Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Healing wtih Nature - In the Home

Bringing the outside inside
Nature has an endless source of energy that recharges us, awakens our senses and inspires the soul. When we bring natures healing power into our homes, we create a sacred space to retreat and rejuvenate. A peaceful place to recharge and relax after a long day out in the world. You can decide which apects of nature resonate with you, engage your senses, and brings peace

Here are some easy ways to bring the outside inside

Add Plants
 Plants are an easy and wonderful addition to any room. They freshen the air with oxygen, and create a bright and cheerful atmosphere. Experiment with planting indoor bulbs in colorful containers or succulents as a center piece for you dining table.

 Trailing plants add a fresh addition on top of the refrigerator or a bookshelf. Kitchens and dining rooms can be decorated with plants, seasonal foliage, fresh fruits, and vegetables or a fresh bunch of flowers can cheer up your home office desk. A few (don’t pick many) wildflowers represent the freedom of nature and can brighten a quiet corner.

Grow herbs
Herbs are a wonderful way to bring nature into your kitchen. They are easy to grow on a sunny windowsill and give you a lovely natural view to enjoy. Include herbs that are fragrant – Rosemary, lavender, basil, peppermint or cilantro. Take the time in your day to pause and  rub a leaf with your fingers. The lovely aromatic scent that comes forth is a gift from nature to the senses.

Clear the Clutter
A house that is full of stuff tends to have stagnated energy and can make you feel drained, stressed, and unmotivated. Clearing out the clutter is actually good for your lungs, gives you more breathing space, and helps you to open up and let go. Act like a warrior and go through your stuff to get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. Clear out the cupboards and items that are left in the corners of rooms or on open shelving. When energy flows smoothly throughout your home you will feel much more relaxed and energised.

Chose natural in furnishings and floorings

One of the best ways to bring nature inside the home is by using natural materials -  wood, marble, tile, slate, Stone, glass, earth, bamboo, cork, paper, reeds, and grasses. These are used in a myriad of ways from flooring, furniture, wall hangings, to backsplashes in the kitchen and bathroom.  Decorate with jute, cotton, and silk in carpets, throws, and curtains. Experiment with different textures to create a feeling of the natural world.


You can find beautiful pebbles and rocks and arrange them in a glass vase or decorative bowl. Fill a bowl with colorful sea glass, gemstones or crystals.

If you live in a city, you can add pebbles to a large washing up bowl and then walk up and down on them. It is wonderful for your feet and acts like a natural massage/accupuncture treatment.

 If you find something that you love, shells, a piece of driftwood, pinecones or an unusually shaped rock, use them as accent details and combine with hanging planters, moss, or fresh flowers.

Natural Fragrance
Place bowls of potpourri, aromatherapy candles or vaporizers, incense, and fragrant flowers and plants throughout your home to bring in the fresh aromas of nature. Attach a bunch of eucalyptus to your shower head and enjoy a revitalising, aromatic shower.

Sounds of Nature
Add a water feature like aquarium or small desk top fountains to enjoy the soothing and refreshing sound of water. You can also fill a small bowl with water and put it in a sunny window to add freshness to a room. Change the water everyday. If you love to hear the sound of birds singing, Install a bird feeder or two outside your window.

Natural Light and Fresh air
One of the easiest ways to bring nature inside is to open your windows on a daily basis even if it is for 5 minutes. Fill your room with fresh air no matter the weather. Use sheer curtains and emphasise windows that look out on to a beautiful view of woods, fields, gardens or skylines. Ii is important to have a bright home with lots of sunlight as it helps you to feel uplifted and cheerful.

Add the boldness of nature
Nature is vivid and passionate with crashing waves, fields of wildflowers, fiery sunsets, rainbows, pounding rain, or the crash of thunder. Bring a touch of this aspect of nature into your home. Add bright colors in cushions or upcycle an old piece of furniture with a bold colored paint. Let flower arrangements be wild, vibrant and unruly. Hang paintings or photos of mountains, fields of poppies, the bright blue of the sea or a stormy night.

Use the colors of nature
Use colors that remind you of nature and add them into your home. THere are so many to pick from. The grays, blues, and pinks of the sky, soft greens and browns from the forest, pale yellow of the beach and all the vivid colors that come from flowers. Softer colors can cover a larger space and bold colors can be used as an accent.

Our homes are really extensions of us. They reflect how we feel about ourselves and our environment. Remember to create a natural space around your needs and what makes you feel emotionally charged, joyful, calm, soothed, cheerful, inspired, motivated, or comforted.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Strengthening Shio Kombu

Shio Kombu Condiment

This simple to prepare condiment is absolutely delicious and melts in the mouth. I recently made it for my daughter after she gave birth to twins, and she couldnt get enough of it. Shio kombu is a wonderful example of the savory taste known as umami.

Shio kombu offers a power punch of nutrition and minerals especially amino acids, digestive enzymes, iron, calcium, iodine, and fiber.

This lovely condiment can support

Boosting immunity
Strengthening the digestion and helping the elimination process
The thyroid and metabolism as it contains iodine - please note that only small amounts might be necessary for thyroid issues and for some thyroid diseases, kombu should be avoided altogether
Beautiful skin, hair, and nails
Weight loss
Preventing anemia
Strengthening the arteries
Lowering blood pressure
Improving arthritis

Here is the recipe

3 strips kombu
Spring water
1-2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
Few drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger juice – optional


Place the kombu into a bowl and cover with water.
Let sit until soft enough to cut.
Remove and cut into small bite size pieces 
Place the kombu back into the water.*

*In Europe the kombu is often tougher and therefore will need to be rinsed a few times and soaked for a longer period. It might also be good to shred the kombu into tiny strips so that it cooks easily.

Add the vinegar and let soak for at least 30 minutes
Place into a pan and bring to a boil over a medium flame.
Make sure there is enough water to cover the kombu

Add the shoyu and sesame oil.
Simmer on a very low flame for at least 30 minutes or until the kombu is very soft.
You might need to add a little more water if the kombu isn't soft enough. It should melt in the mouth.

When the kombu is ready the water should be almost all gone.
Add the ginger juice and mix through.

Serve a number of pieces on top of feshly cooked brown rice or other grains and vegetable dishes.
Store the shio kombu in a glass jar in the fridge. It will last at least 2 weeks although most likely it will be eaten quickly!

Enjoy. Love Chef Mel xx

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Overcoming Brain Fog part 2

Lifestyle solutions for Brain Fog 

Meditation   has been scientifically proven to benefit the brain especially improved  concentration 
and focusCalming the mind can also help depressionanxiety and increase 
creative expression
It doesn't have to  befor a long time either
Combining slow breathing and emptying the mind can take a few minutes. 
You can also chose to listen to meditation tapes if you find it hard to stop
those  racing thoughts. 

Hydrate as  our brains are almost 75%  waterit is very important to make sure we have enough fluids.  
Dehydration causes your brain to shut down and not function at full capacity.  As well as enjoying water  and herbal teas, fruits and vegetables can fulfill your fluid requirements.  
They  also  provide  healthful nutrients such as vitaminsmineralsfiber and
 proteinThis often makes vegetables and fruits more  effective  in  rehydrating  the system than   water alone. 
Highwatercontent fruits and  vegetables  include cucumberscelerybroccoliradishes
lettucespinachcauliflower,watermelon, melon and strawberries. 

Spend time outdoors  provides great nourishment to the brainOur brains 
need sunshineexercise,fresh air and natural light.  Vitamin D contributes to our good mood and low levels can create cloudy 
thinking and  lack of motivation.  
Sun exposure is an easy way to overcome feelings of sadness and regain 
mental clarityIt is very important to unplug and get away from the office, 
computers, and mobilesEven stepping outside the office for a few minutes and exposing your eyes and skin to the natural light, even if it is winter and overcast, can give your brain a boostThis is a very easy solution if you feel sleepybut cannot 
take a nap
Letting your eyes and face soak up the natural light for a few minutes sends a message to the brain that it needs to wake up and that foggy sensation quickly disappears. 
Exercise – It is important to keep active throughout the dayExercising in the morning, as the sun is risinghelps to improve mental clarity and focus
Walking outdoors gets your blood pumping and is extremely  beneficial  for memory, problemsolvingcreative thinking, and as a mood booster
Make sure toincorporatesmall amounts of intentional movement during your 
day as this will help maintain blood sugar levels  and  improve  the circulation of blood
flow to the extremitiesincluding the brain.. 
Deep breathing is a very simple way to get the mind back into focus and to
 feel more alive
You can open a window or step outside and then begin to breathe in and out slowly and deeply. In addition to ridding those foggy thoughtsyou will feel more calm and less anxious
The idea is to breathe slowly in through your nose to the count of fourhold it for the count
of 4, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth to the count of eightAfter a minute of breathing in the fresh air, your mind and energy will experience a lovely lift. 

Rosemary  essential oilIs known as “the herb of remembrance”. Rosemary is calming and helps toalleviate mental fatigue and regulate the nervous system.  Especially good for people who are dealing with memory loss and anxiety. Use a few drops of Rosemary essential oil on a cotton ball and inhale deeply to 
clear the mind and make good decisions..