Research has shown that making changes in your diet, lifestyle and reducing exposure to toxins can boost fertility for both you and your partner and also reduce the risk of miscarriage. 

Three months is the optimum period of time for these changes to take effect because it takes approximately three months for the follicles on the ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation. Although as a woman you cannot change the number of eggs you have (ovarian reserve), you can certainly change their quality and this is the important point. By improving the quality of your eggs, you are increasing your chances of conceiving naturally and also preventing a miscarriage. If you are going for an assisted conception technique, like IUI, IVF or ICSI, you will also want your eggs to be as healthy as possible so as to give the technique the best chance of success.

Many women I see in the clinic are told that they have ‘old’ eggs and that there is nothing wrong with the IVF technology, the problem is with them.  That is devastating terminology and it is true that the eggs in a woman of 35 are older than when she was 20 but as long as she is ovulating it is possible to change the quality of those eggs to either give her the chance of conceiving naturally or achieving success on an IVF cycle with her own eggs. 

With men, it also takes at least three months for a new batch of sperm cells to mature, ready to be ejaculated. Men produce sperm all their lives so it is always possible to not only improve the quality but also the quantity of sperm by making certain lifestyle and nutritional changes. 

Although it goes without saying that a healthy diet is crucial to a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby, many people are unaware of the fact that what you eat may affect your ability to conceive.   Also you want to avoid the three main fertility busters; caffeine, alcohol and smoking as they have all been linked to an increased risk of infertility in men and women.

Having four cups of coffee or any caffeinated drink a day makes it 26% less likely that a woman will conceive and drinking only 2 cups of coffee a day is associated with a 25% increased risk of miscarriage. And problems with sperm health are connected with increased coffee intake.

Alcohol will also make it more difficult to get pregnant with only just three alcoholic drinks or more a week. The same is true for male fertility and alcohol will also block the body’s ability to absorb fertility boosting nutrients like zinc.

A woman is twice as likely to get pregnant if she doesn’t smoke compared to a woman who does. And smoking is linked to 5,000 miscarriages per year.

Chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage DNA in sperm which can make it harder to conceive because fertilisation can’t take place or if it is does, it can increase the risk of a miscarriage as nature will always work on survival of the fittest.   

Stress for both the man and woman can affect fertility and this needs to be addressed.

If a couple has a combination of four negative lifestyle factors (including tea/coffee, smoking and alcohol) it can take them seven times longer to get pregnant.

As well as looking at what you eat and drink there is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on both male and female fertility.   The most important nutrients for fertility are zinc, folic acid, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids for you and your partner plus two amino acids, arginine and carnitine specifically for boosting male fertility.  In my clinics we test for nutritional deficiencies and supplement to correct those deficiencies where necessary.  I also use NHP’s Fertility Support for Women and Fertility Support for Men available from good health food shops.

The aim is also to make sure you are a healthy weight.  Women are most fertile when they are neither too thin nor too heavy. You need at least 18% body fat to ovulate and the best chance of conceiving is when 20-25% of the body mass is fat tissue. On the other hand, the menstrual cycle can be disrupted by too much fat, which affects oestrogen levels. Being 25% over your ideal weight can stop ovulation. It’s important for the man to keep his eye on his weight too as there is an increased risk of infertility or poor sperm quality and quantity in men who are overweight or obese.

Don’t miss this opportunity to come and see Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD, the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. You will find out how to use food, vitamins and minerals to increase your energy, eliminate mood swings, improve your memory, reduce stress and lose weight without dieting.

Dr Marilyn Glenville will be visiting Ireland from October 24th to 26th in Dublin, Galway & Cork.

For more information please visit: https://balanceyourhormonesnaturally.eventbrite.ie   

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health.  She is the Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine and the author of a number of internationally bestselling books including Getting Pregnant Faster.  Dr Glenville runs clinics in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Kilkenny, for more information see www.glenvillenutrition.ie.

Children need Omega-3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results.

 

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Preparing to go back to school can be stressful for both you and your child. You may already have added a new school uniform, lunch box, and pencil case to the “back to school” shopping list, but it is also important to ensure your child’s concentration levels are back in full gear for the upcoming school year.

Omega-3 Helps Children Thrive

Omega-3 fatty acids are the most critical building blocks of the brain; they are considered essential and must be obtained through diet or supplements. Without these important fats, it can become difficult for children to concentrate, learn new information and balance their moods. Since most children do not eat oily fish on a regular basis, Omega-3s are in short supply during the most critical stages of brain development.

The brain is a massive 60% fat, so it’s safe to say that it plays a huge role in brain development and function. Through blood tests, they found a correlation between low levels of omega 3’s in the bloodstream and increased struggles with learning and behaviour in school.

A 2012 study found Omega-3 DHA had a profound improvement in reading age, concentration and learning ability in children, lower levels of DHA were attributed to poorer reading and impaired performance.

In a separate study, researchers fish oil rich in omega-3s to the diets of children struggling with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD. After six months, these children showed improved self-esteem, memory, perception, and reading and writing skills. They showed a decrease in disruptive behaviours. More studies have been done with similar results.

How much is required?

Studies show that you need 250mg DHA daily to support brain health. Eating oily fish twice a week – such as salmon or sardines, provides a healthy dose of omega-3 EPA/DHA. Not a fish fan? You should choose a high quality fish oil supplement such as Eskimo-3 Kids.

ESKIMO-3 KIDS

On the market for more that 20 years, Eskimo-3 kids is one of the purest fish oils available today. Eskimo-3 comes in two delicious natural flavours – tutti-frutti flavour and orange flavour which kids simply love!

Award Winning 

Eskimo-3 Kids won Gold in the National Parenting Product  Awards in 2015 for Best Omega-3 Supplement for children. The NAPPA recognition signifies that a product has been rigorously evaluated against stringent criteria by expert judges and parent testers, and that it stands out among similar products. 

FEATURES:

  • Specifically formulated to give children the right balance of Omega oils.
  • Eskimo Kids features the same pure & stable Omega-3 fish oil as Eskimo-3, along with Omega-6 & omega-9 and vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is absolutely essential for healthy bone development
  • Available in great tasting tutti-frutti or natural orange flavour that kids just love!

Eskimo-3 Kids

NEW ESKIMO-3 KIDS CHEWABLE

We are delighted to introduce our new product Eskimo-3 Kids Chewable DHA+, which combines brain boosting omega fatty acid DHA and EPA, with choline and biotin in a great tasting, easy to swallow chewable. The new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ offers an option to children that don’t like to take liquid, as they can take just one chewable a day. Each chewable provides a whopping 254mg DHA, are sugar free and come in a delicious orange flavour. Be warned…You will need to hide the pack as they taste so good. 

  • EPA and DHA found in omega-3 fish oil are essential for eye and nerve health, learning and IQ, co-ordination and mood.
  • Choline – Helps brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning. Choline can be made in small amounts in our bodies, but mostly needs to obtained through food – e.g. eggs, liver, salmon, nuts, fish.
  • Biotin: The brain is more dependent on biotin than any other organ in the body. Biotin is important for a healthy nervous system. Biotin deficiencies can potentially cause neurological problems, especially for those with autism. 

Fantastic new Children’s Product

“I have given this supplement to my children for 3 months and the results are wonderful. My son had difficulty in concentration and speech. I’ve seen significant improvements in his concentration and his speech since taking Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+. He is more relaxed and less irritable in his behaviours. I’ve also noticed that their skin and hair has improved as well. There is more shine in the hair. They love the taste and the fact that there is no fishy aftertaste. I am delighted to recommend new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ to other parents.” Sabrina Kelly, Galway.”

 

Eskimo-3 Cover Kids

For a real academic edge this school year, make sure there is lots of omega-3 DHA in your child’s diet. The full range of Eskimo Products is available in health food stores, pharmacies and online.

More information: www.eskimo3.ie

Instant-messaging, food-to-go, flash sales, relentless emails – all factors contributing to the increasingly fast pace of modern day life. Staying calm before and winding down after a busy day have never been trickier to master.

 

Ashwagandha hand

All of us are beautifully unique and have different ways of managing this busy lifestyle but fortunately, to supplement these there is a natural remedy out there to help restore calm and balance to our bodies and minds.  

Introducing ashwagandha…

Whilst some of us are still to learn of the benefits of ashwagandha in the UK, it has been used for hundreds of years in India to not only manage stress-related conditions but also help with chronic fatigue, insomnia and adrenal fatigue to name a few.  

Classed as a modern-day ‘adaptogen’, ashwagandha adapts to the needs of the body, helping to support it and reduce negative changes during times of emotional and physical stress.

Here are five ashwagandha benefits:

  1. Stress is often at the root of our sleeping problems. When we’re troubled, our sleep is too. Ashwagandha nourishes and strengthens a weakened and over-anxious nervous system, helping the body respond better to stress. Thus helping us to relax enough to get a better night’s sleep.
  2. Ashwagandha acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, exchanging feelings of anxiety for feelings of calmness. Stress normally causes a surge in the adrenal hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – that increase alertness. Ashwagandha tackles the problem at the root as it acts directly on the trigger of stress by regulating the imbalanced cortisol level and nourishing the adrenal glands. A recent study found that ashwagandha safely and effectively improved chronic stress levels in adults taking it daily for 60 days.
  3. A big added bonus of taking ashwagandha capsules is its ability to protect your skin. Stress can play a large role in skin damage by producing high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn, blocks the production of important proteins that are necessary for healthy skin. One of these proteins is collagen, which helps to keep skin firm and elastic.
  4. Further studies have found that taking ashwagandha capsules can improve muscle strength, making it the perfect solution for reducing stress, improving sleep and making those trips to the gym even more effective.
  5. Ashwagandha can be taken to help improve libido in women and testosterone and stamina in men, a recent study has shown. When we are stressed we produce a lot more adrenaline and place pressure on our adrenal glands and organs such as our kidneys. Ashwagandha regulates the amount of adrenalin produced and strengthens organs; improving stamina as well as increasing sperm count and motility in men, and improving libido and ability to achieve orgasm in women.

Wholistic Ashwagandha 60 Caps – RRP €28

 

ashwaganda product shot

Ashwagandha is an organic whole root, native to the dry regions of India and is often referred to as ‘Indian Ginseng’. It’s considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing and has been used for centuries. Pukka’s Ashwagandha contains only the highest grade, sustainably cultivated organic root. Ashwagandha is an excellent supplement for helping strengthen the immune system, particularly after an illness. It’s made from organic ashwagandha and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Pukka’s Wholistic Ashwagandha is also free from dairy, wheat grain, gluten, added sugar and soy and is available from all good health stores nationwide.

The Sun is shining, bees are buzzing, we are dining outdoors and every young lad in the country has a big aul farmers tan. This can only mean one thing. Summer is here and while it seems to last for just one day rather than a full season, it is still the perfect excuse to whip up a cool treat to beat the heat.

 

Bite Size Bowls

This week we are thrilling and chilling that sweet tooth with gluten and dairy free ice cream. This recipe is perfect for those of us who (like myself) are currently staring into a fruit bowl full of almost over ripe bananas. So chop them all up and pop them into the freezer. What you don’t use now for ice cream you can always use later for a smoothie.

Bananas are full of potassium and vitamin B6 but aside from their health benefits they also provide the perfect texture for our vegan ice cream.

This heavenly dessert tastes so good that it must be a sin, but it’s really a saint as we are adding sweet zinc filled strawberries, anti oxidant packed blueberries and magnesium rich cacao nibs (which deserve and entire blog of their own).

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Bananas
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Nibs
  • 2 Tbsp Crunchy Organic Peanut Butter
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • Handful of Strawberries
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

Ice cream


Method:

  1. Slice and freeze the bananas.
  2. Once frozen add them to a food processor and blend.
  3. Chop the strawberries and add them to the blender along with the blue berries, cacao nibs, sea salt, peanut butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Whiz it all up until the texture is similar to ice cream.
  5. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve in a wafer, cone, bowl or any way you like. 

All the ingredients mentioned above can be found at The Green Door Market. Like us on Facebook and follow me on Instagram as I continue my culinary adventures.      

Where do we start! The benefits of changing your makeup cosmetics to natural and non-synthetic are endless from Mascara, lipsticks and liners. You name it.

 

Natural Brush

It’s important to consider changing, especially when you think that we put these items on our most delicate skin tissues every day! The eye and lip area, we essentially consume lip colours, can absorb these products’ ingredients into the system. Where synthetics are difficult for our system to breakdown, they can build up or can become irritants and allergens to us. Again we ask ourselves, if there is a pure, clean and beneficial equivalent, why would we not change our habits?!

My preference for the first thing to change would be your foundation. From self-experience and through guiding clients, the change to the skins condition can be positively huge! With using natural and organic skincare in professional treatments and advising homecare for the past ten years, I have seen the benefits to better hydrated, balanced, soothed and all round happier skins. Then, we undo it all with a foundation full of ingredients that go against our skin goals: dehydration, congestion of blackheads and breakouts, sensitivities / redness can creep back in and the battle to balance it with a facial begins again.

So what are the ingredients in natural foundations that we can achieve optimal skin health I hear you say:

Vegetable oils: Apricot Kernel, Avocado oil, Argan kernel oil, Shea Butter, the list goes on. They provide the skin with antioxidants through abundant vitamins, essential fatty acids to give the skin nourishment, flexibility and softness. A plumped skin with vegetable oils is a smooth skin.

A synthetic version: Polymethyl Methacrylate – plastic filler for lubricating and smooth finish. Big problems in cosmetics are plastics, especially these micro plastics which are detrimental to our environment and the food chain. These are washed down the sink and cannot be processed. These plastics are found in fish. We eat fish.

Silica: A mineral derived from plants such as Horsetail. Enhances health of our connective tissue, mattifies / aborbs sebum and sweat, softening.

A synthetic version: Dimethicone – silicon derivative for an occlusive or masking effect; filler effect; barrier; mattifies. The issue is that it locks in moisture, sebum, bacteria, pollutants to the skin and therefore breakouts and congestion are more common, especially those prone to imbalances, e.g. teenagers at puberty.

 

Makeup Natural Flowers

Plant alcohols: These components create essential oils and preserve products. They are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and give a natural scent to the product. You will see this written at the end of the ingredients list, for example: geraniol, linalool, limonene, etc.

A synthetic version: Phenoxyethanol – a synthetic alcohol to preserve, stabilize and scent. It can  irritate / sensitise the skin leaving it feeling and looking tight. Capillaries can weaken and redness may persist on the skin if it is constantly irritating the skin everyday.

Vegetal Hyaluronic Acid: A carbohydrate and humectant (attracts water) that behaves like a sponge attracting water to itself and expanding to hundreds of times its original weight. This has beneficial effects for supporting connective tissue and visibly plumping and hydrating the skin.

A synthetic version: Glycerine – if a synthetic form of glycerine is used, its humectant properties will give a soft feel to the epidermis but it is so strong that it actually leaves the tissues below quite dehydrated and tight (lacking water). If glycerine is in the ingredients list, it’s always good to ask if it is of chemical or vegetal / plant origin. The natural glycerine is very gentle.

My top picks for natural and organic foundations are from Couleur Caramel:

Hydra Jeunesse – Inca Inchi oil, a peruvian oil high in essential fatty acids to soften and nourish the skin. Hyaluronic acid to smooth, plump and hydrate. Gives beautiful radiance and glow.

Compact Foundation – An all in one full coverage product with an apricot powder base to give a lessened dewy look compared to Hydra Jeunesse. It uses Shea Butter, Apricot Wax, and Jojoba giving fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants to the skin while providing long lasting and professional wear. Popular for brides!

Qualified therapists use their extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology to carry out Massage treatments. The massage is the manipulation of the soft body tissue that is used to enhance a person’s health and well- being.

Massage Beach Lady

Most of you will remember when you were younger and perhaps fell or hurt yourself, having your Mother or Father hold you, or rub the injured part of the body, “to make it feel better”. Touch is a huge part of healing in general and Massage is one form of healing as well as being a relaxation and stress relieving treatment.

There are many different types of Massage and each one works in its own unique way. For example:

Aromatherapy: The therapist uses essential oils and it is the oil as well as the massage technique that’s work with the individual to relieve stress, provide relaxation etc.
Sports Massage: Will usually be concentrated on a particular part of the body that is causing a problem.

Holistic Massage: Your therapist will first sit down with you and discuss your Lifestyle in detail, then they will run through a questionnaire to determine if a Massage is suitable for you or not. They will discuss your Lifestyle with you and suggest numerous ways that you can improve or change things to make your Life better, this combined with the Massage will have a more effective outcome.

Massage is suitable for most people but there are certain contraindications when a person should not have a Massage. It is advisable, particularly if you have a Medical condition to first get advice or written permission from your Doctor or discuss this with your Therapist before booking an appointment.

Some Contraindications:

  • Fever.
  • Cardio Vascular conditions.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Contagious diseases.
  • Recent surgery.

Some people are unsure how the treatment is carried out and often have some undue concerns. Before the Massage begins the therapist will leave you to undress in private then you will lay down on a plinth or massage table. During the Massage you will be discreetly covered by towels or a cover and only the part of the body that is being massaged will be exposed as the therapist begins to oil your body and begin the treatment.

The Massage relaxes muscle tissue, which diminishes tightness or tension in the muscle. It improves circulation pushing oxygen into cells and helps to eliminates any toxins or waste from the body. There are several benefits to be gained from having regular Massage treatments. Massage can help to relieve chronic pain and having a therapeutic Massage can enhance your overall sense of wellness.

Massage Towel

Some of the many Benefits:

  • Improves lymphatic drainage.
  • It enhances your joint mobility.
  • Relieves muscle tension and stiffness.
  • By helping you to relax, and unwind.
  • Relieves headaches.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Insomnia.
  • Back, and neck pain.
  • And much more.

When Massage relieves stress, it helps the body, as a whole. It will also increase your self-esteem, help you to relax and bring clarity to a troubled mind. It has so many benefits on an emotional and physical level. It is appropriate for adults and children alike and is also suitable for pregnant women. (unless otherwise advised by a doctor)
It is so much more than “Just a massage”, it is a whole life change with wide spread benefits.

Black Garlic – White Tofu – Red Peppers

Farmers markets can be hubs of culinary discovery. They surround us with tastes from our locality and from much further afield. My taste buds are frequently sent on mouthwatering adventures, from the sweet exotic flavour of the papaya fruit to the more savoury flavours of the salty succulent samphire. This week we are delving deep into the dark side of cooking as we take a look at black garlic and tofu.

Tofu, The Green Door, Black Garlic, Crispy tofu, recipe, organic food, Food Ideas, Dublin 8, Christy Stapleton, nutrition, foodWhat is Black Garlic?

 Many people believe that garlic is turned black through caramelisation or fermentation but this is incorrect. Fermentation requires microbial action and caramelisation requires pyrolysis (the use of heat to separate chemical composition). The process that occurs in the case of black garlic is known as the “Maillard Reaction”. It involves a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars.

Tofu, The Green Door, Black Garlic, Crispy tofu, recipe, organic food, Food Ideas, Dublin 8, Christy Stapleton, nutrition, foodFresh bulbs of white garlic are aged under controlled levels of heat and humidity over the course of a month until they have become black. This process alters the flavour of the garlic bringing it from its savoury beginnings to something a lot sweeter, milder and sticky to the touch. Perhaps most importantly it wont leave you with pungent garlic breath.

Black garlic can have many uses in your kitchen. It can be spread on bread, turned into sauce, tossed in a soup or mixed into a marinade. Today however, we are going to blend it with some dark soy sauce and maple syrup to create a sweet coating for crispy tofu cubes.

 

Crispy Tofu with Black Garlic

What’s black, white and red all over? Well aside from a newspaper, it’s this delicious quick and easy recipe! I promise it will taste better than the Irish Times.

Tofu, The Green Door, Black Garlic, Crispy tofu, recipe, organic food, Food Ideas, Dublin 8, Christy Stapleton, nutrition, foodIngredients:

  • 1 block of tofu
  • 6 cloves of black garlic
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil (vegetable, avocado or chilli oil all work great too!)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 red pepper
  • bunch of chives

Method:

  1. Drain the tofu and chop up into bite size cubes.
  2. Slice the red pepper into strips and set aside.
  3. Place the black garlic, maple syrup, soy sauce and peanut oil into a blender and whiz up until it is a smooth liquid.
  4. Heat some peanut oil in a wok before throwing in the tofu, turning it frequently until all pieces are a crisp golden brown.
  5. Remove the tofu and set it aside.
  6. Pour the sweet black garlic mixture into the wok until it is sizzling hot.
  7. Toss the tofu back into the wok along with the red peppers and stir fry until the tofu is coated in our mixture.
  8. Serve with some chopped fresh chives and enjoy!

All the ingredients mentioned above can be found at The Green Door Market. Like us on Facebook or follow me on Instagram as I continue my culinary adventures.

This powerhouse salmon salad is versatile and tasty while also wedged full of vitamins and minerals.

Salmon itself is one of the most nutritious fish, packed full of iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6 and 12 along with a whole host of other nutrients for good health. As well as the mixed grain salad this dish is superb for heart and brain health, bone health and improving thyroid function. Grains such as buckwheat, quinoa and cous cous are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. We named this the Powerhouse Salad because it would be hard to find a vitamin or mineral that’s not in this dish!

It’s a very adaptable dish. If you don’t like salmon just simply change your meat or skip the meat altogether. It is super filling and my kids love it so it’s a family favourite. If you don’t fancy making it yourself just pop into The Lo-cal Kitchen and give it a try, you can get the salad without the salmon if you wish too.

lo cal kitchen, healthy food, nutrition,fitness,yoga,health,wellness,recipes,meditation,mindfulness,eat,move,live,breathe,love,revitalize,jenny connolly, food, nutrition, wellness,POWERHOUSE SALMON

You’ll need:

  • 150g fillet of salmon
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat
  • 1 tbsp red quinoa
  • 1 tbsp giant cous cous
  • ½ cup of kale
  • ½ cup mixed salad leaves
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 tbsp pearl barley

for the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tbsp. maple syrup

 

Ovens vary so this is just a guide: Preheat the oven to 180c Place the salmon on an oven proof dish skin side up and cook in oven for 10 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until cooked through but juicy and not dry.

 

With the grains I will often make a larger batch as is done in the Lo-cal Kitchen. Cook buckwheat, quinoa, cous cous and barley according to package instructions. This usually means simmer or soak in warm water but products vary. Once cooked allow the grains to cool and combine.

 

Whisk the dressing ingredients and toss with the grains and chopped kale, making sure to coat the kale well to help it soften slightly. Top with sliced avocado and salmon before sprinkling with pomegranate seeds.

One salad portion with salmon 492 calories 24g fat, 36g carbs, 37g protein

One salad dressing: 131 calories 13g fat, 2g carbs, 0g protein

 

So why should you choose a natural cosmetic. In this article Dearbhla looks at what is actually in our products to help you make more informed choices.

If you had the choice of drinking a glass of tap water, recycled and filtered with added minerals such as chlorine and fluoride or drinking a glass of alpine water, rich in essential minerals from the earth, which would you choose?

Dearbhla Brennan, Natural cosmetic, couleur caramel, headshot, natural beauty, organic beauty, toxin free beauty, beauty, skincare, health, wellness, holistic wellness

It is not always possible to have the purest alternative at our fingertips because we live in a world of mass industrial industries where ingredients can become the least important part of a product and marketing along with gross takings become the top priority. But what happens when you do have the choice: when certified products created as naturally as possible are offered alongside the marketing monsters? You then hold the power, an effortless gesture of turning around these products and reading the ingredients lists to compare:

OPTION 1

Aqua / Water, PEG-8, Glycerin, PEG-60, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Poloxamer 124, Citric Acid, Chlorohexidine Digluconate, Parfum / Fragrance

OPTION 2

Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter Orange) leaf/twig extract*, Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Chloride (sea salt), Potassium sulfate, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter Orange) leaf/twig oil*, Lippia citriodora (Verbena) flower/leaf/stem extract*, Malva sylvestris (Mallow) flower extract*, Lotus corniculatus (Birdsfoot-trefoil) flower extract*, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) leaf extract*, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) extract*, Viscum album (Mistletoe) extract*, citral°, geraniol°, limonene°, linalool°

*Organically farmed ingredients, °naturally preservatives occurring in essential oils

 

The above are two toners, option 1 being a generic cosmetic brand (pharmacies), option 2 an organic, 100% natural and certified brand called PHYT’S which is considered a natural cosmetic (beauty salons, health stores).

Dearbhla Brennan, Natural cosmetic, couleur caramel, headshot, natural beauty, organic beauty, toxin free beauty, beauty, skincare, health, wellness, PHYTS organic toner, holistic wellnessThe price difference of only a few euro higher for the natural cosmetic option presented in a clouded glass bottle. This is so UV light will not affect the plant extracts versus a clear plastic bottle for the first option. The main reason that interests us in option 2 is the results the skin will receive from these ingredients: improved circulation, hydrated skin through pH balance, reinforced connective tissue. Every ingredient has a beneficial effect.

WHEN DID THE IDEA FOR PLANT BASED COSMETICS START?

The idea of using a plant based natural cosmetic is not new, as for thousands of years skincare and makeup have been used by men and women alike through the power of herbs, vegetable oils, and pigments from both plants and the earth. Unfortunately with industrial revolution and petro-chemical developments, we lost touch with our roots through the 1900s: products became more about a promise through synthetically created components which mimicked the natural of times before. Thankfully, at home and internationally, there has been a revival of tradition: plant extracts from sustainable, organic and fair trade farming; certifications of purity and quality obtained by companies to guarantee their ingredients; strict criteria that disallows synthetic fertilizers in farming, or strong chemicals used to clean equipment in labs; and absolutely no testing on animals.

 

At V.Claire Natural Cosmetics we work with PHYT’S organic skincare, Couleur Caramel natural makeup and Acorelle natural perfumes and professional waxing. We are beauty and skin therapists; we are passionate to bring out the best in every skin; loyal to the purist and most professional ranges we can find; and obsessed with every cosmetic and ingredient we work with and provide to you.

 

Maybe the simple question is: why choose synthetic, when you can choose a natural cosmetic? We would love to hear from you so comment below with any questions or comments you have!!

 

Dearbhla Lyons

Training & Development

V.Claire Natural Cosmetics

As an organic vegetable producer, I feel blessed that I am able to grow food from the ground up. Putting time, effort and care into nourishing those plants really does boost the flavour when I find them on my plate. This being particularly true for today’s topic “Sunflower Shoots”.

What are Sunflower Shoots?

Honestly, sunflower shoots are probably one of the best kept secrets in your healthy cooking arsenal. They are the delicious and nutritious micro-greens of the sunflower plant. Sunflower shoots are bursting with vitamins A, D, E, chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, calcium and more!. If it’s protein you’re looking for, they are made out of 20% of it. Oh and for an added bonus, should you let them grow to flower, you will find yourself with thousands of edible crunchy seeds.

With a nutty flavour and a refreshing pop and crunch texture sunflower shoots are perfect for use in salads. Pairing them with nutritious foods such as avocado, bean sprouts and lemon juice, sunflower shoots will leave you feeling fresh and full of energy. Here is one of my favourite sunny salad recipes that you can be creative with and tweak to your own taste.

SUPER SUNNY SALAD WITH SUNFLOWER SHOOTS

Super Ingredients:

  • 50g sunflower shoots
  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 2 scallions (often known as spring onions)
  • 4 radishes
  • 50g mixed salad leaves (eg.rocket, cress, lettuce)
  • 25g bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 green olives
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt

Unprocessed Process:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour the olive oil and toss the paprika plus salt into a bowl. Give them a quick whisk.
  2. It’s off to the chopping block for the avocado, scallions and olives. Cut them into small pieces.
  3. Thinly slice the radish, cucumber and carrots using a sharp knife or mandolin (I’m more of a guitar man myself).
  4. Mix all the cut up veg together with your sunflower shoots, mixed leaves and bean sprouts.
  5. Drizzle on a few spoonfuls of dressing and enjoy.

This will serve 2 hungry people.

#TASTYTUESDAY,sunflower shoots, organic food, salads, nutrition, menu ideas, the green door market, phytonutrients, health, wellbeing, GIY, grow your own, organic living, holistic healthcare, connections, spiritual connections,Where can I find Sunflower Shoots?

As the popularity of sunflower shoots increases we seem to be finding them sprouting up at more and more farmers markets. I bought mine from Christys Organic Wheatgrass inside The Green Door Market located at 18 Newmarket Square, Dublin 8 just off Cork Street.

Open Tuesday – Friday 12:00pm – 19:00pm

Saturday 9:30am – 16:00pm

Sunday 11:00am – 17:00pm

#TastyTuesday