Ah Autumn! What a delight here in Perth. Clear blues skies, sunshine and shorter days. The perfect excuse to drink hot chocolate (check out our healthy hot choc recipe!) and get out the slow cooker for some of those fantastic stews using those less popular cuts of meat. So good for you!
What was I saying? oh yeah seasons…We’re lucky these days to be able to buy pretty much anything all year around. But what’s in season right now? If you’re eating with the seasons, the produce you find will be fresher and packed full of things your body needs at this time of year. Chances are out-of-season produce has spent more time in storage and isn’t as fresh.
Here in Perth, Western Australia, we have a bunch of regular farmers markets and organic fresh food retailers. There’s sure to be one near you. If you’re already shopping at one of these you’ll notice what is in season because thats what they’re selling. For those who are intrigued, here’s a short list of foods that are available in the cooler months that your body will thank you for!
- Asian greens
Maqui contains high amounts of antioxidants. This means that your body is better protected from toxins, chemicals and free radicals that cause harm to the body. In fact, sources say that the Maqui berry has the highest amount of antioxidants of any berry on the market. Chia seeds add a great dose of omega-3′s, essential fibre and protein helping to curb your appetite and sustain your energy levels for longer. Have a go at making it yourself. All ingredients are available in store at Loose Produce, Como.
1 Tblsn Maqui berry powder
1 Tblsn Chia seeds
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
Coconut palm suger to taste
Coconut water or filtered water
Pop it all in a jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Add ice if desired. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Give it another shake then sip, sip, sip away. Great to make before work, pop it in your bag and curve those afternoon cravings.
We are tremendously excited to have Dana from Sage Yoga joining us in April. We sat down with Dana for a bit of chin wag last week. Check it out…
LP: Dana how long have you been practicing yoga?
SY: For 12 years – 6 days a week
LP: What is your favourite type of Yoga?
SY: Ashtanga yoga (meaning 8 limb yoga) is the practice perfect for me – I feel blessed everyday to have been fortunate enough to stumble into it. It has changed me for the better, both inside and out.
Although, I do believe that no one style of yoga is ever ‘one size fits all’, and (whilst respecting the fundamental bedrock of the style) the practice needs to be tailored to best suit individual needs and challenges.
LP: What is your favourite time of day and why?
SY: Sunrise – I love the stillness and the emerging light at this sacred time of day. I love that the world seems quieter and untroubled by its usual frenetic speed. I love pausing out in nature and taking the time to acknowledge that if I move slowly enough I can clearly sense that everything in nature is also moving and breathing, just at a much slower pace than ours. I love that I have the opportunity to practice yoga at this time of morning, it never fails to give me an energy and a sense of joy that lasts well into my day.
LP: Best meal of the day and why?
SY: Dinner, as every night I get to sit down and share it with my wonderful husband and gorgeous 7 year old son.
LP: Why yoga? Why not jogging or swimming?
SY: Yoga has the capacity to be so much more than just great exercise. It also offers a pathway (by way of philosophy, life science and guidelines) to how we live our lives.
Ashtanga Yoga has offered me the opportunity to heal myself inside and out. To connect with my breath and find a silence within myself I never knew existed. Every morning I gratefully step onto my mat and am afforded the chance to reconnect with the quiet space in my heart, and leave the busy often self critical place in my head.
I have the chance to strengthen, stabilise and become more flexible – attributes that are not only healthy and healing for my physical, mental and emotional body but also teach me how to better relate to others and behave in the world.
My yoga practice is the constant reliable force in my life, it grounds me, makes me accountable and gets me through good and bad times.
LP: The world seems to be a really fast place to live these days. How do you slow down? What are your 5 tips?
SY: 1) Yoga every day – it is an opportunity to be completely absorbed by our breath for an uninterrupted period of time. This is the best tool we have and can always be used to slow the mind and bring us into the present moment.
2) As quoted by the great poet Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you truly love – it will not lead you astray.” Doing what we love and and are drawn to often leads (without wilful effort) to slowing down, enjoying the moment and not flying through the day at break neck speed just to get the job done.
3) Become curious and awed by the nature around you – go outside, place your bare feet on the earth, observe the trees, clouds in the sky, flowers, blades of grass, insects…whatever you feel drawn to. Curiosity and wonder about our surroundings is a great way to get out of the constant tiring loop of thoughts in our head, this is a great way slow down, become grounded and replenish our energy.
4) If you are fortunate enough to have a dog – observe closely. Animals (dogs especially) seem so great at regulating themselves and knowing when to slow down, that coupled with their awesome ability to love unconditionally…seems we humans can learn so much about being better humans from our dogs.
5) There is no time like the present – if you are always waiting for the perfect time/scenario/space to slow down, start yoga, meditate, take up the hobby you have always dreamed about…you are going to be waiting a very long time. Finding our way back to stillness and contentment in every moment and situation, especially the stressful ones, is the key to a much happier and free existence.
LP: We’re very much looking forward to you joining us. When will you be starting classes at South Perth Yoga Shala and what can people expect if they join your classes?
SY: Classes will be starting in the next school term – from Wednesday 22 April.
They will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am – 11am.
Monday’s class will be most suitable for beginners, Wednesday and Fridays some experience is recommended. In all classes offered there is the option of Mysore style (self) practice for more experienced yogis.
Sage Yoga classes are fun and informative, with a strong focus on correct breath techniques and postural alignment. There will be a balance between flexibility, strength and stabilisation. And an opportunity to learn more about the other limbs that make up the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga.
Most importantly there will be a chance to laugh, heal and share the space with a community of like-minded people.
You can check out the full schedule here.
As the months start to get cooler it’s time to bring out the ol’ broth (or stock) recipes. I love the stuff! Warm and comforting. Soothes a sore throat and cures the aches. And it really is so very simple to make. There are a myriad of reasons bone broth is so very good for you! Food really can be your medicine. Bone broth is good because:
- plentiful minerals and trace minerals in a form that the body can easily assimilate
- glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health
- natural gelatine for digestive health
- nutrients that help combat stress and nervous tension
- amino acids that have anti-inflammatory and liver-protective action and that promote soft tissue
- collagen and cartilage repair
- provides the building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining
- reduces inflammation and ‘leaky gut’
- Source: Nourish Your Health
There really is no substitute for flavour and a reason your grand mother made whether she knew it or not. It makes a whole other meal out of your roast chicken dinner too so you have the added bonus of no waste (a pet hate here at Loose Produce). So here’s how to make bone broth. This recipe courtesy of our very own Merry Skinner, the powerhouse behind Loose Produce.
Bone Broth Recipe
- Organic beef bones or chicken carcass
- Filtered water
- You can also add vegetables to taste
- Roast bones in oven at 180 deg c 45 mins. Why? It’s a flavour thing. This recipe also works if you don’t roast your bones
- Remove from oven pan and place in your slow cooker
- Cover with water 3-4L depending on slow cooker size
- Cook 14-24hrs on low
- Strain and consume or freeze for later
More reading? Try Nourished Kitchen
When it comes to purchasing fruit and vegetables, there’s nothing quote like the local farmers market on the weekend. There’s something I love about meeting the people who grow the food I put into my body . I know exactly where my food is coming from! However whilst some foods are not organic at the markets, I still prefer to purchase local food over organic and here are a few reasons why:
Ever heard of the term? It basically means the physical kilometres your food has clocked up getting to you. For example, an organic lemon from the US will have travelled a lot further than the one from Malaga, WA or your backyard. This includes the fossil fuels it took to get it from A to B plus the added nasties of length of time in storage and gases used to delay ripening.
I love supporting local businesses for obvious reasons. Purchasing food from local producers means money and jobs stay in WA. I enjoy the relationship and community I have with those producers. This creates a closed loop relationship with the food I consume, something I think we seem to be losing as a society.
Buy fresh, buy seasonal
Food that is consumed close to when it has been picked is fresher and more nutritious. Local produce is fresher than its imported counterparts! It amazes me that we are able to purchase mangos out of season. Our bodies are more in-tune with whats going on around them than you’d think and the natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health.
You can find a great list of farmers markets and organic stores in and around the Perth metro area here.
Some extra reading to help you on your way to better decision making!