Fresh Green Juice from Baby Spinach, Grapes and Pears

With one leg out the door, packing and getting ready for my trip to Europe  – on the first flight tomorrow morning. And, …. I am also making green juice,why?  Because, I love it and it’s easy, so why not?  But also, to stay hydrated, nourished and survive jet-lag before it even arrives.

Lots of freshly squeezed green juice helps my body prepare for the trip across time zones. But you don’t have to be travelling to benefit …from freshly squeezed green juice.

Freshly squeezed green juice is so packed with vitamins , minerals and nutrients that you can almost feel every cell in your body wriggle with joy and gratitude, as you drink it!

It’s easy to prepare and it tastes so good. Children love it and it’s a great way for us to sneak in some of the greens that we know are so good for us!

Sweet Green Grapes

Sweet Green Grapes

Fresh Baby Spinach

Fresh Baby Spinach

This is what went into the green juice:

2 bunches of baby spinach

Big cluster of sweet green grapes

4 pears

3 lemons

Ice

Lemons

Lemons

Pear

Pears

Rinse and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze everything into an irresistible green juice
— and Enjoy!

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“If life gives you lemons make some kind of fruity juice”  – Conan O’Brien

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Yoga

One of the best things that I remember from my childhood is my mom’s passion for yoga. Often I would  join her on the mat and try to copy her poses. I could walk on my knees, put my legs behind my neck and stand on my head. Not so much anymore….. 🙂 — but I have always wanted to start yoga and get into the yoga groove. My problem is, I really don’t enjoy big, filled-to-the-brim yoga studios.  I like to be in my own space, I like the peace, and I like to enjoy yoga when it fits into my schedule.

Breathe

Breathe

That is why I was so happy when I found Myyogaonline and Doyogawithme.

Two fabulous programs, videos of different lengths, different levels, different styles, different teachers – you pick and choose what fits you best.

I absolutely love it!

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. Rumi

There are so many benefits to doing yoga. It’s quite amazing what happens in just a few moments of deep breathing, slowly moving the body into poses, simply being on the floor reduces stress and before you know it, you feel more relaxed!

P.S  Please listen to your body and don’t do too much – let your body be your guide!

Here are some great articles about the benefits of yoga:

One from Harvard University on how yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Another by Science Daily, an interesting study shows that yoga reduces stress and anxiety among prisoners and has a positive effect on impulsive behaviour.

And a third by the Yoga Journal about the overall health benefits

On a finishing note – I am moving my blog to be self-hosted – this means my blog might be down for a day or so – Looking forward to seeing you over there 🙂

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

Sweat the blues

Can exercise really help us beat the blues?

I came across an interesting article on one of my favorite Danish news sites Fri.dk called “Can exercise prevent depression”?

A research study done by The Danish National Institute of Public Health points out that exercise can have an effective preventive effect on depression.

There is no doubt that exercise can help us when we are feeling the blues, but prevent depression? This is what the article said:

4 hours light exercise or 2 hours hard exercise a week

The Danish study confirms what we already know, that exercise is good for us physically, and that exercise plays a major role in our emotional health, but it also showed that exercise may  have a preventive effect on depression!

The research was done with 18.000 Danes between 18-99 years of age, both answering questions sheets and undergoing blood tests during a 26 year period.

The results showed that, especially in women, there was a preventive effect in the occurrence of depression, by doing regular exercise.

Women who were either physical inactive or exercised less than 2 hours had 1.8 times higher risk of developing depression than the women who were exercising a lot. The “exercising a lot” criteria in the study was, light exercise more than 4 hours or more than 2 hours heavy exercise a week.

The research points (not surprisingly) to have the same beneficial effect for men, but then there was not as many depressive men participating in the study.

The research discussed whether  it is simply exercise that has a preventive effect. They, therefore, also studied people who were physically active during their work day, for example in the postal services, but the research clearly showed that the physical exercise has to be done in free time. Work related “exercise”  had no effect on depression!  So something points to the fact that it is not the physical activity in itself that has the effect, it is important that it is part of free time and maybe there also is a social component.

I think this affirms that health does not happen in isolation – balanced living and happy health – means many things, among them are: getting regular exercise, nourishing our bodies with good food, embracing (all) emotions, having healthy relationships at work and privately, etc. And remember, depression can be a healthy response to something not right in our lives. No matter how much we run, we still need to attend to the underlying emotions and consult our heart – the old saying is true, we cannot run from our problems.

“Being entirely honest with oneself is good exercise”- Sigmund Freud

I think the social component in exercise plays a big and important role in preventing depression. We get out, we meet people and often we have great conversation during exercise, we solve the worlds problems as we go. We connect in a special way with people we exercise with. We set goals together, we sweat together, we laugh and cry together, we stretch ourselves together, we go beyond, we celebrate successes and support each other, we encourage each other, we share together. These aspects have the power to heal us, make us feel better, and prevent depression from occurring.

“The greatest wealth is health “ – Virgil

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health” – Hippocrates

Earlier blog posts on exercise:

Muscles reward exercise

Make running part of your life – for good.

Getting into the great habit

Want to live longer? Jog a bit

Resetting the body-clock

A whole week on plant-based foods! Plant-wild week check it out here

  • I feel  full of energy
  • I lost 2 1/2 kg
  • my skin feels healthy
  • my eyes are clear
  • I feel in balance/content
  • my runs are easier – I run for longer without feeling the need to stop
  • cravings for unhealthy foods ceased

2 years ago I would never have believed that food matters so much! I knew that I had to eat fruits and vegetables and that it was supposed to be good for me, but I had no idea it could change my life the way it has!

For those, who are new to this blog  – I was suffering desperately from Meniere’s disease, I had terribly high cholesterol and I had put on 17 kg! I felt dreadful and did not have the will-power to do anything about it, I felt stuck!

Food changed all of that! I added green smoothies to my diet and got more energy, started to crave more green food and craved less of all the things that were not good for me. I started to run and I started to exchange some of my meals for plant-based meals. Sometimes, I would do whole days on plant-based foods – eventually eating only plant-based food from Monday to Friday, every now and then. I changed the balance of what I ate, so that I had much more fruits and vegetables, nuts, and grains, than meat and dairy. Nourishing and feeding my body – rather than filling myself up. This past week I tried an only-plant-based week and it was great.

Eating more plant-based has been like resetting my clock. Now I don’t feel hungry all the time, I feel nourished and satisfied. I no longer feel the need to fill my plate 3 times, at every meal.

I used to live to eat and I still do, but not in the same way!

I am mostly plant-based and I enjoy adding delicious fish or meat to my meals, but not with every meal. I also enjoy creme brulee and fabulous cheeses, but not with every meal.

I believe that the high cholesterol, Meniere’s disease and the 17 kg over-weight, was my body’s way of “telling” me, there was an imbalance  – something needed to change.

Today my Meniere’s disease is gone, my cholesterol is normal without medication,  I have lost 19 kg, I feel better and fitter than ever before!

This week has been like giving my body a holiday, spoiling it with foods that supports it, feeds it, and nourishes every cell.

My family supported me all the way – not everyone was plant-based all week, but I am proud of them for what they did! Loving that they tried, exchanging the majority of their meals with plant-based foods and for being so open to try. Changes do not happen over night – it happens by taking one healthy step at a time.

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