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

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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!

The Power of Relationships

If there is one thing in life that can completely create imbalance in our lives, emotionally and physically – it’s troubled relationships.

Relationships between our spouse, our children, our parents, our friends, co-workers, or our boss – any relationship out of balance has the potential to create havoc in our lives.

Relationships have a huge impact on how we thrive, our health, our overall well-being and enjoyment of life.

We are genetically wired for connection and we need connection, we need relationships to survive. So when our relationships are challenged we feel enormous stress, we feel threatened and our bodies suffer –  causing anger, resentment, guilt, sadness and pumping out stress hormones causing us to be on alert, a constant fight or flight mode.

Our relationships live in the sacred space between us, which is sacred – Martin Buber

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Green Juicy Juice

I have been so spoiled lately!  Last weekend I went to Montreal with my beautiful daughter – just the two of us! Wow, what a treat, spending time alone with her was so precious!

Then this weekend I went skiing with some girl friends. Both of these experiences were like big-time tonic for my soul.

 

The down side is however that while traveling it can be hard to maintain healthy habits and routines. I love joining the party and eating what everyone else is eating and I treasure visiting interesting restaurants and eat whatever takes my fancy.

But I also love to get back home and squeeze myself a rejuvenating green juice. Its the perfect way to recoup and getting back into the rhythm again .

Fresh spinach

Fresh spinach

Celery

Celery

Sweet Apples

Sweet Apples

Lemon

Lemon

Pear

Pear

Green Juicy Juice

This juice is made in minutes and served on ice.

You need:

A bunch of fresh spinach

3 sticks of celery

3 apples

1 pear

1 lemon

Put it all through the juicer (or blender, but then you need to add some water) to make a delicious, refreshing green juice.

Delicious Juice

Delicious Juice

The sacred space between us

True connection between us is a “sacred space” and is what brings us together and make a difference, it nourishes and feeds us.

What can truly make a difference in the world is creating more of that sacred space between us.

The other day my dear neighbor came in for a short visit.  My husband was preoccupied on his phone trying to get a hold of our teenage daughter who had gone for a walk to the beach and had said she would come home for dinner but hadn’t yet returned. At one point he looks at our neighbor and he says “I’m sorry that I’m not present with you, but I just have to make sure that Kathleen is okay, I will be there with you in a min.”

The next day I saw my neighbor and she said “You know, that was so nice of Hugh that he told me he was sorry he was not present, he didn’t have to do that”- I told her that it is something we consider really important in our family, to be there and to be present with the people we meet, no matter who they are. Of  cause that is not possible all the time, but then we make a point of saying it. To the kids ” sorry Love I really want to be present with you and hear what you are saying and right now I am busy. Let me come back to you so I can hear you properly.” We do the same with each other or if people call us or drop by at a time that is not convenient. The message is ” You are important to me”.

We have all been in the situation where we feel that we are not being listened to or not being taken seriously – for example, at the doctor’s when he is too preoccupied with other things. Or perhaps your therapist nodded off while you were in the middle of a story.  I tried that once and I crawled right back into my hole. Of course, I was furious but then I did not know what to do about it and I turned  the anger inwards. Today I can laugh about it but then it felt awful.  When this happens we feel worse than when we came.

Arnhild Lauveng  was schizophrenic and deeply psychotic – she has written 2 amazing books  ” Tomorrow I was always a Lion” and “As useless as a Rose”. In the books, Arnhild tells of how she came back to reality and how the nurses and doctors who were able to be there for her, trust her, connect with her and be authentic with her – those people helped her back. This story shows just how powerful authentic connection is – it can heal!

Arnhild returned to study and today she has a degree in psychology. She works as a psychologist at the Kongsvinger Psychiatric Center in Norway and helps people with schizophrenia.

You can read more about her here

A Ted Talk I came across with Hedy Schleifer – The Power of Connection says it all so beautifully! I had the honor and privilege to attend a weekend workshop for therapists in Denmark with Hedy. She truly is an incredible woman. I hope you will enjoy this!