A Morning Run in Copenhagen

I grabbed the opportunity to join in the fun by running the 5k wordpress run. A brilliant idea by WordPress – you simply run/walk/skip/dance/jog/skate/ 5k wherever you are in this world and then you blog about it.

As some of you may know I am visiting Copenhagen, and what better way to breathe in my old city than by running through its beautiful streets? I long to see  the little mermaid again – to give her a good morning kiss. I’m up and out by 7am – the only thing I forgot while planning this – a terrible jet-lag.

So off I go and this just proves that as soon as you get yourself out there it is amazing!! It’s absolutely fabulous – I have Copenhagen all to myself and the sun is rising, the air is fresh and not a person in the streets.

Right away, I meet this lovely little family:

I continue out to Langelinje and pass Gefion springvandet – revisiting my childhood.

Copenhagen is the “city of towers” and when I turn around I see the tower of the old stone English church where I was married and behind its steeple, the magnificent dome of the Marble church right next to where we live when we are here in Copenhagen.

I continue my run along Langelinje enjoying the fresh sea breeze and my solitude on the path.

Suddenly I see her sitting there in the morning sun. The little mermaid – I love her – and either my jet-lag or the sea breeze is suddenly making my eyes moisty.

I turn around and run back towards the city center – wanting to enjoy more of the city in the early morning sun.

Past Amalienborg, where Queen Margrethe lives – a beautiful palace in the center of Copenhagen with the Marble Church in the background. Past the small dock where the royal family, kids, grandchildren, and 2 dachshunds embark on their way to other parts of Denmark – we are in the land of the vikings remember, so by ship of course.

Run, run, run – I am honestly enjoying this run through Wonderful Copenhagen that holds so much  history, culture, architecture and beauty. An adventure through my own city and I mindfully see things that I just took for granted when I lived here. I am loving every minute.

I reach the old harbour – Nyhavn – a romantic place from the seafaring days but  today is full of restaurants and cafes. The place where everyone longs to sit outside in the sunshine and well into the long light summer nights.

This morning it is still quiet but later today it will be packed full of people enjoying life in the sunny side of the street!

And the quiet side of Nyhavn on the other side

Round the corner from Nyhavn I almost fall into a pile of bikes! Copenhagen is a paradise for many things among them cycling. And there are many bicycles!

How about this cute “bike-dress”!

I fell in love with this old lamp on my way home

And this adorable door

I love running – I can explore, I can experience, I can inhale life, I can do it anytime,  it’s cheap, I don’t have to book or reserve – I just do it, anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

On the way home I run into “Joe and the Juice” and get a big glass of Arth Away – a glass of green juice made from fresh spinach, apples and pineapple – I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day! Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday.

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Trying to stay healthy on the road

Here I am visiting Copenhagen – one of my favorite cities in the world and the place I was born. It is also the home town of Noma chosen as THE best restaurant in the world. Denmark is the “France” of Scandinavia and a mecca for amazing restaurants and gourmet food. Oh yes, and home of the famous Danish pastry!

Yes, you bet, temptations on every single corner!  On top of that seeing family and friends every day for lunch and being invited home for scrumptious dinners. So fantastic and at the same time so easy to make unhealthy choices.

So what to do?

For me it is about balance. I could say yes, and go out for fabulous meals at every mealtime. But I can also choose to meet for lunch at the local juice bar and join my friends for a delicious green juice. It is more about being together and green juice and socializing works  (surprisingly) well together!

If I drink a green juice and have some fruit for breakfast I get the nourishment my body needs and I feel content – content in a way that I can pass all the Danish pastries in Copenhagen without needing to eat them.

At the same time having met my needs for nourishment I can eat whatever I feel like eating for lunch.

I brought my jogging gear and a jogging tour through the old streets of Copenhagen is quite an experience a great way to see the city!

It is true it is difficult to stay healthy on the road but my biggest challenge is in reality ME. I am the one who can make healthy choices or unhealthy choices. I decide if I want to put on the jogging shoes and hit the road or stay home and eat pastries. I will do a bit of both I will also enjoy a Danish pastry and gourmet meals. Balance is the key for me.

How do you stay healthy on the road?

Food and Mood

Has diet anything to do with how we feel? Can it really be true that food has anything to do with our emotional health? Can our diet be linked to our depressions and anxieties?

Well, research suggests that it well could be! Psychologists and psychiatrists around the globe are now opening their eyes to the possibility that food and mood indeed can be connected.

We all know that processed foods are full of additives. To ensure long shelf life, sugar, artificial flavoring, coloring. etc. etc. are added. Processed foods are “designed” to make us love it and to want more.

MSG, Monosodium glutamate, is used in research to make mice fat. Mice do not naturally have a tendency to be fat (do we?) so they give them MSG to make them eat more and become fat. MSG is added to 80% of processed food. MSG is a flavor enhancer that makes Mice and Men longing for more. (I warn you, if you make a Google search for MSG-Mice- Obesity, the stories and the photos are grim and disturbing)

All chemistry!

But the questions are coming, can it be that this “chemistry” in our food affects our bodies in more ways than we can even imagine? And, can this food chemistry affect our brains and our emotional state?

More than ever before there are processed foods available – in fact it is easier to get a hold of processed foods than it is to get a hold of an apple!

Our lifestyles and busy lives makes processed foods a convenient “necessity”. We eat more processed foods than ever before – more and more children get diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and depression.  According to the National Academy of Sciences, 1 in 5 children has an emotional behavioral condition. According to a survey conducted by the National institute of Mental Health – of a randomly selected group of adults between 2001 an 2003 – 46% had mental illness! And according to Charles Barber, the Author of “Comfortably Numb”, in 2006, 227 million! antidepressants were dispensed in USA. Can there be links between our food and our mental health?

Here are some things to think about: An Australian study showed that a Western diet high in processed foods and fat more than doubled the risk of ADHD – you can read the article  here 

Another source: Research from University College London found that eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression. People who ate a diet with plenty of vegetable, fruit and fish had a lower risk of depression. They split the participants into two types of diet – those who ate a diet largely based on whole foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables and fish, and those who ate a mainly processed food diet, such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high fat dairy products . For more and a video see here  with the article ” Depression linked to processed foods” from the BBC and a video where a man explains how he cuts out processed foods from his diet and — his depression goes away!

There are psychological components as well as biological components in the emotional problems we suffer from, and it makes sense that the food we eat plays a huge role in our emotional well being. Maybe even a bigger role than we have thought of before. I believe that the day is close when all doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists will routinely ask their patients “what do you eat?”.

Personally, I have been really (pleasantly) surprised to feel the difference in my emotional health and well being after I cut down processed foods and added more plant-based foods into my life!

You can read my story here  – Actually the story that led me to see that there really is a connection between the way we eat and how we feel. But I had to try it to believe it.

The sacred space between us

True connection between us is a “sacred space” and is what brings us together and make a difference, it nourishes and feeds us.

What can truly make a difference in the world is creating more of that sacred space between us.

The other day my dear neighbor came in for a short visit.  My husband was preoccupied on his phone trying to get a hold of our teenage daughter who had gone for a walk to the beach and had said she would come home for dinner but hadn’t yet returned. At one point he looks at our neighbor and he says “I’m sorry that I’m not present with you, but I just have to make sure that Kathleen is okay, I will be there with you in a min.”

The next day I saw my neighbor and she said “You know, that was so nice of Hugh that he told me he was sorry he was not present, he didn’t have to do that”- I told her that it is something we consider really important in our family, to be there and to be present with the people we meet, no matter who they are. Of  cause that is not possible all the time, but then we make a point of saying it. To the kids ” sorry Love I really want to be present with you and hear what you are saying and right now I am busy. Let me come back to you so I can hear you properly.” We do the same with each other or if people call us or drop by at a time that is not convenient. The message is ” You are important to me”.

We have all been in the situation where we feel that we are not being listened to or not being taken seriously – for example, at the doctor’s when he is too preoccupied with other things. Or perhaps your therapist nodded off while you were in the middle of a story.  I tried that once and I crawled right back into my hole. Of course, I was furious but then I did not know what to do about it and I turned  the anger inwards. Today I can laugh about it but then it felt awful.  When this happens we feel worse than when we came.

Arnhild Lauveng  was schizophrenic and deeply psychotic – she has written 2 amazing books  ” Tomorrow I was always a Lion” and “As useless as a Rose”. In the books, Arnhild tells of how she came back to reality and how the nurses and doctors who were able to be there for her, trust her, connect with her and be authentic with her – those people helped her back. This story shows just how powerful authentic connection is – it can heal!

Arnhild returned to study and today she has a degree in psychology. She works as a psychologist at the Kongsvinger Psychiatric Center in Norway and helps people with schizophrenia.

You can read more about her here

A Ted Talk I came across with Hedy Schleifer – The Power of Connection says it all so beautifully! I had the honor and privilege to attend a weekend workshop for therapists in Denmark with Hedy. She truly is an incredible woman. I hope you will enjoy this!

Rawlicious tacos with freshly made tomato salsa and guacamole

This is such a great dish. Full of all the best, vibrant with life, enzymes, vitamins and minerals – a recipe that boosts you from the very first bite and leaves you satisfied and full of energy for hours to come. Perfect both for lunch and dinner.

Guacamole

3 ripe avocados

freshly squeezed lemon juice

freshly squeezed lime juice

2 cloves of garlic

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Mash up the avocados and add lemon and lime juice,  minced garlic and taste with salt and pepper

The Taco “meat”

2 cups of walnuts

2 teaspoons of Braggs

1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds

1/4 red pepper

1 garlic

Add it all into the blender and pulse till everything is well blended – how easy can it get 🙂

Pico del gallo/ tomato salsa

I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner ever day for ever!

5 ripe tomatoes

1 red chili

1 small red onion

bunch of fresh cilantro

freshly squeezed lime juice

sea salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes into small bits, finely chop red onion, fine chop red chili and fresh cilantro – add it all into a bowl, taste with sea salt,  freshly ground pepper and fresh lime juice.

Ready to serve the Tocos – use Romaine baby lettuce as tacos shells, add the “meat” add guacamole and top with  the salsa pico del gallo

Favorite Dal

When I moved to Canada most of my cooking was European inspired. I was trained as a chef so lots of influence from the French cuisine. Then I was introduced to Canada with its many cultures and fell in love. Here you can get the best of everything, because Canada’s population consists of people from all the world. I was hugely inspired – Canada is a culinary Mecca.

This recipe has become a favorite in our family It satisfy everyone and is so good served with naan bread and a good mango chutney.

I always add vegetables to this dish and in this version there is spinach and cauliflower, but I often use aubergine, zucchini…… you can use any vegetable you like, really.

2 large shallot onions finely chopped.  I use shallots whenever possible. It is the Rolls Royce of onions, gives a wonderful taste.

3  -4 cloves of garlic. Finely chopped.

3 spoons of finely chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons of good curry

1 tablespoon of Garam masala

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

6 ripe fresh tomato chopped

2 cups of green lentils

1 liter  vegetable or mushroom stock

1/2 head of cauliflower separated in to small bites

one bunch of fresh spinach

Big bunch of fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper

A squeeze of fresh lime

Saute the shallots, garlic, and ginger, Add the curry and garam masala, add the tomato paste, the fresh tomatoes, the lentils, stir and pour over the stock. Let the dish slowly cook over low heat until lentils are almost tender. Just before the dish is ready add the cauliflower, then the fresh spinach – be careful not to overcook, add freshly chopped cilantro. Taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the dish with warm naan bread,  some good mango chutney and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Snapping glimpses of my morning runs And another award

Another award – come on?? Really??  I feel thrilled and excited and also embarrassed for taking the stage again! 3 times in a month!

Thank you, thank you, thank you – Nina from Tabkhetelyom you are the sweetest soul!!! And I am SO grateful!!

As you know if you have visited my site before I enjoy eating mostly plant based foods because I LOVE how I feel when I eat mostly plant-based and I LOVE the scrumptiousness of plant-based foods.

I have shifted the balance on my plate so the main ingredients in my diet are whole foods.  I love to create scrumptious vegan dishes and LOVE to be inspired and create dishes inspired from all over the world! Indian, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Greek, you name it – all  spicy, exotic and exhileratingly tasty – a party in the mouth! Nina is a big inspiration – blogging out delicious Middle Eastern dishes from her kitchen. Thank you Nina for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.

You have to visit – check Tabkhetelvom  out here

The rules of this award are as follow:

In a post on your blog, nominate 7 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
In the same post, include this set of rules.
Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
The  7 completely random pieces of information about myself:

So here we GO –  fireworks, drums and all………… the bloggers that I nominate for The Versatile Blogger Award are:

Zen and Genki

Dudette

Inspiring Healthy Living

My Raw Recovery

Going Dutch

Holistic Me

Meaningful Western Life

CONGRATULATIONS 🙂

Now to the 7 random information about me:

I am trained as a chef and at one point in my life I cooked for celebrities like Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Maryl Streep, Glen Close and more

Asthma put an end to my cooking career and I was really unhappy as cooking is my passion – however today I know it was a gift in disguise. I became a body therapist that led to becoming a psychotherapist and today I am so happy that I can combine everything I know in order to life a healthy life myself as well as inspire others.

I am a morning person and love to get up at 5: for meditation, green juice & a run.

I love reading books and I am usually enjoying 3 or 4 at a time. Right now I am reading “Crazy Sexy Diet ” by Kris Carr – “The gift of Imperfections “, Brene Brown and “The Keeper of Lost Causes” by Jussi Adler-Olsen, a brilliant Danish author.

Meeting in the kitchen and cooking together is something I love so much – the best way to connect.

I was raised with Danish design- and love it!

I plan to run my first marathon later this year.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Running for your Life – Joyfully

While visiting one of my favorite blogs An Unrefined Vegan  I saw that on the 29th of April there will be a WordPress 5 K Run! It will take place whereever you are. You can run, walk, skip , dance or whatever – just what fits you best – 5 K and then afterwards you get to blog about it.

You can find the details for “The Automattic Worldwide WP 5k ” right here  WordPress 5k Run

I will be doing my thing – running in Copenhagen where I will be visiting on the 29th of April and what a great chance to blog about running in one of my favorite cities in the world, Copenhagen 🙂 (which just happens to be my hometown as well!)

I used to run before I had kids, but when they came I didn’t feel I had the time anymore. I was never a very big runner just did the odd 3 k every now and then, but I enjoyed it.

Busy life took over and my time for running, exercising disappeared – I’m sure that many of you know this story and can relate to it.

BUT – after starting to drink my green smoothies I (naturally) got more energy and I needed to move this body – I put on my old running shoes and hit the road.  Aunt Tillie from Louisiana recommended  Jeff Galloway’s program Run Injury Free. She is 65 years old and has run 48 marathons in her life, and has done so the Galloway way, with joy. Aunt Tillie and Mr Galloway have been a  great inspiration to me. Jeff Galloway recommends a combination of running and walking. This is a gentle way and will prevent injuries and Galloway actually claims we can run injury free till we are a hundred. It suits my philosophy of being gentle to ourselves perfectly. This program also showed me running does not have to be tortuous, but can be a joyful affair – one that I look forward to every day of the year. It’s ME TIME – no worries, no hurries, just me on the road.

I started running again about 2 years ago,  in the beginning I could not run for a whole min without almost dying – I  was in such bad shape. But I kept following the program every day – 45 min run/walk,  one day run/walk- one day walk – Sundays I rest. I feel that this way of training is so gentle and my muscles recover quickly after each run because of the walk breaks. Today I run 10 k every other day and a longer run during the weekend. I would never have believed that 2 years ago!

I love running because I can do it anywhere and anytime. All I need is my running shoes and off I go. I love being out in nature and clearing my mind and my soul with the fresh air. It impossible to come home grumpy after a good run 🙂

Today running is used as an important part of treatment for addiction, depression and anxiety, obesity and stress. It does affect the chemistry in the brain. Not just while running but the calm continues and we experience the benefits after every run.  If you want to know more about the befits of running there is a great article from the Psychology Department at Vanderbilt University here

I hope you will enjoy this youtube – a 100 year old man runs marathon – okay with that I think there are no more viable excuses 🙂 – see you out there!

Lively Lovely Lasagne

I LOVE lasagne – much like Garfield, I love it!

However this version is 100% plant based, raw and delicious – full of goodness, and because it has not been cooked nutrients and enzymes have not been destroyed.  It is so healthy you feel satisfied and totally energized after eating it – AND no greasy pans to wash afterwards!

You know when you eat lasagne all you want to do afterwards is get the dishwasher started and head for the couch – heavy and tired. After eating this version you want to go and play soccer with the kids in the garden 🙂 or go for an evening run. You can really feel the difference! This has now become our favorite and we love it so much we actually prefer it over the traditional lasagne.

Now to the recipe:

The “pasta” is zucchini thinly sliced  lengthwise.

The pasta sauce is made from fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and sun dried tomatoes, like this:

4 big ripe tomatoes.

6 sun dried tomatoes

A small bunch of fresh basil

1 clove of garlic

1/4 red pepper

Oregano fresh if you have it, otherwise dried

Sea salt

Freshly grounded pepper

Add it all to the blender and blend well. This sauce is so fresh and tasty that it beats any cooked tomato sauce!

“Cheese” Sauce

Soak 1 cup of raw natural cashew nuts in water for at least a couple of hours

Drain and blend it smoothe with

3/4 cup filtered water

2 table spoons of olive oil

1 table spoon nutritional yeast

1 clove of garlic

Sea salt

Marinate brown mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons Braggs and a dash of olive oil.

On top of the sliced zucchini add some fresh spinach

then mushrooms

and tomato sauce and “cheese” sauce like this

On top of this you add some more slices of “pasta” zucchini a bit more spinach and slices of avocado. Finish the dish of with “cheese” sauce and tomato sauce.

ENJOY 🙂

Another Award – Thank you!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you – I feel totally overwhelmed. 2 nominations in my first month as a blogger. A couple of weeks ago I was nominated for the Versatile Bloggers Award and now I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my favorite bloggers Assia at Assia’s kaleidoscope

Thank you to Assia for giving me this award!

I hope you will go and check her out and can promise you, you will not regret it. Assia’s blog is full of excellent information, fabulous recipes and gorgeous photos.

The Liebster Award takes it’s name from the German word
meaning Beloved, Dearest or Favorite.
To accept the award you must:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them
2. Post the award to your blog
3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers
that you appreciate and value.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

I would love to pass on the love of the Liebster Award to the following bloggers – congratulations!

tabkhetelyom

an unrefined vegan

Frugal Feeding

chock chip uro

while he was out