5 Tips for a Healthier Kitchen and Tastier Food.

I am all about eating clean, fresh and unprosessed food no matter what your dietary goals are. I believe that if we eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible, and drink enough fresh water every day, we would all be well on our way to a healthier state of  both body and mind.

Welcome to my healthy kitchen!

This is one of the things that the Italians have understood and is part of why the country is the healthiest in Europe and first/second in the world. Read more about Project Healthy in Italy here.

My hope is that I can inspire and help you to make healthier choices every day that will result in you being a happier, healthier, and perhaps also a leaner version of yourself.

I have also made all the changes  through my own lifestyle journey so I also “walk the walk”, and not just “talk the talk”! You can read more about my story here 

Here are my 5 best tips for you to start your own kitchen makeover and to help you on your way to acheiving better, healthier and tastier cooking results!

5 Tips for a Healthier Kitchen and Tastier Food.

  1. Throw out the refined, bleached table salt and get cooking with Himalaya salt and sea salt! This is so important. We need salt in our diets and I could simply never do without, but the kind of salt you choose makes a huge impact on both your body and cooking results. I have not had refined table salt in my kitchen for years and I find the taste to be horrible compared to healthy, natural choices as stated above. You get more minerals, and the taste is more rounded (natural) and stronger, so beware; you need less. Also a good reason to change the salt you cook with.

IMG_8050saltoghvitløk italy logo2. Trade in wheat for spelt flour. For all cooking and baking where wheat is needed I use spelt flour. It is an ancient grain that has really gained popularity the past years, especially in Scandinavia. It has a differant type of gluten than regular wheat and therfore more people, including myself, tolerate it. It has almost the same cooking and baking qualities as wheat does, and a nuttier, more exciting taste.

3. Use the right kind of fats. We need fat as well as salt, but make sure you use the right kind. (Fat is a huge subject so I will write a blog post in the future soley on this). But to break it down, extra virgin coconut oil for all things raw and not being heated (or where you don’t mind a coconut flavour), refined coconut oil without flavor for stabile frying and such, or extra virgin olive oil. If you eat dairy, butter is a good choice as the fatty acids are stabile due to the high content of saturated fats. I personally prefer olive oil.

4. Use lots of fresh herbs and garlic! The past months I have really gotten into using fresh herbs in my cooking. Fresh garlic is also a staple. They are so healthy and packed with flavour. Mint is great for the digestion and is surprisingly delicious in salads and savory dishes. I also use coriander and basil all the time.

5. Add fresh citrus juice for flavour. I have also been using a lot of fresh citrus juice for my cooking and flavoring. A crucial part of flavour balancing is actually acidity. Acids can also replace the need for salt and really make a dish “pop”. Acids also help aid in digestion and help balance your blood sugar. I use lime, lemon and sometimes orange juice if I need a sweeter, more round acidic flavour. My favorite marinade is fresh orange and lime juice, olive oil, dried oregano, dried chili flakes, salt and garlic.

Happy cooking! I would love to hear from you what you think!


Waistline Friendly and Yummy Lentil Soup!

I love soup or stews this time of year and they are easy to make – all in one pot!

My red lentil soup (or stew) is really delicious, and filling, but still low calorie, fiber-rich and blood sugar friendly, making it good for your waistline as well.

Recipe below…

 

Linsesuppe 6378

Lentils are a great plant based protein and is blood sugar friendly.

 

 

Carina’s Red Lentil Soup ( 4 portions)

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2- 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots (peel)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 chili
  • 500 grams ( 2 cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 liter ( 3 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 dl. ( 1 cup) dry red lentils

How to: Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery, chili and garlic. Sautee in olive oil until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock and lentils. Cook until tender adding more water if needed. Season to taste. The lentils need at least 30 min. to cook. You do not have to pre-soak them. Enjoy!

Tip! This soup/stew tastes really great the next day so you can make a large batch if you like. It is also great to freeze so you have a healthy meal ready in no time:)

 

 

 


5 Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great holiday and are ready to meet the new year head on.

Perhaps you have found yourself gaining a few pounds over the holidays and/or have fallen off the healthy wagon?

 

 

5 tips new year.jpg

Let’s get healthy together! Photo: Eva Kylland/Shape Up Magazine

 

Well, have no fear; I am here to help you kick-start the new year and make 2018 your best, healthy year yet. And best of all, my tips are really easy to implement straight away!

5 Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year

  1. Start your day with 5 dl ( 2 cups) of warm water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. This blend is so great for detoxing your liver, rehydrating the body after a good nights sleep, regulating your blood sugar, as an antioxidant and to regulate the body’s PH balance. If you get into this habit I guarantee you will have more energy, less belly bloat and a stronger immune system.
  2. Add chili to your daily meals. Adding, spicy chili is an easy way to help kick-start your body’s metabolism. It also works as a natural detoxifier and painkiller. The secret ingredient is called capsaicin and has shown promise for relieving shingles pain, osteoarthritis, psoriasis symptoms, and more. Capsaicin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has also shown some promise for cancer, weight loss, and allergy symptoms
  3. Eat 1/2 avocado everyday. I love this natural fat burning fruit! Avocado has lots of antioxidants and healthy fats that regulate the blood sugar, making you fuller faster and longer. It is a great source of heart protecting vitamin E. My favourite way to eat avocados is on toast with lemon juice, sea salt and chili flakes. You can also blend the flesh for a creamy, filling smoothie.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with the mother) to either your water, salad or other meals. Apple cider vinegar boosts your metabolisme, aids digestion, regulates the body’s PH balance, curbs appetite and is in general a cheap and effective supplement for your body and health.
  5. Drink water! I know you have heard this time and time again… but do you still avoid listening to this great and basic advice? So many people suffer from low energy, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, aches and pains just for the simple fact that their body is dehydrated. Get your 1, 5- 2 liters every day. The more active you are, or if you live in a warmer climate, the more you may need. Add lemon, lime, orange, cucumber slices or herbs to your water for a great taste.

 

Happy, healthy new year!

 

 

sitronjuice skrått

Drink fresh lemon juice and hot water every morning for your best, healthy 2018!

 

 


5 Tips to Beat Winter Depression Naturally.

I live in Norway which is in the Northern hemisphere, and depending upon where in the country you live, you may not see sunlight at all from  November and until around Easter!

Luckily, I live in Oslo and we do get a few hours of daylight, but not nearly enough to keep the body happy and healthy. Because of the lack of daylight a lot of Norwegians suffer from what is known as winter depression.

Juice bok-529

I beat my battle with severe winter depression naturally. Read on for my tips…

The condition does not only affect Scandinavians, but millions of people around the globe. Perhaps you also suffer from winter depression when the days get shorter?

The symptoms are:

  • Low energy
  • Loss of interest in being social or active
  • Muscle and joint ache
  • Feelings of hopelessness and general depression symptoms
  • Weight gain and increased appetite
  • Decreased libido

The condition is also known as “seasonal affective disorder,”( SAD) and can really reduce the quality of life. I use to suffer really bad from it and went into a severe depression for several months. When Spring came along the darkness literally went away.

Because of my own need to find a way to cope, I have discovered and researched  ways you can naturally lift your mood and help get you through the darkness…

  1. Light therapy! Yes, lack of light is the reason you feel this way as it leads to chemical imbalances in the body. But there are some really great therapy alternatives out there that mimic daylight. I work with a small lamp from Philips in front of me when working on my computer. I also do 10 minutes of light therapy with a special iPod looking device called Valkee Bright Light Headset. This releases light straight into the brain. Light therapy is a must!
  2. HIIT Workouts- You must stay active even if your energy levels are low. I promise that if you do, you will eventually increase your energy levels. This is so important. HIIT stands for High intensity interval training and is more effect full than steady state, low intensity training, as it releases more of the “happy hormones”, serotonin and dopamine. This keeps depression at bay, gives you more energy, builds stamina and balances your weight and appetite efficiently.
  3. Learn something new! This fall I have been learning to dance salsa and it has really helped my mood to have an activity that gets me out the door (because I have paid a lot of money for it!;)), is social, healthy and keeps my brain active. Having a hobby and learning new things that we enjoy is proven to keep us more mentally balanced.
  4. Keep a balanced diet– It is more important than ever that you keep your diet clean and full of fresh fruits and vegetables even though it may not be that tempting this time of year! Use seasonal vegetables and cook warming stews. Roast root vegetables. A good diet is essential for keeping your moods elevated in general and keeps your immune system strong through the winter season. Make my roasted tomato soup here
  5. Get outdoors! If you live in a place where there still is daylight during the day it is important to arrange your schedule so that you can get outdoors for at least 30 min. every day. Take a walk during your lunch break if possible.

Let me know how the season effects you and how you cope! 🙂

gulrøtter med selbu vøtter

Roast your veggis and put on warm clothes and get outside when there is daylight!


Oven Roasted Tomato Soup (Vegan)

Today I have another super-healthy, tasty and easy soup for you. This one is also vegan and loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopen, which is known for its cancer- fighting properties.

The roasting of the vegetables give the soup extra depth and flavour and it also basically makes it self so you can do other things before dinner time!

You can also make this soup in larger portions and freeze for later. It is also a great tomato sauce base for pastas and pizzas.

Ovnsbakt tomatsuppe 5351

You will need:

  • 1 kilo ( about 2 pounds) fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1- 2 tbs. nutritional yeast

How to:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the onion and the carrots and cut into large pieces. Leave the skin on the garlic.
  2. On a baking tray, lined with a baking sheet, rub the ingredients with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30- 40 min at 200 degrees celsius (360 fahrenheit).
  4. When soft and golden, remove from oven and peel off the tomato skin and remove the garlic from skin. This is easy when they are baked.
  5. Place in a blender or food prosessor and blend until smooth, taking care to let out steam so it doesn’t explode! 😉
  6. Add to a pot and season to taste. Let simmer for 5- 10 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast before serving.

Recipe from my Norwegian book “Carinas sunne kjøkken” (Carina ‘s Healthy Kitchen). Buy here

 

IMG_5353

Oven roasting vegetables is an easy and healthy way to bring out more depth and flavour!