Who: The many faces of Diana.
Fitness Trainer, Author (Sanity is Sexy), Mind and Body Specialist
In Paris since: Februaury 2014
10 fun Q and A's with Diana
Everyone has bad days, how do you deal with yours?
Mantras. I have a mantra for every feeling and life situation. I make them up myself based on asking four questions (which are in both of my books). Mantras have helped me deal with fear, loss, disappointment, and rude people. I call them a secret elixir to get you back on track, forgetting any negative thoughts that are trying to bring you down.
One simple piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?
Don't care what others think of you.
Your go to healthy meal?
Quinoa spinach salad. Super easy, super healthy. Fresh baby spinach, red quinoa, avocado, dried cranberries, walnuts, apples, zucchini, feta cheese.
A sexy man and woman you admire?
Shakira. She's the definition of sexy. She's confident. She is determined to make the world a better place. She's sultry yet cute. She's nothing but herself. You can sense it from her.
Last good book you read, that you couldn't put down
Tina Fey's Bossypants
Currently listening to?
Banks. I love her sultry voice.
The oddest job you ever had?
A "local newspaper promoter" on the Jersey Shore. I thought it would be a cool summer job at the beach, until I found myself in my car all day in sweltering heat, stopping every few blocks to refill newspaper stands. That didn't last very long...
Besides my current job, I always wanted to be an FBI agent. I was seriously ready to move in that direction until the eyesight requirement hindered me. (I have terrible eyesight.)
Why did you want to write this book?
I wrote Unleashed for every woman who wants to take charge of her own life. She wants to live a life she loves, exude confidence, and fall in love with herself. Feeling unsexy is not how women want to feel. They want to be healthy, radiate beauty, and be themselves. I was that woman for a long time, letting stress and fear overwhelm me. I found some kick-ass solutions and put them into an easy-to-digest book so everyone could benefit. I wrote Sanity is Sexy as a manual for creating the mindset necessary to unleashing your sexiest, most confident self. It contains 40 powerful mantras to use anytime you’re clouded with the stress, emotions, and fears life throws at you. I have been writing Monday Mantras to my Unleash Your Sexy membership list for 3.5 years now. Every Monday I send out a quote, lesson, or story in the form of a mantra to snap back into a healthy mindset every week. As they gained popularity, I asked myself why I wasn't writing a book of mantras. Voila.
A wise quote you once heard?
"No one can create negativity or stress within you. Only you can do that by virtue of how you process your world." - Wayne Dyer
Sanity is Sexy: Life is what we make of it. We can choose how we are going to feel every single day. Sometimes we forget that though. Sometimes we let our thoughts and emotions get the best of us. We know it’s not really us, but we don’t know how to snap out of it. We just want to feel better. We just want to stay sane. Sanity is sexy, so get ready to unleash your true self.
Last week was spent having iced coffee at Ob-La-Di, Boot Cafe, and having lunch at the new Ober Mamma. But the best part of the last few days has definitely been doing nothing with my friends and roaming the empty streets of Paris from the Louvre all the way to the carnival at the Tuileries gardens. Come follow and let's stay connected: preetigills on Instagram
So many great places keep sprouting up all over the 11eme. Various cuisines to satisfy your taste buds, but sometimes a girl just wants pizza amIright?! Well, Big Mamma, she is all up in Paris cooking Italian in her trendy designed kitchen. And Yes, you could have fancy French food, but you could also have some crisp crust mozzarella pizza with fresh basil, or truffle pasta, or homemade tiramisu, or. . . This place makes you feel like you've been welcomed by a lovely Italian family into their home on a special occasion. Everyone's singing, cooking, drinking and talking. Ober Mamma, I'm so glad you came with summer. For the address, scroll up and click the location icon. Ciao now!
A few weekends ago my Lou had the great idea of hosting a little French pastry party. Everyone was asked to bring a pastry of their liking and the result was a table graced with roses, cream puffs, strawberry, chocolate, raspberry cakes, and cold homemade iced tea. There are so many moments I have walked passed dreamy pastry shops in Paris and wanted to devour each single sweet item. Gluttony, it's such a sweet sin at times. A girl can live right! Thanks dear Lou and Frank and all the wonderful ladies for such a fabulous little moment in French Pastry Heaven. My favorite's were the Saint Honoré by Angelina, Ispahan Pound Cake by Pierre Herme, and the Pamplemousse Rosa by Des Gâteaux et du Pain. Ohhhhlaaaa.
One of my favorite places in all of Paris. Ellsworth, named after one of the owners grandfathers, has long wooden hallways, fresh seasonal ingredients and a overall cozy vibe that's sometimes hard to find in this city. This sister restaurant of Verjus, which is located near the Palais Royal Gardens is worth a visit for some small bites. 34 rue de Richelieu, 75001
Brittany, where are the pretty boys sail and you eat sugared honey crepes and drink cider all day long. Ok, maybe not, but that's kind of what I did during this weekend in B town. Watched handsome sailors sail, eat crepes with chantilly creme, and drank cider from tea cups with my Lauren. Vanne to be specific is a most enchanting place ya'll. Old old villages, tradition, and perfectly primed gardens for days. One of the most beautiful and nature esque regions of France. Worth the travel.
It's amazing, one moment you are in a packed metro, with no available seats for the long ride home, and people pushing and shoving to get in and out of the doors and then the next moment you are here, at Château de Sceaux. Ohhhouiiii! Only in Paris can one be just a few stops away on public transportion and end up having a picnic in the plush green grass of a Château! Paris you're such a showoff and we love it. With my girls Diana and Dubbs for a little getaway from the city.
The struggle is so real out here to find some good home cooked Mexican grub but thanks to my lovely Lou who introduced me to Black Beans. Kind of in love with this place and took Rachelle to have some tacos with me the other day. Savory flavors, chilled drinks, and a great atmosphere. Let's go.
35 Rue de Trévise, 75009 Paris
06 95 88 87 21
The I don't feel like measuring anything Apple Pie
What you need:
Puff pastry - according to your pie pan
3 or 4 large Granny Smith apples washed and skinned
What to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 220C/ 360F
2. Skin/cut 2 apples into little squares and saute them with some sugar and some butter in a saucepan and take off heat when there is no more water moistness and apples have marinated. I usually leave em' about 15 mins in saucepan on medium heat.
4. Skin and thinly slice one apple and put to the side.
5. Roll out some puff pastry and mold it into the pie pan and then add your sauteed apples. Sprinkle a little sugar and finally cover the entire top with the thinly sliced apples and place in the oven for 30mins or until crust is golden brown and apple tips are dark brown.
For 2 people:
What you need;
125 grams yogurt (1 pod)
⅓ of cucumber (shredded or diced)
½ tomato (diced)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp chat masala
few coriander sprigs for garnish
few drips of tamarind chutney
1. in a bowl, add cucumber, tomato, salt, pepper, chat masala, and yogurt and mix well.
2. top off with coriander, tomato, cucumber, and chutney
So, have a taste and let me know how you like it!
¾ cups warm milk
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 ½ tbsp full fat yogurt
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
2 ½ cups flour
few coriander sprigs - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
butter to glaze - melted
What to do:
-preheat your oven to the lowest heat. While it's heating:
1. combine, milk, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and place to the side for 15mins
2. after 15 mins, add yogurt, salt, and oil to milk mixture
3. add in flour and knead for 10 mins (if you need to add more flour, add a few tbsp at a time until you get a soft consistency. you want to avoid having a a hard dough, so less is more.
4. place your dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it, and into the low heated oven for 20 mins
5. remove from the oven (and immediately turn your oven it its highest heat for the next step).
6. divide into about 6 balls and roll out into a tear shape, place on cookie sheet
7. press in the garlic and coriander to the top of the naan and place into the oven for 1 - 2 mins.
-take out of the oven and glaze with butter and sprinkle with some salt
Enjoy!! And let me know if you give this a try.
Even though I live in Paris, I don't get to see all the historical sites as much as I would like to because of work and running around in the Metro all day. So when I got the chance to go on this boat ride and take a tour of Paris by night, I grabbed my camera, called my friend, and before you knew it, I was on a boat. The night didn't turn out as lovely as I expected it to, but it was still a spectacular sight to have seen Paris shine bright in the dark chilly night.
Fancy? I'm not fancy. I want to be fancy, but I ain't fancy. When it really comes down to it, I like simplicity in my life. So when I went to Shangri-La for a lunch event, it was nothing close to simple. I don't often share these types of events, but this was too pretty not to share. Crystal clear champagne flutes, extravagant interior designs, shiny smiles, fresh roses and "More champagne mademoiselle?" all around. Umm, hi yes please! Oh Paris, there are so many moments I hate you and so many moments you take my breath away and at this lunch you captivated me, again.
On the Menu
Champagne, wine, gougère, friends, love, soft boiled egg in truffle sauce, creamy mini desserts...
Bon Appetit my friends!
I rarely do high tea, but this being the first time ever, I gotta do it more often. Scrumptious, yummy, and got a chance to see my birthday girl! Cheers.
The occasion - The lovely Lauren's birthday!
The place - Hotel Daniel
Lovely company with Tricia, Diana, and Hana!
Happy High Tea!
Food Network star. Culinarian. Dreamer. Achiever. And Canadain! Rick's Good Eats Ya'll.
What is Rick's Good Eats?
It's my take on what I find to be great food in the cities and places I travel. Learning about different cultures and their food. (also offering a fusion twist on foods that people may or may not be familiar with)
How did you end up on the show Recipes to Riches?
I always wanted to be on the food network, have my own show, my food products in the grocery stores. One night I saw a promo for season one of RTR and instantly I thought, why am I not on this show?! How did I not hear about this?! I told myself that when season 2 was going to start casting, I was going to enter and I did. A week later I got a call from the producers to be on the show. I really felt like it was a calling. Winning the show was incredible. It made those dreams I had come true and I learned a lot in that year.
Your first job ever?
I was 15 and it lasted 1 hour. I was selling plants and tress. Not those kind of tress. I had to load soil bags into peoples trucks. I couldn't move my arms anymore at the end from all the lifting. I got 20 bucks, went home, and found another job at a grocery store.
Ok random question time...last time you cried?
Probably sometime in the last 4 months.
Did you have a dream for yourself in your 20's that you didn't pursue?
Nothing intense but at 25 I remember I was really thinking of pursuing being a chef. I checked out 4 different schools. I wish I had followed my inner dream. I remember that inner voice I had when I was getting ready to drop the deposit for school. For some reason I didn't do it.
The biggest challenge you've faced in your life?
Overcoming not listening to others. What I mean by that is when I was in my 20's I wanted to start my own thing, be a chef, start a business, but I had some people tell me it wasn't a good idea. I've overcome that now. I know I have to listen to me. Doing what I want to do. Living.
Your blessing in disguise?
By 23 I had already worked a lot in various companies and my own business. I felt comfortable financially by that age and after I think what happened was I got kind of lazy. I was still working full time but I wasn't really doing what I wanted or looking for it. I found jobs in sales and stuff but it wasn't nourishing me. Finally one day I just got sick of doing these jobs and not loving them. Best thing to ever happen to me was getting laid off at 29. I promised myself I would now start working long hours for myself and pursue my passion of being an entrepreneur.
When did you start cooking?
At 19. The kitchen felt like my sanctuary. The more I reflect on my life, I realize that throughout the years, cooking helped me a lot.
What do you feel most thankful about?
Finding my inner voice. It's not easy or hard to follow, it's the process of finding it.
Best advice you ever got?
Just be you.
Most weekends, my favorite place to grub at in Paris has a waiting line of 45 mins or more. Most weekends, I also always want me some pancakes, eggs, and maple syrup. You get me?! But when I feel like a impatient 13 year old teenager who can't wait in the long Sunday brunch lines, I go home, calm my grown ass down, and make it myself. It's totally not as good as Holybelly's pancakes and eggs, but hey, it is pretty good. So grub I had to share with you friends! Thanks for the inspiration HB!
What you need:
Serves 1 selfish person
2 fried eggs (not well done, sunny side up)
few slices of bacon chopped and just crisp
1/2 tbsp of butter
Powdered sugar for final garnish
1. Start by cooking the bacon on a stove. Once it's just crisp, remove and chop. Place in bowl to the side.
(In the following steps, you will be cooking with 2 pans simultaneously. Prepare yo'self)
2. In the same pan as the bacon, cook your eggs on high heat for just about 1 min (per egg) (don't flip the egg, keep sunny side up). While these are cooking, go to your other pan and on low heat add 1 tsp of butter and start to warm up your pancakes for about 2 minutes on each side.
3. Once your eggs are cooked, and pancakes are warm, start to assemble:
-just a drizzle of maple syrup
-top off with a drizzle of maple syrup, bacon, and fresh strawberries
Do you like it, do you like it?
Don't want to make it, go to Holybelly if you're in Paris:
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, France