Sunday, 23 October 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 12 Summertime

Vancouver Rains. Gotta love the rain, it replenishes our reservoirs and gives the Earth life! Just can’t see through the drops hitting my sleep face cycling up the hill at 8.30am to catch a Kundalini class... I promise I’m smiling with gratitude! I’m grateful for stealing my ex-boyfriends camouflage raincoat and bringing my mud splattered wellies over to Canada. Happily soaked, I meet Erica’s big smile at Semperviva for Gloria’s Kundalini class, the room is dark, lit by candles only, its cosy and safe. I like it a lot. After finding the breathe and coming to focus, we do this amazing stretch that hunky Cameron also uses and calls the Rice Crispy because of all the snap, crackles and pops that it release J Come into plank pose and then drop your knees, and push your hips over to the left side and lean towards the left, then pushing hips back to feet in childs pose, keeping arms stretched, and pulling them around the right side and then lowering them and twisting your body how its needs, repeat on the other side, feel free to moan and groan its good to sigh it out, hear your breath, hear your lifeline!

Playing out to our Rice Crispy stretching is ‘Summertime’ the Louis Armstrong version Oh my god, when that starting playing, and the rain is 'lashing' down outside, and the room is full of grateful yogini’s all feeling fantastic from stretching and popping and cracking, it makes me wanna shout YYEAAAAAHHHHH! Instead I dig my roots good, and smile so hard and pass my energy around, I can feel Erica smiling too without even looking. Music and movement is so good for the spirit, whatever your flavour or preference. Its Friday so get your favourite tunes on LOUD and dance, move, sing, wobble, stretch,  kick your legs high, tap your toes, wiggle your hips, did I say MOVE already?? J

As usual the class involves a zillion squats with breath, if you’d like a good thigh stretch and burn. Stand in the shape of a star and make small circles your arms at the same time, slowly lowering yourself into a squat at the bottom, do four more circles here, rise up again circling the arms for four. Repeat. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. See past the burn, breathe into it. YOU CAN DO IT! The class goes wild for Enrique, with the signature go crazy song 'I like how it feels!' PLEASE have an open mind, I'm no Enrique fan but this song does summit to me man!!!.  Start to spin and circle the arms like a propeller whilst jogging or kicking or bouncing or whatever your dancing legs feel like doing. Close your eyes, and feel the good energy zip through your body bringing you alive. I FEEL GOOD!  I LIKE HOW IT FEELS!! I let out my YYYYEEEAAAHHHHHHSSSSS and WOOOOOOPPPPPSSS finally and Erica and I dance around our yoga mats and suddenly everything else is forgotten. School exams, the rain, my cellulite, this blog, hunks, last nights delicious raw food class, saving the world...all of it...doesn’t matter! Always live your present moment and enjoy it J

Last night I took a Raw Food Foundation Culinary Arts Institute course to learn; what a raw and living food diet is; how the keys to optimum health are provided in nature; how to create delicious raw food; nutritional basics of ingredients; best sources of calcium; how digestion affects performance; how to have more energy; flavour and taste balancing; how to transform basic dishes into global cuisine experience; impact of common dangers in foods, on our bodies and environment; how to be excited about raw food; how to look and feel fantastic! If any of this interests you, more classes are available, including the festive raw desserts, guilt free gourmet OINK and can be found  Janice the instructor is the warmest loveliest happiest person ever, and has a wicked sense of humour. I was a little phased by how nice she was at first, being a sceptic Brit (and prolly my diet!), but soon warmed (not cooked though we’re taking raw food here!) to her smile and immense knowledge of food and how we can live a healthy life, free from filling our insides with glue. Yes I’m talking about bread and pasta folks...Sorry but you probably know this already, its flour and water, it makes glue!!! It takes 6 months to get these foods out of your body, go gluten free, change your diet for your health, and doing a cleanse can help, I will post some cleanses later on in blogs. Did you know pumpkin is one of the healthiest foods in the world!
Its Halloween so go get yourself a massive pumpkin, have some fun with it and make a nourishing soup! You can find out the worlds healthiest foods from Why not every Sunday pick one and dedicate your week to incorporating into your diet. To eat Raw, you need some good blenders of sorts, we were recommended VitaMix, and juicers and a Spirula for making courgette pasta! Keeping your oven below 118 degrees won’t change the structure of food and therefore is classified as raw. When you cook your food over this temperature, 50% of the protein is lost and upto 80% of the vitamins and nutrients disappear too. Some Vitamins like Vit C disappear completely L Some good books out there are ‘Enzyme Nutrition – Dr Edward Howell’ and ‘Raw Food – Life Force Energy – Natalie Rose’

Make all your food with LOVE and it will love you back!!!

I know we talked about Goji berries already, but here’s another amazing fact, they produce the human growth hormone, yes that’s right they can help you make healthy new DNA!!! Try adding some goji’s with strawberries to a jugs of freshly filtered water and watch how the water is absorbed into the fruits expanding them to a juicy size and flavouring the water with nutrients and taste to make your taste buds zing!!

Date Nut Torte was my favourite dish of the evening, its fudgy creamy and sweet, and here is how to make it! Base of Tort: 2 cups raisins, 2 cups of walnuts. Frosting: 1 cup of dates, pitted and soaked, ½ lemon juiced (approx 3 tbsp). You could also add cinnamon which brings down the blood sugar levels, and absorbs nutrients better by slowing digestion down.

For the base: In a food processor, combine raisin and walnuts, process until well blended and moist, (this will take a few minutes and you may see it forming into a ball. Just make sure the raisins come out looking like a fudgy mixture and not still grainy.) Remove from processor and mold onto a plate in a round circle about 2 inches thick (could use a baking tin). For frosting: Combine the dates and lemon juice in the food processor until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting on top of torte. You can serve at room temperature as the frosting and torte are still sticky, but for a firmer texture that’s easier to slice, refrigerate it for a few hours. STUFF WHOLE THING IN MOUTH AT ONCE. (Remember to chew). You can make little cinnamon balls, and jams too with same ingredients!

I took a bone density test for osteoporosis, more of an elimination process for me to clear my mind and move forwards from the accident that broke both my arms. It came back all clear, I have perfectly healthy and strong bones, and they took the test on the bone that had been broken too, so I feel great knowing that I have good bones! The test is done with an ultrasound around the distal radius and it’s done on average for your age group, and sex. Taking a supplement of calcium that contains Vitamin D which is needed to absorb the calcium, and magnesium, helps keeps bones strong. If you want to move away from supplements, you can easily find Calcium from good diet, more specifically from good quality organic/raw dairy products. If you’re not a huge dairy fan, other sources of calcium are found in these delicious wholefoods; bok choy; artichoke; turnip greens; sardines with bones; salmon; trout; dried seaweed; almonds; fish sauce; tofu; orange juice! Calcium is so important for healthy bone growth and maintenance, our bones provide support, protection, movement, storage and form blood cells.  A small amount of calcium in its ion form (Ca2+) must be present in the blood at all times for the nervous system to transmit messages, for muscle contraction, and for blood to clot. It’s really important to get a good source! Good exercise like yoga and weight bearing exercises with help muscles grow and support the health of good bones.

 A great film recommended to me by my brother ‘The Network’ filled my head with many questions they were asking 30 years ago, it’s a must see dark comedy and toe curling reality of the relentless, capitalist driven, blood hungry media that is powering ahead often driving this world to its insanity.

Turn off your TV. Do Yoga. Eat quality wholefoods. LOVE :)

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