Hi Everyone! So I thought it would be interesting to write about the things that I simply cannot live without (apart from the obvious, like Ross, K&G, mum, Sarah, the FF, GNO, Yogicorns and all my PEOPLE!) And it turns out these things have a lot in common. What is true of most of them is that they nourish me both on the outside (feeding the bodies largest organ, the Skin) and the inside, cos I eat them. These are my Cupboard Essentials:
Seeing as the point of this blog is also to explain how to have a deep relax on Sunday, to end week 1 of “Welcome to Wellness” feeling lovely and calm, ready for week 2, Epsom Salts are Number 1! Please head to your nearest Boots and pick up a tub or 2 of Epsom Salts for £1.49 (you can move onto the 10KG boxes I order from Amazon soon!! But remember NOT to order them to your office as I once did – lugging a massive box of salt to Waterloo was not the brightest idea I have ever had!!)
1) Epsom Salts
Also know as Magnesium Sulfate (a granule form of the mineral many of us are deficient in – magnesium), Epsom Salts help detoxify and de-inflame while improving mineral and sulfur balance in the body.
Magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin and into the body’s blood stream. The skin is highly porous (sweat much anyone?!?!) and so can both takes in minerals and eliminate toxins every day.
Using Epsom salts in a bath creates a process called reverse osmosis. This process pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter into the body.
Magnesium plays a critical role in over 325 enzymes, helps to improve muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation and improves blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body, whilst Sulfates are necessary building blocks for healthy joints, skin and nervous tissue. Epsom salts replenish the body’s magnesium levels and sulfates, in particular help to alleviate the following signs of magnesium deficiency: agitation and anxiety, insomnia, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms and muscle spasms. Magnesium is also considered a natural stress reliever, so if you are going through a tough and emotional time take some time to completely relax in a warm Epsom Salt bath.
Sunday Bath Instructions: Fill up your bath with water as warm as you can handle and add 1 -2 tubs of the salts, let them dissolve as the bath fills up and then add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (be sure to stir the oil in). I sometime add lavender from my garden in a bag (see above! Gloria was SO INTRIGUED!) or a slice of Ginger root or Ginger essential oil to increase the heat of the bath and encourage the release of more toxins. Other essential oils also work well, like Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, any that take your fancy! Try and lay in the bath for 30 minutes to allow enough time for you to both release toxins AND take in the magnesium. if you are planning to be hungover on Sunday, this is an absolute MUST for you! It will leave you feeling so so so much better.
I hope you manage to take some time for yourself on Sunday. For me, I always feel so lovely and relaxed after a bath, and ready for sleep.
2) The Heroic Coconut: another one of my obsessions, because there really is nothing you can’t do with a coconut (?!?), I use most parts daily and it is full of numerous essential minerals and vitamins and healthy good fats! See this report here from the Coconut Centre (a place I probably should be working). Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
The oil: this is truly a wonder product. You can literally use it for so many things. My favourites are for oil pulling (see previous blog My Morning Rituals ), a hair mask, skin cleanser, moisturiser, to cook with, to make raw chocolate with (yummy!)
The Milk: I have been using Coconut milk for a few years now. I don’t use Cows milk as it does not agree with me at all, and actually my body repels it as I come out in large boils on my chin if I drink it (Urgh!!!). There are lots of reports out there that explain why humans should not drink cows milk and I have to say that I agree, for me, it doesn’t work. Coconut milk on the other hand I love, and is full of good fats: one called lauric acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It is therefore now thought that consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses.
The sugar: there are so many articles out there debating the health benefits (or lack of) of sweeteners and sugars. My view on this is that, as part of a Balanced diet, if you want to use something then go ahead. Just make sure you are making an informed choice. Coconut Sugar contains nutrients and is low GI, meaning it won’t make you surge and crash like normal sugar, but it is still loaded with fructose (this is what sugar is made mostly of) I use it sparingly, in my Dandelion coffee, once or twice a day, and it works well for me. Others I sometimes use are Raw Honey and Xylitol, which both also have health benefits, and are not simply empty calories.
3) Lemons, Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon (see again My Morning Rituals) – plus a blog dedicated 100% to Turmeric, coming on Monday! DON’T GET TOO EXCITED!!!!
4) Parsley: massively underrated in my opinion. This peppery little plant (I have my own Parsley in the garden that I steal bits from, she is so big, sh can’t possibly notice) is rich in many vital vitamins, including Vitamin C, B 12, K and A, helping to keeps your immune system strong and heal the nervous system, too. It also helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. I have had some kidney imbalances in the past so this is important for me! I add Parsley to warm salads and smoothies.
5) Nuts (yes, I am) : these are so versatile, I keep bags of raw, unsalted nuts at my desk at work to snack on. They are packed with nutrients and will help to satisfy a hunger craving with just a handful. I also sometimes soak them overnight in coconut milk and then stir in some cinnamon, or blueberries for a yummy breakfast! You can also use them in baking (which I will be doing tomorrow when I make our Broccoli Bread!)
6) Miso paste: I have one with Ginger from Wholefoods that I keep in the fridge and add to warm salads, stir fry’s, for a fiery taste. Miso paste is a healthy, probiotic that helps support digestion by adding beneficial microorganisms to your digestive tract.
7)Avocado: Do I REALLY Need to explain this? I think it’s true, the whole world is in love with the Avocado. I literally cannot remember my life before the Avo – what the hell did I eat?!? Now I smush it on toast, in smoothies, on my face, in my hair, in salads, it is highly nutritious and full of good fats. The oil itself is also one of the only oils I cook with as it remains stable when heated, meaning it does not become toxic. (Others I use that are also great to cook with are Olive oil and Coconut Oil).
8) Apple cider vinegar: I started taking this a few years ago and now still take it when I feel that I need to, for an energy boost (1 tablespoon first thing, or just before you eat), I find that it just balances me. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection, so next time you are feeling sluggish, take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (organic, with Mother is the best) and see how it affects you. I also use it in the bath, and to tone my skin in the summer, if I have an oily break out.
9) Himalayan salt I have written about the healing Himalayan Salt Flush here, but I also use this salt in cooking and to replace electrolytes lost through all the SWEATING I do! Just a tiny pinch in water (TINY!!) every day will do the trick.
Do I use Supplements? Yes – but I try not to use too many as in my previous life I have been known to become carried away!!! Nowadays I focus on the below:
- Royal Jelly: this is so fantastic for too many things to mention here so Ill mention just a few: brain function, immune boost, liver protection, hormone regulation for women – this is the main reason I am using it at the moment. After 13 odd years on the Depot Injection I am starting to return to normal me, and am trying to prepare my body so that one day I will hopefully be able to bring life in to the world 🙂
- 5-HTP: this converts directly into serotonin in the brain. Serotonin has many profoundly important functions, including a role in sleep, appetite, memory, learning, temperature regulation, mood, sexual behavior, cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, and endocrine regulation. I take 2 before bed if I am feeling more awake than normal
- Dandelion Tincture: keeps the liver, urinary tract and gallbladder functioning well. I have taken a lot of time to clean my liver (the second largest organ after the Skin!) and will be writing all about this over the next few weeks.
- Psyllium Husk: just in case my diet goes off the rails a bit and I am not consuming as much fibre as I need to, to keep things moving, this works well! 🙂
Seeing as my life revolves around leading a balanced healthy life, and I am always trying to learn as much as I can I do use Superfoods, and like to try the new ones when they are “in”, to see what a difference they can make to me. The ones that I am never without are these:
- Pukka Clean Greens : Clean Greens is an organic daily blend of 11 super-rich green foods including Nettle, Kale Sprouts and Wheat Grass Juice.It contains grass juice, leaf, vegetables, seed sprouts, sea greens, freshwater plants and digestive herbs, all of which help to support my body and keep me strong! I add 1 tsp per day to smoothies.
- Maca: this is really great for girls, as it helps to restore hormonal balance; I add it to smoothies and also to Turmeric Milk! my current one is a Reishi Blend – which is also amazing for your liver, immune system and brain health.
- Chia Seeds: These are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which it is likely the “modern” way of eating will leave you deficient in. They help to give us a healthy brain (helping with vision, brain function, coordination, learning ability and mood) and body (controlling blood cholesterol levels and fat levels, improving immune function and metabolism, reducing inflammation and maintaining water balance) – PHEW!!! You need these in your life (Ps – if you eat fish you will be pleased to learn that the highest concentration of Omega 3 fats are found in Mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, salmon and anchovies – I try to get at least 4 servings of these per week). Chia seeds are extremely versatile – I am making a breakfast from them this week so look out for that!!
- Raw Cacao: this delicious, energy-rich superfood contains generous amounts of Magnesium, as well as Flavanoids; it tastes DELICIOUS in raw chocolates and desserts!! making Raw Chocolate is SO EASY – all you need is the cacao powder, coconut oil (melted) and then whatever else you wish to add! A few drops Peppermint Essential Oil and you have your own version of minty dark DELICIOUS chocolate
My Aloe Vera Plant (I love her). I will be using her to make something LOVELY later 🙂
Oh yeah; and the other things I can’t live without? (although, they are not in my cupboard!) are these lovely amazing people!!! 🙂
I hope you find this useful and helpful. I would love to hear any thoughts you have. Lots of love Katie xxx