Thermomix Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Soup

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Good morning! I cannot believe it’s already Halloween again in a few days – how did this happen so fast? I’ll actually be coming back home on October 31st from my US business travels, so I don’t know how awake I’ll be or whether the jet lag will have me under control that night! Either way, every year when October starts, when the leaves turn orange, and the halloween decorations come out – I crave a good pumpkin soup! And that is exactly what I cooked the other night – or better, what the Thermomix basically cooked by itself for me!

The recipe, once more with the Thermomix, is super, duper easy! First of all, the ingredients are:
Pumpkin, and
Ginger
Yup, that’s it. All you really need is pumpkin and a little bit of ginger (only if you want a hint of spice!). Now, I of course added spices and herbs, but that really depends on what taste you are looking to get at the end. Here is what I did:
1) cut 800g of pumpkin into large pieces (and roughly 1,5cm of peeled ginger if you like), add them into the Thermomix bowl, cut them for 10 seconds at speed 5
10 sec / speed 5
2) now add around 75g of oil to the pot (I used rapeseed oil), and cook it at 100°C at speed 2 for 5 minutes
5 min / speed 2 / 100°C
3) add all your spices and herbs as you wish! I used a hint of salt and pepper, around 1 tablespoon of curry, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, ½ tablespoon of ground chilli (or add in a fresh chill if you like it spicy!) and cook it for another 12 minutes at Varoma steam, speed 2.
12 min / speed 2 / Varoma (120°C)
4) to get it creamy, you now have to stir it for 10 seconds at speed 7.5 – tada, you can now serve the soup hot and tasty!
10 sec / speed 7.5

Thermomix Recipe: The quickest Salad

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3.. 2.. 1.. done! I swear this is the easiest and quickest way to preparing a healthy and yummy salad! Slowly but surely I am falling in love with the Thermomix. I mean, I’ve always wanted one but then when Sam brought it into the apartment, I never really used it as much. I consider myself still being a fan of the “traditional” cooking. I love cutting the vegetables and foods by myself – I find it to being one of the most relaxing things to do after a long day at work. At the same time, however, I often just want to eat and not do anything at all. Ha, anyone feel me?

With the thermomix one can do a salad within seconds it feels. Ok, let’s be honest, not seconds. Yet, I swear it did not take me longer than 5 minutes!

One should start of with what you want in the salad:
1) Salad – I chose the Iceberg Salad, but any green leaves should do
2) Cucumber
3) Paprika / Bell peppers
4) Mushrooms
5) Radish
These are the ingredients that I used.

You simply need to add the salad (medium sized leaves), largely cut cucumber and bell peppers (around 5cm diagonal), the mushrooms and radish (I cut them in halves) all into the Thermomix. Then chop them all for 5 seconds at speed 4. Done. Take out the cut ingredients, add them into a bowl, feel free to add (for example) corn, fruit or seeds, and finish it by adding the dressing. I simply used olive oil and balsamic – and added one cooked egg on top (always gotta have that protein)!
5 sec / speed 4

My review of the 5 day detox with pressbar.swiss

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I did it! I finally have my first juice detox behind me. Well, at least to 85% of it. I’ve only recently said that I was going to do a juice cleanse and though I would share my results with you – a sort of review, so to speak. After searching the internet for all kind of juice detox delivery services in Switzerland, I decided on pressbar.swiss. I really liked this service provider the most. The bottles were cute looking (so important!), the juices were all freshly pressed, no extra ingredients added and it was rather vegetable heavy (less calories than fruit). The price was absolutely ok in comparison to many other products I found here in Switzerland. The “only” downside, it seemed, was the delivery time. This is not a cleanse that you can decide on one day and do the next. It takes 1-2 weeks notice in advance before they can deliver it. Alright, so I decided this earlier on in October and decided to start mid October (third weekend). The juices came as early as 6.45 in the morning (extra payment for early delivery is possible) and I was oh-so-excited to start this cleanse.

I chose the 5 day detox program. Having had juice days before I did not think it would be all too tough and I wanted more than just the simple 3 days that people start with. I knew I could do 5 days straight – or so I thought..

Day 1 – It was easier than expected. The juices came and I was excited the instant I saw those colourful little bottles. Second “downside” was the fact that the bottles were much smaller than expected. Well, I should have read it better I guess. The bottles are 250ml each – thus, rather small and surely smaller than I expected. It does say on the paper that you can snack in between if needed (some fruit or a vegetable are ok), or that you can mix the juices with water to have more liquid. Of course, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a must. So other than the fact that I was surprised by the size, the endorphins had overtaken my fear and the day went by well. Slowly, towards the evening, I became rather hungry. In the late evening, I was super tired and felt like I was starving to death. I didn’t, of course, but it wasn’t all too fun going to bed with an empty, oh-so-loudly grumbling stomach.

Day 2 – Now I almost got used to it. The good thing is I started on a Friday so my second day was a Saturday and I slept nice and long. Longer than usual. Perhaps, I needed the energy as I had not eaten the day before. With me only waking up at around 11am (very late for me), I had enough juices to get me through the day without being hungry. In fact, the hunger never kicked in that day. I was outside a lot with my puppy and went a little shopping (mostly dog treats). In the late afternoon, though, my headache started. I had read that this is a normal side-effect of the body when it is going through a so-called detox. But maaaan.. I am not used to having headaches and I swear it was the longest and probably worst headache – even migraine – I have ever experienced. I kept drinking a lot, and I mean a loot, of water. The headache did not go away. I went to bed with my head spinning.

Day 3 – I woke with my head still spinning around. I hated it – I hated the detox and swore myself I would just go ahead and eat something. In my belief that my headache would go away once I ate, I ran into the kitchen and searched for food. For one, I did not have a lot at home. Secondly, it all seemed rather unhealthy – especially to the clean days I had just experienced. My ego was too big. I did not want to throw it all away and decided to continue. The headaches really did almost kill me that day but I managed to survive and barely moved around that day.

Day 4 – Monday it is. I decided to continue again. The day went by pretty alright and work kept me going and my mind off food. Then, in the afternoon, I got a request for a lunch meeting the next day. Of course, that would mean I would fail on the last day. Then again, it was a meeting request I could not really say no to. Business is always a priority during week days. So I said yes. And boy, I was excited to eat the next day.

Day 5 – I started my day with two juices in a row. That would keep me satisfied up until lunch. Knowing I was able to eat again, the juices suddenly tasted so much better and I was almost sad to break my juice detox on the last day. Lunch came around and you could not believe how happy I was. Happy as a little child when I ordered my tartar with vegetables!

So my juice detox ended right then and there. I had a few juices left so I kept them in the fridge for the upcoming morning. Looking back at it, I guess I could have finished that last day. Perhaps – but I do not regret my lunch. at. all. The cleanse was meant to – well as per the name – clean out my body, my system. I had the feeling it did – sort of. I did loose around 1.5kg – but, for 4.5days I guess that is not much. Either way, it was probably only water and of course that is not the reason one should do a cleanse. It is, however, a great kick-start to starting off to a healthy food routine. Would I do it again? Not sure. I guess, yes I would. However, I would prefer it on days were I have off and sleep in every day. Also, I would go with the 3 days cleanse next time and get used to it slowly.

Do you guys have experience with detoxes – do you have a favourite? Let me know, I would love to hear about it! xo

A Sunday Hike in Einsiedeln

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I love all season – really. I love winter and the Christmas season – when all is covered in white (at least in the mountains here in Switzerland) and there is nothing better than putting on the fireplace and drinking a glass of red wine whilst sitting on the fur. Then comes spring, when finally everything awakens again and the birds start coming back to slowly build their nests. The greatest flower fields are usually found in spring and near summer. Summer is just fabulous because of the weather – there is nothing better than being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts and not freezing our asses off. Yet autumn,.. it something special to me. Perhaps because so many of my beloved people are born in autumn, or maybe because we are getting ready for the festive season. Surely, I love the magic of nature – when all leaves turn turn their colors and everything becomes yellow, orange and red. When the sun turns gold in the evening and every look at nature takes my breath away – that is when I enjoy being outside the most.

One of my closer friends and I decided to use this time of the year and start exploring Switzerland just a little more. I can’t believe I have been living in Zurich for nearly 4 years (in spring) and I still don’t really know the country. There is so much beauty – and we decided we want to explore as much as possible of it. Because Zaphira (my puppy) is only 4.5 months old now, we decided not to do a huge trip (she does not have the energy, yet). We wanted something nearby but still go outside the city – outside of Zurich. Quickly, we decided on Einsiedeln. It is a super tiny town just about 1 hour away from Zurich city. There is a huge monastery one can visit, see the Black Madonna inside the church and go for an amazing short hike (or longer, if one has time and feels like it).

Stepping out of the train already made us realise we are definitely out on the countryside. The air was brisk clear – and that is almost surprising as I always believed Zurich already has such clean air. No, Einsiedeln topped it off immediately. The second smell that we immediately welcomed was the smell of horses. Oh, how I love those graceful animals. It reminded me of my childhood, when I used to horseback ride once in a while and loved every minute of it. It now is back up on my to-do list for the future. First, however, I need to get Zaphira used to those “long-legged dogs” which she saw for her first time last Sunday.

After a plentiful lunch that we jumped into right when leaving the train station, we went up the hill and enjoyed nature to it’s fullest. Of course, being “big city girls”, we had to stop about every 5 minutes to either take picture of the surrounding, my puppy, or ourselves (selfie-time for the win!). To not bore you in trying to explain the beauty, I wanted to share some of the photos with you.

I cannot say it often enough – people, go out into nature! There is so much to explore. Sometimes just around the corner – perhaps a few streets aways, but there is always something beautiful if we only just try to see it. It seemed like all the pressure, all my worries, all open tasks – everything just went away for those few hours we were outside. I really recommend it to everyone; for your heart and health!

Freshly pressed juices to-go & a boost of vitamins

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Good morning and happy October already! Time flies so fast I am struggling to keep up with it. How did we manage to get into autumn so quickly already? It’s getting colder by the day I feel and I am ready to take out my winter jackets soon. With the cold approaching rapidly, I have the feeling my body is in extra need of vitamins and all things healthy a little more than usual. I notice my skin looking duller by the day – and I ain’t liking it at all. So I decided to start  my mornings these days with an extra boost of healthy fruits and mostly vegetable juices and get in those greatly needed vitamins.

Yesterday I spent almost an hour in the kitchen only to grind through those vegetables and fruit into the juicer. And I am proud to say I am rather satisfied with the outcome – the colors of the different juices are just as I had hoped they would be. A grassy-green that makes you feel healthy by looking at it (includes mostly apples, cucumber, spinach, one orange and ginger), a wake-you-up orange (consisting mostly of oranges, carrots, ginger and apple) and a deep-loving-red (made up of oranges, carrots, apples, ginger and beet root).

I am also thinking about doing a few days of juices only and find this a great way to getting used to the tastes already. I have never really done a full juice cleanse and thought that now with autumn having kicked in and winter approaching, this may be a good time to clean up inside of myself after this wonderful summer and lots of glasses of wine. I will, probably though, order juices, as making freshly pressed juices on the daily really is a bit time consuming (don’t forget buying the groceries first). Do any of you have experiences with juice cleanses and are there any you can recommend?

With that I am wishing everyone a great Monday and kick-start into the new week! xo