Passion Pop for the Soul

Lately my life has needed some sweet bubble and fizz. I needed to refuel my spirit and return to my optimistic, energised self.

I was lucky to have a night out with my beloved. We went and saw Sir David Attenborough speak about his life.

How amazing. He got me thinking about many, many things. In particular, when looking back through the decades of one’s life we remember big events and also little moments of connection  that tie us to the world we live in.

Sir David spoke about a few minutes he spent lying on the forest floor with a mother and her two baby gorillas in Africa. They were all a jumble of tangled furry, limbs in the sunshine. Although this experience occurred decades earlier, he still expressed a boyish look of wonder when discussing it.

When I look at my life so far, I also have those moments to enjoy in my heart. Want to hear about a few?

I was squatting over an open latrine in the middle of some extremely remote Cambodian jungle early one morning when I look up to see two macaques sitting a couple of metres away watching me. Well, things were well umm, underway shall I say so I said good morning. They considered me and each other a while and chittered back before swinging around and calling out across the jungle from the tree above me. They returned often in the early mornings during my stay in that patch of jungle and it was glorious. We were all interested, connected and without fear (and I quickly got used to having some of these interactions with my tail in the breeze). Amazingly lucky.

The days my children were born and placed on my chest for the first time.

When I fell in love with their father.

When I walk through a burnt temperate forest the first spring after a fire. I make friends again with my favourite ground orchid species and wildflowers.

The first time I stood on a red sand hill in Hattah Kulkyne National Park in the Mallee and had uninterrupted 360 degree views of only wilderness and heard only the breeze and birdsong.

Yesterday, walking along the beach holding my beautiful daughter’s hand.

When you look back at your life, what moments will return you to wonder? What will make your heart sing?

How do we make time in a busy world for these fibres that weave our golden nests of joy? For these nests are our comfort in challenging times. They build our resilience during hardship.

How do we get our passion pop for the soul? Easy. Start with the simple enjoyment of the little stuff, plan for some big stuff and we will find ourselves fulfilled, connected and rejoicing in our luck to have stumbled upon this life.

In the closing part of Sir David’s discussions, what did he say? He quoted Louis Armstrong.

“I see trees of green…….. red roses too

I see em bloom….. for me and for you
And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue….. clouds of white
Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow…..so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces…..of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands…..sayin.. how do you do
They’re really sayin……i love you.

I hear babies cry…… I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more…..than I’ll never know
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world”

Have a beautiful week. xx

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Rainbow salad with creamy, lemon dressing

Delicious before dressing...
Delicious before dressing…

This salad dishes up delicious flavours and a variety of nutrients from the colourful vegetables. My toddler gobbles it all up every time.  Of course, she helps prepare the dressing and finish off the salad. Any version of this dish is served with quiche, fish, roasted free range chicken, marinated tofu or bbq skewers in our home. Yum!

I blanch beans, cauliflower and broccoli for an extra few minutes to serve my infant too.

Ingredients
Vegetables
1 carrot grated
1 medium zucchini grated
¼ large red capsicum very finely diced
1 head broccoli, in bite sized florets
½ head cauliflower, in bite sized florets
3 generous handfuls of green beans, topped and cut in half
1 handful baby spinach leaves

Dressing
½ cup full fat natural yoghurt
1/3 cup egg mayonnaise (made from free range eggs)
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice to tast
cracked black pepper
2 tsp olive oil (optional, but nice)
½ to 1 tsp runny honey

Method
1. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower for a couple of minutes. Blanch the green beans for four minutes. Once out of boiling water, immediately rinse all blanched vegetables with cold water in a colander, shake dry and add to large bowl.
2. Add remaining vegetables and optional extras to the blanched vegetables and stir gently to combine.
3. Prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Adjust lemon juice and mayonnaise to taste.
4. Add dressing to vegetables. Gently stir through and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:
Any colourful vegetables that don’t release too much water suit this salad. Fresh corn is good. Pre-cooked brown rice and toasted flaked almonds add carbs, protein and complexity making it a complete meal.

This salad keeps well undressed in the fridge for a couple of days, but it never lasts that long in our house!

Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.
Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.

Activist note:
We are connected to the hens that lay our eggs. Let’s choose a free range life for them by buying higher animal welfare products. Ban the cage. Note if you live in Australia, Coles brand egg mayonnaise is made from free range eggs and very reasonably priced.