Bowen Rooftop Flow with Cora and Heloise (Full Moon Edition)

Thank you so much for joining Heloise and myself for the evening. Everyone had such good vibe and energy. It was really lovely to bring everyone together, friends and family, old and young and celebrate this special day though yoga.

The after party was super fun. The kids certainly had a good time with lanterns and glow sticks but looks like the big kids were having a good time as well. The yogi twister was certainly the highlight of the evening you guys are so amazing (and bendy!!)

It was a truly memorable evening.

Thank you for my partner in crime Heloise. You are a beautiful soul. Thank you Real Food for catering the delicious healthy food and all the sponsors – Genie Juicery for their juices, Jax Coco for the coconut water, Munchbox HK for their healthy yummy snacks and Sibberi Birch Water.

And of course, big thank to my real life partner, Eric for being the amazing DJ, photographer, and “slightly evil” game host at the Yogi Twister game…

Please feel free to download the pictures and repost. Make sure you tag #bowenrooftopflow and #playwithcora (@playwithcora). Also please “Like” my Facebook page PLaY with Cora so I can keep you posted on the future events.

Thanks again.

With playfulness and love,

Cora


Healthy Eggplant “Parmagiana” with minced Lamb

For the last week or so the temperature has dropped a little bit, especially in the morning and in the evening. I am happily turning off the A/Cs at home and be nicer to Mr. Earth. The market is now filled with fall produce. Root vegetables (with is great for our body in this time of the year in ayurvedic sense), squash, and eggplants.

Eggplant is not a easy vegetable to deal with, as it doesn’t have much flavour. Also to make it soft traditionally (and most restaurants would still take this practice) would deep fry the eggplant before they cook them so the texture would become soft. Alternative way is to steam them however the “meat” will turn dark and a lot of moisture would come out and it will make the eggplant too soggy. I want to keep a slightly meaty texture to the eggplant.

One of my favourite dishes at my favourite joints in Hong Kong – Posto Pubblico is Eggplant Parmigiana. However I know they deep- fry the eggplant before cooking and also they put in a lot of mozzarella (which I LOVE!!!) but at home I tend to try to make a healthier version. So I substitute with Greek Yogurt. I have also tried with plain cottage cheese and it works pretty well. Alternatively you can stick with the original recipe by using mozzarella or even goat cheese. Goat cheese is amazing as you can add just a little bit but already add a lot of flavours without worrying packing up too much fat.

Healthy Eggplant “Parmagiana” with Minced Lamb

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zuchhini
  • 200g of minced beef or lamb
  • 100g spinach
  • 5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 beef tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Herbs for seasoning like cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper
  • 100g of Greek Yogurt or cottage cheese (or you can use mozzarella, goat cheese or any cheese you like)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the zucchini and eggplant length wise.
  2. Roast or grill the zucchini and eggplant until they are half cooked. Leave it to cool.
  3. Cut up tomatoes. Add a little bit of salt, pepper and basil and blend it in a blender. Alternatively you can also use canned tomato sauce but watch out for salt and sugar content.
  4. Stir fry your favourite vegetables. Spinach and mushrooms are awesome choice for layering.
  5. Cook the meat. In this recipe I use minced lamb. You can use grounded lean beef in this recipe, but I use lamb instead as I think they have a more distinctive flavor. Also traditionally Chinese people believe lamb warms up the body, more so than beef or any other meat. That’s why in Northern China Lamb Stew or Lamb Hotpot is so popular. You can add some herbs while cooking.  In this recipe I used cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper.
  6. Put zucchini slices on the bottom, then layer with the sauce. Add some yogurt, cottage cheese, mozzarella or even goat cheese and. Then add the vegetables, minced lamb, then repeat the layers with eggplant, alternating the directions of the zucchini. Repeat for 3 to 4 layers and bake for about 30 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.

Filling, juicy, and super yummy.

This dish takes a while for preparation, but definitely worth the time. It is low carb, high protein, and packed with vegetables.  I promise you will not feel shabby after this low carb dinner. And it taste even better the next day so it makes a wonderful packed lunch as well.

P.S. Here is a similar recipe.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-noodle-zucchini-lasagna/


The story behind Bowen Rooftop Flow

As some of you may know, I have been running a monthly community rooftop class on the rooftop of my home on the last Sunday of the month. It’s en event where I usually partner up with another yoga teacher to co-teach the yoga class. Then I have my husband plays the role of both the DJ and the photographer of the event. And I reached out to local healthy food providers/caterers/chefs to provide healthy snacks and nibbles of the event.

The original idea when I started this event, I am going to be honest – it was because I needed a venue to teach. As a new yoga teacher, I needed to build up my teaching experience, before.. Erm… anyone would hire me. So I thought… what’s better than running a yoga event at my home?

Then I thought… I had many new yoga teacher friends like myself that want to teach… and hey, as a new teacher it’s better to “share the burden” right? So as a tradition this has always been a class co-teach by two teachers.

To make the event more “attractive ” – something you worry when you are a new teacher.. better bring in some “goodies”. So I reached out to my friends who are in the healthy food business to sponsor some nibbles at the event. I have been grateful that I have got amazing friends who have been so willing to help with no cost.

And then I got many friends who helped me to be the teaching assistants of the class. Not only they help assisted the class, they brought their friends in, and helped me to promote the event.

It has been 6 months since the first event. I came from a place when I worried about no one would hire me to teaching a 350 people class at #OMFESTHK. I am now a full time yoga teacher teaching at various studios, offices and offering private lessons in Hong Kongt. I also teach on Yoogia, an online yoga channel which is available to over 50 countries worldwide.

I took a 2 months break in summer. However Bowen Rooftop Flow is where I begin, and I intended to continue to run this event once a month to bring the yoga (and non yoga) community together.

I am super excited to bring the party back on a special day on Mid Autumn Festival – a day in Chinese tradition is to bring the friends and family together. On this day I will partner up the amazing Heloise, who is a yoga teacher at Flex HK in Hong Kong, and also a teacher on Yoogaia as we lead through  a detoxing yet grounding practice at sunset.

BOWEN ROOFTOP FLOW WITH CORA AND HELOISE (FULL MOON EDITION)

This is a charity event and the proceeds with go to the following organization.

Migrant Offshore Aid Station

To read more about where the birth of Migrant Offshore Aid come about:

A Lifeline to save lives

All the 40 mats for the yoga class is all sold out.

However, the class will be followed by after party, with healthy nibbles provided by Real Food HK, a new addition to our local health and wellness community in Hong Kong, who will deliver your healthy meals to your home and offices. Real food will be feeding us nutritious and nourishing canapés, as we all hang out under the full moon.

Please bring your own water bottle and we will supply water (we try to produce less plastic waste, something nice to our Mother Earth).

On top of that, we have Jax Coco sponsoring us with their coconut water, Genie Juicery with their delicious cold-pressed juices, and Munchbox HK with their guilt free healthy snacks for some lucky ones in the lucky draw. And there will be Munchbox discount vouchers and a 14 day free trial on Yoogaia for the attendees of the event.

The after party is $150 per head.

Kids are welcome. We will have lanterns and glow toys. During the yoga class we will have someone taking care of them, and they can join us after the class.

Date: 27 September, 2015 (Sunday)

Time: 5:00pm till late

Venue: The Caronia House, 17 Bowen Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong

Price: $200 for yoga + party (SOLD OUT)

$150 for after party (the more the merrier!)

To purchase tickets please click on the following link:

http://www.eventbrite.hk/e/bowen-rooftop-flow-with-cora-and-heloise-full-moon-version-tickets-18498675035#

Facebook event link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1665519500331359/

* Please bring your own yoga mat. If you do not have one please let us know so we can sort it out for you!

I am so thrilled and grateful for everyone who signed up, who sponsored, and all of you who spread the love in our HK Yoga community.

We look forward to get together with everyone on this special day.

With playfulness and love,

Cora  via PLaY with Cora

Sponsors link:

http://www.realfood.hk
http://www.yoogaia.com
http://www.geniejuicery.com
http://www.munchbox.hk
http://www.jaxcoco.com


Happy Ever After… 7 Years

I was checking out my biography of my blog page. And it says – “I am a reformed ex-banker, wife and mother of two. I believe even as a mother you can still be fun, fit and playful.”

I realised I didn’t mention my husband.

In my blogs, I write about yoga, and my life being a mother. I do share about how to keep a healthy and active lifestyle as a “MOTHER”, but I rarely talk about down to bottom you want to remain a “HOT WIFE”.

So some may wonder if I am having a happy marriage. In fact I do. And a happy one too. However my husband is an extremely private person and demands extreme privacy about him. He does not have Facebook (but he create an account for our 6 year old son so he can still see what’s happening on Facebook – cheeky!). He does not have What’s app. and he asks me not to put any of his pictures on any of my social media. How ironic is that as the wife is posting her “yoga selfies” all over the web when the husband is absolutely the opposite.

However, I respect that. And that’s why our marriage works.

I can’t talk TOO MUCH about our love story, as it will “violate” the agreement between my husband and I. But let’s just say we were both “troubles” in our younger age pre marriage. Both of us never thought we would get married. In fact in all the years we were dating he stated clearly that “I WILL NOT GET MARRIED.” So the fact that we are not only married but also happily married is kinda a miracle.

It was our 7 year wedding anniversary last Sunday. And before that we dated for 7 years. And all together we have been together for almost 15 years. Honestly I am still amazed that we have been married for 7 years, especially with a guy who said “I WILL NEVER GET MARRIED” and he is definitely not a hands-on father (which means he still have no idea how to change a diaper after two kids).

How did we get through that? and honestly our marriage is great. Didn’t people said there is a 7 year itch? I am not going to write a blog on “How to have a successful marriage” or “How did I tame the bad boy to become my husband” (maybe one day… Haha…) However, if I have to scrap down to one word that makes our marriage works is  – Communication.

Both my husband and I have the same “cute” personality – we are very honest and straight forward people. He always said that I do not process my thoughts and they already come out of my mouth. And he is always a little bit too brutally honesty so much he makes people around him uncomfortable.

We were just having a late night conversation the other day and we are surprised that many married couples actually do not talk to each other anymore. OK. They talk. But it’s all about the household stuff. Kids’ school, dinner, bills. Even talking about a date or vacation it’s like “scheduling a meeting”. There is almost no exchange on communications about the relationship anymore, not even talking about romance yet.

One thing about our relationship is we just talk about everything. We really do not hide much from each other. We are sometimes too “brutally honest” with each other (which sometimes turns into arguments but at least we talk. Yes, we do argue sometimes. A lot of married couples actually do not fight anymore. All they have left is talking about routines and logistics. However for us after all the years of “arguing” we both know what trigger each other and throughout the years our arguments become more “productive” than “destructive”. So… if you guys are still “fighting” there is still love and hope there. However, arguments should stay as positive as possible. No physical fights, and no insulting. Be kind, A cruel word, once said, cannot be unsaid.

It’s important to “talk it out” about the relationship at all times. After all dating and a marriage is very different and we are both learning. And having a family and kids is not easy. After 7 years of marriage I am still adjusting my role as a mom and a wife, and I am still feeling challenged at times. If you don’t share your feelings and even hardships as being a mom/wife/dad/husband then your love partner will eventually becomes your “room mate” or your “business partner” (the household is the business).

Maintaining a marriage is a lot of work. Work with each other. However, do not seek to change each other, but to listen accept and support each other.

Oh… another important thing. Tell him/her you love her/him. A lot, Anywhere, anytime, Closed doors, in front of your kids, in public.. even in social media (which my husband hates).

To my husband – “I love you. ” 😝


One Pass One Community

Last week I was invited to the launch party for GuavaPass – the new launch of a fitness pass that allows you to get access to a list of different fitness classes from yoga to kickboxing, spinning to dance, CrossFit to Pilates in all the major cities in Asia from Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, with Shanghai, Taipei, Sydney, Melbourne and Dubai coming in the near future.

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I was helping out at one of the “challenge station”, where participants have to 1. strike a yoga pose; 2. do a 20 seconds plank pose 3. spar with a Muay Thai trainer to collect 3 stamps so they can enter the lucky draw to win some great prizes from gym goodies to healthy treats from Munchbox Hong Kong to Apple Watch to a 3D2N package at Five Elements in Bali. I was totally impressed people taking these challenges in their suits or mini skirts. Very cool crowd indeed.

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The fitness industry is absolutely expanding. There are many new studios opening in town every month, and most of them are boutique studios offering specialised fitness programs.

  1. More people are preferring smaller studios and smaller classes so they can get more attention from the trainers and teachers.
  2. It allows cross training to happen. The days of just “hamster-ing” on the treadmill is gone. Now people wants to do cross train with different activities depending on their schedule and the intensity the want, and they can go from pumping Crossfit to restorative yoga as they wish.
  3. It makes you try something new, and  keep things fresh.The way it works is you can only attend the same classes a certain times a week, making you HAVE to try some other classes. It is just so much more fun than sticking to one gym membership.
  4. It supports small local businesses. As we all know we all suffer from high rent living in this city. The pass membership brings students to the small studios. As members can only visit one studio a certain amount of times a week, it’s likely that they will try out a few different studios in the program.
  5. IT’s great for business travellers who always travel to these major cities. A lot of people I know cannot afford a gym membership here in Hong Kong not because of money, but because they travel so much it does not make sense when they can only go to the gym few times a month. With GuavaPass you can visit different gyms/studios even when you are travelling. No more excuse for not being able to workout on business trips anymore.
  6. It’s a community. It allows you to meet new friends and as we all know, having fitness buddies is the best way to make our fitness routines fun and sustainable! And now you have the whole community!

This concept is certainly not new. ClassPass which started in US is now valued at over $200M, running in most of the major cities in US and Canada.

ClassPass: How one entrepreneur raised $14 million

As a yoga teacher I obviously do mostly yoga, but I try to do some resistance training and cardio by myself and I go to Muay Thai with my husband once a week.  However I am struggling with “getting out” to try new things with my busy schedule. But with the amazing selections on GuavaPass I am definitely giving it a go to shake thing up!

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Thank you for inviting me to this fun and meaningful event, and I am grateful Hong Kong is having something like GuavaPass to bring more people to get fit at a reasonable cost and to help local business in the fitness industry to blossom and glow.

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I love Flat Breads

Since I visited the new Mana Cafe on Pound Lane I am inspired with making my own flats. I am not exactly making my own flat bread (which I should) but I just like the fact that a flat allows me to load up a lot of vegetables (and protein) which out taking in more carbs.

Think sandwiches. It’s too much bread and you cannot stuff in too much veggies and protein without making it “decomposed”.

Same thing goes to Open Faced Sandwich… and when you put too much on the top the bread becomes soggy.

Then I think wraps. However same thing happens. I can’t fill enough veggies and protein inside the wrap without making it fall apart.

That makes the wonderful flat the person low carb choice to load up your veggies and protein.

The base

You can choose any flat bread as the base. However the bigger and flatter it is, the more stuff you can put on top.

  • Tortilla bread (flour, whole wheat, brown rice, corn) as the base. That’s what I use the most as they are thin, big and pretty low in fat and carb.
  • Naan bread ant Pita Bread, but they are a bit thicker and smaller in size.
  • Roti is another good one. But some Roti has very high content to fat so read the labels.
  • You can also make your own. We make homemade pizza doughs all the time at our house and sometimes I use them as the base of the flats when there are leftover doughs.

Flat Bread Recipe

The spread

You put a spread on top of the flat so that the topping will stick. Some ideas on the spreads:

  • Olive oil and Zaatar
  • Homemade tomato sauce
  • Greek Yoghurt (One of my favourite)
  • Mushed avocado
  • Any kind of nut butter – almond butter, cashew butter etc.

The toppings

Be creative. This can be a breakfast flat, lunch flat, dinner flat, even a dessert flat. But since you have a big surface area to work on you can pile up your vegetables and protein. Some of my favourites are:

  • Greek yogurt as the spread, then add smoke salmon, tomatoes and avocados, Top with a sunny side egg,

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  • Olive oil and zaatar as the spread, then add mushrooms, truffle pate and a scrambled egg on top.

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  • Greek yogurt as the spread, then add diced chicken, tomatoes and avocados makes a nice lunch flat.
  • Almond butter as the spread and add sliced banana, cooked apple and cinnamon and that’s my dessert flat.

The possibilities are endless. Give it a try and create your own version of healthy flatbreads… And…Go to visit Mana Cafe on Pound Lane to get “inspired”. It’s a lovely, quiet neighbourhood to hang out…

Openflats_sneakpeek

And of course your Mana Cafe visit is the best to combine with a nourishing yoga class before or after at YogaBamBam next door.

bambam

*** A little joke ***

The flat in the feature image is a complete “steal” from Mana Cafe. Every time I had trouble deciding what to get, as I want to try them all. So I decided to make my own.

This flat contains… Zaatar from “The Lennon”, Sunny Side Egg from “Da Vinci”, Mushrooms from “Teslar”, Red peppers from “Lao Tsu”, and Avocado from “The Einstein”. Too lazy to make garlicnaise so use whatever is in hand in the kitchen. I spreaded some hummus on the bottom, and added some grilled artichokes (have 3 pieces of leftover in the fridge), on a piece of whole wheat tortilla.

Complete copy cat. Copy and throw in things randomly here and there (including leftovers) then add a few random “personal touch”, definitely not as good as the original but it works.
Therefore this flat, I name it – “Tao Bao”.

More on Mana Cafe, go to http://www.mana.hk.

More on Yoga Bam Bam and class schedules go to http://www.yogabambam.com.hk.