A Re-Examined Life

Canberra girl’s mission to live a more natural, sustainable life.


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Purity Products

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Well it has been quite some time between posts and that is because I have been a very busy person.  There is my going full-time job, there is taking care of my lovely family (also a full-time job), taking care of my lovely home and garden (also a full-time job), and then there is that minor other thing I have been doing over the past 6 months….. starting my own business!!

Here is how it happened……Over the last couple of years of writing the blog I have found there are generally 3 types of people who read my blog:  there are those who jump straight onboard the “make-it-myself” train, there are those who are super keen to make their own products but would like a bit of assistance to get them going,  and then there and those who don’t have time, or maybe just aren’t into making their own stuff at all.

So here is what I decided…..

For those of you already on the train, yay!  I will keep posting on the blog 🙂

For those of you who would like some assistance, I have designed some workshops to provide said assistance 🙂

And for those of you in the last group, I have decided to make the products for you🙂

And hence the birth of Purity Products!

Purity products (as I am sure you would expect!) are about trying to live a more pure, natural, and sustainable life.

Purity Products are handmade from 100% natural ingredients that are, where possible, organic, and sourced from local business who are environmentally and socially responsible.

At the moment I am selling 3 products, all 3 of which I have posted the recipes on here before, they are my favourite.  I also have some other products in the pipeline which are going through the “testing” stages, so keep an eye out for those 🙂

So please go and check out my new web and  Facebook page and, of course, feel free to put in an order 🙂


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Yeah… baby

I am pretty excited that I have found some time to write a blog.

Last week, one of my gorgeous friends held a this-is-not-a-baby-shower-baby-shower, (she called it a pre-baby lunch), she also requested that no one bring her presents.  But, as if that was every going to happen!

So I decided to get busy making some baby products,  I had so much fun making these, and I am pretty chuffed with the end result.  I just wish I had been into making this stuff when my little ones were younger.  My Google search returned plenty of easy, Steph-proof baby products you can make.

Speaking of being Steph-proof, I thought that, given how fabulous these baby products I made are, that you might start to think that I that this whole “I am not naturally good at all this “making natural stuff from scratch” business is made up.  So I want to take a moment to show you what didn’t make it into the this-is-not-a-baby-shower, baby-shower-gift-bag.  I decided to put some sweet treats into the bag, but the “it doesn’t get more simple than these 3 ingredient” cookies, (that I have actually made before mind you), didn’t make it into the bag.

“They” didn’t make it into the bag, mainly because I didn’t end up with cookies.  I ended up with a cookie.  A half burnt, half raw cookie.

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Yep, she’s a beauty.

But let’s now leave that behind me, and get on with the good stuff that did make it into the bag.

I did manage to get some delicious chocolate fudge into the bag.  I made my favourite, simple-as chocolate fudge recipe, that I use from the gourmande in the kitchen website.

 

 

 

 

What also did make it into the bag were these little beauties

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For the little baby I made nappy cream, and baby oil, and for the mummy-to-be, some bath salts (hopefully she will manage to find some time to use them!).

They are all in recycled jars, the baby oil and the bath salts are in maple syrup jars, and the nappy cream is in a pesto jar.

The nappy cream uses coconut oil as the base, (and actually, if you haven’t got time to make this cream, you can just use plain coconut oil as your nappy cream).  Coconut oil has (look out, I’m about to get clinical) antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, or for those who are not as clinically minded as I am, it basically means, that when it comes to healing skin, coconut oil is the business.

The baby oil uses olive oil as the base, olive oil is the king of skin moisturizing, and it also contains antioxidants which, which help keep skin young.  (now most people only start to consider how to keep their skin looking young once they already have old-looking skin, this kid is going to be way ahead of the game).

The bath salts use magnesium (epsom salts) as the base.  Magnesium deficiency is a serious issue in our society today, (statistics say 68%, or 2 out of 3 people suffer from magnesium deficiency).  One of the best ways to replenish magnesium in your body is through your skin, either using magnesium oil, or soaking yourself in it in a bath.   Magnesium baths can provide a bunch of health benefits including reducing inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps, managing headaches, and improved circulation.

All the products contain:

Calendula – anti-inflammatory and antiseptic super powers, assisting tissue regeneration.

Chamomile – antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic super powers.  It is also considered to be hypoallergenic, which basically means it can help neutralise skin irritants.

Lavender – is pretty much good for everything, but to narrow it down to a few things, it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal, pain relieving, calming, and relaxing super powers.

If i was selling this stuff, it would be my “Mum’s and Bub’s Super Hero” range…..

Here’s how to make them:

Nappy Cream

3/4 cup of organic coconut oil

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon (or more) of organic corn flour

20 drops of  Lavender essential oil

I put the coconut oil into a glass jar and sat it in a saucepan of water over a low heat, once the coconut oil had melted I added in all the tea leaves and left it on a very low heat for about 3 hours.  Don’t let the water in the saucepan boil, and keep an eye on it, you will need to top it up.   When the time is up, remove from the heat and strain the oil through a colander to remove all the tea.  Set aside the coconut oil to harden (you can put it in the fridge speed up the process).  Once the coconut oil has solidified, add in the essential oil and corn flour combine.  Then get out your stick blender and whip it up so its nice and creamy.  Stick in the jar –  you’re done.

Baby Oil

1 cup of organic olive oil

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

Pretty much the same as above, chuck all the ingredients into a glass jar and pop it into a saucepan of water, over a low heat, for about 3 hours.  When the time is up, strain it, stick it in the jar and yep, you are done.  (A note on this one, as olive oil has such a strong scent, dont waste your lavender essential oil trying to get this one to smell like lavender, it wont work).

Bath salts

Epsom Salts

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

Lavender essential oil

Stick all the dry ingredients into the bottle, filling it up to about 3/4 full, and give it a good shake.  Put in about 20 drops of essential oil, and give it another good shake.  Then fill the bottle to the top with dry ingredients, and shake it some more.  That is it.

Here is a picture of the back of the bottles with my cute labels listing out all the ingredients.

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What baby products are you making?


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101 uses for garlic

Last time I talked to you about my cold sores and this week I am going to talk about my warts. Yes, cold sores AND warts, I am a picture of loveliness. Well actually I don’t have any cold sores or warts at the moment, and that is because I have found genius ways of getting rid of them.

I have had my fair share of warts over the years and have tried many unsuccessful ways to get rid of them. They always grow back, even the ones I had “burnt” off at the doctor’s surgery grew back. I found the only thing that seemed to get rid of them was time, but warts sure do take their time about leaving, and mine would usually last for at least a year or two.

But that was before I discovered just how cool garlic is.  In the last couple of years I have used garlic to encourage a couple of warts to make a quicker exit. And when I say quicker, I mean in under a week.

My suggestion would be to do this at night, in the privacy of your own home, where it is perfectly acceptable for you to stink like garlic.  All you have to do is get a lovely little garlic clove and take cut yourself a slice. Place this slice over the wart and give the wart a really good rub and get all that lovely wart killing garlic juice all over it, and then cover it with a band-aid.  Leave it on when you sleep and repeat for as many nights as it takes for the little wart to depart. That’s it. Goodbye wart.

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Whilst on the subject of garlic I feel I must pay homage to some of the other things garlic could do for you. In addition to helping food be even more delicious, reducing the frequency of colds and providing many therapeutic benefits including reducing the risk of brain, prostate and lung cancer, garlic may (or may not) be able to do the following:

  • Garden bug repellent – I am sure we have all had our own experience of being repelled by the smell of garlic and a number of little pests are affected in the same way. White flies, aphids, cabbage loopers, squash bugs, are repelled by garlic. You can make a garlic spray and apply to your plants.

Blood sucking pests (Mosquitos and vampires) – as above, but spray on your body in place of your plants.
 Acne – in the same way I have successfully removed my warts, you can remove your pimples. Although, depending on the extent of your pimples, it might prove difficult to try and band-aid garlic slices all over face. The suggested treatment here is to cut open the garlic and apply the garlic juice directly on the pimple/s.

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Glass repair – no really. There are plenty of resources on the internet that swear this is true, so therefore it must be.  Apparently garlic juice is a natural adhesive, super glue it isn’t, but people suggest that it can be used to fill in a hairline crack in glass and hold it together.

splinter Splinter removal – you may recall that I have used bicarb for this process, well apparently garlic will do the trick too.

Fish__Bait_1_preview Fish bait – it seems that fish would prefer a bit of seasoning to go with their food. Word on the street is that catfish, carp and any bottom feeding fish will jump at your garlic worms.

maiden_with_long_hair_clip_art_22283  Hair loss help – some people swear that massaging your head with garlic oil can help to bring back previously lost hair. Worth a try?

lover-clipart-lovers130113   Aphrodisiac – Gone are the days of limiting your garlic intake for fear of offending your partner. The “science” behind this one is that garlic increases circulation to your extremities. I’ll leave that there.


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Make it From Scratch – Perfume Recipe

Perfume Recipe

I know I keep saying how crazy simple all my “recipes” are, but that’s because they are…..  Your involvement time in this perfume recipe is around 3 minutes, and you only need 2 ingredients (well unless you consider the bottle you put it in as an ingredient, in that case, it requires 3 ingredients).

But before jumping into the recipe, I want to let you know that when I started down the path of trying to go all things natural, there were two things in particular that took some convincing to get to.  The first was ending my long-term obsession with bleaching my hair, and the other was ending my life-long love of perfumes.  I couldn’t even deal with the idea of doing both at the same time, so I took a staged approach, first tackling the bleach, and then moving to the perfumes.  (Luckily I have decided that I really like my natural dark blonde/soon-to-be-grey hair, so much in fact that I have decided to try to follow through with the natural hair theme and let it do it’s grey thing.  I am currently very much at ease with the 5 or so grey hairs that I have, but I reserve the right to completely backflip on this one, depending on how I feel once there are 100 of them 🙂 ).

I managed to continue my use of perfumes for some time, mainly because I chose to stay away from any information that would make me want to stop using them (kind of like purposely not reading the calorie content on the back of that whole block of chocolate you just ate).  The thing that finally pushed me to stop was other people.  It seemed that, increasingly, my perfumes were having an adverse effect on people around me.  One time in particular I was in a car with a women who had to get out and eat something because the smell made her feel so ill.  I felt pretty awful.  (Interestingly, since I have stopped using perfumes I have developed quite a sensitivity to other people’s perfumes. I often feel nauseous and/or get a headache from other people’s strong perfumes.  Serves me right I guess 🙂 ).  So I decided I should do some reading about perfumes and, among the information I read, there was quite a lot about perfumes/fragrances being triggers for people with allergies, and in particular asthma and eczema.  My youngest son has asthma and my eldest son has eczema.

Perfume recipe

American Beaver

The ingredients used in perfume/fragrances are shifty.  You may recall in my recent post about organic foods , I made reference to castoreum, an ingredient which is sometimes used in food but most often used in fragrances.  That is the kind of ingredient they put into perfume.  I did a bit more reading about castoreum, and the North American Fur Auctions website describes that the beaver castors are used in the perfume industry, and that they are in high demand.  Another thing I learned, is that, in order for the castoreum to be extracted from the beaver, the beaver has to die.  Poor beavers.  I also found it interesting how the perfume industry “sells” this stuff, a website called  “Fragrantica” which is a “fragrance encyclopedia” has a page totally dedicated to castoreum, and here is what they have to say about a product that is extracted from a sac which is located in the pelvis of a beaver “…The scent of castoreum is wild and bodily, lustful and passionate, bestowing the one who wears it a delicate aura of sensuality. This typical warm, carnal, and leather-like scent…” Hmmmmm….

Castoreum is only one of many questionable ingredients that is put into perfume, but it is unlikely you will ever know which, or how many of the questionable ingredients there are in the perfume you are wearing.  This is because the laws that control what goes into cosmetics does not apply to “fragrances”.  Companies can put any number of unlabeled chemicals into a product,  if they are used to make the “fragrance” part.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), who are an American non-profit environmental research group, did a study back in 2010 where they tested a bunch of popular perfumes, cologne and body sprays.  Within the  17 brands they tested, they found 38 unlabeled chemicals.  The winners/losers (depending on how you look at it) were American Eagle “Seventy Seven” with 24 chemicals found, Chanel “Coco” with 18, and Britney Spears “Curious “and Giorgio Armani “Acqua Di Gio” with 17.   But on average, they found that perfumes contained 14 unlabeled chemicals.  Particularly scary too, is that the EWG estimates that only 34% of these unlabeled chemicals have had safety assessments published.  And in August this year, EWG published another article confirming that one of these unlabeled ingredients, “styrene”,  has been confirmed to have the potential to cause cancer.  But you won’t know if it is your fragrance, because, as perviously mentioned,  it won’t be on the label 😦   This applies to any product you from the shop with “fragrance” in it, so not just perfume, but cleaning products, room deodorizers, other cosmetics etc.

Perfume recipe

So whilst I am trying to avoid anything with “fragrance” in it,  I still love nice smelly fragrant things.  So I have made the switch to essential oils. Now, I am a complete novice when it comes to essential oils, I have no idea how to properly blend them, nor to I have any idea about the “properties” and uses of them. I just know what smells nice to me 🙂

Luckily for novices like me,  you can buy essential oil blends, and these are what I have used to make my perfume.

I first started out making a solid perfume from coconut oil and essential oils, and it was OK.  But the coconut oil melts as soon as it gets hot, (although you could counteract this by adding some beeswax), and it will obviously have to have the coconut scent which I didn’t want every time.  And aside from these things, I actually really love a perfume spray.

So I looked online for a perfume spray recipe, but they were all a bit too complicated for me.  But then I was looking up recipes for facial toners and was reading about witch hazel and the article mentioned how witch hazel can be used with essential oils as it doesn’t have any scent.  So I figured that surely it could work as a perfume spray, and it does 🙂

So here is how I have made my own spray perfume

Essential Oil Perfume Recipe

Ingredients:

spray bottle

Witch hazel

Essential oil blend

What to do:

Fill your spray bottle, whatever size it is, almost to the top with witch hazel and then add drops of your essential oils/essential oil blends until it smells nice and perfumy.  (My bottles must be about 50 mls and I put in around 20 – 30 drops of essential oil).  Shake up the bottle and then leave it for a couple of days.  When you first put the oils in, you will see them separate from the witch hazel into little beads, but after the 2 – 3 days, it will all be combined.

So far I have made two, in one I used a blend called “spirit of woman” which is all floral-ly, and the other is a blend called “Buddhist Temple” which is all vanilla-ry.  Both very nice.   You need to be aware that the smell won’t hang around the same way perfume does,  so I give a good spray to my clothes my hair, and then I take the little bottle with me for a respray during the day.

Notes:

I haven’t had any luck finding second hand spray bottles, not in any size.  So I found some cute little 50ml bottles in the $2 shop, I think I got 3 for $2 or something like that, super cheap.

I have bought a bunch of other essential oils, mostly citrus-y ones, and as mentioned, have no idea how to blend them.  I  would love to hear your ideas for making my own blends.  So please post them for me in the comments below 🙂

 


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No Waste Christmas Part II – Recycled Christmas Wrapping

I had the greatest time making all my Christmas presents this year, and I have to say, I rather impressed myself with the result.  My one criticism to myself was that I made WAY too many things, and that in itself probably doesn’t fit so well within the no-waste-christmas spirit, I just couldn’t help myself, I kept finding cool things to give to people :)  In fact, I hadn’t even realised how over the top I had gone until I was texting one of my very clever friends (who also made her christmas presents this year), and we shared the lists of what we were each making, my list kept going and going….. But I am hoping that the use of recycled and sustainable products within the presents and the wrapping, might make up for my mass production of gifts.

So everyone ended up with a hamper, along the lines of the one below.

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And some Christmas Sweeties, just like the ones below.

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Based on the stats in my last blog around Christmas present wrapping, I decided to try to go with all recycled items for wrapping my presents.

The trays I used for the Christmas sweeties were meat and fruit trays I recycled throughout the year, and the tissue paper was out of the boxes from some presents (beautiful candle lanterns) I got for my birthday this year.

The baskets I picked up at my local second-hand shop. I managed to find all of them at once.  The shop originally only had 2 baskets for sale, but when the very kind shop assistant found out I was after some more for my Christmas hampers, she offered to sell me the baskets they were using in the shop.  I happily accepted.

Recycled baskets

I wrapped everything in newspaper, and used some recycled ribbons and squiggly things from presents of days gone by.  One thing I will mention, if you are going to use newspaper for wrapping presents, it is a very good idea to check the contents of the news story on the pages you will be using first.  I didnt do this with my first hamper and ended up re-wrapping it due to the lack of Christmas cheer in the stories on the pages I had wrapped it with 

The wrapped hamper.

recycled christmas wrapping ideas

The wrapped sweeties.

recycled christmas wrapping ideas

And lastly, I cut toilet rolls in half and ironed them flat and then cut them up to make the cards.

I know you are dying to find out all the fabulous items in the hampers and sweeties, but you will have to wait till next time….

Happy New Year :)


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Make it From Scratch – Lavender

Make it From Scratch – Lavender

Lavender farm

OK, so the title of the post is slightly misleading as I haven’t actually made any lavender from scratch.  I am lucky enough to be living in a house which basically has an established lavender farm out the front, and I have started making things from scratch, from the beautifully established lavender.  If you want to make/grow lavender from scratch, just type in “growing lavender” into Google and there are plenty of articles to assist :)

It has taken me over 2 years of living with this lavender farm for me to start using it, and as it turns out, there are stacks of things you can do with lavender. This week I got to drying it, making oil with it and baking with it (until fairly recently I didn’t even know you can eat lavender, but since I found out that lavender is actually considered an herb, that makes perfect sense :) ).

Herbs are really very cool. Not only do they smell and taste great (well generally anyway, please note that in any conversation in which I am talking about how lovely herbs are, I am always excluding dill and coriander – blrgh), but they have medicinal properties and lavender is no exception.  Lavender has historically been used for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic properties, and more recent research  suggests that lavender can help with things like anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as digestive problems like vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas etc.  You can read more about that in an article from medical news today .

One of the easiest ways to get the benefits of lavender is with lavender oil, and you can make your own from fresh lavender.  It is much cheaper than buying lavender essential oil, and you know that if I am telling you to do it, it is super easy. You just need the fresh lavender and a “carrier oil“. I first tried using light olive oil as a number of websites suggested that it would work, but unfortunately it just smells like lavender cooked in olive oil, which does not come close to resembling lavender essential oil, so I went with grape seed oil, and it has worked a treat.  But you could uses jojoba or almond oil, or any other oil that doesn’t actually smell like oil.

All you do is grab a jar and fill it with fresh lavender, then cover it with your carrier oil and put the lid on.  Then bring some water to boil in a saucepan, and once boiling,  take it off the heat and put the jar in the saucepan. Once it has cooled place the jar in a sunny place for a few days for the lavender to infuse the oil.  After a few days check the scent, if it isn’t strong enough, repeat the process until you get the desired level of lavender scent happening in the oil.

Here is mine

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And here is a list from Netherfield, who are New Zealand producers of lavender, of 20 uses for your lavender oil once you have made yours :)

When it comes to eating lavender, as with any other herb, you can eat it fresh or you can eat it dried.  I decided to dry mine as it goes further/lasts longer.  Luckily for me, a few weeks back I had yet another lucky score at the green shed and found a dehydrating machine.  I had been on the look out for one for a while, and this 5 tiered beauty, set me back $5.

Here she is…

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Yep, $5.00.

In my machine the lavender dries in about 2 hours, and whilst it is drying there is the added benefit that the whole house fills up with the lovely smell of lavender.

You can use lavender in all kinds of dishes, I was reading that you can use it in place of rosemary in most dishes, but with my sweet tooth situation, I wanted to make a lavender cake.   And I am sure glad I did, as it was delicious.  The first cake was eaten in about 3 minutes, I didn’t even get a photo of it.  So I decided, for the sake of the blog, that I better make another one the next day so that I could get a photo, however that cake also went in about 3 minutes, before any photos could be taken. I decided that it was very likely that any of these cakes may never make it to a photo.  (To be clear, it is not that I ate both cakes by myself in under 3 minutes, although doing so wouldn’t require too much effort, I had help).  So instead, here is a picture of a lavender coloured cake I found on the internet.  This is a purple yam cake, and at first I thought it was cool to find a purple cake made from a purple vegetable, but then I read the recipe and this radioactive purple colour includes purple and blue food colouring.  Apparently they are quite popular in Singapore, but are yet to take off here in Australia.

Lavender coloured cake

Now I will give you the recipe of the not-lavender-coloured-just-lavender-flavoured- cake recipe so you can make your own, and if you do manage to take a photo before you eat it all, please post it online so other readers can see what it looks  like :)

Lavender syrup cake recipe

Recipe adapted from notgotmuchin.com

Ingredients:

For the cake:

200g apple, peeled and diced.
120g honey
2 eggs
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
120g wholemeal flour
2 tsp aluminium free baking powder
1 pinch unrefined salt
For the syrup:

3 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp Water
Juice of 1 med Lemon

What to do:

Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celsius and line a cake tin with baking paper.  Cook the apple in a saucepan of water until soft, drain the water and then blend it up.   In a seperate bowl combine the honey and eggs, you will need to give this a really good mix as the honey takes a while to mix in with the egg.   Once combined, add the rest of the ingredients, including the apple, and pour into your prepared baking tin.  Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

As with other cakes, cake is cooked when you stick something (as in a utensil, probably best not to stick your finger in it, it will burn and hurt you badly) in it , and it comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking in the oven you can make your syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.  Once sugar is disolved, remove from heat and add the lemon juice.   When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven but leave it in the tin, and whilst it is still hot make some holes all over the top with something, again probably dont use your finger, and then pour the syrup all over the cake.

Let it cool, eat it.  Delicious :)


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A Re-Examined Life

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It was Socrates who said “An unexamined life is not worth living” and recently I have completely re-examined the way I have been living my life.  Well more specifically, I have re-examined my life in relation to  the type of foods I have been eating, the types of cleaning and bathroom/beauty products I have been using, and the amount of waste I have been creating. I decided that I wanted to start eating much more naturally and reduce the amount of stuff I buy from the shops, and in particular processed foods, cleaning and beauty products.

At this point I should mention that I am no Suzy homemaker, in fact I am quite dodgy when it comes to these homemaker type things. You can bet that if there is something that can go wrong with a recipe, I’m going to get it wrong! I’m as busy as the next person and don’t have much spare time so I tend to cut corners, I’m the kind of person who starts a recipe without reading it the whole way through and that rarely ends well!  I have spent a lot of time trying to find the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective  ways to go about the changes and, despite not having any natural ability for this stuff, and the whole “cutting corners” thing, I have managed some success.  I think it would be fair to say that if I have managed some success with this stuff, then anyone can, and it is for this reason that this blog came about.  The  aim of this blog is to document my successes and (sometimes epic) failures in the hope that I can help to inspire other non-Suzy-homemaker types to make changes and to get on board the make-it-yourself train.

The re-examination of my life came as the result of attending a number of workshops and watching a number of really interesting docoumentaries which really got me thinking about the power of food.  A couple that I would highly recommend watching to start with are “Minding your Mitochondria” which is about Dr Terry Wahls who has completely cured her Multiple Sclerosis through changing her diet. “Genetic Roulette” which is all about genetically modified food and the impact it is having on people and animals and the environment.  There is also heaps of interesting research being done on the gut bacteria and the impact this has on our health, “Live Dirty, Eat Clean” is one I watched early on, and recently Catalyst had a couple of episodes on the research being done in this area called “Gut Reaction“.  Really interesting stuff!

Now, not all the changes I am making involve making something, and in this, my very first blog, I wanted to share a couple of the very first changes I made, which require pretty much no effort and no recipes.

The first is change your salt (well unless you are already using unrefined salt, in that case, please do not change your salt).

Pinksalt

Did you know that natural, unrefined Himalayan salt contains 84 nutrients that are vital for life? Did you know that by the time we have finished processing it so that it looks like the pure white stuff you may be used to buying, it contains none? That’s right, zero. Here are a couple of links to some information that I found interesting about salt. This one from the organic authority , and this one from the Wellness Mama .

Basically, salt for eating, should NOT be white. It can be pink, red, black, or grey but it should not be white. White salt provides no nutritional value and actually contains harmful ingredients. But don’t go throwing out your white salt, you can use what you have left for cleaning (cleaning recipes to come!).

The second thing is to use butter, stop using margarine.

Butter

Did you know that plastic is made from oil? I didn’t, but it is, and at a workshop I went to recently I heard that the process through which margarine is made is similar to the one used to make plastic, and if they kept heating the oil during the margarine making process, it would become plastic. Well that sounds fairly disgusting to me.  Now, I couldn’t actually verify this information through my research, but what can be verified though (and is the same as with salt) by the time we have finished processing oils to make margarine, there is no nutritional value left (well that is assuming there was some nutritional value to begin with and it is unlikely that this is the case given the types of oils they use to make margarine). Here is a link that outlines the process for making margarine from the All 4 women website, yep, fairly disgusting.

On the flip side there is increasing information around about the health benefits of butter, butter is full of all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals and has many health benefits. Here is an article from the body ecology website which outlines some of the health benefits of butter . One thing to note here, as outlined in the body ecology article (and this is the case with all dairy), try to go organic.  You can grab a slab of organic butter from any of the major supermarkets for around $4. If not organic, then go with butter that is made from grass-fed animals. Here is a great article about grass-fed butter in Australia from the Optimoz website.

And for now, that is all 🙂