Top tips for creating Christmas coziness

Now is the time to sprinkle “HYGGE” all over the world

“Hygge” is a Danish word that commonly gets translated to the English meaning of  “Cozy”. But actually “hygge” means quite a bit more. Hygge means being surrounded by people you love, family, friends, colleagues; but it can also be with people you don’t know, with someone you meet and feel connected to. Hygge can be planned, but it can also happen simultaneously. Hygge also happens in solitude. It’s an atmosphere, a feeling that captures life’s essence.
Hygge is being present, authentic, hygge is being in the now, content in the moment, hygge is not thinking about it, it’s just being…… in the moment. Hygge is fun. Hygge is peaceful. It’s intimate, It’s homey and relaxed.

Hygge is creating a special atmosphere, logs burning in the fireplace, lighting the candles, fresh flowers, fresh fruit, nice surroundings, but it can also be on a bench in a park with a stranger, communicating, sharing the moment. Often hygge is enjoying good food with great friends and family. Hygge is sometimes, just the two of us, connecting, reconnecting. Hygge is cuddling up with a warm blanket, it’s a good book and a steeping hot pot of tea.

Hygge is not invented by the Danes – each nationality have their own form of coziness and hygge – but Danes are obsessed with hygge – as some have suggested – to escape the long dark winters.

It could be that the amount of hygge Danes practice every day, is the reason why they occasionally are picked out to be the happiest people in the world!

There is no excuse for not creating hygge – in any situation, even at work there is created space for hygge. Places to relax and connect with colleagues and recharge the batteries.

“Come let’s hygge” – is an everyday expression, it’s cultivated, at any and all possible moments. To light the candles and make everyday surroundings ‘hyggelige” – creating that space for coziness and hygge – together or alone. It is crucial for our health and well-being.

Hygge is a good reason to hurry home from work – we long for it and treasure it. There is always an excuse to hygge! Hygge is a sanctuary for the soul!

And Christmas is the ultimate high season for hygge!

That is why I want to sprinkle hygge all over the world

Read more about hygge, here and see a video about hygge, here


My best hygge/coziness tips

  • Create time every day for hygge – (even 5 min is better than no hygge)
  • Light some candles
  • make time for hygge in the morning
  • Invite the family to sit down to just be together (even if only for a few minutes – no electronics)
  • make hygge a priority
  • Create a cozy space in the midst of all
  • Give someone a hug
  • Have dinner together  – as often as possible.
  • Cook together
  • Initiate play
  • Fresh flowers
  • Take time to create hygge for yourself – a good book, candle light, a hot bath whatever it means for you
  • Put on some good music – tidy the clutter
  • Dim the lights
  • See a great movie together

Another article about Hygge here

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:

Healthy Apple Lemonade – and Thank You!

Weekends go fast! Don’t you think? Monday again and another week awaits us fresh and new.

This weekend was fun and full of sunshine. On Saturday, I was slinging green smoothies over the counter at a fundraiser and it was so much fun. There we were outside by a big chestnut tree,  sun was shining and lots of people had come out to enjoy the weather and the market, the Anglican Church had put out.

For me it was a bit of an experiment and I was not quite sure how the green drinks would be received. I was overwhelmed – people were lining up all wanting to try a drink of health. I was astounded to see kids in the line up too – many came back for seconds!! I wish I had bought a camera guy to help me shoot pictures – but the pictures in my memory are awesome.

Like the one little blond guy who poured green smoothies down and finished them off with a fabulous big smile on his face and the two kids, wearing hats and sunglasses looking so cool – had a sip of their smoothies and both their faces lit up in big smiles. I asked them how they liked the smoothies and two thumbs came flying up. Another little guy came with his dad and shook his head when his dad asked him if he wanted  a green smoothie. The dad took one sip of his glass and passed it to his son. He carefully tried it – then asked for his own!

Kids want to be healthy and if health is available they will make healthy choices – especially when we join in.

So I have been dreaming of smoothie bars in school yards and kids !

The smoothie I made at the market was this one

Before I give you the recipe for Healthy Apple Lemonade I would like to thank the wonderful people who nominated me for several awards – I feel very very spoiled !!!

Thank you to I ATE LUNCH  for awarding me with ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD and thank you ZEN AND GENKI for the THE SUNSHINE AWARD.


And while writing this blog post another award came in from UP HIGH LULLABY – Thank you for the INSPIRING BLOG AWARD

Thank you SO SO much to all of you from the bottom of my heart – I so appreciate it!! THANK YOU!!!!

Here we go – Healthy Apple Lemonade – what better to drink on a hot summers day? I mean in the shade under the apple tree?

1 lemon and 10 apples – it is important that the apples are hard and not soft. For this I have used green apples. You can also add a piece of ginger.

Juice it all and serve on ice.

Scrumptious Sinless Cake

Where I live in beautiful British Columbia there is a very famous and very very sinful cake called a “Nanaimo Bar” – it is rich with sugar,  loads of butter, eggs ect – creamy, coconutty, sweet and I love it.  I have created a healthy version of it that is just as creamy and the taste is heavenly. You would never know – it tastes just as sinful as the real Nanaimo bar, but it has no butter, no white sugar, no flour, no cream, no eggs!!

This version is made only with the healthiest ingredients so it is a cake that is actually good for you and it can satisfy the sweetest tooth. The kids love it and it feels great to serve something like this to the kids knowing it is not full of bad things.

Made of 3 layers.

1. layer:  1 cup (2 1/2 dl) of walnuts, 1 cup (2 1/2 dl) of dried coconut flakes, 8 pitted dates, 2 tbs agave sirup, 80g of melted dark good chocolate ( 80%)

Blend it all and press it into a cake tin like this

2.layer: 1 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashew nuts -( soak them in water for 4 hrs or even better over night in the fridge) 4-5 table spoons of agave syrup, beans from half a vanilla pod. 1/3 cup of coconut oil melted, 1/3 cup of coconut butter. Blend it all together to a smooth cream.


Once the coconut/cashew cream has been blended into a smooth cream add it as a 2nd layer to the cake like this

3. layer: 1/2 cup of coconut oil. 100 grams of good dark chocolate, 3 table spoons of agave syrup, beans from half a vanilla pod -melt over low heat in a water bath and mix. Let it cool slightly and pour it over the cashew/ coconut cream. Put it in the deep freeze for a couple of hours before serving. I leave the cake in the freezer and take it out 1/2 -1 hr before serving.