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cold pressed juices, beauty juice, cleanse

6 Cold Pressed Juices for Super Skin Nourishment

Our  juices are deliciously flavoured, nutritionally designed and cold pressed to retain their active nutrients and enzymes. Beauty-boosting juices are a fast track to clear, glowing skin, more energy and a lighter, brighter feeling from the inside out.

Great along side our famous Breakfast Beauty Bar, here are our 5 signature cold pressed beauty juices you can try at home:

 Antioxidant boost

The Antioxidant Boost juice is an age defying super juice! Its ingredients will provide you the antioxidant boost your skins needs to brighten complexion and help improve wrinkles and fine lines. Raspberries are one of the top foods to help to fight blemishes and breakouts.  This provides an additional benefits to ensure your natural beauty shines throughout the day!

Orange – Vitamin C improves skin texture, tightening your complexion

Pomegranate – Ellagic acid to help repair skin and reduce wrinkles

Raspberry – Rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals

Turmeric – Potent anti-inflammatory, brightens and calms skin by decreasing skin puffiness and redness

Detox

Give your body a mini detox with this delicious rich juice filled with detoxifying ingredients like beetroot and lemon.  Helping to cleanse and rejuvenate your body, our Detox juice will give you the perfect start to your day.  The inclusion of apple also helps to protect your skin throughout the day from the suns damaging UV rays, keeping it smooth and bright while antioxidants in beetroot decrease redness and puffiness within your complexion.

Apple – High fibre aids digestion and removal of toxins

Beetroot – Detoxifies the skin by eliminating impurities via the liver

Ginger – Antioxidants neutralise damaging free radicals

Lemon – Strengthens skin cells, smoothing your complexion

Immunity kick

If you’re feeling exhausted and lethargic at the end of a working day, the Immunity Kick may be just what you need. When your body becomes run down it is more susceptible to getting sick – it is even more important if you are getting sick to stop the illness before it progresses…  This Immunity Kick will not only boost your immune system, it will also help to boost energy levels to keep you feeling your best inside and out.  The presence of ginger is the perfect touch with its high anti inflammatory properties.  Inflammation can increase when our body focuses on fighting off bacteria or viruses, ginger helps to protect your body and keep inflammation within you complexion at a minimum.

Apple –  You know what they say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away!’  plus gives a great vitamin C boost

Lemon – Antioxidant Vitamin C protects the bodys cells

Ginger – Eases headaches and sore throats

Cayenne – Immediate metabolism booster, also great for sore throats and irritating coughs

 Glow and go Green Smoothie

Our Glow + Go smoothie is most loved and best-selling juice.  Not only will give you a natural boost in energy to kick start your day, this smoothie also works to give you a healthy natural glow on the outside.  This juice is the perfect option for a busy morning when both you and your skin need a little pick-me-up.  The presence of chlorophyll helps to neutralise acids in your body and bring it back alkaline, helping to maintain balance.  It also boosts oxygen levels in your blood ensuring all your cells are nourished, while creating an energised and fresh feeling within.

Avocado – Luscious lipids with vitamin E to replenish moisture

Banana – Sustained energy boost

Coconut water – Natural electrolytes for a day on the go

Kale – Vitamin A to enhance skin tone and smoothness

Cucumber – Helps eliminate toxins for a radiant complexion

Lime – Vitamin C makes collagen and elastin

Mesclun – Chlorophyll to oxygenate and energise the body

Pineapple – Enzyme bromelain keeps the immune system in top shape

Super skin milk

This Super Skin Milk does exactly as the name suggests.  Delicious and moisturising, this pressed almond milk is the perfect addition to any breakfast and will help your skin maintain moisture and elasticity as well as reduce fine lines leaving it feeling smooth and soft for a flawless complexion.  The presence of vitamin E in almonds helps to promote tissue rejuvenation and healthy repair, creating a fresh and bright complexion.  It also helps to heal cracked lips or dry spots within your appearance.

Almonds – Maintain skin elasticity for smooth, soft dewy skin

Cardamom – Eliminates wastes which can cause dryness

Cinnamon – Encourages tight and smooth skin for a youthful complexion

Dates – Iron helps to provide oxygen to our cells creating a radiant complexion

Water – Hydrates and plumps skin cells

Nutmeg – Reduces acne for clear skin

Sea salt – Aids the removal of toxins from cells for fresh, bright skin

Vanilla bean – Helps smooth fine lines for a youthful appearance

 

Which one will be your favourite!?

cold pressed juices, beauty juice, cleanse

 

 

lük breakfast beauty bar recipe

lük Breakfast Beauty Bar

[RECIPE] 15 Serves | 45mins go-to-wo  | VEG WF DF (NF)

Delicious and easy-to-eat on the go this breakfast beauty bar contains essential beauty nutrients: omega 3 to fight inflammation & moisturise skin, essential amino acids for cell regeneration, vitamins, minerals & of course fibre to help nutrient absorption and remove toxins.  I created the recipe for the lük beautifood bar at the Growers Market, they were well received so we will make them every month! Obviously it had to be low sugar and most importantly I did not want it to taste like bird food.

Teamed with a lük Glow+Go Green Smoothie (add a spoon of yoghurt for probiotics & an egg for complete protein) and you have the perfect start to the day.

If you bake them at the beginning of the week and wrap up little bundles you’ll have something to grab as you run out the door.  They are handy for breakfast, to fill kids lunch boxes or to snack on.

BEAUTY BOOST:

So many skin loving goodies packed into one delicious bar. Wholegrains contain B vitamins that are required for every aspect of metabolism in your skin, without them your complexion will have a dull appearance as the skin cells can’t regenerate quickly. The seeds and nuts contain skin vital essential fatty acids (esp. harder-to-get omega 3) and key beauty mineral antioxidants (zinc, magnesium, calcium & selenium) and vitamin E. Shredded coconut and coconut oil provide a super skin  moisturising boost and anti microbial benefits.

YOU’LL NEED…..

Organic if you can:

1/2 cup oats – quick

1/4 cup flaxseeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup poppy seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut – fine

1/2 cup ground nuts (eg almond, walnuts or brazil nuts) or a flour eg organic spelt flour

1/3 sugar (panela or rapadura – evaporated unrefined cane juice)

1/2 tspn baking soda

1/2 tspn salt flakes (crushed Maldon or Murray River)

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tspn cinnamon

8-10 medjool dates – chopped (optional)

1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)

egg

1/3 cup coconut oil

TO MAKE….

  1. Add dry ingredients to bowl. Mix well – use a big balloon whisk. Ensure dates are separated and coated in the dry mix.
  2. Add whisked egg and (melted) oil. Stir / cut through with a knife for several minutes til well combined – every bits and piece will be well coated and it almost clumps together in your hand. This step is important.
  3. Line ‘lamington tin’ ( 9″ x 13”) with unbleached baking paper and empty in mix.
  4. Spread mix evenly and firmly press down and into the tin. The surface will be smooth and firm. I use a flat pastry scraper to flatten out and compress the mix.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on 170C or until surface is golden brown. Check cooking half way thru and turn tray if necessary – ie you may have hot spots in your oven.
  6. Cool slightly, cut the slice into bar size portions. Note it will seem a bit ‘crumbly but just press/poke back into shape – it will firm up on cooling. Leave in tin to cool.
  7. Once cool go over the cuts to ensure they are clean so you have individual pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight tub upto a 3 weeks.

TIPS + TRICKS

  • If you don’t have all the ingredients, don’t despair – mix and match. Eg Swap the oil or seeds or nuts
  • For school lunch boxes – omit the nuts 🙁
  • Pre-wrap the bars  in unbleached baking paper and pop on a sticker so the family can ‘grab and go’ – it makes them extra special.
Mixing the ingredients in the lük bar

fabulous mix of nutrient rich nuts and seeds

lük beauty breakfast bar

pressed firmly into the tray

Serving the Breakfast Beautifood Bar by the slice

Serving our Breakfast Beauty Bar by the slice

be delicious lower case

Avocado and lime dressing recipe

Avocado Lime Dressing

It’s good to have some go-to recipes, ones that you don’t much thinking about as you know they will tick your healthy eating criteria boxes: 

You know what I mean – this recipe for Avocado Lime Dressing is one of those. We simply take healthy everyday ingredients and turn simple into a little bit special: avocado is creamy and silky rich and limes are exotic (grown in warm tropical climate unlike winter lemons), together they make a magic combination and give green salad leaves a new look and taste.

 BEAUTY BENEFITS

Antioxidants such as vitamin C and limonoids found in limes as well as vitamin E, carotenoids and zeaxanthan found in avocado will work to boost your body’s protection, fighting against damaging free radicals.  This will help to reduce inflammation, sagging and wrinkles while keeping your complexion radiant and smooth. Vitamin C also boosts the production of collagen, keeping skin smooth and tight. Limonoids remain in the body for a longer period of time, maintaining protection for your body, hair and skin. Skin – healthy lipids help to revitalise your appearance, retaining moisture in your skin to keep it soft and silky. Potassium aids your kidney to flush toxins from your body while fibre helps to absorb essential nutrients leaving your body ‘cleansed’.

AVOCADO LIME DRESSING RECIPE
YOU’L NEED

1 perfectly ripe avocado

1 lime – juice and zest

garlic – just a little, crushed

fresh finely chopped herbs – 1 or more of mint, parsley, basil, chives, coriander

1 tspn dijon mustard

S&P

oil (olive, walnut, flaxseed)  – just a dash to create the desired consistency & flavour

HOW TO
  1. Mash the  avocado in a bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, zest, garlic, s&p, mustard – whisk in til avocado is smooth and creamy
  3. Add herbs – as little or much as you desire. Eg 1 tblspn or 1/4 cup.
  4. Adjust: add a touch of oil and whisk in. If too sour, add a dash of something sweet & or a bit more salt to balance the sweet, sour, salt ratio – the key to a good dressing.
TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Serve avocado and lime dressing over green leaves, chopped herbs and shaved fennel.
  • If you like give your salad a beauty boost with a sprinkle of plant protein rich nuts (eg toasted pinenuts or almonds) or seeds (pumpkin – zinc or chia seeds – omega 3’s) For more ideas on creating a green salad repertoire – click here. 
Detox salad with avocado lime detox dressing

Make sure you have mandolin on hand to quickly whip up a green + white salad.

 

Don't toss your salad you are ready to serve.

Don’t toss your salad you are ready to serve.

 

DIY face mask for salty summer skin

DIY Face Mask for Salty, Summer Skin

A full day of sun, sand and sea water, though incredibly nourishing for the soul, can be taxing on your skin and hair. Feed your dry skin with our moisturising, antioxidant packed pomegranate, yoghurt and honey face mask and follow with your favourite luk beautifood clean eating recipe to glow from the inside out.

Pomegranate is packed full of rich antioxidants which protect collagen thereby slows down the appearance of fine lines caused by sun exposure. They also contain ellagic acid which helps to prevent wrinkles.

Pomegranate combined with yoghurt is also incredibly soothing for those with dry, irritated skin – perfect if you’ve been in the sun and surf all day. Combined with the cleansing, moisturising properties of honey, this mask will have your skin looking radiant, soft and hydrated by dinner time, particularly if you have some organic rosehip oil on hand to add to follow after you’ve rinsed the mask off.

HOW TO

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of organic unflavoured yoghurt with 1 teaspoon of honey

2. Add 1 teaspoon of home made or store bought organic pomegranate juice and stir well

[TIP: for extra aroma and antioxidants you can add zest of a lime]

3. Stir well

4. Apply to face and leave for 10-15 minutes

5. Rinse face with warm water and pat dry. Follow with some organic rose hip oil or your favourite natural moisturiser

Relax and Enjoy

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 days

dividers R1-luk left yellow

be delicious.... inside and out

 

 

 

Spring Salad

3 delicious Spring Salad Recipes for inside out health

We couldn’t be more chuffed with the beautiful Spring sunshine at the moment and with gorgeous vegetables like asparagus and spinach in season, salads are our number one go-to dish! They help to cleanse and nourish our bodies and leave our skin feeling smooth and looking healthy.

The flowers are thriving, the cooler months are behind us and so are the dark chilly mornings – how can the days not seem brighter! We all know that the right foods can heal the body so it’s time we embrace the beautiful fresh produce that’s around at the moment and nourish our bodies from the inside out for glowing skin and bountiful energy.

We’ve gathered together a list of our top 3 lük Spring salad recipes that will revitalise your insides and tantalise your tastebuds, so you look and feel light and glowing.

Whether you’re packing for a picnic, meeting friends for a BBQ or nurturing your family with lunch on the deck, we’ve got you covered with these simple, in season and most importantly, delicious salad recipes!

BEAUTY BOOST

Salads are full of nourishing goodies to nourish and protect your skin. They work to cleanse the body of toxins, leaving us feeling light yet satisfied to help us spring into Spring!

Greens such as spinach and rocket are high in phytonutrients. They contain antioxidants to protect against early signs of ageing such as wrinkles and sagging, as well as vitamins such as vitamin C to help maintain collagen structure and keep your skin firm!

Healthy fats from nuts and avocados will keep your skin soft and moisturised while iron, potassium and zinc from beetroot or broccoli provide oxygen to cells and ensure healthy regeneration and repair.  It is this variety of nutrients in salads that work together to keep our skin glowing and our body feeling great.

1. PEACH + GOATS CHEESE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

– 2 peaches, chopped, seed removed

– 1 cup rocket

– 1 cup baby spinach

– 1/3 cup goats cheese

– 1 cup chickpeas, cooked

– 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

– 1/2 red onion, chopped

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– juice of 1 lime

– 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

HOW TO

1. In a large bowl place rocket and baby spinach.  Top with peaches, chickpeas, walnuts, red onion and goats cheese and gently mix.

2. In a small bowl mix olive oil, lime juice and vinegar.  Drizzle on top of salad and enjoy!

 

Image via @foodiecrush

2. QUINOA SPRING SALAD 

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

– 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

– 2 cloves garlic, crushed

– 1 tablespoon oregano

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed

– 1 cup shredded red cabbage

– ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

– ½ cup goats cheese, crumbled

– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

– water

– salt & pepper

HOW TO

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a bowl, mix tomatoes with garlic, oregano and olive oil. Roast tomatoes on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes, or until light brown.

2. Meanwhile cook quinoa in a rice cooker (see below) or  add quinoa and 3 cups of water to a medium saucepan, bringing to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until cooked.

3. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Transfer asparagus to a bowl of cold water or run under a cool tap for a further 30 seconds. Drain and roughly chop asparagus stems.

4. Drain quinoa and return to the saucepan, allowing it to sit covered for 10 minutes.

5. Fluff quinoa with a fork and place in a large bowl. Add asparagus, red cabbage and tomatoes, salt & pepper taste and stir in vinegar – drizzle with extra olive oil if needed.  Top with goats cheese + basil and serve.

acouplecooks

Image via @acouplecooks

 3. MASTERCLASS  SALAD

HOW TO MAKE A SALAD WITH WHAT’S IN YOUR FRIDGE!

SELECT A STYLE

Asian: baby spinach, watercress, coriander, mint, mizuna, spring onions or chives

Italian: rocket (wild or large leaf), cos, basil, oregano, thyme, radicchio

French: witlof, chervil, parsley, dill, marche rosettes,

Classic butter, mignonette, iceberg, mixed leaves, cabbage, sprouts – mung beans & alfalfa, micro salad – eg mustard or broccoli

SUPERCHARGE IT

Fruit: pear slices, mango, lemon or lime zest, orange or grapefruit segments, avocado.

Vegies: tomatoes (sliced or baby), capsicum (fresh sliced or shaved – red or yellow), cucumber (thinly sliced), carrot or beetroot (grated raw – long & thin), finely sliced baby mushrooms, sugar snap peas, asparagus, shaved fennel, spanish onion.

Nuts and seeds: toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds &/sunflower seeds (toasted in tamari) or cashews, macadamia nuts, etc, toasted coconut.

Cheese: crumbled goats cheese, crumbed marinated fetta, slices of boccinicci, shaved parmesan.

DRESS TO COMPLIMENT

Oils: EV olive, avocado, avocado with lime oil, walnut, sesame.

Vinegars: balsamic, white balsamic, balsamic glaze, juice of lime or lemon or pink grapefruit or orange, raspberry vinegar,

Seasoning: Salt flakes such as Murray River or Maldon + ground black pepper, garlic.

Throw your greens in a large bowl, top with your supercharged goodies and drizzle with some dressing!

Here are a few examples we love:

  1. Asian style bbq fish or chicken: baby spinach + mint + coriander + mango  (summer) + cucumber +  lime zest + lime juice + EVOO + S&P.
  2. BBQ lamb chops or NY steak: mixed baby leaves + avocado + parsley + toasted sunflower & sesame seeds + walnut oil + white balsamic vinegar + S&P.
  3. Pasta: Cos lettuce + tomato + basil leaves + olives + EVOO + balsamic glaze + shaved parmesan + S&P.
  4. Savoury tart or omelette: butter lettuce + radicchio + pear + pinenuts + EVOO + chives + raspberry vinegar + S&P

springsalad

Bon appetit natural beauties! And don’t forget to share your favourite Spring recipes in the comments x

Stress and Your Skin

Stress and Your Skin

Ever looked in the mirror after a non-stop week and noticed your skin is lacking that certain glow? That’s because stress and your skin are intimately related.

From dryness, rosacea, sensitivity, acne, eczema, redness, dullness and wrinkles, there are few skin conditions that stress doesn’t exacerbate! In fact there’s even a name for it now – it’s called “psychodermatology” which is the study and treatment of someone’s emotions as they relate to the skin using psychological techniques.

As a scientist & nutritionist, Cindy Luken our founder constantly reminds us too many people today live with the fight or flight response turned on all the time. This response produces adrenalin, which is the main hormone that tells your body that it’s in danger and when you’re constantly living in that response, all the nutrients are diverted to ensure survival and are therefore unavailable to the ‘beauty bits’ like skin, hair and nails. This causes skin to become dehydrated, sensitive and more vulnerable to damage.

In fact, a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that when women experience stress, their skin becomes more easily dehydrated, which can even lead to eczema. And in the case of acne, when you’re tense or worried, the brain releases a stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol tells your oil glands to increase production, which can lead to breakouts.

Preventing and repairing skin damage from stress needs to be approached from both the inside and out. Leading experts suggests that bringing restorative and relaxing practises into your life can be “game changing” as it gets you out of the stress response.  An ideal beauty ritual is to do some restorative practises like restorative yoga, ti chi or a an early morning walk somewhere close to nature. Other practises include an Epsom salt bath, swimming, meditation or simply spending time with ones you love.

From the outside in, be sure to nourish your skin with gentle, all natural ingredients that will moisturise the skin and enrich it with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Try one of our DIY spa treatments, followed with a natural facial oil and our 100% Pure tinted moisturiser for a dewy glow and lip nourish for luscious, moisturised lips.

 

Pumpkin soup recipe clean food luk beautifood

Pumpkin Soup with Asian Aromatics

Pumpkin soup is a favourite of everyone’s. Why not tickle it up a bit with extra vegetables, coconut and some aromatic spice for a change? This pumpkin soup takes around an hour to cook – perfect for a week night dinner.

 BEAUTY FOOD BENEFITS

Pumpkin is fabulous for its high vitamin A and beta carotene!  Vitamin A fights against free radicals which can damage our body and bring on wrinkles. Without enough vitamin A our skin can become dry, this pumpkin soup is a great way to boost your vitamin A content and maintain soft smooth skin whilst creating an easy meal all the family (especially kids) will love.

PUMPKIN SOUP RECIPE

YOU’LL NEED

1 butternut pumpkin – peeled, chopped roughly. (set seeds aside for toasting later)

1 onion – roughly chopped

Drizzle of oil to saute (eg coconut)

1/4 tspn cumin seeds

1/4 tspn coriander seeds

water or 1 litre chicken stock

1 tblspn coconut

2 tblspn cashews (optional in case of allergies)

ginger – few slices

1 clove garlic

salt & pepper

other veggies if on hand – roughly choppep – a stick of celery, a few slices red capsicum, a tomato, or carrot.

HOW TO
  1. Fry onions to til soft. Add spices and fry for a minute to release aromatics. Add all other ingredients, bring to boil. Turn down to simmer for an hour.
  2. Puree with a turbo charged stick or in a blender. If too thick – add some more liquid – water, milk, nut milk or stock.
  3. Whilst the soup is cooking gently pan fry the pumpkin seeds in olive oil and salt.
  4. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream or a drizzle of tahini & a sprinkle of the seeds.
TIPS AND TRICKS
  • I love to use chicken stock as it adds another dimension to the soup – Campbell’s 1 litre tetra packs are fine if you don’t have time to DIY for this pumpkin soup.
  • If the pumpkin seeds are too tough with their husk then saute the commercially bought green pepitas (inside seed).
  • Cashews help make the pumpkin soup creamy
Cooking pumpkin soup

Takes just a few minutes to get this pumpkin soup ready (if you buy peeled pumpkin!)

Add a few different vegetable, spices and a tablespoon of coconut

Add a few different vegetable, spices and a tablespoon of coconut to your pumpkin soup.

I love to use the Vitamix to puree the cooked vegetables. It makes it sooo creamy and smooth

I love to use the Vitamix to puree the cooked vegetables. It makes it sooo creamy and smooth

Served with a dollop of yoghurt and the freshly toasted pumpkin seeds.

Served pumpkin soup with a dollop of yoghurt and the freshly toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

luk

be delicious lower case

Natural Beauty interview with Vanessa Gray of www.vanessamegan.com

Vanessa Gray is the founder and director of her own luxury, organic and eco-friendly skincare company ‘Vanessa Megan’. Her philosophy is “you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat” so naturally we were drawn to her to be our ‘delicious woman’ of October.

Starting out in her own kitchen in 2009, Vanessa made natural skin care products for friends and family. Word grew quickly and within 9 months, her range was being sold all over Australia. Read on to find out how she did it.

Vanessa looking gorgeous at Marrickville's 'West Juliett' Café

Vanessa looking gorgeous at Marrickville’s ‘West Juliett’ Café for her interview

 

West Juliett's amazing baked treats

West Juliett’s amazing baked treats

 

VANESSA’S GORGEOUS BUSINESS

Tell us about your journey. How did you go from being an actress and a model to creating your own business?

After modelling for a number of years  I went through a bit of a crisis when I was 22. I was freaking out about what I was going to do with my life so I started acting and eventually got into NIDA.  I absolutely loved acting but all through my time at NIDA  I was always really into essential oils, herbs and herbal teas for people suffering from different ailments from pimples to migraines. I was kind of like the witch doctor.

Not long after I graduated from NIDA I was speaking to a friend who told me, “you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat” and that just made so much sense to me, it was my light bulb moment.

The day after that I went out to find a skin care range with no chemicals in it and there was nothing. So, I started researching and developing this love for biochemistry. Then I began creating my own products for friends and family which they absolutely loved and it just evolved from there. That was in 2001.

When I began branding the products, I decided to call the business Vanessa Megan because when I was going through hard times my dad called me his “strong butterfly” because Vanessa means butterfly and my middle name, Megan, means strong and I really loved that concept and the whole metamorphous of the butterfly and doing that naturally with our skin.

Then in 2008 I started a stall at the Bondi Markets with nine products and two weeks later someone came up to my stall who was on their phone saying “yeah yeah i’m here what do you want” and it was like oh my god, I got a request! Then when word grew and I got into a couple shops and a couple more until eventually I couldn’t sustain it in my apartment so I got a warehouse in Marrickville where we still make everything onsite.

And now, over 10 years later, I  get up every morning and I do what I love. That’s something my parents always said to me: do what you love and it won’t be a job, if you’re doing something that you love then money will follow.

In New South Wales alone our products are sold in About Life, Natural Progression Nutrition and Health, Dr Earth, Yoganic Pregnancy Yoga Studio, Body Mind Life, Go Vita, Iku, Mr Vitamin, Healthlands Leichardt, House of Yoga, Spell and Sydney Nourished Life Showroom.

[For Vanessa Megan’s full retail and online stocklists around Australia head to her website where you can find the perfect product for your skin ranging roughly from $10-$150]

You’re philosophy and inspiration continues to be “you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat” tell us about that and how you apply it to your products?

First of all, we source the best quality ingredients and get everything tested and if it doesn’t pass we send it back. Plus, we now have our Australian Certified Organic [ACO] accreditation which has been three years in the making!

All ingredients are plant based and from a natural source because I really believe that we can get great skin from the earth, I mean, what person have you seen using a generic anti-wrinkle cream that has given them that ‘magical’  transformation that everyone wants?

We still make everything by hand and don’t use alcohol in any of our products, which is often used as an anti-fungal and anti-mould agent but it dries your skin out so we’ve found this fantastic preservative which is a radish root extract. We’ve also got this new anti-ageing ingredient from a flower bulb as well as many other amazing skin loving extracts from natural sources which no else is using.

21_VanessaMegan_BloodOrangeFoamingBodyWash_500_c copy - Copy

Vanessa Megan’s Blood Orange Foaming Body Wash from the new ‘Body and Home’ Range

Vanessa Megan's Bergamont Shaving Cream for Men

Vanessa Megan’s Bergamont Shaving Cream for Men

 

What is a typical work day for you?  

Every day is different- I get into work at about 7:30am, do a little work out with my neighbour every third day, meditate before my staff arrive to get me ready for the day and then start working at 9am, going through till about 6pm, sometimes later. During the day it’s a mish mash of everything which is hard but I have a beautiful team behind me that helps me.

I used to be work work work, working on weekends, nights, everything, because there was such an expansion in the business that I really needed to give my all. The business is my baby so I needed to give it all my attention but I’m much better now at having that work/life balance.

For others out there wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?

Starting a business; if you’re going to be taken seriously you need to get your foundations laid down straight. Take your business seriously and take yourself seriously and whatever your strength is, stay there and whatever your weakness is be honest with yourself and get others to do it for you.

Also, have a great relationship with your bank, your accountant and lawyer, it makes life so much easier if you have that trust in them.

BEAUTY

What are the benefits of using organic, chemical-free products on your skin? Tell us about the differences you can see and feel?

From the feedback we get, the results are almost instant. The fact that you’re putting completely natural products on your skin makes such a difference to how it looks and feels. It’s like the difference between drinking a can of coke and a green smoothie, you can really feel it.

I think in 5 to 10 years time, we’ll look back on the products we used to use and say “can you believe we put these chemicals on our skin?!”

Also, when people use organic, chemical-free products they don’t wear as much make up as your skin has already got that glow.  Our NEO face oil is our biggest seller, made up of argan oil, sea buck oil and pumpkin seed, because it instantly gives you this gorgeous, natural glow. Personally it’s all I wear in summer.

anessa explains to us how she gets 'the glow', the natural way

Vanessa explains to us how she gets ‘the glow’, the natural way

How important is it for your health and your skin to use products free from chemicals?

Its really important.

Parabens and Polyethylene Glycols [PEG] which are in nearly all skin products are being linked to breast cancer. When you think about the amount that’s in most deodorants that you put on every single day in an area that’s part of the lining of your breast tissue, it really rings true that these chemicals are being ingested by your skin.

Other harmful ingredients include mineral oils, which are the second biggest ageing agent, number one is the sun, and they’re in 90% of skin care.  They’re actually a petrochemical and also come under the name of “liquid paraffin”. They don’t allow anything good to be absorbed into your skin and they block anything bad from getting out- they’re stopping your body’s major organ from breathing.

The top 4 ingredients we say to watch out for that are mineral oils, Sodium laurel sulphates [SLS’s], parabens and PEGs.

What is your daily ‘skin routine’?

I always cleanse and wash my face at the end of the day. In Summer I only use our Petitgrain Cleanser and the NEO oil and then in Winter when the atmosphere is much dryer, I use our rose and chamomile cream or the marine collagen anti-ageing cream . I’ve also just begun using our new serum ‘Resurrect’  for extra hydration and anti-ageing benefits but that’s it – I’m a simple girl.

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Vanessa Megan’s Nature’s Elixir Face Oil Serum

What is your best kept beauty secret?

There are a few beauty tips straight from your fridge which I would never even try to replicate.

One of my favourites is a face mask I make out of Greek yoghurt and turmeric. Just mix the two together,  apply to dry skin, wash it off after 10-20 minutes and all the redness in the skin is gone. It’s especially great for thread veins, redness and spots, even my pigmentation goes down when I use it, it’s unbelievable! Whenever I do one every asks me what I have done to my skin!

[See this month’s DIY beauty mask recipe we were inspired to create for you]

FOOD

How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking gorgeous on the outside? Can you see the difference that eating organic, nourishing, wholefoods has on your skin, eyes, hair and nails?

I have always been a really healthy eater,  in portion size and as well as with what I eat. Luckily I’m much more of a savoury person because I do notice if I do have chocolate i’ll get a pimple, it sounds silly but what I eat really effects my skin.

I eat a lot of “skin loving” quinoa salad…I have a quinoa salad recipe and it has become very famous in my circle of friends. Everywhere we go they ask if I can make some quinoa salad and even though I have shown my friends how to make it three times they say theirs never tastes the same as mine!

Vanessa’s ‘famous’ quinoa salad|

What you need

  • 1 ½ metric cups of quinoa
  • 3 metric cups water
  • 1 bunch Gai-lan
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves purple garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the dressing:

  • Juice the lemons, removing pips and pour into an empty jar.
  • Add equal portions of olive oil.
  • Crush garlic cloves into the dressing.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

How to

  • Pour the quinoa & water into a saucepan, bring to the boil.
  • Turn down to low heat and put the lid on the saucepan. Cover until water has evaporated and the germ has popped out of the quinoa.
  • Take off heat.  Cool. [Alternatively you can soak the quinoa grain overnight, instead of cooking it]
  • Chop Gai-lan, like you would cabbage for a coleslaw and put in a large bowl.
  • Peel and slice carrots thinly, add to bowl.
  • Chop spring onion using white & green parts, add to bowl.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • Add quinoa to the other ingredients and pour dressing over the top.
    Mix well.

Describe your day on a plate for us:

Im not a big morning eater. I’ll get up, do my meditation, have a cup of black tea with honey and milk and then i’ll have yoghurt with a piece of fruit, rice bran and some nuts and dates.

For lunch, I’ll generally have some sort of ham and salad roll or sandwich and an apple.

For snacks, we have little healthy nibbles at the office like pepita slice.

At night, dinner is a super rich green leafy meal with some kind of organic meat like a slow roast chook. I’m big on organic meat and eggs. Some nights if i’m on my own  i’ll just have scrambled eggs with some quinoa! Easy, nourishing and tastes delicious.

I grew up on a farm so when I cook it’s very rustic. There’s nothing cavier about my cooking.

What are your top three ‘cant’ live without’ ingredients when you cook?

  1. Turmeric
  2. Quinoa
  3. Miso paste- this is my new ‘stock’. I’ve just started making slow roast lamb shoulder using brown rice miso paste instead of stock, mixed with balsamic, vinegar, coconut sugar which I pour over the lamb with some lemon and rosemary. It’s AMAZING.
LIFE

What is happiness to you?

Happiness to me keeps evolving. Being a new learner of meditation,  happiness to me at the moment is being in a space of ‘no thought’ and having space around you to breath.

In meditation there’s a place I go to where I’m just in pure joy and that’s happiness. When there’s no thought, I’m in bliss.

What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?

Mum and dad have always said “follow you heart” which has really stuck with me. “Follow your heart and everything else with follow, follow your dreams,  trust your intuition.” I feel really blessed I have such a supportive family.

What is your personal Monday morning mantra? What gets you out of bed?

I’m more visual. I use visualisation to project where I want to be. The power of the mind is so great; if you visualise what you want from the day ahead and put it out there into the universe, it will come to you. I do this in all areas of my life. I see myself as happy and I don’t know quite how I’ll get there but I know I will happen somehow.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future personally and for Vanessa Megan?

For the business, it’s on the cusp of turning into a new era. It’s really exciting what we’ve done with our certified organic facelift!

And personally, I would love a family. I’d also love my own hobby farm with a big house and a veranda that goes all the way around and big veggie patch!

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Vanessa Megan’s Bubba Bath Massage Oil from the Baby Range

If you’re not already a fan of Vanessa’s products, then unlock the beauty for your self at Vanessa Megan website  like her on facebook at or you can book tickets to one of  ‘about life’s’ healthy skin evenings where Vanessa will take you through a DIY facial, advise on which products will suit your specific skin needs and talk about skin healthy foods [or as we call them, beautifoods], with tips on how to include them in your diet. For more details and to book tickets, head to About Life. 

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DIY Lük Lip Scrub

[BEAUTY]

Exfoliate your lips with our DIY Luk lip scrub and follow with your favourite Lip Nourish for naturally luscious lips.

Brown sugar works as a natural, gentle exfoliate while avocado oil will moisturise and soften the lips and grapefruit will increase collagen production for gorgeous lips in just minutes!

HOW TO

1. Combine a tablespoon of avocado oil and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in a small bowl

2. Add a small squeeze of fresh grapefruit & a little grated zest for aromatic deliciousness

3. Mix well

4. Gently rub mixture into the lips [be careful not to ‘over-do’ it, your lips are sensitive and need to be treated with love!]

5. Wash lips with warm water, pat dry with a face towel and apply your favourite lip nourish to finish!

Relax and Enjoy

You can store can leftovers in a small, air tight glass or plastic container to use again or give to a friend, however this will not keep for more than 2-3 days as the brown sugar will start to dissolve because of the added juice.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • If your mixture feels too ‘oily’ simply add more brown sugar
  • Do not use if your lips are badly broken or cracked. Simply apply your favourite lip nourish over a number of days to quickly repair the damage and prepare your lips for this delicious scrub

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look feel be delicious

 

Ain’t No Juice Like a Cold Pressed Juice

As an avid user of a Vitamix I don’t have twang of guilt in advocating this ‘cold pressed’ style of juicing because it is so different. And you are going to hate me but if you have an older style clunker of a centrifugal juicer (like me) move it on.

I’ve been testing the Kuving’s Silent Juicer because on 7th Sept (first sat of the month) we are setting up a luk beautifood bar at The Sydney Morning Herald’s Pyrmont Growers Market (more on that in another post!) and want to offer organic cold pressed beauty juices + green smoothies.

So what makes it so good? With this type of juicing a huge amount of pressure is applied to the fruits and vegetables to extract the nectar directly from the pulp without applying heat. This pressing action helps keep the nutrients and enzymes intact, as well as creating an incredible consistency to the juices. Like the blender (because every goes in) the nutrient content of the juice is the closest thing you’ll get to eating raw fruit and vegetables. And it’s those nutrients that are going to keep you looking and feeling beautiful.

And it loves fibrous vegetable like beetroot & carrot – 2 of my favourite veggies for juicing that don’t really suit the blender. Plus when you make almond milk you don’t have to strain it – make sure you soak your nuts overnight.

The magic is in the colour and the pure beauty of a single juiced vegetable, herb, fruit of nut. Keep them separate and blend to taste as required.

What do you want from your juices?

Anti-aging

You need: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, antioxidants (Lycopene)

Juice these: Kale, Spinach, Almonds, Kiwi, Blueberries, Apricots, Tomatoes

Moisturising

You need: B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Potassium, Luetin, Beta-Carotene, Carotenoids

Juice these: Avocado, Zucchini, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Almonds

Brighten your complexion

You need: Manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin C

Juice these: Mint, Oranges, Strawberries, Carrots

Reduce inflammation

You need: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Anthocyanins

Juice these: Cucumber, Beetroot, Pears, Brocolli, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines

Read more about what these beauty nutrients can do for you here.

Some other positives of this style of juicing include the fact that the juice will not separate upon settling and will keep up to three days in the fridge, so you can save time with a bulk juicing session that will last you a few days. The insoluble & soluble fibre stays in suspension. I must also include the added benefit of juicing in silence; cringe no more at the early morning whizzing and whirring that dare disturb the slumber of the kids (or hubby!)…we wish! And of course the advantage of dry pulp comes second only to the simplicity of cleaning the thing!

I spent the afternoon cold-pressing a colourful variety of my favourite fruits and vegetables – everything from apples to avocados. The results were a vibrant rainbow of fruity and veggie liquids. The next part of the fun was mixing the juices to create an array of Beautifood mocktails balancing out the beauty benefits with taste & extraction output.

Here are some of my favourite mixes. Some of them may seem obscure but you must taste before you judge!

  • Almond, pear, ginger, tumeric and carrot
  • Pear, fennel, lemon juice & rind
  • Avocado, banana and mint + ice (thru the mincer add-on)

The juices looked so pretty you just new you were nourishing not only your body but your soul too.

The cold pressed juice experiment

The cold pressed juice experiment

So much juice, so few glasses..
So much juice, so few glasses..

Veggies are a girls best friend..

Veggies are a girls best friend..

Red cabbage
Red cabbage – skin puffiness protector!

Beetroot

Reduce inflammation with beetroot

 

Capsicum

Vitamin A&C = antioxidants = fight free radical = minimise wrinkles |  lutien & zeaxanthin protect skin from sun damage & increase skin elasticity

Carrot

Carotenoids + Vitamin A protect against free radicals and the skin wrinkling they cause.

Orange

Brighten your complexion with orange

Kale

The Vitamin A in kale helps stimulate collagen formation giving it a youthful, firm appearance.