November 19, 2017


matcha Valentina Duracinsky

Have you tried matcha? It's pretty expensive. I wouldn't say "oh my god, you need this in your life". Buuut it's still pretty yum. Last year I went to a matcha themed cafe with my friend Ruth. It's called Umami Matcha Café in the 3rd, one street away from République square. We really enjoyed breakfast there! 

I don't care for the whole "superfood" trend. As in, the five or six crazy expensive ingredients you need in your life because they have all the vitamins and nutrients and will keep you alive forever... no. There are loads of amazing vegetables and fruits and teas that don't cost an arm and a foot. You don't need açai; frozen berries are great. You don't need coconut oil; olive oil will do (italians are still around, right?). You don't need goji berries (although they are quite good) or mangosteen (same) or hemp seeds. You can make easy choices that are healthy without being a millionaire. Banana – remember banana? Just eat one. 

Anyway, I went off on a little rant. Matcha is green tea powder that was harvested in some special way that makes it slightly better than normal green tea... But if you go and get loose leaf green tea, that is ALSO great for you! Matcha tastes nice and gives food a nice color. If you do have it around, or if you want to try it, here are some cool recipes I found online: 
  1. Matcha rolls with sesame seed filling... aaaah
  2. probably cheaper to make your own granola bars...
  3. I would make these matcha green tea shots
  4. Spring matcha soba noodles
  5. matcha pound cake for dessert
  6. mini matcha cakes
  7. for the summer time when you always want ice-cream
  8. matcha white chocolate fondueEnough said.
  9. you love lemon? this marble cake is for you
  10. matcha smoothie bowl

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November 17, 2017


Valentina D outfit Paris 2

I haven't been dressing up at all this year (or last year). It's due to many things: I go to the gym a lot and I really do love wearing comfortable gym clothes (I could wear these all the time), until recently I was working as a pastry chef, so my days were basically 1/2 in my uniform, 1/3 in gym clothes, and then "it's already late afternoon, why bother dirtying nice clothes? loungewear for the win!" and lastly (and hardest to explain) I have put on 5kg since 2013. I know it seems like ages ago, but for years I wanted to go back to being that thin. Wearing clothes that used to be loose and now are tight... it's hard. Even though my mentality has changed, and I actually want to be strong and have muscle, I still put on jeans and think "this is not how they used to fit" and a part of my brain says "FAT!!" and I STILL have to work to quiet down that voice, and remind myself that I am strong, that I love food, and that being skinny was actually pretty miserable. 

Valentina D outfit Paris 1

Slowly I will work on a whole new wardrobe. Some clothes are just not me anymore, and some might never let me forget how it felt to be skinny. I have been obsessed with Naomi's blog Love, Taza recently and she dresses SO well. How does a mother of three kids under 10 years of age dress so well!? I don't shop as much as I did five years ago. But I'm collecting inspiration from Naomi and others whose style I like, and slowly finding key pieces for a wardrobe that I will actually love. The new me. The me I accept. The me that is finally comfortable and confident. It's a lot of pressure to put on clothes. I'll also remind myself that clothes are just clothes ;)

Valentina D outfit Paris 3 Valentina D outfit Paris 4

I say all this to be honest. I've unfollowed accounts that I think are too impersonal, too "perfect", too fake. I like real, I like honest. I love these photos, and this seems like a pretty normal outfit, but I rarely wear dresses these days! It might be silly, but I want to start dressing up a bit more. This isn't my every day. And everyone who you follow on Instagram or Facebook or whatever, they usually show you their life when they are at their best.

If you want to follow some people I admire for staying "real" even if their lives might seem amazeballs: in fashion, there's Audrey of Frassy who talks so openly about her beauty choices (lip enhancers), her love of books over men, her every day struggles. In motherhood and lifestyle, there's Love, Taza. In Fitness, I love following Kelsey Wells and MadlyMish

Valentina D outfit Paris 5 Valentina D outfit Paris 6

dress: Pepe Jeans • top: Uniqlo • coat: Sisley • leather bag: Vintage •
shoes c/o Blowfish • hat: Gallerie LaFayette

Valentina D outfit Paris 7

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November 12, 2017


Protein Banana muffins Val D 1

This morning I really wanted to make banana bread. My last day as a pastry chef at Welcome Bio Bazar was almost two weeks ago. It's difficult to go from baking 10+ cakes almost every day to... nothing. So far I have made two batches of granola, two low-fat protein chocolate "brownie" cakes, and these adorable tiny protein banana muffins.

Protein Banana muffins Val D 2

What's fun now is to experiment with each recipe that I loved making! How can I reduce the sugar & fat in the granola? How can I make the banana bread vegan? How much protein powder can I add to this or that cake? What's a better flour mixture fo this gluten free cake? I won't be adding protein to all recipes though, because I do want to work on perfecting them for my cookbook; and I won't add protein powder to everything in it. 

So this morning I experimented with vegan banana muffins. Why vegan? Am I vegan? NO, I was just out of eggs hahaha ;)

Protein Banana muffins Val D 3

One of my biggest challenges is trying to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. And I don't just mean refined cane sugar. Maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, they all count as well. I just wish I didn't crave sweet things all the time! This is why I'm trying to make recipes with a lot less sugar. If you have the same problem as me, you can try reducing the sugar in your recipes little by little. I think the more you do it, the more you get used to the taste. You'll even hear yourself saying "Man, this is too sweet!" when eating other banana breads ;) (However baking is a science, so while you might be able to reduce it by 20% with no problem, once you get to 50%, you might find yourself with a dry cake. Yikes! Look for tips online or come ask me!)

Protein Banana muffins Val D 4

I'll share the recipe with you, although I will warn you: I have only tested this once, and not everything was exact. I think I am extremely lucky as a baker/pastry chef. Even when I made things for the café, I changed recipes almost daily. *slightly* but still! Baking is supposed to be an exact science, how did I get so lucky every single time? Anyway, this was a little experiment and they turned out really well! If you want to give them a try, let me know how they turn out. I used small muffin molds. They are super tiny and cute. 

4 flax eggs
4 bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/3 cup chocolate protein powder *
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

handful nuts
handful cacao nibs

1/2 cup chocolate protein powder*
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup rice milk (more or less as needed)

* I used casein protein powder, but I'm sure vegan should be fine

Preheat the oven to 200 celsius. To make flax seed eggs, pour about 1/4 cup into a nutribullet (or similar) and blend until you get a fine powder. Mix 4 tablespoons of flaxseed powder with 12 tablespoons of water (1/3 ratio). Let it sit for 5 minutes. While you wait, take your nutribullet again and blend bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Add to flaxseed mix. Mix all dry ingredients and pour in with the banana mixture. Don't over-mix! Add nuts and cacao nibs if you want. I added almonds because it's what I had on hand. I much prefer walnuts though! 

Bake for 13-20 minutes depending on your muffin molds and your oven. Bake at 200 for 6 minutes, and then turn down to 180 for the rest. Stick a knife into a muffin, if it comes out clean, it's time to take the muffins out of the oven! I left mine in for 15 minutes. 

You don't need to add the protein frosting, but if you want to make it, it's really simple: blend all the ingredients! Just add the rice milk in little by little until you get the consistency you like ;)

Protein Banana muffins Val D 5

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