Yoga With Emma

500hour RYT, Musician, Writer, Published Author of 'Ancient Yoga Wisdom For Modern Yogis', Children's Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist, Spreading The Word On Health & Happiness….


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LookFantastic September: Happy #LFBday!

 

bday

Happy Birthday to LookFantastic! & Congratulations on another year of providing us with earth-friendly, skin-friendly and totally nourishing products. When it comes to self care, receiving a little box of beauty through the post each month is a small price to pay for how important looking after YOU is. This month we say hello to six new items and six new reasons to treat yourself.

This month’s box is worth over £50, and you can get yours from just £11.25 depending upon your subscription choice. For your monthly subscription, sign up here and you’ll receive your next gift soon!

 

body-butterBliss

Lemon + Sage Body Butter

Rich, creamy and long-lasting moisture awaits once you open this little tube of luxury. With scents of lemon and sage, this body butter is both rejuvenating and relaxing, and comes in a handy size to take away with you while travelling or at the gym. Coconut oil softens the skin, while vitamin e is super soothing. For best results, slather on after a shower or bath.

 

shampooChristophe Robin

Purifying Shampoo With Jujube Bark Extract

Lightweight, refreshing and suitable for every-day use, this purifying shampoo can relieve any itching and dandruff, and is a brilliant go-to shampoo for when your hair and scalp need help.

Use daily for best results, and allow the revitalising smell to wake you up in your morning shower!

 

pencilLord & Berry

Strobing Stick

Accentuate your best bits with this travel size pencil. Adding a natural glow upon application, you’ll be able to maintain the gentle Summer radiance all through Autumn and Winter!

 

moxieBare Minerals

Marvelous Moxie

Keep a little lipstick in your bag and you can go from ‘work’ face to ‘leisure’ lips in one swift application. With no nasty ingredients, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your lips aren’t receiving any toxins, and will feel soft and supple after use. Plump and pretty, this handy little lipstick is worth keeping with you from day to day.

 

gatGatineau

Collagen Expert

If your eyes feel tired and in need to rejuvenating, treat them to these little pads of joy. Soaked in a unique collagen formula, your eyes will feel so much better and more ‘alive’ after using them, and they’ll look brighter and more bushy-tailed…. Allantoin and Gycerine moisturise the skin around the eyes, redicing signs of fatigue in just ten minutes. This is a must-have for busy and over-tired people everywhere….

 

arganoilArgan

Liquid Gold

Multi-Tone BB Cream

You want luxury? Well how about applying 24 Carat GOLD to your face? Get that extra amount of luminosity with this mixture of natural argan oil and gold. This specially formulated cream will adapt to your own skin tone, and after application you’ll notice the face is much more supple and hydrated.

 

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Living a Life of Longevity: Are We Looking For True ‘Health’ Or Instant Gratification?

 

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Longevity is not sexy. Moderation in diet, exercise and sleep are what have kept cultures and civilisations in the East healthy for thousands of years, but they don’t necessarily add up to what we in the West currently pursue.

The current trends of Crossfit, Paleo, raw vegan and any other ‘extreme’ diet and exercise regimes are more popular than ever, but while they may lead to aesthetically pleasing bodies, supreme strength or dramatic weight loss, are they actually keeping us ‘healthy’? The answer is ‘probably not’, but ask yourself this, is it actually health you’re looking for, or is it looks, strength and weight loss?

A Generation of Instant Gratification

impatient1Living long isn’t always top of our list when it comes to health priorities when we really think about it; weight loss, muscle gain, energy levels and curing immediate disease are all more studied topics than simply living a long healthy, humble life. Even before we think about health, material wealth and social status are regularly given more importance than lifespan and general health and wellbeing. We live in an age where instant gratification is everything; fast food, instant messaging, TV ‘on demand’. We now even have something called Instaread, which gives the summary and key take-away aspect of a book in minutes. If you don’t have the body you want, you can now either pay someone to ‘whip you into shape’ at the gym, or undergo plastic surgery to add on, take off or re-shape body parts.

Within the business-focussed parts of the world – particularly, the UK, US and China – increasing the pace at which we work, stress levels are rising and health levels are dramatically falling. Our way of living – which includes hours sitting at a desk, driving a car or slouching on the sofa – has perpetuated the ‘need’ for convenience foods, pre-packaged meals and more chemicals and artificial saturated fats than ever before. What we need then is not just an overhaul of our daily diet, but an overall lifestyle change.

Live Fast, Die Young… Literally

Life is fast, and we are all moving towards the ‘promise’ of something, something that is coming ‘eventually’, some success down the line, something better than where we are now. The point is though; if we live life as though it were a race towards a finish line, we will literally race through life; it will be faster and it will end sooner than if we’d taken the scenic route and stopped to live along the way.

Allan Watts explores the race through life by comparing it to music:

 

Keys To Living Long

The Blue Zones, are parts of the world known for having populations with higher life expectancy than other areas, living healthy lives well into old age. Accumulatively, we can see that these areas of the planet all share a few things in common, and tend to value certain things in life more than others. Take a look at the diagram below.

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Whilst everyone is unique and there may not be an exact blueprint to follow to guarantee a totally healthy life, it’s worth exploring how you could potentially optimise your own daily habits to cultivate your own health and happiness. Experiment with the following over the course of a few months and see how it makes you feel:

 

Pillars of Longevity

  • Sleep Enough: Shawn Stevenson and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington have both recently released very accessible books on how to get good quality sleep, and the proven benefits of it. Key points include cutting caffeine before 2pm, making sure you get enough daylight in the early hours of the day, turning down the lights at least an hour before bed, and ensuring your room is at a comfortable temperature. Click HERE for Shawn Stevenson’s book, and HERE for Arianna Huffington’s.
  • Eat Enough, but not too much: intermittent fasting and moderation in diet has been key to living a long and healthy life for different cultures for thousands of years. Digesting food puts a certain amount of stress on the body, and whilst the body is trying to digest food, it can’t be clearing away toxins and reparing daily wear and tear. Night time is reserved for clearing away the debris of the day, and this is dome much more efficiently on a stomach that isn’t full.
  • Stress Less: We’ve all heard that stress is bad for us, and there are endless effects of stress including increased blood pressure, digestive issues, heart problems, unhealthy weight gain, ‘brain fog’, muscle loss, and an increased likelihood of illness and injury. Choose something natural that helps you relax such as walking in nature, meditating, practicing Yoga or Thai Chi, and aim to do this every day.
  • Reduce Animal Protein: Scientific studies have shown that dramatically reducing or cutting out animal protein has the ability to increase someone’s life significantly. Going ‘plant based’ is one of the most powerful ways to cure many illnesses and increase life expectancy.
    There are now an abundance of studies showing that a vegetarian diet can allow someone to live around eight years longer than a meat-eater, which is similar to the life expectancy gap between a smoker and a non-smoker. The key points are that carnivorous diets contain more unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol (a leading cause of heart disease) and vegetarian diets contain more fibre (an aspect leading to a longer life). “Consuming the amount of cholesterol found in just a single egg a day may cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking five cigarettes daily for 15 years, whereas eating a daily cup of oatmeal’s worth of fiber appears to extend a woman’s life as much as four hours of jogging a week”. – Huffington Post. Read much more on this topic HERE. 
  • Get Moving: I’m not talking about hours spent at the gym, high intensity workouts or lifting heavy weights, just make sure you move a lot each day in a natural way. Walk, dance, run, swim or climb trees, it doesn’t matter what it is, but having some form of movement you enjoy is important for optimal circulation, metabolism, digestion and your emotional wellbeing.
  • Drink Clean Water: There are many theories as to what actually goes into our tap water, but for the most part, pesticides, chlorine, traces of plastics, fluoride and heavy metals are what you can expect. Steer clear of this by using a water filter, or even an alkalising water filter jug. To read more on the possible ‘added ingredients’ in UK water, click HERE. 
  • Eat REAL food: Perhaps one of the most important and easily controlled aspects is to eat food that is not processed and doesn’t contain any artificial chemicals or preservatives. Healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and proteins are all healthy, however there are studies that show that digesting high amounts of protein can have negative and stressful effects upon the body, and a relatively low protein diet can add years to life. I highly recommend reading the very accessible book Food Rules by Michael Pollan.
  • Socialise: Having a ‘support network’ of people around us is one of the most important things in life. Whether you consider yourself a ‘loner’ or a bit of a soclialite; knowing someone has got your back when you need help is always comforting. Humans are tribal by nature and thrive off relaxed communication. Positive communication and having a support network of friends and family releases endorphins and chemicals that switch on the parasympathetic nervous system – this is the system that helps the body to ‘rest and digest’, and strengthens the immune system greatly when it’s able to work properly.
  • Limit your exposure to toxins: Living in a crowded city or town is absolutely necessary for most people, yes. However, there are some ways you can realistically and very dramatically how many toxins your body has to absorb. Swap branded moisturisers and soaps for natural, organic products. Get an alkaline filter for your water at home, drink from glass bottles instead of plastic, and instead of wearing man-made perfumes or aftershave, make your own with essential oils or simple rose water.


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Anti Inflammatory Ruby Red Juice

 

red-juice

Packed full of vitamin C and A, alkalising and anti-inflammatory, this juice is perfect for when you feel a cold coming on, or you’re suffering from any aches and pains. Having recently experimented with juicing, I can honestly say that adding a few juices a week to my diet has given me more energy, ability to focus, and a huge boost of nutrients.

If you’re looking to get into juicing but aren’t sure where to start, YouJuice in Brighton offer different cleanses and packages with seasonal and tasty ingredients and can offer advice on which type of juice might help you the most.

Ingredients

Serves 1-2

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 beetroot
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

How To

  • Send all the fresh ingredients through a juicer
  • Add the turmeric and black pepper and stir well
  • Drink immediately
  • Feel better

 

Optional extras:

Oregano essential oil = extremely high in antioxidants, this oil is the secret to staying well throughout ‘cold and flu season’. The essential oil is very strong, so use no more than 2-3 drops each time you take it, the taste is strong too so either mix it with your juice, or purchase the oil in a capsule form. Please note that ingesting essential oils should only be done under the supervision of someone experienced in this field, and only with pure, high quality oils.

Raw honey = antibacterial, antifungal, and brilliant for the immune system. If you want to make this addition extra effective, add manuka honey with a strength of at least +12.

Cayenne pepper = a good way to boost digestion, and perfect for clearing any chesty coughs and excess mucus

Moringa = Coined ‘nature’s miracle tree’, you’ll often find moringa in powder form. It’s very high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, calcium and potassium and can also help protect the liver against toxicity and damage.


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Interview: Suzanne Wylde & Moving Stretch

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It’s not Yoga, Pilates, and isn’t even classed as standard ‘resistance stretching’; Moving Stretch is the new practice, treatment and therapy that has everyone feeling better. It ‘works on the fascia, releasing the body from pain, stiffness and limitation and helping to create a naturally healthy body, which is strong, flexible and graceful’. I recently chatted with founder Suzanne Wylde about the benefits of this technique, her sudden appearance in big, National newspapers, and how she keeps herself healthy and happy every day. Sit back, stretch out your legs and get comfy, you’re about to learn a whole lot more about what it means to ‘stretch’….

Q: Moving Stretch® has been all over the press and national media recently, with even A-List celebrities feeling the benefits of it. How did you first become interested in developing stretching techniques?

A: It was actually quite a circuitous path. Rather than starting with sports or physio, I began by studying Tai Chi at 16 for a couple of years, and going on to do a five year degree in Traditional Chinese medicine. Whilst practicing acupuncture I started resistance stretching at home and noticed immediate benefits in my posture. I went to study in the States originally but over time started to develop my own method, incorporating my experience as an acupuncturist, working with pain and physical injuries and imbalances. I wanted to offer something that was very accessible to people of different flexibility levels, and adaptable enough to be able to meet different needs in people with quite different bodies. It has been challenging and interesting creating something new that people can use to feel better straight away, and seeing those results ms4.pngunfolding in front of my eyes.

I never dreamed that I would be featured in Tatler, the Guardian, the Evening Standard and especially not in a double page spread in the Times! I’m very grateful for that exposure, as it really changed things for my business and lead to me getting my book deal. However, the most amazing and funniest thing for me so far has been being able to watch one of our Moving Stretch trainers teaching a class and seeing the students benefit from the stretches I created. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as that, the feeling that I have created something that can stand on its own and help people in other countries who I’ve never even met.

yinyangQ: As well as Moving Stretch, you have a background in Chinese Medicine; do you incorporate this into any of the work you do now, and has it changed the way you think about ‘health’?

A: One of the most important things I learned while studying TCM (tradition Chinese medicine) was the importance of being flexible (no pun intended) by using whatever works for the client, and adjusting the method if it is not working. Even though it is important to have a theoretical framework, at the end of the day the client was more important than the theory, whereas some systems can be so dogmatic they refuse to see information that conflicts with their theory, or try to squish it into their framework, rather than adapting their theory. I have tried to carry this principle through into Moving Stretch, by trying to keep it adaptable to the needs of different people and continually learning and trying to improve the technique.

In some ways my acupuncture practice is quite different; looking at separate meridians of the body, whilst when I stretch people I work on the fascia, which is extremely interconnected throughout the whole body. However, both methods look at the person holistically, and although to many people it can be a bit of an “airy-fairy” term, actually I feel that this perspective is the only way to get deep and lasting change in an individual’s health that “sticks”.

ms2Q: Have you always been into health and wellbeing?

A: Yes and no. I have always been interested in people, what makes them happy and healthy, and how to help people attain this. I was very lazy when I was younger and a love of movement and exercise came only with adulthood, along with a fascination in movement. Mostly I am interested in how to help people achieve their potential and have a fulfilling life – and it is amazing how much facilitating free movement can help people in this respect. Having worked with many people limited by poor posture and pain I saw that it is very hard to achieve our potential, or even to be happy before our bodies are strong and able to move freely. But I also believe in having a balanced life, with good habits and enough “bad” habits to keep life interesting.

Q: There are a lot of alternative movement practices surfacing at the moment, and Yoga in particular is more popular in the West than it has ever been. How does Moving Stretch differ to Yoga, and any other form of stretching most people may have practiced?

A: It is an interesting question, it is always tricky introducing a new concept, because in some ways it is easier to experience it than understand an explanation, especially when someone is already trained in a particular discipline. However I would say it is similar to yoga in that it is holistic and can both strengthen and stretch people, leading to significant figure-stretchphysical improvements in health and posture.

It is different in that it is not a specific sequence of moves or postures, we do a different combination of stretches in each class or session, not sticking to any set pattern. Also, yoga consists of poses, but in Moving Stretch we stretch through a range of motion, not staying very long at the end before repeating the stretch. We also always use resistance when we move through the stretch, in order to engage the fascia and then recondition it through the movement.

It is also quite different to passive stretching, which is the “normal” method of stretching for most people, which emphasises trying to push beyond the existing range of motion at the end of the range. However, in Moving Stretch we do not push beyond our comfortable range, and all the good stuff happens while we are moving. People tend to feel stronger, looser, taller and more open and energised after a Moving Stretch class or session.

Q: Fascia seems to be the new ‘buzzword’ amongst health, anatomy and movement professionals at the moment. What exactly is fascia, and why is fascia-photoit so important to maintain the health of it?

A: Fascia is the dense connective tissue that makes us the shape that we are. It tells the story of our habitual movement patterns and holds us within the posture and the range of motion that we use the most often. It is important to keep it healthy because otherwise, from my experience, it can lead to premature ageing and deterioration of physical posture and movement. When we recondition the fascia it can become rehydrated, more elastic, and support us in great posture and freedom of movement.

Q: What three things do you do every day to look after yourself and your health?

A: I try to avoid sitting in chairs “normally”, by standing, sitting on the floor, squat-sitting on the sofa, to help me increase my “movement menu” for the day.

I stretch most days, but whether I stretch or not, I try to follow what my body wants in terms of movement.

I have fun every day and enjoy what I am doing, I laugh and smile when possible (its usually possible!).

Q: How can we feel we’re working with the fascia with a Moving Stretch technique?

A: You tense your muscles to engage the fascia and then move through that resistance, only as far as you can comfortably. You can make a lot of stretches into resistance stretches by doing this, just bear in mind that we never push through pain or beyond our natural range, and that the stretch happens while we move, not at the end of the range of motion.

ms5Q: What does the future look like for Moving Stretch?

A: I am pleased to say that my book Moving Stretch: Stretch Your Fascia to Free Your Body (Lotus Publishing) will be out later this year and we have more training courses and events planned, and more certified trainers teaching classes in both the UK and abroad. It is an exciting time for us as we grow, but also for me personally as I hope to be able to help many more people through the book and training Moving Stretch trainers than I could just by myself, which has always been my dream. We hope to be able to work with businesses who want to  improve and maintain the health of their employees, “every-day” people who want to improve their bodies and lives, as well as special programs for people who may be from disadvantaged backgrounds, who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it.

Q: How can we try Moving Stretch for ourselves?

The book will be a great way to try the stretches at home, with both individual stretches and routines. We also have some amazing stretching trainers teaching stretching classes and one-on-one sessions, their details are on our website: www.movingstretch.com. Our website will also have stretches online, so people can easily stretch along to our videos at home.

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Moving Stretch: Stretch Your Fascia to Free Your Body, Lotus Publishing, is out later in 2016 and will be available on Amazon and other retailers.

Visit www.movingstretch.com for more information


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Carrellini Burger Recipe (V+GF)

burger-photo

Who knew combining some humble cannellini beans, carrots, oats and a few simple household spices could create something that tastes so good and offers so many health benefits! Totally plant based and with kind-to-the-planet ingredients, these burgers provide a whole lot of flavour and satisfaction, without the need to consume red meat.

As we’re learning more and more about how our modern diets are effecting us, we’re realising that a primarily plant-based diet is one of the most powerful ways to take control of our health and wellbeing; lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, acidity levels, and preventing the onset of alzheimer’s disease are just a few ways going plant-based can help. Forms of arthritis, kidney stones, diabetes, eczema and other skin conditions like acne, Crohn’s, IBS and even levels of dangerous visceral fat can also be aided with a lifestyle concentrated on eating whole, natural plant sources of food. Everyone has a choice over what they choose to consume, but if eating more plants can help you live a healthier, happier life, it’s worth knowing!

Ingredients

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp good quality salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • small handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp gluten free tamari or soy sauce

Optional

1 tbsp corn flour

2 tbsp oats

How To

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and sticks together
  • Mould the mixture into burger patties depending upon how many people you’re serving
  • (Optional): Roll the burgers in a mixture of 1 tbsp corn flour and 2 tbsp oats; this will help them become crispier as you cook them, and will help them stay firm throughout the cooking process.
  • If you have time, leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 200C, heat some coconut oil in a shallw frying pan, and lightly fry the burgers for about 3-4 minutes on each side
  • Place the burgers in the oven for about 15-20 minutes to finish cooking.
  • Remove when they’ve reached your desired texture
  • Enjoy!

 


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Men & Yoga – An Interview With OHMME

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At this year’s Brighton Yoga Festival, four of our teachers collaborated with OHMME, who specialise in a new range of men’s Yoga clothing. Created with the intention to bring more men to the mat, and to bring about a sense of community amongst male practitioners. While women seem to have endless options of colourful leggings, vests and clothing styles
to practice in, men are usually left to find the nearest top they don’t mind sweating in, and any old pair of running shorts. OHMME allows men to be included in the modern Yoga world, with subtle yet intelligently crafted clothing.

Founded by French-born Louis D’Origny, he was soon joined by Jonty Hikmet, and the two now have a team of ambassadors from all over the world sharing their practice and their stories.

ohmme-yoga-1Jonty from OHMME joined us at the Brighton Yoga Festival to meet our guys (Including BYF co-founder Davy Jones, Moving Stretch trainer David Croft, and Yoga teachers Jim Tarran and Jordan Paul) all sporting the range of understated and ultra comfortable material.

After navigating through the crowds of over 3000 people who came for a day of free yoga, therapies, meditation, music, goods to buy and healthy food and drink, Jonty answered some questions on the story behind the next big thing in men’s Yoga….

Q: Where did the idea to start a men’s Yoga clothing range come from? Do you have any background in retail?

Jonty: [It] wasn’t me who had the idea to start it, [it] was Louis. He wanted to provide a clothing range for men, who otherwise only had options of sportswear brands to wear during practice. I came in with the idea of generally encouraging men to do yoga with the brand.


ohmme-yoga-2Q:
Explain the theory behind the name OHMME.

Jonty: Again, this is a clever thing Louis came up with; his native tongue is French, so he mixed the yoga mantra sound ‘AUM’ with the French word for man – ‘HOMME’ to make a brand which is yoga focused and solely for men.

Q: Do you practice Yoga yourself? And where do you practice?

Jonty: I practice myself in studios all over London, but primarily I have my own self-practice.

Q: Who is the most inspiring teacher you’ve met?

Jonty: Not sure I could just name one, most classes I go to give me snippets of inspiration. Jason Crandell is a great teacher as well as a great guy!

Q: There are lots of photos of guys in handstands and impressive arm-balances on the OHMME website – what’s the craziest posture you guys have ever seen?

Jonty: There’s a great teacher called Jani Jaatinen who does some crazy postures and makes up the names of the poses too! He may be hypermobile though… Davin Jones did a video with us called Yoga on the Edge which had him doing all kinds of arm balances on the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover. It’s a beautiful video but is crazy!

Q: Yoga, health & wellness are big business right now. Have you always been ‘healthy’?

Jonty: [In my] early 20s I started to align myself more with health, I had [all] the usual allergies and ailments as everyone else; Colds in the winter, hay fever in the summer and stomach issues as well. It all went away pretty suddenly when I started to be healthy, I rarely get sick if ever these days.

Q: What three things do you do every day to look after yourself and your health?

Jonty:

  • Eat Well
  • Sleep Well
  • Smile

louis-3589_38294c1e-7a8c-4e08-83bf-dac25658d6ec_1024x1024Q: What’s next for OHMME?


Jonty:
Empower men who never considered yoga a part of their lives to give it a go. I really think that the modern men can soften in any way, the more we’ll create a harmony for humanity.

Q: Any favourite quotes for us?

Jonty: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

 

 

 

 

View the OHMME Yoga collection at www.ohmmeyoga.com and follow them for inspiration on Instagram at @OHMMEYOGA

 


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Seasonal September Recipe: Apple, Fig & Blackberry Compote

 

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Eating seasonally is one of the best ways to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs for that particular time of year. There’s a reason root vegetables are ready to eat in the Winter time when we need ‘grounding’ and warming up, and there’s a reason sweeter, lighter, refreshing fruits are ripe in the Summer when we need to cool down….

Autumn is a time of nourishment, and a time to care for the immune system. The harvest season sees an abundance of different fruits and vegetables on offer, and this compote is a healthy, tasty way to make the most of early September offerings. Serve with your favourite yoghurt, top with berries and seeds, and start your day in a healthy way.

Ingredients (Makes one medium sized jar)

  • 1 apple
  • 1 large fig
  • 1 cup blackberries – see if you can pick some locally, they’re everywhere at this time of year
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp raw honey (optional to sweeten and as an immune-booster)
  • Your favourite yoghurt. I use The Coconut Collaborative coconut yoghurt.

 

How To

  • Place the fruit and honey in a blender and blend briefly, enough to turn everything into a thick and chunky jam-like texture.
  • Pour the mixture into a jar or container and stir in the chia seeds.
  • Leave to set in the fridge over night and top with your favourite yoghurt and some seeds for a healthy, beautiful breakfast.