Interview ELLINOR LADENBERG
Nutrition- and health expert
Writer and lecturer
As a human being, far beyond your work, what are you longing for?
Connection and togetherness. Unconditional love. This is the foundation of everything. Money, status, career etc are not important if you don’t have rich relationships. With yourself first, your family second and then with your friends.
How do you know what you are longing for? How do you know what’s true and meaningful and what’s not?
I am listening inwards. My intuition guides me through feelings and sensations.
I have a strong inner compass and core values, and if I go against them I feel physical and mental tensions.
I give myself more time to make decisions now compared to 10 years ago. When I was younger I had less patience and were much more fiery. Now I need more time before I move on, and I like to give myself the time that I need.
What do you think prevents people from finding what they think is precious and true, and then going for a life aligned with it?
Fear of listening inwards and noticing what your inner voice actually is telling you.
Many people are too comfortable. Things are okay and it’s pretty comfortable, but nothing ever grasps you. I think we all need to go through some sort of crisis to really stop and contemplate life. We need something that shakes us so we can reveal what’s true to us and then choose the right way.
What motivates you professionally?
Self-development and knowledge. Having a deep and profound understanding of things. And to see other people change and grow thanks to that knowledge. I am driven by transformation.
How do you structure your life to get better? What are the tools and strategies you use to become better at what you do?
Integrating pauses as a natural part of my days. And never skip spending time outside every day. Daylight is so important.
I also decide which 3 things that are most important to focus on each day.
The Pomodoro technique is a consistent part and concept in my work days. To focus my attention completely on one thing, the thing that I decide is the most important, for 25 minutes, followed by a short break before I go again.
It’s very important to me to decide how important and how urgent a specific task is.
How do you hinder yourself from making progress?
A fear that can manifest itself in a way were I believe that no one is interested in what I’m doing. This is a fear that I’m convinced limits me and my work. But also that I will be too comfortable with where I am right now and not wanting to grow further.
The definition of a ’healthy diet’ will vary for everyone, but are there some corner stones that almost every healthy person can work to implement in their lives?
Letting your organs rest and repair. At least 12-14 hours during nighttime.
Normally people eat during many hours of the day and it’s also common to eat right before bedtime. The problem is that this will hinder the rest- and repair system of our gut and the gut will influence the whole body’s natural restoration process.
It’s also very beneficial to eat as unprocessed and colorful foods as possible, and also think about how you’re eating. Chewing your food thoroughly will help your digestion which improves your nutrient uptake significantly.
Half the people that I meet has an issue with their stomach and the foundation of everything is how you’re chewing your food. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach will have enormously consequences to your digestion, nutrional uptake and your gut flora.
My advice: Chew your food at least 20 times and drink the main part of your water consumtion between your meals.
Besides the nutrition part – it’s also crucial to spend time outside and move your body in various ways.
What should people avoid at all cost?
Fats with too much omega 6. We already have a surplus of this fatty acid compared to omega 3. Don’t consume cheap cooking oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, margarine and fried foods.
Instead go for good organic fats like: coldpressed olive oil, butter, flaxseed oil, fatty fish, avocados, nuts/seeds and Bregott on your sandwich.
You should also avoid added sugar. You’ll get enough sugar through your intake of healthy carbs.
Then we have energy drinks. It can have some benefits when you are training but to consume an energy drink with high levels of caffeine is incredible damaging to our hormones balance and increases the stress hormone cortisol.
Also avoid cheap meat from countries with high use of antibiotics, for example Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Poland.
Sweden has low use of antibiotics.
What is the really short version about how gluten and lactose affect our bodies?
Gluten and dairy are the biggest allergens in our food today. A big problem is that the modern wheat has changed enormously the last 500 years, and we eat a lot more gluten today compared to 500 years ago. This and the fact that our gut flora is lacking the diversity of different important bacteria, that we are more stressed in general and take more medicine impact our gut health in a very negative way.
Many people have a reaction when they consume lactose too, but often this is a consequence of our villi in our small intestine is damaged, this often depends on a leaky gut, which in turn could depend on a gluten sensitivity.
Is meat bad for our bodies?
We are basically both carnivore and herbivore. Meat is a natural food to us and so are plants.
For athletes who want to push their capacity and work tirelessly towards their full potential – can they perform at the upper limits of their capacity on a vegan diet?
Diet is always individual. There are many good examples of athletes who eats a plant-based diet and perform at their full capacity. In those cases it’s important to combine the essential amino acids right so you get the right amount of every single essential amino acid. If you eat a plant based diet you always need to combine with supplements of zink, B12, iron and often Omega 3.
Can they do it if they eat meat?
Of course. Again, diet is always individual. Some people lose energy on a plant based diet and need more proteins. Those with blood type 0 have a stronger digestion in general and can more easily break down the nutrients from meat.
We always need to look at the specific individual.
What a person should eat is always a decision for each individual to make.
How do you balance your fire to get better, to create and contribute, with your need for inner peace, deep connection and non-striving joy?
I spend a lot of time in nature. Nature is my lifeline. I like to walk and work out in the forest, preferably close to a lake. And spending time in my garden or at our country house. When I work physically I forget time and space.
Yoga and meditation are regular practices for me. This is recovery for my body and were I reconnect with my soul.
In a bigger perspective – what do you think are included in a meaningful and fulfilling life?
Loving yourself unconditionally. Forgiving yourself for your mistakes and shortcomings is the foundation for everything.
Then comes your relationships with your partner, with your family and your friends and what you love to do. Sharing your gifts and talents is also a big thing. Being of service to the world around you.
What do you think in general are thoughts and behaviors that hinder people from meaning, joy and fulfillment in their lives?
When people put material things before their personal life and needs. Not being able to spend time in solitude and silence, listening inwards and contemplate one’s purpose in life.
Joy, meaning and fulfillment come only from the inside. From a deeper appreciation.
You have written a book about flow! What do you think are hindering most people from entering flow state more often?
Focus! Definitely focus!
To reach the flow state we need to find a deep concentration for a longer period of time, which is about focus. This is something that we can train. The pomodoro technique and mindfulness are two practices for example.
What characterize flow state? Why do we want it?
Flow state is characterized by you being one with your task. You forget time and space and are completely and fully focused. Your creativity flows, your productivity increases with several hundred percent and your prefrontal cortex, which is about structure, logic, self-criticism etc, shuts down. That’s why flow state is such a pleasant state. Flow state doesn’t put any restrictions on ourselves. It is highly addictive, because we feel so good when we’re in it.
What takes people away from that optimal state?
Lack of focus. Lack of passion, interest and lack of clear goals.
If you could install any skill, habit or attitude in young boys and girls – what would that be, and why?
Self-esteem for everyone. So that they can build a confident personality and trust of self. That they believe in who they are, and that they are enough.
Finally – if you could only use one word to summarize what you are searching for in this lifetime, what would that be?
Living your best life is always about clarity: You need to know what you are aiming for, what fears and unhelpful stories that you tell yourself that hinder you in life. That are in the way for great accomplishments and true meaning, deep connection and pure, non-striving joy.
Clarity is needed, but so is the intention, courage and the discipline to every day act in alignment with your core values, important goals and bigger purpose.
Just knowing or wanting is not enough. Concrete actions and a relentless work are needed.
KREATION is about that work. About clarity, discipline, fears and dreams. About your gifts and talents and how you can use everything you are in a purposeful way.
Read more about KREATION here.
Marcus Falk Olander