Archives for October 2013

How to manage your email and remain focused in your life

Using texts, email, Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms we can now be in constant contact. This is great but it can be overwhelming. The smartphone made all this communication even more accessible. You can now read this blog post on your mobile, email someone and use social media, wherever you are. I love technology and I love all these different ways I can communicate and share with people all over the world. As a yogi I also don’t want to let the technology overwhelm and distract my mind. As a busy, self employed yoga teacher I don’t want it to undo my productivity. As a human being I don’t want it to take over my life.

I still remember being taught how to write an email. It wasn’t that long ago. I was 18 and it was 1998 and yet now 15 years later it is rare to find someone who doesn’t use email at all.  Many of us receive hundreds of emails a day. The invention and growing popularity of the smart phone makes email even more accessible throughout the day.

As a busy professional who moves around teaching yoga this is great.  My iPhone and more recently my ipad allows me to interact with my students wherever I am.

The first few years I had my iPhone I had it set to automatically update my inbox. So every time I got an email it would go bing. Bing…..bing…bing, all day long. After a while I  became conditioned to the bing. Actually when you’re in the middle of some work it can be a welcome distraction to check your email but utterly unproductive. If your inbox is busy you could spend your entire day checking email. Believe me I have been there.

Sometimes your brain needs a break from all this bombardment. Some tasks require you to focus your mind in an uninterrupted way. Your job may require you to keep up to date with emails.  Mine does. I love getting emails from my students, it’s a great way to communicate with them outside of class. So what’s the answer? Here is some tips that have helped me.
Check emails 1 -5 times per day. I check mine around 3 times but what works for you will depend on your job.

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  • If an email is urgent or can be responded in less than 3 minutes, reply straight away.
  • Have a folder for emails that you don’t want to respond to or read straight away. Check this folder daily – read, respond, delete or file.
  • Delete unwanted email.
  • Clear your inbox daily, your mind will get clearer too.
  • If you need to really focus on something place your phone on silent

It’s good to be flexible, rather than rigid. When on holiday I check my email once daily. If I am having an important email conversation I might check it more often. If it gets out of hand I go back to my rules. What is important is to fully engage with whatever you are doing.  When checking email, check email, when writing write, when thinking, think – focus your mind, be here, you can not be everywhere – here is where it is at.Do you find emails distracting? How often do you check your email in day? Do you have any emailing tips?

 

Tempeh Courgettes – A new healthy recipe that tastes as good as it looks

Are you looking for great tasting healthy food recipes?  It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of eating the same meals. It makes sense, life gets busy and after a busy day you just have to eat.  Every once in a while though it’s nice to try something different isn’t it?

I posted a picture of this  delicious meal, which Marc made for our lunch last week, my Facebook page.  Many of you liked and commented on the picture and there was a request for the recipe, here it is:

Tempeh Courgette’s (created by my partner Marc)

Ingredients

Courgettes stuffed with tempeh

Every bit as delicious as it looks

2 large courgettes (or zucchini if you want to sound exotic)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion chopped very finely
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
A pinch of seaweed, dulse, or nori (use instead of salt)
1/2 (8-ounce) pack of tempeh, crumbled
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced (grown by Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool student Helen)
1 large tomato, diced (or a few small ones)
1/4 cup vegan stock
Yeast flakes

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400ºF or Gas mark 6
Slice each courgettes in half lengthwise, then scoop out the insides. Discard the insides, use them for something else or compost them.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and spices (chili powder through paprika). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tempeh, corn, and jalapeños and cook until they’re beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes, continuing to stir often. Add the tomatoes and stock to the saucepan and cook until the liquid has absorbed, about 2 minutes more. Stir in yeast flakes here if using them and season to taste with seaweed flakes.
Fill each courgette half with the tempeh mixture, then top with some more yeast flakes. Transfer courgettes to a baking dish or sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned.
top with a sprinkling of coriander and serve.

Wonderful complementary salad

Dressing ingredients

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp organic balsamic vinegar
1 large satsuma (or 2 small ones) – juiced
2 tsp agave nectar

Mix some organic wild rocket, baby spinach and baby red chard together in a salad bowl
add organic mushrooms, tomatoes and onion.
Mix dressing together and add enough for salad mixture.
Serve and enjoy!

What is tempeh and where can I buy it in Liverpool

It was our first time buying Tempeh.  We bought ours from the frozen section at Mattas on Bold Street.  You can buy yeast flakes and nori flakes at Mattas as well. Tempeh is less processed than tofu and contains more protein and fibre.  It is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians, vegans and the curious meat eater looking for healthy options.  I am not a nutritionist, I just love food and the great energy living a healthy lifestyle gives me.

Have you ever tried tempeh?  What did you do with it? What interesting recipes have you cooked recently, share with our community.