MEET THE TRADERS: Abel & Cole

We got to know one of the country's favourite fresh produce delivery services and can't WAIT to see them at Fare Healthy in 2017. Here's what we found out:

·         Why do you think we should be buying organic?

Well, there’s loads of good reasons and here’s just some. Choosing organic helps to avoid potentially harmful pesticides, it means supporting the highest animal welfare standards there are. Organic animals are truly free ranging, enjoy an organic diet and are free from routine use of antibiotics or hormones. It’s also better for the environment and wildlife. There’s up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms and organic farming works with nature to reduce greenhouse emissions from agriculture as well as protect fresh water and our soil.

 

·         What is in season at the moment and what should we be eating? What is the ‘star’ vegetable of the moment?

Oooh, that’s a tricky one – you can’t ask veg enthusiasts to pick their favourite now can you? We’re big believers in eating the seasons at Abel & Cole so we’re tucking into some fantastic seasonal gems like “veg from outer space” kohl rabi, curly kale, beautiful romanesco cauliflower, and a whole festival of squash, to name just a few. And on the fruit side of things we’re indulging in our main squeeze of the moment, blood oranges.

 

·         A&C delivers organic veg all over the country. How far and wide do you travel? How do you expand as a business when delivering locally produced goods?

Doing our bit to look after the environment is a big part of who we are, it’s why we never air freight anything we sell. We also plan our deliveries with eco routes (less miles, more smiles) at the heart of it all. It means less vans on the road and less time they’re going to and fro. For this reason we’re not in every neck of the woods, although it’s really easy to check which day of the week we’re in an area on our website.

 

·         Do you have confused customers about your more unusual veg? Do you think they are becoming more educated about the more ‘exotic’ veg?

We’ve always celebrated the eccentrics of the veg world and do our best to help vegucate our veg boxers on some of the more unusual bits and bobs.  We give all the tips and tricks you’ll ever need with the help of our What on Earth recipe cards that we pop into boxes and even more recipes on our website.

 

Looking forward: we can’t wait for next week. What can we expect from your stand next week?

Expect to meet some people that are bonkers about good organic food, a freebie or two if you’re lucky and to see what we have in store over the next little while. Even better, we’ll be running a prize draw for five people to win one of our Nourishing Bowl Recipe Boxes.

 

·         Anything else you’d like to add?

We’d love to see you over at our adopted Veg HQ on the day, so please do pay us a visit to chat veg, organic food or the weather – we love all three. Even better, we’ll be running a prize draw for five people to win one of our Nourishing Bowl Recipe Boxes.

MEET THE TRADERS: Kiehl's Since 1851

kiehls.logo

We're so excited to have Kiehl's join us at Fare Healthy in 2017. We asked them a few questions about themselves!

What can visitors expect from your stand @ Fare Healthy?

We look forward to welcoming patrons to the wonderful world of Kiehl’s! We will be offering complimentary skincare consultations and samples, as well as previewing ournew 99.6% natural Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, before it launches nationwide.

 

Why do you think Kiehl’s and Fare Healthy are a good combination?

Like the Fair Healthy philosophy, Kiehl’s believes that high quality, naturally-derived ingredients play a key part in a healthy lifestyle. Indeed our unique formulations have been made with the finest naturally-derived ingredients since 1851. One of our iconic toners, Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner, even features hand-picked calendula petals which you can see inside the bottle!

 

What is Kiehl’s philosophy for helping their customers #feelbetter?

At Kiehl’s we recommend tailored skincare solutions to help our patrons feel better about their skin concerns, but it doesn’t stop there. The Mission of Kiehl’s states that we are “to improve in some way the quality of the community… making for better citizens, better firms, and better communities.” To that end, Kiehl’s focuses its efforts first and foremost on the betterment of its local communities by targeting philanthropic endeavours on the needs and concerns of its citizens. 165 years later, Kiehl’s is continuing this legacy in the UK through an ongoing partnership with HIV/Aids-prevention organisation MTV Staying Alive Foundation.

 

What would Aaron Morse, one of your founders, make of the festival?

He would be very pleased to see that we helping educate our patrons in how to achieve a fully-rounded healthy lifestyle, from what they apply to their skin, to what they eat, and how they relax their mind and body.

So there you have it! The finest purveyors of skincare, right on our doorstep!

Jax ㄨ Sipsmith Cocktail Bar

We're getting VERY excited about propping up our Jax Sipsmith bar this weekend.  The seriously talented team at The 43 Club have created some bespoke cocktails, just for us!  #honoured 

And they've shared one of their recipes with us too ...

NO STRIKE FOR THE DISTRICT LINE

PROPERTIES

Antioxidant * Anti Inflammatory * Bone Health * Anti Aging * Boost Immune System

PROPERTIES

1 teaspoon Spirulina

3 slices of Cucumber

4 or 5 leaves of Mint

3 or 4 leaves of Kale

A handful of leaves of Spinach

1 stem of Coriander

35ml Lime Juice

100ml Matcha Green Tea

35ml Sipsmith Dry

50ml Jax Coco Passionfruit

1 teaspoon Manuka Honey

METHOD

Shake and double strain.  Pour into a coupette.  Garnish with a cucumber stripe.

No Strike for the District Line.png

Clean Eating: my thoughts

BY ROSE LLOYD OWEN, Founder of Fare Healthy and Catering Company Peardrop London

This week I threw myself into the lions’ den and went to talk to Vanessa Feltz on Radio London and Victoria Derbyshire on BBC2 about my thoughts on clean eating.

(BBC RADIO LONDON INTERVIEW with Vanessa Feltz & Dr Giles Yeo. We're about 2.06 mins in, but the end is a good summary of the debate - from 22.25.30 to 2.32.00)

In both interviews I was pitted against Dr Giles Yeo, the geneticist responsible for the Horizon Documentary that aired on Thursday: “Clean Eating: The Dirty Truth.”

The term “Clean” first came into our parlance around 2 years ago, but it seems the only people who really use it now are the media.  They have taken the term and twisted it & muddied it, so that it’s completely lost sight of its original meaning, which quite simply meant food that was fresh, unprocessed & whole.

Calling food clean now comes with negative connotations.  As Ella says in the documentary "Clean now implies dirty and that's negative ... it's been taken so far from what it originally meant .. now it means diet, it means fad".  The term has been misunderstood to the extent that those who have actually been very pioneering with their recipes, are now being attacked.

For decades we’ve received often conflicting and contrasting dietary advice from the media, from health professionals, authors & public figures, so much of it that it becomes confusing.  When, a couple of years ago, a new wave of healthy eating advocates came to the fore, we paid attention.  At last they showed us attractive, inspiring & fun ways to eat better.

But in this country, the media loves to build something up only to tear it down.

Can I please ask if it has damaged us to learn that you are able to make spaghetti out of squash?  Or that sweet potatoes help sweeten chocolate brownies?

The bloggers are criticised for their cutting out certain food groups without any medical backing – but they have never asked to be taken literally. Don't we all know by now our diets should be balanced? Allergies & intolerance aside, that doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, “all-or-nothing”.

White, processed flour is not as high in nutrients as wholemeal or rye or spelt flour.  Fact.  But the latter ones still contain gluten.  The question of gluten is fairly simple – often foods that are higher in gluten, such as white bread & pizza, are less nutritious.  But, unless your body tells you otherwise, that categorically doesn’t make gluten itself bad for you. As the Hemsleys said last week:

 “People say, ‘Oh you are saying spaghetti is evil.’ Of course we aren’t.  We are just saying using a spiraliser, for example, is a really great way to get vegetables into your dishes.”

I do think that gluten has wrongly become Public Enemy Number One (from my perspective as a chef, so many recipes just don’t work without it) and that many of the bloggers have been taken too literally.  They never, ever said you “should” do anything and certainly not 100% of the time.

But if eating less gluten or less dairy makes people feel more content, then who are we to judge?  Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer nails it when she says:

“I have to applaud a movement that’s elevated kale (traditionally a cattle feed) to almost cult-like status.”

 2016 saw a £175.6 million increase of fresh fruit & veg sales in the UK.  People are more conscious than ever about what they put in the their bodies and where it’s come from.  As Amelia goes on to say:

“Making everyday vegetables sexy is the holy grail of nutritional practice and clean eating has managed it in bucket loads.”

But the press seem to be fixated on negatives, instead of recognising positive influences like these.  Any movement that has great influence is ripe for misinterpretation, and now that misinterpretation has been paraded as truth with emotive and inflammatory headlines like  "Not just a fad: the dangerous reality of 'clean eating'" (The Spectator) and "Clean Eating was invented so dull people can feel special" (The Telegraph).

When I co-founded Fare Healthy a couple of years ago, my greatest ambition was to inspire, entertain and motivate people to eat, move, think and, as a result, feel better. I believe in a tolerant, inclusive and balanced attitude, which is why I have gathered together a really diverse mixture of voices and talents over the weekend.  But from Valentine Warner, to Skye Gyngell, Olia Hercules Ella Mills or Tom Hunt, I don’t think any of them would dispute the benefits of home cooking whole, unprocessed foods that are as close to nature as possible.

We’re lucky enough to live in a country where we have so much food at our fingertips with a wealth of choice, ranging from cheap to expensive.  So let’s let people make their own choices.  Like them or love them, let's stop this bitterness towards figures who are simply trying to help us live better.   

 

SUPERFOODS: Fare Healthy Style ㄨ CHOCOLATE

We’ve all been there. Every so often, the snack choice between the fruit bowl, the celery stick or the oh-so tempting chocolate bar is inevitable and irreversible. You haven’t even consciously made the decision before you see your hand reaching for that block of sweet, rich deliciousness. As such a universally recognized treat, the ultimate antithesis, it would appear, to a healthy lifestyle, we wondered – can chocolate be good for you? 

            Described by Alexandra Leaf, founder of Chocolate Tours of New York City as ‘the best-known food that nobody knows anything about,’ chocolate has a fascinating history, including diverse uses and some revelatory properties. In fact, for 90% of its known life, chocolate has, in fact, been drunk, not eaten. Discovered by the Mayans and Aztecs some 3000 years ago, the cacao bean (from which chocolate is made) was used to make a bitter, spicy, hot drink called ‘xocoatl’. Such was its symbolic, even spiritual value that the beans were used as currency. Ten beans would buy you a rabbit while a hundred, rather aptly for this time of year, would get you a turkey hen. It wasn’t until Spanish conquistadors discovered cacao that European interest took off. Our sweet teeth got the better of us though and sugar cane was added to render the drink less bitter. The royal courts and aristocratic tables of the Spanish, Dutch and French drank hot chocolate by the gallon. Casanova was a huge fan, particularly impressed by its aphrodisiac properties. Then, during the industrial revolution, various chemists set to work making it solid; it was an Englishman, Joseph Fry, who figured it out, later teaming up with a Mr. Cadbury to sell the first chocolate bars. The rest is history.           

CHOCOLATE: The Superfood we've always Craved

It wasn’t just its flavour that gave chocolate its extraordinary popularity and privileged status. The cacao bean, found in its highest concentrations in dark chocolate, is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. Studies have shown that when pitted against troublesome free radicals, pretty much no other substance known to man is as good at neutralising any threat they might have to our bodies. Not only that, the flavonols found in high concentration in dark chocolate dramatically increase blood flow. This outcome in turn has been shown to improve the health of our hearts, reduce the risk of stroke and prevent memory decline. Nutrient rich chocolate has even been shown to lower cholesterol, protect your skin from the sun and stimulate weight loss. No really. Most importantly of all, it makes us feel good! We at Fare Healthy believe there is absolutely no problem with indulging our sweet tooth once in a while, particularly when the endorphin boost can be so significant and so delicious!

            So there you have it. Chocolate can be good for you. Of course we shouldn’t be eating huge quantities of the stuff all the time. Of course there is some chocolate that is better for you than others. But there is very real evidence that chocolate can do us a power of good. So next time your hand inadvertently reaches for that foil-wrapped delicacy, let it. Not for nothing does the Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, literally mean ‘food of the Gods’. 

Chocolate at Fare Healthy!

We're excited to be welcoming some delicious chocolate brands this weekend. We're especially excited to learn more about probiotics in Ohso's talk with Lucy Whigham & Millie Hancock.  Ohso is a delicious Belgium chocolate that contains probiotics - who knew!

Nina Parker's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut

Nina Parker (@antoninaparker) has share with us this gorgeous Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut, it makes the perfect sneaky lil'weekday dinner or pack it in you bag for lunch at work.  There really is something amazing that happens when squash and coconut meet, they give this soup a velvety texture of goodness!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut

Serves 1

300-350g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small pieces

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

180g coconut milk

80g vegetable stock

A few drops of lemon juice

2 tsps of extra-virgin coconut oil (to cook with)

A handful of coconut flakes

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Set the oven to 190 degrees C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl toss together the squash pieces with the cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper. Warm the coconut oil in a baking tray so that it melts, tip in the squash pieces before placing in the oven for about 25-30 minutes to roast until golden and tender.

Once roasted remove the squash from the oven and put into a blender along with the coconut milk, stock and lemon juice.

Whiz together until smooth. At this point, taste to check the seasoning, adding more if required. The soup can either be heated or kept in the fridge until needed for up to three days.

Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of coconut flakes.

MEET THE TRADERS: Olivia @ Livia’s Kitchen

Livia’s Kitchen is a beautiful brand devoted to sweet treats with a nutritional twist. Although their produce and recipes are gluten, wheat, dairy and refined sugar free, Livia’s Kitchen firmly believes it is more important to think about what a product is made with, rather than what it is free from. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

We had a chat with the brains behind the brand, Olivia Wollenberg about how she started the business, her favourite places to eat in London and what makes her kitchen her ‘happy place’.

What ignited your interest in healthy food and motivated you to turn this passion into a business? Have you always loved cooking, was this always what you wanted to do?

I’ve always loved to cook but had never imagined I would turn it into a career. I studied psychology at UCL and had just finished my masters in neuroscience when I was diagnosed with lots of food intolerances; I had always intended to work in academia but found lots of the work quite lonely and isolating. When I was diagnosed, everything kind of fell into place; I saw a massive gap in the market for free-from, indulgent and nutritious desserts and so decided to combine my love for food with my interest in business and create Livia’s Kitchen! I completed an 8 week business course at UCL culminating in a pitch which I won and subsequently received a grant which helped me to get LK off the ground and get my crumbles onto the shelves of Selfridges.

What is it about the kitchen that makes it your ‘happy place’? 

I think it’s a combination of things. I love how creative you can be in the kitchen; I’m definitely not the sort of person who likes to meticulously follow a recipe so I love just being able to chuck things into a bowl and see how they work out. The kitchen is also a bit of a nostalgic place for me; I’ve lived in the same house my whole life so my family kitchen has so many happy memories of learning to cook with my mum and sisters and it was also the place where Livia’s Kitchen began! 

Your food has such a wonderful variety of ‘free-from’ recipes. As someone with many food intolerances, what was your experience when having to switch up your diet? What was the most difficult thing to cut out and what benefits have you experienced since? 

It was definitely difficult to begin with! I used to eat fairly healthily but I also loved a big cheesy pizza and I could never resist a gooey jam doughnut. I sadly can’t eat quite a few ingredients but I think the hardest thing was that preservatives also make me really ill. I’m a major sugar-monster so as soon as I was diagnosed, I started looking for desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth; I quickly noticed that everything in the free-from aisle was filled with ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. Luckily for me, there were so many amazing blogs which helped me to find alternative ingredients and inspired me to play around more in the kitchen, creating treats that tasted good, didn’t make me ill, and were made with natural ingredients!

For all of us with a sweet tooth out there, what would be your top tips for cutting out any nasties while still satisfying those cravings?

For me, the biggest thing is ensuring that whatever I am making tastes as indulgent as the real deal! I find that quite often natural treats taste really healthy and so don’t satisfy my sweet-tooth. At LK we like to make desserts that are made with really good ingredients but which don’t ever compromise on taste.

What is your kitchen must-have that you couldn’t live without?

My magimix!!! I use it pretty much every day whether it’s to make cauli rice (which I’m obsessed with at the moment) or raw brownies, I don’t think I could live without it.

Where are your top 3 healthy hotspots to eat in London?

I love chotto matte - Peruvian food is my absolute favourite! The Mae deli of course and then I think my last spot would be Ottolenghi - his salads are to die for! 

Thinking of your dream breakfast - What would be on the menu, where in the world would you be and who would you be enjoying this with? 

I would be in the south of France with my family eating scrambled eggs with avocado followed by fresh fruit, pancakes and lots of maple syrup - Beyonce would be welcome to drop in too!!

At the moment I am:

Reading - The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F***

Eating - Ahi Poke, I literally cannot get enough.

Wearing - Layers - It’s so cold right now in London!!

Worrying about - Recent elections

Dreaming about - Taking LK overseas

Feeling grateful for - Moving into a new office!!

Come see Olivia talk about how to bring a successful product to market, how to build a happy team and how not to burn out running your own business on Sunday, 13.00 – 13.45 on the Main Stage, more details here.

4 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY NATURALLY: by Lydia McCall

 

The amount of clients I see who suffer from low energy is very common. We live in such an energy zapping world that if we are not careful all our precious energy will be used up doing things that do not benefit our health one bit. Many of my clients turn to overeating to regain back some of that lost energy which only impacts their self esteem and complicates their relationship with food further.

So today I wanted to share with you four ways that you can remain energised through out the day without resorting to extreme measures which only leaves you feeling more fatigue than before.

Nutriton

Nutrition is crucial when it comes to our energy levels. The food we eat enters our blood, becomes are cells, tissues, our thoughts and our feelings. So if we our not nourishing our bodies with delicious wholesome real food then how can we expect our bodies to run at an optimal level and be full of energy. Energy levels are linked to blood sugar levels. So make sure your keep your blood sugar level stable by putting down the sweets and focus on getting a good source of protein and healthy fat with every snack and meal.

Have a bowl of porridge topped with berries and nuts for breakfast. Linwoods do a great milled flaxseed and nut product. Simply add 1 TBSP to your porridge. For a snack try sliced apple with a tbsp of nut butter. 

How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Eating rhythm is crucial when it comes to stabilising energy and blood sugar levels. Try and aim to eat every 3 hours to keep you functioning at your best and see if you notice a difference. 

Drink Up

What you drink is also very important when it comes to your energy production. Please make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day as hydration is crucial for stabilising energy levels. Lets talk about coffee. The caffeine in coffee is a very stimulating substance which will give you the rush of energy that you require but with it comes a crashing low. Before you know it your hand is in the biscuit tin to get another energy boost. Not what we want.

Coffee is also very dehydrating so try and limit yourself to one coffee a day and avoid drink it on an empty stomach. Instead have your cup of joe wth breakfast allowing the caffeine to release slower into your blood stream putting less stress on your adrenal glands.. If you are looking for a gentler way to get an energy boost try green tea. Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, contains a high level of antioxidants and is great for increasing your metabolic rate. 

Herbal teas are also a life saviour. I have recently fallen in love with teapigs peppermint and liquoirce tea. Great for soothing your digestion and has a hint of natural sweetness whilst being very hydrating. 

Exercise

Trying to keep up with a rigid workout schedule can be very demanding adding even more stress to your busy life. So ask yourself this. Is your exercise routine zapping you of energy instead of leaving you feeling full of life? Then you might be over stressing and over training your body. If your stress levels are already very high a very demanding workout might push you too far causing you to pump out too much cortisol, the stress hormone, which will in turn slow down your metabolism and make you store fat.

Instead give your body a break by going for a swim, try a pilates class or yoga class. Or simply just go for a nice walk to de stress and move your body in a nice relaxing way. This will allow you to regain some of that precious energy that you have lost so you can function at your best.

Meditation

If you have been meaning to pick up mediation but never got around to then now is the time to start. With the increasing demands and stresses of everyday life it is very easy to feel delpeted. Fatigue shortens your concentration span and makes you more susceptible to overacting to certain situations. Leading your further away from the emotional balance that you strive for. By meditating for just a few minutes you are resting more deeply than sleep. If you meditate regular you are able to build up a store of energy within you so when times do get tough and your stress levels rise you are able to react to the high demands in a calmer more productive way. An amazing free app that I would recommend is Insight Timer. Fit meditation into your day when it works for you. Mediation has been life changing for me. Give it a try so you can feel the benefits for yourself.

So there you have it. Four common energy zappers and a few ways to make sure you keep your energy levels up in the most natural and healthiest ways. 

I look forward to meeting some of you at the Fare Healthy festival. It is going to be an amazing weekend. To be in with the chance of winning a free 20 minute consultation with me at the festival make sure you keep your eyes pealed to my Instagram for that announcement. 

Looking to heal your relationship with food? Then download my free ebook: Break Free - Your 5 step plan to end emotional eating.

Cru Kafe's Raw Coffee Brownie Recipe

Don't know about you but most days, we're definitely in need of some sort of pick me up by 4pm - this brownie seems to be the answer: dessert + caffeine boost!  And by the way, this sugar free icing is a revelation!

Thank you to our friends at Cru Kafe who have kindly shared this afternoon treat with us.  Cru was founded in 2013 by 3 friends wanting a more delicious, more ethical and better tasting pod to put in their Nespresso machine.  We must confess to have been buying supermarket own pods for our coffee machine before we discovered these guys... very happy to be welcoming them in February so you can try it for yourself!

We all know that coffee has its pros and cons and should be drunk in moderation, but it also provides the biggest form of antioxidants in the western diet and apparently studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. 

Pass us a brownie ...

RAW COFFEE BROWNIES

Makes: 8 brownies

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

200g Hazelnuts

100g ground almonds

50g Hazelnuts

50g Macadamia nuts

300g Dates

50g Cacao nibs

2 shots of Intense CRU Kafe organic espresso

Frosting

200g Chocolate chips

350g Firm tofu

2 tbsp Coconut oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp Coffee liqueur

1 tbsp Vanilla bean paste

Sprinkle of Macadamia and Hazelnuts crushed

Method

  1. Blitz the 150g Hazelnuts, with the dates, cacao, almonds and 2 shots of CRU Kafe organic espresso.  Once blitzed into a paste add the remaining hazelnuts and macadamia nuts and blitz until chunky and incorporated.  Note:  Keep 3 of each nut back to crush and garnish with later.
  2. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and empty in your mixture, then place in the fridge to set for half an hour.
  3. Place the firm tofu, coffee liqueur, coconut oil and vanilla into a blender and blitz.  Melt the chocolate and then add it into these ingredients while blitzing some more.
  4. Place the frosting on the brownies and smooth. Then return to the fridge for twenty minutes.
  5. Portion and then garnish with the remaining nuts.

 

 

Could Christmas Be Good For Us?

Bear with us here – we all know well the cosy, happy feeling Christmas brings us. The smell of evergreen, the sound of carols, the sight of a delicious Christmas feast; everything combines in a beneficent good will to all men. That’s how we feel anyway. We wondered though, is there a genuine healthy story behind this feeling? Could Christmas actually be good for you?

            Well, would you believe it, there just might be some science to back up this festive feeling. Take pine, for example. Far be it from us to suggest that sticking up a dead tree in your front room, sitting in front of it and eating chocolate currency from a sock isn’t a little strange, the pine bit actually makes sense. Researchers in Japan have unearthed proven stress relieving properties from the smell of these trees alone. Pine can also be brewed in tea to offer the human body a whole range of healthy compounds including Vitamin C, flavonols and bioflavonoids, proven to ease joint pain and improve circulation. Its oils can be used in massage to soothe muscle pain and ease a tired mind. Christmas is already bearing fruit and we haven’t got past the tree yet!

            On to the music. From hymns in church to carols in the street and shops blasting out festive favourites, it would be impossible to disassociate this time from its familiar music.  What distinguishes or, perhaps, is amplified by Christmas music more than any other genre, we reckon, is its power to recall memory. It is not necessarily the quality of the song that brings us back every year but our experience of it over time, and the music’s ability to stir our earliest memories and move us emotionally. This is good for you. Nothing engages every single part of our brain more so than music. Music can boost memory, improve cognition and puzzle solving abilities, even physically alter the neurological pathways in our brain to make us more intelligent!

Now. The food. Known to be a a time for waistband expanding, belt-loosening over-indulgence, the Christmas feast has some remarkable hidden benefits to which we’d like to call your attention. The lowly brussels sprout, for example – admittedly a tricky vegetable to love – contains the highest concentration of nutrients of any of the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, all the fun ones). In particular, these tiny green bad boys contain isothiocyanates, a chemical group that keeps our cells in check and stops us getting cancer. Nice. Parsnips, a vegetable we adore and have already praised at length in a previous post, are great for the gut, allowing healthy bacteria to grow and strengthen from certain compound sugars found in this mighty root. Awesome.

Finally, what would the Christmas feast be without turkey?  This fabulous bird has one of the highest concentrations of an essential amino acid called tryptophan. Used to create serotonin, tryptophan is directly contributing to our chemical happiness. What’s more, serotonin is in turn used to create melatonin, which helps us induce deep sleep. No wonder we feel tired after Christmas lunch…

Photo by Naturally Ella

Photo by Naturally Ella

So there you have it. Christmas could actually be good for us. From the scent of the tree and the tunes on the radio to the food on our plate, there is so much to love about this time of year and, happily, so much to benefit from when it comes to our health!

From all of us at Fare Healthy, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be Well x

Photo by These Four Walls

Photo by These Four Walls

 

10 EAT OUT AND STAY IN SHAPE STRATEGIES: Blog by Lily Soutter

10 Eat Out And Stay In Shape Strategies

1. Know before you go.

Make a habit out of researching the menu online. If you pick your dish before hand it’s much more likely you’ll stick to a healthy choice when you get there.

2. Simplicity is key.

Restaurants can hide an astonishing amount of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats in their cooking. Choose simplicity with a cut of meat or a fillet of fish.

If you can name all ingredients on your plate you won’t encounter any nasty surprises.

3. Sidestep food envy by ordering first.

If your friend orders the creamy pasta dish first, temptation may kick in – it’s easy to get swayed by people’s choices. Eliminate temptation by ordering first.

4.  Ask, Ask, Ask

Ask the waiter how a dish is cooked and for healthier options. Restaurants can be extremely accommodating and would be happy to swap fries for steamed veg.


5.  Get inventive with your dressings.

Dressings and sauces can sabotage a healthy dish, adding instant calories, sugar, salt and fat.

Dress your food with a wedge of lemon or olive oil.

6. Satisfy your hunger with a protein starter.

Protein keeps us fuller for longer and is vital for weight loss. By opting for a protein rich starter, you are less likely to overeat at your main meal.

Choose meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, tofu, tempeh, nuts or seeds.

7. Drink wisely.

Drinks don’t always have to be diet killers. Opt for vodka or gin with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon. This low sugar, low calorie option is much less likely to sabotage your waistline.

8. Eat your greens.

Always eat more of the greens. Ordering extra vegetables will leave much less room on your plate for the unhealthy stuff.

9. Keep hunger at bay.

Eating a small snack before the restaurant means the breadbasket will have less appeal.

10. Choose one indulgence.

If you decide to indulge a little, whether it’s a glass of wine, a dessert or the breadbasket. This will cause much less damage than slipping up on every vice.

Meet the Traders: Wild Fizz

You may have noticed that fermented food and drinks have begun to take common place in the UK health scene. Known for it's living cultured goodness, kombucha is fast becoming a favourite of these good-for-your-gut beverages.
Wild Fizz founder and good-bacteria enthusiast Gina Geoghan is leading the way to giving a little more love to our guts with her delicious, wild, probiotic, fizzy, health tonics.
We had a little chat with Gina to find out more about why she’s loving the brew, her experience of the extrodinary health benefits of these fermented drinks and what sparked her vision for Wild Fizz.


Where did you first try kombucha and start your journey leading to Wild Fizz? Was it love at first sip?
I found it In LA when working out there. It took a little adjusting, but after two weeks I loved it, and it was also then I noticed that I started to feel better. I looked into it more, wanting to see if I was mad, or if I was being healed- and found love.
It changed my life, literally and I am now obsessed with helping this product become known better in the UK - I want to heal peoples guts! One gut at a time. 
I quit my quite lucrative day job to become a factory worker. I now spend every moment I have in my brewery singing to my brews.

Simply put, what exactly is kombucha and how is it made?
Kombucha is a fermented tea. It's made by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast (called a S.C.O.B.Y) to sweet tea and allowing it to ferment over time to produce a tart, slightly fizzy probiotic drink.

There seems to be a lot of buzz around fermented foods and drinks in the health and well-being world. Why would you suggest including these in our diets and what are the key health benefits of kombucha?
I believe that food is medicine. I believe that Kombucha is an amazing living product which can help certain people and certain issues. As it's a living product each person reacts differently and health brands have to be careful with what they claim. For me, fermented foods, such as sourdough bread, saurkraut, kimchi and of course Kombucha are going to be part of the way we heal people in the future. Eating foods which are alive, not pasteurised, carbonated or had additives, sweeteners and colours added to them will enable us to become healthier, happier people. At the risk of sounding 'hippy dippy' - fermented foods nurtures the mind, body and spirit. 

In your experience, how has drinking kombucha benefited you personally?
I have since my early 20's suffered from bad IBS. After 2 weeks of drinking organic, non- pasturised, non- carbonated Kombucha I felt better, and most of my symptoms have either gone away entirely or greatly reduced. 
I believe that it has given me better stamina, more resilience to flu and colds, given me more energy as well as added a new and healthy alternative to soft drinks.
Benefits which my friends have experienced after drinking Wild Fizz- hang overs cured, more energy, reduced candida growth (no more thrush basically), glowing skin, better gut health.

How often would you recommend drinking Wild Fizz?
Every day if you can! I recommend you ingest something probiotic everyday (Mine are homegrown, naturally), because our bodies fight off pollution, toxic food and stress every moment of the day and needs all the love it can get. Organic, wild, fermented, raw anything is great! If I could make people eat a little bit of dirt every day I would too. It's good for you!  
 


My happy place is: Next to my tanks - Ariadne and Atlas. I love them dearly and am not whole unless I see them every day. Failing that, in nature, preferably in water naked. Somewhere wild. Always with my man next to me. He makes my soul shiver with happiness.
My intentions for the next few months are: Work to make Kombucha a household name. Make Wild Fizz the best it can be, something I can be proud of. Try to also sleep, excersise and walk in nature more. Kiss loads.

 

At the moment, I am:
Reading - The Spell of the Sensuous- by David Abram, an incredible book and will make you see magic in everything.
Eating - kimchi, kimchi, kimchi
Wearing- my friends old ACNE clothes- she is moving back to Sweden and gave me all her stuff. As a start up money is tight, so no shopping for me. So I'm wearing all free stuff basically. Worrying about - money. the state of the world, how technology is making us more isolated and lonely.
Dreaming about - having more time to be quiet in a quiet place, doing nothing, loosing my phone so I can't be reached, next years swimming plans.
Feeling grateful for -  For everything! We are living in a paradigm, things will shift beyond our wildest dreams in my lifetime, for good and bad so I feel grateful for every moment in which I am healthy, full and loved and able to love.

Well + Happy's Cacao and Almond Butter Avocado Mousse

Our friends over at Well + Happy have shared with us their recipe for this indulgent, guilt-free, chocolately delight which features their 85% Midnight Dark classic bar, full of antioxidants, with creamy avocado and  Celtic sea salt to perfectly balance the taste buds.
Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly!

Cacao and Almond Butter Avocado Mousse Recipe

What you’ll need: (serves 4)

2 ripe avocados
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp carob powder
Small pinch Celtic or himalayan salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp maple syrup (you can also use honey, banana, brown rice syrup or stevia) 
Crushed almonds and additional almond butter (to serve/decorate)

How to make:

Add the avocados, almond milk and almond butter to a blender and blitz until smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until your mousse is well mixed and smooth in consistency.

Then spoon approx 1 tsp of additional almond butter into each cup before spooning the chocolate mixture into cups and decorate with crushed almonds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
These will last in the fridge for up to 4 days!

Meet the Traders: Well + Happy

Who doesn't love a bit of guilt free indulgence? Well + Happy’s beautifully craft, heavenly tasting, raw, artisanal, handmade chocolate bars - free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and soy, are just that! As they so perfectly put it, their products are ‘moments of happiness you deserve to indulge in’.

Combining a skilled knowledge of nutrition with a love of chocolate, Well + Happy has taken ‘treat yourself’ to a whole new level with these indulgent goodies that cut out the nasties, all the while being kinder to your body, your mind and to the planet.
We caught up with the lovely Chelsea Parsons, founder of Well + Happy and modern-age Willy Wonka of the health world, to find out a little more about what makes Well + Happy’s delectable treats so special and why we should all be excited about raw chocolate… 

What was your inspiration and vision behind the set up Well + Happy? 
With the health and wellness movement booming in London, I wanted to bring something to the market, which uses genuinely good for the body and mind ingredients. There are a lot of termed healthy options, which aren’t that healthy for us after all. Well + Happy is all about good quality, honest ingredients, as well as open education around why we use what we use. Chocolate is never going to be a pile of leafy green vegetables - and it’s not about painting it as that, but choosing a chocolate bar and knowing that every ingredient is as good, honest and unprocessed as it can be, is what it was all about for me when Well + Happy was born.

So, what exactly is ‘raw’ chocolate?
Raw chocolate is the process of making chocolate, without heating all of the ingredients to super high temperatures. Because our chocolate contains such nutrient rich ingredients, too much heat ends up destroying all of the goodness. By ensuring we use low production temperatures, we maintain the nutrient rich benefits of everything that goes into our bars. 

What are some of the health benefits of raw chocolate and why should we make the switch from ‘normal’ chocolate?
Cacao is one of the most nutrient rich plants on the planet. Cacao is loaded with antioxidants and magnesium, as well as having a hugely positive impact on our serotonin levels - which create the happy ‘feel-good’ vibes in our bodies. Pure organic cacao, along with unrefined coconut sugar, superfoods and purely natural flavourings, means that our chocolate has a much more positive impact on not only our bodies, but our minds and the planet too. Dairy, refined sugar, soy and gluten, which is usually found in most chocolate bars is what gives chocolate such a bad rep for being a naughty sinful treat - which it needn’t be! 

Favourite Well and Happy treat?  
It honestly depends on my mood. Midnight dark is my favourite after dinner treat. Extra dark, salty and very satisfying! However I also love adding the chocolate to my breakfast bowls and the chunky monkey banana flavoured chocolate then becomes my morning go-to!

My happy place is: By the water. The sea, a lake, the river Thames - whenever I’m by the water I feel most at home.
My intentions for the next few months are: Business wise - it’s to be more mindfully present in every single business day. There is so much coming up that I can’t even begin to think about how I'm going to manage it all, so I've adopted a mindful one day at a time approach, whereby I aim to focus on everything with full intention on that day!
Personally - I really want to learn how to play the piano, as well as to actually finish a book (I have around 7 I've started!)
At the moment, I am:
Reading - Steve Jobs autobiography, Gabby Bernstein's - the universe has your back, Shantaram and The biology of belief by Bruce Lipton (I'm terrible at finishing books!)
Eating - I'm loving soups, stews and roasted veggies. 
Wearing - Scarves and woolly wraps. Being able to wrap up makes me so happy!
Worrying about - I'm not worrying, too busy being present ;-)
Dreaming about - Where I can take Well + Happy
Feeling grateful for - Sunflowers, supportive friends and family, blankets, bike rides and the gorgeous colours of Autumn.

Fare Healthy Meets: Heloise @ Core Collective

The innovative Core Collective is a pay-as-you-go, high-tech, boutique fitness studio that breaks away from the often mundane conventional gyms and fitness routines. 
From their beautiful studios to the challenging, high-energy, upbeat classes - Velocity, Resistance, Accelerate and Power Yoga, that will really push you to your limits, Core Collective are switching things up in the fitness world.

We had a chat with CC’s superwoman Heloise Nangle about her leading journey to the set up of Core Collective, the rise of creative, evolved fitness classes and her tips for keeping motivated!

Were you working in fitness before setting up the pioneering Core Collective? If not, what inspired your passion for a career in fitness and have you always been so health conscious? 
I've always had a great love of all sport which led my focus to being on lacrosse, tetrathlon and eventing horses, in which I ended up representing my country. After university I focussed on eventing and worked for two of the Australian team riders travelling Europe and competing with them for several years. Unfortunately, after a couple of years I had to retire from eventing and moved to London to work in the finance industry as a wealth manager. It was whilst doing this that Jason de Savary, a good friend, asked if I wanted to come on as his wing-man and help set up Core Collective and then head up the operational side of things once launched. It was a risk but literally the best decision of my life!

There seems to be an ever-growing number of boutique fitness destinations in London. What makes Core Collective so unique and sets you apart from the rest? 
The work outs are effective. Our 3 flagship classes have been designed to complement each other and they actually produce results. We only hire the best trainers and the atmosphere is unpretentious and accessible to all levels. 

Why do you think fitness classes are growing more and more popular, as opposed to conventional gym going? 
This harks back to them being a more efficient and effective way to work out. People's time is a limited resource and so within 45 mins we enable you to fully work out your body under the guidance of a knowledgeable trainer. A lot of people who go to the gym often end up feeling lost and frustrated because it's hard to motivate yourself and they lack the knowledge of how to effectively train. 

In between gym sessions and fitness classes it’s hard to stay motivated. What are your go-to exercises to do at home or outdoors? 
Calisthenics is my go to training style and I am part of the growing community of street workout. I love to spend my free time at the weekends training at the workout bars in Kennington and Stockwell where there is always others doing the same. Everyone is so friendly and supportive and it inspires you to train harder or to give that new move a go.  
I think staying motivated is just about finding something that you like to do that keeps you active - make it social, go and play a game of tennis with friends instead of heading straight to the pub (that should come after!), go bouldering, try skateboarding or simply just go for a walk and catch up with a friend. There are so many activities out there that I believe everyone can find something that keeps them moving. 

What are the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when trying to keep fit? 
Lack of sleep. If you are tired it is actually better to miss a training session, rest and to get a good nights sleep. This actually makes you leaner in the long run. 

What can we look forward to seeing next from yourself and Core Collective? 
More locations around London!!

My happy place is: Zinkwazi beach, South Africa
My intentions for the next few months are: To rest more and to take time to relax. I never really sit down. Also to learn how to kite surf!
At the moment, I am:
Reading - The latest Jilly Cooper, Mount. 
Eating - Biltong (I'm obsessed)
Wearing - Lululemon
Worrying about - Where I can go to get my nails done now that the salon next to CC has shut down and they were the best!
Dreaming about – The holiday to Zanzibar that I have just booked for February. I love to travel and am dragging a friend with me there to have an intensive week of kite surfing tuition.
Feeling grateful for - Jason de Savary for giving me this opportunity with Core Collective and for being able to return to the fitness industry, I could not love my job more. It may sound standard but also my friends and family. I really am exceptionally lucky and they could not be more supportive. Oh and FAB ice lollies - Life is better because they exist!

 

WHY ITS OK NOT TO CARE: Blog by Pollen and Grace

Grace and Pollen

We believe that living a healthy lifestyle should be enjoyable and fun and not stressful! Sometimes it's easy to take things a bit too literally. So this article written by our lovely friends at Pollen and Grace really struck a chord with us and we wanted to share it too.

Why it's Ok Not to Care

We've always stuck to one rule at pollen HQ: we don't do diets, nor do we encourage them. We won't associate food with guilt, we won't create low calorie/low fat products and we'll never market our products on the sole basis of being a way to shift a few pounds. Yet we find ourselves being constantly bombarded by messages from elsewhere telling us how we should eat, exercise and look. Take the internet for example: have you ever noticed how many of your emails are telling you the latest foods to avoid, or the best exercise for 'ripped six-pack abs'. We log into social media and are bombarded by 'fitspiration' and endless messages designed to make us feel guilty if we didn't workout that day. It's something that's hard to escape, and at times entirely absorbing.

Yet surely spending hours looking at endless photos of girls in bikinis, being told about the macro-content of someone's dinner or being made to feel bad if we haven't workout out every day that week cannot be healthy, nor beneficial for your self-confidence, particularly when we're all so good at being hard on ourselves already.

So today our message is loud and clear, and something we really feel isn't said enough? You're doing well, in fact you're doing great. Being happy with where you're at, what you're doing and how you choose to live your life is much greater than pushing yourself purely because it's apparently 'what you should do'. Looking after your body is great, eating well and exercising is great too, being told you have to do it, not so much. It really doesn't matter what anyone else is doing or saying: just do you. 

Which brings us back to the title: it's okay not to care. It's okay not to care that you had a day off from the gym, not to care that you haven't been drinking 'detox tea' every night, and not to care that you don't have those apparently easy to get 'ripped six-pack abs'. Health is about looking after yourself, eating wholesome food and listening to your body. It should be about giving rather than restricting: giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function best and exercising because your mind and body want to, not because you feel pressure to do so. So embrace not caring, and instead enjoy the freedom to do just what makes you happy. 

SUPERFOODS: Fare Healthy Style ㄨ THE RADISH

In this post, we wanted to continue our exploration of homegrown superfoods. As enamoured as we all are with the incredible benefits recently discovered in ingredients like chia seeds, wheatgrass or pomegranate juice, there are some over-looked but more commonly available masterpieces of nature that can be grown right here in the UK. It is precisely their accessible status that, we believe, sometimes leads to them to be forgotten for the nutritious, flavourful superfoods as which they have every right to be classified. 

The summer months mean salads. We at Fare Healthy just love ‘em – the more refreshing, tangy and flavuorful the better. Too often, the salads we make at home feature the same basic ingredients list: lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Don’t get us wrong, we love an iceberg as much as the next person but there are some crucial vegetables you can easily get your hands on that can do a lot to liven up your salad. We want to expound, illustrate and salute one such vegetable, a tiny gem we believe is too often over-looked in spite of its beautiful colour, sharp but sweet flavour and juicy crunch. Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you the radish. And, guess what? It’s a superfood!

            Thought to be of East Asian origin, radishes have been a much-loved part of European diets since 300BC and were one of the first vegetables to be introduced to the Americas in the 16th Century. Evidently the radish was in a hurry to get itself noticed around the world. There are now hundreds of different types of radish, their colours ranging from white through pink, red, purple, yellow, even green and black with sizes equally numerous. The Japanese Sakurajima radish can grow up to 3ft long and weigh as much as 45kg!

            All of these varieties hold within them a plethora of health benefits; a whole host of vitamins, minerals and molecules that any superfood would count themselves lucky to possess. Radishes are widely regarded, particularly in Eastern medicine, as naturally cooling. The sharpness of their flavour is such that, a bit like with hot, spicy curry dishes in India, it encourages the body to rid itself of excess heat. How much more refreshing can you get during the hot summer months? This same sharp flavour can also soothe sore throats, ease colds, improve digestion and, coupled with the radish’s high vitamin C content, help prevent viral infections. They also have a seriously low calorie count – just 20 calories in a serving – while packing an impressive nutrient punch. You can add fibre, vitamins, phosphorous, zinc, not to mention amazing flavour to your meal without concerning yourself with any unwanted additional calories.

            Too long has the radish been the last lonely vegetable on the crudité tray. We must celebrate the radish, not just because of its delicious flavour, its delectable texture and its delightful colour but also because of its well-deserved place in the pantheon of superfoods. Available in all supermarkets, easily grown in any vegetable patch or allotment, the radish is an affordable, accessible and nutrient-rich powerhouse. Did you know that in Beatrix Potter’s infamous tale of Peter Rabbit, our beloved bunny is seen pinching from Mr. McGregor’s garden not carrots, as is commonly thought, but sweet red radishes? All we can say is, if Peter Rabbit’s a fan – we’re sold.

 

Demystifying Yoga - Tantra

In the Western culture Tantra is largely misunderstood as an ancient and exotic practice that serves to heighten and prolong the sexual experience between partners.  This idea of Tantra became widespread over 25 years ago when in a passing comment to a reporter, Sting boasted of 7 hour tantric-sex sessions with his wife Trudi. Suddenly 'Tantra' was famous and the American new age circuit went mad for what scholars now call neo-tantra;  practices designed to make sex more enjoyable, last longer and enhance intimacy.

The original Tantric scriptures date as far back as 5000 years ago. However, the origins of neo-tantra only go back about 100 years and are based on a combination of second hand tantric sources, Taoist texts & references to the Kama Sutra, which in fact has no link to Tantra. The ubiquitous Tantric-sex programmes, workshops and events of modern times are therefore only related to true Tantra by a thread. The original Tantric texts do not give any sexual techniques or advice, however there is an echo of their teachings in this modern understanding; the body is to be used as a stepping stone or tool to achieve a heightened experience.  Ultimately the practice of Tantra is about building our available energies towards the highest possible dimension, not just sexually but using all aspects of ourselves towards this growth. 

Neo-tantra or tantric sex is designed to deepen the participants sensual experience to something more connected and loving. It requires a vulnerability and openness between partners as a way in to greater intimacy. Part of the experience could be described as 'dissolving into' one another, or into Oneness. Here lies one of the links. Tantra is guiding the practitioner towards this same experience of 'dissolving into' bliss with the source of all being, experiencing that same Oneness. The philosophy of Tantra recognises a single Light of Awareness, or Divine Consciousness as the ground of all being.  Everything that we are, know and experience is an expression of this pure Consciousness, therefore everything is connected and Divine. The teaching and practices found in the Tantric scriptures are intended to expand our awareness of this Divinity, not through intellectual understanding but profound experience which shatters our illusion of separation.

To dissolve separation we must balance both the divine masculine and feminine forces, Shiva and Shakti.  A simple way to view these two energies is that Shiva is creativity and Shakti is creation or Shiva is the container within which energy or movement, Shakti, is expressed. A perfect balance of Shiva and Shakti is ultimate freedom. Neo-tantra will often draw on a light understanding of these two energies as key to their teaching, the blissful merging of these two expressions of the Divine.  

Where does Tantra come from and how is it linked to Yoga today?

Yoga, as a set of practices intended to harmonise the body, mind and spirit, dates back to the time of the Buddha. Around 1000 years later Tantra, originating from northern India and peaking around 9th-12th centuries, enriched the system with layers of additional techniques including breathing practices (pranayama), visualisation, recitation (mantra), yoga postures (asana), hand gestures (mudra) and energy work (nadis & chakras). These methods were handed down directly from guru to student offering a pathway to liberation in this lifetime.

The meaning of yoga is most commonly understood as 'union', 'to yoke' or 'join' together – the purpose to dissolve separation between mind, body, spirit and reveal the state of Oneness that lies beneath. Tantra doesn't like to use the word union, as it gives the idea we are going to unite with something we are not already. This ancient spiritual path, is a life-affirming and non-dual (advaita) way of thinking which teaches that the wholeness which we seek is not in the future, but right here within the now.  A good metaphor is the rolling wave in the ocean that sees itself as separate and is searching for the ocean, yet it is and always was the ocean. We are what we seek!
The word Tantra means a vehicle through which to expand, to stretch and grow oneself. The root 'tan', meaning to stretch or expand and 'tra', meaning a device or instrument.  To be a life-affirming path it calls for embodiment and for us to show up fully in each moment of our lives, not to run from what we fear or to hide from our vulnerability and pain. It asks for us to leave behind ideas of good and bad or right and wrong, and to simply acknowledge and see everything as it is. To know the different textures and feelings that move through and around us whilst understand that no type of experience is more divine than the other, all are equal and a part of the greater whole.  

The Tantric Path

There are many paths of study and practice through which to explore Tantra. The following are a few ways that you can bring the Tantric teachings into day-to-day living for a fuller and more truthful experience of life.

10 ways that the teachings of Tantra can open the gateway to greater freedom:

Active participation in life. Tantra is life-affirming; it is a practice of witnessing and accepting what is there before us and saying yes to all of life as it moves within and around us.

Divine play! Never forget the essence of play, when the circumstances are hard, work around the resistance and make it a game, use the challenge to meet your growth edge.

Assess your defensive reactivity. This is usually a good starting place to see where we are fooling ourselves so we can live more truthfully.

Let vulnerability be a gateway to strength. We have all been conditioned too well to hide our softness and put on a brave face. By exploring where you resist or turn away and moving into these spaces you will experience yourself in a new way and find greater freedom in the process.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” - Joseph Campbell

Reclaim yourself.  Find the courage to look deep inside and face thoughts and emotions directly. When we realise that we all have the same potential to feel and act it allows us to start accepting all the parts of ourselves. This also requires a willingness to track down our shadows and face our fears.

Understand how you feel.  Learn to be accountable and responsible for how you feel in a loving and non-judgemental way; it is OK to feel what we feel and by learning to see and name feelings we release them, avoid projection and live more authentically.

Facilitate growth. If we can realise we are here to grow we can ask ourself in every single moment, how can I grow from this experience?
Build a sense of acceptance. The only constant is change and flow, look to where you are resisting and work to bring more receptivity into your life. Suffering arises from gripping and not accepting the impermanence and the dance of life.

Celebrate and accept the manifestation of the Self. It is a privilege and a gift to be alive as human being. Practice gratitude daily and remember how precious this life is. Tantra teaches that the body is a demonstration of divinity, no one shape or form more or less divine than the other. Look to where you are not loving a part of yourself.  Please be gentle and remember, as much of what Tantra calls for, this can be deep and sensitive work and you may need support. 

“Yoga is the dance of who we really are” – Christopher Tompkins

Serve each moment. This is the greatest teaching. Acknowledging not only actions but energy and intention and reflecting moment by moment on how to be of service. This accounts for all of the inner work that Tantra calls for, clearing out space and building strength so that we have stability and courage to celebrate ourSelves and this life in all its light and dark, beauty and pain.

The practice of Tantra is one long confrontation face to face with yourself; a journey of deep transformation, transformation which takes you into the darkness where the pain is real and felt, but through this the light is majestically revealed.

ABOUT MISCHA: 
Mischa teaches a heartfelt practice with creative sequencing, a deep focus on breath and alignment and a combination of strong steady flow and longer holds to both uplift and tap into the stillness. She draws her understanding from a number of styles and traditions, particularly inspired by the philosophy and practices of the Tantric lineages. Her classes are woven with philosophy, myth and stories and include music, chanting and ritual.
Mischa also works with Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, a beautiful combination of deep tissue massage with assisted yoga stretches and alignment, and Reiki to support the physical and energetic healing process. She is inspired by the potential of these practices to transform, expand and heal and is committed to her own study and practice as the foundation of her teaching. 
Having been based in London teaching across some of the leading studios she is now a travelling yogini who spends her between Asia and Europe studying, practicing and teaching. Mischa's teaching is passionate and knowledgeable, her intention is to both challenge and restore, holding a space for individuals to open, reflect and absorb and you will be taken on a journey of self inquiry and unfolding.

For more information on upcoming retreats and workshops visit:
www.mischavarmuza.com

Follow Mischa:
T & IG @mischavarmuza
www.facebook.com/mischayoga

Mushroom Medicine: The Healing Power of Fantastic Fungi

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

For centuries, man has used the healing power of herbs and plants to soothe pains and treat ailments. Today Western Medicine is too quick to hand over a prescription pill when something is wrong in the body, however this merely treats the symptom and not the cause.

NATURE’S REMEDY

Mushrooms have long been associated with exuding magical and healing powers. Fungi boast an amazing spectrum of health benefits, from anti-tumour and anti-oxidant qualities, to depression and anxiety relief.
Eastern Medicine has for centuries incorporated mushrooms into tonics, herbal teas, and treatments to help naturally heal the body to work in sync. There is a lot we can learn from that neck of the woods.
Did you know that incorporating mushrooms into your daily diet could dramatically improve your overall health and vitality?

4 SHROOMS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

1. CHAGA

This is a super food you will want to cement into your life. Originally found grown amongst birch trees in the harsh climates of Siberia, the Chaga mushroom boasts a plethora of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties, to alleviate ailments and help the body cope with stress.

HEALING POWER
Most notably known for strengthening the body’s natural defences and protecting our DNA against cancer, this truly magnificent food also offers an array of beneficial active ingredients including iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and a host of amino acids and enzymes, that have been proven to boost the immune system.

This healing power- house is known for it’s very high content of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that functions as a powerful antioxidant. SOD performs a vital anti aging function by neutralizing oxygen free radicals, preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues.

HOW TO EAT:
Available in powder form, this is the easiest way to get the goodness in! Drinking a cup of herbal Chaga tea in the morning will provide a healthy hit of healing power. Alternatively adding a tablespoon or two to your smoothie is also a really easy way to acquire its benefits.

2. REISHI

A favourite in traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is known to enhance longevity. Known as a tonic herb, it can be consumed in large quantities, and it is often advised to take reishi mushroom for long periods of time to allow it to take its full effect. Reishi has the ability to help the body adapt to stressors like anxiety, fatigue, trauma and emotional distress.

HEALING POWER
Largely behind Reishi’s restorative qualities is a complex carbohydrate known as polysaccharides, which have been studied extensively, and are proven effective for battling tumors, as well as modulating the immune system. Other impressive functions that stand out between reishi’s long and growing list of medicinal uses are its anti-viral, blood pressure-lowering, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic properties.

HOW TO EAT:
Reap the Reishi rewards by eating 3-10 grams per day. It can be eaten fresh, cook the white outer edge, whilst avoiding the bitter yellow centre. When browned, the Reishi tips can taste deliciously meaty.

3. LION’S MANE

This extraordinary mushroom gets its name from the white cascading tendrils that resemble a lion’s mane. This particular species grows hanging off of logs and trees, also referred to as hedgehog or bearded tooth mushroom. Used in Asia for thousands of years, it is said to give one "nerves of steel and the memory of a lion."

HEALING POWER
Known for its powerful effects as a brain tonic, Lion’s Mane has been scientifically proven to boost brain cognition, which includes enhanced memory, and also maintaining focus and attention.
Frequent usage of Lion’s Mane mushrooms have even been proven to offer neurological nourishment, with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. They appear to have nerve regenerating properties, stimulating nerve growth and aiding those with cognitive impairments.
Other advantages of this mushroom consist of healthy digestion, cholesterol regulation, as well as healthy and younger skin. People struggling with diabetes may also take advantage of this mushroom because it reduces glucose levels.

HOW TO EAT:
With a wonderfully chewy texture and taste slightly reminiscent of seafood, this mushroom provides a great addition to stir fry’s. Alternatively it can be bought in capsule form.

4. TURKEY TAIL

Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat various ailments for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America. This super-abundant colourful mushroom grows on dead trees, logs, branches, and stumps. These mushrooms grow throughout the world, practically wherever trees can be found. In fact, they are some of most common mushrooms found on wood on the planet.

HEALING POWER
Turkey tail mushroom has been the subject of a large number of controlled clinical trials in Asia showing that it can help rebuild the immune system in people with a wide range of cancers. Turkey tail excretes strong antiviral compounds, specifically active against cervical cancer, and liver cancer.

HOW TO EAT:
With its mild flavour, this versatile mushroom is best served in powder form.  Try 1-2 tablespoons daily mixed with hot water, or sprinkled over your food.

Casita Andina

  Mango, Chia and Chicha Pot: Mango and chia pudding, fresh mango salsa and chicha morada granita

 

Mango, Chia and Chicha Pot: Mango and chia pudding, fresh mango salsa and chicha morada granita

Casita Andina (“The Little Andean House”) is the newest restaurant from Ceviche founder and superbly talented chef Martin Morales.  It's opening in Soho, London at the end of this month and frankly, we're chomping at the bit!  Born in Peru, but having lived in Britain for the last 30 years, Martin is a pioneer of Peruvian food in Britain. He is passionate about sharing all things Peruvian and his restaurants, indeed the man himself, embody all the liveliness and spirit of Peru's culture.

Casita Andina is inspired by Peruvian ‘picanterias’: family-run, traditional restaurants which serve the local community and travellers and in which Martin grew up eating.

Dishes will include Lamb Loin in Coriander and Beer Sauce, Grilled Salmon Escabeche, Crispy Aubergine with Uchucuta Herbs, Chupe Style Prawns, and Ceviche Casita with sustainable sea bass, limo chilli tiger’s milk, avocado cream and sweet potato.

The menu also includes dessert of Choco Sauco, a melt-in-the-middle Peruvian chocolate with an elderberry gel and chocolate coated amaranth.

“In the last two years my team and I have travelled to Peru several times to deeply research regional Andean dishes, drinks and ingredients as well as history, art and traditions. From this we have created Casita Andina inspired especially the city of Cusco and its traditions, some of which date back hundreds of years. We want to celebrate its food but also the textile legacy of the Andes of Peru. So through our dishes, art and design this will be a key theme running through it” says Martin.

We're excited.  Two weeks and counting!

Casita Andina opens 28th July 2016, 31 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7LP