Happiness by Anni Dahms

Senior Woman Jumping On Beautiful Beach

You can read Annis Newsletter in the following languages:

       

After I successfully overcame my sickness with heart complications, water in my lungs, and hypertension, I have decided to consciously seek happiness. I’ve made this decision based on different literary sources, which have inspired to see, that the body and the immune system work best with those who are happy and easily laugh. Laughter and joy are important tools for regaining your strength. As a self-prescribed therapy, I’ve chosen to invite laughter back into my life.  Laughter releases happiness hormones.

I’ve always demanded a lot from myself, had many things I wanted to accomplish and gone after them with all that I could muster.

I’ve become more conscious of not turning my heart’s desires into a heart disease. I’m working on seriously re-ordering my priorities and learning to take myself and others less seriously, and instead focus on all the wonderful bright sides that are part of my every day life.It’s important for me to have a joyful heart completely free of fear. I want to make it a habit to be in the state of equilibrium and balance.

In the book “Anatomy of an illness as perceived by the patient”, Norman Cousin writes about his battle with the disease morbus bechterew, which is an illness that makes the bones in your spine grow together. He refused to give up. The short version is, that he used daily laughter and plenty of humor combined with a vitamin-C and a less hectic lifestyle to regain his health.

The change to a more joyful lifestyle doesn’t happen by itself. If you decide to increase the level of joy in your life,it therefore demands that you decide to train and make an effort. Just as with people who play sports, you will properly lose your capacity if you stop training.

I’m not saying that we should be positive happy doormats, that is in my opinion way too shallow. We should have our viewpoints and express them, while remaining friendly. You cannot be happy all the time. With life comes both critique, disappointment, sorrow, and negativity. We have to live through it, and then it’s back on the horse in the pursuit of happiness. 

When you decide to be live a happy lifestyle, then start slowly and don’t blame yourself if you get angry or upset. You could’ for instance’ start when you are driving your car, practice having tolerance, balance, and forbearance whilst maneuvering through rush-hours causing many stress factors.

When you throw yourself into project “happiness”, you must remain mindful of your daily bases. 

In addition, you must use your creativity and curiosity. Seek out the things that make you laugh. Laugh all throughout the day. And make sure that you do something you enjoy every single day. It’s great with new experiences involving things such as games, dancing, singing, or music. These are things that affect our brain. You will obviously make plenty of mistakes during your new project, but just laugh it off and get back at it. Practice makes perfect.

As the old saying goes: “smile! And the world will smile back”. When I smile at people, my smile will often be returned. I often think of the Danish pianist and entertainer Victor Borges wise book “A smile is the shortest distance”. It describes it beautifully.

There is an eastern meditation which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I practice it when I’m alone, by holding half a smile. The facial expression is enough to make me feel more at peace and reduce my stress.


The diet

I always highlight the importance of a high-quality diet in all my articles, and I would also like to pinpoint it’s utmost importance when it comes happiness. As you consume lovely high-quality food, you must be mindful of chewing your food properly and eating in peace and quit. Too many people devour their meals and in doing so, it also affects their lives.

First and foremost, completely remove the white flour and white sugar from you diet. Especially the combination of fat and sugar is dangerous. So, when you are hit with a craving for a Danish pastry filled with cream and sugar, you should go instead for something healthy and sweet, such as dates, figs, grapes, oranges, honey, or choose a banana with lots of great vitamin-B, perhaps combining it with some nuts, almonds, or seeds. All nuts are healthy, but walnuts are especially rich in omega-3. Cashew nuts are very rich in zinc, which is good if you experience anxiety. Fruits can help promote well-being, so make sure that you include berries in your daily diet too.

You can also enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, which is filled with antioxidants and other mood boosting substances.

Corn products could be brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, and quinoa. Make your own portion of ecological oatmeal. Oatmeal is known for its calming effect and it can help increase your happiness.

Decrease your alcohol consumption. It will put a strain on your liver and imbalance your blood sugar. If you want to drink alcohol, consume  only very small amounts, and do it together with food that are fatty and oily. It reduces the absorption of the alcohol,and,drink plenty of water.

Avoid energy drinks, cola, and other carbonated drinks, you should also stay clear of any with artificial sweeteners.

Let the coffee you drink be of high quality and enjoy it in limited amounts. Be careful not to drink coffee too late in the day, it can easily destroy a good night’s sleep. You could also consider using a bit of cream as it reduces the effect of the caffeine.

Drink green tea and other herbal teas instead.

Instead of drinking cow’s milk, which doesn’t suit many people, you might opt for a full flavoured and healthy substitute, such as soy, rice, or almond milk, that might be mixed with nuts or coconut.

Make sure that you get plenty of vegetables, even as vegetable juices. You might want to consider spinach, which contains an array of good substances, which may increase your mood, for instance,due of its content of magnesium. Remember the leguminous fruits. A chickpea pancake is one of the best snacks for a happy brain. Ecological eggs with Omega 3 contain, in their raw or light cooked states, lecithin, which also aids your brain. Let fish and poultry be a stable part of your diet. Buy wild salmon if possible and make sure the poultry is ecological.

Lamb and steak are things that I personally enjoy, but I’m very careful with it, and I make sure that it’s meat from free range animals. I avoid smoked and salted products, as that alters the taste of quality.

I read an article, by writer and blogger Karin Lyager, saying studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be hit with depression than meat eaters. I admire the people who make these dietary choices, but I’m also well aware, that I cannot muster that lifestyle. However, I always make sure that the meat I eat is from animals who have led wonderful lives.

Choose good oils for your cooking. I’m personally most fond of olive oil, but I also enjoy flaxseed oil for my vegetables and salads. Coconut oil and butter is also great.

Dietary supplements

  • Supplements play a large role, if you aim to have a happy every day. Remember to take them on a regular basis.
  • Make sure you take a high-dosed multivitamin/mineral product.
  • You should also get a high-quality Omega-3 product.
  • Vitamin-C is one of the most important vitamins ,for me personally. It aids, among other things,the adrenocortical hormones and adrenal steroid hormones, as well as the immune system. The bioflavonoids belong to the vitamin-C complex. It’s therefore important to take a vitamin-C supplement which contains bioflavonoids to make an optimal absorption.
  • A vitamin-E supplement mixed with tocopherol ‘decreases the ageing process and provides nutrition for the entire body.
  • B-complex supports our immune system, among other things, and has an influence on our serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).
  • Lecithin is a fat, which is present in all cells. Lecithin promotes mental well-being and keeps you calm.
  • Q10 is included in the mitochondrial membrane. The mitochondria are the cell’s power plants and contributes by giving you energy.
  • PQQ describes the perfect partner to Q10. I see PQQ as a huge breakthrough and a great help in improving your health. Q10 helps the mitochondria function properly and PQQ can make new mitochondria. PQQ’s entire name is pyrroloquinoline quinone. It is found in different foods, and  in breastmilk.
    It was shown, in a 12-week double blind study, that a supplement of PQQ could reduce tiredness and nervousness, lower a heightened cholesterol, improve the quality of sleep, and improve the overall vitality.

Tips

  • Lack of sleep is the worst enemy of happiness. Getting an adequate amount of sleep plays important part in living a happy and harmonious life. Most people are best served by sleeping eight hours. Avoid chemical sleep medications. You should instead drink a bit of chamomile tea or consume other calming herbs or herbal tea. If you have difficulty falling asleep, then make it a habit to go to bed at 22:00. 
  • Make sure to exercise at least half an hour daily. Take a walk in nature where you are exposed to the full spectrum of light. Remember that play, dance and love are also forms of exercise.
  •  Remember to stay grateful. Be grateful for all the little things we often take for granted.
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Healthy latte recipes

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Nowadays all trendy coffee shops are offering different types of healthy lattes. There’s turmeric latte, matcha latte, chai latte. It’s of course nice to go to coffee shop for these lattes but sometimes it can be pretty cozy to drink warming cup of latte at home. I am not a big coffee drinker so it’s nice to start my weekend mornings with a cup of turmeric or matcha latte. I am going to give you 2 healthy latte recipes. In spite of whether you are coffee drinker or not these are worth to try. Both these recipes are also dairy free, gluten free, vegan and full of antioxidants!
If you are feeling lazy to make these mixes yourself we have also pukka matcha chai and turmeric gold latte mixes. Simply just put 2 tsp on your chosen milk and thats it!

 

TURMERIC LATTE

Turmeric is spice which is commonly used in asian kitchen. You might know it as main ingredient of curry. Besides of being really tasty it’s also has many health benefits. Turmeric can reduce depression symptoms, support joints, promotes hearth health and encourages healthy cholesterol levels. Most effective plant substance of turmeric is curcumin. It has proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Unfortunately, our body can’t absorb curcumin that well. So when you are using turmeric add black pepper with it. It contains piperine which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Thats why we are adding pinch of black pepper to this recipe.
This recipe includes also cinnamon and ginger which both gives taste and health benefits as well.  Cinnamon can lower LDL cholesterol, it has antimicrobial properties and it can lower blood sugar levels. It does matter which type of cinnamon you use because cinnamon contain coumarin and consuming too much coumarin is not good for you. Ceylon cinnamon is lower in coumarin so always choose ceylon instead of cassia cinnamon. We have in Anni’s vital shop organic ceylon cinnamon and that’s what I am using when I make this latte. Ginger can reduce muscle pain, treat nausea, helps with cholesterol levels and it has anti-inflammatory properties. So this latte is really full of different type of health properties!

 

Ingredients

 

How to make
  1. Add the almond milk to a small saucepan and heat on low temperature.
  2. Add turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and stir frequently for about 3 minutes until the milk is warm, but not boiling.
  3. Remove from heat and add sweetener by your taste.

 

MATCHA LATTE

Matcha latte is something I love to start my weekend mornings. Matcha is a form of green tea where tea leafs are powdered. It has more benefits to your body than just regular green tea because you drink the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. Matcha is really high in antioxidants, actually over 100 times more than green tea. It also can help keep your immune system in shape. Unlike turmeric latte matcha contain caffeine so if you feel like your mornings need refreshing caffeine boost this is way to go! Even though it contains less caffeine than cup of coffee, you will feel much more balanced and energetic, thanks to the natural amino acid, L-theanine. When you combine this compound with the chemicals in your brain, you will feel both calm and refreshing at the same time for 3-5 hours and will not be followed by a similar collapse later in the day than if you were drinking coffee. This is really simple recipe with just four ingredients.

 

Ingredients

How to make

  1. Add matcha powder, agave syrup and hot water to your cup
  2. Whisk until its dissolved
  3. Heat the plant milk of your choice
  4. Pour heated milk into your cup and it’s ready!

 

 

Enjoy your latte!

Milla – Anni’s vital shop, Los Boliches

Hypertension by Anni Dahms

In panic, I call my son five minutes to midnight on a Sunday evening. Luckily, he isn’t far away. With terror in my voice I tell him that I can’t breathe and that he must call an ambulance.

He quickly calls 112 and explains the situation, all whilst my breathing is getting worse and worse. He calls again, and they calm him and inform him that they will arrive shortly.

Ten minutes after the first call, three large paramedics arrive, who quickly assess how severe the situation is. One of them starts to give me oxygen, whilst the others move the furniture out of the way, so they can move me into the ambulance. I was told all of this later, my only focus at the time was to continue breathing.

My son was instructed, in the ambulance, that he could follow them in his car, as long as he drove in a proper manner. Somewhat jokingly they said they didn’t want anymore accidents.

In the ambulance I’m given the most wonderful oxygen, which is the only thing I perceive. I hear the driver ask if they should speed up, but the guy who is next to me says “no – put on some music”.

The whole process was very calming and professional. I wish I knew the names of the three men, so I could bring them a box of chocolate and a bottle of wine. I sadly don’t know how to reach them. If any of them should happen to read this, they should know that they are more than welcome to visit the store in Los Boliches, as I would love to thank my three heroes.

I’m expected when I arrive at the hospital Costa del Sol, everything is ready for me. I’m transferred from the stretcher into the bed, with the help of moving mattresses, which I hardly notice. The treatment is completely professional here as well. An IV drip is administered, I’m given different injections, and X-rays are taken. The oxygen mask is also changed and becomes permanent.

The diagnosis is, that my heart, due to some conduction disturbances and an elevated blood pressure level, had filled my lungs with water, therefore I couldn’t breathe.

When the first aid was completed, I was taken to intensive care and my shocked son had in the meantime informed the entire family, who were permitted to come in.

I laid in intensive care for around a day, and was attended by a cardiologist and another doctor. I demanded to be sent home, whilst wearing my oxygen mask and being hooked up to all kinds of IV drips! I suddenly felt that it was unbearable to lie in the hospital. The treatment was again very professional. One of the doctors told me, that my health was very poor, but if I insisted, then would always treat me if I returned. My son and I discussed it, and we both thought that the doctors were very skillful, so I decided to stay for further tests. Afterwards I was taken to the cardiology department.

Hypertension

Hypertension is one of the most common illnesses in the western world and it brings along a severe risk of heart attack, kidney disease, eye disease and strokes. Hypertension is the most common cause of strokes and blood clots in the brain. It is the blood pressure that decides how hard the heart needs to work, and pump the blood around in the body. The blood pressure is measured with many different devices, as the systolic and the diastolic, meaning when the heart is resting and when it’s working. The condition of the heart is approximated from these measurements. There are often no symptoms of hypertension but in some cases, may occur a slight headache and/or a flickering before the eyes. So, it might be a good idea to have your blood pressure measured on a regular basis. The heart can handle the increasing work for many years, but with time it will eventually fail. 

The diet

I now have a huge wish that, the food and drink would be prioritized substantially higher in the hospital. While I laid in intensive care, I received plenty of oxygen, so my mouth and throat were completely dry. I also got sores in my throat. I was fasting in case something might happen, which made perfect sense to me. As a former nurse I would like to offer an hours’ worth of free education in nursing, on how to handle patients with permanent oxygen masks. The loveliest nurse came, after my request, with a pack of wet gauze. It was like the most wonderful champagne. When I succeeded in drawing the attention of the nurses, by shouting, which by the way was quite difficult, they only brought a syringe of water, which hardly made the gauze wet.

During my young days as a nurse, we were always allowed to give the patient a small ice cube they could suck on.

When my fast was over, I was finally permitted to eat again, before leaving intensive care. I opened the two bowls, filled with joyful expectation. One of them was a gooey overcooked fish, and the other was a large bowl of curry rice without a single piece of meat. Even though I was hungry I just couldn’t eat anything. With dry humor, I convinced myself that it would probably be healthier to continue the fast. As a trained nutritionist I freely make myself available to whomever is in charge of the food budget. In my understanding, the food should provide you with nutrition to better your overall health. I assume hospitals exits to better people’s health, not to worsen it.

The manager of the section, a beautiful and empathic man, made sure that I was given a bed as quickly as possible.

I was transferred to a two-bed room. My neighbour was an amazingly friendly Andalusian woman, around the same age as me. Despite our large cultural differences, we quickly connected. There were no communication difficulties, because of the steady supply of oxygen, which I had available until shortly before I was released, my brain was working at maximum capacity, and I could remember all the Spanish verbs and words I hadn’t used in years.

I will never forget her. She was very concerned about my poor appetite. She thought the food was wonderful and proudly ate all of it. Happy and in a pleasant mood the whole time.

I had to get my coronary arteries examined and had to sign an agreement, stating that I was fully aware of the risks involved. My neighbour overheard it and quickly crocheted a bracelet for me, shaped like a rosary. Love without limits.

Recommendable diet

If you suffer from hypertension, then eat your food without adding additional salt. Many people pour salt on their food without even tasting it first. If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t make it too strong and reduce the number of daily cups.

Avoid foods with white sugar and sodas, even the artificial ones.

You will benefit from eating garlic and onions every day, they reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Only consume small amounts of alcohol. You should consume a maximum of 1 – 2 glasses of wine and remember to drink plenty of water in between.

Vegetables are filled with antihypertensive dietary fibers, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Let nuts become a part of your daily diet.

Ease up on the dairy products and choose the low-fat ones.

Eat fish and cold fish cuts. Eat potatoes, wholegrain rice, and wholegrain pasta.

Quench your thirst with water and herbal teas.

Medication

Luckily the examination of my coronary arteries, showed that they were surprisingly healthy. Hence my doctor saw no reason to conduct further tests on my heart and blood pressure. I was administered quite a bit of medication, which I take with the utmost gratitude, even though I normally don’t consume any medications. I get a diuretic medication, betablockers that aids the heart’s work, and of course antihypertensive medication. I intend to take them, at least until my next control and then we will see what the cardiologist has to say.

I feel fine on the medication and I also take my normal daily dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements

  • It’s great to take certain herbal remedies in tea form, such as linden tree flowers, which expands the blood vessels and thereby lowers the blood pressure.
  • Dandelion works as a diuretic and lowers the amount of liquid in circulation, which in turn lowers your blood pressure.
  • Eat ginger daily.
  • Consume stevia, but it should be the entire plant, which also has blood pressure lowering qualities.
  • Take a vitamin-B supplement, which has all the different vitamin-Bs.
  • Make sure to get an extra magnesium supplement.
  • Supplement with quality omega-3 oils.
  • Get lecithin, possibly as a sunflower extract.
  • A Q10 of high quality must not be forgotten.
  • Garlic also lowers your blood pressure.
  • Hawthorn is one of my absolute favourites. I love the liquid hawthorn called Craetagisan. After the above-mentioned experience it has earned a new permanent spot on my night stand. It has been of great help to me earlier, when my heart was causing me trouble. It is an excellent remedy against weak heart muscles and hypertension. It’s completely safe.

I only have a slight idea of what might have caused my heart attack. It has been a teachable moment for me, and I will never again take life for granted. I have no private health insurance, but I’ve learned that the Spanish public healthcare system, functions amazingly in emergency situations. I have nothing but admiration for how the entire medical system worked.

The nurses were wonderfully compassionate and exact. You could trust their timing and medication.

The three days of bedrests, with catheter and plastic linen, were unfortunately enough for me to develop bedsores on my bum. I was bed bathed every day, which was very lovely, but a tiny bit of massage on my bottom, could’ve kept me from developing the sores. The girls seemed more interested in applying plenty of perfume on me. I’m a natural redhead, which means that my skin is quite delicate. Given that I’ve been a nurse, I would love to give them a small lesson on preventing decubitus ulcers (bedsores).

Christmas gift ideas for the vegans (and for everyone!)

Buying gifts during Christmas can be really stressful and if we have a vegan friend it can be even more challenging. You can’t buy milk chocolate or anything with leather. It can be difficult to make research of which things are vegan and which aren’t. Veganism can be truly important value to your friend and you of course don’t want to make your vegan friend feel bad by giving them accidentally something which contains animal products. I’ll give you six ideas what to buy for the vegan friend (or for anyone!)

 

1. Vegan chocolate

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One of the best things in Christmas is chocolate. If we go to supermarket mostly all the chocolate has milk in them so it’s not suitable for vegans. But that doesn’t mean that vegans have to survive Christmas without chocolate. Milk is usually the only non vegan ingredient and some chocolate might contain honey (which is not vegan!). So almost every dark chocolate is vegan and there are some “milk” chocolates which are vegan. For example ichoc use rice milk to make their chocolate creamier. They have many good flavours like a nougat, choco cookie, almond orange and white chocolate. You can find all these in our shop and we have also amazing selection of other vegan chocolates too.

 

2. Vegan cosmetics

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If we buy cosmetics for vegans what we’ll have to make sure is that it’s not tested on animals and that it doesn’t contain any animal products. Natural cosmetics are never tested on animals so if there is natural cosmetic certification it’s not animal tested. But not all natural cosmetics are vegan. There are six non vegan ingredients which are allowed in natural cosmetic. They are honey, beeswax, lanolin, eggs, milk and buttermilk. If you buy your cosmetic from supermarket there are a lot more non vegan ingredients to watch out.

We have these new amazing Avivirs products which main ingredient is baobab oil. Baobab is a native African tree. This tree has a very nutritious fruits. Baobab fruit contains more antioxidants than any other fruit on earth.  The oil is extracted from the seeds of baobab fruits and it has a lot of benefits to our skin. It is a moisturising, anti-inflammatory and source of antioxidants. Baobab oil contains omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Our skin needs vitamins to stay healthy. We have to of course get vitamins from our diet but it’s also good to nourish your skin externally with vitamins. Baobab oil is rich in vitamin A, D, E and K. Which are all good for your skin. Vitamin E is really effective preventing the wrinkles.

In this product line there are 100% baobab oil, magic balm which is best for lips and dry areas, pampering creme all body, all body oil and scrub all body. You can choose between neutral or citron myrtle. All these has natural cosmetic certificate, doesn’t contain perfume and they are 100% vegan. We have these Avivir baobab products in offer all December.

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3. Vegan wine

This can be a little confusing because if you read the ingredients of wine bottle it seems to be vegan but actually not all wine are vegan. Part of the process of making wine is filtering it and some cases it’s done either egg whites or casein (made of milk). Luckily it can also be done with carbon, bentonite clay or silica gel. Because filter doesn’t stay in the wine it doesn’t have to read on the bottle. Now you might think that how I’ll ever find out which wines are vegan and which aren’t. Some manufactures put a vegan mark in a bottle and that means that it’s for sure suitable for vegans! We have four different wines in Anni’s vital shop and for my and every other vegans luck all of them has a vegan logo. All these wines are also organic. So if you have wine drinking friend with these wines you can’t go wrong!

 

 

 

4. Gift basket

If you can’t decide whether buy chocolate or wine you can combine all of these and make a vegan gift basket. You can choose there only those things that you know your friend would like. We have in Anni’s vital shop many really tasty sweets and snacks which you can fill the basket. Christmas tea, juices, chocolate, ginger cookies, nuts, chocolate covered dates or mulberries and a lot more! Come and see!

 

5. Superfoods

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If you have a vegan friend who is really into health it could be nice idea to pack up their favourite superfoods. There are a lot of options in our shop. Maca, lucuma, chlorella, raw cacao powder, acai and much more. Of course if your friend is also into fitness you can maybe throw in some protein powder. Which we have also vegan options!

 

6. Home made sweets

Vegan Fudge

It’s always good idea to bake something yourself. Everyone for sure appreciate the effort for making gift yourself and who wouldn’t love homemade sweets. I am going to give you recipe for vegan fudge. You could think that it’s not possible to make a fudge without milk and butter but you absolutely can do it and I promise this is worth to try! Main ingredient is coconut and we are using it in it’s different forms. This is so easy recipe that you can’t go wrong with this and also it’s so fast that you for sure have time to make it!

 

Ingredients are

0.5 dl Coconut milk (place it in the fridge overnight and use only the solidified part)
3 tbsp Coconut sugar
2 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Peanut butter  (or any else nut butter you prefer)
Vanilla powder and hazelnuts

 

How to make

1. Put coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut oil and peanut butter in saucepan and let it simmer few seconds.

2. Add vanilla powder.

3. Pour it into tray and sprinkle hazelnuts on top.

4. Place in the freezer for two to three hours (or until firm)

5. When your fudge is ready cut it into pieces and it’s ready!

Texture will be better if you store it in fridge.

 

If you need more tips about vegan Christmas gifts I’ll gladly help you in the shop so see you there!

Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches

Vegan nutrition

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WHAT IS VEGAN?

Vegan is a person who don’t eat, wear or use anything that comes from an animal. For example vegans don’t wear leather, use cosmetics which are tested on animals or eat animal products. So there are many things to write about veganism but on this post we are going to look into vegan nutrition. Stay tuned if you want to know more about vegan cosmetics or get some awesome vegan recipes those posts are coming soon!

Of course like in every type of diet it’s really important to make sure that your vegan diet is versatile and that you are getting all the nutritions. In my opinion eating on a vegan diet is very simple and getting all the nutritions doesn’t require a lot of work. That might be because few years of being vegan I am used to all of that. But still many people think that being vegan is really difficult and that you can’t get all nutrients on a vegan diet. I am going to tell you the most important things in vegan nutrition so after reading this you can easily follow healthy vegan nutrition rich diet!

 

PROTEIN

First let’s answer the most asked question about veganism “Where do you get your protein?” From plants of course! Actually all the protein is originally coming from plants. Animals can’t produce protein on their own so they also have to get it from their diet. Animals are getting their protein from plants and when we eat the animal we are getting our protein from that. Actually we need to feed 8 kilos of plant protein to an animal in order to get one kilo of animal protein.

If we are looking for high protein plants we have a lot of options for them!  For example chickpeas, lentils, tofu, soy, oat, nuts, spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa and beans. We just have to be careful because meat and plant protein are a bit different. Meat has a complete amino acid profile and there is some vegetables which contain all of them like soy, hemp, quinoa and spirulina but most of vegetables does not. So in order to get all essential amino acids you have to keep your vegan diet versatile. Legumes lacks methionine and cysteine, and wheat lacks lysine. That’s why it’s good to combine different type of plant protein sources for example you can eat beans with grains and oatmeal with nuts and seeds. You can add peanut butter to whole wheat bread or make hummus from chickpeas and tahini.

 

B12

There is only one essential nutrient which is impossible to get from plant based diet. That’s vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a bacteria which we can’t produce on our own so it’s necessary to get in our diet.  Some animals can produce it in their intestinal and some animals are getting it from supplement and that’s why it is possible to get B12 from animal products. Of course vegans don’t eat any animal products so we have to get it somewhere else. We used to get B12 by just eating wild living plants and drinking water but modern world is so sterile that B12 bacteria doesn’t live in our ground anymore so only what we have left is supplementing it.

B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage so it’s really important to every vegan supplement it. We have a lot of options of vitamin B12 in Anni’s vital shop. My favourite is Nordic Health B12 Boost spray. Just spray it under your tongue and that’s it! No need to get glass of water and swallow pills. Four sprays of this contains 1200ug of vitamin B12, 40ug of chromium, green tea extract and it’s sweetened with xylitol.

 

CALCIUM

When I tell people that I am vegan after asking about my protein the next question usually will be “How do you get enough calcium without cows milk?” Well easily! There are a lot of plant based calcium sources. Tofu, sesam seed, nettle, broccoli, kale, tahini, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts… Also many plant milks and yogurts are fortified with calcium. Of course if you are having hard time to make sure that you are eating some of these every day you it would be good to supplement it.

 

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IODINE

Iodine is necessary to us and our body can’t make it on it’s own so we have to get it from our food. Iodine is really important to our thyroid and if we aren’t getting it enough it can cause thyroid insufficiency. Mostly iodine is found in the ocean and that’s why seaweed is iodine rich. There are not so many iodine sources so it can be little bit difficult to get from food. Besides seaweed it’s found in fish, dairy and eggs, which obviously aren’t vegan. Nowadays it’s also added to some salts.

If you are vegan and don’t use iodine fortified salt or eat seaweed it might be good to supplement it. We have a great selection iodine supplements in Anni’s vital shop. I really like the solgar kelp one. It is made from seaweed named kelp. One capsule of these contains 200ug iodine which is 133% of daily recommendation.

 

OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for us so it is really important to make sure that we are getting them enough from our food. When we say omega 3 people tend to think that it’s only fish where it’s coming from but actually there are also many plant based sources for omega 3. For example chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and avocado contains omega 3. If it’s difficult to you make sure that you are eating some of these every day it might be good idea to supplement it. For that there’s also vegan options. We have a good selection of those in Anni’s vital shop. Products that I like to use are Pharma Nord Omega 7 and Biosym VegOmega-3. Omega 7 is made of sea buckthorn oil and it contains omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 in a good balance. VegOmega-3 is made from algae and it has high content of omega 3.

 

VITAMIN D

It’s really difficult to get enough vitamin D from food, no matter what type of diet you are on, because fish and wild mushrooms are almost only food that contain even a little bit of vitamin D. Of course following vegan diet you can’t have it from fish so that is leaving you only mushrooms and I wouldn’t count on them. What we have left is supplementing it or getting it from the sun. Our skin can produce vitamin D from the sun if suns UV rays are close enough. For example in Finland there is only three months during whole year when suns UV rays are close enough to get you vitamin D from the sun. In Spain of course we have a little bit more sun than in Finland but even here it’s actually really hard to get it from the sun because you would have to be in the sun without clothes every day. That’s why I would recommend to every vegan and also non vegan to supplement vitamin D. There are two types of vitamin D. Our body can use either one so just take care you are getting one of those. D2 is always plant based and usually D3 is animal based, but there are some exceptions. Vitamin D3 is absorbed better than vitamin D2. We have in Anni’s vital shop Veg D-3 which contain 75ug vitamin D3.

 

MULTIVITAMIN

If you feel like you need a little more help to get all the vitamins and minerals, we have multivitamins which are specially made for vegans. Sometimes life can get a little busy and we don’t have so much time to make sure that we’re getting every nutrient so multivitamins can be good option for those periods of life. In our selection we have three different multivitamins which are specially for vegans. SpektroVEG, Longo Vital Vegan and Omni Vegan. They all contain a good amount of essential vitamins and minerals. These has also iodine, vitamin D and b12 in them so if you choose to buy one of these it might be only supplement you have to take.

 

 See you in the shop!

Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches

Atrial fibrillation

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

 

Hjertefl
The article is also available in Spanish, Finnish, Danish

 

Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

In this time, I seem to be surrounded by people who complain about atrial fibrillation. I was wondering why this was the case, until I stumbled across an article, that described different kinds of heart attack and mentioned, that the attacks occur most frequently in the months October, November, and December.
You should obviously see a doctor if you are experiencing heart problems. There are many effective ways to help your heart today.
You can take many actions yourself, to ensure that your heart remains strong and functioning, even as you get older. The heart is an amazing pump, that starts working even before we are born, only to continue all throughout our life.
We only have one heart, so we should see it as a wonderful gift that we take care of, but often we don’t think much about it, until it starts to signal that it needs attention and appreciation for its hard work.
The stress many of us are experiencing these days, is our hearts worst enemy. It is as if stress leaves a contagious source in the air, which is difficult to get around, but we must be very conscious to deal with it, in the best manner possible.
The heart is a very delicate motor, that doesn’t benefit from suddenly getting pushed to its max performance, as it can damage it.
I felt it with myself, when I had to run for half an hour with a heavy suitcase, when my plane was delayed and had to get to the next flight (which I ended up missing anyways). It lasted for a while, the feeling that I should take extra care of my heart.


The symptoms of atrial fibrillation
They are most commonly abnormal heart rhythm, difficulty catching your breath, chest pain together with dizziness and fatigue.
It is usually people above 50 that are affected by atrial fibrillation, and more than 13.000 people are yearly hospitalized with the affliction in Denmark. It is estimated that roughly 75.000 people live with the illness. Studies have shown that roughly 10% of all people have atrial fibrillation. It is a common sickness that exists in numerous variations, some people experience it as rare attacks, while other people have it more or less all the time.
Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Visit your doctor, if you suddenly feel that your heart is running rampant, with an unusual fast heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

The diet
The diet can perhaps not completely prevent atrial fibrillation, but it is certain that you can strengthen and keep your heart healthy through your diet.

If you have a large consumption of coffee and sugary treats, then cut down on them. Instead choose a high-quality green tea, you can also alternate between teas with nettle and ginger. Make sure to drink plenty of water of a high quality. Be careful with alcohol. The heart association discourages alcohol consumption completely. Too much alcohol can trigger symptoms connected with atrial fibrillation. Avoid fast-food such as burgers and hotdogs and exclude cake and fatty deserts. All in all, the combination of fat and sugar is a poor mix.
Eat lots of foods that contain plenty of antioxidants and focus on getting anti-inflammatory foods. Make sure, to the extend that it is possible, to eat ecological foods of a good quality.
Be careful with beef and animal innards and eat very little meat in general. Make sure that fish is on the menu at least two times a week. Be sparse with all kinds of dairy products, they help increase inflammation, which is often a part of having an irregular heart rhythm.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Apricots are strengthening for both heart and brain. You can eat dried apricots outside of the apricot season, but make sure that they are not treated with sulfur dioxide. It’s best to eat apricots after 3pm. Berries are good against atrial fibrillation. Your daily apple or two must not be forgotten. If you can get your hands on wild blueberries, optionally frozen, then use them in your daily diet. Another precious fruit is pineapple, which is also great for your green salads. Vegetables help flush out acid accumulations. Eat plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage etc. Make sure that your vegetables also contain leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, chard, field lettuce etc. Let onions be a part of your daily diet and remember the healthy artichoke.
If you haven’t tried it before, then introduce sweet potatoes into your diet. They bring many benefits, one of which is the relief of heart palpitations.
Use plenty of garlic, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil in your daily diet. You should also consider coconut in its different forms, such as oil or coconut water.
Eat plenty of nuts and almonds.
Avoid wheat products, but instead use buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and wholegrain rice. The products come in many variants, such as flour or grain for porridge and pasta. You can find many wonderful recipes for bread using these ingredients on the internet. Anette Harbech Olesen has written many easy-to-follow cook/baking books that doesn’t use wheat, but instead utilises other exciting grains.


Dietary supplements

  • Start with a broad-spectrum vitamin/mineral product, which is of good quality and easily absorbable.
  • There should also be a good and likewise easily absorbable vitamin-B product as a part of your base. Optionally you could supplement with extra vitamin-B12, in spray form or as a tablet.
  • Take extra vitamin-C. 1 – 1½ grams daily. It is important with all cardiovascular disorders. It helps repair the blood vessels and prevents inflammatory changes that causes atrial fibrillation.
  • You can optionally supplement with vitamin-E, up to 350 mg daily. Some people prefer to get their vitamin-E through wheat germ oil.
  • Selenium, 100 – 200 mcg daily can also be a great help.
  • Magnesium can be recommended, preferably 600 mg in the evening. There must also be calcium present in your dietary supplements. If you are not taking a supplement of vitamin-B, then you have to supplement with B6, as it aids the absorption of magnesium in the body.
  • Q10 is recommended, in doses between 100 – 300 mg daily. Make sure to get a product that has a documented absorption rate.
  • Omega-3 is very important for the heart and counteracts heartrate disturbances. It can be taken as a fish oil, roughly 2 grams daily, or in the form of flaxseed oil, 1 table spoon daily. Omega-3 does also have a vegan edition which is made from algae.
  • Hawthorn comes both in liquid and capsule form. When I personally experience difficulties with my heart, then I always turn to this and have done so in many years. I feel it has a remarkable strengthening effect on my heart, but it might not be as effective against atrial fibrillation. It is a great remedy for high blood pressure.
  • Pycnogenol is bark from a French pine tree and it’s very effective at preventing blood clots and supports a good blood circulation. You should take 1 tablet in the morning. It is a powerful antioxidant, that protects the body from damages from oxygen radicals and thereby prevents inflammation.
  • Garlic is also preventive against blood clots.
  •  The amino acid Taurine counteracts potassium deficiency, and it has been shown to help some people with heart problems, by strengthening and making the contractions in the heart muscle more efficient. Taurine can be a great 3-step rocket, together with magnesium and B6.
  • The amino acid L-carnitine also works as a heart strengthener and is known to improve irregular heart rhythms.
  • If you are receiving any prescription heart medication, then you should always discuss the supplements you are planning to take, with your doctor. The doctor should, in my opinion, be able to provide guidance about what combination of the allopathic medicine goes together with the dietary supplements that so many heart patients wish to use. This is very important, and the allopathic medicine often is affected by different supplements.


Tips

  • Stay far away from tobacco. If you are a smoker, then reduce your tobacco consumption as quickly as you can muster without getting stressed.
  • It is important to avoid stress, especially the long-lasting stress can be very burdensome on the heart. If you drive a car, then practice patience.
  • If you are overweight, then make sure that you start losing weight in a sensible way, again without too much stress, you may be able to utilize a dietician. The hard part comes after you have reached your desired weight, namely that you must keep your weight stable. So, if you have used a dietician, then keep that connection, incase you might need it again.
  • Make sure to get exercise. It is important, if you want to have a healthy heart, that you are active, so blood is circulating properly. If you are having a cold or have just had one, or another infectious disease, then you must spare your heart. Avoid exercise until you are completely healthy. It is often a virus in the heart muscle. We usually function fine with it, but if the heart is strained during an infection, then it can act up, as it doesn’t like to get pressured in these situations.
  • You must be aware that sick teeth can have tremendous influence on your heart. Certain teeth have direct reflex pathways to the heart. It takes a professional dentist and doctor to guide you in this matter.

Louise Hay writes, the heart represents love and our blood represents joy. Our heart lovingly pumps joy through our body. If we deny ourselves joy and love, then our heart shrinks and gets cold, and that is when heart attacks happen.
Louse Hay also mentions, that the people who experience heart attacks are never happy people. To avoid more heart attacks, you must give yourself time to appreciate the joys in life.


Back To School

 

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Finally the long summer holidays are over and school starts again! I have been dreaming of this moment the last two and half months… Don’t misunderstand me! I love being at home with my two kids but I think every mother can feel related with me, the few months start to feel reallyyy long after the first few weeks… Especially here in Spain where it’s so warm during the day that you basically stay inside until 5-6 in the evening. It’s worse than rainy days during the winter!!

But as I said, kids are back to school – or at least one of them. Younger one is just 9 months old so he stays at home with me. But even so it feels so good to have a few hours a day some mother&son quality time while sister is at school.

It’s nice to get back to our routine and my daughter is happy to see her friends again after so many months, but starting school brings also some other issues to think about.

Kids get sick. Like all the time, especially younger ones. I think I read once that kids age 3-5 are ill almost half of the year! So when school starts again, it’s good time start giving some supplements to your children.

Two years ago when my daughter started school, I decided to give her Strathdrops. I didn’t want her to be sick all the time and I heard that this product might help her. Strath is a highly nutritious whole food yeast supplement containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and trace elements in an herbal base. It is highly recommended by practitioners for anyone wanting to increase energy, endurance, and mental performance. And the best is that it suits the whole family! You can have it in tablets, elixir and drops. The liquid ones are best for children cause you can just add it in their juice. My daugher has been taking this the last two years and luckily she hasn’t been sick so often than the other kids at her class!

Strath

Even if I try really hard, I have to say that my daughter doesn’t always eat enough vegetables.. It’s not the end of the world but of course I get a little bit preoccupied if she gets all the vitamins and minerals she needs to be a healthy little girl. Just to make sure that she doesn’t lack any of the essential ones, I started to give her MiviTotal Plus. Also in liquid form as I prefer, it’s just so much easier than playing with the tablets.

“Kids should eat fish at least twice a week …”. I know, I know.. It’s really good for you and my kids and I love to eat fish. But if you hate cooking it?? I can’t even touch it, yaiks. And don’t even talk about the smell! Luckily in Spain it’s quite cheap to eat fish in a restaurant so we try to do it at least three to four times a month. I also give some extra omega-3 to my children and luckily someone has invented the chewable Omega-3 tablets for kids! Kids can be quite tough when it’s time to take some vitamins, especially if it smells and tastes like fish.. But these ones are odorless and with a taste of orange!

I remember the first time when my daughter came from school with a note that said “Please check your child’s head, there has been some unwanted visitors at school!”. The word that every mother is scared of – lice. Immediately I checked my daughters head and luckily didn’t find any.. But never say never. Since that I’ve always had some Tea Tree oil at home. I add few drops behind my daughters ears before she goes to school, lice don’t like the smell so they normally stay away from the head with a bad smell. If your child gets lice someday, tea tree oil works also to get rid of them. Add 10 drops to a normal amount of shampoo and wash carefully and repeat.

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With these remedies I hope we survive another school year without colds and lice!



Saludos
Suvi