Saturday, April 4, 2015

LABORATORIO KITCHEN

We tested this new gem in Montclair, NJ the other day with the girls and were very pleasantly surprised how beautiful the space turned out to be and how delicious everything we tasted was. We had vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian in our party and everyone was accommodated without any hassle. Here are few shots of the food and space. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

5 FAVORITES

Healthy Snacks. It's been one of those super hectic weeks dealing with a sick cat (he seems to be getting better), travel arrangements and a full-week at the day job. In good news: I've finally learned to carry snacks with me so I don't have to starve while waiting for train at Penn Station (I don't really like any of the food that station offers). Hunger always strikes me while waiting for train for some reason. So I made these delicious Roasted Maple-Cinnamon Almonds that now travel with me in my purse. Super quick and easy to make and delicious. Recipe here.
Flavored water. Water. I must admit that it's been hard for me to drink enough water when the weather is cold. I just don't get thirsty. Herbal tea I drink just because it soothes my soul. Not for thirst. I received this Splash Infuser to help me get water down more easily. I just fill it with some fruits or herbs and drop it in a glass or a pitcher and voila! All natural (really all natural, not the Lay's potato chip fake natural) flavored water. Few ideas for flavor combinations:
- Strawberry, orange, mint
- Lemon, lime, cilantro
- Cucumber, lime, jalapeno
- Watermelon, blueberries, lemon, basil
More recipes here.
Crystals. We had a girl's night in Jersey that involved a spiritual aspect as well when our friend brought all these crystals and stones for good energy. He used kinesiology and asking questions from the stones to pick the right ones for us. I got some real beauties! 
Cookbooks. I went to see Ella Woodward of the amazing Deliciously Ella giving a little lecture at Barnes & Noble in Tribeca before her book signing and got a copy of her first book. So far I've made just this one thing, but I made it 3 times already... So good! It's the Coconut Thai Curry with chickpeas, but I promise to test the other recipes as well... Soon!
Tea and donut time. I don't eat perfect all the time. I like a little treat every now and then. One of my favorites and easy-to-access treats are these donuts from our local bakery. No, I don't have them every day or even every week, but when I want one I will enjoy it without any guilt. Progress, not perfection.

Monday, March 23, 2015

BEAUTY FOODS

I've suffered from serious constipation almost my entire life without even realizing it. My doctor NEVER asked me about my bathroom habits. It took a visit to a Colon Hydrotherapist that revealed how backed up things really were (more about my experience here). I was also struggling with cystic acne at the time and the connection was quite clear. Plus those Starbucks Chai Lattes I drank multiple times a day, like they were water, might had something do with my health issues. It took quite a few months to get my stomach working regularly and it involved daily green smoothies, chia and flax seeds as well as some Smooth Move tea...

Now I eat mostly vegan, have cut down sugar a lot from what it used to be and my stomach is working normally. I start my day with warm lemon water (drink it through stainless steel straw to protect tooth enamel) and only have breakfast if I'm hungry. I used to force myself to eat breakfast because "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", but most of the time I don't want breakfast. So I don't force myself. I listen to my body because it knows best.

When I get hungry I have a green smoothie. It's mostly dark leafy greens and just one part fruit for sweetness (either pear, banana, apple or pineapple). I notice that green smoothie fits me better than grains in the morning. If I have oatmeal I usually have it quite late, between 10am-11am. Sometimes I top it with fruits for sweetness, but fruits are always best eaten on an empty stomach by itself for better digestion. By improving digestion, we end up feeling more energetic. If I feel low in energy I add bee pollen or/and hemp protein

Another proven approach to a great digestion is to not drink liquids during meals. Cold liquid dilutes your naturally occurring digestive enzymes and stomach acids which makes it harder to break down food. If you are chewing your food properly and creating saliva you should be able to eat comfortably. Drink water or other liquids 20 mins before you consume food and wait at least an hour after. 

Kimberly Snyder was one of the first holistic wellness people I started following through her blog and her book The Beauty Detox Solution was a real eye-opener for me. Her new book The Beauty Detox Power is coming out end of this month and I've already pre-ordered it here. Here's few Beauty Foods from Kimberly:

For clear, blemish-free skin:
Fermented veggies (e.g. sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha)
Arugula
Onions
Raw apple-cider vinegar
Garlic Lemon

For beautiful hair:
Pumpkin seeds
Dulse
Carrots
Radishes
Nutritional yeast

Eliminating dark circles and puffiness:
Celery
 Collard Greens
Asparagus
Bananas
P.S. Ready to start a new career and a healthy lifestyle? School that I graduated from, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has an amazing offer for you if you enroll IIN between Wednesday, March 25th and Tuesday, March 31st. You'll be able to save up to $1500 off or get flexible payment plans. Call (877) 733-1520 U.S. or +1(212) 730-5433 International for more info and remember to mention that Katariina Forsberg referred you in order to get the special discount.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN : CAITLIN GRUSSING


Photo credit:Wayne Jex
I know it's been a while since I've featured an inspiring woman (I'm surrounded by them all the time!), but better late than never. This time I got to chat with Caitlin who lives in very serene surroundings in Arkansas. She is the owner of Caitlin's Super Natural, a truly natural deodorant that's made of 100% botanical ingredients, is vegan & cruelty-free, organic, aromatherapeutic, environmentally sustainable, and it really works! Caitlin's Super Natural is a small company based in an off-the-grid, solar powered establishment overlooking a beautiful mountain valley. Just recently Whole Foods in Little Rock (AR) started selling her product which is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations are in order!

How did you get started with Caitlin's Super Natural?

I actually started making natural deodorant for myself. I think that’s one reason why I’ve been able to make a product that really works: I use it, so it has to be effective, or I won’t like it anymore! One day my husband and I were talking about my deodorant and how well it worked – we were actually in an airport on our way to China – and that’s when we realized that this would be a great product to sell. I had wanted to start a business for years but hadn’t found an idea that I could go forward with. I felt like this deodorant was unique, effective, and healthy, so I knew I could feel good about selling this product.

Where did the idea come from?

Just like so many people, I wanted to use a truly natural deodorant -- one that was aluminum free, of course, but also free of any other harsh ingredients. I tend to think that the best health insurance is being careful about what we put in and on our bodies. For years, I had been reading ingredients lists of deodorants carefully and trying those that looked good, and I just couldn’t find a healthy deodorant that really worked. So, I decided to make my own!
What was the most defining moment in your career to date?

It took me a few years to develop the natural deodorant that I’m currently selling. I did lots of research regarding ingredients and my husband and I tried many variations in order to fine-tune the product. Then I sent the best ones to lots of friends and family around the country so that they could them try out and send me feedback. I’m so grateful to all of them for their help! I was so amazed that after all of that testing, we had one clear winner: everyone who had a preference liked the same variety the best. I couldn’t have asked for better results; because everyone liked the same one, it made it clear that this deodorant really does work.

What inspires you?

I am totally inspired every time someone emails me or leaves a review saying how much they like this natural deodorant. The thing about making deodorant is that it really has to work, because if it doesn’t, it is very obvious, even after just one day! So I get really inspired every time someone says that they like this product; all of the positive feedback makes me really happy to be providing a product that people like!

What are your favorite things to do in your free-time?

I spend a lot of my time volunteering for a non-profit meditation retreat center, and go to retreats and weekly meditations there as well. Other than that, I love going for walks in the woods, gardening, just relaxing and looking out over the Ozark Mountain valleys, watching movies, reading, and cooking good meals to enjoy with my husband. And, sometimes we go rafting or kayaking on the Buffalo River!
A view from the deck where the products are made / Caitlin at Whole Foods Little Rock, Arkansas.
Where would you like to travel and why?

I love swimming, looking out over the ocean, and relaxing on warm, sandy beaches. The next time I get to pick a vacation just to relax, anywhere there is a beach is at the top of my list!

Where do you see yourself and Caitlin’s Super Natural in 5 years?

I’m always saying that I’m living a dream come true. I really wouldn’t mind if nothing in my life changed in 5 years. Of course there are some things about my circumstances that I could perceive as not quite perfect, but as a whole, I’m really, really happy. I live in a beautiful place, have an amazing husband, and have the opportunity to mail natural deodorant that really works to people around the world. And on top of all that, I live adjacent to a meditation retreat center where I get to volunteer. It’s all so amazing and I feel really fortunate; I wish everyone could feel this way!

If there’s anything I’d want to change, it would be to develop into a kinder, more warm-hearted person. I’m always trying my best to be self-less, but I still have room for improvement! So, if anything, in 5 years, I hope to have more and more positive, helpful characteristics.
Cave Temple at the retreat center-a unique meditation space.

What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about starting their own business?

Keep your dreams alive, but be prudent. To be honest, starting a business is a lot more work than I thought it would be! At the same time, it’s really rewarding to have an outlet for creativity and to be constantly expanding skill-sets. So, if you have a good idea for a business and you’re really enthused about seeing an idea come to life, then definitely go for it! But know that there’s a lot of work in store. All of that work can be well worth it, though. 

Accept every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new and expand your abilities. If you don’t have all the answers, ask the right people good questions, and if you still don’t have all the answers, then be patient and keep your mind open and ready to receive the guidance when it comes. Be true to yourself. Be kind to everyone you connect with: all of your customers, suppliers, employees, and everyone you contact. If you can do all that, then all of your efforts will be so worthwhile!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

SUPERFOOD SUNDAY : HEALING HONEY

I have discussed my sugar cravings with homeopathic practitioner and she suggested that when cravings hit, I should have a cup of herbal tea with a teaspoon of raw honey. That's how she treats herself at the beginning and end of the day. 

But honey is far more than a natural sweetener. It is a “functional food”, which means it is a natural food with health benefits. It contains natural antioxidants, enzymes and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. 

One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, yet it has a healthy glycemic load around 10 (a little less than a banana) and does not cause a sugar spike like white sugar. Honey provides a ready supply of energy in the form of liver glycogen, making it ideal for energetic morning starts and as a pre- and post-exercise energy source.

Why Choose Raw Honey?

Commercial honey is often heavily processed and chemically refined. Heat destroys the natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in honey. Filtering and processing eliminates many of the beneficial phytonutrients including pollen and enzyme-rich propolis. Raw honey instead is a concentrated source of natural goodness. Its benefits include, but are not limited to:
• Promoting the growth of good bacteria in the intestine
• Soothes and heals skin wounds
• Blocks free radicals
• Aids sleep 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PROBIOTIC BEAUTY SLAW SALAD

I've become more and more interested in fermented foods such as sauerkraut , kimchi and kefir by listening to lectures from Donna Gates of Body Ecology and Summer Brock of Fermentationist. One of my goals for this year is to start making my own sauerkraut. I've been making water- and coconut kefir since last summer and it's super easy and great for a healthy belly. Gets things moving almost right away! Kimberly Snyder was one of the first people I started following on my journey to health (besides Kris Carr) and her blog as well as her book The Beauty Detox Solution really opened my eyes to what was wrong with the way we eat. Here's an easy recipe for probiotic slaw that will become a staple in our house for sure.

Monday, March 2, 2015

SALT OF LIFE

Not all salt was created equal. There’s a big difference between regular, refined table salt & pink Himalayan salt crystals. I've gone from toxic table salt to celtic sea salt to Himalayan these past several years and don't keep crappy salt in our house anymore at all. Here's a short story of the salt:

Salt is made of two minerals, sodium and chloride, which are essential for human life. They serve important functions like helping the brain and nerves send electrical impulses. 

Regular table “salt” is manufactured by taking natural salt (such as crude oil flake leftovers) and heating it to 1200° Fahrenheit. During this extreme process, the chemical composition is completely altered and all of the nutritional benefits are destroyed. In the end, generic table “salt” ends up being about 97.5% sodium chloride.

Himalayan Pink Salt is a pure salt that is derived from ancient sea salt deposits, and it is believed to be the purest form of salt available. Pink salt can be used in the same manner as table salt for cooking and baking, but it is purer and higher in mineral content. 

Externally, pink salt can be used to stimulate circulation, relax the body, lower blood pressure, sooth sore muscles, and remove toxins from the body. Use it for example in bath salt recipes, body scrubs, aromatherapy, homemade soap. 

Himalayan Pink Salt has a rich mineral content that includes over 84 minerals and trace elements such as: calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. Himalayan Pink Salt provides:
- essential minerals and trace elements
- it balances electrolytes
- supports proper nutrient absorption
- eliminates toxins
- balances the body’s pH
- normalizes blood pressure
- increases circulation and conductivity. 

It can also assist with relief from arthritis, skin rashes, psoriasis, herpes, and flu and fever symptoms. How cool!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MY WEEK IN SNAPSHOTS

It has been so cold and snowy these past few weeks that I find myself searching for flights to the Caribbean almost daily. I've been really questioning myself why do I still live in this climate and not somewhere warmer, like California. Or Costa Rica. Why are we still here when neither one of us wants to be here anymore? So yes, big questions are being handled right now in our household. Things I've done to beat the cold and darkness:

1. Eating good, healthy food (and to keep the balance, doughnut a week is allowed :))
2. Drinking herbal tea, trying new flavors and brands. 
3. Short morning exercise straight out of bed
4. Learning new things daily (listening lectures, reading, webinars)
5. Going to bed early (when not working late)

More daily snapshots can be found on Instagram.

Monday, February 23, 2015

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST BAKE

Blueberry Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:

¼ cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp. flour of choice (I used gluten-free)
¼ tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
 ¼ cup almond milk
½ Tbsp. maple syrup
 ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F, and grease an individual sized ramekin with cooking oil. In a medium-sized bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add almond milk and maple syrup, mixing until well combined. Trow in blueberries. Transfer dough to the ramekin, topping with a few extra blueberries if desired. Bake 20-30 minutes, depending on desired consistency.

Note: You can replace blueberries with any berries, apples or even pineapple. Possibilities are endless!

Friday, February 20, 2015

HOME WITH INDIAN FLAVOR

My friend just moved into a new place (5 min drive from us!)and I absolutely love all the Indian influenced design elements she has incorporated into her home. Many are old treasures straight from India and some from stores such as Pier 1 Imports, World Market and Home Goods. It's a beautiful mixture of old and new making the home just a bit whimsical yet cozy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY

In Finland, Valentine's Day is called the "Friend's Day" and as the name indicates, this day is more about remembering friends, not significant others. The day has no romantic content, instead people send cards and gifts to their friends. Valentine's Day celebration came to Finland quite late which might be the reason why it led to it's unique interpretation. Since I'm living merged between two cultures I celebrate it both the Finnish and American way. I mean, can you ever have too many celebrations in life? Therefore we had a little get-together with friends listening to Finnish music, eating Scandinavian candy from Sockerbit, eating cake and snacks. 
We baked organic chocolate cake and made a really easy raspberry sauce from frozen raspberries and a tad of coconut water. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

MEATLESS MONDAY : CREAMY ROASTED TOMATO, PEPPER, ONION AND GARLIC SOUP

I'm always in a mood for a good soup and was thinking of doing some kind of soup detox since it's a bit too cold for a juice detox. I've been browsing tons of delicious soup recipes and found this creamy, vegan, roasted veggie soup from Oh She Glows. I modified it a little based on what ingredients I had at home. It came out absolutely delicious! Hearty, creamy, but not too heavy and oh so tasty!

Roasted Tomato Pepper Soup
6 cups

Roasting vegetables: 

5 small tomatoes, washed & sliced in half
2 bell peppers, washed & sliced
1 large sweet onion, peeled & sliced 
1 large garlic bulb
olive oil, salt, & pepper for vegetables 

Soup: 

all the roasted tomatoes & bell peppers
2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh 
all of the roasted sweet onion 
1 can coconut milk  
3 cups vegetable broth 
2 tbsp tomato paste 
2 tsp garam masala 
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper 


1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil (note that parchment paper will burn). For how to prepare the garlic, see this tutorial. Lightly drizzle on oil and season onions, peppers and tomatoes. Roast for about 30 minutes and then check on the vegetables. When the onions are golden and lightly blackened on the edge, you can remove them. Continue roasting the garlic for about 60 minutes and the tomatoes for about 1 hour and 20 mins. 

2. Add all roasted tomatoes, onion, peppers, 2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh into a large pot. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, and broth and stir well.

3. Stir in the seasonings and spices to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Transfer into a blender, processor, or use an immersion blender. Pulse for just a few seconds until chunky. You can also make it smooth, whatever is your preference. Serve immediately and serve with fresh avocado (for healthy fats!) and sprinkles of nutritional yeast like I did. Or garnish with splashes of coconut milk, a sprinkle of garam masala, croutons/bread, and fresh black pepper.