Listing all posts from March of 2014. Show all posts.
  1.  Why counting calories doesn’t count 

    Let’s look at how differently 300 calories in the form of a sweet pastry and 300 calories from a bowl of brown rice pilaf behave in your body.
    Almost as soon as you swallow the first bite of the pastry, sugar is released into your bloodstream. This sudden infusion causes a sugar rush, a potentially dangerous spike in your blood sugar level. To counteract the high blood sugar level, your pancreas overcompensates and produces a surge of insulin. Insulin acts as a vehicle for sugar molecules—it binds them and transports them to your cells.
    When your body senses a high insulin level, it tells the pancreas to suppress the production of glucagon, the hormone that allows body fat to be burned for energy. This is an adaptive mechanism: since high blood sugar is dangerous, the body works to restore balance by burning off the extra sugar in your blood first before dipping into your fat reserves for energy. In essence – a high blood sugar level prevents weight loss.
    When your cells are happy with their sugar supply and there is still sugar floating around in the blood, that excess sugar is transformed into fatty acids and stored as additional body fat – adding weight.
    Shortly after the initial surge of insulin your blood sugar level drops drastically to a level below the comfortable middle ground. You feel tired, lightheaded, moody, unable to focus, and unmotivated—and ready for another sugary snack.  You indulge the craving and continue the cycle that inhibits weight loss and fosters weight gain.
    To recap: 300 calories from a sugary pastry will inhibit weight loss, add weight, set you up to crave more sweets and cause fluctuations in your energy, mood and mental capacity. 
    Now let’s look at how 300 calories behave in your body when they come from a vegetable, an intact whole grain or a legume—all sources of complex carbohydrates and lots of fiber.
    The fiber in these foods is wrapped around the complex carbohydrates. During digestion, the complex carbohydrates must be untangled from their fiber wrapping and then broken down into usable simple carbohydrates or sugars. This takes some time.
    So when you dig into a bowl of brown rice pilaf, your bloodstream is gradually supplied with the simple sugars released from the complex carbohydrates in the meal and your body is fueled with a steady stream of small amounts of sugar. This gradual infusion does not lead to a blood sugar spike—it keeps your body happily humming along with just the right amount of sugar needed to function optimally.
    In essence: 300 calories from a vegetable, an intact whole grain or a legume will provide you with sustained energy for many hours, stabilize your moods, enhance your ability to focus, curb hunger, eliminate cravings for sweets and allow body fat to be burned for energy. And … extra bonus: … These nutritious calories will not lead to weight gain.
  2. To cleanse or not to cleanse? FAQ

    If you are still on the fence about joining our group of international cleansers, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
    Here are some frequently asked questions:
    How long is the cleanse?
    We will start transitioning into the cleanse on April 10 and start the actual cleanse on April 12. I recommend to do the cleanse for at least 5 or up to 8 days. Then it takes about 5 days to come out of the cleanse.
    Why does it take so long to come out of the cleanse?
    While you are on the cleanse you get to eat very clean and easily digestible food. It’s kind of a vacation for your intestinal tract, so that it can heal and rejuvenate itself. It is very important to slowly get your gut used to more complicated foods so that there will be no digestive upset as you return to your regular diet. Secondly, by adding one food group at a time per day, you get to really experience the effect each new food has on your digestive system and will be able to pinpoint which foods, if any, are giving you trouble.
    Will it be difficult to find the foods needed for the cleanse?
    Not at all. All foods on the cleanse are quite ordinary: lemons, bananas, berries, avocados, leafy greens, lettuces, root vegetables ...
    Do I need special equipment for the cleanse?
    You do need access to a kitchen, a stove top and a blender. But even if you do not have a blender, I can provide an alternative way of making that dish.
    What if I can’t start the cleanse on April 12?
    You can always start the cleanse a little later and do it on your own timing.  You could even start earlier, as I will be emailing all the instructions on April 4. The online forum will be active from April 8 - 22, but you will have access to all the communications even beyond April 22. I just will not be monitoring it any more. Should there be any questions that have not been answered on the online forum, then you may contact me directly by email, so that I can support you.
    Is it safe to continue with regular exercise routines during the cleanse? 

    Yes, especially if you have a regular routine that your body is used to. I do not recommend to do very strenuous exercises unless you do that on a daily basis anyway. Walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi are good ways to keep your body moving during the cleanse.
    Will it take a lot of time to prepare the meals?
    No. The meals are very easy to make. Being on the cleanse will simplify your life substantially, allowing you and your body more rest and leisurely down time. It truly is a gift to your body.
    I have never cleansed before – will it be difficult to do?
    No. There is nothing complicated about the cleanse and it is suitable for novices as well. The food is very tasty and satisfying, so you will not feel deprived at all. You can eat as much as you like and you will never go hungry while on the cleanse.

    For cleanse details click here

    To book the cleanse click here

    Happy Spring and happy Cleansing!
  3. Seven simple ways to honor your body
    1. Accept your body just the way it is
    1. Feed your body nourishing food
    1. Hydrate your body with plenty of fresh water
    1. Move your body regularly
    1. Every so often take a few deep breaths in and out
    1. Allow your body ample time to rest
    1. Spend time in nature
    … and once or twice a year give your body a special gift,
    like a cleanse. Spring is the perfect time for that. Give your body a chance to gently detox, eliminate sluggishness and reset its metabolism. My guided online Easy Breezy Spring Cleanse with whole foods will help you to
    • boost your energy and mental clarity
    • jump-start your weight loss efforts
    • end sugar cravings
    • have glowing, gorgeous skin
    • reduce congestion and inflammation
    • feel light and clean
    • establish new healthy eating patterns
    • release the old and welcome the new.

    The cleanse starts March 30 and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. If you have allergies or sensitivities to wheat, gluten, lactose, casein, soy or nuts – rest assured - the cleanse will be free of all common trigger foods.
    Here are the Details:
    When you sign up for the cleanse you will receive step-by-step instructions on
    • Exactly what to do (there will be no confusion)
    • What to eat (clear guidelines and explanations)
    • How to prepare your food (easy recipes and instructions)
    • How to enhance your cleanse with non-food activities (pleasurable self-care tips and techniques)
    • How to effortlessly transition into the cleanse (preparing body and mind)
    • How to smoothly transition out of the cleanse (so you can retain the benefits)
    You will also get:
    • Access to a Private Online Forum moderated by me for two weeks - a place where you can ask questions and feel fully supported
    Investment in your health: $ 97
    By booking the cleanse before March 20 you are eligible for Early Bird pricing at $ 67.
    For more information click here.
    To book now and save click here.
    “Marika is a God sent…an absolute caring and interested woman helping me to benefit from participating in her cleanse.
    The cleanse was a complete change in my eating habits and choice of foods…I must say I was not a junk food eater but I did love my sweets and carbs (cake, cookies, bread & pastas).
    Now, I no longer have that need to eat sweets and I am going to continue in that direction. I learned how foods work in my system and what I should eat and not eat.
    I was so happy to lose 11 pounds and am eager to continue in that way.
    Thank You Marika, and I look forward to doing this again!”
    To read more testimonials from last year’s Easy Breezy Spring Cleanse click here.
    For my European readers:
    European credit cards do not work with my US online store. You may transfer the cleanse fee to my Estonian bank account. If booking the cleanse by March 20 you pay Euro 49, after March 20 the fee goes up to Euro 70.
    Account holder’s name: Marika Blossfeldt
    Address of account holder: 90127 Rame küla, Hanila vald, Estonia
    International Account number IBAN: EE33 2200 0011 0224 7265
    Swift code/BIC/BLZ/ABA/FW: HABAEE2X
    Bank: Swedbank
    Address of Bank: Liivalaia 8, 15040 Tallinn, Estonia
    Please confirm your transfer by email to, so that I know where to send the cleanse instructions.
  4. Chicken Breast in Coconut Milk         serves 4
    ½ onion, cut into thin wedges the long way
    ½ fennel bulb, core removed, cut into bite size pieces
    1 cup cubed butternut squash
    1 red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    black pepper
    cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    1 can (14 fl oz / 410 ml) coconut milk
    a generous sprinkle of turmeric
    2 – 3 scallions, cut into thin slices on the diagonal
    1. In a wok or pot sauté the vegetables in the coconut oil until tender
    2. Lay the chicken pieces out on a flat surface and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Pat the spices into the meat.
    3. In a pan fry the chicken pieces in coconut oil briefly on both sides
    4. Add the coconut milk, turmeric and chicken pieces to the vegetable sauté, bring to a boil and stir – let simmer 5 minutes
    5. Just before serving add half of the scallions to the dish, save the other half to be sprinkled over the meal when plating
    Serve over a bed of brown rice, quinoa or millet
  5.  The skinny on white flour versus whole grain flour 
    White flour falls into the category of empty foods, along with white sugar and corn syrup, because it is a nutritional void.
    The reason is: the outer layer of the wheat kernels also called wheat berries has been removed. It so happens, that all the good stuff is in this outer layer: all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins and oils. What remains after stripping is the starchy central part, plain carbohydrates: zero nutrition – lots of calories.
    This starchy part is then ground into a very fine powder: white flour. The flour particles are so small you cannot distinguish them with your naked eye. However they have a relatively large surface area and when we eat white flour products such as breads and pasta it is very easy for our digestive juices to break down the complex carbohydrates from the starch into their building blocks: the simple carbohydrates or sugars. Because this all happens quite quickly, white flour behaves in our bodies very much like white sugar. It too can lead to spikes and drastic falls in our blood sugar level, ups and downs in our energy level, imbalanced moods, diminished mental capacity and of course weight gain.
    How about whole wheat flour products? Are they any better? YES and NO!
    They are better because they are not empty food. They at least contain some valuable nutrients. However, what effect do they have on our blood sugar level? Their effect on our blood sugar level is quite similar to that of white flour. Why? Because whole wheat and all whole grain flours are very fine powders as well. They too break down quickly and can cause fluctuations in our blood sugar level with all the known side effects.
    To keep your blood sugar level even and manage body weight, prefer whole intact cooked grains to any flour product.
    Find a lovely wheat berry recipe here.
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