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I found this lovely porridge recipe from a Finnish blog and it sounded so good that I wanted to share it with all of you who don’t speak Finnish.

Overnight Oats with cinnamon and banana

2dl oats

1 tbsp chia- seeds (optional)

3-4dl milk

1tbsp almond or peanut butter

1/2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

on top: sliced bananas

Mix all the ingredients except banana, and leave overnight in the fridge. In the morning slice banana on top and enjoy!

Chia – seeds have good Omega3 in them, very good for you. You can eat this either cold or hot. If you prefer it hot (especially now in winter) just heat it up on a stove, with the bananas, the bananas will go all soft and lovely when heated! Also cinnamon can be used to avoid sugar cravings – therapeutic amount is 1 tsp per day and it should help.

Since writing my last post, on a very bad day feeling down, sad, hopeless and angry, I have visited a Chinese infertility specialist in London. (Dr.Lily) She was recommended to me by a friend, and I thought why not, I could always go and see what she has to say. And I am surprised of the path that I have now taken. I feel that this is only the very beginning, but I can already feel there is a shift on my thinking, hopes, and feelings. Of course part of me has been a little bit skeptical, but bigger part of me believes that the Chinese Medicine has thousands of years of experience, and they might know so much more than we do here in the west.

Chinese Herbs:

Picture from: http://www.deepesthealth.com/explore-herbs/

On her recommendation I am now reading a book called “Traditional Chinese Medicine for Women” by Xiaolan Zhao, and it has made me evaluate my feelings and thoughts regarding getting pregnant. I am now starting to realize that I have been angry for a long time now, for not getting pregnant. Angry, disappointed and sad. Angry to my body that it has betrayed me, angry to my husband that he hasn’t stopped smoking, angry to everyone else who has been able to conceive so easily, and angry because I had a miscarriage. These feelings are no doubt normal, but I am just starting to realize that I have to deal with all the negative feelings, and to forgive myself and others, to be able to let go of those feelings and heal. This is one the biggest teachings of the book and the Chinese medicine. I am starting to understand that more than the herbs or acupuncture (even though important as well) more important is the way I deal with my emotions. Not an easy task but being conscious of these feelings is the beginning of my path to heal and hopefully later to a healthy pregnancy.

I was prescribed Chinese herbs, as well as my husband, and I am seeing her again in one months time. I find myself feeling better, because I feel like I am doing something, and I feel like I have taken a path that will lead me somewhere where I want to be. I hope this path will take me there.

Kefir

I have been lucky enough to get some Kefir grains from a friend of mine. Kefir grains resemble cauliflower, and is used to make a fermented milk drink, which has good qualities to your gut flora.

Kefir grains are kept in organic milk for 24 hours, then sieved and the milk can be drunk. (In the picture below the milk is with the Kefir grains) After you rinse the grains and add more milk and have another drink next day. Or you can use the milk in your morning muesli, I often add some in my yoghurt and muesli or if I make a smoothie I add it in that.

Normally Kefir is used in animal milk, but I read from wikipedia that “Kefir grains will also ferment milk substitutes such as soy milk,  rice milk and coconut milk, as well as other sugary liquids including fruit juice, coconut water, beer wort and ginger beer.  However, the kefir grains may cease growing if the medium used does not contain all the growth factors required by the bacteria.”

If you are truly interested of Kefir, read the following. It is copy pasted from a document I got from a friend.

Kefir

Kefir is a living culture, a complex symbiosis of more than 30 microflora that form grains or cauliflower-like structures (sometimes called plants) in the milk. As the culture ferments the milk these structures grow, creating new grains in the process. Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self-propagating process. Easy to make, it is superior to commercial yogurt and an absolute must after antibiotic use. Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract.

Microorganisms present in the grains include lactic acid bacteria. They give kefir excellent keeping qualities by keeping putrifying bacteria that might otherwise colonise the milk at bay. They’ve been shown to inhibit both salmonella and E. Coli in laboratory tests.

Kefir has many reputed health benefits. It has antibiotic and antifungal properties. It’s been used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, and allergies, tuberculosis, cancer, poor digestion, candidiasis, osteoporosis, hypertension, HIV and heart disease. You might find it odd that that a drink containing yeasts would be good for treating candidiasis but it has been helpful to many people, both by restoring a better balance to the gut flora and because some elements of the microflora will kill off Candida Albicans. Not all yeasts are harmful.

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin D and Folic Acid. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.

The abundance of enzymes brings more health benefits, especially to lactose intolerant people, many of whom can tolerate kefir without difficulty, as long as the kefir is raw and not cooked (cooking destroys the enzymes)

Care instructions

  • A 500ml glass jar like a kilner jar
  • About kefir culture
  • Organic whole milk
  • Plastic sieve
  • Large glass jug

Put the kefir culture in the glass jar, then fill it with fresh milk about 1/3 or so full. As the Kefir ‘plant’ grows and it’s depth becomes about 2cm all over the top of the jar, you will need to increase the milk to 1/2 full. Put the lid over the jar but do not shut leave slightly open.

Let the contents stand at room temperature for approx. 24 hours depending on your taste. 48 hours will make a thicker, sourer kefir, 12 hours a thinner, sweeter kefir. The temperature will effect how quickly the culture works. So during the warm summer months the kefir will ferment faster.

While it’s fermenting the kefir grains will float to the top of the milk along with any cream. When it’s ready swirl the liquid to mix up the liquid and the grains. Strain what is in the jar through the plastic sieve into the glass jug. Use a spoon to gently stir the solids in the sieve. This allows the thicker creamy kefir to go through. Do not stir too vigorously  or the Kefir solids will break up too much. You will now be left with some large and lots of small grains in the sieve. The small grains will grow into bigger cauliflower like clumps.

When the larger clumps get to more than 2 cm break up with your fingers which will make the fermentation quicker and the Kefir grow.

Clean out the kilner jar with soap (‘ecover‘ washing up liquid is best as it does not contain harmful detergents) and hot water. Rinse really well the last rinse being cold water to cool the jar back down.

Put kefir back in the jar and put a 1/3 (or 1/2) organic whole milk over the top to make the next batch

Make sure everything is very clean when handling kefir. It’s a living culture, a complex system of bacteria and yeasts and you don’t want risk contaminating it. Use freshly cleaned hands, clean jars and clean implements.

For sharing this wonderful gift:- Run cool water gently through the sieve to wash the grains. Place about a desert spoonful(10ml) in a clean plastic ziploc bag. If posting put in a padded bag. Tell the recipient to immediately put the grains in a Kilner jar  – (a jam jar with the lid balanced on top and pushed a little to  one side will do as a temporary measure. Kefire has to be able to ‘breathe’) and put 1/3 (or 1/2) organic whole milk over the top to make the next batch.

Timing and Temperature

Making kefir is a pretty simple process, put the culture in the milk, leave it to ferment and there’s your kefir.  Kefir is a living food and subject to a fair degree of natural variation and people have a range of tastes.

There is a wide variety in the length of time the kefir is left to ferment. In the end, how long to leave it depends on how sour you like it. The longer you leave it the sourer it gets. Some people like a lightly fermented kefir, they let it ferment for only 12 hours, others like it much stronger and more active and leave it for 2 days, past the point at which is separates into curds and whey.

Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self propagating process. After each batch you’ll have a few more grains as the culture grows. Eventually you’ll have quite a large batch of grains and they’ll speed up your fermentation time. You could pass spare culture on to a friend.

For more information and a video go to

http://www.adjusthealth.info/general-health/eating-for-health/best-probiotic-drink

So I have wanted to get Oscar Juicer for a long time now – after I found out that normal centrifuge juicers won’t preserve the enzymes of the vegetables. As I juice every day, I wanted to get all the possible goodness out of my juicing. And got the juicer for my birthday that was a few days ago – am so happy thank you dear Andrew my husband!! :)

This juicer not only retains living enzymes and extracts maximum vitamins but you can also make pasta, noodles, baby foods and nut butters with it! I have to start experiencing with it now.

The first juice I made (in the picture) was with ingredients that I found from  my fridge, and I always put everything I have in it to make it as healthy as possible :D

This one had:

big bag of watercress

beetroot

carrots

ginger

appless

ice

It tasted very healthy but also very good! Watercress especially is good for you, it has significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid,  in addition to vitamins A and C. I also read that it is believed help to prevent lung cancer! (and lung cancer is the number 1 cancer for males in the UK, breast cancer for women) And as my husband still smokes, and it makes me worried, so more watercress will be added in my juices!

I found this lovely recipe for chickpeas from the Choosing Raw- blog, and as I love chickpeas it was a great snack today. I didn’t have any raisins in the house so I substituted for chopped dates . Tastes lovely! And chickpeas are great source of zinc, folate and protein and dietary fibre. The dressing for the salad is made with Tahini, that in turn is a great source of calcium and protein, and copper and manganese.

Pesto Pasta is made fresh basilica, pine nuts, walnuts, sea salt, garlic, olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes. Yeast flakes are rich in B-vitamins, and I use it as a cheese substitute! For pasta I chose this time quinoa spaghetti, that I have bought from France. I haven’t seen it sold anywhere in the UK. But it’s a healthy option (and tastes great!) as quinoa is a source of complete protein, and a good source of dietary fibre, phosporus and is high in magnesium and iron.

Chickpea Salad:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 large carrot, grated finely
1/3 cup raisins (dates)

For the dressing:

2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder

Pesto sauce:

2 cloves garlic

one small basilica plant leaves

pinch of sea salt

olive oil (see how much you like depending how thick/thin you like)

handful of walnuts

small pack of pine nuts (100g)

1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

1. mix all together with a food mixer/processor

Enjoy with pasta or quinoa spaghetti!

Quinoa spaghetti pesto

We had a little road trip down to Devon, where I have never been before. I have seen a lot of North England in the past 3 years when I have lived here, but haven’t visited south of England expect London. Visited Avebury in Wiltshire, which is a neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles. It is the largest stone circle in europe. It was really impressive with BIG stones circling the little village. It is fascinating to think of how little we know of people who created the circle and why they did it.

The next day we went to see the Stonehenge. Driving in and seeing it from distance was the most amazing moment for me – it is that impressive! We were there luckily right in the morning when the site opens up, nowadays you need to pay to “get in”, although you can only circle around the circle as you are not allowed to go and hug the stones. Luckily in the morning because then we didn’t have to queue in and had a peaceful walk around it. A bit later the place was full of people already. Me and my husband have visited many stone circles in UK and in France, and this must be the most impressive. Very happy to have seen it now.

After the archeological attractions we went to Devon and visited friends, and walked with the dog on the beeches of Devon. Muumi- dog caught (found really) a huge eal I think it must be? She didn’t know if she should try eating it or leave it. After a sunny day walking on the cliffs and sea side I burned my face and chest – it was the first real summers day for me and didn’t predict the heat of the day.  Now trying to heal my sun burn with coconut oil – does help!

And lastly, had the best ever Cream Tea in Devon – just look at the picture of the scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream! Superb.

 

ps the picture with a beautiful beach surrounded by sea cliffs – had my first swim there this year (naked) ;) No pictures of that though!

 

 

I have to thank my friend Nicola for this recipe, as she made it for us in our study group the other day and I absolutely loved it! It has quinoa in it, which is almost super food – it’s that good or you. It’s very high in protein and is a source of complete protein. (A complete protein is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans) It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also gluten-free!

Spinach Quinoa Soup

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

4 celery sticks

200g spinach

500ml vegetable stock

salt, pepper

1 cup quinoa

1. fry onion gently, add celery and garlic

2. add spinach until welted (chop first or use a machine)

3. add vegetable stock and bring to boil

4. add salt and pepper

5. add quinoa and boil around 10-15min

6. check the taste

Enjoy!

 

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