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MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

Posted October 26, 2012

With a small hamstring strain, lower back injury, shoulder strain and trying to fight the lurgy that was flying around I was keen to try something… anything! I remembered my osteo had previously told me about this fantastic organisation – Experienced Community Acupuncture – who provide 1 hour treatments for $25 with experienced acupuncturists. Experienced Community Acupuncture (ECA) is passionate about making acupuncture accessible to the general public. And I think that is a noble thing to do. My dad used to suffer from severe back pain after spending hours, alone all day at work, lifting and carrying heavy boxes. Acupuncture was the only thing that made a difference for him – but the cost of it was often a boundary. ECA moves to different suburbs throughout the week making it even more accessible and at $25 a pop, what do you have to lose? Well, that’s what I thought… and I lost nothing. In fact, I gained an education into Chinese Medicine and it certainly helped to alleviate the pain in my body. The needles didn’t necessarily hurt as they were inserted but I was told that there were quite strong blockages in certain areas due to the intensity of the ‘ache’ I would feel during some of the sessions. Particularly with anything related to my back. I’m looking forward to going again to see if these have cleared. To bring to life acupuncture a little more Ray Ford from ECA has kindly answered a few questions which I hope will give you a clearer picture. What is acupuncture? The word acupuncture can be divided into two parts “acu” which means needle and puncture. Therefore acupuncture is the insertion of the tips of very fine sterile needles into the body at strategic sites. What is qi and meridian channels? Qi is the vital force that flows in the channels/meridians and enervates the body it is also translated as “vapor” suggesting an essence derived from food which supports, sustains and nourishes the body. The channels OR meridians are energetic pathways that flow in set patterns within the human organism. The Chinese have identified and mapped the meridians for at least two thousand years.  How do these affect our day to day lives? Qi travels in the 12 main channels and does one complete cycle every 24 hours. Each channel has a high energetic “tide” of 2 hours.When there are problems, blockages or deficiencies it will often show up in the body at the time appropriate to the channel or organ involved.It may also show up in the opposite 12 hour period.An example is that people with a Liver disharmony often wake up between 1-3 am which is the high point of the Liver energy.  Can you describe an acupuncture session An acupuncture session involves the practitioner listening to the patient, looking at signs such as complexion and asking about symptoms. The pulse is taken to assess disharmony and where it may be located, the tongue is observed to reveal the condition of the digestive and inner organs. The abdomen or other parts of the body may be palpated to check for restriction or tenderness.  After this, a diagnosis can be made and acupuncture points will be chosen that are known to balance the particular imbalance/pain/injury that is present. As acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system, acupuncture points can stimulate a natural healing response without directly having to treat the site on an injury or imbalance. This is why points may be far away from the area involved in the injury /illness. Why the use of needles? What effect does this actually have. Needles are use because they are metal which have the effect of conducting the energy in the body, redirecting or unblocking it. Acupuncture has an advantage over manual systems that do not use needles in that with acupuncture we can combine several points at the same time. How can someone be sure that their practitioner is good? Practitioners must be a member of a recognized association that has standards of competency. The public are entitled to ask the practitioner about their experience and qualifications so they can make an informed decision. This may also be on their website if they have one, in other words look into a practitioners education,qualifications and experience. Acupuncture is an acquired skill taking years to refine. Reading the classics or pulse diagnosis take time, dedication and application to master. By application I mean having the experience of actually performing many thousands of treatments to gain experience, this cannot be fudged, there are no short cuts. Are there any risks? In the hands of competent experienced and well trained practitioners acupuncture is a very safe procedure. What are some of the results you have witnessed yourself? I have witnessed breech babies turning many times. Prolapsed lumbar discs which were said to need surgery have moved back into place after acupuncture verified with MRI. Completely healing debilitating migraine headaches in some patients some of whom had been suffering for more than 20 years Many cases of “infertility”  in women and men as diagnosed by western medicine have been “reversed” with acupuncture and resulted in numerous healthy children over the years. Immune system disorders and allergies helped significantly Debilitating neck, back, shoulder pain completely removed. What is the history of acupuncture? The History of Chinese Medicine in general goes back at least 4000 years and even as far back as the mythological Xia Dynasty. I think it is such as vast subject that cannot be answered in a question and answer format such as this. I think if I did that most of your readers would be asleep or in a deep trance. Some people have taken four years and obtained a PHD and only slightly answered this question so you can see its a very big topic. (I suggest a google search if you are keen to know more!) Learning how to surrender with needles in you was a task in itself, but long […] Read more

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT 2 – KINESIOLOGY

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT 2 – KINESIOLOGY

Posted October 19, 2012

So, during my little experiment in surrender I made sure I explored other modalities of healing – partly to give me something to put my energy into but also because I’d finally gotten serious about my healing. First stop, Kinesiology. Before I go any further, let me tell you that even I was a little unsure/cynical about kinesiology. But when you are in a session it’s hard to deny the clear messages your body is sending. By my second session I felt light, floaty even. Like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I have felt less anxious and stressed and my physical injuries have improved. I discovered some surprising, but profound things during my kinesiology sessiosn: On some deep level I didn’t believe in my own achievements nor did I feel proud of myself. Let me tell you – I should, I’ve worked hard and achieved alot. But still, I had this core belief inside of me that needed shifting. And shift it did. I was also sabotaging myself. Huh? Why, do we do this to ourselves. FEAR. Always, fear. And again, kinesiology has helped me accept and shift it too. So, let’s take a look at Kinesiology – even the word is weird. I was going to detail, blow-by-blow my experience, but instead I’ve asked a professional to help. Let’s face it, this one is very complex and deserves to be explained properly! I had my Kinesiologist, the lovely Kimberley Pipe, answer a few questions for you. Her explanations do it much better justice than what I would. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Can you explain what Kinesiology is in a way that everyone can understand? Kinesiology is a method using muscle feedback and body awareness that can clear blockages in your body and help to reduce stress and pain, improving performance in all areas of your life, promoting good health and well-being. Kinesiology uses the chi energy flow around the body, which flows through meridians.  Muscles are indicators for these meridians. Kinesiology works with this energy and taps into the body to allow it to heal itself. Our body has it’s own innate healing ability! Why do you believe in it – what have you witnessed during sessions? I have had Kinesiology sessions for 12 years and it has changed my life. Kinesiology really resonates with me because it deals with all aspects of our lives – emotional, physical and nutrition and the results I get never cease to amaze and inspire me. The reason I believe in Kinesiology is because I can see how the body reacts using different testing on different areas of the body – particularly when you are also thinking different things. Because I can also show the client this, there is something visible you can see and measure. I have had sessions with clients where they have completely transformed their lives.  I have one client who achieved everything she set out to do at her first session. I went to see her perform and she told me I had such a huge part in her success. What are the benefits of kinesiology? And who can benefit from it? The benefits of Kinesiology is that it can heal any aspect of your body and mind. Whether it is emotional, physical or biochemical (nutrition). Kinesiology can help you shift old patterns, which may be holding you back, to allow you to create the life you want to live, and achieve what it is you want to in life. Kinesiology is for any layperson. It is individual to the client’s problems, issues, blocks and life experiences. How did you become a kinesiologist and why? I first stumbled across Kinesiology in 2003, in my hometown of Auckland, New Zealand.  I thought that it was the most beneficial and effective modality I had experienced. Moving to the UK shortly after, I took the opportunity to really immerse myself in this healing art, and in so doing, discovered a valuable and effective tool for dealing with issues. Continuing in my personal development, and working closely with other Kinesiologists I realised that I, too, had a drive to help people achieve the most out of their life, by helping them to overcome obstacles and trauma. I have my Certificate IV and Diploma in Kinesiology and studied at the Australasian College of Kinesiology Mastery. Alot of people think it’s a bunch of voodoo how would you convince someone of the power of kinesiology? The role of the Kinesiologist is to act as the mediator when there is a breakdown in communication between the body and the mind. I would show them an example of muscle testing, which is evidence in itself and nothing beats an actual session. Anything else you want to add? Since I became a full time Kinesiologist I have not looked back. Every day I get to see the power of people and the amazing doors that Kinesiology helps open. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ So, what do you think? Are you intrigued by Kinesiology? Or have you already experienced amazing results? I would love to hear your thoughts and get a different perspective or learn from your experience. Saha to you, Claire x Read more

THE SURRENDER EXPERIMENT

THE SURRENDER EXPERIMENT

Posted October 17, 2012

This year has been a big year. I left my old career to dedicate myself full-time to yoga teaching and The Wellness Project. It’s been exciting, eventful, challenging and so rewarding. But it hasn’t always been rosy. This year my body has been put through it’s paces through a number of small injuries. Nothing major and I’m not moaning about it at all  – I can still walk, run, practice yoga and live a normal life. However, as a yoga teacher and dedicated practitioner it most certainly has got me down. Feeling limited by my own body has been difficult to say the least. Recently, just as my body was starting to heal I sustained another minor injury. After taking off 4 days from yoga I went back to practice only to realise this new injury was much worse than I had realised. I spent most of the practice modifying and skipping out poses to the point where I was fighting back tears. My favourite motto ‘it’s only a problem if you object to it’ was really testing me that morning. It was a problem, I was objecting to it. It got me thinking and questioning … why am I creating a problem out of this? Why was I crying? Why am I so attached to the asana, to the poses? Isn’t my yoga practice everywhere, in every moment of my day? Isn’t it so much more than the shapes – there is the breath, the way it creates space for me to let go and be me, to feel alive and connected. The lessons that I take off my mat – isn’t that what yoga is about? Ahh… the lessons. Light-bulb moment. It had become apparent to me that our idea of who we are, how we live our lives, the way we react, respond, participate, think, feel be… it’s all challenged when someone challenging happens. There is a saying in arabic that basically implies that you don’t really know a person until you scratch the surface. Well, my surface has been scratched – scraped and cut-up. And, I was starting to realise that if I want to live my life the way I ‘talk’ about it, well then these injuries were here to test my resolve. That test came about when my teacher advised me to take a few weeks off. “Go home” she said. “Set-up your yoga space with candles and soft light and every morning move your body as it asks you, not as you think it should. Forget about the (ashtanga) sequence. Just move in a way that feels right”. Wise, wise words. And ones I’m sure I’ve given to my students before. It’s funny how we don’t heed our own advice… And that’s where I have been for the last few weeks. At home. I didn’t get up, dress and drive straight to yoga. I rolled out of bed, meditated, drank tea, and then rolled out my mat. I dimmed the lights and I moved. No, in fact, I breathed through my life. I let my breath guide me and then I did whatever I felt like. Sometimes that was a long, long sirsasana (headstand). Other times a few gentle salutes and standing poses. Mostly I went back to my iyengar days and propped, bolstered and cushioned myself. I held restorative poses forever and moved deeper into dynamic postures without the intensity. What did I discover? My life didn’t fall apart because I didn’t go to yoga. My body, although it craved the deep opening and release it is normally used to, thanked me for pulling back. I also gained time – not doing a 2-hour practice really gave me the chance to do so many other things I normally don’t have the time for. The biggest lesson? My attitude towards my injuries are slowly changing. Instead of seeing them as a barricade to my practice and progression I’m seeing them more as a very loud and clear message about something deeper, energetically, happening within me. Which led me to a journey of experimentation with deep energetic healing. I realised during my time ‘off’ that I was (still am) dealing with some emotional blocks. What’s a girl to do when green juice is not the answer? (I know, shock! horror!) Well, I booked into Reiki, Acupuncture, Kinesiology and Massage sessions (yep, it was an expensive few weeks!). Something was telling me I needed to use this time to tap into my body and move through its deeper layers. I discovered alot. But really, I already knew it, I just wasn’t hearing it clearly. Over the next coming posts I’m going to share information with you on kinesiology, acupuncture and reiki… because holistic wellness is just as much about your energy as it is your body, breath, nutrition and lifestyle. I would love to hear your experiences with these healing modalities, or your thoughts on them even if you haven’t Saha to you, Claire * image: http://piccsy.com/2012/04/picc-abhqd2xs8/ Read more

A LESSON IN CHAKRAS

A LESSON IN CHAKRAS

Posted October 15, 2012

So, I’m back from my holiday in Bali and boy do I feel inspired and motivated. I have so many interesting things to share with you which you’ll read all about over the next few weeks. But for today, I want to talk about Chakras. I’m so excited because this is a topic I love to love and I also get to reward you amazing readers with a gift. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard about Chakras? Even if you think it’s a bunch of hippy voodoo you’d have to be living under a rock to have not even heard the term. Having recently undergone alot of energy work to deal with a few emotional blocks (more information coming soon)  I’ve come to believe in chakras from firsthand experience, and not just ‘theoretically’ knowledge. It is a very complex topic and one that you could spend hours delving into. Today, though I just want to give you an insight into Chakras, a beginner’s lesson of sort before we explore them further in the future. P.s read on to the end because there is a fantastic giveaway from Tara Wolf Chakra jewellery on offer! So – what are they? Chakra means wheel or disk. They are our energy centres – and we have many, but there are 7 main chakras.  Chinese medicine also talks of energy points within the body. Where are they? They sit along the spine. The spine, from an energetic level is called the Shushumna Nadi (the main energy channel). Each Chakras is mapped along the Shushumna from the base (near the coccyx) to the top (the crown of the head and just above). Chakras are likened to lotus flowers with different number of petals. And like flowers our chakras can be opened or closed depending on the state of consciousness within us. You like? You want to know more? So, Chakras live on the Pranamaya Kosha. A Kosha is a layer within us. And the pranamaya kosha is our energetic layer. Each of us has 5 Koshas: 1) Anamaya: Material layer 2) Pranamaya: Energetic Layer 3) Manomaya: Emotional Body 4) Vijnanamaya: Intellectual Body 5) Anadamaya: Bliss body The koshas are a whole other blog post (soon!) So let’s just sit with the knowledge that chakras are energetic. More details on Chakras please! The Chakras are pretty unique – each one is represented by a different colour, location, sense, element and trait. Mooladhara – Red Located – base of the spine/root centre Sense – smell. Element – earth Trait – survival Relates to – adrenal glands, kidneys, spinal column and leg bones Swadisthana – Orange Located – lower abdomen/sexual centre Sense – taste Element – water Trait – sexuality Relates to – gonads, prostate gland, spleen, reproductive system and bladder Manipura – Yellow Located – solar plexus/power centre Sense – sight Element – fire Trait – will, personal power, self esteem Relates to – pancreas, liver, gall bladder, stomach and autonomic nervous system Anahata – Green Located – heart/compassion centre Sense – touch Element – air Trait – love, emotion Relates to – Thymus glad, heart, lower lungs, circulatory system, hands and skin Visshudha – Blue Located – throat/speech centre Sense – hearing Element – ether/sound Trait – communication and creativity Relates to – thyroid gland, throat, jaw, lungs, vocal chords and digestive tract Ajna – Indigo Located – between the eyebrows/third eye centre Sense – intuition Element – space and light Trait – clairvoyance, intuition, imagination Relates to- pituitary gland, lower brain, central nervous system and left eye, ears and nose Sahasrara – Violet/White Located – crown of head/universal consciousness Sense – knowledge/understanding Element – thought Trait – transcendent consciousness, bliss, knowledge Relates to – spine, central nervous system and cerebral cortext Chakras are not fixed. They change and can be opened or closed, in excess of deficient. Somethings they are in different states depending on their innate personality, strengths, weaknesses. Not to mention that the workings of the chakras are interrelated. Strength or weakness in one can affect another – they influence each other. As an example, this is my own Aura photograph taken in byron (where else) earlier this year. You can see the intensity of red around me with a little bit of purple, blue and white. This was at a stage when I was transitioning in my career and passionately moving forward with determination and focus. Apparently, my aura photo, showing Red or the Mooladhara chakra emanating out of me would concur! I asked my amazing friend, meditation teacher and master reiki practitioner, Frenchy, to shed some light on Chakras: Often when people have more energy in the upper chakras than they do in their lower chakras it results in being “ungrounded” or “flighty.”  These people have difficulty focusing and engage in restless activitities, including talking excessively.  When the energy is concentrated in the lower chakras feelings of suspicion, fear, and self-centeredness develop with little concern for the feelings of others.  Energy work can help to restore and balance the body to a more natural state. When the chakras are restored to their full potential and power, each one supports all of the others.  This is when our words and actions have more purpose and power and we are most focused to understand our vision. (By the way, if you are in need of some energy healing, Frenchy is amazing. In three sessions my life changed). I hope this has given you some insight into chakras if you weren’t already right into it. love + light, Claire x Read more

5 YOGA POSES TO GROUND AND BALANCE YOU

5 YOGA POSES TO GROUND AND BALANCE YOU

Posted October 03, 2012

We live in such a go-go-go world. Driving, texting, facebooking, talking, scheduling. Every moment is filled until our heads hit the pillow. Even if we aren’t physically doing something, we are buzzing around inside our head. Thoughts knocking about and tripping over each other. If you ever feel like life has got the better of you and you have been swept up in the anxiety of it all this is where yoga can be such an incredible mind-body tool. It has the power to cultivate dynamic energy, change your mood or even re-balance and ground you. When you feel like the carpet has been pulled out from under you, try these four yoga poses to earth you, connect you back to the ground and reset your mind. Begin with a few rounds of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutation) A + B to warm the body up. 1) Adho mukkha virasana – forward hero pose Introverted. Restorative. Stabilising. Grounding back towards your heels and lengthening the spine forward creates a balance between stability and stretching. There is also something quite nurturing about this pose as you fold inward. Pressing the forehead to the mat or a block can instantly calm and centre you.  2) Uttanasana – Forward bending Releasing. Quietening. Opening. Without doing much you can really open and release through the lower back and hamstrings, simply by standing (feet hip width apart or together for more advanced) and folding forward. Your head will be below your heart and this immediately calms the breath and the nervous system. Hanging out here for 5 minutes can do wonders! 3) Virabhradrasana 2 – Warrior 2   Dynamic. Grounded. Strong. Feel powerful and connected to your body through your feet in this warrior pose. By using the feet and legs her as your stable foundation you can really cultivate a sense of grounding down and physical power. 5 to 10 breaths as a minimum will help you feel strong and focused. 4) Ardha Chandrasana – half moon pose Centering, balancing, focused. It’s hard to think of anything else but the fact that you are trying to balance on my leg, stack the hips and open the body up whilst taking your arm overhead. You will immediately feel re-focused and re-aligned. If it’s too difficult to look up, look straight ahead and hold for 5 – 10 breaths each side. 5)  Pachimottanasana – Seated forward bend Introverted. Quietening. Releasing. Not only does this pose strengthen and release the hamstrings and lower back but it also helps to move stuck energy in the heart and hip areas. Spending a few minutes in a forward bend will really help to quieten and calm your system down whilst working deeply into the body. Use supports like bolsters or blocks if you can’t fold deeply. This will help you stay for longer without any discomfort. I invite you to feel grounded, balanced and centered. Saha to you, Cx     Read more

WHAT IS THE YOGIC DIET + THE 3 GUNAS OF NATURE

WHAT IS THE YOGIC DIET + THE 3 GUNAS OF NATURE

Posted October 02, 2012

Recently, the amazing yoga studio I teach at, Yoga Village, held an Open Day to celebrate its first birthday. It was an awesome day, filled with free classes before we finished with a ‘lil yogi party of chanting, chai and meaningful connections. Nadia, the studio director asked me to run a workshop on the Yogic Diet – an opportunity I jumped at. The food philosophy of this practice – yoga – is really fascinating. For those of you that couldn’t be there I’d love to share some info with you. It’s such an interesting concept because the Yogic Diet is based on spiritual philosophy and an understanding of energy – not just looking at what food is good for the body on a physical sense, but also energetically. First thing first. The Yogic Diet is based on the Gunas. The Gunas are three different ‘energies’ that, interplayed together, make up all of nature. Part of our work as yoga practitioners is to go beyond the limitations of what we see, hear and touch and understand the underlying quality of all things. Our perpetual strive for Balance is possible about once we understand and recognised these three Gunas within our life; Sattva, Rajas, Tapas. So, what are these Gunas all about? Sattva – Clarity/Cooling  A calm, peaceful and clear energy. The Sanskrit word is based on the principle “Sat” or “being, as it should be, perfect” People that are Sattvic are calm, centered, compassionate and unselfish. Rajas – Fire/Stimulating? A passionate, frenetic, creative, tumultuous energy. The Sanskrit root means “impure”. It is also related to the root rakta, “redness”. And raga, “passion.” People that are rajasic are full of desire, thirsting for life, and even at more extreme ends of the scale, fueled by competition and ambitiousness. Tapas – Inertia/Stale A dull, insensible, gloomy and dark energy. The Sanskrit word literally means “darkness, dark-blue, black”. People that are tamasic are gloomy, sluggish, dull and blinded by greed. But it is also grounded and heavy So how do these Gunas relate to the Yogic Diet? By looking at the characteristics of each individual Guna, from a yogic perspective (both the physical and spiritual practice) it seems clear that we’d want to cultivate the Sattva or Sattvic energy. It is a light, calm, clear and open energy. Exactly what we want when we practising asana, meditation, chanting, pranayama. We don’t want to feel heavy, slow, sluggish nor do we want to be filled with too much fire, heat and rage. We do need Tapas and Rajas for different situations and experiences in our life. But ultimately, the Sattvic energy is the closest thing to ‘enlightenment’ within our everyday human existence. Now, in relation to food – different things cultivate and stoke different Gunas. Some foods leave us feeling tired and sluggish. Such as stale, under or over ripe fruit and veg, heavy meats. canned, reheated or eating too much. This is called the tamasic effect. Other foods leave us feeling agitated or over-stimulated such as spicy, sour, acidic foods like coffee, hot peppers, onions, this is the rajasic effect. If you find yourself eating really quickly too, this too can be rajasic. According to the yogic diet, the ideal foods leave us feeling calm, alert and refreshed. This is the sattvic effect. So, SATTVIC diet it is, what does that look like? The yogic diet is a sattvic diet – pure, clean and wholesome food that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self-determination. The sattvic diet is more than protein, carbs and fats – although that is important. – but it is about nourishment for vitality and consciousness. The yogis believe that food is the vehicle that carriers our life force – pranic force (kind of like the Chinese Chi). So, we need to be mindful of the quality of food as it affects our pranic force. “When sattva predominates, the light of wisdom shines through every gate of the body” (BG 14: 11) The Sattvic Diet Rules 1) Organic foods – should be fresh and freshly prepared. 2) Light in nature, easy to digest, mildly cooling, refreshing and calming 3) Prepared with love and awareness and eaten mindfully without distractions – become conscious of the power of your mind. If you are eating something flawlessly healthy with negativity, anger or frustration in your heart and mind, then your body is going to absorb that powerful energy and not necessarily the positive effects of your food. The INS? Fruits – especially apples, apricots, bananas, berries, dates, grapes, melons, lemons, mangoes, oranges, peaches and plums, are considered especially sattvic. Fresh Organic (RAW!) Dairy: A controvesial topic but the yoga tradition insists on the value of this wholesome food.  The best quality in milk, butter, ghee and fresh homemade yoghurt, whey  all require careful preparation. Milk can be made less mucous forming when mixed with with mild spices (i.e. fresh ginger, cinnamon and cardamom). Advanced yoga practitioners are advised to enjoy dairy as it provides grounding, nourishment and lubrication  Nuts, Seeds and Oils: Fresh nuts and seeds should be activated and Oils should be of highest quality and cold-pressed. Good choices are olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and flax oil. Organic Vegetables: Most mild organic vegetables are considered sattvic. Some veggies are excluded as they are cause digestive problems (gas, bloating) – mushrooms, potatoes, hot chillis, garlic and onion. But there is a place for them in your diet when you need some Rajas to create heat and open the channels. Green Smoothies are a fantastic way to get yogic on your diet as they are pumping with prana, enzymes, fibre and life. Not to mention easily assilimated! Whole Grains: Another controversial topic. But the yogis consider whole grains as an excellent source of nourishment when well cooked.  Organic brown rice, spelt, steel cut oats and barley or sudo grains like quinoa and buckwheat. A popular sattvic recipe is Kitchari (basmati rice cooked with split mung beans, ghee and mild spices). And Sourdough and […] Read more

TRY THIS: VEGETARIAN ZUCCHINI + SWEET POTATO SLICE

TRY THIS: VEGETARIAN ZUCCHINI + SWEET POTATO SLICE

Posted September 28, 2012

I had a weekend recently where, without planning, I ate out three times. No big deal, right? Well, sort of. It was fun and I enjoyed each social situation but unfortunately I don’t have the strongest constitution and immune system. Eating alot of crap can very quickly leave me feeling crap. That’s the reason I eat clean now, to stay healthy and strong. Since that weekend I’ve been focusing on eating a predominantly vegetarian based diet to give my digestive system a break. I’ve had fun playing with recipes and trying to come up with new meals to try. Which lead me to this – Zucchini and Sweet Potato Slice. I found it in a magazine and tweaked it, as I do with most recipes. So I’d like to share this with you. What you’ll need: 1 red onion 1 large sweet potato – grated 2 large zucchinis – grated 5 pastured/free range eggs 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa 1/4 cup coconut flour 1 large leek – grated 1/4 chopped parsley Salt + pepper Cumin 2 garlic cloves – diced 100grams full-fat ricotta (this is optional) Coconut Oil 1/2 bunch silverbeet – chopped coarsley Lemon juice, ACV, olive oil – salad dressing Cherry tomatos What to do: Preheat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add in the onion, stirring until soft, before adding in the garlic and the sweet potato. Stiry until soft. Whisk your eggs and flour then and season with salt/pepper/cumin. Add in the sweet potato mixture, zucchini (squeeze out excess water). Add in parsley, leeks, quinoa and ricotta if you are choosing to. Pour the mixture into your tray/dish and bake for 25 – 30minutes or until it’s nice and golden. Prepare a steamed silverbeet salad with sprouts and make a dressing of fresh lemon juice, dash of ACV and olive oil. Serve the slice with the salad a few fresh or oven-baked cherry tomatoes. This was seriously, delicious, filling and nutritious. The best bit? It doubles as breakfast too! I had it the next morning with some homemade hummus. Enjoy and saha to you. Claire     Read more

LEMON, LIME + LAVENDER RAW CHEESECAKE

LEMON, LIME + LAVENDER RAW CHEESECAKE

Posted September 19, 2012

Dairy-free? Check. Raw? Check. Gluten-free? Check. Vegan? Check. Sugar-free? Check. Now that we have that out of the way, the main question is…  does it taste good? Well, my ‘taste’ indicator is my fiance. A meat loving, wine appreciating man who gets squeamish at the thought of veganism but super excited when you say these words: Cheese Cake. So, I’ll let his words do the talking. “This cheesecake is amazing”… ‘Nuff said! Well, there is actually alot more to say (it’s me, writing) but really all you want to do is get the recipe, make it and eat it right? Right. If you’ve never experimented with raw and vegan recipes, well this is a fantastic way to get involved. It’s stupidly easy. There is nothing to burn yourself on. All you need is a food processor/blender and an open mind. I tweaked this recipe from about 3 different ones I found on the net. One of was lavender, another lemon, another lime. Some used avocado, most didn’t. So, I invite you to do the same. If you don’t have all the ingredients, see what you can substitute. The beauty of raw is that you can taste as you are creating and therefore you can tweak and change it. What you’ll need: The filling: 1 tsp dried Lavendar (I used my Just Lavender tea from T2) The juice of 1 Lemon The juice and zest of 1 Lime 1 Avocado or 2 – 3 small (organic tends to be smaller) 2 cups Cashews 1 tbls Coconut Oil 1 tsp Stevia (or 1/2 cup raw honey if you prefer) The base: 1 cup Pecans 8 pre-soaked and seeded Dates 1 tbls Coconut Oil 1 cup Coconut Flakes What to do: Blend all base ingredients until it is a sticky, slightly crumbly mess but one that will stay together Press your mixture into a cake tin/dish lined with baking paper. Use anything you have for the tine: round, square – just make sure the sides are  not too high. Pop it into the freezer or fridge to set Meanwhile blend all your filling ingredients until a nice smooth texture. Once your base has set spread the mixture through evenly. Set this in the fridge. To serve, lift the cake out with the baking paper, slice and serve with a dollop of fresh coconut cream Eat and enjoy! I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to comment below. Saha to you, Claire x Read more

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