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Carien

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Aloha! I'm Carien. I live in South Africa in an area called the Swartland (Black Land). I live on a small holding (Homestead) and I am a full time house wife with one husband (yes, only one), one son, one dog, a few sheep and plenty of chickens. Living as natural as possible is a passion of mine. Inclined to a mostly organic vegetarian diet I tend to post healthy food recipes, green tips and information on natural and organic and natural living.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a cultured, probiotic rich product with amazing health attributes.

Milk Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavour is similar to a drinking yoghurt. It’s water counterpart is fizzy and refreshing with a neutral base which you can flavour with fruits, herbs or ginger to your liking. Both water and milk Kefir contains beneficial yeasts as well as probiotic bacteria, although milk kefir is superior in it’s probiotic content.

The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast found in kefir combine symbiotically and gives kefir the health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.

For those who are lactose intolerant, milk kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose which helps your body deal with the lactose.

Milk Kefir right and water Kefir left

Milk Kefir left and water Kefir right

How is Kefir Made?

Milk Kefir can be made from any type of milk; cow, sheep or goat usually at a ratio of 1:10 of grains to milk. Water Kefir is produced using sugar and water. When starting off with few grains you can use quarter cup sugar with 3.5 cups of water. The most important ingredients is off course the Kefir Grains. These you can obtain from most health food stores, or just ask around, people are very keen and willing to share their kefir grains. When fed well, they will multiply quickly, which in turn will allow you to share the goodness with someone else.

Although milk Kefir is slightly mucus forming, the mucous has a ‘clean’ quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the colonisation of friendly bacteria.

Why use Kefir?

Kefir helps bring back the balance to your digestive tract. Your gut bacteria is killed off daily by unhealthy eating habits, medication, chlorinated water, and so many other things. Our overall heath comes from our gut, and if our digestive tract is unhealthy, so are we. By regularly consuming fresh, healthy, alive probiotics in the form of Kefir we can turn the tide on feeling sluggish, slow and tired all the time.

It is a health elixir that is affordable and easily obtainable.

Lemongrass Essential Oil comes from a herb called Lemongrass

Lemongrass essential oil is made from a versatile and elegant herb called lemongrass that possesses several key properties which help it stand out as a potent anti-fungal and antimicrobial agent. The historical use of Lemongrass in eastern medicine through the ages has solidified its reputation as worthy complement to modern western medicine.

In a 2003 study of essential oils, it was concluded that among others, Lemongrass Essential Oil was bactericidal against certain pathogens *. Lemongrass extract was a favoured panacea among the ancients and was used as a pesticide and preservative.

Used in modern day preservation, it has been applied to ancient manuscripts found and collected in India. Lemongrass Oil seeps into the palm leaf structure, increasing the natural elasticity of the leaves. The oil keeps manuscripts dry due to its hydrophobic nature, which protects the text from decay caused by humidity.

Beyond the documented historical use of Lemongrass Essential Oil, it is still widely used in traditional Indian healing, Ayurveda, in the symptomatic treatment of infections, fever, indigestion and respiratory complaints.

Where Does Lemongrass Essential Oil Come From?

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a member of the Poaceae family and is a tall perennial grass native to the warm, humid regions of India and tropical Asia. It is used predominantly as a herb in Asian cuisine and has a subtle citrus flavour. Known by the name ‘ Serai ‘ in Malaysia and ‘ Gavati Chaha ‘ in India, Lemongrass Oil is extracted from the fresh or partly dried blades by means of steam distillation, and it takes roughly 200 kilograms of freshly cut flora to create 1 kilogram of Lemongrass Oil.

Therapeutic Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil:

  • Being a strong anti-fungal, Lemongrass Essential Oil is particularly effective for the treatment of fungal infections pertaining to the skin such as athlete’s foot and acne.
  • It reduces oil production; thereby it helps to clear skin that is susceptible to acne breakouts. It also assists in preventing and maintaining greasy hair.
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil acts on the blood vessels under your skin, causing them to naturally dilate, resulting in tighter pores and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles.
  • With its antibacterial, expectorant and antiseptic properties, lemongrass Oil is ideal for the treatment of colds, flu, bronchitis and respiratory infections.
  • Due to its antispasmodic action, this oil helps sooth tummy spasms making this a suitable remedy for anyone suffering from cramping associated with flatulence.
  • As a gastric stimulant, this oil stimulates digestive secretions, in turn aiding in the discomfort caused from sluggish digestion.
  • Lemongrass is highly antiseptic and efficiently destroys micro-organisms that carry disease, making it safe to disinfect ailments such as minor cuts and scrapes, cold-sores and insect bites.
  • Although Lemon Essential Oil can be considered a nervine and can be used to calm nerves and promote relaxation, it is also a stimulant, opening the sensory system and promoting alertness, hence it is often used to counteract the effects of jetlag and fatigue.
  • As a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it can aid in the relief of general muscle aches and spasms, sprains, toothache and headaches.
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil is hydrophobic and in conjunction with its diuretic properties, can help prevent and alleviate water retention resulting in less bloating during menstruation.

Health Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil:

  • Lemongrass Oil is commonly used in India as a remedy to help treat ringworm by combining 2-4 drops of the essential oil with 60 ml of Sweet Almond Oil. Apply the mixture to the affected area regularly until the ringworm has healed.
  • To help alleviate pain from aching joints or a sprained muscle, melt 80 ml of Olive Oil and 125 ml of beeswax. Stir in 30 ml of Coconut Oil and 5 ml of Lemongrass Essential Oil and allow to cool. Decant the mixture into a sealable tub and massage over affected area when necessary.
  • Lemongrass Oil can help sooth inflamed skin, and being an antiseptic agent, will also prevent further build up of bacteria. Boil a cup of water and allow to cool. Add 2-4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil and decant into a sealable bottle. After evening cleansing, moisten a cotton ball with the mixture and smooth over your skin.
  • Treat athlete’s foot by combining 5 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil with 30 ml of pure Shea butter. Store in a sealable container. After bathing or showering, ensure that your feet are thoroughly dry then rub the cream onto affected area liberally.

Awesome Tip: Insects find the scent of Lemongrass Essential Oil highly unappealing; as a result it makes for a very effective repellent. Fill a spray bottle with water, add 10-15 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 8-10 drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil and mix well. This can be used around your home as well as directly on your skin. As a precaution, test a small amount on the inner wrist first to avoid any possible reaction.

Home Uses Lemongrass Essential Oil:

  • Lemongrass Essential Oil makes for a wonderfully natural furniture cleaner, plus it adds an invigorating scent and sheen. Combine 4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 6 drops of Lemon essential Oil and 4 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil with 70 ml of Jojoba Oil. With a soft cloth, wipe lightly and sparingly over wooden furniture.
  • Naturally deodorize as well as sanitize your home by adding 4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to a spray bottle filled with 2 cups of warm water. This is an enlivening, brisk aroma for an overall clean, invigorating smell, and is a particularly good blend for freshening cupboards, drawers and bathrooms.

Caution: Lemongrass Essential Oil may irritate sensitive skin. Should you be pregnant or breast feeding, avoid using as a precaution. Because essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances don’t use undiluted on the skin.

Disclaimer: We are not medically trained in any way; if you suffer from a medical condition, please consult your doctor or homeopath.

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This gluten-free muffin recipe  is an  easy to make healthy snack.

Gluten-free food has become associated with with bland less tasty food. Not this gluten-free muffin recipe. This healthy snack is a marvellous smack in the tastes buds. Not only is this pineapple carrot & oats gluten-free muffin tasty – it’s great to fuel your body when you’re on-the-go or working out.

Gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity is one of the most common food intolerances and, in recent years, there has been an increasing awareness of the condition. But people with gluten intolerance should not despair as there are fantastic gluten-free recipes available today. We hope you’ll find this healthy snack muffin recipe as palatable as we did.

Try this gluten-free muffin recipe  as a healthy snack

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Fresh crushed Pineapple I blend it in a blender
  • 1 cup Grated carrots peeled
  • 2 cups Gluten-free oats
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • .5 tsp Himalayan salt
  • .25 cup Unfiltered, raw honey
  • 2 Free range eggs
  • .33 cup Melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Start by adding your Gluten free oats to the blender and blend until it has the consistency of flour.

  2. Add the baking soda (or 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder if you don't like the taste of baking soda. The muffins will also rise more with the baking powder, but will be less healthy), salt and cinnamon. Give it a quick blend to mix well.

  3. Move the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients; crushed pineapple, grated carrots, raw honey, eggs and melted coconut oil.

  4. Mix everything well with a spoon or whisk.

  5. Spoon into your prepared muffin pan and bake in heated oven for 15 minutes at 175 degrees or until golden brown.

  6. Remove from oven and leave in muffin pan to cool before removing.

  7. These muffins are super moist and will almost look like their not done when removed from the oven, but will firm up when left to cool a bit.

This is a power packed healthy vegan snack recipe that’s easy to make.

Not only is it healthy, one can almost be fooled that it tastes like a conventional decadent chocolate dessert, like a chocolate lava pudding. Due to the high energy ingredients this healthy vegan snack recipe is suitable as a snack when you’re hitting a slump in your work day. Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts can use it as fuel before and after workouts.

This recipe contains coconut milk, here’s a link to a recipe to show you how to make your own at home.

Try this healthy vegan snack recipe and let us know in the comments how it worked out for you and what you think of it.

This is a power packed healthy vegan snack recipe that’s easy to make.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 Bites

Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup Coconut milk
  • 0.5 cup Almond butter or any other nut butter
  • 0.5 cup Raw cacao powder
  • 0.5 tsp Baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup Pitted dates

Instructions

  1. Add the Coconut milk, cacao powder and pitted dates to your blender. My dates where frozen, so I soaked them in boiling water for a while before adding to the blender. Discard the water. Blend until completely smooth.

  2. Now add all the other ingredients; almond butter, baking soda, salt and mix well.

  3. Spoon into prepared muffin pan and bake for 10min in a heated oven at 175 deg.

Immune Boosting Raw Juicing Recipe to Fight Flu & Colds

This raw juicing recipe is  a hot  pot of nutrients

Perk up your day with this carrot & ginger raw juice recipe that will help your body’s immune system cope better with flu, colds and other annoying illnesses. Not only does this raw juicing recipe contain carrots and ginger, it also consists of lemon and pineapple that’s has amazing immune boosting properties. 

Here are some reasons why we chose these ingredients for this immune boosting raw juice recipe:

  • Carrots contain Vitamin C, which gives your immune system a boost. They also contain antioxidants, which helps your body fight inflammation.
  • Lemons, I’m sure you know, are also high in Vitamin C. They also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Ginger has such an array of benefits, it’s a strong antioxidant, contains natural antibiotics, helps eliminate congestion and so much more.
  • Pineapple contains a substance known as bromelain, this is a strong defender against viruses. Bromelain is also used to reduce swelling, especially of the sinuses. Pineapple also helps clear congestion and is natures best cough medicine.

You can use any kind of juicer and you’ll still get a lot of benefits from juicing. However not all juicers are created equal. Some juicers just manage to squeeze out the maximum amount of nutrients from the vegetables and fruit.

There basically two types of juicers for home use. Masticating juicers and centrifugal juicers. Centrifugal juicers are generally much cheaper than masticating juicers and there’s a good reason for that.  

Masticating juicers manages to press out more nutritional value and taste out of your fruits and veggies because of the unique slow squeezing mechanism. If you’re on a budget a centrifugal juicer will do the trick just fine, but if you can scrape together those extra cents, a masticating juicer is definitely worth it. We use an Oscar juicer and it has served us VERY well for almost 8 years now.

Immune boosting raw juice recipe:

Carrot Ginger Pineapple Raw Juice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 30 Grams Ginger About halve a thumb size knob
  • 8-10 Medium Sized Carrots Peeled if you like, but not necessary.
  • 1 Medium Sized Pineapple Peeled
  • 2 Medium Sized Lemons Peeled

Instructions

  1. The way you prepare your fruits and vegetables depends on the kind of juicer you have. But it is always recommended to cut them into chunks as to not put extra strain on your juicer.

Oscar masticating juicer juicing carrots, ginger, lemons and ginger raw juice recipe