A piece of my heart belongs to India.

So I thought i’d share a few pics and tidbits about my trip and quite a few photos for your visual pleasure. I hope you enjoy!

In a nutshell, words cannot describe the experiences I had the past few weeks traveling throughout India. But I’m going to try my best to share a little piece of the gift I was given, and of course there will be a new group of recipes that are inspired by the foods I enjoyed during my time there.

The journey began landing in Bombay where we (as in the group of 25 yogis) went straight to the hotel Taj, Lands End, dropped our bags off, then headed out for dinner at our teacher’s (mona anand) in-laws home for some traditional cuisine and a wine tasting (how fancy!).

1st thoughts on INDIA? It’s HOT in India,

2) Wow, I thought NYC had traffic.

3) There are a lot of motorcycles, no helmets and ladies riding side saddle holding babies on the back.

4) It’s pretty here.

My head hit the pillow that night and that’s all I can recall Day 1 in India. I’d say my biggest conundrum(s) was focusing on how to keep my mouth from getting water in it while showering, using bottled water to brush the teeth and whether or not to drink the water from a glass or stay a bit dehydrated. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. No pics, things were blurry. 

Day 2 (Don’t worry, I will not be numbering each and every day, I can only remember 2 at a time anyway) included a lovely 5:30 am wake-up, breakfast and a bus ride to the airport to board ‘spice jet’ and head to Jaipur.

First breakfast in Mumbai. Spicy Eggs

From plane to bus, oh, and our first “squatty potty” experience. Yes, you read that right. (Hence why one brings anti-bacterial wipes and tissues).

Tour Bus! How cute it is?

The bus ride was perhaps the bumpiest ride I’ve ever taken, well, maybe the camel ride was a bit unsteady. Dirt roads, no road, cows blocking roads etc. were all part of the excursion. 4-5 hour ride later (p.s. India time is a common saying, so 2 hours means 4) and a bit of dramamine… I was good to go. (Pretty sure my body got ejected out of my seat a few times).

I thought,"what a beautiful photo."

Once in Jaipur we went to a museum, then the Hava Mahal or Palace of the Winds. The colors and people are astonishingly beautiful and mezmorizing. Your eyes can’t focus on one thing at a time (In yoga we call this condition-VATA-yoga joke people). I experienced the first of many people likely curious about us since we were in a tourist bus that looked a bit like a fish tank.

Lunch was in a courtyard at the museum where I dodged anything fresh, cold, raw and ice cubed. Let’s just say hot foods including rice and chicpeas, saag paneer (spinach and paneer cheese) were a staple for a few weeks). Oh and naan, of course. Love me a High carb diet.

Say hello to the snake charmer outside of the museum! Not somethin you see everday!

Not sure what kind of bread this was, but it just looked lovely.

We hopped back onto the bus and off we went to Rajasthan. Specifically Ranthambore where we stayed at the Taj Swadhi Madhopur Lodge. It is a beautiful safari like adult camp. Upon arrival we unpacked then gathered for late night yoga, 10:45 pm to be exact. No vinyasa here, restorative in which we all fell asleep, well at least I did, woke myself up snoring. Sorry to those next to me.

Meet Maharaja. He hung out in front of my room...often. 😉

Doesn't get much better then this for morning yoga!

5:45 am wake-up call most mornings jolted us out of bed and straight to yoga class or a tiger safari. We were adorned by the live music via classical indian musicians every morning and evening where we danced the night away and dined on the indian cuisine full of spices that warmed the belly.

Dosa with coconut and other chutney anyone?

Oh goodness, I couldn't stop taking pics of these monkeys!

A few tiger sitings later, camel rides, trips to women’s handicrafts, the ganesha temple and monkey craziness and we were off to Jaipur again to hop on the spice jet and fly to Goa.

Women's Handicrafts. How sweet they let me sit with them.

Our stay was at the luxurious Taj Exotica. Let’s just say this was 5-star India. 7:30 am yoga every morning at the Ayurvedic center left us all feeling refreshed, there was a breakfast buffet that widened your eyes from the baked yogurt to the omelette bar, which included optional quail eggs.

Baked Yogurt, breakfast of champions.

Trips in Goa included more temples, including hanuman, elephant rides, the beach, loads of yoga, a few museums and shopping trips. Let’s not forget the henna from Lakshmi.

Restorative Yoga outside with Gina Menza.

Hanuman Temple, Goa, India

Meet Tejas.

Simply Beautiful people in India.

Henna from Lakshmi.

Just hanging out at the Ayurvedic Center.

Yoga at the Ayurvedic Center. Serene.
My last few hours in Goa, India and I teared up after the final meditation from Mona (my sat guru, teacher, mentor and leader during this trip). Tears of joy and gratefulness.

Final hours were spent in Mumbai at the house of Gandhi.

Then a little shopping.

Neemrama. Ransacked. Should've gone there the first day! 😉

Let’s just say that store has never seen such crazed shoppers! Pretty sure it was a small tornado. I highly recommend Neemrana! 

SO, YES, I’ll BE GOING BACK TO INDIA. DUNNO WHEN, BUT CAN’T WAIT.

Recipes inspired by the Indian Cuisine soon!

Now share! What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled thus far? Where would you like to travel if you had to choose one spot?  

Bloggaversary and my first Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!

So, it’s been quite the YEAR. 

I can’t believe I’ve made it through a year of blogging. Woot to that!

So a recap: It’s been a year of:

  • Spell checks (which probably led to more spell checks)
  • Writing and re-writing..then re-writing the re-write
  • Deleting. Usually that was permanent. But the good old Macbook gives me the command Z option when one screws it up.
  • Wondering whether or not to hit PUBLISH on that post you thought might send others straight away from the blog. Then hitting Publish and having an immediate panic attack. Take me as I am, or leave me, that’s my new motto.
  • Questioning goals, life, etc. (I think that’s pretty normal).
  • Pondering whether or not to keep blogging. I went through a blog “break-down” at some point, I think it was when I was posting more then 3 up to 5 times a week.( Now wonder I was going to throw my spatula out the window!)
THEN, after all of that, why do I still blog? Well, because of all of YOU and because I love it. The moments that my mind goes blank, or I think I lack ideas, I somehow find inspiration whether it be through a comment left, or one of my favorite food bloggers and their encouragement.

Or because all of YOU my dear lovelies, you keep me going.

p.s. not that you can shut my trap up anytime soon. Ha.

THANK YOU for making me feel loved, allowing me to obsess over food, health, more food, now yoga…and laughing with me or even at me (after all, it’s best to be able to laugh at one self, especially when it’s a snort laugh).

So, what’s up for grabs here? Well, if you caught a glimpse of the Granola Globes (I can’t stop saying that) then you’ll know there was an ingredient that I love. SPELT FLAKES. I’ve used them a few times here, and they’re a great grain (yup,I really typed that). I might even toss in another bonus to the winner, not sure yet.

I’m cool like that.

Here’s the details and what you should get a move on doing. I will be using the Random Generator to choose the winner. 

So how do you enter? Select one or more of the entry options below. Leave a separate comment for each entry. A winner will be selected at random next Wednesday, November 2nd by 12 pm EST.

  1. Entry method: Fill out the form below so that I have a way of contacting you. (p.s. this is private information and your personal email will not be shared with others).

THEN, Just leave me a comment below. Yes, it’s that simple! Perhaps you’ll answer this,”What has been the most memorable moment this past year? (whether you’re a blogger or just have something to share). Or just a friendly comment, why you love me (kidding?!), why you want to win, or just a Howdy!

2. Like my facebook page Help me go beyond 500 on Facebook. Why? Why not really? There’s a pretty cool bunch of folks hanging out over there.
3. Share about this contest on Twitter and follow me, Facebook, your blog, etc. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post. Each time you leave a comment, you gain an additional chance to win.
4. Well, I hope you already subscribe, but if you don’t, that’s okay. No strings attached. But if you decide to, you should leave a comment for an additional chance to win. 😉

NOTE: This giveaway is a personal undertaking. Why? Cause I want you to try Spelt. Ha. Well, really it’s just fun. Nobody but my lonesome is involved, sponsors, affiliates, or the Eden brand. (I should let them know though eh?). 

SO, I hope you have enjoyed a year of blogging, my free love, lots of food chat, and other stuff that has hopefully had you salivating over a beet, starting an exercise routine, or simply inspired you in some way. 

Good Luck!

JEN