health

Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls

Talented family all around! Forget Acai bowls, this morning mama and I had delicious and absolutely nutritious superfood ViBERi (my auntie and uncle’s business) smoothies in cosy and beautiful Miami Valley Pottery (Soroosh’s cousin’s business) bowls xxProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls
Serves two 

2 frozen bananas (using frozen bananas gives them a delicious ice-cream consistency)
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 unsweetened yoghurt of choice (I used coconut yoghurt)
2 heaped tsp ViBERi freeze-dried blackcurrant powder

Whizz together in a high-powered blender (might take a bit of patience if using frozen bananas) then top with favourites (I used Ceres Organics Paleo Breakfast Mix) xx

Spoiler Alert: Love is worth everything, everything.

To help me cope with missing Soroosh, I started a NZ Bucket List for us to work through come June. Some of the options are luckily local and frequent. Like, the Saturday Farmers’ Market which I have always been in love with.
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Nothing but organic.
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My dad ordered something from the Bacon Brothers which came with a hug as well! LOL you should’ve seen his face! Such a character, this guy!
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Mmmm! Remember Mandy, my ice-cream queen? Well, her and her partner don’t just make ice-cream – they make heaven: gluten-free waffles with coconut whipped cream, strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate drizzle.
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You know you’re cheap/on-a-diet when you share one waffle between 3 hehe >.<
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Sunday morning Baha’i children’s classes.
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Today’s virtue was “justice”. Above, equality is demonstrated with a popcorn filled “scale”. And below, one “life-raft” for all. Image (6)
Last but not least, the rest of my brother-in-law’s grandmother’s Black Boy peaches stewed for alongside my ritual morning muesli.
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Dwell In Possibility

Two years ago, after finishing University, I decided to start a blog. The idea was given to me by over 10 friends! These friends I believe were simply tired of my Facebook spamming. Also, I knew it was important to have an outlet to continue my writing and a platform to build a writing portfolio. So, here we are.

In addition to gaining many supportive followers (you know who you are ) who continue to love and encourage me day by day (often sending me private emails with links, videos and/or career advice), some other pretty magical things have occurred:

1. Two different media companies, after seeing my blog asked me to write for them (finally, paid writing gigs!).
2. I met Laura – a follower from Belgium who stayed with me in Japan and later I stayed with in Belgium. I want to tell you that when I explained my anxieties to my mother of letting a stranger into my home, my mother encouraged me to let go of my fear. How incredible is that? How incredible is she? Of course, I stalked the heck out of Laura’s blog and her Social Media pages before she came but still, I had no idea if she would be sane! Today, Laura is one of my bestestestest friends!
3. I met Lavanya – a follower from Switzerland. I stayed with Lavanya and her partner during my Europe trip. She was and still is, a huge inspiration. Seriously, it was as if God sent me these two angels (Laura and Lavanya) when I most needed them.
4.Yesterday I received an email from Victoria. Victoria is a Bahai from Canada. She is an RHN (registered holistic nutritionist) and has been offering eCourses for three years. She has just launched four new whole food, plant-based eCourses and has asked for my help in promoting them. If you’ve ever struggled with weight-loss, maintaining a healthy diet or you’re just curious about vegan and gluten-free food, I highly 110% recommend you check out Victoria’s resources. HERE is the link for her main website. And HERE is the link for the eCourses. I know how hard it is to publicise your passion but as my friend Kyle once told me, if you keep doing what you love, eventually people will notice.
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Redefine Yourself

It has officially been one month since I’ve returned from my around-the-world adventures and I.am.missing.it. Lucky for me, every new day is an adventure. If we let it.
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In addition to the yearly skinny-me resolutions, I’ve decided to read a book a week this year. Starting with the little bit sexy, Crack in Forever.
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Got me a full-time job at NZ’s best cafe.
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Nothin’ beats mama’s homemade muesli. Recipe HERE.
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Somewhere between Lake Tekapo and Queenstown.
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Probably the most touristy NZ location eva.
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Central otago cherries, organic kiwifruit and homemade muesli for dinner. Chur!

Some Updates

Guys, I bought a ticket. After what seems like forever I am returning to my favourite place on earth this December. I am so excited for a NZ summer! Road-trips, Kapiti ice-cream, hikes, waterfalls, P.Y.O berries… ah, the list is endless. I also can’t wait to simply kiss my family to death. I told my mom, I said, I’m just gonna take the first three months to sit next to you in some beautiful park on some probably-graffitied bench and just breathe and enjoy the moments.

So, I’ll be home in December. And that’s all I know of my future at this stage. And I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it one bit because I like the possibilities such openness of plans brings. I’m grateful and I’m excited. If travelling has taught me anything, it’s that the world has SO much to offer and that I am by far in the top top top wealthy and fortunate. So, not only is it my dire obligation to really live but my calling to make the most of it.

Some updates: 
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These cuties recently arrived back from their epic holiday in Israel to their mountain-side home in Japan, but here are some of the pics Lifa sent me last. Sabich is an Iraqi and Israeli sandwich, consisting of a pita bread stuffed with deep-fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, salad, tahini, amba (mango pickle) and spice. Lifa says this is healthy street food at its best. Oh man. What a tease. Me want now.
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Pics from Jose (father of the munchkins I looked after in Spain) of the kids and their mother making brownies and biscuits. I miss Spain and I miss Jose’s delicious and healthy dishes. Of course I miss you too, Bea! Are you still eating my homemade muesli for breakfast?
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Yasu, my unexpected friend is still making healthy smoothies like I taught her and spending me pictures of them. I can’t wait to see her again. Also, her middle sister recently got married and oh my, the pics are gorgeous!
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As for me, I was recently taken to a really fun and delicious Mexican restaurant, one like I’ve never experienced and I LOVED it. I can’t say enough. I wish NZ had something like this. First off, everyone is given complimentary chips and dip. Then throughout the night, if you wish, your chips are topped up again and again by the wait-staff walking around with literal shovelfuls of chips – in the same manner coffee cups are refilled here. Anyways these chips, they’re not like your regular over-salted thick Dorito crips. Instead, they’re really thin and light and crispy and unsalted. So good. Okay and the food, cheap as chips (as Kiwi’s say and of course, suitable in this context) fresh, and flavoursome. I had vegetarian enchiladas and he had something called a Chicka Chicka Bang Bang. Or was it Boom Boom (hehe)? I can’t remember.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check out my latest Savvy Article featuring baby potatoes and I use “baby” in the strongest sense of the word here, by clicking THIS.

Every Supermarket Should Look Like This

In the words of my auntie Pouneh: “every supermarket should look like this.” I’m well aware of how expensive these stores can be but I still love scanning their isles and oohing and aaahing over everything. Here’s an inside look at a European bio organic supermarket:
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Passionfruit, pomegranate and prickly pear – that children, is A L L I T E R A T I O N.
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Better be orgasmic for those prices!image5
No more bent-back-over-the-stove-top-homemade-muesli-labouring for me!  image4image3image2
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. (Hippocrates)

Do It. Throw Yourselves.

Dear ones,
I am experiencing a transition. My life is changing. So. I am excited and of course, scared. As some of you may know, I had planned to go to India but after being unable to get the correct visa, I’ve had to amend my plans. There’s also something else – something which I can’t tell you about (just yet). It’s overwhelming but good (I think). For the time being, please bear with me. Or is it bare? I don’t know.

So. As always, I have taken solace in literature. C. JoyBell C comforts me with this:

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

I am throwing myself. I am taking a leap of faith and letting life happen.

Travelling is amazing but it is getting harder. I have a few plans. Next, I will visit my auntie (whom I have never met but talked to several times over the internet and who seems like the most incredible woman) and her family in Geneva (Switzerland). From there, I might visit my friend Anita(a beautiful Italian girl who I worked in NZ at Cafe Valentino with)’s mother at their holiday home in Antibes (France), and hopefully, Laura (my WordPress friend who visited me in Mimasaka) in Brussels (Belgium).

I am struggling to live in the moment. I must practice mindfulness. I keep thinking of the future. What will I be doing after my travels are over? Will I settle down in NZ or some other place? What will I do for work? Can I make it as a real writer? So many unanswered questions. Sarah Dessen comes to help: “It was amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly were you needed to be.”

I will be patient. I will be positive. I will be joyous. I will expect good and I will throw myself.

Lastly, my blog has turned two. So I want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, from the mountains of rural Japan and the rivers in Galicia. Merci (farsi not french), gracias, thank you and arigato for flying with me. For being a listening ear, an understanding heart and the best travel companion a solo girl could wish for.

At each step I have longed to share my life with you. This I hope I have achieved and will continue to achieve, in the truest way possible. And, I hope that at the same time, I have given and will continue to give, some sunshine too.
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The World Is Indeed Full Of Peril…

“…and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring…

From top to bottom: avocado, tomato and walnut sandwich made with brown-rice bread, a NZ apple – I was so freakin’ excited to find it and its three brothers. This is because, Japanese apples are HUMONGOUS. Believe me, they’re the size of my dad’s head. So it’s been really fun actually holding an whole apple with one hand and completely finishing it. Next, lunch at One Room Cafe, more boyfriend adventures and last, my new personalised chopsticks and tofu-shaped chopstick holders gifted to me by Yuka’s loving parents. Why two? “One for you and one for your future husband” they said.

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Holiday Blues

I have holiday blues. Yes, there’s such a thing. I Googled it.

WAH.

Seriously though, I feel so blue tonight. I am pinning it down to these:

Over-scheduling (see previous post)
You see, I only have 2 weeks left in Japan which is why I’ve been really pushing myself to see and do everything. Also, to keep my blog fresh and up to date. Because I truly enjoy it, it is my passion and of course to keep with my hot-shot writing dreams. However, amidst all the hustle and bustle and adventuring, I seem to have forgotten I’m not superhuman. I am exhausted. But here’s the problem. It’s not like I have anything else. I do a bit of free-lancing here and there but it’s not enough to occupy an entire day. And I know you all wish you didn’t have to work a 9-5 day and/or look after your needy significant other and/or rowdy children so that you could have even a spare moment to read a novel, go for a run, drink a coffee in silence, paint your nails etc but I swear, human wiring comes with the disease of always always wanting what we don’t have.

Holiday food
My general diet for the past year and half of Japan life has been a challenge. You can read about it here. Or in short, it’s been challenging learning to shop, cook and eat for one. I miss sitting around a table and eating with others. When I do eat with others here, it’s usually eating out. Which is exciting yes, and I feel should be done cos like when else am I gonna be in JAPAN to eat this authentic soba?! But at the same time, it’s not the healthiest. And even though I try to choose the healthiest menu items and exercise everyday (sometimes walking or cycling 10+ ks), it’s still not the same as eating and living on a normal schedule in the comfort of your own hometown. All this holiday food then, is starting to make me feel bad about my body image and myself.

Unrealistic expectations of myself
A quote I’ve mentioned several times here, “comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt. During holidays, we meet countless faces. In Japan, most are settled in good jobs with babies and husbands. My current life is much much different in comparison. Again, it seems instinctive of human wiring to compare. I keep forgetting that this won’t be my life forever and that I too am chasing my dream/working towards a good future. When I compare my very undetermined life with theirs, I feel sad.

Lack of sleep
A combination of the above.

I know I’m probably being too hard on myself but I, 1. needed to get this off of my chest and tell someone seeing as I’m all alone in this wah and 2. wanted you to know that it’s not all castle and croissants and that there is depth to the pretty pictures.

Last, am going on a money and food diet.

1…2…3… (a goal-starter countdown I’ve always done as a kid for which my father would always mock me)

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