The buzzword – mindful

At the moment “mindful” seems to be one of the buzzwords and a lot of truth lies behind this simple word. Especially in today’s environment, when everything and everybody is rushed and multitasked and nothing seems to be good enough. It is important to halt, to breathe, to be aware, to allow to feel both negative and positive, and to let thoughts just fly by.

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Reading and talking about mindfulness makes you realise that a lot of us already use a mindful approach, without putting a stamp or name to it – if not everyday and least now and then, isn’t that great! It’s not all new and with a little bit of help and awareness we may be able to incorporate mindfulness even more and just naturally into our day to day life, because it is worthwhile for us and the people dear to us! After all it is being said that it helps to improve the overall wellbeing and the physical and mental health.

By time I will go deeper into the mindfulness but for today I will leave you with my initial thoughts that come into my mind when thinking about being mindful! Just to make you aware and hopefully as well interested and curious what lies behind this simple word!

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Have a lovely day,
stay at ease,

AK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

p..p…poached egg

A few weeks ago I was out for brunch and noticed how often poached eggs are on the menu and how nice they can be! I remember it back to the time when I worked in a hotel in the UK as a teenager but somehow never got into it. At the same time friends started talking and posting about poached eggs. And while ‘poached’ always scared me a bit I finally took the challenge and tried them myself – and it is not as scary as it seems! But you can’t rush it and make sure to have a good ‘whirl’ otherwise it may end up not looking appealing at all.

I love the change to the standard fried, boiled and scrambled version – a nice, quick and kind of fancy looking light summer lunch!

Poached Egg

Pour cold water into a larger pot, make sure it is at least half -3/4 full. Add a dash of vinegar. Then bring the water and vinegar to the boil, make sure it boils well, water should be simmering around the edge, then reduce heat to low.

While waiting for the water to boil crack 1 egg into a small bowl.

Once the water boils, reduce it to lower heat, use a wooden spoon and stir the water to create a ‘whirlpool’. Tip the egg gently but not too slow into the ‘whirlpool’-water. (*)

Depending on how you like your eggs, cook for 2-3 minutes for a soft yolk or  4-6 minutes for firmer, or to your liking. Remove the eggs carefully from the water with a spoon, if you have use a slotted one.

Serve on toast, with salt and pepper. If you want add some grated cheese on top!

Indulge, and enjoy this quick easy, healthy snack!

byebye

AK

(*They often seem to say to only poach one egg at the time but it seems to work with two, too – obviously adding them separately into the water. Just be a bit cautious when creating the second whirl!)

 

Meditation – don’t let it scare you!

I know some people, and include myself here, that cringe when they hear the word meditation. Instead of putting us at ease when hearing that word, it causes tension, this vision of sitting for a long time in lotus pose or at least crossed legged, not to move and not to think! “No way, not for me!” – and that was it.

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But you know what, that is not what mediation is about. Meditation is something beautiful and calming yet energising, and best of all, it can in fact be done everywhere. It does not need props and it can last anything from 1 minute to 20min to how ever long you may want it.

It is easy and simple and yet rewarding for your mind, body and soul. It will put the mind at peace and keep it calm and quiet, yet alert.

Meditation can help to
– calm the state of the mind
– bring clarity
– increase awareness
– reduce stress

But one cannot force meditation, to feel the benefit of it it needs to be effortless. And yes, that may take some practise.

What is important to remember before getting out there to start a meditation is that one will not be able to stop thinking. The mind is there to think and too many thoughts are rushing through it every minute, every second. What is important is to learn to not follow through with the thoughts when they arise. To acknowledge them, but to let them go again and to come back to the base of your awareness, back to the present.

It ok to experience tightness, frustrations, at times as well anxiety, or feeling worried of doing it wrong, or of ‘not feeling it’. That is all natural, don’t judge it – again acknowledge it and let it go.

To make it complicated there are meanwhile many ways of meditations out there. I find an easy and powerful one, one that can be used anytime and anywhere and great for beginners is the breathing meditation. Ideally you do this sitting upright in a comfortable position, but the beauty with this one is that you can in fact do it everywhere – while waiting for your tea water to boil, waiting for the bus, being out for a walk, when feeling stressed, tired, endless possibilities to take a moment to tune in and to feel calm yet energised – and to meditate! Give it a try!

For the breathing meditation, your bases, your focus is your breath. Let your breathing come naturally, preferably through your nostrils and try not to control your breathing.  Feel the breath, become aware of how it feels when you breathe in and out through your nostrils. Feel the cooler air coming in, and the warmer air coming out. Try to naturally breathe deeper into the belly, try not to stop in your lungs, this will give a deeper state of calmness. By simple bringing your awareness to your breathing your already are meditating!

See, it can be simple. It won’t always be easy, though! Your mind will wander off. But that is ok, just learn to realise when it starts to wander and return your attention back to your breathing. And by time try to stretch this first one minute to five or more. Regular practice will help you to return to your base of breathing more easily and the sensation of calmness and clarity will come over you.

If you got curious and want to check out different types of meditation – and yes there are many and resources are endless! – I found this page very detailed and helpful http://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation/

Also a great tool for beginners and advanced is the “Insight Timer” app – free to download https://insighttimer.com

For now this is my final part on relaxation techniques. The others were about Instant Relaxation TechniqueVisualisation – Relaxation and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

What ever way you may chose, I hope this inspires you to tune into yourself and to learn to be present even if just for a minute here and there!

Have a lovely day,

AK

 

Stay hydrated

 

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With temperatures rising it is even more important to stay hydrated! And while water is the best and easiest source of liquid, at times we may get tired of it and crave a different flavour. Don’t fear to spice it up with some fruits or vegetables or a mix of both! Add some lemon, lime, mint, cucumbers, melon slices, coconut water etc !

But not only liquids help to keep us hydrated, fruits and vegetables can play a big part, too. See blow picture for fruits and vegetables with a high water content and add them to the daily snack list!

And when you are out and about in the heat, make sure to always have some water with you, and try not to rush! Plan enough time to reach your destination! And, please try to avoid buying bottled water; when at home fill up a sports bottled and carry that one around!

Do not just drink when you feel thirsty or worse dizzy and exhausted. Keep sipping on non sugary, caffein-free and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day!

Last but not least, if you have kids, help them to understand the importance of staying hydrated!

Keep safe – stay hydrated! After all, we all want to enjoy the summer days!

If you have a great drink that helps you to stay hydrated feel free to share it with me, I am always on the lookout for new easy to make ice teas!

AK

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