c’mon, we’re all “foodies”

one of my pet peeves are those people who call themselves foodies. i mean, who doesn’t love food?! i’ve met one or two people who look at what they consume strictly as fuel for the incredible machine that is the human body, but by and large everyone i know (especially in new york) can appreciate good food. now what constitutes “good food” can differ greatly from person to person. after all, we’re each unique in our likes and dislikes (ah the beauty of individuality). for example, i consider myself a foodie when it comes to 1) sweets 2) plant-based food. two pretty different ends of the spectrum but hey, i like what i like. i can tell you where to get the most delicious brownie (ovenly in greenpoint) or the most buttery, crumbly-topped apple pie (believe it or not, at a chain restaurant called houlihan’s. if you don’t know, now ya know) in all of the land, but i’ve also tried just about every vegan/vegetarian/semi-healthy-but-maybe-not restaurant in manhattan (and most of brooklyn). i’ve been on even more of a food exploration kick as of late, thanks in large part to an awesome lunch program called mealpal (check out the site for details on how it works. but i promise it is super easy and convenient. ain’t nobody got time for unnecessary headaches!) in the past month, i’ve had everything from vegetarian quiche from épicerie boulud, to avocado toast with a side of butternut squash soup from tartinery, to just about every falafel bowl within a mile radius (believe me, there are A LOT). and none has disappointed. i’m a true creature of habit, and if left to my own devices would (and did, before mealpal) eat the same thing for lunch for months at a time. but now i’m trying new things and keeping my tastebuds on their toes. if you find yourself in a lunch rut, consider switching it up and giving mealpal a try.

positive health wellness? yes, please.

my journey to self-improvement is a seemingly endless one, and i welcome any and every opportunity to learn something new, whether that be through podcasts, videos, newsletters, word of mouth, websites, etc. so i was super excited when an email from the folks at positivehealthwellness.com landed in my inbox. i hadn’t heard of the site, but was eager to check out the content based on the name alone. and the site certainly delivered. want some tips on how to boost energy? check. think you may have a glucose sensitivity? check. need some new ideas for quick and easy dinner recipes to add to your repertoire? check. the point is, you can find just about anything you need to help you live a healthier life on positivehealthwellness.com.

i’m back! and have exciting news

i suppose ebbs and flows are natural in all facets of life. clearly i go through phases of not blogging for literally months, but i’ve stopped feeling guilty about it, realizing that when i feel inspired to pick it back up again, i can and will. that being said, the past couple of months have been very insightful. and dare i say, transformative. largely due to the fact that i’ve rediscovered kundalini yoga. if you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s known as the “yoga of awareness”. you’re probably thinking, isn’t ALL yoga about awareness? definitely, but let me tell you: kundalini is next level. this branch of yoga focuses heavily on mantra and breathwork, which i’ve learned are extremely powerful tools for tuning into all the parts of who we are. i myself am still learning about the practice (i’m currently juggling three books) so i don’t even feel well enough equipped to offer a great explanation of what it is, but if you’re interested, huffington post does a pretty solid job in this article. it’s a great place to start. i’ll definitely be writing more about my adventures in kundalini here in the future, so stay tuned.

anyhow, onto the exciting news! quite some months ago, i was honored when my dear friend and yoga school roommate dana asked me to be a brand ambassador for her line of activewear, danaloufit. each piece is handmade here in the states (in jensen beach, florida to be exact) and features great on-trend prints. more importantly though, her clothing is super comfortable and ideal for your yoga practice. i was already excited enough about being asked to be a brand ambassador; then the deal was sweetened even further when dana asked me if i’d like to be featured on her blog. naturally, i jumped at the chance. we did a quick interview, which you can read here. thank you so much to dana and her team for making me a part of the dana lou crew. please check out the offerings on her site and place an order today. i can’t guarantee your practice will improve, but i can tell you you’ll be super comfortable (and stylish. not that this matters in yoga, of course. but it’s just an added bonus).

you used to call me on my cell phone

…in like, 2001. but it seems that the act of picking up the phone and having an actual conversation is a thing of the past. this saddens me, but i’ll be the first to admit that i always tended to take the lazy, less personal route and text just about everyone i communicate with. i’d only actually dial someone to facilitate making plans, or maybe to wish a happy birthday, or catch up with a friend who lives far away and i don’t often see. conversely, the one person who has always called me regularly is my mom (shoutout!); when someone else does call, i’m often taken a little by surprise (and embarrassingly, tempted to let the call go to voicemail. if it’s important they’ll leave a message and i can call back, right?) but as of late, i’ve had several frustrating situations in which texting caused a miscommunication, and i’ve really started to change my tune where texting vs. calling is concerned. so much can be lost in translation, and i really relish hearing the other person’s voice and knowing from his/her intonation if something is said in jest, anger, amusement, etc.

then to reaffirm my newfound love of the phone call, this happened last night: i was shocked when a good friend texted me, asking if i was free for a phone call (she’s never once called me, in nearly a decade of friendship). i had just gotten home from dinner and was winding down and getting ready for bed, but happily told her to give me a call. it turns out she’d learned some news about a guy she dated a little while back that had made her really upset. but i couldn’t help feeling what approximated happiness despite her pain, when she said the absolute most wonderful thing anyone could have said to me. of course i don’t remember her exact words, but to paraphrase: “when i found out [the news about my ex] i thought, this is too long to text anyone. i need to talk on the phone. and you were the first to come to mind because i’ve been so upset and i thought, cristina will be all yogi and know just what to say. she’ll probably tell me to send him light and love.” i literally teared up. sometimes i feel like my hippy-dippy yoga speak might be annoying to people, but it was so nice to hear this friend say that she actually appreciates it, and was looking for some of that in her life. my heart grew a few inches.

of course, despite the pep talk i gave her, she’s still hurting today. but such is the grieving process. she’ll feel a little better every day, and one morning she’ll wake up and it will miraculously no longer hurt (i speak from experience). it’s good to know that in a world of endless communication via so many less meaningful channels, one can still pick up the phone and make a true connection.

it’s been so long since i blogged that i almost forgot my login information! that can’t be good. i’m back just in time though, after hanging out with one of my biggest cheerleaders last night who [several times] mentioned that i haven’t blogged in a while. i’ve felt a little uninspired lately, but after a great group coaching session this morning i’m feeling like i have something that i want to share.

one of my fellow group members has been talking about making a drastic life change and leaving her job and comfort zone to live in the mountains for a few months in 2017. i’ve known her for nearly half a year, and she talks about this at least once a week (and that’s only what i’m aware of!) as she talked about her struggle with this decision, i could feel her anxiety so acutely, and my own chest started to feel tight too, thinking about my similar indecision. as she worked through her own stuff, i closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and tried to feel into what i want to do with my life, and the answer was clear as day. my gut told me that i need to follow my heart and do this thing that’s been calling me for over a year. is the prospect terrifying? absolutely. does the possibility exist that i’ll fail? you bet. but on the flip side, will i regret not having taken a chance? also a resounding YES. i’m constantly reminded that life is short, and if we don’t take chances and live it to the fullest, we run the risk of finding ourselves on our deathbeds, having never left our comfort zones or embracing exciting challenges. and that prospect is way, way scarier than the fear of the unknown of what will happen if i embrace this new chapter, or the fear of failure (and god knows the latter is always a concern for me).

i’m so grateful to my community of supporters who inspire me daily to be brave, to live big, and to buck convention. without you i might just accept mediocrity. every day i grow a little more confident and find a little more resolve to follow this still-unclear-but-that’s-ok dream. so thank you, thank you, thank you.