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Have you ever had the feeling that life is passing you by? Like being the bunny who runs after the carrot, but just when he can almost bite it, it’s gone? Or the deranged dog trying to catch its own tail. I had been that dog for quite some months before finally finally listening to what my life had been whispering, saying and eventually screaming at me.
See the famous story of filling up your own well before having others drink from it sounded really good to me. In theory… In practise I sucked at it. Big time. Not because I didn’t know that it was a perfectly logical story. But because I just didn’t know how to go about things differently. It seemed like life had taken me over. As if it was living me and not the other way around. Working long hours for years to get The Soul Food Company on the map. Wanting to “be there” for my clients, family, friends, pets, friend’s pets, neigbours. You name it, I wanted to “be there”for it. If it weren’t for the brick wall that came falling down on me recently, in my ignorance I probably would still be at it today.
But about two months back I found myself crying on the floor of the restroom at my Chinese massage salon in excruciating pain. I had been cooking lunch for 4 months for 35 people daily at the headquarters of a designer jeans brand. Shopping, cooking and washing up alone. And after leaving my “day job” I would pump it up a notch by running around promoting my own business in addition to following an online course. I was beyond exhausted. I was a ghost in a body. On my first moon day (as us modern esoteric gals like to call it, translation for you not so modern ones out there; having my period) that particular month I had gone to my reliable Chinese masseuse to try and ease the pain I was feeling in my lower back. She had not touched me but 5 minutes or I broke out in a cold sweat. Shaking all over, shivering, teeth clattering. My stomach turned and just before I nearly fainted I asked her to please stop. She sat me down, brought me something sweet to suck on to try and revive me, and lovingly dabbed my forehead with a cool cloth.
Helas, it was already too late. Months, perhaps years, too late to be exact. My body had turned on me and there was no escaping its wrath. By the time the cramps began I thought I was going into labour or dying. Or maybe a combination of both. Sweet lord Jezus, I had not been this sick since being a teenager and after years of living a (mostly) Ayurvedic lifestyle I thought I had forever dealt with my terrible menses. But my body was trying to make a point and it took me throwing up in a Chinese massage parlor’s restroom to get it. While I was lying there something happened though. Something small, yet monumental. “Enough” said a kind and warm voice in my head. Calmly but decisively. “Enough, my dear. Enough.”
The voice was right. It was enough. Enough self torture. Enough over extending. Enough trying too hard. Enough wanting to please everybody. Enough failure. Just enough. I made a promise to myself there and than that I was going to do whatever it took to change my life. Although I had not the faintest idea what. I just knew that if I did not act soon the next brick would not be something as “simple” as menstrual cramps. But something way way more serious and probably even life threathning.
So over the next couple of weeks I started looking for clues that my older and wiser self was giving me on how to go about bringing myself back into balance. Clue number one was to stop over working. Clue number two was to retreat from the routine of daily life for a few days to find my bearings. So I took an inspirational trip to London that proved to be oh so healing and brought me enormous insights.
During this time-out the idea for “Project Me”came to me. I am forever working on some kind of project. Be it a new website, a balance box or even a new blog post. So I thought, why not make myself my current and top priority project? The idea was a huge bing bing moment for me and I played with it until I had something I could work with.
And so my friends, today I share with you the only thing I really have to share with you. Myself. Project Me are 7 weeks I’ve set aside to get to know myself again, redefine the things that really matter and basically become my own best friend. I have given each of the 7 weeks a theme, I have a pretty notepad and a pen ready, my ipad for making some videos along the way. And that’s about it. I have no idea what the exact content of “Project Me” is gonna be and where it’s supposed to lead me. But I know that it feels so good to take my life back into my own hands.
I will be sharing my journey with you on this blog and through Facebook. Nothing fancy. Nothing thought through too much. Nothing commercial. Just me, myself and I. I am sharing because knowing that someone might be listening, reading or looking in gives me the energy I need to keep going and not bail out on myself half way through. And also maybe, just maybe, like me you could do with your own “Project Me”. And if so I am laying the ground work as inspiration for you. But remember, your “Project Me” is completely your own and by no means do I mean to impose my path on to you. But if any of this serves you please use it. It will mean a lot to me to know that my Chinese parlor break down is proving to be helpfull to more people than only myself.
I have choosen 7 weeks because 7 is a magical number in many wisdom traditions and speaks to a sense of completion. I am by no means expecting to be completed in the coming 7 weeks, but I am willing to find out how far I can get. This first week I started by doing my own Happy Detox with the purpose of letting go of things that no longer serve me. Tomorrow is my last Happy Detox day and I must say the impact has been huge. I now know that I want to let go of being too hard on myself, comparing myself to others and struggling. I share some more on that in this Vlog Project Me|Happy Detox week. And on FB I will post my top 5 tips for Happy Detoxing should you consider giving it a go.
Below you will find the recipe of one of the delicious dishes I had during this week. This dish is beautiful and that to me is how every detox meal should be. You eat with your eyes as well as your tongue and the prettier the dish the less likely you are to scoff it down mindlessly. Fall is a great time for detoxing and the cleansing tastes in this salad will leave you feeling refreshed, light and clear headed. Best for Kapha and Pitta types. But also okay for Vata’s looking to cleanse themselves during autumn.
Happy detoxing and catch you next time.
For 2 to 3
- 150 grams black quinoa
- 300 ml water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 150 grams green and/or yellow zucchini shredded in thin strips
- 200 grams pumpkin shredded in thin strips
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves finely chopped
- 5 mint leaves finely chopped
- himalaya salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (toasted in a dry frying pan)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds(toasted in dry frying pan)
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Bring the quinoa and the water to the boil with a pinch of himalaya salt. Lower the heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Than turn off the heat and leave to stand with the lid on top for another 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. When hot add the cumin, coriander and cinnamon powder and stir for 30 seconds. Quickly add the shredded vegetables to the pan and fry for 3 to 5 minutes until just tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
To make the dressing mix all ingredients and season with some salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl mix the cooked quinoa with the fried veggies, the chopped herbs, the cranberries and toasted seeds. Sprinkle over the dressing and mix will before serving at room temperature.
Zwarte quinoasalade met geraspte groenten en geroosterde zaadjes
Voor 2 tot 3 personen
- 150 gram zwarte quinoa
- 300 ml water
- 1 eetlepel olijfolie
- 1 theelepel komijnpoeder
- 1 theelepel korianderpoeder
- 1/2 theelepel kaneelpoeder
- 150 gram groene en/of gele courgette grof geraspt
- 200 gram pompoen grof geraspt
- 2 eetlepels gedroogde cranberries
- 2 eetlepels fijngehakte korianderblaadjes
- 2 eetlepels fijngehakte peterselieblaadjes
- 5 fijngehakte muntblaadjes
- himalayazout en zwarte peper naar smaak
- 1 eetlepel zonnebloempitjes (geroosterd in een droge koekenpan)
- 1 eetlepel pompoenpitjes (droog geroosterd in een koekenpan)
- sap van 1 limoen
- 2 theelepels ahornsiroop
- 3 eetlepels olijfolie
Breng de quinoa met het water en een snufje zout aan de kook. Draai dan het vuur laag en laat me een deksel op de pan 10 minuten sudderen. Draai het vuur uit en laat met deksel op de pan nog 10 minuten staan.
Smelt 1 eetlepel olijfolie in een koekenpan. Als het heet is voeg je het komijn-, koriander- en kaneelpoeder toe en roerbak je dit voor 30 seconden. Doe daarna de geraspte groenten in de pan en bak 3 tot 5 minuten tot ze lekker beetgaar zijn. Breng op smaak met zout en peper naar smaak.
Maak de dressing door alle ingrediënten goed door elkaar te mengen.
Mix in een medium bowl de gekookte quinoa met de gebakken groenten, de gehakte kruiden, de cranberries en de geroosterde zaadjes. Besprenkel met de dressing en meng goed. Breng op smaak met zout en peper en serveer lauw warm.