My Thoughts on the Turmeric Latte

turmeric-latte

turmeric-latte
photo credit: Kruti Shah

If you’re South Asian, it’s likely that you’ve seen this article (or a version of it) on the turmeric latte. The turmeric latte is a fancy name for what we’ve been drinking since childhood, haldi ka doodh.

I’ve had a handful of friends & family share this article with me because they know it’s very relevant to this blog.

My thoughts on it? Eh. It makes me shake my head a little but not much more than that.

Some points are a little frustrating, like how Irene Arango tells us how we should make turmeric milk (with cold pressed turmeric juice apparently). Turmeric milk is a something mothers & grandmothers have been preaching to us as long as we can remember and I feel a little uncomfortable being told how to make it by someone who didn’t grow up with it. Ya feel me?

But, in the end, I don’t think it’s worth making a fuss because we have probably taken other health trends for granted.

For example, quinoa was a staple grain in the Andean region for over 3,000 years. Kombucha has been around Asian culture since the ancient times. Matcha is a type of tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

Let’s face it, Western culture is influenced by so many people of different backgrounds, I’m sure we’ve benefitted from the mix of different cultures it in someway without realizing. Frankly, I enjoy being able to order a Matcha Green Tea Latte from Starbucks.

I mean in the end, I think it’s ironic (oh heey Alanis Morrissette) that something we used to hate as kids is now so trendy. I spoke to another South Asian health & wellness influencer, Kruti Shah (who also took the amazing picture up top), to see what she thought and she said “Personally I think it’s so funny how it’s trendy but I’m glad a lot of people are seeing the benefits of turmeric & how great it is for the body.”

We can only be optimistic that these health trends will bring awareness to tips and tricks that have been around other cultures for centuries. Trends in health & wellness can be great as they bring us different ways to treat our mind & body. But let’s make sure to look at these trends with a critical eye.

Thoughts? Opinions? Would love to hear what others have to say.

P.S. If you like posts like these, I would be super duper happy if you can subscribe to the to the blog! Promise I won’t spam you 🙂

The turmeric latte is a new wellness trend but it's been around in Indian culture for ages. As a South Asian wellness blogger, here are my thoughts on it.

Blocking out the noise

I came back from India, went to Vegas for a conference two days later, got back to work after a month off, and started my gig teaching POP Pilates the week later. Tiring, fun, but doable.

The Noise

I also came back to a lot of other “noise” that was harder to manage. A long list of marketing emails telling me how to run my blog as a business, countless of fitness challenges popping up on instagram feed, and never-ending political posts on Facebook. Compared to physical busyness and real-life hecticness (did I just make up a word?), this mental noise was much harder to cope with.

The intangible content looming around in my email & social media was emotionally & mentally exhausting. What do I read, who do I listen to, and what do I focus on? Do I want to find ways to monetize my blog, do I need a new fitness regime, do I need to be fervently checking my news feed for the latest updates?

Or do I need to step away from it all and just listen to myself without any external influence?

The last couple of weeks, I’ve mentally blocked out unnecessary emails & posts. I’ve shared less on social media, I’ve digested less and really focused on what makes me happy on a day-to-day basis.

And thank god, its working. I’ll follow-up with another post on what specific steps I’m taking to block out the noise, reset, and focus on my own happiness.

P.S. here’s a picture of my grandma and I in India. Isn’t she adorable?

nagpur-india-grandma-me

A Quick POP Pilates Update

pop-pilates

Happy MLK day my friends! Hope you all enjoyed your day off.

It’s been a while since I’ve given a POP Pilates update so I thought we play a little-catch up.

pop-pilates

To rewind a bit, POP pilates is a workout inspired by traditional mat pilates but the biggest difference is that the moves are choreographed to music! The format was created by Cassey Ho, one of the top health & fitness influencers in the media (she has over 3 million followers (on YouTube). I’ve been following Cassey since 2012, around the time when I started my own health journey. Fast-forward to June 2016, I somehow mustered the courage to go through the POP Pilates teacher training. I was certified by August, I auditioned for a position at 24 Hour Fitness in September, and now, a few months later, I am officially hired!

The process was longer than expected but I was a bit relieved because I needed sometime to let it fully sink in that I was now an instructor. I taught a couple of free classes at local studios to keep my teaching chops up to speed, but I’m ready to be thrown into teaching to experience a real learning curve.

I am a still a little nervous I will admit. I had a dream a few nights ago where I was teaching my first class at 24 and it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to play the music! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in real life. I’ll be teaching twice a week at a 24 Hour Fitness 2 block away from my full-time job. Not bad, eh? They will be 7am classes so I need to adjust my schedule so I can wake up early!

Even though I am a bit anxious, I’m going to accept I’m a beginner in this process. We all need to start somewhere. We aren’t going to be naturally amazing at everything we try from the beginning and that’s okay.

Anyways wish me luck! If any of you are fitness instructors, please share some words of advice! What should I expect for my first few days of teaching?

Why Resolutions Don’t Work (and How to Fix Them)

Why Resolutions Don't Work

Why Resolutions Don't Work

New year, new me – that’s how the saying goes. But what do we really change about ourselves at the turn of a calendar year?

Let’s think smaller…what are you going to do differently TODAY compared to what you did tomorrow. Resolutions are not about next year, next month; they are about today and tomorrow, and the next day. They are on-going and take effort and time.

For a while I used to say “I am against New Year’s Resolutions” but I don’t think that’s entirely true. Resolutions in other words are new goals, habits and I am 100% in support of those two things. If done correctly, New Year’s Resolutions can be beneficial.

Here’s a few ways how we can see New Year’s Resolutions in a different light:

Before writing your resolutions for 2017, reflect and learn from 2016: Many of us so eager to think about the future without learning from the past. What did you well in 2016, what didn’t go so well? What were your priorities and goals and how have they changed? I personally found Maxie Mccoy’s 25 questions reflection workbook really helpful. It helped me reflect about topics I hadn’t thought about like “what money was best spent? And what money was wasted?”.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon: Marketers know that the best time to lure people into their product/service is in the new year when people are hoping to make change. Make sure whatever you sign-up for is what you need for yourself at the moment. For example, many of my friends & family are signing-up for different fitness challenges and I’ve been tempted. But I know my life doesn’t need another fitness challenge right now because there are other more immediate matters I’d like to address (for example, growing this blog!). If you half-heartedly commit to something that you really don’t want or need, you are going to fail.

Think short term: Let’s be honest, how many of us can focus on the same goals for an entire year (if you can, please do share because I’d love to learn your ways!)? For the majority of us, it’s almost impossible to create resolutions for a full year. I’d recommend breaking down your goals into shorter time frames. I like 3 months because that’s long enough to instill a habit and see some sort of results without losing track.

Create a system: Many times we write a goal and fail to think of a system of how we are going to achieve said-goal. It’s important to write concrete, habitual steps you can take to meet that goal. I actually learned this tip from my full-time job where we write our quarterly goals (OKRs – objective key results). Our objectives are high-level but the key results we write are measurable & quantifiable.

Keep them visible: If you are going to create new year’s resolutions make them visible so you are kept accountable. Write them down, post them somewhere you will see them frequently. I know it can be uncomfortable to see your resolutions right in front of your face, but it’s important to have a constant reminder!

Homework time: Revisit your resolutions and see what edits you need to make to make them happen!

I also won’t be a hypocrite. I’m going to write my goals down and paste them on my wall so I can see them – loud & clear :).

Citrus & Gold Year in Review: 2016

2016-best-nine-instagram

2016-best-nine-instagram

Like many people, I was interested to see what my “2016 best nine” were for Instagram. It’s a fun thing to do but it leaves much to be said about the year! 2016 was not just a year of smoothie bowls, overnight oats, and fun photo shoots. It was a year filled with many other amazing memories and events, and some not so amazing events and memories. Today I want to talk about the good, bad, and the ugly for 2016 (I’ve always wanted to use that saying!).

The Good:

Creating the Citrus & Gold brand: Early in 2016 I decided I want to take blogging more seriously and in June I launched Citrus & Gold. I’ve had the opportunity write about my passions, interview some amazing people, and host a couple of fun events. It’s taking some time for me to believe in myself 100% but I’m prepared for even more growth in 2017.

Getting Certified as a POP Pilates Instructor: For a long time I had been thinking “one day I will teach a fitness class.” I had no idea that would happen in 2016! The certification process were nerve-wracking and a little scary but also so fun! It was so worth it and if all goes well, I will start teaching a regular class at 24 hr Fitness by the end of this month!

pop-pilates

Traveling a ton: I feel enriched and nourished by the travel I’ve done in the past year. The places I visited include: Big Sur, New York, Chicago (twice!), Austin, Sedona, Yosemite, and Costa Rica. I actually just came back from Costa Rica a few days ago and I’m itching to plan my next big trip (well after my trip to Mumbai next week ;).

big-sur-mcway-falls

sedona-arizona-cathedral-rock

costa-rica-el-sabanero

The Bad:

Dealing with Health Issues & Anxiety: This past summer I was dealing with some bad gut issues and anxiety that had left me feeling exhausted and unhappy. Other than taking time to heal myself, what really helped me was working with a nutritionist. I had no idea how much the mind and gut are connected.

I actually took some herbal antibiotics last month to start the healing process (I’m thinking of writing a post on it soon – would you guys find it helpful?). I’ve learned that treating gut issues is a marathon not a sprint, so I know I will have to be patient and persistent.

Experiencing my First Running Injury: I’ve been an avid runner for the last 3-4 years and in 2016 I suffered my first running injury. Many experienced runners have had their own set of battles but this injury was a major bummer because it caused me to miss not one, but two half marathons! I started working with a physical therapist right after the injury so the recovery was manageable, but I’m still slowly trying to build up the mileage.

As I’m trying to get back into normal running mode, coincidentally, I was contacted by WholeYou to try out their Dynamover Knee Brace. I was pretty excited because the drugstore knee braces just weren’t doing it for me – they were too stiff and itchy, and never fit me correctly. The Dynamover Knee brace comes in six different sizes so you are virtually guaranteed to find one that fits (my size fell into the kids category – go figure :)).

wholeyou-dynamover-knee-brace

I’ve taken it out for short runs and I love how it feels more like a compression sleeve than a brace. It’s a lot softer and flexible. It gives the right amount of support without constricting your knee too much. Plus it looks way cooler than traditional braces! For a limited time you can use my promo code “CITRUSANDGOLD” for 50% off and free shipping (they have a money-back guarantee as well which is nice). If you have knee problems, I’d recommend trying it out!

The ugly:

My birthday was the same day “you know who” was elected as President. That’s all I need to say.

All in all it’s been a good year, even though there were some less than pleasant things we all had to deal with. Personally it was a year of lot of growth, which wasn’t always easy. There were many moments of self-doubt, confusion, and exhaustion – but that’s what growth is about, right? In 2017, I’m hoping to build on the “growth” foundation I created for myself in 2016.

What do you all have to share for 2016? Please do tell me :)!

*Psst! my review of the knee brace is sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

10 Ways to Treat your Mind & Body (On a Budget!)

I’m all about treating ourselves when we can. Whether it’s a glass of wine in the evening, a quick online shopping spree (c’mon we are all guilty), or a fancy massage, we all deserve a little bit of pampering.

However, there are times where I find I’m using instant satisfaction to ease something deeper…and it doesn’t work. Though a rich creamy chocolate bar or a nice dinner may be great in the moment, they don’t do much if you are trying to fix something more unsettling.

I think we need to find more ways to treat our senses to ultimately gratify our minds and bodies long-term. I’ve shared 10 ways I like to treat my mind & body on a budget. Note I didn’t include anything that includes food and that’s on purpose because we so often use food as treats and there are so many other ways we can “reward” ourselves.

10 Ways to Treat Your Mind & Body on a Budget:

1. Meditate for 10 minutes with Headspace.
2. Foam roll while listening to your favorite podcast. Possibly This American Life or my new favorite, Him & Her, by the Skinny Confidential?
3. Go on a walk or a hike with no timeline, purpose, or stress.
4. Try a face mask at home with your best friend, mother, or significant other! Make sure to take a picture so you can laugh together later (or use it as blackmail…shh).
5. Take an extra 15 minutes in the morning to get ready. Play some music, look yourself in the mirror, and love what you see.
6. Try this POP Pilates stretching routine (via Blogilates)
7. Massage warm coconut oil or olive oil into your scalp before taking a warm shower.
8. Run a scenic route – focus on your surroundings, not speed.
9. Take a blank piece of paper or canvas and start doodling or painting.
10. Open a journal and write whatever comes to mind for 5-10 minutes.

Hope these ideas give you a few more options to calm & relax your mind and body.

I’m planning on using my Headspace app tonight before bed :).

Take time for self-care and relaxation with these 10 budget-friendly tips to treat your mind and body
Take time for self-care and relaxation with these 10 budget-friendly tips to treat your mind and body