Colonic cleanse

31 Aug IMG_0075

After a visit to Canada a few years ago, I had thought about having a colonic irrigation, especially after over indulging in copious amounts of meat.  Recently I had been feeling very bloated and thought I would look into it.  After a Google search, I found one in Ulverston and made an appointment to visit.

Jane was lovely and is an ex nurse with years of colonic experience, so felt instantly at ease.  You may wonder what is a colonic?  The Colon, bowel or large intestine is situated in the abdomen, and forms the last part of the digestive tract. It is 5ft in length and 2 and half inches in diameter- that’s a lot of waste! It is responsible for eliminating food and other body wastes, as well as protecting from infection and disease.

The colonic itself  takes about  45 minutes during which time warm purified water will be gently introduced via the rectum to stimulate the release of stored matter and gas. The treatment involves you lying on your side and during the treatment, your modesty is preserved at all times with a blanket.

The number of treatments required always depends upon your individual case and prevailing conditions. Often the waste is so hard and compact in the colon that it may take a series of colonics to sufficiently soften and loosen this accumulated faecal waste. Therefore the number required may vary from only one treatment to a number spread out over a period of time, after which preventative or maintenance treatment may be continued.

Is it safe? Yes!  The water is introduced at a low gravitational pressure, so there is no danger of bowel perforation.

Jane chatted as the treatment progressed.  It was a very weird feeling and was uncomfortable at times.  But afterwards I had a great sense of lightness.  I had a slight headache was the only side effect I experienced  which was due to the toxins leaving my body.  There is no hard sell to have lots though having 2/3 a year would be beneficial

I noticed my stomach was less bloated, had a feeling of lightness and a few weeks on still have that feeling of wellbeing.  Definitely worth doing. The cost of the treatment was £60.00.

http://www.colonic-irrigation-and-colon-cleanse.com

Oven baked Thai chicken rice 

28 Aug IMG_3998-0

Perfect comfort food and on the table within 30 mins. 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

400g pack mini chicken fillets

2 tbsp Thai green curry paste 

250g basmati and wild rice mix, rinsed 

2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into wedges

finely grated zest and juice 1 lime

400g reduced-fat coconut milk

handful coriander leaves, to serve

Method 

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat the oil in a shallow ovenproof casserole dish, then soften the onion for 5 mins. Add the chicken and curry paste, then cook for 3 mins, stirring to coat.

Tip in the rice and peppers, then stir in the lime zest and juice, coconut milk and 250ml boiling water. Bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and bake for 20 mins until the rice is fluffy. Scatter with coriander before serving. 

 

High maintenance 

27 Aug IMG_3564-0

Caution girlie blog coming up!! 

I’ve never really worn make up, it scared me. I am lucky to be blessed with long eyelashes, so a a sweep of mascara was me. Whenever I did try eye shadow, I always thought I looked like a drag queen, so gave up.  Looking in the mirror, looking like I’d been gang banged by crayola. 

The launch of BB creams were a godsend. No orange tideline from badly applied foundation, a quick easy can’t go wrong application. 

A couple of months ago, I saw on the TV the Benefit make up artist do an article on contour make up and I was transfixed. So when in House of Frazer in Carlisle with my friend Paula, I had a makeover on the Benefit stand. 

Nicola on the Benefit stand wasn’t a scary make up lady, just nicely made up and approachable. I find it all quite intimidating or I did. I explained to Nicola what I wanted and she took me through everything thing she did step by step. 

   
 
I was really pleased with the results as it still looked like me.  A few purchases and a list for the airport, as was going on holiday and was going to take advantage of duty free. 

So what’s new in my make up bag:

  
This eye cream is amazing, dark circles diminished and also using it on my frown lines! I frown all the time without even realising! 

  
I started using an anti ageing serum a couple of years ago. I think it has made a difference, people say I don’t look my age. I’ve upgraded my Boots advanced anti ageing serum for this one. A week in and my skin is lovely. 

  
From over plucking my eyebrows as a teenager and in my early twenties, I don’t have many brows. I would love to have them tattooed on but to have it done properly is v expensive. So I braved an eyebrow pencil and liked the look. Subtle but yet framed my face. This stuff is amazing, easy to apply and makes my brows fuller. 

  
I never really used concealer unless I had an annoying spot. This used under the eyes makes my dark tired circles disappear. I think I wasn’t using enough obviously more is more at times. 

  
This highlighter gives a nice hue, I’ve put the sun beam onto my next wish list! 

  
Mascara has always been the stalwart of my make up. This one is fantastic, instantly my lashes are longer and lush. Lasts forever, going to try the Rollerlash next. 

  
This has been a favourite and use it most days. The Hoola bronzer is just lovely. A nice glow and light on my skin. 

  
Blusher scared me, but this just adds the nice glow, plus I use it as a general setting powder.

  
Though not a new addition to my make up, I love my red lippy. When I turned 40 I embraced the red lippy and I love it. 

So having spent ages pouring over online tutorials, I decided to have a go. Was easier than I thought and just need to get used to the protocol of applying the products and experiment. 

My results!    

 
Maybe doing this before I went for a run was not my brightest idea! But it lasted a sweaty run! 

  
People have noticed I look different but it’s our secret right *taps nose 

Spiced duck and date tagine

26 Aug

When I’m busy, I love quick, easy and tasty foods. A bit of browning of meat and some light chopping and let the slow cooker do the work! 

Ingredients 

2 tsp sunflower oil

6 duck legs, skin removed

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 red chilli, deseeded

thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

2 preserved lemons, halved, pulp and pith scooped out and discarded

200g dates

400ml passata

100g blanched almonds, very roughly chopped

mint leaves, to serve

couscous, to serve

Method 

Heat the slow cooker on Low. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the duck legs in batches until golden. When all the legs are done place in the slow cooker. While you’re browning the duck, put the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger, spices and preserved lemon in a food processor and blitz to a chunky paste. Tip the paste into the hot pan and cook for 5 mins to soften. Meanwhile, add half the dates to the processor with 200ml water, and blitz until smooth. Cut the remaining dates into chunky pieces. Tip the onion paste and all the dates into the slow cooker, add the passata, season, stir, cover with the lid and cook for 5 hrs (or up to7 hours)

Scatter the almonds into the tagine and stir. Serve with couscous, scattered with mint leaves.

Spicy roasted vegetables with lentils 

25 Aug IMG_3943

I love vegetarian food, though for me it needs to be packed with flavour. This dish doesn’t let you down on that front. 

Ingredients 

1 small-medium butternut squash (about 950g/2lb 2oz)

1 red onion, halved and thickly sliced

3 peppers (a mix of red, orange and yellow from a pack), deseeded and cut into 1cm or ½ in-wide strips

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp curry paste

2 x 400g cans puy lentils, drained and rinsed

150ml hot vegetable stock

large handful coriander, chopped

Method

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using a sharp knife, peel the butternut squash. Cut it in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1cm-thick slices widthways across the squash.

Put the squash slices in a large roasting tin with the onion, peppers and garlic. Mix the oil with the curry paste and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss well to coat in the curry mix and season.

Roast for 30 mins until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the lentils and stock to the roasting tin and mix. Return to the oven for a further 5-10 mins until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the coriander and serve straight away.

   
   

No bake Peanut butter slice 

19 Aug IMG_3777-0

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven in my world. This is super easy and a perfect yummy treat. 

Ingredients 

200g digestive biscuits 

70g unsalted butter, melted

120g crunchy peanut butter

Chocolate Layer

200 plain chocolate 

60g smooth peanut butter, divided

Method

Place the biscuits into the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbs form. Add peanut butter and melted butter and process until completely combined and the mixture holds together.

Slightly grease a 8×8 inch (20x20cm) square pan and line with parchment paper, in such a way that some edges are longer to make it easy to lift it up once it’s set.

Spread the peanut butter mixture into the prepared baking pan and press with the back of the spoon to create a smooth surface.

Melt chocolate and 2 tbsp (30g) of  peanut butter over bain marie, over low heat. Stir until smooth. Meanwhile place the other 2 tbsp (30g) of peanut butter into a small sauce pan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Spread the chocolate over peanut butter layer. Add teaspoons of melted peanut butter on top and with a knife create swirls on the surface.

Refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Let it sit 10 minutes at room temperature before cutting.  Enjoy!  

 

Yewbarrow – Stu’s last wainwright 

5 Jun IMG_0878-0

Today was the day on which my lovely friend Stu finished his Wainwright journey, leaving Yewbarrow as his final one. I had not really been fell walking since completing my Wainwrights back in January. I did have a walk up Birkhouse Moor over February half term (first ticked off round 2!) with my nieces. I learnt that doing marathon training and doing lots of fell walking doesn’t mix very well.

Plus if I am honest my walking mojo disappeared after completing them, the weather has not been great when I did have the opportunity to walk. Been there, got the soggy t shirt. There was nothing to chase, no planning where next to walk, which book we are going to finish next. It was all done and it left me feeling a bit bereft. I know that Stu will agree with me, when I say the last few Wainwrights feel like a task. You’ve set a date and invited people and it does put you under pressure to get them done whatever the weather.

I love Yewbarrow it’s in my top 10 fells I have climbed. The views down to Wastwater are one of my favourite views in the Lakes. The rest of the hills looking over it majestically. I try to block out memories of Kirkfell, the hill which nearly broke me when we climbed it for Gary’s last one.

http://adventuresofcumbrianblondie.co.uk/2013/10/14/garys-last-wainwright-kirk-fell-and-the-mosedale-horseshoe/

We all met at the car park at 11, it was nice to meet Stu’s friends Ryan, Anna and Gareth as had heard lots about them. The weather was looking good and prayed that the circling rain held off. 17 of us and 4 dogs set off to climb the final one. Rather than go straight up the front of the mountain, we walked up the valley to ascend it in a zig zag form to the top.

  
It felt good to be back in the hills, the craic with our friends and just being outdoors soaking it in. It made me realise how much I had missed it. The groups spilt up naturally when you start climbing. Re grouping and then setting off again.  

   
  
A quick photo stop before the final push to the summit. 

   

 

A short walk and we were on the top waiting for Stu to touch his final summit. We did a guard of honour with our walking poles as we had done on ours. I felt so pleased for him and it was also his collies Sam and Teya’s final Wainwright too.

   
 

Paula his wife, this was her 100th. She is fighting Bladder cancer and she proves that you can do stuff whilst ill. What people don’t see is the morphine she has to take to get through doing it and the time it takes her to recover. She truly is an inspirational lady and hopefully soon we will be doing her last Wainwright too.

   
 

Bubbles and speech and this was the moment when we realised that Dave had forgot to pack the brownies!! He didn’t live this down, but it was an incentive to get back to the car.  Jim got his stove out to make a fried egg butty. He had also bought along some boy balloons to celebrate the safe arrival of our friend Tanya’s baby boy. The youngest member of the Twitteratti. 

   
  

This is our very own “214” club! 

  The descent was a tricky one, a real knee burner. The saving grace was the amazing views. The summit was very windy and luckily as we descended so did the wind. Soon we could see the trees of the car park. A quick Brownie stop before heading down to The Strands in Nether Wasdale for our walkers reward.

Couldn’t resist a bit of photobombing hehe 

  
Walking mojo returned, just need some time and good weather to start my new adventures…….
 

Keema with peas

2 Jun IMG_1259-0

I always like to try new recipes out, the fresh smell when making the paste is just delicious and you know it’s going to be good.  It is quite spicy but the cooling yoghurt helps.  Quick and easy to make.

Serves 4 or 2 very hungry people

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ a can chopped tomatoes (freeze the rest), or use 2 medium fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 200g frozen peas or cooked fresh peas
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped

Method

  • Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies together in a food processor. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mixture until it becomes very fragrant. Add the mince and fry until it begins to brown, stirring to break up any lumps.
  • Add the spices and fry for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, cook for 1 min, then stir in the yogurt, some salt and a good grind of black pepper. Add a splash of water if you need to, then cook the mixture for 30 mins. Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 mins, then stir in the coriander. Serve with Indian breads or poppadums, chutney and some more yogurt.

   

    

Kale, mushroom and Gorgonzola frittata

29 May

I love trying new recipes, love the uncuousness of the melting Gorgonzola. I served it with a crisp salad. 

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp olive oil

4 shallots finely chopped

A knob of butter

250g chestnut mushroom, thickly sliced

1 tsp thyme, plus 2 sprigs of thyme for garnish 

1 x 200g bag of kale, woody stems discarded

8 large eggs

100g Gorgonzola broken into pieces

Method

Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a 22cm frying pan and gently sautéed the onions for 8-10 minutes until soft. Remove to a plate. 

Add the remaining oil and butter and fry the mushrooms on a high heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the thyme, toss and cook for a further minute. Remove from heat. 

Pre heat the grill to medium high. Meanwhile, cook the kale in a large pan of salted water for 4-5 minutes until tender.  Drain well in a colander, leave to cool slightly before squeezing out any excess moisture. Roughly chop. 

Whisk eggs in a jug with plenty of seasoning. Return the onion to the pan with the mushrooms, then add the kale. Over a medium heat, pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the pan, stir once to mix everything together; cook for 4 minutes over a low heat until the eggs begin to set.  Top with Gorgonzola. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the top of the frittata is set. Remove from grill and leave to stand for a couple of minutes before serving. 

   
   J 

Lemon roasted chicken with asparagus, sweet corn and peach relish 

26 May IMG_0726

I do love a throw in a tray one pot dish, perfect for a busy working domestic goddess. I threw in some leftover chorizo sausage cut into chunks, made a perfect addition to the dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g Jersey Royal potatoes or other new potatoes
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 sweetcorn cobs
  • 250g Asparagus
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

For the Peach Relish

  • 4 rip peaches, stoned and finely chopped
  • a small knob of root ginger, peeled and grated.
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. caster sugar
  • a few basil leaves shredded

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200, fan 180, gas mark 6
  • Halve the potatoes and place into a shallow roasting tin with the chicken.  Add 2 tbsp. of the oil and the fennel seeds, season and toss. roast for 50 mins until the chicken is golden.
  • Put all the ingredients for the relish into a pan except the basil leaves, Simmer together for 25 minutes uncovered, stirring now and again.  Once it has softened, take off heat and allow to cool before adding the basil.
  • Slice the sweetcorn off each cob, after 50 minutes add this along with the lemon and asparagus and remaining oil and roast for 20 minutes.
  • Serve the relish with the chicken.

Enjoy.

   

 

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