Lentil Stew

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Lentil stew at Gertrude & Alice, in Bondi, Sydney

 

At this moment, you might be longing for sunshine and warmer days and feeling like you've had enough of winter. As spring is getting closer but not quite yet around the corner, this delicious heart warming lentil stew is perfect for the days you might want to snuggle up under a blanket, all cosy!

 

Since eating a delicious lentil stew at Gertrude & Alice, my favorite place in Bondi Beach- Sydney, I've adopted this dish as my body & soul warming food for the snowy months. I guess the combination of a bookshop cafe and hearty meal, is one of the simple joyful moments in life. Bookstores- and this one in particular- have quite a magical atmosphere. The mountains of second hand books, the indie playlist in the background, the cup of chai tea, the wide mix of souls coming to write their next novel, work on their business, on dates, friends catching up or an afternoon stop with the kid. I love it. Cosiness at its best. It was over there that I came up with the name for my coaching and yoga brand: Wild. Happy. Heart. This kind of place is heaven for inspiration and daydreaming. I spent many hours writing ideas in my journal for my projects & dreams, in bliss, after yoga classes. Every time I make this lentil stew, it brings me back to that moment of happiness & freedom, wandering through Bali & Australia.  Healthy comfort food it is. Ha!

 

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I love lentils - not only because of their health benefits but they are versatile and great in salads, stews, and indian & middle eastern dishes. They contain the highest source of protein from plant based food and are high in fibers which is very good for your digestion, and are rich in minerals like folate, magnesium, potassium and iron. They lower cholesterol, help prevent heart disease and thanks to their fibers, stabilize blood sugar levels and give you energy for hours.

 

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Lentil Stew (vegan and gluten free)

(makes 6-8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 cups of green lentils
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 2 cups of canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth (they often contain gluten so check the label to be sure it's gluten free) / or use water
  • half of an avocado
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and spices, sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add the zucchini and carrots. Sauté for 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, tomatoes and vegetable broth- keep medium heat for 10 minutes and then cook it for 40 minutes on low heat- adding more water if needed. I like to let it simmer for 1h30 so it marinates and it tastes even better. Keep stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve the stew with half of an avocado on top and fresh parsley.

 

I love avocados - as they're not only delicious and creamy but contain healthy fats for the body. It's a perfect combo with this lentil stew!

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Let me know what you think! What is your favorite winter heart warming food?

 

Rock The Winter Vibe!

A WINTER WELLNESS GUIDE

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Winter is definitely here and in full force with freezing winds and snow that make you think twice about leaving your comfy home. It's a season that is often seen as depressing with its grey skies and coldness that last forever. After the holidays are long gone, the cold and dark days can definitely bring the winter blues and make you yearn for spring.

 

How to rock the winter vibe:

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Embrace the season

It's about living in the now and surrendering to what is. Winter (if you live in the northern hemisphere) usually lasts for months, so changing your perspective might be the best answer to embrace it. You can choose to complain and feel down about it or you can choose to see the goodness of it.  It's like everything in life - the moment you stop resisting something, it starts to flow with ease. Go for pleasure and find ways to warm up your soul. Chase the sun when it makes a shy appearance to soak in the light and recharge your vitamin D levels. Blue sky and sunshine will do wonders for your mood and good vibes. You may have a better chance to catch them above the sea of clouds, if you're lucky to live close to the mountains.

 

Release those endorphins

Move your body and sweat. Even better, do it outdoors! Snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, playing in the snow - be wild & free. Embrace new adventures. Nothing feels as good as breathing fresh air and moving your body while enjoying winter natural beauty. Another great option is yoga- at home or in a cozy candlelit yoga class, or bring out your wild child with some rebounding- you don't even have to leave your house- 10 minutes on your trampoline will already bring you good vibes.

 

 

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Make it cozy

One of my favorite reason to love winter is the coziness it brings. The magic of a snowy day, a fireplace, candles & blankets, keeping warm with a good cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate, and snuggle time with your love make a cold winter night simply delightful. It's always about the simple things in life. Arrange your home with warm lights and create a little nest where you feel good about spending time there.

 

 

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Nourish yourself

From heart warming food to self-care and doing activities that makes you happy, find what nourishes your body & soul. Eating locally and seasonally will boost your immune system, keep your energy high and give you all the nutrients and minerals needed to stay healthy and happy. Winter calls for heavier and warming food like soups, stews, rooted veggies- they're full of goodness to keep you grounded and warm. Hydrate and preferably drink warm water to flush the toxins out. Think about what lights you up- maybe a dinner with friends or creative activities to do in group.

 

 

Dress for snow

Winter doesn't have to be all grey and dark. Add some color to give you a glow and boost your vibe, a cute beanie, a big comfy sweater, warm socks and boots. It will keep you warm and comfy.

 

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Winter Wellness

It's the perfect time of year to go for saunas or steam baths, to enjoy a massage and take time for your body & soul. Moisturize your skin that needs more attention during dryer months and make your own homemade hair & face mask. Find pleasure in keeping your body healthy and glowing.

 

Do less

Surrender to the season. Winter is made for a little hibernation and invites for less activities and more rest. It's a time to go within- doing some journalling, finding stillness in meditation, watching the snow fall, going early to bed, reading a good book. Spring and summer will come soon enough where the energy will be higher and you will need to be well rested for longer days and new projects coming up, so enjoy that quieter time.

 

 

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"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

Tell me, are you a winter lover? How do you cheer up during this time of year? Share in the comments below! I would love to hear other ways to keep the happy vibes going.

*Happy Winter*

Natural tips to fight Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu

IMG_7138It's that time of year..where your find yourself stuck in bed, no energy, sneezing, coughing and so on...yes, Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu are paying you a visit and I think it's safe to say we're just right in the middle of it! Here are a few natural tips and remedies to help you fight and prevent getting a cold: Listen To Your Body:

  • Time to slow down and get some rest. A good night sleep can do wonders for your immune system and help a lot with stress, fatigue and cold symptoms.
  • Go for a sauna/ hammam. A good sweat helps to detox and get rid of toxins. Humidity is also good to reduce coughing and congestion.
  • Take time for yourself. Bring the wellness to your home with a candlelit bubble bath or shower. Water therapies can really make you feel better if you're feeling under the weather. During the colder months, it's good to slow down a bit and do things for yourself. Self care is definitely something you want to add to your day. Maybe its a good time to stay home under the covers and read that book you've been wanting to start or go for a massage.
  • Listen to your body! It's better to rest for a few days until you get back on your feet then to drag your viruses and feeling sick for days or weeks..

Eat & Drink, the healthy way:

  • Drink green juices and green smoothies daily to boost your antioxidants intake.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- water, herbal teas. Our homes are so dry due to overheating, it's important to keep hydrated. On this note, open your windows everyday to get some fresh air into your home.
  • Warm water with lemon juice (vitamin C, immune system booster), ginger (antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and specially known to fight colds), a dash of cayenne pepper (vitamin A, antioxidant and help to decrease fever) and turmeric (anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant). It's my favorite detox drink.
  • Add some immune system booster food like garlic: it's the king of natural remedies with antibacterial components, it has more effect if eaten raw, like in salad dressing or in your juice if you feel strong enough to try it! ;) , broccoli, kale and everything green leafy vegetables.
  • Elderberries are famous to speed recovery and boost the immune system. They contain vitamin A,B,C and amino acids.
  • Food rich in vitamin A, C, and Zinc.
  • Eat soups, vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugar, dairy and processed foods as they produce inflammation in the body and just make things worse.

A strong immune system is the best prevention to avoid catching a cold. So, keep a healthy diet with lots of nutrients, vitamins, exercise and a good laugh the whole year!

What are your natural remedies to fight colds & flus? Would love to hear yours!

Happy Vitamin Day!

Sources:

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition/5-natural-alternatives-flu-shots

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/cold-flu-prevention-natural-immune-boosters_n_2474430.html#slide=1984564

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278219-medical-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/