I am back a long time did not post anything but I was on vacation in Poland and now I have my family visiting us in Shanghai.
Finally wanted to write a few words about my trip to Poland. It is extremely difficult to keep the same pattern and habit while being on vacation and I am pretty sure most of you know about that. But those who have never visited Poland and do not know Polish hospitality cannot imagine the amount of food we were served by our family and friends. Everyone wanted to entertain us the best as they could. Polish culture is to spend time while dining & drinking, and gather with friends and family.
We flu Lufthansa thru Frankfurt to Katowice airport and after we landed there we stayed in my mother in law apartment in Bytom.
As always she wanted to serve the best Polish food. I finally could enjoy Polish white cheese and kefir as well Polish buttermilk (in PL –maślanka). I was missing semi sour cucumbers, homemade pickles.
From Bytom I went to Płock, my hometown, where I visited my closest family who I have there –my sister and my aunt.
We spent lovely time there. They both have the same attitude to healthy, organic food. My aunt Elisabeth sensational cooks, and from very healthy organic ingredients. I was enjoying duck and fresh tomato soup, which is my favorite one. She made beetroot cooler soup based on buttermilk. I was eating a lot there, without any activity. We used that time to talk and enjoyed time spend together.
We were drinking a very nice wheat beer not pasteurized, something impossible to find in China.
We bought our favorite organic red wine and Schlumberger white sparkling wine, do not confuse with the company name I work for.
We all agreed we did not have enough time together. From there I went to see my friends in Kalisz, we stayed at their house and the weather at that time was so crazy hot that we drunk significant amount of beer.
On top of ANY standard food I had a wish for like a white cheese, they had for us excellent wild boar sausage, Poland like Germany is famous of the best sausages, I could easily say in the world. Unfortunately sausages are not lean at all as they usually have a lot of pork fat. Not being able to enjoy Polish specialties not being there for a 2 years, would be insane. So as you can imagine most of the time I was eating, drinking and eating again, over and over with no exercising. During the whole stay in Poland I did not want to check my weight not to stress myself that I gained a few pounds. During the whole stay, I was only one in Aqua Park and twice horse riding.
My friend with whom I had participated since 2002 the horse Jumping competition invited me for his training. I kept my horse in his stable which was pretty close from my office.
In the past we had our horses with skills to Jump from L to P. Now he has a great 2 horses and we can go very high with Jumping computation. Not only horse skills but he improved his riding significantly.
I told Mariusz that since I do not have opportunity for a horse riding now in China, so his skills are incomparable to made right now.
As you know I was a professional Equestrian Vaulting Riding & Eventing rider a very long time ago, actually I almost which I had to interop my sport career due to study. Now I know I remain an amateur ridder. Any sport needs money, especially equestrian sport.
During his training. I started to ride on the nice calm horse and later he gave me to try and even jump on his horse. It was amazing and much different from my ride on a calm horse.
I wish I could have a horse like he has. He is seeking for horse worth 100K EUR, and explained it is difficult to find the right one.
In Kalisz we were able to see all our old friends and my husband family. I had been working there at Pratt & Whitney for 8 years. I started in 2000 and met my husband in 2001. We married there. It is difficult to satisfy everyone as due to limited time we were able to jump from one place to the other for a few hours to see closest friends.
From Kalisz we went to Pila, my father lived and died there, there and I wanted to see his grave. I have not been in Pila since I was on his funeral, it is always a sad time for me, as he went away too early, same as my mom. It is always too early for our Parent to go away.
I stayed in our friend’s house in Miasteczko Krajenskie, close by Pila.
In Pila my friend from Philips, Ania, was taking me for a horse riding in amazing nature thru the forest and little hills. I was enjoying a lot this trip, and was amazed by Ania’s skills, she was afraid of horses before and now she was countering together with me.
The day before my departure I visited my friends in Kaczory, they have the most famous factory in Europe, that renovates old Mercedes.
The old cars looks amazing I could not resist to make some pictures, as well with new sport one.
This is a very quick snap shot from my trip to Poland. No doubt I gained approx. 3 kilograms, not much but still, something to take care of in China and loose. In my next post I describe my fight to loose what I gained weight. It was extremely difficult as my sister in law who cooks also very well arrived to China with us and her whole family, we also were trying Chinese food in different restaurants, so apparently I will focus on weight loss after they leave.
Now after quick Polish vacation another look for a great foods I discover every day in China.
Before I gave you insight about Lotus Tea now …
About Lotus Seeds
Nowadays on the street people sell the lotus seeds.
Lotus seeds are obtained from the lotus flower. They are a versatile food and can be eaten raw or cooked. The dried lotus seeds can be popped like popcorn and eaten. The seeds are harvested in the months of August and September and are then dried under the sun. There are two types of lotus seeds, white and brown peel. The shells, membranes and bitter germ of the seed of the white lotus seeds are removed during harvest. Brown lotus peels, which get their color from the ripened seed which attaches to the membrane, are cracked in order to remove the germ. Dried lotus seeds are sold widely in Asian markets. They are hardy and rough in texture and hence must be soaked in water overnight. They can be added to various dishes such as soups. Fresh lotus seeds are sold with the seed heads. They must be broken to remove each seed and then eaten. The shell of the fresh seeds should be removed before eating. Crystallized lotus seeds are made by cooking the seeds in syrup and then drying them. One of the most common uses of lotus seeds is lotus seed paste which is used in Chinese pastries and in Japanese cakes and desserts.
How to eat, you pull the fresh seeds, and take of green skin, and can eat directly fresh or buy dry seeds. The dry one can be a bit bitter in taste, so fresh one are much better.
Lotus seeds are a rich source of phosphorus, protein, potassium and magnesium. They may also contain zinc and iron. The seeds contain low levels of sugar, sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. One ounce of raw lotus seeds contains approximately 94.3 calories.
Lotus seeds are popular for their nutritional benefits and healing properties. They are commonly used in Chinese medications and also in various recipes.
• Lotus seeds contain L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase, an enzyme with anti-ageing properties. It is known to help in repairing damaged proteins.
• The seeds contain kaempferol, a flavonoid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to help in repairing aging gum tissue.
• The astringent properties of lotus seeds make them beneficial for the kidneys. They help to regulate the energy levels of the body.
• Some studies indicate that lotus seeds may be used to treat various sexual conditions.
• Lotus seeds are used in Chinese medicine to relieve the problem of diarrhea. They are also used to improve the health of the spleen.
• Traditionally, lotus seeds were used to treat people with sleeping disorders such as insomnia. They are also known to be effective in alleviating restlessness. This is due to the natural sedative and calming effects of the seeds.
• The center of the lotus seed is known to be beneficial for the heart due to its cooling properties. The bitterness of the seeds comes from isoquinoline alkaloids which are believed to induce a calming effect and are also anti-spasmodic in nature. They cause dilation of the blood vessels and thus help in controlling blood pressure levels.
• Some medicinal researchers believe that lotus seeds help to strengthen the digestive process and relieve diarrhea.
Lotus seeds also contain a powerful anti-aging enzyme which researchers are now trying to add to various anti-ageing products and cosmetics. The dried seed heads are sold for decorative purposes across the world. These seeds are commonly used in dried flower arranging.
In China I also discovered leaves that can be a great replacement of sugar. For those of you suffer from diabetes or must control sugar intake. I was offered in Chinese tearoom leaves that are natural sweetener used in China but not only. I am sure you can easily find them on-line in your country. I do not use sugar, but know many people who cannot survive without sugar, using it for tea or coffee.
I introduce Stevia.
Stevia is not only a great replacement for sugar, but versatile medicinal plant
Stevia used in dietetics as a natural sweetener has more and more supporters. Its popularity this plant is due primarily to very low-calorie (some even claim that stevia has no calories at all). Stevia is a plant of the Asteraceae family (Latin name – Stevia rebaudina), coming from South and Central America. Already in the sixteenth century, interest in stevia physician and botanist from Valencia – Pedro Jaime Esteve. Natives of Paraguay – Guarani Indians – called it a sweet herb and used it for centuries to sweeten foods and treating many diseases.
As the first stevia sweetening properties used Japanese, who already in the 70s started its industrial cultivation and have developed a method of obtaining the aqueous extract from the leaves of the plant.
The European Commission only in November 2011, found stevia as a safe food additive (E960 was given its symbol). It was also found acceptable daily intake stevia, which is 4 mg per kilogram of body weight.
The leaves of stevia glycosides contains valuable minerals and trace elements: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium, silicon, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene. Many of biologically active substances contained in the Stevia is still unidentified.
Stevia has the healing properties. In folk medicine, Paraguay, stevia is used in diseases of the heart, circulation, stomach pain, hyperacidity. Also confirmed the positive impact of stevia in the treatment of hypertension and type 2 diabetes works antibacterial and antifungal. Stevia is used in the treatment of periodontitis and dental caries.
Properties of Stevia used in the treatment of acne and ulcers. Stevia in the cosmetic industry is a component of firming masks and dental pastes. As a low-calorie product is widely used in dietetics.
Stevia is the perfect replacement for sugar – is sweeter and almost no calories
Stevia is primarily the addition of flavor to the dishes. Stevia has a sweet taste, is about 300 times sweeter than sucrose, we eat in the form of ratified sugar beet or cane. One-fourth teaspoon of stevia extract, replace one cup of sugar. And when ingested by eating one teaspoon of sugar we consume 20 empty calories, that stevia is almost devoid of them. It is therefore a valuable product for people who care about the line or want to lose weight.
I was offered the sweet leaves in my tea store in Shanghai, but I am quite sure you can get it in every country, afeter knowing it name and do not afraid to use, my 9 yo daughter is using it and loves by its sweet taste.
Coming in the next post … How I used to enjoy Chinese & Polish food and manage to keep my weight under control.
Check out next week.