Yoga with Care

A little yoga a day will keep the doctor away…

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Fire up your core this winter

As a yoga instructor who works with many moms, I find that the most common area mamas want to focus on is strengthening the core. After childbirth, the abdominal muscles get stretched so much that many women find it difficult to get rid of the “pooch”, even after losing the baby weight. I find that Navasana (or boat pose) is a great way to tone the abs, strengthen the lower back and rebuild the integrity of the pelvic floor. Here’s a version where you can cuddle with your baby and tighten your midsection at the same time!

Start by having your baby snuggly in your lap facing away from you. Make sure you’re firmly on your sit-bones with your feet planted on the floor. With a flat back, lean back until you’re on the edge of your sit-bones and tailbone, feeling your abs engage. When you feel steady, lift up your legs so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Cradle baby with your arms or extend them to either side of your legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Inhale and exhale for up to 10 counts. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Tickle baby’s feet to make the time go by faster. 🙂

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Healthy and Yummy Veggie Paella Recipe

Ok, I’ll admit that I’m a bit challenged in the kitchen (I mistook garlic for an onion a few years ago and my husband STILL pokes fun at me every chance he gets…), but I recently tried this veggie paella recipe from my friend and chef Nikki Croes, and it was a success! My husband went back for seconds and eagerly ate it for dinner the next day (this never happens!) so you can imagine how pleased I was. It’s an easy to follow recipe and a great way to stay on track with your health goals this year!

The only thing I did differently was add Paprika on top when it was done. Take a pic of yours and post it here!

Vegetarian Paella
Adapted from The Get Healthy, Go Healthy Vegan Cookbook

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups brown rice
3 cups vegetable broth
¼ tsp. saffron
1 15-oz can/jar artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
Salt, pepper & oregano

Heat the olive oil in a pot. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add rice, broth, saffron, 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Open the lid and layer the artichokes, peas and beans on top of the rice. (Do not stir.) Cover and cook 10 minutes on low.
Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork to incorporate the ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.*
*Nikki’s Notes: I season to taste, so please do the same. The sodium content of your stock will inform how much salt you will need. Generally, a few generous pinches of salt, pepper and oregano can really dial up the flavors. You can also finish the dish with green olives and red pepper flakes, and serve with lemon wedges.

veggie paella dish