Ten Thoughts from a Wednesday |1|

I love this series on a favorite blog of mine, so I thought I might try and recreate it on Coco’s Wellness! Here’s ten thoughts from this week.

one.
I’m voting today – in Dutch elections! This is incredibly exciting for me and something I’ve never done before. I learned since moving here that since I am an EU citizen and Dutch permanent resident, I’m eligible to vote in certain, smaller elections (plus a larger EU one in May). Even with the language barrier, I did my best with studying the different parties and having my partner explain the process to me and how to understand the ballot. I have no idea if it will be in English or not…I’m off to do it early today as I have an afternoon packed full of work meetings.

two.
Yoga. And Yoga Teacher Training. I missed out on a YTT I was due to start this month after realizing my shoulder was definitely not as strong as I hoped. It was a humbling realization, and I was sad to say no to something I had so looked forward to. I’m doing less home practice and more studio practice now to make sure I’m pushing and challenging myself in the right ways. Even with just a few weeks of this, I’m starting to feel progress on my pesky shoulder. If all goes well, I’ll instead be doing a summer intensive course!

three.
Deodorant has always been a struggle for me. I struggled to get off the conventional brands, and when I finally did two years ago (praise!), I’ve since dealt with extreme sensitivity to natural deodorants. I still can’t quite figure out if it’s a baking soda or essential oil sensitivity. I’m much hindered by the fact that my natural deodorant options are quite slim here in the Netherlands. I’m planning to stock up on this Primal Pit Paste option when home in America in two weeks as I had some luck with it last time!

four.
Speaking of America, I will be home for a super quick weekend (Thursday-Monday) for a doctor’s appointment relating to my whiplash injury. Particularly my right shoulder and chronic pain spots on my back. Though flying across an ocean for a doctors appointment might seem crazy, this has become my life the past 1.5 years! My best health insurance is still in America + the doctors I went to see right after the accident. For this particular visit, my hope is to get an MRI for better clarity on what’s going on underneath the surface. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, I take each small step forward as a blessing, and I try to never lose hope that I someday won’t feel this pain – and can do my chaturanga in peace, for example! (I’m planning to do a more thorough blog post on the injuries I have and what I’ve done over the past 1.5 years)

“Mini” afternoon tea at Koffie ende Koeck

five.
Three words. Koffie end Koek. I’ve been addicted ever since I discovered their vegan croissants two weeks ago! Since then, I’ve been back multiple times for croissants, scones, sandwiches, and coffee. All INCREDIBLE. Just this past weekend, we went for a mini afternoon tea! If you’re in the Amsterdam area, I highly recommend.

six.
At this point, I shouldn’t be surprised by how environmentally conscious the Dutch are (their whole biking + small house + lack of consumerism mentality is shocking to my American self!), but I did get so happy to see the above boat cleaning out the canals earlier this week! Unfortunately, in my opinion, it’s the tourists who can have a lack of respect and that’s how the majority of the trash ends up in the water.

seven.
I’ve been wanting to try collagen for so long after hearing every blog + Instagram rave about it! However, I was always under the impression it wasn’t vegan friendly (it’s derived from bovine). When I was perusing Thrive Market for things to stock up on when in America, I came across this plant-based version! Still contemplating given the price-tag, but I’m just so curious to see what all the hype is about.

eight.
Totally off-topic, but I’ve been in love with Billie Eilish’s music lately. I find her voice so soothing and relaxing. Personal favorites: when the party’s over, bellyache, and idontwannabeyouanymore.

nine.
Do you constantly have a full Amazon cart of things you want to buy? Please tell me it’s not only me! A few things in mine: this face serum, this book, and this superfood.

ten.
My favorite saying on Wednesday: “Tomorrow is Thursday, which means the day after that is Friday, which means I’m excited.”

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Homemade Almond Milk and Vegan Croissants!

I guess you could say I’ve been on a “make from scratch” roll. This blog and my Instagram (@cocoswellness) are certainly good motivators for content! The vegan croissants were a one-off treat, but the almond milk is something that I plan to start doing consistently now that I have all the right tools (why was it so hard to find a cheese cloth in Amsterdam?).

I’ve been loving Koffie ende Koeck‘s vegan croissants lately, but I’m all for not breaking the bank and trying to replicate recipes at home. I used this vegan croissant recipe from The Rose & Bean and was thoroughly impressed! I certainly didn’t have high expectations, given that the last time I made croissants was seven-ish years ago, let alone not even vegan croissants, but I was pleasantly surprised! Since I still have the ingredients on hand for at least 1-2 more batches, I’ll probably be doing so again soon.

Ah, homemade almond milk! I think it’s a love affair. I swear to people – once you taste it, you can never go back to conventional. Although, if I had access to the amazing and clean brands in the US, I might be a convert to that…

After learning about how disruptive gums and emulsifiers can be to our gut (thank you @hollyskeepingitreal!) I knew it would be a much better option to make from scratch. Plus easier on the budget.

I buy my almonds in bulk from Ekoplaza and us around 3/4-1 cups for every 450ml of blended water (depends on how strong you like the taste). Recipe is easy peasy:

  1. Soak almonds overnight in water. I’ve done as little at seven hours with fine results.
  2. Rinse. Blend on high for at least 60 seconds with approximately 450ml of water.
  3. Get creative! I add a dash of maple syrup and sea salt. You could also blend with a date.
  4. Strain through cheese cloth or thin dish towel.

I got the awesome (pictured) glass carafe at Ikea Netherlands. Only 2 euros!

Let’s see what cooking I get up to next week…


Have a Beautiful Weekend

Happy Saturday, everyone! We’re on day nine (10?) of continuous rain here in Amsterdam, but I’m not letting that cramp my weekend. I have farmers market, hot yoga, spring cleaning, baking, afternoon tea, and reading on my agenda. And I’m dreaming of the sun shining through my windows some time soon, like in the photo above…

Here are some weekend links for you:

The dough for these goodies is chilling in the refrigerator as I type. If they turn out well, expect a blog post!

I’m currently reading this book and love the raw authenticity. The focus is on how every body, and spine in particular, is too different for us to be striving for “perfect” form in yoga. It feels especially applicable to me given my injuries. I’ll do a more thorough write-up once I’ve read more!

My sister brought these when she visited from America, and I’m so glad she left them for me to finish! No shells, roasted, and the perfect amount of sea salt. My go-to snack this week.

I’ve been loving the mindbodygreen podcast for awhile. Episode #92 on brain health is a must listen.

I discovered a wonderful new vegan Youtube channel. Always feels like I hit the jackpot with a ton of new content and recipes to digest!

Thoroughly impressed by this. I’ve been testing for a few months after coming across startling research describing the prevalence of magnesium deficiency. It seems to be helping my sleep and anxiety. A win in my eyes!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!