Food

Food Recipes

How to get your greens in

Let’s face it, we all wish to be one of those healthy persons who can’t wait to chew on a celery stick, munch on broccoli or devour a large salad. I can be the first to admit that these aren’t my first options when hunger strikes or when my sweet tooth kicks in. Anyone feelin’ me?

I wish to maintain healthy eating habits, but at the same time ease my cravings, satisfy my needs and make eating a fun and relaxed experience. Food and eating should be enjoyable and not forced in any way. So, to the question; how do I include fruits and veggies in my everyday routine while at the same time keeping my food experience fun and tasty?

After years of trial and error when it comes to food, I have now found a balanced, healthy, fun and tasty way of eating. I have never felt more healthy, happy and in tune with myself. This is what I have been aiming for and I can’t wait to share my tips and tricks which you can implement in your everyday routine.

Include greens in your smoothies
That you can add fruits and berries to your smoothie probably isn’t news to you, but adding leafy greens might sound a little bit weird. If you haven’t tried it out I strongly suggest you to. To add a handful of spinach along with the rest of the ingredients, such as banana, berries, milk etc is such an easy way to increase your intake of greens throughout the day. The best part is that you can’t even taste the spinach.

Fry your veggies
Another way to increase your intake of veggies is to simply add them to a stir-fry, stew or similar. Hide shredded carrots in your stews, chop some veggies and add to an omelet along with some leafy greens to boost it even more or fry a mix of vegetables along with your meal of choice.

Make a fruity ice-cream
Put any fruits and berries of choice in the freezer and let it sit overnight. Whenever you are craving sweets or a refreshing snack on a hot summer day, this could be your quick and tasty solution. Either snack on them as they are or make a healthy and delicious ice-cream. To make the ice-cream, simply add your preferred ingredients to a food processor and blend. A tip is to have bananas or mangoes as the main ingredient if you want your ice-cream to be smooth and creamy. Along with the base, feel free to add flavorings such as cacao, berries, protein powder or even spinach.

Prep your snacks
I love to prepare cucumber, celery and carrot sticks to have on the go. Whenever I have it prepped and easily accessible, either at home or in a container on the go, I happily munch on my veggies when I feel like snacking.

Are you implementing some of these tips already? Let us know, and please share your own tips and tricks so we can support each other on our healthy and happy journey! Let’s make health a fun experience!


By: Nutritionist Clara Mo / Photo cred

Food Nutrition

Nature’s candy

I have never been big on candy. I love cakes and chocolate, but candy I managed to stay away from really easily. I much prefer nature’s candy: the berries. 

And among them, blueberries are high on my list. Not only do they taste delicious by themselves or in pretty much any kind of smoothie, breakfast or dessert recipe, but they have tons of great properties.

Being full of antioxidants (substances that inhibits oxidation and removes potentially damaging agents in a living organism such as the gallic acid), blueberries have a reputation to help “fight” aging, boost your brain, improve your digestion (thank you fibers!), are good for your skin and heart and even help fight some types of cancer.

I think all this information about blueberries that my mom used to tell me when I was younger got stuck in my head. Especially the part about blueberries being good for the sight. Being the four-eyed that I am, I must have focused more on the raspberries growing up though. Oops.

More recently I read that the Royal Air Force was known to consume a lot of blueberries during World War two which allegedly improved their night vision. It´s said the pigment (anthocyanin) contained in the berry and providing the blue/purple colour is helping  to improve sight.

While writing this I noticed the deeper you research the more your read about the pro and cons and discover ongoing debates on whether this and that is true or not. But honestly even if only half of these facts turn out to be true,  I would much rather keep eating summer’s candy. And if it all is just a placebo effect, it’s one delicious one!

So now that summer is around the corner and berries are appearing everywhere whether you go and pick them yourself or you buy them at your local supermarket, do not hesitate to grab a box or two! They are delicious as a treat by themselves, in fruit salads, to top a cake or ice cream, but also in pies or even better if you ask me, in smoothies. 


By: Morgane Oléron

 

Body Food

How food can boost your workout

How we fuel our bodies before and after a workout are important to not only perform well during exercise, but to recover well after pushing its’ limits.

But knowing the right foods to pick for a pre and post workout snack can be a little confusing. Not only do we have to think about what foods to fuel our bodies with, but we have to consider when as well.

Pre-Workout
Don’t be afraid of eating carbs. Carbohydrates act as fuel for your body to keep it going. It’s recommended to eat your pre-workout snack 1 to 3 hours before your workout. Try snacking on some granola, an apple with peanut butter, a banana, or a handful of nuts with raisins. The protein in the snacks will help prepare the right amino acids for your muscles in order for them to function their best.

Post-Workout
It’s important to get both carbohydrates and protein after your workout. It’s recommended to get nutrition within 15 minutes of completing an intense workout routine. Some post-workout snacks to consider are a smoothie, chocolate milk, or a turkey and veggie wrap.

To wrap things up, we know that protein and carbohydrates are both essential macronutrients we need to fuel our bodies and recover well.

What we put into our bodies can make or break a workout and how you feel afterwards.

Honor your body and the hard work you’ve put in to making it the best it can be, and fuel it with nourishing foods. And remember, the food we talk about in this post is snacks, make sure to add some proper meals too.


By: Samantha Thayer / Photo cred 

Food

High quality sources of fat

There’s a lot of drama existing around the topic of fats and it seems like a common thing to view fats as unhealthy. Let´s dive into the topic and sort some things out.

Is there such a thing as healthy fats? YES, and some fats are even essential. Instead of banning fats, believing it’s the devil, one could try to focus on switching bad fats to healthy fats. Let’s take a closer look.

Why do I even need to consume fats?
Fat is an important source of energy which can be efficiently stored for later use. Except for being a great source of energy, fat is also protecting our inner organs. Fats are important when it comes to the production of hormones and is an essential component for building and reconstructing cells. As you may know, vitamins are divided into groups of water- and fat-soluble vitamins. In order to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), found in foods, one have to consume foods rich in fat at the same time. In other words, fats play an important role in your diet and makes sure you’ll get the fat-soluble vitamins needed.

Different kinds of fatty acids
Talking about trans fats, saturated and unsaturated fats is an easy way of dividing different kinds of fatty acids into groups. They all differ when it comes to molecular structure which results in diverse qualities.

Unsaturated fatty acids
It is among the unsaturated fats we can find omega3 and omega6 fatty acids. The omega3 fatty acid ALA and the omega6 fatty acid LA are essential and we need to get them through our diet since we can’t produce them ourselves. Omega3 fatty acids are important for healthy cardiovascular function, cognitive function, fetal development, for preventing inflammation etcetera.

Trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids are mostly found in processed foods (fried foods, cookies, candy, margarine, microwaved popcorn, frozen dinners etc…) and to some extend found naturally, for example in dairy. High intake of trans fats could increase your bad cholesterol and thus increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Saturated fatty acids
Saturated fatty acids are important to a certain extent, but in general our population is nowadays consuming way too much due to our high intake of meat and dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, crème etc) as well as highly processed foods. High intakes of saturated fats are, just like trans fats, associated to an increased risk of developing CVD. Most people would benefit and feel better from eating less products containing trans and saturated fats and instead consume more of unsaturated fats.

High quality sources of fat
So, how do I make sure to increase my intake of unsaturated fats at the same time as decreasing the intake of saturated and trans fats? Try to switch your sources of fat from dairy, meat and processed foods to the following:

Avocado – Makes an amazing addition to your meals when it comes to both flavor and nutrition. Avocado is rich in unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals

Nuts & seeds – Good source of both unsaturated fats and healthy vitamins and minerals. For ex: walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds.

Salmon – A better option compared to chicken and red meat since it contains less saturated fats and more of the good stuff, unsaturated fats.

Canola oil –  Is rich in omega3 and 6. Oils though, are highly processed and not considered whole foods. It perhaps shouldn’t be considered a health-food. On the other side I would still consider vegetable oils a healthier option than for example butter/margarine made from dairy. So, when cooking you could definitely use a tiny amount for the pan or as an ingredient. But I would always consider the food in its natural state, such as nuts, seeds etc., as the better option.

Remember that this is just guidelines to give you information and facts about fats. I am definitely not a nutrition police here to tell you what to do. And once again, simply view this as inspiration. Feel free to leave me questions in the comment field below, and remember; don’t be scared of fats, you could simply just try to focus on the right ones instead.


By: Nutritionist Clara Mo

Food

5 Eco-Friendly Food & Kitchen Swaps You Can Make Right Now  

At this point, most people understand how to incorporate the fundamentals of an environmentally friendly lifestyle into their daily routine. For example, many people would opt for a ceramic mug if offered, or at least a recyclable paper cup, when ordering their morning latté at the local coffee shop. Another trend that’s begun to permeate consumer’s food shopping habits is making more of an effort to obtain locally sources or seasonal produce when possible. After all, it’s good for your health and for the planet. But if this is all second nature to you at this point, and you’re looking to further reduce your environmental footprint, I have a great list of quick wins for you to add to your arsenal. You might not realize it, but many of the foods you eat and products you use are very resource intensive and can have a negative impact on the environment and your health.

Explore grains other than rice
A lot of households round out the dinner menu with a nice side of white or brown rice, and we certainly can’t blame them. Rice is tasty, cheap and calorically dense. But what you might not realize is that the production of rice requires a tremendous amount of agricultural input and the footprint of rice systems can be heavily taxing upon the earth in many parts of the world due to the enormous demand. Try switching things up with some delicious some amaranth pilaf, millet curry or another tasty whole grain like teff, which can have an almost chocolate-like flavor. Luckily, the transition away from rice doesn’t have to mean less flavor. In fact, some of the alternatives are quite savory and will offer a welcomed change of pace.

Break away from palm oils
Palm oil is another sneaky one because without most people realizing it, it’s everywhere. And it’s not just found in food either. Palm oil is used in everything from soap to makeup to peanut butter and cereal. The problem is that the way that it’s farmed is ridiculously unsustainable. The current production process involves burning down beautiful forests and a practice known as clear-cutting, putting land and even endangered animals at risk of total destruction. Fortunately, many food producers have found other yummy oils that work just as well, which is a win-win for consumers, manufacturers and the earth. When going for that next bag of potato chips, make sure they’re fried in something else‑-canola oil, avocado oil or coconut oil are all better options over palm.

Reconsider your meat choices
I’m certainly not about to tell you that you have to go vegan or vegetarian in order to be able to make an impact, but I can say with certainty that thoughtful choices are important here. Additionally, some of the most eco-friendly protein options are those derived from plant-based sources. I know that we are all used to picking up beef, pork, lamb and salmon on sale at the supermarket, but all these require large amounts of water, land, fuel, pesticides and fertilizer. If possible, lean more toward more sustainable proteins such as wild game or free-range poultry. These are often raised in not only better conditions, but also in a more sustainable fashion and on a much smaller scale. When you do go for the read meat, considering opting for the certified organic and grass fed route.

Ditch the non-stick
Cooking products like non-stick Teflon pans with finishes made of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) that leach toxins into cooked food are still prominent in many homes across the country. While it can be a long, and sometimes costly, process to replace all the cookware in your kitchen, it’s better to start small than never start at all. What we did in my home is took an inventory of all the Teflon and non-stick items in the kitchen, and one by one replaced them ceramic or non-toxic version over the course of two years. If you can do this all in one go, that’s obviously preferable, but it’s important to remember that small, incremental changes can have a huge impact on the earth and the health of you and your family.

Like to indulge in a little alcohol? Go for a local beer
This is another one that tends to stir up a bit of a fuss but don’t shoot the messenger, folks. When looking at making a glass of wine vs. a pint of beer, it takes about 6x as much water when all is said and done. But there is a bright side: sustainable beer is much more convenient to source and buy. After all, I think it’s a safe bet that very few people reading this live on a vineyard, but most of us live in cities that are home to awesome craft breweries. Try seeking out a craft brewery that serves eco-friendly craft brews or celebrates innovation in water conservation and organic ingredients. You can even find many of these being sold in your local supermarket.

These are just a few areas of opportunity to reduce your footprint and increase your health. As you can see, many of the alternatives are tastier, better and more healthful options anyway. Don’t let old habits and lazy manufacturing processes stand in the way you starting to make a change, no matter how small.


This post is contributed by Remy Bernard – Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes.  A baker, chef and writer, Remy started missmamiescupakes.com as a way to deepen and spread her passion for making delicious food.

She can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Food

When the sweet tooth never stops

It’s pretty safe to say that many of us love ourselves some treats every once in a while, and that’s all good! The problem occurs when we over-consume and end up craving sugar on a daily basis.

We all know that sugar is bad for us for several reasons, yet we like to enjoy it anyway from time to time. But when that little cookie turns into a whole package and you don’t stop at two or three spoons of Haagen-Dazs, but end up eating the whole damn thing you got yourself a sugar overload. And then you’re officially in the vicious circle my friend; because the more sugar you eat, the more your body will crave.

Cravings are driven by the brain’s need for a “reward”, not the body’s need for food.

So, how do we shut down the cravings? We have made a little escape plan.

Toss it all out
There is no way around this; you need to go cold turkey and clean out your cabinets! Toss it all out. Keeping it close is like asking for trouble. Unless you have the willpower, then you’re good (I know I don’t).

Go for a walk
The weirdest advice, but it serves two purposes; you distance yourself from the food you’re craving AND you release endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals in your brain, that will help turn of the craving. Unless you walk directly to the store. We recommend you not to.

Talk!
Cravings can come often (at least they do for me) and I can’t get up and go for a power walk every damn time, so talking to someone is also an option. Call or write a friend, or talk to your partner whenever those cravings kick in. Bitch and complain about it and get it all out. You can even ask for some encouragement. Usually you have forgotten all about your cravings afterwards.

If the three tips above don’t do any good, you always have the standard tips: eat proper meals, drink a glass of water (a glass people, not just a sip), eat fruit and avoid stress. It may help!  Just remember; If you manage to resist, the cravings will get weaker over time and eventually disappear.

And let’s not forget that some yumminess every once in a while is just what the doctor ordered. We just don’t want any addiction now do we?


By: Henriette Danielsen

Food

Top five vegan friendly places in Stockholm

If you, like me, are a fan of vegan food you may be familiar with the struggle of trying to find a good place when you’re out and about. I remember when always bringing boxes of food, snacks and basically the whole survival kit whenever I needed to make errands in town. Thankfully this is not the case today!

Veganism has become a growing trend and a lot has happened during the latest year. Vegan friendly restaurants and cafés are popping up all over Stockholm in such a speed that I haven’t even been able to try them all. Even though I haven’t been  to every single one, I thought I’d still share some of my favorites with you. Here’s five restaurants/cafés in Stockholm where you’ll always find amazing vegan options.

Hermans
This restaurant has been around for a while and is thereby a well-known restaurant in Stockholm. Known for their delicious food, the great hospitality and the fact that it’s beautifully situated on a hill with a garden overviewing the city. For as long as I can remember they have been focusing on vegetarian food and I was so happy to hear that they now have gone completely vegan! This is a place I can strongly recommend for both vegans and non-vegans, since everyone seems to adore the food and the lovely desserts. Expect to experience a food coma and to be mind-blown by their all you can eat buffet.
Check it out 

Hälsocafét
A true pearl when it comes to vegan cafés in Stockholm. When you feel like enjoying a fresh salad, a comforting cup of coffee, a fruity smoothie, an acaibowl, raw cakes or maybe a burger, this is the place to go. The options are many and there is always something to soothe your cravings. Hälsocafét is definitely a favorite of mine. They do not only have incredibly tasty food, but also provide wonderful service and good vibes in general. My favorite thing to order is an acaibowl or the raw walnut-brownie. If you haven’t been there yet, what are you waiting for?!
Check it out

Chutney
The vegetarian restaurant Chutney definitely deserves a place on this list. This is the place I go to whenever I feel like enjoying food inspired by the Asian and middle-eastern kitchen. The food has a homemade feel to it, yet incredible delicious and full of exciting flavours. I have been there countless times and never been disappointed. The vegan options are many, both when it comes to food and cakes. Make sure you don’t forget to try their famous homemade chutney, I love it!
Check it out

Delivore
Delivore is a newly opened café in Stockholm which has already become very popular among vegans. Everything is 100% vegan and there’s a lot to choose between; bagels, sandwiches, salads, milkshakes, coffee and desserts. I mean how insane doesn’t the s’mores milkshake sound?! I have heard the business is going so well they are actually expanding and making the café into a restaurant. Sounds pretty good to me.
Check it out 

Holy Cow
An Indian restaurant with fantastic vegan options like Tikka Masala, curry, naan bread and so on. It’s a great place to bring friends and family since they have something for everyone on the menu.
Check it out 

Now that was a quick review of some of the top vegan friendly places in Stockholm, at least according to my preferences. I sincerely hope this will inspire you to try them out. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite. Bon appétit!


Photo cred

profile-clara-mo

Name: Clara Mo
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Occupation: Studying Nutritional science

Check out her Instagram account @blissfullyliving for more inspiration

Food

Four amazing benefits of pumpkin 

It’s that time of year – a chill in the air, leaves changing color, and the season for baking everything pumpkin!   

Although there are pumpkin treats that don’t pack much of a nutritional punch, there are some health benefits to this seasonal fruit. Today we’re going to not only go over these health benefits, but also some great ways to eat pumpkin!

Ready to fall into this goodness?

Fiber
Pumpkins are a great source of fiber. They have three grams per one-cup serving! At only 50 calories per serving, it will help you feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories.  Let’s not forget pumpkin seeds – they contain about 1.7g of fiber as well! Using pumpkin to help get your recommended ~28g of fiber daily will help aid your digestion as well!

Sleep Better
Yes, that’s right! Pumpkin can actually help aid sleep. The seeds in pumpkins are rich in Tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can cause sleepiness.
Fun fact: Tryptophan is a natural mood regulator, and can help balance certain hormones naturally. Eating pumpkin seeds can help you feel more calm.

Protein
Pumpkin seeds contain 30g of protein. Bonus, they also contain a significant amount of magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Vitamin A
Pumpkin contains Vitamin A which will help protect your cells and boost your immune system. One cup of pumpkin contains a whopping 1,906mg of Vitamin A. Let’s not forget that Vitamin A also keeps your vision healthy.

Have I convinced you to try pumpkin out? Let’s dive in to some healthy pumpkin recipes!

Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pinwheel Bites from FoodFaithFitness.

Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Apple Relish from USANA Test Kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired to try these recipes out! What’s your favorite pumpkin treat?


This post is contributed by Samantha Thayer, Online Outreach and Education Specialist from What’s Up, USANA?. For more information on health, feel free to visit their blog or find them on Twitter @USANAInc. / Photo cred 

Food

Avocado love

Today we’re going to chat about the health benefits of avocado! Latest trends such as adding some avocado to your smoothie, including it in brownies, or sprucing up your avocado toast has made this food a staple in some homes. 

So what’s so great about them?

Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving. They’re a great source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also provide a good amount of Vitamin C and E! (2) Here are some of the most abundant nutrients found in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving (1);

Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
Folate: 20% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.

Some people might think avocados should be avoided because they are high in fat. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “healthy” fat. Monounsaturated fat helps to lower bad cholesterol when eaten in moderation. Since avocado contains fiber (more than 40% of your daily requirement), it will actually help you feel full longer.

Now that we’ve covered some of the nutrients found in avocados, what makes them so good for us?

Healthy gut
Avocados helps aid digestion, since they contain insoluble and soluble fibers that help your system run smoothly.

Healthy hair and skin
Avocados contain nutrients that are beneficial for keeping your skin and hair healthy! Avocados can be used externally on your skin or hair as masks, and avocado oil can help improve the health of your skin. (3)

Healthy eyes
Avocado provides carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes against cataracts, eye diseases related to age, and macular degeneration. These conditions are caused by free radicals, so the carotenoids from avocado may help counteract them. (3)

Healthy heart
Eating avocados can help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.

Help Arthritis symptoms
Studies have shown that an extract from avocado and soybean oils can significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis.

It’s easy to see how great avocado is for us, and of the best things about avocado is that it’s so easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Just add it to your smoothies, brownies, guacamole, toast, or even in your chocolate mousse! Have fun trying out new recipes and spread some avocado love!


Sources: (1) (2) (3)
This post is contributed by Samantha Thayer, Online Outreach and Education Specialist from What’s Up, USANA?. For more information on health, feel free to visit their blog or find them on Twitter @USANAInc.

Food

Q&A about the vegetarian lifestyle

There are several reasons to why people choose to go over to a vegetarian diet. Some do it for their health, some for the environment and others for the animals. Whatever reason, it’s a lifestyle change that has become more common, but still meets a lot of prejudices in today’s society.

Many are under the impression that becoming a vegetarian involves huge changes, so we asked Margit Katharine Bøhn, who follows a vegetarian, and somewhat vegan diet, to share her thoughts and experience with us.

What made you decide to stop eating meat?
I was fourteen and had been engaged in animal rights for a while, handing out brochures for the Norwegian equivalent to Peta at school and skipping my first (and only) class because we had to dissect a pig, so I had been thinking about it for quite some time. One day we had chicken for dinner at home, and I just couldn’t eat it. I just imagined the poor chicken in front of me and suddenly felt like I was chewing on my own thigh.

Did you find it difficult in the beginning?
The most difficult part for me was that I, as a teenager, didn’t receive any support from my parents. I also didn’t have much knowledge about nutrition growing up, but found my way. It’s all about giving it a try.

How do you get enough protein?
I’m not sure what all this fuzz about protein is, as I do believe this major concern is totally misunderstood. More protein isn’t necessarily better; let’s talk quality instead. Mother Nature is filled with good protein sources, such as soybeans, chick peas, avocado, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, tofu, bulgur, quinoa, peas, nuts, oats and so much more. If you eat a variety of whole foods, you’ll most likely get enough protein.

I think the most important thing is not to feel like going green is a sacrifice, but a positive change

Have you felt any difference on your body after you stopped eating meat?
I was 14 at the time so I can’t really say, but going from vegetarian to a vegan diet? Oh yeah, definitely. You feel SO much better, cleaner, healthier, and happier. I’ve been eating more or less vegan for the last year.

What are the challenges when it comes to being vegan?
I think social stigma is the worst – all the questions, having to make special orders at restaurants, as there are often no vegan options on the menu. This feels very ironic to me, that you get judged for not eating animals. People get very emotional about their meat, it’s like drinking with a sober person – suddenly you feel judged yourself.

What is your favorite vegan dish?
My goal is to make vegan food taste and feel as close to meaty food as possible. I would want my meat-eating friends to be surprised that it can taste so close to what they normally eat, so they understand that they can eat vegan too (without only eating grass). I love burgers, pasta, salads, Mexican and all the tasty food in the world!

What would you recommend for someone who is thinking about turning vegetarian or vegan to do? Where to start?
I think the most important thing is not to feel like going green is a sacrifice, but a positive change. Read up on animal rights and what the meat industry is doing to our planet, watch documentaries and find tons of recipes for inspiration on food blogs, discover a whole new way to look at food and cook tons of it. Be kind to yourself, take one step at the time, learning by doing and doing what’s right for you. Make food fun and not a burden.

Isn’t it expensive?
No, and even if it is – your health is your most important investment. You can stay cheap with beans, peas and oats or go expensive with hemp, raw food and spirulina. Either way, I promise that you will find a diet that works within your budget that tastes great.


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred