I have never followed a trend of doing a juice cleanse or juice detox. I have refused to spends over $100 on this scientifically unproven fad and I have refused to waste my time “juicing” myself (mainly because I didn’t even own a juicer). I tried other diets here and there telling myself that “this time I will last”, but usually failed before it was the end. So I gave up on them and learned how to eat right. I learned how to make perfect (to my taste) green morning smoothies, healthy lunches and homemade dinners most of the time. I ate out usually when I traveled for work but I was always conscious of what I ordered.
I was good until I came to Spain, where eating out became a social “thing.” Spanish food is not necessarily the healthiest and not even the most delicious but it became a “good” option for a very busy lifestyle. Then, South Africa happened…where basically the food is so delicious and dirt cheap you just can’t stop eating (and it doesn’t make sense cooking because why would you, if everything else will taste better than your own cooking).
Enough is enough though. Through interactions with various people in Johannesburg, I was introduced to One-Juice and decided to give it a try. Because why not. I got delivered a box of 24 bottles of rainbow looking juices a night before my 3 day cleanse. The bottles are 280ml each (comparing to usual 500ml size), that’s why you drink 8 bottles a day instead of 5. (On the side note, I’m hungry as I write this). I must say it has not been bad at all. The juices tasted the best on the first day because they were new and exciting. On the second day some of them lost my favoritism, and on the third…well I’m not there yet! I’m probably less energized than normally during the day, but I’m not sleepy which is good as I can’t drink coffee. In a day it will be over and I will enjoy some delicious and fresh seafood in Cape Town 🙂
I’m so happy I could have shared Polish Christmas tradition with my two friends from B-School who traveled with me to my hometown. That was especially a new experience for Celia, from Peru, and Ariel, from New York, who came to Poland for the first time.
As my parents and sister stayed in Chicago and celebrated Christmas with our Canadian family, we spent it with my grandparents. I couldn’t get enough of my grandmas delicious cooking and probably, scratch that – for sure, gained a few. The 6 days I was at home were a constant feast consisting of pierogi, noodles with poppyseed (traditional Polish Christmas dish), fish, all sorts of meats and of course homemade cakes and cookies.
I also threw a little party for friends who came from all over to spend Holidays with their families. It was great to see them, talk and laugh like we were still in high school. Although almost 10 years passed from our graduation, every time we see each other it feels like it was just yesterday and that’s the best part of going home (apart from grandmas home cooked meals of course :)).
What do you think is a typical Spanish food? Some might say tortilla espanola, jamon iberico, empanadas or gazpacho. I think of paella…So what is paella? It is a rice dish, which originated from a Valencian recipe (hence often called paella Valanciana), often with meat (chicken and rabbit), white beans, vegetables, seasoned with saffron and rosemary. Other types of paellas include seafood or can be mixed (meat and seafood). The thing about that dish is that it’s not easy to make. The recipe might seem straightforward, but if you add too little of this, and too much of that, and if you cook the rice for too long/short or do all the process in a different order, you basically screwed up. A few days ago, as a group bonding exercise or ice-breaker so to speak, our MBA intake was divided into +/- 20 groups of inexperienced paella cooks. It was of course a challenge, and whichever group won, got a trophy, a few bottles of bubbly, and of course the title of the best paella chefs of September 2015 intake. My group was serious about winning. So serious, that we designated two seaoned cooks, and let them do their thing. We also delegated other people for roles such as: bartenders (someone’s gotta bring and drink that beer), dancers, photographers, chef supervisors and rice stirrers to mention a few (team work is what matters, right?!). I personally was a little bit of everything (I think it’s called a GM), but enjoyed taste quality control the most (“rice not cooked enough”, “too much salt”). The outcome was, I must say, pretty tasty. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the grand jury to pick us as the winner, but who cares! At least I know how to make paella now! If you’d like a challenge and make it yourself, click here for the recipe. This weekend I’m traveling to Valencia, the land of paella, so I’m curious to try the original recipe.