Relax

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you gonna live? “

This is a wonderful post that I felt compelled to share, as it is exactly how we feel in the B.H.K about a balanced approach to good living.  It doesn’t take much, just a greater degree of sensitivity with the body and mind.  The lifetstyles we choose have a profound effect on who we are and how we act.

Thanks to the beautiful Ivelina at ‘Mother Nature Loves You’ for the constant inspiration, love and light.

You are given a body -this most wonderful perfect system. it is impossible to think the amount of processes , that are happening every second , regardless if you are awake or asleep.

It is my opinion , that there are 3 approaches in which people like to treat their body-there are those , that live only in the body and strive for perfection, there are those, that have forgotten they have a body and treat it like something, that they have to carry about with them , and there are also those that believe that to have a fulfilled life one has to find the mind , body and soul balance.When those 3 are in balance life is a pure bliss. According to the Ayurveda medicine when this harmony is disturb in any way your being is in dis-balance which is the root cause of all diseases. Long before any illness appear you body is giving you different signals, that you can sense with your heart and understand with your body. The main thing is not to ignore them , but listen to your body . When you are tired rest, when you are feeling unwell make yourself better, your wee has a colour-drink more water, your tongue has a white coating -fast for a few days,….the list is endless.

 

There is a reaction behind every action and prevention is priceless, but you can’t buy it when it’s too late. It is never too late, unless you re dead. So start now listen to your body, sense it with your heart and understand it with your mind.

The magic of living is to optimize you body-soul-mind trinity. I would like to share a few tips form the Ayurveda medicine for optimal health and I would love to hear from you -what is your best tip for being healthy.

1.Rest before you are tired – a regular 20 minute break will benefit not, just your body but will also refresh your mind and make you more present . Always make time for it. it is really worth the effort.

2. Eat when you are hungry -this is an universal advice . Educate yourself about the differences between emotional and physical hunger and learn to respond to them accordingly . If it a real physical hunger it will come on stages and you can easily identify and satisfy it with natural foods. Emotional hunger is sudden and it craves certain foods- when you know it is happening ask yourself why and let the answer come to you. Awareness is a powerful tool.

3. Ayurveda describes massage as one of the best way to remain healthy – a nice foot, head or back massage can be very beneficial at any time and it can cure many discomforts and tensions in your body, it also calms your mind and sooths your soul.

4. Accept what is and learn to love what is .One of the biggest causes of any disese is the fact , that we sometimes try to change what we can not control. Long term stress brings your immune system down so do your best to reduce and eliminate bad stress. Focus on what matter and do your best to use your energy on things , that you can actually change .

5. Move your body – you have been given legs to walk with, hand to lift with and body to dance with . Find your best way to move every day. Ayurveda recommend yoga as the ultimate mind-body -soul movement and I couldn’t agree more, but i also love to dance, love to cycle and love to walk and swim. Getting physical reduces stress, clears your head and makes you feel good.

6. Cultivate and nourish your relationships- nothing gives your soul more meaning , than sharing it with others. Communications, connections and Love. This is pure medicine .Love, be loved and loving . It is the only truth.

7. Forgive . Forgiveness is the greatest gift known to man. Start with yourself and gradually extend that forgiveness to all. Do not be picky, take your time and explore the beauty of forgiving . This is a gift, that you owe to yourself .

8. Be grateful . Always , even for the stuff you did not want . There is a silver lining in every cloud and every disaster could be a blessing. The only attitude worth the effort is the attitude of gratitude . At the end all makes sense and you would be grateful for the lessons you’ve learned .

So over all another good Irish saying comes to mind-”a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything”.I love going to bed in the evening . Since I cycle every day I feel this sweet tiredness , that I have missed for years

Sending blessings and love

Original post here:

http://www.mothernaturelovesyou.com/if-you-dont-take-care-of-your-body-where-are-you-gonna-live/#comment-570

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Categories: Ayurveda, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Relax | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Pineapple and Blueberry Juice

Pineapple and Blueberries make happy

This mornings juice worked out a treat.  The sun is out again, which is a rarity and always cherished.  All the windows and doors are open as the Beach House breathes in the warm air.  It has been a long cold winter, we need all the sun we can get!

There has been a pineapple ripening on the window ledge for weeks now, getting nice and sweet, waiting for just such a day; when we can close our eyes and outside, drift off with the birdsong.  Maybe imagine that there are palm trees swaying above us and pineapples grow freely in the next field.  Instead its a fuchsia bush and potatoes that grow, but I wouldn’t change it.

I had the good fortune to stumbled across some luscious looking  organic blueberries (unfortunately not from this island) which will complement our lovely tropical friend, adding their vivid dark colour and nutrients to proceedings.

I  started the Magimix up and here the rest is here:

The Bits

Half a pineapple chopped into chunks, two good handfuls of blueberries.

Do It

Stick it in the Magimix, blueberries first, followed by the pineapple.  We always juice like this, always dense and concentrated first, followed by something juicy/ watery.   You will get better extraction of juices.

Pineapple and Blueberry Juice

Serve

Your favourite wine glasses!

Foodie Fact 

To grow pineapples all you need to do is chop off the top and plant it!  It does take years to grow (which heightens my respect for the fruit) and very tropical conditions.  Our pineapple tops add a tropical flavour to our compost bin!

Buster takes in some sun

 

Categories: Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Garden, Healthy Eating, Juices, Organic, Raw Food, Recipes, Relax, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iced Yogi Tea – Ginger Orange with Vanilla and Honey

Here is today’s beverage of choice, fit for a summers day (with a gentle chill in the breeze):

Iced Yogi Tea (Ginger, Orange, Vanilla and Honey)

I’ve always loved Yogi Tea.  They make an intense brew, packed with flavour and a lovely vibe permeates everything they do.  I like the little inspirational message on the end of the drawstring.  Todays read “take time to contemplate and deliberate”……..great advice when sitting in the garden, confronted by some bluebells and a pond wriggling with tadpoles.

I’ve tried a new one today, the Ginger Orange with Vanilla.  It is a delicious blend and makes a revitalising hot brew.  But with the sun out, I decided to cool things down a little.

This will work with many herbal tea bags.  You don’t just have to use black and lemon variety.

I made Jane and I a teapot full:

The Bits

Nice clean tea pot, 2 Yogi Orange Ginger with Vanilla Teabags, 1 spoon of your favourite honey (size of spoon and which hive you visit depends on you), chopped ginger (we don’t peel), 1 juicy orange (1/2 wedged, 1/2 sliced into rounds and all de-seeded)

Do It

Brew your tea using near boiling water for around 10 minutes (good to get all the flavour out of these beauties), add as much honey as you need at this stage.  Then leave in a cool place to chill out for a while (doorsteps are good for this).  If you like vanilla, add a teaspoon of good vanilla extract.

Get some nice tall glasses ready, fill 1/2 way with ice, add your chopped ginger (big slices are best here) and a wedge of orange (squeezed, juice over ice), the fill glass 2/3 with ice.

Serve

When fully cooled (this can be stuck in the fridge overnight if you like) pour into your gorgeous glasses and top with your orange slice and maybe one more slice of ginger.

We Love It!

This has inspired me to get rooting around my tea tin and being more creative with my summer refreshments.  Watch this space…..

Foodie Fact

Any drink made with vanilla is supposed to have aphrodisiac qualities.  Meow!

Its a shame, this looked and tasted brilliant, but my computer is not happy today and won’t upload photos, so here is one I found on google images.  You get the idea!

 

Orange Iced Tea

Thanks to Burlap and Basil for this pic (http://www.burlapandbasil.com)

Categories: Ayurveda, B.H.K Reviews, Detox, Infusions, Recipes, Relax, Tea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yoga and Obesity

A worrying story of growing obesity in the U.K. and how yoga can help.  I think it is a great idea getting kids into yoga at school, good for exercise and relaxation.  They also love it, doing poses like monkeys and tigers.  Thanks to Yoga Wellbeing for this article and promoting yoga in British schools (www.yogawellbeing.co.uk)     

Yoga for Obesity

As per one report nearly 14 percent of British youngsters are clinically obese. The cost of Obesity to the NHS is about £1 billion a year. By 2010 the number of overweight and obese youngsters in the European Union nations is expected to hit 26 million. An estimated 20,000 obese youngsters will have type 2 diabetes as per another report.

Obesity put strain on heart, respiratory and eliminatory system. It also increases the chances of diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. In stressful people who eat very fast and in excess and secondly in household person who eat from boredom. As the people put on weight they tend to become less happy because of their appearance and become more frustrated. Some people think by taking insufficient food can help in reducing weight. But when they start dieting, body starts to slow down in order to conserve energy and boost its chances of survival. This is why weight loss tends to slow down as we continue to diet. So in a way dieting is not the good method for reducing weight.

Some of the schools in the UK are planning to introduce yoga for thousands of young students. This is an excellent step in the direction of fighting the obesity problem of UK. Yoga practice provides an excellent means for maintaining balanced weight and overcoming obesity problem, provided a daily yoga program is followed with regular routine.

Along with Yoga, healthy diet at proper time and practice of relaxation technique is very helpful for overcoming obesity and maintaining balanced weight. Click here if you would like to know more about our one to one sessions or kids classes.

http://www.yogawellbeing.co.uk

Categories: Excercise, Healthy Living, Relax | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

El Limonar Stew – A Taste of the Spanish Sun

The 'El Limonar'

The ‘El Limonar’ is not an everyday stew.  It reflects the culture and produce of a special little corner of Spain, the Costa Calida.

This dish that would suit any occasion this summertime, especially a special time when you are eating outside in the sunshine with the people who you love, a time when you are planning to open a few bottles of good wine (it is a Spanish stew after all!) and let the world just pass you by.

‘El Limonar’ is the name of the place my parents have in Spain, its near Cartagena, Murcia, for me it is one of the worlds most beautiful and relaxing places.  The lifestyle in Spain is slow, steeped in history, with much fiesta and siesta.  Relaxing is a way of life and food and drink play a major role in everyday life and traditional celebrations.

When I am in Spain, more than anywhere else in the world, I can happily revert to the wise words below:

‘Sólo un idiota puede ser totalmente feliz.’

‘Only an idiot can be totally happy.’

Mario Vargas Llosa

The Mediterranean sun brings life to the dry red earth.   Murcia is the hottest and driest region in Spain, but the local farmers use a lot of new technology and plenty of old world know-how to make the most of the parched land.  The area is covered with lemon, almond and olive trees, many old and gnarled.  A whole host of incredible local produce blooms with stunning flavours.  This stew combines many of these treats, most notably the sweet and smoky local pimenton (paprika).  We use Coato Paprika, an excellent local co-operative (http://www.coato.com/en/about-coato/).  The figs and almonds reflect the Moorish (North African) influence who were here for hundreds of years.  You can hear the sound of North Africa in every flamenco song.

Being a veggie in Spain is tough, we eat at home most of the time, using the produce from the local markets.  Old men and women gather every Sunday in a car park down at  the port and sell their crops.  We have our favourite olive lady, pepper man, spice mama, knife gypsy, Moroccan mint seller etcetc.  There are an array of characters and smiles.  I love to browse a good market.  It is also very cheap, which makes it that touch more satisfying.

The occasion for the ‘El Limonar’ was a visit from Rob and Linda.  They are super foodies who we met in a local cafe.  These shiny people deserved a treat so I put together this deluxe version of one of my tried and tested simmered chickpea recipes.

The technique is to simmer the chickpeas down until only a little stock remains (chickpea stock is delicious, almost beefy!) then begin to add the ingredients.  I find this retains a lot of flavour and gently cooks everything.  This stew did have some added roast vegetables, but it was most definitely a special occasion.

The best way to recreate this is in a colder country is to buy as much organic produce as possible.  Beautifully ripe tomatoes and a good quality Spanish paprika will give this dish a real taste of the Med!

Local Murcian Pimenton from Coato Cooperative, Totana

This is enough for 4 with plenty for lunch the next day (we are bulk cookers at  the B.H.K).

The Bits

5 cups of fat chickpeas (pre-soaked overnight), 1 bay leaf, good veg stock (enough to cover the chickpeas in the pan by 1 inch, maybe 1 litre), one big red onion (all veg chopped into interesting looking chunks), 1 large sweet red pepper, 1 aubergine, 1 courgette, 5 sweet tomatoes, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 6 sundried tomatos, 5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 2 tbs Coato paprika, 1 big glass of Spanish red wine (for authenticity), 1 sprig of rosemary, 2 teas of thyme, zest and juice of one large unwaxed lemon, 2 smoked dried peppers (if you can get your hands on them), 1 handful of roasted unsalted almonds (soaked overnight), 1 good handful of chopped dried figs, 1 good handful of pitted green olives (preferably manzanilla), chopped mint, coriander and parsley, s + p, olive oil to start and finish.

Do It

Most of these steps can be done beforehand and kept in the fridge overnight, the flavours will intensify.  Even better, cook everything for a little less time, get the stew together and re-heat it on the day. 

Add your pre-soaked chickpeas and one bay leaf to a pan of good veg stock, it should cover them by 1 inch.  Bring to a gentle boil then simmer until tender, normally 1 hour.   Skim of white froth regularly.  If the stock evaporates too quickly, put a lid on it.  After cooking the chickpeas should be just poking through the stock.

While they are simmering, chargrill in olive oil your large chunks of aubergine (should be well coloured and gooey inside), pepper, onion and courgette in a frying pan or griddle.  Best to do in batches and keep warm in a covered plate.  I chargrill my cherry tomatoes quickly to give them a little colour.

Add the paprika to the chickpeas and stir in well, then the tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and thyme, put the heat up and before it reaches a boil, add the rest of the ingredients except the wine, which you add just before the stew is about to boil.  Season.  Little finesse here, but maximum flavour!

Once the stew has reached a very gentle boil put the heat down to low and leave simmering, covered for one hour letting the flavours infuse nicely.  Check that the sauce has thickened and is not too thin, if so, turn the heat up and cook down.  Do not boil, this kills flavour.

Just before serving, check seasoning, add a glug of olive oil for shine and richness (or a glug of oil from your jar of sun-dried tomatoes as I did), the lemon juice and most of the chopped mint, coriander and parsley, mix gently in.

Serve

I topped it with a splash of olive oil, some of the left over herbs, finely sliced dried fig and a fistful of crushed almonds.

We ate our stew under the stars, over halved roasted butternut squash with brown rice, a spinach salad with a lemon and honey dressing and a cucumber and local spring onion (like wild garlic) yoghurt.  I think Rob and Linda were amazed at how much we eat!  It’s difficult for me to not get carried away with a kitchen full of amazing produce.

Jane having our 'millionare lunch' (which cost 8 euros)

Foodie Fact

Good old Christopher Columbus got his greedy hands on the pepper plant in South America and like everything else he found of value, brought it back to Spain (I’m not a huge fan of the behavior of these old explorer/conquistador types).

Paprika is made by grinding dried peppers, different paprika uses different peppers and can be sweet, smoked or spicy.  Paprika is used extensively in the cooking of Spain and also quite randomly, Hungary.  Good Goulash would be lost without it.  The name ‘Paprika’ actually comes from the Hungarian word for ‘Pepper’.

Paprika has a high sugar content which must be considered when cooking with it.  It burns easily.

By weight, Paprika contains more Vitamin C than lemon juice.

Boozy Bit

I haven’t had the chance to write about wine in a while.  Thank you Spain for giving me the excuse!

This is best with a wine from the south of Spain.  The stew incorporates many of the flavours of this evocative land, therefore the local wines compliment it perfectly.  We went for a young ‘Casa De La Ermita’ Organic Monastrell from Jumilla (a local wine region), with ripe fruits, lovely vanilla scented oak and dark violet colour.  Monastrell is generally a concentrated wine with good structure and this one held its own with this blockbuster stew.

Casa De La Ermita is a wondeful winery and you can buy the wine in the U.K., I think I even saw it in Tescos.  The Crianza is a very stylish example of the quality of wine now produced in Jumilla, formerly a very ‘rustic’ wine growing region.  They also make a great white and an interesting Petit Verdot.

Here’s their site:

http://www.casadelaermita.com/vinos/casadelaermita_tintoecologico.php

'Casa De La Ermita' Crianza, fine wine from Jumilla, Spain.

Categories: 'The Good Life', Dairy/ Lactose Free, Dinner, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, Organic, Photography, Recipes, Relax, Special Occasion, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mum’s Blueberry and Cranberry Granola

My Mum’s name is Carol and we are alike in many ways.  We are both good sleepers and enjoy nothing more than a wee lie-in and a lazy breakfast, at our leisure, normally stretching way beyond lunchtime.

Granola is always a key munch at these indulgent occasions.  We like it so much that Mum has started to make her own.  Heres what Mum has to say:

“Hello cooking companions,

Blueberry and Cranberry Granola

225g Rolled Oats, 15g soft brown sugar, 45g Wheatgerm, 2 tbsp Maple syrup (or Honey), 55g Millet flakes, 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tbsp Sesame seeds, 2 tbsp orange juice, 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp flaked Almonds, 50g dried Blue berries, 50g dried Cranberries, 10 bashed up Brazil Nuts (if you’re feeling flush!)

A delicious toasted Muesli, this is made from a tempting mix of grains, nuts, seeds and colourful red and blue berries.
Stirring Maple syrup and Orange juice into the mix helps to keep the oil content down making this version much lower in fat than most ready made Crunchy cereals.

Makes 500g

Pre heat 160c – 325f gas 3

1 – In a large bowl mix together Oats, Wheatgerm, Millet flakes, Sesame and Sunflower seeds Almonds, Dried Berries and sugar.  Stir until mixed well.

2 – Put the Maple syrup, Orange juice, and oil in a small jug and mix together. Pour this mixture slowly into dry ingredients stirring to ensure that the liquid is evenly distributed.

3 – Spread mixture evenly over a non – stick roasting pan.  Bake for 30 = 40 mins until golden brown.

4 – Remove from the oven and leave to cool.  Store in a air tight container for up to two weeks.

Serve with milk, fruit or yogurt..

Lots of good thoughts coming your way

Mamxxxxx”

Enjoy lazy breakfast and carefree days (this granola will help!)XXXXXX

Mum's hut (but she lives in a house really)

Categories: Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Friends of B.H.K, Recipes, Relax, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Mull Steamer

Apple juice made by local kids

If you live on the grey island, it’s probably snowing where you are.  This is the ideal tonic for a chill, we’ve been spiced up on this all winter.

It’s an intense cordial that glows with the spices of distant lands (as you look out at the grey drizzle).  We will normally have a cordial in the fridge and it will change with the seasons.  I’m looking forward to something elderflower soon………

Heres a ‘steamer’ of pure Beach House loveX

The Bits

One bottle of good quality cloudy apple juice.  Glass is best in this situation (you can re-use it) or use a corked old wine bottle (clear glass looks very cool).

Zest of a lemon (or orange) in long slices, not chopped.

2 star anise, one stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 bashed liquorice root, a finger of ginger in large chunks, a little splash of good vanilla essence.

1 large tablespoon of honey (or to taste)

Do It

Pour the apple juice into a pan, add all ingredients.

Bring to a steam, close to boiling, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer, the flavours will only get more infused), do not boil, leave to cool.  Wash bottle well.

When cooled, pour back in bottle, I like to add all the bits into the bottle also. Keeps well in the fridges for a week, but won’t last that long!

Serve

Use it like a cordial, with hot water.  Or take it to the next level with a glug of dark rum.

We Love It

Its gives the body a big warm hug and if drank with rum, this potion will send the most stressed mind to a blissed out place of calm.

Foodie Fact

You’ll get a big kick of Star Anise in this mull.  It has been used in China and India to treat disorders of the nervous conditions.  Cloves are powerful!  Not just in flavour.  they are anti-oxidant, anti-flammatory, anti-septic, as well as calming and warming.  Ahhhhhhh

Categories: Infusions, Recipes, Relax, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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