Category Archives: Food

Discover what dangerous additives may be lurking in your food.

From front garden to abundant allotment

All you need is a bit of space (provided you don’t live in a cave, in which case you’d have to settle on button mushrooms). Even if you have a small apartment or a small yard you can still grow quite a bit of food. You can even grow tomatoes in a small studio apartment. For those of you that have a moderate to large sized yard, follow suit on the picture story below. This is how to create REAL health security. It’s time to stop consuming and start producing!


This used to be a lawn.


It started with eight 6’x4′ raised beds with 1″x10″x10′ reclaimed redwood barn siding.

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Natural Rose petal toothpaste

So after a day of making smudge sticks and crumbling up and jarring my dried herbs, I was looking on Pinterest for more wonderful things to learn and saw a link about rose petal natural toothpaste, this blew my mind! I have been collecting and drying rose petals all summer and have a jar full, just ready to play with, I followed the link and found so much more, I just had to share it with you!


                                                                              Some gorgeous roses this summer in a local park
Here is part of the blog post by Methow Valley herbs blog:


Roses as herbal medicine

It’s easy to fall in love with roses. They offer us beauty and can be an effective source of herbal medicine. This article looks at the many ways we can use roses for our health and beauty. From wild rose salad dressing to decadent facial cream to wild rose petal mead… read on! 

The exotic beauty and alluring smell of roses has enthralled humans for thousands of years. Roses have been found entombed with the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and were highly prized by the Greeks and Romans. 

The Chinese started cultivating roses around 5,000 years ago and in the late 18th century these roses spread to Europe where they were further hybridized.

Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, adored roses and strived to grow every known rose species in her gardens outside of Paris. Many credit her for the popularity of roses today. In the late 18th century Europe the rose was so highly valued it was used as a type of currency.

Wild rose petals about to be infused with honey.
A special treat that is also wonderful for sore throats. Photo belongs to Methow valley blog

A series of vegan and holistic wellness charts

I love charts, yeah I’m a bit sad like that, I think I learn better in pictures rather than reading loads of words so when I was seeing if the lovely Rachel from One part Gypsy had had her baby yet I found this brilliant post she had done:

“If you don’t know about Matthew Kenney Cuisine, they are a cutting-edge culinary academy based out of Santa Monica and own several raw and vegan restaurants across the country as well. We just finished this series of educational graphs for their online program-a project has has not only been super fun, but informative too!” Rachel from One Part Gypsy

A series of vegan and holistic wellness charts for Matthew Kenney Cuisine’s nutritional programs.

raw_plant_food pyramid_by_rachel_hart__of_one_part_gypsy_for_matthew_kenney



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Almond milk thickened with carrageenan

As a veggie we use a lot of various mylks, including almond, we get Alpro which doesn’t have any carrageenan in it but I did wonder about the actual amount of almonds compared to the amount of water in the mylk. Whilst browsing the web I came across this article on Natural news:

Commercial almond milk has been exposed as a fake beverage that is thickened with carrageenan instead of almonds

Almond milk is a healthy beverage that is touted by many health advisers for its nutritional benefits. Known since the Middle Ages, almond milk has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years as it has become more widely available. Almond milk is traditionally made from almonds and water. However, many commercially available forms of almond milk contain a substance called carrageenan. Carrageenan is made from red seaweed and is added to the almond milk to thicken and to stabilize the liquid.

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Growing garlic


“Whole books have been written about garlic, an herb affectionately called “the stinking rose” in light of its numerous therapeutic benefits. A member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions and leeks, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates (of which the best known compound is allicin), sulfoxides (among which the best known compound is alliin), and dithiins (in which the most researched compound is ajoene). While these compounds are responsible for garlic’s characteristically pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects.

More recent research has identified additional sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for garlic’s star status as a health-supporting food. These sulfur compounds include 1,2-vinyldithiin (1,2-DT), and thiacremonone. The hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) that can be made from garlic’s sulfides has also been the subject of great research interest. When produced and released from our red blood cells, this H2S gas can help dilate our blood vessels and help keep our blood pressure under control.” Sourced from

I was very sporadic in my garlic planting last year and would like to get with it and grow enough garlic so I don’t have to buy any next year, I did work it out we would need to plant something like 140 bulbs to come anywhere close as we use so much in cooking, at the moment with Tom being on his fodmap diet this number has reduced but I will still need to plant a lot! So with this in mind, I searched for some tips and found this great piece on The Telegraph today:

September is not too early to be thinking about next summer’s garlic crop. Garden centres stock a few varieties, but there is an increasing range available. Order early from a specialist supplier such as to ensure top-quality seed garlic.

  1. Garlic is easy to grow but needs a period of low temperatures for plants to bulb up. Planting in autumn (October-November) or early spring provides the necessary chilling period.
  2. Choose an open sunny site and well-drained soil or grow in raised beds. Garlic does well on soils manured for a previous crop. Otherwise, add a couple of buckets of manure per sq yd.
  3.  Apply a general fertiliser, such as Growmore, at planting time at 2oz per sq yd (50g per sq m) followed by a light dressing of 1oz sq yd (25g sq m) of sulphate of potash in February.
  4.  Break up the bulb into individual cloves, selecting the largest for planting and using the remainder in the kitchen. Plant an inch deep (slightly deeper on light soils), 6in (15cm) apart with 1ft (30cm) between rows.
  5. On heavy, wet soils, start off garlic in module or cell trays in autumn, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in spring.
  6.  Keep garlic weed-free for good yields. In spring, during dry spells, water every 14 days. To reduce fungal diseases water the ground and not the foliage.
  7. As foliage yellows in summer, stop watering.
  8.  Harvest autumn-planted garlic in early summer and spring-planted from mid-summer. Don’t leave them too long in the ground or bulbs will open up, which reduces storage quality. 
  9. Dry bulbs in the sun or greenhouse or a well-ventilated shed for two to four weeks.
  10. Garlic suffers from similar pests and diseases to onions. The most common problem is rust, which can cover foliage in orange pustules. To avoid this, plant into fresh ground each year.


There are two main types of garlic. Hardnecks produce flower stems and fewer larger cloves of stronger flavour. They rarely store beyond mid-winter. Softnecks store better, autumn plantings lasting to late winter and spring plantings to mid-spring. Elephant garlic is related to leeks. It produces a small number of very large cloves of mild flavour. Best planted in October.

I have been using shop bought garlic to plant and its not really worked very well so I am going to try some bulbs from the seed shop and see how they fare, wish me luck! if you have grown garlic with great success I would love to hear from you.

The truth about diet drinks

Diet drinks, are they better for you?

In Britain, and throughout most of Europe, honey was the ingredient used to sweeten food.The first Britons to taste cane sugar were probably Christian soldiers called Crusaders who fought Muslims in the first Crusade to Syria in 1099.As cane could not grow in the British climate, sugar was not available to the people of Britain until trading and transport had developed sufficiently for sugar to be brought into the country.

It is reported that the household of Henry III was using sugar in 1264, but not until 1319 was sugar in more general use in Britain. It was sold at two shillings a pound (or approximately £50 in today’s money) and was therefore a luxury enjoyed by very few people. Now of course sugar is in everything from Baked beans to bread, it is really hard to avoid and we have all heard how damaging it can be to our health.

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What’s the fuss with gluten free?

We went gluten free for some time after finding out about the way food affects our bodies, my tummy didn’t swell up any more and I didn’t feel as sluggish, the trouble was you have to be prepared all the time and eating out is already hard being an ovo vegetarian, so add no wheat to the mix and we spent loads of time at home not eating out. I have this weird relationship with food, like if I can’t have something, I want it more, in fact thats what life is like for loads of people, even if I, myself have set those rules about food, I feel the need to rebel. So slowly the bread and teacakes, biscuits and cakes started to creep back in, even though I could make them myself, gluten free so they don’t taste like cardboard, I am totally un-organised.
I have noticed though when I start getting tooth ache I cut out the bread and it dissapears, now Tom is doing the fodmap diet, gluten is out of the question so we need to start again being good 😉

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Low impact living in a town – what can be done?

We live in Blackpool which is a seaside resort in the Northwest of UK, population of roughly 142,000, so we are a large town. Contrary to popular belief from my photos, we live in a terrace house surrounded by neighbours and the normal trappings of large town life. So until we get our dream home in the countryside what do we do to have a lesser impact on the environment and to live a ‘back to nature’ way of life. A simple guide to our low impact living.

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Natural living coaching

Individual wellbeing and natural living coaching sessions


I believe it’s very important that you choose the right coach to work with, I offer the opportunity to have a free, no obligation 1/2 hour meeting with me over the telephone/Skype before you commit to booking any sessions. This enables you to ask me any questions you want to about me, how coaching works and for both of us to see if we think and feel there will be a good “fit” between us. I live with a positive mindset and am honest and open.

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Are you connected to your food?

Ask yourself the question “How connected am I to the food I eat”?

I have found just chatting to people, not many are actually invested or connected to the food they eat, eating is a massive part of our lives, in the western world where there is an abundance of food, it is almost taken for granted that there will be food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That if you have the money you can walk into a shop or supermarket and have your pick of any food you desire, and that is where the connection has been lost, food from all over the world is sold, hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from coming out of the ground to reaching your plate.

milesMap from here


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