We love the Positive Vibes section of our magazine, where we get to take a look at some of the best holistic products, events and pick-me-ups out there. This edition of Vibes is featured in our Summer 2019 issue – to read the full magazine, click here to find your nearest stockist or subscribe to have a copy delivered direct to your door.
We were delighted to welcome The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, to the Positive Life fold in our Spring 2019 issue! They shared a gorgeous pizza recipe that will be perfect for the coming days and weeks, when the heat gradually returns and we feel more inclined to embark on spring picnics. Enjoy!
If you’re stuck for ideas about what to cook for the vegan in your life this Christmas, this recipe for banana blossom ‘fishless’ cake with tartar sauce could be a perfect fit! It is brought to you by the amazing Tony Keogh, head chef of the popular Cornucopia restaurant. Read on to learn more. This recipe appears in our Winter 2018/19 issue – click here to find your local stockist, or here to subscribe to the magazine.
November‘s News: It’s official. Winter is here, and it’s time for the gloves and scarves to come out. Our summer heatwave is a distant memory … but there are many things to look forward to about this time of year. What could be better, for instance, than sitting beside a roaring fire, dressed in cosy pyjamas and enjoying some delicious hot chocolate, while the cold rages on outside? We have picked out a number of treats for you to check out this month, ranging from our very own Positive Nights events (look out for our extra-special speed dating event or Heartsongs with John Bowker) to an in-depth look at the gorgeous Calm Rooms of Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
Positive Nights: Some of Our Best Picks to Enjoy!
Following our successful speed dating events last November and April, we are ready to bring it to another level and help singles to connect once again. From your hosts with the most, Orla Bass and Paul Congdon, we present to you an evening of Speed Dating From the Heart on Thursday the 22nd of November, from 7.15 to 10.00 p.m. in Bewley’s Café, 78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Doors open at 6.45 p.m. Click here to learn more and get your tickets.
Also make sure you keep an eye out for our Heartsongs with John Bowker on December 6th, and our event with Andrea Hayes on December 13th. Details will be announced soon – watch this space!
The Organic Trust: Excellence Assured
The Organic Trust is the organic certification body of choice for professional organic producers in Ireland. The Trust describes their mission as, quite simply, “upholding the integrity of organic food.” The organic food sector in Ireland is in a continuous state of development, and the Organic Trust are proud to certify a huge range of organic products on retail shelves in Ireland (with the bulk of Irish-produced organic food being marketed under the Organic Trust logo). If you are an organic producer who wants to learn more, make sure you check out their website!
The Calm Rooms of Monkstown: An Oasis of Wellness
The Calm Rooms is a brand-new wellness hub in Monkstown Village, specialising in therapeutic treatments, meditation, yoga and pilates. This new business is hoping to establish themselves as a premium centre for wellness and relaxation in the city. We can’t wait until they announce their full range of treatments! Check out their website or Facebook page to learn more. You can also watch our recent Facebook live video that we did with them to get a sense of what they’re all about.
Our Exciting New Visualisation Track With Judith McAdam
We are pleased to introduce a meditation track we have always wanted to do for you: a 20-minute visualisation in which you get to actively enhance your resonance with health, love, abundance and your personal purpose. This track was co-created by the Positive Life team and Judith McAdam. Judith is a renowned theologian, kinesiologist, holistic life coach and author of the beautiful book The Source, and we are thrilled to have launched this new collaboration with her. To learn more and download the track, just click here.
Creacon Wellness Retreat in New Ross, Co. Wexford, served as the perfect getaway location for Tara Congdon, who described it as “a blissful place.” Learn more about it below!
A Beacon of Bliss
Total relaxation in Co. Wexford
by Tara Congdon
I recently had the enormous pleasure of taking a trip to Creacon Wellness Retreat. Creacon is cosily nestled a stone’s throw from New Ross in Co. Wexford. On entering the little driveway, a cute Buddha welcomed me with a smile from the garden, and as I parked, my eye was drawn to a sign that said, ‘it’s a wonderful life.’ My usual frantic adrenalin immediately began to settle itself.
I tumbled out of my car and into reception, passing sweet chimes on my way, setting the tone for my adventure. An aside – bags hanging out of me and arriving late, just a few minutes before dinner, I was distracted from the fact that my top had pretty much come undone and so I stood in front of Veronica, the receptionist (decorated receptionist, I might add: Veronica won the 2017 Receptionist of the year award) in my bra – I have to say I would highly recommend it as an icebreaker because it gave us a great belly laugh and we were solid buds from then on.
From the minute I saw my beautiful bedroom, named Hawthorn, and my big cosy double bed, all of my busy world faded away and I was completely enchanted by the place. There is Anespa Alkaline mineral ion water in the bathrooms – it helps relax the entire body, helps improve dry skin, poor circulation, eczema, insomnia, stiffness, fatigue, rheumatism and much more.
Creacon serves Kangen water, which is alkaline water. Some of its benefits include: relief of IBS and Acid Reflux, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, and alleviating stress and anxiety!
At dinner, I was served up the most delicious menu of nutritious, wholesome and healthy plate of food – homemade marinated salmon served with basil mousse and garlic crostini, followed by a vegetarian ragu and polenta. Later, I had some chamomile tea with cookies in the heart room.
The café has recently opened up daily to the public too. The chef is Gaetano Pernagallo, who believes ‘food is medicine.’ The benefits of each dish are listed on the menus. Something I really liked is how everyone seems to gravitate together for meal times – including the staff – and it’s like chowing down with your family. It’s warm, with lots of storytelling and great craic too.
Some of the other lovely treats I discovered during my stay at Creacon were the bijou conservatory area for quiet time and meditative colouring, the yoga/meditation room equipped with cushions and cosy mats, the relaxing heart room, sometimes showing an inspirational film, and the upstairs yellow room with the most snug couches.
There is a daily opt in/out schedule, including things like Five Tibetan yoga, Gentle Hatha Yoga, Japa Meditation Class, Mandala Class … there really is something for everyone! If you wish, you can book a consultation or private session. Everything is put together so carefully to nurture and love its guests. Nothing is missed.
I am blessed to have had this experience. If I was to put my finger on one stand-out from my stay, it was, without a doubt, the people: staff and guests. Funny, witty, warm, honest, down to earth people – I immediately felt like part of the family … and I just felt completely at home. Creacon is a blissful place!
Summer is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate than by getting out and about to enjoy some exciting events or sample some of the best holistic products on the market? Read on to learn more about the highlights we’ve picked out for you for this month. If you haven’t picked up our Summer 2018 issue yet, make sure you call into one of our stockists throughout the country soon. You can also subscribe here to get a copy delivered right to your door.
Veginity Opens New Plant-Based Restaurant
Veginity has long been a go-to spot for vegan foodies … and if you are a fan of this innovative food truck business, you’ll be glad to hear that they have found a new, permanent venue at 101 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1. Whilst adjusting to the joy of being in their new home, Veginity is continuing to supply the scrumptious plant-based fare that has won them legions of fans over the past few years, ever since Australian chef Mark Senn originally founded the business as a food truck. We love their imaginative approach to food preparation … not to mention their mouth watering desserts. Make sure you check them out!
Positive Nights Presents: Peaceful Parenting with Genevieve Simperingham – 12th July
We have two exciting events on the Positive Nights calendar this month! Tonight – Thursday July 12th – we will be playing host to parenting expert and educator, Genevieve Simperingham. Genevieve will be discussing the peaceful parenting philosophy she teaches, which equips parents with the tools to transition to a non-punitive, connection-based parenting approach. This will take place from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. in the Bewley’s Café Theatre, 78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2. For further information and booking, just click here.
Positive Nights Presents: Creating a Positive Reality with Judith McAdam – 19th July
Judith McAdam is a theologian, holistic life coach and the bestselling author of The Source. Throughout her career, she has been inspiring women and men to tap into their unique creative intelligence and step into their true potential, realising their personal and higher purpose in this life. Judith weaves together the ancient and the new drawing on mystical theological traditions and connecting this information to contemporary psychology and science in an accessible and impactful way. We are thrilled to welcome her to Positive Nights on Thursday July 19th, from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. at the Bewley’s Café Theatre, 78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Click here for further information and booking details.
Marianne Williamson to Visit Dublin in October
Marianne Williamson is one of the world’s most respected spiritual teachers. She is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. A paragraph from her mega best seller A Return to Love, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers. Marianne is visiting Dublin on Wednesday October 10th 2018, from 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. in the Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dublin. Drawing on her insights from A Course in Miracles, Marianne will speak about how we may transform our own lives and what we can do to change the world. Click here to view the event page, buy tickets, and learn more.
The Holistic Therapist With a Passion for Mental Health
Linda Culleton is a holistic therapist with a great passion for assisting people who suffer from adverse mental health conditions. “While working as an accountant, I pushed my body and mind to the limit, and due to this, I began to suffer with severe anxiety,” she explains. “I later developed a condition called Obsessive Compulsive disorder, of which the OCD symptoms were intrusive thoughts of harming myself and others.These OCD symptoms were devastating to live with.” She explored many different avenues that could assist with her healing process, including Kundalini yoga and meditation classes. During this time, she discovered a specific breath exercise called the OCD Breath in Kundalini Yoga Meditation. She credits this technique with transforming her life. She now offers one-to-one consultations, group programs, yoga and meditation classes, and Skype consultations. She is passionate about helping people to cope with mental health challenges.
Amazing Health Show Comes to the RDS This September
On September the 8th and 9th, 2018, Dublin’s RDS will play host to the amazing Vitality Expo 2018, brought to you by Health Stores Ireland. The Expo will be dedicated to all things health-related, with a diverse array of wellness, lifestyle, fitness and nutrition talks being delivered by Irish and international speakers and natural health brands. Confirmed exhibitors include Abundance and Health, Altrient C, Hifas Da Terra, Dr. Mahers skincare, Genovese Pestos, Macánta, NaturaLife, Optimal Brain and Sun Chlorella. The Expo will will also feature a Food and Cookery Stage, and Outdoor Entertainment Area (offering live music, yoga and pilates sessions, as well as a kids’ area) and The Village, where you can sample tasty delights from over 100 artisan and local health food producers in the Irish marketplace. We recently interviewed Patrick Holford – who will be present at the show – for our Summer 2018 magazine. You can read the interview here.
The Planted Bean is an up-and-coming café and food business situated on Baggot Road in Dublin 7. It offers a wide range of both savoury and sweet plant-based food options, all of which are made without oil, refined sugars or processed ingredients. The promotion of excellent health is central to the business’ ethos – founder Kevin Odgers says he would never offer anything to a customer that he would not give to his own children. Read on to learn more!
Planting Seeds of Health
by Aisling Cronin
The Planted Bean is an up-and-coming café and food business situated on Baggot Road in Dublin 7. It offers a wide range of both savoury and sweet plant-based food options, all of which are made without oil, refined sugars or processed ingredients. Founder and head chef Kevin Odgers is passionate about the quality of his food. When I visited the Planted Bean recently, he said he would never offer anything to a customer that he wouldn’t give to his own children.
When asked what inspired him to set up the business, he replied with just one word. ‘Cancer.’ Prior to being diagnosed with skin cancer a few years ago, Kevin had spent 22 years as a chef. The diagnosis prompted him to evaluate how his food choices could assist his recovery. He is also passionate about advocating for animals through his work, by showing customers that plant-based foods can be extremely tasty and satisfying.
The café first opened its doors in December 2017, but it has already attracted a significant fanbase. When I was there, the space – small as it is – was constantly busy, with a steady stream of customers coming in and out to collect a quick snack or cup of coffee. I tried their Mexican Quinoa Burger, which was both incredibly indulgent and healthy: a rare feat! Other savoury options available on the day included vegan sushi, Grain Buddha Bowls (consisting of broccoli, kale, red quinoa, red cabbage, beetroot hummus, spicy chickpeas and cherry tomatoes) and a scrumptious-looking chickpea wrap.
I can highly recommend The Planted Bean’s desserts too. I took home their raw Snickers bar and their brownie – both of which were affordable and tasty. I was also highly impressed by the quality of their coffee. I took it with oat milk, which lent the coffee a delicious creamy flavour. The café also serves soya and almond milk.
The Planted Bean’s menu changes every week. Changes are announced on their Facebook page. It is open each Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., so make sure you check it out during one of these beautiful summer weekends.
This article – explaining the ins and outs of chilli and chilli culture – was brought to you by our resident gardening expert, Hans Wieland in our Spring 2018 issue. He also provided us with a delicious chilli sauce recipe. Here, we share the article in its entirety. Read it and learn how to bring a touch of inspiration into your kitchen!
The Cult of Chillies: Growing vegetables that make a difference
By Hans Wieland
Chilli Peppers, Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Cayenne Peppers, Spanish Peppers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, what have they all in common? Confused?
Ok, the last “variety” the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a funk-rock band from Los Angeles is only around since 1983, and all the others have nothing in common with black pepper (Piper nigrum), but are in fact all species of the genus Capsicum. Commonly we distinguish between the sweet and mild peppers and the hot and more pungent chillies, the topic of our article. Most of our common chillies come from one species, Capsicum annum, which was first cultivated in Mexico at least 5000 years ago.
The cult story of chillies begins with Columbus, who thought he found the (black) pepper and continues with the colonial trading power of the Portuguese bringing the chilli everywhere, leading to India becoming the biggest producer. The Aztec word of the native Nahuatl was chilli, which means red. Botanically speaking all peppers are fruits; however, they are correctly considered vegetables in a culinary context. The success story of the chilli is remarkable as the world production and consumption is now 20 times that of black pepper, the other major pungent spice (On Food and Cooking, p 418).
Hungary has its Paprika, Spain its Pimenton, Italy its Peperoni and in China chilli is a major spice in Sichuan and Hunan, but Mexico remains the most advanced country when it comes to chilli culture, it being a major ingredient in Salsas. At Neantog Kitchen Garden School we grow it mainly to produce our own sauces (see recipe below). The beauty of growing it yourself is in the choice of varieties, from mild to super-hot.
What makes Chillies so special?
It is Capsaicin, the active chemical ingredient, contained in the placenta, the tissue that bears the seeds. The variety and the growing conditions – high temperatures and the length of the season – contribute to the amount of capsaicin produced. The heat of a chilli is measured on the Scoville Scale in Scoville heat units (SHU), or capsaicin concentration, named after its creator, US pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. SHU values range from 0 in a sweet bell pepper to 2,000,000-2,200,000 in a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion or Carolina Reaper. Naturally, there is the burning sensation in our mouth which for some is pure pleasure.
How to grow chillies
As Chillies love heat and light, it makes them an ideal crop for growing in polytunnels in Ireland. Some varieties are also suitable for pots in a conservatory. Two or three plants yield more than enough for a family for a year. Chilli peppers require a long growing season and are best sown from early February until mid-March at the latest. I sow them in modules on a heat propagator at 20 degrees Celsius. Once they have germinated I transfer them to 7cm wide pots using potting compost. Three or four weeks later they can be potted on to 1litre pots. In early May in mild areas or in mid- to late-May in cooler areas I plant them into the polytunnel spaced 50cm apart and staked, to prevent them from falling over when the branches get heavy with fruits. Apart from regular watering, there is little else you need to do.
Chillies can be harvested throughout the summer whenever required. All chillies start off green and then turn into their final colour. Green chillies are a little less hot. Towards the end of the growing season in October I usually harvest all the remaining chillies and dry them in the kitchen. They will last for well over a year.
Here are my favourite varieties:
Jalapeno, (C. annuum), a classic from Mexico, with bullet shaped fruits, green to red and medium hot (2500 – 8000 SHU)
Ring of Fire, Cayenne type, (C. annuum), long, thin, pointed pods, (30 000 – 50 000 SHU)
Tabasco, (C. frutescens), named after the Mexican state Tabasco and also the name of the Louisiana produced hot sauce, (30 000 – 50 000 SHU). The chilli for the fermenters to make their own variety of the famous sauce.
Habanero, (C. chinense), from Cuba, small bell shaped, yellow, orange or red, (100 000 – 350 000 SHU)
Numex Twilight (C. annuum), the best windowsill chilli I’ve grown; tiny, upright fruit that start purple and ripen to bright red, perfect for those without a garden, ( 30 000 – 50 000 SHU)
Neantog Chilli Sauce:
For 250ml you need:
6 small red chillies (we love Jalapeno, Cayenne and Ring of Fire)
5 cloves of garlic
40 grams ginger
1 stem of lemongrass
Juice of 1 lime/lemon
175 grams of brown sugar
3tsp sea salt
175ml of cider vinegar
175 ml of water
½ tsp of arrow root dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
Chop the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemongrass very finely (use gloves!), mix with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer for around 15 mins, then add the arrow root powder dissolved in water and bring to the boil to thicken. Fill in hot into sterile glass bottles, close and let cool.
Hans Wieland has worked and taught at The Organic Centre for over 20 years. In May he is “retiring” to Neantog Kitchen Garden School in Cliffoney, again joining his wife Gaby Wieland, herbalist and Naturopath. The couple offer a range of courses and workshops in food growing, fermenting, foraging, cheese making, healthy cooking and baking. www.neantog.com
The clocks have moved forward, the temperatures are rising, and spring is making its presence felt. If you’re in the mood to try some delicious food or drink, practice the art of conscious dating, or even learn exciting new yoga techniques, this month’s edition of our Positive Vibes newsletter has got you covered. Read on to learn more about the best events, products and fun happenings we’ve picked out for you for this month. If you haven’t seen our Spring issue yet, fear not: it is available at stockists throughout the country. You can also subscribe here to get a copy delivered right to your door.
Holistic Speed Dating: Cultivate Heart-to-Heart Connections
This Friday the 6th of April, we are running a special Positive Nights speed dating event, where the emphasis will be placed on deeply honouring and respecting the person in front of you. At 7.30 p.m., we will gather at Yin and Tonic, the Elbowroom’s vibrant new space located at No. 32 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7, for an evening of fun, conversation and conscious connection. Click on our Eventbrite link here to learn more and book your tickets.
Experiential Evening with Dawn Cartwight: Bringing Dating Back
We are thrilled to invite the renowned Tantra expert and teacher Dawn Cartwright back to Positive Nights on Wednesday the 25th of April at 7.30 p.m. The venue is to be confirmed. Dawn will discuss the ancient Tantric rituals – the Pancha Upacaras – that form the foundation of modern dating practices, and how we can bring the magic of these sacred rituals into our lives today. The Eventbrite link for this event is here.
Conscious Movement With Kitty Maguire
We highly recommend the work of Kitty Maguire, a yoga, dance and movement teacher with years of experience with instructing clients in modalities such as Pilates, Ballates, Barre, and her own unique style of Yocella: a type of yoga practice that is performed to the accompaniment of soothing cello music. Check out Kitty’s Facebook page to learn more about her regular courses, workshops, retreats and special events!
Warm Your Spirit With Chaga Tea
Chaga Tea is a unique type of tea widely renowned for its health benefits. Its flavour is similar to the earthy taste of coffee, but drinking Chaga Tea does not lead to the energy crash associated with coffee consumption. Chaga Tea Ireland founder Philip credits it for helping him to improve his health. He says: “I discovered Chaga after years of experimenting with different diets due to a Crohn’s condition. My first cup of Chaga had quite an impact. An hour later I felt energised yet calm, with a clarity similar to the effects of coffee, but without the buzz.”
The Planted Bean: An Amazing New Vegan Spot
If you’re looking for a cool spot to try out some delicious plant-based cuisine, look no further than The Planted Bean, located at No. 16 Baggot Road, Ashtown, Dublin 7. This wonderful coffee shop is owned by Kevin Odgers, and specialises in tasty vegan desserts free of refined sugar, as well as savoury vegan food options with an American twist. The picture above shows off their mouth-watering homemade Twix bars – we feel hungry just looking at them!
Open to the Summer Solstice With This Open Floor Retreat
As hints of summer’s arrival begin to creep into the air, what better way to celebrate than attending a heart-expanding dance and movement retreat for the Summer Solstice weekend? Dance teacher Carol McInerney is on hand to provide you with that magical experience with her special event, Solstice – Receiving the Light: an Open Floor residential dance retreat in Slí na Bande, Kilmurry, Co. Wicklow. The retreat will take place from June the 15th to the 17th 2018. For more information, click here or email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for the perfect meal to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of spring? Tony Keogh of Cornucopia has got you covered. Below, we share his delicious recipe for leek and courgette barley cake, which features in our Spring 2018 issue.
By Tony Keogh
It’s time to shake off the winter coat – Spring has finally sprung. As the days get longer so too does the list of fresh ingredients on offer. The marriage of the passing winter and the awakening spring is celebrated in this dish. The coupling of beetroot with raspberry, just like the union of courgette and barley, bridge the merging of the seasons.
This dish is surprisingly easy to make. Please do not be put off by the list of ingredients. A bottle of raspberry vinegar or a pot of tahini are two ingredients that you will return to again and again. Metal rings can be purchased in any kitchen store or large supermarket.
The punchy salsa is very versatile and will find a comfortable home in many settings, from a sandwich filler to a salad dressing.
Leek and courgette barley cake in a beetroot tahini cream with pumpkin seed and pea salsa
For the cakes
375 grams barley
1350 ml stock
200 ml white wine
½ head (5 cloves) garlic finely minced
10 grams fresh thyme finely chopped
30 grams corn flour dissolved in 50 ml water
150 grams firm tofu
2 bay leaves
Little lemon juice
For the cream sauce
1 large onion finely diced
1 packet of vacuum packed beetroot
Pinch of chili flake
10 ml raspberry vinegar
500 ml stock
5 grams chopped fresh dill
50 ml apple juice
20 ml tahini
For the salsa
100 grams of pumpkin seeds, toasted Juice of one lemon
100 grams frozen peas, thawed 4 scallions finely chopped
5 grams of freshly chopped mint 15 ml white wine or cider vinegar
Seasoning 10 ml apple juice
Start with the cakes; rinse the barley and add it to a medium heavy based pot, along with the wine, the stock, the bay leaves and the thyme. Bring this to a boil for about 10 minutes and then lower the heat and leave it to simmer for a further 40 minutes.
Quarter the leek lengthways and slice it thinly. Sauté it in a small sauce pan in a little oil until it becomes translucent and soft. Quarter the courgette lengthways and slice it into little quarter moons. Fry these off in a little oil in a medium frying pan and set them aside with the leek.
In a blender, puree the tofu, cornflour mixture and mustard. When the barley is tender, fold the tofu mixture through it. Season it to taste with salt, lemon and black pepper. Remove the bay leaves.
Line an oven tray with parchment paper. Using a metal ring or a large scone cutter, shape mounds of the barley mixture onto the parchment into around 8 large discs – they will hold their shape.
Bake these in pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for around 20 minutes.
To make the sauce; sauté the diced onion in a little oil until soft. Add it to a blender along with the beetroot, chili flakes, raspberry vinegar, stock, dill, apple and tahini. Blend the sauce until it is velvety smooth. If the sauce is grainy it can be passed through a sieve, if it is too thick add a little water to thin it out.
To make the salsa; roughly pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor. Do not over blend – you want to maintain a rough texture.
Flood a serving plate with a little sauce, top with a cake and top the cake with a dollop of salsa.