Oil Cleansing: Why you should be using this Natural Skin Care Technique

 

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image: maycure.com

 

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil Cleansing is a technique that has been growing in popularity recently. It offers a quick, easy and effective way to remove make-up, pollutants and excess sebum (the skins naturally produced oil) from the surface of your skin.

Sounds like the description on every bottle of store brought cleanser you’ve ever owned right?

Well, what differentiates this cleansing method and makes it such a stand-alone technique is the fact that it is entirely natural (so no nasty chemicals or fragrances), it’s suited to all skin types AND it helps your skin restore its natural pH and sebum production levels.

 

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This image shows the five different skin types (image: gianasim.com)

 

Now I know that the first thing you’re going to think is…

“But I have oily and acne prone skin, I can’t add MORE oil”

OR

“My skin is so dry, if I cover it in oil it’s going to cause blemishes”

And those concerns are completely understandable; but they’re also wrong.

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image: dermalogica.co.uk

 

As a Beauty Therapist I’ve worked with many of the top skin care brands, and one thing they all have in common is that they understand how oil can improve a number of skin concerns and complaints, and that stripping the skin of it’s natural oils is never going to be beneficial.

In fact, if you strip the skin of it’s natural oils all that’ll happen is it’ll panic and produce even MORE oil… whereas if you treat it with oil it will calm down sebum production levels and gradually improve the condition of your skin.

Lets take it back to High School Chemistry Class when we’re taught that “Like Dissolves Like” – Meaning, substances with similar chemical characteristics will dissolve each other.

Oil Cleansing uses this exact concept! 

Massaging natural oil onto the skin will dissolve hardened sebum that has grabbed hold of impurities and bacteria and become stuck to the pores. Removing that oil with a hot face cloth will then lift any dirt and impurities from the skin while also providing a very gentle physical exfoliation.

And in case it being gentle and natural isn’t great enough… this technique also allows you to entirely customise to your skins specific needs – because just like our souls, our skins are all unique!

Below are some good starting recipes depending on your skin type, but they can all be adjusted according to personal preference.

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image: cloudbeauty.co.uk

 

Oily / Acne Prone Skin:

1/3 Hazelnut Oil : 2/3 Jojoba Oil + 8 drops of Tea Tree or Lavender Essential Oil

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image: theopenmind.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normal / Combination Skin:

¼ Hazelnut Oil : ¾ Apricot Kernel Oil + 8 drops of Sandalwood, Lavender or Rose Essential Oil

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image: keeperofthehome.org

Dry / Mature / Aging Skin:

1/8 Hazelnut Oil : 7/8 Avocado Oil + 8 drops of Frankincense or Pomegranate Seed Oil

(You can leave the hazelnut oil out completely if you’d rather, but it has a slight astringent* effect that can be beneficial if you have dry skin but still suffer from the occasional breakout.)

* Astringent: this means its going to help ‘tighten’ open or enlarged pores.

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image: alopeciafree.com

 

But as I said; have a play with different ratios and oil combinations until you find your dream cleanser.

My one strong recommendation would be to steer clear of Coconut Oil as it is a proven comedogenic – this literally means it will cause blackheads, whiteheads and pore blockages, which is probably not what you’re after!

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image: prettygossip.com

 

As with any new skin routine both you AND your skin will need time to adjust. Your skin will be used to certain chemicals including:

Parabens: preservatives that can cause irritation

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate: strips oil from the skin, causes dryness

Triclosan: antibacterial and antifungal agent

 

And removing these chemicals might initially cause your face to throw a tantrum and act up, so if you notice a few breakouts in the first couple of weeks Do. Not. Panic! Your skin is just re-learning how to function the way nature intended.

So this is probably the most important bit!

The Oil Cleansing Technique:

1/ Mix up your oils and buy some face cloths in advance – I suggest Liz Earle Muslin Cloths.

2/ Massage oil directly onto DRY skin – it’ll even remove all your makeup, including waterproof mascara!

3/ Put your cloth under very hot water and soak it through.

4/ Gently rub the hot cloth over your skin until you feel like all the oil has been removed.

(5/ OPTIONAL: Closely inspect the cloth and marvel at how freakin’ cool and gross it is to see all the dirt that’s come away!)

6/ Splash face with warm water and pat dry with a towel.

If you still want to use your toner / eye cream / moisturiser then go ahead, but over time you will probably find you no longer need it as the oil provides a protective layer and leaves your skin feeling super soft and hydrated.

As with every food or skin care recipe I post, I suggest using the highest quality ingredients available to you – for example these oils are all best if they’re cold pressed and organic.

 

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image: shutterstock

 

If you don’t think you’re ready to go all out and mix up a DIY Facial Cleanser just yet that’s not a problem! Give yourself some time to adapt while trying out these great pre-made, natural alternatives that I have tried and tested and highly recommend:

 

LUSH: Ultrabland – £7.95 / 45g

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image: lush.com

 

 

 

(I no longer use this as it is not 100% Vegan Friendly as it contains Honey and Beeswax)

 

 

https://uk.lush.com/products/ultrabland

 

 

Liz Earle: Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – £15.50 / 100ml (including 2 muslin cloths)

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image: lizearle.com

 

 

 

(Again, this product does contain beeswax so is not 100% Vegan Friendly)

 

 

http://uk.lizearle.com

 

 

 

Living Naturally: Chamomile & Rose Beauty Balm Moisuriser – £8.50 / 60ml

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(I found this at VegFest 2016: London; it’s called ‘Beauty Balm Moisturiser’ but I use it as a cleansing oil and it’s really effective and leaves skin feeling beautiful!)

 

http://www.soapnuts.co.uk

 

 

 

 

For more Homemade, Natural & Vegan Friendly Skin Care tricks take a look at my posts:

 Turmeric Face Masks; The Root of all Beauty?

Coffee Face Scrubs… Putting the Caffeine into TLC!! 

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Let me know your thoughts on Oil Cleansing and if you have any good tips or recipes! 

And here are some more articles that I found super interesting on oil cleansing, chemicals in cleansers and natural skin care…

http://wellnessmama.com/7569/oil-cleansing-method/

http://crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-cunningham/dangerous-beauty-products_b_4168587.html

http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/completely-vegan-beauty-and-body-product-brands/

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Wagamama ‘Fake Away’: Vegan Coconut Noodle Soup with Crispy Tofu

 

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Wagamama Rocks. My. World.

Maybe that sounds like I’m coming on a bit strong… I do that sometimes… But seriously… Healthy, colourful and vibrant dishes ranging from spicy curry to soulful soup, what’s not to love?

On top of that you’ve got super speedy service, high street prices and a menu that features an ever-increasing choice of Vegan friendly options including the wok fried greens, steamed yasai gyoza and yasai pad thai (just remove the egg).

Basically, I just love it; and luckily my Mum and Sister are equally as fanatic, so I always have a ‘Wag Buddy’.

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Anyway… Enough of the foodgasm

My current favourite dish at Wagamama has to be the Yasai Itame – a light but creamy coconut soup topped with noodles, fresh vegetables and tofu… It is DIVINE, I’m pretty sure I could happily eat that meal all day, everyday.

 

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Unfortunately, even with their high street prices, my ol’ bank account can’t quite support that kind of decadence. So I realised the time had come to try and recreate a DIY version.

I wanted to make something simple and warming that is easy enough for a quiet night in but tasty enough to impress if you’re cooking for friends… And let me tell you, the end result did not disappoint!

The Wagamama Yasai Itame is relatively mild; but I was feeling spicy so I made mine with a Thai Red paste to ensure it packed a fiery punch. But if you prefer a slightly milder curry, stick with a Thai Green paste.

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Blue Dragon Pastes are available at most of your main supermarket chains

 

For the Soup:

1 tsp Coconut Oil

1 Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Cube mixed with 1 – 2 mugs of boiling water

1 Can Coconut Milk

1 Blue Dragon Thai Red Curry Paste Pot (50g)

Place a deep frying pan or wok over a medium heat with the coconut oil.

Add in the curry paste and cook for approx. 1 – 2 minutes or until it starts to smell amazing.

Pour in ½ the Coconut Milk, reduce to a low heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the stock cube dissolved in boiling water.

Leave this simmering away on a really low heat and concentrate on your fillings.

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For the Filling:

Buckwheat / Soba Noodles – amount varies in accordance to hunger levels!

½ Red Onion

2 Whole Bok Choi

1 Large handful Mangetout

1 Sweet Red Pepper

1 Large Handful Beansprouts

1 Red Chilli

1 Pack Firm Tofu – I used Cauldron Foods Tofu

1 Bunch Coriander – Optional **

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Slice and Dice the veggies however you fancy – I went for long strips of vegetables because that is the most messy and fun way to eat a noodle soup.

Cut the tofu into medium sized cubes and slowly fry them in a small pan with some coconut oil until it’s nice and crispy.

In a separate pan boil the noodles for 4 -5 minutes, drain them under cold water then place them to one side.

Add all the vegetables except the beansprouts to the soup base and let them simmer for approx. 10 minutes.

Then add the remaining coconut milk and beansprouts to the mix for a further 3 minutes.

Split the noodles between 2 bowls… pour over the soup and then top with the crispy tofu – if you like it ‘hot-hot’ garnish with some more freshly chopped chilli.

(** At this point you could add coriander… I HATE coriander… However, my mum added some and claimed it to be delicious… Pfffft)

 

But yes, dish up and you’re good to go!

I highly recommend eating it with chopsticks and a big spoon because it feels more authentic and chopsticks take time meaning to get the savour all the deliciousness!

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If you have the time I highly recommend making the curry paste from scratch… Otherwise the Blue Dragon pastes are a super tasty and vegan friendly time saving alternative!

 

Take a look at the Wagamama Menu below and let me know what else you think might be fun to try and make at home!

http://www.wagamama.com/our-menu

Vegan Bounty Balls; a perfect pairing of dark chocolate with a coconut filling

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These Vegan ‘Bounty Balls’ are the perfect refined sugar and cruelty free alternative to the Mars Classic… And with just FIVE ingredients they couldn’t be easier to make!

 

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For the Coconut Filling:

200g Desiccated Coconut

1 Can Coconut Milkscoop out and use the thick, creamy layer that tends to sit on the surface, if you need a little more liquid then add in 1 – 2 tbsp of the remaining liquid from the can

3 – 5 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup – depending on how sweet you like your treats

Add these 3 ingredients to your blender and whizz together until they combine.

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TOO EASY!

Once thats done, dump the mixture into a bowl and then shape them however you want – I went with little bite sized balls but bars or cookies would work well too.

The mixture should be quite firm and hold its shape when placed on baking parchment on a tray.

Place the balls into the freezer and leave them to set for approx. 30 minutes – 1 hour.

While the filling is setting you can make a start on the delicious dark chocolate coating.

 

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For the Dark Chocolate:

5 tbsp Coconut Oilmelted

8 tbsp Raw Cacao or Cocoa Powder

2 tbsp Maple Syrup – optional 

Melt the coconut oil in a bowl in the microwave or over a low heat. Slowly add in the cacao, mixing it together as you go, until you get a smooth and runny consistency. Once this has combined just give it a quick taste test and see of you want to add any more cacao or some maple syrup to sweeten it up – I didn’t add any maple syrup to mine because I think the filling is sweet enough, but it’s all down to personal preference.

(Depending on the size and shape of your ‘balls’ you may need to adjust the ingredient quantities for the chocolate, so always do a taste test as you go along.)

Take the coconut filling out of the freezer and one by one place into the chocolate mix until fully coated.

Place them back in the freezer for a further 20 – 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

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Once they’re fully set remove from the freezer and…

ENJOY!

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(If, somehow, you have any left over, keep them in the fridge and eat within 5 – 7 days.)

 

So there we go, a healthy treat with a rich coconut filling that’s guaranteed to transport you to a tropical daydream!

 

Fancy a Festive Twist???

I have a Christmas Party coming up in a few weeks (who doesn’t?!) and I just thought how adorable these could be as little snowballs!

I’m going to try switching the dark chocolate coating for a vegan white chocolate alternative to create the Perfect Party Nibble! 

Watch this space to see how they turn out!!

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Vegan Pizza

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As soon as the temperature drops my body starts calling for carbs… Especially the pizza shaped variety!!

With this in mind; a night in with my Sister and her Boyfriend seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out some new recipes and have a little Pizza Party.

In the past I have tried various different pizza recipes including cauliflower crusts and broccoli bases but this weekend required something a little more substantial so I decided to test out a new recipe for a Flatbread Vegan Pizza.

The outcome was perfection!

A light, but squishy dough with some gorgeously green toppings! And really, it could not have been easier. The dough mix was a very basic recipe, and you can roll it out to whatever thickness you prefer for your pizza… I kept mine relatively thick to really give it that ‘take-out’ pizza kind of vibe! Ideal for a slumber party!

Recipe For the base:

600g strong all-purpose flour (extra for rolling out the dough)

2 tbsp baking powder

200ml non-dairy mylk – I used Rude Health Almond Mylk, its beautifully creamy and has no added nasties!

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image: trinityfarmshop.co.uk

 

100ml warm water

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

+ a few twists of a pepper grinder

Directions:

Place the wet ingredients in a jug and put to one side

Mix the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well in the middle.

Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients stirring thoroughly as you go.

When it has all come together knead with your hands until you have soft and pliable dough.

Then roll out to your desired thickness!

Now the fun part… PIZZA DECORATING!

This is where you can get as creative or go as classic as you want…

…I decided to go a bit mad with the greens (Standard!)

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I was feeling a bit lazy so I used a shop bought vegan pesto – Sacla do a great ‘free from’ pesto that you can find in most supermarkets.

Then I sautéed some veggies in nut oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with rocket and vegan parmesan (which I’m not actually completely sure about, it doesn’t melt and I still find the idea of ‘vegan cheez’ a bit bizarre – but it was definitely fun to try!)

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Anyway… back to the baking!

Once you have rolled your dough out, place it on some grease proof paper on a baking tray, use a fork and stab the surface of the base a few times, rub on a little bit of oil and then leave it to one side.

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Turn the oven up to approx. 150 – 180 degrees and let that warm up.

Prepare all the toppings you want – I sautéed my veggies before putting them on the pizza to get that awesome caramelised effect but you can totally just chop ‘em up and throw ‘em on.

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Then put all your toppings on the base and bake for 15 – 25 minutes (depending how thick or thin you made your dough.)

When the dough starts turning golden and begins to crisp up, remove the pizza from the oven and season with a bit more freshly ground pepper and top with a beautiful fresh garnish – I went for rocket.

Then you’re good to go; just slice up and serve!

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My Pizza Toppings included:

Pesto

Red Onion

Mushrooms

Spinach

Red Pepper

Asparagus

Rocket

Vegan Parmesan

& Balsamic Vinegar

But you could switch these out for whatever your current favourite veggies are!

I will definitely be making another pizza in the near future… I’m thinking one using red pesto and roast butternut squash could be beautiful?!

If you have any suggestions or favourites please let me know! I’d love to try them out!

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Coconut Oil Toothpaste / DIY Toothpaste

 

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image: amygibos.com

 

It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to follow a ‘clean’ diet full of fresh fruit, veggies and organic produce, and don’t get me wrong, that’s fantastic!! May this trend live long and prosper!

 

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image: 123rf.com

 

But what about all the other products we’re using on a daily basis that are full of all sorts of nasty ingredients and chemicals?

Every day there’s new research and articles being published listing the dangers and health problems linked with ingredients used in our everyday toiletries and household items – whether its aluminium in deodorant or propylene glycol in hair products.

This means that often we are aware of the potential harm they can cause to our health (as well as the horrific effect they can have on the environment) but we carry on using them because there just aren’t that many alternatives available, and the ones that we can find – in stores such as Wholefoods, always seem to come with a much higher price tag…

 

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image: healthistsa.com

Which is pretty disturbing, because why should we have to pay more for products just because they don’t contain carcinogenic chemicals?!

Simple answer… YOU DON’T!

It’s actually super easy (and cheap) to whip up D.I.Y toiletries in the comfort of your own home – and I know, that seems like one step too far in the direction of full blown hippy dancing naked in the moonlight, but it’s really not (and even if it was… dancing naked in the moonlight sounds kind of fun, no?!)

But if you’re still thinking that it sounds like a little bit too much effort, let’s look a bit more into the harm these products could be causing…

We’ll start with toothpaste…

thumbnail_img_0653Have you ever read the back of your tube of Colgate? Probably not, but trust me; it has a
LOT of ingredients, and most of them I couldn’t pronounce if you paid me. Buuuuut most of us still continue to use this product every single day, twice a day in fact! This means that even if you spit and rinse your mouth out at the end of your brush you’re still going to be ingesting small amounts of the following chemicals…

Fluoride: The use of fluoride in toothpaste remains a huge topic of discussion among Dentists, Medical Professionals and ‘Health Junkies’. It is a subject that has so much contradicting research available that really you just need to have a read, get some background information and make your own decision (I’ve posted some good website links at the bottom of this post.) For me the main argument against fluoride is that teeth can be strong and healthy without it… So why would I ingest a chemical that is not providing my body with any benefits but may well be causing harm?

Glycerin: Recent research shows that if left to do its thaaaaang then saliva can effectively

toothpaste
image: zerowasteweek.co.uk

‘remineralise cavaties’ – simplified this means that it creates an environment where teeth can heal themselves, reducing the need for expensive and painful dentistry. However, glycerin coats the teeth creating a barrier between the enamel and saliva, so it is unable to reach the teeth and work its natural magic.

 

Surfactants: The main one used in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulphate, and what it does is create the fun foamy lather we associate with brushing our teeth. And although I appreciate this is an awesome sensation that really makes you feel like you’ve given your mouth a great ‘clean’, is it really worth it if it means ingesting extra chemicals who’s long term effects we don’t fully understand yet?


For me it’s not. So I decided to take my dental hygiene into my own hands and create a chemical free alternative.

First things first, I will admit upfront that using homemade toothpaste DEFINITELY requires an adjustment period. The texture, taste and sensation are completely different from store bought products… BUT, that’s not to say it’s a horrible experience, you just need to allow a few days to get used to it. And I think the knowledge that you’re using all natural ingredients makes the new experience totally worthwhile.

My basic recipe is made up of:

Coconut oil

Bicarbonate of soda

Essential oils

Natural sweetener (optional)

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The coconut oil provides a creamy texture that although unusual, is not unpleasant. And while the bicarbonate of soda does create a salty taste this can be balanced out with essential oils and the option to add a natural sweetener – such as Xylitol. (My current tub doesn’t have any sweetener as I don’t find the taste overly bitter, but when I whip up my next batch I will definitely give it a go.)

thumbnail_img_0729Benefits of brushing with Coconut Oil:

1/ Coconut oil contains naturally occurring Lauric Acid. This is a medium chain (MCT) fatty acid which when broken down by the bodies enzymes forms monolaurin. Monolaurin has antibacterial properties – so it’ll destroy the harmful bacteria that can occur in the mouth (most common suspects are strains of the streptococcus bacteria).

2/ Surfactants break down phospholipids on the tongue; this interferes with the function of your taste buds and makes everything have a more bitter taste (which is why if you eat after your brushing your teeth it’s always pretty nasty.) Meanwhile, coconut oil has an effective
anti-bacterial effect without affecting the natural lipid balance.

3/ It’s completely environmentally friendly –

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image: shutterstock.com

enough said.

 

 

Why use Bicarbonate of Soda?

1/ Bicarbonate of Soda hovers around the 8.3 mark on the pH scale. This means it helps your mouth maintain an alkaline environment, which can prevent tooth decay and problems with gum health as the ‘nasty bacteria’ that try to live in your mouth tend to flourish in a more acidic setting of pH 5-6.

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2/ It’s an entirely natural mild abrasive – which with regular use can help remove and prevent surface stains from forming on your teeth. (Lots of the big names in the dental hygiene industry actually use baking soda in their own products including Colgate, Aquafresh and Sensodyne!)

 

 

 

And finally…

The Essential Oils – they offer much more than just a nice taste and smell!

All Essential oils come with their own awesome and varying qualities, but for toothpaste
its best to go for ones with antibacterial, antifungal and healing properties.

My Top 3 Suggestions would be:

Peppermint – great for killing anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in environments with low oxygen, such as the mouth) and provides that minty taste we all associate with tooth brushing.

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Cinnamon – provides super strength against streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus plantarum – the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. More importantly (maybe) it’s FESTIVE! So why not present your family with cinnamon flavoured toothpaste as stocking fillers this year?! Give the Gift of ‘Good Gum Health!’

 

 

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image: organicfacts.net

Clove – This has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine to help relieve tooth pain; it also has strong germicidal properties that make it great for killing off any nasty microorganisms.

 

 

Finally, the best reason to ever make stuff yourself?

D.I.Y is FUN!!!

Try this recipe out, give it a few days and see what you think – your mouth will thank you!

5 tbsp Coconut Oil – you want it to be softened but not melted and as always virgin is best as it’s less processed

5 tbsp Bicarbonate of Soda

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image: 123rf.com

1 tsp Xylitol / Stevia**

(** Sweetener is entirely optional and taste dependent, you can add more or less or leave it out completely!)

 

Throw all of these ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a spoon or spatula, transfer to a re-usable container and you’re good to go!

Let me know how you get on or if you have any toothpaste tricks you want to recommend!

Below are a few good sites if you want some more information on fluoride and toothpaste in general:

http://fluoride.mercola.com/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-fluoride-safe/

http://www.dentalbuzz.com/2014/12/30/toothpaste-can-do-more-harm-than-good/

“The Kiwi to my Heart”: A Modern Day love story of a Kale and Kiwi Smoothie

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I love all things green.

If you’ve read my recipe for the ‘Pina Kale-Ada’ you’ll know I especially love my smoothies to be green!

I just think there’s something beautiful about starting that day with a big ol’ cup of Green Goodness. It pretty much makes me feel like a Shiny Happy Health NinjaAnd that is such a good feeling.

With this is mind, let me introduce you to:

“The Kiwi to my Heart”

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A tasty blend of banana, lime, kale and…you’ve guessed it, KIWI!

Kiwis have a lot more to offer other than just their emerald green aesthetics; they come with a range of pretty awesome health benefits…thumbnail_img_0727

1/ High levels of Magnesium – Magnesium is vital for energy production. It also helps control nerve and muscle function as well as regulating blood glucose and blood pressure. Ultimately, it just helps you ‘feel good’!

2/ High levels of Vitamin E – This Vitamin is normally found in products like margarine, processed salad dressings and sunflower oil. In fact, Kiwi Fruits are one of the only fat free sources of Vitamin E. Which means they’re great for helping to lower cholesterol and giving the bodies immunity a little boost.

3/ High levels of Vitamin C – In case the immunity boost from Vitamin E wasn’t good enough… kiwis also contain approximately 230% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C!  This means they are going to help the body to maintain healthy bones and blood vessels while also assisting in the absorption of iron – this is particularly important if you’re Vegan as lots of people living on a plant based diet find they struggle to hit their recommended iron intake!

Given the huge does of Vitamin C provided by the kiwis it just makes sense to combine them with kalewhich has higher levels of iron than red meat, but is completely cruelty free! It means the two ingredients can really help each other out to make sure your body is getting the most out of what you’re eating.

So while the winter mornings are getting darker, why don’t you try and make your drinks a little brighter!

“The Kiwi to my Heart” Recipe:

2 kiwi fruits 

1 large handful of kale 

½ lime 

1 banana 

+ your favourite non-dairy mylk

 

Then just throw everything in your blender and get whizzing!

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This recipe is just perfect as a Smoothie Bowl for a lazy Sunday Morning Breakfast in Bed – it pairs very well with re-runs of The Gilmore Girls!

‘Nutt-Ele’: The VEGAN Nutella

I’d be lying if I said that before I went Vegan there weren’t evenings when I’d gotten home from work so thumbnail_img_0688exhausted that all I could manage in terms of ‘supper’ was to grab a jar of Nutella and a spoon and just go to town! Unfortunately since becoming Vegan I haven’t found an alternative product that quite manages to hit the spot in the same way… So I decided to take matters into my own hands.  

Thus, let me introduce you to ‘NUTT-ELE’! A deliciously creamy, nutty and chocolate-y ‘Raw Protein Butter’ that is IDEAL for thickly spreading on toast, topping off porridge bowls or just combining with an apple for a quick and healthy snack on-the-go!

This recipe gives you all the taste of Nutella but it’s entirely gluten, refined sugar and CRUELTY free; an absolute all-star blend – it’s also so easy to whip up that its left me feeling slightly embarrassed that I didn’t try it years ago! And what’s even better is because of the lack of added nasties all the natural health benefits of the ingredients can really shine through…

Sassy Side Effects of Hazelnuts:

1/ Vitamin E – this is super important for skin health, it contains naturally occurring anti-oxidants which help prevent damage from external stresses like pollution and sun damage – If you fancy a quick science summary of how this works exactly then please read on, if not skip to point number 2…

The atoms that make up your body try really hard to maintain an even number of electrons; it’s what makes them ‘stable’. It an atom has uneven numbers of electrons it is going to try and steal one from a nearby atom to even itself out. When your skin is harassed by things like pollution and UV rays it produces ‘free radicals’ which are atoms with uneven numbers of electrons. These whizz around the body stealing the necessary electrons from your happy healthy cells, leading to cellular damage. It’s at this point where you want to grab your jar of ‘Nutt-Ele’! The Vitamin E in the hazelnuts provides a really powerful dose of anti-oxidants that the body is unable to produce by itself. These go around hunting down those free-radicals and neutralizing them to prevent further damage – SKIN SCIENCE IS AWESOME! You can also apply Vitamin E topically – I’ll talk about this another day, but as always if you can incorporate it in to your diethumbnail_img_0687t then that’s the best way to help your body out.

2/ Digestive Health – they contain high levels of manganese which is an enzyme activator and catalyst in the break-down of fatty acids and cholesterol. The same enzyme also promotes the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates in the body.

3/ Heart Health – I already mentioned how the manganese helps improve cholesterol, but these Nice Nuts also contain high levels of unsaturated fats – these are the fats which are actually good for you as they reduce the bad cholesterol while naturally increasing the good! On top of that, one cup of hazelnuts has half of your recommended daily allowance of Magnesium; this regulates the calcium levels in your muscles, more specifically in your heart muscle – ensuring it maintains a healthy regular beat.

So, without further ado… Go grab some nuts and a NutriBullet and let’s BLEND!

‘Nutt-Ele’ Recipe: These measurements will make a small jar perfect for one person

100g Hazelnuts – I use unroasted to help keep this recipe Raw, but roasted works just as nicely

4 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1 tsp Pure, Virgin Coconut Oil

2 tbsp Almond Mylk – or any non-dairy mylk of your choosing

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:

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Starting to get creamy, now throw in the cacao


1 tsp Maca Powder – one of my current obsessions

 

2-3 Scoops Protein Powder – I LOVE the BodyMe Organic Plant Protein Blend because it combines lots of different plant based proteins; including rice, hemp and sunflower – so it’s not only balanced but it manages to serve up a massive 22g of Protein!

Put the hazelnuts in the cup with 1 tbsp of Almond Mylk and the Coconut Oil. Give this a whizz until you start to get a smooth consistency (as in the picture to the right). At this point add in all the remaining ingredients and blast until smooth and creamy.

Give this a try and let me know how you get on!

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