Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Yoga and Quinoa - Recipe for Healthy Living

Hello all!!

It's been a while since I last posted one of my healthy recipes. 

Today I celebrate the queen of all grains, the mighty Quinoa. One of the oldest grains, originating from Latin America, it is very high in protein, magnesium and iron. It is also a source of calcium and perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. Gluten-free and easy to digest. And it is very simple to prepare. Wash it out thoroughly, add the grain to twice its volume of boiling water. Cook over a moderate heat until the grain separates, and voila! It is done!

Quinoa is my staple diet and like chillies and garlic, I always have it in my kitchen. 
Here is one the recipes I made up and cook on a regular basis. You can use any vegetables you have in your vegetable basket and can use any meat you want (it's great without meat too. A perfect vegetarian dish). This is what I had in my kitchen today:

3 sausages (only high in meat though, at least 80%). 
2 green peppers
4 mushrooms
1 carrot
few spoon fulls of sweetcorn (frozen sweetcorn is just as good)
one large onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 hot chillies (optional)
tin of tomatoes
one vegetable stock
dry oregano, basil and one large bay leaf (spices are optional)

Cut the tomatoes in pieces, add chopped garlic, chillies, pinch of salt, herbs and vegetable stock. Mix and leave to set:

Heat the pan with a bit of olive oil and add chopped onion. All this is done on high heat as you want your meat and vegetables to be crisp and crunchy. Once the onion is brown, add a pinch of paprika. Then add your meat (if you are making a vegetarian dish, just proceed by adding the vegetables).

Once the meat is done, start adding your vegetables. One by one, not all at once:

Once these are soft, add the rest of your vegetables and tomato mix:

Simmer on medium heat for 7-10 minutes, and you are done! Mix earlier cooked quinoa with your sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!

Of course, healthy eating goes hand in hand with a good sweat and exercise. My preferred exercise is yoga (and I am seriously getting addicted to hot yoga!) I do it 3-4 times a week, but lately, that has increased and I seem to be doing it every day. Both my body and mind crave it, so I listen to it.
Take care of your body and your heart and soul will follow. You will have a more positive outlook on life and your heart will be open to new and more exciting things.

Be good to yourself and enjoy the ride!!

Red xx

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Night to Remember at "Hotel Medea"

Hello all!

It was one of those nights you just knew you'll never forget in your life.

We met at 11pm at the South Bank. The performance of Hotel Medea was to start at midnight and last till 6 the next morning. Armed with excitement and a glass of shandy we set off for Hayward Gallery:

And so began our journey through the night. 

We danced to the wonderful and strange sounds courtesy of a DJ. We were served coffee, tea, gin, hot chocolate. We were put to bed and the girls sang us a lullaby. We talked about love, revenge, betrayal. We sat on bunk beds. We played hide and seek, giggled and cried. We hid in a small cupboard with complete strangers and counted sheep. 

And as the night drew to a close and the performance ended, the doors of the gallery opened and and we were led to the top of the building. A long table with breakfast was laid for the audience and performers. And just as we came out, the sun did too:

50 or so strangers, sharing an amazing experience together. We were tired, emotionally and physically exhausted, but also happy and filled with a feeling that the world is a good place. 
I was very lucky to have one of my closest friends with me. She is leaving the country and this has been the most beautiful and moving farewell we could have had. Unplanned, spontaneous, special and uniquely ours.
And as the banquet ended, I walked back home, happy and sad, tired but full of energy and life, all at once.

Good morning London. It is good to be here. It is good be alive!

Red xx

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Charms of Soho

Hello all!!

Today, we are visiting London's Soho. It is one of my favourite places in London and not just because there is a great fruit and veg market.

I just love how many different worlds collide and come together in that place. I need not describe it in words, pictures will tell the story (as ever, click to enlarge the pictures).

A perfect combination:

I watched this woman for quite a while. It took her a good few minutes to walk 5 meters down the street. She would make a few steps, then stop and contemplate:

She'd move again, and then,.. stop!

And, she is on the move again:

A few doors down, I stood outside this shop, admiring the neon lights and waiting to see the customers go in:

And sure enough, one came along within two minutes:

And then, I spotted something that made me laugh. Who would have thought that "male tonic" leads to wedded bliss?!?!

Hope you enjoyed the walk through Soho with me.

Have a lovely day, everyone!!

Red xx

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Reflections and Girls With Red Hair

Hello all!!!

I love taking pictures in shops' windows.

I was trying to take a picture of the bobbles in this shop and only when I looked through the pictures on the camera later, did I notice the building opposite reflecting in the window of the shop. Funny what we miss on first glance and then when we look closely, see what is actually hiding underneath:

I then noticed "A Girl with Red Hair" sculpture poster. It made me think how rarely do you see red hair women being talked about in poems, stories, songs,... An exhibition of this red haired girl put a smile on my face:

And then, I spotted another girl with red hair reflecting in someone else's eyes, and sunglasses :-) A happy me:

Have a happy Sunday everyone!!

Red xx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

On The Way Back From Yoga

Hello all!

After yoga, I always feel invigorated, full of life, breathing in everything around me. Everything seems more beautiful and full of promise.

A walk from King's Road where my yoga lessons are, through Battersea Park is quite serene. This is what I found on my last journey back home:

Slightly messy, but colourful too:

And then,... I spotted something wonderfully strange and beautiful. A metal pole entwined with a tree:

And serenity, once again:

Hope you've enjoyed this walk with me. Have a peaceful, happy and stress free week.

Red xx

Monday, 2 July 2012

Love Life Live Love

Hello all!

After living in London for over twenty years, I still get surprised by this amazing city, almost on a daily basis.  

Things pop up in strangest and weirdest places. You might walk through the same street every day, but if you don't look around and look up, you might just miss some wonderful and strange things happening around you. And when you are in London, you'd be a fool not to look around and not go on a hunt for something new. I love hunting for new things around me.

And this is the latest treasure I found and that makes me smile every time I see it. It is on my way to yoga classes I take. It sets me up perfectly for the session of stretching, reaching out and breathing and reaffirms that the world and life can be beautiful.

See what do you think:

Does the city you live in still surprise you? What makes you smile when you look up and around? 

Have a hppy week everyone!!

Red xx