How To Cook Quinoa – A Samsonite Staple

quinoa 2

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains which makes it great for us peeps with a busy travel schedule. It is an extremely high-energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America, having a remarkable tolerance for different growing conditions. Quinoa is able to survive high altitudes, thin and cold air, hot sun, salty or sandy soil, little rainfall, and sub-freezing temperatures.. which makes it the perfect fuel for flyers. Inca warriors ate balls of quinoa and fat to keep them going on long marches and in battle and more recently NASA has proposed quinoa as an ideal food for long-duration space flights.

Quinoa can be used in a variety of way which makes it versatile and fun to eat. It can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; or you can add dried fruit, coconut nectar, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad or add chopped cooked root vegetables for a warming side dish. Uncooked quinoa can be kept in a sealed glass jar and stored in a cool, dry and dark place for up to a year.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

  • Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
  • Has a protein content equal to milk
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E
  • Gluten free; easy to digest
  • Ideal for endurance
  • Strengthen the kidneys, heart and lungs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rinsed and preferably soaked quinoa. Quinoa must be rinsed prior to cooking to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa produces a soapy solution in water.

quinoa

Method

  • Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear.
  • Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 12mins with the lid on, until all the water has been absorbed.
Kombu

Kombu

I like to add a piece of kombu to the cooking water, to help make the proteins more digestible. I am sure none of you want to be bloated or crop dusting at 30,000 feet.

  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5mins, covered.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve
Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

For inspiration on creative ways to prepare this onboard, check out my previous interview with Jay Rob from A Fly Guys Cabin Crew Lounge.

Enjoy!

Closing The Distance Between Us – 15 Things You May Or May Not Know About Me

When I write my blog posts I often forget I am writing to a bigger audience than my nearest and dearest. I write as if I am chatting with my besties, because I consider you amongst those I call my friends.

In saying that, some of you who haven’t known me that long might be curious about the missing pieces to the Linda puzzle.

So, for those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of making a guest cameo appearance into your story of life, here is a trailer to my authentic self.

    • I love anything kitch and retro, especially pink flamingoes, think Miami front lawns circa 1972.
    • My Dad used to always tell me everything is good in moderation. I am pretty sure he wasn’t referring to the nasty stuff that would see me put behind bars, although a life of balance and harmony is something I strive for each and every day.
    • Disorganisation within my home or long periods away from it make me feel anxious, off balance and lose focus. I need regular alone time and connection to my creature comforts to refuel my fire. It doesn’t taking a degree in rocket science to see that my days of living the life of a suitcase entrepreneur are well and truly numbered.
    • My biggest fear in the world is snakes and the thought of moving back to Oz freaks me out a little, for that very reason.
    • I am a Cancerian which means I am homely, affectionate, maternal, nurturing & have a hard outer shell but extremely soft and sweet on the inside.
    • I am totally in love with my sponsor child, an orphaned Amazonian Woolly monkey I named Serenity, living in Peru. We met after her mother had been shot for food and she was left to fend for herself. A local Peruvian who was working on the permaculture farm we were staying brought her in for rescue and it was mutual love at first sight. After spending three days playing mother dearest, I had to return to civilisation and have missed her dearly.
Monkey Magic with Serenity, my precious little jewel found at Chakra Alegria De Amor, Peru.

Monkey Magic with Serenity, my precious little jewel found at Chakra Alegria De Amor, Peru.

    • I am half Italian (my Dad’s side) and proud. I feel so blessed to have been able to grow up experiencing amazing cuisine and fresh produce. I am thankful for my curious palette and the passion I have towards food and cooking.
    • I’m quite partial to a costume party. Previous alias’s include Wonder Woman, Kylie Minogue and Nancy Spungen from Sid and Nancy fame (mistaken for Sandy from Grease) – to name a few.
Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen at a friends " Dead Celebrity" party.

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen at a friends ” Dead Celebrity” party.

  • Although I have been immersed in various concrete jungles over the past two decades, I am a born and bred country girl. I see a return to my roots in the foreseeable future.
  • I consider myself a guru in creating awesome vacations and want to include holistic holiday planning as part of my service in the future.
  • I have acquired many nicknames over the years but the ones I currently answer to are Lady L (a term of endearment given to me by my boyfriend Nic) and The L Vitamin (the love drug/bug). The L Vitamin was inspired by listening to lectures given by Joshua Rosenthal the founder of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. He refers to Vitamin L as the love vitamin which is often missing in people’s primary foods. L also represents Linda and as your health coach I support you with the love you need to create the life you want. When you squish The L Vitamin together you get my initials LV in the middle. Cool huh?!
  • For a good part of my twenties and early thirties I was flying solo. After becoming aware of the voice of my ego and learning how to put it on mute, I finally had the courage to stop worrying about what everyone else thought of me, wean myself off my addiction to the security of being surrounded by gay men and create the loving relationship I have today.
  • I am a reformed party princess and festival junkie. Once upon a time I considered myself a local celebrity on Sydney’s infamous Oxford St, clicking and shimmying my way in and out of every nightclub on the strip. For a short time I had a gig as the Queen of Dubai Disco Royalty, but when the King relocated to Italy, I passed on the crown. Although I will probably be returning to Burning Man (in the Nevada desert) with my future children to awaken their creativity and appreciate the gift of giving, my dance floor fix these days is quenched through Nia training and Gabrielle Roth’s “5 Rhythms” dance meditations.
  • I am convinced that myself and Peter Pan may very well have been separated at birth. I guess you could refer to me as a late bloomer and I will always be young at heart.
  • I am a modern day hippy, otherwise referred to as a glippy (glamourous hippy).

I am going to leave you with my mantra for the day….

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My Friend Passport – Interview With Siobhan Forrest

“Your Airline’s Either Got It, Or It Hasn’t”. Siobhan, endearingly known amongst friends as Sy-oh-ba-han is just one of the reasons Britain’s flag carrier is “Still Red Hot After 29 Years”! As an authority on the matter and another fit friend I love, Siobhan shares with you some of her tips for travelling and gives you a locals perspective on how best to enjoy the noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London – on your next 24 hour stopover.

Introducing…

My confidante, fellow dreamer, partner in fun, creativity and travel – Siobhan.

Friend Stamp – Siobhan Forrest

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Hit me with your elevator speech…

About me….I’m a piscean, bit of a gym bunny who’s recently found a passion for running. I’ve been a long haul flight attendant for the last 10 years which relieves my often itchy feet and has provided me with an international award in cocktail sipping in swanky locations! I’m ready now to have my heels more firmly on the ground and I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds.

Your take on how we met….

Ibiza, deflated pink lilo, a meeting of minds, humour and souls, toe tapping while surrounded by mutual friends…..

Siobhan and I catching up for my birthday dinner in New York City - July 2011

Siobhan and I catching up for my birthday dinner in New York City – July 2011

Where is your favourite destination to relax and unwind?

Well if it’s a work trip I can be found in Johannesburg, it’s starting to heat up and so the vitamin D combined with no jet lag works so much better for my body. The gym and spa there is amazing too! If it’s my own time, being able to take advantage of the snow and slopes of Europe (right on my doorstep), is always a great workout too! I usually follow an exhilarating afternoon of snowboarding with a heavenly hot chocolate (dark of course).

Let loose in London for 24 hours only, what would be on your list of must do and see?

London in 24hrs!!! Ok…Food Lab on Essex road Islington is a perfect breakfast/lunch local hotspot for organic, fresh, homemade delicious food. Spitalfields market for some east London culture, hidden treasures or the hippest finds on students stalls from the London College of Fashion. A ride in a London black taxi. Cocktails in ECC Chinatown but make sure you google how to find it first as it’s unmarked! A jog along the Thames passing the Tower of London, Big Ben, Tate Modern. Afternoon tea at The Wolseley.

When travelling what staple items are in your carry on luggage?

Well I definitely never travel without Elizabeth Ardens 8hr cream. The most nourishing and rehydrating cream that can be used on lips and eyes. I’d always have my ipad, a book, probably a couple of mags to flick through. A large Evian water bottle, the sports cap work best for me and also some Green & Blacks 85% chocolate for those travelling sugar lows and movie munchies!

As a frequent flyer, how do you manage your beauty sleep and GTY (gym, tan, yoga) whilst being part of the international glamourset?

I think the secret to keeping up with the GTY is about timing and using the resources available while travelling to your advantage. I’m a fan of Bikram yoga and so I always look up the studios and timetable of where I’m going and also any deals from local beauty salons that are in the area, it’s good to fuel the local businesses rather than the large hotel groups.

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Where are your favourite places to shop in London for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?

My London favourite organic store would be Wholefoods. The store is huge and packed with everything you could imagine. More local though to me, and a shop I use daily is Mother Earth, they make the best raw pizza and raw chocolate fudge I’ve ever had, yummy!

Your award goes to…….. as London’s number one, healthy dining hotspot?

Food Lab on Essex Rd, Islington is my favourite local place to swing by for fresh juice or to have lunch/dinner. The menu changes daily, it’s all organic, prepared and cooked on site, tasty, I just wish they were all over London.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to London, to keep our bodies as trim, taut and tauriffic as yours?

Don your Nikes and headphones, set some tunes up and run! Start off at St Paul’s follow the Thames taking in all the sights, history and culture of London, crossing over Tower bridge and many more. The great thing is you can make your run as long or short as you want and even slowing to a jog or walk there’s still loads to see.

What’s your favourite on the go, healthy snack choice?

My first snack of choice is Naked cocoa orange bar. It dairy, gluten, wheat free, 100% raw and vegan, one of your five a day and MADE IN BRITAIN.

Fave on the go snack!

Fave on the go snack!

Can’t live without natural beauty enhancer to keep you looking fresh, hydrated and ready to hit the worlds best dance floors, post flight and where do you shop for it?

Water mainly, apart from that, then the beauty enhancers I can’t go without would have to be a shimmer for my lips, a dark kohl for the eyes and Rimmel scary black mascara. All available at a local pharmacy or department store. However, always a squirt of Chanel No.5 or else I’d feel nude and that’s just rude ;-)

Love, Light and Gratitude to you for sharing your knowledge Siobhan!

Fuel For The Flyer – Green Lemonade

Green Lemonade

Green Lemonade

If I were to tell you that there is something you can drink that literally infuses your body with millions of enzymes, keeps your immune system strong year-round, offers unparalleled protection against osteoporosis, and tastes highly refreshing and filling, would you want some?

It’s called Green Lemonade, and I don’t know a single successful wellness guru who doesn’t drink some variation of this recipe.

In fact, nothing on the planet is is more rich in live-enzymes and easily absorbable nutrition than freshly extracted vegetable juice, and I don’t mean canned V-8. I’m never surprised when my clients cringe at the first mention of green juice. What they haven’t realised yet is that there is a way to make vegetable juice delish and some would claim, borderline addictive!! I call this “Green Lemonade.”  Try it! You’ll love it!!

Interview With Fly Guy – a.k.a. Jay Rob

For those of you who already hang in A Fly Guys Cabin Crew Lounge, Jay Rob needs no introduction. Jay has fast become a celebrity among the global cabin crew community and for those of you yet to jump onboard, I encourage you to join me and his 13,000 + other fans, to reconnect with some of the old school glamour associated with our office in the sky.

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing A Fly Guy for his take on holistic health, travel and living ~ both in the U.A.E and abroad.

Introducing Jay Rob…..

Jay Rob chillin' under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Jay Rob chillin’ under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why living a healthy lifestyle is important to you?

Well in the cyber world I’m known as Fly Guy, but on the ground I’m just Jay. I describe myself as an old soul in search of the golden days of aviation and I like to think there’s still some glam left in the skies for me to enjoy. I grew up with the simple life on a farm in a small town in the Mississippi Delta. My father was a farmer and my mother was a flight attendant. I think growing up in the country you learn the value of growing your own food and lean how different fresh produce tastes and makes you feel. That’s something my dad taught me while growing our family garden. My mother taught me how to use my food as medicine. As a child I was ADHD and dyslexic and she refused to jump on the band wagon of medicating children and instead used food to treat my hyperactivity. She kept us pumped up with herbs and vitamins. After loosing my beloved father at the age of 54 it finally clicked how the food we eat can make or break us and I made the changes I felt were needed to enter my golden years healthy.

How long have you lived in the UAE and what path led you here?

I’m going on my 6th year in the UAE. I was working for US Airways in Phoenix, Arizona and was fed up with the rat race that’s very common in America. I wanted out and I wanted to see the world so I came to UAE to work for an airline there. The rent and tax free lifestyle sounded like a good way to rid myself of some stress.

Where is your favorite destination to uplift the mind, body and soul?

Anywhere in Southeast Asia. It just does something to me when I’m there. I feel at home, I feel relaxed, I feel like I found my spot on earth.

What does holistic health mean to you and how do you manage to stay balanced and grounded living without a regular schedule?

It means to me searching and finding what works for your whole being. I’ve learned to listen to my body. It tells me what it wants. Once you do a good cleaning of it and keep it maintained with healthy foods, if you give it something it doesn’t like it will tell you very loud. Just the other day I ate a mint and it must have been full of all types of refined sugars and crap because I had a headache in less than 10 minutes after putting it in my mouth. I think not being stuck to a schedule is good for me because I feel my inner gypsy spirit is happy not having to maintain a 9 to 5 work week and that keeps me from getting stressed. When I get run down I head over to my acupuncturist and ayurvedic doctor to give me the boost I need. These are things I have found that work for me.

Jay Rob Strolling down a private beach on Mahé Island in The Seychelles off the coast of East Africa.

Jay Rob Strolling down a private beach on Mahé Island in The Seychelles off the coast of East Africa.

What healthy snacks/meals do you prepare at home for onboard dining?

Depends on how much sleep I’ve had. If I’m rested then I really put effort into my food. If I’ve had a killer month and low on energy I will just run to the organic shop and pick up some healthy pre made vegan dinners to take with me. Right now I’m really digging making quinoa dishes on the plane. I just add some spices and fresh veggies to the quinoa add water and heat in the ovens on the plane and the results have been great. I just fed three crew with one cup of quinoa. My go to snack is avocado. There’s always one in my bag. I also uses my slow juicer to prepare fresh juices for my flights. I stress slow juicer because unlike the high speed cheaper juicers that produce juice that you must drink right away, juice from slow juicers can last up to 70 hours. I keep my bag stocked with Lara Bars and fresh nuts to eat as a snack as well.

A Fly Guys bundle of fresh organic produce ready to be juiced.

A Fly Guys bundle of fresh organic produce ready to be juiced.

……and on the return sectors?

Oh that return sector always gets you! If i’m in a wonderful healthy city like New York I will just run to a health food store and pick up a snack to bring back. If I’m outstation I try to keep dried grains and spices in my bag to boil on flights. Again this is where I’m loving the quinoa.

Do you have a recipe that we could transport onboard for a healthy mid-flight meal or snack that you would like to share?

Sure since I’m talking about the quinoa let me give you the dish I just made. I used one cup of organic red quinoa, 2 cups water, a dash of Tabasco, several pinches of pink salt, cut up veggies I found in the crew meals (tomato, onions, celery). I have recently discovered Beyond Meat meatless chicken that’s made of none GMO soy and pea protein and it’s packed full of protein. I add a few strips of that as well to the dish and then mix in a sauce pan and heat for around 35 minutes. After 25 minutes start checking it to see how it’s coming along. You might have to add a bit more hot water if it’s still not cooking right. I find red quinoa takes longer to cook than regular quinoa.

Which movie would you currently recommend for quality inflight entertainment?

There are some great documentaries out right now! It’s not on the plane yet but Blackfish is my must see this year! Last year’s favorite was Searching for Sugarman. That one is still one the planes and it still makes me cry :) I tend to watch documentaries these days.

Where are your favourite places to shop in the UAE for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?

Well there’s not many but I always frequent the Organic Food and Cafe located in the Greens. My favorite is the Ripe Shop for farm fresh local organic veggies and I always find some neat stuff at The Change Initiative. They also have organic produce however it’s flown in which I don’t like so I don’t buy it often. Most of my flights to places like New York, Germany, Australia or Canada I have my favorite shops that I buy from and bring back.

How about your favourite local, healthy restaurant/cafe?

My new favorite is Comptoir 102 located on Jumeriah Beach Road in Jumeirah 1. This place is so cozy and the food is AMAZING!!! Only place in Dubai I find organic raw vegan options. They’re not a vegan cafe but there always tends to be a Vegan option on the set menu that’s changed every day.

What tips can you share with us for managing our rest before tiring night flights?

Sleep… Um well let’s just say this is Fly Guy’s area of development. Managing my blog and social media accounts tend to keep me up past my bedtime. I don’t think I’m the right person to give advice on sleep as I’ve not yet mastered how to manage my sleep.

Are there any organic skincare products that you would like to recommend to the glamourset for staying fresh and presentable throughout their journey?

YES! Just the other day a junior crew asked me how my skin looked so good after all these years of flying. This made me feel old and good all at once. During my flight I’m in love with John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil. The only thing I’ve found that really keeps my face hydrated for an entire 14 hour flight. I’ve given this to a lot of people to try and they too swear by it. Recently in Toronto I discovered Seed Earth Elements and I LOVE IT. You can only get it in Toronto and I’ve run out so I need to restock ASAP. Their Light Face + Eye Serum is my favorite on the ground day cream. Also I loved their toner. For my hands I’m using Egyptian Magic. It’s all natural but not organic. There is an Organic alternative called Mama’s Apothecary Sweet Bee Magic. I’m just now giving that its first test. My lips only see Burts Bees Lip Balm as I find that the only thing that keeps my lips from getting chapped in-flight. My new rage is also Uncle Harry’s Natural Products. His range is HUGE and the price point is fantastic. It’s so cheap and all natural and he makes a lot of great liquid free soaps and tooth care products that are great for travel. Another staple in my army of products is Baking Soda (not powder) I use this on my teeth and face. Mixed with my face cleanser it’s the perfect exfoliant and makes the skin glow.

Where is your favourite out-station for nutritious shopping, which vendors do you frequent and what items are a staple in your shopping basket?

Good question. There are so many! In New York I head to Westerly Market and Elm Heath. I try to do most of my shopping there. If I can’t find certain things then at last resort I will go to Wholefoods. Wholefoods has become too corporate for my liking so I try to give my money to the smaller shops to keep them going. In Toronto I LOVE Carrot Common. That place is like a holistic health mecca. Right now the Beyond Meat is my staple. Really if you’ve given up meat but still crave for a bit of chicken this stuff will take care of it. I can only find it in the states right now. Also I love my nut butters. Those are great quick ways of getting my protein on the go. My favorite heath products are coming from Health Force Nutritionals. Their products are superior and beyond organic. I can feel the difference when I take them. Right now I’m taking their Truly Natural Vitamin C, Elite Green Protein, Spirulina Manna, and Maca Force.

A typical Fly Guy breakfast.

A typical Fly Guy breakfast.

Online, where are your favourite crew hangouts?

Um my pages!!! Fly Guys Cabin Crew Lounge has become such a great place for crew to connect and my blog www.internationalflyguy.com I also love my Pinterest

Thank you Jay Rob!!!

Since I have been lucky enough to have a few New York flights on my roster this month, I have already managed to add a few of your recommendations to my list of shops to haunt and products to try. I think I am going to need a week there to get through all of your suggestions. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a personal shopper, for anyone interested, please apply within ;-)

Until next time, safe travels!

Healthfully Yours,

Linda