Who am I?!

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Have you ever paid attention to how quickly we are categorizing people based on what they do as a profession, or on their lifestyle? Without any further or deeper thoughts we put a “stamp” on a person. Like “Oh he / she is XYZ that`s why…”

And yes, surprisingly often that person even seems to fit into that category. And more often then not we even seem to make us fit in, even if it does not represent who we really are. But we are not defined by a title or profession or lifestyle! Who we are is within us and that can come in all sorts, shapes and colours in every group.

In the past I found myself saying something like “I am a yoga teacher, I do my own style but I am not really living the Yoga way.” Not only did I put myself down, no I as well created a stigma for a Yoga teacher. And what does that even mean – do all Yogis have to get up at dawn to meditate, be a vegetarian, eat super healthy, look skinny and be super flexible?

No – not at all. I am the kind of Yoga teacher I am. I do not follow a certain scheme, I stay true to myself. But I still have to learn to really own it, to not sound apologetic!

So I found it utterly refreshing that this kind of labelling and hiding “behind our accomplishments, our degrees, our bank balance, our carefully cultivated personas” was addressed by Baron Baptiste in his book “Perfectly Imperfect”.

“It is just important to acknowledge who we are in all our forms and personal expressions, even if sometimes those forms are not how we`d like ourselves to be”[…] “because hiding behind a mask costs us so much and leaves us with so little.” […] “hiding our true self saps out life energy and robs us of the freedom to express ourselves genuinely, from the heart.”

So I would say –
Explore, try, discover and take away what fits for you and make it your own, do not force yourself to fit in everywhere! And do not pretend to be something/someone else.

Step away from giving an immediate stamp to your opposite, you may be surprised what lies beneath the outer layer!

Own your uniqueness – because that is who you truly are! 

Have a lovely day,

AK

 

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How much is enough?!

In the summer when it got pretty hot here I posted a blog to “Stay hydrated”. That gave me a little bit of a base to start writing today`s blog which is an assignment for my studies. In short “write a personal blog post about beverages” – healthy beverages that help us to stay hydrated, I may add!

And funny enough, a few days ago the water intake came up with my husband, too, him not truly seeing the need of drinking a lot of water, while I am the one pushing to increase the intake, especially with my kids.

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The `8 glasses of water a day` saying is out there, as a rule of thumb, not really scientifically proven it seems. And I found it rather interesting that when searching `how much you should drink`, the search engines tends to switch it into `how much water should you drink`. It leaves the impression that only water is important and seen as a healthy drink. And I would like to get more into that, as I find that is sends a wrong message.

I think we will all agree that it is important and crucial to have enough (healthy) liquid intake throughout the day and that (clean) water is the healthiest beverage, but is is not the only one. And not everybody likes to drink that much water. I for example, remember that I distasted water during the first trimester when I was pregnant with my second child. It tasted horrible to me, left me with a metal taste. But we lived in a hot and humid country and it was crucial to have a sufficient healthy liquid intake.

I eased the taste of water during this time by adding pieces of lemon, cucumber, ginger and/or apple to the water. I still do that during times when I drink a lot of water and get bored by it.

And if water is not your thing, or you get bored by the taste, try out some teas – hot or iced – they are a great healthy beverage, too. As long as you prepare them yourself – especially the ice-teas as the store-bought ones are usually very high on sugar! That is something you do want to avoid, especially when you want to increase your liquid intake. There are some great webpages for ice-teas out there, go and try some of them, try to eliminate sugar or at least reduce it to the very minimum when preparing the teas!

Having a healthy and foremost steady beverage intake through the day is important and healthy for several reasons. Some of the below are my own experiences some are based on information found on http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water#1

  • It helps to wash the toxins out of your body, supports the liver function.
  • It helps to keep your body energized – whenever I do not drink enough throughout the day, I feel kind of sickish and very exhausted during the late afternoon/evening. Filling myself up with 2 glasses of water helps me to perk up again, but a steady intake makes me feel better throughout the day and into the evening.
  • Drinking 1-2 glasses of water before eating can as well help if you want to lose some weight, as it fills you up before you even start eating and helps the digestion.
  • It helps to balance the body fluids, after all our body is composed of about 60% water. That means it can help your digestion, absorption, create saliva, transport nutrition.
  • It helps to maintain your body temperature, especially important when it is hot, when you do work out, sweat a lot or when you have a fever.

But that still leaves the question of how much fluid intake is enough? While the 8 glasses a day is a good rule of the thumb I would say it varies per person, for example:

  • It depends on your own feeling, some people need more then others, I for example need more then 8 glasses a day.
  • It depends on your weight, if you weigh more you need more water/liquid
  • It depends how active you are throughout the day
  • It depends what kind of sports you do and how much you sweat during your workout
  • It depends on your diet, some foods make you really thirsty
  • It depends how much water your body is used to, the more you increase the intake the more it may crave after a while

A clear sign that you do not drink enough is when you start to feel thirsty –  thirst is a sign of dehydration, and a steady intake of healthy beverages will help help you to reach that stage.

Having said all this, people often overlook that a healthy liquids does not only come in a glass or bottle. Even if you are not a big “drinker” foods, especially fruits can bring you fluids, too. One overview on high water content fruits can be find under my above mentioned blog. And another one listing different foods I found in the Yoga Journal, please see at the end of the blog post.

And obviously, whenever you drink a fruit juice or soda you get a fluid intake, too. But I did not mention them yet, as they are not meant to be your daily `go-to`drink as they contain too much sugar. If you drink them, try to reduce them to a glass a day and/or dilute them with water. Teach your body and mind to start liking water and unsweetened drinks!

Happy, healthy drinking

Have a lovely day

AK

drink your food
No more eight glasses a day: New research says you can get your water from food and even coffee.

  SERVING SIZE AMT. OF WATER % BY VOL.
lettuce 1/2 cup 1.8 oz. / 53 ml 95%
broccoli 1/2 cup 2.7 oz. ./ 80 ml 91%
grapefruit 1/2 cup 3.4 oz. / 100ml 91%
raw carrot 1 medium 2.1 oz. / 62ml 87%
apple 1 medium 3.5 oz.  / 103 ml 84%
spaghetti (cooked) 1 cup 3.3 oz. / 97 ml 66%
watermelon 1 cup 5.1 oz. / 150 ml 92%
skim milk 8 oz. / 237 ml 7.5 oz. / 222 ml 94%
coffee or tea 8 oz. / 237ml 7.9 oz. / 234 ml 99.5%

Eat Fat – Get Thin – some thoughts

I just finished reading the book “Eat fat – get thin(*!) ” by Mark Hyman. An intriguing title – we are supposed to eat fat!?

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I do believe something is wrong with our way of looking at food – being told to eat and drink all the low to non-fat products!  Thankfully I mainly lived in countries where it is not that dominant, advertisement is limited and overall we are not as affected as for example in the US, but still the message that fat is bad is out there! Look as well at the famous food pyramids and eat well plates and where they leave the fats!

So when reading the first chapter of the book I got hooked, as I do believe that we are often being fooled by the food industry and a lot of people out here just follow the latest trend without even considering something else, yet alone listen to their own body! If you read my earlier post on “That Sugar Book” you will realize that this all goes hand in hand.

Simply put – taking fat away changes the taste of a product, adding sugar often makes it taste better. Go and have a look at those non / low fat yogurts and see the amount of sugar in there! Replacing fat by sugar?! And despite of all the low fat foods, people are get bigger – is it really to blame on the fat, a lack of movement and less excercise only?! I doubt that!

At times it seems we are treated like fools, don`t you think? Read this out of the “Eat fat- get thin”:

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Throughout the book the author backs his findings with a lot of scientific validation. It is a great source of information and questioning what we should believe and what not. The second part of the book goes more into the differences of fats, what are the healthy ones and where to find them. Leaving the reader with a wide range of recipes, too. And talking about recipes and home cooking – have you ever thought about that all the low and non fat products must have been processed and manipulated from their original state! And is it not healthier to stick to the natural source, instead of something refined?

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While I love the no-nonsense talk about the food industry and proving where we are being fooled the book lacked the strength all to the end and became too one side for my liking. As often with such books it shows a very black-and-white approach. But we are all different and react differently to different food!

Having said that, read this story from a friend of mine! By pure coincidence I spoke to friend while coming to an end of this book, and her husband had read this book, too, how exciting! He was given 6 months by his doctor to reduce is extremely high cholesterol, if he would not succeed he would be put on medication. He came across this book and got deeper into the subject and followed a diet high on fats. And indeed within 6 months he drastically reduced his cholesterol to a level that even left the doctor speechless! And he enjoys the food and drinks given! For him it worked! On the contrary – his wife tried some of the foods and drinks but couldn`t even swallow it due to all the fats! She felt disgusted. What works for one does not have to work for the other!

So where does it leave us? I would say we should question what we hear and what the food industry is telling us and go back more and more to the natural source and core of the foods we consume! And to listen to what our body tells us!

Our body and mind often give us clear signs of what makes us feel good and what not. Yet we decide to overlook it, to not take the time to `listen`, to not pay attention! Wouldn`t it be nice if we all increase our awareness again to make us feel healthier!?

When you eat, sit down, take time and really taste the food and after a meal pay attention on how you feel. Did the food make you feel good and satisfied?! With practise and awarenss you will find signs on what food leaves you feeling good or bad!

As you may know I am not a fan of diets, but a healthy awareness and a balance (yes that includes as well eating not so healthy food at times), mixed with being active takes us all a long way towards a healthier life already!

Stay healthy, be aware and

Have a lovely day

AK

(*!) On a side note – I am not a fan of the title as the “get thin” leaves the message that being thin is the goal. But what does thin mean, it leaves us with a stereotype thinking – the goal is to be healthy, and that comes in various shapes!

 

Swedish Meatballs

It is the second time since school started that I forgot to place the kids` lunch order on time, leaving me with yet another week of home lunches. I usually try to arrange 3 days a week for external lunches, not only to make it a bit easier for myself, but as well to expose the kids to other food.

So while I consider this week`s lunch boxes I think I will add a day with Swedish Meatballs. I am not yet sure of what to add to them, if pasta or perhaps make a nice cold meatballs sandwich – in that case I would have a good dinner schedule for the evening before, too. Thinking about this, that may be the right way to go this week.

Either way, if you are looking for a dinner or something new for your lunch box, give this a try.

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Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:

500gr minced beef/pork
250ml milk
75gr breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper – to flavour
1 teaspoon All Spice (or more depending on your taste)

Direction:

  • sauté the chopped onion, cool down
  • soak the breadcrumbs in the milk
  • mix onion, breadcrumbs, egg, spices very well with the minced meat
  • shape small meatballs with two teaspoons (or by hand)
  • fry until well done in a pan with butter

Enjoy either hot or cold, with pasta, potatoes or on bread. Great for picnics, too! Or serve with lingonberry or with salad – endless possibilities!

I love the special flavour coming from the “all spices” in these meatballs and I hope you will too!

Have a lovely day and let`s not get stressed about lunch boxes!
Feel free to share any good lunch box ideas for children, thanks!

AK