Sunday, 29 December 2013

Quote of the day

"Every man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion.
He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over God's depths into an infinite sea.
This talent and this call depend on his organization, or the mode in which a general soul incarnates in him. He inclines to do something which is easy to him, and good when it is done, but which no other man can do.
He has no rival.
For the more truly he consults his own powers, the more difference will his work exhibit from the work of any other. When he is true and faithful, his ambition is exactly proportional to his powers. By doing his work he makes the need felt which only he can supply."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Plank Exercise for Building core strength

Benefits of The Plank Exercise

*It strengthens your lower back
*It develops your core muscles – which include the abs, back, hips and the butt.
*Helps you to avoid injuries and encourage good posture.
*It increases blood and lymphatic circulation.
*It regenerates bone and builds muscles by increasing blood circulation.
*Can be done anywhere
*Develops your abdominals by targeting the rectus abdominis.

The Plank Challenge

Begin on day 1 holding the position for 20 seconds. On day two add 10 seconds to the hold and so on and so forth.

Day 1 - 20 seconds
Day 2 - 20 seconds
Day 3 - 30 seconds
Day 4 - 30 seconds
Day 5 - 40 seconds
Day 7 - 45 seconds
Day 8 - 45 seconds
Day 9 - 60 seconds
Day 10 - 60 seconds
Day 11 - 60 seconds
Day 12 - 90 seconds
Day 14 - 90 seconds
Day 15 - 90 seconds
Day 16 - 120 seconds
Day 17 - 120 seconds
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Day 24 - 210 seconds
Day 25 - 210 second
Day 27 - 240 seconds
Day 28 - 240 seconds
Day 29 - 270 seconds
                                            Day 30- Hold the Plank for as long as possible

How to Do the Plank Correctly

Friday, 13 December 2013

Pesto alla Trapanese

If you have ever been lucky enough to visit Sicily then you will know how incredible their fresh produce is. Pretty much everything available to buy in terms of fruits and vegetables is grown in Sicily, even the Pistachios and Pine nuts and Almonds available in the supermarket are from the Island.  I dish i enjoyed often when I was WWOOF'ing there a few years back was 'Pesto alla Trapanese' (which translates as 'Pesto of Trapani' or 'Pesto Trapani style' if my Italian is correct). I would go to the garden daily to pick the tomatoes and basil then whiz this up back in the kitchen with the rest of the ingredients.  The main difference between this pesto and the classic green 'Pesto Genovese' is the addition of fresh tomatoes and the omission of cheese and the replacement of pine nuts with Almonds which grow abundantly on the Island. I have also added black garlic to the recipe as i find it gives the dish an added depth. The pesto works really well with raw zucchini pasta or an organic brown rice fusilli if you dig your pasta cooked. 

Remember Italian mamas that this is my take on Pesto alla Trapanese not the Pesto alla Trapanese so dont get offended by what i may have left out or by what I have added in ha ha! Enjoy and do visit Sicily if the opportunity arises for you.


All ingredients can be adjusted to suite taste.

6 large organic tomatoes on the vine or 300 grams of organic cherry/baby tomatoes
80 grams of organic whole almonds (preferably soaked and dehydrated although not essential)
2 cloves organic garlic
2 cloves black garlic
1 big bunch organic basil leaves
6 organic white peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sun dried sea salt
2 tablespoons  organic stone crushed olive oil (optional)


Add everything to the blender and blend to desired consistency. Pour over hot cooked pasta and stir through or if using raw zucchini pasta heat on the stove at a very low heat until warmed through.

Jia Aili Painting and Installation