We can all benefit by adding a little gratitude/gratefulness/appreciation for life to our days with a few simple tricks. Each day try to write down at least one thing, or one person, that you are grateful for in your life. Making lists helps to make the thankfulness real. Try sharing the list with a friend or someone close to you- maybe you'll get one back! Even if you only think positively, you will end up feeling more positive and grateful. Try it. I dare you. ;)
Gratitude increases positive feelings and attitudes. It is a motivator. It improves overall well being. It even makes you hungry! Well, it makes you hungry when it's in the form of a cafe... Cafe Gratitude that is! Cafe Gratitude is one of my favorite places to find gratitude and to get a fantastic meal! Located in San Francisco, CA (only 45 minutes away from me!!!!), the Cafe's central theme is gratitude. Starting with when you walk in their front door, walls are decorated with positive quotes and painted outdoor scenes. Picking up a menu, all of their meals or items are given a name such as, 'I am Luscious,' 'I am Cherished,' 'I am Abundant,' and 'I am Sensational.' These actual items correspond with mouth-watering dishes of a raw chocolate smoothie, raw cheesecake, sampler platter (of sprouted almond hummus, Asian kale-sea vegetable salad, hempseed pesto crustini, spicy cashew nacho cheese w/ flax chips, olive tapenade, buckwheat crackers, spring roll & mini house soup - OMG it is GOOOOOOOOOD), and raw pesto pizza. These are just a few of the delicious dishes they (UN)cook up! And yep, everything (minus the organic quinoa, brown rice, beer, and wines) is raw! All dishes are unprocessed, living, gluten free, diary free, wheat and soy free, raw.
The owners and creators wanted to give the public a place to practice "focused attention on qualities we all aspire to: Love & Acceptance, Generosity, Worth, Gratitude, and Creation or Responsibility." They even came up with a game of gratitude called, The Abounding River Game. It featured on every table in the restaurant. Oh, and the tables are all community seating.
Here is what is written at the top of each menu which sums the place and food up:
"Cafe Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same. We support local farmers, sustainable agriculture, and environmentally-friendly products. Our food is prepared with love. We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone who chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy being nourished."
And the best part of the whole experience is being able to create most of these truly great dishes at home with their books (highly recommended)! Here is one recipe, and it is just a dressing, but it is a MUST TRY. Pour it on anything you want. It is especially fantastic on steamed quinoa and salad. My mouth is watering just thinking about it... Actually, I made some on Sunday and have been enjoying it every day since then.
Without further a due, Spicy Tahini Sauce from I Am Grateful Recipes & Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude:
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup white miso
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/ 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Lastly, to get you started on increasing gratitude, here are some questions to ask yourself, from Cafe Gratitude's e-mailing list:
What do you love about new beginings?
What is inspiring about you?
What can you appreciate yourself for today?
Where are you not practicing full self expression?
What are you grateful for?