Passion

Are you following your passion? Doing what you do best and love the most?

Some weeks back I had the opportunity to watch an incredibly inspiring movie called “Finding Joe” – it is all about finding your passion and following your heart.

I was touched by the movie and it’s message and wanted to share it with you.

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Self-Compassion

We are so hard on ourselves – we are raised to be kind, polite and respectful to others – but not to ourselves. Somehow, it is okay to treat ourselves disrespectful and talk to ourselves in the cruelest of  ways!

We have about 25.000 – 65.000 thoughts a day – 90 % are critical and a big part of those are turned towards ourselves!  I  am too fat! Gosh, I look dreadful! I suck at math! I totally tone-deaf so I don’t sing along! I will never be able to do that! I am a terrible cook,!I don’t deserve that job/position/credit! I will never make that kind of  money! She is much more beautiful than me! He is much better than me! He (she) doesn’t love me! I am unlovable……………etc. etc. Would we talk to others like that? No-way! But nevertheless we bombard ourselves with it every day. Then we smile and pretend everything is okay and wonder why we feel so miserable!

These kind of thoughts are stressful on our body. They effect our health. They create imbalance in the body and they make us feel miserable and depressed!

If these negative thoughts were even a bit positive or helpful, if they could motivate us and get us on the right track – then we could use them – but unfortunately – they are not!

Dr. Kristin Neff Ph.D, associate professor, Human Development and Culture, Educational Psychology Department, University of Texas at Austin is the author of the book Self-Compassion. Kristin Neff is also featured in the best-selling book and award winning documentary “The Horse Boy” – that tells the story of her family’s personal journey with autism.

I love her approach – not the usual “think positive”  approach, but rather, having compassion for who we are with everything, the good, the bad and the ugly, shortcomings and all – accepting that we are humans, that we are not perfect and that we do make mistakes. She talks about self-compassion being healthier than self esteem in this great article in Psychology today.

She uses her own story, she has humor and insight – and she is hugely inspiring!

This is a great interview with Kristin Neff in the program The High Bar with Warren Etheredge

The High Bar

Kristin Neff’s book Self-Compassion is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. Her website is full of useful information, videos, self-compassion meditations, interviews exercises and more. Kristin Neff is also the writer in Psychology Today’s blog  with articles such as “Why self compassion is healthier than self esteem” and “Self-compassion for caregivers” and “let go of self-criticism and discover self-compassion” ! She also writes for  Huffington Post’s blog with articles like “Does self-compassion mean letting yourself off the hook”? and “Treating yourself as you’d treat a good friend”

http://www.self-compassion.org/

The Horse Boy Movie

You may also want to read my post about compassion

Make running part of your life – for good

Jogging is such a perfect way to unwind, relax your mind, and recharge the body. It is impossible to go out for a run and return back, grumpy – it’s simply, not possible. Jogging is an excellent mood enhancer, it works every time! Professionally, it is often a part of the treatment for depression and stress.

Jogging is also a great way to solve problems and ignite your creative juices. Feeling empty or stuck with a problem? Get changed, put on the old running shoes and hit the road. Chances are that the problem will solve itself as you run – all of a sudden you can see things in a new perspective and find a solution.

Running/jogging is a great way to get some “you time” – away from it all.

I am sure most of us will agree that jogging is good for us, but many will also agree with me that it is really hard to actually establish the routine of running, several times a week, every week, every month, every year, year after year.

I see too many people out there looking as though they are not enjoying it at all – pressuring themselves way too hard, beyond healthy, looking stressed, in pain almost – running is just another thing on the to-do-list.

Considering running as a chore is stressful, no fun and you are much more likely to injure yourself ! I’m quite sure that running this way is not healthy either!

I have been a jogger, on an off, my whole life – but it is not until 2 years ago, that I have actually become a faithful runner and I couldn’t live without it!

While out running the other day, I was thinking “how did it happen?”.  For years, I had been an on-and-off runner, usually running  2-3 K max two or three times a week. I would be doing this for some months and then the “monkey mind” would finally convince me I didn’t need it any longer. Then I would stop for a couple of months, till I finally got a grip on my self and started all over again. I did not enjoy it, I forced myself and I actually hated it! I also got injured from running again and again, my knees would bother me, then one foot would become sore with plantar fasciitis, and I would stop, again!

This is how I did it

I was told about Jeff Galloway’s Run -Walk -Run program and that changed everything for me

Jeff Galloway is my hero – he taught me all I needed to know to motivate me to hit the road and keep running.

Galloway is an American Olympian and after many injuries he invented his “Run-Walk-Run” method that has inspired thousands to start running and keep at it. He is the author of many books – he even wrote a book called “Running until you’re 100”!  His message is clear – anyone can run!

By adding more walks in to your runs you:

  • Run injury free
  • your muscles recover faster after each run
  • you gently but surely improve your capability
  • you listen to your body
  • your runs are stress free
  • your runs are enjoyable
  • you feel the improvement week after week

I swear by Galloway’s program. It fits perfect with my philosophy that we have to listen to the body and do mindful running.

This is how I got started, inspired by Galloway:

  •  Run-walk-run, every other day – so for example Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday is your, run-walk-run days
  •  30 min every time
  • Then Mondays – Wednesdays – Fridays,  are walk days – 30 min.
  • Saturdays, a longer run – by doing this, you really improve! You will feel that your usual 30 min run-walk-run becomes a piece of cake – a run in the park 🙂
  • Sunday is rest day – important to have this!
  • Try to get out the same time, every day – to create a routine.
  • Find a running buddy – it is always easier if you know someone is waiting for you out there.
  • Make time – wake up an hour early, for example. Do you know how beautiful it is outside early in the morning? (see this)

In the beginning I was walking a lot more than I was running. To be totally honest with you I could not run 10 steps without being out of breath. As I kept to the program, each time I could run a little longer. It doesn’t matter, as long as we get out – that is the most important.

By following this program you will very quickly, feel improvement. Make sure you can always carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing. Take it easy – AND put in as many walk breaks as you need. Who cares?

I love Oscar Wilde’s philosophical quote:- Life is too important to be taken seriously! This is true when it comes to running too!

Get out, have fun and above all enjoy your run!!

Links to Jeff Galloway’s website and books;

Jeff Galloway

Running, getting started

Running until you’re 100

Become an active participant in fighting cancer and other diseases in your body

Millions are diagnosed with cancer all over the world, every year. We all know people with cancer, we all know people who have died of cancer. Many of us know people with cancer in our immediate family. Some of us even have personal experience with cancer, or maybe even you are fighting the disease right now.

Cancer is everywhere.

“You have cancer”  must be THE most frightening diagnosis the doctor could ever give us. Most of us are rightfully terrified of cancer.

This past year, I have heard of 7 cases in my family and close circle of friends, 7 cases! And more examples come up as I write this post.Even as a young girl I had a boy friend who died of cancer. I cry every time I hear of someone dying of cancer and I ask myself, why? Why is it that so many people get sick with cancer, nowadays?

Is there anything we can do to actively fight and prevent these diseases? I firmly believe that’s possible!

Here are 6 inspiring sources of information that can help you to be an active participant in fighting cancer and other diseases.

During my own healing journey I have come across many incredible stories of people who have healed diseases naturally and it is literally fascinating!

Can we actually do something to create an environment within the body that can help prevent cancer or stop it from spreading? Is it possible to support the body to heal on its own? And hereby add a powerful supplement to what the doctors can do for us?

According to these studies – yes it is possible!

In this post I will look at some very inspiring sources of information. This is information that everyone should know about. Information to help us prevent diseases like cancer and to create the worst possible condition for cancer cells in the body to spread. It is information that brings hope – that we can assist our bodies in healing and be an active participant, by giving it what it needs to fight disease and heal.

  • The book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell , MD. This book is such an incredibly important book about the relationship between diet and disease. It is the research and story about how we can reverse diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer!! Dr Colin Campbell’s research is ground-breaking and life-saving!
    The title comes from that Dr. Campbell found in his research that certain rule areas in China, cancer is non-existent!  He obviously wanted to find out why and eventually discovered that in some areas the people ate very little or no meat and no processed food. He found that there is a direct link between animal protein and cancer. Chapter 3 in the book is called “Turning off Cancer” – the research in the book is evident. There is a connection between the food we eat and the diseases we get. It is also evident that it is possible to reverse these diseases and we can do that by taking the reins and be active participants in our own healing.
  • Kris Carr is a living testimonial of this. She was diagnosed with cancer in the liver and the lungs!  She was told, “Sorry, no cure”, and given very short time to live . Today it is 10 years since Kris was diagnosed with that incurable disease, Cancer, and she is living proof that it is possible to turn cancer off! She did turn cancer off, and is fitter than she has ever been. As a journalist diagnosed with cancer she documented her very private journey with cancer from the point that she was diagnosed and then her journey onward.  She is also the author of two wonderful New York Times Bestselling books – “Crazy Sexy Cancer” and “Crazy Sexy Diet”. She is an incredible woman, so inspiring she will knock your socks off and I highly recommend her work. She has been and continues to be my hero and my inspiration. An amazing woman!
  • Food Matters is an incredible documentary about the food we eat and the connection between diet and disease. Food Matters have made 2 very powerful documentaries, one is called “Food Matters” and the other “Hungry for Change”. I highly recommend these movies. They are mind-blowing .
  • “Forks over Knives” another incredible documentary based on the work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s research – another mind blowing documentary that will change not only the way you look at food but probably your life. It is a documentary that saves lives! It tells how we can reverse diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer!
  • Dr Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his discovery that cancer is caused by weakened cell respiration due to lack of oxygen at a cellular level. He discovered that in the absence of oxygen, the cell reverts to a primal nutritional program and nourishes itself by converting glucose through fermentation. This creates an acidic condition in the body and the cancer cells then begin to multiply. Cancer cells are anaerobic, they cannot live in an environment rich in oxygen. When we eat plant based foods we assist our bodies to be more alkaline – also meaning more aerobic, which cancer cells cannot live in!

This is the trailer for Kris Carr’s inspiring documentary

This is the trailer for Food Matter’s

This is the trailer for Forks over Knives – a documentary that leaves you empowered, because you learn there is so much you can do to heal!

This is an inspiring YouTube about a young lady who cured herself of ovarian cancer

Links to books and relevant websites

The China Study

Kris Carr and her Crazy Sexy Cancer

Crazy Sexy diet by Kris Carr

Food Matters 

Forks over Knives

Victoria Boutenko, Green for Life

This is great news! This means we can be grateful and accept all the doctors can do to help us heal – and at the same time, take the reins and go full power into doing whatever possible, ourselves, to create the very best conditions for the body to heal, by boosting the body with nutrients, healthy plant-based alkaline foods, fresh green juices and lots of green smoothies.

Kris Carr’s books “Crazy Sexy Cancer” and “Crazy Sexy Diet” are full of tips and great advise on how to alkalize your body and boost your health, to create optimal conditions for your body to heal.

I hope this post will inspire you to take the rains and be an activist for your own health – to prevent disease, to heal and to flourish.

Cedar Planked Salmon on the BBQ

Coming from Scandinavia I have been used to only one kind of salmon. Beautiful salmon, and it was simple to shop because you never had to choose between different kinds.

But here on the West Coast there is always the dilemma – a hard choice every time, between 5 different species of salmon: Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink and Chum (as well as the wonderful Steelhead salmon/trout) – all wonderful in different ways.

For this recipe I chose wild Sockeye – deep orange and with a beautiful taste, perfect for cooking on the cedar plank. Preparing salmon in this way is new to me as I have never seen it done this way before. But after trying it once, it has become a favourite. The taste, when it has been BBQed on the cedar plank, is just incredible – beyond comparison, and difficult to even describe in words.

 

Cedar planked salmon with tarragon and dill

one side of salmon

one bunch of fresh tarragon

one bunch of fresh dill

one shallot

1/2 cup of olive oil

freshly squeezed lemon

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Soak the cedar plank for several hours in water before use – I soak it all day to get it ready. Here on the West Coast where Cedar grows all over, it is easy to buy the planks – all ready for the salmon. They are split very thin (8mm – 5/16″) and if buying elsewhere make sure you get a natural plank that has not been treated with anything! A plank can be re-used several times.

Place the salmon on the plank and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Put it on the hot grill. Cook it half-way through before adding the marinade.

Finely chop the fresh tarragon, dill and shallot onion, put it in a bowl and add the olive oil, add sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Now pour the marinade on top of the salmon and continue cooking til the salmon is just done – make sure not to overcook it! (Check this by  gently pressing a finger on the thickest part of the salmon – it has to feel firm.) Depending on the thickness, it will be ready in about 15 -20 min .

I served the salmon with two favorite salads and just that – simple and delicious!  A Panzanella salad, a gorgeous salad with baked summer-ripe tomatoes and a green salad with celery leaves and pine nuts.

Panzanella salad

A fantastic flavorful salad and a perfect match to go with the fish.

6 sun ripe tomatoes

1/2 cucumber

1/2 small red onion

big bunch of Italian parsley

a good drizzle of olive oil

a sprinkle of good balsamic vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 slices of good but stale bread

Half the tomatoes and put them on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake them slowly for about an hour in a 350F oven, checking that they do not burn. Take them out and leave them to cool.

Half the cucumber and scrape out the middle, slice it and put it in a salad bowl. Add the cool tomatoes, wash and chop the parsley and add it to the bowl. Finely chop the red onion add it to the salad – drizzle with the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

Put a few drops of garlic oil on the bread and grill them slightly on the BBQ or in the oven. Tear the bread into smaller pieces and toss it in the salad – mix well so the bread soaks up the flavors and the juices of the salad. Serve it with the fish.

Green salad with celery and pine nuts

Use different kinds of lettuce – a great mixture of your favorites.

A few stick of celery – preferably the middle of the celery with its leaves

2 spoons of pine nuts

dressing

This dressing is a classic that has been in my family forever – we use it, let me just say, a lot
The trick is to use the best ingredients – the better the ingredients the better the dressing.

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar
a teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard
a pinch of sea salt

olive oil
one clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Mix this – then add a little olive oil while you constantly stir, add more olive oil while stirring – continue doing this till you have a thick, dark yummy dressing. You can add a little maple syrup for a sweetness if you like. This salad dressing is so good and so easy to make.

Wash and prepare the lettuce add them In a bowl. Chop the celery stick and leaves, add them to the salad, add the dressing and mix well – sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve with the fish.

A straight shot of health

One of the easiest ways to improve your health, is by drinking fresh juice!

It is delicious! One of the most satisfying drinks on a hot summers day, is an ice cold freshly squeezed green juice – I absolutely love it!

It is vibrant and full of goodness – a straight and instant shot of health.

In the green market I found these wonderfully ripe and incredibly sweet pineapples on sale, and in my garden, I have Swiss chard – yellow and red. I love the taste of fresh chard and I use it a lot. In green smoothies and in juice but also gently sauteed with fresh ginger, garlic and a dash of soy sauce. – Today I juiced it with the ripest and sweetest pineapple. No artificial sugar or colors – just pure nature. Served on ice, it is the best summer drink you can ever imagine!

Swiss chard is a great source of anti-oxidant,  vitamin C, vitamin K and a rich in omega 3. it also is a great source of minerals such as calcium and iron.

Along with the pineapple that is rich in vitamin A and C – great source of calcium and copper – this is a power drink full of goodness and great taste.

Key Lime Coconut Baby Pies

It is time for cake – little sweet, tangy and deliciously fresh in the sunshine!

I love rawfood cakes,  because they taste so amazing  – they are authentic honest food, through and through. Pure and good!

These little babies are not your everyday Key lime pies, but are inspired by the rawfood concept – I was so pleased that they turned out so well.

It all started when I was shopping and looking for some lime to put in the iced water jug. And there they were, these cute little key limes. So I bought them and immediately started dreaming of key lime pie and the thought of how I could make a healthy rawfood version of this old classic.

This is what I came up with.

Key lime coconut baby pies

For the crust I used:

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of dried coconut

8 dates pitted

2 tablespoons of Agave sirup

Pinch of sea salt

To make the crust, I put everything in the blender for about a minute – to cut up the nuts and the dates. Then, I pressed the mass into a mini-muffin pan like this:

For the lime filling:

2 cups of cashew nuts – that have been soaked in water for about 2-4 hrs

6 tablespoons of agave sirup

1/3 cup coconut oil melted

1/2 cup of fresh lime juice from about 15 key limes – if you cannot get key limes use regular limes instead, it works fine.

1/4 cup filtered water

Put all these ingredients into the blender and blend into a smooth cream. Spoon it on top of the crusts and put them in the freezer to cool for at least an hour. I keep them in the freezer and take them out as and when anyone is in need of a treat with tea or a small dessert. Let them thaw for about 5 min. before you bite into them. Serve them just like that – enjoy!

Food – thoughts of wisdom

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  I love this saying by Michael Pollan, an author, journalist, activist and professor of journalism. The New York Times book review describes him as a “Liberal foodie intellectual”.

Also by Michael Pollan are these great quotes – and SO true:

“Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good.”

“If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple you are probably not hungry.”

And “When we eat real food we don’t need rules” –  he takes the words right out of my mouth! I could not agree more! Real authentic home cooked, honest food made with real ingredients and love, we can’t go wrong! Add, cooking food together, and enjoying it around the table with the people we love. Enjoy food, share it, feel it, smell it, eat it mindfully! (quote: from me!)

Michael Pollan’s book “Food Rules” is out as an illustrated edition. The most wonderful illustrations by Maira Kalman!

Here is a little youtube I would like to share with you!

Pollan is also the author of several mind blowing, wonderful, thought provoking and eye-opening books about the food we eat, check these out:

Food Rules

In Defense of Food

The Omnivores Dilemma

These are just great! Enjoy!

Strawberry, basil and lime popsicles

Summer has come – with a vengeance – to the West Coast of Canada – 30C in the shade, gorgeous summer! Being used to the rain and the clouds this year, I am loving it, soaking it in!

I found some amazing, locally grown strawberries , deep red, sweet, and delicious. As sweet and tasty as I remember them from my childhood! I bought 2 trays and hurried home to make some refreshing, delicious – and healthy Popsicles. Pure, refreshing and delicious. on a hot summers day.

 

These are so easy to make and they are so tasty!!  It took me 5 min to blend them together and pop them in the freezer!

Strawberry, basil and lime popsicle

800 g of strawberries

6-8 dates

small bunch of fresh basil

freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes

Wash the strawberries and remove the green top, put them in the blender along with the lime juice , the basil and the dates – blend them smooth and pour them into popsicle moulders – pop them in the freezer and wait patiently for them to freeze. This is truly the hardest part!!

Now enjoy!