November 22, 2015



I've been talking a lot to my cousin's wife, Monica, about protein and working out and all things healthy. She's obviously been reading way more about it because she knows so much more than she did last time I saw her in December! It's been fun to learn from her, and it's made me start some of my own research. I've started following websites and blogs that write about health & fitness as well as people on Instagram who share healthy and mostly cruelty-free recipes. Starting a fitness journey is exhilarating and intoxicating but the truth is I hate the way most 'fitness people' eat. It looks so boring most of the time, I'm sorry to say. They eat loads of chicken hahaha. I used to eat chicken (and I loved it!) but since becoming a pescatarian, that's no longer an option. It seems like every day they eat egg whites for breakfast, turkey or chicken with sweet potato for lunch, turkey or chicken with rice and broccoli for dinner. Banana and peanut butter or protein shake or ten almonds for snack. None of these things are bad, but I just need more variety! and cooking is way too fun! I must say, I tried making protein balls for the first time while in Colombia and they were soooo delicious! Mmm... I guess there is some fun to be had and many recipes to try with protein powder and peanut butter ;) Here are some interesting links for you! Hope you enjoy them.

  • This website called "Two Foods" compares foods. It sounds a bit boring, but it's really great to put two fruits side to side and see what the differences in carbohydrates and protein really are. I find it fascinating...
  • How to prevent overeating... it's so hard, especially when you're eating something incredible (like the cheesecake my grandmother made last week) but necessary. I'm tired of feeling so stuffed I need a nap!
  • oh superfoods... how often I look you up and then eat crappy food.
  • I used to love when my mom would make me rice crispy treats! It didn't happen too often, especially since Paris doesn't have Rice Krispies cereal. Here are some good looking crispy rice protein treats because all desserts I make from now on will have protein powder in them ;)
  • some more good looking protein bars: one / two / three
  • if you're brave enough to do seven minutes of squats (last time I did, my legs hurt for the next two days! I also forgot to stretch... ok, so it was my fault. I always forget to stretch) then here's a link to a mini workout you can do today!


November 21, 2015



minimalist view on eating 

Sometimes I forget the delicate, pure taste of simplicity. As any person of my age, I am on the computer more than I'd like to admit, and some of that time is spent on Pinterest and Instagram. I've looked up many, many, many recipes and am very fond of cooking. But it's good to remember how great simple food tastes. 

I keep learning from my "mistakes". In the past few years, I started to take pictures of almost of the meals I made. Especially breakfast. Something simple, something that is supposed to keep me alive became complicated. Work. I assembled meals. And then this utterly stupid thought came to mind and it hit me. "But I can't take a picture of yogurt and honey, it won't make a great picture." Oh, so that's it. A salad with fifteen ingredients, a soup with twenty vegetables, a tart of thirty fruits and flavors... What about just one or two? I try to remind myself sometimes to do less. You're hungry? Just eat a fucking banana, don't turn it into a fancy fruit salad, says a voice in my head.

I remember so clearly this one day at Smith... I finished a small lunch and I was a bit hungry an hour later so I wondered what I could eat that wouldn't be too high in calories and would keep me full for a while... I looked in my fridge and saw a peach yogurt. My first instinct was to ask myself what I could add to it... granola, goji berries, pumpkin seeds... Then I stopped myself and decided to eat it as it was. Something I hadn't done in a while. I'm not even talking about the difference between processed "edible food-like substances" (Michael Pollan) and a homemade risotto. I'm talking about the difference between a turkey-cheese-tomato-basil-bacon-lettuce-mustard sandwich (perfectly good and homemade) and a slice of bread and butter. In essence, what we might call 'boring foods'. The other day, my snack was a slice of bread with salted butter. It was so flavorful and real! My goal is to try to eat more simply more often. I still love going out to restaurants and I still love cooking and coming up with crazy recipes and experimenting but I feel like there's something about simplicity that is so magical. Not to mention the money, calories and time saved.

Some examples of simplicity: turkey + mustard, bread + salted butter, plain yogurt + honey, banana + peanut butter, celery + peanut butter, apple + peanut butter, rice + ketchup (my own weird thing), pasta + mustard (not for everyone), tomato + salt, rolled oats + maple syrup. Those are some ideas, maybe you have some interesting ones too? I'd love to hear them. 

I've unfollowed most of the food instagram accounts I used to follow, and I've deleted most of my food boards on Pinterest and started over only pinning things I actually think I will likely make. I still love food, and cooking, but it's so much nicer to not think about it all the time, and to just enjoy it without making a fuss over each meal. Today I had plain tempeh with brown rice and ketchup and then for dessert I had leftover rice with a fresh date and a bit of cream. It was boring but it was good and I tasted every flavor. Let's not forget where our food comes from, and to feel grateful for the nourishment it provides. Here's to simplicity!

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November 20, 2015


Valentina's Farm 1

There isn't much I love more than being at the family farm with my animal friends. If you've been following on Instagram, then you have already met Zelda (above) and Scott (below), my two new friends that I love so dearly already. When I am in Colombia, I need to go to the finca weekly. I like to spend two or three days there, though some people in my family just drive up in the morning and stay a few hours and drive back in the evening. Staying longer helps you get away from everything though. No internet, just the farm, and the animals, and the wilderness. Sometimes I shower. 

Valentina's Farm 2 Valentina's Farm 3 Valentina's Farm 4 Valentina's Farm 5

Dogs, dogs, dogs. Again, if you follow on Instagram, you've met Sargento (above). He is the most loyal dog I've ever known. I swear, sometimes I think he's a human stuck in a dog's body. Sargento loves attention. He jumps up and sticks his paws on your up-to-then clean sweater and stays there like he wants something. He wants love, I pressume. I think the arrival of Scott made him jealous and left him feeling a bit forgotten at times. I say this because I could FEEL his desperation. Yes, Sargento, I DO LOVE YOU! We all do! 

Valentina's Farm 6 Valentina's Farm 7 Valentina's Farm 8

At the farm, I am myself. Nothing physical matters – I wear the same things again and again (washing them of course, because soooomehow I tend to get clothes dirty (clue: dogs). I read, I eat, I think, I listen to podcasts until I run out of podcasts to listen to, I dance to music, I play with the dogs, I visit the pig and the hens, I think about planting more and about what it would be like to have a magnificent garden, I lay down on the floor with the dogs (I do that more than you'd think), I write, I sleep. 

Valentina's Farm 9 Valentina's Farm 10 Valentina's Farm 11 Valentina's Farm 12 Valentina's Farm 13

I feel so lucky to have a family farm in Colombia. I wanted to share these pictures with you because they show you my immense love for animals hahaha. Going through my pictures from last month, I realize half are of animals, maybe more. I hope you like looking through these pictures... I just think they are all so adorable and I love being able to share my love for animals and the farm! I mean, just look at those baby ducklings! 

Valentina's Farm 15 Valentina's Farm 14 Valentina's Farm 16 Valentina's Farm 17 Valentina's Farm 18

As you can see, the horse and I share the same hair color. Maybe we go to the same stylist.

Valentina's Farm 19 Valentina's Farm 20

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