U-Turn

During my recent visit in Denmark I heard about a very interesting study concerning lifestyle related diseases like diabetes 2, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress, depression, etc.

The study aims at finding out whether it is possible to reverse lifestyle related diseases? Ie., once we suffer from these diseases,  is it possible to make a  U-Turn? And can that be done by simply changing ones own lifestyle?

The experiment, U-Turn, has been started by Chris MacDonald, a Cand. Scient in Human physiology, originally from the USA, but has been living in Denmark for the past 14 years. He is the founder of Health in Balance and Strong Body Strong Mind.

Chris has been coaching and guiding numerous people back to health with very positive results and continues to be a tremendous inspiration to Danes every day!

U-Turn is an experiment that is being documented by the Danish National television. Over a period of 6 months, Chris MacDonald is guiding the 8 participants, all suffering from lifestyle related diseases such as, type 2 diabetes, stress, depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.

The program includes daily training, physical exercise, healthy food, getting a good sleep, along with support and emotional coaching.

Half way though the program the participants will go to France and hike the GR10, a hike that takes them thorough the French Pyrenees, a 850 km hike with considerable elevation, a very strenuous hike!

(Photo source National Geographic)

Throughout the experiment participants are closely followed by doctors from a Copenhagen hospital, to keep them safe, to monitor their well being and their need for medication.

Chris  MacDonald and his team want to see what happens to sick people when you ask them to eat healthy, walk every day and be physically active and minimize negative stress. What happens to them over a 6 months period of time?

Will they feel better? Will they be able to reduce or even eliminate their need for medication? Will they be able to reverse disease and return to great health?

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates

So far, the National Television has produced 4 programs that have broadcast, taking the viewers along on the journey with the 8 participants and documenting the results they achieve. These programs cover the first half of the experiment.

It’s blood, sweat, tears and laughter – it’s amazing to see the courage, dedication and the victory! 

The participants have been monitored at the hospital when the experiment started, during and half way thorough. The results are astounding:

  • They lost weight
  • They lost dangerous body fat around inner organs
  • Achieved normal blood sugar levels
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced liver counts
  • 3 participants no longer need medication/
  • the rest have been able to reduce the amount of mediation significantly
  • They are of course in much better shape

I think the message is powerful.

Lifestyle changes are the strongest most effective medicine!

I am looking forward to following the experiment and I will report back to you, when it finishes.

Lifestyle related diseases can be reversed and healed by lifestyle changes!

Walking is man’s best medicine – Hippocrates

Can you lower your hereditary cholesterol? Naturally?

Yes, absolutely you can!

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I never thought it would be, because my doctor told me –

“young lady, you have the hereditary kind of high cholesterol and that means no matter what you do, you will never be able to lower it naturally. The only way for you is medication.” 

So, for the past 10-12 years, I have been on statins – every single day I popped a pill, to help me to keep a low count on my cholesterol.

However, other health problems inspired me into changing my lifestyle.

And today, I can celebrate 3 years with normal cholesterol levels and no medication!

So does that mean you need to be on a really restricted diet? No desserts, no streaks on the BBQ, no butter, no cheese, no life…….no fun ?

Nope – I eat everything and I have lots of fun!

Even cream cake

Even cream cake

So how do I do it?

It’s really simple and if I can do it, so can you!

(Please don’t go off your medication without talking to your doctor!)

This is how I do it:

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  • I shifted the balance on my plate. So 80% of what I eat is plant-based. This means 80% of what I eat is vegan, plant-based, green leaves, lettuce, salads, spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, lentils, grains, roots, all kinds of veggies, and lots of fruit.
  • I eat plenty of food that contains natural cholesterol lowering agents, like nuts especially walnuts and almonds, oatmeal, berries, avocado, fish, tomatoes, etc.

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  • 20% is whatever I like to eat – it can be anything.
  • Every day I exercise, except for one day of rest!  45 min. to an hour! Yes I know, you don’t have time! I didn’t either, but you can find time! Exercise is brutally important when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. I get up earlier in the morning. I wake up and have millions of excuses for not going, but I tell myself that I only have to tie my shoelaces, get out and run to the end of the curb. If I still don’t like it, I can go back home……. but it has never happened, once I am out there, once I have taken the first breath of that beautiful morning air, the last thing I want is to go back home.
  • Meditation – When we are stressed and tired we are more likely to make unhealthy choices, eat fatty foods, drink too much etc. Also research shows that the release of stress hormones can damage the blood vessels, so plague sticks more easily. I find mindfulness meditation is a great way to unwind.

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A great article about food writer Mark Bittman and his concept VB6 – Vegan before 6 

Stay tuned for the VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck, taking place this Saturday! 160 + bloggers will bring their delicious food to the virtual party 🙂

Spinach Grapefruit Smoothie

Smoothies for breakfast, as part of lunch, as a snack, before dinner – smoothies for any occasion ……..

But smoothies have also become THE number one “Fast Food” in our family. In a hurry, on the go, no time to cook or even eat – no problem, spin up a smoothie and away you go. Quick, nutritious and satisfying!

Today I made a green smoothie with spinach and grapefruit. I love grapefruit, but for 12 years I wasn’t able to have grapefruit! I was on cholesterol medication and something in grapefruit doesn’t mix well with that kind of medication.

Since I changed to “balanced living” and added lots of plant-based foods to my diet and started exercising, I no longer need medication to control my cholesterol!

There are, as you can imagine, many benefits connected to that – one great one is, I can enjoy grapefruits again 🙂

Grapefruit

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Spinach and Grapefruit Smoothie 

One bunch of fresh spinach

2 grapefruits

One bunch of red or green grapes

1 banana

1  slice of fresh ginger

2 Medjool dates

2 cups of filtered water

Ice

Put it all into the blender and blend into a refreshing, smooth, cool and delicious drink.

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I hope you will Enjoy it !

Now to something completely different…..

Monday I travel back to Copenhagen to spend some time with family and friends. I am SO excited!

I will try to post while I’m away so stay tuned….

To travel is to live – Hans Christian Andersen

When I come back I will be attending THE FAMOUS AMAZING VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK – on May 11.!

This is such a fun event! If you would like to join the fun by featuring one of your favorite vegan/plant-based recipes, there is still time to sign up here – otherwise – stay tuned for the event on May 11.

Thank you for dropping by, for reading and for commenting!

Happy Sunday!

Love as a daily supplement

I just thought this was wonderful………

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Love as a daily supplement!

Seriously, if we want to loose weight and keep it off,  we must look beyond what we put on the plate and how much we exercise. This parts are important, of course, but there is more to it than that.

A healthy bodily balance can only be kept if we also are aware of our emotions! Feelings are just as important, if not more so, than what we put on our plate and how much we exercise. And when it comes to the most difficult part: keeping the weight off – emotions, and how we feel about ourselves, is paramount. We are much more likely to make healthy choices when we listen to our body’s signals and it’s needs, and we need to include the emotional needs as well.

In my morning paper, the Danish Politiken, I found a great article that supports my thoughts! The title made me smile: “She recommends love as a daily supplement”  – I topped up my tea and sat down to enjoy the article.

Professor Berit Lillienthal Heitmann from Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen ( Center for Sygdom og Samfund ) and an honorable professor at University of Sidney, has been researching obesity for over 25 years. She is convinced that we will never find a solution to why we become overweight and obese, if we only look at the dinner plate and at how much we exercise.

Prof. Heitmann considers stress, lack of nurturing in childhood and bad sleep/sleep apnea, etc. as important factors affecting our ability to succeed in loosing weight and keeping it off.

She says that we can all loose weight by eating less and by exercising, the trick is to keep it off.

Her research has shown that a calorie is not just a calorie. In a study where she looked at nurses in Denmark, she found that those nurses who felt pressured and stressed, put on more weight than those colleagues who were not stressed, when eating  the same amount of calories.

She also did a study with a rare group – identical twins, where one of the twin was overweight and the other was not. What she found in this group was that the one twin, who was overweight had often felt neglected as a child and had missed contact with the mother.

Something points to the fact that nurturing and compassion plays an important role. Berit Lillienthal Heitmann keeps doing research in this field and I will be following her closely, because I think she is on to something really important.

Love as a daily supplement

I wholeheartedly recommend love as a daily supplement too and preferably high doses of it!

“Don’t forget to love yourself” Søren Kirkegaard (Danish philosopher, 1813 – 1855)

Read more:

Self-compassion

Freshly Squeezed Pomegranate Orange Juice

This time of year we need to nourish our bodies and boost the immune system. This is  a hectic time of year with lots of stress and when the body is stressed it is much more prone to catch any little bug going.

What better way to boost the immune system, than juicing some fresh pomegranate and some fresh oranges and make a truly delicious and potent drink served on ice?

I could feel every cell in my entire body wriggle with joy, while drinking it 🙂

This is a real health bomb, as pomegranate is so full of goodness and is known to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, excellent for the skin, as well as being packed with vitamin C – so along with the oranges, this is really a health booster!

The pomegranate can be a little tricky to seed but once you get the hang of it it is quite easy. Don’t do the job wearing your best clothes as it’s really juicy and the juices will escape everywhere even if you are careful. For this serving, I used one big pomegranate and 10 oranges for 4 good sized glasses of juice.

Prepare the pomegranate by taking out the seeds, put them into the juicer and then juice the oranges – serve the drink on ice – Enjoy!

Read more about the health benefits of pomegranate here

Celery steak topped with garlic fried mushrooms and served on a tarragon tomato sauce

I am always trying to create something delicious, something completely scrumptious, that will satisfy my hunger, as well as my very spoiled taste buds.

For those of you who don’t know me, I now have normal cholesterol levels and I no longer depend on medication!

I lowered my cholesterol by exchanging some of my meals with plant-based foods and exercising.

I don’t diet, I don’t restrict myself. I eat anything and everything I want to, but I make sure, that I exercise and that 80% of whatever I eat, is plant-based.

This is one of the plant-based meals we had this week.

Celery steak topped with garlic fried mushrooms and served on a tarragon tomato sauce

It was wildly delicious!

1 root celery

2 large baking potatoes

2 big shallot onion

1 big clove of garlic

Sea salt

pepper

olive oil

10-15 dark mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic

Peel the root celery and the potatoes, grate them and put them in a bowl. Finely chop the shallot and squeeze the garlic, add them to the bowl and mix well. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Now take a portion of the mixture and with both hands squeeze all the water out while making little celery/potato “cakes”. Turn the oven on – to 350F.  In a frying pan, put in some olive oil and heat up the pan and brown the celery steaks on both sides and put them on a baking tray and place them in the hot oven to finish them of, about 30-45 min .

While they bake – rinse the mushrooms and roughly chop them. Finely chop the shallot onion. Heat the pan again adding a bit more olive oil, fry the mushrooms and when they start to brown add the chopped shallot onion and the freshly squeezed garlic.

Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper – set aside.

For the sauce

Use 3 big fresh tomatoes or a small can

1 shallot onion

1 garlic clove

a teaspoon of tarragon

Sea salt and pepper

Chop the tomatoes, chop the onion and squeeze the garlic. Add some olive oil to a saucepan, saute the onions and the garlic, add the tomatoes, add the tarragon and cook for 5 min while stirring. Put everything in the blender and blend into a smooth sauce, season with salt and pepper.

When the celery steaks are ready arrange it all on a plate and top with some fresh arugula.

Enjoy!

Enjoy the party, guilt-free

The coziest time of year is ahead of us – December with Christmas is just around the corner.  Christmas parties, jingle bells, snow sleighs and time spend with friends, colleagues and families – meaning lots of treats, delicious food and drinks. Temptations around every corner.

We are already preparing ourselves for the guilt that follows.

But hold on a minute, it doesn’t have to be like that!

 

In reality it is not about the parties, it’s about how we live between the parties.

The way we live between the parties are much more important. I used to have the attitude that I may as well just eat and indulge all the time, because I was going to go on a diet when December turned into January anyway. And THEN I would loose all the weight I had gained and be fit forever – right!!

By the end of January I was back to normal – meaning I had stopped going to the gym, stopped counting calories, stopped eating grapefruits and broccoli.  And I felt guilty – painfully guilty and bad that I could not keep my intentions – Again!

I think it is much more harmful to the body to beat ourselves up, than it is to eat good food and enjoy the party

It’s not all or nothing, but rather all about balance – how do we live in between the parties?

My tips before we go into this season of feast and fun:

  • Drink delicious green smoothies every day – especially before the party
  • Remember to exercise – it is even more important this time of year
  • Take time to relax
  • Go for walks
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get your sleep
  • Exchange some of your meals with plant-based food

Then go join the party – have fun and enjoy it!! Oh, and don’t forget to kick off your shoes and dance 🙂

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day – A good time to spread some awareness about an illness that has blown out of proportion, an illness that has sky-rocket!

An illness that kills!

Continue reading

Sick and tired of dieting?

Are you sick and tied of dieting? I was so sick and tied of diets that promised that they could work wonders, but never changed a thing. I was tired of feeling deprived of the great meals that I was missing, of eating boring, tasteless food that really didn’t satisfy me in any way. I was sick and tired of counting calories and feeling guilty if I ate something “bad”. Life is too short for that.

The great revelation for me was to eat more plant-based foods!

In our family, we have now changed many of our meaty meals to plant-based foods.

Sometimes we do VB6 – Vegan before 6, meaning no animal products until dinner. Then you eat anything you like for dinner. Sounds  fabulous? It is! VB6 was invented by NYT food journalist Mark Bittman because his health was suffering (see the link below). But through VB6  he got his health back.

I love this idea, it is something we can all do, quite easily. It is totally doable, not a big change, but it has huge impact on our overall health and well-being. By eating like VB6 or a similar scheme, you can keep your cholesterol down, your blood pressure healthy, your blood sugar good, your weight down and, at the same time, you will feel energized and full of life.  We love this way of eating so much that we actually sometimes expand the idea to VUF – Vegan until Friday!

Eating this way is delicious, tasty, satisfying and nourishing and it feeds your entire body and soul. It is the perfect way to stay healthy and loose the extra weight. I never think calories when I eat like this – my weight stays ideal and I feel ideal – there is no going back for me. I love this way of living and eating – I enjoy my meals and I never feel I am missing out because I am not.

Take this burger for instance – a quinoa burger with all the trimmings, guacamole, arugula on a homemade bun. The perfect exchange.

A favorite burger – Quinoa burger made with sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

500g Mushrooms – I use the brown mushrooms or Portobello

3 shallots

2 medium size sweet potatoes

2 cups of cooked quinoa

2 teaspoons of paprika

3 tablespoons of flax-seed meal

2 cloves of garlic

Sea salt and pepper

Flour

Chop the mushrooms, chop the shallots, add some olive oil on to the frying pan and brown the mushrooms,garlic and onions. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake the sweet potatoes till they are soft, e.g., for about an hour in the oven. Scoop out the sweet potato from the skin and put it into the blender, add the mushrooms, onions and  garlic. Blend into a soft mixture. Put the mixture into a bowl and mix in the flax-seed meal. Mix it well.  Let it cool. Make the patties and gently turn them on a plate with a bit of flour/sea salt/pepper on all sides. Fry the quinoa burgers in olive oil till they are golden brown on both sides.
Serve on a warm homemade bun, with slices of red onions, homemade guacamole, slices of tomatoes, and lots of fresh crisp arugula.

Enjoy!

Another delicious veggie burger from Somer at  Vedgedout

We went plant-wild for a week, check it out here

Read more about Mark Bittman and VB6

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.