Do You Really Need to Quit Sugar?

natural-sugar-substitutes

Sugar has received a bad rap recently, perpetuated by popular programs such as Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar”, and documentaries such as “That Sugar Film”. Nutritionists, doctors and the media are all talking about it, so what’s the deal? Is sugar just the latest victim of finger-pointing health nuts, or is it something we should seriously consider cutting from our diets?

The Not-So-Sweet Truth

The World Health Organisation recommends our sugar consumption should only make up five per cent of our total daily calorie intake, which equates to about 25g or six teaspoons per day. The Australian Health Survey found that in 2011-2012, we were consuming an average of 60g of sugar each day, or around 14 teaspoons.

Dr Jimmy Louie, dietician and author, says that for a long time we criticised food manufacturers for producing core foods like bread, yoghurt and breakfast cereal high in added sugar. This study actually shows that up to 90 per cent of our added sugar intake is coming from what should be occasional food or treats such as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweet spreads, cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were revealed as the greatest source of added sugar in the Australian diet.

While “That Sugar Film” exposes the “hidden sugar” in foods we consider mostly healthy (think yogurt, juice, snack bars etc), it turns out the main issue is Aussies choosing to eat plain old junk food such as soft drinks and “treats” we know we shouldn’t be indulging in on a daily basis.   

Dr Louie’s concern is that these high-sugar foods are providing calories, but not nutrition. This is dangerous for our health as sugar is addictive, and while we crave and consume more and more sugar-laden foods, we’re starving our body of important vitamins and minerals.

“Being addicted to sugar is not an emotional eating disorder,” claims Dr Mark Hyman. “It’s a biological disorder driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings, leading to uncontrolled overeating.”

Unfortunately, children and teenagers are most at risk. According to a University of Sydney study, more than three-quarters of children aged 9 to 13-years exceed the daily limit set out by the WHO.

“Never before in human history have we seen “adult onset” or type 2 diabetes in children,” says Dr Hyman. “Kids who haven’t even learned to swallow a pill are now facing giving themselves daily insulin injections”.

Are Artificial Sweeteners the Answer?

Diet drink consumption has increased dramatically, but diet soft drinks and artificial sweeteners are not the answer for cutting down on sugar. Evidence is mounting that these “fake sugars” and sugar substitutes actually lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.

“Tricking your brain into thinking you are getting something sweet plays tricks on your metabolism,” says Dr Hyman. “Artificial sweeteners disrupt the normal hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety (feeling full).”

Not All Sugars Are Equal

Before you go throwing out everything sweet in your kitchen, it’s important to understand that not all sugars are created equal.

Even the I Quit Sugar website says that when they refer to sugar, they’re talking about fructose specifically. The site states that while some sugars are safe to eat in moderation, fructose is not, as it passes directly to the liver and promotes fat storage. It is also addictive

“Our bodies are designed to gorge on fructose because it’s such a nifty source of fat- great back in the caveman days, but not so much today,” the website says.

Well respected nutritionist and author, Cyndi O’Meara, explains that sugar has been essential to our survival for eons, and that it’s not the sugar itself that’s the problem, it’s what we’ve done to it. We’ve created man-made simple sugars from wheat and corn, but simple sugars are never found alone in nature. They are always surrounded by other simple sugars, amino acids, fats and vitamins and minerals. White sugar is stripped of all nutrients that sugar cane and sugar beet have during the refinement process.

Cyndi adds dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, maltodextrin and xylitol to the list of sugars to avoid, along with all artificial sweeteners.

To give you an idea of where these sugars are hiding, here are some common high-fructose foods:

– Soft drink

– Fruit juice

– Energy drinks

– Flavoured coffee beverages

– Cereal

– Cakes, pies and pastries

– Ice cream

– Canned and dried fruits

– Jams and jellies

– Condiments, dressings and sauces

Get Sweeter Naturally

Natural sugar has not been processed and includes raw honey, sugar found in fruit and root vegetables, dried fruits (without dextrose, vegetable oil or rice flour added), and stevia leaf (straight from the herb bush). These are the sugars that have other benefits other than just sweetening our food. Other sugars that can be consumed occasionally are organic maple syrup, rapadura sugar, coconut sugar and sugar juice (juice of the sugar cane).

“Sugar has it’s place in the diet,” says Cyndi, “but many people have abused this food. Sugar, obesity and heart disease are definitely linked but it is the abuse of sugar that is the problem as well as the quality of sugar.”

Do You Need to Give Sugar the Flick?

We’re not suggesting that cutting all sugar forever is sustainable or even healthy, but some people do benefit from quitting sugar for a period of time to break the addiction and get into healthier habits.

Dr Mark Hyman has a quiz for finding out whether you should quit sugar for a while. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, quitting sugar may be your ticket to feeling better and losing weight.

Do you:

– have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes?

– have belly fat or are you overweight?

– crave sugar and carbs?

– have high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol or been told your blood sugar is “a little high”?

– eat when you’re not hungry?

– experience a “food coma” after eating?

– get withdrawal symptoms if you cut down or stop eating sugar or flour?

– experience bloating, gas, reflux, irritable bowel, joint or muscle pain, brain fog, memory or mood problems, sinus or allergy symptoms?

Ready to get started?

You can stick to a few basic rules to help kick the sugar habit:

1. Go Cold Turkey

To truly help your body reset its neurotransmitters and hormones, you should stop eating all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners for 10 days. These cause cravings and slow metabolism, leading to fat storage. If possible, also cut out all grains. Eat only real, fresh, whole food.

2. Don’t Drink Your Calories

Any form of liquid sugar calories is worse than solid food with sugar or flour. Liquid calories include soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and sweetened teas or coffees. Sweet beverages send sugar directly to the liver, which is something we want to avoid.

3. Power Up with Protein

Eat protein at every meal, especially breakfast. This is the key to balancing blood sugar and cutting cravings. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken and grass-fed meat. A serving size is around the size of your palm.

4. Eat Unlimited Good Carbs

We’re referring to non-starchy vegetables here, and recommend that you eat as much as you like. Non-starchy veggies include greens, the broccoli family (cauliflower, kale, collards etc.), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichoke, capsicum etc. Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets for 10 days.

5. Fight Sugar with Fat

That’s right, fat is your friend. It makes you feel full, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells. Have good fats at every meal and snack on nuts and seeds.

For our recent article on the benefits of healthy fats, click here (insert link http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/know-your-fats-myths-debunked.html)

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation drives sugar and carb cravings by affecting your appetite hormones. When we’re tired and need more energy, we tend to reach for the sweet stuff for a quick energy boost. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep while avoiding sugar.

It’s important to remember that once you’ve completed your sugar-free period, eating healthy natural sugars as an occasional treat is okay. People who eat a whole food diet and occasionally indulge are on the right track.

Be sure to drop into our store to stock up on fresh vegetables and delicious organic meat for your sugar-free journey. 

We recommend speaking with a qualified medical professional before participating in any dietary restrictions or programs.

Sources:

https://changinghabits.com.au/sugar-is-it-really-the-new-poison/

https://iquitsugar.com/faqs/glucose-better-fructose/

http://drhyman.com/blog/2014/03/06/top-10-big-ideas-detox-sugar/

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/diet/new-abs-data-reveals-how-much-sugar-australians-really-consume/news-story/979263910569a4c55bb0051551bdce1a

http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/australias-sugar-intake-described-by-experts-as-alarming-20160321-gnncw5.html

Original article: http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/do-you-really-need-to-quit-sugar.html

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Coffee: Is it good for you or bad for you?

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The jury seems out on whether coffee is healthy or harmful.

We’ve seen conflicting information over the years about whether that morning latte is worth it. One minute coffee is able to help prevent some diseases, and the next it’s receiving a roasting (pun intended).

With all this in mind, is there a “right” amount of coffee we should be drinking, or should we be avoiding it altogether? We have the answer, but first let’s look at some of the pros and cons of Australia’s favourite bean.

Benefits:
– Cardiovascular system – despite potentially increasing blood pressure, coffee may lower the risk for coronary disease and protect against heart failure. In cited studies, moderate coffee intake was associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease as far out as 10 years, and new data suggests that an average of 2 cups a day protects against heart failure.
– Coffee consumption may cut stroke risk by as much as 25%. While coffee’s impact on stroke risk in those with cardiovascular disease is still in question, data presented at the European Meeting on Hypertension 2012 found that 1 to 3 cups a day may protect against ischemic stroke in the general population.
– Weight loss and diabetes – studies have linked coffee consumption with improved glucose metabolism, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and promotion of weight loss in overweight people.
– Cancer – according to recent data moderate to heavy coffee consumption (4-6 cups per day) can reduce the risk for numerous cancers. The benefits are thought to be at least partially due to coffee’s antioxidant and anti-mutagenic properties.
– Dementia and Parkinson’s disease – New research links coffee with long-term effects on cognitive wellbeing including slowing the progression of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
– Depression – coffee drinkers reportedly have significantly decreased risk of developing depression. A 2011 study suggests that a boost in coffee consumption might also benefit our mental health: women who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day had a 15% decreased risk for depression compared with those who drank less than 1 cup per week. A 20% decreased risk was seen in those who drank 4 cups or more per day.
– Liver disease – coffee has been reported to slow disease progression in alcoholic cirrhosis, hepatitis C and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The liver helps to break down coffee, but coffee might also protect the liver (in some cases).
– Coffee can also be beneficial for dry-eye syndrome, gout and in preventing MRSA infection. Coffee and hot tea consumption were found to be protective against one of the most concerning bugs, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Dr. Mark Hyman also adds to the list of benefits that coffee can help reduce gut permeability or leaky gut, decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve mood and memory, and boost metabolism and sports performance.

coffee-loop

Drawbacks and Risks:
– Addictive – Coffee can become highly addictive, altering stress hormones while making you feel simultaneously wired and tired. Withdrawal from coffee can have debilitating side effects.
– Acidic – The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in gut flora).
– Imbalanced Electrolytes – Elevated urinary excretion minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in the electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
– Compromised Liver Function – Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.
– Lower Absorption of Medication – Another issue to be aware of is that for certain medications that are poorly absorbed to start with, their absorption decreases even further, with coffee making any symptoms worse.

The Verdict

The effects of coffee are largely determined by the person drinking the coffee.

“The way you respond to coffee is often determined by genetics that affect caffeine metabolism,” says Dr Mark Hyman. “For one person, a cup could have them bouncing off the walls, while another person can have a triple espresso at dinner and fall fast asleep easily.”

The bottom line is that coffee is neither good nor bad, as it’s processed differently by everyone.

If you tolerate coffee well, then it seems there’s no reason for you to give it up. There’s plenty of compelling evidence that says that you’re actually doing your body good!

If you experience concerning side effects or suffer from caffeine withdrawal however, coffee probably isn’t for you. Dr Hyman recommends eliminating coffee for a few weeks, especially if you’re addicted and can’t seem to function without coffee, or if you drink multiple cups a day.

“If you need coffee every day to feel motivated or even function, you have a coffee addiction. If you have withdrawal symptoms and headaches from stopping coffee or feel like you can’t live without it, you are biologically addicted to it. There’s also a big chance your stress hormones are out of whack and need resetting.”

How to Quit Coffee

Going cold turkey isn’t necessarily the best approach when quitting coffee. The best way is to cut back slowly, weaning yourself off a cup at a time. Switch from drinking multiple cups a day to just one cup, and eventually to half a cup. You could also try switching to a herbal or green tea.

Drink adequate amounts of water and get plenty of rest during this time. Regular exercise is also good for stabilising energy levels.

Once you’ve gone three weeks without coffee, you can try to add it back into your diet slowly. Pay attention to your energy levels, symptoms such as anxiety or jittery feelings, or changes in digestion.

“If you find you can occasionally tolerate coffee, avoid adding milk and sugar. These two culprits do more damage than the actual coffee,” says Dr Hyman. “Alternately, add fat to your coffee. Once people taste the creamy, frothy goodness of fat blended with coffee, they don’t miss milk at all. You’ve probably heard of Bulletproof® Coffee, which blends MCT oil and a bit of grass-fed butter or ghee with high-quality, organic coffee. This delicious beverage keeps me satiated for hours, cuts cravings and keeps my brain extremely sharp. You can also drink this before exercise for steady energy levels without coffee’s crash.”

coffee-comic2

Original article from http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/coffee-is-it-good-or-bad-for-you.html

Why Choose Organic Meat?

Stock Photography

There’s more to eating organic meat than simply making a healthier choice for your body, although this in itself is an excellent reason!

Choosing organic meat over conventionally raised meat is a better choice for the animals, the farmers, and the environment.

Here are our top reasons why choosing organic meat is the better option:

No Hormones or Antibiotics

Animals raised organically are not allowed to be fed antibiotics, the bovine growth hormone (rBGH), or other artificial drugs. Animals are also not allowed to eat genetically modified foods. Limitation of antibiotics could result in fewer antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which can contaminate conventionally raised meat. This may also be better for the environment as antibiotic-laden run-off could be poisonous to wildlife and could make its way into the water supply.

Free Range and Grass Fed

When you see “organic”, “free range” and “grass fed” this usually indicates that the animals were raised in a more humane way, and their diet tends to be more well-rounded. The animals are not confined and spend time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Not only is this good for their health, animals that eat more grass have lower fat levels and higher omega-3 levels than animals fed more grain, which is also good for you!

Environmental Sustainability

Animal agriculture produces surprisingly large amounts of air and water pollution, and causes 80 percent of the world’s annual deforestation. It also requires large amounts of water, and livestock worldwide consumes half of the world’s total grain harvest. Conventional farming certainly takes its toll on our natural resources, and this has gained more media attention in recent years with growing concerns about climate change.

On small diverse farms, things are done differently. Manure is used as natural fertiliser and organic agriculture aims to create a healthy balance of the soil including using crop rotation and other techniques to improve soil fertility, instead of controlling the environment with chemicals. This safeguards groundwater, topsoil, habitats and neighbourhood health. Industrial farms produce so much manure, on the other hand, that is poses a health risk to humans.

Synthetic pesticides and fertilisers are not used on the food or land. This is good for you, the animal, and the farmer with lower exposure to chemicals. Residues of some chemicals and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat. Eating organic animal fat reduces your exposure to these chemicals.

Organic farms also use less energy than conventional farms with careful ecological management including using natural ecological balances to solve pest problems. It’s estimated that organic farms use 70% less energy than industrial farms. Buying animal products from local farms further reduces energy by reducing the amount of kilometres the food travels to your table.

Vote With Your Dollar

When talking to people who usually buy conventionally raised meat, they often say higher prices prevent them from purchasing organic meat. It is true that organic meat fetches a higher price, but not only is each dollar an investment in your health, it’s a vote for a more sustainable future where animals are treated ethically and humanely, and the environment isn’t taken for granted.

After all, we only have one body and one planet. We need to take care of them like our lives depend on it, because they do. Choose organic!

Original article: http://www.themeat-tingplace.com.au/why-choose-organic-meat.html

How to Naturally Support Your Immune System This Winter

It’s that time of year when staying on top of colds and flus can be challenging.

Here are some easy steps you can take to naturally support your immune system.

Protective Supplements
Echinacea, Vitamin C and Zinc are helpful in protecting against colds and flus. Increasing your Vitamin C dosage is one of the easiest ways to boost immune function. Your body also needs zinc for immune support, and you can find this in quality organic grass-fed beef, chicken and lamb.

VitaminC

Garlic and Onion
Get plenty of garlic and onion onto your plate. Garlic is rich in antioxidants and selenium, and is also antibacterial and antiviral.

onion-garlic

Shiitake Mushrooms
A recent scientific study shows increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks. Not only was the immune system enhanced, but inflammation was also reduced. Shiitake mushrooms are native to Asia and are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value, so perhaps try a new Asian dish this week.

shitake-mushrooms-small

Probiotics
Probiotics boost good bacteria in the gut and can help the body fight off pathogenic bacteria and trigger appropriate white cell reactions to invaders. Raw milk and raw cheese, fermented foods and kefir are good to include in the diet. There are probiotic supplements as well, which are especially important if you’ve taken antibiotics.

kefir

Chicken Soup
There is a reason chicken soup is a go-to for cold and flu season. The chicken provides cysteine and amino acids that break up congestion, while the hot soup can strengthen the movement of white blood cells and the broth is ultra hydrating.

chicken-soup

Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used topically, internally or diffused in the home to support the immune system. Many oils have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Oregano, tea tree and frankincense can support the immune system, while eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary and cypress can support the respiratory system and aid against congestion and chesty coughs.

Essential-oils-small

Reduce Sugar Intake
A few grams of sugar can destroy your white blood cells’ ability to resist infections for several hours. Sugar inhibits phagocytosis, the process by which viruses and bacteria are engulfed and then literally chewed up by white blood cells.

Sleep, Sunlight and Stress
The three “S”s – sleep, sunlight and stress – impact on your body’s ability to stay healthy. Good quality sleep assists the immune system, so make sure you’re getting enough. Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, so make some time to get outside for 20-30 minutes every day. Stress and anxiety is considered a leading cause in decreased immunity, so perhaps try some yoga, exercise or meditation.

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Get Moving
A sedentary lifestyle has been proven to have negative effects on health and the immune system. Exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week is recommended. Experts say that it takes a half-hour of aerobic exercise to sweep white blood cells, key immune system components that are stuck on the blood vessel walls, back into circulation. But don’t think you need to sign up to that intense step class- moderate exercise is the key. If your exercise is too intense for your fitness level, it can actually suppress your immune system.

move

If all your preventative measures haven’t pulled through for you and you’ve ended up with the dreaded flu, this may be worth a try:

Black Elderberry Extract
Black elderberry extract has been clinically proven to help get over the flu within a couple of days. It is inexpensive and has no side effects, so it’s a great remedy to make at home. Antioxidants in elderberry called flavonoids stimulate the immune system. Other compounds in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect which eases aches, pains and fever associated with the flu.

black elderberry

We’d love to see you in store for some fresh seasonal veggies and an organic chicken for your home made soup!

We also have everything you need to know about making your own chicken broth here.
Sources:

http://www.foodmatters.com/article/10-simple-steps-to-survive-the-winter-and-stay-healthy
http://www.foodmatters.com/article/10-natural-immunity-essentials
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150416112826.htm
http://allinsacredwomb.com/2016/02/07/doterra-essential-oils/
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/habits-hurt-your-immune-system
http://www.naturalnews.com/026354_flu_Tamiflu_elderberry.html

Food Sensitivities and the Elimination Diet

gut-issues

The foods we eat will either feed digestive problems or feed a healthy gut, says Dr. William Cole, a functional medicine practitioner. Millions of people eating a standard Western diet suffer terribly from stomach pain, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, GERD, constipation, diarrhoea and IBS.

An elimination diet can assist in identifying which foods are causing digestive issues by removing the most common inflammatory “trigger” foods for a period of time, then reintroducing them one by one to monitor the body’s response.

As well as healing the gut, elimination diets can also help people overcome other issues such as fatigue, cravings, sleep disturbances, headaches, mood swings, difficulty losing weight, thyroid issues, hormone imbalances and skin problems.

Although it’s called an elimination “diet”, it’s not about restricting calories, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

The aim of the diet is to fuel the body with nutritious foods that aren’t likely to cause digestive issues so the gut has time to heal. The body has a “break” for around eight weeks, then potentially inflammatory foods are reintroduced one by one to see which foods your body has no problem handling and which ones you have an intolerance to.

Here are the most common food culprits that could be hurting your digestive health:

1. Grains

Grains (both gluten-free and those containing gluten) may be harmful, causing inflammation and hindering nutrient absorption in the body.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can be a trigger for leaky gut syndrome and gut inflammation.

3. Legumes

All beans, lentils, peanuts, edamame and soy products can irritate the digestive system.

4. Dairy

Many people with gut issues can be more sensitive to casein, the main milk protein, however fermented dairy such as grass-fed kefir and yogurt is usually better tolerated and also offers beneficial bacteria for the micro biome.

5. Sugar

Sugar can encourage the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. An imbalance of bacteria can lead to negative effects on your body’s metabolism and immune responses, and can cause inflammation leading to an autoimmune-inflammatory response.

6. Nuts and Seeds

The roughage of nuts and seeds can irritate some people’s systems. Many store-bought nuts are also coated in inflammatory industrial seed oils such as soybean and canola oil.

7. Fermentable Sugars (FODMAPs)

Short-chain sugars found in some vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains and nuts are not fully digested in the gut and can be excessively fermented by your gut bacteria, leading to major IBS symptoms.

How it works

An elimination diet has five basic phases:

1. The assessment phase includes keeping and analyzing a food and symptom tracker.
2. The planning phase involves preparing yourself, your household, your kitchen, and your grocery lists for what you’re about to do.
3. The avoidance phase is when you eat according to the elimination diet, and you put a lot of your preparation and planning into action.
4. The challenge phase is when you start to reintroduce foods, one at a time, into your diet to determine whether they are safe for you.
5. The change phase is when you incorporate changes to the way you will eat for the long term, so that you can keep your symptoms at bay.
What to eat on an elimination diet

While it’s easy to summarise what NOT to eat on an elimination diet, it can be tricky figuring out what you CAN eat during the eight week period.

Dr. William Cole has a few suggestions and emphasises that you can still eat tasty food on the elimination diet.

Breakfast: Organic pasture-raised pork sausage with organic kale dressed with olive oil and sea salt, and fried sweet potatoes in grass-fed ghee (clarified butter).

Lunch: Salad of organic lettuce, organic grass-fed skirt steak, sliced avocado, cucumber, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Side: Organic blueberries and raspberries.

Dinner: Wild caught scallops cooked in organic tallow, steamed rainbow carrots and organic lettuce with olive oil and vinegar.

Snack: Medjool dates wrapped in organic pasture-raised bacon.

Ready to get started?

We recommend working alongside a registered dietician for professional support and advice.

We’d love to see you in store for all your organic meat and produce.

Three DIY Beauty Products Your Mum Will Love for Mother’s Day

When was the last time you made Mum something for Mother’s Day? Maybe it was a card, some jewellery, or maybe it was just breakfast. We bet she loved it because it was made by you.

If it’s been a while and the last thing you remember making Mum was a dried pasta necklace in primary school, then surprise her with some of these gorgeous homemade beauty products (and maybe make a batch for yourself, too!).

Face Moisturiser by Kayla Domeyer

Face Moisturiser1

Try this non-greasy light facial moisturiser with no dyes, no chemical preservatives and no scents.

What you’ll need:
1 cup aloe vera gel
20 grams beeswax – you can buy this in a bar and grate it, or you can buy it in pellets – just make sure you get the wax for cosmetics, not candles.
1/4 cup almond oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
10 drop of your Mum’s favourite essential oil

Double Boiler
Blender

How to make it:
1. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil in the almond oil using a double boiler or suitable substitute.
2. Pour the melted oils into your blender and let cool. Cooling may take 1-2 hours, but it is essential to let the mixture cool before blending. For optimal results, leave the mixture until it is just slightly warm to the touch.
3. Mix the essential oil into your cup of aloe vera gel.
4. When the oil and wax mixture is at the perfect temperature, heat the aloe vera mixture for about 10 seconds in the microwave so it’s slightly warm.
5. Blend the cooled oil mixture and VERY slowly poor the aloe vera gel with essential oil into the blender as it whips. It will transform from a thick oil to a light and fluffy white lotion. Scrape the bottom of the blender several times during this process as oils and wax tend to sink to the bottom creating a watery consistency in the lotion.
5. That’s it! Package up nicely for your Mum with a handwritten label. She’ll be sure to love it.

Uplifting Shower Bombs by Sarah Lipoff

Shower bombs 1

Your Mum will use these shower bombs more frequently than the dusty bath bomb she’s been keeping for that perfect relaxing bath. They’re refreshing and invigorating, and super easy to make! Just throw one in the shower and enjoy the smells that envelope you as you get ready for the day.

What you’ll need:

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup cornstarch
30 drops orange essential oil
30 drops lavender essential oil
30 drops lemongrass essential oil

Small mixing bowl
Spray bottle filled with water
Silicone mold

How to make them:
1. Mix baking soda, citric acid and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl, breaking up any lumps.
2. Slowly add essential oils and mix. Give the mixture a spritz of water, then stir. Continue spritzing and stirring until the mixture resembles wet sand.
3. Press mixture into silicone molds and let set until dry which can take up to 8 hours. Carefully remove from molds.
4. All done! Just toss a shower bomb into the bottom of the shower, and you can even use them as bath bombs.

Zesty Eye Cream by Bele Masterman

eye cream 2

It’s all in the eyes, so Mum will be thankful you thought of hers with this gorgeous lemon eye balm.

What you’ll need:
4 teaspoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons calendula oil
2 teaspoons rosehip oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch or cornflour
2 teaspoons / 10g melted beeswax
1 vitamin E capsule
3 drops lemon essential oil

How to make it:
1. Using a double boiler or substitute, add all ingredients except for vitamin E and essential oil to bowl and stir gently until everything is melted.
2. Take off heat and stir in essential oil and vitamin E.
3. Pour mixture into sterile jars and allow to set and cool. Put lids on and present as a beautiful gift for Mum.

Brought to you by The Meat-ting Place

 

Fermentation for Beginners

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Fermentation – Then and Now

Fermentation has been used to preserve food for thousands of years. The diets of every traditional society have included some kind of lacto-fermented food. Europeans eat lacto-fermented dairy, sauerkraut, grape leaves, herbs and root vegetables. The Alaskan Inuit ferment fish and sea mammals. The Orient is known for pickled vegetables, sauces and kimchi. Farming societies in central Africa eat porridges made from soured grains, and pickles and relishes are a part of the American food tradition.

Kimchi in Korea

You may be wondering why then, in our modern world, would we want to continue fermenting certain foods? After all, we have fresh produce available daily at the local supermarket and we have fridges and freezers to store it in. Even then, if we wanted to use preserved foods we could just buy some canned vegetables, right?

There are advantages of lacto-fermentation over other methods of food preservation, and there are health benefits of eating fermented vegetables, too.

– Lacto-fermentation can enhance the nutritive value of food as many enzymes and probiotics are created.
– Fermented foods are filled with “friendly” or “good” bacteria which are healthy for the gut.
– You may absorb more nutrients from the food as the good bacteria “pre-digests” certain food components, making it easier for the gut to assimilate.
– People who are lactose intolerant usually tolerate yogurt or kefir, because the lactose sugar in these products has been partly broken down by the bacteria.
– Making cabbage into sauerkraut or kimchi increases glucosinolate compounds believed to fight cancer.
– Introducing friendly bacteria into your digestive system may help keep illness away as the gut is the largest component of your immune system. Evidence suggests that gut health could affect inflammation, allergies and autoimmune disorders in the body as a whole.
– Most store-bought products use vinegar which offers a predictable result, but doesn’t produce lactic acid which is the most beneficial part of the lacto-fermentation process.
– Making your own ferments is much more cost-effective than buying them at the store.
– Lacto-fermentation is a simple process- much simpler than the canning process. Less energy is used in terms of gas and electricity, so it’s more sustainable.

What is Lacto-Fermentation?

Most people think about beer or wine when they hear the term fermentation. While certain yeasts are used to convert the sugars in grape juice or grains into alcohol, it is bacteria that are responsible for lacto-fermentation. The “lacto” portion of the term refers to a specific species of bacteria, namely Lactobacillus. Various strains of these bacteria are present on the surface of all plants, especially those growing close to the ground, and are also common to the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other animal species.

Lactobacillus bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid. The Lactobacillus strain is so named because it was first studied in milk ferments. These bacteria readily use lactose or other sugars and convert them quickly and easily to lactic acid. However, lacto-fermentation does not necessarily need to involve dairy products.

Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Beyond preservation advantages, lacto-fermentation also increases or preserves the vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of the fermented food.

Getting Started – A Simple Sauerkraut Recipe

Fermentation is a relatively easy process, but it can be intimidating for first-timers. Basic sauerkraut may be one of the most popular ferments, and it is such an easy recipe that it works great for beginners. Follow this simple sauerkraut recipe to get used to the process and you’ll be progressing beautifully with your ferments in no time!
INGREDIENTS:
• 1 medium head of cabbage
• 1-3 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions:
1. Chop or shred cabbage. Sprinkle with salt.
2. Knead the cabbage with clean hands, or pound with a potato masher or Cabbage Crusher about 10 minutes, until there is enough liquid to cover.
3. Stuff the cabbage into a 1 litre mason jar, pressing the cabbage underneath the liquid. If necessary, add a bit of water to completely cover cabbage.
4. Tightly close the lid.
5. Culture at room temperature (15-20°C is preferred) until desired flavour and texture are achieved. Burp daily to release excess pressure.
6. Once the sauerkraut is finished, move to cold storage. The sauerkraut’s flavour will continue to develop as it ages.
Makes approximately 1 litre.

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
Prior to culturing, mix 1 part shredded carrots, apple, or other vegetable to 5 parts cabbage, for a more complex flavour. Add caraway seeds, if desired.

Published by The Meat-ting Place – Queensland’s leader in fresh organic meat and produce.