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SALT WATER STOMACH FLUSH

SALT WATER STOMACH FLUSH

Posted August 01, 2011

During my teacher training in Hatha Yoga we learnt all about a series of cleansing techniques. In theory, they sounded pretty outrageous and unusual. And, after experiencing them I can attest that a a couple of them were intense – more on that another time. But there is one particular cleansing technique called Laghoo Shankaprakshalana that I have become a huge fan of, and perform every Monday. SOoo, what is it? Well…Laghoo blah blah blah is basically a very long-winded sanskrit term for intestinal salt water flush. A little warning: We are about to get a a little more personal here – you, me and any other readers out there (hello to those people in Qatar that keep reading my blog!) I’ll do my best to be discreet but we talking about flushing out your digestive tract here… so I won’t be offended if you log off now… Well, if you are still here then brilliant, because you are about to learn about the simplest technique to giving your digestive system a flush and reboot. Laghoo is an ancient yogi practice, amongst other cleansing techniques, that is carried out as one of the ways to begin to cleanse the body. You see, before one can reach enlightenment there is a whole lot of work that needs to be carried out in the body. Cue: yoga postures, breathwork, cleansing techniques and learning how to withdraw the senses. If there is alot of chaos going on in the body – physically – then it’ll be near impossible to quiet the mind and find stillness in order to reach enlightenment. But, I’m not telling you about laghoo because it sends me on a spiritual rollercoaster – because It doesn’t (if only it were that easy!) I’m downloading about laghoo because it simply is an awesome way to care for your gut, intestines and colon which helps to build your immunity (the gut is the powerhouse for your immunity) and detox the body of built up junk and debris. Recently I was discussing this with a friend who tried it for herself and had a great result – so it got me thinking that maybe I’ll share it here! Oh and also, if you are a fan of colonics, this is technique is a) a fraction of the cost b) a whole lot less embarrasing and c) no where near as uncomfortable! Here is a little breakdown of Laghoo. Although it’s incredibly simple to do, most people learn Laghoo at a retreat or with the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. If you can get to a retreat or try it with a teacher then great. Otherwise be careful and mindful of this practice – although there is nothing to worry about! A few starting points. • Once you have learnt from a teacher/at a retreat and want to try it again, laghoo can be conducted weekly. I do recommend that when doing it at home for the first time that you choose a day when you are totally free and have a bit of privacy • Keep an open mind and stay calm – many of people freak out when it comes to their stomach/bodily functions. There is a lot of emotional tension/trauma held in our stomachs so it’s no uncommon to feel quite nervy and unsettled about it- you can always look to a professional for guidance if you want to do this. It’s important to stay loose (pun not intended!) and trust your body to do its thing. • Depending on your current digestive system you may only need an 1hr or you may need some chill out time at home for alot longer – it does take a little longer to, ahh, pass the salt water if you are prone to constipation etc • Don’t skimp on the salt – buy a good quality salt. I recommend Himalayan Rock Salt – you should be able to find this at most health food shops • The yoga postures are designed to encourage the salt water to move fluidly and quickly through the digestive tract. • The slightly salt water (which is the same salt water solution within our bodies) grips onto debris in the intestines helping to move it through and out! Ok… now, here’s the how to: 1. The night before the morning you are planning on ‘flushing’ create 1.5 – 2litres of warm water. 2. Add 1 flat teaspoon of salt per 500mls and ensure it fully dissolves. I store it in large glass bottles and cover it overnight on the counter top 3. In the AM – before eating/drink anything – head to the kitchen and boil up some fresh water. 4. Pour yourself a 500ml cup of the salt water solution and add in some hot water. 5. Drink the 500ml cup quickly and then perform these 5 yoga postures 8 times each. 6. Once you’ve completed the postures, drink another 500ml cup and repeat the above. 7. Continue to do the above until you’ve drunk 3-4 cups and then wait – allow the system to do what it does. 8. Eventually you wll pass the water and a whole lot of junk! My advice the more relaxed you are (the less you stress yourself out about what you are doing) the quicker and easier it’ll be. 9. Let’s be honest – you can either sit on the toilet for a while (take a book) and let it all flush out, or you can stay nearby to a toilet to run back and forth! I choose the former! 10. Take rest after it – even if it’s just half an hour – lay down, stay warm and enjoy some quiet time 11. When you are ready eat something nourishing after like a warm tea and porridge. Now, like I said, it’ll happen within a different timeframe for everyone. I usually can’t drink more than the 3-4 glasses before it’s all systems go – and it happens very […] Read more

LIGHT ON YOGA…camatkrasana

LIGHT ON YOGA…camatkrasana

Posted July 27, 2011

Also known as Wild Thing. It’s a beautiful, warming, exciting pose. A heart opening pose that lifts the chest and lungs, releases the shoulders, opens the quads and front of the hips whilst building strength in the upper back. Backbends, just like inversions, test our mental and physical boundaries – raising questions around what our body is capable of – in particular the spine. But the spine is able to perform the full range of motion, and with a little persistence we can start to explore our bodies with more depth. The result? Enjoying the benefits of a healthy spine and living a life without major injury. In terms of movement – the spine is articulated in four ways: · Extension: neck moves away from chest – backbending · Flexion: neck moves towards the chest – forward bending · Lateral flexion: cheek moves to the shoulders – bending right to left · Rotation: neck turns to the shoulder – twists In Camatkrasana, a few things are going on here. The chest is lifting and the shoulders are dropping away from the lower neck – creating space for the lift. The spine, from cervical to lumbar needs to gently open and curve. Whilst the legs are strong and grounded through the feet – using this power to lift. And finally the body is supported on three points (two legs and one arm). It is a challenge pose but one that can leave you feeling joyous, energised and buzzy. The spine may not have strength, openess and flexibilty to reach the full lift and to be honest, it changes all the time. Some days I feel so open through the spine and backbending comes easily. Other days it’s like moving cement, But that is the beauty of yoga, the journey never ends. So don’t feel discourage. But when you are ready to try, your spine will need to be quite warmed up before attempting this – try a few Sun Salutations, strong standing poses and bridge poses from the floor. And if you’ve never attempted a backbend before I would also seek out a teacher to guide you and to assess the health and strength of your spine. It’s not something to take lightly – our spine is integral to our health and well-being. No need to explain that! Here is a step-by-step guide. Full version 1. Start in Adho mukka svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog). 2. Bring your weight into your right hand and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot, so you are in a side plank pose. 3. Inhale. Push your hips forward and away from you. Stay strong and grounded in your right hand. 4. Exhale. Swing your left foot back and keep your knee slightly bent. 5. Lift the chest and begin to curl back with the upper body. Drawing your shoulders and shoulder blades down and back into the body 6. Inhale. Lift your hips higher to arch further into the backbend, meanwhile keeping your right food solid to the ground – pushing down towards the earth through all four corners of your right good. 7. Keep the breath steady and gently drop the head back, lift and extend your left arm. 8. Hold for a few breaths and then return to downward facing dog before you repeat on the opposite side. Beginner’s variation. 1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. 2. Bend at your right knee and place the base of your right foot against your inner left thigh – the right knee is bent out to the side. 3. Place the right palm flat, behind the right sit buttock. 4. Inhale. Draw the left foot down – pointing the toes and push into the right hand. 5. Exhale. Lift the hips up – pushing them away from you in the direction of your bent right knee. 6. Breath evenly. Lift the chest toward the ceiling. Stay grounded through the right knee, left foot and right palm. Ensure that the foot of the right leg is behind you and not rotated to the side. 7. Hold for a few breaths and release down. Repeat on the other side. Enjoy the freedom, power and release in the spine. Note: If you have severe carpel tunnel syndrome or a rotator cuff injury then go easy with this pose, or avoid altogether. Also, if you have lower back issues I would consult a teacher first. Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

PORRIDGE THE SLOW WAY

PORRIDGE THE SLOW WAY

Posted July 25, 2011

So, it’s the height of winter. It’s brisk – I’m wearing a beanie inside! And we’ve literally had more rain in the last 3 days than I’d care to know. It’s funny, before living in London, I used to detest the rain. I found it so draining and miserable. But now I appreciate it. Not only for it’s life-giving properties – watering those thirsty plants and hopefully reaching the rural areas that need it! – but mostly because it’s an excuse to slow down, to bunker down. You know? Be a little quiet, mindful, reflective. That’s not to say that carrying my groceries, handbag and yoga bag all whilst holding an umbrella, locking the car and avoiding the small rivers that have formed on the street is fun. Because it’s not. I’m thinking more about the opportunities the cold, wet weather brings. Weekend sleep-ins, DVD nights and reading in bed to the sound of the rain –all things I love but don’t allow myself if the sun in shining outside. Another thing I love about wintry and rainy weather is cooking, and cooking warming foods. Which brings me to one of my favourite breakfast at the moment. The humble porridge. This one is a little different though and is all about grains – beautiful, bountiful, health-giving grains. And, this porridge is also about taking it slow. Real slow. In a slow cooker, in fact. Which makes it super easy to prep, cooks overnight whilst you are asleep (I love anything that cuts out additional prep time!) and is super creamy and yum. This will keep you full for much longer… What you need: · ¼ cup Quinoa (red or white – your pick, but white often lends itself better to porridge) · ¼ cup Brown rice · ¼ cup Hulled Barley · ¼ cup Oats (not instant or rolled) · Ginger · Cinnamon · Nutmeg · Water or you can use any milk of your choice, although dairy might curdle over night – Soy, Almond/Hemp/Rice milk · Any dried or fresh fruit of your choice · Walnuts · Coconut Oil · Salt · Honey How to: · Coat your slow cooker in oil to prevent sticking – I use coconut, even for this · Add in 6-8 cups of water, or milk if you prefer (more water/milk if it is in the slow cooker for longer than 8 hours) · Add in your 2 cups of grains (1/4 cup for each grain, but you can change this up as much as you want. E.g. more brown rice, less oats.) · Add in a tbls of coconut oil · Chuck in grated ginger to taste · Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg · Pinch of salt · To sweeten up the mixture I add in 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey. But depending on your tastes add more/less or even try Brown Sugar/Stevia/Maple Syrup etc · Put on the cooker to low, aiming for 8hrs. So if you are getting up late maybe use a timer? Come the morning, what you should find is a soft, creamy porridge. There will be a lot – it keeps well, so you can enjoy it for a couple of days. When you are ready to eat, stir in some milk (I prefer Bonsoy, or a dash of coconut milk), fruit (bananas are my favourite!) activated walnuts and anything else you want such as coconut flakes, blueberries, stewed rhubarb. It’s your porridge… enjoy it the way you want. Come to summertime, porridge is cut right out of my diet. I can’t eat it when it’s warm and bircher muesli reigns! But until then I’ll enjoy my warming, nourishing porridge and hope you do too. Do you have a favourite breakfast recipe? Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

FIVE ON FRIDAY … 5 foodie tips

FIVE ON FRIDAY … 5 foodie tips

Posted July 22, 2011

My five favourite foodie tips 1. Try different seeds/grains Open up to trying a few different, incredibly nourishing and easy to prepare grains such as Quinoa, Barley, Millet, Amaranth…Whole grains are an excellent source of slow release energy. Nutritionally they contain essential enzymes, iron, fibre vitamin E and B- complex vitamins. Whole grains have been part of the human diet since early civilization when we figured out how to grow and yield crops. From here we shed their hunter-gatherer ways and settled into farming communities. From corn, rice and millet to quinoa, oats, bourghal, barley and more, cultures around the world enjoyed a variety of grains as a staple in their diet – so why shouldn’t we? 2. Oils are your friend Give oil a go. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking oil is the (evil) reason behind weight gain and bad health. Think again. Yummy healthy oils like olive, macadamia, walnut, sesame, coconut are all incredibly nourishing and essential fats! Eaten raw – drizzled onto avocado, a summer salad or vegies – it adds a unique flavour that can make the simplest, same-same meal taste different. Also, other oils like coconut, sesame, rice bran oil and peanut oil have higher burning or ‘smoke’ point, which means it takes a greater temperature to heat the oil to burning. You want to avoid cooking with oils that easily hit the smoke point because this basically marks the breakdown of flavour and nutritional value.Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points at 271 degrees. Look for extra virgin, cold pressed and unrefined where possible. 3. Make your own yoghurt This is my parents totally old school method of making yoghurt, but it works and I stick with it, even though I know there are fancy yoghurt makers and all. It’s satisfying to eat your own yoghurt (or use it in a smoothie). I know what’s not in it! Just a note here – don’t even bother buying ‘lite’ or ‘fat-free’ yoghurt. Basic science; if you take something out (the fat) it must be replaced… otherwise it’s no longer stable. So all those fat-free, skim options are just packed with added sugar – check out the labels if you don’t believe me. When it comes to making yoghurt, anyone can do it. You just need a bit of patience. I prefer raw, unhomogenised, unpasteurised full fat milk. But technically it’s not allowed to be sold in Australia – so I won’t be talking about that. Otherwise organic milk and goats milk are two options that work well separately or sometimes mixed together. How to: · Pour milk into a pot. I usually do about 1 litre at a time. I also place a small flat plate in the pot – I’ll explain soon. · Gently bring the milk to a simmer. When the milk is a moment’s away from boiling and it starts to build a white frothy top (or when you first here the plate tinkle away at the bottom of the pot) take it off the heat. · Let the milk cool – I usually know when it’s ready if i can keep my little finger in for 10 secs(that’s a dad trick). No idea what that temperature is! · Add in 1-2 heaps tablespoons of yoghurt (starter) – either from the previous batch or from a tub of organic yoghurt, full cream milk · Mix in the yoghurt and then put the lid and wrap the pot in a cloth and keep it somewhere warm so the temperature doesn’t drop – allowing the cultures to grow. In summer it’ll be fine left out, but in winter I place my pot under my sick near the hot water tank! · Come morning what you should find is a tub full of thickened yoghurt. You’ll also see the curds and whey (running, goopy stuff) which is extremely nutritious. Keep it as it is, or if you prefer a thicker yoghurt place a muslin cloth over a strainer with a bowl beneath it and pour in the yoghurt. The longer you strain the thicker your final product will be. 4. Don’t cook with Chia seeds Chia seeds are packed with Omega 3 fats (as well as calcium, boron and protein), which are good for your brain, hormones and reducing inflammation.But, you should cooking with Chia seeds. Essential fats are polyunsaturated and this means they’re unstable. Oxygen, light and heat can quickly turn omega-3’s rancid, destroying many of their healing properties. (Similar to Olive oil) o Eat chia seeds raw, soaked (add to a little water and watch them soak up the water, turning into a goopy jelly consistency) or ground then up just before eating o Don’t bake with chia seeds o Avoid processed foods made with chia including crackers, breads, and cookies (your Omega-3’s must be fresh) o The best ways to eat fresh chia is (ground up) sprinkled on a salad/meal or added to a smoothie (soak first) Try 1-2 Tbsp of ground seeds daily for a nice kick of healthy essential fats, and can keep you fuller for longer. 5. Get Sprouting I love doing this. The process of it and then the final product is all very rewarding. What you get is pure goodness goodness! There are two examples here of sprouting. The first is about activating nuts and the second is sprouting beans. When it comes to nuts, enzyme inhibitors such as Phytic and oxalic acid, make it difficult for us to digest nuts and preventing the absorption of vital nutrients and energy.So, get activating. It’s really easy and something that can be done in 24 hours. · Buy a large (500g-1kg) bag of nuts – my favourites are walnuts and almonds · Soak the nuts in water, with a dash of salt, overnight. · The soaking process ‘sprouts’ the nuts – releasing the inhibitors, awakening the enzymes. · The next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly. Lay the nuts out onto a tray and bake (dehydrate) them in […] Read more

PRACTICE AND ALL IS COMING

PRACTICE AND ALL IS COMING

Posted July 20, 2011

Yoga to me is like breathing… it’s automatic. I practice because I’m supposed to. But now, after almost four years of practice I feel like a beginner again. Why? Well, I’ve embarked on a new method of yoga and yep, it’s like the first day of school. It is so refreshing. Today I might perfect a pose, tomorrow that same pose might not happen. The day after is a new day. The journey never ends. Forever a student. My new practice has me looking back to my first yoga class. That (literally) life-changing moment when the teacher attempted to put me into a modified version of Kapotasana (King Pigeon pose). My cement like shoulders refused to comply. It was here, being held in the pose, that I felt hot, uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. Margaret (one of the most influential teachers I’ve had) just kept saying, ‘I know, I know why you are crying, I know’. What she and I both knew was that, although I was experiencing more pain than I ever had, something deep inside me had been let out. Some sadness that was buried under the layers had been forced to the surface and found its way to the light. In that moment a thought entered my mind. “I need this”. My body and mind were calling out for a release. Over time I used my practice to dislodge a lot of stagnant energy and stuck emotions… the mat my shrink’s couch and the practice my therapist. Despite my love for the Iyengar method, which taught me correct alignment, anatomical understanding, patience and respect for the body recently I began seeking a new challenge. Without knowing it, I’d been searching for a practice that compliments the way I’m thinking, feeling and trying to live my life. A more meditative, spiritual experience. To do that I needed to connect internally. Mostly though I needed a teacher and practice willing to facilitate this. And then, just like that, I flipped my practice on its head and went from 5-6 classes a week in Iyengar/Hatha to 5 early morning starts in Ashtanga Vinyasa, (still doing 2 Iyengar classes!) Let’s just say it wasn’t just my practice that flipped. I’m eternally grateful for my previous practice and yoga studies, because without them I feel that the Mysore style of Ashtanga Vinyasa would’ve been the most intimidating experience to enter into. Let me describe it. Mysore method of Ashtanga is traditionally practiced in the morning and is very much about your personal practice – working through set sequences. When you enter the shala some people may have already begun and other students may be practising an entirely different sequence to you. You lay your mat down, you practice. With guidance from the teacher you flow through the sequence, focusing on your ujjayi breath and gently cultivating heat within the body. When ready you are given the next pose or you move through to the finishing sequence of backbends, inversions, meditation and savasana. You can easily see how going from the strong, detailed and heavily guided practice of Iyengar to the dynamic, flowing, meditative practice of Mysore Ashtanga has given me a little whiplash! As I write this I am still working through so many things when it comes to this new practice. Resistance, fear, joy, inspiration, insecurity. But I’m trying. I’m committing to the practice. Ashtanga has been holding a mirror up to me. Reflecting back emotions and insecurities I now need to face. It’s certainly demonstrating that it (yoga, life) is a long journey. One that is sometimes painful but that within every roadblock resides the answer. Yes the asana is important to me. I love the changes my body has gone through, I love that my practice inspires me to eat better, and I cherish the strength and vitality I feel during and after practice. Despite this it’s the gateway that the physical practice reveals that I value the most. It is a way to open myself up and face my ego, accepting where I am at, finding patience and pausing… breathing through the moment. All these lessons I take off the mat into my life. Not whether I can do 12 backbends in a row…although, that would be fun! Do you practice? What kind of yoga do you practice? What do you love the most about your practice? Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

SPOTLIGHT ON REIKI

SPOTLIGHT ON REIKI

Posted July 18, 2011

Until I had my first Reiki session I only understood it theoretically and intellectually. Now I understand it a little more innately. The word, Reiki means universal life force – energy. It’s the life force that is within us and around us. You can rationalise your way around it – rejecting it because you can’t see it. But if you are open to it, you can certainly feel it. Have you ever placed your hand right up near (without touching) someone else’s hand? I remember once my sister Graziella (who dramatically influenced my interest in all things spiritual – I used to tease her for being a hippy!) and I sat for what felt like hours, concentrating and focusing simply on the energy between our hands. Slowly we built this ‘ball’ of energy – our hands moving wider apart, up, up and around until we could physically feel something, almost dense and circular between us. When we got tired or lost focus that energy dissipated, flickered, dwindle. That energy was unmistakably there. If that energy is harnessed and guided by an individual it can be incredibly healing experience – developing your energetic connection to life. Moving away from the purely physically plane and embracing spiritual, energetic space. I’m sure, at this point you are still a little unclear on what exactly is Reiki – what’s involved, what to expect and why it’s beneficial.I’ve decided to leave that to the experts! I’ve enlisted the help of my beautiful friend and Reiki master Franziska Mayr. She is an incredible Reiki healer and a meditation teacher. I’ve had the pleasure of experience Franziska’s Reiki sessions and can attest to the gorgeous soft, delicate calm that she emits. Introducing Franziska Mayr Tell me about yourself – why did you become a Reiki Master? I received a Reiki Treatment in Japan in 1996 and was truly blown away by the effects of it. I studied Reiki 1,2 & 3 in Tokyo in 1996 and completed the Reiki Master in Sydney in 2010. Can you explain what Reiki is? The origin of Reiki can be traced back to ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. This technique was rediscovered in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan. The tradition of Reiki was an oral one, and was passed on by master to master and student to student by word of mouth. Reiki means ‘Universal Life Force’ and and promotes the body’s self-healing ability by removing energy blockages and raising the vibrational frequency in and around the body. It creates inner peace and heals physical, emotional, mental and spiritual imbalances. What normally happens in a Reiki session? I place my hands directly on or just above certain energy points along the client’s body, allowing the Reiki energy to flow where it is needed. What are you, as a practitioner, trying to achieve for your clients? My goal is to help my clients lead fulfilling and inspired lives by tapping into their full potential. My aim is to support my clients through their transformation, facilitate healing and also guide them in opening their hearts and finding their life purpose. How can a client normally expect to feel during and after a session? The client may feel different sensations in different areas of the body, such as extreme warmth or tingling. These sensations are clues as to where the healing energy is needed. An experience everyone shares during Reiki is an elevated feeling of tranquility and deep relaxation. Because blockages are being released during the healing, the client may experience feelings of emotional release and relief. After a session, clients usually feel that something has changed for the better. They describe an overall feeling of being more balanced, calm, and centered and often feel a profound positive alteration in their consciousness. What do you recommend Reiki for? Reiki generates deep relaxation, releases stress and tension, eliminates built-up toxins, reduces blood pressure, strengthens the immune system and adjusts the energy flow of the endocrine system. It also increases energy levels, vitality and postpones the aging process. During times of emotional distress and sorrow Reiki offers great relief and assists in the grieving process. Reiki is very helpful in coping with anxiety, depression and the breaking of addictions. It improves self-esteem and aids better sleep. Reiki relieves pain, helps with acute (injuries) and chronic problems (asthma, eczema, headaches, etc.) and speeds up the recovery from surgery or long-term illness. As it tends to reduce side-effects, it helps in adjusting to medicine/treatment like Chemo-therapy and Radio-therapy. How do you become a Reiki master? By completing Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 first. Often there is also a Reiki 3 but most of the time it is included in the Master course. There are now many strands of Reiki but the Usui lineage is the original. So, if Reiki has caught your attention I recommend trying it out for yourself. check out Franziska’s website if you are keen for a Reiki or meditation session in Sydney. You can find out more here, at the International House of Reiki. What do you think about Reiki? Have you ever had a Reiki session? Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

FIVE ON FRIDAY

FIVE ON FRIDAY

Posted July 15, 2011

1) ‘The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success’ by Deepak Chopra My latest read. It is an exceptionally small book – I’ve read one ‘law’ each night before lights out – but wow does it pack in a lot. This little gem breaks down the timeless spiritual ‘laws’ of Karma, Pure Potentiality, Detachment, Dharma (purpose!) Intention and more. In a nutshell, this book brings to life how to become all that you are destined to and should be, with grace and ease. Using these powerful principles to find fulfilment- manifesting whatever it is your dream and seek. I’m going to do a summary in another post. But go out and read it! 2) Eveleigh Markets I am loving the community feel as people come together each Saturday to shop local produce and enjoy good quality wholefood, coffee and company. The boy and I take our time… kicking off with a breakfast roll and then meandering through, picking up bits and pieces for the week. For $30 I can fill up two large shopping bags with straight-from-the-farm organic veg and then nip over to Mirrool Creek Farms for some of the most mouth-watering grass-fed and finished lamb! 3) My 1930s post-war burgundy leather chair A spontaneous coffee with friends, in Erskineville, had me admiring the café’s collection of eclectic, shabby-chic furniture. Being a fan of vintage furniture, we decided to take the spontaneity one-step further and dashed off to Mitchell Rd Auctions. We spent an hour on the hunt for the right piece. In the process of haggling over a quaint little stool, my boyfriend decided to take rest and plonked himself down on a beautiful burgundy chair. Unexpectedly he discovered how comfortable it was … before long we were haggling for the stool and the chair. $60 for the pair – bargain. It’s become my new reading/studying/sun catching chair. 4) Raw Cacao Powder Seriously. There is nothing more decadent and good for you in one hit. I put a heap in my smoothies – makes them taste lightly chocolatey. I also mix together raw honey, hot water and and warm (raw) milk for a healthy hot chocolate. The same mixture is great as a cake icing replacement! Cacao, born in South America (like most good things!) is the base ingredient for most chocolate products. The raw cacao beans are the most unprocessed form. The Incas considered cacao to be sacred – using it as currency for barter and also in marriage ceremonies.Packed with anti-oxidants, magnesium, chromium and vitamin C cacao acts as an energy booster, strengthens cardio-vascular system, reduces fatigue and regulate sleeps, stimulates immune system and the most delicious part… increases sexual appetite. 😉 I use the Loving Earth Raw Cacao Powder. 5) Sunday Roasts Nothing beats a Sunday Roast. Enjoying a big breakfast and then spending the day pottering around, basking in the winter sun, reading the paper with a chai in hand paper and then eventually getting a roast going. Usually we cook up something we’ve picked up at Eveleigh markets – organic duck, lamb or chicken. Keeping it simple, there is always a heap of veg, garlic and fresh herbs paired with a good bottle of red. Not only does it taste like heaven, but there is something so special about spending time to prepare and enjoy a meal. Not just eating for fuel. Happy Friday. Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

NUTS FOR COCONUT… why it’s good for your health

NUTS FOR COCONUT… why it’s good for your health

Posted July 14, 2011

Coconuts. I love the word, the scent, the taste, the fact that it’s a large nut with so much to offer… But what I love even more is that Coconut Oil, something I once used by on holidays in Thailand for my hair and skin, is now widely acclaimed as highly nutritious. Coconut oil is so packed with lots of goodies that you should rush out and by a coconut plantation, now. Traditional cultures have long known the incredible health-giving benefits of the humble coconut and we are just cottoning onto it now. So, what about the whole saturated fat thing? Well… it’s true, Coconut Oil is high is saturated fat, but it’s the good kind. You don’t believe that saturated fats can ever be good? Well that’s a whole other conversation, but t’s hard to gloss over the truth. The evidence is there. Heart disease was rare when cultures consumed saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and ghee. Come the 20th Century and the introduction of the ‘healthy heart safe’ oils, from hydrolysed vegetable oil, and cue an incline in heart disease. What are the benefits of coconut oil? · Increase energy · Reduce risk of heart disease · Improve digestion and ability to absorb nutrients · Promote weight loss and maintenance · Help prevent bacterial, yeast, fungal, and viral infections · Support and enhance your immune system · Regulate blood sugar · Prevent osteoporosis · Prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin Not convinced yet? Well here are a few easy ways to include coconut into your diet to see how it works for you. 1. Add coconut oil and/or fresh coconut water and flesh (from young coconuts) to your smoothies 2. Use coconut oil to bake with instead of vegetable oil. I use when I’m baking banana bread, muffins etc 3. Cook with it. It has a really high burning point so coconut oil doesn’t go rancid like olive oil (best to eat this raw, not heated). It adds the nicest, slightly nutty flavour. 4. Eat it! A spoonful is more than enough and will help you feel fuller for longer. 5. A healing remedy. Because Coconut oil has anti-microbrial properties it can help with a cold. Warm water, honey and a tbls of coconut oil makes a soothing tonic. Or add it topically to little cuts and scratches. 6. An all-purpose beauty tool – a lip balm, body/facial moisturiser, make-up remover, hair mask. There is something so luxurious about using coconut oil on your body, face, hair… and economical! 7. Detox. I haven’t tried this one but coconut oil is said to help detox the body whilst supplying it with necessary energy. Take 5mls of coconut oil up to seven times a day will help the body eliminate toxins, impurities and candida. Buy a good quality oil (it will harden in winter but will melt easily with a little heat). Look for extra virgin, cold pressed and unrefined. Organic would be best with no added chemicals, bleaching, deodorising or hydrogenation. A mouthful, but worth it… mouth-watering. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when buying coconut oil. If you are going to switch then you may as well get it right. My favourite is Aclara. Enjoy getting some coconut in your life. What do you think of coconut oil. Do you cook with or use coconut oil at the moment? Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

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