Category Archives: Health

Lingonberries are super food, but only for the brave

The Finnish forests are now full of free-for-all superfood! The blueberry season is almost finished, but now it’s the perfect time to go and pick lingonberries for the winter!

This weekend I’m visiting my parents in my dear old hometown Tampere, always relaxed and nice. Also the weather was on our side, so this afternoon we decided to be brave and head to the forests.

Why brave? The challenge of picking lingonberries in the perfect spot that “only” my parents know is that one is not alone there. These hoods are packed with nasty deer flies (in Latin Lipoptena cervi, in Finnish hirvikärpänen), who come there because the forest is also popular among elks.

Someone would think we are exaggerating looking at the preparations below, but covering everything you can and closing your sleeves with some painter’s tape was only a clever and quite necessary precaution before entering the forest… as we immediately found out.

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Super stylish berry picker ;)

A super stylish berry picker… not! 😉

I don’t have photos of our little friends but after we returned to our car after 2 hours in the forest (and with 35 litres of lingonberries, all the buckets full!) we found these flies all over our bodies. Disgusting! Especially my dad seemed to be popular among them, as he’s the biggest one and these flies look for human heat.

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But it was worth it, the forest was beautiful and gave you some special energy. Looking and tasting the lingonberries now makes one feel satisfied. Tomorrow we’ll freeze the berries and enjoy extra vitamins in the winter.

What is a lingonberry? Wikipedia tells that lingonberries are native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America.

The berries contain many organic acids, vitamin C, A and B (B1, B2, B3), potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in  omega-3.

The amazing fact is that 90 per cent of this super food is left in the forests of Finland. And at the market lingonberries cost about 4 euros per litre. What a waste! Maybe the deer flies are too big a challenge for us.

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Running really is a drug

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photo: Naturalrunningcenter.com

I used to run only to catch a bus, if I really was in a hurry. I hated running. It makes you sweat and it hurts everywhere in your body. At school me and my friends walked the Cooper test as a protest.

So it’s a big surprise that today I can’t live without running! It really is a drug, like they say (although I never believed it before).

How did it happen? I don’t remember, but I’m sure that I was alone when I discovered the real joy of running. This has happened to me with all the sports I didn’t like at school but later on I’ve come to adore.

I guess I’m a bit of a rebel and a free soul so I don’t like if someone tells me to do something – especially if it involves moving my body physically.

Probably I just one pretty day, a couple of years ago, went for a walk and suddenly decided to run a bit. And the next day a bit more. And more and more. Little by little I noticed that it’s actually fun and feels good, if I can decide the velocity, when to stop, where to do some streching and when to stop to admire the view. I only run outside and I’m picky with my routes.

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Luckily near our home in Kamppi, the centre of Helsinki, there are some excellent paths. My favourite ones are the one around Ruoholahti, first running on one side of the canal till the bridge and then the other side back.

My other favourite is the sea path behind the cementery of Hietalahti. Amazing views right by the sea, and normally not too many people either.

I always run alone. Only a couple of times I’ve gone running with my boyfriend but it’s just not the same. I guess I’m not of those runners who can chat about their day at the office, what to cook for dinner etc. routine stuff while running. For me running is quality time of my own, with my music and personal rhythm.

Nowadays I need my weekly dosis of running, normally I run 2-3 times a week, half an hour at a time. But this depends.

I’m completely hooked, because I get anxious if I can’t go running for one reason or another. I’ve postponed dates to go running (+ shower afterwards) and now I reserve time for my running sessions in the calendar.

After running, I feel happy and relaxed. Always.

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This post on running is my response to Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write. Thank you for the inspiration!

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We want local food – but what is it?

Where do you come from, broiler?

Local food is a big thing in Finland these days. It’s truly in fashion, at least the trendy people of Helsinki constantly talk about how they want their food local.

New (expensive) stores selling local products pop-up all around the city. Like this one, Anton&Anton in Töölö.

Of course, the elder generations know better and have been consuming local food all their lives – without making a fuss about it. Still, I think this one is a good trend – as long as it doesn’t make the prices go up too much. And there is another major problem: nobody really knows what actually is local food?

This weekend I’m visiting my parents in Tampere and yesterday the local newspaper Aamulehti published an opinion about local food, which will surely provoke debate.

A guy called Visa Merikoski, the director of MTK Pirkanma, the local division of Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, claimed that soon even broiler from Brazil will be considered as local product, if the current trend continues.

He says that yes, local food interests the consumers a lot, and this is way so many supermarket chains are now thinking hard how to take the advantage of the trend. They sell images and when it comes to local food, the tendency is to lie – just a little bit.

Why? Because “at its worst” Polish wheat, Danish pork or Brazilian chicken might end up being local food as in most supermarkets one can already find products, whose origins are not announced correctly.

As consumers prefer local food, it seems logical that the main reason for hiding the origins is that they are not from near here… not even from Finland. In the end, the consumer believes he/she’s buying something he isn’t. This could be called cheating, or at least hiding the truth.

The thing is that everyone has the right to define local food from their own point of view. The consumers think that only small-scale production means local and they hate the idea of industrial production. Some connect local food to organic food.

The food production industry thinks that what counts is where the food is made, not from where the ingredients come from.

Then there are the farmers, who want ingredients that arrive from as near as possible – at least from inside Finland.

And the food production workers think that domestic work is very important.

One might guess that all these different ideas cause a mess when it comes to marketing local food.

(Finnish?) rye bread

For example, Mr. Visa tells that in one local supermarket they don’t tell the origins of a pork product, whose name refers to something 100% local (the product in this case was Tapolan ylikypsä kinkku). Probably it had been made right here in Tampere, but not telling it makes one suspicious… naturally.

So why don’t the producers tell the facts, when the information would attract more consumers??

One might also find bread – on the shelf reserved for local food – whose wheat has travelled a long way. The bakers tend to explain that domestic wheat is not always available, so they cannot commit to using it. This is not true: one can always get domestic wheat, it just might not be as cheap as the foreign ones.

In brief, every Finn has encountered products that carry a Finnish flag or other symbol referring to it being national, even if the product might be something totally different.

Does this mean it’s Finnish – really?

If we don’t talk about this openly, the same tendency will continue – and someday we won’t have any means to know from where our bread, salad, fruit, meat, fish or chocolate comes from. No thanks, we have the right to know – and to be able to choose.

Everyone (the politicians, media and food producers) know well what’s going on – so please do something about it!

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A summer house where living is easy…

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Yesterday we visited the summer house of my godparents. It’s a pretty old wooden house, where all their four children with their kids, husbands and wives fit well. In the old days, the sister of my grandfather used to live alone in this big house – till’ she got 100 years old and died. An amazing, strong lady!

So we are very happy that the house stays in the family, as everyone has good memories of the place. It’s about one hour trip away from Tampere, so it’s easy to take the car and spend a day or two there.

This time I went with my mom. The moment I stepped in I remember how much I love old wooden houses, their smell and sounds. It’s always been my dream to live in one. The atmosphere is special, especially in this house were I remember most of the objects from my childhood and I know that elder generations have been living years in these same rooms, painting the walls, having sauna and planting all the flowers and trees.

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However, at the same time I start to feel very nostalgic about how fast time passes and dear old people die. Just two days ago I heard that the husband of the sister of my grandfather died at the age of 97. They had been married more than 60 years, so it’s a big shock to her – she’s also 95 years old. The couple has always been living a very healthy life, but even if their life has been happy and full, it breaks my heart to hear that it’s now over.

But that’s life, and everyone shall die someday – maybe tomorrow, maybe in 50 years. You never know, so the only option is to live your life as full as possible and spend a lot of moments with your loved ones.

Anyway, not to get too melancholic, back to the summer house! The best thing was to hear about my relatives daily routine there. They are now retired, so they spend most part of the summers in this house or with their children in Helsinki or in their other house in Northern Finland – they are free as birds to change address whenever they feel like!

While in the summer house, they wake up early and start working in the house or in the garden – in an old house there are always so many things to do. And they love this kind of simple physical work and look so healthy and happy. They work all day, then in the evenings they eat something simple and nice, home-made food made from local ingredients bought from a market place or a small eat factory nearby. Then they go to sauna (every evening), chat and read a bit and go to sleep. No TV and a mimimun of Internet. No running water. Total peace and simple life.

Oh, how I envy them these days as my daily routine consists of office work: filling reports, sitting in the office and attending more or less boring meetings and processes that don’t have an end. I talked about my discontent also with my godparents. They agreed and truly supported me in looking for other alternatives… I’m so happy I have such a supportive family!

Well, for now I’m on holiday and have more time to think about my future and what I really want from life. Don’t know if leaving the city life behind and going to live in the countryside would be an option for me, but everyday I understand better people who make this choice, too.

All photos: Helsinkimylove

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Finland – a nation in love with milk

Yesterday I arrived to my parents’ place in Tampere, ready to spend some days without doing anything. Well, anything I don’t feel like doing.

Anyway, being at the parents’ place means that the fridge is always full of good stuff. When I open the door, which I do here a lot, it’s a very different experience than at home as to the variety and quality – my mom is an excellent cook and when the daughter is home so they make sure there’s everything I could ever desire. And I sure enjoy it!

Last evening I accompanied them to do the shopping for the weekend in a huge supermarket called Citymarket. Normally me and my boyfriend do our shopping in a small Alepa or K-supermarket next to our home, so it’s an eye-opening experience to go to these huge places and realize the choice they have – of everything. And in Finland the variety is still quite limited compared to many other countries. Especially in US I always get overwhelmed by the selection of all the products from cheese to sweets. It makes me immediately think do we really need all this stuff? Of course we don’t.

Anyway, this time I focused on the  variety of milk products – Finns love milk and consume a lot of yogurt, “piimä” (kind of sour milk) and “rahka” (kind of quark). Milk is a typical drink for anything: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, salty, sweet… The speciality of Tampere is a creative combination of “mustamakkara” (blood sausage) with lingonberry jam and a glass of milk. Quite a surprise to my Spanish boyfriend! All in all, I would say milk is our national drink, though younger generations are not so much into it.

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Mustamakkara, the typical dish in Tampere, with lingonberry jam and milk. Here’s also the dessert – a doughnut.

Another thing is that there are as many tastes as there are kinds of milk. Today my parents’ fridge contains 5 different milk packs – all three of us have our milk + some extras. And this is nothing if you think of all the milks you can find in a normal Finnish supermarket.

Moreover, there’s a huge number of Finns who can’t intake milk lactose – for example myself. There’s even a joke that you know when you’ve lived too long in Finland when you become lactose-intolerant. So now they have all the milk products also with little (“hyla” or no lactose (“laktoositon”) And so the variety grows.

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My mom likes her milk semi-skimmed and “hyla” – with only little lactose, as she is a bit lactose-intolerant.

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My boyfriend wants his milk semi-skimmed and normal – as he’s Spanish, no lactose-intolerance involved.

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Today I like soy milk the best even if I drink skimmed low-lactose milk too. Depends of the moment…

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My father drinks normal skimmed milk – he’s not lactose-intolerant but on a diet.

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My brother wants to have his coffee with normal full-fat milk.

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Extras: sour milk – another speciality that is very good and healthy containing a lot of good bacteria.

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My favourite yoghurt – I like it simple, without any artificial taste.

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… and this is the yoghurt of my boyfriend. Danone Strawberry with lots of sugar and stuff.

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Quark – another milk product. I love the sour taste and the fact that it contains so much protein.

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My mom’s favourite. “Viili” is a type of yogurt (a mesophilic fermented milk) that originated in the Nordic countries”, Wikipedia tells.

Actually last year the milk consumption of the Finns went a bit down, as every Finn drank about 129 litres of milk in a year. Still it seems a lot, as not everyone drinks milk at all. Also ice cream was eaten a bit less last year – and Finland is the nation which most ice cream enjoyes in the world! Even if you wouldn’t believe it, as we have are surrounded by ice and snow most of the time  and eating something cold on top of that might not seem wise.

Yoghurt consumption is on the rise, too. Last year every Finn ate 24 kilos of yoghurt. Personally I love natural yoghurt and eat it every morning for breakfast with fruit and seeds.

Anyway, as there’s a very strong low-carb fashion in Finland right now, we consume more and more fat milk and butter (instead of margarine). Also cheese and quark are getting more popular. So I guess we’ll continue heavy consumers of all the white material coming out of a cow – and it’s derivations full of calcium and protein. Not that bad a habit, I guess, even if my vegan friends think it’s crazy to eat “cow’s food”. But even they love soy milk, rice milk, oat milk or coconut milk…

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Don’t get too busy this summer!

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Yesterday was my last day at the office before summer vacation, and because I had either done all the things written on my vague To Do list; happily forgotten what I should have done before the holiday – or too lazy too start anything new, I spent the day having light chats with my colleagues, a long lunch break in the park and surfing the Internet.

Luckily there was some interesting content offered by my dear friends – mostly on all the great things you can do in the summer. One friend got more serious moment and linked Tim Kreider important article The “Busy” Trap on Facebook. I couldn’t agree more with him!

Tim writes about being busy – and says life is too short for it. In America – like in Finland and in most industrialised countries – people tell you all the time how busy they are. It’s the most common answer to the question “How are you?” among my friends too.

What’s worse, more or less subconsciously we encourage people for being busy: “Well, at least you have a job, you’re always so energetic and active etc.”

What Tim is claiming is that our busyness is self-imposed and chosen, not an inevitable condition. People fill their calendars – and unfortunately of their children, too, with activities, hobbies, meetings – whatever to keep them busy.

Tim says we’re addicted to busyness and dread what we’d might have to face in its absence.

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

Most of my friends are busy, even when they’re on holiday. They feel anxious when they aren’t doing something “meaningful” and taking advantage of their time, whatever that means.

Even children are (too) busy. Like Tim, when I was small my most common complaint was “I’m so bored, what can I do?!” My parents then offered some ideas but in the end we kids created something to do – and mostly had lots of fun! We learnt not to be afraid of the empty moments but understood them as a good starting point for creativity, games or learning something new – like to fly from the kitchen table to the floor (I was convinced this was possible! 🙂 We didn’t even have a TV at home – and nobody talked about kids’ ADHD those days…

“Those free hours became the model for how I wanted to live the rest of my life”, Tim writes. So they did for me. My dream is to be free, spend a lot of time with my loved ones – and get bored once in a while!

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One important reason for our business is the modern working life:

“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”

So true again! For this it’s so hard to tell the elder relatives what I do for work (communications). They are used to jobs where you do something concrete and achieve tangible goals. Nowadays most jobs contain too many complicated processes, abstract planning and innovating. It’s hard to answer the simple question “What did I really achieve at work today?”

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Tim claims that he’s not busy – not anymore, but also he has had busy moments: “every morning my in-box was full of e-mails asking me to do things I did not want to do or presenting me with problems that I now had to solve.”

The solution: Tim moved to a undisclosed location from which he’s writing about busyness. Why?

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done… Great ideas only come when you have time for nothing – and enough of that!”

Thank you Tim, I’ll try to follow your advice this summer – luckily I’ve learned something of life, as for once I haven’t booked my vacation full of activities. In one hour I’ll catch a bus to my parents’ place in Tampere, I’ll not answer the phone if I don’t feel like it and I don’t have any planned activities for the next xx days. Welcome, wonderful idle days!

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Home Alone. How to Make Yourself Happy?

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This is how my poor phone looked like this morning…

At 6am this morning I became widowed by football for a week, as my boyfriend headed for Gdansk, Poland, to follow the European Championships.

Mostly for sleeping badly, I’ve been tired all day and the first thing I did when I arrived at the office was to throw my iPhone to the floor so that the front glass broke.

And that was only the start. As the hours passed, my bad mood got worse. My boss seemed a bit negative to my ideas and I had only boring things on my to-do list. I felt so frustrated that I even surfed the web in search of The Perfect Job waiting for me. Well, I found nothing but still: it always makes me feel a bit better to realize that there are other jobs out there and I won’t be stuck in this office for the rest of my life. Well, hopefully not in any office. But still, I get very impatient when I get the urge to move on and feeling that my capacities are getting wasted in what I do.

Anyway, in the end breaking my mobile phone turned out to be the best thing of today. It gave me an excuse to leave the office early and take the metro till Itäkeskus, a big shopping centre and a suburb around it in Eastern Helsinki. My friends told me that there I’d find the fastest and cheapest place for repairing iPhones, iTapsa. And it truly was an excellent experience! My bad mood was wiped away when I stepped in a little room in a “hotel of offices” where this young guy smiled at me and said encouragingly: “it will take only half an hour”. As an extra, I got a new yellow cover for my phone. Pretty.

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Itäkeskus – a multicultural and a bit rusty shopping centre in Eastern Helsinki. Worth a visit, definitely. Credit: Wikipedia.

After that I checked out the shopping centre. I hardly ever go there as I live in the centre – It’s amazing how fast one gets stuck in the same quarters. Well, Itäkeskus, “Itis,” is a multicultural place full of life and people from all corners – like a mini-visit abroad.

This afternoon I also went running, as the weather was perfect – finally! Normally I can only run for 30 mins but today I run around for an hour! I felt proud when resting a moment by the sea in the new suburb Jätkäsaari. For now it’s a huge construction site – and I love it! I have a special feeling for abandoned wastelands… do idea why, maybe they make me feel free.

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Jätkäsaari under construction. I love to run around here at the construction site by the sea. Credit: Helsingin Sanomat.

After the run I went to the sauna of our building, alone. It felt so relaxing and I threw a lot of water to the hot stones enjoying the almost +100C.

A glass of wine after the sauna culminated the evening. And now… I’m watching football! Spain against Ireland, and Spain shall win. I was begged to check out the match and try to spot my boyfriend and his friends in the audience… an impossible task.

Well, what I learned today was that a good trick to enlighten any bad day is to do something completely new and unexpected. Even a small thing. Like taking the metro / bus to a new suburb and wonder around among strangers.

Another well-known trick is to do some physical exercise. The third one is to enjoy a glass of good red wine and the fourth… of course the sauna. All this really works. Now I’m smiling, even if this morning I felt like crying for all the frustration and my broken phone.

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Our tiny Urban Agriculture project makes me happy, too – our basilica growing on the window. The photo is a bit old, today the plants are a lot bigger!

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… and our amazing orchideas make me smile daily! They’ve been blooming for months already and it’s a little miracle for the little care we offer them…

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The art of being sick – not again?!

It’s been a while since I blogged – the reason is that I’ve been lying half dead in bed for some days. Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but at least I’m positive that my THIRD flu this year has been the worst one so far.

I noticed I wasn’t feeling too well last Thursday when I was having lunch at the university cantine near my job. It was this: pea soup and pancake (hernekeitto and pannukakku in Finnish), the typical Thursday dish here in Finland, no idea why. Wikipedia tells that in the old times eating pea soup (which contains pork) is said to be preparation for fasting on Friday. Anyway, the tradition still goes strong – and I love it!

My lunch last Thursday - the traditional pea soup with pancake and strawberry jam - notice the heart shape... And some salad to make it healthy.

Anyway, while I was eating I started to feel strange: totally exhausted with sore throat and runny nose – and without any appetite. Actually my appetite is still a bit gone. It feels strange not to get hungry when “you are supposed to”. So I’ve been eating light – except of the vanilla ice cream, as a doctor told me it’s good for your throat. Well, that was when I was 10 years old, but of course I still believe him.

The worst thing this time was getting sick just before the weekend! As they say, like the good workers do… You really should get compensated for losing your weekend. So unjust.

Today is the first day I feel normal, more or less – and it feels wonderful! Just sitting on the sofa with the afternoon sunshine, eating an apple that tastes of something again – and watching my boyfriend passing the vacuum cleaner around the house (hrm, I’m still a bit too weak to do some things… 😉

The sun makes me especially happy, as it gives faith that spring actually is on its way. It was already around the corner but then, suddenly, it started snowing a couple of days ago and the people of Helsinki got hysterical: what is this?!? Snow in April??!! Well, in the end it’s not that strange here in the North, but I understand them. After suffering a long winter you really grave for spring. So please: go away snow!

There are nicer things too, of course. Last week I discovered a great new bar just around the corner: Birds Cavabar. They have excellent  Can Paixano cava from a Barcelona producer – whose rosé is especially delicious. The next best thing is the price: 2,50 euros for a glass and 10 euros for a bottle (+ they give you free pistachios, not so common here in Helsinki…) They also serve fajitas (my friend tried and liked it) and salads for lunch. Highly recommended. And the place reminds me of the 6 months I lived in Barcelona… oh those times.

Birds Cavabar in Kamppi, Helsinki

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The Art of Being Sick

I feel like the weather when I look outside to out yard full of wet snow and the gray skies above… It’s +2C in Helsinki so I guess the spring is very slowly approaching. At least the snow is falling from the roofs. A terrible accident took place yesterday near my office as a woman got killed when a icicle dropped on her head. A horrible way to day, on your home street in the middle of a sunny winter day.

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Icicles in Helsinki - pretty but very dangerous this time of the year. Credit: Yle.

Las weekend I spent in Turku, my old university city and the old capital of Finland, visiting friends and partying quite much. The result? A nasty flu. Yesterday I tried to work but today no option but to stay in bed.

What a feeling! I’ve been through flues hundreds of times during my life… All the body parts hurt, you can hardly breathe and a cactus has made its nest in your throat. Uff. Nothing new, I guess a flu is as old as the human being.

The new phenomenon is the social media with its thousands of “home doctors”. As soon as you come up with your first flu status update, people start actively commenting and suggesting treatments – I do it too. In the end, most of the tips offer nothing new, but psychologically it’s important to get them. It’s like searching up on the net the same typical advices again and again every time you’re ill: stay in bed, drink a lot, rest, wash your hands, eat vitamins etc etc.

My friends are a bit more original, though. For example, one suggested to make a hot drink with fresh ginger, honey, lemon, fennel and propolis. The other had tried, I guess with success, to make a “hard-core mojito” with some garlic, chili and avocado. It opens your nose, I guess.

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Ginger - they say it's very efficient agains a flu. And it tastes so good, heatlhy! Credit: ellit.fi

Anyway, we already have our cupboard full of medicines – most of them for our old friend, the flu. Vitamin D and the so fashionable zink (they say it’s the best thing against ful nowadays!), propolis, black current juice, ibuprofen powder with different flavours, normal honey and honey with ginger, multivitamin pills, dried blueberries and cranberries, pills for the throat and of course my Big Love: a neti pot for nasal irrigation. It really makes you feel good! Well, as good as you can feel with a flu…

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This is how the nasal irrigation goes! Looks a lot worse than it actually is.

In the end, the best tip I’ve heard so far is very simple but almost impossible to do: disconnect your computer and especially Facebook, also TV, mobile phone etc – and stay in bed without doing anything! Max activity is to read something light and preferably already read.

I’ll take up the challenge right now and move my sick body to bed – without my laptop! Let’s see what happens. But first, I’ll need some nasal irrigation.

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The poor eat chips and the rich eat scallops – is it only about money?

People tend to think that Finland is a very equal country. Sure it’s true in most matters, for example when it comes to gender equality.

But it’s also true that those with less education, who are unemployed and poor die younger and are sicker than those who have a good education, job and a higher income. No surprise, but the phenomenon is still quite new here and we are not sure how to talk about it being “politically correct”.

Scallops - one of the symbols of the happy wealthy peoples' eating habits. Credit: Kala-auto

I just found out that in Finland we actually have exceptionally big differences when it comes to the mortality rate between the different socioeconomic groups. When a 35-year-old worker’s life expectancy is 74 years, his boss can easily expect to live 6 years longer. Quite a few years to spend in traveling, playing golf and enjoying your grandchildren.

Unhealthy stuff that is supposed to be so cheap - on the cost of our health?

When it comes to your health, one of the most important factors is the food you eat. And Finns are fatter than the other Nordics: only  33% of Finnish men and 48% of women are of normal weight.

Not everyone is getting fat, though, as eating habits are fast differentiating between the groups. Simplifying a bit, it seems that every day the rich eat better and better while the poor consume worse and worse products. Why?

Yes, the food is very expensive here in Finland. Some say that this is why the poor buy pizzas, chips, white bread, cookies, candy – filled with additives. But are they really so much cheaper?

OK let’s make a fast comparison:

  • A kilo of fresh potatoes: 0,75€ 
  • A pack of potato chips: 3€ 

= the healthy option is cheaper – like in many other cases!

Also our forests and lakes are full of clean superfood: berries, mushroom, fish… You just have to go and pick it.

Now the state is starting to tax harder all the unhealthy stuff. My wild guess is that this won’t make things better and Finns healthier.

I think it’s more a question of human mentality. For example, when you are unemployed and have lost your dream, what’s the point of staying fit and eating vitamines?

Food circle - all the kids remember this from the Home Economics classes. In theory at least...

The gap is widening between those who care about their health and those who are letting go. It’s normal that you don’t feel like cooking a healthy dinner if your life seems miserable. Maybe you order a pizza and to the sofa – definitely not the healthiest and probably not even the cheapest option.

Sometimes it’s a question of knowledge – even if here in Finland every kid has at least 1 year of compulsory classes of Home Economics where they are taught about healthy diet and how to cook it.

I’m of course generalizing. There are many exceptions.

And Finns are good at blaming the others. Perhaps we can blame the cold climate? When it gets -20C outside you grave for sugar and fat – you don’t feel like eating a salad but something hot and filling!

Or maybe it’s in our genes? Finns love sugar. We drink about 70 litres of limonades and sodas and consume 10 kilos of candies per person a year. Something should be done… soon.

Finns want to pick their own candies of as wide a selection as possible.

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