Greenwitchaustralia's Blog

A little bit dress up, a little bit of green magic…

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Zen & The Art of Chocolate Cake

I’ve been practising a lot of mindfulness activities recently.

It’s the latest ball I’ve thrown in the ring to seek some modicum of balance in my life. In the past I’ve flirted with mindfulness a fair bit, but more like a one night stand than a serious commitment.

So more recently I’ve been trying to commit. I’ve been hanging out with my mate mindfulness a lot more. Mindfulness for me is not all tofu and mung beans. It’s not all ommm meditation. Tonight it involved exiting a worn out work head and entering a more present and comfortable home head. And so I baked.

Not just the throw it in the oven hope it doesn’t burn bake. A REALLY get present, get right back in your body bake. I lit a candle. I cleaned my kitchen in readiness. I pulled out a great new recipe. I lovingly lined up all the ingredients. I measured thoughtfully. I smelled things as I added them. Cocoa, cinnamon, the pungency of the grated Parsnip. Well it might be pungency or it might just be Parsnip juice which currently defies my powers of description.

The cake has just come out of the oven, and it looks perfect in every way. I feel humbled and present.

I will also feel present when I ice it and EVEN more so when I eat it. Hail the Chocolate, Parsnip & Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chocolate Blessings. (and photos later….)

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Feed your inner bear today…

When a bears’ intuition tells them it is time for a long, long nap they go out looking for somewhere to sleep. Having spent most of the summer on an extended eating-fest designed to ‘chunk up’ before winter, they are all ready to go. Bears don’t really think about it that much. They just get into their inner Pooh.

Image from images/polar-bear.jpg

The Inuits gormandize on a range of fatty delights such as whale, walrus, seal, caribou, polar bear, muskoxen, birds, fish and eggs. Their diet keeps them warm all year round. They probably don’t worry about whether it’s saturated fat or not. e/e317/e007914483-v6.jpg

Humans, well we aren’t always that intuitive or instinctive about our food and habits. Mostly we just go on eating the same old, same old for lunch everyday because it tastes good, or we think its low in kilo-joules. How many of us really think about preparing for the big chill? Is sushi and low-fat yoghurt what our bodies really need to get us through the long Winter months? Doubtful.

About this time of the year my clever body alerts me to a need to change things. Even if I slavishly ignore my body it persistently whispers to in my ear. If I don’t listen it pummels me repeatedly. My inner polar bear wants some caribou. No more iced water. I want a herbal brew. I’ve put my elderberry syrup up for the season to ward off sniffles. I start thinking broth and kichadis and congees. I start combing recipe books for immune stimulating recipes. I go out and get astragalus to throw in my soup. I start baking pears and quinces and apples.

Really I’m just setting in my stocks before I go into hibernation.

So listen to your inner bear today and make sure your ready for the big chill.

Green Blessings

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I’ve been to Paris this morning… and back!

This morning I wandered into the kitchen with a slight hum in my head and the lingering feeling of dancing all night. I had the numbness that demands the sweet satisfying smack of rich, nurturing hot chocolate. I drifted off to Paris in a very fabulous, skimpy frock, with just a hint of lingerie peeping out. I was carrying my Manolos in my hands. After a nights dancing my soles were worn to the bone.

(for more examples of the wonderful work of Lynette Joy Martini go to

I slipped into the Patisserie for a warm croissant, fresh from the oven. The baker grinned (just a smudge of flour on his upper lip). I ran home with the hot pastry slightly burning my fingers through the paper. I warmed up the milk, stirring in the fresh chocolate until the intoxicating brew invited me in. The croissant mopped up the sweetness and I savored the first bite…

And then the alarm went off! In my kitchen I had forgotten to put the bread on and there was just a solitary crust staring back at me. The kids were going to revolt, so a quick trip to the bakery, to hang out with the bakers and the horse racing crew who were eating instead of racing, due to a heavy fog at the track.

Oh my way back from Paris with a thud.

Story has the power to transform. There was no dancing for me last night, just a tiny wee baby with a demanding catch cry. She likes to chatter during the night. She enjoys the soothing words and gentle pats. It’s as good as dancing for her. For me, while I respect her need, it leaves me feeling worn out and fractious.

So how do you stay well, when life gets in the way? I eat good food, exercise moderately daily. Do yoga once a week. I enjoy a positive outlook, and supportive family and friends. Life is generous to me, not always perfect, not always what I expect, but fair and reasonable. Whole health remains elusive to me right now though.

Health doesn’t appear to be an entitlement but an incredible privilege. With a young baby to care for, and a normal busy family life aside, health maintenance often feels a bit like trying to put out one mighty bush fire, when someone keeps lighting another one just over the next hill. Scorched.

So I allow my stories to sooth my soul, if not necessarily my soles. They are like balm for a cracked countenance.

And on the days when stories won’t let me escape, I seek to understand the lessons of weariness, and nagging ill-health. The wisdom in a sniffle and cough. The virtue in an ache of the neck.

Life is very grounding. It teaches us everything we need to know. And when that’s just too hard, I’m going back to Paris for some Hot Chocolate and a warm pastry.

Green Blessings.

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Soup, Soil and Salute to the Sun

Yesterday my head was bonkers. So many ‘thinks’, I thought I might implode. One of the great things about 3 months of new and exciting blogging is that my mind is bursting with possibility. So many things to explore, learn, investigate. Freight train rattles through my head. Think that’s a Bernard Fanning song. Uh Oh!

I realised that in embracing a new skill, I had neglected other bits of the shop and the consequence was Monday Mania. A gentle rethink was in order. Breath.

Centering after writing is crucial for me to travel well. One days blog boycott required.

I give thanks to the grounding activities of soup, soil and saluting the sun.


Kitchen goddestry happens when I want to get all Earth Mothery. I light a candle on the kitchen altar and say a blessing.

I often use the Celtic Blessing for Hearth-Keepers.

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us.
And restore us to your memory.

Mothers of our mother,
Foremothers strong,
guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both Day and night.

The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
the Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.

This day and night,
From dawn till dark.
From dark till dawn.

Minestrone, Napoli Sauce, Inspired Pea and Ham soup (Beautiful Istra happy pigs) and stewed apples. Happy household. Mmmmmm.

I started to blog and forgot to turn the compost. Well blogging wasn’t totally responsible. There was the sick child 1, sick child 2, sick husband and life. With the inclement weather my compost wasn’t thriving. Dig, dig, dig and turn. Needs more heat. Some poultry manure is in order. The pile is back on track, and so am I . Toil is good for bonkers brains.

Salute to the Sun

One of the beautiful things I’ve learnt in yoga is that it’s not just the asanas (or stretches for the uninitiated) that are important. It is the return to centre and breath that come with it. I love the feeling of my over vibrating central nervous system stilling and calming. I come home unrecognisable to my family, all peace, love and mung beans. I adore Monday nights. Salute to the sun was very powerful, and helped get me out of my head and back into my body. Namaste.

I feel much better now, and more entitled to Blog. Just have to watch out for Bloggers Brain.

Green Blessings.

P.S Coming up in an installment soon… The Baba Yaga’s Socks. Te he.

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Value Added Food

Having a baby in my forties has given me a wonderful opportunity to do a stock take of what I need to eat to stay well. So I’ve taken stock and made stock!

Foods as nutritional supplements, seems to make much more sense to me than tablets, tinctures and medicinals, that often jangle with my frayed nervous system, and interfere with my babies digestion. So staying well and bursting with energy has been a challenge.

Almost everything seems to be contraindicated during breast-feeding, so it is a great chance to strip bare your health and food regimes and go back to basics.

Good food works! We tend to overcomplicate health.

Think nourishing soups, stews and juices. Everything I eat needs to have a ‘valued added’ component to double as food AND medicine.

I enjoy soups most days, but once a week I make up a witch’s brew chock full of goodies, including Astragalus Astragalus membranacous syn. A. propinquus , Star Anise, Barley and Oats. Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, for its immune support and energy building. Tastes great and just soothes and settles a fractious nervous and digestive tract. I’ve been experimenting with home-made stocks, but that’s for another post. I love the process of ‘being present’ in making my family’s food. It is easy to pre purchase food, which on the surface should do the job, but it doesn’t resonate at a soul level. And that contributes to the healing properties of the food. It’s the mindfulness of food.

Mornings are for porridge, Oats Avena sativa for me. Sometimes if my babies sleep has been sporadic I don’t feel much like eating. I have some toast early to stabilise the blood sugar and then get my bowl of oats happening. No quick oats here. I soak oats overnight. Better oats, better outcomes. Avena is a soul saver, and my daughter likes it too. It is a powerful nervine tonic. Same principle, value add to your food. I add home-made LSA (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond) to mine. Gives me that protein and Essential Fatty Acids) I also cook fruit into it, apples, pears, quinces whatever my body craves. Raw food doesn’t seem to work for me when I’m weary. I feel like the body doesn’t have the energy to do that extra digestive work.

And juices. Wonder in a glass. Carrots, apples, celery, beetroot, always some ginger. Gives me an afternoon pickup and a great vitamin boost.

Anything I cook, I think about how I can improve its nutritional content. When making my daily bread , I throw in extra ground brown flaxseed meal (I grind it in my husband’s coffee grinder when he’s not looking!)

So while I don’t feel ready for a marathon right now, I am supporting my body to heal and stay well. I am surviving the rigors of a new baby, older children, family life and the approaching winter. The pot is bubbling away.

Blessings on the healing foods.

Green blessings on you all.