January 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
New beginnings call for restorations and continuations. As I grow deeper with writing and baking, I’d increasingly started to realize the importance of feeding and treating the body better. I wake up to feeling fresh and renewed, preparing for life’s offerings, to take everything in with a stride and translate all the bad energy to good things slowly and surely.
It is not difficult to choose a balanced lifestyle. While we all choose to complain, we can all choose to walk the talk more often. Take time for yourself, cook better food, choose less process or greasy, more wholesome, healthier ingredients with the simplest meals. Your body probably won’t agree from the start but will gradually be thankful at the end of the day. Feel light and happy.
There was once when your body, mind, soul and heart felt wonderfully whole. Find that tender moment, practice the positivity and keep them.
the heart feels more secured
the mind feels more pure
the soul feels more alive
Figs are often regarded as a symbol of renewal. With the start of the new year, we’ve decided to enjoy what’s left of the season by reducing them with warm spices, sweet onions and dark brown sugar. Then slowly bringing them to a simmer until each flavour immerse into a lovely chutney. Jar them while its hot, allowing the fruits soak in the spices and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, spread it over hot toast, melt some soft cheese like brie or camembert, throw a handful of fresh arugula or pea sprouts and drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil.
It’s a simple way of eating, and so tasty!
your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions,
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny
- mohamand ganhdi
December 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here.
- Warsan Shire
It has been a great year. I started wanting a clean slate and pretty much got myself into a hot mess. Somehow there was an epiphany amidst them all, if not a few. We went through several changes in the cafe, we passed the six months marked and even so, we are still learning and growing. For this, I am thankful for the people that made it so special and lovely. On the gloomiest day, we will still be laughing and singing.
I stopped to ask myself, wondering if there was a chance to leave all these and feed on the wanderlust’s appetite. A year ago, I didn’t plan to be here. A year ago, I didn’t think I would feel this way. A year ago, I could not stand on my forearms or feel so grounded. A year ago, I didn’t think I would be writing a cookbook.
A year later, yoga became easier. I found myself surrounded by people who are true, I let those who aren’t, go. I’ve met amazing people who continue to be themselves and give love always, in yoga, in writings, in cooking and in drawing. They keep life simple and as it should be. Nothing more than just the ordinary to keep an everyday life fulfilled.
Next year, would be unknown to me. I have no plans but to travel and continue to share the heart’s longing. Feeding people honest wholesome food, stay trim and be happy. Through cooking, writing and perhaps a little more time on the mat . The cookbook will be out and hopefully, we will be having more gatherings to share our hearts.
Thankful for all the support through emails, comments and snail mails. It’s been a wonderful ride. Never expect, always allow. Yes, allow. Allow all good and bad things to happen, to find what is truly yours.
December 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
“I would like to be even more minimalist than I am” – Alice Waters
Listening to Alice Waters’ interview on the monocle podcast has inspired me to turn the pages. There are days when I wonder if feeding the crew or customers are enough to raise an awareness to simple living. While we are always chasing trends, I chase sustainability.
It starts from home like charity, of keeping things as it is and simply using basic ingredients to make a good honest meal. From using quality olive oil to freshest produce can determine even the slightest differences in flavours/textures. Bringing awareness to having a meal with either yourself or in company and paying attention to how your body reacts to the food. Food is fuel, feed the car good gas and it runs well, feed the car bad gas it runs badly, it is as simple as that. Feed your body a piece of greasy donut to satisfy that awful feeling isn’t going to help, go indulge in a wholesome easy nutritional dish and feel happy, inside out.
Before you go, oh here she goes again talking about green hippie vegan food, I am not going to tell you to clear your fridge out and start digging your garden or order just salad but to begin with the daily baby steps of taking notice of what you eat on a daily basis. Eat more whole food and less of other stuff. Yes stuff, stuff you cannot pronounce when you read the labels or cannot identify when you look at the dish.
A couple of days ago, someone ordered macdonalds into the kitchen and I flipped but kept my cool because it was so busy and everyone was really hungry. When the delivery boy came, one of our friendly regulars pointed that we “should be ashamed of that because the cafe serves such good food” and sniggered away. I was ashamed for not being able to feed them better food but there was no way to slow down service and keep customers as well as the staffs happy. We laughed about it of course, even I did and took a few guilty slurps of coke when honestly, it was quite refreshing but after a few more gulps, the sugar started getting into my teeth and the fuzz was making my tummy oozy.
“How long has it been?”, she asked, when she saw the wide grin on my face after my lips touched the straw.
“Way too long, I feel like a virgin.”, she broke out laughing in tears and I did as well.
Somehow, knowing that bad food is bad but can be good when we need a hearty jest to just get by with the day.
We take our time by using fresh ingredients, our hands to make food and serve customers with delight. Often, we use our hands to whip up egg yolks and sugar, emulsify oils and squeeze citrus with just a the back of the spoon. There is something so gratifying in using bare necessities to connect the food and us.
Perhaps that is why slow food movement has grown on me since I started cooking and having a plant based diet just allows me to take simple pleasures with even more comfort.
By slowing down at the right moments, people find that they do everything better: They eat better; they make love better; they exercise better; they work better; they live better. – Carl Honoré
Encounters is a bilingual local magazine creating unique experiences and featuring stories from local writers of everyday lives. I contributed a piece about visiting the local wet market and reliving memories of early morning visits with my parents. Pick up one to read and walk that mile in the wet/farmers’ market again. It’s still one of the best way to start the day.
December 9, 2013 § 5 Comments
lately, we have been feeding ourselves better after a whole month of hospital visits and finding remedies, there is truly nothing better than good wholesome food and some silly laughters at the table for wellness.
We’ve been taking our time to unwind in the evenings. Slowly easing into the comforts of the couch and listening to each other crazy day at the cafes. While we laugh about silly moments and take serious issues with some good wine , it is easy to just feel vulnerable. Stop, breathe and enjoy the little things in life.
The year is coming to an end, yet there are so many new things to embark on. Letting go of all the mishaps and forgiving mistakes. Opening up to happier days, taking time to understand yourself and others, and being real.
It’s always a good week when all the pie is gone.
November 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
came to an end, it’s been a great journey discovering new and old things but more importantly packing back life lessons
In Seattle I met a retired journalist who travelled around central America/Asia. We talked about feminism in the modern century and food economics over a communal breakfast table until lunch time. Her big colourful night dress spoke as lively as her words. They were always filled with purpose and confidence, a passion to spread truth and equality amongst people. Her garden overflows with west coast produce, only shows much desirability for a sustainable earth. To think that her thoughts formed 50 odd years ago and are now still so strong, encouraged me to keep this green lifestyle. “We are children of the earth”, and I can only say we are all one. She currently runs a local radio station up in Carmel, NorCal.
In a flea market on the west side of NYC, I found a precious stone collector who sold jewelry. Her bright brown eyes, light blond hair and grey knitted sweater showed her simple demeanours. Yet behind that quiet greeting, her tone carried weight. We exchanged witty banters almost immediately and continued the light-hearted affair with much indulgence. She travelled around Asia in 1983 when Black Saturday happened in Hong Kong, and had a Singapore sling at Raffles Hotel. She kept moving around, a nomad like me. We both found home in our suitcases. Where the road or wind shall take us, we ride along with it. Eventually, she returned home, surprisingly back to the same streets her grandparents were born.
What happened, I asked.
I got a dog, she chuckled.
Our suitcase is our home, we all have baggages and unnoticeably we seek people to unpack them with.
While doing yoga in hotel rooms was fun, I signed up for Tara’s classes on Broadway. It was such a pleasure to start the day in a big room filled calm ambience, good music and awesome people. Meeting Tara and the instructors themselves was like meeting a family, you could tell everyone is passionate about their work and understood one another well. Now I just wished I could attend the classes everyday back in this island, videos and her cookbook would have to replace all of that for now. We can be in completely different places from our everyday lives but fall into the same habits.
Another highlight from this trip is meeting Vanessa at her new amazing apartment. Her professionalism is simply impeccable and has such a warm personality. Hope Marshall gets a new companion soon! Also got the chance to catch Felicia & her sweet friend Persia. Thanks girl for the lovely Saturday brunch! Some exciting happenings coming ahead.
So thankful for the safe journey and adventures along. The experiences were unforgettable. Stay true to yourself (as cliche as it may be). When the rest of the world runs on the race of materialism, seek for altruistic faith. Search for purposes and meanings but don’t miss what is in front of you. Sometimes things need to fall out of place to fall in place. Other times, you just really need a pint of kambucha or glass of wine with your favourite person. It’s as simple as that.
also a big thank you for those who are following me on this journey on instagram!