YOGA: Energy Block Release 1

Energy Block Release 1 (EBR1) is the Foundation Sequence unique to Dru Yoga. It is the first sequence that I teach in my classes and helps to provide a full body warm-up and will also help balance mind and emotions. This Foundation Sequence is a great way to get energy flowing more freely through the body and bring you to a place of deep inner stillness. It’s normal when you first start to practice the sequence and learn the movements to find that the breathing just doesn’t happen, this is okay! With practice you will find that you will begin to co-ordinate your breath with the movements and start to perform the sequence with ease and flow. Just relax, soft joints and smile!

Here is a lovely 10 minute home practice video with Nanna, a most inspirational teacher, just click here: EBR1

Louise’s Low Oxalate Apple and Cranberry ‘Cookies’

Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen
Let’s kick off with a treat! Following the LOD means not being able to just buy off the shelf on most occasions and these ‘cookies’ are a delicious treat for everyone! Working with coconut flour is interesting and any recipes that uses it with a description of ‘bread or cookies’ means ‘cake’! Perhaps I should be calling these ‘cake cookies’ to lower expectations. They are however still enjoyable! I’m still experimenting and will be posting other coconut flour recipes as they are perfected! To achieve a truly crisp cookie you will need the use of a dehydrator for a dunkable treat!

Apple and Cranberry Cookies: Makes approx. 9: gluten free, vegetarian, 1.2 mg oxalate per cookie

2/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil melted (stand jar in a bowl of hot water)
2 eggs
1/4 cup runny honey
1/2 cup apple puree
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Pinch salt

Method

• Preheat oven Gas Mark 4
• Line baking tray with non-stick baking parchment
• Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl
• Add all the other ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon into a ‘batter’, this will thicken slightly.
• Use a tablespoon to scoop mixture onto baking tray: 1 tbsp per cookie.
• Slightly flatten into rounds
• Bake in the centre of oven for approx. 20 minutes, until firm.
• Leave to cool on wire rack if you can!

These are ‘cookies’ with a moist sponge like texture, if you would like a firmer cookie follow one of the two stages below:

• After 20 mins cooking, place on wire rack, return to oven, turn off heat and leave for 1 hour
Or
• Turn oven to lowest setting and leave for another 20 minutes to an hour, checking regularly to avoid burning.

Dehydrator Method

• Following the 20 minute bake in the oven, carefully lift cookies onto dehydrator tray.
• Set at 70 °C for 4 hours.
• After 4 hours check for desired consistency, crisp outer and soft middle.
• Leave in dehydrator at 70°C for up to 8 hours to obtain crisp and crunchy cookies that hold up to a good dunk!

Will keep for a few days in an airtight container….but I doubt they will last that long! Enjoy!

Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen

Is your green smoothie bad for your health? For most people oxalates, a chemical naturally found in food particularly; fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains, cause no problems and can be consumed freely. Usually associated with the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones, high oxalate levels have also been associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, asthma/COPD, vulvodynia and under-active thyroid:

http://www.lowoxalate.info/research.html

For some of us, we are faced with adopting a low oxalate diet (LOD), reducing slowly to avoid a syndrome known as “dumping” which by all accounts is rather unpleasant. I have no formal nutrition qualification and would advise anyone who thinks they may have high oxalate levels to seek medical advice and diagnosis before making major changes.  These recipes will be for all to enjoy not just the LOD’s, my work colleagues have been sampling some of my recipes and my flaxseed crackers go down a treat!  I’ll be posting recipes which are low in oxalate levels which I have developed  and adapted from a range of sources due to the lack of availability of vegan and vegetarian low oxalate delicious meals.

For myself, already having had to cut out gluten (permanently), experiencing temporary lactose intolerance, already vegetarian and then temporarily vegan this change in diet was a huge challenge! My diet was  healthy, packed with nutrition, home cooked, organic when ever possible and then I was faced with a diagnosis of hyperoxaluria.  My green smoothie and a lot of my diet was actually doing me harm! What the spinach, kale and almond super food smoothie had to go? My sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot, nuts, tempeh, tahini, rhubarb, chia seeds to name just a few all had to go! The horror! What was I going to eat??  The LOD aims for between 40-60 mg of oxalate a day, 100gm of spinach for example contains  1145 mg, a raw serving of 1/2 cup   contains 75mg of oxalate!   After a short period of rocking in a corner I took on the challenge and started researching low oxalate foods, what an eye opener! So little information and what was available was not always accurate, aimed at meat eaters and very little vegan/vegetarian options. However, I managed to get a link to an extensive spreadsheet of foods that had been tested in the USA (link now vanished!) and hence the idea arose for ‘Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen’. I am developing vegan and vegetarian (I am now able to tolerate dairy which is very low oxalate) recipes for my first cook book and will be posting nutritious recipes and the occasional ‘naughty but nice’ treats!

‘Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen’ is now open for business!