Today, on the 14th of June, one of the most famous author and journalist of our time, Lise Nørgaard, celebrates her hundredth birthday. As I sit here on this exact day, I can’t think of a more obvious topic than a woman’s life, and how much has changed over the past decades.
For those who don’t know her, Lise Nørgaard is the writer of the (almost) world famous, 2014, TV-show: Matador.
Lise Nørgaard is a strong woman. One of the things she is renowned for is that women themselves are responsible for obtaining equal rights. This has been Lise Nørgaard’s key issue for many years.
She herself is a great example of this. Many years ago she had a burning desire to become a journalist, but to achieve this she had to fight her family for the right to get an education.
For many years, Lise Nørgaard has been one of my biggest role models. In my career of choice, she was a shining beacon as I took the road less travelled, rather than the one that was expected of me.
Recently, while in Cancun Mexico, a friend of mine showed me a sculpture (see picture) located in the Zona Hotelera that, to me, expresses women’s strength and power, most accurately.
While showing me the sculpture, my friend shared with me a story of true strength of women in the real world. He told me of his grandmother, with whom he had spent part of his childhood. Of the time when she, as a mother of five, moved into an apartment building reserved for soldiers and their families. And of how she lost the right to live in that very building when her husband retired from his career as a soldier.
Since she no longer had any direct connection to the military, both police and military arrived at her doorstep with machine guns and batons, to throw her and her family out. But, his grandmother had been a large, formidable woman, with an apron that always seemed to go on forever, and was marked by many years of use. She herded all her children behind her, ripped open her shirt and screamed at the men that they would have to kill her in front of her children if they wanted her out of the apartment.
The soldiers were speechless faced by this would-be martyr, and after quiet discussion amongst themselves, departed peacefully, leaving the family to live many good years within that very apartment.
Life goes on
For the generations to come, the most important fact is that life always goes on. And it is because of this that the female sex is given and incredible toughness and strength.
Today a woman’s life is reflected in many different facets depending on which part of the world you are located, and under which conditions you grow up.
I was born during the war and women’s lives have changed tremendously since then.
I come from a home where equality was a given. Unfortunately, this conscious equality between the sexes had not been implemented fully when it came to equality in the workforce.
A woman’s life today still demands considerable effort. I myself was raised in a time where a woman’s place, once she got married, was the home. Personally, I am not well suited for this kind of work, and I hated it wholeheartedly.
But luckily a huge development occurred in the years after I got married. Life became more challenging and demanding, but also a lot more interesting. Besides being a mother and a wife, new opportunities became available. Doors, inaccessible to women before, opened and enabled me to study and obtain new, different educations. These changes gave me the opportunity to enter into a field where my interests and abilities could be truly utilized. Although the workplace did not have complete equality when it came to pay, for instance, it was well on its way. Besides, here I must quote Lise Nørgaard – “stop whining, and instead put forth your best efforts to obtain equal pay”.
When, in quiet moments, I ponder how the life of women has become in this day and age, I wouldn’t trade it with how it was seven decades ago. But, I can also get exhausted thinking of what the world expects of women, and what women expect of themselves.
We have to get an education. We have to be present in the workforce. We have to have children, even though many employers don’t like it, because it disrupts workflow.
We have to be good and engaged parents. Even if we don’t have much time with our kids, as they spend most of their days exposed to outside sources. We have to participate in PTA meetings, make sure we have hobbies, stay professionally updated, follow the world’s political developments, keep our bodies healthy, slim, and toned, be inventive and passionate lovers for our partners, and make sure that our family stays on a healthy and ecological diet.
The list is endless.
A woman’s life is exciting and challenging. In order to live life and keep up with our everyday toils, it is a good idea to take dietary supplements that will assist you no matter where you are on the scale of challenges, workload, or age. Why? Because, in my opinion, our diet does not contain sufficient vitamins/minerals, oils etc to sustain us in our busy new lives.
My general recommendations are:
• Multivitamin/mineral of good quality. If you are a vegetarian then make sure to get a supplement which is made for vegans/vegetarians.
• Vitamin-D. All over the world, everyone seems to lack vitamin-D, it is so very important for our bones, immune system etc. I myself use 100 mcg daily. Remember to buy vitamin-D in oil form, as vitamin-D needs oil to be absorbed by the body.
• Possibly an extra source of vitamin-B. A large part of the western world is lacking vitamin-B.
Vitamin-B is vitally important, and helps us with, among other things, dealing with our daily stress. Engineer Okholm once wrote that even a rat could become an alcoholic, if it lacked vitamin-B. It is hard to overdose vitamin-B as it is water-soluble.
• Omega-3 oils. I personally prefer Krill-oils, it originates from krill but also contains a bit of Astaxanthin, which is a strong antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
A relatively new kind of Omega 3 has become available. It comes from algae. I personally find it to be a new and exciting product that I have been taking for a couple of months now, and I feel that it has served me well. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, then these capsules could be a great choice.
• An extra supplement of calcium and magnesium of good quality could also be a good idea.
• If you would like to strengthen your immune system, then I suggest Astragalus from the astragalus plant. It strengthens the immune system and helps circulation in kidneys and blood circulation, it also fights tiredness. Some experts even propose that it is life extending. I have been taking it for an extended period and my immune system along with the rest of my body seems to benefit from it. However, make sure to get a product, which has a fairly high dosage.
The daily diet
To make it as healthy as possible, plan your diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits. But do remember to allow for some delights every now and then that are less healthy. If too fanatic, a lot of people go crazy and start to overindulge in fast food etc. even for longer periods of times when the diet is too constrictive. The principle of 80% healthy, with 20% guilty pleasures, is something which I personally find very attractive. This counts especially for children. If children have only been exposed to healthy foods, you run the risk that when unsupervised, they will go straight for all the unhealthy options.
My own daughter was a perfect example for this. She loved everything sweet, but pedagogically correct as I was back then (I was a nurse, after all), I gave her an apple. She thanked me and promptly walked over to our neighbors’ kids, where she traded the apple for a pack of gummi worms, of the worst quality!
If you have a family to take care of, it can be a good idea to set up a food plan for one week at a time, so you can also limit your shopping to once a week.
The vegetables can be ready-made and saved in the refrigerator.
If at all possible, buy ecological. But don’t panic if this is not possible, there is still plenty of nourishment in the regular vegetables and fruits, too.
A lot of children and men simply hate salads and vegetables. If you are in charge of cooking, then a variety of smoothies can be a great way to get the family to eat healthy.
Many women have an uncontrollable urge for something sweet in the afternoon. Make sure to satisfy that sweet tooth with a few almonds, nuts, fruits, or perhaps even a bit of dark chocolate before you go crazy with the licorice an/or snackbars.
Acceptance of ourselves
For many years, I have, more or less consciously, suffered for the magazines and the media’s idea of the ideal female body. Thankfully that image was thoroughly revised during my last trip to Cancun. After a shower, my friend came into the room where I was air drying myself in the mild breeze from the balcony.
Full of amazement and with stars in his eyes he exclaimed that I was beautiful, much like a picture from Rembrandt. Considering I don’t know many of Rembrandt’s paintings, I had had to Google his work to discover that Rembrandt’s ideal of the female body was vastly different from modern one. Here the women had wrinkled arms, small breasts, and bloated stomachs. As far as I could tell, the women in the paintings were often his wife.
Most amazingly, the woman on the paintings appeared happy with herself and exuded a certain confident charm.
This event has improved my confidence considerably, so this summer I will be showing off my wrinkled grandmother arms! And, I have even unearthed my bikini from the back of the closet!
However, I do still believe that in order to strengthen our health and live happy lives, we need plenty of exercise and care. All within the best of our abilities.