Herbal Teas To Include In Your Diet

One of the most popular drinks world-wide is the tea. When talking about herbal teas, they popularity is starting to bloom due to all their health benefits.

One of the greatest things about these types of drinks, is that they come with a fantastic smell. Starting with that, you are already feeling better.

Having herbal teas on a regular basis can improve not only your health but also your mood. So why not having a break on your caffeine intake and boost your health with these 5 herbal teas which are easy to find and make.

Chamomile

chamomile tea

chamomile tea

A common tea worth keeping in your kitchen counter. This tea is great for your digestive system; helps you ease stomach cramps, period pain, reduce nauseas, and it is also good to treat insomnia.

 

Cinnamon

cinnamon sticks

cinnamon sticks

Mmmm…nothing better than keeping you warm on winter with delicious cinnamon and that smell!

 

Ginger

fresh ginger

fresh ginger

This powerful plant has great health benefits and its effects appear almost straightaway.

It is good for circulation and reducing stress, but one of its biggest benefits is that helps you with stomach aches, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and nausea.

 

Peppermint

peppermint tea

peppermint tea

A favorite of mine. Besides having that fantastic smell, peppermint tea is great to have in times of cold and flu. It also helps with tummy aches, indigestion and bloating; and if you are in your menopause, having this tea cold will be your friend as it relieves hot flashes.

 

Hibiscus

hibiscus-flower

hibiscus-flower

Don’t get put off by its colour. This bright red tea is diuretic, helps with sore throats, detox your body, and it is believed to reduce high blood pressure.

 

 

VanLife: One Week In

Oh boy! One week already.

hooray

hooray

cozy van

cozy van

As you know, we had a few crazy busy days before moving into the van. So the first two nights Mark and I had mixed feelings, all in between happiness, excitement, nervousness and tiredness.

And just because it was our first week in, we decided to have celebrations every night (yep, any excuse 😉).

I can tell you that the first two nights it felt quite estrange, but it quickly started to feel better.

We joined the library and discovered each of us could borrow up to 13 items so…yeah we took heaps of books and dvds which we haven’t touched. We totally over did it.

Mark had the tv setup in the van really well so it was totally and advantage at night. We think it might be one of the best assets for this winter. We have already have a couple of nights with light showers and one storm, but luckily not issues at all.

tv setup and South Park marathon

tv setup and South Park marathon

In regards food , it wasn’t hard to select and cook. The only hard part is that we haven’t bought a fridge, so we are using an esky. It works fine but for a short period.

Some of the meals we had:
-Cereal and milk
-Bacon and eggs
-Sandwiches
-Smoked salmon bruscheta
-Lots of fruit
-Nachos
-Salads
-Steak and veggies

brekky on its way - bacon and eggs

brekky on its way – bacon and eggs

The bathroom and shower were not an issue surprisingly. Before starting the VanLife I got into the routine of waking up, getting ready for the gym and that is where i take advantage of their facilities. Seems to be working well.

It is a different story with Mark. He is not a big fan of gyms and hasn’t got a membership as yet but i believe is going to happen sooner than he thinks.

He is using public toilets, thankfully there are plenty around. We had to find public showers with hot water…not too many around. The idea is to buy a hot water system (yet to be decided) in the near future.

One of the highlights of the week is that we have all our stuff with us at all times, therefore, we started to hit the road just a little bit. Hopefully we will get to do this a lot more often.

strawberry farm

strawberry farm

farm

farm

Mark on weekend mood

Mark on weekend mood

This first week in, might have been the most challenging regarding organisation and the lack of running water. We had to wash all the dishes in public parks and got takeaways a couple of nights but it might be that are still early days but we just don’t feel stress about anything. The situation is going good and it can only improve, right?

Things that are coming up for us:
Install sink
Finish kitchen
Buy fridge

To be the first week, we were very happy on how everything went. Despite the cold mornings, the van is cozy, organised and private.

 

VanLife: Move-in day

Move-in day in one word: damn!

Well, well, believe it or not, we are finally saying goodbye to the four walls to move into the four wheels home.

 

move-in day

move-in day

 

The van project is not even finalized as yet, in fact, we have a lot of elements that need refining, other areas are yet to be built, installed and bought. So yes, lots of things still to come.

Meanwhile, we are leaving the house. It seemed like it would never happen, but the day finally arrived and we were full of excitement.

The last four weeks were just dragging and Mark and myself were so over living in the house. And if that wasn’t enough, time seemed longer as we were running from doctor to doctor and had no time to invest in the van.

empty house

empty house

We have lived in about 5 different houses in the past seven years and the move-in – move-out time has always involved a lot of effort, however, this time has been different. It has come with so much more work.

The reason is because this time we needed so much more organization. We needed to figure out what items would be to store, what to sell, donate, throw away or keep in the van.

Our busiest time was, of course, the last week. When we thought we didn’t have many things left in the house…turned out we did, we had lots! so again, we had to get rid of stuff.

While doing that, we also had to leave the house ready, it is a big house, so there was plenty of work to keep us occupied and as the days started to get colder, same thing happened to our water system. The thing had a leak and we had no hot water…damn again.

If that wasn’t enough, we had a little and beautiful cat visiting us for a week and a half. The cute fatty wouldn’t go away, she decided to be at the house day and night, and yes, she even cuddled up in bed with us. Aww I was so falling for that cat but wishing she would go to her home and her owner would lock her up.

I got desperate not knowing what to do with the cat, of course I wanted to keep it, I mean, we were both falling for each other (clearly do’h), but I cannot have a cat in the van, no way. So, I went on a Facebook search and it took me one minute to find the owner, who was looking for “Saphy”.

Saphy

Saphy

Jemma came to pickup Saphy on Monday afternoon, four hours later, Saphy was back at my place and stayed there until the day after. I had to contact Jemma again and let her know what was happening.  I tried to ignore the poor cat, I mean, I had so much to do but yeah, I’m a softy when it comes to pets so I gave her so many cuddles, which obviously she loved. Anyway, we left the house and left Saphy with her owner. At least we are happy that she has a home and Jemma knew what Saphy was up to and were to find her.

After all that was sorted, we moved into the van! We were super excited for a few hours, then, we were wondering what was next, then excited again. We had a busy day that after having a dinner and  celebration drinks, we went to bed, at 8pm 😅.

kena waking up in the van

kena waking up in the van

 

vanlife

vanlife

church

7 Reasons to Love Guadalajara City, Mexico

Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico. Life there is very active but very colorful and with plenty of things to do 24/7.

I lived in Guadalajara for quite a few years and had some of the best experiences there. Let me tell you 10 of the reason why that city and its lifestyle have a piece of my heart.

 

1 – Tequila!

blue agave

blue agave

But of course! Guadalajara (city), Jalisco (estate), is the home of this world famous drink.

There is in fact a town called Tequila in which most of the distilleries can be found.

 

2- Street food

Mexican food

Mexican food

Ten out of ten to the flavours of all the food that can be found in the street stalls.

There are hundreds of different foods, snacks and desserts. The food stalls can be found all day long and some have foods that can only be found in Guadalajara.

 

3 – Markets

colorful Mexican treats

colorful Mexican treats

Not just on the weekends but also during the week, there are thousands of markets happening around the city. Some have a theme while the majority sell everything you can imagine. From food, fashion, electronics, arts…seriously, everything.

The markets can be from 2-3 up to 8-10 streets long. Some are open during the mornings,while many others most of the day.

 

4 – Mariachi

Mariachi

Mariachi

There is no comparison to the sounds of a mariachi band.

The performance of a mariachi band is something unique that I believe everyone should experience. They are fantastic musicians that set the right mood on every party.

It is popular to find the mariachi bands in parties but also in diverse kind of restaurants.

 

5 – Football passion

football game

football game

If you didn’t know, let me tell you that football is one of the most important things in Mexico but when referring to Guadalajara, football is pure passion.

One of the biggest Mexican teams makes this city its home, therefore, when is football season, its all you see and hear in the city.

I have been on sports games in different countries but nothing compares to the energy and passion that is lived in the football stadium in Guadalajara. The place vibrates with all the cheering.

 

6 – Nightlife

nightlife

nightlife

Guadalajara city is covered in bars, restaurants and clubs. My favorites are the bars with live music.

Many of them clos between 1 and 3am, however, you always find some that stay open all night.

Guadalajara offers lots of hotspots for everyone that likes a little bit of party and good food. In that range you can always find the traditional Mexican bars best know as ‘cantinas’.

 

 

7 – Buildings

Church

Church

Architecture in Guadalajara is big. There’s a mix of modern infrastructures with old historical buildings, giving this city so much character.

It is great to see the contrast of areas you can find around the city. Downtown is very colorful and has so much history, while the newest areas are so crisp and modern.

What are Traditional Australian Foods?

Fun fact: Australia is one of the few countries that eat their own emblem.

As a multicultural country, the cuisine in Australia is diverse and includes meals from different countries and cultures.

Some of the popular foods considered Australians are:

Meat pie

Meat pies

Assortment of meat pies in a bakery by freefoodphotos.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This is without a doubt a favorite one of all Aussies. The meat pie can be mince meat or chunks of beef in a gravy sauce, all covered by a golden pastry. They can be found in different sizes and can also have different fillings.

The meat pie is a meal to have while watching an AFL game on the weekend. Always with its good dose of tomato sauce on top.

 

Lamington

lamingtons

Passionfruit and chocolate lamingtons photo by Denis Wong (Flickr.com/ Creative Commons)

Lamingtons are bite size sponge cage coated on chocolate and coconut flakes. If you think that sounds delicious, let me tell you that Australians cut the lamingtons in half and add a layer of strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream…super yum!

This popular dessert can be found in every bakery and supermarkets. Great for that much needed afternoon sugar hit.

 

Pavlova

pavlova

pavlova

It is hard to resist to this Aussie dessert. It is the perfect summer treat.

Pavlova is meringue with a very soft center, has whipped cream on top, then a layer of fresh fruit (normally mixed berries), all this drizzled with passion fruit pulp.

 

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

Sunny and hot Australian days are better spent with a plate of fish and chips.

This popular dish is commonly a very casual meal, the one everyone gets at the beach.

There are local shops in every suburb with a ‘Fish and Chips’ shop which is pretty much all the food they sell.

 

Tim Tams

They are two chocolate biscuits combined in a sandwich with cream and chocolate in the middle and coated in more chocolate.

Tim tams are huge in Australia, they can be found in any supermarket and there is a big range of flavours to choose from.

 

Anzac biscuits

anzac biscuits

Freshly baked anzac cookies on tray by freefoodphotos.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

These delicious bikkie, as people in Australia would say, are considered one of the most traditional foods.

They are made of rolled oats, butter, sugar and golden syrup. Yes, they sound tasty, yes, they are terrific.

It is commonly to have them on Anzac Day but are not only a seasonal food. They can be found on every supermarket all year round.

Fairy bread

Australian fairy bread by freefoodphotos.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Whoever has grownup in Australia knows fairy bread. It is a must snack at a kids parties.

Consists in a piece of white bread with butter, topped with hundreds & thousands.

 

Lamb roast

lamb roast

lamb roast

Mmm, mmm, mmm… The five stars meal.

Usually the roast is a favourites of families get together and it is accompanied of roasted vegetables. And it is served with a gravy sauce.

 

Vegemite

vegemite

vegemite

If you are an Aussie you sure love Vegemite and if you are not, well, you don’t really love it.

Vegemite is a unique spread of very dark brown colour, salty flavour and strong smell.

People have it for breakfast on a piece of toast or combined with cheese.