Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


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Healthy Christmas Tips

So Christmas is nearly upon us and I know it’s likely that most of us are going to go a little crazy, eating and drinking too much, burning the candle at both ends and enjoying all that Christmas holds, so I thought it might be useful to give you a few Christmas tips.

My reasons for this are: 1) It will reduce your chances of becoming poorly, 2) It will increase your energy both mentally and physically for the party season and 3) You are less likely to feel rubbish come January 1st and in desperate need of a detox.

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So here are the tips:

1. Drink plenty of water.  This is really important, dehydration over Christmas is so easy and causes so many health issues – not just making your hangover worse!  Try to drink at least 2 litres of water or herbal teas a day (and more if you’re drinking alcohol).  Fizzy and caffeinated drinks don’t really count, neither does the tonic in your gin and tonic! =0)

2. Try to start the day with a good, healthy and nutritious breakfast (especially if it’s likely you’ll be bad later on – this will give your body what it wants and you’ll be less inclined to feel bad about being naughty later on, ha).  This could be a smoothie, organic porridge oats, sweet potato hash browns & poached eggs (my favourite weekend breakfast), brown rice or quinoa salad, omelette, rice cakes with avocado & salad on, gluten free and sugar free muesli or rye bread with poached eggs.

3. Try to eat as many highly nutritious foods as possible (instead of lots of white carbohydrates and sugars).  Some of these are – quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, coconut oil, green leafy vegetables, veggies and herbs of all sorts, dark chocolate over branded chocolate bars and plenty of nuts and seeds (preferably soaked for optimum nutrition).

4. Try to keep up with exercise classes, or at least walking and cycling as much as possible.

5. Try opting for alcoholic drinks like Hot Toddy’s (with lemon and honey) or Grog’s (with cinnamon and fruit) as at least these have some lovely healthy ingredients in them.

6.  Meditate when and where possible to help with stress levels and to give yourself some ‘me-time’.

7.  Try and opt for gluten free options for puddings etc (all the major supermarkets do free-from Christmas cakes, pudding, mince-pies and custard etc now).  With such a high proportion of us being gluten intolerant and the fact a lot of the free-from desserts don’t taste any different to the non free-from ones these days it will help you digestive system be less sluggish, help prevent tummy upsets and will stop you feeling bloated and exhausted after eating.

8.  Consider taking a daily supplement of milk thistle to help support the liver, aid detoxification and help with that dreaded hangover!  Also if you have completely over indulged the night before a dose of charcoal supplement will do the same thing.

9.  I know this is a boring one, but try to eat as many veggies as possible before the naughty stuff, this way you’ll be getting your vitamins and minerals before getting filled up on the goodies! =0)

10.  Get plenty of sleep!  If you can take a nap during the day, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this (especially at Christmas, ha).  Listen to you body – if it wants to rest then let it rest, you’ll feel better for it in the long run.

11. Lastly consider making a raw pudding or snacks for lovely, yummy, but healthy alternatives to sugary, naughty desserts and snacks. I promise you won’t feel like you’re missing out if you choose the right one.  Here’s my favourite one this year:

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Raw Cranberry Bliss Cake 

Cake base:
1 cup oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1.5 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

Cream cheese icing:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (more or less)
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar (or 1/2 cup dates)

Orange drizzle & cranberries:
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or cacao butter)
3 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest

1. Pulse the oats and groats in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the dates, agave and vanilla and process. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan.

2. To make the icing: blend all ingredients until smooth. It’s more flavourful if you let it sit a day or two but using it right away is fine too. It’s gonna be delicious either way. Spread this over your cake.

3. To make the drizzle: blend the melted coconut oil and orange juice together. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and orange zest onto your cake then drizzle on the drizzle. Let it set for a few hours in the fridge

And most importantly have a very merry Christmas and a super New Year! =0)

If you would like to share any of your own tips, please feel free below.


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The Wonders of Coconut Oil

A little while ago I wrote a blog about my Natural First Aid kit and in said blog I mentioned a little bit about the wonders of coconut oil.  Here’s the blog in case you missed it: https://livingalifelesstoxic.com/2013/10/31/my-natural-first-aid-kit/.  Anyway, I don’t think I really did the old coconut oil justice with the little mention it had it that blog, so I thought it deserved a blog post all by itself.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this is because two weeks ago I had an operation on my neck.  Unknowingly to me I ended up with what I felt was a rather sizable wound in my neck after they had finished, 2.5inchs….(mind you it could have been 2.5mm and I think I might have felt the same, ha).

So on seeing this wound I decided to give the coconut oil a proper challenge and applied it liberally to the site twice a day (occasionally 3 times when it was starting to scab) and would you believe in just 10 days you could barely see where I’d been cut open at all and now just a few days later it’s even better still!

I knew coconut oil was meant to help with stretchmarks and scaring but I’ve never used it like this myself so was a have been very pleasantly surprised by it’s amazing healing abilities.

So I’m here to praise the coconut oil in all it’s glory and give it the log it deserves! =0)

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Here’s a little list of some of the things this amazing product can help with (It’s also pretty tasty in food – and that’s coming from a coconut meat hater!):

Speeds healing up and helps minimise scaring and stretchmarks (during and after healing)

Eliminates spots & acne and helps balance skin

Is a strong anti-fungal (can be added directly to affected area or eaten)

Can help kill yeast, candida and parasites

Helps heal burns and abrasions

Helps thyroid function

Is a natural mild sun cream & after-sun

Reduces nappy rash and eczema

Helps with colds & flu

Is an anti-inflammatory (brings down swelling and inflammation)

Alleviates bites & stings

Helps ear infections (as well as other infections)

Helps with absorption of some vitamins & minerals

Is anti-aging when used as a moisturiser or eaten regularly

Helps with mental clarity

Helps reduce allergies and intolerances.

Is an amazing daily moisturiser

Is the only oil you should really cook with as it’s one of the few that keeps most of it’s nutritional content when heated

It’s a great base for making loads of natural skin care products (like soaps and lotions)

Can be eaten and is very good for you raw (and as such is in a lot of raw food)

Can be used to de-frizz hair

Mixed with apple cider vinegar is makes a great lice wash for humans and dogs (helps with ticks and fleas in dogs)

Helps with digestion

Helps regulate insulin levels

Can help the appearance of varicose veins and reduce hemorrhoids

Can be used as a lubricant

Can be used as a shaving cream

Soothes itching with chicken pox/shingles etc

Taken with ginger is helps elevate sickness and heartburn

Speeds healing from bladder infections

Helps with healthy hair and nails

You can also make up a very effective toothpaste and mouthwash with it.

So you can now see why I’m a teeny tiny bit obsessed with this oil.  It’s great all round, for you, your family, pets and it’s one of the most environmentally produced oils there is (just make sure to buy the fair trade organic stuff and try to buy in bulk as shipping it half way across the world every time you need some will certainly take it’s toll on it’s carbon footprint).

Do you use coconut oil for anything else I haven’t mentioned?  If so, please add it to the comments section below so I can give that a go also!

Enjoy! =0)