Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese


Many of us had macaroni and cheese in some form, homemade or prepared, when we were children. As adults, we look to recreate that comfort food with a bit of sophistication. There are many variations to this tried-and-true comfort food!

The star of the show in this dish is Tolerant Organic Black Been Rotini; a Gluten Free pasta that adds flavor and fiber to every meal.


Base Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Tolerant Black Bean Rotini
  • 2 Cups Cheese (I used 1 1/2 cups Cheddar blend and ½ cup Italian blend)
  • ½ Cup Milk (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1 TBSP Butter (I always use unsalted)
  • 1 TBSP Gluten Free Quinoa Flour (Any Gluten Free flour will work)
  • 2 TBSP Chipotle Seasoning (this is mild…use a real Chipotle Pepper in addition to the dry seasoning or double seasoning if you wish more spice)
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced vegetables (I used Red Bell Peppers and Red Onions sliced on a mandolin)
  • 4 TBSP Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs


Other Variations:

  • For a thinner sauce, add more milk
  • Add 1 diced tomato
  • Substitute Shallot for Onion
  • Add Diced Garlic (2-4 cloves depending on your spice preference and size of cloves)
  • Substitute Broccoli and/or Cauliflower for the vegetables and substitute Paprika for Chipotle seasoning
  • Add meat such as Gluten Free Sausage or Canadian Bacon


  1. Use a mandolin to cut the vegetables into small strips…or use a knife and cut the vegetables into small pieces. Place in a pan with a TBSP of olive oil and sautee until onions are translucent. (Reserve some vegetable for garnish if you prefer.)
  2. Add 1 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP Gluten Free Quinoa Flour into the pan and melt it. Stir to combine the flour with the melted butter and vegetables. Remove from the heat.
  3. On another burner, bring water to a boil in a pot and, once boiled, add 2 cups Tolerant Organic Black Bean Rotini. Cook the pasta 5 minutes then strain.
  4. Add the vegetable and cheese pan back to the stove on low heat, add the pasta and seasoning, and stir to combine.
  5. Serve…garnish with extra vegetables and panko breadcrumbs if you wish a little crunch.


This can be a main dish or side dish. Make a salad or vegetable to accompany the main dish or sandwich to accompany the side dish.

Read more Gluten Free Recipes with options to customize on Healthy Recipe Variations.

Banana Walnut Breakfast Bars 


Some mornings we need a grab-and-go breakfast. These breakfast bars are high in protein and contain fruit and healthy carbohydrates. Depending on the size you make them, you can have one or two for breakfast or a snack later in the day. Couple the bar with a piece of fruit if you are on the go or Greek yogurt if you have time to sit down.


HINT: If you do have time to sit down…eat them warm with a little Berry Chia Jam on top!

Base Recipe:

3 RIPE Bananas

2 Cups Dried Oats

1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed Meal

1/4 Cup Walnut Butter (I used Artisana Organics)

1/4 Cup Diced Walnuts

1 TSP Almond Flavoring


Use any combination of nuts/nut butter (Artisana has Cashew, Pecan, Almond)

Replace Almond Flavoring with 1 TBSP Vanilla Protein Powder (Gluten Free)

Add 1/4 cup dried fruit

HINT: I love a little extra nut butter … the SQUEEZE PACKS (pictured) are a great way to add more protein to the bar. I like to cut the bar in half and make it a nut butter sandwich.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a stand up mixer
  3. Fold in dry ingredients
  4. Pace on an UN-greased cookie sheet and cook for 12-20 minutes depending on size of bar…check halfway through as each oven temperature is a bit different!

HINT: The size of the bar is up to you. I often take a serving spoon and to scoop batter out of the mixing bowl and use another spoon to slide batter onto the baking sheet. You could use tablespoons, soupspoons, or teaspoons…you pick the size!

Enjoy this YOGALEAN start to your day. Ingredients you can pronounce, high protein and high fiber to keep you satiated, and very few preservatives!

Read my blog, Healthy Recipe Variations, and check out my Facebook Page (HealthyRecipeVariations) for more Gluten Free recipes…with variations – Rene’ MacVay.

Seven Foods You Can Compulsively Overeat without Getting Fat


Earlier this week, we talked about compulsive and emotional eating in recognition of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.

Even if you are not struggling with a regular pattern of emotional overeating, it’s still common to sporadically run into moments where you find yourself compelled to eat out of stress, nervousness, or boredom. Whether you’re feeling distressed or battling with oral fixation, and you just need something to snack on, the trick is finding a middle ground by surrounding yourself with foods that you can eat in abundance without adding to your waist line or damaging your mood and health.

Here are seven foods you can eat, and keep eating, without an ounce of guilt or remorse:


Broccoli is a low-calorie powerhouse of nutrients, and for a non-starchy vegetable, it has a decent amount of protein. Broccoli is both filling and delicious, eaten raw for a satisfying crunch, or steamed for warm, comforting nourishment.

Hearts of Palm

Hearts of palm are incredibly flavorful and healthy, delivering a rich concentration of potassium, B6, and fiber in its velvety, tender texture. Hearts of palm are delicious to snack on right out of the jar and also taste wonderful sliced up in tossed salads.


Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are nature’s candy! These shiny red globes of flavor are sweet and savory at once, providing a high quantity of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the skin and lowers your risk of diseases caused by cellular damage. For a summery and vitamin-packed snack, eat a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes—whole for a refreshing burst, or halved and mixed into your salad.

cherry tomatoes

Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are especially satisfying because they taste richer than they are. Their crunchy yet smooth texture says ‘potato’ to the taste buds while packing a relatively tiny caloric value and zero fat and cholesterol. Munch on these for a filling snack that feels more indulgent than it is.

water chestnuts

If you’re staying away from sugar but wresting with a sweet tooth, reach for an apple, or two, or three! Apples will relieve your sugar craving with their sweet juiciness while delivering plenty of fiber, a host of vitamins, and most importantly, pectin, which aids in digestion and prevents the build up of bad cholesterol.



Have you every heard someone say that celery burns more calories than is contains? Well it’s true. Celery, comprised of about 75% water and 25% plant fiber, takes more energy to digest than to eat and nourishes you with extra vitamin A, C, and K to boot. You can really go to town on this veggie—the more you eat, the better!



The flavorful, delicate flesh of artichokes supports digestive health and liver function and provides tons of cancer-fighting antioxidants. High-flavor, low-calorie artichokes can be eaten in a variety of ways: hot or cold, grilled or steamed. Artichoke hearts make a perfect appetizer or addition to a salad, and the meat at the base of steamed artichoke leaves makes really fun finger food.


If you’re feeling a compulsive need to eat, you can go to town on each of these foods without a trace of worry about the consequences. It’s difficult to stop depending on food as an emotional soother, and, in the process of breaking habits of emotional overeating, it’s normal to experience setbacks. The most important thing is to have compassion for yourself in this process, and to support yourself by planning ahead and making healthy options available and plentiful.

For further information on methods and supplements to curb your cravings, read 7 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings and 7 Supplements to Cut Sugar Cravings.

7 Signs of Emotional Overeating


April 1st marks the beginning of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month, giving us an excellent opportunity to explore our relationship to food and the emotions that tend to belie our eating habits.

In the clinical sphere, emotional overeating is defined as a “maladaptive coping strategy” involving an increase in food intake in response to negative emotions. In other words, emotional overeating is a behavior people resort to as a way of avoiding or alleviating states of distress.

Overeating is not uncommon: a Pew survey finds that 6 in 10 Americans say they eat more than they feel they should either often (17%) or sometimes (42%), but it’s important to be aware of your reasons for overeating, because if they are regularly related to stress, sadness, or other troubled emotional states, you could be experiencing a disordered pattern, using food to deal with psychological stressors, and putting yourself at risk of developing binge-eating disorder, from which 2.8% of Americans currently suffer.

The impulse to soothe yourself when you run into stressful or emotionally difficult moments is a good one, but its extremely important to make sure you aren’t using methods of self-soothing that harm you, adding to or worsening preexisting struggles in your life.

In the interest of spreading improved self-awareness and self-care surrounding food this month, I’ve provided a few questions below to help you check in with yourself about your eating habits, and piece apart whether you may be using excess food to face emotional challenges. As you answer these questions for yourself, try to be honest with yourself while withholding judgment.


Does stress lead you to eat more?

Do you find that when you’re anxious or under lots of pressure, you need to eat more in order to calm down? This is a sign that you could be using food as a way of tolerating negative feelings.

Do you eat when you’re not hungry or already full?

Eating without an appetite could be a sign that consuming food has become a conditioned or mindless response to difficult feelings or conditions in your life. When you eat, is food what you really want, or is it acting as a placeholder for a different kind of need?

reward eat

Do you eat to reward yourself?

Of course, it’s ok to reward yourself with a treat as a fun exception to your usual eating habits, or for a special occasion, but it’s another thing to feel you’re are only allowed to eat after achieving something specific in your daily or weekly routine. Feeling like you only deserve to eat at certain times can be part of a self-critical pattern that distances you from listening and responding to your needs.

Do you only eat certain foods alone?

Are there some foods you only feel secure eating when no one’s looking? Emotional overeating is often linked to feelings of shame that can lead you to hide from others and from yourself out of embarrassment about what or how much you are eating.

eating alone

Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?

Are you often eating not only past the point of needing more, but also of wanting more? If you’re continuing to eat beyond feeling full and into feeling uncomfortable or sick, this is a real sign that food is playing a role for you other than satisfying hunger.

Do you depend on food to feel safe?

Do you feel anxious when you don’t have certain kinds of food or extra food at your disposal? This is a sign you may be depending on food for a sense of comfort you feel you can’t otherwise access. What else could you do to achieve the same sense of comfort and tranquility?


Do you feel out of control around food?

Feeling powerless about what or how much you eat or like you can’t stop when it comes to certain foods or situations is a signal that you may be experiencing a sense of powerlessness or lack of control surrounding other issues. Check in with yourself about the foods and circumstances that may trigger you to overeat.

If you answered ‘yes’ to three or more of these questions, then you may be struggling with habits of emotional overeating. The good news is that if you think that you are an emotional overeater, there are a variety of treatments available, many that you can administer to yourself. Many of us have resorted to various forms of self-medication as an attempt at tolerating or solving life problems. The most important thing to remember if emotional overeating is a struggle for you is to forgive yourself. Our instinct to care for ourselves can sometimes get out of hand, but it’s worth celebrating the fact that there are many growthful solutions to this that will allow you to serve your needs without contributing to your struggles.

For further inspiration on how to curb patterns related to overeating, check out 7 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings.

french1Breakfast is my favorite meal. I love to start the day feeling satiated and energized. Each day I have a mug of hot water and lemon as I do a few things around the house and catch up on the news online. Weekday mornings are my time to get situated before the hustle and bustle of the workday begins.

In the four years since I have been gluten free, I have noticed a tremendous amount of choices that have entered the marketplace. Enjoying one of my favorite breakfasts is possible once again.

I enjoy making EXTRA FRENCH TOAST, as I believe it tastes good warm or cold. It can be a great grab and go snack when not being consumed as a proper, sit-at-the table breakfast! This recipe was for 2 meals…serving of 2 slices a person.

Base Ingredients/Variations:

Gluten Free Bread (I suggest Food for Life or Three Bakers)

Honey or Chia Jam or Agave as a Syrup

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Almond Milk (or Vanilla Almond Milk for a sweeter flavor)

1 TBSP Butter

Walnuts or Pecans (handful)


Bananas, Fresh Berries, or Powdered Sugar as a Topping

Substitute any variety of Milk

Cinnamon – as a topping or incorporated into the egg/milk mixture


  1. Combine the egg and milk in a flat bottom container
  2. Place the slices of bread in the liquid
  3. Turn after 5 minutes or so
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan
  5. Add the bread and cook…Press a spatula on the bread to flatten it down to ensure it cooks thoroughly – about 5 minutes each side
  6. The extra “egg” mixture can be cooked to have a small amount of “eggs” on the side.

Serve or store for later.


Serving Suggestions:

Eat plain…have a side of fruit on the side and a cup of coffee or tea

Topping Options: Honey or Agave and Powdered Sugar (and/or add fruit like berries or bananas), Homemade Chia Jam/Jelly (store bought jam/jelly), Homemade NUT butter (or store bought), or maple syrup/syrup of your choice. Sprinkling nuts on the dish to top it all off is another option!


Yes, there are too many options…that is the beauty of the dish. The key is to make a healthy choice. The French Toast is YogaLean and a healthy start to your day, or healthy snack, unless your toppings make it a dessert and not a breakfast!

Enjoy Starting Your Day off the Yoga Lean way…the Healthy Way. Read more on my blog HealthyRecipeVariations – Rene’ MacVay.

7 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings


According to the American Heart Association, the average American adult currently consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. Can you imagine putting 22 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee!? There wouldn’t be any room for coffee! And even less for the emotional boost most people look for in their morning cup, which would get taken over by the horrible affects of sugar overload.

The problem is, we don’t just find sugar in the packets at the Starbucks drink station —it’s hiding everywhere: healthy-looking fruit juices, “energizing” sports beverages, and all kinds of condiments.

I have a love hate relationship with sugar. Many times, I find eating sweets is more of a habit than a real need, and that a little is never enough to keep me satisfied. It makes sense, given that sugar acts on the same neural pathways in the brain as drugs and alcohol—once the body gets a little bit, it asks for more, and the demand grows almost exponentially. In order to get the same boost we once got out of just one treat, we need to consume more and more in the future.

This is why it’s so difficult for most people to regulate their sugar intake, and why sugar addiction can easily become a real risk.

I’ve found that moderation with sugar doesn’t work very well for me. Eating a little bit has often snowballed into eating too much, and I’ve generally found it easier to cut out sugar entirely.

I’ve had lots of experiences where I’ve needed to completely eliminate sugar from my diet. Whether preparing for a cleanse or for a medicinal plant journey, I find that after a brief period of adjustment, my desire to eat sweets is significantly diminished. The more sugar you eat, the more you want, and conversely, the less sugar you eat, the less you crave.

Here are some tips that have been extremely helpful to me, both in reducing my sugar intake and eliminating it completely:

  1. Go for fruit

When you’re craving something sweet, reach for the fruit bowl instead of the candy bowl. A nice serving of your favorite fruit will satisfy your sweet craving without the negative consequences of refined sugar, delivering plenty of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and water.


  1. Chew Licorice Root

Chewing licorice root has been shown to reduce sugar cravings because of its natural sweetness, its non-interference with blood sugar levels, and its positive effect on the adrenal glands. Try munching on this instead of Skittles!


  1. Eat Regularly

Running into low blood sugar is the most common cause of intense sugar cravings. If you commit to eating every couple of hours throughout the day, you will prevent your blood sugar from dropping to the point where you are reaching mindlessly for sugary snacks to get your energy level back up. Try eating five small meals per day.

  1. Make a Plan

Remember, the first 24 to 48 hours of cutting out sugar are always the hardest, but it’s been shown that if you can make it past the initial push, your body’s demand for sweets will drop significantly. Plan your experience with this time period in mind, and try to start your sugar-free regimen over a couple of days when you don’t anticipate being surrounded by sweets at a birthday party or at work.

  1. Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are aromatic and many have a natural hint of sweetness that will taste delightful and help satisfy your sweet tooth. Tazo Teas’ rose hip and hibiscus infused “Passion” tea is one of my favorites and what I’m drinking right now.


  1. Add Protein to Every Meal

Lacking protein in your diet makes you crave sugar. Without it, your blood sugar and energy level become significantly less stable. Incorporate protein into your snacks and meals whenever possible. Too busy to cook breakfast? Have a protein shake. Add chickpeas, tofu, or grilled salmon to your salad at lunch, and if you’re snacking on fruit or veggies, throw in a few almonds for protein-carb balance.

  1. Stay Hydrated

This tip is simple and fundamental. When we get dehydrated, we are much more prone to crave sugary juice or soda. Before you reach for either of those when thirsty, try drinking a full glass of water, and see how you feel—your desire to drink something sweet will probably vanish. Drink twice as much water when working on eliminating sugar to keep yourself feeling full and stave of cravings.


Sugar aggravates all kinds of physiological problems from weight gain to anxiety and depression, but perhaps worst of all, it shuts down your spiritual sight. Right now, I’m trying to raise my higher consciousness, and this is my primary motivation for avoiding sugar.

The only way to break the cycle is to stop feeding the fire! Don’t be fooled by low-fat salad dressings or fat-free ketchup, as these products tend to be loaded with sugar or some version of it. Be mindful, read food labels, and try out each of these tips to see what works best for you.

For more information on overcoming sugar addiction, visit and take a look at the amazing Yoga for Addiction Workshop with Dr. Susan Blank at our upcoming MBF Conference!

Peas and Asparagus Your Way


I make a concerted effort to eat fruits and vegetables when they are in season, when they are at their peak. Asparagus is in season in March and April in California which means not only is the vegetable fresh but also reasonable in price. This vegetable is low in calories but high in fiber, folates, vitamins, and antioxidants. I was excited to see the nutritious asparagus on sale! I love roasted asparagus and steamed asparagus, but wished to try something new! Therefore, I purchased peas to cook along with the asparagus to make a satisfying side dish. I purchased organic frozen peas to supplement what I was able to purchase in the store.


This dish can be adapted in several ways. I’ll give you suggestions after the base recipe. Enjoy this YogaLean recipe that is low in calorie, high in flavor, and satiates you for a long time. Have fun playing with your food! Read more recipes on my blog,


Base Recipe:

I package of Asparagus (usually about a pound)

1 pound peas or 1 (one) 16 ounce bag frozen (organic if possible) peas

Half a Vidalia Sweet Onion or 4 cloves of garlic

Olive or Walnut Oil

Vegetable broth


  • Chop the onion or garlic into small pieces and add to a pan with 2 TBSP oil
  • Prepare the asparagus. Hold the spear in both hands. Snap the base off the rest of the stem. The brittle and fibrous end will break off leaving the tender portion of the spear. Chop the spear into dime size pieces. Leave the “decorative tip” as it is. It is tender and will cook swiftly. (Also, it is attractive to look at and will end up being a great garnish for the dish!)
  • If using frozen peas, no broth will need to be added. If using fresh peas and asparagus, add ½ cup of low sodium vegetable broth to the pan.
  • Sautée until the vegetables are tender.

OPTION 1: Stop here and serve in a bowl. You can garnish with sesame seeds or cheese (I suggest Feta or Parmesan) if you wish the decoration and crunch.

HINT: This is a great side dish for a sandwich or lean protein. Baby red skinned potatoes would be a good pairing.


OPTION 2: At this point, add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to the pan JUST BEFORE the liquid is absorbed. Stir to combine the ingredients. Serve.

HINT: Add fried tofu, chicken, or beef to this dish for additional protein.


OPTION 3: Dice walnuts or pecans and place in a pan with ½ TBSP butter, 1-2 TBSP brown sugar (substitute honey or agave), and ¼ cup of water or vegetable broth. Reduce until the mixture caramelizes. Pour over vegetables or vegetable and quinoa mixture.


7 Poses to Get you YogaLean for Spring!


Now that is it officially spring, it’s the perfect time to get more serious about your fitness goals and get in shape. In the coming months of warm weather and outdoor activities, you’ll want to feel comfortable and confident while lightly clad.

Temperatures and hemlines are rising week by week, so before we hit full-on bikini weather, I’ve put together some poses that will help you get toned in all the right places so that when the time for you to make your poolside appearance, you feel totally strong and confident.

Here are seven essential poses for more toned legs, core, and arms. Incorporate these poses into your practice every day this month, and reap the beautiful results to carry with you throughout the summer!

1. Chair Pose


Chair pose is an excellent workout for the lower body. It creates a lot of heat quickly, strengthening the quads, glutes, shoulders, and core. (Excellent for sculpting toned thighs!)

2. Warrior III


This pose will fire up the muscles in the back of your legs, toning the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, as well as your core. This one is great to shape and firm your butt.

3. Half Moon


This pose is excellent for strengthening the side body from tip to toe, focusing in on your side body and outer legs. Your hips abductors, and obliques will thank you especially, and you balance will improve.


4. Boat Pose


This pose is one of yoga’s great keys to a flat belly. It does wonders for your lower, upper and middle abdominals, strengthens hip flexors, and improves balance.

5. Plank Pose


This pose fires up the entire front body, targeting your abs, quads, and pectorals. To firm the chest, belly, and upper legs, try holding this pose for a few extra breaths during your vinyasa flow before dipping into chaturanga.

6. Cobra Pose


This pose is wonderful for toning the upper, middle, and lower back. If you like wearing backless shirt and dresses, make this pose your new your best friend! Be sure to focus your upward-moving strength in your back, placing very little pressure on your hands and arms.

7. Sunflower Pose


This pose is great for awakening the body and generally increasing energy, and it’s also amazingly affective for toning and increasing range of motion in the shoulders. It will help you look amazing in a tank top, and decrease your risk of suffering a strain when you’re tossing a Frisbee on the beach!

Each of these poses are fantastic for activating your summer body, and reducing any extra bulk or tension you may have built up over the winter. When you go to your next yoga class, try asking your instructor to include one or more of these poses in the day’s practice, or try them at home to prepare yourself to meditate or even while you’re watching TV!

How to Meditate On the Gomed desk

It’s a common misconception that meditation can only be done in one way, and in one specific type of place. You might think that in order to meditate properly you need to be in complete solitude or total silence or somewhere in the natural world. The truth is, there is no proper or superior way to meditate, and although some environments may be more calm-inducing than others, the most important aspect of meditation is to practice it regularly so that you become more and more familiar with your calm center and increasingly able to access it easily and deeply.

There’s no need to feel intimidated out of meditating by preoccupations about the setting in which you do it, and there’s no need to procrastinate on your practice because, as I’ve said many times, all you need to commit to is 10 minutes per day. That’s all it takes!

med gym

That’s a period of time that virtually everyone can carve out of their daily schedule; time that will bring you great rewards in your emotional, intellectual, and biological wellbeing.

What’s my best advice on meditation? Just do it. The ‘where’ and ‘how’ matter much less than the regularly of your practice, and you don’t need to be in an ashram to make it happen.

Having a packed schedule is no reason to deny yourself the opportunity to meditate. When I’ve got a very busy day, I like to meditate just after waking up to center myself before starting work, or just before going to bed to wind down and release tension. Alternatively, you can build in ten minutes for yourself to meditate during the workday. You could try meditating in a quiet place during your lunch break, in a calm spot outdoors, or even at your desk. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, and breathe deeply with a soft belly. If you are preparing for a meeting or performance of some kind, visualize yourself succeeding and allow your body to feel the sensations of your success.

med park

Naturally, when there are people and things going on around you, it can be more difficult to quiet your mind. For these situations, I recommend planning ahead by downloading a guided meditation on your smart phone. Guided meditations remove you from the noise in your surrounding environment, and provide calming and useful reminders to focus on the breath and on letting go of troubling thoughts. Guided mediations address various themes, and are helpful if you desire support in a specific area of life. For example, the YogaLean Love Your Body meditation would be perfect for anyone looking to embrace her physical self more fully, and it runs under ten minutes!

If you don’t have a guided meditation with you, I recommend using an affirmation in your meditation, especially for beginners who may find it inviting to focus their energy on a positive statement.

Here is a list of ten powerful and concise affirmations to use in meditation. These are excellent for kickstarting your meditation practice. Try a new one each day for your first ten days:

Ten-Minute Affirmation Meditation:

Day One: I am ready for positive change.

Day Two: Today I am strong.

Day Three: I am peaceful, calm, and relaxed.

Day Four: Today is a new day.

Day Five: I feel good.

Day Six: I have the power.

Day Seven: I am shifting.

smile aff

It’s important to remember that meditation is a practice. If you feel distracted or fidgety the first couple of times you try it, respect those feelings, forgive them, and simply return to your practice the next day. Remember, there is no “perfect” meditation. This is an opportunity to honor yourself exactly as you are in the present moment.

As you are starting out, remember these helpful tips and tricks:

  • Use earplugs.
  • Don’t expect a clear mind at first.
  • Breathe your way into it.
  • Be patient.
  • Honor your thoughts—all of them.
  • Set an alarm.

Incorporating a brief meditation practice into your daily life will transform you. With a commitment of such little time, you will begin immediately to enjoy improved energy, sleep, tranquility and focus. With a little preparation and guidance, you really can meditate any time and anywhere– in the office, at a café, in the gym, even on the subway! If your friends or coworkers find your meditation practice unusual, educate them, and invite them to join you!

For more inspiration on different ways to meditate, uplifting affirmations, and more fitness and nutrition ideas to supplement your practice, download the YogaLean smartphone app!

sun med

5 Breakfast Smoothies that Rev up your Metabolism


Smoothies are a fantastic way to fit more vitamins and nutrients into your daily diet. They make for a convenient (and filling) breakfast and are perfect snacks during the day. And by including the right ingredients like bananas, berries, and protein, you can even jumpstart your metabolism.

1. Mocha Smoothie

I love this smoothie because it tastes amazing, is low in calories and fat, and is a wonderful alternative if you love a Starbucks frappuccino! The coffee and protein powder really jumpstart the body. Plus it’s a great way to get your breakfast and coffee in one delicious serving.

choc smoothie


1 cup cold black coffee

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Pour the coffee into ice trays and place in the freezer overnight. In a blender, add the coffee ice cubes, protein powder, almond milk, and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth, adding more almond milk if necessary.

2. Breakfast Fruit Smoothie

This is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that nourish the body while kickstarting the metabolism. The blueberries in particular are rich in Vitamin B. B vitamins are said to be helpful in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.



1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 banana

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup blueberries

Blend together, and enjoy!

3. Ginger Citrus Smoothie

The ginger in this smoothie kicks it up a notch, while giving your body a nice boost of energy.


1 medium banana

1 ½ cups diced pineapple

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger

1/2 cup Greek yogurt – any flavor will do

1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice – you can also use water if you want

Feel free to sub out the pineapple for another citrus fruit like orange or clementine. Blend together and serve.

4. Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

The inclusion of cinnamon not only makes the drink taste decadent, but cinnamon is actually very helpful in metabolizing glucose (sugar) in the body. Not to mention, also, that bananas are packed with B vitamins and magnesium, the latter of which assists in fueling energy for the body.

banana cin


1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

2 medium-sized bananas

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ground nutmeg, for garnish

Blend the almond milk, yogurt, bananas, and cinnamon together. Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top.

5. Vanilla Berry Smoothie

Berries are high in fiber and water content, which makes you feel fuller faster. This smoothie can make a beautiful breakfast or a filling snack – blend it up before you leave for work and pop it in the fridge in the break room at work.


1/2 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup frozen berries

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 tsp. flax oil

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Blend all ingredients until smooth.