Good day to you! Hope you’ve been enjoying the weekend. I’ve been traveling for almost the past two weeks, so being back in New York… and with the beginning of a new season I feel like refreshing my outlook on things. And it’s also left me feeling a bit unresolved with my last post. It’s so strange how sometimes things you say and do will contradict each other at some point. That’s why sometimes (not so much now though) I have a hard time deciding if I should even say something at all. But a couple years ago I came up with a little reminder I like to tell myself:
There is a difference between contradiction and hypocrisy. It’s kind of like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.
Contradictions are a part of life, and that’s partly why I don’t hold anyone to labels.
Anyway, after a bit of time to recollect in Florida and feeling more inspired and vibrant, I have an exciting post! Let’s just say I’ve been in a pink mood lately.
First off, I was invited to participate in the first ever e-cookbook put together by Foodie and the team of fabulous food writers. Since schools are back in session, that’s meant changing schedules for lots of people. So that’s why Foodie came up with the great idea to release a back to school themed e-cookbook. All recipes have a quick prep time, are made up of no more than 10 ingredients, and are taste-test approved by kids and adults alike.
“Family Flavors” features snack, side, main, and dessert recipes, so be sure to check it out over here. I’ve already highlighted some like tuscan hummus and checca sauce, Indian spiced roast potatoes, easy fish tacos, Greek zucchini potato and feta cake, and dark chocolate apricot truffles. It sounds like this cookbook is for everyone!
I’d love to hear if any of you guys try out some of the recipes!
In more Glam related news, they’re also hosting a wonderful contest that could be your fairytale come true.
To enter the Facebook contest for your chance to win a pair of these fantastically magical shoes, click here. Best of luck!
Here’s a fun picture that was taken of me for a little inspiration! It’s funny because I had this dress made for my college graduation, and it was inspired by one that I had seen, but was unavailable. My friend, fellow VCU-alumni and young fashion designer, Jess Timmons, helped me create this dress and she did a wonderful job at making my dream dress come to true–a dress that would have the power to express my essence. Then I realized, “which shoes am I going to wear with this dress?” I found a pair that were actually called “Katharina”, but I wanted to keep a modest budget and those shoes would’ve been tipping it. I ended up wearing these shoes that I had gotten for the first dance I ever went to with a boy–I flew to a homecoming in Virginia in 10th grade (and he didn’t even ask me–Prince Charming still hasn’t come into my life yet anyway). They were a pair of strappy bronze stiletto heels, but the heels were pretty much done for and my college graduation was the day I put them to rest. So I don’t actually have a pair of shoes to wear with this dress anymore, but at least that hasn’t stopped me from twirling around barefoot!
Now do you understand what I mean when I say I’ve been in a pink mood lately?
Surprisingly my last post was on the first day of August, and today I’m posting on the last day of the month. I didn’t realize that much time had slipped in between. A lot of the reasoning for my lack of posting is that I’ve shifted focus (more on my studies at IIN), and I’ve also been more active leading me to do things that don’t take as long, i.e. writing a post. My writing style on this blog is very much compositional, and I don’t feel comfortable sharing something regurgitated or for the sake of posting. I have multiple drafts with ideas and pictures I want to elaborate on and structure into something that goes well together. For later.
But today… I’m not sure what to say, but I do want to say hello. I think for the past month I haven’t known what I want to share. I have pictures, but not much to say. Or is it too much to say, but don’t know where to start? Maybe that’s what happens when you are constantly giving your energy. Actually, here’s a word that’ll carry through this post…
1. Grilled halloumi with fresh mint, chopped olives, lemon juice, and olive oil; 2. a salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, balsamic, and red onion; 3. a salad with radishes, apples, lavender, orange juice, and olive oil.
Fresh strawberries filled with a raw vegan vanilla coconut cream
With the recent launch of my new business, Behind Foods, I’ve been contacted for various services which is so exciting–especially for my creative side! One week I got a phone call from a local charitable organization called Goddard Riverside Community Center. They have various programs for all ages, but I was asked to teach a cooking class for a group of kids in one of their summer programs. I was told their theme this summer was Cuba, so they wanted to learn how to make some traditional dishes. Excited to volunteer, I started thinking about the recipes I could make.
So last week, the day for the class finally came…
At first I thought I was going to be teaching a cooking class in a more lecture-style, but I was relieved and so happy to find out that the kids were going to be helping out too. A collaboration! There were about thirty kids, and they all eagerly took turns to cook in the kitchen.
It was a long and slow process, and we all definitely practiced keeping our patience. It just had such a comforting aroma!
Who knows how long it would’ve taken to chop up the 24 plantains, but with the help of our trusted team the job was done, and done well!
There was another young chef with us that mostly managed the plantain frying operation. He definitely knew what he was doing.
Hi everyone! I’ve got some exciting things to share with you.
First off, at the beginning of August I’ll be teaching a workshop in South Florida. So if there are any readers who are in the area or know somebody who’d be interested, I encourage you to check out the event. Since I’ve been collaborating with Perricone MD on their Summer Beauty Foods, I thought it would be a great idea to share these concepts and recipes in person. For more information click over here.
Also, I was contacted by a journalist for the Voice of Russia asking if they could talk to me about being a flexitarian. It was interesting to receive that e-mail because I didn’t consider myself one. Since I started to consume fish, I dropped the “vegetarian” label, and didn’t seek to grab another one. It was an interesting thought to ponder though since technically I fall under the definition of “flexitarian”. It got me to reflect on my heightened sense of intuition. Whether I am eating by raw vegan or flexitarian standards, since breaking a mold I made for myself (with good intentions albeit) I’ve become more in tune with how to balance my body. This changes throughout the day. In fact, for dinner I was going to eat asparagus with a sauce I had made, but I was leaning more towards a simple squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some sea salt. With that, it was an absolute pleasure talking with the journalist, and here’s the article she wrote on the notion of this dietary path: Flexitarians: new meat-eating vegetarians healthy life style
Speaking of rebalancing myself, two weekends ago a bout of food poisoning struck me and I happened to document it through different phases.
- Exhibit a) before I knew what was going to happen… my stomach was feeling upset, but I didn’t know to what degree. So I had made a puree of papaya, fresh limejuice and ginger, a bit of honey, and salt. Note: it’s still a brilliant pink even when it’s thrown up.
- Exhibit b) not breakfast the next day because breakfast the next day definitely did not happen. Apple sauce to test the waters when I could stand to eat anything.
- Exhibit c) I had an appetite, but was still feeling sensitive towards certain foods so I made a mild healing soup with kombu.
And now, more link love! I wish I could do more formal updates on my blog with what I’m up to, but I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to read some of my articles and recipes that are showing up around the internet. I’m very excited to be collaborating in this way! Okay, okay so here are some links that you can click on for recipes and tidbits of information!
Last Sunday I had brunch at a place I’d been intrigued by for awhile. Some friends were organizing a brunch, and they had mentioned Five Leaves as an option. As soon as I heard that, I secretly hoped that it would be the final choice. And it was!
There was a long wait, but with good company. I guess a hungry belly would be the only thing sensing any urgency. We were seated and greeted by the friendly staff. That’s one thing I took note of the whole time. Despite the busyness of the whole place, the staff wasn’t rushing anyone at all or giving off any bad vibes. It’s funny because I’m realizing now that I was initially intrigued solely by pictures, not by raving reviews. However, when I got there that’s when I realized I was in for a real treat when strangers were even telling me that “no joke, everything here is great!”
Hey everyone. So I haven’t written a post myself in a bit, and usually when I don’t post it’s because of two reasons. I don’t have time, or I’m not sure what I want to say. Granted this blog is considered a food blog, it’s also a place where I find parallels and intersections between food and philosophy, or I may simply want to tell a story. Well, today I was talking to a very close friend of mine (some of you may know her as “Veggie Girl”, which she is no longer hehehe). We were actually reunited the other day at her dance competition!
Anyway, so I was talking to her and we were discussing bodies. At one point I had mentioned that when I think about all of the tasks our bodies do, in a matter of time that we can’t even grasp or imagine… well, that is something that inspires me to respect it. You see, with my soul and ego I have more control over the cause and effect. But with my physical body, I can’t entirely decide how my body will respond. I definitely play a role though. What I subject it to whether it’s food, environments, thoughts, or what have you… all play a role in how my body functions. So that’s what I want to share today. The idea of respecting my body, and what that means to me as of late.
I’ve been becoming more intuitive with knowing what to do when I feel out of balance. I’ve also become more aware of what may throw me out of balance, and gravitating towards certain foods depending on how I feel.
Hi everybody! I have a special post in mind for today. Recently, I was contacted by a reader, also a writer, wanting to share information on my blog related to cancer. Specifically about how eating healthfully and living a healthy lifestyle have a positive impact in the battle against cancer. Oftentimes cancer is not something that a person usually worries about. It seems that other health concerns are more prominent in our minds. And there are researchers and scientists who devote so much time and efforts to finding cures for various cancers. And some people help raise money for cancer funds as a job. However, according to a 2012 Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer noted that: continued progress against cancer in the United States will require individual and community efforts to promote healthy weight and sufficient physical activity among youth and adults. I’ve had people dear to me share their experiences with cancer, and most of the time they realized that major dietary and lifestyle changes had to occur. A positive and hopeful attitude are also on the list for: how to survive cancer. So with that, here’s a guest post by a woman with a big heart, Jillian McKee.
What to Eat and What to Avoid During Cancer
Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment, or are in remission, good nutrition is an essential part of maintaining your health. Scientific research has demonstrated that a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise, can decrease cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. It may even prevent cancer from coming back in the future!
Foods to Avoid
- Processed foods such as TV dinners and snack cakes are full of excess sugar, sodium, chemicals, and harmful fats. While many of them claim to be nutrient-enriched, this only means that they’ve been dusted with poor-quality vitamins that are difficult for the body to absorb.
- Soy is another thing to steer clear of. This so-called health food has been shown to prevent the thyroid from functioning properly and cause levels of cortisol and estrogen to skyrocket.
- Vegetable oils should also be avoided. While many people believe them to be a healthy alternative to other fats, this is a dire misconception. Oils such as canola, corn, and soybean are highly susceptible to oxidation, so they’re rancid long before they reach supermarket shelves. In scientific studies, rancid oils were shown to promote inflammation and cause cellular damage, both of which have been linked to cancer and other health problems.
- Refined sugar is perhaps the worst food that someone with cancer can eat. The term “refined” means that the sugar has been heavily adulterated and stripped of its original nutrients during processing. What’s left is a product that depletes your body of critical nutrients, promotes obesity, and fuels the growth of cancer cells.
Foods to Eat
- Consider replacing all of your conventional cooking oils with red palm oil. This is a nutritious and unrefined oil that comes from the fruit of the palm tree. Red palm oil is rich in vitamins and fatty acids that promote energy, healing and strong immunity.
- Another food that will benefit people suffering or recovering from cancer is fish, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have revealed that DHA (found in fish) boosts the therapeutic effects of certain chemotherapy drugs and limits their side effects. It may also help to shrink tumors!
- At any stage of your cancer battle, you should try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Studies show that patients who eat a largely plant-based diet suffer fewer side effects from treatment and are less likely to have their cancer return. Even if you don’t have cancer, fruits and vegetables are loaded with many antioxidants and phytonutrients that have been proven to discourage the development of cancer..
Jillian McKee, a cancer survivor, spends most of her time committed to outreach efforts sharing the knowledge on curing cancer through a combination of complementary and alternative medicine alongside traditional cancer treatment. She is currently the Community Outreach Director at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, and has been there since June of 2009. You can read more articles of hers, and find ways to connect if you’d like right over here.
Earlier this month I received a Reader Appreciation Award from the lovely, Catherine over at “Sur les traces d’une gaspésienne gourmande…” Her blog is quite wonderful, and a place where she shares her various passions. It’s also a great blog to practice your French if you’re learning, or perhaps you already read it fluently!
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.
1. What is your favorite color?
Hmm… somewhere in the green spectrum. For clothes I love off-whites and grays even though I know those technically aren’t colors.
2. What is your favorite animal?
Elephants! I don’t know why, but I’m just attracted to them.
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Right now? Infusing water with fresh herbs, ginger, and lime… and just letting it chill.
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. It’s a lot more conversational, and I use it as a digital notepad sometimes too. Still got my handy dandy journalist’s pad though.
5. What is your favorite pattern?
I like delicate patterns… like flower prints that are sparse, small polka-dots, thin stripes. And rather than varying colors they vary texture and are monochrome in color. But I don’t really have a favorite.
6. Do you prefer getting or giving présents?
Giving! I really like the energy of being the giver. I appreciate if someone gifts me something as well though.
7. What is your favorite number?
Seven is a number that has repeated itself in my life, and I really like the number 648.
8. What is your favorite day of the week?
Mmm… I don’t have one. Maybe Saturday or Sunday because people are enjoying the day more.
9. What is your favorite flower?
White and the sort of faded blue hydrangeas
10. What’s your passion?
Oh boy! I’d say that it is my passion to share the human experience, and an understanding and appreciation for the universe. I do this through my art, writing, sharing recipes, conversation, and soon-to-be by also being a holistic health coach. I sense my greater purpose in being a part of something that is helping to preserve the things that are timeless, although sometimes forgotten. Like love.
Speaking of love, here are a few things I’ve been loving as of late…
In my last post I said I was EXPLODING with information. Well, some of that information I’m going to withhold… for right now. But I’ll start out with some things I’ve been enjoying this week.
It’s such a nice way to wind down from the day. After running through Central Park, I’ll head out with friends afterwards for long, leisurely bike rides. Then wash off, stretch for awhile, and do something very grounding afterwards. One thing I like to do is give my feet a nice massage with a peppermint foot lotion. I used to think to myself, “oh it would be nice to paint my nails… or give my tired muscles a massage” and not do it because I thought I didn’t have enough time. When really all it may take is just five minutes. How many people find themselves saying “I don’t have enough time“?
Actually, I hear that a lot with cooking. Recent things in my life though have gotten me to take a step back and just relax. To allow myself to just go with it, and not go into shallow breathing panic-mode if someone on the street stops me to talk about Matilda for 10 minutes. Before, I would stop, but I’d feel anxious the whole time. One of my recent mottos: whatever.
Here’s an interesting link I came across a few months ago that explains the title of the post: emotional freedom technique
Of course, there are times when I am rushed, but that’s another thing I’ve worked on… just saying it. I used to shy away from that because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I can reflect on the various causes of my feeling this way, but just behaving in a different way in the present helps the most. Just doing it. Everyone leads a different life, at times a life with demands.
So one day, while on a no-rush walk…
I didn’t want to take too many, since I’m sure the other park animals also eat them.
A very Perricone friendly breakfast. Perri-who?
Some of you may have heard of renowned dermatologist, Dr. Perricone. Perhaps you’ve read his informative books and seen his skincare line. Or maybe you caught him taking away Larry King’s cup of coffee, for a cup of green tea instead. Anyway, here’s one part of the explosion!
I’ll be sharing recipes and nutritional insights on featured ingredients on a weekly basis over at the blog: the Daily Perricone. This has been in the works for awhile, and I’ve been biting my tongue the whole time.
I’ll let you guys know about them, and if you follow me on my Facebook fan page then you’ll get more frequent updates as well. I also like to start discussions on there, share snapshots, and love to answer any questions anyone else may have! So check it out if you haven’t already.
I’ll be featured in FIRST RUN magazine’s debut issue, which I’ll keep you posted on when it’s off the press. FIRST RUN is a quarterly running magazine, that is unlike any other running magazine out there. I’m truly excited to see it, and I think there will be lots of beautiful imagery and very interesting content to match. Also, keep tabs on what they’re up to through their Twitter.
Now on to the biggest news for me right now…