Monday, April 14, 2014

LOCAL FOODS AT UNION SQUARE GREENMARKET

I love going to the farmers markets! We have one in our town on Saturdays, but I also love the one in Union Square. There's just so many cool things to look at, taste and touch. And by talking to the farmers you can have your questions answered, unlike at a big supermarket where they rarely know where the food even came from not to mention about growing methods etc. I dream to one day have my own little farm where I grow organic food for my family, but in the meantime farmers markets are the next best thing.
10 Reasons to Buy Local Food 

Local food tastes better. The crops are picked at their peak, and farmstead products like cheese are hand crafted for the best flavor. Food imported from far away is older, has traveled on trucks or planes, and has sat in warehouses before it finally gets to you. 
Local produce is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. 
Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last on the shelf, so there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production. Smaller local farms, in constrast, often grow many different varieties to provide a long harvest season, in an array of colors and flavors. 
Local food is safe. There's a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye at farmers market or driving by the fields where your food comes from. Local farmers aren`t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously. 
Local food supports local families. Wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell directly to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food, which helps farm families stay on the land. 
Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a farmer, you are engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower. Knowing the farmer gives you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. It gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture. 
Local food preserves open space. When farmers get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they are less likely to sell their farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive to preserve our agricultural landscape. 
Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed farms conserve fertile soil and clean water in our communities. The farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds, and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife. 
Local food is an investment in the future. By supporting local farmers today, you are helping ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow.
And look who was in town! Bryant Terry! Food activist and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen and Afro-Vegan.

Friday, April 11, 2014

KAT LOVES KALE

Happy Friday! I've finally managed to get myself together and created another blog called "Kat Loves Kale" that focuses on health and wellness only. It will have my study notes and coverage from events I attend. Katz & the City will continue it's randomness with travel, NYC, restaurant, cat and food related posts.So head over to Kat Loves Kale and show some love!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS


First week of the spring detox is almost over (today is day 6) and I feel great. I haven't had huge cravings for sweets, more for bread. I think that as long as I eat three proper meals a day, the cravings stay at bay. Doing hot yoga has also helped me to stay busy and focused. I've had some minor headache in the late evenings which is normal detoxing reaction, and I have not slept too well (keep waking up). There's only been one day at work when I was in total loss of energy (day 2 of the detox). Day 5 & 6 I've been feeling very energetic even I've been doing the morning shift at work both days. Oh, and my digestive system is working like a dream. 
I started a fresh batch of sprouts, have some gluten and yeast-free quinoa bread recipes to test and everything seems to be flowing really well so far. I've gone to yoga every day so far except Saturday because I had to work. Looking forward to seeing how I'm feeling during the second week! Let's hope the weather keeps warming up! All photos from my Instagram account.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

SPRING CLEANSE

Bye bye pie!
Spring is finally here and April 1st could have not been better day to start a spring cleanse. What a beautiful week so far! Weather is finally warming up and sun is out. To celebrate the arrival of spring I'm doing a Candigone candida cleanse which I did last summer for 2 weeks, but this time I'm doing the full 30 days. I'm also combining it with vigorous hot power yoga practice to accelerate the cleansing process. My yoga studio just happens to be doing their "20 yoga classes in 30 days"- challenge so I'm seriously in! 
In general, this cleanse eliminates all sugar (including fruit with the exception of Granny Smith apples, lemons and limes), yeast, gluten, alcohol and caffeine from your diet because sugar feeds yeast. You can see the list of foods allowed and not allowed in my post from last year here. 

What I wish to accomplish with this cleanse is to gain more energy, reduce bloating, brain fog and fatigue, get my taste buds accustomed to very low sugar lifestyle and cleanse out my intestinal tract from yeast. Candida is a fungus (form of yeast) and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption but, when overproduced (we eat way too much sugar nowadays), releases toxic byproducts into your body and causes leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems. Read more about it here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : BERRY COCONUT KOMBUCHA MOUSSE

In our series of quick, simple breakfast/snacks/desserts I present: Berry Coconut Kombucha Mousse. Blend some berries (I used blueberries, but any will do) together with coconut milk yogurt, add chia kombucha of your liking (I used GT's Black Chia for this one)and stir. Top with more berries. Serve chilled. And that's that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS: MY WEEK IN INSTAGRAM


This was my first week back at work after my wonderful 3-week vacation and it was a bit rough start. But I'm over it now. Weather has not been nice this week, it's been cold and rainy, but I wish next week we'll have some spring time upon us. It would be important because I'm starting sugar detox April 1st and could use sun and warmth to help me keep on track. I'm combining hot yoga with it to accelerate the cleansing process. My yoga studio has one of those 20 classes in 30 days challenges starting on Tuesday so I'll be part of that to make it more fun.

Tried our local vegetarian Chinese restaurant Veggie Heaven for the first time ever and I'm really mad I didn't go there already years ago. It was really good and inexpensive! They also do fresh juices and we had their green juice for appetizers. What a great discovery.
I love cute little bakeries like these. Would be great if they had vegan options... 
I've brought oatmeal back to my breakfast routine. It's just been too cold to have green smoothies and my body is craving for something warm. During my detox I'm only allowed to have steel cut oats or other gluten-free varieties. No nuts, no honey. I usually mix my oatmeal with almond butter so that will have to do for sweetness. 
There's been a lot of desserts in our house this week (maybe because I know I won't be able to have them starting next week). Apple crumble and almond milk ice cream. Butter pecan. And I brought couple of Moomin dishes from Finland. Too cute.
My new pink Moomin bowl. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

INSTAGRAM TRAVEL THURSDAY : HELSINKI


Thursday is the day for travel-related posts and if you've been following my Instagram or Twitter account you might have already seen these snapshots of Helsinki, one of my favorite little cities. Time, cars, buses and escalators in Helsinki move on slowly, which is a good thing, there's always room to sit in cafes and everything is comfortable and convenient. 
I made Marikahvila my "living room in the city" where I studied, enjoyed rooibos tea and had friends come over. 



I also tried couple of new restaurants. One of them was popular vegetarian restaurant Silvoplee which I've been meaning to go since it opened in 1999. Silvoplee focuses on organic, raw and local produce. There's a buffet and you pay according to the weight of your portion. The selection is large and the food very tasty. Actually so tasty it surprised me and I had to go back the next week. We also had dessert and their raw mint-chocolate mousse cake (pictured above) was magnificent. And they have almond milk for your coffee drinks! Big plus! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY : 5 THINGS TO START DOING RIGHT NOW

Drink herbal tea! Whenever the cold season is here I do not feel like drinking water at all. So I've stocked my tea stash with all different types of herbal teas and bring them to work with me as well. This way I remember to take little tea breaks throughout the day and get my hydration on. It took me a little while to get my taste buds used to not using any sweeteners in my tea, but you can always add little bit of honey if you'd like.
Eat real foods! I cannot wait for the spring and our local farmer's market to have local produce again. Eating local also means eating seasonally, a practice much in tune with Mother Nature. Even when it's not organic, small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals. Small farms are also more likely to grow more variety, protecting biodiversity and preserving a wider agricultural gene pool, an important factor in long-term food security.
Plan ahead!I tend to eat very healthy when I make the effort to plan my meals ahead of time. Sunday evening I prepare green smoothies for the next morning so I don't have to deal with the loud blender sounds at the crack of the dawn. 
Eat more parlsey and cilantro! Parsley and cilantro (coriander) are very powerful natural green plant foods for detoxing heavy metals out of your body. Add these amazing herbs to juices, salads, soups and meals.
Take good care of your pets! Pet Kelp Wellness Formula gives a full dose of these blueberry-based antioxidants, along with a full panel of minerals and vitamins from kelp. Just like with people, giving high quality antioxidants, minerals and vitamins to dogs and cats can be extremely beneficial for their long term health.
BONUS: Change your career! Enroll the Institute for Integrative Nutrition between Wednesday, March 26th, and Friday, March 28th and save up to $1,000* off tuition, PLUS get sensational bonus gifts.Attend live info session on Wednesday, March 26th, at 11am EST, to learn more about IIN and the current savings.
Call (877) 733-1520 and mention that Katariina Forsberg referred you to learn the current saving details right away. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : COCONUT LENTIL SOUP

I love lentils for many reasons. They're nutritious (fiber, folate, magnesium, protein), fast and easy to prepare (no soaking required), they're inexpensive and you can do so many different things with them (salads, stews, burgers, soups). Lentils do not need pre-soaking but can be pre-soaked to improve digestibility and reduce cooking time. I normally soak my lentils overnight for this reason.

COCONUT LENTIL SOUP

Ingredients:

1 cup green lentils
1 cup red split lentils
7 cups water 
1/2 cup white wine
1 medium carrot, cut into small pieces (as small as you can cut)
2 tablespoons minced ginger 
2 tablespoons curry powder  
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced 
80 ml cup tomato paste 
5 oz (small can) coconut milk 
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt 
(optional cilantro for garnishing)

Give the lentils a good rinse - until the water runs clear. Place them in a large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot, 1/4 of the ginger and the wine. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. 

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Add the oil in the pan, half of the green onions and the remaining ginger. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more. Add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt.

 Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or so, depending on how thick you want the soup the be. 

Sprinkle with cilantro and the remaining green onions. Serve with quinoa or rice.

Friday, March 21, 2014

MARIMEKKO STORE IN NYC

I absolutely love Marimekko's bold patterns and colors. My last purchase here was their Unikko tote bag, which is such a perfect bag for the spring/summer. I always carry it in my pocket book so that I can say "NO" to plastic bags at stores. 

Marimekko is a Finnish company based in Helsinki that has made important contributions to fashion, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. They are particularly noted for brightly-colored printed fabrics and simple styles, used both in women's garments and in home furnishings.

The US flagship store of Marimekko, located on 200 Fifth Avenue, is a "veritable Willy Wonka Factory of textiles". Great place to find gifts too. Photos by Saara.