Sunday, 5 July 2015

Regular day to day beauty faves


Melvita Yellow fruits Shower scrub
I have some fail-safes in my bathroom which don't exactly get me totally worked up with excitement (unlike Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, or big, fat, rose-scented candles which permeate the air and give me that Country Living vibe), however these are affordable for the every day morning rush and used once or twice a week, will keep skin smooth.

This Melvita scrub is cream based, so you can use it to prep for self tanning, so that's one plus. In addition, although I love a really major pink skinned scrub with a homemade sugar and oil job, I can't be bothered to clean the bath rigorously midweek, so this keeps cleaning to a minimum. It lathers up so a little goes a long way, and for around a tenner it's good value compared with many pot scrubs on the market which feel all greasy and goopy afterwards. It's also quite lightweight in both packaging and content, so perfect to pack for two weeks in the sun too.

Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil
Weleda...perhaps not for the 'bath of the week', but it's high quality stuff. Although I like the use of recyclable glass, I often find there's more glass than product content, which is a bit of a negative. That said, I return to some of Weleda's best-sellers time and time again, such as Skin Food and their body oils, which I prefer over body lotion now we've become so oil-friendly in the beauty world (remember when no-one touched 

I love these oils after a shower or bath, but they're also great on your nightstand for a hands, feet and elbow touch up before sleep. Firstly, they sink into the skin quickly, so if you walk round in the buff for 5 minutes while you do your make up, you're ready to dress. Secondly, the scents are really good, so unlike almond or coconut oil which can lack the scent-suality, this ticks both boxes. It's a yoga feeling after you've put it on, that kind of 'gift to my body' feeling.
The pomegranate is the most special smelling, but for price (because these vary from scent to scent), I often opt for Citrus or Sea Buckthorn. 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Lazy girl tips

Come the winter months I have to admit to being a little bit lazy when it comes to maintenance and healthy eating. The bad habits come creeping in and not only does it seem that the world is offering complimentary mince pies but that a few chocolate coated raisins or a loaf of stollen in your shopping basket du jour is just a little treat and little treats never hurt anyone.

Here are the habits I've cultivated to get me through the winter slumps in true lazy girl style whilst (sort of) managing to keep up appearances.

Know your weak spots and plan accordingly. If you find yourself getting sleepy early on in the evening, ensure you use your more energetic times of day to prepare for the slump. That way you can embrace your tired time and relax without beating yourself up. An early night with a novel and This works pillow spray is the loveliest way to give in to winter hibernation.

Eat a rainbow everyday. Even if your rainbow is being washed down with stilton and champers, it's still a rainbow and it's better than perpetuating winter tiredness with refined crap. Use a few jam jars or resealable jars (found in kitchen shops or hardware stores) and when you're preparing a salad for a meal, plan for the next meal by chucking the raw veggies in to the jar. Or you could prepare a few jars as soon as you get in from a shopping trip. We eat with our eyes and these jars look much more appealing in the fridge than a bit of tupperware. Add oil/dressing just before serving so the veg lasts that bit longer. 

Capitalise on high energy moments by organising and creating as much order and serenity in the home as possible. Getting on top of domestic chores and battling overgrown cuticles at the weekend might mean more time for an Aromatherapy Associates bath before beddy byes. 

If you love the buzz of drinking your greens but find the faff off putting, follow Kris Carr's tip to use Mason jars for 'later on'. This is great for transporting greens to wherever you need to be or to sip at the desk and is always a great way to give yourself a healthy lift at your laziest moment. It's easier to reach for green juice if it's ready prepared and in the fridge. Yes, it starts to oxidise and is best fresh, but this is better than a cup of builder's special first thing in the morning. 

A few friends swear by prepping their juice or smoothie ingredients and preparing bags of the stuff in the fridge or freezer. This is another great way to save time - washed, cut and ready to chuck into the blender for lazy girl moments. 

Cleanse the minute you get in and floss/body brush/file soles of feet while you can still be bothered. After a carbohydrate slump it can be hard to summon the energy to double cleanse and polish. Seize the moment. 

What are your favourite lazy girl strategies?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How to clean your washing machine

Image via

Not the most exciting topic, but I put off jobs like cleaning my washing machine and today I've had to bite the bullet and get on with it. When the powder drawer looks all mouldy it's totally gross and that stuff is going on our clothes. Eeeww. I did a quick google search and love this step by step guide courtesy of the Thrifty Mum blog

Friday, 16 August 2013

Pill popper's checklist

Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley enjoying her green juice

Can you relate to feeling totally confused by nutritional supplements? I used to have a selection of 12 or so vitamins which I took each day due to various health info I'd read over the years (I challenge you not to burp after taking that many capsules in one go).

There was the classic multivit, zinc to protect against colds, chromium for managing metabolism, vit C just because you can never have enough and so on. 

Fast forward a few years and there was some very negative press on vitamins claiming that they caused deaths. Ben Goldacres's Bad Science left me completely flummoxed on who to believe on the subject of nutrition. 

Since then we all seem to have forgotten the negative media stories while supplementation has got sexier and more sophisticated than ever before. However the choices seem more complex as a result. There are the arguments against getting the 'cheap' bottles of vitamins from places such as Holland & Barrett or Boots and for choosing something a bit more wholesome like Solgar. I find that a good radar for whether the pill in question is posh enough is the reassuring rabbit poo scent and appearance. But then it gets more complicated - we are told to have 'food state' supplements, ideally in our juices and smoothies as they're easier to absorb. If you find yourself visiting an alternative therapist and turn up, as advised, with your current pill popping regimen du jour, their advice can often be further confusing. Nutritionists have told me they want me to 'clear the system' and not take anything at all - except the products they're prescribing. 

With all this confusion I'd half heartedly taken probiotics every now and then and otherwise tried to lean on eating well, which to be fair, all experts agree is the number one priority, with supplements fitting in as an insurance policy or an extra booster, depending on how you like to see it. 

I'm delighted to have found this piece in the Sunday Times as it sums up which pills to pop to cover all bases. I've done a rough estimate on what my vitamin regime will cost me while following the recommendations in this piece in addition to my current choices and it's about 85 quid a month. I'm sure it's a dip in the ocean compared to Gwyneth Paltrow's routine supplementation but it's still a considerable expense. However, as far as I'm concerned, even if the cynics are right and it's all expensive pee, the placebo effect can be a powerful catalyst and we tend to find that good habits link into other good habits. For example, if I eat my greens, pop my pills and floss, I'm also more likely to see myself as someone who invests in my health and continue those good patterns continue throughout the day. I might be more likely to opt for a green tea over a latte or a Pilates class over Doc Martin (shit, my secret's out). 

My personal favourites are Udo's Choice: Beyond Greens and Granovita's Organic Omega Oil Blend. I throw a few spoons of Beyond Greens in to a smoothie as a mid morning snack - usually with some soya milk, frozen berries and a banana. I'll often add other bits and bobs such as wheatgrass and spirulina powders. Great for digestion and a flat(ter) belly. I pour Granovita's omega oil blend over my supper as per my Kinesologist's instructions. It tastes nourishing and nurturing on brown rice and vegetable curry but it's harder to enjoy with fine dining, I'll admit. Apparently it's better to have it in the evening than at lunch over a salad. I can't remember why, so I'll have to ask the Kinesiologist on my next visit. 

I'd love to know which supplements you rely on, or if you've shunned them altogether in favour of more greens on your plate? 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Best green juice EVER

Image via Healthy Cosmos
I'm obsessed with juicing and eating raw ATM so excuse me for becoming a bit of a juice bore. However, I wanted to share my love of Gwynnie's Best Green Juice. Reason being, I have loads of juice recipes courtesy of Jason Vale and Well and Good NYC but often they require ingredients which aren't within an arm's length. I'm a believer that simple is good. 

Such is my love for La Paltrow that I actually purchased the Daily Mail (I just pulled my baseball cap down over my face and went on in - it's different from reading the showbiz app, right?) in order to glean her wisdom from the exclusive recipe preview and interview.

This recipe is so basic that I simply ensure I have the nuts and bolts and then go crazy every now and then by throwing in a few oranges (as above) or varying the green content to whatever I have in the fridge. 

So here's Gwyneth Paltrow's recipe for The Best Green Juice
5 large leaves of kale, ribs discarded, leave roughly chopped
1 lemon, zest and pith removed
1 large apple
1 inch piece of ginger
1 sprig of fresh mint

Push all the ingredients through your juicer. You could blend and then pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Drink immediately

My tips: 

  • I use anything to hand - organic lettuce, non organic if that's all that I have, spinach, anything green. 
  • Because I like sweetness I tend to go for 2 apples and even an orange if I fancy it.
  • I used to use unpeeled (unwaxed) lemons and could end up feeling nauseous so it's worth peeling them. 
  • I simply slice off the peel in a slapdash manner and peel the ginger with a teaspoon held upside down. 
  • Try to 'chew' your drink before you swallow
  • Adding ice and a straw seems to make it all the more fun (and you avoid a green tash) 
  • Try to push into the juicer slowly for more yield. Sandwich the softer stuff between apples (another good reason for using two apples, I use one to start and one to finish). 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Heartbeats - snapshots of my week

So excited to have purchased a spiraliser for raw 'pasta'
Smoothies taste so much better cold from the fridge with chunks of ice
I noticed that pansies from the garden smell so much better than shop bought flowers

Herbie recovering from a big night
Herbie and I are famous! Papped for a networking/Bath fashion week event (we're in the middle)
Herbie enjoyed his first ever boat trip around Bath

All images: my own

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sexy Vegans

Right now I totally heart Mimi Kirk who was voted 'America's sexiest vegetarian over 50' aged 70. I need constant inspiration when it comes to eating healthily or I can end up heading for quick starchy/sugary fixes when I'm feeling 'too busy' to prepare really good grub. Mimi's sweet nature comes over in this video - she just radiates health (and her skin is divine). 

Watch Mimi Kirk make her Chop Chop salad:
Mimi Kirk's book looks so good. Straight onto my booklist
This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Saskia of Raw Freedom at VegFest UK and watched her in action making all manner of easy and quick raw meals and snacks. People I spoke to at the event said they had benefited from being immersed in the subject of food for the day - the joys of healthy food - and seeing people whip meals up and then tasting the goods made it all the more tangible. 

What I loved about Saskia's approach is that she's not all or nothing, this lady enjoys a good night out with a glass of wine every now and then, which makes it all seem so much more do-able. She simply jumps back onto her raw wagon the next day. Saskia reminded us to 'get curious' about ourselves when we behave in destructive ways (reaching for the cupcakes instead of a green smoothie) rather than beating ourselves up. I've been enjoying this quick spinach smoothie - my favourite way to drink it is half frozen and then stirred like a slush puppy! 

Image courtesy of gorgeous mydarlinglemonthyme

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Scents and Scents' Ability - headache busting in a hurry

Image via
Headaches can be a devil to get rid of the natural way, especially when a caffeine boost or sugar fix can seem to bring temporary release. 

If you have the chance to be indulgent, a scalp massage, quick nap, plenty of water and even an orgasm can ease the pain. If none of the above will cut it, try flinging Eucalyptus, Cedarwood and Peppermint together. Combine with a carrier oil in the bath or inhale over boiled water with a towel to keep in the steam.

I recently invested in a Soto Aroma Diffuser (madebyzen) and will never go back to burning oils with a candle. This is attractive - think modern day lava lamp with mood lighting - I get lots of compliments and interest when guests see it in use. If you want to use it without oils you have an ioniser to hand. Quite often I just use one oil for a subtle scent and ambience. 

This is the perfect accessory for a wind down ritual at the end of the day. Combine with (non toxic) candlelight and a herbal brew. 
Image via

Monday, 4 February 2013


Image: my own

Hummus has been a mainstay of my diet for as long as I can remember, especially handy for those who can't cook/won't cook which was me for many years. I didn't see what the fuss was about until recently and even now I have to be in the mood to roll my sleeves up in the kitchen.

I'm pretty particular about my hummus and I'm always disappointed when someone's fannied about with flavours, especially when it tastes of factory. I don't need synthetic coriander, chilli or sundried tomatoes in my hummus. I need it straight up and unadulterated. 

For a good old fashioned guide to hummus making I found How to make perfect hummus invaluable. Felicity Cloake has done all the hard work for us. I followed her perfect hummus recipe almost to the T. I failed on soaking chickpeas - tinned means I have more time for fun stuff - and I used smoked paprika instead of ground cumin. Either way this is a bad boy. It tastes good, is super easy to make and I love the the oil is added just on top. 

What's your fail safe dip? 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sex on legs soup

I made this soup for lunch today post meeting and post throwing balls for my dog in the freeeeezing British weather. It's absolutely sex on legs. I threw in whatever veg I had - happened to be sweet potatoes, carrots, frozen peas and green beans, tinned sweetcorn and chickpeas. I skipped the greens and tinned tomato due to what I had in, but I reckon that any combo would work wonders with this gorgeous seasoning. The peanut butter (I used cashew nut butter) and honey (I didn't have raw) make it so filling and decadent that I didn't miss bread or need a second bowl. 

I discovered that frying onions and garlic in this seasoning and then stir frying in veg of any type or adding steamed or boiled vegetables would be a fabulous complement to short grain brown rice (the type of rice my nutritionist insists I stick to). You could always add pre marinated tofu for a perfectly balanced meal. 

Thanks to the fab Bari Tribe blog for this recipe which I found via Well & Good nyc. I love to find a few basic seasoning ideas which I can replicate in different ways to keep my palate satisfied. 

‘Back On Track’ Winter Soup
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes (with canning liquid)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can organic corn, drained
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 3-4 cups chiffonaded mustard greens (any greens work here; swiss chard would be great)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven, and sauté onions over medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add sweet potato and spices – coating all vegetables evenly – and sauté for another minute.
  • Add tomatoes and broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add corn, chickpeas, peanut butter and honey. Stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in greens. Season with salt, starting with 1/2 tsp. and adjusting to taste.
Photo via Sarah Levy for Bari Apotheke