Chai and Gratitude—A Holiday Note from Me to You!

I can still remember the first time I tasted Chai tea. It was 1992 in a San Francisco café and I was on a two-week coastal tour of California alone.

Being the quasi-hippie that I am, I made my way to the Haight, that legendary, mythological street where the Summer of Love began. It was there that I had my first taste of chai and it was love at first sip. Spicy, sweet and warm, I felt instantly connected to a place across the world where the roots of Yoga and divinity were born. It was heaven in a cup.

Unfortunately though, it was not real chai. I didn’t know the difference then but the chai I was drinking that day was from a box, manufactured in a plant somewhere far from that cozy coffee shop in the heart of San Francisco. It was also loaded in sugar and by the end of those two weeks, I could see that the chai I had come to love, was not so much loving me.

Fast forward to 2012, amazingly 20 years have passed and as I sit here writing this I am enjoying a delicious cup of homemade chai tea. It is my new morning beverage and I can’t imagine starting a winter day without it. This tea is not from a box though. Nor does it have any sugar. Instead it is made with real spices, pounded together in my mortar and pestle, steeped with black tea and hot unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It is incredibly delicious and as comforting to me now as that first taste of chai was then, but without the consequences.

For this I have to thank Linzi Jean of Spice Revolution in Dobbs Ferry, NY who I featured in one of my Motivational Monday videos. Through her, I was reminded of my love of chai and learned how to make chai from scratch. It has become a favorite morning ritual.

My nutrition practice has brought me a tremendous amount of joy. Not only have I met incredible people, but I also have the real privilege of making an impact on the health and wellbeing of the people I work with and those of you that watch my videos.

I also have learned so much through the planning and creating of the Motivational Monday video series. I have learned that to make a five minute video, you need hours of planning, at least four times as many minutes of footage that have to then be whittled down into an informationally packed segment. I have seen the dedication of my friend, web designer, and videographer, Francesca, for whom I will forever be grateful. I have also met incredible people like Linzi, and interviewed a dear friend, Lisa Goldstein Angarame, a vegan-yogi-blogger-mom who you will soon meet in an upcoming video, who can make magic happen with a chick pea. I have also traveled to Sag Harbor and had an fantastic time filming cooking segments with Francesca at her father’s home and then meeting and enjoying his friends that helped us eat all the food we created. I am grateful to Robin for opening his home and letting us clutter his kitchen with video equipment.

And then there is of course, you, my clients, viewers and readers that inspire me every day to create the best content I can in order to provide you with the tools you need to feel and look great and thrive in this sometimes unhealthy and chaotic world. Getting your emails and notes from as far away as Australia, the Philippines, China, India and the Republic of Georgia, still humbles me and blows my mind. As a passionate traveler, it thrills me to know there are places I am visiting virtually if not physically. I know how much great health means to all of you and I also recognize the limited time and resources that can get in the way of living your best life, so I am always looking for ways to make it simple, easy, cost efficient and delicious. Thank you for inspiring me to do my best work.

The best is yet to come. While we bid farewell to 2012, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement and it is my promise to you that I will continue to work hard on your behalf to bring you the best information I can to help you live your healthiest and best life! I send loads of love to all of you!

Wishing you and your family a HEALTHY, vibrant and happy 2013!

With much love~


Share Your Thoughts...

19 comments on “Chai and Gratitude—A Holiday Note from Me to You!

  1. AvatarJoanne Franklin

    Happy New Year Barbara–
    I am one of your one of your loyal and avid followers for close to 10 years! You have helped me feel and look better and helped by changing my diet and teaching me about nutrition and vitamins. I think you are great and love watching your videos and trying out all your delicious, healthy recipes.

    I wish you all the best in the New Year and look forward to learning and listening to your advice for the next 10 years! — Joanne xox

  2. AvatarHowie Goldberg

    I can’t thank you enough for all you do to help me and others lead healthier, happier lives. Your videos and writings have been inspirational for me throughout 2012. I am looking forward to more of your inspiration and information in 2013! Thank you so much for all the teaching you do. Have a happy & healthy new year!

  3. AvatarJIMMY LI

    Hi Barbara
    I want you to know that your info is always well rec’d, you are such a cool drink of water on a hot day, and your enthusiasm is great!
    Here in NYC they have an East Indian section in Queens, in a neighborhood called Jackson Heights. On 74th Street, in this section, between 37th Ave and Roosevelt Ave, there is a large chain grocery store called Patel Bros. Inside, I bought 100 tea bags of MarsalaChai tea that is very tasty. Previously, I would make black tea and add something I bought here called “Tea spice” or “Tea marsala” , it was made by a company called–Swad, distrib by, small jar $2.49.
    Now, as I mentioned before, I recently bought 100 tea bags of “Marsala Chai Tea Bags” for approx $3.00, and its terrific! Contains black tea and also ginger, black pepper, cardamon , cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, piper longum
    The company is “”
    Maybe you’ll like these products too!
    Best of health, wealth, long life and balance in 2013!

  4. AvatarCeleste

    Hey Gal, Thanks for keeping us focused on the important BIG stuff and reminding us to let go of the nutty, no-so-important-little stuff….that seems so BIG…..Here’s to Chai! Keep doing what you do so well. xo, Celeste

  5. AvatarJorge and Iraida Mendez

    You make us so proud! Your end of the year open letter to your clients is truly inspirational and well written.
    Hope the New Year brings you all the good things you deserve.


    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez, RPh, MS Post author

      Hey Lee! I’m so sorry but this was stuck in a spam folder… I just saw it now~ I hope you are doing well and that your new year is off to great start! So happy to know you are loving the chai!

  6. AvatarJon Sheppard

    HNY to you too Barbara and THANK YOU for all the wonderful tips, recipes and inspiration that you provide throughout the year!! A toast to good health!!!!!!!!!


  7. AvatarRose Littlejohn

    Hi Barbara, What a beautiful note…I am so grateful to have you in my life. Wishing you all the best in 2013. The chai tea sounds delicious and will need to try sometime. Rose


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *