Healthy Hack: Coconut Cream and Milk

I have been doing this for years, and when I told one of my friends about it- they couldn’t believe how well it worked.

It’s a little secret to stretching your dollar a little further and also decreasing the amount of items in your pantry (ours is very tiny, so any extra space is always welcome!).

The secret is this; you can make coconut milk out of coconut cream. I simply water down coconut cream- I always buy it ‘full fat’, none of this lite or skim rubbish.

I usually mix it half:half, coconut cream:filtered water to get a nice balance. Sometimes if the coconut cream is very solid, I’ll add a few teaspoons of hot water to soften it, and stir in the rest of the room temperature water.

Seriously, give it a go!

The Life Changing Loaf of Bread

My dear friend, Kathryn appears on the blog today, with a lovely guest post. I have whipped up this recipe myself, and it really did take me less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Kathryn is a recent graduate of Chiropractic at RMIT. She is very in tune with wellness and movement, and their practical applications in daily life. In her spare time, she loves the great outdoors, Cross Fit and functional movement, and even speaks a little French on the side. She is such a multi-talented person!

life changing loaf of bread2

THE LIFE CHANGING LOAF OF BREAD

I have been wanting to make this little gem for quite awhile – and with the end of University and a post-wisdom tooth recovery on the horizon I finally had an opportunity!

I was a little hesitant at first as I tend to avoid all grains (it has oats in it), but I let that slide as my curiosity won out.

In fact, I used organic raw rolled oats (which have had less processing in them than regular raw oats), and was informed by the nice man in the health food shop that they are actually quite nutritious.

In terms of effort this is a one bowl wonder that takes about two minutes to whip together.

Definitely let it sit in the tin for at least a couple of hours before you bake it, it make sure it goes nice and dense.

If you can be patient, it really is best to let it sit for a good few hours to cool before you cut it, as it will be crumbly. In fact the next day after some time in the fridge is best.

I have had it with poached eggs and avo, with tahini, peanut butter, cold roast potatoes – really the sky is the limit.

I tried it toasted this morning as well, very very scrummy!

Go – Make It – Enjoy.

🙂

 

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Instructions:
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well.
2. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable).
3. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
life changing loaf of bread
4. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
6. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack in the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.
8. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
9. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

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.

papaya breakfast
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.

homemade chai

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.

chai tea

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.

chilli and garlic

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.

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

Pumpkin Hack

Healthy life hack; use the whole pumpkin.

Every part of a pumpkin is valuable, we use every single bit of pumpkin. Not only does this reduce waste, it maximizes the value of the vegetable.

When I cut a pumpkin, I remove the skin and put it in my collection of stock/bone broth scraps.

Then I scoop out the seeds and place them on a tray, roasting them in the oven to crispy perfection. Pepitas make a great snack, or perfect for tossing through salads or topping on soups.

  
Finally, the flesh. I usually cut into cubes, perfect for eating by itself or adding to meals. Sometimes I steam it, or roast it; using the cubes in a frittata, as a side for meals, blending it to a purée and making a pumpkin spice cake… Yum, just thinking about it makes me hungry.

Don’t waste any part of a pumpkin! It’s all valuable, all usable, and all delicious .

    

Glasseslit Unveiling- watch us try on our new glasses for the first time!

Our glasses arrived from Glasseslit.com. Watch us try them on for the first time ever!

After filming we realised that Regan’s glasses were ordered for reading, not for general wear or distance. Seeing as we ordered them about a month ago, it totally slipped our mind that we had chosen that option. So, they are the correct prescription, and have been made to his specifications.

An all round success story!

2 Ingredient Digestive Detox

This recipe is amazingly effective at cleaning out the digestive system. Rich in pro-biotics, and with a seed known for drawing toxins from the small and large intestines this is a match made in gut health heaven.

Our colon can store stagnant mucus, and fecal deposits; which lodge in the colon walls and release toxins into our system. This costs our body energy, vibrancy and good digestion. It can lead to serious health implications if there is a build up that is unresolved for a long period of time. These toxins can also lead to weight gain, inflammation, gastritis, colitis, ulcers and duodenal ulcers, diseases of the urinary tract, cystitis, and pyelonephritis. Read more on the website Natural Cures and Home Remedies.

Let’s cut to the chase about cleansing your digestive system in a way that promotes good bacteria, bowel flora and also gets rid of the nasty stuff:

1 tablespoon of flaxseeds

2 tablespoons of coconut/ dairy kefir

Mix together and let it soak for 15 minutes to 2 hours; timing is up to you. Then quickly run through a processor (a hand blender works well) just to crush the seeds a little.

Consume straight away.

Eat this mix in the morning, before breakfast. Continue with the following daily regimen to get maximum benefits.

1 Week: 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 100 ml of kefir

2 Week: 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed with 100 ml of kefir

3 Weeks: 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed with 150 ml of kefir

 

The Revival of Oil Pulling: Lydia’s Story

It seems my last few posts have sparked some interest in oil pulling! Yay! A few friends have messaged me, saying that they’ve tried oil pulling in the mornings since reading the post. This is so exciting, so  I contacted a few fellow oil pullers, and asked them to share their story. I hope to broaden the information available to people; this is an amazing practice to daily cleanse your body. If you have any questions, please ask!

Lydia is a fellow Melbourne dwelling, Chiro student. With an ethical approach to living a whole food, plant based lifestyle, Lydia is all too familiar with the concept of ‘Clean & Green’. I’m so grateful she has written this piece, to help spread the message of the goodness that OP can bring. This is lovely Lydia’s oil pulling story:

lydia hill

My experience with oil pulling began when a friend and chiropractor that I admire posted on her website about the benefits of this weird practice where you let oil (yuck) float around in your mouth for a while every morning (gross). I was not encouraged or inspired. The next time I heard mention of it yet another healthy mentor of mine was talking about it and it got me wondering, if these very sensible, fad-avoiding, health goddesses were so excited by this bizarre practice perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

I did my research (with the limited resources out there) and decided to take the leap and try incorporating it into my morning regime. Who doesn’t want; stronger teeth and gums, better breath, less bleeding gums, whiter teeth and stronger jaw muscles? There seemed to be no adverse side effects mentioned anywhere, even by those shunning the practice as crazy.

I made the commitment to oil pulling for 6 weeks. I got my hands on some organic, extra virgin coconut oil and I began. To put it lightly I was not impressed, it felt awful, I wasn’t used to the feeling of actively swishing something around my mouth and I was self-conscious of the funny noise I made while I did it. But I am strong willed, even when only up against myself, so I persevered. By day 3 I got used to the feeling of the oil, I realised it didn’t feel like olive oil or anything like that, it was just like a smooth, mild tasting gel. My jaw muscles adjusted to the swishing. I stopped caring about the noise and I fell in love!

I noticed almost immediately little to no blood when I spat out my tooth paste, which had been a regular occurrence for many years. These days I wake up with minimal morning breath that reduced over time, my teeth are probably 2-3 shades whiter and I haven’t had a mouth ulcer since I began oil pulling. It has become a pleasant and comforting daily ritual. When my housemate and I are oil pulling at the same time, it gives a 10 minute window of peace and quiet in the mornings (except for the duet of funny sucking noises, identifiable only by a fellow oil puller).

Everyone may do it slightly differently but my morning ritual goes something like this: Wake (often unwillingly), shuffle to kitchen, retrieve spoon and jar of coconut oil labelled OP, take heaped teaspoon of oil and place into cheek to allow to melt, pull melted oil around mouth, through teeth and over tongue for 10-20 minutes (prepare breakfast and perhaps get dressed while quiet and reflective), spit oil into bin (NOT SINK! COCONUT OIL HARDENS WHEN COLD AND WILL BLOCK YOUR DRAINS AND RUIN YOUR LIFE!), brush teeth with fluoride free toothpaste on cute bamboo toothbrush, drink 1L of cold lemon water, enjoy breakfast and begin the day with a positive outlook and an extremely happy mouth. Some may question brushing your teeth before eating breakfast but it actually makes sense. Dentists recommend waiting 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. This is because the acid from food softens the enamel on your teeth and then brushing soon afterwards can damage them.

Now I don’t know about you but I am nowhere near organised enough in the mornings to allocate 30 minutes after eating before brushing my teeth, I’m more of a spoon hanging out of mouth, brush hanging out of hair, running down the stairs two by two kind of morning person. So as long as you use mild tasting toothpaste like mine (Grant’s natural toothpaste, mild mint with aloe vera) changing the order of your morning shouldn’t be too traumatic.

I wish you good luck, try to enjoy alarming friends and loved ones with your new morning routine, if they question you, just dazzle them with your gorgeous white smile.

Make Your Own Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes!

Here is a healthy life hack for you, it will only take a few minutes to prepare and will save you from hidden nasties added to your favourite childhood condiment… Tomato Sauce.

I made this in the slow cooker, and let it simmer away all night. It reduced down to a beautiful, rich soupy mix that I blended together.  I would encourage everyone to try this easy peasy recipe. It has no sugar, no preservatives, no colours, flavours,  or anything else. Just good old tomatoes, and a few other natural enhancers.

Even more attractive about this recipe is NO SUGAR. I did a quick bit of research in my local supermarket on the sugar content of tomato sauces and ketchup. The average bottle had about 1 teaspoon of sugar in every tablespoon of sauce. So for 17 grams of tomato sauce, 4-5 of those grams is sugar! I’m going to reiterate it again, it means that between 23-29% of the average bottle of store bought tomato sauce is SUGAR! Ugh.

Okay, off my high horse and back to the recipe:

slow cooked tomato sauce

Ingredients

10 fresh tomatoes,  seeded and crushed
1⁄2 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Step 1: Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil in a slow cooker.

Step 2: Season with oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and cinnamon.

Step 3: Cover, and cook 10 to 15 hours on Low. The longer you simmer it, the richer the flavour  becomes.

Step 5: Turn the slow cooker off between 10-15 hours. At 10 hours it’s really good, but at 15 its even better. Blend together (I used a stick blender) and place in a sterilized glass jar. Let it cool, and refrigerate. The sauce can also be frozen.

 

I oil pulled for a year – here is what happened

Our Oil Pulling Experience. Normally, I don’t post these sorts of things, but I think that it could be useful for someone to read a testimony, rather than a bunch of facts. Here is how oil pulling has changed my life, and some of the questions I have been asked about it:

Oil Pulling was something I came across after looking for a gentle way to daily detox the body. After having tried numerous regimens of strict diet, paired with taking foul tasting detox aides. Mostly this achieved good, but short-term results. I decided I needed a more sustainable way to keep my body functioning as cleanly as possible for a longer period of time.

I tried the warm lemon water, I tried taking supplements and herbal remedies but at the end of the day, oil pulling is always my go-to method for simple and easy detoxification. Don’t get me wrong, I still use the other things, but I find oil pulling is just something else.

How Do You Oil Pull?

Regan and I oil pull daily. It has become second nature. For 20 minutes a day, first thing in the morning we pop 1 tablespoon of of solid coconut oil in our mouths, wait for it to melt and swish it around.

I tried oil pulling once, and gave up…

The first 2 weeks were a touch and go process. At first, I only lasted with the oil in my mouth for 4 minutes. I spat it out, dry wretching and thinking that I had made a mistake, how could this be good for me? But later that day, I noticed my breath didn’t smell, even around lunch time. So, I persisted. I built my way up to 20 minutes, increasing the time a little each day.

Twenty minutes is such a long time!

I used to watch the clock, waiting for my time to be up but as I became more experienced and confident I just went about my day, swishing oil as I went. I accumulated benefits, the more I pulled. My lips became softer, my sugar cravings decreased, my skin cleared up and my food sensitivities started to decrease. Before I knew it, 20 minutes flew past. In the same amount of time, you could have a shower, make breakfast or go for a quick walk.

Fast forward a year, and we have a routine down pat, Regan makes breakfast and I do washing/tidying/rabbit duties. We can even communicate in a series of muffled grunts while the oil is in our mouths, which I’m sure sounds like complete nonsense if someone were to watch us. But mostly, it is a silent experience which just seems perfect for the early hours.

Is It Relaxing?

Yes! Those few minutes in the morning are bliss; all is quiet, our bodies wake up and we gently rid ourselves of accumulated toxins. I find it to be a very relaxing, perhaps even comforting ritual.

Solid Oil, or Melted? What do you do with the oil once time is up?

We used to melt the oil, but that takes time and creates dishes, soon we would scoop the coconut oil out of the jar with a spoon. After 20 minutes of swishing is up, we spit out the oil to find it white and a totally different texture than what we started with. It’s best to spit the oil into a bag, as it can build up in the water pipes over time if you spit it down the sink.

Whenever we get headaches, tummy aches, coughs or general fatigue we always incorporate an extra oil pull in our day. Often we pair this with other natural remedies, but I find dealing with the toxicity element makes any other treatment so much more effective for our immune response.

What kind of oil do we use?

We chose coconut oil because it was something that is already a pantry staple in our house. I really love the taste of coconut oil anyway, so it was a clear winner over sesame, olive and macadamia. Coconut oil also has proven antiseptic qualities, which I considered relevant to the exercise.

Doesn’t your mouth feel all oily and yuck?

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can actually feel the oil drawing out gross stuff. My mouth feels clean – contrary to expectation after having oil in my mouth, which I thought would leave an unpleasant residue. My energy levels are higher, my head is clearer and oil pulling has definitely helped rid my body of phlegm.

Would You Recommend Oil Pulling?

I can’t live without oil pulling now. Even if we go away, we take a jar of coconut oil with us. Not only for it’s many other uses, but to keep up our routine. If I miss a day or two, I begin to notice a groggy feeling creep over me. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It has done wonders for me, and I hope that you give it a try to seek the benefits for yourself.

Disclaimer: please note that the following is our personal experience, after oil pulling for over one year. We have not backed this up with scientific evidence, as every person will encounter a different outcome, and we encourage you to research this for yourself if you are interested in what oil pulling can offer.