Hello all beautiful people out there! I am so sorry for the lack of posts; I’ve started a new job on a yacht that is in its last month of its build before getting launched in September. So right now life is more about kitting out a kitchen/galley than cooking in one. I am having so much fun though and hopefully you will have some new recipes to read soon. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my neighborhood here in the beautiful Netherlands.
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!
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!
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.
Source juicing for health.
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?
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!
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.
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.