Category Archives: gratitude

Thursday Therapy – Feeling Da Healing

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Today I took another step on my healing journey, by paying a visit to a hypnotherapist.

I’ve known for a while I’ve needed some kind of ‘therapy’, but couldn’t envisage myself lying on a couch in an office, spewing my life grievances to some NHS psychotherapist who has no experience in the emotional mind or energetic body.

I met a lady over a year ago at an ‘Inner Dance’ session (a healing feat in itself), and took her card because she had dreadlocks and I thought ‘hypno’ sounded kind of cool. I didn’t know if I’d ever actually call upon her services, but as I’ve come to learn, the universe likes to play and surprise at the same time as it provides. My yoga teacher (and general guide in life these days) mentioned I might benefit from speaking to her, and I remembered we’d already met. So I dug her card out and made an appointment.

Anyway, I had just an initial consultation (free of charge) with her this evening, and already feel I’m stepping down the right path to the next phase of healing. 

She asked what I wanted to get out of the sessions, and I sort of surprised myself by saying ‘be free’ and ‘let go’. I was also pleased with how open I could be with her – I haven’t divulged the deepest darkest of my past just yet (seemed a bit much for our first meet), but I feel positive knowing I’ll probably be able to. 

When I imagine sharing such secrets with others, I feel embarassed. Which I know is crazy since these things happened through no fault of my own, nor should I have any reason to feel shame. Nevertheless it’s a natural emotion which I’m battling day by day.

I’ve had a reiki session before and certainly benefited, but I feel I might gain something different – perhaps more assertive – from being put into a hypnotic trance while words of reassurance, hope and positivity are gently guided into my subconscious.

To be honest, I have no idea what to expect so that’s exactly the outlook I’m maintaining – no expectations, (except) to expect the unexpected!

I’ll definitely post again when I’ve had my first session. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to live in the moment, work on my Self and goals and look forward to the future. DO expect big things!!

Much love – may all we Beings know love, speak truth and be released from suffering.

Aho, Namaste!

Healing Garlic, Ginger and Butterbean Soup

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It’s mid December! Which means it’s cold outside (cue cosy jumpers, hoodies and scarves), party season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. Plenty to get excited about!

But with that excitement usually comes extra strain on our bodies and minds; lack of sunlight, indulgence in naughty foods and alcohol and excess stress over pulling together the perfect Christmas can all take its toll on us physically.

So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, this nourishing soup is the perfect pick-me-up.

Garlic boasts amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties, while ginger stimulates immune function and helps fight infection, as well as reduces nausea. Together they pack a mighty nutritional punch, and combined with onion (also a natural antiviral decongestant) these benefits are boosted even further.

On top of that, butterbeans are a fabulous source of B-vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, fibre and protein. And along with cashews, which are packed with eye, heart and blood healthy vitamins and minerals, they help give the soup a warming, creamy consistency.

Even more to get excited about, this dish is so easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic

3 carrots

1 tin butterbeans, rinsed and drained 

2 red onions

4-6 inches ginger

3 spring onions (plus extra to garnish)

Handful cashew nuts

1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

Pinch of paprika

500ml vegetable stock

50ml almond milk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°c.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a baking tray and add the carrot and whole garlic cloves. I left the skin on the garlic for added nutrients, but these can be removed before blending if you prefer. 

Coat well in oil, 1/2 tbsp oregano, paprika and a little salt and black pepper, then roast for 20-30 min until soft, shuffling and turning half way.

Meanwhile season the butterbeans with 1 tbsp dried oregano and black pepper. Roughly chop the red onion, ginger and spring onions. 

Sautée the red onions and ginger for 3-4 min, then add the butterbeans for another 5 mins. Finally add the spring onions, carrot and garlic for the last 2 min.

Stir in vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover and then reduce to simmer for about 5 mins.

Add to blender (I used an immersion blender) along with almond milk and pulse until soft and creamy.

Serve and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Enjoy, and embrace the healing feeling and delicious flavours, while those antibodies get hard at work fighting your physical corner!

Move over s’mores…it’s BBQ Oreo time

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BBQ #6 this year and #6 being vegan… and aside from Linda McCartney sausages and veggie patties, this time I discovered a real gem; WARM OREOS.
That’s right, whack a bunch of Oreos on the BBQ for a few minutes, wait for the biscuit to warm (it smells like cake), the cream to melt and you have yourself a delicious, naughty vegan treat that gives s’mores a run for their money. Just wow.

They are so exciting and moreish, especially on a restricted diet. Just try not to eat the whole lot (we got through 3 packs).

For the second batch I got crazy and added some dark chocolate on top😍

Divine Devon

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This weekend I was lucky enough to bag a visit to rural county Devon, staying with my cousin and her other half in their new(ish) home. They relocated from our home town in November, and it was my first visit.

Despite leaving loved ones behind, I can see why they easily had no regrets with their decision. Their secluded village sits atop a hill, overlooking the beautiful Devonshire countryside. Woolacombe Beach (dubbed the ‘best beach in the UK’ and I’d say easily comparable to a beach in Spain) is just an hour’s drive, and an array of other touristic gems are dotted around, an even shorter distance away.

It’s experiences like these that remind me England isn’t the dull, grey image that a lot of us often have. It’s brimming with stunning scenery, wildlife and nature spots. At one point near a place called Castle Drogo, I couldn’t believe I was still in the UK. A giant valley filled with luscious green trees, and a convenient path that lets you admire the view from different angles, literally took my breath away.

Fingle Bridge, Castle Drogo

Another trip took us into the heart of a huge gorge, with gushing waterfalls and mossy trees surrounding us on upward spiraling paths.

Lydford Gorge was around 3 miles of massive woodland, ancient tree roots underfoot and an enclosed rock cove/cavern at a spot called the Devil’s Couldron. Standing on a bridge above, you can watch the water bubble and whirlpool madly around below your feet.

Lydford Gorge

Amongst scrambling up rocks, hiking up steep hills and sitting on the edge of cliff faces, I found a sense of tranquility I haven’t experienced in a while. The freedom felt while trekking across fields hundreds of miles from home, from anywhere familiar, was exciting and exhilarating. Living in each moment to moment, taking it as it comes and accepting the fact that it all ‘is what it is’, was an emotional release, to say the least. The fresh air definitely went to my head.

Dartmoor Moors

Devon is a beautiful place and as a ‘Brit’ I feel truly blessed to know we have such serenity on our doorstep- we don’t need to skip countries to get a dose of  escapism from the everyday England we’re used to. We just need to know where to look… and the drive to want to find the rest of the hidden gems the UK has to offer.

So much brocolli 😍

No meat, no dairy, no sex

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So. I made the decision to practice celibacy about two or more years ago. Back then it was a loose insight in my mind, projected and ideal but not quite accepted. With a crazy sex life having basically come to a halt, I didn’t need to actively abstain.

Then over time it developed as an actual truth, and as much as I’ve resisted, I’ve also learned to accept it.

I had to make a mistake or two to learn some lessons, but recent occurrences seem to indicate I learned well. It’s been an extremely difficult.. should I say,  frustrating  week, and temptation has been rife. But I didn’t succumb and I know I’ve made the right decision(s).

I mean I’m sure I have, but as a replacement distraction I’m stuck with constant thoughts of food instead.. not necessarily a new struggle, but it is now far heightened by the need to fill some kind of comfort gap. Mostly by bourbon biscuits and Oreos since they’re some of the naughtiest treats I can have as a vegan.

Anyway, I believe the preservation of sexual energy far outweighs the wastage of it on something that isn’t an emotional connection. Saving it for a special person and moment, a sacred act shared between the two of you who understands one another is just perfect.

No need to jump straight into each others pants, as temporarily exciting as that can be. I’m no prude, in fact this decision is kind of killing me inside, but I know it’s the right one and has been there for a long time. It’s just been a while since I’ve been ready for the next test.

Now I’m taking another step along the path of self discovery. And I am genuinely excited to be on the way :)🙏

Don’t know whether to trust the weather.

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Wherever we go, as humans we always seem to discuss the weather in social situations. 

“Hot today init?”

“Yeah Nan, baking.”

“I prefer to be cold, me. Can’t be doing with the sweatiness.”

The reason we reference the weather so much is because it’s literally the pinnacle of our survival and existence on Earth.

How we utilise sunlight and fresh oxygen for example, is so important. So when in the UK we go from chilly and rainy to (years overdue) 34°c in the blink of an eye, our bodies respond as such.

We need more hydration, more calcium to absorb the extra vitamin D from the sun, more protein for us to replace the  fat shed while basting in the heat or sweating on the sofa. Just as examples.

Sunbeams creeping in

If one was raised in a relatively sunny climate (or spent enough time in one), the body would adapt to the heat, the skin would gradually build a healthy natural tan (instead of burning like a lobster as many Brits do), etc.
If one is raised in coldness such as in places like Iceland, again the body adapts to such temperatures and grows to its potential in that climate. Iceland interestingly happen to have one of the ‘healthiest’ population in the world.

Here in the UK we tend to jump from.one extreme to another, and I believe it takes quite a toll on many of us. With such rapid change, the body is constantly trying to adapt from one state to another. And with the poor western diet followed by many, it can cause havoc on our bodies and minds, and sometimes serious health issues.

Which is why it’s so important to follow a constant, healthy diet. And coincidentally why a simple vegan diet works so well (I won’t adapt here, I promise this one isn’t about the v word.!.vegan). Anyway. A diet that is part of your lifestyle, and not about losing weight (although there’s nothing wrong with getting trim; excess weight isn’t generally ‘healthy’).. one that becomes an easy routine, which you can rely on to get you through everyday. Then when the weather shifts from ice valley to dry earth with just a heartbeat in between, you’re always energised, strong and ready.

Butternut squash, chickpea and spinach curry w/ cumin rice and gram flour tortilla

Vegan pon road.

Mother nature (and the universe generally) never cease to amaze. And the way we use the sun to fuel us, growing each new cell and shedding old skin is just another part of that.
I suppose the point I’m making is that, depending where one is on Earth, we could potentially evolve into different kinds of humans. I could go to Costa Rica and become a bronze beauty, to Iceland to get lean and strong, to India and be a happily shrivelled yogi.

Endless possibilities for infinite consciousness. All influenced by the God that is the Sun…… I felt they both needed capitalising. 

Doris; she belongs to my housemate and thrives each year.

I’ll leave with thoughts of sweet, home grown strawberries. Peacee 

Being Vegan Week 6: Is this level of excitement normal?

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For the past few weeks, I’ve literally been unable to stop thinking about food.

And it isn’t because I’m hungry… it’s because everything I’ve eaten has been so daym delicious, I’m always thinking about what’s coming next.

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Clearly I need to take some self control (yet again, even as a vegan it seems I can’t control my cravings for food… any food), but I just can’t help it.. and now more than ever, knowing that what I’m eating is not only helping preserve the planet (albeit it on a small scale), but is actually good me for, leaves me constantly searching for new recipes.

Since becoming vegan, literally most of my spare time has been devoted to the kitchen (or supermarket). And all the new tastes and flavours dancing over my tongue, and making me feel fantastic afterward (and not sluggish or ugh) are really making this an enjoyable feat.

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From sauces to ice creams to seasonings and dressings, I can’t get enough.

Today alone, I’ve enjoyed:

Banana, almond, coconut and chia smoothie for breakfast.

Almond butter rice krispie squares for mid morning snack.

Carob bar as an afternoon snack (first time trying, I’m not disappointed).

Brocolli with garlic, ginger and spring onion sauce and sesame brown rice for dinner.

Peanut butter cookies for dessert.

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And being unable to stop thinking about more food, despite my tummy already being satisfied, I couldn’t help but indulge in some blueberry and raspberry buckwheat pancakes. Now it’s safe to say I’m VERY full (2 tbps apple cider vinegar with warm water aiding my digestion).

Unfortunately I’ve not taken the time to photograph much of this, as it’s been more of a cook it – eat it style, trying to perfect recipes etc. Plus experimental cooking doesn’t usually make for very appealing food snaps (I’ll add recipes soon enough).

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But over the past few weeks I’ve also enjoyed some gorgeous meals and treats, such as pad tai noodles, courgetti noodles and sundried tomato pesto, roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad, turmeric quinoa coconut curry, falafal, chickpea flour wraps, mushroom burgers, black bean burgers, sweet oat and rice krispie squares, raw chocolate brownies, gooey black bean chocolate brownies, mixed berry crumble, mint choc chip ice cream… not to mention all the amazing stuff I tried in Amsterdam last week!

Yup, I actually made it through 3 days in Dam as a vegan… not one churro, waffle or piece of cheese passed my lips.

Instead, I got to enjoy vegan cheese sticks, samosas, rice wraps, blueberry cheese cake, chocolate cake and ice cream, raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes, houmous salad wraps… most of which I did photograph..

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Turns out Amsterdam is a hot bed of vegan eateries (compared to my small town in the UK anyway). And the food is AMAZING!!

I’m truly grateful to be vegan right now. Sure it takes some effort and preparation, but if you plan ahead and always make sure there’s at least one healthy snack on hand, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.

Embracing new flavours and ingredients, reworking my taste buds and retraining my body to enjoy vegan alternatives, has left me lighter (I don’t weigh myself but I’ve definitely lost weight), more energetic and generally happier. I’m also creating a whole new self.. I’ve begun a journey that I just know will take me to places I never imagined before,  in whatever form that may be.

And I cannot wait! Nor can I wait for breakfast tomorrow!! I’m thinking hemp seed and fruit smoothie, and possibly more buckwheat pancakes.

Nommm blessings and goodnight!

Yo..

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Since beginning my yoga journey some twelve+ months ago, I’ve experienced a whole new level of Self. My inner being feels cleansed, I’m more aligned, and I have a much deeper sense of Oneness.

Every posture, from the simple yet delightful up-dog, to the muscle-tingling baby grasshopper (I’m yet to find my way to the more hardcore version; the daddy Grasshopper) takes me on a journey through the mind and body.

Becoming and being aware of one’s own physical structure, discovering the sensation of each muscle maybe for the first time, feeling the body, brings with it new self-inquiry, and a deeper understanding of what lies beyond. Whether warming up for the day, playing around after work to wind down, or just passing time, it seems there’s always something new to be had from practising yoga.

It also gives a wonderful head-start to a meditation session, placing you nicely into a relaxed and calm state, especially after a well-earned savasana. I’ve found myself in many a ‘surprise’ meditation right after yoga, where my body and mind fall right into place.

Aside from the spiritual side, there’s also the health benefits that are complimentary with a dedicated yoga regime; more energy, self-satisfaction, balanced chakras, reduced stress, increased happiness,  a strong physique. And I’m sure there are many more fellow practitioners/yogis  could claim.

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I personally recommend anybody who hasn’t, to give yoga a try. Don’t let age, weight or flexibility get in the way of your will – yoga is for every body, and after discovering it, everybody is for yoga 🙂

Peace and love.

Namaste.

Hi-gha, God

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Why do we look up when we address God?

Neck craned, spine poised,

Gazing up to the ceiling.. even into the sky

Is it because God is a, nay, THE ‘higher’ power?

 

[But God is within Us?]

 

Gaze into the sky again

Stare past the stars

Deep through the u-niverse

Into yourself. Look within.

 

[Pray with true intent]

[[Even in-a tent]]

 

Hands together, liberated harmony

Drawn close to our hearts

Feel the particles of love beaten

God truly never departs

 

 

 

Healthy Randdige

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This random porridge is a brilliant way to start a new day!

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This morning I was nourished by this delicious, random porridge concoction. I’m running low on a lot of food items so I threw in bits of what I had:

Porridge oats
Oat milk/water
Raw honey
Frozen raspberries
100% peanut butter (crunchy)

Hob on medium, heat everything together in a saucepan for 4-5 mins, or until excess liquid has gone. Mush raspberries a little with a spoon, to mix with the oats.

The peanut butter forms a slightly thick consistency on the spoon, but it’s still all good.

My energy levels were boosted all day and I got some extra protein from the peanuts. Plus it’s dairy free! Simple, tasty and nutritious. A class breakfast.