Holy moly it's the middle of April. I don't know how that happened but I am grateful to be here already. I don't know about you but I couldn't stand the winter anymore this year. All winter I dreamed of sunnier places...
Speaking of the sun, I got back from our family trip to Bali a few weeks ago and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! The people, the food, the weather, the beaches, the flowers, the relaxation. It was a beautiful experience. I didn't know how tightly wound up I was until I got home and felt so completely relaxed. Thank you, Bali. If you're thinking about travelling to Bali, do it. You will not be disappointed.
We spent most of our time in Ubud and Bingin areas, as we wanted to purely soak in the magic, eat good food and sleep on the beach. After speaking with many different frequent Bali travellers, these were the best places to go. There was a beautiful waterfall near Ubud called Tukad Cepung that was worth the trek down. No one was there and we felt the energy of such a beautiful experience quite cleansing. We also had the opportunity to visit the third cleanest village in the world (Penglipuran), which was right next to a bamboo forest. We visited a few temples, our favorite being the rock temple Gunung Kawi. The rice fields close by to the temple were stunning, and look just like all the pictures you see.
One of the highlights of our trip (other than sleeping a lot and stuffing our faces with delicious food) was getting to visit and feed the elephants. This was a bit of a controversial topic as my husband and I really wanted to see elephants but did not want to support any kind of animal cruelty, which can be quite common. But we found one place that treats the elephants very well, and you can tell they are happy and healthy. Getting to touch an elephant is a magical experience.
As foodies, finding new places to eat every day was an exciting experience. From nasi goreng made by a local woman up the road, to an outdoor vegan dining experience at Moksa (tempeh bbq ribs with sweet potato mash-so good), to a chocolatey smoothie at Kismet to the chickpea bowl at Buddha Soul, to banana pancakes with a platter of fruit every morning, everything we ate was divine. But I think my favorite dish was the pitaya bowl at the Cashew Tree near Bingin Beach. If you're not sure what pitaya is, it's another name for dragon fruit. I loved it so much that I wanted to create my own version back home.
The pitaya in Bali that we had was a beautiful, rich, deep purple whereas here in the Okanagan I can only find white dragon fruit. The taste is quite similar but the purple variety is much prettier. Pitaya is chock full of vitamin C, and if you are trying to get pregnant, vitamin C is really important. Many women who are having no luck getting pregnant have an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen-too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. Progesterone is needed to prepare the uterine lining during the luteal phase to receive a fertilized egg. Not enough progesterone means that this is unable to happen properly, and therefore the lining may not be thickening enough to sustain a pregnancy. If you are undergoing stress (let's face it, we all are), the adrenals are going to produce too much cortisol. This will interfere with your progesterone production. To much cortisol can also create estrogen dominance, which can cause PMS, clotting, fatigue, weight gain, swollen breasts, endometriosis among other unpleasant things.
So why is vitamin C so important for fertility? It helps to increase progesterone levels. An extra 750-1000mg per day can really help to improve these levels. There is no worry about taking too much vitamin C- you will know it's too much when your stool becomes loose.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for quite some time now, look at your fruit intake. Our reproductive system runs on glucose and consuming more fruit can help give your system the boost it needs. Try to consume fruits in the most natural form possible-meaning as organic as possible. The less toxins you are consuming, the easier it is for your body to function in optimal health and the cleaner your body is to house a little baby.
Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free
1.5 cups frozen pitaya
1.5-2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen raspberries, plus extra for topping
1.5 cups coconut water
handful of blackberries
shredded coconut for topping
hemp seeds for topping
maple syrup, optional
1. Blend the frozen pitaya, frozen banana, frozen raspberries and 1 cup of the coconut water in a blender until mixed. Mixture should be quite thick, but if it is not blending well enough, add a bit more coconut water.
2. Spoon into bowls and decorate with kiwi, blackberries, raspberries, hemp seeds, coconut, and maple syrup (or anything else you love-granola is a tasty option).
3. Make sure you chew your pitaya bowl, as this helps the digestive process. Serves 1-2 people.
Love and light xo,