Breath, Body and Balance

food Archives

Get the Dairy Monkey off your Back

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Is Daiya the secret to get cheese lovers to make the switch to a vegan diet?

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Photo: Daiya Cheese

Besides the "where do you get your protein?" question, the one thing I hear most often as a vegan is "Oh, I could never go vegan because I love cheese too much."
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Can YogaEarth make you better at yoga?

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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When I first heard about YogaEarth, a new line of supplements created exclusively for yogis, I was skeptical. There are so many "health" products in the market that make false claims and use low-quality ingredients like cheap chemical fillers, that I've pretty much given up on supplements and instead eat for nutrition to stay healthy.

But YogaEarth was different. The products caught my eye when I found out that Elena Brower, the New York anusara yoga instructor known for taking no-BS in her classes and most recently, as the face of the Adidas Yatra yoga line, represented them. She wouldn't just take any old chemical-laden supps, would she?
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Eat This: Easy Chocolate Chia Superfood Pudding Recipe

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Many people assume that being a vegan means having a limited diet, but that's simply not the case. I'm never starving and I never feel left out at mealtime. If anything, my journey from vegetarian to vegan has greatly expanded my palate to include veggies, spices, legumes, fruits and exotic foods that I would've never touched if I still ate the way I did before I went meat-free (over 10 years ago!). 
One of the most wonderful things I've discovered is chia seeds. Yes, chia seeds are the same things used for Chia Pets and Chia Obama (remember that?), but these little seeds are packed with nutrition. You've probably heard the word 'superfoods' used loosely to describe foods such as walnuts, salmon, yogurt, avocados, etc. But true superfoods are plant-based foods that provide a combo of bio-available nutrition that the body can use instantly. Chia seeds are a perfect example of this.
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Fall in love with salads

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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I have a confession to make. I'm the first person to deny it when someone says that all vegans and raw foodists eat is boring salads, but truth be told, there really is nothing I enjoy more than an awesome salad (well, maybe a delicious smoothie). But, I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill dinner salad of tired mixed greens, a few carrot shavings and a slice of tomato. My kitchen is always stocked with organic dark leafy greens, sprouts, onions, beets, Fresno peppers, cucumbers, basil, avocados, saurkraut from RAW (because I'm too lazy to make my own), sesame seeds and hemp seeds (for protein), so I can make an amazing salad that I top with a salad dressing made of Udo's Oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and raw agave nectar (thanks to Lisa Persico for that recipe). I love a good salad and I can't wait until summer for the amazing array of fresh, local organic produce at Farmer's Markets around the city, especially now that I have a copy of Philip McCluskey's newest eBook, The Raw Food Salad Bar.
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ShamSub: Making a healthy version of the Shamrock Shake

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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*Update! You can watch us make the ShamWow Shake and see Kyra's reaction on her blog!*
I'm the first to admit that I'm a little out of touch with what most people eat. I'm vegan and I eat a high-raw diet and while many of my friends aren't as much of a food nerd as I am, almost all of them are health-conscious and wouldn't be caught dead in a fast food restaurant, so I was shocked to see the RedEye's Kyra Kyle's post on the McDonald's Shamrock Shake- and I was even more surprised by how many people actually enthusiastically commented on her blog about it. Kyra admitted to me that this is a once-a-year treat, and I get it; we all deserve to indulge a little bit. But I know Kyra's a hardworking, busy young woman and I feel that when you demand the best from your job and life, you should fuel your body accordingly. It is a temple, right?
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What to eat before and after yoga

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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I've got breakfast, lunch and dinner down, but when it comes to pre- and post-yoga snacks, I can't seem to get it right. Having worked from home for the better part of the past two years, it wasn't such an issue, but now that I'm often leaving an office and heading to the studio, I'm either starving or too full during practice, both of which can be extremely distracting and not ideal for optimal performance or calorie burning. 
So I asked my friend and holistic nutritionist Jessica Marie for some advice. Jessica, who became interested in health after struggling for years with disordered eating (which lead to digestive issues and depression), now helps Chicagoans make healthy, realistic changes for their lifestyle with her company CHEW Chicago. I thought Jessica would be perfect to talk to about this, because not only did she attend New York's popular Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she's also a super busy, professional young woman on the go, so I know she knows first hand what it's like to be going full-force on most days and the importance of eating properly to keep your body and mind energized. Here are her suggestions for what to eat before and after yoga and working out.
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Gearing up for Spring Cleaning

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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The Ejuva Cleanse kit.

I know it's hard to believe, but spring is technically only a few weeks away! 

I love spring because it's a chance to revamp your yoga practice or workout and do some serious internal spring cleaning. In its most simple form, a detox is an opportunity to give your body a break and clear out some of the old gunk, bad food and environmental stressors of the past few months. Spring is thought to be the best time to detox because it's the season for renewal. I've always been fascinated by detoxing because my health is important to me and I wasn't always so kind to my body in my youth. But while I was quick to try a detox, what I didn't know what that not all cleanses and detoxes are created equal and most importantly, detoxing didn't give you an excuse to go back and start eating like crap again.
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Super products to keep you supercharged

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Some of the healthy products I always keep in my kitchen.

When it comes to buying groceries, I'm a perimeter shopper. Most of my shopping is done on the outskirts of the store where the produce, grains and non-processed foods are normally kept. I'm weary of a lot of products on the market that claim to do this or that and I don't buy things with strange manmade ingredients I can't pronounce, so when I find a product that's natural, healthy and delicious, I just have to tell everyone about it. Here are a few of my absolute favorite products that keep me energized, healthy and thriving. 
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Yoga for Foodies? Whatever!

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Photo: PicApp

Last week, the New York Times reignited the yoga food debate with their article, "When Chocoloate and Chakras Collide," which talks about David Romanelli's, aka Yeah Dave's, latest Jam Session tour, Yoga for Foodies.


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Easy Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Thanksgiving menu ideas and recipes have been all over the place lately, but they don't get much easier than this raw vegan pumpkin pudding from Raw Creations.
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BluePrint Cleanse Hits Chicago

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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The thought of the holidays got you down? Feeling a little sluggish? Afraid you might overindulge with the holiday party season upon us?
Well, BluePrint Cleanse might be able to help with that.
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Thriving on a Vegan Diet, Pt. 3

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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As I mentioned in previous blogs, I'm doing the Thrive in 30 vegan diet challenge with a group of friends. They've all agreed to share info about their lifestyle, eating habits and experiences. This week's spotlight is on professional badass Heather Crosby.
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Thriving on a Vegan Diet, Pt. 2

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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Last week, I wrote about being vegan and why I decided to do the Thrive in 30 Challenge with a few friends. Now it's time to hear from them. First up is acupuncturist Lisa Reichert. I asked Lisa to participate because I knew she could provide a Traditional Chinese Medicine take on Brazier's The Thrive Diet.
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Thriving on a Vegan Diet

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

I love October. As the month comes to a close, I'm finally finding the structure and balance in my workout and diet that colder temps bring. 

I'm doing the lululemon and CorePower yoga challenge, taking fun classes at H.E.R.O. Fitness and trying new studios all around town. Needless to say, I'm a very active person and I need a lot of energy to keep going. Most people are surprised to find out I don't eat meat or drink caffeine, but to me it just makes sense. See I'm a really active person and I need a lot of energy, so I don't eat foods that will slow me down. 
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The CHEW Chicago Health & Wellness Tour

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

Walking shoes? Check. Fall fitness gear? Check. VIP access to Lincoln Park's best health and wellness establishments? Check.
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YogaChips

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

When I first spotted tweets about YogaChips, I couldn't help but roll my eyes? YogaChips? I can't find one thing about hydrogenated oil, grease and low-quality salt that says "yoga." But YogaChips aren't chips at all, they're actually baked-then-popped certified organic Fuji apples, flavored with cinnamon, caramel, peach and strawberry.

A small bag (1 apple) kept me satisfied during my 20-minute commute home from an intense 90-minute power yoga class with enough energy to make a sensible dinner.

No, YogaChips won't improve your practice or give you the key to self-realization, but the company that makes the snack, YogaVive holds itself to high green and organic standards, which fits in with the idea of ahimsa (nonviolence) towards the earth. In other words, you can have a sweet snack and a clean conscience, too.

Visit the YogaVive website to find an online or local YogaChips distributor.

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