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Bombay Bowl: Worth the Trip

posted @ 10:55 AM - 8.30.2012

The Bombay Bowl is one of Denver’s health conscious quick service dining jewels. You’ll find this independently owned and operated SmartMeal friendly restaurant nestled on a busy corner off 6th and Lincoln in downtown Denver. I had the opportunity to stop by a few weeks ago on my way home from a meeting and this is a testimony to my exceptional experience.

From the moment you enter, posters introduce you to key elements of traditional Indian spices, herbs and flavors. On the night that I came in, it was probably past most people’s dinner time, so I was surprised to find that I would have to wait in a small line before I could order. Fortunately there was a lot to look at!  The menu was well stocked with a variety of options from rice to salad bowls. I was particularly happy to see that this restaurant took the SmartMeal promotion very seriously. Each SmartMeal option on the menu was clearly labeled and at each table there was a centerpiece that offered even more information on the program. 

When I arrived home I was dying to dig in to the beautiful salad bowl before me. With each bite the traditional flavors of India danced across my tongue. I was intrigued by the opportunity to try something new, inspired by the strong belief in the SmartMeal program and completely satisfied by the filling, not to mention thrilling dish. It had a lot of similarities to other quick serve hot spots in terms of production but the flavors and vibe are all its own. One last note: I felt that the entrance to the location was a bit hard to find…but in the end, it was well worth the effort.

Disclaimer: Sophia was provided with a SmartMeal coupon by LiveWell Colorado; however, her opinions are her own.

Mise En Place of Life!

posted @ 11:47 AM - 8.28.2012

As summer comes to an end, I can’t help but get excited for the fall.  I am a huge fan of changing leaves, cooler marathon training temps and my return to JWU-Denver’s Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Culinary program. September 8th will mark the start of my second year and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get back in to the kitchen!

If there is one thing that has been burned into my brain about cooking, it’s the popular culinary term,  “mise en place.” I was first introduced to mise en place by chef Beau MacMillan, my mentor and team blue instructor while filming “Worst Cooks in America” in 2008. Since the show, I have immersed myself in the culinary world and haven’t gone a day without mise en place crossing my mind. For those who aren’t familiar, it is a French phrase which means, “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Organization while cooking is essential, but organization in life is imperative! Once I got home from filming Worst Cooks, I started to see how mise en place translates to everything I do. I realized that I wasn’t just a disaster in the kitchen. I was a hot mess in many other areas of my life -- especially in regard to my health. I saw this and decided that it was time to make a change. I took proactive measures in planning meals and doing research on ways to make my favorite recipes healthier using I started exercising and eventually running marathons.

Let’s be completely honest here, I am far from perfect in my mission for organization but I strive for that perfection daily. Mise en place is not just a term, it’s a frame of mind. So I say, make a pact with yourself to get organized. It may be a bit more work upfront, but in the end you’ll be that much further ahead of the game. The sky is the limit with the things you can achieve when your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed!

Finding Motivation Through Inspiration

posted @ 11:36 AM - 8.14.2012

Nearly two years ago, I started my journey to the new and improved, healthy me. I was mainly working on my eating habits and felt that I should get some exercise too. Being the crazy person that I am, I decided to go out for the local roller derby team! I went to an open tryout and was chosen to be a part of the feeder workout team. I have always been an athlete and never backed down from contact, so for me this was proof that I “still had it.” I bought nice skates on Craigslist and found pads and a helmet on eBay…and then I laced up and got out on the track. Long story short, after a gnarly fall I ended up having a serious concussion and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. I vaguely recall the ER doctor telling me that this is my wake up call to get in to a non-contact sport. I took that very seriously and decided it was time to figure out a plan B. 

A few weeks later, I was looking on my Facebook page at a post made by a friend telling everyone that she had completed her first marathon. That was it!  I was going to do something that even I would NEVER think that I could do. I was going to complete the 26.2-mile trek of a full marathon. It took six months for me to train. I was fortunate enough to have local companies like Bornfit, Runner’s Roost, GUTS, Next Level and Runner’s Edge of the Rockies sponsor my journey. I told them my story and they were inspired to help me fulfill my dream. I worked hard every day knowing that others believed in me and in turn, I began to believe in myself. 

On Nov. 7, 2010, I completed the ING NYC Marathon in 7 hours, 50 minutes and 23 seconds. I raised $2,620 as part of the charity Team for Kids, a national nonprofit whom help low-income children learn about health, fitness and the amazing benefits of running. I didn’t win the race, but I finished. I did something that only two percent of Americans have ever done and I did something that I thought I would never do.

This fall, I have a new goal – the Chicago Marathon.  On Oct. 7, 2012, I will attempt to complete my second 26.2-mile run. This time I am running with Team Make A Wish.  And I will not be running alone. My friend Tine Sommer of Germany (whom I met while running the NYC marathon) will be crossing the finish line with me!

I started this journey with a child-like innocence and the belief that anything is possible. As mothers, I believe that we need to get back to those Cinderella roots and remember that dreams do come true, and you can do ANYTHING if you just believe in yourself. 

So put on some comfortable shoes and run. Believe in yourself and reach for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!