What a wonderful weekend workshop with Christine Borg. Christine's energy and enthusiasm makes it impossible to not want to flow like water as you move your body into shapes. Her yoga encourages you to find a lightness, to play with what the body can do, not bound by externally imposed limitations, not forcing your body to do as you want, but allowing it to unfurl rather than unfold, finding its own path. dancing to its own rhythm. Her hands-on approach guides the body to undo, lengthen and release and her boundless energy and individual attention make you want to befriend your body, to listen to its needs, its song and its wisdom. As I experiment with the spirals the fluidity and play with the movements my body can make, I am reminded to slow things down, to enable the separation and connections to happen. I hope to be able to encourage this same trusting of our own internal knowledge with my students. And Look forward to Christine holding a workshop in Glasgow soon.
I like this soup because it is quick and easy to make and doesn't take a lot of ingredients.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan
- Add some onions to the pan with 1-2 teaspoons of cumin and 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic. Cook until the onions become golden.
- Add one fresh chopped chilli if desired to give it a bit of a kick, I wouldn't use a very strong chilli.
- Add one chopped leek (optional).
- Add 700g chopped fresh tomatoes and let them cook for a bit until they become mushy. Alternatively used 2 tins chopped tomatoes.
- Add salt and pepper to season
- Add some Kale or Spinach, about a handful.
- Add 200g of red lentils
- Pour in vegetable stock
- Let it all simmer until the lentils are soft.
This will make quite a thick soup and you can eat it like this. If you want a more runny soup you can add some more stock (enough to cover what's in the pan). You can then blend the soup if you like, so that the consistency is smooth.
Spoon into bowls and serve with some chopped fresh coriander or parsley and a dollop of live natural yoghurt on the top.
Why this soup is great:
Tomatoes: Antioxidant, with vitamin C, good for the heart, circulation and prostate health.
Red Lentils: High soluble fibre, so good for digestion and constipation, also help to remove cholesterol from the gut.
Live Yoghurt: Contains probiotics - great for good bacteria in gut.
Kale: High in calcium, so good for bones. Rich in magnesium, which helps muscles relax, so great for muscle cramps or spasm.
Spinach: Good source of vitamin C, iron, protein and fat soluble antioxidant which helps protect collagen and elastin in skin.
Onion: High in quercetin which is a natural antihistamine.
Leek: High in prebiotic strengthens the stomach good bacteria, providing better defence.
Cumin: Good for indigestion.
Enjoy Harmony lunch time yoga classes have now moved. You can find us at:
82 Gordon Street
Opposite Central Station, next to RBS.
Drop in £6
Block booking £30 valid for 6 classes can be used for Wednesday and/or Friday classes, valid for 8 weeks.
I hope to see you at class.
I am ordering an organic veg box from Go Wild. It's kind of an experiment, as I am convinced that even though I am spending a little more to get good quality seasonal organic veg, not going to the supermarket to buy my veg will in fact save me money in the long run, as I can't be lured by any of the supermarket advertising and end up buying unnecessary products. I'm also hoping that this will help to widen my recipes as I make dishes primarily using the veg from the box. Furthermore, I have just got a bread-maker and have already begun to experiment with organic 'fancy' bread - cheaper than buying from a shop and I know exactly what is in it. I will be posting some of my creations here and letting you know how I get on with this experiment.
Today's bread is Olive, Oregano and Rosemary.
The changing season is upon us. The dark nights are beginning to draw in, as the weather starts to get colder, with our bodies and mind under stress, it is a time when we start to feel run-down, when our bodies begin to submit to having 'a cold'. It is important at this time of year to boost our immunity and overall wellbeing to enable us to fight off infection.
We can do this in a number of ways. It is vital that we take control of what we are putting into our bodies, the right fuel can help the body to fight off any potential infection. Key immune boosting ingredients to add to your diet: garlic- anti-viral, ginger - anti-inflammatory, chillies - decongestant, goji berries - support immune system and vitamin C, sweet potatoes - mild anti-inflammatory, prawns - packed with zinc which helps the body improve resilience from infection, coconut - anti-viral, shiitake mushrooms - powerful immune supportive, omega 3 fatty acids - help the body make its own anti-inflammatory compounds, and plenty of water - as colds and flu often dehydrate the body. (source: The Medicinal Chef)
Our bodies are unable to fight infections if we are feeling stressed, over-tired and generally run-down. Try and find ways to relax, perhaps take up a new hobby to enable you to take your mind off day to day matters. Include moderate exercise in order to get your body moving, circulation flowing and to avoid stiffness. Learn to breath properly, this may sound silly, but often people are so stressed that they don't realise they are breathing only into the upper chest areas. Try and become aware of your breath, slow it down, breath deeper - this will automatically calm you down. If you can develop this ability to slow and deepen your breath you can start to become aware of it when you are stressed and your breath has become shallow and fast, you will have the knowledge of how to moderate that breath and stress.
Finally you can help boost the bodies defences by including good quality supplements into your daily routine Be careful not to buy supplements which are laden with fillers and other non-essential ingredients. Here are a couple of supplements/herbs which may help you: (source: NYR training)
Vitamin C helps your immune cells mature, improves the performance of antibodies and macrophages and is antiviral.
Elderberries are high in vitamin C and Iron. They can be used as a prevention and also for treatment of a cold as they have anti-viral and immune boosting properties.
Echinacea enhances the immune system by boosting white blood cells. It has a powerful lymphatic action that clears congestion and swollen lymph nodes. It is great taken at the first sign of a cold to shorten its duration.
Olive Leaf helps to inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Thyme has a warming quality which aids the circulation and helps to throw off chills. It is great to drink as a tea through the winter if you are susceptible to colds, coughs and infections.
We can also use essential oils in a burner or mixed with a carrier oil and either massaged onto the skin or added to the bath. Oils such as:
Eucalyptus which is antiseptic and antiviral. A few drops can be put onto a hankie or added to a steaming bowl of water, breathing it will help to decongest blocked sinuses.
Ravensara is distilled from the leaves and twigs of the tree in Madagascar. It can be used at the initial signs of chills, shivers and tiredness as it has antimicrobial and immunomodulant actions (amplifies the immune system).
These essential oils, herbs and supplements can help to boost your immune system, but don't forget the power of the mind on your health. Stress, grief and depression all have negative effects on our health. Stress produces corticosteroids which cause the adrenal glands to push excess sugar into the blood stream initiating our fight or flight response = more stress, and this in turn depresses immune function. Too much exercise can have the same effect. Moderate exercise like Yoga, Tai chi, or walking outdoors can boost your immunity, research suggests by up to 40%. These moderate exercises also help to improve your quality of sleep, as poor sleep can deplete our natural resources and our bodies ability to fight infection. Massage can also help by relaxing your body and mind and improving sleep.
Get ready for winter - what will you do to boost your immunity this year?
Disclaimer: Non of these suggestions are a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis and treatment. Do not discontinue any medication without consultation with your own doctor. If in doubt please check with your doctor.