Eiffel Tower Picnic

Eiffel Tower Picnic in Spring

Eiffel Tower Picnic in Spring

Eiffel Tower Picnic in Spring

Eiffel Tower Picnic in Spring

Spring has sprung in Paris, so what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to picnic at the Eiffel tower, part because it’s a beautiful location, and part because who wants to walk further than 5 minutes to picnic on a Sunday…not me! Sundays are lazy days.

We gathered sparkling water, smoked salmon, and strawberries and walked the short distance to the monument where we basked in the sun and the beautiful people all happy because it was warm.

Healthy Strawberry Almond Butter Dessert (or Snack!)

Healthy Strawberry Almond Butter Dessert

I don’t have an oven but I do love dessert…having healthy homemade desserts is actually completely possible even without an oven. I didn’t believe it would be so, when I moved in to the ovenless apartment, but it is so.

Ovenless desserts are also so quick to prepare.

This healthy dessert recipe is made with fresh strawberries and features honey, cinnamon, and almond butter.

The stawberries are sweet on their own and definitely do not need the honey but the honey is what turns this into a dessert. Mixing protein with sweet foods (i.e. almonds with strawberries) prevents an immediate spike in blood sugar, so you won’t crave another dessert in 30 minutes. Cinnamon is also blood sugar balancing, which makes this dessert ideal…it’s sweet without any negative consequences.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 5 strawberries per person
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • A pinch of cinnamon

Method:

Cut the strawberries into a bowl, spoon almond butter on top, drizzle honey on top, then sprinkle with cinnamon.

Party Fun with Fuji Film

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Party Fun With Fuji film

Party Fun With Fuji film

Party Fun With Fuji film

Party Fun With Fuji film

Party Fun With Fuji film

My birthday landing on Monday this week made for a perfect excuse to have a little dinner party at my place the Friday before.

I had to get festive birthday party hats, plates and napkins just for more fun!

Half way through and I whipped out the instant fuji film camera that Max and I picked up in Hong Kong a few years ago…

1001 Orchids in Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Paris recently had it’s 1001 Orchids of Asia exhibition at Le Jardin Des Plantes (which is also where the museum of natural history is). This exhibition ended on Monday but I was lucky enough to pop by there 2 weeks ago.

The pictures have been sitting in a neat little file on my desktop ready to edit and upload and today I mustered up the time to do so. Actually, the truth is that I filmed this event. The footage I have is incredbile! It really showcases the orchids…unfortunately, it was my first filming experience with my phone and I filmed Portrait instead of landscape. A friend of mine told me that it’s possible to edit videos split screen, which I may try…you’ll have double vision of orchids!

I’m so glad that I also took a few photos of the event. It was so so warm inside of that greenhouse and the smell was indescribably sweet. I’m almost sure that there were more than 1001 orchids there!

Here are some orchid photos for you:

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Jardin Des Plantes, 1001 Orchids Exhibition, Paris

Thanks for reading!

Le Petit Ceinture

Le Petit Ceinture, Paris

 

Meet Maarika. She’s a friend from Toronto who is staying in Paris for the next 6 months.

I feel so grateful and lucky to have a friend here with me. We met through the SGI Community in Toronto a few years ago and now she is here! A great coincidence I must say. It’s awesome to be around like minded people.

Maarika is here to continue her studies in art. She’s a great artist.

She discovered this place called “Le Petit Ceinture” in the 15e in Paris. I live in the 16th so it was relatively close, but still quite South and at the end of the metro line.

The instructions on getting there online are quite vague. There are no directions, nor metro stops that is makes reference to. Instead it just points out multiple entrances along different roads.

Basically Le Petit Ceinture is an abandoned railway track that used to run along the parameter of the city. It stretches 19 km but we lost our way after only a couple and decided to delight in other French pleasures instead of continuing on. French pleasures like un petit cafe, une tarte pomme, and une salade a la peche for lunch.

To get to one of the entrances, go to Balard metro stop at the Southern end of line 8. You’ll leave the metro and find it, it’s quite easy to navigate because you’ll see a big bridge. You must go on top of the bridge, and there are many stairways and elevators. There is an elevator right at Balard metro stop to get up to the tracks.

Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris

We came out to a large open park and an old book sale when we started to follow our tastebuds and start the second half of hte adventure.

Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris Le Petit Ceinture, Paris

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!

 
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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

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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!