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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Home Made Gelato – in 5 min

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

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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?

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ONE  TWO  THREE  FOUR  FIVE

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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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

Did you ever taste Matcha Latte?!

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The first time I tried Matcha green tea was during my trip to Malasya a few years ago, but that was it. Fortunately recently it started to become more popular all over the world making it easier to purchase it. And again I’m really hooked on this gem. But is a shame that is dam expensive and still hard to find, but worth it!

By now you must be wondering what the hell is Matcha green tea – is a powdered green tea, a star of the traditions of Japanese Tea Ceremony. It’s made from the leaves of shade-grown tea and ground into a fine powder with a hand mill, so it makes it one of the most healthy green teas out there.

And why is so expensive? Because of its many health benefits.  When you drink Matcha you are ingesting the whole leaf, meaning that one glass of Matcha is the equivalent of ten glasses of the green tea. It goes perfectly with milk due the smooth taste, rich flavour and colour. Hot or cold, cookies, sponge cake…you choose. Matcha does contain caffeine that will give you an instant pick up and so should not be given to kids. Adults only!

Ingredients:

• 1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder
• 3/4 cup milk at your choice (I used coconut as usual)
• 1/4 cup boiling water
• Xylitol or stevia to taste
• 1 Matcha Whisk or electric milk whisk

Preparation:

1. Bring enough water to a boil for the amount of servings you are making;

2. Slowly whisk the Matcha powder;

3. Once powder is dissolved into water, mix in the milk and sweeten to taste with Xylitol or Stevia;

4. You can also add a spice taste adding a stick of cinnamon when your heating the milk or whisk the milk with it once in the cup, just like you do with your coffee.

Where to buy:

http://www.ocha-tea.co.uk

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com

http://www.bladesoho.co.uk

Are you in Lisbon and looking for healthy grocery shops?

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