Monaco – My Love!

Bonjour My Friends!

It is been a long break for me from blogging. I really missed it all =) and glad to be back!

How have you been doing?

We came back from our trip to Cannes and Monaco last Saturday and things were pretty rough in here! But first things first Рi loved, loved and loved Monte-Carlo. It is so chic, so taken care off city! Every step of it is like a living a dream! We visited Monaco Yacht Show and i was pretty immersed by the luxury of boats for sale.

Monaco Yacht Show

Some of the Boats:

and some of me =)

me

Some treatsūüėČ since we were so busy and so tired sometime, that my body craved for some fuel-treats ;=)

i took a small bite already from the Madelene :o)

We finished our Day with Wine and Pot of Mussels, of course

pic was taken with Blackberry at night -(

ar Lovely Hidden Gem in Cannes “La Socca” serving some authentic South France Food, including Beef Tartare and those babies from picture aboveūüėČ

Day 2 in Monacco again =)

This time we were hanging on the famous Square of Monaco with “La Casino”, “Hotel De Paris”, “Cafe De Paris” and ¬†Hotel “Hermitage”, where we also attended Charity Watch Auction.

Hotel De Paris

La Casino

The Only Watch Charity Auction was held at the beautiful hall of Hotel Hermitage and 25 lots of watches specially made for this event and representing itself unique piece.

Hall filled up with bidders and guests

Prince of Monaco in the  front row

Albert II, Prince of Monaco

Top Lot was Patek Philippe Watch¬†. It’s starting price was 350,000 Euro and it was sold for…. see for yourself:

euro 1,400,000 =)

Afterwards we had dinner at Cafe De Paris, of course =) we had beef tartare, ratatouille with were very good and entrec√īte which was nothing special =) and finished a bottle of Pino Noir.

dinner time - was too hungry to picture the food =)

It was a lovely few days and i am still in Love with Monaco. Wishing to visit there again next year -)

For now, i am back to Dubai, i am very busy here with a lot of things, which i will talk about in next posts. Right now trying my best to spare some time for blogging and have so many things to share!

Have a great day!

PS: if you have not planned you next getaway trip – book some place on South of France and explore it all =) You won’t be disappointed!

Trip to Cannes and many photos

I will be straight forward – I reached Nice, France today morning and took taxi to Cannes. It was a long flight and feeling really jet lagged all the way. So, despite how much I would love to share with you – and many nice feelings just overwhelming but I am so tired right now, that going to just put p so pics -)

Plan tree beside hotel

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Statue in front of Palaisdes Festivals (where Film Festival happening every year)

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Hand prints in front of it (tomorrow will try to find Silvester Stalne’s hand print – I have heard it is huge)

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Yachts

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View from the Yacht Bay

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Cute doggy

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It was nice – love traveling.

Today was nothing much to share in terms of food. Was eating loads of nuts on the planes, picked up apple I the airport. Then had vegetable soup and grilled salmon for lunch. Dinner was – red wine and a huge dish of mussels – yummy!

Of to bed now – long day tomorrow.

Elena.

Gluten – Friend of Foe?

I was thinking recently how much is too much. I am following mostly gluten free diet most of time. My intolerance test showed that my gluten intolerance only 1 point out of 3 point scale. Is it high or low? And lately i decided to keep mostly wheat free diet then gluten free. I figured that i might start introducing organic barely and rye into my diet Рlike maybe will start of once a week and see how it feels.

As for now – there is some pretty interesting read on “Gluten”¬†. As for myself now, i am sure of one thing – non organic wheat is bad. It is being homogenized and modified for mass production and definitely lost many of whole grain qualities, but gains dozen of pesticides.

I sure feel much better without gluten – i wake up fresh and get less tired during the day. My abs flatter without it and my digestion greatly improved. Now is the time to experiment – will i be feeling as good with some of above grains included in my diet or my intolerance is to all gluten product other then only wheat.

Some recent Gluten Free Meals of the day:

Buckwheat Pancakes from “Organ” Ready Mix¬†

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 Package “Organ” Pancake Mix

3 Organic Eggs (Or substitute)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup Rice Milk

Baked on the pan sprinkled with Organic Coconut Oil.

My Lunch was – Zinc and Vitamin B6 loaded.

Baked Eggs with Spinach

Baked Eggs - My Favorite Lately

Ingredients:

3 Organic Free Range Eggs

250 gr. frozen spinach, unthawed

Goat Gaude Cheese

1 Goat Labneh Ball

1/4 red onion

1 garlic clove

1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Sweat choped onions and crashed garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add spinach and stir fry till spinach welts – 3 minutes

3. Turn off the heat, mix in 1 goat labneh ball. Spread spinach mixture over baking dish.

Lebanese Goat Labneh Balls in Olive Oil

5. Whisk eggs with salt, pepper and oregano. Pour eggs mixture over spinach.

6. Sprinkle some goat gaud a on top and bake for 20 minutes.

7. I also added some Organic Salsa on top =) really loving it.

Saaaaalsa! mmmmm......

Post lunch snack aka My Mother-In-Law’ s favorite “diet” dessert

Pomegranate and Banana Mix

Pom. Banana. Yammmmm!

Method of preparation: Just mix hit up! =) And indulge!… Will give you a boost prior to work out too – full of antioxidants, vitamin C and Potassium.

It was the day -) all of the above, plus some apples and some dinner eats as feel – which were not pictures, but were definitely gluten and sugar freeūüėČ

Some cakes posts are coming up next =)

Hidden Gems

Hi,

How is it going. I hope that everybody are healthy an in the good mood =)

My mood is just great – i wake up happy to see the Sun, I spend all day laughing and joking and fall a sleep with a smile on my face looking back to the beautiful day behind. It is a lovely lovely feeling… ¬†

Today i woke up and had few pieces of Fresh Papaya, made beautiful Breakfast Cocktail for Mr. R – his favorite combo – banana and milk and through in there few frozen bluberries, pear and papaya. He loves his shake in the morning – what makes it even easier for me to make him a breakfastūüėČ

I packed my overnight Cookie Dough Cereal with me to yoga – i always have proper breakfast after the class – it keeps me going till lunch. I was running a little late and was really hoping to make it in time. It is really impolite to be late for yoga and miss breathing and then disturb the others with voice of placing your mat etc.. But hey, petrol light in my car went on right after leaving the house. “it always happens in the worthiest time possible – i thought, blaming myself for not filling it up the day before. I took another root to Fitness Center and hoped not gas station just to find out that i left my wallet at home. So – here i realized that i am not making it for yoga. I turned around and came back home. But hey, determination is the key! I searched the schedules for other close-by Yoga Centers and – going to try new Yoga Class at Zen Yoga! (which i would definitely not have time to try if situation would not be same).

So, with  a right attitude even the bad things turn to  a Good Luck =) Way to go !

Other then this would like to share my recent eats –

Baked Egg and Buckwheat

(good recipe to sneak in some super foods into the plate of Mr. R, since he is not a fan of those ;-) 

Our Quick Lunch

I adapted this recipe from The Healthy Foodie with a very slight modification and adjustments suitable for my food preferences.

1/2 cup of Buckwheat Groats (not toasted)

2 Tbsp Amaranth

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (yey – it was sneaked in to his plate)

2 cups of water

1/4 tsp salt

Wash and drain grains. Bring salty water to boil, add all dry ingredients and bring to boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-18 minutes.

1/2 medium red onion

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1-2 Tbsp Pine seeds

Salt and Pepper

Cook over medium heat until translucent.

Add:

250 gr spinach

And stir for 1-2 minutes until done.

Remove from heat and

Mix in for HIM: 2 Tbsp Labneh, 1 Tbsp Cheddar cheese

Mr.R's plate

Mix in for Myself: 1 Tbsp of Goat Labneh (i used i ball of Lebanese Goat Labneh from Goodies)

Divide buckwheat mixture between two oven proof dishes. Place spinach and cheeses on top. Make a well in the center of each plate and crack the egg in this little well. Season with salt and pepper. And bake in the preheated to 190 C oven for 15 minutes or until egg is set.

Layers of Foodgasmzzzz =)

He loved it =) Which i think is achievement considering the Hidden Gems in there – Chia Seeds

Egg was a bit gooey and made it all come together nicely

Off to yoga now =) and then shoes shopping at Dubai Mall.

 

I still have some picses to share from Photography workshop with Fellow Foodies – so promise to make it up in the next Post.

 

Happy,

 

Elena

 

 

 

 

 

When Millet meets Amaranth

Hello friends, how are you doing all this time?

We had a crazy holidays week in Dubai – Eid Al Adha celebration – end of Ramadan Holidays. It was really crazy in here. Mall were overly crowded and we went for a movie the other day and spent altogether 5 hours – just to reach mall’s valley parking and then to exit to highway. Most of Dubai and other emirates residents and travelers from other GCC Countries were just raving about shopping and lunching and dining and just simply mall walking, i guess.

The rest of days we just chilled, chilled and chilled with a warm cup of tea or sometimes something hotterūüėČ ¬†We lazied around, watched a lot of movies at home and played PS3/iPad games.

I was still managing to go to yoga every single morning and really enjoyed quit gym (which happens only holidays). Why people always assume that weekends and holidays should be excluded rom fitness routine? It takes only an hour a day! So DO it!

I also greatly enjoyed wall climbing with dubai blogger Anjia  at new Venue in Mirdiff City Centre called Walltopia. It was my first ever Wall Climbing experience and i totally loved it. It really different type of work out Рit is something other then dancing what i really enjoyed. Hope to do it more often though Рnice break from gym.

Here is some recent eats – in order to alkaline my body’s PH balance i am greatly concentrating on alkalizing foods. So the breakfast is totally down to it.

Millet and Amaranth Porridge (Credo – can’t sweeten it – spice it up )¬†

Can't sweeten it - Spice it up!!

Serves 2.

1,5 cups water

1/2 cups millet and amaranth 3:1 ratio

1/2 tsp cinammon

cardamom

all spice

nutmeg

Bring to boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Add:

1/2 unsweetened Almond Milk (but Amaranth milk will be good too)

1/3 cup of dry Goji Berries and Mulberries

1 Tbs of Shelled Hemp Seeds

Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Before serving i mixed in 2 Tbsp of milled Flax Seeds, drizzle of Yacon Syrup and teaspoon of Cashew Butter.

I enjoyed it with Carob-Chicory Mocchachino

Cappa "Mocha chino"

1 tsp of ground Chicory (Chicory mixtures help detoxify the body and regulate metabolism)

1 tsp of Carob Powder (My Favorite “Cocoa”)

Stevia

1/4 cup of boiling water

MIx together.

Add 1/2 cup of warm foamy unsweetened Almond Milk (i use my Nespresso Cappuccino maker for it)

Heading to the Food Photography Work Shop – so exited that can learn how to photograph properly and edit pictures, since being rally silly and posting just on-the-go pictures all the time.

Best,

Elena

Breath Away

How often do we think about our breathing? It comes naturally, right. So why to to worry about. We don’t breath – means we don’t live. But when we do breath, do we do it in any specific manner? Have you ever try to observe your breath other then at yoga class? never did, until i discovered the benefits of it.
It is known fact, that breath is fully connected to the level of stress in you body. Same as you can limit stress at yoga practice, you can limit it it during day-to-dayy life, simply, by observing your breath. Is my breath short or long, deep or shallow, fast or slow. Have yo ever notice, that when you get angry or stressed you heart start racing and breath becomes short and shallow? Or when you scared, it slows down?
Yoga practice brings us into control of our breathing through Pranayam techniques and teaches us to reduce stress through Meditation. On the Yoga Journal Website both of them described widely.

Both of those yogic techniques are great to learn and use, but how often do you get an opportunity in real life to take a moment by yourself to meditate? Me – never, sad to admit, but other then short Khapallabhati Pranayama before morning Sun Sun Salutation or Mriji Mudra in the evening i have not progressed.

My yoga teacher thought us, and i follow it now and see the benefit – PAY ATTENTION to YOUR BREATHING. When you feel overwhelmed, stressed or even angry – just pay attention to your breathing. this is what i do:

1. I seat down keeping straight spine (on a chair, couch or anything beside me), relax my shoulders and do not cross either my legs or my arms (trying to open my palms so they can face up and be open to the energy of universe). I silent my mind by concentrating on my breath.

2. When i feel that i am in full attention of it, i start slowing it down: breathing in to the count of 3 and breathing to the count of 3. Then slowly increase the number of second i breath in up to 6 or 8 counts. Then reverse it and increase breathing out time, keeping breath in as short as 3 or 4 counts. Every breath you take – make sure to make it deep and expand all your diaphragm and rib cage – fell that cold air enters your nostrils, filling up you abdomen (abdomen rises), filling up your diaphragm (it expands), filing up your ribcage and your chest. Breeth out slowly, feeling how warm air leaving your internal organs all negative energy is leaving your body.

3. And i do not thing about anything else at that moment, other then my breath. But what can be more important than that? You are breathing – meaning you are alive.

The great part about this technique is that you can do it at any given time and it will require just a few minutes. After that you breath will become very even and you will notice that even after breathing without much attention to it, you will breath deeply and slowly.

Pay attention to your breathing even without stress situation, and it will help you no to get there at all.

Recent Eats
I started my day with “Mighty Cereal” Bawl with fresh figs and then had early lunch (3 horse before my yoga practice).

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Big one-plate meal consisted of left over red rice and baked vegetables. And I added some sprouted beans and boiled chickpeas on top for extra protein and fiber. Sprinkled it with turmeric powder, hemp seeds and sea salt. Foodgasmic!

Later I snacked on this,
Chia Seed Carob Cookies

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Recipe adapted from Pure2Raw blog but slightly modified in order to reduce sugar content.

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Recipe:

3/4 c gluten-free baking flour blend
3 T carob powder (I did not opt for cocoa since I was tested with intolerance to coca beans and trying to avoid it in any for)
1/2 t gluten-free baking powder
1 t cardamom
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3 T chia seeds
3 T pumpkin pure (Twins used 2 T of applesauce, but I had home made pumpkin pure and increased amount of it, since reduce the sugar)
2 T virgin coconut oil, liquid
Seeds scraped down from 1/4 vanilla bean (since I cannot find gluten free vanilla essence in Dubai, I am using fresh beans)
1 tsp of powdered stevia
3 T water
1 T Raw Blue Agave

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Makes: 11-12 cookies

Place all dry ingredients into big bawl. Add all liquid ingredients and mix. Lastly add coconut oil and stir well to combine. Add 1 T of water more if the dough is too crumbly (depending on the baking mix you used and sugar reduction it might require a bit more water)
Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and freeze for 15 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 170 C.
Place chilled cookies into warm oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Indulge!

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Breath and relax,

Elena

Lazy Weekend Meals

So, weekend is over in Dubai! How was yours?

We finally watched “X-men First Class” and totally loved it! Such a treat for fans.
Then we hanged around the mall and had a a very pleasant dinner with family after all.

Mr.R was overly occupied with his new game and I was happily spending my time at the kitchen, enjoying it after a few days break because of the finger healing process.

Miso Glazed Salmon with Red Rice and Baked Vegetables

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Baked vegetables:
I chopped a lot of different Low Glycemic vegetables (avoiding potato of course): baby zucchinis, red cabbage, white cabbage, carrot, celery, broccoli, red onion, baby eggplant. In small sauce pan added 1/3 cup of olive oil and placed pot on medium fire. Added 4 minced garlic cloves and fried it until just fragrant, removed from fire and let it stand for 20 mins to absorb more flares into oil. Chopped fresh basil leaves and fresh rosemary leaves, mixed it with oil too. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Poured oil dressing over chopped vegetables and mixed to coat evenly. Baked in preheated to 220 C oven for 40 minutes, mixing once.

Red rice from Organic supermarket has an amazing nutty taste which is so pretty different to the regular brown rice variety. But it requires much longer cooking time. I washed and drained 1 cup of red rice and 1/2 cup of brown rice (to make it more colorful). Added rice to 4 cups salted boiling water, covered with a lid so no steam can escape, reduced heat to minimum and left it for 40 minutes on the stove, without opening or stirring. After that, removed from heat, opened it, fluffed it with a spatula and covered again. Let it rest for 15 mins, while was preparing salmon.

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Miso Glazed Salmon was a bit of a down part of the dish – since it was my first ever experiment with miso dressing (other then mKing miso soup). But still was pretty eatable -)) I mixed 1 tbsp of Organic Brown Rice miso paste (did not have white miso paste a hugely regretted it after tasting – it must be with white paste – it would be milder) with 1 tsp of Gluten Free Organic Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp of fresh minced ginger and 1 tsp of sesame oil, added just a small drizzle of Raw Organic Blue Agave And mixed it all very well. Marinated salmon for 30 minutes in this mixture and then baked under broiler at 220 C for 4 minutes on each side. It was ok, but next time will make the paste milder and use White Miso. Will be experimenting with it, so Improved versions will be coming soon -))

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Saturday morning went to Yoga after 2 days break and felt great! Did powered up Sun Salutation and really worked on those abs and core, which always make me break into sweat and loving it more an more. My favorite pose for core straightening is Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)

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Through this pose in the middle part of our practice and hold it for at least 30 seconds, repeat twice and you will feel your abs burning.

Tomorrow will be new yoga mat shopping – yey! Can’t wait to finally have my Manduka Eco Light Mat in cherry color.

Cheers,

Elena