Pomegranate juice is a miracle for health

How beautiful is the pomegranate fruit, right? 😀

Pomegranates are very special fruits, as you can imagine and they were even mentioned in the Bible a few times, in the Quran as being the fruits that will be present in the gardens of paradise and in Hinduism this fruit is a symbol of fertility and prosperity. It has some magic in it, isn’t it? Split pomegranate

I just love pomegranates. I love the sweet-sour taste of them, the colour of the fruit and I love the cleverness with which they were created in the first place… God must have had an exceptionally good and inspired day when He created this fruit, really! 😀 I have only a problem with it, because well, my life wouldn’t have existed if I didn’t found anything wrong with this perfect fruit. 😀 … And because I like to speak…a lot and I love to write, I decided to tell you a little bit about the ways that I choose when it comes to eating a pomegranate. Let’s cut back to chase:

Yes! The pomegranates and grapes have this weird aspect (for me)… the SEEDS. What to do? It’s not that I am spoiled, because I am not, but I just cannot accept at all the seeds in fruits like grapes and pomegranates. Maybe I am crazy? Who knows? This could be an option also. 😀 As much as I love the taste of pomegranate it is very hard to eat one and I have sacrificed myself for a while now and I ate the pomegranate as it is… with seeds, until one magic day. 😀 This was the day when finally someone gave me a pomegranate press (like a mechanical juicer). This was amazing! 😀Pomegranate

… and this is how I discovered the fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.

In the meantime I gathered some pretty cool information regarding this juice and I thought you might want to hear it too:

  • Pomegranate juice is a tonic for the digestive system and is recognized for its ability to soothe stomach pain, in case of indigestion.
  • For pregnant women pomegranate juice is sensational as it is very rich in minerals and vitamins and is particularly rich in folic acid. If consumed regularly, pomegranate juice reduces the risk of preterm birth.
  • It looks like pomegranate juice, consumed regularly, prevents hair loss and its strengthening the hair roots.
  • Helps maintaining a normal blood pressure. Drinking pomegranate juice will help you in thinning the blood and this will allow a proper blood circulation throughout the body.
  • Pomegranates juice helps with the elimination of free radicals from the body, being a good inhibitor of malignant tumour development. For this reason, this juice promotes cell health and health in general.
  • With such anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, we can rest assured when it comes to colds. Consuming pomegranate juice helps the body maintain high immunity and face all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
  • Very rich in iron, this is important for those suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
  • Pomegranate juice is known to relieve joint pain and is known for maintaining bone health.
  • I will also say that pomegranate juice has anti-aging properties, because this is simply true. Please do your research 😀
  • Pomegranate juice increases appetite and is a real help for those who suffer from a lack of appetite.
  • Pomegranate juice protects the liver and helps it regenerate by enhancing its own ability to heal by sustaining its proper function.
  • Pomegranate juice is a widely used in the prophylaxis of asthma.
  • Helps lower LDL cholesterol and protects blood vessels in the body.
  • Being a good anti-bacterial, pomegranate juice helps in removing plaque in the mouth.Juice press

 

In other words, the pomegranate juice helps us in being healthy and vibrant and it spoils us with its own savoury aroma of summer, in the middle of autumn-winter. 😀

I want to mention the fact that pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed, is beating the bare bottoms of any pomegranate juice commercially packaged and pasteurized in different ways and does not even compare in nutritional values and taste, with any other kind of pomegranate juices found in famous stores.

Now, this press for squeezing pomegranates that I was talking about a little earlier is found in a lot of supermarkets, at a reasonable price. It is a long term investment and I say it’s worth every penny. You can use it also for juicing oranges, if you want to, but for pomegranates from my point of view, this mechanical press is the best solution. : D

… Let’s go to the market, buy some pomegranates and let’s get drunk with the taste and fragrance of homemade pomegranate juice!: D

BROCCOLI is being investigated for its green colour

Like every child born and raised in this century, I have always looked suspicious to the plate that sat in front of me at mealtimes. I cannot say I was too finicky, because I loved food so much (still do), but I wouldn’t accept weird, green stuff on my plate, especially when was hidden, on purpose, under my French fries. What?! I have bubble-gum in my hair or something like that? I am not stupid and you cannot fool me into eating your weird green things. I will show you how pissed off I am…and then the plate was flying in the air like a tennis ball. 😀 … I know, I was a tough kid! 😀

Leaving aside the French fries, which were almost descended from heaven, from my point of view, I would eat many other things, some more weird than others. One of these foods was cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower; that vegetable that resembles a big, white, almost fat flower. I would eat it in any shape or form…raw, baked, in puddings, pickled, and so on and so forth. I never protested and I preferred it in the detriment of many other vegetables… until one cursed day of autumn.

Let me explain this to you!

One day, going to the farmers market, accompanied by my dad, I see a nice lady that was selling vegetables and on her stall there was also a huge pile of cauliflower. Cool! I asked my dad if he wants to buy some cauliflower because it was in season. He agreed and we walked to the nice lady…and she asked:

– Hello! What do you want to buy?

Us:

-Hello! We would like to buy 4 pounds of cauliflower.

The nice lady:

-Right away! What about some BROCCOLI?

Us:

BRO… what?

-BROCCOLI…you don’t know about BROCCOLI? You should definitely try it, it’s a new product on our market and it’s amazing! broccoli

Because I didn’t knew what she was talking about I looked again and next to the white cauliflower I see an even huger pile of GREEN cauliflower.

I was in shock! A green cauliflower, a super green one, I mean very GREEN!!!

I was speechless, what they have done to my sweet friend, the cauliflower? They painted it, they coloured it, they brooked it; they did exactly what they did with the Easter eggs… this is the reason for which we now have blue eggs, purple eggs, green eggs, golden eggs. The age of white cauliflower was officially gone! We now eat green cauliflower… what the heck?

… So pissed. 😀

Us (under shock):

-No, thank you! We will stick to the 4 pounds of cauliflower, WHITE cauliflower.toy with broccoli

This being said we just went home and forgot completely of what happened at the farmers market.

Years have passed and in my attempt to discover and to buy fresh and healthy produce (by this time my perspective on food changed dramatically) I went directly to the farmers market to buy some fruits and some vegetables. After 10 steps I saw the greenest cauliflower that I have ever seen in my entire life. Guess who? It was, again, Mr BROCCOLI himself. I was determined to find out more about this greenish, “fake” 😀 😀 cauliflower. I took out my wallet and I paid a pretty big amount of money on 1 single BROCCOLI, with the purpose of discovering why this cauliflower is so green and what is wrong with us people that we don’t accept vegetables as they are. 😀

and I finally understood 😀

Mr BROCCOLI is not a green cauliflower, as I thought… it’s just the husband of the cauliflower, but just… you know… GREEN (tastes in man are not to be discussed 😀 ). It seems that both of them belong to the cruciferous family, which also includes other weird relatives, but we will talk about this in another blog post. Now, let’s focus on this damn BROCCOLI. 😀

It seems that Mr. BROCCOLI is a great king among vegetables and he brags that he also has astonishing properties and benefits for us, simple mortals. For the sake of this story, let’s see what Mr. Green face is talking about:

  • rich in minerals: Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Selenium, Calcium and Iron
  • rich in vitamins: folic acid, vitamin K, A, B6, E, C, riboflavin, pantothenic acid
  • excellent source of vegetable protein and fiber
  • contributes to cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis
  • strengthens the immune system and helps preventing degenerative diseases
  • has anti-aging properties
  • it is a good bone fortifier
  • helps maintain a healthy nervous system
  • very good food for those suffering from diabetes, due to the presence of chromium
  • has antioxidant properties
  • it supports the digestive system
  • contains plenty of chlorophyll (obviously green) and helps in detoxifying the body

 

After learning so much positive things about BROCCOLI, I wanted to uncover at least one defect, one glitch; something that wasn’t just right about this “gentleman”… it couldn’t be this perfect. I mean… common, he is green; he must have at least one defect. So I decided to see how the taste of it was.

I ate it raw, in salads, with rice, with pasta, in the oven, etc… and I was surprised that it just tasted amazing!!! It wasn’t bad at all you guys. 😀 It is even worthy to be the husband of my beloved cauliflower.

I will say it out laud:

-BROCCOLI tastes amazing!!!

My friends, I know, it’s hard to believe that something so green can taste as good as this BROCCOLI does, but believe me, you have to be opened to try it at least once and you will be amazed. After all he is the king of the vegetables. This could not be for any reason, right? It’s tasty and healthy and… well, green… but GOOD! 😀

Let’s say that being green it’s his only flaw, after all he is full of chlorophyll and full of life and it seems happy all the time. 😀

 since that day at the market, we are just inseparable.

kid with broccoli

This son of a bitch… he got me! 😀

5 reasons for which AUTUMN is an awesome season for vegetarians

I know a lot of people that just hate autumn. They don’t like it less than summer, or less than spring, they actually hate it…and they are pretty serious about it. 😀 I might get in trouble for even suggesting that there could be another side of the coin. 😀

Autumn announces the entering of the cold weather and the end of sunny and bright days… and if you look it that way, it’s indeed depressing. But wait just a second before judging it. Let’s watch it from another perspective.

What if I told you that autumn can be (and it is) an awesome season?

And no, I am not crazy, and yes, I do love summer, I actually love all the seasons, but for several years now, I just appreciate autumn more than ever and in a whole new way.

Let me be more specific and let me suggest 5 “outrageous’’ reasons for which autumn could be (and it is) an awesome season for all of us, but especially for vegetarians:

  1. Autumn brings us a lot of joy by introducing us with the fruits and veggies of the year. 😀 This is the period of time when we can eat the best fruits and veggies ever, the fruits and veggies that were ripe under the sun’s love, all summer long. Without any further introduction, let me present you the kings and queens of the season: apples, butternut squash, grapes, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, pears, onion, kale, celery, cabbage, blackberries, arugula, beets, broccoli, cranberries, chard, eggplant, figs, garlic, different aromatic herbs, dates, plums, mushrooms, persimmons, corn, pineapple, pomegranate, sweet potatoes, kiwi, avocado… and the list goes on and on. Most of these fruits and veggies can be bought locally in autumn and indeed some of them are imported, but, this is the time when you can find them in their best possible quality and at the cheapest prices. 😀veggie salad cooked pumpkin
  2. Pantry time” period! 😀 Autumn is the season in which we have fun in the kitchen preparing our pantry for winter and spring. We can spend quality time with the loved ones preparing things to eat in the winter such as: pickles of all kinds and forms, we can freeze fruits and vegetables, we can dry out herbs and spices, we can store starches in dry dark, cold places, we can prepare tomato sauce and homemade tomato ketchup for the winter, we can store nuts and seeds, we can even make some wine in our own home. In this period of time we take advantage of what fruits and veggies were ripen in summer and in the beginning of autumn and we prepare with them nice things to eat in the cold season, each of us in our own way (cultural cuisine). zacuscaspaghetti
  3. Autumn is the perfect season for inner knowledge and inner work and the perfect season for self-love and self-appreciation. In autumn the nights come earlier and this causes most of us to enter home at a much early hour than usual. We can transform the evenings into our own advantage. For example we can spend more time with our loved ones, watching a nice movie while eating the perfectly cooked pumpkin pie, or we can choose to meditate for half an hour before going to bed, or we can write in a journal, or we can drink a hot cup of tea, or we can go to bed earlier, or we can read more, or watch educational documentaries on global warming, saving the planet, contributing to the collective evolution, etc. This season resonates with inner work in my point of view and it’s amazing for reflection upon our own thoughts… Some of us might think that autumn is even romantic. 😀New earth - book
  4. Some of us like to exercise in the evening. In the summer this is impossible because of the heat, but in autumn…boy, this is a delight! If you are like me and you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, you will for sure understand me when I tell you that autumn is the perfect season for jogging, doing gymnastics and roll around for an increased heartbeat 😀 . This season you can start to exercise outdoors and you can start to move your body in a perfect harmony with the weather. This is a huge advantage; you can put the bases to your workouts in autumn and even in winter and after that you will be trained enough to resist the heat in summer. 😀 … at least this is my opinion. Summer is good for starting to work out, but just in the morning unfortunately. feet on the ground
  5. The last but not least, I love autumn for its spirit and for the energy that it holds. What I mean about this? Well, you know, the trees look spectacular, the leaves start falling and you can play and jump around them, the rain starts and we all love the sound that rain makes on the top of our roofs, the house gets a bit chilli and you “have to” hug your loved one to get warm 😀 , you can cook the most amazing veggie soups and stews ever, we can cover ourselves in warm blankets, have a warm bath, we can chat and chat at family dinners and walk around the streets in warm clothes all day long, etc.autum in the park

 

These are just a few things that I enjoy about autumn and I am sure that you appreciate them too. We always have to find the positive side of each season and to embrace it as it is. For us, vegetarians, this season screams from the top of his lungs: “I am autumn, the season of peace and inspiration!”

May this autumn be an amazing one for all of us!!! 😀

 

“Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.”

Hal Borland

GRAPE JUICE… a miracle for health

and this is not just another lie! 😀

I never liked grapes enough to actually eat them regularly, not even seasonally. Why? I really don’t know…actually to be honest I love the taste of grapes but I hate the seeds and the skin that covers each bean of grape, mostly the seeds. I do like raisins instead, I love raisins actually. Maybe I’m spoiled or my brain is damaged in a way that it doesn’t accept grape seeds! 😀

Of course… whole foods are always the best option for our body, but still, how to enjoy the fresh flavour of grapes in autumn, when you don’t like their seeds? For me this was a though one. Somehow I figure it out!glass of grape juice

I know! I will juice the grapes! 😀

I have to enjoy them somehow and it seems that the juicing thing might actually be a good idea for me. I would never thought that grape juice would be so beneficial for me, from the health point of view and I would never imagined the amazing taste that comes out when you drink a glass of fresh squeezed grape juice.

As you can imagine, I wanted to know more about grapes and grape juice in particular, so I studied the subject a bit.

Here is what I have found:

  • Grape juice is very detoxifying for the body
  • It is a good diuretic and laxative
  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • It is full of minerals and vitamins
  • Good for your nervous system (loads of vitamin B)
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • It works like a digestive tonic
  • It’s a pretty awesome antioxidant, especially the juice made from black grapes ( because of the presence of resveratrol)
  • Balances the blood pressure
  • Fortifies the immune system
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • Improves taste, smell and hearing
  • Helps prevent serious degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer
  • Improves the health in osteoarticular system
  • Rich in lecithin… perfect for your memory 😀

 

Is not that bad isn’t it? blue grapes

and the taste is amazing! Grape juice is fragrant, sweet, and delicate and it always brings a smile on my face. Always! You have to try it for sure (and I am not talking about wine ok? 😀 )

You can buy fresh squeezed grape juice from the farmers market or you can make it for yourself with the help of a juicer. Both ways it is beneficial for your health and brings autumn to a whole new level, trust me.

I recommend you to eat grapes in all shapes and forms and to enjoy them as much as you possibly can, especially as a whole plant based food (with seeds, skin and everything else); and if you are nuts, just as I am and you really hate the seeds, please juice the grapes.

You will still get amazing health benefits from doing so!

 

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce.

It is always about people.”

Cesar Chavez

Why I love PARSLEY ?

We’ve been really good friends since I was a little child, but now we are really inseparable. It wasn’t really hard for me to bond with my dear parsley… actually most of the times; it was present in my food. In my household parsley was very often used, as you can imagine. Now I realise the fact that not only I was in love with parsley, but I guess parsley was in love with me also, otherwise I could not explain why parsley would wave to me from the farmers market, every time I went there with my dad. 😀 14333193_10210854682065447_924418287290150290_n1

How can you not love it? It is green, cheerful and tasty… really tasty; on top of all these qualities, it helps us (if we let it) to be healthy and vibrant. Parsley is a really nutritious food, for those who have eyes to see and to appreciate it.

Parsley is an herbaceous plant, cultivated for its white root, stem and leaves. That we already know, but what we know less, or not at all, is that parsley is a super food , a real panacea, a nutrition bomb and a great healer for our bodies.

 

Let’s see what parsley offers in terms of health:

  • Vitamin C! Parsley is a great source of vitamin C easily absorbable, it contains 3 times more vitamin C than citrus. That means the parsley is an excellent antioxidant, has anti-viral properties, regulates blood sugar, prevents fat storage, is a good anti-allergic, regulate cholesterol, etc.
  • It contains beta- carotene, so it ensures protection of various organs such as the colon and lungs.
  • Rich in chlorophyll which acts like an antibacterial and antifungal food.
  • It contains easily absorbable iron (much more than spinach) and it helps us in cases of iron deficiency.
  • It contains a pretty awesome variety of minerals such as: calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
  • It’s an excellent source of vitamin K and sodium.
  • Like any green leaf is really rich in protein (this is important especially for those who do not consume animal protein). 😀
  • Due to the sheer amount of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, parsley gives a good help to both digestive system and urinary system.

These are just some of the benefits of parsley, in terms of health, I’m sure you know that. : D14361233_10210854774067747_264700113804250731_o2

Also, parsley, gives colour and flavour to all foods and it puts its mark on each meal that you prepare with love for your loved ones; it is used in all kitchens in the world as a pretty important ingredient. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that this herb it’s a real value from all points of view and you can attribute it a lot of tasks of colour, flavour and nutrition in all your dishes.

When you buy parsley you have to be very careful when you choose it. It has to be dark green (preferably), with a hard stem and vigorous leaves and freshly picked from the garden (as fresh as possible). In this way you will be sure that it contains all the valuable minerals and vitamins that you need, plus it taste will be 10 times better if it’s fresh. I suggest that you buy parsley from the farmers market and not from supermarket. In this way it will be better for the local farmers, for the environment, for you…well for everybody 😀 ; you can find it fresh all year round without any kind of problems and if you want you can even grow it in your apartment. 😀 14352305_10210854781627936_8934137722502566741_o

I use parsley in a lot of dishes, I add it in salads, in sandwiches, is soups and stews (after I turn off the fire), in fresh juices made from fruits and veggies, in smoothies, and so on… endless possibilities.

We just need a little bit of imagination…because we have enough parsley, thank God! 😀

P.S. I believe it would look perfect instead of a flower bouquet also!!! 😀

SESAME SEEDS equals PACKED CALCIUM

Sesame seedsI will never forget those days when I used to see sesame bars, for sale, at the farmers market, when I went to the mountains with my grandparents. What a feeling! Beautiful times, beautiful years, true joy! Those bars were incredible tasty and I felt like I was in Wonderland… just like Alice. 😀 I was jumping all around because I was very happy that I could find and eat sesame bars in my vacation at the mountains.

I didn’t had any clue, that those same sesame seeds , that I used to love as a child, would become, after years and years, a topic of study for me. 😀 Well this is life…unpredictable.

Because I love sesame seeds so much and especially because I had a period of time when I didn’t consume it, I decided to make a small research about this wonderful food and to get it right back into my diet, not only for the amazing taste, but also for his nutritional properties. Let me tell you a story about sesame seeds and who knows, maybe you will get inspired to consume it also. 😀

My friends, these seeds are nature’s marvel. They contain a variety of nutrients and they can be used in all possible and impossible recipes that you can think of. You can use sesame in main dishes, but also in tasty and healthy desserts. But what struck me the hardest was the calcium content that sesame has. We all look for calcium intake, from corner to corner…and here it is. Just around our eyes… like all cool things are.

Sesame contains about 351 mg of calcium per 36 grams ( ¼ of a cup ) … I would say…pretty much , considering the fact that World Health Organization recommends about 500 mg / day intake . It would be interesting for you to see the difference between the quantities of calcium in cow’s milk versus the quantities of calcium in the humble sesame seeds; I think you will be pretty astonished. 😀

I want to mention the fact that the above data refers to whole sesame seeds, paddy, in their whole state. If we buy hulled sesame seeds, the quantity of calcium will decrease significantly.

Black and white sesame

I am not expecting anyone to eat every single day ¼ cup of sesame, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t introduce these seeds into our diet in smaller quantities. Our human organism is very smart and it will extract the calcium from many other sources too, including sesame seeds and it will know what to do with it, how to utilize it, how much it needs and so on and so forth. The human body is a spectacular creation that can calculate nutrients versus needs in a really smart way, even better than a computer. Nutrient utilization is not our concern, but it’s our body’s concern.

 

I will give you a really tasty recipe that you can use whenever you like it or whenever you crave something sweet. You need 1 tablespoon of grinded whole sesame seeds + some sweetener that you like (maple syrup, stevia or honey for those who eat it) + 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. You mix these 3 simple ingredients and you will get a gummy texture thing. You shape it into a little ball and this is your candy now. You can eat it as a dessert or in the morning on empty stomach. I like to eat it in the morning. : D

I learned this simple recipe from a dear Romanian lady that has a pretty awesome blog; I wish that someday, her blog will be translated in English also. Her name is Cristela Georgescu. She cured herself of hypocalcemia with this particular recipe and a healthy plant based diet. 😀

Another way in which I incorporate sesame in my diet is by eating Tahini. Tahini is a simple sesame paste. It can be prepared in your own home or can be bought in stores like Whole Foods. Tahini is used in particular to prepare hummus, another culinary wonder. I leave you my recipe + video here:

http://www.dearfruitsmile.com/plant-based-living/homemade-hummus/

I also use Tahini as a dressing for any kind of salad. I mix about 1tablespoon of Tahini, or even 2 tablespoons of Tahini with the fresh squeezed lemon juice from a small lemon + a tablespoon of water, if it’s needed. The texture should be creamy and flowing and the colour should be a whitish one; I bet there are hundreds of other ways to use sesame seeds in your diet, I just mentioned the ones that I love in particular. 😀

Let’s not forget the fact that for optimum calcium absorption, we need to eat grinded sesame seeds, in order for our body to absorb as much as it wants and needs too. If we eat the sesame as it is, most of the seeds will be pooped out, as I am sure you can imagine. 😀Sesame in hand

 

Now don’t make out of this a big deal. Eat sesame seeds as you wish and love, you can even make milk from the seeds.

Here is a recipe from Young and Raw: http://www.youngandraw.com/boost-your-calcium-with-homemade-sesame-seed-milk/
Besides calcium , sesame seeds contain encouraging quantities of copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc , molybdenum , selenium, vitamin B1 and fiber … not to talk , sesame is a real wonder, especially if you love the taste of it. 😀

I am waiting for your comments and maybe you can share new recipes with all of us that contain sesame seeds. In this way we can learn one from another and create a nice community. 😀

 

Now… let’s eat some! : D

YOU are WORK IN PROGRESS…LOADING

Girl on shore sunset

This morning we stopped at a gas station to fuel the car; nothing special so far. As I sat in the car, waiting for my colleague to return from the cash register, I couldn’t help myself to observe, just a little bit, all the people that were passing by.

This is an interesting practice that I like to explore now and then; it’s very interesting to watch people, to observe all their gestures, to see how they react, to see their body language, to see if they smile or if they are sad, to see that every one of them has their own story, to live and to tell. We are all so different, yet so beautiful, each of us in our own way. 😀

Have you ever tried to observe people, from a non-judgmental point of view? You will be amazed of the beauty that lies inside all of us, even if we try to hide this beauty with all our effort, in our desperate hope to not get hurt one more time…& sometimes we try to hide our true feelings, emotions and state of mind with nice clothes, fake smiles, beautiful make-up and spectacular stories about how life is amazing for us. Nevertheless we are fascinating to watch!

What I mentioned above is valid, in my point of view, only for people who are passed age 8, and it’s intensifying more and more as time passes by, in such a rapid way, that at age 20, we all wear “protection masks” to hide ourselves from us and from others, for the false purpose of being safe and loved. Because this is what we are taught to do, this is the main brick that stays at the base of education, since….forever.

You will be loved only if you act in this certain way…if not, you will be punished or deprived of my love!”

We are educated in this punishment-reward type of mentality that will govern our main decisions in life, and we won’t even be conscious enough to realise that life is not about others perceptions about us. This is the reason for which we act from a reaction aspect and not from true desire or conscious decision.

Work in progressWhat I mean about this?

Most of our behaviour is a learned behaviour, from our care holders, that integrates perfectly in society and that doesn’t take into account our true nature and the differences between us as human beings. We are all different, so education mustn’t be the same for all of us, if not, we will all become fake copies and we will forget who we truly are, and believe me when I say this to you, is not an easy thing to undone. It is very hard to find yourself after a lot of programming from the society; BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE!

Now, imagine that every day, all day long, you make decisions, you choose paths, you act and most important, you react from a point of view that it’s not entirely yours to begin with? This to me is frightening, especially since I find myself in the same situation as 99% of us.

What to do? Because we CAN do something, we always have options.

We can start by observing ourselves from a non-judgmental point of view, as like we are looking at somebody else, and consciously be aware of our emotions in different situations, each day.

We can observe WHEN we get nervous, mad, when we feel attacked, when we feel shame, low self-esteem, sadness, powerlessness, or on the other side of the coin, when we feel joy, love, self-worth, compassion, happiness, etc.

After this 1st step we can ask ourselves WHY we feel the way we feel and WHAT is the core reason for our emotions. Is it really the joke that that person made on us, that got us mad, or that joke was just the trigger for a much deeper aspect of us that got buried in us, when we were trying to fit in society and act as “normal” people do? If we react and purge all our insecurities on the person that just made a joke on us, we will be reacting from our insecurities, and not from our true self…At least this how I see things now.

We have to dig into ourselves to rejoice with our true nature and make peace with our past. This will ensure us a much more realistic action and reaction to life itself.

We were all hurt in life and we were all disappointed at some point, but in order to not let those experiences to act on us the way they do nowadays we have to make peace with them and we have to get conscious and to find a completion somehow.

We are all work in progress and this is not wrong, actually is the very best thing that could happened to us, because this means we are getting more conscious each day and we can live more and more close to our true nature, to our true personality, like a child does. 😀

We are all trying to do our best; we are all waking up, each on our own path.

 

I for myself, I have to say: “I AM WORK IN PROGRESS!

I am on the path of discovering myself each day.

I am discovering myself:

With each mistake that I make,

With each bad decision that I take,

With each smile that I bring on somebody else’s lips,

With each song that I sing out loud

With each walk that I take in the park

With each food that I eat

With each tear that I drop

With each joke that I say

With each kiss that I receive

With each hug that I give

With each resentment that I hold

With each injustice that I see or make

With every single bit of air that I breath

I am …LOADING, I am in a process, and I progress

Just like a 8 year old!

Girl on beach on sunset

Let’s seek for progression, not for perfection, let’s walk our own unique paths and let’s bring our emotions with us, daily. Emotions are our friends; they guide us to the things that we love. 😀

Don’t you ever be afraid to express them, regardless of their type 😀

I am relearning how to do this every day

3 TIPS for buying the perfect avocado

Against all opinions it pretty damn easy to buy a perfectly ripe avocado from the supermarket or from the farmers market. This is what I can say now, after at least 20 rotten avocados + 20 unripe ones, bought in my first attempts of introducing avocado in my diet.  😀 … I wasn’t a genius at the beginning. Well since then, things have changed and I became a master in choosing perfect avocados from supermarket. After countless fails, I finally managed to know how I can recognise a perfect avocado. I can even give classes on this subject 😀 !!!avocado3

I personally love avocado, ripe avocado I should say. It helps me in the kitchen a lot because I can use it in all sort of recipes and even eat it as it is, in salads or on toast. I heard some people saying that avocado is disgusting and oily and I cannot understand why; in my point of view is the perfect food, or fruit I should say, because avocado is a fruit, a perfect fruit. Yes it is! 😀

Also, avocado is loaded with a lot of nutrients (vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, Folic acid, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, etc) + fiber, which makes it even more perfect 😀 !

I suspect that maybe some of the people, who didn’t like it at all, didn’t eat it properly ripe, the first time they have tried it…or who knows why?

Now let’s cut to the chase and see how we can pick up the perfectly ripe avocado from any supermarket, without having any kind of difficulties, at all.

 

TIP 1: WATCH FOR THE COLOUR

This is the first step when you choose to buy any type of fruit, especially avocado. Now if you want to eat the avocado right away or that day you must pick it already ripe. This means that you must search for an avocado that has the colour:  dark brown (or maybe a reddish brown). This aspect is very important and it’s a major step ahead.

If you want to eat it, let’s say, in a few days, you can pick a green or a greenish brown one. Avocado will ripe at room temperature in approximate 5-6 days. So it all depends on when you want to eat it.

 

TIP 2: FEEL IT, TOUCH IT AND SQUEEZE IT

This step is crucial! You can have a perfect dark brown avocado which is either not ready to eat or you can have a perfect dark brown avocado which is overripe and who knows, maybe already rotten. We want to choose a perfect one right? Soooo… take the avocado in your hands and squeeze it gently to see how firm it is. You don’t want it to be firm and you don’t want it to be mushy either.avocado4

The perfectly ripe avocado will have a little give, not too much, but just enough to feel like is ripe (slightly soft) but not overripe. With practice, you will learn what I am talking about; it’s not hard at all.

 

There is also another way of making sure that the avocado is ripe, but I don’t like to use this method too often.

 

TIP 3: INSPECT THE STEM

This is the easiest part. Look at the avocados stem and then try to remove it from the avocado. If the stem comes off quickly and easy this is a good sign that the avocado is ripe. But be careful and pay attention to the colour of the avocado under the stem; it should be a greenish-yellowish colour. If the colour is brown, this means that the avocado is overripe and might have rotten parts inside it.

This is not my favourite way of making sure that the avocado is ripe, as I said before, because I don’t like damaging the fruit in any way, if I don’t buy it for myself;avocado1

The best way of detecting a ripe avocado, in my opinion is to combine TIP 1 with TIP 2, and as a last resort use TIP 3.

Remember, if you want to eat the avocado now or in the next 48 hours choose it using the above methods, if not, just buy a regular green and firm avocado, but make sure to have the stem on (in this way you will make sure that will ripe correctly and will not rot), and it will be ready to eat in 5-6 days if you store it at room temperature, as I already mentioned before.

P.S. Ripe avocados last in the fridge up to a week. 😀

 

I hope this info will help you to choose the king of avocados! 😀 😀 😀

Let’s talk GLUTEN

Almost in every food store you enter you find at least 1 product which is labelled as gluten free. This is a trend that I saw since 3-4 years ago. At the beginning I wasn’t familiar at all with the “gluten free” subject, but as time passed by, I educated myself a little bit and most important, I watched myself and I learned from my own experience.

 

bread and pasta

I cannot emphasize enough how important is to learn from your own experience, even though the experience of others might seem legit, we are all different and we perceive things differently. This is the reason for which our own experience with life is the most valuable of all. Don’t get me wrong; learn from others experiences and don’t repeat again and again their mistakes, but put more value on your experience. 😀

Now back to our gluten subject. What is gluten, first of all?

Gluten is a mixture of 2 proteins present in cereal grains, especially, which is responsible for the elasticity of dough. As simple as that!

The problem with gluten is that is incriminated for many problems such as: rashes, brain fog, IBS, intestinal issues, allergies, joint pains and a lot more. Also we have an autoimmune disease that is believed to be caused by gluten. This is celiac disease, which as far as I heard and learned is not a joke at all. Celiac disease is real and affects people at all ages, but it is pretty rare I would say. According to http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-gluten-bad-for-you/ gluten is bad for only 0.7% of Americans. This means that 99.3% of people can consume gluten without any problems. There is an even simple blood test that we can take to check out if we are prone to have celiac disease. Get tested if the subject concerns you.

Gluten is found in cereals such as: wheat, barley, bulgur, rye, oats, seitan(fake meat). It can be also hidden in the products that you least expect to contain gluten, such as: salad dressings, some veggie burgers, microwave soups, vinegar, condiments and so on. So if you are concerned with gluten, you can try to avoid these products and read the labels carefully, but don’t forget about the percentages of people that actually suffer from celiac disease. It’s pretty small.

 

Muffins

If you are trying to avoid gluten, these are the foods that you can consume in order for you to enjoy food, be healthy and feel amazing: fruits (bananas, mangoes, cherries, berries, peaches, apricots, pineapple, grapes, melons, tomatoes, etc), veggies, beans, chickpeas, peas, seeds, nuts, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoua, all types of rice, soy (if you are ok with it), tapioca, potatoes (all of them), gluten free pasta, gluten free breads, corn and polenta, millet, plant based milks, arrowroot, green leafy vegetables and all kind of products made from these gluten free foods that I just mentioned.

And yes, meat and dairy don’t contain gluten either. But why to consume these products, loaded with such a bad reputation, from all points of view… when we have such beautiful and nutritious pallet of foods to consume instead, right? 😀 This is a question that we should all think about.

As you can imagine the “gluten free” thing is a multibillion dollar business that works perfectly nowadays and in my opinion is based on fear and on the fact that people are not informed enough and are even tricked into thinking that gluten is bad for all of us. When a thing becomes profitable, at this scale, we must question everything; this is the thing that I learned in the past few years. I encourage you to do the same, based on your own thoughts and common sense.

Isn’t a bit weird that the stores are full of gluten-free products and more, the products are not cheap at all? Isn’t it weird that although the commercials tell you to start eating gluten free products, they lead you to choose the processed ones, made by them and they get a ton of money on these products? Why they don’t just tell you to eat unprocessed gluten free foods such as fruits and veggies and rice and beans? You know why? Because is not so profitable… well this is a bit weird for me… at least. 😀

My friends, people lived on gluten cereals and some fruits and veggies for 10 000 of years and they lived fine in good health and strength. Trust your instincts and your body; BUT… if you are celiac, avoid gluten… like forever. This is not a joke.bread

Personally, from my experience, I learned that no excess is good and that cereals can be sometimes rough on my digestive system if I exaggerate in quantities… because you know… they are tasty and satisfying. 😀 So the key is to learn what type of cereals is better digested by your body and to eat those ones in particular. Also the cereals can be prepared in many shapes and forms and the process of cooking them is sometimes the key to a good digestion; but this is a subject for the future, for the times when I will be much more informed and prepared to write an article about this part also. We all have to know our boundaries 😀 … and be sincere with us and with the ones around you.

You know what digest perfectly, without even knowing… FRUIT and VEGGIES. Well maybe that might be a part of the answer… just saying 😀

VEGGIE SUSHI ROLLS in 10 STEPS

Well… I just love sushi and since I don’t live in Japan or anywhere near Asia, my family and friends find it pretty weird. My first bite of sushi was on a work trip in Germany, and boy… I was delighted. This happened many, many years ago…and yes, around that time I didn’t even knew about vegetables to much, so my first sushi contained raw fish, I know… bad girl! But this is the truth. I have never had the chance to taste veggie sushi, until I made my own. 😀

This recipe is pretty simple and it doesn’t take too much of an effort to try it. This dish is low in fat, high in carbs, rich in minerals, rich in proteins and vitamins and… it tastes amazingly good.

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As “equipment” you need:

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 pot
  • Rice rolling mat, or anything that resembles it (I used a bamboo napkin roll)
  • Plastic wrap
  • One spoon
  • Sauce pan
  • 1 glass with clean water

Ingredients for this recipe:

  • Nori wraps (made from algae) – around 6->8 wraps
  • Sushi rice (or any kind of short-grained sticky rice) – around 250 grams
  • Veggies of your choice (I just used 2carrots, ½ red and ½ yellow bell pepper, ½ avocado and 1 small cucumber)
  • Rice vinegar (I used 3-4 tablespoons of apple vinegar: D )
  • Brown sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Water (600 grams for boil, 200 grams for “dipping your hands”, 100 grams for diluting the vinegar)
  • Salt (this is your taste)
  • Tamari sauce (for seasoning)

10 STEPS + VIDEO:

1). Boil the rice. It would be best if you have sushi rice. If you don’t have this type of rice, you can easily use any kind of short-grained sticky rice. Boil the rice according to the indications written on the bag of rice and then strain it from water.

2). Cut your favorite veggies. I just used some carrots, red and yellow bell pepper, ripped avocado and cucumber. I washed, peeled and then cut them in long sticks.

3). Place rice vinegar and sugar into a small sauce pan.  Over low heat, mix well until your sugar dissolves. Add the 100 grams of water. Let the mixture cool down for a little bit.

4). After the rice is boiled and strained, pour the mixture of vinegar, sugar and water on top of the rice and mix it very well. Now you can put the rice to rest until it cools a little bit in order for you to be able to handle it properly, without burning your fingers. 😀

You can season with salt anytime you want (If you want)

5). Let’s assemble the sushi rolls! Put the water for “dipping your hands” near you. Dipping your fingers in water while rolling the sushi will keep the rice from sticking to your hands.

6). Now cover your rolling mat with plastic wrap, so the rice doesn’t stick to it and position your Nori sheet on top of the plastic wrap and dip your hands in the water.

7). Grab a handful of rice and spread it on to the Nori wrap, leaving 2-3 cm of Nori wrap free at the top. The empty portion will seal the sushi all together.

8). Lay a thin layer of veggies on top of the rice (around 3 cm width)

9). Just roll the sushi with your palms and fingers using the help of the sushi mat or just the help of the plastic wrap if you don’t have a mat, until the sushi roll is round and nice. Avoid pressing to hard!

10). With a sharp knife (not like mine 😀 ), cut the sushi roll into desired pieces, place them on your favorite plate, sprinkle them with Tamari sauce and enjoy your VEGGIE SUSHI ROLLS. 😀
Easy right ?… and pretty fancy 😀 😀 😀