Saturday, November 24, 2018


Since the weather in New York has drastically changed, my fellow New Yorkers are likely to dwell in the warm and welcoming places to survive the chilling winds and the upcoming snow. 
Some of them are departing to Florida and Texas, but most of my friends, my students, and I are staying in New York, regardless of the harsh climate and some challenges it will bring. 

During the winter playing sports outside of the gyms or sport arenas will be nearly impossible. So here I will share some of the places I recommend you to join to stay motivated, toned, and happy, as I would do it too. 

I wish I could go to Russia last summer for FIFA 2018 and visit my home town Sochi where the new sport complex  called 'Fisht' mesmerized everyone by its beauty, and most importantly by its sustainable design. According to the EU Observer  “by the time the FIFA 2018 tournament kicked off on 14 June, the twelve stadiums had undergone a standards certification process for sustainable buildings. It includes the Luzhniki and Spartak Stadiums in Moscow”.

What are these guidelines for greener and sustainable stadiums? For instance energy conservation at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow is achieved through modern heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Using LED-based lamps instead of incandescent lights saved a significant amount of electricity. Water-saving technology at the stadium allowed hundreds of thousands of liters to be saved during a match at full operational capacity. Large number of trees were preserved during the reconstruction, while even more greenery was also added.

You might be surprised to know that the MetLife Stadium in New Jorsey follows similar green technologies in order to compile with the world' standards for environmentally friendly sport industry.

The Yankee Stadium is not included on the list of the greener sport fields but still, it attracts a millions of people across the Globe. The Yankee stadium is hard to describe as it becomes a legend that connects many New Yorkers and world's sport fans by default. 

For more than eight decades Yankee Stadium was the home for most of the greatest baseball players of the century. 
The Yankees played their last game of the season on September 2008, and in April 2009 the new Yankee Stadium opened its doors across the east 161 street in Bronx. 

There are other famous stadiums like Levi’s Stadium  The Old Trafford stadium, or Wembley stadium that would be great to tour. But so far I am visiting the MetLife and the Yankee Stadiums in about two weeks to have a closer look from the inside. 

These two stadiums considered to be the most visited and the most convenient stadiums in the USA. Needless to say that local NY and NJ sports, football and fitness youth organizations found them helpful and welcoming throughout the last several decades. The positive impact of these venues, the tribute they pay to the variety of sports like football and baseball are broadly respected.  Stay tuned as I will share my visiting experiences in my next articles! 

The photo credit: Luzniki Stadium,  Fisht Stadium, MetLife Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Old Trafford Stadium.  

Monday, October 29, 2018


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Madeira”? 

My imagination suggests the following: beautiful landscapes, football, guitar, romantic getaways, tasty grapes, delicious wine, and traditions. Belonging to Portugal, the isolated island of Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 900 km south-west of Lisbon. According to the history of the Island: ”it is difficult to verify the exact date of discovery of that Island and the nationality of the discoverer. The island appears on the 1399 Dulcet Map, and in the 1351 Medici Atlas, as well as in other nautical documents dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries”. With an area of approximately 735 Km2, the Island of Madeira is the largest and most important of the archipelago, which includes Madeira and Porto Santo Islands. 

Last year the Wine Institute of Madeira (Funchal /Portugal), The Justino’s Madeira winemakers and other traders organized one of a kind, fantastic wine tasting event in New York city, that rocked the reality of many attendees, who were invited to participate and enjoy the culture, wine, and food. 

According to the company’s website: “ "Justino’s Madeira Wines, S.A." was formed as a limited company in 1953, although it had been in existence since 1870 in Madeira as a private family company when it was known as "Justino Henriques". This makes it one of the oldest producers and exporters of Madeira Wine, internationally known for the quality of its wines.

The event in New York was held on June 8th, 2017, in one of the intimate, relatively small, but nevertheless, very popular neighborhood restaurant called “Rouge Tomate Chelsea ”, located at 126 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011. The atmosphere of the event was very sophisticated, not very crowded, nor busy or too loud. Soft music in the background supported the multilingual participants, who looked relaxed, happy and involved. The collection of the wine included wines from different vintages from Justino’s Madeira of 1997, 1996, 1995, to earliest vintages. Thanks for the generosity of the organizers as there were samples of collectible wines with earlier vintages (Justino’s Madeira of 1940-1960s) that are usually not sold to the public.  

I am not a professional wine expert. I guess a true wine expert that called a sommelier could share some more notes about differences between vintages. But I can tell from my ( writer’s point of view ) that the Justino Broadbent Madeira Colheita 1996 wine was superior in all the dimensions that are usually graded: The wine had a dark amber color, and it had a delicately sweet taste and smell, with the hint of the caramelized orange peels, honey, nutmeg,  a toasty hazelnut, almonds, and dried figs. Fully developed with medium alcohol, it had a very long finish. Fabulous! 
According to the producer’s statistics, Justino’s Madeira Colheita 1996 received a Sommelier Wine Silver Award ( 2016/UK). 
The collectible Justino's Madeira wines of the earliest vintages that I was also offered to try, left a spectacular, rich aftertaste and unforgettable memories. 
In case you are interested in purchasing the Madeira wines, you can contact the company directly or click here for more information.   

Speaking of pairing the wine with food - the options were various. But for my taste, I liked to pair sweet Madeira wine with chocolate or honey desserts, including fruits like figs and dates, but less with cream, cheese, meat, or butter. 

Needless to say, since I’ve visited the tasting event, I keep a bottle of quality Madeira wine in my refrigerator, mostly for cooking.  During the event, we exchanged some of the yummy recipes that other ladies shared with me. However, as they advised, I have never tried to cook the chicken or a beef meat, marinated in Madeira wine, as I prefer a “plant-based” diet. But I tried to bake a lamb and duck meat with fruits and veggies, marinated in Madeira wine, and a honey cake with apricots and Madeira wine, and all dishes taste fantastic! I wish you could try a bite someday too. 

Sincere gratitudes to all organizers who made this event, tasting, and learning possible!

Monday, October 22, 2018


I started my lesson today as usual, by asking my EFL students about the preferred books they have read over the weekend. 
As I expected, only half of my class read a book and the other half was busy with something else. I have mostly boys in my class, and it seems difficult for their families to keep boys reading. There are so many other fun activities like football, swimming, tennis, and chess classes that are running throughout our neighborhood.  Somehow, reading books or completing writing assignments is not popular among most elementary and middle school students in New York. 
I felt I wanted to change that. 
At the corner of my class, I spotted my new student (Aimar) who just came to the country a few months ago after a devastating life at the refugee camp. He seemed lonely, sad, and disengaged. I knew that watching the war and destruction of his hometown, leaving his own country and arriving in the USA was not a happy occasion for him, nor for his family. I thought to myself: “What can I do to change the adverse circumstances into favorable conditions for him? “

I pulled out the book that I found in the local library, set down on the comfortable chair, and start reading a story about one of the most famous football clubs called:  “Manchester United”. As the story unfolds we learned that 'Manchester United' was formed in 1878 by railway workers of the Newton Heath, and that it successfully competed in the English Soccer League in 1892. Unfortunately, the club ran into financial difficulties and in 1901 it was on the brink of bankruptcy until the miracle happened...

As legend has it, and as it is written in the book: " the team's captain Henry Stafford organized a fundraising event -four days bazaar, and he sent his favorite dog around the crowd with a collection box around his neck. But the dog run away and ended up on the doorstep of a local wealthy businessman named John Davis. Davis had a beautiful daughter who immediately took the dog to her house. Davis offered to buy the dog from Henry and paid about $1000  as an investment to the club. The club was saved and John Davis was appointed the chairman and the owner of the club."

After this introduction, we started to talk about miracles that happen in our lives.  Everyone, including myself, shared at least one example.  Then, to my big surprise, as soon as I start reading about the best football players of our time, Aimar asked me a question in the English Language: 
“Do you watch football?"
“Yes," I said, "My father was a big football fan,  and he watched football by hours. I like watching it too. Do you like watching or playing it?”- I asked Aimar in return. 
“ Yes",  he replied in his soft and very shy voice, and he smiled for the first time in three months. 

Then, suddenly, the discussion broke down the silence in my class,  and my boys started to share their own experiences in playing the game, talking about their favorite players and their favorite coaches.  I did not want to stop them, I actually enjoyed the outbreak and the emotions I saw on my student's faces. I felt pleased that reading this book encouraged my class to cooperate and that it helped them to pour out their emotions. For some reason, I felt happy about the moments we shared during the class. It was an enriching and meaningful experience for each and everyone, including Aimar. 

I kept reading the book until the class was over. At the end of the class, Aimar came to me and asked if he can take this book home. It was the first time in his three months of stay in the USA when Aimar had actually asked for a book. 
I knew, at this very moment, that Aimar had found his ground and that this book, our discussion, and the new friends he made during my lesson completely turned some of his adverse circumstances into something positive, favorable and life fulfilling. 

"Mission accomplished", I thought to myself, but suddenly I heard:
 "Can we read this book again sometime soon, please?
"Sure, I will be happy to do this again, as there are more to tell and more to learn"- I said quietly, and I meant it.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


I am not a scientist, neither I dare to call myself a nutritionist or a ‘pro’ in providing any kind of health advice, but I truly believe that having a glass of a carrot juice for breakfast can change the world.
As much as I like my organic espresso for lunch, I do have a strange habit to store a couple of packages of organic carrots in my refrigerator, in case I am thirsty for juice. Huge thanks to my dad who taught me to snack on fiber-rich veggies like carrots, celery, apples, and pears. 

Carrots and apples were my father’s favorite plants and he could talk hours about the health benefits of these two. Was my father a doctor? No, my mother was. Was my father a scientist? No, but my father was an engineer by day and the painter, the amateur beekeeper and gardener after 5PM.. His and my mom’s handmade gardens and country houses remain the best memories of my childhood.  

Apparently, according to a new study conducted in the USA and in Europe, eating more orange colored food can contribute to your health. A plant compound found in carrots helps reduce inflammation in the brain and memory deficits. The compound, called luteolin, is also found in green and red peppers, celery, peppermint, rosemary, and chamomile. Was it a coincidence that I saw all these plants growing in our family garden? 
I don’t think it was.

Linking my childhood memories to my nowadays - carrots, peppermint, chamomile, celery and many other fruits, vegetables, and herbs are the common ingredients in my own recipes where a plant-based diet takes a priority. 

Every time when the whole world celebrates a “father’s” or a “mother's day” I feel some kind of a dissonance. I feel that I don’t need a special “ Father’s”  or “Mother’s” Day in my calendar to thank my parents for the fantastic job they have done while raising their family and educating their children. I greet them every time I raise a glass of a carrot or an apple juice that reminds me of their love, wisdom, dignity, perseverance, and intelligence. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Learning a foreign language is a tough and daunting activity. But considering the growth of the international markets and the rapid speed of the global mobility, it will become a necessary 'job' skill, that will put many potential employees and business entrepreneurs apart from the crowd. According to  Forbes MagazineIn today's Millennial -saturated job market there is a rare skill that makes hiring managers sit up and take notice: fluency in a high- demand, low supply language. In addition to Chinese and Arabic, the top 10 most popular languages for American college students include Japanese, Latin, and Russian"I can't agree more. 

During my last visit to Europe and Russia, I was surprised by the tremendous amount of the international companies that speak languages other than English. My own experience in the corporate, educational and start-up businesses proved that knowledge of a foreign language is always a huge plus and advancement, just as the ability to think creatively, sing and play a musical instrument like no-one else can play. 

In the latest debates about the new generation and the lack of some authenticity, there is a missing part in the discussion: How one can save his/her authentic self if his/her native language and culture are not taught in their schools? How can one study a foreign or English language for career advancement and better communication? 

To bridge the gap I created a group of students, international scholars and business professionals who love improving or learning foreign languages for their career and life advancement. One of our meetings is approaching on June 15th, 2018. If you are in New York, please visit us to learn, collaborate, socialize, or to support. 

And stay tuned for more news. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Raw Chocolate, The Fuel Stop and the Wellness Coaching Workshops in NYC

The Fuel Stop,  a luxurious Spa located in the heart of Manhattan at 200 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019, hosted a spectacular event, held on May 15th, 2018 at 7PM.
As soon as the doors for its regular clients were closed, the guests started to arrive despite of the horrible weather conditions, pouring rain and chilling wind. Nothing could stop lucky guests who received invitations from the event' hosting organizers: Kasia Bosne (The Owner of Rawmantic-Chocolate) and Mila Jouravleva ( The Owner of The Fuel Stop). I am drafting my  article about this event and I will publish it in the local media in hope that people can reverse their view on eating and turn to plant based diet and other healthy options we' learned about during this evening.

The amount of information shared by the guest speaker Dr. Brian Clement was overwhelming and certainly very  valuable. The speeches were followed by a Q & A session and the raffle where everyone had a chance to win a prize. People shared about their concerns, asked specific questions, searched for advice and earned some bonuses for participation. In the picture above, I am proudly holding my trophy - the book called "The Power of a Woman" - written by Dr. Clement' wife, Dr. Anna Maria Clement for answering correctly one particular question:  Dr. Clement asked the audience : Who knows what is the one thing that women can do that guys can't ? I replied : the childbirth..and I was right. It was fun and I promised to read the book!

I wish I can share some more, and post my detailed article about this event and its organizers. However, I should follow the rules suggested by the publishing venues who agreed to publish my article on the pages of their magazine(s) first. So, do follow Coffee District media in the future so that you can read all the details about this fantastic evening, including the Health and Wellness science we learned from its well known hosts and the guest speaker Brian Clement, Phd,  the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, in Florida.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 7, 2018


By Lena Green.

The frosty and cold weather that I and my fellow New Yorkers are experiencing this week, brought me to a place that offered Hot Sauna (banya) and other healthy services to rejuvenate the immune system, restore your skin, energy and vitality. Going to banya was a tradition in my family, and I simply wanted to feel the experience again. 
The journey was fantastic, and I will share a few important tips for those who wanted to try hot saunas but never had an opportunity in the past. The Hot Sauna experience is great if it is done right. So before you go to any Hot Sauna make sure that your are ready to take a full advantage of your trip.

Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours there, bring some necessary accessories with you and invite your friends, family, yoga teammates, or your children. Regardless of the age of your "sauna team" all of the members will greatly benefit from the trip. 

Make sure that the hot sauna you choose has a cold pool in it as well, because for most effective experience you will need to switch between the hot and cold temperature on many occasions by immersing your body in the hot 'spot' and after that by jumping into the cold pool for more relaxation. (Make sure you consult your doctor before your go to the hot sauna as the heart rate in hot saunas  increases up to 55-65% so you want to make sure your doctor is fine with that.) 
Birch Whisk
Why birch? It is common to bring a birch or oak whisk with you for massaging and therapeutic 'spanking ' with the whisk. Sometimes people call birch whisking -  a "jewish acupuncture"  because the tradition originated in Russia a long ago and it was also very popular in some jewish shuls and temples in Europe. Birch whisks are beneficial for your skin and using birch or oak whisks brings about the same effect as some acupuncture session does. 
Essential Oils. 
For more relaxation and pleasure  you can use some essential oils, including rosemary oil, pine tree oils, eucalyptus, lavender, ect. 
Hot sauna is a great place to practice Hatha yoga that requires a variety of stretching exercises and is not very difficult for majority of people. The benches in the sauna rooms are extremely hot, so make sure you have a blanket or a towel with you so that you can perform a variety of yoga poses without any discomfort.   
Wearing a Hat 
Make sure you have a special sauna hat so that your hair won't get damaged by high temperature generated in the sauna. Don't bring any over the counter cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, creams and other artificial  "beauty" products that are loaded with chemicals and harmful oils. Try to limit your supplies to an organic shampoo, organic soap and some body scrubs. 

Educate Yourself
There are plenty of websites & podcasts on benefits of Hot Sauna. Here is one I can recommend:

If you are tired of reading articles about sauna, you can listen to a podcast too: 

And yes, it is so cold outside, so go to banya, now! 

Stay tuned for more news about wellness, yoga and music!