seasonal eating – vegetables & fruits – with free calendar

If you think you need expensive and exotic vegetables and fruits or extraordinary superfoods to be healthy, then you are wrong.

Seasonal vegetables and fruits bought locally are a brilliant source of not only delicious taste, but also vitamins, micro elements, freshness and health. And Spring is a perfect time to introduce more vegetables and fruits to your diet. I wanted to prepare a list for myself of vegetables and fruits according to the season, but I thought it will be a great idea for a blog post, so I prepared a vegetable and fruit calendar for you. Availability of all vegetables and fruits in supermarkets all year round made me lose track a bit when it comes to their seasonality. As I currently live in the UK, I chose this country as my fruit and vegetable base. But I encourage you to prepare your own vegetable and fruit calendar for the country you live in.

We have access to fresh vegetables and fruit all year round. Obviously, if you look at the labels lots of these veggies and fruits are grown thousands of miles away from UK. It’s because some of them do not grow in UK at all, like tropical fruits and veggies, others does grow but in different season, like tomatoes in January. But imported vegetables and fruits have one big drawback – in order to survive, they are sprayed with pesticides, which cannot be fully removed, even by washing and scrubbing the plant. This is not the case with seasonal fruit and vegetables, as they are usually grown on nearby farms, so we can be sure that they are fresh, and even if they are sprayed, to a much lesser extent.
In addition, fruit and vegetables from abroad are harvested not fully ripe (so that the banana comes to us yellow, it is picked when it is still green), so they are not fully developed with vitamins and minerals. This takes away their health benefits and makes them less valuable for our body. My friend who lives i Malawi told me once, that bananas that we eat here in UK have absolutely different taste that the one that grow until ripen in Malawi. It’s like completely different fruit. You can easily experience that eating juicy strawberry from your garden in the middle of Summer, and large and beautiful but absolutely tasteless strawberry bought in the supermarket in the middle of Winter.

It’s also worth knowing that vegetables and fruits begin to lose their nutritional value at the time of harvesting and larger amounts of bacteria responsible for spoilage begin to appear. So by eating them as quickly as possible since harvesting, we gain more benefits for our body. Also imported fruits and veggies are more expensive than seasonal ones. They need to be transported many miles before they reach to your local shop.

Transporting such fruit and vegetables leaves behind a huge carbon footprint and a multitude of other pollutants. I’m not saying that we should suddenly stop eating exotic fruits or imported vegetables if we like them. I love vegetables myself and I like to eat them all year round, and it would be difficult for me to only eat root vegetables out of season. However, if we would like to introduce more seasonality into our diet, it is a good idea to start from buying vegetables and fruits in season. A great idea in my opinion is also buying vegetables and fruits from local farmers – such vegetables will not only be much healthier but also cheaper, and their cultivation and sale more environmentally friendly (if you’d like to know more about the difference between supermarket veggies and the one from sustainable farms, take a look at my interview with one of our local farmers).

Lastly it’s worth mentioning that seasonal vegetables and fruits are simply much tastier. It’s much nicer to enjoy the taste of strawberries on a sunny Summer day, when they are juicy, full of flavour and sweet, than to spoil your experience by buying an expensive small plastic box of strawberries that taste like nothing.

Very often the simplest solutions are the best, so if you want to make a little revolution in your vegetable world this Spring, start by downloading the calendar I have prepared (you’ll find it on the bottom of this post below the photos). Keep it on your phone, for easy access when you go shopping, or print it and stick to your fridge.

farming with passion – how you can benefit from supporting the local farmers (interview)

Ever since we started travelling around Scotland, I was very curious to see how people live in tiny villages or on farms in the middle of nowhere. How is it when your life is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, from work 9 to 5, with a completely different rhythm. The rhythm of nature. I also regret that I delayed my decision so long to stop buying vegetables and fruits in the supermarket and start buying local organic vegetables. But better late than never. Of course, in the off-season, in the winter I am a bit forced to buy vegetables in a supermarket, but I am very happy that I have the opportunity to buy fresh, local products from farmers who work with passion and commitment to provide the best quality and most nutritious fruit and vegetables. This is how I found Berwick Wood Produce farm – I was looking for a local vegetable supplier for whom growing vegetables is not only a way to earn money. Mhairi and her family have a woodland farm near Hatton of Fintray in Scotland. And I was looking for words to introduce them, but I think Mhairi on their Instagram page @berwickwoodproduce did it the best:

I’m Mhairi and I am incredibly lucky to manage my family woodland farm near Hatton of Fintray. I do this with the help of my husband Aus and our quickly growing up offspring (when they are around). We have spent the last few years learning about small scale regenerative farming and how to make a living from local food. We are passionate about sustainability: ecologically, socially and economically. We want farms to be able to farm in ways that increase biodiversity and leave nutrients in the soil for the next generations. We believe local communities have the right to access good food and that skills in food production need not to be lost. Farmers should make a fair wage for their work and do so by selling locally. As I am a “veg snob” having lived nearly exclusively off my own veg for the last 10 years I started with a no till market garden which sells veg boxes, to food hubs and to small independent shops and cafes.With our wood being thinned we will be able to introduce livestock ready to add more regeneration to this land.

(all photos are from Mhairi’s Instagram page)

To satisfy my curiosity a bit, and I hope yours as well, I asked Mhairi a few questions about what the running of the farm looks like, what her day looks like, and how organic vegetables from sustainable crops differ from those, we usually buy in the supermarket.

I hope this will encourage you to delve into this topic and look for a similar farm in your area. It would be great if we could support local farmers who love nature, while at the same time making our life and health better with nutritious and fresh vegetables and fruits.

So grab yourself a cup of tea and enjoy reading.

Hello Mhairi, could you tell me how your farming adventure started? Did you grow up on a farm?

I grew up in with small scale farming. My grandfather had a croft on the West coast of Scotland that looked onto Ben Nevis. He had a herd of Highland cows that can be seen in movies such as “The Highlander”, “Braveheart” and “Rob Roy”. My dad was an agricultural economist and later took over the croft from his dad. Though I always loved being on the land in 1998 I decided to come to Aberdeen and become an occupational therapist. I worked for both the NHS and in schools until a series of bone tumours meant I needed to stop working. To help out my family financially I started growing food again and reignited my love for working the land. Working outside and eating better food really helped my physical recovery and when the opportunity to grow on a larger scale arose I knew that is what I wanted to do.

Has farming been viewed as more of a business for you, or a lifestyle choice? Some combination of both?

Though I do need to make a livelihood, for me farming is very much a lifestyle. I am passionate about looking after the land for future generations and for wildlife. I wish to provide fresh nutritious food to my local community and to contribute to a better food system in this country.

What was the most challenging at the beginning? And what’s the most challenging right now?

The biggest challenges have been to get the infrastructure on the farm. The land was originally part of a large estate, then broken down into a smaller parcel of land which was planted into a woodland in 1990. It had no buildings, water, fencing, power or vehicular access so we had to start with all that while trying to get growing. It was also hard to find markets for the veg that we grew as most people and cafes/restaurants could not initially see the value of our veg over wholesale or supermarket. As more people tried local veg or have become interested in where their food comes from the demand for our produce is increasing and the challenge now is to grow enough to meet the best supply and demand. This means
that we are always trying to collect as much data about best varieties, dates for planting / harvesting and yields while keeping all the planting etc.. going.

What crops do you grow?

This year on the farm we are growing 45 different types of vegetables, 15 different types of herbs and hope to get a small crop from our apples trees and fruit bushes (they have only been in a few years). We also look after the woodland and this year we will thin out some of the sitka spruce and plant some willow, alder and hazel trees to increase diversity and make sure the trees left can grow better.

Which part of farming is the most satisfying for you?

There are lots of parts of the farm that I find satisfying but mostly I love to see the ecosystems on the farm. I love to see all the wildlife that is there from the toads and dragonflies on the pond to the buzzards and heron that fly over our heads. This week I have been watching the worms heat up, the beetles mate and the ladybirds on the young trees.

Could you describe how your typical day look like in a growing season?

In the growing season my typical day begins about 5am or at first light as the days get shorter. I start by watering the polytunnels and checking the market garden plot. It is then usually either a harvesting day or a planting/ seeding day. On a harvesting day we have a list of what is to be harvested and it is all done as early as possible as that is when the leaves
are most turgid and tasty. On seeding/planting days each bed that is to be planted is weeded and raked. Either plants that have already been sown into trays are then transplanted into the ground or seeds are sown directly into the ground using our push along seeder. Once the seeds/plants are in the ground they sometimes need protection such as fleeces or nets. We also spend time cleaning and organising tools and keeping records up to date. I try to finish work by 6pm though often have paperwork to do after my tea. I also try to find time everyday just to observe the environment both from an enjoyment point of view and also to take note of my surroundings.

So your day is full of different jobs that need to be done, do you have your favourite farm task?

I have 3 favourite tasks on the farm. Firstly I love planning the year ahead especially new things we might want to try to plant, creating new micro environments or learning new ways of doing things. Secondly I love my quiet time in the propagation area seeding trays of veg and finally I love harvesting (and eating!!) a really successful crop.

I guess farming is not only enjoyable and satisfying work, but you also need to deal with many factors that are beyond your control: weeds, insects, diseases, weather devastating to the crop you have cared for months. How do you deal with fail? What helps you to keep going even though sometimes it might look like everything is against you?

Fingers crossed we have never had a complete crop fail. Our most basic philosophy is good soil and strong plants do well. If a veg does not do as well as we hoped to take notes and see what we can change.
Sometimes a different way of planting, timings, variety can make a difference but occasionally we might decide not to do that type of veg anymore. Equally we take notes of what goes well.
Weeds can get me down sometimes but our no dig beds have helped to minimise them. Weeds are really helpful indicators of your soil so can be really useful for letting you know what is going on. To prevent disease we try to keep our soils well looked after and plants strong. As of yet we have not had any diseases. Pests are always seen as a challenge but recently I have changed the way I view “pests”. I am spending a lot of time learning about the lifecycles of these “pest” and viewing them more as food for the other things which are part of our farm ecosystem. Creating a balance of “pests” and “predators” leads to a much healthier system. We choose not to use any chemicals on our plants even ones that organic farms can use as we hope that this will give the best chance for our ecosystem to balance. On the whole this has worked though slugs and flea beetles can at times be an issue!! When things go wrong I find it best to let myself feel a bit sad then pick myself up, learn what you can and focus on the things that are going right.

From your perspective, what people should be aware of when they shop for vegetables?

When people are shopping for veg they should always be aware of what is in season. Using glass or tunnels it is possible to extend seasons slightly or grow things under cover that you could not grow outdoors but veg or fruit that is been grown out of season is always less tasty and nutritious. Different veg also has different shelf life time. Leaves need to be picked and cooled quickly and kept in the fridge where as onions, potatoes, swedes or other root crops can last longer just kept somewhere dry or darker. For this reason you are more likely to get a good swede in a supermarket then good kale or spinach. Veg that is a bit past its best can still be used in soups, stews or fermented or pickled rather then wasted.

What are the differences between vegetables from supermarket and the one grown on your farm? Many people thinks that veg is a veg and the only difference is that the one from supermarket are nicely washed and packed in foil, which for many people is much more convenient.

There are two main differences between our veg and that bought in a supermarket. The first is providence. With our veg you can know exactly where it came from right back to the seed, how it was grown and when it was harvested. Secondly there is growing practices. We spend a lot of time learning about the best ways to grow our veg, the most suitable varieties and how to create the right soils to optimise nutrition. A lot of supermarket veg is grown for high yield, speed and prices which means that growing best practices can not be observed.

And they are often sprayed with pesticides, and travel thousands of miles before they get to the shop. While you can buy fresh, healthy local vegetables, that may be a bit dirty from the soil, but so much healthier and nutritious. What can consumers do to support small farms more actively?

There are a lot of things that consumers can do which are free if price is an issue for them. They can share social media posts of small producers, they can support campaigns to keep food standard high or they can start to cook more seasonally. If they can buy more locally they can write reviews to promote small producers products that they have enjoyed. They can try occasionally buying from farmers markets or food hubs rather then from the supermarkets. They can engage with their small producers. Usually small producers are passionate about what they do and are happy to talk about what they do. Hopefully as restrictions ease farms will also be able to have open days again.

If you had one piece of advice for someone who would like to become a farmer, what would it be?

My one piece of advice for someone who would like to start a farm is to decide what farm you want to start. If you want to start a agri-ecological farm then join one of the small association which promote these such as The land workers alliance, the organic growers alliance, the nature friendly farming association or community supported agricultural. These associations all have mentorships, placements, peer to peer learning and loads of support and information for those interested in farming for a better planet/ food system.

Thank you Mhairi that you found some time to answer my questions. Even though season of harvesting and delivering veggies didn’t started yet, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do on the farm. That’s another thing that need to be mention – farmers work hard all year round 🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and maybe it encouraged you to make some changes to your diet this Spring. Rather than buying fruit and vegetables at a supermarket, make a research to find a local farmer who grows delicious, healthy and organic vegetables. So you will be able to cook healthy and nutritious meals for yourself and your family.
In the meantime, you can take a look at a few recipes I made using vegetables from Berwick Wood Produce.

leek, egg, sweetcorn & smoked mackerel salad

This salad always reminds me of Spring and Easter time. I like crunchiness and freshness of leeks, mixed with sweetness of sweetcorn, they give each other nice balance. Quite sharp onion-like taste of leeks also goes great with a bit dull taste of hard boiled eggs. All this gives very nice balance of flavours and variety of textures.

I decided to spice up my salad with some smoked mackerel which I really like, but if you’re not a fan or you don’t want the fishy odour afterwards just skip the fish and stay with basic ingredients.

Which part of leek we use?

For salads are best young and smaller leeks, I also chose organic option. You’ll need white base of the leaves and the light green parts, dark green parts are better for cooking. To make them slightly softer, it’s good to sprinkle them with a little bit of salt after slicing and leaving for about an hour. Salad is extremely easy to make, and will look great on your Easter table packed in a small serving size bowls, garnished with some greens and pieces of smoked mackerel if you decide to add it.

How to choose leeks for salad?

Always choose fresh, preferably organic leek, as they are rich in flavour and nutrition. Look for uniform, long, firm, white stalks with healthy root bulbs as it indicates fresh farm produce. And avoid stems with withered, yellow discolour tops. To keep them fresh, store leeks wrapped in a paper towel and place in the fridge. They should stay fresh for up to a week.

Leek contains many minerals, vitamins and unique flavonoid antioxidants. These compounds convert to allicin by the enzymatic reaction when the leek stalk is sliced or chopped. Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol formation, reduces blood vessel stiffness, blocks platelet clot formation and has clot-breaking properties. 100g fresh leek stalks also provide 64µg of folates. Additionally, leeks are one of the good sources of vitamin-A and other flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein, which are beneficial for your eyes.

Leeks are very cheap and easy to grow veggies, but very underestimated, although in Scotland very popular. They add a lot of flavour to all the cooked meals like soups and stews, but they can also be a great base for salads.

If you haven’t try this kind of salad before, definitely give it a try this Spring. It is said that the Buddhist monks of the Mahayana school do not eat leeks because they are believed to “stimulate the senses”. So if you’d like to “stimulate your senses” you should definitely stock up on young leeks 🙂

leek, egg, sweetcorn & smoked mackerel salad


  • 3 small organic leeks
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • couple spoons of tinned sweetcorn
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • good pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • piece of smoked mackerel


Trim the ends of leeks (we need white base of the leaves and the light green parts), cut them in half (lengthwise) and wash thoroughly under running water. Slice them thinly, place in a container, sprinkle with a bit of salt and give it a stir. Put to fridge for about an hour to become softer.

Peel the eggs, and chop them. Drain sweetcorn from the brine. Add both to leek, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and combine with mayonnaise.

You can leave it in the fridge for another hour or eat immediately. Place some salad in a small serving bowl, place couple pieces of mackerel on top, add couple sweetcorn grains for some colour and something green (little basil leaves in my case) for garnish. Small bowls will look really pretty on Easter table.

Source of knowledge:

all veggies you didn’t know you can eat raw

We are so used to prepare certain foods in a certain way, don’t you feel a bit bored with your cooking choices? When it comes to veggies we usually prepare them in a same way – cooked, pickled or raw. Typically we use raw so called “salad veggies” like: cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers or tomatoes. Others like: broccoli, cauliflower and root veggies usually land in the soups, stews or casseroles. But what if we would look out of the veggie comfort zone and see if we can eat raw these vegetables that we usually cook?

Curious? Lets go then!

But before we get to the point lets have a look at some nutritional facts.

Apart from vitamins and minerals obvious for everyone, what else vegetables have that other foods don’t?

The answer is fiber. According to food science dietary fiber is essential for healthy body.

But what it is exactly and what it does?

Dietary fiber is the parts of plants that your body cannot absorb or digest. Normally all the carbs, fats and proteins are processed in your body and transformed to energy. Fiber travels thorough your digestive system mostly intact, and simply leaves you body. It also contains different nutrients and minerals but have different function. Scientists divided fiber into two types:

  • soluble fiber – this type of fiber dissolves in water making gel-like consistency. They bypass the digestion of the small intestine and are easily fermented by the microflora of the large intestine. Soluble fiber helps to lower glucose and cholesterol levels.
  • insoluble fiber on the other hand helps to move all of that you’ve digested to smoothly get to the point where you get rid of it. So it’s really helpful when you have constipation issues.
So what are the benefits of fibre?
  1. Ability to decrease body weight or attenuate weight gain – soluble fiber, when fermented in the large intestine produces hormones generate feeling of satiety. So Foods that contain a lot of fiber make you feel full and satisfied for longer.
  2. Dietary fiber may significantly decrease energy intake.
  3. Dietary fiber intake increases, the intake of simple carbohydrates tends to decrease. Soluble fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels.
  4. Fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it so it’s easier to pass. When you increase your fiber intake also increase the amount of water you drink, so the fiber can absorb it properly.
  5. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).

That’s some of the good things that fiber does for our body. Although researchers still don’t know everything about what fiber does, many of them claims that there’s is a strong relationship between fiber and coronary diseases and certain types of cancer. There’s still a lot to discover.

So finally let see what veggies you didn’t know (or maybe you already knew that and it’s just me?) you can eat raw.


Rich in nutrients, full of fibre. Great low carb alternative for grains and legumes. Recently very popular as a replacement for everything (I mean popular in low carb and ketogenic communities). Can be eaten raw, and taste delicious for examle with avocado dip, joghurt and garlic sauce or tomato salsa. My favourite option – caulislaw – coleslaw like salad made with raw cauliflower instead of cabbage. Yummy!


Did you know that courgette is actually botanically clacified as a fruit not a vegetable? Wild courgettes are very bitter and should not be eaten raw. This bitterness comes from cucurbitacins, which may be poisonous for humans and animals. Store bought courgettes are safe, and can safely be eaten raw. Although if you bite into courgette and it tastes extremely unpleasant and bitter, it’s best to spit it out and dispose of the entire fruit to avoid the risk of cucurbitacin toxicity. Don’t let this discourage you from eating courgettes. It’s very unlikely that you’ll buy very bitter courgette in the shop. The best is always buy from proven stores or farmers markets. You can use courgette for variety of ways: it’s great in salads, you can use it as a low carb noodles, as a wrap or simply eat with a dip as a snack. The sky is the limit!


Oh I love beets, but all my live I’ve been eating them cooked or pickled. If you like beets, try them raw. According to a 2016 study in the Journal of Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science, pickled beets have less nutrients than raw ones. You can eat raw beets in many different ways: thinly slices, served as carpaccio, grathed or chopped in salads, blended in fruit and vegetable smoothies, you can juice them with other fruits (like apples) and drink. Beetroots comes also in other colours than red, they are yellow and white. Try my raw beetroot recipes: raw beets and avocado salad, raw beets, broad beans and feta salad, golden beets carpaccio.

Brussels sprouts

Surprised? I was as well. But actually you can eat them raw as cabbage. They are quite firm and not everyone will enjoy their taste, especially if you’re used to eat them roasted or cooked. Wasn’t my favourite raw veg of choice, but definitely I could consider adding raw Brussels sprouts to all sorts of salads. The best way is to slice them very thinly, you can use a mandoline. With all sorts of dressings will be great addition to sandwiches or side salad for meat dishes. Definitely give it a try to find out if you like it or not.


Just the same as cauliflower, broccoli can easily be eaten raw. Small tendersteam broccolies can be delicious in all sorts of salads, but regular large broccoli finely chopped or divided into small florets can make crunchy, beautiful green salad. Just let yourself experiment.

Parsley root

Did you know you can use parsley root just the same as you use carrot? Add raw parsley root to smoothies, salads or make thin slices using a peeler and prepare small rolls adding some goat cheese for example.

Root celery/celeriac

Exactly the same as parsley root – instead of popping them into a broth or stew prepare juicy spring salad. You can grate celery root and prepare all sorts of different side salads. It goes great with: apple, raisins, cranberries, sweetcorn, pineapple, hard cheese, Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Perfect with white meat or fish dishes.

Collard greens

I love collard greens slightly sauted with butter and garlic, but as othe cabbage they can also be eaten raw. Although similar to kale they need a lot of chewing. To make it less difficult to eat you can chop them finely, drizzle with olive oil and some salt and massage rubbing the toughness away. After this “treatment” you can add them to your salads and happily eat without feeling like a cow in the pasture 😉 Because of their large leaves, they will be also a great wrap if do not enjoy traditional flour wraps.

When you got to this point and you think: I wish I could eat more veggies, but they make me feel bloated, I have cramps and gases! Okey dokey – that may happen if your body is not used to eating raw foods (I mean raw vegetables) and whole grains. In this case start adding high fiber foods gradually and observe which ones makes you feel better which ones make digestive issues. That’s the easiest way – observing how your body reacts to certain foods if you feel like your body doesn’t like certain veg, you feel discomfort or simply don’t enjoy the taste, just grab a different one. Vegetable world is wide and for sure you’ll find couple veggies you really like. Or maybe you don’t like it’s cooked version, and the raw one will taste much much better? Become an explorer in a vegetable world this Spring and find your favourite tastes.

And one more thing before I let you dive into your veggie drawer: always wash your vegetables thoroughly before you eat them raw! Choose veggies from trusted source – your local shop or farmer. Personally I hate buying veggies packed in plastic, that travelled thousands kilometres before they landed in my bag, but it’s obvious that buying sustainable and local isn’t always possible. So choose wisely, but also do not resign from buying vegetables, just because you can buy them only in the supermarket. Work with what you have, the best you can 🙂

Source of knowledge:

eat it! don’t bin-it! the edible parts of vegetables you usually put to rubbish

Did you know that some parts of vegetables that you usually put to rubbish are in fact edible? If you buy veggies from the farmers market or in small local shops, often you can get broccoli, cauliflower or carrots as a whole veg – with leaves and stems. When I was getting my veg delivery from a local farm I was feeling sorry to bin carrot, cauliflower and broccoli leaves, so I’ve made a research and see if I can use them anyhow. It turned out that there’s plenty of veggie parts we usually get rid of, that we could actually eat. And if you get your veggies from a sustainable and good source, that are harvested locally during the natural growing season you can go ahead and eat them whole. Moreover, sometimes leaves that we usually put to rubbish are more nutritious that the actual vegetable. There’s also couple fruits which parts you always throw away, but even though unbelievably they are edible. I will tell you about them at the end.

Why locally grown and seasonal veggies and fruits I think are the best?

Nutritional values are highest immediately after harvesting and decline over time. Long transportation and storing time requires some kind of chemicals that will make veggies and fruits look good for a long time. According to EWG there’s couple veggies and fruits that should be considered as highest content of pesticides. Strawberries are first. Apples came second in the ranking. The third place was taken by nectarines, and the fourth by peaches. There’s also: celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, red peppers, cherry tomatoes and green cucumber. Unfortunately also very popular as a healthy food – kale. That’s why it’s so important to avoid buying vegetables from big supermarkets, or the one that where growing thousands miles from where you live. Buying locally means that fruits and veg are much less likely to be treated with chemicals to increase their shelf life during transport and storage.

Obviously it’s not always possible, and not everyone has an opportunity to buy only organic and locally grown products. But there’s still something you can do. Try to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, and when you’re in the supermarket take a good look on the label to see where the fruit or veg is from – choose these ones that was growing closest to you.

And now let’s see which parts of veg and fruit you’ve been foolishly putting to rubbish bin 😉

Photo by Petra Nesti on

Cauliflower leaves

If you buy cauliflower with leaves, do not get rid of them. As the cauliflower have a lot of vitamins – from A and C to E, K, B6, folic acid, thiamine and niacin, also minerals like: zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Cauliflower leaves are perfect as homemade chips. Just drizzle them with olive oil and spices, and then put in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cooked in vegetable broth and blended with cream and spices, turn into a delicious green soup. Fried with clarified butter, can even be eaten solo. You can easily add them when making caulislaw (coleslaw made with cauliflower). Sky is the limit!

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on

Broccoli leaves

Broccoli stem and leaves are edible too. They contain a lot of fiber and are rich in, among others, valuable vitamin K. Just cut the stalk a little from the fibrous outer part and cut it into slices, and then boil it in water or steam. The leaves can be added to a salad, a green smoothie, or sautéed or baked with salt and pepper. If you like preparing homemade vegetable juices, you can also add broccoli leaves and stems.

Photo by Hana Mara on

Carrot leaves

Although it’s not very popular, but sometimes you can buy a beautiful bunch of carrot s with leaves. If you do so, never get rid of the leaves, because they contains more nutritional properties than the root itself! They are full of chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin K and C, helping to cleanse the body of toxins and deposits, detoxifies the liver and boosts your energy. You can use them to make pesto, green smoothies, chimichurri sauce, can be added to vegetable broth or different kind of salads.

Photo by ready made on

Kohlrabi leaves

Comparing to the root kohlrabi leaves contains much more vitamin C that the root. If you don’t want to loose this valuable vitamin put leaves to a salad. They also contain large amounts of iron. So if you deal with anaemia, you’re pregnant or just delivered a baby, make yourself a salad with kohlrabi leaves. They have quite intensive taste, so young leaves will be the best to spice up your salad, and larger leaves can be added to the soups.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Radish leaves

Do you also always get rid of them? They contain twice as much vitamin C as lemon juice! They are a rich source of iron and calcium (they even win over spinach). They perfectly detoxify the body and improve metabolism. Finally, they regulate blood pressure and increase natural immunity. Young radish leaves can be added to a salad, larger ones because of their hardness and roughness will be better added to a green smoothie, soup or as a base for green pesto.

Surprised? If you do, take a look at these two fruits – the parts you always get rid of are also edible:

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on

Strawberry stems and leaves

As it turns out, strawberry leaves are teeming with bioactive compounds, including anti-inflammatory, disease-fighting flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. Chlorophyll, protects the body against the harmful effects of free radicals and slows down the ageing process, and because of the fiber that supports the functioning of the intestines. Strawberry stalks also contain vitamin C and iron. You can obviously eat the stems with the strawberry itself, but you can also add the stems and leaves to a salad, green smoothies or pop them into a bottle with water to infuse. If you decide to eat the whole strawberry make sur that it’s from a good source. According to EWG strawberries contain, on average, as many as 13 dangerous pesticides. If you buy the perfect strawberries – large, red and without any blemish, you must be aware that such fruits are grown with pesticides.

Photo by Brian van den Heuvel on

Watermelon rind

Would you ever consider watermelon rind? It’s edible as a cucumber. Watermelon rind is full of easily digestible fiber, which helps to remove toxins from the body. The same as watermelon flesh has plenty of nutritional benefits. You can either pickle the rind, or remove the hard green skin, finely chop the rest and prepare a summer salsa or chutney – perfect as an addition to BBQ. Also watermelon seeds are edible. If you always spit them out, try to save them, dry and roast on a hot pan and you’ll get a great healthy snack.

As the icing on the cake, there’s quite a good few edible flowers you can add to your food if you’re lucky enough to have a garden or a meadow near by. Of course never pick up flowers that are growing near busy roads and industrial areas. I’m very curious about them, because I’ve never tried any edible flowers and they look so amazing as a decoration or a salad garnish. Have you ever tried them?

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on

Edible flowers

  • basil – flowers come in a variety of colours, from white to pink to lavender. The taste is similar to the leaves, but milder
  • garden pansy – petals have a slightly vague flavour, but if you eat the whole flower, it has a more mellow flavour. A good addition to cheeses and salads
  • courgette and pumpkin – flowers of both are wonderful stuffing “vessels”, each with a delicate flavour. The stamens must be removed before use
  • violet tricolor (Johnny Jump-Up) – lovely and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavour, great for salads, pasta, fruit and drinks
  • arugula (rocket) – flowers are small with dark centres and a peppery flavour that resembles leaves
  • chamomile – small and daisy-like. Its flowers have a sweet flavour and are often used in tea. Allergy sufferers must be careful because they may be more prone to chamomile allergy
  • lavender – sweet, spicy and fragrant flowers are a great addition to spicy and sweet dishes or homemade ice cream
  • mint – flowers are just mint. Their intensity varies depending on the variety
  • radish – variegated flowers of the radish have a distinct, peppery flavour
  • rosemary – flowers taste like a milder version of the herb
  • sage – flowers have a subtle flavour similar to the leaves
  • daisy – has an interesting mint flavour.

For a change parts of vegetables and fruits

that you should never eat:

  • potato stems, shoots and leaves – they contain solanine – toxic compound. Solanine is also found in unripe green potatoes
  • tomato leaves and stems – they also contain solanine
  • aubergine leaves and stems – can cause abdominal pain and food poisoning
  • rhubarb leaves – contain large amounts of the dangerous oxalic acid. It can cause acute food poisoning, vomiting and severe stomach pain
  • asparagus – only the young shoots of this plant are edible. We colloquially call them “asparagus” even though they are merely asparagus spikes. After the harvest period, the female variety of this plant produces buds and flowers, which develop red, berry-shaped fruits. Although they look tempting, they cannot be eaten. They contain a toxic chemical called sapogenin that can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

I can’t wait until spring and summer when I will get my veggie delivery again. I hope I encouraged you to try and instead of getting rid of some veggie parts you’ll use them to make a smoothie, pesto or delicious salad. Also take a look at your local community or farmers market when the Spring comes – I’m sure you will find plenty of healthy and delicious seasonal vegetables and fruits.

10 eating habits to improve your health (even if you don’t want to be on any diet)

There’s hundreds of diets in this world. You don’t believe that? Have a look at Wikipedia list of diet. “Not all diets are considered healthy. Some people follow unhealthy diets through habit, rather than through a conscious choice to eat unhealthily” – good point Wikipedia! Some diets are obviously unhealthy, and you don’t need to be a doctor to know that: “junk food diet” or “Western diet”, aren’t the best choices in therms of eating habits.

Being on a diet become very popular and in some environments is trendy, which I believe is not the best idea. Nevertheless , not everyone needs to be on a certain diet and not everyone wants to be on a diet (I was that person), and no one should feel bad because of that. No one should feel bad because people around him are on some kind of diet, and he is not. Changing of eating habits should be a concious decision, backed up with knowledge drawn from various sources. If you start being on a certain diet just because everyone else are, you might not only harm your body but also your mind. But as I said, not everyone want to restrict themselves to certain eating rules, and that’s fine. No one wants to be restricted and feel forced to anything. Including me.

But if you’d like to try to make a small changes to your eating habits and see if they’ll make you feel better, I have 10 eating habits for you. If you have digestive problems like bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, or you constantly tired, you have cravings, you joints are stiff and painful, take a look at this list. Even if you implement one habit, it might help you a lot. You don’t need to reorganize your whole world, try to adapt one small habit you think would help you the most. Some of them might seem to be more complicated at the beginning, but I can assure you that you’ll quite easily get used to them. Especially if you start feeling better. But don’t force yourself, remember it needs to be your concious decision. Make your research, read some more informations, listen to other people who’s also implement these habits in their lives. An try yourself.

The lack of scientific evidence is not proof that something is not happening, and the other way – if there is a scientific evidence that something works, it doesn’t mean that it will work for everybody.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

10 eating habits to improve your health

(even if you don’t want to be on any diet)

1. Drink apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apples, its main active substance is acetic acid, but also lactic acid, citric acid, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and bacteria friendly to our digestive system. Good quality apple cider vinegar is cloudy (unfiltered), unpasteurized and has a dark orange colour (sediment at the bottom of the bottle it’s called “the mother”).

Vinegar has a long history of use as a disinfectant and natural food preservative. According to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Department of Hospital Epidemiology in the US, vinegar has a strong antimicrobial effect and can kill certain strains of bacteria.

The best health benefits of apple cider vinegar have been found in patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, both due to insulin resistance and the inability to produce insulin. However, elevated blood sugar levels can also be a problem for people who do not have diabetes … high blood sugar is believed to be the main cause of ageing of the body and the cause of various chronic diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain the proper level of sugar in blood. In particular, it improves insulin sensitivity during a meal with a high carbohydrate content of 19-34%, and thus significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin levels, as well as lowers blood sugar by 34% after consuming 50 g of white bread. In addition, taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime may reduce your fasting blood sugar by 4%. As a consequence, it is beneficial for blood sugar levels, it does not spike after meals and build up in the form of adipose tissue. If you are currently taking medications to lower blood sugar levels, consult your doctor before introducing apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Drinking apple cider vinegar helps with digestion as it produces more gastric juices, but if you start to experience diarrhoea, reduce your dose or stop drinking it for a few days.

Typical doses are 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) per day. Always drink diluted vinegar (maximum 2 tablespoons for about 200 ml of water). Have a drink before meals (especially high-protein) or twice a day (e.g. morning and evening). If you’ve never tried drinking apple cider vinegar start with 1 teaspoon, and see how you feel. Slowly increase the amount of vinegar up to 2 tablespoons. You’ll see significant difference if you tend to feel heavy after meals, especially if you eat a lot of meat, and your stomach is not producing enough stomach acid. Which leads me to the second one.

2. Don’t drink while you eat

There’s many theories about you should drink while eating a meal or not. What I’ve noticed from my own experience, that drinking a glass of tea, juice, coffee or large amounts of water during my meal or just after, makes me feel heavy, bloated and uncomfortable. So if you drink a lot (also fizzy drinks) with a meal and it makes you feel worse, you have abdominal pain and bloating, try not to drink anything while you eat and just after. Although if you feel like you need to drink something, have a couple sips of water. Always observe your body and decide, if it’s a habit or your body really needs water.

3. Say no to highly processed food

Humans has been processing food for centuries: cutting, cooking, baking, drying, chopping. Food processing that we can carry out at home are natural processes. E.g. pickling, pasteurization, drying, salting, smoking etc.
Highly processed food is one that we are not able to “produce” at home, special conditions, machines and substances are needed for this. Such industrial processes are: mechanical separation, spray drying, sterilization, freeze drying, vacuum packing, food treatment, radiation, infrared treatment. Food is not only subjected to unnatural processes, but also various types of food additives are used, which are not a natural food ingredient but are added to obtain specific effects. Food additives are defined differently in different countries. For example, in the European Union, a food additive is “a substance that is not normally eaten but is intentionally added to food for technological reasons“, while in the United States food additives are “substances whose intended use causes, or can reasonably be expected to will make it directly or indirectly an ingredient of food or otherwise affect the properties of food “(Wikipedia). Such substances include: flavouring compositions, dyes, emulsifiers, thickeners, raising agents and other substances that are intended to thicken the product, also preservatives, antioxidants and stabilizers, compounds that are to extend the life of products. These compounds have different origins, sometimes they are made from natural products, and sometimes synthetic. Importantly, they never occur naturally.
There are many misconceptions and contradictions when it comes to explaining which food additives and in what amounts are harmful to human health. It is generally accepted that everything that is in the product you buy in the store is not harmful and does not pose any threat to your life. Logically looking – why would they inform about the fact that what is added to food is not necessarily healthy?

Let’s look at these facts: boric acid was widely used as a food preservative from the 1870s to the 1920s, but was banned after World War I due to its toxicity, as demonstrated in animal and human studies. During World War II, the urgent need for cheap, available food preservatives led to it being used again (!), but it was finally banned in the 1950s. In 1938 US government decided that no carcinogenic substances should be used in food production, however, after the banning of cyclamates in the United States and Britain in 1969, saccharin, the only remaining legal artificial sweetener at the time, was found to cause cancer in rats. But they have found in 2000, that saccharin is carcinogenic in rats due only to their unique urine chemistry. (Wikipedia) So how can we be sure that if something will be fine for rats, will be also fine for humans? Especially in long term?

Do you know, that there’s over 300 different food additives? Which one you should avoid the most?

  • Sodium nitrites – check all the deli meat products, and meat products in general – I can guarantee that 99% of them will have sodium nitrite. Have you noticed that homemade deli meat never have such a pink glowing colour, like the one from the shop? It’s mostly because the additives. Naturally prepared deli meat always gets this greyish colour after cooking. But we got so used to what we see in the shop, we start thinking that there’s something wrong with the meat that we cook at home, because it’s not as pink and doesn’t have as strong flavour as the one from the shop. When sodium nitrite is heated at high temperatures or combined with stomach acid, starts producing nitrosamines. They are linked to an increased risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancer.
  • Sulfites – are a preservative many people are sensitive to (especially people with asthma). Their use on fresh fruits and vegetables is banned in the United States, but sulfites are present in other foods (also avoid sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite, sodium bisulfite or sodium sulfite)
  • Trans fats – it’s cheap, they do not go rancid, they can be repeatedly heated and cooled without any harm, and the products prepared with their use are durable and have a long shelf life. There is only one but – this type of fat is really very harmful to health. If you eat a lot of them, and for longer periods you can get diabetes, heart disease, hardening of blood vessels and inflammation. It also reduces your body’s ability to lose weight. Most trans fats are found in all confectionery, cakes, potato fries and fast food.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – this substance enhance flavour and texture in processed foods (especially Asian foods are known from using MSG generously). People sensitive to MSG can experience nausea, breathing problems and other reactions. You can read about it also in this post.
  • E102, E110 (also known as FD&C yellow no. 5 and no. 6) – these artificial coloring agents can cause severe allergic reactions in those with asthma. Some research also suggests a link with hyperactivity in children, but this has not been proven. What’s interesting E110 is not only used in food but also in production of condoms, cosmetics, and drugs (Wikipiedia). Products containing E102 commonly include processed commercial foods that have an artificial yellow or green colour, or that consumers expect to be brown or creamy looking (!). It has been frequently used in the bright yellow colouring of imitation lemon filling in baked goods. E102 is widely use in cosmetic industry, household cleaning products, paper plates, pet foods, crayons, inks for writing instruments, stamp dyes, face paints, envelope glues, and deodorants (Wikipedia). Considering that, how much of E102 a human can absorb not only in food and medications, but also through skin contact?

Now if you eat a lot of processed foods, go to the kitchen and have a look on the labels, how many of these substances you find in your food?

4. Eat when you’re hungry

Depending on the opinion of the dietitian, we are told to eat 5 times a day, or 3 times a day. We are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that the first meal should be eaten before 9am and the last one no later than 6pm, and so on. All the experts has their own opinions you should be listening to. Such a single pattern that could be applied to every person could make sense only if everyone functioned in exactly the same way. Meanwhile, each of us functions completely different. We have different sleeping patterns (for example, if someone works in shifts), our work is different in terms of time and effort, we have different eating habits and we live in various climate. It is impossible for one scheme to fit all.
For some people, eating 5 meals a day is almost impossible. Depending of how your diet is – more carbohydrate based, or fat based (or both), if you work from home, and you sit most of the time, or you do physical work and need a lot of energy.

What if you would become your own expert? Isn’t you the one who knows your body the best? What if you’re absolutely not hungry in the morning, and you need to force yourself to eat something, when your body’s metabolism didn’t wake up yet?

So if you feel like you have to force yourself to eat 5 times a day, or to have a giant breakfast before 9am, consider thinking through your own body needs and prepare your own schedule that’s the best for you and your lifestyle. Become your own expert. And this leads me to a next one…

5. Observe and be mindful

to become your own expert start observing how you feel, after eating certain foods, also observe your hunger.

Ask yourself if:

  • your body is hungry for food?
  • or maybe you’re dehydrated?
  • or (if you eat a lot of sweets) your mind craves sugar?
  • or maybe you’re just bored?

We tend to be so unaware of our own body, that even if we’re on certain diet we do not recognise what it’s trying to tell us. We often mindlessly subordinate to the rules of chosen diet, without listening to how our body responds. As I have been writing here, before keto diet I didn’t stop and think how eating certain food makes me feel. Why the hell I feel so sleepy after dinner? Why I feel like I would explode after this delicious lentil soup? Why my stomach is heavy and painful after x or y? I’ve never thought about that. I thought it’s normal. If you feel bad after eating certain foods it is not normal. The food you eat should be nutritious for your body, make you feel energised and full of live.

6. Use a lot of herbs & spices

Even if you’re not a masterchef, and your cooking skills leave something to be desired, spices can take your kitchen to the next level. Not only that, spices have healing properties, they support your health, facilitate metabolism and even destroy microbes that are hostile to your body. 2017 research showed that essential oils and extracts of some spices contain active compounds like piperine, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, linalool, thymoquinones, curcumin, allicin. These compounds acts like natural preventive components of several diseases and represent as antioxidants in body cells.

According to this research which spices has the most healing properties?

  • Black Cumin Seeds (Nigella sativa) – helps to treat common cold, infections of the trachea, bron-chitis, urinary tract, and reproductive system. Some skin dis-orders such as warts and hair losses. Egyptians used it to treat stomachaches, inflammations, intestinal worms, and migraines. Modern researches showed that black cumin seeds are potentially antioxidant, hepatoprotec-tive, anticancer, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, analgesic, antiulcer and antihistaminic.
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – widely use in India. Leaves are used to add flavors to medicinal drinks, decoctions, and as flavouring wrappers in the preparation of traditional sweets. Aparft for its internal healing properties, turmeric can be used on the skin as a natural anti-septic. It can be applied topically for the treatment of acne,wounds, boils, bruises, blisters, ulcers, eczema, insect bites,and skin diseases like herpes. Researches showed that curcumin (active compound of turmeric) is highly anti-inflammatory, works against a number of pathogenic bacteria (for example Helicobacter pylori).
  • Garlic (Allium sativum L) – has antifungal and antiparasitic properties, it’s also anticancer and antioxidant abilities, can control cholesterol and blood pressure and prevent gastritis. It’s a natural antibiotic.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – it comes from the same family as turmeric. Its antimicrobial, for example fights Candida albicans and Helicobacter pylori which is the main reason for peptic ulcer, dyspepsia, and gastric/stomach cancer.
  • Star Anise (Illicium verum) – has carminative, antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic, sedative, anticarcinogenic,and antioxidant properties. Seed from the star anise floret is known to contain about 55%fatty oils along with oleic acid, linoleic acid, myristic acid, andstearic acid.
  • Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) – good for head-aches, bad breath, and fever. Also extracts of nutmeg seed showed antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) – it has antiseptic properties, and its potential for antibacterial and antifungal activity has been tested in laboratories by a number of researchers. Piperine extracts from black pep-per showed maximum antibacterial activity against multidrugresistant gram-positive bacteria.
  • Cloves (Syzigium aromaticum) – it’s known to control nausea,vomiting, cough, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, stomach dis-tension, and gastrointestinal spasm. It is recognized to possessanticarcinogenic, antioxidant, and antiparasitic properties. Active compound in cloves is eugenol, that has antibacterial and antifungal activity.
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum,C cassia,C zeylanicum,C loureirii) – antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood purifying and blood thinningproperties, and it is also used in reducing blood sugar levels andcholesterols. However, excess consumption of cinnamon can be toxic to bodyorgans.

Also there’s plenty of culinary herbs that has healing properties (contains polyphenols) and helps our body to digest the food.

  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) – control of swellings, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, anaemia, menstrual disorders, small pox, eye care, conjunctivitis, skin disorders. Traditional Chinese Medicine the leaves were used to stimulate the appetite, promote digestion and to strengthen the spleen and stomach. The seeds were similarly used to soothe the stomach, relieve nausea, for intestinal cramping and constipation.
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) – used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver problems, and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination. Other uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders.
  • Oregano (Wild Majoram) (Origanum vulgare L.) – Oregano is used for respiratory tract disorders such as coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. It is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as heartburn and bloating. Other uses include treating menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract disorders including urinary tract infections (UTIs), headaches, and heart conditions.
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum (P. Mill.)) – vitamin C, vitamin A, Vitamin K, some folate (a B vitamin), and iron. It’s high in antioxidants which can reduce free radical damage and oxidative stress markers. If you’re feeling bloated, parsley’s anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful.
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) – n terms of vitamins, fresh rosemary contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and other B vitamins such as folate and thiamin. Also improves digestion, rosemary in a tea is great to treat an upset stomach or nausea.
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) – increase memory recall and retention, normalise cholesterol levels, treat symptoms of menopause, and improve blood sugar, anti-inflammatory properties as well as plenty of antioxidants.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) – considered as medicinal plant due to their pharmacological and biological properties. Its properties are due to its main components, thymol and carvacrol. Fresh Thyme has the highest level of antioxidants among all herbs. Fresh Thyme contains Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Iron, Phosphorus, vitamin A, B, K and vitamin C. Extracts from Thyme have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of several respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis and for the treatment of other pathologies thanks to several properties such as antiseptic, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidative and antiviral.

7. Reduce sugar

It won’t be a great discovery if I say that sugar is harmful. Sugar addiction is compared to drug addiction.

People who eat large amounts of sweets very often struggle with gastrointestinal fungal infections. It is associated with the overgrowth of the yeast from the Candida albicans family. Probably few people are aware that they are present in the body of every human being from birth. When the immune system is functioning properly, fungi do not multiply, so they are not dangerous – normal bacterial flora keeps them in check. The situation changes radically when we disrupt this balance. Taking various types of medications, such as antibiotics, also causes disturbances in our digestive system, making the body extremely susceptible to the development of yeast. The second factor is eating large amounts of simple sugars that Candida is fed. Long term exposure of the body to yeast and fungus overgrowth causes chronic inflammation and, consequently, many dangerous diseases.

If you eat a lot of sweets and notice any of these symptoms, it is very likely that your body has been attacked by Candida:

  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • yeast infections of the genitals (especially in women)
  • feeling of constant fatigue
  • stiff neck
  • migraines
  • ear, throat and nose problems
  • white raid on the tongue
  • metallic taste and bad breath
  • bloating and gas
  • craving for sweets, pasta and bread combined with irritability, drowsiness, decreased concentration, fatigue and mood changes.

How to get rid of yeast overgrowth?

Traditional medicine, of course, will propose a set of drugs that give you a somewhat miserable feeling that you only need to swallow the pill and your problems will disappear. But the best, most effective and at the same time the cheapest, although not the easiest way, is to change your diet.

How can you prevent yeast infections of the digestive system? Avoid:

  • sugars and products containing it (chocolate, candies, jam, fruit juices), as simple sugars are an ideal breeding ground for yeast and fungi
  • wheat flour products: white bread, pancakes, dumplings, cakes
  • blue cheeses and fruit containing a lot of sugar (oranges, bananas, plums, dried fruit)

It is also important to drink a about of 2 litres of water each day, to help remove toxins from the body that are produced by fungi.

You can make a simple home test, to check the presence of active Candida in the body.

In the evening, put ½ glass of water next to your bed. Immediately after waking up, spit out quickly what you have in our mouth into the glass – do not collect saliva, but only spit out what you have in your mouth. Let the glass rest for 15 minutes. After this time, gently twist the contents of the glass. If the saliva rises on the surface of the water, it’s all fine. But if the water has become cloudy and the saliva has fallen to the bottom, you are most probably dealing with Candida imbalance in our body.

Make a test and stop eating sugar (it means sweets, bakery, flour products, pasta, rice) for a month and see how your body will response.

8. Use a bone broth as a base for your soups

Every two weeks I make beef bones broth that I get from the butcher. I simmer bones in a giant pot for 24 hours, with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (the acid helps to etch the bone marrow). Than I make a few portions of broth, freeze it, and use it for soups. Longer you cook the bones, you’ll get more powerful broth (you can simmer it up to 36 hours). This broth warms the spleen and gives you plenty of nutrients and natural collagen. Such a soup is a mineral bomb. A glass of collagen every day will improve the quality of every part of your body. It seals the intestines, which is the basis for the treatment of autoimmune or cancerous diseases. It warms up the spleen, which begins the entire energy flow in our body. It adds energy, strength and will also make sure that you do not freeze in winter like most of the population. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and absorbs easily to help restore cartilage. One of the most valuable components of bone broth stock is gelatin. Gelatin acts like a soft cushion between bones that helps them “glide” without friction. Studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy). It also helps with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut and supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract. Collagen also maintains healthy skin.

So instead of using stock cubes, pods or granules as a base of your soups, which apart from artificial flavour doesn’t have much to give, start making your own soup base. Check your local butcher, usually you won’t need to pay anything or a small amount of money for a giant bone. You’ll get couple litres of broth you can use as a base for the soup, half and half with water (broth is usually quite strong and thick, depending of the part of the bone you use to make it).

9. Eat fermented foods

One of the biggest benefits of fermented foods comes from probiotics. The digestive tract is teeming with some 100 trillion bacteria and other microorganisms, says Dr. David S. Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Changes to the population of gut microbes may create an imbalance between beneficial and harmful gut bacteria, leading to many health problems. When the digestive tract has an unhealthy mix of organisms, it can actually lead to a weakening of the walls of the intestines, which start to leak their contents into the bloodstream — a condition referred to, not surprisingly, as leaky gut syndrome. Chronic exposure to these substances leaking out from the intestines has been linked to a host of health problems, ranging from asthma and eczema to schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to Dr. Ludwig.

With fermented foods you can not only prevent from getting autoimmune diseases, but also built your immunity to different bacteria and viruses. Have a look at this post where I’m writing about Dr. Jean Bousquet Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Montpellier in France was looking for association between consumption of fermented vegetables and COVID-19 mortality at a country level in Europe. Also check this recipe for homemade sauerkraut juice and couple informations about its healing properties.

10. Give yourself a fast day

Long time ago people did not have continuous access to food, so fasting was a natural state for the body. In the modern world, when we have continuous and unlimited access to food, it happens that we spend most of our day eating. In such a situation, our body is forced to constantly digest the food we eat and it is not possible to “focus” on regeneration. All energy is used for digestion – if you provide your body with processed food, difficult to digest and stuffed with chemicals and toxins, the body accumulates them, without having enough time or energy to get rid of them.
Even though there’s been already researches about benefits coming from intentional fasting, there’s still a lot of disinformation and controversy around this subject and doctors who advocates to natural medicine, fasting and other alternative to modern medicine widely used and recognized as effective.

There are different types of fasting:

  • eating window (intermittent fasting) – for 6-8 hours a day you eat meals, the rest of the time you fast, giving your body time to digest and regenerate,
  • one-day fasting – e.g. once a week,
  • multi-day fasts – from 48 to several dozen hours.

Benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • increases insulin sensitivity, which is crucial for health, because insulin resistance, i.e. poor cell sensitivity to insulin, contributes to the development of many chronic diseases,
  • normalizes the level of ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone”, thus reducing the feeling of hunger,
  • improves blood sugar management,
  • increases the production of human growth hormone,
  • inhibits inflammation and reduces oxidative damage,
  • supports autophagy and mitophagy – natural cleansing processes necessary for optimal cell renewal and function,
  • accelerates fat burning, improves metabolic efficiency and body composition, including by significantly reducing visceral fat and body weight in obese people,
  • prevents the development of type 2 diabetes and slows down its progression,
  • improves the functioning of the immune system,
  • reduces the risk of heart disease,
  • reduces the risk of cancer,
  • regenerates the pancreas and improves its function,
  • protects against neurological diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease through the production of ketone bodies,
  • eliminates carbohydrate hunger.

I highly recommend Dr. Berg’s publications on his YouTube channel – the source of vast knowledge presented in an accessible and understandable way. Not only about intermittent fasting, but also plenty health problems, with holistic point of view.

I hope you’ve managed to read up to the end, and somehow you find it useful. I would be very happy if any of these tips and habits would help you to feel better in your body. If you have other habits that are helpful for you, please write them in the comment section below.

Source of knowledge:


10 lessons learned from keto diet

First of all I have to mention that I’m not a booster of any diet. I have never been on any diet before keto, and I’ve always thought and I still do, that moderation and balance is the most healthy way of life. Everything is for people, but not everything serves to everyone. So in my opinion the most important is to find what serves you best, and stick with it. We all have different needs, we live in different climate, we have different jobs, we are more or less active, our metabolism is different. There are so many factors, and they also change throughout our lives, that I can’t imagine having only one diet that would be right for everyone.

If you consider only one of these factors like climate: imagine two people – one lives in South Australia with very warm, dry Summer and extremely mild winter, the other (like me) lives in Northern Scotland humid all year round, with wet and windy Winter and mild Summer. Our needs will be completely different. From only logical point of view – body which lives in a colder, more humid climate will need more of cooked warming food. In cold temperatures our metabolism tends to be slower. Because of that raw and cold food might be indigestible, so your body will need more energy to digest this kind of food. On the other hand living in hot climate will make your body faster loosing water and mineral salts, metabolism will be faster, so the body will need other kind of food. Even the amount of sun in our live will have an impact on the way we should nourish our body. High exposure to the sun increases burning of fat, stimulates hormone secretion (because of higher levels of Vitamin D), low sun exposure will have the opposite effect. Maybe that’s why nature organized everything this way, that in warmer climates we have a lot of tropical fruits and veggies that can be eating raw (they have cooling nature), and in colder climate we tend to eat more animal products, more fat and cooked food (that has warming nature).

A we have just considered ONE FACTOR. What about the rest: our activity, health condition, if we use more our brain or our muscles at work (or both), we work out or sit all day at the desk. All these factors have an impact on the way you eat. And they change in time, according to your age, season of the year and your body condition. So it’s not possible to find one diet that fits all. I don’t believe that.

Of course diet, if it’s well fitted, might be helpful if you want to improve your health, boost digestion, detoxify or cleanse your body. But in my opinion more restrictive it is, there’s less possibility that you’ll be able to stick with it for the rest of your life. Maybe it works for someone, but even my naturopath who’s on keto for years, is not on keto all year round.

Being on ketogenic diet gave me even more that I would ever thought it will. And it was amazing experience, how your body can change if you eat or don’t eat certain food (you can read about it in my post “why I love and hate keto in the same time“). And how your attitude to food may change.

man holding ice cream cone under cloud
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on



Noticing the difference between hunger and cravings

We all are guilty of that. Mindlessly eating something during reading, watching, or opening the fridge 40 times a day checking if there’s something I could eat. Keto showed me the difference between feeling hungry and feeling tempted. And maybe even more important – triggered me to use my brain before I put something to my mouth. Simply ask yourself a question – am I hungry or I’m just bored? And give yourself honest answer.

close up photo of dessert on top of the jar
Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on

Being more aware of sensations

How my body respond to certain food. Before diet I usually didn’t stop and think how eating certain food makes me feel. Why the hell I feel sooo sleepy after dinner? Why I feel like I would explode after this delicious lentil soup? Why my stomach is heavy and painful after x or y? I’ve never thought about that. I thought it’s normal. The only messages that happened to listen to was cravings for certain foods (and I don’t mean crisps and sweets) like fish (I remember in high school I had days or weeks I could eat fish everyday on every meal – Vitamin D and unsaturated fatty acids) or certain vegetable like beetroot (possible anaemia) or tomatoes (lack of potassium).

Labelling food as “good” or “bad”

My relationship with food was always good. I’ve never had any weight problems, never been on diet, actually I was eating everything I wanted. But after couple months of keto, I noticed that I started labelling food as “good” or “bad”, “carbs” and “fats”. And I didn’t like it. I was looking at someone’s meal and catch myself thinking: “that’s bad, it’s mostly carbs”. That wasn’t healthy. Thinking: potatoes are bad (but I like them), birthday cake is bad (but it’s tasty and it’s someone’s birthday), bananas are bad (but they make great smoothie). If you try to convince yourself (in my case unconsciously) that the food you like is “bad”, even though objectively it isn’t (because highly processed food is bad, high sugar fizzy drinks are bad in fact), you’re building a feeling of fear of eating this foods, and in the same time feeling of guilt and regret, which leads me to the next lesson.

Feeling of guilt and regret

I started feeling after I finished with restricted keto (which you can read about it here) and started trying different food products. I had this moment (and I still have it sometimes) of feeling guilt for example after eating piece of birthday cake on my friends birthday party. And it’s ain’t healthy either.


person holding a slice of pizza
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

I don’t need to be addicted to eating

We live in a society that loves rules and advices. Or I should say we live in a society that is instantly bombarded (by who – you have to answer yourself) with rules and advices, how we should live, dress and eat. How many times a day we shall eat, what we should have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what we need what we don’t need. Which food is healthy, which isn’t. And we are lost in this chaos of informations (sometimes mutually exclusive), trying to listen to it. On the other hand we are constantly bombarded with food from every corner. You need to eat in the cinema, you eat doing shopping, before work out & after work out, during lunch time, coffee break… We are addicted to eating like we would die starving if we won’t eat for 3 or 4 hours. We live with this common beliefs without thinking if they are reasonable, if they simply serve us. Which leads me to the next one…’s OK not to eat for a day (or even two)

It might sound crazy for some people, but not eating (but hydrating your body) for a day or even two is not harmful. Actually in 2016 Japanese researcher Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for deducing the mechanism of autophagy. Autophagy is a vital process in which the body’s cells “clean out” any unnecessary or damaged components. During autophagy, the cells remove these unwanted molecules and dysfunctional parts. This process might be triggered by fasting. Years ago fasting was a natural process, that was happening during winter or when there was less food and calories intake was much lower than usual. In this kind of stress body could “recycle” damaged or ill body cells and reuse it for necessary processes. When the “starvation” mode has finished body could create new healthy cells. Which again leads me to the next one…

…You don’t need as much food as you think you need

I noticed that if I eat better quality food, containing more healthy fats, I actually don’t need to eat much. Sometimes one meal a day was enough. But even if you’re not on diet, you probably eat more than your body needs. Here this question might be helpful: am I nourishing my body or I just stuff it with whatever (like a dead animal)?

After some time I started noticing which food is good for me,

which one isn’t

After which I feel good and energized, which one makes me feel bad. And the difference between being full and being stuffed after meal. I first case you can run the day without thinking about food, in second case you are stuffed but still feel kind of hungry, and after an hour you would like to eat something. For example after eating regular pizza I feel stuffed but I’m not full. And after couple hours I’m thirsty as hell, like my body would like to flush it all from my intestines. Lentils makes me feel like I’ll explode. Alcohol (even in small quantities) is like poison for my body, and I have to digest it for 3 days (or for a week if I drink more that I should). Good nutritious breakfast or fulfilling soup in the morning keeps me awake and gives me energy for couple hours, without thinking constantly about food. Being aware about this things, I can make concious decisions about how I want to feel. It doesn’t mean though that I don’t eat full box of ice cream. At least now I know why I feel sleepy after that. So what I want to say: I can eat everything and anything, but I choose not to eat everything. Some people say “oh, you have a strong will, that you don’t eat x or y”. It’s not a strong will, it’s just when you feel the difference in how you feel, you don’t want to come back to the food you’ve been eating before.

Eat when you are hungry

Simple as that.


dalmatian sitting white surface
Photo by Kasuma on

Healthy body (and mind) doesn’t need shitty food as a treat

We are not learned to take care of ourselves in a basic form, like food, sleep, rest and mental health. Sometimes we treat it more like a rubbish bin than a temple. We don’t give it enough sleep, enough air and sun and exercise. We’ve stopped giving ourselves opportunity to play and laugh. We don’t spend time in nature building our connection with Earth. We spend time and energy on things that doesn’t matter instead of giving this energy to ourselves. We eat our sorrows away instead looking for solutions for our problems.

self care isn t selfish signage
Photo by Madison Inouye on

Before you start any diet, ask yourself why you want to change your eating habits, and do you really want to do it? If you want to do it for yourself or for others? If you have enough motivation and where this motivation is coming from? Because most probably after diet your life is not going to be the same. Make your reaserch, don’t throw yourself in the deep end without knowledge. So the process you will go through will run more smoothly. And most importantly observe. Your body, your mind, your thoughts and your feelings and learn about yourself.

person in red jacket standing on green grass field near snow covered mountain
Photo by Taryn Elliott on

And what’s your lessons? If you have some thoughts you’d like to share, do not hesitate 🙂

simple devilled eggs in a very complicated world

There’s nothing easier than devilled eggs. If you want to spice up your traditional keto hard boiled egg, just stuff it. Plain hard boiled egg with mayo is insipid and boring. Stuffing makes it more appetizing and simply more tasty.

Chicken egg yolk is a natural source of vitamin D. Did you know that vitamin D is actually a hormone? Nearly every cell in your body has a receptor for this hormone, and it’s already confirmed, that it’s role in the body is much wider than just protecting your bones. Vitamin D is the key when comes to your immunity. It plays a crucial role in neurological health, mood and cognitive function, it reduces inflammation in the body, helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance. And that’s only some of the good things about Vitamin D.

Most of our vitamin D comes from sun exposure, but in modern world when we spend most of our time inside than outside, causes that we constantly have vitamin D deficient, what makes out immune system very weak. If you’d like to know some more about this subject I highly recommend watching Dr Berg’s videos – he explains everything straightforward.

Going back to our egg, egg yolk and some other foods are good source of this key vitamin. But. The same way people intake vitamin D from the sun the same does the chickens. If they are exposed to the sun (read – they live their lives outside, on the grass, not in giant chicken warehouses) their eggs contain vitamin D. So if you’d like to have some extra vitamin D from eggs, choose the ones that comes from the hens that were living outside in their natural environment.

Funny thing I have found online (I would like to say it’s rather paranoid), that “A team of nutritionists and agricultural scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has found a new way to further increase the vitamin D content of eggs: by exposing chickens to UV light. As the team writes in the scientific journal Poultry Science, the method can be put into practice in henhouses straight away.” – source I recommend to read all the article – it’s quite interesting.

What else we will invent to make our life more complicated and more far away from the nature? Wouldn’t it be easier just to let this chickens live outside, in the sun, air and grass? Why do we think that we know things better than nature, and we want to make everything “better” than the nature did?

That was quite complicated introduction to the very easy recipe 🙂

simple devilled eggs


  • 5 hard boiled eggs (from hens that were living there life on the outside)
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • chopped spring onions
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • few cherry tomatoes


Mash the egg yolks with mustard and mayo. Add chopped spring onions. Stuff egg whites, sprinkle with coarse pepper and some more spring onions. Decorate with cherry tomatoes quarters and enjoy!

wild blueberry cheesecake #ketofriendly

Looking for some inspiration I decided to go through my old recipes and see if I can find something ketofriendly. And I found this purple guy here. It reminds me this hot summer day I’ve made it. I remember this creamy, almost velvety texture and deep blueberry flavour melting in my mouth while sitting in my friend’s garden.

This beautiful, deep purple colour comes from wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are generally much smaller in size than cultivated. They also vary in color from different shades of blue to almost black. And the taste…if you have never tried wild blueberry, you should definitely do it. That’s the taste of summer and my childhood, when my grandma was making blueberry dumplings with loads of cream on top. You had to watch yourself eating them, because dumpling could splash blueberry juice all around your clothes. After eating a plate of grandma’s dumplings everything was purple, your mouth, tongue, lips and hands, everything was blueberry…

What’s the difference between cultivated and wild blueberries? They both are great and full of nutrients, but seems like wild ones have higher quantities of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Although cultivated have more iron. Blueberries are known from the great source of polyphenols, but the wild blueberries again have more than cultivated ones. That makes them extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. Studies also show that they are protective against DNA damage, and can make a significant improvements in memory problems. They are great source of vitamin C and K1, and fiber, helping to grow healthy gut bacteria.

So actually, I could say that this cake is kind of a treatment 🙂


wild blueberry cheesecake

INGREDIENTS (26cm round cake tin):

· 500 g wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
· 200 ml whipping cream
· 1 kg cream cheese
· 6 tsp gelatine
· xylitol or other sweetener of choice, to taste


If you use fresh blueberries just rinse them under cold water and leave to drain. If you use frozen ones, defrost them first.

Blend them using hand blender, then put aside couple of spoons – we will use it as a topping. Mix the rest with cream again using hand blender. Then add cream cheese and sweetener and mix with hand mixer until combine.

Dissolve gelatine in a couple spoons of hot water (or according to directions on gelatine). Add 2-3 teaspoons to blueberries that you’ve set aside, and stir. Pour the rest slowly to your cheesecake and keep on mixing, so gelatine can dissolve properly. Put it to the fridge for a whole, so it will set a bit.

You can put some cling film or aluminium foil into your cake tin, to make sure that it’s not going to leak (or you can use silicon form, it will leak-proof for sure). Cheesecake should by slightly set, but still runny enough to easily transfer to the tin. So just pour it in and eaven the surface with spatula. And now it goes back to the fridge. After about an hour or two, spread on top the remaining blueberries and put it back to the fridge. The best would be for 6-8 hours if you manage to wait so long. (That’s why the best idea is to make it in the evening, and leave in the fridge for a night)

Properly set will be easy to slice in portions. There’s nothing left than just enjoy the treatment 🙂


quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet #ketofriendly

That’s 100% keto approved easy meal, that you can prepare in less than 30 minutes. It’s great for these days, when you don’t have time, or just don’t feel the vibe to spend time in the kitchen.

prawn and courgette skillet


It’s good to use variety of herbs when you cook your meals, especially the one with slightly bitter character like thyme, basil, oregano etc. All these herbs that have essential oil are good for digestion, that’s why be generous when adding them while cooking. Our grandmas knew how important herbs are, and they had a knowledge where to find them and how to prepare them to help in different health issues. To be honest I don’t know anyone who would have this kind of knowledge and go to the forest or meadow to pick up herbs. Fortunately we have books and internet that can help us to find this knowledge and use it. You can also find some treasures in your spice cupboard.

For example you can make thyme tea, and drink it to boost digestion – personally I love the taste. It also helps when you feel sore throat (even better if you mix it with sage). Oregano tea is also very tasty. I remember jar of oregano that was given to me by my work colleague. That was oregano grown in his garden, he dried not only oregano leaves but also flowers – that was the most delicious oregano I’ve ever eat (and drink).

Furthermore oregano oil is widely used as antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant purpose. Researches showed that oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges and 4 time more antioxidants than blueberries. Thanks that it can help to fight Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Isn’t it awesome? Oregano. For free (almost). You can grow it in your garden or windowsill.

Sorry, I slightly departure from the main subject, but I got excited about oregano.

So going back to our prawn and courgette skillet, do not be afraid to add a lot of herbs 🙂 And enjoy!

prawn and courgette

quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet


  • 180 g cooked and peeled king prawns (I used frozen ones)
  • 2-3 courgettes (depending of size)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp coarse pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • chili flakes


I will be honest. I always forget to take stuff out from the freezer. But that’s what you should do first – defrost the prawns. But as usual, I forgot this time as well, so I always put them on a clear frying pan and defrost them fast on a small heat. Then I drain the excess liquid, and then put them back on the skillet adding coconut oil or clarified butter.

While prawns are on there way, chop onion, courgette in half slices and bell pepper in strips. You can roughly chop the garlic or use garlic grinder. First put onions on the skillet and fry them for 2-3 minutes with prawns. Then add garlic, bell pepper and courgette. Sprinkle everything with some natural salt and add remaining herbs.

Fry on a fairly high heat, so veggies will be soft, but not soggy and mushy. After few minutes on the skillet, they should be done but, like spaghetti – al dente.

And that’s done, your meal is ready. Check only if it needs some more salt or maybe some more basil. If you’re a fan of chili flakes sprinkle it all over and stir for extra 2 minutes.


keto prawn and courgette