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.
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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?
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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?

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Mangonana Fusion Smoothie – vegan & dairy-free

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I hope you all had a nice back holiday, replete of love, fun and sunny spring activities. If there is something that I love about spring is to spend time in the park reading books while my skin is absorbing the warm sun and picnics are a must!  If anyone has delicious clean recopies for picnics, please share, as I am looking for some 🙂

Actually this post is not about picnic delights but about my most recently smoothie that I thought was worthily to share. This delicious and satisfying recipe is my ultimate every now and then drink. Banana paired with mango, is just a tasteful combination, I added a bit of spinach – a way to have more veggies trough the day – but you barely notice them, besides the greenish touch of colour from the smoothie, topped with coconut, hmm so yummy. Hope you like it too.

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Ingredients:

  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 1 medium medjol date
  • 3 tbs flaxseed
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 ripped banana
  • ginger to taste
  • 1 handful spinach
  • Desiccated coconut to sprinkle

Preparation: Blend all together, once in the glass sprinkle the coconut and enjoy it!

Jordan & the health benefits from the lowest point of earth I

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I do love to travel. It’s my hobby, my addiction, my H2O. My favourite destinations must include warm weather, sea, beach and a pool. Sometimes I like places with good nightclubs and other times I’m in the mood for something more zen. Now, my favourite destination for a zen moment is Jordan. There’s something special about this country that makes me want to come back every year.

Despite the amazing cultural and Biblical history that Jordan offers, there’s much more beyond that. That includes: relaxation, hot springs and all the natural benefits from the Dead Sea minerals. Of course I could buy some of this products but it’s hard to find 100% natural so for maximum benefits, however, what’s better then going straight to the source?!

The Dead Sea area is warm even in the winter (expect chilly nights), making it a perfect destination spot 365 days a year. Spas have indoor pools, including salty water swimming pools, so even if the weather is a bit chilly, you can enjoy it. This is why I always go during the winter, and I choose the party destinations for summer.

So I am going to float  in the dead sea, get muddy and shower under waterfalls!!  If you have the opportunity, it’s better to do it now, before it’s gone in the next 40 years, since is dropping by around a meter per year  😦

 

On my way to the lowest point on earth 

At the airport a car hire driver is waiting ready to take me on the 80-minute drive towards the magical Dead Sea. It’s Friday – a weekend day – so along the road I see so many families having a pick-nicks and BBQ by the roads, because   they sit on any green space they can find and now in March, it’s already perfect to sit, eat and have fun. 

While driving on the unfinished roads, and passing by dirty villages that looks destroyed from some war, I start to wonder if something is really happening after the rainbow.

In the middle of nowhere, I finally get to the hotel, that from its looks could be a hotel anywhere in the world, no original features. After a long flight I don’t dream about relaxing in my hotel  room, but to go to the Dead Sea as soon as I can. Turning my head around and trying to have a sneak from the windows while checking-in I look out for the sea, but I couldn’t see any water. In my room I put on my beach clothes. Finally I go outside. I can feel the fresh pure air in my lungs, the sun on my skin, the silence…  Now I can relax.  It was a long way to get here. Well, I guess all the precious things  are not easy to get, thats why they are so special.

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Why everyone is crazy about Oil Pulling, and so do I?!

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Every morning I battle with the alarm clock. I may snooze for more ten times when finally I go straight to the kitchen and take 1tsp of coconut oil and I start to swishing it. I go back to my room where I meditate by the window for 20 minutes, while swishing around the oil around my teeth. Some days I do spit mucus after it, what is a good sign, it means it is working and cleaning out all the toxins off my body. After I brush my teeth with my homemade toothpaste I continue with my normal daily routine having my morning warm water with lemon to keep detoxing.
Yes, 20 minutes! You read well! It’s the recommended time for the oil pulling. It may sound toooo long, but believe me time flies! Doing my research, my first concern was about the length of time: When could I take 20 minutes for ‘mouthwash’?! But I have found the perfect time to do it. Not everyone has the same routine, but I am sure you will find your own time do it. There are some people who do it while showering or reading emails, be creative!
After one week of oil pulling I noticed an improvement on my acne, my teeth becoming brightener and I feel more energetic, which I think is pretty good.
I know, you are still wondering what the hell is oil pulling…
For years that ancient Ayurvedic natural medicine knows the benefits of oil pulling, but just now became popular by word of mouth. Everyone says thats really works. It doesn’t costs a thing once is another ingredient that should be already on the shelf.
Oil pulling consists swishing oil in the mouth (much like you would do with mouthwash) with a goal of detoxing, rejuvenating the body and allowing the benefits of it to take hold. I recommend you all try it for a month to see what it does for you!

Which oil should be used?

It is preferable to get the highest quality oil you can find. Cold pressed (raw) oil is often said to be critical to the alleged effectiveness. Sesame oilsunflower oilcoconut oil and olive oil are the most recommended for oil pulling, but any vegetable oil will work. I prefer to use coconut oil not only because it has more benefits but also because of the pleasant flavour. I have tried olive oil but I didn’t like the strong flavour.

Want white teeth, gorgeous gums and one seriously healthy body? This is how to do it:

1. First thing in the morning (before brushing and in a empty stomach),  – I do spit even before, since I remember I do that and I guess logical of things it should be good, because I am already spitting out some bad stuff – then pour yourself a tablespoon of the oil of your choice;

2. Put it in your mouth, and swish it around for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Push and pull the oil back and forth, left and right, drawing it between your teeth;

3. Do NOT swallow it;

4. Continue swishing. As you continue swishing the oil, it eventually gets much more thin, and even turns white. Spit out a little into the sink. If the color is not white, it means you are not done. So continue until the color of the oil is white;
5. Spit it in the trash  (because it can solidify and clog your pipe, so spitting into your skin is not a good idea);

6. Rinse your mouth out with water;

7. Brush your teeth as normally you do in your daily routine.

If you are curious to know more about it, I truly recommend you to read ‘Oil pulling – Therapy Detoxifying Cleaning’ from Dr. Bruce Fife . You can buy it at:

You can also watch the video.

Another good reading.

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Homemade toothpaste – The benefits

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Did you ever think about what’s inside your toothpaste? I never questioned that before. Since  I remember I use the same brand every time just because mom and the dentist taught me that we need so to keep our buddies healthy. I loved so much my toothpaste that I used to eat it from the tube when I was a little girl, and listening  to my mom: ‘That’s not to eat. It’s to brush.’  So I can’t eat..but I can brush with it?!

Toothpaste cleanses teeth and removes plaque, which is beneficial, but if your goal is to maintain healthy teeth through a proper diet, mainstream toothpastes will work against your efforts.

I am not a dentist or a doctor. But I do care about my health not only when there is something wrong with me but to prevent being ill. On my new path of discovery about this ‘new’ world of chemicals free, organic, natural and so on…I started to read the labels to find out about the ingredients used. But did you ever think about reading the toothpaste, shampoo, the make-up remover ingredients?! Well, it never crossed my mind before either besides the popular ‘paraben free’ and a few years ago also the ‘fluried’ started to be a popular subject, but I didn’t pay much attention back then. Now it’s different and I want to find out more.

Like in food, in the toothpaste you can find all this synthetic ingredients and strange names: triclosan, FD&C Blue Dye, sorbitol and other ones including the fluoride and aspartame. Yes! you do have a sweetener in your toothpaste, it’s everywhere! That’s why we are so addicted to it. Lately I’ve thinking about all this strange ingredients: Do you know what they are? Would you eat them?! I don’t think so. if we can’t eat them maybe we shouldn’t use this products at all. It’s just a thought, it doesn’t mean I will be that radical, maybe I can be half way.

First I started looking for a safe alternative to the common toothpastes. I found out that there are many alternatives but very pricy and some of them still containing some of that bad ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate.

Realising that in my pantry I have all the ingredients necessary to make a homemade toothpaste, I decided to experiment and make my own without spending a fortune on store-bought brands. It is so easy and quick to prepare.

First I started with small quantities and adjusting to my taste. I must confess that the colour is not that appealing, but the most important thing is that it cleanses gently, leaving the teeth feeling clean and polished.

Do you have your favourite homemade toothpaste recipe? please feel free to share it! I’ve been experimenting with my own homemade toothpaste recipe for a while now after realising how easy it is to make it. And my next step is to get myself a bamboo toothbrush and start with oil pulling.

But be aware that the home made version doesn’t foam up like conventional paste and bicarb soda imparts a salty taste, but can be flavoured any way you like. It can take some time getting used to it. Also, due to turmeric the tooth brush will be yellow dye.  Just warning you!

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 3 tablespoons baking soda

• 1 turmeric

• 1 clay

• 1 xylitol

• 3 tablespoon distilled water

• 20-25 drops of peppermint oil (start with half and adjust for taste preference)

It is important not to use metals when making this recipe, because the bentonite clay can absorb the metals.

How to prepare:

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a ceramic bowl and stir with a ceramic spoon or chopsticks;

2. Add the wet ingredients and stir;

3. Storage in a glass container.

Do you know what is Mahlep, the cherry bitter baking spice?

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In the Muffin’s recipe, as you probably noticed, I used an unusual ingredient: Mahlep.  It was the very first time I used it.

I discovered this aromatic spice in Greece while exploring the  local market.  At the time I had no idea what it was or what it was used for.

I asked around but no one could explain me because of their poor english. I bought anyway a very small pack, that I’m regretting now, I should have bought more….

Once back home, I put it away and completely forgot about it. A month later I flew to Antalya in Turkey and again the same happened; I found the Mahlep, in a spice & chocolate store, but this one was in powder. Again I asked what it was for and this time I was told that it’s something traditional for cakes but it should be used in a very small quantity. And this was all I got from trying to understand very poor spoken english.

Still I was very intrigued…. but I had a good feeling about this powder. The few words I got from the guys at the shop were enough to make me buy it, again! This time back at home I did my research. I learned about it and decided to experiment it. The muffin dates were my first creation where I have used the Mahlep powder. It left a beautiful cherry scent in the kitchen, making my mouth watering for a bite! I was taken by surprise how good Mahlep made this muffins!

What is Mahlep? It is an aromatic spice, just like nutmeg. Is made from the seeds of a species of cherry. The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel and after ground to a powder before use.. The tree is native in Mediterranean region, Iran and central Asia. The finely ground mahlepi powder is made from the inner kernels of fruit pits of a native Persian cherry tree (Prunus cerasus mahaleb).

What is used for? It is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods. Used for centuries in the Middle East Greece, Armenia, Turkey, Iran as a flavouring for baked goods. In Greek cousin, it is the characteristic flavouring of Christmas and Easter cakes into pastry recipes. Something that I never tasted because I eat grain-free – Paleo. In Armenia where it is used almost exclusively for sweetbreads and confectionery and Turkey it is used for pogača – kind of small round bread

What it tastes like? It has a distinctive fruity taste,  a delicate fragrance that is dominated by a bitterness flavour similar to almonds and cherry notes. Although quite aromatic in the sense that “a little bit goes a long way” it is the combination of the fragrance and the bitterness which makes the spice uniquely suited for sweet foods.

How to store? As with all spices, should be stored in a cool dry place, and it must be used within a year or so for the most powerful flavour.

Where to buy:

http://parthenonfoods.com

http://foratasteofpersia.co.uk

http://marketurk.co.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk

Istanbul: Egyptian Spice Bazaar

Fall in LOVE with Buenos Aires . stories . pics . reviews I

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Greek flavours

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