WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

SPRING

Spring Equinox

Seasonal, Wellbeing, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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The Spring Equinox (March 20 2017) is the time when the light and dark, the yin and yang and the masculine and feminine energies of the cosmos are in perfect balance and alignment. The Universe and all its beings are reborn, refreshed and restored after a long and restful Winter, and as we transition into Spring, we let go of and leave behind what no longer serves us, and welcome the new - manifesting what we want the present and future to hold. 

This phase of the year is a powerful time to come together with those around you to celebrate and welcome the lighter, brighter energy, fresh produce and opportunities that Spring brings. It is about reassessing and manifesting the things that you desire, and now is the time to sow the seeds that you want to experience flourishing into things. 

Gather with friends to release the past and share and set intentions for things you want to see, do, feel or simply be this season. Having a clear and focused but also open approach to these things will help draw them towards you, and will ensure you feel grounded, aligned and filled with faith. As you open up to both the experiences that you manifest and also those that come to you unexpectedly as a result of this alignment, wonderful things can happen, whether physical experiences or internal shifts within your body, mind and soul. 

Why You Should Celebrate The 20th March 2016

Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

What a powerful moment we are nearing. Whilst many of us might be too busy to notice the seasons officially change (and with Britain so attached to the grey, gloomy days it is famous for, sometimes there isn't any obvious change at all), some of us are aware that, in fact, there is an actual day when the world and all its inhabitants make this transition from old days to new ones. The Spring Equinox is upon us. Yep yep my friends, Spring arrives on Sunday.

Any seasonal shift is a big deal. It's the process of things relaligning in new ways and the Earth renewing and refreshing itself and its cycles. While the Winter Solstice signifies the Earth's last light days before entering winter's hibernation, the Spring Equinox heralds the end of winter. This is why the Spring Equinox is a bigger deal to me. Hi to all longer, brighter, warmer days - you're very welcome here.

I prefer Spring to Winter for many reasons. Winter is grey and I feel like the Earth is as dark when I wake up as it is when I'm eating lunch and then when I'm going back to sleep. The daily cycles seem so short and the lack of light makes everything less fun, less beautiful, less doable and less good. This is no good for making me feel awake, making me feel happy, or making food photography possible in the any way at all. It's also why nothing growns in Winter. Everything is falling apart and dying. God, why aren't we given the whole winter off to sit in our most unacceptable comfortable clothes watching boxsets, listening to podcasts, eating comfort food and having cuddles? Now that I'm seeing this written down I'm finding it hard to believe that I survived the struggles of such a horrible season. No wait, I do love it - duvet days! soup! christmas! snow!

But Spring. Just the word, it's so springy and full of energy like the season itself. Spring is a celebration season. We come out of what would be a long hibernation if jobs had never been invented but which is instead just the Earth's chance to cool down and chill, and are awoken by new energy, rebirth, growth and rebalance. The Earth realigns and the sunlight offers more of itself each day, allowing everything and everyone to thrive. I even prefer Spring to Summer. In Britain, that is. Summer is somehow anticlimatic, especially in the City. It is cursed for commonly arriving too late, and then when we do get hot days, we spend most of them stuck to other people inside a tube carriage, or confined by the walls of an office unable to enjoy it anyway. And every time we plan a barbeque it changes. How can it just do that? These should all be rules surely. But Spring. Spring is full of hope, full of energy and a sign of greater things to come. The days are bright and the temperature is fresh, light and crisp, rather than muggy, humid and heavy. Spring arrives and reminds us of the Earth's potential to be a positive, vibrant habitat filled with good vibrations, peaceful energy and both beautiful and delicious natural provisions.

Take time to chill as the season shifts, as this transition has more of an affect on our bodies and minds than you might think, both physically and mentally. It's a time to focus on new beginnings and a chance to reflect on the past. So on Saturday 19th March, if you're not staying up to experience the change early on Sunday morning, take time to chill, enjoy the last wintery meal of the season, breath deeply and think, or even journal, about any feelings that may be surfacing.

 

 

 

 

SILKY SMOOTH MANGO AND COCONUT FLESH YOGHURT

Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

This recipe is something special. I'll admit now that if its yoghurt you came for, you won't be satisfied with this post. This kind of yoghurt is no usual kind of yoghurt. It is creamier. It is tastier. It is dairy free. It is quick to make. It is easy to make. It is not a massive palaver to make. And it is D-licious. Unlike conventional homemade yoghurts, this recipe doesn't require a yoghurt making machine, nor does it demand that you sit, wait and watch for hours, monitoring and altering temperatures as the yoghurt develops the perfect live cultures and probiotics. Although these probiotics and doses of good bacteria are incredibly good for you and your gut, many processed, shop-bought yoghurts contain additives, chemicals, sugars, flavourings and emulsifiers. That is one reason why I prefer to make nut yoghurts instead. The other reason is because they taste almost too good to be true..

For anyone who is trying to cut dairy out of their diet, but who is bored of coconut yoghurt or fed up of nut milks, a nut-based yoghurt like this is the perfect option. Nut yoghurts are creamier, thicker and more fulfilling than normal yoghurts. I don't eat dairy because I personally feel more tired when I do, and notice a considerable difference in the condition of my skin too. This kind of yoghurt is high in protein and healthy fats, which means it keeps you feeling full of energy for longer, and also contributes to healthy cellular activity, skin, hair and nails. This recipe is incredibly quick, easy and stress and mess free. It makes a perfect breakfast either on its own or with toppings (see below for suggestions) and also makes a brilliant dessert, similar to a mousse or a cold custardy pudding. It requires only a few ingredients, and it is one of my favourite things to make if I have fruit that's on it's last legs. The riper the mango, the better this recipe will turn out as it blends much more smoothly and is generally juicier. You can also try using banana, stewed apple, normal or blood oranges or other fleshy fruits like melon, in place of the mango. You can even increase the quantity of liquid you use too, if you want to make more of a smoothie or pouring yoghurt for cereal or fruit. Go bloody nuts with it.

+ Retrieve the coconut flesh from the coconut the evening before, and soak the cashews whilst you sleep, so that when you wake up bleary eyed, you can leave the hard work to the blender.

+ Make a large batch and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. This makes the perfect instant grab & go breakfast, and also travels well if you want to take it in a container to work.
 


INGREDIENTS
(makes 2 portions)

The Flesh from 1 Young Thai Coconut
1/2 Ripe Mango

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Vanilla Seeds
3 Tablespoons Coconut Water or Nut Milk
Pinch of Salt
1 Large Handful Soaked Cashew Nuts
1 Tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil


METHOD
 Simply place the cashews into your blender along with your liquid of choice, and blend on a high speed for 2 minutes. With the blender still running, gradually add the coconut oil. Add a little more coconut water or nut milk if the mixture needs help running smoothly, then chop the mango and scrape the flesh from around the stone and add to the blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend for a further 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid if you think it requires it (this really depends on how thick or runny you'd prefer the finished product).

Once smooth, pour into a bowl or some tuppaware/a jar to store in the fridge.  

+ Serve with poppy seeds, chia seeds, Qnola (Beetroot or Ginger create amazing flavours and add the perfect texture) chopped nuts, fresh berries or fruit (more coconut flesh or mango works well). 

EASTER EGG SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

Shortbreads, despite their three main components being butter, sugar and white flour, have proven to be one of the easiest things to make healthily. I substitute the butter with coconut oil, the sugar with coconut palm sugar or natural fruit sugars/syrups, and the white flour with buckwheat flour, oat flour, or nuts ground into a flour consistency. From there, it is easy to add other ingredients to increase the nutritional profile of your biscuits even more - such as superfood powders, raw vegetables and linseeds/flaxseeds or chia seeds. You can also very easily make these into savoury or sweet biscuits, simply reducing the amount of coconut palm sugar or syrup used for savoury biscuits (and adding vegetables, more flour and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour), or increasing the coconut palm sugar or syrup quantities to your personal taste, and adding things like low fructose dried fruit and super foods like maca and cacao. Once you've got the base down, you can add pretty much anything.

And you don't have to skip the icing either! Creamed coconut is a mysterious ingredient and, as it sets, resembles sugar icing almost exactly. I actually prefer it, as it has a nicer texture, a creamier flavour and doesn't leave a strange aftertaste or sugaring coating in your mouth after you've eaten it. While some of the colouring items are quite an investment, they're definitely worth it. I alternate adding each one to smoothies, porridge and soups as well.

-  View the full recipe on WOMENSHEALTHMAG.CO.UK  -


QUICK CHIA SEED BERRY JAM

danielle copperman3 Comments

When most people think of jam, they imagine an arduous process involving sterilised jars and very precise temperature maintenance. With this jam, the chia seeds do the hard work. No wonder they're called super foods.


INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries or Cranberries (can use just one or a mixture of your favourites)
4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Agave or Raw Organic Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger, optional
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, optional

METHOD

Start by melting the coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Add the berries and the water and stir on a medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, press the berries to burst them as they begin to heat, and stir to combine, using a gentle mashing motion to release all of the flavour. Add the chia seeds and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often and adding more water if it seems to become too thick. Then add the vanilla, lemon or lime juice and sweetener, if using, stir a final time, and pour into jars or airtight containers.

RED PEPPER POURING HOUMOUS AKA THE NEW BBQ SAUCE

Snacksdanielle coppermanComment

Earlier this summer in June i attended my first Brai - that’s a barbecue to you and i. Brai is a South African term and translates directly to grill. Just 5 minutes into arriving at the Brai with my sister, I understood why they had their own name for it. It was not an ordinary barbecue. Ordinary barbecues at their best include marinated chicken, some hearty salads, corn on the cob and insanely unhealthy desserts. But more common barbecues, if we’re lucky enough to see the sun at all in England, consist of burnt 30%- meat sausages, plastic cheese in plastic films, rain, more rain and far too much alcohol. A Brai is an entirely different game. We had marinated shrimps the size of my hand, barbecued mackerel, turkey burgers, onglet steak, barbecued bone marrow, teriyaki salmon kebabs and much, much more. The food was brought out over the course of about 8 hours. This, i thought, was brilliant. No one was filling up on Walkers crisps with cheese and chive dip. People were pacing themselves and really savouring and appreciating each individual dish. The burgers were not ordinary burgers either. They were layered with fresh cheese, spinach and the best sauce i have ever tasted. That’s where this story becomes relevant to the following recipe.

INGREDIENTS
Halve this recipe for a single serving.

6 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Tin Chickpeas or 4 Tablespoons Organic Houmous
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup Water (Use only 1 tablespoon if you want a thicker houmous)
2 Large Peppers
4 Large Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Tamari
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon juice

Optional:
A Few Leaves Fresh Basil

METHOD
Preheat the oven to about 180c. Cut the peppers into quarters and the tomatoes too. Place them in the same baking tray with a little olive oil or coconut oil, and salt. Roast in the oven for about half an hour, then turn the heat up to 200c and roast for another 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft to touch, the skin looks baggy, and the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the oven and run under cold water. When they have cooled, peel the skins off of the peppers as much as you can. Don’t worry about doing this for the tomatoes.
Place the vegetables into your blender with 1/8 cup of water, the oil and the garlic. Blend for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then add the remaining ingredients and the rest of the water, if you think it needs it. The water thins the mixture and helps the ingredients to combine as smoothly as possible. If you want more of a proper houmous dip (pictured below), leave the water out, although you may find you need it in order for the mixture to combine fully. If you want more of a pouring houmous, add as much water as you desire, and up the seasoning to maintain the flavours.
Serve as a dip for vegetables, crisps, sweet potato chips or as a side with chicken, beef or salmon. Pour over courgetti, salmon and ragu, add to sauces or soups, or stir through a quinoa/buckwheat salads.