Category Archives: Aftercare

Wellness First During the Holidays

BEFORE the most hectic part of the holiday season begins, start a breathing or mindfulness practice. I found two wonderful gurus during my cheffing days at Golden Sparrow, who are experts in mindfulness and have taught me the importance of quieting the mind – just in their presence. One is Dr. Michael Hynes, who is the superintendent for the PatMed school district. The other is Cory Muscara, who will no doubt be world-renown for his research and teachings. I’ve seen how their meditation and mindfulness practices have made them more approachable and calm in hectic daily interactions, so I know the benefits and effects of mindfulness. “I just didn’t have the time they had for meditating.” (Sound familiar?)

 

However minute the first step is, just take it. Not tomorrow, today.


I recently picked up my morning meditation practice, after about a year-long Loss of it. I emphasize the word Loss, because it really started to feel like I had lost a limb and had that phantom limb syndrome. I get up about 5:30 every day, shower and have to be at work by 6:30. I couldn’t imagine going to bed earlier than 10pm the night before and altering my entire schedule, so I could get up earlier than I already do. I stumbled upon www.truewellth.org recently and when they asked for our obstacles in a mindfulness practice, I explained my dilemma. The co-founder actually responded! He encouraged me to just start back with 2 minutes per day. Just 2 minutes.

 

Not to be outdone, I decided to go for 5 minutes (I’m kinda competitive, though I have no idea who I was being “outdone” by!). I’ve been meditating since 11/7, and can’t tell you how good it feels. I’m happier, I adapt to people’s moods better, and seem to be somehow influencing them in a more positive manner. I’m coping with all that has to be done prior to our move, despite being prone to anxiety. I’ve had NO panic attacks, in spite of holiday catering, working as much as usual at my PT job, adding meals to my already hectic client load so they can freeze meals when I leave, researching how to expand the meal delivery service I have, handle two catering and speaking events and a cooking demo, and oh yeah…pack an entire house in a 5-week span of time.

 

It’s just 5 minutes a day that I spend with myself, just being as still as possible. To be brutally honest, we ALL have 5 minutes to ourselves, regardless of the excuses we make. So start that practice today, because it’s so vital to your health, in ways you can’t imagine!

 

If you have more time, meditate longer, or squeeze in 20-30 minutes of exercise, as often as possible (preferably 5-6 days a week). Exercise increases our healthy gut bacteria, aids in digestion, literally makes you smarter, helps release happy hormones, and strengthens and tones your body. Walking is perfectly fine, if you can’t get to the gym or if like me, you don’t enjoy rigorous exercise. If you enjoy yoga, martial arts, or any Eastern philosophy, jump in asap! There are countless DVD’s and even free YouTube channels you can find…just get moving!

 

Eat well. You cannot stay focused and enjoy peace of mind, if your body isn’t being fed properly. If you want to avoid the holiday drain and demands, fruits and veggies are KEY to keeping your immune system balanced and working optimally. Chew. Chew. Chew. Enjoy your food and be mindful about what you’re ingesting and why. We all step outside of our normal routines during the holidays—the sooner you create a healing practice in what you eat, the faster you’ll bounce back when the season has ended. You may even find the desire to overindulge just isn’t there anymore. I promise that happens!

 

You may not even have to worry about those extra 5 pounds you gained during the holidays, if you’re prepared properly. (As an FYI, this isn’t a “normal human weight gain,” as we’ve been led to believe. The winter weight gain isn’t supposed to be gained and lost in a 1.5 month time period, it’s just poor eating habits!)

 

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily practice asap. Take baths, enjoy essential oil blends, stop and breathe, and give yourself quick massages whenever possible. Live in the moment, and not in yesterday or tomorrow’s anxious activities. The holiday season didn’t start before Halloween as we’re also led to believe. It starts after Thanksgiving…honour the year and the Spirit of the season, by being GRATEFUL, joyous and caring every day. Falling out of the moment makes us anxious and worried, short-tempered, and miserable.
Sleep, sleep, sleep! I refuse to give up my precious sleep time, after all the research I’ve done over the years and especially recently. I need my 7 hours, as do you. Humans have not been designed for the insomniatic lives we lead, and it shows in our eating patterns, our emotional habits, and our brain capacity. Those who sleep more are more empathetic, are smarter, have better immune systems, and have less cravings. Sleeping for the right amount of time has allowed my brain to process the fears of our move in my dreams, leaving my waking mind and body free to do what it needs to do—help facilitate healing in others.

You deserve more, this holiday season!

 

As they say on the airplanes, put the air mask on yourself first, so you can help others. If you’re out of balance, you can’t possibly enjoy the holidays and spread good cheer.

And Then I Made The Offer…

For the last two years, my husband Rob and I have been looking to move off of Long Island. We’re not used to being in the same place or job for too long – it seems a decade is our max on anything. When you combine two creative people with LOTS of goals, ambitions, drive, and things they like to dabble in and Master, there’s little room for stagnation. There’s a lot of impatience, honestly.

We’ve travelled around upstate, visited PA, and toyed with the idea of North Carolina. I went to college in Mars Hill near Asheville, so I lived in the Blue Ridge Mountain region for 3 years. My parents lived and died in Asheville, and my aunt still lives there. We even recently went to Seattle, to scope out that area.

Our criteria for housing are pretty odd to most, but like you, we have some standards we require. Moving isn’t just something we will pick up and do.

Right now, we live in an over-populated town (300k+), on a busy connector road. We have the BEST situation possible, though…a great landlord who’s a friend and lets us landscape however we want (we’ve planted bushes, trees, cleaned a 10-year patch of leaves, we compost here, and love our property). We pay an extremely competitive rent, which makes a search for cheaper housing difficult, to be honest. We have a large house, which we fell in love with the moment we traipsed through the snow to see it. No one enters our home without commenting on how calm it is.

But we’re on a busy road. We have a lovely family next to us, who have 5 children (I believe) . 2 are near-teen girls, which we’ve discovered are pretty loquacious and jubilant. We’ve had tenants on the other side of us who swept the dirt lawn at 2-3am. We have a screaming kid two houses down, and a family across the street, who has 4 full-sized garbage cans out at the street 1-2 times a week (a family of 4–who has that much garbage, EVER!?!). We have people parking in front of our house constantly, though every home has ample driveways and their own parking lane on the street. We’ve had car alarms go off repeatedly from an electrical malfunction and then deny it’s their car, when politely confronted about it. We even had a neighbor decide to put her dog’s poop in our recycling bin as well as behind our bushes. Thankfully, it was in a bag, since we had to hand it back to her when we confronted her about it.

Every time we take a walk into town or around the neighborhood, it seems as if there’s an altercation of some sort. A crowd of young girls with adult chaperones bumped into us without apologizing. When we addressed it, it unnecessarily became a “thing” – you apparently can’t tell children how to have manners and respect in these days. (Are we too PC?) We’ve had a child stalk my husband at work. Literally…a 13-year old, who stared and followed him around. Had I not witnessed it when we went for a walk and we accidentally ran into the kid, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. We had 10-year olds throw rocks at us for no reason, as we walked down to Islip beach. Our last venture 2 weeks ago, led us down to the same beach at night, only have a guy chastise us for not having reflectors on.

You know me personally, so you know I do my best to handle these situations in a peaceful and calm manner. However, you may not know I have a volatile temper, which a couple years of martial arts tamed quite a bit. You also don’t know I was bullied as a child – so most of these instances triggered that feeling again. After the peaceful talking didn’t work in these situations, my ego + Rob’s temper can equal a quick escalation that leaves me shaky and regretful we even left the house.

And you thought I was perfect! 😉

Rob and I want to advance our careers, and move into the next phase of our passions. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cooking – but I hate delivering. I may have time for podcasts and audiobooks to advance my brain power and relieve stress while driving, but the time wasted is counterproductive. Never mind the sheer 3-4 hours it takes me to drive 80 miles in heavy traffic! (The hugs from clients and their animals has made up for the time issues, thankfully!)

Dean Graziosi says to eliminate the things wasting your time, and focus on the things you love most. Well, I love writing, and I love cooking. With my schedule, I have little time for the aforementioned passion.

I’d love to build programs to help people heal the Mind, Body, and Spirit. I know so much more than just how to cook a healthy meal, which you probably know from the array of topics you’ve seen me teach at library’s, health food stores, and yoga studios.

Rob wants to dive further into creating movies and soundtracks. He wants to write and produce more music (you should see this guy’s resume that I recently helped him create!). None of those things are easy, when you live on a busy road. I remember it taking him a week of 2am recordings, just to create the voiceover for our Food Flix Cinema trailer.

We’ve been let down time and time again by business associates and “friends,” who didn’t have the integrity they spouted to have. We’ve watched as people proclaim to be one way, and live completely differently (I.e. don’t cry poor, when you eat out all the time, and don’t want to pick up extra shifts at work. Don’t claim to be a networking friend, when you do no promotion unless the other person does, and insist on the “like-for-like” mentality).

Sounds judgemental and preachy, I know. And perhaps it is.

The point is, we’ve been let down A LOT in the last couple of years, and it feels as if this island has pushed us away. The amount of trends we’ve had to endure over the last 12 years of living here is insane. I’ve worked with health food stores for a decade now, and he’s tattooed for a little longer than that. You’d think as talented as we are, we’d be millionaires in these fields. But getting people to stick to appointments, promises, and HOLISTIC, proven facts rather than the latest trend, is a difficult battle, to say the least. We’ve hit our limit.

My father raised me to detest fads (a fact I didn’t actual realize until Rob pointed it out a year ago). I’ve lived through the Mona vie trend, raw food trend, juicing trend, essential oil MLM trends, Acai bowl trend, Paleo fad, tattoo fad (as has Rob, obviously), and now the CBD oil trend. The list is endless, really.

Yet we both struggle to get people to understand nutrition, the importance of healing your body properly, and the real process of tattoos and food vs what’s being shown on reality TV.

Fate heard us.

During the summer, I happened upon a newscast on NPR, about the Live and Work in Maine website. The founder of the site explained how Maine was a great place to live, and was thriving economically. Since Rob and I had the New England area in our radar a few years ago and are looking to open our own business, the interview piqued my curiosity. I updated my resume, signed up for job alerts, and added a search to Zillow for a home. We started researching the different areas, pricing, and how the state was portrayed.

In early October, we took a visit to a log cabin we saw on Zillow. We were already in love with how the state operates politically, socioeconomically, and ecologically. We mapped out different areas, made notes on our interests, and looked at multiple factors for opening a cafe. The state proved to accurately portray its slogans…

“Vacationland.” “A great place to live and work.” “How life should be.” These are mottos of the state/license plate slogans. They weren’t kidding.

We made notes about which towns felt right and fit our criteria as we drove endlessly for 3 days. We envisioned where we could see ourselves living. There’s a different life and world out there, once you leave the island…I’m not from here, so I have less of a connection than Rob does. But even Rob’s outgrown the Long Island pride, having also lived out of the state for a few years and coming back to it. Life here just isn’t fulfilling for us anymore. We have no room for progression.

We felt a sense of calm in Maine…a sort of calm you become obsessed with feeling, especially when you think of how different it is to your current situation. We craved the freedom that came with open land, and a more rural lifestyle.

After several let downs and shattered hopes on homes, we happened across a place near Bangor (yep, yep – Steven King still lives there and yes, we visited his actual house when we were there. Could you visit a famous author’s home here on Long Island easily? Hmmm…).

I contacted the landlord about the home we saw 2 Sunday’s ago, and anxiously waited for a reply. He said the home was available, but there was a bit of a list of other rental inquiries ahead of us.

Rob and I were instantly in love with the home. Despite wanting to move in 6 months (April was our original deadline), we knew this felt right. Down to the core. I said we’d pay 6 months up front, and hit send. This was Sunday November 5, one week prior to me writing this to you.

It was the most terrifying thing I’ve done in probably 10 years. Maybe even 12 years, when I decided to sell my home in Florida and move 1500 miles up north, with only a PT job at a bagel store and Rob managing Starbucks.

After some further research and conversations with the landlord, it all fell into place. Fell into place so easily, you actually question reality. We have no jobs, we have to pack a house by Dec 15th, close our businesses/relocate them, and catch 1-2 outdoor cats we care for so that we can move them with us. We’ve fed them for years, and are now responsible for their well-being. Besides, they’re both black cats, we already caught one stray black cat here, and who doesn’t need 3 black cats!?!

We’re pushed into very uncomfortable places right now, to make these changes. I suffer from anxiety, if I’ve never told you – I’ve had a couple of panic attacks about it all. It’s the most illogical thing you can do, it seems.

But I remember the information I’ve sent you and told you through the years, about following dreams and listening to the Universe. You’ve asked how I get so much done. You ask how I’ve gotten to where I am. You ask how I maintain sanity. You ask how I have energy and manage to stay sane.

It’s time to use the tools I’ve taught through the years, take out my cahoonah’s, and jump from the safety net. If I want to really launch a program in January, now’s the time. We’ve financially set ourselves up, so we don’t have to work in the month of January. If I don’t distance myself from the mayhem of clients and cooking a bit, I’ll just never get to it. If I’m not FORCED to earn an income, I’ll delay it until the program is just perfect.

Time and time again, I read the best way to launch is to just DO IT. Don’t wait for perfection. Don’t wait for the perfect time or perfect website. Don’t wait for the ideal equipment and shooting location.

Just Do It.

I started my meditation practice last week. It’s been lacking, I’ve been craving it, and didn’t see how to fit it in. I had some short conversations with the founder of TrueWellth.org, and he urged me to just get in 2-5 minutes of meditation in the morning. I explained my struggle to him, because I’m up so early already and am so pressed for time, a meditation, yoga and planning the day as they suggest, are just impossible.

I know I have to meditate, if I expect to keep sanity over the next 6 weeks. If I want to stay organized, I had to list out our deadline, all the tasks required to meet that deadline, and when these tasks would be accomplished. I also had to delegate. (Who needs more time? Thank heavens I wrote that blog for you, so I could refer back to it!).

I have to maintain eating well, if I expect to have energy and wake up at the hours we wake up at every day. Never mind that I also need to have the strength to move a 3 bedroom house, drive 9 hours to Maine and back, and THEN move 5-6 cats to a new home.

We’re leaving “security.” But we also consistently tell friends to take the plunge and move, when it feels right.

I know I’ve been looking into shipping methods for my meal delivery service for some time now. I know we’re two highly intelligent, reliable, and talented people, who can EASILY find jobs. I also know we moved like this once before and when we both have our minds set on something, we can make the “impossible” seem to look so simple to everyone.

So stay with me even when I move…stay with the information I send you. Have patience as I continue to fill your needs. Stay in touch with me and tell me what YOU need me to do to keep you healthy and vibrant. You’re not a client, you’re a friend. You’re the reason this is even possible for us.

I appreciate you deeply. (I’m actually tearing up as I write this to you…)

Follow your dreams no matter how crazy they seem, but do it logically. None of this happened overnight, and it took us years of planning, saving, paying off business/personal debt, and logically analyzing all of our options. When the final part happened, the flood gates opened…so while it seems I’m just up and leaving (OK, I am), this is something we’ve been working towards for years. It’s why I wanted to build a program to “reach those I can’t,” which is part of my mission statement.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes

October ’16 Events and links for more details:

It’s my favourite season, and it’s starting off with a real bang with all these October events!  Join me for some amazing ways to “Fall Into Wellness!”

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  • *October 1: Fall Festival 2016 Phoenix Eastern Medical Center, Farmingdale—11am-3pm. Food and Family Fun – Free Massages, Free Yoga Classes, Martial Arts Show, Face Painting, Raffles, organic skincare by Pandora’s Products and more! This event is free.
  • *October 1: After The Noise Clears “Spirituality and Art” Baffa Art Gallery, Sayville – 5:30-10pm. Singing bowl meditation, kirtan, Sacred Geometry Art showing, vegan snacks provided by Pandora’s Lunchbox (and other local eateries). Suggested Donation: $10
  • *October 6: Women’s EXPO Middle Country Public Library, Centereach – 11-6pm. The Women’s EXPO is a showcase and a marketplace for Long Island women entrepreneurs: artisans, importers, designers and distributors of products like Pandora’s Products! This event is free
  • *October 11: DIEts Workshop Deer Park Public Library, Deer Park – 7-8:30 pm In this workshop, we will discuss*Staple foods for a plant-based diet, to keep optimal levels of protein, iron, vitB. *Healthy greens without overdoing it-overcooking or over eating? *GF, Dairy-free, nightshade free…the difference b/w allergies and sensitivities and is elimination truly necessary? *A close look at fad diets; is weight loss really necessary, info about foods that may lead to weight loss/weight gain This is a free event
  • *October 14: Compassion and Your Diet Kundalini Yoga of Long Island, Northport – 7-8:30 pm. In this workshop we will discuss how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a plant-based diet. Transitioning to any food-style can be difficult and confusing at first. Join Alicia Randolph- Lucchesi to discover how you can make smarter choices about what you’re putting in your body and how it affects the planet. $25 investment prepay – $30 day of event
  • *October 19: Transformation Through MovementHeritage Center, 633 Mt. Sinai-Coram Rd, Mt. Sinai – 12:30-3 pm.  Join us for an afternoon of the ABC’s of Prevention & Fitness (alignment, breathing & centering)-snacks provided by Pandora’s Lunchbox. $25 prepay – $30 day of event
  • *October 22: Dinner and a Movie – Halloween (John Carpenter’s) Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6:30-8:30pm. This month, enjoy a horror classic from John Carpenter! For those who haven’t seen it yet, there is little to no blood in this movie, and it has no gore. You’ll find more violence on the nightly news! 😉 Trick or treat! As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors NOW open at 6:30, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 7. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone! *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • *October 29: Chakra Immersion Series – #7 Sahasrara A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Sahasrara (the 1,000 petal lotus) with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • *October 30: FALL! Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-1 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

September ’16 Events and details

Please click the title of each September event to be directed to further information on Facebook, as well as RSVP links.  Thank you as always, for your interest in Holistic Wellness!

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  • *September 10: YOGA OPEN HOUSE Celebration Kundalini Yoga of Long Island, Northport—11am-3pm. FREE CLASSES ~ RAFFLES ~ FUN ~ GONG ~organic skincare ~plant-based snacks KYLI offers ALL types of Yoga from Basic to Kundalini! Try different yoga classes, holistic facials and other healing modalities. This event is free.
  • *September 15: Easy plant-based cooking demo with take-home meals! The Golden Sparrow, Bayport – 3-6pm. Learn tricks on how to eat clean without breaking the bank!Not only will you help prepare the meals, but every attendee will leave with a serving of each item. Our goal is to teach everyone easy tricks for prepping meals, so you can stay on track with your health! Come join us and get your organics on, and learn how to make simple and fun recipes! Ask questions on substitutions for allergies/sensitivities, overall health, and anything else food-related.
  • *September 17: Chakra Immersion Series – #6 Ajna A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Ajna (the third eye chakra) with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • *September 24: Dinner and a Movie – They Live Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6:30-8:30pm. This month, enjoy a sci-fi classic from John Carpenter! For those who haven’t seen it, this movie was chosen because of our feelings about the upcoming election. Once you see it, you’ll understand what we mean! 🙂 Plus, it’s got the greatest and longest fight scene EVER – what else would you expect when Rowdy Roddy Piper stars in a movie!?! Believe us when we say this event is out of this world! As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors NOW open at 6:30, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 7. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone! *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • *September 25: FALL! Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-1 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.
  • *September 29: Truth in Labeling Cold Spring Harbor Library, Cold Spring Harbor – 2-3:30pm. This is a FREE EVENT, open to the public! Join us in the fresh fall season, and learn how to read about the chemicals in our food, and what MSG really is, and how it’s used. We will also discuss GMO’s more, caffeine, sweeteners, flavor enhancers, and a host of other additives. This event is free, and is open to the public.
  • *September 30: Tea & Tarot Spaliday Party, Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore—6-8 pm. What’s a Tea & Tarot Spaliday Party? It’s a night of relaxation, fun and learning more about your path in life (RSVP is required). Included in the price is a 15-minute tarot card reading, a cup of herbal tea by the brewmasters at Cyrus, and each attendee will create their own organic spray blend with Alicia. If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! $35/PERSON.

August ’16 Events and links for more details

  • August 4: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee. This event is free.
  • August 18: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee.This event is free.
  • August 20: Veggie Venture- Meditative Hike and Lunch Belmont Lake Park (meeting at Deer Park Library first! Babylon – 2:30-5pm. Join Jessica Saraswati and Alicia for an afternoon filled with fun, nature, Spirit and delicious plant-based food. *Please note: This is NOT a silent walking meditation. This is mindful hike infused with enlightening discussions about veggie-living and Spiritual life. Free event, as this is sponsored by Deer Park Library – RSVP is however required.
  • August 20: Chakra Immersion Series A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Vishuddha, the throat chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • August 26: Dinner and a Movie – Star Wars (the original version)Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 – 9pm. This month’s cult classic film is Star Wars (unedited by George Lucas)!!!  As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • August 28: End of Summer Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair  Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-2 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

Dinner and a Movie? #FFC

In case you didn’t know, my husband and I started a side project together, called Food Flix Cinema (#FFC).  We’ve combined our love of movies and food (respectively), hosting monthly events at Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company in Bay Shore.  We were fortunate enough to have an article published about it, just 4 months into our endeavor.  All of our event’s promotional materials include the tagline, “Re-imagining the TV Dinner Experience,” because that’s our exact goal.  We both grew up in a TV dinner era, when Swanson’s (aka Salt-son’s?) was very popular…fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and apple pie.  You know the meals I’m talking about, don’t you!?!

Well…it’s now 2016,

and since we can’t open a drive-in just yet, you always have the option for joining us at Cyrus!  This article will give you a bit more of a background, and a feel for what we do.  And if you’re ever looking for this month’s feature film (or want to prepay for next month’s film), just click here.  We hope to see you soon, and give you a new idea for your next party, perhaps!

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“In a world where Netflix makes for an easy and inexpensive “date night,” a husband-and-wife team from Islip is looking to offer a better alternative to the couch.

Alicia Randolph-Lucchesi is a chef who works in the realm of plant-based fare. She owns Pandora’s Lunchbox, a company that specializes in meal delivery and catering.

Her husband, Rob Lucchesi, is a tattoo artist, an amateur filmmaker, and a self-proclaimed ‘huge movie fanatic.'”

July ’16 Events and details

  • July 7: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee. This event is free.
  • July 8: Wellness Satsang ~ Herbal Basics for Relaxation  A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 7-9 pm. In this workshop, we will discuss *Common herbal uses *Safe use of herbs as healing tools *6 herbs for relaxation *Herbal recognition *The importance of organic herbs and where to purchase. $15 exchange or $10 for previous YTT’s of Jewel.
  • July 9: Chakra Immersion Series A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Vishuddha, the throat chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • July 12: Learn and Play Organic Skincare Workshop (Bellport) —South Country Public Library, Bellport – 7-8:30 pm. In this FREE interactive workshop, we’ll talk about the importance of natural and organic skincare products including tattoo aftercare. Learn the basics on how to read labels, and how our body absorbs nutrients.A run-through of a basic skin care routine is included, with sampling of massage oils and ointments. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RSVP VIA THE LINK, OR BY CALLING THE LIBRARY TO RSVP.
  • July 21: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee.This event is free.
  • July 28: Learn and Play Essential Oil Workshop (Centereach) —Middle Country Public Library, Centereach – 6:30-7:30pm. In this FREE interactive workshop, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing and safely using essential oils. Learn the basics on how to read labels, and how our body absorbs the essence of plant power. Please note you must be a patron of this library to attend. PLEASE ALSO MAKE SURE YOU RSVP HERE OR BY CALLING THE LIBRARY TO RSVP.
  • July 30: Dinner and a Movie – Friday the 13th! Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 -8 pm. This month’s cult classic film is Friday the 13th!!!  As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • July 31: Mid-Summer Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-3 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

June 2016 Events

  • June 3: Wellness Satsang ~ Awareness and Compassion A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 7-9 pm.  In this workshop, we will discuss *Awareness and self-trust, *A balanced nutritional lifestyle, *Slowing down, *Love and compassion, *Growing your own, *Feeding our planet. $15 exchange or $10 for previous YTT’s of Jewel.

    We hope to see you around!

    We hope to see you around!

  • June 11: Learn and Play Organic Skincare Workshop (Deer Park) Deer Park Public Library, Deer Park – 11:30-1 pm. In this FREE interactive workshop, we’ll talk about the importance of natural and organic skincare products including tattoo aftercare. Learn the basics on how to read labels, and how our body absorbs nutrients.A run-through of a basic skin care routine is included, with sampling of massage oils and ointments. Each participant will receive a sample of a healing product as well. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RSVP VIA THE LINK, OR IN PERSON AT DEER PARK LIBRARY. YOU MAY ALSO CALL THE LIBRARY AT 631-586-3000 TO RSVP.
  • June 18: Chakra Immersion Series A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them.  This workshop will specifically focus on Anahata, the heart chakra of love.  Each third Saturday of the month will focus on a specific chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! We will individually test each chakra with a pendulum before and after each workshop, so you are aware of the transformation. The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • June 25: Dinner and a Movie – JAWS! Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 -8 pm. This month’s cult classic film is JAWS!!!  As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP is required* $35/PERSON
  • June 26: Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair  Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-3 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo! Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

May Events

Here’s what’s happening in the month of May – we hope to see you at one or more of these events, which focus on various aspects of healing (mental, physical and spiritual).  For more details and to RSVP, please click the name of the workshop, and a new page will open.

  • May 3: Strictly Business Trade Show http://www.strictlybusinesstradeshow.org/about/ Middle Country Public Library – Centereach Branch – 9am-1pm. Join us for a morning of networking and the promotion of small businesses on Long Island. We’ll be offering samples of a few of our menu items, as well as sharing information about our plant-based meal plan service and workshops.
  • May 6: Organic Skincare Satsang A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 7-9 pm. In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of organic skincare.  Each attendee will also take part in the lymphatic massage process, and has access to special discounts for all of Pandora’s Products skincare items. $15 exchange or $10 for previous YTT’s of Jewel.Gift basketA plain1 12-15-15
  • May 14: Chakra Immersion Series   A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them.  This workshop will specifically focus on Manipura, the third chakra of willpower and strength.  Each third Saturday of the month will focus on a specific chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! We will individually test each chakra with a pendulum before and after each workshop, so you are aware of the transformation. The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each

    Our complete line of chakra balancing sprays

    Our complete line of chakra balancing sprays

  • May 21: Dinner and a Movie  Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 -8 pm. Stay tuned for this month’s upcoming feature, which will be determined by the attendees at our event on Saturday! which features a plant-based tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP is required* $35/PERSON
  • May 22: Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-3 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo! Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

5 Reasons to Love Library Workshops…

After teaching Tuesday eve at Middle Country Public Library, I felt it necessary to extend my gratitude…

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a right-brained Introvert (it feels good to finally admit it and begin to understand how important we are in the world…say it with me, if you’re one of the 1 in 3 who are known as introverts – “I’m an introvert!” See? Don’t you feel better already? 😉  Typically, we don’t get our energy from external sources – it comes from within our minds (hence being called “innie’s”).  That being said, public speaking is something that terrified me, until about 2 years ago.  I have a Bachelors in Theatre Art, which came about after giving up 5 years of classical voice lessons because of (you guessed it) – stagefright.  Admittedly, my theatre degree was focused in set / lighting/ sound design and stage management, rather than acting.  There’s that stagefright thing again…

So what’s there to love about library workshops, when I’m the scared host GIVING them?  EVERYTHING.  Stagefright is just a silly little word, when your passion is stronger than the fear…

I was terrified when I started teaching workshops on nutrition at a local yoga studio 2 years ago.  After enough practice runs, I felt it was time to branch out a bit, and a close friend suggested I try a local library that needed a sub for an Ayurvedic workshop at the last minute.  While I wasn’t able to fill in that evening, this began the path of teaching at libraries.

I won’t lie—I’m a book worm.  I’ve loved books from a young age, and have that well-known addiction of buying books, when you haven’t even started the 4 you ordered last month.  I love the feel of them, the smell of them, and all the wisdom they impart.   When I was a teen, I went to library’s on my Saturday’s, to research topics like dreams, colours, poetry, health, etc..  I still stop every time I go to a library, and allow all my senses to take in my surroundings. (Do I sound like a library stalker? Eek!)

Back to the point of this blog…my love for giving library workshops:

  • 1 – I love being able to give back to library’s. It’s my way of saying thanks for their existence.  I also hope my workshop topics bring more patrons to libraries, and helps to create a resurge in the love for libraries.  It’s certainly made me a regular patron at mine (and no, I haven’t taught there yet, so it’s not a plug to come see me there)!
  • 2 – I love that I have people *attending* my workshops! Let’s be honest—not everyone cares about what they’re eating, the marketing deception in their foods, or in healthy water or essential oils.  The fact that the mainstream public is interested, gives me a great sense of purpose.
  • 3 – I love that people are so interactive at these workshops. I’ve actually started compiling a resource list from the information patrons give me, which will be recycled at later workshops.  (I admittedly love getting hugs from people after these workshops, too.)
  • 4 – I love meeting such wonderful people, who are so passionate about their health, and the health of their families. It’s so easy to get swept in the day-to-day grind, confusing media info, and negative publicity around everything.  Understand it’s mostly the diversity of these people that thrills me the most – I’m used to teaching at yoga studios and dojo’s.  That’s like preaching to the choir, honestly.  The library workshops give me a chance to grab people I wouldn’t normally be able to reach.
  • 5 – I love that these workshops are *free* to patrons (occasionally there’s a fee for materials, but it’s always minimal).  This removes a huge obstacle for most people who are living within a tight budget, but want to learn more.

I can’t tell you the sheer high I get, after giving a workshop at a library (of course, there’s the subsequent spiritual hangover the next day that has to be managed).  It’s a great feeling to know I am reaching new people, and am planting a seed of wellness in their minds.  For all the libraries who have so far allowed me to teach or have me scheduled, THANK YOU for helping me to fulfill my purpose.  For all the patrons who’ve attended, thank you for the knowledge you’ve shared with me, and for ALSO helping me fulfill my purpose.  For everyone reading this who hasn’t taken advantage of the programs at your library yet, what are you waiting for!?!  If there’s a topic you’d like to see and they don’t offer it, ask them to carry it…your words have value!

In peace, Alicia.