Stew-Art-Prints

March 30, 2014 - 3 Responses

Stew-Art-Prints

As you probably have already noticed by my lack of posts. I am taking a permeant leave from blogging to concentrate on my photography. I would like to thank everyone for their support. 

Please take a minute to view my Travel Photography.

www.Stew-Art-Prints.com

Thank you!

Stewy

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Eating in the city of bicycles

June 24, 2011 - 4 Responses

Amsterdam offers breathtaking views around every corner and boasts an attractive lifestyle! You do not have to venture far before encountering tall stylish people zipping by on bicycles creating a wonderful ambience as you soak in the warm morning sun while you sip on your latte. And what better compliment to this beverage than an appeltaart (apple pie). The Dutch have struck a perfect balance in the art of pie making: a slightly doughy crust, thick firm apples and instead of cheap jelly, apple puree with the odd raisin.

For the more daring, pull up along side a local and have your try at raw herring. While it might not look so appetizing, it is surprisingly mild (do not mind the bones) usually served fresh, complimented with chopped unions and sweet pickles. Order it cut and eat it with a toothpick, on a hotdog style bun, or grab it by the tale and throw it down the hatch.

For a not so sweet treat try poffertjes: perfectly light and fluffy mini pancakes sprinkled in icing sugar often served with ice cream.

To satisfy your sweet tooth you might try a stroopwafel: a layer of sweet caramel between two super thin waffles.

Whether you walk or bike the canals, ride the tram, or lounge at various cafes, there is much to keep you satisfied here.


“Appeltaart” photo provided by Flickr user: druif56 .

“Stroopwafel” photo provided by Flickr user: onedaylingers

“Poffertjes” photo provided by Flickr user: David Visser

“Herring” photo provided by Wikitravel user: Jpatokal


Forks Over Knives

June 12, 2011 - 9 Responses

WARNING: THIS MOVIE COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!

* “What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.

Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.

Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive but so utterly straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?

The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.”

Forks Over Knives – The Official Movie Website

Forks Over Knives – Videos

*Synopsis provided by Forks Over Knives – The Official Movie Website


*Photo provided by Green Philly Blog


Brussels & Bruges, Belgium – I’ve died and gone to heaven

May 13, 2011 - 6 Responses

Start leading a healthy life style and it is only natural that your taste buds will slowly mature and seek out more complex flavors. A decade ago I would have drank a Budweiser. But ever since my compulsion to almost completely eradicate sugar from my diet, my beer cravings have turned “dark”.

If you know your beer, then you no doubt have savored a Belgian beer or two. It does not take long to see Belgium’s love for brew is steeped in history. Although in 1900 Belgium boasted over 3200 breweries, now just over 100 still exist. Despite the massive decline in numbers, you can find specialist beer bars serving over 500 different kinds of beer.

In times past, some of Belgium’s finest beers were brewed by Trappists, a silent order of Cistercian monks – Chimay being one. To induce a second fermentation process yeast is added at bottling, so make a careful pour to avoid disturbing the bottom sediment. While many Abbeys have licensed their beers to commercial breweries, such as Leffe, brew standards remain high.

As of late, a thick dark stout with hints of coffee and a tall creamy head is next to impossible to turn down. Almost as rewarding and surprisingly complex is a Witbier or “white beer”, Hoegaarden being a more mainstream brand. While most beer is made from barley, white beer is made from wheat, making it light and refreshing. Take a minute and savor the subtle hints of coriander and orange peel, laced in cloudy sediment.

Little wonder why Brussels and beer have gone hand in hand for ages. Very interesting to note is the peculiar air that resides along the river Senne that flows through Brussels, home to a natural airborne yeast called Brettanomyces. Brewers for centuries simply left their wheat-beer wort uncovered for the air to naturally add its yeast. Once fermented the beer is then moved to wooden casks. After a year or more drinkers can finally enjoy its slightly winey edge called Lambic, another typical beer in Brussels.

All this drinking would quite possibly increase ones tolerance to alcohol. This is certainly evident in the sheer strength of some Belgian beers. Single (around 3%) double (around 6%) and treble (around 9%) are all dwarfed by beers reaching in excess of 12%.

It is evident that Belgians know how to drink, but they also know how to eat. A tradition linked to festive occasions, freshly made and sprinkled with icing sugar, gaufres or wafels are an indulgence you cannot pass up! Simply the name Belgian waffles rolls off the tongue like something you learned in elementary school. There is nothing quite like watching your fork cut through the corner of a thick Belgium waffle, as the intoxicating sweet scent hits your nostrils. Do not let the sheer thickness fool you, these waffles are light as air with a subtle crispiness, a wonderful display of melt in your mouth ecstasy. Eat to your heart’s content and still walk away feeling satisfied, not bloated nor lethargic.

Belgian chocolate is world-renowned and for good reason. Belgian chocolate manufactures use high-quality cocoa beans and generous amounts of cocoa butter. Traveling to Belgium and not sampling chocolate would be equivalent to touring Paris and not stopping to gaze at the Eiffel Tower. While the majority of hand-made chocolates here are pralines, you get the sense they know what they are doing and have been doing it for a very long time. Handmade Belgium chocolates are generally inexpressive, sampling a handful might only set you back a Euro or two. Start small as these chocolates are very rich and you will get your fill very quickly. Go in hungry and leave feeling like a million bucks, as there is nothing quite like watching someone slip on a fitted white glove, select and then package your chocolates in a highly appealing baggy.

Belgian frites (fries) are arguably the best fries in the world. Surprisingly despite the thickness of cut, these fries are plenty crunchy. Fries are submerged in two oils with different temperatures until crisp and served with a heap of mayonnaise.

Belgians have enough confidence in their home-grown beef that they eat it raw, Filet Americain style. While I was not brave enough to try that, I did enjoy Moules (muscles). Traditionally muscles are served in a big bucket along with fries. Muscles in white wine are a good place to start, but be sure only to eat the muscles which have opened.

So whatever your tastes buds, there is something here for you.

*Source material: Top 10 – Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent

“Beer” photo provided by Chow

“Waffle” photo provided by Flickr user: nibblekibble

“Chocolate” photo provided by Flickr user: Leonidas Belgian Chocolate

“Fries” photo provided by Penguin says Feed Me!

“Mussels” photo provided by Lets Talk More


You’re up, Europe!

May 5, 2011 - 10 Responses

What do Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon all have in common? In short, ME!

While we recognise how fortunate we are to travel, it has been an outrageously long two-year wait since my wife and I have stepped onto European soil. Once in your blood, travelling is a powerful self-indulgence, next to impossible to ignore. Needless to say, our next adventure was long overdue.

Many homebodies shutter at the very thought of: getting lost in winding cobblestone studded streets, zipping their way through over crowded streets on a scooter, pointing to a completely unrecognizable item on a menu, gazing straight up to admire hundreds of year old architecture while a city seems to revolve around them, or making over emphatic gestures while getting directions from a local who does not speak their language. But to an adventurous traveller this is a recipe for freedom, a chance to feel completely alive, to temporarily push aside any responsibilities and contrive an onslaught of selfish gratifications.

Six cities in seventeen days and a long list of local delicacies to indulge in. This trip is shaping up to be yet another amazing journey for the books, but a complete nightmare for the waistline. Say hello to six European cities and goodbye to Mr. Six-pack. The fact that much of our transportation involves getting around by foot, you would think this would offset any ill effects due to bad eating habits. But like every trip prior, I am expecting that loud SNAP from the switch in my brain, immediately causing me to devour everything in site.

It is the same story every time; while perusing the salad section on the menu of the very first restaurant all hell breaks loose! I suspect it has something to do with multiple overwhelming sensations constantly flooding my various senses at any given time. The eye catches sight of a local strolling by as he leans gently to the side, slightly tilting his head to better hear the whisper of his embraced female companion, as he smiles and pulls her closer. Behind you, you may hear the whooshing sound of small cylinder cars, tightly wound scooter engines zipping around like screaming bees, bicycles almost silently slipping by if were it not for the air they push aside, or the flapping sound of numerous wings lifting from a square in a hurry, as a flock of pigeons give way to a young child’s attempt to trample them through. The smell of dusty, damp, almost musky air, that could only be attributed to aged interiors of museums, palaces and churches, lingers in your nostrils as you imagine the greatness that once stood in that very spot. Little wonder why your sense of taste is dramatically heightened and honed as you touch different foods revealing their unique textures. This grand concerto of culminating sensations provokes a perfect storm of vivacious flavours.

Follow me as I tantalizingly savour many sinful cheats in Europe. But whatever you do, do not try this at home! I will be the one enjoying the flavours. Why? Frankly, because I worked my butt off for it.

“Good food is like music you can taste, colour you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only be aware to stop and savour it.” -Ratatouille-

*Photo provided by themed home decor


Cheat OUT not IN

April 30, 2011 - 4 Responses

Cheat at the restaurant, not at home!

The dilemma: Ordering dessert at a restaurant costs anywhere from five to eight dollars, which is the price of a whole cake at the grocery store.

Let’s say you opt for the entire cake, instead of the overpriced restaurant dessert. You feel good about your bulk purchase; in fact, it is more bang for your buck! True, restaurant dessert portions are smaller and extremely over priced. However, limiting yourself to just one cheat and not being tempted to polish off the leftovers in the refrigerator… now that is priceless!

Your wallet might not thank you, but your waistline will!

*Photo provided by Flickr user: Passive Income Dream.com


What is your potential?

April 8, 2011 - 2 Responses

Try to imagine your real potential. No doubt you have a goal weight in mind, thinking you need to lose around 10 or 15 lbs. Realistically, in most cases that is just the beginning! One can take for granted how overweight one has become. Of course losing 15 lbs is going to reduce your health risks and make you feel years younger. Nonetheless, if you are serious about your body and your health, you might want to think about doubling those numbers.

Remember, the amount of exercise and willingness to stick to a balanced diet is in direct relation to results. There are no quick fixes! If you have failed to see any results until now, you are not committed enough.

If you refuse to turn your back on most of your eating vices, then I am sorry, you are not ready! Sure, there will be times when you can indulge yourself, but if your life revolves around unhealthy food, it will be impossible to break the cycle.

You have it in you to succeed, everyone does. You simply need to decide that you have had enough, and your healthy life starts now! Just imagine your potential.

*Photo provided by Flickr user: Niklas Morberg


The Scale… Friend or Foe?

March 27, 2011 - 2 Responses

Most people take minimal time to care for their body and know little about it. Many do not want to know how much they weigh, let alone take their measurements. But this is an absolute must for two reasons, despite the fact that it might be embarrassing. As painful as it may be, getting to know our body is necessary.

First, this could be a shocking eye opening moment. Many people are surprised how far they have let things slide. It just may spark that fire they so desperately need.

Second, we all can use a starting point; numbers for comparison for months to come.

What should we measure? Certainly our overall body mass is a great number to be acquainted with. But let us not forget to measure our chest, biceps, waistline and thighs. These measurements will prove crucial during those times when we lose in size and not on the scale. Our shrinking numbers will prove to be important motivators.

If all else fails, nothing is more honest than our own mirror. If you like what you see, keep up the good work. If you do not, then do something about it!

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


A little vanity never hurt anyone!

March 20, 2011 - 6 Responses

There is a big difference between vanity in private and in public.

Everyone can use a little vanity in healthy doses! Vanity makes us notice the way our body looks and feels and in turn could help us get interested in our overall health.

There is nothing wrong with taking an interest in our body and how we look. A lot of us feel guilty, not wanting to be perceived as vain or conceded. We need not worry; our body is a precious gift. So why be concerned about caring for it? In fact, how would you feel if a friend continued to neglect or abuse a special gift you offered to him?

Let’s try to keep our bodies healthy. It shows respect for our gift!

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art

**Photo edited by Stew-Art-Prints


Talking Leaves

March 13, 2011 - 2 Responses

With our modern-day information explosion, websites are a dime a dozen making it that much more special when you come across something different. I truly believe I have stumbled upon a small diamond in the rough. Although not related to health and fitness, I view it as “healthy” exercise for the brain.

Talking Leaves by William Leed is a poetry blog. Take a few minutes to look through the poems and you will soon appreciate these meaningful verses.

Whether you subscribe, click “like”, leave a comment or simply take a minute to browse, you can give William Leed the credit he deserves.

Talking Leaves – the pondering pale face… a poetry blog by William Leed.

http://talkingleaves.wordpress.com/

Thank you for your support,

Stewy

*Photo provided by My MacBook Pro

**Photo edited by Stew-Art-Prints


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