What we ate in Indonesia Part #1

Hey there,
today I don’t want to talk a lot, I prepared some Food posts for you. In the following weeks I will share some meals we had in Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. As you will see, we had local food, as well as some western meals on some occasions. I hope you enjoy :)!

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„Fruit Platter“ at our Surf Camp for breakfast (A two-course breakfast with a fresh juice was included every day, breakfast was usually too much to eat though, especially when you wanted to surf afterwards 😅) 
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Poached egg with toast
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My absolute favourite: Coconut rice with some fruit and honey
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Pad Thai with tofu and peanuts
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Pad Thai with falafel and peanuts
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Pizza on our last day at camp
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Street food: Fried tofu and rice for only 12 Rp (less than a euro)
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Veggie Burger at our Surf Camp
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Indian Naan Bread with sauce and dip
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My pasta-obsessed friend (love you <3!!) had pasta with green pesto and olive oil
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Superfood Açai Bowl
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Fried rice with eggs (20Rp)
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Fried Banana – soo delicious! (10Rp)

Have a good week!

xx, Sophie

Zero Waste Dental Care

Have you ever thought about brushing your teeth with a mixture of Xylit, Baking Soda, Coconut Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil? No?
Then this article will hopefully be a game changer for you.

As you know, I recently started my Zero Waste program which also includes making my own toiletries. Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for Zero Waste toothpaste.

For one portion of toothpaste (lasts 1.5 to 2 weeks) you need:

1 Tbsp Raw, organic Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Pure Baking Soda
0.5-1 Tsp Xylit
10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Just double-boil it and stir it all together, fill it in a small jar, store it in a cool place and you’re done!

Here’s some information about the ingredients:

Peppermint Essential Oil: Essential oils are antibacterial, my dentist also recommends rinsing your mouth every now and then with essential oils.

Xylitol: Xylitol or Xylit is a type of sugar that has an antibacterial effect as well.
Sugar- good for your teeth? Yes, because the bacteria in our mouth thinks it can use the sugar but it actually can’t metabolise Xylit and it dies.

Baking Soda: Baking Soda increases alkalinity in your mouth since it neutralises acids because of its pH. Additionally, it has a small whitening effect on your teeth.

Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil is a good base for your toothpaste and it might help reduce bacteria that causes caries.

I’ve been using this toothpaste for two weeks before I went to the dentist and surprise, before I even told her about my toothpaste project, she said that my gums looked really good and healthy.
I asked her about the ingredients in my toothpaste and she was very supportive and said that she can really recommend making homemade toothpaste and especially using essential oil and xylitol.
Additionally, many toothpastes contain artificial colorings, glycerine and even small particles to „peel“ the teeth. This DIY toothpaste is perfect if you are looking for a natural and organic alternative. I also started buying bamboo toothbrushes that are bio-degradable. You can buy them at a package-free store for around 3€ and I am really content so far.

Have you ever tried making your own toothpaste?
Have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

Disclaimer: I am neither a dentist, nor a professional. All the information in this post is from a dentist and the internet.

Camp America – An Announcement

Note: When you read this, I will already be on my way to the USA.

Camp America is an organisation that provides cultural exchange programs for young people from the age of 18. Every year thousands of people from all around the world travel to the US in order to work in a summer camp for kids and teens.
Since American students have 12 weeks of summer vacation, it is very common to spend some weeks in a summer camp.

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In camp there are different job positions, you can be a lifeguard, a general counsellor or a specialist.
As it is a cultural exchange program, you will be working with Americans who are often former campers at their camp, probably many Britons (everyone in Great Britain knows this program), people from western Europe and even Australians and New Zealanders often take part.

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Types of Camps

There are different types of Camps and if you have preferences, you will be able to add this in you application. These are the camp types:

  • Private Camps
  • Jewish Camps
  • Christian Camps
  • Special Needs Camps (e.g. working with children and adults who have a disability)
  • Underprivileged Camps (Free of charge for the campers)
  • Girl Scout Camps
  • Day Camps
  • Single Sex Camps

I had no preferences in my application and I know have the honor to work in an underprivileged camp in New York.

YES, I WILL SPEND NINE WEEKS IN FREAKING NEW YORK!

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Working at Camp

You can either work as a counsellor, or as Campower.
Working as a counsellor means looking after the kids and you usually share a bunk with them and your co-counsellors. You will also be involved in different activities the campers have every day. Another option is being a specialist and teaching the kids something. You can basically be a specialist for every kind of sports.
Dance, soccer, basketball, equestrian, ropes, tennis etc.
But camps need also specialists for arts and crafts, nature, they need lifeguards, or even specialists for girl power.
In general, working at camp can be a very, very rewarding experience!

Campower staff can be working in a kitchen or be part of the maintenance staff. Basically they experience camp in a different way than the counsellors, since they are not responsible for the kids.

I will be working as a general counsellor and also as an arts and crafts specialist, which means I will be doing arts projects with the kids and also be a counsellor.
I really hope that I can also occasionally teach ballet or jazz modern classes, but the dance counsellor job in our camp mainly focussed on hip hop and street dance, which I am definitely not good at 😂

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How to apply for Camp America

If you want to spend your summer working at a camp in the USA, you need to apply on the CA-website or if you are German, at AIFS. You also need to be free at least from mid June till September. The application process is quite extensive.

You have to write a lot about yourself, why you want to work at a camp, tell them about the experience you have with children, you need at least two skills you can write about (sports, art etc.) and need two references from your teacher or trainer (must not be part of your family).
Additionally, you need to film a video about yourself, presenting your skills and your life, you have to fill in a medical form with your doctor’s signature, you need a certificate of good conduct and CA or AIFS will interview you.

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After your interview with your organization where they will make sure that you are capable of doing such a job, your application will be uploaded and all camp directors have access to it. If they are interested in hiring you, they will contact you and arrange a interview via skype. If they think you are suitable for a job at their camp they will ask if they can hire you. Now that you are hired, you have to apply for a VISA and go to a local embassy to get it approved. During your summer, you will have a medical insurance and if you are a „first year“, they will also book your flights and care of almost everything.
Now you can prepare yourself for camp, get in touch with other counsellors and be over excited for the hopefully best summer of your life 😄!

After your time at camp, you will have another four weeks to travel in the country, usually internationals will travel together, but you can also travel alone or book a Camp America-Track. This part is of course optional and you can choose the amount of days you would like to spend travelling.

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What do you think about this program? Would you be interested in working in a summer camp in the United States?

xx, (overly-excited) Sophie

 

Pictures in this post are not mine, they are from the movie „The Parent Trap“ with Lindsay Lohan from 1998. If you click on the images, you will directly get to the source where I found them.

What we ate in Thailand Part #1

Welcome back to my „Travel-What we ate-Series“,

today I would like to show you my (not so „instagramISH“ food pictures I took in Thailand.  Hope you like it!

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My first Mac’n’Cheese at the Bali airport, but on our way to Thailand 😄
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Pad Thai with tofu in BKK
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Fresh Lemonade in BKK
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A not so Thai Donut in Siam Paragon Mall
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Breakfast at the Eco Resort, Chiang Mai
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Mango Smoothies at Chiang Mai night market
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Pad Thai at Chiang Mai night market
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Mango Crêpe in Chiang Mai
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Pad Thai in Chiang Mai with tofu and eggs
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Waffles at the Mango Café in Pai
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Fried rice in Ao Nang
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Banana Split, not as good as the banana split in Bali
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Again, fried rice

I’m getting hungry writing this, asian food is so amazing!
Have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

 

 

Zero Waste Toiletries

Take a look at your bathroom cabinet, what is your body lotion packaged in?
Your toothpaste or your body wash? I know we already had this but I am always shocked every time I look at my bathroom.

What can I do about it? Make some products myself. 

The past few weeks I tried some recipes and prepared some articles about different products. This will also be a „critical“ Zero Waste series, since it is not that easy to find the right recipes that actually work, but you will see!
I just want to underline that I am not one of those „proselytizing“ (okay maybe a bit exaggerated) vegans or hardcore environmentalists, telling everyone what to do.
I mean, I won’t spend my summer at home (stay tuned, I will be sharing my plans next Sunday) and I will definitely not be able to make my own products during my travels, since you need a cool space to store them and I am NOT (yet) 100% plastic free.
Additionally, as you will see in the following weeks, it is not so easy to get used to these eco-friendly DIY products.

Alrighty, today I wanted to briefly share with you what kind of products I bought for my experiment and tell you a bit about it and why I chose them.

Almond and Jojoba oil:

Jojoba oil is extracted from the jojoba bush which grows in southwestern American states like Arizona. The woman at the pharmacy told me that the lipides are not ligated through glycerine, but through long-chained esters, which are similar to the ones our sebum (Hauttalg für meine deutschen Leser) consists of. Consequently, jojoba oil perfectly connects with our skin and is moisturising but not greasing.

Almond oil is a cold-pressed plant oil, made of bitter almonds. This oil contains important Vitamins like Vitamin A, D and E, but also different kinds of B Vitamins. It protects the „acid content“ of your skin and is also known to protect your skin a bit from the sun.

Essential oils:

Essential oils are usually produced in the plant’s leafs and stored in the plant tissue. They can be extracted through steam distillation.
However, essential oils do not contain lipides and are liposoluble (fettlöslich).
They are used for aroma therapy, perfumes, but also for different medical conditions.
I bought tea tree essential oil because it is good for your skin (but smells so bad) and peppermint oil for my toothpaste because it has an antibacterial effect.
You can also buy different essential oils in order to change the scent of your products of course.

Arrowroot powder:

This product is often used for cooking and to replace gelatin. You can buy it in any wholefood shop

Xylit:

Xylit (in Germany known as Birkenzucker) is a type of sugar and is almost as sweet as usual saccharose. Good thing about it is, that it does not damage your teeth and you are actually doing something good for your choppers 😄
I will get more into detail in my upcoming posts.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is supposed to have a natural whitening effect for your teeth, but you can also use it to make deodorant. I will talk a bit more about it in my DIY-Deodorant post.

Coconut oil:

I guess coconut oil is everyone’s all time favourite these days. It is good for your skin, you can cook with it, it has a low dripping point and you can use it as a solid oil as well.
You will need natural coconut oil for every recipe I will share with you!

Shea butter:

Pure shea butter has loads of Vitamin E in it, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids.
Using this amazing product, your skin will be more elastic and it protects your skin from UV radiation.  It is also good for people with very dry skin and neurodermatitis and eczema. It has no significant scent which tells me that it is actually a natural product without any added chemicals.

Cocoa butter:

Cocoa butter is of course vegan and you can use it for cooking and doing something good for your hair and skin as well.

Unfortunately, the only cocoa and shea butter I found in the stores were both packaged in plastic. But I thought it is my first try and next time I might order something in a jar online, but ordering online is not to great as well… Additionally, I like to support our local stores.
The problem with Zero Waste is that our (food-)industry is not designed to provide plastic free products and I try to avoid ordering on amazon.

However, what I love about this DIY project is that all the products are simple, mostly natural products without tons of added chemicals and perfume. The less ingredients, the better 😊

Hope you found this helpful!
Stay tuned,

Sophie

Bangkok, Thailand – experiencing a contrast

Bangkok, the capital of beautiful Thailand in the northern part of the country with 8.281 million residents (wikipedia). But can you imagine this city to be an empty, silent ghost town? I couldn’t, but I’ve experienced it.

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We left Bali on Wednesday the 25th of October 2017 and took a plane to Bangkok. At the airport in Denpasar I had my first Mac’n’Cheese and it was delicious, even though the idea of cooking pasta in milk and cheese does not flatter me.
After having arrived quite late in Thailand, we took a taxi to our hostel for 450 Bath.
The hostel was quite nice but the air in the dorms was not fresh at all but we didn’t care – it’s only a hostel and we were so excited to be in Bangkok!

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The next morning we decided to walk around and get some water and were really confused since the streets reminded us of a ghost town. We always expected BKK to be a bubbly and active city with lots of traffic jams, millions of people running around and street food everywhere. It was the opposite: no people on the streets, no cars, all Thai people dressed in black.
We went back to the hostel and the scells fell from our eyes: it was the anniversary of the death of the beloved King Bhumibol and the day of his funeral.
Walking around, a police officer even yelled at me because I took pictures of the streets… well I get it, it was a bit rude…

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However, we talked to a travel office and booked some flights and a night train to Chiang Mai. The next day we were supposed to leave in the evening and spend the day in the mall. The Siam malls are a big mall complex with different buildings and stores, those malls are amazing! There are so many different shops and all kinds of food – we had lunch at a backery 😄
We later went to the Lumphini Park, a big park in the heart of BKK were many people do sports during the day. The park itself was really beautiful, but again, no people around. Only a turtle on the pedestrian walk and monitor lizards in the pond instead of ducks.
In the evening we were happy to be able to finally take the night train to Chiang Mai, it felt inappropriate to be in a city where everyone grieved for a good king.

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– Three weeks later –

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The Grand Palace

At the end of our travels in Thailand, we returned to Bangkok in order to spend another day in the city and then fly to Australia. This time we booked a very cheap hostel at Khaosan Road, well it was the worst we had (besides the 16 bed dorm in Brisbane). But we weren’t surprised, I mean we paid 3,50€ per night which is cheaper than buying one kilogram of apples in Australia.

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Khaosan Road is an amazing street – very busy, many people, a lot of delicious street food stands and loads of cars and taxis driving around the neighborhood.
By the way, here are two tips for your BKK experience:

  • Someone told me that it is more secure to buy street food from women rather than from men. Women usually care more for hygiene which means that you can reduce the risk of getting sick
  • If you want to cross one of the busy roads in BKK, wait for a native to cross the street and simply follow him/her
  • If you want to take a taxi with a taximeter, make sure that you track where the driver is taking you because they often take a longer way round which will lead to higher costs for you. Also make sure to negotiate a fixed price when taking a Tuk Tuk or a usual taxi. Basically, everything under 100 Bath is totally fine.

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We spend the last 36 hours in Thailand exploring the (now bubbly) city and went to the Grand Palace and took a Tuk Tuk. Unfortunately, we failed to visit other temples, since I fell asleep in the taxi and the driver drove us to the other side of the city and there was no time left to visit Wat Pho 😐
The day we left Thailand was a total mess, we had booked a transfer to the wrong airport and consequently had to take a very slow bus to the other airport… nevertheless, we made it 😊!

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Hope you enjoyed reading!

Have a good day!
xx