Saturday, 21 May 2016

Spirulina & Green Clay Face Mask

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit."

Self-care is so so important, yet we so often prioritise other things. So what is self-care? For me, self-care may be anything that makes you feel really good. That might be taking a long bath, going for a run, getting lost in a good book, doing yoga, meditate, pampering your skin... Whatever makes you happy. I LOVE to apply a face mask and then step into a hot bath with lots of calming essential oils. It may sound vain to feel good about a face mask, but for me it's more about showing myself (and my skin) some love than vanity. And as my face is quite acne-prone it feels very nice to deeply cleanse my skin about once a week. I most often use this super simple home-made face mask with green clay and spirulina which feels amazingly cleansing. Here's what to do to get the glow back:

Cleanse face with your favourite cleanser. Then exfoliate, either with a konjac sponge (my fave) or a gentle face scrub. Pat face dry. Apply the mask and relax for 10-15 minutes. Put on some nice music, drink tea, breathe... Remove the mask with a face cloth soaked in warm water and pat face dry. Apply toner if using. Then spritz face with lavender or rose water and apply a face oil or face cream. Done!

Green clay is very cleansing as it draws toxins out of the skin. Also calming and anti-inflammatory.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Helps the skin detoxify.
Cinnamon is antibacterial and may help clear acne.

See recipe below.

Spirulina & Green Clay Face Mask

1 mask

2 tsp green clay powder
1/2 tsp spirulina powder
2 tsp lavender or rose water
Optional: Generous dash of cinnamon

Mix together in a small bowl and apply to freshly cleansed and dried face. Remove with warm water or a damp face cloth after 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Simple Coconut Date Balls

Happy weekend!

After quite a few days of summer heat here in Sweden we're now back to grey and cold weather. Which for me means back to lots and lots of warm tea, lit candles and cozy sweaters. Rest mode is definitely on.

I have been quite ill lately, and I actually made these balls yesterday just to get some extra calories into my body. But I was so pleasantly surprised just have incredibly good they taste. Like a healthier alternative to sweets or cookies. Yes! And they are also super simple to make and only require three ingredients: dates, coconut and vanilla. Enjoy!

Simple Coconut Date Balls

Makes 10-12

15 fresh/soft dates (use less if using big dates like medjools)
1/2 cup (1 dl) raw coconut chips or shredded coconut
1/5 tsp (1 krm) real vanilla powder

Blend the ingredients together in a food processor and form into balls. Store in the freezer.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Spring Favourites

Happy new fresh week!

I realised that it's been a while since I shared some favourites here on the blog. These things make my heart sing right now...

Spring Favourites

  • Pukka Supreme Matcha Green - This is a blend of some different green tea leaves and matcha green tea powder. Full of antioxidants and the taste is incredible.
  • Clipper Organic Detox Infusion - This tastes great and has a lovely pink colour. I like it even better cold.
  • Faith in Nature Watermelon Shower Gel & Foam Bath - Need I say more? All my fellow watermelon lovers will ADORE this. All natural of course.
  • Moonsun Organic of Sweden Face Oil -This works like magic on my face. It contains neroli and linden and is very balancing for my acne-prone/sensitive skin . Lovely smell, too.
  • Plants! I planted some seeds earlier this spring and my little tomato and kale plants are growing like crazy right now. Love it!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Strawberry Bowl


STRAWBERRIES! These delicious sweet berries make me think of sunshine and warm summer nights. Sadly this weekend is anything but summery (cold and rainy) but you can always pretend, right? I made this strawberry bowl as a snack, but you might as well have it for dessert or even breakfast. It's like a smoothie bowl but even thicker and richer than those I normally do and it tastes so amazing.

When typing this it's Sunday morning, chocolate coffee in hand and some old Leonard Cohen songs in the background (can't get enough of either right now). There are few things more precious in life than calm Sunday mornings I think. Have a beautiful day!


Strawberry Bowl

Serves 1

1 ripe banana
1/2 lime, juiced
Pinch of real vanilla powder
1 tbsp almond butter or other nut butter
6-8 frozen strawberries
Splash of non-dairy milk

1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Add a little milk at a time, but only enough to make the blending possible (less liquid = thicker smoothie).
2. Pour into a bowl and top with cacao nibs, coconut chips or granola.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Simple Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentil soup is such a staple for me. Warming, delicious, nutritious and incredibly cheap, it's the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. I like to make big pots of soup and save the leftovers for lunches at work.

In this recipe I add lots of veggies and potatoes and flavour the soup with tomatoes and basil. I also always add ground turmeric to all my soups for an added antioxidant boost and pop of colour. I served my soup with freshly baked bread with mashed avocado and a kale salad with tahini curry dressing. The happiness!

I wish you all a great weekend!

Simple Lentil Veggie Soup

Serves 4-6

1 1/4 cups (3 dl) dried red lentils
6 1/3 cups (1 1/2 liter) water
2 tsp herbal salt
1 sweet potato
4 carrots
4 potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini
3 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tin crushed tomatoes

1. Put the lentils, water, salt, sweet potato, carrots and potatoes in a big saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes on a low heat.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for an extra 15 minutes. Taste the soup and add more spices if necessary. Enjoy!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Guest Post: Tips to start Exercising

Photo: Max Lilja
Today, I offer a guest post by none other than my brother Johannes, who is a physical therapist with a passion for weight training, running, football, sports physiology and health. Many thanks, Johannes!


Get started with your training! 

My first guest post here at my sister's excellent blog is in short about some tips to get you started with some form of exercise, as well as some pitfalls to watch out for. More in-depth posts about, for example, training schedules, specific exercises and the effects of exercise is my ambition to discuss in later posts.

To begin exercising can easily be interpreted as a non-issue. "Isn't it just to start working out?" you might think. Actually, the answer is simple: Yes! But often it requires a little more strategy and planning than that, especially if you want to get continuity in training and over time reap all the benefits of its wonderful effects. Much like it often requires more tactic and preparation for, say, a football game than just saying "to win we will score more goals than the opponents".

Many people can probably even be a little frightened by the jungle that now exists in the exercise world with different diets and a plethora of ever new forms of exercise, one with a more "flashy" name than the other. Stay calm, exercise doesn't have to be that complicated. 

To make exercising become a natural part of your probably already hectic everyday life it often requires time management and priorities. A good start is to decide to begin prioritizing your health and your body will thank you later, I promise. This doesn't have to take as much time as it may seem. Short and intense workouts can be just as effective as lengthy ones.

Something that can be good before you get started and to maintain the training may be to set goals. This doesn't have be a large specific goal like you before Christmas will lift 2.5 x body weight in deadlift. It may simply be to workout to feel good and reap all the positive benefits from exercise. Maybe you just want to walk around for a few hours in a good mood, high on endorphins triggered by a run a week, or you might want to loose some weight, improve your memory, prevent disease or improve your efficiency at work. The choice is yours. Only yours! Because this is about YOU, no one else. We are all different with different conditions, aspirations and priorities. 

How should you get started? Do you feel at the moment that you have no time to exercise? Then maybe it's unreasonable to believe that you are suddenly going to workout 5-6 times a week. My advice is to start small and then, if possible, increase. Try to get some form of exercise routine 1-3 times a week initially, short workouts. Get these workouts into your schedule and in time it will become a habit. If you go out too hard there's a risk that you may do the reverse and gradually cut down on workouts.

Another pitfall if you go out too hard is that either you or your body gets tired quickly. To go from 0 sessions a week to 4, 5 or 6 sessions feels a bit doomed to fail and may be difficult to maintain over time. If you succeed, I'm however happy for you! The risk if you go out too hard is also that your body is not ready and you may get overloading problems. This leads to pain, limitations, less workouts and thus you're quickly back to square one. 

To take an example from my own everyday life: as a gym goer several times a week, you often see a "boom" after New Year with new enthusiasts in the gym. The New Year's resolution to finally "get started" again. It's great that people start exercising. The sad thing is though that year after year I observe how more and more from this group (not all) after a few weeks begin to drop off. Some have already tired. Some I may instead see in the physiotherapy clinic because their bodies said no in the form of injuries. So start smart and sound and make the exercise into a routine gradually! 

As I said a workout doesn't have to be 1-2 hours. If you don't have the time or inclination to visit a gym you can actually come a long way with strength training at home. 15-20 minutes your home, such as push-ups, squats, pelvic lifts and dips between chairs can actually become a good workout. Your only limit is creativity. Would you rather quickly and easily improve your fitness, short and intense interval workouts of 10-15 minutes a few times times a week can do wonders. You don't need to go out and run a half marathon! For some older people, exercise can also be as simple as a brisk walk, just move and increase your heart rate! 

Last, but perhaps most important of all. Exercise should be something that is fun and makes you feel good. So try to find a form of exercise that suits you and that you find stimulating. If you hate cycling then maybe a spinning class 3-4 times a week is probably not your way to go. For sure, the best exercise is the one that actually takes place! 

- Johannes Rosenqvist

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Raw Chocolate Fudge

I just realised that I already have two recipes for chocolate fudge on the blog (here and here). But is there really such a thing as too many recipes for (healthy) chocolate fudge? I think not!

This fudge is so delicious and very "chocolatey" as it uses both cacao powder and cacao butter. I also add a generous pinch of vanilla powder to make it taste even more decadent. Serve these with a cup of your favourite tea. In the pictures is one of my favourite teas at the moment, which is a loose leaf white tea with things like spirulina and flowers. I like to make a big pot of it and drink several cups in a row. The more tea the merrier.

I don't know what is is about this weekend, but I feel so bright and happy. The weather has been incredibly sunny and almost spring-like. Today I've spent some time on my balcony replanting my geraniums which have been resting in the cellar during winter. Spring is coming, and I can hardly wait.

Raw Chocolate Fudge

50 g raw cacao butter
15 fresh/juicy dates (use less if using big dates like medjools)
1/5 tsp (1 krm) real vanilla powder
1/3 cup (3/4 dl) raw cacao powder

1. Slowly melt the cacao butter over a water bath.
2. While the cacao butter melts, pit all the dates and put them in a food processor. Blend until they form a somewhat smooth date paste.
3. Add the melted cacao butter, vanilla and cacao to the dates. Blend again until smooth.
4. Spread the mixture into a baking tin or loaf pan lined with baking paper. Leave it to harden in the freezer for about one hour.
5. Remove from the tin and cut the fudge into squares. Store in the freezer. The fudge doesn't need to be thawed before eating. Enjoy!