Bean Feast Chilli

Fire up your chakras

A traditional chilli is one of those all time classics that works very well as a wholesome vegan dish. I decided to use adzuki alongside the black beans as they are low in fat, full of protein, soluble fibre and help to lower harmful LDL cholesterol.

The dish works with all the chakras, primarily to warm up and stimulate the root and brow chakras so great to boost a sluggish / cold system during the winter months. 

Photography by Adrian Lawrence, 2015

Photography by Adrian Lawrence, 2015

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup / 185g Dried Adzuki Beans (soaked overnight in cold water and drained)

1 Cup / 180g Dried Black Turtle Beans (soaked overnight in cold water and drained)

2 tbsp Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil

1 Red Onion, sliced

2 Garlic Clove, sliced

1 Red Chilli, finely chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

1 ¾ cup / 100g Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

¼ tsp Cayenne

2 x 14 oz / 400g Canned chopped tomatoes

Bunch of Fresh Coriander, chopped

2 Cups / 320g Brown Basmati Rice

Sea Salt and Pepper

Garnish:

1 Lime cut into wedges

4 tsp Chia Seeds

2 Avocados, chopped

METHOD

Rinse the soaked adzuki and black beans separately in fresh cold water. Place in separate pans of water and boil for 15 minutes, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and set the beans aside.  

Warm the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the chilli to the pan, stir through, and sweat for a further 5 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms to the pan with the spices and stir thoroughly for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Add the tomatoes, beans, and coriander. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. 

Meanwhile, rinse the rice. Place it in a medium-sized pan with 4 cups / 950ml water and a pinch of salt and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 minutes until all the water has absorbed. Serve the rice and chilli on warmed plates. Add lime wedges, scatter with the chia seeds, and serve with the chopped avocado on the side, if using.

Recipe from The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit, CICO Books, 2015

6 Crystals for Root Chakra Support

As promised in my previous post Capricorn, Saturn and the Root Chakra here are some crystals that can be used to support the Root chakra. These are usually best placed at the base of the spine and/or between the thighs, knees and at the base of the feet during meditation or healing sessions, but feel free to experiment. You should ideally take the time to tune into the stones yourself before purchasing as each will vibrate differently even if they are the same kind! Once purchased cleansing by using incense smoke, running water (if non porous) or burying in brown rice then charging under the full moon, over your heart chakra by sending in light from this area, or in direct sunlight; followed by verbal dedication to the course are recommended before use.

In general the stones listed below for the Root chakra fall into two main categories 1) warming, stimulating and engaging or 2) cooling, distancing and protective. The former work well to counteract constriction, stagnation and the cooler and constricting aspects of the Saturnian influence in this chakra. For instance one who suffers from constipation or poor circulation to the extremities, general melancholy or a "stuck in the mud" attitude might do well to work with a warming red toned stone or hematite to lift the mood and get things going. The latter black stones work more to calm down an overactive, hyper or "angry" system/temperament and earth the excess energy. They also physically protect, acting as good shields often deflecting negative forces or earthing them. This is especially useful when ill or recovering from anything traumatic where the defences might be down. 

Hematite I feel sits somewhere between the two categories mentioned above, both in its colour and temperament. Even though it is stimulating it also seems to ground energy really well in a stabilising way and is also a good protector. Black Tourmaline follows somewhere between Hematite and Onyx in the spectrum of coolness.   

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Garnet - A warming stone that energises and can evoke fortitude and courage (inner strength). It is able to cleanse at a deep level by removing toxins. Garnet is a powerful stone that stimulates and helps to get ideas and projects off the ground so to speak! In other words long lasting foundations can be laid in all areas of life (including relationships) working with this stone as it helps get one into the right state of mind. Garnet is one of those humbling stones that can bring you more into your authenticity with confidence and help you to platform yourself out in the world, bringing both stable material, physical and emotional achievements in its wake. The SWILK Strength Chakra Aroma Roller contains this stone. Like Ruby below the Sun is the associated planet with this stone, but I would say it is the more stimulating of the two.

Red Jasper - This stone grounds both spiritually and emotionally and is a tonic for the whole body thus working well with the immune system. It eases the path to change so very useful for people who are stuck in the mud and fixed in their ways and find it hard to move forward in new directions. When conducting spiritual/psychic work, Red Jasper can act as a safe anchor to Earth and also supports stamina by encouraging the slow release of energy. It is a very practical stone, helping one to reach solutions in a grounded way and a good stone to aid with physical repairs of the body. 

Ruby - Ruby is a gentler and more steadying stone associated with the Sun. It can bring vitality, charisma, and success to those who work with it. The polarity of warmth (Sun ruling the uppermost 6th or 7th chakra depending on the system being used) works particularly well in balancing out a stagnant and cold Root chakra. It is a fantastic stone for providing a sense of security and self-esteem and has the ability ground and steady a person helping them with everyday life. Ruby can help to attract wealth and also eases menstrual cycle issues. I generally work with Ruby in Chakra Sessions for the Root and it forms part of the SWILK set of luxury Chakra Crystals.

Hematite - A very good tonic for the blood and circulatory system, Hematite has an energising yet stabilising effect. It grounds and anchors electrical currents and energy so is very useful to have around when feeling spaced out. Hematite supports all aspects of the mind and body and can help to realise dreams and spiritual concepts on the earth plane. A stone that can help with increasing self-esteem and brings about a general sense of strength and security - very empowering. This stone is high in iron content, which is the metal associated with firey Mars the other so called hotter "malefic" planet or brother to Saturn. In this way they can be used similarly to the stones above ruled by the Sun to counteract elemental imbalances in the Root i.e. excess cold and constriction.  

Black Tourmaline - This stone protects the user from negative forces by deflection, it also grounds and provides a sense of security with its very strong affiliation to the element Earth. It is a powerful healer of mental disorders with the ability to stabilise the emotions. It brings realignment and structure to ones life, strengthening the will to meet change and new challenges. Black Tourmaline can help with elimination as it has a detoxifying effect and supports healthy weight loss. It is also a soothing stone for the skeletal and muscular systems. Black Tourmaline contains some iron, so it isn't as cooling in effect as Onyx, but not quite as energising as Hematite. 

Onyx - An excellent stone to use when trying to let go of the past and releasing karma from the Root chakra. It has a calming effect and can balance out hot tempers, irritability and excitability in people. It grounds and concentrates energy and encourages stillness and introspection. Onyx can have the effect of making one appear invisible to others and become more of a recluse (reflecting the more melancholic, detached and impersonal side of Saturn). So unless you are incredibly "Martian" (excess fire) in constitution and attitude and really need to tone things down and take a step back, then best to work with a second more stimulating stone such as Ruby so that you remain interactive with other people and not completely cool and aloof. 

If you would like to delve into your chakras further and receive more in-depth support and guidance then consider one-to-one Chakra Sessions with me, where I work with crystals alongside other healing methods to suit you. 

 

Capricorn, Saturn and the Root Chakra

As I mentioned in my previous post on The REAL New Year and How to Prepare - this is the time of year when it is important to rest, restore and gently build up our physical strength throughout Winter before Spring Equinox and the subsequent weeks. According to Sidereal astrology the sun is now in the zodiac sign of Capricorn (whose main constellation is known as the Sea-Goat or sometimes Crocodile in ancient mythologies) and this is ruled by Saturn who also governs the Root chakra (Muladhara). More daylight now enters our lives again as we gradually build up the strength to increase our daily activities and go out into the world proper again come Spring. In the Tropical zodiac the Sun entered the zodiac sign of Capricorn on the day of the Winter Solstice so at the time of writing this post both systems align.

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In ancient Vedic mythology the Sun (father) does not usually get on with Saturn (his Son), but his entry into the Capricorn is an exception - a truce moment if you like where positive soul growth can be experienced. Saturn is the slowest moving and deepest acting amongst the seven personal planets and is also known constitutionally as the coldest (furthest from the Sun). Therefore it resonates well with the season of Winter in the northern hemisphere with its undertones of darkness, death, decay and endings. With the Sun entering this area of the zodiac and the days increasingly getting longer now until Summer Solstice, we have a sense that there is hope for sustainable life on Earth both for its natural fauna and inhabitants who are keen and able to complete another seasonal cycle. In this sense it can also symbolise eternal life or life after death - the rising power of the Sun again. If we can face the cold hard truth about ourselves at this time (which Saturn represents and can trigger) and shed any illusions, then it is my belief that rewarding and long term results can occur from working with this energy.

Whilst Saturn can represent loyalty and longevity it can also bring about the strength to say no when necessary if boundaries have been breached (something that many find hard to do). It seems no wonder for instance that both personal and working relationships end at this time of the year as a lot of self-recognition can take place and perhaps sometimes it is about reconciling with this away from others, so that we can grow as individual souls before reconnecting again externally. If we have been caught in an illusion that all is well when really it isn't, then Saturn is the teacher that can certainly wake us up with a thud - bring us back down to earth literally!

The Root chakra is all about physicality and predominantly the earth element, which also rules Capricorn. If we nurture our immune systems, keep our body temperatures stable and rest well during this time then we will have enough reserves built up for the Spring. Solid roots and foundations for the cycle ahead can be created. As the seat of the Kundalini, the Root chakra is an important area and should be well tended to. Running before we can walk can often cause problems later on such as falls and accidents and it is the natural order of things from birth to do one before the other as our root chakras are developing. Likewise, in yoga if you fully activate and raise the Kundalini before you are sufficiently prepared i.e. on loose foundations, often traumatic consequences can occur spiritually/psychologically and physically. So even though I encourage starting to work with your dreams and goals at this time (as I stated in my previous post), take your time, plant those seeds slowly and work with and not against the natural forces at this time of the year.

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Facing our truth and consciously making efforts to speak and act with sincerity are great ways to honour the energy of Capricorn, Saturn and the root chakra. We are working here with the sign and planet that naturally rule the 10th house of the zodiac - this is at the peak or top of the wheel and the place where our status and recognition in the world lies. It is the absolute pinnacle above the horizon where feminine meets masculine side by side in the constellations of Capricorn and Aquarius. Ask yourself questions such as "How is it that I want to be seen by others?" and "Is this who I genuinely am, or is this the mask that I like to wear?" - liberate yourself into authenticity.

I would also recommend introspection and meditation on the Root chakra at this time, as Saturn is all about discipline and patience (this is really the primary intended way to work with all the chakras, so good to get into the habit now as we begin our journey through this year). You can do this simply by visualising the four petalled lotus flower at the base of the spine and internalising the seed mantra "lam". If you wish you add the colour red and work with a gemstone such as onyx or garnet then use your intuition on which will work with you the best at that time (my next post will go into more detail on possible gemstones to use when working with this chakra). In my downloadable FREE Tops Tips I give other ways to work with the root chakra. I would also recommend eating more root vegetables (see The Chakra Kitchen for recipes) and working with aromatherapy oils such as those contained in my Strength Chakra Aroma Roller as they work on a deep sensory level (again particularly relevant for the root).

I wish you all the best in connecting with your Root chakra and building new foundations for the year ahead and look out for further posts as we move through the zodiac cycle.

Addendum: Please note that the zodiacal period of Aquarius is also traditionally ruled by Saturn and can be used to similar effect in supporting the Root chakra, although the element associated with this sign is air, thus it can also be a time to bring things into the heart chakra area (appropriate for St Valentine's Day). Inner tending and forgiveness are ideal to help your new roots grow strong. I recommend during tropical Aquarius to start to go outside more and breathe in the beginnings of new life in nature and adding the element of air to the seeds you are planting within for the year ahead. Importantly Imbolc/Candlemass occur at this time (the half-way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) - a celebration of light increasing and new life beginning to shoot forth, the Crone becoming the Maiden again. 

Winter Slaw

Colourful crunch for the darker months

This tasty winter slaw brings together some beautiful and nutritious vegetables full of colour. It primarily supports the root and heart chakras through the balancing beetroot, carrot, red cabbage and celeriac. The flavoursome antioxidant and mineral-rich caraway seeds add depth and sweetness to the dish.

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Ingredients

 

1 large beetroot

1 large carrot

1/4 celeriac

1/4 red cabbage

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Peel and grate the beetroot, carrot, and celeriac into a bowl (use a food processor if you have the relevant attachment). Finely slice the cabbage and add to the bowl. Mix the mustard, olive oil, and vinegar together with seasoning to form the dressing. Toss this into the slaw with the caraway seeds and serve with the sunflower seeds scattered on top.

Recipe from The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit, CICO Books, 2015

 

The REAL New Year and How to Prepare

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It's that time of the year again when most of us are in a slight blur from overindulgence of food, family, people in general, shopping and tv. This natural rise in energy that peaks in the days running up to Christmas has been a long standing part of modern day life. It is really no wonder that as we hit January it often brings dissolution and lackluster feelings, especially once we get into weeks 2-3 after the initial excitement and good intentions wear thin.

I believe that if we tune into the natural cycles of the seasons then really the true "New Year" is is marked by the Spring Equinox (the time when the plane of the equator passes over the centre of the sun), landing on Tuesday 20 March in 2018 - just 81 days from now. Just because the Gregorian calendar marks 1st January as a starting point doesn't mean that it naturally is or always has been. The Spring Equinox date marks the start of the astrological calendar in the sign of Pisces (Sidereal Zodiac) and Aries (Tropical Zodiac). With this in mind, I would recommend giving yourself a break here with the hasty resolutions and instead first release the old and take your time throughout January, February and early March to let your dreams unfold and sew the seeds as they come. Here are some tips to get you prepared for the REAL New Year:

  • Use the remainder of this week to give thanks for all the experiences of 2017 post Spring Equinox, (which was also 20th March this year as it happens), be they perceivedly negative or positive to you - remember we and our personal journeys are part of a much bigger and incomprehensible picture. To take this a step further, list these experiences on paper and then on the night of 1st January (note the Full Moon energy will already be in effect as it reaches 100% at around 2:25am GMT on 2nd January) take a quiet moment, light some candles and release your list of memories from the year by burning them and giving prayers of thanks. You can in fact repeat this for the next 2 Full Moons that occur before the Spring Equinox (Wednesday 31st January and Friday 2nd March) and add anything else that occurs during those moon cycles that you wish to release. Remember 3 is the magic number! The full moon is all about culmination and release so this is an ideal time to let go whatever no longer serves you. It really is not the best time however to start anything new e.g. good old resolutions, unless you set intentions for it/them at the last Black and New Moon and have actually taken solid action as the moon has been waxing, a moment after the moon is 100% full you are working with waning energy so it won't support you so well in any new endeavours. The following step will guide you on working with the Black and New Moon for intention setting.
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  • January is an excellent time to start considering your wants and needs for the true year ahead so start planning your goals and dreams and make a list. When you hit the Black Moon on Wednesday 15th January set the intentions you have via ritual and prayer, no burning involved this time! Follow your instincts, but I would recommend leaving your list somewhere sacred to you or even start creating a vision board for the year with images to back up your ideas. This can be added to as you come up with new things throughout the first half of the year (I would suggest adding at the Black Moon each month for extra power). Once the moon becomes visible it is the New Moon (3 days after the invisibility of the Black Moon) e.g 18th January you can start to take baby steps of action towards your goals and intentions, but the real call to action for major steps forward and exposure would be on the Spring Equinox itself as the New Moon lands only a couple of days before on Sunday 18th March so will be visible at this time. You can of course keep sewing seeds of intention after this point whilst the ground is fertile so to speak, but as a cut-off time for 2018 additions I would use the longest day of the year - Summer Solstice on Thursday 21st June. This still allows time for seeds to germinate and create a rich harvest in the Autumn. Anything after this point may not come to fruition as quickly as you may like, BUT do go with your own instincts on this if you feel differently. 
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  • Remember to keep well nurtured and rested until the Spring Equinox, this is still hibernation time for recharging the batteries and really not ideal for excessively hitting the gym or doing anything of great physical exertion! You can't go far wrong expanding your mind by delving into good books and educational videos, alongside spiritual practice, nutritious foods, warm teas and the odd bit of period drama! Just remember to keep some gentle exercise in, walking out in nature, and/or a swim and then hit the sauna if you can (health permitting) to keep some dryer warmth in the body during this cold and damp time. This can be particularly good for those with poor circulation who get cold at the extremities, but do read the safety notices before entering a sauna, or check with a medic if you have a diagnosed condition and are unsure.
  • On the nutritional side I would really make an extra effort to eat the chakra rainbow! This will keep you sustained and immunity boosted to get you through the rest of the year. Some of my staple favourites to include are: jerusalem artichokes (full of prebiotic inulin that feeds probiotic organisms to help boost immunity and prevent "bad" bacteria from growing), beetroot, ginger (antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic), turmeric, steamed leafy greens, cinnamon, pears and elderberries (truly the best for Vitamin C and can be found in my winter warming Chaka Tea Flame). For more organic, plant-based recipe ideas for the winter months and nutritional information check out my cookbook The Chakra Kitchen.
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  • Invest in Eucalyptus essential oil to diffuse in the house, this will keep germs at bay and create a lovely fresh and energising atmosphere. Combine with Rosemary for clarity and a brain boosting combo to aid in stimulating new ideas for your vision board or try my new Creativity and Insight Chakra Aroma Rollers to help you on your way.

Whatever it brings, I wish you all a very Happy 2018 and hope that it is filled with lots of good health, adventure, courage and love and that you start to reap the benefits of working with the moon and the natural cycle of the seasons. 

Sarah x

Christmas Jam

Sweet comfort for all your chakras

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Ingredients

Makes 4 x 8oz/225g jars

4 mandarins

3 tablespoons agar agar flakes

6 pears

2 1/2 cups/250g cranberries

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

1 teaspoon ground star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup/140g coconut palm sugar

½ teaspoon edible gold dust (optional)

In this recipe the fruits are barely cooked in order to preserve their nutrients. Low GI coconut palm sugar acts as the sweetener. The cranberries resonate with the root chakra, are full of phytonutrients and are renowned for their support of the urinary and digestive tracts. Pears resonate with the heart chakra and can support cardiovascular health. Sea plant agar is a source of calcium, iron and fibre, and helps to eliminate toxic waste from the body.

Method

First sterilize the jars by boiling the jars and their lids in a large pan of water for 10 minutes, then place in the oven on a low temperature to dry.

Juice the mandarins—you should end up with 1 cup/240 ml. Place the juice in a medium-sized pan with the agar and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Cover and bring the agar mixture to the boil momentarily, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Chop the pears and place in a food processor with the cranberries, ginger, lemon juice and zest, and the spices. Process until combined. Add to the agar mixture with the sugar, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Leave the jam to cool for 10 minutes, then stir through the edible gold dust, if using. Ladle into the jars, and seal the lids tightly. Label and give away as the perfect Christmas gift or serve with English muffins. Store for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

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Sarah x

Exploring the blood type diet

It has been some while since I sat down to write a post, life has been busy and time sure has sped up and continues to do so!

This year I have decided to embark on chiropractic care in support of my health regime. In order to be fully committed to this I have been required to adhere to the Blood Type diet and lifestyle as set out by Dr Peter D'Adamo. Now much to my horror the words meat and dietary changes were mentioned by my chiropractor unless I turned out to be a blood type A. I knew intuitively that there was no way I would have made the transition during my Saturn Return (age 28-31) to a pescetarian and then vegan if it was not compatible with me, I just had to be an A!! Low and behold and to my joy and relief I am an A- (no one keeps a record of these things so a home test kit was required). Not on my nelly would I have ever touched meat again regardless I'd just like to add a this point. 

It's an interesting concept, but I do think that there must be something in this system and I am going to stick with it for now. It goes against some of the previous methods that I have explored such as Dr Sebi's Alkaline Vegan diet and indeed my own recipes. So far I am not 100% convinced at avoiding hummus and bananas .... but chilli and kidney beans I can probably live without! Coffee and red wine appear to be goers, not so sure that this is a good thing and my tendency is to over compensate for the other food items I am missing, a little too much peanut butter and not enough kale going on me thinks, never mind the former! On the plus side yoga and tai chi are two of the best forms of exercise, whilst running and high impact sports are not so due to Type A's tendency to burn out quicker and loose energy from over exertion.

Hey ho, another chapter in my journey that has come along to bring me a new perspective on health, food and nutrition. I like to remain open to new possibilities and go with what life brings to me so lets just see! Next up will be the turpentine protocol as pioneered by Dr Daniels, watch this space!

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Spark your creativity and personal power with this great recipe from the Autumn section of my recipe book The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit. 

Photography © Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books, 2015

Photography © Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books, 2015

Chakras: Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Brow, Crown 

I love spices for their fragrance and health benefits and this North African-influenced dish is a great way to introduce a sweetness which negates the craving for dessert. You can easily purchase ras el hanout spice blend or make your own as below. The sacral and solar plexus chakras are supported predominantly with balancing pumpkin and protein- and mineral-rich amaranth and chickpeas.

Serves 4

1 cup/200g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water

2 tablespoons coconut or rapeseed oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 teaspoons ras el hanout

1 cup/225g amaranth

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 pumpkin—you will need 735g/2lb cubed flesh

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup/65g raisins

1 cup/90g toasted slivered/flaked almonds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic with the spices and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the amaranth into pan with 2 cups/500ml of water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the heat and allow any remaining water to be absorbed (I like it a bit crunchy and couscous-like in texture, hence cooking for a shorter time than some may suggest).

Drain the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas, chopped sweet potato, and pumpkin in the pan containing the onions. Add 3 cups/750ml water, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then add the salt and raisins and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Season the amaranth to taste and stir in three-quarters of the almonds. Serve with the pumpkin stew, garnished with the remaining almonds.

Tip

To make your own ras el hanout spice mixture, toast 3 tablespoons cumin seeds, 2½ tablespoons coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2½ teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and a pinch of saffron, then place in a grinder with a few dried rose petals. Store any leftover spice mixture in an airtight jar.

The field of opportunity

I just wanted to share something with you. This lunchtime whilst out on a daily dog walk in the fields I was pondering the usual life questions ... when I saw a gateway I have never seen before. It had the yellow public footpath arrow on it and so I thought why not, lets explore the unknown. So off we go over the little footbridge into the field and in the distance I spot a cow but I say to Stan (the dog) that its ok we will find the gate out and into the next field on the path. As we walk along I begin to notice the amazing plethora of ripe, juicy blackberries, unlike any I've yet to see. I whip out a new poop bag (always useful for spontaneous berry picking) and get harvesting. Engrossed in my work, I failed to see that an entire herd of cattle had now somehow emerged and had us enclosed, they kept moving closer and started to chase Stan. I think they thought I had food for them .... anyway I said hello, told them not to worry and kept walking, slightly annoyed at having to stop my picking but respectful that it was their patch! As I walked I saw more and more blackberries, so I was brave and continued picking, ignoring the cows. Eventually we reached the other end of the field and there was no escape, clearly the footpath sign was out of date because the only way out was back the way we had come! So we did a full circular of the field and I collected many delicious fruits, the cows by this point were content to leave us be.

Now you may be wondering why I am recounting this and what its relevance might be... Well on the way back I realised that the scenario was a good metaphor for life and it goes like this: So we often come to a crossroads in life and we can either go the path we know well or try something new (the gate I'd not noticed before), so we choose the new path and encounter unexpected delights (blackberries), but potential dangers or adversities along the way (cows) and no escape (no gate out other than the one we came into). It's tempting to just give up and return to the old "safe" zone, but if you persevere, as I did in the field, the pleasures and abundance of goodness far outweigh the hurdles and in the end all becomes harmonious and easy and a joy. 

So I think I got my answers from my lunchtime walk today, they may not have been bolt of lightening shouting from the universe in my ears, but more subtle and interactive shall we say! I am a visionary and kinesthetic so actually playing on those senses more with me made sense to me. I believe that I must prepare myself for the unknown and step ahead bravely into the new rather than treading the same old ground which I have been doing for sometime. I will overcome any obstacles with my charm, poise and grace and an abundance of joys and opportunities shall be mine for the taking. So why don't you see what answers you get whilst out walking or going about your day, sometimes they can be cryptic, but they are definitely there for you if you ask ... be brave and trust!

Chocoholic? I was until I did this ...

I wanted to share something personally amazing with you today. As I was walking my spaniel earlier on a few shopping errands it struck me that over the past month or so I have been going through some deep changes. Many of you will relate to this - we seem to go through periods of "easy and relatively non eventful times" and then suddenly, wham, things just don't seem so great anymore. On the spiritual path this happens relatively often I have discovered - way more than it ever did before I opened up to other dimensions, healing and the cosmos. It's a healthy, normal and essential part of life and usually signals significant change is ahead, I see it as a warning sign to prepare myself. Other signs start coming in like work and opportunities being cancelled, the universe is saying to me, you need to make changes, you need to start again (again). 

So one of the subtle signs that I am going through another stage of growth and change has come about through my diet. Yet again (for about the 4th time since 2011) I have been guided to modify my food and drink intake. Now this can be a tad annoying when you've published a recipe book suggesting certain things and advocating this that and the other! Well my feelings around food are evolving (as I am) and I have been now been drawn towards a vegan alkaline diet, which is sugar and wheat free, but does contain grains such as spelt and rye, so small amounts of gluten are a factor.

In following this diet, which is based around the research of the recently deceased Dr Sebi, the one personal thing that I wanted to share with you, which I have found to be truly amazing, is that I have gone from being a pre-vegan and then vegan chocoholic to not even wanting to touch the stuff. Seriously - I'm amazed!!!! I treated myself last week to an delicious raw cacao cake at the lovely Plants and Pilates in Woodstock, which I enjoyed, but I wasn't craving it before nor since. All very strange....

Now this to me is truly revelationary - I honestly can't quite get over it. I literally just don't want the stuff. I have gone from consuming on average 30-50g per day to zero. So I am intrigued that in less than 30 days I have done this. My only explanation can be that the foods and herbal teas I have been taking have given me all of the taste and nutrients I need, that I may otherwise have been seeking from chocolate (btw I have also stopped all vitamin and mineral supplements, apart from one or two omega 3 algae capsules per week). I also seem to have lost the taste for coffee and substitutes such as gluten free barley or chicory alternatives, so my "bitter" fix must be coming from the herbs I suspect.

So although the diet itself is very restricted, (obviously vegan, but it also eliminates all "man -made" starch based and acidic products including quite a lot of vegetables and soya) I am really pleased with these results. I am allowing a small amount of the "no go" items as life cannot always be so controlled and I am happy to do things in balance, especially given that my health is already very good and I do love my Chakra Kitchen recipes with all their colour and variety! I can see how for people with chronic illnesses and weight conditions that a vegan, alkaline diet supplemented with the correct herbs would potentially show even greater results than I have achieved. It is absolutely an area that should be further researched and supported for both the prevention and cure of medical conditions. 

If you are interested in exploring this topic some more then I would highly recommend reading "The God Awakening Diet: Reversing Disease and Saving the Planet with a Plant Based Diet" by American nutritionist Aqiyl Aniys. This book goes into some detail on the facts and evidence for the health benefits of such a diet and speaks from someone who was converting to veganism. Aqiyl also has a new book out going into more detail on Alkaline Herbs which I have yet to read, but I look forward to once I can get hold of it in the UK, if you are US based then it can be easily purchased. 

So their may well be some new Chakra Kitchen recipes more alkaline style (also my previous post is an example of an alkaline recipe from the book). I am certainly enjoying baking spelt and rye bread and having this with good old avocados, which thank goodness remain a go to food!

Baked Pears with Cinnamon and Blackberries

Time to share an autumnal recipe from my book The Chakra Kitchen ... perhaps the simplest and most economical one in there and very healthy and alkalising for the body. It contains delicious blood sugar balancing cinnamon and heart chakra supporting pears and brow chakra balancing blackberries to help get your heart and mind on the same page! Get out picking in the hedgerows while the sun is shining!

Photography by Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books © 2015

Photography by Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books © 2015

Chakras: Root, Solar Plexus, Heart, Brow, Crown

Serves 2

2 ripe green pears

1 cup/150g blackberries

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon raw coconut nectar (granules)

Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan /180ºC/gas mark 4.

Slice each pear in half and scoop out the core with a spoon. Place the pears in a row on a foil-lined baking tray (cut a piece of foil large enough to form a parcel before baking).

Mix the cinnamon with the coconut nectar in a small bowl. Add a handful of the blackberries to the centre of each pear, followed by a good sprinkling of the cinnamon mixture. Fold up the sides of the foil to form a parcel, sealing at the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes.

Once the pears are soft to touch and the juices are flowing, remove from the oven and serve two halves per person in shallow bowls.

 

The Olympics opening our heart chakras

So I felt compelled to write a blog today about the Olympics and its role in our lives. It is undoubtedly one of the better concepts of humankind, where every four years we get to unite and compete in good spirit, showcasing the best sporting talent in the world. These competitors, male and female, are a resounding example of just how far human capacity can go. They are at the top of their game, they are the ones that reach their goals year after year and simply bounce back with more determination if they don't achieve on any given occasion.  

I think we can learn so much from those in this industry. They are shining examples of humans who devote themselves to their childhood dreams (I like to think that for the most part they are not forced into it by parents or teachers!) . They very much align their chakras to achieve these magnificent feats and as a result bring hope and joy to masses of spectators globally, even in places where life is tough, there is nearly always an athlete or two who fly the flag for positive achievement and ignite hope in us all.

Our heart chakras blast open when we watch with suspense and eagerness as yet another one of our team succeed or indeed another outstanding performer from one of the many nations. On "Super Saturday" at London 2012 I literally felt that city and the entire country become a unit of heart centredness, yes it was brief, but I think that having the Olympics in our capital city did us the world of good.  If only there were more occasions like this, less expensive perhaps, but equally as uplifting and magnificent that bring us together on a global stage and distract us from the fear injected monotony of everyday life.  I'm glad the people's Lottery money supports Team GB and future young people to grow strong and healthy bodies, willpower and mindsets. Long may it last.

What a week ha?!

I'm just sat waiting for imovie to re-install on my ipad and thought i'd write a quick blog on the week we've just had in the UK. How interesting and synchronistic (of course) with the current astroscape. Try telling that to your dad this when he's stressing out about Boris, I'm sure he just things I'm mad when I talk about the planets... ! Anyway, I'm excited as usual about life and this vote changes nothing for me, i'd have been happy with either decision and that's a good place to be. You see I don't let external matter influence me in the way many do and I would urge you to consider living life with the same attitude going forwards.

The key to true power and happiness lies within, not without as many a wise guru has said and its TRUE! No government, union or royal will ever control you or your life unless you let them and their surrounding propaganda (media) do so. So don't get dragged down by what other people are saying or thinking, it will only result in confusion and stagnation of your energy field. Instead seize this opportunity to stay centred and come up with bright new ideas of your own for a new dawn. The more we each individually emanate positive and innovative ideas and actions towards the greater good - a united and peaceful country and world, the better. We are the collective consciousness and every thought and action matters and has an impact on the whole on and off the planet.

We now live in the digital age, remember that when people start babbling on about borders and territories... nothing can come between us and our friends, family and associates globally as long as we have the internet, social and online learning platforms and phones. We are prepared for this as a species as we always have been during mass shifts in our history. Its a great opportunity to increase democracy and change our systems for the better, I await with interest to see if we even have rival political parties in a year or two..... I hope that this moment will see the collapse of such lower chakra battles and people will emerge like butterflies with grace and flow... maybe I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

Much love

Sx

ps if you are struggling at the moment take a look at my new intro video on Chakra Sessions and maybe we can work together to improve things.

 

 

We are born to love each other

We are not born to judge each other; we are born to know each other. We are not born to judge each other; we are born to love each other. We have not come here to kill each other, we have come here to serve each other.
— Yogi Bhajan

Last weekend was the marriage of my best friend and soul sister. I'm shedding a tear even now as I write this. All week I've been thinking I must blog about how profound the experience was for me. It's like the event itself and the lead up awakened me to the sheer preciousness of my longstanding girlfriends and how over so many years I have taken this for granted. A few were there from my school days and one very lovely ex flatmate who said the kindest words to me about how I had touched her life, quite unexpected.

If you stop and think for a minute how many years you have known some of your friends, I think most of you, like me will have at least one or two that go back to childhood. Isn't that amazing. I'm nearly 35 and these girls have stood by me since age 8-10, phenomenal. So this piece of writing is dedicated to all the oldest and dearest friends out there. The ones that stay solid no matter what you do or where you move to. 

I'm becoming more and more conscious of the importance of each day that I live on earth and how amazing it is to be here at this time. I am blessed to live in a country where freedom exists like it hasn't done before. I can choose to do and be whoever I want under divine guidance and know that this is alright. What a blessing. My friends have witnessed my life from the days of red socks and pony tails, to renting my first home and changing careers and I have witnessed theirs. No judging, not from any of them, just tenderness and love no matter what.

As my darling Laura attempted to dance to the final wedding song in her elaborate gown she turned to me and mouthed the words "We've come so far, and we've reached so high, and we've looked each day and night in the eye and we're still so young and we hope for more", and she brought to a close the most remarkable day. Yes we were late for the church, it poured with rain as soon as we left the ceremony and the photographer was certainly an interesting character, but isn't that what makes the most perfect of days? We are perfect in our imperfections, we are a chaotic mass of energy whizzing and whirring and clashing and blending with each other; but sometimes, just sometimes, it's like the universe holds a sacred space of bliss for us and it certainly did that precious day. 

Spring Detox Tea

Hi all,

This past week I have been enjoying my Detox Tea blend from the Spring chapter of my book The Chakra Kitchen. It's a great one to cleanse the liver and blood, it also has acts as a diuretic and has calming and anti-rheumatic properties. 

Blend makes 1 3/4 oz / 15g

1/2 oz / 14g organic dried red clover

1/2 oz / 14g organic dried nettle leaves

2 tbsp organic dried burdock root

2 tbsp organic dried dandelion root

Combine the herbs and store in an air tight container until best before date (usually at least a year from purchase of the herbs). To serve use a heaped teaspoon per cup and brew in a filtered teapot for 4-5 minutes (or use a strainer after brewing to serve).

Enjoy!

Sarah x

 

 

Cleanse and re-birth

Yes it's Spring (almost!) so what better time to clean out the house of anything unwanted and spruce it up a bit. It's also a great time to clean yourself out and shape yourself up ready for a new seasonal cycle ....

Jesus spent his 40 days and 40 nights in the desert facing the devil so why not pay homage to this in the modern day? Perhaps take time during the rest of lent to let go of what no longer serves you mentally, physically and spiritually. You will face tests and temptations as he did on all these levels, but just think what it would be like to rebirth yourself at the end...

Here is a quick set of ideas for you to consider working with:

1) Turn at least one thought a day from a negative to a positive to re-programme your mind.

2) Take one extra walk in nature per week to connect with the earth and notice the new life all around you taking shape.

3) Smile at someone, slow down, stop your car and let someone cross (if its safe to do so) even if it isn't an official crossing. I did this today and was touched and moved by the radiant smile of appreciation beamed back at me.

4) Throw out some old stuff. As an example I got rid of a whole load of letters written to me last week that were taking up a box. I figured if the people are still in my life then new words will be spoken or written in the here and now and that is all that matters. Important memories still remain.

5) Try an adrenal / kidney cleanse followed by the liver with herbs - Solidago, dandelion root, milk thistle worth taking a look at. You might also want to consider an anti-parasitic cleanse and/or anti-candida at this time of the year.

6) Eat a little bit less, a bit fresher and appreciate what you have by giving thanks and blessing the food before you taste it.

7) Nurture your soul a little bit more, get to know your natural laws, what are your essential needs (not cravings). Perhaps you find yourself going out to a crowded pub when actually you just want to be at home with a good movie or hot bath? Or maybe you really can't be in front of the computer for more than 1 hour before you feel like throwing it out of the window... these are all signs of who you really are, start listening and honouring yourself.

8) Pray and give thanks before sleep for at least 3 things that have been gifted to you during the day.

You can always try a Chakra Session if you need more support.

Sarah x

 

 

Acknowledging and utilising your talents for a global shift

We all have a soul purpose as we like to call it and to achieve this we are provided with a God given talent, a skill/s that we excel in. for many that can be in the form of the creative arts such as fine art, performance, music or dance; for other mathematics, geometry, logic, physics, for others listening, clarity of intuition etc etc. your skills are the one or possibly two/three things that absolutely keep your heart going, these are not merely your survival kit (although we often mistake them to be so), but your life tools that support your true calling. 

Often we go to these tools for healing our wounds, fuelling our fire, recharging our batteries for the next steps in life, but how often do we use them to help and support others on a local and more global scale? at a time when epidemics of diseases such as cancer are rife, mental health has reached "crisis" point with not enough units to deal with it effectively, and we have an ever increasing population, isn't time that we put these tools to better use than simply limiting them to for ourselves?

So many people in so called "first world" countries end up on the treadmill of life, going to school, then university, then postgrad, then have a "career" and the next thing they know they are caught in a perpetuating cycle of humdrum, bringing in a good wage, getting a mortgage etc etc because that just "what you do"... Now this doesn't by any means apply to all, I am simply pointing out that it is the case for a good proportion of people.

This week I met with three old school friends who are all mums of one or two children now. motherhood is a beautiful thing, life changing. in fact all three of them said having to stop their professions for at least nine months in the law and medicine has made them pause and consider what the hell are they actually doing with their lives and what is actually next. they are suddenly off the wheel and having to look at themselves, it can be terrifying but ultimately rewarding. maternity leave forces you to reconsider what is important in this life and it is often through that unconditional love, that unique gift of a child, that clarity strikes at last. some of us find it in other ways, perhaps in the eyes of our pets or by a loved one departing all too suddenly or we are given a second chance at life ourselves through an NDE. The stories of "waking up" are endless. 

Rather than waiting for one of the above to happen why don't you ask yourself now what is/are your talent/s and how are you utilising it/them? is it just for yourself at weekends to stick a plaster on your fractured life or are you using it every minute of every day that you are here for the good of yourself and more importantly others? i believe that if we all did the latter the world would soon be a very different place, more of us would actually be stepping into our soul purpose, breathing a huge sigh of relief at finally getting there and heaven really would be all around us. 

Go on you know you want to .... and if you are already there, good for you and keep up the excellent work comrade!