We all talk a good game about how to eat, what to eat, and the importance of preparing our own food from quality ingredients. The truth is that everyone faces the same dilemmas from time to time. Whether it's travel, working late, business lunches, social outings, or simply not being interested in cooking, there are many reasons that eating that home cooked meal may not always be possible.
I've decided to pose a series of questions to our members on a weekly basis on what gets them through these situations. You might be surprised at some of the answers and others might be exactly what you expected — either way, I'm hopeful that this will help you navigate your way through the myriad of awkward, inconvenient, or simply lazy situations you find yourself in.
Olli Sovijärvi from Espoo (Helsinki), Finland
CA: Do you put much thought into where you eat out? Or do you simply go anywhere and try to make do with what's on the menu?
OS: Yes and no :) So it depends. Usually when having a planned eat out, I will find out a restaurant that provides pure ingredients and also tasty food (and whose portions are not ridiculously small :D). But for example when dining out at lunch time in-between patients I have a few favorites in the area that I regularly go into.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal in (or near) Helsinki?
OS: I have to go here with Helsinki, because Espoo doesn't provide that many good restaurants. The last really memorable meal was at restaurant Grön (meaning green in Swedish, our second native language), where we took last November Biohacker Summit's guest speakers Rhonda Patrick and Ben Greenfield. They also loved it! Amazing food with the best wild ingredients available.
CA: Most memorable restaurant meal outside of Helsinki?
OS: There are actually a few! The memories were so strong that I still remember those from my childhood. They were definitely not the most gourmet places but the atmosphere and the experience was jut perfect in both of those.
The first on is from Verona, Italy, after a 5 hour sit in the old school Verona's Colosseum listening to some boring opera ;) (I was 15 years old then). After that we went to Verona's main square to grab an authentic pizza. Yes, a pizza! It was so good that I still remember it (even though pizza isn't on my food list anymore).
The second experience was when I was 13 years old in Kitschelbüch, Austria. We were just having a great day of skiing the Alps and arrived into a really cozy guesthouse to get some dinner. I ordered an original Schnitzel, a traditional Austrian food. Again, it was so good that I will never forget the experience!
These memories are so packed with emotion, that no 5-star Michelin gourmet experience override them <3
CA: For people with special diets, how do you suggest they talk with restaurant staff in order to get what they need?
OS: Just be straight, don't be ashamed of anything. Tell that for your medical condition or health-wise you would appreciate this certain diet. Nowadays most restaurants can provide special "hacks" to their menu. Also "my doctor ordered this" is a good phrase to start from ;)
CA: Do you prepare an emergency meal when you travel? If so, what do you include?
OS: Yes, sometimes, especially when flying. Usually it is an avocado + celtic sea salt, perhaps an organic egg or two and a can of sardines in olive oil. Sometimes I make my own trail mix with for example black mulberries, cashew nuts, cacao nibs and inca berries. At times, an organic banana will also go since it will give a nice boost in dopamine and also it can be used as a "sedative" before a flight to sleep better (because of the tryptophan and potassium). I also LOVE raw choclolate - I always carry some with me (in Finland there are just amazing producers of the best raw chocolate available, like Goodio). One more thing that often goes with me when flying is a whole pomegranate or an apple.
CA: Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
OS: I am really not into quick meals, but it certainly would be scrambled eggs with everything I find on the fridge (veggies mostly, perhaps some feta cheese etc.). Add an apple and/or avocado and you're good to go!
I also like green smoothies, but those take a lot more time to prepare, so I wouldn't call it quick and I prefer warm food over cold, keeps me more satiated.
CA: Do you consume alcohol? Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good idea.
OS: Yes, but only in special occasions and therapeutically at times. I prefer just pure and quality alcohol, like champagne, russian vodka, Napue Gin (Finnish gin, the best in the world) and some biodynamic wines. I might have one dose of alcohol a week. My tolerance to it isn't that good and I will get terrible hangovers if drinking more (especially if low quality).
Some alcohol every now and then is good for hormesis, but I would keep it at max 3-4 servings per week.
Mainly I consume alcohol in form of medicinal herb tinctures like reishi, cordyceps, rhodiola and so on.
CA: In terms of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
OS: I don't feel quilty about anything (anymore) :) But, I don't really eat junk ever (perhaps a pizza, if superb quality, every half a year). So I take it that you mean like a comfort food that brings up the feel good hormones ;)
Then, the answer is easy; dark and/or raw chocolate! I just love real chocolate <3
Olli Sovijärvi is a Licensed General Practitioner at Helsinki Antioxidant Clinic and co-author of the Biohacker’s Handbook. He is one of the pioneers in holistic medicine in Finland and the only Finnish medical doctor with a psychologic-philosophical Integral Theory degree from John F. Kennedy University. Sovijärvi graduated 2006 as a licensed physician from University of Helsinki. He has pioneered health podcasts in Finland with Helsinki Paleo Podcast and Biohacker’s Podcast. Sovijärvi has also consulted many natural health brands and organizations.
As Ben Greenfield put it, first, he is a beast of a powerlifter. Second, he is a medical doctor. That’s right: he works at his clinic with patients day in and day out, and on his free time he is deep into applying research and practice to himself. He’s not some kid with a neck beard sitting in his mom’s basement googling PubMed articles.
Biohacker Summit 2017
October 13-14, 2017