How To Pull (Oil) Like A Pro

Oil pulling is one of the weirdest (yet most fascinating) of the detox practices. But I have to admit, it is one of my favourites. Here’s why!

Health benefits of oil pulling:

  • brighter, whiter teeth
  • healthier gums
  • no more bad breath (a bonus if you are actually trying to pull!)
  • improved sleep
  • increased energy
  • clearer sinuses
  • clearer skin
  • improved lymph system
  • reduced PMS symptoms (I used to have awful cramps – however, since oil pulling and cleaning up my diet, my symptoms are greatly reduced!)

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual and is simple, yet effective.

Here’s how to ‘pull like a pro!’

Upon waking, on an empty stomach and before brushing your teeth:

  • Put 1 tbsp of oil in your mouth. (I use organic coconut oil because it tastes delicious and is a super beneficial oil in general!) But traditionally, sesame seed oil or sunflower oils are used.
  • Swish it around your gob for 15-20mins!
  • Spit it into the bin. (Nice!) I recommend disposing of the oil in the bin to avoid clogging your drains!

Sounds a bit yuck right? But believe me, the health benefits of oil pulling are far too good to pass up on this wonderfully wacky morning ritual.

Bonus pro tips for pulling:

Whoa! Slow down. There really is no need to gargle or swish the oil so fast that your jaw begins to ache. A slow, simple sucking between the teeth and around the mouth will suffice, and if you’re pushed for time, this can be done as you take a shower or get dressed.

If Kate Winslet can spit like a man - so can you!
If Kate Winslet can spit like a man – so can you!

Find your (inner) bloke… Oil pulling does draw out some nasties and toxins, so be prepared to gag a little in the beginning. But stick with it and you’ll soon be hoiking up like Kate Winslett in Titanic. Yes – ladies can spit too! Which brings me to the next point…

Spit – don’t swallow!!! Whatever your pulling preferences, in this instance – make sure you spit and not swallow! The swishing of the oil draws out a host of bacteria, debris and toxins from your body through the mouth membrane and this is definitely NOT something you want to digest! I also suggest rinsing your mouth thoroughly afterwards and then brushing. You might even want to keep a separate toothbrush for the purpose of post-pulling.

Spice things up! Why not add a drop of oregano essential oil to the mix to further enhance the antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral effect?

Follow these four tips and you’ll be pulling like a pro in no time!

Lastly, Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing believes that ‘All disease starts in the mouth.’ He states that oil pulling can heal even chronic diseases such as intestinal, heart, kidney disease and more!

So for such a simple, inexpensive detox ritual, why not add it to your morning routine and try for yourself?

Happy pulling!

Organically Yours,

Hayley xx

 

*Header image via popsugar.com

 

 

 


Chocolate Chia Pudding

I love sweet puddings – but unfortunately, sugar does not love me. Sugar leaves me feeling foggy headed, lethargic and dulls my spirit. Not to mention the fact that sugar has been linked to countless health related illnesses, which is why I look for healthier ways to satisfy my sweet tooth!

This Chocolate Chia Pudding is so rich and tasty that you won’t even notice that it is completely free of nasty refined sugars. (Did someone say guilt free pudding?) Yes!!! Even my sweet toothed man gave it a resounding ‘YUM!’

And the best part? It is quick and easy to make and tastes amazing. Try it out and let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your comments below.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan

(Serves 1)

Ingredients

2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/2 cup of almond milk (preferably home made – otherwise, organic unsweetened)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp frozen berries
1 tsp coconut flakes
1 tsp nut butter
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 tbsp organic maple syrup

Method

Mix chia seeds with almond milk and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the chia seeds clumping together.

Add cacao powder and fold into the mixture until it has dissolved. Stir in the flax seed oil and nut butter.

Top with berries, maple syrup and sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Try not to inhale it in one! 😉

Hayley xx

 

Chocolate-Chia-and-Berry-Pudding-VF
Chocolate Chia Pudding

 


Why Switch To Organic?

Would you feed yourself and your family toxic, poisonous chemicals? Whilst this may sound extreme, the reality of the matter is that each time you consume conventional fruits or vegetables, you are doing precisely that in the form of pesticides and herbicides. These harmful chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer causing). Don’t even get me started on processed foods – that’s for another post entirely!

Exposure to, and the consumption of pesticides has been linked to a number of health related issues, including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Fertility issues
  • Birth defectstoxic-apple-dont-panic-go-organic-pesticide
  • ADHD (in children)
  • Cancers (ovarian, prostate, breast and others)
  • Damage to immune system
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Low IQ (in children)
  • Neurological disease, and more!

I don’t know about you – but I think I’d rather eat an insect or two?! 

Like most people, for years I shunned the idea of going organic on the basis that it was ‘too expensive’ – but after doing my research and learning of the rise in cancers and other food related diseases, I was finally shocked into detox and made the full switch to organic this year. I haven’t looked back since.

Can’t we just wash our vegetables?
The short answer is: no. Even if you wash your vegetables in water and scrub them with a brush, it is not enough to remove the harmful buildup of toxic chemicals on your produce, especially since pesticides can be soaked up by the plants roots and absorbed into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable. Consumer Reports confirm that the USDA measure pesticide residues after the produce has been rinsed and edible peels have been removed. Therefore, your safest bet is to buy organic.

Three ways to rationalize making the switch to organic:

  1. Find your ‘why’ and prioritise.
    Whilst, for a long time I professed that organic vegetables were too costly, that’s mostly because I was comparing them to their cheaper counterpart. Who wants to buy something that looks exactly the same for double the cost? However, looks can be deceiving. Once I discovered the harmful effects of pesticides, I concluded that conventional produce is not even worth the lesser price tag; fruits and vegetables are supposed to heal, not harm. I no longer compare cost since there is no comparison when it comes to health. So if you are still ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ – ask yourself this: Can you afford to become seriously ill and lose your health?
  2. Where there is a will there is a way.
    If you are serious about your health, you will find a way to protect yourself and your family. Most people have ‘non-essential’ outgoings, which, when reduced, free up extra funds to invest in their health and wellbeing. Things to consider cutting back on include: internet shopping, alcohol, unnecessary TV packages/add-ons, taking transport when travelling shorter distances, takeaways/fast food, high tech gadgets and games. If you are really struggling and have access to an allotment/garden – you could consider growing your own vegetables at a fraction of the cost – safe and rewarding.
  3. Bless – Don’t Stress
    After the initial ‘whoa’ moment of my first organic shop, I began to bless the farmers and stores offering safer produce, rather than stressing over the price tag. I now pay my bill with love and gratitude, silently thanking Mother Nature for providing meals that heal. Despite my fairly low income teaching as a contractor, I soon became accustomed to the increase in my shopping bill and so will you. It is simply a case of eliminating the non-essentials. This increase can range anywhere between 25-50% depending on how savvy you are at shopping organically. Whilst it may, at first, feel heavier on your pocket, believe me – it will feel much lighter on your soul.

Here are my top 3 tips for savvy organic shopping:

  1. Timing.
    If you shop towards the end of the day, you will sometimes find reduced stock which has lost a little of its freshness. If you plan to use them straight away, this isn’t a problem. Also, find out when your local store renews their stock. Older produce is often reduced beforehand to free up room for the new delivery. And stock up! If something is on special or reduced, can you bulk buy it? This will save you money in the long run and is particularly handy when purchasing dry stock such as quinoa or lentils etc However, even fresh produce such as veggies and meats can be frozen until a later date.
  2. Quality vs. Quantity.
    Before making the switch to organic, I would happily throw an entire pepper/onion into a recipe. I now consider using half instead. Since organic vegetables provide more bang for buck, I choose quality over quantity. I feel just as full and satiated because I am providing my body with a healthy dose of nutrient dense foods.
  3. Beans beans are good for your heart the more you eat the more you ..?!
    Since switching to organic, I have gradually moved towards a plant strong diet, filling up on quinoa, lentils, nuts, seeds and legumes. I have found that reducing my meat intake frees up funds for other tasty (and beneficial) foods that are just as rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Experiment with different recipes (you can find some on my recipes page) and discover what works for you!

If you are still struggling with cost, make the switch to organic gradually. Even if you purchase some organic vegetables and others conventional, you are still consuming less pesticides then you would have previously. This guide is published each year and provides information about the safest conventional produce. When purchasing from the dirty dozen list, try to always buy organic. Foods from the clean fifteen list can be purchased conventionally at a much lower risk.

dirty-dozen-list-don't-panic-go-organic

What’s your take on organic vs. conventional? Are you pro organic? How do you justify the higher price tags and do you have any tips for cost saving?

Organically yours,

Hayley xx

 

 


Coconut & Currant Curried Quinoa

I love cooking with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH). It is so versatile and can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes. Plus quinoa boasts a host of health benefits, which is why I aim to consume a portion most days.

A few health benefits of quinoa:

  • it is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
  • it has almost twice the amount of fiber than most other grains.
  • quinoa contains important minerals such as iron and magnesium.
  • is is gluten free.
  • quinoa is high in antioxidants.

And the best part about quinoa is that it tastes great when combined with your favourite flavours. So why not check out my Coconut & Current Curried Quinoa and let me know what you think?

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (washed)
2 cups water
1 cup of mushrooms
2 stalks celery
1 red pepper (capsicum)
3-4 leaves of swiss chard/silverbeet (stalks removed)
1 clove garlic (grated)
1-2 tsp Indian curry powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut/coconut flakes
1 tbsp currants
Himalayan sea salt to taste

Method

Bring quinoa to the boil with your 2 cups of water in a saucepan, and then simmer at a low heat with the lid on. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed.

Slice the vegetables and cook on a low/medium heat in some coconut oil. Add the grated garlic and curry powder.

Once the vegetables are covered in the flavours, add them to the pan of quinoa and stir occasionally. Add water if needed.

Towards the last 1-2 mins of cooking (quinoa should be soft to taste) add the currants and coconut and salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Organically yours,

Hayley xx

Coconut and Currant Curried Quinoa
Coconut and Currant Curried Quinoa

Hearty Lentil Curry

The weather is much cooler here in Melbourne, Australia, and whilst those of you in the Northern hemisphere are preparing for summer with succulent salads and sizzling BBQ’s; I am dawning my extra layers and slippers. I am also craving heartier meals, such as this mild lentil curry recipe. If you prefer a bit of spice, choose Indian curry powder over mild curry powder. But if cooking for children, you can judge their tolerance! It’s easy to add more or less according to their preference.

I love cooking in bulk, so if you’d like this curry to go even further – just up the lentils to two cups rather than 1.5. All the other ingredients can remain the same as this recipe produces a good yield.

It is delightful, flavoursome and just what I needed to warm my tum! If, like me, you enjoy arriving home to the warm waft of food aromas, this could also be prepared in a slow cooker. All ingredients were bought from my local organic store, meaning that this dish is not only deliciously good – but also a meal that heals. Enjoy!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Friendly

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

400 ml coconut milk
2 cups filtered water
Coconut oil
1.5 or 2 cups French lentils
3-4 tsp curry powder (mild or Indian depending on heat preference)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 small carrots
1 cup broccoli
1 courgette (zucchini)
1 red pepper (capsicum)
1 sweet potato
1 large potato
1 large tomato
Coriander and sea salt to taste

Method

Chop onion, garlic and red pepper (capsicum) and cook a large saucepan with coconut oil. Add the curry powder and the lentils so that the lentils are coated in the flavours. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Add the rest of your vegetables (chopped) and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and coriander to taste.

Tips

Use a large pan if cooking on the stove, mine overflowed and created a bit of a mess! Also, this tasted soooooo much tastier the next day once all the flavours had settled. So why not set some aside and enjoy leftovers?! Let me know what you think and what you would like to see more of.

Organically yours,

Hayley xx

www.hayleygledhill.com/hearty-lentil-curry
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Hearty Lentil Curry Recipe
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Delightfully heart warming lentil curry stew <3

Cleansing Winter Kale & Beet Salad

Despite the cooler weather here in Melbourne, Australia – I still aim to consume at least one cleansing salad each day. It’s a misconception that salads are boring. When prepared with creative flair and flavour in mind – they can taste simply divine! (Plus, salads are one of the quickest and easiest ways to provide your body with a healthy dose of nutrient rich food.)

Whilst some foods are best consumed raw, others are better digested when cooked, which is why this salad contains the best of both! Using a mixture of raw AND cooked ingredients, this one is sure to tantalise your taste buds.

Whether you enjoy this winter cleansing salad as a side dish or a main – be sure to let me know what you think!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

(Serves 4-6)

Raw Ingredients

1/2 thinly sliced red cabbage
Chopped Kale
1 Sliced Carrot
1 Grated Beetroot
1 Avocado
Coriander to taste

Cooked Ingredients

2 cups of mushrooms
1 sweet potato (Kumara)
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
Rosemary
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing

1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar
1/4 cup Flaxseed Oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Place the sweet potato (kumara) in a saucepan (skin on) with some water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20mins. Once cooked, the skin can easily be removed.

Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, slice the raw ingredients and combine in a large salad bowl. Grate the beetroot on top and add the avo and coriander.

Cook the mushrooms, celery, sesame seeds, garlic (grated) and rosemary in a saucepan using some coconut oil for 5-7 minutes. (Add the garlic and sesame seeds towards the end as they cook quicker.) Add to the salad mixture.

Add the cooked sweet potato to the salad mixture (allow to cool for 5-10mins before handling.)

Combine the flaxseed oil with the apple cider vinegar and add a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle over the salad.

Enjoy!

Organically Yours,

Hayley xx

Winter Kale & Beetroot Salad
Winter Kale & Beetroot Salad