Why I’m Leaving My Job At LinkedIn

I haven’t talked much my full-time job as an Insights Analyst at LinkedIn much because it didn’t seem to be so relevant to a health and wellness blog (it kinda felt off brand, ya know?). That was my mistake thinking my personal journey doesn’t bring value to anyone else.

I want to share a bit more about me and my story because I think it’ll help you better connect to my mission and brand. And hopefully you find it interesting!

Soo my side hustle is going to become my full hustle. At least for now. I’m going to the wellness space for the next few months to see where it takes me next. Which means I’m leaving my job at LinkedIn in 3 weeks!

The background:

Like many of us in our mid-20s, I’ve always been someone who has had a plan and a set goal. It felt like life was all planned out for me until I started asking myself “Wait, is this how the rest of my life will feel like?” It was that nagging question that made me want to explore and take some risks. Which is odd because I’ve been so risk averse my entire life.

Though I may risk-averse, I am always honest with myself and those around me. If I’m feeling a certain way I can’t hide it. So when I started feeling a disconnected to my job (even when the company and the people were absolutely incredible) I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t fake it for much longer.

I knew I needed a change, and it took me a while before I figured out that I needed a HUGE change that makes me uncomfortable and pushes me to do something completely different. After months of thinking it through, I decided to quit my job to focus on my own wellness projects.

My wellness projects:

I have a feeling my journey will steer me in many different directions and there will be multiple ups and downs but there are three things in particular I want to focus on over the next few months:

+Growing the Citrus & Gold community: If you haven’t already checked out the C&G Girl Gang, you’re in for a real treat.
+Partnering with my mom to create a healthy Indian food recipe eBook: I’ll write a post on this soon!
+Gathering more knowledge: through certifications, consulting, and meeting others in the wellness space.

Sure I’m nervous, scared, and very uncomfortable but I’m also very happy & excited. This feels like the right decision and I am very grateful and privileged that I can take this leap. I encourage you to watch this space closely and I will be sharing many more updates and changes over the next few months. I can’t wait to take you along on this journey with me.

Berry and Beets Smoothie (My First Video!)

berry-beets-smoothie

berry-beets-smoothie

Blogging used to be the bread and butter of this Citrus & Gold. Citrus & Gold was merely a blog last year — all I did was write. But now it’s grown to include a thriving FB community, a online book club (more details to come), events, a recipe e-book and much more.

I’ll fill you in on the details soon, but with all these other projects blogging consistently has been hard! I am still aiming for a weekly posts because blogging is what spear-headed all of these other projects. Sometimes I feel bad that I am not able to get to all the blog post ideas that are collecting dust in Evernote. But there will be a time and place for them all!

Writing is what helped me start my whole wellness brand and I have no desire to put the pen down anytime soon! However, (since I’m not doing enough already) I recently added one more extension to my brand…videos! I did my first video collaboration with So She Slays not too long ago and we created one of my favorite smoothies.

This smoothie is perfect for when you are craving a sweet treat but don’t want to compromise your nutrition! My roommate and I kind of accidentally discovered the wonders of beets in smoothies when we were trying to copy the Pressed Juicery’s Strawberry Almond juice.

Now this smoothie tastes nothing like that (the beets have a much more powerful flavor), it’s still delicious!

BERRY AND BEETS SMOOTHIE

Serving: 2 16 oz servings

1 cup of berries – frozen or unfrozen. After trying it a few times I think strawberries are the best for this.
1 beet: I bought mine steamed and peeled from Trader Joe’s
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 scoops Vital Protein collagen peptides
3-4 ice cubes

Blend all of the ingredients and enjoy! It’s a super simple recipe that is perfect for summer :).

Introducing the C&G Girl Gang!

What started on a whim ended up being the best decision I could have made for Citrus & Gold. Introducing…the C&G Girl Gang!

The C&G Girl Gang is a community of women interested in making health and wellness a priority. It’s a forum for women to ask questions, share advice, and connect with other bad-ass women. I’m focusing on building awareness especially for South Asian women but all women are welcome . Sorry men, I don’t mean to exclude but I do want to create a safe, open environment for women specifically.

My mission is to help women take control of their lives to become healthier, happier, and bolder. As much as I like posting on my blog and social media sometimes I feel like the conversations are one-sided. I don’t get to hear what matters for YOU guys quite enough. Or if I do, the conversations end up being quite superficial. Blogging can be pretty lonely at times and I knew I wanted to create something that fosters authentic communication. So on a random Tuesday night I started a FB group, called it the C&G Girl Gang, created a header on Canva and there it was.

At first I thought there would be maybe 20, 30 friends interested but I’m happy to say we have over 150 women from all across the world in the group! It’s been so amazing seeing others connect and bond. One of my friends published a beautiful article on Brown Girl Magazine through connecting with a couple of girls in the group.

We are brainstorming meet-ups, book-clubs and much more! We are all so excited to how it transforms in a organic, authentic manner.

If you are interested in joining you can request access here. Hope to see you there .

The Three Most Important Changes In My Wellness Journey

akansha-agrawal-fitness-blogger

akansha-agrawal-fitness-blogger

I’ve learned a lot about myself ever since I started my health & wellness journey five years ago. Five years ago fitness, nutrition, and mental health were not top of mind. My overall well-being was not a priority.

Luckily, the tables have turned but the changes have not easy nor straightforward.

When I first started exploring the realm of fitness, I discovered influencers in bodybuilding who would lift heavy, count their macros, and “cut” for a few weeks after “bulking” for a few months. I briefly fell into that trap and was told to try competing in a bikini competition (yeah no thanks).

Another example is I when I tried to steer towards a vegan diet: I added more soy-based proteins to help supplement my diet (yikes) and never really felt satisfied. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to eat (good quality) meat and I should eat what my body craves.

These are just a couple of examples of things that didn’t work for me in the end (but hey it may work for others!). Here are three things that do work:

Meditating: Yes again, I know. How cliche right? But guess what guys, even 5 – 10 minutes of breathing, sitting, and doing nothing has helped me so much with my stress and anxiety. Whenever I fall off from meditation I feel my anxiety creeping back again.

Working with a nutritionist: I didn’t start seeing a nutritionist for what most people would think — losing weight. I actually consulted a nutritionist when my digestive issues became too much to bear. My nutritionist Mary Vance has helped my heal my gut (almost!) and has helped me see nutrition in a different light. I promise to post on this topic soon because there is so much to be said here!

Finding fitness buddies: Having friends or people you can workout with has been life-changer! When I first started I’d almost always workout alone for two reasons: 1. I didn’t know many other people who made it a priority (clearly I wasn’t looking hard enough) and 2. I was afraid others would judge me. Once I got over that fear, my life was changed. I started training with Fleet Feet for half marathons, met girls from the Tone It Up Bay Area community and was also more willing to try different kinds of group fitness classes with friends.

So obviously, this is what works for me and those “a-ha” moments may be different for others. Regardless, I do think there are certain take-aways for all:

-Try meditating with Headspace. It’s only 10 minutes long!
-Pay attention to what you eating. Does it make you feel good? Are you eating mindfully, eating whole foods? A nutritionist can be expensive but if you want some basic guidelines on nutrition, the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan is a good start.
– Find a local running group (Lululemon has one, or check out The November Project), or try different group fitness classes with friends. It’s always easier with a buddy :).

It’s like something finally clicked in my mind when I started doing each one of the three things I mentioned above. I’d love to know what works for you in your own wellness journey.

This Saffron Tea Could Be The Next Golden Milk (Recipe)

saffron tea almond milk

I don’t consider myself to be a food blogger (there are tons out there that are much more skilled than I am) but I do find happiness in creating simple, no-BS recipes every once in a while. Plus I get a lot of requests to share more recipes!

While I was in India earlier this year I went to a yoga studio in Mumbai called The Yoga House. Attached to the yoga studio, there was a really cute café which served American classics —like a PB&J — to traditional Indian food with a healthy spin (think quinoa upma).

I saw that they had saffron tea on their menu and I was intrigued because I had never heard of anything like it before! I was surprised how good yet simple it was. Plus I felt like a queen drinking it because saffron ain’t cheap.

I recreated the original recipe and also added my own twist by making one with almond milk and honey. I loved the creaminess of the second one!

Move over turmeric, there’s a new golden milk in town.

The New Golden Milk (i.e. Saffron Tea with Almond Milk):

Serving size: one

  • 4 oz water
  • 4 oz Califia Farms Almond Milk, original (it adds the perfect amount of sweetness)
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp of honey (optional)

mortar-pestle

Instructions:

Boil water in a saucepan. Crush cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle (other option is to wrap cardamom pods in a paper towel and crush it with a glass jar if you don’t have a mortar and pestle) and add to the saucepan. Let it boil for a minute or so and then add the almond milk.

Add saffron strands then turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Place the almonds at the bottom of the tea up and pour in the tea. Stir in honey if desired. Enjoy!

Alternative recipe: follow the same instructions but omit the almond milk to create the original saffron tea I tried at The Yoga House in Mumbai.

saffron-tea

Health benefits: Saffron is known to have anti-oxidants

The hardest part of these recipes is making sure you have saffron because it’s not something everyone have lying around in their spice cabinet. Luckily, you can find it easily at any Indian grocery store or even on Amazon.

Like this recipe? Well then I’m sure you’d also like try this one for a raw turmeric latte!

This herbal saffron tea with almond milk and honey may be replacing your turmeric lattes, aka golden milk

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.