3 Reasons Why I’m Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s so easy during this time to spout off our traditional (and rightful) list of “Thanks”. You know, “the food”, “the family”, “the friends, “the being alive”, and all of those very important mentions. But, I’m daring you this Thanksgiving to get a bit real. Strip it down and get super thankful for some of the challenges, the hard stuff that REALLY grows us and opens us up to the life we deserve.

So I’ll start and I hope that you’ll take time to be still, think on it, and let the gratitude flow.

Here goes!

I’m thankful for:

  • My family – Ok, I know this one is supposed to be one of the super easies but I’m going somewhere with this, so stick with me. I could run off a million reasons why this one is on my list but I won’t. I’ll just say I’ve got big love for the two folks, Bruce Almighty & The Teenager. I fell in love 5 years ago and happily signed up for my new family. And, it’s been super hard a lot of the time being partner, Dad’s Girlfriend/”bonus mom”, cook, housekeeper, healthy lifestyle ambassador, busy New Yorker, world traveler, yogini, best friend, entrepreneur…(insert song “I’m Every Woman” here) and, I have to be honest, a lot of the time I get it dead wrong + a million! But I keep showing up because I’m madly in love and it’s all so worth it! It’s hard, beautiful, make you wanna holla, and make you want to thank the heavens for your blessings, work. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for sharing the journey with me Bruce & Sasha!
  • My fabulously sexy, maturing body and all of it’s new “fun” quirks and aches – Lately I can’t sit in cross-legged “Easy Pose”(Sukhasana). Nope! My hips aren’t having it. Last month, my right shoulder decided to take a vacation from the rest of my body. Fantastic! I’m getting REALLY in tune with what works and makes me feel at ease in my body and it’s growing my yoga practice in ways I haven’t experienced before. There’s this peace that comes from accepting that something has to change because I’m changing. It’s so cool. I mean, it’s super achy weird, but it’s cool nonetheless.
  • Not starting Culinary School…just yet – Timing is everything. In August, I sat down with Bruce Almighty and we both came to the decision that it just wasn’t going to happen. Given everything that was going on in our lives, starting culinary school was just not in the cards. At first I was angry and then it turned to sadness for a couple of weeks. And then I woke up and remembered who I was and what mattered. “No”, “Not right now”, doesn’t mean “Never”. I am grateful that the Universe offers us these “Not yet’s” in our lives so that we can put our mental, spiritual, financial or whatever house it is in order to best do the work and receive all of the abundance that comes with “Now!”.

What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s get the gratitude flowing!

How To Beat Holiday Stress

Check out my tips on how to dump stress and enjoy your holidays! Watch my video and be sure to leave your comments on how you beat back stress below! And…

Join me for “Holiday Stress Away” yoga bytracye

Saturday, November 21st, 12:00pm

@ The Yoga Collective NYC




Black Bean & Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili

Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration in our house. Since I”m not a fan of pumpkin pie (Sorry, but it’s just not my thing.), I’m always looking for other ways to play with this fall favorite. This week, it was vegetarian chili.

Now, when I make chili, it’s kind of your “kitchen sink” version. I take a look inside of the refrigerator and add anything that’s left from the farmer’s market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s forages of the week and throw it in. But this week, I had a bit of a strategy. I definitely wanted to have the pumpkin flavor but not have the pumpkin be super mushy. Plus, I added a little hint of sweet “mole”ish kick with the chocolate and dark honey. It worked! And the empty bowls (and back for seconds) from Bruce and Sasha strongly suggests that this go into my comfort food rotation.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. And, as usual, play with it to make it your own. Life’s too spectacular to follow someone else’s plan! Be sure to let me know how it came out in the comments below! As well post your chili pics on social media and tag me at bytracye so I can get it on the good stuff!

2 cups dried black beans, cooked according to package instructions

1 small sweet pumpkin, roasted and cut in chunky pieces

1 26 oz box Pomi crushed tomatoes

3-4 small to medium carrots, cut in chunky pieces

2 small zucchini squash, cut in chunky pieces

1-2 cups chopped Lacinato Kale (or greens of your choice)

2 cups water

1 medium to large red bell pepper

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 ounces good dark chocolate

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon good dark honey

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt (to taste)

red chili flakes (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Use a fork or knife to puncture a couple of small holes into pumpkin. Place on a baking sheet and put into oven to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Note: Cooking time depends on the size of your pumpkin. You’ll want to cook it al dente or even a bit less than that to manage the mush factor. So check in by poking it with a fork or knife. When it starts to give a bit take it out. Cut it in half and let it rest. You can gut the seeds and the gooey stuff in a bit.

Add oil to a pre-heated pot. Add onion, garlic, and spices and cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add cooked black beans, crushed tomatoes, chocolate, honey and water and allow to simmer on low to medium heat for about 15-2o minutes. Gut your pumpkin (Save the seeds and roast for a treat later!), remove skin and cut into chunky pieces. Add pumpkin and remaining vegetables to the pot. Let simmer for another few minutes. Add salt and red chili flakes (optional) to taste and serve.

“Holiday Stress Away” yoga bytracye, Saturday, November 21st!

Join me to ring in the holidays (and to Breathe Big so that you can enjoy them ;-)) for “Holiday Stress Away” yoga! Save your mat space and register today for my Vinyasa bytracye – Open Level class (That means there will be something for everyone!) @ The Yoga Collective NYC, Saturday, November 21st, 12:30pm-1:30pm. Class price: $20. Space is limited and this class will sell out, so make it happen and see you on the mat!

Click HERE to Register!

Can’t make it? Headed out of town? Live somewhere else? No problem. I’ve got your yoga back! Thanks to my top guy Bruce Almighty, this class will be filmed and available to download or stream on November 22nd! Stay tuned for more info on where you can purchase your online class.

Happy Holidays & Breathe Big!

Be Well,

Photo Credit: Bruce Dunkins Photography

Collard Greens & Red Quinoa Fried Rice

I know it’s Fall but I haven’t gone all “root vegetable, squash this and soup that” just yet. There are still beautiful fresh greens to be found, albeit the heartier type. Enter Collard Greens.

I whipped together this quick fried rice for lunch post Hatha class the other day and it’s an instant winner. It’s great as a side or serve as a main dish for dinner. And, with the addition of red quinoa, it packs a powerful nutritional punch.

Happy Fall and enjoy!

2-3 cups leftover brown rice (I used an organic basmati rice)

1 cup red quinoa, cooked according to package directions

1/2 bunch collard greens, chopped

1-2 scallions, chopped (green parts too)

1 large clove garlic, chopped

2 eggs, scrambled

Vegetable Oil

Tamari or Soy Sauce

Chili Pepper Flakes (Optional)

Add oil to a pre-heated skillet. Add onion (save green parts until the end) and garlic. Saute until onions are slightly transparent. Careful not to overcook the garlic. Add collard greens and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Make a well in the center of the skillet to scramble eggs. Mix eggs in with the vegetables. Mix in rice and quinoa. Add Tamari or Soy Sauce to taste. Optional: Add a few sprinkles of chili flakes to spice things up!