Sunday, June 24, 2012

Breakfast time

I thought I would share what we are eating for breakfast at the moment.
Everyone's bodies are different and we have different nutritional requirements at different times of our lives. So, the most important thing is to ask your body what it needs and to give it that.

At the moment, this is my breakfast routine:

Before I eat anything I have a big mug of hot water with half a lemon squeezed into it. This gets my system going, is a great detox for the liver and just makes me feel good.

I love porridge. I especially love it in winter. Right now I am having oat and chia seed porridge with walnuts and cranberries. Here is the recipe:


Tablespoon of coconut oil
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of oats
1 cup of water
Half a cup of milk (rice, almond, soy or cows milk)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
Half a handful of berries (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Handful of walnuts

Melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan.
Add the cinnamon and stir until fragrant.
Add the oats and toast and coat with the cinnamon.
Add the water and bring to a boil.
Add the milk, warm through, but do not bring to a boil.
Stir in the chia seeds, berries and walnuts.

This serves one adult and two hungry children.

Sweeten to taste. I use raw, local honey, this is said to be great for allergies. It makes sense as the bees are pollinating flowers from your area, so your body gets used to those pollens. Also, raw honey is much better for you than conventionally processed honey because all the healthy nutrients are not destroyed in the heat  through the processing.

Another thing I thought I would mention is the importance of protein for breakfast. If we eat protein for breakfast, we stabilise our blood sugar for the day. I was diagnosed with hypo glycaemia (a precursor to diabetes) in my early twenties. I got such a fright that I changed my eating habits. I have not had any symptoms for many years and I am always on the lookout for eating things which are beneficial to my body.

Chia seeds are really good for you, they are a very good source of protein and my children like them. (Always important!) 
Walnuts are also full of protein and are a great source of essential fatty acids, another important thing for brain development for little growing bodies. Cinnamon is also really good for stabilising blood sugar.

Coconut oil is a great source of essential fatty acids and a super food. I use it whenever I can, I often saute food with it. (You can also put a spoon into your tea or coffee as a boost - it doesn't have a taste)

Berries are a great source of antioxidants, so get those in every day if you can.

I don't take any vitamins. When my health was not as good as it is now, I took a multi vitamin, extra vitamin C and a B vitamin, and think it was important to give my body the extra help it needed because of sub optimal eating habits. But more importantly, due to the strain it was under due to a stressful life, this depletes us more than any food we eat. 

Rather eat a McDonalds burger with a sense of appreciation and joy than eat an organic salad while filled with anger and resentment.

The state we are in when we eat is so much more important than what we are actually putting into our bodies.

Even though I don't take vitamins at the moment, I have a green shake every morning. I have a glass of water with Vital Greens and a scoop of Protein powder. I love this mix to keep me going all the way until lunch time if I need it. Although I make a point of having something small to eat at about 10 am.

I also thought that I would mention that I give the children Floradix every morning.

I buy all of these products at the health shop, they are easily accessible online even if you can't get them at your local health shop.

So that is me and my breakfast. Even if I don't eat so well the rest of the day, at least I know I have had a good start to get me through.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates

What do you eat for breakfast?

Blessings to you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Following our bliss

It is Friday night and I am home alone. Children asleep. Husband at a work function. I could spend the whole evening feeling guilty for not packing boxes the last few days. Or I could get hung up on why I have been so tired and a bit out of sorts. (Impending move, perhaps?) Or I could feel guilty for not doing my yoga homework. Or I could watch mindless sitcoms on TV. (Ok, I don't really do that one!) Get the picture?

Instead, I will do something quite revolutionary.

I will listen to my body. I will ask.

What do you feel like doing?

My body said, "Have some toast and chocolate spread."

So I did. And it was deliciously satisfying. Our bodies never lie to us. They tell us when to sleep. When to play. When to eat, drink and be merry. We have been taught from a young age to disregard what our bodies tell us. Do you remember that you had to wait for the bathroom break at school? You couldn't just go when your body wanted to go? Unfortunately, that is how we have all been trained to shut off from ourselves.

We have been so shut off that we don't even know what our bodies are telling us. And our bodies hold the secret to our bliss. Our bodies will guide us to the life of our dreams. We just need to trust. We need to stop second guessing ourselves with our minds.

Unfortunately, that is also how we have been trained. To listen to our minds. And override our bodies. We have also been trained to be constantly busy. And feel guilty for not being busy.

I call it busy guilt.

Guilt for not being productive. Guilt for not achieving a measurable target. Guilt for sitting down. Reading. Gardening. Playing. Guilt for having fun.

We are conditioned to believe that we only deserve all these things after we have worked. Really. Hard. For a long time. We believe that these things are only due to us when we retire. Or in some heavenly place when we die.

Children know that this is not true. Have you been for a walk with a toddler lately? You will be lucky to get to the end of the block. They don't care where they are going. They are smelling the air. Looking at the fallen leaf, the caterpillar. Noticing the birds flying in the air. Laughing. Joking. Playing. 

They only start crying when we try to pull them out of their blissful state.

"Hurry up!", we say. We have somewhere to BE. And they wonder what is wrong with right here? Right now? And they resist us. Because they know. They know what is good for them. We have forgotten. But, they know. We should listen to them.

What a gift to be a mother. To be in the presence of a little person who is still so close to the heavenly realm, they were there not long ago. They have not forgotten yet. They still know. 

We are not here to teach them. They are here to teach us.

Life is meant to be blissful. Joyful. For everyone. Not just some lucky few. All. Of. Us.

Follow your bliss. I promise it will take you to places you had never imagined.

And if you don't know your bliss, that's ok. It has probably been "thought" out of you. Start with your body. What does it want right now? Perhaps a toast with chocolate spread. Perhaps some alone time. Perhaps a run. Perhaps a nap.

Just listen.

Your body never lies.

Just keep following it's requests. It will take you to heaven on earth.

Blessings to you.

(If you want to learn more about living joyfully, please read anything by Gill Edwards, I just picked up one of her books that I haven't read in years and it is brand new to me again, full of joy and inspiration.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Winter solstice and seasonal tables

A dear friend and soul sister asked me to do a post on seasonal tables. She asked me to talk about the elements of the seasonal table so that she can do what I do. I laughed because she is incredibly creative, so I would have thought that I would be asking her to do a post for me! So, I thought it would be fun to share what we have done at home and perhaps it can inspire you too.

This is the seasonal table we have set up at the moment. It was created mostly by Annie, with minimal input from me.

Before you set up a seasonal table, it is important to consider the purpose of it. For some, it is a place to collect things from nature that are relevant for that time of year, for others it is a prop for story telling during the year, for others it can just be a beautiful, inspirational place and for some it can even be an altar for the current season.

For me, it is a little reminder of where we are in the wheel of the year, in a beautiful setting for my children to enjoy. I am happy for them to play with everything on the table, but there is a level of respect for what we have created, so it needs to be cared for.

We have used a blue piece of muslin as the base, "winter animals" like polar bears and wooly sheep, little wintery trees, which Annie dutifully stuck up one by one and we also sewed little clouds and raindrops out of felt last year. If you look carefully (they are hanging), you can see the raindrop that Annie made by herself, I was very proud of her efforts.

As I was preparing to take the photos, I realised that we didn't have any water on the table. Water is the active element in winter and I thought that it was relevant to have it on the table along with some flowers from our garden.

I like to rotate the books that we have out and change them every solstice and equinox. I like to have books that are relevant to the time of year. I don't like to have a lot of books out as it creates clutter and they are not enjoyed. Rather have a fresh set out every few months, it is much more interesting that way.

I bought this lovely King Winter from Rainbow River Designs. You can get it here. I must say that even though my children go to a Montessori school, I have a love affair with Waldorf toys. They are so beautiful, lovely to play with and inspire so much creative play. We have a lovely balance of Montessori schooling during the day and Waldorf inspired living at home.

The winter solstice is coming up and we are planning another nature walk like we did last year. You can read what we did last year over here. I think it will be a very similar affair this time round.

We will be thinking about what we will incubate during the coldest and darkest time of the year. It is the time to dream, rest, sleep. It is not the time for activity. All of nature goes to sleep, the bears, the trees, the bees. We also need our time to hibernate. Spring is the time to wake up again. If we don't rest now, we will be burnt out by the time we need all our energy for the bursting activity of summer. That is just how the cycles work. 

We have to rest.

It is interesting to note that I dreamed up the house we are moving into in the middle of winter. I wonder if I would have had such clarity of vision if I had not taken the time to slow down.

Are you planning any special things for the solstice? (summer or winter)

Blessings to you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boxes and fertility awareness


The boxes have come out. I have started packing. I took down all the photos in the house. The symbolic first step. Telling the house that we are leaving. Thank you for housing us the last four years, we are really grateful. And now it's time to go.

I must say that I love moving house. The chance to start on a new adventure.The chance to clean out everything that will not serve in the new home.

I love de cluttering and I do it as often as I can. Small children accumulate a lot of stuff. And the adults too!

We underestimate the amount of energy too much unwanted stuff saps from us when it is in our environment. I feel so much lighter with less stuff around me.

I try to live by the rule that if I am going to bring it into the home, it needs to beautiful. Beauty is a big driver in my life. I also try to consider how it will leave the home one day. And if I am willing to go through all of that.

I donated a box of old books and toys to the op shop. Books which don't suit our family values. Toys which are not well made, beautiful and open ended. I find that the more toys I take away, the better the children play.

When Annie comes and tells me that she is bored, I tell her that I am very excited to hear that. It means that she is on the verge of a creative discovery of magnificent proportions. If I suggest things for her to do, she misses that magical window into her creativity.

Just this afternoon, the children were flying paper aeroplanes made out of their pictures. Now I have two kitty cats sitting at my feet asking for milk. Give me a second, I will be back...

I have my last appointment with a fertility awareness specialist tonight.
It has been a really fascinating journey coming off hormonal contraception a year ago. Trying to find a reliable contraception that is not permanent and does not involve hormones has led me to the journey of tracking my cycle.
I am also on a journey to align my cycle with the moon.
Learning about how my body responds to stress and how it affects my cycle. It turns out that I am not as fertile as I assumed I was since I have a short luteal phase. It turns out that I have a stress cycle when I have a lot of stress in my life. Which is not good for my hormones and the people living around me.

I am also learning to live my life with my cycle instead of trying to go on autopilot all month.

My period has just ended, so I am capitalising on my energy burst in these two weeks in anticipation of the post ovulation phase where I feel much more sensitive and inward.

We do have such amazing bodies as women. I am so in awe of my body. I am so in awe of my power and learning deep respect for my body wisdom, which never ever lies.

Do you track your cycle? I would love to hear about it.

Blessings to you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some news and a name change

I have been quiet on the blog front.
I have been spending a lot of time reading, resting and dreaming of my life in a house with a vegetable garden and chickens. 

I have also been doing some sewing.
And yoga homework.

Getting sick a day before Sohail's birthday.

I had a dear friend come over and bring us home made cupcakes so that we could celebrate his birthday even though I was out of action. How special to have friends looking out for us.

Something else that is special is that the Universe heard my dreams and wishes about my life with a vegetable garden and chickens.
About a year ago I wrote out the requirements for our next house:

If you can't read my writing it says: near the train line, near the school, wooden floors, natural light, fire place, yoga room, beautiful garden, beautiful entertainment area, a sacred, loving place.

And a blessing to Goddess Lakshmi.

It has been sitting on my altar ever since I wrote it. Imagining this life where my children can run outside and play in the garden and I can try out my hand at making us a bit self sustaining and living from the land.

I had finally decided that this house could not be found. We would have to build it. And that is still a few years away. So I started making my plans to live my self sustaining life in my courtyard in the 'burbs.

And then, the house came! When I let go of the resistance and attachment to it, it came!Everything on my list, is in the house. And the funniest thing is that there is a vegetable garden already in the house. And chickens roaming in the back yard. And they come with the house!!

We are all still laughing when we think that the chickens actually come with the house!

We move into the house next month, a year and a week after I made my request to the Universe. It is making me think about the next thing I want to create...

If you are reading this, I would like you to know that you can do the same thing. We can all create exactly what we want in our lives.

So we start packing.

And I go away in between for the second module of my Dru Yoga teacher training course.

And I feel that a shift is happening within me.
I feel that I want to share more of what inspires me.
And hopefully it will inspire you.

I am often asked about how I get it right that my children are so peaceful. So happy.

They have obviously come into this life with their own personalities and life lessons. So I can't say that it is all because of me.

But, what I can say is that I am always driven by peace.
A peaceful home.
A peaceful mind.
A peaceful life.
And to be a peaceful mother.

Perhaps I have something to share.
Perhaps I should go deeper.
Perhaps I should go lighter.

Perhaps it's time to change the name of my blog.

So you are now visiting Peaceful Mothering.
A place where yoga, spirituality and mothering come together.

Who knows where this journey will go. I am just being called to take it in this direction. So I trust it.

I also have a Facebook page now. You can visit it here. I am not sure if that link works. I will try and create a button on the blog.

I hope you join me on this journey. Life, is really so very beautiful. Let's open our eyes and see it.

Blessings to you.
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