Thursday, 24 October 2013

Look after your inner animal this Autumn...

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen" Ernest Hemmingway.

I found this quote and thought how beautiful it was. There is a sense of death in Autumn but there is a positive aspect because it's not final it's just part of the circle of life.

We are all animals, in our primal centres, getting ready for hybernation aren't we.  So it's time to slow down and look at what we have reaped over the summer.  Nurture ourselves and give ourselves rest.  

Are we so disconnected from the natural world that we forget how the seasons have a profound effect on us?

If anything, the message in this blog is to remember your animal inside.  Give yourself some space to look back and reflect.  Be gentle with yourself and accept that this is the time to welcome sadness with a positive heart.  Fighting this natural instinct is detrimental to your health, you need to feel it.

Here are a few ideas for Autumn sadness...

Write a list of gratitude for all the things you have in your life that are positive and say thank you from your heart.  This is a simple task but is incredibly rewarding - have a go!

Spend just five minuites (time yourself!) outdoors quiet and still.  You can get enormous sense of peace just sitting next to nature.

Write yourself a list of things that you're proud of for this year and give yourself a few goals for the next few months.  Listen to your heart and dreams... they can come true if you want them to.

Imagine your inner animal this Autumn - what is it? what does it look like?  how does it feel? Write or draw a picture.... what does it need to be nurtured this Autumn?

Beauty is everywhere just start noticing it and you'll fill your heart with happiness in moments.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Apple Cake - Yum!

Well, it's that time of year again.... Apples galore and so here's something to try out. It's lovely and moist and will last about 3-4 days in an air tight container.   

225g self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
Grinding of fresh nutmeg
115g unsalted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing

115g light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 tbsp milk
225g apples, peeled, cored and diced
100g sultanas and rasins
2 tbsp demerara sugar

How to do it
1.Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

2.Mix the flour and spices together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingers, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg followed by 6 - 8 tbsp of milk – you want to achieve a smooth, thick batter.

3.Add the apples, sultanas and rasins and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and gently level out. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

4.Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. Yummmmy....