Eggplant Bean Curry (V & GF)

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Ft: Bean and Eggplant Curry (Instagram 19th October 2017)

Given that I am such a sensitive being- I am constantly tuning into how I feel, what I am craving and when it comes to food, I cook based on intuition. I’ve been eating a lot of meat last week and although they were included in a range of healthy traditional foods from my culture, I feel like incorporating more plants and vegetables this week. Hence I made my classic curry with the available vegetables I have at home.

  • Serves: ~ 6
  • Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion22656496_1555127131220634_1869860209_n
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Coconut oil to cook
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • Half bunch of kale
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp of each- tumeric, coriander and cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp toasted garam masala (optional)
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 2 can organic beans of choice (I used butter beans)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Coriander to garnish

 

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Method

  1. Finely dice onion and garlic and dice all vegetables.
  2. On medium heat in large pot, add coconut oil, onion and garlic.
  3. Cook down till translucent and add all spices and mix till spices soak up the oil.
  4. Add sweet potato and carrot, salt and pepper and stir for couple minutes.
  5. Add eggplant, mix and cook it down for couple of minutes.
  6. Drain, wash beans, add it to the pot and stir for a couple minutes. (Add a dash of water into the pot).
  7. Add tomato paste and stir till combined.
  8. Add coconut milk and 1/4 cup water and mix well.
  9. Cover pot with lid and slowly bring it to boil
  10. Roughly chop the kale, mix into pot till softened and (add garam masala).
  11. Reduce heat to low, add coriander on top.
  12. Ready to be served with some rice on side (optional)

 

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Brave

I’ve been told this by a couple of people now-  that I am brave.

At first, I didn’t take it in as I just saw it as a friendly gesture, a compliment.  But as I was told by another friend today, I took the time to acknowledge and reflect. You know what, I am pretty dam brave. I am not afraid to speak up and say the things I want. I am not afraid to do things that take me out of my comfort zone that I know will do me good. Now come to think of it, I come with part-control freak but also part faith. Some things I just leave it to utter  faith and go with the flow. I didn’t even get scared or angry when someone chucked a rock at my windscreen, leaving evident damage and the need for replacement.  Yes I got annoyed to the inconvenience and to the fact that I’m now a couple hundred dollars less in the bank but I didn’t get scared, I didn’t get angry and I didn’t hold onto those emotions for long. I promptly sorted it out and moved on. It wasn’t that I was trying to numb my emotions, I just didn’t feel like holding onto angry and negative thoughts that would just drain my energy, waste my time and put me on a low frequency. My work manager admired how elegantly I handled the situation.

Because you know, ever since I placed my trust and love to something bigger, call it the universe, call it source, I am assured by this larger entity that I will always be looked after, be safe and be loved.  

Today I had one of those days where I wanted to place myself in uncertain situations without wearing any make-up on. I’ve been doing this more frequently given that my skin has been aggravated and I’m just sick of covering it up for over five years now (long term acne sufferer). And boy, did I have one of the best days in October. The energy and love I felt for myself was immense- one of complete gratitude and accomplishment.  I felt 100% myself, natural, free and my skin felt like it could finally interact and balance itself out. I felt like I was having a conversation with my skin and it was literally thanking me for being brave, for sticking it out for the day so it could take some time to heal and balance itself. But today wasn’t like any other recent make-up free day where I would usually avoid and interact with as little people as possible. Today, I encountered conversations, caught up with my friend and spoke about my skin to the lady at the health food store. And on top of that, even though I have been majorly breaking out on my forehead and chin, I experienced moments of beauty within myself. I don’t know how else to describe it other than it came from a place of authenticity.

I am proud of myself.

By the way going make-up free came with few pleasant surprises.  I noticed that when I was eating my lunch and in the process of wiping food around my mouth, I didn’t have to be cautious about wiping my make-up off (like I usually would) because I didn’t have any of it on in the first place. So I could freely wipe my mouth as much as I pleased. This may seem like nothing but I’m sure girls can relate and I was quite enlightened about this. Also, by the end of the day, I still felt clean as a baby. My  face didn’t feel congested like it usually would, or I didn’t feel the need to immediately shower when I got home, because I still felt clean and fresh. Today I finally got to be one of those girls who go on about their day revealing their true, beautiful natural self and it was energizing, loving and liberating.

Healthy Raw Lemon Cheesecake (GF, DF, VF)

Always experimenting with healthy sweets and desserts to satisfy my sugar-cravings. Given that I have PCOS, it is of priority to eliminate processed foods and refined sugars and carbohydrates. I assure you, this will literally taste like a cheesecake and better! The ingredients in this recipe are filled with healthy fats, protein and loaded with a whole bunch of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the coconut oil, nuts and seeds making it easy to digest  and satisfies those  sugar cravings. The health-fullness of this cake does not compromise taste.

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This cake is naturally sweetened by date at the base and some 100% quality maple syrup. You can reduce the amount of each even further if you are restricting your sugar intake also. I find that this ratio balances out the acidity of the lemon which gives a beautiful refreshing zesty flavour to this cake.

Ingredients

Base

  • 10 soft pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup nuts and seeds of choice ( I used sunflower, pepitas, walnuts and almonds)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 cup soaked cashews (place cashews in water for couple hours of over night)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Lemon zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extact
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

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  1. In a food processor, crush nuts till fine and then add dates and remaining ingredients and blend till you achieve a fine, moist, soil like consistency.
  2. Grab a round non-stick tin line the bottom with the base mixture.
  3. Place in freezer to set.
  4. Meanwhile, to make filling, blend all filling ingredients in a blender till all is mixed.
  5. Take out base and spread filling on-top.
  6. Please in refrigerator for a couple hours.

 

You can thank me later and I know you wont be buying store brought processed cheesecakes anymore.

Love Cherie

 

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Revisiting

I’ve been feeling stagnant lately. There’s been a build up of energy pushing me to change up my routine, one which I’ve only just started getting comfortable with. I’ve noticed that I’ve been holding onto old thoughts, memories, having dreams of my past- of people, of my mistakes, my flaws, all bringing real low vibration feelings that have not served me well these past couple weeks. I’ve been feeling like I am not doing enough, not good enough, and un-interested in a lot of the things I usually like. I’ve been basing my happiness on a couple of things lately that have not helped my well being; (a) my unpredictable, inflamed skin (b) comfort food. And after the momentary happiness I get from eating something I like (of which I wasn’t even hungry to begin with), I am left feeling unsatisfied and regretful.

 Last night, I became fed up from feeling this way and realized that I am more than this, and I gotta pick myself up again. I am done with the past, I am done waiting for answers, for closure, for others to step up. I am here to do things for myself, to surround myself with beautiful things, to feel loved, to feel beautiful, to create, to explore. I want to be the energetic, loving self I am again. The October energy report by You are Luminous  said that it is a time where past energy, experiences are likely to be brought up again. But given that we are now in a different place to where we were then, we have the decision to approach what is in front of us from a much stronger stance. She also mentions that we have the power to end cycles, end thoughts and feelings that do not serve us and start again. This made me feel better.

Today, I cried in front of my acupuncturist. Just because I informed him that my skin has become worse. He was a little shocked but he reminded me that I may just be feeling more emotional than usual because its coming around to that time of the month and that once my hormones balance, I will experience clarity in my skin. I then settled and laughed a little.

This morning, as I meditated, I received a message telling me to go back to my childhood, back to the books that took me to a different world, my drawings, my innocence, me. So I went into the garage to find the books and before I knew it I was opening up boxes which had all my water colour paints, oil pastels, art books and my drawings. I also found my old diaries I had written in 5-6 years ago. I immediately took them out and set up a table outside and began to draw with my oil pastels. And for once, I was not thinking about my skin, for once I was not thinking about food, I was present with my drawing and the thoughts that would come pass me, I did not feel the need to attach to any of them.

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My oil pastel drawing I did years ago from an illustration out of the children’s book the Red Tree by Shaun Tan.

I began to feel like I was in the right place at the right time. I was safe, I was outside, I was drawing. I am reminded of the other things I am good at. And the recent feelings of stagnation,  which I had previously put the blame to not interacting with others, not being social, disappeared. And at that moment, I confirmed myself that these feelings of of unbalance, unworthiness could be replaced with a little bit of creativity.

The feminine divine

My evolving definition of what it is to be feminine.

Growing up, I associated being feminine purely on the physical. I would say,  it pointed it down to how society and social media defined the feminine woman. It was limited to the way a woman was expected to look and that was to have a curvaceous body and proportional body parts, especially breasts and a butt. This definition challenged me, given that I am naturally slender and do not have much body fat  (any fat would either be deposited on my cheeks or my belly..). Hence I always felt inadequate to this definition of being feminine. I also based my degree of femininity on how males would perceive me, and how attractive I was to them. Once again this was very externally driven and limited to the physical which did not serve me whatsoever.

It is only until now, at the age of 24 that I am finally comfortable, accepting and loving my energetic, fully functioning body. I am now defining the word feminine in a way that serves me and I hope I can extend your definition of what it is to be feminine also.

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To me, being feminine is putting myself first, knowing what I deserve and giving myself, my body the best of things. I make sure to feed myself with the most amazing foods, foods that are most nutritious, energizing and healingFood I know will repair and build my body, give me the energy I want to carry out my day, my purpose, to heal my PCOS, my skin, improve my gut and brain health and my immunity.

Having said that,  it is just as important I feed myself with kind, loving and compassionate thoughts.  Because,

where the mind goes the body follows.

And there is absolutely no point if you have a healthy body but not a healthy mind. 

With every new day, work is to be done in this area. In the end, you are your own biggest critic but I have developed a way to treat myself as if I would to my best friend- supportive, kind and loving. This has really helped me instill self-belief, pursue things that resonates with me and I am a lot kinder to myself and have shut off a lot of the negative self-talk.

With this combination of feeding the body, mind with the best things, you begin to feel like the queen, the princess, the woman that you are. IMG_0416.FAV

Furthermore, I now associate being feminine to how well my body functions and listening to what my body wants, craves and needs. Most importantly I place my femininity on my menstrual cycle. Women, girls, we operate in cycles, and our energy levels, our moods ebb and flow. Its okay to not have energy every single day, not be as productive as you were week ago and now feeling inward instead of being social. Being in tune to your body’s signals is what makes me feel feminine and appreciative to the intricate chemical, feedback loops that exists within the body.

Having your period signals proper functioning. It signals alignment and that you are able to have children in the future.

It’s your natural rhythm, its  life force.

You know girls, you can also be feminine through the way you speak, your tone, your smile and the words you choose to communicate. Speaking out of infinite love to anyone (and this doesn’t necessarily mean saying things like I love you to strangers) but just speaking with good intentions,  you can feel closer to the feminine divine. You can also be feminine through the way you move your body. The way you carry yourself when you walk and move when you exercise, run, dance. I feel feminine when I run and when I am doing yoga sun salutations. I feel warmth, blood is flowing, air is circulating and feel very connected to my body. I also feel feminine when I dance, not needed for anyone but myself.

As women, we are well recognised for our nurturing and supportive qualities. Hence you can feel feminine by just surrounding yourself with the women in your life that genuinely support you, want the best things for you and help you evolve into the best version of yourself. Talking about our challenges, about our days to others also releases a feel-good hormone- oxytocin which is the general well-being hormone for women. In addition, it is important to be kind and compassionate to others, not see women as competition (we are all the same ladies) and to appreciate the qualities and the beauty that men bring for themselves as well.

Hence, my definition of what it is to be feminine has got nothing to do with the physical. My definition is about self-care, self-love, self-worth and being kind and compassionate to others. I hope you are able to take some of my insights on board and perhaps see being feminine in a much healthier light if your definition was previously limited to the physical just like mine.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be masculine if you are a woman. I find that I am more masculine when I am working in my current role- I get quite competitive and driven and that’s completely fine with me. We all come with both masculine and feminine traits and you can come up with whatever blends you like.

All woman are absolutely divine.

Please share this to any women you care about and would enjoy reading this.

Love Cherie

Acknowledge the self

Lately I’ve experienced loneliness. And I’m not afraid to say it. This has got nothing to do with depression. I have purpose, I am motivated, I have things I want to do, to achieve. I am just at a time in my life where I literally am not in contact with anyone I have found interesting or want to get to know them further. I don’t feel like telling others my interests, what I do for  living, what I’m studying. I don’t feel like repeating my life story, and being told that its ‘cool’, ‘interesting’ or ‘unique’. Everyone is unique. However, I do feel like I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. In my last post, I wrote about wanting to truly get comfortable with myself and be my most authentic self. Hence I feel like this is why I am not open to meeting anyone yet as I am still on this task to doing so. I guess being lonely for now is the best thing for me.

Come to think of it, the universe has arranged this perfectly for me. I am preoccupied with my work, my studies, experimenting and creating stuff, healing my body, my skin, handling family situations, following my path and for the time I have to not do any of the above, I choose to be outside, to run, to light up candles and to write. Now putting logic to this, there is literally no room for another. There is structure in my day and there wouldn’t be much time for someone else if I continue to do all these things. No wonder I’ve pushed them away.

Strange, one of my favourite YouTube-rs  Sarah Nagel reminded me of the only thing I  had taken away from economics class. And that is ‘opportunity cost-‘ when undertaking one action comes at the expense of another. Now, Sarah creates beautiful content. Her videos are impeccably filmed and edited. She reveals the beautiful life she has created for herself, one filled with her immensely large crystal collection, her crafts, her cooking, her top quality flower essences and essential oils, her new jewelry line. She lights up surrounded by these things. And even though she has managed to create this amazing life for herself, I could not help but get a sense of loneliness in her videos. She was always a private person (or I may just be getting the wrong idea),  but perhaps this impression was just a reflection of myself.

These couple months, I have really worked towards surrounding myself with beautiful things, and not just material wise. I’ve been dreaming bigger, following my intuition, asking for more, believing in myself and getting the things I want. I’ve been giving my body the best of things, treating it with extra care, kindness and love. I’ve been having all the food I desire and doing all the things I want. All this in exchange of my time and my energy. And I am happy to devoting all of it for myself. Never have I felt so confident, purposeful, believed in myself and recognised my self-worth. I am coming to love all my flaws, all my emotions, my head space. It now just comes down to me being comfortable with this loneliness and fully accepting that if I want to continue on with my structured days, doing all the things I want at the standard that I want, it will make it difficult for others slash near impossible to come in. I guess its all about give and take. And coming out of a relationship of which all I did was give, I am not ready to let all of the amazing things I’ve created reside just yet, I am not willing to step down to these current feelings of empowerment just yet.

I started to write about this as my loneliness has became even more apparent, especially before bed time. But I am reminded by the blissful moment I experienced last night as I came home from the gym. I came home to a lovely cooked meal mum left for me. I sat on my own at the dining table and the thought arose- it would be nice to have someone next to me, eat this amazing food with me or have me cook for them. But then I reflected on all the things I have.  I’ve been doing really well at work, I’ve been consistent at moving my body, I enjoy my morning and evening routine, I am safe, I am loved. And so right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

 

An update to Courageous Action

My Skin

I’ve read the forecast of October’s full moon. I am no astrologist but it says something about standing in your truth and shining our identities. For me, I’ve been having this urge to show my true self and be my most authentic self. This is just something I feel so strongly about and have pushed it to the forefront with my intentions  for the month, for the year, and probably for the rest of my life. I want to accept, feel comfortable and be happily living in my most natural state.

What I’m mainly associating this with, is my skin. And you may think that this is no big issue, but my skin is something that has deeply affected me physically, mentally, and emotionally for many years. And lately, I’ve just been sick of covering up my face. I’ve always used natural makeup and never put it on heavily, but I just want to get to a stage where I wont put any makeup on whats so over. And  I believe I will get there. I believe that my hormones will balance, my inflammation will reside, my cycle will be regular and I will experience harmony within my body and my skin will heal.

In my previous post about courageous action, I mentioned that I began stepping out of the house without any makeup on. I treated myself with care on that day, I went to my favourite cafe, sat at the park to eat my meal and made my way to uni. I was so proud of myself and that day I got to experience my skin doing its thing. I know that it knows how to restore and balance itself out. I just got to give it the love, the patience and faith.

Today I went to get a massage in the city and chose not to put any make up on. I’ve had a lot of acne recently, around my forehead, chin and so my skin is looking severely inflamed. But I wanted to fully enjoy getting a massage and to walk on the street bare faced, in my most natural state- this is who I am. And it was so god dam scary. The owner made a comment about my face, I was just waiting for it. Tuns out, she is an acupuncturist who specializes with skin and confidently assured me that acupuncture will help settle my skin. And given that I’ve experienced benefits with my current acupuncturist, I knew that also. I realized that the more I put myself in these uncertain situations, doing courageous acts, like Mastin Kipp said all along- Fear is a compass showing you where to go. The more answers I find,  the more I find the right people to help me out. And this lady gave me faith, faith that my skin will heal and that I am on the right track.