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live life healthy and happy

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Carrots are not just orange – who would have thought…

I love walking through the farmers’ market. I love seeing the beautiful colored fruit and vegetables.

But I didn’t expect to see this:

colored-carrotsMaybe I lived a very sheltered life, sheltered of colorful food.

But I seriously didn’t know that carrots come in any other color than orange.

I have the Dutch to blame for this. Allegedly, when carrots where cultivated in the 1700s, the Dutch were the forerunners of cultivating carrots in the Western world and – by no surprise really – they cultivated orange carrots and left out all other carrots. This was as a tribute to William of Orange who led the Netherlands’s struggle for independence. The yellow, white and purple carrot’s future was doomed. You can find out more about the history of carrots in the World Carrot Museum – oh yes, that’s a real thing!

Now you say, “ok, I want to know how the colored carrots taste“. I am glad you asked!

Colored carrot tasting

White – same texture and crunchiness, a little more bland in taste.

Yellow – same texture and crunchiness, more “carrot” taste than the white ones.

Purple – come in 2 kinds: white inside: taste like the white ones; orange inside: taste like orange carrots.

Orange – you know how they taste.

If you get the chance, go and taste the rainbow colors of carrots!



Healing foods for a broken bone

There is one thing that I really wish the doctors would have given me advice on when they put my broken foot in a boot.

What can I do to support the healing of my broken foot?

Unfortunately, the doctors didn’t provide me with any advice on best behavior for a broken foot. They didn’t tell me whether to rest completely or exercise a little. They didn’t tell me whether physiotherapy may help or not. They didn’t tell me how to adjust my nutrition to support the healing process. This has been bothering me from my first encounter with A&E. So I did some research.

A lot of the right behavior depends on the way the foot is broken, so other than my doctors no one could (or should) really given me any advise on resting, exercising, etc. But the right nutrition to support bone healing is probably less dependent on the exact nature of the break.

Here is some information that I found. Some of it may be self-explanatory for the nutrient-wise, but not all of us are nutrient-wise when it comes to broken bones…


Protein – to support the healing process and reduce further bone loss

  • milk, yogurt, cheese, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, almonds, quinoa, vegetables

milk-orangesCalcium – important for bone strength

  • broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kale, milk, yogurt, cheese

Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K – for bone growth, bone formation and regulating blood clotting

  • oranges, broccoli, salmon, tuna, mackerel, fish oil, red bell peppers, strawberries, brussels sprouts.

Natural anti-inflammatory nutrients – to reduce pain and promote the formation of new connective tissue called bone collagen

  • citrus fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, whole grains

SKIM MILK, YOGURT, BROCCOLI, FISH and ORANGES seem to be some of the best foods to eat for healing broken bones.


Stop eating foods containing ingredients that either inhibit calcium absorption or increase calcium loss:

whole milk dairy products

red meat

processed foods


carbonated beverages



Here are some of my sources:


My local health food store

I walked to my local health food store yesterday to buy some great real foods. What I found outside was boards with listings of New Year’s Resolutions. I thought that was a nice touch by my local store.

Here is what they are suggesting:

Eat food grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

Cook from scratch.

Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored or stressed.

Don’t eat food if you can’t pronounce the ingredients list.

This is my favorite:

Eat food that you can picture in its raw state growing in nature.

Keep eating healthy!

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Eating my way through Austin, Texas

I used to live in Austin, Texas. So every time I visit now, I want to eat at all my favorite places. I usually don’t get to hit up all places. This time though I managed to get to quite a few.

Mighty Fine – I actually don’t go for the burgers (don’t tell my friends!), I love the fries and their shakes!

Chuy’s – You can’t not go to Chuy’s while you are in Austin. That just would be wrong on all different kind of levels. So I went twice, You can’t beat the Chick Chicka Boom Boom. And don’t forget to order the creamy jalapeno dip with your chips.

kerby lane pumpkin pancakes

I couldn’t finish my pumpkin pancakes at Kerby Lane’s.

Kerby Lane – Breakfast at Kerby Lane’s and right in time for my favorite pancake season: pumpkin pancakes.

Amy’s ice-cream – I am not a big fan of vanilla ice-cream, too boring really. But the Mexican vanilla ice-cream at Amy’s makes a vanilla ice-cream lover out of me.

Whole Foods – Their salad and other food bars are just amazing. The one in London is trying to, but is just not getting there. So I got my fix here.

Cafe Mozart – On Lake Austin. I love the coffee and the atmosphere. It’s always full of people reading, chatting, studying. I think this would be a great place to write a novel.

El Arroyo – They nearly freaked me out. New menu and my favorite wasn’t on it. But as I asked about their BBQ Chicken Quesadilla they were happy to make them, being on the menu or not.

Rudys BBQ spicy chopped beef breakfast tacos

Yummy! Spicy chopped beef breakfast tacos at Rudy’s BBQ

Rudy’s BBQ – I couldn’t leave Austin without having my very favorite breakfast tacos: spicy chopped beef tacos. Yummy!

I missed out on a few other favorite places, but I am happy to have gotten to all of these in just over a week. 🙂 Of course, I am about 5 pounds heavier now. LOL. And of course, my healthy eating plan was suspended for my time in Austin! Though I discovered flavored oatmeal and brought back a whole bunch of them.

Happy eating!

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My new favorite breakfast

I discovered my new favorite breakfast granola: Coconut Chia Granola.

It’s so yummy and refreshing in the morning with some yogurt and banana. That’s how every day should start. Now I need to find a way to smuggle loads back to London or to find a place in London that may sell this brand. Yummy yummy yummy.

Happy Friday!

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The Price of going Organic

Here is the old argument why people chose, NOT to eat organic: it’s expensive. More expensive than eating conventionally grown food.

I disagree.

3 weeks ago I embarked on a renewed healthy living journey. This time with much more rigor and boldness than ever before. In my recent post on making healthy choices, I commented on that I am going to eat organic food wherever and whenever possible.

I found that I have been spending much less money on my food since. First of all, I am not buying any unhealthy snacks anymore, that, of course, makes a huge difference. But what I found more surprising is that I am actually spending less money on produce. I used to buy pre-packaged vegetables and fruit  as the supermarket didn’t offer lose produce. Often, I found that these packages were too much for me. Food spoiled and I had to throw it away.

Now I go to a whole foods store that sells organic produce lose. I can now buy only 3 tomatoes if that’s all I need or 2 apples. Since embarking on this healthful journey, I haven’t thrown any food away, nothing has spoiled. And I am spending less money.

I would go with one exception. Meat is more expensive, but I noticed it tastes better (or maybe that’s just my mind playing tricks on me, but it works either way!).

The other point of healthful organic living is avoidance of poisonous chemicals.

Think of all the pesticides and fertilizers found in conventionally grown food,  think of growth hormones, antibiotics, anti-parasite drugs found in animal products. Isn’t avoiding them worth any effort you make in healthful living?

Instead of talking about the price of going organic we should really discuss the cost of NOT going organic. That’s the thought I would like to leave you with today!

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Making healthy choices – 6 healthful habits

A healthful diet starts with making healthy choices every day.

The questions I had to ask myself in order to break my habits were the following:

  1. How does your breakfast look like? Your lunch? Your dinner?
  2. Are you getting enough protein, the right carbs and the right fats in your main meals?
  3. What kind of snacks do you eat?
  4. What happens when you get home late, you are really tired and hungry?


These were fundamental questions that I had to answer first to move to being able to make better choices.

I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Looking at it closely though, I noticed they were too high in carbs (lots of bread), too low in protein and to few veggies and fruit. I managed about 3-4 portions of veggies and fruit each day. Not too bad, but not great either.

Snacks was another culprit of mine. I indulged in chocolate and salty snacks. Though there are some merits in eating a little dark chocolate, I ate way too much.

Then came the worst of my offenders: coming home late, tired and hungry. I would opt for comfort food: pizza, sandwich, anything that didn’t involve much cooking activity.

Looking at my behavior, I realized there is lots of room for improvement. I didn’t want to go on a full blown restrictive diet. My goal was – and still is – finding a way to eat healthy for the rest of my live. Really, finding a better relationship with food. I came up with the following 6 habits I wanted to change:

  1. cut down on unrefined carbs. No more bread!
  2. eat organic wherever possible – fruit, veggies and meat.
  3. eat LOTS of fruit and vegetable. Go for 7 a day!
  4. use nuts and fruit as snacks.
  5. don’t eat any processed food. Yes, this includes pizza!
  6. only eat lean meats.


If you are looking to change your eating habits to more healthful habits, have a look what you are eating now. Keep a food diary and answer the above 4 questions. Be honest to yourself!