Winter Wellness – Part 2 – EFT

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the healing tools I have in my kete (basket) which I have to admit was a bit out of my comfort zone the first time I tried it.  That was over a decade ago now and since then it has become an invaluable which never fails to make a positive difference in how I feel.  I regulary use it for relieving syptoms of discomfort and illness, with great results, so I thought you may like to try it too.

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Tapping on the karate chop point

As you may know, I believe that all our health and well-being, yes all of it, comes down to our emotions.  Our emotions dictate how we interact with the world and what we do in it.  If we are feeling safe, we are more able to make good choices in our life as we operate in more of a ‘rest and digest’ state of being. If we are feeling stressed, worried or scared a different part of our nervous system kicks in and we operate out of a ‘flight or fight or freeze’ survival mode where our decisions are based on what we think we need at that moment to survive.  Obviously, there are bugs out there that can make us sick however when we are operating in ‘survival mode’ due to us feeling stressed, worried, angry etc then our immune system is impaired which make that fact, bugs will make us sick, all the more likely to occur.

Our bodies can’t heal or fight disease in our bodies if we think our safety is compromised as it is too busy worrying about survival, which is where EFT can help.  Tapping (another name for EFT) works by tapping on meridian points, which studies have shown helps calm the amygdala (a part of the brain which plays a key role in processing emotions) and thereby helps clear emotional blocks within our system. While you tap you also say statements about the issue or how you are feeling – focusing on the negative to start with and then moving to the positive – which also helps to bring the body back to that all importance place of calm and balance.  In a nutshell EFT/Tapping assists you to move through the negative (sickness, emotions or pain) by combining tapping on certain points in the body and saying how we feel about the issue we have, simple as that!   It honestly is that easy, yet it is so effective and you don’t need to get ‘tied up’ about what to say either, rather just say how you are honestly feeling.

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The tapping points as portrayed by an amazing artist 🙂

Now at this point you may be saying ‘but a cold is physical, it has nothing to do with emotions’ and that is true to a point. There are two things that bring it back to the emotional though …. one, when we are stressed/angry/worried or rushing all the time our bodies go into survival mode which lowers our immune system, so allowing bugs in a little easier and two, everything we experience has an emotion attached to it.  So when we get that cold we may begin to wallow in how sick we feel, get angry about still having to do jobs, feel frustrated that being sick stops us from doing something and all of these emotions end up making us feel worse.  Tapping helps clear that emotional aspect which allows you to feel brighter and more able to cope.

Tapping/EFT is really easy to do and best of all you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it!  Even if you feel a bit silly to start with, tapping under your arm especially, after a few rounds it will help you to feel better.  There are loads of tap along videos on youtube ( I’ve listed a few below to try) however if you want a little one page quick guide, by yours truly, then here is a PDF to help you along.  If you want a more detailed look at EFT and how you can reduce your stress then try out my book ‘Take it Easy’ which you can purchased at Amazon, Smashwords and other online bookstores.  I will say though that while tapping at home and using youtube videos is great for relieving minor issues I do suggest that if anything comes up for you and you feel you have deeper work to do then please seek out a professional practitioner.

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Try out my e-book for a more detailed guide on reducing stress to improve health.

Cold and congestion tap along with Nivedita Mehta

Cold tap along with Beth Tuttle

Healing tap along with Brad Yates

Cold and flu tap along with Julie Schiffman

Hope this finds you getting a bit of relief and feeling healthier each day.

Arohanui
Y
www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Winter Wellness – Part 1 – Reflexology

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After five weeks of recipes and with winter officially here in NZ I thought I would begin a ‘Winter Wellness’ series of blogs.  As the Chinese proverb goes ‘The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.’  So I thought I would share a few tools and give the opportunity for you to all become your own superior … or at the very least mediocre …. doctor and get on top of your health before any of those dreaded winter lurgies appear  … or reappear 🙂

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Rainy day views

Each week over the next few weeks I will give a few suggestions for you to try. which can help you find some relief from winter lurgies or may help boost your immune system to keep them at bay completely.  These don’t replace medical advice of course, rather they can be used in conjunction with other techniques or medications you are using to help  bring your body back into balance and hopefully heal a little quicker.  Once your body has balance (we naturally want homeostasis in our bodies and the body strives for it at a physiological level) it has more energy to focus on healing and maintaining a healthy body.

Reflexology is a great tool for helping you bring your body back into balance and one that I love to use.  While I primarily give foot reflexology treatments to my clients, I know that this isn’t always the easiest option to use at home, by yourself, or when you’re out and about.  So for that reason I teach a lot of hand reflexology points during my workshops so that you can actually use this fantastic tool yourself.  The positive effects of hand reflexology are usually a little shorter lived than foot reflexology though thankfully it is easy to repeat as needed.  Best thing is that you can do some basic moves in the comfort of your own home.

Ingham method hand map

Ingham Method Map

I thought a one page hand out would be the best way to share (click here to download a PDF version) and a little video (thankfully the sun came out so that herself could video me in the light) to help you along the way … including a bit of eye rolling from me as himself runs in and out of the bus and I thought that I wasn’t having my face filmed!!!  Excuse our low tech productions ….  not that much room for lighting and screens in our 1956 Bedford 🙂 If you feel there is something that isn’t clear then please let me know so I can do another ‘take’. The most important thing is that you are mindful of your own wellbeing.  Stop if  you’re feeling pain, go easy on tender spots, ease up if things feel ‘too much’ and if you are concerned then see a health professional

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and working those hands to your benefit!

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Carrot Cake vegans can enjoy

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I love carrot cake!! It is by far my favourite among all cakes and something that I pine over every time we go anywhere near a cafe since becoming a vegan.  When I was just avoiding gluten and diary I had a great recipe, or I’d just scoff some regular cake knowing the upcoming consequences, though as it has eggs in it this is sadly no longer an option.

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Hitting the road and avoiding the rain for the weekend.

Thankfully I have the Flying Apron’s cookbook (by Jennifer Katzinger), with has loads of vegan/GF recipes, which includes a carrot cake recipe.  It is such a delicious version of carrot cake that even the non-vegan on the bus have given it a seal of approval by declaring ‘it almost tastes like real carrot cake’! 🙂 I have tried this recipe both using just walnuts and also using a mixed nut selection (cashews, brazil, hazelnut, almond and walnut) with equal success.  I don’t tend to ice the finished cake though as it is so sweet with all that maple syrup, however I guess that it just personal taste, and I usually don’t want to wait that long to get munching

I confess though that while I made two cakes in short succession last week (a taster cake and then a cake for Infant Massage) I completely forgot to take any photos of either of the cakes!  My dilemma for what to do was short lived as I quickly decided to make another one, all in the name of work of course :), however once started I realized that we actually didn’t have enough maple syrup and I really couldn’t be bothered driving all the way into town to get some.  So ……. I thought I’d just give it a whirl without the sweetner.

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My new favourite dessert.

While it was certainly sweet enough for us it was a bit on the dry side without the maple syrup.  Having a motto of ‘waste not, want not’  we did come up with a good remedy for our dry, unsweetened version, which was to have it as a dessert with a blob of Coconut Yoghurt.  It was actually really delicious I can tell you, so much so that I plan to make it again and have it warm as an actual planned dessert.  Now to think of more opportunities to make it as I’m pretty certain this will quickly be my new favourite dessert.   So I’ll share with you the recipe as found in Flying Apron’s cookbook (by Jennifer Katzinger) and let you decided how much sweet syrup you wish to put in ……… Good to have options in life 🙂

Vegan Carrot Cake

(slightly altered from the original in Flying Apron’s cookbook )

  • 1 Cup of brown rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup Buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Olive oil
  • 3/4 Cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 Cup maple syrup (or reduce as you wish)
  • 3/4 Cup Grated carrot
  • 3/4 Cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 Cup of chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/2 Cup of raisins

-Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl – including carrot, nuts, coconut and raisins

-Add in the wet ingredients and mix well

-Pour into a baking paper lined tin and bake at 190C for around 40 – 45 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.

-Remove from tin and cool before enjoying  ……. if you can wait that long.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Vegan shortbread

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Another week and another recipe … I admit that I’m feeling quite smug to actually get a post out each Monday for over a month!  Sometimes we are constantly playing and experimenting with recipes then there are other times that all those old recipes are easiest option.  While I do post other things on here … planning a winter wellness series of posts soon, it seems that the food posts are always the favourite so I’ll oblige again this week at the end of a long weekend. 🙂

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Snow coming a bit closer to home after a winter blast of weather

This recipe comes from a great wee book that we got two years ago when himself (then aged eight) decided that he wanted to become Vegan.  As I tend to feel better without gluten I was trying to find a way to still bake yummy treats without gluten, eggs or butter  being involved and began trawling the library for books.  Thankfully Jennifer Katzinger was a step ahead and had already written her book; Flying Apron’s Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book.  It is a great ‘go to’ resource as it has a mix of sweet and savoury treats which have all been tested in her bakery.

This shortbread recipe (she calls it Maple ‘Butter’ Bars) is quick, easy and very delicious.  We have altered it a little from her original as she uses Palm oil for some inexplicable reason while we prefer coconut oil, which is easy to get in the supermarket and a little more environmentally friendly.  I have noticed though that the quality of the coconut oil does change how it bakes in the oven so wanted to mention here that if you find you have coconut oil bubbling away on top of your shortbread as it bakes then fear not.  We have had this once or twice and simply pour the excess off the top then return to the oven for a little extra baking with the same delicious results.

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Scored into bite size pieces while still warm and in the pan

We have also played around with the flour that we use over the years.  I love a mix of brown rice flour and buckwheat however the non-vegans on the bus prefer it when I use the Edmonds GF flour so I guess it is just personal taste for you and yours.  I have given the full recipe below however I usually just do a half recipe as it is very sweet and moreish.  I also cut them into bite size biscuits so that it goes a bit further.  Anyway it went down a treat last week so I thought that I would share the recipe with you.  Have a play and see what your favourite flour combo is 🙂

Vegan Shortbread

  • 2 3/4 Cups GF flour (1 3/8 buckwheat and 1 3/8 rice, all rice or premixed works)
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

-Heat the coconut oil in a pot until it is just liquid then add the maple syrup in along with the vanilla essence and stir well

-Mix in the flour until it is well blended in.

-Spread the mixture into a baking paper lined tin.  Preferably a tin that you can open and slide the baking paper out of at the end. You want a layer about 1/2 to 1 cm thick.

-Bake at 190C for 30 mins or until the edges are golden and hardening a little.

-Remove from the oven and use a knife to ‘cut’ into small pieces.

-Slide the baking paper with the scored shortbread intact onto a cooling tray.

-Cool and enjoy.

 

Hope this finds you warm where ever you are 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Quick and Easy Snacks

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The sun is still shining here and for the end of May the days are surprisingly warm …. especially in our little sun trap.  So with the temperature outside being balmy for this time of year and the temperature inside being hot, due to babies needing to be fully undressed for massage, I thought that a cooler treat would be ideal last week.

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Making the most of the good weather …. walking up Hapuku River

These super easy treats came about, as many things do, through my resistance to pay for something that I was sure I could make at home.  That ‘give it a go’ mentally is definitely a kiwi trait I think, definitely a very strong trait of mine anyway, and combine that with a bit of frugal living and … well … you end up trying to create at home (making 45 of them) what would cost you $9 in the supermarket for just 10 balls.  Back then I named these little treats Snackerballs, after themselves telling me that they weren’t ‘Frooze balls’ ….. then low and behold a year or two later I see that ‘Snackaballs’ appeared on the shelves.  Obviously onto a good thing with the name back then, shame I didn’t trademark it 🙂

These are another ‘one pot wonder’ which you can whip up quickly and easily, adjusting them to your taste-buds pretty easily.  I just store them in the fridge so they can be made whenever and last for ages … if they aren’t gobbled up before that.  Over the years of making these we have tried lots of variations; adding different things like cranberries at Christmas, grated chocolate, nuts, seeds, carob and recently ground LSA (Linseed, Sunflower seeds and Almonds).  We found Healtheries LSA Superfruits , which is super yum, a while ago when making some apple crumble and I have to say that adding this did give the snackerballs a bit more firmness which I quite liked. Though it does have a bit of sugar added to it (in the blueberries for some reason) which some of you may what to avoid.  

Anyway here is the basic recipe I worked out and then the only limit is your imagination!

Snackerballs

  • 1 Cup dried dates
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 2 Cups desiccated Coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon psyllium husks
  • 1 Tablespoon ground LSA (optional)

-Soak the dates in the water for 10-15 mins and then mash into a smooth paste – of course if you have a blender this is easier 🙂

-Stir in the other ingredients and mix until fully blended

-Shape the mixture into small balls (makes around 45 with this recipe) and put into a container.

-Refrigerate and enjoy

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Packed up and ready to go to class

Hope this finds you all enjoying tasty treats with your loved ones.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

All things sweet

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So the recipe this week is surely the furthest I can get from becoming healthy, being vegan, gluten free or sugar free!  Out of the five weeks of baking I do for the parents at Infant Massage this recipe is the most sugar laden … and probably the most irresistible of them all.  Herself also loves it when I make these because it is the one week she doesn’t have a little (vegan) brother competing for the left overs … just her father at the end of the day 🙂

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Drying the covers for the upcoming class.

So as the covers (from the duvet that everyone sits/lies on) have been washed and are getting blown dry on the line ready for Wednesday’s class I thought I would share what I made last week for everyone. They are in hot demand and so in between guarding cookies from certain wee hands, offering them at Infant massage and letting herself and her father enjoy the leftovers I only just remembered about a photo as the last few were about to be devoured  ……. herself did suggest that I make more so you could all see a full batch, fresh and warm, though I have declined that offer 🙂

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Even this photo was hard to get with little hands trying to nab them!

It is actually thanks to herself that we have this recipe as she found it many years ago when researching how the chocolate chip came into existence ….. Thanks Ruth Wakefield …. so I guess it is only fair that she gets the spoils.  It has been a rare treat ever since and having two vegans on the bus has made it even rarer and it has been over a year now since these beauties were fragrancing -yes, it is a real word – our wee bus.

Though it is sugar laden you can reduce some of this by using 90% chocolate or reducing the sugar if you are so inclined.  You can also add in some nuts to replace some of the chocolate.  Another version I have tried was with white chocolate, which I bought by mistake, which everyone loved.  I’ll leave it to you to play with and enjoy though I’d love to hear about any good variations you find.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is half the original recipe and still makes around 45 biscuits.

1 1/8 Cup Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

125 gm softened butter (1/2 Cup)

3/4 Cup raw/brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg

1 Cup of broken up dark chocolate (the darker the better and the less sugar). One block is more than enough.

  • Pre-heat oven to 190 C
  • Melt the butter and beat with the sugar until blended
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence, mixing well.
  • Mix in the flour and baking soda.
  • Add chocolate in and stir well into the dough
  • Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a lined tray (baking paper is good).  They will flatten and expand on baking so leave room for this
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to flatten and brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack …. if you can wait that long!!

Hope this finds you enjoying life’s sweet treats, happy, healthy and content.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz/

Paraoa Panana – Banana Bread

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It is Infant Massage time again and that means bringing out the old favourites as well as a few new recipes to keep those parents nourished.  I love teaching the classes and seeing all the little ones soaking up good massage vibes as well as the parents enjoying my baking. It is definitely one of the best bits of my job ……. and as for themselves as they always get the left overs, so they think it is the best bit of my job too!

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Infant Massage in action last year

Last week was the first session and I decided to go for good old Banana Bread (Paraoa Panana in Māori).  This recipe is a repeat however it really is so easy and so yummy that it is worth bringing it to the foreground again 🙂  I found this particular little treasure in a free magazine from a local health shop a few years back and since our bus-hold (thinking this is our version of house-hold) love banana bread it has been a very well used recipe.

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A few pieces left over for themselves

It comes from a book by Daisy Dagg and Amber Vito called Kai for Kids eBook and while the original recipe had half honey and half maple syrup in it we have just replaced the honey with all Maple Syrup without much change to the flavour.  I’m sharing the gluten version this time however we have used GF flour with success in the past (see post from Feb last year) …. in fact the only reason I’m not baking it for the class with Gluten Free Flour is so that I won’t scoff all the left overs this time!! 😉

Paraoa Panana (or Vegan Banana Bread)

1 Cup Wholemeal flour

3/4 Cup self raising flour (or regular white then add 1 tsp baking powder to the recipe)

1/3 C melted coconut oil

1/2 C pure maple syrup

4 mashed bananas (large)

1/2 C shredded / desiccated coconut

2 Tb chia seeds

1/2 C rice milk (or other milk alternative)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Melt coconut oil in a pot and stir in the maple syrup, rice milk, vanilla essence and mashed banana
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir well
  • Add in all the other dry ingredients and mix until blended well
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and bake at 180 Celsius for around 35-40 mins or until a cake-tester (skewer) comes out clean.
  • Cool and Enjoy 🙂

Hope this finds you surrounded by those who love and believe in you, enjoying the present moment and nibbling on something nice.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz