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Ecotrails Odemira

Pure nature in the Alentejo.

Shaded by trees, the river Mira meanders lazily from Odemira to Vila Nova de Milfontes. For people wanting to spend their autumn holidays here with children and canoes, www.ecotrails.info offer a weekend tour in a leisurely paddling area. As the tide goes out, you paddle towards the mouth of the river, and you paddle back as the tide comes in. Each stretch of just over 30 km of paddling in one direction can easily be covered in two days. You can also add an overnight stop in Casas Brancas.

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Organic food for the skin

Every day, thousands of cosmetic products are consumed, the majority of which contain some kind of chemical agent which tends to affect one’s health. It was with this concern it mind that the sisters Rita and Cátia Curica founded Organii, the first Portuguese company dedicated to organic cosmetics with personalised solutions for each skin. Products are cultivated without any use of pesticides and produced without the addition of any artificial ingredients. Organii’s idea is to obtain purer and more active extracts, and in parallel reduce their environmental footprint. It is not only that the products were not tested on animals; …

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Monastery Vallbona

Ruta del Cister

Twenty steps lead up to the second floor of the sandstone stronghold that stands behind metre-thick walls. That’s where the five guest cells of the Catalonian Cistercian monastery Poblet are to be found. Brother Paco, aged 79, alias Francisco Martínez Soria, hands me the key. He shows me the bathroom, broom cupboard and the wall-walk around the monastery. He’s a man of few words: “Singing at one, followed by lunch.” Then he leaves. Bed, desk, chair, shelf, rubbish bin, saint’s image, radiator, desk lamp. Four by two-and-a-half metres. This is where the three-day, 106 km long walk along the Cistercian …

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Arroz Integral

A forgotten super food

At present, when people think about rice, it is not often in its whole-grain form. However, since the beginnings of agriculture it was whole-grain cereals that traditionally formed the basis of human nutrition. It was only when the rate and patterns of consumption changed that the factor of convenience forced a change in eating habits, with refined foodstuffs regularly being used. Whole-grain rice is one of the most complete and balanced foodstuffs, promoting the stability of insulin and glucose levels in the blood. The fibre it contains can also contribute to the lowering of cholesterol (1) and the risk of …

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Tao Restaurante Natural

Yin/Yang to try out in Lisbon.

One the last places you think of when people talk about natural foods is Lisbon. Or maybe not, depending on what you include under that heading. For Rui Rato, owner of the restaurant Tao, natural foods imply not only foodstuffs in their unrefined form, but also a harmonious combination of each ingredient, taking into account the effect of the whole on body, mind and spirit of each individual. It is exactly with this in mind that each client puts together their own dish, which is what you’d expect in a restaurant whose name is derived from Taoism. In this Chinese …

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Avoid News

Towards a Healthy News Diet News is to the mind what sugar is to the body We are so well informed and yet we know so little. Why? We are in this sad condition because 200 years ago we invented a toxic form of knowledge called “news.” The time has come to recognize the detrimental effects that news has on individuals and societies, and to take the necessary steps to shield yourself from its dangers. At core, human beings are cavemen in suits and dresses. Our brains are optimized for our original hunter-gatherer environment where we lived in small bands …

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Comboio CP

By night train to Lisbon.

2002. We’re now living with the euro. But are there other things that unite us? After all, since the second Schengen agreement, we’ve been able to travel all over Europe without any controls. Our dreams of mobility appear to be boundless. Icarus and the flying carpet have become normal. But the maiden voyage of the Titanic showed us how vulnerable we humans make ourselves when we continue to strive for new records and ignore the laws of nature. The moon landing in 1969 was a temporary climax. A short time later, we are amazed to discover that things don’t appear …

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Carob, the fruit of the carob tree, is part of the history and traditions of certain regions in Portugal, especially the Algarve. These days, despite its huge potential, its use is practically limited to animal fodder. Characteristics of carob Carob is recognised as being very rich in anti-oxidants, with a 2011 study (1) having found them in carob flour. It also has anti-carcinogenic activity, and has shown a capacity to attack cervical cancer cells and to assist in repairing damage caused by free radicals. Another investigation (2) dating from 2010 compared two groups of people with high cholesterol; one group …

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Peace Food

O importante não é apenas a atitude interior. A perda de peso não deve estar em primeiro plano. É fundamental uma preparação adequada. Abstenha-se do consumo de álcool uma semana antes do início do jejum. Três dias prévios de renúncia a todas as proteínas de origem animal como carne, peixe ou produtos lácteos são recomendados. Ao invés, consuma arroz, batata ou fruta. A limpeza dos intestinos é aconselhada, por exemplo, através de um clister. Se necessário, um bom suco de chucrute, com o estômago vazio, é o suficiente. Escolha uma altura conveniente. Durante esse período, não aceite convites, viva com …

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Rendezvous Monchique.

Amid a sea of restaurants, they tower up like lighthouses. Vegetarian and vegan cuisine has a lonely time alongside myriad fish and meat dishes. But meat-free meals are what’s best for both body and soul. They taste fantastic … once you know how to prepare them. And there are some basic rules to observe when you go shopping; all foodstuffs should come from local, organic and ecological producers, be whole-grain products, untreated as far as possible, and seasonally harvested. Vegetable pizza, potato stew with chick peas, pasta with cherry tomatoes and rocket, or the famous quiche Lorraine, a brightly coloured …

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