Vegan Sweet Chilli Soba Noodles

Hey beauties!

Today has been so incredible - the sun has been shining and it's starting to feel like summer! This got me all excited that I decided to cook one of my fave, simple and fresh recipes - Sweet Chilli Soba Noodles! It takes 20 minutes to make and it's light yet filling, which makes it perfect for those warm summery nights!

Ingredients for the Soba Noodles:

  • 90gm of Soba Noodles (Dry)
  • 1 Cup of Broccoli
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Cup of Shelled Edamame Beans (you can substitute this with bean of choice if you cannot access edamame eg. Kidney Beans or Chickpeas)

Ingredients for Sweet Chilli Sauce:

  • 1 Garlic Clove - minced/finely sliced
  • 1/3 Cup of Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 TBSP of Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 TSP of Sriracha
  • 1 TBSP of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime 1 TBSP of Coconut Sugar (can omit)

Method:

  • Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl
  • Cook the soba noodles according to packet instructions. It’s typically the same as cooking pasta 
  • Whilst the noodles are cooking, steam or boil the broccoli and carrots. If you have frozen edamame beans, you may need to heat them up or let them defrost before hand
  • Once the noodles are cooked, toss the noodles with the sauce and vegetables and serve
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What's your favourite summery meal? I also have a few salad faves! Going to post a little more on here since I'm currently taking a break from YouTube so keep your eyes open for posts to come!

Love and Light,  

Mary xx

Sacred Morning Routine

In the past, I've always struggled to wake up when the alarm went off - I would press snooze 5 times before actually dragging myself out of bed and then the rest of my morning would be spent procrastinating and being unproductive leaving the rest of my day to follow in it's footsteps.

Creating a sacred morning routine has always been a goal of mine, I've always tried but would never stay consistent long enough to see results. Since returning from India and completing my Yoga Teacher Training I have a new found love for mornings and how sacred they can be! 

By waking up and following your very own morning ritual or routine can change everything in your day to come from your mindset, your physical and mental wellbeing as well as your productivity. It doesn't have to be intense or complicated, it can just be you and what you want it to be. 

I wanted to incorporate into my morning routine what I had learned during my YTT as well as Ayurvedic self care practices (Morning Dinacharya) as this is one of my favourite natural therapies to follow! I also didn't want it to take hours where I would have to wake up at 4am to get it all done, I think as long as your heart is in it and each day you aim to achieve your new habits the best way possible then you will reap major benefits.

Below I've set out what my ideal morning routine looks like as I wrote this down during the full moon last night. I find during this time is when I can set my sankalpas (intentions) and let go of what is no longer serving me and really see a shift in my energy - this is when magic happens!

Sure, I may not do this routine 100% everyday, but that's okay, like I said - as long as your heart is in it then all is well. Some days we may feel different than the day before and life just happens! But I believe that having a little foundation of what you want your morning to be like can make all the difference in guiding you!

So, here we go!

Wake Up at 5:15am

Take 3 Deep Breaths - Before I jump out of bed I like to take 3 deep long breaths into my belly and nourish my sleepy organs with some oxygen!

Check my BBT (basal body temperature) with my fertility monitor Lady-comp (it only takes 60 seconds)

Make the Bed - It may seem like such a small thing but this is me accomplishing my first task of the day. It gives me a small sense of pride encourages me to keep completing tasks throughout the day. 

Oil Pull with Organic Coconut Oil - I've been oil pulling for about 2 years now and it's the best thing I've ever done. It's great for oral hygiene, removing toxins in your mouth and keeps your skin glowing! This is an ancient Ayurveda dental technique. I keep the oil in my mouth for about 15 minutes.

Make a Cup of Herbal Tea - whilst I oil pull I go make myself a cup of tea - usually lemon, peppermint or ginger as I find these really invigorating yet soothing first thing in the morning, sometimes I even make a turmeric tea. I sip on my tea throughout the morning.

Once I've finished oil pulling I spit it out and clean my tongue with a Copper Tongue Scraper. This is also an Ayurvedic dental technique. Majority of the bacteria in our mouth is on our tongues so this helps reduce undesirable bacteria in the mouth, improves taste sensation and reduces tongue coating and stimulates digestion. And then I brush my teeth as normal with Charcoal Toothpaste (I only use this paste in the mornings).

Now it's about 5:40am...

Pranayama - This means 'breathing' in sanskrit. Whilst in India, I learnt how to breathe... yes, sounds silly because I've been breathing my whole life... but seriously, I learnt how to breathe properly - to breathe deep into my belly and activate the diaphragm which then pumps prana (life force) and oxygen into the brain, allowing for greater stillness and a deeper experience of calm! I do this for about 10 minutes. I practice Kapalbhati (skull shining breathing) and Nadi Shodhan (alternate nostril breathing). 

Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga Flow - I step on my mat and I just flow... I practice what is in my heart or some days I may focus on a certain body part or theme ie. hamstrings or heart openers. I'm going to try and keep up my Ashtanga practice and do the primary series at least once a week. I flow for about 30 minutes.

Meditation - I then sit and be still in silence for 10 minutes (sometimes longer but this is still a working progress for me). 

It's now about 6:30am...

I then go and have a Cold Shower for at least one to two minutes before I make it warm. This is a super hard one and it sucks BUT I had a cold shower everyday in India and noticed amazing changes within my mind and body from increased alertness, faster muscle recovery, improvement in my hair and skin and, weightloss. I highly recommend you do some research on cold water therapy, it's insane (you don't have to swim in a cold lake though haha).

1 Litre Warm Lemon & Apple Cidar Vinegar - My favourite drink!! Warm filtered water with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with "the mother". This gives me an energy boost, helps detox the body, cleanse the liver and kidneys and strengthens the immune system. 

Whilst drinking this I get ready for work whilst playing music. I get dressed, do my hair and makeup, maybe even tidy up the house, feed Rocko of course etc.. Just little things here and there.

Gratitude Journal - I write down 3 things I'm grateful for and my goals for the day, simple yet satisfying acknowleding how blessed we are to be alive!

I then make a vegan bulletproof coffee and take my supplements (I'll write a separate blog post on this) and then head off to work around 8am. (if I don't make a bulletproof coffee I will have a coffee at work). 

I then eat breakfast at work around 9:30-10am as this is usually when my hunger sets in. Sometimes I won't eat until 12noon so I intermittent fast simply because I'm not hungry, Each day is different. What I've learnt over the years is to really listen to my body. I eat when I'm hungry and I stop when I'm full and this is truly a great thing. I don't have any rules when it comes to set eating times, like I said... I listen! 

So, that's my morning routine! I hope you liked reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Do you have a morning routine or little rituals you like to perform? Feel free to comment and share below or email me, would love to hear them!

Love and light,

Mary xx

My Go-To Smoothie

I absolutely love having smoothies in the morning! They give me so much energy that lasts throughout the day. It’s really good to have raw foods first thing in the morning for better digestion, detoxing and of course, lots of nutrients first up! Here's a really simple recipe of my 'go-to' smoothie! For those of you that are in freezing cold Victoria, Australia at the moment - so you don't get that "chill" after drinking a smoothie, try drinking it over half an hour or so and wear a warm dressing gown! And for those lucky people who are just coming up to Summer like in Europe or USA, then this is the smoothie for you! 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Frozen Pineapple (or Mango is also delicious)
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Mixed Berries 
  • 1 Celery Stalk (no leaves)
  • 3-5 Mint Leaves (depending on how minty you like it)
  • 2 thin slices of Ginger (about the 2cm in diameter) 
  • 1x Medjool Date
  • 1x tspn of Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup of Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Spring Water
  • Superfood powders of choice - I sometimes like to add Maca, Acai, Vegan Protein powder or Turmeric

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a blender and mix
  • Add more water or almond milk to get your desired consistency

Tip - You can also add a green powder such as Vital Greens or Spirulina to this for extra nutrients, or even a cup of spinach, just make sure you blend the spinach with water in the blender first to break it down

 

love and light,  

Mary xx

WHAT I USE FOR CONTRACEPTION AND FERTILITY AWARENESS - Lady Comp

Let's talk contraception and fertility... For years I was putting harmful and unnatural synthetic hormones into my body and manipulating it into doing something that was against what we as women are naturally suppose to do! Such widespread use of "the pill" worries me because many women are not aware of the serious health implications of this drug and I believe it is prescribed often just to mask symptoms (like cramping, spotting, irregular periods and acne) instead of curing the actual underlining cause of the symptoms.

Many women don't consider the dangerous side effects of these synthetic hormones, but trust me - you owe it to your body and your health to do your research like I did! After being diagnosed with PCOS and other health problems, I knew the pill wasn't the answer ( even though every doctor told me it was). Three years ago, I stopped taking the pill, allowed my body to do what it is suppose to do (even though it was hard at the start) and now I use the most amazing form of contraception - FAM (Fertility Awareness Method).

Thanks to the LADY COMP Fertility Monitor, I am now able to track my period and fertility in the most natural way possible. It's amazing how well you get to know your body and what we as females can experience when given the chance. We as women are cyclical beings and I think by masking our femininity with synthetic hormones will only cause damage in the present and in the future.

All I do is upon waking, I take my temperature using the mouth gauge attached to the Lady-Comp, wait until it reads my temperature and it will tell me whether I am fertile, infertile or if it's learning my cycle. If I have my period, I simply enter it. Below I've listed some reasons why I love the LADY-COMP Fertility Monitor and I think you will love it too, also I explain a little bit more about it! 

 

If you would like your very own Lady-Comp Fertility Monitor then you can get 15% off your purchase using the code 'MANGOS'

 

1. EXTERNAL FACTORS (SUCH AS TRAVEL, GRIEF, ILLNESS, STRESS) AND OUR HORMONES

Our bodies are so in tune with our environment and our emotional health. With Lady-Comp by charting each day we become aware of our temperature fluctuations which can reveal important information on how our bodies are tracking, help us become aware of these external factors, moderate them and put systems in place to correct them. We can note these changes - we might miss ovulation (monophasic cycle) or have delayed ovulation, have small temperature steps where our body is not producing enough progesterone (Corpus Luteum Insufficiency). It can also notify us when we start to enter peri-menopause later down the track. Amazing, right?

2. THE PILL IS ONLY MASKING YOUR CYCLE, NOT REGULATING IT

Touching base on what I said before... Most synthetic hormonal contraceptives use a high dose (one size fits all) of artificial hormones to suppress your natural ovulation. It is not a product which ‘regulates’ your cycle, rather it shuts down your body’s ability to make our natural hormones - estrogen and progesterone. On "the pill", your period is not your true period when you are on the pill rather it is a hormone withdrawal bleed. Our periods are most often a healthy sign that we have ovulated and produced progesterone via the corpus luteum. Our periods are a way of ‘checking in’ with our bodies to see that everything is on track and operating how it should be. Like I say to people and my clients -

 "A woman's menstrual cycle is a clear indication of her health and wellbeing". 

Many women who go off the pill after many years of use, who originally went on it for menstrual irregularities, often find when they do stop the pill that these symptoms come back 3 fold. Like I said, it only masks their previous fertility concerns. These exacerbations do not last forever, usually the first 3 months symptoms may worsen however, you will find your body will get back into its normal rhythms within a few months. Our bodies are always wanting to achieve homeostasis and health. Working with a natural therapies practitioner is ideal here to help support and normalise your fertility patterns.

3. LADY-COMP BENEFITS AND HOW IT WORKS

You have the ability to send your fertility information electronically to Lady-Comp or you can take it into your doctor or natural therapies practitioner. It can help you naturally and accurately track your cycle so you know your body is ovulating and making the lovely hormones that it should be. If you are coming off the pill, it is important to wait till you have experienced any hormonal withdrawal bleeding before you start measuring and to not enter this bleed as menstruation into your device as it is not a true period.

It's as easy as 60 seconds/day!

Take your temperature under your tongue each morning, enter menstruation on days that you have it, Lady Comp evaluates your data and calculates your fertility statues for the next 24 hours!

3 fertility indications:

Red= fertile (abstain from sex/use protection i.e.. condom if you do not want to get pregnant)

Yellow= Learning (abstain from sex/use protection i.e condom if you do not want to get pregnant)

Green= infertile (you may have sex without protection)

Women are only fertile about 6 days/cycle. Sperm will last for up to 5 days plus the life of the egg so why use contraception for every day of our cycle? This information collected by Lady-Comp helps women recognise their fertile periods so they can use this information to avoid pregnancy or enhance chances of conception.

4. IT'S EASY AND FOR ALL WOMEN

Women who have busy lifestyles can enjoy Lady-Comp / Women who travel, enjoy sleeping in, work shift work can all use Lady-Comp. Women who have to get up several times a night (e.g. mothers of babies or toddlers) can almost always take their temperature, either at their scheduled waking time or directly at night before taking care of the child (since reading takes only 30-60 seconds, this should not be a problem). If you are a shift worker or want to sleep in, you can change the measuring period at any time within a cycle by simply setting the alarm clock accordingly. That way you can take your temperature at 7 a.m. on one day and at 2 p.m. on the next, provided you had your sleep before that. This means that Lady-Comp can be customized to meet your requirements on a daily basis.

New Mums - from 6 weeks post-partum can begin using Lady-Comp to track their cycle. Yellow/red fertility indications will be received until first ovulation post-partum as the first returned ovulation cannot be predicted. It has a 6 hour window in which you can take your temperature, plus/minus three hours of the alarm time. If your baby wakes you during this window, take your temperature quickly before getting out of bed. If your baby wakes you before the time window, go ahead and take care of baby and then go back to sleep; when you wake up the next time, within the time window, you can go ahead and take your temperature as long as you’ve had at least 3 consecutive hours of sleep.

Women who have irregular cycles can enjoy Lady-Comp as it detects ovulation based on your basal body temperature step. If your ovulation day changes from month to month, as it does for most women, It is designed to protect you despite this variance. Lady-Comp users with significantly irregular cycles may have more red days, so generally it is not recommended for women who have cycles over 55 days long.   

5. BETTER SEX LIFE!!!!!

Seriously, I never knew I had so much libido ever since I got off the pill (this goes for any other hormonal contraception). There are also no side effects (depression, anxiety), I'm in control of my body again, and my partner is involved and we share the ownership/partnership in fertility awareness! It's really special for us in a way. I think it will get even better when we try for a baby in the future!

6. LAST BUT NOT LEAST - THE DETAILS

Lady-Comp is a fertility computer which helps a woman determine her fertile and non-fertile phases in her cycle through basal body temperature with 99.3% accuracy (that's better than any hormonal contraceptive). It gets to know your unique cycle. By navigating through the on-screen menu, you can view your temperature curve, cycle statistics, and calendar view. It has an integrated alarm that is used to set or change the time window in which to record your temperature and runs on 2 AAA batteries, either standard or rechargeable. 

Lady-Comp can also be upgraded with a planning software for those women who are specifically trying to conceive. The planning software offers the ability to track sexual intercourse data, gender prediction, and expected birth date calculation as well as early pregnancy confirmation (how cool is that??). It also allows you to connect to your computer via an included USB cable and create a pdf of your fertility report using the portal on our website to see your data in a larger scale. It will predict future fertility statuses as well as menstruations, also allow you to enter personal notes. Your fertility data cannot get lost even if the batteries lose their charge.

Why Lady-Comp?

  • Past and future fertility statuses
  • Menstruation forecasts for the next month
  • Cycle lengths and lengths of luteal phases
  • Temperature curve and temperature rise after ovulation
  • Ovulation fluctuations in days
  • Easy as 60 seconds
  • No nasty, synthetic hormones damaging your body
  • View your cycle details on your Lady-Comp or computer by uploading your data using the provided USB

I really hope you enjoyed reading this blog post about contraception and the benefits of using Lady-Comp. If you have any questions about this and my experience (if there's anything I forgot to mention) then please don't hesitate to ask. This has truly changed my life, health, and fertility! I know it can help you, too! And you will love it! 

Get 15% off between April 16th-30th using the code 'MANGOS'

http://www.ladycomp.com.au/store/fertility-monitors/

Not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Awesome Oat Balls

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Hello lovelies, so this is a super easy recipe that I whipped together. It's great for that little morning tea snack to enjoy with your cuppa or for a little 3pm 'pick-me-up'. As you may know, I'm not the greatest cook in the world so this really is a simple recipe. If you find the mixture doesn't work then have a play around, you may need to add a bit more water or rice malt syrup to help the mixture stick! Hope you like it!!

 

Equipment you'll need:

  • High Speed Blender or Food Processor
  • A Plate
  • Measuring Cups
  • Tablespoon

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Oats (preferably quick oats)
  • 1/2 Cup (of you're not a chocolatey person then you can use 1/3 Cup) of Cacoa or Cocoa
  • 1/3 Cup of Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 Cup of Pitted Dates (I buy the ones in the packet in the baking section)
  • 1 TBSP Rice Malt Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup of Water

 

Method:

Place the water and potter dates in the high speed blender or food processor along with the oats, cacao and rice malt syrup. Blend all ingredients on high until the dates have all blended in with the other ingredients. If you're using a blender, don't worry if the ingredients didn't mix at the top - once you remove all of the ingredients from the blender or processor, place or plate and hand mix ingredients if your blender isn't that great! It should look and feel like chocolatey dough. On a plate, spread the dedicated coconut. Roll the "dough" into balls, like the size of a ping pong ball and roll them in the coconut. Place in fridge for a bit (they taste better cold) and enjoy!!

 

Love and light,

Mary Christine   xoxo

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The L Resort | Krabi, Thailand

After being in Chiang Mai for a while with no escape to running water, Bowen and I needed a beach getaway! So, we pack our bags and booked a spontaneous trip to the south of Thailand to the infamous Ao Nang Beach, Krabi. We had the best start to our little getaway, since we got to spend the first two nights in the incredible 'The L Resort'. It was located right in the most amazing location and was directly across the road from the beach. Our stay there was truly unique and we absolutely enjoyed every moment. If you've been to this popular tourist destination before, then you would know that there are endless amounts of resorts, however, if you are looking for a modern, unique, affordable and well located resort, then The L Resort is for you! 

On arrival we were welcomed by the friendly staff and the Manager, Michel. Our room wasn’t ready but we got to wait in the beautiful, open air lobby with soft day beds and couches. We were also welcomed with a delicious welcome drink of Rosella tea, which is one of my favourites in Thailand! We already knew that our stay was going to be a spectacular one. 

ROOM 

We stayed in the ‘Lite Room’ which was a very spacious, modern style room with a king sized bed, a big flatscreen TV, WIFI, air con, a desk (perfect if you need to get some work done), a mini bar, iPod docking station, deluxe bathroom amenities, a balcony that overlooked the garden and pool area and let’s not forget one of my favourite touches - a coffee machine! My favourite touch to the resort was that the theme colour was purple, such as purple pillows and towels. It gave it that homely and welcoming touch to make you feel at home. 

POOL

After we checked in and had a little nap,  we went straight to the pool to cool down and soak up some sunshine. There are two pools in the resort, one that is shared with people who have the rooms with pool access (this one has a waterfall!), and the other one is much larger with a Jacuzzi, extra little wading pools and a bridge (no, you can’t jump off the bridge, but it’s a nice touch!). There are sunbeams there where you can relax, and theres also a pool bar where you can enjoy a fresh drink or some light snacks.

BREAKFAST

If you know me then you would know that breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day especially if it is a buffet breakfast! Since I’ve been travelling as a vegan now for over a year, I’ve come to the conclusion that buffet breakfasts are a vegan’s best friend, especially if the buffet provides many vegan options, which is exactly what The L Resort did! There was a coffee machine, a cereal bar (which were all vegan), fresh juice, fresh fruit and salads, and extensive variety of freshly baked breads and endless spreads of jams and peanut butter! 

EXTRAS

So, this was probably one of my favourite things about the hotel! Each room is provided with a personal iPad which provides guests with all services right at their fingertips, from room service, wake up calls and things to do and where to eat in Krabi! It was like having your own personal guide! 

LOCATION

Ao Nang Beach is literally a stone's throw from the L Resort. All you need to do is walk out the front, cross the road, walk down the stairs and you’ve reached the soft sand! It makes beach days a lot easier knowing that you don’t have to venture far from your hotel. 

OUTSTANDING SERVICE

I think what truly made our stay at The L Resort memorable was the amazing and friendly staff. The service was just absolutely incredible and made us feel very welcome. If you are looking for a romantic getaway with a lover, or a holiday with your friends or even with your family and kids, then The L Resort has you covered in all area and can cater your needs. To make a booking head to their webpage here and be sure to check them out on their Facebook page, too. Thank you so much for having us, it was an honour to stay at your resort. We look forward to staying again on our return.

 

Love and Light,

Mary Christine x

Tropical Bliss Oats

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 3/4 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Mango Cubes
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 TSPN of Vanilla Extract or Stevia Drops
  • 2 TBS Coconut Chips/Dessicated Coconut
  • 1.5 Cups of Plant milk of choice (I used Coconut)
  • 1/2 Cup of Water 

HOW TO:

  • In a medium-sized saucepan add the oats, the banana, half the cup of mangos, 1 TBS of desiccated coconut and the plant milk
  • Turn the stove to medium/high heat and bring to boil - you can add more water if needed
  • Reduce the heat to low/medium, add the vanilla extract/stevia drops.
  • Let it cook until thick and creamy or to your desired consistency
  • Once it’s done, put it into a bowl and put the rest of the mango and coconut on and enjoy!

 

Love and light,

Mary Christine x

7 Best Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of my favourite cities in Thailand, and even the world! The people are friendly, there is a vast scenery of lush mountains and forests, it's not too overcrowded, the internet is incredible and not to mention, that the food is out of this world - specially if you are a vegan or vegetarian.

I've been a vegan for over two years now and I've never been to a city that offers so many delicious options when it comes to satisfying those tastebuds! I first came to Chiang Mai in 2015 and lived here for 3 months. I decided to go on a mission to try (nearly) all the vegetarian/vegan restaurants that this city had to offer! I then returned to Chiang Mai earlier this year and I think I've finally conquered the must-eat-at restaurants! So without further or do, here they are (in no particular order):

 

1. TASTE FROM HEAVEN

The infamous Taste from Heaven is one of the best Vegetarian Restaurants in CM. They offer Thai and Western Cuisine which is vegetarian, however almost everything can be made vegan. The menu options are huge ranging from starters, salads, curries, soups, desserts, smoothies, cakes and alcohol. All of this at affordable prices and great customer service. They can be very busy at times, but they have recently renovated the top floor of the building so there is now more seating place! It's still a good idea to avoid peak hours such as 7pm-8pm as it can get a little cramped. The atmosphere is cosy, and the one touch I love about this place is that it has quotes all over the wall from world famous Vegetarians! They also offer cooking classes!

My recommended dishes:

  • Vegan BLT Sandwich
  • Fried Spring Rolls
  • Sweet and Sour Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Vegan Brownie with Coconut Ice-cream

 

2. MAYA VEGETARIAN STALL

One of my all time go-to places! Not only is the food delicious, healthy and affordable but the people that work there are the most friendly and caring people. Even though this place is a small stall, they have a great selection of food which is all cooked in olive oil, contains no MSG and doesn't feel heavy! They have about eight or so main dishes to choose from (which is usually freshly cooked before the store is open and kept in Bain-Marie during the day) as well as plenty of snacks and extras such as spring rolls. All of the main dishes are vegan, however they do sell eggs separately but they can be easily avoided. The only downside to this place is that it is in a food court so sometimes it can be difficult finding a spot depending on what time of the day you get there!

My recommended dishes:

  • Jackfruit Curry
  • Fried Mushrooms
  • Tomato and Tofu Mix
  • Mushroom Sausage
  • Steamed Spring Rolls

 

3. AUM

Aum is one of Chiang Mai’s oldest and well established vegetarian restaurants. It is located pretty much in the centre of Chiang Mai, right across from Tha Pae Gate. The staff are friendly and the food is mostly organic and aways fresh, especially the salads. They also offer superfood juices, tempeh and quinoa salads! The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with a seating area upstairs where you have to remove your shoes before hand and you get to sit of comfy pillows. The only downside is that mosquitoes can be an issue as the whole upstairs area doesn't have windows and is open to the street. There is a large menu with mostly Thai cuisine, but there are also Western options! They also offer other vegan sushi which was surprisingly fantastic! Aum is probably one of the more expensive restaurants but it is definitely worth the extra few dollars!

My recommended dishes:

  • Veggie Burger (made vegan ie. no cheese)
  • Pumpkin Maki 
  • Steamed Dumplings
  • Glass Noodle Vegetable Soup
  • Avocado Salad

 

4. BLUE DIAMOND

Blue Diamond (sometimes also known as 'Breakfast Club') is known as a vegetarian restaurant even though they do actually serve meat. However, the majority of the menu is vegetarian and can be made vegan. They have Thai, Western, Vietnamese and Italian Cuisine but the reason I come here isn't for the main meals, but for the huge variety of vegan cakes, slices, breads and ice creams! It is dessert heaven! Usually after going out for dinner elsewhere, we end the night at Blue Diamond to satisfy that sweet tooth! When we do eat there for a main meal, there have been some issues and this is usually due to the language barrier. Be sure you can communicate to the waiter that you are 'Jae' (which means 'vegan' in Thai). They also close early, around 8:30pm which I find is a bit annoying, especially if you want to enjoy a long night out with friends eating tonnes of vegan goodies. The restaurant is clean, modern and most of it is outside! They do offer a natural insect repellent which I strongly advise if you are a mosquito target! They also offer so many health products such as essential oils, soaps, shampoos and cosmetics. 

My recommended dishes:

  • Pad Thai (made vegan ie. no egg/fish sauce)
  • Vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ice-cream
  • Caramel Slice
  • Cinnamon Roll

 

5. IMM AIM BIKE CAFE

Imm Aim Bike Cafe is a great and affordable place to relax over a great meal with friends. It has such a chilled vibe with Bob Marley and Jack Johnson playing in the background amongst a cute garden and rustic furniture. The owner is amazing, he's also a photographer and displays his artwork in a room there, definitely a must see. Just a note, that this cafe will be moving locations soon so be sure to keep updated by checking them out on Facebook. Now, let's get to the food! I found it to be really tasty and can be easily catered to your needs! They have a wide range including Mexican food, Pastas, Thai and Western Cuisine and a huge array of salads and dressings - not to mention that their shakes are incredible. The food here is mostly organic and prepared fresh! Only downside again, is the mosquitos! 

My recommended dishes:

  • Pad Thai (made vegan ie. no egg)
  • Fresh Spring Rolls
  • Massaman Curry
  • Peanut Butter and Chocolate Coconut Milk Smoothie

6. MAY KAIDEE'S

May Kaidee is famous in Thailand for her vegetarian restaurants and cooking schools in the country. This little restaurant is tucked away in a side street just off the East side of the Moat! The food, which is mostly Thai Cuisine, is incredible and bursting with flavours. They also offer buffet dinners which are usually held on Sundays and are great value for money! The restaurant is quite small and can get really over crowded, so it's best to avoid peak times or book a table in advanced. 

My recommended dishes:

  • Cashew Nut Sushi
  • Pumpkin Hummus
  • Spring Rolls with Satay Sauce

 

7. ICE LOVE YOU

Ice Love You is a fabulous little find just off Suthep Road (not far from Nimman). It is a small cafe that sells ONLY ice cream, and all of it is VEGAN (there is only one that is not vegan which is the cheese flavour I think, but just check). Can you believe it? It's a dream come true. There is an abundance of different flavours that you can try. You can choose from trying 5 flavours to 9 flavours for a great price (it's perfect for sharing with friends if you don't mind the double dipping of spoons!). This place is perfect for an afternoon delight on a hot day! This ice cream also doesn't leave you feeling sick and groggy like dir ice cream does! Yay for vegan ice cream!!

My recommended dishes:

  • Taro Ice-cream
  • Chocolate Ice-cream
  • Rainbow Ice-cream

If you would like to find more restaurants in Chiang Mai, then be sure to check out 'Happy Cow'. 

Happy Feasting!

Love and light,

Mary Christine x

My Skincare Routine

EAT HEALTHY WHOLESOME FOODS

 Sometimes people forget how important diet is to maintain healthy looking skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies (or should I say 'on' our bodies) and you know what they say, 'we are what we eat'. When we have a lot of toxins in our body (such as the consumption of animal products, chemicals and air pollution) that our liver and kidneys can sometimes become 'overloaded' and therefore use our skin as another means to excrete toxins from our body. This is why sometimes you can notice a few breakouts here and there after eating certain foods. I always had great skin growing up, until I reached my teen years. My skin broke out in whiteheads, blackheads and became extremely oily. So, I went on the contraception pill. After learning about the dangers of being on the pill for so long, I decided to cease taking it. Not long after stopping it, my skin broke out like crazy! It was like I was 14 again! It's like after 11 years my own body struggled to balance it's hormones (as well as my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which led to my skin breaking out - badly! Luckily for me, the day I stopped the pill, was the day I adopted a plant based vegan diet. I truly believe that by eating natural foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds and starches that are enriched with so many vitamins and minerals along with supplements for extra help, my body was able to detox and recover. My skin now glows with life because of the living foods I am eating that are healing me from the inside out. 

WATER, WATER, WATER!

Water is the key to life! As humans, we are made up of up to 50-65% water and it is such an important element to aid everyday functions of the body, without it - we would die! Having a hydrated body, means hydrated and plump looking skin. I recommend drinking around 2-3 litres of water per day. Coming from only drinking 1 litre a day to around 3 litres a day, I noticed some significant changes in the appearance of my skin on not only my face but my body, too. I realised I didn't need to moisturise every day and that I was suffering from a dry mouth or headaches. To see whether you are well hydrated, check the colour of your urine. If it is yellow you need to drink more! If it is clear, you're all set! 

MOVE YOUR BODY

Go on, get out there and pump your lymphatic system. When you exercise, you are pumping all that stagnant blood through your body and getting all the fresh oxygen through your cells which aids in the removal of waste products, including free radicals from working cells. It also aids the lymphatic system to clear itself of toxins as it is not a 'self-moving' system. It relies on our movement for it to manoeuvre its work. It doesn't have to be much, just sweat at least once per day for 30 minutes! Minimum 4 times per week. Even if its a light walk. But to reap the full benefits, really get your heart pumping and your limbs moving. Go on, get out there and pump your lymphatic system.

START A SKINCARE ROUTINE USING NATURAL PRODUCTS

When it comes to skin care products, I like to keep it nice and simple. I used to waste hundreds of dollars paying for expensive skin care products that were packed full of toxins and chemicals and not to mention they were tested  on animals. Now I use a very basic, natural and vegan skin care called Sukin. It is vegan, cruelty free, natural and organic! All I do is wash my face morning and night with their Foaming Facial Cleanser, pat dry and then apply their simple Facial Moisturiser in the morning and the Rose Hip Oil or cream at night. It doesn't irritate my skin, it's paraben free, has a nice subtle scent to it and it is also won't cost you an arm and a leg to buy it. 

Last, but NOT Least - EXFOLIATE!

I had never thought of exfoliating until I found my little secret - a manual exfoliating brush. I underestimated the importance of exfoliating until I did my research and found that by exfoliating your skin you are removing dead skin cells that remain 'stuck' to your skin which clog the pores and have trouble shedding. It's easy for our body's skin to shed as we are always moving, touching things, wearing clothes etc, but our face tends to miss out on that action and cleansing alone doesn't help enough. By exfoliating you are removing these dead cells which clears the pores and reduces blackheads and whiteheads, improves the texture of your skin, reduces the size of large pores and better absorption for moisturisers and serums. I exfoliate twice a week using the 'Spin for Perfect Skin' exfoliating brush from Vanity Planet.

This beauty is a must have! If you're interested in buying one then head over to www.vanityplanet.com to get 70% off. DISCOUNT CODE - MK3CLEAN. Instead of RRP $100 you get it for ONLY $30.

Love and light, 

Mary Christine x

How To Begin Your Yoga Practice

From the darkest moments in my life to the happiest, yoga has been a huge part of me and my spiritual self development. Not only does it make me feel so calm and connected but it also helps with other physical issues such as my lower back pain!

Yoga is so beneficial in hundreds of ways, whether it be physical, mental or like I mentioned - spiritual! In 2010 I was diagnosed with two bulging discs in L4-L5, L5-S1 of my spine. It was extremely painful, some days I couldn't even walk or get out of bed and the hardest part was that nothing I tried was helping. I was seeing a chiropractor, a physiotherapist and even tried alternative therapies such as Bowen Therapy and Reiki Healing. They all relieved the pain temporarily, but I wanted something that was going to help me long term! 

So one day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw a post about yoga and how it helped this particular person and their back issues! So, I decided from that moment on I was going to try it, I had nothing to lose and only calmness, flexibitly, strength and a pain-free back to gain! 

I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. I just started by watching YouTube videos and copying that, but I knew something was missing from my practice. After practicing for a few days, I decided to get serious and really give it my all to make yoga an everyday part of my life. I fell in love with it even more and learnt so many different aspects of yoga on my trip to India last year. Yoga is a special part of my life now. Below I have put together some of my best tips to begin your yoga practice! I hope it helps you on your yoga journey.

1. Breathe

I can't stress this enough. What I was missing from my practice was breathing! I was doing all the moves right (well, at least I thought I was) but I found myself forgetting to breathe on so many occasions. This would cause me to lose balance, tense my muscles and feel lethargic after a session. I highly suggest to learn to breathe and mediate before yoga. Everyday, get up and practice meditating and breathing for 10-20 minutes. Then, you can incorporate this breathing and stillness into your practice. 

2. Choose what kind of Yoga you want to do

Very simple tip, find what yoga suits you best and what yoga would you enjoy the most! There are so many different types out there and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. But if you find what kind of yoga practice you want to do, it will be easier to focus and learn. Once you have the hang of it, you can always try other kinds of yoga. I started off with Yin Yoga as it was slow, then I started Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga. There are hundreds more ranging from Ashtanga to Hatha. Find what works for you and your needs.

3. Invest in a good Yoga Mat

You and your yoga mat will become one..eventually! When you form a good relationship with your mat, your yoga practice becomes so much more special and connecting. Meditate on it daily, talk to it, tell it your intentions, your fears, give it love. I remember when I moved to Thailand last year, I had to leave my favourite yoga mat at home, I was absolutely devastated. When I got to Thailand, I bought a new one and my practice was;t the same. I felt disconnected and lost. It sounds silly, right? But it seriously becomes one with you. Anyways, after a few weeks of practice, I fell in love with my new mat and never looked back... until I left that mat in the Chiang Mai Airport on the way to Sri Lanka, I was again, devastated! But, now I have my original one back with me in Thailand, and practice is better than ever. I recommend investing in a non-stick mat as it can get quite slippery when you sweat.

4.  Find local Yoga Classes to attend

Search your local area and see whether there are any places such as gyms or private studios that offer yoga classes for beginners. As a beginner, I believe that it is important to attend atlas a few yoga classes where there is a trained yoga instructor to teach you proper technique, breathing, movement and poses as if not done properly, can cause injury! Trust me, I've pulled a muscle or two doing an incorrect technique! Once you learnt he basics, this should set you up for home practice. Otherwise, being in a class setting is also an awesome way to connect with other like minded people.

5. Reflect on each Yoga Session/Class

I find this really helps with keeping on track with you practice. I keep a regular journal but also use it for my yoga practice. I usually write how the session made me feel, what were the challenges, how I will approach the class next time and so on. I also like to write down my intensions to keep me on track.

So there you are, guys! I hope you enjoyed reading these 5 simple steps to begin your Yoga Practice. Everyone is different, so find what best works for you!

Love and Light,

Mary Christine x

My Vegan Story

"Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose. " - Donald Watson, 1944

What is 'Veganism'?

Veganism is not defined as a diet, but a way of living. While vegans also have a diet free of animal products, they also do not wear or use animals for fashion, entertainment or any other purpose. 

So why did I decide to become Vegan?

Around the age of 18, in my final year of high school, I began to develop anxiety and depression which led to an eating disorder. After a year, I overcame the starvation but continued with the constant dieting, calorie restricting, calorie counting, excessive exercising and alcoholism. In 2012, I developed bulimia, I began binging and purging my food, even more so when I was stressed. The anxiety I had around food was debilitating. For 2 years I battled with this, and the hardest thing was that I couldn't even tell anyone because I was so embarrassed. It was April, 2014 and I was possibly having one of the worst nights of my life. The anxiety had complete control over me, sitting at the bottom of the shower, crying. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could see was this negative energy telling me that I was 'fat' and 'didn't deserve to live'. I thought that this was going to be my life, that I could never look at food in a healthy way. That I had to forever measure, count and restrict or binge, purge or fast to maintain a 'skinny' body. But, how could I? I didn't not want to live a life like that anymore. So I prayed, I prayed for answers to help me because all the doctors, psychologists, my parents and friends couldn't. That night of April 19th, 2014... I had a dream about a blonde girl lying on a bed of fruit. I took it as a sign. I'm weird like that, I'll ask my dreams a questions in hope that they would answer it, and they did. So the next day, I researched 'fruit' diets on google thinking it was going to be an 'awesome' diet, the quick fix we are always searching for. The first thing that came up was Freelee the Banana Girl. She was a vegan who was fit, lean, healthy and passionate about spreading the vegan message for not only health but for the animals. Wow! A diet and lifestyle that not only keeps you slim but also save animals? It was perfect for me. I always, always have loved animals. But yes, I have to admit - I had been a hypocrite my whole life. I loved animals, yet... I ate animals?? Simply because I had been suppressed by society into thinking that it was okay to eat meat and because I was uneducated, I had no idea how meat made it to my plate. So I watched the documentary Earthlings as Freelee suggested. The connection between myself and animals became evident... I loved them, so from then on - I stopped eating them. I also knew that this was the opportunity for me to help save myself out of my ordeal. Now, over a year later, I'm the healthiest, happiest and fittest I've ever been in my life - and I owe it all to this lifestyle.

To see my full 'Vegan Story' please see my YouTube video here. 

After being on this lifestyle for only a few days, I already started to see changes in my mind, body and soul. It's like I became conscious. My veins were no longer flowing with the fear, pain and suffering of another living creature which then enabled me to see beyond myself and the life society created for me - the way it made me feel, think and believe. I want to become a part of a revolution that's bigger than myself. I want to live in a world where animals are liberated and we live aside them in harmony, a world where people aren't becoming fat, sick and nearly dead from the animal products they are consuming, a world that will still be as beautiful as it is today for my children and my children's children where it hasn't been destroyed by this gluttonous species we call, humans. I used to think vegans were crazy, now I know they're just passionate for change that most people can't even comprehend. The change is already happening. The question is, can you make a difference? You already do, it's just a matter of what kind.  

Bangladesh Diaries

Vlog from my journey from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Dhaka, Bangladesh

Whenever I travel, I like to record a day-to-day journal entry so I can remember each day as they were. I usually keep my entries private, but since I'm travelling and experiencing some incredible yet challenging things, I wanted to share with you my thoughts, feelings and everything I do from my journal (of course not everything *winking face*). I went to Bangladesh on July 23rd to July 31st from Chiang Mai, Thailand where I had been living since May, 2015. I hadn't seen Bo in almost two months and I wasn't going to see him until the end of August. So, as our hearts grew fonder, we decided to plan a trip to Bangladesh before he embarked on his Rickshaw Race from Northern India and it worked out perfectly, as I also had to leave the country to extend my visa in Thailand. We arrived in Dhaka and left straight for Cox's Bazar and then ending the trip in Dhaka again. Without further or do, here are my entries from my time in Bangladesh with Bowen, his brother Peter and his friend Paul. Sorry about the late post, too! That's what constant travel and poor wifi can do for a blogger!

July 23rd, 2015 - DHAKA TO COX'S BAZAR

So I'm lying here at a bus terminal in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There's an annoying fly hovering around and I just wanna squash it, but that wouldn't be very vegan of me. From a young age, I had been exposed to poverty considering I was born in the Philippines in a house the size of your average bathroom that housed 6 or more people at a time. But, this place is on another level. When I got here last night, I was immediately overwhelmed when I exited the arrival terminal at the airport as I expected my hotel transport to be there, but surprisingly they weren't. Panic. Frustration. Fear. The three emotions that I felt, which is unusual for me as I have had years of travel experience in this, but I guess this time I didn't have mum or dad to help me, or anyone else for that matter. No one else. I did meet a guy called James from New Zealand, he helped me with a situation that I encountered on exiting. The security guard saw me in panic and offered to call the hotel for me, I was so grateful until I returned the phone. As I placed it in his hand he mumbled "send me money, I'm poor, send me every month, yes?". I replied quite stunned, “No sorry, Sir” because what else would I say? He then started yelling at his friends and then at me in bengali. I just wanted to get out. So, James stood with me until my transport arrived. As I was driving in the van to my accommodation, I was looking around and although it was dark, the vibe, feel and atmosphere was already different to anywhere I've ever been in the world. Thinking my hotel would be this miraculous, big place as you would expect from the photos and the price, it was a single door entrance into a run down apartment building. They were friendly, but my heart was still racing. This man from Dubai came up to me and started talking to me about cricket and that he was "going to call my room". As he followed me up in the elevator like we were long lost pals, I had to be blunt and say goodbye. I went into my room, the bell boy was nice so I gave him $1 USD and I'd never seen anyone so happy! The room smelt like urine and the sheets were itchy. As I showered, talked to Bo and got into bed, I could hear noises outside my door. As I peeped through the hole, the man that I had spoken to was lurking about (which was strange as he is on the 4th floor). I tried to sleep, but not knowing whether he was there or not was freaking me out. I woke up this morning after a restless nights sleep of footsteps, car horns and yelling. I'm alive, grateful and reunited with Bo and that's all that matters. I haven't even kissed his lips yet. Being in a Muslim country, it's hard to be able to show affection in public so to show our respect, no PDA (public display of affection) allowed. Everyone is lying on a cushioned bench just waiting until our bus to arrive at 10:50pm. We are heading to Cox's Bazar. Another 7 hours to go. But that's okay. 

HOW LONG: I stayed in Dhaka for 1 night before meeting the boys

HOW WE GOT THERE: I flew from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Dhaka, Bangladesh with Bangkok Airways. Price Approx. $600 AUD return (back to Chiang Mai)

WHERE WE SLEPT: On my first night in Dhaka, I stayed at the 'Richmond Hotel and Suites'. Price Approx. $55 AUD twin share, A/C, including breakfast and airport transfers 

WHERE WE ATE: Breakfast was provided at the hotel. Lunch, dinner and snacks were from stalls and vendors at the bus station

OTHER TIPS: We could've got on a bus earlier but all tickets were booked out. I would suggest booking tickets in advance either online, a few days before or via hotel concierge/travel agent

The beautiful colours and designs on the cycle rickshaws

The beautiful colours and designs on the cycle rickshaws

Reunited with Bowen after two months apart 

Reunited with Bowen after two months apart 

July 24th, 2015 - COX'S BAZAR

We made it! Safe and sound after a 10 hour bus ride from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar. Surprisingly, the bus we drove in was comfortable and clean. They also provided us with blankets and a bottle of water. Getting on at 11:30pm (almost 40 minutes behind schedule) we thought we could settle right in and go to sleep. However, they decided to play loud Bengali music until 3am. I didn't mind as I had earplugs but I could tell a few people were getting quite annoyed as they were wrapping clothing around their heads to cover their ears. We picked up a few people along the way, including a sweet 15 year old girl. She couldn't stop asking me questions and showing me her photos, she even gave me a pair of earrings. She was so kind. I ended up sleeping from around 3am to 7am. Bo on the other hand had been sick for the past few days, so his ride wasn't as pleasant as mine. That's Delhi belly though. I was praying for nice weather, but as we rolled up to Cox's Bazar it was pouring rain. In hope it would pass in the next few days, we set off to find a hotel close to the beach. The Sea Palace Hotel was the one at best value. $17 AUD each per night for a room. Pete and his friend who was joining us from Ireland shared a room, and Bo and I shared another. We settled in, had showers and slept. The exhaustion from the transit had set in. We woke up and decided to check out a cute little Eco Resort Cafe that Peter had stumbled across. We took a rickshaw there, even though we were in raincoats I was complaining about getting wet and not wanting to walk! We got to the cafe and were amazed by the atmosphere. The cafe was beautiful. A two story restaurant overlooking the beach where there were people still splashing in the tumbling waves in the dusk of the rain. I loved seeing the joy within these people. They weren't going to let a bit of rain ruin their fun at the beach. We sat down at our table, with the ambiance chilled with coloured lights and bamboo shutters covering the windows. We ordered baked potatoes with beans and vegetable pizza. It was delicious. It was the first kind-of western food we had encountered here. The lights went out as we began to eat, so the waiter brought over a candle. It continued to rain as we enjoyed our meal. Again, the waiters were more than hospitable, giving us free naan because our food was 'late' (it wasn't, I've waited longer in Australia and I never received anything free). We left, still raining I decided to suck it up and stop whinging about a little rain. Walking through the mud, fearing I would slip in my unstable shoes, dodging the traffic and jumping puddles, we made it home! I don't know why I was complaining about a little rain! But I am so lucky I have such an amazing boyfriend to encourage me to get beyond my comfort zone and even if I was to slip, I know he'd pick me straight up. That's the thing when we are by ourselves for too long. We get in our own little comfort zones, we enjoy the 'easiness' of the life we create, we make boundaries for things that are uncomfortable from a cold shower to eating the same thing everyday. Sometimes you need that one person to push you just that little bit in one thing in your life so it can create change and make space for bigger and better things that can help change and shape you. We got into bed, fresh, clean and grateful, watched a movie and slept like babies that night to the sound of the rain. 

HOW LONG: We stayed in Cox's Bazar for 5 nights (6th night was on an overnight bus back to Dhaka)

HOW WE GOT THERE: 10 hour overnight bus with 'Greenline' bus company. Price Approx. $15 AUD with A/C, blanket and bottle of water

WHERE WE SLEPT: 'The Sea Palace Hotel'. Price Approx. $34 AUD per night, non A/C, twin share and including breakfast

WHERE WE ATE: Breakfast was provided at the hotel daily. Lunch, dinner and snacks were from local restaurants. 'Eco Resort Cafe' was a nice restaurant we ate at just off the main road. A bit expensive but the food was amazing

OTHER TIPS: This hotel was one of the cheapest we could find. It appears that Cox's Bazaar does not cater for backpackers

Cox's Bazar - The street across from our hotel completely flooded

Cox's Bazar - The street across from our hotel completely flooded

The view from out hotel room, it was like this the entire time

The view from out hotel room, it was like this the entire time

July 27th, 28th, 29th - COX'S BAZAR

These next few days were all very similar due to the torrential rain in Cox's Bazar. Our days consisted of breakfast, a small walk to the beach if the rain isn't too heavy. Then we would get water and snacks and then back to the hotel room to watch countless movies, read, write. trawl the wifi and eat. We only even ordered room service as going outside meant getting absolutely saturated!  

Young boy selling bananas on the beach

Young boy selling bananas on the beach

Cox's Bazar and it's tumbling brown waters

Cox's Bazar and it's tumbling brown waters

Bowen, Peter and I having a laugh on the beach

Bowen, Peter and I having a laugh on the beach

Beach walks in the rain

Beach walks in the rain

Two beautiful kids following us in the street

Two beautiful kids following us in the street

Bowen and I 

Bowen and I 

Vlog from our stay in Cox's Bazar during monsoon season

July 30th, 2015 - DHAKA

Wowwww! The sun is shining today! It's so beautiful. I haven't seen blue sky since our first day in Dhaka. After being on an overnight bus, the bed we woke up in felt like a cloud. I stretched my arms and legs so hard, it was euphoric. Bo and I got dressed and raced up to the rooftop restaurant to have breakfast! After the 4 days in Cox's Bazar and having only roti bread and oily curry for breakfast, it was nice to see wholemeal bread, jam and fresh fruit as our new breakfast options! I must admit, I did get sick of the roti bread and curry. Toast has never tasted so good though. I swear Bo had about 8 slices of toast. He was in his element! We stuffed our faces with the foods of familiarity as the sun shone in on our faces! We had depicted a plan to head to the cricket to see the first test match of Bangladesh vs. Soith Africa. First, the boys needed bus tickets to the Bengali/Indian Border. The hotel organised a taxi for us. The taxi driver was so nice. When we got to the bus counter, we met a really nice guy from the USA. When you see another tourist, you automatically become friends, especially since he was the very first we had seen in the time here! He told us his story and why he was here. He's a wildlife photographer and has spent the last 3 years coming back and forth to Bangladesh, shooting images of Bengal tigers, swimming with the Dolphins in the mangroves and holding photography and art workshops. Oh, the people you meet along the way! The tickets were a breeze to get with thanks to a lovely Bengali girl that was with the guy. We then headed off to the cricket! The traffic was crazy as we approached the stadium. The taxi driver parked a couple of blocks away as it was just impossible to get through. We walked to the ticket office to purchase VIP tickets. The line was huge but the taxi driver managed to help us surpass the line. Pete walked straight into the office, walked directly to the counter (in front of everyone) and got us 4 tickets just like that. I must admit, I felt pretty special but at the same time I was baffled by how they depict foreigners as the superior people. People that don't have to wait and stand in line! We walked through a street of chaos to get around to the stadium entrance. On the way were sugar cane juice stands, fruit stands, people selling Bangladesh fan gear and people even body/face painting. I was one of the lucky ones that got my arm pulled from the crowd to get the Bangladesh flag painted on my arm even though I said no! But, the hassle goes on until some money is paid. I didn't mind though. The taxi driver lead the way and we made it to the gate. I was so ecstatic! We walked up the stairs, and as I peered over the last few steps I saw the green cricket oval and the players in their white kits! I screamed with excitement. Who would've thought I would ever get the opportunity to see a cricket match in another country? It doesn't sound that exciting, but for me, I'm pretty happy with that achievement because I actually never liked cricket, but this was the perfect opportunity for me to really enjoy something I don't like. Does that make sense? Finding the beauty in the things you'd never thought that did. We sat on the green, plastic chairs and cheered on Bangladesh. We walked down to the bottom of the steps, and sitting across on oval was the South African Support team. We yelled out to them and we shared a few sentences back and forth. The day was filled with sunshine and cheer. After the game was finished, our loyal taxi driver had waited for us and he took us back to the hotel. We then had a lovely dinner and enjoyed our last night in Bangladesh. 

Vlog from our time in Dhaka where we watched a cricket match between Bangladesh vs. South Africa

HOW LONG: We stayed in Dhaka for 2 nights

HOW WE GOT THERE: 10 hour overnight bus with 'Greenline' bus company from Cox's Bazar. Price Approx. $15 AUD with A/C, blanket and bottle of water

WHERE WE SLEPT: We decided to stay at the 'Richmond Hotel and Suites' again as it was near the airport. Price Approx. $55 AUD twin share, A/C, including breakfast and airport transfers. This time, my experience was a lot better. The room was clean and the staff were very helpful

WHERE WE ATE: Breakfast was provided at the hotel daily. Lunch, dinner and snacks were from local restaurants

OTHER TIPS: We soon realised that Bangladesh is not a place where many tourists go so it was hard to find relatively cheap hotels that were of a good standard. If you want to stay in a decent place then you may have to pay a bit extra. Taxi's aren't that cheap either. To drive to the bus stop and to the stadium which was only about 5km away, we had to pay $20 AUD. I would suggest getting a tuk-tuk instead

Breakfast at Richmond Hotel. Was good having something other than roti bread

Breakfast at Richmond Hotel. Was good having something other than roti bread

Bowen and I enjoying the day

Bowen and I enjoying the day

Peter and Bowen with a new friend

Peter and Bowen with a new friend

VIP Tickets to the Bangladesh vs. South Africa cricket match

VIP Tickets to the Bangladesh vs. South Africa cricket match

Lush cricket ground

Lush cricket ground

Bowen and Pete. Behind them are the South African team support staff

Bowen and Pete. Behind them are the South African team support staff

July 31st, 2015 - DHAKA

I had the most restless sleep last night. I tossed and turned ever so softly so I wouldn't wake Bo up. As I finally drifted off to sleep, it felt like a split second and the alarm went off. Bo packed his bags, we headed up to the rooftop restaurant and enjoyed our final pieces of toast together before he set off on his big adventure. We said our goodbyes, but I wasn't at all sad. I'll see him in 3 weeks and I just know that the time will fly. It's truly been amazing being able to hangout with Bowen again. We can just lay there for hours on end just talking, holding each other and watching movies, sometimes hours go by without a word said, but I love that about us. Being comfortable like that with someone is rare. So, enough with the soppy stuff. After the boys set off, I went back to the hotel room, packed my bags and waited for 9 hours until I had to leave for the airport. It was nice though. I sat up at in the rooftop restaurant and enjoyed cups of tea whilst I edited some vlogs for YouTube. I must admit, I had missed the Internet. The only decent wifi we got in Cox's Bazar allowed to upload Instagram and maybe a few scrolls down on Facebook. But, it was nice being offline. I mean, it wasn't completely offline but I do look forward to days where we won't have the Internet and we can enjoy our moments for what they are and not behind a screen. There were a few gentleman coming back and forth from the restaurant, eating and having coffee. This older, larger man with a colourful striped shirt on asked me if I would like to join them for lunch. I politely declined as I saw the whole table covered in chicken, fish and mutton and it would've just been awkward. It was time to head downstairs and catch my shuttle van to the airport. As I was sitting on the couch in the lobby waiting for my bags, the same man came up to me and said 'Heyyy, do you recognise me?' in a cheeky yet stern voice. Of course I did! He sat down with three other men. I asked them what they were doing in Dhaka (knowing they were from Bangladesh), they said they were the owners! Three brothers that owned the hotel! I was so surprised! They were so hospitable. They offered me a cup of tea, we sat in the lobby on the couches chatting about the hotel and Bangladesh. The three of them all lived in London and were here to check up on the hotel. We had a good chuckle but I had to get moving to the Airport! There was no way I was missing this flight! Right now, I'm sitting here at Gate 6 waiting to board my flight to Bangkok. It's going to be tough when I land there, I will have to spend the night on a few chairs. I don't mind sleeping in airports, the key is earplugs, a loud alarm and a backpack to use as a pillow! Bangladesh has been quite an experience. In the beginning, I was scared of it. I arrived here in Dhaka, basking with fear but, after a while I realised I was over reacting. I thought that by being in Thailand on my own for while now, it would help me grow as a person because I'd be getting out of my 'comfort zone' and going beyond what I already knew. I was at times but I also was very comfortable. I had my own comfy apartment, I had an abundance of fruit and food I wanted to eat, I could do whatever I wanted with my time from yoga, to editing videos, to studying, to reading and watching movies. I had my friends living in the same building as me. The only thing that maybe pushed me a little bit was cycling up a mountain. But that's just ONE aspect. But my time in Thailand so far hasn't pushed me out of my comfort zone at all, everything was familiar to some extent. In fact, it made me more comfortable. However, I have truly been out of my comfort zone here in Bangladesh, and I think when I start traveling to other countries it'll only open my eyes to even more of the unknown. I have been so ignorant in my time before. I won't have a comfy apartment to sleep in, there won't be an abundance of fruit and the foods I want to eat, and I'll still have copious amounts of time but hopefully that time will be used to see things I've never seen before and experience things that will shake me to my core and make me question life to its very meaning. What is this life anyway? How did we get so lucky to have the lives we have? To be able to wake up every day in a warm bed and not have to search for plastic bottles in piles of garbage in the rain to make some money? How did we get so lucky that we get choices and opportunities in our lives? We are so lucky that everyday we don't have to push if we don't want to. Everyday we are lucky that things are familiar. It makes me question too, do people ever really want to grow? Do they want to grow beyond the unknown? I don't think I will return to Bangladesh in the near future. For backpackers, it’s quite expensive as they don't cater for tourists but for rich Bengali people. But it's an experienced I'll never forget and any experience is better than none. 

Love and light,

Mary Christine xoxo

Raw Vegan Brownies Recipe

Who doesn't love chocolate... And who doesn't love chocolate in the form of a brownie? If you know me then you know that I absolutely adore chocolate, and what I found is that going vegan hasn't stopped my chocolate intake at all haha. In fact, it makes it so much more enjoyable! This is one of my favourite brownie recipes AND they are healthy! All ingredients are natural and no added nasties such as milk and eggs (yuck). So here it is, a deliciously, healthy, vegan brownie! 

 

Equipment You'll Need:

  • A food processor or high powered blender 
  • A spatula 
  • Measuring Cups
  • A bowl
  • Baking Paper
  • Tray

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Walnuts
  • 1 cup of Cacao
  • 1/4 tbsp of Salt
  • 2.5 cups of Juicy Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup of Desiccated Coconut

Method: 

In your food processor or high powered blender, place in 2 cups of walnuts and pulse until they are finely grounded. Then, add in your cup of cacao and sea salt and pulse to mix the ingredients together. Then, add in your 2.5 cups of medal dates but add them ONE AT A TIME! I made the mistake once of adding them all and my blender was not happy! Once you have pulsed them into a nice, crumbly mixture they are ready to be scooped out of the blender (or processor) with your trusty spatula. If your mixture doesn't stick together when you press it with your fingers, then just add in some more dates!  Once it's all scooped out, add it into a big bowl and then add your finely chopped almonds (you can also add other little things like goji berries if you like) and mix it all up with your hands. Then, get your desiccated coconut and sprinkle it through the mixture and then spread it onto a tray lined with baking paper. You can also add more coconut once it's all laid out for extra taste and decoration. Then place the tray in the fridge or freezer until it's set (not squishy). Once it's hardened up a bit, you can cut it into squares and EAT YOUR HEART OUT! And don't worry if you eat them before they're set - I often do this (nothing wrong with that haha). 

Sri Lanka Diaries

Oh, Sri Lanka! It was nothing like I expected... it was better! I kept a day-to-day diary whilst on this part of our travels, so here it is below. However, I do remember I didn't get into too much detail as the days seemed to fly by and I must admit, I was way too lazy to write. I guess a brief description is better than nothing, right? Haha. Anyways, Sri Lanka was beautiful. It's clean, modern, advanced, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and the landscapes...BREATH TAKING! Photos to be added soon (waiting for better wifi)

 

August 23rd, 2015 - Chiang Mai (Thailand) to Colombo to Unawatuna (Sri Lanka)

Arrived from a long flight from Chiang Mai, Thailand. At this stage, I was ready to leave Thailand. I was getting itchy feet and my soul was becoming stagnant staying in the one spot, also, I was missing Bo like crazy so it was time to see him again! Stopped in Mumbai on the way, it was such a nice airport. I didn't sleep (the whole night, I'm not even kidding). Good start in Colombo though, got a free SIM card from immigration man, BUT, got an expensive 1200 rupee van ($10 AUD) to Bo's hotel which was literally 5 minutes away. I was finally reunited with Bo again and his brother Pete. We then decided to hire a private van to Unawatuna as we could not be bothered with people and I was exhausted and had NO sleep at this stage. Between the three of us it was 8000 rupees which is around $80 AUD. I couldn't sleep on the way although I did try. I think I was just so excited. The scenery was so beautiful and the roads were so smooth. After a quick two hour drive we arrived in Unawatuna. We checked into our little hotel which was gorgeous. It was about a 3 story building with pot plants, hammocks and couches on the balconies. We were starving at this point so went to find a place for lunch. Although we were only metres from the beach, food was a priority (as always haha). We found a little cafe and we had pasta and an avocado/mango chutney roti wrap - it was delicious except for the pasta, it was wayyy to salty. This was a common theme throughout the trip but we managed! Afterwards we headed straight to the beach! The weather was divine so we weren't going to waste a second. The water was warm but the waves were big. You couldn't be too close to the beach otherwise the waves would smack you back into the shore. It was still nice nonetheless. After a relaxing afternoon we then had dinner at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant called Jina's. We found it by chance after searching endlessly for a place to eat (meant to be haha). We had this delicious local rice dish and curry followed by roti bread with banana for dessert. Afterwards we went for a night walk along the beach. I saw stars!! I hadn't seen stars in so long as they are rare in Chiang Mai due to the pollution. It was relaxing with the waves crashing, the moon reflecting on the ocean and the restaurant tables had candles flickering in the wind creating a twinkly ambience (magic!!). We got back to the hotel. I was done for. I hadn't slept for like 35 hours! Isn't it amazing was adrenaline and love can do?

 

August 24th, 2015 - Unawatuna

I woke up early (despite my lack of sleep) and wow, it was good to wake up to Bo again! After some water and light stretching we went for a long, slow run. We were so close to a jungle that had a little path, so we followed it and found ourselves at Jungle Beach tucked away behind all the lush foliage. We also found a temple in middle of the jungle by chance. There was a little old man there at the front, he couldn't speak a work of English but somehow we were communicating. He dresses us with yellow skirts and with a few hand signals here, some nods and points there, he showed us around the temple. The majority of Sri Lankan's are Buddhist so this temple had statues of Buddha as well as Hindu gods and goddesses (as these two religions are somewhat of the same origin/same beliefs etc). We walked into a shrine and there was a Monk who blessed us, tied a white string around our wrists and dabbed some oil on our foreheads. And then of course, looking and pointing at the 'Donation Box' afterwards. We got back to the hotel and ordered breakfast. It was simple yet satisfying and just what I needed - toast, jam, pineapple juice and black tea. Afterwards, we walked to a cafe to get internet (because the hotel wifi was shitty) and decide what we were going to do for the rest of our trip - well, at least the next few weeks! After a few hours of planning, we went for a swim in the ocean and then had lunch at a restaurant that was right on the beach. Whilst we were eating we literally had our toes in the sand, it was amazing. It started raining so went back to hotel and chilled. We decided to stay inside for the rest of the day. The lack of sleep had caught up to me so being still is what I needed, even though I couldn't sleep. At around 8pm, I was craving but banana so we went in search for a roti hut! Bo and I got two banana rotis each as they were cooked fresh and were so delicious and not chewy!! Ahh, it's like heaven in your mouth when you find good roti bread! 

 

August 25th, 2015 - Unawatuna

Went for a long, slow run again and afterwards, Bo and I decided to go have breakfast at our favourite place called the Prime Hotel which was right on the beach (the same place we had lunch yesterday). Breakfast was epic - unlimited fresh toast, a fruit platter and delicious pineapple juice all for 1400 rupees ($14 AUD between two people). We spent a lot of time booking flights etc and planning some more of our trip! We wanted to make the most of this down time as we knew that the week coming was going to be a busy one. We'd been there all morning that we even had lunch there haha. Seriously, best food! The Sri Lankan curry and fried rice was one of the best I'd had. The afternoon was a chilled one. We hung out in the hammocks (literally haha) on the communal, big balcony at the hotel. That night, the three of us got dressed up and went for dinner by the beach to celebrate Peter getting a job on a yacht in the USA, woohoo. We found a really cool restaurant where the waiter said he was vegan as we ordered our meals. YES! We got veggie fried rice and veggie burgers. I decided to have a cocktail with the boys. It was my first drop of alcohol in 8 months! And man, it was the yummiest mojito I have ever tasted! I could feel it rushing to my head, making my face numb and my legs tingly. Then I realised why I gave up alcohol. I don't miss getting drunk, and although it tasted good - I didn't miss alcohol! It started raining during dinner which was nice as it's still warm and the stars were still seen. I love it when that happens! How does that happen? When it's raining yet the sky is clear?? We walked home and got ready for the next day as we were off to another town. 

HOW LONG: We stayed in Unawatuna for 3 nights

HOW WE GOT THERE: Private van from Colombo Airport for $80 AUD

WHERE WE SLEPT: Manidi Villa - www.booking.com/manidivilla Around $40 AUD per night, double room, excluding breakfast, 2 minute walk from beach

WHERE WE ATE: Breakfast and lunch was either at our hotel or at The Prime Hotel on the beach. Vegan Restaurant we found - Jina's Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant

WHAT WE DID: Walks through the jungle to Jungle Beach, lots of trails, Big Buddha statue on top of the hill (easy to find, follow the beach and path leads to it), swimming 

 

August 26th, 2015 - Unawatuna to Tissamaharama

We decided to go for a light walk instead of a run just to give the legs a break. Always trying to be consistent with exercise whilst traveling!! I absolutely love walking and light jogging now, it's the best. I feel like I enjoy it so much more than when I used to push myself in every run and hate it! We then had breakfast at our hotel and got a tuk tuk to Galle for 300 rupees ($3 AUD) to catch the local bus to Tissa! The bus ride only cost us 200 rupees ($2 AUD) for the two busses - so cheap! At some points the bus was packed and people were jammed in shoulder to shoulder, and other times there were empty seats. Local buses are definitely an experience. On the bus close to Tissa, a man approached us and offered us some rooms at his hotel and a special offer for a jeep safari at Yala National Park (this is what the town is known for). He said he would do us a good deal so we agreed to go with him. We arrived in Tissa after a 5 hour trip, walked 100m to this mans hotel and there we sat down and discussed prices for the safari. He was going to charge us 23000 rupees each for a full day ($230 AUD) but we got him down to 10000 rupees ($100 AUD) each including a room for two nights. Don't be afraid to hassle!!! The rooms were absolute filth though, really gross. The guy said his dad owned it for 30 years and since he spoke English well, we asked if he was going to be our guide on the safari, and of course - he said yes. We headed out for dinner to the Royal Blue restaurant which was okay but there were so many flies. The town was not that exciting. It definitely is just a town where tourists tend to stay for just a night to do the safari and leave as quick as possible. We returned to the hotel and realised the guy wasn't there, there were no towels or sheets provided even though he had promised and our room was infested with Mosquitos. Lucky we had sleeping slips and an old mouldy mosquito net. But you could imagine, I did not sleep well at all that night. We watched a movie in bed, and then went to sleep. It was a long, restless night.

 

August 27th, 2015 - Tissa & YALA NATIONAL PARK

4:30am wake up! We got up, got ready and left for the safari to Yala National Park at 5am. We first stopped off at a little local shop/eatery where we got cups of tea and coffee and some water for our day. Our two tour guides were what it seemed like 18 year olds who's English wasn't all that great. The jeep didn't have mud guards either so as we went through the mud from last nights thunderstorm it splashed up at us. I didn't mind, it was just annoying. We got to the park and it was so amazing! It makes me so happy that there are still national parks around as big and beautiful as this one. We explored all morning, going to lots of different water holes and lakes in search for animals. We saw wild pigs, crocodiles, peacocks, mongoose, monkeys, birds, water buffalo and deer. We then stopped for breakfast at this rest area near a small stream that led to the beach. What really disappointed me was that there was not one rubbish bin in sight, rubbish scattered and piled absolutely everywhere and small animals scavenging through the trash in search of food. Considering the entrance fee is around 3500 rupees per person (included in the price we paid to the man at the hotel) and majority of it goes to the government, you'd think they would at least clean the place up and install some bins. This part, I was disappointed in. The breakfast was good though, just the usual bread and jam and of course my favourite, roti. We then continued our safari until lunch, seeing the same animals but in different spots. We stopped at the same place again and We had fried rice! There were little monkeys everywhere scavenging, stealing and fighting. They would jump into the jeeps when people weren't in them and steal whatever they could. When they fought with one another, their behaviour was so human like. There were two monkeys in particular trying to fight and as they were trying to get to each other, there were other monkeys holding them back. We did get really close to a Mum and her baby, it was so cute. Afterwards, we got back into the jeep for another 4 hours of safari-ing. Our tour guides were getting high and pretty much just not giving a crap. It was kinda annoying becaus I just wanted to see a leopard but it was near impossible by the way they were driving recklessly around. After having doubts we wouldn't see anymore animals, we went down a quiet bushy road and found a mother elephant with her two babies. It was so amazing! I think for a good fifteen minutes we watched them as they walked towards us. We were kinda scared as elephants are very protective and Mama definitely had her guard up just in case! It's really rare for elephants to ever give birth to two calves. So we think that she may have adopted one of them most likely, as they weren't the same age (they were different sizes). I was in awe of them yet terrified at the same time. We were so close to them and the last thing I wanted was to make Mama elephant angry. After they disappeared into the bushes, we bumped into another group who were stopped in the middle of the road. They literally had just seen a leopard walking across. We looked to the spot it but only Peter saw it. I was shattered. However, we did keep searching and ended up seeing a black bear which is quite endangered too. So overall, it was a fun and successful day, even though it dragged on a bit. I suggest doing only half day - leaving super early to see leopards at dawn as I heard a lot groups saw them at this time. Leopards hunt at dusk but unfortunately we did not see this! No need to book your safari in advance though. Head to Tissa, find a hotel and they usually have a safari service, and if not, there will be one not too far away. We got home and then had dinner at Roots restaurant and then went back to the mouldy hotel and tried to get some sleep.

HOW LONG: We stayed in Tissa for 2 nights

HOW WE GOT THERE: Local Bus - $2 AUD

WHERE WE SLEPT: I have no idea what it was called, but it was literally 100m away from the bus station and had safari jeeps parked at the front

WHERE WE ATE: Royal Cafe and Roots Restaurant (both on the main street in Tissa)

WHAT WE DID: All day Jeep Safari through Yala National Park (including 2 nights accommodation) - $120 AUD each

 

August 28th, 2015 - Tissa to Arugam Bay

Woke up at 6:30am to try and get out of the pits of hell as quick as possible. We jumped on the bus on our way to Arugam Bay. The bus was so fun. I had to stand up for a lot of it as it's polite to give up your seat for the elderly and women with children. We swapped busses in Monteragella (or something), then to Pottuvil and then onto Arugam Bay. We arrived at 1pm - we had gone 6 and a half hours without food! Rookie mistake for not packing dried fruit or something! We were all a little cranky at each other as we were searching for hotels. We Found one on the beach that I didn't like but I was just so over it and hungry I just agreed. We all sat there, hardly talking, all a little flustered and when the rooms were ready we want to have a look at them. They were not the ones we were shown in the beginning. The people lied to us showing us their nicer rooms in the beginning but then gave us gross rooms after we agreed to a price. I was so upset because I hate when people lie so we decided to just leave. We didn't do our research before hand and realised that this place was going to be quite expensive. It was average between $30-$50 AUD a night at this town, so we found a good deal at the pacific hotel. Was still under construction but beautiful new modern rooms and cheap 250 rupee ($2.50 AUD) breakfast. We decided to drop off our stuff and head straight for food. We found a nice restaurant right on the water called Gecko! It was so beautiful. We had the best vegan burgers even though they were quite pricey. Then went for a swim after lunch and then chilled. The waves at the beach are nice for surfing but a bit rough and the waves come in on an angle so it's kinda weird haha. After a relaxing afternoon, we went to Cili Restaurant for some wood oven pizza and then home for an early night 

 

August 29th - 30th, 2015 - Arugam Bay

Okay, so I'm going to be honest here.. this is when I got lazy and fell into FULL holiday mode. I became lazy and all I wanted to do was relax and sit by the beach. So, for the entire time in Arugam Bay our days consisted of long walks/runs in the morning, followed by watching the sunrise, maybe a quick swim, breakfast, relaxing, lunch, surf and relaxing, dinner then relaxing. There isn't much to do in Arugam Bay as it is quite a small town, but there are sick waves. So if you're a surfer then this place is for you! It also has places where you can do yoga as well as other activities such as hiring bikes and banana boat rides etc. 

HOW LONG: We stayed in Arugam Bay for 3 nights

HOW WE GOT THERE: Local Bus - $4 AUD

WHERE WE SLEPT: Bay Vista Hotel - www.booking.com/bayvista  $40 AUD per night, twin share, excluding breakfast, 50 metres from beach

WHERE WE ATE: Gecko Cafe, Cili's Restaurant and a few other local cafes

WHAT WE DID: long walks/runs, relaxed on the beach, hired surfboards ($10 AUD per day)

 

August 31st, 2015 - Arugam Bay to Ella

HOW LONG: We stayed in Ella for 1 night

HOW WE GOT THERE: Private van from Arugam Bay - $60 AUD for 3 persons 

WHERE WE SLEPT: Tunnel Gap Resort - www.booking.com/tunnelgap - welcoming and friendly family owned place! it was like a second home

WHERE WE ATE: Cafe Chill - amazing pizzas and wedges 

WHAT WE DID: Ella is a small town in the middle of some beautiful mountain ranges. People come here for the amazing hikes and epic views. After an early morning start (5am), we hiked up Little Adam's Peak to watch the sunrise.

 

September 1st, 2015 - Ella to Kandy

Okay... So now I'm really getting lazy haha. I'm so sorry, this is where my diary finishes from the trip as I got way too lazy. But, I did keep all the information. 

 

September 2nd, 2015 - Kandy

HOW LONG: We stayed in Kandy for 2 nights

HOW WE GOT THERE: We got to Kandy by train from Ella. It is totally worth it, breath taking scenery but the trip is long, around 6 hours. second class tickets are around $5 AUD. First class are $20 AUD, We thought second was fine. 

WHERE WE SLEPT: We stayed in concert capsules at the Clock Inn Hotel! It was amazing! They are big, concrete cylinders turned into a little room - www.booking.com/clockinn

WHERE WE ATE: We had breakfast at local cafes (such as smoothies. fruit and roti bread). We had dinner at local restaurants such as curry and rice. We found a place that sells vegan soy ice cream - The Soya Food Centre

WHAT WE DID: Day tour around Kandy with tuk tuk. Driver is around $20-50 AUD (I don't remember). They take you all around to Kandy's main attraction sights - Big Buddha, spice garden, tea factory, river and wherever else you would like (can discuss with your driver). We also went for runs/walks around the big lake there

 

September 3rd, 2015 - Kandy to Colombo

We had to get back to Colombo to catch an early flight, so Bowen, Pete and I got a private van back to Colombo. We find that private vans are affordable, quick and hassle free. Because it was between 3 people, it made is a lot cheaper. Bowen and I stayed in a really nice hotel near Colombo Airport as we were leaving for India the next day. We did;t do much other than relax and pack for our next adventure. We didn't leave the hotel. We ate all our meals there. 

 

September 4th, 2015 - Colombo to Bangalore (India). 

 

Love and Light,

Mary Christine xoxox

A Letter To My Body

We've been together so long,
Since the day of my birth.
My soul and you as one,
As I came to this earth .

 

Growing together daily,
As a baby then a child.
You always kept up with me,

Even though I was so wild.


All those bumps and bruises,
Grazed knees and hands.
To jumping on the trampoline,
And playing in the sand.


To the times we were sick,
With chicken pox and all.
I loved your brown skin, 
And the fact we weren't tall.

We grew up healthily,
And happy as can be.
Until that one day at 18,
I was no longer happy.


I took it out on you,
And I didn't treat you right.
I starved you and hated you,
we were in a constant fight.

The binging and purging,
To the drugs and alcohol.
And the disrespect I had for you,
I made you feel so small.

Who was I to think,
That I could treat you like that.
You're the only one in my life,
That never turned their back.

You kept me alive,
Even the times I didn't want to live.
You kept my heart beating,
And gave me all you could give.

 
I can't believe it though, 
That we are here today. 
And healthier than ever, 
I don't even know what to say. 


I want to say thank you,
And I love you with all my heart.
And I hope you can forgive me,
So we're never again apart.


I will nourish you now,
Keep you healthy and clean. 
I will be grateful everyday,
Because you are my dream.


My dream of health and happiness, 
In every step of life.
Together as one,
We will never lose a fight.


My body, I am sorry,
You are everything to me.
From now on lets just live,
Forever in harmony.

Love and Light, Mary Christine xx