The Stay-at-Home Munchies!

I don’t know about you but I have definitely observed myself opening my fridge more often recently and reaching for food as comfort or distraction during these strange times. Maybe it’s something to do with routine leaving by the back door and uncertainty entering through the front door?

Of course, primarily, we need to eat to stay alive, but food can serve many other purposes: to ground us, to connect us to others, to occupy or distract a troubled mind, offer feelings of reward and comfort when our needs are not being met elsewhere. In other words, eating can be a very emotional business!  And right now, things are pretty weird and our emotions, mood and energy levels might be less stable than usual. READ MORE

Immune Boosting Heroes

With the current focus on a particular virus, it’s a good moment to consider whether we are offering our immune systems enough support. The strength of our immune system is dependent on our diets, environment and lifestyle, including our levels of stress. The bottom line is that pathogenic microbes can cause disease, but only if our immune system is compromised. Or another way of putting it is: To prevent disease, we have to create health.

We want a rainbow of fruit and vegetables in our diets daily. The minimum is 5 a day but better to aim for 7-10.

Here are a few of the real heroes of the immune system: READ ON

Love Your Legumes!

Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are practically a yogic way of life! Occupying a central role in a nutritious and sustaining diet, we would benefit from eating them in some form several times a week and are encouraged to do so by Yogi Bhajan. In terms of nutritional therapy, legumes are considered a superfood and with good reason: READ MORE

Delicious, Golden, Caramelised, Nutty Ghee!

The first thing I want to tell you about ghee is that it is way easier to make than you might imagine. The seemingly mysterious alchemy of turning butter into this versatile, delicious fat with it’s distinctly nutty/toffee-like aroma and taste, put me off making ghee for a long time. But no! I am here to tell you that it is quick and easy to make and once you start, you will wonder how you ever managed without ghee in your life! READ MORE.

Autumn Bounty

Autumn is the official harvest time in nature where we are blessed with an abundance of nourishing foods. As the weather becomes cooler and the days become shorter, we respond naturally to our increased desire for cooked foods.

Our dietary requirements shift, embracing newly harvested complex carbohydrates such as root vegetables, squashes, corn, legumes and whole grains.

Yogi Bhajan encourages us to increase our intake of earth foods, which grow below the ground as the nights draw in. READ MORE.

Focus on Fruit

Yogi Bhajan advised us that if wanted to elevate our consciousness, we should eat etheric foods grown on trees and vines more than three feet above the ground. Referred to as sun foods due to the fact that they have absorbed energy from the sun rather than the earth, many fruits fall into this category and are naturally perfect summer food being light and hydrating. READ MORE.

Spotlight on Superfoods

There are certain foods that crop up time and time again in Yogi Bhajan’s recipes and with good reason too, as you could call them superfoods. Let’s have a closer look at the fab four:

ONIONS & GARLIC

Onions and garlic have been used throughout history and has even been found in the Egyptian pyramids! Both of them are fantastic for our immunity as they are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and can lower blood pressure. READ MORE

Spring Cleansing Part 3: Roar for Raw!

Summer is here and the sun is out, so if you’ve ever been tempted to try a raw food diet, then this might just be your moment.

What’s it all about?

  • This is food in its most nutritious state, with the vital elements of nature still within it – sun energy, water and nutrients from the earth, so it’s no surprise to find that it must consist of unprocessed and uncooked foods.
  • To be truly following a raw food diet, 75% of your total food intake has to be raw. More commonly, it is a vegan diet but it is possible to include raw fish, eggs and meat.
  • The only way food can be cooked is by using a dehydrator where the temperature never goes above 118 degrees F (48 degrees C). So you can use a conventional oven if the temperature goes down low enough.
  • You can eat a raw food diet with no special tools at all, but the following will allow you more scope for variety: Blender, food processor, juicer (masticating is best), spiralizer (fabulous for courgette spaghetti) and a dehydrater. READ MORE

Calling All Women – Weekend Summer Retreat

I wanted to let you know about a weekend retreat that I thoroughly recommend especially for us gorgeous womenfolk!

 It is being hosted by 3 teachers from i-Sky teacher training  – all of whom I know to be particularly fine teachers. It takes place at Ufton Court in Reading from 6pm on Friday evening 16th August until 4pm Sunday 18th August. Cost is £165. Ufton court is a slightly faded glory, but nevertheless charming tudor manor house near reading Berkshire. Everyone either stays in dorm style accommodation sharing rooms from between 3-8 people approx or camping in the lovely grounds. There is a certain amount of Seva (selfless service) to ensure the smooth running of the weekend – in other words everyone mucks in a bit, however 2 lovely men have offered to cook for us all weekend – lovely veggie food.
There will be Kundalini yoga, Shakti dance ( the dance of Kundalini yoga), martial arts, sharing, laughing and generally doing what we women  do so well….. which is hanging out together celebrating our feminine energy. It is a very relaxed, supportive atmosphere with all ages and levels of experience.
So if this sounds like something that you might be interested in ,then visit http://www.i-sky.net/ for more info or phone Sharon on 01635 523900.

Fancy getting way from it all?

If you feel the need to get away for a while and are looking for somewhere that is peaceful, beautiful, friendly and affordable, then I recommend the retreat that I will be teaching on this May in the beautiful Apennine Mountains just near Bologna in Italy.

I taught on this retreat for the first time last year and am delighted to be returning. Ali and Mike are wonderful hosts and the relaxed informal nature of the place allows you to gently unwind. There is Kundalini yoga on offer twice a day lead by Malcolm or myself, along with gong bath relaxations, singing and dancing.

The scenery is stunning so whether you want to lie in the hammock and appreciate the stillness or take a leisurely stroll around the open land, you really feel the benefit of space and nature. You can stay in the charming rustic house or camp in tents supplied in the lovely field nearby.

It’s a short flight from Stanstead or Gatwick  to Bologna from where you catch a bus to Vignola to be met by Ali or Mike who will drive you to Casa Taddeo in the village of Castellaro di Sestola. The whole retreat runs from Tuesday 14th – Sunday 19th May so ideally you would fly Monday-Monday to get the full benefit of the retreat but if you can only get away for a shorter time then it’s quite possible to make it a long week-end. Delicious vegetarian food, Kundalini yoga, music and nature – what more could anyone want?!

For more details click on the flyer and email me with any queries. Visit the website http://www.apennine-retreat.com

Yoga in a Yurt, Anna Ranprem, Anna Browne Malcolm Medley, Mahan Deva, May 2013, Italy