Food for thought

José Ortega Y Gasset once wrote ‘ the mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select’. The ‘mass’ is all that which sets no value on itself (good or ill) based on specific grounds, but which feels itself “just like everybody,” and nevertheless is not concerned about it; is, in fact, quite happy to feel itself as one with everybody else.* The ‘mass’ rules over all of us and claims authority because of his commonplace mind. But what is commonplace really? What is common sense… is it really that common and does it make that much sense? Not only José Ortega Y Gasset doubts and even disgusts the common, a lot of great minds (Nietzsche, Heidegger,…) see a problem when it comes to the mass man imposing it’s morals, values and truths upon us. Common sense alows us not to think for ourselves, not to have an opinion that’s really our own (although people will always present an opinion as their own, it rarely ever is), not to really get to know ourselves. I’m not going to go into a political debate about how and by who society should be ruled and by no means am I trying to impose a political statement upon any of you. I just wanted to adress the problem of public opinion in relation to cultural things and cultural taste (or taste in general).

For example: when can one say a movie is good? When a well known critic says it’s good? When millions of copies are sold.. or neither? Some of you might think I’m implying the first possibility is correct… you’re wrong! In my opinions something is good when you, yourself, after watching it and contemplating about it (and making sure you’re not letting anyone else influence you when making the judgement) have come to the conclusion it is a good movie. Although I’m not sure how to interpret Woody Allen‘s quote (he might be implying only the so called ‘connaisseurs’ will be able  to see he is a genius) but he could be aware that ‘the mass’ won’t be able to see his talent and therefor he won’t sell a lot of copies.. but he’s just happy that some people, who are still able to think for themselves, will like his work.

With this blog post I’m not only adressing the problem of public opinion and mass culture but I’m also questioning a certain counter movement of people (hipsters, pseudo-intellectuals)claiming to be individual and unique when all they’re doing is imposing their own rules of what is and isn’t good on others. These days there even seem to be rules on how not to be like everyone else, you can’t just not be like everyone else in your own way, there now is a common way of not being common! Both phenomena honestly irritate the crap out of me.

So tell me, what’s your opinion on this matter?

Kind regards,

Tina

*loneliness is a basic human condition, being like everybody else gives you the illusion you are not really alone: other people are just like you, they feel and think and look the same…which creates a sense of togetherness.

* none of these pictures are mine, I found them using tumblr.

 

 

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Nut- and egg-free breakfast (2nd edition)

Looking at our site statistics it seems like nut- and egg-free breakfast ideas are actively searched for on the internet. I can see why after all a lot of paleo breakfast recipes are based on these ingredients while actually a lot of people have allergies or sensitivities towards them. This makes a paleo lifestyle just a little more tricky for them. luckily it does not have to be complicated and the following recipes will prove that simplicity can taste damn good:

 

Bacon with raspberries and spinach:

I bake the bacon until it’s as good as done, add the raspberries ( you don’t need to use fresh ones, I always keep some in the freezer), and the spinach at the end , leave it on the stove for about a minute and I’m done.

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Bacon, apples , strawberries, spinach and cinnamon:

Start baking your bacon, meanwhile slice up your apples and add them. Add the strawberries and spinach when everything looks as good as done, leave on the stove for about a minute add some cinnamon et voila, breakfast is served.

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have a nice meal,

Kim

 

 

 

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People I stalk on the internet (Youtube Edition)

 

Jack Spicer Adams

It was only yesterday (writing this on the 6th of August) when I stumbled upon this guy’s channel. I follow Sophie, the girl behind The Private Life of a Girl, on twitter and I saw her tweet this little gem of a vlog (down below). It was only a couple of minutes before I decided this was one of my favorite Youtube channels now. I am always very impressed by how some people are so comfortable in front of a camera, I kind of envy that, this guy definitely is. I love how he’s just always smiling, you can see how he really enjoys doing it, which is wonderful. I would absolutely love for him to get more subscribers so please go and check him out and subscribe to his channel.

Ecoholic Beauty

Jess is the reason why I went all natural with my skincare and make-up. Jess is a fountain of knowledge. Jess is pure kindness. Her videos are so informative, personal and honest you just can’t afford not to subscribe to her channel.

TheHairpinTram

A couple of years ago it was okay to go on youtube and start off with some really bad quality, awkward videos. Actually it was pretty normal to just grow while you were doing it. These days you can no longer pull that off, people expect good quality videos. Tram certainly delivers on this front, she looks like she’s been doing it for years while actually she just started recently. While she doesn’t have that many subscribers yet I’m sure that will change in no time. Do yourself a favor and go subscribe to her.

chrissstttiiine

Christine is cooler than a pack of ice cubes. Her Tumblr is worth staring at all day and her Uniform videos are awesome. I can’t explain Christine, I can’t explain her coolness, you just have to see for yourself.

Lilian’s test kitchen

If you think cooking channels are a bit boring, think again! Lilian’s test kitchen is just cooking at it’s best, she’s a great chef but at the same time she’s just like you and me: half of the time she has no clue about what she’s actually doing. I love her approach to cooking, I personally am not one to follow recipes, I just go with my gut and I feel that Lilian does the same, showing us all that you don’t need to stress out about it. What’s even more amazing is that all her recipes are  gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar, soy and corn free. I am always surprised to see she doesn’t have more subscribers so go and subscribe to her!

Essiebutton

I’ve been following Essie Button for years now, I’ve seen her develop from a somewhat shy Canadian to a confident Brit. I just love her vlog channel where you get to see her wonderful home, her lovely dog Reggie and boyfriend Aslan. They are just a lovely trio to watch. I’m sure you all know Essiebutton but if you don’t, make sure to check out her videos and subscribe.

 

Tell me what are your favorite channels?

Truly yours,

Tina

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The Big Leap: a word on hunger

Schermafbeelding 2014-08-17 om 20.00.02One of the many questions I get from people when I tell them what I eat on a daily basis is ‘how aren’t you hungry all the time?’. Lots of people seem to be very sure of the fact that if they only have a salad for lunch they will feel hungry. People also tend to be concerned, thinking you’re not getting enough calories a day.

Let me adress the first thing first. Back when I was still on my normal, everyday, diet I would eat a lot (probably at least 3 times more than what I eat now) and yet I would feel hungry all the time. This is actually something you hear very often. The reason why you are feeling hungry all the time is because, even though you’re eating a lot, you aren’t putting enough nutrients in your body. The majority of people in the Western world are deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fats, the only thing that actually sets us apart from those little kids that are starving in Africa is the fact that we have enough or too much calorie intake where as they have too little calorie intake. When it comes down to deficiency in micro-nutients we are just as bad off as those kids. The reason why you’re feeling hungry all the time is because your body isn’t craving calories, it’s craving actual nutrients and you’re not going to provide those by shoving more bread down your throat. In order to fix your nutrient deficiency you need to eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and berries, organ meat or good quality (preferably grass fed) meat and wild fish, seaweed… basically just real food. People always doubt me when I say this but once you start eating these types of food you’ll notice that you actually don’t feel hungry that often. Because of the fact that those foods actually contain what you need to be healthy, your body won’t be yelling for food as much. You will also notice that the sensation of hunger changes. Being hungry, when on a real food diet, doesn’t feel as if you’re actually starving, the feeling of hunger is much more tolerable. When I tell people that sometimes I’ll have a banana with maca powder and some dark chocolate for breakfast they look at me, all concerned, saying ‘that’s no real breakfast, aren’t you hungry?’ well, no I’m not because my body isn’t in a constant mode of deprivation. Although not recommended, it’s also a lot easier to skip a meal if necessary. Yes, your body will be sending you signals, gently reminding you that it’s about time to fuel up but those signals are nothing compared to the ones you’ll receive when you skip a meal on a normal Western diet. I actually have this app on my phone that wakes me up in a gentle manner by slowly increasing the volume of a soft song or nature sound. Well being hungry on a real food diet is like being woken up by that app whereas being hungry on a regular diet is comparable to the old alarm clock wake up call.

Now calories are actually a bit of a tricky thing. The general rule is that if you use more than you consume you’ll loose weight, if you use less than you consume you’ll gain weight (because calories are stored as fat). So when you’ve gained weight people can quite easily conclude that you’ve consumed more calories than you’ve actually used. While all of this makes sense and is completely true you should also ask yourself the question wether or not the calories taken in are all used the same way in every individual. For example the insuline hypotheses says that excess carbohydrates raise the levels of insulin, which directs calories away from the organs. Organs are the biggest calorie consumers in the body, so anything that stops calories from getting to your organs is seriously reducing the number of calories being used. With nowhere else to go, those calories get stored as fat instead. While I’m not saying that this hypotheses is necessarily true, the point that I am trying to make is that for some reason one person’s body might be inclined to store more calories (as fat) as where another person’s body (for whatever reason) might be inclined to use more calories. Now on top of that the amount of calories you take in doesn’t equal the amount of calories you put in your mouth, it equals the amount of calories you absorb. Now this depends upon the health of your gut and the type of food you’re eating (with fat you’ll absorb around 95% while with protein you’ll only absorb around 70%). The calories you’ll use will also depend on your metabolism and your hormones. There’s probably a ton of different things I’m not even taking into consideration here. The point is that calories aren’t as simple as they appear to be and therefor in my opinion you shouldn’t even be bothered with them. Being on a real food diet, as said above, will help you take in the micronutrients your body needs to function well, it will help your hormones to work correctly and it won’t irritate your gut. Therefor it will probably result in you using the calories you take in in a more efficient way. I guess when people ask me wether they will get enough calories out of their paleo diet they are basically asking wether or not you’ll starve going paleo, my answer is simply: no, as long as you listen to your body and eat when it tells you to eat, you won’t. 

If there’s any more questions you’d like us to address, please feel free to email us.

Truly yours,

Tina

 

*original photo Dean Martin by Martin Mills

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Sunday’s Summer Essentials (Movie Edition)

Here’s a list of 5 movies I like to watch during summer. I could’ve picked more but 5 seemed like a good number.

    • The way way back
    • Swingers
    • Juno
    • Crystal Fairy and the Magical cactus and 2012
    • True Romance

 

What’s your favorite summer film?

Truly yours,

Tina

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Addictive Avocado Mayo Recipe

You might like cooking but with a job, a couple of energy sucking but oh so endearing kids, some side projects, a gym membership, you keeping up with the kardashians, a social media addiction, a dog that needs walking, friends that need talking, a house that needs cleaning.. you can’t afford to spend your entire evening slaving in the kitchen, whipping up your own sauces, brewing up your own lemonades, plating your dishes like you’re running a michelin-grade restaurant. Right? That were my thoughts initially, I thought going paleo would require so much more effort, no more take out meals, no more 3 minute microwave dishes, no more pasta for 4 days straight. Turns out it is just a matter of breaking old habits, getting into a different mind-set and basically just doing the things you need to be doing instead of wasting time making excuses not to do it.
I remember when I just went gluten-free, browsing the isles of every grocery store on the lookout for sauces that did not contain gluten. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this, many of you can probably relate to the struggle. While there are some options that will work if you’re just focusing on the gluten-free part, once you go paleo and start taking into account other ingredients you’re pretty much left to your own devices. ( at least that’s been my experience in Belgium, it does somewhat depend on the country you’re living in. I find that the UK, the US and some Scandinavian countries are a few steps ahead when it comes to catering the paleo-market) And my own devices were pretty much letting me down.
The thought of making my own mayonnaise on a weekday seemed like too much of a hassle for me until I , instead of thinking about it, made mayonnaise on a weekday. It is THAT simple and trust me, the mere fact of not having a dry salad for lunch makes it worth your while. The trick is finding some good yet simple recipes, you don’t want to waste your time on something that tastes just ‘OK’.So today I’m sharing my favorite with you guys:

Avocado Mayonnaise

You’ll need:
1 avocado
Half a cup of almond oil
2 table spoons of coconut oil
2 eggyolks
2 teaspoons of Tumeric
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black peper
A pinch of pilli-pilli
1 lime
An immersion blender
Some patience

Squeeze out your lime and mix the lime juice with your avocado and eggyolks, it’s best to put all of the ingredients in one of those elongated measuring cups ( or the cup you got with your blender) as you will be blending these into a creamy paste. Once everything is blended slowly add in the almond and coconut oil. ( like you would do with any other mayonnaise), this is where your patience needs to kick in. Keep it up until you’ve got everything blended, you’ll see that your sauce will get a thicker consistency, add in your pilli-pilli, salt and tumeric. There you go, you’ve done it.
mayonnaise
By the way..It’s best to put this in the fridge for just about an hour before serving it.

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Kim

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Everyday Hero: Kevin De Weerdt

Schermafbeelding 2014-08-03 om 20.32.46Kevin De Weerdt is a personal coach, founder of KDW training and author of Off season strength training.

To me there’s nothing more exciting than seeing people, who you thought were destined to do great things, actually do great things.  It must have been at least 10 years ago when I first met Kevin. I can’t recall exactly how or when it happened but we grew up in neighbouring towns, small towns. We occasionally frequented the same places, small places. And we went the same shows, small shows.  So , it was a small world and we were bound to eventually run into each other.  One of the few things I can remember, and it was probably my first impression ( because those always stick with me), was me thinking something along the lines of ‘ this kid’s got heart’ . He seemed so unapologetically alive and full of guts, which is something to be admired , certainly at that age.  He was probably around 16- 17 years old at the time.  So years had passed, we were still friends on facebook and I followed him on instagram ( which is great because it offers you  a glimpse of people’s life and  a vague idea of what they’re up to. ) When all the sudden I started noticing what he was doing. I was actually pretty pleased when I found out he was going into the personal training business. Being a personal trainer to me is about, pushing your own limits, bettering yourself, leading by example and enabling others to do the same. Which is one of the noblest things you can do if you ask me.  So I’m pretty psyched that Kevin wanted to do this interview for us and throw us all a sliver of what’s on the enabler’s mind.

What have you learned from being a coach/personal trainer?

That the human body and personality is capable of doing a lot more than what can be viewed from the outside. I’ve seen 50kg boys lift 120kg with ease, and 70 year old women do intense strength training. Fitness and sports is unique in its setting because it reveals what someone is capable of doing when focused on a goal.

As a coach what do you think is your biggest contribution to society?

I believe I’m not in a business where I hold the whole truth but I give people guidance to break habits. The human body is addicted to habits, that’s why some people lose 5kg in the first week and then won’t lose a single kg in the next weeks. The human body will always try to stop change, and my task is to find these habits and break them.

What does sports mean to you and how did it shape your life?

Sports means everything to me, from pro level to the next back backyard pick-up game. Sports is the only thing that holds society together. The best example is the 2015 worldcup soccer for the people of Belgium. We are famous and everybody knows Belgium for being a difficult country because we are divided on so many level, but think about is. What keeps our country together even more than our government? Eleven players that represent us on the biggest stage in the world. It’s a civilized way of warfare, the feeling of honor en pride when representing something or standing behind something.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t wait for the door to open, kick the door in and introduce yourself.

What’s your philosophy in life? Do you always manage to live by this philosophy?

Usque ad finem, which means ‘untill the end’. I’ve managed to live by this philosophy even when I only reached where I wanted to be by taking baby steps.

What’s been your biggest setback? What keeps you going?

When I started doing what I do now I thought I could just walk in and claim the job I still think I’m capable of doing. For an example I’ve sent my resume to almost every division 1 soccer club in Belgium, wanting that training spot on their staff. I thought the doors would open if they would read my resume and jaws would drop in aw, but the hard reality was that they wouldn’t even consider an unknown trainer. That would be my biggest setback but it also was the event that changed everything. It made me work harder so they can’t look over me in a couple of years.

If things don’t go your way you…

I find ways to work. Most of the time I take a time out by doing some training on my own and evaluate how I approached something and how I can change it. Afterwards I’ll try again, and again, and again but in the end I’ll get to my goal.

What makes you happy?

When a set back motivates a comeback. I’ve had countless appointments with clients who suffered set backs that would vary from injuries to motivational reasons. When those people make the smallest step forward that’s a step forward for me as well.

What frustrates you?

How corporate society tries to fog the view of the people. Even in health and fitness companies write false articles just so they can confuse the people. Training and sports isn’t a material thing, it’s old school and the most basic things you can find these days, but still companies want to shove a whole arsenal of supplements, accessories and such in peoples throat with false statements.

What are you most proud of? What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

The recognition and opportunities people give me. I’ve had amazing training sessions and moments with clients because they achieved something we’ve both worked towards.

Where do you need to improve? / What’s your biggest flaw? how would you like to see yourself grow?

In my opinion my knowledge-base still needs to broaden. I’d love to make an impact on the Olympic weightlifting scene in Belgium so I’m taking every opportunity that presents itself where I can improve in that sport.

What do you think about plan B’s? do you have a plan B?

I could always find other jobs in the health and fitness industry, even desk jobs are available if I want. But I tend not to give those options a lot of thought while I’m trying to build something for myself.

What’s your favorite exercise?

I love old school training, which means a lot of compound exercises. The most famous are the barbell squat, barbell deadlift and bench press.

What’s the most common mistake people make while working out?

The most common mistake would be that they keep telling themselves that they can’t do something. As a trainer our job is to pull clients out of their comfort zone because this is where the habits get lost and the progress is. When pulled out of their bubble people feel insecure and doubt their selves but like I said before I’ve seen amazing things happen when people trust me and let their body go its ways.

What have you learned from your clients?

That the truth isn’t written, not even by those who preach they hold it. I’ve read hundreds of articles and some amazing books by other coaches and trainers and there will always be a resemblance on how every trainer approaches a client or athlete but the human body is so complex that what works for person A won’t work for person B.

Do you have any work-out tips?

Listen to your body. If you follow a training program take it as a guideline, you are the best doctor your body has. If you don’t feel 100% don’t try to train on a 150% level. This will lead to much larger steps backwards than forwards.

What advice would you give to an aspiring coach/personal trainer?

Be yourself and find your own style. People will come to you because they can relate to your way of training.

What are the qualities you admire most in other people? Who’s the person you admire most and why?

Perseverance, honesty and pride. I’ve got a lot of people I look up to but the person I admire the most is Derek Redmond. He was a British athlete who had an injury during the Olympics where he tore his hamstring while running a 400m race. Instead of stopping his dad came on the track and they completed the race together.

How would you describe ‘health’?

Health for me is both mentally and physically. People should go back to a primal state of mind where strength is functional and bodies are strong again. We’ve adopted a lifestyle where everything we do involves food, electronics,… we’ve neglected the most precious thing we have: our body. Mentally health should be considered as a state of mind where we find ourselves confident and comfortable.

If you could only teach your kids 1 thing , what would it be?

Take pride in what you do, even if you do it wrong. The thing I get frustrated about is how people always knock people down by saying what they shouldn’t be doing instead of helping them by given them options, advice and guidance. Even if you mess things up as a kid.

How would you like people to remember you?

I’d love to be remembered as the person that stood by peoples sides. I still believe that trainers and coaches should be the ones in the shadows when their clients shine. Even if we aren’t remembered the persons whose lives we’ve changed will know where we were when they struggling to reach their goals.

What’s you favorite food or meal? What’s your favorite spice?

Chicken, barbequed, grilled doesn’t matter every dish is better with a piece of chicken in it. For spices I love the spicy things.

What’s you favorite drink?

Water and Arizona, but when I’m out I’ll even drink sodas or juices.

What does food mean to you, what role does it play in your life?

They have a saying in the health and fitness industry that what you do in the gym only makes up 20% of your result and what you do in the kitchen makes up for the other 80%. Food and other nutritional elements are key if you want to achieve some athletic or physical improvements.

What’s your favorite fashion item?

Nikes, nikes, nikes.

What’s your biggest fashion fail?

Sandals as a kid.

Which fashion trend would you like to bring back?

Jeans that aren’t skinny.

Describe a day in your life.

During the days that I don’t need to train people I write training programs, analyze data from previous training sessions, try to learn new stuff,… On training days I start by getting the material I need, then I go through the specifics of the training session. Afterwards I like to talk a little bit with the client and evaluate how things went.

Who is your favorite artist ( photographer, painter, sculpture, architect, actor, writer,..) What’s your favorite piece of art and why?

I’ve got to give a shout out to a friend of mine right now. Matthew Dawn painted a painting for me which hangs in my living room. He’s a talented artist with a message.

What did you want to be as a kid?

Stronger than my dad.

What’s your favorite word?

Fear. Because fear motivates and destroys people.

What’s the last song you listed to/ which song are you listening to right now?

Broken arrow by Comeback Kid

What’s the last movie you watched?

Saving Private Ryan

What’s your favorite movie and why?

The batman trilogy, because it’s a batman trilogy. And the underlying message of a person getting knocked down and getting back up is a beautiful story.

If you were a painter, what would you paint?

The Mona Lisa, but just a little bit bigger.

What’s the best book you ever read?

Almost every book Dan Brown wrote, I love how he can take symbolism in a story.

Who was your best childhood friend? Describe him or her.

Do you remember that kid on the playground always picking teams when playing soccer? And on the other side do you remember the kid getting picked last, the one that always had to be a goal keeper because nobody wanted him to ruin the game? That’s a perfect description. My childhood friends were honest, but they made you feel like you belonged somewhere.

Give us 5 tips for being awesome.

  1. Squat

  2. Deadlift

  3. Bench press

  4. Stop talking, start chalking.

  5. Don’t bring your phones to the gym, really. Don’t.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

  1. Proud

  2. Determined

  3. Fearless

  4. Focused

  5. Honest

If you weren’t a personal coach, what would you be?

I’d love to be a Jedi Knight or Batman but the most realistic path would be something in the military I think.

 

Do yourself a favor, go and like KDW training on facebook, get in touch with him on twitter  and follow him on instagram .

Yours truly,

Kim

 

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Popcap 2014

POPCAP is a prize, awarded for the first time in 2012, for contemporary African photography. The prize is awarded to photographic portfolios that are either produced in an African country or deal with a diaspora of an African country. POPCAP wants to raise the profile of African photography and provide more publicity for artists engaging in African culture. Popcap works with a team of Internationally sourced judges to avoid culturally one-sided views of the submissions. This years winners were announced at the end of July. The work of the 5 winners will be shown at 7 exhibitions: PhotoIreland Festival in Dublin, ImageAfrique in Basel, Cape Town Month of Photography in Cape Town, Lagos Photo Festival in Lagos, Eyes On – European Month of Photography in Vienna, Festival Internacional De Fotografia de Cabo Verde  in Mindelo and Addis Photo Fest in Addis Ababa.

Joana ChoumaliBorn in 1974 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, brings us Hââbré, The Last Generation. Hââbré means both writing and scarification– markings created through superficial incisions made to the body. Scarification, once a common traditional practice, is fading due to changing values and pressures. People bearing these markings are typically only members of an older generation. Her portraits of individuals in Abidjan, question the links between the past and the present. Once the norm, and having high social value as she describes, individuals bearing these vestiges of the past, are now somewhat “excluded”.

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Ilan Godfrey‘s (1980 Johannesburg, South Africa) Legacy of the Mine evolves around ‘the mine’, which is central in understanding social change across the country since the mining sector is the biggest industrial sector in South Africa. Ilan tried to channel his conception of ‘the mine’ into visual representations that gave agency to these forgotten communities. The countless stories of personal suffering are brought to the surface and the legacy of ‘the mine’ is revealed. This is apparent through land rendered unfit for alternative land uses such as ecotourism and agriculture, through public health crises within local communities unequipped to cope with the burden of air, land and water pollution, and through the disruptive influence of historical labour exploitation impacting on family structures and cultural positioning.

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The Belgian Léonard Pongo (Liége,1988) brings us The Uncanny. This documentary project conducted in the provinces of Kinshasa, Bas-Congo, Bandundu, Kasaï, and Katanga since the political elections of Fall 2011, was carried out by accompanying family members, political personalities, religious leaders and local TV in order to document the events that rhythm the life of the country‘s inhabitant and try to understand the congolese society and accidentally recovering part of Léonard’s own identity. This story brings a vision of the country experienced from within. The Uncanny tries to show the collateral impact of the war. Leonard’s need to see his country from a different point of view than the often depicted crises, combined with the openness of people to share their most intimate moments with him, allowed him to depict his country intimately and subjectively, not trying to deliver a truth, but striving to understand people‘s realities and to reconstruct his own.

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Love Radio by Anoek Steketee (1974, Hoorn, The Netherlands) and Eefje Blankevoort (1978, Montreal, Canada) is a multimedia project about the complex process of reconciliation after the genocide in Rwanda, based on a popular radio soap. In an effort to prevent new outbreaks of violence, radio soap Musekeweya (‘New Dawn’) was created ten years ago. On the same frequency that in 1994 incited Hutu gangs to kill, Musekeweya now broadcasts a message of reconciliation. The soap is hugely popular. The story line in Musekeweya takes place in Muhumuro and Bumanzi, two fictional villages that hate each other’s guts. Musekeweya seems to be a fairly normal soap at first, full of romances, intrigues and villains. The love between two characters is like a Rwandan ‘Romeo and Juliet’. But there is a major difference: the soap is supposed to do more than just entertain; it is also intended to convey to listeners how violence begins and how it can be prevented. While the radio show has an idealistic premise, this project also raises some questions. Can fiction get people to reconcile? Or is this positive voice merely a veneer in a country still coping with the traumas of the genocide? And what does reconciliation actually mean? Love Radio investigates the boundary between fact and fiction. The photographs do not take a purely documentary approach. The camera is used not only to raise social issues, but also as a tool for the imagination. By playing with light and partially directing the subjects, alienating images emerge, with the surroundings as an gloomy stage set.

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Patrick Willocq, Born in 1969 in Strasbourg, France presents to us I am Walé, Respect me. For this project, he emerged himself deeply into an initiation ritual of the Ekonda pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Ekondas believe that the most important moment in the life of a woman is the birth of her first child. The young mother (usually 15 to 18) is called Walé. She returns to her parents where she remains secluded for a period of 2 to 5 years. During her seclusion, a Walé is under very special care. She must also respect a taboo on sex during the whole period and is given a similar status to that of a patriarch. The end of her seclusion is marked by a dancing and singing ritual. The choreography and the songs have a very codified structure but also contain unique qualities specific to each Walé. She sings the story of her own loneliness, and with humor praises her own behavior while discrediting her Walé rivals. While many initiation rituals in the Congo are disappearing, the ritual of the Walé woman has resisted the pressures of modern life . To document this tribute to motherhood, fertility and femininity, Patrick proposed to some Walés to participate in staged photographs. Each set-up worked as a visual representation of one of the subjects that the Walé would sing about on the day of her release from seclusion. You are, in essence, watching a song.

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Please tell me, what’s your favorite?

Truly yours,

Tina

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Paleo in Paris

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The biggest challenge, when it comes to traveling for us, is food. Next weekend we’ll be going to Paris. Even though we’ve been there a couple of times before, we prefer to look for some food options ahead of time, as to make the most out of our stay there.

In the morning we like to opt for a small and cheap breakfast that doesn’t require any cooking (and can therefor be made without the need of a kitchen): banana’s mixed with coconut strips, some maca and lucuma powder, dark chocolate and some dried fruit (we’re allergic to most nuts but if you aren’t nuts are also a great option). We take some maca, lucuma and coconut with us from home so we don’t have to waste time in Paris looking for it.

Lunch is often a lot cheaper than dinner so if you can opt for a big lunch and a small, simple dinner. When in Paris we certainly give up on the ‘no potato rule’ (we don’t always apply that rule anyway), this makes it a lot easier. Great lunch options are the steak tartare or duck confit, the last one is often served with a side of roasted potatoes as where the first one is served with french fries. Most restaurants or brasseries will serve these two dishes at a reasonable price.

If the weather allows it a picnic can also be a great option. There’s lots of fresh charcuterie, fruit and vegetables to be found, you can make your own selection on just head to a park or les tuileries and enjoy your food in the sun.

We try to be good when it comes to snacks and treats, mostly sticking to chocolate and fruit but if we do cheat we will opt for either one of the gluten free pastries in Exki, Nuglu or Helmut Newcake. While Exki isn’t the most Parisian place to go, I do consider it to be a great option: the prices are reasonable (drinks are pretty cheap in comparison to other places), there’s free wifi , they have locations all over Paris and the gluten free pastries have never disappointed me. When it comes to location and overall atmosphere I like Noglu the most out of the three, it’s situated in a quant little ‘passage’ in the 2ème district of Paris. We try to only eat gluten free pastries in the afternoon because they make us feel bloated and a little woozy in the head.

There’s two restaurants we can recommend for dinner:

- Le comptoir du commerce : this place offers a nice atmosphere, great meals, friendly staff and is situated in the lovely Montorgueil area. Last time we went there I had lamb with vegetables and roasted potatoes and my sister had duck with french fries, both were delicious.

- Les Fabricants is a great cheap option in Oberkampf with a nice cantine-like atmosphere. It get’s pretty crowded, but Parisians have dinner pretty late in the evening, so if you come on time you shouldn’t have a problem getting a table. The people working there are very friendly.

 

Here’s a list of places we want to try this time (or on one of our future trips):

L’Avant Comptoir : this little restaurant / bar is situated in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, it seems like a great place to have tapas and charcuterie. They’re pig’s ears are supposed to be very good.

La Coincidence : this restaurant is known for it’s tartares and gets great reviews all over the web. It’s situated in the 16ème district

Le Relais Gascon: this place is situated in Montmartre and offers a lot of good options. They seem to have a wide array of salads and the prices are very reasonable.

L’Ilot: L’Ilot seems to be a great sea food restaurant in Le Marais. It should be easy to go Paleo here because they keep it pretty simple with oysters, crab, lobster and smoked fish.

Chartier: This restaurant gets great reviews all over the web and is situated near Grand Boulevards, actually not that far from Noglu. They seem to have plenty of good paleo options.

 

Do you have any tips on doing Paleo in Paris? Please let us know!

 

Truly yours,

Tina

 

 

 

 

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People I stalk on the Internet (blog edition)

 

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Andy Heart

This fashion blog by Ann Kim has been one of my favorites for a long time now. This blog is kept very minimal, mainly focusing on images rather than copy and always showing a very minimalist style. The lazy side of me likes the fact that there’s barely any reading required; you can just gaze at the pictures. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an outfit on there that I didn’t like.

The Private Life of a Girl

This girl is basically what I’d like to be: a book reading machine! Where I buy tons of books and never get around to actually reading them, she pulls through and devours them. The set-up of this blog is so nicely done, clean and simple with great photography and good content. It’s not only about books though, fashion, beauty, art, great advice, it’s all on there!

Freunde Von Freunden

Freunde von freunden, meaning friends of friends, is an interview magazine that shows people in their homes and work environments. While Freunde von Freunden features a lot of great homes and locations that will inspire you, they never look for homes, they look for people, not even knowing what to expect arriving at their home or workspace. They feature people from all over the world. This sure has been a favorite of mine for years.

JennyPurrBlog

Jen isn’t just the co-founder and editor of the lovely online lifestyle magazine ALO (short for A Little Opulent) she also has an amazing blog on the side. This blog isn’t just esthetically pleasing, the content is wonderful as well. She writes a lot about blogging, being your own boss and other stuff related to being a freelancer. Another blog I check at least once a day.

From Roses

All the people who work for ALO seem to be wonderful, the lovely Rebecca (co-founder) isn’t an exception. Her blog From Roses is another daily read for me, I especially love the more personal pieces she does.

 

What blogs do you absolutely love?

 

Truly yours,

Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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