Food Pharmacy, Podcast

Health-stress

Are we at a greater risk of dying from the stress and hysteria that comes with worrying about eating the ”right food” than from anything we actually eat? In this podcast episode we discuss the subject of health-stress, and try to find the balance between ”absolute health” and more casual diets, without losing sight of the fact that obesity and type 2 diabetes are still two of the biggest issues in public health today.

Go here or here to listen to it!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

That’s why we broke up with white sugar

Well now, how about we take a look at Lina’s inbox?

Hi Food Pharmacy,

I love your books, love the blog, and your podcast! You’ve really inspired me (a long-term sugar-lover) to look at my eating habits in general, and particularly my sugar intake. I’m curious to know how you dealt with the social aspect of changing your diet? Since I stopped eating sugar, I find that I constantly have to defend this obviously healthy choice. It’s odd, but before, when I ate too much sugar, nobody commented on what I ate. But now that I am making an effort to cut out sugar, it’s seems like I have to defend that effort constantly in front of friends, family and colleagues. Please help me – how can I get people to respect my decisions without having to defend them all the time?
Best Regards, from Lisa

Hello Lisa!

Thank you for your e-mail. It was so spot-on that we decided to publish it. The truth is that we very much recognize our own experience in what you have written; not just in the times we’ve had to apologize for not eating the cinnamon bun served with coffee, but also in how we’ve been judged as ”party poopers,” just because we didn’t eat any desserts or goodies.

While we don’t advise giving any fiery speeches to your friends, we do think that there are many people out there who simply don’t know the facts, and could benefit from learning about them. For instance, there is the fact that we currently eat about four times more sugar than is recommended by the National Food Agency. Additionally, today, obesity and type 2 diabetes are among the most significant public diseases, and unhealthy food is a culprit in both. About 422 million people around the world are estimated to have type 2 diabetes, and nearly 40 percent of the adult population are overweight or suffering from obesity, which are frightening numbers, considering that the result is an increased risk of contracting other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, dementia and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). For us, these facts were reason enough to review our eating habits. As real candy-lovers, we always suspected that there might be a contradiction between what is yummy and what is healthy. Later, when we discovered that you could make (and eat) desserts that taste at least as good as the ”real” thing – and that won’t raise your blood sugar as shockingly as traditional pastries and sweets do – it was clear to us that it was time to break up with white sugar.

So try to answer your friends, family and colleagues with all these simple facts. Or maybe just offer them these irresistible chocolate bites the next time you have coffee?

Chocolate bites 2.0.
1 cup organic oat flakes
7 fresh dates
3-4 tbsp cold-pressed, raw coconut oil
4 tbsp coconut flakes
a pinch of pure vanilla powder
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp cacao powder
roll the bites in coconut flakes

Mix all the ingredients until you have a large ball. If it won’t combine, add some coffee or water (1 tsp is probably enough). Roll into balls, and roll each ball in coconut flakes. Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

Best

/ Lina and Mia

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

SvD news: Is the fixation on maintaining a healthy diet just a different form of eating disorder?

Yesterday, we were interviewed by SvD News about whether or not trying to achieve ”absolute health” is, well, healthy. We personally don’t believe in taking a militant approach to eating, but we are convinced that balancing our diets is crucial, and we hope to inspire you to find that balance with this blog and our books.

At the same time, there are certainly other things to worry about besides people being ”too” healthy, especially at a time when obesity has become a public disease, and type 2 diabetes is increasing. These are two diseases that can be prevented by good food and exercise, by the way. So, we will be picking up from where the SvD News interview left off in our next podcast episode, which will be released on Wednesday. Tune in then!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Sunshine smoothie with turmeric, passion fruit and banana

With all due respect to the common green smoothie, sometimes we find ourselves just craving something completely different. Something like this sunny smoothie, inspired by today’s weather – and absolutely awesome to start off the day with.

You’ll need the following items from the fridge, pantry or drawer:

2 frozen green bananas (unfortunately too ugly to qualify for the group picture), a small piece of ginger, 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 cup of water. Put everything in a mixer, and press start.

Next, scoop out the pulp from a passion fruit with a spoon and place it at the bottom of two glasses while you wait.

Pour the blended smoothie into the glasses, and treat yourself and a lucky friend to this sunny concoction. Or, maybe you are working on being friends with yourself? In that case you can drink both, and feel good about it!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Our cookbook in Polish

It’s time to call all your Polish friends and tell them that our cookbook is finally available in Polish. It was two weeks ago today that we took a trip to Kraków and did some PR for our cookbook, which was released during our visit there. In just two days, we managed to do: three interviews, a film shoot, two book signings, a lecture and a crazy cooking class.

Yes, we promise. Check it out for yourself:

We didn’t get much sleep but it was worth it. And, we’ll be back! Maybe only because we already miss our publisher, Magda, a lot (she’s in the picture above). A really wonderful, kind person, and one that we feel very lucky to know!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Creamy zucchini-pasta with marinated champignons

A few days ago, while we were perusing The Green Kitchen Story’s first cookbook (one of our favorite pastimes is to aimlessly browse through cookbooks when we have nothing better to do), we happened to see a recipe for creamy zucchini-pasta with marinated champignons – one that simply looked too good not to try. So we did, and now, with all said and done, one definite outcome is that our recently-cleaned kitchen has become a thing of the past. The verdict? So delicious that we’re going to tell you exactly how we made it.

(You might want to have some handkerchiefs ready, because this could get emotional, as well as educational.)

Marinated champignon
1 bag champignon
3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
3 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Cut the mushrooms in thin slices and put them in a bowl with the oil and vinegar. Stir around properly so that the mushrooms are covered with marinade. Let it rest.

Cashew and tomato sauce
5 ounces (150 grams) of natural cashew nuts (let them soak in water for four hours, if you have that kind of time)
Zest + juice from an organic lemon
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
7 ounces (200 grams) sun dried tomatoes
salt and black pepper

Pour all of these ingredients in a mixer and blend smoothly. Dilute with some water if you want (we did). This sauce comes out even better if the nuts are soaked beforehand: the consistency will be more creamy.

Pasta
2 zucchinis

Rinse the zucchini and cut it lengthwise with a mandolin/spiralizer/potato peeler (you can occasionally find some ready-sliced zucchini at the supermarket, just make sure it’s organic).

Finally, you just need to blend everything together. And while you eat, you can always 1) listen to our latest podcast episode, or 2) think about how to say ”zucchini” in plural form (this is a Swedish mystery).

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Podcast episode nr 6

While we were traveling down to Malmö (a southern town in Sweden) yesterday to give a lecture, our trainee Sebastian was back home with his nose to the grindstone, editing the new podcast. In the episode, we share answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received, such as: the best way to remove turmeric stains, what someone with a nut-allergy can use as a substitute in all our delicious pastries, and last but not least, how intestinal flora really feels about wine?

So for all of our patient listeners out there: your long wait is over. The episode is available now!

Listen to it here or on iTunes!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

New study confirms: Alzheimer’s disease may be a form of diabetes

Here we go again: new research has linked Alzheimer’s disease to high blood sugar. This time, scientists looked deep into the brain and discovered that cells, when suffering from dementia, have difficulty extracting energy from their main nutritional source: glucose.

Five years ago, when I wrote My Sweet Heart, I was surprised by all the research that had shown that high blood sugar increases the risk of dementia. For example, according to one study, eight out of ten people with Alzheimer’s disease have had problems controlling their blood sugar – twice as many as in the control group. A survey of older people in Stockholm, Sweden, shows that pre-diabetes and diabetes multiply the risk of dementia, and that this condition develops much faster for those who have had difficulty maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Some researchers have even suggested calling dementia type 3 diabetes. Research done on the brains of recently-deceased Alzheimer’s patients has revealed that those patients’ brain tissues react poorly to the blood-sugar-lowering hormone insulin (which is very bad, because insulin is needed to store memories).

Alzheimer’s goes hand in hand with diabetes

Why don’t doctors talk about this more often? I wondered that myself while writing the book. I’m still wondering, and meanwhile the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s is a form of diabetes (or goes hand in hand with type 2 diabetes) has only grown stronger and stronger. Studies have confirmed that the disease progresses more quickly in patients with high blood sugar. Researchers have used blood samples to measure insulin resistance in the brain, and have been able to predict the development of dementia. Both adolescents suffering from obesity and people who have a higher insulin-resistance have been shown to have higher levels of those substances that are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s in their blood.

Read the last sentence again. Let it sink in before moving on to the news of the week.

New Study: People with Alzheimer’s disease also have high blood-sugar levels in the brain

This time, researchers have once again dissected brain tissue from people with dementia and found that higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer’s. Their results:

  1. The higher the level of blood sugar found in the brain, the worse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s before death.
  2. Brain cells often have difficulty breaking down and extracting energy from the sugar glucose, which is the brain’s primary source of energy.
  3. High blood-sugar in the brain is correlated with the patient having generally high blood-sugar levels many years before dying.

So what conclusions can we draw from this knowledge? Well, I think that people who appreciate their brain should be safe rather than sorry and keep their blood sugar at a low and stable level. Here are some simple tricks to help  with that:

  1. If you suffer from type 2 diabetes: measure your blood sugar after eating and learn what raises it. Try to eat food that maintains blood sugar at low and steady level.
  2. Call your neighbor and ask them out for a walk; that exercise by itself is enough to help lower blood sugar. (Lisa, what about tonight?)
  3. Think: dementia, dementia, dementia, whenever the sweet tooth calls you. Eat nuts or almonds instead.
  4. If you haven’t already done so: eliminate fast and white carbohydrates, (such as sugar and flour) from your life. At least 335 of the days of the year. Instead, explore the vast expanse of the vegetable section at your local supermarket. Have you tried palm cabbage, for example?
  5. Learn from Patrik Olsson and make a bean salad for dinner. My favorite: black beans, red onions, lime, cilantro (lots), chopped jalapeño, olive oil and a little salt.

That’s how you make it easier for your brain to live happily ever after.

Ann Fernholm runs the blog annfernholm.se and has written the best-selling book My Sweet Heart. Now and then, she writes here at Food Pharmacy.



Recipes

Oven baked quinoa porridge with cinnamon and apple sauce

The following recipe is dedicated to all you morning-tired folks out there who want a good, filling and nutritious breakfast that’s easy to make. Before you even read this sentence you can rinse off 1/2 a cup of quinoa and mix it in a bowl with 1 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of cardamom, then put the mix in the fridge overnight. Brush your teeth and go to bed. Wake up. Tired? Good, let’s do this.

Good morning! Hope you slept well?

Do you remember that quinoa porridge that you made yesterday? It’s time to pour it on a baking dish and put it in the oven right now. 210 degrees Fahrenheit/100 degrees Celsius will do the trick.

What’s that? You’re tired? Well, we understand. It’s early in the morning. Make a cup of coffee or a cup of tea and crawl back into bed again if it’s the weekend; this porridge has to sit in the oven for about an hour (if you are in a hurry, you can of course raise the temperature, but the general rule is that intestinal flora prefer lower temperatures).

If you want, while you wait you can make your own applesauce, using 1 apple, 4 soaked apricots and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (recipe from our cookbook). But that’s not a must. The recipe is just as good with diced apple.

All you need to remember is just to take the porridge from the oven after about an hour, when the quinoa is cooked. And finally, put it in a bowl and decorate it with some chopped pistachio nuts, apples and any vegetable milk (such as almond, cashew or soy-milk).

And then, of course, eat. Don’t forget that. Eating the porridge is the whole reason we wrote all this for you.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Press

Don’t worry about how you look, think about how your food is making you feel instead

In the latest issue of the magazine ELLE Sweden there’s an interview with Mia, in which she discusses her views on health, and talks about what keeps her inspired. She also relates how it feels to change direction in the middle of life and start a business with a best friend. Hopefully her story will be inspirational to people who dream about change, but don’t really dare to take that leap of faith.

It should be noted however, that not all of the interview made it to print — items left out included: Mia’s weakness for Savasana (the final relaxation-pose in yoga, in which you lay on your back on the mat and the yoga instructor comes around and tickles your neck), what’s in her training bag (a forgotten damp towel that smells like skunk), and her plans for the future (the big novel she wants to write).

And above all, we’re sad that the part where Mia calls Lina a ”guru” didn’t make it. Having a Dale/Dumber/Thomson to hold your hand while on the roller coaster of starting an independent business has been vital for us. We are eternally grateful that we have each other!

Anyway, while we still have your attention, we’ll take the opportunity to mention that this week’s podcast episode won’t be coming out until next week. The combo of: book launch in Poland + two bohemian bloggers + life, we just couldn’t get it together this week. It’ll be even more fun to listen to next week though, right?!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.