SKINNY BEETROOT MOUSSE; YOUR PERFECT SUMMER SNACK

Posted by Carole

It’s summer time in Europe and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than what we call “l’appéro” in France, a special moment before dinner where everybody is sipping on a drink and feasting on tasty snacks.

As enjoyable as it is, l’appéro is not the healthiest eating habit as it often involves caloric drinks and food – hello spritz and crisps!

So today I want to give you a skinny beetroot mousse recipe that is extremely easy and quick to prepare (no more than 2 minutes!) while being a healthier snacking option than pretzels, cheese biscuits or charcuterie! It’s also a stylish “amuse-bouche” that will add some colour to your aperitif and change from the usual carrot and celery sticks.

Ingredients

  • Cooked beetroots
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cucumber

Dice the beetroot in cubes, add the grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar (approximately one table spoon per beetroot), the salt and pepper and blend until you obtain a creamy texture, then pour it in shot glasses.

Dice some cucumber in small cubes (or slice it) and place on top of your beetroot mousse, add some pepper and serve very cold.

Tip: For a creamier and more savoury snack, you can add goat’s cheese to your preparation and sprinkle goat’s cheese and pistachios crumbles on top of your mousse.

Thank you for reading and bon appétit!

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Tips to ease your fear of the dentist

Posted by Carole

Can you feel your jaws tightening when you hear the word “dentist”? Like most people the thought of visiting your dentist is making you nervous to a point you only go when it’s absolutely necessary – read when it bloody hurts and you have no choice but to go!

That’s what happened to me recently as I kept saying to myself that strange feeling I had in my tooth was nothing more that gum sensitivity and would go away on its own. Of course it didn’t and I ended up needing a root canal treatment, which got me to endure three long sessions with my dentist to date and dread the next two appointments that the helpful assistant has scheduled in for me.

The funny thing is that I had never been that afraid of the dentist and had always been quite good at getting regular check-ups and – I admit it – I didn’t understand people who were too scared to even book an appointment but I now realize it is because I’d never had any invasive work done to my teeth and I now fully sympathize with those terrified by the idea of setting a foot in a dental surgery.

And even though my dentist is very competent and doing her best to treat my tooth as painlessly as possible, I shiver every time I sit on the dental chair and could even cry a little if I wasn’t afraid to be judged… so today I wanted to go through a few tips that I tried to ease my fear of the dentist and the pain associated with the treatment, that might be useful for you too!

1. Take a painkiller just before your dentist appointment as it will diminish the pain you will feel during and right after the treatment HOWEVER do not take aspirin or any medicines containing aspirin as it will prevent clotting in case of bleeding. It might seem like an obvious thing to do but I never thought about it until one day, I saw my dad swallow paracetamol tablets prior to his dentist appointment and asked him if he was in pain. He matter-of-factly answered to me that he wasn’t yet but that he would certainly be later on so this was prevention. I thought it was smart and now never fail to take a painkiller before a dental appointment.

2. If your dentist doesn’t offer, don’t be afraid to ask for numbing gel or even bring your own and apply it, with clean fingers, to your gums before the treatment starts. Numbing gel can be bought in any pharmacy where it’s generally sold to appease gum irritations or small wounds in the mouth. My dentist seems to think I don’t need numbing before she injects my gum with anaesthetic, I truly disagree and always bring numbing gel with me.

3. Natural plant-based relaxing remedies such as infusions, drops or pastilles can help you relax your mind and body and endure your dental treatment with more serenity. The more relaxed you are, the less traumatizing the experience will be, plus relaxed jaws will help prevent muscle tensions and aches post-treatment. Rescue Remedy from Bach Flower is a great option as it offers a wide range of products including spray, drops, pastilles that are relatively efficient and easy to carry and ingest, wherever you are.

4. Listen to music before your appointment, especially in the waiting room. Be discreet and make sure to keep the volume down not to disturb other patients but this will help you to keep your mind focused on something else than dental surgery noises (thinking about that horrible drilling sound…). You can also ask your dentist if you can keep one earphone in during the treatment so you can still hear his/her instructions while being distracted and relaxed by your favourite music. I’ve only tried music so far but I’ve heard of many people listening to funny podcasts or audio books and it seems to work wonder!

5. Close your eyes or wear dark sunglasses during your treatment so you won’t have to see everything that is going on. I personally like to close my eyes as I know that I’m more likely to anticipate the pain of a needle when I see one. Sometimes ignorance is bliss! On the other hand, some people find re-assuring to see and be aware of everything that is happening and if it’s your case, you should ask your dentist to tell you what he/she is doing step-by-step.

6. Before the treatment starts, it’s important to ask your dentist to explain to you what he/she is going to do and roughly how long it will take. You don’t need to know about the gritty – and gory – details but understanding why you’re going through that ordeal will help you to consider the benefits and cope with the stress and pain better.

One last yet very obvious tip is to get checked-up regularly but also to consult your dentist as soon as you feel pain in your teeth/gums or even some kind of sensitivity. The earlier you go, the less invasive the treatment will be. A filling is much quicker and painless than a root canal or, worse, a tooth extraction and I wish I had addressed the issue I had with my tooth a lot earlier than I did as my problem would have been resolved in one appointment by a simple filling.

I hope these few tips will help a little if you’re planning a visit to the dentist soon, there is no miracle solution but every little help is welcome when it comes to anything dentist related. Stay strong!

Thank you for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article, although I know no one enjoys reading about drilling and dentist pain 😉

The Sunscreen Lotion You Need if You Suffer from Sun Allergy

Posted by Carole

Do you get itchy red rashes on the skin of your arms, chest and legs when you indulge in your first sunbathing sessions of the year? If yes, you might be suffering from sun allergy, a condition that affects one in six of us and if you’re familiar with it, you know how painful and disabling it can be! I won’t even talk about that red patchy look that ruins your décolletage…

I personally suffer from pretty bad sun allergy even if I tan easily and I’m not prone to sunburn, it started when I was about 15 years old and hasn’t stopped bothering me each spring and summer since.

Less than 30 minutes in the sun can suffice to trigger the allergy and turned me into an itchy mess, to a point my dear twinnie likes to call me “enfant lune”, which is the name given in France to the very unfortunate people suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic condition that makes it dangerous for them to being exposed to sunlight (remember that horror movie with Nicole Kidman and the two kids who live in the dark?!)

I find that antihistamine tablets help to avoid major symptoms however the best protection remains limiting your exposure to the sun and applying a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or above, with a broad spectrum of protection against both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.

These prevention tips seem quite easy to follow, only if you forget that most sunscreen lotions and sprays make your skin oily and sticky and personally make me skip the two-hours sunscreen renewal rule… or even applying a sunscreen lotion altogether. I know it’s stupid but if I tolerate a sunscreen lotion at the beach, I just can’t stand feeling like a greasy sausage when I’m out and about in the city.

Fortunately, I finally found THE body sunscreen lotion that I can wear every day, no matter what I’m up to, since it’s not oily nor sticky and get absorbed like a normal, good quality and non-sticky body moisturizer! This marvelous product is AVEENO PROTECT + HYDRATE® LOTION SUNSCREEN WITH BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 (also available with SPF 50 or more) and I love it because, besides not leaving my skin greasy or sticky;

  • It’s a great moisturizer and leave my skin hydrated and supple.
  • It doesn’t smell like your typical sunscreen lotion, which is a big plus for me as I don’t want to reek of monoï when I’m at work. Instead it smells of sweets and if some might find the fragrance a bit strong, I personally enjoy it a lot.
  • The price is reasonable (less than $10 for 85g)
  • I was already a big fan of their AVEENO® DAILY MOISTURIZING LOTION and used it daily when I was living in the UK where the brand is available, which brings me to my next point….

Aveeno

The only (and rather big) downside is that AVEENO® is only available in a limited number of markets (US | UK | Canada | Korea | Australia) plus their sunscreen product range is limited to the US, Canada and Korea only… so it’s always a struggle to stock up on their products!

Amazon remains the best option if you don’t live in one of these countries but be careful as stocks sometimes run low and shipment costs can be exaggeratedly high too!

Otherwise make your purchase during your next trip to one of these destinations or ask a good friend for a favour…

Visit the NHS if you want to know more about sun allergy (medically known as Polymorphic light eruption), its symptoms and causes as well as prevention and treatment.

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoy reading this article and if you know of a great non-sticky sunscreen lotion!

Must Try Facial Massage

Posted by Carole

Last month I came across an article about the benefits of face massages and I had a small light bulb moment!

We all agree that body massages, from a gentle rub to deep-tissue massaging, are beneficial for our body as they soothe and stimulate our muscles and joints but what about our face? We rub our skin with moisturizers and oils but never give our face muscles an actual massage and it’s a shame because our face would benefit from it as much as our body!

So for the past month I’ve been experiencing ‘face massage’ every evening as part of my beauty routine and here’s what happened:

  1. The first time:

I went through my usual cleansing routine then applied CAUDALIE VINE[ACTIV] OVERNIGHT DETOX OIL on my face and used three fingers on each hands to move across my face in small circular movements, making sure to apply a firm yet painless pressure to feel my muscles and move them. I began with my checkbones, moved up to my forefront then down my nose and jawline.

I found the all experience extremely relaxing and enjoyable, especially when I massaged parts of my face I usually don’t focus on too much like the part in between my eyes. Even if the massage lasted less than five minutes, I enjoyed taking the time to give myself some love and self-care.

The day after I didn’t notice any specific change.

  1. Two weeks in:

I keep on massaging my face for about five minutes every evening as I find the routine to be very soothing and enjoyable. However, I can’t notice any visible results and sometimes doubt I will see any.

  1. Four weeks in:

After a month of daily facial massages, I can finally notice a difference. It’s not huge nor spectacular but there is something! I’m not even sure what it is but there is a nice plumpness to my skin that is definitely new as well as a brighter skin tone. Maybe it’s not even the massage but the ‘me-time’ I indulge in every day that has this effect on my skin but whatever it is I love it and will definitely keep on face massaging!

I love it so much I’ve asked my Twinnie to try it and give us her feedback on this blog in a month time so stay tune!

I’d also love to hear about your experience so do try and let us know!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own beauty tips with us!

 

Mandatory Sunday Beauty Rituals

Posted by Carole

Sunday mornings are synonym with late lie-in and croissants for me but also pampering sessions as I never miss the occasion to take care of myself and indulge in a bit of “me time”.

I can actually spend a couple of hours in my bathroom enjoying a warm bath, exfoliating or painting my nails, my routine varies however there are two beauty rituals that are always on my list and they are both masks, one for my face and one for my hair.

So today I wanted to share with you the mandatory beauty rituals I cannot live without!

HAIR MASK

This is maybe my favourite beauty product as it never fails to give incredible results! This product is PHYTOELIXIR OIL by PHYTO, an intense nutrition oil that deeply nourishes my hair and leaves them incredibly smooth and luscious.

Phyto 123.pngMy secret is to apply the elixir on the tips and length of my hair as soon as I wake up, tie my hair in a bun as it makes them quite greasy and leave on for a few hours, basically all morning as I roam in my PJ’s having breakfast and lazing around!

Phyto recommends to leave on for 10 minutes only before washing off but I can assure you that the longer the better the results will be so don’t be afraid to spend your morning with slightly oily hair, it’s totally worth it!

The price of £26.50 might seem quite pricey but a bottle of 75ml lasts me 6 months or more, not bad considering the amazing results.

FACIAL MASK

I am a big fan of DECLEOR’s products including their facial masks! There are two masks I really like and alternatively apply on my face once a week.

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The first one is AROMA PURETE PURIFYING & EXFOLIATING MASK, an Ylang-Ylang essential oil treatment with deeply purifying, mattifying and rebalancing properties, ideal for oily skin types. The clay includes tiny particles allowing you to exfoliate by applying gentle circular movements to your skin before rinsing your face off.

The second one is AROMA CLEANSE CLAY AND HERBAL MASK, a creamy purifying white clay treatment packed with camomille and ginseng essential oils to soothe the skin and boost its elasticity.

Both masks give great results and leave my skin replenished with a clearer, brighter skin tone and a nice plumpness. The smell and texture of the white clay mask are also exquisite and it doesn’t leave my skin dry like most clay masks I’ve tried.

The only downside is their price, £25 and £28.50 respectively for 50ml so I usually wait for sales or promotions to buy these masks.

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your fav products with us!

Anti-Pollution Beauty Routine…

Posted by Corine 

Sadly we hear the words dangerous high peak of pollution too often these days and as much as we would all like to avoid its nasty effects on our health, most of us have no choice but to brave it on a daily basis. Add to that the fact that pollution not only has devastating consequences on our health, it also plays havoc with our glowing skin and hair! Common sense is to avoid highly polluted areas but how is that even possible in a large city like our sweet London town?! No, I am afraid avoidance is not an option here! Thankfully there are a few steps you can add to your beauty routine that will help you battle this invisible enemy!

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Whether you are wearing make up or not during the day, make sure to clean your skin before you go to bed. Your regular face wash will do as long as it contains gentle ingredients that will not disrupt the skin neutral pH any further. If you have a very sensitive skin, the Clarins Anti-Pollution Milk will be your savior as it cleans and moisturizes the skin at the same time. It costs £20 for 200ml which is a reasonable price for a high quality product that personally lasts me a few months. Go green if you want by removing make up and excess oil with coconut oil before massaging a thin layer of natural yogurt on to your face. You may feel like a fool but the protein and lactic acid contained in yogurts are the perfect way to gently unclog your pores and detoxify your skin from pollution. Whatever cleansing method you go for, do not forget to add a barrier of protection to your skin by moisturizing your face and body especially when you are about to leave your home and head to those polluted streets and always add a UV protection even if it is cloudy out there!

Same goes for your hair! Think about it, what is the point of carefully cleaning your face if you are about to rub it all night on a pillowcase covered with dust and particles of pollution! Indeed whatever dirt your hair have collected during the day will end up on your pillowcase so you might want to wash your hair before bed by using a deep cleansing shampoo. Its clarifying formula will remove most build-up and impurities. If you prefer to wash you hair in the morning, make sure to gently brush your hair with a bore paddle brush to remove some of the dust accumulated during the day. Oh… and change that pillowcase as much as you can… like every other day… well at least every week… OK, OK… don’t keep it for more than a month then!

agua do mar aerosolClean your nose! You are about to think that I am a complete nutter (which is probably true!) but nasal hygiene is a real thing and you should start considering it now. Think about it for a minute and you will probably realize how dry and congested your nose sometimes feel after a busy day in town. Well here comes the marvelous Sterimar isotonic nasal hygiene spray! It is 100% natural, has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties and it is suitable for the whole family, babies included. A 100ml bottle will last you months and cost you a very reasonable £7.99. Nasal hygiene has become as important as washing my hands when I get home and I am always stunned by the amount of black dust that comes out of my nostrils after being out and especially after riding the Tube! Plus my congested nose is a thing of the past at bedtime and I definitely catch a cold less often than in the past!

Ventilate your home everyday, especially your bedroom! With all the synthetic materials we have and the chemicals we use on a daily basis (cleaning products, hairspray, perfumes, etc.) the inside of our homes is sometimes as polluted as the outdoor! Allowing fresh air in every room by opening your windows for 15 minutes everyday will improve the air quality of your home drastically and you may quickly notice that your skin is less dry and irritated. Make sure to reduce your use of chemicals by replacing your house cleaning products by bio and natural options. Also, why not invest in a air-purifying indoor plant? A NASA research has shown that the Garden Mum does a fantastic job at absorbing nasties like ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene from indoor air. If like me you find it difficult to keep anything alive inside your home, try the Spider Plant, it is pretty, easy to care for and cheap!

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Last but not least, protect yourself by staying hydrated to flush the toxins out of your system and keep that healthy glow! If you find drinking a few litres of plain water everyday difficult, consider buying or making your own tasty herbal infusions. Fresh mint is available in most shops and all you have to do is throw a good bunch of it in to a teapot with boiling water for a delightful after dinner brew. It goes without saying but please stay away from sugary drinks, they are nasty and will do you no good! And don’t forget that vegetables and fruits not only contain water, they are also a fantastic source of antioxidants that will  help prevent and delay cells decay caused by pollution.

Please leave a comment and let us know how you feel pollution affects you and your skin/hair on a daily basis. And of course, please share your tricks and tips with us!

5 Tips for Better Sleep

Posted by Carole

There are two kinds of people on this big blue planet of ours – those who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow and those who cannot help but switch to full-thinking mode as soon as the lights are off and start reviewing all the things they have to do, or have failed to do for that matter, as well as their worries, plans, hopes etc. and all this instead of sleeping of course!

I used to belong to the first group but it seems that growing older made me become one of these night-time worriers and I now often find myself ruminating for an hour or so before I can finally go to sleep. And it’s not always a bad thing as I often stay awake because I’m too excited thinking about my next blog post or holiday but it can quickly become stressful when the excitement turns to exhaustion as I realize I only have a few hours of sleep left and I’d better fall asleep soon if I don’t want to be an irritable zombie in the morning.

I know I’m not the only one in this situation so today I want to give you a few easy and natural sleeping-aid tips I’ve tried myself and which could be useful to you too!

But first I need to add that if you suffer from severe sleep issues or insomnia you should talk to a doctor as health professionals can offer solutions so don’t be shy and go get help!

  1. Relaxing music

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Because I love everything that is health & wellbeing related, I often find myself looking for new studies and a few years ago I came across an article about the power of music claiming that some tracks can slow down your heartbeat, breath and mental activity and therefore induce relaxation and sleep.

That’s is based on these facts that, in 2011, a British band and sound therapists decided to create “The Most Relaxing Tune Ever” by carefully arranging harmonies, rhythms and bass lines to help slow heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and Oh-my it does work!

This tune is Weightless by Marconi Union and I’ve been listening to it since I made its discovery, at night of course but also in the middle of the day when I’m in need of some comfort or calm or just in the background when I’m working (I’m actually listening to it as I write this blog post!)

Many studies have proved its exceptional calming effects so do listen to it as this tune is a relaxation marvel and should make you feel as peaceful and calm as ever, especially at night.

And if you ever get tired of it, scientists have established a playlist of the 10 most relaxing tunes on Earth, topped by Weightless of course, and here it is:

  1. Weightless by Marconi Union (also available as an extended 30 mins and 10 hours version)
  2. Electra by Airstream
  3. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) by DJ Shah
  4. Watermark by Enya
  5. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay
  6. Please Don’t Go by Barcelona
  7. Pure Shores by All Saints
  8. Someone Like You by Adele
  9. Canzonetta Sull’aria by Mozart
  10. We Can Fly by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
  1. Essential oils

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I’m a big fan of essential oils and in awe at how they can help induce and maintain sleep, a fact that has been backed up by science! My fav essential oils are Lavender, Bergamot or Ylang Ylang which are well known for improving sleep quality but many others pack the same benefits such as Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Sandalwood and Cedarwood. Depending on the essential oil (check with one as some of them cannot safely be applied on the skin), you can apply them topically by gently massaging your skin or use a diffuser that will keep your room beautifully scented while you fall asleep.

I also sometimes use a lavender pillow-mist that I spray on my bedsheet. It smells wonderful, can be found in most drugstores, is a hassle-free way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy and it works wonder as the smell of it makes me instantly sleepy!

  1. Bed-time routine

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I try to stick to a bed-time routine as much as possible as going through the same habits and moves right before bed send messages to my brain that it will soon be time to sleep and that it should start slowing down in preparation for it.

You can adopt any kind of routine as long as it involves quiet, peaceful and relaxing habits such as

  • gently stretching your body, especially the hips and back, making sure to make slow and flowing movements
  • cleaning and moisturizing your face with your favourites beauty products to give yourself a relaxing moment
  • giving yourself a quick facial or hands massage
  • taking a lukewarm shower
  • indulging in a soothing lemongrass infusion (avoid any caffeinated beverage of course!)
  • putting on your most beautiful pyjamas
  • staying away from the screen of your phone or laptop as it emits a blue light that disrupts sleep-inducing hormones
  • banning TV from your bedroom. Bedrooms are here for two things, sleeping and… well you know!
  1. Keep the thermostat down and your bedroom dark

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I hate being cold and always loved my bedroom as cozy and warm as possible but things changed when my boyfriend and I moved together as he gets incredibly hot at night and has to turn the heating off. He also enjoys sleeping with the window open even though it’s cold outside. I took me a few weeks to get used to it but it does work and I feel sleeping in a cold room helps me have more peaceful, non-interrupted nights. Plus, feeling a fresh breeze on my face in the morning while I’m still hidden in the warm cocoon that is my duvet is a delectable sensation.

I must admit that total obscurity can make me a bit anxious and that I’d rather see lights from the streets or better the moon projected on my bedroom walls but I have noticed that the darker the room is the faster I’ll go to sleep. Full moon for instance can make your bedroom a lot brighter and keep you awake for longer so it’s well worth investing in curtains if you have issues falling asleep. Worth case scenario they will make your bedroom look a lot more fancy!

  1. Invest in your bedroom

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I might sound old fashion saying this but I a firm believer that quality mattress and pillows, adapted to one’s morphology and weight, are key to a good night sleep and in the long run to overall health & wellbeing.

Thankfully, reasonably priced mattresses and pillows can be easily found nowadays and a quality purchase shouldn’t leave you bankrupt. Also bear in mind that you will keep your mattress for years so you’d better add that extra cash if you don’t want to regret your purchase after a couple of months and pay the consequences for years to come.

I also find that good quality bedsheets make a difference when you find it difficult to fall asleep, a silk and soft touch on your skin being a lot more soothing than gritty and scratchy bedlinen.

I hope these tips will work for you! As for me, just talking about it made me sleepy so good night all!

Thanks for reading! Like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your tips with us!

Easy Everyday Superfoods

Posted by Corine

I feel that I have been rushing around so much lately that making time for healthy and nutrient meals has not been my priority and I may have abused the pasta and take-away meals a little too much… and do not get me started on the Easter chocolates! I would love to have a portion of fresh spinach, kale or broccoli every day in my plate but I find it a bit difficult.. and I am sure that I am not the only one! However there are some super foods which are so easy to incorporate into your diet in a very simple and affordable way. The list is long but I would like to share with you three of my favourites.Co-Q10

I am a massive fan of the Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts & Co-enzyme Q10. I bought other products from this line in the past but this one is the best so far. You should try to get an intake of two dessert spoonfuls daily to enjoy the full benefit of co-enzyme Q10 who has a critical role in producing energy and maintenance for the cells of your body, especially for your heart, liver and kidneys. Plus co-enzyme Q10 also functions as an antioxidant and is packed with iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. The blend of flaxseed and nuts gives it a great nutty taste and it can be incorporated into your porridge, yogurt, pancake, fruit bowl, salad, soup, bread, roasted vegetables, etc. You can find it in most food stores or online for less than £5. This product is so easy to use and so good for you… it’s a keeper!

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If you have never heard about them yet, make sure to remember the tasty and colourful goji berries! They are so easy to add in to your morning cereal, muesli, porridge or bowl of fruits and they can also be eaten straight out of the packet for a healthy snack. I love to add them to my salads for a sweet taste and they also look amazing as edible decorations on tarts and cakes. Goji berries have roots in ancient China as a medicinal plant to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, zinc, fibre and contain a large amount of protein. I personally like to buy the Infinity Foods Organic Goji Berries as they are always nice and moist. The packet of 250g costs me around £6 and it lasts a while.

blueberriesLast but not least, blueberries are an easy and delicious way to boost your antioxidant intake on a daily basis as they are known to have more antioxidants than 40 other common fruits and vegetables! They are also low in calories which is a plus if you are watching your waistline. To make the most of it I personaly prefer organically grown blueberries as they are believed to contain more antioxidants and be lower in sugars than the farmed ones. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and manganese. Once again you can enjoy them at breakfast with you cereal, yogurt, porridge, pancake or on their own. And if you want to bring some balance to a very sweet dessert, just add a few blueberries for a zesty kick.

I hope these three super foods will help you make some positive changes in your diet in a simple and affordable way!

Please leave a comment and share your own favourite super foods with us below.

DIY Beauty

Posted by Carole

A few weeks ago I realized that I ran out of facial mask so I went through every cupboard of my bathroom as I know that, for some reason, I never throw away empty beauty products but instead store them somewhere in a corner, hidden under samples I gathered from previous shopping session but almost never use. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that there was no facial mask to be found in there as I had already exhausted my stock after a few months spent in Switzerland, where everything is so expensive I can’t afford any waste and have to harvest every last drop of my fav beauty products.

I was upset for a moment as I knew I had to wait for my next trip to France to stock up on facial masks (Aroma Cleanse Clay and Herbal Mask + Life Radiance Flash Radiance Mask by Décleor are favourites) but then decided to face adversity and prepare my very own facial mask. After all, I had read many articles on the Internet from girls concocting their home-made beauty products so why not me? Determined, I went to the kitchen to look for miracle ingredients but again, my stock was running low and I soon realized that I didn’t have coconut oil nor rose water nor plain yogurt so my choices were quite limited. Luckily, I finally set my eyes on one of my favourite ingredient and one that is as tasty as it’s beneficial for your body… and your skin! That is honey of course!

Honey is a marvelous ingredient that one should always have home for multiple reasons.

This super ingredient is

  • Rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
  • Has antibacterial properties and helps reduce allergies
  • Helps fight acne
  • Is a healthy and natural sweetener

There are so many things you can do with honey! It’s the ideal sweetener for your deserts, it’s fabulous in warm water to calm irritations coughs and sore throats or as a balm to appease superficial burnt or some types of skin conditions but honey is also one of the purest and most effective ingredient you can use to prepare homemade facial masks and today I’ll give you very easy recipes adapted to each skin type.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first but lacking other options, I decided to give it a try and put some music on, poured myself a bath and applied the sweet mixture on my face. When I woke up from a little snooze twenty minutes later, I washed my face and was amazed at how soft and replenished it felt. My pores were clearly more refined and my skin smoother! I was surprised to notice such visible results and tried again a week later but this time with a higher quality honey and Whoa! I was stunned to see that on top of making my skin smoother, honey also made my skin tone a lot brighter and luminous, a result that latest for days.

So my tip is really to try and opt for a higher quality honey as the results will be even more spectacular!

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For sensitive skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of aloe Vera gel

Mix the honey and aloe Vera and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes area of course!) Let dry for 10 to 20 minutes then rinse.

Aloe Vera will appease sensitive and irritated skin.

For dry skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of avocado paste (just crush or blend a bit of avocado)
  • 1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt

Mix the honey, avocado and yogurt until you obtain a smooth paste. Apply on your face (avoid the eyes) and let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Avocado will hydrate your skin while the lactic acid present in the yogurt will refine your pores giving your skin a smoother look & feel.

For oily & combination skin

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

Mix the honey and nutmeg and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes). Let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Honey and nutmeg have strong antibacterial properties that will help significantly with acne and inflammation.

For normal skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt

Mix the honey and yogurt until you obtain a smooth paste. Apply on your face (avoid the eyes) and let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

The lactic acid present in the yogurt will refine your pores giving your skin a smoother look & feel.

You can also apply honey on its own and let dry for up to 30 minutes for a mask that will reduce inflammation, pimples and red marks and give your skin a boost.

For marked skin

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Half a teaspoon of lemon juice

Mix the honey and lemon juice and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes). Let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Lemon juice will exfoliate your skin and whiten dark marks and old scars. You will need to apply the mask on regular basis (once a week for instance) to start noticing its whitening properties.

I hope you’ll enjoy your homemade facial mask (and saving money too!) and I look forward to your comments.

Until next time Frinnies!

Thanks for reading! Like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own tips with us!

Frozen Avocado

Posted by Carole

Pictures of avocado toasts have invaded Instagram and for a good reason. Avocado is one of the most affordable super food you can find out there and it tastes delicious! Win-win situation!

And because it is Oh-so-trendy, I won’t tell you more about the benefits of avocado in this blog or what you can make with it – smoothie, toast, salad, guacamole etc. I’m sure you’ve heard it all already!

However, there is one thing I’ve learnt while doing some researches on the benefits of freezing food that I never suspected and it is that you can actually freeze avocados! What a delightful news, right?!

To me, it means:

  1. You can say good-bye to food waste as, if you’re like me, you have to throw away your avocados as soon they are a bit too ripe and take on that brownish mushy texture that makes me shiver!
  2. It is the perfect way to easily incorporate avocados to your early-morning smoothies without leaving a green mess on your chopping board, which you know will be waiting for you all day for a good scrubbing session. Lovely!

So without further ado, let’s get started and learn how to freeze avocados!

Option 1 – Frozen avocado puree

Most foodies say puree is the best way to freeze avocados so here’s how to proceed:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Cut the avocados in large chunks then blend with a food processor or use a fork to smash the chunks into a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado to avoid the paste turning brown.
  4. Place the puree into zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

Tip: You can also freeze your avocado puree in ice cube trays to create cubes that can be easily added to your morning smoothies.

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Option 2 – Frozen avocado chunks

You can also freeze your avocados as chunks or slices:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Slice the avocados in chunks, line them on a tray and sprinkle with lemon or lime juice then place into the freezer.
  4. When the chunks are frozen, place tem into  zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

To thaw frozen avocado, place freezer bags or containers in cold water for a couple of hours or thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Use frozen avocado puree or chunks within four months for the tastiest result!

Please like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own cooking tips with the Frinnies community!