31 July 2012

Clear Skin

I got the chance to check out the new Viridian Clear Skin range and The Clear Skin Cookbook from Goodness Direct.  I've been a fan of Goodness Direct since I discovered them a few years ago.  There are a lot of health foods (and even stuff like Tom's of Maine deodorant) that I just can't find in my area (rural Scotland).  A friend of mine told me about Goodness Direct and I was smitten.  My favourite thing to buy from them is their 10kg box of dates.   Mmmmmm.  Dates.

So let's start with The Clear Skin Cookbook.  It's by Dale Pinnock, 'medicinal chef' and nutritionist.  There's a cute photo of him smiling on the back of the book -- he looks pretty healthy and has really good skin (I would never trust a nutritionist who didn't look healthy).  I'm a nutritional nerd, so of course, I loved this book.
It starts out with a discussion of how the skin works, how skin ages, and common skin conditions.  I have a milder case of keratosis pilaris (I say a milder because if you google it, it can get pretty wild) and, according to the book, I should fight it with vitamin A and B vitamins (A is the most important).
The book continues with a discussion of vitamins (and how to cook your food to maximise your intake -- sauté and steam, don't boil), minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids -- this guy is serious about his fatty acids and really drives the point home.
And then there are the recipes!  There are soups, starters, mains, desserts, breakfasts, and drinks.  Half of the recipes are vegan, and more are easily adaptable (i.e. use agave nectar instead of honey, oil instead of butter, etc.).  I'd say 9 of the of the 33 recipes are pretty non-adaptable (they are egg, fish, and cheese-based).
I am definitely going to take Pinnock's Clear Skin advice to heart and eat to improve my skin.  And no more boiling veggies unless I am going to keep the water for stock!
Viridian have created their clear skin range to combat looked into the research on how we should nourish our skin and found three consistent factors: inflammation, free radical damage and digestion. To combat these three elements they've created a trinity of Clear Skin tools.
The Clear Skin Complex Veg Caps are in vegetarian cellulose capsules.  They contain a probiotic blend, lutien, burdock root, gotu kola, a natural beta-carotene/cartenoid complex (D.salina algae), zinc, astaxanthin, selenium, and lycopene in a base of spirulina and alfalfa.  They smell delicious and fresh and grassy!  Who knew supplements could smell so lovely?

The Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil is a blend of tons of different 100% organic oils (mostly flax, but also perilla seed, avocado,  pumpkin seed, argan, rosehip seed, pomegranate seed, seabuckthorn, blackcurrant seed, and elderberry seed oils) giving you an ideal blend of essential fatty acids and other goodness.  I'm not gonna lie -- I liked the taste at first (it's nutty and slightly bitter), but after a few days of drinking it straight, it was killing me, so I started putting it in my morning smoothie.  It would also be great drizzled over salad or pasta.

Both the Viridian Clear Skin products are vegan and gluten-free and also free fromwheat,  lactose, sugar, salt, yeast, preservatives, and artificial colourings.  Viridian make a charity donation for every purchase made and you can return your empties to the health food store where you bought them for a 25p refund and they will be recycled.

I started taking both the Viridian Clear Skin products last week.  They should last me about a month, so I'll get back to you and let you know how my skin is turning out.

For the whole of August, if you buy Clear Skin Complex and Clear Skin Oil from Goodness Direct they will give you The Clear Skin Cookbook absolutely free of charge.  You can also check out Goodness Direct on facebook, where they currently have a generous money off voucher code for £10 off an order of £35 or more (orders over £35 get free shipping).  And if you place an order with them, will you please use my Tell-a-Friend Ref No G8085693?  :D

23 July 2012

Mindful Mothering Mondays and Sprouting

B & R's Lift (Elevator)

Lydia from Small Town Simplicity has a feature on her blog called Mindful Mothering Mondays.  I thought I'd join in.  Here's what I have to say this week:

If you find a piece of corn randomly stuck to the side of your bathtub, don't ask.  Just clean it up and try not to think about it.

In other news, I bought a 3-tiered seed sprouter on ebay a few weeks ago and started sprouting broccoli seeds.  Drainage is very important.  The directions on my 3-tiered sprouter said to just pour water over the top tier and let it trickle down through the lower tiers and into the reservoir at the bottom.  It does, but it still leaves everything too wet (I live in a rather humid area, mind you).  So after 2 batches of grotty broccoli sprouts, I did some on-line investigation and read that broccoli sprouts especially need adequate drainage.  I've started draining each tray individually and now I have a patch of fresh broccoli sprouts every other day.  I like them best on their own or a slice of bread with a smear of dijon.

I liked the sprouts so much, I bought some different sprouting seeds and made an old-school style sprouter by punching some holes in a jar lid so I could have sprouts even more often.  I just harvested a crop of spicy radish sprouts and should have some sunflower sprouts and more broccoli sprouts ready for munching tomorrow.  So far, I've sprouted alfalfa, broccoli, buckwheat, chick peas, fenugreek, lentils, mung beans, mustard, quinoa, radish, and sunflower seeds.

Do you like to sprout?  What do you sprout and how do you eat them?

Coming soon:  a review of some of the new Viridian Clear Skin range and The Clear Skin Cookbook from Goodness Direct.  You can also check out Goodness Direct on facebook, where they currently have a generous money off voucher code £10 off an order of £35 or more (all orders over £35 get free shipping).  And if you place an order with them, won't you please use my Tell-a-Friend Ref No G8085693, too?  :D