Goodbye 2016


"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure"

     -General Colin Powell


I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say that I am happy to wave goodbye to the unforgiving year of 2016. It was probably one of the strangest and disappointing years that I've had in a long time. The majority of my disappointments were not my fault, but there were some that I have to take full responsibly for.

The awesome thing about going into a new year, although some may call cliché', is the sense of starting over fresh with a clean slate. I wont say that it will be a "New Year, New Me" type of situation, because I will still be the same Grace Lauren that everyone knows. I will say that I plan on being more courageous and actually executing my "Hashtag Goals" that I've longed for in 2016. I don't know what happened this year but somewhere along the way I got distracted, and lost motivation to get anything done. I became content with just existing and getting by. I spent countless hours (more than I'm willing to admit) watching others thrive and prosper on social media while I sat at home and hit "like", and equally spent as much time reading articles about racism, terrorism, and celebrity gossip. I would legit wake up, grab my phone, and see what I missed, which could turn into hours of mindless scrolling. 

I'm not saying that I completely wasted all of 2016. I did get a couple of major things done in the last 12 months that I had on my 2016 Goals List. I can honestly say that I could have done a whole lot more and ultimately got lazy and complacent. I know what I need to do to get back on track, and I owe it to myself to do so.

One of my biggest goals in 2017 is to get my Health and Wellness blog and YouTube launched. This project has been in the works for the past 6 months, but the one thing holding me back is fear. I look at all of my favorite bloggers and YouTube channels out there and immediately get intimidated to post anything. Most have been in the game for years and they produce excellent content. I have zero experience in web design, photography, video editing, or anything in media for that matter. I have a serious fear of outsiders reading and watching my content and thinking how terrible it is..... but I've come to the realization that I have to just put it out there, and learn as I go.

In the New Year I will step out on faith, and not hold back out of fear of failing. This not only goes for my Blogging and YouTube, but in all aspects of my life. I will hold myself accountable, and only go out to play if my work is done(something I failed miserably at  in 2016). I will spend less time admiring others on social media, and spend more time working on my content. I will invest less time in things, and more time on my mental, spiritual, and physical health, while inspiring others to do the same.

Look out 2017, I'm coming for you with my game face on and ready to work. I hope that on this day 365 days for now, I will be singing a different tune, and know that I did all I could to be my best self.  Lets get it!

Greens & Vines Raw Vegan Gourmet

I may be a plant based dieter....but that doesn't stop me from being a foodie! If anything I love being a foodie even more. Since adopting a plant based lifestyle in January 2016, I had to train myself to step outside of the box and try new things. I used to squirm at the thought of an avocado, and you couldn't pay me to eat a mushroom. I can honestly say that I now enjoy food, like......really ENJOY food. I appreciate the flavor of herbs and spices. I love the color of fresh cut veggies against a leafy greens. I have an all around new love of food much greater than before when I was indulged in animal flesh. Trying out Vegan Restaurants is one of my new favorite hobbies, especially while traveling.

While on vacation in Hawaii I decided to check out a Raw Gourmet Vegan Restaurant. I generally cook most of my meals so when I discovered a raw vegan spot, I was instantly intrigued. Whenever I try new vegan cuisine I love dragging one of my meat eating friends with me (they are always good sports). One of my best girlfriends went with me to check out Greens & Vines Gourmet Vegan Restaurant in Honolulu.

We walked in to a very cute and quaint little restaurant with nice mellow music playing in the background. We walked in and read a sign with instructions on how to order. The sign instructed us to grab a menu, decide on a dish, and then proceed to the register to place an order and pay for the food. I thought that was a little odd to pay first, but I went along with it. We sat down and looked over the menu. A friendly waiter came over to us and explained the menu and let us know that the restaurant was indeed a raw vegan restaurant and that they served all meals at room temperature. He went on to explain that serving food raw helps preserve all of the nutrients in the dishes.  He did such a great job explaining everything to us, so I asked if he would say it all again for my Snapchat and he happily said it all again for my followers. He even knew that he only had 10 second increments so he paused accordingly, which led me to believe he gets this request on the regular.

After looking over the menu my friend decided on the Living Lasagna, and I got Silvia's Garden Burger.  Greens and Vines also had a very extensive wine list, so I ordered a nice glass of Riesling. While we waited on our meals we took in the beautiful scenery. The restaurant is located on the corner of Kapoliolani and Ward and has both outdoor and indoor seating. There were lots of beautiful painting and decor which was a nice touch to the vibe of the restaurant.

The waiter brought our food out to the table and the presentation was very nice. He explained what everything on our plates consisted of and asked if we needed anything before he left. After taking a million pictures of my food (because lets be have to snap before you eat!) My friend and I dived in to our plates. We decided to share so that we could try everything. The living lasagna was pretty good considering it was raw and unprocessed. My friend thoroughly enjoyed hers, and cleaned her plate. That says a lot because she is very picky. I was expecting her to take a bite and frown, but she smiled and kept on eating.

Now..... about the my burger. This all veggie patty came out on onion bread with a side of Jicama fries and tomato raisin ketchup. There were so many colors in my burger which I absolutely adore! I picked up my burger, took a huge bite and instantly fell in love. The flavor was impeccable. The onion bread was the perfect touch to the slightly sweet patty, date mustard and macnut mayo. I thoroughly impressed because this was a raw patty! I could not believe my taste buds. The Jicama fries were not my favorite but the tomato raisin ketchup was beyond delicious.

The only drawback to this restaurant would be that you have to self serve, and pay up front. The price range is moderate, but i feel the cost matched the quality of the meal I got.

Overall this restaurant experience was absolutely amazing, and I would go back and visit again. If you are every in Honolulu and want to try raw vegan cuisines, please check out Greens and Vines on Kapiolani Blvd. Tell them Natural Grace Daily sent you!