Category Archives: Recipes

How to make your own beauty products

Wheat- and dairy-free coconut pancakes

I absolutely love desiccated coconut in food, especially ‘sweet’ food.  In Brazil, coconut trees grow everywhere and we consume coconut in various ways.

Fresh coconut water is what I miss most! It’s delicious and packed with potassium and some other electrolytes, fat- and cholesterol-free.  It’s the perfect drink to cure hangovers or for a day on the beach, as it keeps your body hydrated.

So, when I read John Limpus’ (www.urbanvitality.com) post promoting desiccated coconut pancakes as an elimination diet friendly breakfast, I decided I had to try it.

Let me just warn you, these are highly addictive! But they’re healthy too, so, who cares?!

Here’s my recipe.  It makes 4 medium crepes (thinner and lighter than pancakes):

Mouth-watering pancakes


2/3 cup of spelt flour

1/3 cup of desiccated coconut

1 tsp of dark brown sugar (optional)

1 egg

approx 1/3 cup of rice milk (just to make the batter liquid enough for cooking)

I mix everything together and use raw coconut oil and a non-stick frying pan to cook the crepes, and I usually have them with a bit of honey (therefore the optional sugar).

You can use other types of flour or ‘milk’. I choose these ingredients to make the pancakes as healthy as possible, alkaline diet friendly and also dairy-free.

Thanks, John, for pointing me in this direction!

And if you guys try these or other ingredients, let me know how it works, I’d love to hear from you!

From a drooling blogger… 😉

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Herbal vinegar for hair conditioning

I use this recipe as a hair rinse every time I wash my hair.  Besides leaving my hair with a wonderful scent, it does condition and nourishes it too, and helps balance excess oil.  Benefits will depend though on the choice of herbs and essential oil (EOs) used in your blend.

Fill up a third of a clear, preferably wide-mouth jar with dried herbs of your choice:

– rosemary for stimulating hair growth and strength

– peppermint for balancing excess oil

– thyme and sage if you have grey hairs; they’re also stimulating, but I wouldn’t recommend for blond hair

– lavender for nourishing and wonderful scent

Top up with apple cider vinegar, close it, shake it, and leave in a windowsill or somewhere with lots of sun light.  Shake the bottle at least twice every day for about 2 weeks, and your concentrate should be ready after this period.

I usually keep the herbs in the jar until the vinegar is finished.  I use a funnel and a sieve to pour just the amount I need each time straight in the bottle I’ll take to the shower with me.

How to use it: dilute 1-2 tbsp in 500mL water, and if you want, add 10-20d of EOs of your choice, and use it as a hair rinse on washed hair.  There’s no need to rinse the hair with water, this is a ‘leave-in rinse’ conditioner.  This is for one use, so you can vary the EOs every time!

Many people think vinegar will leave their hair stinking, but in fact, the smell fades off as soon as you towel dry your hair.  Use an old or coloured towel, as the herbal vinegar will stain the towel.  If you add EOs to your mix, that’s really the ‘perfume’ that will stay on your hair.  Believe me, I’ve got compliments from strangers on the streets for ‘how nice your hair smells!’.

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Your oil guide for skin bliss

Oil is fat, and fat has a very bad connotation these days!  Just like sugar (another ‘bad’ word), fats are essential to the body’s main functions.  Without fats and sugar, the brain cannot be ‘fed’ and symptoms like seizures or unconsciousness may occur.

Of course I’m not saying you should indulge in fried hamburgers and cup cakes!  Sugar and fats come in many different forms, and one should know the difference.  Your body, including your skin, will appreciate if you do!

The skin is the largest organ of our body, and it secrets oil (‘sebum’) to prevent dehydration and dryness.  This is part of the body’s natural functioning.  When this function becomes unbalanced, the skin can become dry or oily.  ‘Ageing’ could be seen as a sort of skin imbalance, as sebum production is reduced, causing the skin to become dry and wrinkly.

So, if the skin produces its own protective oil, it makes sense that vegetable oils can contribute enormously to skin enhancement.  By mimicking natural sebum, the skin’s look and texture can be improved drastically.

Vegetable oils are usually extracted from fruit kernels (apricot, peach), nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, etc), seeds (sesame, kiwi), and sometimes, flesh (avocado). Oils can be thin or thick; easily or slowly absorbed; sticky, leaving a protective film on the skin.

Coconut, palm, cocoa or shea ‘butter’ are ‘solid oils’ at room temperature.  Although butters have their own beneficial properties, they’re not discussed here because they’re highly comedogenic, i.e., they promote the formation of ‘blackheads’ – so I consider them inappropriate for any facial product.

Be careful about food allergies – if you’re allergic to nuts, you’ll react to products that contain nut oils in their formula.  Remember to always check the label.

Extra-virgin olive oil, simply the best

Extra-virgin olive oil, simply the best

Here is a list of what kind of vegetable oils to look for in your skin care and cosmetic products.

Oily skin

It may sound odd to treat oil with ‘more’ oil, but the less you strip your skin off its natural oil, the less oil it will produce.  By choosing the right oils, the oily skin can be brought back into normal balance.

Jojoba – it’s probably the main oil used to treat oily skin.  Jojoba oil is, in fact, a liquid wax and it’s very similar to skin’s natural sebum.  It is easily absorbed by the skin, and leaves it with a velvety feel.  It helps with breaking down grime in clogged pores, and it’s great if used as a make-up remover.  Specially good in hair packs.

Hazelnut – it’s considered a ‘dry’ oil which is also astringent (constricting, good for enlarged pores), and rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to the skin, a bonus benefit.

Other oils used to treat oily skin include hemp, kiwi, and strawberry – latter considered to be a very luxurious one!

Sensitive and other skin problems

Oils that are good for sensitive skin and other skin conditions are oils which counteract skin inflammation and irritation.

Again, what works in a healthy diet works for a healthy skin too! The best vegetable oils with anti‑inflammatory properties are the ones packed with essential fatty acids.  The problem with these oil is that they ‘go off’ really quickly, so products that contain these oils should be as ‘fresh’ as possible, as they will have a short shelf-life.

Evening primrose – well known for its ‘hormonal balancing’ properties, it’s easy to find it in capsules which you can use to ‘pimp’ up your usual night moisturiser, for example.

Wheat germ – rich in vitamin E, it soothes skin that is cracked and dry, so it’s a good choice when added to products to treat ‘dry’ eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Dry x dehydrated skin

Most people think that dry and dehydrated skin means exactly the same.  In fact, it’s much easier to deal with dehydrated skin – which is lacking water.  Few fine lines may appear, for example, the morning after an alcohol-fuelled night!  As soon as the body and skin are replenished with enough water, you should see these lines go – it’s a reversible, momentarily painful sight!

Dry skin is lacking oils, and it is much harder to feed the body with enough healthy oils.  Diet will certainly play a major role here, and including oily fish in your meals should help.

Avocado – very thick but quickly absorbed, it’s especially good in night creams.  It leaves a protective film on the skin, so it works its magic on those windy, dry and cold days too.

Macadamia – rich, thick, ‘sticky’ and slowly absorbed, its high content of palmitoleic acid, which occurs in natural sebum, makes it the oil of choice for dry and ageing skin.

Olive – thick and a bit sticky, like avocado oil, it forms a protective film on the skin, and it’s highly moisturising, soothing and nourishing.  It works well for sensitive and problem skin too.

Scar tissue or mature skin

Mature skin has similar characteristics to dry skin, so oils that help with dry conditions (check above) will also benefit mature skin.

Rosehip – produced in Chile, this makes a luxurious addition to your skin care regime for its unique regenerative properties.  It contains high levels of retin A, linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic (omega-6) acids, so it benefits sensitive, inflamed and irritated skin too!

Normal

Although very few people are lucky enough to have a perfect complexion, they still need to take good care of their skin to maintain its healthy lustre!

Almond, apricot or peach – with very similar characteristics, they’re all light, easily absorbed, nourishing and moisturising.  These form the ‘bread and butter’ of anyone’s skin care regime, as they’re all good for any skin type.

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