So here we are again at the start of a fresh new year! I am not one to specifically make new year resolutions at the start of the year, the reason being that I constantly make resolutions throughout the entire year. I'll be honest, quite often I am unsure of what it is that I want to achieve so I'm a bit OCD with revising my resolutions. This poses many problems, for one, if you don't know what the hell you want, you're pretty unlikely to make any progress! So this year, I am setting some very clear goals, ones where I will not change my mind on and just go with the flow with everything else. To make progress is to take baby steps and keep taking baby steps without chopping and changing what you want the outcome to be. I very much believe in the law of attraction, and well I am attracting exactly what I am thinking about. The universe can't tell what I want because I don't know what I want.
Having said all of that, my clear cut resolutions are; to stick to a morning routine. Every time I stray away from my morning ritual a lot of other things stray in my life, so this is very important for me. You can read my post on my morning ritual here. Keeping to my morning routine also helps me to focus one day at a time. It's great to look at the bigger picture, but I really find that honing in on my intentions in the present moment help to keep me grounded and keep my OCD behaviour surrounding bigger unnatainable goals at bay. Staying on this path to a structured morning routine is key for me and staying the master of this will help me to gain more insight into the things that are important and what I should be striving towards. I only really have one more because I don't want to bombard myself with so many resolutions that I can't even remember what they are! At the end of last year I enrolled in an Acupressure course so I will make time for study and complete this towards the end of this year. I have decided looking at goals and resolutions for me will be a quarterly task so not to revise too often. Only when I have mastered my first few goals will I move on to the next. Overwhelm has been too real for me in the last two years.
What are your resolutions for 2017? I'd love to hear from you.
Today I encountered a homeless man at the shops. Homelessness seems to be on the rise in Canberra. I remember when I was a teenager there were two well known homeless men that would frequent the CBD. I always wondered why they didn't seek help (maybe they did), but there were not enough services to help? One of the men still frequents the CBD, he seems well equipped, in the past whenever I asked him if he would like me to buy him a meal, he always declined. It seemed he prided himself on his self-sufficiency and didn't want outside help. Maybe he was happy with what he had?
When I saw this young homeless man today with a sign asking for money for acommodation, I remembered in the past how I always wanted to help, and to be honest it has been a long time since I tried to help a stranger. It made me wonder why I have been so stuck in my own little world for so long only worrying about myself and my life problems. Being in my own little bubble for so long has certainly made me focus on all of the negative aspects of my own life and why things are the way they are. Only recently I have made an effort to pop that bubble and see the world around me, removing myself from this bubble has taken the focus off my own problems and made me more gratuitous.
So today when I saw this young man, I gave him a couple of dollars headed to my car and then went back to him and asked him if he would like me to buy him lunch - he said he had already had something to eat, so I headed back to my car. The image of him stuck with me on my way home, and I thought about what I could do to help him - what was within my reach, for me to give a simple act of kindness. I noticed that he had a shopping bag (I think filled with some food and I suppose his only belongings). When I got home I remembered that I had a large back-pack that I could gift him. I filled the bag with a clean towel, an umbrella (it's been raining a lot lately!) some soap, some utensils, a little book light, a book, some tinned food and an aluminium drink bottle. I drove back to the shops where he was and gave him the bag. He thanked me and said he really appreciated it, I told him he was welcome and best of luck and headed on my way home again. It wasn't much, but these few items may help him to feel more comfortable I hope.
Today was a little reminder that, hey, things may not always be perfect - or the way I would like them to be, but I do have a roof over my head, clean water and food. And if I didn't have those things I have wonderful family and friends in my life. I have had close to nothing and money has been tight through my journey as a business owner, but I do indeed always have a safety net of family. I don't know what this man's story is, or how he ended up where he is today and no-one knows how his story will unfold from here, I hope he finds his feet and a safe place with all the essentials that every human being is entitled to.
Recently I have been wanting to get back into some form of volunteer work, but wasn't really sure where to volunteer. I see so many more homeless people on the streets of Canberra than in the past and I think today may be a subtle sign that this is my path to the service I have been seeking. Now to the drawing board to see what kind of difference I can make.
Fatigue seems be such a huge issue surrounding both men and women in today's society, are you someone who can put your hand up for this? I know I certainly am, and I am fed up so I m going to embark on a journey to find out how I can combat this issue that has plagued me for my entire adult life and most of my adolescence. After doing a substantial amount of my own research on fatigue, I came up with quite a few great ways to combat this widespread problem, and I will share these shortly.
When I talk about fatigue (my own fatigue) I am talking about debilitating exhaustion, the kind of fatigue that has you feeling so depleted that you don't even feel human, you're irritable, you're physically & mentally tired, feel sick, fed up and just don't know how to alleviate the symptoms. You barely function in life and you're in a perpetual cycle of using stimulants such as coffee (or worse) on a daily basis just to get you through and barely, at that. You don't even have the energy to enjoy yourself as every thing you do in life feels like a task and requires energy that you just don't have. Does this sound familiar to you? It has certainly been present in my life for a long time and I am talking my entire adult life as well as part of my childhood.
At times it has been better than others, so I had to think hard about why the symptoms of adrenal fatigue were more marked during certain periods of my life. In my assessment of this I found that stress levels had a lot to do with my lack of energy. Stress can and will deplete you of energy if it is ever-present in your life. Other factors of course include lifestyle habits such as what you put in your mouth, how much water you drink and whether you get a good nights sleep. When we are not getting the essential basics such as exercise, a good nights rest, enough water and nutritious food we will quickly feel depleted. If you add a dose of stress on top of this, you're headed for trouble. This has basically been most of my life.
Now that I have self-treated my stress with meditation and Yoga, I feel that I am a lot more balanced and have gained a little more energy - but there is still a feeling of having to push myself to get the daily basics done. This is no easy road to follow, but I am determined to feel like a normal human being. Now, I am a smoker so this most certainly impacts on draining my energy - in fact I know that it does, as when I have quit in the past I have felt much more energized and I want this feeling back. Quitting smoking has been on the agenda for years and it must be done, so having said that I am cutting down to start with - 20 cigarettes down to 10, I have done this for about a week now (not so much difference in energy levels), but it is a start. Smokers are very much depleted in vitamin C levels, so I will be taking a supplement to see if my energy levels change. Currently I am reading a book entitled - How to quit without feeling S$#T, and this is how I plan on tackling quitting smoking. In a nutshell the book explains how supplementing with essential vitamins and minerals (many of which are lost if you're a smoker) help to alleviate mood and suppress cravings. When your body is nourished with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs, cravings are diminished and the psychological effects are also diminished. I am looking forward to experiencing this first-hand! Updates on that side of things later.
Now clinically what is fatigue and more specifically what is adrenal fatigue/adrenal exhaustion? Lets start with the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue/exhaustion should be diagnosed by your health practitioner as the above symptoms could be indicative of other conditions, disorders or disease. It is imperative that you check in with your health practitioner to diagnose and treat accordingly.
Here's an account of what I have done to begin with and I will follow up with another blog post in a few weeks to report any differences in energy levels, increase in mood etc.
After researching adrenal fatigue I have outlined what I feel is the most beneficial (for myself) for over-coming this daunting and debilitating cycle that is adrenal exhaustion, the above is what I have decided to do to take on this condition, it is no way intended for others to follow. Please note, always consult your health practitioner before starting any new health regime. This post is simply an account of what I have found to work for me. This post is in no way medical advice.
I'm big on home spa pampering, if you're like me and you don't have the time or extra $ to spend on expensive spa pampering sessions here are a few low cost and toxin free ideas to fit into your busy schedule to ensure you get a bit of 'me' time in. But first, a quick note on getting 'me' time in.
I know it can be difficult to find the time in this busy day and age, but it certainly is a necessity to well-being. Everyone is different and 'me' time for 'you' could be many different things, and yes, I hear you (the ladies that have no time), it's really hard to find the time to give to yourself. But the rewards are certainly worth finding a spare half an hour or so each week. Not having kids, I still find it difficult, so I understand (not first hand) that it can seem almost impossible for a woman with young children to find the time to relax and unwind and have a moment to herself. Sometimes it's impossible to even get in a daily shower! I hear this a lot from my friends with young children and it really makes me wonder how they do it! Those with wonderful partners share the load and help to give mum that bit of 'me' time so that she can take a moment to breathe and relax, even if only for 30 minutes. That 30 minutes could really help to keep it altogether and soldier on. That's why it' so important.
Having said all of that, here are a few ways I like to unwind when on a tight schedule (apart from my morning ritual), I know I should feel very lucky to have the time to indulge in my morning ritual - it's really helped to reset my frame of mind and reduce my stress levels, so if you are feeling totally fatigued and burned out, I really suggest trying to adopt some of the rituals from my morning routine post. In fact, I can get a lot more done having taken the time in the morning to set my intention for the day. When you are more relaxed, it's surprising what you can achieve. You can read my morning routine here.
Here are some lovely relaxing home pampering ideas that don't cost the earth or burn a hole in your wallet!
1) Detoxing and skin softening rose bath.
I love to take a long hot bath once a week to really unwind - I either just enjoy the silence and the soothing and detoxing experience , or indulge a little more with a good book, a nice cup of herbal tea and a detoxing homemade face mask - why not, if 30 minutes a week is all you get to unwind, you may as well go all out!
I like to switch up my detoxing bath aromas but I always come back to this rose bath - it's really wonderful for removing toxins and it leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated. Many of the ingredients in this bath soak can be omitted, depending on what you can get your hands on or what your budget is.
You will need:
1) Zeolite clay / Kaolin Clay 1 cup( you can substitute for another type of clay, but zeolite is fantastic for detoxifying)
2) Pastel Pink Australian Clay 1 cup (great for stressed skin, and makes the bath water a lovely pink colour)
3) Rose Petal Powder - 1 cup (not essential, but I love that it makes your skin feel soft - it also smells fantastic)
4) Rose Geranium Essential Oil (or other essential oil you have on hand)
5) Epsom Salts or Magnesium salt flakes 7 cups - fantastic for sore muscles!
I buy all of these in bulk - wholesale (for my business and for myself) but you can get these ingredients quite cheap in smaller sizes. With these ingredients you can also create a face mask so it is worthwhile investing in some of these products to have on hand. They stay fresh for a long time so no need to worry about the expiry date.
Method: Mix together all the ingredients (no exact science here) this will give you 10 cups of soothing, detoxifying home spa goodness. I use 1 cup of the mix per bath and add a few drops of essential oil to the bath water. And there you have it, simple! You can also make smaller batches of course, just halve or make a quarter of the above recipe. Essential oils are expensive so if you wanted to keep the cost down you could use a cheaper essential oil such as lavender (just make sure it's a pure essential oil). The real essentials in this bath soak are the clays and the epsom or magnesium salts - these will help to detoxify and soothe your muscles.
Here's a list of where you can purchase the ingredients.
(some of the ingredients can be bought in our store)
Pastel Pink Clay
Rose Petal Powder
Magnesium Salt Flakes
Now using the ingredients that you already have, you can make a simple clay mask to use during your detox bath.
2) Detoxing Face Mask
Just mix 2 teaspoons of zeolite clay and 1 teaspoon of pastel pink clay with 3 or 4 teaspoons of water to form a spreadable paste. Apply to face and neck with finger tips or with a brush, avoiding the eye area and leave on till dry. Wash off with warm water. If you have decided to purchase rose petal powder you can add 1 teaspoon of this too - it'll make your skin feel soft and dewy afterward. Don't have time to make your own? You can purchase Peacock & Lotus' Cleopatra mask here
Don't forget to give yourself a bit of pampering every now and then! You gotta look out for yourself before you can look out for others. You can't pour from an empty cup!
Let me start by saying I am NOT a morning person, so mastering my morning has always been a huge struggle for me, Since I was a child I hated getting out of bed, I rarely ate breakfast from the age of 10 and it never really changed from there until now. Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but even though we know this, we all know many many people that don't make it a priority, more on this a bit later in this post.
How do you currently spend your mornings?
What you do in the morning and how you spend your morning really does set the tone for the day, so getting a great routine in place can have a profound effect on the rest of your day. Are you the kind of person who hears the alarm clock go off and then snoozes as many times as you can get away with? Don't worry I was that person too. Each evening I would think about how motivated and energetic I would feel in the morning and how productive I was going to be, only to have the morning roll around and that energy just didn't exist. I would feel extremely fatigued, the motivation I wanted to feel was a mere dream and I would feel absolutely drained instead of feeling well rested. Now I just want to address a few things here; are you getting quality sleep? Are you stressed at work or at home? Are there many problems or issues that plague your mind before you hit the hay? Are you eating a balanced diet? Obviously all of these things can affect your quality of sleep, so having said that, I can't tell anyone how to solve these problems, but having a night routine to help induce sleep could help to get that morning routine in check. So here are a few tips on how to have a well rested sleep so that you can work towards mastering your morning.
Night Time Ritual
Make sure you unwind before bed time. Most people tend to unwind by numbing their brains with a bit of TV, and that's fine, go ahead and do ,but make sure that you allow at least 1 hour before bed time to really unwind. So what do I mean by really unwind? Read on...
1) Drink a cup of herbal tea an hour before bed (also make sure you are well hydrated). Ensure that is does not contain any caffeine that will keep you stimulated. There are so many calming, soothing, sleep inducing blends out there - experiment.
2) Prepare your bedroom - make sure your bed is comfy and ready for you. Is your room out of control messy? If you don't have time to clean up, just make sure that your environment is soothing and clear of mess. If that means shoving a whole bunch of crap in the closet temporarily then do it.
3) Create a calm, soothing, sleep inducing environment. I like to light a candle (essential oils only) as I don't feel synthetic chemically based candles are very conducive to sleep (also they are toxic). Of course be careful not to fall asleep before you blow it out. Or if you have a nice relaxing aromatherapy oil blend, use some of this on your temples and on you pillow. A lavender sachet can also work nicely slipped into your pillow case.
4) Take to bed-time reading. Read a fictional novel or whatever you like. I like to read up on spiritual teachings to aid me into sleep. You may feel sleepy after reading for a little while and if so great! My job here is done.
5) Still not sleepy? Why not try a sleep inducing guided meditation! YouTube has an endless supply of great sleep meditations or download a meditation app on your phone.
For those that have huge difficulty sleeping and this routine doesn't work straight away, persevere, you will get there eventually. You may also need to look at your dietary habits and have a good look at what problems are presenting in your life at the moment. Do they plague you before bedtime? I know it's not easy but taking steps to resolve these issues will alleviate insomnia but yes, that is another kettle of fish.
Ok, so there you have a night time ritual that will aid you into a well deserved and restful sleep, now onto the morning and mastering that bitch!
1) Get up when your alarm goes off (no snoozing) this is a super hard task for those who feel fatigued all the time, but if you don't change this, you will never become a master of your morning. Put the alarm on the other side of the room or even in another room to ensure you have to get up to switch off that annoying noise. Sometimes just getting up is not enough! I know as i have to get up and let the dogs out at some ungodly hour, but as this is routine for me I just hop back into bed for a couple more hours, so how do you get up and stay up? Well, I'm glad you asked! Read on...
2) Once you're up either splash water on your face, or immediately jump in the shower. You have to shock your system into waking up! The first week of this is probably going to be a source of pain for some, but you must do it to master your morning! Now go and drink at least 1 large glass of water.
3) Ok, so you're awake now, and hydrated, maybe still a bit grumpy, but hey at least you're up! Now it's time to set the tone for the day. I suggest implementing at least 2 of these practices - I know time does not allow for everyone to do each practice, but adopting 2 is really beneficial. What calls to you, and which of these practices really resonates?
Alright now once you've done 2 of these practices it's time for breakfast. Ensure you have a well-balanced breakfast to give you a great kick start for your day. If you chose Journaling or reading inspirational text as your morning practices you could eat breakfast at the same time as doing these things. So there you have it, hopefully implementing these practices into your daily morning routine will have you feeling motivated and ready to conquer the day. Of course if there are other practices that resonate with you include them in your morning. I hope this helps someone as much as it has helped me.
I've been a chocoholic on and off throughout my life - sometimes I can get by without chocolatey goodness and then other times it's a life or death situation! I figure if I am going to have those cravings every now and then that's fine, so long as I take measures to ensure it's healthier chocolate than the conventional stuff. I have recently been experimenting with creating a chocolate treat that hits the spot and is Vegan. I'm not vegan, but I do try to limit my intake of cow's milk, dairy products as well as meat and I suspect at sometime in the not too distant future I may head towards a vegan lifestyle.
Anyway, back to the awesome chocolate and orange truffle balls I created! These little balls are extra chocolatey, smooth and have the illusion that they contain milk, well they do contain milk but not from an animal. I am pretty picky with my chocolate and I am rather impressed that this recipe takes that the edge of my cravings without me evening having to consume the whole batch! Usually when I eat conventional chocolate I can't stop until I have eaten the entire block! Now, that's not to say this recipe isn't awesome, cos it is! It's just that the richness of these truffle balls will have you feeling satisfied without over-doing it, and who doesn't love that!
So onto the recipe:
You will need:
1 cup of organic coconut cream
1/2 cup organic cacao powder - extra for dusting
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic coconut butter or cacao butter
2 tsp natural orange essence (high quality pure orange essential oil can be used in place, but only a few drops)
Boil water in a saucepan, place a heat proof glass bowl on top and add the cacao/coconut butter. Melt it down until it is more manageable the add coconut cream, sugar and cacao powder. Ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed through and then remove from heat. Add your orange essence and mix until you feel it is evenly distributed. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes and then transfer into a container and place in freezer for 30-40 minutes. Once the mixture becomes semi-frozen (the texture should be stiff yet pliable) spoon a teaspoon amount into the palm of your hand and quickly roll into a ball. Generously dust the balls with extra cacao powder.
I got about 20 balls from this mixture, but it depends on how much mixture you use for each ball. These could be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, or kept in the freezer for a couple of months. I kept mine in the freezer so that I always have a little treat ready when a craving hits. If you eat them straight from the freezer the texture isn't actually lost so they are still smooth and delicious.
The beauty with this recipe is that you can add all kinds of flavourings. I made a batch with Maqui powder for a bit of a berry hit and they were delicious. You could just have cacao or you could add Matcha, the possibilities are endless. I will be posting some other truffle recipes in the future as I experiment with different ingredients and textures. This particular recipe is quite rich and indulgent so I will make an altered version of this that is not quite so heavy on the calories. Until next time....
It's been a few weeks since I embarked on my journey to living a more natural life. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I certainly didn't think it would be as difficult as this. Now I'm not saying this to put anyone off, and I am certainly not put off by the fact that it is more difficult than I envisioned. So what's the purpose of this post? I want to convey the message that changing your lifestyle and habits can be difficult but most importantly it can be done. I'm one of those people where it's 'all or nothing' so I tend to go hard at things that I want to achieve or I don't put any effort into things that I'm not interested in or care about. So in some ways I am my own worst enemy when it comes to making all these big changes all at once, as currently money doesn't allow me to do everything right now.
Now, that I have got the negative stuff out of the way, I want to shed light on the positives. Every little bit helps and it counts - I am taking responsibility for my actions and I am planting the seed for further change (quite literally as I will be sowing seeds tomorrow - pardon the pun). On the weekend I went to the farmer's market an picked up our fresh produce for the week, most of the things I need are there which is fantastic. I found that I wasn't able to source organic chicken so I headed out the Griffith where a wonderful butchery is that has a vast array of organic non GM meats and seafood. I also popped into Mountain Creek Wholefoods thinking I would be able to pick up organic flour that doesn't come in plastic packaging but found that they didn't have any, however they do have organic Tamari and select wholefoods that you can buy and use your own containers. Looks like I will have to head out to Belconnen Fresh Food Markets to source my flours, seeds, nuts and grains as I know As Nature Intended has a wonderful selection of organic (such as quinoa flour, nuts etc) which are in large plastic bins which I can then put in paper bags to transport home. I may need to make a monthly visit there to pick up these staples.
Today we spent roughly the same as what we would on groceries from Woolworths or Coles and I am definitely sure that my produce is of higher quality and nutritional content. I haven't had organic meat in ages so I am looking forward to seeing the difference. We are eating a lot less of it too so this has helped to keep costs down. I would say about 30% of what was purchased was organic, so to have the cost be practically the same is pretty encouraging! Once we are able to grow some of our own veges I am hoping to reduce our grocery bill by 20% or we could use that saving to purchase more organic produce. Initially my plan was to eat only organic food, I quickly realised that this was near impossible for me, but it is certainly something to work towards in the future. The goal is to only eat all organic at home and when it comes to eating out try to eat at organic cafes and restaurants where possible.
I think the hardest part about seeking out great fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood is the fact that you have to go to a few places to get everything. It takes organisation, but I think once we have a routine down it will be easy, going to the supermarket just kinda makes me feel sick in the stomach - it always has, so this will certainly be a motivator to get organised! I do love going to the markets too, so really it's not that much of a task.
This is what my food sourcing schedule will be like from now on:
* Farmer's Market every week for fresh produce
* Belconnen Markets once a month or once every two months for staples from As Nature Intended, Eco meats is also located here so will check out what they have.
* Griffith Butchery once a month
* Choku Bai Jo (Lyneham) - for bananas - weekly
Getting the food schedule down is probably the easiest part of my living naturally plan (apart from organic gardening) but I am happy to have the schedule down pat. The harder parts are going to include when I want to purchase something that isn't entirely necessary to my life. I will have to think hard about my decisions and do my research each time. I am really endeavoring to mimimalise my material things, so maybe it won't be as difficult as I suspect?
The next big thing on my list is drinking better water, so this means getting a water filter that removes heavy metals and fluoride, but these babies cost about $500, so I will be opting for fluoride filter straw, yes a straw! Sounds weird but apparently they can filter out all the nasties - only problem with this is I don't think it remineralises the water, but more on that later once I receive mine. I suspect I will be rather busy making up my own cleaning products and making my own soap and bath & body products in place of everything I will be throwing out. I think my biggest worry is eating out and trying to decipher what is best on the menu for me and ask questions about the produce they use - that is the best I can for now. I think a good way to get around this is opting for vegetarian/vegan options, but of course these options aren't always necessarily healthy.
In the next few weeks I hope to have a little progress on my organic garden, I still need to do a bit of research on this, I know it will take patience and I may fail a few times (or many), but I am determined to make organic gardening a part of my daily life. Till next time.
Recently I tried Maqui powder or ‘Patagonian Superfruit’, this deep purple berry packs a punch full of antioxidants and did I mention it's delicious!? I bought a 50g bag of this delightful freeze dried berry and found it's great for a variety of uses. Unfortunately I didn't take any pics of my creations as I kinda gobbled them all up without thinking about it! So looks like I will have to keep experimenting and next time I will be sure to take some happy snaps of my Maqui berry creations and pop up some recipes right here on my blog. So what did I use it for? I started off using it in my smoothies and I must say it really transforms my boring daily smoothie! Each morning I put a banana, half an apple, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and some kale/baby spinach into my blender - it's a nice enough tasting smoothie but the addition of the Maqui powder absolutely transforms it into a joyous experience. I added a heaped teaspoon and it turned my smoothie a gorgeous deep purple colour - so pretty! The addition of Maqui berry has definitely made me look forward to my morning smoothie and helps keep me feeling energised through to my next meal.
I also made some Vegan chocolate and added some Maqui powder - this was a little dangerous as they are quite moreish! Just have to ensure I have a bit of will power when I make a batch of these. The third experimentation was a Maqui berry cheesecake cup - I love this! Now I did use ricotta cheese (I will try and make a vegan version of this at some point) so it was wonderfully creamy, but definitely something to only have on the odd occasion. As I made a large is batch, I froze some to eat at later date.
So enough about my creations, lets talk about this amazing berry! Why is Maqui berry so good for you? Well, let me tell you... Maqui berriesare known to have the highest content of antioxidants out of any food on the planet! Yep, wow - that's pretty awesome right!
Maqui Berry has certainly earned its place in the superfood world. It's rich in antioxidants and contains an essential and powerful antioxidant called Anthocyanins. Maqui berries grow abundantly in the remote mountains of the Patagonia region in the southern part of Chile. Anthocyanins are said to prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure, improves heart health, and is also known to assist in weight management. We all know how important antioxidants are but that's not all this berry has to offer! They are also a great source of potassium, calcium, iron, B1, B3, Vitamin C, vitamin A and may also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Sounds pretty good huh! Why not try some yourself. I am a big supporter of Honest To Goodness, all of their products are organic and I also love their business ethos. Hop on over to their website, they have almost everything you need in the way of organic wholefoods! You can purchase Power Super Foods Maqui Berry Powder from their website - they come in a couple of different sizes, the 50g is great if you want to trial it, but I bet you'll be back for more, so it may be better to order the larger packet!
I'll be ordering some more Maqui berry powder and I promise to note my recipes and take some pics next time round.
Hi all, I just wanted to write a quick blog post with some updates on a few of my findings.
Whilst doing my research on various products I thought it necessary to provide a Resources page so that if you are also seeking to live a more natural, simple life you could benefit from the research I have done. If you're looking to get on the band wagon please head to my resources page! This page will be updated frequently as I do more research.
I'll just outline a few of my finds as I was pretty excited bout these! I love Burgen bread, so I thought I would email them to see if they use GM ingredients. Guess what!? They don't! I was pretty chuffed about this as I know it won't always be possible to bake my own bread. I don't eat a lot of bread, but it certainly is great to know that I can eat this when I do feel like a sandwhich or a slice of toast (their bread freezes really well too).
Another product I love is Paesanella's ricotta cheese, it is seriously creamy and delectably delicious! Since trying this ricotta, I can't bring myself to buy any other. I have bought it a number of times in the past and made frozen chocolate cheesecake, it's seriously awesome. Having said this, I wanted to find out if their milk and cream comes from cows that are fed non GM feed, and guess what........ they're grass fed! It's great to find out that these awesome tasting products are made from non GM ingredients.
A quick note on my implementing my changes and my progress
I did vow to eat and drink less dairy products and so far I'm doing great. I only have milk in one or two coffees a week ( a huge reduction, considering I previously had several cups a day) and this also means I am consuming way, way less sugar, hoorah! I am eating so many more vegetables as I am only eating 4 meals containing meat and poultry, I have also been eating 1 meal with fish/seafood so the rest of the time vego it is and majority of those meals are vegan. I have to say I don't really miss eating copious amounts of meat - I suppose I didn't eat that much in the first place so this wasn't too difficult. I do really love that the meat I am now purchasing tastes so much better, it's really quite a remarkable difference.
Since implementing these changes I have also incorporated breakfast into my routine. Breakfast has always been an enemy of mine but it looks like we may have become friends, or at least acquaintances. I am eating a couple of servings of fruit if not more a day and snack on vegetables in between meals. I have found that my metabolism is starting to become more efficient and I actually am hungry when I wake up apposed to only getting hungry in the late afternoon - bad habits be gone!
I'm also making a decent effort to drink more water, my aim is about 2 litres and I have been hitting that target most days, I will get better at this I promise. I am researching getting a water filter that filters out contaminants, pathogens, heavy metals, chlorine and that notorious nasty fluoride, so this still needs to be implemented. I'm not fond of the idea of purchasing water in bottles - there's just way too much plastic waste and I am not comfortable with that, so for now I will just have to drink tap water, but not for too much longer.
This week will see me purchasing some staples that are naked! Yes naked. Quite frankly I am sick of how much packaging makes its way into my house, so I would like to reduce this significantly. I have been making a lot of my own snacks and sweet treats so this has heavily reduced pre-packged food consumption and the waste that comes a long with it. Packaged goods that come into my home will have the ability to be recycled which is pretty awesome and there will be much, much less of it.
Over the course of the last few weeks I have really been questioning my beliefs and the world around me, now without getting too much into conspiracy theories and the like, I have really been seeking answers and for me this means arming myself with as much knowledge as I can readily get my hands on to form my beliefs, not just half arsed opinions. I have always held vague opinions (half arsed) on how I think I should live and thought that I was pretty informed about the food we eat, the water we drink and the way we live. In the past any time I delved a little more into these areas I would try to live my life in a more ethical and organic way, only to find that it was so difficult to do in our current society. I would then return to my old ways declaring that it was too hard and what difference does it make if 'I' make these changes when so many other people aren't seeking to do the same. I was living in total ignorance and had even proclaimed that I would prefer to be ignorant and stay that way because finding a solution was too difficult.
Well, in recent weeks I have delved even deeper than I ever have before, and thus came to the conclusion that I can no longer take a back seat and declare that it is too difficult to change and therefore I cannot make a difference. Change CAN start with ONE person and the positive chain-reaction this can produce can be phenomenal. We have to start somewhere so why not start with the way we live. We need to open our eyes to the damage we are creating to our environment, the human race, animals and our own bodies. It's time to look at why and how and re-adjust how we live our lives to prolong the earth we live in. The devastation we are causing is happening at rapid rate and I for one want to do as much as I can to slow the rate of this, I can no longer walk around with my eyes closed - this is too important and the time is NOW! Brainwashed zombie no more, this is the beginning of my awakening.
I know what I'm writing about is nothing new, but why is it that we walk around disillusioned about what is becoming of our planet? Why do we feel so dis-empowered? There are so many things we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce animal cruelty, stand up for human rights and help preserve our eco-systems, we just need to wake up and be informed. Gain as much knowledge as we can on what's going on in the world we live in and personally take action by living by what we stand for and what we truly believe in. This world is so fueled by fear, we want to make our lives easier and we don't even take the time to forsee the repercussions of our actions.
There are a lot of points to cover in these areas and I can't do it justice in just one blog post and that is why I started this blog to tackle and address many topics that come along with living in our society and how we can make a positive impact in the way we live by taking action and effecting change by living a more natural life - the way nature intended it. Why are we fighting nature? So having said all of that, I am going to outline some of the changes I will be implementing into my new lifestyle to kick-start my pledge to live a more natural life for myself and the world we live in. I can make a difference and so can you. The choice is ours - do we want to wake up?
This is a tough one, although I have done a lot of research (and will continue to) into the foods I should be eating and where to source them from, finding definitive answers into exactly how and what we should be eating is inconclusive (there's always more to learn). I suppose this is where intuition comes in. What do I deem most important when it comes to food and the production of food when it comes to me consuming it?
Choosing ethical/sustainable/organic food/ non GM
Taking measures to reduce my consumption of unethical food - whether it's GM or the production of these foods results in inhumane practices against humans or animals is very important to me. So in turn seeking out food that doesn't impact on these issues is a priority. Of course nutrition is a major issue (after-all we need to eat to survive) and that's where many debates on what we should eat arise. Through my findings I'm not entirely convinced we should be consuming animal products (at least the amount that I currently eat), having said that I will heavily be reducing my meat intake. I will be seeking to consume animals that have been humanely treated and consuming far less than what is the norm in this country. The same thing will go for dairy products - although in time I think I will eliminate it completely from my diet, one step at a time.
Weeding through the plethora of information out there and deciphering what you take as truth and then creating your beliefs from the information and evidence is the only way we can make an informed decision on what we deem as satisfactory. Quite often you can't quite put your finger on what is right and wrong, but having an informed opinion and deciding what you (yes I mean YOU and only YOU, not what someone tells you to believe, not what the government tells you to believe, not what your father, mother, brother, sister tells you to believe) truly believe from the information that you have taken knowledge from to the best of your ability.
For me this means trying to consume mainly organic produce ( this will be a work in process, as we all know eating all organic food is difficult due to many factors), ethically farmed and locally produced animal products ( I will only consume 100g of meat 4 x per week), I will be dramatically reducing my consumption of cows milk and limiting myself to 1-2 cups of coffee per week. My diet will be predominantly plant based with a minimal amount of animal products. I won't be consuming heavily processed products - labeling on packaged products can be misleading and unclear on how the ingredients are processed and as to whether they are GM or not, so I figure it's best to avoid these altogether. Eating out will be quite a challenge so I suspect when I do eat out I will have to ask a lot of questions (yes, I am going to be 'that person'). I usually eat out 1-2 times per week so this is going to be tricky! I'm sure that eating out with friends is going to be very hard, so for now I will do my best to ask questions at the places I will be eating at, but unfortunately I know I'm not always going to be able to eat food that I deem satisfactory. So for now as this is a huge adjustment to my lifestyle and eating habits I am admitting that I will succumb to eating food that isn't satisfactory to my beliefs as I'm not willing to give up these social activities yet, I will however try to seek out eating establishments that are in line with my beliefs to the best of my ability. It certainly isn't right, but I suppose I am justifying this by the other huge changes I am making. Lets just say I'm a work in progress and my stubborn mind doesn't want to miss out on some things - I hope I can work around this and I will most definitely seek a solution to this issue.
I will be planting organic vegetables from heirloom seeds to reduce the cost of eating mostly organic vegetables and to ensure I know where my vegetables come from and ensuring they have high nutritional content. There's something really special about growing and nurturing your own food and I can't wait to put this plan into action (photos to come). By growing our own produce we are empowering ourselves by knowing exactly where our food comes from - what could be more satisfying!
After looking into the whole fluoride situation I am quite baffled as to why this shit is in our water. I felt quite angry and di-sempowered about the whole situation, but I am looking at ways I can reduce my use of fluoridated water, so bottled water it is for me (fluoride free of course) I'm not entirely thrilled about buying water in a big plastic bottle, so I will have to do my research on this and see which companies deliver fluoride free water. In terms of showers, there isn't a lot I can do about this at the moment but I will certainly look at having a reverse osmosis water system for the future.
I recycle everything in the home that is recyclable, and now with growing my own vegetables and sourcing wholefoods this will reduce the amount of plastic in my household. I will endeavor to purchase products that aren't packaged as much as possible.
As far as cleaning products go I will be making these myself, recipes will be up on the blog for those that want to switch to natural alternatives. So far I have found soap berries and soap nuts that can be used in place of conventional washing detergent, these nuts can also be used for hand soap.
Finding natural, vegan and ethical products is a lot easier these days so this certainly is reassuring. I currently make a lot of these products myself so this part is quite easy for me.
I don't currently take medications so this is easy. In time once I become healthier I suspect I won't have to worry about this so much. If I have non serious ailments I will seek out natural remedies and natural therapies - if something more serious occurs I will take this on a case by case basis. Currently the only pharmaceuticals I use is paracetamol, so I will endeavor to make a natural home remedy for this.
This is tricky and I will certainly have to do more research into this. I suspect this will have to be implemented slowly and won't be able to be done completely. I will try to source organic and ethic clothing - but unfortunately I'm not made of money so this will prove difficult. I do currently shop at op-shops so I suppose I have reduced my negative impact doing this. Locally made is a good way to start, but as I delve into this further I will write a blog post that is more in depth. Buying local certainly doesn't always mean its ethical so this is set to be tricky and something I think I will struggle with a lot - but taking measures to reduce the negative impact on the environment will help - every little bit counts.
In terms of buying new kitchenware, homewares, manchester, haberdashery etc this is something I will have to look into as I go along. I will certainly opt buying from small businesses as a start especially for non essentials.
At the moment I work from home so my carbon impact from driving my car isn't huge, so I'm not sure what else I can do in order to combat this one. I would say that my carbon footprint from driving is quite minimal so I am relatively satisfied with it.
This post is about empowering myself and gaining informed opinions and then forming my beliefs, standing for something and actioning this in the way I live my life. If we don't stand for anything and we don't have opinions or beliefs what's the point? I know I can't live a perfect life with no carbon footprint right now, I will most certainly take steps towards living a life that aims to reduce my environmental impact, that aims to reduce animal cruelty, stand up for our freedom as human beings to live a more natural life. Isn't it time we all took a little responsibility for the impact we have on our planet. If you look at your life right now are you happy with the impact you are having on the animals, the people the planet? What kind of future do you want for you, your family, your friends? What will you take responsibility for and what changes will you implement?
I'm sure there are many issues that I have overlooked in this blog post, but I am pretty happy with the changes I am implementing as a starting point. There's always room for improvement and there's always room to gain more knowledge. Here we go! This journey is a life long one and I am excited to implement these changes into my life and excited for the reverse impact it will have. So it begins!