Do you spend most of your life running around after things or people and getting things done? If so, it can be really easy to overlook or forget that 'being' comes before 'doing'. If you can try to 'be' and discover that you can just stop and observe, often life will respond by helping and bringing whatever is needed. Learning to 'be' is really just learning to be at peace. It could be the most fundamental aspect of being a human. Maybe today you could try to be a human 'being' rather than a human 'doing'.
I don’t know if there is anything better than the colours of autumn! I completely love this time of year in nature – the golds, the reds, the oranges, the yellows… I’ve come over all poetic! And it is this week’s crop in my veg patch that has inspired today’s blog, which is another recipe, this time using pumpkins and parmesan – two of my favourite ingredients.
Pumpkin and parmesan soup
1 onion, peeled, chopped
1kg/2lb 2oz pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and reserved, flesh cubed
800ml/1 pint 9fl oz hot vegetable stock
110g/4oz parmesan, or a similar vegetarian hard cheese, (include the cheese rind if desired), roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and onion and fry gently for 8-10 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Increase the heat to medium, add the diced pumpkin and continue to fry, stirring well, for 2-3 minutes. Pour the hot vegetable stock over the pumpkin mixture and bring to the boil. Stir in the parmesan, then return the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer for a further 8-10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer batches of the mixture to a food processor/blender and blend to a smooth purée. Repeat the process until all of the mixture has been blended to a purée. If you like, you can strain the soup mixture through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and heat until warmed through.
World Mental Health Day is a bit like Christmas day, as every year it is on the same date (10 October). Unlike Christmas day, the aim is about raising awareness of mental health issues and rallying efforts in support of better mental health. This year’s focus was mental health at work. While work is recognised as good for your mental health, working in a negative environment can lead to physical and mental health problems. For example, depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
How can you help to promote a positive working environment? Here are a few ideas:
1. Leave the moaning behind – it really doesn’t help
2. Give positive reinforcement, perhaps by saying how much you enjoyed working with someone, or by giving someone a compliment
3. Celebrate what went well, rather than focusing on what went wrong
4. Encourage positive thinking
5. Get up, get moving, and get some fresh air
Changing to a more positive working environment takes time and effort, but it is really worth it.
Five years ago today, I taught my first exercise class. Time has whizzed by and I think I have taught somewhere in the region of 600 classes since then. I came to teaching fitness very late (usually the realm of the rubber-kneed youth) as part of a health-promotion role I used to do. After various misgivings about whether fitness teaching was something that a serious career lady does, I determinedly went through each training stage and qualified. It was only after a chance conversation with a friend that spurred me on to start up my own community classes and eventually to get to where Clean Well-Being is today. Its success has been with the unending support and enthusiasm of many, but mostly because of the wonderful people who come to my classes, turning up week after week. So today’s blog is a big thank you to them (there’s a little celebration at each of my classes this week to thank everyone).
But this is also about how letting go of outdated versions of yourself can be so freeing and fun. I never dreamt that I would do anything like what I do now. Having people watch and copy me move to music seemed unthinkable and the whole idea felt a bit flaky. Yet now my classes are by far the most gratifying parts of an already enjoyable working week, and are a valued part of my career. I’m so glad I said yes to the training and that I put aside my greatest concern of not being taken seriously. Turns out that if you do something whole-heartedly and with the best of intentions, the rewards to body and mind are immense.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being blog