Friday, 23 November 2012

You have achieved so much

Remember that. It's something that hit me today as I was doing my habitual though process of beating myself up for what I hadn't achieved that day. Not having finished everything on my 'do' list, not answered all my emails, not written anything for my book, not connected with a friend, called my family, or given myself enough 'me' time. Once again, I was finishing the day going over all the things i'd not done. Then, today it dawned on me... what about all the things I had done? Was I recognising those? Defiantly not as much as I was the things I hadn't. When I stopped to think about all the things I'd done that day, that week, month, this year.. Wow! How much we do day in day out, even the tiny seemingly insignificant  things deserve much attention, because sometimes its those that bring you to the place that you are now. Its so easy to get caught up in doing more, being more, thinking that you are not enough, but what if we stopped thinking like that right now and gave ourselves praise for all the things we do and are everyday. You do enough. Are enough. Achieve heaps. Be that best friend who always tells you how great you are, to yourself. You'll always have the  best friend with you forever.

On todays realisation, I've decided to give myself a big-up. Something I rarely do and hardly ever write about, and my aim is not for praise or kind words from anyone but myself. Instead my aim is to encourage you to do the same. To forget dwelling on whats not been done, and instead what you've done/are. Write a list and read it aloud! Stop looking at that to-do list at whats still left to do, and look at all those things you've crossed off (and if its nothing, then praise yourself for having a day off!) Remember all the amazing things you have done so far this year, cos I bet its loads when you look back. Its so easy to keep looking forwards all the time, that we forget to take a glace backward every so often and take check of where we have come from. So stop 'doing' for a moment and give yourself the biggest hug for being great. You are!

My 'I did it!' list...

  • I have taught 19 raw food workshops so far this year, 3 in Sussex  2 in Switzerland, and the rest in my own cafe! Must have taught hundreds of people about the benefits of raw food now, brill!
  • I have co-written an e-book with the amazing Amy Levin, due to be released early 2013!
  • I have owned my own cafe for 1 year and 5 months and it has been visited by lovely people every day we have been open : )
  • I have started this blog! A place to share and motivate myself to write regularly, in preparation for my recipe book in the future!
  • I have holidayed in India, Cornwall and Wales with my love : )
  • I have practiced yoga at least once a week all year, and swam too
  • I have grown our own tomatoes! Yey! I have to remember this one as I beat myself up for not growing more, as I have done in the past. The tomatoes were amazing and so many other things grew in my garden without me even trying.. figs, raspberries, apples, herbs, nettles.. yum!
  • And most importantly of all, I have co-created a baby! I have grown, nourished, carried, felt and loved a new living being in my tummy now for 6 months and loved every minute. Giving myself loving nourishing care in way of giving it to the little one inside of me. Its the most amazing achievement of all...
Well done me!!!

Now I could extend this list to include lots more things, and I plan to do this at the end of the year. Right now though, I plan to end the day by recognising all the things that have been done as well as what I am grateful for. Now for a recipe to celebrate all that we achieve.. an abundance cake! We are lucky to live lives of abundance  so this recipe came from a feeling of wanting to capture all of the things which are abundant right now. Squashes, root vegetables and apples held together with warming spices and moist sweetness. A cake that could easily pass for your one of your daily portions of veg I say! Because why not eat veg for pud? Why not when it tastes this good! It's my way of celebrating myself, to come up with a recipe and serve it up for friends. Happy reflecting everyone.. eat cake and remember you are great!
 I love this quote : ) So true
Autumn~Abundance cake
(Makes 1 9inch cake. To make a layered cake, double the recipe)

3 cups almond flour ( dryed out pulp from making almond milk, powdered finely) 
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup rapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
1/2 cup honey/ sweet freedom syrup/ powdered coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp flax seeds
1 cup grated squash (butternut/kuri/ crown prince)
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated apple
Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a 9inch cake pan.. In a bowl combine dry ingredients. To make the flax 'eggs', grind some flax seeds in a high speed blender or spice mill, then add 3 tbsp water. mix together and leave to sit for 10 minutes, until you have a thick gloopy mixture. these will act as your eggs.  In a separate bowl combine the flax 'eggs' with the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour into prepared cake pan and cook in oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack and ice with some cashew 'cream' if desired.

 Time for tea! Treat yourself to a feast of this seasons abundances, and reflect on what you have achieved  however big or small. Happy baking!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Best Pregnancy foods

What do you do when you are a total foodie, think, breathe, sleep food every day, then suddenly wake up feeling queasy at the thought of eating anything, the smell of your usual favourites sends you running to the loo and all you can stomach is dry biscuits and toast? Welcome to my latest acquaintance; morning sickness. Yes, I am growing a wee bubba inside my body and whole lot of changes are taking place, physically, mentally and gastronomically! Having strong ethics and ideals that I thrive by when it comes to food, having another being tell you otherwise when it comes to my usual morning sweet porridge or smoothie, or afternoon slice of raw chocolate cake came to somewhat a surprise! Not being able to stomach anything sweet was a first for me, and  actually something I felt quite grateful for when I look back. My usual sweet cravings have diminished hugely since being pregnant, though I am assured this is not the same for every one! Cravings can begin right from day 1 when you are pregnant, as your new little person grows into its home for the next 9 months. Changes on all levels are to be expected, and for those women who haven't been health conscious before of have less healthy diets, the coming of a child inside can kick start you into thinking about what you choose to eat every day. Now I know many women find it hard to even think beyond what piece of bland cracker they will next try to keep down, and frankly eating anything remotely healthy is a big achievement. But if you can make a few little changes in your diet to make sure that you and your baby get the best of the foods available to you at this time, then I urge you to make this choice now! Being pregnant for me has made me even more aware of what I eat every day. This doesn't necessarily mean that I eat what I previously thought to be the healthiest foods for me. As my body changes, my needs change and my diet has changed quite alot over the past three months. It is vital that expectant mothers source enough nutrients for their growing baby and the toll they can take on their bodies. Popping a folate pill once you find out isn't enough to give you the best start to your pregnancy journey. This is the time to enjoy feeding your new baby, before it is even born! Everything I eat now I eat with love in knowing that my baby is getting the best that I can give it, even if these are sometimes quite different to foods I would choose for my self as a singular person. So what are the best pregnancy foods??
Foods for healthy conception are not as talked about as what you should be eating once you have planted the seed, so to speak! Basically, its a good idea to do a dietary cleanse before thinking about trying to have a baby,, as once you are pregnant, any kind of detox should be avoided, and good, balanced healthy eating should be the main priority. I fortunately did a week of mainly juicing and salads about a month before conceiving, then started eating lots of foods high in DHA and folic in the months before. You want to make sure you are getting lots of essential fatty acids through fish, eggs, hemp and/ or chia seeds. Foods high in folic acid are important pre-pregnancy, see the folate filled foods below.
My Top pre-pregnancy foods  have to be fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir, as they are packed full of folic acid and good bacteria, creating a healthy environment inside your guts for you to receive the best of the best nutrition in the months to come. Eating lots of fermented foods also means you are less likely to experience problems such as constipation and bloating when you fall pregnant, common symptoms of pregnancy.
Morning sickness
There seems to be nothing you can do to avoid it; you either get it bad or get away with it! I know the healthiest women who have suffered bad from morning sickness, what ever remedies and nutritional advise they take. So the best you can do is sip on things to relieve nausea: Ginger and citrus teas are good. And eat what ever you can stomach. Eating little and often is the best thing you can do to avoid sicky pangs. I found it was only when I let myself get really hungry that the strong nausea would hit in.
Folate filled
Folate (Folic acid) is vital for the normal development of the fetus and preventing spina bifida and other neural tube defects. It is recommended that you supplement with 800mg a day throughout pregnancy and pre-conception, but also bump up your intake of folate filled foods in your diet to get your dose of this super nutrient. Eat in abundance leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, bee pollen, citrus fruits, pulses and seeds.
O-mega foods
Foods rich in the 'good' fats especially Omega 3 are super during pregnancy, helping build healthy brains and supporting your own needs whilst your baby sucks on your sources of essential nutrients. Oily fish is well known for being one of the best sources of the Omega fats, although there are lots of plant sources too. Try adding ground flax or chia seeds to your breakfast, in breads or crackers or sprinkled on salads. Flax oil is one of the best sources of Omega 3, and is best added to smoothies or dressings. Walnuts are the best nut to go for, and it is also present in soy beans, so good quality tofu will add to your intake. I liked enjoying fish a few times a week, as well as my usual high intake of seeds and nuts.
My First trimester daily diet
This is a typical days eating during my first trimester:
First thing: Lemon hot water
Breakfast: Two poached eggs (from our friends down the road), 1 thick slice organic wholemeal toast with raw butter/coconut oil, silted spinach.
Snack:cold watermelon slices
Lunch:  Bowl of cooked quinoa, steamed asparagus, homemade sauerkraut, 1/4 avocado, sprouted mung beans
Snack: 1 teaspoon bee pollen and 1 slice bread/ raw cracker with pesto and avocado
Dinner: 1 wild salmon fillet, new potatoes, steamed seasonal veggies, olive oil.
Throughout day: lots of lemon balm, nettle and fennel tea.

My Pregnancy smoothie
This smoothie is packed full of folate (bee pollen), protein (almonds and chia seeds) and omega 3 (chia seeds, all essential for growing a little human! It tastes the best too.
1 cup Almond milk (homemade is best)
1 frozen banana
1 handful fresh or frozen berries (i am loving freshly picked blackberies and blueberries at the moment)
1 tbsp bee pollen
1 tbsp chia seeds 
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and drink!

                                             Mum-to-be Tea
                                               Lemon balm
                                        spearmint leaves
If you can find these herbs fresh, then pick, put into boiling water for 10 minutes and drink. Otherwise, you can buy all them dried as loose leaves and make a blend of equal amounts. Lemon balm and mint are so easy to grow at home, I'd encourage everyone to make a space for them in theor garden or in pots. As for nettles,  Find a good, clean patch and get using them! They're an amazing superfood which grows right on our doorsteps, full of iron, chlorrophyl and vitimins. Drink to your hearts content throughout pregnancy to boost your iron intake, keep caln and settle tummies.

O-mega mumma
An omega 3 rich snack to see off hunger pangs and keep you full of good fats to hep your babies brain development.
2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/2 c Almond/hemp milk
4 soaked dates
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tbsp bee pollen
Make the almond or hemp seed milk if you don't have any ready made. Add the dates to the milk with the scraped vanilla bean and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl with  the chia seeds and stir well. Leave top soak for at least half and hour until the seeds have swelled and absorbed the milk so it resembles and tapioca  pudding. Top with bee pollen and eat!