Embracing the Harmony of Yoga Theory and Asana Practice

This post was written by Bryony Body instructor, Rob Pruyne. Learn more about Rob’s life on and off the mat, here.

Picture yourself on the mat, moving through yoga poses with intention and grace. Each breath synchronizes with your movement, creating a dance of mindfulness. But what if I told you that beyond the physicality of these postures lies a profound world of yoga theory, waiting to enhance your practice?

Understanding Yoga Theory

Yoga transcends mere physical exercise; it’s a philosophy rooted in ancient wisdom. At its core, yoga encompasses the union of body, mind, and spirit. This union is beautifully woven through the teachings of ancient texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras.

The magic begins when we integrate this yogic wisdom into our physical practice (asana). Take the Bhagavad Gita’s lesson on detachment, for instance. Applying this teaching on the mat means surrendering to the present moment in each pose without fixating on perfection or outcomes. It’s about finding contentment in the journey, not just the end result.

Similarly, the Yoga Sutras offer the eight limbs of yoga, guiding us beyond the physical postures. The practice of asanas becomes a tool to cultivate discipline (niyamas) and concentration (dharana), and even to prepare for meditation (dhyana) by using the limb of breath practice (pranayama).

Mindful Movement and Breath

As you flow through asanas, the breath becomes your anchor. Each inhale invites expansion, while each exhale encourages release. This synchronization of breath and movement embodies the essence of yoga philosophy, fostering a deep connection between the physical body and the subtle energies within.

Embracing Stillness

Beyond the dynamic flow of asanas lies the beauty of stillness. Savasana, the final relaxation pose, offers an opportunity to embody the essence of yoga theory. It’s a moment to absorb the teachings, allowing the body and mind to integrate the practice on a deeper level while also releasing the practice using the guidance of non-attachment.

Bryony’s Journey

Consider Bryony, our typical 2024 yogi. Through consistent practice, she discovered that weaving yoga theory into her asana practice transformed her experience. As she moved through poses, she found a sense of detachment and inner peace, aligning her actions with the principles she learned from the ancient texts. She then inherently carries that behavior forward into her everyday life, meeting work and life requirements with inner peace and calm.


The fusion of yoga theory and asana practice elevates the entire yoga experience. It’s not about mastering complex poses but about infusing each movement with mindfulness, intention, and wisdom. By incorporating these teachings into our practice, we unlock the true essence of yoga—a journey of self-discovery, balance, and union.

Remember, the mat is not just a physical space; it’s a canvas where ancient wisdom and modern practice converge, inviting us to explore the profound depths of yoga’s teachings.

So, let’s step onto the mat, not just to stretch our bodies, but to expand our minds and souls—a harmonious blend of theory and movement reaching back millennia, enriching our lives both on and off the mat.

Ready to elevate your self-care? Make Bryony Body your hub for yoga & wellness. View our classes, instructors, memberships and more on our website.

Learn & Grow Through Reflection with Katie’s End of Year Journal Prompts

Just like when I developed the sudden need for a sensible shoe, I’m now someone who needs to actively take care of their mental health every single day. For me, this means being conscious of what I eat and drink, how I exercise my body and mind, who I let into my life, where I direct my energy, and most importantly, how I talk to myself.

On top of using words like ‘biodynamic’ and ‘shadow self’ in a sentence, I’ve become increasingly aware of how hard I can be on myself. From the conversations I’ve had with friends, I suspect a lot of us are feeling this way. (Oh, how I long for the days when an iced coffee, bagel and belting out an Adele song in the car was the only fuel required to remind us of our power!)

It could be the constant comparison game we’re forced to play when we hop on social media, the confronting reality of the cost of living crisis or how polarized society has become, but man, do I feel like I’m barely keeping up or ‘not enough’ sometimes. In a quest to show more self-compassion, I’ve done what any red-blooded woman would do; I’ve devoured wisdom from people like Glennon Doyle, James Clear and Brené Brown. But possibly the most helpful thing I’ve done is start journaling.

At first, I journaled to get my emotions onto the page and out of the control room of my body. But pretty quickly, I found journaling to be a powerful way to reflect and show self-compassion. Have you ever noticed how much kinder we are to our friends when they’re having a low moment than we are to ourselves? We’re like hype girls, right?!!! We have no problem reminding them of how incredible, strong, capable and deserving they are…

Yet when we’re feeling flat or overwhelmed, it’s like we come down on ourselves with the rage of a teenage girl who was just told by her parents that she can’t go to a party. YOU’RE THE ABSOLUTE WORST. I HATE YOU. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Long story short, when I find that I’m beating myself up or feeling like I don’t know where to start, I now turn to my journal and write to myself as if I were giving advice or showing compassion to my best friend. It’s shocking how kind I can be. Girl, you’ve got this. It’s okay that you made up a word during your presentation. Everybody does that. It’s your energy, heart and brilliance they’re after!

The other thing I love about journaling is how intentional it’s helped me become. As a long-time yogi, I always strive to make decisions and act in ways that align with my mind, body and spirit. By taking time to check in with myself on the page, I’ve found my life has become increasingly more authentic and positive.

And so, if there’s one gift I could give everyone this year, it’s the mental health tool of journaling. You may begin a daily practice, weekly check-in or only crack it open once a year and that’s okay. If you do opt for the latter, I’ve provided my go-to prompts for ultimate reflection and self-compassion.

End-of-year Journal Prompts to Help You Learn & Grow:

  • What went well this year?
  • What didn’t go well this year?
  • What did I learn about:
    • My values
    • My time-management
    • My expectations
  • What am I clear about now that I didn’t know at the start of the year?
  • Is there a particular situation I wish I’d handled differently? If yes, how would I change my reactions/actions?
  • Did I avoid any difficult conversations? If yes, what were they?
    • Are any of the above difficult conversations worth having in 2024?
  • When things felt dark, what activities/practices/conversations helped me find my light?
  • When things felt light, easy and abundant, did I let myself truly enjoy the moment?
  • If I could go back to the start of the year, what advice would I give myself?
  • Is there something I wish I could have had more of? (e.g. time, money, energy, guidance, fun, sleep, opportunities…)
    • If yes, how can I add more ________ into my life in 2024?
  • What habits and activities would you like to continue in 2024?


When I started Bryony & Birch in 2021, my hope was that it would be a place of home for whoever walked through its doors. So many of us had been stripped of our identities and our connection to friends/family in the wake of what unfolded in March 2020 that I was desperate for a chance to reclaim a sense of belonging while tapping into the powers of collaboration.

While collaboration is often used in a professional sense, I’d like you to think about how we can collaborate for the collective consciousness. What tools, habits, and mindsets can you share that will improve your mental health, as well as the mental health of your loved ones? Perhaps the best gift you can give someone this year is a notebook and pen.

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end. Don’t compare the start of your second quarter of life to someone else’s third quarter.”

― Jon Acuff


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Optimizing Your Life with Apple Notes

I’m always on the hunt for the best “to do” app or the best project management system to help make my life more organized and efficient. Some software programs are extremely robust, but are clunky to work with. Others don’t sync across platforms, and worst of all, some don’t work unless you’re online. After all of my research, I have come back time and again to the one app that seems to do it all and happens to be surprisingly more basic than Microsoft Word. What is this magical app, you ask? It’s Apple Notes. Yes, I’m talking about that random notepad in your phone that you may have ignored for all these years. It’s so simple, it’s easy to overlook, but learn to use it like me and you’ll have your besties, family members, spouses and colleagues on board with it as well.

Here are five tips for optimizing your life with the handy dandy Apple Notes.

Store Your Important Documents On Apple Notes

One incredible function that gives me peace of mind is adding important documents to Apple Notes. A copy of my passport, my driver’s license, and vaccination card all live on my app. To do this, I simply take a picture on my phone and attach it in a new note. On top of that I type out my passport number, or any other important number onto the document so I can copy/paste every time I book a flight. I also love to keep a list of things like Frequent Flyer numbers,  Library card number, License number all typed out. All of these things are so nice to have on hand to copy/paste for easy access, and you can keep them private by using the “lock” feature I cover below.

Use Folders And Search Bar

One of the things I love about Apple Notes is its simple organization system. You basically have folders and a trash can. I love the lack of sophistication as it keeps my geriatric millennial brain from having to deal with any tech problems. I have folders titled “Work, Travel, Important, Journal and Archive.” Any old Notes I no longer need, I put in the Archive folder. This simple system allows me to keep all my Notes organized. I also love their search function as I don’t even have to dig through folders, I just type my keywords and Voila, my Notes just pop up.

Utilize Shared Tasks And Checkmarks

One of my favorite features of Apple Notes is to share projects and todos with friends and family. I recently co-hosted a dinner party with a friend and we planned exclusively with Apple Notes. We divided and conquered our grocery shopping in real time as we were shopping in two different stores. I also love the checkmark feature. I use it for todo lists, shopping lists, groceries, and more. The yellow checkmark after clicking a tasks gives me the dopamine hit I need to be more productive! It’s the little things in life, right?

Lock Specific Notes For Privacy

My Apple Notes has truly become my second brain where I brain dump everything, including my morning journaling. If you’re concerned about privacy, no need to worry. There is a lock button on the top right corner which allows you to password protect any Notes that contain sensitive information.

Sync Notes Across All Your Devices

One of the reasons why the Notes app is so powerful is because I sync it across my phone, laptop, desktop, and iPad. I have access to all my information on every single device. I am also able to access the information offline. Make sure under Notes > settings, you have all your devices synced together.

Bonus: Use Emojis

Along with checkmarks, I love using 😎 Emojis to brighten up my Notes. I like to have emojis in the title of all of my Notes as easy recall when finding the Notes I need. It also feels like I’m in second grade and using Lisa Frank stationary again. To have easy access to emojis press Control + Command + Space. Your Emojis will pop right up!

Give this underused app a try and see if it boosts your productivity and brings you the peace of mind it has given me. Don’t forget to add an emoji or three along the way!

Workshop Alert: Learn the Benefits of Sound Healing at Bryony Body

As longtime lovers of sound healing, we’re thrilled to share that Bryony Body is hosting a Yin & Sound Healing 90-minute workshop on Sunday, September 17th in Exeter, NH.

Since we are living in the unofficial GOOP-POOSH era (IYKYK), many of us have words like ‘reiki’, ‘ayahuasca ceremony’ and ‘grounding’ in our vocabulary. However, ‘sound healing’ is a term that seems to still require an explanation. Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of sound healing and how to sign up for the upcoming Bryony Body Yin & Sound Healing Workshop.

What is Sound Healing?

Before we dive into the do-re-mi’s of sound healing, it’s important to remember that every part of our body is vibrating at a unique frequency. When things are going well in life, you might feel like you’re literally BUZZING! When things are a bit ‘meh,’ you may feel physically flat. This is because emotions are just that: energy in motion. In many ancient and modern yoga practices, there’s the belief that the human body consists of seven energy centers called ‘chakras.’ As we go through the ebbs and flows of life, these centers can become energetically out of balance or even blocked.

For over 40,000 years, people have used sound vibrations from specific instruments, tones, beats, sonic vibrations, music, nature, or even a person’s voice to restore their chakras, improve their mental health, strengthen their immune system and/or find a deeper connection to the world around them. For example, it’s thought that certain notes and frequencies correlate with a specific chakra, therefore specific sounds are used to help clear and/or restore specific chakras. However, sound healing is also thought to help us influence and achieve optimal brain wave states for performance, creativity and deep rest.

Put simply, sound healing is the use of sound to create a therapeutic atmosphere that encourages you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, open your heart and mind while realigning with your true energetic self.

Examples of Sound Healing Therapies

The act of sound healing can be done at home, under the guidance of a practitioner, through individual or group meditation, as part of a ceremony, or as an artistic or performance aid. Sound healing can also be delivered and received in a number of ways.

Some people use crystal or metal ‘singing’ bowls while others might opt for a rain stick or gong. When it comes to using sound healing for neuro-performance and reaching that elusive ‘flow state,’ you may just pop in your ear buds and cue up a playlist of binaural beats.

Common sound healing therapies:

  • Sound bath
  • Singing bowls (metal or crystal)
  • Gongs
  • Drumming
  • Chimes
  • Chanting
  • Nature sounds (e.g. a rain stick)
  • ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response)
  • Binaural beats

Why do People do Sound Healing?

As part of being human, it’s inevitable that certain experiences, relationships and world events will leave us feeling sad, heavy, confused, blocked, hopeless or in a way – even broken. This is why consciously ‘healing’ and ‘doing the work’ is so necessary.

But how do we heal and what is the work?

Truthfully, healing and doing the work is going to look different for everyone. Some of us will need to let go of attachments and uncover underlying fears while others will need to rest, recharge and reframe their thinking. Others may turn to therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation, reiki or sound healing.

What are the Benefits of Sound Healing?

As mentioned, many people turn to sound healing to increase their energy, achieve a sense of calm, sharpen their mental clarity and reduce physical and mental pain. However, sound healing is also often used to help prime oneself for meditation or raise energy for a performance or high-stakes interaction. Spiritually speaking, some report that sound healing helps them achieve a higher state of consciousness and connection with ‘Self’ and others. Below is a list of reported benefits of sound healing.

Potential Benefits of Sound Healing

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases heart rate
  • Promotes sleep
  • Reduces physical pain
  • Improves symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Prevents and/or heals adrenal burnout
  • Restores energy levels
  • Helps with processing grief
  • Decreases brain fog
  • Sparks creativity
  • Boosts confidence

Book your spot at Bryony Body’s Yin & Sound Healing Workshop on September 17th

The Bryony Body Yin and Sound Bath Healing Workshop will be run by Lily Goldberg and Lauren DiRenzo on September 17th, 2023 from 6:00-7:30 pm.

Intended to provide you with a multi-sensory experience that will restore your body and mind, the Yin and Sound Bath Healing Workshop incorporates 90 minutes of sound healing using the frequencies of quartz bowls with 60 minutes of yin yoga and an extended 30-minute savasana. This gentle practice is suitable for all levels.

Click here to learn more about the workshop and to book your spot!

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times

What’s cooking this winter: Ginger Sesame Chicken, Broccoli Cheddar Soup & More

Been craving a mindful moment? Here’s How To Start a Daily Meditation Practice

Back to School: A Fresh Start for Creating New Habits

The New Year is famous for its slogan, “new year, new you!” In January, gyms are packed with aspiring weightlifters, and bars are empty as we take our annual sabbatical from booze: Dry January. We’re all pumped to become the best versions of ourselves after weeks of holiday feasts and fun. It’s a perfect time for turning a new leaf and ringing in the new year with that buzzing sense of change and optimism. This has predictably been my way of starting off the new year too—sweating alongside a jam-packed yoga studio and heading home to meal prep my salads for lunches the following week.

The problem arises within two months; I’ve lost most of my momentum, and by spring break, I’m not even sure what my goals were to begin with. Good habits are finicky and are heavily influenced by the environment. One vacation can throw us off our 60-day Duolingo streak. Moving houses just down the street can change our morning walking routine. After reading James Clear’s “Atomic Habits,” I became slightly obsessed with setting good habits in all areas of my life, and the main thing I’ve discovered is that habits need to be flexible and work with our ever-changing lifestyles to take root.

Since going back to school serves as another significant milestone in the calendar year, let’s use this time for a fresh start to revisit and refine our goals. Here are five strategies I employ to maintain positive habits throughout the year.

Embrace Flexibility

During winter, I was fully obsessed with hot yoga to heat my body and get a good cardio workout in. With this summer heat, the last thing I want is to sweat more than I need to. So now I’ve switched to gyms and swimming laps. I try to think of my end goal, which is “to move my body every day,” and allow that to be the only criterion so that I can keep enjoying exercise all year round.

Craft a New Schedule

After months of summer fun, travel, and kids out of school, you are more than likely to have dropped a habit or three. That’s okay! Use this back-to-school schedule as a way to start again, or even better, start anew! If you fold a new habit into your new schedule, the mind will associate this habit with this new environment and will more likely stick to it. For example, “I drop off the kids at school, then I drive straight to the gym.” Do this for a week, and it will become automatic.

Schedule It Ahead

One thing that really helps me when I’ve fallen off my good habits is to pre-schedule my desired habit. Bonus points if I create outer accountability as an extra buffer. In the past when I’ve fallen behind with workouts, I booked classes that have a cancellation fee or joined a group workout with friends so I won’t want to disappoint them by not showing up. I’m currently studying a new language so I prepay scheduled lessons with a teacher online so I feel accountable to show up.

Start Small

In “Atomic Habits,” James Clear says habits are more attainable if you are consistent. So instead of trying to force myself to work out for two hours, I tell myself that I only need to go to the gym and stay for 10 minutes. Once I get there, I usually stay for an hour. It’s a mind trick I play to get out the door, and it works!


I have one small habit that was so difficult to keep in the past: taking all my vitamins every day. So, I decided to make it very obvious and lazy-friendly. I put out all my supplements in a cute, clear container visible in the bathroom right next to my toothbrush so I couldn’t miss it. It worked!

Maintaining good habits is a lifelong journey and we’re bound to fail over and over again. The trick is to keep going, and find any good reason or season to start again.

Deepen Your Practice with Yoga Teacher Training at Bryony Body

We are honored and thrilled to invite you to deepen your yoga practice through the first ever 200-hour Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training at Bryony Body this fall.

Beginning September 8th, the training program will occur during the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month, September through January. Training will include everything from yoga sutras to pranayama and asanas – all led by instructor, Gail Picillo.

We sat down with Gail to get all of the details about the program and to give you all the information needed to decide if it’s right for you.

Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from the yoga teacher training curriculum?

Students will learn multiple dimensions of yoga in order to make them a well-rounded intructor and/or to deepen their personal practice. They can expect to learn the philosophy of yoga including studying the Yoga Sutras, understanding the Eight Limbs of Yoga, reviewing traditional yoga texts including the Bhavada Gita, and introduction to Ayurveda. With the learning of the philosophical background, students will  also learn the physical attributes including understanding anatomy and how it relates to the asanas (yoga postures), the breakdown of asanas, surya namaskara (sun salutations), safe and proper hands-on-assists, and how to develop a flow to teach a class.  Students will learn about the subtle body including the koshas, vayus, energy lines, and the chakra system. Finally, students will learn about trauma-informed yoga and elements of functional yoga.

I don’t know if I want to become a yoga teacher, but I’m interested in deepening my practice. Who is yoga teacher training for exactly?

This training if for those who want to deepen their practice, as well as for those who want to become an instructor. When I first took my yoga teacher training, I had no intentions on becoming an instructor. I wanted to understand the philosophy behind yoga, how to correctly practice, and to truly learn how to “breathe.”  Though this training does have instructor knowledge, students will all benefit from the deepening of their own practice whether they plan to teach or not.

How much time outside of class should I plan to spend on homework and practicing?

Homework is offered after each training session.  This usually encompasses readings, personal practice, and observations of other yoga classes. How much time between each session is based on the individual and what they are looking to get from their practice.  It is difficult to determine the amount of time based on how fast a person can read. I try to keep the homework in a reasonable amount, as I am aware that many of us have other busy aspects of our lives such as jobs and families.

What will I walk away with when it’s all said and done?

You will be a certified Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Yoga teacher instructor, who will have a strong foundation for yoga.  You may choose to share this knowledge as an instructor, or simply to practice your knowledege in your day to day life.  No matter what you decide to do, this training will help you develop a better understanding of the Self.

What’s your favorite part of teaching yoga?

I often talk of myself as a conduit.  I let the yoga speak for itself and allow myself to be the instrument in which it is shared.  So my favorite part of teaching yoga is to observe people become more gentle with themselves, so that they offer themselves and others grace to simply “be.”

Thinking about enrolling? Here’s what you need to know.

To get the early bird discount and save $500 total on your registration fee, you’ll want to enroll by August 15th. After that date, you can save $300 by registering and paying in full by the official start date, September 8th. And if you’re looking for a manageable way to pay for training over time, you can pay your $200 non-refundable registration fee to lock in your spot and then email gailpicillo@gmail.com to get your payment plan set up.

Click here to learn more and register for Yoga Teacher Training at Bryony Body.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks We’re Stocked Up On For The Summer

If we want to discuss blessings in disguise from the pandemic, here’s one: the wide variety of non- and low-alcoholic beverages that are now available to us both in-store and at the bar. If you haven’t noticed, next time you’re out for drinks with friends, look for the “Non-Alcoholic” section of the cocktail menu and you’ll likely find a variety of NA beers or even some tempting mocktail options. While we’ve always enjoyed a refreshing glass of wine or cocktail in moderation, having non-alcoholic options that not only extend past O’Doul’s, but are sometimes better than the alcohol version, that’s what we can get behind.

Interested? Below we’ve listed out some of our favorite non-alcoholic beverages that we’re stocking up on this summer. Because at the end of the day, happy hour is about spending quality relaxation time with friends, while having a refreshing beverage (regardless of the ABV.)

Beer from Athletic Brewing Company

Image credit: athleticbrewing.com

Athletic Brewing were the ones who really spearheaded the non-alcoholic beer movement and in 2023, they’re still at the top of their game. They have excellent staples like their Run Wild IPA and the Upside Dawn Golden, and introduce seasonal options like the Chelada Nada and their Lemon Radler for those of us who like a twist of citrus in our summer beverages. Their beers taste just like beers with alcohol and contain half the calories. The perfect end-of-the-weekday wind down drink, if you ask us.

Cocktails from Seedlip

Image Credit: seedlipdrinks.com

Cocktails more your thing? Sure, there’s nothing quite like a boozy margarita, but when tequila isn’t an option, we turn to the next best thing: Seedlip Spirits. You can buy bottles of their concoctions: Grove 42 (think: margarita or a gin & tonic), Spice 94 (think: espresso martini or a moscow mule) or Garden 108 (think: a ginger highball or a bloody mary). Their website provides dozens of cocktail recipes for each of their spirits, and if you’re wanting to make it even easier, they have specific cocktail kits that give you everything you need to mix up your favorite drink.

Mixers from Ghia

Image credit: drinkghia.com

Instead of creating a non-alcoholic version of a spirit, the team over at Ghia has created a unique beverage that can stand on its own as a boozy sippable cocktail (all non-alcoholic) and as a mixer for the spirit of your choice. It’s a super interesting take on a non-alcoholic cocktail because it gives you the feeling of having an old fashioned or a manhattan… without the booze. Genius, if you ask us.


What’s Cooking This Winter: Ginger Sesame Chicken, Broccoli Cheddar Soup & More

root vegetables on a plate

As far as winters go, this year’s has been manageable. We’ve had a lot of warm days, barely any snow and as we head into the month of March, it’s clear that spring is on the horizon… woohoo! So as we close in on the end of our season of soups, stews and roasts, we thought we’d share some of our favorite recipes that we’ve been cooking up all winter long.

Ginger Sesame Chicken Tacos

If there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s that tacos are on our menu all year round. In this unique take from Half Baked Harvest, however, we trade out spicy and limey chicken for more savory flavors. The best part is, we make a big batch of the ginger sesame chicken at the start of the week and have it as tacos one night, and on top of white rice in a bowl format another. Two weeknight meals down!



  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Sesame or olive oil, for drizzling


  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup orange juice + 2 tablespoons zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1-3 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 12 hard shell tacos
  • nori sheets, lettuce, kimchi, cilantro, green onion, and queso fresco or your favorite cheese, for serving
  • yum yum style sauce, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with oil.
  2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, egg white, tamari/soy sauce, and orange zest. Toss well to coat. In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch.
  3. Coat the chicken with cornstarch and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake another 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Switch the oven to broil.
  4. Whisk together the tamari/soy sauce, orange juice, honey/maple, chili paste, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 1-3 minutes, until the sauce begins to stick to the chicken and thicken.
  5. Stuff the chicken into shells, then top as desired. Serve with any extra sauce from the sheet pan and/or yum yum style sauce.

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

For those nights when you’re wanting something healthy but hearty, we highly recommend cooking up a batch of Detoxinista’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Using white beans, instead of flour, to thicken it and cashews, instead of heavy cream, for added creaminess, this soup will warm and fill you up, without making you feel too full.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 pound broccoli florets , chopped (about 10 cups)
  • 1 large carrot , shredded (about 1 cup)
  • Salt & black pepper , to taste
  • 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (1 cup)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, and saute the onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir briefly, just until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  • Add the drained beans to a blender, along with the water and cashews (if using). Blend until very smooth, then immediately add it to the pot, so the garlic won’t burn.
  • Add in the broccoli and shredded carrot, along with 2 teaspoons of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat and cover with a lid. Let the soup gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender.
  • Transfer roughly 3 cups of the soup to a blender, making sure to grab any large pieces of broccoli, so there won’t be large chunks in the soup. Blend briefly, pulsing the broccoli into smaller pieces, but not blending until it’s totally pureed. You want some texture in this soup! (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to blend directly in the soup pot.)
  • Return the blended soup back to the pot, then add in the shredded cheese. Stir briefly, just until the cheese has melted, then adjust any seasoning to taste. I usually add in more salt, just a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until the soup is extra flavorful.
  • Serve warm with extra toppings you love.

Basmati Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of our favorite meals to make at the end of the week because you can pretty much stuff the peppers with any leftover ingredients in the fridge and if you make extra, they’re easy to freeze and re-heat. Bonus! We especially love these Basmati Stuffed Peppers from the Bad Manners crew because they’re heavy on the vegetables and pack a lot of punch in flavor.


  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati or other long grain rice
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 large onion, yellow or white
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika*
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 1/4 cups veggie broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups white beans or 1- 15 ounce can**
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped onion or 1 shallot
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or whatever vinegar you’ve already used)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano dried
  • 4 large bell peppers
  • fresh basil to top


For step-by-step instructions, we recommend reading it straight from the author’s website, so you can get a full serving of their “cook with what you’ve got!” attitude.


Let’s Move! Tips for Sneaking in Exercise Every Day

As a mother of a 1 year old who is in the thick of his first winter at daycare, I can safely say that all expectations of a consistent gym routine are officially out the door. But in the ongoing practice of being kind to myself, I don’t sweat it (literally.) Instead, I look at it as an opportunity to get creative and make some changes to my lifestyle, by sneaking in fitness where I can.

If you struggle with creating a consistent gym routine, here are some tips for how you can move your body every day to get the exercise you need.

Set a daily step goal

If I can’t fit a workout into my day, I always try to get my 10,000 steps in. For those of us who live outside of a major city, that means doing at least a 1-2 mile walk, parking at the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs, and in general doing whatever you can to work a little extra walking into your everyday routine. A fitness tracker will help you get serious about your daily step goal and will majorly up your likelihood of reaching it every day.

Include yoga in your morning routine

One of the best ways to get moving first thing in the morning, is to carve out 5 minutes for some stretching and sun salutations. Not only is it a relaxing way to wake up your mind and begin your day, but it gets the blood pumping too! Especially after laying down for 7-8 hours, our backs, shoulders and limbs need some stretching before we put them into overdrive for the day.

Stand while you work

Standing desks are no longer just for tech startups. Everyone is hip to the fact that just because we may be sitting at a desk 5-8 hours per day, doesn’t mean we need to be sedentary. We can move while we work! I don’t have a standing desk (I like to stand at my countertop or a hightop table in my office,) but standing desks are excellent ways to secure some fitness in your work day.

Keep weights & fitness bands in your office

Another way to incorporate fitness into your workday, is by keeping your weights and fitness bands nearby, in your office space. This way, you can set a reminder to get up every hour and do 5 minutes of activity. And if you don’t have weights or bands, don’t fret. Set that reminder for every hour and do 10 push ups, 25 crunches and a 1 minute plank. An excellent way to build strength and force yourself to take necessary work breaks!

Join a fitness class… last minute

When I’m out of my routine, it’s extra difficult for me to be inspired to create a balanced workout for myself in the gym. That’s why I choose fitness classes in the winter season. Not only are they the most efficient workouts, but all you have to do is show up and stay the length of the class. That, I can do!

Instead of booking the class ahead and then potentially having to cancel it because you or someone in your family got sick, just call up the studio (or log onto MindBody) a few hours before to see if there are available spots. I find that if I sign up within two hours of the class, I don’t have time to think about it – I just go.

If you’re in the Exeter area, you can look up a yoga and fitness class at Bryony Body, here on our class calendar.

Get moving at Bryony Body

Even though we’re in the business of fitness, we still understand how difficult it is to keep a consistent workout routine week in and week out. That’s why we strive to give you tools and confidence to work wellness into your life, in whatever way works for you. And if you ever get a chance to stop by Bryony Body for a class, we think you’ll love it and will welcome you with warm arms. Get out there!

How to Reset & Renew at the End of the Year

Sure, the holidays are busy. But there is also a lot of downtime while businesses shut down and employees are encouraged to take a break and spend time with their loved ones. What you do with that time, determines how you end your year. Here at Bryony & Birch, we’re all in favor of an intentional reset and renew – and we’ve outlined some of our favorite ways to do that below.

Organize the Year’s Best Photos

If you have a pet or a child, your phone probably looks pretty similar: it’s filled with photos of them. We know the drill – you take 10-20 shots in an effort to get the smile and then you move on with your life and forget to delete the outtakes, which results in an overwhelming camera roll that ultimately stops you from doing anything at all with the good shots.

This quiet time at the end of the year is the perfect space to go through and pick out the year’s best shots. Delete the outtakes or tuck them away in the cloud. Print, frame or do something creative with your favorite shots from the year and hand them up in your home. Being surrounded by recent photos of our loved ones is one of those things (alongside rugs and curtains) that makes a house a home.

Bake Something

I should start out by saying that I do not identify as a baker. I’m too much of a loosey goosey, salt-to-taste kind of gal. That said, when I bake, it’s because I’ve carved out a no-plans afternoon to do it. I’ll put a TV show on my iPad or a record on to set the vibe, make myself a fresh cup of coffee and take as much or as little time as I need to. And the best part is: later that day (or maybe right when it’s done) you have a fresh pie or some cookies to indulge in or share with friends.

Set the Phone Aside

It feels like all year long, I’m on my phone. When I’m not checking email or Instagram, I’m Facetiming with friends or texting to coordinate with caregivers or home projects. It’s honestly relentless, if you don’t set aside intentional no phone time. There’s no better time to do it then during the slow and cozy winter season. Take that week between Christmas and New Years to set aside your phone and instead focus on your people or taking a walk. A no phone reset may be the most important one of them all.

Practice Doing Nothing

This one is slightly controversial, but yes – do absolutely nothing. For some, that looks like laying on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea and for others, that means doing some yoga while the baby plays nearby. It doesn’t have to look a certain way because the point is for there to be no pressure at all about how you spend the time. Delight in your nothing, even for just an hour, and you’ll be surprised at how refreshed you may feel.

We’ll See You Next Year!

Anddd that’s a wrap! This being our final post in 2022, we can officially say, we’ll see you next year. We will be open from 9am – 8pm on Thursday, Dec. 22nd, for your last minute shopping needs and closed from Dec. 24th – 26th to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones. If your end-of-year reset & renew involves finally taking time to get your hair done, come in and see us –  you can book an appointment here.

Wishing you the happiest holiday season and new year, from our team to yours!