My Experience with "Oil-Pulling"

Recently, I was on a natural remedies website  and someone mentioned "oil-pulling". What on earth?!?! I'd never heard of this before...

My curiosity was too much to bear. I had to know all about this practice of "oil-pulling".

Turns out it's an ancient Ayurvedic practice, where you swish oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes - first thing in the morning, and apparently it "pulls" toxins out of the bloodstream, helps your body detox by stimulating the meridians of the major elimination organs, as well as killing harmful bacteria in your mouth.

It was still early in the morning, and I hadn't yet had breakfast, so I was keen to give it a try. I suspected that my body was trying to fight off some kind of virus as my stomach had been feeling "off" and for a few days I kept getting severe muscle weakness in my arms and legs.

The only oil I had was cold-pressed Sweet Almond Oil. I put a tablespoon in my mouth and swished it around gently, for 20 minutes, and then spat it into the toilet. (Note: Do NOT swallow, as it is now full of toxins and bacteria.)

The colour had changed to white, just like the instructions said it would.

Almost immediately, and for a few hours after, I could feel gunk (that's mucus to the faint-hearted...) coming down the back of my throat. Could it be, the oil was clearing out my sinuses???

All day, I felt unusually thirsty.

That night, I woke up no less than three times, and each time I was bathed in sweat. But I wasn't hot. I was just sweating like crazy.

The next day I noticed a definite improvement in the muscle weakness symptoms. That night, I again woke up sweating. By the third day the muscle weakness had gone.

I've continued to "oil-pull" each morning (about a week), and I aim to continue long-term. I've now got my eyes peeled for other changes.

Some of the testimonials online are really intriguing. Many people listed dental and gum problems improved, eyesight improved, sinus problems improved, and arthritic conditions improved although many had to persevere for a couple of months before joint problems eased. Several people said that their hair started to grow back as their original colour, instead of grey. And one woman said her husbands eyes became noticeably bluer!

Isn't that fascinating?!

I do not know HOW it works, from a scientific perspective, but then again, I've never belonged to the school of thought that says if it cannot be explained, then it cannot possibly work. I prefer to judge by results, and oil-pulling most definately caused a reaction for me....and I wasn't even using the oils that are generally recommended as most effective (sunflower or sesame).

If you want to learn more about this little-known practice, see here.

And if you decide to take up oil-pulling, do leave me a comment. I'd love to hear what others experience from it.

Why I Chose To Get Rid of The Microwave...

For a while now, I've felt uncomfortable about having a microwave in my kitchen.

Not only did it clutter up my small kitchen, and take up valuable bench space, but on the odd occasions I used it to reheat leftovers, it just didn't "feel right".

Because, all the while, I was thinking about how it works - by making water molecules in the food vibrate at high frequencies, turning it into steam, and thereby heating the food.

But it also changes the chemical structure of the food, by distorting and deforming the molecules. One scientist even proved that it can destroy DNA.

I couldn't help wondering what that food  would do inside my body? Inside my children's little bodies?

If the structure was changed, could our bodies even recognise that it was "food"?

I was remembering how one independant organisation (Powerwatch) says that even when a microwave is working correctly, the radiation levels in your kitchen are likely to be higher than those coming from the local mobile phone tower.

(See Dr Mercola's article for more info.)

And then there were those studies that showed a decrease in white blood cells after people ate microwaved food. Less white blood cells equals less immune function - not exactly something I aspire to...

And even though I used it less and less, I still held onto it...."just in case"....

But with our house going up for sale, I decided to take the plunge. The microwave with the chipped paintwork inside (who knows what fumes it was depositing into our food?) is gone! For good...

And so far, I haven't missed it at all. And I'm revelling in the extra bench space and lack of clutter!

I have reached the conclusion that there is nothing which cannot be heated by placing under a grill, put into boiling water, or warmed in the oven.

I rarely used the microwave for defrosting, but if you do, it just takes a little forethought to get around that issue. Simply take the food out of the freezer a day or two in advance, and defrost in the fridge.

I figure that we are already being bombarded with radiation from every angle, so any changes which equal less radiation inside our own home, can only be positive...

The Really Easy "Use-Up-All-Your-Leftovers" Quiche

This recipe came from my mum, who got it from someone, who got it from someone else...(You know the kind!!)

I have made so many variations of it, using whatever veggies I have on hand, and it has never failed me. I've made all kinds of substitutions, too, such as replacing milk with oat or rice milk, replacing flour with spelt flour plus 1 tsp of baking powder, replacing cheese with goats feta. They've all turned out fine...


3 eggs
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 chopped bacon rashers (nitrite free, if you can get it)
1 chopped onion
1 cup grated cheese

(You can make as above, or add in whatever veggies you please. Leftover cooked vegetables or meat, grated zucchini, chopped spinach, roast diced pumpkin, chopped capsicum, semi-dried tomatoes, tinned corn, whatever...!!)


Mix well. Pour into greased pie dish. Bake 30 - 40 mins in moderate oven, until slightly browned on top.

Then, enjoy. Hot or cold. :-)

A great way to use up leftovers, or clean out the fridge...

5 Easy DIY Fertilisers To Help Your Garden Thrive.

I can't remember the last time I bought a commercial fertiliser for my garden. Why pay for it....when there's so many ways you can recycle nutrients right back into your garden?

You probably already know about compost, worm juice and animal manures, but here's a few more tricks to get your garden healthy and blooming.

1. Weed Tea.
Next time you weed your garden, put young     weeds (not those with seeds) into a bucket, cover  with water and let to sit for 3 - 4 wks. You may not need this long in hot weather.

When you go back and take the lid off....remember to hold your nose! Yes, it will smell pretty funky, and look gruesome. That's ok. The weeds have broken down all their nutrients into the water. Strain, or put some gloves on and collect out any weed pieces , and put those into the compost.

Then use the weed tea as a liquid fertiliser, mixing 1 part tea, to 10 parts water.

2. Egg Shells.
Next time you use eggs, keep the eggshells and allow to dry. Crush them into a course grit (just using your hands is fine), and sprinkle around the garden.

Not only will they break down over time, and add their calcium to the soil, but they help to deter slugs and snails. These slithery little creatures do not like sharp eggshells on their soft underbellies....

3. Banana Peel.
Don't toss the banana peel! Next time you enjoy a banana (which, sadly, is a rarity for those of us in Australia recently, due to sky high prices) tear the peel into small pieces, and sprinkle onto the soil around your garden. They will break down and add their phosphorous and potassium to the soil.

Roses, in particular, seem to benefit from this. You can also dig the peel into the soil, when adding new plants.

4. Seaweed.
Next time you're at a beach, collect up some seaweed to bring home. Once home, rinse thoroughly in fresh water, then add to a bucket of water. Then follow the same process as for the weed tea listed above.

Watered onto plants every couple of weeks, it will help to green plants and stimulate root growth. The diluted mixture can also be sprayed directly onto the foliage of the plant.

5. Lawn/ Grass Clippings. Allow to dry in the sun for a couple of days, then sprinkle around your garden. They'll give your garden a nice boost of nitrogen.

Apparently, blackstrap molasses when used as a soil drench or foliar spray is great for conditioning the soil and feeding beneficial organisms, but I haven't personally tried it out yet.

If all else fails, and your plants are still looking lack-lustre, try doing a soil test which should give you an idea if any specific nutrients are lacking, or there is an over-supply of a certain nutrient which can impede the absorption of others.

A New, More Positive, Direction

Recently, after some soul-searching on my part, I made the following statement on my personal blog:

"I choose not to fight against all that is wrong with the world. Instead I choose to encourage all that is right with the world."

Over the past year or two, I've really devoted myself to learning about how food affects us, the tricks that big business use to make us buy their products (at the expense of our health), etc etc, and all of it made me so indignant, I just had to do something about it. I had to fight this!!

I threw myself into teaching others, building this website, raising awareness on social networks, researching, becoming involved in various social and political causes.

But it's taken me quite a while to see, that this approach has not only taken it's toll on my health, it also seems to have taken away my positive spirit.

I began to see the world in a cynical, critical way.

However, after a visit to a wonderful kinesiologist who put me back in touch with myself, and a recent serious medical situation with my husband, I began to feel that this just wasn't right approach for me.

I wanted to see the beauty in things again. To feel hopeful. To be an encourager.

I don't want to be the person who is constantly criticising the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, the government, necessary though it is at times. There's plenty of people already doing that, and doing a fine job of it, too.

I want to be the person inspiring others to make the changes they need to, in order to be truly healthy. I want to be the person who is so high on health and full of life, that others around me will naturally want what I have.

But the lightbulb didn't really go on, until I read this article by the Raw Chef, where he so beautifully expressed what I wanted to change in my own attitude: 5 Things I Learnt by Opting Out of an Airport Body Scan.

So, I'm going to be taking this website into a new direction. I'll still be researching ingredients because I feel that awareness is the first step in the journey. But I don't want to stop there. I want to help my readers make better choices, which will then result in them feeling and being better.

After all, true health is about so much more than food (although that is important). It's about our mental wellbeing, our zest and vitality for living, and our spiritual health.

Perhaps you have already noticed this new approach in my last couple of blog posts...

Funnily, this change in focus has really given me a lot of inspiration and enthusiasm. I'm filled with ideas for blog posts and website updates.

Stay tuned!!

10 Tips For Staying Healthy On A Budget

There's just no two ways about it...

 Organic produce costs more than conventional. Good quality natural bodycare products are more expensive than those off the supermarket shelf, and avoiding fluoridated tap water can be a costly business.

So, how can you stay healthy by buying good quality products, while sticking to some semblence of a budget?

Below are my best 10 tips for doing just that!

1. Plan, Plan, Plan!!!
 I really can't stress this highly enough. A weekly or fortnightly menu plan is one of the best time and money savers you can utilise.

Yes, it takes some time and discipline to get into the routine, but the savings are so worthwhile.

Before I do my grocery shopping, I go through my fridge and pantry and see what I already have.

Then I sit down and write out my main meals for the next week. Any ingredients needed for those meals, that I don't already have, gets written on my shopping list, along with fruit and snacks/nuts/seeds.

During busy times when my routine has gone out the window and I don't bother planning the menu, I find myself rushing to the shops for one or two items (but leaving with 5 or 10...) because I don't have what I need to make dinner.

It will save you so much time, and eliminates those evenings when you stand, staring into the depths of the pantry, dithering over what to make for dinner.

On my menu plan, I also list jobs that I need to do on a certain day, in preparation for the following day(s). For instance, today when I'm cooking the fish, I need to bake some pumpkin for tomorrow's roast pumpkin salad.

2. Grow Your Own.
This is really the ultimate in saving. Not only is tending a garden great exercise, a source of relaxation and interest, uses less fossil fuels and resources, there really is no better feeling than picking straight from the garden and onto the plate.

I am far from being a green thumb, and where I live has cold Winters, and hot Summers. Not exactly ideal for growing things, especially leafy greens. But there are some things that are so easy to grow, that even I cannot screw it up! These are: potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchinis, rosemary, lavender, aloe vera and silverbeet.

Even if you don't have a backyard, a sunny windowsill will grow herbs and sprouts. You can grow a batch of wheatgrass on the windowsill quickly, easily, and for less than a dollar.

3. Make Your Own.
You pay for convenience. If you're willing to make things from scratch, there are so many savings to be made.

A yoghurt maker costs about $20, and making your own yoghurt is so quick and simple, it will pay for itself in no time. You don't need to buy the special yoghurt starter packs, just use a few tablespoons of a previous batch of yoghurt as a starter, then add 1 and 1/3 cup of milk powder and add water as per usual.

Rice and nut milks can be expensive if you use a lot, but they can be made at home, if you have a blender. There's plenty of instructions on the Internet for making your own.

Facial scrubs can be made with a little oil and sugar (or salt), with a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil added. Hair treatments which cost upwards of $5 in the shop, can be made using eggs or yoghurt (Wash the eggs out with lukewarm water only, or you may end up with a head full of scrambled eggs...Not pretty.). Face masks can be made using mashed up strawberries, or raw honey.

4. Make Use of Left-Overs.
Did you know that Australian homes and businesses throw out 7.5 million tonnes of food waste every year? That 7.5 million tonnes of food - quite apart from taking up vast areas of landfill - cost us about $7.8 billion. What a waste!!!

If you follow a menu plan, you should eliminate some of the food waste, as you will not be buying food on a whim, with no real plan for how you're going to use it up.

Spend your money on quality food, not quantity that will end up in the garbage.

Twice a week, go through the fridge and pull out anything that is going to be soon past it's prime, then work out how to use it up. Vegetables, both raw and leftover cooked vegetables, can be used up in quiches, pies, savoury muffins and fritters, stews, soups, fried rice, and casseroles. (See my "Really Easy Use-Up-All-Your-Leftovers Quiche")

On my weekly menu plan, I leave two meals for "easy" meals or leftover recipes.

Fruit and vegetable pulp left over from juicing can be used in muffins or desserts.

I recently discovered a great little product called "Forever Green" bags at my local market. Apparently these bags absorb the gases released from food, so that food stays fresher for longer. I bag all of my leafy greens and herbs in these bags now, and they last more than twice as long, so I rarely have to throw any out now. (I think they cost about $7 or $8 for a pack of 16 re-usable bags. They've more than paid for themselves already, with the added bonus that I now eat a lot more herbs because I can now buy herbs knowing I'll use them up before they spoil.)

If you steam vegetables, don't throw out the water underneath. Let it cool and either turn it into vegetable stock, or pour it onto your pot plants or herbs. They'll appreciate the nutrient boost.

Another thing never to throw out is banana peel. These are great little garden fertilisers, especially for roses and ferns. Rip them into pieces, and sprinkle on the soil. They will decompose and leach their minerals into the earth.

And lastly, invest in a compost bin or worm farm. Not only will you never have to buy garden fertiliser again, you'll be amazed at how much less waste ends up in the garbage.

5. Find Other Uses for Things.
Coconut Oil is an awesome cooking oil. But it's also a wonderful face and body moisteriser, lip balm and hair conditioner. I never buy body or facial moisterisers. I just use my organic cold-pressed coconut oil from the pantry.

Vinegar is not only great for salad dressings, it's the only thing I use for cleaning the house and the windows(along with a microfibre cloth). I use it in the washing machine, along with bicarb soda. I use it in hot water, to wash the dishes if I've run out of detergent.

Not only that, but you can double your amount of vinegar for free. Mix it half and half with water, and leave in a warm place for a day or two, and you get double the vinegar for the same amount of money.

I really cannot see the point in paying high prices for all-natural cleaning products or beauty products when you have all the ingredients in your pantry, for a fraction of the price. The only individual products I do buy are organic shampoo and natural dishwash detergent, because I still have not figured out how to make my own with satisfactory results.

6. Less Meat, More Vegetables.
As a general rule, vegetables are a lot cheaper per kilo, than meat. Especially if it's good quality, grass fed, organic meat. Use the meat sparingly, but fill out the meal with plenty of vegetables.

Not only that, but most vegetables can (and should) be eaten raw, and further save you money on energy costs.

7. Experiment With Different Grains and Pulses.
Pulses and grains like lentils, chickpeas, split peas, barley, and broad beans are not only cheap, they are highly filling and nutritious. Once or twice per week, replace a meat meal with a meal based on one of these.

If you've never tried rolled oats for breakfast, give it a go. It's just about the cheapest breakfast you can eat, and far better for you, than any of the sugary, highly processed boxed cereals. Sprinkle with ground nuts, cinnamon, sultanas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, add some raw honey, or whatever takes your fancy. If you add the sultanas at the beginning of cooking, they swell up and become deliciously juicy.

Soak the oats overnight in water, then you really only need to warm it up in the morning, as the oats will have already absorbed the water.

8. Pack a Snack.
Any time I step out of the house, I throw into my handbag a.) a bottle of water b.) a piece of fruit and c.) a little container of nuts. Even if I'm only planning on going out for a little while.

You never can tell how long you'll be, and expensive fast food or packaged snacks are hard to resist when your stomach is grumbling.

When heading off to work for the day, I got into the habit of packing more food than I thought I needed. It was better to bring it back home again, then be caught out hungry and sneaking to the vending machine for a packet of chips.

9. Always Keep a Little Bit of Convenience Food Handy.
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually works (for me, anyway). I don't mean keeping choc-chip cookies in the pantry, where your hand can keep sneaking in whenever you get the urge. No, that's not what I mean. I'm a big believer in winning the battle at the checkout. Once the junk food is in your house, the battle is all but lost.

But I have found that keeping things like some frozen fish and wedges, or tinned tuna on hand is a good idea. Unexpected things come up, people get sick, you run late, and let's face it....sometimes you just don't feel like preparing a meal. If you are running late with hungry children it is too easy to simply go to the nearest drive-thru, if you know that you still have a time-consuming dinner to prepare when you get home.

It's easier to resist the fast (but expensive) junk, if you know that you have a back-up at home, that can be on the table within 15 minutes. Sure they're not the most healthy thing you can eat, but it's gotta be better than KFC....

10. Take Advantage of Discounts.
I know it sounds like a mute point, but a little bit of organisation (see Point number 1!!!) can save you plenty of money.

My local health shop has 25% discount on the first Monday of every month, so during the month I make a note of any supplements and superfoods we need, and I wait to buy them on that Monday. (By the way, this discount is not advertised, I found out only by asking instore. It pays to ask!!)

Sometimes you can pick up good bargains in the last hour before closing at the local fruit and veg, or farmers markets. It can be mutually beneficial for you and the seller. You get a discount, and they would rather sell the produce for less, than taking them back home again, or having to throw them out.

Get together with friends to make the most of bulk discounts, or when buying products online. Many online stores offer discounts or free postage on orders over a certain amount.


Please feel free to leave your money-saving health tips in the comments section below. I believe that good health should be available to everyone, no matter what their income. Our current food system sometimes makes this hard to do. (Why, oh why, are imported 2-minute noodles cheaper than the fresh vegetables?) Let's see to it that good, nutritious food are within reach of everyone, including low-income earners.

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