Food Pharmacy

Health guide to Copenhagen: 3 cafés with healthy breakfast or lunch.

Yesterday, we were in Copenhagen between 10.49 am and 6.23 pm. And it turned out to be just enough time to put together a small Copenhagen city guide.

Atelier Setember (Gothersgade 30)

An interior design store with a café. Bright and beautiful, and actually not that crowded (at least not when when we visited). Choose from yogurt and granola, fresh fruit or porridge for breakfast, and salads or today’s special for lunch. And “iced matcha”. Just like that.

Beau Marché (Ny Østergade 32)

The Danish seem to like the combination of interior design store + café. This incredibly sweet café is connected to a small but perfectly adorable interior design store. Everything’s organic, and even if the menu does not fully belong to Plato’s theory of ideas (at least not at first sight), you will definitely find some delicious things for your gut bacteria. FYI: Bought a tiny porcelain frog here yesterday. End of story.

Hafnia (Store Regnegade 26A)

Since pretty much everything on the menu appealed to Chip ‘n Dale, this is where we had lunch yesterday. We went for two massive salads, which contained all the goodies you could possibly imagine: hummus, pickled red onions, sauerkraut, lentils, green leaves and quinoa. On the minus side: every time we wanted more water, we had to ask. Weird. Otherwise great!

Runner-up:

42 raw (Pilestræde 32)

We ran out of time, but gosh, it looks so awesome. Brunch, tapas, burgers, noodles, pizza… And it’s all raw!

Bistro Pastis (Baggensgatan 12)

Your typical French bistro, with the perfect sunny outdoor seating. After our lecture, we had bouillabaisse and talked about life. Or maybe not. Lina was way too busy dropping her jaw. Apparently, this actor sat at the table right next to ours, and as soon as she noticed, she lost touch with reality. Well, we payed and left Copenhagen to go back to Stockholm. End of health guide.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Food Pharmacy

Fuss in the baby food aisle.

Today, we’re in Copenhagen doing PR for our book, which came out in Danish translation last week (yippee + yay + hurray). But this morning, while we were literally about to step on the plane, we got a text from Mats Lönne, CEO and founder of the Swedish company Otto’s Baby Food (all fresh and organic), in which he told us about an ongoing fight between the baby food brand Semper, and smaller brands like the organic Otto. He sent us the link to this article, published in the Swedish magazine Filter (unfortunately, no English translation).

Talk about a cliffhanger, right before we had to turn off our cellphones. We read the article as soon as we landed, and now, we can’t help but ask ourselves:

Why on earth has there not been more progress in the baby food industry? And why is it still hard to find baby food that’s not canned or powdered?

We live in a world in which people start to pay more attention to the relationship between food and health. The demand for health foods is growing steadily, and this has led to a rapid rise in the quantity and variety of available foods for adults who want to adapt a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, the same progress has not been made in the baby food industry.

Thank you Mats! It’s time for us to pass through the doors of the Danish book agency Gyldendal, but we keep these thoughts in our minds.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Recipes

The bean dip that works wonders in controlling blood sugar levels.

Why don’t we learn about the impact of blood sugar levels on our overall health in school?

This is the question we’ve asked ourselves time and again since the day we started this blog. Before we started obsessing about food and how it affects our bodies, we avoided articles which included the word “blood sugar”. Mainly because we thought that every time we heard “blood sugar levels” and “diet” in the same sentence, we thought we were getting silly advice on how to lose weight. But now, on this pilgrimage towards a healthier life, we’re so hung up on blood sugar (to our big surprise) and how it affects our bodies. Holy moly! A whole new world opened up to us. We thought we had done our homework (apparently not), and could not grasp the fact that we had overlooked the importance of blood sugar balance and how it affects our health. To put it simply, the western world’s large intake of sugar and sugar-like foods (foods that act like sugar in your body), cause inflammation, which lead to an increased risk of chronic disease. Don’t get us wrong, we love woodwork and handicraft, but shouldn’t this be part of the school curriculum too?

Our lovely friend and sugar mentor – the science journalist Ann Fernholm – has taught us about the risks associated with elevated blood sugar levels. And now, she has given us the news we’ve been waiting for: beans benefit blood sugar control. Short and sweet, after a lot of experimenting, Patrik (who has type 1 diabetes) has come to the conclusion that beans work wonders in controlling your blood sugar levels. In some cases, there weren’t any blood sugar spikes at all.

Wait, we may have a can of kidney beans in the kitchen. Maybe it’s time to actually use them for something?

Maybe it’s time to mix the beans with a clove of garlic, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp olive oil, some dried chilli and a pinch of salt?

Maybe it’s time to dip a carrot stick into the dip, as far down as you possibly can?

Maybe it’s time to slowly move that carrot stick loaded with dip towards your mouth?

Maybe it’s time to taste the bean dip?

It’s incredible how something so delicious will help control your blood sugar levels. Almost too good to be true! Please try this at home.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Recipes

Matcha bites with coconut and lemon.

Today we’re making pea green matcha bites for you and your good gut bacteria. But since we get that they might not seem as essential to the night snack time as, for example, our chocolate bites 2.0, we’re now going to spend a few seconds trying to convince you to try this delicious recipe.

1 First and foremost, they’re not exactly disgusting
2 But your kids will probably think they are, so you can have them all to yourself
3 They’re quick and easy to make
4 And they contain loads of antioxidants
5 And almost no sweetener

Stop with the sales pitch. Let’s do this.

Matcha bites
(around 10 pieces)

1 cup oat flakes
1 cup coconut flakes
2 dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 vanilla pod
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp matcha green tea powder

Mix until combined. If the dough is too dry, add some more lemon or water (whatever you like). Scoop out small amounts of the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in coconut flakes.

We got the recipe from our Australian friend Kristina. It’s not the first time that she provides us with delicious recipes. A while ago, we got this incredible anti-inflammatory turmeric dip recipe. It’s already a classic. It might not go with the matcha bites above, but you still have to write this recipe down. It’s a definite must.

Anti-inflammatory turmeric dip
(one bowl)

2 tbsp turmeric
4 tbsp hemp or flaxseed oil
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
2 large garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tbsp tamari
4 cherry tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
juice from 1 lemon
a handful parsley
some water to get the right consistency
2-3 medjool dates if you want a sweeter sauce (we usually don’t)

Mix until creamy and delicious.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Recipes

The chocolate bite of chocolate bites.

We’re always on the hunt for new chocolate bite recipes, but at the same time we’re like, gosh, why can’t we just decide on which one’s the best?

Yesterday, we did that. The good thing about this recipe is, besides the fact that it’s delicious, that it only contains five ingredients (ok six with the salt). And they’re fairly ordinary, which means that there’s a pretty good chance you already have them in your kitchen.

Feel free to spice up the cookie dough with some, let’s say, coffee (just replace some of the water).

The chocolate bite of chocolate bites
(around 10 pieces)

1 cup oat flakes
8 dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 tbsp cacao
1 ml salt
1 tsp water (or coffee if you’re in the mood) (we love coffee in our chocolate bites)
roll the bites in 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Toss together and add water until you have a chunky dough. Scoop out tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture, and roll into balls. Roll each ball in coconut flakes. Let the bites set for a couple of minutes in the fridge, if you’re born with that kind of patience (we’re clearly not).

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Food Pharmacy

Behind the scenes. 

Over the past two weeks, we’ve had two photo shoots – one for the online course, and one for our cookbook. Let’s do it in chronological order:

A little bit more than a week ago, it was time for press images, and to record the teaser for our online course. It was a big day, this time we were actually supposed to be in front of the camera and not behind it. And since we don’t usually wake up with naturally curly hair, but with a dull mop of hair with split ends, we decided to treat ourselves to something we’ve never done before: a wash and blow dry by our lovely Nico. The life of luxury!

Right after the blow dry, how should we put it, the hair stood on end, which quickly made us second guess our decision. But Nico ensured us it would be smooth and shiny after a short walk outside. And she was right. Kind of.


Then we spent a few hours walking back and forth inside the grocery store (thanks to the supermarket staff for the patience), carrying around different kinds of watermelons, avocados and leek. On the whole, a fun and very weird day.

Cut to yesterday and our second photo shoot. But this time we stayed in our safety zone, which is behind the camera with the usual dull mop of hair. Here’s our perfect dinner smoothie by the way, waiting to have its picture taken. You will find the recipe, and many more smoothie recipes in our book. This is our new favorite! It’s like a full dinner!

We were seriously considering lying to you guys and try to convince you that this is our home, but that’s not the case. It belongs to our friend and style guru Ninni. Unfortunately.

But hey, we’re so lucky to have friends with awesome taste. And please note, it wasn’t this messy when we arrived. Nor when we left. We cleaned up after ourselves!

Look how happy and excited we were after the final picture. It’s a wrap! Or well, we still have to write some more, and do some text correction, and photo editing, and design – but this was our last photo shoot. And you know what? It’s going to be amazing!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Recipes

Vegetarian Tom Kha Gai.

This vegetarian soup will make your gut bacteria shout hurray. It’s a hot soup with origins in Asia, but it’s made in a messy kitchen (note to self: buy dish soap) in (and dishrag) Stockholm (and take a course on how to organize your life).

Start by making the base: Put 1 can coconut milk (1.5 cup), 1 tbsp vegetable broth, 1 chopped lemongrass stalk, 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger and about 3 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil.

Cut 300 grams potatoes into cubes and, nope, sorry, but we just have to…

… adjust something.

Oh. Yes. That’s so much better.

Cut 300 grams potatoes into cubes and add to the soup. Chop 1 red pepper, cut 200 grams mushrooms into quarters, shred 1/2 leek, and slice 2 carrots, while you wait for the potatoes to soften.

We used a peeler to cut the carrots into spaghetti-like strands.

At the end of the cooking time, add leek and pepper to the soup. When the potatoes are soft enough (not too soft), add the rest of the vegetables and enjoy this half cooked, half raw soup. Spice it up with some chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Food Pharmacy

Food Pharmacy is looking for an illustrator.

We’re on the hunt for an illustrator for our upcoming cookbook, and not just anyone. We need someone who can make a drawing of the two of us, and whose style is similar to the one in the picture above. You know, advertising-poster-style from the 40’s or 50’s. Kind of. Are you the one? Contact us right away: info@phoodpharmacy.se.

But now, time for coffee.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Food Pharmacy

Green smoothie. The best way to add more nutrients to your diet.

When we first started our pilgrimage towards a healthier life, we quickly realized that we had to make the ride fun and enjoyable, in order for this new lifestyle to last. At a pizzeria, we decided to start by making sure that we get large amounts of nutrients in the shape of raw vegetables every day. We shook hands on it. If you’re thinking about changing your eating habits, try not to be mesmerized by all the things you have to exclude from your diet. Focus on all the things you should add. 

The elevator pitch: You have hundreds of billions of bacteria in your colon, which constitute the gut microbiota. And simply put, you can divide them into two groups: good and evil ones. Lots of good bacteria = a strong and healthy gut flora, which effectively protects you against inflammation and chronic disease. If these words sound like mumbo jumbo to you, think about the fact that approximately 70 to 80 percent of the body’s immune system is located in the colon. Then it’s actually pretty logical, right?

Should you try to make life extraordinarily easy for your good bacteria? The answer is yes. And you do so by eating lots of plant fibers. Or in proper English: Revel in vegetables. The Swedish National Food Administration recommends an intake of 500 grams a day, a target far from all are able to reach. Some scientists say you may benefit from an even higher intake.

Recently, Imperial College London published a study which showed that a daily intake of 800 grams of fruits and vegetables may prevent the risk of premature death. The results revealed benefits from a daily intake of 200 grams of fruits and vegetables as well, but the closer you get to 800 grams, the better.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know if intakes greater than 800 grams a day would further reduce the risks. But that doesn’t mean you should be worried if you, like us, have an even higher intake. On the contrary, it’s reasonable to think that higher intakes would lead to even further benefits.

Shortly after we started our blog, we put on sequin dresses (it was New Year’s Eve), and promised to add a large green smoothie to our everyday routine. Today, more than two years later, we still haven’t broken our New Year’s resolution.

We used to say that a green smoothie tastes like fresh-cut grass, but now we love it. This is probably the only thing that has changed. Every day, we put various vegetables in the blender, add some water and press the “start” button. If you’re a newbie when it comes to green smoothies, we suggest you start with this one – the pea green Kebnekaise smoothie from our book.

Kebnekaise smoothie
(2 servings)

1 good-sized bunch of mangold (or green leaves of your choice)
1 small bunch of baby spinach
1 cucumber
1 lemon
a piece of fresh ginger
2 celery stalks
1 avocado
0.5-1 cup water

Mix until you have a perfectly smooth smoothie. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil. Let the chlorophyll in the dark greens travel through your body.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.



Food Pharmacy

Psychobiotics.

Every now and then, we reflect on the fact that most people don’t think of diet change as a high-status, established treatment. The other day, we reflected on the relationship between food and mental health.

To our great joy, we read that John Cryan, professor and principal investigator at one of the premier institutions for research on intestinal bacteria (Microbiome Institute, University College Cork), is convinced that, within five years, so called psychobiotics will be a viable treatment option to anxiety, depression, and other health issues.

According to the scientists, psychobiotics are good bacteria (probiotics) that you get by eating certain foods, and fiber (prebiotics). Together they enhance the growth of a healthy and beneficial intestinal flora. You would usually call a combination of probiotics and prebiotics synbiotics, but now the scientists at Cork University have decided to add the mental health benefits to the term. John Cryan compares the gut bacteria to small factories that produce all kinds of substances, including hormones essential to the brain. But in order for the factory to run smoothly, the intestinal bacteria need fuel, that is various sorts of fiber (prebiotics). A varied, high-fiber diet will help create a healthy gut flora where good bacteria can flourish, and in return, you will not only maintain a healthy gut and brain, but also strengthen your whole immune system.

Have you heard this before? If you’ve been to one of our lectures, or read our pale pink book, you will definitely have seen this diagram before. But to all of you who have not, we kindly recommend you to have a look. The diagram shows the composition of gut bacteria of different ethnic groups. The mint green line represents the Yanomami tribe, a group of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest, who eat lots of fibers that serve as fuel for their good intestinal bacteria. The line at the very bottom represents people who have adopted a western way of life. As you can see, we’ve lost around 40% of our intestinal bacteria, in comparison to the Yanomami people.

And by the way, what’s particularly interesting is the fact that chronic diseases hardly exist in the Yanomami tribe.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here and professor Stig Bengmark’s synbiotic here.