Sunday, 13 March 2016

Learning to Breathe

Oh my! It's been a while since I've written anything here. Some serious time out was required. My thoughts over the last months have been expressed in lines and squiggles in my drawing book. Perhaps sometime soon I'll share some of my crazy scribbles with you. 

I came here to see if I could be inspired to write something and I found this post below that I'd written over 6 months ago sitting in my drafts. It's time to share it with you, hope you like it ....

There are so many stresses and anxieties in this life that consume our thoughts that sometimes we simply forget to breathe. It's like 'holding your breath' while your waiting for an outcome to play out in the physical world.
Often when I'm upset or worrying about things, waiting for the outcome, I do this. I'll often catch myself holding my breath or shallow breathing

I've been learning about mindfulness and putting it into practice in my life is teaching me to stop, be in the present and breathe. I'm starting to recognize these moments when I'm 'holding my breath' and when I do I'm pausing to breathe. Taking time to fill my lungs with air.

Breathe in the good stuff... exhale the bad stuff 
Breathe in the healing ...... breathe out the immune suppressing, aging, cancer causing worry. 

It's little wonder that people who meditate and practice yoga or tai chi often appear to be younger and healthier beyond their years.... they simply spend a lot of time actually breathing. And in doing so they relax their mind and body and all the good stuff follows.

It's something that I just randomly noticed one day recently, a mini epiphany of sorts. I'd noticed it in the past but the thought was fleeting and I never did anything about it. Being older and a little wiser I'm taking time to notice.

I'm taking time to be present and breathe......... 

photo by Dingzeyu Li courtesy of

Saturday, 11 July 2015

My Beautiful World

I titled this post “My Beautiful World” not because my world is perfect, in fact it’s far from it. My life is as full of disappointments and cracks in the pavement as the next person and there are many missing pieces. But lately I’ve been focusing on the things that make me joyful and realizing that the odd little bubble I live in isn’t so bad after all.
My world like yours is a work in progress, it’s me trying to find all the pieces that fit and letting go of the ones that choose not to fit. I could be sad about the ones that don't fit, and I have been sad, but I’ve come to realize that their absence creates space for other things that I love to expand.

I'm working on filling my world with the things that make me happy. My 'happiest places' are my doggie Miss Charlie, being creative and my obsession with organic gardening and healthy eating.

I’ve learnt that this life is about surrounding yourself with the people who let you shine the brightest and allow you to be the best person you can be and letting go of the people who dampen your flame and squash your spirit.

Everyday I’m learning to be grateful and to be joyful for the life that I have. So much of our lives is a choice and sometimes you just have to step up to the plate and go for it. I'm learning to step up, taking small steps each day to get to the place where I want to be. I'm working towards being bold enough to take the giant steps, to celebrate life by being the loudest drum and dancing with hands in the air!
I'm forever creating my beautiful world

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Gluten Free Apple Crumble

I've just had one of those moments where I needed dessert. Perhaps it was because dinner was a little while ago or because I was watching someone cook dessert on Masterchef. Whatever it was I had a desire that needed to be fulfilled. Given that I'm gluten and lactose intolerant and on a clean eating path there's no processed goodies in my house. I've refused to buy I cream ever since I realised how many chemicals were in it and I haven't quite got around to making the raw ice cream I've been dreaming of. So what was tonight's answer?

Today I stocked up on fresh produce and there are plenty of apples in the house for juicing so I decided to create my food intolerant version of Apple Crumble with an Almond Milk Custard. Given the time and the fact I was using Apple I went easy on the sugar side. Not much was needed anyway with the sweetness of the apple. The crumble was created with flax meal, chopped pistachio and almond. I also added some craisins that were in the pantry to add a variation in flavour. Once constructed it was drizzled with honey before baking in the oven for 15 mins. 

I made this dessert for one person so if you are making it for more people you'll need to adjust your quantities accordingly. It's also easier if you make it in a rammekin or small dish

Here's the recipe

Apple Crumble

1 apple per person 
2 tablespoons flax meal
8 almonds 
8 pistachio
1 tablespoons craisins
1 tablespoon honey

Chop the Apple and place into a rammekin. Sprinkle craisins over the Apple and then top it with the flax meal. Chop the almonds and pistachios and sprinkle over the top. Drizzle honey over the whole thing. Place into an oven heated to 180 degrees and bake for 15mins.

While the crumble is in the oven you can make the custard. It only takes 5 minutes so you can leave it until the crumble is almost cooked.

Almond Milk Custard

This recipe will easily serve 2. If you are cooking for one you can either indulge or save some for the next night

150grams almond milk
1 egg
10 grams unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar. I used rapadura
10 grams gluten free cornflour

Place a saucepan on kitchen scales and measure 150grams almond milk. Add the egg and whisk well.  Add vanilla, sugar and cornflour and whisk well again. I normally whisk it til it foams a little. Place over a low heat and whisk until it starts to thicken. I like my custard to be thick but still runny so once it starts to thicken you don't need to continue with the heat for long. Remove from heat and whisk well to ensure a smooth conistency. 

Remove the crumble from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Because of the portion size you can serve it in the rammekin. Pour some custard over the top and enjoy

Monday, 6 July 2015

Garden Update

 I haven't shared about my garden for a while now. It's still an ongoing and ever growing project. Lately I've been watching a lot of documentaries on FMTV about sustainability and our foodchain. I'm more than a little concerned about not just what goes into our food but also what goes on it when it's growing. Now I've been juicing daily I try to buy as much organic as I can afford, which is usually the items on the list that absorb the most nasties in the conventional growing methods like celery and the ones that you can't really wash residue off, ie Kale. The last thing I want is a glass full of pesticide. So my answer to this has been to look for ways to increase my growing space.

 A few weeks ago I resurrected my old raised garden bed that I bought when I was at my last house, it's been in pieces since I moved nearly 2 years ago. Today its a bed of kale

 This bed contains curly and tuscan kale and was planted about 3 weeks ago and so far there has been really good growth and no bugs. It's had a dose of organic fertiliser and a couple of applications of seasol. 

Apart from a bed of Rocket in a kids sandpit clam shell everything else is growing in pots. I'd always been under the impression that I needed to plant in full sun. I'd had my eye on a particular spot of garden along my fence but was worried it was too shaded. But a bit of gooling at the weekend informed me that leafy greens don't need as much sun and will tolerate shade. 

I'd been a bit lazy with pulling out the grass that had grown into the existing garden so I decided I could accomplish 2 things in choosing that spot. No more grass in the garden bed and a perfect growing spot. I laid cardboard down on the spot a couple of nights ago to start killing the grass and today I built the garden. Several bags of potting mix, and compost along with some shredded paper and garden edging I have a new garden bed and this is the result ...

 It contains lots of yummy greens for juicing.

 Across the front I have planted curly leaf parsley.
 Then behind that in rows from left to right there is 

 white stemmed silverbeet

bok choy

rainbow chard

   I planted some rainbow chard in a big pot when I planted the kale and it will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the results between the pot and the bed.

I also planted some english spinach a month or so a go and have been picking and enjoying it for a few weeks now

It's planted in a galvanised wash tub that's had holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. It was a great way to recycle a tub that had been a display years ago when I had a shop with my sister. The spinach from this patch is the sweetest I've ever tasted. I love eating it straight from the garden.

There's lots happening in the greenhouse at the moment too. Loads of coriander and parsley along with chives, mint, wheat grass and cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes started flowering again a few weeks back so I've moved them into the greenhouse to keep them warm and see what happens.

 I can't wait for everything to get to the point when I can start harvesting and eating all of these lovelies and share them with my family.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Saladspiration - the BIG Green Salad

EI've been busy watching videos on FMTV and learning heaps. The other night I watched 'The Healing Effect' which focused on a policeman in the US and his vegan lifestyle and how he quietly influenced those around him. One scene featured him in a vegan restaurant where he ordered the "five o bowl", a huge colourful bowl of salad and nuts. It was with that image in mind that I opened my fridge and started creating my 'BIG Green Salad'

What's in it? you ask.... um kind of everything!

kale, baby spinach, lettuce, rocket, cabbage, parsley, coriander, broccoli, roasted sweet potato, swiss brown mushroom, tomato, carrot, red capsicum, pepitas, toasted sunflower seeds and quinoa. All tossed around in a splash of garlic oil.

I served it with some marinated pan fried organic tofu and homemade hummus. 

The salad was super tasty and has kept me nourished for a couple of meals. I have to admit that I'm a little addicted to hummus at the moment. I recently found a note book where I'd written the hummus recipe from Mollie Katzens  'Moosewood Cookbook' we'd bought as a present for our mum in the 1980"s.  Back then both my sister and I were vegatarian, and already interested in raw food and juicing. After 12 years of being vegetarian I returned to eating meat in the late 90's.

Tonight I added roasted beetroot to the salad and served it with a Free Range Chicken Burger created from a recipe on the 'I Quit Sugar' blog which I adapted slightly.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Taking It Up A Notch

I've been seriously interested in Nutrition for a few years now and one of my goals is to study online with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in the US. In the interim I'm reading and learning via books and blogs but last month I hit the jackpot via an email from Kris Carr. It contained a link to the Hay House World Summit. 

I've heard about the summit before but never fully realised what it was about. This time I followed the link and was blown away. Over the course of 4 weeks 100 interviews and several videos were released to view and listen to for free. I jumped in with both feet and listened to  Mike Dooley, Melodie Beattie, Cheryl Richardson, Louise Hay and many more. I also watched a documentary called 'Hungry for Change' which looked at the obesity epidemic and how processed foods and so called diet foods are causing not only obesity but also significant health issues in society. You'd be inclined to think that with advances in science and technology that we would all be getting healthier but this is not the case. Health simply comes down to nutrition and eating a natural diet. The calorie laden nutritionally deficient processed foods are leaving people obese and undernourished. It's little wonder why as a society were becoming sicker.

From my earlier posts you'll see that I've been on the right path for a while now but watching 'Hungry for Change' has kind of kicked it up a level for me. I've had a few months where I wasn't really caring for myself very well. I was drinking more wine than I normally would and eating a little too much sugar and processed foods, and not drinking enough water. I'm gluten intolerant so the level of processed foods I consume is much less than the average person but even with a slight increase it was showing in my skin. But more on that in a minute.

After the summit ended I wanted to know more so I bought the 'Hungry for Change' book on Kindle and started reading. I then discovered that the authors have a website called FMTV it's like Netflix for health and wellbeing. They have a 7 day trial so I signed up and watched 'Food Matters' and 'Fat Sick and Nearly Dead' 

OMG how much I've learned all ready. In the last few days I've introduced 2 things. And if you watch 'Hungry for Change' you'll hear them say if you add things in then eventually you wont want the bad stuff. If you deprive yourself it's harder to give things up. But if you add the good stuff in eventually the bad stuff just leaves.

David Wolfe suggests starting each day by drinking 1-2 litres of water before you have food or coffee. I now go to bed with a jug of water and a glass beside the bed so that as soon as I wake up I can start drinking my water. 

The other thing I'm doing is juicing again.... lots of dark leafy green vegies to give my body a regular micro nutrient boost. My juice consists of organic celery, kale, spinach, cos lettuce (romaine), rocket (arugula), parsley, coriander (cilantro), carrot, beetroot, apple and lemon. I put this all thru a cold press juicer and make enough for a couple of days. It stores really well in an airtight jar in the fridge. And I've even found a use for the pulp... I've been making raw wraps with it. I put the pulp in the thermomix with an organic zucchini and some flax meal and then spread it out onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for a few hours. The wraps are very tasty.

This was today's lunch 

Pulp and Zucchini wrap with homemade hummus, tofu,
 baby spinach and homegrown rocket and coriander.

I was so inspired that today I went to the nursery and purchased some more coriander, parsley, coriander and kale seedlings.

Oh and after only 3 days of juicing and 2 days of drinking a litre of water first thing my skin is already looking better, and the horrid dark circles under my eyes have started to disappear.  

If you are interested in your health then I'd highly recommend either watching or reading Hungry for Change. It features some of the leaders in the health and wellness movement. I've included links above for the people I've mentioned as they are a wealth of knowledge in their individual areas.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wise Words

I loved this post from Lisa Messenger this morning on Instagram

Lisa Messenger is a recent addition to my list of people who inspire me. A couple of months ago I happened to turn on the TV and stumbled across an interview with Lisa on 'One Plus One'. If you haven't heard of Lisa yet check out the interview and her magazine 'Collective'
We all need role models in our life, people to inspire us to achieve and stretch ourselves.
Who is your role model? Who are the people in your life that inspire you to stretch yourself and achieve your dreams.