Fruit Bowl

Over the holidays, the – ahem – “more” trips to McDonalds or KFC than I care to admit, has kinda left my family and I in a food grip; “Carbs want more carbs”

So to bust some “back-to-the-routine” stress and get some real nutrient back in the bloodstreams, we are now having sweet stuff for dinner!

Doesn’t make much sense I know, but hear me out.
You know those beautiful desserts with ice cream and sweet fruit (often in syrup)? Well, how about an upside down version?
A “fruit bowl”!

It takes 10 – 15 minutes to prepare and it’s so yummy!

Pick 3-4 types of fresh fruit (I use apple, pear, banana, pineapple, strawberry and tangerines f.ex. depending on season). Wash and cut into bite size pieces. Pour into a big bowl and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can add a handful of granola or nuts if you like – or not – and voila: Fruit bowl!

As the ice cream melts, the fruit gets a creamy “dressing” and if you stick to the one scoop it doesn’t become overwhelmingly sweet.

It’s chokfull of vitamins and let’s face it – during this virus season, we really need those extra shots of freshness.

Now, what I’d love to try when I have more time, is to replace the ice cream with this Coconut sherbet “cream” because that would really add to the overall “health” of this stress busting recipe. But even with bought ice cream, this fruit bowl is still a really good alternative to (another) trip to a burger place.

Enjoy

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Crunching munching breakfast

The TV is like a magnet if you find one of those “soaps” that just really gets under your skin, am I right? 

And once you are there before the screen, it’s kind of like being in a cinema without popcorn… So maybe you are like me and go grab something out of the snack drawer? 

I’m one of those lucky ones with an Apple TV and access to tv shows on demand, so I can set my own time for watching an episode and often that time is morning. Once I have gotten myself up, my daughter packed and taken to school, I got my morning exercise down 😇 and can’t wait to get home to my own peaceful breakfast. But a tv episode often lasts 45 or 50 min and if I eat a normal breakfast it’ll take 10… And, oh the temptation of going back to that drawer!

So I have come up with this long lasting crunching snack-like breakfast that’s actually a real health booster but only takes 5 minutes to prepare and I call it crunching munching. 

Slice an apple into boats (the thinner the slices, the better) and you have a healthy sugar kick to keep the doctor away…

Then a handful of almonds and a handful of walnuts, or pick your own favorite nuts of course, and then mix them with a small handful of raisins. Yes, it’s a trail mix… But preferably without any roasting or added salt etc. the raw nuts are the best. 

It will keep you crunching for a good bit and nuts makes your stomach feel really full for a really long time (I actually forgot lunch one day!) and the sugar is natural and will get you off the sofa when the soap is over. Those two bowls amounts to somewhere around 700 cal. No’b, I never said it was low calorie – just that it’s healthy for your body and very enjoyable when watching some favorite tv. 

Now, the real challenge is to stop after 1 episode! 

  

Gum anyone?

Do you remember sitting at a desk or other table and then found a chewed and “glued” gum stuck beneath it? Gross… In school that happened a lot to me and so I don’t really have a great relationship with gum?!? Silly really.

Chewing gum is just plain bad for your teeth! With or without sugar. Just bad. And it looks really bad when people are chewing gum… well, that’s a matter of opinion I suppose, but okay… I don’t chew gum because it makes my jars hurt, but then again, I can’t stop once I get going and that’s not good either.

However, I read this article here: does chewing gum reduce anxiety
and I decided to give it a go… the next time I’m at the grocery store.

In short, this is what the article says about chewing gum (this is taken from one of the notes found in the article):

“Chewing gum alleviates negative mood and 
reduces cortisol during acute laboratory psychological stress”

I should have known in a sense… I mean, in the movies the expecting daddy-to-be is always pacing the hospital hallway chewing insanely quick on gum. But in real life, that doesn’t really happen. I think. Maybe it does, but it didn’t to me. And given the scene, perhaps the mommy-to-be should be the one chewing the gum!??

Anyway… Gum anyone?

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Coconut sherbet – healthy ice cream

It’s impossible for me to keep this one to myself…!

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Ever since my husband gave me a Jawbone for Christmas – that’s a type of electronic bracelet which tracks my steps, exercise and sleep and I can log what I eat and drink in the “UP” app that comes with it – I have been logging, stepping, counting and working out how to change some habits of mine. Some of which I’m not particularly proud of… like munching on bread in front of the tv… but it’s been a great incentive to get some health habits in.

Anyways, the stonesoup.com website is an inspiration to me food wise and this coconut sherbet she makes on this youtube clip is really cool: Coconut sherbet

I tried it the other day with frozen banana slices in the magic bullet and… well, that didn’t work. The magic bullet simply isn’t powerful enough to chop up those frozen chunks of coconut milk.

But last night I tried it in the food processor and it was DELICIOUS!

I used about 300 ml of frozen coconut milk, 6 slices of frozen banana and gave them a good whirl. Since honey is a great help to eliminate anxious thoughts I added a tablespoon of that and then threw in a few pieces of chocolate (note: dark chocolate is great as stress relief. No really – I’m not just saying that!) – and an oreo. My family were so surprised that this wasn’t ice-cream. I would use more frozen fruits next time, but that was what I had in the freezer.

It makes a lot of sense to me to freeze coconut milk and some sweet fruits and then mash them all up in a food processor – adding whatever sweetener you feel like (Stevia, maple syrup etc.). I am loving this recipe so I’m sharing it here and hope others might want some “healthy ice cream”. My daughter can’t wait for next time!

Photo is taken from http://www.stonesoup.com.

Stress busting bread

425 grams of flour (use and mix any kind of flour you have. Personally I prefer rye, buckwheat and graham since I’m trying to cut out wheat. If you suffer from migraines, trying to avoid wheat may be a good try).

app. 12 grams of dry yeast. 

1 tea sp. of sugar 

2 tea sp. salt

Mix it and add 400 ml of lukewarm water. 

You mix it by hand using a spatula. The dough needs to be thicker than cake dough, but too wet to knead.

I then add seeds to my liking… pumpkin, sunflower, pine.

Pour it into tins (- and if you like, pour seeds on top and press them down with the spatula).

Place in cold oven. Bake at 250 degrees Celsius for 45 min. Cool off…

This bread has been a 100% success in my home. My daughter doesn’t like seeds, so I pour half the dough into one tin and then add seeds to the other half before pouring that into the tin. But they are baked together. Mixing the dough and popping them into the oven takes about 15 min. It’s a lot healthier than the bread you can buy (and cheaper).

You do not need the stress of baking good breads with lots of kneading, rising, heating up oven etc. Nor do you need a bread baker machine. This is truly the bread anyone can make and it only takes an hour from start to finish.

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Stress-busting warm veggie salad

I recently got a little bit hooked on healthy food again. After a while of not really doing much stress-busting meals but going back to doing those quick easy processed microwave foods, I am turning my eyes back on the healthy meals. After this trying spring and summer period, I am still on the road to recovery and I thoroughly believe/know that what goes into my body, matters!

A really tasty stress busting recipe on warm veggie salad comes here:

* Wash and chop 3 – 5 different kinds of veggies. Choose the ones you like… I chose zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, celery and baby corn.
* Boil the veggies in one go for about 3 minutes.
– Some veggies don’t need that much (like celery) so they go in last.
* Pour it all into a big bowl and sprinkle a spoonful of coconut oil on it.
* Add some favorite (dried) spices like paprika, garlic and basil.
* Then add a handful of dried fruits (cranberries and dates for me) and some nuts (walnuts in this case) and toss it all together.
* Want to add a final touch? Add some celery leaves on top and… dig in.

It may not be low in calories, but it’s very healthy for your body and it takes about 10 – 15 minutes to make. Bon Appetit!

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Couscous – a stress busting food

I just posted this on the “stress busting recipes” page: 

Stress busting Couscous in any way your tastebuds like 

Couscous is about as easy to make as 1-2-3. Seriously, it surprised me just how simple it is and also how healthy it is. I use couscous to replace spaghetti/pasta (sorry, haven’t made lasagne work though… yet) and rice. Living in Japan rice is a basic food and easy to make, but it takes 45 min to 1 hour in the rice cooker and well, that doesn’t always work well when homework needs to be done and down time with my daughter also needs to be fitted in.

Couscous takes 4 min to make. 4 min!!! and then it’s done and ready to eat.

How to make it is described on the package, but here is my way:

Pour couscous into a measuring cup (for 1 pers. I use 50 ml.) then pour that into a small bowl. Then you pour same amount (1 per. 50 ml) of boiling water into the measuring cup and add a pinch of salt (not too much). Then pour the mixed water and salt into the bowl and leave it for 4 min. Then gently stir it to loosen it and bang – you’re done.

This mix is basic and can be used instead of rice for your curry or fried meat and veggie or even pasta sauce. Or you can let it cool off and mix it into a salad. Or what I personally enjoy is mixing it into a tropical salad with nuts, seeds and dried fruits and use it to top off the lettuce and then a nice dressing to go with it.

If you want it to taste of something in particular you just use a broth instead of salted water. If you want to fry it on a pan with vegetables and/or meat where you have added fruits like mango as well, you can let it soak in orange juice. It can’t say it’s my favorite but I know others who crave it.

Photo on 6-9-14 at 10.09

 

See the link for health benefits and more recipes: http://www.livestrong.com/article/440051-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-couscous/