Work and Play in DUMBO

A few weeks ago, Bruce and I had the best day in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge OverPass) Brooklyn. It was actually a planned business visit to my friends at West Elm Market to sure up plans for my yummy food demo there on May 24th. But, since the sun was blazing beautiful in the sky, we were all smiles and all about the play as well!

A browse, a little shopping, and a meeting at the Market, followed by a sweet treat (or two) at One Girl Cookies, and an enchanting walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge made for the best of days. And, I even got to turn the camera on my favorite photographer a.k.a. love of my life. Thanks DUMBO!

I hope you’ll join me on May 24th 12pm-4pm at West Elm Market – Brooklyn. I’ll be cooking up cool, easy summer recipes with some of the local in-store goods, in the kitchen with my favorite red frig! And, who knows, I might even ask you to strike a yoga pose or two with me!


Photo Credit: Bruce Dunkins Photography


How To Rock A Day Pass: Yoga Journal Live! New York 2015


Every year, I plan to attend all four days of the Yoga Journal Live! New York Conference. That hasn’t happened yet. But, this year I did grab a Day Pass for the Sunday events. And, what a day it was!

My Day Pass included three workshops, The MarketPlace, and so much yoga!  My morning began with “Arm Balancing” with Kathryn Budig, where I preceded, sans sufficient coffee, to “fly” into Crow Pose, One-Legged Crow Pose, and more, while still half asleep (and with my hot orangey pink Lululemon’s on inside out.). But aside from the smart instruction and glowing light that she is, my favorite Kathryn take away? This quote “Manifest. If you want something, you have to call it out by its name.” Boom!

For the afternoon session I was off to the Amy Ippoliti’s “Yoga Relief for Your Neck, Wrists, and Shoulders”. It was a teacher’s dream workshop! If I could have recorded our time, I would have. Instead, I’ve got lots of notes and happier shoulders for sure.  The other thing is that Amy makes you just want to hug her the entire time. Her spirit is just that bright. That, and she’s a super, crazy smart, mindful, inspired yoga teacher and life-liver.

The MarketPlace was, as usual, fun and fruitful. There was a variety of vendors with everything from shoes to mat wipes to the VitaMix guy. But, in the end, I walked away with a couple of fab pairs of Ahnu Footwear, earrings, and a little love from BORN Skincare in the form of “The Source for Sore Muscles” oil. It was a good day at The MarketPlace.

My final workshop with Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef Megan Huylo “Spring Detox” was a great way to round out a full-day on the mat. Plus, I walked away with a new sprouting kit. Score!

By 5:30pm I was exhausted in the best kind of way – -the yoga.yummy food way! I walked out of that class and the conference completely full and ready to share.

Enjoy my rockin’ Day Pass photos and big thanks to Bruce Almighty for capturing the light! Note: The blurry photos are solely on my head (because I was probably standing on my head). See you next year (perhaps for the whole conference) Yoga Journal Live! NY. Namaste.


Photo Credit: Bruce Dunkins Photography and Tracye Warfield

bytracye retreat “haven” Costa Rica – Early Bird Pricing Extended thru May 18th!


a place of refuge or rest; a sanctuary.


Join us for bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat “haven”, August 22nd –August 26th, Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

An exclusive yoga and culinary journey awaits you in beautiful Costa Rica where you will be served and pampered in tropical luxury at our stunning home away from home Casa Puro Dieces. Translated “Pure Tens”, this modern marvel nestled on the hillside, with its Pacific Rim tropical design and Balinese inspired architecture, helps to inspire the “Pura Vida” way of life and serves as the ideal setting to immerse yourself in the bytracye retreat experience.

You will explore your yoga practice, your way, while nourishing your body and awakening your taste buds with the best cuisine Costa Rica has to offer. You will rest, relax, and be catered to in all of the exquisite ways you deserve. Welcome to haven.

Retreat will include:

• Premier concierge service
• Morning & sunset yoga and meditation classes bytracye (All levels)
• Private yoga consultations, instruction and practice resources
• Three customized, gourmet, locally sourced meals per day featuring world-class haven private chef Jean-Luc Taulare*
• Fresh cooking demonstrations
• Costa Rican raw chocolate making workshop by internationally acclaimed chocolate maker, Henrik Bodholdt
• Massage
• Group Excursions & Activities
• Private Local Transportation
• Private Costa Rica Airport Transfers**

*Alcoholic beverages not included

**Airfare not included.

Sample Daily Schedule

Pre-Yoga Early Morning Coffee/Tea, Fruit Smoothies & Pressed Juices @ Poolside

Morning Yoga Practice @ Poolside

Communal Breakfast @ Poolside

Group Excursion or Workshop/Demonstration or Yogi Foodie’s Choice

Group Lunch Excursion

Sunset Restorative/Meditation Practice @ Poolside or Roof Deck

Communal Dinner @ Poolside

Retreat Investment:

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION (Extended thru May 18th, 2015)
• Master Suite – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3000 per person
• Premier Double Share – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2750 per person
• Couple Share – Partial Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2200 per person
• Couple Jr. Suite – Ocean View (2 Guests Minimum) $2525 per person
• Double Yogi Share (2 Guests Minimum) $1950 per person
Single (1 Guest Maximum) $2650 per person SOLD OUT!

Registration after April 25th

• Master Suite – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3300 per person
• Premier Double Share – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3050 per person
• Couple Share – Partial Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2500 per person
• Couple Jr. Suite – Ocean View (2 Guests Minimum) $2825 per person
• Double Yogi Share (2 Guests Minimum) $2250 per person
Single (1 Guest Maximum) $2950SOLD OUT!

Payment Options:

Payment in full at time of booking


50% of retreat balance due at time of booking; remaining balance due by May 29th, 2015. Contact to reserve with this option.

We recommend flying into Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica. As well, and to be safe, we also recommend purchasing travel insurance with your flight.
Private Airport Transfer (in Costa Rica)

Once you are confirmed for the retreat and have booked your flight, our logistics coordinator will contact you to book your shuttle from Liberia to Tamarindo, as well as your return trip. Your airport transfer is included in your package. NOTE: Your private airport transfer is only included from and to Liberia (LIR) airport.

Cancellation Policy:
A $100 administration fee is non-refundable for all registrants.
A 50% refund will be issued for those canceling prior to May 8th.
A 30% refund will be issued for those canceling between May 29th.
No refunds will be issued after June 6th.

“The yogic experience (including meditation) was the best I’ve experienced. And it didn’t hurt that every meal of every day was fresh and delicious. Tracye and her team made us feel like family. They thought of everything – from lavender-scented moist towels at the end of each practice to a custom, taste-tested menu for each meal – allowing you to leave your worries state-side and concentrate only on relaxation.If you have the chance, I strongly recommend treating yourself to one of Tracye’s yoga retreats. You will appreciate the experience for many years to come.” – Andrew T.

Space limited. Click here to register today!

Interview with Pistache NYC Pastry Chef Christine Herelle-Lewis

Yes, I do eat sweets. But only the gorgeous types and even then, in moderation. It’s all about balance. I like phenomenal dark chocolate, a single scoop of fresh raspberry sorbet or pistachio gelato, a tangy, lightly sweet lemon tart, sensational fresh-baked bread and simple, unforgettable pastries.

Enter Pistache NYC.

Pastry Chef Christine Herelle-Lewis and Chef Noémie Videau-Zagar are the dynamic duo behind the Brooklyn-based artisanal bakery Pistache NYC.  Named for the pistachio that both Christine and Noémie adore, Pistache NYC offers both sweet and savory, “simple yet refined”, homemade treats made from fresh, organic and local when available, seasonal ingredients. And as they say and I love “always keeping an eye on the scale when it comes to sugar and salt.”

I sat down for lunch at chez bytracye (my apartment) with one half of the baking duo, Chef Christine, who also happens to be my neighbor and friend, to talk about her passion. NOTE: There were no pastries involved in the making of this blog (VERY unfortunate!). However, there was a previous tea time with sublime lemon and pistachio macaroons last week, so she is forgiven.

Tracye:  I’m not a baker. I love to cook, but I leave the real baking, especially sweets, to the professionals like you and Noémie . What attracted you to baking and when did you start?

Christine: It’s actually an old story. My older cousin used to bake cakes for what became known as “Sunday Cake Time”.  Instead of Sunday dinner, my family would gather for a long, leisurely, day of cakes and socializing. I would help her and get to be the taster which was the best part!  I watched her bake cakes for pleasure. It was all about the experience.

Tracye: So how did you go from helping your cousin bake cakes as a child to pastry school to apprenticing for Pierre Hermé in Paris, to co-owning Pistache NYC?

Christine: Well, it took awhile for me to decide that I wanted to become a pastry chef. I really didn’t think it was a career choice that was even available to me. I would always bake pastries and cakes for friends and family, but never imagined doing it for a living. It was finally a talk with a good friend that helped me to see that it was my passion.

Once I decided, I applied for a scholarship for the school and was denied. I was crushed at the time, but applied again the next year and was successful. I went on to love school, even though it was tough at times. When it came time to apprentice I absolutely knew the only place I wanted to be was Pierre Hermé so I submitted and got it!

Tracye: And Pistache NYC? How did you and Noémie meet and make it a reality?

Christine: Noemi and I were actually in culinary school at the same time but in different areas. She was in cuisine and I was in pastry.  A mutual friend thought we should meet as we were both moving to New York.  That was back in 2011. It really was destiny and the perfect pairing – -savory and sweet. And so, after transplanting to New York, we opened Pistache NYC.

Tracye: So what are your thoughts on eating pastries, breads, etc.? I mean, there are people who steer clear of baked yummies, sweet or savory, completely.

Christine: I believe what I do and what I create and offer is about three things – -pleasure, balance, and love.

Tracye: It’s spring, even though we’re both still shivering. What are your favorites for the season?

Christine: Oh, I love both fresh and cooked fruit tarts. I have a pistachio and grapefruit tart that’s amazing right now. (Get the recipe here!)  I also like apricot.

Tracye: Bruce Almighty and I are planning to take Sasha to Paris for her 16th birthday next summer. Hard question I know because there are so many amazing patisseries, boulangeries, etc. but, can you name your top three favorites right now?

Christine: That is hard. But let me think. Ok, I’ll go first with Pierre Hermé, of course! Next, and this would be Noémie’s pick, is Aurore Capucine. And finally, you must try Du Pain et Des Idees and get Le pain des amis. It’s incredible.

Tracye: And finally, what’s your favorite New York bakery right now?

Christine: I have to say Levain Bakery. I love their cookies. It’s amazing how a cookie that size that can have such great flavor, the crunch on the outside and be chewy on the inside. It’s consistent. The same great cookie every time. Very good.

Get the recipe for Christine’s Pistachio and Grapefruit Tart HERE!

Learn more about Pistache NYC offerings at

Photo credit: Stéphanie Beauval-Cheng,




5 Tips for Your 30 Day Yoga Challenge

It seems like everywhere I turn I see my  friends, family, and students heading to their “30 Day Yoga Challenge” mats committing and recommitting themselves to a disciplined practice. I say bravo to that and welcome to the party! Now, how do you stick to it? Well, here are a few tips:

1. Find a studio OR skip the studio. There are so many options for where and how you can practice yoga these days. Check out your local studios to see if they offer any 30 Day New Student special pricing or if you’ve already been practicing there, see if they have any deals for your month intensive. But, if for some reason you can’t make it to a studio or at some point would like a more intimate practice at home, check out free online videos or virtual classes on YouTube (Here’s my quick Sun Salutation breakdown for, to get you started) or sites like YogaGlo or YogaVibes. If you’re new to yoga, I do recommend finding a live, certified yoga instructor to help you safely move and breathe into your practice.

2. One. Day. At. A. Time. Yoga is all about being in the moment. So really each day is the “challenge”, right? To show up one day, is to have practiced a lifetime. So enjoy each opportunity to roll out your mat and forget about day 30.

3. Remember there’s more to yoga than a pose. It can be easy to define yoga based on what we see on magazines, blogs, numerous selfies of yogis and yoginis in mind-boggling poses (guilty!), but there’s so much more to this practice then asanas (the poses).  Try incorporating breath work (pranayama) and stillness (meditation) into your daily practice. And if the idea of sitting still as a yoga practice makes you want to itch, scream, sneeze, run for the hills, then check out my 5-Minute Yoga Challenge for a starter.

4. Be a part of the yoga community. “We’re in this together!” I like to say. So why not share your energy and your growing practice with the rest of the world. Check out the local free classes in the park. Maybe attend your first kirtan at your local yoga studio. Explore the great blogs and online chats on the practice. Engage others and see how that comes right back to you and your yoga in the best of ways.

5. Remember why you started. And, remember it’s yoga, so chill. So what if you miss a day. Get back on your mat with love of self and a new breath. Nobody’s grading you except for you and the silly ego so forget about it. It’s not important. The “challenge” is to show up and allow. Be gentle with yourself. This is not a competition and there are no medals. So, as I said before, chill and just do your yoga.

If you’re headed to a studio class, Click Here to see my schedule.