Like the rest of you, I have tried my fair share of tips, tricks, products and contraptions to edify and beautify my life. After having spent enough time and money to fill a circus tent, I feel obliged to share my top tips.
This is real life stuff – as in, not super glossy, high end, envy-csape, so don’t be scared! You can do this.
I have not been paid or otherwise compensated in any way for providing my unsolicited advice here. Besides that, I’m offering a lifetime 100% discount on all this valuable wisdom, so you are just one lucky thing all the way around.
Healthy, Economical and Eco Friendly Tips for a Beautiful Mind and Body
Tips on SUPPLEMENTS:
For many years I suffered from anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and mild depression. I never really realized it until I was several years into my marriage, and regularly mincing my husband into weepy mounds of broken emotion on a regular basis. I was the executioner and it was ugly.
I am a modern witch and supplement junky, and routinely conjure up the healing powers of herbals and extracts and powders and so forth for many a health and beauty conundrum.
A substantial proportion of these have either made no or so little discernible difference that they came and went without much notice.
Sometimes eye of newt is the only thing for it.
However, 5HTP is a beautiful beautiful thing if ever there was one.
Within three days of taking one 200mg capsule daily, I was a new crocus sprung up out of the snow: calmer, happier, nicer, saner. Within a week I had more energy and was sleeping like a queen. My husband hardy knew who I was; it was BarelyBeauts to MegaBeauts in a wink and I’ve never looked back.
5HTP works as a serotonin booster/balancer, which in turn helps to balance your melatonin, which in turn helps your waking and sleeping self to play nice and serve your body best.
The serotonin performs a certain kind of wizardry with mood, depression and anxiety in a similar way to SSRIs, but in a gentle, natural way, without all the nasty side effects and long term implications of taking prescription anti-depressants.
Depression and anxiety are serious conditions, the causes many and varied – so be sure to get the right kind of professional assistance if you’re struggling with these issues (see my People and Words To Get In Your Life recommendations page for some good places to start). It took me a long time and plenty of misadventure to find the right dosage and right supplement for my particular set of circumstances.
Since I am not a doctor, I will endorse this product on the proviso that you do your research and be sensible about things. A carefully crafted plan was made just for me by my functional medical practitioner, so I was in safe hands during my debut with 5HTP.
Do not venture forth without the proper attention to detail. It may not be appropriate for everyone; being happy but dead is not ideal.
I personally take Incite Health 200mg 5HTP, which is a griffona seed extract, with only two other ingredients (cellulose and magnesium stearate). I like when my supplements are as pure as possible, and I have been very happy with this brand (often 5HTP is combined with vitamin B6; for some, this is an additional sleep aid, and for others, like me, it can cause severe insomnia, so take your time and find what suits you best).
I buy a three month’s supply on Amazon for about £14.
Final Consensus: Possibly could save your life and marriage. Proceed with knowledge and caution.
Beauty is as much a feeling as it is a concept, as it is an experience, as it is a tangible entity. I believe that you are what you believe, and therefore, if you are beholden to negativity or are trompled down by weighty issues in life (whatever they may be), it starts to form a crust over your ability to see the sequins.
I also feel very strongly that beauty is an energy and a life-force, and that if you are depleted in these yourself, well, it’s all wrecked silk stockings, isn’t it?
So, that mini pholosophization aside, if you struggle with energy in your body, consider this tip for taking a B vitamin complex.
Bearing in mind that a lack of energy can be due to myriad issues (some quick and easy, others serious and complex, so maybe don’t rely on Dr. Anna for diagnosis, yeah?), B vitamins are little gems that support your nervous system, energy levels, cell production, hormones, healthy skin/hair/nails and all sorts of fun stuff. B12 is especially vital for psychological wellbeing, and deficiencies are closely linked to depression, which is no good for anyone I’ve ever met.
Ideally, you would be getting your full range from a balanced diet (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12), but that is increasingly difficult to accomplish with nutrient depletion in industrially produced crops.
Anyway, what I’m saying is, if you’re feeling like you need some pippity-pep in your life, try out a B complex and see where it takes you. They are cheap and easy to find, so grab yourself a good quality set and hop-to darlin’.
Final Consensus: Probably do you good, possibly change your life.
B6 and Raspberry Leaf Tea
Yes, I know I already talked about B vitamins. Calm down. I just wanted to single this little baby out and let you get to know her, because she’s become a close and reliable friend of mine.
I am the sort of gal who suffers from PMS and gets pretty shitey cramps on the first day of my period; that doesn’t single me out as unique, but it does set me on a rage something ballistic. In the interests of self and humanitarian preservation, I’ve diligently endeavored to quell the dragon.
The method that has done me most proud is this:
For 3-6 days prior to my monthly, I will drink 4-5 cups of raspberry leaf tea a day. It eases menstrual cramps in a variety of ways and you can drink it on an ongoing basis for overall reproductive health. I combine this with taking a larger than normal dose of B6 everyday for about a week prior to the start of my flow (10-20mg).
I tell you true, my babies, my cramps are NO more! This is nothing short of a miracle.
This little tea tip also helps to regulate my period and reduce overall PMS symptoms, as well as supporting hormonal balance. These two sisters are a dynamic duo for me – I would always recommend that you see an appropriate professional before taking my experimental advice, but little tweaks here and there can really light the place up.
Of course, be careful and don’t blow your head off with this stuff. It can happen.
Final Consensus: Everyone needs their own tailored formula, but mother save us, cramps can kill themselves and this will help them do so.
It’s no good having pristine pearly whites if they are little madams of suffering. What I mean is, sensitive teeth are stupid. Don’t need, you know?
Increasingly so, in my dotage, I’ve noticed them misbehaving – and tooth pain isn’t funny. Naturally, I saw my dentist regarding this issue on multiple occasions and he patted me on the bum with the suggestion that I use Sensodyne toothpaste and don’t eat too many cupcakes.
Dutifully. I resolutely adhered to his advice, but it was a cupcakeless life in vain. Now, I’m not hating on old Senso, but he just didn’t show me the goods, so what else can a girl do?
I discovered that the single best thing for my sensitivity has been adding 100% calcium powder to my toothpaste. In doing so, you are fortifying the actual bone of your teeth, instead of chemically interfering with the nerves.
It is not a flawless remedy – in spite of nightly application, there is still the odd occasion where my teeth pipe up with rude remarks, and something particularly hot or cold may still have words for me. Idiots. Well. It’s the best I can do, and a heck of a lot better than anything else.
I bought a 98 year supply on Amazon for less than £10. Come on.
Final Consensus: Happy times with popsicles and hot chocolate all on the same afternoon.
D – Mannose and Kava Kava Tincture
An angry bladder is never a Sunday picnic. There is nothing glamorous about the tugging, thrumming, jabbing, stabbing, grabbing pain of a UTI, cystitis, or interstitial cystisis. In fact, it’s a fucking waste of time, so I would strongly advise against all interactions with it.
In the event that you have a lapse of sanity and do decide to dabble with burning piss, D-mannose and Kava Kava tincture will save all your bacon and probably your mother’s, too. Take it from someone who was scared to go to the bathroom for about 14 months – this is the business.
Easily accessible and affordable (about £18 on Amazon for a bottle of 50 x 1000mg), D-mannose is a certain kind of sugar that is typically harvested from birch trees.
I know what you’re thinking: Sugar to fight a UTI? Isn’t that precisely the wrong thing to do?
Normally, yes. But D-mannose is in a whole different category of natural sugars, and basically attracts the deeply unhelpful E.Coli to itself, away from the inflamed walls of your urinary tract; the E. Coli greedily eats up the D-mannose and whoosh it goes the next time you use the loo.
D-mannose is effective in the event of a proper UTI, a weekend bout of cystitis, or the more malign and chronic interstitial cystitis. Although I would always encourage you to get to the root of your urinary health issues (particularly if they are recurrent, which could be an indicator of something more sinister at play), D-mannose is extremely safe for both temporary and long term use.
If you do develop a UTI, this can be loaded up on instead of antibiotics. Use your noodle and make sure you’re not doing yourself a mischief, please.
Alternatively, it can be taken in smaller doses on a daily basis to help with persistent bladder pains, to great effect. This has successfully meant that peeing is no longer a fearful and, moreover, stupid, experience for me.
The Kava Kava, on the other hand, is super effective at dealing with the immediate, acute pain of the situation. It will keep you in reasonable spirits until the wider net of the D-mannose has been cast, allowing the healing powers of this natural remedy to do it’s magic without reaching for the prescriptions.
I take it in organic tincture form. Generally one dropper full in a glass of water in the morning is enough to calm the seas.
Final consensus: The absolute best thing for removing hot knives from your urethra.
DIM- Di-indole-methane/ Indole-3-Carbinol
It’s always the old acne dogma with me, I’m afraid. But I have a real heart for peeps who struggle with problematic skin, seeings as I’ve spent some real quality time with many a pustule and papule myself.
DIM, or di-indole-methane, is extracted from cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). It is a natural supplement that is safe for both long and short term use.
In the most basic terms, DIM helps the body to effectively eliminate and balance hormones (namely estrogen), which can have a huge effect on the quality of your skin.
Your body will use your skin as a conduit for detox if necessary, so if the system is a little skewed, you may be experiencing regular acne or breakouts because your body doesn’t cycle excess hormones out of your body’s alternative filter organs effectively (think liver and so forth).
By assisting your body in this elimination process, the noxious left overs are shipped out through the appropriate channels, leaving your skin to heal and repair from the onslaught.
Take it from someone who suffered from unrepentant and unrelenting rounds of pizza-face for about 12 solid years, this is the single best supplement I’ve ever taken for my skin.
Because it works from the inside out, you may be looking at 1-3 months of use before you see real results – but it is so definitely worth the time and cost investment.
There is also research that indicates it may also help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer. Bonus.
Many forms of DIM can be found kicking around, but I get mine in the form of Indole-3-Carbinol by Thorne Research. It’s fairly pricey at £25-£35/bottle of 60 (1-2 month supply, depending on dosage), but it is one of the essential components of my daily supplement routine.
Thorne Research consistently offer very high quality, pure products, and if I can get a supplement from them I always do, even at a higher price. It is always worth it.
If you haven’t read my gush on oil cleansing, please do, because it is the vital counterpart to this equation.
As always, don’t dose and drive. Do your research and be a clever sausage when it comes to pill popping.
One final word: these are little darlings, but they do actually smell like shit – like when you cook cabbage and the whole place becomes and damp diaper. But, providing you don’t chew the capsule up, you’ll be fine. Promise. Just don’t throw them out thinking that you’ve been sold powdered poo.
Final Consensus: Worth the cost. Beautiful skin is non-negotiable, and this is what sings to me.
Very much out of the blue, I started to suffer from restless legs about two years ago. My mother has had it for years, and I never understood the concept of legs having a mind of their own and being restless – like they needed to have an affair and write a novel from a lighthouse or something.
Friends, I do now. What a weird, weird thing. For sufferers near and far, I feel you.
Again, as with all these sneaky tips, it can be a little complicated, and the causes for restless leg syndrome range from mineral deficiency to neurological imbalances. Luckily, in my case, it has responded beautifully to taking magnesium sulphate in the form of Epsom salts.
Now, I’ve had several doctors raise their eyebrows at this, but through trial and error, I have unequivocally discovered that this particular form of magnesium supplementation is the best for me. Might not be the best for you, though, so research your options.
There are loads of different forms of magnesium out and about, so if you are lacking, there’s a sweetie waiting for you out there somewhere.
Not only do the Epsom salts work really well for me internally, but they are super economical when bought in bulk online. You can also use them to make magnesium oil, detox baths, and magic. Head on over to www.wellnessmama.com for loads of ideas and tips on how to get this stuff into your life.
Aside from conquering restless legs, magnesium is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions in your body. This shit is hot, and even if your limbs aren’t the compulsively self-propelling type, magnesium will do you proud and make your mother happy.
Improves sleep, energy, PMS and cells and blood and bones and all the rest of it. You know the drill.
Be cautioned: ramp up your magnesium intake carefully. It’ll give you unbridled diarrhea if you steam ahead full tilt (which, consequently means it’s excellent for constipation, so there’s your silver-lining folks).
Final Consensus: It’s an essential.
Tips on VARIOUS ITEMS OF INTEREST:
There is nothing glam about the old sodium bicarbonate. Let’s face it. Boring doesn’t even begin to cover it. But. My friends. But.
Baking soda don’t play no games. It serious.
There are so many applications for baking soda that encompass everything from vanity to wellbeing to cleanliness and very likely space travel.
Since it’s cheap as used shoestrings, I’d like to introduce you to a new way of thinking. Shnazzy product bottles with a bejewelled lids that smell of rainbows don’t necessarily know all the answers – but we all know a little white powder can go a long way.
There are six-million-and-two uses for baking soda, but here are just a few of my favorites:
- Teeth whitening: just add in to your tooth paste
- Exfoliation: mix with oil or water in the shower and give your epidermis a gentle but effective shape up
- Toe fungus: yes, I mean it. This is a vital component of getting rid of toe/foot fungus
- Cleaning the tub, sink, taps, and every other available surface: get rid of all that chemical shit in your cupboard. This stuff scrubs off just about anything and shines up grimy chrome/stainless steel/brushed metal like a real best friend
- Deodorant: I make my own deodorant and this is stuff is key. Call Wellness Mama for recipes
- Cystitis: mix this with lemon and water and chug it twice a day to ease the burning pain of cystitis. Also, check out my review of D-mannose for more on urinary tract health
- Detox bath: just pour ½-1 cup into a bath and soak up while it sucks out the toxin overload
- Sunburn: similar to above; simmer down with a soak
- Heartburn: take ¼ teaspoon if you have a heartburn attack and this little beauty will quell that storm down in a jiffy by neutralizing your HCl (that’s hydrochloric acid, AKA stomach acid)
- Bug bites and stings: make a paste with water and dab over area for relief
Frankly, the list goes on and on. I would suggest you get yourself some of this mind-blow (buy it in bulk if you want to be extra economically clever) and get moving.
Final Consensus: Out with the bullshit, in with the baking soda
British Berkefeld Water Filter
WTF, you ask? Have I lost the plot and gone irretrievably off kilter? Always a possibility. But, stick with me.
Although this may seem like it has nothing to do with anything, and is especially MegaBores, as always, I invite you to dismiss this only after mindful consideration (at which point you can do what you want).
Luckily for most of us in The West, we enjoy unlimited clean water, piped straight into our bellies, 24/7 – so beware the trap of the First World Woes.
All this aside, through my health journey (which is ultimately a path toward inner beauty, let’s not forget), it has come to my attention that our trusty old kitchen taps are not the sweet old brownie baking dearies we thought; a killer is in our midst, and it’s Granny Gertrude! What? Just, never mind.
The point is, as with everything, we musn’t take anything for granted, and often the most mundane requires a little careful inspection.
To many, the concept that modern tap water is anything but perfect prickles somewhere uneasily around conspiracy theory. That’s fine; I’m an avid partaker. But in the interests of not sabotaging my health to appease the naysayers, I delved into this subject with an open mind, and have been surprisingly surprised and pleasantly pleased.
To keep it relatively simple, here’s what I’ve discovered:
- Our modern water is heavily chemicalized to manage pathogenic invaders; the chloramine that is used to disinfect water can have a cumulatively negative effect on your overall wellbeing.
- Although hygiene is super important, the modern approach is not always capable of killing off the increasingly virulent pathogens that are quickly strengthening against all sorts of man-made chemicals/pharmaceuticals…so there’s the potential for chemicals and who knows what else in your cuppa all at the same time. Yummo.
- When fermenting veg, kombucha, and kefir, the recipes always say use filtered water – which for years I ignored. It wasn’t until we started using our purified water from old Berkey that things really started to hot up in here – our cultures, grains, SCOBYs, and all the various yums that come of these endeavors became so much more vital and potent. Turns out, the chloramine does a mischief to the bad dudes as well as the good’ns. Don’t need.
- This filter also removes loads of other impurities that are present in your average, every day, garden variety tap water: here is a direct quote from their site berkeywater.com:
“Why are the Berkey® systems the benchmark in gravity fed water purification? It’s simple- they remove viruses, harmful pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, unhealthy contaminants and impurities to below detectable levels, while leaving in the essential minerals your body needs. The result is the most healthful, delicious water available.”
This includes the chemicals, the ever controversial fluoride, heavy metals, and the odd monkey paw. Suit yourself.
- Lastly, the taste. I grew up in the country on well water, so city water was always a bit offensive to me. When I moved to where I live now, it was like having a nice, tall glass of swimming pool. No more, kids. Fresh as a cloud, this stuff.
Final Consensus: Definite keeper. Sanitation has gone quite simply mad and gotten lost along the way; now we’re in trouble. Wise up.
I came across these in a seriously intense hippie health shop about 10 years ago. I was with my best friend at the time and we both wet ourselves laughing at how sick and weird these things were.
Friends, meet a humbled soul; this is one of the best inventions I’ve ever personally benefited from.
If you can free your mind from convention and misconception for one moment, please believe me when I say that bleeding on a monthly basis does not have to be an uncomfortable, embarrassing, costly, or inconvenient endeavor (menstruating sucks the big one as far as I’m concerned, and I’m happy to strike up a rebellion against it if anyone is interested, but in the mean time…). Seriously.
Because this is something most of us deal with on a more-frequent-than-strictly-enjoyable basis (and I have never been an easy keeper where all this hormonal shite is concerned), it is my personal privilege to say that there is a better way.
Of course, if tampons, pads, reusable absorbent panties, or sea sponges work for you, then great: you can disregard the following.
However, my relationship with my monthly visit improved significantly with the use of my MoonCup (but there are loads of other brands, too. I have not tried them, but the concept is similar with all).
Here’s the deal: you insert the flexible silicone cup into your vagina (there are two sizes – one for women who’ve given birth vaginally and one for those who haven’t). Instead of absorbing your flow either internally or externally, you are simply catching it. You remove the cup, discard the contents, rinse or wipe it if necessary, reinsert and return to your picnic. Done.
For a more comprehensive break down, check out this article that I had published on the topic: Menstrual Cups Could Save Your Life – Here’s What You Should Know
Sounds gross, I know.
It does require that you get to know your finer anatomy – but this is such a good thing! For the sake of your health and confidence, you should establish a strong relationship with your vagina and all the lovely parts that make it such an amazing entity.
Anyway, the point is, yes you have to get personal with yourself, but believe believe believe, once you’ve got this thing up and running, you will literally forget.
As in, forget.
As in, not think about the fact that you’re on your period. No more visible-panty-lines for a week. No more strings dangling out. Just no more worrying, in general.
I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of love I’m talking about; dedicating less precious time and energy to my cycle means happy times for me.
After the initial outlay of about about £20-£30, you can reuse these babies over and over for over a decade – which makes them both economical and ecological. I was spending between £5-£8 per month on tampons before, so my MoonCup quickly offset the cost of itself.
Not to mention, I still have many menstruating years ahead of me, so the idea of not contributing to the growing pile of floating flotsam in the sea suits me fine.
Once it’s in, you can leave it for 6-12 hours, depending upon how heavy your flow is. Providing you use it properly, you can’t feel it, it doesn’t leak, it doesn’t fall out, and you can be as kick ass active as you want.
I repeat: you will forget anything is even going on.
Also, and this is huge, menstrual cups are not linked to TSS – which is the extremely serious Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons opened up a world of freedom to me in the past, but the idea of trading comfort and mobility for potentially fatal side effects is sort of shit. Moving on.
Final consensus: 100% Bestness
At one point I told my husband I wanted to have my double chin surgically removed. I only kind of meant it. He promptly said no, and that was probably for the best. And to be fair, I don’t have much of a double chin (although I do have a harsh opinion of what’s there, nevertheless), so it was all a bit of a drama on my part.
However, after years of draining health issues had taken their toll, I woke up one day in the middle of being 27 and realized for the first time that things were starting to go south.
I had fine lines around my eyes and mouth and a few substantially more forthright wrinkles on my forehead. My pores were large and open from years of acne and all the wrong products, and generally my skin looked tired, and, frankly, saggy.
Without trying to make this sound like a suicide note, I simply became aware very suddenly that if I didn’t develop an anti-aging routine for my skin sooner rather than later, I’d look rather more mussed than necessary for my years.
Since a cosmetic operation was somewhat out of the question for various reasons, the next best thing I came across was a hand-held home device called NuFace (affectionately called Nufy at our house). Dr. Oz put my mind at rest that it was worth the outlay, so I spent a hefty couple hundred pounds on an ex-display model and set to work.
Touted for improving elastin and collagen production, circulation and muscle tone with mini electrical pulses, it is meant to give your visage a micro work-out, ultimately giving you a homemade face lift; I had high hopes.
It is an investment of time more than anything – that must be said upfront. Twenty minutes a day, to be exact. Although, it must also be said that I’ve worked it into a sort of daily routine whereby I read and lift at the same time, so it’s not much of a bother.
After some weeks of use, you are meant to reduce your time from 20 mins to 5 mins- but I’ve never actually done that. I’m scared to let go of what I have accomplished.
Saying that, I went to see family for a month; when I came back, and after diligent use, my husband, without any prompting on my part, said I actually looked different. He could not tell me what had changed, but he could definitely see a change/improvement nevertheless. Yay!
Being completely honest, this is not a face life. It just ain’t. But it does work.
And there are no needles, anesthetic, scars, scary side effects, or questionable facial expressions involved.
Things are just a few more degrees perkier than before, and I believe that the underlying tissue beneath my skin is benefiting in a way that will see me ever so slightly less slouched with lazy abandon in the long run.
Final Consensus: For the seriously vain, this is something to occupy your life with what may bring you a little closer to perfection.
Tips on PRODUCTS:
Castor Oil/Grapeseed Oil
If ever I am going to get annoying and evangelical about something, it is oil cleansing. I will sing that song till the ponies come home.It goes beyond top tip. Since I was about 12, I’ve struggled with acne. However, unlike most people, I never grew out of that teenage affliction.
I tried every type of cream, gel, potion, concoction, cleanser, toner, moisturizer on the market (most of them shockingly harsh) all the way up the ladder to the big pharmaceutical guns of Accutane (which was massive mistake, I don’t mind telling you).
Nothing ever worked – the best I’d get was maybe 6 months of relief, and then my skin would bust a move and make me miserable all over again.
At 25, I had a revelation with oil cleansing. This counter-intuitive approach (why would you ever slather oil on your face??!) has never once let me down.
Since I started using it, my skin has exponentially improved to a state that I never actually thought I’d achieve. My entire washing and moisturizing routine comprises of just two elemental ingredients: grapeseed oil and castor oil. That’s it.
I like to do this in the shower, as it just makes things easier. Get a hot cloth and place it over your face – don’t go burning yourself, but get those pores open. Then, take some of each oil in your palm and rub it into your face*.
It’s actually very therapeutic. You end up getting a bit of lymphatic drainage in there as well.
Then, go about your biz – shave your legs, wash your hair, sing a song, and so on. When you have finished, take the same hot cloth and repeat the intro process, essentially steaming off the oil mix (and loads of extra gunk). Done.
After, you can either moisturize with pure grapeseed oil (particularly if you are going to bed) or pat your face dry and apply your preferred serum, moisturizer, and make-up.
You don’t have to restrict your options to grapeseed oil, but it is ideal for acne prone skin. The oil cleansing method is excellent no matter your age, skin type, or intentions, so if you don’t have misbehaving skin like mine, feel free to test out other oil options – sunflower, coconut, and jojoba are great places to start.
*Note that the amount of each oil you use is dependent upon what sort of skin you have. Please see Anna’s Secret Cure for Acne for the full biscuit.
The castor oil will purge the excess oils and impurities from your skin, effectively giving it a deep cleanse. If your skin is too dry after this treatment, reduce the amount of castor oil accordingly. The grapeseed oil will carry the castor oil, but also provide moisture, nutrients, and healing properties to your dermal layers while the castor oil does its thing.
If you do suffer from inflamed skin, then I would suggest doing this every day for about two weeks. I saw major results for myself in about a week, but kept up a steady regimen for about a month. Then I scaled it back to 1-3 times a week.
When I am not doing the deep cleanse, I still use the grapeseed oil to take off my make-up and cleanse my face at night with just a few effortless wipes.
If you are sick and tired of your biggest organ playing tricks on you, then this is what you should be getting excited about.
Final Consensus: Do do do do do do
If you are into strange foodie weirdness, you likely know about this shit already. If not, well. Could take some getting used to. My mother thinks she is going to die every time she comes withing 2000 miles of the stuff.
However, in a world where bacterial warfare is being raged against our biology with unprecedented gusto, it’s time to reconsider the options.
Fermentation is a practice that is alive in well in many cultures (excuse the pun – quite unintentional), but the sterility of the modern West has largely done away with these customs of food preservation.
Although I certainly have my limits (fermented meat can go blow one), getting fermented foods into your diet on a daily basis is the only way antibiotic resistance isn’t going to eat you alive. These superfoods provide millions of beneficial bacteria, yeasts, and organisms to support your microbiome for optimal health and wellbeing.
It starts in your guts (like just about everything else) and has the best possible knock-on effect in your body and in the wider world. Seriously. It can help digestion, depression, brain function, and detoxification. And that’s hardly even the beginning.
Fermenting veg is super easy and yummy. However, Kombucha and Kefir are so awesome, I think they deserve the limelight here. It’s like old fashioned moonshine with a twist.
After you get your SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or kefir grains (jelly crytals that are straight out of the witch’s cellar), you add sugar and water and one or two other ingredients depending on your brew. Then, let it sit for a few days until it turns into magic and you bliss out forever.
It’s a sweet, sour, tangy, fizzy soda, booze dream – minus all the bullshit.
There are a few rules and guidelines to follow for a successful concoction, so I would encourage you to go to wellnessmama.com, nourishedkitchen.com and/or culturesforhealth.com to sink in and get started.
Final Consensus: Oh yeah baby.
Just keeping it real, kids. It’s a simple pleasure. MegaBeauts is nothing if not a celebration of the simple (and honest) pleasures of this life.
I will keep this one brief:
1. Get some bananas. Loads.
2. Let them ripen till they have a decent number of black spots on them – like, proper ripe, but not black and gooey.
3. Peel those mamas.
4. Freeze. You can leave them whole or cut them up.
5. Eat. They are delightful on their own, blended into dreamy ice cream with a food processor, or you can add a couple of tablespoons of almond butter and your milk of choice for the best heroine you’ve ever had. Smoothie, I mean.
Final Consensus: No shame and serious love for my delicious addiction.
Tell Me. Have you found a magic marker at Walmart that does the dishes and prevents adult onset acne? Do you know the absolute secret to looking like Beyoncé into your nineties? Do you have an ingenious use for sage leaves? Has chickpea tincture saved your love life?