Raw for a day

Try to go raw for a day? To eat only plant-based foods that have not been heated! A whole day with freshly pressed juices, greens smoothies, veggies, fruits, nuts, leafy greens – what better way to boost your energy and nourish your body!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a big fan of VB6, i.e., be Vegan Before 6 pm. Often the whole family go whole days as plant-based eaters and we feel huge changes in our bodies, both physically and emotionally. And our body are satisfied, so we keep coming back for more.

I think it is great to go one day a week completely raw and allow the body to feast and rejuvenate.

This means for one day:

  • No coffee
  • No processed sugar
  • No diary
  • No meat
  • No alcohol

It means lots of:

  • Filtered water
  • herbal tea
  • freshly squeezed juices
  • green smoothies
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds

Going raw for one or more days can be a really great way to boost your health.

Menu

For breakfast – Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Mid morning – A green smoothie with spinach

Lunch – Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and a pomegranate dressing

Afternoon – Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

Dinner- Green and delicious spring rolls

Breakfast: Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Banana oatmeal:

1/2 cup raw oats

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup filtered water

1 banana

3 Medjool dates

Add it to the blender and blend it to a smooth porridge, serve with slices of banana and a teaspoon of agave syrup

For the juice I simply pressed organic oranges and 1/2 pineapple – served it on ice.

Mid morning:  A green smoothie and a handful of nuts

This smoothie is so good!

Good handful of fresh spinach

a pear

1/2 some pineapple

a grapefruit

an orange

some filtered water

crushed ice

Blend all of this, serve and enjoy

Lunch: Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and pomegranate dressing – avocado and a green smoothie

I love this very fresh salad – the pomegranate and the apples go so well together, and with the pine nuts and the  dressing it is just heavenly good.

I use a mix of organic lettuce – use any of your favorite

1/2 pomegranate

one apple

2 spoonful of pine nuts

For the dressing:

1/2 pomegranate

2 spoons of raw honey or agave

2 spoons of balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2-1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Take out the seeds of the pomegranate and add to the blender along with balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil – blend into a dressing.

Arrange the washed and dried lettuce in a bowl, toss it with some of that delicious dressing, cut the apple in to bite sizes and add to the lettuce, sprinkle with pine nuts – enjoy!

Slice an avocado in half on the side and some of the green smoothie.

Afternoon: Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

This is a treat – to make it extra smooth soak the almonds beforehand for at least 3-4 hours.

Add 1 cup of soaked raw almonds

2 -2 1/2 cups of filtered water( all depending on how you like it)

a bit of vanilla

5-6 Medjool dates

2 spoons of  raw coco powder

Crushed ice

Blend and enjoy – cool, chocolaty, creamy and sweet!

Dinner: Green and delicious spring rolls 

These rolls have become a favorite of ours – packed full of flavors.

see recipe here

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

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 4

Day 4 – This morning I went for an early morning run along the beach while the sun was rising, thinking, I can do another day of this! Another day eating greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains – everything that supports my body and fills me with this zippy wonderful energy!

 

Breakfast

Rawfood musli with blueberries

This has become a breakfast stable in our family – we eat it almost every day. It is so tasty and creamy. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to make a healthy version of an old favorite that had both full fat yoghurt and cream in it!! This tastes just as good and just as creamy and sweet as the original, but without the guilt!

In the blender/food processor add:

1 cup of raw oats,
2 good handfuls of raw almonds
1 big apple cut into chunks
6-8 Medjool dates ( more or less depending on how sweet your tooth is)
1 cup of filtered water
Blend it all – not too much because it is nice if it keeps it’s crunchiness

Enjoy with either fresh berries, banana or dried fruit in the winter – today I served it with fresh blueberries from the garden.

The Good-Morning Smoothie is made from fresh raspberries and pineapple today.

Variations.
You can add a little less water and add an orange – orange and dates are a perfect match. You can also add a bit of cinnamon or cardamom

Morning snack

A delicious green smoothie made from fresh kale out of the garden, peaches, pineapple, lemon, ice and 2 cups of water

Lunch

Delicious vegetable wraps with garlic/ginger dipping sauce

Rice paper

1 avocado

1 red pepper

fresh spinach

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1/2 cucumber

3 spring onions

Fresh basil

fresh coriander

fresh basil

fresh mint

Rinse and cut everything into strips of julienne.

Prepare the rice paper – one at a time. Take a clean tea towel and make it wet, place one rice paper on the wet tea towel and fold so it is completely covered with the wet cloth. Leave for about a min. Over the sink, wring out the water and carefully place the soft rice paper so you can fill it and roll it. Fill it with spinach leaves, a little avocado, carrot, red pepper, zucchini, spring onions and alfalfa sprouts, add some fresh basil leaves, some coriander leaves and some fresh mint. Roll them together and cut them in halves and arrange them on a plate along with the garlic/ginger dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

4 small lime leaves

thin slice of fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic

2 spoons of hoisin

1//3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup water

4 spoons of braggs

Blend it all together and serve with the vegetable rolls

Dinner

Baked zucchini and eggplants- served with new potatoes and green salad with fennel

I found these gorgeous looking green and yellow zucchini and some beautiful eggplants. I decided to make a really tasty dish that i think is perfect for summer with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and all you need to make this dish amazing. So this is my take on the Turkish specialty, Imam Bayildi – baked zucchini and eggplant topped with a spicy fresh tomato sauce, served with little new potatoes gently baked with herbs and garlic and a green salad with fennel.

2 eggplants

2 zucchini

600 g fresh ripe and chopped fresh tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

4 shallots

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme

3 table spoons of chopped big leaved parsley

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 cup of water

Finely chop the shallots and the garlic, gently saute them in oil til they are soft, add tomato paste,the herbs and the cumin. Add the tomatoes and the water. Cook for about 15 min. Season with sea salt and pepper, set aside. Add the parsley.

Cut the zucchini and the eggplant in halves on the length wise. Gently brown them in a bit of olive oil – on the inside. Place them in a baking dish on some baking paper and add the sauce on top.

Bake in an 350F oven for about 45 min

You can eat them right out of the oven but they taste amazing at room temperature too.

Potatoes

It is season for new and delicious potatoes – I love new potatoes!!

I prepared them like this

I washed them and cut them in to quarters and put them onto a piece of baking paper, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, added some fresh thyme and some fresh rosemary – packed them in to little parcels and baked them in the 350F oven for about 45 min. They tasted so good!!

I served everything with a green salad with some fresh fennel

The 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. So in other words don’t use the cheapest hot dog mustard.

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

High cholesterol? Join us when we go plant-wild

14 years ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol – actually sky-high cholesterol. It was the end of my world. I hated hearing that from my doctor. “You have to live with it” he said, as though that would be the easiest thing in the world. Was he crazy?? How dared he just say that in the most nonchalant way?? I was furious!! Did he not understand that I needed my steak and would die without cheese?  “You’ve inherited it – the generic kind” he continued, “and medication is the only way, I am sorry.”

So for almost 14 years now I have been using medication and never believing for one minute that it could be any different.

Today, I am proud to say that I have normal Cholesterol levels and I no longer need medication.

I still eat steak and cheese – but not 3-4 times a day, like I did before. I have changed my ratio from 80:20 ( 80% dairy, cheese, eggs, meat and not to forget cakes – 20% grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables to a 20:80 so that today I eat 80% plant food/vegan and 20% whatever.

And one of the great things is – I didn’t change my diet! It changed me! When I started drinking green smoothies every day I just naturally started craving more green food! It happened painlessly and automatically without my intention ever to change a thing. No challenges, no strict this and that, because of the green smoothies I just all of a sudden fancied more green food. I changed some of my traditional meals with plant food, first for breakfast, then for lunch as well –   I got more energy, started to jog, continued eating more green and feeling better for it all the time.

And one day when I didn’t have any more cholesterol medication – I went to my doctor and I told him: “My life has changed since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I now eat 80% plant-based food and I have started jogging. I would like to check and see what my cholesterol is like without medication and with this new way of living?'” He looked at me in disbelief, but he honored my request saying. ” Okay, but this means 2 months without medication before we can take the blood test.”

2 months went by – including 5 weeks traveling and eating out, but I continued jogging, drinking as many green smoothies as I could find (not always easy) and trying to take some of my meals as plant-based. After 2 months I had my blood test, thinking that my cholesterol would probably be too high and I was ready to go back on medication. To my surprise and that of my doctor, he called me and said “your cholesterol level is normal. I see no need for medication – if you continue like this. But, we need to monitor and see”. Subsequent tests have all been positive and I have been free from medication for a whole year now.

Many diseases are directly caused by the way we eat – high levels of cholesterol is just one of them; there is also diabetes 2, heart disease, obesity, etc. By taking ownership of our own health, we can do amazing things. I would not go so far as to say that you can cure anything with lifestyle changes, and I am not suggesting you stop your medication without consulting a doctor! But I do want to flag that we have the power to change! One meal at the time –  a jog, a nice walk – it all makes a difference and adds to improve our health. Every little bit adds to your health!

The whole family is on-board – and that did not happen overnight – however the green smoothies seem to influence everyone. A milestone is approaching as the other day my daughter said: “Mom, I want to go completely vegan for a week” and my son said “Okay, I’ll be a weekend-vegan”  🙂

So next week we go plant-wild for a week – I hope you will join us for a week of fun and great recipes. And there is no need to be 120% – maybe you may just want to change a meal a day, maybe two, maybe you just want to follow us and see how we do – no matter what, you are welcome!!

Aren’t these peaches & blueberries lovely? – it’s a great time of the year to go plant-wild! Next week, there will be more of this:

There’ll be lots of green smoothies and juice – leafy greens and sweet summer fruit, blended and juiced like this

Breakfast may look like this

lunch like this

perhaps a homemade healthy popsicle

Dinner may look like this

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Credit:

The beautiful ceramic dish with the peaches, are made by my friend Malene Foyd.

Click here to go to Plant-wild day 1

Red quinoa salad with cherry dressing, walnuts, goat cheese and basil

We are now getting gorgeous cherries, the deepest red, sweet, tasty and succulent – beautiful in a salad.

The other day I had quinoa cooked in coconut milk for breakfast, with cherries. It was an idea from one of my favorite blogs,  In pursuit of more , and it was so delicious!

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse – its protein content is higher than in any other grain , it is also a perfect source of dietary fiber and ion.

To develop more of this good stuff I decided to make a salad – cherries with quinoa!

I made a red quinoa salad tossed in a cherry/garlic dressing, served with walnuts, more cherries and crumbled creamy goat cheese on top – it turned out to be so good that we made it 3 days in a row!

Here’s the recipe:

Cook 2 cups of red quinoa according to package. Put it aside to cool.

For the dressing:

15 fresh cherries, pitted

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar

6 -8 spoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend to a smooth dressing consistency.

Add the dressing to the quinoa – stir it and arrange it in a serving dish. On top add 15 pitted cherries chopped coarsely, add coarsely chopped walnuts and sprinkle with some crumbled creamy goat cheese and some fresh basil leaves.

Cherries are known as a true super fruit –  cherries are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to prevent heart disease by lowering the “bad” cholesterol. Scientists have identified a group of naturally occurring chemicals abundant in cherries that helps lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, the berries have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain and arthritis. They are also high in antioxidants helping to prevent heart disease and cancer, they contain melatonin which helps regulate heart rhythm and improve sleep – they are packed with vitamin A, C and E !!  So — mixed with the marvelous quinoa this dish becomes a potent and delicious dish, boosting your health with every bite.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates, father of medicine, 413 B.C.

Enjoy!

Summer Infused Pizza

Frequent visitors to this site may notice a few changes. The “Happy Health” diet and exercise has become a part of the larger “Balanced Living” that I feel better describes my journey.

I realized that an important part of me had been missing: – the gourmet chef, my old recipes, my old signature dishes. The scrumptious food that is still part of what I eat.

Before getting into Happy Health diet & exercise – my life-balance was out of whack. I was eating rich food all the time and my body was suffering because of it. But with the new diet& exercise, my life-balance changed and it made a world of difference! I lost weight and gained energy. I now feel vibrant and full of life, my hereditary (bad) cholesterol is now normal and I’m off medication! I started to exercise more and I enjoyed it! My satisfaction with life grew as I could feel that things were “in-balance” again. These were just some of the amazing changes I have experienced, re-charging and re-balancing my life.  (See my updated “About” and the new “Balanced Living” page here).

Before Happy Health I had a 80/20 “balanced” diet – 80% rich gourmet food, meat, cheese, butter, cream etc and 20% vegetable, fruit, grains and nuts – Today I’m 20/80 – I eat 80% plant food and 20% of “anything”.  But, I still assure that the “anything” comes from the best sources – organic & honest!

I have been wonderfully inspired by New York Times food-writer Mark Bittman who created VB6 – Vegan before 6. Eating only plant- based foods until dinner, he then goes to work – and eats at great restaurants serving the wonderful food he writes about. And now, no longer does this rich food make him ill – because he is not eating it all the time! His balance was wrong. But VB6, vegan before 6, changed his balance and he is fit as a fiddle today. You can read more about Bittman  here

In our family, we have been inspired by VB6 and have even made our own version – VUF – Vegan until Friday.

Summer Infused Pizza

We love pizza – Pizza can be divine if it is made with real ingredients and kept simple.

This recipe is made from scratch with love and sunshine. Made with sunriped tomatoes, garlic and lots of fresh basil and oregano.

The pizza dough:

1 teaspoon of dry yeast – if you have fresh 25 g

2 1/2 cups of water

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 tablespoon of olive oil

5 cups of organic unbleached flour

You will need approx. 2/3 extra flour when you work with it later.

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the olive oil and the salt. Add flour a little at the time while you stir. Add all the flower while you keep mixing til you have a dough that has “accepted” all the flour, meaning no flour on the side in the bowl. Leave the dough out on the counter to rest, with a clean wet cloth. The longer the better – you can mix this in the morning or the night before and put it in the fridge.

Freshly made tomato sauce on pizza is the best – it is such a treat and you will never want to eat store-bought pizza sauce again, if you can help it.  Another important thing is – the nutritional value in freshly made sauce is priceless. Click to see, tomatoes are a true SUPER POWER FOOD – packed full of goodness and taste!

Tomato Sauce:

1200 g fresh ripe tomatoes (the more reder the better)

2 shalot onions

2 cloves of garlic

one big bunch of fresh basil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 spoons of olive oil

dash of white wine

2 bay leaves

Wash and chop the tomatoes, chop the shalots and the garlic. In a frying pan add the olive oil, saute the shalots, bay leaves and the garlic, add the white wine let it reduce a little, add the chopped tomatoes – let it cook over slow heat till the tomatoes are cooked through. Add the chopped fresh basil and let it cook for another couple of min.

Add the mixture into the blender and blend it into a smooth sauce. Taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper – the sauce is ready to go on the pizza.

I make a garlic/herb/chili olive oil marinade to drizzle on the pizza – and by adding some fresh arugula or any other lettuce on top of the pizza, you will get a divine mouthful!

The garlic/ herb/chili marinade is made from – olive oil, finely chopped fresh oregano, slices of red chili,fresh garlic some sea salt – I make a good portion, often I make it ahead to allow it to infuse the oil, to make it more intense. You only drizzle a little on top – so any leftovers are perfect for preparing vegetables, frying fish or chicken – or as a drizzle on your favorite anything.

Fresh herbs are so full of goodness!

Now to the actual pizza making.

Add some flour onto the counter and pour out the dough – add some more flour on top of the dough and start to work with the dough, needing it and stretching it. It will be ready when it stops being sticky, add flour until it feels elastic and is easy to work with. I use a rolling-pin to roll it real thin – add it to a hot baking stone or to a baking tray with baking paper.

Now add the homemade tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated Grana Padano, fresh mozzarella cheese and some good olives. Bake in a hot 420 F oven until baked and the crust is right. Keep an eye on it!

You can prepare smaller pizzas directly on the barbecue – with or without cheese – this is really an amazing way to make pizza too!

Once the pizza is ready – cut them, drizzle a little marinade on top, add the arugula and serve with a great bowl of salad.

Enjoy!

p.S. I just found Pinterest, I know I have been living under a rock, but I will be signing up, it looks like fun! I realized that my photos were there! I am so happy, grateful and thrilled to see that some of you have pinned my photos – THANK YOU!! I was not even aware – gratitude, I really appreciate that!!

Worlds healthiest “fast food”

Are you busy and think  it takes too much time and effort to prepare healthy food?

Green smoothies are the easiest and healthiest “fast food” ever. When I am really busy and don’t really have the time to prepare  a nutritious meal – I make a green smoothy! It has everything in it that my body needs, the nutrients, the proteins and the fibers – it keeps me glowing and energized for hours on end. I make a big portion, put it in the fridge and even when I’m heading out on the road, away all day, I can bottle it and take it with me to enjoy later.

This recipe has

Fresh spinach

Mango

Grapes

Celery

pear,

Lime

Kiwi

And filtered water/ice cubes

Cheers to your health!

Green Smoothies are:

  • easy to make and easy to clean up afterwards
  • loaded with nutrients and proteins
  • full of fibers that keeps you full and satisfied
  • a perfect way to reduce/eliminate cravings for unhealthy food
  • a good way to balance your blood sugar
  • easy to digest and assimilate
  • a great way to alkalize the body helping to fight disease
  • a great way to lower cholesterol naturally
  • an energy booster
  • boosting your immune system
  • great way to help lose weight
  • an easy way to get  greens and fruit – in fact it is difficult to eat your way through the amounts of greens and fruits we need, but by juicing or making smoothies, its easy.
  • supporting your overall health – both physical and emotional.

Cheers to your health

Meniere’s Disease – My way out

Yesterday someone told me her dad had been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease.  I was reminded and felt so sad for the dad, having been there myself.

According to statistics 3-5 million people suffer from Meniere’s disease in the United States alone. 100.000 new cases are diagnosed every day!

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that affects the balance and hearing. Fluid accumulates in the inner ear and creates a pressure that affects the balance. Usually only one ear is affected.

Let me rewind and go 3 years back. I had been in Europe visiting my family in Denmark and on our way back we had a stop in Paris. We booked in to our hotel and decided to go down to the a little cozy restaurant, just around the corner. There we were totally excited that we were together in beautiful Paris! We ordered some food and a glass of wine. The next thing I knew was, that I thought I was having a heart attack. It came out of the blue, happened instantly and it was something I had never ever tried in my entire life before. I was terrified to say the least. The whole world was spinning, I could not walk, I had cold sweat and I felt sick as a dog. All kinds of things were going through my mind, it was THE most scary thing I had ever experienced.

My family almost carried me out and the waitress was told we would not be having dinner. The family took me up stairs to the hotel room where I collapsed on the bathroom floor and was sick for hours – it took 2-3 hours before the spinning stopped and I could crawl in to bed, completely exhausted.

The next day I was exhausted and thought that perhaps it had been a bad case of food poisoning – even though I have never reacted like that to food poisoning before.

Back in Canada – 2 months later. I am doing my usual things and all of a sudden “IT ” happens again – out of the blue, no warning signs  – cold sweat, spinning and sick as a dog – it is not just dizzy, it is spinning like crazy. This time I think – “What is happening to me???” I am totally defeated – on the floor, not able to do anything – sick sick sick, again!!! The same things happen,  2-3 hrs before I  exhaustively can climb in to bed and fall asleep. Even 2 days after an attack I am really tired and worn out.

Between the attacks I notice that I have a “fullness” in one ear,  a pressure and my hearing is bad.

At this point I am still not connecting the dots – I think I am in denial.

A dear friend of mine who is a nurse – says to me “Next time you get it, go to emergency while you are having the attack!”

A month later – it happens again – and with the family’s help I manage to get to the doctor’s office – while the world is spinning.

He says – “I think you have Meniere’s disease – but I want you to have a brain scan to make sure it is not a tumor”.  I crawl back out of his office and I am devastated!! What has happened to my life? I cannot believe it.  Is it a tumor? If not, then what – do I have to live with this and how do I do that??

I did not have a tumor, thank God! – “only” Meniere’s disease  – the specialist said “We don’t know exactly what causes it. There is no cure and you will have to live with it. Be careful about your sodium intake,  caffeine and alcohol. See you in 2 months”. This goes on for the next year with more scary attacks.

I have never heard about Meniere’s disease before. All the information I found online was “Bad” news – no cure, stories of how people have become house bound having these scary attacks all the time, stories about how your hearing is badly affected every time you have an attack. Stories of people giving up work – not even being able to drive!! I was terrified and I was anxious most of the time scared about when the next attack would happen and also terrified that I could have a tumor in my brain!! I was depressed and felt my whole life was coming to an “end”.

Perhaps you have read my story and thereby know that a friend gave me 2 bottles of green smoothies and a book called “Green for life”. “What the heck!” I thought, I’ll try anything!! So  I began to drink liters of green smoothies – over a very short time my taste buds changed and I felt that things I would eat before was too salty or all of a sudden too sweet. Instead I craved more green food. I did not think this would make a difference on my Meniere’s disease –  but I felt better, had more energy, my depression went away and I even felt a bit of hope.

That was 2 years ago and I have not had a single full-blown attack since!!

I believe the reasons to be:

  • Less sodium intake – both because many of my meals today consist of plant-based foods – there is no salt added to a green smoothy! And because my taste buds changed and I don’t crave salty foods anymore.
  • I have much more energy – I started jogging and that has had a great effect on my stress level as well as improving my blood circulation
  • I eat less fat – in particular animal fat – which clogs up the arteries.  Clogged arteries means that the blood flow be restricted in and around the ear.  According to “the Meniere’s disease help blog” – High Cholesterol could be making things a lot worse for patients with Meniere’s disease.

I am neither an expert nor a doctor – all I have is my own experience! However, I strongly believe there is a connection between the way we live, what we eat and diseases like Meniere’s disease. I am certain that my change in lifestyle and eating habits have had not only a positive effect on my overall health, but also on my Meniere’s disease. Today, I have no more scary attacks, only pressure on my ear some days – and that I can live with!

I am sharing this story in the hope, maybe there are others out there that can find relief as I have.

This is a great source of information:

http://www.managemenieres.com/

Have your health and Easter eggs too!

This morning I went for my morning run – in the rain – at 6:30. The smells were intoxicating as everything is blossoming now: cherry trees, daffodils, rhodos, hyacinths and crocus are filling the air with their fragrances and the rain made everything ever so fresh. Rabbits and squirrels jumping around me and deer crossing the road in front. When I came down to the beach the sea was completely calm – serenity hit me and I just stood there breathing in this beautiful morning. A seal came swimming in gently cutting through the water as I stood there watching in awe.

On my way back I thought about traditions and how much I love them. I am a Dane with lots of traditions and I hold them all dear to my heart. Many traditions are about eating and special foods.

We  talk about healthy choices and we make recipes that are low fat or non fat – often these creations leaves us feeling that we are missing out and feeling unsatisfied. But does it have to be all or nothing? Does it have to be that we have to say nay to a slice of the beautiful cake that has been made in the family for generations perhaps from that recipe from your great-great-grandmother?

What if we, before going out to Easter lunch, got up earlier that morning and went for a long walk or a jog – or even just a walk? What if we, for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs that day, made a delicious green smoothie and some scrumptious raw food oat meal? What if we had another green healthy juice drink just before we went out to lunch, to satisfy the worst hunger and eliminate the chances of over indulging! What if, when we finally sat by the table surrounded by family and gorgeous foods, we ate some of the healthy veggie dishes first and then had a slice of roasted lamb with rosemary and garlic, deviled eggs, glaced ham or whatever is the tradition where you are? It is so much more satisfying to fill up on healthy foods that satisfy the body and still be able to enjoy family favorites and be part of the celebration.

I had generic high cholesterol and was told I had to be on medication for the rest of my life. Today I am off medication and my cholesterol is normal. I can say yes to all my family favorites and Easter eggs, yes!, I can, because I exercise and enjoy a plant based diet 80% of the time.

One really inspiring source is Mark Bittman, the New York Times journalist, who writes about food and has published many wonderful cook books. I love his story – read it here

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter!!