Crispy Yam with Spicy Harissa

When I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol I believed that there was nothing in this world I could do to change that. I believed that I had to be on medication for the rest of my life because I had the generic kind.  A dad and a brother on cholesterol lowering medication, a granddad who suffered a heart attack and an uncle who died. I knew this was no laughing matter, soI faithfully took my statins and didn’t ask questions.

No questions

No Questions

This year I celebrate 4 years of normal cholesterol and no medication.

I did it with lifestyle changes!

Changed my diet and started exercising. You can read exactly how I did it here and a great story about the power of lifestyle changes here

A healthy lifestyle is the worlds best medicine

Lifestyle changes the best medicine

Lifestyle changes the best medicine

An example of what I eat for lunch instead of a sandwich filled with meat and cheese.

Crispy Yams and Spicy Harissa 

Lunch

Lunch

Crispy Yams and Spicy Harissa

3 red pepper 

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

juice from one lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 -1 red chilli

Bake the peppers till they are tender and the skin almost black. Allow them to cool, tear off the skin and put the flesh in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a smooth and delicious sauce.

2 big yams

Olive oil

sea salt pepper

3 red pepper1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

juice from one lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 -1 red chilli

Slice the yams and put them on a baking tray – drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake till golden brown, crispy  and tender.

Serve the crispy yams on a salad with the spicy Harrisa and a  fresh squeeze of lemon.

This dish can easily be made as dinner served with whatever takes your fancy – and it can be the perfect leftover lunch to bring to work.

Harrisa Sauce

Harissa Sauce

Wishing you a wonderful weekend wherever you are!

Fresh herb salad with pomegranate and lemon dressing

I love Tabouleh! It’s one of my favourite salads in the world. It’s this combination of freshness and herbs that I love so much –  that creates a true sensation of party in my mouth.

I had some leftover cooked bulgur in the fridge as well as a bunch of fresh coriander, and there was fresh mint in the garden!  I also had a big juicy pomegranate laying on the table begging me to play – so inspired by Tabouleh salad, I created this:

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad with bulgur and pomegranate

One cup of cooked bulgur

one bunch of fresh mint

one big bunch of Italian parsley

one big bunch of fresh cilantro

one bunch of spring onions

one pomegranate

1/2 cucumber

one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil 

Sea salt

Rinse and finely chop herbs and spring onions  – mix with the bulgur in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon and stir in the olive oil, mix in the salad. Add sea salt and serve with pomegranate seeds on top. Serve and enjoy! Perfect for lunch!

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

While chopping away, I was thinking how much I love spending time in the kitchen, creating – for me it’s the perfect way to relax. Kitchen meditation or even kitchen therapy for my soul  – how many problems have not been solved around a kitchen table? Not to forget the amount of amazing ideas that have been given birth to in the kitchen, deep talks, laughter, and love shared in this almost sacred space of the house.

Lots of fresh herbs

Lots of fresh herbs

The power of natural

This time of year is prime time for colds and flus –  people are heading for their flu-shots trying to  prevent the dreaded symptoms of flu, headaches, aching bodies, sneezing and endless running noses.

At the checkout counter in the supermarket we find not only candy to tempt us, but also bags of vitamin C powder that magically is supposed to help us fight the flu.

In my life instead of pills, tablets and bags of vitamin C,  I prefer boosting my immune system the natural way, with freshly squeezed delicious juices – that are naturally packed with fresh vitamins and minerals. Like this one, for instance, freshly squeezed carrot juice with apples, lemon and ginger, made with all fresh organic ingredients.  Carrots, filled with vitamin A, organic local apples filled with fibre, minerals, and vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, as well as loaded with antioxidants.  Slices of fresh ginger that are packed with goodness and always has been known and praised, for its medicinnal powers to cure all kinds of ailments such as nausea, colds etc

Along with freshly squeezed lemon, with its high content of vitamin C and  its power to clear up colds. This is a seriously healthy drink which tastes delicious at the same time!

I believe this is so much more powerful than any vitamin supplement,  it’s natural, fresh and potent. A perfect way to boost our immune system naturally.

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Dinner juice

Let Food be thy medicine — even in the hospital!

It has been busy around here and life is not always as you plan it or want it to be …..

I had just accompanied my beautiful daughter to her new home. Helped her as she settled and got ready to start a new life at university. We had some amazing days together and my heart was filled with of love, tenderness and tears, as Ihugged her goodbye and headed to the airport to fly home, without her.

Back home again, I was busy giving workshops and it was fun, I love it, I was busy preparing for another 4 workshops that were already booked. I was running my beautiful 10 morning k’s every other day.

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And then one day just after I had been out swimming in the lake, enjoying maybe the last swim this year — I got sick — really sick! And ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance! That, definitely, was NOT supposed to be!

I spent 4 intense days in the hospital, and gratefully I am now home recovering and feeling the strength and energy coming back. Wonderful!

But it definitely was not the food that healed me………..I know that for a fact. The doctors and nurses were absolutely incredible, they went out of their way to help me heal and feel comfortable. Amazing competent, warm and wonderful people!!

But the food……… that’s another very sad story!

During the 4 days, I was served 12 trays of food, each of them impossible to eat. I know I should be happy and grateful that I was served food at all ……. but honestly, it was the most unappetizing sad “food” I have ever seen in my life – I was chocked!

As a chef and a person who has been healed through food and lifestyle changes – I just couldn’t stop myself from thinking – why?

Food is so important for so many reasons!

Surely this can be done better!

Over and over again I was thinking how absurd it was that I was in hospital, a place of healing and there was no interest about the food. Fresh nourishing food is such a vital part in healing!

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates (year 431 BC!)

In those 4 days I did not see a single fruit or vegetable, never mind the fresh anything at all – no fresh fruit nor fresh vegetables – no – ZERO – none at all!

The food on the trays had perhaps never been fresh! Everything was processed and as far as I could judge, had nothing to do even with nourishment! And served in dull plastic containers on a dull plastic tray.

With a rumbling tummy and food fantasies on my mind, I talked to the nurse about the food – they said that over 70% !!! of all trays go back untouched!

70% -What a waste!!! What a shame, how sad, what a total missed opportunity!

We know that healthy food helps us heal faster, we know that healthy food has the potential to prevent disease. We know that sick people more than anybody needs nourishment.

We also know that a vast majority of diseases are caused and directly linked to unhealthy lifestyle and eating the wrong diet……..so why don’t the hospitals grab the chance and serve sick patients enjoyable, nutritious fresh food. Grab the chance to feed and inspire healthy living – and help the patients to heal themselves.

So why? …….. The argument is “It’s too expensive!”

But is it, really?

In Denmark, at one point in time, they went through the same gloomy experience! 40 tons of hospital food was chucked away every day, because it was so grim, no one wanted to eat it.

To change that, they employed professional chefs along with dieticians and they designed menus for people to enjoy, to look forward to every day and to help them heal faster!

Serving meals, 3 times a day became a thing of the past — because when you are sick you are not necessarily hungry on the dot. Instead every patient has a menu and a telephone. And when hungry, they simply take the menu, pick their fancy and call the chefs in the kitchen. The meal is then prepared, cooked from fresh natural ingredients and brought up to the patient. Nutritious, fresh, delicious — real food from real people – who care and love cooking!

What they found was, not surprisingly, that there was hardly any food waste, patients got well, out of bed and home faster, too.

And, it was not more expensive!

But unfortunately, it is in general the same story – no matter where you are in the world – hospital food has a bad reputation.

Hospitals around the world are missing a huge opportunity. Hospitals, our health care system, could be the greatest example of health! Show us how to enjoy food, teach us what to eat to stay healthy and nourished, the best food for our bodies – to assist us heal, to help fight disease and prevent it.

Great food in hospitals would not only help us heal, but it would also inspire us all to practice more healthy living when we got back home.

Imagine how we could assist the body in healing if we were served something like this:

Freshly squeezed carrots

Freshly squeezed carrots

Green smoothies

Freshly prepared green smoothies with fresh spinach leafs and juicy fruits

Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal

Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal, with almonds, dates and apple – a glass of freshly squeezed orange

Fresh fruits and veggies

Free access to fresh fruits and veggies

Crispy Spring Rolls

Crispy Spring Rolls

A bowl of freshly made tomato soup

A bowl of freshly made tomato soup made of REAL tomatoes

Instead of this –

Breakfast?

Jello for breakfast?

Lunch?

Lunch?

Not sure...

Not sure….

On the fourth day I cried…….

If we have to spend money – why not spend it well?

I know there are other places that have changed the concept of tasteless grey hospital food – and with great success – that’s here in Canada.

Listen to this inspiring talk by Joshna Maharaj – an amazing passionate woman who helped change the hospital food in Toronto.

Hurraaa for people like Joshna!

Juicy Beets with Ginger, Sweet Apples & Mint

Having fun preparing for a  “Balanced Living ” workshop I will be doing later this month – and in need of something refreshing…..

What’s  better than a glass of freshly squeezed cool juice?

Summer is the perfect time for juicing – there are an abundance of delicious sun-kissed fruits and vegetables available – so I decided to make the perfect “instead of coffee drink” …..a glass of freshly squeezed baby beets!

In this juice I added lots of sweet crispy local apples, a lime,  a bunch of mint and a slice of fresh ginger.

Enjoyed outside in the shade ……..

Midmorning beet juice

Delicious beet juice ready to serve

It tastes so good and while you drink, you are getting incredible amounts of fruits and greens – nutrients that goes straight into the body, to feed, rejuvenate and nourish it.

In love with the colour

In love with the colour

p.s. still working on the move to self-host this blog. In the meantime my blog may be down for a couple of days…….

Hope you are enjoying the summer wherever you are!

Soothe your Jet-lag and sleepless nights

I just returned back from Europe and the first couple of days with jet-lag were rough, to say the least!

9 hours time difference, really does you in and affects your entire system, in a big way! I felt completely out of balance…

Woke up at 1:30 in the morning and was hungry, started to unload the dishwasher and checked my email ……

I desperately needed to soothe that out of control jet-lag of mine!

Sleepless nights creates imbalance in the body, it affects our health and overall sense of well -being, but there are lots of different ways we can promote great sleep and regain balance again.

Jet-lag is always talked about as something we get when traveling thorough time zones. But really, we go thorough the exact same thing if you work shifts, if you have had a baby and need to get up to feed in the middle of the night or when we are simply stressed and just can’t sleep at night. Regardless of the reason it is important that we take time to really soothe that sleepless, tried and exhausted body of ours in order to get back in to balance and promote good sleep patterns again.

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I travel a lot and often experience jet-lag – so these are my favorite tips for soothing jet-lag and regain balance again:

  • I set the clock and go with the time it is where I am
  • I don’t nap or sleep during the day even though I am dead tired.
  • I spend time outside and get as much sunshine/ daylight as possible, as it helps to adjust to the new time zone.
A swim in the lake

A swim in the lake

  • I go to bed early (but not too early…)
  • I get up at the usual time
  • I quickly get back into the routines and follow the daily rythm
  • I exercise gently – a swim, a walk, a bike ride, yoga
  • I meditate
  • I drink lots of water
Fresh Cool Water

Fresh Cool Water

  • I drink green juice and/or green smoothies
Green and delicious

Green and delicious

  • I eat lots of healthy food to help my body restore, find balance and rejuvenate.
Balance

Balance

This mornings fresh green juice –

Refreshing green juice

Refreshing green juice

Red Kale, Apple, Ginger and Lemon Juice 

5 sweet apples

1 bunch of red kale

1 lemon

A small slice of fresh ginger

Wash and clean the apples and kale, peel the lemon and the ginger – run it all through the juicer and serve ice cold.

Sleep well

Sleep well

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

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!

A Raw Food Day

A Raw Food Day – an entire day with pure raw organic food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds – and all prepared in flavourful ways .

It’s a luxury for your body, mind, heart and soul.

And, … it’s super easy to prepare and even easier to clean up afterwards – imagine no greasy pots and pans!

I have been amazed, astounded really, by the power of green food!

Lifestyle diseases can be cured by lifestyle changes! 

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