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THE ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT REAL’ RAW CHOC MOUSSE

THE ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT REAL’ RAW CHOC MOUSSE

Posted December 24, 2012

Yep, the title of this post says it all. Raw, creamy, moorish, delicious, indulgent chocolate mousse that is so far from the real (naughty, sugar-laden, unhealthy) version they may as well be from different planets. It’s good. And not in that ‘if you frown and purse your lips it almost tastes good’ kind of way that some raw foods claim their fame. This is good enough to fool my partner, who is my measuring stick… If he loves it then I know you amazing foodies will swoon over it. You’d think I have a really insane sweet tooth but I mostly enjoy the experience of enjoying a treat that is so good for me. I feel like I have a little secret, I almost feel smug. So here it is. You want chocolate, you want mousse, you want delicious, mostly you want healthy? I bring you this: RAW CACAO & AVOCADO MOUSSE Ingredients: 1.5-2 Ripe Hass Avocaodos 3 heaped tbls of cacao 2-3 heaped tbls of coconut cream (take from the top of a can of coconut cream after its been in the fridge) 1 tbls vanilla powder/vanilla bean/pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon stevia or 1-2 tbls of raw honey Blend until you have a glossy, thick, firm mousse. Refrigerate immediately. When ready serve with fresh fruit, crushed nuts or enjoy on its own. This is such a lovely treat to enjoy for Christmas with a bowl of cherries to dip in with. Not to mention how super impressed your family and friends will be. I promise, with the right ratio of ingredients the avocado is undetectable. So play around with the balance if you need to but up the vanilla, cacao and coconut before the honey. The less sugar the better. Enjoy. Saha to you, CX Read more

MAYBE YOU JUST NEED A GLASS OF WATER?

MAYBE YOU JUST NEED A GLASS OF WATER?

Posted June 18, 2012

Water is the foundation of life – we are mostly made up of water.  In fact, around 75% of the human body is water, the other 25% is solid matter. But, what also might be surprising is that our brain is 85% water – that’s alot of water! Not to mention your blood is 82% water,  lungs that carry oxygen are 90% water, your bones are 25% water. Are you reaching for a glass right now? During my health coaching studies I was exposed to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, a researcher, author and advocate of the healing powers of water. I remember thinking, oh please, we all KNOW that water is important. But I didn’t expect to find out HOW important. With that much water making up our entire system, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we literally need water. But, I am shocked by how many clients/friends confess to barely drinking 2 glasses of water a day. These are the same individuals who might also struggle with cravings, migraines, lethargy, crabbiness. I can definitely vouch for unusual mood swings, headaches and exhaustion when I haven’t had enough water throughout the day. Now, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj takes it a little further. Through his research he goes as far as saying that water can be a cure for many degenerative diseases. Big statement, but one that he backs with countless studies and scientific documents. Amongst the degenerative diseases Dr. F mentions are: Heartburn Migraines Angina Arthritis High blood pressure Cholesterol Whether you choose to accept that water can prevent and cure serious diseases, it doesn’t matter, the reality is we need water to sustain life. Water generates life, in our bodies, but also around the planet. Food is necessary but we can definitely hold out a little longer without it. Water, is vital. We are what we eat, but we are mostly what we drink!  Unfortunately, alot of the time we see thirst as hunger, and treat it with excessive eating, especially sugar, to jack up on and fight the feelings that dehydration can cause such as headaches, mood swings, fatigue, excess acid in the body, sluggishness. Or maybe you do identify that you are thirsty but reach for the wrong type of drink. In lieu of water if you are slugging back tea, coffee, soft drinks and juices you aren’t getting the necessary hydration your body and brain needs. In fact, you are only exacerbating the problem and leading to further dehydration. So, what happens when you starve the body of its most vital life-source? Lots of unhappy things! It seems that we can avoid all of that if we just treat our thirst with some water. The next time you crave something you know isn’t right for you, (food or drinks!) try this first: drink water! Simple, huh? Or even better, realise that by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Make water a normal part of your daily habit. Water will sort out whatever your body was craving for. So, how much water should we drink? This is where it gets a little confusing. 8 cups a day, 2 litres, a % of your body weight? There are a zillion different theories. But honestly, I believe this answer comes down to a few things – your weight, the climate you are in, the amount of exercise you are doing, if you are pregnant, the altitude and so on. As a guide, at least 1.5 litres per day as a minimum. And of course, more if it’s hot, you are exercising or you know you need more. An easy tip – add a sprinkle of pink salt to your water to aid absorption when you feel dehydrated. Try not to over drink as it can deplete minerals in the system. Whilst drinking too much towards the end of the day/evening can make you feel too awake and active which makes it difficult to settle and fall asleep. You want to enjoy a really deep sleep without having to rouse yourself for a toilet break! It’s important to not disrupt your natural dream cycle to process the day and allow the body to rest, digest and revive. Finally, don’t drink just before, during or just after a meal – allow your enzymes to digest and do the job they are supposed to. When it comes to what type of water, well there are lots of different options and theories – this is going to be a whole separate post! Filtered, tap, bottled, hot, cold. Me, I’m not too fussy. I use a filter at home but I’m not afraid to drink from the tap. Really, if you are not drinking alot of water, just by increasing your consumption you will make the world of difference. Personally, I tend to reach for warm water in winter, or at least at room temperature so it doesn’t shock my system. I always start everyday with a big glass of water followed by hot water with lemon. From an Ayurvedic, starting off with a big glass helps kick-start the system and nourish your organs. Also, in winter Ayurveda believes that really ice, cold water in winter can exacerbate your vata and lead to colds and flu. So drinking warm water is recommended to cleanse and nourish the system and aid digestion. Also, according to Ayurveda, normal drinking water can take about 6hrs to be absorbed. However, hot herbalized water takes about 1.5hrs and a half hours, and the addition of the herbs helps open the channels, clear mucous and toxins and cleanse the body as it hydrates it. Here’s an easy way to enjoy water that will hydrate, nourish and cleanse the system: Boil up 2 litres of water on the stove-top After a couple of minutes add in: 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp whole fennel 2 x 1inch slices of fresh ginger root Drop the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat, strain and keep […] Read more

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

Posted May 30, 2012

My beautiful partner, Chris, has unfortunately torn his hamstring. Been there, done that! I have also been is the anxious place he is in – knowing that for a short period of time he has to hold back from doing the things that brings him happiness. Having been injured more than once during my yoga practice, I’ve learnt many things that I am now grateful for. Firstly, each injury has made me a better teacher. I now teach from a deeper understanding of the body and its anatomy and a deeper respect for its limitations. Each injury has also taught me that my ego is constantly at play. Always trying to override my best intentions and always tricking me into doing, thinking, being in someway that doesn’t benefit me. This ego has made me, unknowingly, push myself past my limit, driving me to obsess over a pose and ignore clear signals my body has been sending. This ego is no friend of mine. An enemy of sorts, but the reality is I couldn’t live without. Because without it, I wouldn’t be learning and growing. Chris asked me today – “What am I going to do? How am I going to do this?’ By ‘this’ I know he meant not go insane, lose my motivation and end up blobbing on the couch. Our solution? Let’s find a new way. I remember when I injured my hamstring last year I had to hold back in every single yoga pose. Asanas that I could normally practice with ease felt raw and new, like unchartered territory. But it was the holding back that helped me really switch in to my body and be honest with where I was at. I also had to come at poses from a different angle – truly redefining what structure and alignment meant for myself. When faced with anything, injury or other, we have to learn how to slow down, give yourself space and time to accept, become aware, to heal and also override the fear of not ‘doing or being’ in a way we believe defines us. Because it doesn’t. We are not our yoga practice. We are not our football game. We are the way we respond to our yoga, our football. We are the way we absorb and learn from those practices. Not the doing and being within it. Together, Chris and I are coming up with a game plan – a new way of ‘being’ whilst he steps back from the old way. And in that I know he will learn more than he did before. I know he’ll come back to his game with respect, drive, motivation and mostly awareness. 1) Grieve for a moment then pull your socks up, accept and move forward 2) Review the situation 3) Let go of what you ‘usually’ do and embrace a new pattern, even if it’s just for a short time 4) Do something, anything to fill your time that’s safe and works with you and your injury 5) Enjoy the opportunity to take a step back and slow down, you’ll be surprised by what comes out of it 6) Stay focused on your goal, but give yourself time – accepting that your ‘goal post’ might change along the wayHow have you been ‘injured’ – physically or emotionally – that has made you reassess and review. Did you find beauty in it? Signing off with an exhale.Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

GRATEFUL MUCH?

GRATEFUL MUCH?

Posted September 30, 2011

I am starting a regular blog post on Gratefulness. Through my yoga practice and studies I’ve learnt the art of giving thanks. I guess you could call it prayer in the traditional sense, but without asking for anything. Simply noticing the big, the small, the mundane and especially the things that change the way you think and feel. Today I simply want to honour and thank the people in this world that put themselves out there. Hearts flung wide open, emotions, feelings, fears – all of it – worn on their sleeve, right there in public for all to see. This week I was reminded how important it is to live openly, because with each gesture you act out, or phrase you utter with an open heart you pass on love, kindness and inspiration to those around you. I am blessed to have some pretty incredible friends in my life. Some of which continually surprise me, others that challenge me, some give me more love than I’m sure I deserve and then there are the ones that motivate me and reaffirm my belief that I am on the right path and meant to be out there helping people. This week a beautiful friend, whom I met during yoga teacher training, wrote me the most heartfelt message. She simply wrote to tell me she was loving my blog and that it had inspired her. What rocked my world was that she was living 100% openly in that moment. When she wrote that message she probably didn’t understand the weight that her words would have on me, but mostly I’m sure she was just living in the ‘now’. She wanted to reach out and share her feelings – no insecurities, no second guesses, nothing manipulative or calculated. Just simply being openly grateful. And although she said I have inspired her, in fact, it’s the other way around. Because through the act of her writing that message, the words in it and the idea that I could actually have helped one person (that’s all I’ve ever wanted) my entire perception of who I am and what I could possibly achieve has changed. Who know’s maybe next week something opposite will flip these feelings around, but right now I am feeling deeply grateful to have that connection and to my friend for being open. So, I ask… Why aren’t we more open? Why can’t we live our lives with a little rawness? I know we are so scared of being ‘out there’, naked, alone and shaking with the reality that everyone knows the truth of who we are, how we are feeling, what we want. But what is so wrong with that? Perhaps a lot of good can come from being honest with ourselves and those around us. I truly believe that there is a way to live more honestly, openly and free from the incessant questioning and insecurity that circulates in our mind. I also believe that there is a way to do this whilst protecting your heart and retaining energy and life-force for yourself – nurturing you and those around you, simultaneously. I also don’t mean lets share every nasty, vindictive, manipulative thought we have – yes, that’s just cruel, but mostly, because that’s NOT who you really are. It’s your ego, your insecurities and your fears snapping away inside your mind and convincing you that maybe you aren’t as nice as you thought. Wrong. We are above that, we just need to go deeper within and connect with our true selves – living in truth and living in the moment. I was reminded of an important lesson this week. One about living with kindness, openness and compassion. Every morning after my yoga practice I hold my hands in prayer at my chest and I give thanks for love and compassion in my life and I ask that I am always able to live openly – putting compassionate out to the world. Now, I am also going to give thanks for the people in my life that live this way and share their hearts and ask that I always attract these kind of people in my life. I ask that others do this too. How do you live openly? What are you grateful for this week? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more

8 WAYS TO BALANCE YOUR VATA

8 WAYS TO BALANCE YOUR VATA

Posted August 10, 2011

I’ve mentioned Ayurveda before, here and here… It’s one of the health/lifestyle systems that I truly connect with and leaves me with a sense of promise. Why promise? Well I find it so inspiring that a 5000-year-old tradition was and still is so far ahead of our modern day. Ayurveda, unlike modern medicine focuses on treating the individual to come into balance or Perfect Health, rather than treating the disease in a isolated way. The other reason I love Ayurveda is because it’s the sister science to Yoga – we all know how much I dig Yoga! Together, when combined they complement each other. So Ayurveda (pronounced eye-yer-vay-duh) is an Indian Holistic health system that means ‘life knowledge’. Forget quick fixes, drugs and hospitals, Ayurveda works at achieving optimal health, every day of your life for your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga, nutrition, meditation, pranayama (breath-work), herbs, massage and more encompass the healing method that is Ayurveda. The bit I heart the most about Ayurveda is that it simply looks at the individual – YOU – in the scenario. What is happening in your life, around you, what are you eating, what are you exposed to – all the different elements that could be throwing you out (mind/body/spirit) of balance. And YOU are made up of more than one energy – Vata, Pitta, Kapha – which are called doshas. And each dosha relates to one of the five key elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth. In a nutshell – you could be dominantly Vata with a little Kapha, or equal parts Pitta and Vata or a different combination. The key is to understand the doshas, or your individual Prakriti or nature and bring them into balance. Now… Let’s talk about Vata. Vata is an Air + Ether Dosha. It is the energy of movement. The best way to describe Vata is by inviting you to visualise the air, the wind. It is ungrounded, floaty, changeable, cool, dry, erratic. But it’s also free, mobile, doing its own unique, creative thing. Vata is referred to as the ‘king of the doshas’ because it is responsible for any movement in the body – blinking, heart beating, dancing, running, talking, jumping, circulation, elimination and so on. But, as you can imagine, Vata people, made of air and ether or those of us with a Vata imbalance (perhaps caused by an unstable situation at home/work etc) generally need to work at creating stability and grounding. The other thing to note here is that despite that fact that we are all blessed with a different Dosha mix – a different Prakruti – we are all living in a predominantly Vata world. A world of fast cars, fast entertainment, fast information. Everything is now, quick, speedy. So often, each of us can be affected by Vata even if we don’t have much of it in our Dosha – our own nature will be effected by the world and environment around us. So these 8 tips to balance and ground Vata are vital for all of us. If you have had a hectic, all-over-the-place, feeling kind of spacey week – then these are perfect to bring your Vata back into balance. 1) Slow down + stop. Practice meditation. Learn to still the monkey mind each day, even if it’s just 10 – 20 minutes. Find quiet and see how Vata quietens too. 2) Practice grounding yoga. Avoid too much Vinyasa or Dynamic style practices, or at least, go slow if this is the style you prefer. Find a way to earth yourself in the practice – focus on the breath and move fluidly and with calm. 3) Breath into it. Focus on the breath – simply sitting for 5 minutes each day and practicing breath awareness. Watch the breath, feel the quality of it as you inhale and exhale and automatically the breath begins to slow. This helps Vata move from fight or flight mode (sympathetic) to the more calmer state of parasympathetic nervous system. 4) Keep Oiled. Add nourishing oils to your meal. Oil is warming, soothing and grounding. So avoid crunchy, fresh salads sans oil – don’t be afraid to add in some good quality Olive, Coconut or Walnut and notice how much more stable and nourished you feel. 5) Get warm. Seek out the sunshine and feel the warmth on your skin. Not only do you get your Vitamin D hit but you will feel less of the cold + dry Vata qualities and more energy and balance through the heat. 6) Stick to schedules. Having a solid routine from morning to night is best to ground the airiness of Vata. Try to wake up at the same time each day and follow a similar routine – exercise, meditate, breakfast etc… This will help Vatas who tend to be forgetful, late and constantly change their mind! 7) Rise with the sun. Between 2am – 6am is when Vata is most active. Ever noticed how you might wake between these hours and you are wide awake and unable to fall back asleep? The best way to work with Vata is to rise with the sun – this will get your energy going and help you maximise it! 8) Get your massage on. If you are feeling particular airy, ungrounded and restless try an oil massage in the morning. Get your hands on some good quality sesame or coconut oil and perform a mini massage. Starting at the feet and working up towards the head, massage with strokes towards the heart. Work clockwise on the belly and around the joints. Wait 5-10minutes and let the oil soak into the skin before showering A few tips to help you find stability in our crazy Vata world, and especially good if you have a lot of Vata in you – will bring you into balance. Love + light to you, Cx *Images kindly borrowed from http://www.yogaanonymous.org, http://www.ayusarathi.com and www.peacefulmind.com Read more


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