Choose now to live your Life in Balance. Beauty. Harmony.
... Welcome to Angels By The Sea: where Intuition Meets Nutrition.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Ocean healing, Isle of Man

Just today I had the most amazing animal experience.

Have you?  Ever had something change in your life, and an animal has stepped forward?  Did you fall off a swing and your dog came up to sit with you to lick your salty tears?  Did you get a heartbreak and your cat was your shadow?  Were you alone for a winter in a foreign city, but became friends with a bird, squirrel, or rabbit?

This morning I walked our beach with a confused heart over a female friend.  Something caught my eye in the sea- i looked, but couldn't see anything.  I think I am imagining it.  

I stop to offer my sadness to the sea.  Staring out with soft eyes.  Listening to the gentle whoosh, wave + shore.  And up pops a head.  It is looking at me.  No fear.  All curious.  Even... inviting.  

Next I do something I wouldn't have hesitated to do in Australia- anywhere on the east coast!- and yet, in over 5 years, I've never done in the UK.  I entered the ocean.  I waded in, in my running gear, and the sea wasn't cold.  
I waded past the breakers, where the gentle swell lapped up to my chest and took my breath away.  And I sang to the Seal, to call him to me.  I want to see your big eyes, full of compassion and love.  I want to touch you.  I want you to take my pain away.  I want to feel love, again.

He disappeared and popped back up, more times than a few!  Then he was joined by another- grey head this time!  I was too chicken to go swimming.  But I loved that he was playing with me.  The experience cleansed me like nothing else.

Back at home, I googled what a Seal appearing in your life means.  I'd like to share it with you:   

"Seal, Sea Lion: Symbol of The Inner Voice

By Ina Woolcott

Seal's medicine includes protection during change, dreaming and lucid dreaming, imagination, creativity, protection from danger, movement through emotions, the inner voice

Seals as sea mammals, are highly symbolic of our feeling, sensual selves. The seal helps us to remember our connection to our deep inner rhythms, feelings, and knowing, as represented by the sea. Seal being a good swimmer and knowing how to flow with the ever changing current, reminds us how to swim with the current. When we do this the negative feelings we have created such as worry, fear and anxiety are released from our minds. If seal enters your life, you are being asked to review the ebb and flow of your thoughts and emotions and find and keep up a point of balance.
Water is a creative element and symbolises the feminine imagination and intuition. If the seal appears in your life, pay close attention to your imagination and insight - in the waking stateand in dreamtime. A lot of what you imagine generally has a strong basis in reality, no matter how far-off it may seem.

They teach those with this totem how to flow, how to hear, and how to discover the deeper mysteries of their true nature. Seals are keepers of wisdom. They reveal to us what is hidden deep within ourselves, and teach us how to integrate our imagination with the reasoning power of the intellect. This will give balance and harmony on all levels.

The seal which is so sleek and gorgeous in the water, teaches us how to feel at home in our bodies, and to uncover our inner beauty. "

Thank you for sharing!  if you have a comment, do add below!  and yes, for some reason, I believe that seal was a "he" :)

Terracotta pizza vs. ...

Last night we were on a mission to test Jamie Oliver.

As a long-time purveyor of pizzas-from-scratch; I needed to test that the terracotta pizza dish from Jamie's homewares line, Jamie at Home, could become the new cooking and serving plate of choice (because no matter how delicious, a black tin fresh and smokin'from the oven just doesn't serve up pretty.)

Before the girls arrived, I prepped two fresh pizzas. Toppings of homemade tomato passata, sliced green pepper and chorizo; just like Guiseppe at Brindisi of Stirling taught my husband, and husband taught me (don't worry! I streeeetched out the learning process! YUM.) ... topped with a mixture of cheddar + mozzarella, doused in fresh black pepper and drizzled with our own chilli oil.

It's not warm here, so both rested on the bench for about half an hour while we warmed into the Jamie party, ooohed and ahhed over the goodies, and gossiped about his cooking. 
I explained the challenge, then at 220C for 16 minutes into the oven the pizzas went. Terracotta plate on top shelf... I somehow felt I had to give it a hand!

When the pizzas came out we poured another glass of wine each, and speculated for another ten minutes before the final test!

QU's for YOU:

  1. Did the pizza cooked in the terracotta Jamie dish brown on the underside at all?
  2. Which pizza was crispier/drier at the sides?
  3. Which seemed to have more moisture evaporated?
  4. Which was tastier?
  5. Which would make a gorgeous dish to make or bring; armed only with your Jamie Oliver pizza wheel & spatula, no extra serving dish required?

To find the answers, have a Jamie Party on the Isle of Man!!! only kidding!; you just do that to get the recipe :) (email me here)

So, honestly.if you aswered:

  1. Yes- slightly
  2. The pizza cooked in the tin
  3. The pizza cooked in the tin
  4. Equally tasty
  5. The Jamie Oliver terracotta dish- so stylish, definitely deserves a gorgeous pizza wheel on it's arm!

then you really and truly didn't need to read this- except- did you know- Jamie Oliver has a tin pizza tray in his homewares selection as well! can't wait for the next test!

In sum, even though I am a Jamie at Home consultant; I was initially skeptical.  But the beautiful way the terracotta presents really did take the cake- ahem, pizza- over the tin.

as a little tip, for a browned base all the way through,  I'll make the terracotta plate REALLY hot in the heated oven first before gently placing my pre-prepared pizza on it, next time.

Loving the recipes in Jamie's Great Britain- new number 1 bestseller (interesting review here) if you believe I can give you a copy at £24 off the rrp... please get in touch or leave a comment below!

What to bring to a Jamie Oliver Party

A few new friends & I enjoyed the most delicious Jamie at Home Party last night.

When you host a Jamie At Home, it's not compulsory you're a dynamite DIY cook- a bag of crisps and some cut up carrots would be enough! Guests that don't bring their own wine are after a glass of water or cup of tea- easy!- and the conversation is aways. So. Good.

I'm experimenting with food these days. The experiment is to take the tastes we love; the tastes we may be secretly addicted to; and ease us ourselves out of it gently. So I home-made these muffin-tin quiches for the party. Aren't they cute? Leek & cheese, salt n pepper the only filling. 

Yes, I used ready-roll puff pastry. But it's a really healthy take on any store-bought alternative filled with g-knows-what. 

They are lacto-ovo vegetarian (check your pastry to make sure it doesn't contain animal fats) and low sugar, too.

See the crispy bottoms?
So simple.

Here's how!

I used 2/3 block "just-rol" or enough thin refrigerated puff-pastry discs to fill 18 regular muffin-pan holes.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200/380
  • Lightly grease & flour a muffin baking tray. Using a large mug (Jamie's Mug in a Tin works perfect!) or pastry cutter, place pastry discs in the muffin tray. The pastry discs need only to come up a quarter or half of the sides of the muffin space as it puffs up and protects/forms remarkably!
  • Pierce the bottoms of the "muffins" with a fork and pre-bake in your oven for 10 mins. Meanwhile...
  • Bring a small fry-pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon butter with a tiny bit of olive oil (prevents the butter burning) Slice 1 large leek up to the darker green bit, and sautee in the butter/oil, gently, for 10 mins. We want the leeks softly brown.
  • Whisk 4 large eggs with a fork or egg whisk in a jug. Season with salt n pepper. Grate 100g cheddar cheese into the mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pull the muffin tray from the oven. Add about a teaspoon of leeks to each pastry, and top with a tablespoon or more of the egg n cheese mixture. 
  • Pop back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until pastry is brown around the edges... now, you'll have a delightful mini-quiche bubbling with melted cheese! delicious served with a green salad and fresh tomato salsa.

I really enjoy sharing with you healthy inexpensive dishes for entertaining! We were just 4 ladies and hostess Anna got to order £40 of goodies at no charge from the Jamie Oliver catalogue. Hope to share a party with you soon! send me a message here to get one before Christmas!

What do you take, or make, for a party that's inexpensive with a healthy twist? Do share with us, as party season begins!  Pop your comments below!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to cook Quinoa- with a little help from my friends

Yesterday I was blessed to meet some lovely health-conscious souls at Holland & Barrett health foods.  We had lots in common- a desire for a delicious dairy alternative (I use Kara Coconut milk), quest to perfect our Gluten-free baking (Karina's Kitchen is my go to for this; so much information for gluten-free living!) and a LOVE of Quinoa.  But the question kept on popping up-  how to cook quinoa?

When I came home the hubs had chopped up some organic chicken and was at a loss on what to cook it with.  I felt like some fresh corn tortillas with lots of spicy vegetables, but he was hunting in the pantry for couscous, as he felt like "something light and not doughy" to go with the chicken.  As I've been slowly ousting the wheat and gluten from our diets there wasn't any couscous to be found; but we did have a great supply of quinoa, and dinner just fell into place after what I'd been chatting to others about all day!
yum. thanks to the Dinner Mom for this Curried chicken quinoa pic! 
How to cook Quinoa

Store-bought quinoa has usually been washed and air dried but always rinse the grain to get rid of any chaff or mold (uncommon if you buy pre-packaged quinoa, but best to take precautions as we do with any grains).  Quinoa isn't a grain in actual fact; it's a complete protein from the family of spinach.  This family contains saponin which can taste bitter; soaking the quinoa for 5 minutes before cooking, then rinsing once more further minimises the saponin effect.

I cook quinoa easily using the "absorption method"; the traditional (and in my experience, easiest) way to cook rice. Here's how:

  1. Oil a saucepan and heat it on high.
  2. Add 1 cup of quinoa and toast it on high for half a minute in the saucepan
  3. Add enough boiling water (I pour it straight from the kettle) to cover the quinoa + 1 centimetre.  Stir the pot, turn the heat down to low, and pop on the lid.  Your quinoa will be ready in 9-12 minutes!

You can tweak this basic recipe so easily:

  • to make a tasty savoury quinoa, add a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon or half a stock cube when adding the hot water.  A dab of butter at this time really amplifies the taste.
  • to make a porridge-type breakfast or sweet dessert quinoa, use milk, single cream or your favourite dairy substitute instead of the boiling water.  Bring up to near-boiling point before lowering the heat and popping on the lid of the pot.

I always use my nutrition school's concept of "cook once, eat twice" with wholegrains, so as we watch the Rugby World Cup final this morning we'll have a beautiful bowl of Breakfast Quinoa; adapted from the Savvy Vegetarian , to fuel us for the day.

Many thanks to Chris and Mandy at Holland & Barrett Douglas for the chance to meet your customers to share my passion for healthy living and the transformative power of Health Coaching.  It was a lovely experience.  And welcome to a healthy circle, all new friends!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Secret Carrot Cake (& Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies)

When you have people over there is SO much to do, isn't there?  It's not just "Get-the-vacuum and those-shoes-out-of-the-hallway".  It's rubbing off those smears down the wall that we actually don't mind unless someone else is looking; the fresh flowers to be brought in, cut and arranged which we really should do every week regardless of visitors or not!; improvements to the general scent about the place and shininess of the bathroom that needs attending to. Who has time to bake a fresh cake, leaving the home in a fuggy scent of warmth and spice, and present it frosted and freshly cut to guests?

Me. And You!  with this recipe.
The most discerning of my foodie friends and acquaintances (chef, naturopath, bakery-owner, primary teacher who gets lots of free baked goodies brought to her, tv crew of Come Dine With Me) just adore this cake. The secret?  it's prepped in 5 minutes, has three ingredients and is fool-proof delicious- especially with my Healthy Frosting for Dummies.

The 3 ingredients are:
1 packet of Wrights baking Carrot Cake mix
1 cup of chopped dates
1 cup hot water.

On the pack it suggests you'll need the packet, oil and water.  I'm sorry this recipe contains gluten; and I do feel a little guilty that it's basically a packet mix with a wholesome twist- hence the secret! But I'm not sorry that we can swap the 1/4 cup vegetable oil for a cup of dates soaked in hot water.
Have your cake- and don't feel so bad about eating it, too!

how to...

  1. Boil the kettle and in a heat proof bowl, cover the dates with a cup of hot water.  
  2. Leave for 10-15 mins until lukewarm, then add the packet mix and whisk for 1 min with an electric beater or 3 mins by hand.  If the mixture isn't sloppy enough to pour, add warm water whilst mixing to loosen.  Don't over mix or the cake will become tough and lose it's dense muffin-type chewiness.
  3. Leave to cook in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees/300F for approx 50 minutes in a lined loaf tin until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  

(Visitors coming?  You need a game plan.  I love to:
clean the house, 
make the cake
pop it in the oven
make myself ready
bring it out of the oven
set up the drinks display, ice and lemon
make the icing
receive my guests
after they've warmed up a bit with a drink and some chat, I go back into the kitchen to ice the cake
lovely photo from
then serve it
in that order :)

My Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies is thick greek yoghurt with just a bit of honey stirred through it.  Spread over the cake thickly, and sprinkle generously with dessicated coconut.

I hope you try it!  No matter how rustic it looks sliced into thick chunks...

(I believe... ) our guests don't remember whether there was a black mark on the wall.
They remember the lovely warm smell of baking when coming into a home, enjoying  refreshing cup of tea with cake, and how they got to take a big chunk of it home!

What's your secret recipe confession?  Do share, below!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why exercise?

Happy Saturday, Beautifuls!  what's on your agenda this weekend?  What's on your must-do list?  Is exercise?

Lately I've become really passionate about exercise.  Surprise!  As a personal trainer, massage therapist & health coach I'm not always inspired, it's true!  Here are the top 4 things that dampen my desire to work out:
the weather.  Wind & rain, namely here.
high tide.  sounds crazy but most of my fitness involves the beach.  when I look out the window and there's hardly any sand; I delay and delay, not wanting to pound the pavement
"rest days".  Rest days are so important for hard trainers.  But a 20 minute run a day does not neccessarily entitle us to a rest day.  In my book.
Summer sun & crowds.  I know.  there I was just complaining about the rain (maybe I am truly turning British!)  But I hate dodging dogs on leads, kids with balls and teenagers licking icecreams, walking hand in hand.  Maybe that's a little bah-humbug- but it's just no fun for me.

What are your big exercise turn-offs?

Lucky no matter how many reasons I have NOT to exercise, I have a bigger YES inside of me.

I run for freedom.  
I exercise to be stronger, more agile, more aware.
I run to stay younger, longer
I run to read the weather, to look for changes in my environment, to feel the energy of the day.
I run because I can.  
And because I know too many people who can't.

I run because I love to eat "treat" foods, and I want to "keep" my figure (the figure exercise has given me!)
I run so I can always run.  
I cartwheel so I can always cartwheel.  
I want to bounce back from anything life's going to sling at me.  
I want to keep feeling good.

hardly scientific.
But that's why I exercise.

What's your excuse? :)

push past the pain.  inspire yourself.  even a little...

Oprah: Do you think you are stronger than you need to be?
Martha Stewart: I'm even physically stronger than I have to be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What do you cook for the "Cosy" feeling? Free recipe book! 
We all need inspiration when the seasons change and our regular go-to meals just don't satisfy us anymore.  So here it is, Angels!  My nutrition school has published a free Healthy Autumn Recipe eBook with 25 easy, seasonal dishes!

You can use this eBook for inspiration during the cooler fall months so you can cosy up with delicious, grounding foods that are nourishing and satisfying. 
Graduates of Integrative Nutrition have been taught how to make healthy food taste great; making the most of vitamin packed local, seasonal body and life- enriching foods.  Now you can, too!
Download your free recipe book here. It’s only available for a short time! When you fill out the form to grab your free book, pop "samantha honey-pollock" in the name of who sent it to you!  This will help me attend a school event- thank you so much, Angels!
a few of the recipes you’ll get are:
  • Baked Cilantro (Coriander) Salmon
  • Tuscan Beans & Green Soup
  • Babaghanous ~ Eggplant, anyone?  YUM!
  • Butternut Fries
  • Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
  • Lemon Power Bites
Delicious, no? Get the free book and cook up some cosy feeling!
Have you cooked a recipe from the recipe book yet?  Do share, below!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Simply delicious. for when the nights & purse-strings draw in...

hello beautiful health angels... do you love, as I do, to pounce on the pulses as the nights draw in?

Isn't life's tapestry so beautiful, as it weaves itself?  This morning husby & I focused on our household spendings, and were shocked by our cost of living.  We don't consider ourselves to live luxuriously; our usual treats are dinner out once a week; a couple of meals here at home when we spoil each other by cooking with the finest ingredients and match it with a lovely wine; a weekend away every season.  We live very well- feel super blessed!-, but hardly living it large...

Still, we were not pleasantly surprised at the cost!  And so we have decided to have a simple season here on our cold British Isle.  And so to lunch... where we discovered, quite by accident, en route to a split pea soup with leftover ham, the most delicious dish that's going to be one of my autumn and winter staples.  Check out the vital statistics and tell me if you're not in love, too!
  • Can feed a family of four for under £3.  
  • Vegetarian & deliciously balanced in proteins, 
  • Filling and wholesome 
  • Low carbon footprint
  • Ready in just over half an hour (you don't even have to stand watching it!) 
  • Prepared in 3 steps
  • Uses 4 ingredients; and 1 of them is water

I like to call it Yellow Split Peas with Creme Fraiche.

It's not a soup.  It's what happens when you rinse and cover 2 cups of spilt Yellow Peas with cool water, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes with a shake or two of salt.  Then add a cup more water, and simmer another 15 minutes.  The peas won't be mushy; still nicely formed; soft yet chewy.  A la risotto, all the water will have been absorbed. 

Scoop up a big bowlful each and add a dollop of creme fraiche.  If you like to get fancy, snip some chives or sprinkle a few fresh parsley leaves on top!; but you will not believe the simple sublime dish that is just a sunny bowl of split peas.

Did you know?  Eating an animal protein, such as cheese, yoghurt, eggs or milk, with legumes and pulses acts to "unlock" the essential amino acids the body cannot digest in pure vegetables alone, and so creates a complete protein.

And here's the price: 1 bag Dried yellow split peas from Waitrose  £1.49
Local creme frache  £1.62
salt & water... £0.20

warm fuzzies this Autumn to you!

What's your favourite low-cost, feel good feed?  Share your thoughts, below!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Get your Vitamin L here! (exciting guest post!)

Happy weekend, beautifuls!  It's my delicious joy to bring you a guest post here by one of the brightest well-beans on the web ~  the fabulous Erin from Well in LA

After reading her love list I'm sure you'll feel the Vitamin L oozing from her words and be inspired to make a LOVE list of your own!  Do check out her lovely links and sign up for your daily dose of Well- Erin's is a world of helping others bring out the best in themselves, and is always happy to share her cheery sunshine.  Over to you, Erin!

"Today’s post is brought to you by VITAMIN L! What is Vitamin L, you ask? Is it in my daily multi-vitamin? Can I buy it from my local health foods store? Or is it available next to the flax seed oil at the store? The answer is "no", but I hope it's a part of your daily intake! Vitamin L is necessary to survival – as necessary as air – we all need it to live, to thrive and be well. It's difficult to overdose on Vitamin L and there's no threshold for how much you should have daily. 

Vitamin L… is Love. I hope that each of you have love in your lives. Giving and receiving love. It is vital to our existence, our health and our futures. Celebrate the abundance of Vitamin L in your life! It spans continents, seas and the entire planet. Can you feel it? Better yet, can you acknowledge its sources in your life and how BLESSED you are to have it filling all the nooks and crannies of your being? 

I encourage you to take on a little exercise and make a list of the places you find and receive Vitamin L in your life. Write your VITAMIN L list in the comments below or share them on Facebook or Twitter - wherever you feel like sharing. Celebrate all the love you have in your life and the things that bring you joy!

To get this party started, I'm sharing my LOVE list: 
  • The first and last strawberries of the season, so I can make my favorite treat (hence the photos!) 
  • Connecting with old friends and making new ones (like the incredible Samantha!!)
  • Long phone conversations with my parents
  • Beaches, Oceans & bodies of water 
  • Learning, learning, learning & reading, reading, reading 

  • Fresh fruits & veggies that nourish my body and soul  
  • Movement, yoga and riding a bicycle vs. driving my car 
  • Watching a movie or play that draws you in and makes you forget where you are  
  • My person, my partner and one of my best friends – life with you is amazing  
  • Humanity and kindness applied  
  • My niece – I know she's going to be incredible in every way  
  • My family, my extended family and friends who have become family to me  
  • Sunshine, except for a few glorious rainy days 
  • A glass of wine  
  • Laughter  
  • Music  
  • Sharing my passion for life as a wellness coach and making it my career!

Thank you so much, Erin, for your inspiration!  
LOVE your love list!

What's on your love list this weekend?
Share with us on facebook:  Erin at Well in LA
me at Angels by the Sea ;
or below!