The nicecream obsession (Foodie #1)

Ah, yes, I do love a big bowl of nicecream.

What is nicecream, I hear you ask? It is a trend/breakfast/lunch/dinner that is both healthy, filling and delicious. I have been having it everyday for two months. And I am starting to get bored, but mostly because I have tried every combo I could possibly think of. I will stick to green juice for a while and I am sure the crave for a nice bowl of nicecream will come back in time.

I want to discuss nicecream, however, because it is esthetically pleasing to the eye and makes my stomach feel good. Hopefully yours will, too.

Here is how you do it: You freeze bananas. You blend bananas (in a high speed blender, a food processor, whatever works for you. I have invested in a high speed blender, but I also used to manage a fair blend in a poor food processor, as long as I cut my bananas quite small and stay patient).

Blend the bananas, as I was saying….

With ANYTHING.

 

Why should I start my day with bananas?

-The potassium in them will help lower your blood pressure. The fibre in them will be fantastic to prevent that stroke you might worry about. And will also make you go to the bathroom. Clean that intestine, you know.

-The bacteria in them will enable your gut to actually absorb nutrients (such as calcium, which you won’t find in milk. Do not drink milk).

-Fruits are the best way to gently wake up your stomach as it possesses natural sugars that will give you energy and protect your stomach. Bananas in particular will release quick-release AND slow-release sugars in your system, so you’ll get an energy boost in the short AND long term. Talk about a fruit that keeps getting better.

That is all. I will let you discover for yourself what works best for you (cough-chocolate-cough).

Get blending, and speak later!

Love advice for couples

It is incredible the amount of information you can get by being here and being silent while someone vents to you about their problems. Don’t talk. Listen carefully. To the tone of their voice, the way their breathing speeds up when they get to the centre of the problem. Stay calm and listen.

By staying calm and listening, I became the person people came to in order to speak about their intimate problems.

And I think it is very important for me to share what I have learnt so far.

 

If you are in a couple:

 

If you feel the love, show the love.

Nothing and no one should ever be taken for granted. You probably never should take anything for granted, but that applies even more so for a human being you love. Granted means forgetting. Forgetting that they have a right to leave you, that they have a right to feel sad you don’t show affection as you used to, that they are not just another object in your house that you get to talk to or use sometimes and put in corner when you’re busy.

Most people thrive on affection. Little gestures can make someone’s day. A brush on a hand on your lover’s back, a smile and a kiss, holding hands, sharing a private joke, throw cake batter at each other, wake them up with breakfast, whatever tickles your fancy.

Show the love, dammit! If you’re lucky enough to love and be loved in return, hold that knowledge and cherish that person every time you get the chance. Finding love isn’t a given. It’s a chance. Be grateful.

 

If you feel the love, talk it out.

A couple can never work without words. Words are the cement holding the bricks of your story. Tell you partner you love them, but also tell them when they’re being stupid or unhelpful.

The reverse is also true: listen to your partner’s voice. It’s not just background noise. If your partner seeks you out to talk something out, it probably means they’ve been holding it in for while. Take five, sit down, listen, and come to a compromise or a solution. This is the person you love. You can, and should take time to work out things that may not be working. And perhaps you didn’t notice some things weren’t working. That’s okay. Most things can be fixed if worked on.

 

If you feel the love, work on it.

Imagine your love as a garden. No garden has ever thrived on being left alone. What happens to a garden when abandoned? It grows weed, , some plants you forgot to water die out, and you can end up with a jungle. Hard to make your way through a jungle without a machete and some serious determination. That doesn’t have to happen if you take care of it a little every day. Weed out of the weeds, trim the plants, water the roses. Work on your couple. That can mean various things for various couples, but as long as you take care of each other, compromise without losing yourself in the process, then there is a solution.

 

If you feel the love, feel the love.

You can love someone and not be in love with them. You can start by being in love and fall out of love. You can love someone fiercely and not be in love with them. That’s okay. Analyse yourself. Do you love them? Do you really love them? Or are you with them for all the wrong reasons? Because it’s comfortable, you’ve been with them for a long time, because you’re scared of being alone, because you have kids, because you feel like you’re not worth anything if they don’t love you, because you know nothing else… Be sure you love them for them, because they make you want to better yourself, because you love them more or as much as you love yourself.

 

If you feel the love, don’t change yourself.

If you love someone, don’t change for them. They should fall in love with you, and you should fall in love with them as they are. Some things will have to change to accommodate your life together, but the price of a couple shouldn’t be the loss of one of your partner or your own personality.

 

But the most important thing is, if you feel the love, make sure you love yourself when you’re with them.

You are the one person you will have to live with for the rest of your life. No one else is a fixture in your life but yourself. Make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror and think “I’m enough all by myself, and I love myself”. If you can say this and love someone else just as much, put a smile on your face and keep it on. Go gardening and smell the flowers.

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The annoying vegans

It is so easy to close your eyes and imagine a perfect universe.

The fact is, you can create what you wish to see, and let yourself play make belief, but people will are always here to rain on your parade.

Today, those people are vegans.

Vegans are the worst.

They will nag at you and tell you all about the horrifying conditions of animals in our society whether other people want to hear it or not, and God, will they ever stop talking about animals?

No.

I am a vegan.

I learn everyday more and more about the industry and the terrible things that we use animals for, and these are a few reasons why we can’t seem to stop talking about it.

 

  1. Die. Everyday, millions of animals (MILLIONS!!!!) die a horrible death. Each year, humans are responsible for 150 000 000 000 of deaths. That’s 5 000 sentient beings killed each time you take a breath. The argument against is that humans need animals to die for us to live.
    The truth is, we shouldn’t be alive. At least not to this extent. We used to make 2% of the population on Earth while animals used to make 98%. We have managed tor reverse it so that animals make 2% and we make the rest. Where are they all? Where are the 96% animals that should be somewhere on Earth? They’re dead. The proper term is extinct. Everyday we endanger dozens of species and every day two species disappear (read: kill). If we need meat to live, then we certainly don’t need as much as we are raising. But mostly, we don’t need meat to live a healthy, happy life. We’re just used to it. Throw in potatoes, meat and done, you’ve got yourself a meal. It’s easy. Convenient. Killing animals is convenient. However, a cow escapes from a slaughterhouse and watch as hundreds of people cry for justice, for the cow to be left alone. Isn’t that a little ironic? So, as long as you don’t see the walking dead, you don’t care how they end up on your plate?

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5eoKLXvFbw )

 

  1. It doesn’t do your health any good. Eating meat or dairy isn’t the way to go if you want to stay healthy. Ideally, 12oz of dairy is the amount a week that you should be consuming, if any at all. That’s a 1/3-cup. It doesn’t help with osteoporosis, on the contrary. The less dairy you eat, the better your bones will feel. It raises your IGF-1, which has been known to cause cancer. It’s also not a coincidence that 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant. They’re not intolerant, they’re normal. Dairy is fatty, full of cholesterol, and it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to a baby calf meant to grow to a full size cow. No dairy product is meant to help a kid grow into an adult. A baby cow is three times to size of a baby!

 

  1. They’re used for testing. Animals are shaved, prodded, cut open and then thrown into a pile of dead bodies after unsuccessful trials. Just a list of things tested on animals or have animal products : Plastic bags, tires, glue in musical instruments, fireworks, fabric softener, toothpaste, shampoo, conditionner, white sugar, post-it notes, condoms, Mars bars, pet food, contact lenses, diapers, and many other things. Some of the reasons vegans are upset is because we do not need to use animals for some (read: any) tests made to “help” humans. The thing is, these animals aren’t ours to take, kill or breed. They’re there for their own reasons.  (http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/the-issue/animal-tests-and-alternatives )

 

  1. Some people assume that being human is a good enough reason to mass murder. But some also assume that some species are better than others. When asked, lots of people will tell you they find it unacceptable to test on chimps, but will find it perfectly acceptable to test on mice. The different is nowhere to be found. Mice are as valuable as chimps. They breathe, feel pain, and shouldn’t be tested on. Period. Why would a species be more important than another? Why is it acceptable? Isn’t it the same as saying you can’t rape a child but can rape an adult because of what they were wearing? Aren’t both as important? Isn’t it unacceptable in both cases? So because of a height difference the situation can be adapted? No.

 

  1. You can create fake wool, fake meat, fake egg, fake EVERYTHING. Vegans don’t miss much because we can find everything that you guys eat without the added death, carbon print, suffering and destruction of our planet. We do it for the animals, the environnement, many reasons. Why don’t you? Because it’s tasty? Because dead tissue is Yummy?

 

  1. It is unnecessary. You don’t love meat. Unless you eat meat raw, as it is, with the blood and guts, you don’t love meat in its natural state. How can it be natural for us to eat it if we can’t bear the raw taste of it? My guess is because they were never intended for us. Reach up, reach down, they are so many options of fruits, veggies, and even now vegan meat, milk, cheese, whatever your heart desires. You don’t need to kill animals to get your fix.

 

  1. Cows get raped, their kids get ripped away from you. Piglets are castrated. Chickens get their beaks cut. Male chicks get ground alive because they don’t matter. It goes on and on. All is done without anesthetics.

 

  1. We do enough destroying each other, why do we need to include animals in our path?

 

  1. We destroy the environnement, the best places on Earth, the lung of the planet, to grow feed for factory farms.

 

  1. Animals have no voices, but they have a capacity to feel pain. We can be their voice. We have to be.

 

  1. I used to get it. I don’t anymore.

 

But that isn’t even the only problem about veganism. The problem is that as you go, you gather information, you gather knowledge, you gather uncomfortable truths you try to tell other people about. And as you go, you are met with people who won’t listen, or care, or understand, or believe, and some of that you can’t do anything about. It brings you down and makes you angry, because you have the studies, the scientists, the knowledge with you, but sputter and cannot get the knowledge out as you get more and more uncomfortable because you understand, you can’t change everyone.

You can change a few, maybe. But you can’t change everyone.

And I can’t speak for everyone, but I cannot stop talking about veganism because I am outraged, and I want everyone to be on my side. Who doesn’t want to have everyone on their side?

I guess, I’m just trying to make the world a better place.

A place where we don’t kill, we don’t destroy.

A place where I can wake up and think,

“Maybe, someday, I’ll have children. I’ll show them the glaciers, the green grass, the Amazonian forest, the rhinos, the lions and other animals we didn’t exterminate in our quest for more more more more, and I’ll say, ‘Kids, this is our planet’, and be proud.”

 

 

Transgenic Art

Transgenic art is a new form of art that is being used more and more as artists start to experiment with life.

Our generation is unlike anything the world has ever experienced; we are more connected than ever and technology has made its place in so many aspects of our lives we wouldn’t know how to live without it. As we know, artists tend to make statements about the world we live in, and what could be better than to comment on all the transgenic modifications our world is being submitted to? We have GMOs, experimenting with clones, and it doesn’t seem to stop pushing forward, streching the line of the ethical. Artists, by using the medium of bio art, can recieve loud responses from the work they create, such as GFP Bunny, a fluorescent bunny created by Eduardo Kac. The critics were mixed, and a lot of people were shocked that humans had used an animal for art purposes.

Of course, not all bio art is concerned with animals, as we can see with Edunia, a genetically modified flower that contains both the flower and Kac’s DNA. But Kac takes responsibility for what he creates. Alba still lives with him, and so will the other creations he will make, such as the project of GFP-K-9, a fluorescent dog. Ethically, it appears fair : If you must create a new art form, you must care for it afterwards.
Transgenic art deals with artificially controlled beings, whether animal or mineral, which’s genetic sentence is transformed by humans. As Eduardo Kac mentions, there must be a connection between ” the artist, the public and the transgenic organism”. Peope must be willing to understand what is being played with in bio art. It is not entertainement, it is pushing the limit of the possible.

It is art beyond what we can see, that still impacts the final “product”. For instance, Alba, the rabbit who’s genetic sentence was modified, that resulted in her glowing in the dark.This shows how everything we touch can be modified to our needs, or our pleasure. I do not agree with any of those methods, but I understand the reasons behind the art. It is a statement that is loud and clear, we are in control of everything. We are at the top of the food chain and can play God. Because it is essentially what is being done in laboratories every day. People play God and artists showcase the creations they make in a performance to allow the audience to comment and react in many different ways to the creation.

It can both offend and/or notify people of what happens behind closed doors, as no one is truly aware of the exact manipulations that take place… in a place where there are no rules or ethics. Artists therefore create something that scientists and slaughterhouses don’t : anger. People will start to comment on the fact that they shouldn’t have the right to do such things, to play with animals that way, to strip them of their rights…

Jennifer Hood mentions in The Ethics of Transgenic Art that “the line between art and science is blurred.” I have to agree. If artists can play with genetics, then where does it stop? Can we all create our own fluorescent beings in our gardens? Why would anyone stop us? We are all manipulating animal life in one way or another, if it is for livestock, where we breed and breed and breed the unwilling animals to have meat, if it is for progress, where we create monsters to see if we can, if it is for medicine, so we don’t have to test it on ourselves first, if it is for clothes, even though we have no need for leather or fur anymore, if it is for entertainemeny, I mean, who doesn’t like a good horseback ride, or elephant ride, or ostrich ride, or donkey ride, if it is for eggs, because we cannot restrain ourselves from that good old butter and sunny side up eggs… The list is never ending, and it doesn’t seem to bother most of the public. We might wonder why. I think the best way to explain it would be to take the example of a mermaid. If we found one in the ocean, an educated guess would be that humans would take it and try to interrogate it. But as it is a non-human species, we wouldn’t understand it. We would therefore feel enclined to disregard who they are as individuals for entertainement purposes (put it in big aquarium, perhaps?) or “educational” purposes (Look at that, it is a mermaid… it used to be free and now it’s not… It used to live in the ocean, used to travel miles and miles a day, and now you can look at it… as it slowly lets itself dies from depression) and even maybe under means of conservation (We must protect the mermaid!… as we exterminate the Amazon, home for so many species that everyday, more than 2 are eliminated and more than 20 get into the eternally growing list of endangered species… But we must eat meat, we must continue to destroy the planet! Onwards! Save the mermaid! As we fish sharks, dolphins and whales when trying to get tuna, due to the massive fishnets that gives no respect to any living beings in the ocean… except this one mermaid).

The catch is… mermaids aren’t real… but all the other non-human species we use in everyday life are.

Plane Ritual (Self-care #2)

Flying is easy.

Staying hydrated throughout the flight? Not so much.

For those who fly out a lot and get dry skin, pimples or dark circles under your eyes, think no further. Planes have oxygen. They fly. In a sky where the oxygen is either non-existent, or where there is very little. Hint, that is why the windows don’t open. That, along with, perhaps, the deathly cold you would catch at a few thousand feet. Hence, the oxygen we breathe is constantly recycled, and if you fly for long distances at a time, the air gets saturated with other people’s things (think hair cells, skin cells, etc) that you breathe in, and that your skin absorbs. The water content of the air up high isn’t so great, which is often why you will feel thristy and dehydrated. In first and business class, they will generally offer you a hand cream and a body lotion to hydrate your body while flying long distance. But the creams are not necessarily what your body needs.

Indeed, we all have different skin, and I am sure you all own your own face cream, body lotion and hand cream that you swear by, and that you would never ever think about changing. That is great. Now, go into any store (Primark, Sainsburys, Tesco, Auchan, Wallmart, etc) and buy small containers that are plane friendly. Pour your favourite product into the container and bring it in the air with you.

Now, I’m about to share my little plane routine. Yes, you will look silly. Yes, people might stare. Right after they will shrug and go back to their lives. Why? Because in a plane, no one cares what you look like.

1) Remove all your makeup. You are in a plane. You do not need makeup. What you need to do is let your skin breathe so that it will not break into pimple land two days after you land. Makeup blocks out your pores, fills them. In the plane, you will add to that layer the extra not-so-fresh-oxygen and your skin will not thank you for it. Remove it all. No one cares.

2) Prep your skin. Once you’ve settled in, get ready to pamper yourself. We often forget to pamper ourselves at home because, well, we don’t have time. Or the energy. You are sitting on a plane. There is literally nothing better to do than self-care. So get yourself one of those cleansing facial wipes (I use Simple, but any will do) or, if you are lucky enough to be given a warm towel, use it. Wipe your face from the excess oil, pollution and what not. Feel that? It’s your skin thanking you.

3)Use a heavy mosturizer and slap it on your face. I use cocoa butter or shea butter or coconut oil. Anything natural (usually sold by Nature et Découvertes) that I have on hand (I switch every now and then) I will lather on. Heavily. Let it sit while your perform task 4.

4) Buy yourself one of those facial masks. They sell those at Sephora or in the big stores like Carrefour, Spinneys, and any body shop you know of. Put it on and live your life. I personnally will take a long nap with it, or watch a movie, read a book. I strongly suggest going to the bathroom before. You can walk around the plane with it, but it will look strange. Note, it is still all right. Again, it doesn’t matter what other people think. If they think anything at all. They probably are busy with their own business. Just like you.

Sephora face masks

Sephora face masks

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5) Calm down. Nap, do breathing exercises, meditate if you’re able. How many times a week do you take me-time? Take it all now. Think about the fact that you are suspended in the air like a bird who doesn’t have any wings. It is pretty terrifying. Also thrilling. You’re in the sky! Wearing a face mask! And you don’t have to dread any skin rash! Breath-takingly amazing.

And then just take it off whenever you feel like it, mosturize again, and you will be ready for landing, with a fresh looking face, rested and clear. Your eyes will be significantly less bloodshot, your face won’t be as paper-thin to the touch, not to mention you will not feel like you travelled for hours!

Try it and tell me all about it!

The greatest way to wake up (Self-care #1)

Hot Lemon and Water has been my first year resolution for 2015, and I have not been decieved.

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I used to wake up and drink water, and then a green smoothie. I have recently realized that the myth of the hot lemon and water is, in fact, truly beneficial for our bodies. I have personally felt the changes, the slow awakening of my body as I sipped the lemon tea. Unlike green smoothies, that I like to drink cold, hot lemon water actually allows my brain to accept the smoothie/breakfast much better if I give it a little time to produce its effects. The hot beverage wakes up my organs much better than a deadly cold green smoothie. And in winter, who doesn’t want a warm tea the warm up when you have to leave the comfort of your warm, warm bed?

I tend to add a little honey, although the taste isn’t as bitter as I would have thought initially.

I would definitely recommend adopting this reflex, it will make a world of difference in your morning routine!