Spring Clean Your Body and Mind: Food

The past winter wasn’t kind to Cracovians: between record-breaking air pollution in December, hardly any sunny days in January, the freezing cold and a snowy February and March, it’s no wonder we all feel a bit down. Our minds and bodies crave sun, fresh air and vitamins. And this is not the end of the climatic challenges – as the old Polish proverb goes: ‘April weather, rain and sunshine both together.’

So what can you do to help your mind and body revive before the short-sleeves-and-swimsuit season arrives? Let’s start with an improvement in eating habits. Drastic diets are not recommended – they often result in yo-yo weight loss and gain and poor nutrition. There is plenty of time to get ready for the summer – no need for extreme measures. Below are a few simple rules for improving your diet and some great places in Krakow that provide healthy foods.

Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can every day.
Many sources recommend between five and nine portions every day. The more you eat raw, the better – getting enough enzymes is crucial for health and good looks. The best spots for fresh produce in Krakow are the markets at Stary Kleparz, Nowy Kleparz and Plac na Stawach. Organic veggies are even better, and the Melasa Organic Shop (ul. Dietla 45/10) offers the widest choice in the city.

Avoid processed food, which are hard to digest and rich in calories.
These include many meat and dairy products, sweets and snacks, wheat flour and refined oils. Choose vegetarian places when you eat out – they usually offer much healthier food. The HappyCow website (www. happycow.net) lists vegetarian, vegetarian friendly and vegan restaurants all over Poland, including 22 in Krakow.

The amount you eat is as important as its quality.
The human stomach has its limits, and they are narrower than we tend to think. A single meal shouldn’t contain more than can you could fit in your two cupped hands.

Healthy eating doesn’t mean dull eating

There are many small businesses providing healthy food in Krakow, and some of the best are listed below. Remember, even if their Facebook pages don’t include a word of English, they’ll be more than capable and happy to provide you with comprehensive information on request.

Hummus Amamamusi offers delicious, home-made hummus with various flavourings. Hummus, an ancient food thought to have originated in Libya, is made from chickpeas and sesame tahini. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, gluten-free, low in calories and, last but not least, delicious.

Molino is a small, family business run by a Mexican-Polish couple that specialises in whole-grain tortillas made according to a traditional Mexican recipe. Rich in fibre, low in sodium and gluten free, they also contain far fewer calories than typical breads available in Poland.

Green Win is new on Krakow’s culinary map. These “complete cooking freaks” as they style themselves, offer homemade breads, dips, pesto, pates and muffins that should please the pickiest of gourmets.

Proving that a healthy diet needn’t be ascetic, Zielony Talerz (Green Leaf ) is a small business run by a couple of gifted confectioners. Among other things, they make ‘raw’ cakes, which consist almost entirely of fruits and nuts – a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional flour-and-sugar-laden sweets.

Contact Magdalena Dudzik for more information

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