FACECLOTH? NO THANKS!

Today I would like to introduce you to an incredible skin care tool. It is vegan, free from chemicals, colouring, additives and irritants. It is 100% biodegradable and fully sustainable. This tool is made of 100% natural vegetable fibre, is packed with minerals and antioxidants and is environmentally safe and free of toxins.

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The Konjac Sponge Co. travel set of face and body sponges. Comes in a bag for packing and for drying the sponges after use

This is the Konjac sponge! It is made from a potato (Konnyaku) which is a plant native to Asia, and grown at high altitudes. The Konjac potato is full of minerals and is naturally alkaline, which means it is gentle on your skin.

The Konnyaku potato has been used in China, Japan and Korea for over 1500 years in many ways, but especially as a beauty product. The first Konjac sponge that I bought and used was created for delicate baby skin!

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Andalou Naturals konjac sponges

Other companies besides The Konjac Sponge Co sell Konjac sponges – like these ones from Andalou Naturals. Different shapes or colors can mean different degrees of hardness, or that some ingredients have been added to the sponge, like pink clay, volcanic scoria or other “things” –  which help with deep cleaning, cell stimulation and circulation and so on.

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Young Living Orange Blossom Face Wash

I find the sponge is a perfect partner for my Young Living Orange Blossom Face Wash. In fact, just a pea-sized drop of face cleanser on the sponge makes the face wash go much farther, and it suds up much more than using a cotton pad or cotton ball. AND it is so soft on the facial skin…you won’t believe how wonderful it feels! Certainly much, much softer than a face cloth.

Wondering where you can purchase your own? Andalou Naturals are sold in many health food stores as well as some grocery store,s in their health or pharmacy section. I ordered my Konjac Sponge Co set from Amazon.ca – here.  You can also check out the website for the Konjac Sponge Co here.

OIL PULLING

So let’s talk about oral health today. There are MANY scientific studies which have been done over the last 10 years or so which support the idea that most disease actually starts in the MOUTH!  That’s right…your mouth holds a key your wellness. Huh!

What exactly does that mean for us? Well, when the wrong bacteria have a place to thrive, or when the levels of your mouth bacteria get out of balance, the conditions for disease are created. The longer these conditions remain, the more disease can get a strong hold, and eventually wreak havoc with your health.

A case in point is my husband. When he began to have severe health problems, the functional medicine doctor we went to told us he needed to see a special dentist who could assess whether his mouth was the cause of his symptoms. When we did see a “biological” dentist, it WAS found that he had significant areas of bacterial and fungal growth in cavitations (not cavities) which were causing many of his symptoms. Once these areas were dealt with, his health rapidly improved. Although the mouth was not the ONLY problem my husband had, his health did dramatically improve once the mouth was properly taken care of.

So, short of finding a biological dentist and having special work done on the mouth, how can we prevent or help to avoid the problems in the first place? One ancient practise is called “oil pulling”.  On Webmd.com, in an article by Colleen Oakley exploring the effectiveness of oil pulling,  Jessica T. Emery, DMD says,  “This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] that dates back 3,000 years. It involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil — typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil — in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.”

“Unlike some so-called natural home remedies, it’s not a practice that’s based on pseudo-science. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. How? “Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell,” Emery says. “Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.”

Here’s how we do our oil pulling. First, I bought these silicone moulds to make the process easier. Aren’t they cute?

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Next, I fill the molds with pure, cold pressed virgin coconut oil. This makes it easy to get just the right amount of oil each time for the oil pulling.

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Then I put the molds into the freezer. Once the coconut oil is frozen, I pop the coconut oil shapes into a glass container, and put it back into the freezer.

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Each morning, we take out 1 coconut oil shape and use it for oil pulling. If this amount is too much for you, just bite the shape into 2 parts and use one of them for your daily pull.

To do the oil pulling, you “chew” the coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth. The oil becomes liquid very quickly, so you don’t need to worry that it is frozen…once you begin to chew, it is no longer solid. You chew and swish for 5 – 20 minutes. You’ll probably want to begin with 5 minutes. If you want to work up to 20 minutes, I find it’s easier if I’m doing it while in the shower. Of course, I have my little container with me to spit into in case I have reached my tolerance limit for chewing!

Once you have completed your 5 – 20 minutes of chewing and swishing, you’ll want to spit the coconut oil into a container, to dispose of the oil in your compost or in your garbage. DO NOT ALLOW THE COCONUT OIL TO GO DOWN THE SINK!!! It will clog your drains – guaranteed!

You can do your oil pulling every day, or you can do it several times a week. The benefits of oil pulling may not be obvious to you, but it will assist you in your quest for health and wellness! Happy pulling!

Dry Skin Brushing

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About 4 years ago, I heard the term, “dry skin brushing” – but I had no clue what that was. So, after doing a bit of research, a happy discovery was made in finding  The Green Smoothie Girl website. I watched a video on Robyn Openshaw’s page about dry skin brushing, and decided to incorporate it into my weekly routine. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget to do some of the things for myself that I want to, so what I’ve done is actually SCHEDULE this once a week into my calendar! That way, I make sure that it is a priority!

So, what is dry skin brushing and why is it important? It is essentially stimulating the blood flow of your largest organ so that the dead cells are sloughed off…but wait! There’s more! The more important purpose of dry skin brushing is to assist the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is an important part of eliminating toxins from your body. (I always shower or have an epsom salts bath after dry brushing.)

Watch the video to see how to do the brushing properly, and download your free chart from Robyn to help you remember what to do each week when you help your body achieve maximum wellness!  Watch the dry skin brushing video here: GREEN SMOOTHIE GIRL

Your Tip of the Week

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I planted garlic in my garden at the end of September for harvesting in the spring. Green shoots are already poking through the ground!!! We love garlic in just about everything…well, not in our smoothies, or in other drinks, but most cooked dishes have garlic in them, for sure. Did you know there are many different types of garlic? In my photo you see Russian Red (one of the kinds I planted) and German White, both of which are classified as “hard neck” garlic. Maybe the Russian Red could be called a Red Neck??? Sorry…just my attempt at humor!

I have a couple of garlic tips for you today. Did you know that garlic keeps better, stays fresher, and is more nutritious if you keep it in your refrigerator? I KNOW, right? We were always told to keep it on the counter! But recent scientific studies show that in the fridge is best. Just make sure you don’t place it in the crisper drawer, where the humidity is too high. I place mine in my garlic jar, and put the jar on a shelf in the fridge.

Also, when you use garlic, it is best to dice, chop, slice, or press the garlic, and then LEAVE IT TO REST for 10 minutes before adding it to the dish you are making. This creates better nutritional value, since this allows the greatest amount of allicin to develop. As well, it ensures the allicin is not destroyed by heat when you allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Cool!

And lastly, if you find a sale on garlic, buy a LOT of it because you can skin it, chop it and store it in your freezer! When we were at my daughter’s home in Spain, she had some frozen garlic which came in a plastic bag about the size of a sandwich baggie. The garlic was in small chunks that she was able to add to any dish she was cooking, and it was fresh tasting. You wouldn’t have guessed it had been frozen.

Garlic Fact: Recent scientific studies have found that 3 cloves of garlic contain the same bacterial activity as a standard dose of penicillin.

Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen

 

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We just got back from a wonderful 2 week trip to Arizona! The weather was fabulous, we met new friends, enjoyed food and fellowship – in other words, we had a great time. One of the last days we were in Phoenix, our friends took us to a restaurant which actually had the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen listed on separate chalk boards, posted where you could clearly see them. This was definitely MY kind of restaurant!!!  Healthy food and informed chefs! The name of the restaurant is True Food and here is a link if you want to check them out:  https://www.truefoodkitchen.com

During our time in Arizona, I was privileged to give a talk about healthy eating. One of my handouts was about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, which was a list that not everyone knew about. When I was talking to a friend this morning, again about healthy eating, I realized that many people are not aware of this simple resource which helps us steer clear of produce which is highly sprayed with pesticides.

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Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases which fruits and vegetables you should ALWAYS buy organic because of the levels of pesticides in and on them (which cannot be washed off), and which conventionally grown fruits and vegetables you can safely buy. Some of the produce on the list changes each year, but some always make the Dirty Dozen list. For example, strawberries are at the top of the Dirty Dozen list year after year because they are so heavily sprayed – not just once, but THROUGHOUT the growing season! You might be surprised at which vegetables and fruits are on these lists! I know I was sure dismayed when potatoes were on the Dirty Dozen list. I investigated them, and found that they are the most heavily sprayed of all the produce I was buying! I try to grow my own now, or buy organic. Be sure to check these lists out…here is a link to the EWG’s page with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen for this year:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php

You can also get the EWG’s app and have the lists on your phone for when you go to the grocery store, so you never forget which produce is safe and which is not. There’s so much great information on The Environmental Working Group’s website – it will blow your mind how much work has been done to keep us informed and healthy!

 

 

Confused About Gluten? Check this out!

So, there’s a lot of people who are confused about just what GLUTEN actually is. And what does it mean to be gluten sensitive, gluten intolerant, allergic to gluten, celiac? If a person has a problem with gluten, can you heal and go back to eating gluten without ill effects?

I listened to this explanation about gluten and found it very helpful. Maybe you’ll find clarity around these issues too if you watch it. This teaching is by Dr. Osborne, who wrote the book No Grain, No Pain. You can visit his website here.

 

Those Pesky Fruit Flies!

As summer draws to a close, and fall temperatures become our new normal, I’m gathering the ripe produce from my garden every day. Tomatoes are best stored on the counter – NOT in the fridge where they rapidly lose flavour – but somehow those pesky fruit flies magically appear the minute tomatoes or bananas or other veggies are sitting out in the open!!!

So how do I protect those tomatoes I’ve spent so much time and energy growing all summer long? With cheesecloth! That’s right! Buy yourself some inexpensive cheesecloth  at a dollar store, and drape it over the bowl you have your fruit or veggies in. This will keep the little critters off your beautiful produce.

To capture the fruit flies, place about 1/4 of a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small bowl, and add 1-2 drops of your dishwashing liquid on the surface of the ACV. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap, poke a few holes with a skewer, toothpick or fork, and place near the fruit you have on the kitchen counter. The fruit flies will be able to get in the trap, but not get out.  Be sure to change the ACV every few days to get rid of all the drowned corpses.

Simple, right? And no chemicals or expensive tapes and shapes. 🙂

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Fruit Fly Solution