Mama says eat your greens

Ahh, the power of green foods. They are total superheroes! I (like many of you I guess) have only been a green food and green juice addict for the past six or seven years, ever since I ‘discovered’ that you could put cucumber, celery and spinach through a juicer and end up drinking something that looks like pond water that was good for you. I once went on a kind of diet, or shall we say a ‘way of eating’ for a week that meant only consuming foods that were green. Thankfully I didn’t end up looking like Shrek’s girlfriend Princess Fiona, but I did feel like some kind of Green Power Superwoman Princess by the end of it.

All green foods posess the superpowers required to make us feel like the superhumans we really are. The nutritional value and detox components – such as ridiculous amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, the perfect fibre for our bodies, great sodium levels and hydration – in veggies like celery are simply amazing.

But we have been neglecting our greens and suppressing our superpowers by eating foods that rob our beautiful bodies and minds of their true potential. All of that processed, boxed crap; meat and dairy from the really-in-dark-karmic-debt industry; the white stuff aka sugar, that is evil beyond belief, not to mention all of those ‘why-do-they-even-exist’ fake foods produced in laboratories, with colourings, additives, preservatives (every time I see that word I still feel like there will be condom particles in there – hey, I’m only ever honest with you) and flavour enhancements. Like real food needs flavour enhancement! And the list goes on and on… there are so many bad, bad, human superpower diminishing ‘foods’ and ‘drinks’ out there, while our natural greens are left rotting on the market displays.

Leave the boxed crap on the supermarket shelves to ‘live’ out its eternal life, as most of them profess to have. Imagine seeing an expiry date on a can of something that could potentially outlive you – who wants to eat THAT? How is such food supposed to make you thrive? Instead, save your greens! They will always give back to you by taking tender loving care of your cells, cleaning your blood stream and making you feel like the superhero that you are meant to be.

Sadly we live in such times that even our greens are sprayed and polluted so please always reach for the organic veggies. As those babies will ‘transition’ soon, they are as pure as they can be. Give them a chance during their vibrant lives to give you what they are here for, to give you nourishment, to feed you and to give you lots of green love.

We are fortunate however, to also live in times of total abundance. We are able to down wheatgrass shots as a healthier option to tequila, to put powdered greens in all their glory in our smoothies, salad dressings and juices. We thrive when surrounded by beautiful supergreens such as Tina Spirulina, Stella Chlorella, Green Magma Mama, Barleygrass Barry and co. Clearly I have been drinking too many greens and have christened them by giving them names, but you don’t all need to go that far.

Just eat, drink, dream and live a passionately green superhero life!

Peace, love & kale.

 

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How I became healthy

I am so very often asked how I got into all this healthy stuff and I must say it was a natural inclination from the very first time I sprinkled a bowl of brown rice with gomashio! My sister-in-law took me to the first macrobiotic restaurant in Croatia, many years ago, 1992 to be precise. For the first time ever I had tofu, algaes, soya sauce and the aforementioned gomashio. I was especially taken by the dessert that followed – even though it was not the best tasting thing I had ever had – because considering where I come from, to hear that a cake was made without eggs, sugar or butter… I was like ‘Whaaaat?!”

I did find the whole concept mesmerising! I was destined to go back to it at some point in my life.

I moved to London in 1992 and my diet was in the form of cans of Diet Coke and extra large Snickers bars. Shocking I know, for the Miss Love you know now! Well, pennies were super tight and I ate the cheapest, most calorific things ever on many occasions as I only had one pound to have lunch with. I would also go for those ridiculously thick pizza slices that you can still see around London these days. I used to hang out on weekend s with a friend, and we would have five pounds to spend on a day out to central London, on our day off from being au pairs. We would buy travel cards, stop by Waitrose to buy a can of Diet Coke (it used to be only 19 cents!), head to Picadilly Circus, buy a one pound pizza slice and sit by Eros watching the world go by, thinking we have the best life ever!

Well, when you come from a shattered country and the small city you grew up in was the size of Picadilly, you can kind of understand why we felt like this.

But as time went on and my living standards increased, every time I would hear about a veggie place or be able to eat something that was labelled as healthy I was naturally drawn to it. When I saw the first juice bar in London I tripped! It was like a light bulb went on in my head, even though I was not totally aware of it at the time, that juicing and healthy eating would be my calling.

The main reason I first got into Ayurveda, then macrobiotics, then vegetarian, vegan and ultimately raw foods was the problems I started to have with my digestion.

Snickers and Diet Coke, plus low-fat, sugar loaded blueberry muffins, maple pecan pastries and Starbucks large lattes did their damage in combination with the post traumatic stress (you can read about this my war story!) I was suffering from, but never wanted to admit or dwell on.

I started to burp, badly (sorry for too much information!). At the tiniest amount of stress I would feel like someone had punched me to stomach. Something just didn’t feel right. And I’m proud to say that even though it was so many years ago and I would, like the majority of people, go to the doctor I discovered Ayurveda and something spoke to me about looking into foods to heal myself.

And this is how it all started. I read Ayurvedic books, had a practitioner that I went to see once a month and even though I was not cured – still to this day I suffer with the slowest digestion known to mankind and all kinds of discomfort if I eat something I shouldn’t – I was on the path to discovering many things.

I did cooking macrobiotic courses in Zagreb, I was cooking many Ayurvedic dishes and making my own ghee, all the way to self-learning the principles of raw food. After running my juice bars for almost 15 years now I wouldn’t say I have mastered anything but I have come a long, long way from Snickers  and co!

Health, happiness, avocados and coconuts!

New Passion hotspots

As crazy as Lana Love is, the craziness of the woman has reached new levels by building not one, but two new Passions in the middle of busiest Ibiza season we ever had!

When the right location pops up, the woman just can’t say no!

It’s not just new locations – now it’s new concepts too! We simply cannot wait to open the door of our new Passion Pantry (a café, deli, bio shop and take away and Passion Juicery, all under same roof). You guys are going to love it, promise. We are hoping to open at some point in October, so watch this space.

Our brand new restaurant in San Jose is something we are just holding our breaths with excitement for. A lot of building and work is needed to transform such a big place, with all the details needed (or shall we say, demanded, by that same woman mentioned above!) and so it’s taking time. Think early next year for that particular Passion hotspot.

So as always, we are gifting Ibiza with more of those healthy spots it seems you just can’t get enough of. We are asked daily to open new Passions around the world but there are also always the questions like, ‘When are you going to open one in San Antonio, Santa Gertrudis, Ibiza town, on the beach, in Formentera…’ There’s never too much or enough Passion in life! So we keep working, building and spreading Passion as much as we can. It gives us pleasure to welcome you to our (soon to be) six homes of health and happiness.

The beauty of every Passion is that each is like a unique destination itself. All feature rather different décor but always retain that true Passion feel. But now, as this ‘Passion look’ has become quite popular and has inspired many others with decorations for their cafes and restaurants, we feel we need to do something different (Lana is a Madonna fan, she says Passions are like Madonna, always reinventing, setting trends and most of the time, being there first.) Through social media and the small size of Ibiza it is very hard to be original for a very long time, five minutes if you’re lucky!

But that even keep things interesting for us as we always do different things. The amounts of recipes, dishes, drinks and even looks that we have gone through are almost endless! Some have stayed for years, some lasted a few years, or just a season, but we always move forward. There has never been the same menu for more than two years in a row at Passion. We improve every year, we bring you new healthy stuff, and present healthy or simply yummy concoctions that you can only taste in our cafes, as the recipes are personalised or uniquely made by Lana.

Passion is much more than just a business. It’s about creativity, always striving to do better and giving our customers beautiful cafes to relax in, good food to eat, great drinks to re-energize, great cakes to indulge in and lengthy menus full of goodness to woo you back again and again. Because we love to see you again. We love to serve you and inspire you.

LOVE

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To travel is to live

People work, and want to make money (shall we say lots of it) for many reasons. For many the motivation is to buy a beautiful house, a nice car, designer clothing, a pedigree puppy… but mine is to travel.

During my experiences in the war in Croatia, I was brushed with fear that, if it all ended for me too soon, I would not get the chance to see the world. My biggest disappointment and concern was that I would not be able to experience planet earth.

I wanted to go places!

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Mind you, I’m not that adventurous and my thoughts of travel never included trekking through the Amazon jungle or climbing up Kilimanjaro, but they were all about visiting amazing cities, exotic locations, beautiful hotels, experiencing different cuisines in their native countries, absorbing beauty all around me and meeting people from all walks of life. That’s what I always wanted to do on my travels.

No one can ever take experiences away from you. I even ‘argued’ with my mum for years after I went abroad and kept sending her money – for living but also to treat herself. I was always telling her to go to the Croatian seaside on a short break or to visit a spa, but my mum’s thing was buying Zepter dishes and ridiculous amount of the latest Tupperware! It drove me mad… but kitchen utensils are my mum’s thing, so I let it be.

I have done a fair amount of travelling compared to most people in the space of time I have had and since I could afford it. You see, I love nice hotels. I simply cannot do crappy ones and if a holiday means staying in a crappy hotel or a dodgy apartment, I’d rather stay here in my beautiful (rented) apartment in Ibiza overlooking one of the best views a human can ask for.

It’s actually very rare that my views wherever I stay are even close to my home view in Ibiza! But as much as it is beautiful, many others are beautiful in their own way too.

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I also love to stay for longer periods of time in one country, island or city if I can. It gives me more insight into the place, the culture and the people. My ‘thing’ is still to go and live in New York, LA, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney… for a month or so. Even London, where I lived for 13 years, is calling me to come and stay for longer yet again! The six months that I spent living in UAE, six weeks in Bali, a month in Bahia, Brazil, plus weeks in Portugal and California have all shown me what a difference it is to go somewhere for few days or to stay for longer.

Going to new places, having new experiences and meeting new people is what I personally thrive on. To my own annoyance, I’m one of those people who gets bored easily so new things to do are always something I’m looking for.

But right now I’m so busy that I do not have any time to travel. This is because I am on my business peak at the moment, and it’s all about Passion’s future plans… which means it’s hard work now, so that in a few years time I can have all the time in the world to go places – I’m planning my ‘retirement’ pretty soon. Only a few more years and then my stylish backpack will be on my back and we will go and explore some more.

I work hard now so that I can play later but whenever there is a chance to sneak three or four days away, I go on short trips like city or spa breaks. It helps me reset, re-energise, clear my mind from work and get my inspiration flowing again.

I always say we get one shot on this planet, and it is so big and beautiful that to stay in one place or not travel much at all, is to deny ourselves. Designer bag, tenth pair of shoes or a weekend in Rome – guess which one I would go for?

Absolutely coconuts

Coconuts really are the perfect food. So much goodness comes from one gift of nature! Think just how many things we get from the humble coconut: coconut water, coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut yoghurt, dried coconut, coconut shavings, coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, freeze dried coconut and possibly a lot of stuff that I forgot to mention.

An absolute superfood! Hydrating, full of good fats and totally delicious. If you do not like coconuts… man, you’re missing out! If you were stuck on a deserted island with only an abundance of coconuts, you would survive for life.

Sometimes I actually get a bit worried considering how popular the coconut and its products have become over the last few years – now we are able to buy whole fresh Thai coconuts almost everywhere, and I wonder if nature will be able to keep producing enough of them for many years to come!

Coconuts are the most health enhancing in their youngest stage of growth. The meat is pure saturated fat that has the remarkable ability to rejuvenate age-related oxidative tissue damage, improve the functioning of the nervous system, increase breast milk production and restore male sexual fluids. Guys, did I just get your attention?

I love coconuts. Very often I replace my meal with a coconut when it is super hot and I’m just not in the mood to eat. I drink the coconut water from the fresh coconut and then scoop the meat out of it as a snack.

In general I try not to drink too much coconut water as it is high in sugar, but I love coconut meat and sometimes I slice it into ribbons and stir it into my salads, or add it to my smoothies, or blend it with lemon juice to create my coconut yoghurt. Coconut meat also makes a mean chocolate mousse too! In Passion we use it as a base for our raw vegan ice creams. We simply cannot get enough coconuts, considering how many things we make with them!

Did you know that coconut flesh, coconut cream and coconut oil increase metabolism and help with weight loss? Farm animals that are fed coconuts and coconut oil are never obese!

Peace, love (but no love handles) and coconuts.

Be your own guru

We all need inspiration in life and we all need to keep educating ourselves, to learn, to grow, to empower, to illuminate, and to keep upgrading. And very often, like with so many other things in life, we are looking to do this everywhere but deep within ourselves.

I needed to spend thousands of dollars on travelling to so many conferences, seminars and summits to actually discover that really and truly my own guru was someone very close to me, always around and guiding me in the right directions countless times; that person… is me. I needed to spend so much cash to be told that the way I function, think, feel, do my work, my passion, creation is very much spot on. I needed to spend that cash to to be told it’s ok not to be the most organised, planning freak and structure keeping junkie but to be someone who gets up in the morning and goes throughout their day with flow, taking things as they come. Someone who creates and gets inspired from awareness of oneself, someone who operates from their gut feelings and not because of information written in the books. I have also realised that my ‘messiness’, luck of structure, planning and over organising is my virtue and not my vice.
Do not get me wrong, there are many people out there whose life work, passion and creation have guided me and inspired me, and some of them I do lovingly call my gurus as one simply does, but you see all gurus – like rock stars and movie stars – are just humans like you and me. They are all full of vices, weaknesses and to many their job to inspire many is very often just a job, and more of course, but not necessarily any of the ‘gurus’ out of there are walking their walk all the way.

This is not to say there are none! Of course there are, but trust me, they are a rarity. And I have been lucky to discover and feel those truthful ones, but some didn’t pass the test. And that is OK. I did learn something from them… and that is to listen to truth within me and to be aware of guidance within me, telling me what is genuine and what is not.

I get a bit funny when someone tells me I’m their health guru! No, no, no, no! If a strong black coffee and croissant for breakfast type person is your ideal of guru then OK! I’m joking… You see, I’m personally all for green juice, salads and raw cakes, which I all live by, but am I a saint with my diet? No. Do I do all the steps all the way that I write about in aim to inspire people to eat and live better? Mostly yes, but not all. I’m way too undisciplined to do that. But I’m aware of my truth and I hope that you are aware of yours too. If something I say or a recipe I give you inspires you then great – just drop the guru thing! It’s too much responsibility for me to bear, that one. Let me eat my cheesecake!

Go out there, keep learning, keep getting inspired but always look deep within yourself and do feel what feels right to you, what makes sense and what you believe in.

Do not be told. Question things, read between the lines, listen to your gut. If you feel someone is overselling something to you, it doesn’t even matter how good doing it is, it is probably not genuine in the first place.

Trust yourself and what your instincts are telling you more than listening to whichever kind of gurus because at the end of the day, no matter what anyone says to you, no matter what you read, you will be back to your true source, to your inner guide, to your feelings of what the right thing to do is.

Drop the structure, frameworks, rules or latest fad diet and listen to what your mind, soul and body is telling you. Just be sure that you are comfortable with your truth and getting throughout the day with your head held high knowing you know your s***! Yeah!

Yours truly, the most undisciplined guru ever.

Passion number five, passion number six…

I have always preferred the number five to four. Having four Passions just didn’t ever sound quite right to me, five sounded so much better! But before you get suspicious that I have too much time on my hands to be thinking about fours and fives, let me tell you the truth about what really happened.

I spotted an available location and – just like a few times before – in that moment it just felt like the right thing to do. If you know me you know this: if I see a project I can picture right then and there, I will sign on that dotted line instantly. I put down the deposit for my Santa Eularia Passion less then 24 hours after seeing the location for the very first time. I knew it would be the perfect place for a Passion!

Maybe you’ve also noticed that I do love my corners. The new Passion in San Jose (number five) is on a prominent corner location like our Marina and Santa Eularia restaurants and here for the very first time in public I am going to share something brand new with you! We’ve locked in Passion number six (though the location has to remain a secret right now)! You guessed it: this one is on a corner too. It will be another new concept and something you will looooove! I’ll keep you updated, I promise.

As I am writing this I’m at the stage of starting with the preparation work on Passion in San Jose. Painting, tiling, drilling, furniture shopping, menu writing, sourcing new suppliers and even products are already on the way. There will be no rest for the wicked like me for a long time now! I have two new locations with completely different concepts (but don’t worry – still uniquely Passion) to open within next two to four months.

I still have no clear idea of what will they look like and exactly what we will do in each one but as always I trust and believe and take everything day by day, letting my inspiration, vision and creativity flow. What will be… will be. These will be special new places, new Passions for you to enjoy and for me, new babies to love and admire.

Wish me luck Passion junkies – I’m so looking forward to introducing you to my new babies when they have dusted themselves off from the painters and decorators and received Miss Love’s special touch. Wink wink.

Cannot wait to welcome you to your new Ibiza homes of health and happiness.

The easiest chocolate bar recipe ever!

I don’t know how about you, but what drives me most of the time to try certain recipes is simplicity and uncomplicated ingredients. Mind you, I have made some complicated recipes too! Try making raw tiramisu sometime and feel your head spin from every step of the process!

This is why I luv, luv, LUV this recipe. In case you don’t have a blender you can just stir it all in a bowl, but the blender does give you a nicer texture.

This recipe has rescued me many times when I was at home and in need of biting into something really indulgent, sweet and satisfying but wanted to be healthy at the same time.

I think we all know by now the real beauty of raw chocolate and raw desserts. It’s not just the plain fact that they are better for you and they taste divine. It is the fact they also give you nutritional value. Some raw desserts are total nutritional powerhouses, like this one. You can spike this recipe (and many others) with superfoods, medicinal herbs and medicinal mushrooms, thus putting information in the food that normally your loved ones would question or turn their noses up at the thought of trying them. The texture and sweetness of raw desserts is the perfect camouflage for such mischievousness! Mind you, I’m not talking about any dodgy substances here… Behave!

If you are just a bit of a health nut, upon reading this blog you may realise that you probably already have all the ingredients for this dish in your cupboard, more or less, and that you can try it out RIGHT NOW! Feel free to use agave or honey instead of maple syrup, or peanut, almond or any other nut butter instead of pecan, and buckwheat crispies or any other nuts instead of pecans. Anything will work – I’m just a sucker for the maple pecan combo so this is why my recipe is as such.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup coconut oil (melted)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup pecan butter
¾ cup cacao powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean powder or good quality vanilla essence
1 teaspoon maca
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries

METHOD

  1. Blend the coconut oil, maple syrup, pecan butter, vanilla and cacao powder on a low speed in your blender or just whisk very well in a bowl if you don’t have blender or you’re way too lazy to wash it afterwards (like me).
  2. Stir in the pecans and cranberries and mix well with a spoon.
  3. Pour into a 20cm baking tin lined with baking paper and then freeze for 20 minutes.
  4. Lick the bowl in the meantime…
  5. Cut in your desired shapes and enjoy! Keep your chocolate creations in the fridge… if there’s any left.

Raw cacao: My substitute for love

There is something about chocolate; there is something in chocolate. I don’t know about you but if you are of the female specimen like me, it has probably been your substitute for love on many occasions. Ah, the bliss of sweet smooth chocolate truffles melting in the mouth, sending feel good, feel cherished, feel appreciated, feel understood, feel looooooved vibes to our love, peace and happiness undernourished (sometimes) brains.

Full of antioxidants (cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants found in any food in the world and more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates and goji berries combined!) and containing phenethylamine, the chemical found in the brains of people in love (does being in love with my dog counts?), it’s no wonder people all over the world and around again are attracted to chocolate! It is simply the best thing ever!

On my latest seminar with David Wolfe I was reminded of a fact I had forgotten and that is that cacao is also the number one weight loss ingredient! How could I forget that? Maybe because just the thought of eating a cacao bean itself (have you ever tried it? It is intense! It is yuck! It makes your face looks like a sharpei while chewing on it!) is the worst thing ever! But after just one single bean your appetite is gone.

Don’t you remember your mum telling you not to eat chocolate before your lunch? And why was that? “Because it will ‘kill your appetite.”

Of course, you are all smart enough to know that we are not talking Nestle and co here, but real the stuff; raw cacao, raw chocolate, raw cacao butter, raw pleasures… oops, did I drift off?

The best news is that cacao and its fats are oh-so-beautifying darling! There is nothing better for those wrinkles around the eyes where skin is so thin than to dab it with cacao butter. The same goes for the lips and – you’ll taste like chocolate and your boyfriend might not turn his nose up at the smell of your cherry chapstick, but come back for more! Yeah! Cacao butter is also amazing for dry skin on your elbows, knees, heels, or any other rough patches.

Raw cacao, with other plant fats oils, such as olives, coconuts, avocado, hemp, raw seeds or durian is favorable to our appearance and has some seriously impressive youth-enhancing qualities.

These days it is so easy peasy to find nice raw chocolate bars, truffles, raw cacao smoothies, raw cacao power balls, and so many other good cacao concoctions. We really are living in times of pure abundance. Just think – only a few years ago, when only carob in health food stores was available, what we have today would have seemed unimaginable!

Enjoy it darlings! While stock lasts…

No drama in my life!

It is not a rare thing that I am often seen as some kind of super woman, that men are intimidated by me (I’ve been single for seven years!), that I’m seen as ‘hard’, super strong, straight to the point, driven, focused, missing a sensitivity button and maybe not all that compassionate at times. None of this is in a negative way, but sometimes it is just the perception that people who don’t really know me have of me. We are all the way we are because we have been conditioned through life experiences. And I was not spared this experience either.

You see, at the ripe old age of 18 years old, I was stuck in a civil war in my home country of Croatia. I was going through every day during a three-month period wondering if it would be my last, if my brother on the battlefield defending his city would make it, would my mother make it back to us after leaving shelter to get us water from a dirty well, all the while not knowing where the rest of my family were and if they were all alive.

Spending three months in a cellar breathing the same stagnant air with another 60 people who – like myself – hadn’t bathed properly for three months (and don’t start me with snoring sounds, I cannot stand snoring, unless it’s my beloved dog Jack!), went without clean water, showers, fresh food and most importantly freedom. There would be 24 hours of deafening noise and earth shattering from the constant bombing, my city was reduced to piles of rubble and dust, and we were witnessing dead and badly injured bodies. There are no words to explain what that felt like, so you may understand why I can be so ‘hard’ at times and why I do not have patience for bullshit and petty things.

Guys, nothing is as bad as bombs falling outside. I do not wish you to ever experience that – just trust me on this one. But I chose never to be a victim of my experience. When life gave me the chance to get out of the war alive, in one piece, not raped and with all my family members having survived, I didn’t have another choice than to express my gratitude to the universe and take aggressive actions in making something out of my life. I wanted to create something that would inspire others, I wanted to make money that would allow me to go places I never thought I would have the chance to see or buy myself beautiful dresses that I thought I would never have had a chance to wear.

So this is my story, but you do not have to go through drastic events in your life to realise just how precious life really is, how little dramas are not worthy losing sleep over and regardless of how low and desperate you may feel, that there is always a way to pick yourself up and start up all over again.

At 18 years old I lost my home, my country fell into pieces, I lost almost all my material possessions apart from a few little things, I lost friends and neighbours. I lost my childhood, I lost the carelessness of teenage years and found myself in another country far away starting all over again with just 50 German Marks in my pocket. So when you ask why I am fearless, why I know I could start all over again if all of it was taken away from me again (God forbid)? When you survive something like that, everything that comes after, it doesn’t matter how hard it seems, is never as bad.

My life experiences have given me focus. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter how crazy it sounds, war made me who I am, losing my father at the age of five when he was only 26 years old made me who I am, losing my beloved brother through the most tragic circumstance five years ago also made me who I am. I’m not that hard, I’m not uncompassionate, I just always wish that people could see how blessed they are and not thrive on unnecessary dramas.

When life gives you lemons, squirt them in peoples’ eyes. I’m joking! Ha ha ha… Drink tequila instead!