Aloe Vera for Hair Loss

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If you read the blog, you’ll know by now that I’m prone to putting a lot of obscure things on my head (unless they contain chemicals, that is!). Recently I stopped using powders with water (too messy) in favour of Khadi and Morrocco Method shampoos. I only wash my hair once a week, so you can imagine how long my shampoos last! I often add Aloe Vera, coffee or Rhassoul to the Khadi shampoo to make it more potent.

In between using these ready-made poos, I like to make my own (much less messy) shampoo which works wonders for my hair and scalp. It’s easy, no fuss and cheap.

Aloe vera is said to have cleansing and purifying properties for the scalp whilst maintaining healthy, shiny hair. It’s supposed to help strengthen the strands themselves whilst soothing the follicles at the root, which can also help with hair loss. After hearing glowingly positive reviews about fresh aloe vera online, I was determined to give it a go. I’ve heard equally good things about honey, so I thought why not combine the two? They’re both gloopy and shampoo-like, plus some people had already used them together with decent results. Cheap runny honey in a squeezy bottle will do – apparently using raw wild honey causes build-up of beeswax (no thanks!)

I am currently growing my aloe vera (it’s only a baby so I can’t cut it – and don’t want to!) so I bought fresh, pure organic aloe vera gel online (it’s relatively cheap and you don’t need a lot). Mine came in a sachet so get a clean jar or pot to decant it into.

To make the honey shampoo, simply squeeze equal amounts of each into the palm of your hand. You don’t need a lot – about the size of a 50p coin each. Then mix them with your finger and slop it all over your head, getting right onto the scalp and all over the roots. Don’t worry about the ends so much – my ends are never dirty now I don’t use chemicals and wash only once a week – but if yours feel a little heavy then add some more down there and massage it in.

I leave this on a bit like a mask sometimes for 5 or 10 minutes pre-shower or while I’m in the bath – or rinse straight away. Each time my hair is soft, shiny and clean – and it stays that way for the duration of the week.

You can see from this BTS that my hair is growing a lot thicker and longer – I’m positive that the no-washing no-chemicals policy is working wonders. Have you tried aloe vera for hair loss??

Black and White Author shoot 597 (2) Black and White Author shoot 531

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Choosing the perfect coconut water

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Everyone who knows me knows I love all things coconut. From the dried flesh to the sweet oil, I’m all over the stuff.

Since coconut became a ‘superfood’ last year, products have been springing onto the market left right and centre which whilst driving the price down of what were previously ‘artisan’ items can make it difficult when selecting your daily coconut fix.

I’ve always been a fan of coconut water, and had a couple of ‘go-to’ favourite brands which I reached for every time I was in need of refreshment from something other than plain old water. Why were these my favourite brands? Flavour. Assuming (wrongly) that all coconut waters were made equal (at least the relatively expensive ones which didn’t contain added sugar or preservatives) I chose my coconut water based on its taste.

One of these brands is Unoco. I love the refreshing, crisp, mildly sweet flavour – the closest I could find to my treasured ‘on the beach’ fresh coconut water experiences. I really disliked the characteristic cardboard-taste of some other brands, coupled with a tangy sweetness and a lingering coating on my tongue like I’d just eaten a packet of sweets.

I was sold on Unoco already. So when I recently discovered the astonishing truth behind commercial coconut water, I was shocked (and actually rather relieved).

As I had mistakenly failed to consider, not all coconut waters are created equal. Some are processed differently (as is sadly the case with a lot of ‘healthy’ foods) rendering it less nutritiously beneficial than others brands (which thankfully includes Unoco).

In fact, Unoco coconut water is one of the healthiest choices you can make when you’re thirsty for a tasty product with lots of added goodness. In comparison to its rather crafty counterparts, it is 100% raw. That means that it is ‘unpasteurised, unrefined and untreated’ as the company divulge themselves on their website – so basically it hasn’t been tampered with and is as pure as the day it trickled out of that young green coconut. Testament to this saintly method is the water’s slightly pink hue (caused by oxidisation of the fresh product in the bottle) – often not present in coconut waters which have been processed.

What does this mean? Coconut water which retains its wonderful natural flavour, but also holds onto its intricate, complex mix of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and the unique hydrating qualities which caused it to make headlines a couple of years ago as the health food in vogue at the time.

I use Unoco in my upcoming recipe book (updates on that coming soon!) for a few of my drinks recipes – but here’s one you can try in the meantime!

 

Coconut ‘lemonade’

2 bottles Unoco (fresh from the fridge – as it is pure without added preservatives it has a shorter shelf life)

Juice of one lemon

3 tbsp Sweet Freedom syrup

Sparkling mineral water

  1. Pop the juice and syrup into the blender and blend until the syrup has completely dissolved. Add the coconut water and blitz once again.
  2. Pour this mixture into glasses or a jug half way up – then top up with the sparkling mineral water. Perfect for a hot summer’s day!

 

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Please note: This article isn’t a paid endorsement or false testimonial – I do actually love this brand and use all of the brands I discuss here on the blog or in the book myself on a regular basis. I’m simply passionate about good, wholesome, honest food and unprocessed, unrefined natural brands whose products have no harmful side effects in the body. I’m here to save lives, not to promote products!

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Panache Lingerie ’s new advert is ace

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I recently wrote a post about Lane Bryant’s fabulous ‘I’m No Angel’ campaign for Cacique, which featured gorgeous plus size models with the message that any size, ‘skinny or curvy’, is beautiful (a message which I just LOVE!).

Now Panache Lingerie have released an advert to rival Cacique’s with a similar sentiment (once again wildly popular with me) – the fact that there is more to a woman than the way she looks (even if she is a super-hot model). The ‘Role Models’ series, which features several models and prominent figures including Marquita Pring and Amy Hughes, focuses on all the other areas of the models’ lives which come together to make them powerful, beautiful women – just like you or I.

I’d love to see more brands doing this – advertising their products as items which enhance self-esteem and natural beauty rather than pointing out ‘problems’ with women which need to be ‘fixed’, or promoting unattainable standards of beauty and warping our perceptions of who we are and how we look.

Have you seen the campaigns yet? Take a look here!

 

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5 things NEVER to say to someone with Anorexia

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If you’re going through Anorexia at the moment, or have been through it as I have, you’ll probably know that people who don’t understand have an unfortunate habit of putting their foot in their mouth! It’s awful when somebody says something to you which really has a negative impact on your day (or worse, stays with you) whilst you are so poorly – purely because they don’t understand what you’re going through and are ignorant as to what they should say and do.  At best it’s naivety; at worst it’s people feeling as though they have the right to bring you down because they think what ‘you’re doing’ is wrong. Of course they have no idea that none of this is your doing!

I’ve put together my top five comments which just make my blood boil when I hear them. I hope that by sharing these I’ll help you to feel better knowing that even though people say these things, they are not a reflection on you and you should try your hardest not to take them on board on concentrate on yourself because they can harm your recovery. Remember that you deserve to recover and keep focusing on the positive things you want to have in your life and if you encounter one of these people, limit the time you spend in their negative energy.

‘Why don’t you just eat?’ You need to eat’ – ARGHHSGSHDGAjfksfjsj as IF it is that simple. As IF you would put yourself in this position knowingly. As if it’s your fault. People who say this to you have NO understanding of what you’re going through. They see Anorexia as a choice – they don’t feel the strong compulsion not to eat and they don’t hear the cruel voices in your head that taunt you.

‘You’re selfish’ – Again, when Anorexia is a choice, making the person struggling feel guilty seems like a genuine method of turning things around. Of course all it does in reality is make YOU feel awful and Anorexia more angry and determined. You know that what is happening affects the people around you – and you wish it didn’t. What you don’t need it someone pointing that out as if you are deliberately poorly. Remember – mental illness is the same as physical illness – and if it would be unreasonable to accuse somebody with cancer or physical disability of being ‘selfish’ then it is DEFINITELY out of order to say the same thing to you.

‘You used to like that’ – Yeah, I know. Please don’t point it out. One day I may eat it again but I am struggling with a demon in my head which won’t allow me to eat it. Please be patient and recognise that I am trying.

‘You’re VERY thin – you look so ill’ – Yeah I know (again). This comment is annoying for several reasons because no matter how it’s said or who to, it has a harmful effect on the person you’re saying it to. I had (and still have) body dysmorphia when I had Anorexia, so I couldn’t focus on the bigger picture and still believed I was ‘fat’ because I was meticulously measuring parts of my body and scrutinising them 24/7. Nonetheless, Anorexia still lapped up comments like this as compliments which drove it to carry on.  I know that not everybody with Anorexia has BD too, and speaking to those people, it’s clear that on this side of the spectrum it’s still VERY unhelpful. They are fully aware of how they look, thank you very much. They DO NOT need somebody else to point it out.

‘You’re not even trying’ – Again, recovery is partially out of your hands. You are doing as much as you possibly can at the moment – even if it doesn’t feel like it or others are trying to make you feel as if you could be ‘trying harder’. To use the physical example again, if someone accused a person with a broken leg of ‘not trying hard enough’ to fix it, it would be ludicrous. The same goes for you.

I could go on! Have you got any of your own to add?

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5 things NEVER to say to someone with Anorexia

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Foods For Recovery: Oats

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Oats. A pretty unremarkable, boring-looking superfood. Without the snazzy bright colours which blueberries and beetroot boast, they are admittedly a little bit beige! Not the most exciting colour. But there’s nothing boring about the benefits that oats boast for your body!

I love oats. I love porridge, flapjacks and I often use oats in my cakes and cookies. They’re really versatile as a food and because they aren’t overpoweringly flavoured, they’re a great base to add whatever toppings you fancy to.

I love plain oats or chocolate oats made with whole milk to make them creamy, but it’s not just the taste I love. I have lots of oat recipes in the book purely because not only are they incredibly yummy, they’re also very good for you – especially for recovering bodies.

Oats are high in fibre and protein, so they’re good for energy and digestion. They also contain good amounts of Manganese, a mineral which supports skin, hair and bone health – as well as iron and a host of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Because you’re unlikely to consume oats dry(!), you’re also getting the added benefit of yoghurt or milk and the toppings you choose – like berries and nuts. If you buy them in their raw state they’re also 100% natural – so what’s not to like??

Have you tried oats? If so, what’s your favourite way to eat them?

 

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Tough Cookie and The Bare Bones submitted to Amazon!

I’m so pleased and excited to share that this week, I submitted two of my books to Amazon (finally!). Thanks so much for your patience – it really has been a labour of love and I’m so glad that I am finally close to sharing them with you. The final photoshoot for Recipes for Recovery takes place this week so that will follow very closely behind – watch this space! I’ll be posting a few Behind The Scenes treats from than soon.

The books take a while to appear on Amazon, so as soon as they are up I will be posting an update and links on this site!

If you’d like more information, please just get in touch via the contact page 🙂

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Khadi Review – Hair Loss

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Now, I have to be the first to admit that after a few weeks, despite fabulous results for my hair, the powdered shampoo routine was wearing a little thin. I’m also under a lot of stress at the moment and until that subsides, I know that unfortunately my hair is going to be at risk. When it started falling out again the other week I decided that a) clearly whatever shampoo I use is probably not enough at this time to save my hair and b) why not find something which was still nourishing but less hassle?

Ah, but I’d already tried that before, right? I felt like I’d already trawled Google but I did so again – and this time I used a few different terms and discovered natural brand Khadi.

Khadi hails from India and all products are SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), Paraben and Silicone free. Instead they feature the exact same ingredients I’ve been using on my hair (Shikakai, Amla, Bhingraj) but in a handy liquid-gel formula which is easy to apply, wash out and doesn’t make my hair as tangled afterwards, either.

Word of warning: there’s loads of choice. I’m not good with choice and decisions because of my anxiety so it took me a few days to send off for one! I (finally) chose the Aloe Vera  shampoo – as I’ve heard fabulous things about its benefits for hair.  This shampoo also contains extracts of the Indian herbs mentioned above in addition to pure water and aloe vera.

The shampoo lathers soo well when I apply it that it makes me massively suspicious as to whether the ingredients are as they say they are (paranoid, much?) However on further inspection the bottle does only state that the ingredients listed are KEY ingredients, leading me to then panic about what I have just put on my hair.

Khadi’s website claims all products are free of chemical nasties, but I have emailed them to ask exactly what is in this particular shampoo as others simply say ‘Ingredients’ with an equally short list.

Anyhow, I’m really impressed with the smell, the texture and the cleaning power of the shampoo. As you know I only wash my hair once a week – so I’ve only used it twice now – but I’ll certainly keep you posted as to how I’m getting on.

Has anyone else tried Khadi?

 

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Khadi Review

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