mindfulness

When A Woman Becomes Her Own Best Friend Life Is Easier

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Except my momma is my best-friend. Here’s a lovely green-smoothie bowl recipe I made for her and I earlier this week: simply blend 1 banana, 1 kiwifruit, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt and 1 tsp cinnamon until smooth then top with favourite toppings. When I sent this photo to Soroosh, as I often do of my random daily snaps, he said: “tell your momma the days of smoothie-bowls are over, I’m coming for it!” Yep, don’t blame him. Twas delish.
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In addition to purelyinstagramworthyflowers, I topped them with my homemade gluten-free muesli which is basically a concoction of mixed nuts and seeds, buckwheat puffs, brown rice puffs and quinoa flakes – all individually bought and mixed together.
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Posted this fatty on Instagram. My friend Chris commented: “Garfield, is that you?”
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If you haven’t read Flow magazine, you’re missing something big. So lovely, so delicate, and so inspiring. Image-1 (2)
BearLion Foods have the best salads in Christchurch. This is a fact. Pictured is a mix of two wholesome vegetarian salads bought on my to work from the Riccarton Bush Saturday Market and enjoyed on my lunch-break in sunny Sumner. Image-1
When it comes to organic food stores, I lack serious self-control. I want to buy everything. The trouble is, I can hardly afford one thing! I think this was $6 something. ARGH why so expensive? Alas, it was heavenly. So good that I recreated it myself the next day ;) Simply warm 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, and some orange zest in a small pot on medium heat. Once hot, stir in 1-2 tsp of honey or coconut sugar.
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Heaven is a place on earth. UTOPIA ICE is simply the best. I mean come on, where else can you get 5+ vegan options including: passionfruit coconut ice-cream and raspberry and saffron sorbet?!
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Sorry for the copyright Flow Magazine but I just couldn’t agree more! “Coming out of  a period of scarcity, we have now reached a point where we have too many things, and it’s damaging our health.” True dat. Image-1 (1)Pad Thai selfie from my family’s all-time favourite: Zab Thai.
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In case you missed my infamous bathroom selfies with the glorious towel backgrounds.

Believe In Your Dreams

Believe in your dreams they were given to you for a reason. -Katrina Mayer
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There is something wonderfully bold about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.  -Tara Brach
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Sometimes I need only to sand wherever I am to be blessed. -Mary Oliver
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I am rooted but I flow. -Virginia Woolf
image[1]Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. -Louise Hay
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Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity -Simone Weil
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When the path reveals itself, follow it. -Cheryl Strayed

PS to make yellow sushi rice, just boil your rice with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. As for the last images, simply make this recipe for bircher muesli simply adding some canned peaches.

Only Human

Just because I photograph beautiful things and post inspirational quotes doesn’t mean I have it together. I’m struggling. Big time. I can’t wait to leave. Everything is so unnecessarily difficult here. None of these pictures show that though. Just like none of your Facebook friends’ photos show their reality. Life is not black and white. Sometimes it’s gloomy grey and sometimes it’s sparkling silver.
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The World Needs More Of You In It

During my year and a bit here, it has been extremely difficult to pursue my passion for healthy eating when the notion of healthy food is so scarce in the Japanese countryside. However, I have preserved. Through “bird” and “rabbit” nicknames from my colleagues for eating nuts, seeds and raw vegetables. Through lack of brown bread. And through unbelievably dare fruit prices. Often, I have made my friends and colleagues healthy cakes explaining that they’re free of gluten, dairy and sugar only to be looked at with wide eyes and responded to by: “but why?! are you on a diet?” Don’t worry I’m not blaming them, I mean, it’s not like I myself came out of my mother’s womb screaming: “quinoa”!

So, as hard as it has been, I have stuck to doing what I love. It has’t been easy and I haven’t had access to the majority of things (both ingredients and cooking materials) that I had back at home but, I have not given up.

Kate Borstein says, “Your life’s work beings when your great joy meets the world’s great hunger.” Taking that literally, my great passion does exactly that. Am I right? (Haha) but really, I know healthy food/mindfulness isn’t the answer to Trump, poverty, terrorism and homophobia but it is still something. My little something to the world.

I would like to think I have had many successes here, in changing attitudes to food (and other) but here are three recent examples of them. First, a picture sent by my neighbour who made the same vegan eggplant and tomato spaghetti that I made her, for her daughter. Next, my friend’s smoothie-bowl attempt after eating two or three in my kitchen. Last but not least, do you remember the burger place in Tottori I posted? Well, I added the chef on Facebook (because I’m creepy like that) and begged the poor dude to make me a vegan burger. Being Japan where customer service is beyond immaculate, he dutifully delivered. The patty was delicious, a little too wide and a little too flat but it was his first try and he promises to work on it.
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Keep Stillness Inside Of You

If you keep up with my Facebook and Instagram then you might know that I went to USJ (Universal Studios Japan) yesterday. AND, it was awesome but I felt bittersweet to be there. Sweet because it was indescribably fun. Bitter because I felt for the multitudes who would never be able to enjoy such an experience because of poverty, equality, injustice or some other unfortunate circumstance. We, the wealthy generation are incredibly lucky and often we forget that. Not that going to a theme park is luck or happiness but just having the freedom, the funds and the option to do so is fortunate. Anyways, I am going to work on a Savvy Tokyo article on USJ, so to hear more and see the HD photos, y’all just have to wait. Anywho, I came across a beautiful quote today:

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. -Deepak

PS please excuse my unfortunate tan-lines in the last photo >.<
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So I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you. -Paulo Coelho
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If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all. -John Green.
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Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

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I think you are very beautiful. And I’m not even talking about your face or legs or butt or eyes or those elbows. (Though they are all very lovely) I’m talking about you. -Bianca Cash
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The weather isn’t perfect and my socks have gotten wet but my heart is full of promise so I’ll take what I can get. – Dallas Clayton

There Is No Such Thing As Arrival

Slow slow, day by day.

If you’re wondering about the 8th picture, it is preparations for a temaki sushi dinner. Which is basically, hand-rolled sushi/make-your-own sushi. Sort of like Mexican taco-night but with small square-cut nori (seaweed) sheets.

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Paying Attention Is Free

I think these are some of the best photos I’ve taken here. I don’t know much about photography but I try my very best. I dedicate them to my dear follower, Jin. You can follow her scummy food-blog HERE.

Peachy Green Smoothie:
1 frozen banana
1 small fresh yellow peach (pitted)
big bunch fresh spinach
1/4 cup water

Blend together and top with pretty things.
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A Celebration Post

Savvy Tokyo has given me the amazing opportunity to be a part of their team! Can you believe it? Finally a chance to do what I love most outside of my blog. Please please with a cherry on top (literally) take a look at  THIS link and share it with all of your friends so that my bosses will be super happy to have me! <3
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To celebrate, I ordered takeaway curry for sweet Ashleigh and me.
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Mindful Eating For Dummies

Are you constantly hangry? Are you constantly craving EVERYTHING?

STOP! Don’t exit. This is not some generic ad for an ab-machine.

What this is, is a few simple steps in winning this seemingly impossible hunger game we, the wealthy 21st century humans, all seem to be playing.
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1. CHEW
Remember my post about the health benefits of smoothie bowls? The more we chew, the more our stomachs signal our brains that we’re full. Apparently, we’re supposed to chew our food 20-30 times before swallowing. I hear ya! Ain’t no body got time for that. Well, I ain’t got time to buy new jeans either.

2. USE A PLATE
Try to do this even when you’re feeling angry or upset. No doubt, you’re less likely to eat a whole packet of Oreos if you see them on a plate. This visual reality check will instantly show you that the portion is too big.

3. EAT AWAY FROM THE SCREEN
Checking the number of likes on your new profile picture can wait. Experts caution that eating meals or snacking while distracted by our cellphones and/or computers makes our food seem less satisfying. Dissatisfaction will most likely cause us to seek out more snacks later. This concept also applies to eating food “on the go”: driving/studying/etc/etc. So like, don’t eat a muesli bar with one hand and hold the steering wheel with the other. Instead, pull over and smell the roses. This means focusing on the taste, texture and aroma of each and every mouthful. Remember, we are among the very few privileged individuals of this day and age who actually have access to such an abundance of food. Which means we are seriously obliged to give our food time, energy and respect.

4. PRIORITISE SLEEP
Lack of sleep can mess with our moods, food cravings and even cause our skin to breakout. It does this by increasing our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that causes inflammation and turns on our oil-producing glands. In addition, insufficient sleep causes hormonal changes that decrease our satiety after eating, lower the calories we burn during the day, and turn on obesity-promoting genes. BRB snoozing!

5. BEWARE OF OTHER HUMANS (A tad OTT, but true.)
Other people can hugely influence our food choices. When US researchers looked at groups of three people for the 2012 Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Cookies study, they found that if two friends restricted their intake of biscuits, the third friend followed suit, NOT ONLY when with the group but also when alone! On the other hand, when two friends ate more biscuits, the third friend also tucked into more, and again, ate more when alone. In short, pick healthy friends. Or, be that healthy friend. Let’s do this together <3