The Environmental & Vegan Toothbrush

Changing from plastic to eco-friendly, discover the reasons…

escovadenteseco

I must confess that until I saw a recycled toothbrush on the shelves, I didn’t give it much thought. I usually choose my toothbrush by its looks and its bristles –  never from what it is made, but I have been recycling things since forever, so how come I never thought about tooth brushes before?!

The first time that I saw the recycled toothbrush I didn’t buy it, and when I got back home I couldn’t stop thinking about its simplistic bamboo handle and elegant paper box.  I became curious and wanted to know more about it. I did some research and learnt all about the universe of the toothbrush.

After my research I concluded that the key to perfect oral hygiene doesn’t depend on how many functions the toothbrush has, the types of bristles it has, or even if you can brush your tongue 😉  It all depends on having a good clean diet, and brushing your teeth correctly so they get a good clean.  I also realised how bad my environmental impact was in choosing a plastic toothbrush – I had never given it a 2nd thought that my tooth brush was made with plastic, it was so natural to buy, almost like drinking water…

We should never forget about these small things and their every day impact on the environment. How many toothbrushes have I used in my life?! I have no idea…but they are out there, taking years and years to decompose, and will still be there even when my grandchild is alive 😦  Small things like changing your toothbrush will make a huge difference.  Imagine that on a global scale…

During my eco-friendly toothbrush research I found one in which the bristles are made of sterilised Pig hair.  Yes, that’s right: Pig hair to brush our teeth. What on earth?!?! Sometimes we really have no clue of what we are eating or using, it’s damn disgusting when we get to know the ugly truth.  Anyway…let’s get to the point and that is about something GOOD!

The Envoiramental Tooth brush

This is the one, my first eco toothbrush and I will tell you why…It’s compostable, which means it is made from bamboo, a natural cellulose fibre (100% biodegradable, environmentally sustainable, and non polluting of the environment). The amazing growth and self-renewing ability of bamboo means that deforestation is not necessary either. Even the packaging is bio-degradable, well not 100% because the  inner white sleeve that the toothbrush comes in is not recyclable or compostable, and has to go to landfill.  According to the company though, this is as green as they can make it.

Recommendation: Because this is a natural toothbrush, it should be well rinsed and dried after each use.

Pros:

  • Naturally anti-bacterial
  • More durable than oak
  • Smooth finish
  • Lightweight
  • Biodegradable

This brand also offers three types of bristles: – Medium – Soft – Soft bristle for children

And…what’s the story behind ‘The Giant Panda’? ‘China’s Giant Panda consumes soft bamboo shoots, stems and leaves as its main food source. The Environmental Toothbrush honours the Giant Panda and does not harm their habitat or food sources. The type of bamboo used to create the bamboo toothbrushes is the high Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys Pubescens), which has no leaf growth on the first 5 metres of the stem and therefore does not serve as a food source for the Giant Panda or the small panda.’

Where to buy:  Harveste8 Amazon

 

 

Advertisements

Eid Mubarak!

Discover the reasons behind fasting
It wasn’t my first time in a Muslim country during the month of
Ramadan, but it was the first time – after having read about Ramadan –
that I follow some of the principles regarding fasting.  And why so?
No, I am not secretly being converted to Islam, but I do like
challenges and I thought that this could be a really good one. So I got into the spirit of Ramadan and fasted for two weeks.

I have never been one to go on crazy diets, I have a very healthy
diet, and I do eat when I am hungry. I know there are people who fast
once per week or once per month.  I tried before and I failed.  So,
why now?

First, because it is hard to find a decent place to eat during the
day, the restaurants look empty what looks bit sad – there are hotels
of course, but that can be a bit boring.

Secondly, I wanted to prove to myself that I was self disciplined
enough to subject myself to the rigours of fasting –  the purification
of the mind and body.

Thirdly, it is just easier to fast when people around you are doing
the same – the whole vibe makes it easier to fast.

My first day of fasting  was quite hard, I had eaten some fruit for
dinner the night before, so I was feeling hungry in the morning. I
avoided the hotel breakfast and went straight out. During the
afternoon I decided to purchase a few things for myself at the market:
nuts, a selection of dates, and some mini mangos (now they are in
season and OMG they are so delicious, and when cut in a half they look
like mini lollipops!)

While I was holding the bags in the taxi, I had a great temptation to
open the bags…I started to do so..but hesitated and remembered that I
had to wait only a few hours more. Later I had to go to the restaurant
to book a table for that evening, and choose what to have for dinner.
During Ramadan reservations are not accepted, and the food must be
paid for in advance, so it will prepared and ready for 7pm (sunset).

After all the waiting I was excited for dinner to arrive at last! I
arrived a little before ‘ifitar’, and the restaurant was already busy.
Big tables seating families, couples, or just a group of male friends,
all waiting for ‘iftar’ –  the tables already laid with morsel of
food.

At 7pm we listened to a prayer, then drank water and ate dates – the
anticipation of the meal was building up…  So many hours waiting for
dinner and then dinner was finished in just half hour!  I must confess
that when choosing the food in the afternoon, I was a bit greedy, in
the event I could not finish my food! I realised then that I only
needed the same amount of food as when I wasn’t fasting.

After I left the restaurant, I delivered left over food to the
homeless I found sleeping on the street (something that I’ve done
before) – unfortunately I didn’t have to travel far to find them.

On my second day of fasting I woke up by coincidence at  about 3am,
which is time for the ‘suhoor’ – the meal before the day break.  I
thought about eating, but I wasn’t hungry at all, so I skipped
‘suhoor’ completely.  Later when I woke up,   the fasting came easy to
me, although I was thirsty and I had water.

During the day I didn’t feel hungry and didn’t think about food.
However the excitement increased as ‘iftar’ time approached,  it felt
like a celebration, like Thanks Giving or Christmas Eve – only without
the family.

The following days of fasting fell into the same pattern, the days
getting gradually easier and easier, until the fasting become almost
natural.

By the end of the two weeks I lost a few inches and I mentally I was feeling peaceful with myself and more self-aware. I loved the experience and I have serious toughs about do it again next year for a longer period of time or even before the next Ramadan, or something like once per month.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a period of fasting, reflection, worship, generosity and
sacrifice practised by Muslims around the world. The purpose of this
holy month is much more than abstaining from food and drink; it is a
source of purification for the soul, heart, mind, and body.

This month of reflection also serves as a tool to increase patience
and self-control. It is a humbling reminder of those who are living in
hunger and poverty on a daily basis, and allows one to truly count
their blessings and give thanks from within as well as with their
actions.  The experiencing of hunger and thirst allows one to
empathise with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
We recognise that everything we have is a blessing from Him.  Charity
(also important on Eid – last day of Ramadan), developing generosity,
improving our relations with others, feeding the needy and sharing
good fortune. These actions help to decrease poverty.

Fasting exceptions for:

Those who have not yet reached puberty; those who are ill, traveling,
pregnant or menstruating, but they are still required to give to
charity and feed another person.

How to fast:

During daylight hours, Muslims will abstain from: food, drink, sex,
smoking and profanity.

Before daybreak/sunrise, many Muslims will eat a meal ‘suhoor’

Sunset marks the breaking of the fast, and is time for the ‘iftar’,
before starting this meal it is traditional to drink water and eat a
date.

Health benefits of fasting during Ramadan – if done correctly

According to Dr Mahroof, when the body is in starvation mood, it
starts to burn fat so that it can make energy, which can lead to
weight loss.
As the Ramadan fast only lasts from sunrise till sunset, the body’s
energy can be replaced by the meals during night time.
This ritual provides a smooth transition from using glucose as the
main source of energy, to using fat, preventing the breakdown of
muscle for protein.
During fasting, a purification process occurs, because the body is
dissolving and removing toxins.
Mental wellbeing is increased due to the higher levels of endorphins
in the blood, making one more alert.

I am back!

Hello!

I’ve been very busy recently, which amongst other things means that I haven’t had much time to devote to this blog.

I have been moving houses, so I stopped cooking. But now I am settled down at my new beautiful home and back to the game! Inspiration has been running again in my veins and I started cooking delicious recipes, that I will share with you all very soon. I couldn’t be more happy at the moment, since I have a small market and an organic shop, just a few minutes walk away from home, to fill up all my special needs and requirements, it is just perfect!

Harveste8 is my new favourite spot. It is a friendly family run business that offers organic and fresh groceries and beauty products. If I am lazy to cook I do sometimes have a meal at their Cafe, where they offer a variety of vegan/gluten free cakes, salads and smoothies. All very yummy! If you are in East London, give them a try.

XOXO

A organic vegan chick in Roma – Where to eat

After my last post regarding my trip to Roma I received many messages saying how hard would be to keep my organic vegan diet in Italy. But at the same time I also received some delicious suggestions that I have tried, even like that I didn’t had time to try all (Thank you guys). Some people that I meet personally always made a face like: where the hell are we going to eat?! Honestly I don’t understand why people make a great deal about this, I see this the same like when choosing a Michelin star or the best restaurants in town. Happens that not everyone likes the same vegan or not, they always have their preferences, and they make an effort to eat what they fancy, so with me is the same. I just don’t eat at any restaurant by the corner (but I have been always like that even before becoming vegan).
I had pin all the places on the map to make my life easier when I was becoming hungry, but when exploring the cities I also have found new places that didn’t made part of my list.  I can say that was pretty easy to keep my food and diet standards. Plus I also didn’t fell any temptation by the delicious smell of pizza, pasta or gelato that you can buy in every single door. Oh and I must confess that one of the days I had four gelatos, from different gelatarias – yes, all vegans – and if I wanted I could had more (greedy! eheh)

If you visiting Roma this route can help you to make better choices, hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

VATICAN 

Tulait

Delicious mediterranean food

tulait-rest-roma
A rustic small restaurant, owned by Roberto and Alexandra, they don’t let you down with the service and the offer of veggie dishes, even so is not a specialised in vegan, but in mediterranean italian food, it is simple, tasty and with good quality.

Taverna Vegetariana

Vegetarian & Vegan

tavernaveg-rest-roma
The first vegetarian restaurant in town, made for the italians taste. I am saying this because some of the dishes can be a bit spicy, something traditional in the Roman cousin. So if you go there, and you are not used or don’t like spicy food, ask before you order or you will have a spicy surprise, as they don’t mention it on the ingredients.

Pasticceria Gelateria dei Gracchi

Vegan natural gelato

gracchi-gelato-roma

Home made gelato, made only with the seasonal fruit, is completely natural and free of preserves, colorants. They have regular ice-cream and also a really nice exquisite selection of flavours completely vegan (only egg free is also available). They have a few shops around the town, so I end up eating more from this brunch, I always repeated the dark chocolate or dark chocolate with rum mixed with other two different flavours like apple and mint, apple and cinnamon, coconut or wild berries. On my last day when searching for one of the shops, I asked directions to a italian lady that took me until there, she was afraid that I could miss the spot, on our way she kept talking about how she loves their gelato, and that she’s only eats from there, and how I understand her 🙂

Fa Bio

Customised salads & sandwiches on the go

fabio-rest-roma

Its tiny tiny, the queue starts earlier (12:30pm) seats just a few in side, but all this is worth to have an amazing super casual bio lunch. On the queue I found tourists, locals, people who were just passing by, no one stay indiferent to this cosy place. Inside a selection of salads, swandiches, juices and smoothies made with the best bio ingredients in town, made to order, everything looks good! I had a huge salad and I was completely satisfied for hours and hours, plus Fabio and Claudio are extremely lively.

At Restaurant

Casual fast food

at-rest-roma
I was lost on my way to Fontana de Trevi, and so happy for that, because I come across with this natural  food restaurant. Smoothies, salads, fruit and vegan gelato. They have a great variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes just like a fast food place but with healthy fast food choices. With two doors open to the Plaza where you can see and absorve the italian atmosphere and vibration during the lunch time. A place where you only find locals.
Its small, cosy and friendly (with free wifi). I had a delightful smoothie with dates, vanilla and almonds and after of course I had to try their gelato: coco and papaya, what a surprisingly combination.

In Salata Ricca

Organic jumbo salads

Delicious JUMBO salads, that I couldn’t finish mine! With a extended salad menu for vegans or non vegans, plus they also have other dishes suitable for every diet. Everyone will be happy. Perfect for a casual lunch or dinner sitting outside. You can find the branch all over the city, whats perfect.

CAVOUR

Grezzo

Raw chocolate

grezzo-rest-roma
I really had to visit this place, since they say they are the first vegan chocolaterie, pasticiere and geletaraia in the world. I do love chocolate, as I have mention many times before, and I even make my own home made chocolate, although I never had a real raw chocolate before, and when I started making mines at home I had no clue how it should taste and how the texture should be. But I never had doubts how tasteful is my home made chocolate (plus looks good). After taste the Grezzo chocolate what is dam good, I notice that is very similar to mine as for taste and texture (what made me really proud) . It is a minimal, silk place with a few banchs to savour their vegan gellato, I had coffee and hazelnut, and after  I wanted more 🙂 They also have cakes, but I didn’t try but they really look delicious.

TRASTEVERE 

travesterre-roma

Fior di Luna

Another organic place where you can find a few vegan flavours and also sells other biologic food products. Situated in the beautiful area of the Piazza Trilussa, perfect to eat wile walking and enjoying this neighbourhood that looks like a small tuscany village.

Akbar

I love the decor of this place. Kitsch, stylish, unique. Offers a great selection of wines and also a good – but small – buffet with a good selection of delicious veggies.

KM 0

I didn’t try this one, because I didn’t went back to this neighbourhood, but what I can tell is that looks nice, only uses organic food and is vegan friendly. Give it a try and let me know who it is 🙂

Ferrara Restaurant
This is not a vegan specialised restaurant, but one of the oldest Enotecas in Rome with a really good reputation. You can always go for a tasty salad and of course you can’t miss their ‘vino’ selection – the main reason to visit them – relax… let the time goes by, enjoy the moment, the people and the music in the streets.

A post card from Roma

During my visit to Rome I took some pictures that I would like to share with you. I am not writing about anything touristic, because I think we all know how amazing and rich this city is. Plus there are out there so many other blogs talking about it, and they do it so well. But I can’t go without referring to that the picture with the Love padlocks that can be found all over the world, as we have been seeing. Here in Italy was where everything began, so I had to go there to the Ponte Milvio bridge, after inspiration by the writer Federico Moccia, whose novel ‘Ho voglia di the’ (I want you) has its protagonists placing a lock around a lamppost on the bridge. Romantic, don’t you think?!

xoxoxoRoma

Che bella Roma! – a long weekend away

An organic veggie chick in Roma

Ciao!

I’m now on my way to Rome, it is not my first time, but back then I was more interested in sight-seeing and pasta instead of relaxing and enjoying Rome like a Roman.
This time Rome will be a big challenge for me because I am not eating grains, pasta, bread, dairy or sugar (no, I am not breaking my sugar diet this time).
Instead of a hotel room I have booked a super modern high tech flat close to the Vatican with a ‘belissima’ kitchen where I can prepare my super breakfast, but… Where I will be getting my organic veggies and fruit?!

Any recommendations?! It will be very helpful 🙂

Grazie mille! 20140604-155916-57556651.jpg

The Greek Island Amorgos- Discover the superb natural beauty

The Spring has sprung, has finally sprung – well kind of. Looking outside just makes me dream about the sunny days by the beach reading a good book wile breathing the fresh air from the sea.
One of my favourite destinations is Greece. I love the traditional blue & white (hm maybe that’s why I love to wear stripes and this simple combination is one my favourites for clothes?!); oh the delicious fresh organic food, where the tomato it really tastes like tomato; the smell of pure fresh air; the friendly people… It is a place that makes me want to stay and come back, makes me desire to  visit every single island. Oh they are so many!! Probably the best thing to do would be to sail around for a couple of months. That would be amazing! I do love the well known glamorous Santorini or the party island Mykonos, but I also like to escape from the massive tourist areas to enjoy my moments of tranquility and discover high gems that are well known just by the greeks and a few people.
TRAVEL-AMORGOS-COLLAGE
Last Summer I went to explore the  island of Amorgos, another piece of paradise on earth, with beaches where you don’t find more then ten people or if you are an explorer you can find your own private unique beach. Can’t wait to explore more greek islands this upcoming summer 🙂 🙂 🙂
Which one is you favourite greek island?
TRAVEL-GREECE-AMORGOS.FINAL.001

Home Made Gelato – in 5 min

Craving for Ice cream and allergic to dairy, soy and sugar? Here is a yummy substitute.

gelato1

I do love gelato! Ice cream! Sorbet! Whatever it calls, more cream, less cream it’s my favourite thing after chocolate. Winter or Summer.  During the cold winter days,  somehow, eating ice cream it makes me fell warm, it reminds me the beautiful hot summer days setting at the coffee-shops by the beach enjoying every spoon as it was the last one, while the sun rays warmed my body giving that beautiful golden tan colour. Or the endless summers days spent at the beach were  I could eat three ice creams per day.

But nowadays my body doesn’t tolerate any kind of dairy. But that doesn’t means that I can’t have gelato anymore, well I just can’t appreciate them on the coffee-shops or by the beach, but I can have it at home or some friends backyard in a beautiful sunny day.

When I say to friends that I make my own ice cream and that only takes 5min to prepare, they just make that face: ‘How come?!’ ‘How do you do that?!’.  So finally I am sharing it with you all. This is one of my favourite recipes because is easy and really fast to make it.

To feed my gelato craving I always have frozen fruit on the freezer: banana, berries, mango, ginger and so on…then I just need to choose the flavour, add few ingredients and Voila! Serious is more quick then living home and buy it at the nearby deli, plus very very healthy.

I do also have some more complexed, creamy and yummy recipes, that I will share in the future. But this one is perfect for the last minute cravings.

Ingredients:

Mango Gelato

  • 100g Frozen Mango
  • 30g Ripped Banana
  • Frozen ginger to taste
  • 1 tbs Milk (I use coconut or unsweetned almond)

 

Berries Gelato 

  • 100g Frozen Mango
  • 30g Ripped Banana
  • Frozen ginger to taste
  • 1 tbs Milk (I use coconut or unsweetned almond)

 

Chocolate Topping

 

Preparation:

Whisk the honey, cocoa powder and the milk until a glossy mix. Reserve it.

In the blender mix all the ingredients for the chosen flavour until you get a smooth consistency. Keep in a container in the freezer while you make the second flavour, if you wish too.

In a bowl place both flavourers, add the chocolate topping, sprinkle with coconut and..ENJOY!!!

 

 

Tired of the dull skin after a long flight? I have some tips for you

Say ‘Hello’ to perfect Mile-high skin

When I was a teen, one of my dreams was to be a flight  attendant  to have the opportunity to discover the world plus being paid for it – how awesome! In my mind I had  a very glam & fun vision of it: party, party in the most popular capitals or in random beautiful places. But soon I learned that this profession makes you age faster than others do, it didn’t sound good – at all! I’ve been vain since ever. Taking care of me by adopting a more healthy living and a really good skin care regime since a very young age.  I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go through plastic surgery even if I need it (and I still think like that). So, this work career was to be forgotten, but not the desire to explore the world, something I’ve been doing in the last years. It is my addiction!
After becoming an avid traveler I started to notice some skin issues.The dryness in my skin, dulness, Oh Gosh! This looks bad, really bad. I didn’t like how I looked like, even with perfect make up on – I realised after it is not the best to fly.  Also my normal routines could keep the good work, it was driving me crazy. I had to do something about it!
For short flights 1h-3h I don’t get so worried, but honestly I regard all the women that I have seen having flights at 6am with loads of make-up on, eyelashes, and so on – but I don’t have a clue how they look like after a long flight – I guess I am too tired to notice, but still curious to see it closer (but not on my own skin, thanks!)
Now, this days I am fully equipped with a beauty bag. My seat becomes a sanctuary, literarily a ‘home-spa’. First thing I do after being accommodated – and I really don’t care about my neighbours toughs :
-I take my shoes off  and hydrate my feet;
-I wear a special socks with a hydratant gel;
-I remove the little make up I am wearing – having cleansed skin is essential;
– Apply sunscreen;
– I moisturise  my hands and wear my bamboo gloves;
– I wear a silk mask to sleep;
– Every now and then I spray my face with thermal water.
But there is much more to do if you are tired of this dull flight look, I do have more tips to share.
So…this is pretty much what happens to our skin when you are up in the air
The contained, re-circulated and repeatedly filtered air within an aeroplane is incredibly dry – has no humidity. As we breathe this air our bodies become dehydrated from the inside out, and the moisture in your skin is literally being sucked out by pressurised air in the cabin. This evaporation of moisture can leave it feeling dry and looking dull and lacklustre. Plus the stress of travel, jet lag and lack of sleep force the body to go into overdrive and, to cope, it releases the stress hormone cortisol. A nightmare for every skin!
Pre-flight tips:
 – In the days before you travel, use extra moisturiser, especially at night;
 – Increase the amount of water you drink for at least two days before you fly;
– Bring you own beauty bag: a hydrating cleanser, moisturizer, lip balm, hand sanitizer and hand cream to apply throughout the flight;
– Natural look: I am not saying to go all bare face, but for long flights less is definitely more for our beautiful skin. Stick with a bit of mascara and lipgloss.
In-flight tips:
– If using make up on  give your skin a quick cleansing with removing wipes;
– Apply sunscream if flying when flying is sunny outside;
– Lack of sleep can also play havoc with skin during travel. Slip on that eye mask and try to snooze your way to your destination;
– Use an inflatable neck support to avoid cricks;
– Say no to: alcohol, tea and coffee unless you compensate with even more water;
– Avoid the snacks;
– Hydrated your body: drink plenty of water ( I advise you to take the aisle seat:));
– Eat fruit and veggies as much as possible (I always take home made snacks with me to avoid the temptation – and this days is easy to find fruit at the airport);
– Stretch. Move. Walk. In long flights there is always a movie with exercises follow it and stimulate the blood flow which will help increase circulation to help maintain health of skin;
– Compression stockings which increase the pressure around the lower leg and help to prevent clots forming, are also a good idea.
Post-flight:
– Continue adding extra moisturiser to your regime, as you did pre-flight;
– Continue to rehydrate by drinking plenty of water;
– I always carry my silk pillow case with me to replace the one from the hotel room (buy one with a strong colour for you don’t leave behind).

So travels, tell me how do you feed your skin when overseas?

SKIN-FLIGHT

ONE  TWO  THREE  FOUR  FIVE

BAY LEAVES – Do you use them?

There is something more that I have re-discover during my last trip to Jordan: Bay Leaves.

Since I left my parents house I completely forgot about bay leaves. I remember seeing my mum using it to add flavour to  most of her dishes, and she always kept the dry plant hanging in the pantry, like it was part of the furniture. I already know that it was very common in the Mediteranean, Indian and Nepalese cousins. I liked it, but I never payed too much attention to it until now, where I bought an organic bay leaves bath – with the real leaves.

Once at home I made my research and I learnt the amazing benefits of this plant. Besides the bitter and sharp taste, the reason why we don’t eat it, it’s also used in perfumes due to the similar fragrance to cinnamon and also of its medicinal properties.

I didn’t start to use them on my cookings. What about you, in which recipes do you use them?

xoxo

TRAVEL-HORDAN-BAYLEAVES

– Anti-cancer properties;

– Treatment for menstrual problems;

– Good for digestion;

– Treatment for diabetes;

– Cardiovascular benefits;

– Beneficial during preconception period;

– Cleanses teeth;

– Insect repellent;

– Treatment for cold and infection;

– Treatment for kidney problems;

– Relieves stressed skin;

– Anti-bacterial;

– Anti-fungal;

– Diuretic;

– Anti-inflammatory.