Banana cake

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Soon getting into week 39, and while not having any major pressures nor pain anywhere (except a few cramps/braxton hicks the other day), there really isn't anything other to do than just wait. And bake! A banana cake is always appreciated. Not gluten free nor vegan this time I'm afraid, but sometimes you just want to do things the way they're originally made.

100 g butter
2 tbsp potato flour
2 dl brown sugar - 1 cup
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed + 1 whole one for decoration
3 and a half dl flour - 1,5 cups
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp cardamom
a handful crushed walnuts, optional

Heat your oven to 175 C/350 F. Oil or butter your pan thoroughly and flour it with potato flour too.

Whisk butter and sugar to a nice white creamy consistency. Add the eggs, whisk them well. Plus the four bananas. Whisk to a fluffy mixture. In with all the dry ingredients. Nuts and cardamom too.

Pour mixture into your pan. Slice the final banana lengthwise in half, and place atop.

Bake in oven for around 60 minutes. Serve in thick slices, maybe with some peanut butter on if you like it like that. I used this recipe and adapted it a bit. I have a cardamom addiction and need it in anything please. Cakes, porridge, stir fries...

And so the waiting continues. I could be a mother in a few hours, or in three weeks. Anything is fine of course. But the closer it gets, the stronger the longing. While at the same time I'm not sure I really comprehend it at all. Such an interesting time. Life moves on. Until it totally changes...

Hi Baby,

We bought you some shampoo and body wash the other day and it arrived in the mail today. So weird to purchase everyday things for someone we have never met. Someone we don't even know how they look like. Someone that will join me for showers and baths for many years to come. Someone who will sleep skin to skin with me day and night.

I have treasured my alone time so immensely. Resting and contemplating in quietness has always given me peace of mind and much needed perspective. I have valued the space in between communication with others, often more, than actually spending time with others. Loving my own company and lingering in the comfort and harmony of utter peace has literally built the person that I am today. So I think to myself, how did it happen that I voluntarily signed up for removing that, or at least, drastically cutting down on it, from my life.

I'm not really afraid of not getting solitude when I need to. Your father makes sure to give me all the space that I need, and I know he will be there whenever I need to be alone. He will be as present in your life as I. But what surprises me is that I long for having you with me everywhere I go. The way we currently are inseparable. Only that you would be on the outside of my skin.

It now feels that all those hours and days of inner contemplation. Of getting to know myself so closely. Having had all those conversations with me, myself and I. Were all training and preparation for your arrival. I now know who I am. What I stand for. What is important to me. What kind of life, and values I wish to introduce to you. Diving deep within my own consciousness, allowing space and reflection to be the basis of my life, has made me the calm and harmonious person that I think will be part of a good foundation for our life together.

On the other hand I am humble to the knowing that you too, will teach me so many things. As any child, you come with your own purpose. And it is my job to help you reveal what you came here for. Guiding you in all the ways I can without interfering with your personal and unique development. Without pushing you in any direction of my choice. I wouldn't have known those things if you would have come earlier in life. If you would have arrived before I made peace with myself. Before I knew what my life was about. So I am grateful that it is now you make your entrance into our lives. The perfect time in life.

I can't wait to be able to look you in the eyes. See how you smile. What personality you have. I am so curious to see if you are the mostly quiet person you appear to be from this angle, and then extremely strong and determined on occasion. If you are as good a sleeper that you seem to be. Sleeping when I sleep. Waking up when I wake. So many questions. The beauty and curiosity of this magical unfolding.

In either case, we've got the shampoo ready for you. I wonder if you have any hair yet?

What does a Health Coach do? How I can help you

For some, the term Health Coach may not be very familiar yet. It's an increasingly sought after service, but not yet as big in Europe as it is in America, or Australia.

More people are looking to get personalised help and guidance when it comes to their life and wellness plans, by real people who take proper time to listen to them and their individual needs. More and more people realise that you do not need a doctors advice for living a healthier life. That struggles in their daily lives can be avoided and adjusted by natural means. A Health Coach with a holistic world view, understands that everything is connected, and that all parts of living are equally important to consider in order to create maximum health, happiness and abundance in life.

There are many health coaches to be found online these days, and anyone looking for help and support in any field of wellness, health and life in general, should take some time to find their personal favourite. Someone that inspires you in just the ways that you are looking for, in relation to the personal life improvements you wish to make. Working with a coach is a very personal process. So feeling at ease with the coach you choose to work with, someone who understands you, is very helpful in order to gain maximum benefit out of your time together.

My personal approach to coaching is quite simple: We would spend some time discussing your life, the challenges you face, and the goals and dreams that you have. We often begin with physical health, we speak about nutrition and I often help establish an individual meal plan for my clients particular body needs.

If physical health and nutrition is the starting point, our conversation often moves along to more in depth discussion on all the other important aspects of life.

You'll soon realise how interconnected everything is, and that when you begin to clear up in one area, the other interconnected areas of your life will be equally improved. I don't claim to be a magician, but my aim is to make you aware of just how simple life could be. How much more pleasure, joy and abundance you could gain, just by making some simple lifestyle alterations. But you have to be open about what it is that you want, and ready and willing to do what it requires of you to reach those goals.

This service is not for everyone. Most people say they would want some adjustments and improvements in life, but not everyone is actually up to doing the work it entails. No one can be changed unless they have truly decided they really want to work for a change. I cannot change your life unless you are willing to do the work it requires of you.

The programs I normally offer are based on working with me for the course of 3 or 6 months. This way we have time to really get to know each other, and for us to slowly and consciously work on the long lasting lifestyle improvements that you look for, together.

Since hiring a coach may be a new concept to you and looking at the monthly prices it involves, you may think it is quite an investment. It has to be a great priority of yours to sign up for a service like this. Which means you likely have the right mindset and willpower to make the changes that I would help you with.

For the ones of you who are curious, ready for a new you, and who wish to try my services, I have set up a smaller program for you for this summer.

For €99 / month we would speak via video call twice a month, around 30 min each time. This would begin with a 20 min free consultation, just to get to know each other, and you telling me what you are looking for and what your goals and dreams are.

If we agree on working together, I will send you a personalized plan of action. I would give you the tools and information you'd need, in order to take the first few steps alone. Then we would follow up with our first call a week later. We'd catch up on video call every second week to follow up on the progress that you have done. And I will be sending you related thoughts, documents and inspiration each week by email.

When signing up, you only commit to two months, and you can thereafter cancel at any time.

My wish is to work with individuals that are up for a real change in their lives. And my wish for you is to become better aware of how you can help yourself now and in the future.

I'm ready to give you all of my support and friendly guidance, and I would love to see you thrive in life. For you to get exactly what you dream of. If I can be of any help towards it, I feel I have done something incredibly meaningful. You've only got this life to live right now, we have to make it the best we possibly can, am I right?

You can read more about the various programs I offer here. Just send me an email if you have any questions at all. Or use the form on this page. I have changed emails from the one I started out with last year, so make sure to check that you have this new one if we have been in touch previously.

I also have a competition on Instagram right now, where you can win a month of coaching with me. Check it out here.

If you're curious, here is what some previous satisfied clients have to say: 

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By Deirdre Kovaci, Branford CT, USA:

.... Since I've started following Taru's plan, I have seen significant changes, that have not only benefited me, but my children too. I have lost some weight, I have much more energy, and a clear and sharper focus of my priorities. She has truly made an impression on me by making me more aware of how everyday habits and food choices impact our lives. Taru is very knowledgeable, insightful and motivating. I am forever grateful to Taru for her steady guidance on lifestyle changes that will benefit me for the rest of my life. I cannot recommend her highly enough!

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By Inge Kuse, Antwerp, Belgium:

..... First we had a free Skype-session for you to get to know me and what I wanted of this collaboration, to know more about my lifestyle and my mindset towards healthy eating and a mindful life in general. I expected it would be all about healthy eating but it was so much more! The first thing we tackled was my eating habits: I ate too much bread, pasta, cheese etc. so you sent me a personalized plan with weekly menu's and a shopping list. I had to omit gluten, dairy, sugar and meat from my diet and the two first weeks all I could think about was food: with everything I bought or ordered I had to think about the ingredients but after two weeks I was used to it. And I felt so much better! It wasn't about the weight I had lost after four weeks (which was nice too) but I felt more clear and I could concentrate a lot better. I was very focused on the food bit so with every Skype session I expected we were going to talk about my improvements concerning cooking and food but every time you came up with some more ways to improve my life and health and once I got my head around the plant-based diet, I could give some more attention to exercising, meditation and making mindful choices in other areas of my life. We talked about every aspect of life: love, friendship, creativity, exercise, food... Although I unconsciously knew what was good for my health and well being in general, I couldn't have done all this without your knowledge, support and compassion...

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Click here to read the full reviews. I am incredibly grateful and honoured for them having allowed me to be part of their lives, and watch them transform into healthier and happier individuals. This truly is my dream job!

Summer is finally here, I hope you use this warm and positive time of the year to really investigate what it is that you want from life, and give yourself permission to step it up to the level that you desire and deserve. Life can be exactly as good as you want it to be. And let me know if I can be of any help working towards your goals and dreams!

Days of our lives

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! Mine has consisted of devouring sunshine, writing a bit, reading books, wandering around these lands, cooking, eating, bathing, resting, conversing. All the things I do pretty much every day all day now. It is amazing how all the only few things I want to be doing, have manifested so beautifully into existence for this most meaningful and exciting time of my life. I may never be in this situation again. Pregnant. Expecting my own child's arrival. This may be the only time in my life that I get to experience all of this. This great new adventure unfolding. The anticipation of something so immense. And so I cannot be grateful enough to universe, myself and my partner, or whoever is in charge of this all, for having lined up life to be exactly what I would ever want from life. Right now. In this specific kind of situation.

There is nothing I would want more from life. It is not very common to feel this peace and immense contentment, at least not such long lasting. I've felt the same sort of super contentment in the past, but only moment to moment. Maybe a day or two at max. It now feels as if my whole existence is aligned with what is true and right and perfectly exactly in the way in which it is meant to. There's a beautiful harmony and calm in that.

This photo is from our landlords barn next door. He's got a dining room/bar in there that is currently being fixed for the summer. Great views over the fields and our ever growing seedlings and plants from there.

A few photos from the last couple weeks:

Blooming apple and plum trees in our garden. The flowers arrived late, due to the warmth arriving later than normal. And unfortunately the flowers are almost all gone again. Blown by the wind. Trees moving into a new phase in their cycle.

In the evenings we've sat by the fire. Dreaming and speaking of places to go. Houses to renovate and transform into our dream home. Discussing which kinds of horses to buy when we have found that dream house.

This is kind of the dream life situation we are looking for. Minus 3 or 2 kids. And maybe add a Shire horse, another warmblood, and a little Shetland pony. Mountain and lake nearby. All the food we can and want to eat in the garden.

Dreams really do keep us alive. I always say that we are the creators of our own lives. And however magical and nonsensical that may appear to skeptics, I believe that life offers more magical powers than what we often dare to believe. I believe that if we trust in magic and our unlimited power of creating, without letting fear and doubt come in the way, all of our dreams and wishes can be presented to us. Even more than hard work and ambition, believing and trusting, are the foundations for achieving all of our dreams and desires. At least that is my theory.

I made another type of granola the other day, and T made a great dandelion cordial (recipe coming for both).

Belly is quite big now. Have felt a few random contractions here and there. Besides the ones you feel when you orgasm. Each time I excitedly think; ah it's on the way! Before it dies out and things are back to normal. Guess it's body's way to test drive. And I appreciate the random occurrences where we momentarily get to see and feel how it would affect us mentally, if it would have been for real already. It's all very exciting. But still so hard to understand anything of how getting into labour will feel like. No matter how many stories people will tell you, it can only be a very unique and personal experience. Exactly what we are looking for. Making it our own unique experience.

Evenings here are stunning. As are mornings, middays and afternoons.... somehow it feels like time stands still and that this place is the only place that exists. Have you ever felt that way anywhere? That feeling allows you to zoom out from all that isn't important. There's great relief and peace in feeling; this right here, is the only thing that matters.

Have sowed new parsley and basil seeds, and planted out older herb plants outdoors.

Have had friends and family visiting and on one occasion we made sweet potato fries, cumin celery lentil, stuffed peppers, marinated tofu and some salads.

And watermelon, naturally.

My brother and his daughter.

One of the two yoga teachers that I organized a retreat with in my home in Greece last summer came for a visit, with one of the retreat guests. Amazingly, four of us nine women of the retreat got pregnant after that week. My food must be full of so much nurturing qualities that help with fertility ;) Two of us pregnant ones in the above pic.

My good friend Ewa, the other yoga teacher that was part of that wonderful week last summer, is organizing a great new summer retreat in Italy this summer. Check out her site for more details.

My friend Mercedes from Miami sent me the photo to the left the other day. She had found me on a page of a Citibank Aadvantage credit card offer. The other two photos are behind the scenes pics from those few days during which that campaign was shot, in Santorini, Greece last summer. A neighbour island to the island where I lived for a year. There's a video on Youtube here where you can see me diving off a sail boat for a brief second. At 0.09. Was shown in airport lounges around the US apparently.

So many beautiful memories to share from my year in Greece. Still yet to come.

One of my favourite places.... spending much time here contemplating life, watching the cats play outdoors, listening to the birds outside and to the playlist I've made for the birthing day. Feeling the anticipation building. Not in an urgent way. It's just slowly building up and I feel more connected to the baby and the process every day.

At the same time; there are so many times in the day that we say: I can't wait to meet our baby! ... so much for being patient.

How will life change after this? Soon we'll know...

One way to make tacos

Who does not love tacos? Best comfort food when you want to throw something together in an instant. I really like making them with taco marinated tofu and mushrooms.

Chop up some mushrooms and tofu very finely into small pieces. Put these in a bowl to marinate with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, along with the taco seasoning mix bag that you get in the store. Unless you are super advanced and make your own taco seasoning. I haven't gotten there yet. And sometimes it feels quite good to be lazy anyways.

Let marinate for at least 30 min. Sauté on medium heat until brown. Then quickly turn stove up to high heat while mixing to add a quick lil crispiness to them. Remove from heat and serve. On gluten free tortilla bread, preferably.

Really like the flavour of fefferoni peppers in tacos.... and home grown sprouts is always a good idea.

Some taco sauce. And end with some freshly grated parmesan.. for the days you dip from vegan to flexitarian.

Enjoy in the sunshine.

Summer time and the livin' is easy.....

It's been so warm and wonderful! Crazy warm sunshine and delicious breeze. So grateful.

Haha my preggo style is what it is. Not interested in buying maternity clothes. Normal old clothes works just perfectly, even if they sometimes are quite small/short/tight. And the socks are for protection stomping around in high grass full with nettles.

Love our walks around these natural fields, forests and lands.

If I can give you a relationship advice today: Spend your time with someone that not only allows you to be silly and playful and be simply you. But who also loves those sides of you. Nothing makes you feel more free in a relationship than to be able to be 100% yourself at all times. I've been in relationships in the past where my goofiness and my passion for being wild and spontaneous wasn't as appreciated, and that only will make you lose those parts of yourself. So sad. Makes you feel empty at times. Only temporarily of course. You always have a choice to move on and be more true and fair to yourself. And when you begin to allow only that which is true to you, you will slowly begin to attract into your life all that matches you perfectly.

Where we live..... so so so beautiful. So so so grateful.

More morning energy

If you are like me and love porridge for breakfast sometimes, then there's an easy way to add more nutrients and make it even more powerful and nurturing for your body. Don't we just love that, finding ways to make something we already love, even better and healthier?

The easiest way to do this is to add some whole grains to the mix. The grains with their bran left intact. Oat bran (havrekli), is simply oats with the outer husk (skal) left on it. It contains about 50% more fibre and soluble fibre than regular oatmeal which is stripped off the husk.

Oat bran is really high in beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre that helps lowering cholesterol if consumed on a daily basis. Half a cup (1 dl) of oat bran cereal contains 3g of beta-glucan and that is really helpful for the ones who are at risk of, or have experienced, heart disease.

Soluble fibre helps slow digestion and slowing the absorption of sugars into the blood stream, so it is helpful in stabilizing glucose/ blood sugar levels. It also has more protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium, and zinc, than what the plain oats have.

(( Saying this in Swedish so you all understand: Jo så att, det är hela grodden och kliet från havren, och andra gryn som korn, som du vill ha med i din gröt, eftersom det ger ett mycket högre kostfiberinnehåll än när man har tagit bort skalet på tex havren. Det här är speciellt gynnsamt för de som kämpar med höga kolesterolvärden eller har/haft hjärtproblem, eftersom ett vattenlösligt fiber som kallas betaglukaner finns i fullkornet, och det hjälper till att stabilisera blodsockernivån. Endast vanliga havregryn är fantastiskt också så klart, men det hela havregrynet med skal och allt, är 50% mer effektivt. Betaglukaner finns främst i havre och korn, men även i jäst och annan svamp.))

I like adding a special mix of 4 different grains and their bran to my morning oats. The organic one from Swedish Saltå Kvarn contains bran of oats, barley, rye and wheat. The bran are cut in pieces, and no part of the grains are removed. I do approximately 60% regular gluten free organic oats, and mix this with 40% of this 4 grains bran mix. Not only does it increase the health benefits, but it also gives off a nutty and crunchy flavour and texture to my porridge. Really like that very much.

Blueberries, dates and oat milk. A teaspoon of raw honey in there too. I like mixing in the honey just as you remove the porridge off the stove. Not earlier, as the healthy nutrients in honey have a tendency to disappear when heated too high.

Nutty and crunchy and ooh so delicious.... the whole grains are a bit tougher to cook than regular oatmeal without the husk. So I use to cook this mix on a very low heat for maybe 30, sometimes 45 minutes. Stirring frequently. You could also leave the whole grains/brans soaking in water overnight and add them in at the end of cooking regular oats in the morning.

I cook my oats and whole grains in water, with a dash of cardamom and a pinch of salt. Then adding honey and more flavouring at the end.