White sand and fresh fish

I write this post with a heavy heart, as my thoughts and prayers are with the families and community who are living through the nightmare of the tragic events that took place in Connecticut last Friday. So many innocent lives lives lost, and so many people left suffering. On a more personal note, my grandfather is unwell at the moment after suffering from a stroke; so too are my thoughts and deepest love with him as we pray for a speedy and full recovery.

Despite the hardships in life, things must go on. We are continuing our journey through Columbia and are loving the sunshine, beaches, colourful fruits, different culture and fascinatingly beautiful towns. Especially that of Cartagena, a real feast for the senses. Immaculate colonial architecture, brightly coloured walls lined with greenery and flowers

20121212-194301.jpg
Fruit carts on every corner

20121212-194359.jpg

and old school horse and carriages pass through the narrow steers and plazas.

20121217-083032.jpg
Some quality beach time too (a bit more relaxing on day 2 when we were used to the vendors hounding us and we didn’t bring any valuables with us so we spent most our time in the water without a worry)

20121212-194313.jpg
And beautiful sunsets!

20121212-194331.jpg
Our friends, Jared and Ryan (who were with us in Salento and Medellin) raved about this ice cream on a stick. So guys, this photo is for you! And yes, dulce de Leche ice cream dipped in hot white chocolate sauce was AMAZING! We went back for 4ths 🙂

20121212-194341.jpg
Now Josh, the accountant did some quick calculations, and came to the conclusion that our budget needed cutting until we make up for our unexpected flight to Columbia (remember it wasn’t on the agenda). So we resorted to beers on the sidewalk.

20121212-194350.jpg
The old tuna sandwich for lunch (and home cooked pasta for dinner)

20121212-194408.jpg
We also paid a visit to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo- the mud volcano! It was a real experience of a lifetime.

20121212-194428.jpg
Floating in this thick, dense, slimy mud- you experience the feeling of zero gravity. It was really fun! You stay in the mud for about 45 minutes, while you can pay people to take photos of you, massage you, rub you down etc, and then you head down to the lake and wash off. **budget cuts allowed us to choose one, we chose the services of the photo man.

20121212-194417.jpg
We refreshed ourselves with watermelon. Our daily routine here is pretty much x followed by fruit followed by y followed by more fruit followed by z followed by even more fruit… It is just so sweet and plentiful!

20121212-194448.jpg
Great day, smiles all round 🙂

20121212-194501.jpg
Next day, bright and early we caught an overwhelmingly speedy speed boat to Playa Blanca, the nearby Caribbean beach on Isla de Baru.

20121217-082148.jpg
Our 3 blissful days on this small island beach consisted of this. Heaven on earth!

20121217-082215.jpg
Life seems pretty simple when you are staying in a small cabana (approx $7 each a night), with only a bed, just a few meters from the waters edge.

20121217-082230.jpg
Hop out of bed from (a)

20121217-082440.jpg
to (b)

20121217-082304.jpg

Before you are spotted, smooth talked and basically forced into having a massage from one of the local ladies

20121217-082251.jpg
Only one option for lunch and dinner! Fresh (and confronting) as it gets…

20121217-082322.jpg
Devoured and enjoyed every last bite

20121217-082333.jpg
Followed by…

20121217-082359.jpg
and a piña colada!

20121217-082426.jpg

and as the hours slip away, this

20121217-093614.jpg

becomes the backdrop to a magical evening sunset

20121217-082458.jpg

From both of us here, cheers, salud, la chaim.. to good health, healing and happiness.

And an extra toast to my amazing dad on his birthday today!

20121217-160306.jpg
Happy birthday Dad! I hope your fun-loving spirit stays young forever. Wishing we were home to celebrate with you, but we will have a drink for you tonight. Love you lots!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Advertisements

The Highs and the Lows of Carbs

I am definitely a carbs loving girl 🙂 Running, exercising and eating carbs are all part of the same family in my eyes.

But not all carbs are graded equally. For the most part, I try to make the right decisions when choosing my grains to ensure the carbs that make up the bulk of my diet are low GI (body-friendly).

Without getting too technical, the glycemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates depending on how they effect blood glucose levels. When eating a lower GI food, the rise in the blood glucose levels is alot slower than when eating a high GI food. Lower GI foods take longer to digest and have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Check out the Glycemic Index website for some more great info.

My Favourite Low GI foods (Click on the links for more info and recipes!):

-Oats (Health Benefits of Oats)
-Muesli (Homemade Muesli recipe)
Multi grain, wholegrain and sourdough bread (Check my Homemade Bread Loaf recipe! Beware that every bread is made differently and there is no real standardised labelling of bread so it is important to check the specific brand of bread you eat, a GI under 55 is considered to be low)

-Fruits and Vegetables (getting more technical, GI levels of different fruits and veggies differ, check out this ‘GI Diet’ website for a more specific breakdown)

 

So do your research on your carbs, and do choose wisely. Let them fuel your body and keep your blood-sugar levels at bay.

What carbs do you include in your daily diet?

*Please note I am not a dietician, the information provided on my blog is based on my own research from reputable and cited websites and my own experiences!

Antioxidant Booster

Nothing like a good dose of mother nature to give your immune system a boost.

Berry, Spinach and Mandarin Smoothie

Ingredients (quantities as desired)
-Mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
-Mandarin or orange
-Fresh baby spinach leaves
-1/2 cup milk

Method
-Add ingredients to blender and BLEND until desired consistency is reached.

Image

So simple, quick and delicious

Image

Whats your favourite smoothie combo?

Happy blending
🙂

Rainy Day

Good morning, friends!

Don’t you agree that it is just THAT much harder getting out of bed on a rainy day?

View from my balcony

Well that was certainly the case this morning. My day is starting nice and early, I am off to teach a Kindergarten class at a school around the corner. I am a ‘casual’ teacher which means I fill in when one of the permanent staff are away. It is great – I love it! But waiting for those calls can sometimes be a pain.

This morning I had my usual oats and tea for breaky

Oats and Tea mmm

and packed my school lunch

Vegetable minestrone soup, apple, banana, picnic and tea!

The plan was to go for a run after school, but this weather is not looking promising.

What exercise do you like to do on a rainy day? (or is it an automatic excuse for a ‘rest’ day?)

Anyway, lets stay optimistic and hope it clears up 🙂

Have a great day!