Master mindfulness like a turtle

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Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

Three ways to master mindfulness

As we all know by now, being mindful isn’t all about being silent, stopping your thoughts, or turning into Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda. It’s just being here. Now. In the moment. 

It is, indubitably, easier said than done. Here’s how to get it down. 

THREE STEPS TO MINDFULNESS. (IT’S THE O-D-P AS YOU CAN SEE*)

(*hip hop fans, I got you.)

O - Observe

By observing, it needs to be exactly that. Just noticing what’s going on, without any opinion or judgement. The theory is, that if you can notice what’s happening before reacting - you’ll become more aware of your neural tendencies. Commonly, these can include obsession over certain scenarios, self-doubt, or distraction tactics. By observing, you can learn to quiet your mind to let thoughts pass. 

D - Describe

Describing to yourself what you are thinking and how you are feeling can give you invaluable space to process. That is so awkward to explain. Here’s an example. Instead of expressing your thoughts to yourself as, “Holy shit I am freaking out, there’s no way I can do this,” try reframing it as a description like, “I am feeling nervous at the moment because I have a lot of things to get done.” This helps you to understand and connect with the situation.

P - Participating

Whatever you’re doing, get stuck in. The act of losing yourself in a task or situation is about as mindful as it gets. With so much going on both inside and outside of our brains, it’s easy to find yourself on autopilot and just go through the motions, rather than fully engaging in it. Ever get home with no recollection of how you got there? 


Want to bring more mindful moments into your life? 

Try telling your other half or writing down your three fave moments of the day before you go to bed. Knowing that you’ll need to remember something should subconsciously remind you to stay present during the day.

Failing that - don’t take your phone everywhere. (One of these days I’ll take my own advice on this one). Having notifications constantly popping up would take even Master Oogway out of the moment. 


FOR THE NERDY: How to be a Mindfulness Master [Source: Psychology Today]

Click the link, think of a person, share the link. See? First mindful task of the day done. Boom.

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BRAIN FOOD - MIXED MUSHROOM & CHICKPEA STEW WITH BUTTERY MASH

Mixed Mushroom Stew & Buttery Mash.jpg

Now that epic heatwave has passed, I’ll confess - I’m ready to chuck a jumper on. If you’re with me, get prepped for upcoming cooler climes with this autumnal stew from scientist and nutritionist Melissa Saint Hill - @the_bare_scientist. (Check out her feed for some major food porn.)  

            “This warming recipe is healthy and hearty with a good mix of brain-healthy nutrients like B vitamins, omega 3s and folate. The mushrooms create great texture as well as a woody flavour and aroma.”

                                                                                                                        -Melissa

Why is it good for my brain?

Humble chickpeas are a great source of magnesium, which is vital for muscle recovery, sleep, regulating the nervous system, and helping combat depression. B vitamin-rich mushrooms can help protect against brain aging, leafy greens are excellent for fighting the dreaded brain fog, and topped with a handful of antioxidant-rich walnuts - you’ve got yourself some serious #brainfood.

What you’ll need

For the mash - 840g Maris Piper potatoes, 130 ml milk of choice (almond milk used), 2 tbsp butter/margarine of choice (plant based version used), 1 tbsp of a mix of dried thyme, oregano & marjoram

For the Stew - 30g dried mixed mushrooms (porcini, shitake, chestnut), 4 dried wood ear mushrooms, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 medium yellow onions, 2 medium carrots, 2 stalks celery, 3 cloves garlic, 1 400g can chickpeas, 250g chestnut mushrooms, 6 leaves savoy cabbage, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 vegetable stock cube, 4 sprigs thyme, Sea salt & ground white pepper, 2 tbsp of a mix of dried thyme, oregano & marjoram, 5 tbsp plain flour, 60g walnuts, Handful fresh parsley

Time: 15 minutes prep, 50 minutes cooking

Method:

  1. Set your potatoes to boil for the mash (this normally takes about 25 minutes).

  2. While potatoes are boiling, place the dried mushrooms into a medium pan with approximately 800ml boiling water, cover and leave to soak for about 20 minutes. Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, do not throw away the water as this will be used in the stew.

  3. Preheat some olive oil in a fairly deep pot, and sweat roughly chopped onions on a high heat for 3 minutes. Add chopped carrots, finely sliced celery and minced garlic and season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of dried herbs. Mix well and sauté for 10 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the drained chickpeas, quartered portobello mushrooms and shredded savoy leaves.

  5. Roughly chop the rehydrated mushrooms and add them to the pot along with the strained mushroom water. Add another tablespoon of dried herbs, a stock cube and the tomato puree. Re-season if needed and boil for 10 minutes.

  6. Take out about 1 cup of the liquid from the pot and place in a bowl. Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisk until smooth and return the mixture to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir well and leave to thicken.

  7. While the stew is simmering, place the walnuts on a lined baking sheet and toast in the oven on 200°C for 6 – 8 minutes, turning halfway.

  8. Mash your potatoes until creamy and serve with the stew on top. Garnish with roughly chopped walnuts and fresh parsley.


FOR THE NERDY: Read more with our handy A-Z of brain food [source: trydawn.co]. Also original recipe from Melissa.

WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK 

Watch: You’ve changed since getting a smartphone. The way you think, your posture and your sleep to name a few. [youtube] BONUS: 6 reasons to take a phone minibreak (no, you don’t have to go full-on extreme Burning Man like me to achieve this)

Read: Yep - we all know it’s good for us and more and more of us are trying to squeeze it in to our days. But, is there a perfect time to meditate? [elemental]

Listen: Trying to make a habit? Try it atomic-style. Nope, not early 90s dreadful pop. This is all about breaking a habit down into small enough chunks that they become as second-nature as brushing your teeth.  [spotify]

Follow: @nataliabojanic - the very cool founder of form nutrition who make incredible vegan protein powder (yes really). She’s also a certified mindfulness instructor and shares meditations through the @sexy_mind_app

We’re going through chaaaannggeeeeeesss. You’ll have picked up on our imminent rebrand from my none-too-thinly-veiled hints in the sign off message recently. Well. This is bloody it. It’s HAPPENING.

From next week, our emails will be coming from reach@yourheights.com - it’s the same epic content, with snazzy new branding and smarter things afoot. So have a read, and let me know what you think. 

See you next Sunday

Dan

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