Category Archives: personal

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!

A Day with Phillip Day – The Maximum Health Workshop

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Today I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a fascinating seminar by one of the world’s most experienced health researchers.

As a volunteer at a local charity (Together Against Cancer, who commit to informing the public about natural, ‘alternative’ forms of healing and wellness), the request for help at the event was sprung on me at the last minute. I’d already do anything for the centre – it’s run by such an inspiring, amazing group of people who are so knowledgeable and committed to what they do – but having read some of Phillip Day’s work, I was never going to turn down this chance.

And oh my, what a Day.. For 6 hours (which flew by) he covered so much, that it’s still kind of digesting in my system (no pun intended). This included, but certainly wasn’t limited to how:

  • We live in a completely false reality, from food to education to news reports
  • Sickness is bigger than war, and is the biggest business on earth
  • Between 2000-2015, pharmaceutical drugs have killed more people than World War 1 and World War 2 combined
  • Since 2000, 16 million Americans have died as a result of the effects of chemotherapy, not cancer itself
  • Being ‘cured’ of cancer is actually defined as survival after 5 years of initial treatment
  • Most diseases and ailments are metabolic, i.e. caused by a severely weakened immune system/ unhealthy gut
  • Chemotherapy and radiation destroys your immune system
  • Vaccines at birth serve no purpose and in fact do more harm than good
  • Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed in as little as 7 days
  • A plethora of ex-medical professionals are becoming whistleblowers to the twisted and inherently murderous medical system
  • Big Pharma are desperately trying to silence Day and other organisations who are making this information public

Did you know it’s actually illegal in the European Union to state that food is key to curing and preventing disease, and that drinking water cures dehydration? Call me stupid, but that’s some pretty insane logic.

It’s absolutely mental how governments and society convince us to doubt the wisdom of our senses. And to trust in doctors, who have zero nutritional education and are trained by pharmaceutical companies, literally just to push drugs in an attempt to cover up symptoms and zombify the masses.

Probably even more worrying than the sinister set up and power these organisations have, is what Day calls ‘cognitive dissonance’ – that being, wilful ignorance by we, the people, and a refusal to question anything.

We’re raised in a culture where we’re convinced from day 1 that doctors are the fountain of all knowledge, that pharmaceutical companies want to help us (why on earth would they ever offer us cures, when that would mean the immediate halt of cash flow?) and that our government is acting in our best interests (despite the fact they’re also endorsed by those same companies).

Day highlights the importance of diet and nutrition in preventing and reversing disease through 5 simple principles:Image result for campaign for truth in medicine

  1. 80% plant-based made of organic wholefoods
  2. 60% raw (80% is even better)
  3. Keep animal products under 15%
  4. Eliminate all refined sugar, wheat and dairy
  5. Adopt an intermittent fasting/autophagy regime

He also delves into the structure of the human body on a much deeper, cellular and energetic level, discussing the intricacies of DNA and the information we store. It was mind-blowing stuff and certainly gets you thinking (an amount more than already being contended with!).

He takes time to cover the array of vitamins and minerals we need to function, where to obtain these and how best to prepare the body to absorb and utilise them.

This is literally only scratching the surface of the presentation, and this summary serves only to inform, remind and reassure us that there are other ‘crackpots’ discussing and promoting alternatives to what we’ve been programmed to believe about our health, longevity and life on earth in general.

But as always, I urge you not to take my word as gospel (I’m sure there’s no risk of that) and to do your own research. If something about this resonates with you, don’t stay stuck in cognitive dissonance – we live in the age of information, and were incarnated at this time for a reason. Use the power of the internet and all the knowledge that is offered to find that which you are seeking. 

Can’t Blog – Busy Fermenting…..

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OK, so the title of this post may be a little of a contradiction. Considering a lot of ferments pretty much take care of themselves, it really isn’t a valid excuse for having uploaded zero posts in the past 5 months.

But it is the truth I’ve been busy… busy making plans, busy ticking stuff off the bucket list, busy fulfilling dreams… regrettably none of the ‘drafts’ I saved got finished (something not unusual for me), but I’m here right now, and that’s all that matters… right? Man, I’ll deal with the guilt of procrastination later. For now I’m here to share with the world my new found love and fascination… the art of fermentation.

When I used to hear the word ‘ferment’, I’d automatically think of bananas that have turned brown and mushy in the fruit bowl, or gone-off milk that’s been sat in the fridge for weeks, or how my teenage brother’s bedroom might smell, if I had a teenage brother.

When in reality, the process of fermenting food (and drinks) is an age-old practice, utilised by our ancestors as a means of keeping food stored and edible for months on end, especially through winter.

Not only that, the longer food ferments, the more the ‘good bacteria’ grows… good bacteria which when consumed, can actually work wonders for our guts and digestion. Everything from vegetables, fruit, tea, milk and seeds can be fermented. And let’s not forget those of us who regularly consume yogurt – this is simply cultured (fermented) dairy!

Fermentation works by natural bacteria feeding on the sugar and starch in the food, which creates lactic acid. This not only preserves the food, but also creates beneficial enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, b-vitamins and most importantly, a multitude of probiotics. The process also helps break down the food into a more easily digestible form.

We’ve probably all heard of ‘probiotics’, and how they can benefit our health. But most store-bought products and probiotic supplements contain substantially less probiotics than home-made versions (not surprisingly).

Admittedly, I’m really just a noob at all this culturing business. But I’ve been reading a LOT, and have dabbled in a few experiments for the past few months. And I can tell you, I have not been disappointed.

It all started when my yoga teacher gave me a sip of kombucha to try, and I was instantly hooked. My body knew straight away I was giving it something so nourishing, and it wanted more. I won’t go into it too much here (will pend for another post – no procrastination!), but it’s basically black tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Yes, it sounds gross, but the magic happens when they all come together to create a delicious, fizzy, detoxifying beverage. And the benefits are amazing. I call it my elixir of life.

Similarly, the first time I tried sauerkaut (simply shredded cabbage left to ferment in its own juices), my body heaved a sigh of relief, like it finally found what it had been waiting for in food. I could literally feel my gut grabbing and digesting with delight, like a party going off inside there. And it’s super easy to make! Now I have multiple jars of different sauerkraut, along with things like brocolli, kale, asparagus, beetroot and apple, all stewing in their own juicy goodness (my housemates think I’m a bit mental).

There’s no going back for me now; fermented foods are part of my healing path. And I urge anybody who feels they need a health boost, wants to cleanse and re-balance their digestive system or just feel (round about) one-hundred times better in themselves to give it a try.

There’s tons of information out there and I want to reassure you not to feel too overwhelmed by it – it really is a super simple process. Honest – just give it a Google, then give it a go!

Peace and love friends 🙂

 

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!

Stoptober: 31 Days Sugar-Free

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This year I decided to participate in ‘Stoptober’, opting to quit sugar for the entire month. So I thought I’d share my experience, plus a few handy ‘alternative’ products that quite frankly, I probably couldn’t have survived without.

To clarify, by ‘no sugar’, I mean cutting out the refined stuff, or anything where the top 3 ingredients are sugar (or products which are clearly laden, though may not make it clear on the pack).

So, things like biscuits, sweets, chocolate, most cereals, baked beans, yogurts, store bought sauces, cordial and fizzy drinks, cereal bars, cakes etc.

To be honest, most of these things I’ve generally avoided for a long time anyway (I haven’t had fizzy drinks or cordial for years, and since I switched to a plant based diet I only ever make my own sauces), but chocolate admittedly is my weakness, as can be cereal (if I’m bored at night I can put away 3 bowls without blinking). So to say it was a challenge is still somewhat an understatement.

In our western culture, we’re introduced to sugar from almost day 0. And quickly we become addicted to it, going through childhood with fists full of candy, throwing tantrums if we can’t get our fix. Then progressing into later life, as adults we find solace in chocolate bars and cakes (I know this is the main thing that gets most of my work colleagues through their day in the office, besides gossip). And if we try to resist, the temptation is more often than not too much, despite the huge sense of guilt that usually accompanies even just one Miniature Hero.

Now, many studies have emerged showing not only how detrimental the white powder is to our health (leading to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer), but also how highly addictive a substance it is (it stimulates the same pleasure receptors in the brain as cocaine!!).

Personally I’ve known this for a long time, never being able to have just one bite of anything that’s laced with it. And who knows how many times I’ve woken the next morning with a ‘sugar hangover’, belly feeling like it took a powder beating, hardly room left for real food yet feeling like I’m starving.

So when I quit, I found that the ‘hunger’ I often feel, despite having had substantial meals throughout the day, isn’t hunger at all but just a sugar craving.

Here’s what happened when I quit:

  • I stopped waking up feeling groggy/ inexplicably hungry. 
  • I lost weight, particularly that stubborn belly fat.
  • My cravings reduced.
  • I had more energy throughout the day, due to replacing it with more natural/sensible energy sources.
  • I was generally happier.

Of course, these things didn’t all happen at once, but did precede one another. 

The main change for me I noticed really was in the mornings; I was no longer dragging myself out of bed, subconsciously looking for my fix. Instead I had lots more energy, and really looked forward to my breakfast.

Here are some of the (delicious) alternatives that helped get me through:

  • Fruit (fresh, frozen, dried)
  • Maple syrup
  • Xylitol
  • Raw Bran Flakes
  • Pancakes
  • Home made popcorn
  • Raw cacao
  • ‘Plamil’ sugar free dark chocolate
  • ‘Pulsin’ raw brownie bars
  • Smoothies

These two together with soy milk are actual Love in a bowl 😍

Buckwheat pancakes – click for recipe

Cinnamon & maple syrup popcorn- click for recipe

Admittedly, once October was over I did succumb to 3 bars of cooking chocolate in one week (ugh, gluttony). But I’m trying my best not to fall back into that pattern again. And avoiding the sweets aisle in the supermarket is actually easier than it was before! 

I’d recommend anybody give detoxing from sugar a try- there are so many alternatives out there that help us maintain our energy levels without spiking then dropping our blood sugars (which only leads to further cravings). Like any drug, it’s a vicious circle and we all know addiction to any substance isn’t the ideal. 

Why not give it a try? 🙂

Peace and love, Warriors 

6 reasons I fell in love with yoga

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Through daily practice, yoga has become my foundation for a healthy, happy life.

Just half an hour each morning sets me up with a fresh outlook and good intentions.

On top of that, my fitness levels and general physique have improved so much. And after a year and a half, I can connect my mind and body, and do things I never imagined I’d be strong enough for!

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So, just because the love has hit a deeper level recently, here are 6 reasons why I’ve fallen madly, head-over-knees in love with yoga:

  1. It clears the mind- if I’m feeling stressed, anxious or just generally down in the dumps, doing a few sun salutations or releasing some residual tension in certain areas of my body (such as the hips, where much of our past angst is stored), really helps clear that stuffy mind-fog. Sometimes, our amazing minds become so entrenched with thoughts (whether positive or negative), that it becomes overbearing and we need to just stop the flow for a while, to reset and regain some clarity.
  2. It tends to the body- physically speaking, yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen, tone and stretch our bodies, without even realising we’re doing it. Because much of the practice is so subtle- focusing on remaining calm, breathing mindfully and flowing through movements gently, it’s easy to forget we’re essentially getting a ‘workout’ the whole time. Then every few days you take a glance in the mirror and see some newly sculpted muscles here and there – awesome surprise!
  3. It reminds me how it feels to Be Alive- This feeling is so easy to forget. Too many times I’ve found myself stagnant, mooching on the sofa or playing video games for days on end, with no real activity. And the longer this goes on, the harder it is to pull yourself back. But once you do, even in that first downward dog of the day, a fire is ignited instantly and the energy flowing through your body reminds you of what it is to feel, what it is to be. And how wonderful it actually feels to be a living, breathing entity on this planet.
  4. You get back what you put in (and then some)- Like any healthy relationship, you reap the benefits when you invest the best part of yourself. Yoga has no expectations- all it asks is that you show up, and just be yourself. And in turn, the path will lead you to beautiful new places, inspiring new people and exciting new experiences.
  5. Anybody can do it- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Every body is a yoga body. Fat or thin, tall or short, muscular or feeble. We can all reap the benefits of regular practice. Of course, every body is different and every body will adapt and grow in different ways, but the truth is yoga is not exclusive for just already-bendy dancers or skinny fitness freaks. Yoga will embrace you, whoever you are.
  6. It will never leave me…. Sure, I could leave yoga. I could roll up my mat and stop practicing for the next 6 months, become shrivelled and tight. But the philosophy of yoga and the lessons it brings won’t ever go- I’ll always remember to breathe in stressful situations. I’ll always be more aware of how individual muscles and body parts feel at different times. And I’ll always remember the mind-body connection that yoga and I chiselled together through dedication and commitment. We’ll always have that mutual love. And that I adore.

I’d love to see schools introduce yoga as part of Physical Education or maybe those odd, ‘Social Studies’ classes that encouraged even the nerdiest of kids to skive. This in turn would create the space and opportunity to learn mindfulness and stress-relief, throughout their education, which they then take with them to use later in life.

In fact, I’d just love to see everybody try it, period. Sure, some won’t be as taken as I was, and that’s fine. But just to experience it would create a newfound outlook, everybody can benefit from.

Maybe I’m being biased towards my love. But I believe in it so much, I’m even willing to share it with the world! Now that’s commitment.

Peace and love all.

Rice Krispie & Oat Energy Bars

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Since going vegan, I actually can’t get enough of puffed brown rice. I use it for so much, like when I want that naughty sensation of eating cereal and cold milk covered with sugar, I fill a bowl with puffed brown rice, almond milk and xylitol (a plant based sugar subsititute which ironically even has oral health benefits)… snap, crackle and pop.
Or I make something like these Krispy, nutty oat bars. They’re packed full of fibre and protein, and the chia seeds give them an extra energy bursting nutritional kick – great for before or after a workout. Plus they take just a few minutes to whip up.

Ingredients:

140g almond butter (or any nut butter, though almond seems to taste best as it isn’t overpowering like peanut can be)

3-4 tbsp maple/date syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 banana

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup puffed brown rice

Method:

Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and syrup gently in a saucepan. Blend together with the banana, chia seeds and cinnamon. 

Mix oats and rice well until sticky. Transfer the lot to a baking tray lined with parchment and freeze for about an hour.

The beauty of these babies is that you can take them straight out of the freezer and they’ll be edible within a couple of minutes. Hope you’ll try and enjoy 🙂
You can also of course mix n match- try opting just for just rice krispies and setting them deeper in the pan- leaves them nice and chunky with lots of bite.

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 😍