Christmas Kraut

 

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This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.

Christmas Kraut star loulanatural

Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.

christmas kraut made Loula Natural

So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.

Christmas kraut collage Loula natural

To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here.

Christmas Kraut
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% Salt
  5. 250g of fresh cranberries cut in half
  6. 1 orange (zest and segments cut in 3)
  7. 2tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and star anise)
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the cranberries, orange and spices.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy, Merry Christmas
Notes
  1. This recipe is especially nice with cheese or an alternative to cranberry sauce.
Adapted from How to Ferment: Sauerkraut
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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How to ferment; Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Untitled designBeet and Ginger Kraut Loula Natural fi
Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural

Basic Sauerkraut is so delicious (see my how to here). I have it with eggs, add it so my coleslaw (kraut slaw here) and try to have it with any meat dish as a side. The sour flavour works well to stimulate gastric acids too so it a great primer for any fat, protein rich foods.

kraut with food

Since cabbage has so many health giving properties (read here), combining it with beetroot and ginger makes so much sense. The rich, sweetness and earthiness of the beetroot goes so well with the heat of the ginger and the sourness of the kraut. It hits all of the senses on the palate and really satisfy the taste buds.

Of course the rich myriad of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and blood boosting qualities of the beetroot with the anti-inflammatory, warming and nourishing properties of ginger are made even more available to the body with the fermentation process. The presence of a well balanced symbiosis of bacteria allows the body access to these nutrients, to absorb and use them to help promote wellbeing and healing.

Start in the same way as you would with the basic sauerkraut. When the cabbage and salt have been massaged together, combine the beetroot and ginger (I have used raw and powdered ginger and both work well) before packing it all into your jar.

Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut
A rich nutritious flavouring of sauerkraut. Great to assist in the body's wellbeing and healing process. Really good to help digestion of fat or protein rich foods in a meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1.5% Salt
  4. 1 raw beetroot grated
  5. 1 inch of fresh ginger grated or 1tbsp of dried ginger
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the grated beetroot and ginger.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can flavour your kraut in this way with anything you choose! be creative!
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
If you like fermented recipes come and checkout my dedicated board on pinterest:

 

 

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Can you change how you look in under a minute?

articlesChange how you look

Change how you look loulanatural

Internet marketing bombards our feeds and screens. Countless numbers of before and after images to prompt us and cajole us to buy something. I see these all the time and knowing what is in most of the products, it makes me so cross. I very rarely wear any make up- have very little skincare routine and always use natural products on my skin. I have good skin and I think it is a combination of clean eating and living.

change before and after loulanatural

So I decided to do an experiment. What if I took two photos, different intensions and different compositions to see if I could manipulate perception. I sat down in a chair and I had a set of thoughts, made my facial expression neutral and took a picture. I then simply turned my head away from the light had a different set of thoughts, a neutral facial expression and took another picture. Put them together and posted them asking you to guess. Well it worked!

People instantly wanted to know whatever it was I did, were eager to know just what I had done to “look so good”. I had more comments on this post  in a matter of minutes then any other in the same time period. Everyone asking what and how!

Nothing, I did nothing, except change how I spoke to myself and how I presented myself. I even reversed the images (I actually took the after picture first!)

Yes thats it!

Guess what it worked! Transforming this experiment into a bit of a profound experience for me. Not only was I chuffed that people obviously know me well, many of you expected that what I did was completely natural and probably something fermented! Also so many of you chose to communicate with me, I had your attention. I also received dozen of personal messages from friends asking me for the answer.

All of you collectively came up with the real secrets to good skin, methods I do actually use!;

Water (drinking and directly on the skin)

Sleep

Natural products like clay masks, vinegar, kombucha (I also use rose and neroli water)

Oil cleansing (I also use oils with essential oils on my face and take my make-up off  if I wear it with oil)

Massage (I also love my facials with natural products)

Lots of you, of course, realised that beauty comes from within and of course know that I always talk about the vibrancy and nourishment you get from fresh, real and fermented foods. I was once told you could tell someones health by looking at the whites of their eyes and mine were bright white!

I was amazed how many people actually created changes in the photos, looking one to the other- expecting the before to be terrible and the after to be so much better. “Plucked my eyebrows?” was popular. Another change was had I had botox and my eyes were visibly lifted. It made me question, does how we frame ourselves make people see us differently. When we frame ourselves positively and declare ourselves beautiful- is that what we direct others to see? Try it for yourself- instead of saying to your friends that you want to change something; lose weight, I hate my skin, I have bad/sallow complexion, reduce lines, change hair etc. Try saying how pleased you are with something; I really like this shirt, I love my body shape at the moment, my skin is glowing. See what the other person says, more importantly how you actually see yourself. Do it in front of a mirror.

However, the single biggest thing that makes you gorgeous is the “you” that comes shining through. The person you believe you are, will always come through. Good or bad.

In the “before” picture I told myself how tired and old I was looking. You can see this in my eyes and mouth, a little sadness and despondency.

Before loulanatural

In the “after” picture I told myself how wonderful I am, how amazing my skin was and how happy and grateful I am to be me. So many of you remarked how young and amazing my skin looked.

after loulanatural

Sure I changed the light, but my eyes and mouth are different in both pictures. I really tried to stay neutral to keep the angle and position the same (this cannot be said with most before and after images of course). I wonder what the reaction would have been had the pictures been in the reverse?

other way loulanatural

So whats the point? Well how many of us buy into this way of advertising? All of us I would say- why else would it be so damn popular! How many of us buy this miracle worker, use it and think- oh its a little better but not the same as the pictures I saw, and look for the next thing? Maybe actually all you need to change is your perception, of yourself. There are many ways you can do this and its been a huge leap for me.

Thank you for helping me come to this conclusion, this experiment actually went in a different way than expected and I have learnt a huge amount about myself in a very short period of time. I would love to know what you think?!

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Homemade Char Sui (Chinese Barbecue Pork)

Untitled design Char Sui Loula Natural fi

Barbecue Pork Loula Natural FBChar sui (Chinese Barbecue Pork) is one of my all time comfort foods. Growing up in Hong Kong, Char Sui is the lynch pin for so many meals. Served with rice and veggies, in noodles, in buns and just by itself as a snack, its salty sweet bbq flavour is completely addictive. However of course so are all the nasty additives, colourings and msg you can find in it nowadays- not in a good way of course.

When I first stumbled across this recipe I was not convinced it was going to taste as good. But oh boy is it on the money! Simply marinade and roast. We serve with chinese greens stir fried with garlic or we make coconut rice (or try cauli mash/parsnip rice)

Marinating Pork Loula Natural

Homemade Char Sui (Barbecue Pork)
A clean ingredient recipe for a classic favourite. Authentic takeaway/restaurant flavour with great ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 800g Pork Belly (I buy organic pasture raised)
  2. 50mls Tamari/Coconut aminos
  3. 2 tbsp Honey
  4. 1 inch of Ginger finely sliced
  5. 3-4 Garlic cloves mashed
  6. 1/2 tbsp Chinese 5 Spice
  7. 1 tbsp Chinese Rice wine
  8. 1tbs Coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Marinade the meat for at least 6-8 hours with all of the ingredients. Best left over night. I have made it by marinading for an hour too!
  2. Heat your oven and roast the belly (skin side up)for at least an hour-1.5 hours. Checking on it. Add a little water to the roasting pan during cooking time to keep it moist and to make the 'gravy'
  3. Serve with chinese greens/broccoli stir fried with garlic and coconut rice
Adapted from Rick Stein FAR EASTERN ODYSSEY
Adapted from Rick Stein FAR EASTERN ODYSSEY
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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The Power of Breathing

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The Power of Breathing

The more I get to know myself and others around me, the more I am reminded of the importance of taking a breath. Being mindful is about being in the present, no longer stuck feeling guilt or remorse about the past or anxious and controlling about the future. The Here and the Now. The place where we can make changes.

Healing is done on so many levels and at different times. By taking a moment to be concious about breathing, you are coming out of your brain and thoughts and connecting with your awareness and intuition. Your gut instinct and your primal needs. You are taken away from society’s pressures and the medias propaganda. You release money troubles, health anxieties, body weight stress, parenting woes, work restrictions or whatever else you are thinking about that you have no power over. You are re-plugging in to you- the real you, and that is incredibly powerful.

Sounds easy and it can be as easy as 1,2,3

1. Stop (close your eyes is completely optional)

2. Breathe in (listen and feel the breath fill you up)

3. Breathe out (listen and feel stress and tension leave with your breath.

Even if that is all you do. That can be enough- it is a great start.

Here are some more exercises I have learnt over the years;

Counting breaths; 

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

Try and breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of four. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase time to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase this to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

( OPTIONAL)Spend some time her picturing yourself in a favourite place or looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing yourself as the perfect you.)

Return to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 4 then out for a count of 4. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

This can take as long or as little time as you have!

Rainbow breathing; (This is great for kids) 

rainbow breathing loulanatural pin

Stop the bus

This is best done when you are pressed for time, need to meet a deadline, are stalling doing something that really needs doing, cant wait, cant stop! Its amazing how little it takes to stop, re-focus and actually achieve more. It is also great to use when you have a thousand things going on and you cannot get to sleep.

this can be done for 1-5 mins. Set a timer so you are not stressing about time.

Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Allow all thoughts to flow through your mind without holding on to them. without trying to solve them- just watching them. Especially when it is the last thing you should be doing! Each thought can have a shape or colour as you see it drift off. Then start to repeat, I wonder what my next thought will be…

Other exercises to get you on track:

  • Opening yourself up to opportunity is about trusting yourself and the universe to provide for you. Whilst breathing and being mindful of your breath, try to visualize all the things you want from your life. What you want to look lik, feel like, where you want to be and who you want to be with. Set a direction for yourself. Start listing ideas and avenues to pursue. Bring yourself out of pause and motivate your body and mind towards a purpose and goal.
  • List the things you are good  at. Your key skills. What lights your fire, what gets you excited? List them all and all will reveal itself- it will become so obvious where you want to go- start to follow it step by step. It may be an area or path that you never considered before but will seem so perfect. 
  • Every night before bed- try to make a list of 5 things that happened that day that you are grateful for and then what you are looking forward to for the next day. This can help you to prepare you for a good nights, restful sleep. You may even wake up refreshed and positive to start another abundant and grateful day.
  • Try to find other ways of being mindful every day- like taking your shoes off and grounding yourself, or walking in nature on one of the nearby trails. You don’t need to go far or for long, but try and do something every day to nurture yourself. Being in nature is so peaceful and restorative once you get out of your head. Ban all phone action whilst out there and even try it without music to distract your brain. Find what you like it may be water, or mountains, beaches or even just wandering through a city spoting nature everywhere. Feel like your feet are on the floor and your brain is in your head and your body is in control.
  • From an emotional level- please look after yourself. You are very important and worth care and attention. Only then will you be able to find better energy for yourself and your healing. Try to identify patterns of behavior and beliefs that you can reverse and change. EFT is a great tool for this- Eft is quick and easy to use and can be used for all ages and all areas in your life. Buried emotions can result in behaviour patterns, experiences can shape our reactions, find someone qualified to help you and practice everyday- you will be astounded how good you feel to get rid of some dragging baggage.
  • Try this meditation series. Designed for weight loss it holds all the components of being mindful about your body and connecting emotion and physical beyond weightloss. I used to listen to it both sitting at home and whilst travelling to and from work.
  • There are so many short and easy recorded meditations on You Tube (see here for who I follow) or check out the free app- headspace.

Breathing and being mindful can be done anywhere and at anytime!

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