Karina's Tips for the Festive Season

Karina Stewart - Kamalaya

After her essential tips for a healthy mind and balance, our guest blogger Karina Stewart - practitioner of Chinese medicine and co-founder of Kamalaya  - helps us survive and get the best out of a very demanding period to deal with: Christmas holidays.

The festive season often creates huge expectations and juggling, with a lot of family and social obligations to fulfil which can lead to a rise in stress-related health problems.

On the positive and healthy side – people reach out and make connections during the festive period, which is wonderful. However, some people overdo it and are over committed, creating stress. The festive period can also highlight any unresolved family issues, such as a strained relationship. It can also emphasise circumstantial situations – where life has taken them away from friends and family because of work or relationship changes, or health issues such as depression.

There is this ideal version of Christmas - everyone is happy, gifts are under the Christmas tree and a so there is a lot of expectation.  The lead up to Christmas can be stressful with many people finishing up the work and school year, juggling social, school and work commitments, buying food and gifts, planning holidays and the list goes on. 

Financial strain can be a major issue during the festive season, particularly with buying gifts for family, friends and work colleagues. People can stress about how much to spend, who to buy for and what to buy.

How can we ease stress levels and make time for ourselves during the busiest time of the year?

Prioritising is really important.  Assess what is really important. Are quality relationships more important, or do you need to invest this time in quantity – such as developing work contacts for the year ahead?  Either way don’t neglect the really significant relationships in your life.

Simplify your life.  Recognise that giving someone homemade biscuits (healthy of course!) is more meaningful than buying a gift.  Connect with the people in your life through more personal ways.

Make sure you don’t over-commit socially. Spend time with yourself. If you have 20 party invitations, don’t attend all of them and instead look at ways you can show people what they mean to you without attending.

Recipe: This tantalising dessert of Hibiscus soup with Coconut Sorbet is made with Rosella Tea, dried figs, prunes and apricots, garnished with a stick of cinnamon.  Rosella Tea is rich in vitamin C, making this tonifying soup an ideal dessert for celebrating the end of the year. The deep crimson colour and star anise decoration will add Christmas sparkle to any dining table while the properties of this dish support the nervous system helping keep stress levels in check.

Hibiscus Soup

Tea organic Rosella
Dried apricot
Dried figs
Dried prunes
Coconut sorbet
Cinnamon stick
Star anise

1.Start by gently brewing 150ml of organic Rosella tea and flavor to taste with the addition of stevia leaves (a natural sweetener).
2. Combine the deseeded dried apricots, figs and prunes together in a large bowl before adding the pre-brewed rosella tea to the mixture, which should have been left to cool for at least ten minutes beforehand.
3. Pour and ladle the required amount of mixture into individual serving bowls.
4. Gently place one scoop of coconut sorbet on top of the fruits in the centre of each dish.
5. Garnish with a slice of star anise fruit a cinnamon stick and a sprig of mint, then serve.

Coconut Sorbet

500 g Coconut flesh
400 ml Coconut water

1. Carefully remove the top of the shell of a fresh young coconut with a sharp knife so that you can  scoop out the coconut flesh and extract the coconut water.
2. Place the roughly cut coconut flesh and coconut water into the Pacojet container.
3. Lock the container into the Pacojet machine and enter the requested amount of portions.
4. When the frozen mixture is ready scoop out a beautiful cup to garnish the hibiscus soup with.

*To make Kamalaya’s coconut sorbet you will need a Pacojet. Pacojet is a revolutionary device that transforms deep frozen foods into an ultra-light mousse, cream or sauce without thawing – capturing the natural flavours and nutrients in individual, ready-to-serve portions.

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