Tava Kitchen

Today the hubs and I had the chance to go to Palo Alto to enjoy a lunch tasting over at Tava Kitchen and along side with the yummy food the best treat of all was having a conversation with one of the founders Hasnain. During our tasting we learned the story of Tava Kitchen along with the mission behind Tava Kitchen which was simple, to make America fall in love with South Asian cuisine and flavors. Hasnain walked us through the menu offerings as well as provided us with a sampling of a little bit of everything.

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
— Mark Twain

We walked away falling in love with the preparations of the crunchy kale and quinoa salad that had the most explosive flavors of the masala vinaigrette. Californians love kale and to the rest of the world thats all we probably eat or juice. I think kale is one of those greens that is not only common to eat and create means with, but its also one of those that are not often paired in south asian cuisines so it was nice seeing it on the menu. My other favorite side was the candied beets. I'm a huge fan of beets and order them whenever I can. Its a great root vegetable that is designed to not only clean out your insides and liver, but root vegetables have been known to have energetic properties to ground you. So when you're feeling not yourself or needing to get centered, pull out those root vegetables like parsnips, radishes, carrots, and beets.

Since I've been feeling under the weather, one of items on the menu that immediately looked tasty to me before trying it was the slow cooked braised chicken and braised beef. Which when I tasted them immediately made my soul feel a bit better. There's something about slowly cooked proteins that are simmering in a savory broth that reminds me of the good old soups made in Filipino households that made you feel immediately better when you feel under the weather. 

A plate with slow braised chicken and braised beef with crunchy quinoa and kale, and golden beets. 

A plate with slow braised chicken and braised beef with crunchy quinoa and kale, and golden beets. 

A plate with braised lamb meatballs, chicken tikka, with crunchy quinoa and kale, and golden beets. 

A plate with braised lamb meatballs, chicken tikka, with crunchy quinoa and kale, and golden beets. 

For those who are vegetarian there are some options for you as well. Gluten Free, Paleo, and all the other dietary restrictions can easily be accommodated through the options of crafting your meal by either a bowl, plate, or burroti.

Vegetarian bowl: Paneer tikka and tofu curry on top of a bed of romaine lettuce topped with pickled veggies, three pepper jicama, classic mix, and mild yogurt raita. 

Vegetarian bowl: Paneer tikka and tofu curry on top of a bed of romaine lettuce topped with pickled veggies, three pepper jicama, classic mix, and mild yogurt raita. 

Fresh juices and syrups made in house by Tava Kitchen. 

Fresh juices and syrups made in house by Tava Kitchen. 

Over all I'm pretty impressed with the flavors of Tava Kitchen, but most blown away by their thoughtful items for infusing home cooked loved into healthy dishes without compromising the explosive flavors of the South Asian cuisine.

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Follow

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

A few weeks ago Popsugar Fitness asked me to create a fun little Fashionable Fitness Guide and I had such a fun time curating my favorite must haves for them. It inspired me to scour the internet and help you find the perfect gift for yourself or that health and fitness enthusiast you've got on your list. I've broken it down by my favorite categories to shop to make it easier for you. 

Shopping can be extremely stressful especially when you're in a crunch and the one on your mind has the world in her hands. I hope these lists make it easier for you to find something perfect for that woman who's crushing it in the gym and in life! 

For the Fashionable and Fit

Beauty Gift Ideas

For the Wanderlust

For the Homebodies

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Follow

Why Fitting In Sucks BALLS

Today I woke up feeling alone. And not in the sense where I'm battling another episode of depression, but just alone. The crazy thing to me is that I know that I'm not alone. I have so many blessings in my life that I'm grateful for: husband, family, and people who genuinely love me for me. But today as I sit here writing I there's this void inside that I'm searching to fill. 

Growing up, especially in high school I thought the void was from not belonging to a certain group of friends. I spent most of my lunches in high school developing photos in the photo lab or working on graphic design projects from my Digital Business Academy I was in. I knew I was special and unique, but I couldn't help but feel like I was supposed to "fit in." 

The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
— Albert Einstein

As soon as I became an adult I started to feel the same especially as I embarked on my career as a hairstylist. I remember not quite feeling like I could embrace the same philosophies that some of my classmates had in beauty school and quickly feeling like my choice to be authentic to myself and help my clients find their personal style with their hair, was quickly isolating me from others. I was so career driven. I knew what I wanted out of that career for myself and put all my efforts into getting it. Soon enough I found myself in a community of stylists that had the same philosophies, until I became pregnant with our first. Being the first mother amongst most of my friends made me feel really alone. It wasn't easy having to juggle a career, motherhood, and relationships with friends that just didn't quite understand the struggles of motherhood at an early age. 

Throughout all of these life shifts I've learned that fitting in sorta sucks and here's why:

Fitting in takes a lot of energy and effort. Let's think about this one for a minute. There are so many different ways society tells us to fit in and there's not enough hours in the day to live up to any of those standards. Fitting in takes up so much of our energy and focus into living our authentic selves. It's like a little bit away of your authenticity chipped at every time you do something that's not truly who you are. 

You stop listening to your intuition. Each person has this little tiny burning voice inside of them, its called their intuition. Do you ever notice that little voice inside of you that tells you when something doesn't feel right? How many times have you silenced it? Then at the end of the experience you sorta fall straight on your ass because you didn't listen. Your intuition is such a powerful thing and its probably something we often take for granted. Inside of each of us is this guiding light that helps us navigate to living our highest frequency, when we choose not to listen to it, we silence the truth inside us that's telling us how to thrive. 

Fitting in stunts personal growth. When we fit in, we swim with the crowd and when we do that we take away from getting lost in new experiences that help us grow as individuals. Fitting in keeps us comfortable in what we do, who we know, and what we've experienced. It keeps us from living our greatest potential because of fear of fitting out. 

No one likes a copy cat. Life is about self discovery and finding out who you are and sometimes that leads us into a path where we feel alone. Some days blazing a trail to create a life you're excited to live can lead to a lot of pain. But out of the struggle is always something beautiful waiting to blossom. Blazing a trail gives you and others the permission to live in their divine truth. But fitting in only gives the people around you and yourself the space to live just like everyone else. 

At the end of the day feeling alone sucks. But if we attempt to fit in to all the expectations of life and society, we'll never know who we're really made of. Today I challenge you to think of the one thing you could do this week to not fit in. How would your life be different if you took that one risk to create the life you wanted? Who would you become if you chose to do something a little against the grain?

Enjoy the little video below, Inner Workings,  from the amazing creators at Disney. People who are always going against the grain to create something enjoyable for the world to see. Hopefully it inspires you to follow your heart and listen to your insides just a little more. 

 

 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Follow

City Guide: I left my heart in San Francisco

This past month has been filled with travel every single weekend and as much as I love to travel, there's no place like home. I teamed up with the awesome folks at With The Locals and Brooklyn Bicycle Co to share with them my favorite places in SF on a city guide and I wanted to highlight some of my favorites here on the my blog. 

San Francisco is one of those cities where new restaurants and places to check out pop up almost weekly. This guide is a mash up of some of my old favorites and new.

If you're looking for a stunning view of SF, then head over to Treasure Island. It's one of my personal favorite places to stop before heading into SF. On a clear day you'll get the most breathtaking panoramic view of the city. When my husband and I started our wedding and lifestyle photography business we would take our clients here to shoot their engagement sessions. Back in 2013 we photographed one of the first weddings at the Winery SF located on Treasure Island bringing us back to our early days of our business running around like young kids with cameras.

Like most people who are from SF, I'm a coffee snob. I love craft coffees that are roasted locally with love. Sightglass is one of those old favorites that despite all the other new cafes that pop up, will always have a place in my heart. I'm a huge fan of their cold brew, I live on this stuff. 

one of my favorite places to work in SF

one of my favorite places to work in SF

After coffee lunch and a little bit of work lunch is always in order. There are two places that I would go to if you're health conscious and looking for a meal that's packed with flavor. Both restaurants have some very unique approaches to their menus and are being led by some of Napa Valley's former top chefs. 

Little Gem's menu is gluten free and dairy free. True to most SF Bay area restaurants purvey their foods from local farmers, making their dishes seasonal, sustainable, and full of love. 

Bibimbap - Spring vegetables, brown rice, chili garlic sauce, fried egg Field Greens Flatbread - seasonal harvest, almond-onion puree

Bibimbap - Spring vegetables, brown rice, chili garlic sauce, fried egg

Field Greens Flatbread - seasonal harvest, almond-onion puree

Korean Style Grilled Beef - marinated short ribs, stewed onions, cherry tomatoes, sesame seeds, butter lettuce, jasmine rice Lemon Custard - Glazed blackberries and toasted oat crumble Chocolate Pudding - topped with Fleur de Sel

Korean Style Grilled Beef - marinated short ribs, stewed onions, cherry tomatoes, sesame seeds, butter lettuce, jasmine rice

Lemon Custard - Glazed blackberries and toasted oat crumble

Chocolate Pudding - topped with Fleur de Sel

Little Gem is a must if you're heading to SF, its a great place to slow down, enjoy a glass of rosé, and savor the flavors that are exploding in your mouth from the dishes you'll try. 

If you're in a rush however, one place to check out is Dabba, a tiny restaurant with a big mission to leave their guests satiated with their offerings of edible enlightenment.

A place that embodies ethnic confusion and palette diversity through explosive flavors. In case you're wondering pictured is a Cajun chicken bowl with hints of Indian and Cajun flavors made with fresh and local ingredients. BOMB DOT COM!

I was lucky enough to try As Quoted for the first time with my dear friend Meg and was blown away by the flight of toasts that I knew I'd be back for more. We all love avocado toast, but one of my favorite from As Quoted is their AB Toast + Honey which was then topped by fresh sea salt. The combination of these flavors took nut butter and toast to a whole new level. Along with an incredible gluten free and dairy free everything is farm to table, fresh, seasonal, and local. 

One of my other old favorites is Flora Grubb Gardens. I'm not talented with a green thumb, as a matter of fact I've killed succulents. It's a terrible fact that I'm not proud of, but it is what it is. Flora Grubb is one of those spaces in SF where you can simply just get lost in its awe. It's place that's hard not to leave with something new to liven up your space at home or the office. 

014-GOFITJO_SFcityguide.jpg

Many thanks to Brooklyn Bicycle Co for providing me with my Lorimer Bike. I'm thrilled to be able to take this bike all around SF with the hubs while we look for brand new adventures to keep our love healthy and thriving.

The full SF City Guide can be found on the With The Locals x Brooklyn Bicycle Co Feature. 

Shop my look

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Follow

EAT: Raspberry and Mango Chia Seed Pudding

Overnight oats and chia seed puddings are some of my most favorite breakfasts or afternoon snacks to have prepped and ready to go. They are quick, easy, and full of dietary fiber and goodness!

Rather than having chia seed pudding for breakfast, I like eating them in the afternoon as it helps with the sugar cravings that typically begin to come in the later part of the evening when I often find myself stalking the pantry for something sweet to indulge in. 

One thing I love with chia seed puddings is just like oats you can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Personally, I like to keep it pretty simple and choose fruits that are readily available to me. Here's my go to chia seed pudding that literally takes less than 10 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to eat. 

Raspberry and Mango Chia Seed Pudding 

Macros: 370 calories 45C/15F/14P

Macros: 370 calories 45C/15F/14P

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • orange zest
  • 1/4 cup of cubed mango
  • 6 raspberries to garnish (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. Cube half a mango which is approximately 1/4 cup
  2. Pour all the ingredients into a mason jar or sealed container 
  3. Shake the ingredients to give it a nice mix. 
  4. Let sit for a few hours or overnight
  5. Wake up and put some raspberries into jar and ENJOY!

I love chia puddings, but they are high in carb so depending on how you're fueling yourself towards your fitness goals it's a dish I wouldn't consume for myself more than once or twice a week. A meal like this is perfect on your high carb days since its still pretty light on the taste buds and something that can fill you up due to all the fiber in the chia seeds.

What are your favorite overnight recipes? 

 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Follow