My husband and I recently enjoyed a break away in beautiful Fiji to celebrate a special wedding anniversary. I’m not sure where the last 15 years have gone, but in what seems like a blink of an eye, we found ourselves enjoying some time by ourselves on the golden sands of Fiji, resting, reflecting and celebrating.
The beautiful spirit of the Fijian people just blew us away. An attitude of thankfulness and blessing flowed out of every one we met, despite having almost ‘nothing’ in terms of our standards here in Australia. From the little that we saw in the time we had, it was obvious that their priorities in life are their faith, providing on a daily basis the needs of their family for food and shelter, sharing all that they ‘earn’ each day with the people in their village. The highlight of their day is coming together to eat and celebrate, everyone contributing something, and everyone keeping an eye out for each other. They greet everyone regardless of whether they know them or not, making sure everyone feels welcome around them. They sing in almost any and every situation and the phrase that they are known for and which we came to love, is “No Hurry, No Worry.”
As we’re settling back into our full and crazy life, we are trying to remember some of these attitudes that contribute towards the Fijians being named ” The Most Happy People on Earth” (this quoted to us by many while we were there).
Our houses may be bigger, our food more fancy, our schedules more full, but I couldn’t help but come home, mulling over these ‘happy’ people and their way of not only simply ‘living’ but ‘enjoying’ life as they go about the journey.
On a few occasions I got the privilege of starting my day with a juicy, fresh drink of coconut water. Straight from the tree, the water from this young coconut was so refreshing and beautiful to drink. I know you can buy it in the supermarket these days, probably for a small fortune, but it just doesn’t quite taste the same as straight from the tree!
Our friend, King Solomon (great name hey?), scaled the tree, collected the coconuts and then got them ready for us to drink.
Nature’s perfect cup.
Who needs a spoon when you can use a piece of the hard coconut skin to scoop the flesh out for you?
This young coconut flesh was silky smooth with the texture of a pannacotta.
The Fijians drink it every morning and if they are going to work in the field all day harvesting sugar cane, they will simply take a coconut. That is what they will eat and drink to sustain them for the entire day of hard labour. They call it their ‘natural sports drink.’
When you research the claimed health benefits, you can see that natural coconut water is quite an amazing drink with many health benefits, however, if you are not doing a lot of physical exercise and the supermarket variety is full of added sugar, you are probably better off with drinking plain water.
I think if I had a coconut tree in my yard and one of my boys could bring me one every morning, I would definitely drink it most days. But until that happens, I’ll stick with water as my drink of choice.
These Coconut and Berry Chia Puddings are an exceptionally easy dessert to make, with only 4 ingredients, they are low in sugar and are gluten and dairy free. Chia seeds are a great addition to any diet, high in omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants, they are the ‘setting’ agent in this dessert, which my boys call ‘Berry Jelly’.
There are many versions of this dessert around the place at the moment, but this one I got from The Beauty Chef, www.thebeautychef.com
You can make this with any berry of choice or a mixture of your favourite berries.
1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk
1 cup frozen blueberries or raspberries or a mixture of both (you could use fresh berries, it will just take longer to set)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/4 cup white chia seeds
Berries and shredded coconut to serve
Combine coconut cream, berries and maple syrup in a food proccesor and blend until smooth.
Combine this mixture with the chia seeds, stir well.
Pour this mixture evenly into 4 dessert glasses and refrigerate until set and the chia seeds have absorbed all of the liquid. This will take at least 4 hours.
Serve with berries and coconut.