Why edible wild plants are the epitome of food


Edible wild plants and herbs are a fantastic source of nutrition – naturally organic, they grow with great sunlight, air and soil of the mountains, thus absorbing the best energy of mother nature. There is a wide range of wild plants that can be used not only as food, but also as medicine. How can you make use of this most natural and powerful source of food?

I had the great opportunity to participate in the Wild Plants Workshop by Dr. Michael Machatschek, an expert in this field with over 35 years of experience, a rare and valuable knowledge that he is passionate to pass on.

„How can you ever be sick if you eat wild plants that not only give you great energy, but also heal you at the same time?“

We arrived in the mountains, in Hochkar in Lower Austria, as a group of about 20 persons. The first thing one notices upon getting out of the car was the incredibly fresh, clean and cool air with the beautiful sound of nature – what a cleaning environment for our soul! A wonderful place, where we will spend the following two days.

The program consisted of hiking the beautiful mountains, learning about all edible plants on the go that we encountered and also collecting them.

 

Let me show you three useful plants we learned, starting from the most common one…

Cumin

Cumin

Cumin are the seeds of this delicate plant and are used widely as an ingredient for cooking and baking, mostly used in bread and meat. It aids in weight loss and detox!

Health benefits:

  • purifies your blood
  • warms your stomach
  • improves digestion
  • burns fat reserves

Lady’s mantle

Lady’s mantle earned its name because the leaves of this plant look very much like a lady’s cape when you pluck it and look at it from the bottom. This can be collected, dried and used as tea, preferably for women. The best time to collect them is during Summer.

Health benefits:

  • great against female disorder, such as period pain
  • treats menstropausal symptoms
  • good for your womb
  • recommended before giving birth to decrease labour pain
  • the flowers are sweet smelling and are said to be an aphrodisiac

Bitter milkwort

This blue flower can mobilise heavy metals and thus can prevent a deterioration of your brain. Heavy metals like sticking themselves to fat and our brain consists mostly of fat cells. As this flower only mobilises the heavy metals out of your tissue, you need to drink lots of water for the body to get rid of it naturally through urination.

How to use it:
Put it in alcohol for about four weeks while exposing it to day- and nightlight. You may drink it together with a lot of water throughout the day, otherwise you might damage your brain. So use with caution. (Please note that I cannot be held accountable for any damages that may result from an improper use.)

There are wild plants that are used for medical purposes as seen above, but also many that can be used as vegetables, which we collected a proper amount of during these two days and prepared together in the hotel kitchen to have for lunch and dinner! And they all have great health benefits!

 

This workshop was just perfect for me – educational, useful, fun and above all: Great for my health to be in fresh mountain air & sunlight and to have the freshest and healthiest plants as my source of energy!

Forget-me-not

Forget-me-not <3

How to enjoy a lavish feast without feeling stuffed

It is Christmas time and like any festive holiday, we tend to celebrate it with a lavish feast. This certainly applies for the Chinese New Year, which is mainly celebrated by eating with your family and friends.

In this article, I am going to give you some tips on how to eat a generous amount and still feel good afterward! Yes, you can eat a lot without feeling stuffed later on (of course, still up to a certain extent) 😉

So here are my tips…

1) Do not mix high-protein with high-carbs in one meal!

This will make a huge difference and is one of the main principles of food combining. Small amounts of each can be eaten together though 😉

High-protein foods are meat, sea fruits, fish, nuts, seeds etc.
High-carb foods are grains, beans, legumes, bread, pasta, potato etc.

 

Why should you not mix?

Because protein and carbs are digested differently. Protein, when eaten alone requires about 4 hours to digest and carbs 2 hours. However, when eaten together, it can take up to 13 hours. So mixing both will make it more difficult for our body to digest and keep us fuller. In the worst case, it will sit in your stomach, start to ferment, make you feel tired and is a cause of premature aging!

I still remember the time when I had lobster and lots of potato fries in one setting – I could not eat anything else that day…

2)  Avoid/limit fried food

Ever noticed that fried food is served in high amounts in buffet styled restaurants? They are designed to make you full in a fast way in order to keep you from eating too much. So if you want to make the most of your money when heading for buffets, skip the fried food section. They are not healthy anyway 😉

3) Drink tea

It is kind of a Chinese cultural thing to tell each other to „eat more“ whenever one stops eating. So when eating with my Chinese relatives and friends, I have to be really careful and I always try to eat as slowly as possible. Still, each time I say I am full I will be told to drink some tea, so I can keep on eating more! Haha!

And well, in those times I’m persuaded to do so, it really works! In China, we like to drink Pu’er tea to our meals, but any green, chai or herbal tea will aid in your digestion!

4) Chew some ginger

Chinese love to use ginger in their cuisine and it has been regarded as a digestive aid for thousands of years. It is an antioxidant and works anti-inflammatory, which will „relax the gut lining“ and help you avoid digestive problems such as gas, bloating, nausea.

 

In case you still ate too much and feel tired, take a 20min slow walk to aid in your digestion.

I wish you happy holidays and happy feasting! 😉

5 healthy food choice guidelines – making you healthy and happy!

We currently live in a world full of abundance in food varieties. However, there is a lot of confusion and misconception about what is really healthy and good for the body. What am I really supposed to eat to feel my best and stay young? Do I really have to count the calories, look at carbs, fats and protein? In this post I’m gonna shed some light into this matter by providing an easy guideline you can always use to decide what to buy and eat, no matter where you are.

When you follow these 5 guidelines you will feel your best, have great energy, love your body as you will gradually get to your optimum weight and be able to keep it.

 

1) Avoid processed food and opt for whole food

This is the most important one! If you apply this guideline successfully, you will experience a big positive change!
Processing destroys, changes and strips nutrients in the food and can potentially make it harmful for our body. The easiest way to know whether a food is processed or not is to check the ingredient list. If there is a long one with many chemical words you don’t understand: Highly processed – better leave it! If it contains less than five: Limit the amount of intake. If there is none: Congrats!! You found unprocessed food, which is mostly vegetables including sea vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, meat and fish.

Eat the whole food with all their edible parts, as nature provides them. E.g. fruits and vegetables instead of juices, beans instead of tofu/meat substitutes, whole grains instead of refined flour etc.
When you eat the whole food you will benefit from the balance of nutrients inside. Many nutrients require other ones to be absorbed and used by the body. If you only eat parts of it, it will create an imbalance that will drain your body of certain nutrients, because our body will take the missing ones from e.g. our bones in order to digest and absorb the food. This imbalance can weaken our body and create diseases such as cavities or osteoporosis. I will give more insights to this point in a future post =).
Moreover, whole, unprocessed food provides you with the life energy of the food. You will notice that you will feel more energised and have a better mood after eating whole foods 😉

2) Fresh & Organic

Try to eat as much fresh food as possible and avoid/limit your intake of canned and frozen food. Some people might argue that frozen food contains more vitamins, minerals etc. This might be true when in a frozen state. However, freezing destroys the cell wall of our food, thus when we cook it or defrost it, it loses its shape. As normally the cell wall keeps the major nutrients within the food, the nutrients will leave the food much much faster as soon as defrosted or cooked. Furthermore, the life energy of the food is destroyed by canning and freezing. If you ever payed attention, you can feel that it is not as satisfying to have frozen or canned food, right? Trust your body!

It goes without saying that eating any irradiated or genetically engineered food as well as any chemical additives, colorings and preservatives is not good. It messes with your body and I believe this is not what you want. So the best way to avoid all that junk is by buying organic whenever possible. I know, it’s way more expensive, but it is worth the investment. Think this way: By eating organically grown food you limit your intake of toxins that comes with commercially grown ones. Less toxins within the body means less diseases! Therefore, investing in organic food will not only make you feel better, but will ultimately save you way more money that would otherwise go to the pharma industry or hospitals.

I know, it is unfortunately not always possible to buy organic. A simple rule of when it will make a huge difference to buy organic is if you want to eat the outer layer of the food, e.g. apples, strawberries; while you can buy e.g. non-organic bananas or oranges . This is because most of the toxins is in the skin.

3) Seasonal & Local

Eat more vegetables and fruits that are in season and local! This way you will stay in harmony with your environment, which will make you feel your best! Summery and raw foods usually have a cooling effect, while Winter foods have a warming effect. This is why I don’t believe in a long term raw foods diet, as it is only sustainable in a warm climate. It will make you miserably cold during Winter and is not what nature intends us to do. Believe me, I tried that myself!

Furthermore, I also try to buy local produce whenever possible, as it is also way better for the environment, because it doesn’t require that much transportation, which contributes to freshness 😉 Moreover, buying seasonal and local food is usually cheaper AND taste better! You can totally taste the difference! Local strawberries or tomatoes here taste sooo much sweeter than imported ones!

4) Balanced

The key to health is balance! I cannot stress this enough, because I used to make the mistake of eating way too much of a certain food, because I thought it to be healthy. Yes, I used to be totally oblivious to my body’s signals and only trusted scientific reasonings. Please always listen to your body. No matter how healthy a food is considered to be, too much of anything is always bad! So eat lots of different foods, variety is the key! To keep things simple: Eat rainbowful with lots of colors, different textures and flavours. I like to eat mostly vegetables and take grains and legumes as a sider. As a snack I prefer nuts and fruits. I found this to work very well to keep a good acid/alkaline balance.

  

5) Delicious

I believe one can’t stick to a healthy diet if it doesn’t taste good, right? So add flavours to your food! Well, this is how I flavour my food: I use sea salt (way better than table salt, because it contains many minerals), whole cane sugar or maple syrup to sweeten, pepper, different herbs and spices. Occasionally I like to use some soy sauce, chilli and curry as well. Play around with it and you’ll be delighted by the many natural flavours our earth has to offer!

If something tastes good, we’ll usually digest it better because we’ll produce more saliva and usually chew longer. I hope you do chew your food well until it’s liquid!! This totally improved my digestion!

BECAUSE: Better digestion = more energy for your brain, for detox and repair => ANTI-AGING and better overall performance!

 

Lastly, I want to point out that eating healthily is never about depriving yourself! Food is our best friend! I like to live by the 20/80 rule – 20% indulgence and 80% healthy. So if you feel like having chocolate, please do it! No need to feel bad about it as long as 80% of your food intake is healthy. Life is way too short not to enjoy it =)

 

If you find this post helpful, please share it with your loved ones, so they can benefit from this knowledge. Sharing is caring! =)