The Importance Of How We Breathe

So how are YOUR tubes?

I was lucky enough to attend a talk given by this man, Buteyko trainer Roger Price, at a Yoga Anatomy & Physiology workshop I did some years ago with Simon Borg Olivier.

It was fascinating.

I invite you to watch this 23 minute video, that gives a simplified version of how the lungs work, how we should breathe for optimum quality of life, and perhaps dispelling some myths we may have about it all.

This explanation expands on why, at Pure-Li Yoga, I emphasize the importance of diaphragmatic breathing and consciously taking in only small amounts of air through the nostrils in our yoga practice.  I am so excited and inspired to share what I have learned with Simon and indeed Roger.

Being conscious of how we breathe is where we start.

Noticing how we breathe on and off the mat, you might agree, is a worthwhile practice. If we are aware that we tend to breathe more, and shallowly, when we get stressed, we may be able to take control of that in the moment, and practice diaphragmatic breathing, in turn bringing ourselves out of the sympathetic nervous system, and so lessening the effects of stress and perhaps even the stress itself.

I recently experimented with this;

For two weeks, every night I went to bed with tape over my mouth, keeping it shut while I slept.  Despite the reactions of friends when I told them what I was at, I didn’t feel scared or trapped or anxious about it an any way.

Lise Shuts Up

On the contrary, I actually really liked it.  As soon as that strip sealed my lips, a strange sense of security and calm came over me.  Maybe it was my nervous system having an instant response to nostril breathing?  The familiarity from my yoga and meditation practice, the calming effect that these practices have on me?  I don’t know but whatever it was, I slept BETTER!

I went to bed feeling more relaxed and I woke feeling more relaxed.

It came about after one of my regular visits to my dentist, after a discussion we had on the benefits of nostril breathing and the negative effects of mouth breathing, to include dental problems!   He said it usually only takes two weeks of taping, to train the body to sleep with the mouth staying closed by itself.  However this was not so for me, I think I need to keep it up for a  bit longer!  It’s not, as it turns out, the best bedtime look, haha!  So perhaps the dark of winter is a good time to experiment with this folks!!

I’m sure there are those out there with an argument for the contrary, and there is nothing in this video about those who actually can’t nostril breathe due to an obstruction of some sort, but perhaps there would be more on that at the Breathing Well website.  And I would recommend Robert Price if you were interested in looking into it more deeply.  Results of nostrill breathing include: it stops bed-wetting in children, waking in the night with the sensation of a full bladder, snoring, sleep apnoea, tiredness, stress and lots more.

I can vouch for at least THREE of these (no not bed-wetting!).

For me, the outstanding reason to practice nostril breathing, is the dramatic effect it has on the nervous system.  

Would you like to improve the quality of your life?  Sleep better, stress less, feel less hungry so often?

Ask yourself – are you breathing through your mouth or your nostrils? Are you using your diaphragm to breathe?   And go from there …   I hope to bring more calm and less stress to your lives by sharing this post …

If we are less reactionary and more responsive in life, we can navigate our way through with less suffering and more awareness, and perhaps a clearer sense of reality.

 

Don’t forget …  I T ‘ S  A  P R A C T I C E !

 

And as always, have fun with it!

 

Love Li xo

 

Feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment boxes below!

 

My Chicken Casserole Recipe

"The Orange Version"!

Very organic indeed!

This chicken casserole recipe morphed from an old favourite, into whatever I had in the kitchen one day.  It’s a staple that keeps us warm & nourished on biting wintery nights.  It makes us very happy indeed!

So as I said, it sorta sprung and springs from whatever I have in the kitchen, you can really use anything, and it’s a great panacea to any over-shopping you might have done – chuck everything in, no need to waste a thing! Now I use a big cast iron (6.7litre)  pot to make this, as I take it to a simmer on the hob, then transfer it to the oven to finish. This is  what makes it a casserole not a stew strictly speaking, there is a difference. Stewing is done on the top of a cooker with heat being applied directly to the underneath of the pot; while casseroling takes place inside the oven with heat circulating all around the pot.  

Arah Semantics!  

Either way, the beauty of the dish is that the meat and vegetables cook slowly together, and all the nutrients and flavours are kept within the walls of the cooking vessel.  I also love that once the prep is done, I can go off and walk the dog, or get some work done, and not have to worry about keeping an eye on it.

I don’t see why you couldn’t convert it into a stew, leaving it softly simmering on the hob, if the oven was a problem for you. And you could also transform it to a slow cooker recipe too, just be sure to take it to the simmering point before transporting it to your already warm slow cooker.

But for this recipe you will need a large pot with a tight fitting lid, that can be used over a flame and in the oven too. You’ll notice that I use a lot of ingredients – I always make up a massive full pot of the stuff, the flavours just intensify day by day.  You might like to freeze some portions, I never seem to have any left to do that!  I take it to work for lunches and we are both happy to eat it for dinner more than once in the week!

Please see my post on Asafoetida, which I use here to make it extra healthsome.  And I prefer organic and free range chooks cuz I’m funny about anything less.  I buy thigh fillets with the skin off and sometimes throw in some drumsticks (again I prefer skin off, if possible), just to mix it up a bit sometimes.  I don’t bother to cut the thighs up, in they go whole!

This meal feeds about 6 people, maybe more, and is really quite economical – thigh and leg meat, and vegetables that are in season, are quite inexpensive, and are perfect for this method of cooking – it always falls apart beautifully – just mind not to let it boil for too long before putting in the oven, once it’s bubbling, then transfer it.

I’ll set out my most used combo, The Orange Version, and encourage you to keep on inventing!

The herbs I use are from the garden and vary according to my mood & what’s there for picking – you can use what takes your fancy/what’s to hand!  I also add some mustard seeds for extra nutritional impact.

Every now and then I make up a fresh batch of 3-day-simmered chicken bone broth, and keep it stored in the freezer.  This is quite concentrated and flavourful so I usually only use 2 – 3 cups and add boiling water if I need to top up the liquid content.

Life is unpredictable.

Sometimes I get home and realise I don’t have pumpkin or that something I thought I did … I try to play it by ear – after all, that’s how new things are created!  Check your freezer for frozen veg?!   The ingredient amounts are rough estimates, so feel free to follow your nose and make the recipe work for you how you feel best!  Sometimes I go mad chopping veggies and end up with too many to fit in the pot, so I just roast them in a pan alongside the casserole, and either save them for another days lunch/dinner, or I chuck them in on top of the casserole when it’s finished.

Also, it’s ok if some of the ingredients sit somewhat above the liquid, those lads will steam!

Ingredients:

2 medium – large sized sweet potatoes

4 -6 large/medium carrots

1/2 a  pumpkin (of your preference!)

2 -3  stalks of celery

1 fennel bulb

Large knob of ginger – I use a large, large, cuz I LURVE ginger & it works well here!

A few tablespoons of Coconut / Olive oil / ghee for frying & sautéeing

6 – 8 organic free-range chicken thigh fillets  (and maybe a few leg drumsticks)

1 tblspn Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tblspns Liquid Aminos

A dash of Worcester Sauce (Yes I know it contains sugar – a dash will keep us balanced) OPTIONAL!

1-2 tsp’s brown/yellow  mustard seeds (optional)

Approx. 2 cups of chicken bone broth or stock

Fresh sage leaves, marjoram & a couple of sticks of rosemary, or whatever you’ve got to hand

A few handfuls of spinach leaves or kale

Seasoning Mix:

2 tblspns gluten-free flour of your choice, or plain if your not bothered

2 -3 tspns of Turmeric

1 tspn smokey paprika

1/2 tspn Asofoetida (aka Hing)

1 tspn Himalayan rock salt

1 tspn freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 185 C.

2. Peel & chop your vegetables into large chunks – approx 2 .5 inches and leave to one side.

3. In a large pan or washable/re-usable zip lock bag, add the seasoning mix and make sure to shake it around to incorporate all the ingredients well.

4. Throw in the chicken pieces and shake ’em all about to coat each piece completely.

5. Heat some oi/ghee in the bottom of your casserole pot and when hot, add the coated chook in batches to brown it, or in this case, to orange it!  Careful not to let it cook – we just want some colour happening.  As each piece secures it’s colour, place it aside on a large plate.

6. Once all the chook is oranged, add some more oil/ghee, and lightly fry off the mustard seeds until they start popping then straight away add the sage leaves, sliced ginger and stir to get heat through the ginger evenly.  Gradually add the rest of the vegetables to sautée and I add in any remaining seasoning mix and stir to cook out the flour a bit.

7. Swish in your apple cider vinegar and again stir the melange around a few times, then add the fresh herbs, and reintroduce the chicken pieces back to the pot.

8. Pour in the bone broth/stock, top up with boiling water if needed, plonk in a whizz of Worcester sauce and the Liquid Aminos, stirring to create a flavourful liquidity.

9. Bring to a simmering bubble, then transfer to the oven to cook for approx. 55 mins.

10. Mostly we serve this as is, straight from the pot.  Last night, I added some leftover cooked quinoa to the pot at the last minute, as I was reheating it, but it really doesn’t require anything else, it stands up by itself as a wholesome & hearty, nourishing meal.

TRUE DETECTIVE

Can’t get it out of my head …  NEVER BEEN SO TAKEN WITH AN OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE!!  It’s F#*%kn pure brilliance!  Yeah.

The series ain’t half bad either, hey?!

 

true-detective

 

ASAFOETIDA or HING

Ohhhhh baby!  Well, here we are at my favourite lil herb.

I came across ASAFOETIDA or HING, when I did my first Yoga teacher training in Byron Bay.

It was used frequently in the beautiful meals that were prepared for us, as it is a common substitute for onion and garlic, which were not part of our diet there.

According to Ayurveda, Yoga’s sister science, garlic and onions are considered rajasic and tamasic foods, as opposed to sattvic.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click HERE to read Kurma’s essay on it.  I was lucky enough to do a cooking workshop with Kurma, and I’m a fan of his authentic work and delicious food!  But basically, yogans do well to eat a more sattvic diet – which in short refers to certain foods that assist in realising yoga, or a yogic state.

Anyway, while onions and garlic used to be for me, and seem to be for many, the basis of most meals, I now often leave them out of mine, and am happy to do so. While I can tell you I do enjoy how they taste, I am repulsed at how they make my breath smell and taste, even so the next day, the aroma – especially of garlic – lingers!  And in fairness, why stop at breath – they also make for tangy body odour, to which I have a very high sensitivity!!  I’m sorry, but I just don’t like to stink, nor do I like to smell other people’s stink if I can help it!

So for example, I would suggest a ‘private eye’ should steer clear of garlic, it’s like a built-in body app that tells everyone “I’M HERE!”  … within a 5km radius!!  And I’m not pointing fingers here, shur I’m guilty myself from time to time!

But there are other more practical reasons I don’t rush to use these fellas;

1. Garlic often can make me feel nauseous, depending on quantity and how it’s cooked,

2. Both onions and garlic seem to make me a bit bloated and give me an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, caused by everybody’s at-least-one-time-friend  –  G A S !

I find it interesting that in Western medicine, garlic is heralded as having great antibacterial qualities, but I have read too that it also destroys beneficial bacteria, which are essential to the proper functioning of the digestive system.  So here we go on the merry-go-round again with all the contradicting views and rhetoric about what we should eat and what we shouldn’t … so I’m just bringing it back to my mantra – I mostly eat what mostly makes me feel good.  To me, it’s just about having a bit of self-awareness, or as my mother would say, “a titter of wit”!  Howaya ma!  If it’s gonna give me stomach pains, then I’ll think twice about eating it!  They won’t be on my menu, if I have to, say, wear an unforgiving dress, or share other people’s company in a small/enclosed space!, etc etc!  I think you get my drift (not waft!).

Having said all that, I haven’t cut them out strictly, let’s just say I tend to veer away from them.

ENTER ASAFOETIDA DOWN STAGE LEFT!

The name “asafoetida” is derived from the Farsi (Persian) word “asa” (resin) and the Latin “foetidus” (smelling fetid). Many unusual medical claims have been made for the resin, most stemming from the belief that it’s foetid odor acts as a deterrent to germs.  In my research, I have found comments where some people say they don’t really notice the smell of this stuff! 

WHAT?!  ARE THEIR NOSES DETACHED FROM THEIR BODIES???!!  This stuff  S T I N K S !  I do not understand how anyone could not notice it!  It is a most pungent odour that certainly stops me in my tracks!   It is also known as ‘Devil’s Dung”, so c’mon?!  But the cool thing about it is – it doesn’t make ME stink when I eat it!  Unlike the aformentioned!

It’s not just me – there are records that tell us the shock of the sulfurous smell was once thought to calm hysteria, and in the days of the American Wild West, asafoetida was included in a mixture with other strong spices as a cure for alcoholism no less!  Other early records mention that Alexander the Great carried this “stink finger” west in 4 BC.  So it’s been around the block, and for a while!

Hing 2

 

So what is it?  

Asafoetida, also known as HING, is a gum that is from the sap of the roots and stem of the ferula species, a giant fennel that exudes a rank odour!  It is grown chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan from where it is exported to the rest of the world. In India it is cultivated in Kashmir.  It was used as a spice in ancient Rome, and although not native to India, it has been used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages.  And indeed in Chinese cooking and medicine.  It is commonly found in Ayurvedic cooking and has reportedly many positive health benefits, especially for the Vata and Kapha dosha..  Which is, of course, why I love it!

In Ayurveda, it is used to aid digestion, cure colic, and stagnation in the gastro-intestinal tract.  Asafoetida burns ama (the sticky waste-product of digestion that builds up in the digestive tract when your digestion is either weak or overloaded with the wrong foods).

In western herbalism, it is used to reduce the growth of flora in the gut, especially candida, directly reducing gas. It apparently has anti-viral properties and it was used to fight the flu during WWI and it’s also been documented that in 1918 asafoetida was used in the Spanish influenza pandemic.

In  Traditional Chinese Medicine it is viewed as entering the liver, spleen and stomach channels. It stimulates the intestinal, respiratory and the nervous system. It can be used for food stagnation, weak digestion, intestinal parasites and flatulence as well as asthma, whooping cough and chronic bronchitis. 

It is also regarded in Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western medicine as an effective remedy for worms and other intestinal parasites.

Note: It must be fried before use, as raw and un-fried asafoetida may cause nausea and vomiting.

Other reported Ayurvedic benefits and uses of Asafoetida:

As I mentioned above it is considered to be pacifying to the Vata and Kapha doshas. (Do you know your dosha?!)

It is a powerful antispasmodic – useful in cough, asthma, intestinal colic, and uterine spasms and is nourishing to the nervous tissues in the body.

Asafoetida is also used to treat low libido, impotence, and encourages ovulation and fertility where the uterus is congested from Kapha. Curiously, it has also been used as a contraceptive, perhaps by employing the anthelminthic qualities topically to destroy semen.

NOTE: Asafoetida is abortifascient and should not be used in pregnancy or breastfeeding.


According to the website (with American spelling)  Drugs.com :

“Asafetida Uses and Pharmacology

Cancer

Asafetida is a potent antioxidant, and ferulic acid, a component of the resin, has shown promise as a chemopreventive agent, suggesting that asafetida may offer some protection against carcinogenesis. In vitro studies have shown some cytotoxicity against lymphoma ascites, tumor cells, and human lymphocytes.  Protection against the mutagenicity induced by aflatoxin B 1 has also been demonstrated; however, this effect was only evident against one strain of Salmonella typhimurium and was less than that observed with tumeric and garlic. The mechanism through which asafetida exerts its antitumor activity is unclear. Hypotheses include interception of free radicals, inhibition of natural killer cells, induction of enzymes such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase, and inhibition of polyamine and DNA biosynthesis. 

Animal data

Administration of F. asafoetida conferred considerable protection against chemically induced mammary carcinogenesis in young female rats.  The reduction in the mean number of mammary carcinomas per rat (regarded as the most reliable index of mammary tumorogenesis in experimental animals) was highly significant in rats receiving asafetida as part of their diets (1.25% or 2.5% w/w). Long-term studies showed reduction in the multiplicity and size of palpable mammary tumors, as well as a delay in mean latency period of tumor appearance. The administration of asafetida in the diet did not affect food intake.

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding the use of asafetida in cancer.

Other uses

Antispasmodic and hypotensive activity of the gum extract has been demonstrated in animal experiments.  Antiviral activity by sesquiterpene compounds of F. assa-foetida has been demonstrated in vitro against the influenza A virus (H1N1).  Molluscicidal activity of plant extracts has been demonstrated against snails, which act as intermediate hosts for the fasciola cattle fluke.”


Some of you will notice that most of the asafoetida products available on the market contain wheat, rice flour and gum arabic 

The handsome product in the picture at the top of this post, is one I picked up when I was in Mumbai earlier in the year.  Out of the few different brands I’ve used, I declare it to be my favourite as it is pure, with no additives, the aroma is super potent and I like that it is hand pounded.  And ok, I like the bloody packaging, but that’s last on the list!  The thing is, I have yet to find a way of acquiring it here in Sydney, so diddums!

I am looking at THIS product though, for when my lil jar above runs out, as it’s certified organic and has no additives.  Also HERBIE”S SPICES  stock their version and there is no added wheat, however the package says it may contain traces of gluten, (less than 20ppm), due to manufacturing practices.  I have used this product in the past and it’s really good.

So that’s it!  I just thought I’d share my super secret special sattvic sustenance spice with you!  

I use it mostly in my winter casseroles and stews, in my kitchari and I sometimes sprinkle it in with roast vegetables.  A pinch is plenty as it’s pretty potent and remember – you gotta COOK it! I’ve used it more frequently when there is tummy trouble in our house, and perhaps with blind faith, when there was a sufferer of stomach ulcers.  I’m a strong believer in it’s healing and positive power.

ALWAYS store it in a VERY well-sealed jar or container, to prevent contamination of the flavour to other ingredients in the pantry.  You’ll see what I mean when you get yours!

If you’ve never tried it, why not give something new (yet ancient) a whirl, and tell me all about it!

 

Love n sparkles!

Lila xo

Get Your Sugar Here!

sugar_says_final-500x500

Get Your Sugar Here!  I’m VERY excited to share this …

Ok … so I recently read the most WONDERFUL book, called Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed.  So wonderful, that I ordered a few copies to sell in my lil’ shop here!

I DEFY YOU NOT TO LIKE THIS BOOK!

Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice On Love And Life, is a book that will soothe you, bring you hope, open you right up to the world, and teach you the beauty and value of gentleness and honesty, in the harsh, heartbreaking place that life inevitably finds us, from time to time.

Something about reading this book confirms to me that everything is always ok … such an eloquent and unpredictable writer is Cheryl Strayed, this Sugar is DEFINITELY the addictive kind, and not a trace of poison to be found.

This book made me laugh, cry, wonder, marvel, admire, trust, forgive, search, listen to my inner voice, inspired me to be the ‘best version of myself”! … and just gave me that feeling of a hot sun on a chilly day warming my bones, a smile of contentment breaking all over me ….

Sugar, the once-anonymous online columnist at “The Rumpus”, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir “Wild” – is the person thousands turn to for advice. “Tiny Beautiful Things” brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond. Rich with humor, insight, compassion–and absolute honesty–this book””is a balm for everything life throws our way.

Here is an example of one of her pieces Continue Reading

Spinach, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins

Spinach, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins

These lil babies seem to be a popular bunch!  I made mine with gluten free flours – but you can use plain flour for a more gluey result!  (Have you seen what wheat flour does to your insides?!!  I’ll show you some day!)

This simple recipe is one of my favourite mathematical equations: quick + easy = I like very much.

Basically I’m using up stuff in my pantry and the last bits of that which is left in the fridge – so depending on what I have and feel like using, I might throw in some prosciutto (and I probably wouldn’t add salt in that case as ’twill be salty enough with the cheeses in my view) or some jarred roasted red peppers.  Maybe even some pine nuts or toasted seeds?

Amongst my fridge, freezer and pantry staples there is usually Greek feta cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto San Daniele, frozen spinach, jars of roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.  So I really like this recipe because I usually always have these ingredients hanging around.  But also, if you buy the ingredients especially for this recipe, you don’t have to make it on the day – which sometimes happens with me – I spend a long time shopping and then am too exhausted or behind time to bake when I get home!!  These ingredients are staples.

I have a few types of gluten free flour hanging around, (quinoa, tapioca, buckwheat, brown rice, almond, coconut etc) and I’m always experimenting with them in place of wheat flour, as different gf flours seem to yield different results, and often they can turn your cakes to rocks!  The trick is to mix gf flours and sometimes you might need to add more liquid.  If you’re not too worried about being gluten free, try this first time with plain unbleached flour and progress from there.

I’m kinda particular about things!  I might sound a bit wanky but I have my reasons for sounding so (not saying they’re not wanky reasons – whatever!)  For instance, I like to use/eat Parmigiano Reggiano because I happen to think it’s a better quality, and it’s original, which is what I want to use in my cooking.  It’s bloody expensive at the moment, but I would rather buy the good stuff and use it sparingly, than buy “parmesan” that’s not from Parma/Reggio Emilia, and have to use a heap of it in search of flavour and substance!  But that’s just me.

Let’s Make Muffins!

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius, and grease your muffin pan.  This recipe makes about twelve large sized muffins, but I made mini muffins and so yielded about 28!  I pretty much ate them all myself too – ssssh!

Spinach feta s.d tomato muffins close up in basket

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Gluten Free flour – I used 1.5 cups Quinoa flour, 0.5 cups tapioca flour.  Or just 2 cups Plain unbleached Flour!

4 tsps (gluten free & no nasties added) baking powder

1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2 lg free range organic eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup spinach (I use thawed chopped frozen spinach)

3/4 cup feta cheese (I love Dodoni Greek Feta)

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped.

 

Method:

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and Parmigiana.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, and combine with the buttermilk, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and feta.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed.  You don’t want to overbeat muffins or they won’t rise nicely.

Spoon the mixture to fill 3/4 of each muffin hole and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden on the outside.

Leave in the pan for about ten minutes (or they’ll break up when you try to extract them!) then turn out onto a wire rack to cool …. this is where mine usually disappear … they taste delicious eaten warm from the oven!

Enjoy!

Spinach, Feta & Sun Dried Tomato Muffin

 

 

Li Lime Pie Recipe

The holiday season is upon us, and I’m on desserts for Christmas day!  

Not everyone in the gang likes to eat dessert without sugar and wheat, so I’ll be making some good old fashioned gluten-y sugary stuff, and I’ll share those recipes with you too.  But just for balance, here’s a really tasty, zingy, healthful lime pie recipe.  It really bursts of citrus and is quite something!  I’ve made it in both a square springform pan and a round one.  Try it any ol’ way!  Also, feel free to experiment with whatever nuts you have in your pantry … most of all … enjoy the experience and take lots of photos & notes!!

Key Li Lime Pie Recipe

Li Lime Pie

Li Lime Pie

Ingredients:

Base:

2.5 cups of macadamia nuts

2.5 cups of almonds

Packed 1/2 cup of well chopped dates/ date paste (just blend dates with a little vanilla & a drop of water so it blends easily, but don’t make it watery!).

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder /extract/ scrapings of half a vanilla bean

1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt

Pie Filling:

1.5 cups of lime juice (I used 9 garden limes)

Zest of 3 of those limes

2 medium – large sized avocados (approx 425 g) Use firm but not hard, ripe but not soft fellows.

3/4 cup coconut milk (no nasties added?!)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder / 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract/ scrapings of a vanilla bean

4 tablespoons of NON GMO lecithin granules

1 teaspoon of Vital Greens powder (or something similar)

1 cup rice malt syrup

12 drops liquid stevia (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt

1 1/3 cups of coconut oil melted. (I used expeller pressed coconut oil for this recipe as it has less coconutty flavour)

Method:

Grease a 9inch springform pan with coconut oil, unscented if you have it but any oil/fat not too pungent will work.

TO MAKE THE PIE CRUST:

In the bowl of your blender, process the nuts, vanilla and salt until small and crumbly. TAKE CARE NOT TO OVER-PROCESS OR THE MACADAMIAS WILL BECOME TOO OILY. If this happens don’t freak out!  It will still be edible – it’s happened to me before and mine was!!  It just doesn’t look quite as nice nor does it hold it’s shape as well, but definitely tastes good! You could possibly refrain from greasing your pie pan if this happens – twil be oily enough.

Continue processing as you add small amounts of the dates, until you see the crust starting to stick together.  You want it to have the consistency of a mixture that can hold together with gentle pressure but can be broken apart with a clean break.

Then press this into the oiled pie/cake springform pan.

Li Lime Pie Base

Li Lime Pie Crust

 

TO MAKE THE PIE FILLING:

Blend all the ingredients listed under ‘Pie Filling’, EXCEPT THE COCONUT OIL AND LECITHIN, until smooth.

Then once smooth and creamy, add the lecithin and coconut oil and blend again until smooth and well incorporated.

Li Lime Pie  Blending Li Lime Pie Ingredients

Blending Li Lime Pie Ingredients

I would taste here, to see if you need to adjust anything to your liking.

Then pour the filling into the pie crust and place in the freezer for about an hour to set.

Once set, you can decorate how you like to with the freeze-dried berries, or fresh berries if you have them and serve!

This will store in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 3 days.

We just keep ours in the freezer and slice a piece before dinner if we’re feeling like a sweet treat.

Hope You Enjoy!

Love Lila! xo

Taking Control

INVICTUS. I didn’t know this poem before I saw the movie, but now … I love it.

I think of it every now and then.  I thought of it this weekend, when I watched this scene from Breaking Bad.

I am absolutely with this philosophy … definitely in theory anyway – my life has taken such a shape, that I haven’t had too many opportunities yet to really test myself on it.  I am so intrigued by those who will their way to survive, who refuse to allow their inner light to be blown out by anyone, regardless of what life throws at them, and often in spite of it.   Apparently human nature IS the will to survive, but not all of us choose to make it through the tough times.  And while most of us survive them alright, it’s the perspective we adopt which decides whether we experience the tough times with less or more suffering.  Or even recognise that they are tough times – because once we accept that things are what they are, less and less, we classify them as good or bad – they just ‘are’!

I’m not sure if Walter White and William Earnest Henley were yogis, but for me, it is Yoga that teaches me how to adapt to the approach of less suffering, that and a particularly good human example. And I sure do hope that I will get the strength I need when life calls for it, and remember that I, and only ‘I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.’

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT WITH YOUR PERSPECTIVE ...

“Happiness Is Like The Sunshine

It goes in and out.

You wouldn’t want the sun to shine day and night now would you?”

This was one of my favourite TV shows when I was a wee-un … I watched some of this today and it made me smile, just felt like banking in here …

Nestlé: Stop trying to patent the fennel flower.

Sitting on my bathroom shelf for quite some time now, is a bottle of cold-pressed Nigella Sativa oil, and also a container of Nigella Sativa capsules.  The list of reported health benefits of this relatively little known seed are lengthy.

HERE is an interesting article in support of that, including references to research.

Below is a piece taken from the SUM OF US  website, which my mum passed on to me . . .  and now I’m passing it on to you.

Read on below if you want to read what Nestle have to say about it too . . . It’s fair to read both sides, but I’ve signed the petition.

 CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP NESTLE 

“Nigella sativa — more commonly known as fennel flower — has been used as a cure-all remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities across the Middle East and Asia.

But now Nestlé is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims around the world to try and take control over the natural cure of the fennel flower and turn it into a costly private drug.

Tell Nestlé: Stop trying to patent a natural cure

In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed to “discover” what much of the world has known for millennia: that nigella sativa extract could be used for “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy”.

But instead of creating an artificial substitute, or fighting to make sure the remedy was widely available, Nestlé is attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to sue anyone using it without Nestlé’s permission. Nestlé has filed patent applications — which are currently pending — around the world.

Prior to Nestlé’s outlandish patent claim, researchers in developing nations such as Egypt and Pakistan had already published studies on the same curative powers Nestlé is claiming as its own. And Nestlé has done this before — in 2011, it tried to claim credit for using cow’s milk as a laxative, despite the fact that such knowledge had been in Indian medical texts for a thousand years.

Don’t let Nestlé turn a traditional cure into a corporate cash cow.

We know Nestlé doesn’t care about ethics. After all, this is the corporation that poisoned its milk with melamine, purchases cocoa from plantations that use child slave labor, and launched a breast milk substitute campaign in the 1970s that contributed to the suffering and deaths of thousands of babies from poor communities.

But we also know that Nestlé is sensitive to public outcry, and that it’s been beaten at the patent game before. If we act fast, we can put enough pressure on Nestlé to get it to drop its patent plans before they harm anyone — but if we want any chance at affecting Nestlé’s decision, we have to speak out now!

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More Information:

Third World Network (PDF): Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa), 6 July, 2012 “

AND HERE’S WHAT NESTLE SAY . . .

FROM THE NESTLE WEBSITE:

” Is Nestlé patenting the fennel flower?

No. We’re not claiming to ‘own’ the fennel flower, nor are we trying to patent it. Our patent application relates only to the specific way that thymoquinone – a compound that can be extracted from the seed of the fennel flower – interacts with opioid receptors in the body and helps to reduce allergic reactions to food.

The fennel flower (also known as Nigella sativa, black seed and black cumin) is a natural species, and nobody could, or should, benefit from ownership over it. In accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, we fully support the principle of fair access and benefit-sharing when it comes to the raw materials we use.

What is a patent?

A patent is an intellectual priority right granted by an official authority covering an invention. Most countries have patent legislation to promote innovation and encourage investment in research and development.

The inventors receive the exclusive right to use the invention for 20 years. In exchange for this exclusivity, the inventors disclose their invention to the public, so that after 20 years everybody can use it.

Why is patenting important to Nestlé?

Patenting is important for Nestle, as it is for all inventors, be they individuals, universities, small or large companies, in all sectors of the economy. Our patenting allows us an exclusivity period of the patent and assures us a return on investment for our products, which we then re-invest in new research.

What kind of patents does Nestlé have?

Our patents cover a diverse range of areas including aroma extraction from coffee, our Special T system and light-weight water bottles.

Fennel flower seed and its health benefits are well-known: from traditional remedies to recent research. Has Nestlé discovered new benefits from this plant?

Fennel flower seed has been widely used in India and other countries for centuries and its benefits are widely appreciated. In recent years, researchers have published various studies on the positive effects of fennel flower seed in treating various allergies, including those affecting the respiratory system, but not specifically food allergy.

Our scientists have discovered and researched a specific aspect of the way thymoquinone – a compound found in fennel flower seed – interacts with opioid receptors in the body to help reduce allergic reactions to foods.

What is thymoquinone?

Thymoquinone is a phytochemical compound found in the fennel flower and other plants. Research suggests it offers a wide range of potential health benefits.

What are opioid receptors?

Opioid receptors are specific cell surface receptors within the central and peripheral nervous system, as well as the gastrointestinal tract.

What would Nestlé’s patent cover?

Thymoquinone itself has been studied regarding allergies. It’s a natural compound of the fennel flower and other plants. Protecting the ingredient itself is not the aim of our patent. Rather, we aim to protect the findings of our research on the interactions between thymoquinone, or similar compounds, and the body’s opioid receptors, and how this interaction can help reduce allergic reactions to foods.

Would other companies still be able to use thymoquinone to develop products with health benefits?

Other companies could clearly use thymoquinone if the product containing thymoquinone has not been developed based on our scientific findings.

Would I still be able to use fennel flower in cooking, or for self-medication, for example?

Yes, you would be able to use the fennel flower for cooking and other purposes, just as you always have done.

Why is Nestlé working to treat food allergies?

Food allergies are a significant public health problem, especially in children. We focus our research on finding ways to help people stay healthy through the food they eat. This includes identifying bioactive ingredients from plants and evaluating their impact on health. “

 

WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?