Year: 2013

Banana Coconut Millet Porridge

Today is the first day since I’ve been living in Kaohsiung that I’ve started to feel the Winter chills. My morning smoothie just wouldn’t cut it this morning. Time for some wholesome, nourishsome millet. This hearty breakfast left me feeling warm, perfectly full and satisfied. Oh and did I mention it’s dairy and gluten-free. What you’ll need: – About 1/2 cup of organic millet (be sure to pre-soak it for a few hours – drain & rinse) – water – x1 banana – coconut cream/milk – desiccated coconut flakes – x1 cinnamon stick & 3 clove buds – flax, sunflower & pumpkin seeds – honey Simply cook the millet as per the instructions, adding the cinnamon sticks, cloves & desiccated coconut flakes to the mixture from the start. Once cooked – about 20 minutes (I like to keep a little liquid in the mixture as it dries up a bit once left to stand), remove from the stove and add some coconut cream/milk, seeds, sliced banana & a dash of honey if you so desire. Yummm… enjoy :) …

Easy Guide to Oil Pulling

I thought I’d share a quick and easy guide to Oil Pulling as I find there is so much information out there, that it can be a little overwhelming. My previous post is more detailed with lots of links and updates on my experiences to date (view it HERE). I’ve been Oil Pulling for the past 5 months and can definitely say it has benefited me. I’ve used sesame oil (which is recommended) and coconut oil. I would recommend starting with sesame oil (try that for about 6 weeks) and then switch to coconut for a few weeks and see how you feel. We have to remember that each one of us is different, with varying constitutions and past/current ailments, and therefore will experience different results. By nature, sesame is a more warming oil, and coconut has a cooling effect on the body. 1, 2, 3 Oil Pull Me 1. Take 1 tbsp of organic, unrefined sesame/coconut oil first thing in the morning (you can have a sip of water first if you need to). 2. Swish it …

Oh-So-Yummy Dragon Fruit

One of the things I love about living in Asia is the variety of different fruit and vegetables available.  A quick pop down to the market and you never know what you might find! The Dragon Fruit (aka Pitaya) is my latest addiction. I love this tropical superfood because it tastes oh-so-good and is extremely nutritious. As you can see in my pic, it’s covered in a scaly bright pink skin, which is actually thin and peels off effortlessly. The entire inside is edible and consists of white or pink sweet tasting pulp and tiny black seeds (my favorite is the pink pulp variety). I could feel it was good for me, especially my digestion (I had proof!),  so I researched more. Here’s what I found out… – Dragon Fruits are rich in antioxidants and contain a multitude of nutrients. What’s notable is the Vitamin C content – a whopping 9mg per 100g. Typical nutritional value per 100g: Nutrition Amount Water 82.5- 83 g Protein 0.159- 0.229 g Fat 0.21- 0.61 g Fiber 0.7- 0.9 g …

(Ha) + (Tha)

People often confuse yoga for some sort of religion. They couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact, as Yogi Bikram Choudhury states, “the science of living life correctly so that we can get to that point , our ultimate destination.” So why does Mr Bikram refer to it as the science of life? “Science helps us understand the physical world. Yoga helps us understand not just the physical body but also the mind and the Spirit. Yoga helps us understand nature; and nature helps us understand the voice of our spirit, or God.” The Symmetry of Hatha Hatha Yoga refers to the practice of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and relaxation. In Sanskrit, Ha means ‘Sun’ and Tha means ‘Moon’. Isn’t that just perfection in itself? I’ve known this truth for a long time, but I love the way Bikram expresses it so simply and aptly in his book, Bikram Yoga. Let me share it with you… “In nature there is a strong symbiotic movement between the Sun and the Moon, a balance between …

What Ananda Taught Us

A great Buddhist story from a book I’m reading (Awakening The Buddha Within) beautifully describes the balance between effort and effortlessness. It goes like this: “By the time Buddha became ill and died, he had been teaching for 45 years and many of his disciples had become enlightened. One who had not was Buddha’s ever-present attendant, Ananda. This might be seem strange because of all the disciples, Ananda had heard every word that the Buddha taught and memorised them all. But, due to his busy schedule, Ananda had little time for his own solitary meditation practice. Several months after the Buddha’s death, it became imperative for Ananda to become enlightened. The First Council was to take place in order to recite and codify all the teachings spoken by Buddha. Ananda was essential to this meeting, however, because he wasnt enlightened, he wasnt qualified to attend. Ananda did the only thing he could do under the circumstances: he went into retreat, a meditation marathon, striving round-the- clock for enlightenment. Finally it was the morning of the …

Lonely Isn’t a Dirty Word

It’s simply a momentary state of being. It’s not the unspeakable demon that we sometimes prescribe it to be. It doesn’t need to be suffocated or suppressed. Perhaps it just needs to be recognised and nurtured. Maybe it just needs a little love. Not the kind of love that’s found in externals, but rather that deep, deep wholeness that we all feel oh so deep within. You know what I’m talking about. You know that you really are loved. You really are beautiful. You really are perfect, just as you are. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself otherwise, but deep down you know. “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  ~ Rumi I know that sometimes it can feel like you really are alone and infinitesimal in this big, colossal world. But don’t forget that every day, every step, every thought you think and feeling you feel, Mother Earth is there supporting you. Enveloping you in her sturdy grounds …

Hello Taiwan, Nice To Meet You

I have finally arrived in Taiwan and set up home in the island’s second largest city, Kaohsiung. I chose Kaohsiung for a number of reasons. 1. The weather. To put it simply, its HOT. I didn’t realise just how hot until I got here but I’m a Durban girl and I need my sunshine. 2. The location. It’s located down South in close proximity to the beach and mountains. Oh yes, oh yes. 3. The parks. There are beautiful parks located throughout the city. 4. The yogi community. Kaohsiung sometimes gets a bad rep because of the pollution down here, but to be honest I feel like I can breathe better than up in Taichung, for example. The streets are wide and it’s more spacious. There’s also a lot more happening down here. So far I’ve hiked up Monkey Mountain, ventured down to the beach, been on numerous scooter rides throughout the city, done yoga in the park, ended up in the hospital at 2am with my poorly housemate, found my favourite iced matcha latte …

Do Something Good

“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety, or a hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. Try to be at peace with yourself and help others share that peace. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.” – Dalai Lama (Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Surya Das)

Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge

Deepak is doing it again…. this time he invites us to journey into our hearts with his free, three week guided meditation series focusing on Miraculous Relationships. “Fall in love with yourself. Fall in love with life.” I love Deepak Chopra and I love his teachings. I have read many of his books and done many of his 21-Day Mediation Challenges, taking something new from each one. Although I aim to meditate daily, sometimes this just doesn’t happen. I find that when I’m in a lull, doing Deepak’s Challenge is exactly what I need to get back into the swing of it. Give it a try, whether you’re a beginner or regular meditator you’ll love it. It’s not too late to join – register HERE See what Deepak has to say about the Science of Meditation: Oh and did I mention that I was lucky enough to meet Mr Chopra himself on a random train ride from Haridwar to Delhi back in 2010. He sat right next to me on the train and I got …

Connecting With Your Dharma

“Connect with your talents and begin a project that employs your natural gifts and really inspires you to serve. Don’t think about what is possible, think about what will really move you. Then begin with what you have from where you are at. The moment you start your project, the moment you do one little thing to move closer to your goal, everything shifts. Purpose, focus and inspiration increase. Things start to happen to move your project forward. Out of the blue, people and situations show up to help you. It is one of the mystical secrets of success that the world hears what’s in your heart – and responds.” – Mahatma Das

I See You

“You know… they say an elephant never forgets.  What they don’t tell you is, you never forget an elephant.” – Bill Murray , ‘Larger Than Life’ I got to play with elephants today thanks to my Mom (very, very happy face mom :) and wow what an experience. We spent the afternoon at The Elephant Sanctuary  in Hazyview, Mpumalanga and learnt everything there is to know about ellies. Did you know they have unique footprints like us; they move surprisingly quietly due to a shock-absorber type tissue on the soles of their feet; and they can communicate via seismic vibrations felt in the ground!?! I can’t usually handle seeing animals in captivity, it’s just not right and the animals don’t ever seem happy. You can see it in their eyes. It made me feel a bit better though that the ellies here, Casper (27 yrs) and Gitzo (14 yrs), were originally up for auction as part of a culling project, and if they weren’t saved they would’ve ended up in the zoo or circus. There’s something extremely captivating about …

Tamari Toasted Seeds

According to Patrick Pitchford, author of Healing with Wholefoods, the best way to eat seeds or nuts is to soak them overnight to initiate the sprouting process, which makes fats and proteins more digestible. Then dry and eat raw or roast them. “Roasting reduces the effect of rancidity and cuts down on the oiliness, making nuts and seeds easier to digest. Lightly roasting increases their warming qualities making them perfect for the cooler seasons and better for cold or deficient individuals.” I like to toast them by dry frying them in a pan and adding some Tamari sauce for flavor. Yummmmm….. I think it was my friend and foodie, Susan Marque, who introduced this to me. How to make them: Choose your seeds – I usually use Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds. – Add Pumpkin Seeds to a heated pan (on high heat), spread evenly and dry fry. – Make sure you shake the pan to prevent burning. After a few minutes the seeds will begin to make a popping sound. – Add the Sunflower …

Into The Wild

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

My Favourite Yogis in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a little piece of heaven nestling at the base of the Himalayas on the banks of the holy Mother Ganges. It is known to be one of the most spiritual places in India and also referred to as the “world Capital of yoga”, and for good reason. From the moment you arrive in Rishikesh you can sense there’s something different about this place, a very special kind of energy resonates here. The Ganges flows through the centre of the town and on either side the banks are lined with Ashrams, yoga centers, cafes, jewelry and book shops, and places offering massage or other ayurvedic therapies. The great thing about staying in Rishikesh is that there is so much yoga to choose from, from Ashtanga to Iyengar to Kundalini to traditional Hatha. I’ve been to many different teachers in Rishikesh, but these are my two favourites… Surinder Singh (Hatha Yoga) My absolute favorite teacher is Surinder Singh… an inspiring teacher who teaches Hatha with an Iyengar influence. His yoga to me feels like an art …

Gluten-free Chia Seed Crumpets

Ok I am now addicted to making crumpets for breakfast! Feels like a treat yet they are so nutritious, easy to make and can be combined with any number of fruit combinations. I love this recipe (adapted from Larissa Green’s Love Green Food) because it’s not only gluten-free but also sugar-free (ok it has 1 tbsp xylitol)… Ingredients (makes approx. 10 crumpets): – 1 cup rice flour – 1/2 cup coconut flour – 2 tbsp chia seeds (pre-soaked in water for 10 mins) *great vegan source of omega-3 / ancient superfood – 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used half cow’s milk, half soy milk) – pinch of salt – 1 tbsp xylitol powder – 2 medium eggs – ghee/butter for frying – a selection of fruit (I used diced persimmon, pomegranate seeds & stewed apple) ————————————————————————- 1. Add the flour, salt & xylitol to a bowl and mix well. 2. Make a well in the middle. Then add the eggs to the well and start by whisking the eggs. 3. Slowly mix in the flour, and finally add …

Aaah Nostalgia…

nos·tal·gia:  A sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.   I am busy preparing for my move to Taiwan, and part of that preparation is a major decluttering. I’ve had some boxes and bags stored at my parent’s farm for a few years now and it’s finally time to let them go. Sometimes I feel like life is a beautiful act of learning to let go. Releasing our attachment to physical forms that weigh us down and make us heavy, releasing our attachment to people, outcomes, feelings and experiences; freeing us up for the new that life has to offer. I’ll never forget the lightness I felt when I left South Africa to live in Japan a few years back, leaving with nothing but my backpack and a small carry bag. It was liberating! And now as I venture out into the world again, this time I plan to be gone for a lot longer so I want to free myself up  just a little more. Whilst decluttering, …

Buckwheat Crumpets, Stewed Apple & Berries

Yummm… made these for breakfast this morning and they were simply delicious. I used the pancake recipe from Larissa Green’s cookbook Love Green Food and adapted it to make crumpets. These are gluten-free and virtually sugar-free too! Ingredients (makes 8 – 10 pancakes): – 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (or another flour, such as rice flour) – 2 cups of milk or water (I used half cow’s milk, half soy milk) – pinch of salt – 1 tbs honey or rapadura sugar (I used xylitol powder) – 2 medium eggs (must be happy eggs of course!) – ghee or butter for frying – a selection of fruit (I sliced up some banana, added blueberries & stewed up some apple in cinnamon, cloves & cardamon) ————————————————————————- 1. Add the flour, salt & optional sugar to a bowl and mix well. 2. Make a well in the middle. Then add the eggs to the well and start by whisking the eggs. 3. Slowly mix in the flour, and finally add the milk/water, slowly incorporating more of the flour into …