Wednesday 21st December 2016 – Laguna Beach CA, USA

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It’s been a few days since my arrival in Laguna Beach, California, to spend Christmas with the family.

After the first 3 days of experiencing jet lag I can safely say I am back to normal Laguna time, sleeping well through the night and waking up at a decent hour.

The 2 days of arriving, I believe I bought the British weather with me, what with fog, rain and extreme winds so it sure felt home from home!  However since then, although the temperatures are colder than I expected for this part of the world, it has been beautifully sunny.  When standing in the sun it is so very hot yet nice and comforting.

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I haven’t as yet had a chance to put my culinary skills to good use yet as my energy levels haven’t surfaced as yet, however yesterday and today I started by making little dishes to kick start my cooking juices into gear ready for the festive period, where I hope to treat and wow my family and friends.

Yesterday I made a delicious lentil rice with side salad.  This dish is not only simple and quick to make, it is very tasty and nutritious.

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Lentil Rice

To make this dish, the recipe is as follows:

Serves 4 people

2 cups of Basmati or Jasmine rice (rinse a few times to get rid of excess starch).  Boil the rice with 4 cups of cold water, 1/3 tsp sea salt and a 1/4 tsp of coconut oil.  Boil for about 15-20 minutes until slightly tender yet has a bite.  Drain off in a drainer removing all excess water.

1 cup of brown lentil (boiled separately with 3 cups of water and 4 bayleaves, 1/4 tsp sea salt for about 20-20 minutes until soft).  Drain off in the drainer with the rice, removing all excess water and with a fork, gently bring the rice and lentils together in a mix.  Remove the bay leaves.

In a saucepan put 1/2 tsp of coconut oil, a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of saffron and let the oil start to sizzle before gently adding the rice and lentil mix.  When you have added all the rice/lentil, put another 1/4 tsp of coconut oil, another pinch of saffron and 4 tbsp of water drizzled along the top and cover and let it simmer for about 30 minutes on a low hear until the rice is tender and cooked.

Serve with a mixed salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing to compliment this dish.

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Last night we enjoyed some beautiful sunset views which I wanted to share with you.

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This morning I woke nice and early, and after 30 minutes meditation facing the beautiful ocean, I got the inspiration to make the family breakfast of tofu scramble, avocado on toasted sourdough.  Very tasty, filling and satisfying.

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Today I will be shopping and preparing my menu for Christmas and the days before and after as well as taking some time to walk along the ocean front and take in the fresh air and beauty my surroundings.  Today is a little cloudy yet beautiful in its own way.  An hour ago whilst working away on my laptop I felt the house shiver……..I looked at my sister and she informed me not to worry, this was normal to experience these ad-hoc shivers of the earth quaking…………when you are not used to experiencing these earth tremors, it can be quite unsettling however all is ok now.

So for now, I will leave you with my thought for today.

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Peace is simplicity. Peace is beauty.
Choose a day per week, as your day of simplicity,
for example, every Monday.
Speak little. Listen with attention.
Do something nice for a person you are close to anonymously.
Eat simple, natural and fresh food.
Create time periods for doing nothing at all –
simply sit in silence and live the moment.
Appreciate each scene and each person as they are.
Remember – peace begins with you.

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