About Last Night: My First Workshop on Our Relationship With Food

Last night I spent the night with four amazing women. We sat on our yoga mats talking about our relationship with food, how the power of grounding and mindfulness can help us become aware of our complicated feelings surrounding food – something that nourishes and binds us to the physical world.

whole life workshopLast night was the first workshop that I co-hosted with my good friend Holly. We met at yoga teacher training this past year and felt an immediate connection. Turns out, she also felt a calling to help others deal with their relationship to food. She’s an inspiring woman who currently helps others as a social worker and through her work with addiction and recovery. She’s an inspiration to us all and I’m beyond grateful that I can call her my friend and partner.

whole life workshopLast night we started something special. With just a small group of women we opened up to each other as we began a conversation about food. How do we feel about the food we eat everyday? Do we feel nourished by it? Is it just a necessity? Or is it just another action throughout the day that is on our mental “to do” list.

Last night we delved into our spiritual and physical self. How without one, we can’t have the other. We tend to separate them throughout our lives and it’s only when we connect them that we find our true self.

whole life workshopLast night we learned the true meaning of ahimsa, the first yama of nonviolence. Nonviolence to each other and to ourselves. Why do we always put ourselves on the back burner? Why do we not take care of our body? Is it because we’re disconnected to our physical needs of nourishment and support? Or is it because we don’t know how the relationship will work? Maybe it’s just like any other relationship – we’re afraid to get our hearts broken so we shut down.

Last night we learned how to take the first step towards recovery. How we all have our trigger foods and trigger situations. How after speaking about it with others and finding that others have similar issues makes us stronger to take that first step. To look at our situation with love, light, and understanding. How we can take the steps of relabeling, reattributing, refocusing, revaluing, and recreating to give attention to our relationship and ground down with intention.

whole life workshopLast night I learned that we are all connected. Our physical bodies allow us to feel Mother Earth, watch a beautiful sunrise, feel the wind on our face, taste the sweetness of a clementine, play with the dirt in our garden, and embrace each other. Our spiritual selves allow us to sense the higher connection with the world, with each other, and with our true self. It’s when we connect our spiritual and physical body that we can find true connections to each other and to the world that we live in. Our relationship with food is so much more than what’s for dinner. It’s what kind of life you’re living and really, you deserve a whole one.

After such a beautiful evening of stepping out on the path to find our true selves through our relationship with food, Holly and I will be hosting additional workshops that will continue to break this complicated relationship down. Allowing us to be the true version of ourself that lies within the heart of us all.

Check out our Facebook page Living the Whole Truth to stay updated!

And thank you to the Joyful Living Center in Eatontown for inviting us into their beautiful space.

Finally, thank you to the women and men who support us. We couldn’t do it without you.

As always, “bee” well,

Melissa

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Blogger Crawl: Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten (I got lucky!)

It’s days like this when I’m so happy to be a blogger among a number of other bloggers who not only share my passion for writing, but also for sharing the gems of our community. Born and raised in New Jersey, it’s amazing to watch towns such as Red Bank and Asbury Park grow into destinations. After Red Bank’s successful blogger crawl, we got back together and went to Asbury Park.

asbury festhalle and biergartenNow, I lived in AP for a while, just recently moving a few minutes away. My heart was all about this crawl. When I first moved to AP, people joked that I should invest in a bulletproof vest (horrible, I know). Then they actually visited me there and saw just how much this seaside town has grown up. They still have obstacles, but with the support of innovators, artists, believers, and you and I, they’ll succeed because this town is too diverse to let it fail.

A Night Out At the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

Have you been aching to go to Germany for Oktoberfest, but found that there’s not enough cash in your bank account to get your butt on a plane? Yea, I hear ya. Well, not to worry. Thanks to the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, you’ll get an authentic biergarten experience all without leaving the states.

On any given night, the Germans take over Asbury Park and I don’t hear anyone complaining. In fact, this celebrated hot spot is loved by those of all ages. Every time I’ve gone, there’s a happy mixture of your hipsters, parents, grandparents, and everyone in between with a smile on their face from ear to ear.

Literally translating to “Feast Hall,” but best translated as “Festival Hall,” these popular festhalles can be found throughout German cities and towns, ranging in size from small to stadium sized. Now, there’s an outpost in Asbury Park that takes up 6,000 square feet, and that’s just on the inside. This year’s newly opened 9,000 square foot outdoor rooftop biergarten has proved to be just another draw for those who love beer.

asbury festhalle and biergartenFrom live polka music, to a list of beers that will make any beer expert swoon, and a menu that is just as mouthwatering as any five star restaurant, this German brick and mortar institution is a full on destination. Sit down with your new friends at one of the long wooden communal tables while you swing your stein back and forth.

Try out the infamous German Pretzel that is as large as your head and also go for the Blumenkohl. Fried cauliflower with a lemon caper aioli, paprika and parsley chips – just be sure to wait a couple of minutes so your mouth doesn’t get burnt! For those looking for a lot of ‘wuerste,’ try out the Bratwurst or go big with the Weiner Schnitzel served with potato and cucumber salat and lingon berry. They’ve even got the vegetarians covered with their Pliz Burger featuring portabella mushrooms, balsamic mustard, roasted pepper, arugula, and Swiss cheese.

But really, as much as we love the food, it’s the beer and the atmosphere that makes this place electric. I’ve become huge fans of the Stiegl (which also happened to be a favorite beer of Mozart’s), the DAB, which is still brewed in Dortmund, Germany using 1516 German purity laws, and the Braufactum Progusta IPA. But, really, no matter which beer you choose, you just can’t go wrong.

asbury festhalle and biergarten

Most recently, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Germans at the Biergarten. It was in the middle of a chorus performed by Alex Meixner (if you get a chance, be sure to make a point to see them – lively, engaging, funny, heart thumping – the words just don’t give them justice), that I realized I could have been transported to Germany without even knowing. And when I asked them if this reminded them of home, they just smiled at me, nodded their head, and brought me in on the chorus. I took that as a JA!

Check out all the other Asbury Park shops, restaurants, and bars from my fellow bloggers!

Yoga Mama MuseFive Outfits Before BreakfastIt’s DroolworthyReinvention Girl Magnificent TemptationsThe Perky Foodie BlogLike Lillian