Since I've moved to Istanbul, I've been having a hard time adapting. It's a very beautiful city but I feel like it's limited to certain things. I've lived in New Jersey all my life and it is pretty diverse, and living so close to NYC and going to school there, you really feel like you have the whole world in one city.  I'm a person that LOVES trying all sorts of new things. Whenever I go out i'll try something new, let's say my husband and I go out to eat, even if it's the restaurant that we always go to; i'll try something different. My husband always plays it safe and gets the same old. I'll end up not liking it, but at least I've tried it. Istanbul isn't that diverse. There aren't really any foreigners that live here, so everything is limited and people are pretty straight forward. 

I am a huge online shopper and will get almost everything online; I miss amazon prime the most. Fortunately, I have friends and family there and still order whatever I need and I somehow receive it, but it takes more than a month usually. We go back to the U.S every few months and I get to stock up on everything I need and want, but it's not the same; I miss the excitement that I get when waiting for Fedex or UPS. I think i'm actually a huge shopper in general. One of my favorite stores is Whole Foods. There is no way I can find 5% of the things they have at Whole Foods here. Luckily, I was able to bring a lot of the dried goods, like teas, spices, vitamins and etc. here with me. I've recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease, and it's very hard to go Gluten-free here, the options are very limited. So I've been stocking up Gluten-free products, like all the other things that I've been stocking up from the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Pankobunny

One of the things that I bought from Whole Foods is Organic Matcha Green Tea powder (fine powder green tea) and the great thing is it is Gluten-Free! You can find Matcha tea other places, and I even have a link for the exact one I have below. Matcha tea enhances the metabolism, reduces stress, boosts the immune system, lowers your cholesterol and fights cancer, boosts weight loss and has soo many more benefits; it's kind of like a miracle in a bottle. If you don't already know, the tea's powder is very strong because entire leaves are dissolved in water rather than steeped in bags. Instead of throwing away the leaves, you ingest all their antioxidant powers. Matcha green tea possesses antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, 17 times that of wild blueberries and 60.5 times that of spinach!

I have a great hot chocolate recipe that I LOVE and have been making myself since it started getting cold outside. The great thing about this recipe is that it is Vegan and Gluten-Free. Since I have celiac, I have been trying my best to stay Gluten-free. I also add the Matcha powder into my green juices and smoothies. A cardiologist that I follow closely really recommended Matcha two years ago and I've been in love ever since and have been experimenting different ways to use it.


Makes 2 cups 

2 cups Organic milk (I prefer Organic Soy Milk)
2/3 of a 3.5oz white/milk chocolate bar, I use 2 teaspoons of Raw Organic Cocoa Powder
Vegan Marshmallows (optional)
Ground Cinnamon (optional, McCormick Ground Cinnamon is gluten-free)

1. If using White/Milk chocolate, finely chop the chocolate. Bring milk just to a boil over low heat. Remove from heat. I like to froth some of the milk, so I leave some milk to froth and add in the end. I use the Bodum Latte Milk Frother.
2. Stir or whisk in white/milk chocolate or cocoa powder and matcha until well blended.
3. Ladle matcha hot chocolate into 2 mugs. I add my frothed milk and stir it in. If you want to splurge, feel free to top with marshmallows; I like to sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Enjoy!


  1. sounds delicious!

    xo t.

  2. This looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

    xx Auna |

    1. You are very welcome! It really is tasty!

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