Happy generation

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Yesterday a very dear friend of mine gave me a link to a finnish website where many women of my age were talking about their mothers. I am a seventies child of a mother who was abandoned by her mother when she was only 2 years old. Ever since being abandoned she had to change her home frequently and at the age of 14 she started working as a milking maid.

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I was reading the stories of those other ladies of my age and I found a lot of similarities in our lives. Not only did the second world war but also the fact that she did not have anything as a child, influence a lot on my mother. She ended up raising me and my brother in a way she and all those other mothers of her age knew was best, preparing us always for the worst. Our generation had strict parents, punishments and school education was taken seriously.
The next generation, us, thought that we had learned a valuable lesson from our strict parents and that was to be closer with our own children. Something that our parents could not provide us. We wanted to become friends with our children, not only strict educators. The next generation after ours, also so called fast food generation, todays teens and young adults did not experience the severity of growing up as we did. Of course not, we did not want them to. But at the same time as we wanted them to be free and explore the world, something started going the wrong way. The lack of interest on important things as work and responsabilities grew and things were done the easiest possible way. The things were made for us. Children did not make as much effort on education and ready portions of food were prepared in seconds. That left us a lot of time for our new hobbies, social media and video games.
Little by little people started noticing that this kind of lifestyle could not continue. All that ready-made-life had taken it’s toll and people everywhere around the world are now starting to wake up. Hopefully not only too late.

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Next time you feel like having something the easy way, think about the price of it. Preparing every day healthy home made food for your children eventually pays off, teaching your children good manners gives them a perspective to respect the other ones, playing with them outside brings them closer to the nature. Instead of living in a world where nothing really matters anymore, as we messed things up, we could put together everything back in order.

A link to the finnish website of motherhood: http://m.vauva.fi/mobiilikeskustelut/index.html#!/ketju/4217894/70_luvulla_syntyneiden_aidit_onko_teilla_muilla_samanlaista

Me and my husband were thinking about the coming christmas time and about the fact that I used to love giving tons of meaningless gifts to our family and friends. I suppose that has been my way of trying to give back everything I could not get as a child, even though I now understand that the time together with my family was much more important than the amount of packages. Instead of running around like crazy one or two months before the christmasday this year we have different plans. A perfect gift can be much more than just a “thing” 🙂

Gaining happiness from objects affords us much less pleasure than another mechanism of happiness, experience.

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Airport life

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I am sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight. That is something I do many times a week. Ever since childhood I have loved the atmosphere at the airports. Excitement of departure and people returning home. Tears, laughter, big emotions. Even though I have this everlasting love towards the airports, I would no longer build my house between the runways, as I planned when I was young. Also the glamour of the airports has changed into busy, tired, malnutritioned people speaking on their cellphones while trying to catch their next flight.

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I have good time to sit down and look at these people. Kids are drinking coke, parents wine. Ladies are buying cosmetics as it would be their last chance and one litre of alcohol is sold every ten seconds. I hear someone saying he is about to take a sleeping pill, another person is preparing herself some kind of medication for the flight. Smoking room’s door opens and closes and every other one at the airport is eating candy.

I picture a very different airport in my mind. Fresh food, resting point, drinks that nuorish. Instead of being strangers, people are talking with each others. No one wears make-up, they know they are good to go as they are. Instead of being in a hurry, they help if someone needs a helping hand. Tax-free is tox-free.

We are voting with our actions. The products we purchase keep on being manufactured. Food we eat, keeps on being made. Clothes, cars, bags, same thing. If we follow the example on the commercials, more of those will be made in the future.

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“Where is the closest McDonald’s?” -I hear a young girl asking. I am happy knowing I have fresh fruit in my bag. Not everyone sees the world the way I do. Not even close. But as much as I think that I am right about some things, the others think that they are right about something else. I feel blessed that I can make my own choices. I do not need to convince everyone with my words or actions, but I do like to share my thoughts with people who have similar ideas.

I am often asked if my life is  difficult as a raw foodist, because I have to carry my own food everywhere. The answer is that I’d rather carry it myself than have it carried for me with extra ingredients. Besides, what is so difficult in carrying a banana anyways?

Healthy examples

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Lately I have heard more food related news than ever before. Is it because the world is finally waking up to see how food affects our wellbeing? Let’s hope so.

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What usually makes people change their diet is either a dramatic change in their health or a pressure coming from friends or family, society and news. Let’s face it: I would not have started to make so dramatic changes in my diet if it was not my father who first got the stroke, which then made me understand how wrong we had been eating. I had heard about organic pruduce before, I just did not think it would have made that much difference. When I ate sweets, drank milk or cooked pasta, I saw nothing wrong in that. I got sick, because that’s what people do, they get sick every once in a while. Right? I felt tired but so did everyone around me. That seemed normal to me as well. Until we start seeing signs of ageing or diseases, we feel ourselves young and invincible, at least that is how I felt. I could stay up all night just for fun and eat and drink whatever I felt like. Now I have heard more than ten different stories from my friends this year how someone close to them has been diagnosed with diabetes or cancer. When I was young, people were expected to die because of old age, not because of a disease in their thirties or fourties.

I know how it feels when you are told that your father has a very slight change to survive and even if he did, he will not be able to speak or walk again. I know how it feels as a daughter. At some point I started thinking that even though I would not want all the health benefits for myself, I still want to stay healthy in our daughters’ lives for them as long as it is possible and I still want them to live a healthy life without getting sick. That is possible by giving them an example to follow and as they learn to eat healthy food already at the young age, they hopefully eat that way throughout their lives. Our younger daughter loves broccoli and bell peppers, our older one loves tropical fruit. There is no need for artificial colourings, sweeteners, energydrinks, sodas etc. I suppose people buy sweets for their children to make them happy, but I am sure they are much happier when they grow up in a healthy family. I know I am. My mother grew our vegetables, she never wore make-up and she never drank alcohol. For me a similar lifestyle now, years later is an easy choice to make. My father drank a lot of milk, never ate his greens and did not sleep enough. We always say that we can learn from our parents’ mistakes, but it would do us good to learn from the good examples as well.

I am blending some fresh aloe straight from the plant with three to four oranges and water and there we have a delicious, inexpensive and nutritious smoothie for the family this morning. Aloe can be a bit sticky and difficult to work with, which makes it ever more fun for the kids. When I let the kids participate, they learn from the beginning that the smoothie does not have to come from the bottle and with a little effort you can get anywhere.

I love this video of Annette Larkins and in her case the change was well worth it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gZ4U3V5LEc

Time to heal

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Whether you are going through a serious disease or a minor flu, one thing is for certain, you need to rest. I keep on telling people that on a healthy diet one does not get sick, but that is only part of the truth. A healthy diet itself is not enough and what our busy lifestyle needs for a balance is a proper rest for body and soul.

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I had organized a bit too much to do during the past too weeks and in addition we wanted to celebrate our anniversary last week eating cooked vegan food. What I did not expect though, was that I could get flu-like symptoms after that day. I do not think it was the cooked meal only, but together with the lack of a proper rest my energies came down and I notized I started sneezing. Sneezing was followed the next day with some voice loss. Did I stop or calm down? Yes. Did it help? Definately. Whenever we start getting symptoms of any kind of a disorder, it is important to listen what our body is trying to tell us. Usually people run to the farmacy and cover all the symptoms with medicines. That way we never get to the main problem and we go on with our daily life instead of giving our body the thing it was asking all a long, rest.

Let’s take an aspirin for example: Pain is something that is felt in the brain. Aspirin works by inhibiting an enzyme that produces prostaglandins, substances similar to hormones that trigger inflammation in the body. Aspirin binds itself to the enzyme, changing its chemical structure and blocking the reaction that produces the prostaglandins. And how does a constipation drug function? Body wants to eliminate a toxic drug causing diarrhea to get the drug eliminated along with the stools. How do greens work? They help you remain healthy in the long run.

All animals lie down and refuse eating when they are sick and that way no energy is lost neither for their movements nor digestion. People however tend to believe that it is not safe to fast during sickness. Extra caution should infact be taken into consideration always when fasting. Combined with resting a fast is a faster way to recovery. More about fasting when you are sick: http://m.naturalnews.com/news/036667_fasting_elimination_healing.html
And http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/articles/fasting.html

I ate two organic apples and some organic spinach and stayed in bed, and the morning after I felt perfect again. Medicine or even natural remedies are said not to be helpful if flu is on it’s way and in fact why should there be any other cure than the one that the body is longing for? You can still stuff your socks full of lemon slices, garlic and onion and flush your sinuses with a neti pot as long as you remember to rest. Let the world go on without you for all the time it takes to get better. It is not easy with kids, work and everything to organize, but if you go forward only half speed, it takes double the time to get there.

Acids, as it is

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When I started eating raw, I bumped into a book from Dr. Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri. The book is called The Acid Alkaline Food Guide. After reading their book, I searched for more information regarding on the subject and the more I searched, the more confused I got. Many books and sources changed the story and I did not know which story to believe and whether to believe the most of them at all.

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The term pH (potential for hydrogen) was originally defined in 1909 by Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution – the ratio between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The pH of any solution is the measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline (7.35 – 7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. If blood pH moves below 6.8 or above 7.8, cells stop functioning and the body dies. The body therefore continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur. Those facts and beliefs concerning the influence of an acid-alkaline diet are well explained by mr. Patenaude:

“Your body and your blood maintain a stable PH no matter what you eat or drink. Therefore you cannot make your body “acidic” or “alkaline” by eating a certain food or avoiding certain foods. In fact, if your blood’s PH changed significantly it would mean *very bad news* for your health, it would mean your body did not have enough mineral reserves to buffer the change and bring yourself back to neutral.

The body always wants to be at homeostasis, if it changed constantly one way or the other you would likely not be alive, the body is very intelligent and has evolved in a way that it can handle almost anything you drink or eat and yet remain at the same PH.

That being said, the foods you eat can become acidic or alkaline *after they are digested.* This means that certain foods, after they are digested, will produce acidity in the digestive tract, and others will produce alkaline base materials. But remember that technically speaking, the digestive system is *outside* the human body! From your mouth to your colon is a complete system that is not actually part of the rest of your body, nothing goes directly into your blood without being processed, and filtered. Picture a date and its stone pit, the stone being the digestive track and the date itself being the body. One is inside and one is outside.

Whether a food produces an alkaline or acidic reaction after digestion is measured by a chart known in medical science as the “Renal Acid Load Chart.” If you study this chart, you’ll discover that *all* fruits and *all* vegetables are alkaline-forming. On the other hand, animal products are quite acid-forming while grains and beans are slightly acid forming.

The acidity created from the digestion of certain “acid-forming foods” must be buffered by the alkaline mineral reserves of the body. That’s why it’s important to eat diet composed mainly of alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables.

What this means to you, is that you need to eat more fruits and vegetables to have more alkaline mineral reserves generally in your bones. If you eat only meat and grains, your body will take alkaline minerals from your bones to buffer any extra acid produced in digestion and that can lead to problems like osteoporosis where you have weak or brittle bones from a lack of certain minerals like calcium which is alkaline.

Also keep in mind that the body and the blood themselves are not getting more alkaline or acidic by the foods you eat. Anyone who says the contrary is just making stuff up, and claiming that fruits are acid-forming because of their fruit “acids” and somehow harm the body is even more ludicrous.”

http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/?p=1942

There are many different acid-alkaline food charts on the internet, many of them telling different things. Use your common sense without just looking at the charts, one should be able to know whether the substance is harmful or not. Even though the chart says alkaline, it does not mean it is healthy and on the other hand leaving everything else and going towards alkalizing foods can make you lack on essential vitamins and minerals.

Happy slippings!

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Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary with my husband and as on any other previous year we went to have a long late lunch out in a restaurant with our kids. This year we could have easily chosen a raw food restaurant as there are many restaurants in Berlin who provide raw dishes, but we ended up eating cooked vegan food. I felt equally important that I write on this subject than on any other subject on raw food.

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Individuals who adhere to a raw vegan diet generally consume a diet of at least 75 percent raw food by weight, while those following a high-raw diet consume at least 50-75 percent raw food by weight – so even raw foodists have room on their plates for a few cooked dishes. Personally I have gotten great results when I eat 100% raw, but obviously as I have not been eating all of my 37 years 100% raw, I can not talk about my own experiences only. I can eat for weeks, sometimes for months 100% raw, but I do eat occasionaly cooked vegan and vegetarian food and that combination has brought me the best results. The following text is borrowed from my favourite blogger and author Frederic Patenaude.

“The Raw Food Diet Craze – R.I.P. 1998-2013″

“Cooked Food is Not a Sin” Uncle Jethro Raw

The raw food diet, as a massive craze that took over the world for over ten years and convinced hundreds of thousands of people — possibly millions — to give up cooking and eat only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — is dead, my friends.

It died a peaceful death this year. While it’s hard to say when the raw food diet craze officially expired, a good guess would be on April 23rd, 2013, at around 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

At that time, the last remaining raw food guru who claimed to eat a 100% raw food diet without lying about it decided it was time to live a little. So he baked a sweet potato, cooked some vegetables, and dipped everything in store-bought hummus. He spent the rest of the evening in a cooked cooked-food bliss, without realizing that along with his 100%-rawness was expiring an entire movement that took things to the extreme and told everybody, for a decade: eat raw or suffer terrible consequences.

The interesting history of raw foodism can be read here:

http://renegadehealth.com/blog/deathofraw#comments

I would love to see everybody to treat their bodies the right way, excersise, eat raw food, meditate, sleep well, live full, laugh and most of all love. On my opinion, everyone can learn to live stress-free, healthy life by listening to theirselves. As I wrote already on my earlier posts, the idea of raw foodism is wasted when one feels forced to eat a diet that is approved and appreciated only by someone else but not the person himself.

The following text is borrowed from Chef Amber Shea’s blog:

I’m not a vegan, because I regularly eat conscientiously-sourced animal-derived foods (and have never been ethically opposed to doing so). The amount has waxed and waned over the years, from none at all, to (lately) some each day, and that is how it should be.
I’m not a vegetarian, because I eat non-vegetarian foods too.
I’m not a whole-foods-ist, because I eat non-whole-foods whenever I want.
I’m not an organic foodist, because not everything I eat is (or can be) organic.
I’m not a raw foodist, because although I love raw food, it doesn’t make up the majority of my diet.
I’m not even a natural/”real” foodist, because I have no problem eating man-made food sometimes.
I’m not an allergen-free foodist, because I eat and enjoy gluten, soy, dairy, etc. (and have experimented more than enough to know my body handles them all perfectly well, thankyouverymuch).
I’m not even a healthy foodist—though this label seems to come closest to defining me, I always reserve the right to treat myself to something delicious and terrible-for-me. It’s good for my sanity.

I follow the Amber Diet. And my physical and mental health is finally on the upswing, after several years in the gutter. If you have a problem with that—it’s been nice knowing you!

What I have learned is that all raw foodists tend to either return back to cooked foods completely or end up adding something cooked regularly on their diet. Raw food is fantastic for healing, cleansing and for more energy, but it can also turn against you and be harmful for your health.

I will continue posting about the benefits of raw food and occasionally also about the other side of raw foodism. I trust you know your body well enough to know what is good for it and what is not. There is a fine line between super health and losing your health completely.

While I am writing this post, I am eating a homemade raw hummus and organic carrots. Hummus is easily made at home from sprouted chickpeas, but there’s no sin in buying yours from the store. The important thing is to enjoy it as everything else you put in your mouth.

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http://thesimpleveganista.blogspot.de/2013/04/raw-sprouted-hummus_12.html

Blueberries from Finland

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Blueberries are repeatedly ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. Besides their great antioxidant qualities, we love the taste that blueberries give to our green smoothies, jams, bisquits and cakes.

New studies make it clear that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants. There’s no question about the delicate nature of many antioxidant nutrients found in blueberries. These antioxidants include many different types of anthocyanins, the colorful pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red. After freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0°F (-17°C) or lower for periods of time between 3-6 months, researchers have discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations. Anthocyanins studied have included malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, and peonidins. These findings are great news for anyone who grows, buys, or picks fresh berries in season and wants to enjoy them year round. They are also great news for anyone who has restricted access to fresh blueberries but can find them in the freezer section of the market.

More about the subject: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8

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Yesterday I was able to bring blueberries from Finland on my way home to Germany without them melting on the way. They ended up in a blueberry pie and our older daughter had already enjoyed a slice of that pie in the morning before going to school. I feel good when I can provide a healthy start for a new day for our whole family. Seeing how our children grow up without illnesses is the biggest reward already itself, but also seeing those happy faces when you have satisfied their tastebuds with something you know does good to them – that’s priceless.

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I like to add ½ cup or of blueberries in a green smoothie with 1-2 cups of spinach, 1 ripe banana and 1 cup of water / home made almond milk. And what comes to that pie, I took my recipe from a wonderful book I found in Finland – Raakaleipurin parhaat kakut, by Maria Lönnqvist. I am not able to share the recipe with you as it is not my own and not found on the internet, but in case your finnish is on the same level as mine, pay a visit here: http://marialonnqvist.com/ Maria is also found on Facebook.