29 September 2014

Liebster Award

Recently, Laura at Incredibly Edible generously nominated me for the Liebster Award. It was such a pleasant surprise and so nice to get the recognition, especially coming from a like-minded blogger. Thank you, Laura!

On her blog, Laura's passion for "natural, unprocessed, nutrient dense - as nature intended- ingredients" shows in her diverse collection of whole foods recipes. As Laura and other bloggers can relate, we blog because we enjoy it, because some part of it aligns with our passion. But we don't always know who the blog reaches and how it impacts those who read it. So it is always nice to feel the support from our readers and other bloggers. And this is what the Liebster Award is all about. It's not competitive in a traditional sense, rather it provides an opportunity for bloggers to recognize and show appreciation for each other's work.

The Liebster Award rules ask that I do the following:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated me and link to their blog + display the award badge.
  1. Answer 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated me
  1. List 11 random facts about myself
  1. Nominate 11 bloggers (I tweaked this rule)
  2. Pose 11 questions to said nominees
  3. Go to each nominee’s blog and notify them of their nomination.

Questions

What is your most favourite blog to follow and why?

The food I make everyday and share on the blog is inspired by many things; local, seasonal produce, the weather, and our travels. But I am also endlessly intrigued by how others think about and transform whole, plant-based food into accessible, delicious, and unpretentious meals. While my longest standing favorites (and ones you may also know: 101 Cookbooks, Green Kitchen Stories, and My New Roots) will always be reliable standbys that I'll never tire of, I equally enjoy following and cooking from Amy's Coconut and Quinoa and Elenore's Petite Kitchen. Their blogs are inspired, creative, and authentic - they never try to be anyone but themselves. And their recipes are magical.

How long have you been blogging for? 

I have been blogging for a little less than two years. At the beginning I didn't know how I would feel at this point, but I am happy to say that I enjoy it more and more each day and it never gets old. Blogging is creative work, and seeing a vision come to fruition, working through a food project from start to finish, is very satisfying. But even more satisfying is connecting with my readers and hearing how the recipes have been a source of inspiration for them and have made their mealtime more enjoyable.

What time of day do you write the best content for your blog?

I wish my whole day could be one long morning. Does that answer your question?! This is when the world is calm and peaceful, I have the most energy and clarity, and I feel the most inspired. 

What would be the first thing you would do if you won a million dollars?

Um, probably invest it. Boring, I know. But I believe that investing money allows me to feel the freedom to continue pursuing my dreams.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Ha, good question. If you're asking where we'll be living, I don't have an answer but that's fine with me. It's kind of fun not knowing exactly how things will unfold in the future. But I think the dream job response below will answer the rest of this question.

Which book would you encourage others to read?

I love to read and I read a variety of genres: memoirs, novels, historical fiction and anything to do with wellness.

So sticking with the theme of wellness, for anyone interested in mindfulness as it relates to our decisions about what to eat and how we eat, I would highly recommend In Defense of Food and The Yoga of Eating.

For adventure and an escape into other people's lives I really enjoyed Buried in the Sky and The Paris Wife.

What is the most treasured item you own and why? 

It would have to be all the pictures my husband has put into photo books that capture memories with family and friends. After that it would be a few special pieces of jewelry from my husband, mom, grandmother, and dad.

Where were you born?

New Mexico

What's your dream job?

They say "find work that you love or find a way to love your work." It has taken me a good 6 years to decide it was the right time to pursue, but I am now finishing my training to become a certified Holistic Health Coach where I'll help women make diet and lifestyle changes to reach their wellness goals. I've always wanted to do work that empowers women; in spite of our many responsibilities as women, I want women to know that we can choose to lead a more balanced, healthy, and mindful lifestyle and it's our right to feel content with ourselves, our bodies, and our health.

Tea or coffee? 

Tea - preferably rooibos, mint, or herbal and spice blends with sweet, spicy, and citrus notes. I am very sensitive to caffeine, so other than the caffeine I get through chocolate I generally avoid it.

Sweet or savoury?

Does sweet trump savory since I like to finish meals with something sweet and I'll choose a sweet breakfast or snack over a savory one?!

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I learned to drive stick in South Africa at age 26, so I'm more comfortable driving stick on the right side of the car.
  2. I can only hear out of my left ear, I was born this way. I've never seen it as a handicap but my husband likes to use it as an excuse to get that perfect table at restaurants. ;-)
  3. Because of # 2 I am generally more comfortable being a passenger than the driver (assuming there are others in the car), unless of course we're driving on the left hand side of the road.
  4. I love, love dancing - Salsa dancing, to be exact
  5. Meditation, yoga (or exercise in nature), and a smoothie bowl or warm quinoa porridge (depending on the season) is the perfect way to start my day
  1. I am a dog lover - Starr was our black and white pit/lab mix for four years and now we are the chosen second home for our friends' fur child, Miss Leila.
  1. I am a Facebook holdout (at least for a personal page). Obviously most of my friends are on Facebook but it's simply not me. 
  1. My husband and I met studying abroad in Argentina
  1. I am in love with the skincare line, Just the Goods. Check out my interview with Milena, the founder.
  1. One of the best choices I've made for myself in the past few years is switching over to Just the Goods. When it comes to our well-being and consumerism I believe we shouldn't passively "buy into" the way things are. Our desired changes start with proactive choices to educate ourselves and shop around.
  1. Thai massages are my nirvana - it's a shame our society associates self-care with selfishness and self-indulgence. 

Blog Nominations

Sarah - Highgate Hill Kitchen - fantastically flavorful everyday  meals inspired by seasonal, unprocessed whole foods; she has a knack for pairing classic flavors in original ways.

Lyndsey - Lyndsey Loves Food- a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who says "when we love food it will love us back"; her belief in moderation and not taking food too seriously shows up in her delicious and fun recipes.

Chelsea - The Naked Fig  - a fellow certified Holistic Health Coach and yoga instructor with gorgeously photographed and freshly creative , whole, plant-based recipes.

Teri - Nourished Kitchen - a Certified Holistic Nutritionist who offers doable whole foods recipes for the whole  family and wellness tips to live by.

Kristie - Birch and Wild - uniquely nourishing recipes from a whole foods chef with a passion for natural health and organic agriculture.

Ksenia - At the Immigrant's Table - a heartfelt allergy-conscious recipe journal capturing her family's migrant history from the former USSR, Israel, then Canada.

Izzy - She Loves Food - http://www.shelikesfood.com/ - plant-based recipes that are naturally gluten-free (you'll never miss it here!) and often with a fantastic Mexican/Southwestern flair.

Nominee Questions

  1. What is your favorite food movie?
  2. What can always be found in your fridge?
  3. What are your non-negotiables when it comes to food?
  1. Has blogging helped you learn anything new about yourself?
  1. Blogging is creative work. Some people argue creativity is artfully bringing together seemingly disparate ideas to make a dish while others say it's about creating something new. What does creativity in the kitchen/on the blog mean to you?
  1. What is one thing most people don't know about you?
  1. What on your life bucket list are you determined to make happen?
  1. What cookbook do you cook from the most?
  1. What is your favorite go-to quick dinner?
  1. How do you like to start your mornings?
  1. What is your most nourishing daily habit?


**Announcement**
In other news, I have been collaborating with a few fellow bloggers behind the scenes to bring you a fun but also very useful Cooking for One week-long series. This series kicks off here on the blog next Sunday, October 5th, at which time I'll share the details and line-up of participating bloggers who will also be contributing recipes. So check back on Sunday, you won't want to miss this!!