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..