Saturday, August 27, 2011

Popeye and Green Smoothies

I think I might look something like this at the end of my stint on the farm...

Big muscles, check, squinty eye (for keeping out rogue sunbeams and dust), check, hat, check, penchant for spinach... check.  The only thing I can't imagine acquiring is the pipe.  There has been a lot of raking/landscaping and digging holes to transplant native trees and pitchfork using for mixing compost with topsoil in the veggie beds, so lots of work on the upper body muscles.  I'll keep an eye on my biceps, not so sure the Popeye look would be attractive on a lady?
With all the hard work that has been on the agenda I am trying to pay extra attention to making sure my diet is giving me the fuel I need.  My housemate Sage (lets call him Sagey to be affectionate) is a passionate raw foodist and superfood expert, so I have picked up lots of tips from him on things I can add into my diet to give me a reserve of energy, and also on how to have "the best day ever," everyday.  I have taken to borrowing his race car red vitamix every morning to make a big green smoothie that keeps me revved up all morning.  What is in this green smoothie you may wonder?  Here are the usual ingredients, but really, sometimes I just improvise.

2tbsp of chia seeds soaked in about 3/4 cup water
1-2 granny smith apples (depending on their size)*
handful of greens (I like spinach, kale, chard (called silverbeet in the land down under), or pak choy)
1 tsp(ish) of coconut oil
1 scoop honey to taste**
 small sploosh of apple juice (the cloudy unfiltered organic kind)

After blending and pouring into my favourite tall glass, I sprinkle a mountain of bee pollen on top and eat the whole thing with a spoon.  Yum-o!  And it keeps me full and energised for a good long while :)

*Green apples work well because they have less sugar than other apples or other fruits like bananas... to much sugar mixed with the greens causes a wee fermentation in the belly, and burping and farting will ensue.  Yikes!  Also, I like to use spray-free apples found at thee local farmers market, and they tend to be quite small, so that is where the pair comes in... 2 would be like one regular grocery store apple
**Honey is clearly a sugary substance, but for me it doesn't cause the burping and farting when mixed with the greens... there are enzymes in honey that can aid digestion, so that might be what makes the difference, but this one might be good to experiment with on your own body and see what happens.  Stevia powder is what Sagey recommends if honey doesn't work because it is a low-sugar sweetener and won't react with the greens.  Honey tastes nicer though.   

Would Popeye approve of the green smoothie?  I think he would, especially if Olive Oyl made it for him. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Farming: Week One

So I have started working at a biodynamic farm, partially to cover the visa requirements so that I can apply for another year of working-holiday in Australia, but also because I think it will be great to be outside and learning something new about how food can be grown.  Biodynamics is something I hadn't heard of before I arrived in Australia, so I am certainly not an expert, but it seems to look at the idea of food production from a very well rounded perspective.  Many factors come into play here: the quality of the soil, planting in accordance to the moon cycles, the memory of water, and keeping toxic chemicals away from anything that will be entering your body.  With the soil, especially in Western Australia, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of building up a level of healthy microbes and nutrients in the earth, as things are pretty depleted as it stands now.  That means that compost is an absolute necessity for anyone who is not interested in putting heaps of chemicals in the ground, that will then go up into the plants, which then wind up in our bellies.   Raised veggie beds are quite popular in the gardening/farming community around here as well, and I don't know much about this yet, but I imagine it is for two reasons: drainage (lots of clay/sand in the soil), and keeping all that compost concentrated to the areas where the plants are actually growing.  No need to work on soil quality where the footpaths are going to be.  Anyways, all this boring talk aside, I spent my week weeding asparagus, planting native trees, and raking compost and then topsoil over the veggie beds.  I luckily got mostly nice weather, although the first part of the week was cold and wet (ie:rain+ crazy  wind=horizontal rain), so thank yous are in order to the very nice friends who have lent me rain-gear.  There are many many complaining muscles in my arms/shoulders/between the shoulder blades/lower back, (what isn't sore would be a better question) but I think my practice will help to keep my body happy.  I am treating myself to a late practice today since I don't have to do anything until later this afternoon, I thought why get up at 3am, when I could let these weary muscles catch up on some rest.  Can I look at that as practicing ahimsa with myself?  And I have a free weekend too! Yahoo!       

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A day in the life of the Samudra Yogis

Sage, my housemate and the superfood specialist at Samudra filmed this video over the course of a few days to show the ultimate day for the yoga crew.  Well done Sagey!

***There is a shot of me in bikini bottoms, so you might need sunglasses to shield your eyes from the glaring white of my legs.  Proceed with caution.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Early morning thoughts on life

Only just past 6AM and I am home from practice, ready to crawl back into my bed and have a snooze.  I'd whip up a green smoothie but one housemate is still sleeping, so running the blender is probably not a very nice thing to do.  Breakfast will have to wait. 
Big changes happening all over the place in my life, and I am struggling to detach myself from some of them, but I guess that just means I have a little more self study to do.  There is an art to letting go I suppose, and I certainly haven't gotten there yet.  More practice needed; ouchie.  This might be easier if I were sleeping better, but too many thoughts are invading my brain to let me conk out at night... sleep deprivation project week three. 
Busy weekend coming up with teaching, market going, hopefully a little bit of resting, and then off to the farm on Monday morning.  I have a raincoat on lend from a fellow yogi-ninja, purchased some wellies and socks, so I guess I am about ready to go. It will be fantastic to get to be outside in the beautiful WA air, just hoping that spring is really here and there isn't too much cold/wet weather left in the season.  There has been a fantastic explosion of wildflowers around the neighbourhood lately, and little bees are back in action, so I think the end of winter is here but who knows. 
Plans for India are in the works.  A trip to Mysore would be beautiful right about now, and I am looking at flights for the first week of December.  It is good to have something to look forward to.  I would have to really work hard to save up enough $$$ for the three months I would like to stay, but it is possible.. maybe if I am feeling ballsy I will go ahead and book the flights.  Speaking of Mysore, my post about the Dasara festival last year is getting a lot of hits; I guess everyone wants to see elephant bums... who knew?  For my potential dates this year I would be around for the Holi festival when everyone throws paint at each other.  Good photo potential there. 
Enough writing.  Time for a siesta.