“Look Daddy, tree pose”
I turned around to see my, nearly, two year old boy standing on one leg with the other nicely poised against the knee.
Arms outstretched either side.
“Good form” I said.
Now perhaps that doesn’t seem normal? Well, it is to me.
With having an office job in London, I look forward to coming home every night and finding out that Raffie has learnt a new pose or nailed a previous attempt. Downward dog has been mastered, along with my personal favourite – shivasna (lying down flat on your back with palms facing up). Although the little man can’t get into this pose without shouting “CRASH”.
Moving into our house 5 years ago, as newly weds, my wife and I made the decision to build a yoga studio in our garden. Little did I know that it would, near enough, turn our whole house into a round the clock yoga base for clients, friends, family.
With classes now happening Tuesday & Wednesday nights and back to back classes Saturday morning, we have a constant flow of people coming and going. When answering the door to new-be’s, I tend to get that confused raised eyebrow look of “have I come to the right place, does yoga happen here?”
“Yes, that’s us go straight on through – don’t mind the toddler trying to do a handstand, Abi has been running through what to expect in today’s class” that’s when I get the raised eyebrow bit – always good fun trying to wind up the new yogi’s.
This has all really kicked off in the last 2 years and the community of people is certainly getting wider. Festivals have taken place, ceremonies carried out, courses held, garments sold and healthy food and juices constantly on offer.
Oh yes I forgot to mention my alter ego; Chef Nick. This tall white hatted demon seems to take over on Saturday mornings – it was all inspired after a request from a client who liked the look of something I put together and asked “how much”?
“Erm… A few quid” (this was a knee jerk reaction but it led to my first sale).
This was the birth of Chef Nicks infamous Protein Balls (I wanted to go for chocolate & salty but I think that’s already been done).
Luckily for me, it’s my wife who has endured endless training around the globe to become qualified in her yoga teachings – where as I simply tag along & pick up a few bits here and there to feed my passion for cooking. I certainly have not been taught nor do I possess anywhere near a Michelin star but I feel I give a good account of those trying to accomplish the naked chef approach… not literally! Just those fed up of weighing, counting & measuring.
My method is ‘keep it simple and cook in season.’
Would you believe this all happens behind the doors of a normal mid-terraced house in Woodford. We adopt an open door policy and although sounds a bit too trusting in today’s world it is that uncomplicated approach, inspired from our son, that brings a togetherness & unity of people that want to connect be a part of our family.
All about nuts crumble
Peeled and chopped apple and pears (filled up to within a cm of the brim of the oven proof dish)
Large hand full of raisins chucked in
A healthy glug of maple syrup
A shake of cinnamon and nutmeg powder over the top
Scraping of a vanilla pod (or if you only have vanilla essence – add this within the crumble)
Give all the ingredients a good massage so that it all integrates and fuses together
Pop in the middle shelf of the oven for 20/25 mins.
Meanwhile take a big handful of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts (basically any nuts you like – pistachio is also a winner) & blend in a mixer for 20/30 seconds.
Add rolled oats
Melt down 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and pour into the crumble with another glug of maple syrup and mix together.
Take the apples and pears out of the oven and pour the crumble on top.
Put back into the oven until golden brown on top
Good for breakfast on its own or as a desert with some tasty ice cream