Anti-Aging Smoothie Recipes For Better Skin And Health/Nutri Bullet Review

Anti- Aging smoothie recipes that help your skin and your overall health are quick and easy to make.

The fastest way to your seven a day is by starting the day off with a nutrient, vitamin and mineral packed smoothie.

I definitely recommend using a blender such as Nutri Bullet Smoothie Maker as unlike a juicer you are not wasting the fibre and the pulp and throwing out precious nutrition!

The smoothie choices are endless – blend up a concoction of your mood or aim.   I love the skin enhancing and immumity boosting benefits of blueberries, strawberries, hemp protein powder, a dash of Maca Powder and sometimes I will add in a spoonful of olive or avocado oil,  coconut is good too.

What you eat and drink makes a big difference to your general health and wellbeing but it also show on your skin.

It is so important to hydrate so that our cells and organs can function,  hydration allows joints to be lubricated, it helps remove wastage and gets the nutrients around our body.  Water not just quenches your thirst but it plays a very vital unseen role to help your body work at it’s optimum.

Our skin appears wrinkled if we are not drinking enough because as we age we simply do not retain the water in our tissues.  You have heard it before but you must drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep hydrated, healthy and to reduce dry crepy skin.

 

The Best Blender For Ease of Use.

With the introduction of the Nutri Bullet into my kitchen my healthy habit has become so easy.  In the past I really detested all the blade cleaning and mess that came with other juicers or extractors but this little machine has really made it all so simple.  Instead of the once in a while smoothie – I am now blasting a healthy concoction every morning and sometimes in the evening too!

This one is the one I personally have and as mentioned previously the reason I love it so much  (apart from the obvious reason supplying a blast of dense nutrients quickly) is that it is SO EASY TO CLEAN!   The blade has no tiny nooks and crannies just a nice piece with a wide blades meaning all you have to do is run it under the tap.  This is important as any model I had in the past usually had a few fiddly accessories and put me off the bother of using it.  Nutri bullet is a whole food blender so you are not just getting the juice but all the other nutrients too. This particular model is the original and best selling model.  It comes with 3 jug sizes and a recipe book,  currently on Amazon (click image).  Here’s to a healthy new you!

 

Ingredients that are good for your skin, health and hormones!

Most smoothies are going to benefit all of the above but you can add in extra pinches of maca to help with hormone balance,  herbs for healing, check out which herbs you can use to benefit your own personal needs here  Herbs for Health & Wellbeing.

Another idea is to add a dash of cold pressed avocado oil or extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil.  Avocado oil has so many health advantages including helping with absorption of nutrients so is perfect for adding to a nutritious smoothie.  One study showed that adding avocado oil to a meal with carrots, spinach and romaine helped to increase dramatically the anti oxidants present in these foods.  Avocado is beneficial to the health of the heart, eyes, gums, it is useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory diseases.  resource

Coconut oil also has a load of reasons for adding a scoop to your smoothie.  It is an aid for addressing blood sugar and diabetes, fights against Alzheimer’s, aids liver health, boosts energy, good for hearth health, digestion and more! Resource

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started but you can always personalize your smoothie for your specific requirements.

    Cleansing Smoothie                                                               

  • 1 to 2 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • 1 pear
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple (no seeds)
  • 1 cup of pineapple water
  • a dash of ginger optional

smoothie for anti aging

  

 Immune Booster

  • 1 to 2 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 orange
  • water
  • teaspoon of coconut oil

Menopause

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of starwberries
  • 1 teaspoon of maca powder
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • water
  • dash of avocado oil

Home Made Face Masks for Mature Skin

We all want to keep our skin fresh, glowing and healthy.  It is important to look after your body’s largest organ!  Why wouldn’t you, we look after our internal organs but sometimes place less emphasis on our outer organ.  The skin protects all our inside bits so come on – give it some love!

Embrace Aging Naturally!

Aging is natural and should of course be embraced – we are are not looking miracles (ahem).  We don’t expect that suddenly all our wrinkles naturally disappear but we can help our skin to be as healthy as can be.  We can choose glowy dewy skin or crepy dry – which is it to be?  Top notch luxurious ingredients that really work are within an easier reach than you might think.   Making your own skincare puts you in control of what you use guaranteeing that there are no chemicals or other nasty sounding things present.  Your body absorbs at least 60% of what you put on it and it certainly doesn’t need preservatives, fillers and chemically produced fragrance.  Have a look here for the EWG guide on what is in your skincare and what it does.  Don’t fall for all the marketing hype and advertising that we are all bombarded with – you can make safer, better, fresher and more effective products yourself.

Your kitchen is full of glorious and highly effective active ingredients better than any expensive chemically laden brand.  I am talking about ingredients that give a real benefit such as olive oil, avocado, oats, tumeric, apples, strawberries, cumcumber, yogurt to start!  Omega 3, vitamin E and anti oxidant’s are in abundance in your food cupboard – you don’t have to buy expensive creams to access these skin loving ingredients.

Add herbs to skincare and your diet!

To achieve the best results for your skin, approach with a two prong attack against all the free radicals and wrinkle causers!  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, make sure you use high quality cold pressed oils such as avocado, coconut and olive oil.  Increase the herbs and spices in your diet, add daily to your meals and you will start to see a difference.  Herbs are packed with anti oxidants which is what your skin needs, read the advantages of regularly using herbs here   Drink lots of water, think of a plum – take out the water and it is a prune!  Drink water and herbal teas avoiding sugary drinks – sugar is the skins enemy and a feeder to skin damage.

The Top 12 Kitchen Ingredients for DIY Masks

  1.  Rice
  2.  Turmeric
  3.  Aloe Vera
  4.  Cucumber
  5.  Orange Peel
  6.  Oats
  7.  Yogurt
  8.  Coffee
  9.  Olive Oil
  10.  Avocado
  11.  Honey
  12.  Banana

Anti Aging Masks that take two minutes or less to make!

Some of the best ingredients for making masks are the basic ones that you will have already.  All have a specific part to play in making the perfect mask for your needs.  Here are a few quick easy to make mask ideas to get you started, two minutes or less and fresh active ingredients!

Banana with Rosewater helps with uneven pigmentation and is rich in Vitamins E and A.

Coffee and olive oil not only smells divine but is a treat for the skin,  this blend is great for bringing the circulation to the skin enhancing healing and cell rejuvenation.

Avocado and honey are a perfect combo with the rich anti oxidants of the avocado and healing properties of the honey.

Oats and avocado work well together also aiding calming and exfoliation.

Rice water is full of flavonoids helping tighten and tone the skin,  just soak a face cloth with premade holes for your eyes and nose.

Tumeric mixed with yogurt is a perfect mask to address inflammation, it is anti bacterial and packed with anti oxidants,  brightens and helps with skin pigmentation.

Aloe Vera with a little lime or lemon helps fight wrinkles at a deeper level,  healing and cell regeneration.

Cucumber with a little lemon has cell rejuvenating properties keeping the skin fresh and clear.

The white of the orange is packed with vitamins and is useful blended down with rosewater for combating wrinkles.

All of the ingredients can be mixed and matched , they all are active and benefical.  Olive oil is a great mixer and has so many skin health benefits as does avocado oil.

How long do you leave a mask on for?

10 to 20 minutes for most masks.  Find somewhere to relax, lie back and let all those fantastic Mother Nature skincare hacks get to work!  Gently wash off and apply a natural moisturiser or serum in upward strokes.  You can use a different recipe each time,  use what is easily available and keep feeding your face literally!

 

 

Get Rid of Frequent Migraine

Ways I am getting rid of migraine!

You don't have to suffer

This is how I am getting rid of my migraines at last and how you could possibly do the same.  At the minute they are reduced by fifty percent and that is progress!

Note:  If you don’t want to read my long post, scroll down to the bottom to get the solution to your migraines faster! I love to write about this, it is cathartic!

For years, too many years I have suffered with debilitating migraine.  First – it was that headache in the background but still being able to pretty much function.  ” Shhh kids,  I have a headache” became far too common and I felt so guilty. Over the years the migraines became more frequent and severe progressing to having to go to bed maybe three days a week!  I could not function in the way I wanted in business or more importantly in my home.

I knew it was hereditary as my father and brothers all were migraine sufferers but I eventually knew I needed to figure out WHY?

Doctor Appointment

The doctor smiled when he saw me sitting in his office with 3 kids under 4!   It’s normal and most mum’s probably had a headache from time to time!   That was in hindsight not the best advice!

So I left the doctors office and just put my daily headaches down to the everyday life and my genes!  It is actually crazy what you get used to living with and how it all does become too normal.

Dentist Visit

Things got worse, the headaches over the years increased in intensity and frequency.  The symptoms all suggested sinus problems.

I always had a stack of sinus inhalers, sinus med’s and every alternative sinus treatment in my bathroom.  I couldn’t understand though why they never worked!

My doctor frequently sent me to my dentist,  “maybe it is your upper dental work,  have it checked”.  Off I would go to my dentist to be told my upper dental work was fine!  At this stage I was at the end of my tether and going round in circles!  The dentist did do an Xray and said my nerves were extremely close to my sinus cavities so this backed up the sinus theory!

The pain was now focused around my one cheek and over my eye and the sinus meds were not working.  “Ok, you need to go and see a sinus expert with a view to having a procedure” said my doctor.  At last!  Maybe there would be light at the end of the tunnel and I can get this sorted once and for all!

The Consultant’s Office

After quite a wait I got my ENT appointment.   At this stage my headaches or cheek aches were a daily occurrence.   I had given up any form of social life as I kept having to cancel plans.  After letting the same couple down 3 times in a row, I just stopped making arrangements.

My kids too were feeling the impact,  plans to go out for the day,  every holiday – I had some sort of horrendous sinus infection (or so I thought).  The headaches took over my entire life,  I was now vomiting and having to go to bed maybe 3 days a week.

The guilt I had when I could hear my children down stairs whilst I just pushed in my head into the pillow to try and alleviate the pain.  I usually cried also,  depression was slowly but steadily creeping.  I really don’t think people realize the impact of chronic migraine,  it is not just a headache!

Wrong Diagnosis

The day came after months of waiting.  I walked into the consultants office and within 5 minutes he told me I did not have a sinus issue, they were perfect.  You have “MID FACIAL MIGRAINE” and that is why the sinus med’s don’t work!  He went onto explain that this was quite a recent discovery and that out of half of the people going for sinus operations, only half got relief.  The reason he said was the wrong diagnosis.  They never had sinus issue but mid facial migraine!

I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh!  One part of me was angry that it took so long to get a proper diagnosis, I had seen different doctors over the years in the doctors office – why didn’t one think about migraines!

Treatment Option Offered

The consultant give me the only options available in our area and that was to go on preventative medication – beta blockers and epilepsy meds were apparently used for this.

I politely refused.  The consultant reiterated that I needed to go on this medication to improve my quality of life and yes I certainly did need to improve my quality of life and everyone around me but I needed a chance to try and treat the migraines naturally first.

I had stuck it out so long,  another couple of months were not going to make that much difference if it mean’t I didn’t have to take this preventative medication.

For years the doctors had treated me for sinus issues and I had too so I needed the opportunity to explore why I got migraines and could I reduce or get rid of them before going down the drug route.

Note,  I am not anti medications,  it can save and enhance lives and Thank God for it!  I do take sumatriptan when I really have to.  I cut back on this to stop re bounder headaches.

My Top Migraine Factors

  • Hereditary,  my father and brothers suffered migraines. My headaches were more mid cheek and not my head so that threw me on this one!
  • Stress is a very obvious one also.  I can actually feel the headache starting as soon as I am dealing with a stressful situation.
  • Clenching my teeth when I am sleeping especially if I am stressed,  even slightly stressed.
  • Food,  not eating regularly and food intolerances.

These were very obvious and that I could maybe deal with.

There was nothing I could do with the hereditary aspect,  but I could try with the rest.

My Action Plan

Stress is certainly a major factor so I try not to let things out of my control give me a headache anymore!

I have deepened my faith and handed stressful situations over to God and have actually felt that really helping.  Lifting the burden and asking him to my partner in solving issues.

My husband and family are wonderful and very supportive but there are certain situations that require a little divine intervention!  A little tip – someone said to me that we have the habit of asking God to help us at say 10 am and if he hasn’t sorted it at 10.30 am we take it back!  True,  so learning to have more patience and being a little more mindful does help.

Food!  During my migraine research, gluten came up over and over.  I always knew I couldn’t handle wheat,  it immediately would have me buckled over in muscle spasms so I decided to do an intolerance test.  Sure enough there it was among the many many intolerances I seem to have!  Yeast, salt and butternut squash were among them!

I cut out everything on the intolerant list overnight.  It was very hard but it had to done!  These headaches affect everyone in the family and that is motivation.

Food Allergies and Intolerances Get my Test Now

Fixing your Migraine

I have just started a supplement also called Dolovent as I am coming at these migraines from every angle!  The supplement has the correct dosage of magnesium, riboflavin and CoQ10 formulated for migraine.  The reviews are great on this and for me it is well worth the money as I miss so many productive days.  UPDATE  I reduced the dose by 50% as I feel it is quite high and I am always careful.  UPDATE 2  After one month I take these only once per week.

Remember though CHECK with your doctor to make sure any supplement you take does not interfere with current medication or existing conditions.

BREATHE,  yes breathe!  Sometimes we actually do forget to breathe correctly!  We need to get the oxygen into our lungs and breathe out the carbon dioxide properly.  Just become mindful of this,  basic, but I cannot believe what I have discovered with my own breathing pattern.  We tend to hold our breathe and not breathe deep enough when stressed and this makes those neck muscles tense.  You know what tense neck muscles can lead too!

Result

I kept the diet up for about 6 weeks and during that time I had NO noteworthy headaches,  nothing that stopped me from getting on with everyday life.  I felt FANTASTIC and lost weight, my head felt clear and not foggy.  My eyes didn’t feel like marbles and I felt energised, the healthiest in years!  It also inspired me to get walking again as I was feeling well enough to do so!

BUT,  like an addict I fell off the wagon and had that little piece of toast, ” that won’t do me any harm” I assured myself.    The guidance lines are to introduce your intolerant foods back into your diet after six weeks.  First few slices were fine but then came the biscuits or cookies depending where in the world you are!

All those things that I shouldn’t be having slowly made there way back into my diet and then it all started again!

The headaches, the vomiting, the sore eyes, the cancelling of plans, the feeling terrible, the guilt!  This must be how an addict feels,  taking something that you know is harmful but thinking it will be OK and before you know it, rock bottom.

Rock Bottom

Last week after a full week of migraines I sat crying in my doctors office.  “Look at you she said, you need to take this medication.”  I had every intention of doing so,  that is why I went there in the first place but sitting in that office my stubborn self said No, ” I have to try again”.  The doctor pretty much rolled her eyes – she felt my intolerance test was quackery.  I know it isn’t though and I knew I just need to get more disciplined and stay strong.

I had the proof that the diet worked,  I needed to stay on top of it and have other choices in my fridge so that I didn’t reach for something on the forbidden list!

So here I go again,  I have every intention of sticking to this diet this time,  I have to.  I know I am lucky and can change my well being so I have to do this.  I dramatically decreased my headaches with my new diet so it is worth it!

My heart goes out to all you sufferer’s as I know how it can affect your lives and your mental health.  Keep striving to find your triggers, try to eliminate them and get that intolerance test done.

Get rid of those migraines, don’t feed it, do the test and take action. Get my Test Now

Exercise, even just go walking EVERYDAY, you can find that 20 minutes, FIND IT!

Fill your lungs with air,  BREATHE and be MINDFUL of your breathing!

RELAX, take time for yourself,  it is not selfish.  You need to look after yourself so you can look after your family.

PRAY,  hand over your stresses and worries to God and if you haven’t discovered him yet,  go do it!

JOURNAL,  This has been one of the best ways to get rid of migraine for me!  I noticed that my face and jaws were painful every morning and that I was obviously clenching.  That put pressure on my temples and definitely helped to get those migraines going.  I started writing down my thoughts and worries in a prayer fashion EVERY night before I put my head on the pillow – I talked about my concerns and asked for God’s help.  I thanked God for all that I had, my family, food, roof over my head.  I know not everyone has faith but if I am writing about my migraine experience I have to mention mine because it is a vital part of my migraine reduction.

Update

We are a couple of week into my new diet,  it is hard but only because I am not organised enough!  I must stress the importance of having the right foods in your fridge and not eight miles away in the Supermarket!  PLAN your meals and buy the ingredients and that will stop you falling off the bandwagon by eating whatever is in the fridge and taking those risks.

There are so many triggers for migraine so it is a case of trial and error but if you can identify even one and work on that – your migraines will reduce.

 

 

 

 

Help Buying Gifts for a Vegan

Buying for a vegan is not hard when you know how!

Read this first and then click on over to this guide for vegan gift inspro!   Vegan Gifts made easy

 

What Do Vegans Avoid?

Here is a list of items that are best avoided when shopping for a vegan.

Food that contain meat, eggs, dairy and honey.  Lots of foods and confectionary contain gelatine so either get the magnifying glass out to read the ingredients or stick to brands identified and marketed as vegan.  Gummy, chewy confectionery almost always contain gelatine but you can get the vegan versions in selected stores and online.

Whey is another big one to be careful of – there are a lot of protein powders marketed as being super healthy and packed with fruit and veg but the protein powder itself most likely will have a whey base – milk derivative.  Protein powders have exploded unto the market recently and because they are not cheap – they tend to be on gift wish lists so remember make sure that if you are buying your vegan friend protein powder it is not dairy based.

Chocolate another go to gift remember is made with milk – so make sure you choose the vegan options as mentioned above.

Wine, yes wine!  It isn’t all grapes you know and pretty visions of vineyards!  That little voice in your head that says “Ah i will just grab a bottle of wine” just doesn’t cut it!   WHY?  –  during the filtration process the wine may go through egg whites or fish bladder – we are learning a lot here!

 

Skincare and Makeup. This is another area where you need to be vigilant.  Lanolin, beeswax and carmine are all to be avoided but are used frequently in skincare for moisturising properties and in makeup for colour (carmine).  Lanolin comes from sheep wool,  beeswax is self explanatory (found often in lipsticks and salves) but carmine also known as cochineal l – that bright red colour is made by drying, crushing and boiling beetles – not so glamorous after all!

If the skincare and makeup seem to be void of all the offending ingredients still bear in mind that animal testing may have taken place.  Any product made or even sold in China is tested on animals.  That law is being revised for foreign imports but that pretty much wiped off nearly every well known brand of the vegan forbidden list.  Look for cruelty and vegan free.  Check out the links above to Amazon that will make the minefield a lot simpler for you and quicker!

 Clothing. You know that lovely silk blouse that you thought would look lovely on Maisie,  well she mightn’t thank you.  Silk as you know is from silkworms so that’s out.  Then we have wool and leather and fur – so stay clear of fashion shopping with items that include these.

Accessories are another one to watch.  You know all those trendy leather bracelets,  necklaces and feathers,  feathers seem to be everywhere at the minute, dangling off earrings and pendants.   Handbags, purses and luggage,  watch out for the leather detail as in shoes.  You can get some absolutely fabulous accessories, travel bags and shoes that are all vegan – even Doc Martens or the trainers Meghan wore on her Australian tour I believe.

Items for the house surprise surprise might not pass the vegan veto.  Bone china would you believe traditional was exactly that,  BONE china.  It was made and still is in some instances with bone ash!  I have to admit that was one I only discovered recently – some times things are so obvious that you miss them!   Steer away from the duck and goose duvets and anything else stuffed with feathers.  Candles too are another item that you need to be aware of – most are made with beeswax so look for the soy candles and always go with a cotton wick for health reasons.

Can Vegans Use Perfume?

Now I know if you are not a vegan,  you’re head could be spinning at the moment and with so many new vegans recently still trying to find their way through this maze  – you are probably now as well informed.   New vegans are finding out new things everyday like their favourite perfume is not vegan – it is very frustrating.  You would be hard pressed to find a high end perfume brand that is cruelty free and vegan.  Have a look at these ingredients commonly found inside those pretty little bottles.

Some of the forbidden surprising ingredients include  lanolin, castoreum, deer musk, cat musk, ambergris, and .   On the list of ingredients these might simply be referred to as fragrance!

I will go into detail on these ingredients – just so you know!

Ambergris is produced in the intestines of sperm whales and can be found floating in the sea.

Castoreum is a by product made by beavers. It is a substance produced in sacs between their genitals and their anus  Beavers use this to grease their fur and mark their territory.

Civet is produced by a breed of cat found in Asia and Africa.  That’s the musky scent in your favourite perfume or aftershave!  The cat mixes it with urine to mark their territory.

Hyraceum – It’s a double whammy here!  This is the faeces and urine in a solid mix!  It comes from the Cape Hyrax – it is also known as African Stone.

Kasturi is used as a fixative in perfume.  It come from a deer breed in certain areas of Asia. The ingredient is sourced from a gland located between it’s back and rectum.  The gland is removed, dried and then ready as a fixative for the perfume industry.

Musk is one that you have most likely come across but after learning where it was from my illusions were shattered.  It actually comes from a few different sources including  beavers, civets, Moschidea deer, Muscrat, ducks, turtles, alligators, crocodiles, and snakes.   Depending on the source it will be extracted from the mouth or the anal gland.

Lanolin is oil derived from sheep wool and very commonly found in moisturising products, lipsticks and balms.

You certainly do not have to be a vegan to be appalled at what you may be possibly wearing!  You know,  the little spritz for that little je ne sais quoi  well now you do know!

What do you buy a vegan?  Click here for the hard work to be done for you!  Vegan Gifts made easy

How to Grow Your Own Tea!

 

Where do Tea Plants Grow?

You can grow your tea outside in the garden, on the porch or in a pot indoors.
The Tea Plant otherwise known as Camellia Sinensis is a small tree that produces leaves and leaf buds that can be used to produce tea.

The Camellia Sinensis species produces the worlds most popular and commercial teas including white, green, black and oolong. The two main varieties are  Camellia sinensis var. sinensis from China, and Camellia sinensis var. assamica from Assam, India.

tea plants for sale
Shop Amazon For Tea Plants and Seeds, Click Image
The tea plant commonly grown in China has a smaller leaf and is better suited to the areas that do have have a cold Winter.  The tea plant variety in India has a larger leaf and is suited to tropical climates with lower elevations.  Contrary to what most of us have always thought about tea plants,  they do thrive in all countries from Florida to the Scottish Highlands!  You can buy your own tea plants on Amazon.

How Do You Grow a Tea Plant?

It is easy to grow and thrives well in a sunny and partly shaded areas.   When the frost hits and the temperature drops move your pot plant to a sheltered area,  this will help avoid root damage.

grow your own tea plants
Starter Tea Plants Click Image for Amazon

If you have decided to grow your tea plants outside – make sure you have the best variety suitable for your climate.  You do not need to use a feed on your plant, just water it well.

You can keep it under control by pruning or you can let it grow naturally. It will be approximately the size of a large shrub or a small tree.  Camellia Sinensis reach maturity and can survive the winter when they are about 1 metre high.

 

10 tips and facts on planting your Camellia Sinensis

  • Plant in partial shade.
  • Do not plant east facing to avoid damage from the morning sun.
  • Plant in humus rich, moist but well drained soil.
  • Use an acidic mulch,  pine needles are a good example. This helps the pH balance of the soil.
  • The best temperature for your tea plants are between 55 and 90 F or 13-32 C.
  • If planting in the ground leave a distance of 1.5 metres between each plant.
  • The tea plant produces beautiful fragrant white flowers in October and November so you know all is going well – keep doing what you are doing!
  • Camellia Sinensis will grow to 2 metres high if left unpruned.
  • Tea Plants respond well to pruning.
  • Water well especially during dry seasons to prevent bud drop.

Harvesting the Tea Plant

Camellia Sinensis tend to be dormant in the Winter months but come Spring the first new growth should be evident.  To encourage further growth gently take off the first green leaves and the bud from each branch.  If you do this on a regular basis it will result in more growth and a bigger bushier tea plant.

When to Harvest

Camellia Sinensis can be harvested often during the main growing season which is Spring to the Summer.  You can try out the different teas, green, black, oolong and white – they all come from the same tea plant but the leaves undergo different processes once harvested.

Which is the best tea for health benefits?

The least processed is white tea,  this is very subtle and might be a little too subtle for some palates.  Green tea is somewhere in between white and black is a stronger flavour but all are  packed with anti-oxidants.  Black tea is the most common particularly here in Britain where just about everyone has at least three cups per day!

 

Carmellia Sinensis interesting fact!  

Tea only comes from the Carmellia Sinensis plant otherwise known as the Tea Plant.  Fruit teas, herbal teas are not really teas but tinctures or brews!

 

How to make green tea leaves from Camellia Sinensis

Take the little green shoots and buds you have plucked from each branch and you have your first harvest to truly make your own cup of tea.

  1. Stop the leaves from drying out by steaming for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Immediately run under the cold tap to cool them down and to keep the green colour.
  3. Roll the leaves with your hands and spread on a container.
  4. Place the container in a preheated oven of 212-230 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn them over so the leaves are evenly dried.
  6. Store the totally dry and crispy leaves in an airtight container.

How to make a cup of green tea.

To brew the tea, put six leaves in a tea bag or directly into a teapot with a strainer.  Make sure your teapot or cup is heated first.  Pour boiling water over the tea and let it steep for a couple of minutes – your tea is now ready to enjoy!

Tea Tip:  Camellia Sinensis produce a beautiful fragrant flower that can be dried and stored with your tea leaves.  Rose and violet dried flowers also can be used to enhance the flavour of your green tea.

homegrown tea book
Shop Here Home Grown Tea Book (Cassie Liveridge)

 

This book is a fantastic resource on how to process all the teas mentioned plus herbal and fruit varieties.  Home grown tea contains step by step guides making it simple to follow.

The book is divided into five sections – leaves, seeds, fruits and flowers and roots. Cassie Liveridge reminds us that we all can have a natural homegrown tea supply no matter the size of our outside space.

Tea plants can be grown in pots on your patio or balcony, even on a wind sill that gets a little sun.  If you do have space outside for growing,  the book has a chapter on outdoor planting advice, it can be done, you can grow your own tea – it doesn’t matter where you live!

 

Is Tea Good For You?

Tea has many benefits and is packed with anti oxidant’s and nutrients.   The antioxidant content in tea is very high and this is what contributes to the many health benefits.

Antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress by fighting cell damage caused by free radicals.

 20 benefits of green tea that has been backed by studies

      1. Contains vitamins and Iron
      2. Anti Oxidant
      3. Stimulates the production of beneficial enzymes
      4. Acts as an aid to concentration
      5. Improves heart health
      6.  Aids weight loss
      7. Decreases Inflammation
      8. Lowers blood pressure
      9. Reduces cholestrol
      10. Improves brain function
      11. May help lower cancer risks
      12. Anti Ageing benefits
      13. Anti bacterial
      14. Improves blood fat levels
      15. Helps to decrease heavy metals damage
      16. EGCG contained in green tea, have been shown to protect brain cells from oxidative stress
      17. May help lower blood sugar
      18. Helps the recovery after exercise
      19. Improves mental and physical performance
      20. Improved dental health.

Is Green Tea Better for you?

There is a lot of talk about green tea benefits but this does not mean it is better than black or white.  They are all packed with beneficial properties in varying amounts.  The end result is they have a similar effect on our health.

All tea contains antioxidants such as catechins and tannins that massively impact our well being.  If you want to reduce caffeine,  green tea has less so would be a good option.

 

Where Do You Buy Tea Plants?

Amazon have a great selection from leading suppliers from seeds to starter plants like this one tea plants

So what is keeping you?  Start feeling the therapeutic benefits of growing, harvesting and drinking your own tea.  Imagine the conversation that will be when you offer your guests a cuppa!

 

Cottage Garden Ideas

Garden of Abundance

Garden Tower 2 50-Plant Composting Container Garden
How to grow plants when you have no space, 4ft x 4ft Garden Tower

It is so beautiful to wander around a cottage garden discovering all it has to offer in its glory.  You can create your own little slice of heaven by planting the right flowers, herb and vegetable varieties.  Almost any garden regardless of the size can be turned into a cottage style garden with the exception of extremely shaded plots.   The cottage garden is low maintenance with the slightly overgrown appearance adding to it’s appeal.

The popularity of this traditional style is no longer reserved for quaint countryside dwellings but has been incorporated into new buildings from the traditional style to ultra modern.  The informal style of the garden allows the owner to spend time enjoying the beauty of the garden rather than constantly slogging away trying to keep it under control.   What is not to love!

 

With the focus on organic vegetables and wellbeing this once traditional garden is gaining in popularity.  Growing your own flowers, vegetables and herbs side by side not only looks glorious but is a great source of food for you and your family.  The health benefits of herbs are amazing so make sure you grow a variety.  Fabulous flowers can be easily picked and your garden is still vibrant and overflowing.

Spending time among flowers, foliage and nature has been well documented to aid well being. The cottage garden is a delight to the senses with it’s beautifully fragrant blooms, profusion of colour and our beautiful pollinators – the bees and the butterflies.   Carefully placed seating areas and winding paving stones add to the functionality and charm.

What to plant in a cottage garden

A cottage garden can simply be a place for you to sit and enjoy or you can have the added benefit of growing for your kitchen.  It can be controlled to an extent or it can be a rambling wildness!    Create a space that suits you and your needs, a cottage garden offers you lots of options which we will explore to help inspire you.  Have a look at your space and start planning!

Cover all walls with climbers such as ivy, climbing roses, honeysuckle, pyracantha, wisteria and let them run riot.  This is a wonderful and stunning way to create the perfect back drop to your cottage garden design.

Perennial choices add shape with larger plants to the back such as poppies, foxgloves and hollyhock.  Add mid height plants such as lavender, geranium and aquilegias and interplant with fruit and vegetables.  A visual delight and eclectic feature is to have runner beans growing up a wigwam cane among your blooms.  Oregano, parsley and thyme have pretty leaves and will fit nicely on your borders with violas and lady’s mantle.  Red currants, rhubarb and gooseberries are just some of the traditional fruits that can be grown on your borders.  You can have a separate vegetable, fruit or herb plot if you prefer, just choose a sunny area.

Features for a Cottage Garden

Every cottage garden needs the odd feature or two, it just gives it the finishing touch.  The great thing is, they do not have to be expensive and you probably have things lying around or in storage that can be utilised.  These do not have to be in great condition,  the more rustic the better!  Fill what you can with compost , plant and create distinct aspects.

Here is a list of the features for a cottage garden.  Do not use them all as it will be too much and will spoil the look of the garden.  So many gardens look beautiful but we can get a little carried away and over do the look – create your chaos methodically!

18 feature ideas for a cottage garden.

  • buckets
  • vintage bikes
  • wagon wheels
  • old wheelbarrows
  • large rocks
  • stepping stones
  • cast iron water pumps
  • stone troughs
  • old milk churns
  • terracotta pots
  • old wagons
  • Archways and pergolas
  • Table and chair
  • picket fence
  • Trellis
  • weather vanes
  • sun dials
  • Statues
Choose an area to place a table and chair where you can have your morning coffee or afternoon tea!  Try placing under a Pergola in an area that allows you to admire and soak in the tranquility of your garden.
A beautiful archway adorned with roses adds romance and is a must for every cottage garden,  your archway can lead to another corner of the garden creating mystery or can simply be a stand alone feature.
Every available space in your garden is another opportunity to plant, think about walls and doors also.  Use climbers for walls and around your doors,  this will ensure your house is incorporated into the look and feel you are portraying.
Paths can be made with varying materials, stepping stones or gravel can look equally as pleasing.  Make sure your paths are curved in keeping with the flow of your garden and avoid straight lines.
Choose a fence that compliments the size of your garden,  try a picket style or sheets of trellis that you can use infuse with colourful climbers.
If you already have a fence that you do not want to change,  paint it white and train climbers for a new look that compliments your garden.
When Summer ends make sure to leave your annual plants alone and let the seeds mature.  You can then use them to plant back into the soil or in trays to be planted the next year.  Come Autumn, you can start to tidy your garden when your perennials start to look a little tired.  Divide large clumps to create more flowering for next year.

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