I find it really hard to make a decision on where I stand in relationship to what's healthy to eat and what's not. On one hand I beleive we need to reduce our meat intake and other animalistic food sources, I also belive that too many carbs, especially wheat based ones are really quite bad for you as well.
Soooo. I mean, it's really hard to live on a diet based on vegetables and fruit. That's not healthy either.
My new philosophy around food is therefore:
Eat intuitively - eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm satisfied. Not stuffed. Trust my body and follow it's cues.
Reduce animalistic food sources, but no elimination. Choose carefully and don't buy meat from other origins than Sweden. Same goes for dairy products. Buy organic whenever possible.
Don't be scared of fat - as long as they are from natural sources. Margarine, rape-seed oil and sun-flower oil are all fats that are sold to us as healthy, but when you look at the production line it is difficult to justify margarine as being healthier than butter. Something that has been washed with hydric acid, coloured, and flavoured seems to me a bit (alot) unhealthier than butter. Then again - cold pressed coconut oil and olive oil are fats that have been proven to have real health gains in our bodies. Good amount of natural fats are essential. Don't shy them!
Reduce wheat based foods such as cakes, pasta, biscuits, bread. When I do eat bread, always opt for carefully prepared bread, such as sourdough - preferably home baked. Gluten is inflammatory to the system and should be consumed in much smaller quantities than we do in our western world.
Continuing on the carefully prepared food - same goes for beans and other legumes. This is because grains and beans contain phytic acid that is supposed to protect the seed from sprouting in inhabitable places and from being eaten by animals. That should be reason enough to not eat them without proper preparation! The phytic acid stops our bodies from being able to absorb the minerals from our food. It also affects digestion negatively.
Proper preparation is thus through fermentation (such as sourdough) and sprouting. It will help the body to benefit from the grains and legumes without struggling to absorb the nutrients and digest the food.
Avoid as many additives as possible. I truly believe that additives are hurtful to our health. There are additives in almost everything we consume nowadays. If not additives, there is pesticids. I always try to buy organic fruit and vegetables. Organic bananas have no trace of pesticids compared to "normal" bananas, which contain around 4 different types of pesticides. Same principal goes with coffee. And grapes. Geez, grapes are truly bad. Don't ever buy non-organic grapes, raisins or wine. Unless you want a coctail of poison, that is. Pesticides are substances that are poisonous. Why eat them, seriously?
I am convinced that it is all these poisonous and unnatural substances in our food that is causing us to become ill. They are legal because "they are under the level of what's been proven to cause damage", but do we know for sure what the long term effect of constant exposure of low levels of poison in our food is?
I'm sure you've heard of the term "the coctail effect". I believe there is a lot of reason to take this seriously. All the different additives that are found in our food are not natural and considering our bodies are natural biological organisms, I wouldn't expect them to handle unnatural substances very well. Just like our planet is being littered by plastic, oil and other harmful rubbish, our bodies suffer the same fate.
We feed ourselves with shit. And most of us don't even know it.
I don't like to rant and preach, and this post is turning into a damn rant. I'm not perfect. I buy non-organic stuff. I have eaten and drunk non-organic grapes and wine recently. But I try. I try to eliminate poison from my food. It's choice. I want to eliminate the risk of my future children suffering from Adhd/diabetes/allergies etc - cause I belive these illnesses are due to the poor quality of the food we eat. This is not scientific. It is not proven. To be honest - there is alot to be said about the scientific research of diet and disease. I can only make my own conclusions from what I have read and seen and experienced.
I want to feed my body a colourful, organic, natural, diverse and fair diet. Less sugar, less processed, less gluten, less trans-fats and more clean food.
But I will also eat a cake every now and then. I will have a drink if I want to. I will eat sweets if I feel like it. That is a choice I make, as long as I am aware of the effects it has on my body.
My mental health suffers when I try to restrict myself. Therefore it is of most importance to listen to my body. If I am satisfied/full - don't eat. My body is very capable of telling me when it has had enough. It is also capable of telling me when I need more fuel. I don't need to eat at 12 just because it's lunch if I'm not hungry. But if I am - then eat!! Eat eat! Trust my guts :)
I don't know if you've cared to read all of this, but if you have, remember that all of this are my own thoughts about food and what's healthy. I have no links to sources, basically because I have read so much, both on the internet and in books, and I think it is better for everyone to find information and read for themselves to form an opinion. The above text is my conclusion of what most articles, books and dieticians advocate. Clean, natural foods. A healthy balance between fats, proteins and carbs.
And of course the freedom to choose. But be sure you know what it is that you choose!
Green smoothies are awesome, to be honest. They may not look like the tastiest thing you've ever seen, but trust me, they don't taste "green". Mix spinach with oat milk, banana, mango, pineapple or which ever fruit you like. I also like to add in mint leaves. It's absolutely fantastic for digestion and helps bringing all the goodness from spinach/kale into your system. Since it's been mixed your body will absorb it better and drinking it regulary has been proven to increase your overall health. So try it out! :)
(Just be sure to mix them well, so it is well smooth, because little tiny bits of leaves between your teeth is not the best ;))
I wasn't really aware of this until I read my Raw Food book Chris got me for Christmas. Apparantly our bodies are constantly working on keeping up a good balance of acid and alkaline substances. Our blood, for example, should be at pH-level of 7,4, in other words - it needs to be alkaline, while the liver and stomach should be more acid. The body will always make sure that the blood is alkaline, and depending on what we feed our bodies, it will do so in different ways.
If we feed our bodies too much acidifying food, the body with instead take alkaline minerals from the bones, organs and nerval system. This can in the long run lead to osteoporisis, decreased mental ability and gout. Common signs of a body which is struggling to maintain the acidic-alkaline balance are:
- muscle tension
- less concentration and focus
- skin problems
- lots of colds, flus and other infections
However, once you realise this important part your diet plays in your overall wellbeing it is rather easy to fix. Foods that will help the body maintain the acidic-alkaline balance are most fruits and vegetables, in their raw form. Food that are acidifying and should only be consumed in lesser amounts are meats, vinegars, alcohol, tobacco, dairy products and dried fruit. Of course you don't have to stop eating these foods if you don't wish, but I thought these were intersting dietary facts, that can be helpful :-)
It is also important to make sure to breathe deep, smile and be happy. Shallow breathing also increases the acid in the body, so a good stretch and yoga session everyday wont only be good for your fitness, but also your body's acidic-alkaline balance! :D
Unique date today I heard. It's been a pretty nice day too so far, the sun has been out, the snow has been sparkling, I've been out for a bike ride (cold!) and done some housewoork, studying and been to a meeting. Maria is coming over soon and we are going to bake some saffron buns, wiie!
Oh, by the way, we bought something new yesterday - dried mulberries. Never tried them before and we had them for breakfast this morning. We both really enjoyed them. Some information: Mulberries are naturally sweet, but stabilizes bloodsugar levels at the same time. They are high in vitamin C & K and rich in antioxidants, iron, protein and calcium.
Soured milk with gingerbread spices, banana, almonds, mulberries, blueberries and muesli.
Haft en bra dag, fått en del gjort. Städat, cyklat till möte på slottsmöllan, pluggat. Inte tränat dock :-( Vi köpte torkade mullbär igår för första gången och de var jättegoda! Söta, lite som kola. De är rika på vitamin C & K, samt järn, kalcium och protein. Trots deras söta smak är de också bra för blodsockret! Perfekt, eller hur?
One of the best habits I have developed in my adult years is to read labels. It's surprising how much crap companies out in our food. It's important to learn more about where our food come from, what it contains and how it affects both us and the environment. Try to start off with the tips listed above and you will be on a very good way to eat in a way that your body AND the environment will thank you for!
Eating at a restaurant can be tricky when trying to be healthy. Normally restaurants don't take into account the healthyness of the dishes they serve, since it is flavour that sells, and the easy way to get flavour is to add LOTS of fats and sugars. Also, unless you eat at a fine dining restaurant, the servings are normally much larger than they would be if you cooked at home. 1 serving of a dish at a restaurant is not seldom twice, or tripple the amount of calories than the home cooked version.
The good thing is though, that you can cut down on the extra calories easily.
- With a salad, ask for the dressing on the side. Normally salads at restaurants include cheese, and this will be enough fat for your meal. If possible, choose a vinegrette dressing, rather than a creamy one.
- Ask for a baked potato, boiled potatoes or extra vegetables instead of chips. Chips contain transfats which are very harmful to your body, also it is quite disgusting to think of your food being deep fried in oil you have no idea what they contain...
- Eat slowly, and finish when you are full. Don't continue eating just because there is still food on your plate (This is probably one of the hardest things to do if you are a food lover like me!)
- Ask for grilled meats instead of fried.
- Don't add ketchup or other extra sauces to your dish - these can very quickly add up your calories!
Only a few tips from me. No surprises maybe, but things that may be good to keep in mind. Also:
A sweet, easy treat doesn't need to be full of sugars, fats or calories. An easy way to keep my sweet tooth satisfied is by making myself (and the boyfriend) a nice cup of hot cocoa, and eating a banana.
I make the cocoa by putting 2 small teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of agave nectar and 1 teaspoon of milk into a cup. Stir it until it's like a paste, then add more milk (semi skimmed) while stirring it. Warm in the microwave for approximately 5 minutes. Yum! Much more chocolate flavour than the hot chocolate mixes from for example Nestlé, and the agave nectar is a much better sweetener than refined sugar. With a glycemic index of 30 (carbs and sweeteners below 60 are considered good), and sweeter taste than sugar - you don't need as much!
Cocoa is also proven to be health beneficial - it is thought to improve heart health, relieves depression, contains vital minerals, is low in glycemic index and contains lots of anti-oxidants that protects your cells. However, eating cocoa in the form of milk chocolate or in sugary drinks, the health benefits are unfortunately drowned by the unhealthy consequenses of the sugars and fat.
Keep your wallet happy, stomach satisfied and the environment safer by shopping for vegetables and fruit that are in season. I strongly believe that eating according to season is a good way to keep a well balanced diet and a healthy stomach. This season you should look for....
And with the picture I of course meant that the organic apples and potatoes are not sprayed with chemicals, but non-organic normally are ;-)
It was nice to go out walking on the beach. It was quite windy, but not so cold and we were walking for a good 30-40 minutes. I love living by the seaside, the air is so lovely to breathe.
When I came home I was rather tired, not quite sure why. I have eaten regularly today, could it possibly be the pasta, making my blood sugar drop a little too far? Anyway, made a very refreshing and healthy salad for dinner, with lots of goodness.
Quinoa, mango, cucumber, spinach and ham. The only thing on this plate that isn't very good is the ham (processed, and full of additives). Quinoa is a great food, high in protein and with a very low glycemic index, spinach is just packed with iron which helps bringing oxygen to the body, flavonoids which are anti-flammatory and decrease the risk of cancer immensly. It is also rich in vitamin K, important for keeping strong bones. And mango, I absolutely love mango. It is such a good fruit in so many ways. It protects you from most forms of cancer, help you maintain a healthy skin, healthy eyes and healthy mucus membranes (vitamin A). The potassium in mangos help keeping a good blood-pressure and heart rate, and also helps fight depression. Read more here.
Sort of a super salad, don't you think ;-)
Yes, tonight's dinner was brought to us by Take Naka, the best sushi bar in town! Sushi is probably one of our favourite dishes, and despite the white rice, it's quite healthy too, with all the fish and the ginger. We all know that ginger is good for you, but did you know that it is for example a very effective treatment against stomach ache and nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory and thus helps against colds, and studies have shown that it may help athritis patients - reducing the pain. Furthermore, it boosts the immune system and may protect against colorectal cancer. Read more here.
Tonight my fiancé prepared dinner while I was out singing, and we had roasted beet root with chicken. I have only used beet root like this for about 2 years, and I must say I can't believe I haven't had it before that! It's really nice both boiled and roasted and goes so well with chicken, pork or beef.
Did you know that beet root helps oxygenate the cells in your body, stimulating the immune defense and keeping your muscles, heart and nervous system in good condition. It is also a detoxicating vegetable, helping the body to rid itself of toxins. Read more facts here.
Beet root and chicken for two:
- 2 skin free, bone free chicken breasts
- 12 small baby beet root
- mixed lettuce
- half a can of sweet corn
- 40 grams of low fat feta cheese (10%)
- olive oil
Clean and cut the roots and tops off the beet root, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Drizzle a litle bit of olive oil over the chicken breasts, salt and pepper and let them join the beet root in the oven for another 25 minutes or so. Serve with a salad of lettuce, sweet corn and feta cheese. The sweetness with the beet root and sweet corn goes so well with the salty chicken and feta cheese, omnomnom!