Everything is 100% natural • Free samples with all orders • Certified organic, vegan & gluten-free products available • 30-day money back guarantee
I LOVE to bake, but I’m often short on time or fancying a sweet treat at the last minute – so any recipe that’s quick and with a simple ingredients list is right up my alley. I adapted this one from the Taste website, but I cut back on the refined sugar and added some protein & omega-3s from flax seeds. I hope you enjoy it!
2 cups of self raising flour (wholemeal if you have it)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped Tbsp flax seed meal
1 large banana, mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsps milk (more if needed)
1/3 cup greek yoghurt
Large handful of fresh or frozen blueberries (if they’re frozen, let them thaw for 30 minutes or pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds, so they’re not cold when you put the muffins in the oven).
1 Tbsp each of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar (for topping individual muffins).
Combine dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients, stirring as you go to combine. Finally, add fruit.
Spoon a (very) heaped Tablespoon into muffin tins (should make around 6-8 muffins). Top each muffin with a sprinkle of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar.
Bake at 180C for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
I’m not a fan of cloudy weather – but one thing I LOVE about winter is the opportunity to take baths again. A nice long bath is an easy way to unwind, de-stress and soothe tired muscles – and, as a bit of a bath aficionado, I’ve come up with a few tips as to how you can make bath-time even better. Read on!
1. Get everything ready beforehand
There’s nothing worse than performing the sometimes-awkward art of sliding into a bathtub (it’s never as elegant and seamless as they make it look in the movies, is it?!), then realising you have to slide yourself out again to get something. Make sure you have everything you need by the tub before you get in. So – what do you need for a blissful bath?
2. Get the lighting right
Trying to relax and close your eyes with a bright bathroom light right above you is near-impossible – but you need some light so you can see what you’re doing. When I take a bath, I love to use candles. I usually light one or two large scented candles and put them on a shelf near the tub. This way, I can relax and close my eyes if I want to without having to worry about any bright light; and I’m also getting some aromatherapeutic benefit from the burning essential oils.
3. Find yourself a bath shelf/caddy
One of my favourite-ever inventions, the bath caddy allows you to nibble, read a book, or have a glass of wine in the bath – without ever having to reach too far! I like this one from LifeSpace - it even has a fold-down book holder! Perfect.
4. Make the absolute most of it beauty-wise
How often do you get to lie there and do nothing? Not very often, I bet! So make the most of this quiet time and get some self-care in. Every time I take a bath I always use a face mask and a hair treatment, and just leave them to sit while I relax. My current favourites are Leahlani's Kokoleka Ritual Dessert Mask and Innersense's Hydrating Hair Masque.
5. Minimise interruptions
Tell your kids/partner/housemates that you’re taking a bath, so you don’t get any rude door-knocks while you’re lying there in a deep state of relaxation! There’s nothing more jarring. If you have a safe, dry place to plug in a music source so you can listen to some zen tunes, then do that too.
If you’re interested in natural beauty, then you've probably heard of this whole ‘double cleansing’ thing. But what exactly does it mean, and why should you cleanse your face twice? Well, it turns out that there's a science behind double cleansing - and lots of good reasons to do it. Read on!
The premise behind the double cleansing method is that there are two types of impurities that can cause pore blockages – oil-based impurities (like trapped sebum or makeup products) and water-based impurities (dead skin cells, bacteria molecules, pollution and sweat). Double cleansing is just a way of attacking these two types of impurities in two steps, with two different products made specifically for each job.
If you think back to high school science class, you'll remember that oil and water repel each other – they don’t much like to be around each other. So, removing them separately (with products designed to attract one or the other) actually makes a whole lot of sense.
Double cleansing isn’t a new technique – it’s been around in Japan for centuries, (geishas would need to cleanse their skin several times to remove all the paint and makeup from their faces). And this ‘deep cleanse’ is what double-cleansing is all about – aside from removing different types of dirt and buildup from the surface of the skin, it also allows for a much more thorough clean, particularly if you wear makeup on a daily basis.
If you’re currently using just one cleanser and it’s working well for you, then there may not be any reason to change your cleansing routine. But, if your skin is very congested or consistently ‘dull’ or lacklustre in appearance and it isn’t responding well to products, or if you just want to achieve a ‘better clean’ at night-time, then you might like to give double cleansing a try.
So how is it done? Well, you should start with an oil (or cream)-based cleanser, to remove makeup and withdraw oil-based impurities from clogged pores. Second, you'll use a different cleanser (usually a gel or foaming formula – but you can use your normal, everyday cleanser to finish with), to remove any remaining residue, bacteria and dead skin cells.
Not sure which cleansers to use? Here are some ideas to get you started!
Or, mix and match from the above lists to create your perfect combination. Be sure to let me know how you go!
Until next time...
Dry Body brushing is a ritual that has been practiced and recommended by health practitioners for years, and with good reason. This easy, simple practice is highly regarded for its positive benefits not only for the skin, but the body too.Dry Body brushing helps to stimulate the blood and skin and promotes healthy circulation. It’s actually been proven that it helps to increase energy, so it’s a perfect ritual to include in your morning shower routine!
Along with aloe vera, cucumber is one of nature’s star-soothers. Cucumber contains flavonoids, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both excellent depuffers. It also has a high water content and delivers an instant ‘cooling’ effect, helping to reduce irritation. For a quick fix in the morning, apply cold cucumber slices (from the fridge) to puffy eyes for 3-4 minutes.
If I’m feeling a bit run down, I apply Blissoma's Intense Hydration Tonique around my eyes before I go to bed. It contains plantain, heather, and cucumber hydrosol for their soothing, depuffing and hydrating benefits.
Salt is a prime culprit for ‘water retention’ or the buildup of lymphatic fluid – which is the cause of swollen or puffy eyes. Sodium plays an important role in regulating water in the cells (more sodium = more water retention), so limiting salt intake can help to reduce swelling and puffiness all over the body; including abdominal bloating.
Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated gives the body a helping hand in allowing fluid to drain easily from the face - just make sure you're comfortable and your neck is well supported.
Dehydration is a common cause of puffiness. This is because, when the body is dehydrated, it reacts to counter this by retaining more water (and more water retention = more puffiness). Make sure you’re drinking at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of water a day, and limit your caffeine intake.
If you wake up with puffy eyes, follow these tips to make sure you’re helping, not hindering the problem with your makeup application:
- Avoid heavy eyeliner or dark colours on the eyelids
- Dab a light, shimmery eyeshadow shade in the inner corners of the eyes to open them up
- Apply a lengthening mascara (Hynt Beauty's Nocturne Mascara is amazing for this), wiggling from the tips of the lashes upwards to avoid clumping
- If you have white eyeliner, use it to line the water lines, top and bottom. This creates the illusion of bigger eyes (more eye, less eyelid!).
Do you have any magic tricks to keep your eyes looking bright & beautiful? I'd love to hear them!
I tend to struggle with my energy levels. I'm one of those people who just naturally seems to need a lot of sleep - If I get less than 8.5 hours or so, I'm exhausted (literally!). I do believe that everyone has a 'magic sleep number' - for some people it's 6 hours, for others it's 9 - and some of us are more able to function on little sleep than others.
But as important (and lovely) as sleep is, sometimes it's just not possible to get our magic number every night - so I've intentionally left 'get more sleep!' out of this list. If that's just not possible for you right now, here are some other, alternative ways to boost your energy - quickly and naturally. I've tried them all, and they work beautifully for me - give them a try and let me know how you go with them!
Refined carbohydrates include white bread, white pasta, and anything that’s made with lots of white sugar (including most processed foods or store-bought baked goods). Because they don’t contain much fibre to regulate blood sugar, refined carbohydrates (as opposed to wholemeal) tend to cause ‘spikes’ in blood sugar levels, rather than a long-term boost – so you feel great for 30 minutes or so, then you feel even worse than before.
Instead, eat plenty of high fibre foods, including vegetables, wholegrains & protein – and if you have to have sweet treats, make them yourself using wholemeal flour (or almond/coconut flour) and a low-GI sweetener like honey or agave.
The simple act of purposefully deepening your breathing can instantly increase your energy levels. It also relaxes the mind and the muscles in the body, reducing tension (and in turn, cutting down on the energy expenditure involved in keeping muscles tensed). To make it even more effective, incorporate aromatherapy into the exercise with an energy-boosting blend - try Tata Harper's Aromatic Energy Treatment.
Adaptogens help to regulate the adrenal system, which is crucial for maintaining optimum energy levels and easing stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone – and adaptogenic herbs help to buffer this effect, exerting a calming influence and increasing energy and wellbeing. For easy adaptogen blends you can add to your smoothie/morning latte, try the Balanced Pantry range.
Dry body brushing is an incredibly quick and effective way to boost the circulatory and lymphatic systems, increasing the amount of oxygen circulating around the body. (More oxygen = more energy!). Take 2 minutes to brush all over in firm strokes, always brushing towards the heart. Don't own a dry body brush yet? Here's the one I use and love.
A great deal of fatigue is caused by dehydration – and it’s so easy to fix! If you find it hard to get your 2 litres (8 glasses) a day, try adding something to make it more palatable – like fresh fruit or vegetables (strawberries, lemons & cucumber all add a fresh summer taste to plain water. Simply wash, chop & add – then keep refrigerated). Or, if you’re more into hot drinks, switch your coffee for decaffeinated tea, & get your fluid intake that way.
A real picture of me after 7.9 hours sleep.