Creamy Avocado Breakfast Juice & Highlights of Orlando Food Blog Forum & Decorate Book Launch in London

by Julie on April 28, 2011

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Every now and again us blogger types decide to indulge ourselves and our passions by taking the liberty-cuz we can- and spill everything on this endlessly scrolling page.  Today happens to be one of those days!  Lucky for you or…. maybe not!  If you are short on time, do take in the yummy healthy recipe and bookmark this fabulous visual tour of London and happenings for when you have time for a cup of tea perhaps!  If you have time for an indulgent few minutes to peruse, well… do enjoy!!

It was Holly Becker and her first ever book launch that prompted the trip, inspiring me to travel to London.  She’s become a special friend and I really wanted to see her shine with her wonderful success after years of hard work, blogging her heart out and now styling and editing this marvelous book called Decorate.  But before I ended up in London I took in a perfectly inspiring weekend in Orlando with Jaden of Steamy Kitchen who rounded up a roster of talented folks to share their wealth of knowledge to many of us new to blogging folk that have lots to learn and experience as we journey down this exciting path.  Jaden really out did herself as the event was a phenomenal success leaving us all ready to go and conquer the blogging business world.

The Food Blog Forum was sponsored in part by Whole Foods with an evening of mixing and munching at a Whole Foods Market, one of my favourite grocers, that I wish was in my neighborhood or on my island for that matter!  It’s a ferry sailing away thus I rarely venture there, so instead I make the most of my chance visits to Whole Foods and this time enjoyed perusing the healthy aisles with a new kindred spirit, Aggie, of Aggie’s Kitchen ooohing, aaahing and whining just a bit cuz I can’t easily access the special items she introduced me to.  Funny how it used to be a night on the town that got me jazzed, now it’s the aisles of the grocery store, hmmmm……how life has changed!  Is this you too or am I the only crazy one?

After my very inspiring Orlando experience I flew to London via Dublin.  It was lovely to see the Irish country side from the air, sooo gorgeous, and green…. my favourite colour, and the new terminal was fantastic to spend a few hours in-note to self-must return and see more than airport!  After the red eye, during which I never, ever can catch a wink, I was in real need of a green juice so I headed off to The Natural Kitchen just down from my hotel, The Mandeville-which was very stylish I might add- I chose this location in Marylebone cuz I love the high street and from my previous visit, I knew I could find a perfect green juice each morning without dragging my juicer in my suitcase!  It was just sooo perfect to have this option that I promised I would share with you in case you find yourself in London needing some healthy juice.

I was inspired by how The Natural Kitchen folks created my daily juice by juicing most of the veggies and then blending in the rest.  So I had to try my own version of the Natural Kitchen juice that I knew you would want to try in your own kitchen.  It turned out quite delish and I bet you’ll love it.  It’s kinda like a fresh juice and a smoothie combined.  This is an excellent alkalizing recipe for when you are doing a detox day or if you just like veggies for breaky like me!  It tastes rather like a sunny morning so I photographed it with soft yellow, fragrant hyacinths… and I did another mood board for you to ‘set the veggie morning mood’.  Basically, it’s a sneaky way to inspire you to WANT to add lots of veggies to your morning routine.   Is it working for you?? I hope so:)

Creamy Avocado Breakfast Juice
Yield: 4 cups
1 long English cucumber
2 stalks celery
1 lemon peeled
2 thumbs of fresh ginger (more if  you like it hot like me)
1 firm green pear
10-12 fresh spinach leaves
1/2 crown broccoli
1 avocado
3 drops liquid stevia, optional
Method
In a Juicer, juice the cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger and pear.  Pour this juice in a high speed blender with the spinach, broccoli and avocado and blend til creamy and smooth.  If you wish, sweeten just a tad more with a few drops of stevia.  Enjoy with a straw and share or pack the 2nd glass for mid morning or for lunch.  *note: If you can learn to enjoy the green juice without the pear or stevia, this is ideal for alkalizing and is mandatory for anyone who is not well and is working to eliminate symptoms.

Because this has part juice and part blended veggies you are able to quickly assimilate the concentrated vitamin & mineral rich juiced veggies and yet the blended fiber will keep you satisfied a little longer than juiced veggies will.  As for your body, it will LOVE you as you’ve just made it’s job easier by mincing up the veggies so you won’t spend precious energy breaking this down, yet you will be fully energized to begin your day.  Not that veggies take a long time to digest as they are quick to process especially leafy greens but you will preserve energy for other activities, like ‘super brain power’ as you begin your day.  I rather think this is a pretty good pay off for having to rinse out a juicer AND a blender in the morning as well as the fact that you will feel superb compared to sluggish after having had something like eggs & bacon for breaky!-and the greasy mess from this preparation is 10x’s worse to me, don’t you agree?

Are you ready? Cuz I can’t help it, I’m an Aries and I have to share everything I do, taste, see, experience, find AND everywhere I go AND the special folks I meet!  Do you do this-are you an Aries too? If so, I want to hear from you so I don’t feel soooo alone in my craziness!  This last trip to Orlando and then on to London was filled to the brim with wonderful people, and places, with soooo much to share.  I’m terrible at editing out cuz I don’t want you to miss a thing!  If I could have taken you with me, you’d have experienced it all, right there with me, but since I couldn’t do that, these collages of photos should do just the trick!  On the other hand, if it’s a bit over kill, I apologize, I can’t help my snap happy self with a camera and I hate to see these fun shots hiding in my photo library!  So here goes it, a rather big glimpse of my trip, including Orlando, and mostly London thru the lens of my camera & my iPhone!

Here we have the highlights of Food Blog Forum. Jaden is pictured at the mic inspiring us all while special recipes were created on site for us to try by the Whole Foods chefs.  The brie wedding cake was gorgeous even though I’m not a cheese girl!  I met fellow NYC blogger Asha Pagdiwalla of Fork Spoon Knife, as well as Helene Dujardin of Tartlette who shared her wisdom on photography-she’ s soooo clever that I am taking her up coming class in Santa Fe soon-and BTW she just published her first book too!-Plate to Pixel.  The special desserts were so beautifully put together I had to take a snap shot of the chocolate tea cup presentation, so cute!  For more highlights on the FBF check out the attendees links at the bottom of this post, Food Blog Forum.

Below is my much needed, energizing, green juice moment!  The Natural Kitchen boasted healthy options from produce, to grocery basics, and delicious deli salads chalk full of fresh veggies, prepared daily.  It was a hubbub of activity with communal tables for quick stops or an option for table service upstairs with a menu of goodness offered.  One could even find gourmet gift items like special olive oils and gadgets, downstairs, for those special foodie types-kinda like me!

After declaring that I would be thrilled to blog about their fabulous business, the owner and the staff didn’t mind me shooting the veggies-my favourite subject!!  I guess I’m not the only one that loves this place.  I woke up this morning to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter in my inbox-love her stuff- with tons of London places to DO -you must her check out her site- and of course she’s highlighted The Natural Kitchen and a few places I managed to get to.  But now I need to go back though cuz there’s sooo much I missed!

Then came the big event that everyone was waiting for, fluffing for, travelling for, the elegant book launch at the coveted Liberty of London location.  No one has book launches here, no one…. except the famous Holly Becker!  She asked for the moon and she got the stars!  It couldn’t have been more perfect for her.  A sold out crowd and copy after copy signed and sold!  She presented with grace and sincerity.  Her book launch utube story is here if you are keen to take a peek for just 2 minutes–see if you can find me–kinda like Where’s Waldo!  Holly was like a kid in a candy story as she curated from Liberty’s incredible retail collection, a display of wonderful items reflecting her ‘Decor 8′ aesthetic for the event, with the the help of some friends below.

I met Sania Pell, the author of a wonderful book The Handmade Home, who’s home was featured in Holly’s book Decorate (actually on the US cover).  She is pictured with me below, in the first photo, top left.  She assisted in the styling and set up of the event along with Leslie Shewring, a dear friend of mine. Together with Holly, these ladies created magic to feast our eyes upon during this special presentation.  Holly features more of the event and the lovely displays here on Decor8 -  some fabulous interior pages of Decorate are here.

The group shot below is of all the gorgeous Morocco gals!!  We all met in Marrakesh back in October and got to have a nice little reunion in London.  During my visit I chummed around with Tiffany Kirshner Dixon, The Fancy Farm Girl (my new fun friend and photographer), on the far left and Jo Packham (a dear, dear friend too) on the far right, Publisher of Where Women Create, Where Women Cook. Jo is also the Founder of the upcoming event in September, The Creative Connection in St. Paul-I’m teaching there-yay!- can You come too? Together we shared many, many laughs all week long!   Some of our Morocco friends couldn’t be there but we really missed them.

At the bottom right is Amy Butler and I–pinch me!  I had the surprise pleasure of meeting her as she signed her books just after Holly’s event (I’ve always adored her vibrant fabric patterns).  Tiffany and I shared a little time one morning with her, getting our Natural Kitchen fix as we headed to Portobello Road which I’ll share shortly.  Leslie is with me top right and with Holly bottom left.  I didn’t get a snap shot of Carolyn Robb, the chef to Princess Diana and Prince Charles -pinch me again!- for 13 years but it was an absolute delight to meet her and her precious daughter.  A group of us enjoyed lunch together getting to know her a little more. She brought us lovely chocolate cake treats (they were to DIE for), her own handmade of course, beautifully packaged as a token of appreciation for taking time out to inspire her with our own blogs as she ventures into a new business TasteBud with her florist partner Sarah Champier.  Jo Packham just featured her in the recent issue of Where Women Cook.

As fun as seeing, tasting and finding cool stuff in London was, it’s really the people that you meet and spend time with that make it MOST special.  All the gals I met are amazing women with BIG hearts, doing what they are passionate about which makes them soooo special and inspiring to be with.  I miss you all and wish the miles between us were zero since none of us live anywhere near the other!  Thank goodness for the internet & blogs, which really brings us back to how we all met in the first place!

So next you have my photographic extravaganza showing the food we saw, some of which we ate, the places we drooled over and the flowers and veggies I wish I could shop from every single day!  Oh London, how I miss thou!

Ottolenghi is where the photos above were taken.  If you haven’t been, then get a ticket to London fast! OMG it is to die for!  Other wise, order Yotam Ottolenghi’s books Plenty and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook so you can make some of these divine recipes yourself and receive raving reviews!  The salads are all vegetarian and rotate weekly based on what’s in season.  And the baked goodies, well…. if you were ever going to Zig and Zag….. this is the place to do it!

As for the flowers, I just can’t get enough of pretty blooms and London was just brimming with them.  Outside Liberty’s front doors was a stunning florist’s collection that Holly, Leslie and Sania got to play with for displays too-so envious!  My retail merchandising passion is flaring up again!

This muted collage is just a glimpse of London sights that caught my eye along with the Liberty Print Nike high tops that I am coveting, aren’t they great?-love them! They have a few patterns available, some are limited editions that are available here.  The next few collages are a feast for the eyes- everything you missed by not by not tagging along with me to the Portobello Road street market.  Oooooh if I could only return with a personal caddy and a huge shipping container to stuff full of fab finds!  Take a drool now!

There’s even a little Will & Kate going on here!  Had to pick up a special momentum for a dear friend who is a royal fanatic!  Only one more sleep for Kate before she’s a true princess!  In the center there’s myself, Amy Butler, Holly Becker, Tiffany Kirshner Dixon and bottom right is Thorsten Becker, Holly’s hubby, in his element, buying vintage books, probably to inspire his own blog, Alternate Words!  But just look at the stuff  you can find here, it makes me lose my everlasting mind!  I especially loved the aluminum suitcases, and those floral picthers were really lovely! Sigh…wish I were there again!

And the veggies, oooh the veggies, my heart was happily dancing as I zoomed in on gorgeous rhubarb, artichokes, kohlrabi, garlic, you name it they had it, deliciously displayed!  I was in my happy place alright!

A market with out flowers would be wrong.  But this one was over the top gorgeous.  Boohoo that I can’t source weekly bouquets here!  And the enormous bunches of tulips, sooo stunning!

And then there was the Steam Fair, Tiffanny’s great idea …..Need I say more?  By the photos you’ll see how lovely it was to photograph and even more so to take part in with two fun loving companions, Tiffany and Thorsten.  Unfortunately my camera battery died-but thanx to my trusty iPhone I still had fun shooting this wonderful outing! Check out the video of the Wall of Death, you won’t believe your eyes what these dare devil motor cycle riding dudes do!  My favourite ride as a child was always the slide, so Tiffany and I HAD to slide, in fact we had to go twice! It was sooo fun sliding all the way down the outside of the lighthouse on our jute mats!  We were big kids again!  We even witnessed the sword swallower!!-but No photos were allowed!  If you are ever in the UK when this fair is touring, you must check it out!

Phew, glad you made it way way down here and I hope you enjoyed the scrolling!  Perhaps I should have hired an editor for this post, sorry!  This could have been a novel!  Thanx for taking it all in, I really appreciate you stopping by!  Have a fantastic week and be sure to do something that you are passionate about!

Now, I have to ask….
1. How do You incorporate veggies into your breakfast routine, or do you?
2. What’s your favourite subject to photograph?
3. Your favourite place in London is……? or your favourite ride at the fair?
4. What’s your alkaline health goal for this week?   More water, extra fitness, big salads….please share:)

Sooo many questions…. but I’m all tuckered out from writing and I’d love to read your stories now:)


pssst….one last thing….
If you felt inclined to vote for our site, We are honoured to be one of 6 finalist’s in the Best Special Interest Blog category for the Saveur Magazine’s Best Blogs of 2011- Yippee! and the link is here. You do have to join to vote but you can opt out after you vote if you so chose, but Saveur is a wonderful site so you may not need to!  The voting is open til May 12th.  THANK YOU!

My Style Props this week are..
Glass Jars w/ Lids
Muffet & Louisa, Sidney B.C.  This was an in-store item but perhaps they could still ship it.
Plaid Linen,
Cath Kidston, London, England
Heavy Cotton Gauze,
Purl Soho, NYC

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Scandifoodie April 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Gorgeous photos and such a yummy juice! Huge congratulations on the spot amongst the finalists and good luck! x

Julie April 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Maria, thank you kindly! Let me know if you try the juice:)

Donna Leech April 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

What an amazing blog you have Julie!! Beautiful pictures. Congratulations. Your trip looked absolutely amazing. I have to go back to read more. PS: I love the green smoothie drink, I have been enjoying that in the morning.

kellypea April 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Wow! That is one write up of what sounds like a great time. I really enjoyed how you organized all of your photos as well. I’ve not been here before so am looking forward to sifting through your content. I’m fascinated just by reading the welcome in your side bar. Congrats on being one of Saveur’s finalists.

Brittany April 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Love this post!!! Sudden urge to trip to London :) Thank you for all the blog links along the way!

Rona Bennett April 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Looks like you had a fantastic trip. Everyone all together again. I’m jealous! I’m glad you had such a great time.

Julie April 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Rona, we enjoyed seeing each other again but we missed you and Mimi and the other Morocco gals! We’ll all reunite one day perhaps! It really was a great trip though! Hope you are well:) Hi to Mimi!

Leslie April 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

Oh my goodness. Gorgeous shots Jules! I need more time to go through all of these images. Thank you for sharing all your inspirations from your travels as this is a treat for all of us. I also love the green drink recipe. I had a similar one in Copenhagen, where they juiced and then blended and was thinking of how to re-create it. So thank you for figuring it out for me! Happy weekend!!!

Diane April 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Love this juice Julie and your post is so beautiful and inspiring! Love your photos!! :)

Valerie Tonner April 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Greetings Yvonne and Julie Your blog is divine in every way. Beautifully, healthfully inspiring. My question is: what can you tell us about an anti-inflammatory diet? The food that you present seems to be an excellent example of this.
Best Regards, Valerie

Julie April 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Hey Di, missed you in London this time:( Glad you like the juice, it’s a yummy one! We need a lunch together at Bliss soon!

Julie April 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Valerie, the alkaline diet/lifestyle is what relieved my herniated disk by eliminating my inflammation at the disk, thereby reducing the swelling and relieving the pain. If you read my story you will see that I tried everything else practically. I was able to flush built up toxins and only ate raw veggies/100% alkaline for about 2 months at which time I introduced seeds, nuts, some cooked whole grains & legumes. It worked incredibly well. I highly recommend 100% alkaline foods along with lots of alkaline water for a 4-6 weeks if possible until symptoms are alleviated and then balancing 80-20 or 70-30 alkaline/acid foods for a healthy regime. Sugar is the worst offender including anything that becomes a sugar once ingested ie: rice, potatoes, breads & pasta-removing these altogether can make a huge difference for many peoples health issues. I suggest taking a peek at The pH Miracle book by Dr. Robert O. Young for further alkaline info. Thanx for your question and your lovely feedback:) We appreciate it.

SMITH BITES May 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm

congrats on being a finalist Julie – you have a beautiful blog and deserve to be there! as usual, your photos are lovely and it looks like you had a wonderful time on all your adventures – need to come back and re-read as there is MUCH HERE – LOVE!

and we will be trying this avocado breakfast juice in the morning; will need to make a few substitutions (kale in lieu of spinach & apple in lieu of pear) because that’s what i’ve got in the fridge but it does sound delicious!

Coco May 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

ello! So jealous you went to London, my favorite city in the world! The english countryside is where I hope to end up one day :) Your pictures are beautiful and I am looking forward to hearing more about your travel adventures!

Julie May 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Thank you kindly Smith Bites, glad you enjoyed the loooooong post! As for the creamy juice I often use kale and apple cuz that’s what is on hand but I needed to switch it up so thus was the result. It’s really important to swap your greens weekly or mix them up, if you need more info see my St. Patty’s day post. Thanx for stopping by:)

Julie May 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Coco, I know London was a delight. Didn’t get to the country side this time but explored some smaller villages out of the city center which was charming and much quieter, but I do love the country side too! Thanx for popping in:)

Lenore Angela May 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Hi Julie,
Your photos are gorgeous! So wish I could have gone. Oh well, seeing this post feels as if I was there. I can hardly wait to try your delicious drink!
Lots of love, Lenore

Carrie May 4, 2011 at 8:32 am

I’m having the breakfast juice . It’s really yummy! Thanks Julie.

Julie May 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

Carrie, Don’t you love how tasty the avocado is in there? Thanx for saying hi today:)

Forks Knives and Spades May 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

Gorgeous photos of London! I’ve been twice and my brother lives there now. I’m dying to go back. I love the photos of the fruits and veggies. Makes me crave them!

Sharon Knoll May 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I voted for you at Saveur – that is how I found this wonderful site. I was voting for Food 52 and discovered your blog and here we are! I will answer one of your four questions – how I incorporate greens into my breakfast. In my vitamix I put in a large handful of fresh spinach and a whole peeled grapefruit along with ground flax seed. It is so good! And simple.

Julie May 7, 2011 at 5:54 am

Awe Thanx Sharon:) Your smoothie sounds yummy. Have you ever tried adding hemp nuts? They provide a nice protein and are subtle in flavour and make it creamier as does an avocado. I am addicted to the avocado in my smoothie and it doesn’t seem right without it. But I do get simple is nice somedays:) Thanx for your comment.

Zita May 12, 2011 at 2:04 am

Julie,

thanks for this post!!! You know I’ll go to FBC’11 this August and I’m so looking forward to exploring London’s best foodie places. I used to live in England, I have been to London a few times and I know that a few days in August won’t be enough to try, taste everything but your post helps me so much. I wrote a couple of notes in my diary where to go and what I shouldn’t miss. Gwyneth newsletter with all those wonderful places is a real gem. One question: which Ottolenghi restaurant did you go? Which one do you recommend to try? Did you make a booking? Should I book ahead?

We spent a couple of days in Paris in April and I had so many addresses I wanted to go but from 9 am until midnight everyday we were exploring the city and we didn’t have time to visit all the foodie places I wanted to.

I think there will be so many “next time in London and Paris” in my life!!! :)

admin May 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

Zita, I know, I wish I was going to FBC this summer:( You’ll love it though! Ottolenghi is more of a deli so no reservations needed and every location is lovely so just go to the closest one. Thanx for stopping in!

Zita May 19, 2011 at 2:32 am

Julie,
I’m so sorry too that we don’t have a chance in August. But I don’t give up and I know I’ll meet you one day! :)
Thanks for the Ottolenghi tip! I’m so looking forward to going to FBC and meeting my food blogger friends. :)

Neilum August 6, 2011 at 1:53 am

Wow, what a wonderful site you’ve created! I love the imagery, descriptions and your passion for good food that’s good for you. I’m the girl who sat beside you on the plane ride home from London and I really enjoyed our conversation.

Just recently I found the card you gave me and thought I would stop in to say hi and check out your blog. I’m so glad I did!! You have some really interesting information and from what I’ve peeked at so far some amazing, fresh, healthy recipes. I’ve already made a mental list of the homemade salad dressing recipes I want to try lol.

This blog seems fulls of great advice and passion. It was great meeting you and I’m looking forward to learning more about alkaline foods! :)

Julie August 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Neilum, so glad you took a moment to say hi! I do recall chatting with you:) Glad you like what you see. Please holler if you have any questions or need any support with lifestyle changes as I’m happy to share. And I’d love to hear any of your feedback on recipes you try too! Take care:) Hope to see you here again soon!

Lana July 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Beautiful pictures! London is fantastic – spent a few days there a couple years back and loved it. I love my morning green juices! Filled with celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger, fennel, greens, lemon, mmm! Every morning and usually another one before dinner as well. I love how great it makes my body feel, so energizing and it’s a great way to sneak in easy nutrients throughout the day. Man, some of those prices of produce in your pics.. we pay 15-20 bucks a kilo for ginger, and some of the produce is so ridiculously expensive (mind you this is just for CONVENTIONAL produce as well – so sad! ) Looking forward to being back on the westcoast of BC and having access to organic foods again, and decently priced produce.

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not written with intentions to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatments. Our content is for information purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat health issues of any sort. Our information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Copyright Julie Cove and Yvonne Becker, 2009-2010. Please do not use or copy any information, recipes or photos without permission or without noting its origins on your blog or website.