Saturday, September 29, 2018

Magic of alchemy : Mango-Pineapple and Watermelon-Beet : freshly squeezed.

I have at least five recipes that are in the draft that needs to be posted on the blog. It just has been so busy this side of the world that I cannot find time to write up a blog post. I think I am going to spend the next few hours doing just that, a big mug of coffee, my favorite music in the background and working on the blog.

I have really been looking forward to some me time. Last week I ran the Chicago half marathon and that was on my was a special moment for me. I have done this before, but this year was exceptional. Last year at this time I was preparing for the half marathon and was feeling great about the way I was progressing, I could not even imagine that life had different plans for me. Out of the blue, some health issues cropped up and there began my long journey..... doctors, tests, treatments and most difficult of all 'fear'. I withdrew into my photography, to find strength...I try to look for courage or channel my fear into creativity. It did not work for me, my creative side felt like a block of cement on my heart. I felt even my art had given up on me....and then life unfolded. A dear friend gifted me a book about healing, which I really recommend to anyone going through health issues, even if you are not, it is a must read - You are the placebo - Joe Dispenza ( this is not a sponsored post) ...from Placebo my spiritual journey started and more and more books fell into my lap. With each book, I became mentally stronger and accepted my situation for what it was.

It did not take me that long to pick up my camera again, but I was love for photography had a cloud just like a cloudy fall day, and the shadows were deep. I did not experience the same joy as I used to, it was now a mechanical act...something was broken inside me. Most days I would photograph only because I had nothing better to do with myself. Thankfully some of my clients were very patient with my situation and gave me ample time to work.

My focus shifted from photography to reading meditation and journaling, I was trying to look for something to center me...The more I meditated, the more often I would pick up my camera...until it became a form of meditation. Earlier when I photographed I always had the end image in, I just look deep into the light, sometimes I  get lost, meditative and forget everything but the 'moment'.

I was living a life outside of myself, even photography was outside of me. As I  look back, this one year has transformed me completely. I'm so grateful for who I am today, needless to say, I have an army of angles that have made this possible.

When I hold that camera today, I am not just making a picture, it is a connection ... strangely some of my friends noticed the change in my work and told me that...

So, I just had to run the half marathon, to tell myself that I'm a kick-ass woman lol! Well, could not have done this without my hubby, who really had to kick my butt.

Life happens...and life has to go on....!! To everyone who is going through a challenging phase in your life, a friend sent me this during my most difficult days and I swear by every word in these lines...

“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling”

“However good or bad a situation is, it will change”

and finally…. “believe you can and you’re halfway there”

Also, kindness is the most significant gift.... just show some kindness, you do not know what someone is going through. If you can't be kind...I do not think you can ever give anything to anyone or to yourself. 

To everyone who has been part of this journey, I don't know how to express my gratitude, you are a rocking awesome human and I'm so lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for the prayers and love. 

Phew! I could not have imagined I just wrote all of that... Well now for some light stuff. I'm thrilled to have my work featured on National Geographic - Photo of the week.

I almost forgot I was blogging, it felt like I was talking to a group of friends. Well, so the recipe ... that is what we are here for.

Well, the recipe has a story too and I will try to keep it short. A few weeks ago we were walking around in downtown Chicago and it was really really hot ( difficult to imagine, as it is freezing now) and we were parched. We found this chic fruit juice bar that looked really exclusive. As we walked in I could get the millennial vibe and a sticker shock...! Anyway we picked up a couple of freshly squeezed juice alchemy and to be frank I was really disappointed. Hubby thought I was kanjus (miser) and it was really great stuff. So the next week, I made him this! Vanity thy name is a food-blogger. Well, yes you guessed accurately, he did take back his words and agreed that my stuff rocks ! and the juice bar need to really re-consider their recipes.


2 cups fresh mango chunks
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 banana (preferably frozen)

Watermelon Beet 

4 cups watermelon chunks
1 cup beet
2-inch ginger
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
freshly crushed black pepper

Juice them separately in a blender. Pour the mango-pineapple first as it is a thicker juice and then pour the watermelon-beet. If you do the other way round, they will get mixed up and you will not get the beautiful patina. Guzzle in gallons ...

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