Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday brunch

Sunday is my only free day so I usually like to sleep late and make an effort when preparing breakfast (which is usually eaten at a more lunch-like hour). This week I discovered a great new recipe blog, and the pancake recipe is from there. Today's brunch consisted of pancakes with chocolate sauce, organic berries and maple syrup. It was all a little sweet for my usual taste, but hey it's Sunday.

Banana & peanut butter pancakes (for 1)

1 very ripe banana
1 egg
a tiny amount of baking soda
1 tbsp peanut butter
a little salt

1. Put the oven on 200°C.
2. Mash the banana until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
3. Pour the dough into 4 pancakes on a baking tray with baking paper.
4. Bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown.

Chocolate sauce

2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and that's it. Although if the butter is very hard you might want to put the bowl in some hot water for a while to soften it.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Morning Bowl

How I start my mornings nowadays:
1 grated apple
shredded coconut
chia seeds
wheat grass powder
almond milk

Obviously you can mix this up endlessly, but this variation has been a favorite for a while now.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Quick avocado and garlic lunch

I've been sick for over a week now, but today I decided I want to eat something proper and of course easy since I'm really low on energy. I came up with a healthy mix from stuff I had at home, and it turned out delicious even if I couldn't quite taste everything.. I think this might become a lunch classic for me!

What you need (for 1 person):

Noodles or pasta, I used buckwheat noodles but you can use whichever kind
olive oil
half a small onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 avocado
alfalfa sprouts
the juice from half a lemon
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
some other healthy oil, I used camelina

1. While the noodles are boiling, cut the onion and fry quickly in olive oil.
2. cut the avocado.
3. When the noodles are done, remove the water. Put them in a bowl and add the fried onion, crushed garlic, alfalfa, salt, oil, and avocado. Mix and then sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and lemon juice.

I think this can also be eaten cold, so it's fine to prepare it in the evening and take it with you to work the next day for example.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Truth

I will only leave you guys with a link today, as this is an awesome article that almost says it all. Read it and learn.

Quantum Biology

Taken from Kris Carr's website, crazysexylife

<3 anna

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter food 3: Pasha

Caution: hideous amounts of dairy involved so skip this post if you avoid dairy!

This is actually my favourite easter food (apart from the obvious chocolate, but since that's eaten outside of the easter times it doesn't count). I've never made it before and have always thought it's really difficult to make since you need all sorts of things that sounded too inconvenient. Well yesterday I proved myself wrong because it actually turned out to be really easy, just as most things I try seem to be :) And it is by far the best-tasting pasha I've ever had. So here is my recipe for this Russian easter dessert:

Pasha for 8

500 g organic quark
4 dl organic whipping cream
200 g organic butter
1-2 dl palm sugar/honey/agave syrup
2 egg yolks
the juice of 1 lemon
the grated peel of 1 orange
1 dl crushed organic almonds
1dl mixed dried organic fruits
3 tsp organic natural vanilla
a pinch of quality salt
some raisins or other fruits for decoration

a thin tea towel or a cloth meant for cooking
a strainer

1. Let the butter soften in room temperature for a while. Then mix the soft butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. Add the content of one bowl to the other and throw in the rest of the ingredients too. Mix until homogenous.

2. Line a strainer with thin cloth, put the strainer in a bowl so that a little space is left at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the pasha mixture in the clothed strainer and cover with a plate turned up-side-down. Put in the fridge to strain over night.

3. The next day, take hold of the strainer and the plate (leaving the bowl) and turn the whole thing around so that the plate is now the right way up and the pasha is neatly on top. Remove the strainer and the cloth and your pasha is done! If you want you can decorate it with some imaginative designs :)

Happy easter!


Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter food 1: Karjalanpiirakka

Karjalanpiirakkas (Karelian pastries) are Finnish pastry kind of things that we like to eat. They're traditionally made with buckwheat flour although nowadays people tend to use rye or even wheat. They are eaten with a kind of egg butter on top, which really tops them off. The pastries are really easy to make although it takes a while, and I think they're delicious. A friend of mine just asked me for the recipe because she thought she might make them for easter. I don't think they're a typical easter food, but I do think they suit the occasion, considering especially that they involve eggs. So here's what you need if you want to try them out:

For the filling (rice porridge):

1 litre milk (raw & organic, or nut or seed milk if you avoid dairy)
2 dl water
2 dl organic porridge rice or risotto rice
1,5 tsp quality salt

For the dough:

ca 4 dl organic buckwheat flour (you can also use rye)
2 dl water
1,5 tsp quality salt
1 tbsp quality oil

plus some butter to put on top

before going into the oven

1. Make the rice porridge by putting the water to boil and then adding the rice. Let it simmer until the rice has soaked up the water. Then, begin adding the milk, little by little, while the rice soaks it. This will take almost an hour. Add the salt. Let the porridge cool down when it's done.

2. Make the dough by mixing all the ingredients together. Form into a ball and put in the fridge for a while.

3. Divide the dough into as many parts as you want (depending on which size pastries you want to make) and start rolling each piece into thin circular shapes with a rolling pin. For this you will need more flour to keep the dough from sticking to the table or the rolling pin.

4. Start adding scoops of cold porridge on the flat pastries and "wrinkle" the sides of the pastry up with your fingers. Put a knob of butter on each.

5. The oven should be on 250 °C. Put the pastries on a baking sheet and bake for ca 15 minutes, or until the rice filling is a little coloured.

as a side dish at dinner

And for the egg butter to use as a spread on top:

Boil ca 4 eggs. Brake them with a fork in a bowl, adding butter (ca 100g), salt and a lot of chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Hope you like them! More easterish recipes will follow soon (as soon as I prepare something), and next time they will be sweet.

<3 Emma

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Yoga by Rachel

This is an interview with Rachel, one of my teachers during my 4 weeks here at Samahita. She's a really good teacher and she has helped me to understand many things about yoga.

How and when did you get into yoga?

I first started when I was a child, I used to do the headstand for long periods of time, although I didn't know it was yoga at the time. My mother didn't really stop me. Then I didn't do yoga again until I was at a friend's party in France where a friend was teaching partner yoga. So we were helping each other into these postures, and it was just lovely. And after that I started to go to classes in London. This was around 1999. I decided to become a teacher in 2005 after I did my teacher's training. Before that becoming a yoga teacher was a dream I had, maybe from the first time I went to a yoga class. But I knew I had a long way to go.

Do you think everyone should practice yoga?

Yoga has many forms so the physical postures is just one aspect. I think everyone can benefit from those, but also from the other limbs of yoga. The asana is more physical, but there are also less physical aspects, such as meditation. And also the state of yoga is something that I think people experience whether or not they practice the postures. So yes, I think everyone should get to experience the state of yoga.

Do you teach different people in different ways?

Yes. I love teaching people individually because I think we are very different, physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. I enjoy finding the approach that works for each person.

What does yoga mean to you?

I think it means a state of being connected to your higher self. And experiencing every moment with awareness. And it doesn't necessary have to mean practicing postures, although it does help.

What is the most important thing to remember when practicing yoga?

You can only ever be where you are. And if you let that happen, self-acceptance comes and true progression arises.

Do you have some tips for someone who is just beginning?

Find a good teacher! To begin with, a good place to start is at the beginning, take a beginner's course.

How important do you consider the mantras?

They are only important if they are said with intention and meaning. I think that if you don't really connect with them or have a real aversion to them, they're not completely necessary. I think you can still have the intention in your heart without saying the mantras, but they do help. And they're said to be more powerful when you say them in your mind. That's what I tend to do when I'm practicing asana.

Can there be yoga without pranayama (breathwork)?

Yes. Other styles of yoga, such as Iyengar don't focus on the pranayama. But Ashtanga does. They both lead you to the same place, just using a different approach. Ashtanga should definitely be done with the breath, otherwise it can be a little bit harmful and cause strain on the body and mind.

Give 3 examples of how yoga can help us.

It can help you become more self-aware. And more flexible and strong and healthy. And it helps you become more calm and to let go of stress.

Thank you Rachel!



Friday, 16 March 2012

My yoga

Since my one month yoga holiday is soon reaching its end I want to talk a little about yoga. I could write about the philosophy behind yoga, or about the rules and guidelines, but you can probably find all that on some really good webpage if you're interested. Plus, it wouldn't really be yoga from my point of view, from my own experience. So I decided to write about what it all means to me, what is my yoga?

I'm quite new to yoga, and it's only during the past few weeks that I've begun doing my own practice, instead of a lead class. Mysore is the word used in Ashtanga for self-practice. This means that a teacher is present, but they only assist you where required, and give you new asanas (postures) when they see you are ready to go deeper into your practice. Before I started doing the mysore I went to lead classes, during the first 2 weeks here. This gave me a really good base, kind of a stand on which I could learn to balance. I learned the basic asanas and began to remember the sequence by heart. But it was not until I started the mysore that I learned what yoga could be, for me. During my first own practice I already realised that yoga will teach me more about my body than I could have known. It felt like I was only getting to know my body, from the start. I was so happy when I realised this, it felt like I suddenly started a new friendship, with my own body. Then on the second day I realised how stiff I was. I could feel blocks in my body, remnants of emotional traumas and behavioural patterns. I was disappointed at how strong these barriers inside me seemed to be, and I knew I had a long way to go to unlock them. But I also noticed how I had already begun the process of opening them. I felt emotions rise to the surface only from doing that physical practice. A huge relief came over me, it felt like I was releasing emotional strains that I didn't know I had. And simultaneously I feel that my whole body is gradually changing. I feel taller and stronger, and just more in touch with my body. I also feel a sort of calmness, especially right after each practice. That particular feeling could be enough of a reason to continue doing yoga when I go back home.

I know that this process is only in the very beginning, the experience is only starting. Realising this, I see a glimpse of what yoga can give me. It's incredible how they knew thousands of years ago exactly how I should use my body. I have no doubt that everyone can benefit from yoga.

I'll soon post an interview that I did with one of my teachers here, to give you an idea of what yoga is for someone who is much more experienced than me.



Monday, 5 March 2012

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

I went into work for a free breakfast today, and while eating, I was browsing through today's paper. I came across some statistics about what Australian school kids know (or don't know as it turns out) about where food comes from etc. I will post a picture of it below. Anyways, this is all insanely appalling to me. Seriously, how can you think yoghurt comes from a plant? It's so sad because there's no way you could ever expect these kids to make smart choices about food since they don't even know what it is. It just goes to show that, again, the root of the problem is lack of knowledge. It is so important that kids are taught where their food comes from, and what it actually is they are eating. I'm getting so annoyed and sad by this so I won't write any more about it. But people, talk about food, show interest in it, find out what it is you are putting in your body, choose that which is best for you and our planet, treat yourselves with love and pass that mentality on to your children!
I will be back with something nicer next time.

apologies for the poor quality of the picture.

<3 Anna

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I'll tell you more about my yoga holiday soon, but before that you can enjoy this video (without thinking I'm anywhere near that kind of a level).