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Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

1 can Chickpeas (you can also use dried chickpeas that have been soaked/sprouted)

½ cup fresh coriander

½ cup fresh parsley

2 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

1-2 tbs olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor adding the olive oil until the right consistency to roll into balls. Heat oven to 180 degrees and brush falafel with olive oil and bake for 10 mins until you can turn them. Bake for 10 more mins. You can also fry them but this way is much healthier! Seen pictured above with Quinoa flatbreads and home made hummus

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Home made Hummus

Home made Hummus

hummus

Hummus

 

One of my favourites snacks with cut veg, and as an addition to flatbreads salads, falafel, or halumi. Super nutritious and really easy to make. Kids love it, especially babies!. This is my version, I have been making it for years but I know some women who have had recipes handed down and make it as part of their heritage for longer than me- I hope they approve of my recipe and welcome their comments and suggestions.

2 cups drained soaked and well-cooked or canned chickpeas, cooking liquid reserved if possible (or you can sprout it)

2 tbs  tahini, or more to taste

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for garnish

1-2 clove garlic, peeled, or more to taste (I tend to roast mine in the oven first for a sweeter taste) I also like to add fermented garlic (I make mine from the ebook Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables Recipe)

Juice of 1 lemon/lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

paprika and chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

 

Put the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lime juice in a food processor (or a blender for even smoother hummus), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and begin to process; add oil and chickpea-cooking liquid as needed to produce a smooth purée.

Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed. Serve, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of paprika and some parsley.

 

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Ginger, Lemon and Honey Tea

Ginger, Lemon and Honey Tea

ginger-tea-ginger

Ginger Lemon and Honey Tea

This is a good morning or end of the day tea. It is cleansing, boosting and healing. Use good quality ingredients and you will get the best out of it. Using raw or Manuka (at least 10+) Honey for the best benefits, but add honey after water has cooled somewhat to prevent scalding and killing the enzymes.

 

Thumbnail of ginger, grated or finely chopped skin on,

Whole lemon cut into quarters,

1tbs raw or Manuka honey.

 

Add to teapot (except honey) and add hot water. Add the honey once the water has cooled

(Can also add Calendula flowers, camomile flowers, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, raw garlic crushed, cloves, turmeric- powdered or root grated and cloves as necessary and to taste)

 

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Toothpaste

Toothpaste

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have made countless batchs of this home-made toothpaste now. I started making it because buying fluoride , paraben and other nasty free toothpaste is difficult over here (I bought Aloedent in the UK) and really really expensive.  Store bought toothpaste and mouth wash will kill even the good germs and enzymes in your mouth. Making your own is easy. I have to say my teeth definitely feel different and I can see my gums improving. I have very fine chips on the back of my two front teeth I was starting to worry about (it was a ‘Hey Big Spender moment swinging a caribou on a string at Drama School- another story!) They were starting to feel very thin- It feels completely different and the best way to describe it is stronger. 3 weeks on and I can hand on heart say I love this tooth paste!

My 3 year old was also spending a lot of time eating and sucking the toothbrush- now she just gets in there and cleans and spits which makes me happier. She also only complains about it to her Dad who also is wary of it- she just sees me get on with it- and there is no alternative which is sometimes a brilliant way to get kids to just get on with it!! Now she loves it and helps me makes it. Better yet I have no worries giving it to my 15 month old as he is at sucking toothbrush stage now!

I took my inspiration from these blogs;

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/04/rethinking-oral-health-care-a-homemade-toothpaste-recipe-for-tooth-remineralization.html

http://familysponge.com/health/coconut-oil/homemade-toothpaste-coconut-oil/

and Ramiel Nagal’s book  Cure Tooth Decay

I use;

In a glass Jar

2tbs calcium and magnesium powder (I use this)- optional

2tbs baking powder (aluminium free)

1tsp salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt)

8 drops Raspberry Medicine Flowers

10 drops of Mint Medicine Flowers

2tbs Coconut oil

Mix it all together (adding the coconut oil right at the end)with a chopstick and put the lid on the jar!

Done and it lasts ages! (beware it is grey if you use the cal/mag powder) It also leaves a really nice clean and minty taste behind!

I also love oil pulling instead of mouthwash and flossing.

Enjoy- let me know how you get on…

Here are 12 more ways to make natural alternatives to toothpaste from The Nourished Life

Here are some more tips to improve oral health naturally from Real Nutritious Living

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Spring into Health

Spring into Health

Spring bloom

 

Why does a change of season suddenly bring with it so many symptoms of illness? What can we do to recognise our body’s reaction and how can we boost immunity naturally?

A change of season, especially in Hong Kong, not only brings about a change in temperature but also a change in humidity, daylight hours and atmospheric pressure. Your body will have to adapt to these changes in a number of ways. The key to doing this is using foods and nutrients to strengthen and boost our immune system.

Illnesses during change of seasons are natural and integral to the body developing and reacting to the changing atmospheres around us. They are a way of purging the body (of mucous and waste products for example) and are normally signals to rest and recuperate. For example the lungs have to massively change to compensate for the added water levels in the air with the change of humidity and temperature. The little hairs in our lungs (Cila) are affected. Getting muck (mucous) out of our system is the body’s way of adapting and spring cleaning. So children and adults alike may sneeze, get runny noses or coughs. These symptoms can be likened to a cold, but may very well have no bacteria or virus involved. It is important to know the difference and seeing a professional (whether a doctor, naturopath or homeopath) to help you to do that. To interrupt this can then lead to more serious symptoms, but supporting it you can adapt and allow the season to change with little disruption.

From winter to spring we get lighter mornings, we wake easier and seem to have more energy. We are programmed to operate at full function in daylight. Sunlight on our skin will also provide us vital vitamin D (but only by not wearing sunscreen, try and go 10 mins with 40% of your body in full sunlight a day. As soon as you feel the heat starting to get a bit intense on your skin, cover up or return to the shade see here) Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system.  Our body clocks react to daylight. We are supposed to slow down and stock up in the winter ready for spring’s re-awakening. However daily hum drum does not change through the seasons anymore and the toll on our body is seen with more winter colds/ illnesses as the immune system is dampened in the cold weather and if we do let our bodies rest, then we start to become deficient in vital nutrients used up by the will to keep going.

Stress is a major factor in immunity – take time to relax when you start to feel run down. Illness is generally a signal to slow down and rest. Pushing through an illness is another way of suppressing signals and may also cause future long term damage. Viruses and bacteria are around us all the time; they are in our homes and outside. They are necessary for human existence. They are opportunistic so when you are run down, going through a change (in pregnancy or environmental change of season), stressed, malnourished, or tired you are at your most prone to illness. By adding foods and nutrients like vitamin D, C, E, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants daily; you can help prevent illness by providing your body with the means to heal and strengthen from within.

Foods in season are around to help support this change of season and boost the immune system. Foods in season right now are all your leafy greens, beetroot, strawberries, pumpkin, papaya – foods bursting with Iron, Beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Papaya also has vital enzymes to help us absorb our food so is great to have at meal times. All perfect to help boost immunity and rid and protect our body from toxins. Another great reason to eat local organic produce and go strawberry picking in the New Territories!

Here are some Natural remedy recipes to allow you to keep the Spring in your step!

Ginger tea

Ginger, lemon and orange curd

Honey and onion Elixor

Drinking Greens

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Quinoa Flatbreads

Quinoa Flatbreads

Quinoa flatbreads with 10 bean burgers

I have a 6 month old who is loving eating, a 3 year old who has an adventurous palate, a gluten intolerant dad who we live with and a husband who is unenthusiastic about eating vegetarian food as he doesnt think it will fill him up (He’s also Irish, the land of meat and 2 veg!) So I am always on the hunt for Gluten free recipes (I am feeling totally different since removing gluten from my diet) and tasty vegetarian meals for my meatless once a week night. I really like these. I made them the size of panjacks and I didn’t read the recipe properly so didnt soak them for as long (surprised?!) as I didnt have time. I also think they would be nice flavoured with cumin or with some turmeric. Also some thyme, rosemary or coriander would be nice too. Will report back on that!

I served these with spicy 10 bean burgers (recipe to follow but a little like my lentil burgers), feta and pomegranate, hummus, tzatziki and a green salad. Surprisingly the burgers were the biggest hit with my 3 year old and with the egg replacement (flax) I could then give them to my 6 month old! Happy days these will be made again!

  • 1 cup raw quinoa (unsoaked, dry Quinoa), pulsed in a grinder or food processor to the desired consistency- I went for just a bit smaller but you could do finer)
  • 1 cup All purpose gluten free flour which is just a mix of different GF flour (if you use some coconut flour add a bit more water)
  • 1 egg (1 tsp ground  flax seed mixed with 2 tsp of water as a replacement)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Mix the processed quinoa, flour, egg, water, salt and pepper and let it soak for an hour. (I only had time for 15 mins and it was fine!!)
  2. Heat a greased pan over medium heat.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the center of the pan, cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes. (I made them pan-jack size

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Balls of Energy

Balls of Energy

balls of energy Loula Natural

I have a few friends who make yummy protein energy balls for themselves and their kids as snacks. There are many different recipes about. I like to make them with my daughter and son as they absolutely love them. I tend to use what I have in the cupboard and am largely directed by them! This is the recipe that can be adapted to suit your tastes!

Shopping list;

nuts and seeds

peanut butter  

chocolate almond butter 

 coconut oil 

Himalayan sea salt

 desiccated coconut

 raw cacao powder

 coconut nectar/maple syrup 

Ground flax

 Maca

I have linked to Amazon for ingredients but all of these brands are available on iherb

balls of enegy Loula Natural

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Skin Treatments

Skin Treatments

women-body-back_300

I have had many of you ask me about skin issues. What to use on the skin, how to soothe skin, protect skin, replenish skin and how to heal skin. So here are some insights into nutrients to nourish skin from the outside and some ways to keep it healthy on the outside. Of course everyone is different, this is generalised information. If you want a more personal plan please contact me. Also if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic issue or a condition getting worse, please contact your professional.

The previous post (here) mentioned nutrients necessary to build and repair skin from the inside. This post is about nutrients that can soothe, nourish, moisturise and balance skin from the outside.

oats

DRY SKIN (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Essential oils: Carrot seed, Jasmine, Frankincense, Neroli, Geranium, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary.

These oils must be diluted in a carrier oil first before added to the bath or to the skin. Good oils for dry skin are Sweet Almond, Avocado, Wheatgerm, Rose Hip, Peach or Apricot Kernal and Coconut.

Coconut oil used externally can help to strengthen skin and can speed up healing whislt helping to repel germs and bacteria from entering the body. 1 tsp a day should be enough to cover the whole body. Massage into the skin, especially into the dry areas. Some areas may need a little more until they even out.

Cocoa butter; a rich nourishing moisturiser again used sparingly

Baking soda in the bath can help detox the body through the skin but can also help adjust the ph of the skin and makes it feel really soft afterwards.

Oats equally are very soothing when used as a scrub (dry oats mixed with some oil and essential oils mentioned above scrubbed on dry skin) or in the bath (add to the foot of a pair of tights or in a pop sock with a knot in the end. Use it like a sponge in the shower direct on the skin or hang over the taps when filling the bath). Oats are very mucilaginous so the gel will help calm and soothe any irritations and can form a protective layer on the skin making it feel soft and smooth afterwards. Both are good in dry red irritated skin .

Scrubs; As a scrub the oats help to stimulate oil production and help to gently ex foliate dead skin cells. You can also add ground sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, mixed with water, yoghurt or honey or puréed banana or avocado or egg yolks can be used on the (damp) face and body. You can also use salt/sugar scrubs. In dry skin conditions use equal part sugar to oil (see here for some ideas) and add a couple of drops of the above essential oils. Use extremely gentle, circular motions for ex-foliation and move towards the heart.

Dry skin Brushing; use a skin brush or a dry towel/flannel on dry skin gently brush skin towards the heart. Again ex-foliating and promoting oil productions and the elimination of toxins

Raw apple cider vinegar applied topically diluted in the bath can relieve itchiness and flakiness of dry and irritated skin. 2 cups in your bath water will have great effect.

calendula flower

IRRITATED SKIN; (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Calendula tincture and balm applied topically can be anti-bacterial, anti microbial, soothing and restorative, nourishing and strengthening. (see here to buy some ready made)

Chamomile; Both the tea and the essential oil (diluted) used topically can soothe and replenish. Use either with a little cotton wool to the area or in the bath. 2 cups of tea in bath water should be good.

Apple cider vinegar and oats as above

Try this hair tonic- brew some nettle tea mix with a teaspoon cider vinegar and a couple of drops of chamomile and add to a spray bottle. Spray or mix into scalp leave for 10 mins and then rinse out.

Lavender; in the bath or used directly on the skin, especially burns, cuts, scars, weeping eczema or psoriasis.

Comfry root cream

Olive oil can calm down and allergic skin rash

All of the above plus aloe vera gel are great on burns esp sun burn. My after sun consists of Sweet almond, avocado and wheatgerm oil, chamomile, lavender, geranium and neroli , Calendula tincture and Bach Rescue remedy.

bentonite clay mask

OILY SKIN; (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Essential oils; Citrus oils, lemongrass, sage, basil, ylang ylang

Clay masks can draw out excess oil

Corn meal and oat meal scrubs (gentle as you do not want to over stimulate oil glands)

Aloe vera is very toning

Rose water.

Try not to think that oil produces oil. Using an oil as a moisturiser can allow the body to moderate oil production and help protect the outer layer. Coconut oil used in sparingly can help the skin balance oil production.

Some recipes;

  • Herbal Hair rinse;

3-5 drops of your choice of essential oil depending on skin condition

1 pint of herbal tea (calendula, calmomile, oat straw and peppermint for example)

4 tbs vinegar or lemon juice.

After shampooing mix in water bottle and pour through hair. Leave for 5 mins before rinsing.

  • For dark hair add 2 drops of rosemary essential oil to your hair brush and brush through for glossy look to your hair
  • Pregnancy stretch marks oil (for pre and post natal);

1/2 once of cocoa butter or coconut oil

4 ounces of sweet almond or olive oil

15 drops lavender

5 drops neroli

5 drops frankinscense

5 drops camomile essential oil

1600iu Vitamin E Capsules

Rescue remedy and Crab apple Bach Flower Remedies

Use daily

  • Massage Coconut oil onto moles, bruises and cuticles to protect and heal.

Let me know what works for you….

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It’s not easy being green, till you know how!

It’s not easy being green, till you know how!

green drink

I love smoothies and juices (as long as the fibre remains) . I have a smoothie with a protein powder and milk kefir in the morning and I make a green juice in the afternoon to wake me up till dinner! Its a fine line between juice and cold soup sometimes! Coincidently I make mine in my Cuisinart Soup Maker as it has a pretty powerful motor and blade needed to cut through the greens and so I don’t have to peel my apples and pears. I have also made great green drinks with a normal smoothie maker like a Kenwood Smoothie to Go. I just used my green powder. So there really is no excuse! Updated- I now use a German Pool but Ice needs to be added as the motor will heat things up!

You need a liquid base.

Anything goes really here- coconut water ( I have been using coconut Kefir too), Water, cooled herbal teas of your choice (rooibos has a lot of antioxidants in it) or even green tea or tulsi tea (for a calming feel). I have also bought fresh juices (without sugar added) like carrot, watermelon, kiwi, mango when I have been out and not finished them so have thrown them in the juice too. This is helpful when you don’t have a super powerful juicer but want carrots in your juice. You can also use nut milks (here for almond), oat milks or any other liquid not mentioned.

Then you need your greens.

The less full on flavours are spinach, pea shoots, bean sprouts, bok choi, lettuce and frozen peas,. The more earthy or spicy flavours are kale, Swiss chard, rocket, mustard leaves. Try them see what you like. Give them a wash first and greens are more likely to be heavily sprayed so buy organic where possible. I also love broccoli in my juices. A handful should do (40% green to 60% fruit is a popular ratio)

Then your fruits.

I find the juicer fruits better as there can be a lot of fibre in the greens so mixing with a fruit that is going to add some more liquid works well for consistency I like watermelon, honeydew melon, apples, pears and Kiwis. However berries pack a great punch to the juice. Banana’s, mangoes add a lovely sweetness (and smoothness) and pineapples add a great tropical tone! You can go sweet or savoury depending on what you prefer. You could add tomatoes peppers, lemons, herbs (coriander and sweet basil are my favs), radishes any salad ingredient really! Experiment!  I find cutting up fruit and throwing them into bags and in the freezer makes the whole process easier quicker and more like a shake.

Your fats

Chia (soaked in a little water before hand makes the juices a little more jelly like), sesame seeds, ground nuts or nut butter, flax oil, or coconut oil can give your juice an added dimension

Added extras.

If you really want it to pack a punch then adding a green powder (spirulina chorella) Maca powder, cacao (although this doesn’t really temp me with the greens  apparently it is nice!) Protein powder (hemp, pumpkin seed, pea), camu powder (for some extra vit c), goji berries, manuka honey, oats (will really bulk it up!) ginger also gives it real zing both health and taste wise!

;

And Voila!! Let me know your favourite…

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Cacao Heaven

Cacao Heaven

Cacao Beans

.

I love chocolate.  So does my daughter. Finding foods that our kids will love that will also love them is tough. They are going to come across a whole range of foods in their social lives and we want to equip them to make good choices.

You will have heard that chocolate is very good for you and its health benefits are numerous. This is true but sadly no-one is talking about the milk chocolate, Kit Kats or things we grab on the go from our convenience stores. Raw cacao (in butter, nibs which are the bits of the bean before they are ground and powder form) is where the goodness lies. Cacao is chocolate in its bean form, before it is roasted, extracted and processed then mixed with sugar, milk, preservatives and other fillers and flavours. It contains antioxidants and minerals and its benefits amongst others are;

  • weight loss due to its chromium content which in turn also
  • Regulate blood sugar along with the magnesium content
  • Prevent cavities in your teeth (the caffeine content in cacao contains theobromine which can help kill bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay- it is lost in the process to milk chocolate.)
  • Helps alkaline your body (conventional chocolate is acid forming because of its sugar content)
  • Helps detoxification and contains powerful anti-oxidants.
  • Gives a gentle euphoric feeling without the sugar crash afterwards.

It’s what we do to the cacao and add to it that give “chocolate” the opposite list of effects.  Raw Cacao is incredibly bitter to those more used to even dark chocolate so start by replacing milk chocolate with 70% dark chocolate and work your way towards using the raw cacao powder as your hot chocolate.

Eva's Hot Cacao

If you find nibs pair them with a Goji berry or a raisin and you are close to ‘chocolate’ flavour as we know it. Try it yourself and with your kids. 10 tries are enough to convince your taste buds!

Pairing coconut with chocolate is a match made in taste and nutrient heaven- healthy Bounty bars!. Coconuts are anti bacterial, anti microbial, naturally sweet, packed with vitamins, essential fats and amino acids and minerals too. This recipe is a massive favourite in our house- a brilliant way to be able to say yes guilt free and isn’t that what we all want?  I hope it will be in yours too. My friend came up with it so it is named for her!

Other Chocolate Recipes

Beetroot Brownies

Chocolate Truffels

Homemade Raw Twix

Iced Mocha

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Chip cookies

This article was written for The Hub

Here’s some good reading;

Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Cures-Preventing-Treating-Problems/dp/0941599604

http://www.wellnesswa.com.au/2012/11/eat-your-way-to-good-health-raw-cacao-powder-a-deliciously-simple-home-made-chocolate-recipe/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-numerous-health-benefits-of-coconuts-2.html

http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html

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Eva’s Hot Cacao

Eva’s Hot Cacao

Eva's Hot Cacao

I love making hot chocolate, since we live in a hot country we make it iced too! Here’s the basic recipe

Fill a cup of milk of your choice (Dairy, CoconutNut, or Oat- I use the latter three)

1 tbs Raw Cacao Powder

Coconut sugar or coconut nectar to taste (or your sugar of choice also used dark brown, date or organic sugar. Maple  or Yacon syrup is another option)

Vanilla Essence (I use Medicine Flowers- I also like Hazelnut , Almond or Mint essence too. Also you can add coffee concentrate)

In the hot chocolate I always add 1/2 tsp of coconut oil

Ice if you are making it cold

If making hot chocolate add the ingredient to the saucepan until they are combined and the desired heat. If making cold put all ingredients in your smoothie maker with some ice and blend. You could also add ice-cream instead of ice if you like. Couldn’t be easier or better for you!

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Gluten: Friend or Foe

Gluten: Friend or Foe

are you gluten free

Gluten: Friend or Foe

‘Gluten free’ seems to be the new buzz. Leaving grains out of the diet is a big part of the Paleo diet that you may have heard people talk about. There are those of us who may be Celiac (5-10% of the population are) and those who may just be a little sensitive to it and by largely avoiding it can see numerous health benefits. People with sensitivity can range from feeling very ill to completely symptom free. What is it and why should we get caught up in the buzz?

Golden-waves-of-grain_1920x1200

Gluten is found in grains (wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut, semolina, durum) and can be present in oats through cross contamination. It largely adds texture and chewiness to foods (like a glue!). It is also a thickener and in some cases a flavour enhancer so is found in a multitude of products. In susceptible people the Gliagin (secalin in rye or hordein in barley) portion of gluten (a chain of amino acids essentially the protein part) can damage the lining of the small intestine where most of your food absorption takes place and create an immune response.

It is this immune response and inflammation that is what causes the damage rather than an action actually done by the Gliagin.  These individuals may find absorbing vital minerals (iron and calcium), vitamins (mostly b vitamins like niacin and folate), proteins (essential amino acids) and essential fats (mostly fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K) difficult.   This may cause malnourishment which can then lead to a whole host of symptoms you may not have associated with gluten insensitivity such as iron (anaemia) or Vitamin D deficiency. Gluten can also contain opiod-like proteins making gluten products such as bread addictive to some people.

Most individuals who do have an intolerance will also have an intolerance to dairy products (70% of the population cannot digest lactase in milk). This is mainly due to the damage to the small intestine which produces the necessary enzymes to break down the components in milk that people are intolerant to. So generally it is recommended to reduce these products at the same time – this can make some people’s lives even more difficult. Other food intolerances may also be experienced because of gluten’s resulting inflammation increasing the permeability of the gut which results in a greater opening of food into the blood, which in turns triggers an immune response.

Celiac disease  is genetic and so if a child is diagnosed it is possible one of the parents is also and vice versa. It is difficult to test for as in order for the marker to show up, gluten must have been eaten recently. An elimination diet is where I would start. Normally when eliminating it from the diet obvious changes should be noticed within days. However it could take up to 4-6 weeks for the digestive tract to heal before any real change can be experienced.   Changes you may experience are less abdominal bloating, less pain in the abdominal area after eating, less urgency in needing to go to the toilet, less gas and firmer stool. However increased energy, better skin, a reduction in psoriasis or eczema, less headaches, improved sinus’, enhanced breathing (asthma may be reduced), enhanced sleep and mood is also reported by those with either celiac or an intolerance to gluten.

Gluten is found in many products you may eat everyday such as sausages, seasoning mixes, gravy powders, soy sauce, ketchup, instant coffee, salad dressings, processed meats (including vegetarian imitation meat), cheese and ice-cream. Of course it is also in the obvious breads, pastas, cakes, beer and cereals. So going completely Gluten-free can be a massive change to a family’s lifestyle. This is especially the case when it is a child who is experiencing these symptoms.

Gluten free recipes Loula Natural

However replacements are easy to find. Try to stay focused on what you can eat and with a little creativity and patience, it can be easy to make little changes here and there to greatly reduce if not remove Gluten from your diet.

All nuts, rice and beans can still be eaten as can seeds like quinoa, amaranth and millet; also fresh fruit and vegetables as well as all fresh meat, fish and eggs.  Flours like rice, tapioca, quinoa, chickpea, coconut and almond are a big favourite in my house! Gluten free All Purpose flour can replace normal flour in almost all recipes and you can also buy Biscuit and Baking gluten free mixes, pancake mixes and pizza base mixes around Hong Kong. Gluten free pasta is readily available and almost indistinguishable from wheaten pasta. Bread can be hard to replace but I have found adding a vegetable such as courgette, banana or pumpkin can have a big effect on the graininess and crumbliness you normally find in readymade and homemade gluten free breads.

We’ve put together some great gluten free recipes to help you to create food that tastes great and is good for you.  Check them out here.

Pumpkin bread

Quinoa Flatbreads

Chia porridge

Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Bread

Banana Flax Crackers

Lentil Burgers

Cookies

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Pumpkin donuts

Beetroot brownies

gingerbread

Mince Pies

Soda Bread

Eating out can be a challenge but many places if you call ahead can make changes for you. Join Gluten Free in HK if you are on facebook for some great advice and support. Also Healthy Living HK has great tips from people making the same changes. Personally I am 80-90% Gluten free and feel 100% better for it, as does my waistline as my body shape has completely changed. Contact me for any further tips and recipes.

Article written for The Hub

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural

Pumpkin Bread

Works best when making mini loafs as they stay moist and not too dense.

4 tbs coconut sugar,

2 tbs coconut nectar

2tbs Olive oil,

2tbs coconut oil

1tbs Kefir (any-optional but makes it lighter)

400g Pureed pumpkin

¼ lemon squeezed

Thumbnail size of grated ginger.

1 cup Almond Flour,

½ cup Quinoa Flour

¼ coconut flour

1 cup All purpose gluten free flour/buckwheat flour.

1tbs poppy seeds

1 ½ tsp cinnamon,

½ tsp grated nutmeg,

1 tsp Xanthum gum (or Chia gel- 1 tsp chia to 3tsp water let it sit for 10-20 mins till gel consistency)

1 ½ tsp baking soda,

½ tsp Salt

Mix all wet ingredients (everything on list till grated ginger) in the Kenwood or with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl. Slowly fold in dry ingredient to wet ingredients. Meanwhile grease some mini loaf tins. When fully mixed, put into loaf tins. Pre-heat oven to 200C and cook for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto cooling rack when finished.

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural Pin

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Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural

I have been finding out about my home country in the past few month, my new and old friends have made me aware of places I have never been before. Recently my great friend Angela took me to one of her favourite places and now also one of mine!!! I saw this recipe before and so needed the donut pan to make it. I found them in Shanghai St- Thanks Angela xx

I have adapted this recipe to make it Gluten/dairy free. The pumpkin makes it incredibly moist unlike some of the really dense gluten free bread I have been making previously. You could probably also use sweet potato, but I like pumpkin as it is now in season. I have used canned but its even more tasty when you cook up the pumpkin yourself and puree it. Let it cool and its ready for the recipe.

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour/buckwheat flour

3/4 cup almond flour (optional I have also substituted coconut flour for when Eva takes them to School

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1tsp milk/water kefir

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon

1/3 cup coconut oil Pumpkin spice mix

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup oatmilk (any milk)

Preheat oven to 200c. Butter a donut pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together, and set aside.

In a large bowl, or a the bowl of a kenwood mixer, fitted with the beater, whisk oil, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and oat milk until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture- I did it spoon by spoon and stir until just combined, do not over mix batter. Using a pastry bag, fill each donut cup with the batter. Pipe out a nice circle, not too full as they will rise up a bit. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed.

Turn donuts onto a wire each and allow to cool for a few minutes- if you can!

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural Pin

 

for coating: 2 tbs coconut oil 1/3 cup coconut sugar 1/2  tablespoon cinnamon While the donuts are cooling, put the coconut oil in one bowl, and combine the sugar and cinnamon in anther. While donuts are still warm, brush each donut with oil and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

I refilled the piping bag and clamp both ends and put in the fridge to make another 6 tomorrow and the next day!!

I have also made these as ‘donut holes’ and they are just as yummy- if you dont have the donut pans!

 

**You can bake these a day ahead of time, and store in an airtight container. Do not coat them in the butter/ cinnamon-sugar mixture until just before served or they will get soggy- but if you are anything like me- if they are made they are eaten!! I like them warm and fresh**

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A Bounty of Coconut

A Bounty of Coconut

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I love bounty bars- but now they just seem way too sweet. I found these bars called ‘coconut secret’ they are delicious but I could only eat half at a time and they are super pricey to eat regularly. Lucky for me my great friend Kate loved them enough too to play with the ingredients and come up with a recipe! Little tweaks to make them mine (I’m awful at following a recipe!!) I wanted to make them truffle size as I can then just eat the one- and I’m making truffles for Christmas.

Kate’s Coconut (not so) Secret Bars

150g block of dark choc (I always use 70-85% chocolate- I like Green and Blacks or make your own)

1-2 tbs coconut oil (optional)

Or Raw Cacao powder to roll them in

100-150g of desiccated coconut

3tbs coconut manna (butter) This makes it gooey, you could also use peanut or other nut butters or cocoa butter.

coconut nectar (to taste and optional) can also use maple syrup

1-2 tbs coconut oil

Pinch salt (I like Pink Himalayan Rock but sea salt tastes nice too)

Mix desiccated coconut, coconut manna (butter), a few tablespoons of coconut nectar (to taste) and coconut oil and salt in a bowl. It should make a sticky sort of mixture that will cling together when you press it. It may take more or less of the ingredients above. Make into balls chocolate truffle size. Place on grease proof paper and put in the freezer. Wait at least an hour.

Melt chocolate with coconut oil over a ‘bain marie’. Use fork to drop coconut balls into chocolate, completely cover and then bring out and put back on the grease proof paper. The temperature of the balls will help the chocolate to set quicker. Refrigerate again until set (about an hour). You could also just roll these in Raw Cacao powder if you want them truly raw.

If there is any chocolate left, pour onto another piece of greaseproof paper and allow to reset into a chocolate bar- lovely with bits of coconut in it!!

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Pancetta Risotto

Roasted Sweet Potato and Pancetta Risotto

Risotto is one of the most versatile dishes, you can basically put anything in it. I used to think it was a really difficult dish where you had to balance the liquid adding it ladle full at a time- but it works just as well this way!we tend to have it as a pot luck dish and always have a bit of pancetta in the freezer and Sweet Potato is now in season. You can equally make delicious vegetarian (pea, asparagus butter nut squash, Jerusalem artichoke all work well) risotto or leftover roast chicken, lamb or beef works well too. The base for us always stays the same.

 

Ingredients: (serves 4)

300g Risotto Rice (I normally use Arborio Rice)

1 litre of Liquid (normally use 700-800 mls of bone broth and the rest crisp white wine and the juice of half a lemon)

2 tbs olive oil

1 onion finely cut

1 clove garlic

1 thumbnail size grated ginger

10g Pecarino cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper

1 Sweet potato peeled and cubed

50g Pancetta cubed (we usually buy the end bits from the Deli and keep them in the Freezer)

Asparagus to serve

 

Put the Sweet Potato into an oven proof dish and cover with the olive oil and salt and pepper. cook in the oven at 200 for 15-20 mins until soft.

Meanwhile, fry off pancetta and add onion garlic and ginger. Add rice and fry for 1 min. Add liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer stirring frequently until starting to thicken. This can take any time between 20 and 40 mins depending on if you have Gas or Halogen in my experience!. When liquid almost disappeared add roasted Sweet Potato and pecarino. salt and pepper to taste. Steam Asparagus and plate up!

If you have leftovers, out in the fridge. The next day ball them up, flour them and fry them in some coconut oil and have risotto balls for lunch or snack- also great finger food for kids!

 

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Chia porridge

Chia porridge

 

Chia Porridge Loula Natural

Chia Porridge w/Seeds, Nuts & Berries

Wow it seems a long time ago since I first started eating Chia for breakfast. I have never looked back

This was first written in Nov 2012. I have a 10k race tomorrow, my first since having my second baby 18 weeks ago. I am nervous as so far I have maxed out at 7k. My goal was and still is to finish, I never thought I would be running the whole thing. However I am very competitive and so secretly see myself sprinting to the end! So am going to give myself the best chance. This is my (very early) breakfast tomorrow. Great protein, fat and carbs- my kind of ‘carb loading!’

3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk/oat milk
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
diced strawberries, raspberries & blueberries for toppings
raw almonds, cashews & sunflower seeds for toppings (preferably soaked over night)

1tbs coconut yoghurt

Method
Place almond milk in a bowl and sprinkle chia seeds in and stir immediately for a minute or so to avoid clumping. Add spices as you stir along with the vanilla. Allow to stand for 30-40 mins to thicken, or covered in the fridge over night. Add berries, nuts and seeds with a dollup of yoghurt on top to eat.

Chia porridge with coconut yoghurt

For my son (from 6 months old) I use 1 tsp chia and mixed with 2 tsp water and let soak either overnight in the fridge or for 15mins while he eats some blueberries/mango/melon or banana! It is best to leave the nuts out until at least 12 months old. I then added the coconut yoghurt little by little. He is now having the same amount as the recipe above and still wants more some mornings! He’s 18 months!

also try out these great chia recipes;

How to make Cauliflower Crust Pizza (chia used as an egg replacement)

Raw Jam (super quick and easy fresh jam that is delicious and nutritious- sugar free too)

In smoothies here and here

How to make a Green Smoothie

 

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Beetroot Brownies

Beetroot Brownies

beetroot brownies

I love these brownies I have given them to ‘brownie haters’ and they have liked them!

Seriously rich and delicious brownies with way more goodness than the normal ones!

Ingredients

400g/2 1/2 cups Raw Beetroot peeled and roughly chopped (use plastic gloves if you don’t want to stain your fingers) then add to saucepan and boil/steam till tender.

150g/1 cup Plain Chocolate,

100g/1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp Vanilla extract,

100g/3/4 cup Coconut sugar

pinch of salt (pink rock salt or sea salt)

3 Eggs (To replace one egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds/chia 3 tablespoons water (or other liquid) I have done this completely egg free and they still turned out great. Stir together until thick and gelatinous)

2 Tbs almond meal (can also use buckwheat, rice or chickpea flour)

70g/ 1 Cup Raw Cacao (this is THE BEST I have ever tasted!) ,

2 tsp baking powder (Aluminium free).

You can then add more nuts, coconut or chocolate chips to the mix but I like to keep them plain

Heat oven to 180C and grease a tray bake pan. Roughly chop chocolate, and put in food processor with cooked beetroot, coconut oil and vanilla. Whizz until mixture is smooth. In another bowl, beat  sugar, eggs and salt until foamy and thick. Fold in beetroot mixture. Sift in Almond meal/flour, cacao and baking powder; gently fold. Stir through optional extras. Pour into tray bake or use a silicon mini muffin tin and cook for 20mins. Cool completely in tin then cut into squares. This can easily be a cake, just don’t cut into squares! It is quite moist as a cooked cake so store in the fridge. I dont think it needs a frosting but if you want one I like this;

My fave raw frosting from The Rawtarian…

1 cup dates

1/4 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder

1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil (also known as coconut butter)

3/4 cup water (or a tiny bit more if needed – try to keep at 3/4 cup or so though)

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. If possible, let them sit in there for a few minutes to soften the dates a little bit. Blend all ingredients in your high-speed blender. The ingredients can be a little finicky to blend, so start at a slow speed and increase speed slowly. Keep blending for a very long time to get a velvety consistency. This is one of those recipes that really makes use of the power of a high-speed blender. If you feel that the blades are just spinning but aren’t actually moving all of the icing around, turn the blender off and make an air pocket down the side of the blender with a spatula to expose the blades. Remove the spatula, replace the lid, and start blending slowly again.You’ll know it’s ready if there are no bits of dates and all you can taste is velvety chocolate goodness.

(http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-icing)

 

As an alternative, my friend Siobhan has kindly shared her family favourite black bean brownies for when beetroot is not in season!

Siobhan’s Black bean Brownies:

1/2 cup of blended black beans (black beans and water blended to a gluggy consistency)
1tbsp oil
1 c sugar (I usually only do half though as the banana adds sweetness)

1tsp vanilla

1/2 large banana, mashed
1tbsp chia seeds, hydrated
1/2c flour (I use mostly oat with a bit of coconut and quinoa)
1/3c cocoa powder
1/4tsp baking powder
1/4tsp xantham gum
1/4tsp saltPreheat oven to 175C. Grease pan.

In a medium bowl mix bean mixture, sugar, vanilla, mashed banana and chia seeds. In another bowl combine dry ingredients. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet, until well blended.
Bake for 20-25mins or until brownie starts to pull away from edges of pan.
Let cool then cut into squares.

 

Enjoy and let me know how they go

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Homemade Cold Brew Iced Mocha With Almond Milk

Homemade Cold Brew Iced Mocha With Almond Milk

This takes quite a bit of prep, but when its made its awesome! I have been making Mocha concentrate. You can keep it in the fridge so you just pour it out straight into the glass 50/50 with milk. Add ice and go. I am not the biggest coffee fan, but ever since I got pregnant with my son I crave it. Less now he’s born but I still fancy it now and then. It makes me feel really weird so I can only have decaffeinated  This is a good link to describe different ways of making coffee decaffeinated- http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/decaffeinated-coffee-safe-drink I use the ‘naturally decaffeinated’ coffee for mine and raw cacao powder for the chocolate. I also added some coconut sugar and vanilla essence just to take the edge off (can you tell I don’t really like coffee!!). It can be made straight with coffee to your own taste

100g coffee

to a litre water ( to adjust to make more/less)

50g Cacao powder

2 tbs Coconut sugar (optional)

1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional I also like Hazelnut Essence)

Put coffee, sugar and cacao in a large glass bowl. Pour over water and stir. Leave to sit for at least 8 hours, stirring from time to time. Pour into sieve through a muslin cloth (at the very least a coffee filter or paper towel) Allow to sit through strainer for another 15-20 mins. Use a spoon to press last water through. Add vanilla essence. Put into a container to refrigerate.

When you want to use it use milk (Coconut,Oat or almond are delicious) 50/50 mix in the glass, add ice and enjoy with some beetroot brownies

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Raw Almond Milk

Raw Almond Milk

Raw Almond milk

I used to make Raw Almond Milk for my daughter for when she weaned off Breast milk at 15 months. I was really confused, we are a dairy free family and I wanted to be able to give her something with loads of nutrition. Almonds are packed with goodness- calcium, magnesium and Vitamin E to name a few and of course are an excellent source of protein. I was making almond butter with the leftover almond meal but ended up throwing most of it away. After meeting some amazing women I have realised there is loads you can do with the leftovers so have been inspired to make it again. You can dry the meal and grind it in a coffee grinder to make almond flour, something I have been buying anyway to bake with. It can also be frozen, used in bone broth, added to Chia Porridge and muesli.

I have used a normal blender- and a more powerful mixer it has worked fine with both but the high speed blender was smoother.

Here is my quick video;

I use a ratio of 3:1 water to almonds.

1 Cup Almonds

3 Cups filtered Water

1-3 Medjool dates (or other dates soaked)

pinch salt (I have been using Pink Himalayan rock salt but also like sea salt)

Vanilla and Almond Essence

You have to soak the almonds first overnight or at least 8 hours. I use raw almonds to get the most nutrition and I soak them in distilled water.

When the Almonds are ready, put all the ingredients in a blender with the water

I blend then pulse and blend to make sure I get as much out of the almonds as possible. I then strain through a nut/soup bag. I have also used a sieve as I don’t mind fine bits of almond in my milk. to get a smoother consistency you can use the nut bag or a muslin cloth. I then let it sit and strain for 10 mins, gently move with a spoon and then dry the almonds in the dehydrator or the lowest setting in the oven (or just fan if you can). The almond milk goes in the fridge ready to make Chia porridge, Almond Milk Kefir or Iced coffee

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Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

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My hubby came up with this recipe. These are based on Jamie Oliver’s American pancake recipe, changing the ingredients but keeping e method. Whipping the whites gives these pancakes an amazing lightness. If you need it to be egg free you may lose this lightness. You can substitute the eggs with ground flax- 1 egg= 1 tbs flax to 3 tbs water mixed together then added (so this recipe will need 3tbs flax mixed in 9tbs water) try whipping the mixture to see if it makes a difference.

70g almond flour
25g coconut flour
20g Quinoa flour
3 large eggs
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
140ml Kefir (but you can also use almond milk or oat milk
a pinch of salt

First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter – it is now ready to use.

Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. At this point sprinkle your chosen flavouring (see below) on to the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden. The batter will keep in the fridge so why not make half and save the other half for the next morning!

We serve these with a choice of nut butter and banana or berries and coconut nectar. But you can have them with anything. You can also add banana, blueberries or raspberries to the batter while they are cooking too if you like and then drizzle them with coconut nectar/maple syrup. Delicious…

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Honey and onion immune booster and cough elixir

Honey and onion immune booster and cough elixir

Onions are amazing at drawing out bacteria and microbes.  They also have anti-inflammatory and congestion-relieving properties. Also onions are recognised as being able to relieve symptoms of the flu such as coughs, congestion, respiratory infections and bronchitis, as they contain anti-viral elements.

They are also high in sulfuric compounds such as thiosulfinates, Research shows that the thiosulfinates in onions are responsible for their antimicrobial properties and have even been shown to kill off salmonella and E. coli. Sulfuric compounds also play a role in cancer and heart disease prevention, and therefore act as a great immune-boosting food for general disease prevention.

Onions are also extremely high in the anti-oxidant Quercetin which helps the body fight free-radicals, and boosts the immune system

Honey is soothing but also sticks to the bad guys and gives the body some help mopping up and excreting waste products. Honey contains antibiotic enzymes- Manuka is the highest in them which is why Manuka is touted to be the best. The different numbers are the different grades of honey 16+ and above are the most potent apparently.

Here’s my multi purpose age old natural way if alleviating sore throats, dry coughs, tonsillitis, chesty coughs and any general immune boosting needs. It’s also great for funny tummies and diarrhea.

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Cut up a whole onion and place in a bowl (you can also use thyme/rosemary which are great expectorants)

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Pour honey over to cover (use raw, Manuka honey, plain honey will also work if its all you have to hand)

Leave for 1-2 hours.

Drain liquid- I use a funnel into a glass jar

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Put in the fridge and dose a tsp at a time. Will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Another way of using honey is to cut an onion in half and keep it by your bedside (raw onion would absorb germs in the air, preventing them from entering the body.-t hey must be removed as soon as they lose their odour and become discoloured, and be replaced by fresh ones).

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Twix and health inbetween

Twix and health inbetween

My quest for replicating common chocolates continues- I love my ‘Bounty’s’ now on to ‘Twix’ (would love to do Kit Kat but I think that gonna be impossible)

My journey began with foods I have never heard of till now. I have a dehydrator at home inherited from my folks who bought it to dry fruit and never used it! So I am looking into incorporating raw foods into our day to day diet to try and completely erradicate industry processed foods. A tough thing to do it seems!

Anyway- Buckwheaties are first on the agenda- apparently you can buy these ready made- but where’s the fun in that?! Also nowaday buying something made isnt as simple as making something and putting it in a bag to give to someone else.

Buckwheaties: (these can also be used as snacks in themselves as I discovered when my 3 year old kept coming back for more! and also are used as cereal or added to muesli. They are really crispy and are seeds derived from a flour so are completely grain free. Ground they are also a great flour and are used in alot of baking recipes- they are really quite moreish! You may have come across Buckwheat in Japanese buckwheat noodles, Russian pancakes (Bilini’s) and are used in beer production too!)

 

 

 

1 cup of Buckwheat Groats (very easy to buy I got some in Green dot)

Water

Pyrex bowl

Tea towel

This takes a little time, but is worth it. Rinse the groats in some water and leave to soak (preferably in filtered water) overnight. In the morning drain them and set in a glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. In the evening- rinse the groats and again place in the bowl and cover with the tea towel. In the morning they should have sprouted. Now they are ready to dry. I put them in the dehydrator, but you can use the lowest setting on your oven. Spread out the groats and dry until crunchy- takes about 6 hours in the dehydrator at living foods temperature.

Right now to the twix- this then takes no time at all!

1 cup of Buckwheaties

1/4 cup of dates (preferably organic medjool)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

3 tbs Cocoa Butter (melted)

Put the buckwheaties, dates and sugar in a food processor. I had to use a mini chopper as my Kenwood mixer food processor didnt have a good enough seal for the crumbs to stay in. Blitz until crumbs but may be some big bits still- keeps it crunchy and biscuit like. Add the cocoa butter and mix till its evenly mixed through.

Boil kettle and soak for 15 mins 1 cup of medjool dates for the caramel

Put some cling film in a baking dish- I used a square silicon one. Press down so bottom is evenly covered by the base. Put in the freezer.

While this is freezing make the caramel.

1 cup of medjool dates soaked (as above)
1/4 cup coconut nectar/maple syrup
2 tbs nut butter- I uses smooth organic peanut butter
3 tbs cocoa butter (melted)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Blend these all together and take out the biscuit base and smooth over the top. Put back in the freezer for a few hours.

When it’s set and frozen. Melt 200g of quality organic/ fair trade min 70% dark chocolate. I used endangered species (I think 1 milk chocolate bar and 1 dark will make it taste less overwhelmingly chocolate and more authentic to the Twix bar). In a Bain Marie. Take out base and caramel from freezer and lift out of bakeware onto a chopping board. I cut it into 1 inch squares. Get some baking parchment to put them on. Roll around using 2 forks in the chocolate till covered and lift out and put on the baking parchment. When finished put in the fridge for a couple of hours to set- or the freezer.

And Voilà- try don’t taste exactly the same- they taste better!

Don’t forget to put the excess chocolate in a parchment to make caramel biscuit chocolate bar after!!!!

Reward your self with one or two with a cup of Chai roobios!!

 

Thanks to these two ladies- without which this would never come into existence for me!

http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2012/10/raw-vegan-recipes-raw-vegan-caramel-fingers-aka-twixy-biscuits/#more-27946
http://www.haverawcakeandeatit.co.uk/raw_food_uk/BUCKWHEATIES_recipe.html

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Soda Bread

Soda Bread

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My husband is Irish, they love their bread. He has embraced being Gluten free for the most part and really enjoys making bread so this is his take- he wants to play and tweak it a little but here is the starting point!

he’s as bad as me at following recipes but this is what I got out of him!

11/2 cup Buckwheat/oat flour,

1/2 cup almond flour (our almond flour is now the leftover almond from the milk, dried and ground further in the coffee grinder)

30g steel cut oats (or normal oats if you are not celiac) optional,

1/2 teaspoon salt,

1tbs honey (can use coconut nectar)

1tsp bicarbonate soda,

1 cup milk kefir.

Soak flour in kefir overnight. Preheat oven to 200. Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl add wet ingredients. Try to mix as little as possible, p,ace on grease proof paper on baking sheet, dust lightly with more all purpose flour and cut a deep cross in the top. Bake for 30 mins until brown on the outside!

For Gluten free its a nice consistancy and goes lovely spread thick with some butter!

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Gluten-free Christmas Mince Pies

Gluten-free Christmas Mince Pies

 Gluten Free Mince Pies Loula Natural FB2

Gluten-free Christmas Mince Pies

Have not made my own mince meat for our christmas mince pies again this year- will have to put it on the ‘to do’ list for next year!! But here is a tasty gluten free pastry recipe that’s simple to make and use.

I also use this pastry for apple pies and pumpkin pie gluten free crusts I just add this apple and this pumpkin to the pastry and cook for the same amount of time.

Christmas isn’t christmas without a cup of tea and a mince pie!

Gluten Free Mince Pies Loula Natural Gluten Free Mince Pies Loula Natural pin

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Christmas Chocolate Box

Christmas Chocolate Box

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So having decided to make the Christmas presents this year, I have way more stress than normal!!! Yes Pinterest is great for inspiration but crap at actually sourcing things!! Anyway I digress- chocolate box. I have been enjoying making healthy chocolates as most have you have seen. I also have felt so good being dairy and gluten free for the best part of the year that I wanted to try making some dairy free truffles. I have never made a truffle in my life so this was a bodge job gone good. I mean very good- these are some tasty chocs. Super easy to make. This recipe is gonna make me 17 boxes (probably less due to creative sampling- lets say 10 boxes really!!)

Technically some of the chocolate I have used is not dairy free but that’s just for the outside so not really necessary. Add more cacao to your ‘Elixir of Life’ to make it really rich.

So most have been adapted from this mix I like to call my ‘Elixir of life!’

1 can of coconut milk- I tried the whole put it in the fridge for it to separate and it didn’t so I just used the whole can!
1/2 cup cocoa butter
3-4 heaped tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup (as I was out of coconut nectar and iherb aren’t delivering till tomorrow and I have no patience!)
2-3 drops vanilla essence (all the essences I used are by Medicine Flowers)

So I wizzed this up and refrigerated it thinking it may get solid and it went at best chocolate moose! So because these have got an airplane ride to get through I had to thicken it to ball it up somehow! That’s where the nuts come in!

Meanwhile I am soaking 1/2 cup raisins in some dark rum for the coconut balls and mixed peel, candied cherries and raisins and dried cranberries in tokay for the Christmas pudding marzipan balls (at least overnight is best)

Almond banoffee pie

1 cup of ground almonds (I use my dried ones from making my almond milk)
1 ripe banana
Medicine flower banana essence (to taste and optional)
Baileys Creme Caramel flavour (to taste I used about 1/2 shot and a bit more 😉 )
1 tbs coconut mana
4 tbs if the ‘elixir of life)
Coconut flour
1 bar of endangered species chocolate (or for dairy free ground almonds and cacao for rolling)

If you are using whole almonds blix them up till just before it hits almond butter. So they are ground and getting sticky. Add the banana and mash with a fork, add the rest I the ingredients to taste and leave the coconut flour to turn it into a bit more dough like. Roll into balls and place in freezer. Next day roll in milk chocolate (or to keep dairy free ground almond and cacao powder).

Pistachio Mint
The next few are similar-
1 cup of pistachio nuts (raw and unsalted)
Medicine flowers mint essence to taste
Vanilla essence
5-6 tbs of the ‘elixir of life’
Coconut flour
1 bar of 85% chocolate (I used green and blacks)

This one needs less flour as its less wet. But add, mix and taste as you go. Ball up, freeze. I rolled these in 85% dark chocolate with a little coconut oil mixed in.

Hazelnut Cranberry

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Vanilla essence
1-2 tbs coconut mana
5/6 tabs elixir of life
Pinch pink Himalayan rock salt (or sea salt)
Coconut flour
Cacao to roll in

Second verse- same as the first. Whizz hazelnuts and cranberries together. Mix everything else leaving coconut flour till end to soak up extra moisture ready to ball up. Rolled in raw cacao powder.

Cashew, Raspberry and White Chocolate
1 cup raw cashews
Fresh Raspberries
2 tbs coconut mana
Medicine Flowers Raspberry and also Vanilla
Pinch of salt (as above)
5/6 tbs of ‘Elixir of life’
Coconut flour
2 bars of white chocolate

So as before whizz the nuts and in a bowl with the mana, Elixir, then add the other ingredients except the fresh raspberries. The raspberry essence should be used sparingly as it just makes the taste of the fresh raspberry pop! Add the coconut flour to soak up excess moisture. Add a little at a time. Ball, freeze. White chocolate is hard to melt- excessive heat makes it thicker so take off the heat and stir and return. Take your time, have patience (what I keep telling my daughter possibly as I constantly need to hear it myself!

Marzipan Christmas pudding

Now I have made marzipan before but since it contains raw eggs I didn’t feel comfortable making it for other people to consume in a weeks time so I bought it. In an ideal world I would have searched for an egg free recipe and if anyone has one please share it with me.

200g marzipan
Handful of glacé cherries, mixed peel, dried cranberries and raisins soaked at least overnight in Tokay.
Drained liquid from above
About a cup Ground almonds (again leftover from almond milk- if anything this may get some of you making almond milk!!)
Coconut flour
1 bar of green and blacks maya gold chocolate

By far the sweetest one of the bunch. Put the marzipan in a bowl and add drained fruit. Using a bit of the liquid and some elbow grease (mine’s called Niall!) mix the two together. It takes a strong wooden spoon and man! Add the drained liquid bit by bit to help make the marzipan more pliable. It is then super sticky. Add ground almonds to counteract the sweetness and some coconut flour (although not much as its always going to be sticky and too much flour will make it chalky.) work quick while balling this one you don’t want it on your hands for too long. I used green and blacks maya gold cause I like the spicey notes. But 85% would be really nice too

Rum raisin coconut balls

Made exactly like the coconut bounty balls I made see here

But I added medicine flowers rum essence and a rum soaked raisin to the middle while rolling. Add some of the drained rum liquor if you like or soak the raisin in coconut water if you want this alcohol free. Roll in 85% chocolate as before

Phew sorry it’s rough and ready and without pictures the right way round! but I wanted it out there… Merry Christmas xxxx

Also below is where I got some inspiration and sound good too.

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/confectionscandies/r/dftruffles.htm

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/sweetsaucesfrostings/r/Vegan_Chocolate_Ganache_Recipe.htm

http://blackberriesandbloodoranges.com/2012/05/16/dairy-free-dark-chocolate-truffles/

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Gluten Free Gingerbread

Gluten Free Gingerbread

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Great for kids

100g sugar (coconut)
113g in salted butter (or coconut mana)

Cream together in the mixer
Sieve in 140g baking gluten free mix- or any gluten free flour
Tsp flax meal mixed with a little water as an egg substitute
30g ground almonds (I use the ones from my almond milk!)
Um- ground ginger, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg
Grated ginger about a thumb to knuckle size
Tasted and added more ground ginger!
Vanilla essence and a pince pink salt!

Let it sit in the fridge for an hour- roll it thin for cookies and thicker for house (and probably make 4x as much)

Bake at 180 for about 10 mins- allow to cool then ice if you want.

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Party Pieces

Party Pieces

Today we had a party to ‘Wet the Head’ of my son. Just a few friends round for lunch. Party food can be really healthy and delicious. Here’s my spin to get the most nutrients out of a few favourites!

Homemade Sausage Rolls:

I would love to say I made my own pastry. I have tried many times (my gluten free one was a disaster) they have never quite hit it. If you have a recipe I would love you to share it with me….

16 good quality Cumberland Sausages (or Chipolatas)

6 Sheets of Puff pastry cut in half

1 egg beaten

sesame seeds for the top

Cut the sausages out of the casing. Try and keep them as sausages.

Places the sausage meat down the left hand side of the pastry. Roll until sausage it completely covered. Egg wash the overlap and continue rolling with overlap side down. Egg wash the top and sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds. Cut to desired size and cook at 180-200C for 20 mins until golden brown.

Rustic Slaw:

Half a red cabbage

2 Large carrots peeled (unless organic- then just washed) and grated

1 apple peeled, cored and grated

1 Red onion thinly sliced

2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds

a really good dollup of organic mayo

a good dollup of Dijon mustard

Half a lemon

Salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix till mayo covers everything.

Broccoli salad:

I found this on Pinterest and changed a couple of things

2 Heads of Broccoli

Handful of pecarino cheese grated

10 slices of cooked crispy pancetta

Half a red onion finely diced

1 really good dollup of organic mayo

A couple of good dashes of white wine vinegar

About a tsp worth of maple syrup/ coconut nectar

Squeeze half a lemon

Salt and pepper

Cook the broccoli till soft with a bite (save your broccoli water to make stock if you have boiled it- otherwise steam it). Let it cool. Meanwhile, cook pancetta and cut up, grate cheese and dice onion. Add everything to a bowl and mix till dressing covers everything.

We also had marinaded Rack of lamb, Roasted Ratatouille, hummus and crudite. But those we can leave for another day to share…

For the sweet teeth!

Kane Festive Rocky Road:

This is normally only kept for Christmas and is a Kane family tradition to make on Christmas Eve- but it was a party and its much better for you than a cake or other puddings. Beware though it is incredibly moreish!!!

5 bars of organic dark chocolate (i used 4 70% and one 85% Madagascan Dark Chocolate)

Then the world is your oyster- we never repeat the same ingredients as its what we have in the cupboards or what we like the look of when collecting ingredients!!! This one included- nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, goiji berries, dried blueberries, rasins, thin almond cookies, homemade rose cookies, mini marshmallows, maltesers, pecans, ground almonds, dried banana and amonds. I have in the past put cut up jaffa cakes, any nut or seed, apricot kernals, bashed shortbread, different flavoured chocolate, digestive biscuits, any dried fruit, coconut. The great thing about it is it always tastes different!

Gently melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie. Cut, bash, break up the ingrdients into a bowl. Put 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper ready. When the chocolate has melted add to the bowl of ‘rocks’. Add the ground almond, sesame seeds, coconut at the end to absorb any still wet chocolate. Make sure everyone has a stir. At Christmas we each have a wish while we stir!!!

Pour into baking sheets and put in fidge or freezer till chocolate hardens again. Cut into squares…beware while you are cutting the desire to taste the little bits is too much to resist!!!!

Enjoy…Just try and pace yourself on the Rocky Road- or at least do a workout the next day!!!!

 

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Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Chorizo hash

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Chorizo hash

This is a family fav. Its easy to whip up and contains ingredients we always have in! Its also delicious and nutritious. Its also really nice without the Chorizo, just add a little chilli pepper to the hash mix if you are not sharing it with the kiddies (or if the kiddies also like a bit of spice!). My almost 3 year old loves it.

I got it from the BBC Good Food Mag, great for inspiration.

Ingredients:

600g Sweet potato -3/4 large ones- peeled and cubed  (preferably organic)

1tbs olive oil/coconut oil

1 large onion thinly sliced  (preferably organic)

400g cooking Chorizo (about half of a ring) thickly sliced

400g can of chickpeas (preferably organic)

4 large eggs  (preferably organic) or as many eggs as you have people so everyone can have an egg!

1 green chilli -optional

Boil/steam the sweet potatoes (if boiled save the water for your stock pot or for when you make soup) until tender and drain.

Heat oil in pan and cook onion and Chorizo until soft and add sweet potato and chickpeas. Cook for 5 mins

Use a fork to break down mixture and to flatten- not too chunky but also you don’t want it too sloppy.

Heat the Grill, break the eggs onto the top, season with some salt and pepper (works really nice with Pink Himalayan Salt but Sea Salt works just as well!). Put under the grill until the whites are set. Sprinkle on the chilli and serve. Easy peasy!!

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Lentil burgers

Lentil burgers

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I am terrible for not following recipes! Even my own- sometimes you don’t have everything- or what’s more common you can’t find something the recipe calls for in the shops- so I often improvise and use re pies as more of a guide. Some things come out downright bland sometimes if you follow a recipe. I like to add spices and herbs all the time!

Lentils are pretty bland so when making a burger out of them my husband generally doesn’t expect much so I have to give him flavour. This recipe has morphed out of a few and it takes a bit of artistic license sometimes to get the right consistency to make a patty that doesn’t crumble or slop all o er the place. So if you go a bit off book- you have my permission!

If you can get organic versions of the ingredients- that would be best.
400g cooked/sprouted (if you are feeling that extra step) lentils I usually use the brown French ones- (cooking them in some stock juice half orange and bay leaf often helps too with flavour)
400g cooked/sprouted chickpeas
2 garlic cloves (3 if they are only little)- ginger as well if you like
1 onion
1tbs Harissa (optional-depends on the kiddies)
1/2 pack flat leaf parsley (coriander is also nice also Thai basil or mint- whatever you can find fresh)
1 diced aubergine (celery, carrot, peppers equally work well)
100g breadcrumbs (gluten free if you need them to be) a little cooked rice sometimes works too)
Flour for dusting
Egg maybe but not always necessary depending on if you need to give it a bit more binding
Salt and pepper
Spices can include- turmeric, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chilli flakes, curry powder whatever takes your fancy.

it’s really important to taste as you go with this- since here’s no meat there’s no danger!

Use a little olive or coconut oil and cook off the garlic, onion, aubergine, chickpeas and lentils. Add spices and other ingredients and pulse in food processor. Mix slowly you don’t want baby purée! You want it mixed but not smooth.
Dust flour on work top and roll balls of the mixture and pat down into patties
Can be done ahead and then frozen or kept in fridge before cooking. Heat a little olive or coconut oil and fry them on both sides until heated through

I like them with my rustic slaw, or pickled cucumber. Or they go well with cauliflower cheese!

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Pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

We have a protein shake every morning with our breakfast. I used to use a pumpkin seed protein mostly because its unflavoured and I am not a huge whey protein fan. Nowadays we just just nuts and seeds in our quest to eat as close to nature as possible. This Pumpkin smoothie is great tasting but also really filling and satisfying.

Both of my kids have had morning smoothies from around 6 months (although I kept them nut free for the first year). My eldest would have porridge and it was not keeping her full up till lunch. I was adding ground almonds and berries when she was one however she would still be looking for food an hour after. Since I was already having a smoothie myself I started giving her some. She’s had one every morning since! Now my youngest is also not complete in the morning without his smoothie! 

Breakfast= smoothie then muesli then apple! 

Check out all my other breakfast recipes here

I love pumpkin. I love it in soup, pie, roasted, chipped and puréed. I found organic canned pumpkin but also prefer making my own pumpkin puree. This is a twist on our regular morning smoothie and my kids and I think its delicious. The hubby is going along with it but he has issues with using veggies in sweet mode (he eats my beetroot brownies alright though!!)

 2 cups of oat milk/Almond Milk
1/3 cup of organic pumpkin puree
1 banana (I keep mine in the fridge- but a frozen one would be nice too)
1 tbs peanut butter (or other nut butters- optional)
2 scoops protein powder/almond meal/ground flax/ground seed mix (30g protein- optional)
Tsp Pumpkin Spice powder (to taste so add more or less)
Vanilla (essence, pod or paste)
1 tsp maple sugar (coconut nectar, maple syrup- optional)
1 tbs coconut oil/ghee/butter

you can also add 2 tbs kefir (dairy or water) for a probiotic kick

Whizzzzz up. This serves 3 glasses.

Delicious- I also love sequins!!

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Other pumpkin recipes;

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Pumpkin Bread

 Pumpkin Brownies

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural Pin

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Banana, Almond and Flax crackers

Banana, Almond and Flax crackers

My daughter’s kindy has a no nut policy for snack time. It makes sense, however suddenly I am lost as to what to give her other than fruit and cut vegies. Normally I will also have a pot of nuts or I make bars for her with nuts and seeds. However I found a recipe for flax crackers and have tweaked it a bit (although for her ones at school I will just make 100g flax half whole half ground). These have the perfect balance of carbohydrate, protein and essential fats. Can be for snacks or spread with nut butter for breakfast. Also go very well with my Lemon, ginger and orange curd.

80g flax seeds(half ground half whole)

20g ground almonds

1 medium (browned or extra ripe) banana.

Mash the banana with a spoon until its creamy with few lumps. Add the flax seeds, almonds and mix. Keep mixing till it completely combines. Let it sit for 20 mins.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray, drop 1 Tsp drops and press flat.

Bake for 15-20 minutes on 300C or until the edges are brown and the tops are hard.

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Lemon, Ginger and Orange Curd

Lemon, Ginger and Orange Curd

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd Loula Natural

I love lemon curd- this is so easy to make- can’t believe I never made it before- its actually very healthy- full of protein and fats. I add it to my smoothies, chia porridge, toast, to frost cookies or simply off the spoon!

From this;

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to this!

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Here is the bain marie set up;

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Frosting cookies with it;

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Slow cooker lasagna

Slow cooker lasagna

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I love lasagna. My mum always made a good one and when I lived with my brother for a while we tried to make the perfect one. I’ve tried pre-cooking the pasta, always make the white sauce without milk so finding a good alternative was a struggle (mistaking sweetened soy was a fatal error!). However I have just with my hubby made my fifth PERFECT lasagna.

Here’s how we do it- in the slow cooker. I love the slow cooker, I got it when I had my first baby as making dinner was a constant struggle, she would always need constant feeding and holding from about 4pm. So making dinner during her morning nap was a constant godsend for me. Now it’s just great to enjoy the afternoon with the constant pressure of dinner over my head. The food has always been perfect. It was only recently I stumbled upon the idea of doing it in the slow cooker. Pinterest I love you.

Ingredients:
500g mince (a mix of chicken, beef and pork is really nice but not necessary)
Celery
Carrot
1 Onion
2 cloves Garlic
Thumbnail size of ginger
Basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf (preferably fresh any herbs are nice)
Tin of tomatoes
Tbs Tomato purée
Worcestershire sauce/fish sauce/ glass red wine/ white wine (optional add that extra Unami)
200ml Bone broth (stock)

White Sauce;

40g Butter

40g Gluten free flour (buckwheat, rice, quinoa, chickpea- whatever you have- wheat flour is also fine)

400ml Oat milk/whey/stock(or leftover veg water- last nights asparagus and green beans)

10g cheese (usually pecorino as its sheeps cheese- optional)

(If no veg water a little Dijon mustard gives it some flavour)
Gluten free lasagna sheets (I get mine from great- waitrose for those in uk also do some)

Put onion, celery, carrot, ginger and garlic with fresh herbs (except bay leaf)into food processor. Blitz till all chopped. Heat some olive/coconut oil in a deep stockpot. Fry off and add meat. When browned add tinned tomatoes, stock, purée, and optional extras ie wine. Add bay leaf. It’s okay if it’s quite wet. You want that to cook down and reduce on low for at least an hour. Whilst this is cooking, melt butter in another saucepan. When melted add flour until you have a roux. Slowly add fluid (water/milk) stop and start continually mixing on a very low heat. Add cheese/mustard. Set aside. Turn crockpot onto low- add half mince- layer pasta- then white sauce- then pasta- then meat sauce- then white sauce with some extra cheese on top. Cook for 6 hours (I put mine on at 11am turn it to warm at 5pm and serve at 6.30. Serve with a colourful salad.

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Nurturing Nutrition

Nurturing Nutrition

Getting organised  for the impending birth of my son, I wanted to go over my snacks list to make sure I have them here if I want them. It occurred to me that they are great snacks for anyone and for all the family. What else would you add, or have you used?

Labour and post labour Snack Ideas: (for him and her!)

  • Frozen grapes, mango and coconut icelollies. Honey ice cubes
  • Banana smoothie (all my smoothie recipes are here): banana, oat milk, mango, Pumpkin seed protein powder, nut butter and cinnamon (can also be frozen like an ice-lolly or in drinks bottles to thaw on route.) A common breakfast in our house.
  • Vegetable crisps. Homemade in the dehydrator or use a peeler to get nice thin layers and bake in the oven till crispy with a little olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Dried apricots, blueberries, apple, banana chips, prunes, dates, papaya, mango
  • Nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews
  • Coconut water (fresh- here is my coconut milk and coconut yoghurt recipes also- how to open a coconut here)
  • Crystallised ginger
  • Protein bars, energy balls, homemade bounty bars (chock full of coconut!) fat bombs like vanilla fudge and chocolate fudgehomemade chocolate and this homemade rocky road.
  • Oatcakes and jar nut butter. Or nut butter with slices of apple and pear. Or a personal favourite in the groove of celery.
  • Raw chocolate! Or at least 70% cocoa
  • Straws for drinking through
  • Carrot and celery and hummus/white bean dip (already cut in fridge ready to grab)
  • Water melon to help restore electrolytes (can also be blitzed and frozen in drinks bottles)
  • Falafel (to eat with hummus)
  • Iced raspberry leaf, nettle and peppermint tea with lemon and honey to taste. (of course can be hot too or made into ice cubes) Can also use tulsi tea. (holy basil) can chill you out during labour. Also can add rescue remedy.

Recipe idea:

HIGH PROTEIN SUGAR FREE ENERGY BAR

• 250g desiccated coconut
• 200g ground almonds (can use pumpkin seed protein power for allergies)
• 100g sesame seeds
• 1 tsp of cinnamon
• approx 14 dried pitted dates, chopped
• 2 eggs (can use egg replacement for allergies)
• 2 tbs pure organic coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature.

Melt coconut oil over very low heat until it is liquid. Do not cook or
boil.
Chop dates and mix together with dry ingredients (coconut, ground
almonds, sesame seeds), and cinnamon.
Add 2 beaten eggs and mix till mixture is moist.
Pour in melted coconut oil and mix with fork or hands
Spread into a shallow tin lined with baking parchment.
Bake in a moderate oven (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes. Remove when top
is golden.
Cut into slices while still warm and soft.

Enjoy, I know we do!

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Seriously good chocolate cupcakes

Seriously good chocolate cupcakes

Not my cupcakes I hasten to add- I tend to rush decoration and they look more like the pic at the bottom!

I have to share this recipe so I don’t lose it. I am notorious for not being able to follow a recipe. I use them as guides and change things as I go along. Constant experimentation, sometimes it works, and sometimes…well lets just say those ones won’t be posted!!!

I have a very sweet tooth and it is my undoing, I hate adding sugar to things because I know how damaging it can be to your body. I have just found coconut sugar. Brilliant adds good fat fibre and natural sweetness to any recipe. I also have been playing with various different gluten-free flours and have enjoyed using them knowing they are adding some goodness to my baking. Pair this with the added pleasure of baking with my 2.5 year old and we are winning all round.

150g organic butter (for dairy free try coconut butter or coconut oil, 150 g coconut sugar, whisk till creamed (blended and fluffy)

Add 3 organic eggs one by one and whisk together, (for egg free I add 1tsp chia:3 tsp water = 1 egg so for this recipe I use this x2 and mash half a banana to substitue the 3rd egg)

then 25g coconut flour (red mill), and 25 g organic cocoa powder, 120g gluten-free baking and biscuits flour(red mill) ( I deviated slightly from my original plan of quinoa flour (red mill)and add baking soda, that’s for next time!)

tsp baking powder

then coconut flour sucks up moisture so I added oat milk till I got the desired consistency when whisked together (wet but still thick and fluffy).

Then 2 1/2 handfuls of hazel nuts bashed and I cut up a small bar of organic 85% chocolate added and stirred.
Oven at 180 for 18 mins check and keep going till golden brown (mine took 22 mins but I never wait for the oven to heat up!). Or 8 mins in the cupcake maker (yep!!) made about 25-30 and they are nice and light and fluffy.

Frosting; 20g butter, 2tbs boiling water and cocoa then sprinkles for fun!

My friend has just added the following frosting which shall be my next plan: “chocolate frosting (cocoa, dates, coconut oil)” From our new fav blogger www.therawtarian.com. Thanks Amanda xxx

Happy baking and indeed sharing with family and friends.

Heres what I think encompasses my decorating skills!!! Love this-

 

For more updates and tips and tricks Like my facebook page or follow this blog…

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Best friends chocolate chip cookies

Best friends chocolate chip cookies

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My daughter and I love to bake together, she loves what we make and I love making the cookies and cupcakes nutritious enough for me to feel happy she’s eating them! To help her adjust with the addition of her little brother it’s something I am trying to keep as consistent mummy and Eva time. Also with visitors coming to meet the little guy i called them best friend cookies.

I am currently baking gluten free as we are a gluten and dairy free family. This is a choice we made as neither dairy nor gluten seems to agree with us and using different flours definitely adds more goodness and for example quinoa flour adds some protein to the mix. Using coconut sugar makes such a difference. Not only is it adding fibre but it has a completely different effect on the body. For one thing, you are satisfied with just the one! I tend to divide the mixture in half, roll them into sausages in cling film, stick one in the freezer, one in the fridge and cut off and bake the number of cookies you need when you need them. Not only does it cut down temptation (ESP when breast feeding!) it means you always get that fresh baked texture, smell and taste of a good gooey chocolate chip cookie.

Here is my recipe;

50g coconut flour
300g Buckwheat/oat flour
1tbs kefir
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
150g coconut sugar
225g butter
1 tsp vanilla (1 pod)
3 medium organic eggs
1tsp orange peel powder (optional)
100g chocolate chopped up or good quality dark chocolate
1tsp cinnamon

 

I recently got a Kenwood Major for my birthday. put the softened butter and coconut sugar and nectar in the bowl and whisk (on 2 for those with a mixer with the balloon whisk.) until creamy. Add the vanilla, orange water and eggs whisk together.

Add the flours salt and baking powder and continue whisking until dough like. Add chocolate and cinnamon and mix till combined. Put in cling as described above and stick into the fridge. Let cool and harden slightly so it can be cut. Or just put a spoonful on a greased baking tray, leaving room between each one. Cook at 200c for 10-15 mins allow to cool on the tray.

 

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Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

I will never go back to dairy ice cream- coconut ice-cream all the way.

You may have noticed a trend with my recipes! Chocolate. Combine that with coconut ice-cream and I am very happy! I love Chocolate- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant. Full of healthy fats (when cocoa butter/coconut oil is used), magnesium, vitamins and minerals

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my  2 kids like it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what, she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free coconut ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Here is our Rocky Road version;

1 ½ cups of Coconut yoghurt or 1 cup coconut meat

1 cup  Fresh coconut milk (you could also use any nut,oat or dairy milk)

1 Banana (mashed) Optional

1tbs Raw Cacao powder

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

3 drops Vanilla essence

1tbs Honey or Maple syrup (optional)

Rocky bits (marshmallows, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, soaked seeds, toasted coconut…)

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

Here is a winning chocolate syrup recipe too from A Happy Health Nut- using honey to sweeten, yum!

 

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Spring into Health

Spring into Health

Spring bloom

 

Why does a change of season suddenly bring with it so many symptoms of illness? What can we do to recognise our body’s reaction and how can we boost immunity naturally?

A change of season, especially in Hong Kong, not only brings about a change in temperature but also a change in humidity, daylight hours and atmospheric pressure. Your body will have to adapt to these changes in a number of ways. The key to doing this is using foods and nutrients to strengthen and boost our immune system.

Illnesses during change of seasons are natural and integral to the body developing and reacting to the changing atmospheres around us. They are a way of purging the body (of mucous and waste products for example) and are normally signals to rest and recuperate. For example the lungs have to massively change to compensate for the added water levels in the air with the change of humidity and temperature. The little hairs in our lungs (Cila) are affected. Getting muck (mucous) out of our system is the body’s way of adapting and spring cleaning. So children and adults alike may sneeze, get runny noses or coughs. These symptoms can be likened to a cold, but may very well have no bacteria or virus involved. It is important to know the difference and seeing a professional (whether a doctor, naturopath or homeopath) to help you to do that. To interrupt this can then lead to more serious symptoms, but supporting it you can adapt and allow the season to change with little disruption.

From winter to spring we get lighter mornings, we wake easier and seem to have more energy. We are programmed to operate at full function in daylight. Sunlight on our skin will also provide us vital vitamin D (but only by not wearing sunscreen, try and go 10 mins with 40% of your body in full sunlight a day. As soon as you feel the heat starting to get a bit intense on your skin, cover up or return to the shade see here) Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system.  Our body clocks react to daylight. We are supposed to slow down and stock up in the winter ready for spring’s re-awakening. However daily hum drum does not change through the seasons anymore and the toll on our body is seen with more winter colds/ illnesses as the immune system is dampened in the cold weather and if we do let our bodies rest, then we start to become deficient in vital nutrients used up by the will to keep going.

Stress is a major factor in immunity – take time to relax when you start to feel run down. Illness is generally a signal to slow down and rest. Pushing through an illness is another way of suppressing signals and may also cause future long term damage. Viruses and bacteria are around us all the time; they are in our homes and outside. They are necessary for human existence. They are opportunistic so when you are run down, going through a change (in pregnancy or environmental change of season), stressed, malnourished, or tired you are at your most prone to illness. By adding foods and nutrients like vitamin D, C, E, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants daily; you can help prevent illness by providing your body with the means to heal and strengthen from within.

Foods in season are around to help support this change of season and boost the immune system. Foods in season right now are all your leafy greens, beetroot, strawberries, pumpkin, papaya – foods bursting with Iron, Beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Papaya also has vital enzymes to help us absorb our food so is great to have at meal times. All perfect to help boost immunity and rid and protect our body from toxins. Another great reason to eat local organic produce and go strawberry picking in the New Territories!

Here are some Natural remedy recipes to allow you to keep the Spring in your step!

Ginger tea

Ginger, lemon and orange curd

Honey and onion Elixor

Drinking Greens

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Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

I will never go back to dairy ice cream- coconut ice-cream all the way.

You may have noticed a trend with my recipes! Chocolate. Combine that with coconut ice-cream and I am very happy! I love Chocolate- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant. Full of healthy fats (when cocoa butter/coconut oil is used), magnesium, vitamins and minerals

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my  2 kids like it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what, she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free coconut ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Here is our Rocky Road version;

1 ½ cups of Coconut yoghurt or 1 cup coconut meat

1 cup  Fresh coconut milk (you could also use any nut,oat or dairy milk)

1 Banana (mashed) Optional

1tbs Raw Cacao powder

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

3 drops Vanilla essence

1tbs Honey or Maple syrup (optional)

Rocky bits (marshmallows, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, soaked seeds, toasted coconut…)

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

Here is a winning chocolate syrup recipe too from A Happy Health Nut- using honey to sweeten, yum!

 

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Best friends chocolate chip cookies

Best friends chocolate chip cookies

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My daughter and I love to bake together, she loves what we make and I love making the cookies and cupcakes nutritious enough for me to feel happy she’s eating them! To help her adjust with the addition of her little brother it’s something I am trying to keep as consistent mummy and Eva time. Also with visitors coming to meet the little guy i called them best friend cookies.

I am currently baking gluten free as we are a gluten and dairy free family. This is a choice we made as neither dairy nor gluten seems to agree with us and using different flours definitely adds more goodness and for example quinoa flour adds some protein to the mix. Using coconut sugar makes such a difference. Not only is it adding fibre but it has a completely different effect on the body. For one thing, you are satisfied with just the one! I tend to divide the mixture in half, roll them into sausages in cling film, stick one in the freezer, one in the fridge and cut off and bake the number of cookies you need when you need them. Not only does it cut down temptation (ESP when breast feeding!) it means you always get that fresh baked texture, smell and taste of a good gooey chocolate chip cookie.

Here is my recipe;

50g coconut flour
300g Buckwheat/oat flour
1tbs kefir
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
150g coconut sugar
225g butter
1 tsp vanilla (1 pod)
3 medium organic eggs
1tsp orange peel powder (optional)
100g chocolate chopped up or good quality dark chocolate
1tsp cinnamon

 

I recently got a Kenwood Major for my birthday. put the softened butter and coconut sugar and nectar in the bowl and whisk (on 2 for those with a mixer with the balloon whisk.) until creamy. Add the vanilla, orange water and eggs whisk together.

Add the flours salt and baking powder and continue whisking until dough like. Add chocolate and cinnamon and mix till combined. Put in cling as described above and stick into the fridge. Let cool and harden slightly so it can be cut. Or just put a spoonful on a greased baking tray, leaving room between each one. Cook at 200c for 10-15 mins allow to cool on the tray.

 

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Seriously good chocolate cupcakes

Seriously good chocolate cupcakes

Not my cupcakes I hasten to add- I tend to rush decoration and they look more like the pic at the bottom!

I have to share this recipe so I don’t lose it. I am notorious for not being able to follow a recipe. I use them as guides and change things as I go along. Constant experimentation, sometimes it works, and sometimes…well lets just say those ones won’t be posted!!!

I have a very sweet tooth and it is my undoing, I hate adding sugar to things because I know how damaging it can be to your body. I have just found coconut sugar. Brilliant adds good fat fibre and natural sweetness to any recipe. I also have been playing with various different gluten-free flours and have enjoyed using them knowing they are adding some goodness to my baking. Pair this with the added pleasure of baking with my 2.5 year old and we are winning all round.

150g organic butter (for dairy free try coconut butter or coconut oil, 150 g coconut sugar, whisk till creamed (blended and fluffy)

Add 3 organic eggs one by one and whisk together, (for egg free I add 1tsp chia:3 tsp water = 1 egg so for this recipe I use this x2 and mash half a banana to substitue the 3rd egg)

then 25g coconut flour (red mill), and 25 g organic cocoa powder, 120g gluten-free baking and biscuits flour(red mill) ( I deviated slightly from my original plan of quinoa flour (red mill)and add baking soda, that’s for next time!)

tsp baking powder

then coconut flour sucks up moisture so I added oat milk till I got the desired consistency when whisked together (wet but still thick and fluffy).

Then 2 1/2 handfuls of hazel nuts bashed and I cut up a small bar of organic 85% chocolate added and stirred.
Oven at 180 for 18 mins check and keep going till golden brown (mine took 22 mins but I never wait for the oven to heat up!). Or 8 mins in the cupcake maker (yep!!) made about 25-30 and they are nice and light and fluffy.

Frosting; 20g butter, 2tbs boiling water and cocoa then sprinkles for fun!

My friend has just added the following frosting which shall be my next plan: “chocolate frosting (cocoa, dates, coconut oil)” From our new fav blogger www.therawtarian.com. Thanks Amanda xxx

Happy baking and indeed sharing with family and friends.

Heres what I think encompasses my decorating skills!!! Love this-

 

For more updates and tips and tricks Like my facebook page or follow this blog…

https://www.facebook.com/Loulanaturalhealthandwellbeing

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Nurturing Nutrition

Nurturing Nutrition

Getting organised  for the impending birth of my son, I wanted to go over my snacks list to make sure I have them here if I want them. It occurred to me that they are great snacks for anyone and for all the family. What else would you add, or have you used?

Labour and post labour Snack Ideas: (for him and her!)

  • Frozen grapes, mango and coconut icelollies. Honey ice cubes
  • Banana smoothie (all my smoothie recipes are here): banana, oat milk, mango, Pumpkin seed protein powder, nut butter and cinnamon (can also be frozen like an ice-lolly or in drinks bottles to thaw on route.) A common breakfast in our house.
  • Vegetable crisps. Homemade in the dehydrator or use a peeler to get nice thin layers and bake in the oven till crispy with a little olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Dried apricots, blueberries, apple, banana chips, prunes, dates, papaya, mango
  • Nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews
  • Coconut water (fresh- here is my coconut milk and coconut yoghurt recipes also- how to open a coconut here)
  • Crystallised ginger
  • Protein bars, energy balls, homemade bounty bars (chock full of coconut!) fat bombs like vanilla fudge and chocolate fudgehomemade chocolate and this homemade rocky road.
  • Oatcakes and jar nut butter. Or nut butter with slices of apple and pear. Or a personal favourite in the groove of celery.
  • Raw chocolate! Or at least 70% cocoa
  • Straws for drinking through
  • Carrot and celery and hummus/white bean dip (already cut in fridge ready to grab)
  • Water melon to help restore electrolytes (can also be blitzed and frozen in drinks bottles)
  • Falafel (to eat with hummus)
  • Iced raspberry leaf, nettle and peppermint tea with lemon and honey to taste. (of course can be hot too or made into ice cubes) Can also use tulsi tea. (holy basil) can chill you out during labour. Also can add rescue remedy.

Recipe idea:

HIGH PROTEIN SUGAR FREE ENERGY BAR

• 250g desiccated coconut
• 200g ground almonds (can use pumpkin seed protein power for allergies)
• 100g sesame seeds
• 1 tsp of cinnamon
• approx 14 dried pitted dates, chopped
• 2 eggs (can use egg replacement for allergies)
• 2 tbs pure organic coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature.

Melt coconut oil over very low heat until it is liquid. Do not cook or
boil.
Chop dates and mix together with dry ingredients (coconut, ground
almonds, sesame seeds), and cinnamon.
Add 2 beaten eggs and mix till mixture is moist.
Pour in melted coconut oil and mix with fork or hands
Spread into a shallow tin lined with baking parchment.
Bake in a moderate oven (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes. Remove when top
is golden.
Cut into slices while still warm and soft.

Enjoy, I know we do!

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The benefits of using clay in cosmetics

The benefits of using clay in cosmetics

The Benefits of Using Clay in Cosmetics

For centuries mineral-rich clay has been used as a natural agent to beautify the skin. Clay minerals may comprise 15% of the volume of the earth’s crust. In soil, clays are generally the most important adsorbents for inorganic metals and organic solutes as well, this gives them their mineral content. Their presence in our soils is imperative for plants growth and nutrient density. They are an extremely important natural resource and have many uses. 

“it (the clay) absorbs all of those properties of nature. It takes on the energy, so when you look at it as a substance, you can say that it’s the sum of the pull of nature’s energy.”

Different powdered clays are used as the basis for facial body masks popular in many spas, think mud baths! They are largely used for their ability to absorb excess oils, dead skin cells and potential toxins from the skin. They are often paired with powdered herbs and nutrients to enhance their abilities to heal, tone, soften and detoxify the skin. Applying clay to cosmetics may help to exfoliate, clean and invigorate the skin whilst improving blood circulation (you can often feel some heat and see redness after a clay mask for this reason. When the effect softens down the skin normally looks glowing).

As well as being in masks, clays are added to natural scrubs (for their natural exfoliating properties, natural vegetable soaps (as they can enhance their lather capabilities), some clays are used in toothpaste, deodorant and also shampoo or face cleansing bars. We use clay in the bath with essential oils and as a ‘talc’, I also add clay to my dry shampoo recipe.

TOP TIPS:

  • Wet your face at night, apply your clay, and just begin to lightly massage the clay in for about two or three minutes for a soft, natural exfoliation. Apply a nutritious oil infused with essential oils afterwards for a real treat for the skin.
  • Mix clay with a liquid to make a paste:
  • You can add ground coffee, salt, oats, almond flour or desiccated coconut to increase the exfoliant properties.
  • Add herbal teas like chamomile, calendula, rooibos or rosewater to the clay for a calming and nutrient dense combination.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, kombucha or kefir to the clay to increase detoxification and to make your skin tighter, brighter and simply glowing!
  • Rinse off your mask using just water. You may have to gently scrub a little with your fingers to get it off. It tends to try to stick to your skin.
  • I mix raw cacao and red clay with arrowroot flour for my dry shampoo!
  • Avoid getting clay in mouth, eyes, ears, nose.
  • After a clay mask tone the skin with a little rose water or kefir/water spray
  • Moisturiser will be soaked into the skin with greater effect after a clay mask.
  • Clays mix nicely with activated charcoal.
  • Clay infused sponges work really nicely and gently on the skin.
  • Traditionally clays have been taken externally or internally. Consider contacting a practitioner like myself for advice with this.

Different clays have different properties and are ideal for different skin types and also different needs. The clays come from all over the world and different locations will have different mineral constituents. The mineral content and physical structure of each clay will help to determine the desired effect for the skin.

Different clays for different reasons:

Bentonite clay:

Bentonite clay is a generic term made of rocks that come from volcanic ash beds. Settled on the ground the ash has immersed itself into the soil, Bentonite is found wherever volcanic eruptions have occurred and where the ash beds have not been destroyed by erosion. Today most of the clay available to buy is harvested in western U.S. (mostly Wyoming), Greece, France, India, Australia and Italy. You may see it as Bentonite or Montmorillonite clay, the two names are interchangeable.

Bentonite is a very popular clay with many for skin benefits. With its strong negative electrical charge, it is seen to draw out positively charged toxins like a magnet. Also as one of the most absorbable clays bentonite is also helpful for oily skin. Normally used for tightening, brightening, acne-clearing and toxin reducing, bentonite is also very good for first aid.

Bentonite clay swells when mixed with liquid, making it a highly porous and absorbing substance. It can actually absorb more than its initial mass, including any swelling from excess fluid anywhere in the body. It is also great to add to scars, stretch marks and red skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce scars, stretch marks, rosacea or liver spots.
  • Softens and detoxifies the skin
  • Soothes dermatitis.
  • Hydrates the hair.
  • Decreases eye puffiness: Moisten the under-eye area (be careful to be away from the eye itself) and apply quite a thick paste application of clay/apple cider vinegar or water around the eyes. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then wash it off. 
  • For a first aid paste good for cuts, bruises, sores or blisters: Mix bentonite clay powder with baking soda, water and turmeric. You can also add cooled thyme or calendula tea to maximize the effect it has on your skin.

Red Clay:

Used for its beauty benefits since the dawn of time, also known as Rhassoul clay, this ancient clay is mined from Morocco. It is considered more rare and pure than other clays, it was reserved for Egyptian royalty in the past. Extremely high in minerals and trace elements it owes its colour to a high concentration of iron oxide. This clay is used to stimulate microcirculation in the blood vessels helping to improve circulation to the skin and remove toxins and impurities.

Like Bentonite clay the minerals cause a negative charge, most toxins in your skin are positively charged, so this clay is also the perfect magnet. However, this clay is excellent for more sensitive and drier skins as it also has elasticity and texture-improving effects. Gentle enough for daily use in small doses like in soap, makes a great exfoliator and in a hair mask or shampoo may absorb excess build-up on hair, restoring volume, and shine. It is also very good on sensitive scalps.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Gentle and effective exfoliant
  • improves dryness and scaliness of skin
  • clarifies skins texture and firmness.
  • Mattifies and unifies the complexion
  • absorbs impurities and detoxifies skin to revive and brighten the complexion
  • Reduces redness and soothes discomfort caused by irritations
  • Acts as a natural colour in makeup or dry shampoo
  • Absorbs excess sebum from the skin and hair
  • Restores body, silkiness and shine to hair

Pink clay:

A mix of red and white clay, pink clay enjoys the benefits of both. It is great for sensitive and mature skin and has the benefits of both bentonite and rhassoul clay. Considered to be the mildest of all the clays, Pink Clay masks do not remove the skin’s natural oils, making it perfect for tight, dry and dehydrated skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Restores radiance to the skin.
  • Reduces irritation and inflammation.
  • Treats damaged skin by promoting healthy cell renewal.
  • Good to use on scars and stretch marks
  • May help to reduce wrinkles
  • Softens and hydrates the skin.
  • Cleanses and refreshes dull, tired and dry skin.
  • Eliminates redness.
  • Smoothens the skin’s texture.
  • Revitalizes the scalp and hair.

Green Clay:

Green clay, also referred to as green illite, sea clay or Montmorillonite clay. Found in abundant deposits in France (also extracted from other places in the world including China and the U.S.), it is mined several thousand feet below the earth’s crust (up to two thousand feet below the surface). A naturally occurring material rich in nutrients, it gets its greenish hue from the presence of blue-green algae and chlorophyll left by decomposed plant life mixed with Iron oxides. Once the clay is mined it is brought out into the sun to remove excess water and moisture and to make it the powder we can use. 

The clay’s amazing detoxifying quality of this material is best demonstrated by its use in 1986, when it was used in a massive quantity to cover and neutralise the nuclear reactor site at Chernobyl. It was also added to chocolate to help people to detoxify it from their body. Green clay has also been used for centuries in a poultice and Arizona State University reports their researchers have found French green clay effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium marinum. These bacteria can play a part in serious skin infections.

French green clay is also excellent for exfoliation and pore-tightening. It is another very absorbent clay that especially drinks up oil from the skin and hair, it also encourages blood towards the surface of your skin, giving you a bit of a tingling sensation as it boosts circulation. Extremely nutrient-rich, green clay also contains dolomite, manganese, silica, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Helps hair that is oily, shiny or dull.
  • Softens dry or rough skin.
  • removes dirt from the skin and scalp.
  • Great used in deodorant.
  • Daily mask can help regulate your skin’s sebum production to reduce oiliness.
  • Clears acne and reduces blackheads
  • Calms and soothes eczema, rashes, psoriasis.
  • Improves skin condition and appearance.
  • Purifies and balances the scalp and clears dandruff.
  • Detoxifys body.
  • Great used in first aid and in poltices.
  • Good to use in toothpaste especially with gum issues.

Get in contact below for some recommendations for brands and how to use them….

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What is Brain Gym?

What is Brain Gym?

What are Brain Gym exercises-

During Inner Rainbow Mindfulness 7 week Course the participants will have the chance to learn and practice Brain Gym or Movement Therapy Exercises each week. These are a great way to improve focus, switch on the brain, practice physical coordination and reconnect the body and mind. You’ll be able to continue using them at home using the videos found in the exclusive online content that goes with the course!

 

So what is Brain Gym? Learn more here.

 

Brain Gym, Educational Kinesiology or Movement Therapy is a series of movements, done with intention and designed to ‘wake-up’ the brain or to stimulate brain function. Its focus is improved learning and mental organisation. The idea is that these are simple exercises that anyone can do at home or at work or at school and they are often used with children who have special needs or need to improve their learning ability. They are designed to strengthen the relationship between body and mind and so are particularly interesting in this time when so many of our activities are cerebral.

The Brain Gym programme was developed by Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison and grew out of Educational Kinesiology. It is a set of 26 exercises or activites. Brain Gym or Movement Therapy is often used by therapists or in school classrooms with a reported increase in concentration and reading and listening skills.

 

Brain gym images

Brain Gym exercises are used to improve focus; children (or adults) repeat the exercises regularly and slowly. In children using these exercises there is often a noticeable improvement in memory, concentration, relationships and communication, and physical coordination. Though it is not 100% clear how and why this happens the thinking is that it exercises areas of the brain and strengthens neurological pathways that may not be well used otherwise. It allows participants to practice and strengthen physical coordination pathways and used to support children having developmental issues in this area. The therapy also requires them to be focused and present (i.e. mindful) during the exercises, supporting a habit of focus and single-mindedness. The exercises stimulate particular areas of the brain to improve its function, improve the integration between brain parts and links between the two hemispheres.

Children (and adults) often habitually rely more heavily on one hemisphere of the brain and under use the other, particularly in times of stress. This then means the other side of the brain is under utilised and therefore the person may not be functioning optimally. A lot of Brain gym exercises are designed to cross over from one side to the other – for example making sideways figure eights or putting an elbow to the opposite knee. The aim is to strengthen the connections between left and right brain activity, strengthen neural pathways and improve coordination. When our brains work better our whole body works better and we have an increased sense of well being.

During one-on-one and class sessions, the client is observed to see which exercises will best help them – consideration is given to how their body is when they stand and sit, what behavioral traits they display, their hand-eye coordination, what head or body movements they use, if they can move both sides of the body simultaneously, whether hips and shoulders can be moved at the same time etc. After using the specific exercises people should notice their mental processes are better organised and they are able to focus. But the exercises can be used by everyone and are not limited to those with learning difficulties or coordination problems. They are a great accompaniment to life and learning.

For a great explanation and more indepth discussion about it I like this article which focuses on one of the exercises; http://heartsatplay.com/the-cross-crawl-a-remarkable-movement/

For an old but interesting research project focused on improving reading in classrooms http://www.movementbasedlearning.com/articles/articles/readingproject.html

Or if you are interested in Educational Kinesiology and Brain Gym http://www.braingym.org.uk/about-edu-k/

Kate Baldwin is a qualified Kinesiologist and can be found at http://thebalancesession.com

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Journal Writing, Why and How!

Journal Writing, Why and How!

playlist

There are so many reasons to journal your personal life. To be able to look back and see how far you have come over the year is paramount to human health and emotional well-being. Maybe you are in the same place, saying the same things over and over,  reading it all back may stimulate the passion and motivation to finally move forward.

Journaling is only for you.

As a practitioner I am always encouraging people (of all ages) to write a diary or journal as a method of showing them how far they have come, to help recognise patterns of thought or behaviour.

Our physical body is intrinsically connected to our emotional self and writing it all down can be the catalyst to seeing this connection in black and white!

1. Keeping a journal helps us to take responsibility. The importance of committing our goals, strategy, thoughts, dreams, mistakes and achievements to paper is a great way of accepting and highlighting what we may take for granted. It also gets them out of our head. Writing out our goals provides the opportunity to articulate them clearly, makes their achievement appear easier and gives us responsibility to work towards them. I realised early in my school life that I could recollect information with greater effect and clarity if I had physically written it down. To this day I still use pen and paper to help me work through things, organise myself and get motivated.

2. A journal serves as a permanent record. Success can be quickly forgotten, mistakes happen over and over. When I hand write notes in my sessions, write my books and all my articles researching first with a pen and paper I am creating a permanent record I can refer back too. Looking back over them when I am feeling blocked or if I am missing something helps to reorganise my direction. Clarity and focus comes from accepting and acknowledging our progress (sometimes lack of). Even my ‘to do lists’ are in my journals, seeing what is constantly not completed helps me to recognise areas to work on or things which are clearly just not that important! 

3. Writing helps us to think through and adjust strategy.  Committing thoughts to paper or simply being creative by writing from inspiration helps us to evaluate and work through our process on a deeper level. Often when I am cross or frustrated, writing it down gives me a release and also helps me to feel empathy to see through my reactions and anger. I am a huge pro’s and con’s list writer. As an eternal optimist, I love to always see the brighter side of any situation, writing it down helps me get through the negative to the other side. By acknowledging negative emotions and thoughts you can quickly dissipate their control over you. Knowing you have a safe space to 100% be yourself is very important. In the world of increasing digital hacking and disclosure, it is nice to keep something private. You can always destroy paper, ripping paper is hugely therapeutic as is burning it (safely of course!). 

4. A journal helps us to think big. Sometimes we feel foolish verbalising our deepest dreams and desires. So many of us think that our lot in life is to keep small and we are not worthy of wishing for greatness. To be honest, it’s even hard to admit, even to ourselves, our greatest desires. By writing down everything, however likely or not we think it is in our lifetime, writing it down gets us one step closer to finding out our true purpose and desires. The little voice in our head which blocks us can be silenced as we strategise, manifest and be truthful about. As we write the big things it may change our focus and remember to have gratitude for what we do have. There is always something to be grateful for. In our safe space we dare to dream and hope for our future. Prayers, hopes and wishes can be written down with pure intension and belief. A life pictured without limits holds so much positive value and drives us forward.

5. Journaling is so simple, stress relieving and good for your health: I am a kinaesthetic and visual person, so I work better with pen and paper. However I have notes on my phone, computer and I have notebooks everywhere! My blog is even a journal (find out how to start your own blog here). You can journal in words, pictures or even as a vision board of cut outs from newspapers and magazines. As long as it is charting your thoughts and actions the world is your oyster! By releasing stressful thoughts and emotions onto paper and building a strategy. Following that with positive affirmations and goal setting and you are helping the body to enter into rest and recovery mode, therefore calming the nervous system for every part of your body to begin to heal and restore!

journal writing tips loula natural

Here’s how I journal:

1. Don’t worry about how many times, time of day, what to write, JUST WRITE. Forget spelling grammar, colour of pen or how you format it. That can all be sorted later.

2. Simply follow your train of thought, you can begin with “i have no idea what to write or how i feel” things will come. Journaling is only to help you track where you are and brings you to the present so JUST BE, ALLOW FLOW. I have some of my best ideas and to do lists when I am exercising. Having notebooks helps me as I sit straight down and write when I get back! I also do it on my phone for reference and transcribe into my paper notebook later in the day. It is amazing sometimes where these thoughts take you!


3. Find a list of journal prompts (pinterest is good for this) or inspiring quotes (here on insta) for great starting points. This can help to guide you. Try to ban negative tirades- instead do pro and con lists about situations to find the positives in your life. Gratitude lists are also great starting points. Simply WRITE 5 THINGS you are thankful for, things you have or things that have happened for you.


4. Goal setting is a part of journaling. Start with the obvious and see where the thread takes you. REACH FOR THE SKY, your journal is a safe space.


5. If you cant write, DRAW, doodle, sketch what is right infront of you. Journaling can be song writing, poetry, pictures, scrap books, photos and so much more than just writing. Use it to help you find the beauty in the world. You can keep track of anything in your journal, food, exercise, dreams, accounts, things your kids/partner say, dream jobs, goals, movie/book reviews and anything else in your life. 

Here are some great journals to write in and organise yourself.

(all you really need is a notebook!)

etsy-journalleather-journal-etsypassion-planner-amazonpanda-planner-amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some great journal apps;

Penzu (Android and IOS)

Journey 

Check out Pinterest for some vision boards

 

 

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How To Make Kombucha

How To Make Kombucha

 

How to make kombucha loulanatural

How To; Make Kombucha

I have been making Kombucha for years now. I love it so much. I even wrote a book about it so you could learn all about it and have it in your own life. Read here for my 5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha to find out why it is so great!

Kombucha is a fermented Tea. It is described as a ‘delicious sour tonic beverage’ slightly sparking and a little like apple cider. The drink is made with a SCOBY( symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Also known as “The Mother” just like with Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a bit like a disc which floats on the surface as it ferments.

Magic Kombucha

Kombucha is an aerobic process so it has to float as its where the oxygen is- if it is not floating after a few days or generate a new film- sadly it may have died. Although sometimes it will sink then rise. It is best to use a wide glass vessel (no metal) that is partially filled. Your SCOBY will generate a film that is the same size and shape as your vessel. As you make more the SCOBY will get thicker and generally grow in layers that you can peel off and use to generate other batches and to share (babies!) As they have no added benefit by being thicker you can share or why not puree it into a paste and use it for a facial?!

This is how you can make it at home

Each SCOBY and brew will be different, much like Kefir. Some will be more robust than others and some may be able to brew herbal teas and adapt to other sugars. Some people have even used fruit juice. It is best to start with a more fail safe ‘tea leaf’ brew; black, green or white tea.  Then play with the herbal teas in the second fermentation.

All you need is Tea, sugar and an acidic environment. The amount of sugar is dependent on your taste. It is possible to brew a strong tea as a concentrate and then water down (also to cool it). The tea can be sweetened while still hot (as it is easier to get the sugar to dissolve) but can also be done when cold

What you will need:

Wide glass jar (I use 1.6 litre Jar)
1 litre Cooled, strong brewed tea (blackgreen or white tea
1⁄2 cup sugar (I use coconut)
Acid (either 100mls brewed Kombucha saved from last batch or 2 tbs of any vinegar) Plastic tongs (to transport the mother)
Piece of cotton or muslin/rubber band to secure)
Plastic Funnel and Glass bottle to store for drinking
Glass Jar to keep mother in (with some reserved tea)

Directions

The tea needs to be at body temperature (no hotter) mix in the sugar.
Then add 100mls Kombucha about (5-10 percent so for a litre about 50-100mls)or  2 tbs of vinegar (any kind) if you have no matured Kombucha.

Add the Mother (SCOBY)

Always cover the vessel with a light porous cloth that allows air circulation but protects from bugs and dust. Kitchen towel works well too.

Leave Vessel in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.
The length of fermentation will depend on how warm it is and how acidic you want your drink to be. Taste it every few days to see if you like it, but on average it is between 7-14 days (can be months-  when it’s really cold)

When it is to taste, take the mother out and place in a bowl to separate the layers or the ‘babies’

Reserve in some of the tea to store in the fridge (cool temp stop fermentation). Have another batch of tea ready to start again and drink tea (bottle as is either in tight sealed bottle or open bottle and store in the fridge) or bottle with fruit for the second fermentation. 

culture your life kefir:kombucha

How to make Kombucha loulanatural pin 

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Superwoman Slimdown Giveaway for January

Superwoman Slimdown Giveaway for January

 Superwoman Slim Down Giveaway - Facebook

Superwoman Slimdown Giveaway for January

You may remember that I have reviewed this Superwoman Slimdown I did with my friend Kristen over at MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life so you could see how good it is. I got a huge energy boost from it myself and it set me back down the right track. It was a case of “Physician heal thyself” by listening to others for a change!!

Well it just so happens that she has offered to giveaway a free spot to 1 very lucky winner in this Giveaway for January 2015. Very cool.

Do you think you might like to win this?

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doyou

If so, this month’s giveaway for January is perfect for you! It was for me!

I’m so excited to be teaming up some of my other favorite bloggers again for another chance at a new you for 2015.

We bring YOU the chance to reclaim your inner Superwoman (or man) and WIN a coveted spot in The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value!)! Read all about it here. My review of it is here

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This is NOT your average detox. The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported “done-for you” 21 day 100% REAL FOOD, hunger-free program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher!

She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin, while eating delicious, nutrient-dense, metabolism-boosting foods and (finally) making your health a priority! But don’t take my word for it! Check out what these former Superwomen have to say about it here.

slimdown

One winner will receive FREE ACCESS to The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value).

How to enter this giveaway for January:

1. Sign up for the Loula Natural Newsletter 

2. Like Loula Natural on Instagram.

3. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!***

Life Sanity

Refocus On Being

MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life

The Healthy Honeys

Yogi Mami

Coco’s Well

 

The Fine Print

The Fine Print The giveaway ends at midnight ET, January 2, 2015. Mix Wellness will announce the lucky winner on January 3, 2015. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name and email address.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law. 

 Good Luck for the giveaway for JanuarySuperwoman Slim Down Giveaway - Pinterest

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Holiday Giveaway $400 Amazon Giftcard

Holiday Giveaway $400 Amazon Giftcard

Merry Christmas giveaway Loula Natural

Holiday Giveaway $400 Amazon Giftcard

I can’t believe Christmas is almost upon us. I don’t know about you but I like to buy christmas presents through the year so that I don’t have such a large amount of money to fork out once a year!

Its also my daughters birthday in December and so a $400 gift card would be so nice right about now! Which is why we have call come together for you for this christmas. The holiday giveaway ends on the 15th December so that you have enough time to still buy your gift and have it sent in time.

This year my daughter has asked for this– what little girl hasn’t right!  elsa's castle We are getting my son one of these   Dinosaur Train For the family we are getting this  magformers For my hubby (who loves his cycling) I was thinking something like this  

helmet

(yes its a helmet with a built in camera!)

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And for me? well I am not keen on stuff for no reason so I am hard to buy for but maybe this  mediteranean paleo or this might go down well!

ring

 

I would love to know what you would buy? Add it to the comments!

But on to you having a chance to win your own $400 Giftcard in our holiday giveaway.

Amazon-Gift-Card-Giveawaydec

How to enter the holiday giveaway: the entry is free- do each of the following for more chances to win!

1. Click here to see what you can win

2. Sign up for the Loula Natural Newsletter .

3. Follow Loula Natural on Pinterest

4. Follow Loula Natural on Instagram

5. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this holiday giveaway to unlock more chances to win!

Yogi Mama

Oh Lardy

The Homestead Garden

The Crunchy Moose

Mix Wellness

Real Nutritious Living

Fearless Eating

Its a Love/Love Thing

Balance by Dina

Here is the fine print for the holiday giveaway- Good Luck;

A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com. The giveaway ends at midnight ET, December 15, 2014. We will announce the lucky winner on December 16, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

 Merry Christmas giveaway Loula Natural Pin

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Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir Loula Natural fb

 I looooove pumpkin season! Making Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir  makes so much sense to me.It is so versatile as it can be sweet or savoury. Packed full of nutrients and flavour, fermenting it makes it bang like the fireworks around this season! I started making this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe last year when I was playing with recipes for my book  Culture Your Life. We make it every year now!  Check out all my favourite recipes for pumpkin here

This Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe is simple and you can use canned pumpkin or make your own very easily (and cheaper!). That way you have complete control over how much sugar you add as in the canning process the pumpkin is heated again thus caramelizing the sugar. 

Making your own water kefir is so easy

It is so easy to make your water Kefir as here. There is a video too to help you get started here;

Have fun flavouring it whilst the pumpkins are around! Fun to use this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir to make cocktails with for family gatherings, BBQ’s and other fall festivals. I make standard Gin and Tonics much more fun, adding this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe!

Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir Loula Natural

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Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

sage leaves Loula Natural

Sage has so many amazing benefits. It has seen to be effective at cooling down the body (especially during hot sweats) and reduce perspiration, it also helps to dry up excess phlegm and diarrhea.

It contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to protect and heal cells all through the body. This maintains good circulation of blood and flexibility of muscles and blood vessels throughout the body.

Read more about how and why Sage is so great here. I absolutely love the smell and taste of sage too.

 Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image1

Lemons are also amazing for the body. Rich in vitamin C, good for boosting the digestive system and restoring a ph balance to the body. Lemons stimulate the body and they go really well with Sage. Combined with the raw honey and water kefir, this cordial is great for an immune boost, hormone balance, is cooling and effective at helping to reduce any heat or irritability on the skin or in the digestive system. 

The water kefir helps you to absorb and digest the volatile oils in the sage and also help to support the body back to balance. To make it see here or check out my book- Culture Your Life.

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image2

However, please consult your natural health provider if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on blood thinners, or epileptic before using this recipe. It may have undesirable effects. As always listen to your body and try to take responsibility for your own health and knowing what your body needs.

Check out some of my other homemade recipes and articles for natural health;

Elderberry Cordial

Hibiscus, lemon, ginger and honey tea

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd

5 reasons to make Kefir

Kefir Gummies

5 Reasons to brew Kombucha

How the Immune System Works

How do I naturally boost my immune system

How to choose Essential Oils

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural Pin 

 

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Salty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

Salty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

Salty Maple Cinnamon GF Granola Loula Natural fbSalty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

I have loved alternating between my eggs in the morning and my different grain free raw granola flavours (other recipes here and here). I took inspiration from my cinnamon salty/sweet  popcorn to try to entice my daughter to try it (she is devoted to her muesli for breakfast!). I love it warm straight out of the dehydrator and served with kefir and berries. I also like it with gently warmed almond milk. Especially with the mornings starting to be a bit cooler.

It also works really nicely as a crumble topping with some stewed fruit and my fat banana custard for puddings!

Here are my other breakfast recipes

what is for breakfast Loula Natural

and my dedicated pinterest board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula Natural’s Breakfast Inspiration on Pinterest.


Salty Maple Cinnamon GF Granola Loula Natural Pin

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One Small Thing That Changed My Life

One Small Thing That Changed My Life

Ask Loula change one thing

One Small Thing That Changed My Life

I have been asked  by my good friend Laura Paul to share “just one thing” I have changed in my life on my journey to health and natural wealth. This has been a very hard thing to do. ONE thing- and it has to be a small thing!? Over the last 15 years or so in my journey I have changed so many things. Foods, beliefs, thoughts, routines, exercise goals, body shapes and sizes and have also had two kids- so pinpointing one thing, thats tough!

So here is what I have come up with…I think that the fundamental change I have made to my life (since I have to pick ONE!) is that I have changed how I think about myself and my abilities. If you change how you think, you change how you feel and if you change how you feel it affects all your choices.

Yesterday I was thinking about all the years I punished my body. I was conditioned to believe that  I could only get what I want  by punishing myself . My body was not good enough, fast enough or small enough in the right places. I needed to train more, heavier and harder; I needed to concentrate more, be less selfish, be more organised, more pushy, get out there more, be classier, smarter, funnier, prettier, less lazy and I definitely needed to eat less. I needed to beat, starve, and berate myself to get the results I was looking for.

By changing this one thing, everything changed. I was bashed, bruised, sore, scared and vulnerable. I totally changed how I saw myself and what needed to be done. I was so mortified about how I had become someone so eager to please everyone else that I was deeply miserable myself. Meeting my husband helped me through this and he showed me that to be in a loving relationship or friendship you don’t NEED the other person to complete you. A  strong partner didn’t mean a strong me because I could lean on him. I realised that two strong people, capable of making themselves happy first was an awesome combination. That when you don’t NEED the other person, you are not disappointed or relying on them for anything except partnership. That the person who may need to change is not them, but you.

The other thing I used in abundance was my Bach Flower Remedies (EFT came much later). First Rescue Remedy, then my own remedy combinations. These sets of armour have really helped me to heal and repair in safety and love. For myself. By allowing me to see myself differently I was able to turn nastiness into nurturing, pushing into guiding, hating to loving.

So there you have it- grab some rescue remedy and start seeing yourself differently and let me know what you change!

 Ask Loula change one thing Pin

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September Giveaway

September Giveaway

 

September Giveaway Loula Natural

September Giveaway

This month we thought you should decide what it is you need for fall. We have all gotten together to give you a

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$300 Amazon Giftcard

I would spend it on some of these items!

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 A Big Berkley

download

 

It would pay for half of this little lot!

How to enter the giveaway: the entry is free- do each of the following for more chances to win!

1. Click here to see what you can win

2. Sign up for the Loula Natural Newsletter 

3. Like Loula Natural on Facebook.

4. Follow Loula Natural on Pinterest

5. Follow Loula Natural on Instagram

5. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!

A Happy Heathnut

Balance By Dina

Our Small Hours

The Crunchy Moose

Natural Family Today

Fostering Nutrition

Real Nutritious Living

Yogi Mami

The Crunchy Homemaker

Real Time Mama 

The Fine Print; A winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway ends on September 29, 2014 at 12 am eastern USA. We will announce the lucky winner by October 1, 2014. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

September Giveaway Loula Natural Pin

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Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural fb

I absolutely love my slow cooker. I bought my first one just before my daughter was born because I thought that throwing things into one and leaving it and dinner is served when you need it. My first one cracked and I felt like I was without my right hand for the week it took me to replace it! This is the one I have now but they all do the job! I prefer the ones with the ceramic pots.

I use it for soooooo many things and it is one everyday for either my stock, stewing apples, making pumpkin and porridge when it is cold, cottage pie, its the only lasagna  (and my squash lasagna), stews and whole chickens are super simple and never ever dry and bland!

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

This is one of my favourite adaptations of a classic. This recipe calls for flour which I adapted to use coconut flour. The secret to this is to use a decent red wine- one you would want to drink with the meal! My dad loves his wine and so we have a great number to choose from (two wine fridges and then some). 

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

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Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural pin

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Parsnip Rice

Parsnip Rice

Parsnip Rice Loula Natural

I have been reducing my grain intake to try and reduce inflammation and heal my digestive system. Read a bit more about my journey here. I also try to avoid nightshades and especially potatoes- which I have never really liked anyway! Over the last couple of years staples on the dinner table are cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips, sweet potato mash and sweet potato rosti. We love roasted parsnips, carrot and parsnip mash and parsnip rice. I love it in the summer because it is light, filling and is delicious raw (see my parsnip couscous recipe).

2 parsnips fills 2-3 adults which is great because it it super quick and easy to make and goes great in salads, with bbq’s, curry’s, stews and anything you would use rice for. You can also steam this and make fried rice with it if you want to. 

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How do I choose Essential oils?

How do I choose Essential oils?

5 steps How to choose your perfect essential oil Loula Natural

There is lots of essential oils information out there- there are many essential oil companies out there too.

I want to try and give you some information on what you should be looking for when choosing an essential oil to help balance your body. If you are looking to buy quality essential oils- please have a look here. Also read my Ask the Aromatherapist post.

whole body balance

Step 1;

Try to identify how your whole body is feeling. For example if you have a headache- how do you feel about the headache, what have the emotions been that have lead up to the headache, how is your whole body feeling physically- do you have pain anywhere else, are your tired, dehydrated, stressed, feel pressured and so on. Everyones presentation of symptoms and how they feel about certain symptoms will be different. There are some essential oils that may help people with headaches- however what you choose may be different from someone else.

Take a whole body approach rather than just trying to suppress a symptom and continue as normal. This does not address the core issue and so the problem will persist and get worse. Every symptom is a warning signal that the body is no longer in balance and needs assistance. By blocking signals the body will degenerate and chronic illness is present. Go back to the cause and the body can rebalance and move forward.

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Step 2;

Every oil has a natural starting point. The efficiency of the oils in combatting your physical and emotional imbalances is directly related to the flower, herb, tree’s pharmacological herbal actions are. Each substance contains various oils and those oils are extracted. Each of these extracted volatile oils has an action on the body. This is also what herbal medicine is based on. These oils can either be absorbed through the skin with assistance of a carrier oil or through being diffused in the air.

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This means that each substance will have its individual and collective uses. For example chamomile’s actions have been seen to be analgesic (pain relieving), anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, carlmative (calming), nerve sedative, vulenary (helps to heal wounds externally), sudorific (causes sweating) and an emmenagogue (assists in menstruation.

So if you have a headache from a bash, cut or inflamed area that is causing some anxiety or nerve irritation then chamomile may work very well- however if you have a headache because you are dehydrated, been in the sun all day and are tired and overworked- the same essential oil may not be ideal. The trick is to chose the right oil for the right situation especially for you. If you like the smell of something then you are also usually on the right track. 

Each oil also has a vibrational energy which your body may be drawn too. Sometimes I choose my essential oils blindly. Especially single oils when I am making a blend. 

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Step 3;

ALWAYS check the safety information for yourself before using the oils. Personally I believe that essential oils are for the olfactory senses. They should be smelt and absorbed through the skin with carrier oils. I am not a huge fan of ingesting oils as I prefer to use foods for  that.

I see essential oils as a very effective tool with in a tool box of remedies for each ailment. When dealing with acute situations oils can work fast and be very effective- however even as a Naturopath myself, I will seek advice from an aromatherapist for chronic issues. I then do some more research myself and change other areas in my life to get a more holistic lifestyle change to help my body to heal and return to balance.

lemon

Oils that are considered safe, if not used correctly or in the right circumstances and potentially can have negative effects as much as other natural remedy can. Ensure that if you use something it is because you have made the informed choice and decision to use it-not because someone told you too or you read something on the internet. I say this for all advice- even my own!

Lavender

Step 4;

Think less is more- it is easier to work out which oils are good for your situation and then see if there is a blend which contains them all. The only way you can know how a blend works is to study the individual herbal actions of each of its ingredients. As a blend they can be very powerful so I tend to recommend to use the individual ones first- then start to recognize which individual oils you react positively to then find blends- or even start to make your own blends (I used to do this for clients and myself all the time to great effect- and great for gifts).

Try one blend at a time- blends will have a few oils in them- each one will have an action on the body and may be quiet stressful on the body when being combatted with several blends at the same time- leave some time after using the blended oil on your body or in a diffuser to take note of any effects before trying something out. Give your body space to decipher the messages it receives from using remedies, use some meditation or some visualisation when using the essential oils to guide your body towards what you want to achieve. 

Most importantly- use the oils mindfully- connect with what you have chosen and take responsibility for your own healing. Yes they work with babies and animals who are not necessarily thinking about what they are using, are passive in their use of them. However think about how more powerful and full of potential they can become if you actively use them.

When you are choosing oils try and get a good encyclopedia of oils like these ones;

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You can get a notebook and copy down for each oil you have the name, how it is used traditionally, its herbal actions, and safety data. Then each time you want to reach for your oils you have all the information to hand. Have some fun with them- get to know them, their smell and their effect on your body. Write it all down in your own notebook and keep it to teach others from your experiences. Nice thing to pass down too!

 

Make Notes

 

Always ask a professional aromatherapist if you are ever worried about using oils.

Step 5

Consider the alternatives; homeopathy, nutrition, Bach Flowers, kinesiology, massage, reflexology, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, EFT, herbal tinctures, exercise like yoga and hiking, stress management techniques like meditation, breathing techniques and other physical manipulation like cranial sacral therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy and many more.

All of these other methods of bringing the body’s physical, emotional and energetic factors back to balance and true health can be achieved. Nothing on its own is ever going to work 100%- different situations will require different combinations and strategies- start to look into and get to know other methods of giving the body space, strength and healing.

Thanks to the Young Living flickr roll for some inspiring shots!

5 steps How to choose your perfect essential oil Loula Natural Pin

 

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Pumpkin Parade: a pumpkin recipe round-up

Pumpkin Parade: a pumpkin recipe round-up

Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural

Pumpkin Parade; a pumpkin recipe round-up

All your favourite Pumpkin Recipes in one place

I really love pumpkin. I love the flavour, the density in nutrients and immune boosting properties and I love the versatility of being able to make it sweet or savoury! A pumpkin recipe round-up makes it easy to find my delicious favourites.

Pumpkins are packed full of beta carotenes (pre cursor to the body forming Vit A), vitamin C, antioxidants and a good mix of b vitamins. They benefit the digestive system and immune system. They also have great seeds which we all love to eat too!! The fibre in them feeds the balanced bacteria in the digestive system- win all round.

Kids generally love pumpkin too- see here for some great ways to use pumpkin flesh.

Here is a great post from Fostering Nutrition on how our ancestors used to prepare a pumpkin including the seeds

Here is my Pumpkin recipe round-up; Pumpkin 123

 How To make pumpkin puree from one ingredient

Immune boosting Pumpkin spice Loula natural Homemade Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural

 Baked Pumpkin Donuts (Gluten free)

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural

Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Brownies with Gingerbread LattePumpkin Brownies (Gluten Free)

Turmeric Pumpkin Seeds Loula Natural

Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Turmeric Pumpkin seeds 

 

And here are some from my friends; (most are grain free)

 Chocolate-Pumpkin-Pancakes1

Butter Nutrition; Chocolate Stuffed Pumpkin Pancakes

Savoury Lotus; Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding and Pumpkin Spiced Dutch Baby

Roasted-Garbanzo-Beans

Real Food RN; Banana Pumpkin Ice-Cream and Sweet Crunchy Pumpkin Spiced Garbanzo Beans

Real Food Kosher; Sweet Potato Pie Fries

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Oh Lardy; Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with superfoods

Real Nutritious Living; Paleo Pumpkin Spiced MuffinsPumpkin Spiced Latte and Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds

hot chocolate

20 Somthing Allergies; Pumpkin Steamer (Hot Chocolate Alternative)

Health Extremist; Coconut Flour Pumpkin Muffins

Paleo-Pumpkin-Crumble-Bars-photo-08-679x1024

Beauty and The Foodies (one of my big fav’s) Pumpkin Bagels and Paleo Pumpkin Crumble bars

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Coconut Mama; Coconut Milk Pumpkin Ice Cream and Pumpkin Butter Cups

Happy Healthnut; Pumpkin Protein Oats and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Pudding Shooters

Pumpkin-Cream-Cookies-800x419

Eat Naked; Pumpkin Cream Cookies and Holiday Pumpkin Smoothie

Yogi Mami Pumpkin Trifle

FB-Simple-Crock-Pot-Apple-Pumpkin-Butter-Grain-Free-Dairy-Free-Paleo-Vegan-

Mix Wellness; Crockpot Apple Pumpkin butter 

 Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural pin

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Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint cookies

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint cookies

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural

I absolutely love lemon curd (here is my version). I whipped up a batch as it is packed with healthy fats (butter and eggs) and I don’t worry so much when I use coconut sugar to flavour it- we like it tart anyway. It is a great way to really treat the kids.

coconut and lemon curd cookies close up Loula Natural

We also love making these coconut cookies– so when my daughter asked me to make them again I thought of combining the two. The result is really delicious! Lemon and ginger of course being a match in heaven- and great for the immune system as the change of season is upon us.

 I love mine with a nice cup of Rooibos or my bulletproof coffee!

coconut and lemon curd cookies Loula Natural

Here are some other thumbprint cookie recipes;

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural Pin

 

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Coconut

Coconut

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural

Coconuts are one of my favourite foods on the planet. They contain all of the nutrients required to grow and develop new life. Plus they taste so delicious! Known as a functional food- the health properties far outweigh their nutritional constituents. Not surprising it is referred to as “The Tree of Life”, a little like eggs, I like to refer to them as one of nature’s perfect packages. 

Coconut oil,

coconut flour,

coconut milk,

coconut yoghurt,

coconut water (fresh) 

Coconut water and coconut milk Kefir,

coconut ice-cream and

desiccated coconut are always in stock in my house!!

Charcoal is made from the husk 

Palm oil is made from the leaves

I love to add coconut to everything; here’s why;

coconut

The coconut palm grows throughout the tropics. The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and prefers areas with ample sunlight and rainfall. They also need a daily temperature of around 20 degrees celsius.  The benefits of the coconuts meat and water contents span all the different varieties of the fruit that they yield. Most cultures where they grow use the products from the coconut to heal most ailments, and have done so for generations. Since they are always in season and grow all year round, they are one of the most incredible natural medicines. They are also easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how, they are also easy to open.

Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. The water creates the flesh in layers, so the more flesh you have in your coconut the less water and vice versa. The flesh and the water have an amazing mixture of beneficial saturated fats, electrolytes (minerals ), vitamins (A, B’s and E) and amino acids (protein). See the full list here. Plus both have an intricate and balanced bacterial environment. All of this combined gives the coconut its wide range of benefits and health giving properties. A full list of all the claims for coconuts is found here and Bruce Fife’s book Coconut Cures is excellent.

coconut cures

Coconut can be eaten and the water can be drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help even help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding.

The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike. The fat acts as a barrier, the bacterial elements are protective and balancing and the other nutrients in the oil can help to repair any damage the sun might have on the skin cells

When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Combined with the bacterial properties to be able to absorb those nutrients, coconut water can also help with some digestive ailments and is a great drink to use whilst working out. However the pasteurization process the packaged water goes through kills off the bacteria. This makes the drink no better than any other pasteurized juice. I only advocate fresh coconut water, or consumption of coconut water that has been fermented- like kefir.

Lychee, Coconut Water Kefir

Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties. It may be better to think of the bacteria as balanced in the body, after consuming fresh coconut. Therefore it is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!). It also helps to rehydrate after vomiting or diarrhea. 

The sugar and nectar from the flowers are also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy). See my post on refined sugar to understand how this is beneficial. The fat and protein aspect of coconuts can also help slow down the digestion of sugars and therefore can help to balance sugar levels. The body is looking for fats in the diet to trigger satiety (feeling full). Coconut in recipes can help you to feel fuller for longer whilst having nutrients to nourish, repair and satisfy. 1 tbs Coconut flour can be added to baked goods to raise their nutrient profile. The fibre in coconut also helps to feed our internal bacterial environment– which further strengthens our essential internal bacterial balance.

More and more people are beginning to understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, balancing hormones and generally healing. Because of its amazing natural sugar, fatty acids, amino acids combined with all the other nutrients in perfect ratios it is even used in some countries to replace blood plasma in an emergency and after operations.

oil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids.  Coconuts packs an eye-opening amount of calories and so many grams of fat (90% saturated). However when people advise you to avoid the product for these reasons their advice is misguided. People who include coconut products daily in their diet actually show a greater weight loss than those who don’t, they also report better skin health, muscle tone, energy levels, hormone balance and better moods. Here is my post on how amazing fats are- try to re-educate yourself  about what are a healthy fats and which ones are unhealthy. Coconut oil also plays a huge role in changing your body shape.

The fatty acids contained in coconut have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? 

You can make your own coconut water, kefirmilk, creamyoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily. I also do oil pulling, use it in my body scrubs (here and here), amazing used directly on the skin from birth (the oil can be absorbed through the skin) I use it in many cosmetics including hair masks, after swimming and sunscreen

Here are my recipes that include coconut; (how to open a coconut)

Oil Pulling

Coconut Milk

Coconut Cream/ Yoghurt

Lychee Coconut water kefir

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Coconut Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Mint chocolate chip coconut ice-cream

Choco-coco milkshake

Coco-berry milkshake

Bulletproof Smoothie

Choco-coco ice pudding

Sunshine shot

Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

Bounty bars

Homemade chocolate

Vanilla butter fudge

Chocolate fudge

Cinnamon salty sweet popcorn

Coconut- oil popcorn

Banoffee Toffee

Real food icing sugar

Spicy Chai tea Concentrate

Beetroot brownies

Chicken and coconut soup

Body Scrubs

The ultimate kefir body scrub/bath salts

Pineapple and Ginger kefir-kolada

Coconut and carrotseed oil natural sunscreen

Indeed all of my Kefir and Kombucha is made from coconut sugar as seen in Culture Your Life

Also all of my recipes contain either coconut oil, flour or sugar. I also use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and sell Cocobono sugar and oil here in Hong Kong.

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural Pin

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Lychee Kefir-tini

Lychee Kefir-tini

Lychee Kefir-tini Loula Natural fb

Lychee Kefir-tini

After having a Lychee martini recently on a night out with my friends, I was reminded of how much I liked them! So for cocktail hour this weekend I decided to recreate them with some lychee water kefir I had in the fridge (like this one but made with water kefir). We have a pretty extensive liquor cabinet as we live with my dad and we also enjoy dabbling in cocktails (see my Kefir Pina Colada) since we stay at home all the time with the kids!

So we already had this Lychee Liqueur

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and this Oriental Apple Vodka in the house!

images (1)Lychee Kefir-tini Loula Natural

Really delicious (consume responsibly and please make sure you are of age to drink alcohol when making this recipe)

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Lychee Kefir-tini Loula Natural Pin

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Ask Loula; Baby First Foods

Ask Loula; Baby First Foods

Ask Loula Baby Fist Foods

Baby First Foods

As you can probably tell I am very passionate about kids nutrition. It starts with pre-conception. Feeding ourselves  before we have kids, while we are pregnant and then in breastfeeding and of course what we wean our kids onto; is extremely important for their health. Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Plus nourishing their relationship with food in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of what real food is and how great you can feel after eating real food.

Todays question is one that I am often asked and am happy to answer.

Can you please give me a list of foods that are great for babies to start off with.

Babies do not necessarily absorb nutrients from foods for the first year. Breastmilk is designed to do that. Formula attempts to do the same. The first 6 months of a child physically eating, is not necessarily to nourish them but to help them to acquire basic and necessary skills to eat. A relationship which is lifelong and should be encouraged. Eat for fun until they are one is very true. 

The main thing to consider is that at weaning age babies may have some the enzymes to digest some proteins and fats. However until the age of 2 (or until the child’s back molars have come through) grains are not yet digestible. Baby Rice is one of the worst things you can ever give a baby as its first foods! Not only is it the by-product of industry but also the nutrients that may possibly be in it are completely unavailable. They may be full up- but they have not eaten it themselves and because it is a food that the body cannot recognise it may also ignite some inflammation. Especially if the baby is formula fed.

Fermented foods are so important at this stage and especially if the baby is formula fed. Water Kefir (see here to make it and my book Culture Your Life) is safe to use adding up to a tsp in their food a day. Please consult your naturopath if your child was a c-section, formula fed baby showing some digestive weakness (colic, reflux, intolerances, excess gas).

Gelatin is also nice to add to your baby’s food. Especially if there are any intolerances showing or skin conditions. Gelatin is anti-inflammatory but also hugely necessary for structural growth and development- so crucial for children. This is the one I like (find it at The Body Group if you are in Hong Kong) for first foods as it doesn’t set so can be sprinkled over fruit or cooled steamed veg.

Instead start with these traditional baby’s first foods-

ghee (even for those kids with a potential dairy issue- ghee is just the fat),

egg yolk (see here),

grated liver,

fish eggs (like those found in the sushi section of the supermarket)

Let them sip some bone broth.

and ripe banana.

Coconut Yoghurt (coconut meat with a little coconut water kefir blended to a cream)

or coconut butter

These foods can be fun for the kids to pick up, smear onto their trays and work out how to get it into their mouth, move it around their mouth (a babys instinct is to push food out of their mouth- at this stage it has very little to do with flavour)

I then move on to Foods that are hard enough to be picked up, but soft enough to help them start to chew.;

lightly steamed, in batons ;sweet potato

broccoli,

green beans 

carrots.

peas (really good fun for kids to play with!)

Raw; avocado,

pear slices,

peaches sliced,

raspberries, blackberries and blueberries

I also introduce chia (1tsp to 2 tsp coconut water, breastmilk or water)

(If you have to give them rice, lentils, chickpeas then ensure they are prepared traditionally; that they have been soaked before and cook it in bone broth)

  I always eat in front of my kids as they learn by mimicking and copying whatever they see in front of them. I help them, I allow them to take the lead and I let them enjoy it.

With kids time is essential. Allow your child time and space to learn how to eat and enjoy their food. If it looks like they don’t like something, let them try it again and again. Encourage them to try. Give them some food off your plate and if possible be eating the same food as them. Be careful to notice how you act around foods- they will copy you. Be mindful about how you talk about them eating- they are listening!

Never ever say; you don’t like it, you won’t like it he/she won’t eat that.

Replace with; try it, lets see!

What should we feed kids Loula Natural fb

See here for my latest article with loads of recipes for kids food

 Here are some links to some great reads on baby’s nutrition;

Nourished Kitchen; Baby-Led-Weaning

Follow me on Pinterest here; Loula Natural

Here is my pinterest board for Baby and Kids health;   Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula’s baby and kiddies health on Pinterest. and here is one for baby’s and kids food; Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula’s kids food inspiration on Pinterest.

Q and A Loula Natural Travel and eating out Pin

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What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural

What is a Naturopath?

Have you ever wondered about what a Naturopathic Doctor does? Ever wanted to see one but are confused about why it may work for you? In a nutshell a Naturopath with use only natural means to heal, repair and balance the body. Whether acute or chronic- all conditions can be dealt with using nature.

We all have different tools in our tool box, but in general you can expect to talk about energy medicines  like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies or other vibrational remedies, emotional freedom technique (eft), herbs, healing power of foods, fermentation, accupuncture, kineseolgy, essential oils, muscle testing, breathing techniques, exercise advice, meditation and other mindful practices with other stress management techniques.

As you can see our breadth and scope of healing tools is vast. This gives us so much to draw from when seeking to help the individual. We are able to help balance symptoms, as we always concentrate on seeking and resolving the cause of the imbalance. Our knowledge about how the body works and all our body systems work together, Combined with a more open minded approach to healing free of the dogma of strict diagnosis and protocols means we can truly tailor make an individual treatment plan just for you.

I am so passionate about what I do and it is a huge part of who I am as a person and as a mother. I am constantly seeking ways to help people get back to themselves, to feel safe, secure and powerful and happy.

health quote collage

These are the six principles we ascribe to and all of them mean so much to me;

Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

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The Healing Power of Nature:

The Vital force, an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. Each person has their own relationship with it. A Naturopath will give the body space to have the energy to heal themselves helping to remove obstacles to healing and recovery. To help identify bodies signals and deliver options for the individual to come into line with their own healing intuition.

Identify and Treat the cause:

A Naturopath will seek to identify the underlying cause or driver of the illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. By resolving the cause of the issue everything else will be resolved in the ripple effect! 

First Do No Harm:

Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Minimise risk of harmful side effects. Avoid the suppression of symptoms. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals self-healing process. Refer to others for treatment when your skills are inappropriate. Know your own skills and limitations. 

Doctor as Teacher:

A Naturopath will educate and encourage their patient towards self-responsibility for health. Teach them about their body and encourage the idea that prevention is better than cure. Empower them to heal themselves. A Naturopath support the healing; however you do it!

Treat the Whole Person:

Take into account individual physical, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Get the whole picture. Bring the body’s systems together again. Work at the individuals own pace to reunited them with their instinct and intuition.

Prevention Rather than Cure:

Emphasise the prevention of disease. Asses risk-factors, hereditary and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions with your patient to prevent illness. Commit to create a healthy world where all of humanity can and will thrive.

These principles are the Hippocratic oath that all Doctors take. We just interpret them slightly differently. A Naturopath will take  full history and really get to know not only the physical issues but also the emotional ones too. Each personality will need different courses of action and each person will be able to make changes at different speeds. The key to the treatment is in giving the individual the responsibility to heal.

The only person that can make you well and happy is yourself. I can give you a tool box to work from but you need to listen and respond to your body. I teach many classes to help people to start to make choices for themselves and their families. Education is key, coupled with motivation for change and you will become unstoppable!

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural Pin

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Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn

 

Sea Buckthorn Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File Sea Buckthorn

We have seen from historical records, the Chinese were the first to document use of Sea Buckthorn for its medicinal properties. More than a thousand years ago Sea Buckthorn was added to a classical Tibetan medical book.  In 1977, after numerous studies, it was also added to the Chinese Pharmacologia. For a full history into the studies and findings of Sea Buckthorn see here . Also to see a full list of its nutritional constituents please see here.

Sea Buckthorn is a bush sized plant which yields bright yellow berries.   The berry is considered one of the world’s most balanced fruits, providing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds with a lot of essential fats. The benefits are easy to come by as the plant is not overly processed and grows without the need of too much interference from the farmer. The ‘magic’ of this food is in the mix of its nutrients. It is high in a great mix of healthy fats whilst also packed with necessary bioavailable (which means the body can use them immediately) nutrients needed in so many cases of chronic inflammation and conditions.

This cherished “super fruit” is rich in antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamin E, rare Omega 7 and 190 other bioactive nutrients. Rich in beta-carotene, flavonoids and vitamins C, D, E and K, sea buckthorn also contains a substantial complex of B vitamins and 20 minerals. Moreover, it supplies between 4-100 times more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable. It is a real natural powerhouse.

It grows in very dry desert like soil and loves the direct sunlight all day. Sea-buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though astringent, oily and unpleasant to eat raw. However they can be frosted (freeze dried) which reduces the astringency and/or mixed as a drink with sweeter substances such as apple juice (I would love to see what it is like in water Kefir!). 

The leaves, flowers, and fruits are also used as natural medicine. When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea-buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea-buckthorn characteristic and uniquely high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3,6,7 and 9); and the bottom layer is  then the sediment and juice. The fat sources are then largely used for cosmetic purposes, but the upper two layers can also be processed for skin creams, whereas the bottom sediment layer is normally processed into edible products like syrup. 

Forms

 

The oil may be consumed either internally or externally, but it is recommended to combine doing both. By taking sea buckthorn oil internally, you will provide your body with bioavailable nutrients. Using it externally can also protect and nurture existing skin cells. It is also amazing rubbed into your gums to eliminate any infection or swelling, or just as a way of preventing cavities and gum disease.

The nutrients make Sea Buckthorn very anti-aging often also found in many cosmetics as . Some people apply sea buckthorn berries, berry concentrate, and berry or seed oil directly to the skin.  If used topically, the sea buckthorn oils and supplements are known for strengthening the epidermis (skin top layer) and can penetrate to the cell membranes. In this way it can be useful for preventing sunburn; for treating radiation damage from x-rays; for healing wounds including burns, and cuts; for acne,dermatitis, dry skin, eczema and other skin conditions including age spots.  

The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, the precursor to Vitamin A; This vitamin plays a very important role in healthy dental care. Our tooth enamel contains keratin, and vitamin A allows keratin to be used for teeth rather than prioritising it for storage in cells.  Also, vitamin A is key in protecting mucus membranes (that cover our digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems). Plus carotenoids are hugely anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

The berries also include Vitamin D which is essential for healthy tooth tissue and bone strength and density. It is also key in collagen formation, which is responsible for strength and solidity of the organ cells (such as teeth and bones, for example) which helps to repair and strengthen all of the body’s systems and also contributes to brain health and development

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin C content and is about 15 times greater than oranges. Vitamin C also greatly influences the synthesis of collagen, therefore aiding in strengthening teeth, bones, connective tissue, mucous membranes and muscle mass. It is also key in energy production, protecting the cells from oxidative damage and moderating the immune system. Adding to this, vitamin c may also help to prevent tooth decay by balancing bacteria levels. 

balanced

Nutrient and phytochemical constituents of sea-buckthorn berries are undergoing basic research in inflammatory disorders, cancer mechanisms or positive effect on bone marrow after chemotherapy and other health claims, although no specific health benefits have yet been proven by clinical research in humans.  However anecdotal evidence is rich in its benefits and uses. Personally, over the years, it has helped me in many ways. To support, regulate and moderate my menstrual cycle (has reduced period pain and pms), it has helped me to reduce my systemic inflammation (especially in the digestive system), has played a role in my change of body shape and helps me to moderate my mood and motivation.

Few other healthy fats have such a combination of benefits and nutrients. This powerhouse has such an amazing combination of treats for the body.

Main actions are;

    • Cell membrane integrity and structure; which helps develop strong and healthy cells throughout the body.
    • Gastrointestinal and liver health; by using the above point to repair and also protect the mucous membranes
    • Dental and gum health as it is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant also the fats help to develop strong healthy tooth material. 
    • Moderating a healthy inflammation (immune system) response
    • Muscle/energy production
    • Brain health; also helps to protect messages from the brain to the rest of the body

Historically has been used in the following conditions with some effect;

  • Sea Buckthorn uses

And a review published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states:

“Sea buckthorn has been scientifically analyzed and many of its traditional uses have been established using several biochemical and pharmacological studies. Various pharmacological activities such as cytoprotective (protects cells-ed), anti-stress, immunomodulatory (moderates the immune system-ed), radioprotective, anti-atherogenic (supports heart health-ed), anti-tumor, anti-microbial and tissue regeneration have been reported.” 

 

 

Resources; 

 http://oilypedia.com/natural-oral-care-sea-buckthorn-oil-for-healthy-teeth/#ixzz37biE7ttA

http://www.seabuckwonders.com/dr-oz-sea-buckthorn/

Concerned about cancer, inflammation, memory loss or diabetes? ‘Holy Fruit of the Himalayas’ can help

 http://seabuckthorn.com/files/Seabuckthorn%20and%20Medicine.pdf

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/seabuckthorn.htm

 

Sea Buckthorn Loula Natural Pin

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Ipad Back to School Giveaway

Ipad Back to School Giveaway

August iPad giveaway

Back To School

August’s Apple iPad Air giveaway

Are you sending kids back to school, off to college or need something to read all your great ebooks on? Well I love my ipad, we Skype my hubby’s family back in Ireland, download educational games for the kids and basically use it for everything! I probably dont need to sell the Apple iPad Air to you!!

Have you seen these cool accessories you can get for them now too?

Digital 2-In-1 Kitchen Mount Stand 

71hr8A-R2zL._SY450_

Magnetic 0.67X Wide Angle / Macro Lens

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Well it just so happens that this month I have (together with my friends from other blogs) offered to giveaway Apple iPad Air 32GB….

Very cool.

Do you think you might like to win this Apple iPad Air giveaway?

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If so, this month’s Apple iPad Air giveaway is perfect for you! 

How to enter the giveaway: the entry is free- do each of the following for more chances to win!

1. Click here to see what you can win

2. Sign up for the Loula Natural Newsletter 

3. Like Loula Natural on Facebook.

4. Follow Loula Natural on Pinterest

5. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!

Coco’s Well
Happy Healthnut
Butter Nutrition
Oh Lardy
Kula Mama
Grassfedgirl
Life Sanity

The Fine Print;

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Sunday, Aug 31st at 11:59 pm EDT. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

****iPad only send to US winners.  Cash value via an Amazon gift card to other countries.  

 August iPad giveaway pin

 

 

  

 

 

 

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Cherry Vanilla Kefir

Cherry Vanilla Kefir

Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural fb

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir

I play with kefir flavours all the time-I love to introduce new ones in my classes. Whatever is in my fridge or cupboard gets tried out! I use dried fruit, fresh fruit, stewed and juiced fruit! I use vegetables too (cucumber and mint water kefir is lovely) I even use cacao nibs. Some I love and so I then make a huge batch of it. This is a recipe that I love!

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Black Cherries are in abundance and the tart fizzy flavour of the cherries in the water kefir is so well balanced by the vanilla. I use very concentrated vanilla essence (like this one). I have tried it with fresh vanilla pod and it is nice too. Also it goes the prettiest colour! 

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I normally ferment with an open vessel because in the humidity and heat of the summer- potential for explosion is very high. However I decided to use a shorter fermentation time. I used the fido lid this time and fermented this for 8 hours and then refrigerated it. You may need to adjust the timings of the ferment so that it is suitable for your climate. I always taste my ferments as I go past to see if it needs longer- and the key to good flavour is fermenting to taste.

Cherry-and-Vanilla-Water-Kefir-in-the-popped-bottle-Loula-Natural

This recipe is a second ferment. If you want to learn how to make the initial water Kefir please see here for my How to; Make Kefir or buy Culture Your Life (hardback version is out very very soon)

Here is my pinterest board for fermentation inspiration;
Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

 Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural pin

 

 

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Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

I have loads of homemade cosmetic recipes in my book Culture Your Life. Here is why I love using Kefir on my skin, I wrote this for Thank Your Body. We have been using Kefir and Kombucha inside and ourside our bodies for a couple of years now and I can honestly say I will never go back. Shampoo, laundry detergent, after sun, face masks and many more. I have been using homemade scrubs like my coffee scrub and salt scrub but plain water kefir grains make a great body scrub on their own.

My kids have pink himalayan salt and epsom salt baths every night with various essential oils and sometimes water kefir and coconut oil goes in the bath. It occurred to me to mix all of this together and come up with the Ultimate Bath Soak or Body Scrub!

Multi-purpose, simple and incredibly effective at nourishing, soothing and healing- this may be my best cosmetic invention yet! It is in the hardback copy of the book out soon!

Here is the basic recipe and underneath some essential oil combinations you may like to try.

Here are some other bath salt recipes;

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural Pin

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Ask Loula Eating Out and Travel Food

Ask Loula Eating Out and Travel Food

Q and A Loula Natural Eating out and travel snacks

I have been asked some great questions this week- I chose these questions to answer publicly because so many of you will be eating out on holiday and may struggle with how to make healthy choices.

When you eat out, where do you go and what do you choose;

I grew up (and now live again) in Asia. When I moved to London for university when others reached for roast dinners for comfort food- I always went for Dim Sum or Thai/vietnamese food. It is still my food of choice when eating out.

 Har Gau

When we eat have dim sum so I generally have a veg dish (choi sum/bak choi in garlic or the beans with pork) and a couple of meat dishes (like stir fried beef or chicken). We also love prawns and broccoli. I am grain free for now, to reduce some inflammation but we always have a couple of dumplings (shanghai, har gau, char sui so being our favourite) However I don’t miss them and feel a lot less tired and foggy after the meal without them. I have not been eating the rice or noodles anymore. However when I am only gluten free I love a pho with rice noodles.

 I eat a lot of vietnamese and thai food without the rice- so we have lots of the pork lettuce rolls, sweet chilli squid, coconut based green/red/yellow curry’s without the rice and satay. We also love the pomelo and papaya salads.

 pomelo-salad-4

If we have japanese food I will have miso, sashimi, I can rarely turn down a soft shell crab and mango roll! We also have asparagus rolled in pork at our favourite restaurant. I also love the curry sauce beef and noodle soup. The udon noodles have wheat flour so I generally leave them! 

steak

If we go to a pizza/pasta place I generally will have a steak or ribs. There is almost always a meat and veg option. I tend to also avoid potatoes and ask for some broccoli (most restaurants have broccoli!) However if I fancy something I generally have it- but I since I feel so crappy and tired after it I generally don’t fancy most of it anymore! I don’t find restaurant salads filling enough so I may order a side to go with it. However there are so many great places to eat nowadays that have yummy options for those looking to reduce refined carbohydrates (especially bread and pasta).  

 

Lunches are normally salads- when I get a salad I want a good source of protein- normally smoked salmon, steak or chicken is available. Then I choose a nut/seed like pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds. A salad will also always have avocado in it. I also love beets, artichokes, pumpkin, broccoli and maybe a feta cheese. Dressing wise- lemon vinegarette is normally enough for me and I use these coconut oil sachets too to boost the oil content! This way if I get stuck I can normally find something to eat.

 Lychee, Coconut Water Kefir

I am not celiac so these choices may not be suitable for those who are celiac- however I ensure that the days I eat out I compensate for with my other meals and I increase my kefir/kombucha consumption on these days. I realise there will most probably contain wheat in these meals- in the sauces and fillers- I make sure I enjoy whatever I choose as his is important for digestion and realise that giving myself a hard time or stressing about what to eat can actually cause more harm than good. I live by the mantra- I look after and am mindful about my food 80% of the time and for the remaining 20% can look after itself. Most days I eat 100% mindful. 

 

Can you recommend some foods I can take with me on holiday? I find breakfast is the hardest to eat healthy when away.

 

There are certain things I always take with me. I always have a ziplock bag with chia in it. This can be sprinkled over fruit to help create a balanced meal. I also like to sprinkle this gelatine in the kids juice and over their fruit.  This can minimise the sugar impact. Also great in tea or coffee. Although I always bring my own Tulsi and Rooibos tea bags. I also take some of my grain free granola in a bag for the kids. They generally have bircher muesli in most hotels but my kids (i really mean just my daughter) can be really particular about what she will eat in her muesli!

 omlette

I normally have an omelette (see above- I love it with extra butter) or ask for fried or poached eggs (if you are worried that it is a reconstituted egg mix they are using for the omelettes this is a good option). I also always travel with my kefir grains (normally my water grains) as I can use them to ferment milk and water kefir. This way it is easy  so I won’t worry too much about consuming dairy as normally the dairy substitute is soy (I would actually prefer milk over soy milk any day- heres why!).

 How to make Kefir Loula Natural

To make the kefir I either buy some juice (normally pineapple or coconut water), or I bring coconut sugar in a ziplock (I also use the cane sugar in the hotel or place I am staying), and I have a mini tea strainer to strain the grains. It is so simple to continue to ferment whilst away (and it really helps with jet lag too).

 Popcorn Collage Loula Natural

I always dry fruit to take with use for the kids to snack on- it is normally easy to find fruit/nuts for them when away but it is always useful to have something in the room if you don’t want to go to breakfast straight away. Beef Jerky fills that hole really well too and travels really well since it is also fermented (I use Kefir in the marinade) I also make  energy balls as they travel well. Popcorn is another great travel snack (here is our favourite flavour), However my favourite one are these individual coconut butter (here and here is a chocolate one), individual peanut butter or almond butter sachets which are perfect on their own or on some apple. Also if there really only is bread- at least these will add some much needed nutrition!! 

Almond butterpeanut butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are more great travel snack ideas from Kula Mama and here is what I take on our holidays (first aid and travel snacks!)

 I hope this helps and let me know your questions…

 Q and A Loula Natural Travel and eating out Pin

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Superwoman supergiveaway

Superwoman supergiveaway

superwoman Giveaway Loula Natural

Last week I reviewed this Superwoman Slimdown I did with my friend Kristen over at MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life so I could review it for you. I got a huge energy boost from it myself and it set me back down the right track. It was a case of “Physician heal thyself” by listening to others for a change!!

Well it just so happens that she has offered to giveaway a free spot to 1 very lucky winner. Very cool.

Do you think you might like to win this?

areyou1

doyou

If so, this month’s giveaway is perfect for you! It was for me!

I’m so excited to be teaming up some of my other favorite bloggers. We bring YOU the chance to reclaim your inner Superwoman (or man) and WIN a coveted spot in The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value!)! Read all about it here. My review of it is here

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This is NOT your average detox. The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported “done-for you” 21 day 100% REAL FOOD, hunger-free program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher! She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin, while eating delicious, nutrient-dense, metabolism-boosting foods and (finally) making your health a priority! But don’t take my word for it! Check out what these former Superwomen have to say about it here.

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive FREE ACCESS to The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value).

How to enter the giveaway:

1. Sign up for the Loula Natural Newsletter 

2. Like Loula Natural on Facebook.

3. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!***

The Crunchy Moose

Good Girl Gone Green

Overthrow Martha

Life Sanity

Homegrown & Healthy

Refocus On Being

Happy Healthnut

Cheerfully Imperfect

MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life

Don’t Mess with Mama

The Darling Bakers

Beauty and the Foodie

Conscientious Confusion

Real Time Mama

Happy Mothering

Kula Mama

The Healthy Honeys

Yogi Mami

Coco’s Well

 

The Fine Print

 

The giveaway ends at midnight ET, June 30, 2014. I will announce the lucky winner on July 1, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name and email address.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

 

superwoman pink pin

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Orange Peel Powder

Orange Peel Powder

Orange Peel Powder Loula Natural

Orange Peel Powder

I love keeping orange, mandarin and tangerine peels. I dry them in the dehydrator and I blitz them in my blender to powder. As a natural Vitamin C supplement the peel has numerous benefits. Organic oranges are ideal as oranges do get sprayed and retain a high amount of pesticides. However Organic oranges are hard to come by in Hong Kong so I first soak my peels in a kombucha and water solution to help remove the waxes and chemical residues. 

The Limonene and flavonoids found in orange peel (also grapefruit, lemons and limes) have been seen to have some anti-carcinogenic properties. Especially in Breast and colon cancer cases. The limonene oils may inhibit cancer cell growth. Studies have shown that limonin and limonene can start the enzyme activity  an important detoxifying enzyme called of glutathione S-transferase. This helps as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which blocks the need of the cell to mutate to protect itself. The citric acid in the peel also plays a key role in this.

Orange peels are a natural source of pectin, a natural fiber which may decrease the rise in blood sugar after a meal. Thus being of some benefit to pre and type 2 diabetes. Pectin is also a pre-biotic- helpfully feeding and balancing our bacteria friends so necessary to the body (see Culture Your Life which is all about the benefits of bacteria).

This gives orange peel has antiseptic, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties by helping out the bacterial environment. D-limonene may also be helpful in dissolving kidney stones and  beneficial in eliminating any kidney or urinary tract infections. Especially when the peels have been slightly fermented by the Kombucha in the soaking process. The Kombucha not only removes the chemical residues it may also begin the digestive process by increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients in the peel.

The natural properties in orange peel have also been seen to helpful in lowering cholesterol.

“In a May 2004 “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” article, Canadian researchers and the United States Department of Agriculture reported that isolated compounds from orange and tangerine peels showed promise as a natural alternative for reducing LDL cholesterol without the side effects of mainstream cholesterol drugs.” (source)

They may also help with heartburn. According to a 2007 Alternative Medicine Review article by Jidong Sun, Ph.D., Sun notes that an active ingredient found in the orange peel, d-limonene, possesses the ability to neutralize gastric acid and support normal peristalsis. (source)

 This great powder is so easy to make and I add it to so many things!

Orange peel powder can be added to;

Homemade chocolate (and hot chocolate or chocolate milkshakes)

Homemade fudge

Drinks (it is nice in fizzy water but also in Gin and Tonic!)

Baked Goods like Shortbread, Coconut Cookies, Carrot Cake

Salad Dressings

Jams and Spreads (especially chocolate spreads)

Sprinkled on ice-cream

Homemade Cosmetics (like scrubs and body butters)

Granola, MuesliChia porridge or Bircher Chia

Kefir,

Kombucha

Teas and coffee

Stock

Smoothies 

Homemade Cleaners

Here is an image to pin/share to remember!

Orange peel powder instructions Loula natural

 Here are my recipes to use it;

References:

D-Limonene: Safety and Clinical Applications

Health Properties of Orange Peel | LIVESTRONG.COM

Cancer Chemoprevention by Citrus Pulp and Juices Containing High Amounts of β-Cryptoxanthin and Hesperidin

Functional Foods: Biochemical and Processing Aspects – Google Books (Pg 160)

Orange Peel Powder Loula Natural Pin

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Ask Loula June 6th

Ask Loula June 6th

 

Q and A Loula Natural june06

I get loads of great questions from you all. I want to share some of the answers too since some of the questions are very similar sometimes and we can all benefit from a good old Q and A session once a week! 

If you have a question for me to answer please either email me or raise it by contacting me through twitter, facebook or g+. I look forward to seeing how I can help…

This weeks question;

Dear Loula,

Since having children (like many other mums I’m sure) I have started to think about what we eat much more carefully and try to ensure that my kids eat home-made, organic food most of the time, although this is not always easy where I live. The air pollution is driving me nuts and really stresses me out and I just wondered what advice you have to help little bodies process toxins, and what I can do to boost their immune systems?

I am already hiding kale, chia seeds and flax seed meal in everything, giving them macro cocoa greens, reducing gluten and trying to minimise sugar, but I just wondered what your top super foods / supplements would be? What about other ways to reduce the toxic load? I use a more natural toothpaste, natural sunscreen, plant-based shampoos, natural cleaning products etc but don’t make anything myself in terms of products. I guess what I asking is for your top ten tips on how to pollution proof my kids!

Here’s what Loula says!

Thanks for a great question. Pollution is a worldwide environmental impact that we have some control over. here would be my top 10 tips…

1. Natural air purifiers; Air purifiers can actually stress the body out. The body is a well tuned machine with inbuilt systems to process and eliminate toxins. We are designed to live in harmony with our environment and whilst I agree that there are countries/cities with a higher amount of particles in the air and our bodies need support- by creating a bubble with an air-purifier may actually stress the body out more than you appreciate (not to mention increase environmental impact with their energy needs).

salt lamp Empowered Sustenance
salt lamp Empowered Sustenance

 

Just like our body suffers from the constant changes from aircon/humid heat or heating/cold outside air, the body suffers from going from purified air to normal environment. Especially when the purifier is also eradicating all bacterial elements as well. Balanced bacteria as I will mention later is key to helping the body process and eliminate (or detox) toxins on a daily basis. Instead we should be focusing on trying to reduce our environmental impact everyday to do our small part to help heal the planet. Buy some natural air-purifiers- plants, salt lamps, use aromatherapy diffusers as a natural air freshener and ionisers instead.

2. Reduce environmental toxins that can be controlled. This means reducing all chemical cleaners and cosmetics. Also consider the chemicals your clothes have gone through before you bought them. Your home can actually contain more chemicals than your outer environment. All plastics, paints, cd’s, furniture and fire retardants used on carpets, mattresses and so on all release fumes into the air.

You can reduce this with the above natural air-purifiers but also by reducing any further chemical impact. Natural household cleaners are very simple to make. Culture Your Life is full of my recipes; including toilet cleaner, bath and shower cleaner (which is important to me because the kids sit in the bath every night), laundry detergent, veggie and fruit wash (as I can’t buy everything organic!) and multi-purpose cleaner (see my recipe here on Good Girl Gone Green. I also use a chemical free dish washing liquid. Steam cleaners are very effective and naturally effective.

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural

 

I have several natural cosmetics recipes such as healing body butter, coconut and carrot seed sunscreen, homemade toothpaste and you can use a crystal deodorant mixed with essential oils. Otherwise use my Nourishing and Healing search engine which will only search sites I know and trust. Many have amazing cosmetics and cleaning product recipes. Most are very simple to make and use ingredients you probably already have! Let me know if I can help you source ingredients.

3. Water is a huge cleanser and supports the body to help eliminate toxins. However most of our water supply is also devoid of balanced bacteria and teaming with chemicals. Chlorine and fluoride amongst others are going to have an effect on chemical impact. There are many different filtration systems. Drinking water can be re-mineralised with mineral drops, standing water on the side for a few minute can allow chlorine to evaporate. Fermenting the water is a key way to support the body. 

Baths can be massively enhanced with epsom salts or himalayan salt, calendula tincture or cooled chamomile/calendula tea, lavender (or other aromatherapy oils), kefir and coconut oil/sweet almond oil. I ensure my kids bathe in a combination of these every night. The water not only supports the body but it also serves as their shampoo!

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4. Fermented foods are the best way to consume balanced bacteria. Proven to boost the immune system and support the liver bacteria has so many roles in the body- some of which we still do not completely understand. A nice way of balancing your environment is using a kefir hand sanitiser (recipe in Culture Your Life), a room spray with kefir/kombucha and aromatherapy oils, as well as consuming them and using them as cleaners and cosmetics (there are many companies trying to use bacteria in their cosmetics nowadays!) See my post about it here on Thank Your Body. As a natural barrier a kefir sprayed on the skin for example after swimming can really make a difference (after swimming spray recipe can be found in Culture Your Life)

5. Sea vegetables are a very effective chelator of radiation and heavy metals. Chorella and spirulina are examples which you can get in a good green powder (I can help you source a good one- however raw organic ones are a good starting point- I like this one here) but also Kombu. Kombu can be added to soups, stews, stocks, sauces as a great seasoning and then may be removed before eating. Seaweed snacks are a great way to consume sea veg, however check your ingredients labels as many contain undesirable oils and msg. The cleanest one I have found is here or here depending on how you feel about sunflower oil. In Hong Kong I buy the organic one from Green Dot Dot or nori sheets from iDetox

Milk Thistle Seeds
Milk Thistle Seeds

6. Liver support is also important especially if alongside environmental toxins antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals like anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories or other medications are used on a regular basis. Glutamine, gelatin, milk thistle and bacteria (of course!) are good starting points. Anti-oxidants like vitamin c and vitamin a rich foods are also a good to include.

7. Immune support/Anti-inflammatory nutrients are key. Daily intakes of these nutrients can help support the body to do its job. Stress and inflammation go hand in hand so helping the body reduce some internal stress by providing nurturing nutrients is great when trying to prevent illness. This elderberry cordial is a great immune tonic and is very simple to make as is this honey and onion cough syrup (it tastes way nice than it sounds. Turmeric tea is also a great and effective way of moderating inflammation and is a great anti-oxidant and immune support.

Kefir Gummies Loula Natural

Gelatin is also anti-inflammatory and I know my kids just love these Kefir Gummies (making them with the elderberry cordial makes them a double bonus!). You can make them with anything- here are my more adult coffee ones with kefir but I have also made chocolate ones and all sorts of fruit flavours using fruit puree. For anti-inflammatory and immune support try lemon, ginger and honey with kefir or berry puree and kefir! Fats are also a very important anti-inflammatory and immune supportive nutrients especially coconut oil. This can be used internally (a spoonful a day which can be added to smoothies, juices, nut milks) or externally on the skin as a natural barrier.

There is also interesting research that showed bees in more polluted areas actually provide support form those environmental pollutants in their honey. If you can find raw local honey (here is the Hong Kong Source) a spoonful of this will be a great addition to immune health. I dont suppose anyone will have trouble convincing a child to eat a spoonful of this (immune boosting) sugar!!

Ghee

Vitamin D is also a key immune supportive nutrient. I recommend this product as it is easy to take and has all the nutrient co-factors that make it very absorbable. However a good intake of organic cultured or raw butter/ghee (get ghee here or here in Hong Kong) can also help increase vitamin d intake as it is a fat soluble nutrient. Also get out in the sunshine- the eyes actually process a big amount of vit d so allowing kids some time in the sunshine without any sunscreen/hats/sunglasses for a period of time (about 15-40 mins depending on skin colour and sun intensity) can be very beneficial (WARNING; never allow your skin to burn!)

8. The stress of pollution doing damage may actually be more damaging than the actual pollution itself! Stress maintains inflammation and therefore can actually weaken the digestive system and immune system. Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT- here is my experience with it) is a key way I have changed my core belief towards many limiting factors in my life. Halting life with fear keeps the body in stagnation and restricts enjoyment of life. Children will pick up on this and it will be built into their core belief system too. We can quickly and easily change this with EFT for us and the kids. EFT has been seen to change both physical and emotional impacts and imbalances.

root cause

9. Bach flower Remedies are another route to help clear the body of negative residues. Bach believed that all physical issues have an emotional starting point. Most of the damage of pollution is based on fear, fear leads to conscious and subconscious stress. As above- releasing these emotions is key to health. Simply using rescue remedy on a daily basis can help. It can be added to water too for ease of kids taking it- although mine love getting the spray! You can also contact your local Bach Flower Practitioner (me if I am local to you) to get a personal blend made up with some positive affirmations for go with them and move you forward energetically and also physically.

10. Other supportive treatments like homeopathy, bioresonance, acupuncture, herbal remedies, reflexology, massage (especially lymphatic drainage) and breathing (yoga, meditation, exercise) can all be massively beneficial to support the body physically, emotionally and energetically. Do something you love doing and don’t allow fear to keep you indoors. Coughs are the body’s way of getting foreign matter out of the body- never fear a cough or suppress it. Rosemary and thyme are great expectorants to help the body lift the phlem up and out!

Hope this helps and although I have had other questions this week I think this covers a few of them…

More next week- be sure to ask me your questions.

Q and A Loula Natural Pin june06

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Apricot Kernels

Apricot Kernels

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File

Apricot Kernels

Apricot Kernels are from the inside of the seed of an apricot. The Scientific Name(s) are Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae) ; P. armeniaca L. var. vulgaris Zabel. They are very common here in Hong Kong as they are used in congee and powdered to make a tea. They have  been used medicinally in India and China (in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine) for over 2,000 years. They are widely known for their anti-cancer properties although this claim is often disputed. Often by those who seem to profit from them not being used.

In chinese medicine they are used to stimulate digestion (reduce constipation, to soothe the digestive tract and relieve indigestion), improve respiration (used for asthma and to relieve coughs), lower blood pressure, and relieve arthritic pain (by reducing inflammation). Their bitter/sweet taste is warming and slightly toxic. This is supposed to stimulate healing. 

It is their potential for toxicity which is most widely spoken about even though they have been used safely for thousands of years. In fact only two deaths have ever been reported and it is not stated what dose of the kernels were consumed and whether there were any other conditions involved. They contain tiny amounts of cyanide. 

However they (along with wild cherry pips, crab apple pips, grape seeds, cassava root, millet, broad beans, most berries, and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains that have not been hybridised) also contain vitamin B17 and Laetrile (amygdalin). These nutrients are very powerful immune stimulants, anti-oxidants and digestive supportive. The bitter taste stimulates gastric juices and the rich oils are very beneficial to the body. Apricot Kernal oil is used in many cosmetics and has a great effect on skin.

I have used it both as an oil and as a food for many years and I love it’s flavour. We use it in our muesli, bircher chia, smoothies and I have also made a seed butter from them. Readily available raw in supermarkets they are also relatively inexpensive.

If you want to use them in cancer treatment I suggest you approach your naturopath and oncologist for dosage advice. For prevention of cancer they can also be used safely. Eating 10-12 kernels over a day is generally recommended for prevention. Chewing them to release the oils is advised (hence why making them into a seed butter is a good idea). For cancer treatment almost 5 times that amount is recommended.

Sources and further reading;

My 3 articles on Cancer- What is it, prevention and Anti-oxidants.

My 3 articles on Inflammation; What do we need to know, healing and anti-inflammatory nutrients 

http://www.naturalnews.com/027088_cancer_laetrile_cure.html

http://www.rawapricotseeds.com/faq.html#a1

http://www.anticancerinfo.co.uk/apricot_kernels.html

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural pin

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Real Food Banoffee Pie

Real Food Banoffee Pie

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural

Real Food Banoffee Pie

I have made Banoffee Pie several times. Every time I have made it with Dulce Leche that I have bought. This time I was committed to making my own toffee- without condensed milk (which I do not count as a real food!). See my post on refined sugar for why I love coconut sugar. It is also gluten free packed with healthy fats and proteins to balance the sugar!

This time I am making it for my husband so we made a couple of compromises! He loves real cream so since it is his birthday I have used dairy cream. However I have also included ways to make this dish dairy free. He was happy!

Happy Birthday boy slice

However- I couldn’t do it all by myself. I had some expert help. Especially since it was for Daddy’s birthday!

I did have a little help Loula Natural

Here is the picture to help you assemble the Banoffee pie

Banoffee assembly Loula Natural

I hope you enjoy it!

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural Pin

Come and find my other favourite Gluten Free Sweet Treats on Pinterest

Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

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Healing  Body Butter

Healing Body Butter

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural

Healing Body Butter

I have a scar in between my eyes and it is a constant reminder of a silly drunken debacle in my youth! I have made my peace with it with eft and have minimised it with a scar oil I make. I also have an intense reminder of my mastitis and abscess I had in my second pregnancy (big scar!). In my healing process I have a dermatitis on my finger tips (I think its also from the harsh soaps in the toilets here which I have stopped using)too which I would like to support. Now thanks with my two kiddies (actually just the final days of my second pregnancy, I got through my first pregnancy markfree!) I have some stretch marks. They are my stripes sure but I would also like to see if I can aid my body to heal from the inside and also from the outside!

From the inside I have (over the years) changed my lifestyle to reduce gluten and dairy, refined sugars, all processed foods, increased great fats like coconut oil, ghee and others, increased fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life), use stress management methods (rainbow meditation, eft and Bach Flower Remedies). All of these changes have helped me to naturally balance my weight, improved my skin and digestive system and also helped balance my mood, hormones and energy levels. Read more about my journey here

So I have specifically chosen the ingredients of this body butter to help in these three causes;

Argan oil; Deeply nutritious oil from pressing the kernel of the fruit from the Argan tree. This tree only starts producing oil from fruit after it has matured to 30-50 years old (they do say beauty comes with age!). The tree’s are found in Morocco and the oil should be cold pressed. Therefore you would expect this oil to be expensive and always buy a 100% Argan oil. Since the trees live to be 150-200 years old it must be difficult to certify them as organic- so consider this when you see the label. It is most important that it is 100% Argan oil, sustainably produced and from Morocco. A little goes a long way and it is great for dry conditions especially flaky skin (like on my fingers) which works well for my scar too.

This Argan oil and this one are great 

Rosehip oil; Rosehip oil has been used for centuries to improve skin, from the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans. Benefits include corrects UV damage from the sun, reduces appearance of scars, burns and stretch marks (tick,tick), improves elasticity of skin- (which is what I am looking for to heal scars and stretch marks) Treats fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates dry skin, Great for eczema and psoriasis (contact dermatitis is a form of Eczema), Evens skin tone. All round brilliant for what I want this body butter to help from the outside.

This Rosehip oil is great

Shea Butter; Shea butter is also dense with nutrients, including vitamin A, E and phytonutrients which are the source its healing properties and make shea butter an anti-inflammatory. Benefits include treating blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and dermatitis, as well as burns and even stretch marks (tick, tick).  It works to moisturise and soothe all types of skin.

This Shea Butter is lovely

Cocoa Butter; Cocoa butter of course comes from the cacao bean which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on from the cacao tree.  Like Cocoa itself, Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants which greatly enhance its skin rejuvenating qualities and help to reduce inflammation. The cocoa pod has about 30 to 40 cocoa seeds inside and are like a gourd. These seeds must be fermented in banana leaves (love that it is fermented of course), dried, roasted and pressed. All of this then allows the oil to be released. Benefits include reduces stretch marks, helps heal scars, the fatty acid content helps to hydrate the skin and can help in skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis also helps to heal sensitive skin.

This Cocoa Butter is the one I use

I have also used some essential oils in this body butter to help increase its ability to regenerate and nourish skin cells. 

Frankincense; Apart from being one of my favourite scents on the plant, Frankincense has an air of magic surrounding it. The oil is extracted from the gum or resin from the Frankincense tree (Olibanum tree). It has natural bacterial balancing properties which helps the skin but also helps to preserve the body butter itself. Frankincense Oil promotes regeneration of healthy cells and also keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. Herbal properties include; Carminative (which of course means it is anti-inflammatory and calming both physically and emotionally), Astringent ( which helps it to lift and contract thus strengthening skin tone), Cicatrisant (which makes it anti-ageing, it can makes the scars and after marks of boils, acne and chickenpox on the skin recover at a fast rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks.). Not recommended in the first 2 trimesters in pregnancy it is used in perennial oils too both pre and post natally. See this post for some ideas about where to buy Frankincense.

Vanilla; The vanilla plant is a the plant is a perennial herbaceous climbing vine, a tropical orchid. The pods are the seeds from the plant. It has been used for centuries to help heal wounds. Vanilla extract is composed of  sugars, essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Containing high levels of antioxidants and, as a seed, many vitamins and minerals with  benefits for the skin rejuvenation and repair. Calming and soothing for physical and mental imbalances, Vanilla is also known as an anti-inflammatory. I use this extract. There are many other essential oils that can be used (lavender, geranium, neroli) however I want to keep this butter simple and I absolutely LOVE the combination of these two scents. 

Recipe

I will let you know how I get on- here is my before picture on my scar and fingers before shot

 Other wonderful homemade lotions and potions;

Also try this diy miracle anti-aging skin cream from Mary Vance 

and this diy puffy eyes serum from Oh Lardy

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural Pin

 

 

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Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake

Gluten Free Simnel Cake Loula Natural fb

Gluten Free Simnel Cake

Traditionally Simnel Cakes were given to mum’s on Mothering Sunday. Since in the UK Mothering Sunday and Easter are normally close (not this year!) it became a cake for both. The 12 balls on the top of the cake are also meant to symbolise the 12 apostles. I am not really a follower of organised religion but we like to celebrate re-birth and the spirit of spring time.

The cake is essentially a fruit cake with a marzipan centre and top. I love it as every year I have attempted Marzipan! Now I have my Real Food Icing Sugar- this year it was simple and my most delicious yet!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again I have looked for the classic recipe like in my other modern updates of a classic from my mums Supercooks books. The cake is really nice and by using a Modern Update on a Classic I have made it gluten-free and packed full of nutrients. I have also used my preserved Cinnamon Kumquats to keep it moist and a nice light citrus zing to it and also my Chai Latte Concentrate for a spicy twist too. 

Gluten free Simnel Cake Loula Natural

 

Slice of Simnel Cake Loula NAtural

Other posts for Easter;

100 Days of Real Food: Easter Without the Junk

Oh Lardy: Junk Free Easter Basket Idea’s

Oh She Glows; Vegan Easter Recipes

Eat Naked Now: Easter Gummies (4 Ways)

Freshly Grown; Natural Easter Egg Dye

Nature Moms; Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Grass Fed Girl; Paleo Easter Round Up

The Healthy Home Economist; Healthy Homemade Easter

Nourished Kitchen; Pesto Egg Salad

Real Food RN; Fermented Carrot Sticks for the Easter Bunny

Gluten Free Simnel Cake Loula Natural pin

Come and check out my other favourite gluten free goodies on Pinterest;
Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

 

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Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway

Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway

april giveaway loula natural2

Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway

I have really enjoyed doing Amazon Giftcard giveaways the last few months that allow you to buy what you want and need. 

This month however I have clubbed together with some other awesome bloggers to put together a giveaway that I am really excited about for all you expecting mums.

I have used re-usable nappies for both of my children. I use them in the swimming pool too. It was really important for me as a new mum to help support the environment. The number of nappies that have to be bought and thrown away is intense. The chemicals used in the nappies are not only damaging to the environment but also to a newborn and beyond’s skin. All for convenience sake.

Cloth nappies are super convenient. I have between 20-30 which means there are normally 5 in the bucket, 5 in the wash, 5 drying and 5 in the drawer ready to go with a few spare! I generally do a wash every 3 days. I do a wash every 3 days anyway so its no extra hassle! I also wash my nappies with Kombucha (but thats another story!).

The nappies I bought for my daughter are now being used by my son and the money we have saved is huge. I have used some biodegradable nappies from time to time but we have also travelled with cloth nappies (nappies drying in the sun hanging from the trees in thailand was very amusing!).

This Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway is brilliant everything you need to get going, naturally!;

Diaper Clutch/Portable Changing Station:

Natural Bottom Balm:

Redmond Clay Baby Powder:

4 All-In-One Diapers: GreenRed, Monkeys, Owls (virtually identical to the ones I use)

 Diaper Sprayer: (I had never seen this or knew it existed- it is brilliant!)

Grab and Go Wet/Dry Diaper Bag:

10 Natural Organic Baby Wipes:( these are great I love re-useable wipes too)

 So to enter all you have to do is;

1. Use the rafflecopter at the bottom of this page.

2. Please join my newsletter- there is a free e-book of my Top 10 Posts for every new subscriber



3. You also get an extra entry if you do the same from these other wonderful blogs (without all of them this giveaway would not be possible!);

Thrive Style

Yogi Mami

Our Small Hours

Purely Twins

Veggie Converter

The Darling Bakers 

Whistle Pig Hollow

Giveaway will run from April 10 to May 1st 12:00 AM EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on May 1st. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone!

**Do we have any Canadians? In Canada you have to have some kind of skill as part of the giveaway. Please make sure you answer the skill question in the rafflecopter.

 april giveaway loula natural pin2

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Gluten free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Loula Natural FB

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Easter is not the same without Hot Cross buns! I really like them with cheese! Since we have chosen to be gluten free as much as possible I decided even though I have never made hot cross buns before- I would give a gluten free version a go. 

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

As part of my Modern Updates of a Classic series this recipe has been adapted from my mum’s Supercooks cookbooks. They were a wedding present and date from the mid to late 70’s. The repertoire in the books is huge covering all over the globe. 

To create a gluten free version (I have done 3 batches! this mix of flours is the best!) I have played with different types of flour and have replaced the milk in the recipe to Kefir (of course!).

Hot Cross bun Collage Loula natural

Other posts for Easter;

100 Days of Real Food: Easter Without the Junk

Oh Lardy: Junk Free Easter Basket Idea’s

Oh She Glows; Vegan Easter Recipes

Eat Naked Now: Easter Gummies (4 Ways)

Freshly Grown; Natural Easter Egg Dye

Nature Moms; Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Grass Fed Girl; Paleo Easter Round Up

The Healthy Home Economist; Healthy Homemade Easter

Nourished Kitchen; Pesto Egg Salad

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Loula Natural Pin 

  

 

 

Come and check out my other gluten-free goddies on pinterest;
Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

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Preserved Cinnamon Kumquats

Preserved Cinnamon Kumquats

Preserved Cinnamon Kumquats Loula Natural

Kumquats are in the shops! You can eat the whole fruit even the skins and they are super sharp. I love kumquat and cinnamon Kefir- when cranberries were in season they were lovely together. I used the dried Kumquats. This time I thought I would use my Whey to preserve some and try them in drinks- especially a gin based one!

Kumquats are about the size of an olive and are from the citrus family. They taste like a tarter version of an orange. The best thing about them is that the skin is thin and so you can easily eat the whole thing in one go! They are quite addictive too!

Frequently used for coughs and colds they are high in antioxidants and vitamin c. The chinese preserve them in dry salt- and drain the liquid. 

Here is my recipe!

Preserved Cinnamon Kumquats Loula Natural pin

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

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March Giveaway

March Giveaway

March Giveaway 

March giveaway Loula Natural fb

 March is a weird month full of changes. I feel like buying some books this month and $450 would get me alot of books!

Here are the ones I have my eye on;

Nutrition Book

Health book or This one

Recipe book

Fiction book

Kids Book

Book for my hubby!

Here is how you can be in for a chance of wining;

1 Check out the details of your gift card here. Also have a look around at what you think you would buy

2. Let me know what you are thinking of buying in the comments below

3.Please join my newsletter- there is a free e-book of my Top 10 Posts for every new subscriber



4. Join the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter section at the bottom of this post.

*You have loads more chances of entering by visiting these blogs and entering there too!*

COCO’s WELL

Our Small Hours

Food Savvy

Life Sanity

Oh Lardy

Weed ’em and Reap

Nature Moms

LA Healthy Living

The Healthy Honeys

Yogi Mami

Yuppie Farm Girl

 5. Since some countries need you to demonstrate a skill to win something- please answer this question in the comments- What is the name of the Hong Kong Chief Executive?

Good Luck 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com. We will announce the lucky winner on Sunday, March 30th, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law!

march giveaway Loula natural

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Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

 Beef Jerky Loula Natural

I inherited my parents Excalibur that they bought to dry fruit and make beef jerky….It gathered dust until I moved back to Hong Kong 2 years ago! They never made beef jerky. The search for good protein and fat snacks for the kids that dont contain nuts (school is nut free) led me to beef jerky. Finally I have actually made dehydrator beef jerky! 

It is GOOOOOD! 

Here’s how I did it- with some process pics to follow!

Here is where you can buy liquid aminos and here for Coconut amino’s or try here for both

Here is my Apple Peel Cider Vinegar

Here are the photos to help you make it…

Beef in thin slices
Beef in thin slices
Add Marinade
Add Marinade
After 24 hours it is ready to dehydrate
After 24 hours it is ready to dehydrate
Going in the dehydrator
Going in the dehydrator
After 12 hours in the dehydrator
After 12 hours in the dehydrator

Beef Jerky Loula Natural Beef Jerky Loula Natural

Kids lunch box approved

Here are some great resources that helped me come up with my recipe and directions;

http://ohlardy.com/how-to-make-beef-jerky

http://www.homemademommy.net/2012/03/beef-jerky.html

http://friskylemon.com/2010/08/25/homemade-beef-jerky/

http://dehydratorbeefjerky.com/beef-jerky-faq.html

http://moderncaveman.org/projects/beef-jerky/how-to-make-beef-jerky.html

Beef Jerky Loula Natural pin

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

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Kefir Whey, Lemon and Garlic Fermented Green Beans

Kefir Whey, Lemon and Garlic Fermented Green Beans

Kefir Whey, Lemon and Garlic Fermented Green Beans

Kefir Whey, Lemon and Garlic Fermentd Green Beans Loula Natural

I joined a challenge to eat a fermented food every day for 30 days (see here). I have been inspired to get fermenting. I made my first sauerkraut and now I wanted to do green beans. I also have a big jar of whey in  my fridge from making Kefir Cheese. The benefit of using Kefir whey is that you also benefit from the many strains of bacteria and yeast combined within Kefir (rather than the 1/2 strains from yoghurt whey)

Here is the image to show you what I mean by fill the jar on its side

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kefir Whey, Lemon and Garlic Fermentd Green Beans Loula Natural Pin 

 culture your life

Dont forget my ebook Culture Your Life– packed full of information and recipes

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.


 

 

 

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Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle

Nutrient Fact File

Milk Thistle

 Milk Thistle Loula Natural

I am a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist. I make recommendations to my clients based on their individual needs. If this information is useful to you please discuss your options with your trained health practitioner able to help you to make natural choices that are suitable for your individual needs. Take responsibility for your health and choices.

Milk Thistle has been used for 2,000 years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver, kidney, and gall bladder problems. It is native to the Mediterranean region although it is now found throughout the world, usually in dry, sunny areas. The spiny stems branch at the top and reach a height of 5 – 10 feet. The leaves are wide, with white blotches or veins, the flowers are red purple and the small, hard skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny. Milk Thistle gets its name from the milky white sap that comes from the leaves when they are crushed.

Milk Thistle Seeds

The above ground parts and seeds are used to make medicine (the seeds are more commonly used). The plant contains a biologically active compound called silymarin, a phytochemical which is classified as a flavonoid (which is an antioxidant). Studies indicate this compound helps protect the liver from toxins.

Here is a diagram showing you the role milk thistle plays in liver detoxification;

Liver-detox-chart

  • This shows it is a Phase 1 detoxification inhibitor- this is protective for the liver as it slows down the amount of toxins entering the liver pathways. It also slows down and therefore limits the amount of reactive toxins circulating potentially causing cell damage.
  • It is an antioxidant to help protect cells against the reactive toxins. 
  • It then induces phase 2 detoxification which pairs the reactive toxin to another compound to render it inactive (conjugated). 
  • Its last action, which is also really important, is that it then encourages elimination of the toxin by inhibiting its re-absorption by the body.

All through the livers pathways milk thistle is central to the movement and protection of the body against damage and build up of toxins.

So Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may also help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. Extensive research conducted over the past 30 years shows Milk Thistle extract improves liver dysfunction in patients with acute and chronic hepatitis A, B and C, chronic alcoholic liver disease and fatty liver caused by chemical toxin damage. Silymarin has been shown to lower the death rate of alcoholic patients over a two to four year period.

Milk thistle extract can be used to treat:

* Liver and gallbladder disease, cirrhosis and gallstones

* Liver damage due to indulgence in alcohol, drugs, fatty food and exposure to toxic chemicals

* Skin disease, including eczema and psoriasis (as it helps to eliminate toxins so they do not have to be excreted through the skin)

* Heartburn (dyspepsia) as it helps to reduce inflammation

Some people use milk thistle for diabetes, hangover, diseases of the spleen, prostate cancer, malaria, depression, uterine complaints, increasing breast milk flow (also protecting breast milk from containing circulating toxins), allergy symptoms

1 tbs added to hot water to make a tea or added to smoothies (which is how I like it) a day may be a good place to start. (this is the one I like)

 

However it is best to consult your natural practitioner to consult with you on your individual case.

Milk Thistle Loula Natural

 

 

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How To; Ferment Sauerkraut

How To; Ferment Sauerkraut

How To: Ferment Sauerkraut

Ferment Saurkraut Loula Natural fb

For my inspiration watch this;

Sandor Katz has taught me so much about fermenting… here is his book The Art of Fermentation. and here is his book Wild Fermentation and the link to his website.

Here is how I have tried to make sauerkraut- without a crock or any kind of fancy equipment! Just what I already have in the house.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented. Normally made from finely shredded cabbage and salt. The salt preserves the cabbage for a few days while the probiotic bacteria begin to grow. Raw naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions mainly because fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage.

I have used a mix of half red cabbage and half white cabbage cause I love both. Cabbage is one of the cruciferous vegetables which may have huge benefits on the digestive and hormonal systems. The vibrant colour of red cabbage reflects it concentration of protective phytonutrients, far more than a green cabbage. This enhances the claims to health benefits such as dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Fermenting these (and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to potentially further enhance them) make these nutrients a powerful mix of goodness and healing for the body.

Here is the recipe with directions and I have photos to follow

This is the basic recipe. You can play with flavouring your sauerkraut with turmeric, apple, caraway seeds, fennel seeds or carrot. 

Here are the baking beads I use to weigh down the smaller jar

baking beads

Here is the jar set up again-underneath the jar you can see the whole leaf of cabbage to keep the little bits under the brine.

picture of the kraut Loula Natural

Thank you to here for the tip about the whole leaf of cabbage. Once the fermentation has been going a few days I will remove the second jar and put a lid on the jar.

If you use a lid be aware you need to release the build up of carbon dioxide which is a product of all fermentation. Depending on the speed of fermentation (which as mentioned before- depends on the temperature and humidity levels in your fermentation spot) this may be daily.

I will post below what it looks like over the next few days and weeks.

DU5W3949

 

Isn’t it pretty!

To make things easier for you, here is my pdf printable notes for you to make it at home! Let me know what you flavour yours with…

Sauerkraut handout

Ferment Sauerkraut Loula Natural

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

Here is a great healing, fermented sauerkraut; Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut from A Harmony Healing

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Sunshine Shot

Sunshine Shot

Fermented Turmeric and Ginger Root with Coconut Water Kefir

Sunshine shot Loula Natural

When you flavour your water Kefir I hop you keep your fruit etc you flavour it with. One of my favourite flavours (find it here) is Ginger, Lemon and Honey and I have been adding raw turmeric root to the mix. So when my recent batch was finished I seized the opportunity to get every bit of goodness from these guys!

Add your fermented flavours (the berries from my mixed berries works well or the pineapple from my Pineapple Ginger is nice too) in your blender to your green jusice or simly add to some coconut water kefir like I have done here for a boost better than any multi-vit or capsule will give you!

Sunshine shot Loula Natural pin Sunshine shot Loula Natural

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

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How to; Make Kefir

How to; Make Kefir

How to; Make Kefir

How to make Kefir Loula Natural

 Fermentation is the “transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce”. Our world has become largely dependent on refrigeration and we have largely relegated much of our food production to factories. Mass produced food has meant many changes to natural growing and distribution of foods. This has largely changed the make-up, quality and accessibility of nutrients. Take Milk as an example.

 Fermenting is a natural phenomenon. Very little is actually understood about the make-up of the starters and how they grow, transform and multiply. Some do it spontaneously and some are seemingly indestructible. The transformative power of fermentation can produce alcohol, preserve our foods and make them more digestible, less toxic and more delicious.

 Culture comes from the word cultivate. Many of these foods have come from ancient rituals from the dawn of time, passed down and used by many different cultures and backgrounds. Each variation and even batch of kefir, Kombucha and yoghurt is slightly different. However all basically come from the same principle; harnessing and accessing the vitality and nutrients in our foods. Vibrant is how I tend to describe fermented foods. We would not exist without our bacterial partners. Our digestive systems need them and this system is vital for the procurement, absorption and assimilation of nutrients used to power every other body system. Our immune system depends on it and we could not use or store energy without them. They are amazing!

How to make Kefir

Water/Milk kefir grains are said to be indestructible. They may be sensitive to extreme temperatures so try and bring what you are fermenting and your grains to room temp before combining.

What you will need:

 

Glass containers (I use Passata bottles washed out after using the Passata of course!)

Thin cotton or muslin cloths and elastic band

Plastic measuring spoons

Plastic strainer/sieve

Liquid to culture (Milk, coconut milk, nut milk, fresh soy milk, or depending on grains  coconut water, juice (not from concentrate) or sugar water)

Plastic Measuring jug

Glass jar

Ratio

Kefir grains- 2tbs grains: 2tbsp coconut sugar/1tbsp maple syrup to 1 Litre liquid. (to taste if too sour reduce if takes too long to ferment increase)

This is what works for me. Everyone seems to have different proportions. I store my grains in the fridge when I am not using them but I try to have my milk/water at room temp before making it- you are supposed to be careful about temperature extremes.

Directions:

Pour a cup to a litre of milk or sugar water (for water Kefir) into your similar sized glass jar (always leave space at the top) and add grains with plastic measuring spoon (avoid metal as it reacts with the grains- only ever use plastic and glass).

Cover top with cloth and secure with a rubber band. Leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours (as little as 12 sometimes in the summer)- taste your kefir till you like it. Stir periodically (esp. with coconut milk and almond milk). Milk will taste sour and ‘off’ and may smell a little cheesy. The water will smell yeasty and may be a little fizzy.

As the grains live off the sugar during the culturing process- the shorter the time you allow to culture the sweeter the kefir will be. The more you agitate the grains the thicker the mixture will become.

When you are happy, shake the grains vigorously then strain the grains through the sieve or nut bag. It’s ok if some escape into the liquid it just adds to the mix! You may have more grains than when you started.

Use the plastic measuring spoon to move the grains to a clean glass jar. It’s okay if there is a little milk still- you only need to wash them through periodically and if you are not going to use the grains for a while.

Store unused grains and resulting kefir in the fridge. The kefir should last a couple of weeks- you should know by smell if it is really off! 

Here is my video on how to make water kefir. Its the same for milk just without the sugar!

If you haven’t already- please check out my ebook- Culture Your Life; Kefir anf Kombucha for Everyday Nourishment. This book includes not only information on the wonders of bacteria, why and how they work. But also 45 recipes that I have developed and use all the time in my own life. From drinks, to foods, ice-creams, cosmetics, and household cleaning products! 

culture your life
 How To Make Kefir Loula Natural pin

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

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Elderberries

Elderberries

Nutrient Fact Sheet

Nutrient Fact Sheet Elderberries Loula Natural

Elderberries

Elderberry (also known as Sambucus) is a common, shrubby tree that grows to approximately ten feet tall and reveals yellow and white flowers in early summer, followed by strong blue or black berries which generally ripen around September. Reputated for their medicinal benefits Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa (Elderberry’s use as a flu remedy dates back to ancient Roman times)and the medicinal benefits of elderberries are again being investigated and rediscovered.

They are primarily recognised as providing natural support for the immune system and is growing in popularity as an effective remedy against flu and other similar viruses. There is an off the shelf cough syrup derived from Elderberries or check out here for an even better home made one. You can also make these Elderberry and Kefir Gummies for a great immune boosting kid friendly snack

Elderberry Collage Loula Natural

The list of attributes that the Elderberry boasts makes interesting reading. The berries are similar to black berries, blueberries and other dark purple fruit and vegetables in their anti-oxidant properties. They contain concentrated amounts of vitamin C, flavinoids, fruit acids, and anthocyanic (which help protect against cell damage) pigments. They are also an excellent source for vitamins A and B which may help them to have antiviral properties. This berry works as a simple cleanser of the body as well as an antioxidant. Supporting the liver, immune and circulatory system.

Their high antioxidant activity may help to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, the circulatory system and also boost the immune system. Through boosting the immune and circulatory system it may promote profuse sweating which helps to manage fevers. Therefore with Elderberry consumption, flu symptoms have been seen to resolve and improve within days

 Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice may destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice have reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not.

They are also seen to be a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-catarrh, and may act as a mild laxative.

With all these properties they have been used through the ages to help treat and support the body through;

Most inflammatory conditions including UTI’s (they also may have a mild diuretic effect)

bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sore throats, fevers, influenza,

high cholesterol,

constipation,

neuralgia, rheumatism, sciatica,

skin disorders

and even hay fever (since they also contain quercetin). 

Nutrient Fact File Elderberries Loula Natural PinElderberry causes few side effects when used in recommended dosages for five days or less, However, for people using it for lengthy intervals and those who are pregnant may want to ask the advice of their health practitioner, preferably someone knowledgeable about herbs and their potential side effects.

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Gelatin

Gelatin

Gelatin

Gelatin is the same structural protein, collagen in humans,  found in many animals including cows. Collagen is a fibrous protein that strengthens the body’s connective tissues and makes up almost one-third of the human body.

Gelatin is rich in foods like bone broths. It is obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs but fish can also be used and a vegan source is found through using a seaweed called agar agar.

The highest concentration is founds in pig’s and chicken feet and ox tails. All these used to be a large part of a traditional diet. Our ancestors relished every part of the animal including all the gelatin-rich bony and cartilaginous bits of the animal. But the increasing appetite for muscle meat meant these unfashionable cuts were forgotten and as a result much of this gelatin has vanished from the diet.

However our bodies’ need for it has not. Although collagen makes up about 50% of the protein in animals, the quantity in the muscle meats is considerably lower. It has a different amino acid profile than muscle meats — no tryptophan or cysteine, but a great deal of glycine and proline. These are both necessary for growth and renewal of cells. This helps with healing and supports skin and hair growth. Lowering our intake of gelatin and raising our intake of low-collagen muscle meats has changed the amino acid profile of the common diet.

“gelatin is not a complete protein source because it is deficient in tryptophan and low in methionine content, however the digestibility is excellent and it is often used in feeding invalids and the high level of lysine (4 %) is noteworthy. More controversially, studies have shown that the consumption of 7 to 10 g/day can significantly improve nail growth rate and strength (17) and it also promotes hair growth (18). Gelatin has also been shown to benefit arthritis sufferers in a large proportion of cases (19).” (source)

Because Gelatin has the ability to break down and rebuild, it is able to repair and re-form wherever it is needed. This also helps its digestibility. It also absorbs water so can help in digestive transit and can help to form stool.

Adding gelatin to your diet can help your body in many ways:

– Good for joints and can help joint recovery (As you get older, your body makes less collagen, and individual fibers become increasingly cross-linked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints from less flexible tendons, or wrinkles due to loss of skin elasticity).

-Is one of the main component of bones. May help with bone density and strength.

– Can help tighten loose skin

– Supports skin, hair and nail growth

– Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track. Potentially relieving constipation or diarrhea.

-Bacteria feeds on gelatin so is beneficial for the digestion as a prebiotic.

– A source of protein and its specific amino acids can help build muscle.It has 18 amino acids, 9 of which are essential.

-Glycine is reported to help liver function, especially in detoxification

-Lysine is utilized in muscle building and calcium absorption.

–  Has been associated with improved metabolism and reduced cellulite. Therefore it has been used in weight management.

 -Treatment for non-seasonal allergies. The anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of Gelatin may help heal leaky gut symptoms. 

-Has been said to help promote duration and quality of sleep.

Kefir Gummies Recipe Pic Loula Natural

I especially love slipping gelatin in homemade Kefir Gummies, porridge, smoothies, soups, stews, bolognaise and even in iced coffee to help my 2 kids get the protein they need.

References

http://www.gelatin-gmia.com/images/GMIA_Gelatin_Manual_2012.pdf

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10068-014-0011-x#page-1

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/food_news/gelatin.html

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Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Nutrient Fact Sheet

Nutrient Fact File Sweet Potato Loula Natural

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. It is documented that they may have been consumed since prehistoric times as  sweet potato relics have been discovered in some Peruvian caves. Christopher Columbus first brought sweet potatoes to Europe after his first voyage to the New World in 1492.

They have a creamy texture with a sweet, warm and a little spicey flavour that makes them ideal for savoury dishes. However they are also great in cakes, cookies, smoothies and even to make ice-cream. Although peak season for sweet potatoes is October to March, they are a vegetable that is readily available, inexpensive, and delicious.

Depending upon the variety, there are around 400 different ones, the skin and flesh of the sweet potato may be almost white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, or deep purple. The Japanese and Korean white/cream and American yellow-orange flesh are most common.

Although sometimes referred to as ‘yams’ in the USA, sweet potatoes belong to an entirely different food family. They are also very different from the common potato.  Sweet potatoes are far more nutrient dense and healing. Their properties and uses are diverse, and when you choose sweet potatoes as a dietary root vegetable, you are getting a truly unique and superior type of potato. Some of the benefits include

  • They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked to degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
  • They are a good source of vitamin C. While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin also plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen, which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity (sweet potatoes make us look young- bonus!), and is essential to helping us cope with stress. The anti-oxidant properties also may help to prevent cancer
  • They contain some Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and may support the thyroid gland.
  • Sweet potato’s are full of beta-carotene’s good for eyesight, immune system and digestive health.
  • Sweet potatoes contain some iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and protein metabolism, among other things.
  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.

Another interesting thing about sweet potatoes is the antioxidant capacity of all their parts. Recent research has shown differences in consuming the flesh versus skin of the sweet potato. Both producing different concentrations of anthocyanin antioxidants. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes (when you can find them- Asia has them fairly regularly) are a fantastic source of anthocyanins (especially peonidins and cyanidins) as the darker and more vibrant the colour of a vegetable the more antioxidants they contain. In one study, the antioxidant activity in purple sweet potatoes was seen to be up to 3 times higher than that of blueberries.

Since they are not actually a potato so therefore not a deadly nightshade, sweet potato can actually have a healing effect on your digestive system rather than an irritating one. The fibres in the sweet potato actually feed the bacteria and are classed as fermentable as a prebiotic (food for bacteria). This therefore helps to create a more balanced bacterial environment in your digestive system. Thus giving a digestive healing effect with an immune boost too.

Finally most kids love sweet potato- it is a great first food, great in the lunch boxes cold and as hot chips at dinner time. A simple way to get some amazing nutrients into kids without too many arguments. Try them in smoothies, juices and soups for a smooth creamy consistency and natural sweetness.

Sweet potatoes are traditionally been baked, roasted or mashed, but they can also be added to risotto, pasta or curry. Here are my recipes;

Here are my mouth watering recipes;

 Here are some other amazing recipes;

Sweet Potato Spaghetti- Healthy Living How To
Sweet Potato Spaghetti- Healthy Living How To 
Dark Chocolate Brownies Renew Whole Health
Dark Chocolate Brownies Renew Whole Health
Fudgey Brownies Jules Fuel
Fudgey Brownies Jules Fuel
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Cupcakes Veggie Converter
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Cupcakes Veggie Converter
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies- The Paleo Mama
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies- The Paleo Mama
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies Homemade Mommy
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies Homemade Mommy
Chicken with Sweet Potato Curry Sauce- La Healthy Living
Chicken with Sweet Potato Curry Sauce- La Healthy Living
Sweet Potato Quiche-Grok Grub
Sweet Potato Quiche-Grok Grub
Sweet Potato Pancakes-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Pancakes-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Hash- Stupid easy paleo
Sweet Potato Hash- Stupid easy paleo
Sweet Potato Chips- Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Chips- Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Sweet Potato Apple Pancetta Hash- Gutsy By Nature
Sweet Potato Apple Pancetta Hash- Gutsy By Nature
Sweet Potato and Banana Pie Smoothie-Green Thickies
Sweet Potato and Banana Pie Smoothie-Green Thickies
Sweet Potato Recovery Shake Stupid Easy Paleo
Sweet Potato Recovery Shake Stupid Easy Paleo
Sweet Potato Gratin- Meatified
Sweet Potato Gratin- Meatified
Sweet Potato Crackers- The Coconut Mama
Sweet Potato Crackers- The Coconut Mama
Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes The Coconut Mama
Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes The Coconut Mama
Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna Veggie Converter
Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna Veggie Converter
Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash- Popular Paleo
Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash- Popular Paleo
Raw Carrot and Sweet Potato soup with Spinach- Green Thickies
Raw Carrot and Sweet Potato soup with Spinach- Green Thickies
Paleo Hash- The Sprouting Seed
Paleo Hash- The Sprouting Seed
Organic Sweet Potato Chips Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Organic Sweet Potato Chips Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Make Your Own Sweet Potato Chips- Healthy Living How To
Make Your Own Sweet Potato Chips- Healthy Living How To
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries- The Sprouting Seed
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries- The Sprouting Seed
Creamy Sweet Potato Mash Stupid Easy Paleo
Creamy Sweet Potato Mash Stupid Easy Paleo
Chilli Lime Sweet Potato Fries Popular Paleo
Chilli Lime Sweet Potato Fries Popular Paleo
BBQ Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes-Primally Inspired
BBQ Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes-Primally Inspired
Apple Sweet Potato Bake Stupid Easy Paleo
Apple Sweet Potato Bake Stupid Easy Paleo
Autumn Spiced Sweet Potato Bread-Soundness of Body and Mind
Autumn Spiced Sweet Potato Bread-Soundness of Body and Mind
 

 

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Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Nutrient Fact Sheet

Nutrient Fact File Brussel Sprouts Loula Natural

Brussel Sprouts

Although readily available almost year-round, the peak season for Brussels Sprouts is from September to March. Hence why many people associate with Christmas dinner as they’re always on the menu! They’re members of the cabbage family (brassica or cruciferous)―and they look like it, too. It is not certain where they came from or where they were first grown, but the first official description of them did appear in Belgium in the late 16th century, hence the name. They made their way to England in the mid-19th century and there gained great popularity. Today, the British (and Irish!) remain the world’s top consumers of Brussels sprouts.

They’re the sort of vegetable that divide opinion and people either love or hate them. The vegetable has a reputation for bitterness, but when properly cooked, sprouts offers complex flavour with a subtle crunch and almost nutty sweetness. When overcooked they lose flavour, texture and give off a strong odor, which probably puts people off. This smell is associated with glucosinolate sinigrin, an organic compound that contains sulphur: hence the smell. It also happens to be responsible for the cancer-fighting characteristics of Brussels sprouts.

I for one love them and my 4 year old daughter has recently declared them ‘her favorites at dinner, as we have had them quite a lot recently with them in plentiful supply in the supermarkets.

Brassica or cruciferous vegetables are highly regarded for their nutritional value. Vegetables included are cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, kale and turnips. Their properties have been widely researched and their role in oestrogen dominant cancer prevention and digestive and immune healing and strengthening is well known and they are enjoying renewed interest and of course recipes.

  • Vitamins A (cartenoids) and C, which may help against heart disease, cancer, and cataracts (1/2 cup of sprouts provides more than 80% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C – way more than an orange for example)
  • Potassium, which may help to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. 
  • Folate, which is necessary for normal tissue growth and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects
  • Iron, necessary for maintaining red blood cell count
  • Fiber, which aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol (in Chinese medicine they are prescribed to improved digestive health). Can also support blood sugar levels
  • Selenium: associated with reduced risks of certain cancers, as well as increased male virility
  • All brassica family contain Indole-3-Carbinol which helps to break down oestrogen into its healing form (there are different forms of oestrogen one is cancer forming and the other cancer healing) and may also help repair DNA (read more about that here).
  • 3,3′-diindolylmethane (also know as DIM) is found in all Brassica vegetables. Which may contain potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer actions which can affect/boost the immune system. 
  •  Sulforaphane is a chemical compound found in the Sprouts (especially in broccoli sprouts but also in Brussel Sprouts) “induces the production of certain enzymes that can deactivate free radicals and carcinogens.” (source)

To simply cook them, trim any loose, yellow or damaged leaves, wash and then trim the base. Some people cut a cross in the base to make sure they cook evenly, but with smaller ones, it’s not necessary, as it can cause them to go mushy. Larger ones can be cut in half. Steam them for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check them regularly so they don’t overcook as cooking times will vary, depending on size.

These vegetables also contain goitrogens, which may suppress thyroid function. This can interfere with those on hypothyroid medication. Like anything can be absolutely fine in moderation and cooking them can also reverse some of these goitrogenic actions (the 3,3′-diindolylmethane may be an anti-androgen which affects the hormones). In any doubt, please consult your practitioner trained in nutrition for further advice on your personal case.

Here is my favourite way of making them;

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

Here are some other recipes;

 

Roasted Rustic Brussel Sprouts- Dj Foodie
Roasted Rustic Brussel Sprouts- Dj Foodie
Roasted Brussel Sprouts- Low Carb One Day
Roasted Brussel Sprouts- Low Carb One Day
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey and Currants-Homemade Mommy
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey and Currants-Homemade Mommy
Roasted Brussel Sprouts-Cheeseslave
Roasted Brussel Sprouts-Cheeseslave
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli- The Rising Spoon
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli- The Rising Spoon
Roasted Beets Brussels Sprouts and Carrots- Gutsy By Nature
Roasted Beets Brussels Sprouts and Carrots- Gutsy By Nature
Roast Potato Brussel Sprouts and Bell Pepper with Sausage- The Rising Spoon
Roast Potato Brussel Sprouts and Bell Pepper with Sausage- The Rising Spoon
Pancetta Red Onion and Brussels Stupid Easy Paleo
Pancetta Red Onion and Brussels Stupid Easy Paleo
Garlic Ginger Brussel Sprouts- Stupid Easy Paleo
Garlic Ginger Brussel Sprouts- Stupid Easy Paleo
Chicken and Brussel Salad- Popular Paleo
Chicken and Brussel Salad- Popular Paleo
Brussels with Bacon and Aged Cheddar- Whole Green Love
Brussels with Bacon and Aged Cheddar- Whole Green Love
Brussels Sprouts Lemon Garlic Glaze-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Brussels Sprouts Lemon Garlic Glaze-Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Brussel Sprouts with Pine Nuts- Thank Your Body
Brussel Sprouts with Pine Nuts- Thank Your Body
Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter- Oh Lardy
Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter- Oh Lardy
Brussel and Bacon Salad- The Sprouting Seed
Brussel and Bacon Salad- The Sprouting Seed
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon- Peace Love and Low Carb
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon- Peace Love and Low Carb
 

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Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

The humble Brussel Sprouts has so many health benefits- (see here for my nutrient fact file). Thank goodness my 4 year old loves as much as us and since Christmas they have been so cheap! They are nicest steamed for about 15 mins so they are soft but not mushy! Here is how we like them;

They go really well with any thing as a side dish but are nice tossed in with some lettuce, feta and avocado as a salad too with a lemon dressing.

Do you like Brussels?- Here are some other people who do-

 

and see here;

Nutrient Fact File Brussel Sprouts Loula Natural

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Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados Loula Natural

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados

I make my own cranberry sauce every year it couldn’t be easier! You could also use the slow-cooker or make a fermented version (see here and here). However this is how I made mine this year- Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados.

I really like the combination of cranberry and citrus (see my Cranberry and Kumquat Water Kefir here) so the orange is a nice sweetener and also adds a nice zest to the sauce. The Calvados serves a dual purpose- it works as a natural preservative whilst at the same time adds a deeper dimension which makes the sauce taste richer- just perfect for the Christmas Table. This will work well with pork (ham), chicken or lamb too not just with the Turkey.

I used fresh cranberries for this recipe but you can also use frozen.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Calvados collage

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Homemade Dried Cranberries

Homemade Dried Cranberries

Dried Cranberries Loula Natural

Homemade Dried Cranberries

There are so many fresh cranberries in the shops at the moment. I have been making lots of pots of cranberry and orange sauce to give as gifts this year but also wanted some dried cranberries to make my water kefir, add to our homemade muesli, crockpot oatmeal, to make cranberry energy balls and cranberry and orange cookies/muffins for my kids snacks. I had no idea I would be creating so many recipes from such a simple ingredient!

Cranberries are rich in anti-oxidants but are probably best known for containing proanthocyanidins (also found in apples, cacao, cinnamon, green/black tea, bilberries, blackberries, grape seed and acai). This nutrient is a tannin and supposedly acts as a barrier to help to prevent too many certain bacteria’s from sticking to the walls of the uterus and bladder hence why cranberries are often recommended in UTI infections. However it will also prevent the same thing happening in the stomach lining so can also be very useful in digestive healing and strengthening.

However the proanthocyanidins  have many other important roles such supporting the production of collagen to maintain elastin. These are the main components of connective tissue which makes up skin, organs (stomach and intestines for example), joints, blood vessels, and skeletal and smooth muscles. Cranberries have also been seen to be very active against cancer in terms of tumour growth and proliferation as it is seen to activate the natural inbuilt cell-death function.

Here is a great link to find more info on cranberries health benefits Drying the cranberries in the dehydrator helps to retain many of these health boosting nutrients whilst maintaining the complex flavour and goodness of the fruits in their natural form.

How to make Homemade Dried Cranberries

Ingredients

Packet of fresh cranberries (you could also use thawed frozen cranberries)

Directions

I simple cut the fresh cranberries in half (just to increase yield!) and added to my dehydrator tray. I dehydrated at 100 degrees F for 24 hours.

Use them as snacks in themselves or to make my water kefir, add to our homemade muesli, crockpot oatmeal, to make cranberry energy balls and cranberry and orange cookies/muffins for my kids snacks.  What do you use them for?

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Sweet Potato Falafel with a Garlic Kefir Dip

Sweet Potato Falafel with a Garlic Kefir Dip

Sweet Potato Falafel and Garlic Kefir Dip Loula Natural

Sweet Potato Falafel and Garlic Kefir Dip

I made these for a recent party where I was asked to bring a veggie dish that didn’t need to be hot! These perfect. Great as finger food but can also be served as a side dish. Great in wraps too for lunch box ideas. Sweet potato’s are full of beta-carotene’s. We eat them almost every day.

Garlic Kefir Dip collage Loula Natural

Kids lunch box approved

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Banana Mocha Muffins

Banana Mocha Muffins

Banana Mocha Muffins Loula Natural

I make a batch a muffins a week to try and help fll up my kids. It is important to me that they contain lots of nutrition. I like to make things gluten and dairy free and I go through a lot of eggs so don’t always always have enough. This recipe is very easy to whip up as we always have all the ingredients! 

banana mocha muffins in a halogen oven

These are my favourite stock cupboard ingredients; (click on the links to find my favourites)

Buckwheat Flour

Coconut Oil

Coconut Sugar

Vanilla essence (I use the same brand for Hazelnut essence)

Cacao Powder

Baking Powder (Aluminium free)

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Giveaway

Thanksgiving Giveaway

Thanksgiving Giveaway Loula NaturalThanksgiving is a time for being grateful for all that you have and experienced. I am not an American (I’m a brit) but I like the idea of coming together to remember things that have helped you in your journey.

Here is what I am thankful for followed by a gift just for one of you; I am so thankful for my fellow bloggers (and for more chances to win at this giveaway pay them a visit!) This giveaway ends on Friday so its just a quick one- Enter Now!

Darling Bakers– read her blog here /pin her here

Veggie Converter– read her blog here /pin her here

Green Boot Living– read her blog here/pin her here

Good Girl Gone Green– read her blog here/pin her here

They (and many others at Village Green Network) are helping me to learn and grow and without whom this giveaway would not be possible.

I am thankful to you- my readers, friends and supporters for whom this giveaway is here to reward and thank. Thank you for your questions, motivation interest and passion.

Of course I am thankful for my family, immediate and extended (of whom there are many!!). For their sense of humour, unending support and in most cases for trying to change their lives to be happier and healthier people.

Ok that said- whos gonna win? I hope its you! Thanksgiving Giveaway Loula Natural a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter please do the following;

1. Like each of the contributors Facebook pages

2. **Optional**Please add a comment to this post to say what Thanksgiving dish you are going to cook first with the cookware.

3. Please answer the question what is 1+1! (Its so our Canadian friends can join in!)

4. **Optional** Visit our Pinterest Pages to find some cooking inspiration… (heres mine– the others are above)

 

Picture By istolethetv from Hong Kong, China (trussed up  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Cauliflower Cheese Nuggets

Cauliflower Cheese Nuggets

cauliflowernuggets

I have been playing with my cauliflower recipes. I love the pizza crust but it takes a bit too long sometimes, I love the mash but sometimes you want something bread like or hash brown kind of thing. So with our pork chops I wanted to try something new. Cauliflower and cheese are a match made in heaven to me so I fancied knocking this together- I really liked them and they were really filling- which kept my potato loving long suffering hubby happy!

 

Ingredients;

1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup of grated cheese (could use 1 tbs nutritional yeast for dairy free)

1 clove of garlic finely chopped/minced (optional)

2 eggs (mine were kinda small)

salt and pepper

(optional extras- what I am gonna try next time- Kefir cheese, dried herbs, paprika, tsp mustard)

Directions;

cauliflower nuggets1

 

Place your raw cauliflower in the food processor to rice.

Put ‘rice’ into muslin bag to wring out the water. Place in a bowl.

Add garlic cheese and eggs and anything else from optional extras list and ball up and place on greaseproof paper.

Bake at 200 degrees C for 15 mins. They can be frozen here or eaten straight away.

I actually fried them off in my pork and butter fat left from the chop cooking. It added a lovely texture and flavour!! I think this will be a new favourite side!

 

 

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Maple and Orange BBQ sauce

Maple and Orange BBQ sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My mum used to make BBQ sauce from scratch when we were kids- my brother and I loved ribs and rice nights. She got the recipe from her Supercooks book (a massive collection of recipes she has had since the 70’s which I inherited recently). My brother and I lived together for a few years and we kind of made it our own based on her recipe.

Here is our variation of it!

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 inch piece of ginger

Jar of Tomato Passata (or fresh tomatoes de-seeded and skins removed)

1 cup stock

tsp of Soy (or alternative)

1tbs Maple syrup

Juice of one orange

Juice of one lime

Salt and pepper

1-3 tbs Coconut sugar (optional and to taste)

The key to making a killer BBQ sauce is getting the right mix of salty sweet tomato-ey tang. The way to do this is to reduce the liquid right down slowly and continuing to taste and adjust as needed. I puree the onion, garlic and ginger in the food processor as I like my BBQ sauce smooth. I fry off the mix in either butter/olive oil (you could also use coconut oil if you don’t mind the taste coming through) when translucent I add all the other ingredients. I simmer over a low heat for up to an hour until it is thick and saucy. Then you can either use it as is on burgers (see my lentil ones), with chicken or on slow cooked Ribs (add the sauce to raw seasoned ribs and cook on low for 4-6 hours).

Ribs and saucy

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Vegetarian Lentil and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Vegetarian Lentil and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

cottage Pie

We use Lentils quite alot. I use this same mix to make lentil tacos too. We also love lentil burgers. The kids love them and my husband is coming round to them- he likes them because he can feel full after eating them. I like them for their protein profile and the texture when cooked works well for ‘mince like’ consistency.

1 Cup Puy lentils (soaked and drained)

2 cups Stock

(we are not strict vegetarians so our stock is bone broth but you can use vegetable stock)

1/2 cup Passata tomatos or fresh skinned and seeded tomatos

1 Carrot

1 Onion

1-2 sticks of Celery

1/2 Green/red pepper (optional)

1-3 cloves of garlic (we love garlic)

1 tbs fresh herbs chopped (thyme, basil, parsley, oregano)

1 bay leaf

Salt Pepper

Sweet Potato Mash

I first put the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and herbs in the food processor to finely chop. Throw everything else into a pot or a slow cooker and cook slowly until the lentils are soft (4 hours on slow in a slow cooker).

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For the top of the cottage pie make the sweet potato mash (you can also add the herb butter cubes to the mix too). Add some cheese (I like sheeps cheese- optional). Then put in the oven at 200 C till heated through normally 15-20 mins.

Serve with some green vegetables or salad.

This is also a great weaning dish for babies a they can use their hands to eat this.

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Sweet Potato Rosti

Sweet Potato Rosti

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe eat a lot of sweet potato. The kids and I love it- my husband doesn’t mind them- but its not a potato! We eat them mainly as chips but since I don’t have an oven, only a halogen oven, sometimes I don’t have the space for chips. This happened recently so I got creative!

Ingredients

1 Large Sweet Potato

1 tbs Coconut oil

salt/pepper

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAusing a julienne peeler I peeled the sweet potato. I put the ribbons into a bowl and poured in the coconut oil, salt and pepper. I used my hands to ensure all the ribbons were lightly coated.

In a frying pan I gathers some ribbons up into a nest shape and carefully placed in the pan. After a couple of minutes I carefully turned them over. I then removed them onto kitchen paper and continued until the bowl was empty.

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At this point you could freeze them or store them in the fridge if you want to make them ahead.

I then put them in the oven to reheat and to crisp them up. at 180 C for 10-15 minutes.

We had them with Roast chicken and veggies! They were yummy and nice to have something a bit different!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Save Our Natural Sleep

Save Our Natural Sleep

Loula-Reviews-sleep-solution

9665986215_e05e22aeeb_o

buy now button

Giving definition to the word Insomnia together with the statistic that 1/2 the population suffer at some point and to some degree is food for thought. I have on occasion found it difficult to get to sleep, stay asleep or wake refreshed. This book does an amazing job of not only outlining what good sleep is, why sleeping pills make the situation worse but, of course, sets you on a journey towards great sleep. Something I am very excited about sharing.

I enjoy reading Emily’s style of writing- she is clear, to the point and very well researched. Her explanations about the different stages of sleep are very easy to understand and allow you to identify potential issues that can easily be turned around, especially thinking about the way light affects our sleep which makes me feel better that we do not have blackout blinds or night lights in our nor the kids rooms. I am also inspired to invest in a grounding sheet for us and the Kids. Especially when at the computer as they have one you can put your feet on (more information here and read about Grounding here), make one myself or at least feeling the ground beneath my bare feet as much as possible.

The nutritional advice is sound and makes excellent sense. Balancing blood sugars and therefore hormones is at the centre of great sleep. However I learnt a lot about the relationship with fats and CO2 with sleep and I found that information fascinating. There is also so much information about supplements, foods to choose and avoid and the book give s good goals for example against screen time at night (she says typing away very late and tired!)

Even if you do not consider yourself an insomniac there is something  in that will enhance your sleep- and if you are- why haven’t you bought it already! There is excellent information, great advice and very good recipes for successful, deep and rejuvenating sleep- I do not know anyone that cannot benefit from this book and recommend it wholeheartedly.

buy now button

 

 If you use essential oils, here is a great natural sleep roll-on from Living Consciously.

Loula-Reviews-sleep-solution-Pin

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Vegetarian Meal Round Up

Vegetarian Meal Round Up

Vegetarian Meal Round Up

In My 5 Reasons for Having a Meat Free Meal I mentioned the book  Mark Bittman’s book- How To cook Everthing Vegetarian (a fellow omnivore looking to include more vegetarian meals into his life). He says you need to think differently instead of trying to convert a meat dish into a vegetarian ones i.e. veggie burgers, veggie lasagna etc. Look at creating several small dishes to make up a meal. This post endeavors to include lots of dishes that put together will create a Vegetarian Feast!

Urban Naturale

Black Bean Soup- Hearty filling and great for the change in weather coming up. Plus the other ideas for how to use black beans are ingenious.

blackbean soup

http://urbannaturale.com/a-healthy-hearty-vegan-black-bean-soup-recipe-plus-13-more-ways-to-enjoy-them/

Living Simply

Mexican tostadas- now this is my kind of food!

mexican tostatas

http://livesimply.me/index.php/2013/07/19/mexican-tostadas/

Good Girl Gone Green

Carrot and Quinoa Soup- sound like a perfect lunch

carrot and quinoa soup

http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/recipes/creamy-carrot-quinoa-soup

Corn on the Cob Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

I am not a mushroom fan (as my friends and family well know!) but this sounds nice

GoodGirlGoneGreen-Corn-Salad-with-Lemon-Ginger-Dressing

http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/recipes/corn-on-th-cob-salad-with-lemon-ginger-dressing

Healy Real Food Vegetarian

Pink Hummus

adding the sauerkraut to beetroot to this hummus will really give it a zing

beet hummus

http://www.healyrealfoodvegetarian.com/pink-hummus-sauerkraut-and-beet-hummus/

Vegetable Hash With Eggs

vege hash

http://www.healyrealfoodvegetarian.com/vegetable-hash-with-eggs-lacto-ovo-vegetarian/

Green Thickies

28 Smoothie Recipes Without Banana’s

These sound great- filling and nutritious

28-Filling-and-Creamy-Smoothie-recipes-without-bananas-1024x682

http://www.greenthickies.com/smoothies-without-bananas/

and how about this for pudding- got to give this a go!

Mango-Banana-Spinach-Ice-Cream-1024x682

http://www.greenthickies.com/sweet-mango-banana-spinach-ice-cream/

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Culture Your Life

Culture Your Life

Culture Your Life Image

Culture Your Life

Kefir and Kombucha For Every Day Nourishment

A Concise Manual for Kefir and Kombucha with over

45 Recipes

image
buy-now-button hardback buy-now-button kindle

 (amazon.com affiliate link above)

Are you fed up with the following:

Suffer from IBS symptoms?

Have a gluten or dairy sensitivity?

Lack energy?

Showing signs of hormonal imbalance? (thyroid, adrenals or oestrogen dominance)?

Have central weight gain and blood sugar problems?

Keep getting coughs and cold that won’t go away?

Autoimmune issues (hypothyroid, type 2 diabetes, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or skin conditions)?

Breastfeeding, Pregnant or looking to do both?

Any menstrual irregularities?

Then a book on fermenting may be just what you are looking for…

culture your life

Kefir and Kombucha have been widely research and the bacteria in fermented foods are fundamental for;

Improving digestive repair and health (especially when experiencing food intolerance and nutrient deficiencies.)

Boosting Immune system strength and regulation (especially in auto immune conditions like thyroid conditions, arthritis, eczema, crohns or type 2 diabetes)

Stimulating Hormonal balance (especially insulin in blood sugar imbalances and oestrogen dominant conditions like PCOS)

Correcting any bacterial, yeast or fungus imbalance and overgrowth (including Candida, Helicobachter Pylori or athletes foot

Increasing Energy production (really important that your cells have the mechanisms to use and create energy- especially in cancer prevention)

Allowing Nutrient bio-availability and absorption (bacteria helps the food’s nutrients become more available to your body and increases your body’s ability to actually absorb them for use.)

Enhancing breast milk and also helps balance the body during, pre and post-natal. Bacteria is essential for the baby’s digestive and immune system’s function.

Any condition can be improved with a little bacteria!

buy-now-button hardbackbuy-now-button kindle

 

 

 (amazon.co.uk affiliate link above)

Culture You Life has been written with you in mind; to help nourish your life on a daily basis. Whether you are already making and consuming Kefir and Kombucha and looking for inspiration or you are just getting started and looking for guidance. Together with instructions and information on the origins and benefits of Kefir and Kombucha there are over 45 Recipes that are clear, concise and use real ingredients.

Different kefir sales image

Designed to give you confidence and motivation to get started and on your journey to better health.

The benefits seen in your Digestive and Immune system when consuming fermented and cultured foods and drinks are well documented and the rituals have been passed on for centuries. This book endeavours to bring them into your kitchen. Safe for all ages (6months +) and packed full of recipes for drinks, foods, cosmetics and household cleaning products. It couldn’t be easier to bring some culture into your life.

buy-now-button hardback

(link to Barnes and Noble)

Kefir Front This book includes;

Information to understand how bacteria in fermented products can help the body

How to choose your ingredients

Confidence to get started

How to make Kefir from any milk (oat, nut, coconut and dairy), water kefir

Use second ferments to flavour them.

How to use tea (black, green and white) as well as non-caffeine alternatives (Roobios and Tulsi) to brew Kombucha.

Use the recipes to flavour with a second ferment. 

Over 45 Recipes include;  

rocky road sales pic

 Food; Baked goods, Kefir cheese, dips and dairy free ice-cream 

green kefir smoothie sales pic

Drinks;  Inspiring flavour combinations for second ferments, how to make smoothies and green drinks. Also tips on how turn Kefir and Kombucha into Cocktails.

cosmetics sales image 

Cosmetics; Face masks, hair rinses, hand sanitisers, sun burn remedies and post swimming sprays  

vege wash sales pic

Natural Household Cleaners   such as fruit and vegetable wash, laundry liquid, toilet, sink and bath cleaner and many many more…..

Kom front collage

buy now button

 

(Book Depository link)

Here are some Reviews from people you may recognise;

‘Thisbook is fabulous and truly there is nothing out there like it” Lantau Mama

Culture your Life is great for the beginner and advanced real food cook.  Anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of cultured foods, cultured beverages, Kefir smoothies, and cultured desserts must read this book.  It contains very useful and important information about Probiotic health and how to include Probiotics in your everyday diet.  It is a kitchen necessity for anyone cooking real and healthy food. Green Boot Living

Cultured foods are one of the secret ingredients to vibrant health, and kefir and kombucha are two very easy, delicious traditional foods to help you wade into enjoying them. This volume will show you just about EVERYTHING you need to know about making, using and enjoying kefir and kombucha, even if you don’t eat dairy products. From history to dozens of recipes, Culture Your Life really knocks it out of the park!  Small Footprint Family

Culture Your Life brings almost forgotten tradition of fermentation back to everyday use in a quick and easy way. Recipes are easy to apply with minimal costs and efforts.  Mikko Revonniemi (CEO of Four Sigma Foods)

Join our Affiliate Program! Ingredients collage

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August Giveaway

August Giveaway

lunch bag

It is giveaway time again- just in time to go back to school. This giveaway is from Ashni Chai a hugely popular company specialising in handmade products like picnic mats (I am a owner of one!), beach bags, lunch bags and many more. All can be personalised for just a few more dollars.

I love the products and since I am passionate about reducing waste I love the way you can re-use all the products. For example the sandwich wrap is brilliant and saves on clingfilm and foil whilst keeping sandwiches (we use it for vege sticks) fresh. Please tell me as part of the giveaway how your family reduces household waste….

Good luck- you never know- it could be you who wins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Links for July

Links for July

July Link Love

I love getting inspiration and information from the Internet but it is tough to know what and who to trust!

These links are all from fellow bloggers whom I find inspirational

I love using Apple Cider vinegar on a daily basis- here is another link from Thank Your Body as to why- http://thankyourbody.com/uses-for-apple-cider-vinegar/

I love lemonade– here is a delicious twist to the drink- Watermelon Lemonade from The Sprouting Seed– http://thesproutingseed.com/watermelon-lemonade/

In this heat I love ways to keep us cool and of course smelling great- here is an easy way from Body Unburdened on how to use a simple product as a deodorant- http://bodyunburdened.com/lime-experiment-natural-deodorant/

Here is a good round-up of some delicious snaks recipes from A Harmony Healing

http://aharmonyhealing.com/7-irresistible-real-food-snacks/

We usually have steak once a week so this post from Weed em and Reap is great http://www.weedemandreap.com/2013/07/grill-perfect-steak.html

I love Gelatin- did you know it had so many uses? http://wellnessmama.com/7419/12-uses-for-gelatin/

Nourished Metabolism is a great book- here is a great link from The Nourished Life and the Author- 10 Foods that affect thyroid health for better for worse- http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2010/01/10-foods-that-affect-thyroid-health-for

Making Kefir? have a look at More Than Four Walls Water Kefir Basics- http://mtfw.net/water-kefir-basics

Are you stuck for some smoothie ideas? This is an awesome round up of some great ideas- from Wellness and Workouts(some you my recognise from yours truly!!)

http://www.wellness-and-workouts.com/how-to-make-a-smoothie.html

Pin it here:
http://pinterest.com/pin/368450813235126266/

I have been making my own essential oil blends for myself, family and clients for years now and love it. If you want to know how to blend oils this is a great post to learn some tips;

growingupherbal.com/blending-essential-oils-for-beginners/

Watch this space for more through the month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Menu 15th July

Weekly Menu 15th July

Weekly Menu planning

I normally do my weekly menus on Sunday. Mostly because its the day we are guaranteed to be able to sit together to decide and also because we will generally do a shop in the morning. I always have one night with Fish and one Vegetarian night and for the other days we try to rotate our meat and when inspired we will have a raw night too (most of our meals are served with salad anyway and we eat raw food as snacks and lunch most days otherwise). My kids (aged 1 and 3.5) eat what we do so it makes life easier! Here is this weeks upcoming meals:

Monday:

Pork Chops (I like mine seasoned and pan fried in butter!), Homemade apple sauce , Sweet potato Mash, stir fried Cabbage, onion, red and yellow peppers.

Pork Chops

Tuesday:

Cauliflower Dahl with red rice (recipe to come on Tuesday!)

Wednesday:

Rib Eye Steaks (chilled grass fed from NZ- bought from Chefs Express), Sweet Potato Baked chips (fries for my American friends!) and Apple Slaw (pictured- the kids eat it without the dressing just the raw veg!)Rustic Slaw

Thursday

GF Slow cooked lasagna (pictured) with mixed salad

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Friday

Garlic Butter Prawns with butternut squash and goats cheese risotto

(Similar Risotto here– substitute the sweet potato and pancetta for butternut squash and pan fry the prawns in garlic and butter.)

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Saturday

Slow cooked pork belly, Steamed asparagus, green beans and roast carrots and parsnips

(Pork Belly on chopped onions in the slow cooker for 4 hours on low)

Sunday

We are out as a family for my birthday! (On thurs!!)

 

What are you having?

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Kitchen in the Sky Raw Honey Giveaway

Kitchen in the Sky Raw Honey Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Lychee Coconut Water Kefir

Lychee Coconut Water Kefir

Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural

The Summer is on its way and that means in the tropics we have Lychee’s in abundance! However since it is still only spring I have also used tinned and dried lychees to make this. It comes close!

One of my favourite Kefir’s is Coconut water Kefir. I prefer to use the fresh coconut water (open a coconut here) but carton coconut water is better absorbed after it has been fermented. After 12-24 hours and I have strain the grains (see how to make Kefir) I then add ripe plump Lychee’s to the jug. About 5-10. I then leave that out for another 12-24 hours and you get a beautiful tart, sweet sharp Kefir which is lovely on its own, diluted with some sparking water, in your Green Juice’s, in my Watermelon Cooler or with a dash of vodka and a squeeze of lime!

As featured in my book;

culture spring sale Loula Natural

 What is your favourite Water Kefir?

Find 45 more Kefir and Kombucha recipes in Culture Your Life

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Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural pin

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5 Reasons to Reduce Gluten

5 Reasons to Reduce Gluten

gluten

 

Gluten- we are hearing it so much nowadays- everything has to be gluten free. I even overheard someone in a salad place get the chef out to make sure there were no breadcrumbs in the quinoa and rice salad (there wasnt- just quinoa, red rice, sultanas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and apricots- oh and her forgot to mention parsley! It was delicious I had some!).

Is there a reason we should be so wary of gluten- sure it is in everything and it certainly will upset a number of people with digestive weakness. But are all grains so bad? I like to think that those naturally derived (from a heritage seed and organic) and used how they should be (soaked and sprouted) are completely different from the GMO derived, highly processed ones. Of course there is no black and white unless of course you have an actual allergy to the proteins- Celiac (5-10% of the population are) Then you must stay away from it full-stop. That you need to have a test for my preferred method is with an Elimination diet however you can do other tests (be it Bioresonance, with a kinesiologist or with a stool sample and at the very least a blood test- although make sure you are consuming gluten products before the test to ensure it will show up.)

It is quite an undertaking reducing and living Gluten free as it is in so much (see Ketchup and soy sauce) so here a a few reasons why you will see a big difference just reducing it!

I am a Naturopath and Nutritional therapist and I make recommendations based on each client as an individual. Please contact me or your own practitioner if you want some specific dietary advice.

1. Gluten is found in grains (wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut, semolina, durum) and can be present in oats through cross contamination. So when looking for a cracker or bread check out crackers made from Flax, sesame, or other seeds, Almond or Pumpkin (vegetables like sweet potato and courgette can also be used) bread, have a chia porridge for breakfast, use lettuce leaves instead of bread for sandwiches (good idea for kids is a banana cut in half for ‘bread’ and nut butter and jam on the inside!) Cauliflower crust pizza tastes just like the real thing and Quinoa flatbreads are delicious spread with sweet or savoury toppings. This way you will be increasing your fibre, vegetable, protein and fat intake while not feeling like you are missing too much. Otherwise bread, pasta and other grain dominant foods like cous cous are mainly fillers with little nutritional value especially if over processed. Homemade breads and pastas are completely different sometimes.

Fresh Vegetables

 

2. The proteins within the grains- Gliagin (secalin in rye or hordein in barley) portion of gluten may damage the lining of the small intestine where most of your food absorption takes place and create an immune response. It is this immune response and inflammation that is what causes the damage rather than the actual Gliagin. Inflammation will then impede the absorption of several nutrients and also cause some of the pain associated with Gluten intolerance. By reducing Gluten and repairing the digestive system  a lot of this can be reversed. This also may be true if experiencing other intolerance’s. Other food intolerance’s may also be experienced because of gluten’s resulting inflammation increasing the permeability of the gut which results in a greater opening of food into the blood, which in turns triggers an immune response.

3. Most people seem to report a vast reduction in stomach bloating and I personally have seen a large effect on my blood sugar levels from reducing gluten and increasing fermented products such as Kefir. Other seemingly unrelated symptoms of a gluten intolerance are- achey limbs and joints, low grade inflammation seen in the skin ie patches of red through to eczema, arthritis especially Rheumatoid, IBS, headaches, anxiety, low moods, period pains, brain fog, fatigue and many other chronic illness can be eased by reducing Gluten.

4. Gluten can also be found in some cosmetics (it is largely used as a filler and thickener) so giving your body a cosmetics detox is a great way to learn who real foods can nourish you inside and out. Foods like avocado, coconut oil, honey, coffee, bicarbonate of soda, apple cider vinegar and even Kefir can do amazing things for your hair, teeth and skin. They can also be far more effective than what you used to buy. Not only saving you money but helping to save the environment by reducing chemicals and packaging.

5. Beer is generally made from malted wheat or malted barley, both of which contain gluten proteins. Wine, cider and distilled spirits are usually distilled from fruits or vegetables. So get creative with summer cocktails  Try adding Kombucha or water kefir for an added health kick and to support your digestive system!

 

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Chocolate chip cookies

Beetroot brownies

And then check out Gluten Friend or Foe on here and the other recipes linked above.

Please share your favourite way to reduce Gluten and any recipes you love more than ones with Gluten in them in the comments section

Wheat picture courtsy of Praisaeng on http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Vegetables courtsey of Piyachok Thawornmat on http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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5 Reasons to Include Raw Food into Your Day:

5 Reasons to Include Raw Food into Your Day:

Raw food

To clarify by Raw I include all fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their normal unprocessed state. The food is never heated above 115 degrees F or 48C. I do not support a full Raw Food Diet no more than I would support any diet that is restrictive and unbalanced. I endorse a 80/20% moderation in all things! Personally I enjoy at least 1 (if not more) completely Raw food meal a week. However I also eat cooked food and am not a vegan or vegetarian!

 

  1. Supposedly eating Raw retains all of the vital components of the foods (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, plant proteins, fibre, water, phyto-nutrients, antioxidants and probiotics) in their natural form. It also therefore remains free of processed sugars (most of which are boiled) sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives, gluten, dairy and unfermented soy. The diet can be very nut heavy but should suit those without allergies andseeds can be substituted easily. B vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin c and enzymes with in food are susceptible to heat damage, these are retained in a Raw state
  2. Raw food is reported to be gentler on the digestive system as the body is more adapt at assimilating unadulterated foods (However people with a weak digestive system and without the necessary means to digest and absorb food there may sometimes be a reaction to raw foods).The fibre contentcan also help balance blood sugar levels and bulk stool thus potentially helping any constipation. It is a simple and easy to integrate into your life and lifestyle- as easy as having a salad of raw vegetables with or as your meal. It is also kinder to the planet!
  3. The foods are fresh so generally you will be eating seasonally and organic is preferred but not essential. You may also feel a boost in your immune system and see a decrease in chronic inflammation.
  4. There is a vibrancy to raw foods. There may sometimes be an initial adjustment period for the body but after this with an abundance of nutrients and no more empty calories you should feel energy levels improve. Eating Raw foods can help you feel lighter (don’t really get that full, bloated feeling after a meal).  . It will also help address the acid/alkaline balance in the body.
  5. It can also make you more organised as if something has to be soaked or prepped in advance it gives you a little more control over the days/weeks meal plans.
Open a coconut
Open a coconut
Coconut
Raw Coconut Yoghurt and Coconut Milk
Raw Chocolate
Raw Chocolate.
Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa
Raw Mango Jam
Raw Mango Jam
Sprouted Lentil Slaw and Sprouted Lentil Hummus
Sprouted Lentil Salad and Sprouted Lentil Hummus
Raw Coffee and Almond Milk
Twix
Twix
Raw balls of energy
Raw balls of energy

 

Lemonade Cordial
Lemonade Cordial
Raw Green drinks
Raw Green drinks

 

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5 Reasons to include Coconut to your day

5 Reasons to include Coconut to your day

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  1. Every part of the coconut can be used to nourish and support the body. Known as the ‘Tree of Life’ you can drink the water, eat the flesh and use the shell for all sorts of things.
  2. They are always in season and grow all year round. They are easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how they are also easy to open. Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. You can make your own coconut water, kefir, milk, cream, yoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily.
  3. Coconut can be eaten and the water drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding. The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike.
  4. When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties so is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!) and in the re-hydration afterwards. The sugar and nectar from the flowers is also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy.
  5. Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids. They have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? (Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife)

Coconut Recipes;

20121113-154836.jpgA bounty of Coconut

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Almond and Coconut Flour  Kefir pancakes

green drink

I use coconut water/ kefir for all my green drinks

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Coconut and Carrot seed oil natural Sunscreen

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Loula Natural Essential Oils Sign up

Loula Natural Essential Oils Sign up

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Loula Natural Young Living Oils

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Like many, the moment you mention “natural remedy”  most people will without a doubt be comfortable using essential oils to heal anything from a headache to allergy relief and from bronchitis to uti’s. I use them in my diffuser, in the bath in cosmetics and in cleaning products in the attempt to rid my home of chemicals.The list is actually endless on how powerful and healing essential oils are.

Who would have thought a tiny little drop could be such a big powerhouse? After much research and many nudges from my bloggers friends already loving the benefits, I decided to jump on the Young Living essential oils bandwagon and I am so happy I did. See here to read about my continuing journey with Essential Oils- it spans almost 10 years.

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Why I Choose Young Living Essential Oils?

I have to know about the quality of the products I purchase and recommend. I need to know where and how they are made and/or grown; how sustainable they are etc. and essential oils are no different. Ingredients and process can make or break a product for me.

I believe and appreciate that Young Living’s oils are so different as a result of their strict, detailed method for producing the oils to obtain the purest, ‘un-messed-with’ plant essences.  Young Living calls this their Seed to Seal process, where every step from planting to bottling is detailed and controlled. Young Living offers this promise – they own their farms and they run a very tight supply chain. I trust their essential oils, that any one I buy is pure and unadulterated and are manufactured for therapeutic use not just for their fragrance.

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How Do I Get My Hands on These Oils?

You can get the essential oils I recommend in one of two ways: Wholesale (signing up as a “distributor”) or Retail (signing up as a “customer”) via the Young Living website.

My Support

When you sign up with me, you will get personal support. This is more than you will get when you buy other retail oils, you only get the oil itself. You can also have support on how to use the oils from me. When you sign up via the Young Living site as a retail customer you pay 24% more than wholesalers for your essential oils.

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 (step by step instruction below)

Why Should I become and Wholesale Member?

Becoming a Wholesale Member can get you wholesale pricing which is 24% off retail price! You also gain the option of sharing the oils with your friends and family in order to earn commissions and participate in promotions for free oils.

Is there a monthly order minimum? 

No.  You do not have to order monthly in order to benefit from being a Wholesale Member.  However, there is an autoship program that you have the option of participating in if you would like to earn more points on your orders and potentially more product.

I don’t really want to sell oils. 

Since there is no monthly order requirement you can simply just order whenever you and your family need it.  There is no requirement to have a business. But, becoming a Wholesale Member is still most beneficial for your family and your pocket book business or not.

What do I need to do to get started?

To begin as a wholesale member you start with purchasing an enrollment kit. There are three options to choose from in the USA and two in Canada. For anyone that orders the Premium starter kit, I will personally send you a sign-up bonus. Simply follow the below steps to join Young Living Oils and reap these amazing benefits.

Premium kit
Premium kit

The Premium Starter Kit is the Best Value

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When you order your own premium starter kit, you are entitled to wholesale pricing on all Young Living products, this is a 24% discount. Share this with your friends and family by ordering for them, or have them enroll to get their own kit and discount. The ‘Premium Starter Kit’ is $300 value package of oils for over 50% off! It comes with:

  • 10 oils including Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, PanAway (a nice massage oil that relaxes the muscles!), Peace and Calming, Thieves, Purification, Valor and Joy oil blends.
  • A home diffuser (retail value alone on this one is $96)
  • Essential Oils at a Glance user’s guide
  • Welcome to Young Living booklet
  • Stress Away 5-ml
  • AromaGlide Roller Fitment (to turn any oil into a roll on)
  • two sample packets each of Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lemon, and Thieves (for you to share with your friends!)
  • two NingXia Red 2-oz. samples

NOTE: If you enroll early in the month and then sign up 3 friends with a premium starter kit, you will get your premium kit paid for! Ask me details if you have questions about how to do this – I provide support for those looking to help their friends and families get rid of the toxic chemicals in their homes with essential oils!

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Signing up as a Wholesale Member  – A step-by-step Guide

1. Click over to the sign-up page.

2. Select “Sign up as: Young Living Wholesale Member

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you. But if not, enter this number 1931497  in both boxes.

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info(The reason you are asked to list your social security number is for tax purposes. If you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living will never share this info with anyone.)

5. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.

6. Select your enrollment order. This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like (and you know I think the Premium Kit is the way to go!) – they range in price from $40 on up and you only need to spend $40 to get the 24% discount. Note – you must sign up with one of these kits to become a distributor. This is mandatory. To maintain your 24% discount going forward, you only need to spend $50 worth each subsequent year with Young Living on any product in their store. That’s it! You can also purchase other items at this time if you wish.

7. Set up your *optional* Essential Rewards Program (ER). Now don’t be confused by this next step. Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement to sign up as a distributor! This is a rewards program you can opt into to start earning money back to help pay for your oils. At this point, you can skip this step by selecting: ‘No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later’. If one of the ER kits looks valuable to you then by all means get one in addition to your starter kit but please understand that you cannot buy an ER kit in lieu of a starter kit. This program is the most economical way to purchase your oils and other products. I belong and am already on my way to getting some free oils with it. If you decide that this is something you are interested in, select the kit from the listed options that you would like to ship in your first Essential Rewards order. (Despite what they imply – you will not receive this kit every month – you can change the products from month-to-month through your Virtual Office for each ER order and you only need spend $50 a month to remain in the program – the longer you remain in the program the more points you will receive to help pay for your oils.). Then, you will also need to select a ship date. (This is the day each month when you order will go out. I recommend writing this down on your calendar so you don’t accidentally order the same thing twice.)

7. Agree to Terms & Conditions

8. CONFIRM YOUR ORDER. I have had many folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out. To confirm, the tool will log you in and it will show you your order again and it will make you enter in your payment information again. We wouldn’t want that to happen because then you would not get your oils!

That’s it- congratulations!

You will receive a confirmation email– you can log into your back office right away and manage orders, check your team, and send messages.  Added Bonus: If you want to learn more about essential oils, join my  Facebook group. It is a really awesome community about natural health including essential oils. Where you can submit oil questions, recipes, testimonials and how to successfully use the oils in your everyday life. If you have any questions, please contact me at louise@loulanatural.com

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I am the founder and editor-in-chief of Loula Natural, and I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. As such, I will promote and sell essential oils and related products from Young Living Essential Oils on my site. Due to this pre-existing relationship, I will not direct sales or promotion any other essential oil brand, company or products on my site.

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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