Favourites of September: Recipes, Reads, Yoga & Inspo
So it seems that September came and went in a flash! I feel like I’ve been starting all of my monthly favourite blogs like this, but really it’s just a matter of fact. Time has been passing way too quickly, but after all a lot of fun has been had! However this month especially, was a total whirlwind, whereby I’ve not only landed myself in a completely new city (Hamburg, Germany). But I’ve also (with the help of the universe) managed to find myself an absolute DREAM job, where I will be teaching yoga several times a week, in a beautiful new studio which is opening in November (I’ll talk more about this later).
The transition to Hamburg was pretty smooth, which we completely owe our gratitude to Henriks lovely Mum and Aunty, who helped us out completely (driving down from Düsseldorf, unpacking the van, taking us to ikea, helping us to build up the furniture etc). It took a good 4 solid days to get everything completely sorted, and looking like a true home. Henrik was getting a little annoyed because my first priorities for the flat, was pretty much having plants everywhere (before we even had the essential furniture), but what’s a vegan plant loving girl to do? After we’d finally set everything up, we decided to be proper tourists and take a site seeing bus around Hamburg (which was fun until it started raining-oh to be back in Europe, where every other season apart from summer feels like winter).
By day 5 in Hamburg, I was already teaching my first yoga class in the local park (to which 16 people turned up to). Within just a couple of weeks of being here, I’ve created a new meetup: Hamburg Reiki, Yoga & Meditation, and have managed to teach 4 yoga classes and 1 Women’s Full Moon ceremony; at which I’ve met such incredible and inspiring people. One of which I connected really well too, as we have a scary amount in common and both do Reiki, so we swapped treatments on each other. I’m really feeling as though everything that I’m doing seems to be aligning up so perfectly with my life goals and values; everything just seems to be free flowing. I’ve already made some great vegan friends (who I’ve mainly met through yoga), and we recently attended a protest against animals being used at the circus on the weekend (as can you believe that they still allow that in Germany!?).
Other than that, September also consisted of going back to Dusseldorf (a week later after moving in), teaching another yoga in nature class, catching up with my wonderful friends and going to a spa hotel for a weekend away, to celebrate Henrik’s mum’s 60th birthday (I would never in a million years guess that she is 60-she has been vegetarian for 12 years so maybe she can owe it to that). The spa itself was amazing, and the hotel was in the middle of a beautiful woodland, with lots of green trees and birds chirping away. There were really cool saunas in wooden huts, and some of them had huge crystals in them, like rose quartz and the drinking water was filtered through amethyst crystals.
The hilarious thing however, was that in Germany, you’re not exactly allowed to wear your bikini/swim wear in the saunas. In other words, it was basically a mainly naked spa, with lots of (mainly old) people wandering round butt naked. Let’s just say, coming from a "reserved” British society, this wasn’t exactly the norm for me. Luckily you are allowed to take your towel into the sauna if you want to, but at some point, I just embraced the nudity. I truly did feel like a hippy, wandering around the forest barefoot with no clothes on. (I recommend everyone tries that at least once in their life time).
Following that experience of an indulging spa weekend, we headed back to Hamburg where I continued to explore the city and make lovely new friends. I had also been on a bit of a yoga studio mission, where I literally emailed about 30 different studios. Not many got back to me, especially as they would rather a teacher who can teach in German. However a few did and I’ve already sub taught a class. As I mentioned though, I was lucky enough to find the perfect situation for me. Where I can teach several times a week, in English, at a brand new studio, Urban Yoga, opening in the city center. It couldn’t be any more perfect for me and I feel so blessed that this opportunity has come my way.
Until I start that position, I have a few other projects lined up like teaching a few pop up yoga classes in Hamburg and Düsseldorf. Although my most exciting project is one that I have co-created with one of my best friends, Kira (who I met at the first ever yoga class I taught in Düsseldorf). We have arranged to host a Women’s Wellness Workshop for November. Where we will be dedicating a whole day towards helping others to become in touch with their highest self. We’ll do this through yoga, meditation, and a range of guided activities, to help the ladies to become more in-tune with their intuition and souls needs. Of course with both of us being vegan foodies, we will also be providing a delicious home cooked vegan meal for everyone attending. I’m so excited to run this and it’s already booked out almost 2 months in advance! When it goes as well as I think it will, I would also love to bring it to Hamburg (and maybe even the UK too).
Anyway this is just a bit of a brief snippet of my September, now on to the good stuff!
Favourite Recipe of September: Pad Thai (GF)
I would definitely have to say that my all time favourite food, is Asian food. Even when I was little, my dad used to call me Maddie Noodles, as I requested that he make noodle stir fry on a regular basis. Asian food is also a no brainer when it comes to veganism, especially considering that there are endless vegan options with so much taste and flavour.
Pad Thai also happens to be my favourite Asian dish, so how could I not include it the monthly favourites! This dish is super easy to make, and you can really prepare and cook everything in less than 20 minutes. Kira and I made this together at her place before I left Dusseldorf, and I’ve made it here again for a new vegan friend I made. Unfortunately I didn’t have the proper flat noodles the second time, but it’s still just as delicious with the thin rice noodles!
For more vegan food inspo, be sure to check out my vegan food instagram page: @VeganForVitality
Love my recipes? Download a FREE sample of my upcoming Gluten Free Vegan Recipe eBook here
Favourite Read of September:
Return from Heaven: Beloved Relatives Reincarnated Within Your Family
I was given this book to read second hand, after my friend Kira had read it (as we’re both very into the notion of reincarnation). I wasn’t exactly in need of another book to read, as I like to read several at a time on my kindle. However I had a physical copy of this book she had given me, which I kept in my bag. One morning I had to take the dog I was sitting to the vet (where I had to wait two hours to be seen). Seeing as I didn’t have my kindle on me, I decided to pick the book up and give it a go.
That was that and I became completely hooked. The book is written by a lady who specialises in in-depth empirical research of reincarnation cases. I found this soo interesting, as this wasn’t some hippy dippy theory some crazy lady had convinced herself of. The cases she offered in this book were legit, validated cases supported by scientific evidence (how cool is that!). Although she has written other books on this topic, this book focuses on reincarnation within the same family, which I found extremely interesting. It covers mainly why some souls choose to reincarnate into the same families, even if their previous life in that family was not too favourable.
I really enjoyed this read and it helped to expand my mind even more, about the possibility that we do choose our parents and the life circumstances that we will face on this planet, in order to grow and evolve through our karmic lessons.
2. Recommended podcast: Manifest This!
So when it comes to recommending books, I don’t like to do so until I have read the entire book. As I am reading many different books at the same time (so Gemini of me), I haven’t been able to complete as many for the monthly blogs. I have however been listening to so many different podcasts. My favourite podcast of this month has to be Manifest This! by Ashley Wood. Ashley covers a huge range of spiritual topics, and dives in deep with different experts in a wide variety of areas.
My favourite episode of her’s that I’ve listened to this month has to be Episode 63: Dreaming as a Spiritual Practice with Connie Kaplan. This episode absolutely blew my mind, especially as I’m such a vivid dreamer and I can always recall the smallest details of each dream I have (even when it’s not exactly the most pleasant). In this episode, we learn about how our dreams might not be as personal as we think. Connie talks about dreaming in relation to the universal mind and consciousness, how some of us have the same dreams and the meaning of this on the collective level, rather than the individual.
Favourite DIY of September: Removing jar labels
Okay so usually, I make this section a beauty or homemade house hold product. However, I’ve been a bit too immersed in other things this month (moving house and teaching yoga). Although, I have been using a great DIY trick to help to remove the labels from glass jars. I really love to store my food in glass jars, as it makes everything easier to see in terms of what you have, and also it’s a great alternative to plastic (especially when you can find packaging free stores).
So what I have been doing, is buying foods which are in jars and then keeping the jars for afterwards to store other types of food in there. However, it’s really annoying when you can’t get the paper label off the jar, as it doesn’t look quite so insta worthy. So a good hack that I have discovered, is that you can remove the labels easily using a few splashes of olive (or any vegetable) oil and a tea spoon of baking powder or bi carbonate of soda.
You mix these ingredients together, until you form a paste like form. Then spread this over the label which you’re having some trouble removing. I would advise to try and remove the label as best as possible first, and for any tough parts you can’t get ride of them use the paste. Apply it and allow it to sit for around 15-20 mins. After this time, scrub it off with hot water and you’ll find the label easily comes off, without leaving any marks or stickiness. Now your jars of food can look pretty on your pantry shelves, and you can clearly see what you’ve got contained in them.
Favourite Yoga Pose of September: Anjaneyasana (low lunge variation)
What I’ve really been enjoying lately, is having a nice play around in the traditional yoga postures, and adding a little more spice to them! This playfulness and creativity, embodies Shakti (the Divine creative feminine energy), helping us to play and flow through life in a meaningful manner.
This variation of the classic low lunge, brings in a nice additional quad stretch, with a slight back bend variation. The arm reaching over head brings space into the side body, lengthens out the abdominal muscles, and brings balance to the whole body.
Releases tension in hip flexors
Beneficial for those with sciatica
Stretches out calves, hamstrings and quads
Strengthens knee joints
Helps to build mental focus
(Avoid if you experience the following)
1. Begin in downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), focusing on pressing your hands firmly into the ground and broadening your collar bones.
2. Draw your right knee in towards your chest and step in between your hands, towards the top of your mat (ensure your right knee is stacked over your right ankle).
3. Lower your left knee onto the mat, coming into your low lunge position. (This level might be enough for you, and you can raise your arms over head keeping your shoulders rolled back)
4. For the “extra spice” in this posture, you can begin to slide your left knee back (creating a deeper stretch through the hips).
5. Next, with the help of your hand you can draw your left leg back towards your spine. (You may want to double up your mat under your left knee for support).
6. Once you feel balanced and stabled here, you can begin to reach your right arm over head, stretching out our side body. (Leaning slightly back towards your left foot to create a gentle back bend).
7. Taking the option to create a Gyan mudra (connecting the thumb and index finger), which helps us to gain insight, clarity and sharpens memory and focus. (Hold the posture for 5 deep breaths).
8. Carefully step out of the posture by releasing your left leg down to the ground, tucking your toes and lifting your right leg back to downward dog. Then repeat again on the opposite side.
Favourite Quote of September:
“When you come into alignment with your soul’s purpose, everything begins to free flow. Life feels effortless, and new and wonderful opportunities gravitate towards you”
This quote is a reflection of how I feel life has been going lately. Everything that I’m doing, is with intention towards working to my higher purpose and creating a life that I love. I have also recently discovered the concept of ‘Human Design’, which is a new system, combining aspects of astrology and modern science. This system has was channeled by Ra Uru Hu in 1987, during an 8 day meditation.
It’s intention is to help us to understand how we best function through life, with our souls purpose. It’s super interesting and they break it down into 5 different categories. My type is a new hybrid called the ‘Manifesting Generator’, you can find out your type and learn more about Human Design here.
Who want’s to join me on a 7 Night Luxury Yoga & Meditation Retreat, Sailing around Croatia next year!?
Find out more here, early bird special available until end of October.
In Hamburg? Come and join in on my latest upcoming yoga class on Saturday 13th, 10:30am at Yoga Vidya, Harburg.
Maddie holds a strong place in her heart for holistic health and well-being. She is a psychology graduate, yoga instructor, reiki master, nutrition adviser and world traveller. Maddie loves cooking, reading, writing and exploring new places, meeting new and interesting people and enjoying the wonders of everyday life.
Enjoy my posts? Follow my journey on Instagram: @TheVeganYogiaTraveller