Bali faves 2.0

I've been a little swept up in the tides and forgot to share my favorites from last month's trip to Bali! We love Canggu, a surf town with great coffee shops and yoga vibes, so we spend most of our time cruising the Batu Bolong strip - which I refer to as the Bali equivalent of Purdy Ave. In the year since we last visited, there has been a surge of development (sad) but some great new spots have sprouted up (score). So if you're planning a trip in real life or just taking notes for your future adventures, here are my most recent recommendations:

Milk and Madu: this place rocks. It's by the same peeps who run Watercress, another great resto. Bali has an excellent coffee shop slash breakfast thing going on, which I'm pretty sure is drawn from the strong Australian influence. And man, do they nail it. Avocado toast, coconut milk chia puddings, incredible cappuccinos with Revolver coffee and gorgeous presentation. Mike and I loved to hit this spot up for brekkie after our respective yoga and surf sessions.

milk and madu

Dandelion: I don't even know how to describe this adorable warung, so I'll just tell you what it offers. Great food, cheap prices, a balinese mariachi band and bunny rabbits that run free around the backyard. Go for dinner, stay a while, tell all of your friends. It's just too cute not to share.

Alchemy: This Ubud joint is famous and I don't know why I didn't make it here last time. This place sets the standard for raw vegan food. High vibration food, great atmosphere, delicious smoothies and cold pressed juice. We loved our lunch up here - it's about an hour from Canggu.

The Chillhouse: This hotel also has some solid yoga teachers, a nice breakfast and offers cool adventurous activities like surfing, biking and more. I loved my morning practice with Octavio.

Deus Ex Machina: Motorcycles, surfboards, music, restaurant... this place is epic. Their revered Temple of Enthusiasm flagship in Canggu is popular for their Tuesday night tradition - tacos and free tattoos. I was very close to getting one... but instead I opted to get inked at a proper place later that week! Surprise! Here I am getting a fresh tat at Mason's Ink Tattoo in Seminyak.

bali tattoo

My little Bali souvenir! A reminder to love through all things - always lots of challenges and times of growth on trips like these.

Mike and I are also planning a super duper dope Bali yoga retreat for 2016 so you can come explore all of these places with us and do some amazing yoga and personal discovery! Stay tuned, info coming soon :) xox

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Favorites: Bali yoga

I bid Bali adieu on Tuesday and 44 hours later… I'm home. I'm operating kind of like a jet-lagged zombie but overall I feel pretty good. I'm attributing most of my feeling goodness to the amazing yoga in Bali that filled my cup for the past 5 weeks. Oh, and hydrating. Drinking lots of water on the plane is a must.

Bali is the yogi mecca of the East. LA is the mecca of the West, in case you were wondering. The yoga vibes are contagious. Like, literally, you're breathing patchouli all of the time. I almost certainly would have gotten a chakra tattoo if I stayed any longer. Or at least started wearing more earth tones. The scene is pretty serious. There is actually a nice process to the whole thing - you show up and lather yourself with all-natural bug spray (since everything in Bali is partially outdoors), set up mat/blocks/towel, commence class (which starts on time unless there is scooter traffic), practice, finish, drink coconut water straight from the coconut. And repeat.

They must not have any obstacles here. Ganesha is like the main man in Bali.

They must not have any obstacles here. Ganesha is like the main man in Bali.

I loved practicing in Bali. It totally hit the spot. Spirituality, flow, breath, meditation. I was able to get to most of the main studios - there are a few amazing places I didn't get to practice at, but the ones I recommend below are a pretty solid representation of the Bali yoga scene. Om.

Canggu -

Desa Seni - This gorgeous eco-friendly yoga resort has a great mix of teachers and styles - from Anusara to Ashtanga. I considered this my home studio for a couple weeks and I was always excited to take class there. They have a great yoga community, lots of ex-pats who live in Bali - and they do regular community events and lots of workshops. I practiced mostly with Octavio - vinyasa with some bhakti infusion. Desa Seni has Manduka-ish mats for use and they offer complimentary tea post-practice. Expect to see lots of people from Australia, Canada and the US. Book one of their excellent massages afterwards for a real treat. Yum!

One of two studios at Desa Seni

One of two studios at Desa Seni

Uluwatu

Morning Light Yoga - One of the most beautiful studios I've practiced at. They do two classes a day - 10:30am and 5:30pm. The morning one was my preferred time - so you can see the morning light, of course! Lots of surfers and wives/girlfriends of surfers in class. The teachers are mainly from California and have great sequencing and good vibes. Stick around to chat after class about how the surf is in Java or how good Land's End Cafe is. 

Dreamy set-up at Morning Light Yoga

Dreamy set-up at Morning Light Yoga

Ubud

Yoga Barn - Whoa, yogi. This is yoga central. It's basically a yoga compound. The class schedule is amazing - tons of classes and options. But it felt like everyone took themselves too seriously. They have everything you could ever want from a yoga studio - delicious cafe, showers, massage, tibetan bowl meditations, ecstatic dance classes, Ayurveda doctors, shopping, a tiny bookstore, on site accommodations (which I stayed at) - but overall the vibe was a little heavy for me. Good to visit for a class or two - the teachers totally know their stuff - but I wouldn't practice here regularly.

Radiantly Alive - Beautiful studio and training center with less pretense than Yoga Barn. The airy, light filled upstairs studio was a joy to practice in. I only got to one class (Vinyasa) here but I really enjoyed it. They have a pretty solid schedule with a variety of classes per day, including aerial yoga. This would be my preferred studio if I was in Ubud, just off the vibe alone.

Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali

Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali

So now that I've been able to get on my mat consistently for 5 weeks, it's time to pass that energy on in my classes. I'm back to my normal class schedule and I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a new class - Monday 4:30pm at Green Monkey Miami Beach. I've also got an H2om next week - June 27th at 8pm at the Standard Hotel. Check here for details! xo

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Favorites: Bali food

Whoa. Have we really been here a month? I've slipped into a vortex of scooter rides, 2 hour yoga practices and coconuts as far as the eye can see. Time is losing it's grip on me. I find myself wondering what day it is. 9:30pm feels like midnight.

I could get used to this.

My Bali goals of journaling every morning and beach walks haven't happened with the regularity I would have preferred, but every moment has been perfect and exactly what it should be. What we have not forgotten, though, is eating. With a large and hungry surfer as my traveling companion, we have tried many amazing Bali favorites. And as a yogi and foodie (yoodie?) I am very happy to help Mike sample the fresh and tasty offerings around Bali.

Here are the ones I have to share with you today… categorized by the aforementioned areas of Bali. Note - There are lots of diverse places to eat in Bali, these are my yogi-friendly recommendations. They are mainly vegetarian/vegan and pretty mid-range in price, which is essentially half the price of anything in Miami and twice as healthy and delicious. 

Seminyak - Bali's Miami

Revolver Espresso - where I am writing this blog post from:) Awesome coffee and breakfast/lunch spot with incredible eats and a great local and international vibe. Gun themed menu and venue rocks my world. The Smith and Wesson (read: smashed avocado on gluten free bread) is the jam.

Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Earth Cafe - This vegan cafe slash grocery store has all kinds of great organic finds. Extensive juice menu and lots of lunch and dinner choices. They have lots of yummy little desserts and energy balls pre-made in the fridge. We eat here basically every day.

Watercress - Such a cool vibe! One of my favorite places in Bali. Great menu with creative salads and sandwiches and they serve Revolver Coffee (the gold standard of coffee around here). Breakfast served all day? Yes, please!

crate cafe

Canggu (my favorite spot - it's like the Purdy Ave of Bali!)

Crate Cafe - Everything I've always wanted in a little cafe. Breakfast served all day, green smoothies, good wifi, amazing coffee and cool people. The iced latte is to die for - it can only be described as a latte slurpee. Mike loves the brekkie board. Oh, and they mix two types of smoothies together in one glass! You really can't go wrong. 

Cafe Avocado - Great casual lunch spot, juices, smoothies and lots and lots of yummy things involving one of my favorite foods - avocado. Coffee is ok. Food is yum.

Betelnut Cafe - Quick, easy and healthy dinner spot. Lots of mexican and salad options. Cool vibe with upstairs seating overlooking Batu Bolong and some rice paddies. They do breakfast and lunch too but not breakfast all day - bummer. Oh and they have the best chocolate chip cookie in Bali.

Old Man's - Aussie beach bar with lots of lounge seating and beachy food options. Not the most healthy but fun to go for the vibes or a drink - they normally have weekend events with live music or DJ's. Big local hangout where you can meet people from all over who now call Bali home.

Sunday nights at Old Man's

Sunday nights at Old Man's

Uluwatu - the dirty South

Buddha Soul - Veggie burger like whoa. We ate here lots when we were in the Bukit and it was consistently great. Cool outdoor seating with umbrellas and lots of nice choices for a tea or smoothies if you want a midday pick me up. 

Land's End Cafe - The best green smoothie I have found in Bali so far. Mike's egg wrap rocked his world. This little warung turned cafe has a California vibe and excellent eats. Looks a little shady when you first pull up but trust me, it's worth it. 

Cashew Tree - A great night time spot, they often have live music. Lots of healthy menu options  and pretty good Mexican fare. Great couches and seats to lounge in and soak up those hazy Bali nights. 

Ubud - Hippie paradise

Clear Cafe - Cool place! Super modern. Organic. My favorite is that they have a shoe valet, which means everyone is barefoot inside, which I love (and is quite common in Bali). Extensive juice menu, raw vegan options, come here more for the vibe and a juice than the food. Little shop in the front where they sell snacks, chocolates and such.

Kafe - Ah, Kafe. I ate here pretty regularly in Ubud. All kinds of yumminess on the menu. Macrobiotic, raw vegan, Ayurvedic. They also have an offshoot inside Yoga Barn called the Garden Kafe. Same menu, but service is much better at the original Kafe on Hanoman Road.

Soma - Raw vegan paradise. Gorgeous place with an awesome vibe, great for hanging out at night. The night we went they had some live music and people with bindis and sarongs were congregating everywhere. Great food, but typical raw vegan small plates so we ended up ordering a few things. Cash only.

Bali Buda - A Bali institution. They have four locations but we went to the one in Ubud a couple times - it's just across the street from Radiantly Alive Yoga. They also have a market around the corner with lots of goodness. Great menu. Amazing pizza and veggie stuff. Not great Mexican. 

Sari Organik - They have a couple spots - the Bodag Meliah one is the one I'm referring to. It is worth it just to go and experience the location. It's in Ubud but feels like a different world. You take a really crazy footpath out into the rice paddies and stumble upon this open air restaurant where they serve stuff straight from their garden. You're sweating by the time you get there so order a coconut (if they still have some left) Excellent salads and the views are amazing. Give yourself extra time to wander around the rice paddies and slip back in time.

sunset over Sari Organik rice fields

sunset over Sari Organik rice fields



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Bali breakdown

Three weeks in Bali. It's been a total adventure - we've been in 4 different areas, ridden on 6 different scooters, stayed at 10 different places and eaten countless fresh and delicious meals. It's beautiful, inexpensive and the people are top notch. I have so much to share on what I've learned and what I've loved.

But before we go there, here is a quick explanation of the different parts of Bali we visited, which I personally wish I had researched a bit more before we arrived. Experience can be the best teacher though, and we have done a good job of getting around. In case you're interested in a visit to this amazing island, here is a quick breakdown of some top places.

Three weeks and we only hit 4 spots. There is so much to explore in Bali!

Three weeks and we only hit 4 spots. There is so much to explore in Bali!

Seminyak: This area north of the airport is mainstream and fun, with lots of cool walkable shops and restaurants for me and good surf for Mike. Kayu Aya and Oberoi are the main drags here. Seminyak has great beaches, and is easy to get around. It feels the most like Miami Beach.

Revolver Coffee in Seminyak. My fave!

Revolver Coffee in Seminyak. My fave!

Canggu: This sunny town houses lots of ex-pats and great surf. The beaches have black sand so they're pretty hot but manageable. Lots of great beachside restaurants, shops and good yoga out here. Canggu is close to Seminyak. Echo Beach is a favorite spot.

Sunny Canggu. Ganesha at Desa Seni with lots of floating flowers.

Sunny Canggu. Ganesha at Desa Seni with lots of floating flowers.

Kuta: Once beautiful, Kuta is now pretty grimy. It reminds me of Ocean Drive on Memorial Day weekend. Most native Balinese people stay away from this area. We normally would stay away too but we had to go here a few times for Mike to sell surfboards at a local dig. If you want an adventure, take a scooter down the very narrow Poppies Lane I and Poppies Lane II. That part was awesome.

Uluwatu: The southern peninsula can also be referred to as the Bukit. This lower Eastern part of Bali is famous for it's world class surf breaks. It's pretty remote but there is a smattering of good healthy restaurants and yoga for the wives and girlfriends of a surfer. No shopping. There is a slightly drier climate down here and amazing vistas and cliffs. Other areas nearby are Padang-Padang, Bingin and Dreamland. It's a surfer's dream. Mike loved it here, I didn't love it as much, there's just not as much to do here for a non-surfer. Gorgeous sunsets though!

Padang Padang Beach at sunset. Pretty amazing.

Padang Padang Beach at sunset. Pretty amazing.

Ubud: This place is yogi paradise. It's inland, basically in the center of the island of Bali. This raw food and yoga mecca is super crunchy. Hippies galore. It had a great local vibe with has unique shops and lots to do. Think silver classes, volcano hikes, eco-bike tours, cooking classes. No beach but most villas/hotels have pools. It's super green and lush with lots of rice paddies to visit and organic food straight from the farm.

Spiritual city: there are lots of tiny temples hiding all over Ubud

Spiritual city: there are lots of tiny temples hiding all over Ubud

Up next, I'll share my fave spots from our time down south in Ulus, Canggu/Seminyak and Ubud. Stay tuned!

Teehee… yukking it up in Seminyak

Teehee… yukking it up in Seminyak

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Favorites: NYC edition II

After a full weekend of yoga and walking slash biking the streets of NYC and Brooklyn, Mike and I got pretty hungry. And we love food, especially new places. So here is a round-up of some of our favorite healthy options to add to my list of NYC favorites:

1. Hu Kitchen, Union Square

This place is the JAM. It's paleo based and they have lots of vegan options. They call themselves nutritionally superior and delicious and I agree. They have a super cool vibe and food choices for any palate. The "hu" part stands for Human - as in taking you back to basics. I got a veggie plate and the veggies were insane, lots of roasted options and salads. Mike had the Primal Kale Salad that was off the hook. They also have a mash bar, basically an alternative to DIY fro-yo places. You can pick of their tried and true blends or create your own - choose a base of chocolate or vanilla chia pudding, taro pudding or almond butter and load on favorites like fruit, cashew cream, berries, grain-free granola on top to create a better, yummier and paleo version of a sinful treat. We went for lunch but I hear breakfast is amazing too. 

Somehow after lunch at Hu Kitchen, both me and Mike ended up in a breakdance performance in Union Square.

Somehow after lunch at Hu Kitchen, both me and Mike ended up in a breakdance performance in Union Square.

2. Sun in Bloom, Tribeca (they also have one in Brooklyn)

Vegan, gluten-free and raw kitchen? Yes, please. We stumbled upon this place after a lovely Saturday morning Kula Flow class. We were on our way to La Colombe for coffee (another fave) and happily peeked in here when we saw vegan and gluten-free written on the sandwich board outside. Healthy breakfast and they served La Colombe coffee too?! Score. The coconut kefir with homemade live granola was amazing. I also tried a gluten free carrot muffin with walnuts. The juices looked divine, although we didn't have any (needed coffee first). They had chocolate brazil nut mylk. And quinoa macro bowls with a whole bunch of things you can add in. Mmm. Totally would go here all the time if I lived here.

yum yum Sun in Bloom

yum yum Sun in Bloom

3. Organic Avenue, all over NYC

I like to go into juice bars and see what they're making, just to get inspired by ingredients and combinations. And there are juice bars all over Manhattan so there's lot of competition. We popped into the Organic Avenue near Soho. I wanted one of everything. They are spot on with their juice and smoothie offerings, at least in my humble opinion. They have a smoothie named Green Monkey! And they serve their own kombucha? Awesome. We tried the Royal Red and Matcha Chia juices and were not disappointed by either. They also do soups and entrees. Friendly people, clean place and great flavors. Definitely high on my juice bar favorites list!

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Naan yo' business

Oh Miami. I love you. But how much better you would be with some dope ass Indian food. I have been in London exactly 7 nights. And how many times have we had Indian? FIVE. 5 of seven. 71% of the nights I have been here have involved saags, paneers, tikkas… you get the idea. I even bought food to make tonight and we got Indian instead. Yeah, it's bad. Like I'm doing kale smoothies for the next month for dinner bad.

Irregardless, my two favorite spots have been Dishoom and Tayyabs. We heard about Dishoom long before we got to London - hailed as the best spot in town. And that was totally accurate. AH-mazing. We went to the Shoreditch one - it's right by the Shoreditch House (Soho House) and has a great vibe. We tried the paneer tikka, chicken tikka and bowl of greens. All phenoms. Very trendy presentation and cool staff. Lovely chai too. Which actually reminds me of my favorite part of the Dishoom experience...

Brits are so clever!

Brits are so clever!

Chai high

Chai high

On to Tayyabs. On Friday night, we went to this crazy event called Journey to the Centre of the Gut. The main event was this food writer, Gizzy Erskine, swallowing a Pill-Cam live and her gastric journey was broadcast for everyone to witness. She had been fasting all day and she said the first place she wanted to go was Taayabs. British accents can be so funny. I heard her say Tie Ups. So there I was, envisioning Fifty Shades of Grey meets masala. We roll up to Tayyabs/Tie Ups on Saturday night (after the Jack the Ripper tour) and it was the jump-off. Like - they have their own crowd control officer. This pic doesn't do it justice but the inside was crazy packed. Totally the place to be.

Tayyabs

Tayyabs

And the food was most equally amazing. By far, the best garlic naan I have ever touched with my tastebuds. It felt more legitimately Indian than Dishoom in how they served the food, the preparation, those little spices you chew on at the end. Indian is a solid choice for the London traveling yogi with lots of veggie options and can be healthy if you play your cards right and mainly do tandoori instead of curries. Now I just need to lay off the naan...

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