Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


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Wild Garlic Fermented Probiotic Pesto

At this time of year there is plenty of wild garlic around.  Not only is this growing for free all over the country, but it’s incredibly good for you also. Here’s why:

  • Its antibacterial
  • An natural antibiotic
  • It’s an antiseptic
  • Great for the heart, being even better at reducing blood pressure than normal garlic
  • Reduces arteriosclerosis and elevated cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the risk of blood clots

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I went foraging for wild garlic the other day and I made some fermented probiotic pesto.  Here is the recipe. Ingredients:

  • 700/1kg of wild garlic leaves
  • 120 grams of pine nuts or chopped almonds
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water
  • 50/100 grams of basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

Directions: 

  • Blend all the ingredients (accept the water) in a blender, (you can change the ratio of ingredients to your personal taste)
  • Add mixture to a a sterilised jar and top up with the water so it comes just above the level of the mixture
  • Place a small plate or weight of some sort over the top of the mixture so that it is all submerged
  • Pop the lid on and put in a cupboard for anywhere between 10 days and 2 months

Notes:

1. You can ferment the wild garlic by itself (as per the above directions), so that you have a store of probiotic garlic to last you through the winter.

2. You can add olive oil to the jar rather than brine/salted water and this will make a pesto closer to the shop bought stuff and one that you could use almost straight away.

3. Don’t pull up the wild garlic bulbs – the leaves (and flowers) are the best bit of wild garlic and if you leave the bulbs even more wild garlic will be there next year.

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Here’s some other garlic fermenting links you might be interested in:

Eat Weeds, Lactofermented Wild Garlic, click here.

Cultures for Health, How to Ferment Garlic Scraps, click here.

Galloway Wild Foods, How to Ferment Wild Greens, click here.

Nourished Kitchen, Brine-pickled Lactofermented garlic scraps, click here.


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Homemade Probiotic Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:

  1. Detoxifying
  2. It helps balance the pH level of your body, helping you become less acidic and more alkaline
  3. Helps with the treatment of stings, bites, sunburn, warts, skin tags and verrucas
  4. Great for the health of your hair and works wonders as a hair shampoo
  5. Helps promote weight loss
  6. It helps balance the flora of the gut/digestive system
  7. It can be used as an all-round cleaner throughout the home
  8. Helps whiten teeth and freshen breath
  9. Helps balance blood sugar and blood pressure levels
  10. Helps with ingestion, heartburn, hiccups and sore throats
  11. It helps mask animals, from fleas and ticks, so is great used as a dog shampoo or a little added to their drinking water

I’ve never understood why apple cider vinegar is so expensive to buy, when it’s so cheap and easy to make! And here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 organic apples (whole or scraps of)
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 glass jar
  • 1 piece of muslin
  • Elastic band

Directions:

  1. Rinse apples/scraps and cut into large chunks.
  2. Put the apples in the bowl and cover with the muslin and allow to go brown.
  3. Add apples to the jar and cover with water.
  4. Cover the jar with the cheesecloth and leave in a dark place for 2-4 months (short time for scraps and longer for chunks of apple from whole apples).
  5. Strain the apples pieces and any scum from the liquid and bottle in an airtight container and use as and when required.

 

Apple cider vinegar is great in salad dressings and raw food recipes.

Enjoy!

 

Here are some relevant links you might enjoy:

Refinery29, How to Actually Enjoy Apple Cider Vinegar, click here.

Vegetarian Times, Apple Cider Vinegar, click here.

Cook for Food, Homemade Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, click here.

Gerson Institute, 8 Amazing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar, click here.

 


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Super Simple Probiotic Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish that is really good for you, super simple to do and incredibly yummy.  Add into the mix that it’s packed full of good yeasts and bacteria, making it a really healthy probiotic dish, that helps balance the flora of the gut means there’s no excuse not to get your kimchi on!

There are many different recipes for making up kimchi, but here is my favourite:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of white cabbage
  • 2 carrots (parsnips also work well)
  • small bag of red radish
  • 1 small celeriac (optional)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 inch square of fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of filtered water or sauerkraut juice
  • one large or two smaller jars

Directions: 

  1. Using the shredding/grating function on your food processor, or using a hand grater, grate all the vegetables.
  2. Place all but the water into a large bowl and massage the salt thoroughly through the vegetables.
  3. Using either a kraut pounder or the end of a rolling pin, pound down the vegetables until the juices are released, this should take around 10/15 mins.
  4. Put the vegetable mixture into your chosen jar(s).
  5. If the brine mixture from the vegetables does not completely cover the vegetables then top up with water until it does.
  6. Add a couple of cabbage leaves to the top of your vegetable mixture and weigh down with a stone (making sure to boil it first) or a kitchen weight, make sure everything is just under the water/brine level, so that it does not go mouldy.
  7. Put the lid on the kimchi and place in a cupboard for a minimum of 2 weeks, preferably more like a month.  The longer you leave it the better, but if you leave it longer than 6 weeks you will need to ‘burp’ the jar (open it to let the pressure out).  It will taste stronger the longer you leave it.
  8. Once opened, leave in the refrigerator and add to the side of just about any hot or cold dish for a super-charged meal.

 

Note: You can use just about any vegetables in this recipe, so it’s a great way to use up veggies! Waste not, want not! =)

Now go get your Kimchi on! =)

 

 


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Top Tips for Better Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep seems to be one of the hardest things for us to do these days.  People are always complaining of too little sleep, but never too much!

I suffered from varying degrees of insomnia for almost 15 years so believe me when I say I have completed a lot of research about this subject.  I’ve tried all sorts of weird and wonderful lotions, potions, pills and regimes to trick that elusive sleep fairy into granting me a good night’s sleep.  So I wanted to share with you what worked for me and what finally cured me of my insomnia for good!

 

Here’s my Top Five: 

Meditation!  I cannot stress strongly enough how important daily meditation (even the guided sort) is to sleep.  There is a great deal of research out there to indicate that daily meditation reduces all of the following: stress and anxiety levels; helps our busy brains not be so busy; grounds you; reduces blood pressure and balances blood sugars and makes you feel more balanced.  And as all of these things disturb our sleep patterns you can see why it helps so much.   Also if you listen to a mediation when you’re ready for sleep it can even help you drift off.

Always get to bed by 10.00 pm, so that you fall asleep before 11.00 pm as this is when your body gets it’s second wind due to our circadian rhythm (which is our body’s nature cycle) and falling  asleep after this time becomes much more difficult.  Out optimum time for falling asleep is actually 10.00pm as this is when the levels of serotonin in the body are highest, but as long as you are asleep by 11.00pm you’ll find it a lot easier to get to sleep and stay asleep. According to much research any time asleep before midnight is twice as beneficial and any hours asleep after midnight.

Deal with underlying stresses and anxieties.  If you have past issues that you run over in your mind time and time again or you worry a lot about the future then consider things like EFT, Bach flower remedies or hypnotherapy for dealing with these.  It’s important to remember these things won’t go away and will interfere with sleep and general health and well-being until you address them, so you might as well do it sooner rather than later.

Believing you can sleep!  I know this sounds a little odd or maybe even obvious, but if you lay there thinking ‘I won’t sleep’ or ‘I can’t sleep again’, then that’s exactly what will happen.  However, if you think to yourself ‘at least I’m still resting, which will be benefiting my body’ or ‘I’ll drift off to sleep very soon, I just need to relax all my muscles (and then work on doing that), then your body and mind are in a much better state to rest and then sleep.

Learn not to get stressed about not sleeping.  This never helps and only makes the ‘not sleeping’ worse as your mind and then body becomes stressed, tense and anxious and produces the stress hormones associated with this, which are usually produced for the body for the exact opposite of sleep, so will not promote you dropping off any time soon.  Try listening to some relaxing music, reading a boring book or the best thing is doing a guided meditation like the Body Scan (you can find hundreds of these on YouTube and other similar sites).  If you cannot get off to sleep, or wake in the night then listen to one of these (most people never get to the end of it before they are asleep).

 

I also found these items helpful:

Start to get ready for bed ‘winding down’ at least 2 hours before bed (some people put off going to bed later on because of the effort it takes to get ready for bed when they are already tired).

If you’re feeling particularly wired in the evening then take a soak in the bath with Espom salts and lavender or chamomile and get ready for bed straight afterwards.

Use Rescue Night, a Bach flower remedy (you can buy this online or from places like Boots and Holland & Barrett), click here for more information about this product.

Use Neal’s Yards Aromatherapy Night Time roll on, click here for more information on this product.

Remove or drastically reduce caffeine and processed sugars from your diet.

Eat healthy, well balanced and regular meals.  This helps stabilise blood sugar levels, so try to eat every 4 hours and try to avoid foods and drinks high on the GI Index.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  This not only helps reduce the stresses and strains that might be keeping you up at night but it also helps when actually trying to get to sleep.  Just tap on how you’re feeling at the time and it will help shift these feelings and emotions.

Turn the lights down low in the evening.  This helps the body start to get into sleep mode.

Stop watching TV, using computers and playing on phones and tablets etc at least two hours before you want to be asleep.  All these items stimulate the brain and also make it believe it’s still daylight.  If you must use them then turn screen brightness down, use a screen diffuser or use from Low Blue Light Glasses, click here for more info on these.

In the evening drink herbal teas that promote sleep, like lavender, chamomile, valerian or the Night Time blend by Pukka Teas.

Don’t read anything too stimulating at night time, so ditch the exciting novels just before bed in favour of something heavy and non-fiction.

Try attending a yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Pilates class a few times a week.  These classes are very relaxing, balancing and supportive of body and mind and promote good sleep patterns.

Exercise regularly, even if it’s just going for a 10 minute walk every day.  It is worth mentioning that high intensity exercise can interfere with some people’s sleep because of the additional hormones (particularly cortisol) it produces.

The bedroom should be a technology free zone.  Each electrical appliance around you emits an electromagnetic field.  These fields then interfere with your own electromagnetic field.  This then disturbs sleep, mood, hormones and creates a whole host of other health concerns, click here for more info on electromagnetic stress.  Remove all the electricals you can; the ones you simply can’t do without switch off fully (not standby) and put them the other side of the bedroom (do not have them next to you whilst sleeping, or trying to sleep).

 

Here are some relevant links you might like:

Wikinut, Five main reasons why we must go to sleep early, click here.

Karen Kingston’s Blog, Electromagnetic Stress Blogs, click here.

Sleepio Blog, click here.

Snoozester, click here.

The Sleep Lady, click here.

Psychology Today, Sleep Newzzz, click here

 

If you have any additional items you find are helpful in promoting sleep please feel free to share them in the comments section below. 


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My Top Tips for Managing ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

As some of you will know I have recovered from ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), after struggling with it for over 6 years.  So to raise awareness of International ME/CFS/FM Awareness Day on 12th May and the many millions of people struggling with ME/CFS/FM throughout the World I have decided to put together my tops tips for managing ME/CFS.

So here they are: 

  • Learn to relax properly (through meditation, visualisation &/or relaxation techniques).  Remember it’s not a proper rest if your mind is still buzzing with thoughts!  These practices also have a lovely side effect of helping sleep patterns.
  • Eat healthily & regularly!  This should be every 4hrs to maintain balanced blood sugar levels and release a steady flow of energy rich foods – not processed foods, sugars, or caffeine based foods.  Food really is our fuel, so plenty of slow releasing carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes are a must, plus plenty of vegetables and good fats and proteins with each meal.
  • Try and have a fresh juice or smoothie each day.  These are great ways to get lots of much needed nutrients into your body.
  • Use your energy for fun things, not just chores.  We all need some ‘me’ time and some ‘fun’ time, saving energy for just chores doesn’t make you feel very fulfilled or happy, so split your time between the two (the dust will be back tomorrow anyway).
  • Only do half of what you think you can do.  This one was so important to me.  On days when I felt better I would do loads of things to make up for the other days, but this never helped and always made me feel worse again afterwards.
  • Have the things you use the most close (on your bedside table or coffee table).  I know this seems simply but it really helps to place anything you feel you might need for the day close by so you don’t have to keep trying to get up.
  • Consider buying a small folding table to go on your bed.  I had a little laptop table on my bed, which was a great as it meant things could be close by if I wanted to use them.
  • Make a flask of tea (or whatever hot or cold drink you prefer) at the beginning of the day that will last you all day and save having to get up more often than you want/can during the day.  My hubby used to make me a flask to drink during the day before he went to work, this would last me all day and sometimes I would have another flask with soup in it for lunch as well.  This will also help to keep you hydrated.
  • Put a pillow under your knees when laying in bed or on a sofa as this can relieve the pressure and pain in your legs.  I found this really helpful for my heavy painful legs and surprising comfortable to sleep with.
  • Do your shopping online if you can.  The great thing about this is, if you feel tired you can just save your basket of goods and go back to it another time to finish your shop.
  • Consider taking up a craft or art project.  I know this sounds daft and also hard work, but it really helps to give you a sense of achievement (you can monitor) when you can’t do much else.  I started knitting a patchwork blanket.  I couldn’t hold my arms up each day for longer than one line at a time when I started it, so each patch would take me weeks, but over the months and years I produced many patches and loved the fact I was still able (if very slowly) to create something beautiful.
  • Cook batches of healthy food when you’re feeling more up to it and then freeze them down for worse days.  This includes batches of rice, quinoa and even jacket potatoes.
  • Use a stool or high chair in the kitchen instead of standing for long periods of time.  You can get a shorter stool for the bathroom also.
  • I know it’s hard but try not to give yourself a hard time, it doesn’t get you anywhere and only expels even more energy and effects your adrenals and your sympathetic nervous system.  It took me a long time to form this new habit, but it really helped.
  • Learn to meditate.  I mentioned this above in the learning to relax part but learning to meditate was invaluable to me.  It helped to reduce my stress and anxiety, helped me actually sleep at night and get much longer and a better quality of sleep and with guided meditations I started picturing myself well, happy and healthy rather than constantly focusing on the negative stuff in my life. This in-turn helped build and reinforce new positive pathways within my brain and gave me hope for better health.  Meditation also grounds you, so helps people feel a little less like their head is in the clouds.
  • Practice Mindfulness.  This is when we are mindful of our activities rather than thinking of dozens of other things.  This helps to calm the mind and body and also helps us appreciate what we are doing.  For instance, when we are mindful whilst brushing our teeth we absorb ourselves in the motion and feeling of the toothbrush, the water and how wonderful it is we have these things and are able to use them.
  • Put a sign on your door saying ‘no doorstep sellers, canvassers or junk mail’ to minimise the amount of times your doorbell might get rung during the day and then you have to struggle to get up only to find it’s someone trying to sell you something you probably don’t want.
  • Use natural herbal oils etc for calming, relaxing and sleeping.  Lavender, camomile and rose-bud, valerian and such can me found in ‘night-time’ or ‘relaxing’ sprays, oils and even teas that you can pick up in most health food stores and will help sleep.
  • Use Bach Night Remedy & Neal’s Yard Night Time Roll-on.  Also their relaxation & energy roll-on blends are great as and when you need them for additional support.  Neal’s Yard even do a study roll on, which I found helped when I knew I had some forms to fill in or something important to concentrate on.
  • Try to give up or at least minimise caffeine,  sugar, processed foods and white foods like white rice, white flour & white potatoes (these effects your blood sugar levels and you’ll only feel worse for it in the long run.  They also allow you to think you have more energy than you do, so you over do it without realising it.
  • Plan trips out in advance, looking on google maps and planning places to rest or to easily get home from is invaluable.
  • Get fresh air – even if it’s just sitting in the garden.  This helps your Vitamin D levels and also makes you feel like you have actually left the house!  I would quite often sit or lay in a garden chair/sun bed and read a book, meditate or simply do nothing.  I would be wrapped up in blankets and such like but still enjoy just being outside.
  • If you cannot get outside then sit at a window and absorb the beautiful outdoors through the window, appreciate the fact you are able to take this all in rather than buzzing around with stress related blinkers on like everyone else out therein the world!
  • Try to deal with underlying stresses and anxieties.  Being constantly in that stress cycle effects sleep, mood, rest, the sympathetic nervous system, the adrenals and overall energy levels.  I found Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) and Bach Flower Remedies really helped me deal with past traumas and issues and gave me a few less negative things to focus on.
  • Join some online forums or groups for people with ME/CFS/FM so you don’t feel so alone and so you can chat to people that understand what your going through.  I felt no one around me understood what I was going through, so this really helped.  Although some of these sites can be rather negative (don’t allow yourself to get drawn into the negative one, delete these straight away if you can), on a whole most people are really supportive and understand what your going through.
  • Read every recovery story you can (even if not ME/CFS/FM related), these were not only great reads but gave me hope and inspiration.
  • Carry sunglasses everywhere you go, even in the winter if the sun effects your eyes like it did me.  Who cares if know one else has them on, no one else needs them on (pretend you’re a movie star)!
  • Take baths with Epsom salts.  This helps draw out aches, pains and toxins from the body as well as allowing you to absorb some of the magnesium in them, which helps calm your sympathetic nervous system and eliminate toxins.
  • Try natural pain killers like White Willow Bark and Ginger, they not only help with pain but also reduce inflammation.
  • Try taking some supplements and/or teas for detox.  Most of us have far to many toxins in our bodies, which is another thing we  struggle with and need energy to deal with.  Milk thistle and magnesium help with this, plus the items in the section below.
  • Drink plenty of water and herbal teas (a number of herbal teas help with healing and supporting the body, bitter teas (like nettle and dandelion) help with detoxing and peppermint and ginger teas help settle to digestive system.
  • Try writing a gratitude or happiness  journal.  This helped me to focus on the good bits of my day rather than how terrible I felt all the time.  Even little things like ‘hubby bringing me my supplies for the day before he goes to work’, rather than saying to myself ‘I’m so alone and no one understands’.  I was surprised how this helped my day to day thoughts.
  • Watch at least one inspirational film, documentary or YouTube video each week.  I used to find watching and reading the news and soaps could trigger me feeling low, so I started watching more positive stuff instead and this really helped.
  • Focus on what you can do, (even if only tiny) to get better, I spent a lot of time and energy looking into why I was ill, why the NHS/Doctors didn’t want to or couldn’t help and why more research wasn’t being done.  I realised later on that this didn’t get me anywhere, other than making me feel more upset, more negative and more alone.  Instead I started to focus on little things I could do to help my health every day, the energy that I wasted on chasing a cure or a proper diagnosis for people with ME/CFS was then spent on positive steps for myself.
  • Do skin brushing whenever you feel able to, I used to try to do this after every bath.  The idea is that you run your hands or a brush up (always up) your body towards your chest.  Then on the face you rub or brush down towards the chest.  This helps stimulate the lymphatics and helps eliminate toxins as well as helps shift lactic acid in the body (which is some of the reason for the pain in your muscles).  This made me feel worse to start with but really helped with my muscle pain after that.
  • Start using and getting others to use natural and toxic free beauty products and household cleaners.  Not only will these stop more toxins getting into your system that your body has to try and deal with but also they won’t smell so bad, which is a bonus when you’re sensitive to smells etc.  It’s surprising what a mixture of white vinegar, water and a couple of essential oils can clean and kill in your home (plus it’s cheaper and better for the environment = bonus).
  • If and when you can manage it try light Yoga, Tia Chi, Pilates, Rebounding/mini trampoline (even if sitting down to do these), they help stimulate the chi (energy) within your body and also make you feel more grounded.
  • Reduce stress in any way you can, otherwise this will only lead to more energy being expended than you have.  Sometimes this means reducing or removing certain people or events from your life for a while.  Learn to be selfish, you really do matter!

 

Top Tips from others: 

  • Keep in mind things that you can do at different energy levels. Do the tiny things on low energy days. I’ve found this really combats the “I can’t do anything ever” feeling.  By Nadine Steidl from Facebook community from From ME to Recovery.
  • Keep a change of lounge wear within reach at all times to deal with nightsweats– also towels to put on your pillow and so on.  By Nadine Steidl from Facebook community from From ME to Recovery.
  • There is a time where exercise is a definite no no, especially with severe M.E as I’ve had but when the time is right swimming is the most gentle form if exercise for aiding recovery even if it means starting at a few minutes each visit and very gradually working your way up.  By Lorna Cameron from Facebook community from From ME to Recovery.
  • Linseeds/Flaxseeds are a great source of omegas and anti inflammatory amongst other things.  By Lorna Cameron from Facebook community from From ME to Recovery.
  • Keeping hydrated is a big one and may seem obvious but when very ill it can be more difficult.  By Lorna Cameron from Facebook community from From ME to Recovery.

 

Some additional tips that made the world of difference to me: 

  • Read the Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  There are loads of books that helped my recovery, but this book and then DVD made me realise even if I couldn’t do much I could still appreciate what I had, it inspired me and gave me hope for better health. Click here for his website.
  • Read David Hamilton’s book It’s The Thought That Counts.  This book and many of David’s teachings explain in a detailed and sciency (but easily readable) way what our thoughts do to our bodies. Click here for his website.
  • Read the book Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson, or at the very least take the quiz on his website and have a nose around whilst you’re there. Click here for his website.
  • Once you start to feel better read one Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way – Robert Maurer.  This is a great way to make and monitor tiny little improvements in your health.  Click here for his website.
  • Most importantly – NEVER, ever, ever give up hope for better health! 

 

Here are a few related articles, blogs and links that might interest you:

Jess’ ME/CFS Blog, click here.

The ME CFS Blog Roll, click here.

My Journey Thru M.E, click here.

CFS Warrior, click here.

World has Teeth / Just my Life, click here.

 

That’s all for me, but if any of you have any other tips you’d like to add to this list I’d love to hear them, so please comment below.


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Gluten Free Raw Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

As a lot of raw recipes can call for lots of prep, lots of ingredients and lots of equipment I like to collect and try out raw recipes that are simple, easy and don’t call for tons of ingredients or lots of kitchen gadgets and here is one of my favourite raw dessert recipes.

Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe:

Base:
¼ Cup of desiccated coconut
2 Cups of chopped pecans
8 – 10 dates (soaked for a min of 1 hour)


1. Add all the base ingredients to a food processor and process down.
2. Put base ingredients into a cake tin and pat down well.


Filling:
3 Cups of soaked (for at least an hour) cashews
½ Cup of lemon juice
½ Cup of agave nectar (or maple syrup)
½ Cup of melted coconut oil
¼ tsp of vanilla extract
2 Cups of chopped strawberries


1. Put all the ingredients for the filling apart from the coconut oil into a blender and blitz well.
2. Add the coconut oil and give it another quick blitz.
3. Pour filling mixture on top of the base mixture.
4. Add 2 cups of chopped strawberries to the top of the mixture.
5. Add the other cup of strawberries to the blender and blend ever so slightly (so some of the lumps still remain but there is also some juice).
6. Pour remaining juice over the cheesecake.
7. Leave to set for at least 2 hours.

 

Here are some other raw cheesecake recipes you might like:

The Rawtarian, Raw Cheesecake Recipe: Click here.

Kris Carr, Blueberry Cheesecake: Click here.

Savvy Vegetarian, Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake: Click here.

Tales of the kitchen, Plum, poppy Seed and Hazelnut Cheesecake: Click here.

Or the Raw Vegan Power website has a lovely selection of raw desserts, click here.

 


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Top Tips for Living a Less Toxic Life

I’ve had many requests for my top tips for living a less toxic life.

So there they are:

1. Meditate daily.  Even if you feel you haven’t got the time to meditate regularly try a short three minute guided meditation instead (you can find loads of these on YouTube and such like).  When we bring ourselves into the ‘now’ through meditation we stop the toxic thought processes of running over the past or thinking about what will often never happen in the future.  Here’s a blog post of mine about meditation for more information, click here.

2. Learn to belly breathe.  When we breathe in our normal way, we often don’t expel all the toxins we need to.  Normal breathing is shallow, and we need to breathe into the bottom of our lungs to breathe more effectively.  Belly breathing is when you push your belly out when you breathe in and bring your belly in when you breathe out.  It can take some getting used to.   Also try a few deep belly breaths if you feel stressed or anxious as this will help calm you down and also helps with fatigue, as more oxygen in the body means a healthier and more energised body.

3. Adopt a good posture.  By doing this you lessen the levels of toxicity in the body, as all your organs, including the lungs work more effectively because they are not squashed up.  This helps you expel more toxins.  Sit or stand with your weight evenly over your hips and when carrying things carrying them evenly over both sides of the body.

4. Gratitude is the best attitude!  Looking for things to be grateful for in your day helps form new habits of positivity instead of negativity.  This reduces our toxic thoughts about ourselves and our lives and when we do this it not only makes us happier, but these sorts of thoughts have chemical reactions within the brain, creating new positive and less toxic pathways rather than reinforcing old negative pathways and thoughts.  Try listing 21 things in each of your days that you are grateful for (anything from your hair or health to family and pets), do this every day and see what a difference it makes to our life and those toxic thoughts.

5. Drink plenty of fresh clean water and get plenty of fibre in your diet.  Water includes herbal teas and vegetable juices and should ideally add up to 2 – 3 litres a day, more if you are exercising.  This will help you flush toxins from your body.  In the same respect making sure you have plenty of fibre in your diet will help you maintain regular bowel movements, which is one of the body’s main ways of eliminating a lot of toxins.  If you do not have regular bowel movements you will be holding onto a lot of additional toxins, so this is a must to address for detoxification.

6. Swap the white foods for brown. White rice, flours, breads, pastas, potatoes and sugars should ideally be swapped for wholemeal and brown versions, and sweet potatoes eaten instead of white potatoes.

7. Go organic. I know going organic can be expensive, so if you can’t afford it fully then go organic with the dirty dozen (the fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of toxins on and in them).

THE DIRTY DOZEN (try and eat organic versions if you can):

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

8. Eat plenty of colourful vegetables every day.  Colourful vegetables like peppers and beetroot are packed full of antioxidants as well as being highly nutritious.

9. Introduce some fermented foods into your diet.  Fermented foods and drinks like kefir, kombucha, unpasteurised sauerkraut and other fermented fruits and vegetables are packed full of healthy yeasts and probiotics, they help balance the gut flora and eliminate the toxic yeasts and bacteria from the digestive system.  They are highly beneficial for digestive disorders and for overall health and well-being.  Here’s a recent blog post of mine about one of the fermented drinks I favour the most, kefir, click here.

10. Lose sugar, sweeteners, processed foods, gluten and MSG from your diet.  In my opinion not only are these full of empty calories (meaning they are high in calories with little benefits), but they are all also toxic to the body and affect the development of our brain and body in a negative way, as well as our body struggling to eliminate them and often storing them in body fat.

11. Replace toxic beauty products with natural ones.  Due to the fact we absorb up to 60% of what we put onto our skin, it stands to reason that beauty products should be as natural as possible otherwise we are taking on board lots of additional chemicals every day.  You can buy a natural alternative to all beauty products these days or you can make you own, very simply and cheaply.  Coconut oil is a great replacement for many beauty products.  To check out my blog about coconut oil for me info, click here.

12. Replace toxic household cleaners with natural ones.  In the same way we absorb beauty products, we can also absorb household cleaners that touch our skin.  Not only that, but we also breathe in the toxic chemicals from the fumes they produce.  Again it is really easy and cheap to make your own natural cleaners.  Check out my blog about making your own natural cleaners by click here.

13. Replace toxic air-fresheners, candles and other home and car smellies with natural ones.  Toxic air-fresheners are some of the worst chemical products within our homes because we absorb all these nasty toxins through our respitory system.  Watch out for future blogs about how to make your own air-fresheners and in the mean time here is one about making your own natural eco tea-cup candles, click here.

14. De-clutter your home.  One of the items greatly overlooked when living a less toxic life is clutter.  Not only does clutter create mess and dust, but is also often prevents us from moving on with our life as it allows us to dwell in the memories of the past that the clutter reminds us of.  When we live in clutter we don’t make room for new things both physically and mentally in our lives.  By letting go of clutter we generally feel less suffocated,  more energised, less stressed and we become open to new things happening in our lives.

15. Return to Nature.  Electromagnetic stress effects us all, but even more so with people who already have existing health conditions.  This is when the electromagnetic field of electrical appliances interferes with our own electromagnetic field.  This causes a whole host of health issues, but can easily be addressed by spending as much time as possible in nature.  Not only does nature ground us, it makes our normal body rhythms work correctly, it helps the body develop and helps with sleep.  Because of all this, it also helps us eliminate toxins and by being out in nature you’re hopefully also breathing better quality air and getting some much needed vitamin D as well.

So as you can see, living a life less toxic, includes mind, body, home and environment and helps our own health and wellbeing and that of our beautiful planet too!

 

Here’s some more reading for you about reducing toxins in your life:

MindBodyGreen: Four Toxic Triggers That Drain, click here.

Dr Mark Hyman: How to Detox from Sugar, click here.

Lauren Conrad: Fit Tips How to Detox from Head to Toe, click here.

Miss Nutritionist: Top 10 Detox Tips, click here.

The Healthy House: Detoxing Tips for General Good Health, click here.

 

Do you have any tips you want to share about living a life less toxic?