Mental health during Quarantine & Chill

Friday, March 27, 2020


Everyone is stuck in isolation. If it is with family, roommates, pets or just by yourself it can be hard. Not having enough alone time or having too much alone time can drive you wild. If you are familiar with mental health struggles this might be a difficult time for you. So here are some tips on how to get you through the days.


PS: even if you don't struggle with mental health yourself this might still be a good read. It might help you relate or converse with those who do.


1. Meditation
This is my favorite tip by far. If you're just a bit like me you'll be stuck in your head a lot. Nitpicking every single detail about yourself. Usually, in our busy student life, we have enough going on that there is not a lot of time left to spend hours in our heads. However, now that we're stuck sitting inside there is a whole lot of opportunities to snuggle up underneath a blanket with a cup of tea and start to fantasize about everything you hate about yourself. So I discovered, like no one ever did before, that meditation works wonderfully for clearing your head. It might be horrific at first, your thoughts might wander every second at first but practice makes perfect.
There are many places where you can find guided meditation lessons. Here are some:
- Calm (app)
- Headspace (app, the one I use)
- Youtube, I am currently partaking in the 20 days of mediation by Jay Shetty.


2. Excercise
When you don't like yourself, your first instant might be to hide in your room to take cover under the sheets so the outer world doesn't get a glimpse of you self deprecating. Even though you might hate me for suggesting this, try and get out.
Yes, I know it sucks, but still after a good 30 min HIT workout, a run or just a stroll in the park you'll feel at least a bit less stuck. Endorphins will be flowing through your body and it'll automatically trick your mind/body into being happier. Maybe, just maybe you'll even start to like it.
Because of all the gym's closing there are many places that switched to online lessons. Just google what you're into and I'm sure you'll find no excuses not to do it.


3. Chilling
This is the Chill part. We can count ourselves lucky that the worst thing we're going through is forces relaxation. The perfect time to finally work through your to read/watch list.
Some of my favorite writers:
- Yuval Harari (21 lessons from the 21st century, sapiens)
- Haruki Murakami (Man without women, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage)
- J.K Rowling (Needs no further explanation)
- Stephan Hawking (A brief history of time,
- Peter Frankopan (Silk roads, New silk roads)


Some of my favorite (not so popular) series/movies:
(everyone knows the famous ones, no need to mention those)
- Travelers (series very relatable in these virus times)
- On my Block (series)
- All the bright places (a movie about mental health!!)
- Unbroken (I cried my eyes out during this movie)
- The musketeers (series)
- The last kingdom (series)
- Fury (War movie)


4. Conversating
Having a PG 13 conversation about your existential crisis with your friends or even worse, your family, might be the last thing on your mind. However, Skype calls with your psychologist is far from ideal. So you might at least try to have them bare some of the burden of being you. This isn't easy I know. I myself am a pro of just writing my feelings off as invalid or unimportant, and "I'm always fine". As this might be easier the first week, it won't be the other 8.
I personally love following mental health Instagram accounts or like listening to self-help podcasts:
- I Don't Mind (Insta, questions to ask a friend or a guide on how to talk about mental health here)
- I weigh (Insta, if you have any struggles with appearance)
- On purpose by Jay Shetty (Motivational speaker)
- Just a tip by Megan Batoon (Comedie about everyday issues)
- Curious by Josh Peck (You may know him from Drake & Josh)
- Getting Curious by Jonathan van Ness (Intellectual conversations with a hilarious gay man)


5. Think Positively
Getting into that dark spiral that takes you faster and faster down to downer station might sound like a first-class ticket. If you realistically look at the situation it's more like buying a VIP ticket and then figuring out it'll only get past the first 10 out of 100 people waiting in line to buy ice cream. Might as well not do it.
Not to make light of the situation, these are troubling times. If you know people who are infected, maybe even some who died. If you have a low immune system yourself or are anxious for loved once. You might even have a much harder time than most of us. Regardless of this, there will be an end. You won't always have to be stuck in isolation. There will be a time for getting a coffee and going out with friends. In the meantime, try some of these things, listen to music get creative. Maybe even help out someone and trust that you will know better times again in the future.


Stay healthy inside your home and mind,


Elianne


Disclaimer:
This was meant to help those feeling down during isolation and hopefully put a smile on someone's face. If you feel like this is not your situation and you need more guidance or have been feeling down for a longer period of time than please seek help from a professional. Mental health comes in all forms and stages and is nothing to take lightly. 

What I ate in Cuba

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hello!
It's been a while since we last spoke but I think this post will be a good one to catch up ;)
This summer I went to Central America including Cuba. As you could probably guess by now, this is a what I ate there as a vegan.
As predicted it was quite hard. For one, Cuba doesn't really have import, therefore they only eat what they can grow. Secondly, Cubans looooove their meat/fish and cheese.
Luckily there is this space age technology now called the internet. So I could do all my stalking beforehand.
The one I'm going to talk about first was based in Vinales called Finca Agroecol√≥gica El Paraiso AKA organic farm.
We arrived after cycling thirty minutes in 40 degrees celsius heat up a steep hill. The view was amazing and made it all worth it. We were sat at a table overlooking the valley and organic farm where birds flew from palmtree too palmtree. After asking if we could have the lunch vegan they gave us a so many plates full of fresh organic food. Including drinks it only cost 11 per person (the food in the picture wasn't even all of it). 
The plantain, vegetable soup which I paired with the rice and beans and guacamole where my favorite. The rest was also amazing, you could really taste that it was from farm to table. 
With our bellies full we went on our way back, as happy as ever. 

 

After being lost and getting really hungry we stumbled upon a place where we were told that day had veggie paella. We really didn't care at this point what it was, as long as we could put something in our stomachs. And we were pleasantly surprised. Maybe a bit to salty, however after sweating as much as we did, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It had a good ratio of veg, beans and rice. All in all a good meal if you're in search of something to still your bad mood. 


This restaurant called La Esquina, has an interesting side story. Let me tell you quickly. We got there as two blonds, immediately stared at. Ordered our food but without cheese, weird looks followed the rest of the night. In the end it wasn't because we order vegan, which we originally thought. but because they well thought we were hot. We got free ice-cream out of it. Bonussss.
The food was okay, could use more pesto. Which we got the next three times we went there, as well as more funny looks. Oh well, some of them were hot so we didn't mind really.

We were walking through the streets of Old Havana when we past this place called El Dandy. It looked artsy and the people there seemed nice. We went in asked for the vegan option, happy that the staff new what that meant, and order basically all of them. The fries were a bit to sweet but I have zero complaints about the rest. We had vegetable taco's with mango chutney and a spicy sauce. Delicious, nice and smokey. I had a salad which was a bit boring but just what I needed for some health. We shared the fruit platter, and croutons with guac and pico de gallo. Can't go wrong with that. 
We went back the day after, I think that says enough. 

It was a struggle finding food everyday, especially since there wasn't wifi to look up some places easily. However it was an amazing experience getting to try some real Cuban food. 
Hope you enjoyed reading yet another food blog.

Yours Faithfully,
Elianne 



MOCO

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

HI!! I went to a museum again. Let me tell you about it. 
Moco museum in Amsterdam got my attention because they have a large Banksy and now and a Kusama expo. I love Banksy's street style graffiti art and really wanted to see his work up close. Afterwards I found out that this museum is on Banksy's list of illegal expositions. As in he did not give them permission to show his art. So something to think about if you're considering a visit. Nonetheless it was awesome to see his take on controversial topics. 
The Kusama part was very small and therefore kind of a let down. 
However, we really came for the Amethyst Ball Cavern created by Daniel Arsham. He has done a new show called Connection Time and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved his take on it with connection the alternative realty with architecture and pop culture objects. 
We didn't spend much time there since it is not a big museum and usually crowded. It was still a fun activity, especially since we went out for food afterwards. 


 

 


 
Yours Faithfully,
Elianne

Vegan at Rollende Keukens

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Hey food truck lovers, it's me again with a new review of vegan food.
On June 1st two fellow vegans and I went to Rollende Keukens Festival in Amsterdam. It was located outside Westergasfabriek. Prime location for organizing such an event, especially with the beautiful weather we had!
The day was filled with consuming food joyfully without any suffering involved. We tested 10 of the Best Vegan options. Critiquing them on looks, overal taste, low waste and the ability to somehow consume it with grace.

1.0 Friethoes vergane glorie



Okay we can all see this burger is very aesthetically pleasing, no need to further discuss that. You just want to inhale it in one go. Although that wasn't entirely possible because it was a bit messy to eat. The jackfruit was made into an actual burger, not just some loose pieces you sometimes find. Topped with delicious kerrie mayo, crispy onions, sriracha and some veg. The burger bun was plain but it paired beautifully with the burger. Now the inside could truly shine. It was served in a paper servet, as minimal waste as possible. Applaude for that. On the other side they did have to research where jackfuit came from. Made us kind of suspicious. All is forgiven though because the guys serving us were rather hospitable.

2.0 Coffee on wheels Amsterdam
After the burger we felt like drinking some iced coffee because it was 25 degrees and we were nice and toasty. With it came a vegan brownie. It did melt a bit, but hey so were we. The coffee itself was flavorful, although it was served in plastic cups. But then again it had a paper straw, compensation I guess. The brownie was fluffy, moist (I know everybody hates this word, it's just the perfect way to describe it) and not overly sweet. Fast service and a rustic looking truck. Ok next.

3.0 Dutch Weed Burger
Next we shared 4 weed bitterballen. No calm down, not actual weed but seaweed my friend. The crunch was real with a warm soft comforting ragout on the inside. The seaweed bits were visible and the fishy flavor was there but pleasantly subtle. It was paired with an original sauce which could have been a bit more tangy. Service was slow but the big food truck made up for that with its looks.4.0 Looping Good
Aside from being an instagram sensation these rolled up ice creams were yummy. I filmed the whole process cuz yes I'm that bitch, find it on my insta ;). It took some time, a bit of commotion and the portion sizes did differ, however the end result was great. The flavors where: pineapple/mango with raspberry sauce and strawberry/oreo with coconut sauce. Perfect combination if I say so myself. They came in paper cups with plastic spoons, again compensation?..

5.0 Churros
What can go wrong with churros? Actually quite a lot. Too dry or cold etc. With these though, the opposite occurred. They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Warm but not too hot. Glazed with cinnamon sugar. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.
we didn't;t have to wait very long for them and they came in a paper baggy with an extra napkin, which we didn't need. Minus point for that. Overall a great experience.

6.0 Mr & Ms Watson
At the giant Watson truck, which looked amazing, we shared the loaded nachos. They also serve arepas with philly cheese topping. I need to try that next time, or if you do let me know how it was. Thanks. The nachos were heavenly. They could have given us a bit more of the topping so that the ratio would be more balanced. However the topping that we did get was devine. It was made from mushrooms, caramelized onions and some sauces. Even mushrooms haters will like this, trust me my fellow judges aren't as keen on them as I am, but even they loved it.
Served in a paper tray without any excess waste. Quickly as well. This might have been our favorite along with the burger.

7.0 Vleesch Noch Visch
I think this was my first gyros experience, therefore it might be arguable that I'm not the greatest judge for this dish. Luckily for you my companions are. They said the garlic sauce and other toppings were spot on. The gyros to bread ratio was well balanced and with the seasoning it tasted just like the real deal. The fake meat, which I am the right person to state my opinion for, was appetizing. It had the perfect texture and just tasted great. Again single paper wrapper, nothing to complain about here.

8.0 Flamkuchen
I'm going to keep it short and simple for this one. It was a let down. First of all it took some time to arrive but when it did, it lived up to my expectations because the crust was good. However the toppings, which on their own were enjoyable, were rather scarce. This made it all quite dry. Yeah very sad indeed.

9.0 Samosas
This delightful pastry was served in a paper bag freshly out of an amazing and authentic looking wood oven. The dough was flaky, crispy but still soft and the insides were apple, beet and cinnamon. The outside looked pink because of the beetroot I imagine. Very appealing. The service was brisk and once we sat down we had a lovely little chat with one of the guys there. Adding sauces is possible, not necessary.

10.0 IJscuypje 

To finish it all off we had two scoops of ice cream. The only two vegan flavors were orange and rosemary (sugar free). Swift service, well adjusted teamwork and again the compensation of paper with plastic. Seriously what's up with that, just give me a wooden spoon already. We could have brought our own now I've come to think of it.. Next time.
The orange was fresh, sweet and a bit sour in a good way. The rosemary one was creamy, silky and with a subtle hint of coconut and rosemary. It truly was a match made in heaven because I came to the conclusion that the the pairing tasted exactly like a split! Or orange cream bar for you uncreative Americans. So if you try this, definitely pick them both and tell me that I'm not the only one realizing things. I mean this.

Special thanks to my sponsors, with whom this post was made possible by helping me eat through all this amazing vegan food and paying for 2/3 of it. Love you.

Yours Faithfully,
Elianne

Museum Voorlinden

Friday, May 24, 2019

Hey art enthusiast!

I recently went to the Voorlinden museum in Wassenaar and thought I'd share my experience :)
It was a Thursday midday with very nice weather. And I specify this because this meant there weren't a lot of people. Those who were there, all above 50 haha. So we fitted right in.
You might remember Renee my mistress in mischief whom I met in NY. She kept me company during this trip into aesthetics.
Upon arrival we drove onto a big estate. It had a beautiful country house, where you could dine, and a lot of greenery surrounding it. (We had a picnic later on) The museum is also on the same land. It resembles a futuristic looking building with a lot of white and glass. I rather like this for museums. The price wasn't great. They didn't have any student discount so we had to pay the full price of 17,50.. However in my opinion it's worth it if you go during this exhibition. The Yahoo Kusama exhibition travels, especially the Infinity room is a rarity to have close by. On busy days you only get 45 sec. in it, that's why it's best to go on a week day. We got to go in multiple times, without having to wait. The rest of the art was great as well. Even though it didn't make me feel certain emotions or provoked any thoughts it did make me want to create more myself.
Besides the Infinity room you have the famous small elevators, walk in swimming pool, giant grandparents on the beach and some more. We spent around two hours indoors, the rest was spent outside eating, drinking, chatting and enjoying the sunshine.
Definitely a day worth remembering.
(If you'd like to see more (like moving images) look on my instagram under story; Art)


 

  



Yours Faithfully,
Elianne

Vegan Sushi review

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hey Sushi lover!
You've come to the right address if you want to read about me devouring some sushi. I saw a Facebook event named vegan sushi event en needn't know more. I was going. It was held in de stad tuin in Utrecht. The place was small but perfect for the occasion.

We started off with a buddha bowl. (last pic) it had orange and purple sweet potato, soy crisps, vegetable and some great sauces. We drank Saki with it, which was served warm. 

After that sushi round one came. (middle left) It consisted of mango/wasabi, avocado/guacamole, cucumber/sweet potato/sweet sauce, cucumber/carrot/spicy sauce maki. Im not the biggest fan of wasabi but if you are that one would probably be your favorite. I basically liked all the others.

Next round had purple sweet potato/beet mayo, cabbage/curry, soy/sweet sugar maki. (middle right) They were all delicious and gone in no time. It paired perfectly with my mannen liefde beer. 

Third came the beyond meat sushi burger. I was really excited about this because one; beyond meat is something I'm always down to try; plus I thought it was very inventive to put in sushi. Let alone a sushi burger. How instragrammble is that! They put sriracha mayo and zucchini in between for some added flavor kick. 

Last but not least we got a noodle dish put onder our noses. And it smelled so good. It was teriyaki noodles with saut√©ed vegetables and tofu. (top left)  Wouldn't change anything about the dish at all. Maybe that it came with a spoon so I could scoop up all the little bits. 

Unfortunately I also have some criticisms. The amount of food we good was fine for the price but it took a long time for each round to be served. And with a long time I really mean a long ass time. If they would change that for the next event then I'd be more than down to go again.

So overall I had a lovely night. Most of it was spent on Happn looking for a hot date for my friend since we had a lot of time to kill. No harsh feelings, it was rather amusing. Plus she might have scored a guy. We could not have wanted more. 

                   

                  




Yours Faithfully,

Elianne

Compilation of Happiness

Monday, January 28, 2019

- Mental health
- Physical health
- Sleep
- Vegan food
- Meditation
- Words of affirmation
- Ginger tea
- Salt lamp/fairy lights
- Oatmeal with extra peanut butter
- Physical touch
- Travel
- Family
- Sunrise
- Sunset
- Love
- Hiking
- Flowers
- Surfing
- Passing a test
- Reading
- Learning
- Growing
- Deep conversations
- Freshly washed linnen
- Polaroids
- The smell after rain
- Perfectly polished nails
- Morning walks
- You

Yours Faithfully,
Elianne

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