches and welcomes
Topic: Sleep and Relaxation:  How do you feel when you can’t sleep? What do you do? Breathe? Visualize things? Stretch? We discuss our feelings as a group.
Yoga Postures: Go over 6 poses that help calm and are proven to help you sleep better. Invite a child up to teach with me.
Journal Prompt: C.A.L.M picture with the 1.2.3 breathe exercise
GAME: Walking MeditationA simple way for kids to really be present and feel what it is like to be calm, hear calm, think calming thoughts…
Ending: Sun salutation; reduces the feeling of restlessness and anxiety. Hand out sun salutation paper in class to practice at home. 

Of course, the children are the reason I am doing this, so I listen to the cues they give me. I might spend more time on something and skip something all together. I have made slight adjustments here and there. The kids asked for more journaling right from the beginning so I added an extra journal prompt. I am thankful for this opportunity to share my experience with them. I am grateful for their open minds and willingness to share their own feelings with me. I look forward to our final session and can’t wait to share a full report of the program when it is all said and done.

The light within me honors the light within you!

Namaste