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?

SKIN-FLIGHT

ONE  TWO  THREE  FOUR  FIVE

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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Thumbprint cookies – grain and sugar free

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This goodies are a classic, special during Christmas season. Well, Christmas is over but I’m not waiting until it’s here again to bake one of my childhood favourite cookies – it takes me back when I couldn’t eat whatever I wished due to my allergies to nuts. Now that my allergies are over (thanks to the detox), I am having a blast trying all this grain and sugar free recipes where I can add all the nuts… Back to the recipe, this classic comes with jam, but being a chocolate addicted I filled up mines with it, but you can always flavour it with your favourite jam or added extracts and spices.
Preparation:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper;
3.  In a large bowl, combine the flour,  flaxseed, and the xylitol;
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs whites with a pinch of salt;
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined;
6. With wet hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet;
7.  Gently press down your thumb in the center of each dough ball to create an indent.
8.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes;
9.  Remove from the oven and using the ½ teaspoon, press down again in the indent just to make it a bit deeper as it probably puffed up a bit while baking.;
10.  Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack;

11. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate nibs and the coconut oil on the stove top;

12. Once cookies are cooled, spoon the chocolate into the indent. Let them sit for about 10 minutes until set;
13. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if you resist to don’t eat all in same day!).

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

Have you been to the Microcentro district in Buenos Aires?

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I was a very young girl when I watched the movie ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ despite of my age, was and still is one of my favourite movies from the 90’s. I know it’s not everyone’s favourite, but I’m a musical lover. I still remember very well the night I watched the movie at a small theatre with my sister, in a cold rainy night, I even remember how much I cried and closed my eyes when it was Evita Peron’s funeral scene. Back that time, so young, never crossed my mind that one day I could be passing by this magnificent pink Palace.

After, I went for a pray at the Cathedral where I felt wonderful, standing by the general’s San Martin (the hero of Argentine independence) tomb that is guarded by two permanent soldiers and  witnessed the changing of the guards.

The afternoon was followed by a long walk in the world’s longest avenue, adorned by a variety  of shops… Walking this avenue killed my feet, I was completely ‘kaput’ by the end of the day dreaming with a foot massage back at the Duhau Palace.

SHOPPING IN BUENOS AIRES I: RECOLETA & PALERMO DISTRICT

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The most upscale neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.  Expect the shopping to be pricey but worthy.

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http://www.companiadechocolates.com

http://www.carinairibarren.com.ar

wwww.caledonio.com.ar

http://www.cardon.com.ar

Trendy . Chic . BohemianFODDIE-CHECKIN-SHOPARG1.040

Shopping paradise full of trendy national brands catering for men and women, as well small cosy coffee shops.

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