Archive for May 2011

Why I Love Berkeley #1

May 27th, 2011 — 10:54am

This is the first of a series of posts about why I love living in Berkeley. These will be observations and musings, and while some might be very silly, it’s my small way of paying homage to the town I now call home.

Yesterday, I was in Country Cheese Coffee Market where I was buying a bar of my favorite chocolate — Michel Cluizel. I started chatting to the woman behind me in line, and we started talking about chocolate. Turns out she leads chocolate tours in San Francisco. “Cluizel is my favorite too,” she said, and we waxed on about the coffee undertones and creamy finish. I told her I wrote about food and about my book, we exchange cards and I find out she’s Michael Chabon’s assistant. She loves chocolate and literature and I love that I can turn to the person behind me in line and have this kind of conversation.

Then this morning, I get up early to go to the gym to get in a workout before a weekend of bbqs and margheritas. As I’m driving down the hill, I pass Alice Waters in workout gear working up a sweat.

“Halllooo Alice,” I yell silently out the window, now inspired to finally make that kale salad topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and Pecorino I’ve been dreaming of.

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The Yoga of Food

May 25th, 2011 — 7:38am

At the Yoga Journal New York Conference, I moderated a panel on the Yoga of Food. I was moved by how thoughtful, deep and funny my fellow panelists were. Ana Forrest, Aadil Palkhivala, David Romanelli and Seane Corne. There were both meat eaters and vegans among us, and yet, we had a complicated and respectful discussion on ahimsa (or non-violence), how one’s yoga practice can effect how and what one one eats, and many other topics. Here’s a picture from the panel:

Moderator Dayna Macy introducing the panel to talk about the ... on Twitpic

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Me, Mary Higgins Clark, and My New York “Tour”

May 13th, 2011 — 11:23am

I write this in my hotel room at the New York Hilton. It’s the weekend of the Yoga Journal New York Conference, and I am both handling the press for the conference as well as moderating a panel on The Yoga of Food this Sunday (1:30 pm, free and open to the public) with Ana Forrest, Aadil Palkhivala, David Romanelli, and Seane Corn. I came in a few days early to do some book stuff, including a talk and book signing at Om Yoga, graciously put together by the wonderful Cyndi Lee.

I have pictures to post, but since I am technologically challenged, that might have to wait until I get home. Four of my elementary school buddies (yes, you Denise Shapiro, Lisa Litman, Giselle Heitzner and Donna DeSisto) showed up to show support, and then we all went out for a celebratory dinner. It did my heart good!

Just one story before I collapse into Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose) and catch my breath before Michael Pollan’s talk tonight. I was eating lunch the other day at Michael’s (my kind brother in law Paul wanted to give me a real New York literary experience), and as I was walking out, the maitre de brought me to a table and said, “Dayna, I’d like you to meet Mary Higgins Clark. Ms. Clark, this is Dayna. She’s just written her first book.”

Ms. Clark, the famed romance writer who is one of the reasons Simon & Schuster is still in business, looked up at me from her perfectly made-up face and said, “You’re a first time author? You MUST join us.” Her editor looked apoplectic. “Ms Clark,” I demurred, “I haven’t sold one one billionth of your books.” “Well,” she said, “you gotta start somewhere,” so I sat. We chatted briefly, and she was sharp, witty, and lovely. When I said to her, “sometimes I think the secret of success is just continuing to show up,” she nodded and said, “yes, and if you keep showing up, you might end up writing 42 books, like I have.”

I love her optimism.

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Providence Journal

May 9th, 2011 — 9:16am

I was interviewed the other week by a reporter from the Providence Journal about my book. I went to Brown, so hallelujah that my masters degree in philosophy continues to bear fruit!

Here are both the pieces, and two clarifications:

At Salon, I was Publicity Director, not an editor. And when I referenced to women as “hangars” in magazines, I meant fashion magazines. At Yoga Journal, we do show thin, fit women , but we also show other body types.

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Ravenous at Om Yoga New York on May 11

May 5th, 2011 — 8:35pm

My friend Cyndi Lee, owner of Om Yoga, chose Ravenous as Om’s May Book of the Month. Cyndi invited me to give a talk at her studio in New York this coming Wednesday, May 11, starting at 6:30. If you live in New York, come on down!

Cyndi asked me to write a blog post for her website. I did, and I am reposting it here:


Ten years ago while attending a Yoga Journal conference, I was in a backbend class with master teacher Patricia Walden. As she helped my ample body push into wheel, and as I grunted, groaned and kvetched, she asked me, “Why are you in this body? What is it your yoga practice has to teach you?

Her questions struck deep. I spent the next ten years trying to figure them out, and wrote some of what I learned in my memoir, “Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom.”

I love food. I’ve always loved food. That love finally caught up with me, and at midlife, I found myself wearing a size 18. My blood pressure was high, my knees hurt, my yoga practice suffered, and I started searching for ways out of my dilemma.

I’m a food writer, so I started with the food itself. I visited food artisans who worked with my favorite foods like chocolate, cheese and olives, so I could learn more about the foods I’m passionate about. I worked on a farm, foraged, went to a slaughterhouse — all so I could get closer to my food sources. Through it all, I learned a lot about my relationship with food — but my weight didn’t change.

And then (on page 175), I had an epiphany (on my yoga mat). One of my teachers, Scott Blossom, gave me a sequence that involved a lot of standing poses and vinyasa (and he knows how much I hate to sweat). When I complained and kvetched (notice a theme here?), he said that I must learn to live in the legs and root the legs, because “transformation doesn’t happen from the neck up. It happens when your feet are rooted to the earth.”

Suddenly I understood. I had been thinking about transformation. But I hadn’t yet let myself experience it. I hadn’t yet garnered the faith and trust it takes to fall into the river and let the current take me.

Which brings me to my second epiphany (page 185). Everything in life I’ve ever wanted to develop a deeper relationship with — whether it’s writing, or music, or yoga — I’ve had to practice. Why would my relationship with eating and my body be any different?

So I began a food practice. As a yogini, diets never made sense to me. But a food practice does. So I reframed what, how and how much I ate and began viewing it as both a practical and a spiritual practice. I measured my food, I wrote it down, I slowed down. I blessed my food, because I’m damn lucky to have enough to eat. I blessed my body, because it’s a fine one. I blessed my body at the start of this journey, when I was a size 18, and I bless it today, 30 pounds lighter and a size 12.

Now I have an answer to those questions Patricia asked me so long ago. What does my yoga practice teach me? It teaches me to show up. It teaches me to be present with what is. And it reminds me what a lucky girl I am to be here now.

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