The Bridge from Inception

 

I went for a walk this morning and I started recording the walk, when I realized that I was actually on my way to the bridge from the movie inception.

Here is the journey there and some good video of the actual bridge.

If you are travelling in Paris, the location is right at Passy metro stop.

Me in Overalls …. A Dream Come True

Me in Overalls

 

I’m so busy around here and it feels awesome! And by busy I mean that instead of working only 2 hours a day, I am now working up to 10 hours a day. That being said, the work is quite fulfilling and really utilises my strengths in web design, web programming, writing, edting, and a bunch of other stuff.

Anways, I’m in overalls.

I had wanted a pair for at least 2 years now but never ever ever found a pair that looked good on me.

These looked good so I bought them!

And it has been pure comfortable (yet trendy) bliss around here!

 
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Perfect Oatmeal Breakfast Recipe

How to Make the Perfect Whole Foods Oatmeal Breakfast

 

Oats are a brain food, they are also a comfort food. Put the two together and you have a cozy yet productive morning before work. I don’t know if you realized, but work takes a lot of brain muscle and if you aren’t feeding your brain right in the morning, work can be a little less than intellectually stimulating and a little more like a drag.

Well, a new recipe is up on Yummy Laura today!

Today I am going to show you how to make the perfect powerful whole-foods oatmeal breakfast. As a bonus, I will show you an alternative oatmeal idea at the end of this recipe, for days when you don’t feel very hungry.

To begin making the oatmeal, get some whole oats and cook them according to the directions.

When you have cooked the oats, dish some out in a large bowl.

Now we are going to start layering…

How to Make the Perfect Whole Foods Oatmeal Breakfast

The first thing to add is a nice thick coating of black chia seeds. Full of omega 3 oils, these brain boosting seeds are perfect for the morning! They are also a highly bioavailable source of protein.

How to Make the Perfect Whole Foods Oatmeal Breakfast

Next add both one tablespoon each of goji berries and almonds. This again adds a nice boost of vitamins and antioxydants, as well as additional protein and healthy fats. Overall, it just makes it more of a satisfying morning meal and one that your body will really use as fuel for the entire morning and early afternoon.

How to Make the Perfect Whole Foods Oatmeal Breakfast

The second last step is adding in the almond milk. I vowed never to buy almond milk, but the tables have turned and I happened to run into the best almond milk in the world, from a small Italian brand. The almond milk has just almonds, water and silica. In case you didn’t know, silica is the “skin/hair/nails/bones” mineral. I like to take silica frequently in the supplement form, so instead of buying it in supplement, I am now getting it in my almond milk!

Finally, I drizzle everything with some delicious pure maple syrup.

Mmmmmm.

As an alternative breakfast, when you still want the brain power but aren’t feeling super hungry, try this instead…

How to Make the Perfect Whole Foods Oatmeal Breakfast

This version on has a plethora of chia seeds, maple syrup and almond milk.

Here is the full recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Cooked whole oats
  • 1 tablespoon each of chia seeds, goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds
  • Almond milk
  • Maple syrup to drizzle

Method:

  • Layer all the ingredients on top of the cooked oats and enjoy!

The Benefit of Daily Adventures

Every time I leave the apartment, I vow to make the experience an adventure, even if it lasts just a few minutes.

I consider myself an extremely magical person. I like to say that anything I lay my hands on turns to gold…it’s just this weird gift I have.

So naturally, this being my case, every time I declare my outing an adventure, magical things begin to happen just like in fairy tales.

Take yesterday for example. I was one day over my cold, still feeling a little fatigued and not really wanting to go out. On the other hand, the almond milk had run out, as did the yogurt and eggs and it was time to pick up a few groceries from the organic shop just down the street.

Knowing that this was only a few minute walk from my place, I decided to venture out despite not feeling up to it. I bundled up warmly, grabbed my purse, the iPod and headed out the door.

Nothing happened along the way there. Nothing happened while I shopped throughout the store. But when I was waiting in line patiently, the strangest thing occurred…something that never happened even one time in my life before this one incident.

Two old Parisian ladies budded in front of me in that tediously slow moving line. I discovered that not only did they bud in front of me but they were not together, not paying together, and took a ridiculously slow amount of time with the only cashier on duty.

How could I react to this situation? When they went in front of me was I going to try to express myself in my broken French, “Excuse me, but as you can see there is a line forming here and I am the next customer in it, so please move on back.”

Or was I just going to let this go? Of course, seeing these two old tired woman only buying a couple of items each, I was naturally going to let it go. I even stepped into their shoes for a moment and thought that is was their right to do such a thing as they have lived a long life and don’t have as much time left on this Earth as I do. I might as well let them hurry through the line to continue enjoying their ever shortening lives.

That sounds quite morbid but at the same time I think it’s an angle on respect for the elderly. Especially when I’m the visiting party in their country.

So this weird incident happened that switched my brain into “philosopher” mode for a brief moment in time.

My time came up and I went to the cashier. Unexpectedly, another cashier moves in behind the counter and takes a massive handful of organic teabags and throws them into my grocery bag…something she had not done to any customer before me.

“Hmmmm, interesting.” I thought. I was given nearly 20 bags of organic herbal tea for sleeping, memory, digestion, etc.

Magical Tea with Yummy Laura

Magic happened in that moment and I was appreciative that my time with the cashier came when it did!

Fast forward to today. Another day, another adventure.

Actually rewind to about 2 months ago. I had just arrived in France and was doing a little shopping. At one boutique natural shop, I saw that they had a selection of around 5 or 6 adult colouring books (with complicated intricate patterns) from a brand called “Art Therapie” which read that these books were colouring books for de-stressing.

What a marvellous idea! As they didn’t sell any colouring pencils, I didn’t purchase it on that day.

Then work online got busy, my stress level increased. I was spending 12 hours a day in front of computer screen and my eyes felt drained at the end of the day.

3 weeks ago I was in the Paris train station about to head out to London. I was waiting for Max to arrive, as we were meeting at the station that day. I went to the book store within the station and found the same type of adult colouring book…hmmm, still tempted to get it and would have bought it to use on the train but to my dismay, there were no colouring pencils to be purchased anywhere in sight, or around the station.

So I let it go, yet still held onto hope for the past few weeks, walking into book stores throughout the city looking for these interesting anti-stress colouring books, with no luck.

My luck turned around today.

I didn’t know where I was going when I left the house today but I knew that I needed to get out into the open air. Being cooped up only breeds pointless anxiety.

So I started walking anywhere. I started turning down streets I’ve never been down before, trying to get lost, yet never actually lost because the view of the Eifel tower is a compass for me, as we live right beside it.

To my BIG surprise, for the first time I walked by a large hidden book store on a side street and wouldn’t you know that right in their window display was a selection of at least 8 or 9 of these adult anti-stress colouring books. When I went inside, I found that there was an even larger selection.

This time I didn’t care that there were no colouring pencils. I just trusted that I would find them later, and picked out the perfect colouring book for me.

I left the store and continued my adventure home and just as I was about to make my final turn onto the street that goes straight home, I walked by a craft shop, selling a massive selection of pens, pencils, and colouring pencils.

Another magical moment among many.

adult-colouring-book

My Natural Health Regime to Overcome the Flu in 1 Day

pic8
Let’s talk about health. Woohoo, my favourite topic!!

Yesterday I was sick. I had a fever, terrible headache, couldn’t stop coughing and I was sore all over.

I took this as a challenge…let’s take all of the skills I have learned in the past few years about overcoming illness naturally, and let’s apply them to this situation and see if they work. I was ready to create some anecdotal evidence of my own when it comes to natural health and healing.

I thought that the worse that could happen by not taking western medication to bring the fever down and stop the coughing, was an extra few days in bed.

I knew that I wasn’t sick with anything serious and was just experiencing the normal flu (my vaccinated body makes me feel confident that I won’t get meningitis any time soon). The flu usually lasts 1 week, or maybe even slightly longer.

My challenge was to reduce this recovery time by as much as possible.

Today I am well again. I have no coughing, no soreness, no headache, no fever. I am a little fatigued, but that’s the only symptom still residing in my body.

I had the flu for exactly one day and I used only natural means to get well again so quickly.

So what did I do that allowed me to overcome the flu in only 1 day without taking any medications?

  1. I drank peppermint tea throughout the day.
  2. I drank filtered water throughout the day.
  3. I ate a very small amount of food, but when I did eat I ate protein rich, bland food.
  4. I took cod liver oil
  5. I took vitamin C
  6. I stayed warm
  7. I rested in bed
  8. I eliminated dairy products, wheat and most carbohydrate-rich foods
  9. I consumed honey multiple times
  10. I took 2 homeopathic remedies multiple times throughout the day
  11. I stayed as relaxed as possible all day

With a low grade fever it is imperative that it not be brought down. Low grade fevers are not dangerous. Low grade fevers slow down the replication of bacteria and viruses. If you bring down a fever immediately, the pathogens remain in the body mulitplying.

When I saw I had a fever I was appreciative because I knew that my body was doing what it needed to do to fight off the virus with it’s own immune system strength.

I drank the peppermint tea and stayed warm in bed.

When the body has pathogens taking over inside, it must increase it’s pace and ability to eliminate toxins. There are 4 major elimination channels in the body: the kidneys, the bowels, the lungs and the skin.

Therefore when you are sick, you will notice that the function of all for of these organs will increase (you may need to run to the washroom more frequently, you will sweat a lot, and you will probably cough up some stuff as well).

We stay warm to encourage the skin to eliminate the toxins by sweating. Peppermint is considered a “sweat inducing” herb.

The water also helps the body eliminate.

Homeopathy is something I like to use frequently in my natural health regime. My first use of homeopathy was to strengthen my teeth, which after a month, completely worked. I used it for other things as well.

Fortunately, France is large into homeopathy and carry the same brands that I was used to in Canada so I am well aware of the different remedies and what they are used for. I personally have only tried Boiron remedies. For the flu I took Oscillococcinum and also the virus remedy Verrulia.

The immune system relies on protein (more specifically the individual amino acids), so I prefer to have something like a piece of meat when I get sick. It’s important not to overdo it through because the body will have more elimination work to do.

Cod liver oil is the perfect flu remedy. It has vitamins A, E and D plus is a source of healthy fat. Fat is a great food to consume while sick because it helps transport nutrients into your body (which will aid in your recovery and proper functioning of the body). Vitamin A is depleted when we get a fever. By having cod liver oil, vitamin A is easily transported back into the body, which helps our immune system.

Vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to being one of the main causes of the flu.

Vitamin C as well, helps strengthen the immune system.

So there you have it, an easy to implement natural health remedy for bad colds and the flu. Obviously it’s important to monitor your temperature throughout the day.

I took my temperature multiple times to make sure that it wasn’t climbing past a certain point, which would be the point where I would have to actively bring the fever down (probably by taking medication)…but until that point, this regime was perfect and it worked!

Have a great day!

 

Career and Creativity

Max and Laura after

It really feels so great to be blogging again. I need a creative outlet. My job is mostly creative but it can be tedious.

Actually I have multiple online jobs right now. First and foremost, I work online as a nutritionist. I take clients from around the world and give them tailored nutrition and alternative health advice when they need it. This is more intellectual and less of a creative job. There is a lot of research that goes into every case and a lot of preparation with presentations, meal plans and more, that all help the clients succeed.

My second online job is as a virtual assistant. This is a somewhat creative job but most of the time it’s just pretty simple. I schedule my clients’s content for them, research some interesting/random topics (and learn a lot in the process), and just generally help them out online. The more creative part of this job includes making design tweaks to their sites and creating graphics for their content.

Finally I am dabbling in web development and web design. I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the blog before, but I took a course in web development in university and learned how to program and design a website from scratch. The information was a little out of date but since I already had two websites (this blog, and Poet’s Circle Jewelry) I started experimenting. Lately I’ve run into some great developer tools that have allowed me to take this to the next level and help others with their websites as well. I’m just in the process of getting a portfolio together.

That job is highly creative but can be a little bit of a creative suck because it’s the client’s vision more than my own…and my style of design is quite different than what is suitable for everyone, so sometimes I need to make little compromises.

Now Yummy Laura…this is all my own. I have no clients on the back end, no way to make money through it (although I will start affiliate marketing shortly), and nothing but the freedom of space to unleash my daily thoughts and show you some great photos in the meantime.

This blog challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone and create a beautiful life.

Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Bois de Boulogne, Paris

The best part of my location back in Toronto was that it was only a 10 minute walk to High Park, one of the largest parks in the city. That meant that every day (especially on the warm days) I could venture there and enjoy time in nature, without hearing too much noise residue from the big city.

Paris is a much bigger, more crowded, less green, and more polluted than Toronto…

So I was very pleased when I discovered that we live only a 10 minute walk away from the largest park in Paris, le Bois de Boulogne. It’s twice the size of high park and quite a suitable place to catch up with nature.

It was packed with runners, and the site of all those runners made me stop and think, “Should I pick up running again?” I thought a little longer and came to the conclusion of no.

I will have to find some form of exercise that I actually enjoy, because running and I don’t have the greatest relationship any more after one summer when the daily running threw my cortisol levels out of balance and left me feeling stressed and frazzled.

I didn’t have a great explanation for it at the time until I learned, just a few months later in nutrition school, that indeed this reaction happens often in women, which then throws off other hormone levels in the body.

Maybe it’s just about finding that proper moderation.

Since the running, I had a run in with daily yoga classes and that too ended after I realized that yogis are…yogis. And I have no aspiration to be one.

The healthy food is what sustains me at the moment sans exercise (besides the 1-2 hours roaming around the city daily), and with the food that I eat, I am more than satisfied with my level of health.

Speaking of good, nutritious food – I have found the best quality food here in Paris that I had not found anywhere else in the world, including Toronto.

The store bought almond milk (which I vowed never to buy) only contains water, almonds and silica (a mineral supplement), and tastes like homemade. This is impossible to find outside of Paris. The health food stores are well stocked with my favourite of everything including steal cut oats, raw sheep yogurt, wild forest honey, almond butter, quinoa crackers and more. We found the best quality natural non-fluoridated toothpaste and chemical free shampoos.

Ahhh it’s truly paradise here. Everything I desire is right before my eyes.

Le Marché de Passy

Outside the Marche de Passy-

I live close to Passy in Paris. It’s a cute little neighbourhood with a ton of shops and pretty narrow streets. I like to go here to run errands, as it’s just a  quick walk away.

Today I decided to venture a little farther than I usually venture, and turn off the main road because I saw something that caught my eye…Le Marche de Passy.

Now if you have at all followed this blog, back when I lived in Lille, France, you will know that I grew to love markets. They were probably the best part about living in France.

And here in Paris, I have come to realize that if you go for a walk on Saturday morning, you will find at least 5 gourmet, traditional French markets lining the Parisian streets.

We visited one such market this past weekend and bought dairy products like no other. I’m not a huge fan of dairy products but as a nutritionist, I can confidently say that if you buy the right ones then there can be health benefits, especially the high mineral content, and the protein.

It has been my long time dream to try raw milk (that is non-pasteurized by any method). It is illegal in Canada due to the fear of consumers contracting the listeria bacteria, or some other pathogen. It doesn’t need to be illegal in France, it’s tradition here. The French know how to raise the highest quality cows that produce the highest quality milk. When milk is unpasteurized it also contains the lactase enzyme. People who are lactose intolerant may benefit from switching to non-pasteurized milk for this very reason. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose and is lost during any heating process.

So we bought some. I’m trying to think of the taste and whatever word comes to mind to try to describe it is insufficient. There is no other flavour like it in the world. I’ve been converted and possibly for life.

Now back to today’s adventure.

 

Marche-de-Passy-2

Marche-de-Passy-4

I went inside this covered market, to find that it is open almost all of the time and sells almost everything you can dream up when it comes to whole foods.

For those weekdays when the street markets are few, this is a suitable replacement.

I also discovered that this is where all the reasonably priced flowers and plants are sold.

Have a great midweek day!

Laura

 

Le Cimetière de Passy

Headstone at the Cimetière de Passy

Lazy Sunday. That’s all I wanted this past Sunday to be. I wanted to bask in the freedom of having no responsibility for just one day that week and love the fact that I could hang out in comfy clothes all day and be free to kiss Max a million times.

It started this way until we both got bored. Lazy Sunday is not for two hyper adults.

We made grand plans to visit Studio 28 in Montmartre and visit the salon de thé right before seeing a film. We got dressed and ready to head out when I changed my mind. The thought of venturing many metro stops on  a Sunday just didn’t feel like fun.

Why not something closer?

We still went outside, but we went to our neighbours place, Le Cimetière de Passy, the cemetery where the famed and fortuned were burried. The housing spot of many dead bourgeoisie.

I mentioned to Max while we were on our two minute commute, “Isn’t this how all good horror stories begin?”

A young couple just moves into their chic Paris apartment in the perfect location overlooking a cemetery. One day they decide to explore the cemetery and then many interesting things start happening in their lives…especially in the apartment.

Ghost stories aside, we were amazed. The tribute that has been paid to the dead is fascinating. Some families of 10 people were all buried together on a multi-level plot carved in stone, other plots had no one buried yet, but just a family name ready to accept it’s first guest.

The picture above is a gem of a gravestone. It reminds me to go out and explore life!

French Life So Far

WP_20150102_003 WP_20150102_001 WP_20150102_010As soon as we arrived in France we took the car and drove 8 hours to the South of France to visit Max’s extended family.

We have been in France for less tan 2 weeks but it already feels like so much has been seen and accomplished. Actually, it feels like we never left. Last year at this time we were in Europe as well…Luxembourg which is basically like a mini France/Germany and only a couple of hours away (by car) from Max’s parent’s place in Reims where we are staying right now while we search for an apartment in Paris.

Th pictures above are of Max’s grandparent’s house (on his dad’s side), which is called a “mas” in French. A mas is a big old stone house in the South of France. I love the yellow!

WP_20150102_014 WP_20150102_016We ate amazing, fresh, organic food while we visited. The top picture there is of wild boar that Max’s grandfather hunted himself. This wild boar only ate fallen fruit, grass and wild mushrooms for his entire life span. It tasted like pure luxury! It melted in my mouth! Oh la la!

The second picture is of Nougat, prepared the traditional way by La Mamie (grandmother) of Max. It only has almonds and honey but when prepared with a lot of muscle and a lot of love, it’s a dream in my mouth.

WP_20150101_003Besides the South of France, I’ve been sporting my grandmother’s fur jacket all around town. It fits perfectly in this country. My grandmother bought this jacket when she was 20 years old and almost never wore it. She has always been a modern women (and still is – she is online, on email/facebook, travels constantly, has seen the world, etc.). At a young age she worked two jobs to live her dreams. By day she was a typist (she can type faster and more precisely than anyone I know!) and at night she worked at a rollerblading drive-in burger joint in Winnipeg. At 17 she took the train down to Florida to take her first Caribbean cruise alone. I am always blown away when she surprises me with stories about the adventures she had!

And now I have her jacket and continue her legacy.

InstagramCapture_e4da9622-e7db-42d0-adb9-3da533ea1d5fRaw butter is virtually impossible to find in Ontario. Dairy products (except for certain cheeses_ must be pasteurized by law in Ontario. The French know better ;). Raw butter has a plethora of health benefits that pasteurized butter does not, including a pretty hefty vitamin K load. Vitamin K is essential for bone health.

InstagramCapture_b1a7f9da-7981-4098-a68f-3847ee5a37bcThe first thing I search for, wherever I live, is a health food store. I had visited this same health food store in the past, multiple times, but this time, upon our new French adventure, their selection of supplements and superfoods seemed to have doubled!

France is finally jumping on the natural health food wagon and it’s obvious by the fact that organic grocery stores have started to line the streets of Paris.

InstagramCapture_e7d4f208-d12f-43ef-806a-0d4a15635b71I started sewing dresses again. The sales have started here and Mondial Tissue (the greatest fabric store in the world) has tons of fabrics from 30-70% off. I had to jump on it. I now have two high quality dresses to wear because of it!

I have a couple of posts from the past that highlight other dresses I made while here as well. Check out this one, and this one, and this one.

WP_20150110_001Right now we are still in the process of finding an apartment in Paris. Max especially has spent the last week calling handfuls upon handfuls of apartments to find the one for us.

We found this one above, but never heard back from them. It was perfect!! I want a perfect Parisian apartment!

Send us some good apartment finding vibes!

Thanks for making it all the way to the end of this post…more cruise photos to come soon too!

Laura