Friday, November 11, 2011

Amazing Butterflies


Managed to capture these fantastic shots of butterflies during my recent travels in Penang, Malaysia.




Friday, October 21, 2011

Detox Diary Day 7.5 and Beyond...

Well, what can I say? I breezed through day seven, so much so that I felt that I could continue on with the program for another few days.  Nothing exciting or out of the ordinary happened on day seven..

the usual shakes, water, herbs and colemas, although in the final colema, instead of fresh brewed coffee, there was garlic instead.  This is to kill any parasites that may still be lingering inside the colon.

Fascinating stuff really.

I challenge you to google parasites in the human body, as you 99.9% have them - you will be repulsed, and I bet you run straight to the pharmacy to remedy the situation!

Finally, instead of our usual bedtime probiotic pill before bed, we were given a probiotic drink which had been fermented for ten hours.  It tasted surprisingly okay, and I managed to swallow it down without any drama whatsoever. 

We were also given special instructions for the morning. We were to have one final colema of just 10litres of water (instead of the usual 20) and then one hour after that, we were to give ourselves a probiotic implant - yup - up the bum! To replace all of the friendly bacteria that had been washed away over the past week.


I arose on day eight literally with a spring in my step.  Despite the fact that I knew it was my last day, I was feeling absolutely fantastic, and my skin and eyes looked so clear.  I looked at my brother, and he was also the same. I could not get over how bright and sparkly his eyes were!  Neither could he.  The eczema on his legs had also cleared up significantly, and all that seemed to remain was some mild scarring and few spots which may have still been part of the detox process. 

In any case, we both felt GREAT!

After we had finished with all the messing around with the finalities of the detox, we headed to the restaurant for our first meal. 

Watermelon and coconut water.

TOO exciting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Detox Diary - Day Six

6.30am - I woke up this morning STARVING, but managed to console myself as there is only today and tomorrow to go.  I start to get ready for the 7.30 shake, but the thought of drinking another one of those is not a happy one.  They were bearable on the first few days, but now they are vile.

I remember that I have committed myself to feeding some stray animals that have befriended a friend of mine, and plan my afternoon accordingly. It means I can leave detox bootcamp and drink a coconut in a different restaurant.  Suddenly I feel happy again and head to the bar. The day proceeds much like any other on the program.

12.00pm - I collect my herbs from the bar and go to the office to rent a scooter.  I don't quite have the energy to walk to my friends bungalow to feed the animals, and decide that a moped for the day is a much better way to get around, and also out of bootcamp.

12.10 - I stop en-route to the bungalow at a restaurant and order a coconut.  What can I say? It tastes amazing, as they always do. Her bungalow is just around the corner and I continue on my bike.

1.00pm - I continue to cruise on the scooter to the next town, one I haven't visited yet - it is much like the one before it, and I suspect much like the one after it.  I stumble upon the Art Cafe, and order another coconut.  I can't help myself, and I really needed the change of scenery.  There's a mini library in there, with shelves adorned with second-hand books.  It also stocks all kinds of detox products and superfoods.  I like this place, and know that I will become a regular customer when life resumes some sort of normality in the coming days.  

I head back to Ananda.

By 4.30, I am starting to feel weary.  I have my fifth last shake and continue on with reading my book in my hammock.

6.00pm - I go to the beach, and again find my brother there, also watching yet another spectacular sunset.

By 9.30, with my all of my shakes and colemas for the day, I return to my bungalow and tuck in for the night.  


I am excited.  Tomorrow is the last day,
  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Detox Diary - Day Five

6.34am - For some reason I wake up this morning absolutely starving... and then I remember, I am still at the resort and I haven't eaten now in FIVE days.  I am really starting to feel it. 

I feel at my stomach - the bulge that was there seems to have significantly receded. I get up and look in the mirror.  My face is definitely clearing up, and I swear it has a definite glow that wasn't there when I arrived.

7.30am - I head for the detox bar for my morning shake, and talk to my fellow detoxees.  The people who were here when I started are on their final day. I am envious, and although the past four days feel as though they have gone by very quickly, the thought of another 2.5 almost makes me crazy.

My bro appears, and I glance at his legs.  They appear to have completely cleared up.  I am amazed, and he is looking pretty happy.

10.30am - By now, the shakes have become more than a chore to swallow.  I am craving something, anything, solid.

12.00pm - I take my herbs and suddenly remember that I have approximately 50 episodes of This American Life on my iPod.  I grab it, and spend most of the afternoon listening to it, in between shakes, sauna and herbs.  It literally saves the day.


5.30pm - Not only am I feeling weary from all the detoxing, I am growing very weary of this place.  It is literally like a detox bootcamp!  


5.35pm - I have a wave of energy so I grab my camera and head out for a walk along the beach, just in time yet another magical sunset.  I find my brother and a few others also capturing the stunning sun down, and ask the Mariana, the Spanish girl to take a photograph of us.

9.00pm - I am starving, and am trying hard not to think about food.  I am also feeling very weak, and head to bed, only to be kept awake by loud chanting, clanging and bongo drums from the yoga hall next door.  There is some live music on, however it is not to my taste, and I grab my iPod and opt for Neil Young instead, hoping to drown out the yogi music.

I spend what feels like half an hour fantasizing about coconut water, and remember that I need to rent a scooter in the morning to feed some dogs and a cat at my friends bungalow on another part of the island.  Perfect.  I can escape for a couple of hours with a purpose, and maybe cruise around and check out other parts of the island... and sneak a sly coconut in...

I finally drift off to sleep, ready to take on day six.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Detox Diary - Day Four

5.14am - I lie in bed, wide awake.  It's the third time that I have woken up.  Each time I seem to wake from the most vivid dreams.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the detox.  I am assuming that it possibly does, given the mental clarity that most report experiencing by about day seven.

Unsurprisingly, I have begun dreaming about food, this particular time I was eating what seemed to be the most amazing ham and salad roll on a white bun.  I don't eat ham, and I rarely eat white bread... I must be getting desperate..

6.00am  - I get up to take a shower. Forgetting to get up slowly, I suddenly feel very dizzy. It passes as quickly as it came on and head across to the beach.

6.10am - I return to my bungalow and assume my place back in my hammock with my book and wait till the first shake of the day

7.30am - I am the first to arrive at the detox bar for my morning concoction of psyllium and clay.  I am beginning to grow very tired of them.  Alas, I have three more days.  I again marvel that I am still not starving. Hungry, yes.  Starving, no.

I feel my stomach.  I am definitely feeling leaner.  I must have dropped at least 2 kilos.  My brother arrives, and I am amazed at how much his skin has improved in the past three days.  When we arrived, his skin looked angry, red and weepy.  As if by magic, it appears to have receeded overnight.  He is looks pleased.

12.00pm - The day continues on exactly the same as the three before it.  I have my massage, my colema, herbs, etc...By about midday, I am beginning to feel very weak.  I glance at the other participants gathered around the bar, socialising with their carrot juice... then I remember that today, I am meant to start an aggressive detox, and there will be no such luxury for me.  I instead take my herbs and again retreat to my room, wondering how I will make it through the day without my daily coconut.

I pick up an 'Around Koh Phangan' booklet and see that there is a Saturday market on in Thongsala from 4pm till 10pm.  I inform my brother and he decides to join me.  We plan to leave at four.  Just for an hour or so.  I am desperate for a change of scenery and to be back out in the 'real' world again.

4.00pm - I have my shake that was scheduled for 4.30pm now, and go to fetch my brother.  He is far from ready, and I get annoyed with him.  My tolerance has dipped, and I am feeling weak and irritable. I can't understand how he cannot be ready, when we have literally had nothing to do all day.

4.30pm - I have calmed down by now, and we hitch a ride to Thongsala.  We don't speak any Thai, and the driver doesn't speak any English, so he drops us in the main street.  Unfortunately this is not exactly where we want to go.  We spend what feels like hours walking around asking for directions to the Walking Street Market, expending our precious energy.  We both feel very weak and find a coconut seller.

Coconut has never tasted so good.  Miraculously, within ten minutes, we have perked up again and proceed to the market, which much to our dismay, is not the kind of market we were hoping for.  Not only is it approximately 250 metres in length, it is predominantly made up of food and clothes stalls.  But bad clothes.

It's tough to be around all of the tropical fruit vendors, and even though I'm a psuedo vegan, even the barbeques are smelling mighty fine.


5.30pm - We decide that enough is enough and we catch a taxi back to Ananda.  Just in time for the sunset.  I grab my camera, and enjoy yet another natural visual masterpiece.

7.15pm - I am finally feeling very, very hungry, but instead must hope that my scheduled shake will help satiate me.  It kind of does, but again, I start thinking about my first meal when I leave on Wednesday.  It seems so far away right now.

The rest of the evening continues as the day before, and the day before that, except this time, to break up the monotony, we watch a movie.  Along Came Polly.  I have avoided seeing it for ages, on account of the fact that it stars Jennifer Aniston, however, much to my surprise, it is actually hysterical...

10.30pm - I tick off yet another day, and retire to bed.

Three more days to go.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Detox Fast - Day Three

Today I am feeling weak.  Not so much tired, as there is plenty of time for relaxing, in fact that's all there is to do.  Just weak. My face has broken out in a few spots around my chin and forhead, and the right side of my neck which seems prone to eczema has also started to itch again - I am now in proper detoxification mode. 

The day went by fairly slowly, interspersed as usual with shakes, herbs, beach, sauna, beach, massage and of course, colemas.  

The manager found me during the day to ask me that given my background with the big C, if I was interested in doing a more aggressive detox.  She also recommended it for my brother as he has really been suffering with bad skin due to eczema. Aside from twice daily colemas and fasting, I wondered how the program could possibly be more aggressive.  

In short, it would mean not having my 12pm carrot juice, my beloved 3pm coconut water and the 6pm veggie broth.  Just water and herbs.  None of the three things that have become the highlight of my day!  I told her I'd think it over, but have since decided that I will give it a go - even though I might have to get a coconut water from outside, on the sly.

I can understand why the carrot juice and the broth would be removed, as carrots are very high in sugars when concentrated in a juice, and the broth may have some residual fibre in it which may affect the digestion/detoxification process, however, I don't understand the need to remove the coconut water.  Fresh coconut water is a natural electrolyte and full of enzymes and minerals. Perhaps it is because it too contains sugars..? In any case, it is sooo good for your skin and anti-aging, I can't see how my brother would benefit from abstaining.

Predictably, I've had loads of reading time, and am halfway through the book that I'm reading, Bricklane by Monica Ali. It's a great read, and reading it here in this tropical climate evokes so many memories of my time spent in India last year.  

Before retiring to bed for the night, my brother and I played Rummy.  Foolishly, we played at the tables in the restaurant and watched with great envy and desire, the plates of food being brought out of the kitchen.  I asked him what his first meal will be when the program is over.  I am thinking papaya salad right now, and maybe a tom yum soup - something light, but delicious.  ...and of course, many, many mango shakes :)

Four more days!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Detox Fast - Day Two

Given that the days are governed by a fairly regimented schedule, day two was much like day one.  Surprisingly, although I'm hungry, I'm still not starving.  I woke up feeling a little light headed, but nothing too drastic.  

At 9.15am, I went for my scheduled daily massage, only to find that the masseurs did not turn up for the day. A real bummer, as I had been looking forward to it.  I got talking to Manuel, one of the other detoxees who was also due to have one at the same time as me, and he told me about Papaya Massage, an amazing massage place, two kilometres up the road.  We instead decided to go there in the afternoon, after our coconut, and before our broth.

The massage was incredible.  Possibly one of the best I've ever had, however the pain was excruciating.  I was warned before I went in that they strong.  Very strong.  So strong, that when Manuel saw the lady who massaged me, he outright refused her services, claiming that she was TOO strong, referring her to me, and instead opting for one of her colleagues! 

Oh. My. God.  

...and here I was thinking that he was being a bit precious. 

When I say she got into every nook and cranny, I mean she got into every nook and cranny! 

The truth be known, I was in agony for about fifty per cent of the entire duration of the massage, so much so that after my fourth yelp, she motioned for me to hold out my hands, into which she poured a few drops of menthol.  She instructed me to rub my palms together, and inhale the vapors in order for her to continue with manipulating and contorting my body.  I've never experienced this before.  In my experience, when the pain is unbearable, they usually go a little more gently on you... but not this time. She meant business, and in order to manipulate those muscles properly, unfortunately it was going to hurt.  At one point, I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I chose the former, and with my hands over my face, I desperately tried to inhale as much of the menthol as I could. In fact, maybe it was the reason I couldn't stop laughing despite the excruciating pain.

Be that as it may, I emerged from the massage feeling like I was floating on a cloud.  She really did work wonders, and it completely made me forget about any hunger pangs or weariness.  I jumped on the back of the scooter, and we headed back to Ananda in time for our 6pm broth.  Two 'dinners' down.. Five more to go...






Thursday, October 13, 2011

Detox Fast - Day One

7.15am - My alarm sounds and wakes me from my long overdue sleep.  I get up and make my way to the 'Detox Bar'

7.30am - A young girl in her early 20s from Myanmar makes my first shake - a concoction of bentonite clay and psyllium husk. The bentonite clay draws toxins out of your body and assists the psyllium - a fibrous bulking agent that sweeps toxic build up out of the intestines, much like an intestinal broom, during the elimination process.

A Spanish and an American woman also appear for their morning shake, as does my brother.  The Spanish woman is on her third day, and the American is on her second.  We all exchange names and stories of the program so far.  I grab my daily ginger tea and retreat to my room.

9.00am - I take my herbs

9.15am - Excited by the prospect of a daily massage for the next seven days, I make my way to the massage area, a breezy open room.  My masseur, a cheerful young Thai girl is waiting for me. She instructs me to lay down on the mattress on the floor, and I allow her to work her magic, all whilst inhaling the fresh sea air and subtle wafts of aromatic incense; I feel like I am being massaged in a Buddhist temple, and suddenly feel very, very zen.

10.30am - Shake

10.45am - Time for the first colema.  I meet with the manager and am shown to the room where all the action is to take place.  This detox ashram is filled with wall to wall small blue tiles which give a peaceful, cooling feel to the room. Sitting high on a blue tiled shelf is a 20 litre bucket filled with warm water and freshly brewed coffee and a rubber hose.  I laugh to myself as I recall a former housemate of mine, a naturopath who gave herself weekly coffee enemas.  The caffeine supposedly stimulates the liver into rapid detoxification mode.

The manager runs through the equipment, and even though I've done this before, I can't help but giggle and blush at the mention of the words 'anus' and 'bowels', possibly because she seem so serious.  It always makes me wonder why we all seem to revert back to some sort of infantile silliness at the mention of these bodily parts.  Why are they so off limits, and the butt of all jokes (excuse the pun!)?

After her directions, she leaves the room and I am left to begin the process.  The session takes about 40 minutes and goes along smoothly without any hiccups.

The remainder of the day is broken up into 1.5 hour intervals for either a shake or herbs, swimming in the warm tropical ocean, and lounging on the beach.

2.30pm - I am starting to feel slightly peckish, although I can't help but marvel at the fact that I am not yet ravenous.  It must be a combination of of the heat, the amount of liquids I've been ingesting, and of course the psyllium husk.

2.40pm - I join my fellow detoxees in the herbal steam room.  It must be about 45C in there, but it feels fantastic.  There is the predictable banter about the degrees of hunger everyone is experiencing, and how much longer we each have to go till we can eat again.  I sit there in silence, envious that I am only on day one, and also slightly concerned by the tales of hunger and weakness those on their third and fourth days.  I remind myself that by day five, I will be feeling incredible, and my skin will once again be glowing.

3.00pm - We leave the steam room and rinse off by the salt water pool, in time for more herbs and a much anticipated coconut water.  Despite the fact that I ordinarily drink one of these at least once a week, for some reason, this particular one tastes like something sent from heaven!  I savour every sip, and stretch it out for as long as possible.

I'm joined by Manuel, a handsome young guy from Peru who proceeds to tell me that he has been at the resort for 7 months, doing intensive course after course of yoga.  He is like every other yogi person I have ever met; unusually high on life and full of positive energy and joy.  I can't figure out if I find it all a bit slightly annoying, but in any case, it makes me reconsider my decision not to attend our free daily yoga class and lecture.  I want his energy.

5.00pm - I need another coconut, but as we are only permitted one per day, I am forced to have it on the sly.  I grab my brother and we decide to head to Sri Thanu, the closest next town.  He needs to buy a pair of flip flops, and I also need to get a sim card.  It's nice to be away from the resort, albeit, briefly.

6.00pm - We make it back to the Detox Bar in time for our 'dinner' - a warming glass of vegetable broth, strained from boiled vegetables.  Although I am still not too hungry, it tastes amazing.  I watch the American and Spanish girls wearily lay down on the deck chairs by the pool, and it dawns on me yet again that  I still have 6 more days to go.

7.30pm - Now feeling like a seasoned pro, I once again head to the 'detox ashram' for my evening internal cleanse, however this time, thankfully, I do not need any further instructions, and am left to manage on my own.  I emerge at 8.15 and head back to my bungalow - full of water, shakes, broth and herbs, but still not starving  As a very hungry person ordinarily, I am amazed by this feat.

The toothache that has been bothering me on and off for the past four months and most of the day seems to no longer bother me.  Even though I am sure it's gonna need some serious dental work, I am relieved and pray that it remains painless for the next six days.

9.00pm - I take my final herbs for the day, as well as my pro-biotic and retire to my room, relieved that I have successfully made it through day one.

Six more to go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Diary of a 7.5 Day Detox


I have completed another semester for the year, which gives me approximately 5 months break until we start back in 2012.  

I am beyond happy.  

I have a few projects in mind for the break, but the first one will be a quick 3 and a half weeks in Thailand. 

Yep - nothing much has changed: another year over, another summer in Thailand... 

But like last year, this time I'm here to specifically stay at a health resort where I intend to embark on the second of what is to become my annual 7.5 day detox fast.  That's right - seven and a half days of consuming only water, vegetable broth, coconut water, herbal tea, bentonite clay and thrice daily herbal supplements ...and twice daily colemas.  Colemas are somewhere in between a colonic and an enema.  

It takes 7 days of fasting to cleanse the entire bloodstream of toxins and 7 days to thoroughly cleanse the lymphatic system. After 24 hours of not consuming any food, the body switches from digestion mode to detoxification mode resulting in the rapid removal of parasites, toxins and potentially cancerous cells.  This waste is dumped into the bloodstream for excretion through the liver, colon, lungs and skin, hence, the colemas, liver detox drinks and herbal steams.

From what I can recall from last time, days 3 and 4 are the worst.  The hunger and weakness is almost too overwhelming: the theory is that the reason you feel so tired, weak and headachey is because your body is rapidly detoxifing, and not because you are hungry... but I don't know, like I said, I did the program last year, and as a generally hungry person, I'm not sure I agree 100% with that.

I do remember that by about mid-way through day 4 last time, I turned a corner and felt that I could carry on with the fast for much longer.  In addition to that, the face I saw looking back at me in the mirror each morning was getting progressively clearer, as was the rest of my skin, and my eyes had a distinct twinkle in them.  

And so after approximately 12 hours in transit, I finally arrived in Bangkok on Sunday night where I met up with my brother, and despite chaos of the impending floods, we managed to get an overnight train down to Surat Thani in the South of Thailand on Monday night, followed by a bus and a ferry to Koh Pan Ngan yesterday morning.

We checked into Ananda Wellness Resort a little after midday and were shown to our rooms.  A large double room each with a separate attached bathroom and space for hanging clothes.  I was delighted to see a hammock swaying gently in the breeze on each of the bungalow patios.  This coupled with the soporific sound of a trickling water feature makes one feel that they have just checked into Rancho Relaxo.

At 7.30pm, we met for a briefing of the following 7 days with the manager of the resort, a petite Greek yogi who appeared to be lost behind her enormous desk, and who seemed to take herself very seriously.  After filling out the requisite forms, we were given the schedule that is to govern us for the next week.  It looks a little something like this:

7.30am - Shake (psyllium husk & bentonite clay)
9.00 - Herbs
9.15 - Massage
10.30 - Shake (psyllium husk & bentonite clay)
10.45 - Colema
12.00pm - Carrot juice and herbs
1.30 - Shake (psyllium husk & bentonite clay)
3.00 - Herbs and herbal sauna
4.30 - Shake (psyllium husk & bentonite clay)
6.00 - Herbs
7.30 - Shake (psyllium husk & bentonite clay)
7.45 - Colema
9.00 - Herbs and pro-biotic

She also weighed us, and much to my horror I weighed in at 72.2 kilos - 3 kilos more than when I left Australia!

'There must be some mistake!' I claimed, although I think my humour was somewhat lost on her. In any case, I blamed the excess food I took with me on the flight over.  Rather than eat plane food, I thought it wise to BYO food however, I packed too much for one, and ate the lot out of pure boredom.  Next time, I will know better...

Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to see how much I weigh on the seventh day of the fasting and elimination program.  Like most women I know would've been, I was secretly getting excited about the prospect of rapid weightloss and wondered for how long I could keep it off post-program!  Last December when I did a similar program, I dropped about 5 kilos, but somehow managed to put it all back on by around February - too much Christmas cheer!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Cancer Industry - Forget Pink October!

This documentary is absolutely brilliant.

If you really want to raise awareness and help the cancer cause, then Please, PLEASE watch this and share it around.


Cut Poison Burn from Nehst Studios on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Choc Chip Cookies Made With Coconut Flour

I had a serious urge for some hearty wholegrain cookies the other day, and came up with these babies.

They were completely experimental but turned out alright!

Given my love for all things coconut, I decided it was high time I started playing with coconut flour.  According to one of my favourite health gurus, Dr Mercola, it's a great alternative to the standard wheat variety of flour, and comes with loads of health benefits, consisting of 14% coconut oil, and 58% dietary fiber (wheat bran has only 27%).  The remaining 28% consists of water, protein and carbs.

Coconut flour is also 100% gluten free, which is great news for those intolerant to gluten, however, because it doesn't contain any gluten, this also means that you can end up with a somewhat crumbly cookie (gluten = glue, which binds).  You could add an egg to bind the dough together, however I found that the date syrup I made did a fairly reasonable job.

Speaking of all things coconut, I also sweetened the cookies with coconut sugar. According to Natural News,  coconut sugar is low glycemic, and has many other nutritional qualities; it's high in potassium, magnesium, iron, boron, zinc and copper.

The cookies themselves turned out pretty dense, due to the coconut flour and the almond meal, and soft and cake-ish... but they're really tasty!

I used cacao nibs which didn't really melt very well, but I think they'd be amazing with dark or milk chocolate drops, or even a mashed banana or two!

Yum!

Ingredients

1 cup coconut flour
½ cup almond meal
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut milk (or any milk of your choice)
3 tbs coconut sugar (or any unrefined sugar)
½ cup date syrup* (or honey)
½ cup cacao nibs
1 tsp baking powder

*Soak 12-15 dates in warm water and blend to form a thick syrup

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven at 180C
2. Combine all ingredients
3. Form into small cookie size balls and flatten
4. Bake for approximately 40 mins or until brown



As the day commenced in the morning at the local farmer's market, I thought I'd keep with the bluegrass, country theme, and baked these babies whilst rocking out to Old Crow Medicine Show's 2004 album - O.C.M.S.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Country Life





As I was up at the crack of dawn this morning, I jumped in the car and headed down to the farmer's market.

I sometimes forget that I am living in the country, so it was a nice reminder

The market was bustling with people buying their weekly fresh goods, as well as coffee, crepes, jams and preserves...



...and if that wasn't country enough, there was a great little country duo, perched on a couple of haystacks, playing a selection o f bluegrass numbers to remind us exactly where we were.



I loaded up on the usual fare - tatsoi, kale, broccoli, freshly dug sweet potatoes, and  as it's the end winter, LOADS of citrus - blood oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit.

YUM.







 ...and found some new friends, who were just as curious about me, as I was about them, on my way home...







EEE - AAW!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Space Invaders Exhibition




I found this on the National Gallery of Australia's website.

It's from an exhibition called Space Invaders which is currently touring around Australia.

The exhibition recently finished up at the University of Queensland and is now bound for the RMIT Gallery in Melbourne from 1st September to 5 November 2011 - Good news for me, as I will be in town in October.

I love the simplicity of this particular design, coupled with the powerful message.


Meek
Begging for Change 2004
Stencil

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Recycled Cutlery for the Garden

How's this for a funky way to recycle your odd bits of cutlery?  

I found these fabulous teaspoons for the herb garden on the Permaculture Ideas website.

I'm all of a sudden excited about hitting up the local op-shops again in the hope of finding some old silver cutlery, to plant next to my kale and chocolate mint!  

All I need now is a mallet, an engraver and a steady hand. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegan 'Quiche'

I accidentally found the following recipe whilst I was scrolling through my Twitter account last night.  It sounded so good, and teamed with a green salad, it seemed like the perfect meal for the spring evenings we’re coming into!  

I tweaked it a bit, the original recipe used cashew nuts, however I substituted them with the butter beans that my housemate had soaked and cooked the night before.  I also used coconut oil instead of olive oil, as this is the only oil we happen to have in the pantry at the moment, and I also added mushrooms. 

It had the texture and appearance of a quiche, and kind of almost tasted like it too!

Vegan ‘Quiche’

1 tbs coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs chives, chopped
2 tbs parsley, chopped
1 cup chopped spinach
4 or 5 mushrooms Sliced
½ cup cooked butter beans
375gm firm tofu
¼ cup nutritional (savoury) yeast
½ cup soy milk
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp paprika
2 tomatoes
1 sheet puff pastry
Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C
  2. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic.  Add spinach and mushrooms and lightly fry till spinach wilts
  3. Meanwhile, process the beans, tofu, yeast, soy milk and turmeric.  Blend until the consistency is creamy – add more milk if required
  4. Combine the onion mixture with the tofu mixture, add the chives and parsley, and season with salt and pepper
  5. Lay the pastry in a pie plate or other dish, and pour in the mixture, ensuring it is spread evenly. Sprinkle with paprika, and garnish with sliced tomato
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 mins, or until the mixture has set, and the pastry has browned 
Made whilst listening to Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Hawk
Eaten whilst attempting to watch a dodgy copy of Treme


This was also shared on Monday ManiaReal Food WednesdaySimple Lives ThursdayFriday Pot LuckPennywise PlatterCooking Thursday and Food Renegade - check them out!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Three Cows, 2003

This oil on canvas is by Indian artist, Subodh Gupta (Born 1964).  It's called 'Three Cows' and I fell in love with it when I was India last year. Unfortunately I didn't see the original, but I did see a print in the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.  He takes everyday items, and gives them new life. By exploiting the cliches of India, he transforms them into curious works of art.  Three Cows depicts three bicycles, loaded up with milk cans - a common site in urban areas, where milk is brought in from rural areas, by bicycle.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Revelator - Tedeschi Trucks Band

As a struggling student, I rarely buy full length albums anymore, unlike the old days when I wouldn’t think twice about spending $100 a week to satiate my musical cravings.  Whereas some girls would blow their hard earned cash on make-up, clothes and hairstyles, I would happily spend mine on music, and music related magazines. 

In any case, the days of gratuitous spending on albums are long gone, although, the other day, I found myself in an old, but familiar situation where before I knew it, or could stop myself, I was mid-way through a transaction at the local record store, an establishment I regrettably stopped frequenting a while back.  There I was, nonchalantly parting with $25 of the $50 that was meant to last me for the entire week, in exchange for Revelator, the latest Tedeschi Trucks Band album.  Well, actually, their first album together, but let me tell you; No regrets! 

I first heard about Susan Tedeschi and her husband, Derek Trucks, some 5 or 6 years ago from a girlfriend of mine who had been living in California where they were both in their own right, apparently huge.  She couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of either of them, and as far as I knew, they were relatively unknown in Australia at the time – at least they were in the circles I moved in.

Fast-forward the clock to 2011, and the band has finally made it downunder.  Performing as one of the headline acts at the 2011 Byron Bay Blues Fest, as well as a host of their own side shows around the country, the Tedeschi Trucks Band have well and truly lived up to their rave reviews. 

If you’re into 1970s and 80s blues influenced rock, you’ll love this album.  The album is a stunner. Listening to Revelator is best enjoyed sitting on your garden deck, with a glass of red.  The band itself is comprised of 11 musicians, including two drummers and an amazing horn section.  Tedeschi’s voice is a big as it is sweet.  She sings with grace, style and conviction, belting out tunes about relationships and life, whilst her husband, Derek, crafts perfect guitar solos that send shivers up your spine.  If it’s goose bumps you’re after, Midnight in Harlem is the song that does it every time.  With the intensity of the guitar work slowly building up throughout the song to its much anticipated crescendo, the song is a work of pure genius.

Other notable tracks to look out for are Don't Let Me Slide and Shelter.

All I can say is that, that $25 was money well spent.  I may be physically starving this week as a result of the purchase, but I am musically enriched. J



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Scary Sweets: The Dangers of Sugar

This is a great article I just found on the One Green Planet website. It's written by Dr Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute, and details very clearly the reasons why sugar is just like any other drug. It has all the characteristics of a drug - you crave it and it gives you a high.

There's a reason why it's often referred to as sweet poison!

Have a read.

Scary Sweets: The Dangers of Sugar

Zen 'Sausage' Rolls

These 'sausage' rolls are reeeally easy to whip up, and once cooked, the colour and texture of the filling can be quite easily mistaken for real sausage rolls (particularly if you substitute the cup of rice for a cup of breadcrumbs)! 

These are so delicious that even the most anti-vegetarian meat eater will have more than one helping!


125g walnuts
1 cup cooked brown rice

1 finely chopped onion
300g silken tofu
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
Salt and pepper to season

3-4 frozen puff pastry sheets (Borg's is vegan)

water or vegan milk for brushing pastry

sesame or poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 200C, and thaw out your pastry.  Chop or process the walnuts until they're thoroughly chopped, but not all gone to powder, and place them into a large mixing bowl with the rice and chopped onion.  Add the tofu to the mixture and stir until it's all combined. You can then add the rest of the filling ingredients: rolled oats, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the Braggs.  Stir everything together well. 

So easy! Now all you need to do is spoon the mixture onto the pastry sheets and roll ‘em up!

Lightly grease a baking tray, then take the pastry and slice each sheet in half to make two rectangles.  Spoon the filling down the centre third of each pastry rectangle; lightly brush another third with water or milk and then roll the pastry, starting from the empty third and tucking it into the brushed third, and place them on the baking tray. Make a couple of cuts in the top of the roll, or gently poke the top with a fork.  Brush the top with more water or milk and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry. Bake the rolls for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

* I sometimes throw in half a cup or so of grated carrot or depending on what else is in it, my left over veggie juice pulp (the addition of ginger provides a very subtle zing), which also gives it a nice flavour.  
  
YUM!!. 

For more information on food and recipes, check out Food Renegade - it's literally an awesome wealth of shared knowledge!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Body and Mind Remedies for Eczema and Other Conditions

The past couple of months saw an unprecedented bad case of eczema, which started off as an innocuous patch of dermatitis, contained on one of my fingers, spread angrily all over my chest and stomach and onto my back, and finally, to each of my four limbs. 


It wasn't pretty, and it eventually got me really down, which obviously did not help!

Since becoming an almost organic vegan, my diet has been more or less in first gear over the past few years, and so I knew that the eczema was attributable to the stress I was experiencing in my current living situation. So much so, that the only thing that finally cleared it up, was taking a few weeks away from the environment; no amount of fresh green vegetable juice seemed to help clear this completely, affirming my theory that your mental health can manifest in your physical health.  

Whilst I tried to get my stress levels under control, a good friend told me about bathing in oatmeal in order to sooth inflamed skin. The porridge bath, as I now like call it – cheap as chips and really easy!

There’s just two easy steps:

1.                   Take the leg of an old pair of pantyhose, and fill it with about a cup of oatmeal.  

2.                   Tie it off, and immerse it in a warm bath

Make sure that you keep the bath water warm, as lounging in hot water warms your blood, which if you are prone to eczema or psoriasis, can further inflame the skin.

The water will become milky after a few minutes, and the ball of oatmeal will drip with a thick, gluggy porridge between your fingers when you squeeze it.  

The thick, syrupy-like oat milk feels amazing when massaged into your skin, and even if you don't have eczema, it's an excellent natural moisturiser in its own right, and is cheap enough to regularly bathe in.

It really does soothe any itches you might have, and you all of a sudden realise the value of Cleopatra's famous milk baths! 

The Mind and Body Connection

In addition to your physical self, the bath is also beneficial for your mind.  It's the perfect time to meditate, and let go of any stresses that may have caused unnecessary worry during your day or week.  Visualise and recall what it was that happened to cause you to feel how you do, accept it, and then try to let it go.

I have a few meditations that I have used to facilitate my stress abandonment and ultimately my clear skin, but my favourite technique for letting go is the visualization technique.  Unlike other meditations, the visualization technique requires you to envisage what it is that you want; Not only did I want peace of mind, but I also wanted clear skin. 

I have three meditations which helped me to achieve this, that I would like to share:

The first involves visualizing yourself breathing in grey matter, or the worry, as you inhale through your nose.  As you exhale through your mouth, visualise yourself releasing the worry, in the form of pink or golden sparkles. 


The second is to visualize your body as the colour red, which represents the rash.  Concentrate on watching the angry red slowly change to an alkalising green colour, which starts at your toes, and then slowly extends all over your body, until it finally creeps up to your head, where any red remains are released with each exhale.

You could also visualise the steam coming off the water as representative of your stresses, dissipating into the atmosphere...

The scenarios are limitless!  

I realise to some, it might sound a little bit whack, but it really does work!

This technique was inspired by a colleague with whom I used to work.  She told me that when she had cancer, she would spend days meditating by visualising her body as a real life game of Pac Man.  Her good cells were represented by a hungry 'Pac Man' who would go around her body, slowly conquering all of the cancerous cells, until they had all been swallowed and destroyed.

Eventually, along with a few other fundamental life changes, she was declared cancer free.

Pretty impressive!

Suffice to say, the mind can be as powerful tool as we choose it to be, and just as we exercise our bodies, we need to exercise our minds by way of meditation, in order to create the lives we want:

Healthy, happy and stress-free.   

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Delicious Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Nut Cream

I've found another great way to re-use some of that excess carrot pulp you may have from too much juicing (if there is such a thing!). ...and it's a little tastier than throwing it into your carrot soup!

 This recipe has been inspired by a girlfriend of mine, Angela - thanks doll!

1 cup shredded carrot (or carrot juice pulp)
1 Tbsp shredded ginger - you can also use the powder.  I've often already got the ginger in my pulp mix!
zest + juice of one orange
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins/sultanas
6-7 soaked dates
1/3 cup almonds (preferably soaked overnight)

*cashew nut cream

Blend/process the dates, almonds and orange juice. Mix with all other ingredients except for the cashew nut cream. Press into a cake dish and top with the cashew nut cream and some extra shredded coconut.

*To make the cashew nut cream, I soak about a cup of cashews with about a cup of filtered or spring water, for about half an hour.  Once soaked, whiz them up in a blender, and add a dash of vanilla - if it's too runny, just add some more nuts.  Try not to eat too much before spreading over cake!

YUMMMM! 

Refrigerate until set.


For more information on food and recipes, check out Food Renegade and Simple Lives Thursday

Enjoy!

Detox / Retox: Old Habits Die Hard!

After approximately four years of publicly declaring that I never get sick... I finally have. In an effort to contain my infectious coughing and sneezing, and watery eyes, I have been holed up in bed the past two days. I completely forgot how awful a common cold could be! I really struggled to come up with an appropriate title for this piece, however, as you will gather, the essence is why holidaying with old friends is bad for your health!

I have been in my beloved Melbourne now close to some three weeks - taking a small sojourn away from my healthy north coast life; my other life! Apart from a couple of weeks break from university, and staying with my parents, what this actually means for me is that the days are about 10 degrees cooler than what they are up north, however unlike the north coast, houses in the cooler climes are actually set up for winter, and are generally insulated with heating!

In many ways, if you're really not a fan of the cold, which I'm not, then it is better to be in Melbourne, as it is absolutely freezing on the north coast in the evenings! As it is such a humid and warm place for the majority of the year, the houses there are simply not decked out for cold weather, so if you live in a weather board shack circa 1950s as I do, once that sun and the temperature goes down, it is very much like living in a canvas tent! Brr...

However, apart from the few weeks off uni, and catching up with family and old friends, my entire lifestyle seems to take a beating whenever I return to Melbourne. Due to the steady stream of 'catch ups' and parties, not only do I find myself eating out and drinking more, but I am also away from my juicer, trays of wheatgrass and my veggie garden.

Retox. That's right. The opposite of detox - which is how I would describe my usual north coast lifestyle!

Whereas I would ordinarily commence my days with a fresh wheatgrass shot followed by a green veggie juice, here I have found myself on more than three occasions, waking up hungover from catching up with old friends the night before, and unable to find a juice bar, or let alone, stomach a veggie juice, subsequently found myself in the closest cafe ordering a soy flat white and some variation of beans on a toasted white sourdough, dripping with butter! White bread and butter! I mean, seriously!

The perfect hangover food! ...and that's the biggest problem with hangovers. The cravings.

Having said that, cravings for hot chips and fried food are not the only problems with hangovers. It also means that sleep patterns are thrown into chaos. Unlike most folk I know, I've never been good at sleeping when hungover, so on these occasions, I only ever seem to catch around 3 hours sleep. And man, do I feel it!

Sleep is essential for cellular growth and repair, and ideally, we should be aiming to get around 6 to 8 hours per night. However, when there's been a few wines involved, often it can be hard to get to sleep in the first place, or worse, if you've really had too many, you tend to crash out then wake up too early, feeling sluggish, dehydrated and wishing you didn't open that last bottle! ...and then you end up fighting off the fried food cravings, until finally you swear that you're not drinking again!

...and so, the cumulative effect of too much partying, too many catch ups, too much eating out, disturbed sleep and a change in climate, has completely degraded my immunity. Hence, I am now suffering with the worst cold known to man! Okay, maybe there's worse, but it's been such a long time, that I forgot just how rotten they can be!

It's a slippery slope. I guess I am weak when it comes to staying committed to my general rule of very minimal drinking and eating out when constantly invited to social occasions. And I'm not saying that I'm bullet-proof, either, but it is hard to stick to the rules when friends invite you around, or out for dinner. I want to see my friends, and don't want to decline on account of the menu.

Being known as a fickle killjoy is the last thing anyone wants (although I suspect this may be the case in some quarters!).


Apart from the past two days, I have had the best three weeks that I have had in a long time, so I've no regrets on the social front, despite the fact that I attribute my current ailment to this fun time.  I am however, very much looking forward to resuming my detox-esque lifestyle next week!


More importantly, one thing that this does do, is once again strengthen my resolve to continue on with my clean living, organic green juice, raw food, minimal alcohol and regular sleep lifestyle! Feeling the difference really does make all the difference, and affirms my belief that a healthy lifestyle, with clean air and lots of sunshine is the best weapon you can have in your arsenal against ill health!

To green veggie juice!

xxx

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alternative Outfitters - Vegan Shoes and More!

It's been a while since I posted anything - I've been staying with my parents for a few weeks, and the new semester at uni has just recommenced... and trying to study via distance, externally is always MUCH easier in theory than in reality!

Instead, every time I jump online with the very best of intentions to download my lectures and get stuck into the readings, all of a sudden two hours has lapsed and I have found a million other more interesting sites such as exciting new food recipes, or the My Vegan Blog blog below!

I've just been checking out the vegan shoes, they're superb, and reasonably priced. I love the brown pumps - like REALLY love them!

Which ones do you like?

http://myveganblog.com/2011/06/22/vegan-mary-janes/

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Green Gourmet Giraffe: Vegan Christmas Nut Roast and Salad

I just came across a delicious sounding vegan nut loaf on the Green Gourmet Giraffe blog. I can't wait to try this out tomorrow - a much nicer alternative to your average Sunday roast!

Delicious!

Green Gourmet Giraffe: Vegan Christmas Nut Roast and Salad

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Health: This is a MUST See

Please share this one around.

This is an absolutely brilliant presentation on the need for we, as a society to make a fundamental paradigm shift in our approach to illness.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Detoxing!

8 Steps to Good Health

It’s ALL About Detoxing the Mind and Body – And Maintaining It!

Since my own brush with ill health, many people have asked me for tips and advice about the changes I have made in my life in order to facilitate wellness and the road to recovery.  

I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and subsequently, underwent surgery and chemotherapy, the disastrous effects of which have taken years to recover from.  For me, it's a classic case of  'if I knew then what I know now', I would never, ever have gone down the 'modern' medicine road.  It's barbaric.

Instead I would have made the same fundamental lifestyle changes that I have since made, only much, much earlier. 

Aah... hindsight... 

I remember laughing at a colleague from work once, when she said to me that I should not be dying my hair punk-rock red, and that I should make peace with my inner demons and adopt an organic, vegan lifestyle when it came to food.  

She was suggesting that I meditate the cancer away!  I thought she was nuts - turns out, she was right.  

She knew, because she had also been there, as sadly, many of us will at some point in our lives, given currently, 1 in 2 people will get some form of the disease at some point in their lives... 

But the good news is, that it doesn't have to be this way!    

We are all in control of our lives and the things we put in our bodies.   

The following information is basically a summary of all of the information that I have read since 2006, and the one thing that consistently comes up is that we need to limit and restrict the amount of carcinogens we put in and on our bodies - it's not rocket science and it's pretty obvious when you think about it.  I can't really take credit for that bit of advice, but the reality is, even when we know something is bad for us, we often tend to dismiss it saying 'but it's only a little bit' or 'just this once won't hurt', but the reality is, that chemicals and toxins have a cumulative effect, and this builds up over a lifetime, ultimately resulting in statistics such as the one above.

Much of the knowledge I have gained has been from the following excellent sources:

Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
The pH Miracle by Robert Young
Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine by Dr Gabriel Cousins
Raw Food Life Force Energy by Natalia Rose

 1. Acid/Alkaline pH diet 

It's all about balance.  On a pH scale of 1 to 14, 7 is considered neutral.  Below 7 is acid and above 7 is alkaline. The optimum pH level you should strive for is 7.365.  Basically, acidity lowers the pH of the body and this creates the perfect environment for cancer cells to thrive, and the number one cause of cancer is a lack of oxygen in the cellular environment. 

By eating alkaline foods you are ensuring that your body is supplied with oxygen. 

Cancer cells, or free radicals as they are also known, are anaerobic - they thrive in oxygen depleted environment, meaning that they can't survive in an oxygen rich environment. Therefore, when the body and blood is too acidic, it creates an anaerobic environment, the perfect breeding ground for any number of ailments to fester. 

When the body is in an alkaline state, it makes it difficult for disease to manifest, and so by following a diet rich in alkalising foods, you are reducing the possibility for bad cells to exist.  

The pH Miracle by Robert Young is an excellent book for this.  It explains this in great detail and it makes perfect sense.  There is also myriad websites with lists acid forming and alkalising food.
2. Go vegan

Animal products are acidic and you want an alkaline body.  Meat and dairy create mucus in the body and mucus acts like glue, resulting in clogged elimination organs (more on this below at point 6).  

Aflaxtoxins are carcinogenic - they are fungi found in peanuts, cashews, peanut butter and stored grains - and stored grains are sadly what is fed to cows (and most farmed animals).  Sadly, the elusive happy cow is just that: elusive.  Agriculture has slowly turned into agribusiness in this day and age of factory farmed animals.  They do not graze happily on green grass pastures as they would outside of an industrial setting. Instead, they are fed grain, which in addition, is usually GM, which comes out in their milk. The problem with GM grain is that the grains have been genetically engineered to be pesticide resistant, meaning that they can withstand the pesticides which are sprayed onto the crops (yet another reason to avoid GM foods!).

You can think of factory farms as giant concentration camps for animals.  They know what's coming! Furthermore, in order to keep the animals in such close confines in the factory farm setting, they are vaccinated and often receive growth hormones and antibiotics in order to prevent the spread of disease.  All of this ultimately comes out in their milk, which of course when consumed by humans, also ends up in our bloodstreams. You are what you eat... and what the animal that you eat, eats! 

There's many other reasons aside from the ill effects that it can have on your health, to abstain from meat and dairy products, such as the cruelty of the dairy industry, and the impact that cattle farms have on the environment.

The same goes for chickens, aside from the cruelty of caged animals, chickens are often fed growth hormones to speed up their growth which remains in their bodies and comes out in their eggs, and the chicken that people eat.  This is, quite literally foul - excuse the pun!  As you can well imagine, the fast food industry is the absolute worst offender - minimum care for maximum profit.

3. Eat 80% raw and living food, 20% cooked - cooking at boiling point for 3 minutes kills ALL enzymes 

Enzymes are essential for the proper functioning of every living thing, including the human body. They are required for everything we do, from blinking to DNA repair.    We could not function without them.  Vitamins, minerals nor hormones can do their work without enzymes, yet whenever we cook food above 50C, we destroy them. 

Raw and living foods (such as sprouts - alfalfa, mung beans, lentils etc) are full of enzymes and are so, so, so good for you.  Just soak 'em 12 - 24 hours depending on the grain, drain and rinse and in a few days, hey presto, sprout city.


Check out the Gerson Therapy - Max Gerson in the 1920s made amazing discoveries in treating disease with raw and live foods.

http://gerson.org/GersonTherapy/gersontherapy.htm

Unfortunately in this day and age, illness is a business run by pharmaceutical companies.  I for one do not believe that that these businesses are interested in curing anything - they are more interested in selling drugs.

Also check Dr Norman Walker - this dude lived till he was 116 and ate primarily only raw and living foods and juices.

4. Start each day with a green juice

I cannot stress the importance of this one.  Chlorophyll is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy - when we drink green vegetable juice, be it from wheatgrass or any other green vegetable, we are quite literally drinking liquid sunshine!  

Every living thing depends on sunlight for its existence, including us! 

Plants take in the carbon dioxide that we give off, and in return, they give us oxygen - it's a really cool cycle. In addition to this, chlorophyll is related chemically to blood, with the main difference being that the main atom in hemoglobin (bloods oxygen transporter) is iron, while in chlorophyll it's magnesium.  Chlorophyll contains a powerful blood builder that's said to increase red blood cells, improve circulation, ease inflammation, oxygenate the body and counteract free radicals.  Not only is a daily green juice liquid sunshine, it is also quite literally liquid oxygen! 

Wheatgrass is the Grand Daddy of the green juice, containing vitamins A, C and E, as well as a compound called Laetrile which is believed to also have anti-tumour properties.  Is better than a cup of coffee (which incidentally is hugely acidic - a no, no)

I have championed spirulina for ages and take this regularly, either in powder or pill form, however there is controversy as to whether or not it's alkaline.  According to Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle,  because it is an algae, it is very acidic... but life is all about balance...

Along with most fruits, beetroot and carrots are very sugary and are to be avoided by anyone recovering from the big C - sugar suppresses the immune system and feeds cancer cells by causing blood sugar levels to spike. Once that happens the body releases insulin to bring blood sugar levels back to normal.  One of insulin's many functions is to promote cell growth - it doesn't discriminate between good and bad cells.

5. Drink pure spring water, if not spring then filtered

Tap water is heavily treated and full of chlorine and heavy metals - You can still drink it and your body will filter it, however this puts unnecessary stress on your liver. Spring water is by far the best option as it contains natural minerals, but unfortunately, unless you live close to a natural spring, drinking 2 litres of Evian everyday could ruin you financially!  

Alternatively, you should drink filtered water where possible.  We are made up of 70% water and 30% mass - essential for every bodily function.  Proper hydration is required for cells, tissues and organs.  You can re-mineralize water by adding a pinch of celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt.

6. Colonics and detoxing 

Yep.  I'm afraid so. Not just for celebrities and the posh! It doesn't matter how healthy your diet is, if your intestines are impacted with rotting fecal matter, bacteria will seep back into your blood stream, resulting in fatigue and a general feeling of being run down.  It'a called toxemia. As discussed above in point one, it makes the blood environment once again acidic.  

Most people, no matter how healthy their diet is, are carrying around impacted fecal waste which when the pipes get backed up, the stagnant food (dairy, wheat, meat, fish, processed food) hardens and rots which inevitable will make us sick and tired - it is the same principle as leaving an empty rubbish bin overflowing - you wouldn't do it, because it begins to rot, and it stinks!

An unhealthy colon impacted with built up fecal waste also means that the good, essential nutrients are unable to be adequately absorbed and reduces the production of good bacteria.  The walls of the small intestine are lined with nutrient absorbing type hairs known as villi.  Basically as food makes its way through the digestive system through the colon, the villi draws in the nutrients as food is passed through, and so if the intestine is clogged with rotting waste, the nutrients of the food you have eaten are unable to be absorbed as optimally as they should be. 

The state of your colon really does have a lot to do with your health generally, and in fact Dr Norman Walker, one of the pioneers regarding colon health attributes 80% of disease in people results from an unhealthy colon.  This explains why people get run down and tired, suffering from all sorts of ailments – fatigue, eczema, etc…  The shit (excuse the pun) quite literally continues to decompose and rot, and ultimately seeps back into the blood stream. Yuk.

Check the book on Colon Health by Norman Walker - very well known and respected.

7. Fasting

Much research has been done into the benefits of giving the body a break from digestion and allowing cells to regenerate by having one to three day vegetable juice fasts.  I did a 7 day fast earlier in the year at a retreat in Thailand, and I am not kidding, it was the best thing I have ever done for my body in my life – and after experiencing how fantastic and healthy I felt after that, I made a pact to myself that if I ever get any secondary cancer, I will be checking myself right back in! 

I did mine at http://www.orionhealing.com/  and it was AMAZING!!

I would recommend this to everyone for an annual body tune up – hey, we book our cars in once or twice a year, but how often do we take care of our own health?

Having said that, you don’t need to go to a retreat to not eat, although it is much easier with the guidance of experienced staff, and the support of fellow fasters!  You could do it at home, however it does require a lot of discipline.

Fasting and colonics are talked about at length in the pH Miracle book, as well as many books on juicing and de-toxing. 

Natalia Rose is another good author http://www.detoxtheworld.com/

8. Your skin is your biggest cell

DO NOT put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat

There's a reason why most products have warnings about skin irritations and getting shit in your eye - because they are incredibly toxic – if it has a warning on it that it might irritate, it’s probably not really wise to use it. 

As a general rule, you shouldn't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't actually eat yourself.  This includes most sunscreens (petroleum based!) as well as hair dyes!  There are so many natural alternatives you can use which are environmentally friendly, as well as friendly for you - in the long term.


I have found that moisturising with coconut or almond oil works really well.  Almond oil in particular is an excellent emollient for the skin - it's actually used in a lot of beauty products, but I just apply it in its concentrated form to my skin, straight from the bottle.  I've also found that when I have had bouts of eczema, almond oil is one of the only moisturisers that doesn't actually irritate my skin further.  


If you have dry hair or a dry scalp, you could also massage coconut oil into your hair to help replenish lost moisture.  I discovered this little trick when I lived in India - there's a reason why the women there (and also in Sri Lanka) have such thick, shiny, healthy looking hair - apparently every Indian mother sits down once a week in the evening with her daughters to give her a head massage using coconut oil.  It stimulates the hair follicles which promotes growth, as well as moisturises the hair.  I love this idea, and I love coconut oil and have been doing it ever since.

Mashed up avocados also makes an excellent mask for dry skin.  Apply to any dry areas, leave on for a few minutes and then rinse off.  Your skin will feel amazing after this!