As you know, life is about balance with ups and downs, light and shade, good times and bad times. We’ve eagerly anticipating the birth of our second grandchild this week which is very exciting for us.
Last Wednesday though, we visited my brother-in-law who was became extremely ill over the course of a couple of days (even though he’d been living with cancer) but unfortunately, passed away that afternoon. We’ve all been devastated with the sad news. I mentioned in class on Friday morning that I’d let you know if I’d have to cancel a class when we found out the funeral date which is Thursday 5 March. So this is to give you advance notice that there will be no class next Thursday. I would ask you, and would appreciate if you can please come to another class that week instead if you can. Thank you.
Whether it’s a long day at the office or a common recurrence, we all feel stressed at times. In fact, 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a common mental health problem like stress, anxiety and depression. For many of us, exercise is a great way to relieve stress. We do these exercises in classes but you may like to try these at home to help you relax and take time out for yourself. They’re easy and simple to do and if you combine them with conscious breathing, that’ll help you relax and de-stress more.
- Shoulder Bridge:
Starting position: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and in line with your hips and heels.
Relax the upper body, chest and head, making sure your torso, is square (shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip).
Inhale through your nose to prepare and as you exhale, articulate each lower vertebrae from the floor, one at a time as you lift your hips and keep your abdominals drawn into your spine. At ‘the top’, if you can, hold for a few seconds.
Inhale again as you’re ready to prepare to return each upper, then mid and lower vertebrae back down to the floor as you exhale as you’re back to the ‘starting position’. Then repeat Shoulder Bridge a few times using relaxed breathing and focus to relax your nervous system and release any built up tension in your mind/body.
- Spinal Rotation:
Lie on your back on the floor, knees bend and together and feet on the floor.
Reach arms out to the sides as if making a ‘T’ shape with your arms. Draw your abdominals into your spine as you take both legs to the left and your head to the right.
Take deep breaths here, focusing on filling the lungs and ribcage, back and lower abs with fresh oxygen.
Hold your abdominals into your lower back as you draw the knees into your chest (to protect your lower back) and switch to the other side. Do this 2 or 3 times, or more.
Rotation of the spine is key to releasing tension around organs, chest and abdomen.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 runs from 24 February until 8 March.
Fairtrade Fortnight is an action-packed highlight of the year when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries. Show your support by buying Fairtrade products in the shops and you may like to go along to a free event called She Deserves Fairtrade; the story of chocolate on Saturday 29 Feb from 10.30 – 1pm in Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge. The event is to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and stand in solidarity with the women behind our chocolate by joining them at this very special event. Fairtrade refreshments will be available on arrival at 10.30 with talks starting promptly at 11.00. Early arrival recommended to secure your seat!
Tuesday 25 Feb is Shrove/Pancake Tuesday which is celebrated by eating pancakes. Will you be making/eating pancakes on Tuesday? If so, do you like sweet or savoury? We sometimes make ‘2 ingredient’ pancakes which are so easy – combine 1 mashed banana & 2 eggs and add spoonful’s of the mixture to a hot pancake/small pan. I add a small amount of coconut oil to the pan first, swirl it around and cook the pancakes. When cooked on both sides, maybe add some berries, coconut (or dairy) yoghurt on top or some nut butter and sliced banana.
I also came across another great pancake egg-free recipe using oats and blueberries and thought it might be great to try these for breakfast:
The banana and oats are sources of slow-release energy, which will help to keep you satisfied through until lunch. Oats also contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which can help reduce cholesterol levels. If you add blueberries to your pancakes, they’re are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C and you might like to top your cooked pancakes with a drizzle of honey/maple syrup or sprinkle with nuts/seeds and top with coconut (or dairy) yoghurt. The recipe serves 2:
Ingredients: 100g oats, 1 tsp baking powder, Pinch of salt, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, about 50g blueberries, plus extra to serve, 1 ripe banana, 150ml unsweetened almond (or other non-dairy or dairy) milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp coconut oil to fry.
How to make:Grind the oats down to a flour in a food processor, then tip into a mixing bowl and mix in the baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slice the blueberries into halves then put the banana, milk and vanilla extract in the food processor and blend until smooth then pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until fully combined. Stir in the blueberries.
Next: Heat 1T of coconut oil in a frying pan and when the pan’s hot enough, spoon a few tablespoons of the batter into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook for a further minute until cooked through. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Serve with any optional extras/toppings you like and enjoy.
I like this: ‘if you start now, you’ll start seeing results one day earlier than if you wait until tomorrow’. Start today.
take care and I look forward to seeing you and catching up with you this week
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