Food Pharmacy

Food Pharmacy recommends: Rutabaga in Stockholm.

Last Wednesday we did something extraordinarily exciting – we pattered up to our dear publishing house to celebrate our successful book. So much fun! Refreshments were served, speeches were made, and there were green bananas and raw food delicacies from Stockholm raw. Roar!

But the night didn’t end there. No, after the party we trotted through a snowy Stockholm and ended up outside Mathias Dahlgren’s new lacto-ovo vegetarian restaurant Rutabaga. We entered.

So nice and delicious! We were so giddily excited that we forgot to take pictures, but hey, at least our photographer and publisher remembered to photograph the snacks.

And here are two of the courses. That pumpkin with licorice to the left… Mmm… You’ll never want to brush your teeth again.

Anyhow. As you may already know, rutabaga, also known as Swedish turnip, is a root vegetable (a cross between cabbage and turnip). The word rutabaga, which is also the common North American term for the plant, is an old Swedish dialectal word.

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

Gently baked oatmeal with berries and crispy topping. 

We do love love love porridge. Especially this heavenly tasty baked oatmeal. This porridge is divided into four layers, and it’s so awesome that the concept of a lie-in will soon be history. It’s impossible to stay in bed when the scent of cinnamon spreads from the kitchen. It doesn’t take too long to prepare, but a bit more time is needed in the oven (around 40 minutes), so save it for a Saturday or Sunday!

Oh, that’s right, listen up all you nut allergy sufferers! Usually, we make this porridge with nuts, but of course we’re out of nuts on the day we decide to write about it and take pictures, so instead we added whatever we had lying around: pumpkin and sesame seeds. Turned out perfect as well!

Baked oatmeal
(4-6 servings)

400 grams berries (thawed if frozen)
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
1 tbsp ceylon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 cups plant-based milk of your choice
½ tsp pure vanilla powder
3-4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup almonds

Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Spread the berries into an even layer, at the bottom of an oven-safe plate or baking pan. Combine oatmeal, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl, and toss together. Break the eggs into a separate bowl, and beat the milk and vanilla into the mixture. Last but not least, prepare the nuts: combine honey, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds and nuts in a small bowl, and use your hands to evenly mix.

Sprinkle the oat mixture over the berries, pour the egg mixture over the oats, and make sure all of the oat mixture is coated. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top. Bake for around 40 minutes (aaaargh, we’re the worst at keeping track of time, but remove it from the heat when the porridge has set, and the topping is golden and crunchy).

Well, see for yourself what’s hiding underneath that lovely nut coating, First, a layer of gentle cinnamon porridge, and then a layer of delicious berries. Without a doubt worth a close-up.

Hi there, cute oatmeal. We’re gonna eat you now.

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.

Recipe inspiration from: Green Kitchen Stories.



Food Pharmacy

Top seven spices and herbs.

Before we got all fixated on the gut flora and good bacteria (jeez, what an unexpected journey), the only spices we used were salt, pepper, and broth. Sometimes we spiced it up with some fresh basil on top of the mozzarella. It’s also possible we put some fresh ginger in our cup of tea if we were coming down with a cold, but that was about it.

Then we learned that spices and herbs are bristling with nutrients, not to mention antioxidants. And when we realised that adding spices also means improving the nutritional value of everyday foods, we went bananas and tried every spice in the store. Studies actually suggest that adding herbs and spices can increase antioxidant levels in food by several hundred percent (!).

These are the top seven spices and herbs, when it comes to antioxidant levels:

Clove
Oregano
Rosemary
Cinnamon
Thyme
Turmeric
Ginger

So today, we challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone, be adventurous, and try out a new spice.

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

Does adhd start in the gut?

You hear a lot about adhd these days. But if you take a look at statistics, you would understand the reason why – there’s been a significant increase in adhd diagnosis recently (15% of U.S. boys have been diagnosed with adhd), and in Sweden, there’s been a several hundred percent increase over the last few years. Some argue that the increasing diagnosis rates are simply due to under-diagnosis in the past. But at the same time, new studies suggest junk food may trigger adhd symptoms. Also, a supplement of good bacteria can actually reduce symptoms. Does gut flora play a role in adhd as well?

A couple of years ago, a Finnish follow-up study of 65 children was published, more than thirteen years after the first study was conducted. In the first study, the mothers (who were pregnant at the time) were divided into two groups. The first group of mothers was provided with a supplement of good bacteria, and the babies in that same group got the supplement until the age of six months. The mothers and babies in the other group were provided with placebo pills.

Thirteen years later, or two years ago, researchers examined the children again. Much to their surprise, they could not find one single child (!) with adhd (or Asperger’s syndrome), in the group whose participants had been provided with a supplement of good bacteria for the colon to feed on. In the other group, 6 out of 35 children (17,1%) showed signs of adhd or Asperger’s.

In the fall of 2015, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm initiated a study. The purpose was to examine the association between mental health and intake of synbiotics (probiotics and fibers), among children and young adults. We interviewed Catharina Lavebratt, head of the trial, and asked for background information. She told us that children with adhd and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often suffer from stomach or colon related problems, and raised levels of inflammatory markers. We all have hundreds of billions of bacteria in the colon, that constitute the gut microbiota – and simply put, you can divide them into evil and good bacteria. The child’s gut microbiota is more sensitive and can be harmed by, for example, antibiotics. An excess of evil bacteria may lead to an imbalance in the gut flora, which can result in inflammation. Therefore, Catharina Lavebrant suggests a healthy diet and synbiotic supplements, as an added treatment for adhd.

When we first started blogging about the gut flora and anti-inflammatory foods almost three years ago, it wasn’t a common topic of conversation. Certainly, scientists all over the world were interested, but we didn’t think “ordinary people” were aware of the importance of a healthy gut flora. Today, it has become a well-established topic, and it’s no longer bold to say that the food we eat significantly affect how we feel, both physically and mentally.

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

We’ve finally met a fruitarian. 

Never in a million years we thought would get to meet a fruitarian. But when we were on that yoga retreat in the mountains outside of Marbella a couple of weeks ago, we spent five days with a Swedish woman named Susy. And imagine our surprise when we saw what she was having for dinner the first night – a large bowl of fruits. 

– How did you eat before you became a fruitarian?
– I started following the LCHF diet many years ago, out of sheer curiosity. It was supposed to be so good for you and they said it would make just about everything better! At first, I felt great, strong and energized. I worked out a lot, and thought the results were great. But after a while I started gaining weight. I didn’t like that, so I found myself adding more and more rules and restrictions. Hardly had any vegetables, and absolutely no fruits or berries. Then my stomach went crazy! Constipation of course, and lots of other issues. My sinuses were killing me, and I started seeing signs of depression. I looked for answers everywhere, and tried every dietary supplement or vitamin I could find. I did a stool test, and of course, it showed a lack of good bacteria. I had to eat more vegetables, and start a candida treatment, amongst other things. I started to feel a little bit better, and bought Synbiotic15 (Stig’s bacteria and fiber supplement for the intestinal flora and immune system). I kept feeling better and better.

– But why did you decide to become a fruitarian?
– My stomach still wasn’t happy, so I kept on looking and ended up with the paleo diet, and eventually a full-on raw food diet. I felt better, but I think I was eating too many nuts. Kept on looking and discovered dr Morse, who is convinced that the natural human diet is one that consists entirely or primarily of fruits. And I hadn’t had a fruit in seven years… Would I dare to try?

– Have you experienced any health changes, since you started eating only fruits? 
– From the very first day, my belly was calm, and it had been swollen for years. I thought I was in heaven! Now, after almost five weeks, I have more energy and feel stronger than ever. I add some herbs to activate and cleanse the kidneys and the lymphatic system, which is probably clogged from all that protein.

– What does your average food day look like?
– I have my first meal at 11, and of course your tasty anti-inflammatory shot! I mix lots of fruits and berries, not exactly small amounts. Maybe one grapefruit, one apple, two kiwis, some blueberries and lemon. An afternoon snack might be some goji berries and mulberries. Then more fruits for dinner, preferably blue grapes. I try to make sure it’s all organic. I also like to eat melons, but only separately, since they should not be eaten with other fruits.

– Do you think you’ll stay fruitarian for the rest of your life?
– Right now I feel like I could eat like this for the rest of my life, but I’m sure I’ll add some salad and nuts eventually. I don’t think I’ll ever eat meat again, though.

– Many people are afraid to eat too much fruit. What’s your response?
– I used to be scared too, so I completely understand. But how can it be that bad, when I feel so great? According to dr Morse, fructose does not raise insulin levels, only complex sugars will affect your blood sugar. I’m not an expert, but as long as I feel good, I’m happy.

– What’s the most common reaction you get? Are people positive or sceptical?
– Most people probably think I’m nuts, but I guess many would find it both tasty and convenient. It’s so quick and easy to prepare a bowl of fruits. Too bad for all the cookbook writers though, but I’m still going to buy your book. It will probably be both good and entertaining. Well, the tricky part about being a fruitarian is maintaining a normal social life. I guess I’ll have to sacrifice my beliefs once in a while and have some salad, haha.

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

Food Pharmacy’s chinese food.

Wait. We just realised we haven’t shared Lina’s chinese food recipe with you. That’s odd, almost absurd, since it’s one of our all time favorites. But if that is the case (so hard to believe), here we go. Help yourselves, quick and easy chinese food at its best. Loved by all ages. What’s that? You don’t think your child is going to like it? Don’t be so sure. Promise us you’ll at least try it.

Well, we would have added some white cabbage and broccoli, but there was none at home. But actually, that’s what’s so good about it, there are no actual rules. Most vegetables will do the trick. And as you all know, one’s thoughts are one’s own.

Lina’s chinese food
(3-4 servings)

1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 carrots
1/2 cauliflower head
1/2 zucchini
1 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 pack mung bean noodles

Chop the onion and put in a pot with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Let it soften on low heat, while you slice the carrots, the cauliflower head and the zucchini (and the white cabbage and broccoli, if you’re in the mood). Put the vegetables in the pot, cover, and cook until slightly softened. Then add tamari and sesame oil. Add noodles to a pot of boiling water. Remove from the stove and let them soften for a few minutes. Rinse in cold water and add to the vegetable mix. Give it a stir. Flavour with some extra tamari or sesame oil. Put in bowls. Serve. Eat.

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

Stockholm in our hearts.

On our way back home from Nevada. We’ve been here since Thursday, but have watched the unimaginable tragedy that happened in our hometown from a distance. All our thoughts go out to the the victims, their families and friends.



Food Pharmacy

Eat this every day to prevent chronic disease.

Consuming 30 grams of resistant starch a day, may help prevent a number of chronic diseases. This is according to Stacey Lockyer, who has written an overview of the past years’ research on resistant starch. The article is published in the British journal Nutrition Bulletin.  

Is it possible to have a favorite fiber? Yes, why not? Resistant starch quickly became ours, after Stig had told us about this incredible fiber, highly loved by our gut flora. Resistant starch cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes. Instead, it travels in peace all the way down to the good bacteria in the colon, where it stimulates the growth of even more good bacteria. These bacteria then produce butyric acids. Butyric acids are considered one of the most powerful weapons against chronic (low-grade) inflammation, something many of us have without knowing it.

There is a correlation between chronic inflammation and chronic disease. Resistant starch can significantly help improve the gut bacteria, and may influence obesity and other associated metabolic imbalances, including insulin resistance, high blood pressure and abnormal blood lipid profiles. Resistant starch may also help control blood sugar, and reduce colon cancer risk among meat eaters. The icing on the cake is that resistant starch may decrease hunger and help you feel fuller longer.

So, how much is 30 grams a day? It’s actually not a bizarre amount at all. We would say it equals the amount you would get from following any traditional diet. In the western world, where we unfortunately eat a lot of processed and nutrient-poor foods, we’re eating a diet that is already too low in fiber. On top of that, of these fibers, only about 5 grams consist of resistant starch. If you want to boost your intake of resistant starch, we suggest you eat green bananas, legumes, sauerkraut, and why not add some raw potatoes to your smoothie (we promise it’s not that bad).

Here’s the article about resistant starch, published in Nutrition Bulletin.

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

We’re teaching a course!

Yesterday, we stepped out of our so called comfort zone. We recorded an online course, together with our publishing house and their new online learning platform Brillbee.

But first, we had our makeup done for 1,5 hour. Don’t know if Johanna usually brings this much makeup (this is just one third of all the stuff she hauled up the stairs), or if we she thought it might come in handy?

However, after 15 cups of coffee, she was done. And then we were both fresh as a daisy.

Then, it was time for action. Here we are, demonstrating how a cozy Friday night (or sometimes dinner) might have looked like at one of our houses, before we ran into our dear professor.

And here are parts of the team. The amazing Terese, who has helped us with the script, is missing in the picture. I guess you can say that the online course is a crash course based on our book, so if you’ve already read the book from cover to cover, you might not learn anything new. Especially not if you don’t know any Swedish. But you would still get to see our pretty faces, and listen to a western Swedish accent!

We’re pretty impressed that we managed to play it cool in front of the camera. However, it still feels like the topic of the year: to be out of our comfort zone and do things we normally wouldn’t dare. Like being asked to sit on the kitchen counter, with a huge camera stuck in your face, just a few millimeters away from your eyes, for example.

Anyhow, we promise to keep you posted on the progress!

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

European Union is imposing limits on the use of palm oil.

Good news!

This past Tuesday we wrote about the health risks associated with palm oil. And we’re so excited to say it’s now official – EU is imposing further restrictions on the use of the carcinogenic components of palm oil, other oils and baby formula, in December 2017. Wow! Unfortunately, it’s not until 2020 that the levels meet the recommendations of the Swedish National Food Administration. But hey, it’s still something, right?

Look! Proof! (in Swedish but you trust us, right?)

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.