Apple & Blackberry Muffins (V+GF)

With natural sweetness from applesauce, local blackberries and cinnamon, these muffins are a great way to welcome in Autumn tastes. I made these recently for a crowd who needed gluten free options, but if you aren’t baking for anyone with a gluten intolerance, simply use a high quality organic spelt or oat flour instead. If you want to omit flour altogether, try this recipe with half ground almonds, and half besan (chickpea flour made from ground chickpeas). Enjoy these with tea as the colder weather starts to set in, or warmed up for breakfast.

INGREDIENTS

(makes around 16 muffins)

* all tbsp are heaped

  • 12 tbsp gluten free flour
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 cup applesauce or apple puree (simply steam and blend a couple of apples)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp soaked chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup blackberries – even better if you can pick them whilst we’re in the midst of blackberry season!
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 175C & prepare the muffin cases
  • Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix
  • Add all other ingredients and mix
  • Scoop an equal amount into each muffin case and top with a blackberry
  • Bake for roughly 12 – 15 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool

Enjoy!

More Autumn Recipes

Seasonal Shifts: Summer To Autumn

The Foods, Herbs, Self-Care Practices & Lifestyle Tips To Help You Move Into Autumn

As we approach September, there’s no denying Autumn will be with us soon. Of all the seasons, the transition from Summer to Autumn can be the one with the most changes and challenges, and the one where our lifestyle, foods and self-care practices need to switch the most. If you want to know how to change your energy along with the seasons, read on for a few quick tips from Ayurveda (the ancient ‘science of life’) on transitioning from Summer to Autumn. 

Summer is a ‘yang’ time of year, when the energy of ‘pitta’ (think hot, oily, humid, intense and irritable) is at its peak. As Summer progresses however, the heat of Summer begins to create dryness in the air and earth, and this is what leads to a lot less humidity, and a lot more dryness in the air in Autumn.

The dry quality in Autumn is one of the most important qualities to balance-out, because when the air around us is dry, the nose and throat can become dry too, which leaves us more susceptible to coughs and colds. To remedy dryness, bring in more oiliness in the form of cooking with ghee or coconut oil, and using warm sesame oil for ‘nasya’ (applying inside the nose to prevent the nasal passages from becoming dry). The quality of dryness can also lead to dry skin and dehydration, so it’s important to hydrate both internally and externally. Think about drinking more warm water – add a pinch of salt to a large glass of water in the morning and drink this to assist with absorption and rehydration – and consuming foods that have a naturally hydrating and moistening quality (soaked chia or flax seeds, soaked almonds and pumpkin seeds, and oats). Autumn is the perfect month to focus on abhyanga or ‘self-massage’, using warm sesame oil to massage your body from head-to-toe, especially on the joints, which can become a little stiff and achy in colder months. 

Lifestyle

According to Ayurveda, Autumn is governed by the Vata dosha, represented by the elements air and ether, from the root word ‘va’, a word that implies movement and change, and ‘vayu’, meaning ‘wind’. We can see these windy, changeable qualities in the way the leaves change and fall from trees, and the blustery, unpredictable Autumn weather. Indeed, these qualities of irregularity are a key characteristic of Vata energy, which can easily become excessive in Autumn and early Winter. To balance this sense of irregularity and potential for feeling scattered, it’s important to cultivate a steady daily routine that aligns with the rhythms of nature. Get plenty of sunlight in the morning, and it’s vital to make sure you’re not bathing your eyes in bright lights just before you go to bed – switch off the TV, laptop and as many overhead lights as you can in order to facilitate optimal sleep. If your Summer season was busy and bustling, it’s time to start slowing down and tying up loose ends. Finish up projects, and channel your energy into something you can settle into and focus on for the next few months. In terms of work and social commitments; set boundaries, and check in with yourself to ensure you’re living in a way that feels good to YOU, and not stressing over trying to fit too much in. It might sound silly, but if you’re prone to feeling cold, scattered and anxious, wearing a woolly hat when it’s windy outside can make a huge difference in helping you stay grounded. 

Foods 

At the end of one season, we tend to accumulate a lot of that particular season’s energy – think of the heaviness you might feel after Winter, when you’re eager to get out and about into the sunshine again, or perhaps the feeling of being a little frazzled after a busy and intense Summer. The transition between seasons is a good time to re-set the mind and body, so we don’t head into the next season already overloaded or undernourished. Moving from Summer to Autumn requires us to slow things down, and to move from consuming salad and cold foods, to warm, nourishing meals. To re-set your digestion, perhaps opt for a traditional Ayurvedic three-day kitchari cleanse (whereby you’d solely consume a kitchari recipe like THIS for three days), then bring in more nourishing and Vata-balancing foods like oils, nuts, root vegetables, bone broth and the tastes of sweet, sour and salty – all of these help to balance the Ayurvedic dosha Vata, which you can read more about HERE.  

Autumn is also the time to ensure the immune system is strong, so try making these recipes, tonics and remedies: 

Herbs

As colder weather and shorter days start to set in, it’s useful to use more warming spices in meals, to keep the Agni or ‘digestive fire’ burning well. Favour cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, ajowain, clove, chilli, as well as fennel, which can help prevent gas and bloating. 

Recipes:

Movement

Autumn is the time to find a balance between movement and rest – aim to walk daily in nature amongst the beautiful Autumn colours, and focus on building strength, which is great for balancing blood sugar levels, boosting mental health, and immune health. To relax, practice restorative yoga, yin yoga, yoga nidra (a form of deep relaxation), and give yourself permission to have more days where you simply relax and rest all day – your nervous system will thank you, especially when we jump back into the more ‘yang’ seasons of Spring and Summer. 

5 Women’s Weekday Breakfast Ideas For Better Energy, Hormones & Mood

If your go-to breakfast looks like an invisible bowl of nothing, a cereal bar, or a sugary cereal, it’s time to re-think how you’re fuelling your body. It sounds cliché but we really are what we eat. Many of the issues we face as a society today like chronic inflammation, obesity and diabetes are largely down to diet and lifestyle choices, which means what we eat matters, and can be used as preventative medicine. 

Although intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast is praised in the ‘health’ and biohacking world, skipping meals in this way is actually detrimental to women’s health. When we go for a really long time without food (unless you’re taking part in a specific planned fast for a specific reason), our metabolism slows down, our bodies move into a state of stress, and our energy, hormone and mood levels plummet. Even if intermittent fasting seems to sculpt your body into the physical shape you’ve been chasing, does it really matter if no one wants to be around you because you’re moody and tired? Many studies also show that when we skip breakfast, we’re much more likely to over-eat throughout the rest of the day, especially in the evening when our digestive system benefits from less food as it prepares for rest and sleep. 

Breakfast doesn’t have to be a huge and heavy meal, but you’re likely to experience huge benefits when you start eating a good quality breakfast, including:

  • Balanced blood sugar (no more ‘hangry’ moments)
  • Improved metabolism
  • Enhanced energy levels
  • Healthier hormones
  • Less stress and more resilience
  • More calmness
  • Better fertility 
  • Enhanced brain power
  • Healthier adrenals, which means you’re less likely to feel chronically overwhelmed

Sound good? Of course, the recipes below aren’t just for women, men can definitely enjoy them too. The point is that whilst men may benefit from skipping breakfast or fasting, women really really need to eat a good quality breakfast in order to feel our best. The key ingredients to include nutritionally are good quality fats (absolutely essential for women’s health), protein and complex carbohydrates, which these recipes all have a pretty balanced amount of. I hope you enjoy experimenting with these recipes, and that they help you move towards feeling great! Choose the breakfast that suits you depending upon how much time you have in the morning. 

  1. Overnight Oats

Let’s start with a simple classic recipe that I’m sure everyone is pretty familiar with. The reason it’s so important to include this type of breakfast a couple of times as week however, is because oats contain specific nutrients that help prevent and remedy anxiety and depression. Oats are even recommended often to new mothers to prevent post-partum depression too. They’re a complex carbohydrate that help keep mood, energy and hunger levels balanced for hours, and are a great source of fibre. I know a lot of women who consume dry cereals like muesli for breakfast, and tell me their hormone and mood levels are suffering – if this sounds like you too, then give this breakfast a try instead. Make it the night before, as soaking the oats makes them easier to digest. This recipe is high in anxiety-reducing ingredients, healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, potassium, and hormone-balancing goodness. 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 handful berries (blueberries or black berries)
  • Roughly 1 cup milk of choice

METHOD

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl or jar (a jar is useful if you’re going to be eating your breakfast at work or on your commute)
  • Stir well, and leave over night
  • Top with the other half of the banana, sliced the next morning, a tbsp seeds, or a dollop of yoghurt. 

2. Eggs and avocado on sourdough toast

To make this recipe even quicker to make in the morning, boil the eggs the night before, and you could even mash up the avocado the night before too – store it in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice on top to prevent it from going too brown. This recipe is great if you’re looking for more healthy fats, protein, vitamin D, and complex carbohydrates to keep your mind and body satisfied. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or 2 slices sourdough toast (keeps blood sugar more balanced than regular toast, and is better for gut health)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ large avocado
  • 1 tbsp seeds (pumpkin / sunflower / sesame)
  • Organic full-fat, regular butter to spread on the toast
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • A squeeze of lemon juice if you want to be fancy

METHOD

  • It’s pretty self-explanatory. Top your toast with the rest of the ingredients and enjoy! A savoury breakfast can leave you feeling satisfied for longer, and is very effective for reducing sugar cravings. If you’re making this breakfast in the morning, try to boil the eggs for a shorter amount of time so the yolks are runny, which makes them more nutritious. 

3. Bone broth breakfast soup

Bone broth is a true superfood. Full of collagen, protein, natural electrolytes and with detoxifying benefits, traditional cultures have been consuming this healing liquid for thousands of years. When we eat real, whole foods, our bodies instantly recognise it and know what to do with the nutrients, whilst consuming overly processed foods all the time kind of confuses the body, and we don’t necessarily absorb all the ‘nutrients’ we think we’re getting. Use THIS recipe for the broth, or purchase a ready-made bone broth online. Adding the herbs to this recipe makes it truly healing and incredibly nourishing, whilst being very light and easy to digest. This recipe is full of protein, collagen, healthy fats, anti-inflammatories, digestion-boosting herbs, and herbs to helps detox heavy metals. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup bone broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 handful fresh coriander 
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Tsp miso (optional)
  • Bring all ingredients to a gentle simmer, then switch off the heat immediately. Serve in a bowl or mug, with a slice or sourdough and organic butter if you like. 
  • Enjoy!

4. The Green Smoothie

I love smoothies for their ability to contain an abundance of nutritional ingredients, but they shouldn’t necessarily be an everyday breakfast. We also need lots of foods that require us to chew, in order to maintain healthy teeth, digestion and jaw structure. A couple of times a week however, this is a great way to add more green goodness to your day. This recipe is high in vitamin C, vitamin K (essential for bone health), liver-loving ingredients, healthy fats and protein. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 handful kale 
  • 3 sprigs frozen broccoli
  • 1 apple 
  • 1 scoop protein powder (Use code EMMA10 for 10% off yours at Love Life Supplements)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger or ½ tsp dried
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • Use milk, kefir or water as your liquid base

METHOD

  • Blend and enjoy!

5. Chocolate Chia Cardamom Pudding 

If you’re plant-based, chia seeds are probably in your cupboard. Used as a replacement for eggs, to thicken recipes, or swirled into smoothies, chia seeds are full of omega 3 fats and protein, which make them a great breakfast food. Make this breakfast the night before to allow enough time for the chia seeds to soak up all the liquid. This recipe is high in protein, healthy fats, magnesium and antioxidants. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk of choice (Note: I’d never advise soy milk as this isn’t necessarily healthy for hormone and oestrogen levels)
  • 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 handful berries (blueberries, black berries or raspberries)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Seeds of 1 cardamom pod 
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs or 1 square of dark chocolate (try 80-90% dark chocolate)
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup

METHOD

  • Add everything to a jar or bowl (a jar is handy if you’re going to be eating your breakfast at work or on your commute) and stir well. 
  • If possible, stir again about an hour later (which will allow the chia seeds to set better)
  • Pop in the fridge overnight, and top with more berries or nut butter the next morning.

Super Healing Bone Broth Recipe

Traditional cultures have been consuming bone broth for thousands of years, and as well as being incredibly nutritious, it’s also great for gut health. Full of protein, collagen, and natural electrolytes, it has detoxifying benefits too.

If you’re looking to heal injuries more efficiently, to care for your skin, joints, hair and nails, or if you want to prevent osteoarthritis and protect your bone density, bone broth is the answer. When we consume real, whole foods, our bodies know exactly what to do with the vitamins and nutrients, whilst consuming mostly processed foods often increases inflammation, high blood sugar, and malabsorption of vitamins and minerals. Whilst we might not eat nose-to-tail or consume organ meats much today, bone broth is one of the ways we can get back to eating whole, real, traditional and healing foods.

A note on health and animal welfare: I know consuming animal products can be controversial, however research shows that this is how humans have been eating since the dawn of time, and it’s a choice I’ve made personally. Everyone is empowered to make their own dietary choices, and if going totally animal-free suits you, that’s great. We buy an organic, biodynamic chicken every few weeks from a local farm. The meat lasts us a few days, and everything else is thrown into a big pot to make bone broth with (which will often last us a whole week). You can also freeze the broth to use later as a base for soups, stews and to add to stir fries. If possible, it’s always best to buy organic and local.

INGREDIENTS

– 1 very good quality chicken 

– 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, sliced 

– 1/2 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, sliced

– 1 chopped red onion

– 3 chopped cloves of garlic 

– 1 tsp oregano

– 1 tsp salt

– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

METHOD

– Add everything other than the salt and vinegar to a large pan, cover the chicken with water and boil / poach for roughly 1 hr or until cooked through.

– When cooked, take the meat off the bone and set aside to eat whenever you want 

– Place everything left of the chicken back in the pan, add the salt, pepper and vinegar and a little more water

– Simmer for 4-5 hours 

– Turn the heat off and strain into a container

– Store in the fridge and drink daily, or use as a base for soup, stews or stir fries 

If it forms a jelly-like consistency on top, you know you’ve made a brilliant batch, but as long as you follow these steps you’ll get the benefits.

Enjoy!

New Course For 2022!

Healing Touch: Yoga Assists & Relaxation Techniques CPD Course

Certified by the Yoga Alliance

For yoga teachers, teachers-in-training, therapists and those who want to learn about the art of healing touch. This weekend workshop explores how hands-on yoga assists and adjustments can help yoga students deepen their practice, as well as creating a safe and empowering space to let go. 

Learn how to make restorative yoga postures even more relaxing, Ayurvedic Yoga Massage techniques, and pressure points to take your clients’ experience to the next level. You’ll gain confidence in giving hands-on assists and guided relaxation sessions, as well as enhancing your knowledge of teaching and adjusting restorative yoga postures. This course is especially important for those who may have completed their teacher training online. 

All course students receive playlists to use the power of sound for relaxation, guided meditations and visualisations, a yoga flow and restore sequence, and goodie bags to support your personal and professional development. 

  • Date: 12th & 13th March 2022 (10am-5pm)
  • Location: The Barn, Tilgate Park, Crawley
  • Price: £200 
  • To Book: email emmanewlynyoga@gmail.com
  • Limited spaces
  • Eligible for 20 hours CPD points

Pre-course work: Develop a practice of Abhyanga or ‘self massage’. Abhyanga involves using a specific oil depending upon your mind-body ‘type’ according to Ayurveda, and massaging the body in a slow and mindful way. Course students are asked to practice this at least three times per week before the course starts, as a way to build confidence in giving hands-on massage, to develop intuitive touch, and enhance their relationship and respect for their own body. Your mind-body type and the specific oil to use can be discussed upon booking.

Post-Course work: Design a yoga and relaxation session, outlining the postures, adjustments, props, sounds, massage techniques and any guided meditations you’d use. Describe why you chose each posture and technique, and what affect this would have on the mind and body of the person practicing. Present the course either in essay form (800-1000 words), with photos and accompanying notes, or a video and accompanying notes. To be completed within 1 month of the course date. 

Topics covered:

  • Touch Therapy
  • Yoga Posture Hands-On Assists & Adjustments
  • Marma Points & Practice
  • Marma Meditation
  • Therapeutic Use of Essential oils in class
  • The Nervous System 
  • Restorative Yoga Postures and assists
  • Savasana and Savasana adjustments 
  • Deep Relaxation techniques: Guided meditation and pranayama
  • Introduction to Ayurvedic Massage Techniques 

Included in the price:

  • Course materials
  • Yoga flow & restore sequence
  • Tea and seasonal snacks
  • Certificate
  • Urban Veda goodie bag
  • Guided relaxation scripts
  • Guided Visualisation scripts
  • Links to private Spotify relaxation playlists 

Students will need to bring:

  • Yoga mat
  • 1 bolster
  • 1 cushion
  • 5 blankets / throws / shawls
  • 2 yoga blocks / bricks
  • 1 yoga strap
  • 1 tennis ball or similar
  • Lunch for each day
  • Water bottle
  • Notepad and pen

£50 deposit required upon booking. 

Email emmanewlynyoga@gmail.com to book

Cooling Lime & Mint Shots

According to Ayurveda, Summer is a time when Pitta energy (the energy of heat, acidity, sharpness, and irritability) is at its peak, and so any issues relating to Pitta – think rashes, mouth ulcers, acidic digestion and migraines, are a little more likely to occur in those of us who are susceptible to them. If you drink lemon water in the morning, it’s a good idea to switch to lime during Summer, as lime is slightly more cooling than lemon. You’ll still get the benefits of boosting digestion, and a good dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, without the overly sharp nature of lemon.

In the heat of August, it’s good to have a couple of tonics on-hands to sip (or in this case, shot) so try this combination of cooling cucumber, lime, mint and coconut water as a morning wake-me-up or to help you cool-off midday. There will be a good amount of pulp left over from this recipe, which you can freeze in an ice-cube tray, and use as a base for smoothies or cocktails!

INGREDIENTS

(makes roughly 1/2 litre)

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 whole lime + juice of 1 more lime
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 + 1/2 cups coconut water (add a little more if needed)

METHOD

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and whizz well
  • Pour through a sieve into a large bottle (I use a funnel too, which prevents it from spilling everywhere!)
  • Freeze the pulp to use in smoothies or cocktails
  • Store in the fridge, and shake well before decanting into shot glasses
  • Enjoy!

A Modern Ayurveda & Holistic Health Guide To Healing Eczema

This is a peek at just some of the topics we cover on the Modern Ayurveda & Holistic Health Course Level 2, so get in touch if you’d like to know more about signing up to levels 1 or 2, or contact me for a 1-2-1 health coaching consultation.

Please remember not to take this blog post as medical advice and always listen to your intuition. Consult a healthcare professional before making changes, or if you are concerned about an issue.

Also known as ‘Atopic Detmititis’, eczema is one of the most common skin issues, especially in young children. The skin is closely linked to the immune system, and eczema is one of the most immune-system mediated skin issues. Eczema can be triggered by environmental irritants, which when cause an abnormal immune response, indicating that the client may already have a lot of internal inflammation, or the beginnings of an autoimmune condition. The word ‘itis’ refers to anything inflamed or irrtated, so the name ‘dermatitis’ can give you a clue as to the symptoms.

According to Ayurveda, the skin reflects the health of rasa dhatu, the first ‘layer’ of bodily tissue, and therefore indicates how nutritious our food is, how well we’re digesting it, how strong the immune system is, and how stressed we are. Many skin issues are linked to an excessive amount of Pitta energy rising to the surface of the skin and overheating and irritating it, increasing the qualities of oiliness too. Whilst some types of eczema could be caused by external factors such as an allergy to a specific skin cream or material, it’s much more likely that focusing on internal factors like digestion, an accumulation of ama, and emotional stress will give better results with eczema. Ayurvedic texts say that inflammatory skin issues and rashes may get worse before they get better, so it is important not to stop a treatment too early if you are sure of the diagnosis.

When it comes to looking at the remedies for eczema, each ‘remedy’ deserves an exploration of its own, so dive into whichever root cause you feel could be triggering your eczema (are you also intolerant of dairy? It’s most likely you have a gut health issue; do you suffer from blood sugar issues or diabetes? This could be the root cause). Remember that your health is your health, and we each need different things in order to be healthy. You may have heard a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting is great for biohacking your body, but does it actually work well for you? You might think that lots of high intensity workouts is the way to get healthy, but is it actually causing more inflammation and fatigue within your own body and mind? Consider the root cause that could be linked to your eczema, or that of someone you know, and work from there. 

Remember Ayurveda’s key principle; ‘like increases like & opposite brings balance’, so look to bring in the opposite qualities of eczema to remedy the issue. 
Qualities of Eczema: Hot, sharp, dry / sometimes ‘wet’, heavy, rough

Possible causes of eczema:

  • An accumulation of ama (toxins in the digestive tract)
  • Weak digestive fire
  • Intolerance to foods like dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, citrus fruits, which is usually linked to a gut health problem like leaky gut or candida. 
  • An autoimmune condition caused by excessive inflammation within the body
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Congested liver and gallbladder 
  • Excessive consumption of pitta-aggravated foods like sour, salty and pungent tastes. 
  • Consuming too many heavy foods like oils and processed fats
  • A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Overuse of cosmetics
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Occasionally, eczema can be caused by a combination of someone with excessive pitta energy being exposed to excessively Vata weather (such as in the cold and dry air of Autumn and Winter) 
  • Inability for the skin to sweat and detox properly., causing congestion in other internal organs like the lungs.
  • Environmental toxins or triggers such as dust mites, moulds and pollen

Signs + Symptoms

  • Red, scaly skin often on the inner sides of the joints like elbows and knees, or on the cheeks
  • Extremely itchy
  • Skin breaks and possibly bleeds when scratched

Remedies
Qualities to favour: cool, light, smooth, flowing, clear. 

  • These are just some of the remedies we look at for eczema on the Modern Ayurveda & Holistic Health Level 2 course. Students of the course will get to learn a lot more.
  • Food allergens and intolerances can often indicate the you may have leaky gut, in which case this would be the place to focus on when healing. 
  • Consider where the issue is located on the body, as this can indicate a link to one of the internal organs that may be congested and contributing to the eczema. This can also link to an internal organ the client may have a dysfunction within. (e.g. eczema on the cheeks can indicate accumulated ama in the intestines).
  • Adopt a pitta-reducing diet, with less hot, spicy, pungent, sour and salty foods, and more cooling, naturally sweet, bitter, astringent and light foods.
  • Specific foods: cucumber, leafy greens, coconut in all forms, ghee, chia seeds, flax, courgette, hibiscus, bananas, turmeric, dark coloured berries, asparagus, celery, papaya, pineapple, oily fish, omega 3 fats from nuts, seeds and brussels sprouts (limit consumption of nuts and oils as they are ‘heavy’), quercetin from apples, red onion, peppers and tomatoes. Zinc from pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cocoa, cashews, kefir (non-dairy), mushrooms, spinach and chicken.
  • Herbs: Hibiscus, candeldula, chamomile, mint, turmeric + black pepper, rose, cardamom, marshmallow, aloe vera, slippery elm, shatavri, saffron, coriander, parsley, liquorice. For acute cases, use blood-cleansing herbs like dandelion, red clover, yarrow, barberry, sandalwood, guggul, or honeysuckle. These can all be used externally and internally. 
  • Advise drinking a warm tonic of almond or coconut milk with saffron, triphala, cardamom, shatavri, turmeric, black pepper and ghee. Sweeten with maple syrup. 
  • Ghee (externally and internally). Ayurvedic external ghee remedy for inflammatory skin issues: Place ½ cup of ghee in a copper vessel with ¼ cup water. Keep for a month, stirring with a copper spoon each day. The ghee will turn w pale whitish colour and begin to smell a little like coconut. This method makes the ghee more absorbable for the skin.
  • Supplements: zinc, quercetin, vitamin D, magnesium, curcumin, probiotics and prebiotics, vitamin C. 
  • Earthing (going bare-foot) to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation
  • Balancing circadian rhythms
  • Sufficient sunlight exposure
  • Red light therapy
  • Optimising sleep
  • 3-5 day kitchari cleanse
  • Reducing stress
  • Eliminating possible allergens like dairy, wheat, peanuts, soy, eggs, fish and sugar
  • Reduce alcohol, caffeine and refined carbohydrates
  • Regular abhyanga (self-massage) with coconut oil, especially during Autumn and Winter
  • Focusing on detoxing the liver
  • Switch to a deodorant without antiperspirant so the body can sweat and detox naturally
  • Eliminate all synthetic skincare products – use natural oils only
  • Epsom or Dead Sea salt baths
  • As a preventative approach, breastfeeding children can help protect against eczema. 

Sunshine Shots


Give yourself a dose of inner sunshine to match the warm, sunny days we’ve had recently! 


Sun exposure is massively beneficial, but it results in a little bit of natural oxidative stress (natural cell damage and the process behind ageing). SO, to give yourself a boost of cell-repairing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, PLUS boosting your body’s own antioxidant capacity, whip up these little glasses of sunshine. You don’t even need a juicer!



INGREDIENTS

(makes 8-10 shots)
– 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger (more if you like things spicy) 
– 1 little finger size piece of fresh turmeric 
– Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I literally put the whole half lemon in there too as the pulp and skin are super beneficial)
– Pinch of black pepper 
– 1 cup of water

If you tend to feel overly hot, irritated and feel like you may have a ‘pitta’ imbalance, swap the lemon for lime, use less ginger, and make things more hydrating and cooling by blending with coconut water.


METHOD


– Add everything to a blender and whizz well.
– Pour through a sieve into your glasses.
– Cheers! 

A Holistic Guide To Healing Psoriasis

Skin is an inside issue. Yep, despite the abundance of creams and lotions promising to transform rashes to radiance or pimples to ‘perfection’, the only real and true way to heal chronic skin problems is to dive beneath the surface. Creams, oils and lotions can of course be a big help, and oiling the skin (known as abhyanga in Ayurvedic medicine) is a vital aspect of self-care both physically and emotionally, but the skin is almost always a sign of something happening within. 

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and one of its primary functions is detoxification. The ability for us to ‘detox’ via sweating and releasing wastes is so incredibly important, which is why swapping your anti-perspirant deodorant to a natural deodorant that still addresses body odour but doesn’t stop you sweating is an easy swap for better health. If the skin is unable to release wastes, these ‘toxins’ are pushed back into the body, where they look for other exit routes; the lungs (which aid in releasing toxins via breathing), the kidneys (which filter waste), and the liver, which is also a key organ for detoxifying wastes from the body. Caring for the skin therefore includes caring for the lungs, liver and kidneys, as well as gut health and blood sugar balance – all before putting anything on your skin!

Psoriasis is considered to be a chronic inflammatory skin disease, where cells in the epidermis (just below the skin’s outer surface) divide much faster than usual, and shed prematurely. According to Ayurvedic medicine, psoriasis indicates an imbalance in the Kapha and Pitta doshas: the building and massing qualities of the Kapha dosha encourage new cells to grow excessively, and the inflammatory, hot qualities of Pitta cause redness, itching and possible bleeding. 

Possible causes:

  • Poor gut health
  • A diet high in sugar and processed foods
  • High acidity 
  • Damp environment
  • Stress
  • Poor liver function
  • Improper breathing 
  • Compromised kidney function
  • Low hormone levels – especially oestrogen (or extreme fluctuations in hormone levels throughout menstrual cycle)
  • Side-effects from medication

Possible Symptoms:

  • Red, scaly plaques covered with overlapping silvery shiny scales 
  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Most commonly found around the wrists, elbows, knees and scalp
  • Tiny dents in fingernails and toenails
  • 15% of those suffering with psoriasis develop a type of arthritis and subsequent joint pain

Remedies:

  • Decrease Stress
  • Breathing techniques (breathing only through the nose, 4-7-8 breathing, alternate nostril breathing, Wim Hof breathing, chandra bhedana pranayama)
  • Increase fibre – this binds to toxins which may cause psoriasis, and promotes their excretion. Choose vegetables, fruits, psyllium husk, oats and legumes.
  • Cut out sugar, processed foods and highly acidic and inflammatory foods (including dairy and eggs, which can increase acidity and inflammation). Choose a plant-based whole foods diet.
  • Decrease alcohol and caffeine
  • Himalayan and Epsom salt baths
  • Coconut or castor oil applied topically. 
  • An ayurvedic formula of ghee and water in a ratio of 1:2, mixed thoroughly. This is often left for a month to infuse, but can be used immediately if you’re able to mix it vigorously. 
  • Get plenty of natural sunlight 
  • Address your home environment – ensure it isn’t damp or harbouring mould, and keep it well ventilated. 
  • Supplements: Vitamin D, E & zinc
  • Consider an initial juice fast of celery, apple & coriander for 1 – 3 days. 
  • Herbs: Calendula, Turmeric and black pepper, Ginko Bilboa, Triphala, Ashwagandha, Milk Thistle, Cleavers

Useful Recipes

Immune boosting & anti-microbial paste

Turmeric Chai

Honey & Turmeric Tonic

Ginger & Turmeric Elixir

Golden Soup

Anti-Inflammatory Adaptogenic Latte

Anti-Inflammatory Ruby Red Juice

Soothing Calendula Blend

Comfrey, Calendula & Shea Butter Balm

A-B-C Liver Cleanse Juice

Sweet Fennel Spring Smoothie

Wild Garlic & Nettle Soup

East Meets West Springtime Tea

Tulsi Latte

Cooling Calendula, Cardamom & Chamomile Tea

Cleavers & Lemon Detox Tea

Sweet Fennel Spring Smoothie Recipe

There are pros and cons when it comes to smoothies. In some cases they can cause bloating, and if you’re adding lots of fruit and sweeteners, you could be consuming way more sugar than with a regular meal. The really GOOD part of this smoothie however, is that it’s low sugar & packed with seasonal greens and powerful nutrients, giving you a dose of almost medicinal superfoods in one glass. 

Whatever smoothie you’re making, fill it with greens to get your fill of antioxidants and vitamins. If you’re a confident forager, this is the perfect time to grab those seasonal greens and pop them in too. Today I found dandelion greens and sweet fennel whilst out walking. This blend is packed FULL of all the good stuff to boost digestion, lower inflammation, enhance liver health, and to aid in the body’s natural detox ability.

Sweet fennel does indeed taste quite sweet, and you’ll find it growing in hedgerows throughout May. As always, it’s important that you’re 110% confident about anything you pick, but if you do find some, the benefits include remedy-ing indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, relieving constipation, reducing bloating and gas thanks to the component Anethole found in the plant. It can also help naturally soothe upper respiratory tract issues like coughs and bronchitis, and in infants it can help calm colic.

If you find sweet fennel – or any other seasonal greens this weekend – try something a little like this to get your green goodness fix!:

Serves 2:
– 6 sticks of celery 
– 1 apple 
– 1 handful parsley
– 1 handful sweet fennel fronds 
– 1 handful dandelion greens
– 1 handful spinach 
– 1 Knob of ginger 
– 2 tsp ground milk thistle 
– 1 cup spring water

Blend & enjoy!