Tag Archives: coffee

Europe trip–part 4

9 Oct

I’m hungry, so if I’m hungry I think food, as in what I would like to eat right now, which reminds me of awesome dishes I ate while on my trip to Romania and Italy. Let me take a moment to wipe my drooling.

Okay, I’m back.

While in Verona, Andrea (my cousin’s fiancé) made some awesome pasta dishes. Anchovies, black olives, prosciutto, or as simple as parmesan cheese or tomatoes only, somehow transformed pasta into super tasty dishes. “The secret is in the olive oil,” Andrea would say. We tried pizza at fancy restaurants and not so fancy, but no matter where we ate, it would be a sin to compare their pizza with ours. Prices were about the same as ours but portions much, much smaller but oh so filling. Refills are available at extra cost. Don’t recall seeing anywhere happy hour. IMG_4517IMG_4032IMG_4180

And then, there’s their pastry, gelato and coffee. (Drooling again). The tinniest cups, even a minion would have a tough time drinking out of one. Two sips, if you are lucky, but boy, the strength of it as much as an entire pack of coffee. I looooove coffee, and the more I drink the more I want. And yet, somehow, those two sips were enough to last me a whole day. I’m a vanilla-with-almond-ice cream kind of girl but I forced myself to try out all kinds of gelato (which is as close to ice cream as you get in Italy, only made with real stuff), and pastry. 


Once in Romania I tried out more yummies, some homemade by my mom, some just ordered in restaurants. From ciorba de burta (sour cow stomach soup; it sounds gross but it’s de-li-cio-ous!!!), to salata de vinete (eggplant dip),  to sarmale (cabbage rolls), to mamaliga cu branza si unt (polenta bread with cheese  and butter), to papanasi (doughnuts with jam and sour cream), shaorma and so, so many more dishes, my taste buds were beyond satisfied. I was expecting to gain a lot of weight, but to my surprise I did not, in fact I lost a few pounds. I can attribute it to walking for miles every day in search for another Italian treasure or walking down the beach at the Black Sea in Romania, but I think it has mostly to do with how simple all ingredients are. Simple as in no corn syrup; sugar or salt only in moderation. Not once have I checked a label in a grocery store and saw corn syrup in anything. Is corn syrup the evil of all? I don’t know enough about it to judge or point a finger. All I know is that I ate smaller portions and felt satisfied. Food smelled and tasted better, not sweeter or saltier, but rather real. 


I returned home, promising myself I will try cooking some of the pasta I had there. I did twice since then and, while wasn’t as good as it was there, it was close. And yes, I used authentic Italian olive oil courtesy of a friend of mine living there who has an olive orchard, but that’s another story in itself worth telling you another time.

Open Letter of Apology to my Body

14 Oct

Dear Body,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you. I’ve abused you feeding you junk food. For the past year I’ve replaced daily workouts with daily splurges. Instead of running I sat at the computer. Instead of hitting the gym I hit rock bottom giving up on myself.

I ate candies and gummy bears and ice cream. I delved in burgers and French fries and pastries. Who cared that they creped up on me, pound after pound—I didn’t. I told myself after I turned 40 that it didn’t matter—I should finally indulge in those things I craved. And indulge I did. Eleven pounds later I hated looking in the mirror.

But no more.

I’m done.

Cleaned up my pantry and started working out. In moderation, which is something I have to teach myself how to do it. Take long walks. Starting two weeks ago my boss and I challenged ourselves to take the stairs (our office is on 7th floor) twice a day. We write down how long it takes us to come up. In a month we’ll raise the bar to 3 times a day.

Today was a good day. I treated myself to a coffee by walking to the Starbucks near my house, which is not quite near (1.8mi away). An hour later, my walk tracker recorded 3.6mi.

Numbers isn’t the reason why I do this, but because it finally hit me that if I give up on you, you will eventually give up on me. And you and I have to be BFFs forever, not enemies. I’ll give you healthy food, plenty rest and exercise, knowing you’ll burst with energy and fit in my clothes again.


Sunday Giveaway at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

5 Feb

It’s Sunday morning. It’s cold and going outside doesn’t seem appealing. The flames crackle in the fireplace and the smell of burned wood mixes with the aroma of freshly made coffee.  All you want is to curl on the sofa with a good book and read.

Is this your kind of Sunday? If it is, then all you have to do is click on Sapphyria’s Book Reviews website and enter the giveaway she has going on for A World Apart as part of the book tour. Happy Sunday everyone!