Setbacks and New Beginnings

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This announcement has been a long time coming and I’ve been putting it off like paying off a sad parking ticket, but I’ve decided to put Little Bliss Book on hiatus — or at least until I figure out how to be Superwoman(but I’m such a klutz so that’s unlikely). As of last month I’m finally back in school, pursuing my passion — food and holistic health! This is only a minor setback, but I’ll be back, and hopefully as a professional Registered Dietitian.

The end goal seems miles away, but no matter how exhausting this process, the next few years will come and go whether I start or not.

When I started this blog about a year and a half ago, I was coming out of a transition place in my life. I had plans to pursue my graduate studies when I became extremely ill and had to stop. At first it was really hard watching my friends get ahead while I was taking a step backwards. But it’s a funny thing how things turn out. Getting sick lead me to seeking the help of a Dietician/Nutritionist, which lead me to sharing my experience and ideas on this blog, which now has lead me to changing my career plans to holistic health.

I have plans of where I’d like to take my writing and cooking on this blog, but until I figure out a way to juggle grad school, a full-time job, and my artistic endeavors on the side (creating and film-making will never leave my hippie soul, I’ve tried, but it just comes back to me like a boomerang, so I won’t fight it anymore. Universe you win okay!), — I’ll be posting short thingamajigs to my blog Facebook page. You can follow there or enter your email in the side bar to get notified when I return. Until then, thanks for all your support, and as always..

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Photography: Priyanka Chandra

Zardozi Magazine Feature

This post is a little overdue, but with the hum drum of the holidays, and with recently being in rehearsals for the music video shoot of “Empire Vampire” for The Goodnight Darlings it didn’t dawn on me until now that the interview I did with Zardozi Magazine months ago was published. So here it is, better late than never, the Fall/Winter 2014 issue, pages 96-97. Check them out and support them. Thank you Zardozi Magazine for the feature and beautiful write-up. I hope to keep spreading the word of health, positivity, and happiness in 2015!

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Photography credits: Bottom left: Rakhi Roy; Top right: Priyanka Chandra; Middle right: Rakhi Roy; Bottom right: Priyanka Chandra

Featured posts: Valentine’s Gluten Free Dairy Free Heart Tarts ; Coconut Bliss Ice Cream New Flavors ReviewOat Flour Crepes Recipe

It can wait — No it can’t

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I wish I could tell you that I didn’t just finish half of this chocolate bar by myself, but I’d be lying, because I ate the emotional crap out of it.

I have about every burner on my kitchen stove going and I’m waiting for dinner to get done. Word to the wise — don’t wait until you’re starving to start making dinner because you’ll probably be reaching for anything in your pantry at that point to hold you over until you’re done cooking in desperation. Or on a bigger scope of things, don’t wait to start anything in life. Don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for “the right time”, don’t wait for when things “feel right” because you’ll be stuck in the waiting room forever.

“Good things come to those who wait” some say, but waiting around doesn’t bring about good things, that’s luck. When you break it down, luck really favors those who take more chances and create opportunities for themselves. I think the saying should be changed to “Good things come to those who persevere.” The difference between waiting and persevering is that one lends itself to passivity  while the other requires the act of pursuit. Perseverance teaches you to be resourceful with what you have while you’re working towards what you don’t have (yet). If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. What do you have and what do you need? What will you need to do in order to get it? Write it down and have a clear vision. If you come to a fork in the road, that’s really just a growth spurt in disguise; it’s there to teach you something. Listen to it, and cross that bridge. Whatever you do though, don’t neglect the relationships in your life. Those can be the fastest bridges to burn if you lead with too much haste. In the end make your move and don’t wait too long or it’ll taste a lot like the bottom of this empty dark chocolate wrapper. You may wish and wait all you want for it to reappear but you’re better off looking for food elsewhere.

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By the way, don’t get this chocolate, it wasn’t sweet or bitter. It was the most confusing piece of chocolate I’ve ever had.

Featured in The Daily Post Waiting Room

Eating my way through D.C.

Ever want to just get up and go somewhere you’ve never been? Or maybe it’s a place you’ve already gone to but wanted to revisit? Instead of course, you do the more practical thing and brush that day dream under the rug because, well—life. For once I did that—I left work and my unfinished projects aside and just left.  Maybe I didn’t have quite the dramatic exit of throwing my papers and chair to the wall, because, well— I like having a job. After all, I didn’t need a start-over, I just needed a break. Mostly, I needed a season change–Florida heat can make anyone go a little crazy. So I asked Boss Lady for two weeks off, which she gladly gave me  because she’s an angel, called up my friend in Washington, DC, cousin in New York, and college roommate/bestie who had just moved to Brooklyn and told them I was coming up. My mission: to go anywhere and everywhere there was food.

Founding Farmer’s “Quality and natural ingredients”

Tip:

Make reservations the day before

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Why I Love It

Their ingredients come from sustainable American family farms, and taste incredibly fresh. It’s clear Founding Farmer’s takes their holistic approach very seriously. Plus the founder has an obvious sense of humor for puns; being in the capitol city, it only made sense to fashion the name of this establishment after  the nation’s Founding Father’s.

Something you might not know

As we sat down to eat our waiter told us the one time they had a tomato shortage in their kitchen, all they had to do was call up the local farmer who distributed them their tomatoes and have him bring in a new supply that day!

They have an open floor layout downstairs as well as a quieter intimate level upstairsIMG_1999
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To accommodate for my wheat allergy, the server substituted the biscuits that came with the platter for fruits

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Pitango Gelato

Their specialty

Gelato, sorbets, and coffee-espressos. They use organic grass-fed milk, cream, and free-range eggs. For you vegans or lactose-intolerants, their sorbets are dairy free.

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Why I love it

Pitango’s gelato and sorbets are free of artificial ingredients, colorings, flavorings and chemicals, and low on fat and sugar content.

There’s always something new to try

Aside from the classics, they have exotic flavors like mojito, rhubarb, and passion fruit.

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I tried the NEW flavor CAFFE ESPRESSO

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Oyamel Concina Mexicana

Vibe: Vibrant, ambient, modern, artsy

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Specialty

They’re a tapas style restaurant. Everything comes out in small plates and is meant to be shared. It becomes a little pricey as you add on more platters. Don’t expect to leave on a full stomach from their portions.

Why I like them

They have a diverse allergy-friendly menu that not too many restaurants have and it is color coded at the top. Gluten, vegetarian, vegan, shellfish, nuts, & dairy. Plus their GUACAMOLE IS BOMB.

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Why I won’t be going back

They still made their ingredients with Soy. Having a soy allergy is probably the number one reason it’s difficult for me to eat out at restaurants, but I just ended up being creative and picked the one item on the menu which was soy-free and added some salsa and guacamole on top. Did I mention how good their guacamole was?!

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Protein Bar

Vibe: Modern

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Why I LOVE them

Aside from the fresh, great taste, Protein Bar is considered a Fast Food restaurant AND healthy — huhwut?! You can go in and place your order at the counter just like any usual fast food restaurant and have a smoothie, green juice, salad, wrap, quinoa bowl, or chili ready for you in less than 5 minutes.

Why I think there should be more

Protein Bar is an expanding franchise but it is still very very new–you can count the number of stores they have on two hands. I’m pretty sure if there were more franchises like this available in every local community, it would be less tempting to eat poorly when looking for a quick bite to eat. If Chipotle could do it, I think Protein Bar can do it too.

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 So that was my food adventures around D.C. in a nutshell, give or take a few that weren’t worth mentioning. 

Blogiversary and My Favorite Mistake

It’s officially been 1 year since I started this blog and close to 100 posts later, I thought it would be fun to answer what I’ve learned over the past year.

 Is there a mistake you’ve made that turned out to be a blessing – or otherwise changed your life for the better?

 I could probably name a few, but for time’s sake and to keep this post relevant I would say my favorite mistake would probably be of me posting my first selfie, seatbelt in the car and all. I’ll save myself the embarrassment of not re-posting myself making a duck face sipping on a straw from a smoothie cup. I was on my first detox cleanse last year and on a whim I decided to publicly announce to the world that I was going to start eating clean and as proof, I took a quick self portrait with my first green juice. The second I hit ‘Share’ I felt like I had made a mistake and I wanted to take it all back. The anxiety mortified me. Selfies then aren’t what they are now, but really anytime you post one you are opening yourself up to judgment and criticism. Before I could take it down a few ‘likes’ and comments had already started to trickle in so at that point I figured I might as well just keep it up. I didn’t check my phone for the rest of the day, but when I did, all the feedback was positive. People were asking me what I was eating, why I was doing it, and if the symptoms of my autoimmune disease were improving. I was touched that people were even curious to begin with. It inspired me to post recipes and foodie pics and eventually when answering questions on how to start a detox became redundant, I decided to start Little Bliss Book, a playbook on food, positive thinking, and finding bliss in the little things. So my little accident became my favorite mistake, and my favorite mistake lead to this blog.

A look at my first post:

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Some other takeaways I learned from blogging this past year were:

1. Learning to really cook.

I learned where my ingredients were truly coming from, I learned to read ‘labels’, and since I couldn’t rely on jarred bottles and sauces to cook anymore I learned to cook from scratch the old-fashion way, through trial and error, but mostly through error. Unfortunately.

2. Patience.

I think I believed I was going to become a great cook overnight. HA! I’d spend some weekends frustrated in the kitchen when I had no clue what I was doing. I wanted to quit sometimes and go back to the days of pre-processed foods and then I remembered I had a blog and I had to be accountable.

3. Accountability

You don’t want to be known as the person who half-asses on everything. Do what you’re going to say you’re going to do and stick with it. If you feel like you’ve failed, just try again. Repetition makes habit, and sometimes that habit can take months to stick.

4. Put yourself out there.

Don’t take everything so seriously. Be a little spontaneous. Yes post that selfie, or that picture of your meal that you just made, hashtag to your heart’s desire. Who cares. Some things you post may be socially unacceptable to some, while others can find the humor or inspiration in it. People appreciate individuality and authenticity more than you think. Be bold.

There’s no knowing where this blog will take me in the next year. Outside of food, I plan on taking my camera to as many places as I will go, document as much as I see, create as much as I can create, share as much as time will allow, and write for just writing’s sake. Thank you to everyone who has read this blog, commented, liked, shared, and supported me this past year, you’ve all inspired me in some way or another. I’ve learned hiccups are bound to happen, and sometimes you won’t know the answer to anything. Take a breather and make discoveries during the challenges.Happy mistake making!

Almond-Oat Flour Pancakes

Almond-Oat Flour Pancakes

If you’d like to see more of Year 2 of Little Bliss Book you can subscribe via Email in the side bar or follow on Facebook

The Daily Post: Favorite Mistake

Bliss: Surprising My Parents

Happy June all! I had been taking a break from my regular blogging posts last month to refocus my attention to some exciting new projects and one of them was throwing together a surprise 30th Anniversary party for my parents. My brother and I were too young at the time of their 25th Anniversary to put something together so we figured 30 years was a great milestone to show our parents how much we really appreciate them.

Let me first say the amount of stress I endured from trying to keep this all a secret from my mom who is the biggest detective in the world was no easy feat. The 30th Anniversary theme was pearls so we decked the party in white, ivory, and pearls and made it a ‘White Attire Party’. Oh yea, that was another challenge, getting my parents to wear all white to their own party. We told them it was a white dinner party at a family-friend’s house and that the party started at 8pm when really it was 7pm. The lies I had to tell them, the strings I had to pull, and having my brother come in from out of town to surprise our parents were all worth it in the end to see the joy on their faces.

So this is all for you Mom and Dad, thanks for showing us what selfless love really is, not the easy fairy tales, but true working love. Happy 30 and beyond!

Candid moment when they walked through the door

Candid moment when they walked through the door

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Setting off Sky Lanterns for Well Wishes

Setting off Sky Lanterns for Well Wishes

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NYC, 1984

NYC, 1984

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Finding Center, Finding Bliss

20140511-150913.jpgSeeking happiness, chasing bliss are all attributes that we aspire to. Mine just happen to all derive from the teachings of my mother. She taught me to meditate and planted the seed of my ‘bliss seeking’ philosophy on life. I hope to do the same and carry on her words of wisdom and my love of yoga with my children one day. Thank you Mom for teaching me how to find my center, and for keeping me grounded. Happier homes make happier people, and happier people make a happier world.