A Quick Trip to Little India.. Jackson Heights, Queens

Today's post is devoted to intellectual health--doing something new for the sake of novelty and discovery.  New York City is blessed with an abundance of ethnic neighborhoods--one can enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of completely different cultures without having to board a plane!

Here are some photos from my mini excursion to Little India, in Jackson Heights, Queens.

I had never been there before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the rich colors, access to affordable and fresh produce and the number of shops selling beautiful Saris along the main street.

I can't wait to go back to buy a Sari and some yummy groceries!

If you find yourself in NYC, be sure to check out these less touristy spots!  
These neighborhoods are what makes NYC so special!

Beautiful saris everywhere!

Lots of fragrant herbs, spices and vegetables to choose from!

More Saris!

$9,000 Buddha!!  US Dollars or Indian rupees?!

So many vegetarian options to choose from!  Will have to come back with a backpack!

Such a diverse mix of cultures represented in this supermarket!  

Have you experienced any new cultures lately?  

Tell me about it in the comments section!

Wellness Wednesday_The Luckiest Part of my Life

Like most people, I've always wanted to be in love and happy.

I've always had this idea that as long as I am healthy and happy and I've got the people I love, then everything is alright.

The luckiest part of my life was being in the right place at the right time to meet Mr. Right, 
(we were both on the other side of the world, far away from our home countries, without knowing what destiny had in store for us!).

When I married my husband, I told him "no matter what happens, I will love you"... 
I still live by that now.

I've tried to approach this past first year of marriage with a grateful heart.  I'm lucky that my husband is the most positive and enthusiastic person I know.  Even in difficult moments, like when I almost lost him in a scooter accident, I've tried to look for ways to cultivate feelings of love, compassion, openness and peace in every moment of every day because let's face it; life is so damn short.

As always, Love is the answer. Everything else is secondary.

I feel so lucky to have come across this beautiful video and wanted to share it with you for today's Wellness Wednesday post, focusing on emotional health.

Here are the LOVE mantras, according to Vietnamese monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh:

1. Darling, I'm here for you.

When you love someone, the best thing you can offer him or her is your presence.

2. Darling, I know you are there. I am so happy because you are truly there.

You recognize the presence of your beloved one as something very precious.

To be loved means to be recognized as existing.

3. Darling, I know you suffer. That is why I am here for you.

Your presence can bring your beloved relief.

4. Darling, I suffer.  I am trying my best to practice.  Please help me.

When you need to express forgiveness and patience in place of resentment.

Everyone is truly fighting their own battle.  For some people, getting out of bed in the morning is the luckiest part of their life.  In a world that seems crazy and filled with fear and violence, let's be persistent in our expressions of love and peace to the people around us.

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe. 
May you be loved.



Meat Free Week.. and why you should consider it!

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope your week is off to a productive start!

I can't believe how fast time is flying by!  
We're already halfway through summer. 

I was in Atlantic City this past weekend and saw something that really shocked me.

No, nothing to do with casinos or anything like that.

Instead, I was shocked by the number and size of people who either physically 
couldn't or didn't want to WALK on the BOARDWALK.

Instead, they were being manually pushed around in carts by workers.

Isn't that one of the joys of summer?  
To stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the sea?

Apparently this cart phenomenon has been around for quite awhile, 
at least for the past seven years.

But c'mon!!

Let's get up and use our legs and enjoy the summer!

Let's use exercise and healthy nutrition to live our lives to the fullest potential!


So with this in mind, today I'd like to not only offer you a Meat Free Monday meal idea, 
but also show you what a healthy, nutritious and delicious Meat Free Week 
can look like.

I'll also have you know that my meal plan is realistic.
I still enjoy the finer things in life like Nutella and a little bit of cheese.

There's no need to be a martyr about food!
You'll never see quinoa, protein powders, agave or other "trendy" foods in my shopping cart!

I have a few different methods of meal planning and food shopping,
many of which I've detailed right here, but I originally got this "menu" idea
from a former colleague of mine in Shanghai.

He and his wife wrote out a menu of meal choices that their family frequently ate
to help their housekeeper decipher what their family wanted to eat for
breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Being smart teacher-parents, 
they laminated their menu and used it for months.     

Of course their version was written out in English and Mandarin 
and also included photos of each dish.  

I've included today's Meat Free Monday meal photo in my menu as an example.

If you are pressed for time or have young children, 
I think creating a few menus of your favorite meals can be a fast and easy way
to eat healthy, cut down on food waste and save time and money.

Now who doesn't like to do that?!

So without further delay, here is this week's Meat Free Week menu:

and corresponding shopping list:

The number of stars next to the food item indicates how many dishes 
call for that ingredient, so you can buy accordingly.

As you can see, garbanzo beans, bananas, spinach, strawberries, 
tomatoes and almond milk go fast around here!


So the next time you want to fill your belly, you don't have to settle for Frankenfood like this..

For individualized nutrition and exercise plans, 
please email me at getFITwithFITZ@gmail.com.

Have a great week!

Good night New York City!