Cloud Cakes (Paris, France).

With my 26th birthday just around the corner, I found myself reminiscing about how my last birthday morning started last year. This post has been a long time coming but I wanted to share it with you regardless 🙂

My boyfriend and I travelled to Paris last September to not only celebrate our love but also my birthday (two great cheesy excuses to travel, right? haha)! Anyways, as the morning person who lives for breakfasts that I am, one of my birthday wishes was to start my day with a big and special one! That was exactly what happened and I loved every second (as well as every bite of it). I think that my boyfriend knows pretty well by now that all he needs to do to own my heart is to feed me a nice and yummy breakfast haha!

We went to Cloud Cakes, a dainty vegan bakery and coffee shop in the centre of Paris that I had looked up on Happy Cow* (see notes at the end of the post) prior to our trip. After reading the positive reviews, seeing some photos of the food and realising that they had VEGAN CROISSANTS, I knew for a fact that this was the place to go for my birthday breakfast! I am so glad we went there because it did not disappoint in the slightest!

If the menu looks very appealing, I can be someone pretty undecided when it comes to making my mind up about what to eat. For that reason, whenever I go to a food spot for breakfast/brunch, I usually like to order at least two items from the menu and share them. This way I get to experience a variety of tastes and trying something to eat that is “new” and/or “unknown” does not look like a major commitment!

Food

Whilst deciding on what to eat, we ordered two soya cappuccinos. They were excellent and the fact that the latte art was on point immediately felt like a win. Anyways, after some considerable thought, we ordered the “sweet morning toast” with peanut butter and jam, the pancakes with whipped cream, fruits, sliced almonds and maple syrup (on a side) and of course…a croissant! I mean I just could not possibly go to Paris and not eat a freshly baked croissant, could I?

Even though the two pancakes came beautifully presented and tasted good, my boyfriend ended up by eating them because I they were a bit too sweet for my liking. I would also like them to be a little bit thicker but the texture really is down to personal preference.

thumbnail_Image-5

thumbnail_Image-7

However, I did love the delicious combo of P&J on toast. The two toasts came with poppy seeds and fresh blueberries on top which I dount to be a real great twist. I was also quite impressed with how crazy-good the vegan croissant was! Totally on point (taste- and texture-wise)!! It totally exceeded my expectations so you can trust me when I say that these vegan croissants are an absolutely must. I though I’d never find one of those!

thumbnail_Image-4

thumbnail_Image-6

“When you feed yourself what your body needs when it needs it, that’s love”.

The cafe also outlets a good variety of vegan cakes and cupcakes and it has you covered whether you want to go for something decadent or healthy! We will certainly have to come back to try them.

Staff, service and overall atmosphere

Even though the place was not full at all, we had to wait quite a bit to be served but we did not mind too much because it just meant that the pancakes were freshly made! The server spoke English and was friendly enough. Nevertheless, we did not find her to be super accommodating. She did not come to check on us once we were served nor did she ask how did we like the food when we paid for it. It is not something outrageous but, as I have mentioned in some other posts, a café/restaurant always scores extra for me when the service is excellent and the staff friendly and attentive.

When it comes to the cafe’s overall atmosphere and space, I loved how cozy and pretty it was. The attention to detail was pretty visible. However, I would advise to go in early-ish for breakfast because it is also small and it does not have plenty of seating. I think we were quite lucky with the time and day we went there (Thursday at 10am) because there were only 4 other customers in the cafe. Thus, just bear in mind that if you go later (and especially in the weekend) in the morning/day you may not get a seat.

thumbnail_Image-8-2.jpg

This 10 am breakfast was the proper fuel we needed to face the full day of exploration ahead. It was so filling that, believe it or not, I could not literally eat anything else until dinner time! Now just to wrap up my final thoughts and to hopefully convince you to come to this vegan cafe:

  • The menu has a really great and tempting variety of sweet and savoury options. Because everything is plant-based there is no need to worry with the ingredients that they contain 😉
  • The café’s atmosphere is really inviting and the entire place looks cozy and adorable
  • The location is in a central and lovely neighbourhood to roam around
  • 100% vegan food spots are not overly common in Paris and that is a reason in itself why Cloud Cakes is quite a gem!
Notes:
*Happy Cow is an online website and mobile app that serves as guide to vegetarian and vegan restaurants all across the world.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Shall we strive to buy all our food organic?

I think that most of us is pretty aware of the harmful impact that conventionally grown produce might have on our health and, therefore, recognise the importance of buying organic produce.

I have been considerably growing more environmentally conscious over the past year, basically since I have finished my studies and started my first real job. As someone who is financially independent, I get to choose where I spend my money in and that is a great and freeing feeling.

One of the goals that I have set for 2018 earlier this year was to be more mindful when it comes to my purchases. This implies a greater awareness about the importance of  buying fair trade and organic.

Today I am here to talk specifically about the foods that we should always strive to buy organic, the ones that are okay to consume if conventionally grown and why.

The idea of writing about this topic came to mind after listening to the Rich Roll podcast “GMO’s, Glyphosate, and Healing the Gut” with Zach Bush. As I found it both very insightful and inspiring, I wanted to share some very interesting information that I learnt.

First of all, one thing that was mentioned in the podcast and that has particularly resonated with me was “We have more power than we allow ourselves to believe when it comes to healing ourselves”. I am a 24-years old girl who, despite having a very active lifestyle and caring a lot about nourishing my body with healthy and nutritous fooda, has been struggling with IBS issues for about 4 years now. If there is something that I have come to learn is that my gut health is strongly connected with the way I live my life, namely with my day-to-day habits. With this being said, the podcast really hit home and reassured me that the ability of getting my health restored lies also with me. When I say “health”, I am referring to both my physical and mental health because they are intrinsically connected. I think that everyone would agree that having a toxic lifestyle caused by nutritional deficiencies, lack of sleep, negative mindset and self-talk and being subject to constant stress or anxiety serves no good to our bodies or mind.

Anyway, this podcast taught me about the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists, which are no more than the foods that we should try avoid consuming non-organic at all costs and the ones that are okay to consume conventionally grown because are the least likely to be contaminated with pesticides/herbicides.The entity responsible for elaborating and releasing these lists every single year is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Thus, given the reliable source who provides this information we can rest assured that is btoh accurate and trustworthy.

Pesticides and herbicides can be easily absorbed into many of the fruits and veggies we consume on a regular basis and, ultimately, into our bodies. By knowing this, I feel very fortunate to live in Holland, where there are well-sized and well-stocked organic markets and stores. Additionally, I’d also say that there is also a fair amount of organic restaurants when compared to other European countries. However, in all honesty, despite knowing how prejudicial non-organic foods can be for my health, I still consume some due to convenience’s sake. I can only speak for myself but, from my standpoint, the truth is that non-organic foods are sometimes just more easily available and affordable.

Needless to say that I’d really love to be able to buy all my foods organic but there are months where my financial budget is just more tight and, as a result, I can’t afford spending as much food in organic produce. Thus, being informed about the foods that are safe to consume in a non-organic form just comes in handy for me! So, let’s start by sharing the list of the Clean Fifteen foods according to the 2018 report released by the EWG.

Clean Fifteen List:

  1. Avocados (great news for all the avocado lovers – myself included – out there!!)
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pinneapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

Now, the list of the foods that we should buy organic whenever possible because their high likelihood of being contaminated with pesticides, herbicides and chemicals:

Dirty Dozen List:

  1. Strawberries. I was very choked to read that a single strawberry was shown to contain 22 different pesticides. This is outrageous and just one of the main reasons why I love to have the choice of what I put into my body.
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

I suggest you to have these two lists on your phone for quick and ready access when you are shopping 🙂

leonie-wise-4301-unsplash

Ah! Just before finishing off this post, I would like to share a small tip with you that i have recently learnt. In order to wash off chemicals of your fruits and veggies, try to soak them in tap water mixed with baking soda. This was shown in a research study conducted in the University of Massachusetts to be a better solution at killing pesticides than just using plain tap water.

 

I hope you could find this blog post somewhat informative and please do let me know in the comments how easy and affordable it is for you to get organic produce! 🙂 Also, what are your thoughts on this? Do you try to buy organic food whenever possible or not because you don’t think it is worth the usual extra cost?

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Breakfast Cereals: Current Addictions

Heya there,

Today I am here to share with you my favourite three breakfast cereals at the moment. I am a self-proclaimed breakfast lover and most of the times I opt for breakfasts that are grain-based as I find them more filling and energising!

A bowl of breakfast cereals is always a great, easy and convenient choice for busy mornings. Contrary to what many say, they can be seen as a complete and healthy breakfast or snack option due to their essential minerals and vitamins.

From my standpoint, if we want a nutritious breakfast that includes cereals we just need to know how to pick them wisely. There is a pretty wide spectrum of choices and I always try to go for the ones that are the least processed and that contain little quantities or whenever possible no oil or sugar at all. I also give preference to the ones that are organic, fair trade and/or gluten free (the latter is due to my digestive issues).

Wholegrain Sorghum Cereal from Nutribrex (GF)

The first time I heard and got to try this breakfast cereal was at my sister’s place in the UK. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of trying it as I happened to to be visiting her shortly after she bought it at a vegan food fair in London.

For those of you who don’t know, Weetabix cereals are basically these rectangle-shaped wholegrain high in fiber biscuits. They are very low in sugar and fat and I like them best when soaked in plant-based milk (e.g. coconut milk) or yoghurt or even crushed and thrown in a yummy smoothie bowl.

As a Weetabix lover who tends to follow a diet that is mainly gluten free, finding out that there is an alternative to this breakfast cereal that is equally tasty (if not even more?) and without containing any gluten made me soooo happy! Plus, when it comes to the nutritional values of these two breakfast cereals, I find Nutribrex a slightly more interesting option. I am leaving their ingredients below so you can check it yourselves:

Weetabix ingredients:

  • Wholegrain Wheat (95%), Malted Barley Extract, Sugar, Salt and Vitamins (Niacin B3, Iron, Riboflavin B2, Thiamin B1, Folic Acid)

Nutribrex ingredients:

  • Wholegrain Sorghum (96%), Golden Syrup, Salt, Vitamins (Niacinb B3, Riboflavin B2, Thiamin B1, Folic Acid)

image1-2.jpeg

 

You can easily find Nutribrex in any supermarket in the UK but, sadly, they are not sold overseas. However, you can order it from the company’s website.

Muesli from Rude Health

From my shopping experience, it is not an easy task to find muesli that is both oil and sugar free. Even when the muesli does not contain refined sugar, it usually contains syrup, such as rice, agave or corn syrup. I am not saying that just because they have syrups you should absolutely avoid them at all costs because they are not a good option for breakfast. Please do not get me wrong because that is not what I am saying at all. All I am saying is that, based on my personal preferences and taste, I would rather have a breakfast that contains nutrient-packed alternatives to refined sugar or syrups, such as dried fruit for instance.  That being said, the main reason that led me to buy this organic muesli was its combination of 23 ingredients that are all natural, non-GMO and delicious. As the brand says, including so many ingredients in their muesli recipe makes every spoonful taste different.  You can find all the ingredients listed below:

Ingredients: Oats, Rye Flakes, Raisins, Sultanas, Barley Flakes, Apricots, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Dates, Golden Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Cranberries, Quinoa, Apple, Buckwheat Flakes, Goji Berries, Hazelnuts, Puffed Rice, Blueberries, Poppy Seeds, Linseeds, Cinnamon.

image1.jpeg

 

So, as you can see this muesli has it all – good carbs, protein and good healthy fats -which makes it a wholesome grain-based breakfast option. Plus, I love its crunchiness and natural sweetness!

Even though this muesli is quite a light grain-based option because it does not contain any wheat, the only thing I’d change in it would be making it completely gluten free. This way, a greater number of people could actually indulge in its yumminess.

Ahh.. and if I could change its price, I’d too haha. I find it relatively pricey but still worth buying. As I love it so much, its price just forces me to be always on the lookout for deals! 🙂

Now, off to my third favourite breakfast:

Muesli puffed rice and milled from Lima (GF)

I love the combination of good carbs used in this muesli: puffed rice and milled and cornflakes! YUMS. The sweetness of this muesli also comes from natural ingredients like raisins, dates and dried apples. Plus, every single ingredient is organically grown.

Ingredients: Raisins, sunflower seeds, cornflakes, puffed rice, puffed millet, hazelnuts, dates, dried apples.

Thus, this muesli is just another grain-based breakfast rich in good nutrition due to the essential minerals, vitamins and dietary fibres it contains.

 

8cI5piLVeXXq8CORecEAWhat about you guys? What is your opinion about breakfast cereals?  Are you familiar with any of these three products? Would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

Much Love

Blissfully Grateful