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I had a reaction to an organic aloe vera gel for the skin and it turned out to be a chemical used to preserve the product called sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. So you can imagine how surprised I was to see the same preservative in a tin of coconut milk intended for cooking. I am glad to say that the tin did end up in the recycling waste (minus the coconut milk) as I was too scared to use it after the incident with the aloe vera gel.
I have noticed that most coconut milk sold in supermarkets isn’t 100% pure and so coconut cream blocks offer the next best alternative but I have to say, the results in cooking is not that great with coconut blocks. Nowadays fresh coconuts are sold in supermarkets so I thought why not make my own natural coconut milk, free of additives.
So I bought myself a coconut from my local Sainsbury’s supermarket and created my own coconut milk in less than 45 minutes. It really wasn’t that difficult and here is how I did it.
Method

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When buying meat and dairy products does it matter to you how the animal was reared? Of course it does! I like to think that the cows that produce my milk have spent most of the year grazing fresh green grass. This is the natural way and just how nature intended.
I am a great believer that a happy and healthy animal makes great produce which I much prefer to consume.

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Tagged in: Natural Food
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I love to cook! So it is always great when I learn a new tip that either makes my life in the kitchen easier or helps to improve my cooking skills. Here are 7 tips that I love to use in my kitchen.

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To me natural living is about getting back to nature and making healthy dietary and lifestyle choices. To support this it really helps to know where your food comes from and / or what is in your food. I also think it is important to maintain certain traditions such as cooking real food and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
You have probably heard all this before but it is worrying when you hear and see evidence suggesting that we are moving more and more away from a healthy natural lifestyle. Let me share with you some facts that I have learnt and some of my views:

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Tagged in: Lifestyle
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Sales of natural cosmetic products are on the rise but the market is still dominated by products formulated with a high proportion of synthetic chemical ingredients. Take a look at shampoos and hair conditioners which usually contain chemicals and although the amount used may be small, I often think about the sheer volume used nationally on a daily basis and the potential impact on our natural environment. So it is always good news to hear of new developments of more environmentally friendly cosmetic ingredients. I welcome the use of ingredients that are biodegradable and have low aquatic toxicity.

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Hair gels are popular and there plenty on them around. There are some that claim to be all natural but the list of ingredients on the packaging seems to say otherwise. I had shied away from using hair gels until I read blogs which inspired me to try aloe vera and DIY flax seed gels. I was expecting the natural gels to hydrate my hair, make it easier to style and to give good curl definition.

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Tagged in: Natural Beauty
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • angela
    angela says #
    I tried home made flaxseed .. I loved it.
  • Jan Does Natural
    Jan Does Natural says #
    Thanks Angela. I hope you had as much fun making it as I did.
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There are a few things that I can’t do without in life and one of them is our family holiday abroad each summer. Britain is a beautiful country and there are some fabulous places to visit but it’s the weather. It’s just too unpredictable! So we opt to go abroad for the sun and warm weather, great food and culture. Some of our favourite family holiday destinations include Spain, Greece and Turkey. This year we went to the beautiful Greek Island of Kefalonia and just in case you were wondering, the Greek financial crisis had no effect what so ever on our holiday.

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I love this great recipe which is really filling and tastes so delicious. It’s full of fresh and nutritious ingredients. I love chickpeas and I wanted to combine them with a vegetable that is currently in season. I think courgette goes really well with the chickpeas. In my experience smaller courgettes taste a lot better than large sized courgettes and this is the reason for specifying the size below.

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People dye their hair for all sorts of reasons: for fun, wanting a new amazing look or to hide grey hairs. In my case I probably go for all of these as reasons for wanting to dye my hair. My natural hair colour is off black but I would really like to go a bit darker.
I am not keen on using synthetic permanent hair dyes which are damaging to the hair and carry the risk of adverse events such as severe allergic reactions. I would much more prefer a natural solution to dying my hair such as pure henna (not to be confused with modified henna products such as Black Henna which isn’t 100% natural and contains a chemical and a permanent dye called PPD or p-Phenylendiamine).

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I have been saving this recipe for when the weather was good enough for alfresco dining. Last weekend the weather was so nice and so I decided to make this great salad. The inspiration came from the Grown in Britain Cookbook. I have made a similar salad before but with just carrots and so I wasn’t sure if the addition of beetroot added anything to the recipe. I must admit I did deviate from the original recipe slightly and made my own dressing with great end results!

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  • Angela
    Angela says #
    Looks delicious will try
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I think it’s healthy to routinely have a break from eating meat especially after hearing that a diet low in fibre and high in red and processed meat is a risk factor for bowel cancer. Pulses are great alternatives to meat and so versatile. Like meat, pulses are really filling and can make really tasty meals. Pulses are cheap, low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They also count towards the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

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Natural yogurt is one of the oldest foods which have stood the test of time. Oh by the way, I had no idea that the word yogurt is of Turkish origin and that yogurt is actually the correct spelling instead of yoghurt! Lol!

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A couple of years ago I got lost in Manchester and ended up discovering an Asian food store (like you do!). Worldwide food store was such a good find as it offered something different to my local supermarkets, a bit of India! I love the variety of ingredients, prices and the freshness. I also like the way that the fresh produce is displayed on stalls outside the store. The amazing colours of the fruits, vegetables and herbs are all so inviting! I enjoyed this different shopping experience which has kept me going back ever since but as it’s a bit of a trek from where I live it’s become a six-monthly ritual.

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Ever heard someone say that their hair grows better in the summer or when away on holiday to a hot destination? Well this got me thinking and I wondered whether there is a possible correlation here with Vitamin D levels.  Just in case you didn’t know, Vitamin D deficiency is a really common problem in the UK with more than half of the population having insufficient levels of Vitamin D. This has led to a massive campaign in recent years to raise awareness about Vitamin D deficiency as Vitamin D is important for good health, growth and strong bones. The most natural way of getting enough Vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight (UV-B radiation). So soaking up the sun responsibly is really our main source of vitamin D as food only provides very little Vitamin D naturally. Oh and by the way, a diet that cuts out fat may further reduce this small supply of Vitamin D (a fat soluble vitamin).

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In April I watched the TV series Back in Time for Dinner on BBC2 and was amazed to see how little food and the lack of choice people had in the 1950s. I felt lucky to come from a generation where food is plentiful, affordable and available in such a wide variety that makes eating exciting. This may be great but I think it has stopped us seeing food as precious and so we don’t think twice about wasting it. I was inspired to write this blog after reading an article “use your loaf and save billions” by the charity, Waste Resources and Action programme (WRAP). The charity was established in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK. In more recent years its focus has been on reducing food waste.
According to WRAP the UK households throws away more than 4.2 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten. If that’s not bad enough, most of the food wasted ends up in landfill sites, releasing the nasty greenhouse gas methane. Apparently methane is worse than carbon dioxide causing climate change. This is something that I didn’t know.
I am passionate about preserving our natural environment and in recent years I have become more conscious about wasting food. I feel that it’s important that I do my bit in preventing it. I therefore would like to share with you some examples of how I have managed to cut down on food waste.

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Iron is an essential mineral needed to make haemoglobin, the red pigment in our blood which carries oxygen around the body. Basically we need iron to have healthy blood. It is therefore important that we get enough iron through diet as lack of iron can lead to health problems such as anaemia, tiredness, weakness and paleness. Iron from animal foods e.g. meat and fish is much better absorbed than iron from non-animal sources e.g. lentil, beans, spinach.

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Have you read or heard about safety concerns on parabens and sulfates in cosmetic products and unsure of what to make of it? There is so much information on the internet and sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate facts from myths. So when in this situation I always like to know what the experts entrusted with our safety have to say on the matter. I have decided to put together some questions and answers on what I have managed to find out. 

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Avocado (Persea Americana Mill.) oil is well known for its moisturising, anti-wrinkle and healing properties. I was first introduced to this oil about 10 years ago and have continued to use it. The reasons that I love this oil so much is due to its amazing nourishing properties.

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Child obesity is something that we keep hearing of more and more suggesting that the problem is getting worse. It is important that we don’t become oblivious to child obesity even if we are not directly affected. It is shocking that one in five children between 10 to 11 year olds is now obese and one in three is overweight. You can’t help but feel worried for these children because they are already at risk of developing serious health problems such as the chronic disease diabetes. Would you not agree with me that our childhood should be the best time of our lives, free from worries and suffering?

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Physiologically speaking, the hair outside the scalp is dead. For something that is dead I do seem to spend a lot of time and money on mine and my daughters’ hair! Everyone loves to have amazing and healthy looking hair. With the right hair care product and the right hair technique, this is all possible or is it? If only it was that simple! There are so many hair care products available on the market, each with different ingredients some I struggle to pronounce and I often wonder if they are all necessary. Yes, I do read labels and just like my food I do like to know what exactly I am using especially on the kids. Oh, and then there’s the claims made for products such as “repair damage”, “stronger hair”, patent formula suggesting superiority and the use of buzzwords that are not regulated like “natural” and “organic”.

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  • Angela
    Angela says #
    I have started using sunflower oil for my hair now. Hope all will be well
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