Sunday, February 25, 2018

Loving your Liver in Springtime

Spring is upon us along with the marvellous feeling of energy moving up and expanding out. It is the time for new growth and activity after the quiet, hybernating energy of winter.  There  is a bustle in the hedgerow as animals and plants awaken to the warm rays of the sun.  

Spring is also the time that our livers flourish. The  liver is associated with new growth and upward, expansive energy, just like the spring. So this is an ideal time to support your liver. 

Remember to  to be mindful of how you express your emotions at this time of year as they can also burst forth in a strong manner. 

Here are some easy tips for loving your liver this Spring

  • Eat less
  • Spend time everyday in nature especially around trees and upward growing plants
  • Enjoy a brisk body rub using a hot damp towel or loofa
  • Get moving. Be active throughout the day, walk the stairs, stretch at the office desk, go outside during the lunch hour or bike to work.
  • Learn de-stress techniques. Breath deeply and slowly, listen to mindful tapes, or relax to beautiful music
  • Practice slowing down including eating, drinking, and walking.
  • Get up early in the morning
  • Forgive more, complain less. Be grateful for all of life. Accept the ups and downs.
  • Increase leafy greens especially bitter ones like dandelions, and also, nettles, kale, watercress, or arugula. 
  • Have fresh herbs everyday such as basil, parsley, coriander, or chives
  • Include a sour taste in cooking like lemons, granny smith apples, and apple cider or brown rice vinegar
  • Make barley soups or salads
  • Have a high fiber diet including lots of vegetables, whole grains, and beans
  • Include wakame sea vegetable in salads and soups
  • Use Fennel in cooking
  • Increase Chinese cabbage,leeks, celery, spring onions, cabbage, and onions in your dishes 

This simple recipe is wonderful for the liver and gives us the uplifting energy of spring straight from the fields to our table.

Energizing Super Salad

2 tablespoons finely minced parsley or cilantro
2 cups Chinese cabbage shredded
1 small cucumber finely sliced
1 celery stalk finely sliced
3 red radishes finely sliced
1/4 block tofu crumbled
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
Generous pinch sea salt

Add the umeboshi vinegar to the tofu and mix well. Leave to marinate.

Place the vegetables into a bowl and add the sea salt.

Gently massage the salt into the vegetables. They will start to shine as the liquid is drawn out.

Place a plate on top of the vegetables and then a weight. I use a jug of water.

Let sit for about 15 minutes.
Remove the weight from the salad. Discard any excess liquid.

Add the tofu to the salad and mix gently.

Season with the brown rice vinegar 

Enjoy Love Chef Mel xx

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.