Health to Glow Episode 12 – DIY Cleaning Products..for the time poor

I am the first person to admit that I am slap dash and lack attention to detail at the best of times (hairbrush? eye brows?  potential typo in post should go back and re-check…urghh to hard!)

Which is why I implore you to watch this video and see how EASY it is to make your own NON-TOXIC cleaners.

There is something massively satisfying about making your own from scratch, particularly when it is pathetically simple.

I feel chuffed.

A little smug.

That my house smells like lavendar, peppermint, ylang ylang…whatever suits the mood and has been scrubbed to perfection (well my version of it) without the need to invest in suspect blue goops that clear the nose and throat like Vix Vapour Rub.

Further to the point, I am not inhaling weird plastic by products that have been shown time and time again to disrupt the endocrine system ergo your hormones/period/ fertility (this is among other things…but given the vast majority of my readers are women I will get to the heart of the matter)

As I have PCOS, I am cautious to adopt any practice that will further my already corrupted body!

So- with this all said and done….

..please sit down, watch, get  a pen, jot down what you require on the back of your hand and get domestic in the name of household and environmental cleanliness! 

 

 

 

 

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Top 6 REASONS to EAT BUTTER

Butter???

Like so many NATURAL foods (hello red meat and egg yolks) butter has had a bad wrap.

And despite several recent studies highlighting the fallacy of saturated fat and its impact on heart disease I know it is hard to take a leap of faith and swap your ‘heath spread’ for the real tasty deal.

If you are in fact worried – perhaps take heed of the recent meta-analysis conducted at Harvard, where all the research regarding saturated fat and heart disease (21 different case studies) were compiled and examined. The resounding conclusion being that..

“….there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk (of heart disease).”

But I digress…

As I have discussed before, butter  (like all fats) is vital for your body to take in several key nutrients found in vegetables.  Think vitamins A,D,E and K – all of which are readily available in veggies so long as you add a fat.

BUT if you are still worried about adding butter BACK IN to your diet (nom nom) here are

my top 6 reasons pasture fed, organic butter is the original super food.

1. It has buckets of Vitamin A.

And it’s readily absorbed by your body in the form you get from butter. While carrots and sweet potato do have vitamin A, you need fat to absorb it. So why not eat butter instead? Or bake your sweet potato in coconut oil?  On a superficial level, Vitamin A is necessary for ‘younger looking skin’, needles to say, you know where I’m spreading.

2. It has a minimal amount of polyunsaturated fat. (Omega 6)

And if you have or still do consume a relative amount of pre-packaged food (even supposedly healthy stuff) chances are you are getting a good flood of the stuff already. Ease up buddy! PUFA’s aren’t that stable and easily become oxidized in our bodies. This generates free radicals, (oxidative stress) which predisposes us to a host of wonderful modern diseases like cancer and heart disease. Given that the optimal ratio of Omega 3 to 6 is 1:1 and most Australians are hanging out at around 1:10, it is vital to start being a little more selective in your fat intake.

With butter sitting at around 65-70% saturated fat – it is not going to tax your body like other less stable Omega 6’s are.

As a quick aside- Omega 6’s aren’t bad…it’s just too easy to O.D. on them in this day and age. Also, given how much oxidative stress we are exposed to on a daily basis, I say the less stress we can ingest the better.

3.  It has your K2 covered

And if you had no idea that K2 existed, and was ‘like tots amaze balls’ (officially in the dictionary now apparently) please get yourself acquainted. Vitamin K2 is integral for bone health, heart health and has a starring role in dental health (and if anyone knows my obsession with pearly whites you know I am rather hooked)

The much-touted dentist Weston A. Price even claimed that modern day physical degeneration was in part caused by a lack of the stuff. He noted that in the primitive societies he studied, most of its inhabitants had broad faces and dental arches – which enabled them to carry invariably straight teeth with enough room for their wisdom teeth. This is in distinct contrast to the narrow dental arches, crowded teeth and narrow faces prevalent today, that prevent full development of our pearly whites – resulting in braces, extractions and the need for orthodontics in the first place…

Oh butter where art thou?

4. Butyric Acid is bountiful!

Butyric acid is a fatty acid that holds a vital role in your metabolism. So vital that a few supplement guys keen on making a penny or two have been selling it as a fat burning supplement. The evidence is there, so I can’t fault them. One study in particular demonstrated butyric acid reversed metabolic syndrome side affects (aka obesity or insulin resistance) and made the mice leaner and less likely to over eat. But instead of buying a little pill filled with ‘fatty acids’ why not eat butter?

 5. HAS CLA in SPADES!

Also a fat burning supplement on the market ( I am seeing a slimming trend here) CLA has been shown to

–       increase metabolism

–       increase lean muscle mass

–       lower insulin resistance

–       reduce food allergies

It is little wonder that many health scientists attribute a deficiency in CLA to the host of metabolic diseases and food allergies we see present today.

To manufacture the best and MOST CLA, cows must be fed grass (i.e. allowed to roam freely) rather than fattened in feedlots. Several studies have shown that meat from pasture raised cows have as much as four times the amount of CLA as their unhappy cow cousin.

So if you are keen on adding quality butter into your diet- try and invest in one that lives up to its name and is truly pastured. Like this one.  You will know when the butter is REAL as it is a vibrant YELLOW unlike its cheap, white counterpart. Conventional butter will never have the same nutrients as grass fed cows, simply because the diet of the unhappy cow can’t supply proper nutrition for the cow and you in turn.

And, at the end of the day, I want to buy from a place that cultivates a happy cow.

Don’t you?

 

 

Health to Glow Episode 11- Mercury OverLOAD!

Mercury overload is quite common and many people don’t even know they have it.

But after getting a hair analysis test the results were in – we both had highly toxic levels of mercury in our system. I blame my tuna addiction while backpacking. But apparently just living in Sydney is enough!

Indeed, it is only when I found out I had it and started talking about it, I discovered how prevalent it was!

Thus began our journey to clean and heal ourselves from the inside out.

This is where I stumbled upon the wonders of tea to heal. And now I just drink this because it is

good for your skin!

Sarah Wilson has also written extensively on the process of detoxing mercury. 

Have you experienced high levels of mercury? If so how did you heal yourself?

My Sugar Free Afternoon Snack!

So it’s ‘SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER’ in the blogosphere and I have had MANY requests for sugar free alternatives to satisfy that sweet afternoon temptation.

First things first though –

Sweet cravings usually means you are:

1. Sleep Deprived (go to bed early tonight)

2. Stressed (take one thing off your to-do list)

3. Hormonal (eat the dam chocolate)

4. Reinforcing bad habits by always turning to something sweet in the afternoon.

On the matter of sleep. If you deprive your body of the necessary shuteye required for repair your body will try to ‘repair’ itself the next day.

To do this, your body releases growth hormone, stimulating ghrelin – your hunger hormone.

Needless to say you crave easy, accessible forms of energy i.e. sugar.

Regardless of this rant – I too am human and like something sweet in my life. Particularly with this warmer weather I ADORE ice cream. But I am not keen on most store bought products as they are filled with suspect numbers, soy lecithin and vegetable gums…to name but a few.

Hence, I invented my next best alternative!

Sugar Free, Protein Packed Ice Cream!

If you are keen for ice cream but hate the preservative ridden alternatives and lack time – try this on for size!

Protein Cheesecake Low Carb Ice Cream for ONE! 

Ingredients:
150g of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (good quality means everything on the label makes sense to you)
¼ cup of water/almond milk/coconut milk
1 scoop of protein powder
Pinch of Vanilla powder
1 tsp of liquid stevia
1 tray of ice cubes (about 10-12 small ones)
1 tbs of Chia seeds (not necessary – they were sitting next to my blender so I thought why not?)

Method:
Combine ingredients, except for water in a blender or magic bullet. Add half the water and blend. If more water is required – add the remaining water. The water is purely to get the blender going – less is more. Puree the mixture until smooth and free of lumps, scraping down the blender as required.

Et Voila!

Serve immediately, otherwise the ice will melt somewhat. (Which is ok – just more of a thick smoothie then)

I love this at the moment- especially with this beautifully balmy weather we are having.

Oh – and for the purists who read my blog – (I love you…BUT) yes this isn’t typical ice cream, made with quality egg yolks and milk. However- as a kitchen cheat – this deserves me a gold medal!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Health to Glow Episode 10- SMOOTHIES! Yum!

This week watch Mel and I whip up TWO delicious smoothies using Coconut Water.

Mel and I were lucky enough to stumble upon CHI coconut water which is the

LOWEST SUGAR

coconut water on the Australian market.

More importantly, it is the only coconut water that I have found comes vaguely close to the REAL thing!

If you want a laugh, have a look at me trying to down a banana smoothie at the end…

Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE BANANA’s! 

The things I do in the name of education/entertainment/heath….

REMOVE YOUR EYE MAKEUP UP EASILY WITH THIS NATURAL TRICK!

I have recently gotten into a little bit of beauty alchemy. Don’t get me wrong – I am NO DOMESTIC GODDESS, and I am not the kind of person who avidly denies their kitchen prowess yet whips out her homemade jam with buttermilk scones when unsuspecting guests arrive. ‘Doesn’t everyone make their own rhubarb jam’?

If you are teetering on the fine edge between caring about the chemicals in conventional makeup yet still wed to the smell and feel of your $150 eye cream- read on. I proffer a simple solution that smells divine, is easy to use and won’t tax your sensitive body or your unbalanced bank account.

Yes- I still love a good lick of mascara and eyeliner on my lids but I choose my weapons wisely; opting to part pennies with local companies whose commitment to ethical ingredients both environmentally and chemically are in harmony with my desire to combine the fine art of ‘looking natural’ whilst wearing makeup. A pursuit chased by most girls and when accomplished – a real show stopper.

WIPE AWAY YOUR MASCARA NATURALLY WITH THIS LITTLE TRICK

The art of eye makeup removal without chemicals requires no skill set, nor will you be rubbing mashed banana, avocado or raw eggs into your eyes in the name of ‘natural beauty’.

My go to makeup remover comes in the form of coconut oil.

A staple in my kitchen and now my bathroom for its ability to heal superficial wounds, intensely moisturize the cracked barnacles that are my feet during winter and remove the black liner and mascara I have artfully worn during the day.

Method:

  1. Dip your fingers into your coconut oil jar and rub a very tiny dollop of oil between your fingers to melt it.
  2. Spread the melted oil along your eyelids and eyelashes.
  3. Grab a cotton pad or face mitt and wipe the oil away and watch as your makeup is removed with ease.

And that is honestly it.

Keep in mind that a little oil residue will linger – leave it be – it’s the best anti wrinkle treatment your dermatologist never told you about.

Who says going ‘au natural’ was too hard?

Health to Glow Episode 9- Delicious Delights, Guilt Free Chocolate Mousse!

 

So a while back I ranted on about my Chocolate Ice Cream…I didn’t get a massive vote of confidence from many as the main ingredients was..

AVOCADO…

And I think most people can’t seem to wrap their head around a savoury staple being morphed into a decadent chocolate cream.

Trust me, it’s been done, and it is

a little bit amazing…

Watch Mel and I tackle the EASIEST dish since a cheese toastie and eat half the contents of the food processor…

I implore anyone who manages to snatch a cheap box of avocados to make one big batch and freeze some for later and eat the rest now….

You will thank me.

😉

 

 

TOP 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD STOP ALL THAT CARDIO

The majority of ladies I know want to ‘tone up’ and insist that their previous methods; cutting their food consumption and running a whole lot more is their tool of the trade. I also know straight away that a desire to ‘tone up’ means they are scared of weights.

The only problem with ‘toning up’ is that it requires women to weight train, a notion that unleashes a tirade of excuses as to why using weights will make them HUGE!

Let me tell you- I have been going hard on weights for a little over a year and have only shrunk (albeit not massively as I am a small person) and gained enormous confidence with my bodies capabilities – a sense of confidence that could never have been found running for miles or attending back to back spin classes.

Not only has lifting HEAVY weights affected my day-to-day activities (hello being able to carry home ALL my groceries without a car) but the increased muscle mass means I burn more even at rest. (And subsequently have to eat more…oh the pain!)

And the best way for women to weight train?

Like a man.

Lifting light weights with lots of reps is a sure fire way to not see results.

Without massive amounts of testosterone, and an accompanying male appetite for food, women will only achieve that toned, cellulite-less physique they so constantly crave.

Don’t get me wrong, group classes are great for camaraderie and motivation but it will never beat heavy and intense weight training.

For me, weight training has affected my body, mind and spirit in 5 crucial ways:  (let me know your experience)

1. Creates tangible goals:

When ‘lifting weights’, exercise moves beyond the realms of aesthetic goals and touches upon the desire to outdo our last efforts. Writing and tracking our progression of strength allows us to see how far we have come, the results we have achieved and creates a massive sense of pride and reward. In a competitive world, being able to feel accomplished with your own personal pursuits is so imperative for mental health!

2. I get to be part of the bro club at the gym.

Which is dam intimidating but so satisfying once you start to blend in with the crowd. Furthermore, training with weights enters you into a wonderful community. Just like when my dad, a proud panel van driver, drives past a fellow sandman and toots his horn, so to can you feel part of something and connect with strangers. And given our propensity to live our friendships online who doesn’t love a good bit of social interaction with a random.

3. It is proven to boost your self esteem. 

There are quite a few studies that show how a weight training program can help those with eating disorders normalize their eating patterns and in doing so, gain confidence in their ability to ‘let go’ of food anxieties.

4. Weight training requires patience. And being part of a generation who wants change yesterday, cultivating a realisation that change doesn’t happen overnight and requires hard work is vital in reinvigorating a more realistic mindset on achieving goals.

5. It makes you smarter! There is quite a bit of research that demonstrates the correlations between exercise and mental cognition. The theory being that the increased blood flow to the brain enhances clarity and concentration.

So to all my female readers, and there are a few, start lifting heavy, stop running to shed fat and reap the benefits of stronger bones, a ‘toned’ tush and an astronomically faster metabolism.

..let me know what you guys thinks. Does the weights section scare you? Do you find you are addicted to the high that jogging/spin classes gives you?

Chia Seed Jam – or a cheats version of the sweet stuff!

 

 I love a little kitchen experimenting – particularly when working with novel ingredients with unusual abilities.

I will explain.

First things first- you don’t NEED to buy lots of novel ingredients in order to live a nourished life. Indeed gimmicky foods with high price tags have usually got large marketing bucks behind them, compelling us to buy into a certain form of health.

That being said, when I was given a bag of chia seeds , I wasn’t going to waste them and I also knew that these mini seeds had an array of benefits.

My Top Three FAVOURITE things about chia:

– Chia seeds have the highest levels of omega-3 fats out of any other plant source.

– 100g of chia has as much calcium as two cups of milk (that being said, 100g of chia seeds is ALOT!) still…it puts it into perspective!

–  Chia seeds are also a high source of dietary fibre. 

In reference to chia’s unusual abilities – I find it rather novel that it jells up in minutes if added to water. 

And it got me thinking about how I could use it.

Where most people suggest, just adding it to cereal.

I question ones ability to actually digest microscopic seeds.

Which is why I turned it into a fruity jelly concoction of sorts.

ANd named it JAM.

And served it to unknowing guests who were none the wiser.

And it went down without question.

I’d go as far to say that it went down rather well.

So without further ado – here is a chia jam recipe, sweetened with stevia, full of fibre, nourishing fats and a dash of vanilla powder, because it tastes so good.

CHIA JAM

Ingredients:

3 cups raspberries

1 tsp of Liquid Stevia

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (Loving Earth has a beautiful one! )

 

1. In a pot, bring the raspberries and stevia to a low simmer. Stir frequently to prevent the raspberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan and simmer for a few minutes until fruit has softened. Lightly mash the raspberries with a fork. Feel free to leave a few lumps for texture. Up to you.

2. Turn off the heat and stir in the chia seeds and vanilla powder. Leave the pot and let sit for 20 minutes. The jam should naturally thicken. If you are feeding fussy kids, blitz the mixture with a stick blender.

3. Once the jam is thick- taste to ensure you like the sweetness then place in an old jam jar and whack it in the fridge. I love this over my home made buckwheat bread or straight up with a spoon! The jam should keep for at least a week in your fridge.

Next time, I think I will try making some ginger and apple jam….YUM!

 

Health to Glow Episode 8- What’s in YOUR Basket?

It’s Monday…sigh….

…here is a little video to add to your procrastination routine. 

Last week, Melissa and I roamed the Bondi Farmers Markets, making fools of ourselves and catching up with the local farmers. (Oh the novelty of finally saying my friend is a farmer)

Whilst there, we ran into good friend of ours Lee Holmes from Supercharged Food. After a catch up in the warm winter sun Lee showed us what was in her shopping basket. Or rather, we tore it from her and had a good sticky beak!

Check out the video above to see how this health guru eats.

Tell us below in the comments what is one veggie you always get on your shopping tip?

Mine is a few heads of broccoli and a good cos lettuce!

Melissa always gets kale and leafy greens.

What’s  yours?