Juicy Stuff

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Juicy Stuff

For the last month various 6 packs of PHD Green juice have been arriving, freshly extracted on my doorstep. And I’m loving it. They’ve helped to keep my mid-afternoon snacking at bay and also supply an extra dose of green leafy vegetables. In fact, I’m enjoying them so much I’ve started investigating juicers and extractors with a view to buying one. However, while drinking the juice might be pleasant, researching juicers is headache inducing.

To save you some pain here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

I haven’t found any scientific evidence to prove that juicing your vegetables is any healthier than eating them. But, if you’re not getting enough in your regular diet, drinking some vegetables isn’t going to hurt.

Every self-appointed internet juice guru seems to extoll the benefits of raw, cold pressing rather than the faster centrifugal machines, as the produce is not “cooked” by heated-up rotary blades. However, Marcus Antehi, founder of “Juice Press” in the States, has tested this theory and concluded that the blades can heat up during the initial pulverizing phase of cold-pressing too. Not great when you consider that cooking can destroy vitamin C in many vegetables. However, there seems to be another significant factor to consider when deciding what type of extractor to buy. Oxygen.

Below is a comparison between centrifugal and twin gear juicers from takepart.com that I found really helpful.

“High-speed juicers (aka fast or centrifugal juicers)
These juicers shred produce with a sharp blade, then separate the pulp through high-speed spinning to yield thin, pulpless juice. They tend to handle carrots, beets, and apples better than leafy greens or wheatgrass… The blades and spinning mean the foods you’re juicing come in contact with more air during the process; that oxidization causes nutrients to break down quickly, so you should drink a serving as soon as you make it. The machines also generate about two degrees Fahrenheit of heat—a tiny amount, but many juice proponents believe that also destroys nutrients.

Triturating juicers (aka twin-gear juicers)
These top-of-the-line juicers are for the seriously dedicated enthusiast. They turn at a slower speed than a masticating juicer, and by pressing foods between two interlocking gears, they extract a larger volume of nutrient-rich juice from leafy greens and other vegetables, fruits, herbs, wheatgrass, and novel ingredients (to most of us, anyway) like pine needles… The major drawback here is price.”

From my investigations it seems twin gear juicers are about twice the price of centrifugal ones. But, as it’s the green leafy juices I’m after, these are the ones I should probably go for. Now I’m getting a headache from the price tag. I might keep drinking my PHD Green juice and hope that Santa wins the lottery this year.

Here are links to some of the articles I’ve been reading if you’d like them.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/24/jane-says-all-juicers-arent-created-equal
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/juicing/
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/dining/the-rush-toward-cold-pressed-juices.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=raw-veggies-are-healthier
http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/micro.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/08/juicer-types-cold-press_n_2618000.html

RIP Atkins

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RIP Atkins

A few years ago when I was trying to lose weight (unsuccessfully) a friend plainly said to me, “If you want to lose weight, stop eating.” Fast forward to a few years later and Michael Mosley of the BBC has finally caught on to my friend’s advice. I watched his documentary recently where he concluded by recommending we fast for two non-consecutive days a week. Mosley says it works “in a similar way to the feast and famine lifestyle of cavemen, it restricts calories and gives the body a chance to repair itself”. He lost 12kg, no longer has diabetes, reduced his cholesterol and no longer snores. Sounds great doesn’t it? Based on this I bought his book which contains some menus for the fasting days and I’m assuming more detail on the health benefits.

Lucky for me, I also happen to have a couple of friends who’ve been on this diet for the last 6 months. Their results have been a little different to Mosley’s. Both of them have always been in to fitness and exercise around 4 days a week at high-intensity, including on their fasting days before their meal. More than Mosley I suspect. They say they enjoy the diet but have only lost about 1.5 – 2kg each. Not much over 6 months. The reason for this is what they eat on their non-fasting days; whatever they like without a thought of the calories. Both have realised that if they want to lose weight they should probably cut back on those days as well. Not quite the hamburger eating scenario that was promoted in the documentary.

Fortunately weight loss is not a motivator for them (both look great) and now they’re in the routine they’re happy to continue with the hope that some of the other health benefits may flow through. Not that they have any problems there either but, they’re thinking of their future.

Apparently Mosley has now relaxed his diet regime as he was losing too much weight. Perhaps he should follow the one my friends are doing.

For more information on “The Fast Diet”, click on this link. http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/michael-mosleys-five-biggest-health-myths-20130920-2u3vb.html

Chemical Free, Me.

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Chemical Free, Me.

You would not believe how difficult it is to find beauty products that don’t contain nasty chemicals.

After seeing a report on 3 News about the cancer causing potential of Cocamide DEA and its prevalence as a foaming agent; I took to my bathroom cabinet and threw out about 60% of its contents upon reading the ingredients.

Then, I spent a few weeks without using a cleanser or exfoliator (not pretty) until I found the Ren range. Their products are free from potentially harmful chemicals, making it one of the few skin care brands safe for use during pregnancy, if you’re that way inclined. I’ve been using the cleanser pictured and also the Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, both feel great on my skin and do their job well. So, if you’re having an anxiety attack about what might be in your skin care, I say give this stuff a go.

If you’d like to read the 3 News article in more detail, here it is. http://www.3news.co.nz/Common-shampoo-ingredient-deemed-dangerous/tabid/423/articleID/313301/Default.aspx#.UnGX9yTM1gI

Also, The Skin Deep Database is a really good site to check how harmful different products can be. They might be a little bit too militant in their approach but, their reviews seem pretty sound and easy to follow. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Let’s Wash Our Hands of Cocamide DEA.

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Let's Wash Our Hands of Cocamide DEA.

3 News in New Zealand recently ran a story about Cocamide DEA, commonly used to make products foam. Listed by the state of California as a chemical that’s known to cause cancer in animals, it’s now banned in many parts of the world but apparently not in New Zealand.

It had never occurred to me that there may be possible carcinogens in the body wash and shampoo I was using but I’ll now be reading product ingredients more closely.

Luckily none of Ecostore’s products contain Cocamide DEA among a range of other nasties so, at least I can lather up in confidence with this stuff.

Click the pic if you’d like to read the 3 News article.

For further reading please follow these links. The second has a link to a list of products known to contain high levels of Cocamide DEA: http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/cosmetics/diethanolamine.htm http://www.medicaldaily.com/does-your-shampoo-contain-carcinogens-cancer-causing-compound-found-98-shampoos-and-soaps-255234

Saturday Brunch

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Saturday Brunch

I caught up with my friend Lwindi this morning for a spot of yoga followed by a bite to eat at the Little Bird Unbakery. It’s a new, completely raw, vegan and organic café in Ponsonby. Totally fab. My sprouted falafels were delicious as was my “Relax” tea. Can’t wait to go back and try more of their great menu.

My Latest Face Cream

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My Latest Face Cream

I have always thought that when it comes to taking care of your skin, half the battle is keeping a daily routine and the other is using a great product. About two years ago my friends told me that the face cream I’d been using contained potentially carcinogenic ingredients. Since then I’ve been searching for a moisturiser that feels as nice on my skin as the old one did. I’ve tried many different brands and have finally stumbled on one that feels as good as my old fave without the potential carcinogen issue.

I started using Heal Gel about 6 months ago and it makes my skin feel great. It’s light, non greasy and easily absorbed. If you’re looking for a new moisturiser I’d really recommend it.

The BEST Hand Cream Ever

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The BEST Handcream Ever

I wouldn’t have coped without this while we were at the snow. The chalet we stayed at had the most beautiful crystal clear water straight from the mountain, however, it really dried out your skin. I would have bathed in this if I could. Instead I had to settle for applying it 4 times a day. Not only is it non-greasy, the scent of the cream is gorgeous. Whenever I have given this as a gift people are instantly converted and find they can no longer use any other cream. It works best when you apply just before getting into bed.

Incidentally, the little butterfly is another Zuni Fetish. She represents beauty, transformation and rebirth.

Saving Face

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Saving Face

I had the nicest comments from the girls in my gym class recently when they asked me how old I was turning on my birthday. They had all thought I was much younger. I’ve been using SKII Facial Treatment Essence, Facial Treatment Cleanser and the Advanced Eye Treatment Film for the last 10 years. And after that experience, why stop now?