When life gets in the way

Is it just me?  This year has been a toughie! My life has chugged on, mostly on target, for years. This year I suddenly lost my beloved Dad.  Yes, he was 90, but he deteriorated over about 3 weeks and was suddenly gone.

IMG_1496.JPG

Now, as I write this blog, there have been at least six people within my family, work and social circle, who have passed away this year. In addition, people I know have been diagnosed with ‘dread’ diseases. These unpleasant experiences have triggered an inward view of my own life. It’s vital that we live life to the fullest, making the best out of each and every moment.  I want to be in the best possible condition to be able to make the most of this precious life that I’ve been given.

IMG_0900.JPG

  Here are 6 of my top prerequisites for squeezing every drop out of every possible moment: 

1.    Mindfully sourcing, preparing and consuming natural whole and life-force producing foods as fuel for my body.

2.    Drinking the purest (possible) water.

3.    Exercising to keep my body in the best condition.  Remember if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

4.    Getting ample, good quality sleep each night. (for me that is seven to eight hours)

5.    Interacting with family and friends on a regular basis.

6.    Connecting with Nature; thereby calming my mind to best cope with all the stresses and strains that life throws at us.

IMG_1192.JPG

I’ve gone through a process of taking my foot off the pedal to mindfully manage this year’s curved balls. I now look forward to the season of love as we prepare for Christmas and the end of year holidays. Sometimes we need to go back to the basics.  Re-assess, Re-focus, Re-build to ultimately REVIVE BALANCE and SUSTAIN ourselves in peak condition! 

Managing Life’s Curveballs

08-avoid-while-tired-gauging-tired1.jpg

Life gets in the way of our plans and we have many curved balls thrown at us, turning our world upside down.

Horrendous storms, loss of family members and loved ones, chronic illness as well as trying to spread ourselves thinly – often sacrificing our own health and well-being in the process.  Its vitally important to re-boot ourselves: ideally with a break or at least a change of scenery.

Is your emotional tank running on empty?

Are you getting sufficient sleep?

Are you getting sufficient sunlight?

Are you getting sufficient exercise?

Are you deeply nourishing your body and brain?

If your answer is no to one or more of these questions, then you need to begin to make some fundamental changes.

IMG_1142.JPG

A car can’t run on empty and neither can our bodies.

Our bodies will ‘make a plan’ to keep our body running with whatever fuel you give it – no matter how poor this fuel may be. However, after some time, the body will cease to function! Come and seek life-changing assistance.  We will help you to revive yourself and work to create a healthy balance of body, mind and spirit. Then sustain your new-found quality of life to live and enjoy your family and friends to the fullest.

We’re off to the Central Kalahari for 10 days to revive our bodies and brains; rebalance ourselves by being immersed in nature which in turn will sustain us for the period when we return to our regular urban life.  So in November look out for our photos and feedback on our soul-nurturing experience.

 

Spring and Continuation of Studying

IMG_1738.jpg

There are signs of spring in the Harmonie garden.  You’ve got to love it:  seasonal change, spring in your step, new buds and growth, some recent spring rains.

Get out in the garden, start exercising and breathing in the spring air.

Are you still in study mode?  Here are some simple exercises to do while seated to relieve neck and shoulder strain from prolonged studying.

  1. Sit straight up.  Breathing in, allow your head to extend slowly backwards – stretching your throat area.  Exhale.  Now round your back and drop your chin towards your chest. Pause.

  2. Inhale with your chin to your chest. Breath normally. Feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Inhale, open your mouth and allow your head to move back. Do this slowly.

  3. Move your head slowly to the right. Pause. Then move the head slowly to the left. Pause.

  4. Shoulder shrugs rotating backwards three times and then forwards three times.

  5. Place your left hand around the back of your neck on the right side.  Slowly massage down  the neck, shoulder and arm to your hand.  Massage the thumb first and then each finger.  Allow your hands to relax on the thighs and feel the difference. Now repeat on the opposite side.

Closeup of a girl in a blue top and denim shorts takes notes in a notebook while sitting on the lawn. Next on the grass is a smartphone and is a cup of coffee.Bright sunlight, light effect.
Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.18.29 AM.png

Remember to get 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure every day without lenses in front of the eyes.

Move your body to ensure good lymph drainage.  Walk, jog, stretch, yoga, sport – whatever rocks your boat.

Choose to mindfully, deeply nourish your brain to cope with prolonged studying.

WINTER WARMER

There’s nothing quite as comforting or warming as a delicious bowl of soup! This Moroccan Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with its combination of warming spices and a hint of chili, will become a winter favourite. I found it in the “Brookdale’s Heavenly and Healthy Flavours” book and my whole family loved it!

htc-winter-pumpkin-and-squash (1).jpg

Ingredients:

1 red chili, deseeded and chopped (optional)

3 cups butternut, peeled and cubed

½ cup red split lentils, rinsed well

5 ripe tomatoes, skin removed and chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

5 cups vegetable stock

herb salt and ground black pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Heat a large saucepan with olive oil, sauté onion, garlic and ginger and then sprinkle in the spices. Sauté until the spices become fragrant. Add chilli, butternut, lentils, tomatoes, carrots and stock. Cook until vegetables are soft (about 40 minutes). Blend and season to taste. Serve hot, topped with chickpeas, crumbled feta and a drizzle of coriander pesto.

Serves 6

The Prep process for our Safari is running ‘full steam ahead’

I’ve chosen four different breakfast options:

1. Smoothies for the long travelling days on our inward journey to our destination.  These are made on the night before departure and stored in stainless steel flasks in our car cooler in the console. They’re easy to access – no unnecessary stops as we’re super keen to reach our destination!

2. Home made buckwheat cereal  served with fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt. (I’m going to be making more coconut yoghurt whilst we’re in Moremi).

3. Oats two ways – soaked in apple juice with cinnamon or cooked with coconut milk and almond butter.

4. Cooked breakfast:  Garlicky tomatoes and caramelized bananas and sweetcorn.

 

Four different Lunch options:

1. Green juice made in advance in stainless steel flasks and stored in the same easily accessible way as per the smoothies. I’ll take some fresh greens to make one more quantity of green juice using my manual Farre Juicer. The greens must be used as soon as possible as they won’t last for more than about four days in the fridge.

2. Salads: leaves don’t last long but Pak Choy lasts best and can be used raw and cooked and has a much milder cabbage flavour.  Serve with homemade sauerkraut / kimchi / pesto / fermented mustard and home-made pickle and Kombucha vinegar. Add a few different rainbow coloured fresh veg too. As space is at a premium in the fridges only one or two bottles of pickles can be used at a time.

3. Wraps with a choice of three different scrumptious fillings with a base of greens and other ingredients to create taste sensation!

4. Salads with a lentil or brown rice base.  Make these salads when the fresh ingredients are finished.

 

Dinners:

I’ve made and frozen four soups, which I’ll store in the caravan freezer.

I’ve made and frozen four main meals.  On this trip I’ve chosen curries – Chinese, Indian, Thai and Moroccan. 

I’ve made and frozen three different marinades:  BBQ, Thai and Sweet & Sour.  In addition I have one bottle of Korma sauce which will be packed into my grocery drawer.

 

Mid morning snacks:

1. Dehydrated fruit:  I’ve dehydrated mango, pineapple, apple, plums, banana and figs.  These store well in airtight containers.  Remember with dried fruit a little goes a long way.

2. Homemade trail mix – a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and superfoods.

3. Dehydrated choc cookies made with hazelnut pulp flour.

4. Homemade fruit, nut and seed rusks.

 

 

 

 

Sundowner snacks:

1.     Kale chips

2.     Flax crackers

3.     Dehydrated macadamia nut cheese drops 

4.     Spicy nuts and seeds clusters

 

After dinner treats to round off the evenings whilst sharing the day’s experiences around the camp fire:

1.     Rocky Road fudge 

2.     Chocolate truffles

3.     Choc / Mint fudge 

 

Drinks:

1. Filtered water.  I take a Brita jug which is not necessarily the best, but better than not filtering the water.

2. Herbal teas for me and plunger coffee (for my husband).

3. Water Kefir which I’ll be making in the campsite.  I’ll add fresh lemon juice and fresh ginger juice to it to make our delicious sundowner drinks. Takes two days to make.

4. Carob chai on cooler evenings with an optional shot of Kaluha to warm us from the inside out!

Portion sizes are all carefully planned so that everything can fit into the two fridges and the freezer. Fresh fruit won’t last long hence we are taking dried fruit. Equally, veggies need to be chosen carefully eg. sweet potatoes, gem squash, butternut squash – which last a long time out of the fridge. I store the fresh fruit and veg, which are transported in an open collapsible crate in the car, in string bags so that they have good air flow and therefore last longer. There are invariably left-overs, so I don’t have meals prepared for every single meal.

Storage is important as monkeys and baboons, even elephants, can raid your camp if food is left out. Successful safaris require good planning and prepping to ensure that you can enjoy your holiday to the max.