wholezome

a healthy journey


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PAPAYA SALAD – SOM TAM – ส้มตำ

Good morning everyone! Today we are of on a great 4 day scooter adventure, me, Chris and our newfound friend David are heading north of Chiang Mai towards the burmese boarder. Our first stop is a small hippie town called Pai and everyone that has been there cant stop raving about it – exciting!

I also had a terrible realization yesterday, i haven written any – not a single one! – thai food recipe here and I call myself a chef.. Shame on me! I absolutely adore thai cooking with all its flavors and that most dishes are prepared under 30 minutes is such a bonus! Here you have a photo of yesterdays lunch, papaya salad.

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This is my absolute favorite dish in the Thai cuisine, so fresh and crunchy it really satisfies all cravings with sweet, spicy and sour flavors. It’s also really easy to make at home and will take you all about five minutes to prepare. This recipe serves two peeps.

200 g green unripe papaya (peeled and grated into thin strips (cucumber, carrot or melon can be substituted or added)
3 cloves of garlic
5 birds eye chillies (or less)
2 long green beans (cut into 2 cm pieces)
1 tomato (cut in half and sliced)
30 ml fish sauce
30 ml lime juice
a pinch of palm sugar
15 ml anchovy sauce (optional)
5 g dried shrimps (optional)
30 g peanuts (roasted)

Put the garlic, chillies and long beans into a mortar and pound roughly. Add the papaya and pound again to bruise the ingredients. Then add the dried shrimps, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar and stir together using the pestle and a spoon until the palm sugar has melted. Add the anchovy sauce and tomatoes and pound to combine. Then add the peanuts and mix together. Enjoy!


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BREAKFAST

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The start of this glorious morning – a smoothie made out of coconut, both the water and it’s meat, banana, mango and bee pollen. It’s not only tasty but also very nutritious, here is why.

To just name two of many benefits of coconut water it will boost my immune system and rehydrate me after a night of sleep. And by eating some of its meat I will help my body to easier absorb the minerals found in the next ingredient, the banana, which contains a large amount of potassium and magnesium. These two minerals both play a large role in healthy muscle tissue. The high dietary fiber in the coconut and banana will also keep me full for longer.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve told you guys that mango is my absolute favorite, I mean what’s not to love about this sweet refreshing fruit?? And if the flavor isn’t enough it’s nice to know that its high antioxidant content will protect me agains cancer and the vitamin A content will help me see in the dark. Mangos also contain a lot of vitamin C which makes it easier for my body to absorb my daily supplement of reishi mushroom, vitamin C actually makes my body absorb up to NINE times more of the reishi mushrooms nutrients!

I know that I just made a post about the health benefits of bee pollen yesterday but it’s worth to repeat. Bee pollen contains Vitamin C, A, K, D, E, B vitamins including B12, B1 thiamine, B6 pyridoxine, B3 niacin, B2 riboflavin, choline, biotine, inositol, folic acid, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, titanium, silicon, sulfur, magnesium, chlorine, sodium, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, fructose, glucose, nucleic acids, amines, lycopene, triglycerides, a large amount of enzymes and ALL essential amino acids! Got that? Basically – bee pollen is good for you!

Have a great day everyone,
Love Karolina


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SUNDAY MARKET

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You would think that a weekly Sunday market would be a smaller affair but no, the Chiang Mai Sunday market is huge. Around seven, after a day in front of our computers, we slowly got ready to go outside the guesthouse premises to have a look at the market stands and maybe find some food. I was shocked, in one afternoon the whole inner town had changed into a massive venue with one market stall after another, musicians and young girls dancing on the streets and every temple courtyard was filled with food stands where you could find almost anything you can imagine – fantastic! Chiang Mai’s spell on me is getting stronger, how am I going to be able to leave?


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WHAT’S THE BUZZ??

A pretty smart guy named Albert Einstein once said “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
The first alarms about the sudden widespread disappearance of honeybees came in late 2006 and the phenomenon soon had a name: colony collapse disorder. In the two years that has followed about one-third of bee colonies has vanished. At the moment there are many campaigns on online sites like Facebook, please take a moment and see what you can do to help save the bees.

The benefits of eating honey has long been noticed for it beneficial properties but it’s not until recently that the western world has opened its eyes to bee pollen and as a way of gaining good health. But this is not just a new fad, there’s a reason that bee pollen is referred to as a “complete food” – it actually contains over 96 nutrients and offers everything thats needed to sustain the life of a human – including all 22 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein! Keep on reading for a few examples of the amazing benefits of bee pollen.

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Bee pollen is known to..
Reduce cholesterol as it helps balancing the levels in your body, basically it increases good cholesterol and decreases the bad kind.

Help you with the sneezing and crying in the spring due to hay fever. Eating pollen or honey from local bees can help you body to build up an immunity.

Boost your immune system with important vitamins including Vitamin D, C, E, and almost all the B vitamins. Other nutrients that help to improve the way the immune system functions include calcium, selenium, beta-carotene, lecithin and magnesium and these are also all found in bee pollen.

Help you with weight loss since it contains lecithin, which helps to eliminate body fat that is stored within the body. Lecithin is also know to increase you metabolism.

Other benefits are, increased energy and stamina level (very good for athletes), balances the Estrogen to Testosterone levels in both men and women, increased sperm count in men, improved muscle tone, clears acne..

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So how to incorporate this wonder food into your diet? Easy! Sprinkle it on your muesli in the morning or ad it in your daily smoothie or juice. You can also find it in capsules or as pills in your local health food store but i recommend to eat the pollen in its raw form. If you live in America have a look at this site where you can find many tasty raw products including pine tree bee pollen. It’s important to remember that bee pollen is actually a ‘food’ and not technically a ‘vitamin supplement’. The nutrients in Bee Pollen are very concentrated meaning that even small amounts may provide effective and valuable levels of nutritional sustenance – dietary antioxidants, bioflavonoids and polyphenols in particular, along with lecithin.

Please note that some people are severely allergic to bee pollen (particularly if you are allergic to bees or other bee products) so please be cautious and use common sense before introducing this food to your diet. Even for non allergic people I recommend to start with a small amount and slowly increase your intake, a good way to begin eating this wonder food is with half a tea spoon and do not exceed the daily amount of a table spoon.


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OH (CHIANG) MAI

So we have spent three nights and two full days here in Chiang Mai and the city has really charmed the both of us. It has a spiritual essence about it with Buddhist temples around every corner and you are just as likely to bump into a monk as a fellow traveller on the street. If you like me are searching for healthy foods, but on a backpacker budget, you won’t be disappointed either as you can find organic cafe’s and healthy fruit smoothies all around old town. We found our favorite lady here that serves us our breakfast every morning – in one smoothie she puts one banana, one mango and the juice and meat from half a coconut – blend that together with a handful of ice (no sugary syrup!) and you are set for hours!

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If I was going to give any fellow traveller a good advice from our experience here so far is to rent a motor bike and buzz up the mountain and walk the 200 steps up to the Buddhist temple there. Yesterday we got up really early and was there before seven. For one hour we where the only visitors, it was so nice walking around without noisy tourist and as the clock went past eight the place slowly filled with local people praying as they walked around the grand stupa in the middle of the temple grounds.

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The credit for the photo of me at the bottom of the steps goes to Chris Geiler. Have a look at his blog for some more wicked shots.


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MEDICINE FOR KINGS – THE REISHI MUSCHROOM

So lets talk a bit about medicinal mushrooms, or one in particular – the reishi mushroom. Studies show reishi mushrooms benefit people stricken with a variety of ailments, from high blood pressure to AIDS! David Wolfe put this superfood as a nine on his top-ten list but also states that this is the one supplement he never want to live without.

I was introduced to the reishi a few weeks ago by my health coach AJ. After telling him about my Alopecia Areata he suggested using reichi mushroom as a way of balancing my immune system. Again I’m so lucky for being here in Asia and I quickly found reichi tea in a local health shop. It’s too soon for me to say anything about any effects but I’ll keep you posted. To learn more about reishi mushrooms keep on reading this report by Dani Veracity.

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Hailed in ancient Eastern medicine as the “mushroom of immortality” and the “medicine of kings,” you’d expect reishi to offer you some pretty astounding health benefits, right? Your assumptions are correct. This prized fungus may be able to boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.
“Reishi indeed sounds like a cure-all,” writes Rebecca Wood in her book “New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.” She goes on to explain reishi’s wide range of uses: “An immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein- Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative and to lower cholesterol.” It almost seems too good to be true.
How can one fungus help the human body in so many ways? Traditional Eastern medical science explains reishi’s wide range of medicinal applications better, perhaps, than mainstream medicine ever could. According to Eastern thought, the body needs to defend itself against threats to its “equilibrium.” These threats can be physical, such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection; emotional, such as stressors that cause anxiety; or energetic, in that they reduce alertness. Whatever the threat, reishi helps the body maintain its defense against these threats to its equilibrium, helping the body to maintain balance. In this sense, diseases like heart disease and cancer mean that the body is out of balance, which is why an equilibrium-enhancing remedy such as reishi can help so many diverse ailments.
Skeptics can doubt the previous explanation as Taoist “mumbo jumbo,” but laboratory research proves many of reishi’s medicinal applications. As Dr. Andrew Weil writes, reishi “has been the subject of a surprising amount of scientific research in Asia and the West.” Research shows that the polysaccharide beta-1,3-D-glucan in reishi boosts the immune system by raising the amount of macrophages T-cells, which has major implications for people suffering from AIDS and other immune system disorders.
This immune-boosting action also works wonders in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as the T-cells are then able to fight cancer cells more effectively. However, reishi may help the body defeat cancer in not just one, but four ways. In addition to boosting the immune system, the glucan in reishi helps immune cells bind to tumor cells. Many experts believe that it also actually reduces the number of cancerous cells, making it easier for T-cells and macrophages to rid the body of them. Another substance in reishi, called canthaxanthin, slows down the growth of tumors, according to “Prescription for Dietary Wellness” author Phyllis A. Balch and other experts. As a result of these amazing anti-cancer abilities, laboratory research and traditional medicinal usage of reishi to fight cancer is so positive that the Japanese government officially recognizes it as a cancer treatment.
Besides cancer, reishi can help and treat another of America’s top killers: cardiovascular disease. The protection reishi offers against heart disease and stroke is truly remarkable because it helps prevent so many different risk factors, due to its high content of heart-saving substances like sterols, ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides. Experts believe that the ganoderic acids in particular lower triglyceride levels, remove excess cholesterol from the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet stickiness and even help correct arrhythmia. In fact, for 54 people with hypertension unresponsive to medication, taking reishi extract three times a day for four weeks was enough to significantly lower blood pressure, according to a study reported by Burton Goldberg in “Heart Disease.” Just imagine how the incidence of cardiovascular disease could be reduced if using reishi really caught on in the Western hemisphere.
While you protect your body against infectious disease, cancer and heart disease, your use of reishi can also help relieve your everyday discomforts. Do you have allergies? Japanese researchers discovered that the lanostan in reishi acts as a natural antihistamine. Do you suffer from muscle aches or arthritis? Dr. William B. Stavinhoa of the University of Texas Health Science Center found that reishi is as powerful as five milligrams of hydrocortisone, but with minimal side effects. What about anxiety or insomnia? According to “Mind Boosters” by Dr. Ray Sahelia, the reishi mushroom can calm the mind, as well as improve memory, concentration and focus. With all these benefits, reishi truly is the “medicine for kings.”

For more information click here, photo was found here.


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RAW SUPERFOODS

This weeks studying is dedicated to the raw food diet and in the first seminar we get to listen to David Wolfe, a world authority on raw food nutrition. Its all very inspiring and I thought I would share the list of David’s super foods here and write a bit more about a few of them in the week that follows.

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What is a superfood?
Superfoods are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Extremely tasty and satisfying, superfoods have the ability to tremendously increase the vital force and energy of one’s body, and are the optimum choice for improving over-all health, boosting the immune system, elevating serotonin production, enhancing sexuality, cleansing, lowering inflammation, and alkalizing the body. Nourishing us at the deepest level possible, they are the true fuel of today’s “superhero”.

1. Cacao (Raw Chocolate) — The seed/nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree, cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium and is also extremely high in PEA, theobromine (cardiovascular support), and anandamide (“bliss chemical”). Raw Chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, elevates your mood and energy, and increases longevity.

2. Goji Berries (Wolfberries) — Used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years, goji berries are regarded as a longevity, strength-building, and potency food of the highest order. This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides, B & E vitamins, and many other nutrients.

3. Maca — A staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years, this adaptogenic superfood increases energy, endurance, strength, and libido. Dried maca powder contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. As a root crop, maca contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more fiber.

4. Hemp Products eaten in their RAW form — Hemp seeds are packed with 33% pure digestible protein, and are rich in iron, amino acids, and vitamin E as well as omega-3′s and GLA. Hemp is a perfect food for growing children and adults looking to increase protein intake.

5. Spirulina and AFA Blue-Green Algae — Spirulina is the world’s highest source of complete protein (65%). Spirulina provides a vast array of minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients, and enzymes. AFA Blue-green algae is a wild-grown superfood that is made up of 15% blue pigmented phycocyanin which, according to Christian Drapeau in his book Primordial Food, increases our internal production of stem cells. Both Sprirulina and Blue-green Algae are vital superfoods.

6. Bee Products (honey, pollen, and propolis) — Bee pollen is the most complete food found in nature containing nearly all B vitamins especially vitamin B-9 (folate) and all 21 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Honey, in its organic/wild, raw, unfiltered states is rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes, and is one of the highest vibration foods on the planet. If your metabolism can handle sweeteners, honey is the best. Russian research indicates that honey is a longevity superfood.

7. Camu Berry — Highest Vitamin C source on the planet. Great for rebuilding tissue, purifying blood, and enhancing immunity, and energy. Camu berry is one of the best anti-depressants, immune building, and eye-nourishing superfoods in the world.

8. Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, hijiki, bladderwrack, chlorella, etc) — Rich in life-giving nutrients drawn in from the ocean and sun, sea vegetables help remove heavy metals, detoxify the body of radioactive iodine, provide numerous trace minerals, regulate immunity, and decrease the risk of cancer. Seaweeds benefit the entire body, and are especially excellent for the thyroid, immune system, adrenals, and hormone function.

9. Medicinal Mushrooms (Reishi, chaga, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, lion’s mane, etc.) — High in polysaccharides and super immune enhancing components, medicinal mushrooms are one of the most intelligent adaptogenic herb/superfoods on the planet! They have also been proven effective in healing cancer and a variety of other ailments.

10. Additional Powerful Superfoods and Supplements — MSM, Digestive and Metabolic Enzymes, Mangosteen powder, Marine Phytoplankton, Activated Liquid Zeolite, Ormus, MegaHydrate, Crystal Energy, Krill Oil (not vegan, lowest on the food-chain, a source of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids).

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