Tuesday, September 28, 2010

moksha vids - october

A forward-folding posture tip video for you!

Offices... wow. The facts about recycling paper cups are staggering- I make a point to tote those cups home to my compost if I have to give in when I've forgotten my reusable mug.

In my dental office, I have such a hard time reconciling my "green" way of living with all the waste we generate- but I'm doing my best. Turning the x-ray machine on only when I need it, rather than leaving it on all day. Using bulk containers of polishing paste rather than individual cups. Wriggling out of my gloves when I need to grab something from the drawer so I can put them back on rather than use a new pair. There is still loads of waste generated, but I know these small changes will add up- especially if I can get everyone else in the office on board, which I am slowly doing as I get more comfortable as part of the team!

What changes can you make at your office or place of work?

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Saturday, September 25, 2010


My newest addition. (If you want to see the rest, click here) Just got it this a.m.! Talk about an exercise in pranayama. If I hadn't been chatting with my sister the whole time I could see how it could be meditative. Or drive you insane.

If you can't tell, that's my right ribcage, few inches below my armpit. Ouchies- although not as bad as I was expecting. I think my laser hair removal yesterday was worse!

Definition: Om is a very simple chant with a complex meaning. Often chanted three times at the start and finish of a yoga session, om is the whole universe coalesed into a single sound and represents the union of mind, body, and spirit that is at the heart of yoga. When chanted, the sound of om is actually three syllables - a, u, and m.
Pronunciation: aaaaauuuuummmmm

The regular Moksha series does not incorporate the "Om" chant (level 2 classes do). Last night I attended a power yoga class as part of one of my projects and we opened and closed with the chant. I was so happy I thought I might explode. I remember that feeling the first time I chanted in a class, of my body vibrating, and feeling so connected with everyone in the room. So, this is why I chose this tattoo! I love love love my artist Steve, highly recommend.

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

finding balance with yoga - article

I was so excited when one of my friends told me her sister wanted to interview me for her college newspaper. (Is that silly? Oh well!)

Anyways, it turned out to be a great article directed towards students who haven't tried yoga before, complete with photos! You can read the article here. Or, just click the image below to enlarge it! (yes, the photos were staged lol!)

Hope you enjoy :)

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

fuel for running... beginner's version!

So, as I've mentioned before I'm training for a half-marathon, coming up in a little over a month! I'm kind of a slacker when it comes to training, I get sidelined a lot... colds, a bad knee, and this weekend, a new tattoo. So when I headed to the gym last night, I knew I had to get in the kilometres. My goal was 8 miles (the treadmill is American!) but I pushed myself and ended up running 9.1, with an additional cooldown of 0.2m (totalling around 15km). My previous furthest distance was 7 miles, a few weeks ago!

The most surprising part (on top of the fact I actually ran that far?) I didn't feel like crap, and I don't feel like crap today either. I finally seem to be getting that little thing called nutrition figured out. I am by no means an expert but I thought I'd share the advice I've been given, and what seems to be working for me! This is a very basic breakdown, perfect for new runners who don't know where to start.

click image for source

Pre-race/ long run: a 500-700 calorie meal 2-3 hours prior. Look for a balance of simple carbs (which break down readily compared to complex carbs- the one time white bread and pasta are GOOD for you to eat!), protein (think nut butter), and potassium, which prevents muscle cramping (think banana etc!). I eat toast with natural PB and sliced bananas.

15 minutes before the run: I hydrate with either Vega Sport performance optimizer, or pure coconut water (yay potassium! I need it or it feels like every muscle in my body seizes up!). Alternatively, you can have one of you energy gels now.

Energy gels... if you know of anything (or what is) vegan, I would love to hear your suggestions! These are key for maintaining energy and providing fuel for runs over an hour. It is amazing the difference they make, I've only recently starting taking them and cannot imagine getting through last nights 15k without them!

During the run: aim for 1L of water per hour, although this may not happen! Energy gels should be taken every 20-45 minutes (depending who you ask!) throughout the run, finishing with one more gel post-run. Each gel should be followed with 250mls of water. Practice eating your gel while running, so in a race you can gel before arriving at the water station, which you'll probably walk through.

Post-race: hydrate! Replenish the fluids you've lost through sweating, especially if you don't hydrate a lot during the run. Eat a combo of carbs & protein within 30 minutes post-race. More toast & PB, or chocolate milk if you're not vegan. This is so your muscles can start to repair & recover. Vega also has a Sport Protein drink which was perfect last night. I've heard good things about taking arnica supplements, a homeopathic remedy, to reduce inflammation after a run, and took this last night as well.

Optional: depending on the amount of sodium in your gels, you may want to consider a salt pill during the run. I haven't tried these (yet!) but apparently they don't taste like salt- they are in a capsule! This is key for preventing cramping, as you lose a lot of sodium through perspiration.

Need some help creating a training plan? Check out the free SmartCoach at RunnersWorld (you need to create an account) or head to your nearest running store. I'm so lucky, my town has Running Free, who offer training clinics totally free!!

If you're a running or racing newbie, hope this was helpful.

If you run regularly- what are your pre & post meals? Do you gel? Do you salt? I would love to hear all about it!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Saturday, September 18, 2010

in pictures- Niagara Falls

Last week, I headed up to Niagara to bring one of my good friends from my YTT to see the beauty before she headed home to Singapore. We first stopped at Frogpond Farms, the only certified organic winery in Ontario. After a tasting and loading up on wine, we took a stroll on the short path around the vineyard.

grapes! so many, basking in the sunlight.

loved the cute little farmhouse.

I don't know what these are. 

We found sheep! This lovely guy (or gal?) came right up to the fence to visit us.

Action shot! I was laughing too much to get a decent photo.

This is one of my fave photos I took that day.

It was so amazing to introduce the falls to someone who has never seen them before. It's a rare opportunity!

I made her keep her eyes on the ground until we rounded the corner to view the Horseshoe Falls (i.e., the Canadian falls) in their full splendor. This is where my half marathon will be ending next month!

pure beauty.

We did the "Journey Behind the Falls". We are only 9m above the water level here, getting sprayed by the mist.

Double rainbow! What does it mean?!? I really hope you've seen the video- click the link if you haven't!!

A lame tree pose! Not easy in these jeans, let me tell you! She caught me with my eyes closed :)

Hope you enjoyed my first ever "in pictures"!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vegetarian Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

Today, I did a few things that shocked myself...
1) I made stuffed peppers
2) I made the recipe up by myself!

Sadly, my mom forgot to photograph the evidence (I prepared them at lunchtime to be cooked later, since I worked til 7pm tonight), but you'll just have to imagine how awesome they looked. Here's the recipe!

6 bell peppers, any colour.

6 servings of cooked brown or basmati rice (was about 1.5 cups dry)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup/ small can corn kernels
1 handful of fresh green beans (or one small can), chopped into 1-inch sections
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning (alternatively, make a homemade version)
1 tbsp olive oil
feta cheese, to taste (optional, omit for a vegan version)

To prepare the filling, heat olive oil in pan and sautee the onion, adding in the beans after a minute or so. When heated, add corn, cooked rice, and taco seasoning. Mix well. Remove from heat and stir in the feta cheese.

To prepare the peppers, cut off the tops and remove seeds and membrane from the insides. Lay on a baking sheet on their sides, and place in the oven on a broil setting. Watch carefully, rotating every few minutes until all sides are blistered. Remove from oven, and place in a closed paper (or plastic, if you must!) bag, and allow to steam for about 15 minutes. When cooled, the skin will easily peel off.

Fill the peppers with the mixture and stand upright in a deep baking dish. Bake for 20 mins on 350 degrees.

So, my very first all-by-myself "real" recipe (i.e., not pan-frying vegetables over pasta or salad and calling it my own!). And, it wasn't that scary!!

Hope you enjoy!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The World We Have (a book review)

I just finished reading The World We Have - A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology, by Thich Nhat Nanh. I absolutely loved it. I think this book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the well-being of our Earth, Buddhist or not. The first half of the book speaks abut collective awakening, with the second half focusing on "our message is our action". It really made me think about how in tune (or not!) I am with our Earth, and how I can be more mindful of the effects of my actions.

The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

Following the chapters are a number of practices for mindful living. I think the one that struck me the most was the gatha (short verses that bring mindfulness to daily activities) for taking out the garbage.
In the garbage, I see a rose.
In the rose, I see the garbage.
Everything is in transformation.
Even permanence is impermanent.
He speaks about how without one, the other cannot be. The rotting garbage will be compost to grow the rose. The rose will eventually rot, and become garbage.

Amazing how speaking about garbage can be so beautiful!

During our training, a few of us did a photoshoot entitled 
"if you can't see it, is it not there?"

At the very end of the book is an "Earth Peace Treaty" commitment sheet. I think this is great as a way to see how much we are already doing, and get new ideas to help us on our journey. Some new ones for me will be walking/biking to work (once I learn how to ride a bike that is - gasp!)  and of course, as I am now, encouraging friends to make commitments on the list :)

Which new commitment(s) will you make?

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vegan Carrot Spice Muffins

Yum! I baked this delicious treat today for a going-away potluck for one of the receptionists at my yoga studio, who sadly (albeit excitingly) going to school in the UK in a few weeks.

I slightly modified this recipe from the Fat Free Vegan cooking blog. Definitely going to be checking it from now on for new recipes!

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or a mixture of whole wheat and unbleached flours)
1/4 cup natural sugar (i used sucanat)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup almond (or other) plant milk
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 3)
1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray or use muffin liners. (I used silicone muffin pans.)

Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the liquid ingredients. Add the liquid to the dry and mix just long enough to combine. Add the carrots and raisins and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups–it will be very thick. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

They are so delicious. I used a bit too much cloves, so that is a bit overpowering but they are great- not too sweet, and so yummy fresh out of the oven!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Friday, September 10, 2010

And the winner is...

(drumroll please!)
Heather from Namaste Heather!
Can't wait to hear how you incorporate this into your project thriftEEE! 

Many thanks to all who entered :)


article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Thursday, September 9, 2010

mindful internetting

So, in the past few days I have come to the realization that I waste a LOT of time on the internet. This sounds obvious, and silly - i'm on the internet as I type this!

I'm doing a 30-day yoga challenge, as one of my projects. I haven't blogged much about it as this time around, I'm doing a lot of home practice. (I LOVE! It's such a great way to explore new styles at home). Anyhow, I'm finding myself always doing my practice basically right at the latest possible minute before bed- often resulting in a later-than-ideal bedtime. And occasionally resentment towards "having" to do the practice (because I'd rathe crawl into bed by that point), which I actually love! All because I wasted time on the computer, even when there were no new emails, or new blog posts... just finding completely random things to mindlessly consume my time with. It doesn't help to have a shiny new MacBook (my old computer wasted equal amounts of time just loading)!

click the image to be taken to source.

Well, it stops now! I know I can't cut it out completely, especially because taking I'm starting a university course online this weekend. Emails are a part of everyday life, for work communication and long-distance friendships. But, I do have control over wasting my time for no reason. I'll spend this newly free time tackling my huge pile of books to read, my messy bedroom, or getting my practice in before midnight! I need to become more conscious of how I choose to use my time, more mindful and appreciative of it.

On that note, I am off to clean my room!
(Update: my room is MUCH tidier now, albeit still in need of some more purging & sorting. Now, it is after midnight and I still need to practice, eek!).

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

The CSN contest closes in a few more hours- winner will be announced tomorrow morning! Get your entries in ASAP :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Giveaway! $40 online for CSN stores!

I'm excited to announce a super-cool giveaway partnering up with CSN stores for $40 to spend at any of their 200+ stores online. (Yes, really- I didn't believe it when I first read it!) You could put this towards anything random like bistro sets (perhaps to enjoy your tea and blog at the same time?) or maybe something from their fitness store- lots of great yoga products and accessories, DVDs and more.

There are a few ways to get entries. If you do all 3 you get 3 entries!
1. Simply leave a comment!
2. Follow the blog - if you already follow, no worries- leave a comment to let me know you're connected and interested in entering the contest!
3. Link this contest on your blog and leave a comment with the post link.

The fine print: The contest is only open to Canadian & U.S. readers. Sorry, my wonderful international blog friends! Shipping is not included in the coupon. Canadian shoppers appear to incur an "international" delivery fee. Winner with be chosen with random number generator!

And I guess I should add a close date, shouldn't I? You have one week to get your entries in- draw closes next Thursday night (Sep 9) and the winner will be announced Friday morning!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at