Vegan self-quarantine in New York City

It has been more than 15 days since me, my cats and my boyfriend are in self-quarantine in our small yet adorable apartment in New York City.

image6
Home made vegan Nachos.

Even though this time has been the weirdest in my entire life, and I’ve been really anxious, I have to tell that not everything is as bad as it seems out there.

First of all, we finally get plenty of time to do things together at home; not only on weekends when we usually are off, but everyday. We like creating new routines, seeing through old pictures, dancing and singing, talking to the family for hours on the phone, or just binge-watching Friends all day long.

However, each one of us have some hobbies that are unique and it’s been quite hard to share it with the other one. For example, I’m still trying to get my boyfriend to practice yoga or do some meditation with me; so far, no luck at all. Meanwhile, I have decided to learn more about cooking and baking, which is one of my boyfriend’s biggest passions.

I must confess I am a terrible cook and even though we are vegan and it seems to be easier to cook vegan stuff, I haven’t had the time to learn new recipes or just get a little creative when cooking, you know?

On the other hand, I think I am the luckiest woman in the whole wide world just because my boyfriend is the best chef in the whole wide world, so, we have been very creative these days during the self-quarantine and we want to share some of the meals (yes, I also helped a little bit) we have been eating at home.

 

Also, it is kind of funny how people have been texted us not only because they are actually worried about the situation in NYC but also because they are worried about what we are eating and how we are going to survive… One really good friend of mine just told me yesterday: ‘I hope you guys are doing great and please you need to eat better since you are so skinny’. (I’m not even that skinny).

 

image2 (1)
Pancakes with fruits, just egg (made from plants) and coffee.
B8B5DD36-B0CA-48A6-A86B-40B3D4788F7F
Arepa with tahini and avocado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I have been vegan for more than three years now and vegetarian for most of my life, and I still can’t remember when was the last time that I got sick.

That said, these are some of the meals we have been eating while self-quarantine, I hope you enjoyed it and share with me some of your favorite things to cook when you are home.

Have a wonderful rest of day, stay well and be kind to each other.

image4
We can’t live without fruits.
image0
We can’t live without fruits.

 

A little bit of love in Covid19 times

I have had probably the most anxious and sad week of my life. I’ve been struggling with my emotions; trying to pull myself together and thinking in the most positive way: “We’ll get through this”, “Everything is going to be fine”… Thank God I have the most amazing, positive & supporting boyfriend ever, that guy is like an angel; he & my cats are the best company this weird days.

 

DSC_0881
I took this picture last summer at one of my favorite parks in NYC.

However, it seems to be harder than I thought it was going to be, sometimes I feel like everything is falling apart and I’m drowning…. You know?

First of all, I know all of us are kind of overwhelmed with the all the Coronavirus crisis; it’s all over the news, social media, friend’s chats, family messages… It seems to be everything we talk about these days. But, it is important to keep calm, help each other & remember that we are in this together, so let’s be nice & spread some love and kindness in this difficult time.

Also, I know this is not as simple as it sounds; I’m trying to get the best out of this situation; looking forward to live better days ahead and trying to stay calm, for myself & for my family as well. Honestly, I’m still working on it, figuring it out. (Ups and downs).

Although some people seem not to be taking the Covid19 seriously, I have to tell it has changed my life in so many ways: I couldn’t see my dad (who was coming to NYC a few days), I’ve been home for more than 6 days straight, I’ve seen selfish people who don’t give a s**t, all my family is in Bogotá, Colombia and things are not looking good there either, I’ve been so anxious, so sad, I’m really scared.

Also, it hurts to look back; we take everything for granted but it is not. I miss the simplest things: taking the 6 train every day, my coworkers, my yoga classes, the road trips, my favorite coffee shops, reading at the park, drinks with my friends, walking through the NYC streets with hundreds of tourists…

IMG_0416
Last spring in Miami with my dad… He should be right now with me in NYC but he had to stay home in Bogota because of the Covid19.

On the other hand, this time has taught me that there are so many awesome people out there; beautiful souls helping each other no matter what. Also, I have talked to old friends, I’ve slept more, I’ve read my books, I’ve had the most fun days with my love & cats, I talk more often with my amazing siblings & parents, I’ve prayed more…

So, after some great days and some really bad moments of anxiety and worry I breathed it in. I felt grateful for my family’s health, but heartbroken for those who are dealing with illness.

If you can, think of those around you, look for each other & help those in need even from the comfort of your home, say a little prayer and don’t lost hope!

Please, stay home, donate to your local food banks if you can, take just what you need: don’t stockpile, share if it’s possible, buy from small businesses, offer your help to the elderly, let’s be less judgmental & more comprehensible with our friends and family. Offer your help to those who are anxious & depressed: a nice word can change everybody’s day.

Also, please listen to the real facts; don’t let social media drive you crazy, avoid sharing information if you are not sure if it is 100% true, and don’t spread panic!

If you want to know what is really going on and what you can do right now or the real facts about Coronavirus as well, these are some of my favorite sites:

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/

UNESCO https://en.unesco.org/

The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/

Listen to your local doctors and people who has been through the Covid19 process.

Do you guys have any other recommendations?

To summarize, I have decided not to share any negative information, only important & useful facts. Also, I like sharing cat’s pictures, I think it might help. On my free time I like reading, practicing meditation, cooking with my boyfriend, doing yoga, watching Friends lol, taking short walks.

Guys, our lives are changing, our world is going through so much painful & tough times; we don’t know when this is going to be over, but we have each other.

Have a nice day & stay healthy!

image0 (1)
Don’t let your pets behind; remember that they can’t get the virus. However, this is the best time to a home-grooming.

 

Australia wildfires: how to help those in need

About two months ago a video of a woman saving an injured koala from the wildfires in Australia went viral, showing to the world that the country is experiencing one of its worst fire seasons ever -because of climate change-.

IMG_3275
Taking from Instagram.

Today, Australia is literally on fire; millions of animals have died, millions of hectares have burned, the wildfires have so far killed at least 20 people, and about 2000 homes have been destroyed.

In fact, just like you I am devastated and that’s why we all need to do something now and help those millions of people and animals that are in need today; unfortunately prays and thoughts are not enough, but if we all do even the smallest things, that’s a lot of small things.

Anyway, let’s all together to do something for Australia and fight the wildfires with baby steps; and if you can do more it would be great.

First, if you live in Australia you can volunteer, make donations as clothes, food or toys for those who have lost it all and help local business.

Also, if you live on the other side of the world, -like me- you can donate to the Australian Red Cross and then help the wildlife by donating to organizations such Wires or WWF. You can do it through your phone, it’s really easy, safe and you can donate any amount you can.

These are the links to some of the organizations helping those in need in Australia.

Wires: Preserve Australian wildlife

https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund

WWF: Help Save koalas

https://donate.wwf.org.au/donate/koala-crisis/koala-crisis?t=AP1119W03#gs.qc2t8y

Australian Red Cross: Supporting thousands of people in evacuation and recovery centers across Australia.

https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialorganic&utm_campaign=201913_drr_disaster-relief-and-recovery_don_transient_bushfires_none

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital: Help thirsty koalas devastated by recent fires.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires

IMG_3278
Taking from Instagram.

Raise awareness

Think for a moment about the planet we live in; what are we doing wrong and how we can fix it by changing. First, you could make a small lifestyle change to benefit the environment and the planet.

Here some simple ideas.

Compost.

Reduce plastic use.

Recycle, reuse, and reduce.

Plant a tree (or many)  🙂

Eat less meat (or go vegan) 🙂

Spread the word.

Shut off the tap when washing your hands.

Let’s take action today for our environment, the animals and ourselves.

 

 

 

Walking through Newport, Rhode Island

When I think about Newport I think about ocean breezes, salt air, crisp leaves & stunning beaches. 

image2 (2)

This small town has the magic to make you love it; its streets can tell you stories, its ocean would make you spend some quiet time staring at the horizon…  So, If you live in a big city just as I do (New York City) and you are looking for a place to calm down, forget about the noise of the city and make yourself comfortable, go ahead and visit this cozy, yet fun town in the smallest state of America.

When I first went to Rhode Island with my boyfriend, we were planning on driving all the way through Providence (the capital) but we made it to Newport and honestly we wouldn’t leave until we walk through it all, so we made it and it was totally worth it.

Even though I enjoyed looking at the sunset and walking through the Newport beaches, there are many things to do other than that. So get ready and enjoy.

Forget about your car for a moment, put on some comfortable sneakers and walk while learning some interesting Newport’s history at its 3.5 mile walkway that hugs the edge of Newport’s shoreline and the backyards of the stylish town’s mansions. If you have time you should visit all the mansions; I think the most amazing is the Marble House.

Although the town is pretty small; you will be amazed with the cozy stores at Thames Street and the restaurants just steps from the waterfront. If you are feeling like getting a drink you must visit Brick Alley Pub, I also found good vegan friendly restaurants.

To sum it up, Newport is on my list of places I actually want to come back, and I definitely recommend it if you want to have a great time.

Take a look to my pictures and tell me what you think about Newport!

So nice of you for dropping by.

Short getaway to the woods; finding inner peace

I’ve always said that my birthday is such an extraordinary day, and I’d like it to be a magic kind of day every year. To be honest it has been actually like that since I started dating my boyfriend years ago; that guy has the most amazing ideas and he’s always ready to make of my birthday the happiest day of the year for me.

Even though 2019 has been such a weird year for me; with ups and downs & some gray days; my birthday was the most amazing, fun and incredible day so far.

DSC_1121

My adventure has begun. Woodstock museum is just amazing. In Bethel, New York.

First, I am definitely a city girl I was born and raised in a big one and I live in New York City; rush, crazy and beautiful town that has been my home for years. Yet, I feel my anxious mind needs to change the routine, get out of my comfort zone and get away from the noise and hundreds of thousands things to do in my everyday life.

Second, I have to confess I’m neither a party girl nor a beach kind of girl when it comes to celebrate. My happy place is beyond; I like to get lost, I enjoy the sound of nature, the smell of the tress, the singing of the birds when I’m meditating… I definitely like traveling or finding a peaceful place to celebrate my special day.

Anyway, this article is about a place that brought so much peace and love to my life and I can’t wait to come back. For a few days I’ve got to live in a little 70’s theme cabin in the woods with no people around (It was only four of us) and the most amazing sense of peace I’ve ever feel.

Although I have been a couple of times upstate (New York), this time was really gorgeous. When you are in the middle of Mother Nature, nothing really seems to matter out there, you know?

As I said before, I got to celebrate my birthday in Livingstone Road where there is nothing but trees, deer and flowers. During a few days I let Mother Nature to take away all my worries and find mindfulness in my heart; also I had a lot of fun. There is so much nature & so much peace there.

If you want to feel happy and escape for a few days from your routine, these are some tips that have helped me when I’m in the mood for relax.

Meditate every morning in the woods is the best healing for body and mind.

Disconnect. There is a whole world out there and it is incredible beautiful. Forget about your phone and enjoy talking, laughing and listening.

Do not check your phone as long as possible when you are out of town. Take a time for yourself and your beloved ones.

Prioritize nature and leave behind your phone or electronic devices.

Say a little pray every night or morning.

Ride a bike if it is possible when you are out.

Enjoy short walks. Or long; it depends of you and your purpose. I like feeling the leaves on my finger, hugging trees, talking to animals. Connection with nature is such a magical healing either if you need to calm down your mind or if you want to feel peace in your heart.

Get rid of bad feelings. Make peace with your friends, family, love and especially with yourself.

 

IMG_1511
This tiny blue cabin was my home for a couple days. What a magic place. 

What to do

Woodside Sanctuary Farm. I am vegan & I love animals. This place is such a great idea if you want to get closer to animals and also if you want to learn about animal agriculture. Also, if you are thinking of become a vegan this is the perfect space to learn the truth about animals and meat consumption.

Minnewaska State Park.  Get lost in the middle of this park while hiking, biking or just walking while breathing the most pure air. If you come in summer there is a spot where you can make it to swim and it is also great for pets.

Woodstock Museum. Are you a music lover? So am I and this museum just blew my mind and gave me the goose bumps. Ever since I have knew about Woodstock festival I’ve always dreamt of coming to the place where it happened 50 years ago. In fact, being there was one of the coolest experiences in my life & I highly recommend you to go there if you ever are coming to New York.

In conclusion, to be out of town and learn a spot where you can connect with nature and disconnect of laptops, phones or the city traffic; go ahead and plan your next adventure. Remember that it is really important to go away from time to time, take time for yourself and connect from the bottom of your heart with whatever you believe in. So, good luck and Namaste.

 

Any ideas when you want to get away and find peace? Do you guys have any ideas to do when you are in town and just feeling awfully anxious? I would love to hear from you.

Have a nice day.

 

 

Living in the city vs. living in the country

The city and the country both offer a place to live. However, they are different from each other; education, lifestyle, weather, pollution, and entertainment are some of the factors that make them poles apart. These are important factors for people to decide if it is better to live in the city or in the country side. Even though many people think both places are similar for a living, the rural and the urban side are totally different. If you have to choose, which one would you like to live in?

To begin with, one important difference between the city and the country is their lifestyle. Both sides have exceptional routines in their lives that make them unique. The city is a busy place that gives you so many options; people try to take advantage of their time as much as they can. In the concrete jungle the spaces are huge; people have to move long distances to go to their jobs, gyms or schools. Also, the citizens have new options that they can explore; restaurants, parks and cultural events are endless. In the countryside life might be more relaxed and people who live there take some time to be with nature.  Also, in the rural area everything is closer and everybody knows their neighbors. There, it always seems to be the same, without a lot of new places to know.

Photo May 10, 8 00 15 PM
I love living in the city. I really feel alive when surrounded by people, noise and cars.

Another difference between the city and the country is the entertainment or cultural life. The city offers thousands of indoors and outdoors activities which people love such as theater, dance, concerts, and comedy shows. On the other hand, the diversity of the population in the city is high, so anybody can learn from another culture on festivals or neighborhoods. Besides, the city has restaurants and coffee shops that are not only local but also influenced by many other cultures. People who live in the country side might have to wait longer to see a concert or a play. The country is not so diverse even though they have amazing festivals and outdoor parties; they are very local. On top of that, it is harder to find new culinary alternatives in the country.

DSC_0059
There is always a small country in the city.

Finally, both have some differences about the transportation. The city offers modern options to move: metro, bus, Uber or bike roads. However, some of the moving alternatives might be a factor for high pollution in the city. But, people who live in the city don’t depend on a car to move around; the city will always give them an alternative. The country side is a small place that   doesn’t have a metro or buses. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the air is cleaner in the rural side, and people love to go on vacation or live there for a while. However, those who live in the country side need a car, otherwise they will need to take a cab or ask to a friend to get them somewhere.

Although the city and country have so many differences, they also have similarities and both are great places that offer great benefits to live depending on people’s necessities. It is important to say that some people see the beauty in both and have no problem living in either one but some other can’t see they living on the opposite side.

IMG_0864
My hometown -Bogota- is a beautiful huge city with thousands of people, the most amazing cultural agenda and the best (cold) weather.

I personally was born and raised in a huge city and moved to another one, so I like the city better. Which one do you think is better for living?

Take care of your plants in summer: tips to survive the heat

Summer time is finally here and New York City feels really hot. With temperatures set to soar into the 90s my plants are feeling the negative effects of the heat and I am definitely getting ready to keep them alive and healthy.

IMG_0730
Pepita and Antonia.

Although I grew up surrounded by indoor plants I didn’t know that you need to be especially careful with them during the summer time. Back home it was really easy to take care of them, because the weather is always chilly in my hometown. However, when I moved to New York some years ago, I’ve learned that summer, -as much as winter- is a tough time to indoor plants and you have to make sure they’re getting what they need… (Otherwise they might not survive.)

Anyway, last weekend I went to a short trip out of town and when I came back home I saw both my fittonia plant (Antonia) and my pepper plant (Pepita) with their leaves all withered, almost dead.  (I own almost 20 plants but the other ones were totally fine.) Everything happened in just two days, I watered them a day before I leave so I wasn’t expecting them to turn like that.

Even though my plants leaves seemed to be dead I watered them, put them in a fresh spot in my apartment and talked to them (I talk to my plants all the time) lol. To my surprise everything worked; they were looking healthy and beautiful again and the leaves rose in the most beautiful way. So I learned to keep the soil always moist and keep them away from the AC.

While some people have decided just to get rid of withered or brown ish plants, I think it’s important to give them another chance to live and make sure you are giving them the love and care they need.

IMG_0736
My beauty girl looking perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other than that, I would love to share some tips to keep your plants beautiful and hydrated during these hot days.

Keep soil moist, but not wet.

Water well and deeply

Water the plant constantly

Use water at room temperature (68F)

Provide them adequate light (avoid direct sunlight)

Shade sensitive plants from too much sun

Recognize stress: sensitive leaves wilt with exposure to too much heat. Also, some leaves might get yellow or brown.

Although I’m not an expert, these tips are working really well to my plants and they look strong and gorgeous. I would love to know more tips, any other recommendations to keep them alive in summer time! I am looking forward to know anything. Thanks in advance.

Thanks

 

Back on record: I love the vinyl

This is my first record player.

We live in a time where the technological advances run as fast as they can that many great things have become obsolete and disappeared… However, it is almost magical how so many of those forgotten things are coming back to life, and creating a great vintage lifestyle between the fancy technologies.

So, in a world where technology is everything, is the classic vinyl coming back to be an important part of the everyday music consumers again?

I own about 35 vinyls and my collection is growing up.

I remember when I was a little kid my dad had a huge collection of vinyl that he got for years, and he used to teach me and my siblings about music. My dad who is a big fan of music had collected so many LP’s all of different kind of music. Although he is a busy guy there were days that he had off to invite people over and have fun talking about all kinds of sounds. When I listened to great artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and The Beatles, I became a fan of them.

But, what happened to that beautiful vinyl tradition?

First, let’s talk about the interesting history of vinyl: that big, round and interesting object that was in our homes every day when we were kids.

Also known as a phonograph disc record, gramophone or just vinyl, it was the most important medium for music reproduction in the 1800s. According to ThoughtCo, the polyvinyl was created by Eugen Baumann in 1872; however, Friedrich Klatte was who patented it until 1872.

Music.

After important and extraordinary modifications throughout the decades, in 1948, the first LP (Long Play) was introduced to the world. It was something that amazed people from all around the world, because this vinyl had the capacity of about 20 minutes of songs on each side, and that was something super new and remarkable.

As a result of this new advance, the music industry had a huge change that humanity has enjoyed for years. The industry music changed and people had collected a lot of LP’s around the world that are classics today.

Although the options we have to listen to music; online, in real time or just buying albums on our cell phones, it is incredible how many stores that sell vinyl are open around the world again.

My record player has the best sound.

However, people who still listen to vinyl more than others are aware of the good quality of it, and because music lovers are often looking for new ways to listen to their music, they have decided vinyl is something that doesn’t get old.

The vinyl is an object which has created an important music culture around the world.

However, the CD turned out to be a top-selling format even over the classic cassettes that came out in the 1960. This way the vinyl seemed to be something which young people were not interesting in at all. The vinyl was only used by DJ’s in parties and artists who created objects out of vinyl as clocks or paints.

While the world had offered to us a thousand of options for listening music for free, some people of all ages had agreed that old school objects are the new favorite ones. This way the classic vinyl that was almost forgotten came back to everybody’s lives.

My cat also likes  the record player. Lol.

Because vinyl has created a new trend which people love, it is easy to find this music format in stores that we thought had been forgotten forever.

According to some websites, listening to music in vinyl is a habit which many people enjoy in the United States and South America. Although my dad’s vinyl collection is lost I started my own collection that I want to share with him.

I would love to know about you. What’s your favorite music format and what music you enjoy the most?

Thanks for dropping by.

Enjoy Baltimore in three days

Last weekend I escaped to beautiful Baltimore, Maryland and I really had a blast. What is really interesting about that short trip is that I barely used my phone; instead I took so many great pictures with my camera.

This city has an interesting history for America and Maryland, and also is the birthplace of the U.S. national anthem and flag. While some people were enjoying the nightlife and parties around the city, I fell in love with The Star-Spangled Banner, the seaport and the Inner Harbor.

Baltimore.

On the other hand, one of my favorite places in Baltimore was the George Peabody Library; some of the locals and tourists had said it is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and I totally agree.

That said I want to share with you all some of the pictures around that beautiful city. If you want to know more about the history of America, the National anthem, and the flag you need to go to Baltimore it is worth it.

Tips

Get ready to walk. The city is huge and you will need comfortable shoes and clothes depending on the weather.

Park your car in the hotel and go to know the city by walking, biking or bus. (Parking was tough)

Ask for a local map and learn how to use the buses. It is super easy and you can save a lot of time.

Before going to neighborhoods that you don’t know ask to locals if the place is safe or not.

Take your camera with you.

And have a nice vacation.

Eating meat is bad for you and the world

Making vegan pizza at home.

A balanced and nutritive alimentation is important for people’s health around the world.  While some individuals try to be extremely healthy about their food, others eat just anything they want. Although most people eat vegetables and fruits, some have a strict diet which is based on meats. However, do people know how unhealthy it could be eating too much meat every day? Stop eating meat is definitely the best way to have a healthier life.

First, people who eat less (or don’t eat) meat have better health, and they have less chance to get diseases such as cancer or high cholesterol. Different studies have shown that eating meat is one of the reasons that can get you ill or have constant stomach ache; “the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen,” according to cancer.org. On the other hand, people who eat meat say they feel constipated or heavy after eating processed meats such bacon, sausage or ham. For these and other reasons, people would rather eat more vegetables and less animal products, because they say feeling healthier, with more energy and they also can sleep better.

Similarly, when eating meat some people don’t realize the effect it has on climate change; it takes big amounts of water and energy for its production. Although some people seem to not believe in climate change, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation systems, according to the United Nations. For example, when producing meat, it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. So, people who eat less meat than others are concerned about the enormous amount of water that it requires for its production. In order to save more water and take care of the planet, one person should stop eating meat at least a day a week.

Finally, people who don’t eat any meat are aware of the importance of and respect for animal life and environmental facts. People constantly discuss what is wrong and what is right but, some people don’t understand that by eating meat many animals are suffering and the environment is also suffering consequences. However, you don’t need to go vegan or vegetarian to have better health or help the world we live in; little steps as “Monday meat less” are great ideas to stop eating too many animal products.

On the other hand, opponents to vegan lifestyle or meat lovers say that meat is fundamentally important for humans, and we wouldn’t survive without eating it. However, people around the world who don’t eat meat at all have shown that it is possible to have a healthy and happy life without any animal protein. Also, thousands of people say that not eating meat is just a trend that was created by hipsters and hippies. But, the internet has shown us many people who stopped eating meat for more than 20 years and they say it is actually a lifestyle.

Photo Jun 28, 2 05 10 PM

In conclusion, there are so many benefits of having a life without meat; people say they feel with more energy, a more positive attitude towards life and, they become creative when cooking. Also, not eating animals at least once a week is a step that helps the environment and protects the animals of the world.