and… Action!

and… Action!

Recently I’ve been craving coffee, delicious dark bitter sweet coffee. I thought it was because I was busy with a list of jobs as long as my arm and I needed a little shot of energy. But when I looked a little deeper I realised it wasn’t to sustain my energy it was to sustain my adrenaline high. The buzz of being busy had me hooked. I was fixated on getting things done, rather than enjoying the flow and seeing the magic in process. All very ironic when you consider what I was working on was organising and planning a retreat for the Bladder and Kidney. The Kidney Bladder Meridians are linked to the water element and are all about flow. The bladder meridian runs the length of our spine all the way down the back of the leg, finishing right at the end of the little toe and is responsible for our will power. The kidney with its links to the adrenals often aids the will and provides us with the physical chemicals to push on through. The season of these organs is winter, to balance all that action we need to deeply rest, restore and replenish.

So one of sections of the weekend (apart from cookery lessons, yoga, meditation and shiatsu) is to be how to live life, take action and get things done from a place of support for the Bladder and Kidney organs rather than constant calling on their energy to produce results. In Chinese Medicine terms, the action (Yang) should come from stillness (Yin). To do that takes a confidence, a belief that everything will turn out just perfectly and to be honest in my preparation for the weekend I wasn’t that confident that publicity would manifest, people would come and the weekend would happen so I went into overdrive to try and make sure that it did. Finally I realised what I was doing to prepare for the weekend was the antithesis of what the weekend was about. Now I have settled into the flow of the event, that may or may not happen, already I have learnt new recipes, researched functioning of the brain and practised more mindfulness. I’m still drinking coffee but because it is delicious not for the adrenaline kick. To calm and nourish my kidneys that have become overwrought through work and stimulants like coffee, I have increased my oat intake. The universe has supported me in this by providing me with a 24 kg bag of oats that is almost as big as me at a reduced to clear, bargain price of €11 :). I’m eating oats everyday in many ways – here’s one of my favourites from Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Everyday”

Butter a baking dish approximately 25cm x 25 cm and cut the bananas to coat the base, cover these with half the mixed berries and on top of this sprinkle the dry ingredients which have already been mixed together. Melt the butter and beat it together with the maple syrup, milk egg and vanilla extract. Shower the remaining berries on the top of the oat mix and gently pour the wet mix over all the ingredients. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for 35-45 mins. Its like breakfast and dessert all in one.

  • rolled oats 200g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • ground cinnamon 1.5 tsp
  • fine salt 0.5
  • maple syrup 60 ml
  • milk 475 ml
  • egg 1
  • butter 60
  • vanilla extract 2 tsp
  • banana 2
  • mixed berries 200 g

Oh and there are still place available for the Bladder Kidney weekend in January. Press Cooking Courses on the drop down menu on the home page for more information. ?

and… Action!

Source of Life

A Restorative Retreat focusing on the Water Element in Chinese Medicine
17-19 January 2014

Winter in Chinese Medicine is the time for the Water Element which governs the Bladder and Kidney. The water element is where our constitutional energy is stored, the energy we derive from our parents and ancestors. It is not possible to increase this energy but it is possible to conserve it or at worst deplete it.

The society which surrounds us teaches us that it’s dog eat dog and only the fittest survive. That fear of failure can mean we are always on the go, constantly using our will and wits to survive. Like this kidneys and adrenals become overworked, drained and exhausted, impairing their function. As the body is made up of up to 70% water this can have serious implications for our health.

This retreat will show you how you can accomplish and get things done without undue stress and effort. We will experience practical techniques through Yoga, meditation, acupressure, food and cooking that can support the kidney and bladder and balance assertive action with nurture for our body. Whilst at the same time experiencing rest, allowing these hard working organs to restore, ready for the coming year ahead.

FRIDAY 17th January 2014

5.00 Check In

5.45 Arrival for the body with Uta

6.00 Supper

  • Black bean and Celery Soup. Celery is packed full of vitamins and minerals but its main effect is on the bladder/kidney. Due to its high levels of calcium and magnesium it calms the nerves and aids relaxation. It is also a mild diuretic and good at relieving arthritis and rheumatic disorders
  • Tabouleh Salad Parsley is a fine tonic for the Blood. It also has a diuretic effect draining water from the body and supporting the Kidney. Bulghar Wheat is made from cracked wheat berries and so is beneficial to the heart, together with flat leaf parsley which is full of vitamin C they boost the blood and circulation
  • Wholemeal Spelt Bread with Dulse and Wakame Seaweed. Seaweeds are an underused Irish resource great for softening hard masses in the body, reducing swelling, detoxifying, benefiting thyroid, building blood and removing residues of radiation in the body. They are packed full of essential minerals often missing from our diet. Over the weekend we will be tasting and trying many different types of seaweed as they are the backbone of kidney and bladder food.

7.00 Welcome Session

  • Conscious listening practice to introduce the group
  • Presentation of the Bladder/Kidney in Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Simple stretches, Self Shiatsu and Acupressure points to relieve stress and build a sense of peace within the body


8.30 Yoga and Loving Kindness Meditation with Uta

10.0 Breakfast

  • Baked Fruit Porridge with dark mixed berries. Oats are a warming tonic for the Qi. They strengthen the Spleen and benefit the nervous system and bones thereby supporting kidney function
  • Selection of Breads all of which are baked fresh daily by the Art of Conscious Cooking including Spelt and pumpkin seed, Wheat/gluten free with Sesame seeds and banana bread
  • Fair-trade Orange and Apple Juice
  • Fresh fruit, Yogurt and Honey, Seeds and raisins
  • Condiments of Butter, Margarine, Marmalade, Jam, Honey, Marmite

11.00 Conscious Cooking Class with Jo

  • Japanese Aduki Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Stew Aduki beans strengthen the Kidney Chi and have a mild diuretic action. Butternut squash and sweet potato supports the stomach and spleen which comforts and nourishes the overworked thinking mind. The seaweed is great at supporting the kidney and bladder function, allowing the body to receive and relax at a very deep level
  • Cucumber and Dilisk (seaweed) Salad
  • Traditional Japanese New Year Salad. This salad with its mixture of raw ingredients specializes in moving the chi (energy)
  • Traditional Miso Soup with Wakame (seaweed) A quick and hearty cuppa soup with its salty flavour, essential for kidney and bladder health
  • Feta, Dulse (seaweed) and Walnut Corn Bread
  • Lemon and Honey Barley Water essential for a healthy urinary tract
  • Barley, Leek and Arame (seaweed) salad

2.00 Lunch

  • Japanese Aduki Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Stew served with brown rice
  • Cucumber and Dilisk (seaweed) Salad
  • Traditional Japanese New Year Salad
  • Stuffed Baked Apples served with vanilla ice cream

Free time for napping, reading, walks in the grounds or a swim at the beach

6.00 Supper

  • Corn and corriander Soup. Corn traditionally tonifies the kidneys and helps overcome weakness. The lime in this soup aids the uptake of Niacin into the body
  • Feta, Dulse (seaweed) and Walnut Corn Bread
  • Barley, Leek and Arame (seaweed) salad


  • Yin & Yang Evening Meditation – finding the still point from which all action comes. Using stillness and flow we will create artworks to which help us remember the stillness within activity
  • Personal one to one Bodywork with Uta or Jo – everybody will receive shiatsu bodywork for the Bladder and Kidney (approx 20 min each with personal recommendations)


8.30 Yoga and Loving Kindness Meditation with Uta

10.00 Breakfast

11.00 Conscious Cooking Class with Jo

  • Caramalized Onion, Feta and Seaweed Quiche
  • Broccoli, Green bean and sweet sesame salad
  • Nori (seaweed) Rolls with dipping sauce

12.00 Tea break

12.30 Movement meditation with Uta

1.30 Main Meal

  • Caramalized Onion, Feta and Seaweed Quiche
  • Broccoli, Green bean and sweet sesame salad
  • Nori (seaweed) Rolls with dipping sauce
  • Sweet Sesame Treats, Poached Pears and vanilla yogurt

3.00 Closing Ceremony

Cost: early bird €245 (25th December), thereafter €275
Includes all food, accommodation & tuition

For more info and a booking form contact the team:
Uta Kaiser 087 742 5717
Jo Faulkner 086 6070432

This course schedule is an outline and may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as available ingredients and the weather ?

and… Action!

Ancient Wisdom – Modern Kitchen

We’re back ? with lots and lots of new, easy healthy recipes.
The Whitefriar Community Centre is an inner city Dublin based community group that funds my cooking classes which mix Traditional Chinese medicine and the energy of food to make tasty healthy dishes. Its a bargain at €4 per class. Don’t worry about booking – if you are about just pop in, learn a few new dishes, see where they fit into the Chinese medicine yin/yang circle and have a tasty snack/lunch at the end of it all. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know is in the Dublin City Centre area and would be interested.

Classes run 10.30-12.30 ?

Directions: walk up Aungier Street toward Camden St. At the large crossroads take a left. The building is on the right hand side with a full line of glass windows. Address: Greenside House, Cuffe Street.

07 Nov Bladder Kidney
Flavour Salty

  • Corn Chowder
  • Corn Bread with walnuts
  • Japanese Ochazuke (green tea and rice)

14 Nov Liver/ Gall Bladder
Flavour Sour

  • Traditional Japanese New Year Salad
  • Spring Green Soup
  • Chrysanthemum Broccoli

21 Nov Heart/ Small Intestine
Flavour Bitter

  • Snow Pea Rice
  • Blood Building Salad
  • Garlic Green Beans

28 Nov Stomach/ Spleen
Flavour Sweet

  • Vegetarian Paella
  • Pumpkin and tofu soup
  • Mint, Ginger and Tangerine Tea

05 Dec Lung/ Large Intestineginger

Flavour Pungent

  • Ginger and Pumpkin Soup & Healthy Lentil Stew

12 Dec Christmas Favourites
Flavour Fantastic

  • Guiness Gingerbread
  • Healthy Choc Chip Cookies
  • Orange Chai