In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #8 Vegan Pho with Tofu and Rice Noodles

untitled (2 of 2)
Happy Monday

“I love Pho especially on a cold and chilly day like today! It’s easy to make, it’s fresh and it’s clean food. Not to mention, the broth and the salt are a major bonus when you’re doing lots of sweating!!” ~Tanya Rose

Vegan Pho with Tofu and Rice Noodles

Ingredients

  • 64 oz homemade or low sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 oz rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 c tofu, pressed
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 t garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 c carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 T tamari
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 4 oz bean sprouts, raw
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli, trimmed, chopped and cooked
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • fresh basil, to garnish
  • fresh mint, to garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onions, ginger, carrots, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the sesame oil and tamari, once hot and bubbly add the tofu and sear.
  3. Divide the rice noodles between the bowls and fill each bowl with broth. Top each bowl with equal parts tofu, bean sprouts, broccoli, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, cilantro, basil, mint and a lime wedge.
untitled (1 of 2)
Basil

Special Notes from Tanya Rose

  • I like to spice it up with some jalapeños and sambal olek (hot chili paste). If you are craving spicy hot, garnish at the end!
The Juice · The Juice Features

As Perfect As I Could Be In That Moment

0 self-confidence.

8 kids.

17 years.

Size 18 jeans.

228 pounds.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-N

I’ve been, I would consider it, severely overweight, since my fourth child was born which was 17 years ago.

I could tell you so many gym memberships I’ve paid for and never used, how many classes I’ve attended, how many boot camps I joined; I’ve tried everything under the sun. This shake, that drink, this medicine, [that] supplement.

I’d drop 20 pounds but then I’d gain 30 [back].

I think the biggest thing is I never made myself a priority. I never thought I was important enough to take care of myself.

I was in an extremely unhealthy marriage where the effort that it would of taken to explain where I was and what I was doing wasn’t worth the commitment to take care of myself, so I just never did.

I’d felt like I’d spent so many years not being seen, not being important.

I was never one of those women that you look at and you’re like well she’s happy in her own skin. I admire those women; I admire that they can be happy exactly where they’re at. I was [never] happy.

I’d been overweight for 17 years, S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-N. I didn’t want to feel like that anymore; I didn’t want to look like that anymore.

I wanted to be healthy.

I wanted to not get annoyed when my boys asked me to come upstairs and pray with them at bedtime. I’d be downstairs sitting on the couch watching television and they’d ask me to come pray with them and I’d be like, ‘Ugh! I gotta go all the way up the stairs.’

I wanted to not feel that way; I wanted to be like, ‘Oh up the stairs? Let me run these stairs twice because I haven’t gotten my steps in yet today!’

That was the mind shift I wanted to change.

I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to get healthy. I wanted to get smaller. I wanted to take care of myself.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

I’m fat…

I’m overweight…

I’m not worth it…

I’m…

…self-esteem.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

1 friend.

89 pounds.

106 classes.

365 days later.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

Smokin’ Hot

In September of 2016, my ex-husband moved out and right away I dropped eleven pounds just because I was so stressed, [not knowing] what life was going to look like.

In January, [my friend] Corie had been hassling me to come with her to yoga, like hassling. We shared an office and she would say, ‘Come on, let’s go!’ all the time and I’d be like, ‘Uhhh that doesn’t even sound appealing to me,’ and it was expensive. In my mind, I’m like how in the world can I afford this because I just went from a two-income family to a one income family and the one income was not nearly what’s required [with] 6 boys at home.

[But] one day, [Corie had just] come back from class and was back at work, sitting there like, ‘You may not be able to defend yourself, you may not be able to talk bad about him but you sure as hell can get a smokin’ hot body that he has to look at for the rest of his life!’ and I thought well, I mean… that could be good motivation.

Literally, the next day I came with her to class.

I was extremely intimidated to go. I felt like everybody’s going to be looking at me; everybody’s going to be judging me; I’m twice the size of most of the girls in here.

Corie was so funny because she’s like, ‘Trust me, nobodies paying attention to you. Nobody cares what you’re doing. Everybody’s focused on themselves and what they’re doing.’

[So] I said, ‘Well show me something that they do.’ I’m not even joking, she got up and she showed me breathing.

So, I came.

[The yoga instructor] took time out to welcome me, to talk to me and just to tell me, ‘Don’t push yourself, don’t judge yourself off of the person standing next to you. This is your practice, you’re just going to be better the next time.’

That initial intro, just knowing that, is probably what kept me coming.

Don’t judge myself off the person next to me, just focus on myself in the mirror and judge myself off of that: what I did last time compared to what I did this time.

[The instructor] said, ‘Just stay in the class; stay in the room. Don’t leave. If you get to a point [where] you can’t do something, just sit down.’

That was my goal; my goal was to stay in the room, and I did.

I was so freakin’ proud of myself that I stayed and I did it.

I remember at the end of the class I laid down and I put the lavender hand towel over my face and I literally sobbed, I just cried.

‘Give it your best, your best is always enough.’

That whole thing just settled in…

Maria was noticed for the first time in seventeen years.

I did one of those intro things: 2 weeks for $40 or something like that. I’m cheap and so I thought I’m going to get as many classes in for this $40 because I can’t keep going after this. So, I went to probably 10 classes in 2 weeks, maybe even more I don’t know. I went like every day.

I remember always noticing in the mirror how much better I was getting.

Marie tried every single class on the schedule in 20 days.

Yin.

Bikram.

Hot Pilates.

Power Vinyasa.

I felt like I can do this.

I. Can. Do. This.

Before my last day, I just took a step of faith and I didn’t know where the money was going to come from… my brother helped me the first month and he helped me the second month and he helped me the third month.

I just made that commitment that I’m worth $100 a month; I’m worth the time to come here and take care of my body.

The Burrito

My eating habits were horrible.

I would starve myself.

I would eventually eat; I would binge eat.

I would get to the end of the day and I would be starving and all my babies would finally be in bed so I’d eat this huge dinner and a big ole’ bowl of ice cream because I finally got to eat today. I would excuse it in my head [as] well, I haven’t eaten anything all day so if I put down these 3,000 calories right now it’s really not THAT bad because I didn’t eat at all today.

That’s how I would justify it.

Because I was working so hard in the studio, it made me make better food choices I [was] like, ‘I’m not about to eat this burrito and waste 2, 2 classes worth of calories, that’s not about to happen right now because I just sweat my ass off in there. I’m not about to eat this burrito and cancel it out.’

Just One More Step

Marie got in her car and drove 3,000 miles.

Next stop: self-discovery.

I remember in March which was three months, no two and a half months after I started yoga, I went on this epic road trip, this self-discovery. My job [at Grace Church] told me I needed to take time off, not as a discipline but as a we love you; go take care of yourself.

Just me by myself… like, just go get in your car and be alone with Jesus and wherever my car took me is where I went.

I stopped at the Grand Canyon.

I had a very emotional moment. [I had climbed] to the highest point I could find and [in] that moment I was remembering something in therapy that my counselor told me: ‘You might not know what it looks like 10 steps ahead but just take the next right step.’

When I got to the top I cried because the whole way up I was like, ‘The next right step.’

‘Just one more step.’

‘You can get to the top.’

‘Just one more step.’

‘Just keep going.’

I got to the top and I literally felt myself fall to my knees. I sat up there and I just cried.

But before that, there were these girls up there that were visiting from Europe and I asked if they would take a picture of me doing yoga while I was up there. I don’t know why, it wasn’t like I went there with that plan… I just got up there and I felt like I had just reached this pinnacle of believing in myself, like I can do this.

I had them take a picture of me in my Standing Bow, which I was so proud of, and that’s what’s so important to me about the transformation is that two and a half months in I could hold a Standing Bow. My form was ridiculous, it was not anywhere near correct, I wasn’t even really doing it, but I was, I was doing it.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was as perfect as I could be in that moment.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

Size 5 jeans.

Level 8 self-esteem.

Level 10 self-confidence.

139 pounds.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

Every single day something in my practice is better. It’s not always the same thing, it’s not always the same pose, but every day I can notice a difference in something.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

High School Jeans

I set goals for myself through this process but even every goal that I set, it was out of fear that I wouldn’t reach it. I would set a goal of what size I wanted to wear because I never wanted my focus to be on the scale; my body’s just not built like someone who can focus on the scale, I have to focus on other things. So, my focus, my goals, were always my jean size.

I would get to that jean size and I would be like, ‘Psshhh! I’m not done here!’

Right now, I wear the same jean size I wore in high school.

Bucket List

Now I’m at the spot where I’m going to take the teacher training. I haven’t even told Brandon that yet; he was the one trying to talk me into it.

I’ve been thinking about it and praying about it and at first I’m like how in the world do I pay for this? I don’t even know how much it is, but I know it’s a lot. Like what am I going to do? How am I going to do this?

And I’m like, well God is like, ‘You ended up with the money the whole last year. Somehow you made it every month. Every month you paid that $100 and every month you were just fine. You trusted me in that, trust me in this.’

So, I’m going to do it.

I’m going to take the class in April, which seems insane to me, because you know what’s so funny is, on my blog I have a bucket list that I keep up with and after I started yoga, like way back in January, I went and edited it and added that I wanted to teach one, at least one, yoga class, to my bucket list.

Holy Shit Marie Just Got Real

I was worth more than what I had believed my whole life.

[It wasn’t] just yoga practice, but practicing my worth.

Forcing myself to go was telling myself I was worth it; I was practicing believing that I was worth it.

Marie jokes that now her self-esteem might be a little too high.

[On] College Day I was so freaking hot I wanted to take my shirt off; it didn’t even cross my mind that there were so many girls in there that were smaller than me.

That didn’t even cross my mind.

I took my shirt off.

Thinking about that… that in itself shows me how much my self-esteem has changed. I wouldn’t let who else was in the room control my choices.

I was freaking hot; I wanted to take my shirt off.

Corie: “I was behind her and I’m usually not and when she took her shirt off I was like…”

Marie: “Holy shit Marie just got real!”

Corie: “I was like damn girl! You go!”

Marie: “Now I might take my shirt off every time just because I can…”

Corie: “I want you to whip it around your head and run around the room!”

I’d say my self-confidence is a 10.

I just freakin’ committed to doing the teacher training!

I know I can do anything I try… if [it’s] something I want, my body is capable of it.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

The #8

I have 4 [kids] I gave birth to and they’re 24, 20, 19 and 17; and then the 4 that were adopted are 17, 14 and 9-year-old twins… I was their foster mom for a little over a year and then adopted them.

[They’ve gotten] to watch this develop in me: the self-esteem, the self-confidence and the perseverance.

Remember that road trip…  the night I came home from that road trip, I got home kind of late and all my boys came down into the kitchen because I was home. They were messin’ around… they all gave me hugs… and they got up on the counter [and were] doing push-ups.

We had an island and then a kitchen counter, they had their hands on one counter, their feet on the other and they were doing push-ups, and I’m all like, ‘I think I could do that!’

They’re like, ‘No no no no no mom don’t!’ and I’m like, ‘I’m going to try!’

I got up there and my two oldest boys were under me like, ‘Mom you’re going to fall!’

They had no confidence what so ever.

I got up there and I did push-ups.

They were like, ‘Ohhh… You did more than Jakeem!’

They were making a big deal out of it and I’m like, ‘Told you I could do it!’

I would of never tried something like that and it’s not like at that point I had dropped a bunch of weight. I mean I had, but not enough to get my butt up on the counter and do push-ups.

That same exact night Najee, who is the oldest of my 4 adopted ones, came and gave me a hug and said, ‘Mom I’ve never seen you smile so much.’

untitled (1 of 1)
It’s funny because I was talking to [one of my boys] on the phone and I was telling him how I was doing this interview and he’s like that’s so cool, blah blah blah… and I sent him [this] picture… and he [said], ‘You know what’s the weirdest thing mom, I never looked at you and thought oh my gosh my mom is overweight,’ he’s like, ‘I never thought my mom is big, I just thought that’s my momma,’ and then he said, ‘Now I look at you and you are so different, not just on the outside.’
cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

One Hope

The only reason I shared is because my hope is that someone who thinks they can’t will see that they can.

Someone who thinks, ‘There’s no way I can do that, there’s no way I can walk in that room, there’s no way I can put those pants on, there’s no way I can stand on one leg. I never want to do that to myself. There’s no way I could sit in a hot room for an hour, let alone do any kind of physical activity in that room.’

I want those people to know that they can.

I did.

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

cropped-wordpress-logo2.png

In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #6 Socca Pizza with Creamy Artichokes and Arugula Pear Salad

untitled (2 of 3)
Pizza for 2

Socca Pizza with Creamy Artichokes and Arugula Pear Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 c garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 4 oz artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ c walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ c Follow Your Heart Vegenaise
  • ¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pear
  • 4 oz arugula
  • 1 T white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T + 2 t olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the garbanzo bean flour and 1 c of water to a medium bowl. Whisk well and add in the garlic, 1 T olive oil and ⅛ t salt. Whisk batter again to combine and set aside.untitled (1 of 3)
  2. Set the oven to broil on low. Add the artichokes and red bell pepper to a baking sheet and toss with 2 t olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Broil until the red bell pepper begins to brown in places, about 5 to 7 minutes. Leave the broiler on for step 4.
  3. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, parsley, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise, as many of the crushed red pepper flakes as you’d like and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Place a large oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 T olive oil. Once hot, whisk the batter again, add to the hot skillet and tilt to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until socca begins to bubble, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until browned on the edges, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Once the socca crust is browned on the edges, remove from the oven. Spread the parsley walnut mixture over the crust and top with the roasted artichokes and red bell pepper. Return socca pizza to the oven until everything is hot, about 2 to 3 minutes.untitled (3 of 3)
  6. Thinly slice the pear and add it to a large bowl. Add the arugula, white balsamic vinegar, 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the arugula pear salad.
  7. Remove the socca pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 slices and top with some of the arugula pear salad. Serve any remaining salad on the side.untitled (1 of 1)
Grab a slice of pizza...

...put your feet up...

...and HAPPY FREAKIN' MONDAY PEOPLE!
In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #5 Butter Roasted Tomato Gratin

untitled (2 of 2)
Butter Roasted Tomato Gratin

“This was so YUMMY! I was craving a savory dish that would fuel my comfort food craving but also give me some good protein after a super hot and juicy week in the yoga room. This was perfect, even my non vegan hubster gave this a total thumbs up! I fell in love with farro this year! MMMM I hope you enjoy! If you ever want to try a box of Purple Carrot let me know; I can hook you up! I love these cooking classes in a box, they make life WAY easier and keep me from buying unneeded items when cruising the grocery store.” ~Tanya Rose Rose

Butter Roasted Tomato Gratin

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c farro
  • 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T vegan butter
  • .25 oz fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 c panko
  • 1/2 t Aromasong Garlic Milano salt
  • 4 oz Lacinato kale
  • 1 pack cannellini beans
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with the farro and water; the farro should be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook until the farro is tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain farro well (give it a shake in a colander!) and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
  3. Fill a small baking pan with the canned tomatoes, vegan butter, half of the freshuntitled (1 of 2) thyme sprigs (stems and all!), garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove buttered tomatoes and give them a stir. Bake for another 15 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  4. In a large skillet, combine the panko with 2 t olive oil and 1/4 t Aromasong Garlic Milano salt. Toast panko over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Pour toasted panko into a small bowl.
  5. Pick the remaining thyme leaves from their stems and finely chop.
  6. Rinse and and destem the kale. Discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.
  7. Place the panko skillet back over medium-high heat and add 1 t olive oil. Once hot, add kale and reduce heat to medium. Saute until bright green and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Add them to the kale, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Top tomatoes with the kale and cannellini beans and sprinkle with the toasted panko. Return the gratin to the oven to keep warm.
  10. Wipe your skillet clean again. Add 1 T olive oil and place pan over medium-high heat. Add the cooked farro and chopped thyme and saute until grains are crisp and golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season farro with salt and pepper.
  11. Split your toasted farro between your plates and top with the buttered tomato gratin. Sprinkle everything with Aromasong Garlic Milano salt to taste.

Juicy Facts

  • 2 servings
  • 890 calories
  • 28g fat
  • 131g carbohydrates
  • 31g protein
In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #4 Vegan Corn Chowder

kids (1 of 5)
Vegan Corn Chowder

Vegan Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Russet potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 small can of green chilis
  • 3 cans of corn
  • 1 1/2 boxes of vegetable broth
  • 1 T vegan butter
  • almond milk
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • red chili pepper flakes

Instructions

    1. Boil the potatoes and set aside.
    2. kids (2 of 5)Sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, jalapeño and green chilis until the chilis are fragrant and the onions are translucent.
    3. Add 2 cans of the corn and roast lightly. Set aside.
    4. To the pot of potatoes add the remaining 1 can of corn, the broth and the vegan butter. Blend with a suit blender until smooth. Add almond milk for desired consistency.kids (4 of 5)
    5. Add the sautéd onion, garlic and corn combination to the potato blend and simmer.
    6. Add salt, black pepper and red chili pepper flakes to taste.

Special Notes from Tanya Rose

  • I use 1 jalapeño and 1 small can of green chilis but it’s all to taste.
  • I used chopped green chilis in a can but I’d prefer fresh. But hey, sometimes you just gotta make it happen!
kids (5 of 5)
Bon Appétit
In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #2 Vegan Potato Pancakes

untitled (1 of 1)

“One of my all time favorite foods growing up was potato pancakes. This is the vegan version!” ~Tanya Rose

Vegan Potato Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3 Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, grated
  • 1/2 an onion, grated
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • light oil (canola or vegetable) for frying

Instructions

  1. Add everything to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Add 1 T of oil to a large skillet or frying pan and put over medium-high heat.
  3. Once hot, take a handful of potato mixture (the mixture will be very wet and soft) and form into a loose patty.
  4. Drop the patty directly into the hot pan and fry a couple of minutes until the bottom is golden brown, flip and fry on the other side.
  5. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture until the batter is used up, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
  6. Drain patties on a paper towel and enjoy.

Who doesn’t love comfort food in this chilly, wet weather?

In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose

Week #1 Gallo Pinto

Juice Box Yoga is starting off 2018 with a delicious new tradition: In The Kitchen With Tanya Rose! This year we are going to celebrate 52 Meatless Mondays! Today, Monday, January 1st, we are chowing down on Gallo Pinto, Costa Rican Beans and Rice, as Tanya Rose just spent the holidays in Costa Rica hangin’ with the spider monkeys in the jungle for half the trip and loungin’ on the beach for the second half of her tropical family vacay!

Flamingo Beach
Flamingo Beach

“The tipico ‘typical’ Costa Rican breakfast includes Gallo Pinto. It was a healthy and delicious start to each day’s adventures. Whether it was whitewater rafting with our kids (my first real rafting experience other than the chill Truckee float), hot springs, surfing, zip lining or laying on the beach this was the BEST start to our day. We have decided to incorporate this into our lives!” ~Tanya Rose

Gallo Pinto

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c cooked black beans, in 3/4 c reserved cooking liquid
  • 1/4 c Salsa Lizano
  • 3 c cooked rice, preferably day-old and refrigerated
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heatuntitled (2 of 2) until simmering. Sauté chopped bell pepper and onion until peppers are soft and onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Add black beans, reserved cooking liquid and Salsa Lizano, stirring to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and a little bit of the liquid is evaporated. Gently stir in cooked rice and cook until heated through and most of the liquid is absorbed, but not dry, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with an additional Tbsp of Salsa Lizano.

Recipe Notes

  • If you do not have time to soak and cook the beans from dried you can substitute low-sodium canned beans in their liquid… however the flavor and texture will not be quite as Costa Rican if you make this substitution!
  • To cook beans from dry: Place 1 lb sorted, rinsed black beans in a large bowl and add enough cool water to cover by 1-2 inches. Soak overnight, 8-12 hours. Drain beans, transfer to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with fresh, cool water by 1-2 inches. Add 1-2 bay leaves, a handful of cilantro and a few garlic cloves if desired. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until beans are tender throughout. This will take 1-2 hours, depending on the size and age of the beans. Add a few pinches of salt to the water when the beans are just starting to get tender (adding salt too soon will add to the cooking time). Cool and store the beans in their cooking liquid, discarding any aromatics you’ve added.

    untitled (1 of 2)
    Drain beans
  • Salsa Lizano is essential to this dish. It’s available in some Latin markets, in the International aisle at local grocery stores and can be ordered online. If you’re absolutely unable to locate Salsa Lizano, you can make this recipe with Worcestershire Sauce, but the flavor will not be traditional. If using Worcestershire Sauce, add ground cumin to the rice to bring some of the smokiness of the Lizano to the dish (start with 1/2 tsp and increase, to taste, from there).

Special Notes from Tanya Rose

  • I add a tsp. of cumin, chili powder, onion powder and salt to the rice and jalapeños to taste!
  • I use Melinda’s Chipotle Salsa from the Great Basin Community Food Co-op.

 

The Juice · The Juice Features

The T-shirt

912b9c5e-0e4c-4c77-9a20-06ad94f39437
Lesley Tamayo

“I would hold my head down every time I went.”

“I would force myself to go,” Lesley Tamayo said.

“It was hard. It was very competitive. It was a younger crowd; I’m older, I’ve had kids, my body is different.”

She was intimidated; she was afraid.

“I would look around to see if anyone was noticing that I was struggling. I always saw all these skinny girls. They’re skinny, they’re tall; I’m not any of those things.”

She was embarrassed.

cropped-wordpress-logo1.png

Just one year ago Tamayo spent her lunch breaks at the gym surrounded by rows of cold, hard grey equipment she didn’t know how to use. She did her thirty minutes of cardio, puttered around in the weight section and left as quickly as possible.

She was intimidated.

It was a sea of young skinny girls everywhere she looked.

She didn’t feel welcome.

Tamayo turns forty this year.

Ever since high school she has struggled with her body image.

“When I gain weight it’s all up here,” Tamayo said gesturing with her arms. “My upper body has always been a huge insecurity for me. I’m bigger on top; I don’t have any upper body strength. Every time I wear just a regular T-shirt I usually always have to wear a sweater over it. I’m so insecure of my body.”

cropped-wordpress-logo1.png

Today Tamayo takes her lunch break a little earlier than most.

At 10 a.m. she rolls her black and coral mat out in the back of the hot, juicy room beneath the ballet bar. She begins class with a spine twist to the left side and then the right.

She is relaxed; she is at peace.

“Having to look at myself in the mirror to try to keep my form [and] to try to keep my balance has really brought me to like myself again,” Tamayo said. “I can’t remember [the last time] I could look at myself in the mirror.”

Five people have witnessed this transformation, five people who love Tamayo.

Tamayo has four kids: a five year old, an eleven year old, a twelve year old and a seventeen year old. She has a family of six; a family who motivates her and supports her juicy journey on the mat.

“[Juice Box Yoga has] taught me not to be negative,” Tamayo said. “I really try not to say negative things about my image or my body in front of my kids; I don’t want them to ever feel the same way that I do.”

Her kid’s interest in her practice peaked this last fall.

“I did the plank challenge, that was the best thing I have ever done in my entire life,” Tamayo said. “I would tell [my kids], ‘Oh my god! I can hold a plank!’ They were so proud of me. I was like, ‘I have to do a four minute plank!’ So every time I would come here on the weekends they were like, ‘How many minutes did you do today? How long did you do?’ It was just so amazing!”

With each drop of sweat that dripped off the tip of her nose, the minutes ticked by. Four to be exact; 240 seconds.

With the support of her family Tamayo held a four minute plank last October.

“I think it has a very positive [impact on my kids],” Tamayo said. “They see me taking time out of my day for myself; they see me trying to take care of myself.”

Her kids are proud. Her fiancé is proud.

“I think he has noticed that I’m happier about my body; I’m not so ashamed… well I guess embarrassed,” Tamayo said. “He said it has really brought me out of my shell. I’m not so afraid to just be who I am anymore.”

cropped-wordpress-logo1.png

“I have this energy about me that I never used to have; I hold my head up high.”

“I just love this place,” Tamayo said. “I love when I come to pilates and we all give each other high fives! I’ve even had people come up to me and say, ‘You did so good in that class! You really killed it!’ And I’m like, ‘Wow me? You noticed that I…’ It’s just nice that people notice me.”

She is encouraged. She is a yogi warrior.

“[Juice Box Yoga] is very accepting; I see women and men of all ages and all walks of life,” Tamayo said. “I love that there’s all different bodies and body shapes. There’s older women, younger women, older men, younger men; I love that! I love the way I feel when I come here. [Juice Box Yoga] is very positive; it’s all about women power.”

Today Tamayo feels comfortable wearing just a T-shirt.

No sweater. No shame.