Monday, July 19, 2010

Heartwarming Recipes

Delicious food, when made with care and love is really VERY heartwarming...

Lately I've been creating my own recipes ~ inspired by adventures overseas. I thought this blog would be a great way to keep a record of these & give others the pleasure of tasting what I've discovered! I'm open to any suggestions & additions.

Let's start with breakfast time!

Coconut Porridge

*1 cup quick oats
*oat milk
*coconut cream (place in a container overnight so it's nice & firm in the morning)


1. Make porridge on stove top, using quick oats and water. After it has finished cooking, add some oat milk at the end to cool it down so that there's a ring of milk around it in the bowl.
2. Add a big spoonful of honey & chopped banana to the porridge. Then put a generous scoop of coconut cream on the top. Sprinkle cinnamon to serve. Mmm mmmmmmm so warm!

Note: Change the amount of oats, depending on how many people are over for breaky!

Lemon & Maple Buckwheat Pancakes

Pancake batter

*1 cup buckwheat flour
*1 cup rice flour
*2 eggs
*1/4 cup macadamia oil
*oat milk


1. Mix flours, eggs, oil & oat milk in a blender (or wooden spoon) and then add water to create your preferred consistency.
2. Heat the fry pan up with a little bit of hard butter or coconut oil and then you should be able to make about 6-7 medium to large sized pancakes.
3. To serve, top the pancakes with the following delights...

*pure maple syrup
*yoghurt (I like organic mango yoghurt but plain natural yoghurt is good too!)
*cinnamon &
*banana &/or berries
*lemon juice (use half a lemon for 2 people)

Women's Circle Traditional Chai

Serves 4
*6-8 teaspoons of Byron Bay Chai Mix
*2 cups water
*2 and a half cups of milk (if using non-diary only use 1 cup water)
*3 tsp cinnamon
*4 cardamon pods
*sprinkle of nutmeg
*honey or brown sugar


1. Thinly slice or grate ginger into a small bowl. Place water & milk into a large saucepan and heat until simmering. Then add ginger, chai mix, cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg.
*Turn temperature down so all the goodness gets infused!
2. Turn up temperature to med-high and allow to boil. Once it rises, take it off the heat before it gets to the top and repeat this twice more (on heat, off heat ~ a magic tip from an old Indian man in Rajasthan)...Allow to stand for a few minutes.
3. Put chai into a big teapot & add cinnamon sprinkle to each cup with honey or sugar as you wish before serving.

Gentle Lemongrass, Ginger & Honey Tea

*Boiled water
*Large knob of fresh ginger
*Bunch of fresh lemongrass (you can use green lemongrass stems ~ fold & tie them up)


Boil 2-3 cups of water in a saucepan. Once boiled, take off heat and add lemongrass and ginger. Cover pan and allow to sit for 4-5 minutes. Add half a teaspoon of honey to each cup before serving.

**To make Sumatran Jungle Tea ~ add a cinnamon stick, extra ginger, lemon juice and more honey at the end.

Garlic Mushrooms & poached eggs with wilted spinach, fetta and basil

*20 mushrooms (serves 2-3)
*2 cloves of fresh garlic
*1 bunch of baby spinach leaves
*1 small zucchini
*half a red onion
*4 free range organic eggs
*Danish fetta
*4 slices of turkish bread ~ toasted
*Small bunch of rinsed basil leaves
*Small bunch of parsley
*6 cherry tomatoes
*Real Butter
*Tsp vinegar
*Black pepper and sea salt


1. Chop garlic, red onion, zucchini, parsley & mushrooms. Heat butter in pan and add chopped ingredients until brown. Don't cook the mushrooms for too long. Add salt & pepper or tamari.
2. Boil water in saucepan with vinegar, turn temperature down and gently poach eggs.
3. Place spinach on toast, then eggs and mushrooms.
4. Serve with fetta, cherry tomatoes & basil.

Chiang Mai's Cinnamon French Toast

*Brown fresh bread
*3 free range eggs (for 2 people)
*Coconut Oil
*Pure Maple Syrup
*quarter cup milk


1. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon & nutmeg in a bowl
2. Heat up the fry pan with coconut oil or hard butter
3. Place each piece of bread on a large plate and gently pour enough mixture to soak the bread with egg. Flip the bread over until it's covered and then place it on the fry pan until browned. Do the same with the next few pieces.
4. To serve, sprinkle more cinnamon on top, pour maple syrup over the toast with chopped bananas & any other fruits on the side.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Mirror of Self

"Do you feel the love that's falling from my eyes?
Just take a minute.
Come and rest here by my side.
Let me tell you your own story,
Let me walk you through your lies." ~Bliss~

It takes so much courage to look into the mirror of self. Have you ever stared into your own eyes (in the mirror) with the intention to accept, encourage and know yourself? It is often confronting & healing ~ unique for each person.

Every person, situation, circumstance and experience in our lives reflects a part of ourselves.

We laugh because we can relate to the story or situation unfolding, we cry because we can empathize with our friend's pain & remember our own personal hardship, we fight as a child with our siblings &/or parents because we're struggling with a part of ourselves that we see in them...we may continue to do so until we lovingly accept ourselves and the process within the lessons of life.

So many of my loved ones are going through hardship in one way or another we know, the Earth is too...which also reflects our values.

The lessons in life may seem insurmountable at the time ~ a whirlwind of confusion, heavy pain and negative mind chatter that consumes our being...a deep well of sadness & anxiety may exist that feels too far down to crawl out of. When we take time to truly remember that all difficult, challenging, painful experiences and relationships provide us with an opportunity to heal some part of our consciousness, we can then see through the disguise of the lesson and realise that it is a blessing ~ a reflection of our internal self.

Even though these difficulties seem to be external (happening to them) ~ situations that aren't in their control ~ I still believe that the way in which we react to situations holds the most important gift of reflection.

If we stay open-hearted/minded, our reactions & the triggers for our pain can be viewed by us from above. We can do this by looking at ourselves for a split second from a bird's eye view ~~~ Breathing ~~~ leaving the emotion to itself for a moment and taking an objective stance. Upon reflection we can identify the fact that those strong emotions are in fact, based on what we value most. They are strong indications of our deepest yearnings in life.

For example, if one is highly defensive in a discussion when the other is merely trying to communicate and understand a difficult situation, it's evident that the situation is a trigger. What is the underlying value in the discussion? Is it about unconditional love, trust, acceptance, openness, freedom, truth? Has a need to grow been identified in order to learn more about the lessons involved?

Look in the mirror. Maybe we might judge the times we focus on the weaknesses and shortcomings of others as a function of the shame, guilt and fear buried in our own internal landscape.

As we have free will, we can make choices about when, how and what tool to use to listen to our higher selves ~ to go through the process of reflection and action ~ to uncover and remember our true self amidst the chaos & beauty of life. We can meditate, write in a diary, reflect on our dreams, think about ways to honour our spirit and be the captain of our own strong ship in the storm.

We can learn how to ride the waves of life in our own unique way.

It is only through this process that we can fully embrace the gifts within the lessons by thinking about what we might need to give more attention to & also by making choices based on our values ~ then we can understand the battles inside and help others too.

Here's a core belief exercise by Iyanla Vanzant (Tapping the Power Within, p.g 130)

The following is a list of core belief phrases that have a strong and prevailing influence on our lives. Complete each of the phrases listed with your most authentic response ~ the first thought that comes to mind as soon as you read the phrase.

God/Higher Power is:
Life is:
Men are:
Women are:
Money is:
Work is:
Time is:
People are:
Sex is:
I am:
Children are:
Earth is:
Animals are:
Love is:
My purpose is:

This is a healing opportunity to do your best to tell the absolute truth. Resist the temptation to write what you think you should feel. You can use this to form the basis of a personal mission statement or simply to understand more about how your reactions to things, based on your values, shape and mold your life. Always remember that you are always 'enough' and you are worthy just the way you are.

Breathe deeply and begin within...

Love & joy


Sunday, April 18, 2010

*Take a deep breath *

"Life can only exist in the moment it is lived." ~Beau Ravin~

So when we breathe deeply, we are practicing deeply conscious connected living.

Sometimes I think that we hold our breath unconsciously to avoid our feelings, which creates spiritual and emotional starvation. We distract ourselves with things to do...we are human beings, not human doings. Even though service is important, are you truly serving your truth? Are you making your heart sing?

If we made a decision to truly confront our life's lessons we would take some SlOw, DeEp BrEaThs, look at ourselves from a bird's eye view to detach from the ego & gain perspective, make a connection from our heads to our hearts, be open with our loved ones and trust that the path of truth will lead to total freedom. Imagine if we did this each time we faced a painful situation? What is the hurry in life?

These are the thoughts that I pondered this morning as the crisp morning air permeated every cell of my body, filling my lungs with life-giving oxygen while I rode my bike 42kms over gravel & bitumen, up & down hills, across rickety bridges and through the fresh light-filled sun showers.

Just like the trials & victories of life, at times I lagged behind the group on my bike, slogging it with a sore bum & being a cautious granny by slowly riding down the bumpy gravel hills with a hand on the brakes. Then at other times I enjoyed smooth speed & chit chat with a smile on my face, greeting the cows & birds with peacefulness and feeling extreme adoration for every living creature. "Ommmmm"

This is life in motion & I think it's beautiful.

We must accept the moment and find something to feel gratitude for or we are merely puppets on strings, controlled by the ego's perspective ~ the constant desire to be in the past, future, the doubt, fear, comparisons...resisting the lessons and gifts of life. We need to rise above the base realities of our 'little ones' inside.

Iyanla Vanzant says ~

"Conscious breathing nurtures and nourishes the mind, body and spirit. Breath is how we remain conscious of and connected to God (or a higher power). When the mind or emotions are stressed, breathing becomes shallow and restricted (p.86 ~ Tapping the power within: A path to self-empowerment for women).

So, as I pondered these words & my half full breaths of late, I began to ask myself.. If you have shallow, restricted breathing are you in the habit of making yourself stressed or allowing life and its lessons to create stress & fear within you? Where does that stress come from? Are you truly in a state of acceptance/least resistance when you're breathing it that way? Find the strength to relax into life and accept, feel compassion for yourself and others, nurture, heal, trust & respect the unfolding condition of life. There will be a light to illumine each step of the path. This is true acceptance.

Cleansing Breaths

Cleansing breath increases blood flow to the brain and the heart. It can accelerate the elimination of toxins in the blood stream.

1. Sit or stand in a comfortable position
2. Inhale slowly as much air as possible through your nose
3. Exhale slowly through your mouth, with your lips puckered
4. relax for a few seconds by breathing at a regular pace
5. Repeat steps 2, 3 4 ~ four to eight times
6. Once you have completed the practice, sit quietly for 3 to 5 minutes.

You can use Cleansing Breaths throughout the day to keep your mind clear and your emotions balanced. Use cleansing breaths when you feel especially stressed or upset in response to your moment-to-moment experiences and interactions with others.

Think deeply, live simply, love completely and nurture your mind, body and spirit by taking a deep breath....*aaaahhh* now doesn't that feel better?

Gem x

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I live in close touch with vision. Seeds of idealism are planted firmly in my mind, heart & spirit. However, sometimes appreciating the perfection of here and now is a different story.

This space has been created to document the tapestry of life's unfolding lessons ~ a place to write affirmations, poems, thoughts and practical ideas/advice.

Vision and acceptance is a theme that has taken on many disguises in my life so far. This time the test has returned in the form of Paulie (my beloved) leaving Australia to travel overseas for 3 months on his own...starting on the 17th of March, 2010.

What does it truly mean to stay attuned to my visions and at the same time, say "yes" to the shadows? The journey of true love & acceptance begins on the inside.