Sunday, 4 August 2013

Health and beauty from the inside out

I thought I would share a few of my favourite products that can be used internally or externally to help you feel healthy and look beautiful.

Coconut oil (unrefined, raw)

Internal benefits
 Coconut oil is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason! Its health properties are too long to list, it tastes fantastic and is one fat that wont make you fat. This oil as a majority is made up of medium chain fatty acids that actually have some fat burning potential and are not absorbed in the body like a regular fat. Therefore, if you are trying to loose weight it is definitely something fantastic to incorporate into your diet. It is also anti fungal, anti-bacterial, has been shown to help protect against dementia, helps fight diabetes, promotes cardiovascular health and is great for your immune system (just to name a few incredible benefits).

It is also one of the healthiest oils to cook with as it has a very high smoking point. This means it takes a very high temperature to make it go rancid. so when heating oils, coconut is one of your best choices.

You can eat it straight from the jar, use it as a butter/margarine substitute in cooking or as a spread or just add it to any dish. Just make sure you use the unrefined variety.

External uses
The use of coconut oil is not just restricted to the kitchen. It makes a wonderful moisturiser for the skin. Applying a thin layer of coconut oil to the skin after showering will leave your skin glowing and smooth. Want shinny, soft, damage free hair. You can apply coconut it to your hair, leave it in for a few hours and then wash thoroughly. Your hair will be shinier than ever before!

Oral hygiene
This oil is also great for oral hygiene. Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic tradition using coconut oil as a means of dental care. This involves swishing a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes a day. After swishing spit out the oil and brush your teeth. The oil kills bacteria, helps keep your gums healthy and even has the potential to whiten your teeth!

Apple cider vinegar

Internal benefits
Apple cider vinegar is another one of my favourite products at the moment. I consume 2 teaspoons in a glass of warm water before breakfast every day. This is a great way to stimulate your digestive system and get your body ready for the day ahead. Many people find that by having apple cider vinegar before meals they are better able to digest their food and relieve bloating. Due to its alkalizing effect on the body, it is also a general all round healthy drink, helping to balance out the negative effects of the modern day diet. Just make sure to drink it through a straw or brush your teeth straight after as it can damage your tooth enamel after prolonged use.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used to make a delicious salad dressing!

External benefit
I have recently learned that apple cider vinegar can be used as a wash for your hair. It will leave your hair silky, smooth and shinny. I like yo mix a cap full into my conditioner, apply to hair and leave in for a few minutes. Or you can use it as a rinse and pour it over your hair after shampoo and conditioner. You will just love how soft your hair

Natural nail polish

This one is for external use only, but will definitely help make you feel and look beautiful. Everything you put on your skin, hair or nails will be absorbed into your body and that is why it is so important to always opt for the most natural products. I am absolutely loving some of the new natural nail polishes on the market. I use both London Butter and Zoya. The Zoya pixie dust collection is an all time favourite of mine with their beautiful sparkling colours. These polishes are so great as the are free of the chemical nasties we want to avoid putting on our skin. Especially if you are someone who wears nail polish all the time it is very important to make sure toxins for the polish are not constantly on your skin. Zoya is also completely safe for pregnant women.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Chocolate date balls

This recipe is a great way to make use of the leftover almond bits after making almond milk. There is nothing better than sitting down with a glass of almond milk and one of these balls.

What you will need:

1 cup dates
1/2 cup almond meal (you can use bought meal if you didnt make almond milk)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Optional extras include puffed quinoa or rice to add texture, 2 teaspoons cinnamon or crunchy cocoa nibs.

Soak dates in warm water while preparing the rest of the mix in a big bowl. Mix all ingredient together.

Drain the water from the almonds and place in a blender or food processor with a quarter of the other ingredients and blend. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until smooth.
Pour some extra dessicated coconut onto a board. Roll mixture into balls and cover in the coconut. You could also roll them in Cinnamon or dip them in melted dark chocolate. Then place them in the fridge to set for half an hour and enjoy :)

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a fantastic and very healthy alternative to regular milk. It tastes delicious, is lactose free and is full of wonderful nutrients. Best of all it is just so simple to make!

All you will need is:
1 cup of almonds
3 cups of water
Sweetener of your choice (stevia, honey, agave for example).
And optional additions for extra flavour such as vanilla or cinnamon

Soak almonds in water overnight. Drain the water and rinse thoroughly. Then place the almonds and water into the blender and blend for a few minutes until the water turns a nice white milky colour.

Place either a strainer or muslin cloth into a jug or bowl. Pour mixture into strainer/cloth and squeeze mixture until all the liquid is separated from the nut meal.

Add sweetener to taste. There you have it, your home made almond milk.

At the end of this you should be left with almond meal which I like to use to make chocolate date balls yum!