So, it’s Friday yo! What better way to spend it then a late night (Spanish style) dinner, a la Japanese sushi with my French brosef. International up in this!
I have totally rejected my blog for the last week on an account of I have been pretty busy with all of life’s great responsibles (I know I spelled that wrong, TPB reference) . No excuses, though. This blog is still really new for me (I used to blog on this url but that was like 1000 years ago) so I hope I haven’t lost any readers from my lack of effort. Sooooo, I am going to revisit this past week in this post and fill ya’ll in, in what I hope is exciting (We’ll see).
Ok, so last Friday was my last post. I actually had an epic night last Friday night that ended around 5 am in Placa Catalunya, having street beers on a bench. BUT, I (or Apple) totally suck and I ended up deleting a bunch of pics. Really p’d about that, but I will make do. Basically it started out – No, I am not going to even tell because with no pics, it’s totally pointless. Wow I am getting really mad that I deleted those pics (grr). Great, and now there is a baby crying in the cafe.
I did go for a killer dinner with some friends that were visiting from Estonia. We had paella at this place on the beach called Salamanca. It was AMAZING! Thank god I posted pics on Instagram and Twitter, so I stole them back from there to show you. This place has literally been around for like 30 years, it’s really well known in Barcelona for the best paella, and although so many places say that, it actually is. Expensive, but so worth it. Oh, they also had a board with all these different currencies, I saw no Canadian dollas *sad face*.
The restaurant, itself, is a real gem. Really old-school Spanish dining style, and the cool thing about this place is it has small frame pictures covering every square inch of the walls. And for good reason I suppose. The long-time owner, whatever his name is, has pictures of 100’s of celebs that came there to dine. Honestly I didn’t know who so many of them were (must be a Euro thing) but I did manage to snap a pic of a frame right beside my seat, with Shakira. I don’t care about Shakira or her music but it was still cool. We has some awesome food, wine and beer and then headed over to this great cafe/dessert bar where they had the craziest desserts. Don’t have pics of those (anymore) but they were awesome. I will definitely go back another time, I don’t even remember the name (starts with a B?) but it’s great. Now it’s time to salivate…
If you didn’t know (I didn’t), Barcelona football team won a champion cup. I know, I should have known, but I have enough things to pay attention to in my life and not to mention I have the attention span of a 2 yr old. Anyway. I went to the store to buy groceries and I guess they were having a parade in Barca where the team rides around on a bus so everyone can see them/the cup. They sure love the sport here, I tell ya. When leaving the store, the madness of people and flags was right between me and my way home, so I had to brave it. Bad idea. I was stuck in a not-moving crowd and this huge lady behind me was rubbing up on my badonk, it was super startling. THEN, a fight broke out right in front of me and I thought I was going to get punched in the face. I didn’t, but someone knocked into me and broke three of my eggs. That was a good time. Hey, I got a free flag so it’s all good.
The ending to this massively weak, week summary, was last night. My buddy from France is staying at my flat and he made an amazing French dinner of crepes with some amazing fillings. It was so good. We went to the store, bought a ton of food and had a cooking party in my too-small-for-3-people kitchen. We made it work, though. We jammed to Buena Vista Social Club and cooked up a storm. Made the crepes from scratch, red wine, and made the fillings – Smoked salmon, jamon (ham), chicken, sauteed mushrooms and onions, tomato, chorizo, cheese, seasoned cream, nutella… I think that’s it haha. It was bomb. After we stuffed ourselves silly, we hung out on the couch, smoked cigarettes to ease the fullness, and watched Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (my current tv obsession). Not too bad for a Wednesday night! I’m currently on a no-drinking month so I didn’t indulge in the red. Once June 1st hits (there is an epic party at a weed club), I will be back on the booze, responsibly, of course (challenge, accepted).
And today? Nothing too exciting, been working like a beotch to prepare for a new internet marketing/copy writing job, as well as get caught up with some other sites. The life of a computer girl (not saying geek like so many people do, who aren’t, because I am not). I’ve been working out a lot and for some reason have been soo tired everyday. I took it to Facebook to ask my health friends if they knew why, and they gave me lots of tips. I will actually write about that this week, because the tips were great and I am really trying to master this health thing (to balance out the ciggs, naturally). I do something I don’t usually do, and took a selfie of how tired I look today. I never smile in pics because I always look Asian (I am not) so this is my half-ass smile. I finally hauled my ass out of the house and now sit at a cafe with some strong coffee and civilization. It’s helping for sure but I would really like to figure out why I am so damn tired. Another day 🙂
I know other things have happened in the last week but unfortunately my memory does not exist and relies on pictures. Pathetic, I know. Now I have a serious urge to read the Teen Mom 2 news on some lame gossip site. I am ashamed, so no need to tell me so.
Thanks for reading and I will work on not neglecting the blog duty. All in good time the habit will come 😉
If you have been reading my blog over the last few weeks, then you know that I have turned a new leaf, trying to balance my love of alcohol and cigarettes with a healthy diet and exercise. They do say you can’t have best of both worlds, but I actually think you can. Maybe I am completely delusional, I guess we can’t really know until this new lifestyle has a bit more longevity.
Since I started this change a few weeks back, I have been using my extra time to research healthier options of the foods I love, or just general research on items I should incorporate into my diet. Of course, when you go to the internet in search of learning more about health, you are literally bombarded. Luckily for me, I used to be somewhat of a health nut so I can kind of filter out the B.S from the good stuff.
I figured since health has been a pretty massive topic for most over the last decade (due to the obesity crisis caused by all the crappy food we have so easily available), maybe sharing what I have started eating and learned about would be good for others. After all, I am always trying to do my good deeds so I don’t go to hell for swearing and drinking so much!
1. Organic Bread
I am sure there may be many skeptics out there when it comes to organic food. I know this because I was one of them. I have never really bothered to buy anything organic in my life. Items are generally super pricey and a lot of companies have jumped on that gravy train, selling everything “organic”, even when it makes no difference. For example, an organic banana is pointless because you obviously don’t eat the peel, and the peel is the only place where you need to worry about pesticide. Anyway. If you are thinking of trying organic foods, I say the first thing you try, is bread.
I think most people, by now, know that white bread really isn’t good for you. It’s made up of unrefined white flour that doesn’t digest well because it simply lacks dietary fibre and nutrients, all together. It also slows your metabolism, check out this link for more on why white bread is bad. If you choose to pay a bit more for your bread and go organic, I can guarantee you won’t turn back. I bought my first loaf last week, and I am converted. I have literally never tasted bread so amazing. I could literally ramble on for this whole article on how good it was. Ahh. I paid a hefty €6 for a single (large) loaf, so for next time I am going to make my own, which most people do. When I make the first batch, I will definitely share that in a future post 🙂 .
I will quickly tell you why organic bread is so much better than the latter. Organic bread strays away from the typical modern method of cooking bread quickly to aid convenience, which involves additives that reduce nutrients and overall goodness. Organic bread usually has ingredients like oat bran, which is great for cholesterol. Overall, its just more natural to eat the organic bread, not having to worry about the undigested bits that remain after white bread. Quite a disturbing thought, actually…
2. Coconut Oil
Another product that has had a lot of attention over the last while, although I am a new convert. I remember reading about coconut oil about a year ago while living in London, and was very excited to start using it but it just never happened as I was turned off by the high levels of saturated fat in coconut oil. After doing some further research recently, I am fully convinced that coconut oil is a real super food. Not only that, but it does wonders for your hair, skin, nails, basically your whole body.
If you don’t know much about coconut oil, let me pass on some of my new-found knowledge to you. After detailed reading I tend to believe that it can help with weight loss and/or maintaining a healthy weight. Why? Because it speeds up your metabolism (burning calories, faster), slows your digestion (so you feel fuller, longer) and is a great detox for your body. One thing I have read often, is to buy only organic, raw, extra virgin coconut oil. It does cost more, but if you buy other types than you may be subject to coconut oils that have had added chemicals. Kinda defeats the point!
Aside from the whole weight loss factor, it makes for a damn good hair treatment. Just leave it in your hair for no longer than 12 hours (while you sleep?) and wash it out, your hair will be so soft and healthy. For your skin, apply it to your face maybe 3 times a week at night, and it will glow. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will just in case, I am not a doctor, these are my personal experiences, so follow at your own risk. There. Please don’t attempt to sue me, Thanks.
There is nothing extremely “super” about fennel, it’s just really damn good. It has this really unique taste to it that I love. It goes really great with steamed spinach, feta cheese and white vinegar, I think that is my favorite recipe for fennel.
So I really thought I was going to have nothing to say about fennel, other than it is awesome. After a brief Google search I see that it really is a super food. This website lists that it helps with about 100 things, half of which I have never heard of (what is “angina”? hehe – so immature). The benefits that stand out to me are the fact that it is a mild appetite suppressant, helps aid digestion, and angina (haha, I had to). Ok, so I stand corrected, fennel really is a “super food”. I like to simply buy this yummy veg at the market and cook it, but you an also get fennel tea or capsules. Whatever you fancy!
4. Oolong Tea
If I was writing this article five months ago, I would have definitely listed “Green Tea” here, rather than oolong tea. But, a little trip into an Asian supermarket changed that. I knew I had heard of oolong tea before, which I should have considering it is quite a famous tea for those who like to actually drink tea. Tea. Tee. Ok, sorry, distraction. So I picked up a box of oolong for a mere €1 and thought I would give it a shot. It has a really unique but good taste and is really great after meals. Many tea-lovers would see oolong tea as a cross between green and black – strong like black and clear like green.
Oolong tea is from China, and they have drank it for a very long time (centuries). It is said that oolong tea is another great aide in weight loss, preventing skin aging, prevents cancer, strengthens teeth, the list goes on. These few reasons, alone, make it very worth while to reduce the coffee a bit and opt for some oolong tea. I am a serious coffee addict and have been working on this switch, and I have to say it has been easier than expected! if you like tea, I definitely recommend trying this out.
Ahh, beets. A real childhood memory for me. My mom used to always buy pickled beets in a jar, and I am pretty sure I would eat them like any typical kid eats candy. I always knew they were good for me, as my mom’s voice echoes in my head from back in the childhood days. Let me sum up some reasons on why exactly beets are so great for you…
First of all, they are really high in antioxidants, which you can never really get enough of. Antioxidants boost your defense system within your body and battle free radicals, which are known to cause cancer. Overall, they just keep you healthy – More energy, better immune system, and great skin! Oh, and before I forget, they have lots of vitamins too.
One thing I find with beets is, there is not a whole lot of different ways to eat them. You can eat them pickled (in a jar) which are super cheap and really healthy, or you can boil them fresh and dice them up in a salad,or throw beets in a juicer with some other veg. That’s about all I know of though when it comes to eating beets. Maybe in the future I can experiment and make them more interesting. We’ll see.
And that about sums up my list (well, my top 5, anyway) of foods I have recently fell in love with (or back in love with). All in the name of health ;). I have noticed after 2-3 weeks of eating extra-healthy and really taking notice of foods, that it isn’t “depressing” or unfulfilling like I and many others would think. Eating extra-healthy is actually kind of fun! You get to learn about the benefits of foods and how they impact your body, and let’s not forget, learning new, yummy recipes for how to cook them!
My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t get to enjoy the foods I love, but I have made really no sacrifice. Just last night, I made an amazing burger from scratch, using salmon and lots of pan-Asian compliments. Not only was it healthy, but absolutely amazing, my new favorite. I am happy to share recipes here on the blog for the yummy new healthy creations. Feel free to share yours in the comments below, too! Thanks for reading!!
After what seems like two full weeks of rain (an exaggeration, of course), I am really starting to feel like I am living in London again. It has been dark, wet and dreary in, what is usually, sunny Barcelona for the past five days, and according to my iPhone weather app, today will be the last of it. I can only hope, anyway! I try to look on the bright side and remind myself that Barcelona, on average, only gets about 55 days of rain a year, so without days like today, we could have a real water crisis on our hands!
Since the weather here has been anything but lively this last week, I find it very hard to stay motivated when it comes to writing. I guess my brain just kind of slows down. That, and I guess it doesn’t help that it’s Monday, which usually makes no difference to me but it was quite a hardcore weekend of socializing, drinks and dancing around the city.
I don’t want to classify myself as one that would have a “Case of the Mondy’s”, so I have decided to turn Monday into a continuation of “Sunday Funday”. Of course, my responsibilities return amidst the beginning of a new week, unlike that of Sunday, but in spirit I am choosing to make Monday a Funday. While I’m at it, I may as well do the same for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It’s all about your perception and attitude, right?? 🙂
So, because of my sudden shift in attitude (which literally occurred while writing this), I have decided upon a new Monday blog tradition: Summarizing my weekend! It makes great sense since I really do not write on Saturday or Sunday, and my weekend are usually pretty eventful. Let’s get to it, shall we?
The favorite day of the week for many, Friday is when people shake the stresses of the week, whether that means relaxing at home or having some drinks with buddies. Me? I tend to go for the second option, and this Friday was no different. The rain was definitely coming down hard that night, but with a cozy flat and some great people around you, that fact is soon forgotten! Oh, and how could I forget, lots of cava, beer and wine :). This Friday was not a typical one, as I managed to go home relatively early in the hopes of a fresh start Saturday morning.
Impressed with my early-to-bed decision on Friday, I was up at a decent hour on Saturday morning. Of course, the weather was in no way impressive however did not want to use that as a reason to stay in all day. After some relaxing and a good (late) breakfast, I headed out with my partner in crime to hunt down an awesome dim sum spot in the Borne area of Barcelona. I was really excited for this, since I hadn’t had dim sum for quite some time. We arrived in good time, an hour early for the start of dinner but that worked out well, as this place is seriously busy after 7pm. A few wines and beers later, while translating all the dim sum dishes from Spanish to English, we had worked up quite an appetite (and a bit of a buzz!). Let me tell you, this dim sum, was amazing. To make this place even better, they have an extensive list of expensive import beers that were dirt cheap. No wonder this place is so popular! You are probably wondering what this place is called, and don’t worry, I won’t leave that out. The place is called Mosquito and it’s located at Carrer Carders, 46, Barcelona 08003. If you live in this great city or are planning to visit, this is definitely a pit stop you should be making! It has a great atmosphere, unbelievable food and great beer. If you venture to this hole-in-the-wall, I strongly recommend the duck (anec) dumpling!
As you can imagine, I left feeling full and a bit drunk, and the night was only getting started. While I didn’t realize how late it was when I went for dim sum, I quickly realized when I had to head out to meet some friends at 9 pm… and go eat Mexican food. Oops. I was convinced that I was not going to eat anything after my dim sum feast, but that changed after we waited for our table for an hour, with a few more drinks in hand. The food was great at Rosa Negra, I would definitely recommend the pineapple and chicken quesadilla, but stay away from their shrimp cocktail… It was a huge disappointment. I guess it’s worth mentioning that Rosa Negra’s claim to fame is there €3.50 mojito. It’s strong and seriously good! The restaurant has a great atmosphere and authentic decor as well, which always makes the experience a little better.
The night continued on after our Mexican fiesta, into a few more bars and pubs, sipping on some quality wines and vodka. Nothing overly note-worthy happened so I will not go into details, however I did meet a really cool Canadian girl who was travelling here, and she ended up hanging out with my friends and I.
If you live any sort of lifestyle like mine, you can probably guess my Sunday wasn’t very eventful. And you would be right, it really wasn’t. Slept until 12pm, neglected doing any laundry and lounged on the couch watching Kitchen Nightmares. It wasn’t in any way exciting but it was definitely what I needed – Some final relaxation at the end of the weekend. As much as I love fun-filled party weekends, I think this next weekend I am going to step away from the booze and spend some time adventuring around my lovely city. Next Monday you will likely read a very different weekend summary, so I hope you look forward to that, like I look forward to writing it!
Thanks for reading this filler article-turned article tradition! Have a great Monday and a great week! I have a feeling I will feel very differently about Monday after tonight, as I have to go to IKEA (my least-favorite place in the world). Maybe I will save my IKEA rant for another day, though. Peace out, party people!
Ahh April! The month where every woman rushes to lose the winter weight so they can look like sexual chocolates in their skimpy summer clothes and eeny weeny polka dot bikinis. Of course, I am speaking for myself but I am sure many others can relate!
As I gather the courage to sign up for my local gym and promise myself to go everyday, I realize sweating my ass off on the treadmill (high incline, naturally) is not the only component to this rapid ‘get fit’ challenge of mine. So, I now muster up the will to eat extra well and decrease the portion size. In my experience, all goes well for the first 24 hours, and then the potential results of this fit challenge become cloudy in the deprivation of carbs and alcohol. Does this sound like you?
If you’re like me and certainly enjoy a cocktail (or 5) as well as food aside from just steamed veg and cucumber water, then you are reading the right post. I have come up with some useful strategies to keep you enjoying your summer without the shame of too much alcohol and late-night munchy weight gain. You’re welcome.
1. Real Fruit & Boozey Smoothies
There is nothing I enjoy more than a delectable fruit cocktail while tanning in the sun, listening to some rock n’ roll. If you like the same kind of simple treats, you may opt to buy the pre-mixed daiquiri or pina colada mix – which, in case you didn’t know, is filled with sugar (the bad kind) and empty calories. This is sure to stop you dead in your tracks when trying to keep a good shape in the summer months. Not only that, but it is straight-up bad for you. Maybe if you just had one, that wouldn’t be so bad, but come on, no one ever has just one. My solution? I stock up on loads of fruit, the best being pineapple, mango strawberries, raspberries, banana, coconut, throw them in a blender with some vodka and ice, mix er up, and bam! You’ve got yourself one wicked cocktail! You have all the yummy natural fruit sugars, paired with a low-calorie alcohol like vodka. This tantalizing mix gives you no shame when your downing the fifth cocktail. 😉
2. Smoked Chicken
This is something I have only recently discovered, and it is truly amazing. Apologies if you are vegan/vegetarian, as this won’t appeal to you, but if that’s not the case, you’re in luck! Smoked chicken is a great item to keep in your fridge, as it is already cooked and can be eaten cold in a colorful salad, or heated up quickly with a yummy stir fry. Because it is smoked, it can be kept for longer the raw chicken, which comes in handy if your having a lounge day on the beach or stumble in at a late hour, craving something quick and filling (ah, we’ve all been there!). Last attempt I have in convincing you this treat is a must-have, most importantly, is the taste! The flavor is much better than if I were to cook the chicken myself, and the calorie content is also low since it was smoked and has no added oils or butter. I wish I was being sponsored by a smoked chicken brand, because I am clearly a passionate advocate!
3. Healthy Beach Snacks
This tip is a no-brainer, but maybe can be made a little more tasty and less like rabbit food. Personally, I love vegetables, raw, steamed, cooked, whatever. Veggies and fruit are a great snack for when you are basking in the sun, simply because it is light, and eating a heavy kebab on the beach will probably put you into a coma (speaking from experience). Take some time before you head to the beach and prep some veg in a tasty way, check out my friends vegetarian blog (in Spanish, so just Google Translate if needed) for tons of great recipes for anything-but-boring veggie snacks. If you can manage to keep it cold enough, why not bring some of my boozey fruit smoothies with you as well!
Ohh, how I love my vino! Cold, refreshing and low-calorie, this is yet another great beverage to have on those hot summer days. Yes, I am sure I sound like a straight-up alchy, but the summer is for drinking and I personally give myself props for doing it in the healthiest way possible 😉 . Generally, a glass of vino is a mere 80 calories, so a great choice for a summer drink (or year-round!). They way I see it, when you’re out in the sun, you are sweating a mass amount of calories anyway, so this can’t be of any great harm. On the contrary, I am going to sound like my mother and remind you to also drink lots of the H20 to keep yourself hydrated (if only wine did the same!).
5. *Fun* Exercise (Yes, I said fun!)
I swear, it exists. I am a true fountain of energy myself and get quite bored just laying in the sun all day, so I like to keep it interesting. At the beach? Bring a volleyball or paddleboard and have some game time with your friends (especially after some drinks, this is a great time). This will obviously burn some calories and keep yourself alive throughout the day, not to mention give you an excellent tan. If you don’t happen to like sand sports, go for a nice swim in the sea! This will just as much keep you energized, while also being a great way to cool off. If you prefer the pool to the sea, play Marco Polo!!! Ok, I sound like a 5 year old but seriously, so much fun. If you’re not familiar with the game, just look it up, it’s easy. Marco is ‘it’ and must close their eyes while saying ‘Marco’, and the others have to answer ‘Polo’, and if Marco touches you or catches you out of the water, you are now the Marco. Simple enough! If you doubt me, try it, then tell me you didn’t have a blast! 😉
While many of my ideas are not the most original and some, quite obvious, actually doing these things make a mile of a difference when it comes to keeping fit in the summer months. How can you debate ideas that are so simple, fun and utterly tasty? Maybe as the summer goes on I can come up with some more creative ideas, but for now I think this is a great start. Further more, summer is meant to enjoy so don’t stress about having the best bikini bod on the beach, just stay healthy and drunk, and you will have a kick ass time!
What did you think of my tips? Would you try them, or do you have any to add to the list? I would love to hear so comment below! And, of course, have a rockin’ summer!
One of my greatest loves in life can only get better when you learn how to master it.
And no, before you get too excited, I am not talking about men. I am talking about FOOD.
We all need it, many love it, so life can only get better when we can make a masterpiece of a meal, look at it, instagram the sh*t out of it, and then.. Eat it. Its a great feeling, for me anyway.
This specific night I was taking on a new dinner challenge: Spanish tapas. I have had them numerous times in restaurants, and I have to say, one of my top favorite cuisines. I had yet to attempt a great Spanish meal, and I had two hungry mouths to feed that also have had their fair share of tapas. So this dinner, it has to be good.
In an almost panicked rush, I picked out numerous dishes that I would make for the inaugural tapas dinner. I even structured them into three different courses. I will say it now, I went totally overboard and had 8x too much food, considering it was for three people. With some great Catalan wine to boot, I could see no failure ahead.
After the prepping, cooking the starters and then heading back to the kitchen to cook more of the food (Its got to be fresh, after all!), I had so much food on the table, it was a little overwhelming (although delicious!). Unfortunately, I did not even get a chance to cook everything I prepped for, or even half of it, as I had so damn much and like I said, we were only three people. However, I saved lots of the dishes for the next day, and they were just as delicious.
I found most of my recipes online, so I will list the best dishes below with a link to the online recipe.