I realized when I made this for the fourth time this week, that I should post the recipe. Seeing as how I have extremely limited time on my hands between work and castings, I have to resort to everything super quick these days. When I was at the farmer’s market this past Sunday, I bought a bunch of purple basil because I’d never seen it before and it just looked so darn pretty. All produce tends to go bad pretty quickly here in Istanbul so what better way to use up the basil than to throw it by the handful in the blender? After this recipe, I truly believe that pesto is what basil was created for. Yum!
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto (Raw)
- 1/3 cup packed basil
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/3 peeled lemon (or juice)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp spicy chili pepper (optional)
- Put all ingredients except pepper into small food processor or blender and blend until smooth
- Adjust ingredients to taste
- Sprinkle with chili pepper
Substitute a portion of the olive oil for a lighter version
I chose to eat this as a dip with crudités because of what I had on hand; however, this would be even more divine as a pasta sauce! Serve it over julienned zucchini, buckwheat noodles or even quinoa.
Typically what you see on the internet makes everything in life seem oh so rosy but we all know that’s just not how it is. I actually prefer social media that way. The last thing I want to see online are daily depressing quotes or political battles but a blog… a blog can show many emotions and that’s exactly what I plan to do with this post.
If you follow me on any social media, it looks like I’m living the life and I have all the time in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and wouldn’t trade it with anyone! I’m so lucky to do what I do, to see the world like I am and to meet so many amazing people, but that’s just not what it’s like on a day to day basis. Do you really want me post pictures of a studio after studio, weight room after weight room? Boring! Personally, I find pictures of beautiful sunsets, incredible food and amazing views far more interesting. Continue reading
Castings in Istanbul are a completely different experience from anywhere else I’ve been for so many reasons. Here’s a rundown of what our day might look like:
Late every evening we get a sheet posted in our living room that tells us whether we’re working or casting and what time to be ready. The model apartment I’m living in is located two floors above my agency, so it makes it easy for them to post the updates after each work day. Usually our morning call time is around 9:15am so by this time, I’ve already been to the gym, showered and have my morning green smoothie in hand. Promptly at 9:15, we show up in the parking lot and start piling into one of the agency vans. Thankfully it’s in my nature to be on time since it’s crucial to get a seat near the front as the air conditioning barely reaches the back and there’s just no room or god forbid, you have to sit on the floor.
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.
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