Yoga as a Tool to develop Consciousness Awareness

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Yoga as a Tool to develop Consciousness Awareness

mindfulness

More and more people are now practicing yoga than ever before and this has to do with the fact that yoga deals with the evolution and development of the human personality. The very word ‘yoga’ in Sanskrit means to join together but what are we joining together? Different parts of our self and different parts of our personality. Many yogic texts define yoga as the union of the individual self with the higher self and it is this idea that is extremely important.

What of ‘Consciousness’? Consciousness can see everything but is unable to do anything without the help of energy. Consciousness is static but its frequency is very pure. In order to experience this consciousness or to become conscious, we have to adjust our energy frequency to tune into our consciousness and then we enter a state of greater awareness of Cosmic Consciousness.

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Yoga is one of the tools that we can use to adjust our energy frequency. According to Patanjali, the yogic sage who wrote the Yoga Sutras (yoga texts), there are eight limbs which form part of the whole system of yoga. These eight limbs are called ‘Ashtanga Yoga’. Ashta means eight and anga means limb. These eight limbs are:

Yamas - Self Discipline

Niyamas - Social Discipline

Asanas - Physical Postures

Pranayama - Breath Control

Pratyahara - Sense Withdrawal

Dharana - Concentration

Dhyana - Meditation

Samadhi - Ecstacy

In general and for purposes of this article, we are concerned with the third limb. Asana

Asana is defined in the Yoga Sutras as physical postures which are comfortable and still. Our physical stillness and comfort reflect our state of mind in relation to our body. For example, if the body is agitated, the source of that agitation is in the mind. If the body is quiet then the source of that quiet is in the mind. Even though we move our bodies in various ways during asana practice, the aim of our practice is to come to stillness where the movement is irrelevant. Thus we are learning to control the mind or to bring it into alignment with the frequency of consciousness.

We start with the body because we are able to control our body to a certain extent. The yogis (those who devote their lives to the pursuit of spiritual development through the discipline of ashtanga yoga practice) are able to control even the more subtle functions of their body. Even if we are not practicing in a cave in the Himalayas or in an ashram in India, we can start at any point. After a few classes of asana practice or physical posture practice, we begin to feel subtle changes in our body and we become engrossed in the experience of practicing yoga. We can leave it there as a tool to de-stress and calm the mind or we can continue to develop our ability to control our mind for our entire lives and thus tune into the Cosmic Consciousness. The great thing is that nobody is checking in to see how we are doing. Yoga is experiential and we are only able to experience the effects with patient practice.

Pranayama

Read more about Patanjali, the father of modern yoga

Listen to the Invocation to Patanjali on youtube

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Retreat is the New Black

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Retreat is the New Black

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Why is the retreat trend just so hot right now? All of us know someone who is attending a retreat, hosting a retreat or working on a retreat and there is good reason. Retreats offer an opportunity to push the pause button on our lives, to remove negative practices, to detoxify, exercise or do yoga, relax, educate ourselves, love and care for ourselves and to develop a relationship with our inner being. Some of us are looking for a way to reset our bodies, to improve our health, others are looking for mental clarity and a moment to remove ourselves from the crazy lives we live and rejuvenate , and still others are looking for deeper personal growth.

The trend towards activities that foster consciousness and connection is born out of a paradigm shift in our day to day reality. We are no longer interested in being slaves to society as we are all awakening and dreaming of a fulfilling and fun life. Waking up to the idea that “I am the master of my own reality” and can be do and have anything I want. Conventional holidays may still hold sway but wellness holidays actually give us a whole lot more than simply relaxing.

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  1. Retreating removes us from our day to day lives

    Life can be stressful. There is so much to do in our daily lives and this fact often makes it impossible to fulfil our goals or even to know what it is that we want out of life. We are often just on a treadmill. Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing, go away on our own and take time for ourselves alone.

  2. Healthy food and detoxing

    There is no better teacher to teach us how to look after our health better than experience. Even if we live fairly healthy lives, all of us need a little help bringing balance back into our lives. In this fast paced life that we live, we often don’t know where to start and instead of remaining stuck in bad food choices, we can do something about it by removing old habitual foods and replacing them with whole organic and plant based foods.

  3. Practice yoga and Exercise

    Many of us want to start up or return to our yoga practice or find the energy to begin exercising again. Even if we are regular yoga practitioners or fitness enthusiasts. A retreat offers us the greatest opportunity to take time away from the world and just look after ourselves. After a retreat, we not only feel rested, reset but we feel fit and strong and have the strength to continue on our path to maintaining our wellness and fitness goals.

  4. Gain mental clarity

    This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of retreating. We’re just tired of living in a brain fog all the time. Our responsibilities to the world, poor diets and not enough exercise can contribute to not only feeling physically exhausted but mentally exhausted also. A retreat allows us to stop the noise, meditate and once again think clearly.

  5. Self Love

    Self love does seem to be a buzz word and there is good reason for this. More and more of us are realising that we cannot function in this world unless we take care of ourselves first. Taking care of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives allows us the freedom to not only live the lives that we want but also to help nurture others. Self love has far reaching effects as it impacts every choice we make from who to date, what work to do, how to live and caring for our families. Self love has an effect on every single area of our lives, making this a way more positive world than it has been so far.

  6. Learn the knowledge of the sages

    Going on a retreat allows us access to ancient wisdom and knowledge. Retreat hosts have taken the time to study practices that have almost been lost but are now being rediscovered bringing the wisdom through the ages back into our reality. They have taken the time to develop and are now coming into their own as teachers and leaders of our society. Not because they have gained through business but because of the dedication to develop themselves.

  7. Lasting Effects

    One of the most lasting effects that we experience after completing a retreat is gratitude. Gratitude is a virtue that we develop through connecting to our own inner being and allowing us to connect with all that we are grateful for in our personal world. It is gratitude itself that leads to greater awareness and creativity. This will stay with us long after the physical effects of wellbeing have diminished. It’s time to go on a retreat.

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Kundalini Yoga

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Kundalini Yoga

The Yoga of Deep Awareness and Transformation

Kundalini yoga is a technique of awareness which works on the body, the mind and the soul. Regular practice of kundalini yoga will deepen the growth process.  It will increase your radiance and expand your life.  Kundalini Yoga helps to to develop the neutral mind and its capacity for intelligence, endurance and integrity.

Kundalini yoga is a physical and meditative discipline that combines asanas (postures), mudras (hand positions), pranayama (breath), and mantra (chanting).  Through the practice of yoga, the dormant energy at the base of the spine is raised and travels up the spine, through the chakras, creating an overall sense of well being and a heightened sense of awareness.

Regular practice of kundalini yoga gives you the vitality and health that is natural to all human beings.  It is a potent and effective system of self-transformation and personal development, it stimulates individual growth through systematic techniques that strengthen the nervous system and balance the glandular system (the guardians of health), for increased stability and vitality. Meditation improves mental concentration, sharpens awareness and gives the direct experience of consciousness.


Kundalini Yoga encompasses and draws from all yogic systems and techniques.

Key Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

  • Strengthens the body & calms the mind
  • Improves health & vitality levels
  • Slows the ageing process
  • Improves sexual energy
  • Releases fears and limiting patterns
  • Experience of our highest consciouness
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Origin of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga was never taught publicly until Yogi Bhajan, Ph. D. challenged the age-old tradition of secrecy.  In his compassionate wisdom, Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969.  Since then, it has spread all over the world.  He wrote, “I am sharing these teachings to create a science of the total self.  It is the birthright of every human being to be healthy, happy and holy.”


Kundalini Yoga was designed for those who live in the world, who have families and jobs, and who want to balance the inner and outer world. Kundalini Yoga fits the busy lives that most of us lead. It is effective, efficient and easy. People who practice Kundalini Yoga say they can feel changes in the body and psyche within a few minutes, and experience even deeper changes through regular practice.

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A few tips before your first Kundalini Yoga class

In Kundalini class the breathing is through the nose. The focus of the eyes and the attention is on the third eye (the eyebrow centre) during asana (postures) and meditation.
A typical Kundalini Yoga Class:
•    Tune in  – Adi Mantra « Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo »
•    Warm up exercices
•    The Kriya – The specific sequence – working with a particular chakra, area of the body for the specific effects.
•    Relaxation  – Deep relaxation that allows the body to rest, rejuvenate integrating and  settling all the systems.
•    Meditation  – It is a necessary complement to physical yoga exercise. The exercises in the kriya bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved.
•    Ending with 3 long « Sat Nam »

Each class is different and has its own theme and projection as we work with different parts of the body and energy centers. I recommend taking at least 7 Kundalini classes so that you can get a full experience of Kundalini Yoga.

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Palak Paneer

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Palak Paneer

One of my favourite dishes from India is palak paneer.  Palak means spinach and paneer is essentially a kind of cottage cheese.  It's easy to find paneer in supermarkets these days as Indian food and indeed Ayurvedic food is becoming more and more popular.  Especially in the climate of vegetarianism.  This recipe is my take on it, it is wonderfully fragrant during cooking causing one's mouth to water for it.  Curries are one of the most fun ways of getting a lot of nutrients in one dish and they don't need to be hot - rather the spices give flavour.  I used ghee in this recipe but you could also use coconut oil.  Both these oils are super in heating as they don't de-nature and you can get the most out of them.  Ghee is one of the most wonderful oils for carrying the nutrients from the food to the cells and helping to remove waste products from the cells.  

Ingredients

1 cup of paneer 

200grams of spinach (I used baby leaf spinach but any spinach will work)

2 green chillies chopped (you can deseed them)

1 thumb of ginger finely chopped

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

1 finely chopped red onion

1 medium size tomato

1/2 tsp fenugreek leaves

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

2cm piece of cinnamon stick

3 green cardamom pods

2 cloves

1/4 tsp mango powder or 2 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbs ghee or coconut oil

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Fry the paneer

in a little ghee until golden brown and set aside.....

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Fry

spinach and chillies in the same pan for about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted...

It is important that you don't overcook the spinach as there is more cooking later.  Remove the spinach and chillies from the heat and leave to cool while you continue with frying the panner.  

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Heat ghee or oil

Fry cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cloves to release the scent...

Now add the cumin seeds until they begin to splutter.  Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until you no longer smell the fresh ginger smell.  Now add the onions and cook until the onions are slightly browned.  

At this point, I remove the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom pods so that the masala (spice mix) no longer has bits in it.  

Add the tomatoes and allow to cook until they are soft.  Then add cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala, salt and cook into a lovely masala paste.  You will know when it is ready because the tomatoes will release from the sides of the pan.  You can add a little water now and allow the paste to thicken.  About 1/2 a up maybe less depending on how thick you want the curry to be.  Add the mango powder or lemon juice. I actually used both in this recipe.  Lemons are amazing when cooking tomatoes, they keep the flavour but somehow remove the sourness.  

Blend your spinach and chillies in a food processor and add the spinach to the masala.  Turn on a low heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  

Now add the paneer that you have set aside.  Allow to simmer for a minute or two and serve with coconut flour roties and chopped avo and tomatoes to make this a carb free meal.  

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Sugar Free Raw Chocolate

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Sugar Free Raw Chocolate

This is truly a sugar free dark chocolate recipe.  There is absolutely no refined sugar, not even honey.  Of course there is sugar in dried fruits but this is natural sugar.  Now we all know that sugar is the enemy and is the cause of many health problems so I've devised this dark chocolate recipe which is really raw and in fact super healthy.  

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Ingredients

1 cup of cacao paste

1 cup of cacao butter

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of chopped almonds

1/3 cup of chopped cranberries

1/3 cup of chopped dates

1/2 tsp of vanilla powder

1/2 tsp of salt (himalayan or malden)

A little coconut oil for greesing the tray

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Use Raw Nuts

I've used walnuts and almonds but you can use any that take your fancy

Melt the cacao paste and the cacao butter in a double boiler.  If you don't have a double boiler then use a heat proof bowl and place it in a pot with boiling water.  Use a medium size pot with a small ceramic bowl like a breakfast bowl.  Allow the cacao butter and the cacao paste to melt completely into a liquid.  

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Roughly chop your fruit and nuts and mix them evenly in a bowl

Try not to eat this yummy deliciousness yet...

Pour the melted cacao into the nuts, add your vanilla powder and the salt and turn all the ingredients until it is as evenly mixed as possible.

Now grease a small tray with your coconut oil (20cm x 30 cm or there abouts) and pour your chocolate mixture into the tray.  Refrigerate for about an hour.  

1 hour in the fridge.  

1 hour in the fridge.  

After an hour, take the chocolate out of the fridge and cut into squares.  Put back into the fridge to set for another 2 to 3 hours.  You can then store the chocolate in your fridge in a container and serve to your friends and family as long as you haven't eaten it all by then.  

Super healthy and nutritious raw dark chocolate.

Super healthy and nutritious raw dark chocolate.

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5 things to do everyday on your journey to a healthy lifestyle

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5 things to do everyday on your journey to a healthy lifestyle

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Health is not just about what you eat and how much you exercise.  Health is very much about awareness.  Awareness on how you feel, what you are thinking , whether or not you are living a life that you love, whether you receive enough oxygen from nature, sleep enough and of course what foods you are putting into your body.  Health is happiness.  Here are 5 things simple things that you can do everyday, that do not take much time and that can truly benefit you in your life towards ultimate happiness.  

1.  Meditate

Meditation has been proven to benefit you in so many ways.  You don't have to be a yogi and it is not a religious practice but rather it is an opportunity sit quietly for a few moments to increase your awareness, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions and enhance a state of peace and calm. First thing in the morning because it is always better to start your day off on the right foot, take 15 or 20 minutes just to sit quietly and focus your mind.  You do not have to be practiced at it, you can begin today.  You can focus your mind on something in your environment, the sound of the birds singing, a candle or on your breathing.  It doesn't matter what it is that you focus on just as long as you do it.  

2.  Be aware of your thoughts

Once you have sat quietly for long enough and through daily practice, you will begin to become aware of your thoughts.  Literally become aware of what you are thinking about on a moment to moment basis.  The practice of meditation can help you to direct your thoughts to think the kind of thoughts that benefit you.  As you become more practiced, you will begin to correlate your thoughts to your feelings.  Being aware of your feelings can help you on your journey to happiness and health.  You can decide what kind of person you like to be and what kind of life you want to live by simply practicing this kind of mindfulness.

3.  Eat nutritious foods

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Make healthy choices at every meal.  Whatever your health goals are, whether you want to lose weight or develop your internal energy and strength, the simple rule of thumb is to make healthy choices at every meal.  Initially it can be difficult as you have to reset your mind and your body and ultimately your life, but as you progress it really does get easier and easier.  My secret is to cook at home in my own kitchen as much as I can and in this way I have control over what goes into my body.  Not in a 'controlling' kind of way, more in a way that I want to give my body exactly what it needs and enjoy my food at the same time.  I make everything, from the almond milk that goes into my tea, coffee and smoothies right to the pretty in pink hummus and seed crackers. 

4.  Exercise

This is really one of the most important things that you can fit into your life. It doesn't have to be a visit to the gym on a daily basis - you can of course visit the gym - but move your body. Do whatever you can - find something that you really enjoy doing.  I find going for a long walk on the mountain (the benefits of living in a nature rich city) on the weekends does wonders for keeping my act together.  Grab a yoga class here and there, just move your body.  

5.  Get proper sleep

If you are not getting enough sleep, you can no longer ignore this point.  If your whole day is going well, you are meditating, being aware and directing your thoughts, getting good nutrition and exercising but not sleeping properly or enough, you are not as healthy as you can be.  Try to switch off from technology by 8pm everyday, and give yourself time to rest and allow your body to prepare for sleep.  Do whatever you can to be in bed asleep by 10pm.  It takes a bit of adjustment but sleep is your body's way of regenerating. of assimilating the daily intake of foods and events, processing your emotions and in essence is an opportunity for a deep meditation which is a quietning of your mind. 

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Roast red pepper and sun dried tomato soup

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Roast red pepper and sun dried tomato soup

Last weekend (the boyfriend and I) took ourselves off to an idylic beach for a weekend to rest and a have a mini reset of our own.  We decided to do a little maintenance detox but really weren't in the mood to only drink juice.  It was cold, it was windy and we wanted nourishment, and nurturing so we got into 'souping'.  Maybe 'souping' can become a new trend and it certainly should be because it is a great way to cleanse without out putting too much strain on your system.  Firstly the food is cooked making it easy to digest and secondly it is super delicious and nutritious.  Keep the soups clean and homemade because you really don't know what little ingredient is added here and there in a restaurant or supermarket.  I had these beautiful ripe red tomatoes that were demanding my attention and wanted to make a soup from them but had never made a tomato soup before. I did however know the taste I was looking for and I think it turned out very well exceeding my expectations.  

Ingredients

1 kg ripe red tomatoes chopped

3 x large red peppers with seeds removed

10 x large sun dried tomatoes chopped

handful of fresh basil

3 sprigs of fresh oregano (you can use dried if you don't have fresh)

1/2 red onion

2 x sticks of celery

1 x clove of garlic

1 x thumb of ginger

ghee or coconut oil

olive oil

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Salt to taste

Black pepper

1 x tsp tahini

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Drizzle your peppers with oil on wax paper 

Roast at 180 for 30 minutes

While the peppers are roasting at 180 degrees in the oven for roughly 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of your peppers and on your oven chop all your veggies into small pieces.  Keep an eye on the peppers, you don't want them to burn but a little black is fine.  Usually I know they are almost ready as soon as I can smell them.  I very rarely stick to times and recipes, I usually use instinct, my sense of smell and taste and a sense of proportion.  

In a pan, heat the ghee or coconut oil if you're vegan and add your ginger garlic that you've finely chopped or grated or you can even stomp them in a pestle and mortar.  

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Once you smell the ginger garlic cooking add your onions and celery and cook until they become soft, then add your tomatoes, both the raw and sun dried.  Now add your cumin and coriander powders.  By now your peppers should be about ready.  Remove them from the oven, allow to cool for a little so that you can handle them and cut into pieces to add to your soup.   Add a little about half the water checking to see how watery you want your soup.  You can aways add more if too little.  

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You can simmer until you notice that all the ingredients are soft and blended together.  Turn off the heat and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.  Then blend using a handheld blender.  Serve with a little parsley, a flourish of olive oil and a swirl of tahini.  Here I had some Good Life seed crackers but you might like to try this recipe of almond pulp crackers that I make when I've made fresh almond milk.  

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Ricotta Aubergine Cannelloni

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Ricotta Aubergine Cannelloni

For a while now, ever since visiting Italy, I've been wanting to make a dish that was rich and full of Italian flavour but without the refined carbohydrates.   I invited a few friends over and they confirmed that this dish was a great success. Weeks later we all went for a walk and they were still going on about the food.  I promise you, this is a goodie and it's super nutritious, delicious and both vegetarian and banting friendly.   

Instead of using cannelloni pasta, I used the aubergines to roll the ricotta into.  It does take some preparation time, especially if you have 8 dinner guests but it is really worth it.  In fact, I recommend, you make a lot and freeze it to serve every few days.  It was even better a few days later as the flavours had a chance to meld and form.  

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Ricotta Aubergine Cannelloni

4 medium to large aubergines

1 tub of ricotta cheese (almond pulp for a vegan and high protein option)

1 medium egg

2 tbs pesto (you can make this yourself)

2kg ripe red tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1 red onion

Handful of fresh thyme

Handful of fresh origanum

Punnet of fresh basil (you can never have enough basil)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Nutritional yeast

 

Slice the aubergines length wise about half a centimetre thick.  The aubergine needs to be thick so that it doesn't over shrink or break up in the pan.  Fry them in olive oil until they are cooked and set aside.  

Finely chop the garlic and onions and fry in olive oil on a medium heat until cooked.  You don't want to burn your onions, you want them to be see-through.  Next add the chopped tomatoes and take time to cook them properly.  Adding your fresh herbs, thyme, origanum and basil.  It should take about 15 to 20 minutes for your tomatoes to be properly cooked.  The herbs must have softened and broken up.  

Add about a third of the tomato sauce to your pan so that you have a pool of the tomato at the bottom of the pan and set aside.  

In a separate bowl mix the ricotta (or almond pulp) with the pesto and the egg with salt and pepper.  Spoon the ricotta mixture onto the cooked aubergines and roll.  Place the aubergine roll in the pool of tomato sauce stacking them tightly next to each other.  

Rolled pesto ricotta in aubergines.....

Rolled pesto ricotta in aubergines.....

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Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the cannellonis

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Bake in oven at 180 for 40 minutes

Sprinkle nutritional yeast

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Serve with a simple green salad with olive oil and lemon juice dressing....

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Cauliflower Tortilla

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Cauliflower Tortilla

Cauliflower Tortilla

Protein Power

Cauliflower is one of the best vegetables around.  It has so many benefits from being anti-inflammatory to aiding in digestion.  If you want to address your gut health then cauliflower simply must go into your diet. These tortillas are so easy and super quick to make.  That's an important factor right there.  

Green spiral cauliflower

Because I just love the way this looks and feels....

Cauliflower Tortilla

1 Small head of cauliflower.  I used the green one but you can use the white one also.

2 Eggs

Himalayan salt to taste

Coconut oil for baking

2 Medium tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes

1 Thinly sliced red onion, diced

1 Avo

A handful of coriander

Oilve oil

Lemon Juice

Labneh (or any cream cheese)

 

Place the raw cauli in your blender or food processor and blend to make cauli 'rice'.  Steam until soft.  Allow to cool and then place in a dish towel and squeeze the liquid out of it, the 'rice' needs to be dry.  Beat your eggs and mix together with the 'rice.  Add your salt.  Line a baking try with baking paper and a little coconut oil.  You can use ghee also.  Spoon the mixture onto the try, should make 4.  Then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Flip the tortillas over and bake for a further 6 minutes. Once baked, remove from the over and place in a frying pan to brown for a few minutes.  You can skip this step if you're in a hurry.  :-)

Don't eat it just yet

Although it is simply scrumptious

In the meantime while the tortillas are baking, you may chop your veggies mix them in a bowl and season with salt adding the olive oil and lemon juice.  Once the tortillas are ready spread the labneh onto your tortillas and then add your salad.  That's it.  Simple and easy and really delicious.  A great way to feed your kid stye healthy stuff.  They can even make it for you.  Of course you can fill them with anything at all.  A little pink hummus would look amazing or try my almond pulp hummus leftover from making almond milk.  

Add the labneh

Labney is a cheese made from yoghurt

Now gobble it up

Happy healthy gut

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Vegan Green Soup

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Vegan Green Soup

This is absolutely one of my favourite soups.  Not only is it super delicious but it is considered a superfood also because of the chlorophyll in green veggies.  The benefits are numerous and since we've been talking about liver cleansing, chlorophyll improves liver detoxification.  It helps fight cancer, it helps to speed up the healing of wounds, helps to control weight and protects the health of our skin.  

Vegan Green Soup

3 leeks (you can also use onions)

1 x punnet of courgettes

1/2 punnet of cauliflower

1/2 punnet of broccoli

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black mustard seeds

Tamari

Ghee or coconut oil

Tahini

Black pepper

Boiling water - adjust amount according to how thick you like your soup.  About 3 cups.  

Heat the coconut oil or ghee or mixture of the two.  Fry leeks until cooked.  Add chopped courgettes, cauliflower and broccoli and fry them to bring out the flavours.  Add tamari and spices.  Once the veggies are soft, you can add boiling water and allow to cook.  

Fry veggies

until they are cooked

Blend using a handheld blender

Add tahini.  About a tablespoon.  

Put your soup in a bowl and grind the black pepper.  I've served it here with essene bread.  Yum.  

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Liver Detox

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Liver Detox

Most of us are not aware of the importance of the liver and its role in our digestive process and in fact the connection to all of our organs proper function.  Our liver is responsible for processing, converting, distributing and maintaining the nutrients coming from the foods we eat.  When we don’t give our bodies optimal nutrition we overload the liver and the functions become impeded and the health of every cell in our body is affected.  We make many mistakes that we are simply unaware of such as eating processed foods with chemical additives, artificial sweetners, stress, unbalanced lifestyles, pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins and as time passes our livers begin to reveal signs of it's struggle to process all these foreign substances.  The liver bile ducts become clogged with deposits of hardened bile which ultimately cause digestive function impairment.  Over time this becomes a major cause of illness. 

If you have persisting difficulties in your physical and emotional health, your liver may be congested with these deposits of hardened bile.  Emotionally this may present as fear, anger, sadness, impatience, depression and discontent.  When we are healthy in our body, our mind and emotional life is also healthy.  Cleansing the liver of these hardened bile deposits can help restore balance, harmony and happiness in every facet of our lives. 

Some of the symptoms you may experience if your liver is overtaxed are: 

Digestive problems

Weak eyesight

Recurring headaches

Skin disorders

Irregular menstrual cycle

Painful menstruation

Weight gain

Lethargy

Premature ageing

Bloated intestines

Indigestion

Bowl problems

Lack of concentration

Allergies

Joint pain

Loss of memory

Back pain

Food cravings

Diarrhea

Constipation

Nausea

Puffy eyes

Liver spots

Coated tongue

Teeth problems

Of course cleansing the body of all of these toxins is of utmost importance to our continuing health.  A juice cleanse is definitely a good start to cleaning out our systems and including a liver detox in our cleansing process to help sweep the liver of potentially thousands of ‘stones’ that block the bile ducts will go a very long way to resetting your body and ultimately your life.   

For information on how to perform a cleanse on your own at home, please follow the link: Hulda Clark's liver cleanse

We are now offering an optional liver cleanse on our juicing retreats because we have found that while juicing is an excellent and profound cleansing technique, that cleansing the liver provides an even deeper and often essential reset and start to changing your lifestyle.  See our upcoming retreats.

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Pretty in Pink Hummus

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Pretty in Pink Hummus

This is the prettiest hummus that I have ever seen.  I wanted to make hummus.  Straight forward hummus and so I diligently soaked the chickpeas over night and in the morning brought them to the boil, turned them off and popped them in the hot bag.  I never use tinned chickpeas, it is super easy to cook them as and when they are needed.  Later that day, I rinsed the chickpeas, placed them in the blender and added the ingredients.  Just then I noticed the beetroot sitting in the crisper in the fridge and so I peeled it and dropped it in.  The result was this beautiful and out of this world pink hummus.  Give it a try.  

Pretty in Pink Hummus

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 small peeled raw beetroot

1/4 cup tahini

2 cloves garlic

Salt to taste

Pinch of paprika 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large lemon

Everything in the blender

Add olive oil and lemon juice alternating a little at a time while blending....

Everything goes in the blender with a little water if needed and blend.  Pulse until the chickpeas begin making a paste and then while you alternately add the lemon juice and olive oil allow to run on low speed until your hummus resembles mine.  Serve with zatar and olive oil.  I ate these on seed crackers with cherry tomatoes and a little coriander.  Can't get enough really.  

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