Summer without stress

I’m off! Today is the day I have been longing for – for months – the first day of the summer holiday!

I am off to spend 3 delicious weeks in a summer-house by the sea.

I can hardly wait.

Summer

Summer

I am so excited and at the same time I know it’s important to plan ahead, so that we make the most of it. Successful holidays don’t just happen. Holidays can be disappointing! We all have expectations and dreams and they may not turn out the way we wished, hoped and longed for. Unfulfilled expectations cause stress and disappointment!

The time leading up to the holidays can be particularly stressful.

We all need our holidays – to recharge, rejuvenate and fill ourselves with new energy.

So how can we increase our chances of fulfilling it …

This is “my” plan for a stress-free summer:

  • Unplug. Actually turn of all electronics and be out of reach. Yes, no need to check emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs etc.
  • Mindfulness – live in the moment. Practice mindfulness, breathe, and be in the moment.
  • Meditate – to reconnect with myself through daily mediations
  • Read books – instead of computers and internet, I want to read great books, in the shade …..
  • No plans – be spontaneous. No schedules, just feel the flow and be part of it.
  • Play – God yes, be crazy, play let go, have fun, look silly
  • Bare feet – connect to the earth and the ground -lots of research on this …. great idea.
  • Go slow – nothing I need to do or nothing I need to get to – just inhale the moment – remember to stop and smell the roses.
Smell the roses

Smell the roses

“Every Sweet-scented rose tells from it’s heart the secrets of heaven and earth” –Rumi

Bare feet in the sand

Bare feet in the sand

Beach

Beach

I know this will not be easy and I am sure I will have withdrawal issues for a while 🙂 But I also know how vital, how crucial, it is to disconnect to reconnect – and recharge.

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” And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”

Khalil Gibran 

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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Elderberry Flower Juice

A summer tradition – as soon as the elderberry trees starts blooming, I am on a mission.

Ice Cold Elderberry Flower Juice

Ice Cold Elderberry Flower Juice

I get out early in the morning while the sun is rising and the mist hangs low on the fields, to pick the beautiful white and deliciously smelling flowers.  It’s a Danish tradition, we look at it as a confirmation of summer – the elderberry flowers are blooming and the first strawberries are ready. Then I know summer is here!

Elderberry flowers

Elderberry flowers

Since I moved to the West Coast of Canada I have not seen any Elderberry bushes anywhere. Last year I told my friend how much I missed that tradition and she said – “but I have one!”

So this year she, the dear soul, donated every single flower to my mission – that’s generosity!

Elderberry Flower Juice

40 Clusters of flowers

3 organic lemons

1 1/2 kg Raw sugar – (the original recipe asks for caster sugar to get a clear blonde juice, but I prefer to use the healthier raw sugar)

2 liters of boiling water

Rinse the elderberry flowers, put them into a big bowl. Wash the organic lemons, slice them and put them with the flowers.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Add the sugar – pour over the boiling water and stir till the sugar has dissolved.

Leave it to cool – cover it and put it in the fridge for 3 days to “brew”. Take it out and stir every day.

Brewing

Brewing

On the third day strain the juice through a cloth pour it in to distilled bottles. There is no preservative in the juice and therefore it will not last long. What I do to keep it fresh is to freeze it in ice-cube trays, then I can take it out as I need it. Use them as flavorful ice cubes – ie in white wine or in apple juice.

It’s delicious!

Even on strawberries with freshly chopped mint……

Local Strawberries

Local Strawberries

Enjoy!

On Ice

On Ice

Green Smoothie with Spinach, Mango, Lime and Mint

The atmosphere in our house is really intense – the teenagers are preparing for exams and they are studying like crazy, really hard!

Green smoothies are the perfect energy kick to feed and nourish  mind and body.

At this time of year, the stores are booming with fresh, soft, sweet and delicious mangos. They are the perfect snack and fantastic in green smoothies.

Here is a smoothie for the hard-working teens (or others) – a real kick of greens!

Lovely mangos

Lovely mangos

 

Green and delicious

Green and delicious

This smoothie is delicious. It’s sweet, intense, powerful and refreshing! A perfect way to boost your concentration and refresh your mind – as well as refreshing and anti-oxidizing your body.

Green Smoothie with Spinach, Mango, Lime and Mint 

1 good handful of fresh spinach

2 ripe mangos

3-4 twigs of fresh mint

2 lime fruits

Ice

Water

Fresh spinach

Fresh spinach

Lime

Lime

Juicy, sweet and delicious

Juicy, sweet and delicious

Fresh mint

Fresh mint

Put the peeled and roughly chopped fruit and herbs in the blender along with some ice and water. Blend until smooth, cool and fabulous.

Enjoy

Enjoy

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair – Kahlil Gibran

Mushroom Quinoa Steak served with fresh Pesto on Baked Aubergine

I frequently enjoy replacing ordinary meals with vegan or vegetarian deliciousness. I actually eat more vegan food now than anything else. Why? Because it tastes amazing and is so good for my health.

The other day I had made both, so the family could choose what they wanted – to my surprise ALL, even the teenagers helped themselves to the vegan dishes! And there I was, stuck with the meat which I had to chuck……… imagine!

I thought, really? But yes!
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This is one of the dishes that win over meat in our family.

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