Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Smoothie World!

Smoothies are ALL the range now and people in the know have been yapping on about how good these things are for you! And having now been substituting my breakfast for a few pieces of fruit and a green smoothie, I am a complete convert on how this glass of deliciousness impacts on your feelings and energy for the entire day! And the fact that N now asks for these each morning is a sure sign that a non green eating man can get on this healthy kick too!

I few people asked me how to introduce healthy living into their diet and my first thing to suggest was a green smoothie, the easiest way to add goodness to your diet with no fear or worries. 

There are just a few things that are key to getting a great smoothie:

1. RIPE bananas, have no fear in buying bananas with spots on them. This is when they are reaching their highest content of sugar and when blended this gives a creamy (non foamy) smoothie and adds natural sweetness so you don't need to add in anything else if you're worried about having a 'green' taste.

2. Add in Spirulina, it is a complete wonder food, and is nature's richest source of protein (very good for vegetarians and vegans to take). It contains 4 times more protein than meat, and as it is an algae, it is plant based and it's form is more readily absorbed than the protein we get from meat. It helps to stimulate the immune system, making us stronger against infections and helps red blood cell production, increasing our general health also. It has been shown to help cholesterol and blood pressure levels, increase memory.

I for one have found I am more alert, more engaged in my every day activities and have tremendous energy from this little addition. All in all there are only positive gains for adding this into your everyday smoothie to increase your health!

If you buy it in the powder form, 1/2 teaspoon is sufficient per person.

3. There are no rules to making a smoothie... you can decide if you want a super thick, lushious, spoon out of the mug type or a thinner, juicer type, and making them fresh every morning means you can add in anything you are fancying that day, chocolate, cinnamon, nuts.. the list is endless!

My Smoothie:

I added this to begin with as I wanted to increase my iron intake and to help build up my hair (haha). But it is also a wonderfully rich vegetable, adding iron and water to your smoothie. It has actually been linked to help regulate and control appetite also.

Any greens can be added though, they are all great!

People are often conscious of eating too much fruit for fear of the sugar content. Adding spinach helps balance out this natural sugar high, but the addition of cinnamon has been shown to also help regulate our blood sugar levels too, so adding a sprinkle over fruit is a great and delicious thing to do too.


Green Smoothie Goodness

Serves 1 person

2 medium ripe bananas
Good handful of raw spinach (stalks removed if using large leaves)
1/2 cup of water or milk for a creamy consistency
1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Add ins:

2 teaspoons of raw cacoa powder
1 teaspoon Maca powder
Squeeze of honey
1 teaspoon carob powder

Peel and chop the banana into chunks and add along with all the other ingredients to a blender. 
Blend on medium speed until smooth, and you see no flecks of spinach left.

Serve over ice in the summer and enjoy!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Long time no speak

Dear All,

I'm sorry for drifting off, for seeming to forget about this little space that I made for myself and to share with others. To write a bit here and there and not really post much. Sorry from the bottom of my heart.

I got a bit lost in my thoughts, and writing, or should I say the lack of writing. I sought refuge in the places where I read online and recently a pattern started to emerge.
Quite a few of the people who I read were starting to say 'Sorry for my absence...', 'I've been a little quiet I know..', 'A lot is happening right now..' And in daily life also.

There has been a shift in the universe, a compelling twist that took us by surprise and made us plummet deeper into our being. It lead to silence and thoughts and feelings of being lost and unsure.

But it taught me again, that to reach out to others and say "I'm lost", often brings with it an "I am too".

I am a bugger for getting lost in my head and foraging in my own world. I was listening to a talk the other day from a scientist discussing that Humans are exceptions. We evolve, we absorb, we interact with others and learn, we take with us everything from the past and build with it everything for the future.

It is so comforting to be offered a hand from others and so humbling to offer someone your own.


Life's questions don't necessarily come with the answers but each lesson might be a clue and a helping hand towards the next part.

As said by GKS and felt by many I'm sure, it is easy to look around and be inspired but the hardest part is finding your own self and style.

For now here are some posts that I read and smiled with:

* We each have our own mess.

* Everyone is trying to define themselves.

* We are all lifted by those around us.

Our thoughts are there, even if we can't express it yet.


I have practiced, I have ate, I have baked and I have travelled over the past few months. All of which I will share soon.


Sunday, 22 January 2012


Inspiration vs Influence.. is there a difference?

I've come across these two words alot recently.

Inspiration is claimed to be a stimulation or arousal of the mind or feelings to something special..
Influence, the capacity or power of persons or things that give a compelling force to produce effects from others actions...

I would like to believe that I am inspired by others rather than influenced. However this requires great strength and awareness from you to allow others to inspire you, rather than let them lead you.
I hope that I am pretty aware enough to know what is good and bad for me, but often we can get knocked off the track and others who truly love you and know you, will only hope to guide you and support you back on your own track, rather than stear you down the path they learnt from.
You can't put an old head on young shoulders.. as I'm told.

I realise I am most influenced in life by women. Strong and independent women. Those that know who they are, and know their best assets and what their purpose is in life. 
I think and hope behind every great woman, there is a man with acceptance. A man who provides love and support, and who lets his wife shine for who she is.
I believe this is how a true relationship is. Acceptance and support, love and giving, and room for each other to be who they are and room for each other to become who they are.

I think there are key points in life when you need to stop, look around and assess where you are, and how you got there. And ask if you are on your track?

I can remember certain significant points in my life very clearly.. the day I left for University, the early morning I left for Lisbon, the moments I realised I was in love with someone.. and the days when I knew what I wanted to aim for in life, and the places and times when I really felt completely myself.

I hope in life I remember these things, and am able to keep strong in myself to follow who I am, and believe that if you are true to yourself, then everything else will hopefully follow.

And continue to be inspired and learn!

Be strong, believe and live for who we are..
 Happy 2012!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sweet Love

I have been thinking about this post for a long time.
I don't always imagine the title of my writing beforehand, but this one I knew. With my heart.

After a hard month making decisions and spending my emotions, I was ready to smile at others and wish love and happiness to those close to me.

The perfect beginning for me, and for her, was my close friends wedding. With our names embroidered into her dress and our hearts glowing for her, we prepared her for her journey into the world, joining together her sweet love to that of her even sweetest husband.

The wedding was everything that she is, that they are... Sweet, beautiful, kind and happy. As we toasted our glasses overlooking the river Tejo, and smiled to our close friends over the candle lit dinner, I smiled and knew my heart was open for love and happiness, and contentment again.

Love has so many different forms, and is most beautiful when we just let it happen. There are no boundaries, no limits, no right or wrong. Our hearts are here to keep us alive, to open and give ourselves to others and to share and hold others within it.

These past few weeks, I have met love on many different levels. The love and strength of those who move away together to begin a new journey. The love of a parent, who's heart breaks when we leave, but who know that a part of their heart is always within us. The love of one's work and commitment in reaching their dream. The love we share and give to our friends, who build us and help guide us in life. The love we share and gain from our teacher, who shows us the way and helps us be who we are destined to be. And the love of those who we choose to give our hearts to, who lives we inter-twine with our own.

Love has no limits and one type is no more precious than another. Every one of them makes us who we are.

This week we have been taught to open our hearts to love. To accept ourselves and others and give our love and emotions to them.
Love is strong and takes us for many rides. We can not hinder it but neither should we hard upon it. Love should be true and honest.


Tonight we will give our hearts to a very special ceremony. Many of my loves will be there in that room, and my heart can barely settle in the preparations.

Our love is unique, special to each one of us. What my heart beats for will be different to another's. But listening to it and allowing it's rhythm to guide us, will lead us to where we should be.


The sweetness of Love

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A change in the air

You know when you can smell something that isn't really there, but you can really smell it?
Right now I can smell Autumn... cinnamon and nutmeg, and a faint hint of mulled wine.

Maybe it's because the last few mornings as I've opened the door to leave home I've been hit with a gust of morning chill and the signs that our long Lisbon summer days are ending.
It has been 31C here the last few days once the sun breaks through and beams down on you, smiling at you sweltering in your car in 30 degree heat, in late September!
Or maybe it's been the last few weeks of talks of flights home for Christmas, and my first sights of chestnuts in the shops and my first bites of juicy Permissons (diospiros).
Autumn and Christmas are my favourite times of year, by far.

You see the sea still exists here in winter. Now you just walk along the beach wrapped up in your scarf and boots and blink at the dazzling water, cooling in the winter sun.

I laugh again at the comparisons between England and a hot(ish) country. Everyone imagines England being so cold and freezing, and wet and drafty all the time. Yes it is, but then you can retreat inside, where it's cosy and warm, where it's comfy and there are fires and sofas that you sink into and cosy under a blanket on. Maybe my internal body clock is ringing but as I told a friend the other day, I'm ready for the cold now.

It's strange but there are distinct shifts in the air here (like the scenes you see in films). Though ask me again in February what my favourite season is, and I might tell you something different.
I have never felt so hot and over the heat and ready for winter or so chilled to the core and fed up of cold apartments and so ready for the summer as I have living here. Your body becomes synced to the changes and you feel ready for what's to come.

Or actually ask me this whilst I'm living in England, and I'd probably tell you something different also. The grass is always greener.

There has been another change in the air too. My sister and her family are starting a new stage of their lives in Germany, I see it with hope of holding onto our (loving) German background. I'm imagining already the Christmas market visits and their discovery of a new city and culture that we can share together. If there is anything I've learnt about being away from home, it's that you come to value what matters most in life, family, friends, love and support.

I've been battling against the shifting winds these last few months also. And it finally got me, it knocked me over and brought me down.
But I needed it. It made me look up and see the things all around me. Blowing them down around me together, clearing the way for what needs to be right now, regardless of whether I had been holding them in my head or closer to my heart.
I got up and picked up the parts to hold tighter right now, with the help of many hands and shoulders. I'm not leaving the other parts behind but just realizing that I can't hold them all now with equal strength.

I think sometimes change is good.


I'm looking forward to this time to sit a while and focus, deciding and discovering what's out there and what to explore first.

(The same goes to those over there in Germany too...)

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