Category Archives: Diva Spirituality

Divas sharing spiritual perspectives on life …join the conversation and please let us know your thoughts

Tired Of The Same Old New Year’s Resolutions?

We are now in 2016 and instead of making the same old resolutions that seem to fall by the wayside come February why not embark on something completely different this year and watch your health, body and mind transform in front of your eyes.

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Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of holistic health originating in India more than 5000 years ago and it’s fast becoming  one of the most popular lifestyle choices around. Translating literally as ‘The Science of Life’ and a sister science to Yoga,  the great thing about Ayurveda is that anyone can try it and those that have rarely go back to how they were before.

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Dr Deepa Apte, one of the UK’s top Ayurvedic practitioners and director of London based Health and Beauty Spa Ayurveda Pura shares with us her thoughts on why Ayurveda is so revolutionary and so different from everything else out there:

  • It’s tailored to suit your individual needs: Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is made of up one of three energies or doshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A short questionnaire will determine which one you are and then everything from the best diet, exercise , colours of clothing and seasonal changes are identified to make sure you are always in balance and functioning at optimum health.
  • It works with you and not against you: Many diets or detoxes require you to give up or change many aspects of your life and some can leave you feeling worse than when you started out. Ayurveda works with what you have and who you are identifying problem areas in your diet, lifestyle and relationships and offers solutions which incorporate meditation, breathing, yoga, herbs and massage treatments so you can better understand your body and your mind and move forward with a clearer image of what feels good for you.
  • It’s completely natural: Everything prescribed to you in Ayurveda from your diet to the herbs and even Ayurvedic beauty products are completely 100 % natural. Ayurveda is all about the removal of toxins or ‘Ama’ from your body so everything we ask you to try and do is to help with this toxin removal. It really is a completely holistic system of health and will leave you feeling so energised and healthier inside and out.
  • It’s not complicated: One of the best aspects of taking up an Ayurvedic lifestyle is the fact that it’s super easy to incorporate into your daily lifestyle. There’s no complicated procedure to follow or food combinations, you just have to be consistent in your approach and the benefits will start to show. For an idea of what a typical Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle day looks like click here 

By tara mestre

Single This Valentines Day? Fret No More

A day that connotes everything love, loving and being loved, it is really important that you start the journey with yourself first.

You deserve it and it’s time to ‘Create Your Me Time & indulge. Make this the day that you make true love to yourself, affirm within yourself all your positive attributes, and celebrate both inwardly and outwardly ‘YOU ‘as a ‘WOMAN’.

Give your soul and body a good spring clean, indulge in a long luxurious bath or a vocal shower (natch..that thought, just sing). Pluck wax shave, epilate, cream your body all-over indulgently and make sure that you do ‘that thing’ you love doing that feeds your soul. No, no reference is being made to anything battery operated, but if that floats our boat, who’s to say no? It may be hanging out with that great friend who also happens to be single that you haven’t seen in a good while, giving your debit card a well-deserved work-out, heading out to the movies, reading that exciting new book that you haven’t had the chance read yet, luxuriating in that onesie whilst relaxing in-front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn…., if you are a single momma make it a date with your offspring[s], the list continues…… Hoping that this message gets across i.e, the loving starts with you loving you too on the day love rocks the world.

Courtesy of Michelin star chef Paul Welburn head chef at Searcys and Gary Rhodes protégé, we have a recipe that will make love to your taste buds. Be adventurous, try something new if you’ve never tried anything in the menu before, liberate your culinary acuity and start cooking to nourish your body on the day that love rocks the world. The menu serves 8, so make a party night of it!

Images Credits: Gemma Morson and Richard Hennessey

Let’s start with desert that sounds more fun J X

Hot chocolate tart, lemon curd ice cream and salted caramel popcorn

Serves 8 

Chocolate tart pastry–

200g icing sugar

400g butter

3 large eggs

700g plain flour

Chocolate tart filling-

200g dark chocolate

100g butter

75g olive oil

70g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

6 eggs

150g caster sugar

Lemon curd ice cream

1 litre milk

200ml double cream

60g milk powder

300g lemon juice

325g whole eggs

200g egg yolks

300g caster sugar

Salted caramel popcorn

25g pop corn kernels

50g clarified butter

150g caster sugar

Pinch of coarse sea salt

Other ingredients

Chocolate crumble (optional)

Method

For the pastry, start by creaming the butter and sugar together till pale, add the eggs and beat till smooth, add the flour and then mix until a smooth dough is formed, don’t overwork the pastry or it will affect the finished texture, wrap the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Once rested roll out the pastry to 2mm thick and line 8 x 4inch tart moulds and then fill with parchment paper and baking beans and blind bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°c for 12 minutes, remove the baking beans and return to the oven for a further 4 minutes till golden brown.

Once cooked allow to cool before trimming any excess pastry with a sharp knife, keep the cases till ready

For the ice cream, place the lemon juice, eggs, yolks and sugar in a pan and cook over a medium heat stirring all the time and cook until the mixture thickens and remove just before it reaches the boil, once cooked pass through a fine sieve .

In a pan bring the milk, milk powder and double cream to the boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon curd, allow the mix to cool and then churn in an ice cream maker , and store in a plastic container till required.

For the pop corn in a pan place the clarified butter, heat the butter and add the popcorn kernels and continue heating until the kernels begin to pop, place a lid on the pan and remove from the heat and allow the kernels to continue popping.

In a separate pan add the sugar and begin to heat until a dark amber caramel is achieved (be careful not to burn the caramel) then remove from the stove and add the popcorn and stir immediately to coat each piece, add a sprinkle of salt and stir in ,  place the coated corn on a piece of greaseproof paper , and allow to cool and the caramel to harden

For the tart filling melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water, add the butter and incorporate, remove the bowl from the heat and  add the olive oil and whisk in to emulsify, then add the flour and cocoa powder and mix in thoroughly,

In a separate bowl place the eggs and sugar and lightly whisk until pale, fold this into the chocolate mixture and mix together.

Pipe the filling into the tart case and place In preheated oven on 170°c for 7 minutes.

To serve place a tart on the plate, add a sprinkle of chocolate crumble (optional) a scoop of the lemon curd ice cream and top with some of the salted caramel popcorn.

Cornish Lobster cocktail, pickled fennel and bloody Mary sorbet:  Serves 4

Lobster –

2 x 300g-400g live native Cornish lobsters

3 tsp  mayonnaise

3 tsp crème fraiche

Juice of ½ lemon

Season to taste

½ tsp chopped chervil

Bloody mary sorbet-

1 litre tomato juice

75ml belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka

4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

5 splash of tabasco (depending on the heat you prefer)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pickled fennel

1 bulb of fennel (sliced thinly as possible)

150ml white wine

100ml white wine vinegar

150ml water

50g caster sugar

1 x star anise

1 x sprig of thyme

Avocado puree

2 ripe avocados

Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp crème fraice

Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients

Baby gem leaves – washed and torn roughly

Fennel cress (optional)

Olive oil to dress the leaves

Method

For the lobster, first cook the lobster, the most humane way is to place the lobsters in a freezer for 30 mins to relax and place them in a dormant state, then once removed pierce the lobster with a knife just behind the head pressing the tip all the way through, may seem a lot of work but fresh lobster is the only way to eat it in my opinion.(it can be replaced with the traditional prawns but it is supposed to be a special occasion!)

Next place the lobsters into a pan of boiling salted water and allow to cook for 8 minutes, remove and place into iced water, immediately remove the shell and slice the meat up and reserve the claws for garnish.

Mix gently the chilled sliced lobster meat with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, herbs, lemon  juice and season to taste, keep till required.

For the bloody Mary sorbet combine all the ingredients in a bowl , like the drink it’s a personal preference to the seasoning, lemon juice and heat from the tabasco, for me I like that strong  kick of flavour and this ends up as the replacement for the traditional Mary Rose sauce in the finished dish so bear this in mind.

Once mixed churn in an ice cream maker and then store in a plastic container in the freezer until ready

For the pickled fennel bring all the ingredients apart from the fennel to the boil and then pour directly onto the thinly sliced fennel , cover and leave for a minimum of 1 hour to marinade, the longer the better if possible.

For the avocado puree place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth adjust the seasoning to taste.

To serve take a retro-style martini glass, place the baby gem leaves dressed in olive oil and lemon juice in the base, top with a generous mound of lobster mix, add few shavings of the pickled fennel and top off with a spoon of avocado puree, the dressed claw some fennel cress, and finally a spoon of the bloody Mary sorbet.

10 Ways To Make The Rest Of Today Amazing

 1.  Loosen your grip.

Trying to micromanage every little thing every moment is stressful.  Life should be touched, not strangled.    Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement.

Starting now, let go before you squeeze too tight.  Take a deep breath.  When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward.  You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going every single second to be headed somewhere great.  Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not.  It just takes some time to connect all the dots.

2.  Focus forward.

You can’t go back to how things were, or how you thought they were supposed to be.  All you really have is now.  The smartest thing you can control in life is your reaction to what’s beyond your control.  Dwelling on negativity from the past simply contributes to its power.  So stop focusing on what happened and start focusing on what’s going to move you forward.

Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy and successful or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  The best thing you can do now is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can.

3.  Check one lingering task off your to-do list.

Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.  What you don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow; and there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.

You know that thing you’ve been meaning to do, but you keep putting it off and it keeps nagging at you from the back of your mind.  Stop the nagging by taking action now!  (Read Getting Things Done.)

4.  Spend an hour working on something that moves you.

When you strike that fine balance between the challenge of an activity and your skill at performing it, when the rhythm of your work feels in sync with your purpose, when you know that what you’re doing makes a difference, you become absorbed in the task at hand to the point where time ceases to exist.  This is what true passion and happiness feels like.

So is there anything you do on a regular basis that makes you forget what time it is?

On your average day, flow experiences like these are those flashes of intense living when you’re engrossed in a meaningful task that makes you feel more alive.  These optimal experiences can happen when you’re engaged in work, paid or unpaid, that move you.  Work like this is something you should be pursuing for at least an hour on a daily basis.

5.  Try something totally new.

Step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new.  What have you wondered about doing, but haven’t had the courage or time to try?  Aim for something small that you can accomplish in an hour or less.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.

Variety truly is the spice of life.  You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  As a result, first time experiences often lift our spirits and our consciousness.

So what’s new to YOU?

6.  Help someone smile.

There is no exercise better for the improvement of our world than reaching down on a daily basis to lift someone up.  Don’t wait for people to smile.  Show them how.  Do something nice for someone who has no way of paying you back.  Do it because you can, and because it makes the world a happier place.

When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.  I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience.  And your small gesture just might touch a wound that only kindness can heal.  (Read The Happiness Project.)

7.  Spend time with a friend who improves you.

You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there is no substitute for the few who truly improve you.  These aren’t the people who are simply nice to you; they’re the ones who help you uncover the things that are holding you back.  In subtle ways, they bring ideas to your attention that change your life.  These friends don’t just sit beside you unknowingly; they shake your world up, reveal your obstacles and weaknesses, and remain a part of your life because they care.

Friends like this are the most important people you will ever meet because they tear down the invisible walls you have built in your mind.  In other words, they come into your life and reveal new, valuable layers of yourself that you would never have discovered without them.

Spend some time chatting with one of these people today.

8.  Muse on life’s goodness.

You deserve some time every day in which worries don’t get in the way of your happiness.  Moments when, even if some people are insensitive or unkind around you, you’re not going to mind because you realize that the blessings you have received are far greater than the burdens you are dealing with.  You can create time like this for yourself today.  There is power in positivity.

Think about the goodness.  Be grateful for all the blessings you already have.  We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  What if you gave someone a gift and they neglected to thank you for it?  Would you be likely to give them another one?  The daily events in your life respond the same way.  In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must be grateful for what you already have.

9.  Give yourself some “me time.”

Yes, you have battles out in the world to fight, insecurities to overcome, loved ones to contend with, and goals to achieve, but a break from it all is necessary.  It’s perfectly healthy to pause and let the world spin without you for a while.

Go ahead and set aside some “me time” to be alone with your own thoughts today.  Enjoy the space between the commotions.  Say nothing, think quietly, just be and breathe.  Give yourself an opportunity to discover who you really are, and to figure out why you truly are always alone… and why that’s perfectly OK.  (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Happiness” chapters of “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.”)

10.  Be right here, right now.

I purposely left this point for last because it perfectly encompasses all the previous points.  Be present.  It’s being here now that’s important.  Don’t let your life slip by.  Pay attention to what’s happening in and around you; don’t just hurry through to the next thing.

You can’t stop the future.  You can’t rewind the past.  The only way to live is to press play.  So instead of dwelling on what happened earlier today, or worrying about what might happen later on, just practice being and living in this moment.  This moment, after all, is the only time guaranteed to you.  Right now is all there ever truly is.  Right now is life.  Open your eyes so you don’t miss it.

Afterthoughts

 You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.  The rest of today is a brand new day – a fresh start.  Replace negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise your mind and body.  Healthy is happy.  Inspire yourself.  Create.  Laugh.  Run.  Play.  Love.  Learn.  Give someone a compliment.  Perform a random act of kindness.  Take a chance on an idea you believe in.

You have the opportunity to do these things every single day – to make the necessary changes and slowly become the person you want to be.  You just have to decide to do it.  Decide that today is the day.  Say it: “This is going to be my day, starting now!”

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What’s one way to make the rest of today amazing?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

By Angel Chernoff

Beauty From The Inside Out!

A happy New Year from us all here at DivaScribe. After the over indulgence of the Christmas period, detox your body and get ready for the year ahead. There are so many ways we can maximise our health and beauty regimes, so start the New Year afresh and enjoy my top 5 tips to a better you.

1. Smoothies- You Are What You Eat

Heath enthusiasts everywhere have been raving about the benefits of smoothies, and if you haven’t tried them yourself, start now! Packed full of vitamins and minerals, smoothies are an easy way of boasting your immunity and leaving you with radiant skin from the inside out. Try the recipe below for a refreshing start to your day.

1 head of organic romaine lettuce(chopped)
1/2 bunch of organic spinach
3-4 stalks of celery
1 organic apple(cored and chopped)
1 organic pear
1/3 bunch coriander
a juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cup cold water

2.Exercise

Exercise, and exercise more. This gets your cells going this year. The benefits of exercise are endless, and your body will look better for it. If you can’t get to the gym there are a number of DVD’s available to help you along the way. Stay focused on your fitness and you won’t regret it. Try Kelly Rowland’s sexy abs DVD and make fitness fun!

3.Dry Brushing

Stimulate your circulation and lymph system by dry body brushing. It’s a simple way of giving yourself an inexpensive treatment from the comfort of your own home.  Always use natural bristles, and brush towards your heart in circular motions all over your body. Perfect just before your step into the shower.

4.Facials and Massages.

Facials and massages are not just for those special occasions.  Make it a must to unblock your pores, create some me time, and invest  in healthy skin this year! Charlotte Vøhtz, Founder of Green People gives us an amazing massage technique you can try at home.

Use gentle upward strokes with your hands around the collar bone, jawline to the top of the cheeks and out towards the ears.  Use your thumb and forefinger to gently pinch off the ears, and then with the pads of your fingers gently tap your eyebrows and on the bone underneath the eye and then on the forehead, and finish by gently but firmly pressing the temples”.

5. Stay Hydrated

It’s been said time and time again, but drinking water is the perfect solution to clearer skin. Flushing out toxins, from your body and keeping hydrated. If you can’t stomach plain water, there are a host of wonderful herbal teas out there. So replace your cup of coffee for something caffeine free and see the difference.

By Teiko Dornor-Tagoe

The Diary of a Single Christian Woman

‘Do I have to get out of bed? I really don’t want to face the world today.  Getting out of bed means confronting who I am or how I feel about myself.  As I went to bed last night I felt unattractive and unloved. I felt rejected by the man that has captured my heart. I felt confused  by the myriad of ‘good advice’ from well- meaning girlfriends who genuinely want the best for me but themselves feel powerless to change their own circumstances .’ (entry 30 July 2011)    

Why are we women so tormented by our emotions and insecurities??  Our daily battles either involve feeling good about ourselves, appearance and accomplishments or proving to others that we are worthy, worthy of love, that promotion, approval from parents or even love from the almighty.  We are in a never ending cycle of emotional and psychological ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. Our monthly chemical imbalances is no help either, every month we are dragged (often unwillingly) into a state of depression and anxieties, anger over the slightest of misdemeanour or uncontrollable tears over a situation that when in our ‘right mind’ we would ordinarily dismiss as a minor. 

As a single Christian woman I find that I am not immune from these powerful battles that wage war in every woman’s soul. The battle I find is so intense that women are willing to sell their beautiful, vulnerable, gentle, kind, nurturing, relational souls for cheap alternatives.  Every day we make decisions to remain in abusive relationships, seek attention in the wrong way either by drawing attention to our ‘assets’ or acting in a manner that is not our ‘true selves’, we overindulge in eating, drinking, sex, shopping, the list is endless of the type of things we do to numb our souls from feeling the emotions or insecurities that enthral us. 

I did get out of bed, I got out of bed because I have hope because of Gods graciousness and also because I am learning to embrace who I am.  I got out of bed because I am learning to accept as truth passages of scripture that says ‘For you created my inmost being, you knit me in my mother’s womb… I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.’  ‘Since you are precious and honoured in my sight and because I love you I will….’(NIV: Isaiah)  As I reflect on these passages I chose to accept the truth that I was not a mistake but a deliberate work of God, from my skinny frame to my full lips.

 I got out of bed because I realise that as much as I think about who I am and what I want to change I remember that focusing too much on myself is part of the problem.  I can easily have an entitlement mentality ‘the world owes me’ and as a result forget the needs of others around me.  My time and my energy is thus spent on focusing on how I feel and what I want and how I should be treated and what I deserve, and at every point the focus is always on self. 

I got out of bed because I realised that staying there will not accomplish anything but an ever deeper well of discouragement from over introspection. 

Life is an incredible journey that we have been blessed with by or maker and accepting and loving ourselves enough to love others is a way of enjoying that journey.  I remind myself as I do you the reader that you are not an accident, a mistake or an afterthought but the work of the greatest physician, musician, engineer, artist, lover, philanthropist, there ever was.