The Heavenly Rabbit Hole For Meat Lovers
Last year for my birthday, I was taken to an all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse named Fogo De Chao.
I found this place to be very romantic and the staff to be super friendly and attentive.
This is an all you can eat, "stuff your face" adventure and it will go along as follows:
You would begin the meal at their endless salad bar full of fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses, cold cuts, soups, pickled items and much more!
However, I must warn you! Do not fill up on the salad bar if you came for the meat!
Upon sitting, you will be given a small round paper that is red on one side and green on the other. Green means go, red means stop.
Turning the paper over to the green side, indicates to the serving team to come and put more meat on your plate.
Servers walk around with large grill skewers that may contain chicken prepared in numerous styles, different types of steak (my fave!), pork sausages and much, much, MUCH more! All of the meat was cooked to perfection and the only complaints I had was that my stomach was too small in size to house it all!
Your meat will also come with various sides which are definitely worth the try! The sides included the most delicious yukka fries I have ever tasted in my life! These are all included with your per-person payment.
The restaurant as a whole is designed to allow you to be as GLUTTONOUS as you desire! So go ahead and really give yourself permission to let loose and indulge in all your heart's wishes and all your stomach can allow for.
I highly recommend wearing a lose shirt (ha!), and coming in very hungry!
FOGO is located at 40 West 53 street, right near the NY Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This can make for a perfect museum - dinner date!
They also have locations on Long Island, Pennsylvania, Boston MA, Maryland and more!
Check out the restaurant website at the bottom of the page for a location closest to you.
Much love to my hungry readers!
Some of The Food
FOGO is Located at 40 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Click here to visit their website
12/30/2019 0 Comments
Triple Magic Year
This coming year seems so magical to everyone with the new decade starting and all! However, as the old adage goes - "Most powerful things happen in 3's"
The first and most obvious one - this is a new DECADE!! A brand new 10 year span to work on your dreams and love the life you have! How FUN!
Secondly, 2020 is the year of the rat. This is important as the rat begins the brand new term in the 12 year Chinese astrology cycle. The last one was in 2008, and the 2 beginnings rarely line up. How darn cool!!
The rat represents survival and community. Rats often travel in packs and are very swift at living in small places and surviving on the minimum. The rat is a symbol of strength and family. What a great energetic direction to start the year with!
And if that doesn't get you tickled with excitement for the new year, on top of these two, 2020 is a leap year! That's right! We will have a whole extra calendar day to celebrate each other on Saturday February 29th!
This year is going to be fantastic and the holidays will be super easy to plan for as many of the highly celebrated ones conveniently fall on weekend days! With Valentine's Day and Christmas falling on a Friday, and 4th Of July and (my fave!) Halloween are on Saturdays!
How absolutely exciting! I don't know about you, but I am pumped about this new coming time!
Setting intentions for the coming year.
I recently went out to dinner with my partner and best friend, and we began to digest the year passed. The question was posed - what was the most fun thing you did this year? At first it seemed like not much was done, but as we began to digest and really think about ALL the stuff we did this year, it turned out, we did A WHOLE LOT!
For example - I traveled to Florida and saw my first Safari zoo! Took a trip to Denver with my daughter! Attended the last mastery class of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts and really made the most of it! Attended a yoga festival with my dear friend Melinda. Took a summer stand up comedy class with Jocelyn Chia and rocked my first ever performance!! Got to dance on a farm by the campfire during a full moon. Finally visited Salem during Halloween season! My dear friend Nadia got married! My former sister in law added a new baby to our growing family! I hosted a great Christmas party and saved a whole lot more money than I expected! And this is just naming a few!
This year has been so abundant in all sorts of experiences - good ones, challenging ones, painful ones that offered a ton of growth and perspective! It really feels like life was lived to the fullest with such an array of emotions experienced!
This “year in review” exercise was so powerful and really had me quickly come out of the winter funk I was feeling. I got instantly focused on all the good in my life that I was neglecting.
And so, this year, I am turning over a new leaf and setting a completely different intention. Usually, I have a long list of goals, and desires I set out to focus on. And while I do tend to achieve most of them (because I am a perfectionist), I also tend to get stressed, overwhelmed and worn out. This leads to bouts of anger, crying, and pain stored in my body.
This year I’m trying something different. This year, I have only one intention on my list for the new year: to live in gratitude.
THAT. IS. IT!
Everyday, I intend to find at least one thing I am grateful for and either write it down, or simply think and put focus on it. I do not want to once again wait until the end of the year to focus on the good and abundant in my life. I desire to do so every single day! There is only one thing on my New Year’s Resolution list and that is to find gratitude in my everyday life.
Today, I am grateful for everyone reading this email and for all the support I receive on a regular basis! Thank you all so much for being on this wild journey with me and I wish you all an unbelievably amazing decade to come!
Before you go, I would love to know, what are you grateful for today?
Loving you so much!
Happy New Year!
1/4/2019 0 Comments
Intentions VS Goals
As the year 2018 came to an end, my coach and I (yes coaches have coaches too!) began discussing the coming new year and the wonderful blank slate that comes with it. At this point in time, anything is possible and life can be taken in any direction you desire!
We completed our last call of the 2018 by setting some seriously delicious intentions for the coming year. Now, intentions, are very different from goals. Many times we set lots of goals, and get lost in the logistical details which may cause overwhelm. Whereas intentions are ways you intend to live, things you intend to achieve throughout the year, and things you want to be held accountable for. The details of how you will live out your yearly intentions will change season to season, and sometimes even day to day. For example, there is a difference between saying “I intend to be very healthy and love my body this year”, as opposed to “I plan to workout everyday, sign up for yoga classes, and go vegan!” Notice how the first one is filled with a lot more pleasure and opportunity? While the second is full of overwhelm, and unrealistic expectations. With this example, living a healthy you may mean that one day you spend all day in bed resting and recharging your body and mind without feeling guilty for skipping that yoga class and eating a piece of bacon at breakfast. So don’t worry about the details just yet!
This year, I am allowing myself to be a bit vulnerable and share my intentions with my readers. This is my way of employing some serious public accountability and giving myself more drive to really live in these intentions. I mean, the world is watching!!!
My intentions for the year 2019 are:
1. I intend to be the best mother I can possibly be to my baby girl. To be present with her, to be understanding and compassionate and welcome her always.
2. I intend to be the best lover I can possibly be to my wonderful partner Jim, and show up for him in ways neither of us thought I could.
3. I intend to improve and solidify my relationship with my daughter's dad by keeping firm in my needs and requests and keeping him (and all men for that matter) accountable for their responsibilities.
4. I intend to attract financial abundance and grow to be very money smart.
5. I intend to begin searching for and living out my higher purpose.
6. I intend come as close as I possibly can toward a zero waste lifestyle and find ways to inspire others towards a greener world.
Thank you for reading and feel free to call me out if you see me not living in these intentions this coming year! If you had not yet done any work around your own intentions, January 6th is the first new moon of 2019, which is a wonderful time to paint the perfect picture of your desired life and set some deliberate energies in motion.
I would LOVE to hear from you and what juicy intentions and desires you have for this year. I have a strong feeling this year will be very powerful and full of growth!
I define family as the people I feel most comfortable with. These are the main people I talk to, joke with, and even fight and argue with. Often times family gatherings, while a ton of fun, may also be a setting for tension and unresolved issues. Therefore, when there is a celebration being hosted with many of people around, I watch my behavior very carefully and try my best to avoid accidentally overstepping public boundaries and cause even more tension during a holiday party. This doesn't always work as I have a very big mouth, but I do take preventative measures to avoid further difficulties by taking these next few steps very seriously. If you employ at least 2 of these, I guarantee you will have a much better time and have a good bonding experience with the people you care about most.
Before the party
Have a talk with your Kids
Some preventative measures are taken before you even get to the party, such as serious talks with your children about proper holiday etiquette. There are two main things you would want to speak with your kids about:
- Proper gift receiving etiquette.
You may not think that you need to, but trust me you do. Kids today tend to have so many things and follow very similar trends. (Last year it was Shopkins, this year it's unicorns and LOL surprise dolls). There may be a very big chance they will either receive something they already have, or receive something they may not like because it didn't follow the proper trend. Whatever the case, let them know to be polite, say thank you, and even if they already have the item they were gifted - they appreciate the thought.
- Santa, Santa, Santa.
The second thing you MUST talk to your kids about is Santa. If your kid believes in Santa, you're fine and can skip this part. However, if you're the parent of my kid, you will find yourself at a playground with your kid screaming at the top of her lungs about the tooth fairy not being real, with all the parents looking at you with genuine hate in their eyes. True story!
Please, do yourself and other parents a favor and tell your kid that there are children who do believe in Santa, and to simply let them have their fantasy and beliefs without ruining it for them.
Dress A little nicer Than You Normally Would
Putting a little extra effort into your outfit for this holiday party will go a very long way. Make sure your clothes and your kids' clothes are picked out the week before. Have everything cleaned, ironed, and ready to go. Make sure you will be comfortable in what you are wearing, and make sure you bring a spare outfit for the kids, more often than not, you will need it.
You do not need to overdo it, but do understand that it is a party and your effort will show respect for the host, the event, and simply make you feel good when those massive amounts of photos are being taken and shared. It is a simple detail that will make you feel more festive and have a big impact on your overall mood.
I would LOVE to see all of your holiday outfits!! Please, please share!!
DO NOT come empty handed
Always, always, always bring something edible or decorative to the party. This shows great respect for the host and provides an immediate contribution to the event.
Good items to bring to any party are:
- Beverages - bringing a bottle of wine or cider is always welcome and very classy.
- Dessert or cheese platters go very well and help relieve some pressure form the host who would now have to make a little less food.
- A bouquet of flowers is very simple with no effort required from you and adds to the festive scenery of the party. A lovely potted Poinsettia plant is absolutely perfect this time of year and will last way after the party is done to serve as a lovely reminder to the host of the fun that was had.
During The Party
You have officially done all your behind the scenes work - spoke with your kids about their behavior, picked out your perfect outfit, got your gifts wrapped, and purchased a party offering. Now its time to party!
During the party however, unexpected obstacles may arise, and tensions may run high between family members. Arguments may ensure between siblings, children may be running around wreaking havoc on the house and uncomfortable questions may be asked - "When are you having your next kid?", "Have you applied to that graduate program yet?", "What are you really doing with your life?" - am I right or am I right?
Say a little (or a lot) less
Do not make many comments stating your opinion and refrain from making too many (or any) suggestions. I know most of us are experts in our work field. And possibly experts at parenting, running the household, and even that signature recipe which the host proudly serves every year. ;) However, no matter how much better you think your suggestion or comment would make the party, please understand that the host is already under a lot of pressure. He or she are attempting to have their event flow as smoothly as possible, without sharing all the breakdowns happening behind the scenes with their guests. And there are ALWAYS breakdowns happening behind the scenes. So, while you may mean your suggestions in the best way possible, during a high stress environment, like a family party, they may be misunderstood and taken as judgements and criticism.
Watch your alcohol intake
Getting too drunk may be very dangerous at a party where you know people's deepest and darkest secrets, and those who you may feel a bit defensive around. I mean, who does feel a little on edge around their parents, or in-laws? I highly suggest avoiding getting too drunk and deciding that this is the right time to finally get this huge thing off your chest you've been waiting to say to your mother for years, or having a drunk debate about religion with the family pastor (yes we have one of those, and yes I have to work real hard to avoid any offence!)
Do not be the family member who people have to hide alcohol from at parties. Or worse, the one who doesn't get invited back.
Just like saying a little less, you can listen a little more.
Everyone LOVES having attention put on them. So when you actually listen and give people the space to speak and be heard, I guarantee you, you will become the most pleasant person at the party. People will talk about how nice you are and you didn't even have to say a word!
When speaking at family parties - less is usually more.
I also found that toward the end of family parties, people begin reminiscing and telling lots of funny, embarrassing, and often very interesting stories about their past. I always get to know my family members, old and new, so much better when I just sit and listen. I had gained so much more insight into my family members' lives, struggles, and expertise. All these things add a lot more depth to the relationships you have with the most important people in your life.
I wish you all a very happy, calm, and pleasant holidays! I cannot wait to hear your family success stories, see photos off all the gifts you gave and received and all the food you shared with the people around you.
10/1/2018 2 Comments
Diy Contortionist Costume
This was the most fun (and possibly the most effort consuming) costume I have ever made and worn! It looked so realistic that people all over social media kept commenting on how "flexible" I am and how much of an "inspiration" I was to them HA! And those in real life had to turn their heads a couple times to see if I was really just hanging out there on a random little table bent in half. It was such hilarious fun! I will now break this costume down for you piece by piece, so you too can attend (or host) your own carnival themed party.
There are 3 parts to this costume: the legs (hardest and most time consuming), the table and table cover (medium difficulty), t-shirt (easiest).
You will make each of these parts, and then assemble them on to your body the day of the party.
To make this costume realistic I made an actual mold of my own legs. I later ended up cutting off about 4 inches from each thigh, just because they were SO big and very heavy.
To make the costume, you will need:
1. Duct tape, and LOTS of it. I used a little over 3 large rolls.
2. A pair of thick stockings you do not mind parting with.
3. Stuffing material.
4. A sturdy belt.
5. Stocking to wear on top of the legs (preferably fishnets or some sort of textured design)
7. 2 large buttons.
8. Some sort of wide and sturdy ribbon.
9. A shirt or tank top to match your outfit.
10. Some cardboard.
11. A table cloth or a long skirt to dress the table.
***All of these items can be purchased at target, and for the stuffing, I used my daughter's old homework that I just crumpled up and stuffing from a whole bunch of her stuffed toys (with her permission of course!). I found that "Build A Bear" stuffing works best, but it is too expensive and you will need A LOT of it. (so I stuck with the old homework for the most part haha!)
Part 1 - Making The Legs
*** The original mold of my legs was too large for the costume and too heavy to carry around all night. I cut off 4 inches from each thigh of the original duct tape mold and sealed them back up. This allowed the feet to touch my shoulders as opposed to going above my head, and the legs looked a lot more comfortable.
Part 2 - Making the Shirt
The shirt is the easiest component to make.
Step 1: choose a shirt to match your outfit. I picked this striped red and white tank top to match the circus theme of the party I was attending.
Step 2: cut a horizontal slit in front of the shirt, across the stomach.
***When putting the shirt on, you will step your legs through the cut you made and the back flap will be worn on the "lower back" part of the legs you made. This will make the costume appear as if it is continuous with you body.
Optional Step 3: I hemmed the 2 parts of the cut to avoid the shirt stretching during the evening. To do this, fold about a 1/2 inch of the edges, pin down and sew across.
Part 3: Making the Table & Tablecloth
Lastly, you will make the table and something to cover your legs. You can go for a round table or a square one like I did. You will make the table in 2 pieces, using cardboard or sturdy foam. When you are ready to wear the costume, you will assemble it directly on yourself using more duct tape.
I hope this tutorial helped and inspired you to make your own fabulous contortionist costume! If you have any questions or comments, or something is unclear, definitely let me know in the comment section below.
Happy Halloween everyone!
7/4/2018 0 Comments
"Ice Ice Baby!"
Drip irrigation is the second most effective method of watering plants. It avoids overwatering, which causes plats roots to rot and provides a constant supply of moisture to the plants.
When you have a large farm, drip irrigation is made possible by building a large system of pipes that run throughout and drip water directly onto the roots of the plants. This is used mostly for trees since those do not need to be replanted and therefore the piping system is not affected.
This is great and all, but how can you utilize the concept of drip irrigation at home with house plants without having to run pipes all throughout the house, or in my case - apartment? I use, wait for it: ice cubes! That's right! I make a few trays of ice and simply place 1 to 2 ice cubes into the pot, depending on the size of the plant.
The ice will slowly melt and drip down to the roots without immediately overwhelming the plants with a lot of water and allowing time for all the drops to be taken up by the roots. It is also much faster and you do not need to walk around with a large amount of water to feed your plants. This also minimizes your chances of messy spills. Win win for everyone!
6/27/2018 1 Comment
Eggshells As Fertilizer
6/26/2018 0 Comments
The Story Behind My Garden
I have very recently begun to take small steps toward living a much more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
One of the steps I’ve taken involves growing my own food at a local community garden, in which I am very privileged to have a small plot of land. I certainly take full advantage of it! I have grown pounds of green beans in recent years that have nourished me all summer long; I even had enough to freeze for the winter time! I have a large bush of raspberries which not only saves me money,but provides my daughter with antioxidants. I also have lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, mint, rosemary, parsley, kale, salad, beets, and carrots. This year we developed a really nice strawberry field, and planted 2 blueberry and blackberry bushes, as well as experimenting with growing corn.
This land didn’t always belong to me and my family, however, and the story behind it is not one I have shared often.
It was once run by a good friend of my mother’s. He ran a super tight ship, grew fantastic vegetables, and had a beautiful flower garden.
One day, he called my mother and very casually asked if she would take care of his plants. She was enthusiastic to help and said yes. Gardening has always been a really enjoyable experience for her.
The next day my mother and her roommate went to tend to the garden and spend time in the sun. When they arrived, they received tragic news - their friend had committed suicide….
My mom was heartbroken, angry, and filled with remorse.
The garden never belonged to us, and we hadn’t yet gone through the proper paperwork to attain that piece of land, but my mother refused to let anyone else inherit it. She immediately went to the manager and pleaded with him to let her keep it. This was her friend’s dying wish, the last thing he ever said to her, she was not giving it up. The garden community turned out to be a real tight one, composed of good friends, so everyone was pretty shaken about what happened. The manager did not put up a fight, the land now belonged to my mom.
We have since poured our heart into this garden. My daughter has grown up planting vegetables and eating from the Earth. In honor of my mother’s friend, we had planted a really beautiful flower garden, and every year add a new seeding to it.
Whenever I tell someone about my garden, they exclaim how lucky I am! While I definitely feel lucky, the story behind this blessing is bittersweet. I enjoy every minute I am there, and feel honored to have been chosen as one of the people to take care of it, but I would much rather have the original owner simply sharing the space with us than having inherited it.
I encourage you all to check up on your friends and family members regularly, ESPECIALLY those who appear strong and don’t seem to need you.
Here are some pictures of what has been growing so far. I am super excited to share the harvest with you all summer (and even winter) long! Thank you for reading and stay tuned.
I recently began teaching an environmental science class to college students, and one of the assignments I had given was for each student to calculate their carbon footprint.
What is the Carbon Footprint of an individual you ask? Well I'll tell you.
The concept was first introduced by Reese and Wackernagel, and is a way of mathematically determining how much amount of land if takes to support your lifestyle.
Before giving out the assignment, I decided to first complete it myself. "I'll show them an example of what it's like being green", I thought. Ha! The joke was on me. Turns out, I take up a whole lot more space that I thought. I was very disappointed in myself, and to be honest, quite embarrassed...
On average, if the amount of livable space on the Earth, was divided by the amount of individual humans living now, each person should take up 4.163 acres of land to be sustained. However, individuals in developed countries take up over 5x that amount.
To offer perspective, 1 football field is equal to 1.32 acres. This means to sustain my current lifestyle - to feed me, clothe me, bathe me, transport me from place to place, keep me fit, educated and healthy, it takes over 7 football fields of land - and I am someone who people consider environmentally friendly! So how much space are the "unfriendly" people taking up?
(If you wish to calculate your Carbon Footprint, you can download the PDF of the assignment I gave my students here.)
Well, a change in my lifestyle definitely felt needed! I began to take more notice of where I was choosing slight comfort for large consequences, or when I was just mindlessly being wasteful, and I began to make subtle yet powerful changes in my daily routines to encourage a more sustainable way of life.
Here are some of the ways I will be cutting down the amount of resources I use up regularly. You can (and should) just pick one or two of these and do your best to really stick to it and make it a habit. Even employing just one of these environmentally friendly options will make a HUGE difference in the world.
1. Use reusable bottles and mugs. This one move alone will prevent tons of plastic waste and chemicals leaking into the environment, causing serious diseases, and killing wildlife. I highly recommend getting a temperature seal bottle which holds both hot and cold liquids.
You can save money making your own coffee or tea at home, as well as not buying water. Many stores, such as Whole Foods, also offer a discount if you bring you own bottle for coffee. Therefore, if you can carry a reusable water bottle to they gym, or to work, you will not only reduce the waste you produce, but also save yourself some money.
They recently even installed these great filtered water fountains at my job, which have been popping up often lately and are such a great addition to a work place, making it even easier to stay hydrated and environmentally friendly.
At the time I filled this water bottle, the filtration system already helped eliminate waste from 6,775 plastic bottles! That's pretty great!
4. Eat less meat! This is one is definitely the hardest one for some, but replacing even one meal a day with an all vegetarian one can greatly reduce your use of resources, as well as improve your health.
If you look at the worksheet, eating beef alone is worth a lot more points toward your resource intake than any other action. To harvest animals for meat you need to grow acres of crops to feed them. They are then injected with lot of antibiotics and other medications which are later released into our oceans. Harvesting meat also contributes greatly to air pollution due to the methane emissions by cows. Cows fart - a LOT - and it is very bad for the air we all breathe.
This summer I plan to explore a lot of vegetarian options and recipes, and will most definitely share them with you!
You can find them all on the Nutrition Page of the blog.
5. Go Paperless! How much paper do we receive by mail each month? Super long credit card statements that are then a hassle to store. They kill way too many trees, and clutter your house. Today, it is so easy to view all your statements and pay your bills online online. Many companies even offer a monetary reward for opting out of their paper mail option. Once again, helping save the planet gets you some money.
10. Grow your own food. I know for many this is not an easy possibility, which is why I list it last. However, if you have even the smallest garden, plant some easy to grow herbs, or small peppers. Some may even be grown inside, and will help clear the air in your house, as well as serve as delicious, nutrient filled spices. If you have slightly more land, you can grow a small bush of cherry tomatoes and greens like kale.
I feel very fortunate to have a small garden that I love so much and take full advantage of. Gardening often serves me as a meditation practice, as well as a source of food in the summer and fall, and allows me to compost my food scoring me double green points! My garden is now in it's very first blooming stages and I am so excited to try our very first harvest of the year. Stay tuned for gardening tips and tricks, (and brags), that I will be sharing this summer.
Even if you simply choose 1 or 2 of these lifestyle changes, you will cause a major difference and help prevent a lot of waste. You will also notice a trend of saving money and have a healthier body and mind. It is very easy to start small to make a BIG difference.
I would love to hear from you! What step will you take for the environment today?
4/7/2018 1 Comment
Post Dental Surgery Self Care
Two days ago I had an upper molar tooth removed and a bone graft put in its place to prepare for a dental implant. I know all this sounds pretty complicated; pretty much, a large tooth was ripped out of my jaw, a small piece of bone was put in its place, and my gums were sewn up. This was the second time I've had a procedure like this done. The first time I had completely underestimated the healing process and how much pain I would be in! "Its only a tooth" I thought.
But a toothache is no joke! Our teeth are connected to nerves that run all throughout our bodies. The headaches they caused were enough to render me useless, curled up like a baby in fetal position.
However, this time around, I was prepared! I had scheduled childcare help for the weekend I expected to be in recovery, went to gym all week prior to the surgery, and ate all my favorite foods. I had set myself up for a full 2 days of rehabilitation. And and in this article I share how I did it! Here are my 5 most important suggestions for the times you are recovering from any sort of illness or surgical procedures.
2. Set A Pampering Mood.
This is the time to take the best possible care of yourself. Setting a peaceful atmosphere allows you to get distracted, focus on soothing your other senses and taking your mind off the pain you may be feeling.
I opted for a candle lit bubble bath with Epsom salt and flower petals. An hour of quiet time to read (which I negotiated for with the little one), and some yummy soft foods. Throughout the day I applied a cold compress to the affected area to lessen swelling and bruising, and avoided all strenuous activity, including exercise.
5. Water! Water! Water!
I cannot stress this enough: water is one of the most crucial items for keeping the body working properly! Not only will it help dissolve all those vitamins you have been taking and carry them to their appropriate places in the body, but it will also keep you hydrated while you are taking all those antibiotics that accompany these procedures. Water is one of the most healing substances on this planet and you should always aim to get plenty of fluids daily, especially when rebuilding any part of the body.
Post Surgery Before and After
Stay tuned for all the soft food recipes I will be making all week!
Anna Alexandra Lerer.