I was very honoured to be interviewed for a slot on Radio Calm last week.The interview is being aired on Monday 7th September 2018 at 4pm (French time). The radio station is a wonderful way of tuning into music that will encourage peace and happiness in your times of relaxation tune in to learn how Praana Wellness came into being Radio Calm.Read More
Becoming sugar aware has many benefits for our health and wellness. Our Facebook group has been evolving through the months and we are now on our fourth month of being sugar aware or sugar free. Our group has demonstrated our determination and commitment to a healthier lifestyle, however ditching sugar from our daily diets may have left us with a stock pile of this addictive sweet stuff in our cupboards and pantries.
Frances who has recently taken over the running of the group came up with this brilliant wellness solution. If we have stopped consuming it, then let us use it to nourish our bodies in a different way. Frances decided to make a very simple sugar scrub, which leaves your skin silky smooth and primed to absorb moisture, which is just what the Doctor ordered after the winter months. If you make a larger batch, you can make pretty labels for small jars and give them as gifts – the perfect sweet alternative gift for friends and family at Easter.
Half a cup of sugar
Quarter cup of coconut oil
10-15 drops of Eucalyptus oil (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together.
If you are using course sugar, the scrub will have a harder texture alternatively you can give it a blast in the food processor for a softer scrub.
Place the ingredients in a small sterilized jars.Read More
Relationships are complex and challenging at the best of times. I can comfortably vouch for this after 32 years of marriage, two children (now 28 and 25), meeting my own birth mother in the past 5 years not to mention the hundreds of working therapeutic relationships I develop with adolescent and adult clients over the year. This doesn’t include the complexities in relationships of the family outside the nuclear family. How come some families seem to do it effortlessly and for others their whole life appears to revolve around family dramas.
As we fast approach the festive season/month this often becomes a big issue. Christmas can be the catalyst for many breakdowns in already fragile relationships and none more so than the parent/child one. I am hoping to study (should I be accepted) with Dr Gabor Maté in 2020 and so today, in preparation for this year long course I watched a 2 hour question and answer session he did in Vancouver with his son, Daniel (aged 45 in 2016 when it was filmed). It was titled “Hello again” and focused on the relationship between aging parent and adult child. It was fascinating and I found myself fully in support of both their openness, honesty and, at one point, Gabor reverted back to the traditional role of a father chastising his young child. Daniels reaction was admirable although I’m sure it wasn’t the last word on the subject.
I want to talk to parents today. Adolescence is now thought to be the years between the ages of 10 and 24 (WHO, 2019) although if you read Dr Dan Siegel’s books on the neuroscience of the child/ adolescent brain development it could be as late as 26 or 27 for some. I can relate to this not only with my own children but also with clients. Of course personality contributes to this but environment and parenting and firmly at the helm. The difference in why some move through this period more swiftly very much depends, in my opinion, in how childhood and adolescence are handled by the parents. Gabor Maté has declared his mistakes openly in his books and, like all parents, has learned ‘on the job’ but his work, like mine, has given him a unique look at parenting across the different demographics and, in his view in 2016 “we [the parents] don’t trust life to teach them [the children]..” and “we [the parents] don’t want to let go of the role..”. His first point brought to mind phrases used widely today such as ‘helicopter parenting’ and ‘snowflake children’ when parenting is discussed. Briefly, helicopter parenting (while having it’s benefits) is flawed in terms of not equipping a child/adolescent to make age appropriate decisions, the parents will hold onto that role as long as they possibly can. Equally as detrimental would be the many adolescents I have seen left alone as teenagers with few or no boundaries and adolescents making inappropriate decisions. So, what is the answer? Well, in 3 different countries I have had the privilege to live and work in (Zambia, Malaysia and France) I have observed the benefits to the extended family taking as much responsibility as the nuclear family for bringing up a child to the point of independence. I like many modern day parents was mostly left alone Monday to Friday to parent our children while husband worked away. A decision we both agreed to, but, on reflection, added to the burden of balanced parenting. Anger, hate, selfishness, sadness as well as over-confidence, bravado and risk-taking are all traits commonly experienced by adolescents and their families alike.
With the best holistic parenting manuals available to you nothing prepares you for that ‘moment’ when anger and hate are present and the insults fly. The question is how do we deal with it?
Being present is easier said than done, Daniel Maté proclaimed that ‘it’s [being present] our truest nature and it’s also just not how we are wired.’ He went on to say ‘how do you survive?’ by remembering what happened in the past, draw your conclusions from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’ Maybe that’s easier as a 45 year-old child than as a 15 year-old child! However, as a parent we could consider this. In the heat of the moment, we can be mindful that the way we often react to our adolescents is unconscious behaviour that stems from our own childhood, the way we have been treated by our parents. Realising this may be the case, we can take a breath in the moment and maybe choose an alternative way of handling the situation. Whether your adolescent is receptive to a hug when he/she is declaring their utter hatred for you is by the by. The point is you, as the parent have a shift into what is often a feeling of freedom from the situation. A willingness to accept that there may be other possibilities and a willingness to try and see things differently.
So, when your child or adolescent, this festive season, obstinately refuses to do something, consider the alternatives to direct punishment that, in my experience, tend to fuel the fire, whatever the age! At the close of day, choose your arguments, think outside the parenting box and see if you can find ways to dampen the flames rather than spark the fire!
I will say here methods of parenting are very much age-dependent. If you would like more information in how to deal with children of certain ages then please email me at Amanda@praanawellness.com.
All that remains for me to say is a very happy Christmas to you all and the healthiest and most peaceful 2020 to you and your family. Thank you for your support this past year and below are some of the exciting retreats we have on offer for you in 2020.
Retreats in 2020
Hands Heart Head June 2020
Africa Yoga Safari November 2020
See upcoming events for all the information you need to book!
Well Women Weekend Workshops 2020
Amanda will be delivering 4 Well Women Weekends between May and September. Other expert professionals will be contributing to these weekends and while the 48 hours with us may seem full on we will be making sure you also get the nurturing you deserve in terms of great food, fine wines and relaxing treatments. Interesting and heart-felt topics are to be addressed and shared with like-minded women addressing issues faced daily by many of us. You can either attend one or all four of the weekend workshops and the more you sign up for the better the value. You can email your interest to Amanda@praanawellness.com and if you think you may be able to contribute to the workshop as an expert then we would welcome hearing from you.
Private Therapeutic Residential Retreats
You can visit alone or as a couple or as a family to address on-going issues with me that may be preventing you from living your happiest and most fulfilling life. These bespoke retreats range from intensive weekends up to 15 days of timetabled non-medical therapy. We respect your privacy at all times and the nature of this type of therapy encourages a healthy working relationship with your therapist that can then be continued even after you leave. Please email your requirements to
Understanding Adolescence Retreat
Carried forward from 2019 this long weekend is for a parent or guardian and young person to come and learn about what to expect from, and how to approach, the every day challenges of Adolescence in a positive and supporting way. Places are limited on this long weekend to ensure time is made available to all participants. Email your interest to Amanda@praanawellness.com
Amanda will be running a number of Yoga Therapy weekends designed for everyone. It has been proven that there is an intrinsic link between chronic pain and our mind. These yoga workshops will be about exploring ways to take back control, reduce symptoms through relevant yoga practises and address the mental blocks closely associated with our chronic pain or discomfort.
We are also currently talking to a number of very experienced yoga teachers from around the world with a view to offering a selection of yoga retreats in 2020 both in English and French. Melissa Smith-Wilkinson Retreat will be visiting from the US and delivering her 4th retreat here in July 2020. We are excited to have both Melissa and so many of her wonderful students returning to us. Please email your interest to Amanda@praanawellness.com
Private Rental 2020
We are, for the second year, making available the entire petit chateau for rental to both families and friends for holidays or special events and to retreat leaders to host their students/clients for a course, workshop or meeting. The main house sleeps up to 15 people and everything to make your stay comfortable is provided. With a beautiful pool, fully equipped yoga studio and several outside seating areas to host your workshops or special occasion. There are many local attractions available to you in the area, we are surrounded by Cognac vines and working distilleries and the beautiful city of Bordeaux is an hour away. Praana Wellness lends itself to you doing as much or as little as you desire. Email Amanda@praanawellness.com for details.
Christmas Yoga Poses
Getting on your mat at the best of times can be an effort in itself so if you get on it at all in December you should be super proud! As you can see Santa likes a little Vinyasa which will help you keep the system moving!
If you are the main organiser of the family get-together then maybe you need a little meditation you can tap into whenever you need a little time to yourself!
Try one of these free mindfulness practises
Praana Non-alcoholic Christmas punch!
I am only a few weeks away from being alcohol-free for a year! The secret to getting through the party times (of which there have been a few!) is to be prepared, to feel included and most importantly that a little effort has been made by the host to make you feel a little more special. So, whether you choose not to drink or you are the nominated driver for the evening try these low-sugar alternatives to the sodas and enjoy the festivities!
My personal favourites involve no sugar at all (when I think about it my wines were always crisp and dry and my spirits accompanied with fizzy water usually, not juices or sodas. One of my biggest discoveries during this alcohol-free year has been how little sugar syrup you actually need to sweeten a drink when you are in control of it yourself. Think of all those admittedly yummy sticky cocktails you’ve had over the years and, why not, if you are loading up this Christmas, ask them to put the sugar syrup on the side, you’ll be surprised at how little you will need. Alcohol or no-alcohol.
My non-alcoholic faves!
1. Lemon/Lime, mint and ginger with cucumber and fizzy water. If you find it a little tart then add a small amount of home-made sugar syrup. Serve in a glass you’d normally have your Mohito or Gin & Tonic in! It’s psychological.
2. Cranberry (I’d be looking out for the no sugar all natural), squeeze real oranges, real pomegranates and top up with fizzy water, decorate with a sprig of rosemary and serve it in a flamboyant cocktail glass!
3. How’s about a variation on the classic Mimosa! Grab your best champagne glass and juice white grapefruit and ginger, top it up with fizzy water and decorate with basil this time… again if too tart a little home-made sugar syrup.
And, if you really have someone deserving coming (my children take note!) then this recipe is awesome!
4. Kristina Sorrano’s take on a Margarita involves red grapefruit, fresh lime juice and a little agave syrup (go steady – you don’t want to lose the tartness). Before you decant into a balloon glass (Cognac or similar) set a sprig of thyme alight ad capture the smoke in the glass with a coaster or plate. Decant the mocktail into the smoked glass and decorate with another sprig of thyme! Oh la la!
Check out our website: www.praanawellness.com/blog for more delicious recipes.
Sessions are available online with Amanda to address any personal issues, including dietary and drink issues. You can email me at Amanda@praanawellness.com. Also, if you join our free private FaceBook group you will be eligible for the January special offer on these sessions!
It has to be warm, it has to be grounding and it has to be motivating! Why? Because these are the elements we become aware of in the winter months that become more depleted! Look at the elements outside in Nature, you need the opposite elements to make sure you stay balanced. SO lots of ginger, spice, root vegetables, hot drinks and, if you are kapha body type and find it really hard to motivate yourself to exercise when it’s cold, wet and snowy then so long as you treat your digestive system kindly to compensate with easily digestible soups and stews then you are balancing! Don’t berate yourself, we simply adapt! Whatever way you can move your body will help and, don’t forget your water!
And, for when you aren’t nourishing your body with the above, make this below and treat yourself to a healthy bit of positivity for your gut! It’s fabulously versatile – serve it for breakfast, lunch or tea and, TOP TIP, if you are on your own and think you might eat it all in one sitting then slice it and put it in the freezer – lift it out a slice at a time!
(Zucchini) and coconut loaf
1 Banana (mashed) ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
6 eggs ¾ cup coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp cinnamon
1 medium grated courgette (zucchini) ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 5/350F. Line a standard loaf tin with baking paper.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add the vanilla, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, zucchini and banana. Whisk together into a smooth batter.
- Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the salt. Combine the mixture.
- Pour into the baking tin and sprinkle the shredded coconut on top. Place in the oven for 50 minutes. Check the loaf is cooked by inserting a knife and it pulling out clean. Leave to cool in the tin then transfer to a wire rack.
A client asked me today ‘When did we allow stress into our lives?” We spent a short time surmising as to why this may be. We acknowledged that at 29 we didn’t even use the word, we worked and played as hard, we had nights of worry, the adrenaline flowed as we approached deadlines and big events but we took it in our stride. We didn’t label ourselves with the burden of stress, not to my knowledge. Fast forward 25 years and I am dealing with a growing number of adolescents and young adults in their twenties with an overwhelming feeling of stress to the point of not coping, having time off work, co-morbid symptoms arising such as anxiety, depression and addiction. 90% of my clients are dealing with ‘stress’ in one form or another (even if they don’t address it as such) and, what is concerning is that so many of these people keep adding to the stress factor. It’s as though they don’t know how to get off that wheel. The apocalyptic novels of J.G. Ballard (1930-2009) imagine the potential impact of progressively advanced modern societies on human behaviour. As a Psychologist and currently writing a paper on how to reduce stress and increase well-being through the practise of Yoga I become increasingly more curious about why people don’t identify with their own power of self-control that is available to them when it comes to managing their own ‘stress’ levels. In a world that on one hand gives us so much and on the other hand seems to strip us of values and the ability to balance our lives we need to address this almost daily discussion before we have a mental health epidemic that spirals out of control. So what is the solution? I remember many years ago my brother telling me he never uses the word stress (he had plenty reason to be stressed at the time as a Head Master of a challenging school in the UK). Is it that what we tell ourselves, what we discuss daily we begin to believe? We have alarmingly rising rates of anxiety in children under 10! Why? What are they reading and hearing that we weren’t a generation ago? It is very true, we have it within us to change our cognitive thoughts IF WE WANT TO! Neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson, explains that our brains are like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive experiences. I love this analogy. It is a fact, he explains, that positive emotions don’t transfer so easily to long-term memory the way bad emotions do. That sucks, right? We have to work harder at positivity. However, if we know that, accept that this is the case (I’m sure if you do a quick test you will list 10 negative experiences in your life much faster than positive ones!) then surely we have the power within each and every one of us to change it. So when I read this simple easy mantra at the beginning of this blog, this morning, as part of an essay by Kurt Vonnegrut, I thought that’s my mantra for February. If we don’t intentionally acknowledge even the smallest positive experiences we have throughout our day, feelings of gratitude, feelings of confidence, feelings of love or feelings of success (writing this newsletter is one for me!) then it isn’t ‘encoded’ into our brains neural structure and the negative memories take over! Join me this month and make February as positive as you can, taking time to celebrate EVERY positive experience with the mantra “If this isn’t nice I don’t know what is!” If you’d like group support please come join us at our private group on Facebook, Your Health & Well-being @Praana Wellness. We have created a space of non-judgment, motivation and a wealth of information through our members. There are yoga videos for all levels and we challenge the headlines that we are bombarded with in the media with real research! www.facebook.com/groups/553993361462020/?ref=bookmarks If you are looking for private support then I have monthly counselling/coaching packages where we can work out, together, what changes you need personally. For more details of my experience you can take a look at our website www.praanawellness.com/wellnessor email me firstname.lastname@example.org Read More
Just fourteen days into the New Year and while I am not a fan (nor, indeed, a proficient user) of hash-tagging, between myself, my lovely hubby and our fabulous marketing assistant, Louise, we are now super proud of our ‘mantra’ for 2020.
What is a mantra? A ‘sacred utterance’, a ‘syllable’, a ‘word or sound repeated to aid concentration’. One that has possibly been produced the most is “Om Mane Padme Hum’ – meaning the jewel within the lotus. The Dalai Lama suggested that repeating this mantra “transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.” But I digress.. I want to talk a little about OUR new mantra.
Procrastination (the action of delaying or postponing something) is sometimes necessary and can benefit us BUT is also a leading cause of mental illness as we use it as an avoidance technique for something we find difficult. I’ll give you some examples of where I have, in the past, excelled at this ‘sport’. Eating healthily or adjusting my lifestyle for the benefit of my health – I achieved a masters in this! In denial, avoidance, finding many reasons (other than myself) why I couldn’t start… until I had to. No choice. Change was forced on me. Change was harder, other issues had to be dealt with because of my procrastination. Another was in the past 4 years when research had to be done. Again I excelled at procrastination – leaving everything until the last minute and staying up most of the nights in the first 5 months of 2019. The toll on my well-being was significant and it’s taken the remainder of the year to recover. I can think of numerous occasions in my younger years where I would procrastinate about voicing my opinion at work or speaking my truth. Again, the person who suffered most was me and oh, when you had to voice something difficult, as hard as it was at the time, it was the biggest sense of relief and life went on. Perhaps there was some awkwardness and difficulty as the new path was traversed but it was never as difficult as perhaps it had been for possibly months previously.
My point. There are times when I’m not sure how to deal with something (often administratively) and, if time allows, I will procrastinate intentionally. I will place it in my diary for a week/a months time and revisit. Interestingly, on several occasions the previously unresolvable problem has been solved through time, another means or someone else! I make a conscious decision to postpone dealing with it and make a note to revisit thereby allowing my mind to be free of the issue temporarily. This kind of procrastination is also known as organisation, routine, reflection space or an administrative process! Call it what you like – it’s a healthy procrastination with a very important time limit! Probably the longest procrastination I engaged in was when I had found out I was adopted and, having dealt with the initial emotions attached to this, I decided (then didn’t, then did, then didn’t!) to look for my birth mother. Now, while years might have gone between those thoughts of doing so, each time I made the decision to try to find her, the decision became more difficult. I would (through life and age) create reasons (mostly surrounding other peoples opinions/feelings) as to why I shouldn’t. What happened? Well it took 30 years in the end to pluck up the courage… and well… the rest you will have to read about! Needless to say, much time, energy and cortisone was released in the 30 years only to be the most wonderfully positive experience for all concerned. How it would have affected my decisions, professional career and relationships one can only guess now with reflection and age but I am sure there would be an underlying slow effect on my well-being in general over those 30 years. Peaks and troughs of positive and less positive emotions, a roller-coaster ride. When the time was right it still required a leap of faith even after 30 years. It was Courage, having courage to know what was right for ME that finally brought the procrastination to a close.
When procrastination becomes unhealthy is when it affects your behaviour, emotions, sleep, work and relationships. You may not even know it. We have a natural resistance to threats (fight/flight) and many us choose to remain in a constant state of fight (and flux) until we accept an unhappy relationship/job role/addiction as the norm. A self-spiralling vortex of negativity then can engulf body and mind and our life becomes a drudge rather than the gift of happiness and enjoyment that it should be.
In other words you know, for whatever reason, something needs dealing with, and yet something is stopping you. Only you, with complete transparency and honesty can identify the reasons that are preventing you dealing with your challenge. The question is is the subject of your procrastination going to effect other important aspects of your life and are you avoiding? Or are you giving yourself thinking space with an end date….
In just 14 days of this fabulous new decade I have questioned every opportunity to procrastinate. Where I can; I action. Amazingly, developments are moving on at a pace in all aspects of life.
I feel one major achievement in the latter part of last year has enabled me to do this and it was insisting on a second opinion from a specialist after being told repeatedly there was nothing amiss. I knew there was. As a non-medic it took courage and confidence to fight the system. The result: being treated as an individual as opposed to one in a million with similar symptoms. I am grateful to all the human beings who gave me the strength not to procrastinate for too long…
We are running a Well Women’s Retreat here at Praana Wellness from the 3-5 April and would love you to join us, details can be found on our website on the Events page. The investment of €280-310 will be so worth it in terms of empowerment and community. Email me at email@example.com if you are affected by anything in this blog. You can move through it.
The photo attached to this blog is a beautiful untouched space full of energy and spirit… watch this space for 2020’s development at Praana! #NOPROCRO <3
Its an acquired taste (add more honey to begin then reduce) but its benefits far outweigh the slightly unusual taste..and if you are in pain or your body is inflamed in any way, then try it for a month and see if it makes a difference, good for all ages.
Makes 2 cups and drink it an hour before bed.
2 cups of milk – your choice, I use almond (unsweetened – all natural and organic), 1 tsp organic turmeric powder (in absence of turmeric root although, I add this as well if I have it – the colour is amazing!), a pinch of ground black pepper (see next post for why!).
Simmer it for 5 mins really gently and then pour into cups. Let it cool slightly (ayurveda doesn’t want you to have anything too hot or cold) and add raw organic honey to your taste.
Enjoy!Better sleep and less pain, as well as a myriad of other health benefits.Read More
Vetiver oil – I’m completely drawn towards this pure oil now. It all makes sense! I was craving peppermint during July and August as the temperatures soared and we were in the throws of a busy season. Now, as we draw the season to a successful close I am looking for more grounding, more rooting and a quiet few weeks as I enjoy time out in nature with the dogs or gardening.We can be torn in so many different directions in terms of people, priorities and activities during the heat of the season but when Autumn comes we crave (sometimes unknowingly) being brought back down to earth. Vetiver helps to do this, grounding us in Nature, in our physical world. Vetiver helps us to connect to how we think and feel supporting all kinds of self-awareness.It is a very thick oil and requires the best of Pitta’s patience and Vata’s flightiness to even get 5 drops for the diffuser… but oh how it is worth it! Its divine. I diffuse in the mornings and the evenings. I also might put 3 drops on the soles of my feet or at the base of my spine if I have a challenging day !
Please contact Amanda to order your DoTerra oils.Read More
The wonderful Olivia and Owain were our retreat chefs this season and did an amazing job of keeping our guests nourished with healthy but indulgent, seasonal and organic food. It would be hard to choose just one recipe as their leader but this vegan carrot cake was unbelievably delicious and suited those who had food allergies. It had a big thumbs up from everyone! We thought it quite autumnal by nature, grounding and also using the root vegetables that are available to us right now in the ground… give it a try – you won’t regret it!
3 batches flax egg (3 Tbsp flaxseeds soaked in 7 ½ Tbsp water for 5 mins)
80 ml neutral oil (coconut or sunflower)
50 ml honey
220 g mashed banana
110 g organic brown sugar* (or sub coconut sugar)
50 g cane sugar* (or sub coconut sugar)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200ml plain unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy unsweetened milk)
165 g grated carrot
170g ground almonds
150 g spelt flour
75 g chopped raw walnuts
1 Tblsp icing sugar
zest of an orange
Preheat oven to 180C.
Butter and flour a 9” cake round tin with coconut oil or vegan cooking spray and line with
Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl. To flax eggs, add oil and honey and whisk to combine. Next,
add mashed bananas, sugars, salt, bicarb, baking powder, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
Add almond milk and stir. Add grated carrot and stir. Then add almond flour and spelt flour, blend
and stir. The batter should be thick but pourable. Finally add the nuts.
Pour into cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted
into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top, it shouldn’t feel too spongy, so don’t
be afraid of over-baking!
Remove from oven and let rest in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove from the cake tin and gently
invert onto cooling racks to let cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar and orange zest once cool.Read More
Well, our biggest news for the 2019 season is that the main house, Chez Vallée (sleeping up to 15 people) will be available to rent on a weekly self-catering basis.
There will be a couple of weeks a month available during our season, from May to October.
These weeks will be available for both family holidays and visiting retreat leaders.The rental fee includes exclusive use of the main house including all towels and linen as well as a fully equipped kitchen.
There are 3 double/twin en-suites overlooking the Cognac vines on the first floor, a king size room and triple room sharing a shower room with a breath-taking view of the Charente from the second floor and a dormitory with 4 beds and a shower room in the old Chai.
There is a Grange for your dining use, a barbeque, a fire pit and 13m swimming pool. Amanda is happy to offer private run yoga classes in our fully equipped yoga studio for you and your guests and there is also a fully equipped massage and treatment studio where our masseuse can be available to treat you and your guests. We can also arrange private catering if you have a special occasion you would like us to take care of for you.
Private distillery and/or wine tours can be arranged locally and there is a selection of local night markets and fetes through the summer months.We already have 3 weeks booked in 2019 so don’t delay if you would like to come and spend a week in your very own petit chateau in the Charente!Read More
Amanda began running private residential retreats for clients dealing with psychological issues such as eating disorders, couples counselling and addiction. Amanda uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Yoga Therapy to help people move through times of crisis. The work can begin with a detailed personal programme designed for the time the client has to spend at Praana Wellness and continue via the Internet once people leave. People are also becoming more inquisitive about Ayurveda too and the benefits that can bring to improving health and well-being and so Amanda offers private one-to-one sessions in person or on skype helping people to take control of their own physical, mental and emotional well-being. There will be much more of the same in our 2019 season as well as a detoxification weekend in April as we transition from winter to spring – a time of renewal and transformation.Read More
We have been having a really beautiful and busy summer season here hence the lack of newsletter for a few months! Sorry! I thought silence was more valuable than a rushed update! Our guests have come this year from the all over the world for some peaceful relaxation, for a writing retreat, an art retreat, several yoga retreats and also to host their special occasions and celebrate with family and friends. We have had lots of new people who have heard about us through their friends and other more familiar faces returning for their second or even third visit and the peace and tranquillity on offer here at Praana Wellness. Right now we are transitioning from Summer to Autumn with a chill in the air in the mornings and evenings, beautiful sunny days and a change in the colour of the leaves as the days shorten. I love September! My sons birthday is in September and I remember the most idyllic children’s treasure hunts in our local woods in very typically autumnal weather. As I age I become more aware of this beautiful season and its offerings. The squashes are coming to ripeness in the vegetable garden, the last of the blackberries are in the hedgerow, the glut of tomatoes being used and frozen in every which way imaginable..and the colours! Wow! Autumn brings an abundance of Air and Space and Vata is in abundance. The qualities of coolness, dryness, lightness and mobility heighten in some of us where Vata dosha is already dominant and we can become aware of a ‘flightiness’ in both the physical body and mind that can be so easily kept in check when our awareness is drawn to the changes. Earthy grounding foods, warm in quality and cleansing by nature help us to address a diet to prepare us for the winter months. Our yoga practise may take on a more grounding focus to it to draw Mother Earth’s energy up from the ground and we may focus on some pranayama that helps us stay slow, steady and secure. Routine is an important factor as Summer turns to Autumn. Read More
Everything happens for a reason and the universe always provides in challenging times. So I have to say a huge huge thank you to a few peeps who helped me out with this retreat, even though I know they’ll not want to be recognised. I’ll be discreet! To Ash for the connection of beautiful people, to Susan for providing the family and our guests with the most wonderful massage treatments, she’s staying til the end of August by the way!! Not least to the most beautiful young couple I’ve met recently (outside of the family!) Olivia and Owain, your food and company has been beyond anything we could have hoped for. The way you work, laugh, love and now sing ridiculously cheesy songs – to amuse my gorgeous hubby! We will miss you but know you will be back as friends. To you both I’m grateful and love you already. Read More
This is why doTERRA are my no 1 choice, their ethical commitment to the communities in which they harvest and why frankincense is my daily medicine. Oil #5 is FRANKINCENSE the “King of Oils”. This precious essential oil is distilled from the resin of Boswellia trees tended by families over many generations in Somalia. This oil is used worldwide in religious ceremony and practice because of its effect on our spirit and emotions. It calms anxious feelings, comforts us in grief, and gives us hope when we feel low.
- Restorative for low energy levels
- Significant antimicrobial activity
- Useful for soothing physical discomfort
- Promotes healthy levels of inflammation
But I can’t talk about the properties of this oil without mentioning how crucial is the SOURCING process in the essential oil industry. Many highly-prized essential oils are grown in vulnerable, impoverished regions of the globe, and frankincense is no exception. The demands of the perfume and fragrance industry have ravaged ecosystems and kept entire communities on the verge of starvation. dōTERRA’s sourcing model has turned the entire essential oil industry upside down: partnering with environmental scientists to ensure sustainability; paying their farmers independently of yield; building hospitals and schools to educate boys AND girls. To learn more, check out the Cō-Impact Sourcing section of doterra.com and be sure to watch the videos about frankincense and Somalia. Why do YOU love frankincense? I’d love to hear how this oil has transformed your home. Read More
Very happy to welcome Susan from @Blissful Brown to Praana Wellness, getting herself ready today to deliver the most wonderful treatments to our guests. In fact one guest couldn’t wait for her to unpack and had a delicious treatment before she had even been shown to her bedroom ! So whether you and friends would like to come and indulge in a Spa day here including a Blissful Brown massage or you just need a last minute treatment because you know you deserve it or maybe you know someone suffering and might benefit from Susan’s expertise,then Susan is your therapist! Check out our web-page with details of her treatments and contact us for an appointment. Make the most of her, she’ll nourish your sun-kissed skin and make you feel amazing! Read More
I’m on retreat this week in the hills of Southern Spain.. learning from the great teacher Donna Farhi, doing so little and yet so much for my own self-care. It’s a poignant reminder to nurture self in such simple and connecting ways that are so unobtrusive..how do you serve yourself daily? What do you do that unobtrusively nurtures your physical, emotional and mental needs on a daily basis? Our ethos here at Praana Wellness Retreats is holistic well-being. Whatever it takes for you to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong and able to cope with the expected and unexpected challenges of traversing your path. I have changed the name of the Sugar Aware FB group not necessarily to take the focus off being Sugar- Aware – I think we all now understand in this group the importance of being aware of how much and which type of sugars serve us – and which don’t. My reason for changing is because with more and more visitors who come to Praana Wellness I realise that the subject we discuss most is Balance and Self-Care. My direction pulls very much towards psychology and mental wellness as this is how I spend a great deal of my working week with clients either working with them face-to-face or online. Your contributions in this group have been very much appreciated and I realise there are many people who have offered so much… I would love you all to remain and continue to support those who need help getting started or maintaining a Balanced Lifestyle. Lets see what we can do to grow this wonderful support group and discuss topics that we all might find confusing, contradicting, difficult to know which expert to listen to! Read More
Often approached so negatively by parents as a time of constant difficulties, challenges and pushing the boundaries resulting in withdrawal and a lack of connection. Through their own experiences, parents are often conditioned to dread adolescence and it just doesn’t need to be this way ! Adolescence is a time of ultimate growth, potential in all areas of development and yes, mistakes, and that’s OK ! Our role as parents is to be there to steer them when they make those mistakes but, if we lose that connection then that’s where the problems begin. Understanding adolescence is the key to enjoying it as a family. ‘The kaleidoscope of personality is shaken and where the pieces land is of profound importance’. Article by the BBC. Read More
So I thought I’d begin a discussion about the meaning of ‘expert’. What is an expert?, how do we truly know someone is an expert in the field of health and well-being? With so many contradicting views in our media sources how do WE make our own minds up? The wikipedia definition says ‘An expert is someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field’ – relatively straightforward right? NCBI provide a more academic explanation although it suggests the same principles ‘Experts play an important role in society, but there has been little investigation about the nature of expertise. I argue that there are two kinds of experts: those whose expertise is a function of what they know (epistemic expertise), or what they do (performative expertise). Epistemic expertise is the capacity to provide strong justifications for a range of propositions in a domain, while performative expertise is the capacity to perform a skill well according to the rules and virtues of a practice. Both epistemic and performative experts may legitimately disagree with one another, and the two senses are conceptually and logically distinct.’ My own experience in this field over 3 decades is that the two cannot be separated and neither one nor the other less important. In relation to health and well-being do you have someone you consider to be an expert in the field that you follow regularly and why? Read More
So delicious and a great healthy substitute for an average chocolate bar full of refined sugars! 1½ cups of soaked walnuts (use alternatives if you like – sesame seeds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds or anything similar you have in the store cupboard. Or, mix them up! ½ cup of soaked and softened dates 1 tsp cinnamon The seeds of 1 vanilla bean (optional) 2tbsp raw cocoa powder dry coconut for decoration Directions Process the nuts and seeds in a food processor until like a powder. Add the remaining ingredients (not the coconut) and process again until everything is well mixed together and starts to clump. Have a taste and if it requires more sweetness add a little honey. Roll small balls in your hands with the mixture and then roll them in the coconut to finish or cocoa powder or something else that takes your fancy! Refrigerate. Read More
Spring was a little slow getting going this year in SW France, a cool wind still threatening my seedlings! However a combination of some warm sunshine more recently and plenty of rain have now encouraged new shoots to show and we are picking young spinach leaves and peppery rocket already. Evenings still welcome warm drinks with both our bed and breakfast guests as well as our retreat guests loving the TWO recipes I’m sharing with you this month..
We love people to feel spoiled but always with a thought for our health. Early carrots and beetroots are delicious and earthy and full of the sweet taste that can replace the horrid refined sugars we crave in processed foods… so try this warm drink in the evening when you just need something a little sweet and, if you are having guests then treat them to these delicious black bean brownies – they won’t miss the sugar that is in conventional brownies, I promise!
Warming Carrot, Apple and Beetroot Juice
Not only is the colour awesome (and natural) the drink is amazingly nourishing for us. The highly concentrated natural sugars in fresh apple and carrot juice are so easily absorbed for instant energy! Not to mention vitamins B1, B2, B6. Beetroot (again satisfying that sweet craving) has been used as a detoxifier and blood purifier for centuries. It’s also full of iron and helps treat fatigue and anaemia. So lots of reasons to get the juicer out, dust it off make this delicious drink.
Juice 1 beetroot, 3 carrots and 2 apples, warm the juice slowly in the pan until just hot. Simply take a little time and sit and enjoy! I might add a little ginger.
Gooey Black Bean Brownies
2 tbsp chia seeds
400g can of black beans
200g ground almonds
200g (homemade preferably) apple purée
200ml unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey (the more local the better at this time of year if you suffer with pollen related issues)
6 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp raw cocoa powder (mine is 100% raw)
a pinch of salt
Soak the chia seeds in 140ml of water for an hour.
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Simply line a square baking dish with baking paper and pour in your brownie mix. Bake at 180 degrees for about 40 mins. Leave them to cool in the tin before turning it out. Cut up as you wish!
Tip – overcooked brownies are dry! So cooking time is important as is leaving them in the tin to cool.Read More
What makes us happy? Do we truly know?
Let me start by saying that we can’t be happy all the time. Nope, it’s just not possible. However, if we consciously invite happiness into our lives then it makes dealing with the challenges much easier. Dr Rick Hanson refers to it as the ‘law of little things’. In the same way that when we think negatively it seems that the challenges pile up and we feel swamped just adding to the negative feelings. But, if we introduce happiness to our daily lives, for example, in the form of sitting or walking meditations, simply thinking of someone who really cares for us or resisting posting those negative comments (no matter how angry or frustrated we may be with a situation), then by the same method those little positive bursts of happiness will add up. This results in the creation of a bank of goodness in our subconscious mind and hey presto life actually becomes brighter and happier!
I have moved house in the past week. Not far, actually maybe 200 metres but it may as well be 50km for the difference it has made to my internal happiness. I am still at the same address, Praana Wellness @ Chez Vallee but, having slept in every room in the big house as we renovated it over an almost 6 year period, I decided that what I was craving now, more than anything, was a smaller cosier home. A home where I could have all of my personal belongings around me. A home where I could shut the door and find my very own privacy when necessary. A home that is simple, small and has as few electrical items as possible!
At different times of life we crave different things. As I reflect I realise they do coincide with the decades of age and so, while for almost 20 years I was really happy with being fairly nomadic, travelling the world, experiencing different cultures, now, as I traverse my fifties, I realise this is the simple happiness I have been craving.
So, I have asked myself why, over the week I have been living in Lavender Cottage, has it had such an impact and I think I can answer that question now. It is so important to have time for reflection. When I was living in Chez Vallée my business and my personal space and life merged into one. When I wasn’t seeing clients, teaching yoga or marketing the business I was still available for work at any hour. I would respond to emails whatever the hour. Since moving to the cottage I have made a pact not to work here, to have defined hours around my client calls and I now ‘go to the office’ and more importantly leave the office! My commute isn’t long in terms of distance, but it is huge in terms of effect. How can I be so close to my work space and yet feel so far away? Well it’s all down to personal choice, to making small changes and to discipline. Perhaps it is these three points that ultimately put us in control of our own personal happiness. Nothing else. When we make decisions that ultimately put us in control of our destiny then we create a happiness within that cannot be matched from a longevity perspective. Renovating Lavender cottage took four months and a tremendous amount of energy that I thought was impossible to find. But the happiness and peace created helps you soon forget the difficulties you have overcome to reach this point. The mind is great at enabling us to achieve this IF we allow it.
There is a Buddhist saying: “Do not think lightly of good [meaning that happiness/good/positivity will not just come to you]. Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise the wise one gathering little by little fills oneself with good”.
Perhaps ask yourself are you choosing to fill your pot of happiness little by little?
Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that is known to assist in detoxing the body and balancing the three doshas. Kitchari provides many nutrients while cleansing the toxins out of the body. It’s a great way to cleanse the body and soul in a gentle way.
Kitchari is made with mung beans, basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee and spices. The mung beans are known for their ability to remove toxins, specifically pesticides and insecticides, from the body. Mung beans are also a great source of protein and provide a source of good carbohydrates and fiber. It’s also a great dish for those having digestive problems and recovering from illness. There are many versions of Kitchari to aid various health complaints!
½ cup Dry Green Mung Beans
½ cup of Dry Mung Dal (split yellow)
1 cup high quality Indian Basmati Rice (good Indian rice makes all the difference)
4-6 cups Water (more water will make it soupier)
6-7 cups assorted vegetables (e.g. yam, carrots, courgette etc.)
2-3 tablespoon Ghee (or clarified butter or coconut oil)
2 inch piece of Ginger (minced)
1 tbsp. Turmeric
1 tbsp. Cumin
1 tbsp. Black Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp. Fennel Seeds
1 tbsp. Mustard Seeds
½ tsp. Ground Coriander
½ tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 tbsp. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 stick of Kombu (seaweed)
½ tsp. Cinnamon
- Prep ahead: soak the mung beans overnight (after washing them) for 4-8 hours (this helps with digestion)
- In a large wok, melt the ghee until its liquid form
- Add the seeds to the ghee and sauté until you hear the seeds pop
- Quickly add the spices, ginger, rice and beans to the mix. Coat the rice and beans with the spices and seeds (important to do all these steps fairly quickly so you don’t burn the spices).
- Slowly add in the water
- Add the vegetables and lightly stir all the ingredients
- Bring the water to a boil
- Lower heat, cover and cook gently for another 45-60 minutes
- Stir in the salt at the very end
- Mung beans– beans are low in fat and high in fiber, they also provide significant amounts of protein, iron, B vitamins and other trace minerals. Split mung beans (aka yellow dal) are highly regarded in Ayurveda. They are lighter and easier to digest than most other beans and are widely used for healing especially in kitchari and dal. They tend to have a cooling effect on the body therefore they are good for Pitta types, and can also be good for Vata and Kapha when paired with warming spices such as ginger or mustard seeds (such as in this recipe).
- Basmati Rice– it is the one grain which is tridoshic in effect; it can be eaten by all three constitutions with benefit. It is slightly cooling, sweet, light and moist. Because it is lighter than many other grains, it can be eaten by Kapha, in small quantities. Its coolness, sweetness and moisture are valuable for Pitta. And its sweet moist attributes balance Vata. It is east to digest
- Ghee– highly valued in Ayurvedic healing as a rejuvenative and elixir. With milk, or alone, it is particularly restorative to Vata and Pitta. It is sweet, cool, light and oily. Kaphas can use it in small amounts to good benefit. It is easier to digest and aids absorption of other nutrients in a way that regular butter cannot.
- Black Mustard Seeds– Pungent and mildly diuretic, making it quite useful for Kapha. Its warmth stimulates “agni” and overall digestion; it is beneficial in dispelling gas. Ayurveda values it for gout, arthritic and feverish conditions. It should be used in minimal amounts for Pitta, preferably balanced with cooling coriander (such as in this recipe).
- Coriander– cooling, soothing, carminative and digestive.
- Kombu-balances Vata and Pitta. Aggravates Kapha.
Much like yoga, the use of essential oils aims to support the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit. Research has shown that essential oils not only provide emotional benefits but physical benefits as well. There are several studies that speak to the abilities of essential oils to help reduce anxious feelings and provide an overall sense of well-being. Other research studies have shown that they can help maintain concentration. Whether you are brand-new to yoga, or a seasoned yogi, anyone can benefit from using essential oils to enhance your practice.
My friend Dr Robin Fawcett is an NHS GP and she has a specific interest in the use of essential oils to enhance healthy lifestyles and manage common ailments. Robin will be joining us at Praana Wellness Saturday 24th March to discuss essential oils. There will be 2 different talks:
3.00pm – The morning talk will be aimed at yoga teachers and how they can use essential oils during their practice and during their classes.
4.00pm – The afternoon talk will discuss the general day-to-day use of essential oils and how they can benefit the whole family.Read More
Why not treat your Mum to some beautiful essential oils for Mothers Day? This Citrus Trio set by doTERRA is the perfect way to show your Mum just how much you appreciate her. The set features three 5mL citrus essential oils in a gift box: Kumquat (helps to uplift mood, invigorate the mind, and help provide a new perspective when tackling daily challenges.) Red Mandarin (helps by uplifting mood whilst easing tension and can be combined with your favourite cleanser or toner to improve the appearance of oily skin.) Sunny Citrus Blend (Blend of Grapefruit, Wild Orange, and Peppermint) (creates a positive mood throughout the home by reducing stress whilst also freshening the air.) These uplifting oils will promote feelings of energy and renewal and with springtime just around the corner, their crisp aromas couldn’t be more fitting! Read More
If you would like to treat your mum, aunt, sister or whoever has been the guiding light in your life then during the month of March we are offering a Mothers Day package here at Praana Wellness designed to indulge the person who loves and cares for you and your family selflessly. Treat this person to a stay for one night in our deluxe room (with roll top bath) overlooking the Cognac vines, enjoy a private yoga class for your needs, lunch and dinner to nourish both body and soul. With a bottle of champagne and homemade chocolate truffles to welcome her she will recharge and reset in a short space of time. Cost is 200 euros. Gourmet lunch 3-course dinner Champagne and raw chocolate truffles Private yoga session Deluxe room overlooking the vines Valid for the month of March Read More
This recipe is taken from Rachel Mansfield’s blog. They would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your partner!
¾ cup creamy peanut butter (or your preferred nut butter)
5 pitted dates
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup coconut flour
1 cup (8 ounces) dark chocolate
- In a food processor, combine peanut butter, dates, water, honey and coconut flour
- Blend until the ingredients are broken up and mix together
- Line a baking tray or large plate with parchment paper
- Using a spoon or your hands, scoop about 3 tablespoons of dough into your hand and roll into a ball then form into rectangle shapes
- Once all the truffle bars are formed, melt dark chocolate chips so that they are completed melted (you may need to add coconut oil depending on what chocolate it is)
- Using a fork, dip each truffle bar into the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off into the bowl
- Place on tray and once truffle bars are covered, add to freezer for 1 hour to set
- Keep in fridge in airtight container for a week or a couple months in freezer
Mothers Day definitely calls for breakfast in bed! How about trying your hand at making these sweet potato pancakes?!
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk (dairy or nut milk- your choice!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + two heaping tbsp sweet potato flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Coconut oil for frying
Preheat pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Beat eggs until frothy. Mix in milk and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients — sweet potato flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir wet mixture into dry until everything is incorporated, but do not overbeat.
Grease pan with coconut oil. Spoon a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. The pancakes should be small — 3-4 inches in diameter. Do not attempt to make them too big, or you’ll never get them flipped without falling apart.
Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Be very very careful while flipping these — they’re a lot more fragile than regular pancakes. If it seems like they’re coming apart, they’re not ready to flip yet. If they’re browning too fast, turn down the heat.
Slather them with salted pastured butter (or coconut oil, or ghee). Why not add a little maple syrup, nut butter, honey, or fruit. Makes enough for one hungry person. Double or triple as appropriate.Read More
Gluten free, lactose free, vegan. High in fibre, protein and healthy fats! It will store well for 5-7 days, or freeze it pre sliced.
2 cups Filtered water
1 cup Raw sunflower seeds; ground
1 cup Raw almonds; ground
1 tsp Caraway seeds; ground
½ cup Flax/linseeds; ground
2 tbsp Chia seeds; ground
3 tbsp Organic coconut oil; melted
1 ½ tbsp Maple syrup
1 cup Rolled oats; gluten free
½ cup Raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup Coconut flour
3 tbsp Psyllium husk powder
1 ½ tbsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp Sea salt
Pinch Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch Dried tarragon
- Preheat oven to 170 Degrees Celsius.
- Measure out all the nuts and seeds and grind them in a food processor or similar (sunflower, almonds, caraway, flax/linseeds, chia)
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together melted coconut oil, maple syrup and water until combined.
- In a large sized mixing bowl combine ground nuts and seeds with all of the other dry ingredients (oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut flour, psyllium husk, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, tarragon)
- Pour the wet mixture from the small mixing bowl into the large one and stir well until the wet mixture is well absorbed and the consistency is dough like (if the dough is too dry add more water a little at a time).
- Line a bread pan (9×5) and pour mixture into pan. Evenly spread mixture and press down so firm on top.
- Leave to set at room temperature for 2 hours (or more) so the seed mixture can absorb the liquid and soften (kinder on your digestive system and will hold its shape better)
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Lift it out of the pan, turn it upside down on the baking rack without all the paper and continue in the oven for further 20 – 30 minutes.
- Let it cool at room temperature before slicing.
1 medium onion roughly chopped
A thumb of ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp sunflower oil or 1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp each of coriander powder, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, salt
1 tin of coconut milk
500g frozen peas
Melt the oil or ghee and then add the onion, ginger and garlic. Soften but don’t brown. Add the spices and mix well keeping them moving in the pan. Cook for another 2 mins.
Add the tomato purée and then the coconut milk and mix well. Add the frozen peas and cook the peas until hot and cooked right through.
Serve with basmati rice and/or homemade chapati.Read More
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil softened
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the egg, egg yolk, peanut butter and coconut oil until smooth. Add the honey, coconut sugar, and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients until fully combined – the dough will be sticky. Chill dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until it thickens and can be easily scooped.
Use a rounded spoon scoop the dough in heaping tbsps onto the parchment paper, then gently flatten.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until tops crack, don’t over bake – cookies will become firmer and chewier as they cool. Cool completely on wire racks and enjoy!Read More
The ingredients are fresh and typical of vegetarian African cuisine.
2 teaspoons melted coconut,
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Black pepper to taste
1½ lbs peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin
2½ cups water with vegetable stock
2 cups chickpeas (or 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1-2 cups frozen peas
3-4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for 7 minutes, or until they’re very tender and browning lightly. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the curry, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Give everything a good stir.
- Add the squash and 2 cups of the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the chickpeas and an additional ½ cup stock (or enough to create a thick but easy-to-stir stew). Bring the curry to a gentle simmer again. If you’re adding peas, stir them in now and allow them to wilt completely. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Serve with cooked rice.
Beetroots are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals containing potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre. Here is one simple (and delicious!) way to sneak it into your diet.
300g cooked beetroot, peeled and pureed
4 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt
125g ground almonds
125g dark chocolate (70%-85% cocoa)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Line a 22cm cake tin
- In a mixing bowl, beat the beetroot, eggs, honey, vanilla, cacao, baking powder and salt with an electric hand mixer
- When combined, fold in the almonds
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and then stir in the olive oil
- Gently stir in the chocolate into the beetroot mixture until combined
- Scrap mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Let cool on a wire rack
- Dust with cacao and serve with crème frais
- Radio Calm
- Sugar Scrub
- Festive News & Offers
- June Newsletter
- Courgette (Zucchini) and Coconut Loaf Recipe
- Defining Stress
- #NOPROCRO! A Mantra for 2020.
- Turmeric Milk
- Vetiver Oil
- Vegan Spelt Carrot Cake
- New Plans for 2019
- Residential Retreats
- Autumn Transition
- Thank You To My Team
- Frankincense The King of Oils
- Blissful Brown
- Self Care
- Teenager Wellness
- What Is An Expert?
- Raw Chocolate Truffles
- Spring Recipes
- What Makes Us Happy?
- What is Kitchari?
- Dr. Robin’s Visit
- Essential Oil Packages
- Mother’s Day Special
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
- Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Vegan Loaf
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Chickpea Curry
- Chocolate Beetroot Cake
- Peach & Almond Ice Cream
- Refreshingly Cool
- Chocolate Dessert
- Grown Up Porridge