What is a green way of life? The message for responsible attitude towards the world has become so popular in the last years, that it inevitably turned into a cliché. However, apart from being an asset with which many companies rightfully or not want to adorn their brands, including for purely marketing purposes, the magic word "green" does have real content.
The production and consumption of pure foods, drinks, cosmetics and so on is one of the ways to show empathy for the environmental problems of the world. In Bulgaria, not so long ago, the places where such products were available could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Today, however, the ecologically pure food can be found in your neighbourhood supermarket. Chains of specialised shops offering dairy products, fruits, vegetables, mea and cosmetics proliferate. The number of restaurants and patisseries serving organic or vegan meals and sweets is increasing.
The green, however, has different nuances. Organic food and organic agriculture mean products that are 100 percent clean, without GMO, grown without using artificial fertilisers, pesticides and chemicals. That is why they don't last as long as conventional food and are oftener not that good-looking. Usually, their price is higher as are the expenses for their production but generally, they taste better than ordinary products do and contain more vitamins and useful substances.
The so called "eco foods" in Bulgaria are different. In the production of eco fruits and eco vegetables, for example, the use of artificial fertilisers is not forbidden. Actually, the law does not define what eco means, so the labels "eco" could be misleading.
Another specific variety of the "green" terminology for Bulgaria is the home grown production. Grown for the most part in the villages, it could indeed possess all the characteristics of organic food. The only condition is to trust the farmers selling it, because they can rarely provide a quality or hygiene certificate for their produce.
In the green family there are also other terms, such as healthy, natural, vegan and so on.
It is good to keep in mind that pollution, greenhouse effect and the global climate change are reality and not anymore some media-invented ghosts. Can you remember the last year in which the seasons were the same as they used to be during your childhood?
Whatever is going on with environment, it requires fast adjusting of the waves on which the world operates, since it is important for the way it shall look tomorrow. And behind this necessity lurk pragmatic rather than idealistic motivations. So, whether green remains a marketing label or becomes a way of life, depends on the behaviour of each one of us.
How to eat healthily in Bulgaria? "The easiest way is to avoid foods containing chemicals and preservatives, meaning additives from E-100 to E-300, and from Е-900 to Е-1000," says Zapryan Kostadinov, owner of the popular vegetarian restaurant Kring, Sofia. "Healthy eating is easier in spring and summer, when fruits and vegetables are plenty. True food is absorbed within one hour and leaves the feeling for freshness, after eating you are able to work and don't feel drowsy. Raw fruits and vegetables should consist at least 51% of the food consumed daily. Avoid tinned food, the body wastes too much energy to process it and at the end releases toxins. In raw food, water is structured and the body doesn't spent energy to transform it molecularly and uses it directly. Let the nuts you eat (peanuts are not included) be too, raw, and before eating, soak them in water for 12 hours. Start the morning with drinking 300-500 ml warm water. After 10-15 minutes the body is prepared for nuts and then for fresh fruits, vegetables and after this, for cooked food and bread."
COPPA DELLA MAGA: Ice-Cream Magic
COPPA DELLA MAGA (www.coppadellamaga.com), in Italian "The magician’s bowl",is super-premium gelato of incredible taste and quality, made of entirely natural ingredients. Ice cream of such a high level has never been offered to supermarkets’ clients so far. The products are unique as they are prepared of only 100% natural ingredients – no artificial flavourings, colourings or hydrogenated fats, and instead of sugar they contain the healthy plant stevia. Coppa della Maga's Italian gelato master selects the best natural ingredients around the world. The Bourbon vanilla comes from Madagascar, Piemonte hazelnuts and bergamot oil are from Italy, the highest quality cacao is from Brazil and Africa and the roses' petals are from the famous Bulgarian Rose Valley. The fresh milk, cream and butter are sourced close to the factory, in order to preserve their natural and intense taste.
Unlike many other healthy products, the ones of Coppa della Maga are indeed tasty and creamy with their high content of milk and pieces of nuts, dried strawberries or liquid caramel. Make sure to try also the flavours sesame and honey, grapefruit and bergamot, or real yogurt with rose petals, which are the unique signature of the brand.
GIMEL ORGANIC: A Wide Organic Smile
The green ecological oasis of GIMEL ORGANIC (Sofia, 23 Arsenalski Blvd, opposite City Center Sofia mall; Varna, Mall Varna, level -2; phone: +359 2 963 17 08; www.gimel.bg) is made entirely of wood. There Gimel offers its vegetables and fruits, grown after the method of organic agriculture. The company has excellent international reputation and since 2000 has been supplying organic vegetables to prestigious supermarkets in Europe and Bulgaria. The Gimel organic farms are at the fruitful Upper Thracian Valley and Moesia. The vegetables in them are grown in complete harmony with nature, without any chemical fertilizers. In Healthy Zone, the Gimel’s company shops, is offered everything connected with the balanced healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. Besides the wide range of organic fruits, vegetables and fresh spices you will find, too, freshly baked whole-grain bread, organic milk and cheeses, organic eggs, sausages and flour, cold pressed oils and much more carefully selected products with a character of their own. While shopping, you can have a fresh juice, aromatic organic tea or coffee, or enjoy a tasty soup from organic vegetables at the relaxation corner.
YUM-YUM BIO: Good Food for the Children, too
YOGA STUDIO ELEVEN: Inner Harmony is Health
Eating healthily is not enough to have long, happy life – your spirit needs care, too. For millennia, yoga has been the key for acquiring inner happiness and healthy body, an activity which is not only for the super-fit or the ones who are able to meditate the whole day long. Yoga is for modern people, know the professionals at YOGA STUDIO ELEVEN (Sofia, 16 Zlaten Rog St, phone: 0887 937 960; www.yogastudioeleven). Beginner or advanced, in the studio you can stretch and relax with Hatha yoga, Fat burning yoga, Hatha flow yoga and Relax yoga, energise with Pilates, and try Reiki sessions and Boewn technique, too. The studio is friendly and cosy, with antiallergic mats and in the biocafe there are healthy food and drinks.