This is an amazing moisturizing cream recipe. I highly recommend this formulation for dry, damaged skin and/or winters itch. Besides being all natural, this colloidal oatmeal cream recipe contains ingredients that will help protect, soften, nourish, heal and rejuvenate the skin. Making your own homemade cream is fun, rewarding and easy. Use this on your face, hands and body. Your skin will love you for it.
Up to 1 ½ teaspoons essential oils or natural fragrance oils (optional). I used 1 tsp Sandalwood and ½ tsp Tea Tree essential oil for extra skin conditioning.
Soap safe colorant (Optional).
Place aloe vera gel, colloidal oatmeal tea* and glycerin in 2+ cup bowl. Place almond oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil and beeswax in a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 30 second and stir. Repeat in 20 second intervals until fully melted.
Run stick blender in aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, glycerin mixture (a food processor may be used). Slowly pour in melted oils. As the oils are blended in, the cream will turn white. As soon as you have a mayonnaise-like consistency, stop motor, add essential oils and colorant, and then pulse blend. Do not over blend.
Transfer cream to glass jars while still warm because it thickens quickly. I use 4 oz decorative jelly jars. They are perfect as gifts, or as an addition to a spa gift basket.
*To make colloidal oatmeal tea; place 2 tablespoons steel-cut oatmeal in a coffee grinder. Grind oatmeal until it is the texture of very fine powder (this is colloidal oatmeal). Mix the colloidal oatmeal in 1 cup boiling water. Mix with a wire whisk until dissolved. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Pour your colloidal oatmeal/water mixture through a coffee filter into a cup. You want to end up with ½ cup colloidal oatmeal tea.
NOTE: Lasts a week or so if stored in a refrigerator.
The purpose of a body or face scrub is to remove dead skin cells. This is called exfoliation. When dead cells are removed, your skin becomes more vibrant.
You do have to be careful of scrubs if your skin is sensitive or thin (the plight of aging skin). The recipe that follows is a gentle scrub and should be safe for most of you, but proceed with caution if you are older or have sensitive skin.
This recipe is for a brown sugar rub. We chose this one because the grains are finer in brown sugar than white sugar. Molasses, part of what makes brown sugar brown, is good for your skin because it is replete with glycolic. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid famed for making aging skin look more youthful.
The ingredients in this recipe are designed not just for exfoliation, but also the skin’s health. Colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera gel protect, nourish and heal the skin leaving it soft and smooth.
Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons colloidal oatmeal (Colloidal oatmeal may be purchased or made at home. See below for instructions.)
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (omit if you have very dry skin)
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon molasses
To make colloidal oatmeal at home:
Put raw uncooked oats into a grinder or blender. A coffee grinder works well for this.
Grind the oats until they have the consistency of flour.
To make sure that the oats have been ground to the correct fineness, add a teaspoon of the ground oats to a glass of water and mix. The oats should absorb the water quickly giving it a milky look. If the particles sink readily to bottom of the glass, grind them a bit longer and retest.
To make the homemade sugar scrub:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a paste.
How to use the homemade sugar scrub:
Apply to moist skin as moist skin loses dead cells faster. The best time is after a shower or bath.
Dampen the skin with warm water
Apply the scrub evenly with finger tips in a circular motion to your face and neck (this improves circulation)
Massage gently for 30 – 60 seconds avoiding your eyes
Spend a bit more time on the forehead and chin region where dead skin tend to collect more frequently.
Gently rinse away the scrub and follow with a light moisturizer.
You may have an itchy skin because you are plagued with dry skin, eczema, psoriasis or a rash caused by poison ivy or another contact allergen. It might also be caused by those pesky mosquitoes or other insect bites. Whatever the cause, try a soothing oatmeal bath to calm that angry skin.
The perfect colloidal oatmeal bath
It’s really easy to create a colloidal oatmeal bath. First, however you need to make or purchase the colloidal oatmeal. It’s easy to make, simply put some regular oats in a coffee grinder and turn them into very fine flour.
Add enough of your colloidal oats to your bath to turn the water a milky color. Be sure and use a non-stick mat in your tub as oats will make it very slippery. Soak in the bath for 10 minutes and rinse with warm, not hot, water. There will be some particles in your bath water which I don’t mind. If you choose, you can avoid that by putting the oats in a sock. Tie off the open end and allow the warm water to flow over it as you fill the tub. After the tub is filled, squeeze the sock to force the “oat milk” into your bath. You can opt to take two or three colloidal oatmeal baths a day if you have an itchy rash.
You can also add 1½ teaspoons lavender essential oil which is good to help with eczema, psoriasis and allergies. Plus, lavender essential oil adds a delightful fragrance to your bath.
Pat your skin dry with a towel when you get out of the tub. If you rub your skin, you will irritate the itchy areas and make them itch worse.
As you begin scrambling for the latest and most scientific information relating to stripping off those last few layers of body fat that seem to cling to you for dear life, you’re likely coming across a wide range of content concerning the best foods for belly-fat loss.
Maybe you’re also finding the best exercises to help boost the metabolism, the best workout designs that promise to add more muscle definition, and the best times to be eating if you hope to maximize the amount of fat you burn throughout the day.
There’s no question about it, what you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.
Make no mistake, achieving maximum fat loss and getting that “ripped” look that you see on the cover of your favourite health and fitness magazine is a 24/7 endeavour. If you aren’t on top of the game at all times, there is a large chance you’ll falter.
One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?
The answer is that it’s not what you do while you’re sleeping per se, it’s the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Let’s dig a bit further so you can see the profound connection sleep has with your weight loss.
INCREASED DAYTIME CORTISOL LEVELS
One of the first major problems that are associated with a lack of sleep is an increased daytime cortisol level. As you may have already known, cortisol is a hormone that is released within the body that works to break down body tissues. In times of stress, you will find cortisol levels very high since the body is getting ready for the fight or flight response mechanism.
Dieting itself puts the body in a stressed state since it is taking in fewer calories than it would ideally like to function; therefore you’re already at risk for such problems as muscle mass loss (which occurs when high cortisol levels begin breaking down the body’s tissues).
In one study put on by the Laboratory of Physiology in Belgium, researchers noted that those who were shorting themselves of sleep noticed higher afternoon and early evening cortisol levels than those who were not.
IMPAIRED GLUCOSE CONTROL
Have you ever found that after a late night out or a night of simply tossing and turning where sleep was hard to come by, the next day you were craving carbohydrates like a pregnant woman a few days before delivery?
One study conducted in Chicago noted that on-going sleep deprivation is responsible for a number of changes in the hormonal release and metabolism of humans, especially increased hunger and appetite.
Often in very fatigued states the body senses this fatigue and perceives a low supply of energy as a result, kick-starting internal drives to eat (hunger).
In addition to this, the researchers also pointed out that sleep restriction can decrease glucose and insulin sensitivity, two of the most critical factors that are involved in the development or prevention of diabetes as well as regulating the satiety you feel after a meal is eaten.
While you may think staying up for that extra hour to catch your favourite TV isn’t really all that detrimental, if the truth is told it could be dramatically increasing the chances that you develop diabetes.
INCREASED VISCERAL ADIPOSE TISSUE
For most people on a fat loss diet, the visceral fat is the fat that’s most important to lose because it’s the type that will set you up for the greatest overall health threats.
While you may see subcutaneous fat gains easier (as this is the fat directly under the skin), a high level of fat surrounding the organs is really going to be problematic and could eventually be life threatening.
Researchers from the John Carroll University used a continuous dark versus continuous light exposure test to assess the impacts on a group of animals. They wanted to measure melatonin levels, the metabolic parameters, the circadian rhythm activity patterns, as well as any behaviour changes that took place when animals were either placed in a standard condition with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, 24 hours of darkness, or 24 hours of continuous light.
After the study was completed the researchers noticed that the 24 hour light animals demonstrated a significantly greater visceral adipose tissue than the other two groups who did have darkness hours as well as those who were always exposed to light noted a lower level of overall activity and started to become extremely irritable and easily excited.
The body naturally wants to maintain its normal circadian rhythm with proper light and dark periods for wakefulness and sleep, and when these are altered; negative events take place with regards to body fatness and overall health.
In another study performed in the Czech Republic and published in Physiological Research, researchers found that optimal body weight was strongly associated with test subjects who maintained seven hours of sleep each night, making that the guideline that you should try and shoot for.
While some rare individuals may find they feel fine on much lower levels of sleep (5-6 hours) and others may find they need a great deal more (9+ hours per night), for most adults living a regular lifestyle with added training, 7-8 hours of sleep is optimal.
Generally the more intense and frequent your training sessions are, the more sleep you may require in order to recover properly. In these situations if 8-9 hours is not manageable, short afternoon naps can sometimes do the trick.
SLEEP AND EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
Finally, you must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.
In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.
One of the key recommendations for combating over training syndrome, which will quickly take you away from your workouts and limit further fat loss, is getting quality sleep. Failing to do so could mean you having to take time away from your program, which will without question of a doubt, slow you down.
So make sure you’re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not only are you going to feel better, think clearer, and be much stronger when it comes to battling those food cravings that are so common with fat loss diets, but you’ll also really be helping promote better long-term health as well.
Copinschi, G. (2005). Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essent Psychopharmacol. 6(6):341-7.
Murphy, HM., & Wideman, CH. (2009). Constant light induced alterations in melatonin levels, food intake, feed efficiency, visceral adiposity, and circadian rhythms in rats. Oct;12(5):233-40.
Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2010). Role of Sleep and Sleep Loss In Hormonal Release and Metabolism. Endocrine Development. 17:11-21.
Backx, FJ. Et al. (2009). Evaluation and opportunities in overtraining approaches. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. Dec;80(4):756-64.
With chorizo, garlic and lemon dressing
Servings : 4
1/4 cup olive oil
1 chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 fresh tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
100 g chorizo, thinly sliced
juice of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground pepper
10 g parsley, roughly chopped
1.5 kg prawns, de-veined and butterflied
lemon wedges for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sauté chilli, garlic, tomatoes and chorizo together for a few minutes until tomatoes just begin to soften.
Add lemon juice, remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and add chopped parsley.
Drizzle prawns with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill prawns over hot coals or on a grill pan for a few minutes until the shells turn pink and fish is just cooked.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges and the chorizo dressing.
For the berry coulis, place the berries, xylitol and water in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Press down on the berries with a spoon to crush them slightly and allow to cool.
For the cheesecake layer, heat the water, xylitol, lemon juice and vanilla in a saucepan for 2 minutes until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Combine with the yoghurt and cream cheese and whisk with an electric whisk until smooth.
For the nutty layer, stir everything together. Add ¼ cup of the cheesecake mixture and stir until combined.
To assemble, divide the berry coulis between 8 large popsicle moulds. Top it off with the cream cheese mixture, leaving about a 1cm gap at the top of each mould. Use a skewer to lightly swirl the berry coulis and cheesecake mixture together in each mould. Top each one off with a layer of the nutty mixture. Add wooden popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Check on the wooden popsicle sticks after 1 hour of freezing time to make sure they are still centered and standing up straight. Adjust if needed.
Tip: Frozen berries give the best colour, but fresh berries can be used.
Mackerel and sardines are very good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Oats are a good source of soluble fibre- also known as oat beta-glucan. Research suggests that the soluble fibre in oats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol.
1 can (400 g) of mackerel (middle cut)
¼ cup oat bran
½ cup grated carrot
1 free-range egg
zest of 1 lemon
10g chopped fresh herbs (chives, dill, parsley)
salt and pepper
2Tbs avocado oil
1 cup cooked pearl barley, cold
½ medium cucumber
50g almonds, raw and chopped
50g mixed bean sprouts
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
50g sliced red onion
salt and pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1tsp smooth Dijon mustard
4Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1tsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
Drain the mackerel of any liquid, and put it into a large mixing bowl.
Using a fork, shred the fish up until it’s fine and there are no large chunks.
Add the oat bran, carrot, egg, lemon zest, and chopped herbs, and mix well.
Leave the mixture to stand for about 30 minutes in the fridge, so the oat bran soaks up excess liquid in the mixture.
Separate the mixture into 8 equal sized balls, and shape them into patties.
Season the fishcakes with salt and pepper.
Put a large non-stick frying pan onto a medium heat and drizzle the oil into the pan.
Once the pan is hot, add the fishcakes and fry on the first side for around 2 minutes, until golden brown. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.
Wash the cucumber, tomatoes and herbs.
Using a peeler, shave the cucumber into ribbons.
Cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and pip and cut the avocado into chunks.
In a large bowl, mix together the barley, cucumber ribbons, almonds, bean sprouts, tomatoes, onion, tear the fennel and basil up and add to the salad.
Assemble the salad on a platter. Spread the barley salad mixture on the bottom of the platter.
Add the chunks of avocado, and crumble the feta over the top of the salad. Sprinkle the watercress on top of the salad.
Whisk together the lemon juice, zest and mustard.
Drizzle the olive oil into the lemon mixture whilst whisking.
Mix in the chopped chives, and season with salt & pepper.