Natural Oral Hygiene Routine

Nasty, harmful chemicals are everywhere- especially in our beauty and personal care products. Here is a list of the natural items we use to ensure our teeth, and mouths stay fresh and healthy.

Firstly, we brush our teeth with toothpaste that has natural ingredients such as essential oils and aloe vera. We look for a toothpaste that contains no flouride, parabens, sodium laurel sulfates, sweeteners or flavours. All of these synthetic ingredients cause hormone disruption and in some cases make the body more prone to illness.

Next, we oil pull. Once to twice a day. First thing in the morning, we pop a tablespoon of coconut oil in our mouths and swish it around for 20 minutes. This freshens breath, pulls debris out from between the tight junctions of the teeth and when used with a lovely oil (such as coconut) the benefits include anti-bacterial and pH balancing properties.  Read more about oil pulling here.

We use salt water to rinse our mouths. 1 tsp of Himalayan salt, in 1/4 cup of warm filtered water, and swish.

We use floss, but look for one without added flavours.

Finally, once a month to reduce tartar and plaque build up, I brush my teeth with a paste made from bicarbonate soda (aluminium free), a good pinch of Himalayan salt, filtered water and coconut oil. I spend a good five minutes brushing my teeth with the mix, and they feel squeaky clean afterwards. It’s really amazing!

With these steps, we keep our teeth and mouths clean and healthy. It’s important to have a good dose of probiotics daily to help too. The mouth is home to millions of bacteria, and if you are having fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir it will help boost the good bacteria and reduce symptoms such as bad breath and infections.

The next step for us is to make our own toothpaste. Let us know if you have a good recipe, or if you have tried one that didn’t quite work. We would love to hear what you do!

Breakfast Change Up

Change is usually a good thing, especially when it’s a step forward.

After heading along to the Wellness summit, I heard a talk about how people who eat the most veges have better health than those that don’t eat as many.

Isn’t that completely logical?!

I stepped things up, and have now been having a huge bowl of veges with breakfast. Mushies, kale, spinach, beans, broccolini and asparagus. And you know what? It hasn’t taken any extra time or effort out of my day. I just head into the garden, grab some greens and add them to the pan. So simple, yet I am feeling the immense benefits.

Previously I was having eggs with some avo, sauerkraut and beetroot. A lot can be said for our green plant friends. Welcome to the breakfast table!

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Ampers&

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Ampers& is a little cafe, tucked away on a busy street, where you have to navigate across 2 lanes of traffic and dodge oncoming trams to get to the other side. Alternatively, you could park on the same side of the street which seems logical now I’ve thought about it. But it only makes sense to reward yourself for surviving the busy crossing, with a coffee and sneaky late lunch. Is 3pm still afternoon tea time if you haven’t eaten at midday?

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Back to Ampers&, where the pallette is neutral, and the lines are so clean that my heart skips a beat.

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I want to hug whoever was in charge of the glorious design. Small details breathe effortless cohesion as you walk from the front of house through to a rear dining area, complete with mounted deer head (please be fake :/).

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Scandinavian-minimalistic-chic at it’s best; matte black tiles, hexagonal marble counter and a bicycle on the wall. It really doesn’t get much better. The service was friendly, the guys behind the counter having a friendly chat with the customers and chuckling at the fact that they felt the need to clean the coffee machine before the coffee cleaner man came later that day. Oh, Melbourne ❤ so proud of our coffee and machines.

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The coffee was great. You just need to try it. Regan had a double expresso, I went with hot chocolate and returned a few days later for a cappuccino. Both seriously good.

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I ordered Avocado (GF) toast, with a rocket salad and zingy salsa ($15), Regan ordered the tamari and sesame salad (chinese cabbage, wombok, marinated chicken wings) ($16).

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We even had a sneaky dessert, a hazelnut meringue cupcake with cream cheese icing. Gluten free, definitely not clean/green, but so good.

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Beautiful succulents and botanicals garnished tables and filled the nooks. The air was clean paired with a tidy, spacious layout. The menu was limited, but what they served, was done well and with great pride. A little on the expensive side for what we would normally choose, but with a heavy workload at uni this semester, we deserve a little ‘Treat Yo’ Self’ day every now and then.

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Wellness Summit

It’s important to keep yourself interested in your passion. This may seem like a weird thing to say, but when your passion is driving your future/career/decisions it’s important to remain focused on the WHY behind the HOW of what you do. The reason, the philosophy, the essence.

Today we will be attending the Wellness Summit, and we are so excited. The line up of speakers consists of our industry heroes, people we admire and respect.

It is so refreshing to receive insight and encouragement from the people leading the way in Wellness and alternative therapies.

Keeping ourselves Keen, Clean and Green ❤

Natural Remedies for Parasites

A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism. The most common parasites live in your intestines and are usually tiny worms, that feed off of your food and nutrients.

Parasites are easy to contract, through food, water, undercooked meat and from the soil.

For such small creatures they can make some significant changes. Many people have hypothesised that parasites may cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The most common symptoms were listed on mindbodygreen:

10 Signs You May Have a Parasite

  1. You have an explained constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of IBS
  2. You traveled internationally and remember getting traveler’s diarrhea while abroad
  3. You have a history of food poisoning and your digestion has not been the same since.
  4. You have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night.
  5. You get skin irritations or unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema.
  6. You grind your teeth in your sleep.
  7. You have pain or aching in your muscles or joints.
  8. You experience fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or frequent feelings of apathy.
  9. You never feel satisfied or full after your meals.
  10. You’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia.

Have you been told you are the host to some little critters? Parasites are all too common, and mostly silently dwell in us, without asking permission or making us aware. But, with a few simple dietary additions you can treat them without taking antibiotics or damaging chemicals. Here is a link to another site that has some natural cures for parasites.

Papaya Seeds

Papaya is amazing for digestion, so while your eating the flesh get double benefits by eating a few seeds on the side too. They aren’t particuarly nice, but 1 tsp every day for 1-2 weeks is easily done. Make sure they are crushed to break open the seed and release the nutrients. Blending them in a smoothie disguises them well, or I just toss some through my breakfast.

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Chia, flax, coconut milk, cacao, blueberries, banana and papaya with seeds

Home brewed Chai Tea

Mix a cinnamon stick, 1 tsp of cloves and 2-3 cardamom pods together in a tea pot. Fill with boiling water and steep for 5 minutes.

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Drink this delicious concoction and reap the rewards. Together these ingredients are anti-parasitical, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. They help to relieve abdominal pain. The cloves work to  remove the parasite eggs.

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Garlic and Chilli

Both have antibiotic and antiparasitic effects. Add them liberally into your food, as these ingredients work to weaken and keep the critters at bay, while boosting your immune system.

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Cut the Sugar

Everybody likes sweet treats, including the nasty bugs. Whatever you feed to yourself, you are feeding to them. So keep that in mind when reaching for a sugary food, as they will thrive off it.

Probiotics

Boost your gut health by introducing good bacteria to support your system. The GI system relies on having nutrition and balancing factors to help it fight for and maintain good health.

I have written about some cheap ways of making your own probiotic enriched foods. Check out: sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.

These are all the measures I have taken when I begin to exhibit parasitic symptoms. In my personal experience they have been beneficial. I sourced this advice via my Natural Health Practioners, such as Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Chinese Herbalists. These remedies are from my personal experience of using natural foods to eliminate parasites. If you think you have some bugs in your tummy, talk to your health practitioner and ask what they would recommend you do.

An Interesting little Psychology experiment

A few days ago I took a pair of loafers to the Shoe Man and asked for a quote to re-sole and heel my worse-for-wear shoes. (You see, I would rather re-sole a worn in pair of shoes and get another year or two out of them, than buy a new pair. Especially if I’m in love with the style of shoe, and repairing is far more sustainable than purchasing.)

Anyway, the guy quoted me $50 and next day pick up.

So to social media I went, placing a shout out on a local facebook group asking for recommendations for a cheaper repair. “Ask for Tim” was the response, referring to the same shop I went to originally.

I was heading that way anyway, so I went back, and guess who was at the counter? Tim. The same Tim who quoted me a few days ago.

Not sure how this was going to go, I smiled sweetly, and told him he was highly recommended to me. It seems he didn’t remember our previous interaction; This time, he quoted me $40 and 1 hour pick up- on the same pair of shoes.

I learnt a valuable lesson in a practical setting.
People like to feel important, competent, useful. The small act of acknowledging a person for who they are can make all the difference. Be kind, and they will usually return the favour. And next time, ask for Tim.

Starting your Mornings Right

I’ve heard it a lot, and in fact I’ve also said it a lot. We make these statements about how we feel around morning time.

“I struggle to get out of bed in the morning”

“Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed”

“It’s so cold, I don’t want to get out of bed!”

I really haven’t thought about it until now, but getting out of bed is a significant part our routine. The way we rise and go about our morning can dictate the rhythm for the rest of our day.

Sleep experts, Psychologists and, business experts say it and we all have thought it. Making the most of our sleep, mornings and rituals determines our achievements throughout the day (and perhaps, therefore our ‘success’).

I have touched on sleep before, and it is something that I am still trying to pin down- but let’s discuss some morning rituals to launch you into your day.

  1. Set an alarm. Try and wake up at a regular time, this will help regulate your circadian rhythm and give your body a cue for consistent sleep and waking patterns.
  2. Drink water! Immediately after waking up, have a big glass of water. Your body has just been resting, cleansing and repairing itself over night- reward it and wake your system up with some gentle rehydration.
  3. Oil Pull. Read about this here.
  4. Drink some warm lemon water. Flush those toxins!
  5. Get moving. Wake your beautiful body up with some exercise. This could be as simple as stretching, dancing or going for a jog.
  6. HAVE BREAKFAST. I really can’t emphasize this step enough. Break the fast. Boost your metabolism and set the tone of your energy for the day with a simple meal. If you are pressed for time, make this the night before. Don’t brush breaky off. Put as much effort (if not more) effort into planning and accommodating breakfast as you would for any other main meal.
  7. Use an essential oil to boost your energy, focus thinking, and clear your mind. Check out a list of oils and their benefits at Aromatherapy experts Twenty8 follow the link here.
  8. Make a list of tasks for the day. Kick start your productivity by visualizing what you need to get done, write it down and get to it.

Create a routine, system, ritual (whatever you want to call it) for your mornings, in order to achieve an on optimum start to your day.

Head over to our facebook page, and share your morning routine with us, we would love to hear what you do!

CLEAN GREEN STUDENTS Facebook Page

Green Refectory Pop Up Cafe

It was a chilly, rainy Melbourne morning and Regan and I decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast out. We drove around, and came across the Green Refectory Pop Up Cafe.

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The atmosphere was welcoming and the service was impeccable. The staff were attentive, chatty and made us feel right at home, to say I value good service highly would be an understatement.

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A big chalk board had meals and prices on it, gazing upward for a few minutes neither of us could go past the breakfast stack. An impressive stack of poached egg, spinach, bacon, tomato and potato, with tomato relish. Seriously, so good.

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I treated myself to an almond milk cappuccino. I always get excited when a cafe offers a dairy alternative other than soy milk. Together, we read the Saturday paper.

green refectoryWe would have sat in the quaint alley way, as we love out doorsy breakfasts, but the rain and cold drew us back inside. Ah, the great indoors.

green refectory6Inside was a charming blend of industrial-glam, with some original fittings and brass accents. The exposed brick was warm and homely, with plants and timber pulling it all together.

green refectory4We had a truly great experience at the Green Refectory Pop Up. The food was delicious, and timely.

Highly recommend.

Clean Eating Apple Loaf

This apple loaf is absolutely lovely. It is moist, and flavourful with no nasty refined sugar, gluten or dairy. You could call it Paleo, but it has some oats- which you could swap out if needed.

The loaf was a bit of a fluke actually, I had 2 large apples left in the fruit bowl and decided it was their time to shine, so I whipped out a few pantry staples, crossed my fingers and waited for the oven timer to beep.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  1. 2 large apples, grated
  2. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 3/4 cup of dates
  5. 1/2 cup of boiling water
  6. 3 tablespoons of flax seeds
  7. 3 tablespoons of chia
  8. 1/2 cup of almond meal
  9. 1 cup of raisins or sultanas
  10. 1/3 cup of oats (if you’re not on grains, replace with almond meal
  11. 1 tsp of cinnamon
  12. 1 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

Step 1: Place dates in a bowl, and cover with boiling water (allow to soak for 10-15 minutes) while preparing the rest of the ingredients. We’re going to turn this into date paste to sweeten the loaf with.

Step 2: Grate the apples, and place in a bowl with spices.

Step 3: Whisk eggs and coconut oil together until combined.

Step 4: Combine flax, chia, almond meal and oats, ready to combine everything together.

Step 5: Drain off excess water from the soaking dates (leave a few teaspoons of liquid in the dates so that it blends well). Blend the dates with a processor, I used my stick blender, and it worked a treat.

Step 6: Stir the date paste through the apple mix, and combine with the almond meal mix.

Step 7: Pour into a loaf tin, and bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees, or until a skewer comes out with minimal moisture (but not totally dry).

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Test Tasting gluten free baking – honest opinions ensue.

We are back with another entertaining YouTube clip, in which we discuss gluten free baking and flour alternatives.

Thumbs up for Regan’s mustache making a guest appearance.

Here is the Paleo recipe we used:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup high-quality cacao powder

After combining all these ingredients, we separated the batter out into separate containers and then added the flour until the consistency was right. About 3 tablespoons of each flour was used in the smaller batches of batter.