Mateja Tea Dereani, Miha Berčič


The holidays are here. This is a time when there is good food on the table when we tend to eat too much and mix very diverse foods with each other. Some have a bad conscience, some have a stomach upset, and some can eat a lot and have "no problem" - in the short term, of course.

I stopped eating meat on March 8,
28 years ago – my vice was overeating. I was invited to dinner with friends. The table was overloaded, I always liked to eat, and I ate far too much that night. Since I never had weight problems, I didn’t have any bad conscience, no matter the type and amount of food I ate. But I could not sleep at night due to stomach problems. This, of course, was not the first time. I was so angry at myself I decided not to eat meat anymore. That was long 28 years ago and I still don't eat meat today. Instead I eat many other things for the benefit of my health.
I am not convincing you to change your diet and habits in any way.
Although I am feeling much better since the complete change of my diet and I have significantly more energy and focus in combination with various natural techniques. If you are not ready for the big change here are just a few tips on what to do, when faced with the temptations the Holidays bring.

1. Eat from smaller plates or cups during the holidays! One of the oldest tricks there is. If you use a smaller plate, even a small amount of food looks great and plentiful. This is how you cheat your brain. Research has shown the trick works immensely.

2. Eat slowly and don’t rush! Take your time. Chew! You’ll eat less, and you will feel full sooner. Hunger and satiety are regulated by the hypothalamus. When your body has enough food, the hypothalamus receives signals that sense satiety. The scientists have proven that eating too fast postpones the satiety signals to hypothalamus, when we are already well above the satiety limit. Overeating is the consequence! So eat slowly and wisely.

3. Focus on food! Turn on all your senses: observe the colors, smell the food, feel the different textures, and study the flavors in detail. Have fun listening to the sounds of food: crispy potatoes, raw carrots breaking in your mouth, hot food sizzling. You will be amazed at the number of sounds. In this way, attention shifts from eating to other areas and is proven that you eat less.

4. Eat more healthier and easier to digest foods: vegetables are king, and fruits, less other foods.

5. Hydrate well! In the morning, when you wake up drink at least half a litre of luke warm water (with a little lemon). Your digestion, hydration of the body and excretion will be better. 30 to 15 minutes before the meal drink a large glass of water on an empty stomach.

6. Chew food well! Good and long-lasting chewing cuts the food and grinds it into small particles with a large surface area so that the digestive enzymes then have enough room to access all the molecules and break them down. Better digestion and less bloating!

7. Pay attention to the food combination! For the holidays, the table is full and it is difficult to combine foods that will not cause you a heavy feeling in your stomach. Here are some commandments: Eat fruit only on an empty stomach, or 20 minutes before the main meal, never after a meal. The fruits are digested quickly - the fastest of all foods - in about 20 minutes. If we eat fruit along with other foods, e.g. with protein or starchy foods, digestion will give preference to fruit. The rest of the food will wait in the stomach and start to ferment, decompose to alcohol or gases, or even starts to rot.

I do not recommend to eat starchy foods (rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, starchy vegetables such as squash) and high-protein foods (meat, cheese, nuts, tofu ...) in the same meal. This means
separating potatoes and meat or rice and fish, e.g.. These are two food types are digested completely differently. Starch requires a less acidic environment, while proteins are well digested in a very acidic stomach environment - the enzyme pepsin breaks down proteins.

If you’ve been eating fairly monotonous foods during the year and haven’t indulged in foods that would excite your taste buds, you’ll be tempted to eat more and try absolutely everything on the table. Therefore, you should treat yourself to something good but healthy several times during the year. I suggest no refined sugar,
a lot of plant based meals. Buy less processed foods (snacks, sodas, ready-made foods). Treat yourself with a piece of dark chocolate with a natural sweetener, a raw cake… or anything salty that suits your taste. In this context, find something that will not only be good but will perfectly satisfy your gourmet taste. You can eat this type of food completely without a guilty conscience. Besides, you don't have to prepare it yourself. There are many good restaurants (now online ordering) - find one where they know how to prepare plant food very well and treat yourself to delicious food several times a year. Contact info@herbivoriumdereani.com for restaurant types.

Apart from that, during the holidays you can also eat healthy and well. Here are some simple recipes for delicious food. My experience
using these recipes at various celebrations are very positive. I always prepared plant food. People put small amounts on plates and always want more, no matter if the recipe is exotic or local. Sometimes I even trick people they are eating meat, but it’s a delicious vegetable supplement. The basis of delicious food is a good combination of foods and of course spices. The final touch is the chef’s positive energy. You know: the essential is invisible to the naked eye.

Quickly prepared dessert in 3 versions.

(for 20 balls of 45 g each)

Sweet balls - Pic source: https://thehealthyfamilyandhome.com/crunchy-raw-protein-balls/

430 g of sunflower seeds
280 g of dates
0.2 of water
120 g of flax seeds
2 tablespoons cocoa (20 g)
2 tablespoons grated coconut (20 g)
vanilla powder
lemon aroma – few drops

To roll
grated coconut 100 g
or ground poppy 100 g
or ground sesame 100 g.

Finely grind sunflower and flax seeds. Put dates and water in a blender. Mix well. Mix in a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Make balls and roll them in grated coconut, ground poppy or ground sesame.

(for 20 sarma
ve created this recipe many years ago, but people still love it. Sarma is a Serbian national dish.

Sarma rolls - https://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/sarma-stuffed-cabbage-rolls

big fermented sauerkraut head

Ingredients for the filling:
25 dkg wholemeal rice
27 dag of smoked tofu
1 garlic
1 bunch of parsley
3-4 smaller onions
olive oil
Soy sauce

Ingredients for the soup:
2 vegetable soup cubes, salt to taste
juniper berries, bay leaf

Cook the rice halfway and drain. Grind the tofu
with fork and mix with the rice. Finely chop the garlic and parsley and add to the mass. Saute chopped onion in little oil with a little tamari sauce and add to the mass.
Try the mass and add salt if it is not salty enough. Take one leaf of sauerkraut. Beat the middle hard part of the cabbage leaf to soften it a bit, it should not break
completely. Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling on the thicker part of the leaf. Wrap the leaf. Use fingers to stuff end of the roll towards the center. Place the Sarma upright in the pot. Repeate until you used all the filling. Then pour water over them, that it reaches about three fingers above the Sarmas. Add soup cubes and spices and a little sliced sauerkraut. Cook for another 40-60 minutes. Serve.


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