Allow yourself to feel so you can heal.

I am great at keeping myself busy to avoid dealing with any unpleasant emotions and feelings but I am so grateful for having stumbled upon this quote:

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It could not have come at a better time. During the last couple of weeks I seemed to have forgotten that suppressing unwanted emotions and feelings can easily (and will most likely sooner or later) backfire.So I guess that I just need to be reminded that I am allowed to feel. I do not need to dwell on my emotions or feelings in order to heal. What I need to do instead is to let myself feel whatever emotions surface into my consciousness.

After having a not so good night of sleep (quantity- and quality-wise), I woke up this morning and showed some self-compassion. Whilst slowly and mindfully eating breakfast, I decided to devote some time to my morning pages. This way, I can develop my emotional awareness (i.e knowing what I feel and why), tune in to my body and truly allow myself to feel. Just feel. I find that by putting my thoughts down into paper, I am dealing with any emotions that I may find unpleasant, such as fear, stress, anxiety and self-doubt. All emotions and feelings that have the potential to prevent me from truly healing and from, ultimately, having my mind at ease. It requires practice and commitment to allow yourself to move through your emotions and feelings without letting them get in the way what you strive for. Nevertheless, the results are certainly worth all the effort: feeling of groundedness, more mind clarity and improved overall wellbeing.

So, please, do not beat yourself up for feeling a certain way (mentally draining and just pointless) nor try to numb your emotions. Rather, recognise them, accept them as they come and acknowledge their impermanence. Make time to process what you feel and why, be kinder to yourself and, most important, cultivate self-compassion ♥

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

 

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Pumpkin and vegetable soup (VGN & GF)

It is finally pumpkin season and to celebrate it, I just came from the supermarket with various types of pumpkin (some of which are actually completely new to me). You should have seen me carrying them through the steep and narrow stairs (typically Dutch) of my house! haha but hey, they looked so cute and oh so pretty that I could not help myself! #sorrynotsorry Also, I swear they screamed “Please take me home with you!” and so I did (even though I have no idea of what I am gonna do with them because it feels like it is a waste to just cook them! haha).

Anyhoo, I am here today to share my pumpkin soup recipe, it is the perfect comfort food for brisk and cold Autumn nights. It is a bit different from the “typical pumpkin soup” because I added two of my fave veggies (cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach) to make it extra nutritious and comforting.

Whenever Fall and Winter come around, soup makes up my perfect staple diet for the week. I love to cook a pot of it in the weekend and store it in the fridge for when I come back home from work and gym feeling knackered during the week.

This soup recipe is just gently spiced with ginger powder and turmeric because I wanted to make sure that the pumpkin flavour shines above the rest. However, please do feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking. My favourite thing about using pumpkin in my soups is the perfect silky and creamy texture it gives to it.

Ingredients:

  • 500gr pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 200g carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, peeled and cubed
  • 150g cauliflower, grated
  • 100g brown mushrooms (or any type really), finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 2tsp of ginger powder
  • 2tsp of turmeric
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium-sized pan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. In the meantime, peel and dice the pumpkin, carrots and zucchini and put them aside.
  3. Then grate the cauliflower and put it aside.
  4. When the water is boiling, add the diced carrots, zucchini and pumpkin. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then, add the spices and salt and simmer for around 20 mins until pumpkin is soft.
  5. Turn off heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.
  6. Add the grated cauliflower to the soup and simmer it again until it becomes soft.
  7. Then add the mushrooms and spinach leaves and let it all cook for more 3-5 minutes.

….And this is what you end up with:

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A thick and creamy soup loaded with flavour! If you decide to make this soup recipe (which I hope you do!!), let me know in the comment section how you liked it! 🙂

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Baked pumpkin cinnamon oatmeal (VGN & GF)

My favourite time of the year – FALL – has arrived and this season calls for baking soul-warming comfort food recipes! Hence why I am here today! If you guys did not know already, I am a huge lover of pumpkin. I eat it all year around but… as soon as Fall arrives, I feel this huge urge to come up with new recipes where I can use it! I have been eating pumpkin nearly every single day and I don’t seem to get enough of it haha what can I say..? It is too big of a love!! I will certainly be sharing some fall-inspired recipes with pumpkin. So, my friends, please get ready for tons and tons of pumpkin everything!

Oatmeal is one of my favourite go-to breakfasts. I find it to be so satisfying and comforting, regardless of how hot or cold might be outside. Plus, you can really get creative with it according to what you’re craving: spices, seeds, nuts, dried or fresh fruits, nut butters…whatever floats your boat! Nevertheless, if I am at home and have the Sunday afternoon all to myself, I usually like to try out a new recipe. For this reason, last Sunday I decided to twist up the oatmeal game and do this fall-inspired baked pumpkin cinnamon oatmeal instead! It filled my house with the cosiest aroma and, as the result turned out quite good, I am here to share the recipe with you! It is easy to prepare and down right delicious. Plus, it is an easy make-ahead breakfast that is down right delicious and that you can enjoy all week.

 

Ingredients:

  • 70gr gluten free oats
  • 180 pumpkin puree
  • 180ml almond milk (I used the unsweetened roasted almond milk from Alpo but if you want to make it sweeter, you can use the regular version instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • A handful of cacao nibs
  • A handful of any kind of nuts: pecan, walnuts, pumpkin, almonds… (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
  2. Once the ingredients are well incorporated, pour the mixture into a baking dish
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until the oats become tender and the liquid tick.
  4. Cut it into slices or squares and serve warm or store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftovers are just as good as reheated! 🙂

 

For a perfect final touch, you can drizzle your slice with maple syrup or even a plant-based milk (I reckon that adding a splash of almond or coconut milk would make it even tastier!), add a spoonful of coconut yogurt and/or fruit on top if you like.

 

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This breakfast recipe is just perfect for rushed mornings because all you need to do it to pull out a serving, pop it in the oven or microwave, then add any toppings you like to finish it off! It is filling, heart-healthy and wholesome. Please do let me know in the comments if you make it or if you have a similar recipe of baked oatmeal! 🙂

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

My trip to Switzerland

I think that it goes without saying that when we “truly love Nature, we find beauty everywhere“. Just under two weeks ago, I went for a a family roadtrip around Switzerland and it was oh-so-lovely to get reunited with my parents and sis in a country where there’s so much natural beauty. Exploring new territories always gets me pretty stoked but, as the outdoorsy person that I am, I love to wandering off the beaten track. Being completely out in the Nature is just Paradise to me and let me tell you that the landscape of the Swiss Alps is as jaw-dropping as I had imagined. ♥

Since we rented a car, we got to visit aseveral places in Switzerland and it was great to see so much of the country in just 5 days! We went to Lausanne, Interlaken, Broc, Zurich and Geneva. Sadly, we did not get to see much of Lausanne because we just stayed a night there. We did get to properly explore Zürich and Geneva, two cosmopolitan cities by the water that result in a beautiful combination of urban life with nature. Even though there is a lot going for both cities (Arts, Sciences and Design-wise), it would have been a shame to travel to Switzerland only to visit them. The highlight of our trip was definitely wander around the splendid countryside. The beautiful image of cows grazing on the mountain prairies with the Alps as a backdrop is still stuck in my mind! Also, all the hiking lovers out there, please take note of this: Switzerland is like paradise on Earth! There are plenty of hiking trails that have stunning scenery all along the way and that will make you feel glad to be alive.

I thought I would share with you the things I loved the most about Switzerland (hoping I can convince those who haven’t had the chance of visiting it, to do it)!

  • Inhaling the fresh pure air from the Swiss Alps
  • Being surrounded by plenty of greenery untouched by man
  • Breathtaking landscapes over Swiss mountains
  • The beyond beautiful crystal clear lakes that are just awe-evoking
  • The spectacular scenic roads
  • Cows roaming freely in the beautiful alpine landscape 
  • The pituresque wooden chalets
  • The delicious high-quality Swiss chocolate that is so worth indulging in
  • Hiking trails that take you through breathtaking views

Because Switzerland is world famous for its chocolate, in our third day there we decided to visit the Cailler Chocolate factory. I’d totally recommend it to anyone who loves chocolate and wants to learn more about it. The tour is very interactive and lasts for about 1 – 1.5 hours. It takes you on a very interesting, insightful and literally delicious journey through the history of Cailler, which for those of you who do not know, is the Switzerland’s oldest chocolate brand. You get to learn everything about the different stages of chocolate production; from cocoa plantation to the finished and packed product! There is a free chocolate degustation at the end of the tour, where you have the chance to try all the chocolates produced by Cailler. It is any chocolate lovers’ dream, am I right or am I right?! The tour is so insightful that makes you see and appreciate chocolate in a whole new way. It made me feel like I was trying chocolate for the very first time. The tour guided us to use all our senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste ) so we could get the real chocolate experience! It showed us how tasting chocolotate really is an experience; it is all about looking at it and trying to make up how it tastes , inhaling and pondering the aromas we can sense, sensing its texture, tasting its rich flavour and enjoying its aftertaste.

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Here are are some more of the photos taken during my trip that I found worth-sharing with you guys:

Interlaken

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Broc

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Zurich

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Geneva

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Have you had the chance of visiting any of these places? If so, how did you like it? Would you recommend visiting any other city in Switzerland? 🙂

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

A cotton candy sunset.

You know when you are just having one of “those” days and feel low in spirits? Well that was Monday of last week for me. Because I was not feeling physically great (thanks to a cold that persisted to stick around for way more time than it should), stopping some negative thoughts from spiralling out of control was a particularly harder task.  As an attempt of relieving some tension and giving my mind some clarity, I decided to go to my usual strength training class at the gym after work. However, it did not really work. On my way home I kept on thinking on everything that was not going my way but…when I looked up to the sky, I was left in awe this cotton candy sunset:

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I guess that this is living proof that “if we keep our HEAD DOWN, we will miss on LIFE’S GOODNESS”. #sothankful

 

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Tofu Scramble

Nothing beats a slow and steady weekend brunch at home with your beloved one(s)!♥ It was so wonderful to slowly wake up to a bright and sunny day this morning and since my boyfriend was at home, I decided to treat him (well, treat us..) to an entirely homemade brunch. Since my boyfriend is British, I promised that I’d include a sort of vegan English breakfast in our brunch. Gladly, he was not disappointed with the result. *phew*

So, today I am here to share my absolute favourite brunch staple: TOFU SCRAMBLE!! It is not only super easy and quick to prepare but it is also very nutritious due to its high protein content and 0% cholesterol.

The recipe below includes the basics I usually use often but you are free to play around with the spices and use any veggies you have left in the fridge.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 200g firm tofu
  • 1 small thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 red, yellow or orange pepper diced (I actually used a mix of the three)
  • A big handful of spinach leaves
  • 50 gr mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1/4 finely sliced leek
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

 

  • Seasonings:
    • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons of nutrional yeast
    • Cracked black pepper to taste
    • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Start by pressing the tofu, which increases its capacity to absorbe any flavourings and seasonings added to it. You can leave it draining with something heavy on top for about 10-15 minutes
  • While the tofu is draining, you can prepare and chop all the veggies.
  • Warm a skillet over medium heat with some water on it. Once hot, you may add the already thinly sliced onion and pepper(s) and saute until fragrant (about 3 to 5 minutes). Stir ocasionally.
  • Once the tofu is well pressed, you can crumble it slightly using a fork (or simply your hands) to get the preffered consistency for your scrambled tofu.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms, leek and crumbled tofu to the skillet as well as the nutritional yeast and the rest of the seasonings (make sure that the tofu is well coated). You will have most likely to add some more water to thin. Stir until well combined and let it cook it for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until the tofu starts to get brown.
  • Serve immediately with some fresh parsley on top.

We served our tofu scramble over some gluten free multiseed toasted bread and paired it with vegan sausages. I do not consume processed meat-alternatives like this on a regular basis but it is good fun to switch things up every once in a while. Plus, I could not call it a vegan English breakfast without the sausages, could I?

If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments how you like it! 🙂

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Small remark: I always buy organic tofu and would advise everyone to do it since, from what I have read, non-organic tofu is most likely genetically-modified and sprayed with toxic chemicals, which is just stuff our bodies do not need.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Self-Reflection.

It is so important to carve out time for self-reflection; whether we are going through a rough time or not. Sometimes it may seem that life is rushing right by us and that we have no control whatsoever over what happens to us. We might feel pretty overwhelmed for no other reason than placing our self-worth on external sources, such as on what happens to us. When we tie our value to things outsides ourselves, we tread down a risky path and we may well be setting ourselves up for failure. So please, dear one, let this be a reminder that it does not have to be this way. Become aware of your feelings and emotions, your behaviours and your relationship with yourself and those around you.

Take time in the morning (just after you wake up) or at night time (just before you go to sleep) to really look inside yourself and reflect on: What could I be doing to bring more happiness into my  life? Where does my life feel out of balance? What can I do to change that? What do I truly need at this very moment? How am I feeling? What I am thankful for? Is there something keeping me from believing that I am worthy?
Please remember that “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.  💛

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Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful