Bali Trip

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I must say that traveling back to Bali was something I always was a little bit afraid of. Having lived there for a year in 2011 I dreaded seeing all the changes due to excessive building, tourisme and pollution. Due to the increase of population the island had radically changed into a hectic traffic nightmare. The southern side of the island is not the best for kids, the sea is way to rough and not very clean however if you are into food and shopping eat your heart out!

Rent a scooter in the area of Seyminyak, Canggu or Umalas and make your way through the maze of endless restaurants and shops for both inerior and clothes.

Here’s my shortlist…

Restaurants:

Sarong http://sarongbali.com/

Biku http://bikubali.com/

Earth Cafe http://www.earthcafebali.com/

Mama San http://www.mamasanbali.com/

Made’s Warung http://madeswarung.com/

Desa Seni is also one of the best yoga venues http://www.desaseni.com/

Cafe Organic http://cafeorganicbali.com/

Ku de ta (just for a sundowner) http://www.kudeta.com/

La Luciolla for an easy quiet lunch with sea view https://www.tripadvisor.nl/Restaurant_Review-g469404-d804047-Reviews-La_Lucciola-Seminyak_Bali.html

Ryoshi http://www.ryoshibali.com/

Dahana for some seriously good Japanse food http://www.dahanabali.com/

Shops:

Magali Pascal http://www.magalipascal.com/

Lulu Yasmine http://www.luluyasmine.com/

Milk & Roses http://milkandrosesboutique.com/

Daune http://www.daunandco.com/

Great inspiring day trips:

Green School https://www.greenschool.org/

Five Elements Spa http://www.fivelements.org/en/

So scooter your way through traffic and be sure to wear your helmet even though it might ruin your looks;-)))

x

 

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Ibiza…

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Ibiza, you have to admit, it still is fun!

The scorpio island has changed so much over the past few years and gotten very busy but it still has the magic that once made it a hippie, bohemien hangout for creatives from all over the world.

So where do we go now? Here are some of my tips & tricks to survive, even with kids! Ibiza is a great destination with friends or as a family vacation.

Breakfast:

  • Cappuccino in the marina with a great view of the old town
  • Can Guimo; small hippie place with homemade breakfast, lunch etc. It is next to the road in San Lorenzo
  • Passion Cafe has various restaurants all over the island. The place for healthy juices and great food.
  • Croissant Show in the old town for a french breakfast
  • Jockey Club only if you are very early

Lunch:

  • Aqua Blanca for the best sandwhiches ever
  • Es Torrent for excellent service and fresh fish
  • Los Enamorados in the North of the island
  • Paloma Cafe the lunch in the campo
  • Il Giardinetto, Italian food in the Botafoch harbor. Simple but very consistently good Italian food!
  • Babylon beach in St. Eulalia
  • Cala Bonita at s’Estanyol; new, great staff and food

Diner favorites:

  • La Luna del Orto
  • Cicale the other great Italian
  • Es Caliu for the meat lover
  • Macao in busy St. Gertrudis
  • Les Terasses for a special Moroccan or Thai night

Feel like doing something different? Catch the ferry (or rent a boot) to Formentera and rent an old fashioned Mehari or a bike! Lunch options are numerous but make sure to book ahead as some are quite popular. Here are some great places:

  • Chezz Gerdi
  • Beso
  • Tiburon
  • 10.7

Don’t forget to try the local drink, hierbas but drink it on the rocks🙂

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Coconut Sambol

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Being a ‘spicy’ food addict this version of a Sambol (hot spicy sauce) or as the Dutch would call it ‘Sambal’ was a devine surprise to me. At it everyday on my trip in Sri Lanka and had to get the recipe!

It well with just about anything; from my omelet or eggs in the morning to a relish with a cheese sandwich, a roast chicken or a curry of course.

There is something about adding spicy ingredients to your food… Makes you feel alive especially when you need that extra kick, wake-up call or rush:-)

Here is a list of what you need:

  • grated fresh (firm) coconut meat
  • 1 fresh green or red chili peper
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • thinly sliced medium sjalot
  • 1 tea spoon of chili powder
  • 1 tea spoon of chili flakes

Grate the coconut, slice the sjallot and mix in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients according to taste. I personally like it with alot of lime and chili. Be careful with the quantities, you can always add more later.

Once made promise you it will be finished in no time, otherwise you can keep it a couple of days in the fridge.

 

 

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Sri Lanka time

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For a while this had been on my Bucket list. A country with a rich past, gorgeous beaches and beach taking inland nature.

Our family trip started off in Galle. A cute little town with a rich history of the Portugees, Dutch and English settlers. Now it is being renovated and has numerous cafe’s, boutique hotels, shops and great restaurants.

Here is a short list!

Where to stay:

  • Fort Bazaar Hotel
  • Galle Fort Hotel
  • Amangalle
  • Mango House

Where to eat:

  • Tuk Tuk
  • Amangalle
  • Tuna & Crab
  • Poonie’s Kitchen
  • Fortaleza

One more thing, I know Sri Lanka is known for its tea. Not so strange that coffee is not a priority but for me with a slight coffee addiction, it is hard waking up! In Galle, after a little trial and error exercise the Fort Bazaar has my vote!

To do tips:

Go surfing! Just outside of the fort is Devata beach. Grab a tuk tuk to the Shack where you can rent a board, book a lesson and have a bite to eat. Open for breakfast.

Go to the beach and have lunch:

  • Wijaya Beach
  • WB beachclub
  • Talpe Beach Restaurant

If you have more time and want to really get Some waves drive down to Arugam Bay. It is quite a drive (4,5 hours) but well worth it. Book a room at Hideaway and enjoy the laid back surfers paradise.

 

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My favorite restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, my home town… Love this city! With all it’s different neighbourhoods, farmers’ markets, the beautiful canals which never bore you and not to forget dozens of great restaurants. Here’s a little short list with my favorites:

  • Toscanini… the famous Italiaan
  • George Bistro for the best burger (yep sorry, they won!)
  • Gebroeders Hartering for a ‘old Amsterdam’ surrounding and simply amazing food
  • Buffet van Odette the not to miss lunch (breakfast, dinner too!)
  • Hotel Goudfazant good food in a huge and cool old garage
  • Choux near central station is a precious little gem
  • Krua Thai for authentic Thai food
  • Marius is more intimate yet simple, and not to forget Worst next door
  • Restaurant Breda delicate tastes and great decor
  • Ku Kitchen’s Asian food and cocktails
  • De Klepel always has a great set menu
  • Brut de Mer oysters yeah!!!!
  • The Seafood Bar for your classic ‘fish dish’
  • Sama Cebo the Indonesian oldtimer, get a spot in the brasserie!

More to follow… Enoy!!!

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Best tuna salad

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Best tuna salad

The tastes combined in this salad are refreshing and quite different. Super healthy and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh tuna chopped in dices
  • watermelon chopped in dices
  • mayonaise
  • wasabi
  • lime juice
  • spoon of musterd seeds
  • bit of virgin olive oil
  • thinly sliced cabbage
  • green sprouts of any kind
  • some cherry tomatoes
  • avocado chopped in dices
  • a handful of green salad leaves

Start with preparing the dressing. Add olive oil, lime juice, mayonnaise and a tea spoon of wasabi and mix. Then carefully add the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately and dig in!

 

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Tulum


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Took me years to get there and damn why did I not pick up my gear and go earlier? Something about the way Cancun has been in de media, the stereotypes of Mexicans, the drug traffic problems and the unhealthy Mexican food eaten in the West that have kept me from travelling to this huge and beautiful country.

Boy I was wrong. Even though it is a country with yes huge drug problems these areas can easily be avoided as an informed and intellegent traveller and yes big parts have been ruined by toerism and have nothing to do with the real beauty of Mexico.

Being quite ignorant of the diversity of the culture we were immediately intriged by this ancient culture. Flew into Cancun and left as soon as possible, ok ok one Starebucks coffee to go… Even just writing that can give you a hint as to how fast you should leave that place:-) We drove to Merida, visited Progresso at the coast. And drove through Izamal where all the houses are painted yellow! Then stopped at a hacienda along the way to have lunch. The natural resources and handycrafts blew me away. I think Nicolas and his wife of Coqui Coqui did a great job at using indiginous handycrafts to show in simply jaw dropping jewels, clothing, fabrics, handmade hats, leather good and perfumes what they are capable of making.

Vallalolid is a great stop to get a better feel of the Yucatan cuture. Travel down to Coba for Mayan ruins. Chitchen Itza is great but the hords of toerists make it feel less special. Somehow even though you know you are probably the zillionst toerist visiting you still have this ‘adventurous’ feeling that you want to persuade yourself of. Trust me, when you see those buses arriving that feeling is nowhere to be found, so if you go make it a quicky…!

And then precious Tulum; the new place to be. Go off season and still find the peacefull side of this little peace of paradise. Having seen quite a bit of beautiful places this place did strike me as special. Why? Well I have this theory that every spot first dicovered by hippies are the best. The nature is unusually  breathtaking, the energie is good, fertile grounds which consequently leads to fresh produce and great food.

So go, relaxe, breathe, take a yoga class or two and enjoy. Don’t plan, let go, sleep, eat, swim and have a mojito or two..!

Tips:

Yaan Wellness

Yaan Wellness for the best treatments ever, extremely pricey but out of this world. You can actually feel that the therapist is loving and giving her or himself in the treatment. Tuning in to you as a individual person. Try the ‘egg’ reading treatment, old mexican tradition and mind blowing. Or just go for a daily yoga class, beautiful.

Uno AstroLodge

An old hippie ‘community’ and lodge on the beach. Join Bobby Klein here for weekly meditaion session on Thursday at 16:00. Donation of 100 pesos. Truelly a special experience and not to be missed.

Cenotes

Do not miss out on the Cenotes. This made our family vacation! Kids loved it and were intrigued by the underwater tunnels. Even though it might seem like a touristic thing to do, the beauty of these ‘caves’ will blow you away. Or just use it to really cool down as the fresh water is super cold!

Restaurants:

Hartwood: get in line or reseve a table for 8 online

Posada Margerita allthough the chef didn’t have his best day when we visited. Great shop though!

El Galeon: best taco’s from an old streamliner next to the road

Casa Jaguar

Arca

Gitano has good food and great live music

Pasha for kebab, humus and falafel

Places to stay:

There are actually endless possibilities and different options in luxury, atmosphere and price. The choice is yours!

Nomade

Papaya Playa Project

Uno Astrolodge

Ahua Tulum with surfkiteschool on the beach

BeTulum (no kids allowed)

 

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Yuk apple cider vinegar for breakfast

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Waking up with a glass of water seems like a logical beginning of a regular day. Although coffee might be your first urge, try a glass of water to hydrate after a long night of sleep or whatever you’ve been up to! More and more stories have been published about the benefits of drinking this glass of water before eating or drinking anything else. Not only is it good for your organs and general hydration level of your body but it also has an effect on your skin.

Luke warm water is a lesser shock to your body which is also just waking up. Adding a squize of lemon is easy and gives you a jump start on your vitamine C for the day. If you have time, which you probably don’t, add some honey and cayenne peper for the full kick start.

For the die hards… Start the day with luke warm water and apple cider vinegar. Seriously, I do not know why but I find this sooo disgusting that I can not drink it without holding my nose closed. And even then does it make me want to… nevermind!

The reason lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are good for you is because they are alkaline foods. They help your body to become less acidic. Basically, long story short, inflammation diseases and infections are much more likely to ‘grow’ or occur in an acidic environment. Studies have also shown that even cancer cells grow more rapidly in acidic environments as opposed to alkaline. Might be hard to explain or understand but remember in high school chemistry class those pieces of paper you had to put in a liquid and then read the acidity? PH 5.5 being neutral? That’s exactly what this is… No rocket science:-)

 

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Ibiza hotspot Mikado

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Spring in Ibiza is the best time to enjoy the green fields, wild flowers and blossoming almond trees. We were there for the Easter break and it was absolutely gorgeous! Living in a city the nature was so overwhelming, instantly made me feel alive and more connected. Waking up when it is still chilly outside and having a coffee next to the fireplace, what can possibly go wrong after a start like that?

We had lunch at Mikado, a great thai or asian restaurant in the center of St. Gertrudis. The food was fresh, well seasoned (sort of essential in the asian kitchen) and not very expensive. The kids had chicken saté and we ordered almost every starter on the menu… La Escollera is my other all-year round favorite. Lunch was again, as always, simply delicious.

The best 4 day break ever! No crowds, pure nature and a blue sky…

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My new hero: Michael Pollan

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COOKED!

Are you a Netflix fan? Incredible how this has changed the way we use our television.

Love the documentary section especially the food related series. I just watched the Michael Pollan documentary ‘Cooked’. Wow! Seriously the thing to watch if you want to know more about the basic principles of food, cooking, health and the problems we have today in our western food culture. A very powerful message for all of us to understand where we come from and how the food industry has altered the way we eat.

Michael describes the four elements fire, water, air, and earth and the ways they have been used to cook and prepare food in the course of history. What I found very chocking is that he describes why things are going wrong in todays diets and how this is directly related to chronic diseases. Something most of us have believed in for years but never found the audience to broadcast it to.

He describes how the quality of our bread has a big role in the huge increase in gluten intolerance. So buy wisely and try to find traditionally made sour dough bread. Bacteria and fermenting food is essential for our living bodies. This process is complicated yet fascinating and shows us how bacteria and fungus are not to be banned from our diets.

Michael, you got me, fan for life!

review by the guardian nails it

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