GOLDEN BALANCE: CHI SAN WAN

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We’re big believers in the ‘less is more’ approach to staying nourished, healthy + grounder, and so is creative consultant + co-author of A Simple Table, Chi San Wan. Blending sustainable living, with glow-giving rituals, recipes, she shares simple steps we can all take to help live our healthiest lives yet.

 

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

I try to do meditation first thing to ground myself for whatever the day will throw at me. Failing that, I’ll squeeze it in when Marloe (my 20 month old) is having a nap, out with her dad or at nursery. If I fit meditation in at least once a day, all is good in the world.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

It’s incredibly important to me, but sometimes it falls by the wayside. Living in London, you’re constantly on the go and with a small human being dependent on you, sometimes I let self-care slide. But when I do get into a self-care groove, everything seems easier, so I try my best to keep at it and not see it as a luxury, but rather a necessity.

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.

The last few years I have repeated this a lot (to myself and to others): “Things happen FOR you, not TO you.”

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day?

The basics really, which I think we can easily forget sometimes. I try and meditate, I drink a lot of liquids (water, herbal infusions, tonics), I take time to make and eat my food, I make sure I move in nature and I get to bed by 10pm.

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

This year I have really gotten into baths. I try and carve time out for myself and take a bath (salts, candles, crystals, essentials oils an’ all!) at least once a week, put on a podcast, some meditation music or even Netflix depending on what I feel like I need the most. Sometimes it’s just going for dinner and some wine with my man friend or my girlfriends. Sometimes it’s doing some gentle yoga and hitting the sack at 8:30pm (the DREAM).

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?

I panic if I don’t have really good sea salt, lemons or garlic in the house. I am a simple person.

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

It changes constantly what I deem as a ‘guilty’ pleasure, but right now it’s Ombars, one almost every night post-dinner.

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I use turmeric in most curries I make (and that’s a lot because Marloe is a fan!), my eggs, any savoury baked goods and some tonics.

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Is it boring to say I am 50/50 on this? It depends on what the day calls for!

Focus: Turmeric's benefits for Maidens

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It is beautiful to see the increased awareness of the power of food but let’s be honest, it can be overwhelming at times. What to eat, paleo? keto? to go vegan or not? what about herbs…do we need them? It can be easy to add all kinds of things to your wellness routine but then how do you know which is beneficial for you?

One of the reasons we are so passionate about sharing turmeric is because this one plant alone is a powerful addition to health for all stages of life, especially for women. As females we have 4 distinct stages in life that we go through, each one having very specific needs.

Holistic nutritionist Kristin Dahl has written about these stages and we wanted to share part of her post which is full of wonderful advice. It also highlights some of the challenges we can have at this time, which is one of the reasons why we have developed our golden range.

Turmeric isn’t just another spice but an ally for the stage of life you find yourself in right now. We’re sharing this particular stage (The Maiden) because we know this is the majority of women who currently support us and our ethos. We want to show a little about the why and how easy it is to introduce WW Turmeric into your daily routine to support your wellbeing.

MAIDEN

Approximate Time Frame: 20’s until mature or until the conception of the first child.

Main Areas of Focus for Maidens: Digestion, absorption, integration, transformation, maturation, forming an identity, developing talents, hormonal balance and stress management.

Vulnerabilities of Maidens: This life stage is characterised by increased ambition, education and competitiveness. Overworking, inflammation and having a strong will can often accompany these areas of focus. With greater attention being placed on career and monetary gain, physical and emotional needs are generally disregarded.

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Turmeric is one of the most effective but gentle herbs readily available to us. One of the most powerful aspects of turmeric is its ability to control inflammation. The reason that’s so important is because it’s been suggested that inflammation is at the root of most diseases (2).

Stress is a major factor in both inflammation and digestive disorders and whilst the primary focus should always be on stress reduction and defined boundaries first and foremost, we believe in preventative wellness.

This is one of the reasons we developed our Golden Mylk® Turmeric Latte blends. The ingredients we combined work together to make this blend effective, quick and easy to make (just add to hot nut or seed milk) with the potential benefits of reducing inflammation, supporting digestion (by balancing levels of bacteria supporting a healthy digestive environment) as well as supporting hormone balance (due to the healthy fats it contains).

Our newest adaptogenic blends take this support further, adding in herbs that have traditionally been used for thousands of years to support stamina and help you adapt to stress (3) (Ashwaghanda - contained in our Golden Balance) and Brahmi (in our Golden Glow) promoting healthy skin and hair as well as supporting energy levels, focus and concentration (4).

Adults in this stage are naturally more prone to imbalance, irritability and hyper-acidity. This can cause acid-indigestion, heartburn and other digestive disorders, and is often followed by hormonal imbalance and, eventually, infertility.

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For many women, it has become normal to experience monthly pre-menstrual pain, often so intense that they have to take days away from work. Whilst we definitely advocate seeking out support from a functional medicine practitioner or registered nutritionist to get to the root cause and rebalance hormones we wanted to find a more natural way to relieve what can often be very distressing pain each month. We combined two of the most potent plants to create our Turmeric CBD oil. Research has shown that both CBD and turmeric actually work on pain receptors in the body (8,9) which make it particularly effective for menstrual cramping. The list of benefits of CBD are extensive, you can read more here.

The habits developed during this time are often carried throughout our lifetime. Make this an essential time of self-care and self-love. The nurturing patterns created will serve as a preventative measure to our hormonal health, fertility, well-being and long-term vitality.

Self-care practices are a non-negotiable part of our wellness routine and we try and promote them as much as we can. We believe that turmeric doesn’t just belong in the kitchen, which is why we also love using our Golden Turmeric Honey as a facemask. It can help reduce skin inflammation, balance oily skin and speed up healing. Combined with the anti-bacterial, nourishing and softening properties of honey, it’s an inexpensive, non-toxic way to get glowing skin. (5,6)

Healing Nutrients for Maidens

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The qualities of foods needed to support these years are cooling, hearty, energizing, and dry. These elements balance internal temperature, prevent inflammation, nourish the body, and have a grounding effect.  

Nourishing Foods: Raw foods (during spring and summer), vegetables, greens, nuts & seeds (excluding peanuts), healthy fats (ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados), pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, lean organic meats including organ meats, and grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat. Probiotic-rich foods are also highly beneficial (raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, etc.).

+ Plenty of Water - Drink ½ your body weight (in lbs) in oz. daily

Nourishing Herbs: Cumin, fennel, mint, turmeric, nettle, red raspberry

Grounding Teas: Holy basil, burdock, lemon balm

Herbal tea is one of the easiest ways to introduce yourself to the benefits of turmeric. We also believe in turning the regular practices we do, like making a cup of tea into small mindful rituals. One of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety and improve your resilience to stress is by practicing mindfulness (10). Being fully present in the moment with what you’re doing. Making a Golden Mylk® or tea in a beautiful mug, sipping it slowly, taking in everything around us. Allowing ourselves to find inner calm and happiness in the small moments is what wellness is about.

We also believe this time in our lives is about developing and nurturing connection, with ourselves and others. Food plays an integral part in this which is why we love finding turmeric based recipes that are not only delicious but nourishing. This kitchari recipe by Kristin is one of our favourites. 

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Lifestyle Recommendations for Maidens

To balance the fiery nature of this life stage, focusing on activities that promote relaxation is incredibly effective. Engage in activities to balance perfectionist tendencies and foster a healthy relationship with both the self and nature.

We are huge advocates of being outdoors. Spending time in nature is scientifically proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol, as well as boost mood and improve focus and creativity. (7)

Develop daily self-care practices and routines. Deep breathing, meditation, self-massage, breast massage, dry brushing, long baths and ample time in nature are great places to start.

Did you know that Wunder Workshop has a sister company? Boobs Essential. Created by WW Founder Zoe, made with 100% natural ingredients and essential oils, to promote the checking and prevention of breast cancer. Prevention is always at the heart of what we do, especially for us women who need to nurture ourselves daily. Self-massage is also a beautiful way to connect to your body and to the wisdom it has.

Move daily. Yoga, practiced in a studio or at home, with or without video guides, is grounding and has both mental and physical benefits. Also try strength training, pilates, swimming and dancing. Walk, run, or go for a hike on a daily basis.

Calm the nervous system. Think: Gentle thoughts, gentle approach.

Meditation calms the mind, strengthens awareness, and relaxes the nervous system. Meditation can be practiced independently or guided. Apps such as Headspace and Calm are convenient and accessible, with plenty of free guided meditations available on each.

Journaling is a powerful tool for gaining clarity and accessing intuition. At the beginning or end of each day, practice free form writing, just letting the thoughts flow.

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Breathe. Take mini “breath breaks” throughout the day or whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. Simply inhale deeply for 7 counts, hold for 2, and then exhale for 7 counts.

We hope you’ve found this information supportive. We want to thank Kristin for kindly allowing us to share part of her post, you can read her full post here.

Kristin is a holistic nutritionist and founder of Dahl House Nutrition and The Women’s Wellness Collective. A beautiful online space and membership program that offers a wide variety of ‘female healing protocols that educate, motivate and inspire profound transformation. Topics are organized by life stage and created with roots in holistic healing, herbal medicine & functional nutrition’. You can find out more here or follow Kristin here.

Words by: Clare Fairhurst @cfairhurst_

References:

(1) https://thewomenswellnesscollective.com/journal/2018/1/6/a-womans-guide-to-vitality-through-the-life-stages

(2) https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07201

(3) https://www.realnatural.org/over-fifty-recent-studies-prove-ashwagandhas-potential-for-treating-a-myriad-of-conditions/

(4) http://rspublication.com/ijphc/2015/april15/3.pdf

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25200875

(6) www.bioline.org.br

(7) http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/the-science.html

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29722036

(9) https://www.nap.edu/read/24625/chapter/6#90

(10) https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/pst-48-2-198.pdf

GOLDEN BALANCE: LEO COSENDAI

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When you love what you do, maintaining a sane work life balance can prove tricky. This is something teacher, speaker, gong master + founder of #1 sound meditation app Third Ear, Leo Cosendai knows all too well. Today he shares the holistic techniques, mindsets + practices that keep him full up + energised despite the long hours. 

 

 

Hi Leo. We would love you to tell us little about your journey.

Right, I’ll try and keep it short & sweet! I moved to London in the late 2000s to both study and make music. I rapidly got into yoga and meditation- was introduced to sound therapy by my wife and loved it so much I decided to blend my knowledge and practice of music with my love for meditation to create a potent tool for self-care and wellness. This tool has now expanded into the workshops that I hold across the globe as well as my sound meditation app THIRD EAR (available at the appstore) and my upcoming podcast STRESS BUSTING (coming out June 2018). 

How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

I think there are different kinds of balance… I have come to a point in my life where I realise imbalance is necessary to actually define the next level of balance for optimal growth and evolution. 

Mental balance I find through spending time in nature (Hampstead Heath / Queen’s Park) as well as meditating with THIRD EAR.

Physical balance I find through daily yin and kundalini yoga practice, as well as sprinting/calisthenic exercises every other day. 

Emotional balance I find by both spending time alone and with my wife or close friends. 

How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

I work 7 days a week averaging 14 to 17 hours every day. Needless to say self-care is crucial to my well-being. I take at least 1 full hour daily to do one of the below and also include one mini meditation every hour when my schedule allows it. As you can see, I am quite the biohacker and tend to collect toys…

-Sound bath (home) 

-Infrared light therapy (home)

-Oxygen therapy (home or in Central) 

-Floating (deprivation pod in Vauxhall)

-Yin or Kundalini Yoga (home) 

-5 element acupuncture (Notting Hill) 

-Acupressure mat (home)

-electrocranial stimulation (alpha/theta waves at home) 

Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

A combination of “Truth dawns when conclusions are kept at bay.”

and… “Will this help?” 

We know nourishment from the inside is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I go for the following formula:

Good food, beautiful words (out loud and mentally), calming sounds and kind intentions. 

What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I am lucky (I think?) in the sense that I don’t really need or have the time to wind down. I am either at full speed or in total stillness. Both states feel good and organic so I am sorted for now! 

Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

Sun+Air dried Sea Salt from Brittany (more and more important in this microwave world of ours).

Healthy fats (raw cold pressed organic olive oil, coco butter, grass fed butter/ghee, avocados when in season). 

Spices (cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, coriander seeds, etc) 

Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

I guess sugar used to be a guilty pleasure but that’s been dealt with now! Ha ha. It may sound boring but taking a day off and hitting a couple of galleries + a walk in the park and a nice meal in candle lit room will certainly evoke happiness in me :)

What is your favourite way to use turmeric?

I love making carrot and sweet potato soups with lots of fresh turmeric and black pepper. However, I don’t have the time to cook at the moment! Fortunately, I’ve managed to keep my turmeric intake thanks to the Wunder Workshop CBD turmeric oil as well as the shroom mix!!! It’s seriously delicious and I can’t believe you’ve managed to make it taste so good without any sweeteners! 

Matcha or turmeric latte?

Turmeric latte with some shroom powder and a few drops of your CBD oil!!!

GOLDEN BALANCE: KAT FARRANTS

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The frenetic pace of the daily grind means we often are not able to give importance to rituals that nourish mind + body- ones that we need the most. Cue Kat Farrants, founder of online yoga, mindfulness + meditation portal, Movement For Modern Life, aka the antidote to modern day life. She shares what keeps her on golden form while running a business + the healing power of yoga. 

 

 

We would love you to tell us little about your journey what led to the creation of Movement For Modern Life.

I started MFML in a ‘perfect storm’ of events. First of all, I knew that I had been in the wrong job, living the wrong life, for so many years, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I quite suddenly got the courage to leave my job as a lawyer, my husband had left me, and I was looking to start a new life. I didn’t know what that would be, but I knew that yoga had been part of my life for many years.

I’d had a bad car crash a few years earlier, and yoga had really helped me heal. I wanted for yoga to be widely available, as a healing tool, for people to be able to deal with the challenges that life brings, like car crashes and husbands suddenly walking out on us! There are so few tools for people to turn to in life crises, that I wanted for people to know that there are things that they can do to help. I also had a very clear picture of the teachers I wanted on the platform, I knew that it would be with a selection of the most senior teachers, the ones who have had the experience, the wisdom and can inspire all of us, and I wanted to make their practices accessible to all.

How would you sum up what MFML stands for? 

Movement for Modern Life is just about making yoga easy.

How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

My daily yoga and meditation practice! Running a company is so busy and stressful, it’s easy for that stress to turn into overwhelm. If I didn’t have my daily online practices I certainly wouldn’t be able to get the balance. I live rurally, where it’s hard to get to classes, but even for folks in the city, by the time you’ve got to the studio and got home, half the day is gone, let alone actually doing the class. I just don’t know how people fit it in! So yes, online yoga practice truly is my source of golden balance!

How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

It’s absolutely crucial. When I’m not looking after myself, I’m simply not able to run MFML effectively. I do ‘make’ myself go on yoga retreats every now and again. Simply because the team always comment on how super-charged I am afterwards. So that’s an absolute essential for me for the wellbeing of others around me. It is great getting instant feedback from other people on how important it is to look after ourselves. Every day I make sure I incorporate of course yoga and meditation into my day. But also delicious, nutritious food and long walks in nature. 

Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for our lives, in questioning existing structures, in saying what needs to be said, and not going along with easy options. So I love this quote from Maya Angelou which reminds me of the importance, how absolutely crucial it is to wake up and live a conscious life

 “Most people don't grow up. It's too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That's the truth of it. They honour their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don't grow up."

We know nourishment from the inside is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I eat healthily by habit, simply because it feels so much better to me than eating processed or sugar-loaded food. It’s quite easy to eat nourishing food I think if you’re sensitive, if you’re connected to the way you feel. You just want to seek out things that make you feel great, like yoga, good food, being in nature and great company, so it’s an easy practice to remember!

What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

My favourite way of course is yoga, and yoga nidra especially is amazing. I also love long, long rambles in nature and in woodland with my dogs.

Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

I do put garlic, spinach or kale and lemons in almost everything!

Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

I do love sitting on the sofas getting comfy with the dogs and putting on the telly every now and again, and yes, I might just have a piece of chocolate too.

What is your favourite way to use turmeric?

I make up golden paste regularly and put it in an almond milk. So yummy and comforting. I also put golden paste in the dogs food, so it’s for all the family!

Matcha or turmeric latte?

Tumeric latte every time – I love it! Especially with some cinnamon sprinkled on top. Delicious.

 

The Wunder Founder Story - taking the golden path

 photo by: Jutta Klee for Wrap London

photo by: Jutta Klee for Wrap London

Taking the golden path - the power of decisions.

A few years ago I was living in the future. I was constantly looking forward to the next weekend, the next party, the next holiday, or day dreaming about a faraway goal I set myself. I don’t believe this is abnormal behaviour and looking around me I see most of my peers living in a similar manner. We all tend to be too busy worrying or bothering ourselves with a future time or a past experience that we ignore this very moment. I realised that this really isn’t the most satisfying way to live, and as cliché as it might be, discovering Echhart Tolle’s book ‘The Power of Now’ opened my eyes to making the decision to live in the present moment, and that was the source for following my desire to set-up my own business and having control over enjoying life on a daily basis.

So as part of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions I set a deadline that if I was unhappy with my life and job in six months’ time I would hand in my notice and start my own thing. This coincided with the amazing experience of visiting Sri Lanka with my mother at an Ayurvedic retreat. We were privileged to spend a lot of time with Ayurvedic doctors and learned so much about herbs, spices and the power of the food that we ate. Turmeric, as it turns out, is one of the most powerful spices we can consume. Shortly after my visit to Sri Lanka, I followed through with my initial plan and started Wunder Workshop, a turmeric focused business – piecing together what I had learned about Ayurveda and the knowledge and passion I had gained from my mother.

The timing could not have been more significant, as it never occurred to me that perhaps all the changes that I was making to improve my own life actually held a much higher purpose. I was going through a deep inner transformation that was giving me confidence in myself and in the path I had chosen to embark on. What I was to discover was that I would be needing this strength and confidence in order to cope with the news that one month into starting my business my mother had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

No one could believe it. My mother, who was radiant with life and youthfulness, had cancer. She was the most active and resilient woman I have ever met, so the idea that she would become weak and fragile was a very big shift. This pivotal event put my whole life into perspective. It made me realise that my decision to start my own business was the right decision, as it gave me the flexibility that no other job could ever have done and together with my aunt we cared for her from home in Germany flying back and forth to run my business in London. What struck me was that all the knowledge, love and gratitude she taught me throughout life, I could now give back to her.

Only one year later my dear mother passed away. We didn't expect (or dared to acknowledge) this, we still believed that my mother was getting better every day and that soon the cancer would have been a forgotten temporary inconvenience... I ask myself every single day whether we would have done anything different if we had known. Would I have asked her more questions, told her even more how much I love her, spent even more time with her and would I myself live my life differently today if knew I only had one year, month or day left to live? I was once taught the word ‘malkosh’—which means 'last rain' in Hebrew, it is only relevant in retrospect as when it is raining you do not know when the last drop is going to fall. This is similar to our whole life, and to losing a loved one, losing your mother who has always been there.

Letting the light in

Life is ridiculously unpredictable and the loss of my mother has come with such an important message, namely that we can’t take anything for granted. We learn what and who really matters and over the last year since she passed away I have learned that we get to choose our attitude in any given circumstance, that we can be serene and happy in moments of distress.

I often find we are not living life, but merely living time. We aren't embarking on the wild, wavy sea of our dreams and desires, but instead we’re bobbing along the still and safe stream, knowing that time will keep us afloat. Primarily what is holding us back from following our dreams is our mind. Our mind magnifies small things into big problems, fears and anxiety, and we make our daily decision based on these unconscious negative feelings and thus continue living a life of least resistance to our mind. But is so important to actually thrive on these aspects, I find uncertainty and change so exciting and that is what gets me jumping out of bed every morning. We need to challenge our mind, and most importantly we need to take control of it. I am so grateful to have learned this before my mum was diagnosed and especially for when she passed away as it is so important not to let your mind run wild with dark thoughts and self-pity, instead take control and be committed to improving and enjoying your life even when everything goes against you and especially when you lose the most important person in your life.

2000-year-old wisdom by philosopher Seneca is a poignant reminder of what we so easily forget and so chronically fail to put into practice, namely that it is not..

”that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing.”

When faced with a loved one dying, prioritising values and passion become a no-brainer, so in so many respects I can now say ‘hey, is it possible to start living your dreams this week, instead of waiting for everything to be in ‘order’? If you put your mind to it, you can do it.

By Zoe Lind van’t Hof, founder of Wunder Workshop and Boobs’Essential, first published in Inspire Magazine.

www.wunderworkshop.com

www.boobsessential.com

GOLDEN BALANCE: URSEL BARNES

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Finding a golden balance is so much more than what you feed your body- what you nourish your mind with is of equal importance too. With this in mind, executive coach, Qi gong lover + co-founder of tummy friendly deli High Mood Food, Ursel Barnes, shares her take on holistic living. 

How do you find your daily source of golden balance?
I start with a prayer of gratitude, have a turmeric infused tea and visualise bathing in a golden shower of heavenly light!

How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

I believe we are our own best doctors. I rate self-care quite highly and feel out of sink when I neglect my routines. I meditate in the early mornings, practise yoga, I go for acupuncture and reiki treatments, and I take part in rituals such as a cacao ceremony with a shaman.

Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.

I love the Instagram poet Nayyirah Washeed. She is contemporary yet wise. Today’s poem is “Compassion. Is the longest emotion there is.”

We know nourishment from the inside is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day?

Nourishment includes feeding the body, mind and soul. Seasonal and fresh food which is enhanced by fermented veg and drinks is food as medicine. A generally positive disposition, good sleep and feeling energy circulate inside my body gives me the feeling of satisfaction and not wanting for more.

What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I practise Qi Gong, I love my infra red light for any aches and pains and I take our dogs for a walk.

Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?

Coconut oil for cooking and (bullet proof) coffee, extra virgin olive oil on nearly everything, Himalayan pink or rock salt.

Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

I am still in lifelong recovery from my historic sweet tooth! Luckily, by now I get full pleasure from dark chocolate. For an extra treat my daughter and I dip figs and berries into melted dark choc. It keeps well and one or two pieces instead of dessert hit the spot.

What is your favourite way to use turmeric?

I sprinkle turmeric on my oven baked kale chips (with Himalayan pink salt) and mix it into my homemade hummus - I love the golden colour effect and fortunately my kids love both.

Matcha or turmeric latte?

I am not a huge fan of lattes. The combination with dairy milk doesn’t resonate with me and alternative mylks don’t quite do it for me. I get put off when the milk separates and tastes watery. I love both matcha and turmeric teas!

GOLDEN BALANCE: HENRIETTA INMAN

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We're huge believers that when food is made with love, it tastes all the more delicious, and that's exactly what pastry chef, cookery teacher + author Henrietta Inman is all about. Ever since her debut release, 'Clean Cakes', we've been hooked on her wholesome, natural + seasonal approach to the art of baking. With the impending launch of her second book, 'The Natural Baker', she shares what keeps her mind + body grounded, balanced + nourished. 

 

Hi Henrietta. We would love you to tell us little about your story and how you fell in love with cooking and baking. 

I’ve always loved to cook. I think I get it from my parents who are both great in the kitchen; my mother is also a gardener and so, with my brother and sister, we were very lucky to grow up on fruits and vegetables from our garden, eggs from our own hens and lots of local meat and fish. I certainly think learning how to bake all the staples with my mother at a young age had something to do with my falling in love with baking. We made sponge cakes, crumble, meringues and pancakes together on the Aga, and I remember watching her make fresh bread, jams, jellies and marmalades too. I loved it all and the way that food brought us together every day, as a family, or indeed, many friends who we would often invite for tea, or dinner parties, in my parents’ case; they are great hosts and entertainers.

I love the convivial side of food; creating a wonderful atmosphere is equally as important as the delicious dishes. After reading French and Italian at Edinburgh university and being surrounded by some of the world’s best bakeries and pastry shops, I knew I wanted to pursue a career as a pastry chef. I’m sure my sort-of sweet tooth had something to do with it too! I also love art and I think the presentation of food is so important – we eat with our eyes and I think with sweet things, one can be that little bit more flamboyant!

After working in professional kitchens for five years in London, I decided to start my own business, selling my cakes at farmers’ markets and in shops and taking cookery classes, back at home in Suffolk. Being surrounded once more by the wonderful local food I had grown up with, I wanted to get it into my baking, applying my newfound skills as a pastry chef to more natural ingredients like local fruits and vegetables, cold-pressed rapeseed oil, proper butter, wholegrain flours and raw honey.

I realised that using more natural and less refined ingredients in my baking, rather than the usual plain white flour and caster sugar as my base ingredients, made it so much tastier, interesting and fun, not to mention more nourishing. I haven’t taken this to the extremes though – if I need to use a little white flour for a slightly lighter texture or golden caster sugar to allow more delicate flavours like lavender or rose to sing, then I will. You can find out lots more about my baking philosophy in my new book, The Natural Baker: A new way to bake using the best natural ingredients.

How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

I love turmeric! I have a little every morning with hot water, half a lemon, juiced, a little cayenne and a good teaspoon of apple cider vinegar; it’s a cleansing mix and lifts me up in the morning. I often add it to root vegetables like carrots, beetroot and parsnip when I’m roasting them and when they’re in season. It’s great in homemade hummus too. If I’m every cooking up an Indian feast, turmeric will certainly be involved! I love Meera Sodha and Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes. 

How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

It’s very important to me and though things can get a little non-stop sometimes as a freelancer, I always try to implement a little self-care every day, otherwise I know that I’ll just burn out. I love swimming, yoga and walking, they all keep me calm and help me to remember to breathe; yoga particularly keeps me centred; I try to do a bit of each every week, and I walk as much as I can everywhere. Moving my body is certainly part of self-care for me, just as much as relaxing and just sitting on the sofa to watch Netflix after a long day is! Trying to keep a work-life balance, seeing friends and family and speaking to them on the phone, going to the cinema and exhibitions, is also very important to me too. I try to get a good night’s sleep every night too. Having a bath before bed is so relaxing and real treat; if I don’t have time, just spraying a little lavender oil on my pillow helps me sleep. 

Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

Perhaps a little predictable but I think ‘carpe diem’ says it all! 

We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I always cook for myself, every day! I love it and I like to know what’s going into my body. I love wholefoods – wholegrain flours, lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, good fats like olive oil, coconut oil and butter, raw if it’s available (Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk make the most delicious raw milk and salted butter!). I start most mornings with free-range eggs and lots of green vegetables, putting in a good pinch of Wunder Workshop turmeric and I love adding lots of herbs and/or other spices too; sometimes I might have porridge, sometimes a piece of cake which happens if I’m recipe-testing! I’ll have it with a mug of matcha tea.

Mid-morning a love a milky coffee to perk me up a little until lunch when I’ll have lots more vegetables, with fish or chicken or beans or pulses. Supper will be vegetables again with some kind of protein. I don’t believe in being too regimented or denying myself anything though. I’ve been quite controlled about my eating in the past and it’s just not really worth it. Food is one of life’s great pleasures and something to celebrate and be thankful for every day.

What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I love seeing my friends and going out to eat with them, whether that’s to restaurants or supper clubs. I also love having them to my house to eat, bringing them together, laying the table with an abundant colourful meal, flowers, music, good wine and food, there’s nothing better! Going to the cinema, often alone, is one of my favourite things; I love going to galleries too and don’t go as often as I would like but I remember when I do, how calming I find it and it’s so great for switching off. Swimming at London Fields Lido is great too or better still, swimming in the sea or any kind of wild swimming! The ultimate way of winding down for me is going back home to Suffolk and being in the country, surrounded by nature, fresh air and my family. 

Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

Maldon salt, lemons, good extra virgin olive oil… or butter! 

Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

I eat a lot of dark chocolate! I’ve also been watching Ugly Delicious, a great exploration of food from around the world with David Chang and Peter Meehan, very late into the night/ early into the mornings recently… maybe episodes of Friends too!

What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I love adding some to my eggs in the morning and in the recipe I’m sharing with you for turmeric, cumin and coriander pudlas with baked chilli paneer and fresh mango and ginger chutney. 

Coffee or turmeric latte?

Please can I have coffee around 11am-midday and a turmeric latte in the afternoon?!

Turmeric, cumin and coriander pudlas with baked chilli paneer and fresh mango and ginger chutney

 

HEN'S TURMERIC, CUMIN + CORIANDER PUDLAS WITH BAKED CHILLI PANEER + FRESH MANGO & GINGER CHUTNEY

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Pudlas, a type of Gujarati pancake, are made with chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, yogurt and water. They’re easy to make and a great vehicle for lots of delicious fillings, so feel free to try others, such as meat or fish, if you prefer. I worked on this recipe with my good friend and expert in Indian cookery, Meera Sodha, as I’ve always loved paneer but never knew how to prepare and cook it; as I found out, it’s actually very simple! It’s often fried, but here we baked it, for a pillow-soft interior, encompassed in a garlic, chilli and cumin sauce, which gets a crust as it bakes. The quick chutney, a spoonful of yogurt and lots of fresh coriander (cilantro) lifts everything up. It’s a wonderful, light but filling, flavoursome meal. Thank you, Meera.

 

serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the paneer

8 tbsp natural yogurt

4 tbsp chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated 4 tbsp tomato purée (paste)

2 tsp chilli powder

1½ tsp sea salt flakes

3 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed 450g (1lb) paneer, in 2cm (¾in) cubes

For the chutney

1 semi-ripe mango, sliced into fine strips juice of ½ lime, plus lime wedges to serve 10g (¼oz) peeled fresh root ginger, finely chopped

½ tsp sea salt flakes

1 tsp light brown muscovado or coconut sugar, or to taste

1 green finger chilli, finely chopped freshly ground black pepper

For the pudlas

100g (3½oz / ¾ cup) chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour

50g (1¾oz / scant ¼ cup) natural yogurt, plus more to serve

170g (6oz / ¾ cup) cool water, or as needed

¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt flakes

1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, plus leaves from 1 large bunch of coriander (cilantro), to serve

½ tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed 

¾ tsp ground turmeric

extra virgin cold-pressed rapeseed (canola) oil, to cook

METHOD

Start by marinating the paneer. Mix all the ingredients together from the yogurt to the cumin seeds. Check for seasoning. Add the cubes of paneer and stir until they are all coated with the sauce. Leave in a cool place while you make the chutney. 

Mix together all the chutney ingredients and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper and sugar if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. 

Thread the cubes of paneer on to skewers and put on a baking tray (sheet), trying to prop them up on the sides so they do not touch the bottom of the tray (sheet). Bake for 20–30 minutes, until the marinade is getting a bit of colour and the paneer is soft to the touch. 

Meanwhile, make the pudlas by mixing together all the ingredients with a whisk. The batter should have the consistency of double (heavy) cream, so add a bit more water if necessary. Heat a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) with a little rapeseed (canola) oil, wiping off any excess with kitchen paper. Cook the pudlas as if they were pancakes, making sure that there is no runny liquid on the surface before flipping. If the pan is not hot enough, they will stick, so make sure the heat is medium-high. You should get 6 medium-sized pudlas. Set each aside on a warmed plate while you quickly cook the rest.

Fill the pudlas up with the paneer, sliding it off the skewers, the mango chutney, fresh coriander (cilantro), a squeeze of lime and a spoonful of yogurt. 

Variation: Pudlas are great vehicles for many flavours, so do try them with meat or fish if you prefer, or any Indian-inspired filling.

Photography by Phillipa Langley

GOLDEN BALANCE: VENETIA FALCONER

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Our Golden Balance series is a homage to all the wonderful creative humans who find + make magic in the every day, no matter the stresses of the daily grind. Today Venetia Falconer- a TV presenter for MTV, 4Music + more with a passion for delicious food and natural beauty remedies shares what keeps her glowing + growing. 

How do you find your daily source of golden balance?
I make my Beyonce Drank in the morning. It’s hot water with fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, fresh lemon, apple cider vinegar and some fresh orange or tangerine juice.

How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

HUGELY! I try to implement it regularly or else everything else in my life suffers. I meditate daily and try to exercise as much as possible. A good mix of yoga, walking, running, HIIT and weights. I also try to make daily activities like cooking and reading meditative, which means phones in the other room! Digital detoxes whenever possible are so important for me.

Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day?
I try to make every decision a conscious one. I’m aware this is something that this is something I’ll be practicing for the rest of my time on this planet. Whether that’s making myself a balanced breakfast and sitting down to enjoy it or taking long, deep breaths if I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s so easy to get lost in the noise of the internet and a bustling city, but being more present is something I strive for on a daily basis.

What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?
I love going on long walks putting the world to rights with my sisters and friends. I love cooking and eating with my mum and watching music documentaries with my dad. I love getting home, luxuriating in a really elaborate bubble bath, then curling up on the sofa under a blanket, sipping on a hot chocolate, surrounded by blazing candles and watching a really terrible rom-com.

Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?
Oats, frozen berries, ripe bananas, spinach and plant milk

What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?
I love using it in stews and curries.

Coffee or turmeric latte?

Coffee...
Sorry!!