Breakfast Beauty.

IMG_4772Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how attractive my breakfast looked this morning. Blackberries, bananas, almonds, almond-hazelnut butter, rolled oats with vanilla soy milk. I think I’m in love.

Eating a well-balanced breakfast will help you recharge your brain and make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, so I urge you all to never ever skip breakfast! If you’re a busy body and don’t have enough time in the mornings (Which I don’t believe by the way. You always can make time to nourish your body with good foods!), try baking these healthy cookies on a Sunday night and store them in a bag to grab-n-go throughout the week. ‘Cookies for breakfast? No way!’ Yes, friends, dreams do come true.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Love,

Amy

Nostalgia of London, UK

IMG_9804-2When I think back to backpacking across Europe last summer, one thing that always comes to mind was how unprepared I was for the London weather. I mean, I’ve heard people talk about the constant rain and cloudy skies, but I guess I refused to believe that London was anything less than a perfect city filled with wizardry & witchcraft, high fashion, and sexy British men with compelling accents and intense quiffs.

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Travelling to London was very special for me. It was the first stop on our backpacking adventure and my first time ever being in Europe, so I was a little overwhelmed with excitement to say the least. Like I said, I was not prepared for the weather at all. I was expecting light showers for a portion of the day, but it was more like drizzling for half the day, heavy rain for a few hours, and a peak of clear skies for 3 seconds. But despite the rain, this beautiful city filled with art, impeccable architecture and rich history, was absolutely magical.

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The five days I spent in London consisted of endless hours of walking, tube-riding, tourist photo-taking, museum visiting, and architecture appreciating. We tried our best to cover all the major attractions/landmarks, but we only scratched the surface within our stay. There’s just so much to see, it was impossible to get to everything! But that’s what I loved about this city- every corner you turned, you’d discover something magnificent. There was always an awesome bridge, a rad local market, a classic red telephone booth (which might not excite some, but I still love them!), or a strikingly beautiful building within my view and I can still remember that exhilarating thrill I had taking it all in.

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My favourite museum was definitely the British Museum (Photo above!). Not only was the historical content rich and beautifully displayed, but walking through the doors and seeing the grand Round Reading Room attached to the unique and stunning glass roof was breathtaking. Everything about this museum was grand and elegant and I couldn’t help but stand there for a good 15 minutes admiring the construction of it all. We ended up spending about 2-3 hours roaming through the rooms since we were short on time, but I would love to go back one day and just spend days here. I just love museums- so much learning within these walls, it’s ridiculous!

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St. Paul’s Cathedral was such a beautiful sanctuary. It’s probably the second grandest Church we visited on our entire trip, after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Take a look at the dome of the church in the photo above; all of the art was painted to look 3-dimensional! If the audio guide didn’t tell me so, I would’ve thought those were sculptures on the dome, not a painting! All of the illustrations on the arches and pillars told stories of saints and angels and their spiritual encounters, which all came together so harmoniously. The top of the dome also had a great panoramic view of the city (photos below!), so if you’re ever in London, I highly recommend visiting St. Paul’s. Also, it’s where Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married- wouldn’t you want to step foot into the place where there was a royal wedding?!

IMG_9490IMG_9486(View atop St. Paul’s Cathedral)

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Look! It’s the bridge the death eaters destroyed in the Half Blood Prince! Except, it’s still fully intact and very pretty, haha. The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses River Thames. I really love how its modern and innovative design contrasts the classic architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral behind it. The mix between contemporary and classic architecture throughout this city is a perfect balance. Seriously, writing this makes me want to go back to London right now!

IMG_9822-2(No tourist trip to London is complete without a photo of Big Ben! I was lucky enough to snap a shot of this beauty in clear skies!) 

IMG_9681-2(‘At your service, your Majesty!’ Unfortunately I didn’t see anything exciting whilst at Buckingham Palace. Why didn’t you come and greet me Queen Elizabeth, why!!!)

I have no idea what compelled me to write about this adventure that happened last summer, but there’s so much more that I want share with you about London! Though if I wanted to say it all, I’d be coming close to writing a novel. So let’s just end this off by saying I seriously recommend you taking a trip to London. The copious amounts of history and art to take in is incredibly remarkable and an experience you cannot mimic anywhere else. I hope to be back some day soon! And next time, I’ll definitely remember to bring my Hunter boots and a sturdy umbrella.

Love,

Amy

Lazy Saturday Guacamole

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I find that on the weekends when I have nothing pressing to do and nowhere important to be, I eat more than the average person should. Seriously, I can’t stop eating! Every hour or so I find myself stalking my fridge and pantry and rummaging for something to eat. It’s not even that I’m hungry… I think I’m just bored. I’m not the only one, right? Please tell me I’m not alone when I say eating is one of my favourite recreational activities!

But even though I’m eating often, I try to nourish my body with clean, healthy, nutritious foods that won’t make me feel sluggish throughout the day. Today, I had a sudden craving for guacamole. Actually I’ve been craving it all week and I finally had the time to make it today. It’s really strange- I really don’t like eating avocados in any form except for in guacamole. On its own, eating avocados, to me, tastes like eating a slab of butter (yuck). But in guacamole, the tang of the lime and crunch of the onion really make avocado something I really enjoy.

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Guacamole is simple, quick, and so versatile. You can use it as a dip for your crackers/chips/carrots/celery, put it in your burritos/tacos, or even just eat it on its own as a side to your meal. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthy unsaturated kind that is proven to help lower cholesterol levels. Also, the buttery green fruit is high in fibre and has more potassium than a banana, so all the more reason to make guacamole!

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Look at that beautiful colour- Isn’t it pretty? 

There isn’t anything special about my recipe- it’s just a combination of simple, fresh ingredients that blend perfectly together, and I really wanted to share it! Everyone should be allowed to indulge in this healthy, delicious snack! So here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper
  • 10 springs of cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the avocado flesh from the skin and mash together in a bowl using a fork. Keep mashing until no large chunks are longer visible.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the avocado and mix well. The lime gives a great tang to the dish and prevents the avocado from browning as quickly.
  3. Dice the tomato into small cubes and add it to the mixture.
  4. Finely dice the onion and add it to the mixture. Make sure the chunks aren’t too big, or else you will be experiencing some serious onion breath after eating this!
  5. Remove the stem of the  jalapeño pepper and vertically slice it in half. Be sure to remove all the seeds inside. Dice the pepper into tiny tiny cubes and add it to the mixture. You can add as much or as little as you like (Personally I think half a pepper gives you the perfect amount of kick).
  6. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the mixture.
  7. Mix everything up well, making sure each ingredient is evenly distributed, and add salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it! It’s pretty much just cutting everything up and mixing it in a big bowl, haha. Regardless of its simplicity, the end result is still spectacular. I enjoyed my guacamole today with celery sticks, baby carrots and a few rosemary olive oil Triscuits- It was such a spectacular afternoon snack!

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So, next time you’re bored on a lazy Saturday and want to snack on something great, give guacamole a try. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

Love,

Amy