Hello friends! I hope you had a relaxing and fun weekend!? I and Kalle went to a Japanese spa in Stockholm (called Yasuragi for those of you wondering) and stayed there the entire weekend. We had decided to make the most out of this weekend by turning off all our electronic devices (except the camera) and really enjoy a weekend full of yoga, meditation and spa baths. We did bring our phones, but we kept them in a bag where we didn’t see them. That meant no social media, no news updates, no messages, emails or phone calls. A two-day digital detox if you will. It was ah-mazing!
At first, it felt a bit weird to not have the phone (or a clock) near you, but pretty soon you adapted and got used to it. The only thing we needed to know the time for was to know when the yoga and meditation classes started, but the rest - no need to know the time. It was such a great feeling not being controlled by the clock because in a way I feel we all are. By leaving all our stuff in our room, we could really enjoy our time there and fully relax without feeling the urge to check the time, Instagram and whatnot.
We started our wellness weekend with an hour-long yoga session. Practicing yoga always makes me feel SO relaxed and this time was no exception. During our practice, I felt how tense my muscles were and stretching them actually hurt quite a bit. I did, however, feel the tension let go during our practice, and my muscles are still pretty tender, feels almost like after a heavy workout.
After our yoga practice, we had a plant-based 3-course dinner before we enjoyed a few hours in the Japanese bathhouse. We enjoyed the traditional dry sauna, the large swimming pool, the salt steam room and the carbonic acid bath. One of the best things was however when we went outdoors to enjoy the hot springs. After a few minutes in the hot water, we rolled around in the snow before we went back into the warm water. Let me just say that you knew you were alive after this. We also tried the cold spring, I don’t want to know how cold that water was, but jumping into the warm water afterward was heavenly.
Photo: Jonas Koel / Yasuragi
We started our Sunday morning with a big breakfast - fresh fruit, a few slices of bread, plant-based yogurt and veggies. Then we went to the meditation class and then enjoyed a few more hours of relaxation before we had to go back home. I feel so relaxed after this weekend and I can’t wait to incorporate more yoga, meditation and slow living into our lives.
Since the beginning of February, we’ve actually had phone-free evenings, meaning that we put our phones in another room while we watch a movie, read books, play video games or whatever. The last hour before bed we also turn off all screens (computers, iPad etc.) and spend the last hour or so reading and/or talking. It has made all the difference. I actually sleep much better now and it’s definitely a result of this new routine. I personally think it’s very unhealthy to get bombarded with new impressions (like Instagram, news, movies etc) just before bedtime. The brain needs time to wind down and by reading a book before it’s time to sleep you allow your brain to relax and at least for me, this makes me super tired and I fall asleep in less than two minutes after I stop reading.
Our visit to Yasuragi only made the importance of relaxation clearer. Both me and Kalle have been crazy busy the last weeks and this visit really allowed our bodies and brains to recover. When we left, we were both so full of energy and every muscle and cell in our bodies were relaxed and felt sort of regenerated. We always feel like this when we’re in the countryside too. No wifi, no washing machine, no nothing. Only work in the garden, long evenings on the terrace and silent mornings with a cup of coffee while listening to the trees. Yes, I’m longing for those countryside weekends like crazy.
Speaking of slow and simple living… this is something I embrace in the kitchen too. I love to use local and seasonal produce when I cook and something I’ve done a lot since last autumn is a veggie tray with all the root vegetables I can find. At the beginning of February, I decided to publish the recipe for this easy dinner here on the blog and I photographed it and edited all the photos. I didn’t like the outcome though, I realized that I hated the tray I had used (not rustic enough :P) and decided to re-shoot the dish using another tray. So that’s what I did last week. I have however included some of the photos from the first photoshoot in this post, because what the heck, isn’t it all about being perfectly imperfect? Thought so too.
The great thing about this dish is that you can create endless variations of it. The first time I shot it, I used beetroots, the other time I used yellow beets and polka beets. Grab what you can find and enjoy the seasonal variations.
one big tray
2 large polka beets
5 yellow beets
250 g broccoli bouquets, I use frozen
50 g spinach
250 g black beans
1 avocado, sliced
10 sundried tomatoes cut in halves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
plant sour cream (like Oatly Fraiche)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Rinse and peel the parsnips, carrots, potatoes, polka beets and yellow beets.
Cut the potatoes and yellow beets into wedges, the parsnips, and carrots in sticks and the polka beets in slices.
Cut the eggplant and zucchini into 5 mm-thick slices, then cut each slice in half so you get half-moon-shaped pieces.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and add all the root vegetables to it. Finally, add the broccoli bouquets and put the baking sheet in the oven and wait for about 30 minutes.
When the root vegetables are done, add fresh spinach, black beans, sundried tomatoes, and avocado.
Squeeze some lemon juice over the veggies and sprinkle with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Finally, add dollops of plant sour cream and pesto to the tray and then you’re ready to enjoy this tray of greens.