Therese Elgquist

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Mindful Eating: Eating with All of Your Senses

It might sound a bit weird. As if eating in a mindful state would be something complicated. It’s really not. It’s just about being (really) present when you eat, listening to your body’s signals, and better appreciating what you’re eating.

How? By letting all of your senses register the food and the experience. What does the food look like? How does it feel on your tongue, on your palate? How does it smell? How does it REALLY taste? How does it sound when you take a bite? Pay attention to the colors, textures, aromas, flavors, temperatures and sounds. It’s a completely new experience each time. Once again, food is magic.

Slowing down, being more conscious about the food that you’re eating – and all of its characteristics – will not only make you appreciate the food more, you will also help your body to better absorb all the nutrition in the food. And, you’re more likely to eat the amount of food that your body is really asking for instead of over eating. But note – mindful eating is not a diet – it’s about getting to know your body.

Ever heard about hunger? Or, simply put, hormones flushing through your body telling you that you’re ready to process some more food. Sometimes we eat only because we “should” or because the clock says so – and not because we actually need more food. Mindful eating has helped me sort through all the emotions and recognize the feeling of hunger. Of course, I still give in to cravings once in a while and I eat when I’m not really hungry. It’s not about setting up rules – it’s about finding balance.

Mindful eating in 4 steps

  • Turn off your television, computer and smartphone. And try to put away your favorite book while eating.
  • Give yourself time to eat. Take a look at the food before digging in. Try to be fully aware of your senses.
  • Before you eat, take a deep breath and tell your body you’re at ease – and in for a treat!
  • Put down the fork/knife/spoon/hand between bites. Slow down and give yourself the chance to savor what is already in your mouth.

Enjoy every bite!
/Therese

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Recipes, Therese Elgquist

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Spicy Turmeric Popcorn

Spice up your popcorn! Simple, tasty and a feast for the eyes! Flavored popcorn are the best: truffle salt, cinnamon, turmeric, chili pepper, fennel – the list goes on and on. Today, we’re making spicy turmeric popcorn. A true favorite!


Turmeric Popcorn

3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels (enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan)
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt

Add coconut oil, popcorn kernels and turmeric to a saucepan. Cover the pot (don’t forget!) and wait for the kernels to pop. For drier and crispier popcorn, keep the cover slightly ajar. It allows the steam to escape, which results in crispier popcorn. Shake the saucepan to make sure all kernels are covered in coconut oil and turmeric, and remove from the heat when you can count two seconds between pops. Remove lid and empty into a large serving bowl.

Add salt! Be sure to toss well to season the popcorn evenly. DIG IN! To the left in the picture above, you see some buckwheat and coconut balls with chocolate coating. The perfect sweet treat for a Friday night!

Tips for making perfect popcorn
– Add popcorn kernels in an even layer, enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan – not more!
– Allow the steam to escape – it results in crispier popcorn. Keep the cover slightly ajar, and/or remove the lid as soon as possible.


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Food Pharmacy, Therese Elgquist

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Plant-Based Protein (part 1)

Our dear friend Therese Elgquist is not only a star in the kitchen, she’s also an expert on plant-based protein. Her book, The New Green Protein (only available in Swedish), recently hit the shelves. And since many of you ask about protein deficiency, we thought it was time for a new series: (yup, you guessed it) plant-based protein. Naturally, we asked Therese for help. The stage is yours, Therese!

The thing about protein

I’m crazy about nutrient-dense, plant-based food. I’m not kidding. I’m like obsessed with cooking and talking about different vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, leafy greens. And the list goes on and on.

One of the first things people ask me when I tell them I’m crazy about vegetarian food is “what about protein?”. Most people are accustomed to getting protein from meat, and they’re concerned about getting the adequate amount from plant-based foods. Well, there are tons of protein-packed vegetarian options. And I decided to write a book about it.

There is a common misconception that protein is only obtainable from animals foods, and that our bodies need A LOT to function well. Yes, getting enough protein is essential, but most people get way more than they actually need. So, once and for all, let’s straighten things out. I will provide you with all the information you need about plant-based protein. But first, I’d like to tell you about my food philosophy:

Food is fuel

Biologically, all living things need to eat to survive. And our bodies need a variety of nutrients to function and thrive. We can eat to satisfy an immediate hunger – in this case, what foods we eat is less important – or we can eat to boost our health and well-being, both today and tomorrow. While still satisfying that hunger, of course.

Being aware of what you eat, why you eat it, and how the food you eat affect how you feel – both physically and mentally – can help you make better and more active food choices. This way, you’ll get tasty and delicious food, and a happy body, mind and soul.

A plant-based diet will provide your body with lots of protein, but also vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats and carbohydrates that are kind to your body. And in most cases, plant-based foods are incredibly nutrient dense foods. Yay!

In part two of our series, Therese will delve into the difference between animal protein and plant-based protein. Stay tuned!

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Recipes, Therese Elgquist

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Make Everyday a Friday: Buckwheat and Coconut Balls With Chocolate Coating

Just hearing the word Friday makes us want to change into sweatpants and snuggle up under a blanket. And of course, Friday equals snacks, like these buckwheat and coconut balls with chocolate coating. Yummy. But what we love most about this nutrient dense recipe is that we don’t have to wait until Friday. Yup, you heard it right. Everyday is Friday!

Buckwheat and Coconut Balls with Chocolate Coating
(around 20 balls)

almost 1 cup whole grain buckwheat, soaked for 8 hours *
almost 1 cup shredded coconut
10 fresh dates, pitted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder
a pinch of salt
3.5 Tbsp goji berries

Easy peasy chocolate coating:
3.5 Tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
7 Tbsp raw cacao powder
a pinch of salt

Start by soaking the whole grain buckwheat (instructions below). Drain and rinse until the slimy coating is gone. In a high speed blender, mix all ingredients for the balls except the goji berries, until you have a dough-like consistency. Taste the mixture (don’t forget!). Add the goji berries and pulse a few times. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture, and roll into balls.

To make the chocolate coating, whisk together cold-pressed coconut oil, cacao powder and salt in a saucepan until smooth. The balls are pretty sweet so we prefer them rolled in unsweetened chocolate coating, but feel free to add some maple syrup to the chocolate mixture if you prefer a sweeter taste. In a rush? Skip the chocolate coating and roll the balls in raw cacao powder.

Done! Serve immediately or store in the freezer. Storing soaked buckwheat in the fridge may alter the taste slightly.


Tip!

Swap the vanilla powder for fresh ginger and cinnamon and you will have lovely apple pie bites instead.

 

Soaked buckwheat?
We usually soak whole grain buckwheat in water with some apple cider vinegar (2 cups water/1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar). Why? Soaking helps to break down hard-to-digest components of the grain and at the same time, helps to release highly beneficial nutrients. For best results, don’t forget the apple cider vinegar.

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