A momentary lapse of judgement

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Life is so easy once your home and life are green and toxic free. You almost get lulled into false hope believing that the rest of the world live in the same little bubble you do. What goes in and out of your home is so routine now. You know the trusted brands and ingredients. You have your skin care sorted. Your kitchen sorted. Your laundry sorted. Your food sorted. Life is good.

That was until I suffered a momentary lapse of judgement. It only took a second.

In preparation to selling our home, we decided it needed a repaint. I discussed low and no VOC paints with the painter. We used low VOC paints in our previous home that I painted entirely myself and they were lovely. This time with Mr one-year-old-and-a-bit, I don’t have the opportunity to paint myself. It’d take me years! Mr painter assured me that paints these days are all pretty good and in my momentary lapse of judgement I didn’t follow up my usual research.

Which leads me to now.. My entire family sleeping to the fumes of what smells like seriously toxic paint!!! How could I be so stupid as to have let this into my home!!!!

They say that new paint can emit hideous levels of VOC’s and half of them in the first year!! Yikes!! And are allergy, asthma and cancer causing little nasties!!! So now I’m on a mission to absorb as many of these hideous little bastards that I can!

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have made this mistake so I thought I’d share with you the solutions I have found so far…

1. Onions
Apparently cut onions are wonderful absorbers of toxic smells. I’m not sure the onion smell is going to be all that lovely either but this is the first thing I plan to do this morning. I have read that if you dice two onions to a room, spread them widely on a plate and leave them to dry for a few days they will reduce the smell and the VOC’s considerably.

2. Fresh air
Well this is a given really! Open windows. Doors. Whatever you can open, open it!! Fresh air is amazing!!

3. Indoor plants
I’m not a lover of indoor plants as I am a firm believer that a beautiful garden and open windows is the bomb but I’m willing to change my judgement for a while… Potted gerberas are apparently really good for removing toxins so I’m willing to work with that…

4. Essential oils
I didn’t realise but burning essential oils can rid indoor air of toxins and petrochemicals! Nice!!

5. Charcoal
I don’t have research to support this one but I have a cupboard full of fabulous charcoal that is a wonderful electromagnetical absorber so I’m sure it’ll work nicely on the VOCs. It’ll be filling every room of my room just nicely!

Fingers crossed these work.

xx

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It’s a new world..

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adult_hand_with_baby_hand_webTwo weeks ago tomorrow, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful little boy into the world.

It wasn’t the birth we’d planned but then again what in nature can be planned…

We dreamed of a natural birth. A birth that began when our baby decided it was time. A calm hypnobirth. Drug free. Delayed cord clamping. Natural placenta birth. etc….etc…

Induced at 37 weeks due to low amniotic fluid, we had two days to get our heads around the fact that our entire birth plan was about to go out the window. We both became very fearful. What we believed was in our hands, was now TOTALLY out of our hands! We feared for the cascade of intervention. The high chance of ending up with epidurals, complications and the risk of caesarean. This was not a road we wanted to walk.

Enter stage-right our beautiful Doula Emma Stewart. A few fear release sessions later and her continuous support and unbroken pelvic massage, my husband and I delivered our little boy six and a half hours later, induced with Syntocinon, yet entirely drug free. Against our wishes, our little one had his cord instantly clamped and cut and less than five minutes of skin on skin contact before he was whisked away into neonatal. Soooo totally not the birth we planned for him but the most important thing was that he was out… Safely!!! The rest could not be changed.

So, we began our lives as a family. Where two become three. Where love goes deeper than one could ever imagine.

Our little one is simply perfect.

They say that in centuries gone by and in many traditional cultures still today, a woman is nurtured for six weeks after becoming a mother. She eats warming food that is cooked for her, not by her. Her belly is oiled and bound to help her uterus to contract and return to size. Her every need is fully met. Her only job, to focus on herself and her baby. More often than not, she is bed-rested for six whole weeks!

The modern world we live in has totally eradicated this bonding and recovery time. Mothers are expected to return to life asap after labour… To not do so, shows weakness.

How wrong this thought pattern is….

We have been truly blessed to have had my family cooking, cleaning and shopping for us the last ten days whilst we three bond as a little family. A total godsend! I believe this has been the reason why two weeks later, our home is calm, peaceful, clean and totally functioning. Our hearts are open and filled with love. Our lives are enriched, not stripped away. Our baby sleeps. And our little family is happy and complete.

I can say that placenta encapsulation is worth it’s weight in gold! What our little one missed out on with his umbilical cord being cut within seconds of his birth, he is now benefitting through my body and my breast milk. Not to mention, my risk of postnatal depression has been severely minimised.

My mother sent me today for THE most amazing body scrub and facial at Bodhi Health and Beauty Spa here in Perth. For nearly two hours, I was pampered by Michelle, using my favourite organic and toxic free Sodashi products. My body was scrubbed and detoxed from head to toe and made to feel alive, complete and once again my own. After 10 months of not being able to detox and half of that time not even being able to touch my toes, a layer of skin has been removed from my body, my liver and my soul.

My life is perfect and now my rebirth has begun….

xx

 

Nitrate-free Corned Beef Silverside

The verdict is in!  The organic beef brisket/silverside that I corned at home a few weeks ago without nitrates was voted by ALL that tasted it as “the best corned meat they have EVER tasted!”

With winter rearing its head here in Australia, we are all turning to yummy, bone-warming meals to warm our souls.  My mother used to do a mean Corned Beef so this is always a favourite in our house.  Previously, we have bought the raw store-corned nitrate loaded version, but after how easy and how yummy it is to do yourself at home, NEVER again will I cook a store bought version.

Picture-14-Modern-Gas-FireplacesNitrate is a preservative found in many meat products including bacon, salami and many smallgoods.  It is considered carcinogenic and has been linked to cancer.  What better reason to avoid it at all cost!

Here’s the recipe I adapted from another who had apparently originally adapted it from Alton Brown’s Good Eats.  It will take at least 10 days in the fridge to fully corn and you can freeze in the brine once done.

Corning your meat

  • 2-2.5kg organically reared beef brisket/silverside
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 cup himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Place the water into a large stockpot along with all the dry ingredients. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. At this point it smells beautiful!

Take brine mixture off the stove and leave to cool to room temperature.

Once it has cooled, place the meat in a zip top bag or large glass container with lid and add the brine.  Seal and lay flat, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days.   Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and flip over to stir the brine.

Cooking your Corned Meat 10 days later

  • 2 white onions, whole and peeled
  • 3large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 10 cloves

After at least 10 days, rinse the meat and place into a slow cooker or a pot just large enough to hold the meat.  Add the above ingredients and cover with water.

In a pot, bring to the boil over low heat and simmer for 3 hours until the meat is fork tender.

In a slow cooker, set to low and leave for 7-8 hours.

Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.  In our house we serve it with the onions, carrots, white sauce, mashed potato and peas.  Yummo!

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xx

287 chemicals found in umbilical cord blood

As I gear up toward the next stage of my life, motherhood, I realise that the toxic free life I have chosen is ever so much more important.

A newborn baby

Did you know that an average of 287 different chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood from 10 infants born in US hospitals*?  

This fact shocked me and quite literally stopped me in my tracks!!  What!!  How could a little embryo be subjected to so many chemicals and all before it is even born!!  And that the life-giving umbilical cord is already causing our children harm!

Our bodies are amazing things.  They support life, they are our life!  And for us women, they are the creators of the next generation.

We know that BPA is a hormone disruptor.  (I for one, believe that BPA was a main cause for a micro-ademona found on my pituatry gland a few years ago.  This little lump luckily wasn’t found to be cancerous, but it was playing with my hormones.  Basically, my body had not received Oestrogen for years! This little lump had rendered me infertile and very ill.)  I found my home and my kitchen FILLED to the brim with BPA.  Cans, receipts, plastic containers, shampoo bottles… you name it…

And BPA is only ONE toxic chemical found in our homes and our everyday lives!  There are over 80,000 chemicals in use on this planet.

There are mercury, thiomersal and aluminium in our vaccinations, permeates in our milk, fluoride and aluminium in our water, pesticides on our food, tungsten in wedding rings, lead in our paints and household dust, titanium dioxide in our sunscreens, not to mention the toxic cocktails found in our beauty products…..

So what can we do about it?

We could drop out of society all together.  It may be fun for a while, but totally not practical.  And besides, this blog is about living green in a modern world… Our modern worlds don’t have caves.  So what can we do?

We can rid our homes of chemicals.  Simple.

And we can all eat only organic produce and take a detox supplement such as milk thistle.  Drink green liver loving smoothies.  Sauna it up.  Dry brush your skin.  Drink only filtered water (and NOT out of plastic bottles.)  We can stop over burdening ourselves with chemicals.  Start with cleaning your insides.  I prefer to call it a clean not a detox.  Detox is too harsh and short-lived.  A clean can be gentler and continue forever.

And if detoxing your home and ridding it of chemicals sounds too full on and too expensive, why not focus on one room at a time.  That way it’s achievable.

And remember, a clean home does NOT need to smell clean.  Only the artificial fragrances left behind do.

Given the cost of illness to us and our children…. Doesn’t that make clean living all the more economical?

There is only one time to start and that is NOW!

xx

* Wellbeing Magazine, Issue 144

How to detox your hair and skin

1970393557931520_7sXZM65s_cOkay….What you’ve been waiting for!!  My favourite organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers and organic self tanners.

HAIR CARE

All I can say is “Yarok” rocks!!

I have tried pretty much all their hair products and I am soooo in lurve!  I am not a big hair girl.  I wash, treat and straighten my hair.  My hair is chemically lightened and prone to frizziness.  As my hair is frizzy, I aim for a smooth, free-falling feeling, preferring to steer clear from beach type products.  I get enough of that if I leave my hair be!

Well… Yarok’s “Feed your volume” shampoo and conditioner are such lovely products to use.  Unlike other silicon free, natural based shampoos, Yarok’s version feels like your hair has truly been fed!  Your hair feels soft and silky!  The cleanse is a great one too.  No residue left behind.

Their “Feed your Ends” leave-in conditioner……Wow! Love it! So light, yet so nurturing! I  apply this before drying my hair and then once I have straightened I add a few drops of “Feed your Shine” as a serum. Yum!

“Feed your Roots” mousse is great for getting that lift in your volume when you feel like a little oomphhh!

And “Feed your Youth” is a lovely oil based treatment oil that stimulates your scalp and hair to retain, as it says, the youth of your hair!  Just be careful to wash out well as it can leave oily hair if you don’t.

And Yarok’s products seem to work best when styled.

All of Yarok’s products can be found online in Australia at www.nourishedlife.com.au

BATH SOAK

My favourite bath soak is from Perfect Potion.  Detox Bath Soak. Double Yum!  What a luxurious way to detox!  Some Queen B beeswax candles to detox the air around you, some music…maybe a book… Need I say any more!

BODY SCRUBS

Make your own! So easy! Sugar, salt, lemon juice, honey, coconut oil.  Here’s a link to my yummy recipe.

BODY TREATMENTS

Coconut Oil….Coconut Oil…Coconut Oil!!!  Nature’s little secret!!! It is a moisturizer.. an antibiotic… a multivitamin…. a multi-nutrient, boosting, nourishing, anti-aging, anti wrinkle and anti-oxidant lotion…. An all in one skin cream!  And if you buy raw, virgin, organic coconut oil then, it’s super healthy too!  Pure coconut oil will not clog your pores.  Cheaper versions will.

For something a little richer for hands etc I love “Mokosh’s shea body butter!”  So rich and luxurious, you only use sparingly, therefore one jar of this body butter will last forever!

FAKE TAN

If you don’t believe that there could be an organic, all natural, fake tan then you are not alone!!  I researched long and hard before I tried “EcoTan”.  And I am here to tell you that it is the real deal!  The closest fake tan that you can get to nature!  And it is so easy to use and the colour is great!  When used properly, I found none of the streaking that I have found with other well known versions!

TOXIC FREE MAKE-UP AND REMOVER

I am not a huge make up wearer so this an area I am still researching.  What I can tell you though is Lavera and Zuii are fabulous toxic free make up brands.  Their lippies are DIVINE!!!!  I am especially in lurve with Lavera.

For a make up remover, I love “Mokosh’s Organic Makeup Remover“.

For make up, head straight to the experts!  Three fabulous Australian online stores that stock only toxic free make up that works!  These stores and their creators are inspirational people.  I am sooo proud to be able to share them with you.

Nourished Life

B kind

I am Natural Store

Hope my Greening your bathroom series has helped you on your way to detoxification.

Part one: Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health

Part Two: Toxic free skin care

Namaste ♥

xx

My liver, my home and my life

1336443251611845When I started on my journey to detoxification, I didn’t really know what I was looking for.  I thought I was clean.  I thought I was healthy.  I thought I felt good.  I thought I had it all going on well…..   Little did I know!  My wake up call was a morning of EXCRUTIATING abdominal pain that found me in hospital.  Unfortunately after 6 hours it disappeared on it’s own, as quickly as it began.  Therefore I never received a proper diagnosis.  It was suspected that it was either gallstones or a burst ovarian cyst.  Neither sounded good.

Never wanting to experience that agony again, I decided right then and there that the health of my gallbladder and liver were of strong importance!  Naturopaths, Homeopaths, Iridologists, Native American Medicine Men….(yes!  So true!)  have always told me that my liver was sluggish.  Funny I thought cos I am not a drinker.  I do not smoke.  I live simply and healthily.  It was only now that I took their advice!

“Fair, fat and forty”  was how my mother always described the victims of gallstones.  I have learned now that there are actually 5fs.  Fair, fat, female, fertile and over forty.  One, yes I am fair.  Two, weighing in at 48kgs I would never consider myself fat!  I am a yoga loving, pilates freak with a six pack!  And as for over forty……. Well, I’m not there YET!!!!  So how?

I started on a cleanse of fats and sugars from my diet.  I increased my fibre intake and started taking supplements like chia seeds, mesquite powder, maca powder, bee pollen and increased my LSA intake.  I replaced chocolate with homemade cacao balls made with agave syrup.  I added EVERYTHING coconut into my diet.  I cut out red meat for a period.  Being gluten free, I didn’t eat wheat but I did have rye bread for breakfast.  This I cut out.  I replaced my breakfast with my green smoothie.  My lunch was yoghurt and oats with the above supplements.  Dinner was fish or chicken and LOADS of fresh and raw veges and salads.  My treats were my cacao balls, dates and sesame seeds.  My once a day medicine, 2 tablets of “Fusion Liver Tonic” and I teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.

I also cleansed my home of the small amount of toxins that existed.  I greened my bathroom cabinet.  I even tried a old chinese gallbladder cleanse.

Things happened slowly but it’s amazing looking back four months now.  I do not crave sugar.  My energy levels are more consistent.  I don’t crave fatty foods when I’m tired.  The biggest surprise for me is that my body has ridded itself of cellulite!  What?!!  Yeah I agree….I never thought it was possible!   And the best thing…. my pain has not returned!

I have a few people and companies to thank for my new found health.  One is “Loving Earth”, a fabulous Australian company putting our health and the health of the planet at the forefront of their business.  They have a fabulous online recipe log of YUMMY, healthy meals!  Another is a fabulous Aussie woman called Irene who runs “Nourished Life.”  Initially writing a blog about detoxifying her cosmetics, she has grown into a one stop online advice and store designed to make toxic free products easy, delivered to your door and reasonably priced.  She has taught me that my so called “healthy” home was actually still full of toxic chemicals that were greenwashed!!  For that, thank you Irene!

So I told you that in my next blog I would tell you more about beautiful organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers, organic self tanners and some fabulous online web sites that only sell guaranteed toxic free products.  I think they deserve a blog of their own…..

Stay tuned! ♥

xx

Toxic free skin care

“Your body is a temple.”

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Your body has the ability to absorb up to two and a half kilograms of toxic chemicals every year through your skin.  So why not make today the day you choose to start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health.

This is the second post in my series on Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health.

So where do you start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health?

The truth is there are some FABULOUS healthy and totally toxic free products out there on the market and for NO more than you already pay for those mainstream toxic bottles of chemicals found in supermarkets, department stores and chemists.  So, where do you go to find these FABULOUS products from companies that are leading the way in healthy, non-toxic skin care and make-up that is world class and that really does work?

I am soooo excited to share my findings with you!!

I can assure you that I am not paid for any of my opinions and that I will only blog about a product I have found that is fabulous.  And a product I have thoroughly tested.  Therefore my results can only contain the products I have been blessed to sample so far.  And I can vouch 100% (to the best of my knowledge) that the products I have listed are toxic free, chemical free and are not tested on animals.

I have been a Jurlique girl for years.  Loving their products.  Loving their ethics.  Loving that they are natural based.  Loving that they are Australian made.  Loving that they are cruelty free.  Loving their recyclable packaging.  Loving how my skin felt whilst using their products.  What I didn’t know was that they still use some pretty harsh preservers in some of their products.  The good thing is that every product lists their entire ingredients, therefore giving you full power as to what you buy.

These chemicals led me on a journey to try and find alternatives to my favourite products, but by no means compromising quality and results.  I would describe my skin as normal/sensitive and pigmented in parts.   As my skin ages, I find that quality and results becomes so very much more important.  It is more than slapping on some cream and heading out the door.  It is about preserving and protecting what I have now, for the future.

Through this blog I have been blessed to have had the luxury of sampling some wonderful toxic free products and have also come into contact with some fabulous online stores that stock them.

Below are the products that I have firmly planted into my new GREEN bathroom cabinet.

So let’s start with the basics.  Our cleanse, tone and moisturise routine.

CLEANSERS

Unfortunately, I can only speak of my results and I have tried numerous cream cleansers over the past few months but no foaming cleansers.  I do have to say I am a “foaming” cleanser girl so I was not sold on any of the products I tried.  Therefore I am not able to make comment on cleansers at this time.

EXFOLIATORS

I “lurve” Sodashi’s Rejuvenating Concentrate.  An oil based steaming exfoliant with lavender, geranium and lemon that you compress onto your face with a wash cloth.  It smells beautiful and opens up your pores so effectively.  My skin feels so supple, fresh, clean and alive after using this product.  Highly Recommended.

My skin also appreciates a manual exfoliant.  I sampled Evohe’s Exfoliant that I really enjoyed but unfortunately I didn’t have enough for more than two scrubs so I cannot vouch for the long term effectiveness on my skin.  With cacao powder and lotus seeds, it is truly a beautiful product.  My skin felt clearer, smoother and lighter and absorbed my moisturiser beautifully!  Highly Recommended.

TONERS

Evohe’s Mist is lovely.  With Colloidal Silver and Vitamin E, this anti-inflammatory mist contains an Australian bush blend of lovely natural scents.

MOISTURISERS

There are three moisturisers that I am loving.  The first is Evohe’s Moisture 24/7 Lite, a really easy moisturiser to wear in humid Australian summer conditions.  Non oily it absorbs well without leaving a layer of residue.  For a little bit more punch, I tried adding a pump of Evohe’s 3.6.9 Omega and also my favourite, Inessence Rosehip Oil.  Both combined really well and gave a little more moisturisation if needed.

The second is Sodashi’s Calming Face and Neck Moisturiser.  For night, I found this product fantastic!  It is great for drier, temperate Australian climates.  My skin felt wrapped, safe and nurtured.

The last product I have been loving is Mokosh’s Light Face Cream.  I recently had a work trip to Taiwan during a bitterly cold Taiwanese typhoon winter.  OMG! It was cold!  To give you an idea, my job is an outside job, so for a week I was exposed to the elements for 8-10 hours a day.  This cream was truly remarkable in the way that it protected my skin from the extreme conditions and kept it moisturised!   This cream was my lifesaver!Since returning home, I have been using this cream instead of my eye cream and I believe it is THE best eye cream I have EVER used!  Highly Recommend.

NATURAL FACE OIL

As you know, I am a HUGE Rosehip Oil fan.  For something a little lighter, there is another oil I have been enjoying and that is Mokosh’s Natural Face Oil for Normal and Combination Skin.  A beautiful blend of unrefined, organic and biodynamic oils, this oil smells beautiful and feels divine.

In my next posts I will share with you some beautiful organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers, organic self tanners and some fabulous online web sites that only sell guaranteed toxic free products.  These stores and their creators are inspirational people!!!  I am sooo proud to be able to share them with you.

xx

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Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health

RackMultipart20130103-6661-9w4hdvSo it is January.  A new year.  A time of detox.  A time of renewal.  A time of change.

What better way to renew, detox and change than by starting the new year with the resolution to change the products that load your body with toxins everyday, silently, without you ever even noticing?  You can only eat so much healthy food, work out so much in the gym or in the park and drink water till the cows come home…. These things are great but the sad fact is they are not going to detoxify you if you are still lathering your body in the harshest and most harmful toxic chemicals known to man!!!

  • Suffer from eczema?
  • Suffer from acne?
  • Suffer from psoriasis or rosacea?
  • Do you have joint problems?
  • Sleeping troubles?
  • Hayfever?
  • Pigmentation?
  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Do you suffer hair loss?
  • Eye irritations?
  • Headaches?
  • Tiredness?
  • Cellulite?

All these symptoms are caused directly by toxic chemicals and are a sign that your liver is struggling to cope.  Over time, research can show these chemical overloads can lead to conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

Would you believe, your body has the ability to absorb up to two and a half kilograms of toxic chemicals every year through your skin!!!

These chemicals include carcinogens, pesticides, endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxins.  These same chemicals are Formaldehydes.  Paint thinners.  Anti freeze.  Petroleum.  Lead.  And the scary thing is that there is NO safety watchdog watching over the beauty industry!!  So when you reach for that cheap bottle of cosmetics, PLEASE (for you and your family’s sake) think again…

So how do you start to change the products you bring into your bathroom cabinet and your home?  There is no safe way other than to throw all those expensive products out, recycle the bottles and start again.  If you can’t bear to do that, then at least promise yourself and your family that you will buy differently once you have used all that shampoo… Or moisturiser…. Or lip gloss… Or mascara….

There are some FABULOUS healthy and totally toxic free products out there on the market and for not much more than you already pay.  Unfortunately the way forward is not easy, as the only way to know that you are truly safe is to read the ingredients on every single packet and bottle you buy.  Companies like Sukin whitewash their products as natural and healthy, when really they still contain Phenoxyethanol (A product similar to formaldehyde.  According to a warning by the FDA of 2008, “Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants” – Wikipedia.)

I have been blessed to have had the luxury of sampling some fabulous Australian and International products from companies that are leading the way in fabulously healthy, non-toxic skin care and make-up that is world class and that really does work.

Over the next few blogs, I hope to share some of these, and the fabulous online stores that stock them, with you.

I hope you stick around to find out more…

xx

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