Sushi in Canada

sushi

“Don’t dunk your nigiri in the soy sauce. Don’t mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. If the rice is good, complement your sushi chef on the rice”. – Anthony Bourdain

I love Sushi. The fist time I tried is was when I was 20 years old… but better late than never. I was hooked ever since. I just love this freshness of the fish, the taste, the soy sauce and wasabi and just feeling happy after I ate all my rolls. Not stuffed or at all bloated, just fine.

So last week my family and I had been in Canada. We love this country btw and are there as often as we can (more on that later). We booked a night at Algonquin College Residency and were very hungry when we arrived. Hungry for Sushi. My husband and I have already eaten at this Sushi Restaurant before and we loved it so we took the rest of the family there.

Location: 

Hao Sushi in Ottawa, Canada.1580 Merivale Road, Ottawa, ON K2G 4B5, Canada, Phone number (613) 680-0188

Ordering by Tech: 

Once you enter the restaurant you will be seated and the first thing you see is an iPad on your table. You order via this iPad and it is super easy. You click on everything you want and hit the “sent” button. Done. The waitress actually comes to your table and asks you what you want to drink as soon as you sit down. They offer everything from non-alcoholic to sake. You do not have to bring your own alcohol if you prefer to drink some during you meal.

 

Ambience and Style:

I describe the restaurant as okay. I would change the mirrors on the wall for example and give the place some new paint. But overall it is very clean and has this Japanese Style to it. The staff is very responsive and friendly and seating is very comfortable if you choose to sit in one of their booths. If you go there on a date it is definitely a great intimate experience. Well, we went there with two kids and it was good as well and we sat in one of the booths. My son is almost two years old and he climbed all over the place, played with the chop sticks and soy sauce and the iPad of course after we ordered which meant: WE enjoyed eating in peace. 🙂

Food: 

We ordered way too much with the iPad so the waitress came and told us that we ordered Sushi for like 5-6 persons and how “big” these rolls really are. Well, then again, they do not know my husband when it comes to eating Sushi… also, I love it soooo much too but get stuffed and full way quicker than he does. 🙂 We were impressed with the food when it arrived. We ordered Ramen Soup and Edamame for Appetizer and they came quickly, literally a couple of minutes after we ordered. The rolls looked amazing, also did the Sashimi. The soups were hot and tasty and the Edamame slightly salty and crunchy. Not soggy and overcooked or slimly.

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The rice tasted really good, fluffy and fresh and was not gummy or too cold which proves that they made it fresh. The toppings were all awesome, fresh and of the best quality. We had their spice tuna roll and it was just to die for. Also check out their Dragon Roll! I have to add though that the sashimi pieces were really small but very fresh!

Service:

I thought the service was great. Very helpful, especially after the waitress came to our table to let us know we ordered way too much and they do not want to waste the food. They were also very accommodating to bring the rice bowl for my son right away so I could feed him first thing.

Price:

We (3 people plus one baby who had a free bowl of plain rice) ate a lot and were really stuffed for 60 Dollars (Canadian) which is cheap!

Overall:

I definitely want to go back to this place and we do every time we are in Ottawa. It is some sort of tradition at this point. This place is definitely a treat to the tastebuds and made me want to go to Japan to eat Sushi all day long – this is how fresh it felt. There is just a lot of variety when you order which is great. They have so many different roles, appetizer and other stuff that you will find something you like for sure.

This is just the place to go for great fresh sushi.

Enjoy if you are ever in this area by chance.

Thank you for reading.

On CALLI Tea

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I have been using Sunrider Products for quite some time now. I started with this one  which I use for occasional headaches (Thankfully I do have headaches very rarely), soar throat, a cold or flue and simply for fresh breath. I do not chew gum because of all the chemicals in it. For my teeth I use their toothpaste (read more about it on my recent article here). I also have been using their soap and have been loving it. Spending some time on their website makes me want to buy everything really. So my friend in Germany recommended Calli Tea to me. We have been drinking it after Meditation Practice every Wednesday evening (Hello, Martina!) <3

I did some research on the tea and ordered a box. It is pretty pricey ($ 70 for 60 teabags) but you make almost one liter (4 cups of tea) out of one teabag so it all worth it really.

Let me explain a bit about the tea according to the research I did. That green tea is healthy we basically all know. Sushi Restaurants, Chinese Restaurant, they all serve it and we all heard or know about the great benefits of green tea. Calli Tea has a special concentration of herbal ingredients such as, according to the package: perilla leaf, mori bark extract, alisma root extract, imperate root and camellia leaf. Say whaaaat? This is what I thought so I googled all of them and believe me, these things are really awesome. Further, the tea does not contain sugar, or any other type of sweetener which is key and no caffeine.

The tea is really good for digestion if you have any problems in that direction. My son was a bit constipated when we did a long road-trip to Canada recently and I mixed a bit of the tea with apple juice and water and he was all good again. It just improves digestion but does not work as a laxative. It is also great if you have an upset stomach or nausea. It also cleanses the body, nourishing the kidneys and liver and enhancing mental alertness (Yes!)

Like any other form of green tea Calli Tea detoxifies the body. The Camellia leaves in the tea contain antioxidants which absorb harmful free radical in your body and remove them before they can do any damage let’s say. The tea is supposed to take the garbage out of your body and is to increase your mental clarity. 

I have been struggling recently with a bit of a cold due to the air condition in the car and everywhere else in the U.S. We do now have AC in the house however. So aside from the detoxifying abilities, the tea acts antibacterial which made me not get a real outbreak of this cold I believe. After I drank my cup of Calli Tea in the morning the symptoms were almost gone – symptoms like sinus congestion, coughing and such. The tea is also calming the mind for a better sleep at night. It really works!

To give this magic tea even more credit: drinking it helps the body to get rid of unwanted cholesterol and fat.  Kind of like I am losing weight without trying. 🙂 The tea comes in three favors: mint, cinnamon and regular. I have been trying “regular” so far and I love it. I would describe the taste as very mild and calming and different than regular green tea. I think the cinnamon favor would be awesome in winter.

Try a cup.

 

 

How to: Making my own Face cream

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Hello! 

As many of you know by now I am all about “back to nature as much as possible”. Food wise I try to stick to organic as much as I can afford it and when it comes to personal hygiene I do not like to use too much bad stuff on my body either. By bad stuff I mean:

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I cannot even pronounce half of these ingredients so I will most certainly not put it on my body. I have been trying to find the best products out there that are the least harmful. Even most so-called organic brands are loaded with toxins. I am not even going into makeup on this post because this topic needs a separate article.

Creams. There is a plethora of facial cream, hand cream and body lotions out there and I have been trying them all it seems. Most of them, unfortunately also even organic brands, have ingredient lists as mentioned above. There has to be one cream out there that I can safely put on my face without breaking out or without getting all type of rashes. And strangely this was the problem with all my creams I have been using. After a while there was just this uncomfortable itching that made my skin dry and red. I needed help so after reading a ton about organic and more natural creams online I purchased this book:

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It is written in German but I will share the ultimate face cream recipe from the book that I slightly modified. It is important to make only a small portion of the cream because no preservatives, parabens
or phthalates are added.

I usually make two smaller portions (one I use right away and the other one I store in the fridge) and keep them in a little jar as pictured above.

What you need to make the cream: a digital kitchen scale, a small jam glass with a lid, a spoon, two small jars to  fill the cream in, a water cooker.  That is it!

My recipe:

Ingredients: 

5 ounce sAlmond oil   (14g Mandelöl)

0,14 ounces Lamecreme (4g Lamecreme) which is a vegetable emulsifier

0,17 ounces Sheabutter (5g Sheabutter)

1,6 oz boiled water (50ml abgekochtes Wasser)

Start by boiling water in the water cooker and clean the small jam glass as well as the other two small jars. I rinse them with water and some dishwashing detergent. Pour the boiling water in a small pot. Now sterilize all the jars and the spoon in the boiling water. I use a fork to just hold the jars in. It is important to sterilize all your equipment before you start. Otherwise the cream will mold in a very short time. Keep the hot water in the pot because you need it in a bit.

Now put the small sterilized jam glass on the scale and add the 3!!! ingredients. (Awesome, right!) Place the jar back in the pot with the water and stir the ingredients slowly with the spoon until everything is evenly dissolved. It goes faster when the glass is placed in hot water.

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Now take the jar out and add the 1,6oz boiling water. (Be careful the jar is HOT now!) Close the lid of the jar and start slowly shaking the glass. Now the Lamecreme starts to emulsify your cream. I put a kitchen towel around the jar, hold it with my fingers on top and thumb on bottom and shake slowly by tapping the palm of my other hand. Do this until cream is emulsified. (Approximately 5 minutes!)

Now I add essential oils. Here you can go all crazy. Whatever YOU want YOUR cream to smell like. I have a long row of essential oils that I have collected over some time. Usually I use this brand which is a little pricy but lasts for a long time. There will be an article on my collection of essential oils and aromatherapy soon so stay tuned.

For my creams I usually use a couple of drops of Lavender oil, Ylang Ylang and some Lemongrass for freshness. This is it. Your cream should last for at least 3-4 weeks. In the fridge up to 7-8 weeks.

Pretty simple and you know what you put on your skin. You could theoretically eat the cream. 😀

Thank you for reading my blog. 

How-to: Easy at home Ramen

I love to cook and try out new things. I have had an eye on making my own Ramen soup for a long time. Ever since I fell in love with eating Ramen at a Sushi Restaurant. It is just a favorite treat of mine.  For those of you who do not know what Ramen: It is a simple noodle soup dish from Japan. Traditionally the Japanese put in rice noodles (these I used for this recipe as well) but I have eaten it also with Ramen wheat noodles. The broth is usually meat but sometimes also fish-based. Traditionally the Japanese add miso or soy sauce, and seaweed and sliced pork – or optional fish. Important here are green onions thinly sliced. Then add as many vegetables as you like. Simple.

So I have been enjoying Ramen now and then but finally I wanted to try to make it on my own. For some reason it felt intimidating but it is easier than I thought. I share my recipe here today but you can add, personalize or create your own flavor combinations of course.

Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients: 

1 lbs pork – either pork tenderloin or loin. (I used tenderloin – 6-7 pieces of meat)

1 big onion

6 large carrots

6-8 cups water

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sake (yes, you can drink some while cooking)

1 bunch of green onions (I just used it for decoration at the end and did not cook it)

About 2 ounces of fresh ginger root sliced or optional the already ginger that is already pre-made in the glass with water and salt added ( I prefer the fresh ginger)

4 cloves of crushed garlic

3 packs of ramen noodles. (I used organic “Forbidden Rice Ramen” from Wholefoods)

Toppings: Go crazy here. I used: carrots cut in small cubes, eggs, jalapeños, green onion, parsley, spinach and some more ginger

Instructions: 

Season the pork with salt, put it in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or so. Remove pork and place in a large pot on the stove. Now add the thinly sliced onion, some carrots, the ginger and garlic and six cups of water. Add the salt! (Mom always says: “Soup without salt does not taste good!”)  This is how to start the broth. Bring everything to a boil. Once it boiled for five minutes or so let it simmer for two hours. (This is important to keep in mind because it is quite a while!)

Now you have two hours to prepare all your toppings. First I sliced all the carrots into tiny cubes, cut the green onions and the jalapeños, washed the fresh spinach, cut it in stripes and put everything into small bowls so my family could customize their own bowl of Ramen. Put all the toppings in the fridge and start boiling the water for the Ramen noodles. Once water is boiling, put Ramen noodles in and let them boil for one minute or so. Then turn down heat and let them cook for another five minutes. Put in colander and rinse with cold water. You find the instructions on how to boil Ramen noodles on the package but I just wanted to share how I did it.

Now boil the eggs.

By now the broth should be ready. My mom told me to check if a broth is ready by putting a fork into the meat while it is simmering and if it goes through the meat nicely it all done. (Thanks mom!)

Take out the meat and start cutting it in stripes and place them into a bowl as well. Add sesame oil, soy sauce and sake to the broth. The broth can continue to simmer until you serve the soup.

To serve, fill bowl with noodles and now everyone can add the  toppings they want. Then pour broth into bowl. Add sliced boiled eggs and garnish with the sliced green onions if desired.

Pour the rest of the bottle of sake and enjoy!

 

How to: On the beauty products I use

A question came up recently from one of my readers on what beauty products I use on a daily basis and what’s in my make-up bag all related to me being a minimalist.

Well when it comes to the products I am using I keep it very simple. Usually I do not change my beauty routine too much. First of all I am very lucky with the type of skin I have. (Thanks genes!) Even when I was pregnant with my son I did not have any problematic, hormonal skin or outbreaks. This was I believe mostly due to the fact that I am not using too many products and the way I am eating because this is where it all starts.  So here I share what I am using more or less on a daily basis:

Let’s start with what is currently in my makeup bag if you can even call it as such. It is an old small grey leather bag that I found in one of my mom’s drawers years ago. I do not use too many makeup products at all because I am just not a big fan of it. So my routine in the morning to put makeup on takes about five minutes and is just very simple.

The products I have are mostly organic. For my hair I use Khadi Products. I have been loving these for a while. My hair is very important to me and I have written an entire post on my hair routine. Find it here

The trick is to apply the shampoo on DRY hair and only on the scalp and just a tiny bit. Not that much in the length. Then rinse after five minutes. Done! I wash my hair once a week and it is growing super fast this way. 😀 As far as washing the rest of my body I am using this soap:

I have been trying many soaps before. I even made my own at some point; however, none of them gave me a softer, creamer feeling on my skin than this one.

As far as makeup goes I have been using Dr. Hauschka products. This one for mascara and for an under eye concealer this one.  These are the only non-organic products I am using. They are a little pricey but they last quite a while. I also tested many drugstore mascaras before and they made my eyes tear up all the time and did not stick to my lashes so I looked like a raccoon after a while. Fail!

For my lips I am in love with this Lush product:

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This is it basically believe it or not. I am making my own skin and body cream and will be sharing the recipe on this blog soon. This cream I am also using on my son if needed.  It is all “back to nature” with me. 🙂 I want to put as little chemistry on my body as possible. I am open to try new organic products however.

My signature scent is COCO Mademoiselle by CHANEL. I have been using this perfume forever. Recently, I have been stumbling across Barr-Co. products and I am in love.

Here are my recent purchases:

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The smell is just very soft and powdery. I would also describe it as a fresh and clean smell. My husband likes it! 🙂 According to the labels on the products the smell is a blend of “milk, oatmeal, vanilla and vetiver”. I have been using the perfume every single day. In Canada I purchased the hand cream and am in love as well. It is just not sticky or greasy and lasts for a long time.

So there you have it. Nice and simple. As I try to keep everything in my life.

How-to: Healthy Toothpaste

“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth” – Alan Watts. 

I always had problems with my teeth. Toothaches, wisdom teeth removed and of course the way to the check-up at my dentist office felt like torture – pure torture. I was so scared of the pain that might occur that I did not even sleep right the night before. “I am always afraid of the tooth fairy” – Thomas.  The worst about the dentist visit was the so called “deep cleaning” paid by my insurance every six months. This was so painful every time. My gums bled for another day easily and my teeth hurt. My dentist then gave me many samples of new toothpastes that came out and that I should definitely use on a daily basis (Colgate usually), Mouthwash (Listerine) and of course I should definitely get this electric toothbrush. THEN all my problems should be better.

Well they were not. And I started getting curious about the toothpaste I am using. I have always wondered why they have warning labels on toothpaste. This is what it says for example on my long used Colgate toothpaste: “Warning: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years old. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.” Nobody really pays attention to this no? You just brush your teeth twice a day with this poisonous stuff and that’s it. For years. So I researched more and was shocked to find out how many potentially harmful toxins and chemicals are  in these toothpastes I was using and that have been even recommended” from my dentist.

I have been using these toothpastes for over two years now and I like them but I am always up for something new 🙂

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Then I found out about Sunsmile Herbal Toothpaste which is a toothpaste without harmful chemicals and natural. One of the most harmful chemicals is probably Fluoride and most toothpastes contain it. Fluoride eats away teeth’s enamel. :/

“Research has found that fluoride affects normal endocrine function, causes kidney disease, bone weakness, dental fluorosis, cancer, lowering of IQ, calcification of the pineal gland, arthritis, immune deficiencies, skeletal fluorosis and much more”. do-you-still-believe-fluoride-is-good-for-our-teeth-read-this

Instead of fluoride, SunSmile toothpaste has a combination of herbal extracts and enzymes as well as neem tree oil and peppermint oil. Yes! And instead of the also very harmful Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which can make gums bleed –  they use baking soda as an ingredient. SLS by the way is also in most of the commercial body wash and shampoos. Yikes!

SunSmile Herbal Toothpaste Ingredients: Sorbitol, Water, Xylitol, Hydrated Silica, Glycerin,Sodium Methyl Cocoyl, Taurate, Sodium Cocoyl, Sarcosinate, PEG-32, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Licorice Root Extract,Neem Tree Extract, Cassia Senna Seed Extract, Magnolia Biondii Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Lef Extract, Carrageenan Pectin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cellulose Gum, Carbomer, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Calcium Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Bromelain, Papain, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Triethanolamine.

I am ordering the toothpaste online (Amazon usually). I have to mention the price however because $14 for a toothpaste is quite expensive in comparison to commercial toothpastes. BUT you do not use a lot. This tube will last for a long time. Recommended is half a pea-size amount on the toothbrush. You do not have to call a Poison Control Center if swallowed. And yes, my son uses it as well. 🙂 And he also uses this one:

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So no more deep cleaning for me. My teeth are fine since I am not using any commercial toothpastes anymore. All I use is my Weleda and SunSmile toothpastes, a soft toothbrush and dental floss. Done!

Funny video:

On Matcha Tea

For a week now I have been drinking and testing Matcha tea.  Matcha is traditionally Japanese and a powdered green tea. The leaves are grown in the shade (shaded growth produces more chlorophyll and theanine) and covered for three weeks before harvest. Then the veins and stems are removed and air dried and finally ground on a stone grinder into a fine powder. Matcha is a antioxidant powerhouse, a natural weights aid, a great way to detox and a mood -enhancer. I drink a cup in the morning with my breakfast sometimes.

This is what you need to make your tea the traditional way: 

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(A drinking bowl, the Matcha tea obviously, a bamboo whisk and a bamboo scoop)

The Japanese have some great traditions I believe. One is their tea ceremony in tea preparation, the tea drinking and serving. The Matcha powered I purchased is an organic brand called “Garucha” Matcha. Upon opening the little container (a little pricey: Euro 16 but you only need 2g for one cup), the green power is described as bright green with  a sweet grassy smell. There should be no clumps! [Thomas].  Traditionally, a bamboo scoop is used; called a chashaku, however I just used a regular spoon. Measure 2g of Matcha powder into a tea bowl and then add a bit of cold water and mix with a bamboo whisk (known as chasen). Whisk until you get a creamy consistency. In the meantime, boil some water, then let it cool off to approximately 70-85 degrees Celsius or 158-185 Fahrenheit. Again, this is the traditional way to prepare this tea. 🙂 Add the water. Now whisk this mixture really fast for about 1 minute.  There should be a little green foam on top of your tea.

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Now drink your cup. Matcha can be bitter – like wheatgrass in a way. You can add some almond milk (check out my recipe to see how you can easily make your own).

Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. This works kind of like a mood-enhancer. Some drink Matcha to assist meditation, because of the amino acids in the tea that may create a calming alertness over time. These amino acids are also the reason why the tea is so bitter. Matcha is rich in fiber and nutrients. It also provides vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. If you drink it regularly it can lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. Do you like to drink green tea? Drinking one cup of matcha is similar to drinking 10 glasses of green tea in the aspect of antioxidant content and nutritional value. Awesome no?

Enjoy.

On Linseed oil

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I have heard of and seen Linseed oil before but never used it. Until a couple of weeks ago when I attended a very informative lecture by Anna Burkon (Facebook: Ganzheitliche Ernaehrungsberatung Anna Burkon) on the “bad stuff” in Junk/Fast Food as well as many tips on how to eat and stay healthy. Anna also mentioned Linseed oil and how good it is so I did some serious reading on it. I am using the Linseed oil she recommended (shown in the picture above). I found this book which gives you a good overall few on the oil: “Leinoel macht gluecklich” by Hans-Ulrich Grimm. (there are some great links on youtube  so check him out).

Linseed oil is also known as flaxseed oil and is made from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. It is yellowish in color.  There are substances in this oil that promote good health because of the richness of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential fatty acid that seems to be beneficial for heart disease. ALA belongs to substances called omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is also found to have considerable amounts of vitamin E which is good for the immune system.

For good health a right ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet are required. In an article on linseed oil I read that “the ideal ratio is around 1:2. The average diet is more around 1:20 to 1:50, with way too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. The ratio present in linseed oil is about 4:1. So linseed oil is a good source of Omega 3”. The key is to consume a small portion of linseed oil every day because of all the great benefits it has.

More specifically, this is what this “gold” does: 

First, it is good for the heart and it may help to protect against certain cancers; however, not everyone agrees to this issue. It can control high blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory reactions that cause poor circulation or artery-harding and lower cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It may also reduce inflammation in the joints, kidneys and skin and may lessen the severe joint swelling from gout. Linseed oil can also control gallstones, hemorrhoids and constipation because the oil is very high in dietary fiber. I have used it when I had an upset stomach and I felt better. (Just one tablespoon is enough and I drank a cup of water after).

Linseed oil is also great for sunburn, acne or eczema. I was on vacation recently in Barcelona and guess what? Sunburn! I took some Linseed oil and put it on the sunburned skin. My skin healed faster. The oil has just overall skin-soothing properties. Which leads me to the next great thing about the oil. It promotes healthy nails and hair (hello women!!). If you have read the post on my hair routine you know that I wash my hair with water only. This oil made my hair shine even more and contributes to hair growth. Low level of omega 3 fatty acids cause the hair to dry out! My hair is literally growing like weed. It is also good for the nails to stop them from splitting or cracking.

Linseed oil might minimize nerve damage that causes tingling or numbness. It may treat menstrual cramps, female infertility or even menopausal symptoms. It might fight male infertility and impotence and prostate problems.

How to use Linseed oil: 

Linseed oil should never be heated (heat destroys the ALA so put the oil on your meal after you cooked it. It should be kept in the refrigerator (cold and dark place and in an upright position – even leave it in the carton) after you opened it. Light is the biggest enemy of the oil because it would start a very fast reaction between the ALA and oxygen.  You should use it within a couple of weeks after opening. Should it develop a weird odor (anything but nutty) throw it away. I bought a small bottle first. Glass bottle, no plastic! Just to see how I like it and to try it out.

Use it for example: In stores it is available in liquid form but I have also seen capsules. I know the liquid form and will write about this one only.  Use it plain. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of it to a glass of water and mix with a spoon. The nutty flavor is great. You can also use it as mentioned on any cooked dish.  Sprinkle on salads, pasta or dips; cereals or yoghurt. For the best absorption take the linseed oil with food or water. You can also mix it in smoothies and other drinks.

I have some Canadian followers so this a brand I found.

canada flax

Body Image.

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“Treat your body like an instrument—not an ornament.” —Gary Thomas

I came back from my meditation/yoga class tonight and have been thinking about healthy body image. How can we find a healthy body image on a daily basis? Many obsess over it, complain about their physical appearance and spend money on diets – new diets that come and go. Some even consider plastic surgery. What do you see when you look at the cover of a “beauty” magazine? Women with perfect hair and skin and how to get the same results in no time. Men who promise a 6-pack in 2 weeks and to loose 30kg in 4 weeks.

How can we care for our body without being obsessive? Everybody is unique; obviously, and we only have this one body. This alone should let us make more healthy choices.  We need our body to accomplish things in life – daily essential things.

This is what I do – just some tips.

The key  for me is to hydrate. The body needs water to function. I feel it almost instantly if I have not had enough water (at least 3 liters a day/ 8 glasses a day). I will get a headache quickly. As mentioned in previous posts, any type of soda that is loaded with sugar is not sufficiently hydrating the body. 🙂 I am usually not eating meat except my mother’s chicken soup. (to die for!). But if you do like to eat meat try to make it the side dish and add more veggies to your plate. Of course plenty of fruits as well. Leave out sweets, artificial sugar etc. Whole wheat instead of white bread. Sleep is also important. I am a night owl or better, I am using the free time when my son is in bed to get things done. However, rest is best. I try to get 8 hours of sleep to function properly throughout the day. I do love to drink red wine. (hello? Married to a Frenchi!) I believe, drinking a glass here and there is ok but I try to limit it. Nobody is perfect.  Also no smoking. I used to smoke a pack a day and I quit cold turkey four years ago and feel so much better after. No junk-food or microwave food. Read the labels. Take the time and cook something. Isn’t an apple “fast food”? 🙂 Exercise. You do not need to run a marathon. Start with walking at a faster pace for 30 minutes every other day. Yoga, Pilates…. the options are endless. Do not compare yourself  to others. You are you!

How to: Veggie Rolls

I always loved these little appetizer veggie rolls at Thai/Sushi Restaurants. So it was about time to play around and make my own. They are very easy to make and can be pre-made for a party, as an addition to any dinner or lunch or just as a fresh snack.

You will need:

your choice of vegetables, thinly sliced: For this recipe I have been using carrots, cucumber, avocado, romaine lettuce, arugula, parsley and red pepper.

rice paper (I used “Real Thai Rice paper) and water to soak them in

Instructions:

First, soak rice paper. I filled a bowl (larger than the rice paper) half full with warm water. Then dip 1 rice paper wrapper in the water. Let it soak for approximately 60 seconds. It is supposed to be soft enough to roll without splitting or falling apart. Remove from water and lay flat on a plate. The veggies have to be sliced in thin stripes and placed lengthwise either in the middle of the rice paper or toward the edge. If you place the veggies in the middle it will allow you to fold both sides of the paper inwards. I like placing them toward the edge.

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It is a bit difficult to roll the rice paper in the beginning  but if you hold the veggies in place while you roll the paper as shown in the picture above it will work fine. Done!

There are so many dips you can serve the veggie rolls with. For this recipe I used Tamari which is a gluten-, and wheat-free soy sauce that is naturally fermented. (Brand: Shoyu Soy Sauce). To add a little spice to it I used Wasabi.

Enjoy!