The Day I Fell in Love With a Woman

I will forever remember the day I realized I was in love with a woman.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been attracted to men. There was no questioning that. When I was child, I envisioned myself to be the princess falling in love with the handsome Prince. Then I grew up, lost my virginity to a boy, and in my adult life began dating man after man – never really finding said Prince Charming.

As I entered a room, my eyes would scan for good-looking men. My Tinder filters were always set to men. Men is what I knew. It’s what I felt familiar with. Every time I went on a date or met someone new, it was always the opposite sex. The same sex that ended up being a disappointment months later.

It used to always revolve around men… until suddenly it didn’t.

The day she came into my life, the whole thing turned upside down. Pretty soon she was all I thought about. All I dreamt about. All I loved. What I felt for this woman was out of this world. It’s a love so pure nothing can taint it. I’m in love with her. This beautiful, confident and wild woman.

Now, and thanks to her, I am learning it’s never too late to let someone into your heart and love for the first time.

They say every rule has an exception. She has been mine. My queen.

And this is just the first chapter of our own fairy tale…

 

Post-Mexico Feels

Coming back from a trip is always one of the most bittersweet feelings. I have been back in San Francisco for a week and I am already missing Mexico — the laid-back pace, the incredibly friendly culture and hospitality, the beach sunsets, and of course… the hand-made tortillas. I mean, you really can’t beat that, can you?

It was a short, yet intense weekend spent with new friends lounging on the beach, eating and drinking. Straight out of work on a Friday we hopped on a plane and landed in Guadalajara at 8pm, desperately longing for tacos, guacamole and tequila – it was the only thing on our minds while were going through airport customs.

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The weekend flew by in a blur of Frida Kahlo shirts, drinking fresh coconuts, getting a bit too much sun, swimming in the sea at sunset, eating my weight’s worth of ceviche on the beach, countless hours of laughing, crying and singing Despacito.

Amidst all this action I was able to do some life thinking. Thanks to all that thinking, I learned a lot. Mainly about myself, how I deal with things and how to enjoy life as much as I can. A lot of this learning was heavily introspective… even though I was there with friends and cherishing every second I spent with them, I also did a lot of thinking about where I am in my life and what I want.

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It might have been the sun, the fact that we were on holiday, or my state of mind, but this thought came up a lot: Make a life, not just a living. It was a powerful realization to me. It’s so easy to get caught up in your daily existence, but life is about so much more than what you’re making of it.

 

Traveling is a great way of feeling alive, you go places to make you feel. Happiness, longing, excitement, freedom. LOVE. You go places to exit your comfort zone. To grow. 

It was kind of the perfect setting to do this type of thinking. A gorgeous hut nestled on the beach in the middle of nowhere, with the newness of a place I had never been to before.

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And now, here I am. Feeling refreshed and like I really learned a thing or two about myself and how my mind, body and soul work. I now feel utterly prepared to overcome anything that comes my way in this new chapter of my life. An acceptance that there is a time and a place to move FORWARD with my life in ways that are sort of scary. But worth it. But scary.

Beyond that, I feel like I learned a lot about how I can enjoy every day to the fullest. For me, it’s a balance of: exercise, healthy food, surrounded by people I love, lots of productivity and work sprinkled in, some time in the ocean or in the sun, and dedicating time to myself each day to decompress, try new things, write, read, and that kind of stuff.

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Guessing this is how I got my tan/burn. 

Of course that’s just a template for how I like to enjoy most of my days, but I like a little adventure thrown in there too. Some curve balls are always welcome, they’re what make life interesting. But if I know that that’s my routine that I can always come back to — I am happy.

To many more weekends like this.

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More Mexico pics on my Instagram.

Sun Basket Review: Cheating the Cooking

When talking to people about what is stopping them from buying and cooking healthy more often, food prep, shopping and not having healthy recipes are always mentioned.

Nowadays there are so many options for people who do like cooking, but would like to skip the planning stage, here is where meal kits come in– Marley Spoon, BlueApron, PurpleCarrot, Plated, HelloFresh, etc. – with a full range of prices and foods.

During a culinary rut, I  stumbled upon Sun Basket recipes, so I decided to give it a try for the sole purpose of switching up my meal prep.

I logged into Sun Basket’s site and chose the three recipes (out of nine new options and three crowd favorites) that sounded most appealing to me. The following Monday, a box arrives at my door with the ingredients for each recipe individually packaged and cooled.

It almost feels like cheating on food shopping and cooking. You’re cooking and eating really healthy food but the effort required to do so is incredibly low.

The unboxing: 

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Each recipe has a beautifully designed recipe card with all of the cooking instructions and the ingredients were perfectly pre-portioned, so several items only required opening and pouring.

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What’s unique about Sun Basket is that they’re one of the only meal kit companies that uses USDA-certified organic and non-GMO ingredients and they are the only one to provide breakfast options. They also provide Paleo, gluten-free and vegetarian selections if you prefer.

The recipes: 

All amazing and flavorful, as well as surprisingly simple to make, the recipes I made were: Lemongrass tofu and coconut black rice, sole in parchment paper and a hearty chickpea and quinoa curry – which I’ve already made more times that I’d like to admit.

These recipes show you new cooking techniques, as well as introduce you to new ingredients (hello sumac!).

One thing I would like to point out was the fact that the curry, which advertised it came with naan bread, only included one piece to share for two people. I did point out my feedback to the support team at Sun Basket as a way to improve their success.

 

Again, these are truly top-shelf meals for very little effort and very little comparative cost. Even better is the fact that you can get three free meals with your first purchase! All you have to do is use this link.

This is not a paid review. I truly believe in the value of Sun Basket and want you to enjoy the benefits of making healthy meals hassle free.

Life update from Santa Cruz

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

First of all, you should know that I wrote this under the hot sun. I was walking around Santa Cruz , and this post came flooding out of me. I had to get it out of me — so I felt like, if nothing else, I definitely had to share.

It’s a Friday in mid winter and here I am in the scorching Santa Cruz sun, sipping on an almond milk capuchino, watching people go by, knowing they have no idea what is going through my mind. They see a girl absorbed in something she’s typing in her laptop and think I’m working on some important paper, or meeting a last minute deadline. I shed a smile. This couldn’t be more distant to reality. I’m typing up my future, the next steps that will determine my career, and my life.

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I have just pressed the SEND button accepting what will be my new job, a next step in my professional life here in San Francisco, which will shape my personal life as well.

Today my feelings of stress vanish and are now replaced by relief mixed with a tint of excitement. I am hopeful that the future will bring on new challenges, and I firmly believe everything happens for a reason, whether or not we know what that reason is at the moment.

I’m exhilarated, and at the same time seriously freaked out. This new life I know nothing about lies ahead, and it’s my duty to shape it into my own.


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One good thing that has come from this is I’ve been able to spend a week chilling in Santa Cruz, while I gather strength for my next step. It has helped me gain perspective and am now ready to take on whatever is coming my way.

Santa Cruz, a surfer town known mostly for it’s waves, cute coffee shops and relaxing time. Just what the doctor ordered! My days were spent in a blur of wandering, popping into cute coffee shops downtown, soaking up the sun on the boardwalk, reading and just pressing the pause button.

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This city definitely changes vibe from rain to sunshine. The day we arrived we were greeted with dark clouds, rain and hail, but the following morning the sun came out to shine, showing the town’s true colors.

One of the days there I took a trip to Capitola, a must see if you’re in the area, and stumbled across a cute little family-owned Deli, Castagnola Deli & Cafe, which just opened and serves the best veggie sandwich and smoothies. A dream! If you’re ever in the area, pop in, the even make picnic baskets to take to the beach!

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Now it’s time to let go of the past, and see what the future awaits.

 

3 tips to survive the holidays healthy

Or at least somewhat-healthy. Well, fit into something but sweatpants by the end of the holidays. Yes, that’s more like it.

Whether you’ve recently decided to follow a healthy lifestyle or have been healthy for years, the holidays can always be tough. So much food right at your finger tips every occasion.

Here are five ways you can survive — and thrive — at holiday dinners this season without feeling like you’re missing out.

Continue reading “3 tips to survive the holidays healthy”

Blasting blueberry muffins

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I have a confession to make, I sometimes fall asleep at night thinking about the following morning’s breakfast. I’m a sucker for every and all breakfast foods, regardless of course of what time in the day it is.

I hope you all LOVE these muffins! They’re:
Moist
Perfectly fruity
Not too sweet
Easy to make
& Seriously scrumptious
These would make the perfect treat to have on hand during the holidays.

If you try this recipe, let me know with a comment. Cheers and happy baking!

What you will need: 

Makes 4 muffins. 

1 cup of rolled oats
1 egg
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 cup coconut sprinkles
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 pinch salt
1 pinch baking powder

How you will make these: 

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC. Soak the chia seeds in a tablespoon of water, and set them aside.

2. Mix your dry ingredients (oats, coconut, maca, salt and baking powder) in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add the milk and chia seeds.

3. Combine all ingredients in the same bowl and place the mixture in cupcake molds, making sure to fill half way as they willrise. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Cool off and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!

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Baked banana breakfast oats

All hail the season of baked oats.

Fall is upon us (November, yikes!) and what better to celebrate than with a new recipe of baked oats to keep you warm and fuzzy.

I have been trying to up my recipe game lately and remember I hadn’t revisited this recipe in a long time. And yet it is so simple. Creature of habit, much?

So here is this easy creation I am talking about: baked oats! A nice change to regular stove cooked (or microwaved) oats. Definitively a must try this season.

What you will need:

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup almond milk

1 banana (half for the oats and half for optional topping)

1 teaspoon maca

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 pinch of baking powder

Optional toppings: chia seeds, blueberries, blackberries, apricots…

Step by step:

1. The first step is to pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (360º F).

2. In a bowl, mash half of the banana and combine with the rest of ingredients and mixing well.

3. Place the mixture in an oven proof dish of your choice.

4. Place your toppings and put it in the oven for 20 minutes, or until well cooked and your kitchen starts smelling like a bakery. Cool off and enjoy!

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5 tips on moving to a new city

I have moved to new cities before. I know how utterly terrifying it can be, but also how incredibly exciting, enriching, and rewarding it can be too.

I’ve never been able to stay in the same place for a long period of time, nor do I ever plan to move. I just go. The first time I moved away from my home in Lanzarote, Spain, I was going to study in Madrid at the age of 18, with my two suitcases in tow. I moved a bit more after that, Belgium, Barcelona…

But nothing like what I did last month.

This time, I’ve moved across the world to a place I had only been when I was 10: San Francisco (which presents its own set of challenges). Instead of two suitcases, this time I brought three.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but also one of most incredible life experiences I have had so far – filled with new experiences and lessons learnt.

Keep reading for 5 tips to make your first few months a breeze…

Continue reading “5 tips on moving to a new city”

Solo travel in Thailand

All kinds of thoughts went through my head the moment I decided to brave it and go on my first solo trip to Thailand this summer. One of the biggest challenges once you decide to travel solo is actually booking your flights and planning your trip.

It’s empowering but scary at the same time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Solo travel also does not mean you will end the trip alone, it just means you decided to start by yourself. There are many other solo travellers throughout the globe, and you’ll undoubtedly make lots of friends as soon as you arrive in your hostel.

So, without further ado… my two week Thailand itinerary!

Continue reading “Solo travel in Thailand”

Vegetarian in Barcelona Part I – Flax & Kale

I moved to Barcelona quite sceptical about the food panorama at first, not eating meat and all. Now, almost a year later (wow, time flies!) while I look back and think of all the great food I have eaten here, I couldn’t be happier with what the city has to offer.

Healthier and more creative cuisine is coming to the forefront, and the city finally has a booming veggie-friendly scene that looks like it is here to stay. The growing list of places with plenty of meat-free options around town means it’s possible for vegetarians to finally escape the routine of eating out on a limited menu while their carnivorous companions have it made. Here’s the first of a series of plant packed restaurants that will make all veggies happy.

Continue reading “Vegetarian in Barcelona Part I – Flax & Kale”