Caylee's Barley Salad

Wednesday, February 27

My Mum has the most awesome hand written recipe collection.  She has a file with plastic sleeves and then inside these there are the recipes of dishes and treats that she has been making us our whole lives.  Many of them are in her hand writing, others are penned by my aunts, great aunts or family friends, and one or two are even in my own 10 year old selfs scrawl.  Every so often a recipe torn from a magazine or newspaper appears too.

I remember saying to her a few years go, that she really should type them all up and make a more organised system, but now I appreciate each recipe even more from the weathered, dated page from which it is read.  Some of them are over 25 years old, and some of the people who gave them to her are no longer with us...

I also love how the person whom she got the recipe from is mentioned in the recipe title.  Mary's Health Muffins, Joan's Cheese Scones and Gylle's Apricot Chicken, I certainly don't think were invented by them!

Unfortunately these days, most of the recipes that I find are online, and my own personal recipe book collection is sadly lacking.  Fortunately this blog has become a chronicle of my favourite recipes, but it certainly has none of the charm of my Mother's one.

When we were in South Africa for our Wedding and Christmas, my friend Caylee made the most delicious Barley Salad.  When we got back from SA, I asked her to send it to me.

I made it the other day, and it was delicious.

  So in the spirit of my Mum's Recipe Collection File, I give you, directly copied and pasted from my Facebook inbox: 

Caylee's Barley Salad

Salad: barley, dried cranberry, feta, chives and walnuts (I used a 500g bag of barley for xmas)
Dressing: balsamic vinegar, oil oil, brown sugar (I used honey) and crushed garlic.
Everything in dressing was sort of to taste, but if I rem correctly it was approx 1 part olive oil to 3 parts balsamic. I made waaaaaay to much dressing and u only need a little.
Sorry I can't give you exacts!

I used 200g Pearl Barley when I made it for Pete and I the other night, thinking we could save the leftovers, but it was so delicious we ate the lot.

This salad does need a bit of pre thinking though as Barley takes a long time to cook!  The 75 minutes that it took to cook on the hob were definitely worth it though.

According to The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods, by Murray, Pizzorno and Pizzorno, the chief health benefit of Barley, lies in it's fiber component.  Like oat bran, the barley's dietary finer is high in beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the faeces. 

What special recipes do your family have?
And do you keep a Recipe book or file that you add to yourself, or is it all online?

The Liebster Award...

Monday, February 25

Last week, the lovely sisters, Charlotte and Molly from Ou est la discotheque? nominated me for the Liebster award. 

Liebster is a German word meaning kindest, nicest, beloved, endearing and welcoming. It's a word which has a positive meaning towards people. This award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. And the most important thing about this award is to share and grow the network and encourage new bloggers. The blogger who has been nominated should have less than 200 followers.

I have a few more readers than the above, but wanted to do it anyway.

How it works...
Each person must post 11 things about themselves
Answer the questions that the nominator set for you, then set 11 more questions for the blogs you nominate
Chose blogs to nominate, then link them to your blog
Go to their page and let them know.

Me, Namib's Foal and Pete

11 Things About Me:

1. I have an irrational fear of birds, especially pigeons. 

2. I'm training to become a yoga teacher this year.

3. My Dad is one of 6 children, and 5 of them live in my small home town in South Africa. I grew up with loads of cousins!

4. I still have my horse from when I was 11 years old, she is called Namib and lives on my Parents farm in SA.

5. I have 2 younger brothers and a baby sister who is 13.

6. I love travelling, and have been lucky enough to travel a fair bit in the past few years.

7. I love hearing other people's life stories.

8. My brothers believe I missed a lot of my childhood as I was too busy reading, I disagree.

9. I am allergic to crustaceans (shell fish).

10. I came to London for 'a year' initially, six years later...

11. I can speak Xhosa, an African language, that has lots of clicking sounds, to say the Xh Xhosa, put your tongue between your back teeth and make a clicking sound...

Questions from Charlotte and Molly:

1.  What made you start blogging?

In December 2011, I was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer, for the third time. 
I sat waiting to see my surgeon and for the usual, "stay out the sun" and "you grew up in a hot country" blah blah blah, I knew this before my first melanoma already, and now I had my third.
And so I was quite surprised when she asked me "do you eat blueberries everyday?".  Not what I the rest of that story here.  And hence the name, obviously.
I started reading up on anything that I could find about the causes of cancer and the benefits of healthy living, and tried to work out the truth from the rubbish out there.  I started sharing my findings with friends in an email newsletter, until my friend Nix created this blog for me.

2.  Sweet tooth or savoury all the way?

Sweet, no question. Giving up Chocolate for lent is killing me.

3.  Last film you watched?

Untouchable this weekend home, Les Mis at the cinema, highly recommend both of them...

4.  What would be your ultimate dinner party menu?

Starter: Something with smoked salmon and avo.
Main: Steak, roast veg and salad.
Dessert: Mango, Plain Yoghurt and Honey

5.  Biggest fashion faux pas you made when you were younger?

Going to cop out and say too many to remember? A pair of velvet like bell bottomed trousers does come to mind though.

6.  What is your go-to outfit for a night out?

Black jeans and usually a brightly coloured top...

7.  Alive or dead who would you kill to see in concert?

I'm not the most clued up when it comes to music, but our first dance at our Wedding was to Michael Buble, and we are going to see him this Summer.  

8.  If you love a book, do you dare to watch the film version?

Yes usually, and then ALWAYS complain afterwards that it did the book no justice!

9.  What are you currently obsessed with?

The Trilogy Everything balm, which has finally replaced my addiction to Elizabeth Arden 8 hour creme. And it's natural! 

10. Do you have any bad habits?

Yes, loads. Worst at the moment is reading blogs and hanging out on social media sites when I should be trying to grow my new business.

11. What do you love most about blogging?

I love getting messages from people I know, or who I've never met, thanking me for recommending they try something, or thinking about their lives in a different way. The one week two friends sent me messages saying that they had resigned from the jobs after reading a post I wrote on What Makes You Happy? Pete jokes that I'm going to have some angry husbands/boyfriends after me soon...

And now for my nominations:

Rebecca from  Becca Louisa

Amy at Yummei


I think a few of you have more than 200 followers too, but I've so enjoyed doing this, thought you girls may too:)

And my Questions for you:

1. Why do you Blog?
2. Favourite post that you have ever written?
3. Top 3 Favourite books that you have ever read?
4. Favourite city?
5. When I grow up I want to write a blog as cool as......
6. Dream job if money were no object?
7. Shoes or Handbags?
8. My perfect chilled out Sunday would include...
9. The one 'healthy' habit I wish I could stick to is....
10. What do you usually have for Breakfast? 
11. Current Obsession?

Looking forward to hearing your answers....

New friends, Cakes, Cocktails and the very cool Chobani Yoghurt Story

Thursday, February 21

So a few weeks ago, I met a gorgeous girl called Christine at a blogger meet up.  We got chatting and after the usual question of 'what do you blog about?', and me answering 'mainly health', she told me that she worked for a great yoghurt company who have recently launched in the UK.

I had actually tried this yoghurt before, that's a whole different story, but basically I'd loved it, and then couldn't remember the name of it.

Christine offered to send me some more to try, and six flavours of Chobani Yoghurt later, I was sold.

It tastes so creamy, you can't believe it's fat free. 

Christine invited me to join the fabulous Chobani team last night, together with Nuffnangx, a social blog stalking app, at their cocktails and cakes do, at the stunning 5 star Renaissance Hotel, in St Pancras.

Christine, myself and Cheryl-Lee

Loved the cocktails...

And then afterwards a few of us went for dinner at Shrimpy's..

Which is in an old filling station.

But new friends, cocktails, cake and delicious dinner aside, the Chobani yoghurt story, really is a cool one.

A company that began 5 years ago, now is the number one selling yoghurt in America, and moving into other countries.

The founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya grew up in Turkey on his family's 3rd generation sheep farm and feta cheese operation.

In 1994 he moved to the US, to learn English and study business, leaving his family dairy business behind to seek his own path.  But whilst in the States, he couldn't help but notice a huge gap in the dairy industry between the US and Turkey.

He started Johnstown, N.Y. based Euphrates Feta in 2002, which soon became one of the most successful wholesale feta cheese companies in the country.

Three years later, he stumbled upon a classified ad on his desk, for a Central New York yoghurt plant that had recently been closed by Kraft.  After initially throwing the ad away as "there were a million reason snot to buy it," Ulukaya trusted his gut and fished it out the trash.  He went to see the plant that day, and decided to buy it on the spot.

It took 18 months to perfect the recipe for Chobani, and in October 2007 the first cups were in stores.

The yoghurt is made using an authentic straining process to create a yoghurt that offers twice the protein of regular yoghurt.  The ingredients are naturally sourced, fresh milk, real fruit and natural sweeteners. And it's fat free.

The company give 10% of it's annual profits to charity. How cool.

Dubbed "the Steve Jobs of yoghurt" by Forbes 2011, Ulukaya has built a business worth more than $1 billion in 5 years...

What recession?

If you live in the UK and what to get hold of some of this deliciousness yourselves, you can buy it at Tesco.

And if you live in the US, then you've probably already of it.

And if you life anywhere else, you will probably hear about it soon...

5 things I've noticed about the people around me who are at peace with themselves...

Saturday, February 16

I went to a great Yoga class yesterday, with Norman from Yoga with Norman, and he recited some words from this poem, which I had not ever heard before.

I found it online this afternoon, it was written around 600 years ago, and I really think that it is beautiful.

Had to share it here with you today...

The Rarest Gem

The human body at peace with itself,
is more precious than the rarest gem.
Cherish your body, it is yours for this one time only.
The human form is won with difficulty, it is easy to lose.
All worldly things are brief, like lightning in the sky; 
this life you must know, as the splash of a raindrop;
a thing of beauty that disappears, even as it comes into being.
Therefore set your goal,
make use of every day and night to achieve it.

Tsong Khapa (1357-1419)

I think that the first two lines in particular, really sum up so much of what I have learnt over the past year.

Inner peace can not be bought, and is more precious than the rarest gem.  

I think of a lady that I know whose life circumstances bring tears to my eyes, who is totally at peace with herself and the world around her, and how she enjoys the smallest moments in each day.

  And of a patient on a ward on which I was working once, who had just been told that she had weeks to live, who told me ever so kindly she felt sorry for me as it looked as if I was having a terribly busy day...

And then I think of another couple, with all the money in the world, good health and all the luxury that money can buy, but so little inner happiness and peace.

I've become a lot more aware recently of the people in my life who have this inner peace and noticed a few common character traits amongst them:

1. They very seldom pass judgements about others, and avoid bitchy talk about anyone.

2. They take great pleasure in simple healthy food, exercise and being outdoors.

3. They don't complain much about their lot in life.  And as a result, after I have spent time with one of these people, I feel more positive and invigorated.  They also tend to take great delight in others fortune and good luck, and are seldom jealous.

4. They will always be very interested in how you are and what you have been up to, and will go out of their way to help you with meeting other people or sharing information that may be of benefit to you.

5. They laugh a lot, often at themselves, and will
 make that extra effort just to catch up with you. Because they really want to.

Of course, noone is perfect, and perhaps some of the people who I am thinking about as I write this, would say that they don't feel that they do have this inner peace.

But I will still try to be more like them.  

Because it can only make me a better person as a result.

Who can you think of that radiates inner peace?

And how do you compare with the traits that I've listed above?

Have a Happy Inner Peace Finding Weekend...

What a difference a year makes...10 things I've learnt over the last 12 months.

Monday, February 11

On the 31-12- 2012, we were on honeymoon in the Serengeti. 

We were woken early in the morning with a knock on our door and fresh coffee before our early game drive.

We had a cooked breakfast out in the open air, hung out with a pride of 14 lions, had an afternoon nap, were treated to a private dinner on our balcony, and our room had been decorated in candles and rose petals when we returned from our evening game drive.

It was one of my favouritest days of my life.

The complete opposite of the same date the year before.

When I woke up in hospital, groggy from the anaesthetic, rang the bell for the nurse to help me to the bathroom and attempted a shower with my right shoulder in masses of dressings and pain.  My pain outweighed
only by the fear that there was more cancer in my body that was lying
undetected. We caught a taxi home, and I sat on the couch trying to get comfortable, whilst my Mum was desperately trying to organise her visitors visa to come to London from South Africa.

 I was popping pain killers every four hours.

The crying episodes started a day or two later.

It still amazes me how I went from painkillers every 4 hours to not taking another one, immediately after the phone call saying that my pet scan results were clear and that the cancer hadn't spread.

The beginning of 2012 couldn't have been any worse, and the beginning of 2013 couldn't have been any better.

I was thinking this morning about what I have learnt in the past year.

A brief summation...

1. Husbands are fabulous. And getting engaged and married gave me a sense of security that I didn't even realise I craved.

2.  5 fruits and vegetables a day are essential to my well being, not desirable.

3. Planning a Wedding from half way across the world when you have Parents and an extended family and network of friends as incredible as ours, is simple.

4. Stop complaining, and do something about it.  If your job is not what you want it to be, leave it. If your 'friend' keeps letting you down, slowly reduce contact with them.  If you aren't happy with the house you are living in-move.  If you are unhappy with your body-get exercising and living healthily.  I have, and it's worked a treat.

5. Eating for weight loss and eating for nutrition and wellness are two different things entirely.  However, if you focus on your nutritional intake, weight loss will follow- I promise.

6. I can't be 100% healthy all of the time, I'm aiming for 80%.

7.  When you are feeling at your lowest, nothing matters more than human contact from friends and family. Put effort into keeping up these relationships all year around.  Send an email to someone that you were thinking of to say hi, rather than thinking you really should.  Call someone for their birthday rather than writing on their wall, go for that coffee rather than calling and plan dinners and holidays with friends.

8.  Set aside time to do things that make you happy, that ignite your passion for life, even if it means it's time that you won't be spending at work or cleaning the house.  Spend a few hours on an arts and craft project-even if it lands up in the bin.  And hours and hours on a blog that makes no money-but brings me such joy:)

9. Talk about your ideas and dreams to your friends and family, they will offer you amazing perspective and advice and they will hold you to carrying out your plans that you 'always thought you might like to try...' I have my own Physio practice now as a result of this.

10. Go for walks outside and enjoy nature.  Exercise and practice yoga.  Take deep breaths, slowly and often.  Focus on slowing down and not being wound up. It has made me a nicer person.

Have a Happy Monday...

Lulu x 

Why Constipation is Not Cool.

Wednesday, February 6

Elvis Presley apparently struggled terribly with constipation, and as a result of this often soiled himself while on stage and frequently required costume changes.  His Doctor, in this article here, actually believes that constipation may have caused his death.

It is considered normal to open your bowels between three times a day and three times a week.  

Now the topic of toileting is not most the polite in conversation.

However, by the number of you that have read my previous posts on why some people leave skid marks, and the perfect poo, it clearly is of interest.

 And it really should be something that we all know more about.  I've learned a lot this evening re-reading the Constipation chapters in my text books...

Getting back to Elvis, how do you soil yourself if constipated you may ask? Over a long period of time, hard poo sitting in the bowel, irritates the bowel walls, causing them to produce more fluid and mucus that can bypass the hard poo and leak out.

Sounds lovely, I know.  But constipation really is serious business.

A friend of mine, says that at a hospital that he worked at, a man was so constipated, that when he finally did manage to go the toilet, he did such a big poo, that his body's potassium levels dropped so severely that he had a heart attack and died.  On the toilet.  Now I'm not sure that this was listed as his cause of death on his death certificate, but it does make you think.

I did also once have a little old lady explain to me in great detail about how a butter knife is the only thing that helps her soften her stools enough to go, and my initial confusion was soon replaced with a call to the Doctor, when I realised where exactly she was using the butter knife.

So aside, from potential soiling yourself, or in the very extreme cases - death or the use of a butter knife, why else should you be concerned about constipation.

Constipation can lead to:^
Abdominal Cramping and pain
Perineal Pain

And more seriously:
Needing to use your own finger pressure on the perineum or post vaginal wall to empty the bowels.
Rectal proplapse.
Incomplete emptying of your bowel.
Contribute to urinary frequency and urge incontinence.

Many people also report:
Skin Problems
General fatigue

Long term constipation and straining also weakens the pelvic floor muscles and can lead to urinary and faecal incontinence (wetting and soiling yourself).*

So how common is it?^

Severe constipation occurs in up to 20% of the population, is more common in Women and worsens with age.  Pregnancy also contributes to constipation.

What causes Constipation?^

Not drinking enough fluids and not eating enough fibre.  Always aim to drink a litre of water a day, and ensure you are having 5-7 fruit and vegetables a day.  Extra fibre supplements can also be sought.  I find that ground flax seed works a treat.

Lack of Exercise, marathon runners often struggle with diarrhoea, go figure.  More and more people spending long hours sitting for work, hasn't helped either.

It has been found that those who have struggled with eating disorders and suffered abuse in the past can struggle with constipation.  If you have struggled with either of these in the past, then Medical advice is best sought.

Ignoring the Urge, because you are at work, out the house or on holiday and you don't feel comfortable using the only available toilet....this continually ignoring your body's natural urge, also leads to constipation.

Or maybe you have decided you will go, but you are going to hover over the toilet...not ideal. In the hovering position, to pass urine or faeces, you are tensing your pelvic floor muscles and then you have to push harder and put more strain on your pelvic floor muscles...weakening them further.

So what is the perfect position then?

Mother nature made us to squat outside on the ground to poo.  Not sit on a toilet seat with our hips and knees at 90'.

Pic from

Place a small bench or phone directory under your feet, so that your knees are a little higher than your hips.

Pushing up on your toes to make your knees higher is NOT an option, toe curling activates your pelvic floor. Which is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do here.

Now lean forwards.

Rest your elbows on your knees.

Relax your tummy muscles completely.

And breathe out....


You will be surprised at how much it helps:)

If you are constipated, and concerned about it, go to a Doctor.

This really is serious shit stuff.


^Information from Physiotherapy in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Second Edition, Mantle, Haslam and Barton.

* From

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