Aloha, Teaching, & A Winter’s Tale

Aloha beautiful ones,

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog, so thanks go out to all my new subscribers and new clients.

It’s been a time of change and new perspectives, that’s for sure.  In March I did some Hawaiian Wisdom Training with Ho’okahi, wife of the late Kahu Abraham.  It was certainly an eye-opener. Ho’okahi has a clever way of re-framing words, dreams and experiences into different perspectives and more useful understandings, and using metaphor throughout her daily interaction.  That said, she does not mince words and speaks her mind and her observations without apology. I found the training extremely challenging, and I fell down in a heap after I came back.  Which is kind of what I expected. Perhaps what I needed.

I’ve come home and re-designed my house and my relationship.  And, this last month has been a complete detox from sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy and alcohol.  I’m not one for diets, but this one has been necessary.  I’ve joined in on Selfish for 27 Days, an online event focused on self care, self enquiry and self expression.  I’m focusing on my yoga, my body, my mind and especially my perspective.  It’s been a dive into a deeper articulation of what is important to me.  More to be said on that in another blog.  I’m feeling fantastic, and just as well, I have a big trip ahead of me in July and August.

In 5 weeks time I’ll be in Italy, teaching Lomi Lomi in Verona, and then to Canada, where I will be teaching in Victoria B.C. and Toronto, Ontario.  What an absolute pleasure!  I’ve found fantastic yoga teachers to complement each training. There is an opportunity available for one more student in Verona, and in Toronto.  On the way home to Oz, I will be checking out the big island of Hawaii to host one of my Lomi retreats in 2013.  And then relaxing doing a yoga retreat there for myself :).  Sounds like a lot of “retreating” but it’s really more about coming home to self.  I’ll be back in Australia on the16th August.

Well, that’s my blog for today.  Here’s a fantastic recipe to warm you up as our weather cools in the southern hemisphere.  Absolutely delicious.

Margaret Fulton’s Pea & Ham Soup

Ingredients

Pea & Ham Soup

Winter Warmer - Pea & Ham Soup

2 onions, sliced
300g green split peas
2.5 litres (10 cups) water (for 800g of ham)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock, around 800g
2 carrots, diced
1 cup sliced celery
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
cracked black pepper to serve

My Easy Slow Cooker Method

1. Put split peas at the bottom of the Slow Cooker.

2. Add all other ingredients and cover with water.

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or on high for 4-6 hours, or until meat falls off the bone easily.

4. Remove bone, discard fat & skin. Chop meat up finely, return to soup.

Margaret’s StoveTop Method

1. Put the onions, peas, water, pepper, thyme and bay leaf into a large saucepan.

2. Add the ham bone, bring slowly to the boil, reduce heat and simmer half-covered for an hour.

3. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another hour.

4. Remove thyme and bay leaf and discard.

5. Take out ham bone, cut all meat from bone removing excess fat and skin, shred and return all but half a cup of meat to the soup.  Add the salt (if required) and lemon juice just before serving.  Serve the soup topped with the remaining meat and garnish with cracked black pepper and a few thyme leaves.

Note: Add spicy smoked sausage to turn into a hearty main meal.  Serve with crusty bread, if you wish. This recipe freezes well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Serves 4-6.

Hummingbird Cake

Ok, the secret is out, I am laying low, taking a week off “work” and staying close to home.  Reading, writing, cooking, a little yoga, and being a homebody – regenerating.  Here is a delicious decadent cake I baked tonight.  For special occasions only. 

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake

Hummingbird Cake

Cake Ingredients

2/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped (you can substitute walnuts or pecans if you wish)
3 cups self raising flour, gluten free
1 cup castor sugar, gluten free
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for frosting
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, peeled
3 eggs
1 ¼ cup light vegetable oil
1 x 440g crushed pineapple in natural juice, lightly drained
2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting
250g cream cheese, softened
150g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups soft icing sugar, gluten free
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Cake Method

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140 °C fan)
Grease and line base and sides of a 24cm springform cake tin.
2. Place nuts on baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. Attach flat beater to stand mixer.  Place flour, sugars, coconut and cinnamon in mixing bowl.  Mix for on very low speed for 1 minute. Remove from bowl and set aside.
4. Place bananas in bowl.  Beat, at speed 6 for 1 minute.  Turn off mixer.  Add eggs, oil, pineapple, vanilla and nuts.  Mix for 1 minute on speed 4.  Add flour mixture and beat a further 2 minutes.
5. Pour into bake tin.  Bake for at least 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean (last time I made this it took 1 ½ hrs to cook).  Cool completely.

Frosting
Place all frosting ingredients in a bowl and beat on speed 4 until smooth.  Spread over completely cooled cake and sprinkle with coconut.  Voilà!
Serves 10-12.

 

Summer Aloha and Banana Smoothies

Aloha,

Well, it’s mid February already, welcome to another fast moving year!

I had the pleasure of hosting a beautiful Lomi Lomi retreat, at the aptly named Retreat Beach Houses, in Peregian Beach in January with six gorgeous women from all around Australia. We explored Hawaiian bodywork and Huna philosophy by the beach, surrounded by coastal vegetation and some very persistent rain. Seems like water is a recurring theme for this year!

I would like to thank each of you for fully participating in this retreat – our best one yet. Thank you also to Natasha Patten of Tash Yoga, leading us in our stretches, heart and hip-opening asanas and beautifully guided meditations. Tash’s fluid yoga practice was the perfect accompaniment to our flowing bodywork.

There are soooo many similarities between yoga and Lomi Lomi, a topic I will explore in greater depth another time.

My next retreat in Peregian will be held in December, as I’ll be teaching internationally mid-year.

Here’s one of smoothies from our retreat I’m sure you’ll appreciate.

Lush Banana Smoothie  (my current favourite)

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas, ripe and unpeeled when frozen
1/2 litre soy, rice or almond milk
1-2 tbsp L.S.A. (ground linseed, sunflower, almond)
handful of almonds, soaked
6-8 dates, pitted
dash of honey
1 egg
sprinkle of cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg
6 ice cubes

Blend, and serve. Fantastic in Thermomix. Enjoy!

Delicious, Detoxying Chai

Chai is the word for tea in India, and there is nothing quite like the fragrance and flavour of chai made from scratch. This is a delicious, detoxifying drink. Do something good for your body by taking the time to make your own chai. Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of homemade chai.

Classic Chai Tea Recipe

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • Fresh ginger, grated, with skin removed
  • Honey and soy milk to taste (optional)

Place water, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and black pepper in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey and soy milk to taste, and return to a gentle boil. Traditionally Indian Chai Tea recipes add black tea at this stage, however it is more detoxifying without.Let steep for two minutes, this will bring out the colour and the flavour. Then simply strain and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Health Benefits of Chai Tea

There are many health benefits to this delicious Indian recipe. Cinnamon, for example, has the ability to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Cinnamon can also be consumed to treat yeast infections, and has an anti-clotting effect on the blood. The aromatic spice is also a great source of manganese, iron, fibre and calcium.

Fragrant and spicy cardamom has a calming effect on the digestive tract, and can be used to treat indigestion. Cardamom also is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-oxidant. The exotic spice is also rich in minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also contains vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.

Cloves are rich in minerals and vitamins, and also have the properties of an anti-fungal, anesthetic, and aphrodisiac. Studies also show promise of cloves containing cancer-fighting properties.

Black pepper aids digestion, and has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and diuretic properties.

New Variations on a Classic

For added health benefits add half a teaspoon of fennel seeds.Fennel seeds are rich in minerals like magnesium, and ease digestion.