Berkeley- Vegan Adventure!

My life as a flight attendant is constantly changing and being on reserve makes it that much more unconventional. One thing though that I have been wanting to do is try all the amazing healthy food from all the places I visit. So one day while being on reserve in Oakland, I drove my car around Berkeley to search for some healthy VEGAN food. Berkeley is nestled in the most quaint town just north of Alameda in the bay area. There is so much to explore but what attracts me the most is the sense of culture that envelopes this town. When someone says Berkeley, I immediately think of the prestigious public University empowered by liberalism and revolution. And of course, I couldn't help but think the food here must be good as well. My first stop was this low-key restaurant called Cha-ya. There's plenty to say about a cash-only restaurant without a website but one thing is that you have to be open-minded... and obviously Yelp helped. While it had many great reviews, my experience at Cha-ya was incredible indeed and I am beyond inspired to make these healthy concoctions. 

Below is the picture of a vegan soup bowl called Cha-ya Nabe. It's a vegan sukiyaki with napa cabbage, red onions, carrots, mushrooms, kabocha, lotus roots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, snap peas, snow peas, silver noodles and tofu in sukiyaki broth. Ummm, can you say divine?

After Cha-ya, of course... I had a craving for something decadent yet healthy. I ended up in Cinnaholic, a place where wild dreams come true! To get further, their ingredients are dairy, soy, egg and cholesterol free. Talk about inventing something that all vegan culinary chefs worships! Gourmet "vegan" cinnamon rolls. 

Pause...

Just enjoy this photo for a second without actually drooling. This amazing salted caramel almonds cinnamon roll is just heaven. Absolute heaven. 

I will be posting a recipe soon inspired by all of my vegan discoveries. 

      In love and light,   Jill 

 

 

 

In love and light,

 

Jill 

my so-called balance life

I started out in muggy Oklahoma City, flew 143 passengers to Denver, flew another 130 passengers to Phoenix, then flew our last flight to Sacramento with another 143 passengers. Good golly, yes you guessed right... I am a flight attendant and I have been flying for about five years now while managing to lead a balance healthy life while teaching yoga.

I end up here in hot Sacramento, took a nap and woke up not knowing where I was. Honestly due to fatigue, most of the time I don't remember where I am every time I wake up. My mind and body are particularly worn. I noticed that lately, there is a lack of something. I found myself so caught up in my life "up in the air" that I am heedless about yoga. You know that moment when you meet someone and there is this remarkable quality that you suddenly find yourself so drawn to them? That is exactly how I feel towards yoga. Through yoga, my passion never dies. It's like a reset button when you know you are just fed up about something then you turn to yoga and everything becomes... new again.

Soooooo I decided to join a month membership at Mantra Yoga in Carslbad so I can be in that magical place again. One thing I find impossible is the balance between flying and teaching yoga. Contrary to the popular belief (LOL), I am not always living a balance and healthy life. There I said it... this blog is about to get real. 

Truth is, balance is all about finding your ananda or bliss. It is about knowing when to say "thanks", weaving creativity, feeding your soul with good food, music and belly laughs. The minute you start causing yourself grief because you weren't able to get that Surya Namaskara in to have a peaceful morning... is like setting a bad intention for the day. Don't try to create the most perfect day, let go and allow for it to happen. In fact, its beautiful to have an awkward moment, unusual days and bad hair days (hmmm...). 

There it is, my little life in a nutshell. I may not have the most perfect balance life. I may have tight hips for a yoga instructor but my life is enjoyable because I know that in no doubt, the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Costa Rica 2014

My 10 day adventure in Costa Rica left me a piece of lesson I will cherish for as long as I live. Each day was a grand adventure of exploring lands, jungle, unpaved roads, volcanoes and beaches. Some of those days, especially the first time spent driving on dirt road, were not too enjoyable. I kept thinking to myself, "gosh, this is just awful. We are never going to make it through this with our tiny car." But there was something about this one particular town at the end of this dirt road that captured my heart.

The town is called Nosara.

Nosara is a sleepy surfer town that magnifies the beauty of a free spirit. I immediately gravitated to the towns positive energy. Surfers and yoga instructors alike thrive in this town and there is a sense of community behind it. I remember being inside the car in the smoldering heat driving through dirt road anxiously searching for our hotel whispering to myself, "are we there yet?". And then, having this feeling of being completely excited for the new adventure I was going to embark. I can't remember the last time I was that excited!

As I explored Nosara's beauty, from beach bumming, massages to taking yoga classes once a day... I noticed that the yoga studios in this town did not contain any mirrors. I know, I know... why, right? How could you correct your alignment? I come from San Diego California and I am used to seeing mirrors because... its just the thing. But, I got this sense of the towns concept of releasing your ahamkara (ego). After the class, I felt less judgmental to people around me and to myself. It's just you and your mat in the jungle.

When I truly turned myself inward (pratyahara), my excitement in seeking new things gave me a new perspective. It placed a smile on my face even when no one was looking. It felt genuine. It was a breath of fresh air.

On my last day in Nosara, I was given the wonderful opportunity to teach yoga at this villa I was staying at. I was probably the happiest person on earth at that moment. I taught hatha mix with vinyasa flow to 3 lovely ladies and my bf. Nervous, but I managed to find that voice in me to still teach. After all, it was part of my voyage to also find my voice.

The day I left Nosara, I drove one last time on the dirt road and this time, it was different. Every minute I spent driving on that dirt road, I wished was longer. I drove slow because I was enjoying every minute of it. My eyes weren't searching anymore, they were saying goodbye and were feeling grateful to have learned so much about this town.

Marcel Proust once said, "the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

My 10 day adventure in Costa Rica gave me new eyes that I wish to carry in all of my travels. New eyes for santosa (contentment). New eyes for pratyahara (turning yourself inward). New eyes for releasing your ahamkara (ego).