The swedish fika

The past two days I have had lectures with Peter Wilhelmsson, who is a known nutritional therapist, author and principal of the school where I study nutrition. His lectures were very interesting and time just flew by. This is a man who is very knowledgeable and passionate about his work, with a big portion of humour as well.  The topics have been the development of our food and eating habits historically. We got a comparison between a few different indigenous diets and the effects of our modernised junk food diet, the decrease of mineral content in our crops and more. We also discussed specific foods and their nutritional value. After reading the nutritional facts about avocado he added                   “You get a little kick when you open an avocado and see that it is super fresh. It adds excitement to life. Also picking them out is a good way to practise ones male intuition”.

Another thing he commented on several times was the swedish fika culture. For those of you who don’t know about fika, this is what wikipedia has to say about it:

Fika (coffee break)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fika is both a Swedish verb and noun that roughly means “to drink coffee,” usually accompanied by something sweet.

Fika is a social institution in Sweden; it means having a break, most often a coffeebreak, with one’s colleagues, friends, date, or family. The word has quite ambiguous connotations and can mean anything from taking a break from work or other activities, to going on a date. This practice of taking a break, typically with a cinnamon roll or some biscuits or cookies, or sometimes a smörgås or a fruit on the side, is central to Swedish life, and is regularly enjoyed even by the government.

Traditionally, fika requires sweet, baked goods, especially cinnamon rolls. According to Helene Henderson, author of The Swedish Table, one needs three items minimum to avoid insult to Swedish guests; “to impress, serve a variety of seven freshly baked items–and be ready to talk about the weather.”

Peter said things like “Some people get surprised when I tell them it’s possible to live without bread. Or milk. Or FIKA” That comment made everybody giggle.“Swedish people no longer believe in God, but they believe in fika”

If you are swedish you understand that fika is a big part of our culture. It can be challenging if you are trying to cut out sugar and coffee because these things are considered to be harmless, normal and also a part of the social life. Still most people are addicted and having both coffee and sugar more often than what is good for them. Like everyday. A few weeks ago I cut all sugary foods (still working on the caffeine) from my diet, and I think it’s definetly worth going through the withdrawal. Who doesn’t want to be a balanced and addiction-free person? If you are up for the challenge be prepared, because the Swedish Fika Maffia is all around you..

 

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