Wrinkly Wisdom: A Word From The World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher

Sometimes, a 97-year-old woman has all the answers you’ve ever hoped to hear. Especially when said woman is the world’s oldest yoga teacher, a former actress, current ballroom dancing champion, and has a name like Tao Porchon-Lynch – the result of an Indian/French-Canadian lineage.

I stumbled across Tao on one of my many moments of web surfing and was entranced by her sense of fearlessness, peace, and festivity for life. She has been doing yoga since she was 8-years-old, and can drop into lotus with more ease than Larry Emdur cracking a naughty joke.

Here’s a video so you can see for yourself…

And here are a few of her lessons on life…

  1. Don’t procrastinate. “I never leave anything for tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come.”
  2. Think positively. “I believe every time you put a negative thought into your mind, it will materialise. So, believe in yourself and know that anything is possible.”
  3. Look to nature. “Nature is my encyclopaedia of life.”
  4. Remember to breathe. “The breath awakens our mind and encourages our system to recycle and re-energise. It brings about the renewal of our bodies.”

I think there’s something to be said for living for every moment and not waiting for tomorrow to come. Tao is living proof that you can, in fact, do anything you put your mind to. So, if that’s the case, let’s imagine only the best.

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

The 30 Second Lunch Recipe I Live For

We have grocery shopping down to a fine art in my house. I can honestly tell you that not even so much as a carrot goes to waste each week, but of course, with this comes the dreaded ‘day before grocery shopping day’ (DBGSD), which translates to something not too dissimilar to this…

Surely you know this feeling. You open the fridge door, see there’s nothing to work with, close the door again, only to return 2 minutes later to repeat the process in the hope that an entire meal has miraculously appeared. Ha! It’s madness.

But what’s not madness is this: my 30 second lunch recipe that requires only the barest of bare essentials and looks like this…

You need:

  • A can of tuna. Or really, a can of anything. Beans would even work.
  • The last remaining hunk of cabbage. Or green of any sort.
  • The last remaining sprouts. We but 3 packets of sprouts a week and there always seems to be a few left come DBGSD.
  • The last remaining leaves of herbs. I used coriander but basil, parsley, mint would also go too. Have a herb garden? You’re sorted.
  • This magical miso turmeric dressing I talked about the other day (that should sit in your fridge at all times).

Simply throw all the ingredients in a bowl, toss together, and if you’re really starving like I was, pour the mixture over some insanely grainy toasted bread, sprouted bread, or whatever bread you like, really. Otherwise, have it on its own for an incredibly satisfying carb-free lunch. YUM!

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Two Incredibly Simple Ways To Add Turmeric To Your Diet

Turmeric has high-kicked its way onto the health food circuit with more panache than a Moulin Rouge dancer, thanks to heavy-weight doctors like Dr. Andrew Weil, Frank Lipman MD , and Nicholas Perricone MD cheering it onto the worldwide stage.

The reason for all this hoopla is the fact that studies have shown that 400 – 600 milligrams of turmeric 3 times a day can help manage stress and inflammation in the body. As well as this, turmeric guards against cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s AND can help relieve symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.  Oh, and just in case that wasn’t enough, turmeric has also been shown to lower the insulin response to high fat foods by 20%.

So, the results are there and turmeric has come out a winner in the spice stakes. But how do you get it into your diet? Well, here are two incredibly simple ways…

1. Whip up a spiced cauliflower side-dish

The other day I made a chickpea and pumpkin curry and piled it with turmeric, but then, I got greedy. I wanted more. So, I whipped up this cauliflower side-dish that’s packed with mustard seeds, onion, garlic, tomatoes, millet, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, and of course, turmeric.

Simply brown the onions, garlic, and cauliflower in some virgin coconut oil. Then, throw in the tomatoes, cooked millet (I always have a pre-cooked grain in the fridge so millet was the grain this week. Quinoa, amaranth and brown rice would also work), add your spices, and let simmer for about 15 minutes. YEAH BABY! Anti-inflammatory and delicious.

2. Add it to your salad dressings

I have to give credit to my beautiful husband for this one. Happies, he is the KING of salad dressings. In fact, I think we need to start bottling them because they are just so good. This one here (his latest creation) is a miso, honey and turmeric dressing that is the perfect friend for any green, leafy delight.

To make this, simply add some white miso paste with apple cider vinegar, olive (or coconut) oil, turmeric, honey, and sesame seeds and shake, stir, mix well. Serve on the salad of your choice and smile, you’ve just reduced inflammation and kept your tastebuds happy, too. Hooray!

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Finally! The lasagne recipe you’ve all been waiting for…

I’m the first person to admit that a lasagne free from white pasta, cheese, or mince sounds, well, empty. But then, I made this…

You see, Happies, the hubster and I don’t eat much white stuff (OK, maybe on this one occasion), and we don’t eat dairy with fruit and vegetables (studies have shown that non-starchy veggies block the absorption of calcium in dairy, plus, milk is considered a ‘complete food’ and requires 100% attention from your digestive system. Talk about high maintenance). So, as you can imagine, lasagne isn’t on high rotation in our house.

Until now…

I discovered that you really can have it all. Especially when Jude Blereau is sitting on your cookbook shelf. This recipe was inspired by her healthy lasagne, but given a few simple twists just because I can.

Yep, I used wholemeal lasagne sheets. But of course, if you don’t do gluten, you can replace these sheets with gluten-free ones instead. The cheese has been replaced with a trio of whizzed up borlotti, cannellini, and butter beans with olive oil, and the meat has been replaced with myriad veggies. Get ready for a taste sensation.

Here’s what you need…

  • Wholemeal (or gluten free) pasta sheets. Fresh or packaged, whatever is convenient but fresh is always best!
  • 1 large can of peeled tomatoes, or a bag of fresh cooking tomatoes, chopped and peeled
  • 1 large eggplant thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 2 zucchinis thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic thinly chopped
  • 1/2 cup each of soaked and cooked borlotti, butter, and cannellini beans
  • large glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

And here’s what you need to do…

  1. Put your tomato sauce on by throwing the onion and garlic into a large pot to brown. Once sweated out, add your tomatoes, wine, bay leaves, salt, pepper and oregano. Let simmer on low heat for as long as you can. (I put mine on in the morning and let it simmer for a few hours. If there’s not enough water, add some stock or water as you go to keep it nice and juicy but still thick.)
  2. Now, prep your veggies by slicing your eggplant and zucchini and grating your carrots. Once sliced, brown them off in a non-stick pan to remove excess moisture and give them some extra flavour.
  3. Next, whiz up your beans in a blender, food processor, or hand-held whizzer with olive oil and a pinch of salt. You want them to be creamy and smooth. Try it, you’ll die!
  4. Finally, start assembling your lasagne by layering the pasta, with the tomato sauce, followed by the veggies, then the beans. Repeat until you hit the top of the tray.
  5. Put in a pre-warmed over at 180 degrees for around 45 minutes and then, SAVOUR EVERY MORSAL! I serve mine with a green salad.

Bonus Tip! Eating seasonally is one of the key things we try to do in our house as it’s more cost effective and better for everyone involved. If you can’t find an eggplant (or zucchini) that’s reasonable, replace these veggies with in-season options for your time of year. Some brilliant ideas include capsicum, sweet potato, and spinach and tofu – which will be my next feat. Play around, have fun, and please, share your experiences here.

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Some words of wisdom from the Hugging Saint

Last night on the way home from work, my husband propositioned we go and see the hugging saint, or Amma, as she’s affectionately known. If you haven’t seen her on the news this week, here’s an excerpt from her website…

“For the past 35 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 25 million people throughout the world.”

Alex had heard about Amma through his Aunty, who flew to Melbourne to get a token, listen to Amma speak, and wait in line for her hug. She suggested we do the same. And, as we’re pretty much up for anything, we thought it would be an experience if nothing else.

As it turned out, we weren’t alone. She filled a hall in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs with the most amazing cross-section of people, all of which where there for the same reason – seeking the sacred, listening to the enlightened, and receiving a little love. She was so popular that our token meant waiting around for over 3 hours to receive our hug, which, at 8pm (and 2 starving humans) wasn’t an option for us last night.

That said, we did listen to her speech, and Happies, it was beautifully heartfelt. Filled with anecdotes and important life lessons, Amma spread her words of wisdom to the packed out hall with intent. And intellect.

Here’s what I took away from it…

1. Don’t be a slave to your mind.
Through one of her many witty anecdotes, Amma explained that in this day and age, humans are no longer the master of their minds. Instead, we let it master us. All the thoughts, choices, bad habits and stress that we let our minds create for us, become a part of us, rather than us having the mental strength to recognise them, sort them, and discard them when necessary. The solution? Awareness. Once you become aware of the negative mindset, you can reverse it. Sounds simple, right?

2. A daily spiritual practice is essential. 
The importance of meditation goes far beyond learning to relax. It’s about clearing away negative thoughts, organising positive thoughts, and sifting through the gazillion different  forms of stimulation we interact with everyday. As well as that, it’s about opening your mind up to the endless possibilities the universe has on offer. So sit quietly, let your thoughts arise, let them pass, and start bringing positivity into your life in boundless abundance.

3. Remember: You come with nothing, you go with nothing. 
My dad always reminds me that a shroud has no pockets, and Amma reinforced this point last night when she said that you come into Earth with nothing, and you leave with nothing. Of course, you need life essentials and having nice things in always a bonus, but I think the important thing to take away from this is that greed and this constant urge to have more, more, more or be better than those around you is never going to lead to happiness.

4. Karma will come back and bite you on the ass. So be good!
Do you know someone who is perpetually unlucky in life? They might be the nicest, sweetest, most do-gooding person around but they just can’t seem to cop a break. Or, on the slip side of that, do you know someone who’s not deserving but seems to get all the goodness in the world delivered in their lap? This, Happies, is karma. The suggestion is that Karma goes with you through your lifetimes, so if in your previous life you took out a ‘Karma Loan’, you need to repay it in this life. Similarly, every action you make now, will come back at some point in your life, both positive and negative, and thus, the cycle continues.

Whether you’re a believer in reincarnation or not, I personally think that Karma well and truly exists. Even if it’s more of an energetic positive attracting positive, you get what you give. The moral: BE GOOD! DO GOOD! GET GOOD!

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of these lesson?
Do you think they make sense or it’s a crock?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x