By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor
Megan Callahan is among the Western New York transplants who can give some words of encouragement to Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick Sammy Watkins.
Callahan, a native of Woodbridge, N.J., is an actress, artist, musician and yoga instructor who came to the region in 2008 to perform in two plays at the Irish Classical Theater, “A Servant of Two Masters” and Charlie’s Aunt.”
“One of the reasons I live here is I can make a living in the arts and the healing arts,” she said. “It’s a really great quality of life. It’s not just affordable, it’s a really rich quality of life, because there’s so much to do up here. It’s so creative and the people are so great.
“And there’s a lot of space, because it’s this underdog city. If there’s something you want to start, there’s space to do it.
“I really feel places like Buffalo need people to move here and they need young energy. You can be somebody here, and feel part of the pulse. I love this city and all the grassroots efforts that are happening and the traditions that have been here for a long time. The marriage of the two of those – this up and coming, young energy plus what has made Buffalo a beloved place for so long – I’m excited to see what that’s going to be like in the future.”
Callahan is among the young creative class members in the city. She, her partner, Matthew Crane – an artist, and bass player in the popular local band The Albrights – and their 8-month-old son, Pax, live in South Buffalo.
She directs plays at the Torn Space Theater, is part of the “yoga band” Lila Mandala, and taught classes at Shakti Yoga, Fitness 360 and Buffalo Yoga before setting out on her own with Yoga Parkside at Parkside Lutheran Church, 2 Wallace St., in North Buffalo.
Food-wise, she a lacto-ovortarian: a vegetarian who includes eggs and dairy in her diet.
See her recipe for Lentil Sloppy Joe’s below
She discovered yoga in her early teens after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She has studied several forms of yoga – Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kripalu and Integral – and has been teaching for more than a decade.
According to her website: “Her Vinyasa classes are a lovely way to explore building strength and confidence: Opening bodies and hearts with compassion and gratitude, working at letting go of goals and expectations, and discovering peace.”
With a new kid in tow, Callahan also focuses on Mommy & Baby yoga, and is one of few yoga instructors in the area to do so. She also plans to teach a class on the “mindfulness of weight loss.”
Find her class schedule on the website, yogaparkside.com.
Lentil Sloppy Joe’s
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 small red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder (or more if spicy palate)
1½ cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, or Dr. Bragg’s amino acids
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon sweetener (optional), (brown sugar, molasses, agave, or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
• Heat the oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, add the chili powder, stirring to coat.
• Transfer the onion mixture to a 3½-4 quart slow cooker. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, tamari, mustard, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.