29 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.
Khalil Gibran

28 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
Mother Teresa

Miele steam oven butternut rissoto

I was invited to watch a cookery demonstration at the Miele showroom in London by the lovely TV chef Silvana Franco. Silvana was using the steam oven and prepared a number of dishes that were suitable for children (and weaning babies).

The beauty of the steam oven is that you keep much more of the nutrients in the food. The other thing that surprised me was that there seems to be no transference of tastes in the foods cooked together in the steamer, so you can cook your main meal and dessert at the same time, cutting down on time spent in the kitchen. Always a winner for me!

Here is a recipe for butternut risotto. Steamed risotto is so simple to make. Simply put all the ingredients together, cover and then steam. Remember that children under the age of 5 need more fat in their diets than adults, so don't worry about using butter and cheese. The guide below is for cooking in a steam oven, but you can adjust the timing for a regular oven.

Butternut risotto recipe (Serves 4 young children)

  • 350mml hot low-salt vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp Sundried tomato paste
  • 250g diced butternut squash
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 100g risotto rice
  • Small knob of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Stir together the hot stock and sun dried tomato paste
  • Place the squash, garlic and rice in a large heatproof dish. Pour over the hot stock. Cover with cling film and steam at 100Âșc for 30 minutes until the rice and squash are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove the cling film and then, using a fork, roughly mash the squash into the risotto.
  • Stir in the butter, cheese and parsley then serve.
  • * This should be blended for young babies.

27 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

26 September 2010

25 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.

24 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.
Khalil Gibran

22 September 2010

Pose of the day

Tittibhasana A, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Tittibhasana A or Firefly

Quote of the day ...

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

21 September 2010

20 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?

19 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Hallow the body as a temple to comeliness and sanctify the heart as a sacrifice to love; love recompenses the adorers.
Khalil Gibran

18 September 2010

17 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

16 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
Dalai Lama

15 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

14 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.
Khalil Gibran

11 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.
Dalai Lama

10 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

09 September 2010

Eat Pray Love: a quest for change and happiness

Eat Pray Love is a film about a woman's quest to travel and heal herself after a messy divorce.

The film is beautifully shot and Julia Roberts does a pretty good job of displaying the emotional pain of the character Liz Gilbert. She gives up her life as a successful writer in New York and sets off on her travels to Rome, India and Bali in an attempt to change her life.

Liz Gilbert took a risk and took herself way out of her comfort zone, she explored not only different cultures and countries, but also took a look at herself on a deeper level

I too have travelled a lot in my life I have stayed on retreats in India, hugged trees in Greece, practised headstands in the Sahara… Yes, travel has been amazing, and some of the people I have met on these journeys have had a big impact on my life.

My inner journey started off more than 20 years ago in Australia, where I had a respiratory arrest after suffering an acute asthma attack. I stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. Three months later, one of my sisters experienced exactly the same thing at home in London. She, however, did not survive. "Boom!" my world shifts.

When you grieve, be it for a marriage (as in Liz Gilbert's case) or through bereavement (as in mine), you go on a roller coaster ride of emotions: anger, guilt, self pity, regret; asking yourself repeatedly "What if I could have done something to change this", as well as lamenting over things you cannot change.

I took myself off on a short break, on what was called a "holistic holiday". It was here that I met a yoga teacher who opened a door for me and I tentatively walked through it.

On returning home, yoga and meditation started to creep into my life. It was a slow process. I tried different teachers and methods and - like Liz in the film - I went off to India and California to practice yoga (subsequently becoming a yoga teacher).

What did I discover on my travels?

I discovered that wherever I went, I took myself with me and that I wasn't leaving behind any of the feelings. So, whether it were on an exotic beach or on the comfort of my own sofa, I had to look deeper within myself, find self-acceptance and compassion; but, above all, I had to let go of the past as it was holding me back.

Letting go frees you up to all possibilities. In Liz Gilbert's case, when she lets go of the pain of her marriage break up and finds compassion and love for both herself and her ex husband, her life transforms. You could say that it is an inside job with outside guidance.

The journey continues... It takes a lot of courage to step out of the darkness and into the light.

Images taken from Eat Pray Love, courtesy of Sony Productions

Eat Pray Love

Last night I attended a screening of the film Eat Pray Love, which will be released later this month. The film is an adaptation of the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, a successful writer (played by Julia Roberts), and her struggle to find what she really wants in life. She embarks on a journey around the world that takes her to far-flung and exotic destinations such as Rome (Eat), India (Pray) and Bali (Love) and which turns into a quest for self-discovery.

I had read the book previously and was not massively overwhelmed by it, but I was eager to see how it would be translated to the big screen in true Hollywood style. After watching the film, myself and a group of other bloggers were invited to discuss the film. It was interesting to hear other people's views of what is essentially one person's personal journey.

I don't want to spoil the plot, so I will leave it you to go and see the film and come to your own conclusions. The film will hit UK cinemas on the 24th of September, but in the meantime, I will leave you with the trailer. Enjoy!

Quote of the day ...

Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
Khalil Gibran

08 September 2010

07 September 2010

06 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama

05 September 2010

04 September 2010

03 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
Mother Teresa

02 September 2010

01 September 2010

Quote of the day ...

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama