Wellness with Vanessa

Tools for a Nutrient-Rich Life

Yoga, AcroYoga & Surf ReTREAT March 9-16, 2013

Costa Rica style

This is a pic from our July surf trip to Costa Rica. We love it so much, once a year isn’t enough! I wish I remembered the photographers name. She’ so talented.
Registrations are coming in! Enjoy the early bird until November 30. We will have some sort of special in December, but not as large a discount. UPDATE: The retreat is SOLD OUT. Send me a message for information on future retreats. Memorial DAy Weekend 2013 is in the works!

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Workshop videos and links to photos

Halfway through October I thought I’d made a major mistake. I’d booked myself to teach AcroYoga and Acrobatic workshops and series to the point of 5 events one week, including a transcoastal trip to San Francisco to co-teach at the Divine Play festival. All this on top of my full-time job! But by the end of the month I realized why I’d agreed to do it all:

1) AcroYoga shows me the spirit of humanity. Students are such givers and have a hard time receiving. They are always afraid they’re too something- big, heavy, awkward, somehow unworthy of support and happiness. Then the play begins and they realize they’re just right the way they are. More talented and capable than they ever imagined.

2) The most advanced yoga is the yoga of relationship. So true for me! In my solo practice, it can get all zen. But all spiritual warriors know the feeling of starting on your path, then trying to share with family/ friends/ co-workers that aren’t on page Yoda. Navigating the friction that comes with interpersonal connections is another level of jedi training. AcroYoga is the yoga of relationship – learning to trust, communicate and understand another person verbally and non-verbally. I honestly don’t think I’d be with my husband for almost 7 years without this practice.

3) AcroYoga lights people up! These big and heavy life lessons can be light and happy because we learn them through acroplay. Play is its own reward and inspires us to work cooperatively.

This is why I love to teach AcroYoga. It’s not the tricks, it’s the treats of getting to see the best in others, and myself. Hope you like the pictures.

In service,
Vanessa (:

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20+ People who will never be afraid of handstand again!

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Monday Night Jams: Intermediate Series demo

Sequence: supported stag shoulderstand -> supported pike shoulderstand ->straddle bat
1/2 barrel roll to bird -> side star
side star -> straddle bat -> barrel rolls -> bird
bird to star ->step down to straddle bat ->1/2 barrel roll to bird
bird -> reverse star -> reverse star to bird
applause!!

<- click for photos

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Get ready for the 2013 Yoga & Surf ReTREAT to Costa Rica

Registration is open, details are posted and anticipation is high for the third annual retreat to the Osa Peninsula. Get the Info here

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Equilibrinox September 17-26: Find Balance & Detox over the Fall Equinox

The Fall 2012 Cleanse is coming up! This year there are some exciting additions:
✥ Sweetgreen restaurants are providing a salad and juice option for those that want to retreat from meal prep or don’t have a juicer
✥ You can participate from anywhere on the planet, the intro meeting will be recorded and made available to all participants
✥ 3 cleanse program tracks- from beginner to advanced

More info on the workshops page

Get ready to Cleanse, Nourish and Empower!

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21 Days of freakin’ awesome juices and smoothies conclusion


I see 3 main bases for healthy juices and smoothies: veggies- which cleanse, fruits- which fortify, and protein- which is regenerative. Typically, I mix them up, but focus on veggies the most, then fruit and occasionally protein. Why? From a nutritional standpoint, protein comes in the form of nut milks, nut butters, coconut – which also means fat – good fat, but still fat. Most of us can use more veggies and fruits in our diet, but rarely need more protein and fat.

I was glad to share so many recipes. When running the cleanses we eat great food, but there are also more recipes than we can try and foods that may not be ideal for a cleanse due to high sugar content, but are still welcome sometimes in a healthy, balanced diet.

The next cleanse will be an EQUILIBRINOX – bringing balance over the time of balance, the fall equinox. Look at my workshops page or for details. It starts September 17, 2012.

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Days 20 and 21: Awesome Juices and smoothies


I was off-line for the weekend, on Block Island with family. Another way to cleanse, nourish and empower is relaxing at the beach, cooking meals as a family and catching up. Eating and growing greens give me this feeling, too. When I feel stuck/ lost in the city from being too long in built environments anad want to connect to earth, greens ground me. I used chard from my dad’s garden and cucumbers from mine to make these last 2 drinks.

Here are the last 2 installments of smoothies and juices. I wanted to end with 2 drinks from opposite sides of the spectrum (or cornucopia?) of juice. all veg- is a drink that isn’t sweetened with with a sugary fruit. As we refine our palettes with eating more whole foods we are able to find pleasure in flavors beyond, sweet, salty and fatty/rich. Heaven is a complex, chocolate smoothie packed with superfoods and supplements. Even though it has veggies and fruits, it’s sweet and I still consider it a dessert drink rather than a drink to have daily. * Unless you are an athlete that practices aerobic activity for long periods daily, in which case this makes a great sport drink.

Day 20: Veg- Out
~ makes 14- 16 oz
3 leaves chard
1 cucumber
1 golden beet
2 stalks celery
1/2 inch ginger (optional)

Juice all ingredients, in this order. The color of this juice is reason enough to make it.

Day 21: Heaven
~ makes 16 oz
3 leaves chard (leafy green powerhouse for iron and vitamins such as folate and C)
1 banana (potassium and a natural sweetener)
3/4 c strawberries (antioxidants and fiber)
100 oz packet açai (antioxidants)
1-2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs ( heart healthy fat)
1 Tbsp Brazil nuts (source of selenium)
1 Tbsp hemp powder (protein and omega-3 fatty acids)
1 – 2 Tbsp water, to adjust consistency
dash cinnamon
Blend all ingredients, adjust to desired texture by adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time.

Image: http://mydesignstories.com/trying-to-fit-in/

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Day 19: Splendor with the Grass II


Even though wheatgrass has wheat in the name and is grown from sprouted wheat berries, it’s gluten-free.
* Make sure that your juicer can handle wheatgrass- it requires a specialized wheatgrass juicer or a masticating juicer. A vitamix works, too. It’s an acquired taste, but these juices with berries help to bring out the good taste and mask the intensity wheatgrass has.

Wheatgrass and Berries
2 oz wheatgrass juice
1 handful strawberries
water (optional)

Juice ingredients. take it it as a shot and chase with water.

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Day 18: Splendor in the Grass


Wheatgrass gets a tough wrap. But it’s fun to grow and packs the nutrients. The nutritional profile of 1 ounce is often compared to 1 pound of greens. I’m not sure if that’s completely accurate, but from benefits I feel almost instantly when I drink it, I wouldn’t be surprised. The following recipe masks the extremely bitter taste. Promise.

Wheatgrass Juice
1-2 ounce wheatgrass
1/2 inch ginger
1 cup blueberries
1 cucumber

Wheat grass is chock full of chlorophyll- a compound known for detox and renewal as well as vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and enzymes.

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Day 17: Soup-er


I’m still on the herbs kick. And I realized I haven’t done anything with my favorite fruit- avocado. This is a smoothie but the savory flavor and mouthfeel from the avocado make it work as a soup.

Greens Soup
1 cup chard or other greens
5 sprigs parsley
I cup cucumber
1 stalk celery
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2-5 stalks celery
1/2 apple
1/2 avocado
1/2 clove garlic
sea salt
cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients until smooth, serve in a bowl.
Alternative: add the avocado chopped on top, rather than blended

Parsley has health promoting phytochemicals, such as cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Avocados are a holy food to me. They are a great source anti-oxidants and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.

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Day 16: Juices and Smoothies —and herbs!


In the spring I started this tea garden to grow herbs for tea. This week, with the start of the semester, feels like the beginning of fall, my official tea season. I decided to incorporate some herbs into my daily juice. Just like in cooking, herbs and spices add a complexity of flavor to simple fare. I made 2 juices today, the first was the juiced version of yesterday’s pineapple-ginger smoothie. I added an extra cup of pineapple to get 8-12 ounces of juices, and skipped the coconut water. The ginger made me want to do more fun things with pineapple.

Pineapple-mint Juice
~ makes 12 ounces
big handful spinach
1 tablespoon mint leaves
2 cups pineapple
1 cucumber

Juice all ingredients.
Tip: I juice the herbs early, with the spinach.
Benefits: Mint is soothing for my throat and feels and taste great after a day of lecturing. It also eases digestion.

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