Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pearl Grace Life, Salad

Zesty Salad

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Nat’s Zesty Salad

Pearl Grace Life, saladI know, it’s January and it’s cold outside and the last thing you probably fancy eating is a salad.

But January also provides us with a great opportunity to start the year off right in terms of leading a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.

When it comes to what I eat, I don’t really pay attention to what the weather is like. It could be chucking it down with rain and I’ll rustle up a salad or a bowl of summer berries or it could be hottest day in summer and I’ll choose to make a soup or a fish pie.

It doesn’t really matter in our house and although I try to eat consciously and choose ingredients that are local and as seasonal as much as possible, I often cook and eat dependant on how I feel and dependant on what my body needs most at that time.

Now after an over-indulgent holiday season I know that what my body needs right now are clean ingredients, lots of water and green juices to flush my system out and eliminate as  many toxins and nasty stuff as possible.

So, although a salad may not get you buzzing right now, believe me when I say, after you wolf down a bowl of this goodness your cells will be buzzing with glee and you’ll feel amazing.

If you’re like me and the mundane and repetitive task of washing and chopping veggies is relaxing and therapeutic then great.

However if setting aside 20 minutes to make this bad-boy-bowl-of-colours fills you with dread and a sense of boredom then whack on your favourite tunes and chop away to the music and the time will fly…

like this sweet little number:

Tweet it out peeps: “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients” – Julia Child via @PearlGraceLife

And the great part of tucking into a cold salad is that all the ingredients by their very nature are raw, which is great for you and the planet.

Eating raw and fresh ingredients ensures that your body gets the optimum level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients so you can function to the max.

Now, guys, at the risk of stating the obvious, its a salad so you can jazz it up or tone it down with whatever ingredients you fancy. My zesty salad just gives you an idea of how creative you can be.

There’s just one little tip that I’d like to share when it comes to making a brilliant salad and that is to find a balance.

You’ll see from the list of ingredients that I love to partner up soft textures with a little bit of crunch, and some sweetness with a dash of sour and as many gorgeous colours that I can find in my fridge.

So, beautiful people, here it is: Nat’s zesty salad:

Pearl Grace Life, SaladIngredients and Method:

Grab a large bowl and begin:
2 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves (a selection of baby spinach, red lettuce and lambs lettuce is what I had in my fridge today) You could add some romaine lettuce as well for extra crunch.
1 small handful of chopped parsley
1 small handful of chopped mint
1/2 a cucumber
8 cherry tomatoes
8 radishes
1 yellow pepper
1 avocado
1 red chilli (optional and deseed if desired)
Seeds of 1 small pomegranate
2 kiwis
A handful of dried cranberries
Sprinkle of mixed seeds
Juice of half a lime
A drizzle of oil (extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil are two my favourites on salads)

Grab yourself a large fork and tuck in or if you’re feeling generous, share with friends or family and enjoy as a side dish.

Switch it up!

You could add as many ingredients as you like. Olives, peppery rocket leaves and some salad cress work nicely.

For additional healthy fats scatter over some walnuts and crushed pistachios.

I like to keep my salads as “free from________(fill in the blank)” as much as possible.

But you could up the ante and make this less vegan and more vegetarian by adding a boiled egg or crumbles of feta cheese or stilton for additional natural saltiness.

And for the carnivores out there, cooked prawns, sliced chicken or turkey could work too. In fact this salad could go with just about anything, that’s why it’s so awesome.

You could use it as a filling in a wrap or as part of a quesadilla. I sometimes pour spoonfuls of it on top of slices of crusty bread like a soda crumb, spelt or rye variety. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top of each little portion to enhance the flavours even more.

I hope Nat’s zesty salad hits all the right notes for you.

To good health,

Nat x

Try Nat’s zesty salad with my baked mushrooms with cumin and paprika

Images courtesy of NatMillie

Pearl grace life blog creativity post

Japan, Poison Ivy and Creativity

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Japan, Poison Ivy and Creativity

Pearl Grace Life Create yourselfSo beautiful people, how psyched are you feeling about 2016?

Ready to get creative and set new challenges,  soar to new heights, achieve those big tantalising dreams, meet the love of your life?? All the above? 

Heck, why not?! Anything is possible, right? And you’re the only one who can make those dreams come true.

But the truth is nothing will change if you don’t change. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true.

If you want things to be different this year then you have to do things differently. In layman’s terms you have to change.

To think otherwise is a sign of insanity, you know, doing the same things over and over again expecting to get different results.

Now, I know you’re not crazy – well, at least I hope you’re not – and I would love for 2016 to be your best year ever.

I truly want it to surpass last year and for you to be better, happier and more fulfilled than ever before.

So, in today’s post, I want so share a story with you.  I heard it a few years ago and thenPearl Grace Life Creativity blog post stumbled across it again while clearing out my mailbox over Christmas.

On the surface it appears to be about the power of the mind but really I think its about something even bigger than that. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts so be sure to tell me at the end.

As the title suggests, its about Japan, poison ivy and creativity. It goes a little something like this:

There was a fascinating study done in Japan where they blindfolded students and then told the students that their right arms were being rubbed with a poison ivy plant.

Afterwards, all the students reacted with classic symptoms of poison ivy, such as itching, boils and redness. But only a harmless shrub was actually used.

On the other arm, actual poison ivy was used but they were told it was simply a harmless shrub. Only 2 of the 13 students broke out with poison ivy symptoms. 

According to psychologists this is called Expectant Theory. This is when the expectations that the brain creates can be as real as those created by events in the real world.

Isn’t that incredible?!

Pearl Grace Life Creativity blog postIt proves how powerful your mind is.

So when it come to the new year and the “new” you, if indeed that’s one of your goals, then consider this, you will get out of life what you tell your brain is achievable and possible.

Think doom and gloom and that’s what you’ll get.

Think glass half full and nothing good ever happens to you and, yep that’s right, that’s what 206 will look like for you.

That’s why the adage: you get in life what you put in is so true. It’s said so often that it’s practically a cliché and it’s easy to become numb to what you hear all the time.

But the reality is that what you choose to focus on will eventually manifest into reality.

If you focus on stumping your toe on the bed in the middle of the night when you take that sleepy trip to the loo then you will, most likely sooner or later, stump your fricking toe.

I know that’s a silly example but you get the drift.

Tweet it out peeps: “Be the designer of your own destiny” – Oscar de la Renta via @PearlGraceLife

So, let’s wrap this up with a little food for thought, what are you telling your brain to create in 2016? What visions are you holding in your mind’s eye for the months ahead?

Are they hopeful, joyful, brimming with health, vitality, love and success? Are you foreseeing fun Pearl Grace Life Creativity posttimes with family and friends, trying new things, experiencing new adventures and creating lasting memories?

It’s all possible for you. Just you give your brain permission to create it.

That’s why vision boards are so powerful. They remind your brain of the things that are important to you and of the things you want to have or achieve in your life.

As creative beings – that’s all of us by the way, not just people who “quote-unquote” are ‘creative’ or have ‘creative and artistic jobs’ – it’s our responsibility to create the life we wish to enjoy.

And as creative beings our lives are a sum total of the things we create and I mean the total of everything; our relationships, our jobs, our health, our finances, our homes, our car, our style, our attitude, our habits and routines.  Everything.

Pearl Grace Life Blog Creativity PostBut the most incredible factor in all of this brain-and-creativity stuff is that our imaginations are limitless.

To para-phrase the great Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve” so don’t hold back.

Let 2016 be the year that you truly GO FOR IT.

Let it be the year that you become more and do more; more living, more laughing, more loving, more caring, more reading, more growing, more learning, more sharing, more touching, more listening and yes even more crying.

Let it be the year your permit your heart to feel more, be moved more, understand more and to appreciate more.

Can you imagine how incredible 2016 will be for you… Wait a minute, you can! … Well, then go on and create it.

Hey and don’t be shy, tell me how you intend to create a magical year in the comments below.

All my love,

Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of beginlifetrek.wordpress.com