Food labeling

Hi there!

My mother came up with something last week. And I thought it would be interesting to discuss it here. Everyone who is busy with conscious eating (and clean eating, biological eating and stuff) probably wants to know where their food comes from.
The thing is, where it is stated by loose vegetables and fruits, it is nowhere to be found on pre-packaged food like canned food. Or even on frozen food.
I understand that it is complicated for processed foods when you should state where every single ingredient comes from. But for single foods? Like canned vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and things like that?

There are rules stated by the European Union but they are not that extensive. (See here for more information.) Apparently it is obligatory to state the land or region of origin on some foods:

Country of origin

Under existing EU rules, the origin of certain foods – such as beef, honey, olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables – already has to be shown on the label.  This also applies where the failure to do so would mislead the consumer. This rule will now be extended to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry, at Parliament’s request. The Commission will have to introduce implementing rules for this purpose within two years of the regulation’s entry into force.

Country of origin labelling could in future be extended to other categories of food (such as meat when used as an ingredient, milk or unprocessed foods) but the Commission must first do impact assessments to weigh up the feasibility and potential costs of doing this. (Source, article due to changing rules concerning food labeling in 2011)

I will check tomorrow whether I can find it on my meat, milk and olive oil. I am really curious now because I never noticed it before.

My opinion on this matter is that I think that it would be better if the region of origin would be stated on every packaging containing food. Though, as I mentioned above, it might be complicated for processed food like cookies but for things like canned vegetables/fruits, nuts, dried fruits, frozen vegetables/ fruits, cheese, flour and stuff containing less than 5 different ingredients I think it should be possible. I find that we, as customers, have the right to know where our food came from. Labels like organic state only how the food is treated but not whether it may have been planted next to a genetic modified crop or anything worse than that (like nuclear facilities in France, etc.)

What is your opinion on this matter?

Love,
C

The Secret

Hi guys!

Currently I am reading a book which is hard for me to believe. I am reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Basically it is about positive thinking and the philosophy behind the book is that people who focus on good things and think the right thoughts can achieve almost everything. I don’t think they will ever be able to walk over water but things like walking after paralysis and stuff seems to be possible.

I am a scientist, I believe in logic, evidence and things I can see, touch and feel. And I am not good in positive thinking. Although the last few weeks I have been trying to change that, partly due to The Happy Challenge. Also I will try to watch the following video at least 4 times a week.

I am not sure if it will help but it does certainly not hurt. I need positivity, I need change.

The whole book is typically American, the abundant happiness, the way things are described are so typically enthusiastic. I have met a handful American people in my life and about 90% of them acts like they are always happy and enthusiastic about everything. I am starting to wonder whether they started teaching that attitude in elementary school or something. But back to The Secret, there is a whole merchandise around it (see http://www.thesecret.tv/) and it is quite interesting to browse around.

Altogether I am still not sure what to think of it. But I will try the principle to see if I can make it work for me. I already have made a secret check and I will make a list of positive thoughts I want to repeat every day. Should be something I can achieve, right?

Have you read The Secret? How do you think about it?

Love,C

Confessions..

Hi there!

Today a kind of lazy post! I have currently very stressful days and somehow all I want to do as soon as I am home is to eat, read the blogs I follow and then go to bed. (And then time passes reaaaaally quickly till 6.30 AM and there we go again..) Theoretically no problem, but it has consequences for my blog. Normally I would write in advance for 2 or 3 days but I just don’t have the time, energy or inspiration for that at the moment because of all the stress of my daily life. I hope that I can manage to write a bit more in the weekend but until then I will mostly write about personal things. Simply because that takes less time than a full review on a product or anything.

Wow, that was the longest intro I have ever written! Now to the ‘real stuff’; today I will tell you some things I love, and some things I dislike. It is a challenge for me to see whether I can match the numbers of both lists.

Let’s start with things I love:

  • I love that it is already light outside when I leave the house in the morning.
  • I love that it is still light outside when I come home.
  • I love my boyfriend.
  • I currently love my haircolor, a mix between red and brown, with outgrowth and without, it is really interesting. (See picture)
  • I love that I eat quite healthy these days.
  • I love that I manage to read more (thanks to my e-reader!).
  • I love my make-up stash.

Haar instagram

And not the other list, things I dislike!

  • I dislike people who are rude in public transport. I mostly sit or stand right next to the door, and somehow there are always some persons who want to squeeze themselves into the gap between me and the door. I try not to let that happen because a) they are not the only ones who want to leave the train/bus, b) the gap is really small most of the time and I do like my personal space, c) patience people, PATIENCE, oh, and manners! (Often those people also want to enter the train or bus before everyone has departed, that does not work!)
  • I dislike cold, windy and rainy weather, especially the rain. I don’t mind cold, or rain but in combination with wind all possible combinations are horrible. The stations were I need to wait for public transport are hardly shielded for weather influences, so that I really uncomfortable.
  • I dislike customers who don’t understand you but want you to understand them. I do speak 3 languages, I do my best, really. But somehow… Or those people who come every few weeks and ask always the same questions. Always. What’s wrong with those people?
  • I dislike my jaw. My wisdom teeth were removed last wednesday and I still can’t eat properly or laugh hard. Meh. And when I bite on something a bit harder than bread it hurts! In a month I need to go to the dentist anyway but I hope that it will be over till then.
  • I dislike the fact that I am still not managing my time properly. I still waste time with surfing around, I still postpone work. I lack motivation but I don’t know why..

A miracle! There are currently more things I love than things I dislike! I did not expect that. But I like it!

What are the things you love or dislike?

Love,
C

Ice ice, baby!

Hi guys! (and girls, of course!)

Today I won’t talk about Vanilla Ice’s hit but about real ice. About ice cream to be exact. I saw a recipe on one of the dutch blogs I follow. And I decided to try it myself.

Ingredients:

  • 2,5 banana’s
  • 1 kiwi

Banana-kiwi-1Further necesseties:

  • Knife
  • Peeler (though not  really necessary but I prefer a peeler over peeling kiwi’s with a knife)
  • Tupperware box which can be frozen
  • Mixer

You won’t need everything immediately. You start with cutting 2 banana’s and the kiwi in small parts and put them into the Tupperware box.
Next thing is that you put the box in the freezer for a few hours. (I accidentally did that overnight, which is possible but it makes the fruit so deep-frozen that it is not recommended.)

Banana-Kiwi-2
When a few hours have passed by you remove the box from the freezer and put the fruit into the blender. And then you just blend. When your fruit is not deep frozen you should get a smooth cream in a few minutes.
In my case, the fruit was so icy that it formed little crumbs so I added another half (non-frozen!) banana to the mixture in the blender. And then it worked, within a minute my mixture went from fruity ice-crumbs to smooth icecream. Yay!
When you have succesfully blended all fruit into icecream you can transfer it out of the blender and back into the Tupperware box. (Optional, you could place it back into the freezer to make it a bit harder but I ate it almost right-away with some banana-egg pancakes.)

Banana-Kiwi-3Last step is to eat your delicious self-made, sugar free icecream! 

I think that the kiwi can be substituted for any other fruit as long as you be careful that you won’t freeze it too long. When you don’t get ice cream while mixing it, just add more banana slices till it works.
Enjoy!

What ice cream would you make?

Love,
C

The Happy Challenge (part 7): Sixth Challenge

Hi there!

Time is flying by! It is already time for the sixth! Happy Challenge. Oh my, where does all that time go? Feels like we just started and now we are almost finished. This weeks challenge is about habits. Habits which are beneficial for your life, habits which you want to gain, and/or habits you want to loose.

I will start with my good habits:

  • Listening: I can listen to personal problems without end. I am always willing to listen and when I am able to I will help that person.
  • Managing: I can be good at telling people what to do, when to do it or how to do it. I am a natural leader. The downside is that I am sometimes leading while that is not my responsibility. But I am learning to cope with that!
  • Care-taking: When I asked my boyfriend what my good characteristics were he said that he liked it that I always remind him of things he needs to do. He said he gets things done because of me.
  • Timing: I never come late. Never. Sure, sometimes I am late but that is never because of me but because the public transport decides to have a problem along my route. But I am always on time for work, school, or personal meetings. Most of the time I am at least 10 minutes early.

happychallenge-achtergrond-transparantNext to those good habits there are a few habits I want to gain.

  • Healthy eating: I want to change my diet, you all know about my goal to eat less sugar. That is going well, we made our own jam with almost no sugar. I bought Tahin which is also sugar-free. And I bought hemp-seed and wheatgrass powder. I am curious whether that will make me feel better or my skin glowier or whether nothing at all will happen.
  • Exercise! I need to move more. I told you in my last fitness update about my problems with my shoulder. And about my wisdom teeth removal. I still have pain from the surgery but as soon as that is over, I really want to start again with the 7-minute workout! I want my six pack back!
  • Patience: I need more patience. I need to let people finish talking, I need to be calmer.
  • Positive thinking: I can’t say it too often. I need more positivity. I need to stop focussing on bad things. I need to focus on happy things. In stead of being upset with a slow walking person in front of me, I should be happy that I was on time for the bus/train/whatever. I am working on it. But it feels like it is not enough.
  • Discipline: In a previous challenge (the fourth one) I told you that I wanted to spend less time doing nothing on the internet. Well, I am still failing. But the main reason is that I don’t have anything else to do. But technically that is not true. I can always write a new blog (it would be even better if I would) or write on my report for my internship.
  • Stress less: When last Friday my plans suddenly changed. I almost panicked. My parents told me they would be gone over the weekend, and I was invited to go to a theater-show by the leader of the division where I do my internship. And I said yes. Which caused all my plans for the evening to change. I had a good evening, really, but the feeling of changing plans so suddenly is horrible. I need to handle that kind of situations better. Things can always suddenly change. And I just need to relax and adjust.

So, this is it. I need to keep on working on it! I really hope that I can manage some changes because I need to. It would be so much better!

What are your positive habits or habits you want to gain/loose?

Love,
C

Sunday – Funday? (4)

Hi there!

Another Sunday, another week has gone by. Time for new music! I came up with the idea of doing kind of a artist alphabet. Today I will start and of course that will be with the A!


Abba – The Winner Takes It All
My favourite Abba song! (Yes, Abba, the iconic band, I did not dare to skip it in this list.) Abba has a lot of wonderful songs but somehow I always return to this one. Guess it reminds me of al the romances in high school which I never had. I find this song somehow comforting though it is actually a quite sad story to be told.


Adele – Chasing Pavements
I love Adele. I love her voice, it’s so powerful and unusual. I chose for this song because I heard this song even before her great worldwide break-through. And at first I thought it was crazy (because I saw it on tv, with the music video, and I did not understand it). But time passed and I learned to love this song. And all other songs by Adele.


A Fine Frenzy – Ashes and Wine
I came across this number via their song Almost Lover. It is a mellow, easy listening song. But when you listen to the lyrics it is quite melodramatic. It is perfect background music.


Annie Lennox – Into The West
Everyone who watched Lord of the Rings should recognize this song. Sung by one of the greatest voices of her time. Annie Lennox. Also known from the duo Eurythmics. Annie Lennox is a very strong person and I think she deserves much more attention.


Avicii – Hey Brother
Though it is a bit too often on the radio at the moment, it still is a nice song. It is dance combined with pop and country. I told you before that I love country/pop and this mix with a bit of dance-music is also quite nice. The lyrics are a bit repetitive but still, its nice.

So, this were five songs for this week. I hope you enjoyed them! And I have a little bonus song for you. Of course starting with an A. Click here for the bonus song!

What is your favourite song of these five?

Love,
C

Unexpected plans!

Hi there!

Today I only have a short post for you. The reason is that my plans changed which gave me not enough time to write the post you deserved. And I don’t want to give you uncomplete posts. Or hasty posts. And today I need to work so I can’t write the post in the morning.

My Friday evening suddenly changed to going to dinner and to a theater-show with the department where I do my internship. I will tell you all about it whenever I have the time to write about it.

Love,
C