Work life balance?

Have been all over the place recently, still getting my regular Yoga classes, met up with Pec and learning more about raw food cooking. Yet been juggling so many things “WHAT IS WORK-LIFE BALANCE?” really…

We are planning new retreats this year and have to say thank you to everyone who attended our last event, it was really special!

 

the path

People come and go in life, it’s life, it’s the path, if we follow it and take each step one at a time we can handle the natural ups, downs and flow of life.

If we try to resist again The Way and instead embrace the path of life we can be free.

There is no such thing as a “good” thing or a “bad” thing. Just think back at all the “bad” things that happened to you and it’s often clear how they actually helped you and were “good”.

I love the story from Zen Buddhism / Taoism about the farmers son. (2 minute read).

If you haven’t read this story I really recommend you read it now.

Sophie Jones Xx

Nothing beats Yoga for this

Feel so much better after Yoga class! Emily Murdoch recently posted about the benefits for your mind, health and wellbeing and she is SO RIGHT!

Yoga has a way of clearing away all the silly anxieties and other problems of the mind allowing a new space for creativity and love.

It can actually help for those who suffer from anxiety disorders and other mental health issues, as well as anyone else who wants to curb stress.

If you have never taken a Yoga class, give it a try, you’ll find it’s so relaxing and really the best way to let go and unwind.

Sophie Jones Xx

 

Experimenting with low carbs

Recently I have been experimenting with a low carb diet and was fascinated by Nathan’s post today on the subject. I respect his opinion because he reads the medical literature, follows all the latest studies and scans all the journals.

I had previously tried a kind of ketogenic diet yet it did not work with my Yoga practice and so quit prematurely. Yet this time I have gotten past some of the keto sickness or whatever it’s called and am thinking that perhaps my body does burn well on fats, instead of carbs?

Will have to wait and see how it works for me.

Sophie Jones Xx

Social Anxiety Sucks, Steps to Solve it.

I was reading a post by Emily yesterday which I think is important for anyone who suffers from social anxiety, awkwardness or related social phobias. It’s something that many of my clients have suffered from in the past and managed to get over by spending more time with people by taking up Yoga class or coming on one of our retreats.

Anyway I thought I would post it because the steps are solid and they are a good way to solve any social anxieties you may have.

Sophie Jones Xx

Ashtanga & Meditations

Just back from Yoga class was a great Ashtanga session and then was trying these new meditations that my friend Loretta posted about.

The amazing thing to me about Yoga is not even so much the physical, but the mental benefits I get from the classes. Mostly I have been practicing a kind of seated meditation after yoga class called “Zazen” which comes from Zen Buddhism.

It’s something you may well want to try yourself. You don’t need to do Yoga first, I just prefer to because it quietens my mind. I then sit alone in the half lotus position and focus on my breath.

Meditation is my focus on 2019 so you’ll hear more about my experiments with it!

Lots of love to you all,

Sophie Jones Xx

P.S. our next retreat destination will be published very soon!

 

 

 

Recipe Friday – things I made for my non vegan guests (and that they enjoyed)

I’ve had my brother and his girlfriend visiting all week and they are both not vegan. I was worried about it for a few weeks and then decided that I would just do a lot of cooking and baking while they are here, and introduce them to some tasty vegan foods. I went with comfort type foods, baked goods, and great breakfasts.

Here are some of the recipes that I made for them:

vegan-lasagna

Mexican Lasagna:

Get a big baking dish

7-10  vegan tortillas: To determine how many tortillas to use you will need to find the baking pan you are using, the tortillas should be able to cover the entire bottom of the dish, and you should have enough to make 3 layers.

  • 2 diced peppers (any kind you like)
  • 1-2 diced tomato’s
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1 soy chorizo sausage (You can use another spicy meat substitute, or none at all)
  • 2 TBS garlic
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 TBS hot sauce
  • 2 diced potato (you can cheat and get frozen diced organic potato)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • Spray olive oil.

Directions:

  1. Stick the tortillas on a cookie sheet and spray with olive oil and sprinkle some paprika on top, then throw them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Until they are not flimsy and limp. You want them nice hot and a little stiff.
  2. In a frying pan (use some olive oil)  sauté peppers until they are soft. Add mushrooms, garlic,olives, onions, potato, until they are soft and smell tasty together.
  3. Next add the tofu – just crumble it up in your hands and add to the veggie mixture.
  4. Add meat substitute if you like (soy chorizo is a good one)
  5. Add your chili powder.
  6. Mix this all up until it is blending nicely together.
  7. In a separate sauce pan put in sour cream and hot sauce.and heat it up till it’s a little runny.
  8. Slice up avocados
  9. Have salsa ready to go

It’s time to layer!

Layer tortillas, spoon in an even layer of the tofu crumble/veggie mix, spread hot sauce sour cream on top of that, and then add a layer of salsa and avacado.

Do this until the baking pan is filled to the top. Try not to make your layers too thick.On top layer add hot sauce sour cream and sprinkle chili powder on top if you like.And add some sliced avocado – make it look all pretty like Martha Stewart was cooking.

Stick back in oven for 10-15 minutes. (I don’t know, I make up the times most of the time, just watch it)

Take out of oven and serve with a side of tortilla chips.

Watch as people smile.

Pancakes and homemade syrup:

There are a lot of pancake recipes. You can also go the grocery store and get a pancake mix, check the dry ingredients to make sure they are vegan (Bob’s red mill has a bunch of good ones) and then make the recipe vegan. Use soy milk or other vegan milk (instead of water to make them more fluffy and adds a little protein), use apple sauce instead of eggs. *hint on the apple sauce, I get those little apple sauce cups 1 of them equals about 1 egg in a recipe. (make sure you get the natural non sweetened ones). Add in vanilla and cinnamon to your batter and you’ve got some good pancakes.

You can also add in fruit – any kind you like!

For homemade syrup:

  • 2 tbs of vegan butter
  • 3-4 TBS of Agave Syrup
  • Any kind of frozen fruit (you can probably use fresh fruit, but for some reason frozen works well for me) – go ahead, go crazy. Mango syrup, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, banana, whatever you have chopped up and frozen, or whatever you have bought frozen.

Directions:

  1. Heat up butter till it melts (but not boils)
  2. Add in agave syrup
  3. Add in Fruit

Stir, stir, stir. The fruit will get nice and soft, and start blending with every thing. Play around with it, taste it to see how it’s doing. Add more as needed.

*Note – if you really want to go all out – buy a chocolate chip cookie mix (vegan of course), press mixture into a baking pan and bake. Use this as your base, and then add the pie mixture on top after it cools. This will win you friends. A lot of them.

Again, the cornbread – you can find a dry mix that is vegan and then use applesauce instead of eggs or vegan milk instead of regular milk.

Tofu Scramble Burritos:

Any kind of tofu scramble will do. I have found using a firmer tofu is much better, soupy tofu is not so good. I like adding potato into my tofu scramble for a little more binding

After your tofu scramble is done put it to the side. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and put in a tortilla. Cook till it’s slightly brown on both sides. Add in tofu scramble and fold over like a burrito. Add some vegan sour cream and salsa to the top.

Stuffed Green Peppers

  • Hollow out a few green peppers (or red or yellow or orange, or all colors, make it pretty, it’s ok)
  • Use the top of your pepper in your mixture – dice it up!
  • Depending on how many peppers you make depends on how much stuff you use, so
  • I’ll just go with 5 large peppers.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups rice
  2. Diced peppers
  3. Tofu crumble or vegan meat crumble of any kind
  4. 1/2 -1 cup tomato sauce (just don’t make it to soupy)
  5. Garlic
  6. Basil
  7. 1/2 TBS sea salt
  8. Sliced tomato
  9. Sliced mushrooms

Mix all of that together in a pan. Make sure your peppers are nice and done. Don’t make it soupy, add more rice if it’s too soupy!

Broil hollowed out peppers for about 5 min before you do anything else. Stick them on a cookie sheet spray some olive oil and let them get a little soft – the skin will start to crinkle and brown a little.

Spoon in mixture into peppers add a sliced tomato on top

Put back under broiler until the tomato is a little brown and bubbly, but not black. Don’t burn the tomato.

Serve hot! You can also add a little tomato sauce on top for more moisture.

learning from the past

My grandfather was a smoker back in the 40’s. He told me how no one thought it was unhealthy back then, and told me that doctors even recommended it. There were commercials for smoking, advertisements, all that claimed it was perfectly safe. Consumer advocacy groups did studies saying there were no bad side effects.

Of course we now know that smoking is a dangerous addiction, that makes it impossible for tissue to be repaired, which then causes cancer. I do not think there would be one doctor in the US who would recommend smoking. Yet, not to long ago, doctors and health organizations were recommending smoking left and right.

It’s just a reminder, that when you go to trust the government to tell you what is healthy, and sadly, even your doctors, they might not always know what is best for you, and they might have some conflicting interest. It is why it is so important that you do your own research, find out what is really happening to the food you are consuming, find out what it is doing to your body.

So the next time you are tempted to trust advertisers, big companies, doctors or the government keep some of these ads in mind… I hope that when my kids are looking at advertisements from 2019 they will be just as shocked and saddened by what they see, as I am by seeing some of these ads.

smoking-ad

Keep in mind that the same advertising techniques for smoking were also used  for fast food early on. Catchy jingles, happy families, cool, young people all smiling were all associated with smoking, and became associated with eating fast food.

Power Ball Bars! After Yoga Class :)

RawDessertBallsI got really inspired by Heidi’s posts on the Raw Chocolate Jungle Peanut Crunch Bar. So when my assistant and I were moving through some projects when that 90 minutes of Bikram yoga and no lunch finally hit me…I grabbed the food processor and the fastest, closest ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked
  • 3 mejool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp lacuma powder
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • dash of himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp goji berries

Add almonds and dates to the food processor. Give them about 30 seconds…add the rest of the ingredients…about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Roll ingredents into small balls or bars…if you have shredded coconut…roll them in it. Back to work/play in no time. Delicious and the perfect mid-afternoon energizer!!!