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

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 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

Spring Cleansing Part 2: The Cleansing Power of Foods


“By nature the month of April, can give you a total new lease, eat light and eat right. In spite of the taxes and cleaning the houses and all other stuff, this is one time that you can give yourself a new sprouting energy.” Yogi Bhajan

Our diet should support the body’s natural detoxification processes by ensuring that we are taking in the right balance of nutrients at the same time as not burdening the system with congesting toxins.

So when are considering foods for cleansing, we need to consider what we put in….and what we take out! What this looks like ultimately is an alkalising diet, which is primarily a plant-based, whole food diet, low in animal protein, dairy, processed grains, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. READ MORE


Breakfast Re-set!

Leek, cougette & feta omelette 2

I used to have trouble with a Western breakfast. I can’t abide porridge, muesli leaves me cold, toast leaves me heavy and fruit is somehow not enough. Then a couple of years ago I went to Japan with my sister and my Japanese brother-in-law and found myself in breakfast heaven! Pickles, omelette, miso soup, fish and all sorts of other savoury delights, all exquisitely presented, making my taste buds dance and leaving me completely satisfied. Now I wasn’t ever going to get up at 5am to start pickling the daikon as my brother-in-law’s mother does, but it did get me starting to think creatively about what I wanted to eat when I broke my fast each day. It allowed me to be unshackled from the admittedly self imposed restriction around what breakfast should look like.
So here are some of my current favourites:


When I have a little more time in the morning and often when I’ve done a strong yoga practice or have come back from a swim and I feel in need of something substantial, I go for my favourite omelette/frittata. I gently sweat a chopped leek and courgette with a few mushrooms until soft (use a frying pan with a lid) Then I add either some cubes of feta cheese or smoked tofu and 2 beaten eggs and continue to cook with the lid off. Then I pop it under the grill for a few minutes to cook the top, slide it onto a plate and sprinkle with spouted mung beans or have a small side green salad.


Winter breakfast saladSpiralised courgette, avocado, orange, olives, red pepper, walnuts and seeds make a very delicious, nutritious and satisfying Winter Salad. It might seem a little strange to opt for salad for breakfast but give it a try – if you take the ingredients out of the fridge a while before making so you are eating it at room temperature.

Another option on a breakfast salad is

Yogi Bhajan’s Fountain of Youth



Bircher meusliOf course muesli not an unusual breakfast choice for many of us, but have you ever tried making Bircher muesli? It’s a great option when you’re short of time. The slow energy release oats are soaked overnight in apple juice and milk of your choice, then grated apple, honey, yoghurt and cinnamon are mixed in and a delicious nutty topping added. The great thing about it is that you can prepare most of it the night before; put the oat mixture into one jar and the dried ingredients into another….in the morning you add the grated apple etc. to the oat jar, tip the toppings in and off you go!



Banana & Apple SurpriseMy current favourite when I want something warm and comforting with a little bit of natural sweetness is Banana & Apple Surprise – with the surprise being a delicious layer of maca (for energy and stamina) and cacao nibs nestled between a bottom layer of mashed banana and good tahini and the top layer of warm spiced cooked apple.





Poached eggs on rye with rocketIt’s a classic but such a goody! Avocado on rye toast, with poached egg and rocket. Packed with protein, good fats and healthy nutrient dense dark leafy greens, it’ll set you up for the day

It’s always a good idea to include some protein in your breakfast. Some great sources are eggs, nuts & seeds, lentils & beans and tofu & tempeh. Not only does protein keep you feeling full for longer, but also it is absolutely essential for every function in our bodies.

I’ll leave you with an interesting fact: The glycaemic index is the measure of classifying foods according to their potential to raise blood glucose levels, leading to a surge and then plunge in energy levels. Cooked and cooled rice, pasta and potatoes are lower on the glycaemic index than when they are hot, even if they are re-heated, leading to energy levels that are steady and more sustained….so here’s a big-up for eating the leftovers of last night’s dinner for breakfast!




Hunkering Down With One-Pot Dinners

one-pot dinner

There is nothing quite like sitting down to a steaming pot of soup or stew on a chilly winter’s day for instilling in us a sense of wellbeing and contentment. We might find ourselves letting out a little sigh of anticipation for the warmth and satisfaction that we know this dish will bring.


In ‘Foods for Health & Healing’ Yogi Bhajan talks about the benefit of eating both nutritious and sustaining foods for optimal health and wellbeing. Nutritious foods supply us with all the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) and the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that we need for energy and strength. Sustaining foods go a step further as the nutritional value is added together with the texture, taste, aroma and the way it is prepared – the combination being somehow more potent than the sum of the ingredients. This is the magic of one-pot dinners!


According to ancient Indian theory, all matter is divided into three categories: sattva, rajas and tamas. The foods that work well in one-pot dinners fall into the sattvic and rajasic categories. Root vegetables, herbs and spices and the trinity of onions, garlic and ginger are rajasic and give us the energy to accomplish what we need to do in the world. Yogi Bhajan suggested that ‘earth foods’ i.e. those that grow below the ground should be eaten more frequently in colder climates and during the winter months due to their high energy releasing carbohydrate content. Sattvic foods include ‘sun foods’ – those grown on trees or vines and ‘ground foods’ such as beans, rice and green vegetables and represent the meditative, etheric quality.


  • A fantastic way to begin cooking any one-pot dinner is with the trinity roots of onion, garlic and ginger. The allium family of onions and garlic are of great benefit to human health containing antimicrobial, anti-viral and antifungal properties as well as being anti-inflammatory, lowering cholesterol and being protective against a variety of cancers. Ginger is a digestive stimulant, anti-inflammatory and is well known for it’s strengthening and ‘warming’ properties as it increases metabolism and energy.
  • The reputation of turmeric as a super food and medicine is growing fast. Its main active ingredient curcumin is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is fat soluble so requires the presence of fat in the meal. Amazingly adding black pepper to turmeric enhances its absorption by up to 2000%!
  • Adding beans and lentils to soups, stews, casseroles and curries provides an excellent source of fibre, protein and nutrients helping to regulate blood glucose levels, prevent constipation and support cardiovascular health.

It is worth noting that most plant proteins are incomplete but some become complete when combined – for instance hummus (legume + seed) and lentils with rice (legume + cereal).

A great yogic favourite is Mung beans & Rice with vegetables – perfect winter food and a complete source of protein!

  • Add brassicas to your soups and stir-fries (e.g. broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower). This group is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (protect our DNA from damage caused by oxidants and carcinogens) and are detoxifying and anti-inflammatory.
  • One –pot cooking helps to keep in as much of the nutritional value of water-soluble vitamins as possible. So steam sauté (sautéing food in oil for a short amount of time and then adding water and covering food until cooked) and make soups and stews to maximise intake of these essential nutrients.
  • Dark leafy greens are a powerhouse of nutrients and are best added to a dish towards the end of cooking. A handful of spinach wilted into a chickpea stew last minute is one of my favourites and brings colour, texture and interest along with the nutrients.
  • In order to increase the absorption of the fat soluble antioxidant carotenoids in red, orange and yellow veg that frequently make an appearance in one-pot dinners, drizzle a little coconut oil, butter or olive oil on your soup or stew at the end of cooking.

So get creative and hunker down with a one-pot dinner to bring wholesome healing, joy to the taste buds, satisfaction to the stomach and an overall feeling of warmth and wellbeing on these long chilly winter nights.

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Wishing you a very merry healthy festive season!

thumbnail_IMG_9353Our relationship with food can be complex and the festive season is likely to be a time when the deep-rooted entanglement between food and emotions rears its head. Stress, complicated family dynamics and overwhelming gastronomic stimuli can cause us to fall into unconscious ways of eating.

Maybe that manifests in overeating – swiftly followed by dieting. Or beating ourselves up if we feel we may have given in to temptation and sullied our ‘clean’ palates.

In an ideal world we would all practice the ancient Japanese art of Hara Hachi Bu, (most famously practiced by the Okinawans of Japan who are renowned for their longevity), which advises people to eat until they are 80% full.

Or alternatively if you can catch the urge to overeat before the deed is done, then Yogi Bhajan suggested left nostril breathing, holding the breath at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale for as long as you can. Even 3 minutes of this pranayama would give you enough ‘breathing space’ to become aware of your actions and take the heat out of the situation.

Eating sweet foods is of course a huge part of many of our Christmas festivities and the problems of excess refined sugar intake are well documented. As well as sugar being massively addictive as it releases huge amounts of dopamine in the brain, there are further issue with it: The first is that once absorbed, sugar is broken down into glucose and fructose and the excess is stored in the liver. If stores here are full, then the residual is converted into fat stores, which is why high sugar intake coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity.

The second is that sugar is quickly absorbed and can raise blood glucose levels. This can lead to the highs and lows in energy levels and mood that are often associated with sugar intake. And the third is that if blood glucose levels are often erratic, then insulin receptors on cells become immune to stimulation. This can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.

However, happily it is actually possible to make, eat and share truly delicious treats that are also nutritious to eat.

The ‘Raw Chocolate Guru’ and Yogi, Danny Bridgeman promotes the making and eating of raw chocolate treats with the motto ‘share the bliss’. I have been lucky enough to sample Danny’s ‘sweet treats’ and can attest to both their scrumminess and their high vibration – they leave you feeling energised and totally satiated.

Here he is enticing us with one of his latest creations!

There are several recipes that would make perfect Christmas treats or gifts with the simple addition of Christmas spices.

This year, I am looking forward to some delicious kombucha – my partner tells me that his latest brew is like a fine wine! As well as being a wonderful alternative to sparkling wine during the festivities (please note that the fermenting process does produce trace alcohol – around  0.2 – 1.2 %), it is absolutely packed full of goodness. Having good gut bacteria is paramount for both healthy digestive processes and essential for balancing the immune system. Most of us are familiar with probiotics but prebiotics are equally important as they feed the good gut bacteria and kombucha is a prime example. You can buy bottled kombucha but ideally, try home brewed. You can get a kombucha scoby or ‘mother’ to start you off online but even better would be to get it from someone that you know and spread the kombucha love!

So as I raise a glass of Kombucha to you all and tuck into a divine and wholesome chocolate treat, I wish you all a very merry and healthy Christmas and New Year!