Elderberry Syrup

I am constantly fighting the fight with my immune system since I am a student surrounded by germs at school and a nanny usually around two sick kids all day long. This means any natural immune system booster I can take is being taken daily. Recently, I have been seeing Elderberry in every form; cough drop, gummy vitamins, tea, syrup etc. Since Elderberries are know to fight the flu and cold viruses, I wanted to introduce them to my diet, so I decided to make my own syrup. A friend shared a recipe with me to make my own.  Its super simple, less expensive than buying it at the store, and takes only a half an hour to make!

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What you will need:

  • 4oz of dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of honey

In one medium size pot add elderberries, cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, grated ginger, and two cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. (takes about 4 minutes) Turn down heat to a simmer and leave covered for another 25 minutes. Strain everything in a bowl and mash with spoon to get extra juice out of the berries. Add your honey. Let cool for 10 minutes and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator. The syrup lasts for up to a month!

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XOXO

CC

Drop and give me YIN! Yoga that is…

Hello my loves and Happy New Year! Since the holiday season, I have been majorly MIA, and took a much needed break from being social on social media. This allowed me to unplug, unwind, and enjoy little moments with my loved ones. BUT I am happy to say I am back, with good news! I am happy to announce, that after a brief brake from teaching yoga, I have secured a spot to teach my relaxing yin class at a fabulous space called Lala Land, … a mindful place to find your happy place! The owner and space are beyond amazing. They offer yoga for both adults and kids. Check out their website for their schedule!

For those of you who are wondering what the heck “Yin Yoga” is and if it is for you… YES! YIN YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT. The main focus of Yin Yoga is too strengthen and stretch the connective tissue while we work on the meridian channels in the body, which help promote healthy organ function. You will learn to be kind to yourself by recharging mentally, spirituality and physically. Below are just a few benefits from the practice:

  • Regulates energy in the body
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Increases mobility
  • Protects our joints from wear and tear on our bodies and as we age
  • Provides a better yang practice such as vinyasa flow ,kickboxing, running etc
  • Teaches us how to meditate and quiet the mind

Two of my biggest benefits I have found in my personal yin practice have been mobility and patience.  I tell this story all the time to my new students. When I was younger I was kicked off the gymnastics team. I just was not flexible like the other kids and couldn’t do a split for the life of me. Fast forward 23 years later and thanks to my flexibility I obtained through my yin practice, I can now say I can do a split without feeling like my leg is going to rip off. I wake up with a pep in my step. I can sit up straight for long periods of time in a seat. I am less stiff. I crave Yin, I need Yin. If life gets in the way and I don’t get to practice, I pay for it in the end and usually feel achey.

Secondly, this practice teaches us patience. You will get to know yourself inside and out. One day we may be able to hold butterfly and another day we may find that we can not get as deep in the pose. Accept it and accept what your body needs. Be patient with yourself. It’s not about how far down we can get in a pose. Its not about “How good one is”.  Never start at your max. Work at slowly achieving results. In the world we live in today, there is a quick fix to everything. There is a pill to loose weight, a dry cleaners who will wash, dry, fold, and deliver it to you all in the same day. Want to have a home cooked meal but not prepare for it? There is a service for that. Living in such a fast paced world we can forget that sometimes things take time. Yin gives you the opportunity to slow down and listen to what your body needs. If we are not 100% how are we suppose to take care of others and give them 100%?

Yin is not just a physical sensation. While holding these poses one might experience strong emotions.  Yin is a form of meditation and quiting the mind which is one of the hardest things ever…hence why it is important to practice. It can bring up and out some heavy stuff but it helps us work through our emotions.

So with this said, What to expect in my class and what exactly do you do? You will hold poses for 3-5 minutes. Don’t fret, your not holding a physically exhausting pose. You will step into a semi dark, inviting, room to practice in that is a judgement free zone. I will guide you through a simple mini meditation. I will use oils and lotions to massage pressure points aiding in your relaxation. (If you wish not to be touched thats OK too!) I will explain the poses, why and what we are working on. If something does not feel good I will give you an alternative pose. I am here to help you relax and renew. I will hug you if you need a hug and laugh with you if you need a laugh and I will always greet you with a smile.

You do not need to be a size 0, you do not need to be flexible, you do not need to be a hardcore yogi, you do not need to be spiritual or believe in a certain religion, you do not need to show up in a cute expensive yoga outfit with essential oils and carrying crystals. You do not even need to know what a chakra is or how you balance it. What you do need is an open mind to want to do something positive for yourself. I guarantee Yin Yoga will change your life.

Wear comfortable clothing, loose sweats is my favorite thing to practice in. The studio has everything you need for your practice: Mat, props, water etc. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces on the mat! And if your reading this and not in the area I hope you will look up yin classes in your area 🙂

I teach Monday nights 7:15-8:15 PM.

Lala Land: 

681 Franklin Ave, Nutley, NJ

973-320-2091

XOXO

CC

My MUST Have Essential Oils…and how I use them.

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Essential Oils have been used for centuries to help cure illnesses, spiritually ground, and often used for beauty purposes. When I first became interested in using them, I was blown away by all the different brands, and was unsure of where to start. Through trial and error I have finally found oils, blends, and a brand I prefer. I personally like Young Living because they are convenient, they are all natural, and you can ingest them, literally “Seed to Seal.”  Keep in mind though, it is a personal choice!

Peppermint: This is probably my MOST used oil. I use this along with lemon and lavender to help relieve my allergy symptoms. If I am sore from a workout, or am sick and have body aches, I will add two drops to my bath. I also can not get on a plane without it. I usually put a tad bit under my nose, since airplanes tend to have an unpleasant smell to me. Also I am huge on peppermint tea, so if I run out of tea bags or a place does not have peppermint tea I can place a drop in hot water.

Lemon: I use this along with peppermint and lavender to help relieve my allergy symptoms.  I also like to diffuse this oil by itself because it leaves a room feeling fresh and clean.

Lavender: Again, I use this along with peppermint and lemon to help relieve my allergy symptoms.

Tea Tree:  I defuse this a lot in the wintertime to help fight off any viral infections. If I do catch a cold I rub this oil on the bottom of my feet at bedtime each night. It is also used to treat skin issues, and is the best for taking the itch out of a bug bite. I’m not a huge fan of the smell so I only use it when I need it.

White Angelica: I use this oil every time I teach, so basically I use this oil almost everyday.  As a teacher you are subjected to everyone’s emotions in a room. This oil is a blend of essential oils that calm and soothe, promote feelings of strength and protection, and blocks against any negative energy. As teachers we are healers. People come to yoga for many different reasons but they all have one thing in common…they are looking for a release, looking for some comfort and looking at you for some guidance. I have had students who suffer from severe depression, anxiety, going through divorces, death, sickness, etc. I am an emotionally sensitive person, and because I touch each and every one of my students, their energy definitely radiates through me. Sometimes energies can be overbearing and sometimes these energies have nothing to do with my personal feelings. By applying this oil topically, it helps to keep my aura in check, so that I have nothing but positive vibes to exchange with my students to help them through any tough time they may be going through or feeling.

Myrrh: This oil is a pricey, but it’s my favorite to use for meditation.  I also like to put a few drops when I draw a bath. I love to defuse this scent since it reminds me of Christmas, so obviously it makes me smile.

Thieves: This oil is a must for me because it is specifically designed to support the body’s natural defenses supporting a healthy immune system and energizing the body. I also combine Thieves and RC after any traveling to cleanse the lungs to prevent any respiratory sicknesses.

RC: This oil helps energize before a busy day or workout, so I usually will rub some on my chest when I am lacking energy. Again, after any kind of travel, I combine Thieves and RC  to cleanse the lungs to prevent any respiratory sicknesses.

Frankincense:  This oil is a little pricy so I use it sparingly. I like to diffuse this if I have a stressful day, the scent is calming. This scent also reminds me of Christmas, so smiles are present where this scent is smelled! I also use this on my face if I have a blemish, and have used this on my scars – it works wonders! I like to diffuse this while practicing or teaching yoga since it grounds you spirituality. Frankincense acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, so I diffuse this when I have a cough or cold.

XOXO

CC

 

 

Why You Should be Eating Turmeric Everyday ….

Turmeric is like the super god spice, it’s super healthy for you. It’s organge in color with a peppery taste. To me it tastes like Indian food mixed with old spice. I like to put it on my eggs in the morning, whether they are scrambled, hard boiled etc. You can put this powder on anything really…chicken,steak, in your salad or soup. Below are a few reasons to get on the Turmeric kick:

1. Turmeric has been shown to have effects on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. (Research is still going on)

2. Tumeric is an anti-inflammatory agent so it can help reduce joint and muscle pain even  relieving arthritis pain.

3. Tumeric is known to fight bowel disease.

4. Lowers cholesterol and blood presssure and is also good for your heart and liver.

5. Fights prostate cancer and reduces your chances of getting leukemia and colon cancer.

So yeah Tumeric can vastly improve your health and it is super easy to incorporate it into your diet.

XOXO

CC

My Freedom |My Health

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May 28th 2014 1:17PM

How I got here.

To be exact, this is the most important quote I have ever read because after I read this quote on May 28th 2014, I finally made up my mind after two years of heavy thinking. I decided I would be leaving my NYC life for something scary but ” hopefully ” better.  Last August, I packed up my life that took me 6 years to build and moved back home with mom (love you). I only had three plans at the time:  travel, spend all my money and obtain my yoga teacher training certificate…Oh and maybe meet a cute guy abroad during my travels. I left a posh apartment in a city people dream to visit let alone get the chance to live in, a sought after job in the fashion industry, amazing friends and family, the list goes on and on. On the outside life looked glorious. On the inside I was screaming. I could not take the energy around me. This city and career I though I was in love with wound up being a fraud….or maybe I just changed.

I had a health scare a few years ago and it changed my life. I sat back and thought to myself, for being 25 what have I accomplished, what have I done for me, what have I done for others and have I checked off any goals or dreams. Yes some were fulfilled…but not enough.  The world was a different place. Do I stay, do I go. I went. I left. I was scared. I’m happy.

You have ONE life to live. You never know when obsticales will be thrown your way. Make your life count. Don’t let fear or money hold you back. Be kind and be happy and love a lot. While your able to, live your life to the fullest. You never know when your health will be taken from you. ” From the moment you loose your health, it is too late”.

Your health is something that can not be predicted or bought. It’s a gift. It’s fragile. It’s a ticking time bomb.

xoxo

 

Unfortunately I do not know where this article came from…I think I stumbled across it on Facebook, but I do wish I could quote it.