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Be Inspired

Looking at health from a broader perspective

Teresia Tingström used to be an emotional eater, stuck in a behavior that caused more damage than good. She decided enough was enough and started her journey to a better self. She is now working as a Health Coach, helping clients build a healthy relationship to both food and their bodies.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private

Having struggled with her own body image for years and suffering from a strained relationship to food, Teresia felt stuck in a life she didn’t want.
– I used to be an emotional eater. I used binge eat, starve myself and over-exercised. It was a temporary solution to my problems, an escape from my loneliness and pain. What I realized after a while is that it only took me further away from what I truly desired, a happy and healthy life.

Teresia reached a point where she couldn’t handle her dysfunctional behavior any longer and decided it was time to start taking care of herself. She wasn’t happy, but she wanted to be.
– Happiness is an inside job, so I shifted my focus. It is not all about how we look, but how we feel, from the inside and out. I decided to start talking to someone about my problems instead of hiding them behind a destructive eating pattern, she says.

Today she uses her own experience and knowledge to help others, working as a certified nutritionist with emphasis on behavioral change. Based in Barcelona, she is offering worldwide online services, helping women nourishing their body from a place of love and help them become the best version of themselves.
– My goal is to help women move away from society’s norms of what a body should look like in order to be worthy and pretty, to stop dieting and rather build a healthy relationship to food and guide them to a more positive view on themselves.

I believe in a holistic perspective with an individual approach growing from a place of love rather than fear.

What kind of connection do you see between people’s emotions and eating habits?
– I would say that for the most of us our emotions affect our eating behavior. I usually see that stress, tiredness, hunger and frustration causes overeating. But I can also see that more positive emotions cause overeating as well. It’s impossible to not involve emotions and food, because food causes joy, satisfaction and nourishment. We learn that already when we are kids. On our birthday we have birthday cakes, when we graduate we are celebrated with tasty food and when it’s Saturday we can eat candy because it’s the weekend. The key is finding the balance. To create awareness about our own emotions, to listen to ourselves on a daily basis and eliminate the need for acting out unfelt emotions on our plate, she explains.

Teresias philosophy is that health and nutrition isn’t about counting calories, grams of fat or fiber, nor is it just about eating only for the purpose of sustenance.
Food plays a major role in our social, behavioral, cultural and emotional lives and that is something we have to respect. It’s time to shift focus from weight, the diets and nutritional dogmas, to instead focus on self-care and improving our relationship with food and our bodies. I don’t believe in dieting and most importantly, that the same approach does not work for everyone. I believe in a holistic perspective with an individual approach growing from a place of love rather than fear.

Learn more about Teresia by visitng her website and Instagram account.


Facts
Name: Teresia Tingström
Age: 29
Lives: In Barcelona
Name one thing that makes you happy: My wonderful friends

 

Stories

A career twist

What started as a side project turned out to be a full time business for Del, the talented cook behind Del’s cooking twist. We had the pleasure of getting to know her a little better and talk about how she turned her hobby into a career. 
By: Morgane Oléron Photo: Ania Smelskaya & Private

First off, tell us a little about you!
I’m Del, a true food lover and the blogger behind Del’s cooking twist. I’m also a published author, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. I grab a whisk as I would grab a pen, and the kitchen is of course my favorite room: I work, create and eat there, and I could even sleep there.

Looking at your blog you seem to be inspired by a lot of different places. Where are you from originally?
I’m French, but have spent several years in Sweden before I recently moved to Chicago. However, I feel that I belong to all the places I have lived in. When I’m asked where my heart is, I picture my kitchen at home. Wherever home is, I need my kitchen. And my laptop too. No food blogger can exist without a laptop.

Why did you decide on Chicago?
I moved to Chicago to follow my other half (yes, love!) but I already knew from early on that I at some point would move from Sweden to the US. So I developed my American twist alongside my Swedish and my French one. Chicago is an incredible city for a foodie, where various cuisines of the world co-exist and sometimes meet, to create fusion food.

We know where you are now and what you do, but how did you get here? What made you start a blog?
During my first year working in marketing I was extremely enthusiastic and my creativity bloomed. However, since I couldn’t implement all my ideas for the company, I decided to start my own food blog. That’s how Del’s cooking twist was born back in 2013. In the beginning, it was just for fun, and I didn’t have a clear idea of what blogging really meant. I started sharing my recipes randomly, once a week, taking pictures the way I thought looked good (with the artificial light of the kitchen above the dish). A lot has changed since then, and now, after nearly four years into this project I can say that the blog has been by far the best school I have ever attended. The rules of blogging are constantly evolving, so you need to be curious, proactive, and push your boundaries to explore new ways of working. It’s hard, challenging and very demanding, but also very fulfilling.

What did you study?
I went to La Sorbonne, a university in Paris, France, where I got a Master’s degree in International Affairs and European Studies. After that, I naturally moved abroad – to Sweden – and started working in the same field, within international public policies to be exact, at the French Embassy in Stockholm.

What made you change paths?
A combination of circumstances led me to stay in Sweden longer than I had originally expected (I fell in love with the country AND with the one who would later become my husband!). As my contract came to an end and my Swedish skills weren’t perfect yet, I broadened my field and looked for new opportunities. I ended up working within marketing for a food company (and later on in digital marketing) for a leading French brand. This is when I understood that my interest in food had always mattered to me and was more than just a hobby.

A question many of us with side projects have: When did you decide food was going to be a full-time job and not just a hobby anymore?
I was spending most of my free time blogging or thinking about new recipes I would develop. It was like an obsession – my brain was continuously creating new recipes. Also, professionally I was hungry for more and my job was clearly not fulfilling enough. I felt it was the right moment to give my blog a go and attempt to make a living of it. I loved the idea, but also felt somewhat unsure altogether. Was I being too daring? Also, my friends and family were skeptical: “Seriously? Is blogging really a job?!!”. I must admit I was overly sensitive to what others thought at that time. And even today it’s sometimes hard for me to say: “I’m a full-time food blogger, and yes it’s a real job”.

What or whom inspired you?
I was following other bloggers back then, some of whom had made their own passion into a full-time career. My first thought was that they were far better than I was and as such, it would be impossible for me to reach the same level etc., until I reconsidered and decided to strive for success, trying to find my own path within the blogging world.

How did you learn everything you know?
I am completely self-taught; my mom was not interested in cooking whatsoever. But I love eating and I have always been curious about food and tasting different cuisines which eventually inspired me to create new dishes. I read dozens of recipes daily, taste many others, and craft my own ones once.

Are you happy with your decision even though it was a scary one?
I’m a perfectionist, so I’m half happy with my decision because there is so much more I could develop. But the day only has 24 hours, so my wish for the future is that I could one day develop my business enough to hire someone to help me. (Well, Best of You can totally volunteer as bowl and spoon lickers)!

How does a day behind the scenes look like?
No day looks the same: my agenda is constantly in flux. I generally try to spend one or two days a week developing recipes in the kitchen, and spend the remaining days writing the recipes, developing the marketing aspects, and doing other food-related activities on the side, working as a food author or teaching cooking/baking classes.

What tips do you have for others who wish to follow their passion?
Your life begins the day you realise you only have one. Live your dream, and do not worry, great things take time.

That’s it for now guys! Hope you enjoyed the appetiser and we’ll be back next week for the plat de résistance as we are teaming up with Del in Chicago for some fun in the kitchen, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Del’s cooking twist for more inspiration and check out her free e-book with mouthwatering dishes that are both delicious and healthy!


Name: Delphine Fortin
Age: 33
Lives: Chicago, US
Favorite food: I definitely have a soft spot for sweets and can really recommend some of the best doughnut bakeries in Chicago, such as Doughnut Vault or Firecakes.

For more inspiration on Del and her delicious recipes take a look at her blog or follow her on Instagram.

Stories

True Girl Power

When I was invited to a closed group on Facebook called “Heja Livet” I got curious. Little did I know at the time how much it would change my view on women, sisterhood and true girl power! All thanks to Emely Crona Stenberg and Caroline Levy!
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Heja Livet

“Heja Livet” (read; Go life) is a platform and forum for female members only, addressing all areas of life; Career, health, friendships and daily obstacles, big and small. A place where women can boost each other, inspire, share and create beautiful relationships.

The idea came when Emely Crona Stenberg, after many years in the PR-business, got an eye opener.
– During my time as a PR consultant I often worked in groups, mostly with women, where we for weeks at a time could have daily contact in form of inspiring emails and motivational or appreciative texts. But after every completed project it was as if our “friendship” never existed, Emely explains.

There were no more “good mornings”, emails or texts and if she met them at events they avoided her gaze. This made Emely realize that the climate between women needed a change.
– I wanted to change the competitive way of thinking and addressing prejudices about women in the groups. Explore what would happen if we gather a bunch of women of different ages on the same platform. Today I know what the secret ingredient is: Trust, Emely says.

So she reached out to her friend Caroline and together they started “Heja Livet”. What started as a group of about 100 friends, quickly turned into more than 13 000 members. And it continues to grow at high speed.
–  I would never have dreamed of this amazing response. It’s wonderful to see how all the women lift each other, help one another, share advice and show solidarity, Caroline says.

There’s never any bullying in our group. Constructive criticism? Yes. Hatred? No.

And “Heja Livet” is without a doubt the definition of girl power! The group creates opportunities in all areas of life and accommodations, jobs, friendships, mental health and illness are popular topics in the group (and the areas where the girls support each other the most).  And there is never a bad word to be found.
– There’s never any bullying in our group. Constructive criticism? Yes. Hatred? No. We trust our members and they trust us. We stand for openness and honesty, ambition and community. That’s how we break the prejudices about “women in groups”.

Why do you choose to have a closed group then?
– So we can ensure that we only have female members. Hence, we must approve membership. We are confident that the group’s success is because you feel sufficiently safe in the group to really open up, which couldn’t have been achieved in the same extent if men were present. It may sound harsh, but it’s true. And it’s important to emphasize that we don’t trash men in our group. Quite the contrary; This is a place to talk about oneself, each other, life and sisterhood without being political, radical or hateful, Caroline explains.

And this is only Emely’s and Caroline’s side project, they both work and study full time!
– We’re busy little bees, but our motivation is that we love what we do. Time is what you make of it, and since we both feel that this is something important, for others and us, we just make it work.

The goal for the future is to continue to uphold the platform and give women a place to be seen and heard, and to feel supported and loved. They explain how they would like to maintain the simple and straight communication and the open and honest atmosphere the group is based on .
– We would of course like to earn money and make a living from this someday, but if we don’t we will always keep in our hearts that 20 girls, who didn’t know each other from before got together and spent New Year’s Eve 2016 together. That’s pretty damn awesome, they say and smile.

Fellowship, communities, women empowering women; it gets more and more popular these days, why is that do you think?
– We have been waiting so damn long to be seen and heard and even though we have the right to vote, keep in mind that there are still some countries where women are not. We want to go forward like equals and this is just the beginning. Together we’re strong enough to climb mountains!


Name: Caroline Levy / Emely Crona Stenberg
Age: 29 / 31
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
What inspires you the most? Many things, but mostly the power of “Heja Livet” and my partner in crime Emely / Loud laughs, honesty, being nice to each other and my beautiful mother who will live in my heart forever.

Check out their webpage here and join the Facebook group here.

Be Inspired Featured

Embracing my own power – This is my story

Looking back on the last 13 years always makes me a little sad. Not because I didn’t have a nice life, filled with friends, boyfriends and family. Not because I didn’t have a roof over my head, an education or a job. No, it makes me sad looking back because I spent years of my life at war with myself.

I began hating my body when I was around 13 years old. I gained a lot of weight, really fast and spent the next 3 years hiding in oversized clothes, laughing away comments thrown my way. Food became a comfort and I pretty much ate everything I could find, and of course refused to exercise. But this all turned when I turned 16 and got sick. I couldn’t eat for days, and I lost a lot of weight during those weeks. When I finally got better I realized how good I felt, having lost a few kilos, so I decided to lose some more. And some more. And it didn’t stop.

My health didn’t matter, as long as I looked good.

As it happens for many girls I got obsessed about my looks, wanting to be skinnier and prettier. My health didn’t matter, as long as I looked good. The more compliments I got from the people closest to me, the more obsessed I got about looking even better. So, I stopped eating. Breakfast was switched out with water and cigarettes became my main diet. I started working out like crazy, practically living at the gym. During the same time, I partied a lot, since alcohol seemed to help, distracting me from my painful inner war. My body could of course not handle it, and I ended up fainting almost every time.

During this period, I was so unhappy. I was thinner than ever, but my body couldn’t keep up. I was sick all the time and had no energy. On the outside I looked happy, but on the inside I was tearing myself apart. I spent the majority of my time lost in self-critical thoughts, hating my body and constantly comparing myself to others. I lost myself on the way and even more, I lost good friends.

My turning point came, but when I look back at it today I am not sure what it was. I remember my mom pushed me to eat, my best friend at the time too. But what turned my switch? I really can’t say. But something happened and I started to eat regularly again and gained weight. But that’s when the real struggle began for me. Because the negative and destructive thoughts wouldn’t go away. My head continued a war against my body, the only difference now was that I ate.

Not being able to love myself is one of the most painful things I have experienced. Not feeling worthy of somebody else’s love, always thinking I was inadequate. My low self-esteem destroyed many good relationships and turned me into a very jealous person, leaving me heartbroken more often than I can count.

As I got older, I found myself in a relationship that was on the tipping point because I still thought I wasn’t worthy of love. I talked myself down in front of this man day after day, until one day he had enough. He told me to stop it. That he didn’t find me attractive anymore because I was so insecure. It may sound terrible, but I guess that was just what I needed. Because then and there I decided enough was enough. I was so ashamed. Hearing something like that from someone you love so deeply does something to you.

So how did I free myself at last? I embraced my own power!

I finally found the will to change. And not through a new diet, but by chancing my way of thinking, my language of communication and my relationship with my own heart and soul. By slowly challenging my mind I learned that kindness and self-love does so much more than all my hatred ever did. I slowly began to love myself. It didn’t happen overnight and I still have days I criticize myself, quietly or out loud, but the difference now is that I know I am worthy, and I know it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

My story isn’t special. Sadly, there are thousands of people out there who have gone through, or go through the same thing, fighting a battle against their own body and mind. And this is what made me want to start up Best of You. I want to show people that they can be healthy without being extreme and that health doesn’t mean abs and a tight ass. It has absolutely nothing to do with your looks. Being healthy first and foremost means being happy and grounded, and most importantly: loving yourself and finding what feels good. Why spend time hating something as holy as your body, curvy or not? Because in the end you and your body is all you got, and you’re pretty damn awesome! Skip the hate, skip the restrictions and have fun instead. As Dalai Lama once said: “Happiness is the highest form of health”, and I couldn’t agree more. I will never regret that I freed myself and embraced my own power, even though the journey was long.


By: Henriette Danielsen, Editor in Chief / Photo cred: Anja Hertzberg

Stories

Choose a happy period

When I first met the ladies behind Your Happy Period, I learned that the tampons I have been using my whole “adult” life are filled with synthetic materials and chemicals. I was shocked to say the least! I of course got curious to what they offer as a replacement and sat down for a little Q&A.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Your Happy Period

Daniella Peri and Nova Hoffman Bermejo help women all over Europe make their period a little easier by offering a monthly subscription of 100% organic tampons.

 What makes your tampons a better choice?
– Our tampons are made with 100% organic cotton, free from synthetic materials, pesticides, bleach and other harmful chemicals. In other words; they are all natural, making them hypoallergenic. They will not affect your vaginas PH value or cause irritation (like others can do) and are biodegradable. It’s simply a better choice for you, your body and the environment, they explain.

How does it work?
– You just enter our website and easily build your customized box that will be delivered a few days before your period every month. You can choose between different sizes and order double if you need too. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

In addition to offering us ladies some clean and healthy tampons, they help girls in developing countries. For each box they sell they provide a monthly consumption of sanitary protection  – which gives the young woman a better life and increase her chance for a better future (true power ladies right there)!
– Over 100 million girls in developing countries have monthly pain when they get their period. Many lack access to sanitary protection, making your period so tedious that in many cases they are forced to drop out of school. A monthly consumption of protection bestowed by Your Happy Period increases a girls’ chance to a better health. It also improves the ability of girls to go to school as usual – and get an education, they explain.

That’s truly amazing! What inspired you to found Yoppie?
Never having tampons available when we needed them (who remembers to buy tampons before it’s too late anyway, right?) triggered us to start a customized feminine hygiene service for the modern woman. We also want to offer a good product without synthetic materials and chemicals, that are found in commercial feminine hygiene brands.

Do these tampons absorb as much “regular” tampons?
Yes of course they do – just try them! We follow the same guidelines for absorbency. The only difference is that our tampons don’t harm our bodies.

How has the response been since you launched in September 2016?
– It has been amazing! The feedback from women has been that they have missed a product like ours. Our customers are truly our daily inspiration and we are working hard on making the Yoppie experience even better!

What are your goals with the brand?
Our goal is to become the natural choice for feminine hygiene. We are soon going to develop a range of products, offering women pads, liners and tampons with applicators. So stay tuned!

What inspires you in your everyday life?
Strong women who are willing to help and stand up for other women. Together we are strong <3

Interested in giving the tampons a try? Get 20% off by using  the discount code: bestofyou2017


Name: Nova Hoffman Bermejo & Daniella Peri
Age: 29 & 28
Lives: Stockholm / London
Biggest craving during your period: Ice cream and everything with loads of carbs, fat and salt / Sugar mostly! But I try to find healthy options like avocado ice-cream or fruits!

To learn more, check out their webpage or follow their Instagram account for daily inspiration.

Stories

The road to self-love

On Instagram she goes under the name @blissfullyliving, where she inspires thousands of followers with her positive attitude and yummy pictures of food! But everyday life for Clara Mo hasn’t always been easy, and she shares her story with us!  
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private

The autumn darkness has descended upon the city when I rush into my favorite vegan café for my interview with Clara Mo. Her smile brightens up the whole room when she gives me the biggest hug. Before we sit down she warmly recommends the chocolate mousse, and who am I to say no to that?

Clara is studying nutritional science at the University of Stockholm and has so many dreams for the future. In front of here is her MacBook, she’s been studying for a few hours.
– I love studying nutrition and a part of me wants to work in the field of research. But at the same time,I feel there is a missing link between all the research and common people, and I would want to help people understand it, since I love people as much as I love nutrition, she says and smiles.

But she hasn’t always been this happy and energetic. A few years back Clara struggled with anorexia.
– It started slowly, it’s not something that happens overnight. At first I thought I was just being healthy, but before even knowing it I got caught in this dark spiral that sadly to many of us get caught in. But after a while I realized I couldn’t keep this up, something had to be done. I was 18 at the time.

My self-esteem was far from good and I realized I didn’t love myself.

The road to recovery was long and hard. Clara reached out for help on her own and for a year she went to a professional once a week. She started gaining weight and getting back to “normal”.
– I got healthier and I gained weight, but what I didn’t work on was the mental part of it all. My self-esteem was far from good and I realized I didn’t love myself. The last two years has been a beautiful journey of finding out who I am, learning to love every part of me and finding out what I value in life, she explains.

How did you do all this?
– First off; I realized had to confront my biggest fear; my anxiety. I for example used exercise as an opportunity to escape it, so I decided to stop excercising for a period of time. That was the only way for me to being able to face my fear. I needed to be able to go be active for the right reasons. And it was tough, I can promise you that.

Clara decided to instead fill her time with things that made her happy; filling her everyday life with joy.
– My goal was to become happy, healthy and be pain free. I wrote a list about things that made me happy; meeting new people, singing a song, writing a letter telling someone I love them, studying nutrition, and then I did these things. This also led me to a whole new lifestyle; a vegan one!

What does health mean to you today?
– It means being able to love yourself and being happy. Like the quote on your webpage; Happiness is the highest form of health! Health is so much more than a fit body; it’s about love, happiness and feeling free. This is also what I try to communicate through my Instagram account.

Clara’s experience dealing with sickness and anxiety had led her to want to help other people who may find themselves in the same situation.
– I would also want to work with people and their self-perception, help them in their road to recovery and in the journey in finding themselves. Become strong as an individual, she says.

Who inspires you?
– Likeminded people who do their own thing and have faith in themselves. Who are passionate about something and wholeheartedly follow their dream, without being afraid to stand out.


profile-clara-mo

Name: Clara Mo
Age: 23
Occupation: Student
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Favorite food: I love acai bowls! And ooh; my morning oatmeal with different toppings! Brekkie is without doubt the best part of the day!

For more inspiration follow Clara on Instagram 

Stories

Customize your breakfast

Great ideas often pop up at the most random moments and it was no exception for Hubertus, Max and Philip, three students from University of Passau. As it turned out, a simple radio ad was all they needed to kick start their company mymuesli.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photos: mymuesli

Their story reminds us of a well-known one, back when Mark Zuckerberg sat in his dorm room, inventing Facebook. Except they didn’t build a new social media platform, their story is about muesli.
– The idea came when listening to a radio commercial for a well-known German muesli brand. We started talking about what we liked in our muesli and quickly found out that we couldn’t come up with any muesli that we all actually liked. We were surprised that there wasn’t any option for customized muesli on the marked, so we agreed that not only could we make a better radio-ad, but also a better muesli, one of the founders, Hubertus Bessau explains.

This was the beginning of late nights in their dorm room and mymuesli went online in April 2007, becoming the first worldwide company to offer a service for mixing your own muesli.
muesli-middle-image

So how does it work?
– You simply go online, choose from 80 different ingredients and make your own, customized muesli. This way you get exactly the one you like, and we also provide the nutritional value of your mixed muesli. In addition you can visit our stores and buy premixed muesli, based on our costumer’s favorites.

Hubertus tells us that their main focus is to deliver organic ingredients, free from colorants and refined sugar.
– The ingredients are the most important part of our muesli and we never compromise on the quality. We only use organic ingredients from certified sources and we buy from regional farmers based close to our workshop in Passau whenever it’s possible. Instead of refined sugar, we sweeten our muesli’s with honey or raw sugar cane.

The response and development of the company has been overwhelming. Not only did they win the founders award “Enable2start” by the Finical Times Germany, but they were also voted “Startup of the year” in 2007 by the online magazine Deutsche Startup and won the “European Innovation Price” in 2013 by the German Council of Shopping Centers. In 2008 they opened their first stores in Germany and since then they expanded to Europe and now, Sweden.

What is the best part of running this company?
– Even though our team has grown so fast, with over 700 employees, we still have an amazing connection to our co-workers and we all focus on what’s important: our ingredients and our muesli friends.
founders-muesli

How do you keep evolving?
– With every new store and market we launch we get new insights from our muesli friends. All feedback is good feedback and is valuable information for us to keep evolving in the best way.

Their goal this year is to focus on their international expansion, which led them to Sweden.
– Our Nordic neighbors have always been an inspiration to us when it comes to organic standards, design and food trends. We are very happy to have joined the Swedish market, and since we are aiming to show people who love breakfast, that it’s possible to enjoy the perfect, healthy muesli, without compromising the taste, ingredients or quality, we couldn’t be happier. If we can convince the Swedes, we can convince anyone, he says.


Name: Hubertus Bessau
Lives: Berlin
Occupation: Founder mymuesli
Favorite muesli: Ancient Grains

Want to know more? Visit their website or follow them on Instagram!