Monthly Archives: June 2013

100 days meat free

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To celebrate my first 100 meat free days and reward myself and surprise my dear ones, I got creative with several recipes inspired by lovely people.

First, let me introduce the heart-rice. Inspired by Olivia Steer http://oliviasteer.ro/crema-de-orez-harap-alb/:

1 cup rice

1 cup almond milk

1 cup cashew nut, processed in a blender

30 g cacao butter

1 table spoon vanilla

3 table spoons honey/maple syrup or any other syrup you prefer

heart rice

I cook the rice for 15 years the same way (a Chinese method): 1 cup rice to 1.5 cup boiling water, 3 minutes on high heat, 7 on medium heat and 4 on low heat in a well covered pan. Once it’s ready, keep it covered for another 10 minutes, then add the cashew, cacao butter, vanilla and the syrup/honey. Enjoy!

My cook diary enlists now an Orange poppy seeds almond cake inspired by http://talesofakitchen.com/desserts/orange-poppy-seeds-almond-cake-with-thick-fig-cream/ . I skipped the thick fig ‘cream’ and opted for a tart pan… Happy to have snapped a shot before the remaining three pieces vanished.it needs an overnight stay in your fridge, for a perfect marriage of flavours.poppy cake

And the jewelry of the crown: the vegan chocolate cake inspired by http://www.instructables.com/id/The-BEST-chococlate-cake-ever…that-happens-to-be/,  turned into muffins (purely for logistics purposes, i.e. easier to share with colleagues). I have however skipped the Chocolate Glaze (due to margarine) and replaced the 1 cup sugar with 4 teaspoons powdered Stevie and 2 tablespoons agave syrup. If you prefer it sweeter, go for 4 tablespoons agave syrup. I have also enriched the taste with ¼ cup almond meal. A colleague who refused sweets before, now literally devoured it!

chocolate cake

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A race to slow-down: nutrition revisited

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Browsing through an Edit issue of Net-a-Porter June 2013 http://www.net-a-porter.com/magazine/200/contents, I came across Rosemary Ferguson’s article sharing “her secret to getting swimwear-ready: smart fasting”. Rosemary is a Former model who turned into a holistic nutritionist running her own business http://www.rosemaryferguson.co.uk/about.html. Her site gives insights into how she turned to nutrition. Her motivation was simple and sufficiently powerful: what she and her family (she has three children) eat for a happy life. There are many worldwide known names who share their attitudes towards nutrition. This post is not about whom to follow on this path. Each body and soul is unique in all possible ways.

I caught myself at thinking how food became an enemy in this race for faster, better, more efficient etc whatever. How progress and the speed of doing everything deprives the human kind of the humanity it needs to flourish and prosper spiritually. I do not need to go far to find an example. Take my own hectic lifestyle before my pregnancy: business trips, fast food lunch eaten in front on my PC, overeating during holidays, overindulging on stimulants, headake pain medication, irregular sleep, no time for sport, yoga or any kind of rebalancing activities, followed by high levels of stress accumulating, irritability and, to no surprise, unhappiness.

My pregnancy changed a lot. Luckily, a smart choice years earlier to switch to homeopathic remedies cleaned my body of chemical toxins accumulated through medication and years of birth-control pill. I was now able to hear and listen to my body. If I craved for peaches, I knew it was an indication of my iron levels. So, I would take a break from whatever important task at work I was doing to go to the local farmers’ market and buy some. During my pregnancy people were non-stop saying how good and enlightened I looked. I knew that changes in my nutrition was an important part of that.

After giving birth, my body refused dairy. Remember the old adagio “if you want to have milk, drink milk”? Aha! I breastfed for 2 years and 9 months effortlessly, with my calcium levels stable. A mother’s milk comes from fat accumulated during pregnancy and clean water you drink.

Some time ago at a regular check-up I discovered an ‘entity’ in my kidney. The doctor told me it could have been there since my birth and not every doctor pays attention to these. It still put me on an alert. I remembered coming across studies on links between dairy and cancer. These cells feed on dairy proteins (search more on the links, if you wish). And its’ not the dairy’s per se fault, it’s the additives and preservatives and other chemicals, antibiotics and hormones which come with it, in an era of race for more.

A race is a race. A decision to stop and ponder is personal. I’ve only started the journey and I am happy about it. Our bodies are temples. I cherish my body and it cherishes me back, for years to come, with love.104822052

“A Beautiful Body” Book Project

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today I came across two videos worth posting and reposting and spreading the word. Both are about unconditional love… Both speak for themselves. See for yourselves:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1373438121/a-beautiful-body-book-project/widget/video.html

http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/power-rights

Love stories collection:1

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I love to collect women’s stories. Some are full of lessons to take away. Some are just things to notice. Some are with no particular messages, just part and parcel of life. Some may be subjects for novels. Some are life novels.166339788

***

His kiss undressed her, without his hands touching her. His soft lips made a silent promise of eternal happiness together. He had to leave. A trip back home, far away in Philippine. From the seventh floor of the students’ dormitory her eyes caressed his arms opening the door of his departing taxi, in Strasbourg, France. Weeks later, when she was also back home, she received a letter from him: seven lines of love telling her he was getting married in few weeks to the one he knew since childhood… Years later, she learned that his human rights activism has costed him his life.

***

She saw him years later, in an airport. He showed her the picture of his wife and newborn baby boy. Years back she was his student, who, incipidiosly, found herself in his bed, for a few seconds  only, just very close to an adultery line for him. Years later after their encounter in that airport, she learned from common acquaintances that he had cancer. She had mixed feelings: happy that she has not crossed that line and very sad for his wife, the support of whom he now sought and needed most.

***

She saw him again years later. He was with his wife and child. His wife was wearing a red dress on a casual Friday night, sending other women the message that she is in control and still keeps his attention unaltered by other female vibes… She almost fell for him years back, when he just got married to the proud owner of the red dress. What stopped her was that she saw no difference: she had a married man at home. She was candidly happy for his wife, for she managed to keep him by her side and she looked proud of it.

My toddler = my mentor

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I learned to look at my self through her eyes, in awe of the beauty of the human face.

I embrace my grey hair, as I know life continues through her and it unfolds in many shapes and colours.

I rediscovered the green freshness of grass barefoot. I dance like no one is watching.

I can now throw a tantrum at a non-collaborating colleague, for a mirror effect and smile in triumph that it works!

I take no pride in my achievements: her first steps with a naturally humble expression taught me that.

I relearned to invent unheard of explanations for things and events, which otherwise are defined by dullness. „Why don’t you clear the payment for this consultant?” asked my supervisor. „Well, his fascinating report requires and deserves much more time to be processed and understood” (much better than „his report is a waist of time, money and paper” aha!).

I laugh until it hurts. All of it: my cheeks, my tummy. I laugh in spite of expression lines, which I feared before.

One does not need to wait for a birthday once a year. We sing “Happy Birthday” every time we want, when we want and how many times we want, regardless of the calendar.

The best jewelry are her harms around my neck, while my jewelry are her toys.

I learned to see the beauty in sh…ty situations: “Look, my poop looks like a tower…./ a sea horse!”.

I get the best parts in her imaginary plays: one day I am a princess, the other day I am “Her majesty, the queen” or a butterfly …

I reach new heights of creativity: try to invent a bed time story on demand. It needs to have a sconces and a meteorite which fell on dinosaurs as main characters.

I learned to laugh loud about a snoring, which was such an annoyance before.

I join her in throwing toys around the house for a decor to make the best designers bite their nails.

I learned the combine ingredients for a meal that not only taste good but also looks like a piece of art: art nouveau, post-impressionist, cubism… you name it.

I enjoy now every park, every tree, every leaf……….

All come with a deep sense of gratitude for every step we take together on a journey of life, with love to share.

***

Each night as I tuck covers around them
and bend to kiss their sweet, sleepy faces,
I don’t care that they used
all the silverware in the garden.

Let’s fill the house with angels,
I whisper to my husband
as I slip between the sheets.

I learned to Sware

by Pam Vap, with love

P.S. Politicians too can benefit from guidance from little persons: Photo: UNICEF. Sfefan Fule, Commissioner responsible for the enlargement and neighbourhood

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