A Berry Yogic Muffin

Berry & Almond Muffins

Lately I have fallen in to a trap of having something sweet every day. I have been getting to 3 o'clock and indulging in a muffin or a brownie. So today, instead of trying to fight the urge for a little something 'naughty' I decided to make myself a batch of healthy Berry & Almond muffins. It also helped that I made almond milk to go with my breakfast this morning so had a heap of pulp left to use for something yummy.

These took me about 10 minutes to prepare and then another 30 minutes to bake. The pulp I used was wet though so think that took them a bit longer than they normally would, if you are using dry almond meal (almond flour) then just bake for around 20-25 minutes, checking regularly.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup of Rice Malt Syrup or Raw Honey (I used a combo)
  • 4 Tbs of melted Coconut oil
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Vanilla Powder (I accidentally dropped more in and it made it even more delicious)
  • 2 Free-range Eggs
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped nuts (I used Pecans)
  • 1 Cup Berries (I used frozen blueberries and raspberries)

Method

  • Preheat Oven to 160 C and if you need to grease or line your muffin tray then do so (mine is silicon so doesn't require greasing)
  • In a bowl combine the top six ingredients from the list and whisk together until well combined
  • Add Almond Meal, Nuts and Berries and fold together using a spatula or spoon
  • Divide evenly amongst the muffin holders and then press down on the top with a spoon
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking regularly

These will need to cool before eating because the almond meal doesn't stick together so well. Enjoy with a cup of tea and try not to eat them all too quickly!!

Tags:

How to create a Yoga Retreat in Your Own Home

feet
I am so happy to be settled in the new space which feels so amazing! That said, for me the last 6 weeks incredibly demanding so I took myself off to Byron Bay last weekend for a self made yoga retreat for a bit of time out.

Anyone who has ever been on a yoga retreat knows that when you are on retreat you feel on top of the world. The magical combination of nature, yoga, mediation, pranayama and genuinely healthy food being prepared for you is the magical ticket towards a clearer, healthier mind.

Every time I have left a retreat I feel incredible, my energy levels are such that I spring out of bed in the morning and have consistent energy levels until I sleep soundly at night. And the sleep! As someone who has long suffered from insomnia, sleeping soundly at night is no easy feat. So it is no surprise that every time I leave a retreat (and now it is what  I hear from almost everyone who attends a retreat) I have told myself "this time, I am going to do all that stuff at home".

The truth is, there are so many things that we do on retreat that are unique tools to use for those who have the luxury of time. But if you don't have that luxury then it doesn't mean there is nothing that you can do. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing when it comes to trying to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Although now I feel I have the formula just about right for maintaining this feeling, it has taken me many years to learn how not to fall straight back in to old habits.
 
  • Be realistic. Don't tell yourself you are going to get up 2 hours earlier than normal to get through an hour of meditation, and an hour of pranayama each morning. Change it to 20 minutes early (which should be achievable) and just do 10 minutes of each. 
  • Be prepared. The food is such a big part of a yoga retreat, because not only is it healthy and organic, it is incredibly relaxing not having to think about the preparation or purchasing of food. We don't realise how much brain time our eating decisions take up. So, be prepared. Prepurchase your vegetables on the weekend and dedicate 2 hours on a Sunday to soaking, baking, cooking etc. You can have lunches and dinners made up for a whole week in that time. (Suggestions of blogs & apps that I reference for easy, healthy recipe inspiration include http://juliaandlibby.com/, http://www.angieglutenfree.com/recipes/, http://thewholepantryapp.com/ and http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/)
  • Be Prepared Part 2. Pack your yoga gear or walking gear the night before, even if you aren't going to the morning class. Take it with you to work if you are attending an evening class. If you don't make it to class then why not walk home from work instead?
  • Switch off for half an hour a day. I usually do this the hour before I go to bed. I turn off the computer, my phone, my iPad, my TV, my music or anything else that could be a distraction and I just sit and relax. If you can't do it each day then try and do it for a whole day on the weekend, or half a day. But do give yourself some time where you have nothing at all to do. Zilch, Nada, Niente! You don't need to meditate, you could just look out the window, or enjoy your meal without watching TV or looking at Social Media. It is crazy how much time we waste on our devices that when you take them away, suddenly you are relaxed! 
  • Detox your mind. One of the only rules I have when I run a retreat is that we detox our minds by eliminating the following - Gossiping, Complaining, Comparisons and Negativity. It is amazing how much energy these things sap from your brain, so when you remove them all you have left is positivity or silence. Which is much nicer, right? 
  • Treat Yourself. Have a massage, give yourself a pedicure, have a bath, a foot soak, a facial mask. Do something special each week that is just for you.
  • Come on a retreat every year or two. Retreats are an amazing opportunity to learn how the above suggestions can make you feel a million times better.  Each time you attend a retreat you pick up new tips not only for your yoga practice but on meditation, pranayama and relaxation. It is also a great chance to meet like minded people who are looking for less stress in their lives. On Yoga Village retreats we have cooking workshops too so you learn some simple recipes that you can make at home.

Next retreat with being held by Myself and Cora Geroux for three nights from October 31st. The early bird special runs out tomorrow so if you are keen please book by midnight October 1st to take advantage of the discount.  The details and bookings are available here.
 
Check out some pics of my time in Byron Bay below....

Tags: