Sour Cream Date Scones

sour cream date scones

When our ACT IYTA rep, Martha Luksza was in lockdown she decided to cook up a storm with some left over sour cream… the resulting scones didn’t last too long with her three teenage sons and husband in the house, which is why there are only two scones in the photo!

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cup self-raising flour sifted
  • 2 tbs milk to coat

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix sour cream and cold water together.
  3. Sift flour (you could use whole meal) into a bowl and make a well in the flour.
  4. Add the sour cream mixture and gently stir mixture until combined. Then add chopped dates.
  5. Knead dough gently on a floured surface.
  6. Roll out dough until 2.5 cm thick.
  7. Cut out scones and put on a lightly greased oven tray
  8. Brush scones with milk and bake for 10-12 minutes.

If you have a household with hungry teenagers like Martha, then the advice is to make double the batch and freeze any leftovers (not that there are likely to be any!)

Feeling in the mood for more baking?  Why not try these tasty Chia, Banana and Date Muffins

 

 

Seeds are the new nuts!

IYTA Yoga teacher, Rebecca Lean goes nuts for seeds! Check out her seed mix – which she adds to yoghurts, soups and salads…

 

For years as a vegetarian I have been a huge fan of nuts (well we are what we eat) and in the past I’ve been opportunistic in my approach to incorporate them wherever I can.

Recently though, I’ve been experimenting with the benefits of using seeds.

 

Personally, for my ayurvedic constitution, nuts can be hard to digest unless soaked, and what’s more it is so easy to eat more of them than necessary or even recommended.

 

For my community, with schools and child-care centers no longer allowing nuts due to them being fairly common allergens, it also just feels thoughtful and inclusive to turn to seeds and seed mixes as an alternative.

 

After a few queries online and at my local healthfood store, and I discovered a seed mix that is high in omega 3 and 6, which is beneficial to the health of the heart, brain, eyes, bones and joints as well as having positive impact on inflammation, auto-immune disease, diabetes and depression.

 

This mix is now added to my yogurt, salads, soups and in baking and I hope you will enjoys seeing where they work in your favourite dishes too.

 

I found this recipe online and I can recommend sourcing the seeds from bulk wholefood suppliers such as Scoop, The Source or Naked Foods. This way you are only buying the half a cup of each the recipe requires and you can avoid the expense and waste of a cupboard full of half used bags of seeds. It also means that you can play with the ratios according to your taste and budget.

 

  • ½ Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • ½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ½ Cup Flax Seeds
  • ½ Cup Chia Seeds

 

Mix the seeds together and store in an airtight container. Depending on how fresh the seeds are to begin with, this keeps for 1-2 months in a cool, dark space.

 

Happy cooking!

 

Rebecca Lean

Chia, banana and date muffins

These delicious muffins are the perfect lockdown treat –  thanks to Julia Willoughby* who baked these for our Canberra Restorative Yoga Workshop!  

Ingredients:

Dry:

2 cups of almond meal

¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

A pinch of sea salt

Wet:

1 cup of fresh dates, pitted and chopped

3 organic eggs

2 large, ripe bananas

¼ cup virgin organic coconut oil or rice bran oil

1 tsp chia seeds

 

Method:

 

#1: preheat the oven to 180 C (160C fan forced)

#2 in a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients

#3: in a food processor or high speed blender, combine the dates, eggs, bananas and coconut oil or rice bran oil

#4: add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well. Divide into around 8 paper lined muffin-tin holes and top with chia seeds

#5: bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

 

*visit Julia Willoughby’s yoga website

Find more healthy muffin recipes here

Karmic Korma

This recipe (by Lee Holmes of Super Charged Foodhas been sent in by IYTA pre-natal yoga lecturer, Julia Willoughby. This delicious mild curry is Julia’s favourite soup as it’s easy to digest, nutritious, filling and tasty.

Ingredients

105 g natural cashews

1 tablespoon ground coriander

3 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

¾ teaspoon ground fennel

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

400ml tin additive-free coconut milk

1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or 3 teaspoons ghee

1 onion chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 large tomato, diced

½ medium cauliflower, cut into florets

1 large turnip, peeled and diced

150g green peas (fresh or frozen)

250ml filtered water

Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves optional to serve.

 

 

Method:

Soak the cashews in hot filtered water for 30 minutes. Drain.

Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Whiz the cashews with the coconut milk in a food processor until smooth.

Melt the oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften.

Add the spices and cook, stirring frequently for one minute or until the spices are aromatic. Add the tomato and cook, stirring frequently for a further minute. Add the remaining vegetables, the water and the cashew mixture, then stir to combine and cook for a further ten minutes. Add a little more filtered water if necessary.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 35 minutes adding more filtered water if the sauce starts to reduce too much.

Remove from the heat and season to taste, then allow to cool slightly. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves.

If you liked this recipe you’ll love others by Lee Holmes. Check out her websites here:

www.superchargedfood.com

www.superchargeyourgut.com

 

Spiced Winter Porridge

This quick and easy  warming porridge is perfect for breakfast (or anytime of the day) to give you energy and vitality during the winter

Ingredients:

2 cups of  oats

2 cups of water

1 cup (or more) depending on your preferred consistency unhomogenised milk

1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of raisins

3 tablespoons of almonds, 2 tablespoons of pepitas

(you can use any combination of chopped nuts and seeds)

maple syrup/ honey – optional

Method:

Heat oats and water in a pan

Add milk as required, but ensure it doesn’t boil

Stir regularly as you add in raisins, cardamom and cinnamon

After a few minutes turn off heat and sprinkle in seeds and nuts.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. If using honey ensure the porridge has cooled. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Kitcheree – the perfect food for Autumn

Give your tastebuds and digestion a treat with this delicious Ayurvedic dish. Kiitcheree (also spelt kitchari) is known as a healing food as it is so easy to digest and the perfect blend of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. This recipe is from our IYTA Social Media expert, Karen Mallinson

Ingredients:

1 cup mung beans (soaked overnight)

1 cup basmati rice

½ cup Sunflower oil (can use “ghee” but it won’t be vegan)

1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger (pealed & chopped fine)

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper powder

2 bay leaves

1 stick of cinnamon (if small use 2)

4 cloves

4 whole cardamon pods (split)

½ tsp Asafoetida (hing) (Asafoetida can be found in good Indian grocery stores, if you don’t have it, it can be left out).

½ tsp cayenne

Salt (to taste)

6 cups Vegetarian stock or water (heated)

2 cups of carrots (small dices)

2 cups of broccoli or cauliflower (small florets)

You can add any other vegetables, like potato/sweet potato or pumpkin.

Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

 

Method:

  • Soak the mung beans overnight, it will help to aid the digestion process.
  • Make a vegetarian stock with vegetable scraps and peelings. (If you don’t have time you can use a store-based vegetable stock or use hot water).
  • Wash the mung beans and the basmati rice until the water is clear.
  • Heat a pot on medium heat and add the oil (or ghee). Then add ginger, stir for a moment and then add the black mustards and cumin seeds. When they start to pop-up add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon barks, cloves, cardamon and hing.
  • Stir for a couple of minutes and add the rice and the mung beans, stirring very well until all is mixed together.
  • Add the hot vegetarian stock (or the water), cover and bring to boil, let it boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat very low to a simmer. Lightly cover the pan.
  • Make sure you give the mixture a stir every 5 minutes, so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • After 15 minutes of simmering, add the carrots, continue to keep stirring every 5 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes more add the broccoli or cauliflower. Keep a close eye on it for another minutes.
  • You can add a little more stock of water if it is needed or if you want a runnier consistency.
  • Add salt to taste and turn it off the heat. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve.

 

SERVING OPTIONS:

  • You can serve on its own, or with a dollop of yoghurt, (we use coconut yoghurt) and a squeeze of lemon.
  • IF you are using Ghee, it’s also nice to serve with a little melted ghee on top.
  • We also serve ours with Sauerkraut or a nice tomato Kasundi.
  • You can serve with a leaf salad.

 

Baba Ganoush and Feast for Freedom

Combine great food with raising money and awareness for a good cause with Feast for Freedom.
Feast for Freedom is a shared food experience in aid of people seeking asylum. Sign up and host a Feast in your home or workplace using recipes gifted from the program. Details below.
Our recipe is Aheda’s Smoky Baba Ganoush

Aheda was a chef in Palestine and has been seeking asylum in Australia since 2018. Aheda is a Palestinian cuisine traditionalist and has dreams of one day opening a food truck to share her love of traditional Palestinian food and culture. You can also currently find Aheda delivering immersive cooking experiences and sharing her cultural traditions through Melbourne-based social enterprise ‘Free to Feed’.

See more on Aheda and register to receive her gifted recipes here

Smoky Baba Ganoush
Ingredients:
  • 1 very large eggplant
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced using mortar and pestle
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of 1 – 2 lemons (to your taste)
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of sumac
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Optional: pita bread or lavash flatbread

Method:

  1. If using a gas cooktop, place strips of foil around the base of the gas hob to catch the juice of the eggplant. Using a moderate to high flame, place the eggplant directly onto the gas burner and roast for 20-25 minutes or until well charred and the flesh is soft. Use metal tongs to rotate the eggplant over the flame occasionally to ensure an even char. Once the skin is flaky and charred and the eggplant is soft and juicy, remove it from heat and allow to cool slightly on a tray. If the eggplant is still not cooked inside, place on a lined baking tray and finish under a hot grill. Alternatively, to cook the eggplant in an oven, prick holes in eggplant with a fork and place on a lined baking tray and cook under a hot grill for approx one hour, turning occasionally.
  2. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, make an incision into the eggplant and scoop out the soft flesh (tip: the flesh should be white but cooked). Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant on a large chopping board and roughly chop. The eggplant should be very soft and juicy. Add the crushed garlic, lemon juice, tahini and pink Himalayan salt and continue chopping and folding the mixture until well combined and desired texture is achieved. Alternatively you can blitz the mixture lightly in a food processor.
  3. Once well combined, place the mixture on a plate or in a flat bowl and drizzle with olive oil, pinch of sumac and parsley to garnish. Serve with fresh or pickled vegetables and flatbread.

Listen to Aheda’s story HERE 

How to become involved with Feast for Freedom:

Register at www.feastforfreedom.org.au – become a Host and choose anytime during March 2021 to host your Feast.  
The ASRC team will then email you a personal fundraising page where your guests can RSVP and you can receive donations towards your fundraising goal.
 
Choose your cuisine – Sri Lankan, Palestinian or maybe something from the archives from previous years 
 
After registration a FREE ‘Feast Host Kit; will be sent to you including a collectible recipe book with gifted recipes, a Feast shopping totem a wooden spoon, a shopping list and conversation cards to use with your guests. Register before 14th February and receive a FREE Feast tea towel.
 
Host your Feast in your home or workplace, raise funds and celebrate what unites us – food and community! 
This year’s Feast will feature recipes gifted by refugee cooks from Palestine and Sri Lanka lovingly gifted by ASRC member and ASRC Foodbank volunteer Aheda as well as Tamil refugee and chef, Niro.

 

Five minute salad

Need something healthy, quick and delicious? Then try this five minute salad!

Ingredients:

1 rice cup (available from supermarkets – I had brown rice and quinoa)

if you have more time, then use quinoa or rice cooked from scratch

1 sweetcorn

1/2 capsicum

1/2 cup snowpeas

1 hard boiled egg

leftover cooked veggies – I used potato

1 cup spinach

 

Method:

Cook rice

cook corn (and then cut off kernels)

chop up veggies and cut hard boiled egg into quarters

Add everything to a bowl

add dressing of balsamic and olive oil and salt and pepper as required.

 

This is a super versatile salad, so please add leftover roasted veggies, herbs and other raw veggies you may have. Enjoy 🙂

Looking for more healthy recipes, try the broccoli, raisin and sunflower salad

 

 

Brekkie Veggie Gumbo

Busy morning with back-to-back yoga classes? Then tuck into this wholesome breakfast dish which should keep you going till lunch!

Ingredients:

1 x can of black or kidney beans (or soak 2 cups of  your choice of legumes overnight)

1 red capsicum

1 can of tinned cherry tomatoes

1 onion

1 leek

2 cups of spinach

1 egg

 

Method:

This meal is so versatile – you can substitute almost all the ingredients depending on taste and what you have in your fridge!

Chop the onion, leek and capsicum into

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan or wok and cook onion and leek until soft

Add tomatoes and red capsicum – simmer for 3-4 minutes. While these are simmering, you may wish to poach an egg. Turn off heat

Stir through spinach leaves until wilted.

Add egg and cracked pepper if desired. You may also like to add finely chopped chilli if you like spicy dishes.

 

 

Summer Berry mocktail

Savour the sunset with this delicious alcohol-free mocktail

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of frozen strawberries

2 cups of frozen watermelon

200ml of cranberry juice

Optional: 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint

  • aim to have equal amounts of the watermelon and strawberries and use enough cranberry juice to create a smooth consistency

 

Method

I prefer to have fresh strawberries and watermelon and then freeze, but you can always buy the ready frozen variety. You might also like to mix it up with raspberries and blueberries!

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender or Thermomix and blend until smooth.

Drink immediately and serve with an extra sprig of mint. Enjoy 🙂

Christmas Chocolate, Pistachio & Raspberry Slice

Indulge your senses and tastebuds with this delicious festive treat by our NSW IYTA State Rep, Alexi Pallpratt

Ingredients

1 x 100gms block of dark chocolate 70% ( Alexi used Lindt).

3 tbsp of Almond Butter

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tbsp of Maple syrup

100gms of fresh raspberries

¾ cup of Pistachio’s

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Method

On a very low heat melt the bar of chocolate then remove from the heat.

Add the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup. Mix together well.

When all combined, add ½ cup of the Pistachios into the mixture.

Then place the raspberries at the bottom on a lined small slice tin.

Poor over the chocolate nut mixture & then place the remaining pistachio’s on top for decoration.

Put in the fridge for 1 hour to set and slice up when ready to serve.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

Citrus Poppyseed Buttons

Enjoy these light and delicious biscuits from our President, Astrid Pickup – perfect for an end of class sweet treat!    
Ingredients
200g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons poppyseeds
1 teaspoon grated rind of any citrus fruit
Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon citrus juice
Method:
  • Beat margarine, sugar, rind and egg until very light in colour.
  • Add flour in batches then stir in poppyseeds.
  • Refrigerate covered mixture for 1/2 hour or so.
  • Place balls of mixture on baking paper, flatten slightly.
  • Bake in 180C over for 8-12 minutes until very lightly browned.
  • When cool drizzle icing across biscuits in thin lines and allow to set.
  • Dust with icing sugar to finish (optional).

Broccoli, raisin and sunflower salad

Asked to bring a salad to a BBQ or just keen for a new take on broccoli? Then you’ll love this easy-to-prepare salad   

Ingredients:

2 heads of broccoli

1 cup of raisins

½ cup of sunflower seeds (or slivered almonds)

Dressing:

3/4 cup of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Pinch of white sugar

Optional – squeeze of lemon

 

Method     

Finely chop broccoli including the stalks and put into a large bowl. Then add raisins and sunflower seeds.

In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients for the dressing, then add to the main bowl.

Mix thoroughly and either eat immediately or swap to an airtight container and place in fridge.

Spring veggie couscous

This versatile couscous dish is delicious as a side or as a main meal. It’s light, nutritious and perfect to pack in a lunchbox!

Ingredients:

Red onion

2 large carrots

2 cups of couscous

3 cups of water

1 cube of vegetable stock

2 beetroots

1 tomato

1 block of halloumi cheese (cut into 1cm strips)

3-4 sprigs of mint

3 cups of baby spinach leaves

Handful of walnuts

Lemon for garnish and Greek yoghurt if desired

 

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 200C

Chop the red onion into wedges, the carrots into 1cm batons and the beetroot into 1cm cubes

Then place veggies on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil

Place in oven for 25 minutes or until golden

While the veggies are baking, cook the couscous – bring water to the boil in a pan and crumble in the stock.

Then add the couscous and set aside (with lid on the pan) for 5 minutes.

When couscous has absorbed all the water, fluff up with a fork.

Then add a drizzle of oil to a medium frying pan and cook halloumi until golden on both side. When cooled cut into 1cm squares.

Chop up the tomato, mint and spinach leaves and add this to a large bowl. Then add couscous and halloumi – stir to mix up and then add walnuts and roasted veggies.

You may wish to garnish with lemon wedges and add Greek yoghurt to taste. Enjoy!

Build a bowl

Bowls are IN – and somehow (not sure why!) but there is something more appealing about healthy food in a bowl than on a plate 🙂

And the great thing about bowls is that as long as there is variety – and colour – you can vary the theme each time, so it never gets boring! You can use any grain as a base, plenty of herbs, throw in a few beans and pop a poached egg on top for extra protein.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of tri-colour quinoa
  • 1 cup of frozen peas (this ratio of quinoa and peas will make enough for around 4 bowls)
  • Spring of mint leaves
  • 1 block of halloumi cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 egg – for topping
  • Slice of lemon to garnish

Method:

  • Bring 2.5 cups of water to the boil in a saucepan, then add the 2 cups of quinoa, cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes add the peas to the quinoa
  • While the quinoa is cooking slice halloumi and fry until golden on both sides.
  • Chops the mint and smash the avocado
  • Poach the egg
  • Drain the quinoa and peas.

Then have fun building your bowl! You can also add sauerkraut, vegies and herbs to taste – enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Daily Routine for Immunity and Health

By Patricia Wigley

  • A full version of this article will appear in the next issue of International Light out later this month

Our daily routine should suit the season. As well as appropriate exercise and fresh food, Ayurveda reminds us to create a healthy rhythm in our day working in line with the rhythms around us in nature. Check out the following ways you can create more balance in your daily routine this winter

 

  • Bed before around 10pm up at 6pm
  • Hydrate (warm water with a squirt of lemon juice)
  • Bowel motion (preferably in the squat position)
  • Exercise (even 5 – 10 mins of movement with breath) or nice brisk walk of 20 – 25 mins (to get prana moving)
  • Meditate (20 mins ideally) 5 – 10 is fine to start with
  • Breakfast
  • Creative activities in the morning
  • The midday meal is the most important when the digestive fire is highest between 12 and 2pm
  • More routine type of activities for the Afternoon
  • Late afternoon and evening for more recreational activities and light evening meal. Spend time with family or those we care for. This is a real need for us and it is the time when we may emotionally overeat or indulge in unhealthy food to fulfil this emotional need.
  • Evening practice before evening meal – to release tension accumulated from the day – 20 mins meditation and short wind-down physical practice – eg: legs up the wall and breathing.
  • Evening meal – light and easily digested. Eat before 7pm
  • Lighting is important: turn off computer and tv screens at least an hour before bed. Sleep in dark room. Melatonin production is stimulated by the dark and quality of sleep will improve.

Notice our day starts with a good sleep at the ideal time the night before. Even one night of poor sleep decreases the ability of your immune system to fight viruses. (If you are not getting enough sleep make sure you practise yoga nidra during the day to ensure complete rest and recuperation).

 

Patricia will be running an Ayurvedic workshop for winter wellness on July 19. To book in or find out more, click HERE

 

 

 

 

Hearty Adzuki and Vegie Soup

One of the fabulous things about winter is cooking up a nourishing soup – here is one of Patricia Wigley’s Ayurvedic-inspired recipes to enjoy.

 

  • 1 cup adzuki beans
  • 1 cup rice or spelt pasta
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 knob ginger finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Pinch asafoetida (hing), Black pepper, rock or sea salt
  • 1tsp each turmeric, coriander, mustard seeds
  • 1 carrot
  • Handful beans
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small or 1 cup of sweet potato
  • Small head broccoli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 6-8 cups water .

Method:

  • Saute onion, ginger, garlic , mustard seeds in olive oil 1-2 minutes.
  • Add adzuki beans, turmeric, asafoetida, chopped veggies and stir to coat.
  • Add water, pepper, salt, coriander and bring to boil.
  • Stir and reduce to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add rice and continue to simmer another 30 minutes or pasta for another 10 minutes.

 

Serves 4

Warm spiced porridge with poached pears and nutmeg

One of the best things about winter is waking up to a warm bowl of spiced porridge. This easy-to-make breakfast dish will fuel you up for the day!

Ingredients:

1 cup of rolled oats

2 tablespoons of sultanas

half a cup of water (or unhomogenised milk)

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

2 teaspoons of raw sugar

unhomogenised milk – to add after cooking depending on your preference for thick, creamy porridge or not!

1 pear – to poach/stew

a sprinkling of nutmeg – garnish for the pear

drizzle of maple syrup – optional

Method:

1: Put water/ milk in the pan with the oats on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon.

2: After a minute or so add the sultanas, spiced herbs and sugar

3: Continue to stir and keep on a low heat and while this is simmering peel and cut the pear into thin slices. Add to a pan of water (just enough to coat the pears) and heat until the pears are soft.

4: Serve the porridge in bowls, add milk if you wish to make the porridge extra creamy. Add the pears and spinkle with nutmeg and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Enjoy. Store in an airtight container and this will keep in the fridge for up to two days. The flavours will infuse and be even more delicious – which will give you extra time for a lie-in!

 

Why I Eat Dinner for Breakfast

I started eating dinner for breakfast after my friend and fellow yogi Suzanne Ellis suggested it. It’s been six months now and I’m a convert – so could you eat your dinner for breakfast?

Have you ever had the experience of going to bed, but being unable to sleep because your abdomen is so distended and your stomach is gurgling?

I used to think this slight indigestion was normal. But if you think about it logically, eating a big meal before bed will not give you a great opportunity to digest properly. Nor will it dispose you to a good night’s rest.

Yet the idea of skipping the evening meal is shocking, isn’t it? It’s awful to lie there awake and hungry.

But mindfulness helps us get over this, as it helps with almost every emotional conundrum. What if hunger was just a sensation, nothing more or less? Maybe we could observe it and move on and through? Maybe we could sleep, and maybe that sleep would be deeper and more restful than any sleep we’ve had for a long time?

It actually costs our body energy to sleep. It also costs energy to digest. So if we’re trying to do both at once, it’s not a very efficient system. Monks in Asia know the energy cost of digestion; that’s why they often have the rule of eating only one or two meals a day, and nothing after midday, otherwise they have no energy for meditation.

There is also a saying, Breakfast like a king, dine like a prince, and sup like a pauper, which sounds like great advice, only I’ve hardly ever known anyone who lived by it.

But in recent years the popularity of intermittent fasting has changed how we see eating. We now know that foregoing nourishment for a few extra hours every day or every second day, extends longevity. Our body reacts to the ‘stress’ of hunger by strengthening its immune response. So there is now lots of scientific back-up for the benefits of skipping a meal.

Personally, I’ve known in my bones for years that I should cut down on eating at night. But it seemed really hard. So when I saw how glowing and healthy my friend Suzanne looked on a regimen of Big Breakfast, Tiny Dinner, I had to try it. She and Rama Prasad, her Ayurvedic Studies teacher, introduced me to this very sensible idea of never thinking about depriving yourself of food at night, but simply taking whatever food you desired in the morning, concentrating on eating a lot and eating well in the day and simply taking a rest from eating at night, if you feel like it. No pressure!

An important thing to realise is that hunger is a sensation, and that we are evolved to pay great attention to it. We don’t have to always indulge it, but we need to respect it. So the main principle of Eating Your Dinner For Breakfast is that you aim to satisfy your senses in the morning. That’s not just alimentary senses, but visual, olfactory, tactile, and textural. Make sure you attend to all areas of sensory enjoyment, and that the major food groups are covered generously. If you do the same at lunch (don’t worry about the times, just eat a large breakfast and lunch when you are hungry), then by evening you’ll be done for the day. You don’t need much satiating. You might even find you’ve skipped your traditional 3pm cookie too, without noticing.

So how do you Eat Your Dinner for Breakfast?

Step One: Fill ‘er up (with veg)

Morning: After your yoga practice, of course. You make a large plateful of nourishment, paying attention that all the textures, all the colours, and of course all the major vitamins and minerals are represented. Go crazy with different coloured vegetables, herbs and spices. Add fermented foods – kimchi, sauerkraut, pickle. Arrange everything as beautifully as you can. Be generous with your serving. Rama Prasad counsels that you should ideally eat a tenth of your body weight for breakfast. I found this impossible, and it certainly is unhelpful to start weighing your food (we don’t want any obsessing, people), but it’s a good frame of reference.

Step Two: Pile on the protein (and a little carb if you want)

Protein is great for satiety. I am a fish-eating lacto-ovo-vegetarian, so I actually have a lot of protein sources – usually eggs, beans, wholegrains, dairy, nuts and seeds (including quinoa) and occasionally fish. Complex carbohydrates – brown rice, wholewheat bread and the like, can be really good (I love them), but don’t rely on them to fill your plate up (it should be pretty full already with vegies and protein).

Step Three: Eat with your eyes

Put the meal down on the table and enjoy how it looks. I like to put a placemat and a nice set of cutlery, and to use my best plate. I used to often skip this step, but it’s so nice to visually appreciate your efforts, and taking time to see your food is a large part of eating mindfully. You could even try taking a photo. It’s a funny cliché in this age of social media and food porn, but when you go to the lengths of taking a photo you really see your food. And you can send it as encouragement to your friends who also eat their dinner for breakfast.

Step Four: Take a good sniff

Make sure you take time to smell the fragrance of your food. If you’ve used lots of herbs and spices it will smell amazing. Since I’ve been paying more attention to vegies I’ve discovered lots of new spice combinations which you can’t find in any recipe books. No rules except your own senses.

Step Five: Eat slowly until you’re full

You don’t have to finish everything on your plate, but as you get better at this you will be able to judge how much you need to feel satiated but not over-full. Make sure you chew every bite. If you’ve done the other steps, you might find you are more inclined to eat mindfully.

Step Six: Pack the other half for lunch

Hopefully you’ve judged the quantities well enough to have left half. Naturally, we’d all like to cook afresh for lunch, but who has that kind of time? Let lunch be a bit different from breakfast by adding fresh herbs, seeds or a different protein. Eat it whenever hunger calls.

Step Seven: Gloss over ‘dinner’

Who needs it?

In my house, my husband and two kids love to eat dinner. And I love to cook it. So I go ahead and cook up a storm, but I save most of mine for the morning. Sometimes I eat a token bit with my family, or just have the salad. My husband has started eating less for dinner now too. But my kids are still growing, so they need their three meals. For adults, a light salad (summer) or a light soup (winter) can be just perfect, topped off with a herbal tea. Try and eat as early as possible to empty your stomach before lying down. I aim for 6pm.

Step Eight: Don’t obsess!

Eat dinner when you feel like it. Sometimes you need it if you’ve not eaten enough in the day. Or sometimes you just want to. Definitely go out with friends and family and indulge in social eating, just because it’s lovely. You’ll notice that your sleep and your energy may not be quite as good, but it’ll be worth it. And let me know how you go below – I need constant inspiring too.

With thanks to my teachers Suzanne Ellis and Rama Prasad.

Debbie Hodgson is editor of International Light and a yoga teacher. She is living in Canberra with her husband and two children and studying physiotherapy.