What to do after the elections (now and forever!)

by Józef Wilkoń

The elections of 11/9 may passed, and slowly your stress levels and dopamine will return to their baseline levels, but not complacent. These American elections are just an alarm bell for a very realistic and very bleak future. In France, the neoliberal party of Le Pen is flirting with the victory in the next elections, in Poland the criminalization of the abortion degrades the women nature, in Netherlands and Scandinavia neoliberal parties are gaining more and more power, targeting immigrants. The richest people on this planet, only a -damn- 1% of the global population, feel their power chairs to creak under the weight of people that are starting to fight for everything dear and right.

There are many things you can do before the next elections, starting today!

 

1. Pay attention!

Your responsibilities as citizens and voters, don't end by the time you hit the ballot box. The institution of democracy is only meaningful, if only the voters are savvy. Look in the past of every politician before you start supporting her/him, learn about her/his agenda on issues regarding women, minorities, imperialist wars, the environment, health and education. It's hard I know, but it's the only way.


2. Stand up and create a supporting niche around you!

In the last days you either cried hard or celebrated with fervor. No matter in which group you fall in, the future is common for both. The extinction of the social role of the state and the lack of environmental sensitivity will crush everyone mercilessly and indiscriminately.
Resentment is a nonsense of those, who think they will live forever, so do not give up and do not stay silent. Fight for your beliefs to the point that you can and want. If you feel strong, fight for the young and the weak ones too. Fight for the ones you love and appreciate, for those who have fought in the past, for all the commodities you consider for granted today. Those of you that have the desire and the financial stability to search in the their neighborhood/city for organizations whose activities make them feel full of hope, please do. You can make donations or become a volunteer. Here are also some organizations that are pro-women, pro-minorities, pro-immigrants and pro-environment. In time like this, when hope seems to vanishI think of “Still I Rise" poeam of Maya Angelou.
If you feel scared and desperate, or you feel that your life will change for the worse (I am so sorry for that, for letting such crimes still occurring), turn to your community. Strengthen your relationship with your partner and friends, get to know your neighbors, see if elderly people/single mothers/disabled people around you need help, don’t judge people and wake up your empathy. The algorithms of Facebook and our Twitter isolated you in your home, in a ‘filter bubble’, in which the information that reaches you is filtered, so you see only what you agree on/like. And if you feel very upset or that depression is knocking on your door, don’t be ashamed. Brain diseases are as important as all the others ones. If you had a broken leg, or a strange bump on your chest, you would rush to the doctor to heal it as soon as possible. Please, do the same when your brain is in pain. Also, exercising and adopting diets with plenty of vegetables and little meat, will benefit your mental health tremendously. (Today I start a 14-days free e-course lesson on adopting healthier diets within few steps, you can find it here if it is something that interests you!)

my neighbor totoro

3. Empower your readers

For the bloggers of our field (lifestyle and creative) or the entrepreneurs that are reluctant to share opinions like in this post -because they believe that it will damage their brand or lose their followers-, I assure you; you are wrong! You might lose some followers, but you will earn respect and support from the ones that stay.  Behind every brand, there is a manifesto of ideologies and a level of humanity, and I will ask you to focus on that for a moment. Stay away from discussions about political parties, but empower your readers. Turn your business into a social business and give back to your community. Actions like that never backfire.
Personally I plan on turning my personal attention towards understanding people who read IWOI, to share knowledge and ideas that I gain through my field, and to help people who now feel unsafe. I'm not very sure how to do that (any idea is welcome), but I don’t want to remain silent.


4. Your money has power

Female consumers currently motivate 70-80% of all consumer spending. Either directly (by buying) or indirectly (by proposing to friends, sharing in social media, creating trends). But! What if women stopped supporting that don’t support them - companies with unfair hiring, known for discriminatory sexist practices -, what kind of changes could that bring? And what if supported green, fair trade, sustainable companies more? Aim in learning who is behind the companies you support financially and if what you find doesn’t please you stop doing so and stop promoting them (in friends and Pinterest).
The lovely Caroline Donofrio wrote an article on it. Here’s an excerpt below, but it is worth the read. “ While Urban Outfitters, Inc. (which includes Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, Terrain, and BHLDN) aims to cater to bohemian, hipster consumers at various stages of life, it is owned by conservative donor Richard Hayne. I do not wish to contribute to conservative causes (directly or indirectly), so for me, that choice was simple. If you don’t support my lady parts or my lady agenda, you cannot have my lady dollars. [...] This is as much about self-care as it is about social justice.”  


5. Understand the people and be careful with hard pompous declarations.

If you have someone in your environment that you believe that endorses political parties with extreme beliefs, try to understand hi/hers underlying reasons before you start judging.  What happened in the US elections, is not because the Americans are stupid (let’s not forget that people in Greece 2 years ago were making fun of the <1% Golden Dawn stats, only to be hit by a meteorite, when they reached the 10% and entered the parliament). Such simplified assumptions downplay the complexity of such an issue.
Only those who were in the odious position of losing everything (from their job to their dignity), and chose to silence in a war against power that they felt unable to enter, understand the hollowness of such words. Despite our brave words and our revolutionary fiery statements, we all make small concessions on to our beliefs to please our peers. Every day we are sacrificing small pieces of our values (consciously usual), and we reassure ourselves that one day, when we are in the position of taking the big decisions, we won’t execute morally people. If you have such feelings, do not let anything or anyone make you forget these feelings. Be careful, though, because as Nietzsche warned us all: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”.
 

Hold on tight on each other, that’s the only way for everyone to float.

 

Credits | Text: Despina Kortesidou, Photos: Illustration: Józef Wilkoń, My neighbor Totoro: Studio Ghibli
 

 

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Despina Kortesidou

Despina Kortesidou, a master student (hello neuroscience!) and a born adventurer, founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student. She loves sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring you to cover yourself with plants, color and confetti. She started teaching , recently, online courses for those loving food, plants and everything in between, and she has the time of her life. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people and overanalyzation.

Whole grain bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds

Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Do you also have these childhood memories, where your mum took you with her in that traditional bakery, in your neighborhood on Sunday morning, to buy freshly baked bread? And till you reached home, you had picked half the bread loaf? Well, you can relive those moments, by baking bread at home. It is super easy and your home will smell deliciously all day.

Did you, also, know that by using whole grain flour (or whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc.), you can improve your eating habits dramatically? Let me explain you why; non-wholegrain food (white flour, white pasta, white rice, etc.) when eaten sky rocket the circulation of glucose (sugar) in the blood, giving you a feeling of fulfillment for 1-2 hours, and energy depleting you afterwards. The feeling of exhaustion comes from the explosion in the production of insulin, that follows the one of glucose, in order to bring down the latter’s levels in the blood. Apart from the fatigue feeling, the insulin bursts can be inflammatory in long-term basis (which means, that they can create internal wounds). Whole grain food, however, increase gradually the glucose levels in blood, which keeps the insulin levels low, and release their energy slowly (keeping you content for longer than 2 hours). So now you know why whole grain food, is far more beneficial than the non-whole grain ones.

For this and many more useful tips on how to create healthier eating habits, take part in our free 14-day e-course, especially for our email subscribers. You can sign-up here (starting this Friday)!

Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Ingredients (for 1 loaf):

  • 1 kilo of whole grain flour (if not, go for white flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 tea spoon of sugar
  • 2 tea spoons of salt
  • lukewarm water
  • 1/2 of a cup of flax, sesame and sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl, add all the flour. Add the salt, the seeds and the thyme (and any other spice you wish) and mix them well.
  2. On top of the "mountain" of flour, make a small hole and add the yeast, sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of lukewarm water (caution, if the water is too war, can kill the yeast.In that case the dough won't grow). Stir gently the yeast and the sugar and wait for the yeast to activate (when it starts creating bubbles in 2-3 minutes, it is ready).
  3. With your (clean) hand stir the yeast mixture to distribute it as evenly as possible inside the flour.
  4. Add the oil and the water (slowly) and begin to knead the dough. Don't add all the water at once, as the dough might get very watery, requiring more floor to be restored, which will destroy the analogies. When your dough become a ball and its walls don't stick on your hands, it is ready for the next step.
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place it next to a heater or choose the air option in the oven (at 40C-50C degrees) for 20 minutes. Wait until the dough gets double in size.
  6. Take the baking pan, and apply some oil in its walls. While you take the dough gently out of the bowl, knead it a little bit in the air by taking the ball ends and sticking them on its bottom. Afterwards place it in the baking pan. Cover the bread with the towel again, and let it "sit" for another 20 minutes in the condition you had it before (it will grow again).
  7. When ready, sprinkle its surface with a little water (do not push the dough, it will shrink), flour and extra seeds. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees in the up and down option and when heats up, put the bread inside. The baking rack should be below the oven's middle level. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. When ready (do the trick with the toothpick: dip a toothpick/knife in the bread, and if dough doesn't stick on it the bread is baked) take it out and cover it with the towel until it cools down. Doesn't you home smell deliciously? Try not to eat half the loaf with fresh butter, it happens to me every time! :D Enjoy!
Homemade bread with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Credits | Texts & Photos: Despina Kortesidou

Fresh green beans with tomato sauce, potatoes and lots of oregano

Fresh green beans with tomato sauce, potatoes and lots of oregano  | by IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION|

Fresh green beans in the pot is one of my favorite dishes, so delicious! And extremely healthy too, do you know why? You sure do, but let me repeat it one time; it mainly consists of vegetables. As a matter of fact, every balanced each dish should consist mainly of vegetables.

To make your life easier, let me tell you a simple trick to incorporate more vegetables in your meals. Start designing a dish from what vegetables you want to eat and how you will cook them (boiled, grilled, stir fry etc.). Then decide on what carbohydrate (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread etc) and protein (lentils, eggs, fish meat etc) sources you will include. As you can see, meat is not the center of the dish (as we normally think), but only a part of it. I applied this golden rule in this dish too. First I decided on the vegetables (green beans with tomato sauce in the pot). Then I added a source of carbohydrates (potatoes) and a source of protein (feta cheese). With this rule in mind, you can control the quality of every meal!

If you want to know the very basics of our metabolic system, and my very best tips for creating a healthy and balanced diet, without restrictions and calorie count, you can participate in our free lesson. Oh yes! We organize a course through for our email subscribers. It lasts 14 days and step by step we will create together a healthier diet for you. Are you in?

Fresh green beans with tomato sauce, potatoes and lots of oregano  | by IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION|

Ingredients (3 servings:

  • 1 kg of broad fresh green beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 juicy tomatoes
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley or dried spearmint

Procedure:
 

  1. Start by cleaning the beans, cut the top and bottom end of all of them. Then break them in half and try to separate the two pieces. If the sides are joined by a "white hair", you must take this off too. Run a potato peeler along the side edges of each bean to remove this "white hair"
  2. Afterwards, clean the beans with some water and in a pot add with them a little bit of olive oil and water. Close the lid, and steam them in low fire. When they start getting darker, by losing the bright green color, they are ready. Remove them from the fore and discard the liquids of the pot.
  3. Chop the onion, add it in the bottom of the pot (take aside the beans), add plenty of olive oil and sauté them in low heat. As the onions are sautéed, in a blender mash the tomatoes. When the onion is golden and softer, add the tomato sauce, the chopped garlic cloves, a little water and 3 small potatoes cut into pieces. It is ideal for the liquids to cover 2/3 of the green beans in the pot. Let them to boil over low fire for 30 minutes, and when it is ready (check the potatoes), add chopped fresh parsley or crushed dry spearmint.
  4. Serve with a large piece of feta cheese on the side. Bo appetite!

Spice series: Parsley - usage in kitchen & health benefits

Spice series: Parsley - usage in kitchen & health benefits | by IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Parsley is (probably) the most loved fresh herb in Mediterranean dishes! 

Parsley is used as a fresh herb in cooking to enhance the flavors of the dish or its presentation, as the eyes eat always before the mouth!

Now you might think that "Ok, your theory is good, but where can I use parsley?". I will suggest you some general food themes that hang out successfully with parsley, to have a rough idea which combinations work well, and then promise me that you will improvise a lot. Always improvise in kitchen and life! 
 

But before we continue on that, let's talk a little bit about the beneficial properties of parsley and its possible health benefits.

1) Cancer prevention

Parsley contains a lot of molecules that have been shown to possibly, cause you can never be 100% sure in science, prevent different cancer forms. One of them is myricetin, a flavonol that has been shown to have chemopreventive effects on skin cancer. Sweet potatoes, parsley, blackcurrants and cranberries are among the foods that contain the highest concentration of myricetin (per 100 grams). It also contains (as all the other green herbs and vegetables) high amounts of chlorophyll, which is effective at blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines, which are generated when grilling. So, if you love grilled food, make sure to accompany it with lots of green vegetables (insert salads here) and herbs to neutralize these effects.

Apigenin is another natural chemical that is found in parsley, celery and other plants and it has been shown to decrease tumor size in an aggressive form of breast cancer in a recent study conducted at the University of Missouri.

2) Diabetes prevention

Myricetin has also been evaluated for its effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of diabetes. In cell and animal studies it was found that myricetin may lower blood sugars as well as decrease insulin resistance and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperlipidemia effects.

3) Improving bone health

Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption (which parsley provides in just 10 sprigs) improves bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.

Spice series: Parsley - usage in kitchen & health benefits | by IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION

Nutritional breakdown of parsley

10 sprigs of parsley contain (USDA National Nutrient Database) :

  • 4 calories
  • 0.3 grams of protein
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 0.6 grams of carbohydrate
  • 0.3 grams of fiber
  • 0.1 grams of sugar
  • 205% of vitamin K (daily need)
  • 22% of vitamin C (daily need)
  • 17% of vitamin A (daily need)

So, how to incorporate more parsley into your diet

Fresh chopped parsley has a spicy, peppery flavor and pairs well with dishes with potatoes, tomato-based sauces, poultry, sautéed meat, green salads, seafood & Mediterranean flavors and egg dishes. Also, add chopped parsley to any homemade salad dressing.

Potential health risks of consuming parsley

If you are taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) it is important that you do not suddenly begin to eat more or fewer foods containing vitamin K, which plays a large role in blood clotting.

Further reading

Reading more always helps. Inform yourself and don't swallow what big food brands are trying to sell you. Also keep in mind that all the tips above don't cancel any medical advice that you received (I am a biology student not a medical one), so always seek a professional's help in case of a health issue.

And remember, you can never go wrong by eating fresh, non-processed, green food! The more foods you consume that are grown from the earth versus manufactured, the healthier you will be. It is important to realize that the isolation of one chemical or vitamin from food will not likely result in the same health benefits as consuming it in its whole food form. Bon appetit! :)

Find here all the Spice Series Guides HERE!

Credits | Text, Photographs & Design: Despina Kortesidou

Comment

Despina Kortesidou

Despina Kortesidou, a master student (hello neuroscience!) and a born adventurer, founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student. She loves sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring you to cover yourself with plants, color and confetti. She started teaching , recently, online courses for those loving food, plants and everything in between, and she has the time of her life. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people and overanalyzation.

Molletes: bruschettas alla Mexico with melted cheese, avocado, tomato and lots of coriander

Molletes: bruschettas alla Mexico with melted cheese, avocado, tomato and lots of coriander

Have you noticed that cultures with similar food habits and ingredients, and climate, tend to have similar dishes. It was huge revelation for me was, when I discovered the Mexican equivalent of bruschettas. They are called molletes, they contain melted cheese, mashed beans, tomato, avocado, coriander and ... ENOUGH! Read the recipe on your own, cause I am already drooling on my keyboard.

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Mixtape - Masters Of The Gentlemanly Art

Mixtape - Masters Of The Gentlemanly Art | by WhenHmetJ
A little bit dark, a little bit for dancing, and a little bit like when Carpenter met Palm Trax. It grows strong children from +soda to the Hideout and vice versa.

Credits || Authors and Playlist: WhenHmetJ

Open baked mullet in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard & olive oil

Open baked mullet in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard & olive oil

Is there a better food than fresh fish? Which is one of the most delicious fruits of the sea? There isn't I would say.

I will leave you with these word and I will welcome on the stage the recipe for open baked mullets in the oven with a sauce of lemon, mustard and olive oil.

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Mixtape - Broken Hearts, etc. by WhenHmetJ

Mixtape - Broken Hearts, etc. by WhenHmetJ
Here some love and proderm for our broken friend that mournes the platonic, the absurd, the shameless, the indelible, the blind, the sudden, the thank-goodness-it didn't-happen-to-me, the spark that turned to fire and of course the unfulfilled love.
Press play & scream "the bed's too big without you".

Credits || Authors and Playlist: WhenHmetJ, Photo: (does someone know? We don't seem to find the source.)

Mixtape - Bahar by WhenHmetJ

Mixtape Bahar by WhenHmetJ
In the last part of our summer musical trilogy expect a lot of Middle East and julep. Before Augustus us farewells, stop feels guilty about liking the clarinet and let's take a ride to Bosphorus.

Credits || Authors and Playlist: WhenHmetJ, Photo: Mustfa Kandirali

Ceviche octopus sandwich with red bell pepper and caper

Ceviche octopus sandwich with red bell pepper and caper

A traditional Portuguese dish with a twist!


It's almost a month since we returned from Madeira and I already started reminiscing the island's indolence, the steep cliffs and the gigantic tropical trees. But what I miss the most are the irrestistable Portugese dishes; red fish soups, roast beef, tropical fruits in every corner and the ceviche fish and seafood.

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