About me: I’m concerned about our footprint on the environment and how we can *urgently* reduce the mark we’re leaving on this planet. I’m increasingly interested in the food industry and sustainability in our diets. I’m also reading more and more about local, organic, and non-commercial food sources.
I love running, going to the gym, snowboarding, painting, eating, reading, and tweeting. Not necessarily in that order. And most recently, cooking and baking, something I never expected to discover. I’m on a no-wheat, no-dairy (except for goat cheese and sometimes yogurt), no-sugar diet, which is reflected in my recipes, and it’s why there are so many links to existing recipes with my substitutions.
I’m originally from Clayton, California and have lived in San Luis Obispo (California), Granada (Spain), LA, San José (Costa Rica), Guadalajara (Mexico), Tulum (Mexico), Akumal (Mexico), Bariloche (Argentina), Buenos Aires, Martinez (Argentina), and now London.
In January I ended my extended sabbatical, after over ten years of entrepreneurship in my company, Enchanting Group. I’ve now got a new business as a life coach. This blog is a collection of my daily reflections and recipes, with no specific theme or aspiration whatsoever. I mostly write in English, though I occasionally post recipes in Spanish. And as you may have noticed, I’ve been posting very infrequently here, as I’ve been busy over at my newest blog.
And if that isn’t enough info, here are 25 things about me:
- My favorite color is green. For my second birthday, my mother asked me what kind of cake I wanted, and I said “Green.” It was a very green cake.
- I had this weird obsession with wanting to speak Spanish from the time I was about three years old. I remember going to a new preschool when I was four and the first day they taught us how to count to ten in Spanish and say gracias. I was thrilled.
- My friend Tiffany and I both got bit by the same dog and the same bird, a big macaw named Darth. Or maybe he just looked big because I was so little. Though, with a name like that I should have kept my distance. It was obvious he’d be up to nothing good.
- Despite my experience with Darth and the dachshund whose name I can’t remember, all through elementary school I wanted to be a vet and I read all the James Herriot books.
- I was a supremely picky eater as a child and didn’t start eating tomatoes until I was about 22. It took me even longer to start eating lettuce and bell peppers. Now I eat salad once or twice a day.
- What I really liked as a kid were beets. And cottage cheese. Sometimes, together. I still love beets, but not with cottage cheese anymore.
- I was terrified of yellow jackets as a child. In a major way. Like, I was in therapy for it.
- I wrote my first book when I was seven, then proceeded to write a whole series of books about the adventures of one of my stuffed animals: a dog named Tessie, and a horse named Copper. I think they may still be around somewhere, in my storage unit in Concord.
- Then I proceeded to write a bunch of plays starring my horses and stuffed animals. I would record the soundtrack from songs on the radio and perform the plays for my family in the living room. This went on through most of elementary school. It was a Sunday ritual for me. (Please keep in mind I’m an only child!)
- When I was in junior high, I read To Kill a Mockingbird and decided I had to be a lawyer. That didn’t last more than a couple of years (thank God).
- I wrote short stories through high school, which I probably never showed to anyone, except this great long story that I co-wrote with my friend Laura, which we used to hand back and forth to each other in a spiral notebook and each write a little bit.
- I tend to accumulate stuff. And then go on a cleaning spree and toss most of it. Especially if I’m moving. Which I do a lot of.
- I have moved 29
31(maybe 33? I’ve lost count now) times since I left my parents’ house and went to college.
- My stuff is currently spread throughout: Concord, CA; La Lucila, Argentina; and Chile. I would love to have it all in one place. Or mostly all in one place. Or maybe I’ll just get rid of it all someday.
- My favorite places in the world are (in no particular order, except that the snowy places came to mind first): Whistler, BC; Bariloche, Argentina; Granada, Spain; San Francisco, CA; Buenos Aires, Argentina. And London. I’m loving it here.
- I love snowboarding. A lot.
- I love the cold. And the snow. LOVE the snow. And no, I don’t mind living in the snow. I’ve done it before. LOVE IT. And having said that, I love the weather here in London. Don’t tell me I’m in still a honeymoon phase. I LOVE it.
- Despite having lived seven years in the Caribbean, I’m really not a beach person. I think it’s the humidity (or perhaps my love for snow). Or my hate of heat.
- When my company’s first hotel was built in Tulum, there was so little money that I had to help build one of the cabanas by hammering nails into the wood with a rock because we couldn’t afford to buy another hammer.
- That same first year, there was a really bad low season in June. I ran out of food and money, and had to eat coconuts for three days. Some people probably pay good money to have a cleansing experience like that. In my case, I was just starving.
- One time, I drove to Cancun in a Geo Metro to get 50 pillows at Costco for the hotel. But my mistake, I bought 50 PAIRS of pillows. Somehow I managed to fit them all into the car, but could barely see out the windshield and got pulled over by a cop. By this time, there was no money left to bribe him (keep in mind, this was Mexico), so he was offered a pillow. The next day I had to go back and return half of the pillows.
- When I lived in Tulum, people always used to ask me if I ever got bored. Are you kidding me?! With all the work there is to do at a hotel! Bored?! Never. Impossible. And actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been bored in my life. Remember, I’m an only child. I know how to entertain myself.
- I love maps. I can stare at one for hours. Seriously. That’s not an understatement. Hours. Even just the London Tube map can keep me busy.
- I love not needing to have a car where I live. Love it. Don’t miss having a car at all. Oh, and I love public transportation. It’s a great opportunity to read.
- I also love chewing aspirin. Rarely do I get headaches, and I hate taking any kind of medication, but I love the taste and texture of aspirin.
PLEASE feel free to comment on any of my posts, or email me at zahirah73 at gmail dot com. It would be great to get some feedback!! Let me know if you have recipe questions, something you want to see, or what you want to read more of.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy!