Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Christmas dinner ~ Ho Ho Ho!



I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you've spent a wonderful time with the people you love!

Yesterday, my grandmother and my mum's auntie came to our house at 11:00. And from that moment on, all we did was eat (and talk and laugh ... of course).

Today I thought I'd show you some pictures of what was on our Christmas menu. I've eaten waaay too much and am still recovering from the abundance of food. But it was all very tasty and so worth the pain, so I don't care :)


Little snacks:
Puff pastry bites stuffed with minced meat & Mediterranean tapenade // smoked salmon & goat cheese // apple, goat cheese & honey


Entree:
Pink grapefruit stuffed with shrimps and cocktail sauce (with a dash of whiskey)


Main course:
Stuffed turkey with mushroom sauce and cranberries, brussels sprouts and croquettes


Dessert:
Chocolate mousse and cakes


Let me know what was on your Christmas menu! I'm very curious!

And now, back to my books! Thank you exams in January :(


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Eating healthy & the environment - On my mind ...



If it were up to me, I ate healthy every day, without any difficulty. Seriously, I enjoy healthy food way more than sweets, soda, cookies, burgers, ... you name it. Healthy food makes me feel good, makes me happy and it tastes amazing! And from experience I know that many people don't think that's normal. They say that I am too hard on myself and that I'm not enjoying my life the way I should (read: the way THEY think I should). Usually the idea also comes that I eat healthy because they think I feel too fat and want to lose weight. Many times I tried to explain that that really is NOT the reason ... but I can assure you, no one will ever believe that and you get nothing but strange looks. Oh well ...

I think people can get really frustrated seeing you eating healthy food so easily and most of all seeing you enjoying it. This results in them asking you: "Is it tasty? Are you enjoying that?", "Have you got enough with that?" or, the worst "Eek, what's that? That looks groce!" when you are eating an avocado. Maybe you never get these reactions I'm getting, but I live in a student house with lots of farmers (farmer students) and all they can think of is meat and traditional food. Sigh

Sometimes people make me feel that eating healthy is a sin. It feels like I always have to justify why I eat something. There are students here who eat pizza and spaghetti (ready made sauce from a jar, bleh!) every single day - like every.single.day - and no one says anything about that. Because eating pizza and spaghetti every day is normal, right?

So if someone would ask me if I think that eating healthy is difficult, then I will say yes. But only because other people are trying to stop you from eating healthy. I really think that that is the hardest part of trying to live a more healthy life, the criticism of others. I don't understand why they won't just let you eat and do what you want and stop judging, because you don't judge their way of living either, or do you? There is nothing wrong with eating healthy and taking care of yourself if this is what truly makes you feel good.



I find it sometimes really difficult to stand up for what I believe in. But from this moment on, I won't eat "crap" anymore, just to please others, if I don't want to. Yes, I am definitely that kind of person (ehem, pathetic). A wise lesson to myself: "Be yourself, love yourself, and start acting like it."

Is anyone else experiencing the same as me? Vegetarians, vegans? How do you deal with that? 

Your experiences would mean the world to me, knowing that I'm not the only one! Thank you very much for reading!


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Oatmeal series: Baked oatmeal & figs!



I told you in my last Cheerful Sunday post that I had made THE BEST BREAKFAST EVER last week! So ... here it is! I proudly present: Baked oatmeal with pear and figs!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:
(serves one, maybe two - but I was very hungry)

50 g oats
200 ml almond milk
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of chia seeds
a handful of raisins
a handful of pecans
2 fresh figs
1 ripe pear
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Mix the oats with cinnamon, chia seeds and almond milk in a large bowl. Cut the pear in cubes and the figs in slices. Add all ingredients to the oats, but save some pecans and figs for the topping (yum, roasted pecans!). Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and garnish with remaining figs and nuts. Pop into the oven and bake your oatmeal for about 25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.



Oh my goodness, that smell! It was hard to wait 25 minutes for this heavenly breakfast. I had never eaten fresh figs before, but now I'm definitely sold!

All credits for this amazing recipe go to Lieke from 'Train mean, eat clean'. I slightly adapted the recipe, but the whole idea comes from her. Lieke's blog is truly amazing and full of inspiration, and she's only 14!



Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum ...

Have you ever tried baked oatmeal? Do you like fresh figs?


Love,
Sofie

Friday, 6 December 2013

Coconut Granola bar



The fact that I'm nuts about nuts, is no secret. Making Granola bars is therefore for a very long time on my to-do list. Last Sunday, it was le moment suprême. And for making my first ever granola bar, I used a very special ingredient: fresh coconut. But you can either make it using shredded coconut! No worries :)

My grandmother had won a fruit basket in some tombola (or raffle or lottery, however you'd like to call it). And for some reason, they had put a fresh coconut in the basket. Seriously, who does that? The tombola was organised by a retirees association. Which ancient man or woman is able or willing to open a coconut? I can tell you, you really have to use some violence to get that thing open!

First push a metallic skewer through 2 eyes (1 is soft, the other 2 are a bit harder to get through) and let the water out.
Then I tried cleaving the nut by firmingly tapping on its equator, but that didn't work. So a hammer, violence and help from my dad it was.
Once the meat is out of the outer shell, you only need to peel off the inner husk.


Anyway, my grandmother gave me the coconut and I was as happy as can be. I had never tasted a fresh coconut before and was very excited to try it out. And did you know that coconuts are very good for you? You can read all about it in my previous post!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients (12 bars):

1 cup oats
the meat of 1 fresh coconut (in little cubes) or 1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup of almonds (coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Line a pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, flour, flax seeds, chopped almonds and salt and mix very thoroughly until combined. In a small bowl, combine honey and coconut oil and pop in the oven on low heat, interim stirring, until the coconut oil is melted. Stir vanilla extract into the coconut oil mixture. Then pour the entire mixture over the dry ingredients.

Using a spoon, stir until all of the ingredients are wet. Press the dough into the pan, pressing with the back of the spoon to smooth the top. Place in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes, then remove and cut into squares.



Attack immediately or keep covered in the fridge for later consumption.

All credits go to Jessica from 'How sweet it is' for this amazing recipe! Her pictures are a thousand times better than mine. Ehem, I still have a lot to learn!

Do you like granola bars? Have you ever eaten fresh coconut?


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Coconut oil: Health in a jar

Source


This is probably going to be a very long post, simply because there's just so much to know about coconut oil. And because this oil is so good for you, I just want to tell everything. So make yourself a cup of tea, get yourself comfortable (where are those blankets!) and get to know one of the most healthy food products of nature...

I've been using coconut oil for about 7 years now, mostly for cooking and on my bread. Very occasionally I use it on my skin - on a burned skin in summer or on very dry skin in winter. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer (in 2002 and a relapse in 2006), we started reading a lot about food and health and we slowly started changing our entire lifestyle. We became more aware of what we ate and so we also gradually switched over to organic food. In our quest for a healthier lifestyle, we discovered the power of coconut oil.

In my education as dietician, coconut oil was always labeled negatively because of its high value in saturated fatty acids (which they say are very bad for your cholesterol) what made me very sad and angry inside. This was one of the reasons why I suddenly didn't want to be a dietician anymore. Anyway, stubborn as I was and convinced of its health-promoting qualities, I kept on eating my coconut oil. Muahaha!


So let me tell you everything about this healthy gift of nature. Starthing with the Chinese part. Yes ma'am, be ready for some complicated names and terms...


Composition of coconut oil

Like I said, more than 90% of coconut oil consists of saturated fats (don't panic yet!), along with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Most of the saturated fatty acids are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body's system. Lauric acid is the main contributor, representing more than 40% of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. The polyunsaturated fatty acids are present as linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids as oleic acid. Whoosh, what a mouthful!

Besides that, coconut contains polyphenols like phenolic acid. These polyphenols are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of coconut oil. And also vitamin Evitamin K and minerals such as iron.


Lauric acid beats the little creatures!
The health benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid (all saturated fatty acids), and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which is supposedly helpful in dealing with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It also helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and Heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as Giardia lamblia. Yep, they all have beautiful names, don't they? Eeek Monsters!


Health benefits of coconut oil

Hair

Source


Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss and so gives you strong hair.

This I found very interesting: "In India, people apply coconut oil on the hair every day after bathing or showering. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair." I need to start using coconut oil on my hair! But I think I might do it before I take a shower, not after...

By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry.


Heart diseases

Source


Because of the high amount in saturated fatty acids, there is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. In reality, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils.


Skin care
Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Fortunately, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of coconut oil. Besides that, coconut oil also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin. How interesting is that!


Weight loss


Source


Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the endocrine system. Coconut oil also increases the body's metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy.


Immunity
Coconut oil strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. 


Digestion

Source


Internal functions of coconut oil occur primarily due to it being used as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.


Alright, I think that I've now told you the most interesting part of the story. I hope this post helped you in some way and has convinced you of the health benefits of coconut oil. If you want to know more, then go to this website. The article - which I also used for writing this post - containts all the information you need to know about coconut oil!

Did you know all this health benefits about coconut oil? Have you ever used coconut oil? Are you going to?


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Heavenly vegetarian cheesy tofu wrap!



This is probably my favourite dinner creation so far. Yes, I'm very proud of this one :) The combination of goat cheese and smoked tofu completely exceeded my expectations! I'm actually not the biggest fan of soft creamy goat cheese, but I thought I should give it yet another chance...

Tofu is made of soy beans and therefore a good substitute for meat. The taste of ordinary natural tofu is rather bland (but not bad though!). For that reason I opted for smoked (organic) tofu, just to bring in some more flavour.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:

Baby leaf spinach
Courgette
Semi sundried tomatoes
Goat cheese
Smoked tofu
Coconut oil or olive oil
Salt and pepper
Wraps
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Step 1:
Rinse the spinach well in cold water to get rid of all the dirt and spin it dry in a salad spinner. In a large pot, heat some oil (coconut or olive) and add all the spinach witch some salt and pepper. Cook it for a few minutes until all the spinach is wilted. Try to get as much water as possible from the spinach by pushing with a spoon. Pour all the water away because this will make your dish too wet.

Step 2:
Take a pan and fry the tofu. When the tofu is done, put it aside on a plate.



Step 3:
Then in the same pan, fry the courgette. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the semi sundried tomatoes and as much goat cheese as you like. Let it all heat through for a moment until the cheese is almost completely melted. Add the drained spinach.



Step 4:
Then also add the tofu and let it all heat through for a few more minutes. Mmmm, look at those colours...



Step 5:
Fill up your wrap! And attack!



Oh please ... do try this at home!

What do you like in your wrap? Have you ever tried smoked tofu?


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Oatmeal series: Banana & goji berries



Experimenting with oatmeal is so much fun. You can really add anything! This time I went for a combination of banana and goji berries. Goji what?

The Goji berry is a Chinese berry and is used in a wide variety of traditional Chinese medicine preparations. They are rich in vitamins (vitamin C), minerals (selenium, germanium), amino acids and antioxidants (powerfood alarm!). Goji berries are known as natural anti aging wonders. They improve the immune system and have a supportive effect on body and mind. Sounds good, right?



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:

Oatmeal:
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of almond milk (in fact I used almond-rice milk)
Cinnamon

Topping:
1 Banana
1 tbsp of goji berries
Flax seeds
Shredded coconut
Almonds
Cashews
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cut the banana into slices. Put the oats, together with the almond milk and a pinch of cinnamon in a pot and set it to medium high heat. Add the goji berries and 1/2 of the banana slices. Let boil for about 5-10 minutes, and stir occasionally. The smell of banana and cinnamon ... yummy! When you are pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl.

Oatmeal is ready ... time for the toppings! Add some flax seeds, nuts, shredded coconut and the other half of the banana slices. You can always add some extra goji berries on top.

Whoop, and that's it!

You can experiment with the amount of milk you add. If you like thicker oatmeal, use less milk and vice-versa.



Have you ever eaten goji berries? Would you ever want to try? (Please do! They really are delicious!)


Love,
Sofie

Friday, 15 November 2013

Couscous, paprika & feta salad



So I've been experimenting with some meat substitutes, and last week I made this delicious couscous salad with feta.

If you don't eat meat, for any reason whatsoever, it's very important that you incorporate an alternative protein source into your menu. The advantage of animal proteins (meat, eggs, milk) is that they contain all the essential amino acids together. There's only one plant product that shares this same property, and that is the soybean. Essential amino acids can not be synthesized by our body and therefore they must be supplied in our diet. Other vegetal protein sources like beans, grains, nuts and seeds, don't contain all the essential amino acids. So to consider them as full protein sources, they should be combined with each other.

In this meal I combined feta cheese with nuts and seeds and a cereal product.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:

Couscous
Paprika (I used 1/4 of a yellow, orange, green and red paprika)
Feta cheese
Raisins
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Turmeric
Vegetable broth
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Put the couscous in a bowl with some vegetable broth, turmeric and raisins and add boiling water. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes until the couscous is finished. Cut the paprika and feta cheese into cubes. Mix the paprika, feta and seeds with the couscous and ready is Freddy!



Super simple, super quick and very delicious! I loved the sweetness of the soaked raisins and the crunchiness of the seeds in this salad. Looking at these pictures makes me want to eat it again!

What do you think? Do you like couscous?


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Oatmeal series: Nutty oatmeal



I broke my breakfast routine! The reason: I rediscovered oatmeal ...

Oatmeal contains lots of calcium and magnesium and is rich in polyphenols (antioxidants). It is high in slow sugars and therefore ensures a long feeling of fullness. Oatmeal is also packed with fiber, which is good for your intestines and for the digestion process. In addition, oatmeal is also good for the heart and blood vessels and blood sugar (diabetes) and it strengthens the immune system. So nothing but good, perfect for breakfast!



So this was my first attempt at making oatmeal after a very - very long time ... and I must admit, I went a little crazy on the toppings. Oh well.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:

Oatmeal:
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of almond milk (in fact I used almond-rice milk)
Cinnamon

Topping:
Raisins
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Flax seeds
Shredded coconut
Almonds
Cashews
1 tsp of peanut butter
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Put the oats, together with the almond milk and a pinch of cinnamon in a pot and set it to medium high heat. Let the oats boil for about 5-10 minutes, and stir occasionally. When you are pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl.

Oatmeal is ready ... time for the fun part: the toppings! Add some flax seeds, raisins, seeds and nuts and finish with some shredded coconut. Yummy! And if that is not enough, go wild with some peanut butter. Heaven!

You can experiment with the amount of milk you add. If you like thicker oatmeal, use less milk and vice-versa.



Oatmeal helps you developing your creative mind because the combinations are endless! There is nothing like eating a cup of hot oatmeal on a cold drizzly morning. A perfect and powerful start of the day!

Do you like oatmeal? What's your favourite topping?


Love,
Sofie

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Update: 5 days without meat; more energy than ever!

My cat would definitely like to exchange her kibbles against my snacks!


Do you ever have that feeling, that you are so strong and energetic, that you could climb mountains, swim oceans and reach the sky? Okay, that might be a little exaggerated. But seriously, if mountains weren't that high, oceans weren't that big and the sky wasn't so unreachable, I think that today (I wrote this on Friday) I definitely could, ehem.

It has been 5 days since I started my almost meatless lifestyle. I say 'almost meatless' because when I'm at home during the weekends, my dad makes dinner, and so that will probably be inevitable meat days (house rule: "Everyone eats the same"). Anyway, during the week I've been trying to replace my meat as dignified as possible. And I must say, I've never felt so light, energetic and powerful in a very long time.

Couscous, feta and pepper salad (recipe will be published!)


The last few weeks university, internship and work were taking all my energy and made me feel very exhausted. But since this week - since I started eating more vegetables (even at lunch!), more fruit (even at breakfast!) and more nuts, seeds and other power foods like goji berries (stay tuned for recipes!) - I'm feeling so clean and healthy ... Yes, I definitely can feel that my body is changing! (That just sounded like a guru.)

And instead of only 3 meals a day (yes, I never ate snacks), I also introduced an afternoon snack, greatest idea ever! My meals are lighter than before (more veggies!), so I have reason to indulge myself with a delicious snack (examples coming soon!).



So today, I thought I should go for a run since the sun made his appearance again. It has been raining the whole week what kept me inside, wrapped up in a blanket, crying ... okay, the crying isn't true ... Normally, if I'm having a good day, I run 5 km, maximum. But today, I just couldn't believe it. After one and a half week of no training, I ran no less than 10 kilometers! Yes, TEN, that's double as usual! It felt like I could go on and on and on, no effort (only a little hunger because it was near lunch time). Unbelievable! Pat pat on my shoulder, yay!

I can't believe that changing my diet would have such a big impact on my well-being ... and I've only just begun. I hope this feeling will last forever! Is this wishful thinking?

Have you ever tried to eat less meat? What were your experiences and findings?


Have a lovely weekend!
Love,
Sofie

Friday, 8 November 2013

Takeaway leftovers salad



You should know that I'm a huge salad lover. I can devour a whole lettuce at once (and I often do so, oops!).

On Sunday, we celebrated my sister's 25th birthday at home. For the appetizer we needed some lettuce, but a full crop seemed too much. There were also some cherry tomatoes and parsley left. A good reason for me to reserve all leftovers and save them for the next day to make a colourful lunch.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ingredients:

Salad:
Curly lettuce, lamb's lettuce, ...
Parsley
Cherry tomatoes
Olives
Walnut oil

Topping:
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Raisins
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I mixed the lettuce, parsley, cherry tomatoes and olives in a box and poured some walnut oil (mmm, I love the nutty taste of this oil on salads!). My seeds and raisins I took in a separate pot and I added them right before consumption to keep them crunchy and fresh.

The reason why I added some walnut oil, seeds and olives is that they are - apart from being very tasty - high in omega-3 fatty acids which are tremendously healthy for heart and blood vessels. Eliminating fats from your diet is probably the worst thing you can do. We all need fats, good fats, to function well like this quality omega-3 fats!



With my salad, locked in a box, I went to school. The whole morning I was looking forward to that particular moment when I could eat this simple but delicious leftovers salad!

What do you like in your salad? Have you ever tried walnut oil?


Love,
Sofie

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Standard breakfast: Bread & Green tea



Today, I'll show you what my standard breakfast looks like:

--> 3 slices of bread:     * 1 with coconut oil
                           * 1 with Tahini (sesame paste) + flax seeds
                           * 1 with peanut butter
--> 1 cup of green tea


I'm having my breakfast like this for almost 5 years ... every single day ... except for Sundays. And I'm still not tired of eating!

The bread is homemade by my dad and therefore he always uses spelt flour which I can highly recommend. Why? Well, because spelt - the oldest grain in the world - has nothing but benefits. It is known to be better tolerated than other grains because it is easily digestible. In addition, it is also a source of vitamin E, B, folic acid, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Still not convinced? Spelt has a beneficial effect in many areas. It is good for rheumatism, cancer, migraine, depression, neuritis, diabetes, obesity, immune diseases and various allergies such as wheat. So this ancient whole grain has nothing but good qualities! So try it if you can!



Since 8 years, we are using coconut oil for cooking and on our bread. The health benefits of this oil should not be underestimated! More on this delicious oil in one of my next posts ...

Tahini is a paste made of sesame. The first time I ate it, I must admit I didn't like the taste that much. But since my parents had bought a big jar right away - and since I have trouble throwing things away - I sacrificed myself to empty the whole jar! Ugh! But after a couple slices of bread, I liked the taste so much that after that first jar immediately a second jar was purchased. And I haven't stopped eating it since! It is also easily digestible and has a lot of health benefits. It is extremely rich in minerals (including calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus), vitamins (A and B), amino acidsessential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), proteins and dietary fibers. The amount of calcium is even higher than in milk!!
I always like to put some flax seeds on top of my tanini-slice of bread. Good for the digestive system.

And then, last but not least, peanut butter! No breakfast is complete without peanut butter!! But I highly recommend you to go for the peanut butter that contains 100% peanuts and so no other additives. Just peanuts, nothing more. A new jar of 100% peanut butter has an oil layer on top (a natural extraction process from the nuts) so you'll have to give it a stir before consumption.

To drink: green tea! The best! Healthy because of its anti-oxidants.



I think my traditional breakfast is not so bad at all and actually quite healthy. But because I'm trying to get more variation into my diet, I will be trying out some new breakfast ideas. You will find out more about them soon ...

Do you also have a standard breakfast? What does that look like?


Love,
Sofie

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Balancing my diet: Questioning meat & Praising power foods

I've never been a big meat eater. It has nothing to do with ethical reasons, I just don't like the taste of meat that much. Also, when I've eaten a piece of meat, I often feel like I've swallowed a brick (ugh!) and my stomach feels blocked. When I was younger, I always preferred cheese instead of meat toppings and when I go to a restaurant, I'll always choose something vegetarian or something with fish (salmon is my favourite). It's always been like that and therefore everyone knows me as being a 'special' eater, oh well ...



Last weeks - I think I can even say last months - I've rather unconsciously been starting to eat less meat, just because I've had enough of it. I just can't seem to convince myself to buy meat in the supermarket. And since I'm in a student house during the week, I have to do my own groceries and so it is me who determines what's on my plate.

But I must admit that last weeks, I've only just removed my piece of meat, and besides that there were no other changes in my menu. This means that I didn't always replace my meat worthy by using other protein sources. And as a dietician, I should know better! Ehem, shame on me ...

Anyway, now that winter is approaching slowly, we all need our strength to get us through those cold days. We need quality food for energy. So I think it is high time to start balancing my diet!



Regarding proteins, they are the most important nutrients to keep our bodies strong. We need them to create new body tissues and strengthening our immune system. The quality of the proteins that we eat are extremely important as well. Proteins with high content of essential amino acids have a high biological value and so are high quality. Overall, animal protein have a higher biological value than vegetable proteins. An exception to this rule is soy protein, which also has a high biological value like meat.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So what's the plan?

Replacing my meat worthy by making use of other high-quality protein sources.
*
Eating more fruit and vegetables, just because I like them very much and because there's absolutely no reason to eat them only once a day.
*
Building more nuts, seeds, dried fruits, oats and other of those delicious power foods into my diet. They are the love of my life, so why not let them notice?!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



You know, I'm definitely not in favor of temporary crash diets. If I change enrich my diet, it is intended that I hold this. I believe that a healthy body results from a healthy lifestyle - which you aren't able to reach in 2 weeks. The intention is not to lose weight, but to live a healthier life based on quality foods.

I've made a new page called "Good food" on this blog so that you - if you wish - can easily follow my findings, thoughts and dishes concerning my new lifestyle. As long as I can remember, I've always tried to eat as healthy as possible. But now I think I'm on a different - higher - level, let's say that I'm starting a new chapter in my life and I am so ready for it!

What do you think? Is there anyone else dealing with a meat avoidance behaviour like me?

This has been on my mind for quite a long time, and I feel that writing about it, relieves me. Thank you very much for reading this!


Love,
Sofie

Friday, 1 November 2013

Sandwich spread: Nuts & Dried fruit



My dad once made a sandwich spread of nuts and dried fruit. I still remember I found it super tasty, but it's already been several years since he made it. So last week, I decided to try it myself and make my own nutty sandwich spread. I must say, it turned out very well! This spread is super easy to make and requires only nuts and dried fruits (and some nut oil if you wish, for smoothing it up a little).


What you need:



I used:
- Nuts          * 20 g of almonds
                * 20 g cashew nuts
                * 20 g hazelnuts
                * 10 g pumpkin seeds
                * 10 g sunflower seeds
- Dried fruit   * 40 g raisins
                * 40 g dried apricots 
- Optionally: walnut oil (I used 2 teaspoons)

If you would like to make more, the proportion is always 1/2 nuts, 1/2 dried fruit.


Step 1:
Soak the nuts for about 1 hour in water.



Step 2:
After one hour, pat dry the soaked nuts using a paper towel.



Step 3:
Blend the nuts and dried fruit into a paste.



Optionally: add some nut oil for a smoother result (I added 2 teaspoons of walnut oil).



And that's it!!




Super healthy, extremely delicious and super easy to make! Enjoy!


Love,
Sofie