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

Freshly squeezed health

Watermelon juice is not your everyday juice! It is packed full of goodness, it nourishes, it cleanses the body and it is deeply satisfying on a hot summers day! But, what has it to do with Viagra?…

But before I tell you, I would like to thank Camilla at Care By Me, for nominating me for The Illuninating Blogger Award, thank you Camilla!!! Camilla is a young Danish designer, who designs the most beautiful things – inspired by nature, all natural and supporting sustainable principals. Please visit Camilla’s blog and see her beautiful design!

Now to the watermelon! We usually think of watermelon as a summer fruit that tastes great, but without having any significant nutritional value. But those days are over! Watermelon is full of goodness! Scientists and researchers have found that watermelon is incredibly healthy. It is in fact a health booster, loaded with vitamin A, B6, C and full of important antioxidants!

Watermelon is alkalizing, it helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

But hold on, there’s more… something very surprising – according to Science Daily, research has shown that watermelon may have a Viagra effect! Scientists say that a watermelon has ingredients that delivers viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido!

Want to know more about the many health benefits of watermelon click here or read more about the research

This juice is addictive, so watch out  – it tastes so fresh and so good that I may have to make it again tomorrow!

Watermelon Juice

I made the juice from one small watermelon

1 1/2 lime fruit

a small bunch of fresh mint

It all went through the juicer

Serve on ice in the sunshine

Enjoy!

Scrumptious Stir Fried Vegetables

Friday again – hard to believe!

This weekend will be a relaxed one. The kids are reviewing for up and coming exams and I have two brand new high-beds in my garden that I am going to fill with my organic “baby” leafy greens and herbs.

Before the weekend starts I’m going to give you the recipe for a great dinner we had this week.  It is healthy but also full of taste – just love that combination!!

Scrumptious Stir Fried Vegetables with Jasmin rice

I used:

1 big bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

2 bunches of green onion

350 g of brown mushrooms

250 g snap peas

10 baby Bok choy

Chop all the vegetables.

Make the marinade

4tbs olive oil

4tbs hoisin

1/3 cup soy sauce

4 tbs sesame oil

2 tbs white wine

4 small tsp cane sugar

4 tbs green onion

2 tbs finely chopped fresh garlic

2 tbs finely chopped fresh ginger

Freshly squeezed juice of one lime fruit

Mix all the marinade ingredients together to make a delicious sauce.

Add a bit of oil to the wok/frying pan – stir fry one vegetable at a time and add some of the sauce to the pan just before it is ready. Put the stir fried vegetable into a big bowl. Continue until all the different vegetables have all been stir fried. Add the rest of the sauce to the stir fried vegetables – mix it all together.

I stir fry each type of vegetable separately to make sure they are done to perfection – just right, still crisp, full of color and flavor.

Serve with your favorite rice. I used Jasmin rice for this recipe, but it could be brown rice, wild rice or……………

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Green and delicious juice

If there is one thing I am really addicted to – it is having my green juice and/or green smoothies every day!

In the beginning it was just me onboard – I would make a big batch of green smoothie, put it in the fridge or take it with me in a thermos, sip of it all day and feel great. Quite quickly, actually within a couple of days, I could hear my husband “sneaking” into the fridge and pouring himself a smoothie 🙂 and before too long – starting to insist and complaining if the jug in the fridge was empty!

To start with, the kids would hold their noses and shake their heads when they saw us drinking “the green stuff” and we would smile and say “cheers”. Then one day they too wanted to try. Time went by and we would drink fruit smoothies with almonds in the mornings, then one day:-)  “Mom, it’s not fair that you have finished off the green smoothies by the time we come home from school”!!

Now there is a fresh batch of green juice or a green smoothie everyday after school.

This  juice is made from :

A fresh bunch of Kale

10 green green apples

1 lemon and

a piece of fresh ginger

served on the rocks, of course.

A great afternoon snack!

Happy weekend !!

Fajitas with stacked baked vegetables

I came up with this recipe and thought it was a perfect Friday/weekend dinner – a taste of summer and comfort,

at the same time healthy, easy to make and so good they have been added to our list of favorites!

The fajitas are made with baked aubergine, tomatoes, onion and zucchini stacks and Portobello mushrooms, served on a warm tortilla with tomato salsa and guacamole.

For the vegetable stacks you need

Big ripe tomatoes

Aubergine

Zucchini

Red onion

Portobello mushrooms

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Slice the aubergine and place them side by side on a baking tray that has been drizzled with olive oil. Squeeze some lemon juice on the aubergine and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Slice the tomatoes and put them on top of the aubergine. Slice the onions and add the slices on top of the tomatoes. Slice the zucchini and add the slices on top of the onion – drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.

Clean the Portobello mushrooms removing the stalks – but be sure to include them too. Place the mushrooms – tops down – on a baking tray that has been drizzled with olive oil and add another little drizzle of olive oil to them along with some sea salt.

Bake the vegetable stacks and the mushrooms at 360 F til tender and golden – about 45 min

For the guacamole:

Tender avocados

Lemon

Lime

Garlic

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

The avocados are just amazing right now – so intense and tasty. So I don’t add too many things to the guacamole to be able to enjoy the flavors of the avocado itself. Just mash it up, add freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice and freshly squeezed garlic, taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Fresh Salsa

This evening, I cheated because I was in a hurry and bought a freshly made salsa from my local store. Usually I make my own, like this:

Fresh ripe tomatoes

Red Onion

Bunch of fresh coriander

Red chilli

Lime juice

Finely chop tomatoes, onions, red chili and fresh coriander – mix it all together, add some freshly squeezed lime juice, taste with sea salt.

The glorious result

Assemble:- place a warm whole wheat tortilla on  a plate – add  a good spoonful of guacamole, add the baked Portobello and vegetable, top with the salsa  and serve.

And enjoy

We have a long weekend here – the kids are off school Friday to Monday – and we are looking forward to a long beautiful weekend.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

Virtual Vegan Potluck – It’s Party Time

This is it – the day I have been looking forward to for weeks have finally arrived! The Virtual Vegan Potluck

– The Virtual Vegan Potluck was initiated and arranged by one of my favorite virtual friends and bloggers, Annie at anunrefinedvegan!

She birthed this idea and made it possible – thank you Annie!! I brought you some flowers from my garden

How it works: 

The virtual vegan potluck is a gathering of enthused foodies, lovely people who have created amazing dishes that they have “virtually brought” to this party. Please come and mingle, enjoy and visit with all the amazing bloggers and indulge with your eyes and soul in these fantastic creations. I feel like I am in heaven – this is a vegan gourmet feast! And a perfect way to be inspired!

I hope you enjoy it and visit all the bloggers and see their delicious creations.

There are two buttons below – a beautiful forward and backward button created by Annie. Click one of them & you are on your way!

For this amazing feast I have created a grilled pepper and zucchini salad with pine nuts – it is served on a piece of homemade roll with a deliciously tangy humus that I have specially created for today.

The Grilled Pepper and Zucchini salad with roasted pine nuts:

4 peppers

4 small zucchini

pine nuts

Fresh big leaved parsley

Split in half and grill the peppers on the BBQ on the skin side till they are literally black on the skin. I added some fresh oregano and rosemary inside while they were grilling. Leave them to cool in a closed container to help loosen the skin. Peel off the skin.

Slice the zucchini and toss them in a bowl with a dash of olive oil. Put them individually on a baking try and bake them at 360F till they are lovely and golden. Check them and remove from the tray as they are ready. They will not all be ready at the same time so keep an eye on them – have patience. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper when they are done.

Dry roast the pine nuts on a frying pan – just slightly gently browned.

Cut the red peppers into smaller bite sized bits. Mix with the golden baked zucchini slices. Pick the leaves of the parsley, rinse well and add to the salad. Serve with roasted pine nuts.

Deliciously tangy and homemade humus

1 1/2 cup of chick peas – garbanzo beans

3 bay leaves

3 springs of fresh thyme

3 table spoons of organic Tahini

juice of 1 lemon

small bunch of big leafed parsley, rinsed

5 small cloves of garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cup of olive oil

small teaspoon of ground cumin

Soak the chick peas for 24 hrs. Cook in plenty of water with bay leaves, thyme sprigs and sea salt – for about an hour but check along the way – they need to be soft, not crunchy.

Strain them and leave them to cool. When they are cool put them in the blender, add 1 & 1/2 cups of olive oil, squeeze in the juice of one lemon, add 3 tablespoons of organic tahini, the garlic and a small teaspoon of ground cumin, chopped parsley. Blend it all together, add some filtered water if it is too thick. Taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Homemade humus is easy to make and it tastes so good – you can really taste the difference!

This is it – ready to serve and enjoy!

This salad taste so good! And being a true Dane I like to serve it as an open-faced sandwich on a freshly made bread rolls with the humus and the salad on top, just like this

Oh by the way – those little flowers are edible sweet little rosemary flowers.

This is my contribution. Thank you for coming to the Virtual Potluck – I am thrilled you came – and so the party continues the show goes on and on and on – click forward or backward as you please.                                                                                                                                                                     Enjoy and have fun

What’s for Breakfast?

This morning we had a delicious raw food yoghurt served with fresh mango and raspberry coulis, for breakfast.
This recipe is inspired by the Danish Raw Food Master Vibeke Amdisen.

I took 4 very ripe bananas and 2 avocados and blended them to a smooth creamy yoghurt.

It is SO easy to make and everyone loves it.

I served it with fresh mango and a raspberry coulis made from,  1 cup of raspberry and  2 spoons of Agave sirup , heated slightly and cooled before serving.

The mango’s are divine this time of year!!!

With the yoghurt we had a glass of freshly made fruit smoothie – I made it with almonds to make it more filling and to add protein

I used

1 Mango

1 Orange

Some raspberries

A chunk of pineapple

2 handfuls of raw almonds

3 cups of filtered water

blend with ice or use frozen fruit to make it cold

Blend till smooth and lovely

Breakfast in the morning sun

Lively Lovely Lasagne

I LOVE lasagne – much like Garfield, I love it!

However this version is 100% plant based, raw and delicious – full of goodness, and because it has not been cooked nutrients and enzymes have not been destroyed.  It is so healthy you feel satisfied and totally energized after eating it – AND no greasy pans to wash afterwards!

You know when you eat lasagne all you want to do afterwards is get the dishwasher started and head for the couch – heavy and tired. After eating this version you want to go and play soccer with the kids in the garden 🙂 or go for an evening run. You can really feel the difference! This has now become our favorite and we love it so much we actually prefer it over the traditional lasagne.

Now to the recipe:

The “pasta” is zucchini thinly sliced  lengthwise.

The pasta sauce is made from fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and sun dried tomatoes, like this:

4 big ripe tomatoes.

6 sun dried tomatoes

A small bunch of fresh basil

1 clove of garlic

1/4 red pepper

Oregano fresh if you have it, otherwise dried

Sea salt

Freshly grounded pepper

Add it all to the blender and blend well. This sauce is so fresh and tasty that it beats any cooked tomato sauce!

“Cheese” Sauce

Soak 1 cup of raw natural cashew nuts in water for at least a couple of hours

Drain and blend it smoothe with

3/4 cup filtered water

2 table spoons of olive oil

1 table spoon nutritional yeast

1 clove of garlic

Sea salt

Marinate brown mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons Braggs and a dash of olive oil.

On top of the sliced zucchini add some fresh spinach

then mushrooms

and tomato sauce and “cheese” sauce like this

On top of this you add some more slices of “pasta” zucchini a bit more spinach and slices of avocado. Finish the dish of with “cheese” sauce and tomato sauce.

ENJOY 🙂

To market to market……

I LOVE markets – let me loose in a market and I go wild. Markets stimulates all senses – I love the smells, the colours and textures – meetings the farmers and all the people bringing in their specialities with pride and love. Wow for me that is the best, it is such a treat. I wish I could go to the market with my basket every day filling it with delicious organic produce.
There is something about buying from the people who are directly involved and love what they are selling you – the real thing!!
This is one of my favourite markets in the world – Granville Island Market in Vancouver BC

Market

healthy food

Greens

smoothie greens for health