You can use a variety of nuts and seeds to make milks. From almonds, cashews and macadamias to coconut and hemp. They can all be made into delicious milk that can be added to smoothies, muesli or porridge, or on their own as a nutritious drink.
Here's a few recipes to get you started.
Basic Nut Milk
1 Cup Almonds/Cashews/Macadamias
4 Cups Filtered Water
Sweetener of your choice: A few dates, maple syrup or raw honey (if you're not vegan)
Soak your choice of nuts overnight, or for at least 8 hours, and discard the water. Blend with the filtered water and choice of sweetener. Put through a nut milk bag or a sieve, and strain the milk into a jug. The pulp can be used for nut roast or in raw biscuit recipes.
1 Cup of Hemp Seeds
1/2 Cup of Sesame Seeds
4 Cups of Filtered Water
Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until the seeds have broken down. Push through a nut milk bag or a sieve, and strain the milk into a jug.
The sesame seeds add extra calcium to your recipe. You could also use tahini.
2 Cups of Desiccated Coconut
4 Cups of Filtered Water
A Few Dates - to sweeten
Blend all the ingredients together and strain through a nut milk bag or a sieve and keep the milk in a jug in the fridge. The coconut pulp can be used in raw desserts.
Chocolate & Cinnamon Milk
1 Cup of Milk - your choice of nut or seed milk
Tsp of Cacao Powder
Tsp of Cinnamon
Maple Syrup - to taste
Blend all ingredients until fully combined.
Rose quartz, one of many crystals from the quartz family, is commonly known for it's beautiful pink colour and it's calming and healing properties.
Found in South Africa, USA, Brazil, Japan, India and Madagascar, this crystal works closely with both the heart and the heart chakra, enhancing love, forgiveness of others, self-forgiveness, inner peace and acceptance. Physically it helps circulation and aids detoxification. It is soothing when dealing with a crisis or trauma, helps with releasing unexpressed emotions and can increase creativity and imagination.
It is an excellent crystal for women as it resonates with the female reproductive system, helping to balance the menstrual cycle. It is also thought to increase fertility.
It is a wonderful beauty stone for the skin, soothing, evening the complexion and is cooling on minor burns and wounds. The ancient Egyptians are thought to have used rose quartz for its anti-ageing properties.
Ways To Use Rose Quartz
*Make a gem water - place 3-4 clean and cleansed rose quartz tumblestones into a glass and fill with filtered water. Leave to infuse for an hour or two. You can do this under the sunlight or moonlight if you choose to. Then it's ready to drink. You can also use this water for steam inhalation to sooth the skin, to add to your bath water or to create a spray adding essential oils (preserve with vodka or apple cider vinegar).
*Facial massage - using some clean rose quartz palm stones, massage the face in an outward movement to increase lymphatic drainage and cool and soothe the skin.
*Meditation - holding a rose quartz palm stone in each hand whilst meditating.
*Self Love Grid - Create a self love grid using rose quartz and some other crystals of choice such as amethyst, green aventurine or tigers eye. Decide where you're going to create your grid, and cleanse the space, physically and energetically. Cleanse the stones you'll be using and set your intention for your grid. Next place a stone in the centre and arrange the other stones around it. You can activate your grid using a crystal wand, slowly and gently tapping each crystal, energetically connecting them. Then sit and meditate often next to your grid, focusing on self love and self acceptance. Keep it up as long as you feel you need it. When it's served it's purpose you can take it down and cleanse the stones again. If it's there for a while and you feel it's energy isn't as high as it was when you created the grid, you can cleanse the stones and place them back in the grid and reactivate it with your wand again.
*Heart Healing - Lay on your bed, floor, yoga mat or on the grass, and place a rose quartz heart over your heart. You can add additional rose quartz on and around you, or other crystals that you feel may help. Placing a black tourmaline or red jasper by your feet will keep you grounded. Lay there and either meditate, focus on your breath or simply relax.
These are just a few examples of the many ways to work with this wonderful crystal.
When working with any crystals, always follow your intuition and be guided to whatever it is you need at that moment.
I want to tell you a story.
A story about a moment in my life when everything became clear.
It was a cold evening in December, just a week before Christmas. I'd been particularly stressed that month, working in a busy shop in a big city over the holiday season, anxiety and overwhelm had taken over and I was feeling tearful and exhausted.
I went to a yoga class at the studio where I go at Leeds Dock. One of my favourite teachers, Colette, was leaving for India a few weeks later and was doing a free class as a way to say goodbye. It was extremely busy, our yoga mats packed tightly together as we were careful not to hit our neighbour as we transitioned through the poses. As the class went on, we had the chance to work with partners and get to know some of the others there. This felt really good as we helped each other practice handstands and laughed together as we lost our balance. The sense of community the teacher brought to the class was wonderful. The postures that we practised were so rejuvenating and I could feel my stress levels decreasing as the class went on.
After 90 minutes I was exhausted, but in a good way this time. I'd worked hard, tried some new poses and was definitely ready for savasana at the end.
As we lay on our mats, Colette read out a paragraph to us about playing it small and why we do it. It resonated so much with me, i'd been doing this most of my life. I'd set up my business 2 years before, but rarely promoted it and instead continued to work in an unfulfilling job because it was safe. Being visible was my greatest fear, who was I to believe in myself and aim for something bigger, but as I lay on my mat in tears listening to my teacher telling us that it's much better to stop playing small and to believe in ourselves, something happened. I finally knew that I had to change things, to follow my dreams and stop settling for less. I'd studied hard for many years and had lots to share, but didn't have the confidence to take that further. Until now.
When the class was finished, I gave my teacher a big hug and told her that I was quitting my job. I didn't know how, but I knew something was going to change. I walked through the city back to the train station feeling completely different to when I walked into the studio just a few hours before.
Within two months, i'd left my job, began my dream job working for an organic skincare school and began building a successful business.
All it took was one moment, one decision, one amazing teacher to say what I needed to hear.
Sometimes these moments happen, sometimes it's on the yoga mat, sometimes not, but I always feel like they happen at the perfect time for the perfect reason.
So in the spirit of being visible, here I am.
I'm not perfect, I don't have all the answers, but I love to connect with others and make a difference in any way I can, and sometimes that's the most important things you can do for another person.