Friday, March 30, 2012

Winter's coming

It was positively arctic this morning when I left my cosy house at 4:30am to teach. Decided to pull another bonkers day ie. teach the 7pm last night, get home at 10pm and teach again at 5:45am this morning, then do a days work in the office. I'm actually feeling fine now at 4pm. As long as I'm mentally prepared it works out okay.

Anyway it was a bit of a chilly start, only reached 23 Celsius all day (I know hardly cold for most). Time to pull out the leg warmers!! I got so obsessed with these in LA. They came in so handy for evening posture clinics to keep my legs warm over capris. I even started wearing them all the time, over everything. Love them!! The craze caught on, all the cool kids were wearing them by the end of November. I had an awesome pair as a child growing up in the 80's that my mum actually hand knitted for me! Oh & of course the regulation pink one's for ballet class. Secretly I always wanted to be a "Kid From Fame," slight set back I can not sing, dance or act.

Fret not, I can live out my "Fame" fantasy with the leg warmers that are back again this winter. Lululemon stocked them last winter but deep down I knew Perth was not ready for leg warmers so decided against it. After spending Autumn in LA where they were going OFF, I didn't care anymore, I was bring leg warmers home to Perth. Sadly I could not get my mitts on a pair of much loved Lulu warmers, they sold out in FOUR hours at the local shop in LA. I had to make do with staring at my friend's pair during posture clinic, she snagged in Santa Monica.

To my great pleasure an email alerted me the warmers were back in Perth. I hot footed myself over there and I was officially the first person to buy them. I know this as they weren't even on the shelves yet. I rave about this brand as unlike the other pairs I have these one's do not fall down. They are good quality and haven't pulled or gone baggy yet, yes they are worth the pricey tag. Keeping my legs toasty at the studio during sign without the hazard of wearing socks on the polished wood floors. (unless you're into skidding around like Bambi). Happy camper. 

Unfortunately for my bank balance I couldn't resist the Rest Day Pull Over either. I'd looked at it previously the other week and walked away. Must have been the happy high of the leg warmers that I bought them a friend.

It shall be winter soon enough, time to rug up and keep warm! 

Warm, toasty, polished floor safe, love 'em!

I got the black version


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can't please everyone

One of the hardest things about teaching is not taking feedback too personally. We all hate being criticized or put down. Everyone has different takes on classes, likes different things, opinions. Which is great. If we all were in the same mind set life would be very boring wouldn't it. The trick is to extract what you need, take note and use the feedback positively.

I'm writing about this as I had some feedback last week that made me mentally say "really?" Usually students have something to say about the heat. It's the biggest hang up as a student. "Was it hotter today? What was the humidity? Oh it was really hot today!" Like a well behaved robot I usually answer with the bog standard, "It's not hot, you're hot!" or "no, no, same as usual," which it usually is, I don't like lying. 

If I think the heat is off the scale I try my best to get it back to normal, we teachers have our ways. There are some clear signs when it might be getting a little tough. I'm getting pretty clued up on the body language as to when people 'think' they need some air circulation or 'actually' do. If a student yells out "we need air" all the more reason not to give into demands - kinda like a hostage situation!!! Don't get me wrong I'm not mean or anything, I don't want people to pass out but it's not up to the student to dictate, it's part of the challenge. Mind over the matter. 

Anyway the feedback from last week. A student complained there was TOO MUCH fresh air coming in. A few weeks ago my mentor made a point in one of my classes I was killing them, no enough air & pointed out the signs to spot. This has made me very conscious of reading the signs. The energy was great, my six newbies were rocking so I wanted to keep it up therefore I may have been generous with the air. The point of the air we have here is to get the circulation going so students can breath, it does not cool the room down. If you're directly under the vent it may feel a touch chilly. No one else complained it was too cold, the students actually looked quite jolly leaving, instead of dragging their sorry selves to the car park. 

I tried not to take it too personally, you can't please everyone. It was however refreshing (excuse the pun) to not hear a feedback about the heat!!

Hot Yoga Girl hits 100

Fellow BYTT Fall 11 graduate the Hot Yoga Girl posted this awesome piece on 35 things about teaching 100 classes. All the way through I was nodding and saying "me too!" Everyone teaches a different class, as we are all unique personalities. The core (the dialogue) is the same every time but we all inject something a little different. It was a pleasure to read this, I feel so proud of my TT buddies, we've all come so far from that first delivery of Half Moon last September, now we are teachers!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tips for Bikram Yoga Teacher Training

I was going to write this one myself but I never got it finalized, I put it down & never got back to it. Fret not, my awesome TT/Posture group buddy/class Valedictorian Steven wrote this brilliant piece that absolutely covers everything I would have written. (Also available on FB TT 2012 group page) Remember this is a personal take, I personally agree with everything here. There are even a few things I never thought about which would have helped. (HydroFlask!)

Hi guys,
I know you're getting anxious to "Rock & Roll" so I thought I'd share a few tips for teacher training.  I went to the last training at the Radisson LAX, so hopefully some of this information will be helpful to you. Of course, this is only my perspective and your mileage may vary, so take the advice that rings true for you and ignore anything that doesn't.

The essentials:
Mindset--Change your mind!  It's normal that you're a little nervous and anxious, but don't let that stress you out; This is going to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life--so stop feeling scared about it!  Your goal should not be to merely "survive" but to thrive!  If you find yourself thinking "How am I ever gonna survive this?" try thinking something like "how can I experience as much joy as possible throughout this entire experience?" instead.  When else will you ever have the chance to immerse yourself in yoga for 9 weeks!?!  It's best to have no expectations and just go with the flow. Enjoy it!

Yogawear-- as you buy new yoga clothes think about teaching as well as practicing.  You might look hot in your super short shorts, but you won't be able to teach in them later!  So buy a combination of both.  I highly recommend having 11 kits (one for each class) so that you always have a dry/clean one to put on.  I would rinse mine out after class (get into the shower with my clothes still on) and then hang them up.  After the first few weeks your system is so clean that they're pretty clean just after a rinse, but I'd still wash them every weekend.   Others will tell you differently:  they brought like 4 or 5 pairs and washed them in the sink, etc.  This works ok, but everyone I know who did this tossed their clothes after training!  On the other hand, I still have all clothes I took to training--7 of which I can teach in--and they all still look, smell, and feel good!  You'll need something comfortable you can teach in for posture clinincs, too.

Yoga mat--They sell them in the Bikram store for pretty cheap, so there's no need to fly with one unless you have the space.  Get an extra shower rod for hanging up your mats in the bathroom.  I brought some tea tree and a small sprayer, too, but only used it occasionally.  Again, your system is so clean after a few weeks that a quick rinse is sufficient.  Take a big fat sharpie and put your name on the top of your mat facing away from you (i.e. upside down).  This way the teacher can see it from the front of the room and you can get corrections by name--write big, don't be shy!

Water bottles--40 oz Hydroflask.  Google it now!  They also make a 64 oz one, which I always envied.  Think about what you'll want for both class and lectures.  For me, the 40oz was perfect for class but I always took 80oz of fluids to lectures and posture clinics.  Better to have it and not drink it all than to be sitting in the lecture room (for hours!) thirsty!

Transportation--Make friends with someone who has a car!  If you have a car, guess what?  You just found 3 study buddies who will never leave you.  ;-)  If you have a car, be a sport and loudly announce "I'm driving to Whole Foods, who wants to come?" as you walk out of the hotel.  There are enough people with cars to go around, plus TT will set up shuttles (eventually) and there's a bus station near by.  You can also split a taxi with 2 other people to get your groceries home for relatively cheap.

Laundry--There are a few washers at the hotel, but not enough for 400 people.  I recommend going out for breakfast Saturday morning and then doing your laundry and grocery shopping. Obviously all 400 of you can't go to the same one, but there are lots around--spread out!  Some people went up to Santa Monica, others down to Redondo Beach.  I usually went to Whale of a Wash in Manhttan Beach.

Food--Listen to your body and give it what it wants!  Don't make the training any harder on yourself than it needs to be!  I saw a lot of unnecessary suffering as people tried to adhere to strict diets (vegan, raw, etc) when their bodies clearly wanted something else.  On the other hand, some people had no problems at all. So, again, listen to your body! There will be plenty of time AFTER training to experiement with fasting, cleansing, mucusless diets, and "no food is the best food" (I highly recommend Maria Rippo's "The Green Smoothie Challenge").  Who knows, one day you might live on prana & positivity alone, but I don't recommend trying that the first weeks of training!!!

No, you're not supposed to cook in the rooms.  Some people did, and some people got caught (I think it was a $250 fine)!  Be smart! If you blow a breaker in the hotel, you're busted.  If the maid and everyone else on your floor can hear your VitaMix going, you're busted!  If you bring appliances, there's a room where you can set them up and use them.  There will be a couple of microwaves provided (obviously that's not really enough for hundreds of people--it's better than 0 though).

The closest grocery stores are the Ralph's and Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods and Costco aren't too far away. There may be farmer's markets on the weekend, too.  Bless you, California.  :-)

If you find the fridge is too small for a week's worth of food, buy a cooler.  If you have a car, you can take it with you shopping and buy a block of ice while you're out.  The ice machines tend to run out of ice before class, so never fill your coolers then!  Do it in the middle of the night, or at other times when there will be several hours for the machine to recover.  Be kind to your fellow yogis!!!

Make sure you have stuff on hand to cover your cravings: Sweet things, salty things, electrolytes, etc.
I went through a lot of raisins, dates, bananas, dried mangos, dark chocolate, grapefruit juice, coconut water, Body Balance (message me), nuts, popcorn (for movies!), really delicious salt, soup, pickles, and sauerkraut (I love the Farmhouse Culture brand--especially the horseradish flavor--available at Whole Foods).  I also had a SodaStream so I could make my own sparkling drinks (you can buy one at BB&B). Don't be surprised or discouraged if the food you're craving on the weekends when you shop isn't what you want to eat during the week at all. And just cause you liked it last week doesn't mean you'll like it this week.  :-)

Restaurants--The hotel has a salad bar and the food is pretty good, though a bit pricey.  A block away there's a Subway and then lots of other stuff a little further away (within walking distance).  The Thai place is great (and delivers), the Greek place is pretty good, too, and there's a Chipotle right down the road (their meat is clean and free range, so this would be a good place to break your veg diet if you're craving meat). On the weekends, I recommend getting away from the yoga bubble and eating out. There's lots of good breakfast spots all over the place.  Some other highlights:  Sushi King in Santa Monica, Monte Alban mexican in West LA, Bistro Du Soleil and Tandoor-A-india in Playa Del Rey.  Lots more... explore!

Dialogue--There's only one way to learn it: verbatim.  You might think it's a typo, you might think it's not English, doesn't matter! Learn it exactly how it's written, word by word.  Everyone learns a different way, so I recommend trying lots of different methods to find which one works best for you.  Whatever you do, work in chunks and take breaks every 20 minutes!  If you stare at the diaogue for hours on end, you're just wasting your time.  Don't forget to sleep, either!  Keep in mind that for most people, it's two distinct processes: getting it in (memorization), and getting it back out (recall).  You'll need both!

Try to learn as much as you can before you get to training.  The more you know, the more you'll sleep. That said, do NOT stress about it, even for one second, ever--it doesn't help.   Most people I saw spent more time stressing about the dialog than actually studying it (I had my moments, too).  Don't focus on what you don't know, focus on what you do know!  If you know Half Moon by the time you get there, you're going to be absolutely fine.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you know it all before training (there will be lots of these people, and you'll learn to love them and ask them for help, not despise them!), you should still stay up late with your study buddies occasionally, otherwise you'll miss out on some of the best parts of training.

You can do some studying on your own, but once you get to training you need to balance that by working with a study buddy (or several).  Make sure you're saying things out loud--in your head doesn't help as much as you think it does!  Eventually, you'll want to have 3 or more bodies in front of you doing the pose as you say the dialogue so can start to see the bodies.  But first things first, you gotta learn the dialogue!

There are too many study methods to write out here so go to the first study session to hear lots of methods that might work for you! The right way is the way that works.  There are lots of different variations around writing it, saying it, hearing it, or some combination.  Common methods: Find a study budy and repeat lines back and forth, 3 lines at a time. Write the dialogue out in your own handwriting a few times (and use it to study). Record yourself saying the dialogue.  Record someone else saying the dialogue. Stand in front of the mirror and read the dialogue to yourself.  In groups, each person can say 1 word (or one line) going around in a circle.  You have no idea what's going to work for you until you try it.

The two methods that worked best for me: Record yourself saying the dialogue. Leave space between each line so you can hear it, then say it back once or twice (especially if your recorder/phone isn't easy to pause and unpause).  Once you think you have it, record the first word (or couple of words) of each line and try to fill in the rest.  Or say the first word, give a pause, then say the rest of the line. etc.

Do the same thing visually:  make "cheat sheets" where you write just the first letter of each word, line by line.  For example, Half Moon would start like this:

It becomes kind of a game, like a sudoku or something, trying to figure out what each word is and when I learned postures this way (solved the puzzle), they seemed to stick very well in short term memory, and with a little review they were transferred into long term memory.  Remember to take breaks!

If that gets too easy, or you can do it when looking at the cheat sheet, but it's still not really in memory, make it harder:

Misc Tips--There's no green allowed at training--not your mat, water bottle, clothes, nada!  The tap water isn't that bad, but we bought jugs of water each week.  There's also a couple of water filters around in the hotel--be warned though, if you all hit them at once they will run out of water (it's a reserve tank, cause the filtration is SLOW). You'll want some easy slip-on, slip-off shoes and maybe a robe or coverup that can get sweaty to go to/from the yoga room.  Buy yourself one of the mini, laminated dialogues as soon as you get there--much nicer than carrying around a binder or folder.  Put more emphasis on listening and staying present during lectures than on note taking.  Take notes, too. :-)  Eventually there will be a place outside to hang up your mats and get a little sun on them.  Don't forget to have some fun and take care of yourself on the weekends--massages, pedis, studying by the pool or on the beach are all nice.  TT is not the time for scarcity, so let yourself feel abundant and expansive.  Boss will say some things that will blow your mind, and many of the things he says won't make since until months (or years?) later! Try to keep an open mind about everything you hear.  Meet everyone you can and make as many friends as possible!  Don't stress! It's just a posture clinic, or it's just an anatomy test--it's not the end of the world.  You'll probably want a nice set of clothes for graduation.  Do your best, every moment, and be kind to everyone around you (especially the staff)--then when you're having your bad day, people will be kind back to you!  Lastly, keep your wrists straight and your knees locked!

I hope to come visit a couple of times, so I look forward to seeing you in posture clinics and in the hot room!

Have a blast! Enjoy every moment! Namaste. Steven

Friday, March 23, 2012

For Future Teachers

It's just three weeks away now Spring 2012 Teacher Training. That has come around quick. Perth is being represented by four students this time. Three from North/South Perth and one from our very own Scarborough Beach. 

I would say from my observations a lot of people go to TT to change their lives. Most are stuck in a job they hate, usually a corporate one. By becoming a yoga teacher gives them an International ticket to teach the Bikram series any where in the world. It is the best job in the world. Assisting in healing broken bodies and screw loose minds. It's very rewarding.

It is also very scary the thought of giving up a solid, weekly salary with benefits & go into the unknown realm of teaching. Will I be good enough, will studios hire me, how will I make ends meet? Endless questions. Like with all jobs of passion some sacrifices have to be made. At the end of the day what you make of it is what you'll get. 

Me personally didn't want to give up my corporate job, I like what I do as a day job very much. Plus I like having my finances secure. If I hated my job then I would get out, even if it meant taking a huge pay cut. I've done it before, I can live like a povo if needs be. My teaching learning curve is probably a lot slower than most but I had a good solid dialogue foundation to start with & great mentors to show me the way. I get three regular, consistent classes to teach & have kept up my personal practice. (not as much as I'd like!) I do feel a little behind my peers who are all reaching their 100 class mark, I'm still around 50 ish, lost count! Quality not quantity hey, hahahaha!

For those who want to become full time teachers take a read of the two posts from The Dancing J. J has made teaching full time work for her and has never been happier. It goes to show you can make it work both ways. 

One word

The lovely Mandi at Cherish productions has been hard at work again making another video clip at BYJ. To commemorate the end of the end of the February 30 Day Challenge students were asked to describe Bikram Yoga in one word. Here is the video, it's rather awesome & so good to see some of the students I teach speaking so passionately about this yoga. (sorry it's not a You Tube so hit the link)

A breakthrough

Yoga is a life time practice. Sometimes you can't help it if you feel like you are in a rut and not progressing. I've mentioned before I've been a bit erratic with my personal practice this year. Juggling all my commitments and finding a balance. I was on a real roll the past few weeks, consistency had returned, I was practicing every other day and getting a minimum of three classes in a week. Great.

Then a slight set back last weekend made sure I could not get back to my mat for five whole days. Realistically I should have not worried about it but I did. What happened to no expectations, no disappointments hey! I fretted that my practice would be crappy, back like it was at the start of the year, no balance, no strength, no focus, nauseous. It was really hard getting up Wednesday morning but I did it. I nearly fell asleep before class laying on my mat. But I was there, I got through the door so let the show begin.

It was great. Complete opposite to what I thought it would be. Five days rest actually revived me. Awkward part 2 was probably the best I've ever done, balance was good, big toe planted and strong. SH2K felt effortless, no tight hamstrings, elbows well below calves, tight grip. Still I fell out before my forehead reached my knee. 

Then the biggest breakthrough happened in head to knee with stretching. I have no problems with getting my forehead on my knee or even my calf with a locked leg and heel off the floor. It's my super tight shoulders that hold me back from getting my elbows to touch the floor next to my calves. I have no idea what I did but I felt elbow to floor contact!!!!! It was like a weight had been lifted from  my shoulders and they had finally released! Shocked.

Okay this got me thinking. What had I done different to get further into this posture or do breakthroughs just happen unexpectedly? I should know the answer to this, which I'd say is that one day it will happen when your body is ready. I'm probably ready then. Also I've been taking good care of myself, I've had two amazing massages this month, nothing like a bit of pampering to get tired muscles awake again.

This small pep me up reignited a flame. I'm always telling my students yoga gives you energy and it's true. That is why despite teaching the 7pm last night (got home at 10pm) I was back up at 4:40am and practiced the 5:45am. Usually I am wacked by Friday and like nothing more than a lie in but not today. I craved my mat so bad I had to go. Another lovely class. I've never lost faith in this yoga at all, ever. This experience reminded me sometimes you have to spend a little time in the dark before you see the light again. The hard way is the right way, keep at it and reap the rewards.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

He's coming back!

It's been so hard for me to keep this under wraps the past few weeks. Just in case it didn't happen but now it is!!! The posters have been finalized & printed, I'm gonna announce it in my class tonight at BYSB so it's a goer. I am so happy to announce here that Craig Villani will be returning to the sunny West Coast to conduct FOUR master classes.

Craig will be running an in depth two hour master class at each of the four Perth Studios. Dates are as follows:

  • Bikram Yoga Joondalup - Saturday 14th April - 9am
  • Bikram Yoga Scarborough Beach - Saturday 14th April - 3:30pm
  • Bikram Yoga North Perth - Sunday 15th April - Time TBA
  • Bikram Yoga North South Perth - Sunday 15th April - Time TBA

Sign up QUICK at your studio reception as places are very strictly limited this year as they will be taking place in the actual heated yoga rooms this time. Only a full payment of $40 will secure your spot, no money = no place. First come, best dressed. 

It's such a huge deal for us to get Bikram royalty here in WA as we are so far away from the States where all the senior/top teachers are based. We are very privileged that Craig has decided to come back a second time. I learned HEAPS from him last year so I'm very excited to be taking his class again which will be a lot more personal than last years sprawling event. Not to be missed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Training Buddies Reunited

I keep banging on about how wonderful TT is for bringing me together with a HUGE international family of teachers. This week that theory was cemented for sure. My training buddy Lucy B flew over from the UK to visit Perth for a family wedding. It was touch & go whether we'd make our schedules co ordinate but we did it!! 

Lucy was offered a last minute class at BYSB at a perfect time for me to go along and practice. It was only polite I take the afternoon off work so we could have a lovely lunch and gossipy catch up at the new Wild Fig in Scarborough. Over chicken salad and very delicious desserts we chewed the fat about the past four months and what has been going on in our teaching careers. 

It was awesome. We are at the same point in our teaching, taught more than 50, less than 100 classes. We both teaching 3/4 a week so may not be as far ahead as our full time colleagues. Lucy's been on the road a lot getting as much experience teaching at different studios around the South of England. 

Her class was awesome! I've never smiled so much in the hot room. It was so Lucy. Her bubbly, bold personality shined through like a bright light. She didn't give us a inch (but lots of fresh air!) in a calm, funny and professional manner. It's such a privilege to share an experience like TT and come full circle & take a fellow graduates class. 

Such a great way to spend an afternoon. It was a perfect Perth day, by the beach, with lots of yoga related fun & a spin round Lululemon. I can't believe it had been four months since we last saw each other, felt like just yesterday. It's so true what they say, Bikram teachers are bonded for life :-)

Lucy outside BYSB before class

Ready for action at reception!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Madness Goodness

This week started with a nice long public holiday weekend & a migraine. Super! Left me with a migraine hangover that lasted nearly all week. Lots of water & less sugar. In an ideal world I would have spent a day in a dark room sleeping it off but that wasn't a option. I soldiered on. 

The title of this blog is spot on, after a slow, sickly start to the week it turned mad but in a good way. I taught Sunday, Monday & Tuesday which was great I don't usually get consecutive days. Wednesday off but I practiced. Then taught my usual Thursday night class. 

I'd heard one of my dear friends and colleagues was sick, sore throat, fever, cough = not good for teaching. I casually offered to cover her 5:45am on Friday morning. This broke my rule of not teaching an early after a late. (Only because I still have to do 8 hours in the office day job) I got the text as I was getting home at 10pm. Quick re order, grabbed some clothes for the next day (in the dark as The Man was sleeping), threw together my bag, lunch food & was all ready to go. 

Five hours sleep & some Energy Tea off I went. Class was great. Everyone arrived under ten minutes before kick off, total of about 14 students. I was worried no one would turn up! Finished on time, everyone was showered & out the door so I could do the same with an extra five minutes to spare. Usually when I teach I can't get parking at the station & have to park at my friends house & walk down. Not today! I got parked. Bonus. Day job was nice and stress free. Not much going on & some down time to get some in house work finally finished.

About lunch time I got a text from another instructor who needed cover for the 6pm at Scarbs. Usually I can't teach 6pm, especially at the beach, as I wouldn't get there on time but as it was Friday and work was quiet & managed to get off a little early and cover the class. Unfortunately I had to wear my teaching clothes from the morning that had been festering in my hot car all day. Gross!!! Stinky, wet tops are not nice.

Pulled it off, taught a good class, I wasn't flagging as I thought I might. I had left my teaching notes at Joondy that morning so was without anything interesting to read out in savasana so let them be in silence which was probably fitting.

The night didn't end there. I hot wheeled it down to Cottesloe Beach for a drinks party with the other instructors. One is leaving full time teaching to get a city job in order to stay in Australia a while longer. Really fun, great to get to know the girls on a personal level. Instructors come and go at top speed, the way of the gypsy traveling teacher. The teachers we have now are sticking around a while which gives us chance to get to know each other. You never know we might end up on the same coast again, building global friendships. 

Finally making it home at 1am. Grand total of 20 waking hours. I have no idea how I did it. I even woke up on Saturday morning feeling quite chipper. Must be the Full Moon working in my favour this month!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Raw nori rolls

About two years ago I was gifted with the Raw Food Reawakening recipe book, can't call it a cook book as it raw food!! I was slightly put off trying anything a most of them involves dehydrating for many, many hours (we have a dehydrator so no excuse really). When I cook it's usually because I'm hungry for that food right now, if I wait 24 hours to eat it I'll probably not want it. 

It might be one of those things that at the time of receiving the book I wasn't ready for it. Now I am. Yesterday I made raw food nori rolls. So simple, so quick, so much better than using rice. Yoga people love sushi. It's one of those foods that seem really 'healthy', which it is, kind of, better than Macca's but it's chock full of white rice. Not good for the blood sugar. I love regular sushi but it kills me. Bloating, sugar rush and then an energy slump. This sushi uses cauliflower & cashews blended up instead of rice. So tasty. The texture is sticky like rice and looks like rice! Awesome.

Nori Rolls:
Raw nori sheets (I just used the regular one's as have no idea if they are raw or not!!)
Half a cauliflower
Small handful of raw cashews
1-2 Avocadoes skinned & sliced
1 cucumber cut into round slices
Small bowl of water for sticking the sheets
1 carrot cut into strips with a veg peeler.

Blend cauliflower in chunks with the cashews till grainy in texture (Thermomix speed 8 for 10 seconds). Lay nori sheet on chopping board. Cover about 0.5 cm of cauliflower mixture over all except 1 cm of outside edge facing away from you. place layers of sliced vegetable down the centre & roll. Wet outside edge to stick.

I'm so bad at rolling sushi so they split a bit but try not to over fill them. I also made some rolls with some chicken (cooked obviously!!) as I needed some protein in there. 

ta dah! Finished rolls!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Byron Bay Tea

I am hopeless at resisting spur of the moment purchases. The one's that if I don't get it right there & then, there isn't a chance I'll be going back to that shop so I might as well get it, type of purchase. Usually I'm quite good, I take a step back and think really hard whether I really need that thing I am about to buy. Last year's die hard savings plan made this even easier. This year however, even though there are still bills to pay, I'm allowing a little bit of indulgence now and again. Starting today.

It's been over a year now since I treated myself to an amazing massage at the Bodhi J day spa. I discovered this gem of a place just before I made the pledge to go to Fall TT. Alas the savings plan could not justify trips to day spa's, despite how much they would actually have benefited my well being leading up to teacher training. I made do with weekly physio that I could claim on my health insurance. 

Today I returned. It was just as amazing. My shoulders & lower back loved the deep tissue massage. My legs however are carrying a lot of toxins. They needed a good strong pummeling. The cottage cheese on them is surely evidence enough.

Anyway, my impulse buy today was some herbal tea. After the treatment you're always served with a fruit platter and the tea of the month. Obviously said tea can be purchased. Usually I'm like, yes nice tea but I have hundreds of boxes of herbal tea at home. I'm a bit of a sucker for it. Buy a box, drink it for a bit, then never finish it, my pantry has many a half full box in it. 

Today however the tea was amazing!!!! From the superb Byron Bay Tea Co. - Energy Tea - green tea and berries. YUM! I tried a lot of this brand's tea whilst on a retreat there a year ago. It's good stuff and organic. It's described as ' a healthy alternative to coffee.' Perk you up any time of day with Siberian Ginseng, blackcurrants, strawberries, blackberries, hibiscus, rosehips, bilberries and elderberries. It may seem pricey at $17 a box but that's only 48 cents a cup. You wouldn't get 35 Starbucks coffees for $17 would you? (come on, I have to justify everything you all know that!)

Worth every dollar. It's an nice attractive deep pink/purple colour too, which is great whilst in my glass defusing pot but I'm not fancy enough to have those glass tea cup/glasses things ;-)

Rather nice packaging too