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

IMG_0590

 

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

IMG_0323

And green smoothies during the day

IMG_0882

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

Advertisements

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

One of the ways I like to keep healthy by is making some of my meals with plant-based foods.

In general I try to be 80% plant-based as I feel my body thrives and feels content that way. So much so I could never go back to my old “regular” diet. I smile when I see my children eating more and more vegetables too.

Hey they do as you do, not as you say 🙂

This way of eating keeps my cholesterol levels down, naturally. I maintain my ideal weight. I have tons of energy all thorough the day. And the Meniere’s disease I once suffered from, has gone!

Yesterdays plant- based invention was this:

Morrocan Vegan Burger with Homemade Spicy Harissa

Moroccan Vegan Burger

Moroccan Vegan Burger

 

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

3 medium sized yams – cooked until tender

2 cups of cooked quinoa

500 grams dark mushrooms

3 shallots

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

3 spoons of flaxseed meal

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Seasoned flour

Spice mix

small 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Small 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Small 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Small 1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

Finely chop the shallots, rinse and chop the mushrooms – put the mushrooms into a hot frying pan with olive oil and fry until they are until golden brown. Add the chopped shallots and continue frying until they are tender. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

In the blender put the de-skinned baked yams, the cooked quinoa, the cooked mushrooms, the spice mix, the freshly squeezed garlic, the sea salt and the freshly ground pepper-blend. Put the “burger” mixture into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. The mixture is quite soft so it can be a little tricky to work with – you can put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours before you make them into patties so they can firm up a bit. Then turn them in seasoned flour like this:

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Gently fry the patties in olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve on a good bun with homemade harissa sauce, slices of red onions and a handful of Arugula or mixed lettuce – (see recipe for homemade rolls here )

Homemade Spicy Harissa

Spicy Harissa Sauce

Spicy Harissa Sauce

I love this sauce on anything – the perfect dip for any vegetable! But also good with fish, chicken, lamb, – well, as I said, anything 🙂

2-3 red peppers

1-3 cloves of garlic depending on how fierce you want it

1/4 cup of olive oil

Red chilli – I use 1/2 , how hot do you like it?

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Juice of one lemon

Cut the peppers in halfs and bake them in the oven with the skin up until they are tender and the skin is beginning to get dark, actually almost almost black. Leave them to cool and then take off the skin.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend into a smooth sauce.

A healthy spicy bite

A healthy spicy bite

Stop procrastination and succeed with your new years resolutions

Do you have any new years resolutions? Do you want to lose weight? Start doing yoga? Be more healthy? Start meditating?  Stop procrastinating?

We all procrastinate to some extend and make excuses as to why today is not a good day to start that project you’ve been planning, stop smoking or eating healthily.

Some of us may procrastinate so much that important things in life never get done. Robbing us of our dreams and deeper longings, ultimately leaving us dissatisfied and depressed.

 

New Years resolutions

Today it is easier than ever to get distracted and seduced by procrastination. Busy lives, busy schedules, too much work, families, children and all the things that add up and make us desperately trying to make ends meet. On top of that there is social media, oh there’s a message on my Facebook, wonder who it’s from? Oops a text, wonder what it says? I should Google it and find out about …….  and click, click, click hours and hours have gone by and it is too late, I’ll do it tomorrow.

We become addicted to the news the likes and the comments, we want more of that feeling. The same with emails, text messages – we just need to see if there are any new mails any new messages any new likes, any world news we cannot live without – any rewards.

We know we are fooling ourselves and, in fact, wasting precious time away from what we intended to do, what really matters. This creates frustration and increases feelings of not following through, not doing good enough – so we try to repair that feeling with going back for more – a quick fix – of ice cream or Facebook.

The quick-fix happiness feeling is short-lived and followed by a feeling of inadequacy – a vicious circle.

I know in my own life I can make endless excuses – for not going out on that run, or not sitting down to meditate or finish the children’s book I have worked on for years. So is it because I really don’t want to run and stay fit? Don’t I want the book to be finished and get out in to the world? Yes, I do, I want it with all my heart, more than anything – it’s a longing, a passion, my deepest mission. So why do I procrastinate and do less important things? – Because there is always “real” work,  there is always dishes that needs to be done, some washing to do or some clothes to fold, or some dinner plans to make, some children to drive, some phone calls to make …………….

Seen from a psycho-dynamic perspective, I know I have to look at what is underneath, I know that if I am self-sabotaging my goals, there is something underneath that needs my loving attention.

Key is embracing emotions – If we are stressed, if we feel sad somewhere deep down, if we are angry, because someone walked all over us – it’s time to go within, it’s time to confront those feelings inside.  Maybe it’s time to talk. If we suppress some feeling, it stays in the body and creates stress and discomfort. It doesn’t just disappear because we turn the other cheek – it loads up within the body and creates havoc, it makes us want to eat more, procrastinate more, postpone more.

I know why I procrastinate finishing my book, or sitting down to meditate, even though these are really important to me – there are some issues I need to attend to first. For example, one of the things that I have to say goodbye to is that we have just sold our farm in Denmark, our home of many years, and we are starting a new chapter. Our children were raised there and it’s a place filled with many wonderful memories. This means there is grieving to be done, there are more tears and feelings I need to embrace. If I don’t do this, I know it will stay within my body and take my creativity, my happiness, my flow and it will ultimately sabotage my goals.

I recommend:

  • Journaling – get a note-book and write your heart out. Everything, anything, no censoring just fill the pages with whats on your mind and in your heart. Don’t think of grammar or doing it “right” just write.
  • Pauses/breaks spend time every day to check in with yourself, to breathe and reconnect. Take 5 min – give yourself 5 min.
  • Meditation – mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to create space, overcome stress and fatigue.
  • Talk to a trusted friend and tell them how you really are
  • A self-help group – a place where you can talk from the heart and be heard.
  • Consult a therapist/ a psychologist/ a coach

Once we embrace our emotions, all of them, we automatically get more energy and we want to be active, we want to eat better, we become more compassionate towards ourselves and the world and we make better choices for ourselves. This leading us to a feeling of contentedness and there will be no more procrastinations but an eager to get going.

Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens – Carl Jung

Also read:

Love as a daily supplement

Raw for a day

Try to go raw for a day? To eat only plant-based foods that have not been heated! A whole day with freshly pressed juices, greens smoothies, veggies, fruits, nuts, leafy greens – what better way to boost your energy and nourish your body!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a big fan of VB6, i.e., be Vegan Before 6 pm. Often the whole family go whole days as plant-based eaters and we feel huge changes in our bodies, both physically and emotionally. And our body are satisfied, so we keep coming back for more.

I think it is great to go one day a week completely raw and allow the body to feast and rejuvenate.

This means for one day:

  • No coffee
  • No processed sugar
  • No diary
  • No meat
  • No alcohol

It means lots of:

  • Filtered water
  • herbal tea
  • freshly squeezed juices
  • green smoothies
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds

Going raw for one or more days can be a really great way to boost your health.

Menu

For breakfast – Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Mid morning – A green smoothie with spinach

Lunch – Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and a pomegranate dressing

Afternoon – Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

Dinner- Green and delicious spring rolls

Breakfast: Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Banana oatmeal:

1/2 cup raw oats

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup filtered water

1 banana

3 Medjool dates

Add it to the blender and blend it to a smooth porridge, serve with slices of banana and a teaspoon of agave syrup

For the juice I simply pressed organic oranges and 1/2 pineapple – served it on ice.

Mid morning:  A green smoothie and a handful of nuts

This smoothie is so good!

Good handful of fresh spinach

a pear

1/2 some pineapple

a grapefruit

an orange

some filtered water

crushed ice

Blend all of this, serve and enjoy

Lunch: Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and pomegranate dressing – avocado and a green smoothie

I love this very fresh salad – the pomegranate and the apples go so well together, and with the pine nuts and the  dressing it is just heavenly good.

I use a mix of organic lettuce – use any of your favorite

1/2 pomegranate

one apple

2 spoonful of pine nuts

For the dressing:

1/2 pomegranate

2 spoons of raw honey or agave

2 spoons of balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2-1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Take out the seeds of the pomegranate and add to the blender along with balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil – blend into a dressing.

Arrange the washed and dried lettuce in a bowl, toss it with some of that delicious dressing, cut the apple in to bite sizes and add to the lettuce, sprinkle with pine nuts – enjoy!

Slice an avocado in half on the side and some of the green smoothie.

Afternoon: Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

This is a treat – to make it extra smooth soak the almonds beforehand for at least 3-4 hours.

Add 1 cup of soaked raw almonds

2 -2 1/2 cups of filtered water( all depending on how you like it)

a bit of vanilla

5-6 Medjool dates

2 spoons of  raw coco powder

Crushed ice

Blend and enjoy – cool, chocolaty, creamy and sweet!

Dinner: Green and delicious spring rolls 

These rolls have become a favorite of ours – packed full of flavors.

see recipe here

Sick and tired of dieting?

Are you sick and tied of dieting? I was so sick and tied of diets that promised that they could work wonders, but never changed a thing. I was tired of feeling deprived of the great meals that I was missing, of eating boring, tasteless food that really didn’t satisfy me in any way. I was sick and tired of counting calories and feeling guilty if I ate something “bad”. Life is too short for that.

The great revelation for me was to eat more plant-based foods!

In our family, we have now changed many of our meaty meals to plant-based foods.

Sometimes we do VB6 – Vegan before 6, meaning no animal products until dinner. Then you eat anything you like for dinner. Sounds  fabulous? It is! VB6 was invented by NYT food journalist Mark Bittman because his health was suffering (see the link below). But through VB6  he got his health back.

I love this idea, it is something we can all do, quite easily. It is totally doable, not a big change, but it has huge impact on our overall health and well-being. By eating like VB6 or a similar scheme, you can keep your cholesterol down, your blood pressure healthy, your blood sugar good, your weight down and, at the same time, you will feel energized and full of life.  We love this way of eating so much that we actually sometimes expand the idea to VUF – Vegan until Friday!

Eating this way is delicious, tasty, satisfying and nourishing and it feeds your entire body and soul. It is the perfect way to stay healthy and loose the extra weight. I never think calories when I eat like this – my weight stays ideal and I feel ideal – there is no going back for me. I love this way of living and eating – I enjoy my meals and I never feel I am missing out because I am not.

Take this burger for instance – a quinoa burger with all the trimmings, guacamole, arugula on a homemade bun. The perfect exchange.

A favorite burger – Quinoa burger made with sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

500g Mushrooms – I use the brown mushrooms or Portobello

3 shallots

2 medium size sweet potatoes

2 cups of cooked quinoa

2 teaspoons of paprika

3 tablespoons of flax-seed meal

2 cloves of garlic

Sea salt and pepper

Flour

Chop the mushrooms, chop the shallots, add some olive oil on to the frying pan and brown the mushrooms,garlic and onions. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake the sweet potatoes till they are soft, e.g., for about an hour in the oven. Scoop out the sweet potato from the skin and put it into the blender, add the mushrooms, onions and  garlic. Blend into a soft mixture. Put the mixture into a bowl and mix in the flax-seed meal. Mix it well.  Let it cool. Make the patties and gently turn them on a plate with a bit of flour/sea salt/pepper on all sides. Fry the quinoa burgers in olive oil till they are golden brown on both sides.
Serve on a warm homemade bun, with slices of red onions, homemade guacamole, slices of tomatoes, and lots of fresh crisp arugula.

Enjoy!

Another delicious veggie burger from Somer at  Vedgedout

We went plant-wild for a week, check it out here

Read more about Mark Bittman and VB6

Plant-wild week-day 6

This morning I made yumilicious pancakes without milk and without eggs and without butter – sounds terrible? Well, we were surprised – they were the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes ever!  I used homemade almond milk, vanilla, banana and fresh blueberries…………………

We started the day by drinking a big glass of cool freshly pressed watermelon juice, with lime and lots of fresh mint from the garden. So refreshing!!

Breakfast

Banana, blueberry pancakes

Almond milk:

1 cup of raw almonds

3 cups of water

vanilla

Put the ingredients in the blender and blend into a really tasty delicious milk – you can add dates to make it sweet. If you don’t have a high power blender, it is a good idea to soak the almonds in water first, to make them soft and easier to blend. This milk is so, so, so delicious.

Pancakes:

1 cup of organic unbleached flour

1 1/2 cup of almond milk

2 teaspoons of baking powder

a pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons of raw sugar

1 ripe banana

a good handful of fresh blueberries

Add the flower, the baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl – mash the banana and mix it with the almond milk. Now mix the banana and almond milk with the dry ingredients – add the blueberries.

Fry in either olive oil or coconut oil.

Enjoy with extra blueberries, maple syrup and your favorite cup of tea – or coffee!

Snack

Mango/raspberry smoothie with almond milk and hemp hearts

1 mango

3 cups of fresh raspberries

2 cups of almond milk

ice

2 tablespoons of hemp hearts

Blend in to a delicious smoothie

Lunch

Guacamole with grilled tomato bread

4 ripe avocado

1/2 small red onion

1 clove of garlic

freshly squeezed juice of one lime

freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

1/2 red chilli

one bunch of fresh cilantro

sea salt

pepper

Mash the avocado, add lime and lemon juice, add freshly squeezed garlic, add the finely chopped red onion and some finely chopped fresh cilantro. Add the finely chopped red chili.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cut slices of good stale bread – put them on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and cut thin slices of tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and put them in an 350F oven and bake till they are golden or grill them first on one side – then add the tomato and the sea salt and grill again.

These little breads are perfect with the guacamole!

Dinner

chickpeas and lentil curry with cauliflower, spinach and cilantro,  served with mango chutney and naan bread

1 cup of chick peas

1/2 cup of green lentils

2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh ginger

4 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

600g of tomatoes

olive oil

2-3 teaspoons of good curry

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

1 l of vegetable stock

one bunch of fresh spinach

one head of cauliflower

one big bunch of fresh coriander

Bunch of spring onions

Soak the chick peas ahead of time, for at least 4 hours, rinse and drain them.

Chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the shallots and the garlic and saute in a big pot, add the ginger then the curry and saute for a minute.  Add the tomato paste and the fresh tomatoes and then the chickpeas. Saute with all the spices and then add the vegetable stock. Cook for about 10 min. then add the green lentils. Cut the cauliflower head into smaller pieces. When the chickpeas and the lentils are almost ready, add the cauliflower. Cook for 5-8 min then add the spinach, cook for a min. and add the finely chopped fresh coriander.

Serve the dish with fresh lime on the side, chopped spring onions on top, some mango chutney and a piece of whole wheat naan bread.

Summer Infused Pizza

Frequent visitors to this site may notice a few changes. The “Happy Health” diet and exercise has become a part of the larger “Balanced Living” that I feel better describes my journey.

I realized that an important part of me had been missing: – the gourmet chef, my old recipes, my old signature dishes. The scrumptious food that is still part of what I eat.

Before getting into Happy Health diet & exercise – my life-balance was out of whack. I was eating rich food all the time and my body was suffering because of it. But with the new diet& exercise, my life-balance changed and it made a world of difference! I lost weight and gained energy. I now feel vibrant and full of life, my hereditary (bad) cholesterol is now normal and I’m off medication! I started to exercise more and I enjoyed it! My satisfaction with life grew as I could feel that things were “in-balance” again. These were just some of the amazing changes I have experienced, re-charging and re-balancing my life.  (See my updated “About” and the new “Balanced Living” page here).

Before Happy Health I had a 80/20 “balanced” diet – 80% rich gourmet food, meat, cheese, butter, cream etc and 20% vegetable, fruit, grains and nuts – Today I’m 20/80 – I eat 80% plant food and 20% of “anything”.  But, I still assure that the “anything” comes from the best sources – organic & honest!

I have been wonderfully inspired by New York Times food-writer Mark Bittman who created VB6 – Vegan before 6. Eating only plant- based foods until dinner, he then goes to work – and eats at great restaurants serving the wonderful food he writes about. And now, no longer does this rich food make him ill – because he is not eating it all the time! His balance was wrong. But VB6, vegan before 6, changed his balance and he is fit as a fiddle today. You can read more about Bittman  here

In our family, we have been inspired by VB6 and have even made our own version – VUF – Vegan until Friday.

Summer Infused Pizza

We love pizza – Pizza can be divine if it is made with real ingredients and kept simple.

This recipe is made from scratch with love and sunshine. Made with sunriped tomatoes, garlic and lots of fresh basil and oregano.

The pizza dough:

1 teaspoon of dry yeast – if you have fresh 25 g

2 1/2 cups of water

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 tablespoon of olive oil

5 cups of organic unbleached flour

You will need approx. 2/3 extra flour when you work with it later.

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the olive oil and the salt. Add flour a little at the time while you stir. Add all the flower while you keep mixing til you have a dough that has “accepted” all the flour, meaning no flour on the side in the bowl. Leave the dough out on the counter to rest, with a clean wet cloth. The longer the better – you can mix this in the morning or the night before and put it in the fridge.

Freshly made tomato sauce on pizza is the best – it is such a treat and you will never want to eat store-bought pizza sauce again, if you can help it.  Another important thing is – the nutritional value in freshly made sauce is priceless. Click to see, tomatoes are a true SUPER POWER FOOD – packed full of goodness and taste!

Tomato Sauce:

1200 g fresh ripe tomatoes (the more reder the better)

2 shalot onions

2 cloves of garlic

one big bunch of fresh basil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 spoons of olive oil

dash of white wine

2 bay leaves

Wash and chop the tomatoes, chop the shalots and the garlic. In a frying pan add the olive oil, saute the shalots, bay leaves and the garlic, add the white wine let it reduce a little, add the chopped tomatoes – let it cook over slow heat till the tomatoes are cooked through. Add the chopped fresh basil and let it cook for another couple of min.

Add the mixture into the blender and blend it into a smooth sauce. Taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper – the sauce is ready to go on the pizza.

I make a garlic/herb/chili olive oil marinade to drizzle on the pizza – and by adding some fresh arugula or any other lettuce on top of the pizza, you will get a divine mouthful!

The garlic/ herb/chili marinade is made from – olive oil, finely chopped fresh oregano, slices of red chili,fresh garlic some sea salt – I make a good portion, often I make it ahead to allow it to infuse the oil, to make it more intense. You only drizzle a little on top – so any leftovers are perfect for preparing vegetables, frying fish or chicken – or as a drizzle on your favorite anything.

Fresh herbs are so full of goodness!

Now to the actual pizza making.

Add some flour onto the counter and pour out the dough – add some more flour on top of the dough and start to work with the dough, needing it and stretching it. It will be ready when it stops being sticky, add flour until it feels elastic and is easy to work with. I use a rolling-pin to roll it real thin – add it to a hot baking stone or to a baking tray with baking paper.

Now add the homemade tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated Grana Padano, fresh mozzarella cheese and some good olives. Bake in a hot 420 F oven until baked and the crust is right. Keep an eye on it!

You can prepare smaller pizzas directly on the barbecue – with or without cheese – this is really an amazing way to make pizza too!

Once the pizza is ready – cut them, drizzle a little marinade on top, add the arugula and serve with a great bowl of salad.

Enjoy!

p.S. I just found Pinterest, I know I have been living under a rock, but I will be signing up, it looks like fun! I realized that my photos were there! I am so happy, grateful and thrilled to see that some of you have pinned my photos – THANK YOU!! I was not even aware – gratitude, I really appreciate that!!

Worlds healthiest “fast food”

Are you busy and think  it takes too much time and effort to prepare healthy food?

Green smoothies are the easiest and healthiest “fast food” ever. When I am really busy and don’t really have the time to prepare  a nutritious meal – I make a green smoothy! It has everything in it that my body needs, the nutrients, the proteins and the fibers – it keeps me glowing and energized for hours on end. I make a big portion, put it in the fridge and even when I’m heading out on the road, away all day, I can bottle it and take it with me to enjoy later.

This recipe has

Fresh spinach

Mango

Grapes

Celery

pear,

Lime

Kiwi

And filtered water/ice cubes

Cheers to your health!

Green Smoothies are:

  • easy to make and easy to clean up afterwards
  • loaded with nutrients and proteins
  • full of fibers that keeps you full and satisfied
  • a perfect way to reduce/eliminate cravings for unhealthy food
  • a good way to balance your blood sugar
  • easy to digest and assimilate
  • a great way to alkalize the body helping to fight disease
  • a great way to lower cholesterol naturally
  • an energy booster
  • boosting your immune system
  • great way to help lose weight
  • an easy way to get  greens and fruit – in fact it is difficult to eat your way through the amounts of greens and fruits we need, but by juicing or making smoothies, its easy.
  • supporting your overall health – both physical and emotional.

Cheers to your health

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!!