Chat with Linn Thorstensson & a Purple Smoothie
I got to know Linn, at Straightforward Nutrition, a few years ago through Instagram. Linn is a Nutritional Therapist from Sweden, and living in Cork, and I loved her colourful food photos and recipes. She helps clients to feel amazing through food, and to learn to use food to heal and revitalize our body and mind. Today on the blog we're sharing recipes and stories. You can check out my post on her blog and my recipe for a parsley, feta and pistachio pesto here.
Hi Linn, first things first - what is your house meal? (a house meal is that fall-back, simple dish that we all have, that we make for ourselves again and again)
Hmm… Tough question really. I actually like cooking for others, but mostly I cook just for myself.
I have found that what I eat and also the way I eat tend to fluctuate throughout the seasons. I don’t enjoy eating cold foods in cold weather, so during the colder months it is mostly soups, roasted veg and “warm” salads, such as sautéed kale, whole grains, feta, pulses and perhaps some sun-dried tomatoes. Oh and porridge on rotation!
During the summer months, I definitely gravitate towards more raw foods. And when life gets super busy, I sometime fall back into old patterns of chocolate as a pick-me-up snack…
What led you into Nutrition as a career?
My way into this profession has been surprising as it is constantly developing and unfolding.
My mother was very health-conscious, both before having me as well as when I was growing up. We ate vegetarian foods at home (think beans and lentils), when no one else did. In my late teens and into my mid 20s I developed some body image issues and disordered eating patterns which then turned into some health issues.
Somehow I stumbled upon this career change as part of that journey + my love of science. Since graduating as a Nutritional Therapist in 2010, I have continued to further my growth and knowledge as well as the direction of my work.
Today I feel like I have come full circle as I now choose to work with people who are struggling with their relationship with food, eating and their body, using a mindfulness-based approach. As well as that I’ve also let my inner creative loose and use my food blog as a place where I can play, through developing new recipes, photography and writing.
I believe we need to bring some fun back into food, nutrition and eating, and take some of the “shoulds” and seriousness out of it all.
What is the most common problem that you help your clients solve?
Most of what I do these days is helping people connect back to their bodies, and becoming in tune with their specific needs, to be healthy and well.
Sometimes this involved helping them get inspired in the kitchen too!
Coming from Sweden, what difference have you seen in the food culture in Ireland? Has this changed much over the years?
When I first came to Ireland, I wasn’t really a foodie the way I am now. Things like sausage rolls, where a new experience and novelty to me! I went through a few years of a eating a fairly heavily processed diet, far from what I was reared on… Only to eventually turn back to my roots.
I think that we have much better access to fresh foods today than we did 15 years ago. The variety of fruits and vegetables are much broader, and at the same time an increased appreciation for local and artisan produce have developed. The food scene is definitely exciting these days!
Cork is one of my favorite places in Ireland for food, what are your favorite places to eat there?
Yes we are really blessed down here, especially with both the English Market for some fresh produce, and the Quay Coop for lots of alternative foods! And there are some Asian and Ethnic shops that I’ve yet to explore… And then we also have some great farmers markets. And the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Endless choices.
For eating out, I have to say that I really like Café Paradiso (if going for something upmarket), another favorite is Star Anise on Bridge St. And Orzo, for a lunch date with friends / colleagues.
Do you have a favourite recipe you'd like to share?
Yes! Since we are transitioning from Winter to Spring at the moment, I thought we would get away with a smoothie recipe.
I really love experimenting and playing with colour, and the colour purple happens to be my favourite. Most people think of smoothies as having to be green, but truly, you can have a lot of fun exploring with different tastes, textures and colours. Expand beyond green and create ones that contains all the colours of the Rainbow!
I also make sure to include some source of healthy fats as well as some protein in form of a plant based protein powder. That way I ensure that I have a complex meal to keep me sustained for a few hours as I go about my daily life.
A PURPLE SMOOTHIE FULL OF INSIGHT
½ cup of fresh or frozen blue-purple berries such as, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrents
1 small banana
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp. raw cacao
1 tbsp plant based protein of choice (pea, hemp or rice protein powder)
250 ml plant milk of choice
Blend all ingredients and serve.
Linn Thorstensson is a registered Nutritional Therapist with a special focus on helping people heal their relationship with food and eating, through mindful eating and self-compassion.
It is her mission to inspire people to realise how quick and simple it is to cook nutritious food, how empowering it is to change the negative thought patterns in our mind and how much better we can feel, both inside and out, just by making a few simple changes to how we eat and live by putting ourselves first for a change!