Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Calcium and your Kids!


Calcium is a very important nutrient in anyone’s diet; especially children who are growing and developing everyday. It’s a vital nutrient for bone formation during childhood.
We are told that our children need dairy products to get the calcium that they need but the truth is that milk is not all its cracked up to be. Sure, dairy milk is high in calcium but research has shown that our bodies find it so hard to digest that it actually strips the body of more calcium that you are putting in through the digestive process. You can read more about milk here. So is it the end of the world if your child never drinks cows milk? NO!  There are many great sources of calcium to fuel our children’s growing bodies in whole foods and you might be surprised what they are. I’m not talking about eating enriched or fortified foods; this means food products that have added calcium. This is not good. There is definitely a problem if the companies are adding calcium to our food. The food would obviously be nutrient deficient to start with and it is all for marketing. Don’t believe what the packages say. Just eat real food.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t drink milk

Here are 8 great calcium sources:
1.     Dark leafy Green vegetables – Dark leafy greens are great sources of calcium; especially varieties such as kale and spinach. Make Green smoothies with these guys for the kiddies.
2.     Broccoli – Broccoli is great source of calcium; raw or cooked. It holds many other very important nutrients too. It is a nutritional powerhouse so juice it, blend it, or steam it. Great as little trees for snacks and dipping in avocado or homous.
3.     Almonds – Almonds contain more calcium than any other nut. Almonds and almond butter are great sources of calcium so swap your peanut butter for almond butter. Or try some almond milk.
4.     Sesame seeds/Tahini – Tahini is a great product to have in your fridge. You can add it to salad dressings, or cut up apple pieces to dip in it. It has a nutty flavour.
5.     Salmon – Canned Salmon holds the most calcium as it still has its bones, which are what holds the excellence in the calcium department. You can make great salmon patties, casseroles or just enjoy it on crackers.
6.     Whole Linseeds/flaxseeds – Sprinkle these on cereal or ground up in baked goods. Always go for whole seeds, as the refined versions have no calcium whatsoever.
7.     Figs – YUM! Figs are delicious and a good source of calcium. Great snack.
8.     Kefir – Kefir is a wonder food and although it is made with milk products a lot of people that cant digest milk can digest kefir. It is a live culture that is full of protein and calcium and is very important for gut health. Its great on its own or mixed in smoothies.
9.    Chia Seeds - Many people are unaware that chia seeds are super high in calcium. You can add them to everything; Breakfasts, soups, smoothies.
10.  Quinoa - Quinoa is a great healthy wholegrain and holds quite a good amount of calcium. It is great to add in your meals instead of rice or couscous.
Hot tip to improve calcium absorption: Vitamin D helps improve calcium absorption. Food and sunlight are your two sources for vitamin D so enjoy some sun time.
Where does your child get their calcium?
Cass xo

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

LOVING TOM RIGHT NOW!

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Why I love T.O.M?
"‘Purity of mind and body’ is the philosophy behind this awesome range of the finest organic feminine hygiene products imaginable."... http://www.tomorganic.com.au/
To be honest when I first saw these, I fell in love with the box first. Such fun colours and bold type. I couldn't not buy them! But what I truly love about TOM organic is that it has been created by a woman on a mission. A mission to empower women to do the best for their bodies inside and out!
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We are so good to our bodies when we eat and what skin care products we use but we forget about the other personal products that could be doing us and our environment harm.
The average woman uses more than 12,000 tampons in her lifetime so that 12,000 reasons to go chemical free!! Cotton is the dirtiest crop grown in the world, it is heavily sprayed and full of nasty chemicals and pesticides that are not good for our bodies or the environment in which we live. Tampons are in contact with the most absorbent area of your body so we should only feel right to use a product that is free from perfumes, chemicals, pesticides, bleach and genetically modified cotton. Non-organic feminine hygiene products are commonly made from synthetics, plastics and conventional cotton... We don't want these nasties near our cha cha!

"No bleaches, no dyed strings, no “silky smooth” polypropylene (plastic) coating. Our tampons are as comfortable, easy to use and absorbent as any other tampon. Plus, our cleverly designed slim packs mean no more tampons jumping around in your handbag."... http://www.tomorganic.com.au/


Shop
Go here to buy your TOM Organics!

WANT TO TRY BEFORE YOU BUY?
I have 10 samples to giveaway to 10 lovely CHOOSE LIFE, LIVE IT, DO IT readers. All you need to do to enter is answer this question in the comments below:
Why do you think we should treat our bodies well??
The winners will be announced in next Wednesday's newsletter, so make sure you’re on the list to find out if you’ve won.

Cass xo




Thursday, 23 August 2012

TOXIC-FREE FIND: Karen Murrell Lipstick + 3 to GIVEAWAY!


Did you know that a woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime through drinking, eating and kissing??? 

This was one statistic that totally shocked me and will stick with me forever!!! Through my journey of toxic free living (while still staying glamorous) I set out to find the perfect lipstick that is not only natural but actually stays on. Its hard when creating something with natural ingredients as a lot of the time chemicals are used to make things last longer and thats what people want... Biggest bang for their buck. Women don't want to be re-applying their lipstick constantly, I certainly don't!
Fun times wearing Red Shimmer Lipstick

To get straight to the point; Karen Murrell Lipstick is absolutely beautiful! I cannot tell you enough how great these lipsticks are. They are all super soft, moisturising and made with only the best natural ingredients to give you the most amazing lips and I am not being paid to say this... I LOVE THEM! I'm so glad I found a lipstick so beautiful and all natural. Karen has a great range of colours for every occasion and they last! I have had a few fun nights out lately in the Red Shimmer and its awesome! It is definitely my favourite!



So here's a few details straight from the Karen Murrell Website;

"Luscious nature"
A woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime through drinking, eating and kissing - so keep lipstick natural! KM Lipsticks are made totally of natural ingredients. They do not contain any mineral oils, animal-based material, parabens or preservatives. And because of the fusion of Mother Nature's miracle ingredients, the more you use KM Lipstick the better condition your lips will be in. The high-quality formulation means KM Lipsticks last long on lips, and smell and taste great.
Benefits
All natural ingredients, long-lasting, a creamy and smooth application. Nourishing for lips. Biodegradable packaging (PLA).
Active Ingredients
Candelilla (Euphorbia cerifera): The candelilla plant grows in the semi-arid environment of northern Mexico. Plants growing in the hottest and driest areas produce a protective covering, which yields a hard vegetable wax of superior quality after processing. Candelilla wax is yellow, and is celebrated in lipstick production for its hard, brittle, glossy and slightly tacky properties.
Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis): Rich in omega-6, soothing and very moisturising.
Castor oil (Ricinus communis): Excellent emollient properties and a high-acting pigment dispersant. Due to its high viscosity, castor oil also helps to suspend pigment in the manufacturing process to avoid settling when hot. KM Lipstick pigments are milled into castor oil in a ball mill. The milling process reduces particle size and ensures even suspension and distribution.
Go here to check out Karen Murrell's beautiful range of Natural Lipsticks.

Because I love you all so much and because I want you all to try Karen Murrell's amazing Lipsticks; Karen has so kindly given me 3 x Red shimmer Lipsticks to gift to 3 of my lovely Choose life, live it, do it readers. All you have to do to win is answer this question in the comments below and visit Karen Murrell's facebook page and tell her Choose life, live it, do it sent you. 


Where are you going to wear your NEW KAREN MURRELL RED SHIMMER LIPSTICK?
The winner will be announced in next Wednesday's newsletter, so make sure you’re on the list to find out if you’ve won.



Wearing another favourite of mine;
 Cordovan Natural Lipstick


Cass xo










Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Drink your Greens - Green Smoothies!


We know that greens are good! Leafy greens should be a main part in our everyday diet. Ideally we should be having at least 2 large bowls of raw salad a day. Greens are high is chlorophyll, carotenoids, calcium and other minerals and vitamins, as well as essential fatty acids and no cholesterol. The veggies with the darkest colour have the most good stuff, the highest nutrient content!
Our diets should consist of a large amount of raw leafy greens! Yes I said it, RAW! Why raw? Because when you cook anything it kills a lot of the major nutrients.
So how do we get our babies to eat raw greens? Yes, I know it’s hard enough to get anything into a fussy toddler let alone leafy greens. The texture can be hard for them to chew, especially when they have a limited amount of teeth. So instead of sitting around the dinner table fighting your children to eat their greens why not introduce them to a SUPER AWESOME GREEN SMOOTHIE! These are the best as they look crazy and taste amazing! If you haven’t tried one before you may think I’m nuts but once you try it you will be addicted, believe me!
If you can fit a handful of leafy greens in a smoothie for your babes once a day you are giving them a good hit of some great vitamins and minerals and you can rest easy for the rest of the day knowing they have at least satisfied a good serving before they have even left for school.
Make it a morning creation and make it fun. Let your children make up their own creations by allowing them to choose what they want to put in it but just make sure you have a big handful of greens in there to make it a spooky bright green colour! My favourite greens to use are kale, English spinach, silver beet, lettuce and parsley.
If you haven’t got onto kale yet, please jump on that train! It is a wonder food! Kale tastes a bit like cabbage and is super high in usable calcium.
Try to use organic greens when possible, as conventional leafy greens are the worst for carrying the most pesticides.
When you first start making green smoothies have the majority of it fruit so that is it super sweet and yummy for your little ones to fall in love with. As you get used to them, slowly add less fruit and more greens and ease them into becoming super green god’s and goddesses!
Here is a couple to get you started and then let your minds run free. There are so many other mixtures and tastes you can play around with but this gives you a few to get started. Throw everything in the blender and get your kiddies to absorb the goodness!

Banana Bang

1 large stalk of kale
1 large cos lettuce leaf
1 frozen banana
2 cups nut mylk/coconut mylk/rice milk
2 medjool dates
Throw all in a high power blender until smooth = YUM!
Refresher
1 cucumber
Small handful mint leaves
Hand full English spinach leaves
2 cups coconut water
Throw all in a high power blender until smooth = YUM! 
80/20 Wizz
80% fruit of your choice. Watermelon is awesome!
20% greens of your choice.
Enough water to get the blender moving and make consistency of your choice.
Throw all in a high power blender until smooth = YUM!
ENJOY! Cass xox

ENJOY!Cassxo

Monday, 20 August 2012

RECIPE: Chicken Liver Pâté (Organ meats - BRING THEM BACK INTO YOUR KITCHEN)


Oh Organ meats!!!! 4 1/2 years ago when I met my husband I was disgusted at the fortnightly smell of offal that came from the kitchen - Liver, kidney, bone broth, brains... All totally gross to me and not only gross but I thought of it as poor people food... Don't ask me why. I've never eaten alot of red meat, it doesn't appeal to me but when I did I wanted only the "best bit", the most expensive, the muscle! Little did I know that the muscle is the least nutritious part and although packed with protein, the fats and organs hold the best bits! Lately I have been doing alot of reading on organ meats and their benefits to us and our children's ever developing bodies. THEY ARE AMAZING! So I have set out to get organ eating... I'm warning you now; the next few weeks recipes will be all about organs. Not because I want to gross you out... Its because I want to open your eyes to the old fashioned traditional way of eating full fat meats that we have forgotten about and why we need to bring them back into our kitchens. They have fantastic health benefits and I want us all to eat a little of this glory food. I am also warning you now that these recipes will taste fantastic! As I am only slowly working my way into eating organ meats I instructed my REAL FOOD CHEF (my amazing husband) to make these recipes taste good, and I mean taste bloody AMAZING! The ideal way of eating these foods is to sear each side slightly and eat it rare but lets face it... When you are entering the world of organ meats you are not going to eat a raw liver... Well I am not! So here is our first organ meat recipe; CHICKEN LIVER PATE! It is beautiful! TRY IT! Its so so so easy and only takes about half an hour to make at the most. If you are having guests over this will definitely impress. 

How is our Pâté good for you??

Chicken Livers contain very high levels of several different important nutrients. They are very high in Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Folate. These 3 nutrients are extremely important for fertility and pregnancy so its great to eat it to up your levels. VItamin A promotes good vision, contributes to healthy skin, digestion and immunity. Vitamin B12 is great to increase your energy levels and improve mental functions. Folate is very very very important during pregnancy, it reduces the risks of birth defects and developmental issues in your unborn child so if you are pregnant, liver is the ultimate whole food supplement. 
When you are looking for chicken liver, buy the best sort you can afford. The liver is the filter of toxins so its a good idea to go for organic, free range and pasture fed. I got mine from feather and bone. They were fab!! 

Real grass fed butter and cream - Little do people know that real grass fed butter and cream is full of nutrients that our bodies need. Yes it is saturated fat but this type of fat is good for us. It is a completely natural food essential to our health. When looking for butters and creams RAW is best in my opinion but it is sometimes hard to find and alot of people have mixed feelings on it. Anything that comes from a cow should be grass fed. This is there natural food. If a cow is fed grains thats when problems start so try to go for a grass fed butter or cream, you can find this in your local organic or health food store. 

Check out this list of benefits of grass fed butter and cream from Farmstead Fresh Newsletter
1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health. 2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and Candida.3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism. 4. Contains antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. 5. Has antioxidants that protect against weakening arteries.6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K. 7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder and immunity booster. 10. Vitamin D3 found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.11. Protects against tooth decay. 12. Is our only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints. 13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland. 14. Is a source of activator X, which helps our body absorb minerals. 15. Is a source of iodine in a highly absorbable form. 16. May promote fertility in women. 17. Is a source of medium-chain triglycerides, which are not stored in our bodies as fat tissue. 18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development. 19. Contains arachidonic acid which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes. 20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly. (Farmstead Fresh Newsletter
Lets get cooking! I'm excited for you to try this, its DELISH!

Ingredients
300 grams of Organic Pastured Chicken Livers
1 1/2 Onions
4 pieces of chemical-free Bacon
Small Handful of each Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano
1 Bay leaf
50 grams Butter
100 grams Fresh Cream 
Pinch Salt and Pepper


Method
  1. Remove the white sinewy bits from livers.
  2. Preheat Oven to 220 Degrees
  3. Melt butter into baking tray and then lay all ingredients on tray except the cream.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes
  5. Put tray out from oven and place all ingredients into your food processor, adding in the cream. Wizz until mixture is smooth.
  6. Poor mixture into small shaped dish and place into the fridge to set (Also tastes AAAAA-MAZING warm).
  7. ENJOY! Seriously YUM!
Cass xoxo



Thursday, 16 August 2012

Screw the Pill... It's all about Fertility Awareness!

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A friend asked me recently if I was using contraception and if there were any ways to avoid taking the dreaded pill that her doctor was recommending. What are the other options apart from the very obvious ones?
The problem we face is that in our life time we spend most of the time trying NOT to get pregnant. We understand how hard it can be to get pregnant, most of us have all seen friends or ourselves go through a hard time getting pregnant... It can be a terrible. But what about when you have had your 2 and 1/2 children, your dog and live on your beautiful property enjoying the life. If you are still fairly young, and your body is working in tip top condition then chances are you will most likely be fertile for quite a while longer. I am 25 years old... I have at least another 20 years of being fertile. Do I want to be baby making for the next 25 years? NO WAY! Do I have to go on the pill to stop this? HELL NO!

Bottom line; the pill is bad news!

It makes me angry and confused... It is common for teenage girls to start taking the pill at 14-16 years of age for gosh know what reasons; pimples, not having regular cycles, period pain, etc... I remember being at school in year 10 and it was the cool thing to do, every one was going on it. Their mothers were taking the girls to the doctor and signing off on the prescriptions, totally crazy! Lucky for me having no real interests in boys, no massive pimply break outs and my mum being totally against it, the pill never entered our house in my teenage years. I did give it a go in my early 20's for 9 months, it was terrible. I was so hormonal and a little depressed. I then tried the mini pill for 1 month and it was even worse so I kicked it to the curb and said I would never use it again.
The pill is not recommend for long term use. Its recommended for no longer than 4 years and if you want to continue after this; it is recommended to have a baby or at least a good break before your go back on it again. So this is the problem; If people are not meant to be on it for longer than 4 years then why are doctors prescribing it to teenage girls??? What happens to all these teenage girls when they get to age 20 and actually have a boyfriend and they want the pill to be in good working action?? At this time, most girls stay on it... They stay on it for another 5-10 or maybe even 15 years longer when they find the perfect man, settle down and want to have a baby. And what? They can't get pregnant????? YES! Their poor hormones have been screwed about for 10-20 years having no REAL period and everyone is wondering why fertility is such a crisis right now. I know there are alot of other aspects that contribute to good fertility but this is a massive factor! The pill depletes fertility and pregnancy nutrients, include folate, vitamins A, B, and C and Zinc.  If you want to know more reasons as to why you should stop taking the pill there is an awesome interview here, and a couple of excellent articles here and here
And its not just the pill; anything that messes with your hormones like the arm rod (Implanon), NuvaRing, etc are bad in my book. It gives u higher chance of getting a hormone related disease, infertility, etc... All bad! I have pretty strong views on this. 
As women, our bodies were created to create! They are made for baby making... But if our bodies are not in pristine condition then it is going to be hard work. Our body won't allow us to bring a baby into the world if its not a good, healthy, working environment. 

Take it that our bodies are in tip top working order. What should we do when we want to avoid getting pregnant???
Well, apart from the other obvious contraceptives, you can keep your legs closed and fight your partner off! Or its all about the good old fashioned Rhythm method, AKA Fertility Awareness. 

Fertility awareness is a natural method of birth control and a fertility aid. We know its not that easy to get pregnant and you cant get pregnant any day of the month. If your body is healthy, then you should have good regular cycle. Now its time to document what happens through your cycle and then you can know when you are fertile and when your not through some simple body signs. You can then avoid those days or use other means of contraception. Its that easy. People think that tracking ovulation is only for when you want to get pregnant but its very handy for when you don't want to too. There is a great ovulation tutorial here. Check it out. It is also the perfect fertility aid as your chart can tell you if your cycle is regular or hint to why you're not getting pregnant if you are trying. And dont stress out that you need to start putting charts all around the house with different coloured markings and posted notes, there are some great apps for your iphone. P Tracker Deluxe is good. In saying all this, you really need to start listening to your body and getting to know how it is all working first before you try this as a means of contraception.


Cass xo



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