Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Sula Indian Restaurant Commercial Dr

Painting of Buddha

Mama and I decided to go to Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Drive for the fourth installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. “The Drive” as it’s affectionately called by many locals, is in Vancouver’s iconic Little Italy and is chalked full of restaurants of all ethnicities, grocery stores, clothing shops and boutiques.

It was my first time but Mama had been before with one of her foodie friends. As soon as we stepped inside the dark, exotic entrance, we were greeted warmly by Sujata. She was also our server and after a few minutes of seating us with our menus, she asked us if we had any questions. No, we were ready to order. Mama Izumi usually leaves it up to me to choose our entrees.

Mayumi and Mama Izumis Foodie Adventures Sula Indian Restaurant
Koi fish inside Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Dr

I chose their Butter Chicken and Fish Malabari which is a traditional yellow curry with roasted coconut, black mustard & tamarind that is dairy and gluten free, and ordered Basmati rice and Naan bread to accompany the curries in medium spiciness.

The curries were piping hot and stayed so because they were served in stainless steel bowls that had tea light candles under them. Both dishes were delicious loaded with umami and we, foodies were in bliss. And to top it off, the generous portions allowed us to bring leftovers home.

Mayumi and Mama Izumis Foodie Adventures Sula Indian Restaurant
Fish Malaburi and Butter Chicken at Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Dr

We will definitely be back and recommend this restaurant to fans of Indian cuisine. The intriguing ambiance, delectable curries, and great customer service, Sula has it all!

To have a look at Sula’s other yummy noms on their menu, visit their website and follow them on their Instagram.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — White Spot Restaurants

Mama Izumi

If you have lived in our beautiful city for any amount of time, you will come to learn about Vancouver’s local favourite and long-time provider of our dine-out food staples, White Spot restaurants. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and ever since I was a little girl, I have loved and nommed on their yummy. comfort food.

I started with their Pirate Paks, progressed to the Legendary Burger, OMG … Triple-O heaven … and as their menu evolved so did my foodie palette. I have recently revisited my longtime beloved dish, Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese, a hint of curry served with Basmati rice.

My foodie cohort and I decided for our third installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures that we would go to our preferred location at Pemberton Plaza in North Vancouver. We love it here because it’s comfy, cozy, and especially because of the wonderful team of servers they have on board: Morgan, Shauna, Grace, Katiee, and Gemma to name a few.

White Spot Restaurants
Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures at White Spot Restaurants – Fish & Chips and BC Salmon Burger

Smiling faces, warm, sincere attention to their customers & their needs, and they exhibit a real joy while they work to serve us. These are some of the reasons Mama and I love the girls at this particular White Spot.

We also love to support and promote local businesses. And we hold the restaurant that was founded by Nat Bailey dear to our hearts. He started the first drive-in restaurant and the accompanying car-hop tray.on 70th and Granville in 1928 — the first of its kind in Canada.

To learn more about White Spot visit their website and follow them on their Instagram. Pemberton Plaza, Mama & my favourite location is at #107 – 1226 Marine Dr, in North Vancouver.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Famoso Commercial Dr

Famoso's Prawn & Pesto Pizza and Ragu Pasta

I’m very excited to share with you all the second installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. Today we went to Famoso Pizzeria & Bar in Little Italy’s Commercial Drive.

It was the first time for both of us and it was a wonderful dining experience! We were the first customers there and were greeted by Daytime Manager, James.

We started our lunch off with Caesars. Not only were they TASTY but they were also on special for only $5 AND just happen to be our favourite cocktail! Lucky us!

Caesars
Famosos’s Tasty Caesars – $5 drink special EVERY Saturday & Sunday

Because we were first timers to the pizzeria, James asked if we would like to hear his recommendations, so I explained that we would like to order a pasta and a pizza pie and share them.

He recommended a few different pastas they have such as their Fettucine Alfredo, a Linguini Rose with Prawns, and Rigatoni Ragu made with their beef & pork meatballs. We decided on their Ragu and for pizza we ordered the Prawn Pesto … OMG both were delish BUT their pie was like an explosion of flavour in my mouth with different notes and layers of umami (Japanese for savouriness)! Prawns, pesto, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes … YUM!

James asked us if we would like dessert. I said you have dessert?! We were both full but I said that we take a look. Although I had scanned their QR Code to order from their online menu earlier, I forgot that I needed to look on my iPhone.

So he explained that they had Tiramisu, Blood Orange Cheesecake, Nutella Pizza and Gelato. I was a little conflicted because where else can you get a cheescake with blood orange?! We wanted to order their Tiramisu and almost did but decided not to because we were stuffed.

Tiramisu
Famoso’s Tiramisu – my favourite cake

To our delight, James brought us a slice of their Tiramisu in a take-out container on the house! And he added, so we don’t have to worry about deciding… How sweet!

Mama Izumi & I appreciated James’ intuitive customer service, enjoyed the umami of their food, their ambience (they played music from greats Bob Marley & Rolling Stones), comfortable booths, and the pizza of course!

If you would like to taste their savoury pizzas and pastas for yourself have a look at Famoso‘s website, visit them at 1380 Commerical Drive, and you can also follow them on their Instagram.

Foundations of Fat Loss:

Kristin Ames - Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind – Nutrition Expert Kristin Ames

Diet and fitness are more top of mind for people than they ever have been.  With many of us trapped at home for the last 6 months with nothing but the refrigerator to keep us company, the COVID 15 is no joke.  And fitness?  It’s been a slippery slope to the couch.

So, you’ve decided it’s time to reign it all in, drop some body fat and get back in shape – fantastic! You’ve started researching the best way to reach your goals but have quickly become overwhelmed with all the options: Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Intermittent Fasting, and the Juice Cleanse.

You’ve heard accounts of how your coworker’s uncle’s cousin lost 40 pounds on Keto, and your best friend swears she can eat whatever she wants on using Intermittent Fasting and not gain weight!  Compelling for sure, but before you go all in on MCT oil or the ’16:8 plan’, I ask you to consider one question  “Can I do what this diet asks of me for the rest of my life?”. 

We tend to over complicate things when it comes to our diet.  There are definitely situations that call for precise weighing and measuring, attention to meal timing, and detailed macro-nutrient tracking, but unless you’re a bodybuilder or training for the Olympics, those protocols likely won’t apply to you.

The key to changing your body lies in adopting habits and practices you can sustain for life: a balanced program that makes room for dinners out with friends and celebrations with family, includes all the food groups, regular exercise, and whole unprocessed foods most of the time … unsexy yes, but effective.  

For most people, most of the time, simple wins the race. One of my favorite quotes is from a fellow online trainer Ren Jones at Fitness Jones Training:

“If we don’t have the basic habits established for our nutrition choices, why would we think a more complicated method is the solution? “I can’t get the hang of driving a car, so I think I’ll try flying a helicopter instead?”

And yet most of us are standing in line to fly the helicopter.

Kristin Ames' Healthy Choices
Kristin Ames’ healthy choices for Thanksgiving dinner

So what are the basics?  What is the 4-door Toyota Hybrid of the diet world?  The following guidelines are the foundation for all our programs focused on fat loss:  

Eat until you’re 80% full.   We’ve been taught from a young age to ‘finish your dinner’.  Eating until we’re full is comforting and makes us feel happy – if we’re eating a tasty meal we want to keep eating because the pleasure receptors in our brain tell us to keep going! But this also leads many people to eat in a calorie surplus.  The simple practice of stopping when you’re satisfied instead of when you’re full will yield surprising results.  Studies show it takes about 15-20 minutes for most people to feel full, so if you don’t stop eating until you’re full, you’ll likely be stuffed in 20 minutes.  Put the brakes on at satisfied, and there’s 20% fewer calories in your day, easily.

Eat protein with every meal. Protein is the most filling macro-nutrient and is the least likely to be converted to fat in the body.  When you’re not hungry, you’ll stop thinking about food all the time, and as a result eat/snack less. It’s also critical for muscle growth and repair – a priority if you’re exercising regularly. There is literally no downside to eating protein.

Exercise 3-5 days a week. Workouts will vary depending on your goals and where you’re starting from, but some form of activity on a regular basis is part of every program – from a daily walk for some to an intense lifting session for others.  In addition to the physical benefits, its shown people usually make better food choices when exercise is part of their day. 

Be clear on your ‘Why’. If you’re just trying to ‘get back to’ a number on the scale that you once were, you’re likely not going to have the motivation and discipline for stick with your program for long.  Dig deep and figure out why you really want to lose weight. Nothing wrong with wanting to look better if that’s the reason, but why do you want to?  Put it down on paper so when you need some extra motivation you can remind yourself, in your own words, exactly what your goal is.

That’s it – pretty simple, and yet not necessarily easy.  But simple is a great place to get started despite what we think we want. None of these principles require you to clear out your kitchen, buy a bunch of books or expensive equipment, or lock yourself at home for fear of eating something that isn’t ‘approved’ on your diet.  Everyone can do this – if you’re thinking of losing some weight, I encourage you to give these basic principles a try.  And, when you can do these things consistently, 90% of the time, we’ll talk about the helicopter.

Kristin Ames of Fit Life Coaching is a certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer, PNL1 CPT, living in North Vancouver. If you would like to know more about her, you can visit her Instagram page.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Fets Whisky Kitchen

Fets Whisky Kitchen

Welcome to my new series, Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures! Today marks my first installment and I’m very excited to write about Fets Whiskey Kitchen. It was my second and Mama’s first time at the yummy eatery and bar.

Located in East Vancouver’s Little Italy on ‘the Drive’, Fets is nestled beside Havana and across the street from Grandview Park.

Mama and I ordered their Country Fried Steak and the Cooper’s Breakfast. Fets’ Country Fried Steak is crispy on the outside and the organic meat is moist and tender on the inside — the best I’ve had. It is accompanied by Maker’s Mark Bourbon white gravy, rosemary biscuit & bread, sunny side up egg, hashbrowns (with sauteed onions), and a dash of greens (with pickled onions). Delish!

Fets' Country Fried Steak and Cooper's Breakfast
Fets’ Country Fried Steak and Cooper’s Breakfast

The Cooper’s Breakfast is so tasty that my mouth is watering reliving my memories of it. It is comprised of braised local pork, black beans, sunny egg, and cornbread. All the flavours in both dishes enhance rather than compete with each other. It is gourmet comfort food and my gourmand compliments go to the chef.

Not only am I a foodie, but also a coffee connoisseur. Fets did not disappoint. They serve Western Canadian, Canterbury coffee that is filled with multi levels of roasted flavour notes.

Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen
Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen

A definite must if you haven’t already had the pleasure to nom at this wonderful Commercial Drive restaurant. Besides the yummy eats, the customer service is also top notch and they have a heated patio. Need I say more?

If you would like to learn more about Fets Whisky Kitchen follow them on their Instagram.

Babes Promoting Babes – Francisco of Tequila Cocina Restaurant

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

I first met Francisco Sonora, Owner of Tequila Cocina Restaurant at the Lonsdale Ave Magazine launch party as I did our first Male Boss Babe, Eamonn Duignan, when we were introduced by the magazine founder.

Francisco is affable, friendly and very easy to talk to. He is in the perfect industry …

M;  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

F:  I was born and raised in Mexico City and have an older brother. I grew up in an ordinary family, playing soccer in the streets and drinking water from the hose in the summer. Nintendo was also something I enjoyed playing back then.

I helped our family in a small restaurant, doing everything from washing dishes to cooking, and serving customers.

My mom who raised my brother and myself with a strong work ethic and morals, set a good example for us.

Tequila Cocina’s yummy nachos

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

F: Having my own restaurant was always one of my dreams because cooking is one of my biggest passions.

Also, I wanted to have my own family and I feel blessed now to have baby Ana, she’s my sunshine!!

M:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

F:  No I didn’t.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

F:  I moved to Vancouver when I was about 20 years old and worked in construction for years (which I still do).

First, I visited on vacation and loved it and all the opportunities that are here. I’m lucky to get to live in this city.

Tequila Cocina’s live entertainment on Friday Nights – Mariachi Los Dorados

M:  When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

F:  We first opened on May 31st, 2019 but it took us about one year to build and renovate the place.

We are going to have our first anniversary in a couple weeks. It falls on a Sunday and we will be preparing a lot of specials for our customers.

M:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

F:  Well, I’m just the face of the restaurant but there’s a team of many people involved who I appreciate and have to thank.

We have become a family at Tequila Cocina — from my business partner, Mami Matsumura, to kitchen and front staff and of course, my wife and baby who are my motivation to keep me going everyday.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

F:  I’d say just go for it, everything is going to make sense down the road.

Vancouver is an open ocean full of fish and we are the fisherman. Martin Luther king once said,  “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

F:  There’s a quote that I like and it goes something like,

“The key to success is start before you are ready. Don’t look for happiness, create it …”

You can follow Tequila Cocina on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tequilacocina/ and have a look at their menu — their first anniversary is just around the corner: https://www.tequilacocina.org/

Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series Launch

Daisy Logo

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series. The first Boss Babe to be interviewed is Brigitte Besner, one of the Owners of Daisy … Sandwiches & Such.

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

I had the opportunity to interview Brigitte a couple of days ago and it was timed synchronistically. Daisy will be re-opening for takeout on Monday, April 27th. I am a fan and am very happy!

M:  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

B:  I was born in the province of Quebec in a small town called Verdun.  Family of 4. Younger brother. Both parents worked until they decided to open their own restaurant (diner).  My mother’s parents had their own diner already. So I basically grew up in a diner all my life.

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

B:  Lawyer.  But my father was hoping for me to join the family business so I went a different path.  At that time my parents owned a chain of Italian restaurants.

M: Did you go to university?  If so, what did you study?

B:  No, I did not go to university but I went to a hospitality management school in Montreal.  L’Institut de Tourisme et D’Hôtellerie du Québec.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

I moved to Vancouver in 1991 for work.  I worked in a small restaurant in Maple Bay near Duncan on the Island.  After I moved to Vancouver and worked in different hotels as a server, banquet server and front desk.  Eventually I was offered a position in a hotel in Lebanon for 6 months for Food and Beverage Management … When I came back, I was transferred to a hotel in Montreal (of all places LOL!!) for a year and came back to Vancouver.  Most of my career in BC was mainly in hotel settings. 

 M: When did you start Daisy … Sandwiches & Such? I know the story but how did you name Daisy’s?

B:  We opened Daisy’s in May 2011. My daughter said she wanted to be famous when she grew up so I said okay, here’s your chance.  I named the restaurant after her. Her name is Charlotte Daisy.

6) What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

B:  I guess what I like (or liked ) — the control over the “creative” aspects.  

When you are working for someone, you are working at bringing THEIR vision to life.  Even if sometimes you think you know better, and you bring in ideas or feedback to your employers, it is still their dream and vision.

When you are your own boss, you are in charge of every aspect of your vision and your dream.

And from that point on, you build yourself a team that will help you bring your dream and vision to life.  In the process you hope that you are empowering and giving tools to another person to go out and take a leap of faith and start their own business.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

B: THINK about the reason — If you’re in it for the money, you’re not going to make money right away. DO IT IF:  

1) You’re passionate about your service or product.

2) You are excited to be your own boss.

3) You can talk to people in the industry first.  Ask them questions. Questions like, what would they have done when they first opened their business that they didn’t know, but know now.

4) You have the ability to delegate tasks.  It makes a HUGE difference. When you delegate tasks, you can FOCUS your time and energy on what generates MONEY.  If you try to DO EVERYTHING yourself, your creativity dries up …

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book.

B:  Being in business is being in a relationship. You are in a relationship with your customers.

Like every relationship to function, some compromises will have to be made. Choose how much and what kind of compromises you are willing to make to keep your relationship with your relationship with your guest healthy and balanced.

When you make too many compromises, you dilute the essence of who you are, of what your business is all about.

It’s a thin line to walk, but it’s very important to learn how to walk it.

But most important, always work from a place of gratitude.

Daisy … Sandwiches & Such is located at 1089 Roosevelt Crescent in North Vancouver.  Their menu is on their website: https://daisysandwiches.com/ and the restaurant will be re-opening for takeut on Monday, April 27th.

Finally – FOODIE with Andrea’s Restaurant!

Andrea’s 10 Rich Topping Pizza – Foget about ordering from anywhere else!!!

Finally a foodie blog! It’s about time, rigghhht?! I have loved Andrea’s for a long time … Since high school. I even remember the very first time that I had their pizza – namely their 10 Rich Topping… I was 14 years old and I was sleeping over at one of my BFF’s and her step-dad worked a second job delivering for Andrea’s and got it for us.

It was a Friday pizza & movie night just like tonight… Many unsaid years later …. Hahhahaha… And the best part is it tastes EXACTLY THE SAME! I kid you not!!! The same chef has worked at Andrea’s for 30 years. It is a family owned & operated restaurant that has 2 locations: North Vancouver and Langley. BC. The North Van location has been a staple in Central Lonsdale for 35 years.

Andreas and Matina started their first restaurant in 1984 with a combination of PASSION for food, Andreas’ expert knowledge of butchering meats & Matina’s family recipes. Katie, Andreas’ and Matina’s daughter, who I met for the first time last night embodies the “… fundamental Greek custom (to show) friendship to guests, and the Ancient Greek concept of hospitality … “filoxenia”, translated as hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to guests. ” – Andreas’ Website

To me, Andrea’s pizza and meals are nostalgic. There are many memories attached to their food, ordering take-out and dining in their restaurant over the years. And my intuition tells me there will be MANY MORE happy memories in my future with them and their delicious, Greek comfort food – said the foodie in ME!