Suzanne’s Winter Vegetable Soup

suzanne's winter vegetable soup

I made this satisfying soup last night and couldn’t wait to share my recipe with you. It’s delicious, super healthy and will warm you up on a cold night.

(Update: since I originally posted this recipe, I’ve gotten many comments on how delicious it is. Try it; you’ll love it!)


4 Tablespoons of olive oil

10 oz. of cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 carrots, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1/2 onion, diced

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt

28 oz. of canned chopped tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 quarts of filtered water

2 Tablespoons of soy sauce

one piece of Parmesan rind

1 1/2 cups of butternut squash, cubed

10 oz. of baby spinach

One 15 oz. can of great Northern beans, rinsed

One lemon

Extra Parmesan for serving on top


In stockpot, cook mushrooms in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until browned, about 5 minutes. Set mushrooms aside. Cook carrots, celery, onion, salt in remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Add tomatoes, bay leaves, and bring to boil. Add the water, soy sauce and Parmesan rind. Bring to boil, decrease heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add butternut squash and cook for additional 20 minutes until squash is cooked through.

Add spinach, mushrooms, beans and cook for an additional 10 minutes until heated through.

Serve with a squirt of lemon to brighten. Add Parmesan on top if you prefer.

you are what you eat: here’s what I ate yesterday

I haven’t missed a day of yoga and meditation since I made the commitment on January 2nd to practice everyday this year. As it goes, one positive thing leads to another and I’m also more conscious about my diet. When I say “diet” I mean what I eat each day, not “diet” in the form of trying to lose weight. Although it’s a funny thing, I have lost 5 pounds without “dieting”.

I’ve always enjoyed eating healthily. I love fruits and vegetables and know that I feel so much better when I eat well. But like all of us, from time to time I slip into eating patterns that could be better. So now is the time to pay a bit more attention and be present (ah, yoga summed up in two words!) with my food choices.

Here is what I ate yesterday. Take a look and let me know your thoughts. Love it? Hate it? And I’d really like to know what YOU eat. I’m kinda of geek like that. Call me a food geek. If you like this post (you can actually like it below to let me know), then maybe I’ll feature this once or twice a month.


2 eggs lightly fried in a touch of butter with steamed baby kale and garlic

(cooking notes: OMG! the creaminess of the eggs with the garlic and kale = fabulous!)


Tilapia with Asian Green Sauce and brown rice

(cooking notes: HOLY YUMMO! Did I lick the plate? I believe I did. This very healthy, low-fat dish is so delicious. The sauce is a delightful mix of cilantro, lime juice, ginger, scallions, etc.)

Snacks during the day


fresh juice from my juicer – carrots, celery, apple and ginger root

Ines Rosales Sweet Olive Oil Tortas


Mushroom Stroganoff with Goat Cheese

scientific proof that yoga and meditation changes your brain

Check out this Tedtalk YouTube from a neuroscientist who has proven that yoga and meditation changes the brain. Meditation is now proven to reduce stress, increase compassion and empathy, improve memory and concentration, plus more. After watching this, why wouldn’t you invest 10 to 30 minutes a day meditating and practicing yoga?

meditating on abundance and giving

pushpaputa mudra

It’s DAY 11 of our 28 Day Yoga Challenge and I’m feeling very grateful for my life exactly as it is. It’s amazing that depending on our perspective, we can be deeply content or absolutely distraught, with the conditions of our life being exactly the same.

I watched Oprah’s Lifeclass last night featuring Sean Penn’s charitable work in Haiti. I was incredibly touched and reminded to be thankful for all I have.

If you are looking for a focus for your meditation today, try incorporating this hasta mudra with an intention on abundance and giving (to yourself or someone else).

Pushpaputa mudra
See below for general information on hasta mudras (hand postures)

The translation for pushpaputa is “a handful of flowers” which is àpropos for this lovely symbol of giving to another.

Pushpaputa is a gesture of offering. This beautiful mudra signifies openness and acceptance — of ourselves, others and the gifts of life. This gesture can help you remember the wealth the Universe has to offer and allow you to connect with abundance. It allows you to be receptive in receiving. You can also use this mudra to meditate on sending an offering to someone else.

How to form the mudra:
The palms are open in the gesture of giving. Rest the back of your hands on your thighs. The thumbs and fingers are relaxed. The fingertips point slightly towards each other.

About Hasta Mudras

A hasta mudra is a gesture or positioning of the hands to channel and direct energy in the body. Mudras come from the over three thousand year old tradition of yoga originating in India. Hasta means “hand” in Sanskrit and “mudra” comes from the Sanskrit word “mud”, meaning to delight. A mudra is a seal as in sealing your connection with the Divine or sealing energy in the body. There are many forms of mudras, such as with the eyes and the tongue.

Yoga is a spiritual practice and offers practical healing applications that benefit even those who aren’t spiritually oriented. Hasta mudras work in a way that can be compared to acupuncture or reflexology. By activating parts of the hand, a hasta mudra opens up channels of energy and sends messages to the brain.

Since hasta mudras work to change the energy in the body and spirit, it’s best if you incorporate conscious breathing with your practice. Breathe full and free on the inhale and exhale the breath out completely. Find a rhythm with the breath. Try to make the inhale and exhale the same length.

Mudras can be held for various lengths of time. You may find that today’s mudra may only need to be held for 30 seconds until you feel refreshed or try holding the mudra throughout your meditation. There are no set rules. Let your intuition guide you. Have fun and explore!

Balancing in Tree Pose

It’s Day 7 of our 28 Day Yoga Challenge. This video offers some tips on how to better balance in Tree Pose (vrksasana). I also demonstrate how to bring a calm mind to your practice.

Let me know how the challenge has going for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your personal practice. Also, if you have a topic you’d like me to address in my video blog, let me know!



Wake Up the Body: 15 Minute Yoga Practice

Day 2 of the 28 Day Yoga Challenge: Today I’m including a quick asana (yoga pose) sequence in case you need some inspiration for your home practice. Towards the end of the sequence is a lunge series. Be sure to do that on both sides as the video only illustrates one side.

Many of you have been sending your comments via FaceBook. It’s been wonderful to hear your thoughts and suggestions. You can include them here on the blog post or via the social media. Keep it comin’!

Also, I’m in the process of setting up my youtube channel. I will eventually have all the videos posted there so when you want to find something that I previously released, that will be an easy way to search for it.

Have a fab weekend!



Ideas for Healthy Living: Juicing

If you are looking for ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, consider juicing. It’s fast, fun and very nutritious because it delivers micro nutrients quickly into the body. I actually have always loved fruits and vegetables served in any form – raw or cooked, but I like juicing because it tastes great.

So check out today’s video on juicing and get my tips and tricks. Adding this healthy habit is a great way to prepare for the start of our 28 Day Yoga Challenge on February 1st.



Creating an Authentic, Consistent Home Yoga Practice

In my early years of taking yoga, I struggled with practicing yoga consistently at home. I had preconceived ideas of what a home practice should look like and how long it should take. Those set ideas only ended up discouraging me on days when I couldn’t meet those lofty goals. Then I felt bad about myself and that made me less likely to get on the mat the next day.

This video is both for the novice and seasoned yogi. You’ll learn that each day that you come to the mat you are different – energetically, mentally, physically. It’s taken me years to totally trust myself and fully honor what I need at that moment on the mat. Tune in the video to learn more.

And join us for our 28 Day Yoga Challenge which starts February 1st! It’s free and easy. You simply commit to doing at least 5 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of meditation each day in the month of February. I’ll be your accountability partner, so be sure to sign up for my blog to get tips and videos each day.



How To Clean Your Yoga Mat

In preparation for our 28 Day Yoga Challenge which starts February 1, let’s get ready by having a nice, clean yoga mat. I often get asked how to clean a yoga mat. Check out my fun video above. (And remember – The 28 Day Yoga Challenge is free and only requires that you do a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of meditation a day.)



Creating a Sacred Yoga & Meditation Space

In preparation for our 28 Day Yoga Challenge which starts February 1st, today’s video is about creating a special yoga and meditation space. Take a look at how I’ve created a tranquil space and get a few tips for setting up your own room.



The 28 Day Yoga Challenge

Hey, everybody!

Join me February 1st for my 28 Day Yoga Challenge. We’ll do yoga and meditate EVERY day. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of meditating, that counts! I’ll be your accountability partner, so feel free to text, call or email me. I’ll provide daily tips and videos here on my blog, so be sure to sign up for this blog.

Ready to join the challenge?