Naija: I am HERE for your food

Before heading to Lagos, I squared away my necessary travel logistics:

1. Window seat: check.
2. Nigerian visa: check.
3. List of delicious things and places to eat: check.

It’s no secret that culinary tourism is one of my favorite parts of travel. It’s why I gain 15 lbs of foie gras in France and why I spent more time hunting down Oahu’s best poke and Korean butterfish than on the beach.

I landed in Lagos with a list of the most necessary Nigerian dishes to check out, curated by some of the awesome peeps in the Nomadness Travel Tribe. I didn’t know what any of the names meant–moi moi, elegusi, suya, dodo, pounded yam–but I knew I had to have it all.

Over seven days I diligently knocked down the names on the list, discovering the flavors of tradition Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa cuisine. I also enjoyed some fantastic pizza pizza, Nutella, piña coladas and a healthy dose of wine.

A few highlights:

1. This stuff is HOT

Sure it’s 102 degrees outside, but that doesn’t stop this food from lighting up the inside of your mouth like a flame thrower at Kanye concert. I loved every. single. bite. In every meal, my eyes watered, I sucked in air (which we all know does nothing to aid the plight) and gulped down water. Nothing helped, but I kept going back for more. Lemme say this, I don’t think I tasted anything Nigerian that wasn’t spicy.

Jollof rice taking center stage

Jollof rice taking center stage

Elegusi - stew made with ground melon seeds and meat

Elegusi – stew made with ground melon seeds and meat

Moi Moi

Moi Moi

Hot Pepper Soup! So incredibly spicy. So delicious.

Hot Pepper Soup! So incredibly spicy. So delicious.

Ugba - a traditional salad made with shredded nuts and stock fish

Ugba – a traditional salad made with shredded nuts and stock fish

Efo Riro - a vegetable stew with cow leg (tendon I think) flanked by pounded yam

Efo Riro – a vegetable stew with cow leg (tendon I think) flanked by pounded yam

2. The sun never sets….

….on the British Empire. Thanks to the Imperial conquests of the Brits back in the day, there’s a lot of mixing between their former colonies. In Lagos, as a result you have a lot of Indians and Indian food. I enjoyed one of the best Samosas of my life at a rather posh restaurant called Spice Route. Also Perfect Mutton stew and fantastic tandoori.

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Detox Day 10: we’re home free!

My how time flies when you’re having fun and not eating sugar or boozing! No really, it does. After last week’s post about my struggles with overcoming my sugar cravings, things got a lot easier. The sugar cravings just simply…went away. My desire to munch on bread, however did not. Oh well.

That said, despite the many temptations that have been thrown my way over the past couple weeks I have resisted and remained true to the detox and was even able to enjoy a few dinners with friends who ate right along with me!

Beyond just the food aspect, I’ve really been focused on getting back into my exercise routine and getting a good nights’ sleep every night. It’s been nice to chill out and nest around the house after the inundation of holiday excitement and social plans. This detox has proven to not just be an opportunity to reset my eating habits, but also recenter and rebalance my entire life. My mind has been very lucid and flowing with exciting (and I mean REALLY exciting) ideas of projects I’m going to take on in 2013.

This week my eating has been less focused on large meals and more on lots of snacks. It’s a different approach than last week, but has been equally satisfying. Check out this super easy recipe with one of my most favorite snacks.

Sesame and Savory Sweet Potatoes


-Sweet potato
-Tahini (sesame sauce)

-Cut the sweet potatoes into bite size pieces (half moons or cubes will work!)
– Roast the sweet potatoes in an preheated 350-degree oven until soft
– Put onto a plate and drizzle with 1 tbsp of tahini, a swirl of agave and S&P to taste
– Enjoy a shockingly delicious and nutritious snack!


Another snack I’ve been enjoying are MOCHI! The mochi I’m talking about here are not the frozen, ice cream, dessert mochi, but instead a savory baked mochi. In fact the two are about the exact opposite of each other. These are a fascinating food. They’re kinda like the opposite of Shrinky-Dinks. They come in a small, flat hard brick, but when baked puff up into a sort of mini popover. Because they’re rice-based, they’re gluten free, but still have this delightful chewy flavor. I’ve been enjoying stuffing them with avocado, tahini and butternut squash!

Detox Day 5: I would kill for a #@&*!#$ cookie right now.

Yay! I’m detoxing right now! Life is great! I’m SO HEALTHY AND HAPPY!

This is what you’d expect me to be saying, right? Because people get that obnoxiously smug glow when they cleanse, right? Well that’s not the case over here today.  Today I’m feeling a little more:


The truth is, well, you read it above— I really want a cookie. And some bread. And maybe a slice of pizza. Or a steak.

It’s funny that when these things are “on-limits” I can easily turn my nose up at them OR I am able to indulge in just a little taste before having my fill. But now, after three days without sugar, butter, cheese or even a slice of toast all I want is to jam my face full of Chicken Tikka Masala and wash it down with a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch before snacking on some garlic fries with a side of tacos.

I’m sure this is all just withdraw. I’m so used to relying on coffee to wake me up, a quick snack of crackers and cheese to get me through the afternoon and a sweet treat to celebrate the end of the day. In that way, I’m definitely feeling positive that I’m shaking up those habits and I guess that’s the purpose: to impose a sense of pause to reach for whatever is closest when I’m hungry, to bring the focus back on good whole foods.

But I still want a cookie. Right now.

Cravings aside, the detox is going well! The Hearty and Healthy Pancakes have been an awesome morning treat and I’m successfully navigating my snacktimes sans crackers and candy. I’ve also prepared a Lentil and Winter Vegetable Stew from a recipe from Sunset Cookbook that has been tastily filling my belly for lunch time. For dinner I’ve been eating Pasta and Meatballs! Ok, not really, it’s spaghetti squash and “Meat”balls, which are made from a surprisingly flavorful blend of quinoa, almonds, garbanzo beans, cardamom, and lemon zest.

Detoxing or not, you should check out these recipes because they’re easy and delicious ways to incorporate a good dose of veggies into your meal!


“Spaghetti” & “Meatballs”

pasta plate

“Pasta” Ingredients 
Spaghetti squash
Olive oil

Pasta Instructions

  • Using  fork puncture the outside of the squash about 10 times all over.
  • Pop that baby WHOLE into a 350-degree preheated oven.
  • Take out an hour later and let cool until you can touch it comfortably with your hand.
  • Slice the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds gently with a spoon.
  • Use a fork to remove the squash from the skin.  You’ll see that the squash peels away in spaghetti like ribbons!
  • Heat up a bit of olive oil and sautee your serving of “spaghetti”.  Season to taste with S&P.


“Meatball” Ingredients (adapted from Food52)

1 small yellow onion, diced (or 1/2 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Pinch cardamom
1/2 cup quinoa ( or if you’re not detoxing,  breadcrumbs or Panko_
15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
Sea or kosher salt & pepper

MeatBall Instructions

    • Film the bottom of a medium skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat.
    • Add the onions and a good pinch of salt. Sauté until softened.
    • Add the garlic, walnut pieces, cardamom, sage leaves and Panko (or bread crumbs). Sauté, stirring often, until walnuts and garlic are fragrant, and Panko takes on a toasted color, about 8-10 minutes.
    • Transfer contents of skillet to bowl of a food processor. Add the garbanzo beans and lemon zest, and pulse until well blended, but not puréed.
    • Add the egg and pulse until nearly a paste-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    • Line a baking sheet with parchment. Use a soup spoon to scoop out the meatballs, which should be about 1 1/2″ in diameter. You should get 16, and they will fit on one baking sheet.
    • Bake for 25 minutes, rotating at the halfway point. They should be a bit firm and have a nice crust on the outside.


Putting It Together!

  • Plate your sauteed squash like you would a pasta and top with the meatballs.  I sprinkled a little basil and truffle salt on top for added flavor, but feel free to season to your own tastes!  I also served mine with a side of sauteed kale and shallots.

Keep the Squash in Play!

Spaghetti squash is super delicious as a substitute in many pasta dishes.  I personally love sauce way more than the noodles so it’s always welcome on my plate.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is with my homemade tomato sauce topped with spicy sausage, basil and parmesan.  Yum!


Detox Day Uno: a delicious discovery. (+recipe!)

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] would be lying if I said I hadn’t spent a good chunk of the weekend eating up on things that I’ll be avoiding for the next couple weeks, namely pasta, burritos, red wine, pumpkin pie, chips and salsa, caffeinated beer (and let me tell you—whatta hangover!) and delicious raviolis + french cheese for what I’ve decided to call My Last Supper.


But I’ve said my goodbyes. The 2013 Detox is ON ON ON! On Saturday [hangover day] I researched lots of yummy recipes to carry me through the next two weeks. There is no reason that I should A. starve and B. eat tasteless food just because I’m cutting out most of the things we’re used to making our food delicious.

I learned my lesson last year that with out proper planning, this sort of detox can be very…bleak. So this year I’m changing all that and I kicked things off this morning with….wait for it… PANCAKES!!! Yes, pancakes!


Why are you giving me that side-eye? Nobody said that detoxing couldn’t be delicious. I’ve been sitting on this recipe from the Minimalist Baker and it’s the perfect morning addition to my new routine. Swapping apricots for chocolate chips and agave nectar for maple syrup, these pancakes were not just easy to make but 100% SCRUMPTIOUS. And filling.



Healthy + Hearty Pancakes

Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

1 very ripe medium banana
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon almond butter
1 Tablespoon canola (or coconut oil…and because I’m a hair blogger, of course I had some coconut oil lying around)
3 Tablespoons almond milk (or sub other milk)
1/2 cup rolled oats (or gluten free oats)
1/4 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour (I used garbanzo flour, which is gluten free!)
Handful of chopped dried apricots (here is where you can add whatever you’d like! If you’re not Detoxing, MB recommends chocolate chips!)


Preheat a skillet to medium heat or about 300-325 degrees.
Prepare flax egg by mixing flaxseed meal and water and letting set for 3-5 minutes.
Mash your very ripe banana with baking powder.
Add flax egg, oil, salt, vanilla, almond butter, almond milk and stir.
Stir in oats and flour until just combined.
Sprinkle in chocolate chips and fold gently.
Scoop scant 1/4 cup measurements onto lightly greased griddle.
Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side – until golden brown.
Serve plain or with a small drizzle of maple syrup and a few additional chocolate chips for melting.
Serving size: 3.5 pancakes Calories: 400 calories Fat: 18 g Sugar: 20 g Fiber: 6.5 Protein: 7 g
* Should yield 5-6 small pancakes.

If you’re in a time crunch, make the batter the night before. They cook right up in a matter of minutes!

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap]n preparation for the next couple weeks, I took a [very organized] trip to Rainbow Grocery last night where I stocked up on lots of bulk grains, gluten free flour, and produce for my eats. 2 weeks of grains and 1 week of fresh produce, not bad for under $60.


As I mentioned, the whole purpose of this detox is to bring awareness, intention and balance back into eating. Our eating habits are a direct result of the resources (both monetary and natural) that we have access to. In the same vein as my above photo of my groceries, I wanted to share a few photos from photographer Peter Wenzel who traveled the world taking photographs of families and their week’s worth of groceries. Please enjoy these images, learn from them and even if you’re not detoxing, let them help you bring awareness into your own consumption.









To see more images from the series (and how much each of these families spent!), check out this site. Here’s to getting the next couple weeks off on a good start!

Bourdain’ing My Way through Hawai’i

Right before Thanksgiving, I slipped over to Honolulu for a few days to visit a friend from college. While many people hit up the islands for the beaches and sunshine, I found myself enjoying a very different attraction: THE FOOD! Being that this friend of mine and I share a strong affinity for all things delicious, our time was spent shuttling from eatery to snack to restaurant to refrigerator to market and back again. I didn’t get much of a suntan, but I surrrrrre got my fill of some the best seafood I’ve ever had my entire life. This US State was filled with the flavors of Korea, Japan and China alongside it’s indigenous food traditions. Hope you’re ready for some food porn ’cause here’s rundown of my Hawaiian Eat-cation!


Nobu : Bluefin Tuna Tartare

IMG_5969 Our first stop for a special birthday dinner on Wakiki’s main drag. I loved this preparation of Tartare: reconstituted and served up in a flat puck shape in a delicious sauce and topped with caviar. We also enjoyed the Butterfish Misoyaki, Onaga Sashimi, Ahi Tataki Salad. Eat your heart out…cause I certainly did.

Seoul Garden : Spicy Steamed Butterfish with Daikon

IMG_1996 This was one of the best fish dishes I’ve had in my life. This flavorfully steamed fish was served up with with an army of traditional kimchi flanking its massive dish–enough to share for 2 or 3! The restaurant is 24-hours and we stopped thru at about 10am. Talk about a breakfast of champions!

Marukai : DIY Sushi

When you have access to some of the freshest and highest quality fish, you might as well take a chance at making your own Sashimi! At Marukai, an awesome Japanese grocery, Kawika picked up a couple cuts of fish including FARMED salmon and Hamachi . He sliced it up and served it with white rice, seaweed squares and one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my LIFE: Spicy Takuwan (Preserved Daikon). Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!

Ono Seafood : Ahi Tuna Poke

IMG_1988 How gorgeous is this ruby red morsel of tuna? It was one of the most photogenic subjects I’ve shot. This one-stop-shop was another winner in the fresh fish department! Like sashimi, Poke is raw fish, but in this preparation it’s mixed with seaweed, ginger, soy, roe and other ingredients. We grabbed a couple pints of the Shoyu Poke and the Spicy Ahi Poke with flying fish roe and set out for a picnic, packing chopstics, that delish Spicy Takuwan I was talking about, and rice to complete the meal.

Home Bar & Grill : Tater Tot Nachos

IMG_6081 I’d like to interrupt all the seafood with a little insertion of good ol’ bar food. I mean, really there is nothing like it. I’ve never had Tater Tot Nachos before and really it’s just a different way of serving up crispy potatoes with a grip of saucy toppings! What’s not to love? This place also has garlic edamame served up in all it’s buttery goodness and an awesome cocktail list.

Giovanni’s Food Truck : Food Carts!

IMG_2008 Hop in your car and head over to the North Shore of O’ahu. After enjoying gorgeous beach and mountain vistas as you wind your way around the island, you’ll hit an oasis of food trucks serving up Hawaiian treats. I’m used to corn being in season in the summer, but Hawaiian corn is at it’s peak in November. We tried our cobs roasted with parmesean and garlic. But the goodness didn’t stop there, I also got a fresh coconut, banana lumpia, and Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie from Ted’s Bakery.

Yunchan : Cold Noodle

IMG_6080Okay this dish was amazing. Your server brings over a bowl of what is best described as a Beef Stock Slushie (yes, like the kind you get at a 7-11…but beef! yes, it’s delicious). Then you add noodles and other pickled vegetables and eat it all with chopsticks. It was absolutely divine and such an interesting preparation! [/tab]

Fort Ruger Market : Traditional Hawaiian Eats!

IMG_6132 I saved traditional Hawaiian food for last and enjoyed this delectable lunch of Pork Laulau, Kalua pig, Lomi Salmon (tomato/onion salad with salmon), Haupia (coconut jello) and Pipikaula. The flavors are rich and the textures are unique!

Honorable Mentions

North Shore Grinds: A local favorite for “Plate Lunch”.  Try the Hamburger Steak, Chicken Long Rice, Lau Lau or the Chicken Katsu

BLT Steak: If you’re over on Waikiki and looking for some good  stick-to-your-bones American cooking, try the Chicken pate appetizer and make sure you try the Guyere Cheese Popovers.  Actually those popovers are unavoidable, but try to eat just one so you don’t fill up!

Rainbow Drive-in: Another great stop for Plate Lunch. Here we tried Boneless Fried Chicken Cutlet with Brown Gravy and Shoyu Chicken.

Sunrise Restaurant: For authentic Okinawan food, try this intimate family-owned restaurant. We tried the Oxtail Soup, Salmon and Mushroom Dynamite, Pork Kakuni (fatty pork cubes in teriyaki) and Hamachi Kama (yellowtail gill plate). Bonus: the owner comes out and plays his instrument. Extra bonus: your friend might dance for everybody. Extra extra bonus: this place is BYOB and even if you don’t bring your own drinkables, they usually have some extra in the back if you want to enjoy!

Kawika’s Dad’s House: So you might not get the invite to this one, but Kawika’s dad served us up an amazing meal on their Sunday Night Family Dinner. We dined on Marinated Korean Short ribs, Spicy cold leaf tripe appetizer, cold mushrooms with sesame oil and peppers, cold Miso Gobo (burdock root), Taegu (dried kimchi codfish), zuchinni jun (fritters), spicy tuna poke, spicy tako poke (octopus). My favorite was the Raw Kimchi white crab, which were just little raw crabs that you popped in your mouth (shell and all!) to suck the meat out. A little intimidating, but worth the effort!

Aside from the food, the rumors are true: Hawaii stunningly beautiful! I want to send a huge THANK YOU to Kawika for being a supremely excellent host and for sharing his home city with me in such an amazing way. Make sure you try out these eats as they’re not only local recommended, but also Cassidy approved!


Detox 2013: The Shopping List

Alright alright alright! The 2 week Detox + Rejuvenation is right around the corner! Over the weekend I’ll be picking up some staples to get me through. As I said, the list of no-no foods is pretty extensive, so rather than opening up your cupboards and getting depressed that it’s all off limits, the key is to be PROACTIVE by shopping in advance so you have the good stuff readily available.



Now before we get to the shopping list, once again, let’s review once again what we’re not going to be enjoying.

The No-No List

  • Processed foods or foods with preservatives or ingredients you cannot pronounce, identify or find in a dictionary
  • Wheat & other gluten rich grains (including: oats, farro barley, rye, kamut, spelt, triticale, )
  • Dairy (except, perhaps, fermented dairy)
  • Corn & Soy
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Nightshade Plants (tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, eggplants)

And….[drumroll please]…..

The Shopping List

Animal Proteins: With no red meat, you gotta think simple and nutrient rich!

  • Eggs
  • Smoked salmon
  • 1 whole chicken

Natural Proteins: one word— BEANS

  • Garbanzo beans (canned or dried)
  • Black beans (canned or dried)

The Grains: wave buh-bye to breads and pastas (but you’ll see in the recipes to come how we replace them!) and hello to:

  • Amaranth (found this on the ‘Tox last year.  It’s delightful and versatile!)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice

The Veggies: dive into this list with reckless abandon and buy your favorites!  Here are some of mine:

  • Kale
  • Spaghetti squash (!!!!!!!)
  • Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Celery


Fruits: go for the fresh one’s and if they’re dried make sure there’s NO added sugar!  Check labels!  Again my favorites: 

  • Dried apricots
  • Apples
  • Satsuma tangerines
  • Persimmons
  • Bananas


  • Almond milk
  • Herbal tea (and lots of it!)
  • So. Much. Water.


  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Hummus

So there you have it! I’ll be scooting around town this weekend filling my cupboards to get a start for Monday!  Hit up your local markets and join along for the ride….I promise it will be welllllllll worth it!!




Join Me for a New Year’s Detox + Rejuvenation Program!

H-H-H-H-HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!  I’m not much a resolution person, but I do like to take the flipping of the old calendar to hit the reset button of life and start the year off by focusing on getting back to the routines I love.

Last year, after feeling over indulged from the holidays, I decided to do a four week detox and rejuvenation plan under the expertise and tutelage of Sugarpill Apothecary in Seattle. It was hard.

Like really hard.

But come the month of February I had that super smug-faced glow that only means one thing: I JUST DETOXED AND I FEEL GREAT! While the list of restrictive foods is lengthy, what I really got out of it was not just a cleansed body, but also more mindfulness about what I consume. It was this awareness that made the detox experience worth it.

It’s also why I’m doing it again!

January is just around the corner, and by the time you’re reading this it’s probably HERE.  The 4-week Detox was a bit aggressive, so I am just going to do 2. Wanna join? Here’s the plan:

TIME FRAME: Sunday, January 6th – Saturday, January 19th

THE RUNDOWN: This goal of this detox is to consume pure, natural and clean foods that have little to no inflammatory tendencies or are difficult for those who have food sensitivities to digest including:

  • Processed foods or foods with preservatives or ingredients you cannot pronounce, identify or find in a dictionary
  • Wheat & other gluten rich grains (barley, rye, kamut, spelt, triticale)
  • Dairy (except, perhaps, fermented dairy)
  • Corn & Soy
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Nightshade Plants (tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, eggplants)

Adios my lovely peppers and tomatoes! I’ll see you in a couple weeks!

If you’re like me, you’re probably looking at that list thinking “uh, well, what CAN I eat then!!?  Leading up to the ‘Tox on January 7th, I’ll post my little shopping list and a couple recipe ideas that will help get you through!  A life with out caffeine and sandwiches!?  As I said, it’s HARD, but it’s definitely do able!

Here’s to 2013 and getting thing off on a good foot!

And So It Begins…Holiday Party Season

I  love this time of year!  There’s so many fun activities all geared towards enjoying the company with friends and family.  Unfortunately all the eating, drinking and being merry can come with a lot of excess calories!  This year, I’ve resolved to head into Holiday Party Season and come out the other side without having to take things up a dress size.  Here’s how I plan on doing it STARTING TONIGHT!

  • Eat before I Meet’n’Greet: I’ll be significantly less interested in the hors d’oeuvres table if I arrive to my events with a healthfully filled tummy. I plan on cooking a protein-filled meal with lots of veggies BEFORE I get there, rather than relying on cheeses, desserts, and other fatty foods to fill me up for dinner.
  • Keep It Clear + No BEER: Drinking beer is the fastest way to expand my belly.  This year, I’ll be sticking to clear liquors mixed with club soda + lime and wine at the cocktail parties.  Although I love them, I’m going to be saying no way to the IPA’s. Wompwomp.
  • Work It Out: with all this time off, there’s really NO excuse to start skipping workouts!  My plan is to just get up and do at least 30 minutes of physical activity first thing in the morning so I can continue on with my day sans souci!
  • Contribute to the cause: If I’m headed into a meal that I’m worried might not have healthy options, I’ll bring my own — PLUS enough to share!  That way, I know there’s something healthful and delicious that I can fill up on.
  • Stay Social – Interestingly enough, writing and sharing my challenges here on my blog and on social media helps to keep me accountable, so I’ll be posting all about it!  If not here, then on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If you want a partner in healthy crime, leave a message in the comments and I’ll be sure to help keep you accountable to your goals too!  It really takes a village, all!




Brown Girl Bliss: recap + gallery

ANOTHER EVENT FOR THE BOOKS!  Brown Girl Bliss was this past Saturday and absolutely knocked all of my (and perhaps all of OUR) expectations out of the park.  I’ve hosted and attended many events in my day, but none of them have been as inspiring and fulfilling as Brown Girl Bliss.  I mean, this one had it all: FASHION! FOOD! YOGA! SEX! DANCE! Basically everything I love in the world.

Highlights include:

  • Kicking things off in the morning with an amazingly invigorating yoga practice with Heather of BodaBodaYoga.  As I said once we finished “seeing a bunch of chocolate faces in Warrior II is a rare sight to behold, but truly warmed my heart.”
  • The HONEY HUMMUS!  Holy crap, the Apothocurious-catered lunch was nutritious AND delicious!
  • Learning tips and techniques from Diana Rodriguez of Balanced + Beautiful about how to maintain a balanced eating regimen.  One of the tricks I’ve already even used!!  Try it yourself: rather than topping pasta with sauce, use pasta like “croutons” to top the sauce.  This will keep your meal veggie-heavy and gluten/wheat-light!
  • Having Nenna Joiner of FeelMore510 create an honest and open dialogue about everyone’s favorite, but not openly discussed subject: SEX!  It was a no-holds-barred conversation in a safe space where people were asking, sharing and learning.  This discussion definitely made me realize that as black women we need more sex-positive conversation that isn’t just about AIDS, prostitution, rape and other unsavory matters.
  • Learning from Jennifer, a rep from Rodan+Fields, that sulfur is used as an acne treatment!  Sulfur is always popping up in hair and skincare products, which makes me want to know more about it!
  • Felicia Leatherwood, not just dropping her unparalleled knowledge about natural hair during her presentation, but being one of the most engaging attendees throughout the entire event!  From Downward Dog onward, Felicia was one blissed out Brown Girl!
  • SWEATING. IT. OUT. for Hipline’s Shimmy Pop class!  When was the last time you were at an event that had you drop it like it was hot during 45 straight minutes of cardio.  And by “sweating” I mean “glossing”…because Hipline girls don’t sweat, they get glossy.  Obvi.
  • Ooh’ing and aah’ing over the fashion spectacular presented by Sway Boutique, EVarize and Amber Aaron.  Can you say serious sartorial savvy?
  • Nibbling on Nothing Bundt Cakes and sipping on champagne while listening to Stephen Satterfield share his epicurean prowess and answering some need-to-know information on vino and vittles.

All in all, it was an exhilarating and exhausting 8 hours (I mean, did I mention that 45 minutes of dance cardio!?)—-but I loved every second of it.  Everyone that was in attendance was raving about the experience, stating that we MUST do it again.  Stay tuned for a survey coming soon because if we do it again, we want to hear from you about what you liked and didn’t like. Even if you didn’t attend and even if you don’t live in the Bay Area— we will want to hear from you!


Now, without further ado—- the BGBG (Brown Girl Bliss Gallery):

Special thanks to my co-organizer Heather for her tireless effort in pulling this off!  Brown Girls everywhere are about to owe a lot to you! ;)

To those that attended—my we had fun didn’t we??!  Thanks for coming and supporting this event and bringing your infectious energy and smiles.  You made it the special experience that it was!

To those that couldn’t make it— you were missed!  But hopefully you won’t miss the next one :)

Announcing: BROWN GIRL BLISS! Saturday October 13th

Those who attended Fall Into Natural this past Sunday were the first to her the exciting announcement of the next event I’m hosting called Brown Girl Bliss!  Brown Girl Bliss was inspired by a desire to host an event geared not just towards the natural hair movement and the hairstyles that go along with it, but the entire LIFESTYLE.

In collaboration with Heather of BodaBodaYoga, we created a day-long retreat for women of all multi ethnic backgrounds that will include everything yoga to dance to nutrition to sex to wine and yes, of course, natural hair.  The schedule includes interactive presentations and demonstrations with some of the most inspiring brown girls out there including:

  • Morning Yoga Flow –  Lead by Heather of BodaBodaYoga, this energetic yoga practice designed for newbies and experts alike will leave you invigorated, awake and smiling! No experience required.
  • Loving Your Hair With Natural Care – The world-renowned natural hair care workshop lead by celebrity stylist and product expert Felicia Leatherwood
  • Feed Your Soul-  Don’t just diet, learn to eat for your complete well being in this informative workshop + Q&A session with Diana Rodriguez of Beautiful and Balanced
  • Old Sexual Practices Made New- A discussion about trends in sex and sexuality facilitated by Nenna Joiner, owner of Oakland’s premiere adult boutique, FeelMore 510
  • Feed Your Soul, a guide to eating not just for a diet, but your entire well-being with Diana Rodriguez of Beautiful and Balanced
  • Brown Girl Shimmy Pop- Get ready for what is best described as “a dance party with all your girlfriends” lead by the fabulous instructors of Hipline Dance Studio.
  • BrownGirlCouture- fashion shows presented by Sway Boutique styled by Amber Aaron and local designer EVarize
  • Wine Time– A guided wine tasting and champagne toast to end the day led by local wine and food connoisseur Stephen Satterfield of San Francisco’s NOPA.

All of this is going down at the fabulous CityLine Event Center right on the Oakland/Emeryville border. Tickets are $50 and all inclusive of the workshops, lunch, snacks and goodie bags! There are a seriously limited amount available, so be sure to buy them early! I really hope you can make it, this is going to be a fabulously blissful event!!

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