Friday, July 19, 2019
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Being happy, the human side of climate protection

What do people need to be happy? Recently, this question has not only been of interest to psychologists and Hollywood directors, but also to ecologists, economists and climate activists. Because – and this has been proved – happy people live more environmentally friendly lives. Only people who feel empty inside, only those who are unhappy or who are not at ease with what they have and are, have to drive big cars, go on long journeys or wear expensive brands of clothes. By contrast, happy people consume fewer resources and pollute fewer seas; fewer forests have to be felled for …

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Gengibre e Canela, Ayurveda on your plate

Lunchtime buffet from Monday to Saturday. There are always two dishes, one vegan, the other lacto-vegetarian. I was there on a Thursday and tried out the broccoli soup. Then I put together a mixed salad with coriander dressing and followed that with a tasty feijoada with rice. I washed it all down with a juice made of orange, apple, carrot and beetroot. Some people still think that vegan food doesn’t fill you up. What nonsense! Anyone claiming this can either not cook vegan food well, or perhaps still has some way to go in their thinking. The dessert too, a …

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The Marim Environmental Education Centre

EN In the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park (PNRF), you can find the Marim Environmental Education Centre (CEAM). It covers an area of 60 hectares and presents visitors with a concentrated display of fauna, flora and cultural and natural features of the protected area of the Ria Formosa. Set up to be a place for learning about environmental education and for teaching ecological values, it provides visitors with different ways of learning and interacting with their surroundings. One of these is the nature discovery trail. It is about three kilometres long and can be covered with or without …

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Maureen Robertson, “There is vital energy in nature”

Did you know that calendula (marigold) is a plant that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, heals wounds, and has properties that treat psoriasis or female hormonal balance? Or that borage is extremely rich in Omega 3 and effective in the treatment of gout, and respiratory and skin disorders? Are you aware of the beneficial effects of parsley and coriander? Maureen Robertson has devoted her life to the study of plants and, after completing a degree in pharmacology at King’s College, London, she quickly gave up laboratories and the production of medicaments to immerse herself in nature. “Anything that is green …

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Hiking and Wellness

The varied footpaths in the hills of Monchique reveal a wide variety of themes. In collaboration with the Portuguese Hiking Association ACAMINPOR, ECO123 has put together the five most beautiful footpaths for a thematic hiking week. Arrival on Saturday in Faro in the south of Portugal. You will be picked up there at the station or the airport. Transfer to Caldas de Monchique. There you will spend the ECO hiking week and experience the charm of a spa, which offers you treatments after the hikes. Massages, wellness bath, sauna. On Sunday, you are free to acclimatise as you like. Arrive …

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Nature and Gourmet

Potatoes. Broad beans. Sweet potatoes. Sweet corn. Pumpkin. Carrots. Walnuts. Chestnuts. Acorns. Honey. Onions. Garlic. Cabbage. Apples. Oranges. Pomegranates. Quinces. Figs. Almonds, carob. Olives and olive oil. Medronho. Lemons. Asparagus. Chanterelles and many other wild mushrooms. Bay leaves. Rosemary. Thyme. Oregano. Parsley. Basil. Coriander. Piri piri. The list of products growing wild or cultivated by farmers all year round in Monchique – excellent foods, spices and herbs – is almost endless. Our land is rich in nutrients and good, the soil is black and the climate of sunshine and rain stimulates plant growth on every day of the year. Three …

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A full meal of edible wild plants

Edible plants, such as simple leaves and foliage from the fields, contain the nutrients necessary for the human body. A diet based on wild plants has its origins in the earliest days of our species. The ecologist Bernd Gerken, aged 66, was born in Germany and came to live in Portugal in 2006. Over the years, he has always researched the edibility of wild foliage from different types of field. According to Bernd Gerken, “there is an excellent variety of plants and plots in Portugal, which are Mediterranean in character, and there is a range of aromatic and green herbs …

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The problem is “contemporary, healthy nutrition” and it’s to do with farming, harvesting, conservation, transport, preparation, with foods that are too fatty, with too much meat and not enough time. Have I forgotten anything? What about excruciating industrial livestock farming, the use of hormones and antibiotics, genetic manipulation…? There is so much you can do wrong, and there is only one correct way to live healthily. From the outset, ECO123 decided that it would look for solutions to problems. Often, there is a solution right on your doorstep, sometimes even in your own garden and you run the risk of …

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Kombu seaweed – the power of a secret foodstuff

Even though seaweed has featured in people’s diets in Europe in some way or another owing to the fact that there is a lot of it in the Atlantic Ocean, this product has not been a normal component of the Portuguese diet. However, in recent years, this superfood has been becoming more common on our tables. This change is not just a consequence of cultural globalisation and the speed of information, it also comes from people’s growing concern about their diet, and consequently about their health. Seaweed has a number of known benefits, such as its great nutritional value, specifically …

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restaurante rota das sedas

The Rebirth of Fábrica das Sedas

I’ll start by saying that I’ve surrendered to my discovery of the Lisbon restaurant Rota das Sedas (The Silk Route). The name revives the local history, for situated in that area was the Real Fábrica das Sedas (Royal Silk Factory) until mid-century XIX, a fact that is highlighted by the various advertisement on this gastronomic corner. But for those who used to pass by Rua da Escola Politécnica almost daily for two years, 23 years ago, it is hard not to feel comfort from the new life blooming there. Decaying buildings remodelled, while still taking the original prints into consideration, …

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