A couple of days ago, one of my friends posted a quote on FB that resonated with me deeply.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.
Three years ago, I too thought my world was over. One sentence was all it took to turn it upside down. My life, that I so carefully planned and had all thought out, suddenly felt like it ended. But what I didn’t know at the time was that yes, my life as I knew it ended, but that one door that closed meant that so many new doors would open. As weeks passed and I got over the initial shock, I suddenly had no one but myself to worry about and to look after. After many years of trying to please everyone but forgetting about myself in the process, I could live life as I wanted to. I could do things I loved and was passionate about, not just things everyone expected me to do.
So, I signed up to a gym and tried my first yoga lesson. Something that I considered “stretching” before trying it out, turned out to be the biggest blessing and a love affair for life 🙂 Not because it makes you more flexible or teaches you cool poses. But because it brings you to your centre, it slows you down and makes you stop listening to your mind and start listening to your heart. Because it slowly spills from the class into your whole life (don’t ask me how, probably some sort of witchery :D) and makes your more grateful for all you have, more considerate, more compassionate and better at dealing with stress. It rearranges your priorities and helps you reduce anxiety and depression. It makes you realize that the most important person in your life isn’t your partner or your family or your friends, it’s you. If you’re going through a difficult period in your life (or even if you aren’t), give yoga a try. You might just get bewitched too!
Another of the things I started doing was minding what I was eating and fuelling my body with. I was already a vegan but I wanted to expand the variety of what I ate and morning smoothie was the perfect way to do that. Prepared in 5 minutes or under, extremely nutritious and an almost unlimited amount of combinations that could be made. Wintertime and cold? Prepare them with oats, nut butters, avocado or cinnamon and turmeric – all great to warm the body up. Summertime and craving something cold and fresh? Add frozen bananas, mangoes or berries, ice cubes, mint or cucumber – very hydrating. Also, if you’re rushing out of the door, you can make it in 5 minutes, pour into a glass jar and take with you. I often take mine into work with me and sip whilst I check my emails first thing in the morning.
I’ve found that if I have my morning smoothie, my food choices for the rest of the day are much better and healthier than if I skip it. Of course, it does not have to be a morning thing, any time you need a quick snack is great. You can also add your favourite protein powder and have it pre- or after your workout.
This mango & coconut smoothie is one of my favourites, especially in the summer as it tastes like something you would sip on the beach under a palm tree – which I sometimes do 🙂 Deliciously coconutty and mangoey, you cannot taste the spinach at all. Packed full of omega-3 and omega-6, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and a whole array of vitamins and other minerals, you can’t go wrong. So start your day with a smile and sunshine in a glass.
- 1/2 large mango, peeled
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 orange, peeled and seeds taken out
- 1/2 lemon, peeled and seeds taken out
- a large handful of spinach
- 1/2 cup water (or coconut water)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
- Put all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and uniform.
- Listo! (means ready in Spanish 🙂 Enjoy.
- Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones.
- Also, feel free to use frozen mango and add ice cubes, if you want your smoothie supercold.