Health has been on my mind recently… At the beginning of 2015 I was hoping and planning to incorporate more nutrition to my family’s diet…
We do eat healthy and have been for many years. But every year we try to improve our health and nutrition. 5 years ago I’d say we were healthy- with cooking from scratch, occasional juicing- eating green veggies…but then -every year we learnt something about the food on our table and we made better choices.
So 2015 was going to bring the best change yet. Sprouting, juicing, making veggie smoothies, superfoods- that was the plan!
BUT life is unpredictable and doesn’t always keep with our plans. Without going into deep, sorry, unnecessary details…- my everyday normal life with my excited and big hopes for the nearest future has crashed. And literally from one day to another I found myself without friends and on the verge of loosing most of our income (ehhh..there is church life for you) followed by a phone call that my dad was taken to hospital and his condition was critical.
I took life that I had for granted. Life became such a puzzle – It was the kind of thing when you want to go to sleep and wake up in 2016, after the dust from the crash had settled. Instead you have children to take to school and care for and cook for…their lives don’t stop- they still teeth and cry and bump their heads so badly you need to rush to A&E…
Huh the beginning of 2015 was a hard ride, but through it all it was important to keep my inner peace intact.. and maintain some kind of balance and at the same time pick up the pieces and restructure our life.
And with gratitude and grace and love and forgiveness I am carrying on ready to begin 2015 as I initially planned…
The last 5 weeks were very busy as I was trying to get into a routine with vegetable juicing, making healthy smoothies and sprouting. After just a few days of doing this I’ve been feeling energised, more awake and my memory has improved! Healthy life is busy and pricey so I am taking my time to figure out how to make the most with what I have. I am writing all this partially to explain my long absence and partially to warn about a few healthy ideas coming up (hopefully alongside non food ideas…) :)
Life is what we make of it. When we only notice and focus on the positive and the good things in our everyday life, all that’s negative fades away… somewhere into the background. Days become brighter and calmer and we can breathe. We notice beauty in the details, in everyday emotions and encounters… And life becomes good. Everyday. Because of that, when really difficult times come we have peace… because we look forward to the brighter days.
We have a favourite smoothie recipe that is great for breakfasts, snacks and as a dessert (maybe not all on one day). I use a pineapple and banana as a base and sometimes if I happen to have oranges and extra time I squeeze some orange juice otherwise I use filtered water. Pineapple, banana and orange give a great child friendly flavour and allows you to put all sorts of healthy goodies in. Then I add fresh spinach, as much as I can get away with, which usually is about two very generous handfuls!
This is the last of my own grown spinach from the garden for this year, it’s been attacked by bugs and slugs, overgrown by weeds, so I picked what I could and left the rest for my hens to enjoy.
…only one modest handful this time…huh…but one handful of fresh organic spinach is better than no spinach at all :)
…that’s the smoothie part and for the “super” part I add: ground flaxseed, ground hemp seeds, spirulina powder, maca powder, coconut oil. Sometimes I add all of these, sometimes just a selection. Apart from coconut oil, which adds a tropical twist to the smoothie – you can’t taste other ingredients and children love it.
I actually put the spinach in last otherwise the spirulina and maca powders end up all over the walls of the jug and don’t mix into the smoothie.
300 mls orange juice or filtered water (add more liquid if you don’t like a thick smoothie)
Optional (use all of these, none of these or pick and choose) :
1tbs raw organic coconut oil
1-2 tsp freshly ground flaxseeds
1-2 tsp ground hemp seeds
1tsp of spirulina powder
1tsp of maca powder
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until desired consistency (my children like it smooth). I tend to put the liquid in first and loose spinach last, and I use my fruit chilled. You can freeze pineapple and banana in chunks and blend it from frozen, for thicker- ice cream like texture.
Hope you’ll enjoy your vitamin, mineral, protein and omega 3 rich tasty drink!
At the weekend we visited Attingham Park, which is part of National Trust. It is an 18th century mansion and a great big estate, with amazing deer park, miles and miles of wonderful woodland as well as gardens to inspire (though I manage to bring my camera with an empty battery so didn’t take many pictures). It was a weekend of harvest festival and it was great to take part in it. There was some apple pressing using apples from their orchard, locally made cider, butter making and many other things to taste and see. I love these impressive harvest displays:
I haven’t been too enthusiastic recently when it comes to veggie picking in my garden. Knowing that with every basketful of tasty tomatoes, we re getting closer to the end of the season and am aware of all the digging and green house cleaning that will have to happen soon. But the wonderful harvest atmosphere stayed with me and I am more appreciative of our last few crops we re yet to enjoy.
On a quick and different note, this is where my blue African flowers found their home, brightening our hall way.
The temperature seems to be dropping down everyday and I can feel every degree of it! It almost feels like I can smell Autumn in the air and it feels like it’s just around the corner! …so we ve been taking advantage of the last few days of the summer and still mostly dry weather and we ventured out to a few forests and meadows over the past few days. Being close to nature is wonderful and it stimulates children’s imagination in so many ways. From finding ” a bouncy branch” on an old oak tree, finding slippery slopes to run down or roll down from, to looking out for animal foot prints and collecting different tree leaves. It makes children feel free.
Beautiful heather, that we collected on one of our walks- it brightens up our kitchen windowsill.
…huh…with many outings…my crochet blanket has been growing quite sloooowly…but still growing :)
Today we went on a short morning visit to Forge Mill farm and while the kids were playing at the playground I found lots of elderberry bushes around the playground and some of the elderberries were ripe already!! We picked a few and this afternoon we made some flu busting elderberry, honey and ginger syrup. My Grandma used to make elderberry syrup every year (though she used sugar instead of honey) and it was great for preventing flu and very soothing once we had a cold. Reducing the numbers of sniffles and colds that the boys catch this year is my biggest Autumn/Winter goal. Nothing worse than poorly little people.
I tried this recipe, which looked quite good and included what I wanted to use to make it:
It’s a brilliant recipe! The syrup turned out way better then I expected and it has a great flavour. My children love it -It was hard to pull them away from the jar, they’d be quite happy to drink it all in one sitting! The suggested dose for preventing colds is 1 tsp a day and I think it won’t be easy trying to keep it down to that little amount:)