Monday, September 1, 2014

BEAUTIFUL NEW FALL EARRINGS

 Feeling and looking awesome is easy this fall! Simply choose your favorite from my new selection of aromatherapy earrings on Nelland Boutique.

Finally I found a hoop earring that is suitable for aromatherapy use!
  Read more about the new fall earrings on my column on PaganPages.org, or dive straight in to shopping them! Either way, be your beautiful self, feel great, and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB- DRESS FOR LAMMAS

  "Mary had a little lamb"-song was the inspiration to this dress. For some odd reason it feels fitting for Lammas (which is a funny coincidence, since "Lammas" means "lamb" in my native language Finnish  =).

Partly see-through, romantic floral and lace fabric in very light yellowish beige. I fell in love with the fabric when I saw it last year, and bought it right away back then. But it took a full year to find the time to turn it into something wearable. It was challenging to find a way to keep it casual enough to still fit to work. I did that by keeping the shape simple and adding a slightly darker fabric underneath.
 
Wearing my hair up makes the wide lace collar show better. I definitely wanted to add some lace to the dress, while still keeping it casual. A wide band of it around the neck hole acts sort of like a necklace in itself.
I just love these clogs! I got them years back from Gudrun Sjodén, and the soles are really a single piece of wood. They feel so natural. It is getting cool already, so I needed to wear pantyhose today. But in warmer weather bare legs are the best option.
The color of the dress is so muted that I wanted to spark it up with yellow jewelry. The necklace is years old, and the earrings are of course my own design aromatherapy butterflies. Makeup is minimal and natural.

  Although this outfit is initially for me to wear at work, I also attended a birthday party in it. My goddaughter turned six, and I thought it would suit her fantasy world of princesses and princes perfectly. Yes, I guess I could say this outfit is a piece of my fantasy world. Turned into reality that is. Yay!

Friday, August 29, 2014

RAW STIR-FRY

  This is a raw version of my long time favorite, vegetable stir-fry with brown rice. Raw foodists often substitute rice with finely chopped parsnip. I still like my cooked rice, so I made a compromise by mixing the two. The result is tastier and healthier than plain old brown rice. Yummy!

Vegetables soften without cooking too. Simply marinate them in olive oil and soy sauce. It is easy to prepare them, say the night before or in the morning, and they are ready to eat by lunch. Quick and easy.
Parsnip pulse-chopped in a food processor looks much like rice, and is nice and easy to eat.

Tuck in!
  The recipe (2 portions):

for the vegetables:
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced (or 1 cup sliced mushrooms if you have any. I didn´t.)
1 cup broccoli, in small florets
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut
1 Tbsp olive or sesame seed oil
soy sauce to taste

+ Combine all and let sit in the fridge for at least two hours to let the vegetables soften.

for the rice:
1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice

+  Pulse the parsnip in a food processor until the texture resembles rice. Stir in with the rice.

  Place half of the rice mixture on a plate and add a mound of vegetables on top. Serve and enjoy the good vibrations in your body!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

RAW BROCCOLI SOUP

  Wednesdays have been my soup days lately. Today I made broccoli soup seasoned surprisingly with cumin.

The main ingredients.

Blender does the same trick as cooking; softening and breaking down particles to ease chewing and digestion. But blending also reserves all the  enzymes. The recipe is from the gorgeous evergreen miss Mimi Kirk´s, book Live Raw. Oh, how I wish to keep my looks the way she has at still way over seventy!

A smooth and velvety combination of broccoli, avocado, and soymilk seasoned with cumin.
  The recipe (for 2-3):

2 cups almond milk (I used soymilk)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 tablespoon onion (I used chives)
1 clove garlic
1/2 stalk celery
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

+ Blend all in a high-speed blender until completely smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours to meld ingredients. Warm carefully until baby-bottle warm and serve.

  Two slices of wholemeal bread and 1/2 cup of chickpeas accompanied my meal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BACK TO PRE-BABY WEIGHT?

  Okay, it´s settled. I will try to see if I can get back to my pre-baby weight after nearly eleven years!
  There is about seven pounds (3,5 kg) to drop, so it´s not that much really. But I guess mentally it makes a bigger difference. My BMI is now 21.0 and my goal is to drop it to 20.0. No more, I do not want to be skeletal.

  While getting ready for the lingerie photo shoot I came up with this plan for weightloss. It allows big portions of food, but restricts calorie dense foods to about 1200 kcal a day. Also apart from my usual lifestyle, I did some exercise. As a result I did see progress in less than two weeks!
  Here´s the plan:

Eating:
Include: grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, some eggs, berries, apples, and vegetables. Exclude: dairy, meats, seafood, sugar and fruit. Grains, eggs, and legumes cooked, everything else raw.

Apples grow here locally, and are now in season, so they are on my menu. Berries are the only other sweetish ingredient allowed, thanks to their locality. 


- Breakfast choices:
1. Viking porridge
2. Yogurt

- Lunch choices:
1. 2-egg omelet + 5oz. (150g) corn + raw veggies on top of the cooked omelet
2.  a generous cup (3dl) cooked pasta + 1/2 avocado +  raw vegetable sauce
3. raw vegetable soup + 1/2 avocado + 3 slices of wholemeal bread
4. vegetable salad + 1/2 avocado + 3 slices of wholemeal bread
5. a snug cup (bulging 2dl) cooked brown rice + 1/2 avocado + raw stir fry
6. a home made scone (2oz. (60g) wholemeal flour + pinch of salt + 1/4 tsp baking powder + 1/2 cup (bulging 1dl) finely shredded zucchini/carrot etc. + water. Combine all, adding water enough to reach a thick batter. Form into a flat round on baking sheet and bake at 440F (225C) for 15-20 min.).
7. 1 lb (400g) cooked potatoes + mustard/margarine/soy sauce + raw vegetable pieces

- Dinner choices:
Make a double batch for lunch and eat the other half for dinner to save time in cooking.

- Supper choices:
The same as breakfast.

Salt is used sparingly, but herbs in abundance. Cayenne pepper sprinkled here and there.

  All the above meals contain about 350 kcal, and if extra hungry, it is possible to have a fifth meal per day without gaining weight.
  Saturdays are the days off of the plan. Then I can indulge in anything I have craved during the healthy week. I have a massive sweet tooth, and it is utopia to think I´ll never eat sweets again. One day a week for the sake of staying clean for the rest.  

  Exercise:

On rainy days I feel heavy and soaked like this bumblebee, but I will need to overcome the uninviting feeling for a greater cause...

  Inspired by this I will do some jogging 3-4 times a week plus 30 min. walking (or other light exercise) twice a week. While preparing for the shoot I did 5min. walking for warm up, then 1min. jogging + 1min. walking x 15, followed by another 5min. walking for cool down. It worked.
  Now I´m doing 2min. jogging + 1min. walking x 10. Next step will be 3min. jogging + 1min. walking. Minute by minute rising the amount of jogging, keeping the total in 30min. so it does not become too time-consuming.

Light and pretty as a butterfly in the end?

   I will try to follow the plan until my BMI is that set 20.0. I have no idea how long it will take, but the firmer I am able to stick with the plan, the sooner I will see results.

  If I ever reach the goal, my pre-baby weight, it will be interesting to see what it would take to stay there. But I´m not there yet, so I´ll worry about that later. =)
  Now I´m off to the new start!

Friday, August 22, 2014

POST-PHOTO SHOOT THOUGHTS

  The photo shoot yesterday went really well. Although the fact that the other woman I posed with in lingerie was seven years younger than me and a fitness model, did not exactly maximize my fabulousness, but I still felt good and beautiful. Do I really have that good of a self esteem? I´m surprised myself.  =)

  The results of the shoot will be seen in November, so there´s quite a waiting period. The publication is nationwide, so it is another nerve wrecking thing to look forward to. But the magazine is totally family friendly, and there are also evening wear pictures, so it is of good taste.

Here´s all the glamor that´s left of the shoot.
   While standing there on the set, nearly naked, next to a fitness girl, I blamed myself for not having exercised, ever. Perhaps it is time to start now, that I know my modeling agency obviously can assign me to do revealing shoots too. I always thought those were for young girls only. But hey, they did tell me I look much younger than my real age (soon 37), and that´s why they put me up for this gig too. The other models were 30-31 year olds. Well, what can one do for being fresh and fabulous by nature?!  =)

  But it did get me thinking about starting exercising. To burn the fat that´s still there. I like outdoors and fresh air, so I´m thinking jogging might be an easy way to start. Not miraculous equipment needed, only the time that it takes, and it can be done anywhere (except at our summer home, where there are no roads because the whole island is so tiny). Definitely no gym, that´s not for me. Fresh air in and out of my lungs is what I need in addition to burning the fat. Perhaps I´d finally reach my original, pre-baby weight, that I´ve never yet been able to get back to.

  The only trouble is that while our daughter is still so small, I always have to take into consideration my husband´s comings and goings to be able to go jogging. But I´m sure he would enjoy the results too, if there ever will be any...
Should I stay or should I go? I´ll think about it over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LEMONY GINGER YOGURT

  The past ten days I have been getting ready for a photo shoot (which is tomorrow), in which I am to wear some evening wear and lingerie. I do occasional modeling, but never did I think I would be asked to do lingerie! It is both scary and an honor. And if I survive through it, my self esteem should rise up a few (hundred) notches.

  This yogurt has been one of my favorite breakfasts/suppers during my slim down era. It has no salt in it, so it does not retain water in my tissues. Viking porridge serves the same purpose, and has been on my daily menu too.

My whole breakfast today. Yogurt and green tea.

Plain soy yogurt flavored with lemon zest, fresh ginger, and lemon balm. Needs no sweetener.
  The recipe (for one):

2 cups plain soy yogurt
zest of 1/2 lemon, grated finely
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated finely
a sprig of lemon balm, leaves minced finely

+Mix all and feel good!
  This yogurt has helped me lose some flab in just ten days. It works.

  Sometimes I wonder why I have to challenge myself, push my limits, find new experiences, to broaden my mind. Beforehand it can be nerve wrecking, like right now. But by tomorrow at this time I will be one big experience richer and wiser. I would not have it any other way! Life is for living, to the fullest, exploring, and learning.