Tuesday, 3 November 2015

brunch at god save the cream

so it turns out that brunch is a really big thing here in belgium. for a breakfast fanatic like myself, this is perfect! and the best bit is that the brunch is usually served buffet style, and often a good mix of sweet and savoury homemade goodies that are slightly less usual than just croissants and scrambled egg...

so, we've already begun researching and testing the best places for brunch in brussels, thanks in part to the s marks the spot blog (which has given us some very excellent ideas and advice). one of our first ports of call was to god save the cream, a brilliant organic cafe specialising in their saturday brunch.

the cafe is located very close to the brilliant shopping area of Avenue Louise, and is a couple of minutes walk from the metro Louise

there is a huge buffet presented to you as you walk in the door, with an array of sweet and savoury choices... it turns out you can also get most of this to takeaway if you choose, either a dessert or a box of salad

 the room has very simple decor and not too many seats, it's cosy and feels a little like home

we ordered the official brunch for 25EU per person, which includes a granola starter, a full on 'main course', a dessert, one hot drink of choice and one cold drink. the homemade granola with yogurt and berry compote was the perfect beginning to whet our whistles 

the 'main' plate you could choose between the fritters or the eggs. naturally we had one of each and then shared. then as standard you get a taster of all the different salads from the bar, some fresh homemade bread, salad and  a parmesan crisp. 

♥ the fish fritters were delicious, and so was my husbands choice of egg dish, it would be hard to say which was best really! the salads were all beautifully flavourful and with great texture, although my husband wasn't such a fan of so much cold salad for breakfast.

i had a christmas rooibos to drink, and it was the perfect drink for the chilly morning, and my husband had his regular americano which he was very pleased with... 

the dessert isn't pictured because i couldn't manage mine so got it in a takeaway box, and my husbands wasn't that photogenic (passionfruit pannacotta). though, i have to say, my dessert was possibly the highlight for me - as soon as i got back home after an hour of walking off the weight of food i had just consumed - opening the box and consuming my dense and squidgy orange almond cake... cor blimey, i'd go back just for a slice of the cake and a cup of christmas rooibos.

the service was excellent, and i would definitely go back again, though probably not for the full 25EU brunch, instead perhaps something a little smaller in size and less expensive.

for now though, i want to inspire you to go there and try it out with this message that is on their website and the wall of the cafe, explaining a little more about their ethos...

don't miss: follow me on pinterest to see my latest inspirations
currently listening to: shut up and dance by walk the moon - a tune that always puts me in the right mood for the day

Thursday, 29 October 2015

i've moved to belgium!

yes, you did read that right. i've moved to belgium...

my husband got a job over here, and so i have officially become a 'trailing spouse'. i've been quite active over on instagram, posting almost daily pictures of my adventures and eats, so please do follow me if you'd like to keep very up-to-speed on what i'm up to over here.

for now, i want to share a couple of pictures introducing you to my new expat life here and showing you a little of the country where i now live!

it looks beautiful in autumn, the tramlines sprinkled with golden leaves - perfect for walking around 

even though i only eat my own homemade waffles and ice cream, i appreciate the multipurpose use of this vehicle for all seasons, it's  very Belgian!

 the markets here have fantastic fresh produce, and i've been eating fresh figs like there's no tomorrow! i even managed to get a whole tray for only 5 euros, happy days.

there are an abundance of organic and health food shops in the city, which is amazing. i used to have to drive for 20 minutes to get to an expensive and understocked one back in England, and so i feel very blessed in my current location.

porridge is still a regular in the house, and perfect with Belgian raspberries and maple syrup, especially when it's chilly out

fresh flowers from the market is a weekly joy, and keep our new house colourful and fresh

♥  now i'm able to spend more time on writing, blogging, videos and making lots of new recipes for you all, i've been starting with simple things to keep me satisfied and healthy. avocado on 8 grain toast, with pumpkin soup.

so there's the first peek into my new life, i hope you enjoyed seeing what i've been up to - i hope to check in with you again soon! any questions, please do send them my way...

currently listening to: cj hunt on the perfect human diet on the fat-burning man show podcast

click here for all my posts about my life in belgium and brussels...

Monday, 29 June 2015

the hidden disease

type 1 diabetes is so often difficult to explain because there are no physical symptoms. honestly, this makes me really angry sometimes, because if people could SEE it, they would be able to understand. instead, i'm left trying to use words to explain what's going on, and i'm actually not that great a communicator when i am talking face to face with someone.

last week for example, my 7-day average sugar level on my mysgr app (amazing, you should get it, but more on that later) went up to 8.7. now considering that it's usually about 6.1, that's quite unusual for me, and the average indicates that almost every day last week my level went to over 15mmol, and a couple of times was a nightmare to get back down. 

i'm still not totally certain what the problem was. it could have been pre-menstrual insulin resistance (something i'm only just starting to learn is a thing), or it could have been stress, or it could have been some dodgy insulin. whatever the reason, i felt rough.

it all started the previous weekend, with a dodgy set of highs on a weekend visit to London with my husband. i had eaten some stomach-upsetting food, and the level just would not come down, and so i spent four hours in a pub with my husband's friends feeling like i wanted to go to sleep, and take out my contact lenses which we going dry. it would have been difficult to explain that i was finding it difficult to concentrate and focus on the conversation, partially because my brain wasn't going as quick as normal, and partially because i was trying to work out how to get the level down and what had gone wrong that day to make it rollercoaster so badly.

then all week my levels continued to rollercoaster. up and down, up and down. and the thing is, i was eating well and exercising more than normal. when i realised it was becoming a problem i became even more obsessed with how strict i was with myself. and by the thursday when it went up again i got mad. to be honest, i am surprised i went so long staying calm, i usually get mad at the first bad level.

i do only usually get mad when i know i've done something that would have caused it (usually something i've eaten), but this time i couldn't see a reason or logic, and all attempts to figure it out ended in confusion. 

by the friday i was feeling very worse for wear, 'tired' doesn't even begin to cover it. consistent high levels you can feel in your muscles the most. muscles ache, including the heart. the heart ache is scary. you feel lethargic and cloudy. groggy. vision isn't as clear as normal, and thoughts are slow. dehydration you can feel in every cell. negative thought patterns lead to a mild depressive state.

so on friday, when i could start to feel it in my heart, i took action. i spent the day doing slow walking, so that my levels would go back to being consistent but also wouldn't plummet. i walked for 3 and a half hours. and I haven't had a bad level since. 

walking has always been a bit of a fixer for me. it's the thing i feel least like doing, but i know that pushing my muscles even though it will hurt will eventually make them even out. 

i also drank a lot of water that day to help clean my body on the inside, and took a bath to help relax my muscles. 

that day i ate no carbs for lunch and had a very simple and small dinner. that helped too.

i also made sure that i had a friend with me that day, someone to help keep me bright and not wallow in how bad my levels had got, to keep my head from thinking of potential future complications.

to any non-diabetic out there, the best way to explain a high sugar level is to think of the worst hangover you've ever seen depicted on television - you know, the one where the person doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning and can't function - that's a glimpse of how it feels...

anyhow, that's my last week, and now it's the monday after and my average level is down to 6.9 (thanks to another 10miles of walking on saturday, and a 15mile bike ride on sunday) instead of 8.7, and i feel so much better!

i hope you are well and have a beautiful day,
alissa x