Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea + Spinach Curry

Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea + Spinach Curry

It's cold outside so it's time to put something in your belly that's warming, nourishing + most of all; satisfying. 

Drum roll please. 


Delicious vegan sweet potato + chickpea curry

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Now I tweaked a recipe I found online and I had no idea it would turn out this good. Honestly!
Even my meat loving partner Tim said it was 'outta this world' - huge words for a vegan dish!
Tim's rating was a 9.5/10 - nothing is perfect in his eyes. 

While most indian curries call for dairy to make them creamy i've substituted for coconut milk instead, and the pureed sweet potatoes make this curry extra creamy - deliciously creamy. 
But remember if you did want to make this curry with cream, absolutely go for it! 

serves: 8
once you try it you'll be glad there's so much. 
If you don't trust me just halve the quantities and you'll serve 4.

ingredients: 

  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 170ml can of tomato paste
  • 2 x cans of chickpeas
  • 1 x 400ml can of coconut milk 
  • 2 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 3 small brown onions finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs chopped / grated fresh ginger, 
  • 1/2 bunch chopped corriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • Optional (recommended): diced hot chilli *

method:

  1. Coat sweet potatoes in 2 tablespoons oil and roast at 180° until soft. Don't worry if they get colour, colour equals flavour. 

  2. Once sweet potato is soft and cooked through, blend in a food processor of blender until very smooth adding in the vegetable stock and coconut milk as you go. Blend until completely mixed and smooth. 

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, toasting until just fragrant. Taking care not to burn them.

  4. Add the onion, turmeric, and garam masala and sautée for a few mins until translucent.

  5.  Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for another 3-4 mins.
    *If using chilli this is where you add. 

  6. Add the chickpeas and sautée for 2-3 mins, then pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan. Stir until well combined.

  7. Add tomato paste, spinach and corriander.

  8. Cook until heated through.  

  9. Serve with rice of your choice, and maybe a sneaky naan. 

If you make this recipe let me know how you go.

Bon apetit! 

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The 'yogic' lifestyle

The 'yogic' lifestyle

The most common preparatory exercises for modern yogis are;

  • diet
  • lifestyle habits
  • looking after your body
  • looking after your mind

Diet can have a profound effect on the outcome of your practice and the resulting personal and spiritual development. 

Hatha Yoga - The Science

Hatha Yoga - The Science

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In ancient times Hatha yoga was practised for many years as a preparation for higher states of consciousness.

I have fallen in love with the science of Hatha yoga all over again.
People always ask me why yoga? It's just stretching ... no it's a science - an ancient science that is designed to bring people to their highest level.
Hatha yoga is a method for preparing the system for spiritual awakening, but it is also a very important science of health. Since ancient times, it has been used by yogis + rishis for the relief and elimination of all kinds of diseases and defects. It is true that the practices require more time and effort on the part of the patient than conventional therapies, but in terms of permanent, positive results, as well as saving the enormous expenditure on medicines, they are absolutely more worthwhile. 

What makes this method of treatment so powerful + effective is the fact that it works according to the principles of harmony + unification, rather than diversity. 

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The three important principles on which physical + mental therapy are based are as follows:

  1. Presenting absolute health to one part or system of the body thereby, influencing the rest of the body.
  2. Balancing the positive / negative energy poles ida + pingala and prana + apana
    (ida + pingala; running alongside the sushumna nadi, on either side of the spine, are the ida + pingala nadis. Ida = chandra (yin) energies of the moon. Pingala refers to the surya (yang) energies of the sun.
     prana + apana; prana = inward, upward energy, apana = downward, outward energy)
  3. Purifying the body of the three types of wastes (doshas)

Let me give you an example; 

If you had fifteen grandfather clocks all together on the same wall, all with pendulums of identical length + weight, something quite cool will happen … After some time all the pendulums will become synchronised in their movements. This is due to the law of mutual rhythms + vibrations. 

So in our physical bodies, our various organs + systems all have their own functions to carry out, but there should be complete co-ordination between them, if any of the organs or systems of the body are not able to co-ordinate with each other, it actually means that not one but all the systems and organs are unbalanced. 

Therefore; in any sickness, whether physical or mental, every system is out of co-ordination and affected. 

According to the law of mutual rhythms, all you have to do in order to regain the health of the whole system is to bring one organ or system to a state of health. Then all the others will naturally follow suit. Thus bringing harmony and unification, the yoga. 

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People pleasing - the silent killer

People pleasing - the silent killer

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The best ambition killer is to play someone else's game and worse yet - by their rules! 

In my pre-yoga life, doing the 9-5 grind I remember that a friend had asked me: 'Who's giving you gold stars in life, and at what cost?'. A little perplexed by the question, she broke it down for me ... 

  • What are you getting approval for that is not serving you?
  • Who is giving you approval that does not serve you?
  • Why are you seeking this approval?
  • What is this costing you?
  • Who is giving you approval for earning X amount of dollars per week? 
  • What does this approval mean to you? 
    etc... 

Got it? 
And if you're brain's in a little meltdown right now - hold tight. 

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The thing is the more and more we strive to please everyone - we end up pleasing NO ONE. And without a doubt you'll end up not pleasing yourself either, nor the people you love! #truth

The more we say "yes" to all of the wrong things, the more we get ourselves into the habit of saying "yes" in order to seek outside approval, and quite obviously from the wrong people. 

What i'm trying to make you aware of is that, if you're willing to work on, focus on, strive to be something for someone (or the collective societies) approval - well maybe your life is a little bit more of an undirected, directionless mess than you think. 

You're feeling really busy, like ridiculously busy! It's overwhelming and it's out of control, stress is a normal part of life and anxiety is rising. And let me guess, you've got not time to put yourself first and create a nourishing routine?! If that sounds like you, then you are being completely ineffective and your life is spiralling out of control. 

You are most likely:
Seeking approval from all the WRONG places
Looking for the fast wins. 
Trying to do it all - cause who asks for help?
Losing sight of your purpose and personal dreams day by day!

People pleasing is pretty draining, because we can’t keep up the mask forever.
In the end, relationships will become transactional and they break down. Why? Because it's being forced, it's not genuine. You’re not moving from a position of power or truth. You’re simply attempting to forge success.
The biggest hindrance to coming from this perspective is that the more we crave outside approval, we end up making impulsive and silly choices. 
And I know what happens, although we feel life's overwhelming, out of control and directionless - we soothe our worries with the old "Next month will be different! I'm willing to change, change priorities. Things will start to shift and i'll start focusing one more time!" 
Hmmm but to put it nicely - it ain't gonna happen!

You’ve got to shift, quite dramatically. 

You have got to change the focus back to YOU.
Your goals. 
Your race. 
Your values. 
Your purpose.

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But Dani how do I get back on track to me? 
Glad you asked :P ...

  • What do you NEED to get approval for doing? 
  • Who are the right people to get approval from? 
    - think mentors, coaches, people have it on track - not gossiping Susan or insignificant people. 
  • Who do you need to give approval to in your life? 
  • Who are the people, personally + professionally that really matter? 
  • What is your purpose and which people support it? 


It’s so easy to fall into the old 'too busy' adage. But remember busy is not necessarily productive. Fact. 

You need to start making progress.
I want you to have a vision and a purpose that is exciting, driving, and aligned with your values!
For you to wake up and be excited to see what you can achieve without faking it. I want the idea of making progress, learning and growth to seem desirable. 
For planning and scheming ways to get to your dreams off the ground an absolute must! 

And I can hear it now,
"I'm too busy to sit and make plans!"

Nope - do not lose sight of what matters! You should never be too busy to be able to sit in the silence to meditate, pray, and write down your thoughts and plans.

Breaking this down:

  • Seek approval from the RIGHT PEOPLE
  • Give approval to the right people
  • Remove everything from your life that is impulsive
  • Get back to your purpose
  • Get back to planning and scheming
  • Make it a game- make it fun! 
  • Make your work play again
  • Be willing to fail
  • Enjoy the work and activity in and of itself (not for what it will get you)
  • Detach from immediate outcomes and refocus on your purpose
  • Get back to the whimsy and play and fun of life
  • Allow yourself to embrace the pain of growth and failure
  • Embrace the curiosity of seeing how far you can go

Life becomes play when you’re living congruently. When you’re focusing on the right things and the right people.

When you’re putting first things first.

If you need help with purpose, visions and values my coaching program is all about getting people to realise and achieve their highest potential! Check out my coaching page for more information! 

Don't light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. 

Love, 
D

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Yoga is for EVERYONE

Yoga is for EVERYONE

Yoga is for everyone - yep you read right.
Hear me out ... I can already hear the excuses popping up

  • I'm not flexible enough
  • I can't walk properly 
  • I need to lose X amount of kilos before I begin 
  • I'm injured
  • I'm too old 
  • I'm not as healthy as I used to be 
  • I don't have cool yoga pants

Maybe you associate with one ... maybe all of them? 
Statistics show that:

4 out of 5 people WANT to start yoga

Not do, they WANT TO ... this is heart breaking for me - what's happening to those 4 people that never start?!
I feel partly to blame - yoga is so glorified these days, you see it splashed all over social media and on tv. 
The beautiful locations, the stunning + flexible, vibrant bodies - effervescent and happy. 

Let me tell you - I, as well as all of the other people practicing (and teaching) yoga - we are the outliers. If you resonated with any of the above reasons as to why you haven't started yoga - guess what? YOU are the majority.
And it is my job to provide a practice that you too can enjoy!

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I see injury, ageing and illness stopping so many people from enjoying and reaping the real (and statistically proven) benefits of yoga.

Maybe you feel rejected or like your body has let you down - no it hasn't! You just haven't found the right yoga - or teacher for that matter for you! 

I can't change your change your body, but I can show how you can still practice yoga, but most importantly still move forward in life with a foundation of love for your body. 

  • Can't walk? -  Chair yoga 
  • Can barely move? - Pranayama and gentle stretches
  • Can't balance?  - Hold a wall or god forbid your teacher
  • Afraid of judgement? - We all start somewhere! 
  • Don't have cool yoga clothes? They're not necessary
  • I'm too overweight? - This is no issue! 
  • I need to get a workout - You're not working hard enough in class

Whatever excuse you have - i'm sure I can (annoyingly, I know) counter your excuse. 

Loving your body and the skin your in is the new black.
Self loathing, judgement and fear is out.  
Sorry. 

Still unsure if you can start yoga? Send me a message, get in contact - let's chat, maybe beginning with 1 on 1 classes. 

 Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.

If you can breathe - you can do yoga. 

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Non caffeine lattes

Non caffeine lattes

Caffeine is so 2017. Here's some immune boosting caffeine alternatives that'll be sure to lure you from your morning brew. 

GOLDEN MYLK LATTE

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SERVES: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of almond milk or additive-free coconut milk 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric – ground or freshly grated
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup, stevia or maple syrup to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (to increase absorption)
  • ¼ tsp ginger – ground or freshly grated

METHOD:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth or whisk together well in a small bowl.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot (but not boiling).
  3. Pour into your favourite mug and drink immediately!

MACA AND TAHINI LATTE

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SERVES: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coconut or non dairy milk
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp tahini paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or a vanilla bean
  • To sweeten, 1 tsp rice malt syrup, stevia or coconut syrup 

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir whisking until all ingredients are combined and warmed through - but not boiling.
  2.  Pour mix into a heat proof blender and blend until frothy. 
  3. Top with sesame seeds. 

MATCHA GREEN TEA + VANILLA LATE

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SERVES: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon high quality Matcha powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot water, just under boiling 
  • 1 cup almond milk, or other milk alternative 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

METHOD

  1. Sift 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into a large cup.
  2.  Add 2 teaspoons of hot water to the matcha powder, and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
  3.  Warm milk (or the milk alternative of your choice, such as soy milk or almond milk) in a saucepan just until steaming, then stir in the vanilla and pour the mixture into the cup. If adding a sweetener, mix in 1 teaspoon of honey until dissolved.
  4. Pour into a mug and enjoy. 

BEETROOT (RED VELVET) LATTE 

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SERVES: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of almond or non dairy milk
  • 2 tsp beetroot latte powder
  • Boiling water
  • Can top with fresh grated ginger or cacao nibs 

METHOD

  1. Add 6g (one slightly heaped teaspoon) to each 250ml (8oz.) cup
  2.  Add 30ml hot water and mix well to combine the ingredients
  3.  Top up with freshly steamed milk or your dairy alternative of choice
  4.  Alternatively, pour 250ml milk (or your preferred dairy alternative) into a milk jug, add the 6g Beetroot Latte Mix and steam  together to blend the ingredients

I've been purchasing my beet latte powder from Jomeis Fine Foods they do a big range of vegan paleo sugar free goodies, so be sure to check it out if you are interested.

Be sure to let me know how your warming brews go! 

D
xx

*Golden Mylk recipe from The Fit Foodie

supermoon

supermoon

The full moon is like a spiritual microphone — it'll amplify any efforts you're already making. If you take advantage of the full moon's energy this week, there's a chance you'll still be seeing its effects well into February and beyond.

A word on form

A word on form

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It's time to talk.
Time to talk about this thing that we live in.
24 hours a day. 7 days a week. Before birth and until we draw our last breath.
Our form. Human form. Most commonly referred to as our body.
Common thoughts ... mines too round, too big, mine doesn't look like hers ... or hers, if only mine was more like this and less like that....... and so on ... sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
It's silly. the whole thing. the concept of average or normal or better. Because shapes are shapes and bodies are bodies and life is too precious to worry about whether or not you should wear a strapless if you've got broad shoulders or if your life would be better if your waist was more nipped in or your boobs were a cup bigger.
What's wrong in all of this? The mindset. It leaves us ripe to fall into the traps of circular inner narratives and the kind of self talk that not even our worst enemy deserves.

I suppose I like to talk a lot about bodies because I spent so many years thinking so desperately about mine.
There are some loops in my brain that are wired like the worst kind of negative self talk known to mankind but I do my best to keep them from firing much these days. But shapes are shapes and bodies are bodies and mine is shaped like everything I've ever loved, and carried, and ran for, or ran from. It's a story of some of the best nights of my life and the best ice creams the world has to offer. It's the shape of my holiday indulgences, the home of my binges. 
Buy the damn strapless. 
Remind yourself that worth does not come from a label or a salespersons sideways glance.
Own YOU. 
Love yourself... even if you identify with the pierogi ;) 

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'tis the season to keep calm #3

'tis the season to keep calm #3

#3 Practice Kindness

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Uncle Michael that is so vocally anti-gay marriage, that neighbour who just won’t stop bugging you about all things you find boring, the incessant noise from the television that the kids just won’t lower —practice being patient with the parts of other people that frustrate you, and as an extension of that patience, remind yourself to be kind.

Most people likely have their own anxieties and stress going into the holiday season, so if you try to approach each person you encounter with greater kindness, perhaps everyone will relax more and enjoy the moment.
Instead of adding to the stress during holiday travel, for instance, try to find ways to show kindness towards other travelers who are similarly stressed as they try to make it to their destinations.

Kindness is a practice because sometimes it can take effort, but over time it CAN become our default habit.

Self-kindness, also very important—be gentler not only with others, but with yourself during this time of year as well, cause you deserve it just as much as the rest.

x x

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'tis the season to keep calm #2

'tis the season to keep calm #2

#2 Maintain Gratitude for What Is.

Much of the pressure we may feel during the silly season is associated with;
- wanting to control what happens
- how things play out
- having huge expectations of one day
... sound familiar?

Instead of imagining how things could be better, try to just accept things for how they are. Simple. To take it even further, try to identify specific things in your life right now that you are grateful for.

Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to overall wellness.

So rather than dwelling on what isn’t working try to focus on what is. Simply re-framing one’s thinking about things and taking on a perspective from a place of gratitude can be very empowering.

Can't get a minute to yourself during this time >>> you've got a big family who loves you and wants your attention.

You've got a house that needs cleaning >>> look around at the marvel of having a beautiful home and a roof over your head.

Don't have much time off over Christmas? >>> You have a job that pays your bills and allows you to provide for you.

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Try it!
x x