About 1 month ago Welikeitraw.com asked their readers if they had any questions for restaurant owner + chef + entrepreneur and guest blogger, Sarma Melngailis. Today, on her 36th birthday, we excited to bring you Sarma’s answers. But, before we do that, we’d like to take a moment to say: Happy Birthday Sarma! Thank you for everything you’d done for the raw food community. Your work is an inspiration and your friendship is always appreciated. Here’s to changing the game! Much Love from Anthony, Shannon, Philip and Dhrumil.
Andie asks: “What’s your favorite/least favorite parts to your job? is it overall enjoyable or do you ever get really stressed out? plus, what’s your favorite snack?”
Sarma: My favorite parts to my job? First, it feels weird to even call it a “job.” It’s just me, it’s what I do, it’s what I am, and I wouldn’t do anything else. But that’s exactly one of the best parts… having all the certainty imaginable about what I’m doing. Another favorite part is getting to work with ridiculously lovely talented people. And I love meeting new people at the restaurant and making people happy. I love when new dishes, desserts, ice creams or cookies are developed at the restaurant. I love finding really cool new products to add to the oneluckyduck site. Except… right now we have a huge backlog of things I want to add to our inventory and we can’t yet add them. So, this brings me to a less favorite part of what I do. It would have to be that I still feel that my hands are somewhat tied. This will change soon, but for now it’s challenging. I want to do so many things and not being able to do them can feel frustrating, but I’m working on that! I would love more space and resources. Sometimes I wish I could forget about it all for a while. That part is hard. Building a big business is maybe a little bit like having kids. You can’t put them back, or walk away from them. And you wouldn’t ever want to, because it’s so great and you love them (it) with all your heart and they are a part of you. But, still… sometimes my soul longs to do something mindless and without weight and responsibility. My work and home are combined into one, so there isn’t much separation, which is okay. But I really do want to take a true vacation one of these days. No laptop, no blackberry. Some of my favorite parts of what I do are also the hardest parts. Being in charge is great. But sometimes I don’t want it all to come back to me, and I wish I could just defer to someone else and go take a nap instead. Sometimes I actually do this. I have good support all around me—that’s really nice too. People I love and trust who know the overall vision, so if I need to take a mental break and run off, I can in fact sometimes do that. I should do that. Hmmmm. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
SO January 1st, back to reality, the day that so many of us out there (probably mostly girls too) swear that we’re going to be ‘good’ and loose that stubborn 5 to 10 pounds, or whatever it is. How hard can it be? Eat less, exercise more? The problem is, it’s not about that. It’s all wrapped up in personal history, emotion and mood, with a big wad of anxiety tossed in.
When I made the rather sudden switch to raw foods, the shift in my relationship with food that came with it felt like a huge relief. I was a typical over-achieving girl in high-school and college (loooong time ago!) who turned to ‘disorderly’ eating as a distraction from the real issues that otherwise would have been bothersome to have to dwell on. Better to beat myself up over something else, of course! But now this was the first time in my life that food in fact became something more meaningful, but in a good way… it’s not just about me anymore, and my own loopy obsessions and tastes, it’s also about the future… hopefully a sustainable one. For the first time, eating to feel good became the focus… an idea that seems obvious, yet most of us don’t get it. Eat crap = feel like crap. Eat fruit = feel fresh and yummy. Eat chemicals = get weird diseases. Eat natural = be naturally healthy, like we’re supposed to be. Eat raw = live long. And feel happy. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
After successfully completing my 30-day plant-based experiment, the masochist inside me was whispering: “go Raw”. Sure, there’s nothing like a crunchy sugar snap, ripe avocado or a bowl full of arugula drizzled with olive oil balsamic. How hard could it be?
On the hard side, if you ask me.
I know I’d miss steamed Brussels sprouts, lightly blanched asparagus, roasted pumpkin — or in fact, any warm vegetable. So, imagine my delight when recent studies supported my gut instinct (or lack of guts, depending how you look at it): that there are health advantages to eating a combination of raw and cooked vegetables.
This is an extended, unedited version of an article I originally wrote in July for Get Fresh magazine… U.K.’s glossy raw food mag. You can get current and back copies of the mag at oneluckyduck.com. Dhru has been a contributor in the past too!
Thanksgiving was beautiful at Pure Food and Wine… and WLIR’s own Philip was there too. Now we’re full on immersed in the holiday season, so I thought it’s not a bad time to put up this post about fasting, eating and all the issues in between. Happy Holidays, and may everyone take really good care of themselves.
My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing
Some people call themselves experts or even gurus (yes, I have heard someone introduce themselves as a “guru”) on nutrition, raw foods, weight loss, or enlightenment, or all of those. They write and/or speak publicly about conclusions they’ve arrived at through years of experience and diligent research. I, on the other hand, don’t claim to have conclusively figured it all out, nor do I have time for hours of detailed investigation. I just try things for myself and write about it while I’m sorting it all out—like a guinea pig with a notepad, jotting down reports on the experiment phases, tossing out random hypotheses. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
This post is a bit more upbeat than the last – no curse words, cranky complaining, cynicism or sarcasm. Writing down your thoughts is, in itself, therapeutic. But when you post it on the web and lots of people read it and give you all kinds of thoughtful feedback, well, that’s free therapy. I’ve learned a lot. THANK YOU!!!
Since it’s impractical for me to drop everything right now and run off to an Ashram to find myself, I had to see how I might be able to conduct the search locally. How do I do this, in my “spare” time? What spare time? How do I find solitude in New York City for some good self-awareness? And when? This has been an ongoing exploration. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
You know the type — eyes locked on their Blackberry or new iPhone and fingers ferociously going at it text messaging back and forth — oblivious to their surroundings. Twitter seems to be the new internet addiction for internet and SMS peeps following what their friends are doing or anyone on there they know.
The premise and question to keep answering is, “What are you doing?” It is like a quick real time journal summary of what you are doing throughout the day. Kind of an intimate peek into people’s lives to see what kind of things they do and to follow where they are at. GreenChef, Sarma Melngailis, owner of NY restaurant Pure Food and Wine, has been updating hers at least once a day. Sharing what she is eating and what’s going on in her day with messages like, “I’m on a fuji apple/green shake train. Been up for a while, but now just want to take a nap. Rainy in NYC. Actually, pouring.” You can follow her online or through your phone or IM. Maybe I’ll start reporting in too, just to see what is so addicting about it. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos