healthy living is easy: 5 tips

Healthy Living quoteA healthy living is not difficult! As long as you know a few simple rules to live by:

Whatever you put in your body or on your body makes you the way you are, and makes you feel the way you feel.

1. Your diet should consist of mostly fruits, vegetables,beans, grains & seeds, and from local suppliers when possible. (yes, that means focus on your vegetables as the main item in your breakfast, lunch or dinner, not as a side dish.) Buy your produce as much organic as possible. If you think that organic is too expensive, choose the fruits & vegetables that have the thinnest skin (and will probably absorb the pesticides the most) or are known to have the largest amount of pesticides on them organic, and the others non-organic. This way you save 50% or more of your daily chemicals-intake. (you can check the list of fruits and vegetables that are considered the "dirty dozen" by the Enviromental Group, keep checking this list as it changes a lot. And follow this Group as they have a lot of interesting information for a healthy living for you and your family). Local food is just fresher and has less carbon foot print due to less travel.

healthy living quote

2. Eat less meat and fish. And if you do, eat organic meat, and eat sustainable fish with a low mercury level. I am not saying never eat it (although for some people it would be better for their health) But there are some serious environmental problems going on with meat production and fisheries. But make sure you replace with vegetable proteins if you decide to avoid meat and fish at all. Us beings need protein to live. There are many great vegetarian proteins on the market like hemp, brown rice, pea, alfalfa, spirulina, soy to name a few. Pick the one you like the best.

Meat issues: bad living conditions cattle, too much use of growth hormones and medication.

Fish issues: Overfishing (taking all marine life out of one spot at once by using big nets with a lot of by catch), fish farming where fish get additives in their diet (like corn and other things they don't really eat)  + too much metal & plastic pollution which the fish eat, like mercury. Remember: the bigger the fish, the higher their mercury levels probably are.

 Too much animal protein is considered to be bad for cardiovascular & heart health, as well as cholesterol, and other unpleasant illnesses. It does not hurt to eat it a little less, and the money you save with that, use to buy organic meat and/or other animal products. And on top of that, meat production has a huge carbon foot print compared to the production of organic vegetable crops. So it is better for you, and for the environment.

3. Remove chemicals from your life. Be conscious of what you put on and in your body! My rule:  Read. What. you. put. in. and. on. your. body! All those amazing make up and skincare products like shampoos and deodorants,  and vitamins you see on the shelves of your supermarkets, drugstore or pharmacies... but that it is for sale there doesn't mean it is that good for you in the long run. Meaning: it might make you look and feel great now, but the ingredients maybe can harm you later on. Read labels and ingredients on the back. A lot of names you can't pronounce and chemicals means: a lot of bad stuff in or on your body. Use medication and vitamins only when your doctor told you to do so, and use organic only products on your body. Because remember: what you put on your face or body can be absorbed by the skin and get into your bloodstream and organs. So be wise what you put on it. This also counts for clothing. These days a lot of clothing and shoes are made with many chemicals, and if it can get on your skin, it can get in your skin.  I also use filtered my water to avoid as many chemicals in my life.

I buy as much as possible organic shampoos, skincare, deodorants, skincare, makeup, food, clothing, water to avoid unwanted toxins and chemicals in my life.

4. Consume less, live more: choose to buy products you really need only. It is better for the environment and for your wallet. If you want to have more, it costs more and you have more responsibilities and worries. But if you don't buy stuff, and only buy quality products if you need to, you will likely be exposed to less chemicals (see above why that is so important), own something that lasts longer,  but also you will have more time to spend with loved ones!

Consume less live more

And try to find vintage and antique stuff. It is made better usually and already has proven itself.

5. Be fit. Don't sit behind a computer all day! Get up and walk, and exercise daily. Relax and enjoy. We don't believe in intense strenuous exercise, but daily moderate exercise like walking, biking, running, yoga, fitness, pilates all work! I even like jumping on a trampoline. The places in the World where people live the longest, the so-called "Blue Zones" are all areas where people are moving all day, and mostly just around the house doing daily tasks like cleaning, cooking and growing food to eat. It doesn't need to be intense, just move your body!

Healthy living is no trend, it is a way of life.

Love Lonneke


Breakfast: babyfood grows up!

When I was young I always loved a "fruithapje". A dish made out of fruits and other delicious things for breakfast or as a snack.

Organice Your Life team member Dirk Verest and I played with the ingredients and came up with the following modern version of my preferred baby food!

Remember: the eye wants something too, so think of a fun way to display your food, like in a recycled glass jar! Dirk used a 400ml jar. Which he thought was the right size for the right amount of food for a full feeling during the rest of the morning.

Breakfast jar

Shopping list for 1:  (buy organic and local whenever possible)

- organic (Greek) yoghurt

-  1 Apple

-  1 Kiwi

- 1 Mango

- 1 Grapefruit

- About 2 tablespoons of Teff. a type of grain from Africa that is healthy & gluten free, which is Dirk's favorite grain, and which one spoon helps to keep the shredded fruits form a cohesive mass. (It has to soak up the fruitjuices) You can also try it without Teff, or try another dry breakfast product like oatmeal, Brinta, or Liga, but from our experience this works the best.

- handful of your preferred muesli.

How to make:

Add layers of yoghurt, muesli & shaved fruits in a jar.

This one has layers of:

fruits: * Shaved organic apple & mango, * Cut Kiwis in cubes between. *Mixed with Teff for fibers and essential minerals, * Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Yoghurt: Greek organic yoghurt.

Crunch: organic crunchy muesli.

Costs: Less than €3 euros per person, maybe even less. It all depends on what fruits you put in that make the price go up. The more local and in season fruits you buy, the cheaper it is! Everything is for sale at a regular supermarket, the teff is only available in specialized organic food stores or for sale online.

breakfast jar 2

Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke 

 


a quick vegetarian meal!

Hello,

I like to eat delicious foods, but don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Sounds like a dilemma? I tell you: you can do both!

One dish we made the other day was vegetarian and Indonesian inspired. It took me only 20 minutes!

A delicious Indonesian inspired feast!

We  took vegetarian chicken by the Vegaslager, which is delicious and can compete with the flavor and bite of real chicken. But if you want to eat chicken, choose organic, that's very important. (you don't want to eat meat that has hormones, medication so the chicken can grow rapidly from being born to a full grown chicken in sometimes less than 50 days! Not healthy, so choose wisely, always  choose organic meat) I grilled it on an electric grill in 10 minutes.

Vegetarian chicken satay

We cooked organic brown rice that was quick to cook, within 10 minutes. You can take regular rice that takes usually a bit longer, around 25 minutes.

We baked organic eggs sunny side up.

We added a bit of warmed up, pre-made organic satay sauce (a sauce made of mostly peanuts) by the brand Yakso.

Yakso satesaus

 

 

The salad was simple and so delicious! Shred a big carrot. Add a whole avocado cut into pieces. Add herbs/plants like parsley and garden cress cut up. Add pine nuts. For dressing: a bit of lemon juice mixed with blood orange juice. Yummy!

 

Eating fast and delicious foods is all about having simple, fresh ingredients. It is also fun to play with colors. Delicious foods are a feast for the tastebuds, but should also be that  for the eyes!

Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke


Food, Inc. - a great documentary!

Food, Inc. is not a new movie (from 2008), but it is documentary that everybody should see. In short it is an unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

After seeing this movie, you will look differently at the meat and other foods you eat.

The makers of this film did a good job making the movie interesting to watch, show the abused animals ( but not too much so that we don't want to watch the rest of the movie) Show what really happens in , food "plants", slaughterhouses, factories. What is really in your food. What your food labels really mean. How people are treated in this business. How animals are treated in this business. Which is the terrible truth.

But what's great is, that they also show us that there is a possible way to do it all different, to grow food and raise animals with respect to nature, people and those animals.

  • Organic is better.
  • Treating the animals, people and the environment better, is better.
  • And everytime you buy or eat food, you can make a change.
  • Because big corporations follow your every spending.
  • More organic? They will produce it.
  • Anything to make more profit.
  • The consumer is king, and makes the difference.
  • The consumer is you.

Go see it for yourself and buy it HERE>
www.foodincmovie.com


Stir Fry Tea Oil

I recently read Valentina's post about canola oil, and I decided to never use it again for cooking or baking! But what do I use then? I know that using Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not good either, so what else is out there?

When I went to Sur La Table to buy me Le Creuset pans, I found an cooking oil I have never heard of before:

Stir Fry Tea Oil by The Republic of Tea.

It said it is USDA Organic, AND Trans Fat Free so I decided to buy it and try it!

The Republic of Tea website says:

"Cold-Pressed, Extra Virgin, and USDA Certified Organic. Tea seeds from the Camellia (tea plant) are cold-pressed to produce this exquisite and healthful organic oil. Sauté seafood, poultry or meat, toss into pasta or vegetables, use as a base for marinades, dips, dressings, sauces, or drizzle into stir-fry."

And here is another review by Organic Authority!

Well, now after a few times using it, I can see it seems very light, works well, and makes the food I stir fry keep their own flavor. So I like it, and will continue using it. What do you think about Tea Oil?

You can order it on Amazon now!


roasted figs with goat cheese & honey

roasted figs snack

I love me some figs!

Besides that they are tasty, they are also very good to help with digestion (dried or fresh) as they are a good source of fiber and full of vitamins and minerals & anti-oxidants. Read more about figs HERE.

figs
figs
sliced figs
sliced figs
figs with crumbled goat cheese and honey
figs with crumbled goat cheese and honey

roasted figs snack
simple roasted figs with a sweet taste

Author:
Recipe type: snack, dessert
Serves: 1

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • small fresh figs, (4 per person) washed
  • 1 tbsp local honey
  • organic goat cheese, crumbled.

Instructions
  1. Slice the figs in half
  2. Put on plate that can go into the stove
  3. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the figs
  4. Pour the tablespoon of honey over all the figs
  5. Put in stove and roast until goat cheese turns brown and figs become soft.
  6. Serve warm.

roasted figs with goat cheese & honey
roasted figs with goat cheese & honey


Grilled vegetables & farro salad

Salad making for dummies

salad with corn, peanuts and thai dressing
salad with corn, peanuts and thai dressing

What do you need for a good salad?

1. Pick a kind of lettuce as a base, I prefer organic. Romaine, watercress or mix different lettuces up.

2. Pick 1, 2 or more vegetables that you add raw or grilled. Like cucumber, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, red peppers, onions.

3. Add a protein. If you go vegetarian you can choose nuts. If you eat meat you can add grilled organic chicken, beef, bacon or other options. And fish: tuna, salmon, grilled shrimp or scallops as a few examples. Avocado is a nice topping as it is filling

4.*Add extra toppings like dried fruits to make the salad get a sweet flavor (raisins, cranberries, grapes, strawberries or other fruits)

*Add cheese to make it more hearty (goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, gouda or other cheeses)

* Add finishing toppings. Seeds, sprouts or anything else you can think of too add.

5. And last: add your dressing!

*Simple salt, pepper and olive oil tastes great with good ingredients in a salad.

*If you want to go to an asian twist: add soy sauce based sauces to the dressing.

*If you want to go light, add yoghurt in the dressing.

*When you want to go sweet & spicy, add a bit of spicy red pepper flakes in dressing with honey

Some of my favorite salads I posted in this article:

romaine, walnuts & parmesan
romaine, walnuts & parmesan
Grilled vegetables & farro salad
Grilled vegetables & farro salad at Eataly
Spicy Sesame Salad
Spicy Sesame Salad with shredded cabbage at Pure Food & Wine

 

Ingredients which taste great together and in combination are a not to miss flavor success when you just add some lettuce and olive oil:

* goat cheese, cranberries & pistachios

* romaine, parmesan, croutons

* tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, pepper

* goat cheese, roasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds

* walnuts & blue cheese.

Avocado is always great to add to every salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers almost always are good ingredients too!

Try your own combinations of dressing, salad & ingredients to find your favorite salad!

Love, Lonneke

 

 


Delicous foods on the menu

Sandy Relief dinner with friends!

Dinner with friends for Sandy Relief
Dinner with friends for Sandy Relief

Hello all!

Yesterday I hosted a last-minute "Sandy Relief/Power ON" celebration dinner party for my friends! We cooked together and made delicious foods. We talked about the past week being in NYC and shared each individual story of being in Sandy and the Black Out. All these stories are intriguing! The city has been a weird place to live in the past week.   A tale of 2 cities in One, New York Magazine has a perfect cover that shows that.

My friend Thomas and I went shopping for food at WholeFoods on Bowery street & Houston. To my surprise it wasn't that crowded. Most products were in stock, only there were no eggs left. (there were a few Organic egg whites by Organic Valley left though). Thomas was supposed to run his 9th marathon in NYC, but we all know what happened to the marathon (got cancelled).

With full bags of groceries to stock my back in power fridge again, we arrived home.

preparing foods
preparing foods...lots of fresh ingredients.

What was on the menu?

Lonneke cooking
Lonneke cooking

A delicious vegetarian meal! Amazing organic vegetable soup . Baguettes from the oven with organic tomatoes and garlic, an organic salad with Thomas' own dressing, roasted artichokes from the oven, Pasta with a tomato based sauce and as dessert a Dutch delicacy: Poffertjes! I brought the poffertjes mix all the way from Holland when I got back to NYC!

Delicous foods on the menu
Delicous foods on the menu

I will add the recipe as a separate post. Everyone loved the soup!

All my friends donated clothes to Glam4good, a charity started by stylist Mary Alice Stephenson. A firefighter friend of hers is collecting clothing for families in disaster areas of Rockaway Beach & Breezy Point. This way I know for sure our gently used garments will get to the families in need! Look at how many bags we got from just one dinner with 8 friends!

dishes and clothes
Lots of dishes to wash... but also lots of clothes for the ones in need!
garbage bags full of clothes
garbage bags full of clothes

We had a wonderful night.Thank you my friends for donating so much! Thomas Acda (donated running clothes) Munemi Imai (donated scarves, gloves. hats), Jackie Swerz (donated a bunch of designer clothing), George Vellonakis (donated many men's clothing) & Tina Louise (donated A LOT of clothes from her and her daughter). I am donating like 4 full bags of clothes on top of that.

if you want to donate yourself to Glam4Good see below!

Glam4good
Glam4good

Together we can help all these people get back on their feet. Every little thing helps!

Love, Lonneke

 

 


My dish today

Gomasio makes everything taste good!

Hi guys!

I am trying to eat better so I will get rid of my cold, and I just eat what is good for me. Really trying to eat perfect...

Sometimes that means I am eating something which is not the best tasting thing, or I am  not really craving it. Ok, I also prefer to eat chocolates and cookies all the time, but fact is that that is not that good for you. Duh. So we need to find ways to either cook food that tastes good without any additional sauces and condiments added, OR find a condiment which makes the food taste good but is not so unhealthy.

I like gomasio (or gomashio). It is used in the Asian (Macrobiotic) kitchen as a seasoning. Put on the table at dinnertime for anyone to just add how much they'd like, it is just a simple mix of sesame seeds and salt. And it makes everything taste so good!

Gomasio
Gomasio (Salt mixed with roasted sesame seeds)

Today I made a super simple dish, that maybe looks a bit gross, but that became really yummy with the mix of gomasio in it!

My dish today
lentils, butternutsquash stew and avocado with gomasio.

I cooked green lentils until they were soft, mixed it with simple butternut squash stew I cooked with thyme, salt, pepper and a bouillon cube. I added avocado and gomasio. So delishious!

Eden foods has a nice range of organic gomasio. Sold at Whole Foods too.

Eden Foods Gomasio
Eden Foods Gomasio

Eating well is all about being creative. Be your own chef. Try out foods. Sometimes you fail, but with gomasio you almost always succeed!

Love, Lonneke


Organic vs non-organic

Quick tip that I want to share with everyone, that I just find out.

When you buy your fruits and veggies at supermarket, they always have this little sticker with numbers on it. Do you know what it means?

Produce that comes from organic farms, have a sticker with five numbers long and always starts with number 9.

(See the pictures)

Organic vs non-organicOrganic vs non-organic

Produce that been treated with pesticides, have stickers with four number long, and always stars with number 4.

(Sorry, I don’t have non-organic fruits at home  to snap a picture of it)

Next time you go to supermarket, pay attention to it and you will see.

Have a great fruit and veggie shopping!

Love, Val

More information:

  • Organic foods are foods produced using methods which do not involve synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic products are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. Click here to read more.
  • In the United States, the National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework governing organic food. You should visit their website to learn more http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
  • Wikipedia offers also a list of countries with regulations on organic agriculture. It contains links to documents with the status of formal government-standards, regulations, and certification of organic farming and organic food.

Indian lentil soup

Indian lentil soup

Indian lentil soup
Indian lentil soup

I love cooking when the weather changes. I make simple stews, soups and casseroles mostly vegetarian, with the best organic ingredients!

This is one of my favorite simple recipes:

Lentils in stockpot
Lentils in stock pot
carrots
carrots
onion
onion

Indian lentil soup
A simple delicious warming soup

Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • 5 small chopped carrots
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 5 bay leaves
  • spoon of curry powder
  • parsley
  • seasalt
  • pepper
  • food grade argan oil or mild olive oil or any other oil you prefer.
  • 2 organic vegetarian bouillon cubes
  • water

Instructions
  1. For best results soak the lentils 12 hours in water, for better cooking and digestion.
  2. Rinse lentils.
  3. Put stock pot on stove, medium heat.
  4. Add 5 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils.
  5. Add the chopped carrots too.
  6. In another pan sauté the onions with a bit of food grade argan oil, or any other oil you prefer.
  7. Add the onions to stock pot when ready.
  8. Add the bay leaves, bouillon cubes and curry powder.
  9. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  10. Have soup on medium heat for an hour.
  11. Try the lentils to see if they are soft (if you have soaked them before they will be ready faster)
  12. Add parsley to garnish.


Check Out the Labels on Organic Products

If you would like to increase the likelihood that you are consuming genuine organic products, it is important to look at labels in the packaging before purchasing such products.  The United States federal legislation defines three levels of organic foods.  (1) Products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods may be labeled “100% organic.”  (2) Product with at least 95% organic ingredients may be labeled “organic” only.  Both of these categories may also display the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Seal, which is a circle with "USDA" in green on a white background, and "Organic" written below in white on a green background.  (3) Products that contain a minimum of 70% organic ingredients may be labeled “made with organic ingredients,” but may not display the USDA Organic seal.  Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients cannot be advertised as "organic," but can list individual ingredients that are organic as such in the product's ingredient statement.  Products may also display the logo of the certification body that approved them.  As for livestock products, such as meat and eggs, there are other voluntary labels.  For example, “free-range” indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material.  “Cage-free” indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.  “Natural” indicates that that the meat, poultry, and egg products are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.  “Grass-fed” animals receive a majority of their nutrients from grass throughout their life, while organic animals’ pasture diet may be supplemented with grain.  Take note that the grass-fed label does not limit the use of antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides. Meat products may be labeled as grass-fed organic.  If you are not already doing so, next time you go shopping for organic products, look out for the USDA Organic Seal to increase the chance that you are actually buying and eating genuine organic products as growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels.