‘Tis the Season to Eat Comfort Food

‘Tis the Season to Eat Comfort Food

With summer having left the building, (although not that many of us heard it knock in the first place), it is now officially the season of comforting food. Autumn combines grey skies and plentiful food supplies and it’s a great time for a whole range of warm, filling comforting recipes. Not traditionally known for its focus on diet friendly cooking, autumn is a time for stocking up our cupboards and our bodies. In the darker, colder months we all need to keep our energy levels up and while it’s important to eat healthily at all times of the year, this time of year can provide an excuse or two for adding a few extra calories to our plates. As long as you keep an eye on those portion sizes, autumn is a good time to bring into play the old say ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’!

Smashing Mash

For perfect mash every time all you need is a little milk and butter, which does sound a little fattening! It probably is, but a little is the key word here. Once you’ve softened your potatoes mash them with a dash of milk and a knob of butter, plus salt and pepper to taste. Give a final blitz with a whisk to create the perfect, filling, tasty and comfort-food mix. If you really don’t care about the calories add cheese to create cheesy mash.

Perfect Pie

Chicken pie is not only a classic food it’s a great make-do-and-mend dish; it often features as Monday’s Tea, as a way to make Sunday’s leftovers earn their keep. If you’re splashing out on a chicken especially for the pie you’ll need a medium sized one. If you’re being sensible and efficient get a big one for Sunday and don’t let the kids see where you’ve hidden the leftovers. The chicken should be combined with some onions that have been fried off, steamed vegetables, carrots and/or leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast are a great idea. Pastry, unless you’re a die-hard cook, can be bought and rolled out but the classic white sauce should be home-made. Two ounces of butter, two of plain flour and half a pint of milk should be enough to make a good quantity. Place chicken, veg and sauce into your pastry casing, top with more pastry and bake for around twenty five minutes.

Pancake-tastic Breakfasts

A comforting winter addition to the breakfast table is the home-made pancake. Obviously we’re not talking the Monday-Friday breakfast table here. Although simple to make pancakes fall under the “faffy” section in most peoples’ minds, with fairly good reason. For a warming winter twist, add a dash of ginger to the recipe, which adds an unexpected kick. Essential for happy families and a messy kitchen is a good smothering of maple syrup. Again, not exactly calorie counting friendly, but Monday-Friday breakfasts are for that; we all deserve a treat at the weekend!

Bonfires and Bangers

With firework displays and outdoor Christmas markets pressing upon us, one great dish for parents faced with not only their own but several lucky friends and neighbours kids to cater for, consider a mass batch of Toad in the Hole. The big advantage to Toad in the Hole is that it’s not exactly a high-octane cooking event. For large batches it’s best to use several baking trays. The batter recipe is basically the same as Yorkshire pudding batter and can be found easily online. For large quantities use 5 eggs per tray and scale up the other ingredients to match. Ten sausages should hopefully be enough per tray, and once the batter is ready and the oven heated to around 220C it takes no more than 30 minutes to cook. Onion gravy is a welcome addition in most cases. It may be calorie filled and cheap but it is very definitely cheerful!

All of these dishes contain a healthy dose of dairy products, particularly milk, which is a great source of calcium and vitamins for growing bodies. While not exactly low on calories skimmed milk and healthier butter alternatives can be added, without compromising on taste or essential goodness. Dairy products, carbohydrates and protein filled pies may not sound exactly good for your diet, but at this time of year a little comfort food can help your body to build your immune system and keep you healthy.

Tis the Season to Eat Comfort Food

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Can I Practice Yoga at Home?

Whether you have just gotten started with the yoga basics at your local YMCA or you have been going to classes with a yogi that you admire for some time, you know that you are not going to get better unless you spend some time practicing! However, even after you have found the time to practice, you might be wondering where you can do it. If you have always practiced yoga at a studio or at a school, you may be a wondering where to do it when you are on your own. The truth of the matter is that you can just as easily practice yoga at home as you do at the studio!

When you are interested in practicing yoga at home, all you need is a small, private area that is relatively clutter free. You need enough space to lie down flat on your back, and when you are standing with your legs spread at shoulder width, you should be able to swing your arms around at full extension without hitting anything. This kind of space can be found in the living room, or in your bedroom. You may need to pick up a little bit of clutter before you begin, but that is simple enough.

When you are practicing yoga at home, you might wonder what kind of equipment that you need. Theoretically, you can practice yoga with no equipment at all, but having the right equipment around can put you into the right frame of mind. If you are going to be practicing on a wooden floor, you are going to need a yoga mat at the very least. The yoga mat is a long strip of textured rubber that will allow you to be more comfortable when you are doing yoga exercise on the floor and it will also give you the kind of grip and traction you need to perform some of the poses. The yoga mat should be long enough that when you do a long pose that your feet will not leave it. People who are taller tend to need longer yoga mats.

After you have purchased your yoga mat, there are a few other things that can help you get situated and comfortable in your routine. Blocks can be used to give you more support an you do exercises like lunges or poses like the half-moon. These foam blocks can be purchased from any health store and may even be available from your instructor. You may also find that a strap can be useful when it comes to helping you maintain certain poses that involve putting your legs in the air or when the ball of your foot needs to be pulled back. The strap can be any soft rope, and things like bathrobe ties can be used if you need something quickly.

After you have the equipment and the space, it is all about setting the mood. Yoga is a deeply relaxing activity, and getting some of the peace from your yoga activity during your day to day life can be invigorating for you. You may choose to light some incense and to play some music before you start your routine.

Bring your yoga practice into your home; it takes less effort than you think!

Learn more about health, fitness, yoga and exercise and yoga mats.

Can I Practice Yoga at Home?
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