Tag Archives: food

Finding energy and awareness

hulahoopingSummertime?! With the wet, drippy weather on the Monday of the holiday weekend, it’s hard to believe it’s early August. But I am happy to report that my batteries are recharged after a wonderful July…… I am really energised and excited to be starting another new term of pilates and movement classes in early September.

I admit that I often find summer a bit challenging. I am sure I am not alone in that? All the hopes for good weather, kids off school, holiday expectations, insect bites, noisy tractors on small roads, and so on. I generally prefer the in-between seasons of spring and autumn.

But this summer was different for me. I am just back from a deeply relaxing, inspiring break. With my husband and one daughter, we were camping with about 500 others off-the-grid for nine days (no electrical power whatsoever), sharing great food cooked over open fires. The weather was kind to us: no heavy rain, no really chilly days and some warm sunshine. Another positive aspect is that we didn’t have to travel far from home, no stressful airports or long journeys.

Every day was full of wonderful music and interesting exchanges of ideas. My days mostly started with the ancient ‘Dance of Life’, symbolic of our connection with the earth and nature. I did lots of fantastic yoga and movement workshops; I did multi-part harmony singing that often took me into a deep meditative state; I learnt basic drumming techniques (loved it) and I heard seasoned drummers and percussionists that made me dance, dance, DANCE!

I will sustain this energy in positive ways throughout the coming days, weeks and months. I feel empowered by all I have learned this summer. I feel aware and conscious in my body and my life.

Life can be hard. We all have to learn how to be kind to ourselves, how to love ourselves so we can love others. There are little things we can do everyday to nourish our bodies and souls. Good movement and good food, along with learning to relax and bring loving thoughts into your heart.

On a practical note: I am taking bookings for my pilates and movement classes from Monday 22nd August onwards; existing clients get first option and then I’ll be opening to anyone who wishes to join in. I look forward to meeting my pilates peeps again soon and welcoming new joiners!

Eimear x

Put good things in your body!

Doing pilates regularly can certainly help with toning muscle and improving posture (so you feel and look better), but it is only part of the picture. Try including this life-changing bread as well!

One of the often-quoted sayings of Joseph Pilates is that “in 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body”.

Through teaching pilates, I meet lots of people who would indeed like to “get a whole new body”. For some, the impetus for doing pilates is to relieve backache, sciatica or ease tension in neck and shoulders; for others, it’s to lose “shape up”. Often, it’s a bit of both.

But I have always been uncomfortable with the idea that pilates will give you a “whole new body,” because your body’s shape and weight is the result of the calories you consume (food and drink) less what your burn off (through everyday and other physical activities).

Into this equation comes the tricky issue of metabolism. While some people appear to have a slower metabolism than others, for what it’s worth, I think people who have a “fast metabolism” are probably more just active – more fidgety maybe – than others?

Clearly, the more active you are, the more calories you burn. You can control how active you are – decide to be more active! and you can control what you put into your body – decide to put good things in your body.

Back to the idea of putting good things in your body: my suggestion is to cut back on bread and to choose to eat only really good bread.

Commercially produced white sliced pan may taste good in the mouth for a few minutes (especially toasted!), but makes me feel bloated before long. In my house, white bread is a rarity – often bought by my other half if we are on holidays! I tend to seek out a good, wholemeal brown or rye bread. But lately, I’ve been baking this bread – it’s got no flour at all in it and it’s full of really good things like nuts and seeds. Very nutritious and does not cause bloat.

It is heavy, but it is very filling and you don’t need much. And you can toast it and put delicious things on it! My two daughters are starting to like it; my other half, now he’s another day’s work!

[Thanks to both Helen Costelloe and Vanessa Pearse for sharing this recipe with me in the first place.]

The Life Changing Bread

1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2cup hazelnuts or almonds (put into a sturdy bag and smash with rolling pin to break up)
1 ½ cups oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
4tbsp psyllium husks
1 tsp sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (changes the flavour a bit)
1 ½ cups water
Optionally, add two spoons of maple syrup or honey in with the water (again, changes the flavour)

Mix all dry ingredients
Add oil and water (maple syrup/honey); mix well.
Allow to stand for 1 hour, at least.

Put into greased and lined standard loaf tin; press down so it’s about an inch thick.
Bake in 180 degree oven for 40 minutes, then turn over and bake again for 20 minutes.

Cuts really well when cool. Keeps for a good few days in the fridge.
(If you feel like a biscuit, cut off a little bit instead and put some honey or jam on it!).