28/11/16

Just Being – Peters Poem

Just Being

                          Sitting,
                      Just sitting
                  On Mother Earth,
                          Secure.
            Absorbing Surya’s rays.

 

                         Listening,
                    Just Listening
            To Terns and Wildfowl and
                Their Soundtrack of
                   Communication.
                          Watching,
                     Just watching
                 As the Tides’ stillness
                             Edges
             Deceptively ever nearer.
                          Waiting,
                      Just waiting
                  As ripples radiate
                         Revealing
                   A hidden Presence.
                        Breathing,
                     Just breathing
                    As Prana’s  flow
                   Ebbs in and  out,
                      Revitalising.
                          Stillness,
                       Just stillness
            As all things ever changing,
                            Flow
                       Transform
                          Into this
                         Moment.
                         and then
                        Changing,
                     Just changing,
                 With no  Beginning ,
                      Never Ending
                        Just Being.

 

09/11/16

chai tea

15027395_1183969888359120_8877152492050546426_nZestlifeSince travelling in India I have always loved chai tea. Whenever I drink it I am always transported back almost twenty years to my first visit there. I remember sitting on a platform in Bombay waiting for my first train across India and being sold cups of wonderfully sweet chai tea while I waited. It was always served in tiny terracotta pots, almost like a shot of tea really and only cost just a couple of rupee a cup, a far cry from the tea prices of Starbucks. Anyway, a very good friend of mine Kate has given me this recipe of her divine chai tea to share. It’s a perfect spice blend to warm the hearts at this cold time of year. Make the dry ingredients up and leave to infuse for a few weeks before making the actual tea. Finding a lovely beautiful tea tin to store it in is a must!

Ingredients

70g (half a regular sized packet 125g) Loose black tea- Assam is a good choice

2 x cinnamon sticks – crushed

30 x cardamon pods – crushed

15 x cloves – crushed

30 x black peppercorns – cracked

1 x star anise – broken up

1 x nutmeg – finely grated

fresh ginger

honey

 

Method

Serves 2

Use a pestle and mortar to crush up your spices, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise. Work them individually, then add them to your loose black tea. Grate in your nutmeg using a fine grater. Store in a tin for a few weeks.

To make the drink itself….

Place 3 cups of water in a pan and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add 2 tsp of your tea blend, 2 tsp of honey and finally add a slice of fresh ginger.

Place back on the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add milk to taste, bring back up to simmering.

Serve in your finest mugs, whilst wearing warm woolly socks and sitting in front of a fire.

10/10/16

mushroom soup

14495246_1157677790988330_946871926516649646_nZestlifeAutumn days call for warming soups. Having just been for a fabulously cold swim this morning, all I could think of was making a warming soup for lunch. This recipe is so quick and so simple and great served with garlic bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ingredients

Serves 4

1 tsp Coconut oil

1 Onion

3 Garlic cloves

1 Celery stick

500g Mixed mushrooms – wiped clean and chopped- chestnut, button, portobello, wild

Handful of Dried wild mushrooms

Handful of Fresh thyme

1 litre of Vegetable stock

 Method

1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Leave to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add finely chopped onion, celery and garlic. Sweat till soft and golden.

3.  Add the chopped mushrooms, thyme leaves and leave to soften for about five minutes on a low heat.

4. Once softened add the stock, enough to cover the mushroom mix, the soaked dried mushrooms and their fluid. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Once cooked remove from the heat and blend to smooth consistency. A hand blender is great in this instance. You can add more stock, milk (dairy or Non) or cream, till you get your desired consistency.

6.  Served with chunky bread, ciabatta or garlic bread is fabulous.

 

 

08/09/16

blackberry cordial

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Zestlife

I have made this divine cordial with elderberries for years and it wasn’t until this year with an absolute abundance of blackberries that my partner suggested we try it out with some blackberries. It is wonderfully sweet, so you only need to use a small amounted diluted with either cold or hot water. We add a few drops to morning smoothies or pour over ice cream for a simple dessert. It will last for months in sterilised bottles.

 

Ingredients

Blackberries

Cold water

Granulated sugar

Cinnamon sticks

Cloves

Fresh ginger

Juice of one lemon

 

Equipment

Glass bottles

Small funnel

 

 
Method

Sterilise your glass bottles, either in a heated oven or hot wash in the dishwasher.

Put your blackberries in a large pan and add enough cold water to just cover. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft.

Strain the liquid form the fruit, return the liquid back to the pan. For every 600ml of liquid add 450g of sugar (I used golden granulated but white granulated can be used), two cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves and and inch piece of peeled ginger. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved then boil hard for ten minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the liquid and pour carefully into your sterilised bottles using a jug and your funnel. Label and then enjoy as you wish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/04/16

Wild Garlic Pesto

11169951_821336297955816_988242792869360404_nZestlifeRamsons other wise known as Wild Garlic make the most quirky flavoured pesto. We started created this recipe last year after learning more and more about foraging and eating from the wild. The leaves start to appear around mid March and the flowers a few weeks following. Make sure you are confident at identifying the plant, (mind you the smell is so strong you can’t miss them), then once you’ve located a patch get harvesting and cooking.

 

 

 

Ingredients

2 Handfuls of wild garlic leaves

200ml Extra virgin olive oil

50g Pine nuts or walnuts

2 Garlic cloves

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

 

Method

For a large jar, Serves 6

Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water for about 10 seconds. Immediately refresh in cold water, drain and gently pat dry with kitchen paper.

Put the wild garlic, oil, nuts and garlic into a food processor and blitz until you create a puree.

Transfer to a bowl and add the parmesan and season with s and p.

Put in a sterilised jar till ready to use. It will freeze quite happily for use throughout the year.

We serve this stirred through wholemeal pasta along side a crunchy, leafy salad. Its one of our Friday night arrival meals, thats filling enough to leave you satisfied and excites the taste buds for the weekend ahead.

Why detox with yoga?

apple-heartZestlifegirl-in-pink-sitting-lotus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A yogic Detox stimulates the body’s own powerful waste disposal mechanisms – throughout the digestive system but also the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, endocrine and lymphatic systems.

 

  • Yoga creates a deeper awareness of what the body actually needs thus influencing more mindful choices of not only cleaner foods but also a more balanced lifestyle and chosen environment.

 

  • Letting go of physical and emotional tension is as important a part of a Detoxing as clearing physical waste. Yoga recognises the importance of eliminating “dis-ease” to bring the body and mind back into balance and optimum health.

 

  • Kriyas(cleansing practices)  and breathing practices(Pranayama) stimulate deeper more effective respiration & circulation.
  • Asana (Postures) – a carefully sequenced flow of Asana will create deep stretching and/or compression to first “wring out” tissue releasing cellular waste products.  As the stretch is released muscles, nerves and organs are flushed and recharged with freshly oxygenated blood and nutrients, energising & rejuvenating the body.

 

  • Asana also have the effect of releasing physical tensions that are the result of emotional stress thus helping us to re-pattern poor movement habits leading to less stress on the body, better posture and deeper breathing.

 

  • Use of Mudra and breathing practices work directly on calming the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn can help slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity and help deal with the stresses and strains of life.)

 

Author : Claire Riley, yoga teacher and lover of all things to do with healthy living.

25/02/16

Butter bean & herb dip

1931320_988530101236434_7562845629185671143_nZestlifeI am huge fan of humous and I’ve been looking for a similar high protein dip to serve on our retreats as an option for lunch. It needed to be bean based for the protein but also have a great flavour. I came across this recipe in a newspaper supplement and tweaked it to give it a bit more of a kick. I hope you like it. It’s great served piled high in the middle of large plate surrounded by warm pitta and fresh crudités, such as broccoli, pepper and celery.

 

 

 

 

ingredients

500g cooked butter beans

2 garlic cloves

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp of olive oil

a good dash of tabasco

1 handful of chives chopped

1 small handful of dill chopped

1 tbsp small capers, rinsed and drained

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

salt and black pepper

method

Add all of the ingredients into your food processor and combine until you have a thick, smooth consistency.

Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.

 

04/02/16

Peanut Butter Flapjacks

12661771_10153231009151436_1592944042005722799_n-1I love flapjacks and I am always looking for new and exciting variations. The lower the sugar content the better, as some can be so sweet you feel your teeth are going to fall out when you bite into them. I experimented with this recipe taken from Deliciously Ellas’ book. They work a treat and taste even better and become more moist after a few days. It uses a load of nut butter which can be quite costly but they are so worth it.

Ingredients

360g small organic porridge oats

2 ripe bananas

6 tablespoons of maple syrup

6 tablespoons of nut butter – cashew/almond/peanut

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of raisins

1 dessert spoon of sesame seeds

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 200 celsius.

Mash your bananas in a small bowl with a fork.

In a saucepan add the maple syrup, nut butters and coconut oil. Then add the mashed bananas and simmer until a soft, gooey liquid  forms.

Pour the liquid into a large bowl and add the oats and raisins, stirring well until everything is fully coated.

Grease a small square baking tray with coconut oil. Pour the flapjack mixture into the tray and press it down very firmly. The mixture needs to be very compact. I often use the underside of a mug to do this. Then sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven until the edges start to brown.

Leave to cool fully before you cut your flapjack up into squares.

14/12/15

broccoli, carrot & cashew salad

12373316_947169248705853_375618825052637315_nThe perfect winter salad, mixing nourishing root veg with the detoxing greens. It is great served with pitta and humous or we had it as a side with some pizza last weekend. Or why not simply enjoy a bowl of it on its own. It will fill you up but leave you feeling light and energised.

Serves 2 as a main salad or 4 as a side.

ingredients

5 small florets of broccoli finely chopped

1 carrot peeled and grated

2 handfuls spinnach chopped

1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp cashews

1 tbsp raisins

1 small handful of finely chopped parsley

dresssing

  • 1 tbsp french mustard
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

method

Place the broccoli, carrot and spinach in a large bowl, stir together.

In a shallow frying pan dry roast the seeds and nuts for a few minutes till golden brown.

Then do the same thing with the raisins, helping to plump them up to bring out the flavour. Add them all to the salad.

Grate the ginger straight into the salad. Add the parsley and give it all another good stir.

Finally, coat the salad with your honey mustard dressing and enjoy.

 

09/12/15

7 daily detox tips

7 daily detox tips you need to know… Don’t let January be a time of lethargy and sluggishness. Find simple ways to detox on a daily basis, in a way that is sustainable and long lasting. Little daily shifts will create the bigger changes long term. Here are our top 7.

Spring-Sensation-food

 

1. Digital detox

150 the average number of times we check our phones…..9 the average number of hours we spend looking at screens per day.

Detoxing is not just about the food that we eat. We need to recognise the fact that our health is greatly effected by what we eat, drink and think. So often we have clouded thoughts, we get caught up in this digital world and we generally don’t take the time to be away from our screens to be out in nature, which is where I believe calm and clarity arise. So maybe today as part of your detoxing, take a digital detox, leave that phone at home when you head out for your walk, look around, enjoy the scenery for what it is, not for how many likes the photo will get when you post it to instagram.

What to do…Unplug for at least an hour a day away from all digital devices.

2. Eat some raw

Raw food is full of enzymes needed for the digestion of food. When we cook food these enzymes no longer work and the body has to then make the enzymes to do the digesting, all of this uses up the body’s energy reserves. Which is why after a huge roast dinner you feel pretty lethargic. So make sure you eat plenty of raw foods with every meal so that your digestion is easier, using less energy, leaving you feeling brighter and lighter.

What to do….add raw greens to your morning smoothie or make a juice

3. Start the day with lemon water

My grandmother was a doctor and always used to say you should start your day by drinking a pint of water to flush out your kidneys. I quite agree, but I take it one step further, drinking warm water with a slice of lemon. This helps to support your liver function and therefore aiding your body in its detox processes. Go one step further still and add a slice of fresh ginger which has anti inflammatory effects on your joints.

What to do…..Buy bottles of water and have them on your desk to keep track of how much water you drink in a day.

4. Breathe deeply

One of the best and easiest ways to detox is by breathing. By focusing on the breath and taking deep conscious breaths we give the body chance to draw more oxygen into the body and time to expel all the stale air from the lungs. The oxygen helps your body absorb nutrients and vitamins and it also helps make white blood cells which speed up the cleansing process in the body.

What to do…..Inhale for count of 4, exhale for count of 8. Repeat 5 times. Go on try it now and see how much clearer headed you will feel.

5. Get out side

We all know how good it feels to get outdoors. But why is being out in nature and fresh air so important to us? Being outside increases our vitamin D intake, which has many benefits including improved resistance against certain diseases and helps with boosting your bodies immunity. The natural sunlight also helps to sets your body’s internal clock that tells you when to eat and sleep. Just ten minutes a day outside will greatly improve your sense of wellbeing. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be.

What to do….get a dog and get outside…everyday!

6. Get good sleep

When your body is sleep deprived it goes into a state of stress. Body’s functions are put on high alert, which increases blood pressure and production of stress hormones. So make sure you get good quality sleep, staying away from digital devices that hour before you go to sleep will certainly help.

What to do…… meditate for ten minutes before you hit the pillow.

7. Clean, happy, home

Finally, detox is not just about flushing away the toxins in your body. Have you ever thought about the toxins in your home? Regular house hold cleaning products have been increasingly found to have negative effects on many systems in the body including, nervous, immune, reproductive and cardiovascular. The build of toxins in the home from these products can lead to many health problems so try switching to cleaning products that are good for you.

What to do…buy Method cleaning products, they are amazing and non harmful to you and your family.