Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Reasons Why I Heart Coconut Oil


Are you in love with coconut oil yet? 
I am! Here are ten reasons why:

1. It's GOOD for you { Coconut oil is a healthy fat; we may not want excess fat on our hips, but we DO want good fats being metabolised by our bodies for optimal brain function. Plus, it can boost our metabolism, stop sugar cravings and improve immunity }

2. You can cook with it { switch out your regular cooking oil for coconut oil }

3. You can take your makeup off with it { easy peasy }

4.  You can eat it raw { go on, just pop that spoon in your mouth; Miranda Kerr stylee }

5.  You can rub it all over your body { see my accompanying photos; if I need to melt some coconut oil for a recipe - it's liquid in Summer / solid in Winter - I use my hands to wipe out the excess oil and lather it on myself before I wash the saucepan #yesiamageniuslikethat } 

6.  It makes a FAB body scrub { See my DETOX post here

7.  It can improve your dental health { google 'oil pulling' or leave me a comment below and I'll do a post about it! }

8. Dry / flyaway hair? apply.da.oil. { a little bit of oil for flyways / an overnight mask for revitalising your locks }

9. You can use it as a personal lubricant { apparently. I haven't tried it... maybe I should ;) }

10. Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial so it can help heal burns, skin wounds, bruising and scars { yes! }

Plus, it SMELLS gooooood { I'm all about the senses, aren't you?! } so I'm adding in a sneaky number eleven :)


Do you use coconut oil? What can you add to my list? Let's talk in the comments below!
Amber. XO



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

202/365 Pre-Splendour Ziggy | Byron Bay Busking


Tuesday night, listening to Ziggy play on the footpath outside Cafe Mokha in Byron. He's performing in the Busker's Tent if you're going to Splendour - go check him out { he's really good! }


DETOX Day | Part 2 of my Forest Detox Adventures!


Following on from Part One of my Detox series...
It was yoga time!


Breathe.


Stretch.


Centre.


I got a little lost in the shadow-play. Oh, and I learnt that it's a little hard to do yoga AND take photos at the same time. Who knew?! ;)


We were all beautifully hot and sweaty { yes I said BEAUTIFULLY hot and sweaty, hahahaha, because we were ;) } by this stage. The sun which had tentatively heated our cold bones on arrival had kicked into full effect during the yoga session. We all peeled off a few layers and happily accepted our next drink; a sparkling probiotic Coconut Water Kefir from local Byron Bay business Peace Love & Vegetables. Not everyone loves Kefir, I admit it's a taste that you need to get used to, but it is SO good for you. Tick, another thing to add back into my life - probiotic food and drinks. Why, thank you.



One of my own pieces of jewellery; pearl and turquoise mala beads. A gift from my own precious Mama, I wear them everywhere. Just not during yoga :)


Our bodies now stretched and full of probiotic goodness; it was time to release some toxins.

The full-size infrared sauna was hot and ready for us to sweat it out four at a time. I hadn't been in an infrared one before, and I must admit that I'm not the biggest sauna-lover but this suited me a lot better than the traditional ones I've tried. Plus, it  has its own sound-system { we listened to the music of Deva Premal and Miten who previously lived and recorded on this property - how cool is that? } which added to the experience.

A quick post-sauna shower and I joined the rest of the women in the hot-tub. Glory glory! The sun may have been hot, but the air was still brisk, and the water was glorious. Oh, I do like me an outdoor spa! Some of the women even braved the river for a few moments; that was all - it was bone-chillingly cold apparently - but it would be the most perfect place to swim in Summer.

Soaked to perfection, it was time to SCRUB.


I need to remember to have someone take a few photos of me for this kind of post. Or at least take a selfie. Hahaha. In lieu of that, here is my scrub-sparkly leg :)



I got to talk to Rosa while we exfoliated; our Winter skin relishing the attention { Sahar's scrub was a handmade mix of Coconut Oil and Epsom Salts - absolutely.making.some. it was SO good, my skin absolutely L-O-V-E-D it! }. Rosa is represented by Chadwick Models in Melbourne and Vivien's Brisbane. Softly spoken with a beautiful smile we made an easy connection and I look forward to photographing her again.


A little sitting in the sunshine letting the oil soak in, one last hot shower, we dressed and regathered on the grass. 


Green smoothies. Round #2. Hooray!


... the perfect accompaniment to a spot of flower petal mandala creating :)


As she started to lay petals, Sahar explained how she often creates these beautiful impermanent artworks with her children. We eagerly followed her lead. And it felt like we were one; a community at work, manifesting harmony and love through our mindful creativity.



The sun was starting to drop behind the mountains that set the home like a jewel in its grasp. Elke and Sahar brought us our fourth drink; a cold-pressed juice called Winter Love.


Group photo time!

I did attempt to balance my camera most precariously on a rock to get into this shot, and the results were hilarious - and completely ineffective! Lol. But you can see me in here on the Organic Miracles blog { I'm the giggly one in white with the crimson scarf } if you need proof that I exist as more than a pair of exfoliated legs ;)


Cheers! 
Nine blissed-out babes toasting to a magical day. 


Empties :) Of the best kind.


Our day here was complete.

We had run out of time for the planned forest walk, but I don't think anyone minded. We were all ready to return to our families and process the day and the changes that it was going to help us make.

But before that, I wanted to take my last photos. Of Sahar.


Sahar is charismatic, approachable and... absolutely gorgeous. She is also the mother of two young children which adds another dimension to this healthy / healing journey that she is on. Something I extra-love.

She is not only creating a beautiful life for her family, but she's doing it with the intention of sharing her knowledge, her vision and her intimate spaces with other people; so that they too can extend this bountiful energy into their own lives. And THAT is something to inspire us all.

Her forest detox days will soon become a monthly event, and I urge anyone that can attend to do so. Connect herehere or here for more details. And tell her that I sent you!




My camera packed away, there was one final trip back into the kitchen, for the two last drinks we were given to take home with us. The first was an Almond Dandy { homemade almond milk, Wilsons Creek spring water, roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, cinnamon bark, vanilla bean powder, dates and coconut butter } and the second was a slightly sour grapefruit and chia blend. 

Instagram names exchanged, hugs shared, and it was time to say goodbye.
The perfect end to a perfect day.

By this stage, I had a mild headache { which is a common side-effect of detoxing; as the toxins start to transition from your system } and even though I had brought a bottle of water with me, and we had been drinking juice and smoothies all day, I was feeling a little dehydrated. Detoxing is an intensive process, and it's important to be well hydrated. I drank the entire Almond Dandy when I got into my car - okay, to be completely honest, I was looking for the slight coffee-esque kick that was hoping it would offer { it did! } plus it was delicious - and hit da' road. 

That night, I slept for eleven hours. ELEVEN HOURS (!!). Sweet bliss! My headache also kicked into full effect - grrrr - but I knew the cause, and it settled by the next morning... when I had a cup of coffee.

Hold up, WHAT?! 

Hahaha. Yes, I had a cup of coffee. 
I did a 24 hour detox and then woke up and drank a cup of coffee :)

But here is the thing: I already knew that I just needed to shake up a few bad habits and realign my usually-pretty-good eating patterns - see Part One of this post here - and that when I want to throw myself into something I'm pretty good at it { like last year when I did a 10-day juice cleanse #wishIhadbloggedit #photosoninstagram }. But that what I need to practise is that little things called MODERATION; how to live in the times between a detox or a food fad and your regular busy life.

Ahhh...

So, yes I'm still drinking coffee. But limiting it to one one-shot. Which in contrast to my previous four / five shots is a huge improvement { Yay Amber! }. I am drinking Dandy in the times where I want to reach for a second coffee, I am switching my usual black tea fixes for herbal tea or coconut water { allowing myself one cup of black tea at night when the boys are in bed; a sweet, simple pleasure that I don't want to lose } and setting some boundaries around when I'll have a glass of wine with dinner { weekends good / weeknights not so much } and I'm feeling a lot better for it :)

I've made a lot of other healthier snacking / meal choices too - lots more fresh fruit, leafy greens and other vegetables { a bag of fresh peas for morning tea; please, please! } and I got my mamabake on; doing a few batches of bliss balls, a gluten-free Raspberry Banana Bread and some savoury GF dinner muffins { amongst other things }. I'll be sharing these recipes so please subscribe / like / love / follow / insta / pin / bookmark my blog if you want some more healthy inspiration in the next few weeks!

But in the meantime, let's talk detoxing! Have you done one? Could you do one? Do you need to do one?

Amber. XO


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