To start well the day!!!

Uncategorized | December 13, 2013 | By

Starting the day with this amazing glass of health is priceless.
Everything started with us 1 week ago…We are delighted with the benefits and results…Like i have mentioned in the proviouse posts i knew about Chia Seeds for example, but never included in my diet…because of lack of knowledge, resource and because i was breastfeeding my daughter every 3h a day.
Now, as Sienna is becoming a little older and independent, her eating habits are changing naturally – no need as much supply of breast milk as before – which means that  i can explore more in terms of diet and nutrition. I can play a little bit with my eating habits and try new falavas. Including our dear seeds and other super foods.
Not that this super foods are phorbiden during pregnancy and nursing, but i just didn’t want to embark in the journey of my first pregnancy with new eating habits….

I call this: My glass of Joy 
Every morning, with no exception, i take a glass of this goodness that helps detoxify and alkalize my body while providing the protein it needs. This drink is a combination of water, chia seeds and freshly squeezed lemon.

I prepare: 

1/2 glass of room temperature water
1/2 glass of hot water
1 tbs of chia seed
a good squeeze of half lemon

Mix all the ingredients, stir well et voila!!!

*If you want to add sweet to your drink, you can – i don’t do it. Just add Agave Nectar to taste!

For better results, i suggest leaving the Chia Seeds in water over night, and just add the hot water the next day OR, if you forgot, just let it soak for at least 5 minutes before you indulge your drink.

Facts about this drink:

Why Chia seeds:

Energizing

  • It has a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre. 
Hydrating & Detoxifying

  • Chia seeds are hydrophilic which means they have the ability to absorb and retain water! These seeds can retain up to 9 times their weight in water, which helps keep you well hydrated, and maintains electrolyte balance which is great for athletes. Chia’s gelling ability soothes and lubricates the digestive tract, helping to preserve the health of cells, as well as eliminate excess waste and toxins.
Nutritionally Dense

  • Chia seeds have an ideal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (3:1), they are high in fibre, full of protein, an excellent source of antioxidants, full of iron, calcium, niacin (Vitamin B3), Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorous.


Why Lemons?      


Helps alkalize the body
   
  • The more alkaline the body is, the healthier your body will be. A pH of 7.4 is ideal for optimum body function. A body that is properly alkalized contains high oxygen levels, which destroy diseases and unwanted organisms. So if you think about this from the opposite side, the more acidic your body is, the higher your chances are for getting sick. Your body becomes a great host for bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeasts and mold, and colds and flus love these conditions. 

Rich in Vitamin C

  •  Vitamin C is great as it works against infections.

Detoxifying for the Liver

  • The liver is very important in maintaining good health as it is our body’s primary means to remove toxins from our bloodstreams. We are exposed to toxins every day from our surroundings, to the chemicals in food we may eat, or put on our bodies on a daily basis. Lemons are a stimulant to the liver and are a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, and support liver function by strengthening liver enzymes.




Feeling great from inside out

Uncategorized | December 12, 2013 | By

One of the things i like the most about coming to Denmark is learning about the new local products this Country has to offer. When i say local, i am not just talking about foods but the array of choices we have from natural ingredients, hand made products to artifacts and crafts….specially now during Christmas time. 

There’s always places i can’t miss like gardens, shopping streets, museums and local Tea and Coffee houses, book stores, local farms, organic stores, yoga shops and healthy eating cafes/restaurants.
Because of the 2 projects i want to launch early next year, i was committed to visit another type of store – still in my field. This time i was looking for the Raw Superfoods that are a little bit difficult to find where i live. 

Superfoods are nature’s most concentrated sources of bio-identical nutrients, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants.They are made in nature and are highly absorbable by the human body. This Superfoods are not only amazing for your health but helps you loose weight and help you feel great from inside out!

As i passed by two stores in the center of this cozy little town in the Country Side of Denmark, i knew i had to go in…result?!?Awww, i felt like a little girl in a candy store. I had no idea where to start. Suddenly i needed everything in the store, and suddenly my Mantra was” i will be healthy forever”.Ok, i went there with the objective of buying Epsom Salt…but i left the shop 45min later with a bag full of healthy things!I was smiling all the way home and couldn’t wait to arrive and blog it all about it.

I brought home: Spirulina, Lucuma Powder, Chia Seeds, Acai Powder and of course, two bags of Epsom Salt.

I’ve typed already about the Amazing benefits of including Chia Seeds in your diet.
Today, i will reveal the secrets of this other Superfoods:

How much do you know about Lucuma Powder and Spirulina…I am sure you heard it before, you probably had in your smoothies or juices…but seriously, how much do you know about them?

Let’s have a look at Lucuma

Lucuma is an exotic Peruvian fruit known as the “Gold of the Incas” and is considered one of the lost crops of the Incas. The Lúcuma name has been honored both spiritually and culinary since ancient times. Today, this fruit is still prominent in contemporary Peruvian celebrations. It smells amazing and has a creamy citrus flavor.

The fruit is yellowish green and egg-shaped with a dry, starchy yellow-orange flesh. The taste is described as maple or caramel to pumpkin-like. The pulp of the lucuma fruit is dehydrated to produce the lucuma powder, or flour, which is marketed primarily as a flavoring.



Lucuma powder delivers an abundance of healthy benefits when added to your favorite food or beverage. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, lucuma is gluten-free and an excellent source of antioxidants, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals necessary to bodily functions and of benefit of the immune system. 


Nutrition

Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, while heavy metal content is low. Lucuma powder contains 329 calories per 100 g. Per 100 g, it contains 87 g of carbohydrates, 2.3 g of fiber, 4 g of protein and 2.4 g of total fat content. It also has 92 mg of calcium per 100 g to keep your bones and teeth strong. Phosphorus is important for bone and protein formation, digestion and hormone balance; lucuma provides 186 mg per 100 g. 
“1 tbsp. of lucuma provides 2 percent of the recommended daily value for iron, which may help stimulate the immune system and improve physical endurance”.
Lucuma is mostly used in desserts, lending its naturally caramel flavour to anything from smoothies, raw cheesecakes, cookies, superfood balls and, of course, ice cream. You can also add it to baked goodies, but cooking it will lower its nutrient density. As well as the flavour hit, lucuma is also an awesome natural sweetener being low in sugars and low on the glycemic scale, but adding a subtle sweet flavour to your dishes.




Pre and Post-Workout Snacks

Uncategorized | December 8, 2013 | By

As a Yoga Instructor and sometimes Fitness Advisor, students and fitness aficionados constantly ask “what to eat before and after working out?”. “Is a banana enough?”, “Should i have a yogurt?”, “Can i take a cereal bar?” “Should i opt for protein or carbs”?


A good amount of exercise can burn a lot of calories, so you often need a little extra to avoid feeling excessively hungry. So you reach for a snack, but you want that snack to be healthy. Here’s what you should eat before a workout if you need a little extra boost.
About 1 hour before starting your workout, you want to snack on high-quality carbohydrates that will provide steady energy (think an apple, a banana, oatmeal) as well as a small amount of lean protein (protein sources that are also high in fat are not a good idea pre-workout because they will bog you down; if you are vegetarian or vegan, skip the nuts and instead opt for edamame or a smoothie made with a plant-based protein powder)
Whether you prefer to get your fitness on before the sun comes up or choose to exercise after a long day at the office, these nourishing fueling options will ensure that you remain on top of your game.
Morning Exercise
Pre-Workout: 
Eating a relatively small carbohydrate and protein snack 30 to 60 minutes before you hit the gym, such as a banana paired with a tablespoon of peanut butter, will keep your stomach from grumbling while you work up a sweat. This combination of slow-burning carbs, protein, and a little bit of healthy fat helps to keep energy high and blood sugar levels sustained throughout a workout, while the punch of potassium from the banana aids in preventing cramping.


Post-Workout: For a nutritious treat you can sip as you get ready to take on your day, whip up a smoothie made with plain nonfat yogurt, mango, pineapple, cinnamon, and a touch of toasted wheat germ. Not only does this beverage taste great, it also blends three important elements of refueling: fluids (provided by water-rich fruits), carbs (from the fruit and yogurt), and protein (in the yogurt and wheat germ). It’s recommends to take this satisfying smoothie 30 to 60 minutes after an intense hour-long workout, as the fluids will help replenish lost sweat, and the carbs work to restore glycogen used during exercise. While the protein helps keep you full and is believed to possibly enhance muscle recovery, carbs are key when it comes to replenishing glycogen stores, so aim for three to four times as many calories from carbs than from protein.


Midday Exercise
Pre-Workout: 
Who says cereal is only for breakfast? Consider chowing down on a heart-healthy combo of uncooked oatmeal, dry cereals, slivered almonds, chopped dates, and low-fat or almond milk 1 to 2 hours before your lunch fitness class.
Post-Workout: A grab-and-go trio of Greek yogurt, an orange, and a red bell pepper is not only convenient, these items are also packed with water to refresh and rehydrate. The orange’s vitamin C is critical for preventing some of the oxidative damage from free radicals, while the red bell pepper is packed with antioxidants to help to repair the damage done to muscles and tissues during a strenuous workout, and the yogurt boasts energy-reviving carbs and muscle-building protein.

Evening Exercise
Pre-Workout: 
For a carbohydrate-rich snack that fuels muscles and boosts energy levels, try a fruit or jam sandwich on 100% whole-wheat bread an hour before your workout.
Post-Workout: Curb that famished feeling by snacking on a slice of millet bread along with 1/2 cup each cottage cheese and blueberries 30 minutes after your evening gym session OR i personally,like sweet potatoes as they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

A medium sweet potato is just about 100 calories, with 0g fat, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, and 2g protein. The carbs are great for replenishing your glycogen stores (stored carbs) after an intense bout of exercise. To make this post-workout snack complete, eat your potato with a good source of lean protein like a piece of grilled chicken.


Ch Ch Chia Seeds

Uncategorized | December 8, 2013 | By


Why is everybody adding Chia seeds to their diet?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but suddenly everybody is talking about this seeds…People are adding it to their food, to their drinks and to their life like never before… 
Wanting to know the reason behind this phenomenon i decided to do a little research on this magical seed and guess what i have found: 

Chia seeds are PACKED with healthy benefits… 
 
Have a look:
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant “Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. 
Chia means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. 
 
This seeds are a concentrated food containing: healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium
They are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds. 
 
One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
 
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel. 
 
When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds).
Benefits of adding Chia to your diet:
Combat Diabetes
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.
Get More Fibre 
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.
Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.
Stronger Teeth And Bones 
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.
Don’t Forget Manganese 
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.
Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.
Packed with Protein 
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.
Fight Belly Fat 
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat. As we know, this type of resistance is harmful for your overall health.
Get Full Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.
Improve Heart Health 
Chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!
 
Some other benefits of eating Chia:
  • Provides energy
  • Boosts strength
  • Bolsters endurance
  • Levels blood sugar
  • Induces weight loss
  • Aids intestinal regularity
Also:
Chia seeds are said to have: 
  • 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
  • 5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that
    helps transfer calcium into your bones,
  • 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
  • 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids..
So next time you see a pack of Chia Seeds in a Supermarket shelf, don’t hesitate in buying it. You will never regret it!
 

Best Carbs for WEIGHT LOSS

Uncategorized | December 8, 2013 | By

Carbs are public enemy No. 1 for many women on a diet. As much as we love pasta, bread, and every sweet you can think of, too many of us have been brainwashed into thinking carbs will make us FAT

Truth is: They won’t.
 
I’m always impressed, surprised and frustrated every time i hear saying: “I am on a diet, i cut all the carbs” or “i am just eating carbs once a month” or, even better, “i can’t eat carbs after 18 o’clock” hummmm but then, i see them snacking on chips, cookies, bread, bread sticks, gummy bears and other sweets….and the excuse is “ah, a bit here and a bit there won’t hurt”. So here we have three points: 
  • not taking your diet plan seriously, that’s why 90% of dieters never complete their diet plan – lack of commitment, 
  • another mistake is erasing/cutting the carbs from your diet – specially without any expert advise and 
  • last but not least, you are substituting your intake of good and essential carbs with the bad ones…our enemy number 1.
Like i have explained in previous posts:

For a carbohydrate to be considered a good carb, it needs to provide vitamins and minerals in addition to the carbohydrate. Most importantly, a good carbohydrate needs to contain fiber. Fiber is helpful in managing blood sugar levels, lowering blood cholesterol levels and creating a feeling of fullness. 
You need carbs for energy, and of course deprivation will only end in you diving face-first into a gallon of moose tracks—and that certainly won’t help you lose weight. ..What  will help you loose weight is eating the right carbs.
If you incorporate these nine tasty foods into your meals, and you’ll flatten your stomach and stay fueled all day.

Barley:
 
1/2 cup cooked pearl barley: 97 calories, 22g carbs, 3g fiber
 
Barley can fight hunger by raising blood sugar levels more slowly than a donut, helping you bypass the sugar spike—and crash—that leaves you famished. Pearled barley is popular, but barley groats or whole hull-less barley contain even more healthy nutrients, including 20 to 25 percent of your daily fiber in just one serving.
 
Green Peas:
1/2 cup cooked: 67 calories, 12.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber
 
A half-cup of peas provides 12 percent of your recommended daily intake of zinc – cold-fighting powers, this mineral may also help reduce hunger by boosting levels of leptin, a hormone that alerts your brain when your stomach has had enough.
 
Whole Wheat Pasta:
 
 
2 ounces dry: 198 calories, 43g carbs, 5g fiber
 
A British study showed that a higher intake of whole grains— around three servings daily—was associated with a lower BMI and less abdominal fat, supporting other research that links a diet high in whole grains with tinier waists. It’s key, however, to keep noodle portions between 100 and 200 calories (about 1/2 to 1 cup cooked). Nutrient-rich carbohydrates are part of a balanced meal, not the entire meal.
Acorn Squash:
 
1 cup cubed and baked: 115 calories, 30g carbs, 9g fiber
 
When it comes to winter squash, acorn squash just about knocks out the others for the “most fiber” award. Only Hubbard has 1 more gram per cup—and good luck finding that in most supermarkets.
 
Whole Wheat Bread:
2 slices of Whole Grain Bread: 160 calories, 30g carbs, 8g fiber
 
You don’t have to bid adieu to sandwiches, French toast, and stuffing to whittle down—as long as you read bread labels since packages touting “whole grain” or “whole wheat” may only be 51 percent whole grains. Only buy loaves with “100 percent whole wheat” on the package.
 
Beans:
1/2 cup canned low-sodium black beans: 109 calories, 20g carbs, 8g fiber
 
Bean eaters have a 23 percent lower risk of an expanding waistline and a 22 percent reduced risk of being obese, says research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. While each type of bean has slightly different amounts of fiber, all good choices since they also pack protein and iron. Just remember to rinse any canned beans to reduce the sodium content.
 
Air-Popped Corn:
 
 
3 cups air-popped popcorn: 93 calories, 19g carbs, 3.5g fiber
When you’re craving a salty snack, reach for popcorn instead of chips. According to a study in Nutrition Journal, popcorn not only provides more short-term satiety compared to the fried taters, it also reduces feelings of hunger for those looking to manage body weight and watch their calories. Plus you can nosh 3 cups of air-popped kernels—which counts as a serving of whole grains—for the same amount of calories you’d get from about 9 plain potato chips.
 
Oatmeal:
1/2 cup dry: 153 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fiber
Half of the fiber in oatmeal is soluble fiber, the kind that dissolves into a gel-like substance that delays stomach emptying, upping the satiety factor. Plus a study in the journal Obesity found that adding more soluble fiber to your diet may help reduce visceral fat, the deep belly kind that surrounds vital organs and has been associated with metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
 
Quinoa:
 
 
1/2 cup cooked: 111 calories, 20g carbs, 2.5g fiber
A complete protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids—which your body needs to build lean, calorie-burning muscle—sans the saturated fats often found in animal protein. The four grams per half-cup serving may also help your lunch or dinner stay with you longer.

Going Organic in Denmark

Uncategorized | December 7, 2013 | By

Interesting facts, now that i am here:

Denmark has the highest market share of organic products in the world. And the market is growing, with dairy products, eggs, oatmeal, wheat flour and carrots as the most popular items on the shopping list of Danish organic consumers.

An increasing number of organic products are sold in Denmark. Proportionally, the organic market in Denmark is the biggest in the world, with organic food making up 8 percent of the total food market…Love it!
The Danes prefer organic dairy products, eggs, oatmeal, wheat flour and carrots. One in three litres of milk bought by Danish consumers is organic and every other litre of milk consumed by pupils in Danish schools carries the organic label. The production of organic eggs accounts for 17 percent of total egg production. Also consumers’ appetite for organic fruit and vegetables has grown; organic fruit and vegetables have increased their share of the total food consumption from 19 percent in 2006 to 23 percent in 2010. 

Quality, purity and ethics are key elements in the New Nordic Cuisine.
No wonder is so tasty, fresh, light and healthy!

Food and gastronomy begins with the landscape. 
Out of Denmark’s fertile soil and rough weather, Danes have developed a taste for simplicity, tempered by inspiration from the more refined cuisines of milder climates. Long winters and a taste for seafaring made way for various methods of preservation – salting, smoking or pickling – as well as a preference for the coarse black bread made of rye. Today, the open rye bread sandwich with fresh butter and pickled herring remains a cornerstone of the Danish lunch tradition. (Still can’t have a relationship with herring).

Until recently, many local ingredients from the Nordic tradition of cooking were dismissed as being unworthy of the attention of leading chefs. This all changed, however, when a new generation of ambitious chefs reinvented the concept of Nordic terroir and embarked on a journey of rediscovery of herbs, berries, root vegetables etc. These products have come to symbolise the commitment to quality, purity and ethics which is the basis for the New Nordic Cuisine movement.

The insistence of the new breed of Danish gastronomes on using only the very best local raw materials has boosted high-end production in all categories: dairy, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. Thus, complementing the mainstream products, New Nordic Cuisine has catalysed a renewed interest in local specialties such as lamb from the marshes or cod roe from the Baltic Sea.

The secret behind the successful transformation of a gastronomic trend into mainstream product development for global consumers may lie in the unique structure of Danish agriculture and food production. In major sectors, such as meat and dairy, more than 90 percent of the total production is from farmer-owned co-operatives. This traditional integration of the value chain from stable to table ensures consistent supply and quality, allowing food companies to devote full attention to meeting global consumer demands.

Northern Energies

Uncategorized | December 7, 2013 | By

December started a week ago, but for me and my Family the whole Christmas and Holiday mood started well a month and a half ago.
Been a busy and extremely cozy week…exactly like i like it.
And no better place to be typing this post than in the cozy living room of our “summer” house in Denmark, where we have been hit by a storm 2 days ago, and snow been falling for a day now.
Too much happening in this cozy country, where its landscape, the sea view from my bedroom window, the snow falling, the christmas trees in our garden been giving me inspiration and motivation to keep living happily.

We are all aware that at some point in our lives we need a change. Wardrobe change, style change, lifestyle change, changes at home, changes in relationship, changes in attitudes, changes in the way we see life…We need this changes not because we are bored, but because we need to step out of our comfort zone and realize that life and nature has so much more to offer and show!! 
Yesterday, i went to a local tea shop where i could find dozens of different fresh and organic tea. Was quite difficult to narrow down the choices….The idea behind finding a good tea (besides the pure enjoyment of a cuppa and their health benefits) is to be able to enjoy it in front of my living room window and watch the snow fall, watch the waves in the ocean, watch the birds fly, watch the clouds passing in the sky, watch the wind blow, surrounded by real nature and remember that the 4 Seasons truly exists…just that! It’s my “quite time” where i can center myself, regain the energies and come back to my true self.

Winter in the North of Europe can be pretty harsh, depressing, sad, extremely cold and grey! But at the same time, can be so cozy like no other place in the planet. And that’s how i embrace the winter in Denmark.

We are at a summer/winter house, in the Danish country side, facing Sweden!