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.



Recipes

Noodle soup with ginger and cilantro.

On today’s menu we have a pretty amazing Asian noodle soup. It’s done in three easy steps, and it’s definitely the perfect everyday soup.

Yesterday, when we wandered around the local supermarket, we had the brightest idea. We love when that happens.

Well, we decided to go for a quick and easy, but still crazy delicious, noodle soup (inspired by the latest issue of the Swedish food magazine VEGO). And, as quick as lightning, we filled the basket with goodies. The soup is done in three easy steps, and it’s definitely the perfect everyday soup. Here’s the grocery list – print it on paper, or tattoo it on your chest.

Noodle soup with ginger and cilantro
(2 servings)

Soup:
One small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 bunch fresh cilantro, the stems (sprinkle the leaves as topping)
1,5 inch ginger, grated
2 cups water

Topping:
1 cup soybeans
2 inches leek, shredded
4 mushrooms, in slices
1 carrot, shredded
Noodles of your choice (we used kelp noodles)

Step 1. Rinse the noodles, and put in a suitable bowl.

Step 2. Toss together all the ingredients for the soup, and let simmer for a couple of minutes, together with the soybeans and the leek. Pour the soup over the noodles.

Step 3. Sprinkle chopped vegetables on top (use the ingredients in the recipe above as inspiration, you can mix and replace as you like).

Step 4. Give it a stir. Eat. Enjoy.

Some thoughts on Half ‘n Half:
Even if our gut flora would prefer raw vegetables, we love hot food way too much to entirely eliminate it from our diet. Therefore, we’ve developed our very own cooking technique, and we call it Half n’ Half. Meaning: half hot, half cold. The soup serve as an excellent example – a warm base and raw vegetables. And the result? A warm soup.

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

Three things you didn’t know about baking soda.

Most of us associate baking powder with baking. But the truth is you can use it for so much more. Here are some ideas.

This has happened:

Yesterday, we baked a marble cake with baking powder. We rarely use baking powder, but the recipe was so simple (only three ingredients), contained no sugar, and was still supposed to be the tastiest thing our tongues have ever had the joy of meeting. Of course we had to try it. You know, it was almost too good to be true, right?

Exactly. It was too good to be true. That small marble-cake-wannabe (picture proof below) did not taste great at all, and we threw it in the garbage bin immediately. And now we’re left with a large tin of baking powder. And a marble cake recipe we can’t share. And we desperately wonder: Are there any other good uses for baking powder?

After a quick Google, we found the following ideas. Number two sounds particularly interesting.

Remove bad odor
Sometimes when you open the fridge, you’re welcomed by a bad smell (at least we are). Action plan a) Find the source of the smell and remove it. Action plan b) Place a small bowl or two of baking powder in the fridge, and let sit overnight. Rumors suggest baking powder removes odors in shoes as well.

Wash fruits and vegetables
If you don’t buy organic fruits and vegetables, it’s important to make sure you wash them carefully. Put a few tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl with cold water, add the fruits and let them stay in the water for five to ten minutes. Scrub with some extra baking powder in order to remove the pesticides.

Treat bug bites
Mix one tablespoon of baking powder with warm water until you have a dough-like consistency. Apply the mixture to the bug bite and let it dry. Rinse after 10 minutes.

Good to know:
Baking powder consists of baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda), acid and starch. It’s a leavening agent, but not as strong as pure baking soda. If you want to substitute baking powder for baking soda, make sure the recipe contains some kind of acid ingredient, like lemon or other citrus 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 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.