Sunday, 22 November 2015

How to get off Coffee the easy way

People ask me all the time, 'How do I kick my coffee habit? I enjoy the focus and the clarity I get from it but not the crash that follows later.' Here is what I recommend. All the benefits off coffee minus the caffeine shakes and the dreaded crash later. Enjoy the quick info graphic too that I put together on some of the benefits to be had from consuming this on a daily basis.


Upgrade your coffee habit

-2 thumb sized pieces of fresh turmeric root, or 1 tsp turmeric powder, or 2 capsules turmeric extract
-4TB shelled hemp seeds
-3 cups hot water
-2 TB raw sweetener of choice
-Pinch sun dried sea salt
-2 TB raw cacao powder
-Tonic/herbal extracts of choice (optional). 1TB maca is a good addition.

Add everything to a high powered blender and blend until fully emulsified. Add to a saucepan and heat to desired temperature, drink and enjoy.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Tip of The Day #5

Every culture has their power flowers, that is flowers held in high regard for their culinary, ornamental and medicinal use. Of these the artichoke is probably one of the most well known, with a use spanning from the gardens of Rome up to the present day shelfs of supermarkets all over the world. A member of the thistle family, artichoke is most well known medicinally for its liver protecting abilities and positive effect on the digestive system of humans. Two of the potential compounds highlighted to be behind these effects are caffeoylquinic acid and apigenin, which are thought to increase bile flow and formation, a substance which plays a key role in healthy digestion and liver function. 

If your liver then is in need of some TLC (most people's are) then artichoke can be a priceless ally to be welcomed to your dinner table. They are available in most supermarkets either raw, or ready prepared, and are a quick and tasty addition to your meals. Give this recipe below a go, which combines artichoke with garlic (another potent liver protecting food), and enjoy the benefits of clearer, healthier skin, and deeper sleep, which comes from having peak liver function. The image accompanying the text is what an artichoke looks like fresh, if you are unsure. Happy cooking. 


Fresh Artichokes with Garlic

•2 raw artichoke heads
•2TB extra virgin olive oil
•1TB raw Apple cider vinegar
•1 clove crushed garlic
•Salt and pepper to taste

Trim stem from the artichokes if there is one. Add artichokes to enough boiling water to cover. Cover and simmer just until tender, about 15 to 20. Drain, let cool and then remove all petals and cut the remaining core in half. Add all other ingredient to a bowl with the petals and core and mix well. All of the core is edible and for the petals the edible part is lighter in color and down at the base (where it was attached).

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Tip of The Day #4

Few foods can match the humble cucumber when it comes to internal and external application for beautifying and nutrifying the skin. A member of the Cucurbitaceae family (alongside melon and pumpkin), cucumber has been in use for over 3000 years. Much of cucumbers skin regulating and improving benefits come from its rich water (around 95%), cell salt, and silica content, which combine to add shine to the eyes, skin, and hair, when used over a regular period of time. Many of these nutrients are found in the skin so to get the most out of your cucumber don't peel them, and try and get ones which have not been waxed or sprayed with any questionable ingredients (organic, as a rule of thumb, is usually a good bet for this). 

Cucumbers in general have a bad rep, with many associating them with old memories of soggy cucumber sandwiches from school break time. It need not be that way. Give the recipe below a go to jazz up this store cupboard stalwart and banish those old soggy memories for good. Alternatively, simply add them to your vegetable juice. They go great with lemon, apple, ginger and celery. For topical applications simply slice thinly and rub onto your skin, let it dry and repeat. Or apply the fresh juice to your face with a facecloth/flannel. Instant facelift. 


•2 large organic slicing cucumbers chopped into quarters or 4 small pickling cucumbers
•2 cloves garlic
•1 bay leaf
•1TSP nigella seeds
•Fresh Dill
•2TB unrefined sea salt
•Around 700 ml of spring water

All spices are optional but add more depth and flavour to the recipe if used. 

Crush garlic and add to a glass jar with cucumbers and all the other spices and herbs. Make the brine by dissolving the salt into the water. Pour the brine into the jar until it covers the cucumbers. If it comes up short add more water until it does cover them. Seal jar with a lid or a cloth tied in place with an elastic band. Leave for a minimum of 1 week. Pickles will keep fermenting for up to 4 weeks and can be enjoyed at any point within this time frame. Moving them to the fridge slows down fermentation and souring. Enjoy them as they are or as an accompaniment to your main meal


"Cooling thermal nature; sweet flavour; diuretic; counteracts toxins and lifts depression; cleanses the blood; influences the heart, spleen-pancreas, stomach, and large intestine; quenches thirst, moistens the lungs, purifies the skin; acts as a digestive aid, especially in the form of pickles. A pack of grated cucumber placed on the face beautifies the skin. If placed over the eyes, it relieves hot, inflamed, swollen, dry, or irritated eyes. Cucumber skin is rich in silicon, chlorophyll, and is bitter. Eating cucumber with skin enhanced its medicinal virtue in the above applications. A tea of the skin alone is used for swelling in the hands and feet."

- Excerpt from 'Healing With Wholefoods' by Paul Pitchford
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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Book of the Day 3


 Written in the mid second century by the philosopher Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Meditations presents a noble approach to life. Schooled in the classic tradition, Marcus Aurelius reflects the mature harvest of the Stoic school of philosophy. His philosophy is best summed up by the saying "Do not be too concerned, for tomorrow you die". Lest this sounds too bleak, the awareness of mortality motivates a good, noble and upright life. Since we all die, the best thing is to live nobly and honestly. This is not only the way to live well, but also the way to avoid suffering. Meditations is composed of aphorisms and insights from Marcus Aurelius that allow his philosophy to be lived out. 


"Above all, never struggle or strain; but be the master of yourself, and view life as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, and as a mortal. Among the truths you will do well to contemplate most frequently are these two: first, that things can never touch the soul, but stand inert outside it, so that disquiet can arise only from fancies within; and secondly, that all visible objects change in a moment, and will be no more. Think of the countless changes in which you yourself have had a part. The whole universe is change, and life itself is but what you deem it." 

-excerpt from 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Maxwell Staniforth

Monday, 9 November 2015

Heroes can show us what is Possible

Heroes can show us what is possible

It can certainly be suggested that as we get older we become surer of who we are, but the potential to grow always remains throughout our life, no matter what. A central notion of the work of Carl Jung was that we should always seek to grow; that, despite never being able to reach an 'ideal' state, we should always be reaching to be the best, and the highest, we can be. The challenge though, comes not in realising this but in putting it into practice on a daily basis. How and what can I do to motivate myself to take action? Here is where the rubber hits the road.

In youth this may have unconsciously took the form of heroes, people whom we looked up to and admired for their qualities. While it may be tempting to think now of this idea as a childish one, especially in adult life, really it can still serve to propel and move us forward through the trying process of growth and change in our own life's. 
By looking to other people's achievements we get a glimpse of what is possible inside ourselves, and in our own life, and most importantly that there are other ways of living. We are not stuck permanently as we are, we are allowed to choose another way, if we wish.

If you find your self stuck, lacking inspiration or motivation then find people, or books, or videos which rekindle your inner fire and visit them daily. Keep them, as Marcus Aurelius called it, as your 'dogmata', your place to retreat and return to when needed, to re-motivate and re-align.

For me at the moment this is watching the short film titled 'Portrait of a Dancer: Lauren Cuthbertson', which is where the image above was taken from. Do check it out, I imagine you will enjoy it, and in closing remember that at your hands you have the life's of many others who have already trod the path you wish to walk, use their actions and words to light better the way you wish to go.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Book of The Day #2


Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.

"There are more species of fungi, bacteria and Protozoa in a single scoop of soil than their are species of plants and vertebrae animals in all of North America. And of these, fungi are the grand recyclers of our planet, the mycomagicians dissembling large organic molecules into simpler forms, which in turn nourish other members of the ecological community. Fungi are the interface organism between life and death.
With each footstep on a lawn, field or forest floor, we walk upon vast sentient cellular membranes. Fine cottony tuffs of mycelium channel nutrients from great distances to form fast growing mushrooms. Mycelium, constantly on the move, can travel across landscapes up to several inches a day to weave a living network over the land. But mycelium benefits our environment far beyond simply producing mushrooms fit our consumption.
Humans collaborate with these cellular networks, using fungi, specifically using mushroom mycelium as spawn, for both short and long term benefits. Mushroom spawn lets us recycle garden waste, wood, and yard debris, thereby creating mycological membranes that heal habitats suffering from poor nutrition, stress, and toxic waste. In this sense, mushrooms emerge as environmental guardians in a time critical to our mutual evolutionary survival. Our fungal friends equip us with tools to act responsibly and repair our shared environment, leading the way to habitat recovery. So knowing how to work with fungi - by custom pairing fungal species with plant communities - is critical for our survival. The twenty first century may be remembered as the Biotech Age, when these kinds of mycotechnologies play a prominent and increasing role in strengthening habitat health."
- excerpt from 'Mycelium Running' by Paul Stamets