Sometimes Mother Nature’s Beautiful Creations Need to be Shared…

Cenote Palomitas - one of Mother Nature's beautiful creations.

Cenote Palomitas – one of Mother Nature’s beautiful creations.

Canada’s national “Organic Week” is right around the corner (September 19th-27th this year). During this week especially, I take the time to appreciate everything Mother Nature offers us naturally and organically. Today, I stumbled across these recent pictures of one of Mother Nature’s beautiful creations, Cenote Palomitas, and thought I just had to share them to kickoff Organic Week.

"Cenote Palomitas - crystal waters turquoise color, depth 45 metres, 50 meters diameter, 25 degrees Celsius, access: stone steps." It looked sketchy in the middle of nowhere, so I was nervous to enter!

Cenote Palomitas – crystal waters turquoise color, depth 45 metres, 50 meters diameter, 25 degrees Celsius, access: stone steps.” It looked sketchy in the middle of nowhere, so I was definitely nervous to enter.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes created by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock. The beautifully clear turquoise waters are the result of the natural filtration that fresh water undergoes as it flows through the porous limestone.

The steps leading down to this cenote were steep!

The steps leading down to this cenote were steep!

This cenote called Cenote Palomitas is located in Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico. It is 45 metres deep and 50 metres in diameter with a comfortable temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. Raj swam in it and loved every minute of it. The view was magical. We highly recommend visiting a cenote at least once in your life! Mother Nature is a beautiful thing.

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. – Raj and I are kicking off our Organic Week with CHFA East this weekend. To those attending too, hope to see you there! Look out for some new posts these upcoming weeks! 🙂

The view was magical.

The view was magical.

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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal: Le Gourmet Restaurant Review

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“Raddy” is back! Raj and I recently returned from our one-week vacation at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We had a blast with his family and we managed to dine at five of the several à-la-carte restaurants there. Although this resort seems very popular (I have several colleagues who have visited this resort and we met many fellow Torontonians there along with many other Canadians, Americans, Europeans, Asians, and Australians), there were not many recent online reviews of the à-la-carte restaurants and their menus to help us decide which restaurants would best accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions and preferences. So Raj booked all the dinner reservations blindly prior to the trip, hoping there would be something for everyone on the menus.
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While I was there, I made sure to take pictures of all the menus and of everything I ordered at the à-la-carte restaurants, so I could share them restaurant-by-restaurant on this blog to help future visitors with specific dietary restrictions and preferences decide with which restaurants to book dinner reservations. Let us start with the French restaurant, Le Gourmet

Wonderful ambiance.

Wonderful ambiance.

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Menu for the first two courses.

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The apéritif was lightly sweet and refreshing. It was a great way to prep the palate for all the food that followed. I cannot remember what was in it exactly, but it was alcoholic. There was a non-alcoholic version, which was also sweet and refreshing.

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Like the apéritif, the amuse-bouche was also a pleasant surprise and not on the menu. The salad and sauces were refreshing and tasty, but the gelée was too bland.

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“Fresh Salmon Salad – with a crown of shrimp in a citric vinaigrette, caper mousse and a mango emulsion.” This was not what I was expecting based on the description. I was expecting a bed of leafy greens with either slices of smoked salmon or chunks of freshly cooked salmon. Instead, there were no leafy greens and the salmon tasted like canned salmon flakes mixed with mayonnaise. The salmon and mayonnaise mixture was sandwiched between slices of avocado and then topped with shrimp. I found this “salad” to be too creamy and heavy for a first course.

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“Cream of Almond Soup – with a Serrano ham brunoise.” Raj’s mom and I ordered this, because we have never heard of an almond soup before and we were so curious. It was very tasty and smooth. It almost tasted like a cream of cauliflower soup with fine granules of almond throughout. Although I enjoyed it, I regretted not ordering the Shellfish Bisque soup like Raj did. I tried his and it was way tastier. His bisque tasted like a very flavourful prawn broth with a richer consistency and texture. I made him swap bowls with me for a bit, because his bisque was just that good!

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Main course menu.

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“Garden Vegetable Millefeuille – vegetables layered in thin leaves of pastry with fresh coriander and a smooth tomato coulis.” Once again, Raj’s mom and I ordered the same menu item, because we both were not in the mood for meat that day. We were both very disappointed in this dish, because we were expecting much more pastry for a “millefeuille”, which translates to “a thousand layers” in English. Instead, there were just two small triangular sheets of phyllo. However, the vegetables were perfectly cooked (al dente) and the tomato coulis added a nice touch of tangy sweetness.

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I forgot to take a picture of the separate dessert menu, but I ordered the papaya tart. It was layers of very thin papaya slices, which were lightly soaked in some kind of sweet syrup. The papaya slices were layered over a very thin pie crust and this was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I did not have any of the vanilla ice cream, but the papaya tart was decent.

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My supplementation protocol was very different in Mexico. Instead of vitamin D being my must-have supplement as I was out under the sun so much, digestive enzymes were my must-have supplement with all the delicious food on the resort.

Even though I indulged more than usual at the resort, it was a vacation after all and, as you will see, I kept all my dinners at the à-la-carte restaurants on the lighter side. Digestive enzyme supplements were definitely crucial to surviving this vacation, but at least I got the majority of my vitamin D during this trip via sunlight instead of supplementation. 😛

Stay tuned for the other four à-la-carte restaurant reviews!

XOXO,

Addy