Fresh Green Juice from Baby Spinach, Grapes and Pears

With one leg out the door, packing and getting ready for my trip to Europe  - on the first flight tomorrow morning. And, …. I am also making green juice,why?  Because, I love it and it’s easy, so why not?  But also, to stay hydrated, nourished and survive jet-lag before it even arrives.

Lots of freshly squeezed green juice helps my body prepare for the trip across time zones. But you don’t have to be travelling to benefit …from freshly squeezed green juice.

Freshly squeezed green juice is so packed with vitamins , minerals and nutrients that you can almost feel every cell in your body wriggle with joy and gratitude, as you drink it!

It’s easy to prepare and it tastes so good. Children love it and it’s a great way for us to sneak in some of the greens that we know are so good for us!

Sweet Green Grapes

Sweet Green Grapes

Fresh Baby Spinach

Fresh Baby Spinach

This is what went into the green juice:

2 bunches of baby spinach

Big cluster of sweet green grapes

4 pears

3 lemons

Ice

Lemons

Lemons

Pear

Pears

Rinse and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze everything into an irresistible green juice
– and Enjoy!

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IMG_6139

“If life gives you lemons make some kind of fruity juice”  - Conan O’Brien

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Almond Orange Chocolate Cake

This is one of the easiest cake recipes ever! It’s delicious and super healthy – how often do you find that in a cake?

It’s gluten-free and fat- free – but you would never know.

The recipe is from a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and she is a master in creating the very best of recipes. This one is originally an orange cake, and it’s so good that I have made it a million times, but one day I thought, hmm chocolate…….in this? I mean, dark bitter chocolate, oranges and almonds……it could only be good and it was.

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Almond Orange Chocolate  Cake

4 organic oranges

6 organic free range eggs

150g raw sugar

250g raw almonds

150g good dark chocolate

1 large teaspoon baking powder

1 vanilla pod

sea salt

Boiled Oranges

Boiled Oranges

You boil the oranges in water for 2 hours, allow them to cool. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly.  In the blender, blend the almonds into flour, then add the sugar, roughly chop the oranges and take out the pips, then put it, including the peel (no pips) into the blender along with the rest of the ingredients – blend into a dough.

Good Chocolate

Good Chocolate

Raw Almonds

Raw Almonds

Vanilla pod

Vanilla pod

Put the dough into a very well greased cake tin and cook in the oven for about 35 min at 360F

Still too hot to cut

Still too hot to cut

Serve the cake with some stewed berries or some orange sauce.

Served with stewed berries

Served with stewed berries

Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; It does for me. Audrey Hepburn 

I agree :-)

Hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are!

Honey Roasted Carrots with Fresh and Spicy Zhoug

These multi -coloured carrots seduced me at the market today. They were so beautiful I just had to find a way to turn them into a delicious meal.

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

I love middle eastern cuisine  - the spices, the flavours, the fragrances, the colours and the intensities. It’s the passion in middle eastern cooking,  it’s authentic and real honest food – that’s what I love!

This is what inspired me – I thought  Zhoug would make the perfect match to the beautiful carrots.  I decided roasting them slowly in the oven with honey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

So, in the oven at 350F for about 40 min.

Zhoug is a fresh herb, garlic and chile sauce,  slightly spiced with cardamon, cumin and cloves, which I imagined would go really well with the roasted carrots.

Zhoug is not only wonderfully tasty, but also super healthy! Packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and flavours!

One of my all time favourite middle eastern cook books is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini’s book, Jerusalem, – it’s a visually stunning book with lots of great recipes. My Zhoug is strongly inspired by the recipe in the book, but with some tasty changes that I like.

Sauces like Zhoug, Harrissa, Chimicurri, and Muhamarra are amazing condiments. They make eating vegetables a total joy !

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Parsley

Zhoug

One bunch of big leaved parsley

One bunch cilantro

one green chilli

juice of one small lemon

1 teaspoon maple sirup

2 clove of garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

sea salt

Wash the herbs thoroughly and put them in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a pesto-like sauce.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro

Serve the roasted carrots warm or cold with the sauce and some pomegranate seeds

pomegranate

pomegranate

… and enjoy – an easy to make, but extremely tasty dish!

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey Roasted Carrots

Perhaps, add a slice of good bread?

good bread

good bread

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Raw Aubergine Lasagne with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Creamy Béchamel

One of the things that continuously surprises people, is how good healthy food tastes!

I hear it again and again – wow, this is so good!

I mean, healthy food really tastes so good that I actually prefer it to more traditional recipes! In fact, so good, I often choose it over anything else.

And by healthy food, I’m not referring to low-fat, low sugar, low taste, low life….. no life……Dietary restrictions are not for me –  I believe that it’s really more about balance!.

There are easy ways to get going: For example, try shifting the balance on your plate to mostly plants, or eating plant-based one meal a week or even an all day plants diet. Even just exchanging some meals every now and then with plant-based foods. Plant-based food nourishes the body, feeds it what is really needed, rather than just filling it up. This will make a huge difference to your body balance and add tremendous benefits to your health and overall well-being.

By eating plant-based you:

  • keep yourself nourished
  • keep your cholesterol levels down
  • lose weight and maintain your ideal weight
  • feel content
  • stop unhealthy cravings

Raw Aubergine lasagne with fresh tomato sauce and creamy béchamel 

Eggplant Lasagne

Eggplant Lasagne

The “lasagne” sheets/pasta is aubergine in this case, but it could as well be thin slices of zucchini,  sliced the long way, left to marinade for about 15min, with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon….

Aubergine

Aubergine

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Fresh Tomato Sauce

200g fresh organic tomatoes

4 whole sundried tomatoes

Fresh Basil

Fresh Oregano

A little red chili pepper

Sea salt

A clove of garlic

A small piece of shallot onion, maybe 1/4 of a whole

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put everything in the blender and blend into a sauce. Put it in a bowl and set aside while you make the creamy béchamel…

Creamy Bechamel

Creamy Bechamel

 Creamy Bechamel

1 cup of raw Cashew nuts

1/2 cup of avocado oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup of water

Soak the cashews – I soak them overnight to make them really soft and easy to blend. Put the cashews, water, avocado oil, lemon juice, nutmeg and sea salt in the blender and blend into a creamy sauce.

Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

Now layer the lasagne – it’s best to do this right before it’s served, minutes before eating.

Start with slices of marinated aubergine – then add micro greens, slices of avocado, some fresh tomato sauce, then another slice of aubergine, top generously with the creamy béchamel and a sprig of fresh basil.

Micro greens

Micro greens

Avocado

Avocado

Enjoy

Enjoy

This is the perfect lunch – or dinner served with a slice of freshly baked rosemary foccasccia - also perfect with a piece of fish, chicken or meat – and a glass of wine.

“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae” - Paul Walker

Sugar is the new tobacco

I’m working on my book about how to lower cholesterol – naturally. Thus I’m trying to focus on anything and everything that can play a role in actively helping us to prevent high cholesterol, but also in effectively reducing it – if/when we are diagnosed with it. The main issues in the book are exercise and food, but also includes topics on emotional health, stress, and sleep, all of which affect cholesterol levels. Foods can harm us or nourish us. Food can help us to stay strong, happy, healthy, and naturally lower our cholesterol. But, there are certain foods that can create havoc on our health – especially if we have them in excess. Processed foods, which contain a lot of hidden additives, including sugar and salt, are the worst. 

One of these really bad additives is white sugar. This stuff is a real killer. The bad and sad truth is a lot of our food is designed by the industry to get us hooked. By adding too much sugar, too much salt, MSG etc., the industry literally “pushes” food types to us and we become addicted to these things (their intention being, of course, that we buy and consume more of the same!).

I remember that when I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol I would very conscientiously examine the food value stickers and to assure myself that there was little or no cholesterol. If it said zero, I thought I was safe! However, I didn’t consider sugar, and especially the white, refined kind, is not only a contributing factor to obesity, diabetes, but a big trouble maker, when it comes to heart disease and the unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

According to WebMD & the American Medical Association, a study showed that people who consumed the highest levels of sugar had the lowest HDL (the good cholesterol) and the highest triglyceride levels. People who ate the least amount of sugar had the highest HDL (good cholesterol) and the lowest levels of triglyceride! As well, it showed that eating large amounts of sugar more than tripled the risk of heart disease.

As a consequence of these findings, a global campaign has been started: www.actiononsugar.org aimed at trying to reduce sugar intake by calling it the new tobacco …. this is to try, just like was done with fat, to lobby to reduce the amount of hidden sugar in processed foods.

I can only applaud that, but at the same time I think that it would be easier to simply move away from eating sugar and toward eating more clean food. By clean food, I mean food that has not been processed, food such as vegetable, fruits, grains, legumes, leafy greens, etc.

By eating clean, we feed and nourish the body with real food. And when the body gets what it needs, it stops craving the wrong kind of food like: cookies, cream cakes and smarties.

Clean food

Clean food

As my diet changed and I was eating more green food I experienced so many benefits, such as loosing weight and feeling energized. I found that things like cookies, cakes and candy; things that I had been raised to enjoy, all of a sudden tasted way too sweet and I no longer enjoyed eating them. It was the same with salty foods, like certain cheeses and even some kinds of olives, they simply tasted almost unbearably salty. So, as my tastes changed, I naturally stopped eating these thing or eating less of them.

More green

More green

Today we can get bacon with less salt, soups and stocks with less salt – and hopefully soon we will see food products with less sugar.

But – why wait? Do it yourself!

All of this is really great, but how about eating fewer processed foods all together! Then, instead, add more plant-based foods, you will reduce your sugar intake in a heart beat.

Good sugar / bad sugar?

But how about the sugar in fruit? I found an answer to that in an interesting article in The Globe and Mail: “Sugar is the new tobacco“, wherein Dr. Robert Lustig, an neuroendocrinologist and obesity expert explained how the body processes sugar calories in a way that is much more damaging than, say, a protein calorie. However, the sugar calories contained in fruits, with its vitamins, minerals, fibre and micronutrients intact, is broken down more slowly and causes much less impact on blood sugar, as well as liver processes. He states:

Sugar in excess is a toxin, unrelated to it’s calories. The dose determines the poison. Like alcohol, a little sugar is fine, but a lot is not. And the food industry has put us way over our limit” – Dr Robert Lustig

Fresh fruits and veggies

Fresh fruits and veggies

To consume less refined sugar, try to:

  • Eat less processed foods
  • Prepare home cooked meals, make you own cakes and cookies – then you know exactly how much sugar goes in. As well, you can choose the healthier kinds of sugar.
  • Say good-bye! to white sugar.
  • Eat more plant-based foods.
  • Try to replace (most of your) cakes and cookies with delicious raw food options – like this or these.….
  • Drink greens smoothies like these.
  • Enjoy dates and figs, if you crave something sweet
Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies

It’s possible to do so much yourself and remember, even little changes can make a big difference! 

Do you want to know how I lowered my hereditary cholesterol naturally? – Read here.

Fried celery root with Chimichurri sauce

Chimichuri sauce – is a favourite of mine. It’s originally an Argentinian sauce, but the very first time I had it, was on a trip to Venezuela – and it was love at first sight  taste.

It has an intense and incredible flavour, given by the fresh herbs, the chilli, the lemon juice, and the garlic. It’s so good with so many things: fish, chicken, lamb, fabulous in sandwiches, drizzled on pizza, as dip for a slice of freshly baked bread, with omelet , or just served with vegetables.

I speculated on how it would taste with different things and came up with the idea of pairing it with root celery and …  it’s pretty magical!

Continue reading

Fresh and Crispy Nori Rolls with Ginger & Garlic Sauce

These little Nori rolls are so easy to make and they are stuffed full of goodness!

Whether you want to: lose weight, lower your cholesterol, become more healthy, …… simply adding more green food into your diet, will bring on amazing results …

Rather than restricting yourself, and cutting out certain foods, or going on a diet – you can add more plant-based foods that feed and nourish you. Thus, there will be less space for food that is not so healthy, and more room for the food that is good for you.

It’s simple, it’s easy and it can make a huge positive change to your health.  

I hope you enjoy them! They taste just scrumptious!

Crispy Nori Rolls

Crispy Nori Rolls

Fresh and Crispy Nori Rolls with Ginger Garlic dipping Sauce

Roasted seaweed sheets

Bean sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

fresh spinach leaves

Carrots strips

Cucumber strips

Red pepper strips

Spring onions

Celery strips

On the seaweed sheet you add everything –  just like this …

Nori Roll in preparation

Nori Roll in preparation

Then you roll gently, but tightly (this can be difficult, but don’t worry they taste just as good). Serve them on a plate with the Ginger Garlic Sauce

Ready to enjoy

Ready to enjoy

Ginger Garlic Dipping Sauce

5 tablespoons of good soya sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of freshly squeezed garlic

A little freshly grated ginger

A little wasabi

Mix it all together.

Ginger garlic sauce

Ginger garlic sauce

Nori rolls with ginger garlic sauce served with a big glass of green smoothie.

Enjoy!

Green lunch

Green lunch

All it takes is 10 minutes

Are you dreaming of getting into a daily mediation practice, but you just don’t know where to start?

Have you tried meditation again and again and given up again and again?

Or, maybe you  want to get into a daily practice,  but you feel overwhelmed  just thinking about it?

Maybe you feel so stressed that you think it would be impossible? Look at this….

Breathe

Breathe

 

I came across Andy Puddicombe, the creator of GET SOME HEADSPACE –   a mindfulness meditation program online. He has THE most pragmatic, fantastic and down-to-earth approach to meditation you will ever find!

The benefits of taking just 10 minutes out of your day to meditate, are tremendous.

I love and live my meditations – this time of my day, reserved for me, is a way to reconnect and tune in, it’s my sanctuary. In a busy life with lots of balls in the air, this is what makes me feel grounded, connected and reconnected.  It’s really not just about me, when I’m more in touch with me, I’m more in touch with my children, my family, friends, the people I work with and meet during my day. I’m able to be truly present with the world. 

These are some of the side-effects you may experience when meditating.  Be aware, you may feel more:

  • calm
  • clarity
  • laughter and happiness
  • energy
  • creativity
  • flow

Mindfulness meditation:

  • Reduces stress
  • Reliefs anxiety
  • Helps with depression
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Improves your sleep
  • Helps with Addiction
  • And even PTSD

And all it takes is 10 minutes!

Andy Puddicombe has created the Get Some Headspace program – which starts with a 10 minutes for 10 days program and it’s FREE for you to download HERE

Read how mindfulness meditation may be more efficient than drugs to treat anxiety and depression, HERE

10 tips on how to establish a meditation practice – read them HERE 

More articles on meditation HERE

The Danish/American documentary,  FREE THE MIND  about how meditation changes the brain, see the trailer and read more HERE

Kick Ass Juice

It seems like every day I’m hearing people say ” Oh no, I’m going down with the flu”!

Yesterday afternoon, a dear friend of mine emailed me – “what do I do? I’m getting a cold, I feel it coming on – help”!

When I get these kinds of feelings, rather than filling myself with vitamin Cs in the form of pills, I load up on straight natural vitamin Cs! The ones you find in oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons, kiwi, pineapple …….etc

Potent and effective as well as downright delicious!

This is what I do:

In a big jug of ice water I put slices of fresh ginger, lemon, and lime –  I was even so lucky this morning to find small fresh sprigs of mint in the garden!

It tastes delicious and it’s a great way to add natural vitamin C to your drink.

Vitamin C water

Vitamin C water

Here on the West Coast, we have a very popular local coffee brand called “Kick Ass Coffee”

Using that theme, I make Kick Ass Juice – if you try it, you will know that this is the perfect name for it!

This is what goes in it:

Lots of fresh oranges

Lots of fresh oranges

A couple of grapefruits

A couple of grape fruits

One fresh fennel

One fresh fennel

Lime

Lime

Fresh mint

Fresh mint

Lemon

Lemon

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger

Kick Ass Juice

Kick Ass Juice with Fennel

Kick Ass Juice with Fennel

Apart from this, for holding off the flu/cold bugs, I also drink hot and spicy ginger tea made from fresh slices of ginger, slices of lime and lemon. Just pour steaming hot water on – you can add a spoonful of honey if you like (,) Honey :-)

Fresh ginger tea

Fresh ginger tea

I hope these vitamin C boosters,  will help you flight off flues and colds  this winter!

Stay healthy!

This Year – Spoil yourself

Another sparkling fresh and new year has arrived.  And with that often comes the ambitious New Year’s resolutions….

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions! Why?  Because so often they become yet another thing we can hit ourselves on the head with, be disappointed in ourselves about, and another proof that we have not lived up to expectations, and so on …….

Instead I’m a great believer inspoiling others including myself and when it comes to new years resolutions I much prefer to look at it this way:

In 2014, I will spoil myself by:

  • taking even more morning runs especially just while the sun is rising
  • drinking more healthy delicious green juices
  • doing more mindfulness meditation
  • participating in a hot yoga class
  • eating more plant -based meals

This approach is so much better to me than carving out hard-core goals in stone. Goals that I force down my throat, pressure myself into, and beat myself up with afterwards because I didn’t follow through with them.

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And by the way – it’s not selfish to spoil yourself, actually, you become a much more pleasant person to be with. You will spread your smile and laughter more often and your relaxed and contented being will be contagious and help others feel at ease and happy too.  And you will be so much better at spoiling others! 

What will you spoil yourself with in 2014?

May your 2014 be a wonderful one full of moments where you spoil yourself!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

On another note – my article Balancing life with Mindfulness is now in Allthingshealing and you can read it here