wholezome

a healthy journey


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CABBAGE & QUINOA SALAD with a minty orange vinaigrette

A filling and fresh salad to serve on its own or as a side dish on a summer day..

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Serves 4
200 g quinoa (more or less depending on how hungry you are)
1/2 of a small cabbage head, thinly sliced
10 cm of a leek, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
2 oranges
5 menthe leaves
1 tbs Umboshi vinegar
1 tbs honey (if oranges aren’t sweet enough)
1 handful of your favorite nuts (almonds and walnuts in my case)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Cook the quinoa as described on the package, I like to use vegetable stock instead of water but that is optional.

Start with segmenting one of the oranges, keep a bowl underneath so you are not wasting any of the juice. Put the orange segments to one side and squeeze the juice out of whats left of your orange. Just squeese the juice out from the other orange.

In the bowl of orange juice ad 1 tbs of Umboshi vinegar (or substitute with white/red wine vinegar or lemon juice).

Finely slice the menthe leaves, this is easily done by placing one leave on top of another and rolling all leaves together and then slice with a sharp knife. Af the menthe to your dressing.

Also ad the thinly sliced leak and season with a little salt and pepper. Here in Spain the oranges are really sweet and juicy and no extra sweetness needs to be added, but have a taste, maybe a little honey needs to be added?

When the quinoa is cooked, drain and then pour it into your bowl of dressing. Have a taste again and season with salt and pepper before adding the finely chopped cabbage and rocket leaves (thinly sliced fennel would also taste fantastic with this).

Plate separately or on a big fancy plate. Garnish with your orange fillets, the roughly chopped nuts and drizzle a fine olive oil on top. Serve as is is or together with.. Hm.. grilled gambas or chicken?

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Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It’s also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food for celiac patients or other people following a gluten-free diet. Quinoa flour is great for baking cookies, breads and muffins, and quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal.


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SOMETIMES you have to spoil yourself BREAKFAST

Took a long walk this morning around Alaro and its surrounding  almond and olive fields and on my way back i stopped at the local mini market and picked up some gorgeous nectarines. Unfortunately I’m one of those people that don’t really tolerate dairy but sometimes you have to spoil yourself and today I did so with greek yogurt, puffed quinoa, goji berries, almonds and sweet sweet nectarines. It both looked and tasted beautiful.

Except for being delicious this breakfast also is very high in protein since greek yogurt contains 50% more protein than normal yogurt, as I’ve mentioned before quinoa is a complete vegetable protein and almonds are also a good protein source. If you are on a mission to build muscles its extra important to eat a sufficient amount of protein and especially in the mornings when your body is in a catabolic state, your body is burning your muscle for energy since your glycogen store is low (protein intake is also important before and after workouts).


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ENERGIZING MACA BALLS

Feel the need for something sweet once in a while? Instead of buying candy why not make your own. And while you are at it, add something healthy to the mix as well, like vitalizing Maca root powder for example. A perfect treat to eat when your energy levels are getting low.

Makes 20 small balls of goodness

200 g of raw cashews
100 g of raw peeled almonds
9 sun-dried dates
3 sun-dried figs
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Maca root powder
1 pinch of salt
Shelled hemp seed

Pit the dates. Cut the figs into quarters and soak together with the dates for 15 minutes in water. Drain but keep some of the water, you might need it at a later stage.

In a food processor mix the nuts until you get a flour. Ad the cacao, Maca, cinnamon and salt, blend again.

Pour the drained fruit into your mixture and blend until you have a dough with the same consistency as ginger bread dough. If your ingredients are to dry to form balls you can add a little of the water you used to soak your fruit in.

Make small bite size balls and coat them with hemp seeds.

Maca root is loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, good fats, amino acids and plant sterols, making it a very nutritious whole food. It has been called a “potent superfood” and can improve our health in many ways.

Some of it’s many health benefits include increasing physical strength, stamina and energy. In fact, Maca is so good at boosting energy and endurance levels, it’s being taken by many athletes.

Maca root is most notably known for it’s ability to improve sexual function and libido. It has been used to solve infertility conditions and is said to increase the production of sperm and semen volume. It can be used as a treatment for impotency and erectile dysfunction also. Consumption of this root will increase sex hormones, such as testosterone. For these reasons, it’s very popular with men of all ages.

Maca is also a natural hormone balancing agent, which is helpful to men and women alike. Women use it to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings and sleeping problems. Too much or too little estrogen is a problem that plagues many women. Maca dramatically fixes these problems.

It works as a hormone regulator that can bring balance back to your body. This will help get rid of troublesome and painful menstrual and menopausal symptoms. Many naturopaths recommend women take maca root as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. It can also be helpful to women going through pre-menopause and post-menopause.

It’s also reported to support endocrine health, help reduce stress, relieve depression, failing memory and impart a general sense of wellbeing.

Maca calms the nerves because of it’s fatty acid, phosphorus, calcium and B1 and B12 vitamin content. These are all very beneficial to the nervous system.

It can also be used as an aid to digestion and to improve healthy appetite. It’s vitamin C, calcium and sterol content help build muscle and it’s starch content enhances physical endurance. And best of all, these healthy compounds are easily assimilated by the body due to maca’s beneficial alkaloids.

Important information – Every person handles substances differently, however, so be cautious when taking maca or any herb. Don’t ignore any symptoms that you may have. Maca is believed to increase the production of testosterone in the body for both men and women. While men may benefit from this, too much testosterone can cause problematic hormonal changes in women. Cycling on maca root supplements is recommended to reduce the incidence of side effects. A typical recommended cycle is two weeks on followed by two or three days off. Never take more than the recommended dosage of maca root and when adding Maca root to your diet start with half the recommended dosage and increase slowly.


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THE POWER OF FIBER – Carrot rolls

Fiber is commonly know to promote good digestive health and regularity. But there are more benefits of increasing the amount of fiber to your daily diet.

When it comes to heart health, you can’t overstate the importance of a fibrous diet. Several studies has proved that a fiber rich diet reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fiber is undigested starch and traps bad cholesterol and drags it out of the body through the digestive tract. Soluble fibers, that you find in carrots, oats, barley, fruit and dried beans to name a few sources, turns into a gel during the digestive process and and prevents cholesterol, fat and sugars from being completely absorbed by the body.

Except for the fat and sugar binding properties of fiber it will also help you loose weight since it expands in your stomach and intestines, making you feel full faster and for longer.

Fabulous and fibrous carrot rolls
Makes 24 rolls

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500 ml water
25 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp honey
3 tsp salt
300 ml grated carrots
100 ml crushed oats
200 ml crushed wheat
50 ml crushed flaxseeds
1000 ml whole grain spelt flour
5 tbsp canola oil

Turn your oven on 225 degrees Celsius.

Resolve the fresh yeast into the water which should be warm but not hot. Ad the honey, salt, carrots, oats, wheat, flaxseeds and mix well.

Ad the flour and oil bit by bit to the mixture, you are looking for a dough with a loose and sticky consistency. Cover and leave for 30 minutes until your dough is twice the size.

Get your dough on on your working surface that is covered with flour. Quarter the dough and knead for a minute or two. Roll on piece at a time and make 6 smaller buns. Place each piece on a baking sheet, let them rice again for 30 minutes.

Bake in the middle of your oven for 12 minutes.

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CORIANDER AND HEAVY METALS – the dressing

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I spent 8 days juice fasting on Koh Samui, Thailand, this spring. The whole week was an amazing experience, fasting is such a great way of cleaning your body and clearing your mind, and to be able to do so at a beautiful retreat in Thailand is such a treat.

But if I’m going to be honest, the best thing about the whole cleansing week was when I got to taste the beautiful buffet after my fasting was over. Oh my, the flavors of those crunchy vegetables and the joy of chewing your food again, I couldn’t stop smiling.

The head chef gave me a few recipes from his repertoire and this lush dressing is one of my favorites. I’ve added the avocado to the original recipe to make the dressing even creamier.

Coriander root dressing
~ THE dressing

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You will need
1 big bunch of coriander with roots
1 small ripe avocado
1 large juicy lime
1 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
water

In the Thai cuisine nothing is thrown away, to take the coriander as an example the seeds are used for seasoning, the leaves in salads and the roots (where the most flavor is) in pastes and sauces.
For this recipe to be a proper success you need to buy coriander in a pot. The roots are very fragile so be careful when you pull them out of the soil and clean the dirt of them.

Use the handle of your knife to bruise the coriander roots before chopping them up roughly. Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Ad water until you have the wanted consistency. Pour over your favorite salad, in my case a roasted sweet potato salad with feta cheese and lots of red onion.

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Coriander and heavy metals

Cilantro is commonly used in many detoxification programs and has been found to remove heavy metals from the body. And I’m not talking about Metallica or Iron Maiden here, no real heavy metals find their way into your body through deodorants (many contain aluminum), fruits and vegetables (sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers), cigarettes (yup, metals in them too) and ‘silver’ fillings in your teeth – just to name a few.

Heavy metals have been connected with many serious health problems including cancer, heart disease, brain deterioration, emotional problems, kidney disease, lung disease and weak bones.

Source Natural News


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KAYAKING AND SORE MUSCLES – Carrot and lentil salad

Yup, it hurts when I laugh today, my shoulders are sore and i found some new strange muscles in my underarms that I never knew i had.. I owe it all to my amazing dad who took me out kayaking yesterday. It was a beautiful day with sunshine for the most part and a nice relaxing lunch on a tiny private ‘beach’.

Do you know how good a carrot lentil salad tastes when it’s combined with some Greek ingredients after you’ve been kayaking for a few hours.. Pretty damn good.

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Carrot and lentil salad
(Serves 2 hungry kayakers)

200 g lentils (puy or green)
4 carrots – grated
1/2 leek – thinly sliced
1 large handful of pistachios – roughly chopped

Dressing
2 garlic cloves – crushed and chopped finely
1 heaped tbsp of tahini paste
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Juice from 1/2 an orange
A few tbsp of olive oil
A pinch of salt

Combine the lentils, with the roughly grated carrots, the sliced leek and chopped pistachios. Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together, the tahini will make this dressing a bit thicker and almost creamy. Pour the dressing over the carrot-lentil-leek combo and season with salt and black pepper.

Enjoy this together with your dad who brings a greek salad and two kayaks.

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What is Tahini? Tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish and middle eastern cuisine. Commonly used as a side dish, or as an ingredient in hummus. I love mixing it into my dressings to make them creamy and nutty flavored or as a spread on rice crackers.


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MOREISH HUMMUS

Ok, so you have just cooked a big batch of those yummy nutritious chick peas. There are so many tasty things you can use them for but the best a simplest way is still in my mind the Moroccan spread, hummus.

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Did you know that it’s super easy as well? All you need to do is to mix the following ingredients in a food processor. Yes, that’s all there is to it.

500 g cooked chickpeas
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 heaped tbsp tahini paste
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt

You can also add..
Paprika powder
Chili
Sun dried tomatoes
Harissa
… or coriander, or basil, or parsley or ..

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Nutrition and health benefits of chickpeas:

1. Nutrients and protein: Chickpeas has good source of folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and molybendum. They also provide fat free and high quality protein.

2. Lower your risk of heart disease: Regular consumption of chickpeas or garbanzo beans can lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Studies also shown that chickpeas can lower the risk of heart disease.

3. For Women: Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants. It could lower the risk of breast cancer, and protect against osteoporosis. It also minimizes hot flushes in post menopausal women.

4. Iron for energy: Chickpeas can boost your energy because of their iron content. If you’re pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

5. Weight Loss: Due to high fiber content, chickpeas are good for weight loss diets. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and also keep you full longer which helps to control the appetite. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells.

6. Manganese: Chickpeas has excellent source of trace mineral manganese. It is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes in energy production and antioxidant defenses.

7. Molydenum: Molybendum is a mineral for body’s mechanism to detoxify sulfites. Sulfite-sensitive individuals may experience headaches, confusion and a racing heartbeat.

8. Low glycemic index: High fiber and low glycemic index content of chickpeas prevents blood sugar or blood glucose levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. Legumes can be digested very easily because of their high fiber content. Chick peas is a great choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

9. Constipation: Dietary fiber prevents constipation and digestive disorders.

10. Calcium: Chickpeas has significant source of calcium. Some sources quote it as equal to milk and yogurt.

P.S Although convenient, most canned chickpeas contain significant amounts of sodium — over 700 mg per cup. Also the canning and storing process reduces some of the nutrition of the beans. Have a look here on how to cook dry chickpeas.

Source


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THE DAY RHUBARB MET POMEGRANATE THERE WAS MAGIC – lemonade & popsicles

When I was little I used to be scared when walking past the jungle of rhubarb growing in our garden. I have, since childhood, had a very silly but non the less genuine phobia of frogs. I know this might sound stupid but I’ve always been convinced that there would be a large coloni of frogs living underneath the large rhubarb leaves, waiting to jump at me as soon as they would get the chance.

Armed with a knife I ventured out into the garden yesterday and quickly cut the largest stem I could find and ran off as fast as I could. Victory was going to taste sweet and refreshing.

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The same morning I had made a little healthy shopping trip into town, there is a pretty good health store chain in Sweden called Life and I go there to top up my spirulina stash every time I’m home. At the checkout the cashier convinced me to try their new non sweetened and no preservatives added pomegranate juice… A few hours later I’m standing in my moms kitchen with my giant rhubarb in one hand and the little carton of pomegranate juice on the counter. This is what I did..

The rhubarb got chopped into small pieces and put to simmer in two liters of water together with 3 heaped tablespoons of honey. When the water was reduced to half I poured in the pomegranate liquid and simmered for another 15 min. The flavors of the sweet rhubarb mixed with the tangy pomegranate was a surprisingly well made match. The lemonade was afterwards placed in the fridge to cool.

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But this isn’t all. After I’ve later enjoyed a beautiful tasting glass of my super quick lemonade a new idea came to mind. Inspired by this recipe I started to look for the ice Popsicle molds we had as kids but without any luck. A few small plastic cups had to do and together with BBQ skewers my refreshing desert was on its way.

In the evening I was happily slurping away – Ice popsicle taste just as good when you are 29 as when you where 9…

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Pomegranates have very high content of punicalagins, a potent anti-oxidant component found to have superior health benefits. They are also a good source of vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. The combination of these and other minerals in pomegranates cause a powerful synergy that prevents and even reverses some diseases.

A new study has shown that drinking pomegranate juice frequently is extremely beneficial in fighting the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis). It reduces the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which contributes to artery clogging and hardening. Not only does this fruit significantly reduce the blood vessel damage, it is found to actually reverse the progression of this disease.

Another study positively proved that pomegranates contain a powerful agent against cancer, particularly prostate cancer.

Rhubarb is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is important to help support a healthy immune system. It is high in dietary fiber which helps to maintain regularity within the digestive system and is a good source of calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth. It is also high in Vitamin K, which is thought to help prevent diabetes.


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GOOD MORNING GORGEOUS – Smoothie

Do you ever wake up with a feeling of It’s good to be alive!? I felt like that this morning and I can’t wait to find out what this day will entail. Hopefully i get to catch up with my childhood friend Anna and her husband who have left the southern metropole Gothenburg for our sleepy suburb this weekend.

My breakfast today. A pretty horrid looking but surpriseingly tasty and definetly healthy smoothie made out of coconut water (rehydration after a night sleep), banana (for its healthy minerals, I’ve had a few cramps in my feet lately), spirulina (because I’m worth it), bee pollen (my hair will especially thank me for all B-vitamins) and reishi mushroom powder (to bring balance to my body).

I also found my moms secret stash of goji berries and popped a small handful in for good luck. The creation was later enjoyed with my bare feet in the grass.

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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. Did you get that? Let me say it again – introducing goji berries to your daily diet will

- decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
– increase your metabolic rate – it helps you shred those kg’s!
– increase in sexual activity, your libido and performance..
– give you stronger bones, healthier blood, better eyesight and less mood swings.

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Have a great day everyone!


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HOME, SWEET HOME

The best thing about making a long journey from east to west is the jet lag (as long as you don’t have to work I should ad). I love sleeping in in the mornings – you know that feeling of the absolute right temperature underneath your duvet, you are awake but just enjoying resting with your eyes closed or maybe you are finishing that book that you’ve been trying to read for the last six months – you get my point!? Now here comes the jet lagged bit, since I never wake up before my alarm I never get to enjoy those magic moments in bed, yes I admit Im a exceptionally good sleeper and if I don’t get woken up I just keep on sleeping BUT when jet lagged … I wake up early!! Oh the joy, this morning I opened my blue at four o’clock and got time to be cozy in bed and could go for a early walk before the rest of the house got up!

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During my walk I also got reminded of how beautiful Sweden is in the summer time. The sun on my back made it almost warm enough to take my sweater of and I didn’t even mind sneezing every few minutes (hay-fever) because the beauty of all those green plants around me.

Happily I returned home a few hours later with a bouquet of Lily of the valley and fresh strawberries – it doesn’t get more Swedish summer than that!

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The strawberry is a highly nutrient dense fruit, with such huge amount of healthy substances that they are included in the list of so-called “superfoods”, tasty and packed full of nutrients.

Anti-anemic – Strawberries can help prevent and fight certain types of anemia, due to their high content in folic acid, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Anti-cancer – Strawberry is included in the list of top “superfoods” that help lower cancer death rates. This is because of the very high content of various anti-oxidants with flavonoids that work synergistically and more powerfully against oxidation and preventing damages caused by free radicals in our body.

Anti-coagulant – Strawberries contain moderate amount of acetylsalicylic acid, the same active ingredient found in aspirin. Although the amount of acetylsalicylic acid found in strawberries is not enough to relieve influenza symptoms, it can be actually helpful to thin blood and prevent blood clots formation, thereby reducing the work of the heart and improving its function.

Anti-inflammatory – Anthocyanidin is a unique flavonoid that makes strawberries a very powerful protector against inflammatory conditions such as asthma, gout, artherosclerosis, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time it protects against intestinal bleeding.

Brain and mental health – It has been shown that, besides having an anti-anemic effect, folic acid found in strawberries can help improve memory, concentration and the brain’s ability to process information. It is also essential for preventing brain defects in babies during pregnancy.

Digestive health – Due to their high content in vitamin C, strawberries stimulate the secretion of salivary and gastric juices, thereby improving the digestion of starchy and protein foods. In addition, fiber contained in strawberries effectively reduces constipation and cleans the colon, with a beneficial detox effect for the body.

Diuretic – The high content in potassium found in strawberries enhances diuresis, which contributes to detoxifying the body, as well as regulating blood pressure.

Heart health – Anti-oxidants found in strawberries, and especially vitamin C and anthocyanidins, may help protect arteries from damage, as well as preventing the formation of blood clots within blood vessels.

Immune system – Strawberries are very rich in vitamin C, which plays a key role in enhancing immune system function, as well as in preventing and fighting infectious diseases such as flu and cold.

Mood – Eating strawberries and drinking strawberry juice stimulate the release of serotonin, which improves mood and is responsible for a feeling of relaxation and a general sense of well-being.

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Source juicing for health.

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