Bread


I am German and as everyone knows, Germans loooove their bread! So do I. The best bread in my view is dense, dark, seedy (as in filled with lots of seeds), nutty, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, nutritious and filling.

When moving to Australia it was pretty difficult to find a German-tastebuds-friendly bread. No, Toast is not bread!

Searching the internet for a recipe (if you can’t buy it – make it) I came across My New Roots a most beautiful food blog written by the very talented Mrs.Sarah Britton.

Her blog features a bread, that is just like a bread should be: dense, nutty and full of goodness!

I have been baking this bread forever and it always comes out great! You can find the original recipe here.

I have ever so slightly amended it to the following:

Best bread in the world

Ingredients:Breadmix
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts)
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. himalaya salt
1 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups water

Directions:
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well.Bread 2 Melt the coconut oil on low heat and mix with molasses and water. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked. The dough will become really thick – if it’s unmanageable just add a little bit of water. Press it into a ball and let sit for at least 2 hours. the dough is ready when you can take it out of the bowl, form it into a loaf and put it on a baking sheet without it loosing its shape.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place baking sheet on the middle rack, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The bread will sound slightly hollow when done. Let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Yoga makes me H A P P Y but what if …

… I can’t make it to class?

For the past month I have been struggling with a sprained rib. Don’t ask me where it came from! Maybe too much Yoga? Nah, there is no such thing!Why practice

Since I do have a terribly unhealthy day job, sitting in an office in front of a screen all day, I will just blame work for my (what did the Osteo call it?) cranky rib. So no Yoga for almost a month and missing the hot room terribly, how is the (unhappy) yogi going to stop the monkey mind if she can’t get to her 90 minutes, open eye meditation?

She writes about it:

The series of 26 Asana and 2 breathing exercises was originally selected from Hatha Yoga by Bikram Choudhoury and put into a set sequence which works every muscle, organ, ligament and joint systematically. Through stretching, bending and pulling, the yogi creates a tourniquet effect in specific joints and parts of their body. When the posture is released, the fresh oxygenated blood can rush through providing nutrients and flushing out any impurities and toxins. With regular practice, Bikram Yoga will realign the spine, bones and muscles. I have met numerous yogi’s with terrible back issues, on the brink of surgery, taking up Bikram Yoga and healing their bodies. I, myself, have seen and experienced amazing results in the condition of my spine since practicing yoga in the hot room.  (the cranky rib is an exception!)

One could argue that the practice of the same series of postures can be quite boring (I admit to have thought the same – before I fell in love with it), but the opposite is the case. Every class is different as our minds and our body’s are ever changing, always dealing with things that are called life. Practicing the same series of Asana is a great diagnostic tool. Each pose is practiced twice, the first set the yogi can diagnose what is going on in their body and mind at the time, the second set the yogi can heal their body and mind. Besides that, it is very motivating to see yourself progress. When I started this kind of Yoga, my back-bends were non-existent. Over the past 5 years I have gained an amazing amount of flexibility in my spine  and we know what that means: happy spine – happy life!

Practicing the same sequence of Asana has another benefit: after a few classes, you know exactly what comes next; there is no need to look at the teacher for guidance, no need to struggle through an unfamiliar practice. All you need to do is to listen to the dialogue and follow the words. There is no need to think as the teacher is doing all the thinking for you. There is only surrender to the practice and being in the moment; melting everything, the chatter and the things that are called life away, leaving the pure essence of you on your mat in pure bliss.

Falling in Love

When I found myself in a Bikram Class for the first time 15 years ago, I thought that I would either faint or throw up. This had nothing to do with the style of yoga I knew and liked, where there were no bright lights, mirrors and intense heat. So I continued practicing Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Power Yoga for 10 years without ever thinking of returning to Bikram Yoga.

Until I was living in Brisbane. Despite that Brisbane is located in the sub-tropics, the winters are cold – freezing cold! I have actually never been that cold in my life as I have in Brisbane winters. That might be due to the fact that we are just too well accustomed to heat and incredibly soft when it comes to cold, or maybe it’s a result of non-insulated houses. However, on the 16 of July 2010, in the middle of Brisbane Winter the unthinkable happened: I fled the cold by running to the nearest Bikram Studio to take a class.

Loving yourself

What can I tell you? I have been hooked ever since – and not only in Winter!

5 years into my Bikram Practice I realise that 15 years ago, living in Manhatten I had simply not been up for the challenge this practice brings with it.

The Bikram Series, 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, practiced for 90 minutes at 40C heat, is challenging. Mostly for your mind, that will tell you to run out of this room and never return! But if you learn to observe your thoughts and to not give in, this practice will indeed make you fall in love with the Asana, the heat, yourself.

Over the past 5 years, the practice of Bikram Yoga has taught me endless lessons, it has helped me to realise my true self, my strength as well as my boundaries. I have learned to listen to my body’s needs and wants, I have learnt to respect myself for everything I am, to treat my body the way it needs to be treated in order to be healthy and happy, flexible and strong. I have learned to be vulnerable and honest, open minded and compassionate and I have, along the way, found an amazing community of people.

Today, I am incredibly grateful for the freezing Brisbane winters as without them I would have never returned to another Bikram Studio in my life!