Monthly Archives: April 2017

Easter traditions in a healthy manner

Easter is one of the year’s celebrations, which is celebrated in an original way. Daffodils are placed on the set table, and on Palm Sunday it is a traditional Finnish custom, where the children dress up as witches and have worked hard on making homemade willow twigs with colourful craftwork. They go from door to door, and “spank” the neighbours and recite a special poem wishing the neighbours good health.

Traditional Easter delicacies are enjoyed, such as Easter pudding and chocolate eggs.

Chocolate is one of the great delicacies at Easter, as well as at other times e.g. Christmas. In particular, I am fond of raw chocolate, which I prepare myself and I also like baking raw cakes.

A lot of health articles are written about Raw Chocolate. And not in vain! When compared to conventional milk chocolate, raw chocolate has excluded materials e.g. milk and white sugar, and other processed ingredients. They are replaced with natural, unprocessed ingredients that are rich in nutrients and with health benefits. Raw chocolate uses good fats, natural sweeteners and flavours using various spices, berries and powders.

The main raw material used in raw chocolate is cacao powder, which is produced when the cocoa bean and bark are crushed and most of the fat is squeezed out. High-quality cacao powder is made lower than + 48C degrees Celsius, wherein the nutrients are preserved intact. Raw cacao contains e.g. magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper and chromium, as well as all the B vitamins. In addition, eating it triggers serotonin production which is the happy hormone i.e, giving the feeling of bliss and happiness.

Cold-pressed cocoa butter or coconut oil are very often used in manufacturing raw chocolate. Cocoa butter is squeezed cocoa bean fat, which is highly resistant to heat, and so it is ideal for the preparation of confections. Coconut oil solidifies at a lower temperature + 25C, and is well suited for e.e. icing on raw cakes.

Raw chocolate is in my opinion best sweetened with honey, but sometimes I also use agave nectar or raw cane sugar. I choose the sweetener according to what chocolate I am going to prepare. If I fancy cake with fondant or have already included sweet, dried fruit or berries, then I do not sweeten the chocolate too much.

Instead of chocolate Easter eggs this year I will prepare, in honor of the strawberry season, raw chocolate coated strawberries. The same pattern can be used with other berries, or even with grapes or with chopped banana. The process is made easy when you use a cocktail stick.

You will need:

A box of fresh strawberries

Chocolate:

125g cacao butter or coconut oil

4 tablespoons honey

5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons of Lucuma powder

A pinch of good, unrefined salt

Spices for taste (vanilla, cinnamon, pepper)

On the surface (if desired):

Crushed nuts (e.g. hazelnuts or pecan), almonds or grated coconut.

Do like this:

Measure your fat heat-resistant bowl and lift the bowl on top of the stoves boiling water boiler. Melt the fat until it flows. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until it’s a smooth mass. Leave to cool slightly. Dip the strawberry chocolate individually, spin in either the chopped nuts or coconut and place on top of some baking paper or a small mini muffin tin. Cool in the refrigerator until you are no longer able to wait before tasting.

Happy Easter to everyone!

Tiina – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los boliches

 

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Mexico by Anni Dahms

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By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health
specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

Español * English * Dansk * Suomi

By the time La Danesa’s April issue is fresh off the hotpress, I will probably just have arrived at Cancun in Mexico. This will be the beginning of a months vacation.

At this very moment I am enormously excited. My fingers dance across the keys and find it difficult to hit the right letters. There is a well-known phrase, ”he whom travels alone, travels fastest”. Perhaps there is some truth in that. In any case, it is my lot to travel alone and I really enjoy it. By now I have made many trips to Mexico alone. Perhaps this is the reason I often end up chatting with my fellow passengers. We all contain a history and a life, and all have different backgrounds.

The last time I was sitting beside a young Mexican girl, who had just been married to a Frenchman. A large quantity of the journey was spent looking at beautiful pictures from an enormous wedding, and I was told about many wedding traditions, from food to clothes, guests, etc.

I will be collected by my ”heart-friend” in Cancun. After many trips here, I have gradually lived in many places in the area called ’Zona Hotellera’, which is a luxurious area with many hotels located right down by the water. There are extra security guards to protect the tourists, tourists being the populations largest form of income. It is embarrassingly clean everywhere you go.

Architecturally, Cancun is an incredibly beautiful city. It is decorated with many sculptures that tell stories about Cancun’s indigenous people, the Mayans. Every single sculpture has its own special story which fascinates me. Unfortunately they are forgotten almost as quickly as I get them told.

The people that live here in downtown, are predominantly local Mexicans. It is a completely different life than life in ”Zona Hotellera”. The material goods and the truisms that we take for granted, are far from the everyday life that the majority of the population experience, but there is room in your heart.
I know that one of the very first things I will do, once arriving at the apartment, is take my empty 5 litre water bottle and walk down to the local water vending machine. Here I fill my bottle with water from the tap. Water at these vending machines are cheap. Water can quickly become an expensive affair if bought in the various shops.

I bring powedered coral-sand with me. Coral-sand originates from okinawas corals in Japan, and is beneficial not only as a supplement, but for rinsing water from diverse harmful substances too. 1 pack is sufficient for 5 litres of water. Water tastes even better when using this powder, and it has definitely kept me healthy on my travels.

As tradition follows, I will then go and greet my good friends, Angel, who is the baptist church priest, and his wife and their children. I am immensely fascinated by their church, regardless of the fact that the church is a large room. Large open holes replace the windows and these function as windows would, providing a natural breeze of wind which is delightful when it is 30 degrees warm. The service is filled with music and singing, creating such a life affirming atmosphere.

Cancun is very hot, and there are few beaches you are permitted to go to, if you are not staying at one of the hotels. The public beaches are always crammed with many loud people and children.

As lovely as the pulsating life in Cancun feels, just as lovely it feels to move on and out to the peninsula of Yucatan. The journey takes place on the local bus, and it takes around 4 hours. The journey is a little mixed and yet funny experience. The peninsula of Yucatan is a place where I feel time stands still. I care incredibly much for the peninsula, and it is here I totally wind down.

I have been so lucky to live right down by the beach and water, every time I have been here.
This time I will be staying in a teeny tiny house, which lies on an enormous plot of land. There are 5 healthy, strong palm trees by the exit leading directly to the beach.

Supplements for the journey

Many years ago while studying esotheric psychology, we had a class on numerology. My teacher told me that I was a ”sixer.” We found immense fun in this. Back then I worked as a nurse, and the teacher, Gerda, explained that I probably would take more pills than I gave to the patients.

Luckily I didn’t end up chosing allopathic pills, but in contrast the complimetary supplememts which I take a great many of. I feel that they have helped give me an active life full of vitality.

On my journey, my suitcase is filled with supplements, more so than with all other articles.
The supplements and a good book are my highest priorities. E-books just aren’t the same for me.

The supplemtns I take have changed a little in relation to the ones I take on a daily basis.
I have filled medicinal pill boxes for 4 weeks, and in each pill box lies:

• 1 x multivitamin/mineral tablet.

• 2 x Omega-3. I have chosen to take omega-3 in the form of algae instead of from fish oil. I feel that it suits me better than traditional fish oil.

• 3 x vitamin C 1000 mg. I have chosen ones with many bioflavonoids and with a slow absorption rate. This ensures I am covered for vitamin C around the clock.

• 3 x MSM 1000 mg. MSM is a sulphur that provides energy, is good for allergy, pain and arthritis.

• 3 x Astragalus capsules, from the plant astragel. It’s good for the immune system, has an anti-aging effect, gives energy, is good for the heart and blood circulation and helps the kidneys.

• 1 x of my imperitive remembering-pill, it contains i.e. Rhodiola and lecithin.

• 3 x Q10 100 mg, which helps all the cells and especially the mitochondria in the cells, these are the energy factory of the body.

Furthermore, I have brought along my little emergency stash that is a combination of various things.

Since my blood type is O, I am especially prone to mosquito bites. It is as though the mosquitoes are already waiting in the airport for my arrival. This time I hope to cheat them. I have packed extra vitamin B pills, and will also add 300 mg B1(thiamin) daily.

I will be prepared if the food causes stomach discomfort. I love the small street kitchens and have therefore packed a good quantity of probiotics in case there are problems. It is not dangerous to take high doses of probiotics.

In case of influenza or other infections I have brought an extra glass of vitamin C. I am at ease, just knowing it is with me. Of course I am also bringing mosquito cream, both for prevention and treatment. Unfortunately I am not so good at using it, considering the skin also needs to
be covered in a sun factor. Although, I have taken some tablets these weeks up to the trip, tablets that protect the skin from sun. I am naturally a red-head, even though I’m grey now, and have very sensitive skin. Unfortunately a nice tan does not come easily.

I get easily car- and air sick, so I have also packed ginger capsules. I have used ginger for many years, whenever I have had to drive far. They are fantastic at preventing car sickness. They don’t make you drowsy, so you can drive worry free.

With the above, I feel well-equipped to rest and relax, with long walks along the beach in the morning, which is my favorite part of the day.

The beach is completely unspoiled. Birds of all sizes and colours strut by the waters edge. Dogs often run freely on the beach too. They have homes in different places, but are always on the lookout for treats. When the treats are especially good from a specific person, who also happens to be friendly, this can result in them setting up camp around the house.

On my last stay on the peninsula of Yucatan, I stayed not so far from where I will live this time. That time there were 2 big, very beautiful dogs that ’adopted’ me. They knew precisely when I has my morning walk, and knew that I brought food with me.

My friend has told me, that when he went out to the house in order to prepare for our stay, that the dogs had recognised him. This despite it being over a year since our last trip. They came running up to him, and he gave them food of course, and they have settled down outside of the fence. Here they politely and patiently wait and guard between short detours. Other dogs are firmly dissuaded. This is their domain.

It need not be mentioned how much I am looking forward to greeting the other old aquantances, to sitting on their overly covered terraces, drinking beer and eating deep-fried pork rind, whilst the wives ask me how they can lose weight. To saying ”Hola” to the shoppers, and to the children in their school uniforms, who are on their way to and from school. Admiring motorcycle taxis. Here everyone greets each other, and I do not see anyone walking with their mobile phones.

People will probably want to talk about the wall between the USA and Mexico. It is being spoken of a lot nowadays. It makes me so robbed and angry to hear talk of such a wall.

Shirley Maclaine wrote in one of her books: ”When a society begins thinking seperately about the individual, it is the beginning of the end of civilization.”

Balance eases the heart

Imagine you’ve been having a rough day. Nothing’s gone quite right and you’re left feeling that a personalised, small grey cloud is hovering over you. Exercise is the answer for a great many of us. A run outside in the fresh air can really lift your spirits. A long walk along the paseo, or a trip to the gym. That indescribably wonderful and uplifting feeling your body gets during, and especially afterwards, is one of the many great ways to feel alive!

I’ve considered myself a fitness babe since I was about 20. It all started off with trying to build some muscle on a very skinny, curve-less body. Back then I had the misconception most women have – that lifting heavy weights automatically made you look like one of those big bodybuilding women on steroids. This is not true. Never have I even come close to looking like a female version of Kai Green or Arnold Schwarzenegger. A natural, healthy, toned body takes countless hours of hard work, sweat and most importantly, a good diet.

With time I began to lift heavier and heavier, addicted to that wonderful burning sensation it gave my muscles and how it boosted my confidence. I wasn’t competing or comparing myself to anyone else, only competing with myself and aiming to be better than the person I was the day before. It was nice to physically see how hard work could reap good results.

After over half a year of ignoring the searing pain in my left hip, I finally went to a chiropractor hoping he could fix me, with a quick crack here and there. Mogens, who is very experienced and perhaps a wee bit too wise, gently pointed out that a woman of my size is simply not built for such heavy lifting. I left annoyed, not at him but at myself. Deep down, I had known this truth for some time but it was not a truth I welcomed.

Long story short – I had to reassess my workouts. I now lift much lighter, but with much more intensity and more reps. I keep it to 4-5 times a week. Long, brisk walks with the dogs are great too. “For balance to be restored, lessons must be learned.” – Sameh Elsayed

Working out creates an acidic environment in the body so it is important to eat alkaline foods in order to restore a healthy balance. An acidic environment can end with inflammation which leads to injury. Cutting out most meat has made my body less acidic. I’ve learned to eat protein from different sources, such as chickpeas, chia and quinoa, etc. I also ate a lot of fruit, previously thinking that fruit and veg had the same effect on the body. I know it seems like an obvious thing, but most vegetables are alkaline, especially the green ones. Most fruit is acidic, plus they’ve got a much higher sugar content.

A lot of athletes don’t know how important supplements can be when pushing your body to the limits. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and oil the joints. Magnesium helps the muscles to relax, prevents muscle cramps and has an alkalising effect the body. Vitamin C is a building stone for creating new cells and tissue in the body, and also fights inflammation.

Healthy fats in your diet such as coconut oil, avocados, etc. can help prevent that dried out look your skin can get if you have been working out intensely. Watch out for white sugar and energy drinks. Personally i felt that the pain in my hip intensified after a weekend with bad cheat meal candy. Opting for healthier, better quality foods such as coconut nectar sugar, dark or raw chocolate, healthy homemade treats and matcha tea instead of energy drinks has helped a lot.

A good night’s sleep is crucial too! Sleep increases metabolism, balances your hormone production as well as strengthening your immune system.

Yoga is another good way to practice balance, both physically and mentally. Finding a balance in every day life is key.

This experience has also helped me rethink my lifestyle in general. I’m naturally a very competitive person with a full power attitude. This isn’t always good, as my batteries end up running low.

Setting limits is actually a good thing, sometimes, and on the contrary to my earlier beliefs, it can be a strength.

Remember to tell yourself that you are good enough, even if you don’t manage everything on your list today. Tomorrow is a new day, and it will be filled with many more wonderful opportunities.

Hannah – Anni’s Vital Shop, Carrefour

Sleepless Nights

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When choosing the subject of this text, I ended up with some insomnia care tips. Recently, customers with sleeping problems have been passing by my work, in the health food store on almost a daily basis. A good state of alertness is the cornerstone of my life, because it is a big part of my personality, and my outlook on life is to be energetic and active in everyday life.

I’ve heard of insomnia due to a variety of reasons, but some customers do not know how to explain their difficulties in falling asleep or of the early morning hours due to waking up. It is also important to remember that sleeping problems and insomnia are the result of, or a symptom of something deeper. Clearing the underlying reason is really important, especially when you have already tried all your own home remedies and need to stop using powerful sleeping pills. Many people have stress, anxiety, shift work and poor living habits, such as lack of exercise, overeating late at night, or heavy alcohol use can interfere with nighttime sleep.

Exercise has a huge effect on your night sleep. I remember the words of my teacher when I was studying to become a fitness instructor: “Strong muscles cope effectively, but also relax better.” It is for this reason that rest is important, if you wish to actively maintain muscle fitness. I am a morning person, ideally I start my day with either a long walk with our dogs, or a workout in the gym. For those who are groggy in the morning, the vibration of the gym or a fresh breeze in the open can help us to wake up properly. This should help reset your natural sleeping rhythm. In the evening, the body naturally feels tired after a long day, and needs a night-long rest. Those who have sleeping problems should be aware that doing sports late in the evening can give energy, and in that way mess up your sleeping rhythm.

Insomnia is important to take care of, because sleeping ensures that the basic body functions remain normal. High blood pressure, memory impairment, and obesity, among other things, can be the result of poor sleep. Pay attention to your dining rhythm too, as a heavy late dinner can easily backfire and result in insomnia. There are also large fluctuations in blood sugar and this can be a major factor in sleep disorders. It would be advisable to enjoy a number of small meals throughout the day, in which case the need for high quantities of dinner do not arise, and this will help you to keep your blood sugar under better control.

You should also pay attention to enjoying coffee and caffeine-rich beverages. Multi-coffee-lovers says they have trouble falling asleep, but in fact studies have shown caffeine to remain in the body for a long time, hence contributing to a damaged quality of sleep. Furthermore, alcohol like caffeine, acts as a stimulant in the body. So enjoy your coffees and cognacs after lunch, but try to avoid them later in the day to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Often for many of us, the main cause of insomnia seems to be a stressful life situation and other troubles. Although it’s not as simple as giving up worrying about everything despite other people’s reminders. However, there are natural ways in which we can support the body and improve resistance to stress while being able to sleep quietly at the same time.

Vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins and magnesium play an important role in a stressful life situations. The B vitamins support the nervous system, and magnesium, e.g. relaxing the muscles. Enjoy the effects of the B vitamins and magnesium at breakfast, by taking them before going to bed. That or you can be “refueled” on them throughout the evening, or alternatively by spraying and rubbing magnesium oil into the skin. this technique makes it easily and quickly absorbed by the entire body.

Melatonin, which is produced by the body should begin at dusk, is a natural assistant for sleeping problems. If melatonin secretion is disturbed, the supply of sleep can be difficult. In this case, a high quality melatonin supplement can help. Melatonin tablets are best taken about half an hour before going to bed.

If the cause of insomnia is due to hard stress or depression, the body is often set into overdrive even at bedtime. The ideas in your head will just keep rolling, and sleep is impossible. Hydroxytryptophan, or 5HTP, is responsible for serotonin neurotransmitter production, which in turn affects the body clock rhythm and sleep quality. If you know your sleep problems to be stress related, then 5HTP could be useful for you. It can be consumed alone, or with melatonin at the same time.

Valerian is one of the best-known herbal remedies. It is used to relax and calm your body and mind. Many other natural herbs, such as chamomile and lemon balm also relax, and thus support sleep problems.

My favourite hobby for soothing and relaxing the mind and body is yoga. Calming the nervous system and balancing the body’s vital functions and stretching the muscles in yin yoga is a wonderful counterbalance to the morning gym workout. In addition, the yoga movements help the  body unlock and expand the range of flexibility. I feel that after yoga, sleeping hours will be more easy and I sleep more deeply. And if you enjoy a cup of hot chamomile tea after yoga, a restful night’s sleep is guaranteed!

Sweet Dreams to everyone!

Tiina – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches