Tag Archives: vegan

Brunch #50… 8 Days until we tear the house down, rebuilding thought patterns, choosing love.

Good morning,

How much fun would it be if we tear down the framework of the titles we box ourselves into to explore pleasure and be more playful in our lives?  

I am so humbled by my experience at Sun In Bloom.  Everyday I receive notes and messages from people who’ve discovered Sun In Bloom and write to share how their experience affected them.

“Sweet Aimee! i just got back from overseas and am craving your amazing #glutenfree chocolate chip cookie sandwich like *crazy* tonight (usually it is your kale salad, sweet lady greens, impossibly delicious raw sauerkraut, etc) … just thought i would let you know, you fuel the desires and dreams of many…..” – Sun In Bloom Guest, Ford

COURAGE

“Hello! This might seem a little odd, but I ate at your restaurant once over the summer, and I fell absolutely, 100% in love with the food — so much so that I almost wanted to skip my plane out of New York that afternoon and just ask to volunteer and help you out for a while ;) (unfortunately, didn’t have the courage to ask!)” – Sun In Bloom Guest, Sarah

Falling into the traps of my self-limiting belief patterns that focus so intensely on the challenge, sacrifice, long hard road comes very easy to me.  But, life is just too short to succumb to old belief patterns that eclipse possibility.

Releasing these beliefs is my biggest desire and always a work in progress.

But in just 8 days, we are tearing the house down to rebuild.  I am so excited!  This is monumental for me and a symbol for letting go of inhibitions and fear to create space for possibility, growth, love and build a new structure for my personal beliefs.

Sun In Bloom – Brunch #50

Saturday & Sunday, December 17 & 18, 2011

10 AM – 5 PM

This weekend is big… it’s our 50th brunch in 2011!  I am in awe of what Sun In Bloom has brought to the Park Slope community and all of the support and love that you extend to us.  I am deeply grateful for the team we have here who give their all to ensure your experience is amazing.  And, I am thankful that everyday you encourage me to continue because of your deep gratitude for the color we add to your life.

My intention was to create an inviting space that offers people the experience of delicious food – food that is created with the intention to nourish and support a healthy body, mind and spirit, and a space you can just BE in.   

Although I choose to live a vegan lifestyle because this is what feels right for me, I am not here to judge you and say what works for me is right for you.  And what has been most fulfilling in my journey is that 98% of our repeating everyday guests are NOT vegan.  Yes, they eat meat and they LOVE Sun In Bloom’s cuisine!

So, I just want to extend the invitation to you to introduce Sun In Bloom to your friends and family who are ravishing meat eating self-proclaimed carnivores… they might discover that veggies, fruit, bean, and whole grains are quite delicious and satisfying and that they can eat meat and veggies too.   

Shitake Mushroom BLT

The Shitake BLT always wins the “meat-eater” over, as every weekend people tell me it tastes just like bacon.  Even mushroom haters love it!

It might be a fun experiment to spend a day where you tear down the framework of titles to explore pleasure, release judgement, and do things that stretch you to be completely playful.  

Happy holidays!

***Just an important reminder… Because renovations will not affect our kitchen, we want to create the opportunity to support you to jumpstart 2012. We will be here to help you make healthy food choices by offering juice, meal plans and orders to-go. You can either pick up food or we can deliver. Norwalk pressed juices are fresh for 3 days and most food can be packaged and is delicious for 3-5 days. Please stop by to pick up an order form and help support us through this transition.  You can also email us for a copy.  It’s important we know in advance that you will want Sun In Bloom food during these weeks so that we can staff appropriately.
Sending this with so much 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!

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 15: HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure – Vote with your dollar, choose your best life possible!

Today marks a quarter of the way to the finish line – 60 days of just juice.

Fountain of a Radiant Life

I have more energy than I know what to do with.  I’ve completed projects that I’ve procrastinated on for the past year and half.  I’ve been practicing Bikram Yoga daily.  I’m  running at the gym.  I’ve even entertained extreme ab exercises with the help of Crunch fitness super-hero, Jake.  (Even when I was in my best shape ever, with a 6 pack, I routinely avoided ALL ab strengthening exercises.)  Oh… And, I continue to work my normal 7-day a week schedule at the restaurant.  Truly… I am doing ALL of this with ease and just juice.

Juice + Weights = HOT

Fasting, juicing, detoxifying… these practices are not new for me.  My body has a lot of experience cleansing and I’ve always had remarkable results.  However, I have not cleansed my body like this since opening Sun In Bloom and frankly, I was terrified. 

How am I going to possibly have the energy to make it through my days at the restaurant and manage all the other balls in the air just drinking juice? 

But, while on this quest to re-align with my true essence, body, and happiness, I followed the calling to just do it.

This past week has been particularly fulfilling for me.  Before juicing, I hid – not just from the world, but from myself.  I had stopped exploring the world, I did not maintain my physical activity, nor did I have any desire to fill my brain any more than I felt it was already full. 

But, I’ve always been a voracious reader and seeker of information on topics that I am passionate about, anything that will support me to live my best life possible.  So, hiding and my lack of curiosity was just part of the deep depression I had allowed myself to fall into.   

A remarkable documentary that will arm you with knowlege and inspire.

This past week was amazing.  I’m in awe of what I’ve accomplished.  A bit taken aback as I write it because I haven’t been keeping track, I’ve just been in action.  

I went to the movies with a friend, took Jodie (Sun In Bloom’s new extraordiary and very special front of the house manager) on a tour of raw food stores in Manhattan during the massive rain storm on Tuesday, read OSHO’s essay on Courage, watched CNN’s program called “The Last Heart Attack” and studied 3 documentaries – Forks Over Knives, Deconstructing Supper, and biography: Ben & JerryAnd I recommend you watch these too!  Not because I want to tell you what to do, how to live your life, what’s best for your family, but because I think we’ve been grossly misled to believe today’s food practices are normal and yet, our beliefs and attachment or addiction to food is what is killing us.  Yes, it’s the cause of dis-ease and emotional imbalance.  And I just want you to know what your options are.

 Today, there’s heaps of accessible information (books, films, blogs, people’s personal experiences, research, yes… loads of both clinical and laboratory research that show us the effects of all the toxins we are eating every day.)

 And I know for many this feels overwhelming.  But, we all have the power to create change.  Everyday, with every purchase, we vote with our dollar.

Your dollar is your vote. Spend it mindfully.

 The more knowledge I arm myself with regarding non-organic and GMO foods, the more energized I become to get involved in the politics to protect our organic foods and to get real food onto the plates of our children.

 The most exciting news I received this week was when Luria Academyconfirmed they will offer parents the option to have Sun In Bloom’s gluten free, allergen free, vegan school lunches delivered to their children at school.  This is just the first of many schools we plan to work with in creating school lunch programs.  And it was just a dream of mine two years ago.  Now it is reality.  Yes, dreams come true!

Wishing you the strength and courage to make choices that support you to live the life you truly wish to experience!  And always look forward to seeing you at Sun In Bloom.

 Love, Aimee

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

Day 4: HOT Raw & Juicy – A new story… An astounding shift.

An extraordinary shift happened today, the 4th day of my HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure.

Every Monday I’m at the restaurant for 15 hours on my feet.  By 9 PM, I feel as though a 16-wheeler hit me multiple times.  Aches, pains, sheer exhaustion… I collapse.

Tuesday is a full day of recovery.  I wake up in a fog, my body aches, and I’m always extremely fatigued.  I never feel like myself and I’m unproductive (according to my baseline of productivity).

Fog

Waking up in the FOG.

The fog of fatigue carries over to Wednesday morning and it’s not until Thursday that I feel like myself again.

However, this week, I’ve written a new story. Sun In Bloom had one of its busiest Mondays.  I felt happy and breezy, swimmingly moving through the day.  I checked things off my ‘to do’ list that have been looming on it for months.  And, I enjoyed being of service to all of our guests.

For someone who has never worked in the food industry or in service, I do not expect you to understand all of the demands and long hours we endure.  I also feel cooks are grossly underpaid.  So, with all these variables against us, it’s imperative that we LOVE food and service.  And even though opening Sun In Bloom by myself has been a particularly emotional challenge for me, I do feel immense gratitude that I can be of service sharing the most nourishing food with my community.  I feel heart tugs every time a guest shares with me how Sun In Bloom has changed their life.  These accounts are worth all the struggles.

So, Monday was a very long day… And I walked home energized!  I even felt so energized that I continued to be productive until about midnight.

And waking up this morning is when I felt really excited… 7:30 AM, I sprang out of bed, bright eyed, happy, and excited to start my day.

3 QTS of Sweet Lady Green Juice for Day 4!

I juiced, went to the gym, attended to some work, hit up a Bikram yoga class, ran errands, completed payroll, updated bookkeeping and took the most relaxing shower.   I then put myself together to visit a friend and her 2 yr old son in the city – a friend I’ve not seen in 2 years… yes, I met her son for the first time today!

Tuesdays… I usually hide.  Today, I felt alive and excited to interact with the world.  In fact, several people at yoga commented on how great I looked today.  Truly amazing how quickly the juice has affected me.  I have the GLOW!  (think the carrots are helping with this!)

Beauty Juice - rich in carotenoids (the vitamin A rich compound)

Green juice is life – so rich in live enzymes, nutrients and minerals.  I hope to witness in my lifetime fresh pressed organic green juice go mainstream.  I am so grateful this juice is supporting me to wake up to feel connected and alive again.  This is what being HOT is all about!