Healthy cookie recipe

healthy cookies

healthy cookies-natural sugars

I pretty much never follow a recipe exactly so you will have to play a little to get the consistency of these healthy cookies right for you. This one seems to always need a bit more help sticking, adding more honey- or sometimes a bit of water helps. The good news is this one seems to always turn out yummy no matter what I do!

125g flour
150g oats
1/2tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
cinnamon to taste- i have also added ground ginger and tumeric before
100g sugar—I substituted Molasses(treacle?) last time, about 4tbls=AMAZING
4tbsp maple syrup, or agave, or honey
1 large carrot grated – might try fresh ginger next time too!
100ml olive, or coconut oil
100g chopped dried fruit- raisins etc
100g chopped nuts or seeds

mix all together- should be sticking together itself or you need more liquid probably. bake 180c/gas 4/350f
8-10minutes
I recommend making double batch as they don’t last long! Let me know if you try them!

Little Changes

My New Years resolution was ‘eat less sugar’….that lasted the typical two weeks until my over indulgent sweet tooth won out. Two months ago I decided my goal need to be more defined, tangible and achievable.

‘go one day a week without refined sugar’

-no cakes, cookies, biscuits, bars, yogurts, hard candy, juice etc.
-fruit, honey etc is all ok.

My sweet tooth hasn’t got the best of me this time. The no sugar days are getting easier and I feel good because I am achieving this goal. If you are looking to make a change in your life, it is better to start small, with something that is manageable and sustainable.

Things I have been eating instead of the usual sweets-

Home-made granola with fruit and plain yogurt
Tahini, honey and oat bars
Oatie biscuits made with honey, molasses
Dried Dates

Want to join my no sugar days challenge? Comment below if you would like the recipes too;)

My Natural Birth Story

As I am beginning to teach Pregnancy Yoga in Bingley, I am reflecting on how I used yoga during my pregnancy and in labour to have a natural, drug free and surprisingly pain free labour. I know this is not the case for many women and that medical intervention is sometime absolutely necessary.  My intention in sharing my birth story is not to make any woman feel regret or disappointment about how they birth their baby. Every pregnancy and labour should be honoured, cherished and appreciated. However, I do feel that there are many scare stories about labour, and not enough stories about natural birth and that is why I am a sharing my story.

I continued my regular yoga practice throughout my pregnancy as well as attended pregnancy yoga workshops and classes, and I am truly indebted to my teachers for all they taught me.

The nitty gritty

I woke up around 4am on Dec 2nd, (the due date!- 5% of babies are born on their due date, which is why I don’t really believe in them, but this little one was punctual!) my plug came out and I started having contractions. I immediately went to my yoga mat, my comfort zone, and began my gentle movements and breathing. I remember thinking, “I really don’t know how people can cope with the discomforts of pregnancy and labour without yoga, I have never been so grateful for my practice.” The contractions became regular quite quickly. I continued to relax at home, breathe, shower, bath, listen to music and my hypnobirthing cd until about noon. We went to the birthing centre – one tip I got was that the car ride is where you can loose your calm because of the stress and the way you sit, so I knelt on the car seat facing backwards (with the seat belt on) listened to music and had my eyes covered. I was 9 centimetres by the time I arrived and got right into the birth pool. My little one was born at 4:20, she actually came out on the bed- in the traditional position you see on tv (knees around your ears) which surprised me as it was the last position I wanted, but my legs were too tired to stand.

I had a ‘toolbox’ of things to help me through the labour instead of drugs- (although I did have 2 paracetamol before leaving for the hospital because I wasn’t entirely sure I would make it there, I really wanted to push but the birth centre was 24 minutes away. I did NOT tell my husband that). I would really recommend pulling together anything you think might help to put in your hospital bag. My toolbox included my breathing practices, yoga, music, water, my husband, and emails from friends and family. I honestly feel that there was not much pain involved, the contractions were manageable because you knew they would pass. The only pain was ‘the ring of fire’ but that didn’t last long because then she was here! I would also say that visualisation helped immensely. (I spent a lot of time imagining how I thought things would go and they pretty much went the way I expected). Before I would have laughed if someone told me that practicing to breathe was so important for birth: of course I know how to breathe! But I did practice, and my breath length went from 20 seconds to 46. And I was really so grateful for that when the contractions came. It is also important to practise relaxing, it is harder than we think to relax, and practising helped me be able to drop back into relaxation over and over again throughout the labour.

I should mention that I was suspected to have gestational diabetes which I managed by diet, and I had to really push and argue my case to be allowed in the birthing centre. I was bullied and scared by doctors and told I would be induced and I may be harming my baby. I researched and read and knew that I had choices, as I felt informed and confident I proceeded to pursue my desire to have a natural birth. I have to give my deepest respect and appreciation for the midwives at Calderdale Birthing Centre that believed in me and helped make my natural birth possible.  I would have had a home birth, but I have fibroids and the risk of bleeding was too high.

This is a list of things that I think I found particularly helpful to having a natural birth-

Letting go of fears
Yoga
Information
Visualisation
Relaxing
Breathing
Tool box

Two books I would highly recommend.

Spiritual Midwifery

Hypnobirthing

If you have any questions, or comments or would like to share your story, I would love to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Going Matless

I read the article, “Yoga Mats Are They Really Necessary” about a month ago. It briefly summarises the history of the yoga mat, and makes a few possibly controversial points about using them-

A) that they may be causing an imbalance in our practice by allowing us to stretch too much without the strength needed in some poses.

B) they define us, make the practice space ours and give us boundaries from other students.

It really got me thinking about the mat, I thought ‘hey let’s try it’. I gave myself a month to go matless in my home practice. It was challenging at first, not to reach for it, but eventually I really enjoyed the freedom, feedback and sensation I got from practising matless. It was very different, and quite challenging (especially in downward facing dog). In public classes it was impossible not to have a mat, I tried to explain- it’s OK, I don’t need one- but people bent over backwards to get one and I felt guilty refusing. After a month, and a very challenging week, I gave in, and crawled back to my mat, relishing the comfort it gave me. This particular mat was a special gift. It not only gives me a space to practice, but it reminds me of a thoughtful friend who encouraged me and gave me confidence.

Go matless for a while and see how it feels for you. If you have tried this, or if you have any thoughts on the article from Yoga International, leave me a comment, it would be great to hear your thoughts. I should mention, a few of my students practice on camping mats, instead of yoga mats- they seem to be doing just fine!  I will be doing 50/50 for now, at least I know what it feels like, and it will make travelling a bit lighter!

Home yoga practice

As a new student of yoga, I loved going to class and soaking in everything I was learning about yoga and my body. My teacher really encouraged home practice and I found this quite intimidating at first, not knowing where to start and how to be safe. I am eternally grateful for her support and encouragement. You really start to learn the benefits of yoga through your own practice.  I thought I might share a few thoughts on home yoga practice, whether you have one or would like to start one.

-Give yourself time, however much time you can spare. It doesn’t have to be 2 hours, 10 or 20 minutes to explore a few poses, your body will thank you.

-A morning practice is easier to keep the mind still and get into some of the more meditative aspects of yoga, be gentle with yourself in the morning and give your body time to wake up.

-In an evening yoga practice, your body will be warm from your natural movement of the day so you can explore more difficult and challenging poses, but it may be more difficult to still the mind. Bringing awareness to the breath will help focus the mind.

-Take notes from your classes and from your own practice on poses you try and how you feel after.

If you haven’t tried a home practice before, start simple and slow with something you feel comfortable with. A sun salutation, or legs up the wall or even a few moments of savasana! If you have a home yoga practice and have any questions or thoughts I would love to hear from you.

Simply Breathing

Breathing is so important in our yoga practice. The breath is such a powerful tool, something we do each day without realising,  and yet it can have a profound impact on our health.  Begin to examine your breath, a few moments each day and you will begin to notice how it is connected to your state of mind, and how you are reacting in your body.  It is so simple, and yet so often overlooked.  Begin to notice how you breath and the impact it has on your emotions.

Where are you breathing?  Through your nose, or through your mouth?  Where are you breathing?  Into your belly? Into your chest?  Into your back?  Into your whole body?  How are you breathing?  Short and Shallow?  Long and Slow?  Are your holding your breath?  Are you sighing or yawning often?

Your breath can help you fight off viruses, tone your belly, and massage your spine.  It can help with digestion and give you more energy.  Notice your breath this week in different situations, in meetings, in bed, in the car.  I would love to hear your observations.

I am still learning about my breath and trying to improve it, but I believe in the power of the breath because I used it myself during childbirth, to calm my mind and give birth without any pain relief.  What can your breath help you overcome?

Yoga for babies, mums, toddlers, children, schools and adults

Yoga for babies, mums, toddlers, children, beginners, and families

Yoga in Cullingworth
Mondays 6:45-7:45 and 8-9pm
Wednesdays 9:30 am
Yoga in Cullingworth is a dynamic class, including a variety of poses, breath work, mindfulness and relaxation. Suitable for all levels, beginners included.  £30 for 5 class yoga pass you can use for two months.

Yoga Explorers Toddler Yoga in Saltaire
Tuesdays 10am
Yoga and mindfulness practices for crawlers to four years old.  We have fun learning about our breath, to help calm us down.  We practice yoga poses to help build strength, balance and coordination, using music, singing, stories, and play.  And a little bit of relaxation. Carers and little ones enjoy bonding through this practice. Regular courses, Term time only.  Cost is £6 for block bookings or £6.5 pay as you go.

Post-natal/Baby Yoga in Saltaire
Tuesdays 11am
Breathing, singing, movement, and relaxation, yoga for mums and babies.  Each session is different, as they are completely baby led.  Join us to learn practices to help baby and mummy bond, stretch/strengthen and relax after birth.  Cost is £6 for block bookings or £6.5 pay as you go.  Suitable for birth to crawling.  Regular courses, Term time only.

Kids Yoga Club
Wednesdays 4:15
A special course for kids, (3-7) we will practice mindfulness, breathing, explore yoga through stories and games and finish with a lovely relaxation. Children will be able to explore their yoga practice in safe, supportive, relaxed environment while they build their strength, balance and coordination.
Parent supervision is not necessary, but welcome if needed.  Book Now

***Please contact Kellyannyoga@gmail.com or 07965582530 to book on or with questions.

For more information on what to expect at each class please see- About Yoga

Private classes- tailored yoga practice, for one or more people, in your home or business. Please contact for more information.

Yoga and Mindfulness in School- Help students to develop confidence, stay calm, focused.  Mindfulness helps improve student’s well-being and concentration.  Sessions tailored to school’s preferences and needs.

Family Yoga Sessions once a month in Saltaire- BOOK NOW