What’s the worst part about traveling? Getting sick. If there’s one thing I can vouch for first hand, you don’t want to end up in the hospital in a foreign country.
The symptoms started shortly after arriving in Istanbul although very sporadic and far between in the beginning. For me this is pretty standard when I arrive in a new country so I didn’t think much of it. Then a few days ago I spent a couple evenings doubled over in pain with stomach issues. (I’ll spare you the details.) I could have put up with it for several days before giving into seeing a doctor. Even in the states, I just don’t go to the doc. I don’t. For one, I’ve rarely had insurance so it’s quite pricey and another, I refuse to take antibiotics if I can help it. I’ve been doing my best to heal my gut and taking antibiotics will reverse all my hard work.
The word “antibiotic” literally means “against life”
Simply stated, antibiotics are a poison that kill your body’s good bacteria in addition to the bad. Once the bacteria has been killed, it leaves way for yeast to grow in your body which is why UTI’s are so common after a bout of antibiotics. While there is absolutely a place for them in our lives, they’re used and abused to the point that they’re now doing more harm than good.
In each market, the living situation is completely different. In Cape Town, I shared a room in a hostel for several months where all the models were put on the same floor and for the second half of my stay, I had my own room in a tiny guest house with the bare essentials. In Hamburg, I rented a room in someone’s home and the living was quite comfortable (except for the fact that I was living in someone else’s space). Istanbul is the first place I’ve actually lived in one of the infamous “model apartments”. While I like the idea in theory because of the instant connection to other models, it’s far from ideal.
The models are all different ages varying from ages 15 to 35. There are ten of us in a three bedroom apartment; four, four and two per room with ONE bathroom.
All of these images were taken the afternoon after the maid came so it appears much cleaner than it ever is. Thankfully she comes Monday through Friday (usually).
The worst part about it is that some of the younger girls smoke inside the apartment; they smoke in the kitchen, in the living room and in their bedroom. Not healthy! Thankfully my roommates don’t smoke so we spend all of our time in the apartment inside our room.The kitchen doesn’t have enough cutlery for the ten people living here so it’s nearly impossible to ever find a clean dish.
Despite the unfortunate living situation, I LOVE Istanbul! I can’t get enough of this city and am already disappointed that I’ll be moving on in just a couple short months.
When I think of all the things I gave up like multiple outlets, clean dishes, a smoke-free home, designer clothes, my own room, a double bed, a fully equipped kitchen, etc… I don’t miss any of it for a minute.
I love dips! I especially love hummus but oftentimes I’m running around and don’t have time to cook the chickpeas and don’t want to resort to using them from a can. (I avoid cans because of the chemicals associated.) This dip is a tasty alternative and works great as a salad dressing or a substitute for mayo.
Chickpeas are known to cause uncomfortable gas and bloating but since this hummus is zucchini instead of bean-based, it gets digested much easier. Not only is it bean-free, it’s properly food combined.
In two days I leave for Istanbul, Turkey and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a whirlwind few months here in Hamburg but I’m ready to move on. Not only do I get to experience a new and completely different place, both my sister, Nekol, and my good friend, Heather, are going to be there as well! I don’t believe in fate but this turn of events may have made me think twice about my stance.
In honor of my next adventure, I decided to make a dish similar to what I’ll find in Istanbul and am very pleased with the result! As usual, it’s very simple to make and you can easily swap out veggies to use up what’s sitting on your counter. It’s anti-inflammatory thanks to the turmeric and is super tasty.
Alster Lake: There’s nothing more I love doing in Hamburg than going for a run around Alster Lake. This 160 hectare lake lies in the heart of the city and the permitter is approximately 7.5 km (4.7 miles) around. Along the shoreline, read a book and soak up the sun, meet friends for a bbq, or come back in the evening to watch a sunset. On the lake, take a boat trip, rent a sailboat, or try your hand at standup paddle boarding. Alster Lake is my absolute favorite place in Hamburg.
Germany has a wide variety of quirks I find intriguing.
No bicycle helmets required. I like being able to take my life into my own hands. Who wants to wear those ugly helmets anyway? It makes total sense if you’re on a motorcycle but regardless, I like having the choice.
Dogs don’t have to be on a leash. People bike, run and walk with their dog trotting just a few feet in front or behind or right next to them. At the park the dogs roam freely, play with new friends and swim in the lake to cool down. It’s far more rare to see a dog on a leash, than one on its own. I’d give anything to have my dog, Honey, here with me now!
Food & flea markets. There’s a different one everyday! My favorite are of course, the organic food markets, Öko-Wochenmarkt & Regionales. The one closest to me is down the street in St. Georg. If possible, I’m there every Friday. They know me by name and seem very happy to answer my never ending questions about all the foreign fruit and veggies.
This was my first experience at a flea market in Goldbeker
There are so many things to take into account when you come to a new place from what to pack, visa requirements to exchange rates, etc. Of all the countries I’ve traveled to (over 20 at the time I write this), Germany is the most similar to America but it obviously has some big differences. When I talk about differences between the countries, I’m not talking about government or health plans or any of that… I’m talking about the little everyday things like the times people eat dinner, the style of clothing or the modes of transportation. We tend to take into account the obvious, but there’s so much more to consider.
Berlin Train Station
Food combining is a challenge I attempted to take on quite a while ago. In fact, I printed out a handy chart I found when I was in the states nearly a year ago and have since transported it with me halfway across the world. Each new place I arrived, I’d take it out of my luggage and place it somewhere I’d see it every day. As often as I looked at it, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the concept. Every attempt I made to food combine, I’d somehow find a way to break the rules and not realize it until it was too late. (The avocado still gets me every time!) So up until this point it really didn’t do me any good.
Thankfully, since arriving in Germany, I came across a chart put together by my favorite blogger, Megan at Detoxinista, and suddenly it all made sense. (If you haven’t checked out her site already, you should!) After a couple weeks of practice, I can now food combing effortlessly. I’m not saying that I practice this at every meal – I don’t – but I make an effort whenever possible.
What is food combining?
“… a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy.”
These are a handful of kitchen essentials that I bring absolutely everywhere. Seriously, most of these gadgets have been to South America, Africa, Europe and soon, Asia!
1. Citrus Press
I use this one nearly every day and sometimes several times a day. First thing in the morning, I use it to make my warm lemon water with cayenne pepper. I use fresh lime or lemon juice in nearly all of my salad dressings and in most of my cooked meals as well.
This accompanies me anytime I travel somewhere for at least a month. Not only does it chop my carrots into perfect 1/4 size pieces, it doubles as a storage container.
3. Garlic/Ginger/Turmeric Press
This is another gadget I use every day. If there’s one kitchen tool I couldn’t live without, this one is it! Thanks to my press, I always have the perfect amount of garlic, ginger or turmeric in every bite.
I rely heavily on my iPhone when I’m traveling. I often wonder what I did before smart phones. I know I was able to get around but surely, it must have been far more difficult! Having each of these apps on my phone makes traveling a cinch. I simply couldn’t imagine traveling without them anymore! Check these out:
1. Google Maps
If it wasn’t for google maps, I’d probably never get to a casting or job on time! You simply choose your current location, type in your destination and google maps tells you exactly how to get there. You have the ability to choose whether you prefer to walk, bike, take public transit or drive. You can also take it one step further and narrow down whether you’d like to take mostly buses, subways, trains and more. Google Map displays several different route options and shows you exactly how long each one will take you. Once you choose your route, it gives you all the details you could possibly need including the number of bus stops and their names, train schedules, etc. When you click on the map for the walking portion, they’ll be a blue line directing you to your destination and your current location is the blue dot and moves as you do. Google Maps has a voice option; however, I don’t find it useful unless I’m driving (and have a phone charger handy as this app drains your battery)!