Saturday, 18 November 2017

Joyous Food

I've been living a healthier lifestyle since September this year.  I am on the verge of becoming 'preachy' about it as I have gained so much by doing so.  However, I am not a counsellor or a nutritionist or physical trainer so my experience is purely 'my experience' and will be different for anyone who wants to change the way they eat, think, move, feel etc.,  For me the practice of changing my diet and physical activity and the way I 'see' the World, so far, has been positive.

I am excited about discovering foods that are new to me such as chickpea flour (which I commented on in my previous post) and the joy of cooking from scratch at every meal, savouring each step of the way.  The taste of toasted pecans in a warm salad is heavenly! 

The photo above is a pumpkin loaf which I made from following a recipe in my Chickpea Flour cookbook.  It is delicious, not too sweet and tastes like a lightly spiced gingerbread.  It is topped with pumpkin seeds or 'pepitas' as they are referred to in the book.  This is definitely a 'treat' cake and not something I would eat every day as I am trying to minimise the amount of sugar I consume.

Today I made a warming split pea soup with leek and sweet potato for lunch and feel truly nurtured as I eat this wholesome and nutritious meal. 

I feel blessed to be able to choose from a wide range of ingredients from the stores and privileged that I can pick and choose what I eat.  I never take this for granted.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Treats

I have been looking for a 'signature' fragrance for a long time and thought I would try sample sizes of the whole range of Walden's natural perfumes.  They wasn't cheap at £30.00 for five 5ml bottles and as yet I am undecided what I think about them.  The scent seems to evaporate within about half an hour but I am sure it would last longer if I used an atomiser rather than dabbing it on from the bottle.  I was attracted to the company as they do not test on animals and they make by hand in small batches with the finest quality natural ingredients.  I will persevere trying them.

The chickpea flour cookbook excites me!  Who knew that chickpea flour is gluten free, grain free, low-glycemic and high in protein, fibre and iron?  Well, I never knew!  With recipes such as cinnamon apple fritter puffs and ginger scones with chickpea lemon curd, I am looking forward to making them and testing them out.

Other treats over the last few weeks have been the Psychologies magazine which always opens my mind and leads me to finding out about new things; Happy Wax melts shaped like little teddy bears (I have yet to bring myself to watch them melt in the burner) with wonderful autumnal scents such as apple harvest, cinnamon chai and pumpkin souffle.

Last but not least is the stack of kraft paper journals that I 'needed' but can't remember why! I am sure I will put them to good use!

Friday, 3 November 2017

November Mist

This morning just after 7.00am taken on my phone.  The mist rising up from the ground at the local park.  I was compelled to capture the moment lest the scene faded from my memory.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

October Sky

I witnessed a dramatic sky just before sundown last night.  At the front of the house the sky was blue with pink clouds.  Pretty as it was, it didn't translate very well to camera.  At the back of the house however, the clouds told a different story.  There was so much drama in the sky as it changed by the second.  The light was amazing.  I felt in awe of its beauty and wondered just how many other people were outside watching it unfold as I was:

Look up
Look out
And feel a deep sense of peace within




Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Universe

A Universe of pink, purple and blue planets!  These are not my usual colour choices but it was fun to experiment nevertheless.

I wonder what sort of beings could inhabit such planets?  The pale blue and white one looks rather glacial.  A place of crystal caves and spectacular ice formations perhaps?


Monday, 23 October 2017

Painting Planets

I was inspired to get out my paintbox after seeing planets painted by Melanie April Houten.  It was a good exercise for me to make colour swatches and get a feel for using paints again.  I discovered Melanie on one of Anne Butera's series on sketchbook conversations. Reading the sketchbook conversations is a highlight of my week as I know that they always manage to spark my interest and imagination.

It is wonderful to paint - not for an end product particularly - but to just blend paints on the paper and see what special effects emerge.  I have missed painting and should really get back to it even if only as a meditative exercise.  I can imagine playing some magical sounding flute or haunting Celtic music as I blend the paint and water across the page.  It is a wonderful form of mindful relaxation!

If you are looking for a hobby, I would definitely recommend watercolour painting.  You do not need a lot of materials to start out: a watercolour paper pad, a small pan of paints or a few tubes and a couple of paint brushes.  They needn't be the best quality when starting out.  Just get a feel for using the materials.  Wet the paper and then drop on colours and see what happens!  It is addictive!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Change is in the Air

The Linden tree outside my house is beginning to lose its leaves.  With the prediction of a storm forecast for tomorrow afternoon I doubt there will be many leaves left on the branches by Sunday.  I was glad to get the chance to view the tree again before it is laid bare for winter.

My last post here was about the steps I took in order to get myself back on track with relation to how I viewed myself and my well-being.  To know that I am doing all I can do to take care of my mind and my body with nurturing and good nutrition has been a catalyst for improving other areas of my life.

Once I had 'cracked' where I wanted my life to go with emphasis on self improvement and self love, I was able to take charge of other things such as my home environment and make changes there that would have a positive impact on my (and others) life.  I had a big clear out in the summer and decluttered quite a few rooms.  Things then came to a standstill for a while (but that is OK) and I started to make small changes starting with the kitchen.  I had a sort out of the kitchen food drawers getting rid of out of date herbs and spices that I had been hanging onto for years!  Now I am much more discerning about my choice of flavourings and can gradually build up my new stock.  I bought a couple of large white rectangular plastic 'baskets 'and now my condiments, 'super-foods', and store cupboard packets are all within easy reach inside them.  Before making this change I had a chaotic 'system' of having everything loose inside the drawer.

Another change I have made has been meal prep for the week.  So, on a Sunday I decide what things I want to eat for the next few days and I do some preparation in advance.  During the week, when I cook the evening meals I always keep some aside for my lunch box.  Having systems in place is helping my life flow much more easily.

I think the key to organisation is keeping on top of things.  During my 'inertia' phase I was unable to make headway in sorting out my life.  Now I make a point of seeing what needs to be sorted and I sort it!

Once I got started with organising my life the momentum just kept things rolling!  At last after many years of a life on hold, I am making progress towards an environment that matches the life I want to lead.

The Linden tree above is a metaphor for my life right now.  The leaves that are spent fall off and new leaf buds emerge the following spring.  Life is all about change, renewal and rebirth.  The changing seasons is natures's way of showing us that nothing is static.  Everything needs to change and grow.