Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crescent City Food Porn

By now you know that the Nola farmer's market is the place to be. 

There's the Tuesday market at Broadway (I heard the St. James Cheese Company sells some meals there!!), the Thursday market in MidCity on the Bayou (sometimes I can get chocolate mousse and chocolate caramel shortbread there), and then the popular Saturday market downtown at Mag and Girod. When we're free we make it to all three of the markets each week. Most of the time it's only the Saturday one. It's important because the produce is way more fresh (and therefore alive/good for you), it supports our local economy, and it's fun. If you haven't been before, go on a Saturday and ask the peach guy to let you try one- it will blow your mind and change your food buying experience forever.

Here's some snapshots (nothin' fancy) of what we picked up this morning at the Saturday market. 

fresh pears (something new for us)

i got two of these everything bagels!! and super good-looking okra
you can see Creole tomatoes, fresh corn, butternut squash, an everything bagel, and okra

Ben can't live without farmer's-market feta. i like the other cheeses better.

baby potatoes and beans mmmmm

ice coffee in a to-go reusable nola style cup
9 peaches, a huge zucchini, creole tomatoes, mushrooms, baby potatoes, beans, corn, kalamata olive bread, green peppers, butternut squash, feta, okra, coffee....

those are some super good peaches

new corn guy cuts the end off so there's no bugs...i can live with that. look how nicely those shrooms are wrapped up! 
cute little green peppers and a fresh kalamata olive bread
What's missing from these photos are the two tamales I ate in the car (one bean and one cheese) ahh they are so good early in the morning. We go through at least 24 eggs a week but they were all sold out by 9am (it opened at 8) so we'll have to do with store bought this week. Also, all of Ben's meats and fishes which he hides away from me when we get home are not in the photos- i think he got beef and fish, but he usually also gets whole chickens. We've been getting fresh beans from the bean guy (love his accent) and next week he promised me fresh red kidney beans!

Our strategy is to each take $20 and split up, buying whatever catches our eye and then meeting back together. I never spend my full $20....but I might have today. Ben is a serious shopper while I chat with everyone we run into, sample the pesto, and buy croissants :)

Here's a link to the CC farmer's market page that shows you what's fresh when. They also have recipes, directions, etc. http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/index.php?page=what-s-fresh

See you there! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Affordable Yoga and even...Free Yoga!

We've all been there- you know that a daily yoga asana practice is essential to your physical and mental health. You've been upping the number of home practice days since your budget is tight but you're craving the community, the vibration of 20 other people ommmming with you, the teacher's adjustments, the way you can just let go and not think, the props, the music... you need a yoga class in your community that you can afford right now.

New Orleans has some of the most affordable yoga classes I've ever seen! The most affordable being at Life Yoga which offers $9 dropins, $6 student dropins, and even better packages. That's where you can find yours truly teaching :) However, the most expensive class you take in New Orleans will still only be under $20!! And these are really good classes with amazing teachers. I know, gotta love it. 

Sometimes you find that you're eating ramen noodles ("at 4:30 in the morning, when we barely could survive, I was never more alive"...had to put that song quote in there, hehe) every night that week and can't scrape together $15 for a yoga class. So, I'm putting together a little list of the FREE and cheapest classes you can take in the city. Because yoga studios feel that it is only yogic :) to offer some sort of affordable class for the community you'll find one at almost every studio. I love this logic- it's in the mental health counselors' code that we have to offer some sort of free/discounted/affordable service and I love that yoga studios do it too. 

Here's what I've come up with (in no particular order). Please comment and add anything that I'm missing. Nola has 22 studios, apparently, so I haven't mentioned even half of them!

Life Yoga (5422 Magazine St, Uptown)
$6 student drop in. $9 drop in (all others).
$5 community classes Saturday 9:30, Saturday 4pm, Sunday 4pm

Balance Yoga and Wellness (120 S. Cortez St, Midcity)
$15 drop in
Free community class Sunday 10:00-11:30am and Tuesday 7:15-8:45pm

Freret St Yoga (4608 Freret St, Uptown)
$15 drop in
Free community class Mondays 7:45-9:00pm

Wild Lotus Yoga (uptown and downtown locations- see website)
$15 drop in
Free (by donation) community class Wednesday 7:45-9:15pm
Also various $7 community classes- uptown has 3 a week. 

lululemon athletica showroom (802 Nashville Ave, Uptown)
A clothing store that has complimentary classes every week. Each month they showcase a different studio  and free classes are on the weekends. The website currently talks about last week's free class in the park with their own staff and shanti teacher Lindsay so you may have to call and ask an educator. 

I'm sure there are more free classes to find around our city- these are just the places I've been to. Here are a few more studios offering very affordable classes. Also, please note I live in the GD so I mostly looked uptown. Would love to know about other studios in the Marigny, Downtown, Met'ry, etc...

Yoga 108 (Bikram studio, 8229 Oak St, Uptown)
$18 drop in
Couldn't find any community classes here. All are Bikram and one is Silent Bikram. I have never practiced at this studio since I'm no the biggest Bikram fan but you could call and see if your first class is complimentary

Audubon Yoga (Iyengar studio uptown)
$15 drop in
No community/discounted classes but there is a by donation meditation 'class' Friday mornings 9-10:00am.

Shanti Yoga Shala (3582 Magazine St, lower Garden District)
$14 drop in
No discounted or community classes but recently did a $20 for 20 class livingsocial.

Swan River (multiple locations)
$14 drop in
I had trouble locating a community class at the various swan river locations but you could call and ask. The first class here is free. I really like these studios and would totally Love a community class.

Yoga Bywater (900 Louisa St, Bywater)
$12 hour, $15 90 minutes drop in
Sivananda classes are on a sliding scale from $5 to $13 and all other classes are as stated above. No community classes and I've never been here so I can't vouch for it.

The Yoga Room (Ashtanga Studio, 4905 Freret St)
$10 drop in (great!)
All Mysore Ashtanga classes, one led class and one intro class each week. No community or discounted classes.