Small Achievement and Smoothie Recipe!

Dear Reader,
Hello! It has been a while since my last blog post, but now that I am settled back in England and my MA is behind me, I have a lot more time on my hands!
Recently I have been attending yoga lessons at Yoga Dave in Rokt Brighouse: http://yogadave.uk/
Dave teaches Ashtanga yoga which is the form of yoga I most enjoy. I find Dave’s classes calming and challenging.

A small personal achievement: Even though I am very flexible I struggle to ‘fold over’ flat when in these positions:

stock-photo-yoga-runner-girl-stretching-back-over-legs-doing-seated-forward-bend-fold-named-paschimottanasana-700229395 (1)

stock-photo-young-women-stretching-their-leg-muscles-touching-their-knees-with-noses-257889899 (2)

I can go flat to my leg when I have only one of them out and the other leg is tucked in, but not with both outstretched in front of me. This is something that has frustrated me hugely throughout my life as a dancer and to try and get this flat fold I would distort my back, hunch over, grab my feet as hard as possible, ANYTHING to get flat…
In my yoga class yesterday we were in the position demonstrated in image 1 for around 3 minutes; we did a variety of footholds with breathing exercises. Instead of focusing on getting flat I focused on the breath (for once)!
Guess what happened… my forehead knocked against my knees, I WAS FLAT! Obviously my body dipped in and out of this position due to it not being used to it and I didn’t push, I just focused on breathing and relaxing and enjoying the moments when I felt my forehead knock against my knees just as much as the pleasure of feeling my back stretch.
Moral of the story: it’s time to stop focusing on the ‘position’ and ‘perfection’, I feel much better and calmer when I focus on the breath.

I just wanted to share this little achievement and I would be very interested to hear your personal small achievements in your life (don’t need to be sport related)!
I made a weird but yummy smoothie yesterday and since my cake recipe went down so well (which I will link at the end) I thought it would be good to branch out and try some healthy and weird smoothies. Let me know your thoughts, this won’t be to everyone’s tastes but give it a go!
Ingredients:
Handful of blueberries
Stick of celery
1 pink lady apple
Chunk of fresh ginger
Apple juice (fill your container generously so that the smoothie won’t be too thick)
Tablespoon of honey

Method:
1) Prepare all fruit and veg by washing, chopping, peeling etc
2) Put all ingredients in your blender/smoothie machine
3) BLEND
4) Enjoy!

Thank you all for reading, you can always email me on ericamulkern1414@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments and let me know if you tried the smoothie!

Link to my cake recipe:

https://ericamulkern.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/healthy-gf-df-dark-chocolate-orange-loaf/

Healthy GF, DF Dark Chocolate Orange Loaf!

Dear Reader,
Today I have decided to share with you my own recipe for a healthy, gluten and dairy free dark chocolate loaf!

This is a very rich dessert especially as I use 98% cocoa, so if you want it to be a bit sweeter I suggest using a lesser percentage of cocoa powder and adding a little bit more coconut sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk (or almond or soya)
  • ½ cup of dark cocoa (I use Green&Blacks 98% cocoa)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Orange juice of 1 and ½ oranges
  • 1 ¾ cup of gluten free plain flour
  • Zest of 1 orange

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Utensils needed:

  • Large plastic bowl
  • Tablespoon and tea spoon measurers
  • Loaf tin (small/medium size)
  • Cup measurers
  • Whisk
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fine grater/zester

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.

2.  Melt coconut oil and then pour into bowl, add coconut sugar and whisk together.

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  1. Whisk in eggs, bananas and milk.

 

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  1. Add in cocoa, baking powder, vanilla extract and orange juice and whisk.
  2. Switch to the wooden spoon and stir in the flour and orange zest.
  3. Line loaf tin with non-stick baking paper and pour the mixture in.

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  1. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check if it is done by sticking a fork or wooden cocktail stick and if it comes out dry and clean then it is done (if a few crumbs are on the fork or stick that’s fine as long as they are dry the cake is done)
  2. Transfer the cake onto a wire rack to allow it to cool completely and TA-DAH! You have a glorious healthy chocolate loaf!

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You don’t have to use gluten free flour or alternative milks if you don’t wish to, I wanted to make the recipe gluten and dairy free so that more people can enjoy it! This is a healthy cake as coconut sugar is the same as honey- in moderation it is healthier than normal sugar but don’t go overboard! I hope you enjoy this recipe and please feel free to comment on this post or email me any questions or pictures on ericamulkern1414@gmail.com