October 28, 2017

Summer Is In the Air


I can hear the cicadas outside as I'm typing this post.  There's a certain kind of whiff in the air, and it's telling me summer is around the corner. We live right near the beach here in Sydney and although you won't find me basking in the sun, I'm a regular at the ocean pool near by.


As you may remember, I've been on a mission this year to turn my health around, and I've been especially concentrating on my skin. Focusing on eating well, getting enough sleep as well as finding  skincare that works has helped tremendously. I've also tried to remind myself to be more gentle, not just emotionally, but physically as well. 


These super soft Turkish towels feel like a gentle summer breeze on the skin and I am absolutely obsessed with them. They are so soft on my daughter's delicate skin as well and even perfect to use as a light weight blanket for her when she is napping. The best thing is, they get softer and softer the more I use and wash them.




We are enjoying a relaxed and sunny weekend, after returning from a much cooler Melbourne earlier this week. There's a lot of catching up to do, including here on the blog, so stay tuned!


The towels were sent to me as a gift with no strings attached. All opinions are my own. 

October 19, 2017

Iittala x Finlandia


I was fortunate to attend a special event last week, organised by Finnish brand Iittala, in cooperation with another well-known Finnish icon, Finlandia. The Cocktail Masterclass was held at Blanca Bar & Restaurant at Bondi, co-owned by a Finnish celebrity chef Tomi Bjork. 

                        

Finland is celebrating its 100th year of independence this year, a huge milestone for a small but mighty country of ours! Iittala is honouring the year with a new colour for its iconic Aalto vase, the ultramarine blue. I'm a lifelong fan of Iittala and I think this colour is their best so far! 


The floral displays were extraordinary, echoing the signature blue colour. 



Thank you so much Iittala Australia, for having me. As always, the event was stunningly styled and guests were immaculately looked after.


All photos provided by Iittala Australia. I attended the event as a guest and all opinions are my own. 

October 14, 2017

Essential Oils - Guest Post by Anita Whittingham


Essential Oils for mums
This is a guest post from doTERRA essential oil leader Anita Whittingham from Anita Whittingham Healthy Habits. Anita is a mum, a high school maths teacher, mindset coach, fit foodie, and essential oils wellness advocate. She is passionate about health and wellness and personal development. In this post she shares her journey into the world of essential oils and will help you to feel more empowered with plant medicine for any mood and ailment. To find out more about Anita or Essential Oils you can follow her on Instagram or Facebook or visit her website.
Anita is also doing a free SpOil yourself event starting Saturday 21st October. You can register on this link. More details at the bottom of the page.
                             
I love essential oils. I have been using them for over a year now and my whole life has changed. I have become the natural healer in our home and essential oils are our first go-to whenever any health issue arises. We also use essential oils to make our own cleaning products and self care products. They have infused our lives with so much love, energy and happiness.
I started using essential oils in May 2016 when my daughter Bella was 8 months old and got her first cold. A friend gave me a blend of oils called EasyAir and within 24 hours of diffusing it and applying it diluted to the bottom of Bella’s feet, her breathing had improved heaps. I then got a Home Essentials kit, incorporated the oils into my daily life and started sharing my experiences.

My journey into the world of cutting out toxins began during our 4 yr struggle with unexplained infertility. I learned about all the different toxins such as phthalates in our cleaning products and personal care products that were wreaking havoc on our hormones. This is when I first started making small changes. Then when essential oils came along I did a happy dance. I was so impressed with how versatile these little bottles of plant magic were and how only 1 drop was needed to see a result.

As a breastfeeding mum when I got a cold last year in April I was hesitant to use cold and flu med’s from the chemist as some can mess up milk supply. I bought some of the meds anyway. The ones that say they are OK for breastfeeding. But they didn’t work. The cold turned into sinusitis. It was the most horrible pain.

Since then when I’ve got a cold (and that’s the worst thing I’ve got since using essential oils) I now just use a combination of immune supporting oils and they are effective at combating it.  



So how do essential oils work? And what are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds from plants. I like to think of them as the plant’s immune system. They protect the plant from disease and pests. Essential oils are extracted from plants through either distillation or the rinds of citrus fruit are cold pressed. Depending on the plant, the essential oils may come from the root, leaves, flowers, resin or bark. Being lipid soluble and coming from nature they are able to cross our cell membranes to get inside our cells and work their magic on viruses inside the cell and bacteria outside the cell. Whereas anti-biotics can NOT get inside our cells which is why they are not effective against viruses.

Straight out of high school I did a Science degree so I am loving learning about how essential oils work in the body. It’s absolutely incredible. I love how our bodies have a natural ability to heal itself. I don’t ever claim that essential oils cure, treat or prevent any disease. They simply support our bodies to return to a healthy state.    
How can we use Essential Oils?

Essential Oils can be used in 3 ways.
  • Aromatically – in a diffuser, on your pillow case, sprayed in the room, inhaled from a drop in your hands or just simply smelt out of the bottle.
  • Topically – placed on pulse points, soles of your feet, as an aromatic dressing all over your body whilst saying positive affirmations or rubbed into muscles, joints or affected body parts.
  • Internally  – in your water, cooking or in a empty veggie cap. Please note that all oils are not created equal and it is due to the incredible quality of doTERRA oils that we are able to safely do this.
5 oils every mum needs
Peppermint: This essential oil is so versatile. If I get a headache I rub a drop of peppermint on my temples then wipe my hands across the back of my neck. It’s cooling sensation makes my neck tingle then dissolves any head tension. I haven’t used panadol in over a year. Peppermint is also great for an instant energy boost. Think 3pm slump….. For me that’s when Bella is having her afternoon nap. So instead of laying down for a nap with her after boobing her to sleep, I get up, inhale some peppermint from my hands then smash out a quick workout. Peppermint is so invigorating and opens up my airways. It’s awesome! It’s also great for nausea and supporting digestion. Plus it’s ah-mazing in raw treats and smoothies. Hello choc-mint!!! Yes please.

Lavender: Lavender soothes and calms. It is the swiss army knife of oils. It can soothe and calm the mind so it’s great for sleep support, stress & anxious feelings. And its great to soothe and calm the skin so its perfect for any cuts and scratches, bites, stings and burns. We mix it with Peppermint, fractionated coconut oil and water for an instant sunburn relief spray. We put a few drops in the bath tub with coconut oil to help us wind down and prepare for sleep. I also like adding a drop to our pillows to support a restful nights sleep and I like to diffuse it with Frankincense at night time too. Lavender’s subtle floral scent is relaxing and makes us feel safe and secure.

EasyAir: This is the respiratory blend. It is a proprietary blend of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Lemon and Ravensara. It can be used aromatically in a diffuser or diluted with coconut oil and applied topically to the chest, back or the bottoms of your feet. While it can be used any time of the day, it is commonly used for nighttime diffusion and may assist with a more restful and calming sleep. This is the first doTERRA essential oil I was introduced to so has a special place in our home. We go through this blend a lot. Especially when Bella comes home from childcare with a snotty face.   

OnGuard: This is also called the protective blend. It is a powerful proprietary blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils that supports healthy immune function* and contains cleansing properties. We like to diffuse OnGuard to kill airborne pathogens especially if one of us is coughing. I also use it as a hand sanitiser and spray Bella’s hands when I pick her up from childcare. I’ve made some delicious bliss balls with OnGuard and sometimes add to popcorn with Pepe Saya cultured butter. We apply OnGuard topically to our feet after a bath to boost our immunity and protect us against environmental and seasonal threats. I also make an ‘immune bomb’ by combining OnGuard with Frankincense, Tea Tree, Lemon and Oregano. At the first sign of a cold I make this Immune Bomb in a veggie capsule and take it internally and I also make the Immune Bomb into a roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil and appy it topically down our spines and across the back of our necks. I also gargle with water and a drop of OnGuard at the first sign of a sore throat to nip it in the bud. doTERRA have used this OnGuard blend to create a range of natural products that we use including toothpaste, laundry liquid, throat drops, beadlets and cleaner concentrate.

Balance: Also called the grounding blend. This is a beautiful blend of oils from trees with deep roots that promotes tranquillity while bringing harmony to the mind and body, and balance to the emotions. I call it the ‘big emotions’ blend. When Bella started childcare earlier this year I applied balance down her spine before drop off to help her process her emotions and ease into this transition. It also gets whipped out in the afternoon if she is having a tough time. Balance is a great oil to diffuse too. Especially for car trips, shopping with kids, family get togethers and other stressful situations. Lots of my mama friends wear it on their wrists as their ‘purefume’. Since discovering that most synthetic perfumes contain pthalates (endocrine disrupting chemicals), I ditched all my department store perfumes and just use essential oils instead. I get daily compliments about how great I smell but that is just a secondary benefit of using essential oils.

So how can you get these oils into your life?

  1. Send Anita a message: hello@anitawhittingham.com or connect on social media facebook.com/anitawhittingham or instagram.com/anitawhittingham
  2. Join Anita’s upcoming SpOil yourself event where you will get to try these 5 oils for free. Hurry, limited spaces available and conditions apply. More info here.

October 09, 2017

Recent Favourites

Photo by Dymocks
Happy Monday! 

I thought I'd round up a few favourites and things that have inspired me lately. I'm looking forward to sharing these in a more regular basis, so stay tuned!

This past week I've been reading Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. It is so inspiring! I will try and write a full blog post about this soon.

Photo by Kora Organics

I'm absolutely loving all the Kora Organics products. Not only are they organic and full of goodness for your skin, the packaging is beautiful, too! The Noni Glow Face Oil is my favourite so far, but I'm super curious to try the Noni Glow Food Supplement as well.

If you aren't already, make sure to subscribe to The Healthy Chef newsletters - her posts are so informative and motivating! Thanks to Theresa, I'm already *thinking* of swapping my morning coffee for a cup of matcha or turmeric latte... Her recipes are delicious, I made her Earth Burgers again the other day and they are always a success!

My wish list has been getting completely out of hand lately, but on top of the list is a couple of essential oils and an ultrasonic diffuser for our home. I've been tossing between a few different ones (like this one from Natio or this from Perfect Potion). A friend of mine introduced me to doTerra oils recently and I was immediately hooked! She is going to write a guest post here soon, so more on that later.

October is shaping up to be super busy... I have an exciting event to attend this week, so follow me on Instagram for more photos (and videos) from the event. I don't get to go out very often, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

We are also planning a trip to Melbourne soon. Any recommendations for healthy cafes, shops, things to see? On top of our list is to see Hokusai at NGV, can't miss this one! I've been in Melbourne a few times for work, so I'm excited to spend time exploring the city a bit more.

Wish you a great week ahead!

October 03, 2017

Revisiting Old Favourites

   

It feels like forever since my food blogging days; always coming up with new recipes, testing, taking photos, creating. Nowadays my cooking is pretty limited and my mother-in-law is incredibly helpful creating beautiful Japanese meals for my husband and our daughter. So I mostly cook for myself (vegetarian meals) and on weekends often bake something as well. Here are a few of my favourite recipes, revisited. You can view the whole recipe index here.

I can't go past a good salad and these are some of my all time favourites

Rich Mineral Salad - amazing with buckwheat, papaya, spinach and fresh herbs. This salad is packed with flavour!

Skin Beauty Salad - full of good oils essential for your skin. I love how simple, yet nutritious this salad is.

Greenlicious Kale Salad - who doesn't love kale? Enough said, this salad is definitely in my top 5 of all time. The simple tahini dressing is to die for.


A few "heartier" meals

Earth Bowl - full or protein to keep you full for longer and I love the addition of pomegranate. Perfect for summer or winter!

Cauliflower curry - I'm normally not a curry-girl, but this is not too oily and it's super fresh.

Red lentil and sweet potato soup - a staple dish I make most weeks, especially in the cooler months.

Another lentil dish! Roasted cauliflower with lentils - perfect hearty meal for winter, I love this one.



The sugar-free coconut granola with almond milk makes a delicious breakfast.

And for a quick snack, these coconut balls are so so addictive. These are also so good to bring along for long trips, as they're packed with energy.

One of my recent favourites has been this banana bread. Works every time without a fail!

Spring is in full swing here in Sydney and we've had some beautiful, warm days. I cannot help, but crave for lighter meals like fresh salads and green smoothies. There are lots of fresh seasonal fruit available as well, making every meal a colourful feast!