My recent found love and appreciation for Yoga

I’m taking advantage of international yoga day to preach about my newfound love for this activity so buckle in for a lengthier non-food related post. Yoga is a recent practice in my life that I for some reason dismissed for the prior 10+ years. My mom has been practicing yoga since I was a small kid but, quite honestly, growing up I never found it interesting. Since then, yoga has obviously become much more popular and has taken a front seat on the recent health and wellness movement. When I graduated college and was forced with the unprecedented need to workout on my own vs simply showing up to lacrosse practices and games, I was a bit lost. No matter how many people recommended yoga to me, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Is it really a workout? It kind of just seems like an hour of stretching. Instead, I turned to distance running and other high intensity workouts that resembled the competition of college sports. As much as I still love these types of workouts, having this as my only sweating outlet became an unsuccessful practice. Here is why… New York City is one beautiful place and it provides so much opportunity that is just right outside your doorstep (after you go down an elevator or flight of stairs and out two more doors to a concrete sidewalk), but there is a reason it is called “the city that never sleeps”. It is a freaking stressful place. As a type-A personality, it can seriously wrap you up in its tornado arms of excitement and force you to believe there is no such thing as calmness. I am someone who does not do well “relaxing”. I cannot lay in bed or on a couch all day doing nothing. Honestly, I cannot last more than 30 minutes without thinking of the thousand other things I should be doing. Between working full time with some pretty lengthy and demanding hours, trying to eat healthy, getting to the gym, maintaining a social life, seeing the people I love, and of course this side project Freckled Foodie, I never took the time to slow down and breathe. It has taken me until recently, when the stress ultimately caused me to get shingles (I know, what the hell. Am I a 70 year old woman? I wonder that pretty often), that I took a step back to acknowledge this. You may be asking yourself, why the hell is she ranting about all of this on a picture of her in a headstand. Because, my friends, yoga is the one main solution I have found. Yoga is more than a workout; it is freaking therapy. When I am on my mat, I am in my own best world. For that hour or so, nothing outside those classroom walls matters. Yoga has taught me how to let go of all of the stress or pressure I may feel and just be myself and flow on my own. It has taught me a newfound confidence and to not give a shit what others think. It has taught me how to breathe and return to that breath in times of stress. I have laughed (mainly when I fall out of inversions Laughing Lotus), cried both tears of joy and sadness in childs pose (thank you Y7 for being candlelit), done headstands on canyons in Moab, and medidated the shit out of shavasana (the best pose that exists). I am so extremely grateful for finding people that have deepened this love, specifically Beth Cooke, and steered me along my yoga journey, and most importantly, for this practice. And to further this national yoga day celebration, I am pumped to flow with Rachel Mansfield and some other yoga loving foodies tonight! Hope you all have an incredible yoga filled day

File_002.png
My crazy talented mother who is my yoga inspiration!! This was the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day

 

file_001.jpeg
Thank you Beth for always encouraging me to be my best self on and off the mat
File_003.png
Why has it taken me so long to bring my mat up to my roof?!
File_000(1).jpeg
Been working on this pose for months and although I still need a wall, it’s getting there!

Freckled Foodie’s First Catering Experience

Hello everyone! A bit of a different post today; mainly in the sense that it does not contain a recipe, but instead a reflection on my first catering experience. This past Saturday was truly one to remember. While I have always enjoyed cooking for others and prepping for large dinner parties (I find any excuse to feed my friends), I had never considered catering an event. About a month ago my mother was telling me about a brunch she was hosting and asked if I had any ideas to give the caterers. My immediate response? “I have a thousand ideas and would love to BE the caterer”. So, yes, my mom was my first client. But you have to start somewhere! After discussing the purpose and structure of the event, I knew this was going to be the perfect introduction to this new venture. The brunch was over Mothers Day weekend for 20 hardworking, loving, and welcoming females in order to bring awareness to a school that is near and dear to my heart: The Orkeeswa School in Tanzania, Africa. After a yoga session led by an incredible local instructor, Lara Heimann, we sat down for brunch filled with good eats and even better company. We had the opportunity to speak with three current Orkeeswa students about their positive experience at this school, the remarkable opportunities it has provided them with, and the struggles some females are currently facing in their home village, which was further exemplified through a short film they wrote, directed, and stared in. This entire experience was humbling in and of itself and to be able to cook for all of these inspiring women was truly the cherry on top. After a successful event, my mom told me she was surprised how “calm” I seemed throughout the process, but, to be honest, I was scared shitless. All I could think about was the thousand things that could possibly go wrong: not enough of one dish, ruining another, not having something done in time, or people just plain old not enjoying what I cooked. After all of the worry, stress, and hard work, what I felt was that rush of excitement and high that cooking provides me and continues to remind me why I love it so much. So while I may not know what this means for Freckled Foodie and potential next steps, I sure as hell know it was fun. Check out the menu and some pics from the brunch below! And if this is event sounds like something you are interested in hosting or planning, please email me. I would love to discuss potential work together.

IMG_1067.JPG

Menu:

Avocado toast with red pepper flakes

Toast with cream cheese, lox, and chives

IMG_1081      

Yogurt parfaits with yogurt (plain or coconut), chia seed jam, berries, and granola

IMG_1077.JPG

Banana pancake skewers (gluten, grain, and dairy free)

IMG_1082.JPG

Vegetable frittata two ways: both with spinach, tomato, pepper and one with the addition of sausage. Both were served 1/2 with cheese and 1/2 dairy free

IMG_1085.JPG

Hummingbird cupcakes – banana bread / carrot cake hybrid – with cream cheese frosting (gluten free)

IMG_1086.JPG