The easiest and healthiest pancake in the world

The easiest and healthiest pancake in the world

 

All you need for this super simple healthy breakfast is,

1 egg

1 banana

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

and a little oil for frying the pancake.

Mash the banana and mix it with the egg and cinnamon.

Add the mixture to the heated frying pan.

Cook for about 4 minutes and then flip the pancake over. Cook for an another 4 – 5 minutes until it is no longer wet in the middle.

It tastes delicious as it is but if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Serve with some extra banana slices and a drizzle of Acadian Maple Syrup

Oooh!

organic garden spring

organic garden spring

 

Waiting for the warmer weather to warm the soil for the organic veggies.

Any chance I get I go into the garden for a nose around. It’s not looking too full of life just yet but the various textures can be quite beautiful in early spring.

Can’t wait to get the organic garden under way. Potatoes are going in shortly. They have been chitting on a sunny windowsill.

(Advice from RHS on growing potatoes)

We have organic cherry tomato plants anywhere we can put them. Cucumbers have been sown inside along with peppers, chilies and runner beans.

Not long now till the busy spring begins. Time to dig over the plot to break the soil up and add air. Add your compost, well rotted manure or

Sweet Potato, Coconut and Chili Soup

Sweet Potato, Coconut and Chili Soup Recipe

 

This soup didn’t last long at all. – Sweet potato, coconut and chili soup.

 

  • 1 x teaspoon of oil
  • 1kg of sweet potatoes
  • 2 x Large onions chopped
  • 2 x chopped Garlic cloves
  • Large piece of chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 x medium heat red chilies
  • 2ltr of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ a can of coconut milk
  • ½ a squeezed lemon

1. Fry the onions till soft.
2. Add the ginger, chilies and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small pieces, and add to the pan with salt.
4. Pour in the chicken stock and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Liquidise the soup in a blender then return to the pan.
6. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice.7. Add a little more salt if you prefer.

Enjoy!

swap meat for veg

skip the meat and choose a vegetarian option twice a week

 

Too scared to give up meat and dairy entirely? How about trying vegetarianism or veganism half of the week and see how you get on. If things go well you could extend your meat free and dairy free days.

Not only are you improving your health but you will also be helping the environment too.

Your body and your planet will thank you for it.

Some ideas for your meat free Monday

vegetarian basil pesto

vegan pasta sauce

vegan muesli

lentils

colour for health

Can colour change your mood?

 

Do you find your mood changes in some way when introduced to different colours?

Does red give you the edge in a competitive situation? Do you find blue restful and relaxing?

Different colours are supposedly able to induce different emotional responses.  Could colour therapy actually help with depression for example?

  • Orange is supposed to be a great colour to enhance your mood positively.  It is supposed to help with concentration.
  • Blues and Purples are said to be a very calming colours and are used a great deal in therapy. They are said to help with depression and can encourage meditation.

Here is a great article from the Huffington Post about colour and how it affects your mood. It even gives a few tips on what to colour to wear for a successful first date. 😉

 

10 Ways Color Affects Your Mood

Scientific supporting evidence is very thin on the ground regarding the alleviation of depression through colour therapy. Studies have shown that subjects, who took part in studies, felt they experienced an improvement in mood but when measured responses were taken, no differences were found.

The use of colour to create calming spaces is well documented and supported. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that colour therapy can be subjective. Some colours can be calming to one person and have a different response in another. So what may work for you may not work in the same way for another person.

Some more interesting research based on colour therapy.

http://psychology.about.com/od/colorpsychology/

https://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1604

 

For more relaxation and aromatherapy products please visit http://www.naturalmatter.co.uk/aromatherapy–massage-21-c.asp

 

 

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

You don’t have to be cross-legged on the floor to find tranquility. Mindfulness can be achieved in the unlikeliest of places.

Be aware of the sounds and movements around you.

Take note of the movement of your own body as you walk, sit or gently work. Notice how your feet feel as they hit the floor. How your legs and hips move. Where your shoulders are and the movements in your fingers.

As you walk, repeat the mantra “Sa Ta Na Ma” to yourself in time with your steps or breathing.

Feel your connection with the earth as you garden. Breath in the fresh clear sea air and expel stress with every breath you exhale. Realise you are one with all that surrounds you.

Clap your hands hard five times and then notice the sensations as your skin reacts.

Benefits include; lower blood pressure, increased circulation, better memory, better concentration and creativity.

‘The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.’ Napoleon Bonaparte
Try it today.
relaxing bath soak .  relaxing herbal tea . aroma roll relaxation stick

 

oat fruit pot

slow release energy with a delicious oat fruit pot

I’m totally sold. My first attempt at an oat fruit pot today and it was bootiful!

  • 300g / 2 cups plain yogurt or greek yogurt
  • 5 tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 tsp vanilla flavouring
  • 1 handful of fruit, like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries.
  • chopped fruit of your choice.
  • honey to drizzle on top

Layer 1 – Add half the oats to the bottom of the pot.

Mix the vanilla flavouring with the greek yogurt.

Layer 2 – Spoon half the greek yogurt on top of the oats.

Layer 3 – Add a layer of fruit.

Layer 4 – Add one more layer of oats.

Layer 5 – Add one more layer of chopped fruit.

Layer 6 – Add one more layer of yogurt.

The topping – Drizzle a dessert spoonful of honey over the top of the yogurt.

Put in the fridge overnight. In the morning you will have a delicious, slow-release energy breakfast. This pot of ‘good stuff’ will keep you going till lunch time.

Tried it today and it works. I’ve not felt peckish all morning. 🙂

You can use granola instead of the oats, or you can add desiccated coconut instead of the drizzled honey. Either way, scrumptious!

It’s true; these cans of drink are addictive. Before you know it, you can be drinking them instead of water, tea or juice. Your skin suffers, your teeth are ruined and that is just the bits you can see. God only know what’s happening elsewhere!

The addiction slowly crept up on me over a few years. I never drank tea or coffee, as a kid I had orange squash and blackcurrant cordial drinks. I found tea and coffee too bitter.

Before I knew it, I was 40 and cracking open a can of Pepsi Max at 7 o’clock in the morning to get me going. I knew it was ruining my body. I think it may have been the early morning emergency trips to the toilet that were the final straw.

I called my doctor worried about colon or bowel cancer, as the emergency trips to the bathroom had been ongoing for well over three weeks. She asked me how many diet products I was consuming. I was then advised to remove products with artificial sweeteners. I knew immediately what the problem was and I decided it was finally time to kick the habit.

I know it isn’t a cocaine or a smoking habit but I knew it was harming me and after some brief research I found I was not the only one having these problems.

https://pepsimaxquitter.wordpress.com

So, enough chat. How about some steps to dropping the habit? How do we do it?

Focus on changing. Believe you can kick the habit. Imagine your life without the unnecessary drives to the supermarket, the plumper skin or the rot-free teeth.

Try to imagine the problems that could arise. Think about ways you get yourself through those tricky moments. Make sure you don’t replace one bad habit for another though.

So, how did I do it?

Step 1.      I reduced my allowance to one can a day.

Step 2.      I found a healthier alternative to drink in the week. After a few attempts drinking green tea, I found it too bitter and it also made me feel slightly queasy. Absolutely no idea why but decided to try something else.

After a few fruit tea experiments I stumbled upon Clipper Peppermint tea. It isn’t as bitter as most of the teas I tried. The peppermint in the tea seems to open the airways and the gives a sensation in the mouth that helps you to get over missing the bubbles. It does have caffeine in it, so if you are looking for a caffeine-free tea alternative you can try Rooibos tea. However, I wanted to get rid of the carbonated drink first and then work on the caffeine at a later date.

Step 3.      I then reduced my ‘one can a day’ allowance to a ‘one can a day’ on weekends only.

Step 4.      The ‘one can a day’ on the weekend was opened and sipped and then left in the fridge in the garage so it was out of the way. It stayed pretty fizzy and I made it last half a day.

Step 5.      Over this period of time, I started to like the peppermint tea more and more. It is true that a new taste for a food or drink can be developed over repeated exposure. I found myself choosing the peppermint tea over the Pepsi Max.

The outcome

Well, the early morning emergency trips to the bathroom stopped almost immediately. I noticed I wasn’t getting a new filling every time I went to the dentist and my skin elasticity improved dramatically. These are just the things I can measure. As for the bits I can’t see, I’m pretty sure those parts of me are pleased with the outcome too.

So come on, kick your coke habit today.

I love Goji berries! This superfood has a wonderful cherry-like flavour and is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A and other antioxidants. It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 6,000 years. They are however, quite an expensive addition to your diet if you are on a budget.

I found out it was a relatively easy plant to grow in the UK, once established. Also, the berries can be harvested within two years. The community garden I help to build could really do with a berry bush which supplied vitamin-packed fruit, was drought tolerant and hardy.

I had a half eaten packet of Organic Raw Goji Berries so I thought about give it a go. Organic berries are better to use for seed as they have been through less processing.

 

Goji Berries www.naturalmatter.co.uk

Raw Organic Goji Berries

 

I had read online that you can soak the berries, as this makes it easier to extract the seed from the sticky flesh of the fruit. Impatient as I am, I simply used a sharp knife, extracted the seeds and ate the left overs! Yum.

 

Goji Berries Organic

Goji Berries Raw Organic Seeds

 

Once extracted I planted the little sticky seeds into growing compost in an old mushroom box from the supermarket.

 

Gojo berry seeds in compost

Plant the Goji Berry Seeds in Compost

 

I watered them and put a thin plastic bag over the entire box. This created a humid environment for the seeds to germinate in. I left them on a sunny windowsill.

 

Goji Berry Seeds in plastic bag.

The Goji Berry Seeds Germinating

 

I left them on the windowsill for about 2 weeks. Before I knew it the seedlings had started breaking through.

As they grew I noticed they had  started leaning towards the light. This meant they weren’t getting enough light to grow healthily. So, I moved them to a lighter place.

If the seedling doesn’t get enough light in its early stages, it will not be a healthy plant as it matures. If you can’t move the seedling to a lighter place remember to turn the plant round once every day. If you notice your seedling drooping over you need to get them to a lighter position as soon as you can.

 

Goji berry seedlings

Goji Berry Seedlings Planted in their Own Pots

 

Here are the little seedlings. Happy and going strong. Fingers crossed they make it to the warm spring and Wokingham will have Goji Berries growing up all over.

 

My name is Vicky and my passion is natural health and growing my own veggies. I help run a community group called Incredible Edible Wokingham, where we build community gardens around our local town. I have my own allotment where I grow a wide variety of fruit and veg for my family. I also run my own business called Natural Matter which supplies Natural Health Food and fitness products.

www.naturalmatter.co.uk

natural matter facebook page

natural matter twitter page

We all get it from time to time. That unnecessary worry. The negative kind that serves no purpose than to ruin your day. Sometimes it seems like our brains are hell bent on following a downward spiral of thought, that can only lead toward self destruction. Who cares whether Bob was abrupt with you this morning or Judy didn’t reply to your text? It’s unnecessary worry and you can live without it.

We are hard wired to worry. Worry is a natural response to external events. It pushes us to take action and solve a problem instead of allowing it to grow and become a bigger threat. However, it can quickly get out of hand and can become a hindrance rather than a help.

So is there a way to retrain the brain to peace and mindfullness? Yes, perhaps there is,

Meditation has proven health benefits. According to Dr Gail Goss in New Year, New You : The Power of meditation. It can,

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Increase your circulation
  • Throw more blood to the prefrontal cortex
  • Enhance your executive function, working memory, concentration, and visuospatial processing
  • Help you hold images longer
  • Process information better
  • Allow for contemplation, intuition, and creativity to thrive.

Even the super power Google are running courses which encourage their employees to ‘search inside yourself’. There you have it, mainstream businesses are now adopting meditation practices in order to create a happier and healthier workforce.

There is no set time limit on how long you should meditate for. It’s whatever works for you. Perhaps a good place to start would be between 15 and 30 minutes a day. I’m going to start with the 15 minutes a day and work up.

Have a look at this great infographic from
https://synchronicity.org/

Infograph: How to MeditateInfographic authored by Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality. To view the original post, Free Infographic: How to Meditate.
If you are looking for a 16 minute lead meditation how about trying this free meditation on you tube.
A guided meditation that will help you attract abundance, and achieve balance and freedom in all aspects of your life.
Phew! Now to find the wind chimes and rustling leaves. 🙂

My name is Vicky and my passion is natural health and growing my own veggies. I help run a community group called Incredible Edible Wokingham, where we build community gardens around our local town. I have my own allotment where I grow a wide variety of fruit and veg for my family. I also run my own business called Natural Matter which supplies Natural Health Food and fitness products.

www.naturalmatter.co.uk

natural matter facebook page

natural matter twitter page