Monthly Archives: May 2017

Summer – we embrace you!

blog Hannah

The beautiful flowery season of Spring has evolved into sunny Summer. For those of us blessed to be living on the Costa del Sol, this means about 8 months of sun-kissed skin, relaxing free time on the beach or by the pool, and those wonderfully delicious barbecues.

Family and friends fly down to visit us on the coast, and to share laughs in the lovely weather. If you’re like me, it’s difficult to keep up your healthy routine.

*We only live once!*

It’s important to relax, and enjoy the good moments, to indulge with some wine and the yummy food without giving yourself a hard time about it.

Therefore, here are a few simple ideas on how you can enjoy this summer in a slightly more healthy manner…

Matcha tea is one of my favourites. It is loaded with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg, it calms the mind and relaxes your body. It also boosts metabolism, burns calories, detoxifies and is rich in chlorophyll, fiber and vitamins e.g. vitamin C, chromium, selenium, zinc, etc. Matcha tea can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is very popular these days, and has numerous benefits. Firstly, drinking it first thing in the morning along with a big glass of water boosts metabolism which helps you to lose weight, by regulating insulin levels and your blood sugar. It helps to lower cholesterol and cleanses the lymph system. It’s great in salads, making it easy to use.

If you get a mosquito bite, you can dab a bit of apple cider vinegar on the bite as it stops the itching. If you happen to burn yourself on the grill or oven, ACV can prevent the burn from blistering and heals the burn quicker.

Coconut oil is brilliant. It’s a great, natural way to keep your skin moisturised, your hair from drying out in the hot summer sun and can also be used as protection from the sun.

It has an SPF of about 15, although it does not properly protect you from UVA rays, so combining it with e.g. carrot oil is a wise idea.

Since we are exposed to the hot, summer sun for months, it is important to use sun protection. Just as important, is to use sun protection creams that are free of parabens and other unnecessary additives.

Himalaya salt is a healthy alternative to salt. With the barbecue season approaching, you can quickly feel bloated from eating rich food and all that salt drizzled over it.

Can also be used to make a healthy, natural body scrub which will leave your sun-kissed skin glowing!

Enjoy the Summer, and remember – feeling healthy makes for a happier you!

Summer quote: “Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets BETTER!”

Hannah – Anni’s Vital Shop, Carrefour, Mijas Costa

summer quote

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Les Estagnous

It’s May. The heat is coming. Easter is over. I know people who enjoy the summer time, the warmth, a radiant sun. Above all, this tends to be the people who come from rainy countries and from where the sunlight is not much seen. This is not the case for me, I do not like the heat but I like cloudy days. Of course I like clouds, because practically all my life I have lived in Malaga.

My husband and my brother are just like me. The three of us dream about vacation time. All three of us want the same kind of trip, and although we have our small differences we usually agree on most things. It should be that way.

We like to visit a natural, wild, mountainous area with cool temperatures and it is important that its uncrowded. We like to walk long routes where we are completely alone with nature (and with the occasional fellow hiker of course).

I enjoy going to the mountain, not thinking of anything, you do not think of how you would solve this or that problem, or how you would improve this thing or the other.

DO NOT THINK – THE MOUNTAIN THINKS FOR YOU AND AT THE MOST UNEXPECTED MOMENT YOU WILL BE PROVIDED WITH THE SOLUTION.

Look for the serenity, and everything comes out better if you part into a state of tranquility (of course this is very easy to say).

I think it is very interesting to have an open mind and to meet other people, to talk to them. Maybe they will tell you something you already know, but if you listen it is still  interesting to hear again. And if I say all this is because I REALLY FEEL IT.

However, all of the above would not be possible without a good nutritional base, without a good diet. I would like to talk about food. As I said before our routes are long.

Last year we took a very difficult route. It was a 5 hours and 30 minutes ascent to the refuge of “Les Estagnous” (altitude: 2246 m.) on Mount Valier in the French Pyrenees. I was climbing and climbing continuously. We made small breaks but the terrain was always sloping upwards and never level, so my training was insufficient. Therefore, I wanted to get the most out of the food I had brought with me. I focused on my fats and protein intake, as hiking and mountain climbing is a resistance sport. This is why we always have peanut butter, almonds, tahini with us. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT coconut oil) also provide us with fast energy.

In sports we tend need more vitamins and minerals. Particularly interesting are the B vitamins and antioxidants C, E, B-carotene (as athletes have greater oxidative stress). Among the minerals magnesium and zinc, calcium and iron are interesting.

Staying well hydrated is also very important. We always make sure to bring along enough water, fruit juices and vegetables. Trying different vegetables is interesting.

Omega 3 is important, and it is good to consume before the trip because it has anti-inflammatory properties and greases the joints.

This year we want to go to the French village of Chamonix, at the foot of the legendary Mont Blanc. Let’s see how it goes, I’ll tell you after the trip. Kisses to everyone!

Maria – Anni’s Vital Shop, Carrefour, Mijas Costa

*In the photo above to the left, I am at the beginning of the hike. To the right (above) is a view of the sunset at the refuge.*

*In the left photo below, it is very high up and we cannot see for all the fog. I am not sure I will make it! To the right is the lake below the refuge*

Freshness for the Summer heat

After the last rain in the spring, we are waiting for the hot summer to arrive. During Spain’s long and sweaty summer season, some of us retreat to the shadows, or enjoy the cool air-conditioned rooms and the close proximity of the shops. I enjoy heat and the sun myself, but I admit that in August, I’m already looking forward to the cooler evenings and nights of autumn.

In the summer of hot weather, my eating habits somewhat change, because I’m not really in the mood for warm food. Cool smoothies with breakfast and snacks, as well as vegetable salads and salads with main dishes are the cornerstones of summer dining. I’ll enjoy dinner later than usual, as soon as the sun has fallen, and the sharpest scent of the day makes it easier.

A few years ago I became acquainted with cold soups, their preparation, and especially their delicacy! I got first-hand guidance from my Spanish friend on how to make a traditional Spanish gazpacho. In addition, I learned stories about how mothers of different generations have their own “secret” recipes, on how to make this delicious soup. Different families are being questioned whether they include cucumber, bread, peppers and, if so, how much. In any case, the main idea is that the grandmother’s or mother’s recipe belonging to every family is the only right recipe. That summer we ate a tasty, bright red gazpacho almost every day. A rejuvenating and energising soup is best produced from ripe and juicy, dark, red tomatoes. With this delight, I started exploring other recipes for cold soups with many of my favourite vegetables. Cucumber, watermelon and carrots and scallops.

Cold soup is easy to prepare, as you just need a good blender. The soup is quickly ready, it is a light and refreshing food, and a wonderful variation to a salad recipe. Cold soup can be taken in a thermos bottle with you to work or as a snack at the beach. Raw materials can be used within your own taste and imagination!

Cold avocado soup has become one of my favourite summer menus. In addition to Avocado, the coconut milk, lime and fresh herbs give soup immense flavour. Avocados are said to be the healthiest fruit in the world because of its unique nutritional content. Its oily texture gives the soup a soft, velvety and mellow texture while providing plenty of good polyunsaturated fatty acids to the body as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The carbohydrates found in avocado are mainly dietary fiber which, i.e. helps to control hunger and nourishes the good bacterial strains in the intestine. Vitamins and Minerals can be found i.e. B, C, E and K, and potassium and copper. Furthermore, avocados also contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxatin, both of which promote, e.g. eye health.

For cold avocado soup you need the following ingredients:

4 ripe avocados

1-2 garlic cloves

1/2 dl lime juice

1 small, ripe tomato

2 dl of water

1 can of coconut milk

Good quality salt

Black pepper and/or chili

For decoration:

Peeled, cured cucumber and fresh herbs, e.g. coriander, basil or mint.

Start by removing the avocado shells and stones. Measure all the ingredients in the blender and cut them into a smooth, velvety soup. Add your preferred amount of salt and pepper/chilli.

Serve cold after refrigerating. When you serve, add a piece or two of ice. A great decoration is with a small cucumber and chopped fresh herbs.

The four glasses of soup are served as an appetizer or snack for the hot summer afternoon.

Awaiting a hot summer, be strong and eat avocado!

Tiina – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches