Natural

Natural Superfood Bar Recipe

Forget about buying overly processed muesli bars, because now you can make your own healthy snack with Janella Purcell’s superfood bar recipe.

Not only are the bars gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly, they’re also packed with nutritious ingredients including hemp seeds, spirulina, maca powder and cacao nibs.

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates, or dried figs

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1⁄4 cup Lifestream spirulina

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/2 cup coconut shredded

2 tbsp maca powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cardamom, ground

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Cover the dried fruit, nuts and seeds in clean water and soak for at least 8 hours.
  2. After soaking, rinse them in a colander and let them drain.
  3. Place the soaked dried fruit and nuts/seeds in your food processor and whiz for 1 minute to get a chunky paste.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients. You may need to add a little water to get it to a nice puree, scraping down the sides once or twice – if it’s too dry, add in 1/4 cup more coconut oil and process again (the processing will heat the coconut oil enough to help it blend everything).
  5. Scoop the mixture out into a large glass pan and press it down firmly with a spoon to even everything out. Alternatively you could also make these into bite-sized balls.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for one hour to harden.
  7. Cut with a knife and package them individually.

Recipe Courtesy Of Lifestream

March 12, 2015

The (Sometime) Joys Of No Makeup

Do you find that the more you age, the less inclined you are to wear really heavy makeup? It’s proof that mother nature has a sense of humour – that the older you are, and more comfortable in your own skin, the less inclined you may be to wear a full face of makeup, even though this is when the beauty industry tells us this is when we need their lotions and potions the most!

But instead of splashing out your cash on the latest “anti-ageing miracle cream,” does wearing less make-up actually make us look more youthful? In addition, isn’t there something really beautiful about natural beauty? A woman so comfy in her own skin that she’s OK about showing her true self to the world?

As we age, our faces inevitably reflect the fact that we’ve lived more, cried more, laughed more and endured more. And I find these lived-in faces to be more beautiful and interesting than the alternative – Botox be damned, I say!

And that pretty, natural makeup look continues to be a hit both on and off the catwalks these days. Check out the luminous J-Lo (pictured above) and Taylor Swift (pictured below), who both look amazing both with and without makeup.

no make-up, natural, Botox, aging, positive self-image

Now, I love makeup, don’t get me wrong – and I’m still fortunate to have crates of Chanel from my former life as a beauty/fashion editor, which both myself and my toddlers absolutely delight in using from time-to-time. Date nights with my husband are my favourite occasion to dabble in these 200 or so shades of eyeliner, eye shadow, lip glosses and lipsticks of old.

But I find the older I get, the less time, energy and inclination I have to spend hours doing my daily makeup – unless I have a special event. And, I believe this is also about having a more positive self-image. Over the years, I’ve learned to accept my dark, under-eye circles, embrace my freckles and my fair “English” skin. Sure, I’ll do my best to make the most of what my mother gave me, but I’ve even shocked myself lately by posting near-makeup-free shots of myself (with my babies) on Instagram.

And while I’ll still never leave the house without first applying concealer, crème blush and lipstick/lip gloss – this is a far cry from the days in my youth when I felt I had to have a perfect face of full make-up before I stepped out the door. Hell, I used to sometimes happily blend five different eye shadow colours before I felt my makeup was perfect enough to brave the world – those were the days, as a time-rich singleton!

My makeup collection and lip gloss/lipstick fetish are both sizeable, but I just don’t feel the need to hide behind my make-up so much anymore.

Popular US author and fashion blogger Leandra Medine, best known for The Man Repeller – a humorous website for serious fashion – recently wrote about this topic herself. I find Leandra to be very beautiful, but she wrote a recent customarily fabulous and feisty post about her penchant for no makeup in response to a male website founder describing her as thus: “She is ugly as fuck tho. Truly a man repeller.” What a horrid human he must be!?

Leandra, who says she also gets lots of haters on her blog admonishing her for her lack of “war paint”, wrote: “I am comfortable with how I look. I don’t hate what I see when I look in the mirror. Even if legions of others don’t agree.” High five, sister!

And high-end retailers are jumping on the no-makeup bandwagon, too. Super chic Sydney shoe/handbag and clothing retailer Sambag urged customers to join charity movement Makeup Free Me: Let’s Lift the Mask on Friday, August 29 to raise awareness of negative self-image. Customers were encouraged to pop into their nearest Sambag boutique; receive 10 per cent off the collection, remove their make-up, enjoy refreshments and shop for a cause.

Sambag then donated 10 per cent of all nationwide sales to The Butterfly Foundation thanks to Melbourne charity @makeupfreeme, which aimed to raise $250,000 for the foundation’s work to combat negative body image and support those affected by eating disorders. Sambag raised a total of $2420 (all donations go directly to The Butterfly Foundation).

What do you think? Do you wear more or less makeup as you age?

Main image via theurbanarchives.com and secondary image via tasteofcountry.com

September 6, 2014

10 Natural Appetite Suppressants

Appetite suppressants are the most sought after products in order to lose weight fast. Take a moment and consider that anyone from the age of 18-50 will look for a quick way to lose weight, which won’t rely on changing their diet or exercise regime. Natural suppressants include fruit, veggies and legumes which are the ideal way to cut down sugary snacks or even over-eating at mealtimes.

1. Almonds

Not only a tasty treat for any time of the day, but almonds are a rich source of antioxidants. They have been proven to increase the ability to feel full, and will require you to eat less of them to reap all the benefits. Snack on a handful of almonds to also improve the appearance of your skin, since they are also a rich source of vitamin E.

2. Apples

Apples are available everywhere and in a variety of colours and sizes to suit your particular taste. They work in a number of ways to suppress appetite since they are full of soluble fibre, and contain pectin. Pectin helps to reduce weight and cholesterol, while also making your stomach feel fuller for longer.

3. Green tea

A cup of green tea when you’re feeling hungry helps to curb any nasty cravings, since it is filled with peptide hormones called catecholamines. These natural hormones directly activate the nervous system, and basically tell the body that it’s full.

4. Spicy food

While this option may only be a temporary one, spicy food is well known for it’s qualities to decrease the tongue’s ability to taste anything sweet. However don’t use spicy food to suppress your appetite for a long period of time, rather add a pinch of cayenne pepper to meals every once in a while.

5. Avocado

These yummy fruits are packed with monounsaturated fats and oleic which naturally suppresses appetite if eaten in moderation. When consumed, they send signals to the brain that the stomach is full. Add some sliced avocado to your breakfast for added fibre.

6. Dark chocolate

Richer, more bitter and with added health benefits compared to it’s more popular counterpart, dark chocolate is perfect to curb sugary cravings. Just 3 pieces of chocolate will tell the brain to decrease your appetite. Enjoy with a black coffee if the taste is just too bitter for you, it will taste sweeter and smoother.

7. Ginger

Ginger has been a central part of Asian cuisine for centuries because of it’s ability to help digest food, and decrease over-eating. Ginger has remarkable fat burning qualities, containing zingerone which has been proven to cause weight loss.

8. Skim milk

Perfect to steer off any incoming premenstrual syndrome (PMS) cravings, is a glass of skim milk. Studies have shown that consuming dairy up to two weeks before menstruation can decrease any fat or sugary cravings down the line. Amazing!

9. Green juice

Juicing together some of your favourite fruits and vegetables has been proven to stop any over-eating at major meal times. Not only are these juices less likely to make you bloat, but they’re a nutritious snack that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

10. Wasabi

Wasabi is proven to be an excellent appetite suppressant, and a natural anti-inflammatory. Add onto your sushi and enjoy the added health benefits it brings.

Image via Safe Nutrition 4 You

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 21, 2014

7 Foods For Detoxing The Body

If you’ve had a few too many glasses of champagne over the weekend, or pigged out on some chocolates and are looking for a way to detox the body, then listen up. Don’t buy into expensive juice cleanses that require you to stick to a liquid diet, rather clean your body with fresh fruits and vegetables from the pantry instead.

Certain plant based foods will give you enough vitamins and nutrients to detox the body naturally, and avoid living on juices for days on end.

1. Garlic

Garlic is right at the top of the list since it’s packed with sulphur which is a very useful mineral to help rid the body of bad toxins. This doesn’t require you to eat it raw to get it’s nutrients (gross!), but add into stir fries and soups for an extra kick. Make sure to cook at a low temperature to really take in the vitamins and minerals.

2. Carrots

If you’re suffering from an intense hangover and want to give your body a simple detox, then carrots are the best solution for you. Carrots are rich in glutathione which is a protein that specifically detoxes the liver. Carrot juice, or simply eating it raw will have you feeling brand new, and is full of vitamin C and potassium.

3. Beetroot

You either love them or you hate them, but beets are a natural way to detox your entire body. They are a high source of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium which are all essential qualities when detoxing. Add beetroot to your sandwich, salad or fruit juice for the added health benefits.

4. Lemons

Ever tried adding some lemon to lukewarm water in the morning before breakfast? This amazing fruit has been used to detox the body for hundreds of years, and is definitely something we all have in the kitchen. Lemons release enzymes and convert toxins into water which can easily pass through the body.

5. Green Tea

Is there anything green tea can’t do? Pour yourself a cup of tea if you’re feeling sluggish and want to fasten your metabolism. It’s packed with heaps of antioxidants which help to reboot the liver.

6. Avocado

This fruit is rich in an essential protein called glutathione which works wonders at detoxing the liver. Avocados are also a source of good monounsaturated fats; perfect for anyone who wants to lower their cholesterol levels. Just make sure that they’re ripe enough to eat!

7. Water

Remember to replenish your body and drink at least 1L of water a day to avoid dehydration. The amount of water in a human body ranges from 50-75%, and will start to drop depending on how thirsty you are. Water helps to flush bad toxins out, and will get you mentally and physically back to good health.

Image via Doctor Oz

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 18, 2014

7 Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Skincare

Aloe Vera has various benefits, just one being that it is amazing for repairing broken or damaged skin. Also known as ‘The Plant of Immortality’  this natural skin saviour was mostly commonly found in African and Indian regions of the world before it’s benefits were truly recognised. Plant in your backyard and use it straight from the source, or simply buy it from your local supermarket to appreciate all of its benefits.

1. Drinking aloe vera water

Aloe Vera water is now a popular drink which repairs the body from the inside out. It supplies the system with important vitamins and nutrients while also detoxifies the skin. Great to use if you suffer from inflammation, redness, and breakage on the surface of the skin.

2. Anti-Inflammatory

One very popular way of reducing acne is by using products which include traces of aloe vera. Using face washes, cleansers and aloe vera straight from the source eliminates redness and reduces swelling and inflammation on the skin. Aloe vera absorbs into the skin quite fast, so leave on for 10 minutes until washing off with lukewarm water.

3. Sunburn

Probably the best way to use aloe vera is to treat cracked skin due to burns or damage from the sun. Sprays and gels are great to keep in the fridge if you ever need them, but aloe vera from the source truly is a natural remedy. It helps to cool down the damaged area, and helps it become strong and healthy again. Use every few hours if you’re suffering from sunburn.

4. Psoriasis

Aloe Vera is an inexpensive way to help treat psoriasis and other skin irritations. This autoimmune disease causes scaly, red, and irritable eruptions on the surface of the skin. Apply natural aloe vera on a regular basis to the infected areas, and overtime notice a great improvement to the look and feel of your skin.

5. Anti-ageing

Apply aloe vera on a daily basis to achieve youthful and radiant skin. This has been proven to rewind signs of wrinkles, by hydrating and moisturising the skin. Add natural aloe vera into your daily skincare routine to enjoy the benefits of radiant skin.

6. Moisturising

If you’re growing tired of applying the same old greasy moisturisers to bed and in the morning, try using aloe vera. It has a thin consistency and a non greasy texture that is absorbed by the skin extremely fast. Aloe vera will keep your skin hydrated all day long and look absolutely glowing.

7. Decreases stretch marks

Pregnancy, weight loss and weight gain all contribute to irritating stretch marks which are a nightmare to remove. If used consistently, aloe vera helps to hide stretch marks and decrease their size and colour over time.

Image via The Health Site

May 16, 2014

How To Naturally Treat Uneven Skin Tone

Whether you or someone you know suffers from a skin condition, the best way to get it medically treated is through your local GP. However, if prescribed creams, ointments and treatments aren’t exactly working wonders, there is no shame in trying the natural route. Did you know you could treat your skin with products from the pantry? Read on for our best ways to treat uneven skin tone.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is a great way to remove dry or dead skin cells off the surface for a smoother, radiant appearance. There are many exfoliators from department stores right down to your local supermarket, but you could make a personalised concoction right at home. All you need is brown sugar, baking soda, coffee and oatmeal at the foundation of each scrub. Top off with your choice of honey, avocado and a drop of lemon to invigorate the skin.

Aloe vera

The most common source of uneven skin tone is unprotected exposure to the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen on your face and body when heading out in hot temperatures, or wear a foundation with an added SPF. Treat yourself to a fresh aloe vera treatment which not only cleanses the skin, but repairs damage from the sun, and helps with acne.

Fruits and vegetables

Clean your body from the inside out by making a variety of juices with fruits and vegetables. They help to flush the body of harmful toxins, and act as an inexpensive way to detox your immune system. Avocado, broccoli, ginger and lemons are your best friend if you are looking for clearer skin tone. Avoid refined sugars and over-processed foods during this detox.

Skincare routine

A consistent skincare routine will help to resolve any uneven skin tone. Cleansing, moisturising and toning the skin on a daily basis will give your skin enough hydration throughout the day, and added moisture throughout the night to avoid breakouts or discolouration. Rose hip oil is an inexpensive ointment and when used consistently will reduce the appearance of ageing, treat uneven skin, dry skin and will help you look youthful and fresh.

Image via Typef.com

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 9, 2014

10 Energy-Boosting Foods

Looking for a way to boost your energy but sick of relying on supplements or energy drinks with a tonne of refined sugar? You’ve come to the right place. There are many foods which are tasty, packed with vitamins and nutrients, and available all year round to make you feel brand new.

1. Nuts

Nuts are full of magnesium which is an essential mineral required by the body to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. However don’t over-do it, just a handful will be enough to keep you alert and give you the energy you need. Almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts should be stocked up in your pantry for a quick snack.

2. Eggs

In particular egg yolks are filled with Vitamin B which helps to convert food into energy, and are a great option to eat before working out or for breakfast. They also contain Vitamin D for strong bones, and are one of the best sources of protein.

3. Brown rice

This carbohydrate is often harder to cook than white rice, but is better for your body in the longterm. It makes for a filling meal, and is a good choice for anyone suffering from digestive problems. Brown rice contains manganese which helps to produce energy from carbs, which is important for a healthy and balanced nervous system.

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten free superfood which contains more protein than brown or white rice. A great replacement for wheat or refined carbohydrates, since it is rich in amino acids and leads to extended energy levels. If you’re feeling knocked out by midday, add a little quinoa to your lunch and instantly notice the kick it gives you by the afternoon.

5. Goji berries

Used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, goji berries are a fantastic source of energy and promote the release of hormones in the body. Goji berries make for a low calorie snack when you’re feeling stressed out, since they support a healthy mood and are great for memory.

6. Broccoli

This vegetable is known for it’s cancer fighting properties, but is also rich in folate, potassium, Vitamin C, and powerful antioxidants to help the body on all fronts. If the taste of broccoli is too bitter for you, add a touch of salt to make it sweeter.

7. Lentils

There are many ways to cook lentils, all of which are large sources of slowly digested protein and complex carbohydrates (and zero fat). Lentils provide a boost of energy when added to salads, soups and even in a burger.

8. Green tea

While coffee is also a source of energy, green tea is an option for those who want to try a healthier route. Rich in L-theanine and amino acids, it makes you feel alert in no time at all. Enjoy green tea at any time of the day, to feel invigorated and refreshed.

9. Black beans

Packed with fibre and protein, black beans will keep you feel full and energetic for prolonged periods of time. They target the body’s glucose levels and help your metabolism to work at it’s best.

10. Spinach

Spinach contains high levels of iron which gives the body a boost of prolonged energy, even though you might feel depleted. Add into a smoothie for added vitamins which is easy to ingest. If it’s good enough for Popeye, it’s good enough for you!

Image via Lets Go Healthy

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 9, 2014