#reasonsforbeinghappy – week 7

Running = endorhphins = happiness.

I’ve recently got back into running again and alongside my tri-weekly yoga practice, running keeps me incredibly fit and allows me to enjoy the outdoors in a purposeful way.  Need an excuse for getting out and exploring the local area? Go running! I love discovering new routes and tracking my progress with the Run Keeper App, it truly is a great way to get those happy hormones flowing and the perfect compliment to any yogi’s fitness schedule.

Week 7

1. New running kit!

A friend recently recommended Asics as a good start point for decent running shoes.  My old Nikes were not providing my weak arches with enough support and I was getting referred pain in my knees every time I ran, and so it was time to replace them with something more effective. The staff in my local Asicis store were knowledgeable and helpful and along with chatting about my running regime and history they provided a gait analysis, which allowed them to match the footwear perfectly to my needs.  The trainers I chose had built-in arch/ankle support and good shock absorbency for my knees, and I’ve really been enjoying getting out for a run in the fresh air again.

2. Lighter, brighter evenings.

Arriving home from work in daylight is just so relieving. The heavy hug of Winter darkness is finally waning, and just like Spring bulbs which are sprouting everywhere here in Kent; I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel – It’s the 1st of March and Spring is almost here! That also means its time to get into the garden and get ready for a fruitful Summer growing season.

3. A growing blog – progress at last!

This week since the big migration I have seen a vast improvement in my stats, more followers and the beginnings of a pinterest following.  Its been really inspiring and whilst I still struggle to balance the home/work/blog balance, I have lots of exciting new ideas in the pipeline to improve Green Dreams and Yoga – thank you all so much for the continued support! As a relatively new blogger I need your help more than ever to grow and improve – don’t forget you can also find and follow me on  facebook, twitter, pinterest, bloglovin and please keep sharing with your green friends!

What are your #reasonsforbeinghappy this week? Please share them below for us all to enjoy!

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Springtime – Best in Show

It’s mid-spring and I couldn’t be happier! The cold of the winter is melting away and summer is on our doorsteps, but spring is more than just a quiet pre-cursor to the heat of summer; it’s glorious in its own blooming right.

I love getting into the garden at this time of year; the soil is still moist from April showers and beginning to warm, ready to receive precious seedlings full of promise. That’s the great thing about Spring; new growth, new life, new beginnings.

In mid-spring, as it is now, the beautiful pinks and whites of blossom; once stark and bright against the cold bark of empty trees, is fading; sliding away like sweeping theatre curtains – revealing the lush, green leaves that had formed in its show-stopping shadow. That’s spring.

I saw a newt today in the garden. It scuttled past my gloved fingers in a flash of green-brown camouflage, as I weeded the veg patch before scurrying quickly away into hiding. I don’t have a pond but it certainly inspired a thought that I might find space! Although my burgeoning veg patch has already eaten a large portion of my already postage-stamp sized garden. Perhaps not then. But I’m so pleased it had the notion to visit, I have a compost bin not too far from the spot where I knelt with those gloved hands and so I am sure it soon found it’s lunchtime fill.

While hot on the zig-zagging tail of my watery guest, I spotted another seasonal treat – a large, lolling, bumblebee feasting away on my spring-flowering perennials and shrub border. I watched entranced as it devoured its sweet treat and then bobbed along to do the same at the next natural take-out. Bees are just so precious and I’m so pleased that this one stayed long enough for an impromptu photo shoot. Sorry I couldn’t catch the newt.

It’s these small moments in life that at times, we’re all too busy to savour. I’m so pleased I was present in that glorious spring moment today.

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Recipe: Spring Squash and Sprouting – A Vegan Curry

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I adore receiving my weekly Abel and Cole Box and today I decided to use some of the beautiful white sprouting broccoli; the perfect spring posy in my hand you see above. Lucky me!

I also had a smallish butternut squash and some gorgeous red onions, which really are purple aren’t they? So purple onions in-tow and a posy of broccoli in hand, I had the makings of the perfect mid-week family meal.

Recipe: Spring Squash and Sprouting Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients:
300g brown rice, rinsed
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
A large handful of white sprouting broccoli (or similar), ends trimmed
1 red (or purple!) onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tin coconut milk
Small piece of fresh ginger, chopped
A selection of your favourite curry spices or a spoonful of paste. I used a mix of turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, paprika and cayenne chilli power.
A handful of fresh coriander
The juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Method:

Put a large pan of water on to boil and cook rice according to packet instructions.

Melt coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Combine squash pieces with some of the melted oil, chopped ginger and your curry spices.

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Sauté the sliced onions gently in the warmed pan until slightly golden and translucent. Add garlic.

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Add the squash and spice mixture and sauté for a few minutes to allow the spices to cook and the squash to soften slightly. Add the broccoli and combine before adding the coconut milk and simmer for around 20minutes, or until the squash is tender.

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Once cooked, remove from the heat, season with salt to taste and stir through half the coriander. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime, serve on top of a mound of brown rice and with the remaining coriander sprinkled on top.

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A light, vegan curry for you to enjoy on these still-chilly Spring evenings! I hope you like it, do share your results!

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