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Wellness Journal

I usually find February the hardest month so this year I spoke to some of my favourite wellness queens for tips on how to get through it. I wanted to include ideas that don’t cost a lot of money and can be incorporated into your daily life.

My tip is to spend time with dogs - borrow one if you don’t have one and get outside. I work alone mostly and I’m terrible for hiding away and not seeing anyone but my dog Lemmy forces me to get outside and I always feel loads better for it.

My mum is a retired psychiatric nurse so I asked her for her tip and this is what she gave me ”Bird watching, bottle of vodka and my packet of fags.” Glad all that training went to use, mum :)

Here are our wellness tips - I hope you like them


Foot Soaking - Maria

One of the most relaxing and effective self care tips I promote to my clients is good old fashioned foot soaking. This is taken very seriously in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

For women in particular, cold feet = sluggish circulation leading to symptoms such as menstrual cramp. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, this is a wonderful way to take some time out to relax and maintain balance. 

There’s a saying in TCM,  “where Qi flows, blood follows” and it illustrates how intertwined the two are.

Qi:energy responds to warmth and blood needs to flow efficiently to nourish our internal organs. It’s a simple yet essential principle and foot soaking can have super therapeutic results, such as:

  • Reducing period pain | Relaxing the body and mind | Aiding sleep | Relieving any foot or leg symptoms. 

What you will need:

  • Washing up bowl

  • Essential oils to warm and move the blood such as: Ginger, Frankincense, Cinnamon, Clove and Myrrh. Add a few drops of one or all of them to the hot water. The aroma itself is a treat. 

  • Magnesium flakes/Epsom salts - the beauty of adding these to a foot soak is that it’s much more concentrated than adding to a bath which will really maximise the effects. Magnesium is known as the ultimate “sleep mineral” ... it relaxes muscles and the mind. 

Soak for as long as the water is hot... you want it as hot as you can manage, leaving room at the top of the bowl for a top up! 

You will be relaxed... very relaxed so make sure you don’t doze with your feet in the water as it cools. The aim is to get them out and into cosy socks to retain the warmth 😍 

You can also do a quick version by filling your bath to ankle depth. The idea is to get that warmth into your feet even if it’s briefly.... it’s the consistency which is key. You’re better off doing a quick burst every day than a long soak once a week. 

Try and see this as a programme that you commit to for a week or so and then check in with yourself after.To say this has been life changing for some of my clients is not an exaggeration. It’s a lovely self care ritual where you are making time for yourself at home to relax. Use the time to journal or listen to meditations or music.... experiment with it and make it your own. 


Box Breathing - Rebecca

I've been practicing yoga for over 20 years and a few years ago I qualified as a teacher but I have to confess - I've never got the hang of meditating. 

Despite never devoting any real time for actual meditation, there's one slow breathing exercise that I swear by - Box Breathing.  I'm convinced just a couple of minutes doing this is the equivalent of an hours meditation in Lotus Pose (but don't quote me on that). It helps to calm the stress hormones in the body but also helps with focus and concentration.  In fact it's routinely used by people who work in high stress situations like soldiers and professional athletes. Slow breathing stimulates the vagus nerve which can reduce stress, anger and anxiety.  It also calms the fight or flight response, quickly helping us feel more in control when we suddenly find ourselves in uncertain situations. 

To start, lengthen your spine, relax your shoulders, relax your jaw.

Breathe in slowly through the nose for a count of 4. Notice the stomach and ribs expand.

Hold the breath for a count of 4.

Breathe out slowly through the nose for a count of 4. 

Hold the breath for a count of 4

Repeat.

Simple!  

If you find that 4 seconds is uncomfortable - drop it down to 3.  Repeat the steps at least 3 times.

As well as using the technique to help you through a stressful situation, It's also a great way to get your day off to a good start.  Rather than immediately reaching for your phone or diving straight into the shower, you could sit on the side of your bed with both feet on the floor, eyes closed with one hand on your tummy and one on your chest and take a few moments to breathe.

It's such a small thing but it really can make a big difference.


Hibernating - Delyth

Even though we are moving towards Spring, I am still very much in hibernation mode, so with that in mind, follow your body. If you are feeling you need to rest, then rest. If you feel you need to move, then move. If you are feeling the need to express yourself by all means do. Spring is coming, so use this time to rest, prepare and create space to begin any new idea or vision you want to make happen this year. Take advantage of the darker nights and staying in, as an incubation time. All the usual apply: eat well, relax and drink water!

If you are feeling you would like to release anything holding you back then an angelic reiki could be for you. Angelic reiki is a beautiful, deep & loving energy healing supporting you in letting go of long held emotions, behaviour patterns and thought processes. 


Anna Barnett is a Cook and Author. You can see more recipes  here  and follow Anna  here

Anna Barnett is a Cook and Author. You can see more recipes here and follow Anna here

Feasting - Anna

I usually find I’m ready to start having people over again in February and this is a really easy dish that you can mainly prepare before people arrive so you’re not stuck in the kitchen. It’s a great one for everyone to get stuck in and serve themselves too.

BLACK BEAN TACOS WITH ROASTED SPICED CHICK PEAS & AVOCADO CORIANDER CREAM

PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS | COOKING TIME: 20-25 MINS | FEEDS: 4

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INGREDIENTS:
CRISPY SPICED CHICKPEAS

1 TIN BLACK CHICKPEAS (REGULAR WILL WORK TOO) – RINSED AND DRIED
SPRINKLE OF SEA SALT FLAKES
½ TSP CHILLI POWDER
GLUG OF OLIVE OIL
1 WHITE ONION – FINELY DICED
½ TSP CUMIN POWDER
½ TSP GROUND CORIANDER
½ TSP CHILLI POWDER
1 GREEN CHILLI – FINELY SLICED
½ TSP MISO PASTE
1 TIN BLACK BEANS
SMALL BUNCH OF CORIANDER – ROUGHLY CHOPPED

AVOCADO AND CORIANDER CREAM
1 RIPE HASS AVOCADO
3 TBSP YOGURT - CAN BE SOYA OR WHATEVER IS YOUR FAVOURITE
SMALL BUNCH OF CORIANDER
SPRINKLE OF SEA SALT FLAKES
JUICE OF 1 LIME

SERVE
CORN TACOS – ALLOW AT LEAST 2 PER PERSON – CHAR ON A HOT GRIDDLE OR WARM IN THE OVEN
1 GREEN CHILLI – FINELY SLICED
SMALL BUNCH OF CORIANDER
2 LIMES

OPTIONAL - 150G YOUR FAVOURITE CHEESE - (Katie likes a vegan feta)

BEGIN BY PREHEATING THE OVEN TO 200 DEGREES CELSIUS | DRAIN THE CHICKPEAS THEN LIGHTLY PAT DRY | COMBINE THE SEASONING AND SPICE THEN EVENLY COAT THE CHICKPEAS BEFORE LAYING THEM OUT ON A BAKING SHEET | DRIZZLE WITH OIL THEN ROAST FOR 15-20 MINUTES | HALFWAY THROUGH GIVE THE TRAY A SHAKE AND ROAST AGAIN UNTIL CRISP

FOR THE REFRIED STYLE BLACK BEANS BEGIN BY HEATING A GOOD GLUG OF OIL | ADDING IN THE ONIONS, SLOWLY COOKING UNTIL SOFT AND TRANSLUCENT | NEXT ADD IN THE SPICES AND THOROUGHLY COMBINE | USING A FOOD MIXER OR BY HAND ROUGHLY BLEND THE BLACK BEANS TO A ROUGH CONSISTENCY- ON SETTING NUMBER 3, PULSING FOR JUST TEN SECONDS | RETURN TO THE PAN THEN ADD INTO THE ONION AND SPICE MIX ALONG WITH THE MISO AND A SPLASH OF WATER | COOK FOR ANOTHER 10 MINUTES AND JUST BEFORE YOU’RE READY TO SERVE ADD IN A GOOD HANDFUL OF CHOPPED CORIANDER

FOR THE AVOCADO AND CORIANDER CREAM BLEND ALL THE INGREDIENTS, INCLUDING THE CORIANDER STEMS TO REDUCE WASTE EITHER BY HAND OR IN A FOOD PROCESSOR UNTIL YOU HAVE A COMPLETELY SMOOTH CONSISTENCY | TASTE AND ADJUST SEASONING AND ZEST TO YOU WONDERFULLY CREAMY AND BEAUTIFULLY SMOOTH AVOCADO CREAM | FOR THE CORN TACOS, EITHER HEAT IN A HOT PAN OR ON A SMOKING HOT GRIDDLE PAN THEN SERVE WARM (YOU CAN WRAP IN FOIL OR A TEA TOWEL TO KEEP THEM WARM)

SERVE THE GARNISHES SO EVERYONE CAN HELP THEMSELVES | PACK THE REFRIED BEANS INTO THE TACO FIRST THEN POUR OVER THE AVOCADO CREAM BEFORE GARNISHING WITH YOUR CHOICE OF CHEESE, CORIANDER, CHILLI AND A SQUEEZE OF LIME


I hope you like these tips - I can personally vouch for all of them. I’ve linked below a few of my favourite products which I think complement our wellness theme. The Lavender and Bay soy wax candle is pure essential oils and Lavender helps to creates a calm environment and aids sleeps. Woron’s organic cotton socks are perfect after a foot soak. No Ordinary Youth Oil is lovely to add to a bath or as a body oil - it smells divine and Nini Organics Moonlight Nectar is a gorgeous mix of super fruit oils with jasmine which nourishes your skin while sending you into a dreamily deep beauty sleep.

If you’re made it to the end of this then you can use WELLNESS for 10% discount in the shop

I hope you have a great week. I’d love to know your wellness tips.

Katie x