Author Archives: Laura Hemsley

  • How to eat well at home – conscious eating that’s good for you and the planet

    Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook

    One of the things that brings me great joy as a writer is the chance to inspire people and offer new perspectives and points of view.  That’s why I’m so happy to see that the most recent book I’ve worked on, ‘Farmacy Kitchen’, is successfully doing just that – inspiring people with new approaches to conscious eating and living, with 80 new and delicious plant-based food recipes to make in your own kitchen.

    The team created this book in the extreme heat of the mid-August scorching sun in Ibiza last year and we managed to pull off creating the whole book in just a matter of weeks.  Our team worked hard together, laughed together and created something unique. One of the great things about creative projects and working with a great team of positive people is that we create things that are truly one-offs using a real blend of different talents, experiences and skills.

     

    Creating an all colour recipe book with a new edge is no mean feat and we are very proud of how the final book shaped up – and the critics love it too.  The images are bright and colourful thanks to the photographic eye of photographer Nick Hopper who shot the food images in a beautiful kitchen studio capturing the powerful visual style for the book.

    We had morning meetings over the period of a month at the stunning Giri Cafe in the north of Ibiza and here we sat and worked out the recipe line up and debated the merits and wonders of each dish that were being considered to include in the final listing.  There were plenty of tastings and comments back which we fed back into the recipes and made the necessary adjustments to make everything taste delicious.

    One of the core concepts of the book is making plant-based eating accessible and fun and highlighting the way for more conscious eating and living.  As we become more aware of our choices including what we eat, how we eat, where we source food from, then we can create a better world for all of us and improved health for each of us.

    ‘Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.’  Einstein

    The book begins by looking at the four pillars of the Farmacy philosophy. This is a guide to healthy living and eating based on a combination of ideas from ancient wisdom, living with balance, using conscious positive intentions in all actions and eating food without harming animals.  

    The ancients knew about using plants, herbs and spices in creative combinations to help maintain health and heal common ailments and they talked about ‘food as medicine’. The ancient’s medicine cabinet was found in both the kitchen and in the garden.  One of the earliest books ever discovered was in Ancient Egypt and contained recipes on handwritten scrolls of papyrus. These recipes used herbs, oils, plants and spices to cure illnesses: these were the first prescriptions in recorded history,

    We built on the concept of food as medicine for this book using ingredients that were considered and chosen to provide a balance of nutrition and taste to maximise health, energy and wellness.

    The food in the book is created with balance in mind and designed to offer nourishment for the body, mind and soul, helping to create a healthy approach to eating and living,

    There is the concept of food alchemy running through the book, bringing together unique combinations of real foods (no processed ingredients) and using only basic cooking techniques – roasting, boiling, baking and sauteing. Keeping it simple and easy.

    The book has a section about using the five senses when eating and how to become more conscious around eating and shopping for food. There is a section called ‘Basics’ which is a range of recipes to make in one go and keep in your kitchen as a starter kit for the rest.  From here, you will be able to prep quickly and prepare delicious recipes from the book easily and fast, whenever you fancy – ideal for us busy people who love eating real home-made food at home without the fuss.

    Bag yourself a copy of the new book at any good bookstore or online.

    Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook is available in both Kindle or hardcover edition from Amazon: To purchase click here 

  • Why I make time to meditate and how you can too

    Making meditation a daily habit

    There’s an ancient Zen proverb that says, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour”.  

    How relevant this wisdom is for this busy modern age where many people feel that they don’t have time for the very things that would benefit them the most.   

    It’s funny to think that hundreds or even thousands of years ago, humans were saying ‘I’m too busy to meditate’ or ‘I haven’t got time’. It’s a good reminder the busier we get, the more we need positive daily routines, not less.  These are the foundations that support us when life gets challenging, they give us the extra energy and clarity we need to flourish.  Somehow, when I meditate, life just flows more easily, no matter how busy I am. And synchronicities begin to speed up too because we are aligned to a higher force.

    Making time to meditate is something that I don’t question anymore.  It’s become a daily habit like brushing my teeth. When I look back I realise that finding meditation saved my life when I was at my deepest darkest and most difficult times.   Learning to meditate is the single most important thing I’ve ever done for myself. So why would we stop giving this life-changing, simple practice the priority it deserves, every day?  Daily habits are powerful and important to keep a track off.

    How I discovered TM Meditation

    I found meditation twenty years ago during one of the most challenging periods of my life.  I was experiencing grief, stress and trauma – it felt like everything had come tumbling down and I was questioning life as I knew it.  I had just split from a long term partner and my mum was dying – i found life incredibly difficult. This ‘breaking point’ was actually a shadow before the sunrise, and the start of a great awakening in my life when I found my spiritual connection to the bigger picture of life.

    I have a good friend whose positive attitude I really admire. She’s been through a tough battle with cancer and had her leg amputated as a teenager which gave her intense mobility issues, yet she always seemed so upbeat about life.  She came to visit me one day and left a card on my kitchen table about a local TM meditation course. She had left it for me without telling me – a subtle invitation to change my life that I will be forever grateful for.

    I went ahead and did the course and it was like fireworks going off in my brain. I’d found my saving grace. Slowly but surely my life started to turn in a different direction and I felt more calm, centred and able to cope for the first time in a long time.  I seemed to get ‘luckier’.

    The David Lynch Foundation

    I became passionate about the practice of meditation since that first introduction. I’ve been involved with the David Lynch foundation for many years, a fantastic organisation set up to promote TM meditation across the world.  The foundation does a lot of work with children, women, soldiers and at-risk groups teaching meditation.

    Their website is a great resource containing a wealth of scientific evidence about the effects of meditation.  https://www.davidlynchfoundation.org.uk/

    David Lynch | Speaking on behalf of the David Lynch Foundation

    Here are three simple tips for meditation, especially useful if you are new to meditation and want to get started. You could decide to get started today.

     

    3 Easy Tips to Help Get Started with Meditation

    1. Keep it simple! The human mind will often try to overthink how to do it.  The point is that you are not ‘doing’ anything. Rather just sitting in stillness and listening from the inside out.

    2. Meditate twice a day.  Choose times that are going to work for you and try to stick to them.  I work around my breakfast time. I set a time for breakfast and I meditate before I eat.  It doesn’t have to be a long time – 5 or 10 minutes to begin with works well. Find a comfy chair, sit down, feet on the ground or crossed legged, close your eyes and focus on your breath in and out. Imagine smelling a flower on the in breath and then letting go of anything you need to let go off on the out breath.

    3. Stick with it, every day, for at least two weeks and see how much better you feel. It takes 14 days for a new habit to bed in, so keep at it and record your progress. Insight timer is a great app you can use for this and it’s free.  Headspace and Calm are also great free apps to check out.

    Like any great change in life, we can think about it, we can talk about it but the only way to make the change is to just do it.  As David Lynch says, “If you don’t already meditate, take my advice: Start. It will be the best decision you ever make.”  

    I would love to hear your feedback on these ideas.  Let me know what happens when you make time to enjoy the stillness and get into your meditation practice.

    Good luck and don’t let your busy monkey mind put you off.

  • Detox Face Mask – Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook

    From time to time, everyone’s face can use a little extra loving care.

    This is my go-to recipe for a great face mask treatment using pure and natural ingredients. You can use this weekly or whenever you feel you need a beauty boost. The clay and charcoal naturally draw out impurities from the skin. The honey has antibacterial properties and chlorella helps to promote cell regeneration and brighten the complexion. You can buy clay, charcoal powder and chlorella from health food stores and chemists.

    Makes 2 face masks

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    2 tsp water
    1 tsp bentonite clay
    1 tsp activated charcoal powder
    1⁄4 tsp chlorella powder
    1⁄2 tsp raw honey

    Put the water into a small glass bowl and sprinkle the clay over the top. Allow the clay to absorb the water for about 10 seconds, then add the other ingredients. This makes the mixture easier to combine. Use a small rubber spatula to mash and mix everything together. You may need to mix for a few minutes to remove lumps from the clay. This mask doesn’t store well as there are no preservatives.

    How to use

    Apply the mask liberally to your face. Allow to dry for about 10 minutes before washing off with warm water. Look out for feeling beautiful after applying this.

  • Conscious Living: What does it mean and why is it important right now?

    I love the timeless quote from Gandhi, ‘You have to be the change you want to see in the world.’ 

    I realised I could make a real difference when I accepted that change starts within me.  I’m responsible for my thoughts, words, actions and it sits with me whether my action and words are having a positive or negative impact on the world around me.

    Living consciously is about the daily choices we make in life, moment by moment.  It’s often the small, regular choices we make that add up to the biggest differences and account for our daily habits.  Realising we have the freedom to choose how we think and feel is an empowering realisation. We have the power to change the world with our choices, thoughts and actions.  Each of us can exercise our power to choose, to make decisions on an individual level and know that this has a ripple effect in the collective consciousness.

    We can only make good conscious decisions by first being fully present in the moment and bringing full awareness to the situation.  Conscious living starts with clear awareness and I try to bring it into every area of my life, as much as I can. I ask myself questions about the important areas of food, nourishment, shopping habits and the frequency of the people I’m hanging out with.  When looking at my diet I ask – What am I eating? Will this give me energy and nourishment or will it lower my energy? Where does the food come from? Is it well sourced and organic? Were animals harmed? Does it contain toxins and chemicals? How was it packaged – was it covered in plastic? Has it been processed or it fresh and locally sourced?

    The world is waking up, we’re all asking important questions now and becoming more aware of our impact on the planet.  I’ve recently written a book that I’m extremely proud of called ‘Farmacy Kitchen’. It’s is a book on conscious living and plant-based food with over 80 recipes of delicious food that is good for you and the planet.

     

     

     

    Alchemy of Conscious Living

    “The more attention we pay to the way we live, the food we eat, the conversations we have, the choices we make, what we buy, and how we treat the earth’s resources, the more chance we have of making better, more empowering decisions that will lead to a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone.  How we spend our time, who we spend our time with, the ideas we think about, our actions and the words we speak – all these have a powerful impact on health and wellbeing.”

    We live in unprecedented times with is a strong shift in global consciousness where many people are looking for more connection, love, kindness and compassion in daily life.  

    We have the freedom to make choices every day that contribute to this global movement and to our own sense of balance and well being.  

     

    Changing Our Daily Habits

    Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing a series of easy, practical conscious living tips that you can include in your daily life.  I’ll be talking about zero waste and ways to reduce plastic consumption, sharing healthy plant-based food recipes and showing you how to make your own natural beauty products.  I’ll also share some simple steps to meditation and other ways to boost positive feelings of wellbeing.

    I’ve spent the last 15 years researching the best techniques for living a healthy and positive life and I really want to share these.  The time is right now for all of us to step up and work together to create strong, positive change in the world. We can be the change we wish to see in this world and bring greater awareness to the way we live our lives.