January clean up
Happy, healthy, balanced New Year to you!
After all that indulgent, caution to the wind eating and drinking it is time for a seasonal clean up for us.
There are so many bugs including the dreaded super flu going around , we need to boost our immunity, sleep better as well as lifting ourselves from the dark moods that can engulf people with the reduced sunlight and storms that leave us indoors for days on end.
So, braving the rain, wind and puddles I went shopping and stood wearing my private halo at the check out…
There is nothing worse though, when embarking on any kind of regime than the feeling of deprivation. I for one kick back badly at being told I “can’t” anything!
Healthy food must be tasty, filling, look good and do good.
We need multi-tasking dishes of the finest order.
Another thing, how about making your meals pretty?
I collect bowls and plates, it’s a bit of a thing, started at Jurby Junk on the Isle of Man when I lived there , a wonderworld, tables piled on tables and all piled with other people’s junk, somebody else’s treasure! I have never lost that love of bowls and cups, big or tiny with patterns inside as well as outside, huge jewel coloured bowls to pile with leaves and wide rustic plates to place lots of different tasting, textured and coloured morsels onto. Ideal if the food colours are slightly monotinous or dull but, when the food is bright and varied, let it tell it’s own story on plain white, as above.
Here is a recipe for you plus an alternative to show how easy it is to switch the flavours up…
Stir fry 1
I chopped …
1 yellow pepper
1 handful runner beans
1/2 inch ginger and turmeric
I steamed the beans whilst I stir fried everything else (onions for a few minutes first) for ten mins.
Added the beans to the stir fry with …
1 handful spinach ripped
Leaves torn from 6 leaves of purple Kale and ripped
Splashed with some Braggs (you could use soy sauce) and a few grinds pepper and tipped into a bowl.
I threw on top a palm full of Goji berries and lots of spiced pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds.
Stir fry 2 using similar basic ingredients …
I chopped …
1 red pepper
1 handful runner beans
1 carrot into small sticks
3 largish mushrooms quartered
1/2 inch ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
I steamed the beans whilst I stir fried everything else (onions for a few minutes first) for ten mins.
Added the beans to the stir fry with …
1 handful spinach
Leaves torn from 6 leaves of purple Kale
I sprinkled with …
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons soya sauce
Stirred it all until all the leaves were wilted and served sprinkled liberally with lots of spiced pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds.
Don’t think diet, don’t think deprivation think delicious, nourishing, light and bright. If you are used to drinking alcohol or hitting the chocolate bikkies slouched in front of the TV most nights think of indulging yourself in the evening instead, try doing something you don’t do when you drink – like make something, go out swimming or for a dark walk (watch those puddles – actually wear wellies and enjoy those puddles!), start a new hobby, read a new book, start learning something, do self massage, have long, early bubble baths and snuggle into bed early.
Find a turn around for yourself, turn what may feel negative (only because of habit and because you are saying no) into something positive and fun or indulgent.
Here is to a year of finding our best, happiest and healthiest selves.
Feeling heavy, slow, tired, down, stuck, unhappy, achy, old, “just not 100%”?
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO!
Come to us for a few days (or more) and lets look at what is going wrong, or just not going right, re-evaluate, find a way, make some changes and while we are doing that let us nourish you with the best and most delicious food and drinks. Be supported, be prepared, be changed.
We are now taking bookings from 16 March 2018!
15% discount on all bookings from March to end May as the indoor spa pool will be closed for maintenance and the outdoor pool may be a bit cooler than 28° – weather depending, late April and May should be fine!
Have a look around our site and contact us with any questions at all, for more info or to book your stay.
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 🙂
First things first.
This post is the first of a few after the huge reaction I received to this Facebook post –
“If you are feeling tired, achy, demotivated, tense, cranky, ‘your age!!!’ Sleeping badly, looking and feeling bloated, sad, down, fat, floppy, grumpy, mentally fudgy, slow etc etc and would like to change that, pm me. Robin and I are doing a recharge, defrag, reboot and I’ll share what we are doing if you want to join in.
Lets peel back those layers, feel energized and find our shine!
What I am aiming for is to reduce inflammation ( a few flare-ups lately) calm my head, (can’t sleep properly as brain is whirling with ideas), calm stress (walls in wrong place, cracks appearing in ceiling of main house etc /:), reduce migraines ( Robin has been having lots of dream state and opthalmic ones lately) and in the process I’ll probably lose a few pounds.”
As this goes on I will get to the point of just journaling what I eat, drink, do plus share a recipe and maybe a bit of info. This post is word heavy just to get you going, sorry!
It is really easy to grab a piece of toast, a mug of coffee, a sandwich, a piece of cake from home, supermarket or motorway service station.
It is hard to travel or work healthily unless you are prepared either to just drink water and munch on fruit (which is a really good option if it is just for a day or so) or are prepared to be prepared.
Being prepared simply means having things with you that will taste good and do good.
FEELING STODGY Have you noticed that when you eat stodge you feel stodgy?
If I eat bread for example I feel heavy and bloated. If I weigh myself up to 24 hours after eating bread, and I am talking about a bread roll rather than a loaf, I will weigh 1 – 1 1/2 kilos more than if I hadn’t. We have been away this week and I have eaten bread each day. Almost all the food has been cooked which probably means a heavyish hand with the salt (and not the Himalayan good kind), and from the second day I have been around 59.5kg. I normally average 57-58kg. All the time we were away, between 9.30am and 7.30pm, I have only drunk water and eaten a couple of pieces of fruit. I have not eaten excessively in the evening. I’ve had a few glasses of wine, a piece of bread with a reasonably healthy meal by most people standards.
I not only feel heavy I am heavier. That is because my body is holding onto water; It actually is bloated. The bloat is all over, inside and on the outside so if you think my tummy cells are a bit bloated, so will be my brain cells and so on. Not a good thing I am sure you will agree.
Today I am 59kg. Tomorrow I expect to be about 58.5kg. All that is simply not eating processed food or bread.
So when I feel stodgy I AM stodgy. I feel bloated because I AM bloated.
That is just my reaction. If people are doing this every day it is building and growing, water retention leading to high blood pressure, fat cells filling up leading to extra padding, less movement, strain on joints and organs….
OBSESSING So, secondly, food can be obsessive.
You can eat obsessively and you can ‘not eat’ obsessively.
You can find yourself not eating because there isn’t anything healthy (so drink lots of water and have some fruit until your find something good or do your prep!) and so not eating too often or eating whatever there is and then feeling bad about it OR even saying “I’ve blown it I might as well continue eating badly, gimme another pie!”.
None of those things are healthy in any way.
1, Be prepared.
2, Eat before you are desperate and monster mind takes over rational mind.
3, If monster mind takes over and you have eaten the pie (whatever your pie might be – ice cream, chocolate, cornish pasty, stodwich …) spin round three times and put it in the past! Continue in your new, healthy way.
4, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP!
5, Every mouthful of food or drink you take can heal or hurt. Make each one count.
Hold both hands up. Left hand good, right hand bad.
Raise a finger on each hand for relevant food –
I.E. I had two dates, 6 almonds, two crackers with butter and jam and a little coffee for breakfast.
Dates, almonds, crackers on left hand, topping and coffee on right hand. As long as the left hand is ahead we are doing OK. As we move ahead you will need to borrow your right hand for the good side 🙂
If you are dealing with an Auto immune disease, are simply out of energy, over weight, stressed, struggling to be enthusiastic, depressed, anxious, find you haven’t laughed or even smiled in a while, wake up all night long, feel bloated, get constipated, wind, acid reflux, have cellulite, beer belly, menstrual problems, hormone problems, spots, dull hair, brittle nails… then what you eat will effect all this!
Think of each morsel you eat as something that is going to cause change for the better. Flood yourself with nutrients! We are made up of nutrients, every process in our bodies is aided and abetted by how we nourish ourselves.
You know that if you eat a quiche made from pastry, bacon, eggs, cream and cheese served with chips it will not have the same effect as a quiche made with a crust of blended nuts and seeds, filled with organic eggs, spinach, sweet corn, peas and capers and served with a crispy, juicy salad (or to take it to another level a creamy filling of cashew nut cheese with tomatoes, wilted spinach, softened red onions and red peppers and sprinkled with capers) BUT I can assure you it will taste delicious.
The first will make you feel full, heavy and tired, the second will leave you feeling satisfied and the left hand will have all fingers up, the right will be close 🙂
I suggest that today you shop for fruit and vegetables with a few extras;
This is my shopping list, some will not be available or not good quality so I will use it as a guide (I get as much as I can organic, the benefits are multiple) as well as stuff I have in my cupboards that you would do well to stock. Buy enough but not too much that it goes off before you eat it or the quality is compromised. If you can shop every few days its better.
Apples, bananas, lemons, oranges, courgettes, aubergines, parsnip, garlic, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, red onions, avocados, tomatoes while they are still good, butternut squash (or any squash of pumpkin), mushrooms, capers (packs that salty punch!), any good salad leaves, actually I will be getting mine from the garden including dandelion leaves (and using self seeded herbs and roquette I discovered joyfully!), curly kale and/or spinach, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds/cashews/walnuts (not salted – raw) Quinoa, tin chick peas, tin red kidney beans, tahini, dried seaweeds, tamari and/or Braggs liquid amos and/or nam shoyu for flavouring, really good olive oil, maybe add in some avocado oil, sesame oil, Himalayan salt, apple cider vinegar with the mother – the cloudy bit in the bottom which means it is alive! Any herbs and spices you like – I use a lot of cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon. Maybe some organic eggs, goats or sheeps cheese (feta is a good one), kefir or live sheeps of goats yogurt, raw honey and agave or coconut syrup.
The main thing here is fresh, non-processed, clean, easy to digest. Any fruits or veggies you like with enough variety to cover lots of colours (eat a rainbow). Be guided by what you like, can afford, is fresh.
Following on from this will be some recipes but for tonight use some of the your veg – carrots, parsnip, courgette an onion, a clove or two of garlic an apple or some blackberries (if you have access to figs I would use those, I freeze ours as well as blackberries to use all winter) – chop them up (wash and/or peel if not organic), toss in some olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and some spices, I would use cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and maybe a bit of cinnamon and pop them in the oven for half an hour. Add some shopped mushrooms and crumble some feta over the top. Leave another ten minutes in the oven until all is cooked through. You could plop an egg in for the last ten mins if you fancied and sprinkle some rinsed capers over the top for that extra bite!
Make extra to have for lunch tomorrow either just as it is or wrapped up in some kale or lettuce leaves with a dollop of yogurt on top and a sprinkle of cayenne for a bit of a kick.
NB Please have your doctor check out anything that is ongoing, seems strange, causes pain, where blood is evident – use common sense, I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose, I am a clinical nutritionist with 16 years of experience on myself and others who want to help themselves naturally and significantly. Also if you have had chemotherapy please take your doctors advice – if you go into a detox of any kind (this is clean eating and taken to an extreme could put you into detox) any chemo chemicals stored in your cells could flush out and your organs have to deal with that which could have a negative effect.Learn More
You want a burger? I give you a burger Diane!
Recipe for a healthy burger:
- Take one or two big portabella or field mushrooms per person and put in a shallow bowl or on a baking sheet.
- Top them with lots of sliced onions.
- Mix some olive oil (about 2 tblsp) and a clove of garlic for each 4 mushrooms, add pepper, some chilli if you like it and splatter it over the mushrooms and onions.
- Put in the oven at about 180 for about ( specifics huh?) 15 mins.
- Take out and top with some parsley ( optional) and some strong cheese grated or sliced THINLY.
- Pop back into the oven for a further 10 mins until all juicy and melty.
- Serve with coleslaw (cut the mayo with half live yogurt – make your own mayo if possible) and home made oven chips and ketchup – recipes tomorrow for those!
Up to you how you serve them, I like them alone ( as we had them last night) but you could use wholemeal wraps, leaves, or some really good whole grain bread spread with mustard and ketchup (not ‘that’ kind, use my recipe, coming tomorrow) to put them in. Whatever, its a tastily juicy, meaty and delicious burger! Totally cuts that carnivorous craving.
Sorry no photo, we eat them before we had time to take it, yum-a-loo!
Oh oh, what’s that smell…….. Whoops, whilst I’ve been so engrossed in meaty mushrooms the quinoa has boiled dry (tonight it’s squash n coconut curry and was with quinoa ), I’ll let you know what smoked quinoa tastes like tomorrow.Learn More