The Power of Raw

Summertime – don’t you love it? And summertime is the perfect time to spoil your body, recharge the old batteries and rejuvenate yourself!

I find nothing quite as powerful as a couple of days on raw food,  plant-based, entirely raw dishes, full of all the goodness you need to tune yourself back into vibrant.

Here is how it goes – for breakfast how about some  Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal

Raw food musli

Raw food musli

Or delicious Raw Food “yoghurt” with mango and raspberry coulis

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Or Raw Food Granola made from fresh sprouts and almond creme…

Raw food Breakfast

Raw food Breakfast

For lunch how about Raw Food Sushi served with ginger, garlic sauce.

Ready to enjoy

Ready to enjoy

or Raw Food Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and capers….

Raw Food Fettuccine

Raw Food Fettuccine

or a delicious salad with pomegranate, apples and pineapple 

Salad with pomegranate and apple

Salad with pomegranate and apple

or Raw Food  Veggie Chili with Cashew “Cheese” DSC_0135

And lots of green juice

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And green smoothies during the day

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For dinner Raw Food Curry served with Parsnip “Rice” 

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

1 zucchini

5 big brown mushrooms

4 spring onions

Wash and finely chop everything – make the curry sauce

Curry Sauce 

2 big  scoops tablespoons of cashew butter

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

4 dried lime leaves or 2 fresh

1 cup of water

2 tablespoon of soya sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chill sauce

juice and rind of 1 lime fruit

1 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste

Put it all in the blender and blend into a delicious creamy curry sauce.

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Parsnip “rice” 

Peel 2 parsnips and cut them into smaller pieces – put them in the blender and blend them till they look rice- alike – squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on and a little sea salt.

Serve on a plate with the chopped vegetables – pour over the curry sauce and enjoy!

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip "Rice"

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip “Rice”

 

” What you find at the end of your fork is more powerful than anything you’ll find at the bottom of a pill bottle” – Dr. Mark Hyman

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Can you lower your hereditary cholesterol? Naturally?

Yes, absolutely you can!

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I never thought it would be, because my doctor told me –

“young lady, you have the hereditary kind of high cholesterol and that means no matter what you do, you will never be able to lower it naturally. The only way for you is medication.” 

So, for the past 10-12 years, I have been on statins – every single day I popped a pill, to help me to keep a low count on my cholesterol.

However, other health problems inspired me into changing my lifestyle.

And today, I can celebrate 3 years with normal cholesterol levels and no medication!

So does that mean you need to be on a really restricted diet? No desserts, no streaks on the BBQ, no butter, no cheese, no life…….no fun ?

Nope – I eat everything and I have lots of fun!

Even cream cake

Even cream cake

So how do I do it?

It’s really simple and if I can do it, so can you!

(Please don’t go off your medication without talking to your doctor!)

This is how I do it:

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  • I shifted the balance on my plate. So 80% of what I eat is plant-based. This means 80% of what I eat is vegan, plant-based, green leaves, lettuce, salads, spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, lentils, grains, roots, all kinds of veggies, and lots of fruit.
  • I eat plenty of food that contains natural cholesterol lowering agents, like nuts especially walnuts and almonds, oatmeal, berries, avocado, fish, tomatoes, etc.

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  • 20% is whatever I like to eat – it can be anything.
  • Every day I exercise, except for one day of rest!  45 min. to an hour! Yes I know, you don’t have time! I didn’t either, but you can find time! Exercise is brutally important when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. I get up earlier in the morning. I wake up and have millions of excuses for not going, but I tell myself that I only have to tie my shoelaces, get out and run to the end of the curb. If I still don’t like it, I can go back home……. but it has never happened, once I am out there, once I have taken the first breath of that beautiful morning air, the last thing I want is to go back home.
  • Meditation – When we are stressed and tired we are more likely to make unhealthy choices, eat fatty foods, drink too much etc. Also research shows that the release of stress hormones can damage the blood vessels, so plague sticks more easily. I find mindfulness meditation is a great way to unwind.

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A great article about food writer Mark Bittman and his concept VB6 – Vegan before 6 

Stay tuned for the VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck, taking place this Saturday! 160 + bloggers will bring their delicious food to the virtual party 🙂

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 4

Day 4 – This morning I went for an early morning run along the beach while the sun was rising, thinking, I can do another day of this! Another day eating greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains – everything that supports my body and fills me with this zippy wonderful energy!

 

Breakfast

Rawfood musli with blueberries

This has become a breakfast stable in our family – we eat it almost every day. It is so tasty and creamy. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to make a healthy version of an old favorite that had both full fat yoghurt and cream in it!! This tastes just as good and just as creamy and sweet as the original, but without the guilt!

In the blender/food processor add:

1 cup of raw oats,
2 good handfuls of raw almonds
1 big apple cut into chunks
6-8 Medjool dates ( more or less depending on how sweet your tooth is)
1 cup of filtered water
Blend it all – not too much because it is nice if it keeps it’s crunchiness

Enjoy with either fresh berries, banana or dried fruit in the winter – today I served it with fresh blueberries from the garden.

The Good-Morning Smoothie is made from fresh raspberries and pineapple today.

Variations.
You can add a little less water and add an orange – orange and dates are a perfect match. You can also add a bit of cinnamon or cardamom

Morning snack

A delicious green smoothie made from fresh kale out of the garden, peaches, pineapple, lemon, ice and 2 cups of water

Lunch

Delicious vegetable wraps with garlic/ginger dipping sauce

Rice paper

1 avocado

1 red pepper

fresh spinach

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1/2 cucumber

3 spring onions

Fresh basil

fresh coriander

fresh basil

fresh mint

Rinse and cut everything into strips of julienne.

Prepare the rice paper – one at a time. Take a clean tea towel and make it wet, place one rice paper on the wet tea towel and fold so it is completely covered with the wet cloth. Leave for about a min. Over the sink, wring out the water and carefully place the soft rice paper so you can fill it and roll it. Fill it with spinach leaves, a little avocado, carrot, red pepper, zucchini, spring onions and alfalfa sprouts, add some fresh basil leaves, some coriander leaves and some fresh mint. Roll them together and cut them in halves and arrange them on a plate along with the garlic/ginger dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

4 small lime leaves

thin slice of fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic

2 spoons of hoisin

1//3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup water

4 spoons of braggs

Blend it all together and serve with the vegetable rolls

Dinner

Baked zucchini and eggplants- served with new potatoes and green salad with fennel

I found these gorgeous looking green and yellow zucchini and some beautiful eggplants. I decided to make a really tasty dish that i think is perfect for summer with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and all you need to make this dish amazing. So this is my take on the Turkish specialty, Imam Bayildi – baked zucchini and eggplant topped with a spicy fresh tomato sauce, served with little new potatoes gently baked with herbs and garlic and a green salad with fennel.

2 eggplants

2 zucchini

600 g fresh ripe and chopped fresh tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

4 shallots

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme

3 table spoons of chopped big leaved parsley

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 cup of water

Finely chop the shallots and the garlic, gently saute them in oil til they are soft, add tomato paste,the herbs and the cumin. Add the tomatoes and the water. Cook for about 15 min. Season with sea salt and pepper, set aside. Add the parsley.

Cut the zucchini and the eggplant in halves on the length wise. Gently brown them in a bit of olive oil – on the inside. Place them in a baking dish on some baking paper and add the sauce on top.

Bake in an 350F oven for about 45 min

You can eat them right out of the oven but they taste amazing at room temperature too.

Potatoes

It is season for new and delicious potatoes – I love new potatoes!!

I prepared them like this

I washed them and cut them in to quarters and put them onto a piece of baking paper, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, added some fresh thyme and some fresh rosemary – packed them in to little parcels and baked them in the 350F oven for about 45 min. They tasted so good!!

I served everything with a green salad with some fresh fennel

The dressing is a classic that has been in my family forever – we use it, let me just say, a lot
The trick is to use the best ingredients – the better the ingredients the better the dressing. So in other words don’t use the cheapest hot dog mustard.

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar
a teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard
a pinch of sea salt
one clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Mix this – then add a little olive oil while you constantly stir, add more olive oil while stirring – continue doing this till you have a thick, dark yummy dressing. You can add a little maple syrup for a sweetness if you like. This salad dressing is so good and so easy to make.

Plant-wild week-day 1

I am excited! This is the first day of our 7-day plant-wild adventure.  I am really looking forward to eating plant-based for a week! It will be awesome, and  I can actually feel how every cell in my body is shouting harray and  jumping with joy!!

I’m also hugely grateful to my family for being in on this too – what a great thing to do together.

I am excited to see how we feel after a week, tanking up on heaps of greens, fresh summer fruits, nuts, grains and delicious vegetables.

So lets get started  – Here’s the first day’s goodies. I can hardly wait!!

Breakfast

Green good-morning smoothie:

2 apples

big handful of fresh spinach

1/2 cucumber

big handful of green grapes

1/2 an avocado

2 cups of water

a handful of crushed ice

Blend it all into a smooth delicious morning drink

Mango “yoghurt”

A while ago I made a raw food yoghurt with banana and avocado it tasted so good! This morning I am making a mango version of that. It is so simple and it taste so fresh and good!

1 big mango

2 avocado

a fresh squeeze of lemon

Add all ingredients in to the blender and blend into a smooth and beautiful, creamy breakfast treat

Serve with chopped dates, chopped walnuts and some fresh berries

Lunch

What is better than soup, made from the ripest local tomatoes and with basil from the garden?

It is really easy to make too, which adds to the joy of making it.

Tomato soup:

6 very ripe big tomatoes

4 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

1 l of vegetable broth

1/2 cup of cashews soaked in water

Lots of fresh basil

2 sun dried tomatoes

one bay leaf

Chop the onions and garlic and saute them in a pot with some olive oil – saute til they are soft and clear. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the sauteed onions and garlic. Add the bay leaf and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the vegetable broth and cook for about 10 min at low heat.

Blend in the blender with 3/4 of the fresh basil, the sun dried tomatoes, and the soft cashews to make it creamy.

Savour with salt and pepper and serve with a chunk of great bread, with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in

Dinner

Wok fried vegetable served with cardamon rice:

I love everything Asian – Serve me Asian fusion and I am in heaven.

Marinade:

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce

2 tbs sesame oil

2 1/2 inch of fresh ginger

4 cloves of garlic

one bunch of spring onions

2 tbs of white wine

Finely chop the fresh ginger, the garlic and the spring onions – in a bowl mix the soy sauce, the sweet chili sauce, sesame oil and white wine – mix well and add the chopped garlic, spring onions and ginger.

For the stir fry – use any of your favorite vegetables

I used:

one bunch of green asparagus

1 red pepper

4 shallots

400 g of brown mushrooms

big head of broccoli

Fry everything separately in a wok, drizzle the marinade over the portion just before each sort of vegetable is almost ready. Put it aside and stir fry the next vegetable, making sure they all stay crisp and colorful. When all the different kinds of vegetables have been stir-fried to perfection and the marinade has been added – mix all vegetables together.

Serve with Jasmin rice cooked with some green cardamom pods and sea salt.

I got lots of great feedback from the family – no one turned their nose up, no one pushed the plate away – someone even said, while eating the tomato soup: “did you put cream in this”?

I feel nourished and full of energy & looking forward to tomorrow & another day of plant food!!

Go to Plant-wild day 2 here

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!!

Spicy young coconut soup

This past week we have had some wonderfully warm and delicious summer days. So, with weather like that, and all the fresh and wonderful produce available I really enjoy creating and devouring new raw food  dishes. It’s fresh, it’s tasty and it is so good for body and soul .

Today, I was inspired by a fresh young coconut and thought: “How about some chilled, raw, spicy coconut soup?” – what a great meal that could be!.

So I cracked open a young coconut – but … it was not as easy as it sounds! However, in the end well worth it. I poured the nutritious coconut water into the blender and scraped out the soft and delicate coconut meat.

I added 2 cups of filtered water into the blender with the fresh coconut water.

Then I took:

the meat of the coconut

4 fresh lime leaves

Freshly squeezed lime juice – I used 4 of the small key limes

1 clove of garlic

2 tbl. spoons  of Braggs

2 teaspoons of good curry paste – different curry pastes have different strength,so add less and try as you go till it fits your taste

A slice of fresh ginger

2 handfuls of almonds

2 medjool dates

And blended it all into a creamy delicious raw soup base!

For the filling I finely chopped some ripe cherry tomatoes – the “reder” the better, some  zucchini, some mushrooms – I use either Portobello or brown, and added some sprigs of coriander.

Sprinkle the filler over the chilled soup and serve with extra cilantro. You can use any of your favorite vegetable as filling.

and … Enjoy!!!

Have your health and Easter eggs too!

This morning I went for my morning run – in the rain – at 6:30. The smells were intoxicating as everything is blossoming now: cherry trees, daffodils, rhodos, hyacinths and crocus are filling the air with their fragrances and the rain made everything ever so fresh. Rabbits and squirrels jumping around me and deer crossing the road in front. When I came down to the beach the sea was completely calm – serenity hit me and I just stood there breathing in this beautiful morning. A seal came swimming in gently cutting through the water as I stood there watching in awe.

On my way back I thought about traditions and how much I love them. I am a Dane with lots of traditions and I hold them all dear to my heart. Many traditions are about eating and special foods.

We  talk about healthy choices and we make recipes that are low fat or non fat – often these creations leaves us feeling that we are missing out and feeling unsatisfied. But does it have to be all or nothing? Does it have to be that we have to say nay to a slice of the beautiful cake that has been made in the family for generations perhaps from that recipe from your great-great-grandmother?

What if we, before going out to Easter lunch, got up earlier that morning and went for a long walk or a jog – or even just a walk? What if we, for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs that day, made a delicious green smoothie and some scrumptious raw food oat meal? What if we had another green healthy juice drink just before we went out to lunch, to satisfy the worst hunger and eliminate the chances of over indulging! What if, when we finally sat by the table surrounded by family and gorgeous foods, we ate some of the healthy veggie dishes first and then had a slice of roasted lamb with rosemary and garlic, deviled eggs, glaced ham or whatever is the tradition where you are? It is so much more satisfying to fill up on healthy foods that satisfy the body and still be able to enjoy family favorites and be part of the celebration.

I had generic high cholesterol and was told I had to be on medication for the rest of my life. Today I am off medication and my cholesterol is normal. I can say yes to all my family favorites and Easter eggs, yes!, I can, because I exercise and enjoy a plant based diet 80% of the time.

One really inspiring source is Mark Bittman, the New York Times journalist, who writes about food and has published many wonderful cook books. I love his story – read it here

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter!!