My Thoughts on the Turmeric Latte

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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.

Maybe This is What Quarter Life Crisis Feels Like?

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The last couple of months have been tough. My anxiety & stress levels have been at an all-time high. I’ve felt helpless and lost. Fortunately, I’m slowly getting better but it’s an uphill battle.

It happens. It happens to everyone but it’s not something we easily talk about. We are silent about our rough times so we feel isolated and alone when we experience these moments.

What’s been causing me pain? It’s hard to know precisely but I have a few ideas:

-Health Issues.
-Injuries.
-Change.
-Not Enough Change.
-Gloominess.
-Trying to Balance Everything.

I’ve been struggling with health problems for a while and I’ve been going to specialist after specialist for stomach issues, anemia, inflammation. Interestingly enough I learned gut issues can create a vicious cycle: stress can negatively affect your gut, and an unhealthy gut affects happiness. Unhappiness can induce stress…and then the cycle begins again. In fact, 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your digestive tract so if something’s off there, chances are your mood is off too. I’ll likely dedicate a couple of posts to this topic as I learn more.

I’ve wanted to write a post about what I’ve been going through but I’ve been hesitant to confront it publicly. I know my friends, family, coworkers, and people I don’t know read this blog so I worry that what I say will be taken the wrong way. I’m overall content, my life is good, and I have AMAZING people in my life (I can’t stress this point enough). But there are instances of uncontrollable tears, panic attacks, uncertainty and doubt.

On the bright side, there are instances where I feel warm, happy, and at peace and I’m hoping to keep more of those moments in my life.

A few things keeping me sane are:

-Yoga
-Rock-climbing
-Sunshine
-A few special people in my life
-Quiet moments

I’ve heard from a lot of people that they’ve experienced something similar in their mid-20s so maybe this is how quarter life crisis manifests itself in my life.

Thanks for letting me share what I’m going through. This blog isn’t supposed to be a journal but sometimes I just have to say what’s on my mind.

Kruti Shah Shares Her Experience with an Eating Disorder

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Today, I want to share the story of a lovely young woman, Kruti Shah. I stumbled upon her Instagram and I was instantly hooked to her beautiful pictures and recipes. After scrolling through her feed, I saw she shared a few personal details: she is recovering from an eating disorder. I thought it was really brave of her to share intimate details about her personal life, and I wanted to know a bit more.

By opening up, Kruti hopes to break the stigma around mental health that exists especially in the South Asian community.

+Introduce Yourself!

KS: Hi everyone! My name is Kruti Shah and I was born and raised in Southern California. Currently, I’m a preschool teacher and volunteer on the side with children with early developmental delays. My goal is to work in healthcare as an Occupational Therapist. Recently, I’ve tapped into my passion of cooking with my food blog, which can be found on Instagram, where I share recipes and healthy eats. It’s become one of my favorite hobbies to be able to connect and inspire so many individuals.

+Why did you start your food instagram?

KS: I started my food blog on my personal account to share recipes and healthy eats with my friends and family, however it has grown way more than I anticipated. If it wasn’t for Instagram, I would not have stumbled upon an amazing company called Wear Your Label, where their goal is to end the stigma around mental health. I’m so thankful for the connections I’ve made through Instagram, it’s opened up so many new friendships for me, and it’s been amazing to know that I have such a strong support system especially throughout recovery.

+Do you mind sharing a bit more about your struggles with ED?

KS: I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for quite some time now, although I’ve gotten much better, I still don’t know what full recovery means, I just know that I’m headed in the right direction. I was 14 when I first looked in the mirror and thought I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t pretty enough, and I hated the way I looked. I began to cut calories, exercise more, and almost always went to sleep hungry.

I’ve come a long way since my initial days, and I know the journey for me is still in progress, but I could not be more proud of where I am today. I’m learning to not fear food, find a balance, and most of all cultivate self-love.

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+How was it like sharing what you were going through with friends & family? I imagine it must have been hard.

KS: Sharing my story with family and friends initially gave me great anxiety, and it wasn’t something I felt comfortable discussing. However throughout the years, I’ve learned to own my story, and not allow my struggle to define who I am. I’ve always felt judged for the way I look and the way I eat, but I’m learning to ignore those judgments, and just do me.

+Did you end up getting professional health?

KS: I did receive professional help with the encouragement of my brother. I always thought that I could recover on my own, and I did not need help from anyone, but I hit a point in my life where I realized that I can’t do it alone anymore, it was exhausting. Also, I was discouraged to seek help again because of the judgment/stigma around seeing a psychologist, but I moved past that it has been one of the best decisions.

+Ok, turning to a fun question now! What’s your favorite nourishing (or healthy) meal?

KS: Avocado toast, no doubt! I used to be so afraid of eating “fats,” nut butters, oils, avocado, but now I can’t live without any of them! I love how creative you can get with such a simple combination of smashed avocado on toast and the toppings are endless!

 

avocado-toast

+Do you have any advice for women struggling with an eating disorder?

KS: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of my biggest struggles was opening up and sharing my story with family and friends, but it is so important to find a strong support system. It can be scary, but the constant support and encouragement I’ve received has helped me tremendously. It is easy to hide behind a wall and feel alone, but remember that you never are.

There are so many others who are struggling as well, and there are a number of resources to help you find a way out. I don’t know what full recovery looks like, but I know that I’m working towards it, and I’ve made so much progress. For anyone struggling, always look at how far you’ve come, and remember that you’re not alone.

+Last question! What’s a motto/mantra you live by?

KS: As cliché as it may seem, I tell myself everyday that “everything happens for a reason.” I am trying to see my eating disorder in a positive light, and I know without ED I would not be where I am today. I’ve been fortunate to connect with so many wonderful individuals, and most importantly I’ve grown and learned so much about myself. Our vulnerabilities are our greatest strengths, and ED has helped me understand that.

—-

I know this topic isn’t as light-hearted as my previous posts but being health is a lot more than just your physical state, your mental state is equally if not more important. I’m so thankful that Kruti took some time to share her story.

*photo credit: Kelsey Schroeder

My Health Story

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I’ve met and spoke with a lot of health & fitness bloggers and I learned that many have a story to share. Today I thought I’d share my story on why I’ve become so invested in my health and well-being. There’s so much to say but hopefully this post starts unfolding some of the layers.

Everyone has different reasons to why they start their health journey: to lose weight, to recover from a sickness, to become stronger, etc. My journey really began about four years ago when I came back from studying abroad and didn’t recognize who I was anymore.

The unrecognizable version of myself was the by-product of unhealthy life choices and an unfortunate stomach bug that has permanently altered my digestive system. To this day I am still trying to figure out what foods are safe and what lifestyle is best suited for me.

But let me rewind even further and start from the beginning:

Growing up I was fortunate to be active, happy, and healthy. In high school I was a swimmer and I really didn’t have to worry about my weight or what I ate because my metabolic rate was off the walls with all that working out. There was a time where I could eat six eggo waffles in a sitting and I’d feel perfectly fine afterwards.

Once I got busier with studying and left for college, my health was no longer a priority. I actually was close to being underweight from the stress so I knew started to incorporate more physical activity into my lifestyle. My mom was a great influence for me back then (she still is now) and she introduced me to yoga and convinced me to run my first 5K! Still at this point, my health was something I’d take for granted.

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My biggest turning point came after studying abroad my third year in college. I remember vividly, the moment when I realized I needed to make a drastic change.

After being abroad for six months I was excited to come back home to California, back to family and back to familiarity. When I arrived home, I ran up the stairs to my room to drop off my luggage and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was shocked by the person staring back at me.

“What has happened to me” were the first thoughts in my mind after really looking at myself for the first time in half a year. I had gained weight, lost confidence, and didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. I wanted to undo the damage ASAP.

Four years ago, I decided to make a change. I began focusing on what I eat, started lifting weights and tried out different fitness classes. I ran my first 10K, my first half-marathon and then, many more races have followed.

I think there is never an end to one’s health journey. For me, a lot has changed since that summer after junior and my perception of “health” has changed quite a bit over time. I’m still learning what’s right for me but by focusing more on my well-being, I’ve slowly been able to reclaim my happiness and confidence.

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Raw Turmeric Latte (Vegan)

Hi friends!

It feels good to finally get back to the blog! I took a long hiatus while traveling these past couple of weeks and I’m so ready to be back. Today, I’ll be sharing a a raw turmeric milk recipe :D.

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I originally shared this recipe on Brown Girl Magazine but I also want to share a version of the same recipe here under a different name.

This raw turmeric milk tastes just like thandai (a traditional indian beverage) but it’s way more healthy! I was inspired to create this recipe after trying the turmeric milk at Project Juice. I was obsessed with it immediately but I knew I could recreate it at a much lower cost (FYI I talk about my thoughts on the turmeric milk trend here).

Ingredients:

1 cup of almonds, soaked overnight
4 cups of water
5 medjool dates
2-3 cardamom pods, ground
1 tsp of turmeric powder
½ tsp of cinnamon
Dash of black pepper
Pinch of saffron

Instructions:

    1. Place your almonds in a large bowl and fill it with water. Soak them overnight to allow them to sprout. I’ve read that this helps neutralize phytic acid and helps release an enzyme that helps with digestion.
    2. The next morning add your almonds and about a cup of water to your blender and start pulsing. I like to add the water a little at a time to gauge the creaminess of the milk.
    3. Blend the rest of the ingredients while slowly adding more water.
    4. Strain the mixture using a cheese cloth or nut milk bag over a large pot or bowl.
    5. Pour the milk back into the blender to help serve.
    6. Add some ice & garnish with crushed cardamom and a pinch of saffron!

turmeric-milk-blended

You can use the leftover almond meal to make a lighter version of the thandai by adding it back to the blender with more water. Or you can use it to top off your oatmeal, add it to a dessert, or like me, eat it plain.

The turmeric milk should stay good for up to a week refrigerated! It’s so good you have to try it out!

turmeric-latte

raw turmeric latte made with homemade almond milk. Sweetened with dates

POP Pilates Instructor Training

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I am so thrilled to be an instructor-in-training for POP Pilates! For the last few years I’ve had a dream about becoming a group fitness instructor. I imagined it would be when I was a bit older, with kids, and maybe at a point where I was more “comfortable” with my life.

However, when I heard about the POP Pilates training in the Bay Area I knew it was a sign for me to take this chance. What’s the point of waiting for something if it excites me now?

POP pilates is a format that takes traditional mat pilates to the next level by choreographing all moves to the beat of music. It was designed by the creator of Blogilates, Cassey Ho!

I discovered POP Pilates through Cassey’s YouTube videos about four years ago when I began my fitness journey. I remember days in my dorm room where I would be jumping around my mat and listening to Cassey’s voice to motivate me.

It used to be only Cassey & I on the mat. Now, I’m excited to bring it to a whole community of old & new POPsters.

On a serious note, it was extremely inspiring being in a room of women who love teaching fitness and who truly believe in the message of POP Pilates. The message essentially conveys that fitness is supposed to be fun, inclusive, and help both your body & mind. I met some amazing people who I know I’ll be good friends with in the future.

So what’s next? Well in the next two months I need to learn all the choreography so I can tape my video evaluation where I’ll be teaching a group of people! If I pass, I can officially start teaching. Finding a place to teach will be another challenge but luckily a lot of 24 hr fitness clubs actually have POP Pilates classes.

How am I feeling about this? Scared. Nervous. Excited. But most of all inspired! I have a new level of respect for fitness requires. The job not only requires a certain level of physical fitness and knowledge, but also it asks for genuine passion & personality.

I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on what’s next! And if you anyone want a free workout in the next couple of months let me know and we will make it happen :).