Thai coconut soup

Thai Coconut Soup

30th June 2016

thai coconut soup

There are a few reasons why I love this soup recipe. For a start I’m obsessed with all things coconut at the moment. Secondly, it’s one of those dishes that you can play around with and add your own twist to. Thirdly, it’s also great for using up left over veggies as you can throw anything you’ve left over in there.

Now, the other ideal thing about this soup is that it can be a quick lunch or you can turn it in to a main meal by adding chicken, tofu and/or noodles. I served mine with just some cut up slices of chicken breast and it was both satisfying and filling.

What you’ll need.

  • 1 Can of Coconut Milk
  • 500ml Vegetable or chicken Stock
  • 2tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • ½ Stalk Lemon Grass*
  • About 1” Ginger*
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Extra chilli powder to taste
  • Garlic
  • Sesame oil

 

Method.

Did I mention that this is really easy to make?

Slice the peppers, mushrooms and garlic and add to hot sesame oil. Fry for at least 5 minutes or until soft. Continue reading

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3 tricks for better sleep

7th June 2016

If you struggle to get the shuteye you need, there is help at hand. Instead of suffering through lack of sleep, here are three tricks that should make it easier for you drift off into a dreamland once you’re in between the sheets.

1. Create the perfect setup

Your bedroom plays an important part in your ability to get a good night’s sleep. In general, the room itself should be dark, quiet and cool, and if you can, keep the space tidy and clutter-free to help maintain a relaxing and calming environment where you can unwind before it’s time for lights out. Moreover, sleeping on an uncomfortable, sagging mattress between old, worn sheets is likely to get in the way of you enjoying decent slumber, so if your current sleep situation is less perfect, now could be the time to do some shopping. You could swap your mattress for one that is firm and supportive, and you could treat yourself to some plump pillows and luxuriously soft bed sheets.

To take your bedroom setup to the next level, you could even replace your entire bed. For maximum comfort, you could choose a model that has an inbuilt massage function, like the adjustable beds from Adjustamatic. These beds are designed with unique NHC Cyclo-Therapy technology, which uses rotations and pulsations to make you feel relaxed and help you drift off more easily.

2. Adjust your sleeping posture

Did you know that the position you lie in at night could be scuppering your chances of getting the sleep you need? If you often wake up feeling achy and sore, it could be that your sleep stance is to blame. So that you can snooze soundly and rise the next morning feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead, you could try adjusting your sleeping position. For example, if you tend to snooze on your back, position a pillow under your knees so that your back can maintain its natural curved shape while you’re asleep. Making alterations to how you lie in bed could help you sleep more soundly night after night.

3. Cut back on the caffeine

Although you may rely on a cup of tea or coffee to help you wake up of a morning, it shouldn’t be your choice of drink later on in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and its effects can take a long time to wear off in your body, preventing you from falling asleep easily. So to avoid lying awake at night, you should try to cut back on your caffeine intake. You could drink water, fruit juices or herbal teas instead.

By putting these simple tricks into practice, you should be able to enjoy a better quality of sleep.

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How to survive working from home…

5th June 2016

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with working from home. There are times when I genuinely love it, usually weather related – I mean who wouldn’t want to work in the garden on a sunny day or have the luxury of staying indoors when it’s teeming with rain.

But that love can soon turn to hate when you have to deal with people just dropping by unannounced, being the main parcel drop off for neighbours and people assuming that you don’t have a job just because your office is in your own home.

If you’re also a home worker or you’re thinking about taking the plunge here are some tips to help you survive (stay sane even) working from home…

Continue reading

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How to BEAT procrastination for good!

24th May 2016

There are times, when I’m the queen of procrastination. It’s usually when I’ve got a big project on the go or I’m stressing about something. That’s when the block comes down, the want to do something is there but the actual get up and go, well that’s long got up and gone.

You know the feeling right? You’re ready, your hair is in a bun, you’ve got your yoga pants on, a hot cup of tea but then you open your laptop or turn on your computer and poof, that inspiration has gone and you’re just sat looking at a blank page – or scrolling through Facebook or the hundredth time.

Well thanks to *Bach™ Original Flower Remedies and life coach, Sophia Davis here are some top tips and advice on putting paid to procrastination, so that you can get the job done today rather than putting it off until tomorrow.

procrastination

1- Pre-empt your potential pitfalls. Become aware of the triggers that lead you to procrastinate. Do you run away from boredom or failure, or do you move away from something that appears too easy or too hard? Know what your patterns are, and find ways to support yourself through them. For example, if it feels too complicated, ask for help. If it feels boring, find ways to make it more interesting.

2- See procrastination for what it is – a pattern of behaviour, a habit to put things off. Once you see it for what it is, you have a choice to choose a different behaviour. Try sourcing an accountability buddy – someone you can speak to about your tasks and who you can share your successes with when you’ve completed something. We don’t like letting other people down, so you’ll feel more obliged to get on with things promptly if you know you’ve got to report back to your friend/colleague. Continue reading

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How to get rid of flies & mosquitos – naturally

12th May 2016

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Since this post went down so well over on my Instagram I thought I’d publish it on my blog too. Now I don’t know about you but the one thing that drives me mad about summer is when you have little flies buzzing around in the day and mosquitos and gnats ready to nibble in the night.

Well there are two things that will naturally repel these little pests: Lavender and Basil.

If you’ve got green fingers then plant these two plants next to each other around your sitting areas – I’ve actually done this and have them by my back door to stop them coming in.

So why Basil and Lavender? Quite simply, mosquitos and other insects just hate the smell.

Also, basil is one of the few herbs that give off a scent without the leaves having to be crushed or physically disturbed. And the best thing about both lavender and basil they can be planted in or outdoors.

But if you’re not too bothered about planting  or you want to take a repellent on holiday then here are THREE ways you can use Lavender and Basil Essential Oils to shoo away those pests.

First up – make a spray.

Get a spray bottle add:

  • 20 drops of basil
  • 20 drops of lavender
  • 1/2 a cup of filtered water
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

You can spray it on your body, around your space, on your surfaces (ideal for when you’re eating outside) – even on your dog (if your dogs are like mine and get reactions to bites).

Second way is to diffuse the two oils. Continue reading

Essential Oils – How I Use Them

8th May 2016

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OK so I’ve been posting my essential oils collection for quite a while over on instagram and I’m getting LOADS of questions on how I use them. So I thought that I’d do a weekly essential oils blog post but before I really get deep and dirty on my essential oils obsession, here’s a general overview of how I use my oils.

First up, I use a company called doTERRA because they are 100% CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade). That means there are no synthetic ingredients or chemicals in these oils. Just 100% essential oil. I have to admit, I didn’t really see the big difference (other than price as CPTG oils are obviously more expensive) before I started using my doTERRA. Now I do. But that’s another story.

Anyway, how I use essential oils…well there are five main ways.

I diffuse them. I am SO obsessed with my diffuser. I bought one thinking that it wouldn’t be to different from burning my oils but it’s a game changer.With the diffuser you just add a couple of drops of your favourite oil (or oils) and it pushes them out in to the air.

You can create your own blends depending on your mood so if you want to relax then lavender, clary sage or geranium. If you’re wanting to get motivated and pumped then my favourite is to add lemon and peppermint. Or if you just want your house to smell fresh and clean – lemon – always lemon!

Diffusing oils can actually help reduce food cravings so great if you’re trying to lose weight, can purify the air and help with allergies.

Amazon have some great diffusers – see here.

I use them as part of my beauty regime. OK so I should admit here, I don’t really have a beauty regime as such but my skin is super sensitive and can get dry so I have to be really picky about what I use on it. Since essential oils are easily absorbed in to the skin and are very powerful, I use a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil and add a few drops of frankincense to create a great moisturiser (Frankincense is also great for burns too which is handy as I’m forever burning myself on the oven, and it’s a great anti-wrinkle oil – also handy but say no more about that one!!).

After a great tip off from my friend Tanya, I now add a drop of Meluca oil to my conditioner and it adds extra shine and protects against heat damage. Meluca is also great for spots too, just dab a drop on and your breakout will be gone in no time.

I cook with them. Again, I have to make this very clear, you cannot cook with just any old essential oils. You need a pure grade, organic oil to use internally. The essential oils are REALLY powerful so you only need a drop for it to taste good and benefit your body. So I add a bit of lemon in with my stir-fries or my favourite is baby new potatoes panfried with samphire and a bit of lemon added.  I also use the ginger, rosemary, black pepper, oregano in different sauces for added taste. 

I use them for medicinal purposes. Lavender is great for allergies and respiratory issues, especially if you apply to the back of your neck. Peppermint great for upset stomaches, stress and tiredness, oregano great for fungal infections, lemon = FOR EVERYTHING (seriously, I think lemon is the essential oil version of coconut oil!).

and I also clean with them. I find traditional cleaners really harsh on my skin and my chest. So use essential oils to do the job a chemical cleaner would normally do. Lemon mixed with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water will do the job better than any toxic bleach mix. Also, using essential oils in your cleaning regime means it’s safe for your kids or pets to roam around as it’s completely natural.

I’m going to be doing a weekly post on how to use essential oils so if you have any questions please leave below and if you’d like to know more about the particular brand I use then email me at oils@rachphillips.com

Bliss Balls

25th April 2016

Bliss balls

Quite simply if you don’t have time to faff around making breakfast or you need something to give you a boost when you’re on the move – these little bliss balls are amazing.

I’ve made a huge batch up for breakfast the rest of the week because I know it’s a busy one and without them I’ll end up living on coffee or air so they really are the perfect busy girl solution.

These little balls of goodness are great because they’re no fuss, no baking, no long winded prep. It’s simply a case of whizzing up the dates and dumping them in the bowl with the rest of the mixture. What more could you want? Oh yeah and numerous health benefits as they are full of protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals that will leave you feeling full all morning, give you a big, old energy boost and they’re super easy to transport so great for taking to work.

This recipe makes 12 large balls

What you need to make the bliss balls:

  • 2c of pitted dates (I use medjool and it works out about 14/15 dates)
  • 1/4c warm water (to start with)
  • 3/4c oats
  • 1/2c coconut flakes (you’ll need a bit more for rolling)
  • 1/4c sesame seeds
  • 1/4c chopped almonds
  • 1/4c chia seeds

Method: Continue reading

Weekend Reads 10/4

10th April 2016

pexels-photo-large So I thought I’d revive weekend reads. I read so many interesting articles and blog posts throughout the week it’s a shame not to share them. Here goes…

Snapchat – ok so technically not a read but I’m on SNAPCHAT! And omg I’d addicted!! Please do add me – I’m RachRahRah or just scan the code below!

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THIS Breakfast Board at Cup of Jo

5 Ayurvedic Herbs To Counter Seasonal Allergies

Chewable coffee has arrived. Is it healthier?

Food fraud in the UK. Serious stuff.

Are your health lunches making you fat?

How magic can effect your life.

Nutritional Yeast isn’t just for hippies.

Stressed? Try this.

Criminal podcast…I’m hooked!!

Why comparing yourself to others is self destructive.

What Hollywood Has Already Taught Us About Contested Conventions.

And finally, check out this TED talk – how to grow fresh air

Mindful Eating

6th April 2016

*original post from 2012*

I went to a talk last night on fatigue in brain injury patients. One thing that was mentioned was mindful eating {this is due to diet playing a part in recovery}.

The occupational therapist who was leading the talk posed the question:

how often do you actually taste or think about what you’re eating?”.

Honestly? Probably not that often.

It’s a well known fact that factors such as boredom or depression can see us heading straight for the biscuit tin but hand on heart how many times do you just reach for food and not really take in the taste, smell or texture of it?

A recent piece in the New York Times suggested mindful eating as a way of fighting bingeing. It explored how we all eat so fast these days because our lives are fast and as a part of that we end up eating more than we should. Mindful eating therefore becomes the psychological barrier for overeating because the slower you eat the more time you have to recognise that you’ve had enough.

 

Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It comes from Buddhist teachings and is the art of fully being aware of what’s happening both inside and outside yourself. It’s all about taking in what’s going on in your body, heart and mind as well as your environment.

And mindful eating?
Continue reading

A QUICK Chia Breakfast Pudding

30th March 2016

OK when I say quick, you’ll need to prepare it the night before but you can do it whilst you’re making dinner and it’s done. One of the main things that turns me off eating breakfast is the thought of having to prepare it. Usually I’m buzzing around or I’m working so I can’t really be bothered, but when it’s there waiting for me in the fridge, especially a breakfast pudding, well that’s another matter.
Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding
I’ve blogged about the benefits of chia seeds before (see here) but just a quick recap, these little beauties are so good for your health. They are packed with protein, fibre, calcium, manganese, phosphorous plus omega-3 fatty acid and amino acid. PLUS, when you’re making a smoothie or a smoothie bowl, they expand so they’ll thicken up your drink and help you stay fuller for longer.

Essentially, they are a little wonder seed.

This breakfast pudding took me around 10 minutes to make (and that’s probably over estimating). I made my chia seed base the night before then added the topping in the morning so that it layered, otherwise it’ll all seep in to one. Also you can substitute a lot of the ingredients for your own personal tastes, I’ve made some suggestions below.

What you’ll need (this makes one)

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 coconut water or a nut milk whichever you prefer
  • 2 tbsp skyr (natural yogurt or greek yogurt again whatever your preference)
  • 50g blueberries (raspberries, mixed berries etc also work)
  • 2 tbsp granola

How to make your chai breakfast pudding

First of all add your chia seeds to the liquid and give them a little stir. I usually put mine in a mason jar so I can pop a lid on it.

Next add your skyr and blueberries to your blender and blitz. Set this aside.

Leave the chai seeds soak overnight (note you can add a small dash of cacao or protein powder in with them if you want to flavour it a bit) and in the morning add your blueberry yogurt and layer with granola.

It’s really THAT simple.