Stillness

Since returning home I’ve felt an intermittent sense of boredom, restless and loneliness.

Friday night before a long weekend and I scrawl the net in search of a beach side oasis. No luck. Damn all the organised folk who book ahead.

I awake on Saturday morning to a sunny sky. I text a few people. They too have already made plans. Damn.

After a moment of self sympathy I decide a bit of Kesha time is actually probably a good thing right about now.

Since returning I’ve been torn with indecision. A few life changing decisions I can’t quite get clarity on.

A conversation with my father this week started with “well at your age”… as he reminded me that I was no longer 20. As if I needed reminding. And besides I completely disagree with him, my age is the perfect time to be taking risks.

I drive aimlessly blasting music that sounds how I feel. I find myself at Ponsonby central with a Mayan fire smoothie in hand and a piccolo in the other. Next thing I’m chatting to an elderly European man who’s selling me a cransky and Balkan relish.

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Contented with my treats and buzzing market atmosphere I head to the beach.

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With 4 books in tow I lay in the sand feeling my body soak up the relaxation. Crickets and birds chatter, boats hum and yet there is a stillness around me.

Life slips from mind, and I feel happy with today and the little things. My only regret is my severe lack of a bikini and water bottle.

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Clean eating travels

I write from my friend’s apartment in Bogota, Colombia reflecting on the gourmand side of my journey thus far. Melbourne, Los Angeles, Bogota have all varied greatly in their cuisines on offer.

In the last 6 months I’ve become a mild healthy eating nutter. I can’t say what exactly inspired such a drastic change, but once I felt the results of healthier eating I was a convert. The one problem with travelling though, is you can’t afford to be a fussy eater nor do you want to miss out on anything delish.

I stayed on the North side of Melbourne, just out of Brunswick, and saw a whole new side of the city. Vegetarism and Veganism are huge. Huge. I felt like every 3rd cafe or restaurant in Brunswick had a Vegan sign adorned with hearts and flashing lights. Raw food was also trending. Whole food stores littered the streets of every suburb I visited, and what pleased me most was all the green smoothies and fresh veggie juices on offer.

Kale rides bikes in Melbourne

Kale rides bikes in Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure exactly what inspires such a food movement, but I feel like it was fitting with the locals – there was a rustic, bohemian artist vibe. I visited Ceres an organic veggie farm, market and cafe. Here the children, chickens and even parents seemed to roam free. Unpretentious and happy with the simple things in life. Good coffee, fresh produce, and mismatched woollens.

The Ceres Veggie Garden

The Ceres Veggie Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles was a whole different story. It seemed to me, a place of stark contrasts. Diners and juice bars populated the streets. Huge meals typically hamburgers with fries seemed to be the go. There were of course variations, but these too generally involved white bread of mammoth proportions. I ordered the chicken salad once, but it wasn’t worth it. The chicken barely resembled meat, and plain iceberg lettuce isn’t really my thing.

Some lunch options on Venice Beach boardwalk

Some lunch options on Venice Beach boardwalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there were the juice bars. There were so many equally delicious smoothies I had difficulty choosing. I was given a full dietary rundown on the fibre, calorie and nutrition of each, and all of course were endorsed by some famous LA nutritionist I’d never heard of. The fact that the smoothies were described as “soooo filling” and the same price as a burger combo, made me wonder if these were in fact intended as liquid meals. Do the masses eat the combos and the rest smoothies? It is possible. My visit to LA was so fleeting, and the city is so vast, I think I missed all the hidden gems.

Smoothie lovers paradise

Smoothie lovers paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On route to Colombia I stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I found even the airport food was pretty impressive. As soon as I’d gotten off the plane I knew there was a Carribean flavour here. Afro-Carribean and Latinos voices sung out across the airport in Spanish. Menus boasted local flavours and fresh organic produce. This place was heaven to my stomach. I ate breakfast at 430am.

And now Bogota. My first meal was a steak with an egg and tomatoes on top, salad, potatoes and guacamole. It was so huge I couldn’t eat it all, and that rarely happens to me. There is definitely a strong American influence in this Colombian capital but you have the best of both worlds. Fresh fruit juice is huge, local superfood berries are in the rise, and the coffee is strong.. so I’m pretty happy. My Spanish isn’t quite good enough to request any of my usual orders but that’s probably a good thing.

 

Friday Night Fail

You know something is going terribly wrong when it’s a Friday night and you’re at home baking Grapefruit and Almond cake.

This is made worse by the fact I’m also pre-planning (and freezing) next weeks breakfast smoothie ingredients.

And I’m excited by it!

I’m dreaming of pineapple and spinach blended with coconut water; while killing time in anticipation for my Grapefruits to finish their 2 hours simmering so I can puree them.

This is all taking place while I’m stone sober. I checked my pulse. Nope, no fever. I’m quite well. In fact I can’t remember the last time I felt better. Happier, healthier, more energy.

My daily smoothie intake of Spinach must really be doing wonders. Next thing I’ll be just like Pop Eye. Look at what it did for him:

Super human strength, just what we all need. Spinach aside…

Winterly weather, an amazing house and being coupled up have turned me into this strange alien domesticated version of Kesha. Maybe this is what your mid-20s is all about (I have a feeling it is not)

Nevertheless, I shall embrace what may be a short-lived phase over a piece of homemade cake and dare I say it – a glass of vino.

The weekend has after all just begun.
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Thanks for all the smoothie inspiration Health Yeah! http://www.healthyeah.co.nz

http://foodhub.co.nz/recipe/9437/Grapefruit-and-almond-cake/