Monica Zucco, 40, teaches yoga for anyone and tai chi for seniors. You can drop in to take a class from her on Sunday mornings and Monday nights at Shakti Buffalo Yoga on Grant Street (for more info, visit, or attend an outdoor yoga class she’s teaching this summer at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Porter-on-the-Lake Park, outside Youngstown.

Zucco, who also coordinates interpreters at Journey’s End Refugee Services, seeks balance in her eating as well as her exercise.

What foods you think help flexibility?

I like to make sure I have enough magnesium in my diet. I don’t drink alcohol. I think eating as purely as possible is good, and minimizing toxins.

Lots of fruits and veggies, chicken, fish. I like to do some sort of protein shake as well, if I’m doing a lot of physical exertion. If I do carbohydrates, I like them to be whole foods. There’s something called mochi, it’s a Japanese pounded rice. You put it into the oven and it expands. It’s crispy on the outside and nice and moist on the inside.

The food you avoid at all cost?

I avoid dairy and wheat because I have allergies to that. I avoid red meat, anything fried. And I try to avoid sugar. Sugar causes inflammation.

The food you can’t resist?

Chocolate – which is good for the soul.

– Scott Scanlon