That’s why you want to get all crazy on eggs

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It’s one of the simplest staples and to find as an ingredient in many processed foods and meals but still underrated or even feared: The egg. (Boom!) Alright, I know you must be feeling all excited now… hardly any other food is as attractive as this little shelled friend being produced in areas of animals we don’t want to picture any closer. At times being associated with salmonella, dioxins or “lethal dietary cholesterol” probably won’t contribute to making the reputation of the hen’s product any better. Meeting these guys in my fridge and on the plate almost every day though I felt I owe them one, and honestly I really feel they deserve it.

In German the former, more popular and still widely used term for protein actually is “Eiweiß” which directly translated means egg white. Never really reflecting on its meaning at some point one may discover it makes totally sense: Eggs are for sure known for their protein, however, it’s not only the amount (6-7 g each) but the quality of protein contained in one egg that makes them so valuable for our balanced diet. Not every protein is created equal, they are complex molecules built of different profiles of even smaller molecules called amino acids. The composition of the proteins determines its “biological value” – a term describing how efficient protein is used in our bodies to build and maintain our lean body mass (the substance, our energy burning “power plant”). With a rate of 100 / 100 biological value eggs are one of the best digestible protein sources existing. Got your attention now? Well, I’m not talking bodybuilding language here (I’m sure you guys know the bio-values by heart…) Keeping up with your protein intake is important to all of us but there is more eggs can offer!

Talking about appreciation, the most unsexiest part of the egg might be its yolk – that’s at least to assume when seeing people peeling off the white and separating it from its core… (I’m sure you must have seen that some time) But what’s wrong with the yellow stuff? Well, nothing. What may however be one reason for its bad reputation is that the egg yolk contains the most of the fat and cholesterol in the egg which has long been considered to be associated with high blood cholesterol levels and in turn seen as a risk factor for heart disease. Many health associations warned and restricted their recommendations for egg consumption to the lowest. However, over the past recent years evidence grew that this hypothesis cannot be applied to the average healthy population, so they took it back. On the contrary, studies have shown that eggs as part of our diet may positively affect the HDL-LDL cholesterol ratio thus could be even preventing coronary disease.

For the ones who still cannot overcome the yolk-fear: There is much more about the egg yolk then just the cholesterol. Beside the fat there come the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and B vitamins, essential fatty acids and (again) protein! Egg yolks are also a good source for iron and selenium which might be especially interesting for the vegetarians among us. So, don’t miss out on the “gold part” of the egg – it literally is a treasure. It’s true that egg white is high in protein and low in fat thus contains less calories than the yolk but at the same time it also provides us with less of the extra “nutrition”. Having both components complementing each other makes the egg an adequate nutrient dense superfood (as already intended by mother nature, but this only said by the way). So, even if it depends on your goals and overall daily calorie intake make sure to add whole eggs to your diet as well!

  • Find your right way of serving it: Add an extra egg to your salad or soup; boiled they are a simple complement for the lunch box (a must have in my fridge)! Take less of the extra oil if you prefer to fry your eggs though, saving some extra fat.
  • Don’t exaggerate: Ok, even if you (re-) discovered your appreciation for eggs now (I know I did a good job selling it to you), take it easy. 2-3 whole eggs per day are totally fine but since they are very concentrated nutrition bombs moderation and variation applies… as for everything else! All the different nutrient sources want to be mixed.

Nutrition for the ones on the go!

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After one week business trip in good old Germany ending with a 3-days-hardcore-sightseeing tour for a friend visiting me here in Stockholm I immediately knew what my next article would be about: The jungle of hotel brekkie, refreshment stops, dining out & to-go.

Once out of the daily routines we get to see all the different faces food can have (probably the reason why I’m falling in love with it over and over again?) Whether you travel for work or leisure – what starts with the excitement of food exploring can easily shift into stressful hunting for the “real food” providing us with the right boost needed to discover the city, to survive the meeting or simply keep our stomach happy and relaxed. As convenient food for busy people on the go has become within the recent years there are at least as many traps – meals that lie heavy in your stomach – and it’s not only the “obvious” fast food I am talking about!  

Okay, honestly, how many of you do actually cook their own food when traveling? Of course this would be the ideal choice according to studies showing that our calorie intake increases with on average 150 calories per meal when choosing the restaurant. Eatery food often contains more fat such as hidden in form of sauces and dressings, and overall more is fried. Makes perfect sense: fat and sugar carry the taste… not accusing the kitchen chefs whose first concern is certainly not keeping their guests in shape, neither do I want to blame the ones who do eat out when the own kitchen equipment is not at hand. No worries, even if exposed to special conditions there are some tricks that will avoid unwelcome weight gain and keep your belly in good mood.

Only 25-25-50 makes complete.

Or: The classical plate method. Back to the basics: Half of the plate should be covered by non-starchy vegetables. One quarter needs to consist of high-protein foods, another one of carbohydrate rich foods. Even if you don’t serve yourself at the buffet or the meal is not pictured on the menu you pretty much always have an option to figure out a rough proportion of the main ingredients. In general and almost an unwritten rule (unfortunately) is: A restaurant meal always contains too little of the veggies. Why not take a glance on the vegetarian options from time to time? Craving for meat or not, bare in mind that everything called “salad” is not necessarily the healthiest choice (no offense, pasta salad).

  • Ask to get the sauce or dressing on the side so you can dose it yourself.
  • If you still want to go for the pasta (I feel you) you might skip the “extra” bread and go for the side salad instead.
  • Even if one of your daily meals doesn’t meet the plate method keep it in mind for the next one and try to balance out by e.g. adding more veggies as a side dish.

After the meal is before the snack.

In need for a fika time? (Sorry, but also my non-Swedish followers need to get familiar with this term…) Not only the cinnamon bun, in general, the obligatory snack you are most likely to find at every corner in town, any minute, for all different tastes. For the ones in a hurry, literally eating on the go – I know you want it convenient and spilling-safe. However, this leaves less options to choose from and often leads to the bakery store. Just be aware that especially the small meals can considerably add up on your daily calorie account, therefore try to not extend 200 kcal and focus on protein rich snacks with complex carbohydrates.

  • The “trend drink” smoothie might be refreshing, full of antioxidants and contains more fibre than a juice but it still gives your stomach less to work on – while being high in calories (up to 400 cal / unit). So occasionally you may choose to chew the fruit instead!
  • Egg! And there is no more words to say. My number-one-snack and all round talent. I usually always have boiled eggs in the fridge – perfectly portable it completes the protein component of any snack or meal.
  • Keep consumption of processed sugar or sweets as low as possible, same old story. However, if you really cannot stay away pick a protein bar instead of the cake or chocolate bar. The protein will keep you full for longer and help maintain your muscle mass.

Not to talk about poop…

Last but not least: Our digestion is pretty much adapted to our daily routines – which means it is put on risk when being in stress situations such as traveling long distances, going from one meeting to the other, without the comforting “rest”rooms. The result: Your stomach feels heavy and uncomfortable, affecting your daily performance. The 3 most effective helpers:

  • A proper dose of physical activity (such as walking for a total of 30-60 min / day)
  • Drinking lots of water – at least 2 litres per day (water, tea, coffee)
  • And again fibre (in form of vegetables and whole grain) will help to keep it going!

What the drinks do to your diet

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Yes, they lurk from all sides: Whether you attend this Friday’s after work gathering, the regular Saturday birthday party, or simply a night out with your besties quite likely leads from one drink to another. Well-known story, and it’s happening right now, many times at many places around this globe. Some may see a glass of red a vital accessory to have with their dinner, for others the drink itself is pure pleasure. For whatever reason you might choose the booze and whether consumed with responsibility or ending up in binge drinking – alcohol affects our body. See, I really don’t want to put my foot into discussing the health issues related to alcohol abuse coming from accepting the drug as a part of social life (it’s probably an endless list) You certainly don’t need to look back on a history with moments dancing on a table half-naked between strangers to understand alcohol is a drug and consumption should be kept to the exceptional occasion. However, I do neither intend to bring up potential preventive effects of alcohol such as the so called French paradox, communicating that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with decreased risk for coronary heart disease.

Finally, after outlining what I do not want to talk about I move on to the things and drinks I actually wanted to share with you this time: You haven’t cut out alcohol completely from your diet but want to enjoy the occasional drink or two and still balance this pleasure with a healthy lifestyle. We are back on track to finding moderation, a term I’m sure you noticed before on this blog. And here’s the deal: Moderate drinking can stand in line with a sustainable healthy diet if you simply make yourself aware of what we do to our bodies when we indulge a drink. I almost want to call it mindful drinking – creating a healthier relationship to alcohol with minimum regret.

Calories may be the least to worry about.

It’s easy to underestimate the number of calories taken in by just one drink. Alcohol is among fat, carbohydrates and protein a carrier of energy (staying formal here, not wanting to scare you off at this stage with the terrible “c-word”… You know, calories). Mixed drinks and cocktails even contain extra sugar making one unit as calorie dense as an entire snack or meal. Well, it basically runs directly through into your bloodstream, sugar and alcohol are absorbed pretty damn efficiently. Without feeding your body fibre, vitamins, minerals and co. we talk about empty calories – energy with zero nutritional value (assuming you don’t regularly go for the Strawberry Daiquiri). It won’t make you feel full nor will it contribute to meeting your daily nutritional requirements except for adding up on your “calorie account”.

And this is not the whole story. Ever noticed yourself stopping by the kebab after a crazy night out? Well, this is no coincidence. Alcohol and the sugar contained in alcoholic drinks make your blood sugar levels a roller coaster. Increasing the levels immediately at the time of intake over the entire night blood levels are prone to drop rapidly since the simple sugar is broken down quickly. This explains a craving for calorie dense food after a few hours, you feel hungry. Depending on the amount of alcohol still left in your blood you may even notice this effect the day after.

And I have one more for you. Alcohol slows down your fat metabolism. Our bodies are fascinatingly effective; they tend to use whatever we feed it. In our liver alcohol is rapidly converted into acetate which is also an intermediate product coming from the breakdown of carbohydrates and fat. However, since acetate from alcohol involves relatively little metabolic work compared to the other pathways it is used preferentially. It has been shown that burning of fat for energy can be significantly decreased for several hours after drinking.

  • Choose wisely. As mentioned in one of my earlier articles you may prefer drinks that are low in both alcohol and sugar. This for example could be beer and red wine instead for long drinks or sweet ciders which contain extra sugar.
  • Combine with food. Having a drink with your dinner is probably the best option. The more complex carbs and protein will keep your blood sugar levels constant over more time and will help you both decrease the craving for a midnight snack and decrease risk for headache.
  • Plan ahead. In the end of the day, a positive energy balance means excess of calories will lead to weight gain. So if you know you will be going out, try to target the highest proportion of your daily energy intake towards the end of the day. Choose a lot of fibre and protein rich food, low in fat and sugar.
  • Last but not least… Enjoy your drink but think of it as exceptional indulgence. Actually, I’m not at all a fan of “bottoms up”. I even do indulge my Jägermeister on ice! (latest here you might wonder ‘Is she really German??’) However, you have to think of alcohol like high caloric sweets.

Take it easy on lifting.

You want to spend your weekends in both the pub and the gym? Probably not the best idea. The breakdown of alcohol causes oxidative stress to your body. Even if you don’t find yourself with a crushing headache or worse you can be sure that your body is still working on the 2+ drinks you had the night before. Oxidative stress means an increase of free radicals that damages your cells and lowers immunity which makes you more prone to injuries and infections. How long alcohol can affect your workout and its efficiency is still unclear and depends on many other factors such as gender, age, general fitness and obviously the amount of alcohol your body has to cope with. However, some studies propose that a night out drinking might kick you really hard and hurt your gains for up to 3 days. Research suggests there are several mechanisms involved which affect the protein synthesis and anabolic hormones.

  • Drink plenty of water before / during / after. Alcohol dehydrates your body as it interferes with the hormone that regulates urination. We cannot stop this mechanism but compensate it by drinking water and adding electrolytes (salt and minerals) to our body… such as from fruits and veggies or rehydration fluid available in the pharmacy.
  • Antioxidants refill. Some people call it detox. Antioxidants (such as vitamin A, C and E) inhibit the oxidation of molecules by terminating the reactivity of free radicals… they literally catch them and make them impotent. Eating large amounts of fruits after your night out won’t enhance this effect but the antioxidants stored in your liver will be depleted. You may want to make sure to keep your daily recommendation of “5 a day” to keep antioxidant levels up.
  • Rather make it a rest day. Considering the effects mentioned above you would rather wait with heavy lifting and go for some lighter exercise which won’t put more pressure on your body. Maybe have a long walk instead!

So keep an eye on your drinking habits if you want it to interfere as little as possible with your diet and workout goals. A glass of wine or beer with your food is ok but try to make drinking the exception and stay sober for most of the days. And apart from body weight and muscle gains – your liver will thank you big times.

Why you should get ready for autumn NOW

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Even though this article is “inspired” by the first sneezes in the office – No need to panic! We’ve just reached mid of September and the past week here in Stockholm has been more than promising that we can look forward a lovely Indian summer. Still having the pictures of this year’s vacation literally burnt into our minds the least we want to think about is to take out our (beloved) winter coat and snugly warm boots. Yes, Swedish winter can be loooong and dark (hearing the sighs from my climate buddies) but for not sinking into self-pity here let’s embrace autumn for the beautiful season it is!

I have to say I really love this time of the year. Everyone is coming back from vacation and share their summer stories at the office. The leaves of the trees will soon show themselves in shades of yellow and red giving the city a new look. From constantly being outdoors social life is going to return to under the roof again. Change is in the air. However, with this change there are challenges that we want to prepare ourselves to. I’m not only talking unpredictable weather and increasing darkness (brrrr)… It’s this time of the year we need to take special care of our immune system and mood. Here are some things you may want to consider as you get into the autumn vibes:

Make the most of your sunshine hours.

You want to be really greedy. This thursday has already got 40 mins less daylight to offer than just one week ago – speaking in Stockholm terms. And what am I going to talk about now? Correct: Vitamin D. Strongly linked to our bone health it has also shown to affect the function of the immune and nervous system – and by this our affinity to the common cold and depressive mood. To begin with, our body is its own producer of this substance. However, in the process of making vitamin D there is one essential: UVB radiation from sunlight needs to strike our skin – and here things come full circle. Especially in the Northern latitudes between autumn and late spring UVB exposure approaches zero, which means that our own vitamin D production will come to a stop. The good news is: Vitamin D is storable and we can even take it in with our diet. Main sources are fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified products (such as milk or often also soy milk), and certain types of mushrooms. So to give your immune system a last boost and keep your vitamin D factory busy – go outside! 15 mins lunch break walk can make a difference as long as there is UVB to catch. Personally, I don’t supplement vitamin D for prevention of deficiency, however, it is certainly not harmful to keep track of your vitamin D levels when you are lucky to live in one of the darker corners in Europe.

Get back to the gym.

What happened actually after everyone got prepared for “Beach 2016”? Well, beach happened (I know that’s not particularly smart to figure out) but what I want to say: After a rather disciplined period most of us probably got back to normal. La Playa. Tapas. Cerveza(s)… [can be further extended]. And you know what: Fair enough. Summer is here to enjoy. And to the ones of you who managed to stay away from all temptations: Hats off! Anyways, while we want to get back into shape it might help to emphasize other benefits of catching up with our workout, may I introduce: Serotonin, endorphine and dopamine. They are all neurotransmitters, messenger substances in our brain that stimulate the “feel good” and help us regulate appetite and sleep. Low levels or imbalance of these transmitters can even be associated with depression. Among factors such as genetics, chronical diseases, sunlight and diet, exercise affects the release and synthesis of these super chemicals – the extent of the beneficial effects obviously depend on the intensity and frequency of exercise. General recommendations on how often to work out vary with regard to the outcome being addressed. However, most evidence on a general healthy and sustainable frequency of exercise could be obtained at 3 x 30 mins per week (here I mean you need to work up a sweat) and additionally a minimum of 30 mins physical activity every day (moderate intensity, like walking to the bus stop). Sounds like a lot? Well, it might be a challenge to come from a frequency of 0 to 3 times at once but believe me, as soon as you get to feel the dopamine, you’ll make your gym session a priority.

Welcome sleep. Avoid stress.

Eventually, to sum up the purpose of this article, I would like to encourage you to set routines and priorities when arriving in autumn. Back at the office work loads are crushing after a long summer, which combined with changing weather conditions is putting your body under immense stress. Some might have a higher tolerance level than others, but in the end stress causes chemical reactions which may not be visible immediately but under constant exposure are likely to show effects in the long run. Sleep is another essential pillar supporting your health, its importance gets particularly clear when you experience frequent sleep loss. Sleep does regulate the circadian rhythm, our inner “master clock” which influences the release and production of our entire hormone balance, impacting the entire range of functions in our body. Vice versa, sleep quality is affected by the day-night-rhythm and stress. Critical factors particularly at this time of the year. And by saying this, take good care of yourself and bare in mind that the things that often get the least attention might be key to keep your autumn cold-free and develop your individual routines – a strategy – to make this winter a blast.

How to get your healthy curves!

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Ok, one could start off with the question: What do you mean by curves? You are totally right. What I made kind of a theme for this blog might be a bit more complex and tricky to develop from just one side. Others might ask themselves now: Am I a curvy person? Or: Do I even want to be curvy? Some may think about both.

I’m afraid I need to disappoint you from the beginning: I couldn’t find a scientifically based definition for who is considered to be curvy or what makes you not fulfil the requirements to be categorized as curvy, or similar. Ughh… What’s science good for if it cannot even answer this question! Well, I’m sure there is no need for it, we all have our own definition. In the end, curvy or less curvy (Is there any opposite?) I think we all agree that the most essential about curves is we want them healthy.

When talking about healthy weight one of the first things you are still most likely to hear is BMI. Am I right? Probably most of us know the so called “body mass index”. Everything you need for the calculation is your height and weight which then puts you in one of the categories ranging between underweight and extremely obese – Congratulations! Or let me put it this way: For certain clinical practices BMI is still a decent measure for a first classification and certainly justified, however in many cases it has turned out to be a rather inaccurate method – because it is no indicator for body fat. And it gets even better: In several studies a BMI higher than normal was found to be protective against certain chronic diseases, in particular in older adults (a reason why categorizations got adjusted within the recent years). And there we are back to the individual case: Healthy weight cannot be represented by a single number. It depends on many factors, genetics and gender is only two of them.

Although we have come to the conclusion that we cannot find a proper way to define healthy curves in general, we can define it for ourselves. And by saying this, on my blog Your healthy curves I will present you with my own approach about healthy nutrition and life style backed up by facts and experience. From my background as nutritionist and testing a variety of different diets (or better: ways to think about food) over the past years myself I learnt that only when I find the right dose of both discipline and moderation I could achieve a sustainable healthy life style. Whatever dose of something is said to keep the doctor away… learn listening to your own body (and no, not the calls of chocolate) – you are unique.

You can literally write books about how to adopt a healthy life style and maintain your curves so I may disappoint you again: I don’t have the universal answer at a glance – but I am willing to provide you with 3 (life-changing) insights:

  • Ban the scale. (Insider know I haven’t owned a scale for years! Why? I stopped listening to it anyways.) Instead, keep talking to your favorite jeans and it will fit. Frequent work out will shape your body and remember, muscle mass is heavier than fat mass… it is possible to get visibly slimmer without a significant drop in weight! And you skip that stressful moment in the mornings…
  • Party weekend ahead? Sounds fun! Enjoy but keep in mind: Alcohol (ethanol) as food component has the second highest energy density directly after fat and as if this wasn’t bad enough it also slows down your fat metabolism. If you still want to have a glas or two you may prefer the options without added sugar (such as wine and beer instead of a cocktail) The basic rule applies: Calories in vs calories out is key. You may take it easy on your alcohol consumption for the rest of the week.
  • Make sure you reward yourself regularly. Why not buy yourself some new sport clothes? It does no harm to look good during your workout! Besides, as you might have already noticed, not every exercise feels the same. Some may feel heavy in the beginning but practice will give you the confidence and make you look professional during your workout – once this level of feel-good is reached you will stick to it!

I wish you very welcome to follow this blog for a while and learn more about how to find your own balance between a healthy body and soul.

Top 6 Swedish Health Trends 2016

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What’s coming next – and what is already this year’s health trends? [you can hear drum beats…] Which products or activities attract the crowd’s attention? Curious as we are, we’ve had a look at the achievements that appeared on the local (Swedish) market over the previous months and listened to experts’ predictions. Here is what you can be looking forward to see more of in 2016! Some things you might be already aware of or so do you maybe feel to start thinking about which trend to join?

1. Juice is here to stay.

Whether juiced or blended, drinks from the fresh fruit are popular and a must for many fresh food or natural stores. Well, they’ve always been – but instead of being accessories juices are playing the main role now! Who has not tried a drink at Naked Juice Bar or Joe and the Juice yet? These are some of the leading chains bringing the juicy business alive and have been recently spreading over the country. Order “Beet it”, “Pick me up” or “Iron Man” and customize your drink with some extra protein. Meet a young team and get your vitamins on the go!

2. The more super the food the better.

Who wouldn’t go for a food that can basically prevent from any health problem out there? I bet we all would. Berries and seeds came from somewhere far far away, you never heard about them before, and suddenly they are in everybody’s mouth! Someone started calling them “superfoods” because they are claimed to be rich in nutrients – and they are. However, once a trend for the last couple of years people start realizing that the as “super” commercialized food is super expensive. Why not choose the “traditional” (but still pretty super) alternative every now and then? Explore nutritional comparisons such as chia vs flax.

3. Make sure you get a good work’s sleep.

We all know “beauty sleep”. If you once had it, you know it’s a true story. Sleep can make a difference. And company owners know that too: Vilorum is already a must have at modern offices. The sooner or later even high performing individuals will occasionally even prioritize sleep over a workout and win. Researchers are considering that less than 6 hours of sleep could affect your health negatively and even limit the positive effects of a workout. Join a mindfulness meditation group or try new products that will make you optimize your sleeping habits and you will work and train at your best in 2016. 

4. How you bean?

Very good, thanks, the legume replied. Nobody has risen that much in popularity than these little guys. Legumes are the ones to bet on in 2016. They are high in protein and fiber, low-carb and gluten free. And they can save the world. Ok, let’s be a little modest, they could contribute. Research shows that partly replacing meat with legumes in our diet could lower the pressure on climate and environment and reduce world hunger while being a healthy alternative to animal protein. So you think bean and co. are not sexy enough? Then try them as pasta (e.g. Nutrinick). Legumes will be present in a variety of forms and dishes, 2016 is creative.

5. Skip the hangover – party hard at the gym!

Yes, you heard right. Forget high heels, black dress, suit and neck tie. Dress code: Trainers and sport pants! Workout Parties are social, cool and a healthy alterantive to the “Pub runda”. Why ruin your gains with heaps of drinks when you can quench your thirst with a creamy proteinshake instead? Well… it’s at least worth a try! For sure, gyms or modified ventures will host tomorrows socializing events. Whether afterwork, meet-up, mingle or date night, sweating is more fun when done together! 

6. We’re all talking BCAA now.

I bet that one year ago the average person you met on the street couldn’t tell you what “BCAA” was. Today they would most probably give you answers like “Nocco” or “CleanFit”. BCAA, which is the abbreviation for branched chain amino acids, has been a popular pre- and after workout supplement for the active and athletic for many years. Today it’s not just that. The 2015 by “The No Carb Company” released trendy drink “Nocco” is suddenly – literally – on everyone’s lips. Whether fortified with amino acids or other nutrients, functional drinks are an upwards trend and they are ready to conquer new markets. We are sure there will be more to come. Next up, we think skin products will be in your next colourful beverage of choice.

A love letter to Food

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It was love at the first sight. Chocolate, I can’t remember exactly when we first met but I knew I would never let you go. You’ve been always on my side since then, even when I decided to not see you for days (Oh believe me, I had my reasons!) you would never feel rejected. You would be patient and stay away. We all knew that I would invite you to my place soon again.

Happiness is around the house when you are in, dear pasta. Every bite is a piece of heaven, butterflies (farfalle) in my stomach. Probably I was longing to see you since the morning when I woke up, looking forward to date you after a day of hard work. I love seeing you in candle light, just the way you are, topped with a touch of grated parmesan. A firework of endorphins would put me to sleep after an act of pure love.

Just the smell of you takes me back in time. I remember sitting on the lawn in the backyard, feeling the grass between my fingers, waiting for my grandma to call us inside the house: Who wants a piece of Appel Pie? The excitement when I opened the garden door and a breeze of freshly baked smell blew into my face. Memories I share with you, over and over again.

Imagine writing a love letter to your sweetest food temptation. What would it be? What would you feel? Would it nourish your body or would it nourish your soul?

We all have those days we care less about the nutrition content in our food when craving and food hugs is the only thing that counts. Make sure you enjoy without regret! Our love to food is our love to life.

These tips will help you treat yourself wisely:

  • Keep sugar content low and choose snacks such as dried fruits and nuts that provide fibre, protein and healthy fats. If you are craving for bread and pasta choose the whole grain alternative or vegetable pasta.
  • Plan your treats as you do with your workout. Don’t completely keep yourself away from foods you desire but leave certain sweets for “the special days”. A piece of cake can easily be as calorie-rich as a lunch meal with most of the energy coming from processed sugar.
  • Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Less sugar, more of the good stuff! Cocoa is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant potential and has been the matter of many studies on its beneficial effects on oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis.

Eat Mostly Plants

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Warning: This article is not meant to be read by vegetarians. You may now leave this page. Have a nice day!

Just kidding. I could also say ’Congrats!’ because you are more likely to live a long, healthy life – according to a variety of epidemiological studies comparing dietary patterns. In these, vegetarians often showed lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, lower BMI, and lower fasting glucose levels in the long term, which means reduction of risk factors for heart disease. However, there has been On and On and Ongoing debates about the health benefits of a diet without meat since vegetarians are typically more health conscious thus other life style factors may confound these study findings.

There is no black and white here. Not all vegetarians may manage to vary their diet in the most adequate way and stay away from all the treats that are teasing from everywhere. I know guys, you try hard, I know you do! We have vegetarian friends who still live off of fries, pizza and pasta!

You see it’s hard to define a dietary pattern by the absence of just one food – meat. Still, the general observation is that vegetarians eat more fiber, less saturated fat, and health promoting phytochemicals than meat eaters. These are all factors that we know do affect chronic disease outcomes posivitely. So, coming back to our meat eaters out there who by now might envy their vegetarian brothers: Instead of focusing on how to cut out meat, try to make plant products the centre of your diet. Thinking of how to include more veggies in your next meal will give automatically less space for the meaty. Just keep telling yourself, Eat Mostly Plants.

Many of you wonder where to get your daily protein from? Relax! With a bit of extra attention you won’t have trouble to maintain gains and recovery. Include legumes such as lentils, beans and peas to your meals, they are a perfect alternative for animal protein and are even high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Other good meatless protein sources are nuts, seeds, grains, and eggs. Even though plant protein quality is often considered as low since most of them don’t provide all essential amino acids – but we can combine foods that cover up and make a vegetarian meal a complete source of protein. The essential food choice is: Variation. And it works. Studies show that protein intake in vegetarians is not significantly lower than in omnivores.

We know, you love your meat! But why not choose to go veggie for a day per week? A meal a day? 80% of your plate? You might see it as challenge from the beginning, but what good ever came form anything that wasn’t challenging or required us to not question our habits.