It’s been a while since I found some time to sit and write. June flew by (much of it was spent in Europe) and the month of July came way too quickly and here we are about to enter August. I constantly remind myself each day to soak up the sun as this won’t last long and the colder days will soon be upon us. I’m not a winter person – my entire body goes into shock the moment we get hit with the cold brisk winds of the early winter season. Part of it is also because my body does not enjoy being cold, but then again who does right? Especially with having Raynaud’s Phenomenon and on top Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder, I hibernate most of the winter and a lot of self-care goes into nourishing my body. I am meant to be in a warmer climate, so hopefully one day we will find ourselves (my husband and I) growing old somewhere warmer.
But for now, I’m going to enjoy these warm summer days. We are in mid-summer in most parts of the world and I am so excited to share what I’ve been up to for the past month and half. My work travels have taken me to Europe for three weeks. I met with my two favourite ladies, May and Heidi for our European May Lindstrom tour. We had a bundle of fun meeting with beauty editors, press, and exclusive boutique owners who constantly rave about May’s brand and want to have it in their stores. I spent some time in Paris and the rest in London with them. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the experience was, I learned so much about skin health, business and the best part was spending time with May and Heidi roaming the streets of Paris and London eating the most delicious meals. Speaking of skin health – did you know Oxford Circus street in London is the most polluted street in the world? Let’s just say my skin did take a hit from traveling, pollution and unfiltered shower water, but May’s line healed and restored it back.
The latter part of my trip was spent in London where I got to cherish time with my sister and also continued working from there. I met lovely food bloggers, visited farmers and vintage markets (always inspirational) and got to spend time with the entire Organic Burst team sipping on superfood cocktails and learning about the next chapter of their adventure.
I worked from different cafes throughout London, I can probably tell you which ones have the best wifi and serve the most delicious food. A combo that’s hard to find – I take notice. Two of my favourite ones and very close to where my sister lives were Sawyer and Gray and Maison D‘être. The food, staff, ambiance and wifi – all impeccable. They are also located within a block from each other in charming Highbury/Islington neighbourhood. I loved all my meals there and tried to replicate some of them when I got home, but they didn’t taste quite the same. Maybe it was indulging in them in the beautiful rustic atmosphere, the fresh baked smell that lingered throughout the cafe and their divine coffee aroma. They have done a marvelous job bringing out the flavours in each dish. If ever in this part of London, these two places are a must try.
My breakfast consisted mostly of the same thing, but I noticed that one particular ingredient made its way into all my morning dishes. Avocado. Coming back to Toronto, I have been enjoying avocado on sourdough bread in many different variations for breakfast or lunch to continue with my ritual. It also brings back memories of my time spent in London. Working from home is a luxury as it allows me to step into my kitchen and make a delicious meal any time I desire one. Some of my favorite combinations are in this post, but the possibilities are endless and you can be as playful with your meals as you’d like.
Avocados are one of my favourite fruits and provide so much goodness to any meal. I add them to salads, rice, quinoa, pasta, on top of bread smashed or as a spread in a sandwich, in desserts, smoothies or enjoy them on their own with a bit of lime, cayenne pepper and himalayan pink salt. We have mexican night at our home every couple of weeks and we go all out making all sorts of mexican dishes and avocados are the highlight. I am obsessed with my husband’s guacomole so we make it a point to have it each time in this festivity. His is just one level up from anything I’ve made. Avocados are also incredibly nourishing in homemade hair and face masques, it’s no wonder why so many beauty brands include this fruit in their products. They are so versatile, incredibly creamy in texture, really buttery and provide a bundle of health benefits. Considered a superfood, avocados a rich source of folate, vitamin A and potassium. They have good amounts of protein, vitamin C, E, B6, magnesium and iron. They are also incredibly nourishing during pregnancy as each fruit is packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Since it is a wonderful source of folate it helps in the neural and brain development of the baby and because it’s rich in iron it also aids with anemia (iron deficiency is common in pregnancy). I really enjoy them because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Not to mention, avocados are super delicious when they are ripe.
On an open-faced sandwich, the world is your oyster. Since avocados are complimentary to almost any other ingredient, if not all, you can really use your imagination and combine any flavours together. I use sourdough bread as my base, but you can use any type of bread of your choice and then build from there. Four of my favourite combinations to make on sourdough bread using avocado as the highlight ingredient listed below.
Avocados Abroad Open-Faced Sandwiches:
1. Avocado, radishes, garlic scapes, lentils, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and drizzled with garlic infused olive oil, pink salt and black ground pepper (as seen in photo above).
2. Avocado, soft poached egg, grilled asparagus, chopped Italian flat parsley, toasted pine nuts, drizzled extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle pink salt and black ground pepper.
3. Avocado, dukkah, lime juice, feta, chilli infused oil, pink salt and black ground pepper.
4. Avocado, navy beans, arugula, hemp seeds, chilli flakes, sumac, garlic infused olive oil, pink salt and black ground pepper (as seen in photo below).
The recipe below is a very simple one that I make at home when we want something quick for lunch. It includes some of our favorites – avocados, short-grain brown rice, lime, cherry tomatoes, arugula, mint and wild chives. The dressing is a fresh lime chive vinaigrette.
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup wild chives chopped (half will go into the vinaigrette)
- 1 lime
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups arugula
- a few mint leaves
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season (as much as you like)
- Soak rice overnight in water with a bit of lemon juice.
- Drain & rinse the following day and add to pot to cook (follow instructions on package).
- Add cooked rice to a bowl. Add all other ingredients on top of the rice.
- To make vinaigrette, add to food processor: lime juice of 1 lime, chives, olive oil, salt, pepper and blend until smooth.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette on top.
Some of my new favourite places and ones I’ve revisited in London this time around:
Health Food Store:
Beauty and Wellness:
Content Beauty & Wellbeing
Fortnum and Mason
We enjoyed many delicious meals in Paris, but one stood out the most for me. One of my favorite meals I had was at this charming little place, Pain Vin Fromages. I indulged without hesitation and felt no side effects afterwards. Only in Europe!
Enjoy the last few days of July!