Welcome to Not A Leaf!
My name is Aparna and I hail from Ann Arbor, Michigan where I live the good life. I live with my hubby, who you will come to know as REB, and our dog Gryff, who we spoil senseless.
This blog began as a way to keep track of recipes I’ve cooked, but evolved into a place to share our adventures of traveling, cooking, daily life of our awkward, stumpy four-legged fur kid, and REB and me living each day in Tree Town.
Both REB and I are vegetarians and love to cook and come up with healthy, new vegetarian recipes; many of which you’ll see here! I’ve been a vegetarian for about 10 years and truly believe a healthier lifestyle can be achieved by switching to a plant-based diet with the addition of daily exercise.
What you’ll find on this blog:
- Recipes galore! I’m by no means a trained, professional chef, but I do dabble a bit in my kitchen. I love finding ways to take every day recipes and putting a vegetarian twist on them. I’ve never been a stranger to the kitchen, but I never really measured ingredients or thought about the food I’m putting into my body and very quickly saw my well being change into something unhealthy. So now, I try to share vegetarian recipes that are also healthy, full of fiber and protein!
- Photos! In addition to taking all the photos you see on this blog for the recipes posted, I also take photos on the side. I love photography and have had the photo bug in me for as long as I can remember. I have been fortunate enough to have had several sessions each year doing senior portraits, children/families, maternity/pregnancy announcement and weddings!
- Book Reviews! I inherited the bookworm gene from my family and having many friends who also love to read has made me put reading goals for myself each year. Every few weeks you’ll find some reviews of books I’ve been reading. If you have suggestions for books I should read, drop me a line!
- Travel! Both REB and I enjoy traveling. In my previous job, I called myself a professional nomad because I traveled every two weeks to a newspaper or magazine, installed the software for reporters/editors/paginators to use and then trained them on how to use it. The travel part was great and I was able to see some fantastic places, but I also got my fair share of spending time in some of the pits of despair in the United States and Canada. I wanted to settle down and not do that anymore so I quit that job and started a new job, but the travel bug lives on. REB and I try to take a vacation every year no matter where it is, and you’ll find those adventures here!
Want to know more? Here are some random facts about yours truly:
- My name Aparna means “no leaf” in Sanskrit and Hindu mythology. That was the reason it became the name of my blog.
- Before my dad got tenure at Kettering University, we moved around a lot. So I’ve never really called any place “home”. I’ve lived in: Columbus, OH; Pullman, WA; Houghton, MI (the U.P.!); Oxford, MS and then Grand Blanc, MI.
- Despite what people think, I was born in New Delhi, India and moved to the States when I was 3 years old. I became a naturalized citizen when I was 16 years old. I can never be president.
- I’ve been to every state in The United States except for two: Utah and Hawaii (hoping to get those crossed off soon!)
- REB and I went to high school together, but we weren’t friends. We had mutual friends in the same circle, but he and I were never friends. It would be 5 years after high school graduation before we met up again.
- REB’s brother and his wife also went to our high school. It’s still sometimes weird to realize that two of the people you went to high school with, are now your in-laws.
- REB and I do want to have children.
- My health journey began in 2011, three or four months before my wedding. I realized that eating whatever I wanted plus exercising “some of the time” wasn’t working. So I did a complete 180, cut my caloric intake by half, focused on eating clean, protein-rich foods, worked out 3-4 times a week and shed 30 pounds by my wedding date. Though I’ve gained a few pounds back, I’ve worked consistently to keep it off and have not once gotten near where I was before.
- I have several fears: clowns, insects, spiders and the dark.
- I’ve worn glasses since I was 5 years old and have no desire to get contacts.
- I attended Michigan State University (Go Green!) and received my degree in journalism. I worked as a reporter and editor for years before the journalism industry took a turn for the worst. I switched gears to computers and installed software for newspapers, and then eventually moved out of journalism all together and now work as a Quality Assurance “Engineer” for a not-for-profit company based in downtown Ann Arbor.
- One of my friends, who I can honestly now call one of my best friends, I met because of Twitter – hooray social media! You can find her blog here.
- My and REB’s birthdays are 5 days apart. He loves to point out that he’s older.
- I don’t know what I would do without my friends; they mean the world to me!
- I started out as a pescatarian, but made the switch to full-on herbivore back in 2007. It wasn’t hard at all. It actually started out as a bet with a coworker…a bet in which I still haven’t collected my prize!
- I like all kinds of music, but cannot stand country, except maybe Johnny Cash. Sorry.
- I don’t have any plants in my house because I seem to kill them too easily. I wish I knew how to garden!
- My sister is older than me by 4 years. I have a hard time realizing how old she is because she’s always just “four years older than me.”
- My parents had an arranged marriage, but I did not.
- The farthest north I’ve ever traveled was Whitehorse, Yukon. I didn’t see the Northern Lights once.
- The farthest south I have traveled is Hyderabad, India. It’s pretty hot there.
- It’s my dream to own an apartment on the Rue Cler in Paris, France. And also a house in Vermont. Someone give me a winning lottery ticket.
- I never had a middle name, so I made my maiden name my middle name.
- I understand Telugu (South Indian language my family speaks) completely, but cannot speak it at all.
- Despite having lived all over the place, and wanting to have homes all over the country and world, I’m more than happy to call Michigan home.
Now for the disclaimer-y, quasi-legal, boring stuff:
All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are my own, as well as all the photos (unless otherwise noted), so I ask you respect that courtesy and not take anything from here unless you can link it back. Share the love! I also love hearing from readers, so please drop me a line!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading.