Your Ultimate Guide To Essential Oils

Your Ultimate Guide To Essential Oils

Essential oils have certainly made a name for themselves in recent years, with many people opting to use them for a broad range of reasons. Essential oils are obtained through a range of methods, using different parts of plants. For example, Rose oil, comes from the petals of the rose, whilst citrus oils come from the rind.

 

Essential oils are used widely across aromatherapy, home cleaning products, treating skin conditions and soothing muscle inflammation.

 

Before you begin experimenting with essential oils there are few basics that you need to remember. When applying the oils to your skin, you must use a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba as to avoid skin irritation.

 

On this note, it is also essential to do a patch test on yourself before applying to larger areas to check that your chosen oil is suitable for your body (and will not cause irritation/allergic reaction). Essential oils should not be digested unless under the specific directions by a healthcare professional.

Here is your ultimate guide to essential oils and their uses

Essential oils that can help induce sleep:

Lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, chamomile, neroli, ylang-ylang, cedar, rose, clary sage, marjoram, bergamot, frankincense. There are oil blends that are specifically blended together to help aid with sleep like this Sleep Assist Essential Oil Blend from Oil Garden.

 

Tip: Diffuse a couple of drops of lavender oil with some water in a spritzer bottle. Spray your pillow with a spritz before you go to sleep!

Essential oils that may improve concentration:

basil, rosemary, peppermint, cedar, grapefruit, pine, juniper, vetiver, helichrysum.

 

Tip: Add a couple of drops of one of the essential oils mixed with water in an aromatherapy diffuser by your study area. Try this 10ml certified organic rosemary oil by Vrindavan.

Essential oils to aid in de-stressing:

lemon, orange, rose, lavender, frankincense, clary sage, bergamot, sandalwood, geranium, ylang-ylang, marjoram, chamomile.

 

A great way to alleviate stress is to massage a relaxing oil blend of your choice into your temples for 1-2 minutes. We love the Stress Release blend from Lively Living.

Essential oils for improving energy:

black pepper, lemon, grapefruit, orange, peppermint, ginger, jasmine, rosemary, eucalyptus.

 

Most Citrus oils have great energy boosting properties. The Doterra Citrus Bliss is the perfect invigorating blend, combining Wild Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Grapefruit Peel, Mandarin Peel, Bergamot Peel, Tangerine Peel, Clementine Peel essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute.

Essential oils that can ease muscle tension:

nutmeg, wintergreen, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, chamomile.

 

Tip: All of these essential oils can aid in inflammation. For muscle aches, mix a few drops of essential oil into your carrier oil and massage into the muscles that need relief.

Essential oils for that can treat Acne and skin irritations:

tea tree, lavender, rosemary, oregano, bergamot, helichrysum.

 

Tip: Try it yourself by making a face wash by mixing five drops of tea tree oil with aloe vera gel and coconut oil.

A bonus all-purpose household cleaning spray recipe:

Combine ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 ¾ cups water, 15 drops eucalyptus oil and 15 drops orange oil. Pour into your spray bottle and you’re ready to go!

Positive affirmations & Changing your life

Positive affirmations & Changing your life

The word affirm means “to make firm”. An affirmation is announcing that a future goal is becoming a reality.

 

Have you ever wanted to know more about affirmations and how they can impact your life?

 

Before you start creating your affirmations, it’s important to know what your goals are, whether that be mental health, relationships, study, career or fitness related. Then pick out the affirmations that resonate with you or create your own. 

 

Positive affirmations can be found to:

 

-Raise your confidence 

-Improve productivity

-Improve self-esteem

-Overcome a bad habit

-Control negative emotions such as anger, frustration and anxiety

You have probably heard of the term “fake it til’ you make it” – When we tell ourselves something over and over again, we start to believe it to be true! Equally, if we consistently think negative thoughts or tell ourselves that I’ll never achieve said goal, you most likely won’t! By manifesting positive thoughts, from a law of attraction view you start to become a match for achieving that goal and your subconscious mind also works on making your goal a reality.

 

Affirmations can be a powerful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and manifest the change you desire in your life. But they work best if you can first identify the negative belief that is opposing them. You must first accept what is, then transform towards what is possible, for example if you are feeling weak, first you must accept that within yourself then use affirmations such as “I am strong”, “I am powerful” and “I am capable”. Repeat these to yourself in the mirror or whilst meditating. These positive mental repetitions can reprogram your thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think and act differently.

Some of our favourite positive affirmations to inspire you;

 

1. I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.

2. I am capable of anything that I put my mind to.

3. I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.

4. I am courageous and I stand up for myself.

5. I am a powerhouse.

6. I have the power to create change.

7. I am loved, I am enough, I am strong.

8. I choose to be happy

9. I trust that I am on the right path.

10. I give myself the care and attention that I deserve.

 

 

 

Affirmations are such a simple way to acknowledge our goals into reality. Do you use positive affirmations? Let us know in the comments!

Valentines Day Cherry Galettes

Valentines Day Cherry Galettes

Gluten free Valentines day treats to bake with or for the people you love in your life.

Ingredients:

 gluten free tart crust:

. 1 cup cold water

. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) plain gluten free flour blend 

. 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (60 g) coconut flour

. 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (exclude if your gluten free flour blend contains added xanthan)

. pinch of salt

. 2 tbsp (25 g) caster/superfine sugar

. 240 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For filling:

. 3 cups de-stoned and halved cherries

. 1 cup halved strawberries

. 100g caster sugar 

. 4 tbsp cornflour

. 4 tbsp lemon juice

. 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

. 15 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

You will also need:

. 1 medium egg, lightly whisked for egg wash

. 1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling before baking

. Your favourite ice-cream to serve

 

Prep time: 40 minutes

Chilling & freezing time: 1 hr 20 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Servings: 12

Lets Begin…

 Gluten free tart crust:

  1. In a cup, mix together cold water and apple cider vinegar, and place them into the freezer until needed.
  2. Sift together the gluten free flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the butter and toss it in the flour until all butter pieces are covered with it.
  4. Using your hands, pinch and rub together the butter pieces and flour until you get a mix of fine pea-sized pieces and larger thumb-sized pieces.
  5. Add the ice-cold water & vinegar mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, and mix the pie dough with a fork until it only just comes together. You will need about 14 – 16 tbsp of water.
  6. Shape the dough into you’re a disc, cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Filling:

  1. Mix all cherry filling ingredients together until evenly distributed.
  2. Set aside until needed.

Assembling:

  1. Remove the pie dough from the fridge and roll it out (between two pieces of baking paper) to a thickness of about 2-3 mm. Shape the dough into your preferred shapes. We used a muffin tin pan and tart shell cases (make sure to thoroughly spray with coconut oil)
  2. Arrange the filling in the middle of each tart leaving some pastry exposed
  3. Freeze the prepared galettes for 15 to 30 minutes. This sets the butter and ensures that the galettes keep their shape in the oven.
  4. While the galettes are freezing, pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC.
  5. Just before baking, brush any exposed pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake the galettes in the pre-heated oven at 200 ºC for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180 ºC and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the pie crust is a golden brown colour.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy! (Or eat warm, with a scoop of ice cream.)
Interview With Cindy Lüken From Lük Beautifood

Interview With Cindy Lüken From Lük Beautifood

Cindy Lüken, CEO and founder of Lük Beautifood is pushing boundaries in the makeup industry, for the good of the environment and our health. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Food & Nutrition, and was also awarded an Honorary Master of Science for her contributions to the food and science fields. Her passion for clean living is clear through Lük’s key message of “What goes on, goes in”.

1. Tell us about the inspiration behind Lük 

The specific inspiration for lukbeautifood goes back many moons ago, when I was working in a ‘natural body care’ field for a friend of mine – I inadvertently saw how lipstick was made, it intrigued me to delve deeper. On researching I quickly understood that lipsticks are made of a concoction of oils, waxes, butters, binders, colours and flavours – a recipe looked a lot like a chemical cocktail and not something you want to me spreading across your lips! The simple fact is, that even I – with my 30 years of experience in food science – could not read the ingredient formulation on packages, this inspired me to create what has now become Lük Beautifood.

I concluded that there was no point eating well if you still slathered on body care products and continued to paint your face with a toxic cocktail of fragrances, synthetic dyes, chemical preservatives and petroleum-based ingredients, especially when evidence was starting to rise that these were potential contributors to endocrine disruptors, carcinogens or linked to cancer and to causing allergies/skin sensitivities. So, with a natural craving for a new career project after having kids – I entered into new territory with lukbeautifood.com and set up a test kitchen at home. I started experimenting and formulating an all-natural, food based and ‘skin healthy’ lipstick range – sharing my food, cooking and nutrition knowledge online, with the hope of giving fresh face to beauty, and pioneering a healthier way to live. 

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about the brand and the ranges 

The foundation of lük beautifood is built on harnessing the beauty of food – food and science are a natural marriage and with lipstick taste is key – especially when you are foodie. When I worked out I could replace synthetic oils with avocado oil, I started combining cold pressed citrus and spice oils, experimenting in my kitchen and that is how I came up with a menu of different culinary combined flavours that you keep licking your lips for! I believe nourishing your whole body with healthy food is central to cultivating your natural beauty; what you put on your body should be as nutritious and safe as what you eat. 

 

So, in a nutshell lük beautifood is an award winning Australian clean beauty company making 100% natural, toxin free lipsticks from lip-delicious foods rich in nutrient rich vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories for soft, smooth lips and understated, healthy natural look.  Our lipsticks are 100% natural & toxin free. Made from foods like fruits, seeds, spices, herbs, cold pressed organic citrus oils, anti-oxidants & vitamins. That means you can wear lipstick that is as good as the food you eat that’s why lük beautifood has the tag line be delicious inside and out! 

 

  1. What is Lip Nourish?

100% natural, edible natural lipstick brimming with nutrients that your lips crave. Lip Nourish is the perfect transition from lip balm to lipstick. It goes on with an incredibly crème soft soothing texture as it feeds and moisturises lips. Comfy and easy to wear all day every day, it’s your go-to lip treat for a healthy, natural look. 

 

  1. Who would you love to see wearing Lük? 

 

Everyone and Anyone, from Young to Old – I created our Lip Nourish to be an essential go-to ‘pantry staple’ for wearing all day and all night. With a dozen shades, there’s always an option to suit the occasion – I have one in my bathroom, my handbag, the desk drawer and the car… you should too! I’ve worked hard to create an affordable, daily luxe lippie treat you can wear to keep your lips smooth, soft and hydrated. Plus, the added bonus is that they taste so good! A delicious treat for your lips and your taste buds – without the nasties!

5. Have you always been passionate about natural and toxin free products? 

I believe in true beauty, real beauty and natural beauty. I believe that in order to be naturally beautiful, that it is essential to take a holistic and natural lifestyle approach. The importance of getting back in touch with nature and being inspired by its beauty and goodness is one ideal I hold on to and have for a long time! 

I have always gone back to the question… “Why would you be so careful to avoid toxins in your food then apply the same ingredients like synthetics dyes to your skin when many of them can be absorbed?”. In my opinion, knowledge is power. My experience in the food science world – career and study – comes hand in hand with increased awareness of the toxins present in our everyday lives. I quickly focused on shifting little elements of mine, and my family’s lives. – I have managed to simplify my face care routine to 2 products, have gone toxin free with my deodorant, toothpaste, nail polish and hair care. Of course this is not limited to just food and cosmetics – everything that touches me, my family, our bodies and our space from washing powder and detergent, to organic bed linen and wooden floors, it’s all a part of the one big picture.

 

6. Which lipstick shade is your go-to?

 

Oh…to pick one?!

My top 3 would have to boil down to… 

1. Rose Lime is my number one go-to for moisturising, it’s the same colour as my lips but better! With an amazing lime and ginger taste. I find myself reaching for this shade, especially in summer to match my summer tan & yellow complexions. 

2. Nude Pink is one of our 2 new shades we released for Lük Kissmas Campaign, it’s so light & pretty – it’s become my go-to if I’m running out of the office for a lunch meeting or when I want a gentle ‘lift’ to my appearance! 

3. Tangerine Pomegranate is within snatching distance when I’m in need of some colour… it’s a gorgeous shade with a bit more pigment than the others but with the same pretty lustre! 

 

Rose Lime                                                  Nude Pink                                       Tangerine Pomegranate

7. What is your go to beauty care tip? 

It’s a shower tip!

Shower Oils… take your pantry staple olive or avocado oil and rub-a-dub-dub whilst in the shower, for an instant moisture boost! It goes on quickly and no your towel and body are not left greasy!

The other… waterless beauty balm of a night time, I’ve been incorporating it into my routine for the past 20 years! 

Back To School Lunchbox – With Live Love Nourish

Back To School Lunchbox – With Live Love Nourish

Casey-Lee from Live Love Nourish is a nutritionist and mother of two. We chatted with her about getting some ideas for the daily struggle of healthy kid’s lunchboxes. With back to school just around the corner; Casey helped us put together the ultimate, easy and healthy lunchbox.

Being a mum of two and this year a first-time school mum, lunchboxes are now very much a part of our everyday. As a mum and as a nutritionist who is passionate about real food for kids, I understand the importance of easy & healthy back to school lunchbox ideas.

Some important tips before we get started: 

•Food should be fun

•Keep it simple 

•Stress Less – Find out what works best for you when packing a lunchbox. Some 

parents find it easier to pack a lunchbox the night before, whilst others prefer to make it early morning. 

What to Include in a Healthy Lunch Box?

 

I encourage a lunchbox that is both simple and whole-food inspired. It’s important to include a variety of food in your little one’s diet to help you build a balanced lunch box that includes the key nutrients that their growing bodies need. Key nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals (such as calcium and iron) are all necessary for a nutritionally balanced diet. The key is to look over the course of the day to ensure they are getting the variety of nutrients rather than putting too much pressure on just one meal.

 

Savoury Main Items 

This is what will form the main item in your lunchbox, much like a classic sandwich would. If you are choosing a sandwich as your main lunchbox item, focus on filling them with nutrient dense and healthy ingredients. Ideally, you want to focus more on what they are getting from the filling of the sandwich rather than the bread itself. 

Frittata or egg muffins  

Fritters (you can make these with egg and veggies or for an egg free option use chickpea flour + water in place of eggs) 

Homemade sushi (you can make this with quinoa too. If using quinoa mash a small amount of hummus or avocado into the quinoa so it sticks together). 

Spaghetti bolognese muffins (make these by whisking leftover spaghetti bolognese with 1-2 eggs and bake in muffin trays). You can also do this to make a fried rice slice, mix fried rice with whisked egg and bake in a slice tray for a lunchbox friendly way to serve fried rice). 

Pasta salad. Pulse pasta (made from chickpeas, legumes or pulses are a high protein option). Mix with 1-2 of their favourite pasta ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, chicken or mushrooms. 

Don’t forget leftovers. A lot of children love their dinner leftovers for lunch. Especially if it is a familiar, family favourite dish. You can get some great kid friendly, lunch flasks to take warm or cool food to school. 

Homemade chicken nuggets using chicken mince, finely grated veggies and rolled in a nut free coating 

Pita pockets (these are great for a “spill proof” alternative to sandwiches. You can also pack a lot of nutritious ingredients in to them also. 

Rice paper rolls 

Whole Fruit and Vegetables 

Make sure your lunchbox includes some fresh fruit and vegetables. These are easy, time saving, affordable and healthy. If your little one doesn’t like fruit or vegetables get creative and try different ways of serving it and keep offering. 

•Cut fruit into fun shapes using a cookie cutter. 

•Name veggie sticks in a fun way. Such as wizard swards for asparagus spears! 

•Lightly steam and cool some vegetable sticks. Some kids don’t like raw veggies but will eat softened carrot sticks or softened beans for example. 

•Get kids to pick their favourite fruits or get them involved in chopping and preparing. This will encourage them to eat them, I promise!

•Theme your fruit and vegetables for a fun approach, such as a colour theme each day. 

•Draw funny faces on whole bananas.

Snacks 

Kids love snacks, well at least mine do! Balance your lunchbox well and choose snacks that are nutrient dense and provide nutritional value. Of course, fun snacks can be included, the main focus though is to fill their tummies first with whole food options. Some healthy whole food snack ideas include:

 

Dips These are a fun item in kid’s lunchboxes. Dips such as hummus or guacamole are popular with children. Serve with crackers or veggie sticks. WholeLife has a great range of organic & vegan dips.

Yoghurt with mixed berries. Choose a yogurt with no added sugar. We use unsweetened coconut yoghurt.

Pikelets are a great, fun food idea for little hands and when made with wholesome ingredients they can be a healthy option too. I make ours from buckwheat flour and top with homemade chia seed jam.

Mini muffins Use whole fruit to sweeten rather than adding refined sugar. We love making these mini coconut banana muffins.

Homemade banana bread Use over-ripe bananas to sweeten.

•Roasted vegetables or their favourite veggies/salad ingredients.

Homemade muesli bars 

Chia seed pudding 

 

Healthy Treats 

Treats are an important part of having fun with food and building a positive relationship with food. With a couple of simple twists on your favourite recipes you can also add some bonus nutrition to fun treat food.

Homemade baking is a great example. There are so many healthy recipes you can make for kid’s lunchboxes from cookies, muffins, slices etc.

When you’re including treats in your lunchbox the key is to make it a part of the lunchbox but not the main focus. Ideally include ingredients that add nutritional value, this is why I love home cooking. For example, I make homemade chocolate crackles but to add value I mix in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and goji berries.

Quick & Convenient

As a mum I get that convenience helps! Having some grab-and-go options in the pantry can take off a lot of pressure and stress. The key is to make them count with nutritional value. Here are some of my favourite lunchbox friendly, healthy snack ideas you can find at WholeLife. 

 

Snack bars – There are lots of healthy wholefood bars available, just be mindful of a few key things to choose a healthier one. Look for no added refined sugars and preservatives. 

 

Bliss balls – Typically bliss balls are made with nuts, seeds, coconut and dates or rice malt syrup. Look for ones without added preservative and if your school is nut free, check the ingredients label. You can also make these at home! 

Roasted chickpeas or faba beans – These are a tasty snack providing a source of protein and fibre. 

Toasted seaweed – You can get these in mini snack packs at WholeLife!

 

Seed crackers – These are a nutrient dense snack made from mostly seeds and water. The seeds provide a source of protein, good fats and fibre.

 

Ready-to-make mixes – There are a lot of great brands with ready-to-bake mixes such as banana bread, muffins, pancakes and crackers which WholeLife have a great range of.

Don’t forget the fridge section of your WholeLife – Here you can find lots of great snacks such as yoghurts, chia seed puddings, pre-made patties, falafels and more. 

I hope these tips help! Comment below if you have any ideas we can add to the list to help other parents too!

 

Vegan Summer Spaghetti

Vegan Summer Spaghetti

A simple but delicious recipe to transport you to a warm summer evening on the coast of Italy..

Ingredients:

. Pasta

. 1 large Zucchini – roughly chopped

. Bunch of Basil

. 4 Yellow Squash – roughly chopped

. Handful of Baby Spinach

. Canned whole Tomatoes

. 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste

. Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes – cut in halves

. 1 cup of Passata

. 2 teaspoons blended Porcini 

. 2 cloves Garlic – crushed

. 1 White Onion – finely chopped

. 1 teaspoon dried Chilli Flakes

. Walnuts – for serving

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Lets Begin… 

1. Heat your pan over a medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent.

2. Add the zucchini, squash, garlic and tomatoes into the pan. Stir until they start to brown and cook through. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.

3. Make a dust from your dried porchini mushrooms in a mortar and pestle.

4. Stir in the canned tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, porchini, baby spinach and half the basil. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened, breaking up the tomatoes as you stir.

5. Whilst the sauce simmers cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water.

6. Serve the sauce over the pasta with the remaining fresh basil and a grating of walnut.