Another cracking raw chocolate recipe!!!

Hello!!

I found this amazing raw chocolate brownie recipe the other day and it’s been such a hit with friends and family I thought i’d better post it!

Ingredients

200g of finely chopped nuts – any will do almonds and hazelnut is my favourite combo

200g dates without the stones

2 – 3 tbsp of raw chocolate powder

2 – 3 tbsp of honey depending on how much sweetness you want

1 tbsp of melted raw coconut oil

Blends the dates and nuts together until well mixed, ad the raw chocolate, melted butter and honey into the blender and blend until it becomes a big ball of scrumptiousness. Take the ball out and put on to a baking tray and smoosh down with a spatula.

Put in the fridge for at least an hour to solidify… tah dah!!

I’ve been making a batch a week and have used it for pack lunches or an after dinner treat… beautiful!!

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Spring has nearly sprung.. the Vernal Equinox March 20th 2012

So we are nearly there (finally!) tomorrow on the 20th of March is the Spring equinox.

On this day the earth is in line with the sun and Spring has officially arrived and it’s traditional to take some time to celebrate rebirth and new beginnings, get back to nature and appreciate the light shining down. Many different cultures all over the world celebrate the equinoxes and solstices with different rituals, one of the most famous is Snake of Sunlight in Mexico where a stone Pyramid was built in Mayan times and when the equinox hits the stairs of the pyramid it forms a shadow of a snake down one side. Thousands of people from all over congregate to see this snake shadow forming and when it does the crowd will cheer and celebrate with hands outstretched to the sky welcoming the sunlight down.

As this day is literally the season changing expect to feel more energy, see lighter days and things becoming greener all around. This is also a perfect time for you to start a detox which is something i am really looking forward to!! From tomorrow for the next 2 weeks I will be detoxing and incorporating exercise and meditation into my daily routine… I can’t wait!!

There are many other ways in which you can celebrate the equinox, go for a long walk taking time  to feel the energy rising from the trees and the earth, cook a heart warming meal for the family or even plan a picnic outside (weather permitting!!) whatever you do I hope you have a lovely day… here’s to longer days, warmer weather and lots of change!!!

Let the Light Shine On….

 

Hello and Happy new year (i know it’s a bit late)

So after coming home from my travels it’s all been rather hectic and so I finally have found myself some time to dedicate to what i love doing at long last!

I have to admit over January all I have wanted to do is eat and sleep, I was almost starting to get worried and felt that there must’ve been something wrong with me as my energy levels were so low and I was so lethargic in the mornings and evenings. With this in mind I referred to some of my old nutritional healing lectures and reminded myself about the value of light sand the way that light makes us as human beings feel. Light is a source of energy, it makes plants grow and and all living organisms (aside from mould) need light in order to thrive.

 December and January are our darkest days in the year and so our bodies put us into hibernation mode, therefore low energy, insatiable hunger and feeling lethargic are completely normal at this time of the year. The best way to deal with it in my opinion is to celebrate it, cosy up on the sofa in the warm, use the time to get close to a partner, pamper yourself in the evenings, run a hot bath, spend more time in bed watching films… if we can’t do anything about it lets wallow in it and finally dedicate the time to ourselves, something that we rarely do the rest of the year.

 When i finished work last night and I saw it was still light at 5.30 pm I was almost immediately aware that I didn’t feel like going home and getting straight into my pyjamas or feasting on chocolate, I felt energetic again and treated myself to a yoga session (which was glorious). Please let me know if you have been feeling the same way or if, indeed like me you have noticed it getting lighter and have felt a shift in your energy?

 I suppose it’s always January where we feel a bit down in the dumps, Christmas is over and most of us have over indulged, we’re skint and we go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. It’s no wonder that people start out with the best intentions of losing weight or getting healthier and fail miserably which leads to more feelings of self loathing, I agree we should start the year with best intentions but perhaps leave the healthy eating and cardio to Spring when our energy is flowing and we feel more positive.

I feel that January 2013 will be very different for me, I feel I will be celebrating the month in the warm, being cosy, with raw chocolate recipes and heart warming food instead of wondering why I feel so low.

 I hope some of you now share some understanding of why light is so important for energy and will also celebrate January next year by treating yourself to some well deserved me time. But for now lets all take the time to appreciate and get excited that Spring is coming, why not go for a long country walk this weekend helping to get that exercise in and feel the energy from the tree’s and plants surrounding you which is just starting to wake up from their long sleep.

 I hope you all have a lovely weekend… more posts coming soon

 Here’s to love, light and good health X

Bon Voyage!!!

Dear Subscribers

Hope everything is well and wonderful with you.. I have some exciting news!

First of all I have passed my Diploma exam in Nutritional Healing and got a 92% mark on the case taking paper which sets me in good stead for starting my own private practise next year. I should hopefully be fully qualified in Februaury next year and advertising to help clients in the UK. I have also just enrolled on a massage course and by the middle of next year will be qualified in both nutrition and massage fulfilling my dream of being a holistic therapist and being able to help people through diet, lifestyle and massage… I cant wait!!!

The second bit of news is that on Friday I am off travelling for three months, this means my posts will be thin on the ground until I get back but I fully intend on savouring the culinary delights of the countries i’m visiting and will be back with more recipes and information.

I am also creating another website that will link to this blog but hold much more information… more on that coming soon.

So it’s time to say farewell, I hope you stay well whilst i’m away and watch this space for more nutritional info from January

Wishing you love, light and good health

Jaz xxx

Yummy Curry

And now for my favourite super veg/king prawn curry…

A satisfying, heart warming, wholesome meal 🙂

Ingredients

Bag of King Prawns (optional, just go for the veg if you like!)

2 cloves of garlic crushes/chopped finely

One large onion chopped

Few handfuls of spinach chopped roughly

A courgette chopped

Few carrots sliced

I x can of butterbeans

1 x can of chickpeas

2 – 3 cans x cans chopped tomatoes

2 x tbsp of curry paste

 Please feel free to also add in any other veg – sweet potato, broccoli, leeks, parsnips, green beans, peppers, pak choi, kale, broad beans… you get my drift!

 Method

Do all the chopping, slicing and dicing ready to chuck in the pot. Start with a saucepan on a medium heat with some oil (I prefer coconut) chuck the onions in and fry off until tender then add in the chopped garlic.

Once these are nice and soft and the smells are hitting your nose add in the prawns (make sure they go pink through if they are raw). After a minute or so add the tablespoons of curry paste and mix in well, then add all the veg one at a time starting with the harder veg like carrots and finishing up with the chopped tomatoes.

Pop a top on the pan and turn the heat down to a simmer. Once it’s reduced down a bit have a little taste and add more chilli flakes if desired… accompany with brown rice and garnish with chopped coriander if you like.

Need a chocolate fix??

Hello, hope all is wonderful with you..

If your like me and sometimes get these uncontrollable cravings for chocolate but don’t really like buying into the sugar laden ones from conventional shops I have the answer….

The answer is in the form of raw Cacao, this is available from health food shops and some of the larger supermarkets. You can mostly get it in powder form or as nibs, I like working with both. Cacao has high levels of magnesium, is jam-packed of antioxidants and contains chemicals that stimulate feelings of happiness. It’s bitter in taste much like dark chocolate and it does contain small levels of caffeine but when used as part of a recipe gives you that much-needed chocolate fix.

It’s used by many raw foodies and in conventional non specific diets for desserts, snacks and smoothies and as for any food don’t go mad and eat in large quantities, there is some evidence to suggest it wont do you any good what so ever. Just as you wouldn’t feel good about eating a kilo of conventional chocolate don’t assume because this is healthier that you could do the same with cacao, use it as a treat for yourself, that way you’ll appreciate it more anyway!

For more benefits see the below website

http://www.nutritionfriend.com/Cacao/I66.htm

If you’re in need of a chocolate fix invest in some today and try some of these recipes…

Banana choc delight..

Ingredients

Cup of milk – Oat milk, Nut milk, Soya milk or whatever you’re in to.

I x banana

Handful of raspberries (optional)

1 – 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder

Chuck the milk into a blender, add the fruit once chopped and the cacao and mix until smooth… delish!! You can play with this recipe with the fruit e.g add strawberries or cranberries instead… Basically mix and match until you have your favourite mix.

Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

1 – 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder

1 x cup of your favourite milk

1 x teaspoon of honey

Method – Pop the milk into a saucepan and heat very gently for a couple of minutes, add the cacao powder and give it a good stir, keep heating for another couple of mins and then add the honey stirring it in, pour the mixture into a mug and dust with more cacao powder to serve… what a lovely pre bedtime treat!!

Another favourite of mine from www.naked-chocolate.com called ‘Toby Roamed’

  • 1/2 cup of raw cacao nibs
  • 2 cups of raw cacao butter
  • 1/4 cup of raw carob powder
  • 1 dessertspoonful of Pure Synergy
  • 1/4 cup of raw agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon of Blue Manna powder
  • 1 teaspoon of maca
  • 2 dessert spoons of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of cashew nuts

Method – grind the cacao nibs into a fine powder. Grind the cashew nuts into a fine powder. Grate the white cacao butter and add to a bowl. Pour some warm water into another bowl and sit the bowl with the butter in into this bowl. Don’t get water into your cacao butter. Wait until the butter has melted, and then add the other ingredients. Stir very well and then pour it into any pretty moulds.

See how you go with these to start with and then check out the web, there is a wealth of information on recipes and uses online… All this talk of chocolate has made me hungry 😉

 

The importance of chewing your food…

Can you remember your Mother telling you from across the dinner table to “chew your food!” These days with our hectic lifestyles, work stresses, family stresses, working lunches and lunches on the go makes most people focus on finishing their food before actually enjoying it?

The moment you chew your first mouthful of food it starts off a mechanical and chemical reaction in the body called digestion. Our saliva is the first thing that breaks down the food so chewing food as much as possible means more saliva is produced leading to the food being broken down before getting anywhere near you stomach. Think about eating a massive roast dinner and then visualise that roast dinner in a bowl with some acid in it, think how long it would take that acid to break down all the different elements to that roast dinner if you just put it in the bowl without mushing it up first… now think about how much easier it would be if you gave that roast a good mushing before mixing it with that acid, I think we can all agree it would break down so much quicker.

Everything we eat has to go through a long an arduous process in order to be fully digested… think about that kebab you got last Saturday night after a night out on a lash, that kebab has to go through your mouth, your stomach, metres and metres of intestine and then pushed out to your colon… that is hard work for your body to do especially if you had drunk copious amounts of booze and chowed down on it like a pig in a trough (we’ve all been there!).

Take your time with your food, practise putting your fork down between mouthfuls and sitting up straight you will notice that by the end of the meal you don’t have that usual ‘stuffed’ feeling and you will be less bloated and lethargic as well as being less bunged up. The red Indians had a saying of drink your food and chew your drink… give it a go and I assure you not only will you appreciate your food more but your stomach and intestines will be so happy 

 If you suffer from IBS, bloatedness, constipation or any other stomach ailment this simple trick of chewing your food, sitting up straight and taking deep breaths will really help to relieve symptoms.

Kinder for body and soul…

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