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  1. Hearty Soup, sounds good and should be too.  However, to make it really ealthy and nutritious it's good to make sure the preservatives, flavours and other enhancers are clean health wise.

    This brings me to a pet annoyance I have.

    I like to make a thick soup so that a big steaming bowl full with a bit of crusty bread is almost enough for a meal.

    To make it thick it is not unusal to use white flour.  Regardless of wheat intolerances white flour has no nutritional value as far as I can see - it is just a bulker.  Why spoil a natural healthy meal with bulkers.

    It is so easy to thicken soup with nutritionally valuable ingredients.  

    Here are some examples:

    The picture show my carrot and red lentil soup.  It have only vegetables (carrot, onion, garlic, a bit of ginger etc) in it and it is very thick

    There is quite a lot of red lentil in that soup as it is one of the main ingredients.

    Yet red lentils added to a soup with   a gentler hand is not detecta ble yet still thickens.

    Potates thicken soup and if you are adding to a stew for instance they will break up if you give hem a bit longer to cook.

    Nutritional yeast flakes add a savoury flavour to soup. They thicken and enhance the natural flavour of the soup.

    Pea Protein is a little more demanding to be overlooked, but added to a vegetable soup they blend in nicely.  Barley is a great thickener and aso fab in a barley broth.  Dried beans and pulses always soak up water but need planning into the the recipe.

    I hope that this has given you food for thought.  i really believe that when we eat we could be a lot more conscious of why we are doing it.  To maintain our healthy body.  If we bore that in mind it make making eating even more enjoyabe.thick soup







  2. Could you guess that the average spend on beautification per person in the UK is between £5K and £7K every year.  Compare that to the average income of around £30K.


    So when we're talking about the average don't forget that includes all the people who spend next to nothing on beauty enhancing goods and services like children for instance.

    I am not judging, just wondering why we need to focus all our attention on covering up our natural beauty often in extreme ways.   Who are we doing it for?
    The answer to that question is often 'for myself'.

    Not to mention the length of time spent in front of that  piece of disney inspired furniture fixed to the wall.  Eagerly working  to get the right response from said prophetic artifect.

    It's almost like we need to prepare our inferior self with layers of beauty armour in order to face the day.

    Why do we do this if not to impress others?  To give ourselves confidence, to feel superior, to fit in, to hide the shame and on and on! Hiding our vulnerable selves in a coating of  glamour armour.

    So where is all this self doubt, shame, lack of confidence coming from?

    Well it's certainly not coming from out there.  Notwithstanding that outer stimuli might trigger troubling responses the actual negative self-worth certainly comes from within.  

    As a nation we are so used to expecting the doctor to deal with all our ills, whether that is emotional ills or physical ills.  Generally, although things are improving, we  eat what we want, drink what we want take what we want without a thought and expect a magical pill to repair the long term damage once it becomes apparent.  Unfortunately there is a price to pay for that attitude and it's not a financial one, it is an array of side effects that whether slowly or quickly  emerge as a reaction to the coverted and  convenient pills.

    Most people are hiding from themselves througout their lives.  Trying to build up armour to avoid getting to know who they really are.  When transfering a little of the time and finances committed to the outer self for a realtively short period of time could release much of the need for the that commitment as we begin to understand and accept  oursleves for the wonderful people we are.  Understanding our reactions to others and the vulnerability and dependance we feel towards others can remove much of our armour and set us free.

    That takes a different kind of commitment, courage and a belief in yourself.

    Andrea Lowe Hypnotherapist and Trainer

    Andrea has been working on releasing emotional blocks since 1995



  3. I was loading some new videos into our 'On Demand' collection and it got me thinking.  Demand sounds, to me, verging on aggressive!  For example, I demand that you give me a refund for these faulty goods or I demand that you answer me and so forth....

    So that led me to substituting some other words for demand.  Here are some of them I considered and some from the thesaurus:- command, ask, stipulate, order, dictate, desire, require  ..... and the most obvious REQUEST.  Of course some of these words do not fit the situation, for me request is the closest.  Yet it is not the ideal message.  On request sounds slow, it sounds like you're starting up a process and someone at the other end has to action it for you, whereas ON DEMAND impresses that the power is with you to draw down a video to watch at any time, no waiting, no one else involved just click and collect so to speak.  So at the end of the day On Demand is the right choice in this case as it has become a recognised phrase.  But if you are in an enviroment where you are subjected to aggressive language at home or in the workplace then your inner peace is being contaminated.


    Then I started thinking about the way we use words (again sorry if I'm boring you, it's just a thing I have).  These days the politeness seems to be giving way for personal power and control.   We're all busy empowering and positioning ourselves that we have lost some compassion along the way. We all seem to be staking our position whether outright and up front or under cover and fake. We want everything instantly, when we say and we don't really want to wait around for someone else to do their thing.  I suppose this is one of the side effets from the benefits we get from technological advances where we are more and more self-sufficient with our laptops and mobile phones.  Where in the past we had to be patient whilst waiting for a specialist to process something for us, duplicate, sub contract etc., now we get annoyed with technology if it is making us wait for a few extra minutes as it's running slow and by that I don't mean extending the wait to days or weeks.  It's always fairly instant.

    And with all the extra knowledge we need  to fit into the modern work stream then we can sometimes get overloaded.  We don't always have the time to word things politely, we may start to be more abrupt as nothing except what is inside our heads is important to us.  You could find it referred to as stress which comes with bad temper.  We don't have time to consider others and the effect our words may be having on them.

    As a hypnotherapist working with words all the time I can tell you that the words you choose to use do have an impact, create an initial impression.  Self talk most definitely included.

    Considering the way you word things is very important if you want to offer a caring attitude to others and this is especially relevant with your children and with teenagers going through  confusing changes.  Changes that you have to adjust to as well.  But beware if you're not genuine the fakeness shows.

    And talking of instant gratification, I suppose we should be grateful but something has to give and one of the things that seems to be giving is cooking your own food.  It is now normal to grab a quick meal so normal that it has a name 'fast food'.  What we put into ourselves is one of the most important things we can consider that includes food, drink and words via thoughts. 

    Life is too fast to worry about that though we just rush on.

    COVID has slowed us down and many people are looking at simplifying their lives and slowing down to appreciate the pace of life.  Yipee is all I can say.  Good on yer!

    Just in case you're wondering our  on demand classes are accessed through membership  see more on the website.  We have a range of activities on and off line to introduce some calm and space into your week.  Take a look at the website and whats on for more info.

    Stay calm and carry on but watch your words.

    Andrea Lowe Hypnotherapist and trainer at Mind and Body

  4. field mushroom



    You may well know that we go aforaging for the natural goodness of the earth as often as we can.  But.. we would never forage for mushrooms.  They are really hard to identify and can be very toxic is you choose wrongly.

    So we forage through the grocers, market stalls and supermarkets for our mushrooms.

    Believe it or not there are several kinds of mushrooms, each with their own qualities.  I don't mean the  oyster, porcilini etc I am talking about everyday mushrooms.  Some are tiny button mushrooms, closed cap mushrooms, breakfast mushrooms know as portabella, chestnut mushrooms and the rest.  I am very happy if we spot some  field mushrooms for sale.  They are the ones that look a bit neglected and raggy with a longer stalk and a flat cap that doesn't curl under like the usual  shop  mushrooms.

    These are full in flavour and it is very easy to make a pate with them without much effort at all.

    Here's how:

    I don't do quantities so prepare to have fun experimenting to find your ideal field mushroom pate.

    First add some coconut oil (or whatever you choose) to a pan and add onions softening them gently, add garlic (always with mushrooms) I keep it small but if you like garlic pile it in.  Next look around for any fresh herbs you might have or dried ones if you have to.  I add a little grated fresh ginger or powdered just a dash, the idea is not to taste it but to allow it to influence the background taste and a little chilli powder ditto.

    Now chop your mushrooms, stalks and all - if you can't find field then breakfast ones as the second best.  Fry  until the mushrooms are soft.  Depending on the mushroom there will be liquid building up.  Some mushroom are soaked in water to absorb and weigh heavier.  

    When you are happy with having a little liquid to allow you to pulverise then do so and voila you have a field mushroom pate.  Vegetable pate home made is not as firm as that you buy and is more like a spread but if it is too spready for you, you can add a few yeast flakes or grind up some walknuts into a powder and add them.

    I sometimes just break up some walnuts and add them not too soak up the liquid but because walnut seems to go very well with mushroom.

    Have fun and enjoy.

  5. 103956133_3282757051774510_385057418064270625_n

    This fantastic foxglove must be the best that it could possibly be.  It might be a freak of nature but it has produced a very impressive flower.

    As we approach the last vestiges of confinement and like a butterfly tentatively feeling its way out of its restricted cocoon we need to slowly emerge checking out the safety of the enviroment we are joining. It's like nothing we have known before. Now while our mind is less cluttered with social commitments, shopping trips to replenish a jaded wardrobe and all the other things that have been put on hold is it not time to ensure that we emerge as the bestx version of ourselves we can be? Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Keeping in contact with ourselves by continuing to relax regularly and contemplate, practise self analysis and self enquiry and develop your intuition all help with finding to true you.

    We have seen some great changes in the world due to the covid and the lock down, especially at first: climate improvements, nature blooming more than for some considerable time as it is left smog free and uncontaminated, more care and consideration for others, noticing others and especially the ones alone, generally with a few exceptions we have become a much more caring and compassionate  country.

    Let's not lose that.  Let's hang on to those feelings of self-worth, self-knowledge and self-preservation as we emerge into a much more distracting and demanding world.    Let's start to really develop all those intuitions and beliefs that keep us strong and firm in our commitments.  Let's see the unreal world that is about to attack us for what it is - a passing moment or two of distraction and unimportant nonsense that we get caught up in.

    Ways to develop reality:

    • Relax and let your mind be free - sounds easy but it's not.  Find a quiet place to relax and be at peace, undisturbed.  Lie and think of whatever comes into your head, let it pass through.  If it is disturbing or a nagging that you are wasting time try to ignore that and let it pass through.  The more you do this the better you will get but it is not something that happens overnight and it can get tedious whilst you are waiting.
    • This is a bit more difficult - next time  something disturbs you whether it is one of those oops shouldn't have said that, or a criticism, or a suspicion or basically anything that makes you feel m disturbed, uncomfortable .. then take a few moments to assess what you are experiencing i.e. in your body  is there tention or weakness, vulnerability or fear.  In your mind what are your thoughts, what do you relate them to which kind of negative reaction.  Try to allow your mind to relate to other times when you may have felt similar and just let that lay with you.
    • Reading a story, watching a film, hearing of an incident that leaves you with emotions.  Sit with the enotions, relax and let your mind do the rest.  You are aiming for your mind to take you to your personal experiences that have had that same reaction on you.  This will take an long time working one it but it is well worth the commitment if you can get a better understanding of yourself at the end.
    • For more ideas and to work with others in realising some of these freedoms enroll on our Heart and Mind course starting very soon om Zoom.  Lasts for 6 months 2 evenings per month and at half price really too good to miss.  £180 instead of £360
    • Phone for more info or simple give feedback about your experiences whilst working through some of these issues.
  6. carrot tops

    Carrots have leaves.  Whatsmore they are edible and extremely nutritious.

    Just a word of warning.  Obviously when you buy carrots from the supermarket they have usually been at the very least stored chilled, they don't last very long because of this, they are usually a lot bigger than those you get with the tops attached and yet the 'whole' carrots are more expensive.  So you can be sure your carrots will be fresher and will last longer with the greens attached.  However, un;ess you buy organic the greens are the bits above ground that get all the chemical sprays, inspect repellants etc.  So it is really best to buy organic again a little bit more expensive but if you normally throw the tops away then look at it as though you are buying two veg for one. 

    The greens taste a lot like parsely and carrot.  They are quite strong and towards bitter and perfect for including in soup, casseroles and other mixed dishes.  You get a lot of top for a carrot.  You can also cook them with other greens as a side dish.  Be sparing with them as their flavour will dominate if left to itself.

    The nutritional value of carrots is the stuff that is said to help you see in the dark and gives carrots that lovely orange colout.  Beta carotene which the body converts to Vit A (the eye vit).  So carrots are bursting full of vit A, poassium and antioxidents in the main.  As well as eye  health they are also linked to healthy blood pressure.

    So the tops have a few different qualities.  They don't have the same beta carotene but they beat the root hands down for Vit c also providing potassium, vit K and chlorophyl, so excellent for blook purification and health.

    Some ideas for using carrot tops:

    Whole carrot soup

    Make a tea infusion by adding a fwq lwaves , lemon and maple syrup

    Pesto using carrot tops instead of basic or half and half

    Merely a few ideas but when you get used to them you will find ways to include them into your menus.