Delicious Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce

As many of you know, every week we like to change some of our meals with vegan meals, and in particular, we love those vegan meals that are fresh delicious Raw Food meals.

The other night we had Raw Food Tacos and they were wildly good – and tonight we had Raw Food Falafel.

I love middle eastern food and falafel is one of my all time favourites – so I decided I wanted to create a Raw Food version of this wonderful dish  – it turned out to be equally delicious. I love how I feel after eating Raw – I feel  energized and light, full of energy.

Every bite nourishes the body.

Raw Food Falafel

Raw Food Falafel

Here’s the recipe

Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini 

This recipe makes 14 – 16 falafel

2 cups of walnuts

2 big brown mushrooms

1 celery stalk

1 glove of garlic

A little piece of red onion

1/4 red pepper

1 bunch of fresh cilantro

1  teaspoon ground cumin

3 tbs Braggs

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

You also need – sesame seeds to roll the falafel in

Diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onions as an accompaniment and

radicchio lettuce – as your “pita”.

Put the ingredients for the falafel into the blender and blend until smooth – leave in the fridge for 1/2 – 1 hrs, to make them  easier to work with – then form them into little round balls and roll them in the raw sesame seeds.

Falafel in process

Falafel in process

 

Falafel

Falafel

Walnuts

Walnuts

Creamy Tahini 

Creamy tahini

Creamy tahini

 

For the dressing:

3 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

4 heaped tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

4 teaspoons  tamari

8 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Serve the falafel on a crisp red radicchio leaf, put some mixed leafy greens on top and add a good scoop of creamy tahini sauce. Top this with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and fresh cilantro…. and Enjoy!

Served perhaps with a glass of wine

Served perhaps with a glass of wine?

 

On another note –

Many many weeks have gone by without my writing a single blog post…. so what happened?

I had surgery while I was in DK – hysterectomy – all went well, no cancer, a huge relief, and goodbye to the pain that has been with me for many, many months.

Recovery has been fast – incredibly fast, just 2 weeks after surgery I was biking through the forest, and now only 6 weeks later I am out running!

I am grateful!

I was privileged and happy to be in Denmark while having my surgery – surrounded by family and wonderful friends who spoiled me rotten! Taking turns to look after me!

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails asking about my health and well-being – I feel very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life – my virtual friends as well as personal ones!

Thank you!

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Fresh and Crispy Nori Rolls with Ginger & Garlic Sauce

These little Nori rolls are so easy to make and they are stuffed full of goodness!

Whether you want to: lose weight, lower your cholesterol, become more healthy, …… simply adding more green food into your diet, will bring on amazing results …

Rather than restricting yourself, and cutting out certain foods, or going on a diet – you can add more plant-based foods that feed and nourish you. Thus, there will be less space for food that is not so healthy, and more room for the food that is good for you.

It’s simple, it’s easy and it can make a huge positive change to your health.  

I hope you enjoy them! They taste just scrumptious!

Crispy Nori Rolls

Crispy Nori Rolls

Fresh and Crispy Nori Rolls with Ginger Garlic dipping Sauce

Roasted seaweed sheets

Bean sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

fresh spinach leaves

Carrots strips

Cucumber strips

Red pepper strips

Spring onions

Celery strips

On the seaweed sheet you add everything –  just like this …

Nori Roll in preparation

Nori Roll in preparation

Then you roll gently, but tightly (this can be difficult, but don’t worry they taste just as good). Serve them on a plate with the Ginger Garlic Sauce

Ready to enjoy

Ready to enjoy

Ginger Garlic Dipping Sauce

5 tablespoons of good soya sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of freshly squeezed garlic

A little freshly grated ginger

A little wasabi

Mix it all together.

Ginger garlic sauce

Ginger garlic sauce

Nori rolls with ginger garlic sauce served with a big glass of green smoothie.

Enjoy!

Green lunch

Green lunch

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

Mushroom Quinoa Steak served with fresh Pesto on Baked Aubergine

I frequently enjoy replacing ordinary meals with vegan or vegetarian deliciousness. I actually eat more vegan food now than anything else. Why? Because it tastes amazing and is so good for my health.

The other day I had made both, so the family could choose what they wanted – to my surprise ALL, even the teenagers helped themselves to the vegan dishes! And there I was, stuck with the meat which I had to chuck……… imagine!

I thought, really? But yes!
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This is one of the dishes that win over meat in our family.

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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

Sweet potato coconut soup served with fresh Thai pesto

This soup is a flavourful adventure. An explosion of flavours in your mouth that will make your taste buds dance.

Creamy, intense and deeply satisfying.

I make this with either yams or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I add garlic fried prawns which suit the soup fantastically.

An old time favorite in our house especially on a cool winters day!

Sweet potato coconut soup

Sweet potato coconut soup

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How to get kids to eat healthily

Many people have asked me “How do I get my kids to eat healthy?”

It can be a real challenge. Many children are picky and there are many foods they don’t like. It can be really hard to get them to try new things too. And, of course, there is a reason for all of that. Studies from the University of Copenhagen show that there is a significant change in taste perception as a child develops into a teenager. The research shows that first, as teenagers, can distinguish between different flavours and that there is a decreased preference for sweet flavors.

So, until the teenage years, their taste buds are not fully developed. The research also showed that girls taste buds are more sensitive than boys. This means that there are a reason why kids can be picky and boys eat differently than girls and like different things.

Taste buds and flavor preferences change as the child grows.

See a great article by Christine Bude Nyhom here

Without considering this, dinner time can turn into a battle and a power struggle. We want to be good parents, we know the importance of healthy eating. And we get scared and worried if they don’t like to eat the carrots.

Knowing that kids have a legitimate reasons for their food choices helps. They are not just being picky and difficult. Their bodies are growing, their minds and spirits are developing and so are their taste buds.

It is now they build the foundation for a healthy life.

My tips to help encourage kids to eat healthily and establish healthy eating habits

  • Never force them – I remember when I started eating more healthy food, I felt So Great and I wanted the whole entire world to know about it so that they could feel the same! But, I was too pushy, and it had quite the opposite effect. Especially my son made a point of NOT wanting to eat that healthy stuff. So, I had to change the strategy. I actually apologized to him and told him I was really sorry that I had been so pushy. Then I cooked the usual food but I also cooked the new more healthy options – and I allowed everyone choose. To my surprise, one night I had made lasagne, but also raw food “healthy” lasagne instead of a salad. My husband and I took big portions of the raw food plant-based lasagne and we munched away while smiling and saying – “yum, yum, yum – oh, how good this is”. And, the kids looked at us and without saying anything joined in and started to eat the healthy lasagne. By the end of the meal, the raw food lasagne had been devoured and the normal lasagne was hardly touched!
  • Always have fruits and veggies easily available –  Having a fruit basket and plate of cut vegetables available, perhaps with some great dip, or freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices are a great way to get more healthy food. Often, if delicious fresh fruits and veggies are available, and cut into bites or as a fruit salad, kids will snack on it rather then the usual chips and sweets. And setting a good example is a great convincer, if you do it perhaps they’ll follow too. Maybe not at first, maybe even months, but one day they will – in the meantime give them a multivitamin and trust that it will happen and that they will not die of hunger.

  • Make green smoothies. This is such a fantastic way to get some greens and fruits down and it taste SO good! In the beginning make them more fruity and the kids will love them. Then over time add more of the leafy greens that are so good for us. In the beginning my kids did not even want to try it, so I poured some for myself and sat down while I slowly drank it and did a when Sally met Harry stunt”. First, they shook their heads and walked away. But one day my daughter said, “hmmm, can I try that green stuff?” – I wanted to pour her a huge drink in the biggest tumbler I could find in the house, but I restrained myself and poured her a tiny one. “Yum this is quite good, can I have another one?” Victory! My arms were high in the air (metaphorically) !! My son eventually said “Mom, it’s unfair that you always make the green smoothies when I’m in school because then I can’t have one”. As they started drinking the green smoothies they automatically started to crave more greens – so I often see them choose fruits over chips or ask if they can have 1/2 cucumber or an avocado. They make more healthy choices naturally and that is awesome! It took time and patience, but it was well worth it.

  • Freeze smoothies and make ice cream – smoothies make perfect ice cream and the green once make the coolest looking ice cream. A friend of mine who has little kids, came up with the idea of freezing the leftover green smoothies and the kids loved them!! She has promised me a photo 🙂

  • prepare food together – cooking together is so much fun. Yes, it does take longer and yes, there is more cleaning up to do but over time your kids will be little masters in cooking and cleaning up after themselves. They are more likely to try something new if they have helped prepare it and it is a great way to be together.

  • Make dinner time a shared experience – sitting down, having dinner together means so much, in so many ways – socially of course, and also when it comes to establishing healthy eating habits – for everyone.  If they see us take time for eating and enjoying our food that is what they learn. Maybe not today, maybe not right away, but over time – they will treasure that time together and the good food.
  • prepare what you know they like and add healthy sides – allow them to choose. Also try to ‘healthy-up’ old favorites, like adding grated carrots and zucchini to meat balls or add grated vegetables to sauces, or use 1/2 the amount of meat in a chili con carne  and add more veggies and beans instead.
  • Be an example – This is probably the number one most important tip. Be an example, kids look at us and what we eat and if the majority of what we eat is healthy nourishing food, they will learn to eat that way too and enjoy it.

This is a great article about kids and eating:

http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier