Category Archives: energy

Do you have Spring in Your Step?

A Spring Clean from the inside out

Many of us will be moving into Spring expecting to be full of energy and enthusiasm, however the reality is we are still often dragging along Winter baggage, such as coughs, colds and a few extra body pounds, just in time for the allergy season to begin too!

If you’d like a little more spring in your step – try some of these –

🌟Warm Lemon Water
Upon waking and before eating sip warm water with a the juice of 1/2 a and a little honey – this has lots of benefits including encouraging your skin to glow, a shot of Vitamin C, a digestive aid, good source of potassium and it keeps us hydrated.

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🌟Keep hydrated all day
Filter water into jugs at the start of the day so you can see how much you are drinking. Pour this into bottles and carry them around with you, have one in the car one in your bag, don’t leave in the sun though. Don’t like water? – try adding adding a squeeze of lemon, orange or cucumber slices.  Alternatively drink herbal teas.

🌟Body Brushing for a Spring Glow
Give your skin a gentle body brush starting from the knees up, brush upwards towards the  heart and if you don’t have a special brush use a dry flannel to kick start this morning habit. Body brushing helps to improve circulation and cell renewal, shed dead skin, adds a healthy glow and stimulates lymph drainage and the removal of toxins. Ideally do this for 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times a day.

🌟Self Massage
Gentle self massage is also great, you can do this with or without oils. If you do use oil use a light one such as almond mixed with grapefruit oil for improved circulation. Massage as many bits as you can reach – gently knead, twist, pat, stroke and brush. Remember your hands, feet and face too. Even better if you have a little helper, my daughter and I really love to massage each other’s feet at bedtime.

massage

🌟Move your body
Get out and walk and notice the Spring as it moves forward. Observe the blossom leaving, the leaves appearing, new flowers blooming and the light changing.  Maybe take a sketch book and draw 5 new things you notice, they can be rough sketches nobody will mark you. Or simply pause, breathe and and just spend some time in nature, your garden may even suffice.love spring

🌟Enjoy Yoga
Particularly sun salutations and detoxifying twists.
I’ve written a post about yoga simple ways to weave it into homelife and family too – here. I’m an Iambe practitioner and this can include teaching kids and their parents simple fun family yoga poses, so let me know if you’d like me to come over to share some Spring Asanas with you!

yoga me

🌟 Explore QiGong
It’s pretty simple to learn, excellent for developing concentration, physical strength and energy,  perhaps try the 8 Brocades for starters.  I love QiGong outdoors and in, you’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube to practice and again it’s something you can fit in around children if you are a busy parent.  I try to learn a sequence then have a go at it on my own at home or even when I’m out walking in nature, just short simple sequences here and there.

13876592_1220304914667564_8596789861692689881_n🌟Meditate
Cross your legs or sit upright in a chair. Either gaze at something on the floor or close your eyes. Have a little check in with your body and where you are in the space in the room, allow yourself to settle a bit.  Now, notice the Spring air breath as it comes in through your nostrils and out again.  Each time your mind wanders away, which it will do, just gently and kindly bring it back again to the breathe.  Sit like this for a while, I like to set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes and do this first thing in the morning before everyone is awake. You may like to try it out on a walk, find a place to sit and be still and quiet. When you have finished notice how you feel. Create a daily habit.  If  you need any guidance let me know as I’m trained to teach mindfulness and happy to share it with you for free.  You may also enjoy this post.

🌟Reduce oily foods
Look for fresh seasonal foods – my kids are enjoying radishes at the moment in salads and with humus, a good Ayervedic Spring recommendation along with garlic, chillies and spring greens – which they aren’t so keen on! Minimise sweet, salty foods, caffeine and dairy, not so easy over Easter but that’s OK you can allo17202923_628588677340922_3634881168588647173_nw yourself to indulge it’s about finding balance.   I did once pick nettles at the allotment and created a Spring nettle soup from a Hugh Fernley recipe, it was much tastier than expected, the kids surprisingly enjoyed it too!

🌟Breathe
Take 3 long slow continuous deep belly breaths now – out with the old and inhale the new.  Right nostril breathing is also warming – I’ll share a video about this soon on my Facebook page

🌟Air your mattress 
Turn it over and even treat yourself to some new bed linen. According to Feng Shui principles, making our beds each day is important as it’s a way to declutter and put a positive Spring spin into our day.

🌟A Spring Declutter
Tidy one drawer for starters – get rid of what doesn’t serve you, or bag it up and put it in the loft if you can’t bear to loose it. Now clear another drawer …  This is a great way to mentally declutter too.

🌟Dust if You Must – Clear away the cobwebs physically and metaphorically.  Some people like to burn sage around the nooks and crannies of their homes.

I’d love to hear what you like to do to help keep you mentally, physically and spiritually energised and on top Spring form. Please do comment below.

❤️Set an intention to Step into Spring with a Spring❤️

Jane x

#yogarascal #iambe #parentingrascal

How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning? She Likes Hers with Some Rye.

Thank you Linda for sharing this wonderful Low GI Hangover Cure recipe and blog –

A couple of years ago I came across this recipe which has become one of my favourite breakfast dishes. I’ve been working hard to follow a relatively low GI diet for about a year now and this is a gem in that respect. It delivers great protein, good fats and its low rating on the glycaemic index means my body really likes it.

It’s also fantastic for a hangover.

In fact I came across the recipe in a men’s health magazine whilst sitting in a hotel lobby in a ski resort in Tignes a couple of years ago. I wasn’t hungover at the time but was idly flicking through the mag whilst waiting for a friend, whizzing past the ab crunch exercise features which seem to be mandatory in such magazines, when I came across this recipe.
tignes
As a lover of good food the photos immediately caught my eye and this was one of a series of four recipes being billed as killer hangover cures. Rated on a scale of 1 to 4 with 4 being for the monumentally bad hangover this one got a 2. According to the text a 2 hangover is one where you are “heavily reliant on kitchen surfaces to stay afoot“. This made me smile.

Essentially it’s poached eggs on guacamole on toast. Aka “posh eggs on toast“.

eggs Lin

We all know the avocado is hailed as a superfood and apparently it contains something called glutathione which is a fantastic antioxidant for one’s poor battered liver after a boozy night out. The humble egg delivers extra protein and if you can handle actually getting up and making it after a boozy night out I have found that it really does work!

The full recipe is as follows but I’ve never had spring onion in the house to add to it and I just use dried chilli from a grinder plus a liberal grinding of salt and pepper. I favour a protein bread or a Scandinavian or German style seeded rye bread. The Euphorium bakery do an amazing seeded protein bread (steam baked apparently which gives it a soft, open texture which is hard to find in other rye breads) and a fantastic Scandinavian tin (which I couldn’t tell apart from the homemade bread made by my son’s “Farfar” in Denmark) but sadly they’re now only available in their bakeries in the city and North London since Tesco stopped stocking their wares. I’m continually on the hunt for a good quality seeded protein bread so if anyone knows of a great one readily available on the high street please do share! I came across a protein bread in a bakery in Richmond last week which is good but doesn’t quite cut it vs the Euphorium one on texture and taste.  Although at 8% carb and 24% protein on a pure nutritional / low GI basis it’s a winner. Waitrose do a nice seeded rye from the village bakery brand, the one in the purple bag, and Sainsbury’s do a decent German pumpernickel style seeded rye bread which is standard backup in my freezer.

So…

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 really ripe avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chopped spring onions
1/2 red chilli, chopped
Lime for squeezing
2 slices rye bread

Method:

Peel, de-stone and mash up the avocado. Mix in the oil, onion, chilli and a squeeze of lime. Poach two eggs & toast your rye bread. Spread on your guac, sit the eggs on top, season and enjoy.

Thank you @growinamoomin

Allotment Rascal
Helping you to Sort out Your Crap

crap

#iambe #allotmentrascal

Pale, Pasty and Pathetic? This might just be the tonic you need.

If you are feeling a bit run down, this is a wonderful immune boosting, comforting and connecting chicken stock, a soup for the soul, I think there’s even a book written about it.

stock 2I’ve made it since my children were babies. At the moment, they’ve got chesty coughs and colds and are looking and sounding a bit sorry for themselves.  My daughter,  Ellie asked me if I’d make this, given how fussy she can be about her food she can really surprise me with what she enjoys.  Clearly their bodies tell them what they need, apart from all the sweets.
thyme tea
I used vegetables which we’d recently harvested from our allotment and the carcass from last night’s roast.  It also has lots of thyme in it which is a herb I often use to make a winter tea with, using lemon,  honey, echniacea  and ginger, more here on the health benefits of  thyme

For the stock  to a slow cooker add a roughly chopped carrot, leek, celery stick, quartered onion with skin on, sprigs of fresh thyme, few cloves of garlic, fresh parsley stems and leaves, 2 bay leaves and black pepper.  On top, place an organic cooked chicken carcass, you can break this with your hands or scissors and  squash down gently. pour over cold water to reach about 2 cm below the rim.
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Slow cook for 2 hours on high, then skim off the fat and continue to cook for 3 hours on low. (sometimes I just cook for 2 hours).  Then sieve into an new pan ready to use. You can also freeze this into bags and also ice cube trays.

To serve Cook some rice noodles, add leftover torn chicken to the pan of sieved stock heat through for 2 to 3 minutes add the noodles, ladle into bowls and serve with chopped fresh parsley. (I have also added some shitake mushrooms for an extra immune boost)

Oods, Harmony and Miracles – 2017 is your time

Are you Speaking into the Universe’s Listening?

What are you ready to create for 2017 –  are your intentions clear?

I’ve a little red book containing quotes, affirmations and intentions  and I’m conjuring up some more ready for 2017.unnamed

Reading it through and reflecting, I realise why some of the things came to be and also why some of them haven’t – my language wasn’t clear, the intention not confident, belief weak,  and I wasn’t speaking into the Universe’s listening or my own effectively, also what was the big reason?

It’s also fascinating how some  intentions came to pass a few years on and not the year of writing, again largely because I didn’t specify it and there wasn’t clarity and reason.

 

alloment

One of my intentions is to spend 4 or more hours each week at the allotment – always a space for contemplation and meditation. To connect with my Ood and to remind others to do the same (see next post on Ood) click here for my Allotment Rascal Page

I’d also written down a meditation from Jack Canfield’s book – The Key to Living The Law of Attraction (2011). He suggests spending time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation and this was his simple invocation –

“…in seeking to transform our lives. We ask for guidance and clarity.
We ask that we find our purpose, our mission in life. We ask for divine inspiration.
We ask to be of service.
We ask for help in releasing any old negative or limiting thought patterns.
We ask that our thoughts and actions unfold for the greater good of all people.
We ask that miracles unfold not only in our own life’s but in the lives of others
We are thankful
We ask for peace
We ask for harmony
We ask to make a difference in the world.

There is an inner alchemy that takes place through prayer and meditation. These are the transformational processes that will change you on a cellular level.  They will literally change your brain wave patterns”

It’s good to be re-minded  as many of these words have also been poignant in 2016.

So a Happy New Year to you, may your spells create harmony , miracles and ood.   Where will you start in 2017?

If you believe,  you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Matthew 21:22

Jane
Keep On Playing

Join us at one of our Meet Ups in 2017 – Random Dialogues

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Disliked by the deer, rabbits, squirrels, pigeons, caterpillars and Ellie – is Kale for you?

Vegetable of the month – Curly KALE 

Of all the brassicas I’ve trialled growing over the years curly Kale is a favourite. Not only because it is so meaty, robust and healthy to eat but it has also for the paskale 2t 12 years survived deer, pigeon, squirrel,  caterpillar attacks and it’s neglectful carers.

Our sandy and dry soil at the Alpha Road Alloment, Woking also provides the perfect conditions for it to grow.   In our early enthusiastic years we grew brussel sprouts, sprouting broccoli, cabbages and more brassicas. However, these need netting, staking, feeding, collars and more and now that we no longer live in walking distance we’ve gone for ease over variety.

kale 3

Today, an excited urge to visit and view the frosty allotment whilst my family slept on resulted in a good hair cut for a frosty and bushy kale plant. Polar beetroot balls and icy leeks were also forked and heaved out of the soil. Visiting my Sicilian neighbours chickens warmed my hands slightly, as we sprinkled them Christmas leftovers and chatted about the weather.

The kale defrosted on the way home and I’ve made a simple made up kale salad –

  • threw away the tough stalks
  • chopped and crushed by hand the leaves to release the fragrance
  • toasted a handful or so of walnuts
  • chopped feta
  • spooned over cider vinegar, olive oil and pepper

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More here on the health benefits of kale

There will be regrowth from the leaves I’ve picked for more trimming soon, and I’ll plant new seeds in the Spring or cheat and buy plug plants from ebay.

To Kale or Not to Kale. #iambe

Jane x

A Christmas Chi Swim

Ever had a Chi Swim, a swim where you experience  calm, connection and conciousness? Nor had I, so ever curious, I decided to try it at the Christmas Day swimming session at Spectrum Leisure Centre in Guildford.

This year, I’ve explored more Tai Chi and Qi Gong and have met some very inspirational teachers and pupils. Once I stopped being frustrated with trying to follow the moves and get them right I started to just enjoy moving and being in a meditative state even if I often made it up. With each new session the sequence of moves is becoming clearer and more flowing.

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Tai Chi skills for me mean connecting and communicating with breath, body and energy.  For Christmas, Nanny Gill gave me Danny Dreyer’s  book ‘Chi Running  which gave me the idea to try Chi Swimming. He says the underlying skills in this running form are :

  • focus
  • body sensing
  • breathing
  • relaxing

He continues,  the process is the goal. Chi skills are valuable skills and worthwhile goals at the same time. So each time we practice focusing our mind, we are accomplishing our goal of being focused.

I largely made up my Christmas Chi Swim, I’m sure there’s plenty of writing out finsthere about it however, I’ve decided to write from this experience first and then check what it says after as part of my own learning process.

Firstly, I looked across the water and knew that I wanted to swim 40 lengths, so set an intention to swim them in under 30 minutes. I visualised myself achieving this and sensed how my body and mind would be. I stood, breathed and centered for a moment before I got in the water.

I focused on my dantien, the energy in my core, more here.  I wanted to glide through the water with minimal effort or muscle tension in my limbs with this invisible,  pure energy flowing through my body.

I have swimming fins, which I’m sure are quite a cheats way to swim but they really do help with my alignment and balance and they helped me to achieve a noise and splash reduced swim. I used my arms and hands mostly in front crawl motion, focusing on long smooth, relaxed and efficient movements. I was more aware than ever of the water and felt very present to this and the noises around. My breathing was as long as deep as possible and during the rest breaks I continued to inhale and exhale with awareness.

The swim was sub 30 minutes, infact I also became less aware of the time. It’s definitely an experience I wish to repeat as I did not only feel calm, connected and concious throughout but these sensations lasted the remainder of Christmas Day.

If you’ve ever explored a chi swim or would like to find out more you might also enjoy this chi doggy paddle to get you started.

Jane x