Self Love Mini Retreat in Reading, Saturday October 13th, 10.15am-1pm, at the beautifully restored Dunsden Village Hall, RG4 9QG
Surrender yourself to an entire morning of slowing down and tuning in, as we delve deep into three hours of restorative and nourishing self care. This will include rebalancing yoga accompanied by relaxing meditation, a nourishing vegan brunch, a nutritional talk with a focus on self-care and many more inspirational ideas and rituals for building a self care routine.
The perfect start to a weekend if you need some encouragement to wind down, connect to yourself and revitalise with some wellness. We will be looking at the power of inner peace and see how finding stillness in your daily life influences the way you see the world.
We will meet at 10.15am at the beautiful Eye & Dunsden Village Hall, situated in the peaceful village of Dunsden, just North East of Reading. The hall is the perfect location with beautiful views over the countryside. Upon arrival you will be greeted with a welcome drink and we will begin our morning of slowing down and tuning in.
Saturday 13th October
THE MORNING INCLUDES:
• Yoga focused on resting and revitalising tired bodies with Lucy Howlett from LIFT yoga
• A Nutrition talk with Nutritional Therapist Emily Hyland from Om Nom Health
• Guided meditation session
• A wholesome, nourishing vegan brunch
• Self-care ritual inspiration & tips
• Self massage techniques
• A complimentary wellness goodie bag to take home with you
To book please email email@example.com
Investment: £50 per person (£45 if booked before 10th Sept)
This soup is delicious, speedy to make, really simple and seasonal too! Serves 6
- 50g coconut oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 600g squash, such as butternut or pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
- fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the coriander and fry for another minute. Add the sweet potato, squash and stock. Season with salt to the boil and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the chunks of squash and sweet potato are completely tender. Cool slightly, then whizz the soup in batches in a food processor until smooth. Heat gently until piping hot and check the seasoning. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander leaves.
These are very good and healthy too!
from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book ‘Plenty’ (with my alterations in brackets) Serves 4
- 1kg peeled sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp soya sauce
- 100g plain flour (or wholemeal/spelt)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp caster sugar (optional)
- 3 tbsp chopped spring onion
- ½ tsp finely chopped red chilli (or more if you want them hot)
- (some coconut oil for frying)
Steam the sweet potatoes until completely soft, then leave in a colander to drain for at least an hour. Once the sweet potatoes have lost most of their liquid, place them in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together, preferably by hand, until the mix is smooth and even; do not over-mix. The mixture should be sticky; if it’s runny add some more flour. Put a small amount of oil in a non-stick frying pan. For each cake, use a tablespoon to lift some mix into the pan and flatten with the back of the spoon to create a not-too-perfect disc that is roughly 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Fry the cakes on a medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side, or until you get a nice brown crust. Place in between two sheets of kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!!
From Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book ‘River Cottage Veg Every Day’
This rich, creamy, deeply savoury dip is wonderful with crudités, or dolloped on to a warm flatbread. It also works well served on some crisp lettuce, as a salad. Serves 4-6
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 200g artichoke hearts in olive oil, drained, oil reserved
- 3 garlic gloves, finely chopped
- A few sprigs of oregano, leaves only, finely chopped
- 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp thick, plain yoghurt (I didn’t use this)
- 25g walnuts, toasted (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, roughly shop the artichoke hearts.
Add the garlic to the pan and stir for another couple of minutes. Tip in the oregano, cannellini beans and artichokes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until everything is heated through. Tip the mixture into a food processor and add the lemon juice, chilli flakes and yoghurt. Blend to a coarse purée. Add salt and pepper to taste and thin with a couple of tablespoons or so of the olive oil from the artichokes, until you have the texture you like.
Serve the dip warm or cold, trickled with olive oil, and scattered with toasted walnuts if you like.
Recipe taken from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ebury Press).
‘This unusual combination of fresh fruit and roasted vegetables is one of the most popular at Ottolenghi. It wholly depends, though, on the figs being sweet, moist and perfectly ripe. Go for plump fruit with an irregular shape and a slightly split bottom. Pressing against the skin should result in some resistance but not much. Try to smell the sweetness. The balsamic reduction is very effective here, both for the look and for rounding up the flavours. To save you from making it you can look out for products such as balsamic cream or glaze.’
- 4 small sweet potatoes (1 kg in total)
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 40ml balsamic vinegar (you can use a commercial rather than a premium aged grade)
- 20g caster sugar
- 12 spring onions, halved lengthways and cut into 4cm segments
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
- 6 fresh and ripe figs (240g in total), quartered
- 150g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled (optional)
- Maldon sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas Mark 9.
Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthways and then cut each again similarly into three long wedges. Mix with three tablespoons of the olive oil, two teaspoons of salt and some black pepper. Spread the wedges out on a baking sheet, skin-side down, and cook for about 25 minutes until soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.
To make a balsamic reduction, place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2–4 minutes, or until it thickens. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan and add the spring onions and chilli. Fry on a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring often, making sure not to burn the chilli, and then spoon the oil, onions and chilli over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs among the wedges and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature with the cheese crumbled over, if using.
So, my boyfriend cooked this last weekend. He seemed very dubious about my idea of cooking with plain coconut milk yoghurt but I said I thought it would work. So experiment he did and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks Mr Mahil 🙂
Wilt a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach with a little water in a pan, stir in a small amount of olive oil and a clove of crushed garlic, add two teaspoons or so of CoYo and season to taste.
Stir for a about a minute then take off the heat. Place into two big, juicy Portobello mushrooms and serve.
Simple but so tasty! Give it a try and let me know what you think 🙂
I should have taken a pic but forgot to. I will post one here when I make it again soon!
from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book ‘River Cottage Veg Every Day’
- 1 large head of broccoli (about 500g)
- ½ garlic clove
- 1cm piece of root gingerA pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2-3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam, or cook it in some lightly salted boiling water, until just tender but still a bit crunchy — about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and ginger with the sugar and some salt and pepper to a paste, using a pestle and mortar. Combine with the vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. As soon as the broccoli is cooked, drain it in a colander and leave for a few minutes so all the moisture can steam off. While still hot, toss with the dressing and put into a serving dish. Set aside to cool. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant. When the broccoli has cooled to room temperature, scatter over the spring onions and sesame seeds, and serve.
Alcohol has a two-fold negative effect on our ability to lose fat:
1. Alcohol is highly calorific and easily over-consumed. Compare its calorific value with the other components of our diet: Alcohol is 7kcal/g, fat is 9 kcal/g, both protein and carbohydrate are roughly 4kcal/g).
2. The simple presence of alcohol in your system has a hugely negative impact on your ability tometabolise fat. Period!
This was illustrated by a study where 8 men were given two drinks of vodka and lemonade separated by 30 minutes. Each drink contained just under 90 calories. Fat metabolism was measured before and after consumption of the drink.
The reason why alcohol has this dramatic effect on fat metabolism has to do with the way alcohol is handled in the body. Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into acetate and the presence of acetate in the system puts the brakes on fat loss. The greater the quantity of alcohol, the greater the quantity of acetate created, the less likely fat is metabolised.
In other words, your body tends to use whatever you feed it, and after a time becomes adapted to the macro nutrient intake. Unfortunately when acetate levels rise, your body burns the acetate preferentially. So the body simply burns the acetate first, this basically pushes fat oxidation out of the metabolic equation.
Here is a fresh tasting, flavoursome recipe by Silvana Franco. (I didn’t use feta cheese and it was amazing without, so use or exclude as you fancy.)
Serves 4, Ready in 20 minutes
- 50g couscous
- 4 medium courgettes, cut into thick slices
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 400g good quality feta, cubed
- 80-100g watercress or various other salad leaves
- Handful fresh mint leaves
Put the couscous in a small heatproof bowl. Pour over 75ml boiling water and set aside.
Put the courgettes on a large plate, sprinkle over 1 teaspoon sea salt and leave for 10 minutes. Pat dry with kitchen paper, then sprinkle with the rosemary, lemon zest and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix well.
Put a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and cook the courgettes for 2-3 minutes each side, until golden.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the cumin seeds and some black pepper.
Toss together the feta, watercress, mint, courgettes and the dressing. Sprinkle over the couscous and serve while the courgettes are just warm.