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MIDDLE EAST MONDAY: LEMONY LENTIL SOUP

MIDDLE EAST MONDAY: LEMONY LENTIL SOUP

Posted July 08, 2013

I rediscovered this soup a few years back during an anatomy + physiology class. During our lunch break I took myself off to a cafe for a feed and I almost tripped over when I saw “Lebanese Lentil Soup” written on the chalk-board. I got a little excited. I crossed my fingers  hoping it’d be the soup I knew all to well from my childhood. Bingo. I couldn’t get over. It tasted just like home. And since that day I have made this soup all through Autumn and Winter. I have even shared the recipe with my friends because it’s that easy and delicious. What could be more Middle Eastern than lentils, lemons, spinach, cumin and garlic! Before I share this with you I want give you a little tip to prevent bloating or gas from the lentils.  For all you IBS sufferers who probably avoid lentils for that very reason, listen up! This is my mother’s trick and it works. Presoak your lentils – the longer the better. If you soak them in the morning and then cook at night, that’ll do the trick Next, thoroughly rinse in cold water Finally, in a seperate pot bring the lentils to a boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain, rinse and then use the lentils in your recipe. Now, I share it with you. What you’ll need 1 cup brown/green lentils – soaked overnight 3-4 medium sized potatoes – washed, peeled and diced into cubes 2-3 cups chopped spinach/silverbeet 1 cup coriander 1/2 cup lemon juice 2-3 garlic cloves – diced 2 brown onions – diced Cultured butter Olive Oil Salt + Pepper 1 heaped tsp of Cumin + All spice 1 litre homemade veggie stock (I use left over peelings, cuttings from veggies and boil up – then freeze into cubes or bottles for later use) What to do: In the butter and olive oil sweat off the onion, add the garlic, a dash of cumin, salt and pepper. Throw in the lentils and coat in the olive oil. Add the veggie stock and potatoes, simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart. Turn off the heat, let it cool for 2-3 minutes Throw in the spinach and coriander, allow to wilt. Sprinkle in more cumin, salt + pepper to taste. Pour in lemon juice Serve with an additional garnish of coriander and a slice of delicious gluten-free bread (I’m enjoying buckwheat bread at the moment). You can blend this all up if you prefer a thicker consistency but the broth contrasted against the potatoes and the zing of the lemon is perfect. Seriously, every single time I eat this I can’t help but (uncontrollably) let out a big sigh and close my eyes with the first mouthful. It’s just so soothing. Saha to you. Cx Read more

THE PHOENIX HAS RISEN

THE PHOENIX HAS RISEN

Posted February 07, 2012

Hello! Thanks for your patience… I have been MIA. And I can’t promise it won’t happen again. Life is running on high-speed right now as I transition into my new life. But here I am and I wanted to share something with you before the joy of it slowly wears off.Recently I attended The Phoenix Weekend…You know the Phoenix right? No? Here, let Wiki do the talking: A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends. It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.  So, you can imagine then that this weekend, held on the first weekend of February, was all about the rebirth of a new year, new life from the ashes of the year gone by. It was by far the most magical way to ice this year, to feel a connection to like-minded people and to enter my 30s doing the things I love.The Phoenix Weekend was created by Angel and Matt Singmin, two local Sydney peeps who created Future Sound of Yoga. This duo know their music, they know yoga and they know how to create a connected, inspiring experience.The weekend is all about meditation, music, dancing, yoga, learning, sharing and experiencing. The ‘line-up’ of international yoga teachers absolutely blew my mind. I was able to experience the beautiful Vinyasa flow of Katy Appleton, which literally inspired a sense of power yet vulnerability. The amazing Anna Phillips encouraged me to consider moving with mindfulness through my yoga practice, despite knowing it by rote. Gwyn Williams taught us the art of acro yoga and finally, the infamous Mark Whitwell changed the way I look upon ‘yoga’. Daphne Tse, folk and acoustic singer lead a kirtan that dived so deep inside that I was flooded with tears and an overwhelming sense of connection to the people I love most in my life – all through her words and her voice. A mixture of sadness and elation. All in the same breath. She truly took me by surprise.I relished in delicious yoga nidra sessions (psychic sleep meditation), delicious food and of course a future sound of yoga session – we’re talking dress-ups and raving like it’s 1999 again. Being a volunteer at the weekend also meant that I was able to spend time with other yoga teachers. We chatted about shared experiences and just unashamedly got to be ourselves, in our yogi skin, without having to censor our thoughts and feelings. Let me tell you, we made the youtube clip ‘shit yogis say‘ pale in comparison! Pretty unbelievable stuff for one little weekend away huh? It’s kind of hard to put down in words just how awesome this experience was… just trust me on this, it was incredible.I wanted to share this with you so you can diarise it for next year. It’s well worth the wait.But also I wanted to hopefully inspire you to go and do something that you love, share it with other people and do it just because you can. No analysing, no reasoning, just put yourself out there and experience! Despite all the new and interesting things I learnt over the weekend, the main thing that has stuck with me is that living today with passion is all that matters. The now. Like the Phoenix who sheds its past life and is reborn new, we should do the same each and everyday…Signing off with an exhale.Pause. Listen. Live.Cx  Read more

COFFEE LOVERS –  9 reasons why it might be good for you

COFFEE LOVERS – 9 reasons why it might be good for you

Posted December 01, 2011

I recently blogged about caffeine (mainly in coffee form) and how it has recently made me feel shaky and nauseas. I also listed some of the  side effects – mostly the bad ones.  But on the weekend I was visiting my parents and saw the joy that coffee brings my father. He had just returned from Aldi (what is it with old people and Aldi?) and was really excited (for a 76yr old!) about a new espressso coffee machine that he’d bought. He set it up and was ready to go… except no one in my family wanted a cup. They were all either a) no longer drinking coffee or b) fussy about where there coffee comes from. After saying ‘no-thanks’ to my Dad three times, he blurted out ‘why? what have you got against coffee?’ I started to rattle off my list of complaints with it and how it makes me feel… He smirked at me and said… yes,  but there is alot of good in it too. It got me thinking. Some people really love their coffee and downright refuse to cut it out. Rightly so. Each to their own. But I decided to dig a little deeper and uncover the good in coffee. Being a believer of balance, ying + yang, black and white, light and shade – you get the picture – I felt it was only fitting to follow-up with a list of all the goodness that coffee can provide. 1) Happiness – have you ever watched a coffee lover take their first sip? Eyes softly closed, mouth  wrapping around the cup, a look of relief comes over the face, a sign escapes the lips. Good, bad, or ugly. That moment, if you experience it, is worth it. It’s not just a feeling, but coffee can tackle depression in women by up to 20 percent. 2) Soothe a sore body – a US study found that coffee after exercise reduced muscle soreness. Apparently caffeine activate the release of B endorphins which equals less pain! . 3) Social circles – coffee brings people together. It’s nice to meet up with a friend and catch-up over a coffee. 4) Happy heart – 20 percent reduced heart disease risk with moderate coffee consumption 5) Energy booster – it’s probably good to not be dependant on coffee to wake you up, but in times of real exhaustion, sometimes the little kick you get from coffee helps you to make it through, especially when going home to sleep is not an option. Clarity of mind and focus is something we need in our day to day lives! 6) Cancer fighting – apparently one daily coffee can reduce the risk of liver cancer by 50 percent according to research at the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo.  Also, a Swedish study has found that boiled coffee can lower the pssibility of developing breast cancer 7) Mood – Some people note an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability. 8) Focus – Even a small hit of caffeine can make you feel alert and focused. 9) Asthma Relief – it can be helpful for those with asthma. In an emergency, coffee can be used to prevent an attack – but still doesn’t replace medication!   I think my biggest take-out from this list is that, yes, there are benefits to coffee, but it’s imperative that if you are a coffee drinker that the rest of your diet is packed with nutrient dense wholefoods – fresh, seasonal healthy produce. If you are slugging down the coffee with a poor diet then the above list means nothing! If you are addicted to having more than two or three coffees a day then maybe rethink your attachment to it and how you can enjoy this beverage, in a healthy manner and without dependancy. How is your relationship with coffee? Have you started to clue into how it makes you feel and why you drink it? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more


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