About Me

Welcome to my green world!

My name is Ciry. I am half Austrian and half Cuban but lived most of my life in Spain. I moved to the US almost 20 years ago. First to Portland (OR), then New York City and currently San Diego. These cities have shaped my life in many different ways.

I am a mom of 2, a wife, a marathon runner, a yoga enthusiast, a former photojournalist and a creative plant-based cook. I love spending quality time with my family and friends in the kitchen, developing new healthy recipes and experimenting with seasonal produce, colors and textures. I enjoy the creative process. It’s all about transforming ordinary ingredients into irresistible adventures for the senses.

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I also like traveling, reading, writing and taking pictures of unusual things and places.  I am especially interested in art, nature and the juxtaposition of both. I believe there is art everywhere and in everything, we just need to open our mind and look. Ultimately, we are all connected to each other and nature.

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My story in a nutshell.

On September 11th 2001, I became an accidental vegetarian. My husband and I lived two blocks from the World Trade Center. After the attacks, we were not allowed back in our place for almost two weeks. We lived in a high-rise building soaring 44 floors and 548 apartments. Imagine hundreds and hundreds of refrigerators full of rotten food, as a result of no electricity. There were also many animals left behind. Needless to say, there was a strong smell of death in the building, in our neighborhood, all mixed with the burning  odor from Ground Zero. It was truly unbearable! A week after our return to the apartment, we went out to eat. I ordered the usual, some steak.  To my surprise, I couldn’t eat it. I gagged. That day, I started experimenting with vegetarianism. The transition was rather easy for me, partially because almost all my co-workers were vegetarians. It also helped that I love Indian food which was easily accessible in New York City.

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A few years later, we moved to San Diego. I started practicing hot yoga and rediscovered my passion for running and the outdoors.  I fell off the veggie wagon a few times until I came across Matt Frazier and his No Meat Athlete website.  I also learned about ultramarathoner Brendan Brazier and some incredible endurance athletes that were winning races on a 100% plant-based diet. A couple of years later, the books of Scott Jurek and Rick Roll came out. I was sold! I completely eliminated dairy and eggs from my diet after reading their books. Why? I wanted to see if I could improve performance on marathon distances. Great results came soon after! I felt lighter on my feet. I felt better both physically and mentally. I felt more energetic and compassionate for all living things. I guess you could say I underwent a radical change, inside out. 

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In 2014, I attended a couple of Weekend Intensive courses at Matthew Kenney Culinary Institute in Santa Monica, sharpening my knife skills and mastering the art of raw vegan cuisine. This same year I enrolled in a six-month culinary program at Rouxbe Cooking School. This course was lead by world-renowned plant-based chef-educator Chad Sarno. I graduated top of my class and received my Professional Plant-Based Certificate in the fall of 2014. 

In 2016, I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a one year program where I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and cutting-edge coaching methods.


About Sunshine & Kale

In this blog, I am going to write about food, art, nature and everything in between including occasional posts about wellness, nutrition, and fitness. My hope is that with each post, I’ll bring you a little bit of sunshine and kale  into your life.

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