26 March 2012


So. Daylight Saving Time. It's been two days and, surprisingly, it doesn't feel that bad this year. I don't have any problems getting up at my normal time (i.e. an hour earlier) and am extremly pleased to have one more hour of daylight in the evening.
I am, however, feeling a little drowsy, but that's propably just due to the spring fever I suffer from every year.

As I already mentioned at some point, every spring I get real cravings for healthy stuff. For me, the start of spring is a far better time for new resolutions like eating healthy and working out than New Year's Day is. In spring, all of nature starts anew, so why shouldn't I, too? And this year, something very weird happened: I felt like doing some exercise. Not only a bit from time to time, but some real exercise. Regularily. And so, after increasing the number of stretching exercises I do in the morning wasn't enough, I started to go jogging. Yes, jogging. Me. The propably least athletic person on earth. And guess what: It's great! I don't manage more than 20-30 minutes at the moment because I'm utterly and completely out of shape but I enjoy it a lot. You just wait, in a few months I'll be as fit as a fiddle.
I also decided to change my meal plan a bit. From now on, it's less wheat, less dairy, less chocolate, less sugar, less bread. More fruit, more veggies, more healthy grains, more water, more tea. I'm not talking about a diet here. Diets are pointless, joyless, and also very, very bad for you. Plus I'd never be able to go one day without even a bit of chocolate or a healthy glug of maple syrup (not straight, of course). I'm simply aiming to reduce my intake of unhealthy, fattening foods like processed wheat and sugar, and, at the same time, spending a little more time outside and exercising. I'm quite a healthy eater but my aversion to physical exercise and my fondness of chocolate, cookies, and cakes make me very prone to blow up like a balloon, especially in winter. But if my new love for jogging continues, the lack of physical exercise should no longer be a problem. Now we just have to wait and see if I can keep this up for more than a few weeks. I think there's a real chance this time.

Now for the food. Let's begin with breakfast: How about starting the morning off with a smoothie? No, not those sweet, pseudo-healthy thingies from Starbucks. I'm talking good stuff here. Not just fruits but also spinach, celery, carrots. It's delicious. No, really. Don't believe me? Try it yourself! Basically, you can throw any fruit or vegetable you like into the mix but I just thought some colour-themed smoothies would be neat. Plus they're prettier. One of my favourite monsters is a strawberry-banana-apple-spinach combination which tastes fantastic but looks more like mud than anything else. (Actually, it mostly looks like something someone threw up, but that's really not the appropriate imagery for a food blog).

My monsters vary daily, depending on what I feel like and what's in my fridge. They always contain lemon juice (because of the vitamins and because I love the acidic flavour), though, and flax seeds. Flax seeds are extremely healthy. They have a deliciously nutty flavour, contain an obscenely large amount of nutritients (they carry one of the biggest nutritional payloads on earth!), and are very low carb. Here are just a few of the nutritients contained in 100 g flax seed (the percentages are relative to the recommended daily allowance): Vitamin B1 (143 %), vitamin B6 (36%), calcium (26%), iron (44%), magnesium (110%), phosphorus (92%), zinc (46%). And the little fat they contain is mostly omega-3 fatty acid. That's right. They're practically magic. If you don't want to put them into your drink, you can also add them to your cereal. Just make sure you soak them in water first or drink plenty of liquid because they soak up a lot. When flax seeds comes into contact with water they don't only soak it up but also develop some sort of mucilage. It looks a bit disgusting at first but feels very nice in your stomach and is oh-so-good for you.

One note of caution, though: If you are a "flax seed beginner", don't eat too much of them. They've got such a big fiber load that your body might not be able to take it at first and start cramping. So go slow at first and then increase.

Glorification sermon on flax seed over. Go back to your lives.

The Red Monster

4 strawberries
1/2 apple
125 ml/0.5 cups beetroot juice
125 ml/0.5 cups water
20 g/1 oz flax seeds
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
Juice from half a lemon

In a blender, mix flax seeds, water, and juices. Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. You may need to add a bit more water depending on whether you want your monster thick or a bit more runny.

The Green Monster

50 g spinach, fresh or defrosted
1/4 avocado
1 celery stalk
1 banana
20 g/1 oz flax seeds
250-500 ml/1-2 cups water 
Juice from half a lemon

Put the flax seeds in your blender, pour 250 ml water on top and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. When the seeds have soaked up all the water, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add a little more water if desired.

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