Category Archives: Inspiration

FOODS and some basic truths

Truth number one: EAT CLEAN. This means:

  • foodCook from raw materials (saves you a ton of money 🙂 )
  • Don’t eat prefabricated stuff
  • Stay away from anything that is not natural; fake sugars, weird taste-enhancers, low-fat and/or manipulated dairy-products (milk that lasts forever…), margarine, manipulated vegetable oil (usually called cooking or frying oil).
  • Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks
  • Don’t eat anything that has a number or a coded name; if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
  • Be careful with your intake of sugars and salt.
  • DO eat; protein, carbohydrates and fat…Real fat, like vegetable oils, butter and cream (if you do dairy).

I have found that when I eat the way my body dictates I am fine. I need to be careful with too much carbs such as flour, bread and pasta and I don’t handle sugar well. I can’t eat many little meals in a day and I need 1-2 days/week without food to stay in balance. For the rest, I’m good. Listening to your body is do-able if your basic diet is clean (see above). If not, you are a food-junkie and your body will be crying for sugars, carbs, manipulated fats and weird taste-enhancers. Then you can’t trust your body so start by cleaning up. An excellent (and easy) way to do that is with the new_elimination_diet_coverELIMINATION DIET from Dax Moy. It is free and you can find it HERE. (and you won’t have to be hungry or calory-count) Trust me, I did it. That’s how I found out that I can’t handle carbs. (While you’re at it, check out Dax Moy’s blog)

Now to the amazing research that has come up: If you fast 2 days/week you get healthier! You lose weight, your “bad” cholesterol goes down as does glucose. And here is the bonus: Your brain stays fitter and produces new brain cells continuously which lowers risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your body actually stays “younger” and healthier, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Check out the research of Luigi Fontana, Valter Longo and Krista Varady Personally I don’t agree with Krista Varaday about eating any crap on “feed-days”, I think you do your body a dis-favour. The basic of all eating is keeping it clean and natural.

My conclusion?  Going back to the times of our origins: Food was not always easy to come by and I truly think we are biological creatures, little changed physically from those ancient times. We are not made to constantly eat, nor are we made to deal with refined sugars or to eat meat every day or even every 2nd or 3rd day, it is a “sometimes-boost”. Our bodies like carbs in the form of nuts and grains. I also believe that we all have different rhythms, needs and patterns. I am not saying that my way is the right way for everybody, just that it works for me. And that makes me believe that if you find what works for you, you will be healthier and stronger as well. And remember; whatever food habits you have are probably set already from childhood, so if you are a parent, pay attention to what you feed your kids.

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Make appointments with yourself

lukta blommaThis is something I learned the hard way; after years of having my calendar solidly booked, day in and day out in a most merciless way, I crashed. I didn’t notice it coming, one day it was just there; a complete and utter emptiness in myself. Between running a company, caring for 4 children and a small homestead I had forgotten myself. I wasn’t suffering, not at all. I was enjoying being busy. It wasn’t dramatic in any way, my head just went blank, that’s all, and blank it stayed. I rearranged my calendar, cut down on my bookings and took a long hard look at my priorities: “What is the most important thing to me right now?” The answer was “my family”. Not me, which I seemed to have lost along the way, or my work but my children. And I realized that “me” was also my children, having time to grow with them, they were the one thing that could not wait and the only way I could be the best mother possible was by taking care of myself.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI started writing myself into the calendar; riding, baking, sewing…with the children. Such happy times and it didn’t matter that my head was blank, it just made it so much better. It was hard, at first, to say “I am busy” since I considered only work as being “busy”. My booked time for hanging out in the field watching ponies didn’t feel like a good enough excuse to not work, and I felt like a cheat. But I got over it. I didn’t leave empty spaces in my calendar because I would have booked them for work. No, I painstakingly wrote my diverse activities in there, just to block the space and make sure that I stayed as true to myself as to my clients. I learned more about myself and how we function as human beings during that time than ever before.

rida merlinNow my children are all adults, my work is my passion and I can spend time doing just that; my work. I still book my private down-time in my calendar and stick to it even though I sometimes might be tempted to put myself in second place. I have learned that the more I care for myself, the better I can care for my work. You can only give so much without becoming lousy for your passion; be it your family or your work. So do it, book that bath, movie-time, hack, pottering in the garden, staring at the sky…all the things that make you happy and you’ll be the best thing that ever happened to yourself and others.

TUBEROSE – queen of forbidden pleasures

Polianthes tuberosa

Polianthes tuberosa

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Its native name Omixochitl means bone flower and was widely used by the Aztecs 600 years ago for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Maybe they also used it in their chocolate for its heady and sensual effects? Mmmm, chocolate for lovers…

When first brought to Europe it was cultivated in Grasse for use in perfumery, now it is mainly cultivated in Morocco, China, South Africa, France, Comoros Islands and India. The clusters of flowers grow on a 50 cm high stalk. This is a night-blooming flower which is harvested early in the morning when the buds are closed. The flower gives off its scent over a long time, when cut and put in a room they will scent the entire room. The best way to extract the scent is by enfleurage which is the most time-consuming way of extraction but gives the truest scent. Another, more commonly used method is solvent extraction which gives an absolute. It takes 1 200 kg of flower buds to get 200 grams of absolute, making tuberose one of the most expensive scents.350px-Polianthes_tuberosa

The scent of Tuberose is extremely complex and changes over time; a cut flower will change its scent from sweetly floral with slight campherous notes to earthy and musky notes as the flower matures and finally the scent turns to rot and bloody meat as the flower turns brown and dies.  This dramatic change, thankfully, does not happen with the absolute 🙂 The absolute has a strong heady, sweet floral scent with a musky undertone. It is deeply sensual, relaxing, narcotic and exciting. The scent is considered to enhance emotional strength and depth by centering the mind, bringing peace and serenity. Its exciting and sensual properties makes it an aphrodisiac.

"Innocence" by Arthur hacker (1858-1919)

“Innocence” by Arthur hacker (1858-1919)

During the renaissance, young unmarried women were forbidden to walk in the gardens of tuberose as it was believed that the scent of the flowers would arouse their passions and give them instant orgasms. Women put tuberose flowers under their skirts to attract and seduce men.

What you readers seem to like

"A Girl Reading" Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“A Girl Reading” Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1891

Over the last weeks, when I haven’t been writing so much, I have tried to get a handle on what you guys like to read about. Lately it is mostly Essential oil profiles and skin care, so that is what I will be concentrating on for a while. This fits beautifully since I am working intensely with EO’s in different ways at the moment. As I have mentioned before, I write about the stuff I am working with, or on, at the moment and interestingly enough it seems to fit with what you want to read about. So stay tuned for my next post.

Healing scents of nature

I found this article in “The Atlantic Cities”

The Smell of Nature Is Almost As Good As the Real Thing, As Far As Our Brains Are Concerned

  • Bonnie Tsui
  • Mar 07, 2013
The Smell of Nature Is Almost As Good As the Real Thing, As Far As Our Brains Are Concerned
Shutterstock

Researchers have been racking up evidence that when you can’t take a break and get into nature itself, looking at photos of it relaxes our brains in a similar way. Now, scientists in Tokyo are building a case that smelling nature — the bracing scent of forest pine or cypress, for instance — lowers our blood pressure dramatically and increases anti-cancer molecules in our bloodstreams.

For the past eight years, Qing Li, an immunologist in the department of hygiene and public health at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School, has been studying phytoncides, the essential oils and aerosols emitted by plants and trees, and their salutary effects on the human body. Studies had shown that nature visits reduce stress on the nervous system, overloaded as it is in the modern urban environment with its dense living conditions, industrial-grade fumes, and honking horns. Li’s early work showed that walks in the woods boosted natural killer immune cells that helped fight infection and cancer; eventually, he came to suspect that it was the natural scents of evergreens and other trees that did the bulk of the work.

While testing his theory — by sequestering subjects in hotel rooms, some with the benefit of cypress aromatherapy, some without; those who sniffed the phytoncides experienced significant drops in stress hormones and boosted immune cell activity — Li and others founded a Japanese organization to study forest medicine more formally. A few years later, it went global as the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine; last year, it held its first international symposium on the research and trends on forest therapy worldwide. Following the lead of the Japanese in using phytoncide therapy and other facets of “forest bathing” to boost health are the Finns — led by Liisa Tyrväinen, the Finnish Forest Research Institute is conducting a multi-year research program on forests and human well-being — and the South Koreans, who are opening a new $140 million National Forest Therapy Center in 2014. The wisdom is old: get outside when you can; when you’re stressed, aromatherapy can help. But now the hard science is finally backing it up.

Top image: Pakhnyushcha/Shutterstock.com

TOUCH

I am sorry I haven’t written for some time. It has been a time of retreat and contemplation for me. Here is something I found that filled me with so much love. Until I have overcome my writer’s block I want to share this with you.

Happy New Year!

fireworksWhen I was a child, or even a young woman, everything took time. Television was channel 1 and, great luxury, channel 2! Phoning was expensive and kept to a minimum. We wrote letters which traveled for days and responses were not expected to be fast. As a child, if you were separated from a friend for too long of time or distance, you were lost to each other.
Having pen-pals in other countries was a huge thing and I used to read the ads in kiddie-magazines. Traveling took time; when we moved to Sweden from Japan the travel took 36 hours. Did you know there used to be bunk-beds on the long flight planes back in the days when they were still propeller-driven? That’s luxury!

Since I started writing this blog in June 2009 I have readers in 189 countries (according to the US there are 195 countries in the world). Do you realize how impossible even the idea of this would have been when I was 5, 15, 20, 30 years old…

Seeing as it´s possible to reach the whole world from my writing place, wherever it is, I am aiming for at least one reader in every country in the world. That would be seriously cool,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!