Nurture with nature
There is a so much going on at the moment in the world, in the house, in my head.
I have spent a week working out heating wattages, where pipes can go on repointed walls, how things will work in the kitchen to leave space for a sofa in front of the fire.
How to keep character whilst losing the crumbly problem of limestone walls. How to bring in charm and warmth but not hide all the original house behind plaster board.
I have also been working on the website, well two actually, one is my new French/English one and, oh, lala lala, my French is another story.
It has been frustrating and mind boggling and I have spent way too long at the computer.
First world problems, I know.
I’m not going to talk about all the world stuff, it’s all around us, it can get depressing and I really don’t have much to say right now other than: Be kind! Think! Treat people the way you want to be treated! Help people! Don’t bitch! Don’t press that button!
This is a simple one. It’s all simple really if you want it to be (except the French!).
Like, keep the charm, don’t put a plasterboard wall up….
Lots of people are feeling skint after Christmas or generally and think it is expensive to get fit and look after yourself. Not true. Well, it doesn’t have to be anyway! Here are a few ideas.
Wake up in the morning and don’t worry about the cost of heating the water, have a cold shower, feel how your skin warms up afterwards, how you tingle from your hair to your toes – fantastic boost for your immune system and gorgeously toning for your skin.
Massage yourself with some oil, almond or coconut are good ones, maybe with a few drops of your favourite essential oils or use your favourite natural moisturiser, body balm or oil. Its good to look after yourself, it reminds you (or teaches you eventually 😉 that you are valuable, that you matter, that you can take care of yourself.
Wrap up and get outside, walk, splash in puddles, climb a few hills, skid about in the muddy fields, feel the rain sting your cheeks and the wind mess up your hair. Feel alive!
You could pick a pocket full of leaves whilst you are at it and make a wrap, a salad, a quiche, a stir fry or throw them in your bowl to pour hot soup over (check them out, I don’t mean any old leaves – there are lots of identification books around, oh, and a good soak in water and apple cider vinegar will help remove anything nasty).
Do some DIY. Ha, ha, ha.
Moving swiftly on to lunch.
On Sunday, when lots are thinking of roast this and that with Yorkshire puds and gravy (yes, I love that too!) I made this…
Deeply savoury, slightly sweet with lots of crunch and chewy bits it satisfied on all levels, really it did and there was no afternoon slump, no bloating, no “Oh, I wish i hadn’t had that extra serving” .
It is also made with all things in season and localy grown, apart from the sauce.
1/2 a black radish (Black Mooli)
1/2 red pepper
Blette stem (I used leaves as wraps see below) I think they are Chard in English.
1 spring onion
2 sundried tomatoes
A few chives
This is where a few forage leaves would come in handy too:)
1 small dried pepper
Cut Blette leaves into wraps. I’ve never seen Chard or Blette in England I don’t think! Lettuce, Romaine leaves or Savoy cabbage would all work.
Gently fry the dried pepper, mushrooms, sliced Chard stems and half the sliced red pepper, in ghee (or butter or oil) until slightly browning and caramelised.
Toss all the rest, saving half the herbs, in 1/2 TBS Coconut Teriyaki sauce (you could make your own, which is divine or use normal but the own-made or coconut are way better in all ways). That’s the most expensive and, if being pedantic, least healthy bit but you need so little!
So easy, now just lay the leaf wraps out, pile some raw and cooked mixture in, grind pepper over and sprinkle with the reserved herbs and roll up. I tied mine with chive leaves which kept them together well.
Serve with some Teriyaki in a bowl – or Tamari (or soy sauce) with a little drop of maple syrup or honey – to dip if needed.
Lastly, anytime, just …
put some music you love on, close the door, close the curtains, close your eyes and simply move the way you want to. Push it a bit, use all your body, stretch to the edges of your reach, move each side of your body, front, back, right and left. Bend, stretch, twist and turn. It doesn’t matter how it looks, it matters how it feels. Move high and move low, move fast and move slow. Roll up and down and lie on the floor and move like a baby. Roll over, push up, curl and extend. Use your fingers, your head, your hips, your ankles. Most of all, use your instinct.
If you allow yourself to include all your muscles you will begin to strengthen and relax your whole body.
And your mind will follow.
Have some chocolate. You know, raw chocs are actually very good for you 🙂
Friday bits and bobs
Just checking in here, it’s been a week of readjustment and joy.
Sometimes news knocks us off balance, not because we are not happy about it, just because it means we need to change course a bit, reballance, reappraise, realign.
That is a good thing because it actually encompasses way more than the instigating factor, we rebalance everything as we adjust.
Often, most times, we don’t realise how stuck and repetitive we have become and this can (come on, usually right?!) be in negative patterns or in things that aren’t the best for us.
Over the yard arm drink, watching that boxed set again, beans on toast again, yet another sleepless night…
Whatever, they are not terrible in their own right although you might agree none of them are the best thing for you on a loop!
Maybe worth having a think and a look at your loops.
This week I have been doing a lot of dancing, yoga, guided relaxations, walking, it’s been gorgiously warm and sunny and lovely to walk in the autumn colours with the sun on your face. It is so good to move! I can’t stress it enough. It raises your metabolism, releases your happy hormones, lightens you and if you are trying to follow a routine it is quite meditative and takes you out of your loop because you are concentrating on something else. You don’t have to be a super duper dancer, just do what feels good to you. Move more than you did even if that means walking at a snails pace. Sometimes we need to push ourselves, a bit of firm and kind encouragment never goes amiss.
And so, a couple of easy, nutritious, non-inflammatory and satisfying recipes for you.
I have given ingredient ideas, it is not rocket science, be easy, a bit more or less will be fine, adjust to what you have, it is all good!
I actually made mine with a 6 inch piece of squash, organic so I washed but didn’t bother peeling it, half a left over parsnip, 1 leek 1 miso stock cube, a pinch of cayenne, lots of pepper.
1 Butternut, or almost any squash. Depending on size use a whole one or part – you can judge!
1 onion and/or leek
1 parsnip (or turnip, swede, carrot)
1 miso stock cube
pinch cayenne or another chilli of you fancy some heat.
Chop it all up, put in pan and stir a bit over heat with a splash of olive oil. Cover with water, add stock cube and seasoning. Cook until all tender and whiz it up. I used a stick blender so I didn’t have to wash a whole blender.
Throw in a handful of frozen peas. By the time you serve and eat they will have defrosted and make lovely fresh little pops in your mouth.
Stir in a handful of baby spinach, by the tie its is on the bowls this will have wilted and be a great contrast to the silkyness of the soup.
A chunk of goat’s cheese in the bottom of the bowl (Robin loves this) goes deliciously melty.
A great dollop of yogurt (I use live sheep’s, I find goats too tangy generally but it could be a nice contrat for the sweet squash) plopped on top, especially if you used chilli in it.
Sprinkle with diced avocado, tomatoes, red onions and fresh herbs.
Drizzle with herb oil or a good plain olive oil.
Wrap and roll
Take a wrap, any wrap – Robin had flour tortillas, I had dehydrated flax and courgette wraps. You could make or buy coconut wraps, use corn wraps, Nori sheets or rice (spring roll wrapper) sheets, even make socca pancake wraps (lots of recipes online). Lets face it if you are eating bread you could simply make it into an over stuffed sandwich!
Pile on some greens – I used water cress
Layer up with coleslaw – I made a big bowl the day before using sliced white and red cabbage, cucumber, onion, red pepper, cellery and grated carrot with home made mayonaise
Add sprouted beans I used mung beans (instructions below – they are EASY, CHEAP, NOURISHING and go with anything!!)
Wrap it up and eat.
Sprinkle of spices, chilli, salt and pepper.
Scatter lots of chopped fresh herbs – mint, coriander, chives, basil, lemony sorrel…
Goats cheese (or feta would be good) rounded Robins out.
Boost the benefits with some fresh garlic in the cl-oleslaw or runn–bbed over the wrap.
Spread some humus, recipe here Tweak… and twerking would help too!
Sprouting mung beans
2 TBS mung beans (they expand a lot!) rinsed and checked for any little stones
Soak in a bowl of water (start with warm water for sweeter sprouts) for about 8 hours or over night
Drain in seive, rinse and replace in bowl.
You could put them in a jar with some mesh over the top. It’s supposed to makes it easier (so the perveyers of jars with mesh lids say) but I always end up doing it using a bowl and seive these days -so I suppose I have found that easier!
Rinse twice a day until the little tails are the same size as the bean. You can go longer but use before they grow a leave, you just want the tail.
Snack on them as they are or sprinkles with some pink himalayan salt.
Great alternative to crisps splashed with a little oil, apple cider vinigar and salt.
Add to soups, wraps, salads, stir fries.
You could add to anything savoury really!
Happy weekend xxxLearn More
Tweak… and twerking would help too!
Doing this is your choice. Everything is your choice. Everything you eat, drink, think and do will effect how you feel mentally and physically. If you have an illness, an auto-immune problem, lack energy, have hormone imbalances, mood swings, lack of concentration, brain fog, constipation, acne – you fill in the words for you – you can change how you feel if you choose to.
You only need to tweak really – tweak a salad for a pie haha, no, I am kidding! Well I am not but there are better ways; Tweak a good pie for a bad pie (suggestion in the last post), roast some sweet potatoes with cumin and smoked paprika in place of fried potatoes. Use Make almond milk instead of drinking pasteurised milk, homemade almond milk its cheaper, fresher and more natural than prepacked. Top some roast aubergine slices with onions, red peppers, mushrooms, garlic and some goats cheese instead of pepperoni pizza and so on. Lots more ideas will follow over the coming weeks.
As you tweak and add in good stuff, move more, sleep and look better you will be more inspired to do more of it.
Make it a habit to have a really fresh and juicy green salad with meals; if you don’t already love that you will start to. You just need a good dressing (recipes coming up over the next few posts) to make it just as you want it.
Be prepared for feeling a bit rubbish as you remove the bad. If you are used to drinking coffee and black tea all day, fluffy or stodgy white stuff (pasta, bread, pastry, cake, biscuits, pies you know what I am talking about) then as you remove them your body and head will probably complain a bit. Drink more water, rest if needed, move more to push the toxins through. Have warm salted baths to pull the rubbish out. You might be a bit bloated and windy (sorry) as you add more fibre to your diet – chew well, eat slowly, stop when full. Consider taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. You can find them in health food shops and online. They can help but you don’t have to. I take a course now and again and make my own probiotics which I eat and drink daily, more about that in another post.
Walk, run, jump up and down on the spot, go for a swim, walk or run up and down stairs, dance, do whatever it takes and whatever you can to move. You need to use those muscles. They support you and hold you up, keep all your bits together. Moving raises your heartbeat, increases your oxygen intake, moves your lymph and so removes some of the toxins. It helps digestion, increases metabolism and mood. That’s enough for now, trust me, MOVE!
Drain and rinse 1 tin or jar of red kidney beans or chickpeas, put in food processor. Peel and chop 1 big courgette and throw that in too.
Add 1 big TBS Tahini,
Juice of 1 lemon plus a grate or two of zest.
1 clove garlic.
1 tsp cumin.
Pinch salt (GOOD salt!).
Blend adding a few drops of very cold water until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Serve as it is or with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice (please don’t be afraid of good oils, they oil your joints, your skin, feed your cells – olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocados all GOOD).
Serve with chopped veggies, in wraps preferably made from coconut or cabbage/ lettuce leaves, in baked sweet potatoes etc.
Bits and bobs meal
Last night I served this humus with:
Raw courgette, flax seed, physilium husk, onion powder wraps
Fried courgette, red onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, cumin and ground coriander
Chopped avocado, tomatoe, fresh coriander leaves, lemon juice
A pile of roquette and coriander leaves
Non dairy cheesy sauce made by blending soaked cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, dash umboshi vinegar or a stoned umboshi plum, pinch salt and ground pepper. Actually I confess I used a few other ingredients (hence the interesting colour!), which have to remain secret for now, but that recipe will get you an amazing cheesy sauce!
There is no way you could feel deprived eating that!
Our diary for the last two days:
Me: corn crackers with butter and jam (homemade). Dates, soaked and sprouted almonds.
Robin: meusli type cereal (bought) homemade almond milk.
Both: 1 coffee with breakfast
Smoothie: celery, dandelion leaves, parsley, bananas, cherries, maca, spirullina, chia
Robin: Banana, Magnum ice cream!! (note to self make some sweet snacks to be at the ready!)
Humus (recipe in this post) carrots sticks and cherry tomatoes
Raw seed based Falafels with cucumber, tomatoes, tahini sauce wrapped in cabbage leaves.
Piece very delicious, old, hard cheese (using it up!) with Quince paste (homemade).
Apple cidre vinegar in water X 2, 1 ½-2 litres filtered water, green and red tea.
Walked over 10,000 steps (through forest, speedy), swam ½ KM (again, speedy).
Breakfast; Me as above, Robin whole grain toast.
Juice: celery, kale, cucumber, lemon.
Me: Chia pudding with homemade almond milk, banana, spirullina and acai.
Robin : Cereal with homemade almond milk and fruit. Ice cream (NB he is doing masses of physical work and when they are gone they are gone 😉
Grain free wraps, cooked veggies with spices, humus, chunky guacamole, Coriander and roquette from the garden, tomatoes, cheesy (non dairy sauce) recipes in the post.
Plenty of water, red tea, ACV in water x 2. Filtered water, green and red tea.
Walked over 10,000 steps (through forest, speedy), Me danced 30 mins, Robin active work. Ten minute meditation.
Wednesday so far:
Smoothie using the large quantity of juice I made and stored yesterday with banana, mango, frozen cherries, pollen.
Boiled eggs (me 1 Robin 2).
Tonight I am not sure but probably heading for roasted veggies as I haven’t given it any thought and my hands are still covered in wax from renovating a floor!
Take it easy, be kind to yourself, keep hydrated and think about your left hand (see last post here Feel better!).Learn More
Plié – bum, tum and teeth, not forgetting pelvic floor!
Stand with tooth brush laden and at the ready.
Feet apart (second position in ballet) – a good guide on width is that a) you don’t fall over and b) that when you bend your knees your knees do not bend beyond your toes.
OK, so wetted, pasted toothbrush at the ready, start brushing and bend your knees outwards. Do not roll your ankles in, if you can’t help it your feet are too turned out, they should be comfortably open at about ten to two.
Bend knees as far as you can go without flopping (so you’ve probably sunk about a foot, if that, unless you go to ballet classes each week) holding tummy in, raise big toes slightly and pull up through bum, tum, pelvic floor back up to straight legs and then smoothly bend straight down into a plié again.
So, using smooth strong bends and stretches, engaging legs, bottoms, underneath’s, tummies and BRAIN, so that you can multi task, plié away happily through your two minute brushing: result? Clean teeth, raised bum, tight thighs, smooth inner thighs ( thigh gap might be a plié too far, but you never know and its helped along by the big toe lift), firmer tummy and, of course, that tighter pelvic floor.
SO ladies (and men) take second position and……. plié 1,2,3 and raise 2, 3…………………….. And spit!Learn More