Tag Archives: juice feast

Brunch #40 @ Sun In Bloom – A Delicious Fall Brunch Menu, Courage, Growth & a Powerful Shift.

While in savasana in my Bikram yoga class today, I was crafting a letter to my teacher, who I hold as one of my most influential teachers.  Every time I am in her class, I reflect on the space of encouragement, truth, and unconditional love she holds for her students that ignited my flame back in 2005.  6 months later I quit my job, gave up my NYC apartment, unloaded all of my belongings, and packed 2 duffle bags for my journey to LA where I would learn from Bikram Choudhary.  It was the first journey in my life I’d embark on without a plan.  I only knew I’d be living and breathing yoga for 9 weeks.  It was a journey of letting go, releasing my story of trauma, choosing sobriety, all in hopes that I could learn how to love myself. 

Almost 7 years later (today), I walk out of my loving teacher’s class and she thanks me with deep gratitude for being a seed of courage for her – for my understanding of what this means, how the courage takes root, feels, and manifests deep within the fibers of our being. 

I giggled and shared with her that throughout the class I was reflecting on how she feeds me courage.  And here’s just another event in my life that reminds me how we are all one.  When we are open to each other, we are each other’s teachers.  We are mirrors for one another.  If we are willing to release our fear to stand in our own truth, I believe love becomes abundant, accessible, and spills into every facet of our life.  With this vulnerability, we begin to love ourselves.

My goal was to go 60 days on just juice.  After 31 days I stopped counting.  I think I juiced for 35 – 40 days.  During the juice feast, I experienced profound shifts.  I’ve maintained almost a daily Bikram yoga practice.  I’ve been making it to the gym 3-5 times a week.  I’m nourishing my body from the inside out.  I’ve been in constant action.  My body is opening up.  Everyday in yoga, I’m in awe of my increased flexibility.  I recognize my reflection in the mirror.  The bags under my eyes are disappearing.  I feel reconnected to my faith.  I feel more trusting to the process.  There has been a letting go of fear.  I’m more at ease.  Everyday challenges no longer throw me off.  I feel deeply connected to my gratitude.  Where I’d normally turn my back and run, I’ve stood in my discomfort and created an opportunity to grow.  I know I have a lot of love to share and I’m not holding back.  I also allow myself to feel my pain and move through it until I come back to that special sweet spot of unconditional love… for myself and others.

My intention for just drinking juice was to create space for me to come back to feeling aligned and confident with my purpose.  I did not want it to become a count down to the day I could chew solid food again and treat myself to something sweet.  It was about creating positive patterns; re-training myself to nourish my body, mind, and spirit and drinking the magic juice.

So, when I started to experience some weakness in my yoga practice and with my workouts somewhere around day 35-40, I decided to transition slowly back into consuming food with fiber – first with just juice and shakes.  Today, I’m drinking 1-2 quarts of green juice everyday with a midday meal.  My body craves our Sweet Lady Green and I now treat myself like a Sun In Bloom guest and put my order in for a week supply of juice every Monday.  I know this juice is a key to me living my best life possible.

And just after I made this contract with myself to drink at least 2 organic cold-pressed Norwalk green juices everyday, I received an email from my special teacher requesting to purchase a month of Sun In Bloom’s green juices to support her in drinking 2 a day.  Yes, we are all connected. 

We look forward to seeing you this weekend for brunch or whenever the time is right for you to return to Sun In Bloom.  We are always here for you.  And, now open 7 days a week!

Wishing you abundant joy, pleasure, and love in your life.

Love,

Aimee

Brunch #39 @ Sun In Bloom – Magic, Synergy, Green Juice & a Record Breaking Saturday!

 Written Sunday, October 2, 2011

I’ve been meaning to sit down all week to construct this newsletter, but I’ve been in a magical dance of being present… allowing each moment to move me forward.
 
I’ve also been juice feasting and on a journey I refer to as the HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure and somewhere on day 35 or so. I’ve lost count.
 
In my latest blog post, I wrote about the challenges I faced when Sun In Bloom’s head line chef was out sick for a week. I shared how I steered my challenges from self-sabotage to opportunity.
 
For me, everyday is a challenge. But, what I’ve finally come to feel deeply re-connected to is how much joy, happiness, and freedom I feel when I choose to see all the possibility and opportunity that is presented in every challenge. 
 

Brunch Tart – Butternut Squash, Shitake Bacon, Caramelized Onions

I remain very committed to my juicing, but I’m also super dedicated to Sun In Bloom and my commitment to offer the most delicious experience. I guess you can say I’m an extremist. When I do something, it’s ALL or NOTHING.
 
So, with the shift in seasons, I’ve been working on some new recipes and dishes. When I decided to taste a recipe, for a moment, I felt that I sabotaged the juice feast. Like I was no longer clean and would have to start all over again…
 
But something deep within me profoundly shifted and I started relating to myself in loving, gentle, and accepting way. It was in this shift that I decided I can continue my juice feast while tasting recipes when it’s appropriate and necessary. I can continue detoxifying my body and mind, and experience all the healing from this juice feast even if I have to taste a soup recipe or new sauce. This shift from living with an extremist perspective (all or nothing) to being gently and loving with myself marks an evolution in the fabric of my being. I really feel that I am turning the page to a new and exciting chapter of my life. Thank you Sweet Lady Green Juice! (btw, I created a new recipe with green apple and lime – SO delicious!)  
 


Today was a record breaking Saturday at Sun In Bloom. We now have to maintain a wait list for brunch!
 
I can’t explain the depth of gratitude I feel for what I witness happening at the restaurant. I can see the vibrations of our guests rise in reflection to their experience eating our food. And the love and gratitude we feel from each guest is fueling Sun In Bloom to go higher and give it all back in the food we create and serve. Together we create this amazing synergy. Thank you for participating and sharing your energy with us. Together, we can create change in our world and support each other to live our best lives possible. 
 
If it’s been a while since you’ve dined at Sun In Bloom, I hope you will come soon to say hello and witness the magic that is being created. 
 


Also, if you are interested in learning more about cleansing, my wonderful friend John Rosania of Dr. Junger’s CLEAN team and I are going to lead another CLEAN cleanse. Please email me (info@suninbloom.com) if you’d like to join us. It’s a 21-day cleansing program that includes food, shakes, and juice. 
 
CLEAN is the cleansing program that I attribute to saving my life when I hit rock bottom. I found it to be completely accessible at a time when my attention was focused on how sick and tired I felt and there was no hope. My experience with the CLEAN cleanse gave me my health back and helped me see that if I make my health my number one priority, everything else in my life will fall into place. 
 
Love, Aimee
 
p.s. If you are on Facebook, please support us by LIKING our page. You can also follow Sun In Bloom on Twitter @suninbloom
This is where I share everyday news and pictures of our dishes.  I’m having lot of fun connecting with like-minded people and meeting wonderful new friends.  It would be fun to connect with you here too!  

Day 11: HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure… Releasing sabotaging beliefs.

Day 11: HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure.

Yes, life is an adventure! And the story we tell ourselves is the basis of our lives.

Over the past couple days, I’ve felt this powerful letting go of attachment to both how I identify myself and sabotaging beliefs.  It feels like the clouds are separating after a big storm and an awe inspiring light is beaming through; a mesmerizing light that captures only what is present and all fear, worries, and the chattering mind become still.

Clouds Light

Before opening Sun In Bloom, my identity was Aimee Follette, the Bikram Yoga teacher. Previous to teaching yoga, my identity was Aimee Follette, the publicist and marketing director for the Fox Theatre, a music venue in Boulder, Colorado. And prior to this identity, I was Aimee Follette the girl who was going to go to medical school and become a doctor.

In college, I was living multiple lives as I juggled my identities of being a talented art student, psychology student, 4.0 pre-med student, girlfriend to an extremely abusive boyfriend, domestic violence counselor, and secret addict on the side.  A dark multi-identity, I know -  not the woman I see myself as today.

High school was another confusing chapter. My parents and I clashed. They didn’t understand me; I did not understand them. We were all frustrated, angry and it was just a really sad era of my life as I tried to navigate my identity as a teenager, balancing my desire to be the “smart” girl and the “popular” girl. Being an over-achiever and wanting to be liked turned into a mega-mess.

Amazing moment captured of me in awe of my little sisters tiny fingers. I am 5 years old.

I am the eldest of 3 sisters. I can recall my parents telling me at seven years old that I was suppose to be the “good example” for my sisters. I always felt wrong. I was responsible for all of the bickering, fighting, conflict, and unhappiness in my family.

Growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts for the first 5 years of my life, we had a beautiful back yard that met up with 4 neighbor’s yards. My parents tell me I was visiting with neighbors from the time I could crawl.  And some of my fondest memories are with these people that I only knew in my earliest years of life.  I also remember imagining and wishing at this time that I had a different family. I wanted a perfect family with happy parents who acknowledged me and gave me attention and affection.  I wanted to feel loved.

Pictures capture a very different story! How could this little girl possibly feel unloved?

This is a story – a little girls interpretation of a series of events that she strung together to create the basis of her life.  And from my interpretations, I created a belief that my parents did not love me the way I wanted them to.  This led to complex insecurities that I’ve carried with me through out my life and that have played a large part in the story I’ve created.

My parents are amazing – the most intelligent, loving, and generous people I know.  I revere both my Mom and Dad for their individual talents and accomplishments in life as both parents and active members in society. And I feel gratitude every day to them for giving me life.

Our relationship today is a different story from the one I tell above. It’s the story of a girl with two perfect parents who love her very much.

Family dinner at Caravan of Dreams... look at all the orbs! Yes, we are truly happy.

As soon as I became conscious of my true identity, the essence of who I really am, I freed myself of the “baggage”.  It’s been amazing to experience life living out-loud, standing in my truth, and being me. Sharing my life without apprehension or fear that I am not living up to the “identity” I imagined my parents wanted me to have has opened up the possibility for me to experience a truly loving relationship with them.

But, when I opened Sun In Bloom, I relapsed back into insecurities, as I attached meaning to events, like the criticism, judgment and feedback I received from the public.  And as I allowed negative beliefs to take root in my body,  I succumbed to their power to cause dis-ease (in my case – hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, candida, chronic fatigue).

Breaking free of sabotaging beliefs can feel like you are taking on a massive war by yourself – you against a zillion powerless thoughts that consume your mind at every moment.  But as I became more aware that I was allowing these beliefs to control my life in every aspect, I listened to my gut and followed the calling I felt to juice for 60 days and take control for how I feel in my life.  Day 11, I can’t even begin to explain in words the love and courage I feel and how they overshadow the moments of fear I continue to experience.

Waking up on this rainy day was magic. My body, mind and spirit were equally energized. I drank 32 ounces of green juice, tacked my messy room and made it to my 10 AM yoga class.

Practicing Bikram Yoga has saved me at different points in my life and today’s practice was very special.  For the first time since I returned to my practice after being out of the room for nearly a year, I felt empowered as I looked into my reflection in the mirror.  My body felt strong and flexible.  Pre-cleanse, I’d have minor panic attacks looking at my reflection when I would see a body that was inflamed and tired.  My mind didn’t give up in eagle.  I went into the depth of the posture where I had left off two years ago.  My spirit felt happy, joyful, and love.  I’ve practiced nearly every day while drinking only fresh pressed organic juice, which is what my body has desired.  I know I want to experience my life having a mind-body connection.  It is in this space of connection when I am not only feeling optimal health, but I am happy.

Love is a powerful experience.  Detaching from the meaning we’ve given to events in our lives will make room for new beliefs and the possibility to create a story we want to tell the world.  And I dream everyone will allow him or herself to be vulnerable enough to feel love, see that events have no inherent meaning, and experience the story they truly want to live.

Love, Aimee

P.s. My Mom just informed me that my Dad is moving towards a vegan lifestyle. Amazing! I do not push my beliefs onto my parents. I only share my experiences and information. And my Mom is making green smoothies in the Vita Mix she gifted herself with the one she gave me as a birthday gift three years ago. If you read this Mom and Dad, I love you!

Day 7: HOT Raw & Juice Adventure… Winds of Change are blowing.

The winds of change are blowing.  I embarked on a 60-day juice feast last week and tomorrow marks my 8th day of consuming only juice (3 QTS of Sun In Bloom’s Sweet Lady Green & another QT of a creative blend).  The shifts I’m experiencing are profound.

My fridge ;)

I’ve always lived an inspired and charmed life – voraciously following my heart and chasing my passions.  And this approach to life has led to a storybook loaded with over-the-top exciting adventures, and many struggles.

Life is a duality.

“You have the option to focus on what you want or the absence of what you want. You can tell what choice you are making by the way you are feeling.  And you can constantly change your choice.”  – Ester Hicks

Jumping into this juice feast was not a quick, unplanned or irrational reaction to my struggles.  It is something I’ve had the desire to do with integrity for a couple years.  The calling just intensified when I lost my balance in the latest chapter – Girl takes leap of faith to follow dream and opens off-the-grid restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Sun In Bloom - 460 Bergen Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn

I’ve attempted to make the commitment to an extended juice feast several times this past year.  Yet, each time I backed out with “very good” reason.  Although I’ve consciously been making healthier choices for myself to achieve balance, I’ve felt trapped in a body that does not feel like mine, my energy levels continue to decline, and I’ve succumbed to feelings of depression.  On my worst days, I felt dead.

So, why do some of us have to fall down  (really, really hard)… possibly even face death before we decide to scrape ourselves from the floor to make a significant life change that will completely alter how we look, feel and interact with the world? 

The story we tell ourselves is the basis of our lives.  And, if I continued to focus on how much my body hurt, exhausted I am, or imbalanced my life is, I realize I will continue to be unsuccessful in living the life I desire to experience.

Unhappiness does not align with the essence of who I am.  When I became aware that thoughts of self-doubt and fear are misaligned with my inner being, the idea of embarking on a 60-day juice feast became a very exciting fun opportunity, surrounded by light.  With alignment there are endless possibilities!  So, during these past 8 days, I wake up and consciously choose to face my day with courage and do the work I must do to live the extraordinary life I deserve to experience.

I share my experience with the hope that maybe one person will connect with my story and realize you are not alone.  We all deserve to live healthy, happy, joyful lives.

Brunch at Sun In Bloom - Delicous Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes!

Hope to see you for brunch!  I dreamed up a spiced cream of cauliflower soup that Byron made today.  I tasted a teaspoon to offer feedback and I was overjoyed by how it took on the flavors of the stock I imagined it would.  We are going to have a very creative Fall at Sun In Bloom!  Also, stay tuned – I am hoping to reopen on Tuesdays this month.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Aimee

Day 5: HOT Raw & Juicy Adventure – Freedom… Continuous Surprise.

“Life is not a science; it is not a cause-and-effect chain.  Heat the water to a hundred degrees and it evaporates – it is a certainty.  But in real life, nothing is certain like that.” OSHO

It seems most people who embark on juice feasts keep a daily record of the LBS they melt away and inches lost in addition to the wonderful emotional and spiritual expansion they experience.  All of these stories inspire me.  However, I have yet to weigh in or wrap a tape measure around my waste, thighs, or arms.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether tracking these stats is important or not.

Weigh In? Or Not Weigh In?

Well, today I’ve decided that I am not going to weigh in.  For me, looking down at the scale to see a number different from the number I’ve felt most comfortable at brings anxiety right up to the surface; it’s always a set back for me.

And this adventure is about feeling, being HOT.  So, when I woke up feeling energized for the first time in almost 2 years and was ready to hit the gym, run around the loop at Prospect Park or sweat and meditate at my Bikram Yoga class, I realized this is what being HOT is for me and I’ll just continue riding this wave.  Whereas looking at a scale, might just sabotage the elation.

I arrived at the decision to embark on this adventure not just because I’ve put on about 20 LBS since opening the restaurant, but I’ve been carrying an extreme load of stress, worry, anxiety and fear everywhere I go.  I’ve felt separated from my connection with the divine… my faith and trust that when I am following my intuition and heart, life unfolds in the most beautiful perfect way.

I’m 100% confident that these negative emotions are the roots to my bodies physical changes.  And although I do not expect these emotions to disappear from my life experience,  I am committed to strengthening my courage so it can fiercely look at fear in the eye and move beyond it.

Yes!  This journey is about creating space for courage, love, happiness, trust and faith.  And when I dance in a space of unconditional love, I am proud of the reflection I witness – truth and authenticity.  This is when I know my body is absolutely perfect and I am HOT!

Strength & Courage

As we come into alignment with our essence, extra body weight will melt away. A stressed body contracts, and contraction leads to an acidic body.  So, the more acidic our bodies are, the more fat we retain to protect our organs.

So, I’m grateful my body so intelligently responded to the stress I’ve been under.  And now, just 5 days into my juice feast, my body is already transforming (lighter, brighter, more energized).  This is marvelous!

And I’m most likely consistently consuming more calories a day than I have in a very long time.  I am definitely nourishing it with more minerals and nutrients than it’s had the opportunity to soak up in many moons.  Today my courage feels stronger.  I’m LOVING my HOT Raw & Juicy Adventure.

Pre -HOT Raw & Juicy Adventure:

Breakfast: Too busy too think about that.

Lunch: What, lunch?

Dinner (8 PM): Bella Divine (massaged kale salad w/ avocado)

Snacks: Sips of Smoothie overflow, handful of live granola, spicy lemonades.  And, if uber stressed and exhausted… couple dates.

HOT Raw & Juicy Adventure:

Pre-Breakfast: Spicy Lemonade

Breakfast: 1 QT Sweet Lady Green

Lunch: 1 QT Sweet Lady Green

Dinner: 1 QT Sweet Lady Green

Snacks: Watermelon Juice, Carrot Juice, and Coconut Water

Green Juice Illuminated! My cells are dancing.

You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous

You cannot be loving is your are not courageous

You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous

You cannot inquire into reality if you are not courageous

Hence courage comes first

and everything else follows

OSHO

I am incredibly grateful for your support and I am grateful this space exists for me to explore my courage.

Love, Aimee

Brunch #34 – Nourish Body & Soul

I can’t believe I am writing a newsletter for brunch #34… which means there are only 18 brunches that remain in 2011!  So, I suppose it’s only fitting I share with you the intention I’m setting for a journey I’ll embark on next week with my friend Susan Scharf MD.  She is a local integrative practicioner specializing in functional medicine.
I’ve had a very deep desire to do a juice feast for several years.  And I go back and forth on this idea all the time… is it really healthy?  Is it possible to do this being I am the chef of a restaurant?  Am I just setting myself up for failure?  Am I just looking for a quick fix?  Is this really the example I want to set?

Excuses, justification, and a million reasons later why I should not do this, I’ve come to the clear and confident decision that I am going to embark on a 60 day juice feast.  Yes, a feast – 4 quarts of organic juice daily.  (I will be doing this extended cleanse with supplements and the guidance of a physician.) 

I’ve talked about the aches and pains of opening a restaurant, my frustrations with my personal health, and the sacrafices I’ve made and how it’s affected how I am experiencing my life.  My focus has been on the eight hundred backward steps I’ve taken and how hard it’s going to be to put my life back on track to my dreams.
But, yet another wonderful epiphany led me to realize all of my efforts have moved me forward.  Yes, I have some battle scars from falling, but every time I fall I get back up and continue on my journey.
What I now see with so much clarity is that this process of opening Sun In Bloom has just been another life test that has helped further peel away layers that cushion me from facing the deepest traumas, fear, and emotional pain eye-to-eye.
 
I did a 30 day juice feast several years ago and it refreshed me and set me up for some of the most wonderful years of my life.  In fact, I am 100% confident Sun In Bloom was born because I was in the midst of a very deep cleanse that involved juice, raw food, and daily meditation – my whole focus was to practice being present every day, every moment.  It brought me into a truly extraordinary place.  But, for some reason, I’ve been terrified to fulfill my deep desire to complete a 60-day juice feast.
So, now that I’m aware of the obstacle, I’m ready to do this.  And, it’s going to be fun! 
My intention is to bathe every cell in a green alkalizing juice bath – beautiful minerals and nutrients supporting them to release toxins and preform all of their functions optimally. 
My intention is to take the time to lovingly nourish my body. 
My intention is to sit with anxiety, feel the anxiety rise in my body, and sit with it until it passes. 
My intention is to truly reconnect to my faith in this journey and create space for the opportunity to live the most extraordinary life possible and experience optimal health. 

Dr. Susan Scharf and I are both passionate women and have invested the majority of our lives in taking care of others.  We’ve both known for a very long time that we have to invest in ourselves as much as we do in others, but this is always easier said than done.  Maybe you can relate?  So, we decided to take an oath and support each other on the journey. I will be juicing and Susan is transitioning into eating only raw foods for 60 days. If you have any desire to experience the true healing from cleansing, please join us for any length of time you want.  I work with people individually to design 3-10 day cleanses.  Everyone who has done a Sun In Bloom cleanse has had a remarkable experience and I know you will also feel empowered to live your best life possible too.

 
Sun In Bloom will have a happy hour to kick-off our exciting journey with samples of the juice we will nourish ourselves with.  Come wish us luck at Sun In Bloom, next Friday, August 26 from 5-7 PM as we embark on this adventure.  
In the meantime, treat yourself, family and friends to a nourishing brunch at Sun In Bloom.  It is our absolute pleasure serving you.

Love,
Aimee