Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Truth

I will only leave you guys with a link today, as this is an awesome article that almost says it all. Read it and learn.

Quantum Biology

Taken from Kris Carr's website, crazysexylife

<3 anna

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter food 3: Pasha

Caution: hideous amounts of dairy involved so skip this post if you avoid dairy!

This is actually my favourite easter food (apart from the obvious chocolate, but since that's eaten outside of the easter times it doesn't count). I've never made it before and have always thought it's really difficult to make since you need all sorts of things that sounded too inconvenient. Well yesterday I proved myself wrong because it actually turned out to be really easy, just as most things I try seem to be :) And it is by far the best-tasting pasha I've ever had. So here is my recipe for this Russian easter dessert:

Pasha for 8

500 g organic quark
4 dl organic whipping cream
200 g organic butter
1-2 dl palm sugar/honey/agave syrup
2 egg yolks
the juice of 1 lemon
the grated peel of 1 orange
1 dl crushed organic almonds
1dl mixed dried organic fruits
3 tsp organic natural vanilla
a pinch of quality salt
some raisins or other fruits for decoration

a thin tea towel or a cloth meant for cooking
a strainer

1. Let the butter soften in room temperature for a while. Then mix the soft butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. Add the content of one bowl to the other and throw in the rest of the ingredients too. Mix until homogenous.

2. Line a strainer with thin cloth, put the strainer in a bowl so that a little space is left at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the pasha mixture in the clothed strainer and cover with a plate turned up-side-down. Put in the fridge to strain over night.

3. The next day, take hold of the strainer and the plate (leaving the bowl) and turn the whole thing around so that the plate is now the right way up and the pasha is neatly on top. Remove the strainer and the cloth and your pasha is done! If you want you can decorate it with some imaginative designs :)

Happy easter!


Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter food 1: Karjalanpiirakka

Karjalanpiirakkas (Karelian pastries) are Finnish pastry kind of things that we like to eat. They're traditionally made with buckwheat flour although nowadays people tend to use rye or even wheat. They are eaten with a kind of egg butter on top, which really tops them off. The pastries are really easy to make although it takes a while, and I think they're delicious. A friend of mine just asked me for the recipe because she thought she might make them for easter. I don't think they're a typical easter food, but I do think they suit the occasion, considering especially that they involve eggs. So here's what you need if you want to try them out:

For the filling (rice porridge):

1 litre milk (raw & organic, or nut or seed milk if you avoid dairy)
2 dl water
2 dl organic porridge rice or risotto rice
1,5 tsp quality salt

For the dough:

ca 4 dl organic buckwheat flour (you can also use rye)
2 dl water
1,5 tsp quality salt
1 tbsp quality oil

plus some butter to put on top

before going into the oven

1. Make the rice porridge by putting the water to boil and then adding the rice. Let it simmer until the rice has soaked up the water. Then, begin adding the milk, little by little, while the rice soaks it. This will take almost an hour. Add the salt. Let the porridge cool down when it's done.

2. Make the dough by mixing all the ingredients together. Form into a ball and put in the fridge for a while.

3. Divide the dough into as many parts as you want (depending on which size pastries you want to make) and start rolling each piece into thin circular shapes with a rolling pin. For this you will need more flour to keep the dough from sticking to the table or the rolling pin.

4. Start adding scoops of cold porridge on the flat pastries and "wrinkle" the sides of the pastry up with your fingers. Put a knob of butter on each.

5. The oven should be on 250 °C. Put the pastries on a baking sheet and bake for ca 15 minutes, or until the rice filling is a little coloured.

as a side dish at dinner

And for the egg butter to use as a spread on top:

Boil ca 4 eggs. Brake them with a fork in a bowl, adding butter (ca 100g), salt and a lot of chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Hope you like them! More easterish recipes will follow soon (as soon as I prepare something), and next time they will be sweet.

<3 Emma

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Yoga by Rachel

This is an interview with Rachel, one of my teachers during my 4 weeks here at Samahita. She's a really good teacher and she has helped me to understand many things about yoga.

How and when did you get into yoga?

I first started when I was a child, I used to do the headstand for long periods of time, although I didn't know it was yoga at the time. My mother didn't really stop me. Then I didn't do yoga again until I was at a friend's party in France where a friend was teaching partner yoga. So we were helping each other into these postures, and it was just lovely. And after that I started to go to classes in London. This was around 1999. I decided to become a teacher in 2005 after I did my teacher's training. Before that becoming a yoga teacher was a dream I had, maybe from the first time I went to a yoga class. But I knew I had a long way to go.

Do you think everyone should practice yoga?

Yoga has many forms so the physical postures is just one aspect. I think everyone can benefit from those, but also from the other limbs of yoga. The asana is more physical, but there are also less physical aspects, such as meditation. And also the state of yoga is something that I think people experience whether or not they practice the postures. So yes, I think everyone should get to experience the state of yoga.

Do you teach different people in different ways?

Yes. I love teaching people individually because I think we are very different, physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. I enjoy finding the approach that works for each person.

What does yoga mean to you?

I think it means a state of being connected to your higher self. And experiencing every moment with awareness. And it doesn't necessary have to mean practicing postures, although it does help.

What is the most important thing to remember when practicing yoga?

You can only ever be where you are. And if you let that happen, self-acceptance comes and true progression arises.

Do you have some tips for someone who is just beginning?

Find a good teacher! To begin with, a good place to start is at the beginning, take a beginner's course.

How important do you consider the mantras?

They are only important if they are said with intention and meaning. I think that if you don't really connect with them or have a real aversion to them, they're not completely necessary. I think you can still have the intention in your heart without saying the mantras, but they do help. And they're said to be more powerful when you say them in your mind. That's what I tend to do when I'm practicing asana.

Can there be yoga without pranayama (breathwork)?

Yes. Other styles of yoga, such as Iyengar don't focus on the pranayama. But Ashtanga does. They both lead you to the same place, just using a different approach. Ashtanga should definitely be done with the breath, otherwise it can be a little bit harmful and cause strain on the body and mind.

Give 3 examples of how yoga can help us.

It can help you become more self-aware. And more flexible and strong and healthy. And it helps you become more calm and to let go of stress.

Thank you Rachel!



Friday, 16 March 2012

My yoga

Since my one month yoga holiday is soon reaching its end I want to talk a little about yoga. I could write about the philosophy behind yoga, or about the rules and guidelines, but you can probably find all that on some really good webpage if you're interested. Plus, it wouldn't really be yoga from my point of view, from my own experience. So I decided to write about what it all means to me, what is my yoga?

I'm quite new to yoga, and it's only during the past few weeks that I've begun doing my own practice, instead of a lead class. Mysore is the word used in Ashtanga for self-practice. This means that a teacher is present, but they only assist you where required, and give you new asanas (postures) when they see you are ready to go deeper into your practice. Before I started doing the mysore I went to lead classes, during the first 2 weeks here. This gave me a really good base, kind of a stand on which I could learn to balance. I learned the basic asanas and began to remember the sequence by heart. But it was not until I started the mysore that I learned what yoga could be, for me. During my first own practice I already realised that yoga will teach me more about my body than I could have known. It felt like I was only getting to know my body, from the start. I was so happy when I realised this, it felt like I suddenly started a new friendship, with my own body. Then on the second day I realised how stiff I was. I could feel blocks in my body, remnants of emotional traumas and behavioural patterns. I was disappointed at how strong these barriers inside me seemed to be, and I knew I had a long way to go to unlock them. But I also noticed how I had already begun the process of opening them. I felt emotions rise to the surface only from doing that physical practice. A huge relief came over me, it felt like I was releasing emotional strains that I didn't know I had. And simultaneously I feel that my whole body is gradually changing. I feel taller and stronger, and just more in touch with my body. I also feel a sort of calmness, especially right after each practice. That particular feeling could be enough of a reason to continue doing yoga when I go back home.

I know that this process is only in the very beginning, the experience is only starting. Realising this, I see a glimpse of what yoga can give me. It's incredible how they knew thousands of years ago exactly how I should use my body. I have no doubt that everyone can benefit from yoga.

I'll soon post an interview that I did with one of my teachers here, to give you an idea of what yoga is for someone who is much more experienced than me.



Monday, 5 March 2012

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

I went into work for a free breakfast today, and while eating, I was browsing through today's paper. I came across some statistics about what Australian school kids know (or don't know as it turns out) about where food comes from etc. I will post a picture of it below. Anyways, this is all insanely appalling to me. Seriously, how can you think yoghurt comes from a plant? It's so sad because there's no way you could ever expect these kids to make smart choices about food since they don't even know what it is. It just goes to show that, again, the root of the problem is lack of knowledge. It is so important that kids are taught where their food comes from, and what it actually is they are eating. I'm getting so annoyed and sad by this so I won't write any more about it. But people, talk about food, show interest in it, find out what it is you are putting in your body, choose that which is best for you and our planet, treat yourselves with love and pass that mentality on to your children!
I will be back with something nicer next time.

apologies for the poor quality of the picture.

<3 Anna

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I'll tell you more about my yoga holiday soon, but before that you can enjoy this video (without thinking I'm anywhere near that kind of a level).



Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bananas About Pancakes

Something I have been almost overdosing on here in Australia is bananas. They are cheap, super good, and tend to keep you full longer than any other fruit. Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and also contain some vitamin C, manganese and potassium. I think not a day has gone by so far that I haven't had at least one banana. When you eat them this much, you really want to change things up every once in a while. Now, as it happens, I was in Indonesia last year for a month, and had banana pancakes for breakfast quite a lot during that time. Nowadays, when I don't really want to have anything to do with wheat, and try to avoid a lot of other cereals as well, I haven't had any banana pancakes in a long time. That is, until I discovered how to make a cereal-free version. Oh happy day! 
So what you need for about 2 pancakes is as follows:
1 banana
4 eggs (two with yolk, and two without)
olive oil

Simply mash the banana, add the eggs, cinnamon and salt, blend, and fry them all up, using the olive oil (or any other vegetable oil you might prefer)
Remember to use 100% organic cruelty free eggs!

A simple yet delicious breakfast for lazy mornings!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sunshine preparations

I told you before that I would talk more about sun exposure, so here it goes! On Monday I am off to Thailand and for about 3 weeks I've been preparing myself for a month in the sun without sun screen. The thing is, we don't really need sun screen, and we're actually much better off without it. Here's why. Firstly, sun screens block the sun's UVB rays, which are essential for our bodies' production of vitamin D. So even if we spend 12 hours a day in the sun, we still don't get any vitamin D if we use sun screen as a block. Secondly, sun lotions are packed with nasty ingredients, and it has even been shown that they increase the risk of skin cancer, which is the complete opposite to what they're claiming to do. Many of these lotions contain substances which, when exposed to the sun, become highly carcinogenic and thus cancer-producing. Plus of course all the other toxic ingredients found in any non-organic skincare.

Read this article for more information:

To prevent our skin from burning in the sun, there are various natural methods we can use. Many natural fats make excellent sun lotions. Today I made my own sun lotion, which is nothing less than superfood for the skin. Here's what I put in it:

Organic Jojoba oil

Organic virgin coconut oil

Organic cacao butter

Organic shea butter (with honey & black seed oil for a lovely smell)

I'm not sure about the amounts, but this is the order (highest amount first):

1. Coconut oil
2. Cacao butter
3. Shea butter
4. Jojoba oil

In addition to a good sun lotion, which is applied externally, there are a few ways to internally prepare our bodies for the sun. The best way is by eating antioxidants because they counteract the activities of free radicals, which are the cause of sun damage. I told you about my juicing in the previous post. Carrots are especially good because they contain the antioxidant betacarotene, which prevents the skin from being burnt by the sun. Celery is also great because it promotes the production of collagen in our bodies, and thus quickens skin renewal. In addition to food, there are some supplements we can take in order to minimise the risk of getting burnt by the sun. Astaxanthine is basically the red colour found in algae and some fish, and taken as a supplement is one of the most effective ways to prevent us form sun damage. Lycopene is another antioxidant which can be taken as a supplement and is also red in colour. It is found in some red vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, papaya and watermelon. Lycopene has been proven to have anti-cancer properties and is very powerful in fighting the oxygen produced on the skin during sun exposure (free radicals).

That's it for my part, hope you find these tips useful. Remember that carrots should be eaten for at least 2 moths before sun exposure, and astaxanthine and lycopene should also be taken from a few weeks before going to the tropics, and the use should be continued throughout the trip. Basically, eating all this throughout the year is not a bad idea :)

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my trip. I'm going for a 1 month yoga holiday, with yoga practice twice a day, 6 days a week. I can't wait! I'm taking my laptop with me so you'll probably get some news from over there at some point, probably yoga-related news ;)

Lots of love and happiness,


Friday, 3 February 2012

Aussie Observations

Hello all, I have been absent for a while, my apologies. I am now in Australia, and have been here for a month today actually. I will update every once in a while about what I see and eat here.

What people seem to eat most of here would be junk food, in all forms. Chips, crisps, hamburgers, fried chicken, meat in all possible ways, chocolate, ice cream... The list is never-ending. One thing that I find extremely annoying is that they don't really seem to have understood that you can actually make smoothies without dairy or sugar. I tried asking for one made with soy milk (which is definitely not ideal, but still) and what I got was a yellow sugary mass I had to struggle really hard to finish. I'm really missing my favorite smoothie bar in Finland at the moment. I have to admit, I have definitely not been good about my eating here, but I'm improving every day. The one thing that is huge here is juices, you can get freshly squeezed juices pretty much anywhere, so that's a definite plus. Superfoods are definitely not as visible here as they are in Finland, but there are some awesome places for that too, I will be back with reviews at a later point. Everything is pretty expensive here, I thought Finland was expensive, but this does seem to be a bit worse. What I'm struggling with most is to find something healthy and cheap to have for breakfast. At the moment I start my days with muesli, some fruit and almond milk with a cup or two of green tea. I would like to get rid of the muesli, I will see what I come up with. I'm gonna try a banana pancake recipe soon, will get back with details on how it went!

Below is a pic of my very first meal in Australia, buckwheat blueberry pancakes with berries, mango and organic mashed apples.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Canned Dreams

Canned Dreams | Trailer from OktoberFi on Vimeo.

When shopping for food people often complain about the high prices. But have you ever wondered how a can of ravioli can cost 1 euro? If you look at the list of ingredients and the metal used for the can, how can all that be worth so little? This film shows the journey of the ravioli can, and it shows you the sacrifices made in order for you to be able to complain that 1 euro is too much. I saw the film today in the cinema where I work, and I realised it is the answer to the questions of all those people I know who wonder about my strange eating habits. Why do I choose organic? Why do I choose local? Why do I skip prepared and canned food? And why don't I eat meat? Watch this and you will know. I cried because of the cruelty of this world that we call civilisation. And I cried because those animals reproduce, because their sole purpose is to exist for us to walk over them. The Polish guy who murders cows for work, he who is describing how he wants to kill the man his wife fell in love with while he himself was sleeping with another woman; if he worked on a small biodynamic farm, planting beautiful flowers, I hardly think he would like to kill anyone. But there is no use blaming the workers, or even the corporate executives and owners. It is us who are to blame. Us, who buy these products which can hardly be called food. We make all this possible. A complete reconfiguration of values is needed. Next time you think real, organic, natural, healthy food is too expensive, think about whether you need those new jeans or that bigger tv. Or whether you would rather put your money into your well-being, health and happiness. Alarm bells should start to ring when a price is as low as that can of ravioli, it simply is not the right value for food.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Roasted müsli

Home-made müsli can be 1000 times better than the ones bought in shops. Yesterday I prepared a wintery kind, focusing on nuts instead of fruits and on warming spices. Here's how to make it:

What you need

The amount should add up to ca 1 litre

Buckwheat flakes
Millet flakes
Brazil nuts
Cashew nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Goji berries
Cold-pressed sesame seed oil (ca 3 tbsp)
Honey (ca 2 tbsp)
Ground cinnamon (3 tsp)
Ground cardamom (2 tsp)
Ground ginger (2 tsp)
Ground cloves (1 tsp)

How to do it

1. Roughly crush the nuts and almonds (not the seeds) in a mortar.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
3. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet with baking paper.
4. Roast in a 150°C oven for ca 20 minutes, turning at times. Be careful not to burn the müsli! When the kitchen starts to smell good and the flakes and nuts gain a golden colour, your müsli is ready.
5. When the müsli has cooled, you can put it in an air-tight glass-jar and store in the fridge.

This müsli is delicious on a cold winter's morning due to its warming properties. Eat with raw milk like I did, or mix with natural organic yogurt. Remember to use organic ingredients for the best taste and health benefits :) I want to add that the roasting process weakens the nutrient potency of the ingredients, as does heating any food. If this is a problem, you can try making the müsli in the same way, only without the oven. For me the roasting is ok because I don't eat müsli very often, although I think I might make one batch without heating at some point.

I shall be back another day with some more recipes on delicious müslies!

<3 Emma