Food Pharmacy

6 fun things that have happened this week.

A. Our first book is nominated for the Swedish Design Award. How amazing is that? Next week, we will ask you to vote for us, but don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

B. We’ve been asked to appear on the Swedish Radio show Morgonpasset i P3. Or actually, not the both of us. We would talk too much, they said, haha. We decided to send Lina.

C. Our book is now available in French. Mais oui, c’est très formidable!

D. We’ve found a recording studio, and will start recording the podcast on Monday. In Swedish, unfortunately. But who knows, it could be the start of something big.

E. Grapefruit is tasty.

EE. Ok, maybe the statement about grapefruit did not belong under “6 fun things that have happened this week”, but we just have to say it, grapefruit is always tasty.

F. Our new and beloved cookbook was last week’s best selling non-fiction book in Sweden. Not to brag, but we’re really excited about this. The demand for health foods is growing steadily, and more and more people start to pay attention to the relationship between food and health. Yay!

(And if you like what you see in the picture, here’s the recipe for the cake.)

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

Improvised tomato sauce.

Let’s just say, yesterday did not go as we had planned. But we did make a heck of a tomato sauce.

What we had planned:
A cosy family dinner. Everybody’s eating. A nice conversation where we all get to speak our minds without being interrupted. Maybe someone will ask for a second serving?

This is what happened:
Dinner with 1 seven-year-old daughter + 2 classmates + 1 nine-year-old son + 1 neighbour. Five kids in total, of whom two wanted spaghetti bolognese, two asked for pancakes, and one preferred sushi. But, the kid who wanted sushi changed her mind and asked if she could have slime for dinner?

At times like these, you have to be able to improvise.

Improvised tomato sauce
(serves many)

1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
500 grams of carrots (or 5-6 carrots)
500 grams of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp vegetable broth powder
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 grams of mushrooms
1 small garlic clove
a splash of olive oil
1 zucchini/spaghetti of your choice

Quickly chop the onions and garlic (don’t put too much effort into it), and rinse and shred the carrots (do not peel them). Put the vegetables in a pot, add tomatoes, vegetable broth powder and coconut milk, and cook on low heat until the onions are soft.

While you’re waiting, wash and slice the mushrooms. Put in a pot and allow the mushrooms to cook until their natural liquid has released. Add a splash of olive oil and a small, finely chopped garlic clove. Wait another minute or two, and season with salt and pepper.

Puree the tomato sauce in a blender until smooth. Season with oregano, and maybe some extra salt and pepper. Serve with zucchini noodles, or pasta of your choice (try bean pasta). Top with mushrooms if you dare (the kid who wanted slime for dinner preferred the mushrooms over the actual tomato sauce).

All in all, this recipe turned out to be a winner. The adults had zucchini noodles, and the kids had gluten free spaghetti. And yes, we’ve read the list of ingredients on the back of the box. Our Luke Skywalkers aren’t overly excited about the gluten free spaghetti, but let’s just say, yesterday was not the day.

You have to choose your battles. And take it step by step. A small step is always better than no step at all (read more about that in our books). Anyhow, we’re pretty proud to say: all five of them cleared their plates.

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

Message from reader.

A couple of days ago, we got this breathtaking email from one of our readers. Just knowing that our book has helped and inspired someone… wow… no words can explain the feeling.

Here’s the email (translated into English). Thank you again for sharing your story.

Hi,

Don’t know where to start. I was chubby as a kid, and my mom was a single parent with all kinds of eating disorders. I’ve been on a diet since I was eight years old. Suffered from eating disorders since the age of 13. I’ve spent more than half my life avoiding, compensating, counting etc. Force-fed, hospitalized, and so on. Two years ago, I was discharged from the hospital. Mainly because I refused to stay. Since then, I’ve continued to avoid, compensate, count etc. I joke about how a bulimic person makes the best diet advisor. She knows all about calories and the effects on blood sugar.

About seven months ago, the 19th of January, I read your book, Food Pharmacy, while I had Pepsi Max for dinner. Most of what I read, I had heard before. But the way you talked about food, focusing more on health and less on the body (my main focus for as long as I could remember), caught my attention.

For many years, doctors, psychologists, friends and family, tried to convince me to change. But I refused to listen.

But before I finished my Pepsi, I finished your book. And since that day, seven months ago, I’ve followed your advice, focusing on health rather than the scale or my skinny jeans.

Thank you for helping me regain my self esteem. I’ve gotten my life back.

I try to compensate by buying your books and giving them to everyone I know. I don’t know what to say…but this is to say:

Thank you.

xx

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

Kale is here to stay.

As most of you know by now, we have recently released a cookbook. In the process, we gave quite a few interviews, but one in particular leaves a lasting impression. We were off to a good start when suddenly the journalist asked Lina if she had a favorite vegetable. Whereupon Lina answered:

– Kale.

The journalist’s pen stopped moving. The man, who up until then hadn’t looked up from the notebook, turned to Lina with a severe look on his face.

– No, you must be lying. Seriously, it cannot be.

Obviously, the journalist knows little about lutein, a tiny antioxidant found in kale and other dark-green vegetables. It belongs to the family of carotenoids, which are naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments. Studies on animals and healthy humans have shown that carotenoids are associated with lower levels of low-grade inflammation in the body. This led scientists at Linköping University Hospital in Sweden to ask if carotenoids may help to lower low-grade inflammation in sick patients with overly sensitive immune cells as well. Said and done, a group of scientists began studying people with vascular spasm, or who had suffered from a heart attack. Typically, these patients suffer from acute low-grade inflammation, and therefore, they have increased risk of having another heart attack. The studies showed lutein may also help to lower low-grade inflammation in these patients.

The study was performed on sick people, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until you’re sick to start thinking about your lutein intake. According to research, we should all ensure we get enough lutein, as a preventive measure. Lutein is said to help reduce hardening of the arteries, and studies have shown that young people with higher concentrations of lutein in their blood have fewer clogged arteries.

Nevertheless, Lina decided to skip the rigmarole and take the easy road. She scratched her head, took a deep audible breath and said:

– Just write avocado.

Whereupon the journalist nodded, picked up a pen and wrote the word “avocado” in his notebook. And so the story ends.

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

Apple cider vinegar + water.

It’s Friday, and time to guess what we do first thing in the morning. Which of the following do you think is correct?

1) Practise yoga for 15 minutes – a short but strengthening sequence that will help us stay calm throughout the day.

2) Achieve the Kebnekaise effect in the bathroom (if you still don’t know what we’re talking about, you should definitely read our first book).

3) Drink a glass of water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.

The correct answer is, drumroll: 3) We drink water and apple cider vinegar.

As recently as this past summer, we read that Stig does this every morning. And, of course, we decided to try. We know that Stig gets a lot of questions about whether or not you should drink this during intermittent fasting. Well, in a way, it does break the fasting state, but according to Stig, it takes about 10 minutes for the body to digest a glass of water with apple cider vinegar. And well, that’s that.

And the Kebnekaise effect? Let’s just say, a cup of coffee will do the trick.

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

Serial about soy (part 3).

Are we feeding soybeans to livestock in Sweden? Do we import soy from areas where rainforests are being cleared to make way for soy plantations? In search for answers, our intern Sebastian made a phone call to Mikaela Patel at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

What is your role at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)?

– Researcher and postdoctoral at the Department of Animal Nutrition and Management. I’m interested in animal husbandry, day-to-day-care and the feeding of livestock. I aim to make sure that cattle raised as livestock for meat, or as dairy animals, are well taken care of, and that their diet consists of a combination of feeds to provide everything they need for their health, welfare and production.

First of all, you got the questions in advance. Looking at it from your perspective, are they relevant?

– Yes, many consumers don’t know what they’re buying. In Sweden, as compared to many other countries, the rules are pretty strict when it comes to animal source foods. There’s a big difference between the Swedish meat industry and, let’s say, the American or South-American.

In order to feed livestock, do Swedish farmers use soy from areas where rainforests are being cleared to make way for soy plantations?

– The soy industry has grown enormously over the past 50 years, and yes, soy is produced in areas where rainforests are being destroyed. They are cleared for grazing land for cattle, and to make way for soy plantations. But, environmental organizations have grown, and Swedish farmers and agricultural organizations have agreed to start using certified soy, and nothing else. So, I guess my answer is both yes and no. Of course, the soybeans were produced in areas where rainforests are being destroyed. But at the same time, Swedish farmers use certified soy, which assures that it was originated from a process that is environmentally correct and socially adequate.

In what part of the world is the Swedish soy produced?

– Mainly Brazil. But a lot of the KRAV-certified soy is produced in Italy.

And there are both certified and uncertified plantations in Brazil?

– Yes, that’s right. There are two types of certifications: Round table on responsible soy is the most common one. And ProTerra, they only certify GMO-free soy.

Does this mean that all the soy we have here in Sweden is certified with one of these two labels?

– Yes. And in Sweden, we’re not allowed to use GMO soybeans. Some of the largest companies in the Swedish food industry have agreed to stop using GMO products. In Sweden, the fight against GMO is on.

In other words, all of the soy imported to Sweden is certified?

– That’s correct. Swedish meat is supposed to be okay.

But if meat comes from another country, there are no guarantees?

– No, exactly. And remember, many Swedish farmers try to cut back on the use of soy, and instead use domestically produced animal feed. In the dairy cattle industry, approximately five percent of the ration consists of soy. Pigs and poultry, on the other hand, have a higher percentage of soy in their diets. Because they are non-ruminants and unable to digest the cellulose in grass and other forages, they have different dietary needs.

Serial about soy (part 1): Serial about soy.
Serial about soy (part 2): Serial about soy (part 2).

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

Let’s improve the Dutch and Finnish gut bacteria!

And, lo and behold, the Korean gut flora as well. With that, we are proud to announce that our first book, Food Pharmacy – A Guide to Gut Bacteria, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Eating for Health, will soon be available in the following languages:

Norwegian (released this past spring)
Danish (released this past spring)
Polish (released this past spring)
Dutch (released this past summer)
Finnish (in stores today!)
Estonian (available this fall)
Portuguese (available this fall)
Italian (available this fall)
French (available this fall)
Russian (available this fall)
English (available this winter)
Korean (available this winter)

Please spread the word among friends and family all over the globe – working together, we’ll supercharge thousands of millions of gut floras!

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

Swedes eat more meat than ever.

After a long summer, we’re finally back at the office. And, waiting on our desks was a report, presented by the University of Oxford at the, try saying this three times fast, 20th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis.

The researchers found taxes on red and processed meat would lead to huge and vital cuts in climate emissions, as well as saving lives via healthier diets. The link between meat consumption and disease has been widely known for years, and so has the direct link to climate change – the meat industry is the biggest culprit, and the global healthcare costs due to the consumption of red and processed meat are estimated to 300 billion USD (!) by the year 2020.

Still, Swedes are consuming more meat than ever. Don’t be fooled by the growing interest in vegan and vegetarian food, new figures show a continued increase in meat consumption. And, we’re sorry to say, last year we beat the record: Swedes consumed 87.7 kilograms of meat per person in 2016.

A record we should not be proud of, and a dangerous trend that has to stop. Dear Government, please tax unhealthy foods that cause inflammation and lead to illness, and subsidize foods that are actually good for us. Please, once and for all.

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 five minute jungle soup.

A jungle shirt requires a jungle soup. That’s old news. So today, we rummage through our friend’s fridge and prepare a quick five-minute-soup.

Jungle soup
(2 servings)

1/2 zucchini
1/2 cantaloupe
10 cocktail tomatoes
1/2 lemon
2 spring onions (including the tops)
0.5 cup water
a (large) handful fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix. Quick, easy and delicious!

Or, maybe not that quick and easy. We just realized that our friend doesn’t own a blender. Gah. And to be completely honest, Sofie, your hand blender is on its last legs as well.

Five hours later, our five-minute-soup was finally ready to go, but luckily it didn’t affect the taste.

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

Blueberry pie, with a flourish of trumpets!

Let’s have some blueberry pie and celebrate the fact that our cookbook is now available in Swedish bookstores. Seeing the book on the shelf for the first time is such an incredible feeling, and we can’t believe it’s finally finished. And of course, what makes it even more special is that it fits perfectly right next to our first book. Like Chip ‘n’ Dale – just as we had hoped.

Anyway, enough about us and our feelings. It’s time for this incredibly tasty blueberry pie. We got the recipe from the book’s graphic designer, the lovely Anna (recipe originally found here).

Blueberry celebration pie
(1 pie)

Crust:
1 cup soaked cashews
1 cup coconut flakes
4 fresh dates
a pinch of salt

Blueberry filling:
225 g frozen (thawed) blueberries
1 apple
5 fresh dates
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp pure vanilla powder
1 1/2  tbsp psyllium husk

Soak the nuts for about an hour. Make the crust by mixing together all the ingredients, and gently push the pie dough into the bottom and sides of a bread pan or a pie plate (use parchment paper). Mix the ingredients for the filling, and spoon over the crust. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

My goodness, photos don’t do justice to the beauty of this pie. It’s almost black. Maybe it looks better in the living room? Worth a try.

Nope, not at all. But who cares, you’re smart and you know what to expect – a nutty crust with delicious blueberry filling. And, thanks to the psyllium husk, it is not too runny and not too thick. Just perfect. Yum!

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.