Seeking the sun

After a week of strenuous planning ( I say strenuous like it’s hard, figuring out whether I want to go to Italy or Spain next), I have come up with a rough plan for the next 5 months. I am the kind of person that will agonise over every little detail for a few days, toss and turn at night, then suddenly make a snap decision and that’s it. Done. Sorted. The decision is the hardest part, the actual planning is generally smooth sailing!

Next Wednesday I’m heading to Barcelona for 3 nights, to see the city just because it’s somewhere I’ve never been and have heard wonderful things about! Through Couchsurfing I’ve been invited to drinks and a ‘language exchange’ evening while I’m there – I think they expect me to speak a small amount of Spanish, which is awkward, cos I don’t. But that’s ok – maybe I’ll meet someone who’s willing to teach me.. They may regret it. I thought about Couchsurfing in Barcelona and put up a open request for a couch, but I just got about ten messages from 30 year old men, with their entire profile filled out in Spanish apart from their life motto “impossible is nothing!!!!” and, “I’m here to show you how to PARTY DOWNTOWN.” Not entirely sure what they mean by that. I’m all for partying, but…. Nah..

Then I am heading down the coast of Spain to work at this yoga retreat in the hills, near the beaches of Costa Daurada. I will be sleeping in a tent, being vegetarian again, doing yoga every morning and of course helping with the retreats. I just have my fingers crossed that there are no aliens there. I can’t wait for SUNSHINE!

I’m there for about three weeks, then I’m going to France, to HelpX at this place that runs wellness retreats and camping/ gités over the warmer months. They also have horses, which I’m super excited about! Mariken is a yoga teacher and they drink green smoothies in the morning, I will be right at home.

Then it’s my birthday, which I weirdly almost forgot about when making my plans. I may head back to the UK for a week or so to catch up with people, then it’s over to Ireland for 2 months, back to the Valley House where I spent 6 weeks last summer.

The last few weeks have been a bit of downtime, recovering from my weird experiences in Devon and generally just eating meat.. I’m excited to get on the road again!

Earlier this week I wrote a blog post on meditation for my aunty Kath, who runs a wonderful business called designed2enable, which sources stylish assistive products for people with disabilities and physical difficulties. You can read it here. Their pill boxes are a handy gift for people with lots of medication to take!

Tonight I made Socca, which are chickpea pancakes that are very popular in Nice in the south of France. Credit goes to Aimee who I met in Devon – she made these one night and I was hooked.

Here’s the recipe for y’all – goes nicely with spicy Indian dal, or Mediterranean vegetables (just change up the herbs in the pancake). I like things that are easy to make and don’t stress me out by requiring a million ingredients. Which is why I like these!

Makes about two pancakes – double the recipe for more.

1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp EV olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin/coriander, or mixed herbs for a Mediterranean filling

Just cook them up like normal pancakes, then shove one in your mouth.

I hope you likey.

p.s. Exciting news of the week- I got two of 750 civilian passes to go to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day in 2015. You have to put your name in a ballot, and over 10,000 people entered. Woohoo!

P.p.s. The thought of packing up my backpack again is just exhausting. At least this time I won’t have to take all ten of my winter jumpers, because I’m heading to the sunshine! I’ll just take three. Three chunky jumpers will do, Rosie.

 

 

Ma Weird Green Gunk

Howdy kids!

So I thought I would share with you all two recipes that I take great delight over.

One habit from the yoga retreat that I have not been able to shake is the delightful green smoothies! I drink them most mornings and my darling Aunty Sue grimaces when I slurp down a glass full of green in the morning. I can understand how she feels – its how I felt before I started drinking them regularly….

But now I am a teensie bit addicted. I luff dem. So I thought I would share the recipe I make most mornings, because it involves ingredients that aren’t too hard to come by and you don’t have to spend an hour preparing, which is something nobody wants to do at 7.00am. Obviously you could get all fancy and add in chia seeds and maca powder, but that shit is expensive.

1 apple (granny smith is quite delish)

1 generous hand-grab of spinach or kale

1 cup water

a chunk of root ginger

juice of 1/2 a lemon

You could also add for fun: a few inches of cucumber, half a pear, half a banana, seeds, or some nutty butter for all you nutty butter lovers out there (I personally love Pic’s natural peanut butter, all the way from Nelson, New Zealand – its 100% nuts, none of that palm oil crud.. get some here: http://reallygood.co.nz/

Do the ol’ whizarooney and there’s your breakfast! You could even take it in a flask and share it out amongst your co-workers, and spend the rest of the day pointing out the spinach in each other’s teeth. I often need some substance with it so I have some nuts or a piece of toast. Because a girl cannot exist on liquids alone.

My next recent fave recipe is so easy you will not know what to do with yourself. I stole this from my yoga teacher’s newsletter, because I felt the deliciousness needed to be shared.

Flourless banana pancakes! 

One ripe banana

Two eggs

1 tsp cinnamon/ allspice

Mash up the banana in one bowl, whisk the eggs in another, combine, pop in the cinnamon and any other goodies you want, mix together, pour batter into a hot pan etc etc.

Makes about two small pancakes. Serve them with some yoghurt/ creme fraiche and berries, or whatevz really. Maybe peanut butter. You can tell I just really love the stuff. You could eat this for breakfast, for dessert, for midnight…I hope you all make these and thoroughly enjoy them.

Anyhoo, it’s Sunday night and therefore time for a gin and tonic and my orange hippie trousers.

Cheerio pumpkins!

Gluten-free in Paris? The least of your worries.

Paris is awesome, but there are many a creepy weirdo. On Monday I was at the Citè Universitaire for a full day interview. During one of my nervous wee breaks, I was standing at the sink washing my hands when a man came in (shocked me at first, then realised that of course, the French have communal bathrooms). He stopped in his tracks, looked me up and down and said;

“Ooooohheeeee. Damn. Dammmmn. Can I say something?”

“No. No you can’t.” (Unfortunately I only said this in my mind).

“You have the most beautiful legs….” (not a common compliment directed towards me, so naturally I was suspicious).

“What’s your name, girl? Tell me your name, I want to get to know you better”…

I gasped and ran for the door, careful not to slip in the urinal zone.

Yes, it is a university and I understand they want to encourage equality… But seriously, sharing loos?

Also, who hits on someone in the bathroom?

Anyway, that was the worst part of my weekend in Paris, along with the two Spanish girls who thought it was okay to come into our hostel room at 3am, turn on all the lights, have a chat and take a shower… And also the Brazilian man who slept on top of me (not in that way, you naughty kids) and snored like he was suffocating.

Things were mostly really fun, and I’ll admit it was a bit of a foodie weekend. I think I enjoyed it all the more having lived off soup and salad for a month in Devon.

On Friday night we arrived late and the only food we could find was a tapas bar, so we ordered a few things. When they came out we were slightly disappointed – tiny salty fish with their eyes still in, a bowl of potatoes and a plate of cheese slices. I am very against eating things with eyeballs, but we washed it down with some vino.

Saturday morning we wandered the streets of Bastille on a self guided walking tour. In a guide book we had found this place offering buckwheat crepes in a little cafe in one of the neighbourhoods – I like to think it was our little secret but as it was in the guide book I guess not….. All their ingredients were organic, free range and locally sourced where possible.

When we got there it wasn’t open, so we came back an hour later and it was packed. We ordered crepes with cheese, ham, caramelised onion and an egg on top:

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Of course, tea in a France was extortionately priced so I just HAD to have an organic coffee. It put a spring in my step.

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We walked along the Seine, I gawked awkwardly at people engaging in full-on PDA’s and wrinkly old men running with their shirts off. I was weirdly jealous of people rollerblading in the sunshine – it took me way back to the days when I would don my roller skates and do laps in the garage with a broom. I would say I was “sweeping for mum” but I was really just imitating Pippi Longstockings.

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We walked around the gardens at the Louvre and found a nice spot for a nap..

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That night we went out for a Tibetan meal- I know, I know, we really should have had a French meal, but I’d never eaten Tibetan and there were little Buddhas everywhere so naturally I got excited.

The next day I awoke with excitement at the prospect of a visit to a local gluten free bakery. If you are ever in Paris and feel sad because you can’t eat their lovely gluten filled pastries, GO HERE. I had a blueberry muffin and a detox tea, because it was breakfast and I couldn’t quite handle the thought of a full- blown chocolatey tower. They also baked fresh bread on the premises, so I nabbed a few for our picnic later.

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Yum!

We walked for a while in the sun (I was mildly sweaty, such a HAWT day!) and eventually found the markets in Bastille, loud and crammed with fresh produce, old men yelling and small dogs. I found a friend on the ground, sausage, a fresh pressed juice (orange, carrot and ginger), and a man from a stall gave me an orange segment and said I was beautiful. Those frenchies, such charmers. One man asked us where we were from, and once I said New Zealand he just kept repeating it and laughing hysterically. We must have a reputation?

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We walked down the river towards the Louvre again, had our picnic, then decided to abort our plans to walk to the Eiffel Tower in favour of catching the boat. Despite being blinded by the sunshine (not a common problem this time of year), we enjoyed sitting down for a while and watching all the people on the banks of the river getting excited about spring. The Eiffel Tower is too big to get into my camera lens. You get the gist. I was there last year with friends and we climbed it; this time we just sat on a park bench and gazed.

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My lovely companion Sue left on Sunday night and I left our hotel to stay in a hostel for a further two nights. Cue snoring Brazilian and rowdy Spanish girls.

I had a job interview for a job with an active travel company on the Monday- it was a fun and exhausting day but I sadly didn’t get the job. It just obviously wasn’t meant to be! So I consoled myself with a green juice and some interesting reading in a famous Parisian juice bar. It’s called Juice Bar, just so you know.

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So basically, we went to Paris and ate heaps. Good times. If you’re heading that way, don’t worry about finding gluten free options, worry about the communal bathrooms and the old men. They’re smooth, with their oranges and their smiles.

Au revoir!

Bacon never tasted so good.

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On Tuesday, I escaped.

It was amazing; small amounts of sadness mingled with large portions of glee. I did it, I stuck it out, I nailed the vegan lifestyle and my body even humoured me with some extra strength and flexibility.

Upon my release, I ventured to the supermarket near the train station to initiate myself back into the world of wine and cheese. Obviously.

I was so overwhelmed. Aisles upon aisles of packaged foods, all screaming that they are healthier because they have been manufactured to have no something or other. In search of something familiar, I looked for mungbeans. They didn’t have any, much to my despair. My heart rate quickened, I became flustered and sweaty, and I panic purchased a bottle of red wine, a mango and a pineapple. It was like I was a prisoner, freshly released from his cell, and sent out to fend for himself in a world full of cookie aisles the length of a basketball court.

This would have been a lot more humorous had I been with a travel buddy who could laugh along with me in my frantic pursuits. But no, I was alone. Just me, my backpack, and my prickly pineapple clasped to my chest. If there had been two of us, people might have looked on and sighed, ‘they look like they are having a humorous adventure’. They looked at me with a sort of pitying disdain; “poor girl, I wonder how she thinks she’s going to cut that pineapple”…

I lumbered over to the train station and sat nursing my pineapple, reflecting on the past month. I have had several revelations over the past month or so, mostly regarding how weird people are, and how in comparison my weirdness doesn’t really measure up. Quite a relief actually. Nothing like a curious travel experience to put your own life into perspective.

Sitting there, I also realised that I am now a less stressy person than I thought I was! I still like to get everywhere about an hour before I need to be there, for peace of mind. And I secretly love that transit time, it gives me a chance to say goodbye to one place and prepare for the next. I scribble notes, eat a banana, go to the toilet and stare back at people who stare at me. But I’m developing a sort of “what will be, will be” attitude. I am exactly where I need to be, even when it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.

The night before I left, my American roommate Aimed interviewed me. She does this with all the people she meets who will let her ask them personal questions. I think it took about half an hour and it was actually an enjoyable, reflecting experience on where I’m at right now. Questions like ‘decribe the room we’re in and what it means to you’, and ‘if you had to get to know someone by only asking one question, what would it be?’ I answered with something like; “this room is real cosy apart from the picture of Jesus who meets my eye when I awake in the morning”. And other, more eloquent answers.

She said she sometimes sends the recordings to people, so that they can go back in two years time and listen to how much they’ve changed. I said lame things like ‘I think I’m a spiritual person, but I’m not a religious person. We need to look inside ourselves to find what we are looking for in that department.’ I’m still scared to use the word God in sentences, it’s like saying Voldemort for me.

So maybe in two years time I will go back and listen to the recording, think how silly I was and how I thought I knew everything. I will probably be eating a large steak and consuming a vat of wine, hooting and tooting about that time I was a vegan for a month.

I have been staying with Sally, a friend of my mums, in a place called Newton Abbot for the last two nights. We have been cycling, I have taught her some yoga for her running and sacroiliac joints, she cooked me bacon (I love her) and I made her socca (chickpea pancakes) with Mediterranean vegetables. I definitely enjoy things more when they are a rare treat. If you have bacon every day, you tire of it (although some may disagree), but after a meat free month it was salty heaven. Her house is so cosy, I’m writing from her kitchen table and looking out over her garden filled with birds and bird feeders, and have just had porridge with her home made honey.

It’s a relief to find that the world goes on outside the bubble of Cranleigh House, and that not every conversation has to involve comments like “you just swallowed down an emotion. What was that emotion, Rosie?”

On to different things now, hopefully involving some sunshine in the not too distant future. Seriously, I’m blending into the white wallpaper.

Wine and Spinach, Hand in Hand

I’ve been struggling over the past few days with the concept of all or nothing. Tonight is my last night at Cranleigh House, and this place has certainly changed my attitude towards food, eating animals in particular…. But I am never going to be a vegan. I would miss cheese too much. And meat. And cheese. Aaand cheese.

HOWEVER! I have done lots and lots of educational reading while I have been here, in particular a book called The China Study. If you have not read this book and want some pretty conclusive, solid scientific advice on why a plant-based, whole foods diet is better for you in every way than eating the standard western diet, read it!

Seriously, its kind of changing my life.

But, in saying that, I have this weird connection to eating meat and dairy, because I grew up on a farm and I feel it is basically in my DNA to eat meat. I feel like I would be betraying my childhood roots if I turned my back on all animal products. Also, I feel as though my family and friends would look at me with great disdain if I declared I no longer eat gluten or any animal products. No one would invite me to dinner.

And I am a firm believer these days in ‘everything in moderation’. Apart from foods containing gluten, because that shit makes me unpleasant to be around.

So I have decided to keep my focus on plant-based whole foods, because they make me feel amazing! But when I am offered meat and cheese, I am not going to say no, because I am poor and if someone is offering me food then I will gosh darn take it, and be grateful. And a little bit of meat and cheese makes life happy. Its when you are consuming large quantities of processed meat, pumped full of chemicals and hormones, every day, that you run into problems (see standard American diet).

My fellow HelpXer, Darryl, calls himself a ‘conscious eater’, which I think is a wonderful way to put it. Be aware of what you are eating, where it came from, how far it has travelled and how many chemicals have been sprayed on it. If your family chicken has passed a gentle death and wrote in his will that he wants his parts to be donated to your mouth, then you had best honour his wishes. Choose the foods that are closest to nature, and grown closest to home. Choose the foods that work for you, and recognise that only you can know what those foods are.

Kayla, my other HelpX buddy, is flirting with the term ‘Flexitarian’. Eat the way nature intended most of the time, but don’t be anal about it. Have cheese when you want it, and ENJOY IT SO MUCH.

There’s a whole lot of hate on vegetarians and vegans, and how they are pale fragile waifs, blown about in a gentle breeze. There is the impression that they are snooty, self-righteous protesters, that hate people who eat meat. I’m sure there are some like that. But the people I have met are people who are just figuring out what works for them and what is kindest to our animals and our earth. What is to hate about that? Animals are cute.

I love cows, I used to ride one called Mrs Brown. Rest in peace my noble steed.

Please note, I can eat plants on the reg, and still party like its 1999. That’s important for me, because I love to party. I am not turning into some weirdo who would rather stay at home and cook lentils and do ecstatic awakening dance in my living room…. Oh wait.

No seriously though… nobody will ever take away my right to party. I am not putting myself in a box, or giving myself a label. There is a belief that adopting a certain lifestyle means that you have to adopt a certain persona. Nah, I’m just doing ma thang.

Bye Cranleigh House, you’ve been weird. I fear my blog post material will become boring when I leave. All normal and no aliens makes Rosie a dull girl!

Farewell, alien mountain. I probably won't miss you.
Farewell, alien mountain. I probably won’t miss you.

Rehab.

Whoooeeeeeee.

I didn’t do an update yesterday on my progress because I couldn’t really move my body, let alone my brain. Life was hard yesterday.

Day Two was definitely the hardest day, I was feeling completely exhausted, shakey and nauseous. All of the toxins from 6 months of partying around Europe and Christmas shandies seemed to be coming out in my lovely face, which is not sexy. I had a good sleep for about two hours after the morning Sadhana, and missed the disgusting clay drink (thank the Lordy).

Probably the high point of my day was experiencing my first coffee enema. I say this sarcastically. I told my mother I was going to bite the bullet and do one, because it is apparently an important part of the detox program. She said; “OK, so long as you don’t talk about it on your blog..”

Sorry mum, just briefly, ITS VERY ODD. Mostly because as I was trying to relax and stare nowhere but the ceiling, a certain someone came into the room next to me and began loudly feeding the cat; “Here, puss puss puss! Come and get it!”.

There are no words.

Moving on from that enriching experience…. I have been consuming Liver Flush, Clay Milkshake, Green Shit (my name for wheatgrass, ginger, courgette, cucumber, and POTENT celery) with some minerals every morning. Then a large amount of salad for luncheon, perhaps with some sprouted nuts and home made hummus as a companion. Then in the afternoon another Clay Milkshake, more yoga and then a light dinner of soup and salad. So exciting.

Today’s dawn rising was not so bad, probably because I knew I would never have to do it again, ever. I even began to know some of the chanty words and belted out the tunes with the best of them. I think they were all slightly stunned that I was actually sitting upright, let alone participating in the chants. I quite enjoyed the yoga itself. The hardest Kriya was on Day Two, because between every exercise we had to lie down and do a short relaxation, then get up again and get physical. Apparently it was a Kriya for bowel health, as if we needed any more impacting on that area. Every time I began to relax and slide into happy sleepy sheepskin land, we were told to stand up again. It was essentially sleep torture.

So now it is Sunday night, Kayla and I did a yoga class this evening and then a laughter meditation. If you haven’t ever done this and feel like you need to release some tension… It’s the best thing. The Chopra Center does an online meditation course called 8 Weeks to Happiness, and on the last week they do a laughter meditation. For the first 5 minutes you listen to a group of people laughing manically, which made me laugh because it was so weird, so then Kayla started laughing at me laughing, then I started laughing at her weeping, then we both just lost it thinking about all the weird shit we’ve dealt with in the last three days. This place…. Sheesh.

I also am getting much better at my headstands! Today I managed to lift my legs slowly up without having to throw them at the wall to get them up. Then I balanced there for a while with no support. Must be all the weird sucky sucky abdominal exercises we’ve been doing in Kundalini.

Tomorrow I have a day off and am hopefully going hiking somewhere, weather dependent. To be honest I will probably just go regardless, gotta get out of the crazy house. I don’t think I’ve left the building for about 4 days, I am so pale I could be an axolotl. So cute.

I’m off to bed to sleep this weekend off, like a bad bad dream.

P.s. Today Katherine wore floral jeans, a Golden Fleece, a pink scarf wrapped around her midriff, and a white hat with two pom poms that make her shadow look like a baby teddy bear. She crazy, but she got style….

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Detox Day One: Semi-Conscious, Fully-Hungry

‘Twas a dark and stormy night, and tensions were mounting in the household as we all prepared mentally and physically for the weekend ahead. Mungbeans were a-sprouting, nuts were a-soaking, kale was a-waiting to be eaten, shivering in the corner, crying “not my whole family!”, as we sliced and diced kale’s Uncle Cabbage. A vegetable rampage of sorts.

I was feeling excited, nervous, apprehensive, mostly at the thought of getting up at 4.30am to sit on a sheepskin and chant surrounded by people dressed in white. Apparently wearing white doubles the size of your aura! Fun fact of the day.

I didn’t put much thought into what we would be eating, because I assumed it couldn’t get too much healthier than what we were already eating on a daily basis. Right?

Wrong.

I’ll give you a wee run down on my morning, you guys are gonna be so jealous of all my activities. It’s like I’m back in play school, working with clay and painting rainbows. Except it’s not.

4:41am: awoken by Kayla’s freakishly cheerful face, pronouncing she is going to take a cold shower to really get involved! I promptly fall back to sleep.

4:45am: actual alarm goes off, i weep a little inside. I’m a 7.30am kind of girl, for those of you who don’t know me. This feels like the middle of the night.

5:01am: stumble upstairs to yoga sanctuary, wrap pink blankets around myself and huddle on a sheepskin. Begin chanting (and by chanting I mean bobbing my head and humming softly to the tune of others chanting).

5:30am: complete chanting, begin Kriya. Popping and locking my stomach muscles like it’s my JOB. Feeling strong and powerful.

5.45am: popping and locking still, growing tired, muscles becoming floppy.

6:15am: FAAAAAAH are we done yet?

6:30am: complete Kriya, begin singing. Don’t know what I’m singing, but I’m sure I sound beautiful. Probably some subliminal messaging weaving it’s way in with every line.

7:00am: EVERYBODY SHUT UP CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRYING TO SLEEP OVER HERE?

7:30am finish singing. Energy restored from tactical mid-song nap. Head downstairs for Liver Flush, favourite time of day that.

9:00am I mix together gelatinous bentonite clay and psyllium husk with water until it’s gloopy and looks like what one would imagine elephant snot to look like. Down it in one, tis the only way. I chase with yogi tea, do not allow my taste buds to become active for a good 45 seconds post-chug. I pretend it is the vessel in a drinking game, and also pretend I am very drunk and cannot taste anything.

9:30am: force stems of organic celery, courgette and cucumber into rustic juicer machine, the machine becomes constipated with fibre and have to unblock. Perhaps a sign of things to come. I was quite looking forward to drinking my green juice, thinking it would be fruity and jazzy. I take an enormous sip with great gumption (and hunger). No. NO. That’s bad.

10am: Sleep in a dreamy, mildly sweaty state. Body is being very quiet, i sense it is the calm before the storm.

12pm: Could smash a pie!

More yoga soon, then a POTATO! I’m so excited!!!

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So fresh and so clean

Just when I thought it couldn’t get much more intense…… It got much more intense.

Today Kayla and I were asked if we would like to participate in the 3 day Kundalini Yoga Raw Cleanse this weekend. That’s a pretty full on combination of things to throw at me before 9.30 in the morning.

Whilst we have been eating a really healthy, whole foods plant based diet, we haven’t been doing the full on raw cleanse, so I was pretty excited to be given the opportunity. People that come here to participate pay around £400 for the weekend, and we get to do it for free! I think it’s because there is one lady coming and they don’t want her to feel awkward doing it all by herself in the low season. So basically I am rent-a-crowd.

So I cried ‘Hell yeah! Sign me up!’, not fully grasping the kind of commitment I was making.. We were then given a detailed run-down of what each day would entail;

4:30 TAKE A COLD SHOWER

5-7:30AM​ AQUARIAN SADHANA

7:30AM ​LIVER FLUSH (Whole citrus, organic extra virgin olive oil, chilli, ginger and garlic)

9:00AM ​ABSORBER/SHAKE (Bentonite clay and psyllium)

10:00AM ​GREEN JUICE

10:30AM ​LOCAL WALK OR REST TIME

12:30PM ​RAW LUNCH PREP

1:00PM ​RAW OR VEGETARIAN LUNCH

2:00PM ​FREE TIME

4:00PM ​ABSORBER/SHAKE

4:30 – 6PM ​KRIYA AND MEDITATION

7:00PM ​DINNER: JUICE/RAW OR COOKED VEGETARIAN/VEGAN OPTIONS

8:00PM ​CHANTING/MUSIC, FILM OR RELAXATION

Golly! So much fun packed into one day! An Aquarian Sadhana is a combination of meditation, Kriyas and chanting. A Kriya is a set of yoga exercises, kind of like those super hard dizzy ones I described in my previous post. The cold shower is apparently optional, I feel like I will just be rolling out of bed and up to the yoga sanctuary at 5 to 5.

And on top of that, we have been asked if we would like to do enemas to assist with the detoxification process…

Ew. Giggle.

Starting Friday, I’m gonna be one HANGRY female.

Another fun sexy day in the life! I changed my blog tag-line from “in search of the good life” to “in search of tales worth telling”, because I feel like so far this probably isn’t the GOOD life, but it’s definitely worth telling people about. So that they can send me care packages. Yusssss thanks mum for the 70% Lindt chocolate I got in the mail today. Kisses.

Wish me luck!

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My new favourite thing.

Guess what? It’s food related. Yup.

Today I made gluten free, sugar free, dairy free if you don’t count eggs, banana bread! Wowzer!

I know what you’re thinking, what the shit is in it then? Because I am so generous I’m going to share with you.

1 oz raisins
1/2 c warm water
5 ripe bananas
2 cups gluten free flour blend
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Soak raisins in the water (preferably overnight but I was too impatient)
2. Process the bananas and raisins together in blender
3. In bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt
4. In large bowl beat together oil, eggs and vanilla
5. Add banana purée to the liquid mixture
6. Stir in dry ingredients (don’t overdo the mixing)

Bake in a wee loaf tin at 180 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

We also made a loaf with spelt flour, which didn’t need quite so much oil. Gluten free baking can be quite dry so you want to up the moist ingredients. I hate the word moist but it was the only one that would do in this situation. Sorry.

In other news, today there has been much hail in Combe Martin. All the Martians came out to play. Kayla and I realised that we hadn’t been outside in about 3 days so we rugged up, approximately 7 layers of clothing, and weathered the storm for a walk to the beach. I darn nearly got beached by a gigantic demon wave while Kayla stood bravely at the waters edge, until she realised her gumboots were leaking then she too ran for cover. We clambered up through the ‘doggy exercise’ zone, realised it was a dead end and had to hop a fence, fell in some bushes, nearly ripped my pants, stood on the cliff and felt philosophical for a while until I realised I was freezing.

Went home and ate some green things, followed by banana bread. Everything’s better when followed by banana bread.

Here’s a pic of my green juice this morning, it isn’t really anything to do with my blog post today but I just want to show you all how tasty my breakfast is.

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Tomorrow is my day off, time to PAAARRTAAAYYYY!! Or just take a bath with lavender essential oils. Either one.

Women who stare at horses

Yesterday I arose early for a family trip to the equine therapist, AJ! AJ is able to speak to the horses. She is a horse whisperer.

I know, when I first met her and found this out I was all like BULLSHIT.

But then I had an experience.

AJ’s horses are specially trained therapy horses, and the one we were working with had a stroke two years ago and was nearly put to sleep, until AJ took him under her wing.

We did an exercise where I walked along leading the horse, but with very little contact on the rope. I was told to choose two places along the walk to stop and allow the horse to stop beside me. But it felt like the horse was leading me, and when I stopped walking he would come around and stand in front of me with his body blocking me.

He was, apparently, trying to tell me that I have a fear of failure, that I would rather not try than risk failing, that I need to have more confidence in myself and that there is something blocking me from reaching my full potential….

Sheesh.

So naturally I started crying a little bit, I had no control over it, it was really awkward….. For me anyway, apparently at happens all the time at equine therapy…

I don’t cry very often so I was all like “SUCK IT UP YOU WEAKLING”. That horse pressed my buttons.

And then, I took him back to his stable, and took off his head collar, and then AJ said to me, you were feeling homesick weren’t you? Feeling unsettled? On Saturday?

Saturday was the day that I had the house to myself for about 8 hours, it was my day off and the others had gone out for the day. It was the first day since I left NZ last year that I had felt homesick.

THE HORSE READ MY MIND WHUUUUUUUT?

On a lighter note, that morning AJ had picked us up and the lady who is hosting us was to follow in her car. So we left, thinking she knew where she was going. We got there and ten minutes later had a call from her, mildly hysterical, saying she didn’t know where we were going and how could we leave her behind? Then she arrived and was really mad, everyone thought she was joking but I could tell she was quite serious, because I deal with it on the REG.

So she promptly informed us she was going behind the shed to scream and unleash her anger.

She scared the horses and the children, and me a little bit. It was like “Aaaaaahahhahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” for a solid 5 minutes. So uncomfortable.

I felt thoroughly exhausted for the rest of the day, and had irrational hunger, the kind that is not stymied by nuts or bean dip. I’m convinced that it must be a good sign, that I am entering the hungry stage of detoxification, and that therefore I should eat all things I can get my hands on. Right?

Just another day in the life of Rosie, feel free to come and join me anytime. It’s super fun.