Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?
One of my favourite ways of to manage stress (besides yoga!) is knitting.
I’m a newish knitter, currently making this cowl (pictured) to practise knitting in the round on double-pointed needles. I find the process of knitting meditative and calming. Not only is it brilliant learning a new skill, it is very helpful for stress relief and my mental health. And I’m not alone. It has been shown in research over many years that knitting (and crochet) has physical and mental health benefits. Just last month there were calls to prescribe knitting on the NHS. Charity organisation Knit for Peace (www.knitforpeace.org.uk) carried out a widespread review on the health benefits of knitting after receiving testimonials from their 15,000 volunteers about how it had improved their lives.
Sounds like a perfect reason to get knitting!
(P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about the work of Knit for Peace and supporting their work by donating knitted or crocheted items or cash you can find more information at their website.
Try this simple homemade spiced tea.
Now that we are very much into the yin time of year I’ve been craving warming food and drink. I have been really enjoying this warming tea that is so simple to make. If you’d like to give it a try for yourself here is the recipe:
- 4-5 cardamon pods
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- Half a cinnamon stick
Warm a teapot with boiling water. Crush the cardamon pods and ginger.
Add the cinnamon, ginger and cardamon to the teapot with 2 cups of boiling water.
Steep for 5-8 minutes before drinking. (Pour through a strainer into your cup.)
The August Bank Holiday this year was a gorgeous hot one! After my teaching was done for the day I was craving an ice cold milkshake, so when I got home that’s exactly what I had 😀 I decided to make this with stuff I had in the cupboard/fridge, as you do… The final result tasted delicious, so I am sharing this with you in case you fancy giving it a try. Here’s the recipe for my Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Shake:
– 1 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
– Half a frozen banana
– 1 tbsp That Protein Blissful Brown Rice & Raw Cacao Super Protein* (or substitute with cacao powder if you don’t have this, to keep the chocolatey taste)
– Half tbsp maca powder
– Half tbsp chia seeds
– 1 tsp peanut butter
– Ice cubes
Simply add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
(*NB – this post is not sponsored – That Protein is a product I enjoy using and recommend if you are looking for a good quality plant-based protein.)
Louola’s Quinola – Grain-Free Granola
I was introduced to Louola’s Superfood Quinola last year by a great company called Superfoodio via their healthy snack boxes, and it’s quickly become a favourite of mine!
Commercial granolas and cereals are often loaded with hidden sugars. And it can be surprising to find out how much sugar there is even in the apparently ‘healthy’ choices out there.
Vegetarian and vegan friendly, Louola’s is a delicious alternative which is not only refined sugar free, but also grain and dairy free. I’ve found this to be a great smoothie topper and have also been using Louola’s in recipes for energy balls and homemade raw chocolate (This recipe for Raw Chocolate Bark using Beetroot, Cashew & Coconut Louola’s went down a treat over Christmas!) You can find more details, plus recipe inspiration here at the Louola’s website.
Choc Chia Smoothie – Here’s one I made earlier 🙂
This is one of my favourite breakfasts on the go – I get an energy boost from the chia seeds and all that’s needed is a little overnight preparation (soaking the chia seeds).
1/4 Cup of Chia Seeds, 1 Cup of Almond Milk, 1 Apple, quartered, 1-2 teaspoons of Cacao Nibs, 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
Soak the chia seeds in the fridge overnight in the almond milk. Put the chia, apple, and cinnamon in a blender and blend away. (NB – if you feel the mixture is too thick feel free to add some extra milk here.)
When the mixture is smooth, add most of the cacoa nibs and blend again. Serve with the remaining cacoa nibs sprinkled on top for some extra chocolatey crunch. If I have any smoothie mixture leftover, I store in a airtight container in the fridge.
I’ve also made this with coconut milk which tastes just as delicious.
#getyouromback 31 Day Yoga Challenge from Sweaty Betty.
Sweaty Betty’s 31 Day Instagram Challenge involves practising one pose each day (a different post for each day of July). I think this is a great way to start building a home yoga practice!
Here I’m showing some Cat / Cow Pose variations for #getyouromback
My philosophy behind U Can Yoga from day one has been and remains that you can find your own expression of yoga, that yoga is for anyone who wants to give it a try and experience its many benefits.
I am taking part and will be posting some pose variations and instructions on Instagram with the intention of sharing a few ideas to make these poses a bit more accessible along the way – e.g. some standing and seated versions for those of us who find getting onto the floor a challenge.
Find out how to get involved by visiting the Get Your Om Back page at Sweaty Betty’s website here. And find me on Instagram @ucanyoga1.