Day Eleven SFY Mindful May Challenge #pleasure – Chia pudding parfait with berries

day11-parfaitDay 11 #SFYMindfulMay #pleasure – during today’s yin yoga class I spoke about being mindful of pleasure. I love that Christiane Northrup, MD professes that “Pleasure is a vital nutrient.” Where we place our attention and awareness, we increase our experience of that object. Breathe into pleasure, notice the sensations of your experience, and give yourself permission to thoroughly savor every moment. Be mindful of experiencing pleasure in your relationships, in your work, your hobbies, in every bite you eat. Notice how pleasure increases in your life when you look for it in each moment…breath by breath.

Mix 1/2 cup of nut milk with 1/4 cup chia seeds and let sit in the refrigerator a few hours or overnight. Stir after a few hours just to remove the clumps of chia gel. Add a dollop of “yogurt” (eg coconut cream yogurt or dairy yogurt) and top with berries. Taste and feel each creamy, healthy bite. Enjoy…

Yogamama Meels

Day Eight SFY Mindful May Challenge – Mindful eating

Veggie quinoa wrap in rice paper. Gluten-free.

MINDFUL EATING – mindful of WHAT you eat and HOW you eat.

Do you multi-task while you eat?  Eating in front of the TV…while reading your email on your smart phone…while reading the paper? When is the last time you JUST ate, paying attention to each bite?  Or, when eating with your family, put all your electronic devices away, notice the food you’re all eating, thanking those who prepared the food, thanking mother earth for providing you that food, and talking to each other with eye contact?  Hmmm…maybe it’s time to eat mindfully!

Want to eat clean but, you’re tired of beans and rice or plain old salad?  Here are some ideas for being creative in the kitchen.  Try it and maybe you’ll discover your colorful, inner chef! Get your kids creating in the kitchen too!

Take the time to choose colorful foods and present them with care and creativity. Treat your meal like a masterpiece and savor each beautiful bite.

Add color to your veggies by adding these to your salads and wraps:

  • shredded carrots
  • purple cabbage
  • watermelon radish
  • yellow and red peppers
  • orange sweet potatoes
  • strawberries
  • raspberries


Add protein:

  • creamy avocadoes
  • hearty legumes
  • hummus
  • pesto
  • nut sauces
  • nuts
  • whole grains like quinoa

Try gluten free:

  • rice paper
  • nori sheets.
  • “noodles” of spaghetti squash
  •  zoodles from zucchini in a spiralizer

Brighten flavors with herbs:

  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • basil
  • dill

Spice it up:

  • curry
  • jalapeño
  • salsas
  • chipotle sauces

Add acid:

  • lemon
  • lime
  • vinaigrette

Add richness with oils:

  • sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • avocado oil

And savory “umami” flavors:

  • tamari
  • Bragg’s liquid amino acids
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • caramelized onions
  • fun sea salts

Eat clean and organic for 3-7 days and notice how you feel. Eat two or more hours before your next vigorous yoga class and notice how it affects your practice and digestion. Think PTY “pretty, tasty and yummy” when creating your food art…have fun and enjoy each bite!!

Thank you for participating in this month’s Spiritually Fit Yoga Mindful May challenge!  Join anytime!  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started on day one with us.  Just follow me on Instagram @spirituallyfityoga then in each post tag @spirituallyfityoga and #SFYMindfulMay.

Here’s to happy, mindful eating!

Yogamama Meels

Day Three SFY Mindful May Challenge – Water (Simple tip: Save your kitchen rinse water)


Hydrating is a goal for me during this 21 day mindfulness challenge since this is also my opportunity for spring cleaning and detoxing from the inside out.  But, I’m also uber-aware of conserving water now that we live in drought-stricken California.  I wanted to plant a small organic garden at our new house but, I struggled with needing to use precious water.  So we chose to only use homemade “gray water.”  I placed an expandable strainer, sized for my sink, over a large bowl and this rinse water has provided more than enough daily hydration for my garden!  Set this up in your own home and notice how much garden water you can collect just from rinsing veggies and fruits, rice, beans, lentils, etc!

Hydrate your body (my goal is 60 oz.+ each day), and conserve water in little and big ways!  How are you conserving water??  Leave a comment and share your ideas!!

Yogamama Meels

Day Two SFY Mindful May Challenge – Shoulders

day2-cowfacepose-blogBecause of a recently diagnosed frozen shoulder and my awareness of so many of my yoga students reporting shoulder tightness and pain, I am committing to extra TLC for shoulders!  Right now I can’t grasp my fingers but, with the help of a strap I am reaching towards clasping them again!

Hold the pose on each side for 5 breaths, slowly reaching your fingers of each hand towards each other, and gently pulling the strap using the top hand, helping the bottom hand reach up the back.  Repeat on the other side, then repeat both sides again to complete two full sets.

Remember to breathe and post your progress on this month’s #SFYMindfulMay instagram challenge!

Here’s to happy, free shoulders!

Yogamama Meels

Day One SFY Mindful May Challenge – Watermelon detox juice recipe

Watermelon detox juice

Watermelon detox juice

  • 1 small watermelon cubed (~ 4 cups)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric

Whiz up on high in your blender.  Serve frothy over ice or room temp.  Cheers!

  • Watermelon to hydrate
  • Lemon to detoxify
  • Turmeric to reduce inflammation

In addition to hosting the #SFYMindfulMay challenge I am also participating by committing to:

  1. Starting my day with a morning detox juice, such as this watermelon detox juice
  2. Drinking at least 60 oz. of liquids per day, which will consist mostly of water
  3. Bring more yoga philosophy into my yoga teaching and yoga practice
  4. Shoulder healing and love
  5. Reconnecting to my inner photographer by taking daily photos with my Nikon D7000 (my blog posts will be taken with my D7000 instead of my iPhone) and I want to find my slides from Nepal, digitize them and share those online #PrayforNepal

This is the first instagram challenge I have hosted and I’m excited to be part of a challenge that lets the participants choose what they would like to focus on for the next 21 days.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE yoga challenges but, I felt like I wanted to put energy into some specific goals which would nurture my soul and detox my body.  There are so many things I could actually commit to such as going gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, etc. etc.  Although I may still bring those dietary goals into my next twenty-one days I decided to narrow it down to “just” four goals.  “Focus” is after all one of my challenges too!

Thank you for participating!  Join anytime!  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started on day one with us.  Just follow me on Instagram @spirituallyfityoga then in each post tag @spirituallyfityoga and #SFYMindfulMay.

Cheers! (hear me *clink* my detox juice to you!)

Yogamama Meels


Congrats!  You’ve made it to the final week of our detox and yoga challenge with only SEVEN MORE DAYS TO GO!! With the help of our “secret” facebook group I’ve re-confirmed my belief that participating in a challenge, involving changing deep-rooted food habits, is easier accomplished when feeling supported by others sharing their successes and struggles.  Several times during this detox I’d felt tempted to “cheat” on my detox but, the accountability of going through this with my detox support group kept me on track.  And, even though you may not have joined us in our facebook group, I’ve heard that some of you have taken on this challenge privately.  Congratulations to you and thank you for letting me know how it’s been going for you!  My accountability to ALL of you has personally helped me make it through these 28-days!


  • Today or tomorrow morning: weigh and measure yourself
  • Introduce these items SLOWLY during the week: meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, alcohol.  And, be your own scientist noticing how each substance affects you.
  • Be mindful: prepare your food and beverages with the awareness of how your are nourishing your body with the items you choose to consume.  chew your food slowly. continue your daily yoga and meditation, focusing on self-care and and self-compassion; notice how setting this specific intention affects your health choices.  note any changes in your flexibility, strength, and ability to quiet your mind after practicing 28-days of daily yoga and meditation.
  • JOURNAL!: As always, note any changes in mood, digestion, sleep, etc.  On day 28, complete the self-assessment provided on your last journal page.  Then, just write down anything your discovered about yourself these last 28-days.  Continue to observe yourself as a curious scientist focusing on a fascinating, beautiful subject! 🙂

I wish you the best and invite you to take this challenge even if you are reading about this for the first time.  Here’s a link to the description of this 28-days to health, wellness, peace and power.

Seven more days yogis!  YES!!!




It’s day 4 of our detox and yoga challenge and in a few more days we will have eliminated gluten, dairy, meat, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol…whew!  I hope you’ve been able to wean off any items which you may be “addicted” to, like coffee.  I know that can be sooo tough!  I’ve been there, done that, and knock on cyber-wood, I’m staying off the caffeinated coffee! (Yes, I still enjoy an occasional cuppa decaf but, as of day 7, that’s out for me too.)


This detox AND yoga challenge I’m suggesting is a combination of several challenges I’ve done over the years.  Some have been juice challenges, vegan challenges, and just yoga challenges.  The reason I decided to combine a detox AND yoga challenge is because last year I created my own challenge, combining dietary changes and daily yoga, for 30 days, and I found it most effective for changing habits and behavior.  The yoga revealed to me how dietary changes affected my flexibility, especially in my tightest poses such as wheel.  I discovered the effect inflammatory foods had on my joints and during my detox I became more open, less achy, and in general just found more freedom in my yoga poses.  My daily yoga became one of my measurements to gauge how foods affected my body.  In addition, the yoga/meditation plus detox also helped with my mental clarity and mood stability.  The element of increasing my body, mind and spirit awareness also contributed to my ability to focus on self-care.  The daily yoga naturally made me want to be respectful of my body, so it made it easier for me to stick to my dietary and behavioral changes.  I WANTED to eat well, get sleep, hydrate, and transform my negative to positive thoughts. Because of that experience, I became more convinced of yoga’s positive benefits in my life.


One of the most recent detoxes I participated in was Dr. Sara Gottfried’s Hormone Cure Detox.  My detox is very similar but, I am not doing the measurement of blood sugar, pH or suggesting dry brushing, etc.  I’m doing a bit more simplified version of that, plus I’m adding the daily yoga and meditation.  I do want to share a link to her page with a suggested list of what to and what NOT to eat for your detox.  You’ll notice she includes meat on her list.  That is a modification you can choose for this detox.  I am choosing to go  vegan plus fish (eg. salmon) and eggs.  I am personally in the mood to detox meat because I’ve eaten it recently and it’s made me feel heavy. Sometimes springtime may feel like a more suitable time to detox meat so, it may make more sense for you to keep lean meats in your diet if you’re in a cool climate right now.   This is where you get to design your detox to suit your needs and just do what feels right for you.


Yes, TRY to get in a pound of veggies every day.  Any veggies you use in your smoothies count, so since you have TWO liquid meals a day during WEEK 2, I recommend making veggie smoothies with kale, spinach, cucumber, etc.  And, soup is a liquid meal so shooting for 70% veggies in your soup will also help reach your pound of vegetables.  You’ll be surprised how full you actually are eating a pound of veggies.  You will not starve doing this detox and hopefully you won’t miss the meat, dairy, etc. too much!


Periodically, I’ll share recipes here but, mostly I want to give you menu ideas (yes, basically, because I’m busy and am choosing to conserve my energy!) But, on our facebook group, we will share recipes there.  If you are participating in this detox and want to join our private group, go to and email me so I can invite you to join our group.  Only members can see our group and our posts. 🙂

Instead of breaking down the following menu ideas into breakfast, lunch and dinner, I’m just listing ENTREES, SIDES, SNACKS and SMOOTHIES because the ENTREES can easily fall into the breakfast, lunch OR dinner category.  Okay, here you go!  Have a fabulous weekend and I’ll check in again Monday as we start “the real detox” on day 8!!

Cup of hot water and lemon


Experiment with adding fresh herbs, chopped nuts, seeds, or sea salt to enhance flavor and texture.

  • Steel-cut oatmeal with almond milk, topped with chopped nuts, and berries
  • 2 eggs with side of sauteed leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, or collard greens) OR with a side salad with vinaigrette
  • Avocado and steamed/baked/roasted sweet potato with brown rice or quinoa
  • Breakfast burrito with gluten-free tortilla with beans, rice, shredded carrots, cabbage, lettuce, etc. and avocado
  • Brown rice or quinoa “bowls” topped with steamed, roasted, stir-fry veggies
  • Vegetarian chili
  • Lentil-vegetable soup
  • Minestrone soup
  • Miso soup with tofu cubes
  • Vegetable curry sprinkled with peanuts or cashews
  • Grilled salmon served atop polenta, caramelized onions; sided with green beans or sauteed leafy greens
  • Fritatta (eggs, potatoes, veggies…no dairy)
  • Quiche (use a cornmeal crust to make it gluten-free, and substitute milk with almond, coconut, or hemp milk to make it dairy-free)
  • Stir-fry (broccoli, carrots, red, green, yellow peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, etc.)
  • Seaweed Wraps (use Nori, which wraps sushi rolls) with hummus, shredded carrots, cabbage, caramelized onions and red peppers)


  • Roasted root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Sprouted bean trio
  • Beans
  • Polenta
  • Gluten-free bread/toast


Here are some smoothie blends.  Design your own recipes making sure to always include a veggie and some protein. Prepare with water, unsweetened coconut water, or your non-dairy milk of choice.  If you’re preparing your smoothie with a “milk”, that counts towards your protein. Nut butters, seeds, and avocadoes are also great protein ingredients for your liquid meal. As an option, add a dash of cinnamon, tumeric, and/or cayenne pepper to add anti-oxidants to your smoothies. 

Chia seeds – I am personally a fan of chia seeds because of their ability to add substantial protein to your diet.  I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to each smoothie.


  • 2 big handfuls of kale or spinach, 1/2 banana, and/or 1/2 carrot, 1/2 apple + 2 cups of liquid
  • 1 cucumber, 1/2 pineapple, slice of peeled ginger + 2 cups liquid
  • 1 apple, 1/2 banana, 1 carrot + 2 cups liquid
  • 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 apple, 1/2 banana, 1 handful of spinach or kale + 2 cups liquid
  • 1 avocado, 1/2 banana, handful of spinach or kale + 2 cups of liquid
  • 2 carrots, 1 apple, 1/2 orange, handful of spinach or kale + 2 cups of liquid
  • 1 banana, 2 tablespoons nut butter, dash of chocolate + 2 cups liquid


  • Nuts and seeds
  • Veggies (carrot and celery sticks)
  • Roasted seaweed

Healthy eating!!


Congratulations on making the decision to join me on this challenge!

Here’s your DAY ONE:

1. Create a journal by downloading and printing this PDF file with your weekly journal pages.  Or, use the headings listed in this link.  Journaling and tracking your daily progress is a KEY success factor in getting the most of this challenge!

2. Take your Day One measurements: weigh yourself and measure your waist, hips, and chest then jot down in your journal.

3. Begin your daily practice of the following:

  • Yoga, minimum of 20 minutes; home practice or take a class. For your home practice, here is a link to some FREE classes.
  • 5 minutes minimum of meditation – sit comfortably, close your eyes,  just breathe.
  • Change your thoughts from negative to positive; transforming critical or judging to nurturing and compassionate words.
  • Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Drink 64 oz. of fluid/water per day.
  • Journal daily.
  • Sleep ~ 7 hrs/night (lights out by 11pm or earlier).

4. Begin eliminating these foods from your diet, and wean slowly from any substances you may be addicted to. You have 7 days to eliminate these inflammatory foods from your diet:

  • caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat, gluten, and sugar