Thursday, May 05, 2016

How I Meditate

Mindfulness is the buzz word on everyone's lips at the moment - for a reason!  People are beginning to discover the benefits to health and personal and emotional well-being.  I've been meditating now for the last five or six years - sometimes more effectively than others, but I when I let my practice slip I feel as if something important and grounding is missing in my life and I always return to it. I really began my practice under the wonderful tuition of Lama - a Buddhist Monk who taught me the Buddhist tradition of meditation and breath work.  It all stemmed from there.

Usually sitting in bed - sometimes in the spare room and sometimes on the sofa.  As long as I'm upright and my spine is straight, my neck in line, it works.  If I lie down, chances are I fall asleep!

I'd like to say that I get up at 5am to do an hour, but the reality is I don't.  I just can't wake myself up, so I tend to meditate in the evening and sometimes at my desk in the morning - even five minutes makes a difference.

What type of meditation?
Mindfulness - watching the breath.  Sometimes I chant the Buddhist chant 'om mane padme'. You can find this on You Tube and teach it to yourself. It depends what kind of mood I'm in.  Chanting is good when I'm really distracted as it calms the mind quickly.

I meditate to get more out of my day. To feel calmer and more in control, no matter what the day throws at me.  I meditate to feel connected to the 'quieter me', the observer. 

This varies - mostly nothing at all, sometimes I burn an incense stick or play quiet music.  Sometimes I light a candle.  I have several apps that I return to Calm and Anamaya are my current go-tos - they offer meditations on different things ie anxiety, creativity, sleep etc.  I also use the site Meditainment for guided visualisations and meditation.  If you sign up, each month a new guided meditation is released.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Green Goodness - Courgetti Noodles

I'm pretty new to the spiralizer revolution, but that's not to say I'm not embracing it now I've finally got there!  There is a feeling, something akin to smugness I have to admit, of wholesomeness when you're munching through those delicate green strands. There is a plethora of recipes 'out there' for courgetti, but I still prefer the simplicity of a salad, or the softness of noodles sauted in butter and garlic with a smattering of parsley and feta.  Less is definitely more in this case.
Anyway, I came across this recipe and it struck all the right notes for me, so here it is.

You will need...
(Serves 2 as a Side or Starter - double the portions for a main)
3 Large Asparagus Spears, peeled
1 Large Courgette, spiralised
3 Mini Courgettes, peeled
4 Mini Fennels, finely sliced
½ cup of Fresh Peas
4 Sprigs of Tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Chives, finely chopped
2 tsp Capers
50g Feta, crumbled
½ Lemon, Juice and Zest
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Good Olive Oil
There really isn't a 'method' as such - just some slicing and a bit of crumbling at the end...
  1. Using a  vegetable peeler  peel the Asparagus and mini Courgette into a large bowl.
  2. Then using either the julienne or spiralise the large Courgette into noodles and add it to the bowl.
  3. Finely slice the Fennel and add it to the bowl along with the Peas, and Capers, Lemon Juice and Zest, Salt and Pepper and Olive Oil.
  4. Finely chop the Tarragon leaves and Chives, then add to the bowl along with the crumbled Feta.
  5. Toss the Salad throughly and serve with a little extra Olive Oil drizzled on top.
(You could substitute the feta with goats cheese, or crispy pancetta, you choose!)

photos by Peony Lim