stop and smell the roses

All things Rose

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It’s been a year since I have used anything ‘non natural’ on my skin. I do not wash with soap. My creams and oils are all natural essential oils or raw cold pressed oils and I only use coconut oil on my body to moisturize. Has it been difficult to adapt? No, not at all. Is it hugely expensive? No, because it’s all relative. All the different creams, lotions and oils I once used that were riddled with toxins and parabens have now been narrowed down to a select few, that justifiably last a good while so even though the cost is higher, it is balanced through what I no longer use!

So, why did I think of doing this? Aside from having children and the fact they instinctively make you live more conscientiously, I had to undergo skin surgery to remove a suspicious mole on my right boob, annoyingly my daughter was only 3 months old so feeding was a wee issue but we powered through and the scare has made me so much more cautious of what I am putting on my skin. In case you were unaware, the skin is the bodies largest organ and absorbs EVERYTHING we out on it from oils, creams, soaps to environmental pollution and chemicals and toxins from our clothing…and this is just a start!

It took a while to find my products of choice. I have a select few from a number of Companies that I absolutely love and others I am yet to try but I think I have cracked it, and strangely, they are all coming up roses! When I was pregnant with my second child, my best friend commented on my skin and said she had never seen it glow so much! Well, I was pregnant, that happens, but then a friend came to visit a few months ago and asked if I was pregnant again, claiming the glow was intense! I had then changed oils, noticed a dull difference so went back to the oils I know worked so well, and they were….ROSES! 

So, this post is dedicated to the organic, natural Rose products that I honestly believe are exquisite and well worth the buck and hope you will join me in binning the rubbish and finding the natural route a la rose!

Body wash - 

Weleda Rose bar weleda rose soap

Dr. Bronner Rose castile soap dr bronner rose soap

Deodorant – 

Weleda Rose weleda rose deo

Face oils – 

Decleor Rose Aromesscence serum (5*) decleor rose

Face creams – 

Neals yard Wild rose balm neals yard wild rose

Body Oil – 

Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil dr haushcka rose oil

An indulgent perfume – 

Jo Malone Red Roses Jo Malone

And one I am yest to try but the reviews are AMAZING!!!


pinterest rose post

If you are a rose lover, or even if you are not (I am a new convert) Give these a try, as they are utterly sublime, for your skin and your mood! Treat yourself because you deserve it!

Happy weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Baby Led – Did cave men have blenders?

Hello little Claudipops...Mummy loves you!!!

Hello little Claudipops…Mummy loves you!!!

With my first child, I went through this manic faze of blending an industrial amount of foods and storing them in the freezer. It was the most fun in the world sterilizing all the jars, blitzing up concoction after concoction of meals containing all sorts in the hope that she would get used to all the ingredients whilst being spoon fed until she was capable of spoon feeding herself. This worked a treat and indeed she is a fantastic eater, unafraid to try new things and not at all fussy. The only problem I found was that she depended to highly on me to deliver the food to her mouth and to this day, her favorite foods are soups or soft hummus type purees. She isn’t big on anything that involves a lot of tooth action. Its fine. She’s getting more than enough nutrient but….This time with cave girl #2, we are spicing meal time up.

I read about baby led weaning and so many of the facts presented are true. When babies reach the age of 6 months and are capable of holding objects and putting them towards their mouths, why not give them their own food to hold? Choking risk? Yes, but gag reflexes prevent choking in children and instinctively teach them how far back to put the food before choking can occur. Obviously you wouldn’t give a tiny child anything of a chokeable size. Start with soft pieces of cooked fish, cheese, banana, omelette etc and actually, the results can be amazing! They can learn for themselves the different types of food by exploring individual food types by touch, smell and taste as opposed to all in one pot blended together without the evidence of its real state. They can identify what foods are what and learn how to use their jaws by actually chewing the foods rather than just allowing pureed foods to simply slip down with no effort. This technique enables the child to become increasingly independent with eating and eating control and encourages motor skills, diversity and more effective and efficient eating patterns where the child will more than likely become a non fussy eater and take control of their meal times in an independent manner. It’s messy. It’s a little scary at first but, this is how we have eaten since the beginning of time. Did cavemen have blenders? NOPE! I have decided that for us, the combined method is the one that is going to work as obviously as she is still so little, spoon feeding herself porridge or apple sauce isn’t going to be met with much success but, as far as meal times go, sitting down as a family and all having our own plate of food is the way to hopefully instill table etiquette and encourage a wide sense of food enthusiasm and enjoyment.

Are you with me?

Here are a few good ideas for some meal ideas to start off with baby led. This is for a 6 month old onward as until that stage, breast or formula is sufficient for a baba’s nutritional requirements. I personally will be breast feeding until the 1-2 yr mark as milk is still the main source of nutrient until that stage.

Corn on the cob – great for figuring out how to nibble kernels with their little gums. Good for understanding flavor and good for teething pain as it is something to get stuck into!

Omelette pieces – easy to suck and chomp on. (don’t add salt)

Pieces of steamed, grilled or baked fish 

Chicken drumsticks (really good to get used to the tastes and textures of meat.) Flake off a few pieces of the meat for them to try bite off

Cheese pieces – hard cheese that they can suck on

Toast with butter (cut into soldiers and let them nibble)

Broccoli florets – Super veg that they love to chew away at and are easy to hold

Steamed carrot batons - These don’t go very far but are good for just having a chew on

sweet potato chunks - easy enough to squish with their fists and mash into their mouths

Banana pieces – Same as above

If you want to make dips you can also let them scoop it out with their fingers to feed themselves. Hummus dips, lentil dips etc. It’s messy but they love it!

  I hope this has been informative and will maybe give you the confidence to do this with your child. It is a great way to eat together as a family and is good for their development and also saves a lot of time pre-making foods.

Thanks for reading!!! Love from me and my little ones xxx  

banana oat smoothie

What’s for breakfast? Yummy protein and oat shakes that are so full of goodness that’s what!

banana oat smoothie

 

I have previously posted about what on earth to do with oats in summer time. It doesn’t seem right eating a hot steaming bowl of porridge when it is just too warm so on this blog there are some great ideas on how to make cold porridge bowls with natural yogurt and fruit.  While they were great and I am still a fan of those methods, I have discovered a new way of incorporating oats that have gone down somewhat fabulously in our household.

Everyone in my house has their own reusable tumbler with straw insert so that we can carry around our drinks and they are great for smoothies as the straws are really thick. You can pick these up from ebay and amazon for £4 odd and they really are super. (Don’t count on the straws lasting long with kids. They like to bite them to bits) So, as far as smoothies go, why not throw your oats in for a mega fulling, rich breakfast smoothie that you can funk up with nuts, seeds and all kinds…..

The one that has become the household favorite is this:

BANANA, OAT, CACAO WITH LINSEED’S, WALNUTS, ALMONDS, ALMOND MILK , COCONUT OIL AND CINNAMON!

If you are wanting to do this on a regular basis, I would advise pre-chopping your nuts so you can contain them in a large kilner jar. I buy one big pack of walnuts and almonds a week and process them together and store so that I can just spoon the ready made mix in. It also makes it less chunky to be prepared.

So, per individual smoothie:

  • Chop x1 large banana

  • A handful of steel cut oats

  • 2 tbsp of nut mix

  • A spoonful of linseeds

  • A teaspoon of cinnamon

  • A tbsp of raw cacao

  • A tbsp of coconut oil

  • a glass full of cold almond milk

BLEND…….and enjoy! So chocolatey and delish with so much goodness!

banana smoothie 1GIVE IT A TRY! Hope you enjoy xxx

 

K

coconut toothpaste

Coconut oil toothpaste – Could it be? Yes it could!!!

coconut toothpaste

 

As you may know, I am a bonafide lover of raw coconut oil. If you follow me on instagram, you may see my many posts containing a multitude of uses for coconut oil. They range from skin care benefits to lowering cholestorol, maintaining weight and caring for your hair. Well, in this instance, I am going to introduce you to something that  may seem like the most unusual concept yet but, coconut oil TOOTHPASTE is our new favorite thing in our house!

Yes, Coconut oil is great for your oral health! It is known to help prevent decay and control plaque whilst keeping your breath fresh and protecting your gums. It is a natural anti inflammatory antibacterial oil that tastes great and pulls all of the badness out of our mouths. I have previously written about oil pulling, which can be done traditionally with sesame oil though coconut is also great!

The ingredients are simple and it’s straight forward to mix together:
For a small batch that will last a family of 3 x1 week mix together
x3 tbsp Raw coconut oil
x3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
x25 drops of peppermint oil or teatree oil
(You can add stevia as a natural sweetener though this is not essential)
 

And that….is that! Simple indeed! Store in a little pot or dish and simply either dip brush in or scoop out a little with a lollipop stick!

Don’t forget to rinse well! This seriously helps to whiten teeth! 

If you want to find out more interesting and incredible facts about the many benefits of coconut oil, please continue reading below where there is a great piece from Dr. Mercola via the website articles.mercola.com. It is the MOST informative piece on the OVERALL benefits of coconut oil. I hope you can find use for it in your daily routines as it’s just too great to pass up! Enjoy

 

By Dr. Mercola

Coconut oil has been a dietary and beauty staple for millennia. It’s a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes, from viruses to bacteria to protozoa, many of which can be harmful, and provides your body with high-quality fat that is critical for optimal health.

Around 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

This is undoubtedly part of what makes it so medicinally useful—both when taken internally and applied externally.

Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digested and readily cross cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. This is in part why I recommend coconut oil as an ideal replacement for non-vegetable carbohydrates.

Coconut oil is easy on your digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream, so for a quick energy boost, you could simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to your food. In the video above, I also share my recipe for a scrumptious yet healthful chocolate treat, courtesy of the healthy fat from coconut oil.

To get more coconut oil into your diet, you can add it to your tea or coffee, in lieu of a sweetener. It will also help improve absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so taking a spoonful of coconut oil along with your daily vitamins may help boost their effectiveness.

Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils (olive oil, for example, should not be used for cooking for this reason).

Furthermore, coconut oil does not go rancid, which is a huge boon when you’re making homemade concoctions. Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since you would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have a powerful antioxidant effect.

General Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

In all, coconut oil offers a truly impressive array of health benefits when included in your daily diet. In addition to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is beneficial for:

Promoting heart health Supporting proper thyroid function
Promoting healthy brain function Strengthening your immune system
Providing an excellent “fuel” for your body and supporting a strong metabolism that can aid in weight loss Maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin

 

While coconut oil is an ideal food for fostering health and beauty from the inside out, it also has a staggering number of other uses, from topical beauty applications to first aid treatments, to general household cleaning.1, 2 Once you’re done reading through this article, you’ll probably be inspired to stock up for all eventualities!

Coconut Oil Can Replace Dozens of Beauty and Personal Care Products

One of the best personal care products you’ll ever find may be sitting in your kitchen cupboard right now. The video above, featuring HolisticHabits3 blogger and coconut oil aficionado Sarah, recounts many of its beauty uses. The second video includes a recipe making your own coconut oil-based deodorant. A previous article by Delicious Obsessions4 also lists no less than 122 creative uses for this household staple, including 21 DIY coconut oil skin care recipes.5 For example, coconut oil can be used to replace the following personal care and beauty products.

Makeup remover: Swipe on with a moist cotton ball. Wipe off with clean cotton ball or wet washcloth.
Facial cleanser: Massage a dollop of coconut oil onto face and neck. Wash off with wet washcloth and pat dry.
Body scrub: Mix equal parts coconut oil with organic cane sugar in a glass jar. Use the scrub on dry skin prior to your shower or bath.
Facial scrub: Instead of sugar, mix coconut oil with baking soda, or oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon, for a gentle facial scrub.
Shaving lotion: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil on area to be shaved, and shave as usual. The lauric acid in the coconut oil will also serve as an antiseptic for cuts that result from shaving.
Face and body moisturizer: You can use it either by itself, or add your favorite essential oil. (Make sure you’re using a high quality essential oil that is safe for topical application.) The featured article6 also suggests whipping the coconut oil with an electric mixer to produce a fluffy moisturizer that stays soft and spreadable even in cooler temperatures.When applied topically, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.
Eye cream: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil around your eyes to soften wrinkles and counteract thinning, sagging skin.
Cuticle cream: Simply rub a small amount of coconut oil around your cuticles to soften dry areas.
Deodorant: Applying a small amount of coconut oil directly onto your armpits can help keep odors at bay, courtesy of the oil’s antibacterial properties. If you prefer, you can add a small amount of baking soda, or make a homemade deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda and arrow root powder. For directions, see the second video above. DeliciousObsessions.com also lists additional deodorant recipes using coconut oil as the base.7
Bath soak: Adding coconut oil to your bath can help moisturize dry itchy skin (Make sure to scrub your tub afterward to prevent slipping!). Make sure the water is warmer than 76 degrees Fahrenheit though, otherwise the oil will turn to a solid.
Soap: Coconut oil is one of the base ingredients in many homemade soap recipes, such as this one by NourishingJoy.com8
Lip balm: You can either apply a small amount of coconut oil, as is, or make your own lip balm using coconut oil as one of the base ingredients. You can find all sorts of recipes online, but here’s one by The Liberated Kitchen.9
Toothpaste: Mixed with baking soda, coconut oil can replace your regular toothpaste. The baking soda will gently cleanse while the coconut oil’s antibacterial action may help keep harmful bacteria in check. For recipes using essential oils to spruce up your toothpaste, see DeliciousObsessions.com.10
Insect repellent: Mixing coconut oil with high-quality essential oils may help keep biting insects at bay when applied to exposed skin. Effective choices include: peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, tea tree oil, neem, citronella (Java Citronella), geraniol, catnip oil (according to one study,11 catnip oil is 10 times more effective than DEET), and/or clear vanilla extract

Hair’s Best Friend

Coconut oil is also known for its hair benefits.12 Most women seem to prefer using it as a pre-shampoo conditioner. Simply massage the coconut oil onto dry hair and leave on for about an hour or longer. You could even leave it on overnight. Just wear a shower cap to protect your pillow. Then, wash and style as usual.

When applied in this manner, the coconut oil inhibits the penetration of water into the hair strands, which would otherwise cause the cuticle, or surface of the hair shaft, to rise, making it prone to damage and breakage. Furthermore, when applied as a pre-wash treatment, a small amount of the coconut oil is able to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft during the wash, when the hair fiber swells slightly.

This can also explain why so many rave about the oil’s ability to prevent “the frizzies” in humid weather—this is another feature of its hydrophobic activity. More porous types of hair may find coconut oil particularly beneficial, such as African and chemically treated hair, as well as those suffering with any type of scalp problems, including dandruff.

Oral Health Benefits

As mentioned above, coconut oil mixed with baking soda makes for very simple and inexpensive, yet effective, toothpaste. It’s also a great alternative if you want a fluoride-free toothpaste but don’t want to spend the extra money, since they tend to cost more than most regular, fluoridated toothpaste brands.

Another oral health technique where I believe coconut oil can be quite beneficial is oil pulling. This technique has significantly reduced my plaque buildup, allowing me to go longer between visits to the dental hygienist. (Adding fermented vegetables to my diet has been another game-changer in my oral health.)

Oil pulling is a practice dating back thousands of years, having originated with Ayurvedic medicine. When oil pulling is combined with the antimicrobial power of coconut oil, I believe it can be a very powerful health tool. Sesame oil is traditionally recommended, but it has relatively high concentration of omega-6 oils. Therefore, I believe coconut oil is far superior, and, in my mind, it tastes better. But from a mechanical and biophysical perspective, it is likely that both work.

Oil pulling involves rinsing your mouth with the oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of 15 minutes. If you are obsessive like me and want even better results, you can go for 30-45 minutes. This process allows the oil to “pull out” bacteria, viruses, fungi and other debris. The best time is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done at any time. I try to do it twice a day if my schedule allows. When done, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with water. Avoid swallowing the oil as it will be loaded with bacteria and whatever potential toxins and debris it has pulled out.

When done correctly, oil pulling has a significant cleansing, detoxifying and healing affect, not only for your mouth and sinuses but for the rest of your body as well. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in your mouth, and these germs and their toxic waste products can contribute to plaque accumulation and tooth decay, in addition to secondary infections and chronic inflammation throughout your body. Oil pulling may help lessen the overall toxic burden on your immune system by preventing the spread of these organisms from your mouth to the rest of your body, by way of your bloodstream.

Coconut Oil to the Rescue

Besides its usefulness in the kitchen and bathroom, coconut oil deserves a place in your medicine cabinet as well—again courtesy of its antimicrobial and anti-viral activity. For example, coconut oil may be helpful in the treatment of:

Ear infections: Place a couple of drops into each ear canal. If the coconut oil has solidified, you can easily liquefy it by placing a small amount in a shot glass or other small container and placing it into a cup of hot water Skin rashes and irritations, including chicken pox and shingles: Simply apply a small amount to the affected area
Fungal and/or yeast infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. For fungal infections, you can mix in a small amount of oregano oil or tea tree oil Bug bites and bee stings
Cold sores: mix in a small amount of oregano oil, and apply at the first signs Frequent nosebleeds may be improved by regularly applying a small amount to the inside of your nostrils
Thrush Hemorrhoids and piles: You may add a small amount of lavender essential oil for added healing power
Vaginal dryness Perineal massage:13 Expectant mothers can use it to massage the perineum daily, starting about a month or so before your due date, to help reduce your chances of tearing and/or the need for an episiotomy

Coconut Oil—More Effective Than Permethrin for Head Lice

According to research published in the European Journal of Pediatrics,14 a combination of coconut oil and anise was found to be nearly twice as effective as the commonly prescribed permethrin lotion for the treatment of head lice. According to the authors:

“We designed a randomized, controlled, parallel group trial involving 100 participants with active head louse infestation to investigate the activity of a coconut and anise spray and to see whether permethrin lotion is still effective, using two applications of product 9 days apart. The spray was significantly more successful (41/50, 82.0%) cures compared with permethrin (21/50, 42.0%…). Per-protocol success was 83.3% and 44.7%, respectively. Thirty-three people reported irritant reactions following alcohol contact with excoriated skin. We concluded that, although permethrin lotion is still effective for some people, the coconut and anise spray can be a significantly more effective alternative treatment.”[Emphasis mine]

Isn’t it wonderful to see how nature provides us with so many effective solutions to so many of our ills? And does so in a way that is oftentimes more effective than our chemical drug concoctions! Another anecdotal Hawaiian head lice treatment15 is to first soak your hair in vinegar and leave it in to dry (don’t rinse). Next, coat your hair with coconut oil over night. I’d recommend sleeping with a shower cap to protect your bedding. The following day, the nits reportedly comb out easily.

14 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil Around the House

Last but not least, coconut oil can be used for a number of household tasks otherwise relegated to more costly, and potentially toxic, alternatives. Following are 14 creative yet practical uses for this fantastic oil:

1. Clean, condition and sanitize your wooden cutting board. Use whenever the wood starts to look dry.
2. Use when making compost tea16 for your garden to reduce foam.
3. Use as a metal polish. Make sure to test a small area first.
4. Moisturize and soften leather goods as you would using other leather conditioners.
5. Season your cast iron pots and pans17 using coconut oil in lieu of lard or corn oil.
6. Lubricate squeaky hinges and sticky mechanisms with coconut oil instead of WD-40.
7. Clean and condition wooden furniture in lieu of furniture polish. Make sure to test a small area first.
8. Lubricate your guitar strings.
9. Clean soap scum from your shower using a small dollop of coconut oil on a damp cloth. Spray the area with white vinegar and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.
10. Clean your hands and paint brushes with coconut oil after using oil-based paints, in lieu of mineral spirits.
11. Clean and condition the inside of your car by adding a small amount to a soft lint-free cloth. Rub in and wipe off excess.
12. Clean and sanitize your mouth guard by applying a thin layer of coconut oil. Leave the coconut oil on when not in use. Rinse before using.
13. Cleanse and add a glossy finish to indoor plants by wiping the leaves with a small amount of coconut oil on a lint-free cloth.
14. Remove chewing gum from virtually any area, including carpets and hair.
keep-calm-and-love-monday

Did you know….A start to the week boost of healthy information that will ‘hopefully’ better your life for knowing!

keep-calm-and-love-monday

 

Everybody (well most people) hate Mondays. Yesterday, (Yes, today is Tuesday…I know!) I watched my hubs leave the house pained that the weekend was over and the next was the whole week off so I thought about how I could make it better for him. Well our house has had some strict rules implemented, especially in the dietary sector. As in, Only water at meal times, only wholefoods and smaller portions. The aim being that any lost energy (that mid summer dip) will hopefully be regained by eating a proper balanced diet, which we do most of the time anyway but no ones perfect. and that our new found energy would make us want to brave Mondays with a smile..I was hoping that spicing up my husbands boring work lunches might make his week a little more exciting and as he’s notoriously bad for NOT eating vegetables, I have found ways of incorporating what I know he likes and things that I know he needs so that he can enjoy his lunch and get his nutrients…(I do know I am making him sound like a 5 yr old but hey, at least I care….If you also have a fussy eater, you’ll know my pain)

So, knowing a few things about links to foods and preventative diets, it stresses me that he doesn’t eat what I know he should to safeguard himself in later life (of which is approaching faster than we care to acknowledge) so I have found a few sneaky ways to shove some nutrients in there without him knowing. (Well I guess he will if he reads this…Yes, you ate 6 tomatoes last night and half a broccoli last week!) With all that powerful knowledge there that prevents us from illness, what better way to start your week and make your Mondays a powerful source of the start of a healthy you by learning a few tips and tricks you probably didn’t ever know.

So, how about Mondays I try share 5 ‘DID YOU KNOW….’ tips that hopefully can be put to some use!

Here are my 1st 5 and they are:

 

 

  • From Thyroid function to Teething babies – The Baltic Amber necklace can help you!

I am a mother to a 5 month old teething toddler and am yet to give this option a try, however people SWEAR by them for their effective benefits and incredible properties! Thyroid function however, is something that caught my attention when reading about the magical properties of the Amber necklaces. The theory is that the mystical stones worn against the skin react to the body’s heat, releasing succinic acid, a healing oil, into the skin which enters the bloodstream. It stimulates the thyroid which in turn, reduces drooling and helps with pain. Amber is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation in the body. It also has been said that amber is electromagnetically active and charged with organic energy, producing negative ions to have a positive effect on the body. It is said to help heal a multitude of ills such as: inflammation of throat, stimulation of thyroid, colic, teething, eczema and it can also improve heart, liver, kidney, intestines, arthritis and more.

Wow! And for such a cute necklace that celebrities are trending, why not give them a try!

 

 

 

Tired, Stressed, can’t sleep? Twitching muscles and headaches? – Just a busy week or could it be a Magnesium deficiency?

 

magnesium rich foods

 

 

This gets so overlooked because a magnesium deficiency does not show up in standard blood work and can be misdiagnosed as so many other things even though half our population are deficient in this essential nutrient due to poor diet and well being.

Magnesium is by far the most important mineral in the body. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies; vitally important, yet hardly known. So what are the symptoms? There are so many symptoms but the ones that I believe can trigger suspicion are those concerning the muscles. Tenderness, twitching, aching, cramping and seizing additional to fatigue, thirst, headaches, irritability, headaches, low energy, brain fog and palpitations are some of the most common symptoms of this problem.

If left untreated, people with deficiencies are at severe risk of contracting Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How to treat it:

Primarily, eating a diet rich in Magnesium is Key. That includes eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice and fish. You can also apply magnesium oil or use Epsom salts in your bath where it can be absorbed through the skin.

 

 

Ways to boost your circulation and energy? Simple….

 

drybrushing_benefits

 

So this is something I had never considered and quite frankly believed to be uber bizarre until I started giving it a go. I was almost 4 months pregnant and it was hot. I was swelling up from the heat and noticing considerable weight gain already and had read that it can lower weight due to improving circulation and eliminating waste through lymphatic drainage and skin purification. I researched if I should do this while pregnant and found out that in actual fact it is essential to do through pregnancy as it expels toxins away from the placenta and helps to keep blood flow regular. So, I gave it a go. This was during my 2nd pregnancy. With my 1st I had never heard of this and ballooned to the size of a small elephant. This time around, wow, the results were incredible. I got to full term (well, she arrived 3 weeks early but..) without a single bit of swelling or stretch marks and I had fantastic energy throughout.

It’s a no brainer. This is an integral part of my cleansing regime and it will always be having seen first hand results. If anything, it is such a wonderful ritual to spend 5 minutes giving yourself some well deserved attention regardless of the additional benefits.

Always work towards the heart. Drink a glass of filtered water before and a glass after you shower to flush out toxins. Shower with warm water don’t bath as showering flushes away uric acid and blast cold water for 1 minute to finish. Apply a natural oil or cream after. I use coconut oil as it is so good for you and smells divine!

 

 

Bit of a strange question but…Where do you keep your toothbrush?

 

keep your toothbrush clean

 

 

Well, this is a tip and a half! Essential folks to keep your toothbrush stored at least 6 ft away from your toilet. When flushing, your toilet evaporates water into the air and it lands on the surfaces of things within 6 ft. Yuk! So, to keep your toothbrush free from toilet trash, place as far away as can be. It is also recommended, especially if like me you use an electric brush, to regularly change the heads and keep the handle clean by soaking in a sterilizing fluid once in a while.  Things we clean our mouths with should…. be clean!

 

Suffer from Acid reflux? Try Apple cider vinegar as a cure!

 

ACV

 

 

So many of us suffer from acidic stomach problems due to poor diets and not enough hydration and more often than not, prescribed drugs do more harm than good. So, what to do? Simple! x2 tbsp’s of RAW apple cider vinegar a day can help balance out stomach acids and aid digestion and balance out stomach PH levels by counteracting acid on acid. This may take some getting used to as it is quite the flavor but, it does become palatable!

Start small and add a teaspoon only to a glass of warm water. Maybe add some honey if it really is yuk and drink it through a straw. Why? To protect the teeth from the acidic strength of the vinegar and also to measure sips so that it isn’t too unbearable!

Additional benefits of ACV – It can actually remove stains from your teeth! It can make your hair shine (pour over prior to washing and it strips all the bad oils and debris from your scalp. And no, it won’t leave a smell!) it can aid weight loss! And this one I love…….It can help lymphatic drainage! So, DRY BRUSH DAILY and have a spoonful of ACV and you’ll be naturally detoxing your body and keeping healthy as can be!

 

Thanks for reading folks! Stay healthy and happy and check in next week for more top tips on…DID YOU KNOW!?!?!?!?

 

 

 

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A daily promise to yourself

Once upon a time, an ex boyfriend of mine tried to teach me the brilliant art of ‘list writing’. At the time, I was a free flying 20 something with far too many other things to do than sit and write lists. My life was all over the place and due to this, so was my head, heart and health. Now, older and wiser with responsibilities, routines to oblige to and structure to instill, I see what it is he loved so much about his funny little lists for I myself have become a faithful list lover! I’m not sure I could get through the day without writing stuff down. 

I am also an avid collector of notebooks. I cannot really explain to you what it is I love so much about them but, I cannot walk out of a stationary shop or gift shop without having purchased another however, I have a fabric covered swallow notebook that I have had for years and the years get clipped separated from each other and ONLY important stuff goes in that book. Our summer holiday this year is happening thanks to a phone number of a woman we met on holiday back in 2011 that this year is kindly renting out her apartment to us. See what good comes of writing stuff down!!!!!

Anyway, having flicked through the pages of all the previous years and the sweet little ‘to do’ lists that were scribbled among them, I had a sense of overwhelming pride of the accomplishment of so much stuff I had managed to succeed in that I hadn’t ticked off or cross referenced. Referring back to those lists and seeing for myself that I had wanted to achieve those goals and thanks to marking them down I had consciously put them out there to get ‘DONE’…and they had! and the ones that hadn’t, can now go on my today list, (*or tomorrow, or whenever….)

Learn to fish, learn Chinese, run a 10k, get the girls Baptized……prioritizing and list sorting can really make a huge impact in your life. It can organize and help to segregate your day in so many ways making it possible to incorporate simple health routines, organize your home, shopping to do’s, reading and studying lists and all your wish lists in between….what a joy a list can be!

If you’re wanting to find ways of incorporating a little bit more ‘you’ time into your day or learn to structure things a little better, may I suggest you go and purchase a scribble book, a new fancy pen and get creative with your daily promise list!

Here is mine for today…Just a small one but still:

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I’m guessing the ‘nap’ one may not get fulfilled but one can only wish!!!

I hope you all have as much fun as I do writing your lists..whatever your goals or wishes, give it a go! It really makes a huge difference and is a great thing to do for personal development and achievement!

Thanks for reading xxx

 

the wheat belly

Wheat free month starts now – But what to eat? Check out these awesome and healthy recipes

 

the wheat belly

At the end of this month, my family and I are heading back to Spain for a well earned week exploring our old hood and enjoying some time splashing in the sea…but my baby tummy has no way completely vanished and the thought of baring all in a bikini has me nearly ready to cancel the whole thing. Then the other day I read an article written by a top Cardiologist Dr. William Davis.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2645445/Its-ultra-fast-diet-devised-heart-expert-slims-midriffs-cutting-wheat-And-today-reveal-trim-tum-AND-transform-skin.html

Evidently, there exists a ‘fast diet’ that is safe and pretty easy as there’s no calorie counting, cutting out of vital nutrients or cutting out really anything other than, WHEAT! Dr. William Davis claims that the tummy Tyre so many of us sport in this day and age is due to wheat. The facts behind this theory are that wheat raises the body’s insulin levels therefore switching on fat storage and the main place that fat tends to be stored….The belly! So, according to his expertise and proven theories on his own patients, cutting out wheat alone can reduce belly fat and increase energy levels. You can lose as much as 10lbs in 2 weeks, perfect for those wanting to slim down quick (like my pudgy self) and it’s a perfectly healthy ‘diet’ that’s good for you! Obviously, the more you want to lose, you don’t want to be then pigging out on chips, chocolates and naughties. Keep it real and as natural as possible and just by eliminating wheat, results can be outstanding!

So, my big problem is pasta! How I love my pasta! My go to food that is easy to whip up and filling and as far as I’m concerned given the toppings I chose to add, healthy though clearly, not good for my midriff. This is going to be a complete challenge as I’m not sure how I can go a month without my beloved pasta or bread…(Sandwiches a no-no????) So, here are the alternatives:

wheat freeSee, the options are colossal!!! Don’t be scared you won’t have go to food as actually there’s so much you can do. In the last 2 days, here’s what we have made. Easy, fun, healthy and delicious!

Homemade Gazpacho - tons of filling nutritious yumminess!

Homemade Gazpacho – tons of filling nutritious yumminess!

 

 

Grilled tomatoes and garlic mushrooms on sprouted rye toast

Grilled tomatoes and garlic mushrooms on sprouted rye toast

Wild pea and spring onion rice with sesame oil, garlic lentils, spinach and olive oil

Wild pea and spring onion rice with sesame oil, garlic lentils, spinach and olive oil

Roasted cauliflower with garlic, cumin and lemon juice

Roasted cauliflower with garlic, cumin and lemon juice

 

 

Left over wild rice with Chinese five spice chicken and soy sauce

Left over wild rice with Chinese five spice chicken and soy sauce

Yummy summer oat bowl with almonds, maple syrup, banana and raw cacao

Yummy summer oat bowl with almonds, maple syrup, banana and raw cacao

And for today WE ARE MAKING: Scrambled eggs and salmon for breakfast, hummus salad platter with chopped nuts, beets, celery, carrot sticks, olives and rye crackers and for dinner, grilled sesame honey chicken with buckwheat noodles and steamed veggies! YUM!

 

How to make:

Sesame wild rice:

Boil 1 cup of basmati rice or brown rice and towards the end of the cook, pour in half a cup of defrosted peas. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside. Chop up 3-4 spring onions and mix into the rice and pour in some toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix and ready!

Lentils:

pour one cup of lentils into a small sauce pan and mix with really whatever herbs and spices you like, but I chose, oregano, garlic powder, fenugreek (good for breast milk production), onion powder, a lot of cumin, a tbps organic vegetable stock (low sodium) 1tsp maldon sea salt and a generous amount of crushed black pepper. stir in with the lentils and then cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until lentils have cooked. Approximately 15-20 mins. Add some chopped spinach and you’re ready to go!

You can mix the lentils with the rice as we did or eat with quinoa or by themselves.

Chinese chicken (for the rice)

Take an organic chicken breast or 2 and coat with chinese five spice, garlic powder and sesame oil. Rub together and cook for 20 mins. Once done, prepare by slicing and place on rice!

For my gazpacho recipe, please see my previous post http://wp.me/p1sQiE-7b[ though omit the bread. It makes it slightly less thick but it does not alter the taste. I haven’t tried this but, maybe add a rye cracker?


 I hope you find some awesome ideas for a wheat free challenge and that some of mine may help you achieve it! Let me know how it goes and I will keep you posted on mine!

Thanks all for reading! Much love x

 

overnight summer oatmeal

Crazy good oatmeal – Hot AND cold varieties to suit everyone!

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Summer is ‘almost’ upon us and this creates a small problem in our home….Breakfast solutions! We love our oatmeal and a swift creamy, wintry porridge bowl is the quintessential start to our day. Our favourite combination is the soaked steel cut with honey, flaked almonds and cinnamon. (Christmas in a bowl) but when the summer months hit, this just isn’t what we want to eat. But who wants to cut oats out of their diet as they are a staple and as I know how good they are for heart health, I have been desperately searching an alternative for months (years even). And I am proud to say I have finally done it! I have mastered not just one but a few varieties of hot and cold oatmeal breakfasts suitable for any season…..

Thanks to pinterest, I have been coming across some amazing recipes that incorporate yogurt and knowing how much my daughter loves her greek natural yoghurt, I have tried and tested out some samples and now have the measurements down to a T! Bear in mind, if you are doing the slow cook versions it will depend on your cooker as to how long to cook them for so to start wit, a bit of trial and error…though the cold versions should be A-ok!

For the summer oatmeal pots, all you do is mix it up and store in the fridge ready to grab as and when you want. They can be kept for up to a week depending on toppings. For the slow cooker version, the same applies and just reheat as and when you need it. (And for a really quirky twist for either version, how about adding cooked and cooled quinoa to really turn it super healthy and add substance!?)

‘Summer oatmeal yogurt pots’

overnight summer oatmeal

Let me start by saying that I make this in one whole batch so it can be portioned out so if you want to make individual pots you will have to adjust quantity. This is also made with almond milk as I find it is naturally sweeter than regular, If you are adding cocoa to make a chocolatey porridge, use hazelnut milk instead to really turn it chocolatey!!! All toppings and sweeteners can vary according to your taste!

So, here goes:

BASE INGREDIENTS:

x1 cup of rolled natural oats (not instant)

x2 cups of almond milk (or alternative)

x1 cup of natural Greek yogurt

X1 tbsp honey or agave

x1 tbsp flaxseeds and or pumpkin seeds

 

NOW FOR THE FUN PART:

Once you have mixed all your base ingredients together, you can add whatever fruit, jams or extras you desire. If you are individually potting the oatmeal so that you can do different flavours (super fun) then you can leave enough space on the top of each pot to place fruit over the ready mixed yogurt oats.

Example:

Cocoa banana oats: take the base ingredients and mix with x1-2 tbsps of raw cocoa, a few drops of vanilla escense and then place sliced banana on top. NB: Banana doesn’t last so long so best to eat this variety on the day.

Blueberry and walnut oats: Take the base ingredients and mix with a few drops of almond extract and blueberries and then scatter crushed walnuts and blueberries over the top.

Pineapple and mango oats: Take the base ingredients and mix with a few drops of lime juice and add canned of fresh chopped mango and pineapple and scatter more of both on top.

You can really add whatever topping you like…mix it up but how incredible the combination with the natural yogurt is! It really is a great breakfast idea for the warmer months!!! Hope you enjoy it!

NOW, for a slow cooker version that can be stored and re-heated as and when you want or eaten cold….

PEACH COBBLER OATMEAL!

peach oatmeal

For this to work well, you really need a slow cooker or an hob that is low enough to not require constant supervision!

x1 cup of rolled oats

x1 cup of almond milk (naturally sweetens)

x1 cup of regular low fat milk (makes it creamier)

x2 tbsp light brown sugar or agave

x1 tbsp ground cinnamon

x2 tbsp flaked almonds

x1 cup of tinned peaches chopped and in juices.

 

Mix the oats, milk, cinnamon and sugar  and flaked almonds together and cook for 4 hours on a low heat. Once cooked, add the peaches in their juice and mix. This is now ready to eat or store in fridge until you need it and simply reheat. Do not add more milk to the mix when reheated until after you have heated to adjust substance.

SO GOOD!!!

I hope you enjoy these versions and that they may make a fun solution to your summer breakfasts! (And winter ones)…Get creative! Oats are so good for you and can be mixed with some seriously exciting and nutritious added extras making it the PERFECT start to the day! and get your kids involved because they will LOVE these crazy fun versions too!

Today marks the day where my mother in law and sister in law are coming to land at our house for a whole month before they relocate down south (eeeeek full house!) and my sister in law Zara (AKA Zarbie) is a vegetarian, SMOOTHIE FREAK with a very VERY heavy addiction to fruit and she has just purchased a new juicer for herself and my lordy how great are her smoothies and juices. Yesterdays was a pineapple, mango and lime juice smoothie and was by far the best I had ever tasted so next up….Get ready for some smoothie posts that will give you some great tips and ingredients for this summer!

Happy weekend everyone and thanks for reading! x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come join the ab challenge with me!

30 day ab challenge – Join in on the facebook ab frenzy or stay wibbly!

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So as you know, I have two children and one of them is very new and given that I’m in my mid-30’s, I of course struggle to lose the weight more than someone in their 20’s would and tone is one of the main things that is harder to keep so, when I saw on facebook that many of my friends, and one’s that aren’t friends with each other were all independently attending an event called ‘The 30 day ab challenge’ I figured I absolutely had to join in too!

Starting on June 1st (so this Sunday…) each day has a charted specification of ab reps and techniques to get in to and the fact that we’re all doing this together makes it even more of an event I want to do as I know I’m not the only one out there following this journey that my goodness I more than need to do right now to get my body back to how it should be!

So who is the person behind this fantastic idea that has the whole of the facebook generation signed in and ready to go? Please keep reading below to find out more and I hope that many of you will also get your floor mats out ready for day 1 of the challenge this Sunday! Set your iphone reminder alerts on people!

 

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Robyn Mendenhall Gardner of Kalispell, Mont. was planning a relaxing few days with her husband and eight children before a business trip this week. But Ms. Gardner, who recently turned 40, has dedicated herself to fitness in recent years. So before bed on Friday night, she logged onto Facebook to create a fitness-related challenge for herself and a few friends.

“Honestly, I found it online,” admits Gardner. “It’s not really my own. I’d tried this challenge myself, but I quickly lost interest. So I decided to invite some friends and family members to keep me motivated.”

Fast-forward to Tuesday morning, when Robyn awoke to find that the “30 Day Ab Challenge for those who need some motivation” had attracted almost 600,000 people across Facebook. By lunchtime, the number was almost 850,000.

 

Core strengthening exercises to do at home

 

What is ‘the core’ and how do we strengthen it?

“It’s a little overwhelming, but very exciting,” says Robyn. “I was hoping to motivate others—and therefore, motivate myself—but this is beyond anything I could have expected.”

The explosion of social media over the past decade is often lamented, but the 30-Day Challenge is a perfect example of the power of sites like Facebook. Gardner works as an independent ambassador for Plexus Worldwide—whose products she credits for helping her lose almost 60 pounds over a nine-month period. However, the 30-Day Challenge isn’t sponsored by any company—rather, it’s a testament to the idea of motivation among people with similar goals.

“We went camping over the weekend,” says Robyn, “and I got a message from a friend who told me ‘Your Facebook is blowing up!’”

“I know other events like this have been created—I’ve seen them,” she continues. “I can’t explain it, but this one went viral.”

The 30-Day Challenge isn’t too complicated—beginning on June 1, participants will complete daily series of workouts and exercises targeting the abdominals. Sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and planks are the movements at the heart of the challenge, occurring in increasing numbers up until June 30. The challenge follows a strict three-days-on, one-day-off schedule for the balance of June.

If you’re interested in joining up with the wildly popular challenge, the host page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1426424270959723/  Robyn posts on the page herself, and participants are invited to share photos or videos of themselves completing the challenge or ‘before-and-after’ type photos of themselves. Along those lines, Robyn Gardner pointed out something for the hundreds of thousands of followers she’s gained.

“No, those are not my abs at the top of the page,” she says. “People should know I did not start this challenge with rock-hard abs. That’s my motivation picture—every time I’m eating something I shouldn’t be, that picture reminds me of where I want to be.”

Freezer meals 1

Freezer meals – freeze the fresh, slim down + save money!

Everyone knows how much I love to cook..(And eat!) and my weekly shop is one of the most exciting moments of my week. (Yes I am that sad!) but I find that I always end up buying too much or just going for impulse purchases of things that either catch my eye or are on offer that end up costing me more than I really needed to spend. 

So last month, I tried out a new method of feeding the family and gave myself a realistic yet smaller budget than normal, invested in some disposable freezer trays and wrote out a pre-drafted list of what I would make to store. 

The results were fantastic! 2 days worth of cooking stocked up the freezer with a months worth of food. My mother in law was begging me to stop as my kitchen just ended up looking like an industrial kitchen unit. SO much fun and such a great feeling knowing that all these meals I knew were so healthy and tasty were already ready to go! Everything I made was done so that it literally was just to be pulled out the night before and defrosted in the fridge or ready to just pop straight into the oven.

I won’t pretend we didn’t cook some stuff with what was in the fridge or cupboards but for those nights we couldn’t be bothered, we knew we have some great, nutritious meals just waiting for us. By doing this, we cut our weekly shop down by about £50 and knowing that that was what we’d be eating portion wise also meant we’re slimmer on the waist line too! I hadn’t bought treats or snacks other than nuts, fruit, rye crackers and one packet of cookies that had to be shared out between all of us so by sticking to this meal plan, we have had great results all round!

So, this is an example of some of the meals we made and just so we knew what we’d eaten and what was still in the freezer, we printed it out and put it on a clip board next to the freezer so the day before, I could arrange the day ahead and cross off what we had eaten. It also meant we got to select options. Our very own menu! I read out all the options to Tahlia the day before and she would pick out what we would have the next day! Great way to get the kids to look forward to dinner time!

Freezer meals 1 Freezer meals 2 freezer meals 3

 

Some of it you don’t even need to cook. You can just prepare pieces of meat and fish with whatever seasonings or sides and batch it all up in a tray ready to go straight into the oven. Anything breaded or crumbed such as salmon fishcakes, you can crumb ready to go, and as I prefer the healthy approach as in oven cook or grill as opposed to frying, using panko crumbs oven cook easier than golden as they crisp up nicely without oil in a high heat oven. 

I urge you to give it a try! It’s a great feeling knowing all your meals are ready and waiting and that all of what you all of what you will be eating will be fresh and nutritious! Definitely keeping this up! Thanks for reading all! 

Our last cocido of the season....al fresco! Que bueno!

Cocido Madrileno – A bone marrow stew that will sort out any boohoo!

Our last cocido of the season....al fresco! Que bueno!

Our last cocido of the season….al fresco! Que bueno!

 

When I lived in Spain, It was understood that the weather allowed for an array of exciting fresh summer recipes and ingredients and most people would be shocked to think that at any time of year, a hearty stew could have featured on that list….but it really did! 

Winters can get cold and there’s nothing better than a stew to sort out any boohoo or act as an instant ‘pick me up’. 

One thing I’ve noticed since living back in the UK is that we are too dependent on ready ingredients. In spain, any stock for a stew would be made from the ingredients of the stew itself so although it can be a lengthy process, it;s so simple and straightforward and all the goodness from the meats, pulses and vegetables go straight into what you are eating, without the need of any added extras.

Cocido Madrileno was introduced  to me by my ex boyfriends father’s wife and I wasn’t sure about it at first but it is now a staple favorite. After stewing the meat and vegetables for hours, the liquid stock is then used as a clear broth separate from the meats and tiny pasta shapes and added topped with cheese and olive oil. A fabulous way to obtain all the goodness and put some colour in your cheeks!

Plate up the rest and sprinkle with vinegar and olive oil and you have the PERFECT WINTER MEAL!

Note: all the bone marrow in the meat from this recipe is excellent and vital for your well being! Don’t use pre-packed stocks – Make your own and you’ll be thankful that you did!

 

guisos-cocido

Ingredients (6 portions=:

  • 500 grams of chickpea
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 1/2 kilo of small carrots
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 hen or chicken
  • 2 bones with marrow
  • 1 chorizo
  • longaniza
  • 1 blood sausage
  • serrano ham tip
  • 200 grams of streaky bacon
  • salt
  • 150 grams of bread crumbs of yesterday’s bread
  • 2 handfuls of very thin pasta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs of chopped parsley

Preparation:

  • Soak the chickpeas in lukewarm water in the evening of the day before, with one tbs of coarse salt and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate
  • In a large pan with plenty of cold water put the meat, the bones tied (so the marrow doesn’t come out), the bacon, ham, and the hen with a little salt. Put at medium heat.
  • Dip the chickpeas in hot water. When the water with the meat starts to boil, skim well and add the chickpeas. It’s convenient to use a net for them, so they don’t go all over the place
  • Put the fire at low heat and let the cocido cook. It should be on the fire some 3.5 hours, skimming it occasionally.
  • One hour before the cooking is over, add the carrots cut in half lengthwise and half an hour later add the potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • In a bowl put the bread crumbs, the eggs, 50 grams of bacon and the garlic clove. Stir well until you have a large croquette. Dip in flour and fry. Once is golden add to the cocido for half an hour
  • Dice the cabbage and cook separately. Additionally you can stir-fry a little before serving. Add the chorizo
  • The blood sausage can either be sliced and fried or cooked separately
  • Once the cooking time is done, separate enough broth for the soup, leaving some in the pan so the meat doesn’t go dry or cold
  • Cook the pasta for 15 minutes in tbs broth and serve in a tureen
  • In a platter put the meat previously diced, add the hen, the chorizo, the blood sausage, the ham, the bacon and the marrow.
  • In another platter serve the chickpeas, the vegetables and potatoes
  • The croquette is sliced and added to the meat tray
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Words….

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Wedding season is upon us and I have been trying my hardest to come up with some meaningful little snippets to write in cards and wedding books so that it can really symbolise the day of the bride and groom…So, I have found a few wonderful pieces that I really love and thought I would share them with you all! Feel the love!

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And one I love:

 

TIME IS…

 

Too slow for those who wait

Too swift for those who fear

Too long for those who grieve

Too short for those who rejoice

But for those who love, time is

 

ETERNITY

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A collection of Autumn – The reasons why we love this season!

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Every time a new season approaches, I always believe that season is my favorite….though honestly, I think I can only really feel like that about Autumn. It’s so soulful and charming and the perfect wind down after summer antics. The smells, colours, rustling leaves and incredible wholesome delights that can be cooked up from use of our harvest and crops! All super cheap by the way as this is the season to prepare for the winter ahead. This year I’ve really put a lot of thought into doing a spot of homesteading so that we can hopefully save a bit over this winter with new baby on the way so I have been using pinterest a lot (like quite A LOT) to gather some cool ideas that can stead me in the right direction and I have saved images of all my favorite AUTUMN collections I have encountered along the way. 

I hope this image board will inspire you as much as it has me and in case you’re not feeling it yet this Autumn (I know my husband isn’t) hopefully this will make you feel a bit more cheery and energized! 

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Autumn = PUMPKINS! We heart pumpkins! – recipes etc

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Well, I nearly fell over when I  realized today is the day my daughter is at school for longer that usual so overwhelmed with happiness I have an extra few hours to myself, I decided to finally spend some much loved time in the kitchen and create some awesome Autumn treats and where best to start than some pumpkin roasting!

 

PUMPKINS – FACTS – SO MANY

 

Pumpkin meat is very high in carotenoids. They’re what give pumpkins their orange color-but that’s the least of their benefits. Carotenoids are really good at neutralizing free radicals, nasty molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells vulnerable to damage.

Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. Therefore, they may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

Besides carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all antioxidants, pumpkins have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, zinc, and fiber. Iron, of course, is needed by red blood cells. Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men. And fiber is important for bowel health.

Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. 

A fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less, and thereby shed pounds. A 2009 study found that people who ate a whole apple before lunch (the fiber is in the skin) consumed fewer calories throughout the meal than people who ate applesauce or drank apple juice, WebMD reported.

Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Your Heart

 

Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol

Pumpkins May Reduce Cancer Risk

Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. 
Food sources of beta-carotene seem to help more than a supplement, according to the NIH — even more reason to scoop up some pumpkin today. And the plant sterols in pumpkin seeds have also been linked to fighting off certain cancers.

Pumpkins Can Boost Your Immune System

 

Well, maybe. Whether or not vitamin C can really ward off colds is still up for debate, but pumpkins are a solid source of the essential nutrient. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 11 milligrams, or nearly 20 percent of the 60 milligrams the IOM recommends women need daily. (Men should aim for around 75 milligrams.)
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So, as soon as autumn hits, my family always raid the shelves for as many natural pumkins as we can fit in our kitchen. They are so cheap, easy to use and have an excellent shelf life so you can really bulk up and use as and when you need them (even if just for decoration until they go in the pot.) Though as long lasting as they are, it’s always a good idea to get your puree’s ready and stored for use depending on what you intend to do with them.
Below is a list of what options you could stir up. I find that a lot of people tend to use them for sweet purposes (IE: pumpkin pie and caramel pecan pies etc) bit for actual meals there are a lot of options available also:

1) Pumpkin and sage  risotto 

A huge family fave! So easy to prepare and a super saver, savory meal that is nutritious and delicious! Check out a cool recipe here:
And here’s a picture of our last risotto dinner with a side of broccoli and garlic bread!
Katasher risotto

2) Pumpkin and chick pea curry

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So easy to throw together and perfect for those that love spice and fragrance, which is of course intensified by the wonderful nuttiness of the pumpkin itself!

A really great dinner idea and super healthy!

Get the recipe here:

3) Beef and pumpkin chili mole!

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Oh my lord YES! This is such an amazing recipe from such an awesome blog. For veggies, omit beef though for non veggies oh yes add beef! This is so aromatic and beats your normal slow cooker beef and for extra heart health, add the beans too!

Find recipe here:

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So, I hope there are some good ideas for savory meals! For any sweet ones, you can find an ABUNDANCE of ideas over on pinterest. This time of year it’s a given that they are added with frequency so you’ll not be stuck to find something to get your teeth stuck into sugar wise.

In case you need some ideas of what to search for, here are a few:

Pumpkin pecan cheesecakes, Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin spice latte’s

So, how about how to make a simple puree that can accommodate ALL of these meals and more…

 

It’s SO simple. You can make up a sweet batch to freeze for any sweet treats you wish to prepare OR you can make it simply natural so that it can be thrown into either sweet or savory dishes. Here’s how to do it:

 

1) Cut the pumpkins in half across the middle and scoop out the seeds (which you can either keep or toss.) If you’re keeping, see the last recipe on this page for cool ideas on how to toast them for snacking. AND YOU SHOULD….

Once cut and ready, give them a wash down and then place so the skin is side up on a tray that is fairy deep so that you can add about an inch of water in the bottom.

Now cook in a 180 degree oven (360) for 30-45 mins or until soft enough to scoop out.

 

2) SCOOP – After they have cooled slightly and can be handled, scoop out the flesh into a blender

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Once in the blender, puree for a few minutes until nice and glossy soft

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If you’re making a sweet batch, these will be the spices you need to add. (GO EASY on the cloves. You only need a teeny pinch – if you wish you can also add a sprinkle of brown sugar though I prefer to leave that until I decide what recipe I’m using it for)

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And then, once it is puree’d you can go ahead and pour into marked freezer bags ready until you wish to use them. They should keep in freezer for about 3 months or in fridge for up to a week.

 

photo 5

ET VOILA!

That’s how you do a pumpkin puree. Now that you know and have all the info on the goodness and cheapness, go get yours NOW and kick up a storm! It will convert any sun worshiper into an autumn lover instead!

 

AND FOR THOSE OF YOU KEEPING THE SEEDS TO MUNCH ON,Check out this youtube tutorial on what you can do to make the most out of your batch!

 

HOW TO PREPARE PUMPKIN SEEDS

 

Thanks all for reading and please check out further posts….autumn books can be found on link to my latest must reads reviews. Make yourself a pumpkin spice latte and snuggle in front of the fire with one of those!

 

Catch you all soon

 

Kat x

setterfield-the-thirteenth-tale

Autumn reads – Cozy up and settle into a must have book!

Hi all!!

It’s the start of a rainy week! I’m not sure how I feel about that! I am lucky at the moment because I’m on maternity and until next weeks half term, I also still have my mornings free to write and do as I please so this morning, pre-dentist and odd jobs I downloaded my book of the week:

setterfield-the-thirteenth-tale

I cannot wait to get into it and it’s that time of year when the cold outside and the early dark makes you want to snuggle under a blanket and sink into a really good read. That said, I reflected over what I read last autumn and have compiled a list of books that are perfect for this time of year and are guaranteed to make you feel hearty, soulful and satisfied! Now, when I think of books to suit this season, I am thinking along the lines of historical fiction / period romance and chilling old-fashioned ghost stories set in abandoned manor houses in the middle of a haunting wintry town somewhere scenically whimsical. If you’re feeling that, read along and hopefully one of the books featured could be your next love affair next to the fire with a few pots of tea (and choccies)!

P.S I’ll keep you posted about the outcome of my new read!

 

1) ‘The glass of time’ by Michael Cox 

th

 

the glass of time

Building on his haunting, superbly written debut, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox returns to a story of murder, love, and revenge in Victorian England.

In the autumn of 1876, nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood in Northamptonshire. There she will serve as the new lady’s maid to the former Emily Carteret, now Lady Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l’Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal – and to set right a past injustice in which her own life is intertwined.

Unable to escape the reverberations of past misdeeds, Lady Tansor finds herself desperate to keep Esperanza from learning dark, dangerous truths.

As well as a page-turning period mystery, The Glass of Time is a beautifully written and vividly imagined study of seduction, betrayal, and friendship between two powerful women bound together by the past.

Yes! A total page turner! Just brilliant, hence it features on top! Awesome book!

 

Continue reading

Moore

The great outdoors! It’s SO good for you..

Wherever you may be reading this, chances are you’re having a better summer than those of us tucked up in rainy England..but rain or shine, my family love their outdoor day trips and walks. Yesterday I finished work convinced that the terrential downpour that greeted me on my way home would continue well into today (my one and only day where me, the hubs and little bear are free to go off together for some fun) but my first thoughts this morning were ‘I don’t care..we’re still going and fun we shall have’… 94% humidity, grey clouds and rain we did meet but the 5 hours we spend walking miles and breathing in some of the County’s most incredible fresh air and scents of nature have left us feeling insanely grand!

As long as you go prepared, the forecast should never be a problem. Picnic packed, camera x2 packed and extra jackets and umberellas and we were set for a day of nature trail fun! For those of you that can get to where we ventured, it is such a worth while trip! YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK is home to the world famous and incredibly wonderful Henry Moore sculptures and includes miles of scenic nature woodland trails, lakes and sensational art.Miles and miles we walked, explored, climbed even fell (muddy slippy paths..RAIN..) But how much fun we had! and studies show that the great outdoors doesn’t simply provide you with some quick fix exercise and a few fond memories, it has actual health benefits that can prevent and cure a whole heap of things….So, please continue reading and find out why a day trip to the country side is more beneficial for you than you may think…

Just one thing: Those of you that dread the thought of it but know you’ll have a good time when you get there, you’ve already programmed yourself to get there and do it, so knowing you’ll have the fun means there is no point in challenging yourself against the idea. Just bear in mind the many reasons as to why you’ll feel so much beter once you’ve gone and done it. Those of you that simply dread it because you don’t think it will be fun. Challenge yourself to make it fun. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to make yourself feel you have achieved something self worthyand that in itself is fun…and in this way, healthy!

6km walk MOSTLY spent on shoulders..so I don’t need to go to gym today..extra workout!

And there are beneifts of tree hugging too..FYI! hehe

Making friends with the locals x

Shoulders about to break!

The tiny person = the reason she was piggybacked the rest of the way. Kids love the great outdoors!Run run run x

Mummy, Tahlia and foxgloves x

Picnic under a tree

Getting upclose and personal with some Henry Moore x

For those of you interested in seeing the sculptures that we visited at the park, please see the slideshow at the end of this post!

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

The countryside is not just a pretty place. Studies show it can cut recovery times from illnesses, fight against cancer and boost your mood.

We bring you an installment in our guide to the health benefits of the countryside.

  • Country views reduce time in hospital

Professor Roger Ulrich, a leading expert in the benefits of natural green space, says the countryside and open areas can boost your recovery after surgery or a major illness.

He studied a group of US patients who were recovering from gall-bladder surgery. The patients were divided into two groups with half put into rooms with a view of trees and half with a view of buildings.

The study found that patients with a natural view needed less pain relieving medication, were more cooperative – making them better patients – and went home two to three days sooner than the group given buildings to look at.

Mark Dixon from the NUFU says this shows trees have a financial as well as health benefit for hospitals.

‘The trees make staff feel less stressed, improve their quality of life at work and help make them more effective. This helps hospitals save money as the staff are more efficient and the patients do not need so much medication,’ he says.

  • Natural surroundings reduce stress and tension

Professor Ulrich has also studied the effects of greenspace on reducing our stress levels.

He conducted an experiment at the University of Texas, where volunteers were sent on a very stressful virtual car journey. After the journey, half the volunteers were taken to a park surrounded by trees.

In three minutes their heart rate, blood pressure and the muscle tension in their forehead had fallen dramatically compared to the other half of the group who were kept indoors.

Stress seriously increases the risk of heart disease and costs the NHS over £100 million in medication every year. The NUFU believe that getting outside among trees can cut the amount spent on drugs and the number of working days lost every year through stress.

  • Country walks help prevent cancer

The main influence that the countryside has on fighting cancer is the way in which we use it. Getting out into a park or local green space normally means that we are using it to exercise and it is the exercise that can help us fight cancer.

Dr Alan Maryon Davis, director of public health for the London borough of Southwark, says, ‘You can reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer, if you are doing regular exercise.

The evidence is very strong. Just a couple of times a week has a measurable effect. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous either, just half an hour of some activity every day.’

Regular exercise can also cut your risk of breast cancer as this disease is linked to obesity. ‘If you are doing regular exercise, you are controlling your body weight. This means you are less likely to suffer from obesity, cutting your risk of developing breast cancer,’ says Dr Maryon Davis.

People who take regular exercise are also less likely to be smokers and non-smokers are less likely to suffer from lung cancer. But there is one cancer risk that increases when you exercise out in the country.

‘In the summer time open spaces are a great magnet for sunbathers,’ says Dr Maryon Davis. ‘Be careful you are not increasing your risk of skin cancer – make sure you are using sun screen if you are exercising outside in the sunshine.’

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ice-cubes-for-toned-glowing-skin

Anti aging facial freeze..the natural botox!

For anyone out there that’s scared of the needle…(and the harsh consequences of chemical injecting) here’s a super tip that can treat your skin and help refresh anti aging and skin smoothing! What’s to it? Not much really..ice, muslin cloth and VOILA!

Ice facials have long been around and sucessfully topped some of the best DIY facial lists around but, with all the advertising hype and celebrtiy crazes on botox and other surgical performed skin ammending techniques, we seem to have got distracted by what simple, natural ways we can create youthful skin..remember, what nature intended… It may be more time consuming to have to re-create daily routines as opposed to nipping out for a quick fix injection but..for those of us that can’t afford it and are quite simply terrified of going down that route, here are some tips on how you can perform your own skin surgery a la natural methods!..FYI: Jennifer Aniston is a proclaimed lover of self anti ageing techniques and was the inspiration for this post as she does daily ice baths and steams. See, who needs botox to look that great?

So, ICE is one of natures best revelations for skin…It constricts your pores, making your skin look smoother, it is the quickest way to rejuvenate your skin and give it the fresh, dewy look. It is the best way to naturally work on skin tone and definition and it is a great toner and soother for acne, inflammation or skin irritations.

The Swedish love their saunas and during their long snowy winters, it is a well loved practice to sit and sweat in the sauna to open all the bodies pores and eliminate all the unwanted toxins from the body. After however long sat in a super heated room, they go out and roll in the snow to then close the pores and awaken the circulation and freshen the skin. Crazy? Maybe, but as tried by my good self, I have to say it is one of the most exilirating things I have ever done. It is a wonderful feeling!

For your face, this practice need not be any different. If you are wanting to do this for skin rejuvenation and anti aging, a top tip is to get yourself a Clarisonic facial brush and for 5-10 mins in the morning or evening, whichever you prefer (Morning will awaken and tone throughout the day, evening will effectively help remove excess make up and dirt) but once you have done this for the reccomended time, you will have plumped up all your skins tissues and cells. This will help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and tone your skin to the max! Once you have done this, you can ‘steam’ your face. This will allow the skin to eliminate toxins and prep for the next stage. Simply boil the kettle and pour into a bowl and cover your head with a towel. You can at this point add some essential oils if you like. Lavender is great for soothing and relaxing, for breathing you could add eucyalyptus or you could do a mix of rose and neroli for a super girly blend your skin will love! Once you have finished steaming, pat your face to remove sweat and follow by cleansing your face well with whatever cleanser you use and then prepare a muslin cloth with a hand full of ice. Gently pat and smooth all over your face for a few minutes. The reason to use a cloth and not directly apply the ice to your face is that you can burn your skin and it can damage capillaries that cause red veins to appear on skin. After a couple of minutes ‘freezing’ your face allow your skin to come back to its natural temperature before applying any cream or toner. This will help the cream or oils to absorb better once the face becomes warmer.

Tone with a low alcohol toner and preferably one with essential oils such as rose or neroil and then apply whatever moisturiser or oils you wish to use. If you are doing this at night time, it is adviseable to use some good quality esssential oil blends as these really help to soothe the skin and aid in rejuvenation. Want tips on which ones work best? Try out DECLEOR. French natural skin lab that’s oils are just the best! If you’re doing this first thing, you want to be using a moisturiser with an SPF and applying it almost like a massage technique all over your face so that it really sinks in and plumps up your skin! This will brighten, soften and make you look a fresh as a daisy!

So, give it a go! After a few weeks of dry brushing, steaming and freezing you will really see the benefits! It’s a long winded process and some days you simply won’t have time but, you can’t get better than natures way..it costs nothing and by actually performing it yourself, your own little ritual will really make you want to take care of  your skin as best you can!

TOP TIP: Jennifer Aniston also swears by rubbing vaseline under her eyes at night time. One up from that would be to use NOT petroleums natural vaseline. Same wonderful benefits, no artificial add’s or parabens..

Happy freezing everyone!

index

Tea tree oil mouth gargle! Fresh!

It’s been a while since I’ve made any posts..but I’ve got a stack of them waiting to get on here so don’t worry, there’s LOTS of exciting stuff due to come but I need to make this one as it’s my new fave thing of the week…I started this on behalf of my hubby who has been moaning about mouth cleansing and how he wishes he could get the ‘fresh’ feel as opposed to the feeling like you need to schedule a hygiene for the 50th time in the year…It comes from our useless diets, poor overall human body maintanence and so much other rubbish that leaves our mouths feeling as sluggish as our whole bodies and general mouth washes tend to leave your mouth feeling ‘caggy’ after regular use so what can we do to perk up our breath and feel fresher?

Tea tree oil mouth rinse! That’s what!

It works SO well! I’ve been Oil pulling now for the past 2 months ever since I posted about the HUGE benefits and after doing this as a morning ritual, I have now started adding the tea tree mouth wash/gargle as part of the routine. It COMPLETELY leaves your mouth feeling incredible and not just for the first 5 minutes after cleaning, it lasts and lasts and as tea tree is a natural antiseptic and wonder of killing bacteria and fungus, it is such a winner!

Simply add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil into a cup of warm water and swill it around your mouth for a minute or so. DO NOT swallow. Your mouth will thank you for this as it is so refreshing! Not everyone is into the smell of Tea tree but I believe it is something that grows on you as now it represents such a clean and incredible thing to me I can’t get enough of it! Give it a try and I swear you’ll love it! FYI: If you are reading this and wanting tips on alternative aids for fresh breath, here are a few things you can try:

  • Green tea – Drinking plenty of green tea is excellent for keeping breath fresh as the antioxidants called polyphenols that are present in the tea kill off a number of compounds that create oral bacteria.
  • Mint and parsley – Super herbs in aiding fresh breath. Mint is an obvious one as it is the powering flavour that contributes to the fresh smell but parsley is also great! Chewing on sprigs of parsley is knows to kill the smell of garlic (though do pls note the benefits of garlic are so much stronger than the smell of it so please do not avoid consumption because garlic is incredible..also you sweat it through pores not through the mouth) but parsley also helps in reducing gastrointestinal gases that produce bad breath so it is a great solution. Other herbs include cloves, fennel and annise seeds.
  • Flossing your teeth – EVERYONE should do this..It is a sin in so many ways not to! What presents smells in mouths doesn’t always come directly from the mouth it can be caused by stomach and bowel action and not flossing regularly causes a built up of germs that linger in the mouth and consequently other areas of the body. Flossing can also decrease the risk of heart attacks!
  • Ease up on cheese, beer and coffee…these are the top things that contrinute to yacky mouth smells.
  • Brush your tongue! Cleansing your mouth from as many germs as possible makes for a cleaner, fresher mouth!

As one that also likes to advocate the wonders of natural skin care, you’d think the amount I bang on about skin products and how to’s would mean my skin would be the image of perfection but far from it..the benefits of what I use obviously keep it as good as it naturally can be but throw in the time of the month and see how many chin spots appear..I swear people must wonder what I’m talking about half the time they see me whilst trying to promote the fantastical benefits of a certain skin cream and there’s me looking like a pimple factory but, who doesn’t get that from time to time? Tea tree oil for hormone spots is the ONLY thing that works at clearing effectively and quickly. Within a day or 2, however many nasties you get, they are totally gone!

So, there are just a few of the incredible benefits..want to find out more? Read on!

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree Oil (also known as Melaleuca) is a natural antibacterial disinfectant that was commonly used as a general antiseptic by the aborigine tribes for thousands of years. More recently, the scientific community has confirmed that Tea Tree Oil has tremendous medicinal benefits. It is a light yellow oil that has a scent similar to nutmeg, and it is produced by steaming tea tree leaves and then squeezing the oil out.

What are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree Oil has wonderful properties that makes it a popular natural agent for curing all three types of infectious organisms: fungus, bacteria, and virus. More importantly, it is known to effectively fight a number of infections that are resistant to some antibiotics. Therefore, Tea Tree Oil is an excellent natural remedy for hundreds of bacterial and fungal skin ailments such as acne, abscess, oily skin, blisters, sun burns, athlete’s foot, warts, herpes, insect bites, rashes, dandruff and other minor wounds and irritations.

Studies have shown that Tea Tree Oil also treats respiratory problems ranging from common sore throats, coughs and runny nose to severe conditions such as asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis. The anti-viral properties of the oil fight many common infectious diseases such as chicken pox, shingles and measles, flu, cold sores and verrucae. It also strengthens the body’s immune system, which is often weakened by stress, illness, or by the use of antibiotics and other drugs. It can also be used as a mouth wash, since it is highly effective in healing oral candidiasis (a fungal infection of mouth and throat).

Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Skin Infections

Acne Treatment

A common use of Tea Tree Oil is as a natural Acne treatment.

Boils and Carbuncles

Tea Tree Oil has also been used for the treatment of Boils or Carbuncles.

Toenail Fungus

Tea Tree Oil help treat toenail fungus infections. Simply apply 1 to 2 drops of the oil directly onto the infected toenails and rub it above and under the tip of the nail. Repeat this once per day.

Warts

Many people have also found that Tea Tree Oil can be used as a very effective treatment for Genital Warts.

Bad Breath, Inflamed Gums, and Plaque

Tea Tree Oil, when used as a mouth wash, acts as a natural cure for bad breath, oral candidiasis, gingivitis, plaque, and inflamed gums. It also kills mouth bacteria prior to dental surgery and also reduces mouth irritation that is often caused by dental procedures.

  • Add 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a cup of warm water.
  • Use the solution as a mouthwash two to three times daily.
  • Always spit out the Tea Tree Oil mouthwash. Do not swallow it.
  • You may also add 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil to toothpaste when brushing teeth.

Sore Throat and Congestion

Tea Tree Oil can be combined with a simple steam inhalation technique to naturally cure congestion, sore throat, chest infections, and clearing up mucus:

  • Fill a large cooking pot or bowl with water.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and add 2 to 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil into it.
  • Cover your head with a towel and lean over the top of the bowl so that the long ends of the towel are hanging down at the two sides of the bowl.
  • Inhale the vapors for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Repeat the process each night before going to bed until symptoms are cured completely. If symptoms persist for more than 5 days it is best to consult your doctor.

Canker Sores and Laryngitis

Diluted in water, Tea Tree Oil is an effective treatment for canker sores and laryngitis:

  • Add 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Oil to one cup of warm water.
  • Gargle this solution twice daily. Do not swallow.

Dandruff and Lice

Studies have shown that shampoos with 5% of Tea Tree Oil can cure dandruff and help get rid of head lice.

Yeast Infections

Tea Tree Oil can also be used as an effective Home Remedy for Yeast Infection Treatment.

What are the Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil?

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid the use of Tea Tree Oil.

Undiluted Tea Tree Oil can cause itchiness, irritation, and redness on sensitive skin. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, it is always safer to dilute the oil in another base oil such as olive oil.

Pure Tea Tree Oil should never be taken internally in its undiluted form. Extra care should be taken when using it near the eyes, genitals, or even as a mouthwash. If taken internally, Tea Tree Oil can result in diarrhea, vomiting, impaired immune function, excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, poor coordination, and even coma. If you notice any of these symptoms of overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

I hope this post has been helpful and that if you’re looking for a solution to anything tea tree oil can help to fix, that it proves to be as wonderful to you as it has been to me! Such a wonder oil in so many ways! Please spread the word! Any good quality Tea tree oil can be found in most pharmacies and drug stores and incredible skin care ranges that soley promote the uses of Tea tree can be found in high end yet affordable products from THE BODY SHOP. Really great for all skin types and perfect gifts!

indoor yukka

Benefits of houseplants – AND THERE ARE MANY!

How many of us have interior house plants in our homes? Reluctant to buy indoor plants because of space prioritising, cleaning issues and so on? Did you know that indoor air space is up to 10 times more poluted than outdoor? Wouldn’t you like that to change so that you and your family could live as healthily as possible within your homes?

I live in a 3 bed house that is currently dominated by my daughters toys and other ‘super important’ possessions..which inevitably accumulate a heap of dust and hidden muck..(ie:left over pieces of toast under the toy box and half a pot of spilt talc, which we never use anyway but somehow still exists tipped over tops and poured in shoes..evil talc) so now that summer is on it’s way it’s great to have the windows open more often and some fresh air circulating. I always clean with non toxic products and where I can make my own I will but, how clean can a house be, especially air wise? And considering how much time people do spend inside their homes (ie: people working from home, families with kids etc) keeping our air space clean is essential and detrimental for good health in SO many ways you’d be surprised than merely investing in a house plant could be the answer there!

Who knew they could be just SO beneficial? Check out some facts below that will make you head straight for the garden centre..amazing!

Humans have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. We evolved surrounded with plants. Our environment and lifestyle has changed dramatically in relevantly recent years; however, genetically, we have not!

“The indoor environment is 5 to 10 times more polluted than the exterior

 

Interior plants improve air quality and help us feel good


Plants have been proven to remove airborne harmful contaminants.
Most people spend the majority of time indoors at home or work. Air conditioning, improved insulation, and energy-saving all reduce air exchange in buildings, so we breathe the same air again and again. Because the modern internal environment is virtually hermetically sealed and the construction materials used, modern synthetic furnishings, computers, electrical equipment, and everyday household products such as cleaning material, can produce harmful substances that are trapped inside the building. These all contribute to the well recognised ‘Sick building syndrome’ Polluted indoor air, contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are a major cause of headaches, nausea, sore & itchy eyes, loss of concentration and other ‘Sick building symptoms’.
The simple addition of interior plants is a natural way to help remove these pollutants significantly.

Humidity is another important and often underestimated factor in human health. When humidity levels are too low, individuals are more likely to develop viral infections; when humidity is too high, vulnerability to other disease increases. Plants tend to control humidity to within the optimum range for human health.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. This obviously reduces your carbon footprint but also the increased oxygen level refreshes the air -and you! – leading to increased concentration and productivity (in various studies between 10%-15% increase).

There is a wealth of scientific study into the beneficial effects of live plants in the interior environment including a large NASA programme. For more detail of this and other independent research refer to:

www.healthygreenatwork.org
www.plants-for-people.org
www.greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org

Other Benefits of Interior Plants

As well as purifying the air we breathe the presence of indoor plants have also been shown to have many other beneficial effects, details of this research can be found on the links above. These benefits include:

  • Increased positive feelings and reduced feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness.
  • Reduction of sound levels
  • Reduction of stress levels
  • Control of humidity to the within the optimum levels for human health
  • Cooling effect
  • Absorption of carbon dioxide and emission of oxygen refreshing the air
  • Improved concentration levels leading to improved productivity particularly with those working with computers
  • Reduction of absenteeism in the workplace
  • Faster recovery from mental tiredness
  • Interiors feel spacious, looked after and clean
  • People prefer to occupy rooms that contain plants
  • Improved image – interiors are perceived as “more expensive”

So, all the facts in proof, get yourself down to a garden centre (or another great place to find a bargain is a car boot sale..they always have loads) and invest in a house plant for your home and family today!

Here is a great selection of indoor house plants that you could chose from, ranging from small to large ones depending on available space..Hope it’s inspiring!

Indoor Yukka’s, Aloe vera plants, Agave geminiflora, Devil’s backbone, rubber plants, Olive balls, peace lily, Phoenix Roebellini palm, Song of India plant and SO MANY MORE..see images of these below x

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