Turning towards the Golden Age

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The solstice turned yesterday taking us out of the darkest time towards the coming light of spring.  It is at this time Chinese Medicine ties the body to the Kidney and Bladder – telling us to go deep, to take time to rest and restore. I was recently asked to write an article for the Active Retirement Ireland Annual  www.activeirl.ie on how to generate and conserve energy as we age.  In Chinese Medicine this too covers the realm of the Kidney and Bladder.  So the information in the article covers food that can fortify us all within the quiet steady winter months.

In the west we are all familiar with veins and arteries that carry blood around the body. In Chinese Medicine there is a similar system that carries energy (chi) around the body. These energetic pathways are called Meridians. Shiatsu works on these meridians and acupressure points to diagnose and treat different ailments to maintain the body’s balance. Shiatsu & Conscious Cooking specializes in using food to attune the body and bring optimum health.

As we enter the third age of our life a hormonal shift usually happens for both men and women. Many physical symptoms can manifest at this stage, hot flushes, drying skin, changes in sleep patterns and loss of sexual desire. Most of the time we accept these changes as a normal aging process, however it is possible, even desirable to age and retain a full, juicy, va va voom zest for all areas of life.

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In Chinese Medicine the Kidney and Bladder energy stores our essence and as we age this can weaken, which not only affects these organs but our hormones, bones and nervous system that this meridan system encompasses. So its important to keep this energy as strong as possible. Barley is a great ingredient for strenthening and keeping the bladder strong and healthy. Make Barley water by simmering 50g of barley in 1 litre of water for at least an hour. Strain the barley from the water and keep the liquid in the fridge taking 75ml daily. Mix with hot water, lemon or honey to suit your taste. Adding the cooked barley to soups or stews even salads will further strengthen the bladder and stop too many trips to the toilet.

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Another ingredient used for strengthening Kidney energy are Black Sesame Seeds. For best results these seeds need to be taken daily. 1 or 2 tsp of black sesame seeds per day is best. Traditionally in China they are dry roasted to reduce the oxalic acid and release the vitamin e, calcium and other minerals. Then they are sprinkled on porridge or noodles. Alternatively grind them into a paste and take with warm water in the morning. Both black and white sesame seeds are rich in vitamin e and calcium but white seeds bring moisture to the large intestine whereas the black seeds support the kidney, the endocrine system and boost core energy. They can tonify brain activity and alleviate painful, weak or stiff joints. They build body fluids and have the ability to stop greying hair, repair hair loss and improve declining hormonal function.

The kidney and bladder are represented by Winter in Chinese Medicine. It is a time for going deep inside, being still and centred. The flavour is salty and the food is full of minerals and trace elements. Through mass production of food, sometimes our dinner can lack these essentials but there is still one food that is full of vitamins and minerals and that is seaweed. Seaweed is an ancient superfood and has been eaten by our forefathers for thousands of years. The protein content and vitamin C is extremely high and easily absorbable making ideal for the repair and regeneration of cells

I would recommend eating seaweed everyday in some form. It can be sprinkled unrecognisably into stews and tossed, after a little soaking, into a stir fry. All seaweeds are a diuretic, they cool the body and help break down lumps and bumps such as cysts, lipomas and goiters. The high iodine content helps thyroid function and its ability to detoxify means blood is healthy and flowing. This food is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein, Vitamins B, fibre and alpha linoleic acid. It can even help remove residues of radiation in the body. Buying Irish seaweed is easy online or even find Dillisk in your local Supervalue.

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Using Dillisk Seaweed

Cucumber and Dillisk Seaweed Salad

Dillisk/Dulse is said to have over 200 times more iron than green leafy land vegetables.  It is exceptionally high in iodine and manganese which is great for keeping our digestive enzymes and metabolism in smooth running order.

  • 20g=large handful Dillisk/Dulse Seaweed
  • Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 Cucumber

Method

Soak the dillisk in the orange juice for ten minutes, meanwhile slice the cucumber paper thin.  Return to the seaweed which should now be soft, take it out of the orange juice and finely chop as if it were an herb.  Toss this through the cucumber and serve as a fresh accompaniment to the warming vegetable curry or yummy in a chicken sandwich.

The above recipe was taken from Joanne’s book “Shiatsu & the Art of Conscious Cooking” which can be bought here on this website or  Etsy Shop or in sterling on Amazon

More information on which food suits you today please use the fun, free app at www.shiatsu-consciouscooking.com/app

Active Retirement Ireland are www.activeirl.ie

Why Food & Sex?

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So many of you who know me, come to my classes or read what I write know that I specialize in connecting how we feel with the food we eat; That for every emotion and organ there is a flavour and often specific foods that can help support us through a healing process, whether that be physical or emotional. But then why start talking about sex? Is it a gimmick, it is attention grabbing, it is a marketing ploy to sell more books? No, Im following my own flow which is drawing me to allow sex to bring us into conscious connection with our bodies.

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In Chinese Medicine the Chi of Heaven, which is the air we breath and the food we eat, mixes with the Chi of Earth, the constitution we are born with, to form our own individual unique Chi. The dance and interplay of these Yin and Yang elements is how we live our life. The quality and health of our Chi comes from both our inherited genetics and the world around us; it is a blend of the two. The Chi of Heaven is often seen as the spiritual side of the body, the thinking mind, our consciousness whereas the Chi of Earth is our will to survive, thrive and procreate. Sexual energy falls under the domain of the Chi of Earth, it is the Yin, the emptyness from which all life emerges. It cannot be ignored, shushed or pushed away. It is an absolute integral part of our make up and has huge power for creation and healing. As the Jewish proverb says “Body without a spirit is a corpse and Spirit without a body is a ghost”. So lets get sexual energy out in the open and on the kitchen table.

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The foods that enhance sexual energy usually relate to the kidney as it is the organ that controls hormones and reproduction. However all food can help us connect, control, understand and enhance sexual energy as it brings us into our bodies with every sense activated. We see, smell, feel, taste and even hear the food as we eat it. It is a completely sensory experience and in that way we are completely in the moment. We are not thinking about the phonecall yesterday or the christmas list that must be filled next week. We are here now eating, tasting, smelling and touching the food. That is how we connect with the body, understand how its feeling and give it what it needs. That is sex. It doesn’t have to be with a partner, it doesn’t have to be about penetration or gratification. It has to do with feeling alive, potent and in the moment. Food for me is the easiest way to connect with how I am feeling and what I need. It’s my way to connect with the extraordinarily powerful, juicy, dynamic, forthright, creative energy. That’s why im talking about sex and what I’d like to share; the experience of consciously using food to connect with the sexual energy of the body.

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Come and explore together at the first event of it’s kind –  Eat, Play, Love

 

€4 Cuffe Street Cooking Classes

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Find out, what to eat to help you sleep, build healthy bonesmaintain good blood pressure, to remain calm in stressful situations and to live a happy lifefull of joy 

Have fun and try new food – Thursday’s 10.30-12.30 – Greenside Hse, Cuffe St

Cost €4 (includes all food eaten within the class)  No need to book just come on down

13th Oct       Healthy Immune System & Reducing Cholesterol 

Recipes – Persian Herb Rice & Baked Spiced Cauliflower
20th Oct     Regulating hormones & maintaining strong bones

Recipes – Seaweed & Feta Quiche, Hummus with mixed seaweeds, Green Bean and Sesame Salad

27th Oct     Improve flexibility and joints and learn to detox effortlessly 

Recipes – Shaved Fennel Salad, Hot and Sour Soup, Anti Inflammatory Tea

10th Nov    Blood Pressure Special  

17rd  Nov       Arthritis Special

 24th Nov        Healthy Heart reducing  stress and anxiety  

Recipes – Warm Halloui & Mint Salad, Magic Sauce, Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 1st Dec        Healthy alternatives  to stop sweet cravings    

Recipes – Pomegranate and Caramelised Onion Bulghar wheat, Sweet Bread with Carrot & Courgette

8th Dec        Balance and body for harmony and health   

Recipes – Easy Cook Banana Oat & Raspberry Muffins, Sweet Potato Falafel

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Baked Spiced Cauliflower

– for more info call me on 086 607 0432

Easy Evening & Day Cooking Classes for Health & Well Being

“How we feel and the food we choose”

Baldoyle Community Centre 

Tuesday Eve’s 7-9pm – Oct & Nov (dates below)

or

Wednesday Morn’s 10am-12pm- Oct & Nov (dates below)

6 weeks- €60 including all the food we eat

Have you ever wanted all the answers ……. what will stop this headache? Why can’t I fall sleep? Why do I crave chocolate? Shiatsu & the Art of Conscious Cooking can help you answer many of the other questions linked to how we are feeling and the food we eat. 

quiche1Find out, what to eat to help you sleep, build strong bones, reduce blood sugars and cholesterol.  Lower high blood pressure and remain calm in stressfull situations so you can  live a long happy healthy life,

for more information or to book a place call me on 086 607 0432 or Baldoyle Community Centre on 01-839 5338 
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Eve -11th Oct   Day – 12th Oct      Healthy Immune System & Reducing Cholesterol 

Recipes – Onion Biryani & Baked spiced cauliflower
Eve -18th Oct   Day – 19th Oct     Regulating hormones & maintaining strong bones

Recipes – Feta, Seaweed and Roasted Onion Quiche, Humms with mixed seaweeds & Green Bean and Sesame Salad

Eve-8th Nov   Day-9th Nov     Improve flexibility and joints and learn to detox effortlessly 

Recipes – Shaved Fennel Salad, Hot & Sour Soup & Anti Inflammatory Tea

Eve – 15th Nov   Day 16th Nov        Healthy Heart reducing  stress and anxiety

Recipes – coconut Pancakes, roasted Brussed Sprouts with Lemon & Insomniac’s Tea

Eve 22nd Nov    Day 23rd Nov        Healthy alternatives  to stop sweet cravings

Recipes – Sweet Bread with Carrot & Courgette – Pomegranate and Caramelised Onion Bulghar wheat

Eve 29th Nov   Day 30th Nov     Balance in the body for harmony and health

Recipes – Sundried tomato Spelt loaf, Onion Miso Soup & raw Chocolate & Seed Bites

Baldoyle Cooking Classes

21344886Shiatsu & the Art of Conscious Cooking might not give you the lotto numbers but it will help you in answering many of the other questions linked to how we are feeling and the food we eat.

Find out, what to eat to help you sleep, build healthy bones, maintain good blood pressure, to remain calm in stressful situations and to live a happy life, full of joy

making bread

Have fun and try new food – Wednesdays 10.00-12.00 – Baldoyle Community Centre

Cost €60 for all six classes which includes all food eaten within the class call Heidi Bedell  01 839 5338 to book a place

24th Feb       Healthy Immune System & Reducing Cholesterol

  • Onion & Miso Soup
  • Sweet Bread with Carrot & Courgette

2nd March     Regulating hormones & maintaining strong bones

  • Corn and Seaweed Chowder
  • Oat and walnut muffins

9th March     Improve flexibility and joints & Learn to detox effortlessly

  • Babaganoush  Kale,
  • Lemon and Potato Soup
  • Five flower Tea

MIDTERM BREAK

6th April         Healthy Heart reducing stress and anxiety

  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon
  • Coconut Pancakes

13th April        Healthy alternatives to stop sweet cravings

  • Stuffed Squash
  • Special Spinach
  •  Red Date, Ginger & Pear Tea 

20TH April        Balance in the body for harmony and health

  • Butternut Squash and Red date Soup
  • Sundried tomato Spelt loaf

Clear Mind – Moving Body

greenspring8-10 February 2013 – Course Outline

Friday

4.00 Arrival and Check In

5.00 Welcome Session

• Introduction of the group

• Presentation of the Liver/Gall Bladder in Traditional Chinese Medicine

• Simple stretches

7.0 Supper

• Spicy sour sweet corn soup

• Tabouleh Salad

• Jordanian Green Salad with a cumin and lemon dressing

8.30 Evening meditation & Simple Self Shiatsu

• Accupoints for flow and detox on the feet

uta yogaSaturday

9.0 Light Juicy Breakfast

• Porridge served with optional seeds and raisins

Oats are a warming tonic for the Qi. They strengthen the Spleen and benefit the nervous system and the bones

• Fresh fruit

• Yogurt and Honey

• A variety of Freshly Juiced Fruits

• Stewed Fruits with Fennel and Ginger

10.0 Morning meditation and Yoga with Uta

12.30 Main Meal

• Dhal Bhat – Traditional Nepalese Lentil Dish served with Basmati Rice and Spicy Mixed Greens

• Saffron and Ginger Poached Pears served with low fat Greek Yogurt and Honey

1.00 Free time for walks in the grounds or a swim at the beach

4.00 Conscious Cooking Class with JoSpring-Rolls-Cover

• Spring Green Soup incl watercress, nettles and kale

• Warm Crispy Kale, Blue Cheese and Barley Salad with an Umeboshi plum dressing

• Spinach and Alfalfa Sprout Salad

• Cucumber wraps

• Babaganoush

• 5 Greens Pesto

• Buttermilk Cake

6.30 Supper

7.30 Evening meditation and Personal Visioning Activity

Sunday

8.30 Light Juicy Breakfast

• Porridge served with optional seeds and raisins

Oats are a warming tonic for the Qi. They strengthen the Spleen and benefit the nervous system and the bones

• Fresh fruit

• Yogurt and Honey

• A variety of Freshly Juiced Fruits

• Stewed Fruits with Fennel and Ginger

9.30 Morning Yoga with Uta

11.00 Tea Break with Juicy Fruity Seed Bars

11.20 Body work with Jo and Uta

1.00 Main Mealbuddha

• Mediterranean Caponata served with Basmati Rice

• Super Green Salad with tarragon and orange dressing

• Babaganoush

• Apple and Rhubarb Seeded Crumble

3.00 Closing Ceremony