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5 Ways To Cleanse and Re-energise Your Body

As we’re coming up to the mid year mark, this is the perfect time to check in with your body physically and emotionally. If you find yourself falling off the bandwagon in any aspect of life, this is as good a time as any to cleanse yourself of what is no longer serving you and to get back to looking after and nourishing yourself to look and feel you best.

Now we’re not talking about drinking juices for 10 days straight, we’re talking about holistically cleansing your mind, body and surroundings to recharge the batteries and keep you on track to living the life you love.

1. Start from the inside out.

Meditation is a fantastic way to regain balance in your life and calm the mind.  Put simply, meditation involves focusing your mind on your breath or one single thought or phrase, and the best thing about it is, it’s free!

Just 20 minutes a day helps to manage stress and anxiety, clear the mind, improve focus and help you sleep better. If 20 minutes sounds too daunting, try doing five minutes twice a day and work your way up from there. There are many different types of meditation so experiment and find what works best for you. Cindy – our founder loves to walk early in the morning (when her little ones are still asleep) and uses her ‘stretch time’ in a pretty spot to focus on her breathing.

Journaling is also another great way to check-in with your self by getting all the thoughts on to paper where you can organise them. Use journaling to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, goal setting, recording memories that bring joy to you and to help you recognise what in your life you want to improve and how to achieve that.

2. Add more nutrient rich foods into your diet.

Ever heard the saying †œfood is fuel†? Without eating the right foods, how can you get enough energy and the right nutrients to reach your full potential each and every day?  The easiest way to do this is to detoxify your body, start fresh and then nourish it with nutrient dense foods in a combination of energy boosting and energy sustaining foods.

For a mini detox, try cutting out caffeine, sugar, refined foods and alcohol for three days and eating plenty of cleansing foods such as beetroot, leafy greens, lemon, green tea, water, coconut, sprouts, berries and dandelion tea. Have a look at our beauty detox here.

To incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your everyday life you can make simple swaps such as:

–       Your morning coffee for a go + glow smoothie

–       Regular dairy milk for almond milk

–       Refined sugars and flavourings for antioxidants rich herbs and spices

–       Refined gluten grains for millet, quinoa, brown or black rice

–       Trans fats with omega 3 and essentail fatty acid rich foods like avocado, nuts, oils, salmon and sardines

Click here for nourishing, simple recipe ideas! Or click here for more information on the best 30 ways to eat better daily.

Smoothies and breakfast bowls are amazing ways to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet

3. Get clean.

Constant fatigue, weight gain, headaches, skin conditions and muscular aches are all signs that there are too many toxins in your life. Toxins interrupt normal physiological processes and reduce the function of our organ and gland systems, basically preventing you from looking and feeling your best.

According to a 2009 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the average home may contain as many as 400 chemicals, some of them toxic and many untested.

Detox your home and work environment by swapping harsh chemical-laden cleaning products to natural alternatives, keeping windows open for fresh air, leaving your shoes at the door, ensure you’re not using plastics containing BPA, using unscented microfiber cloths instead of sprays to clean and always buying organic when possible.

4. Heal your gut

Our digestion determines the health of every cell in our body, when your gut health is suffering, so does your entire body. To achieve and maintain a healthy gut, we need to support the good bacteria in our digestive system because too many bad bacteria significantly contributes to skin problems such as acne, premature aging and rosacea as well as depleted energy levels and tummy troubles like IBS. So to get the glow back in your skin and the spring back in your step, take these simple steps to heal and maintain a healthy gut

– Take a probiotic to encourage the growth of good bacteria

– Eat more fibre rich foods that contain soluble and insoluble fibre to help remove waste

– Stress less

– Eat your meals slowly and chew each mouthful

– Cut down on alcohol, processed foods and sugar

– Eat skin loving foods rich in zinc, chlorophyll, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids as well as probiotic rich fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut and yoghurt.

– drink more water and herbal teas

5.  Detox from the outside in.

As we mentioned before, the build up of toxins reduces our body’s ability to function at it’s best. Now think about this: your skin is your body’s largest organ and absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it. If you’re applying make-up and skin care products daily that are filled with artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates and mineral oil [the list goes on] daily, think about what is then being absorbed into your blood stream. More info here in our Hazardous Beauty Ingredients Guide 

In fact, an Australian report published in the International Journal of Chemistry compared natural beauty products to chemical-based ones and determined †œthat natural beauty products are better for your skin and have far less side effects.†

Now detoxing your entire bathroom cabinet and make-up bag sounds extremely daunting [and expensive!] so just take one step at a time. As you run out of one product, say your foundation, simply replace it with a natural, toxin free version. Plus, watch this space for information on Luk’s upcoming detox your make-up bag workshops where we can start you off on your toxic-free journey and hold your hand the whole way through. In the meantime have a look at our step by step guide on how to Make Over Your Beauty Routine

be delicious.... inside and out

 

Featured image via lovethispic.com and breaky bowl image via breakfastcriminals.com

3 Simple Ways to Cleanse your Mind, Body & Soul

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the kids/work/family, and need to have just a little †˜me’ break? We know you have the best intentions, but sometimes it seems that between being a mother, adhering to social and work commitments and with the stresses of everyday life, it can be tricky to maintain free time for ourselves.

To a lot of us, the idea of living well and spending time working on ourselves seems too hard, almost impossible. We are always at the bottom of the ‘to-do list’ or feel too guilty to take time out. Looking after yourself does require mind over matter and organisation, but once it becomes a savoured ritual, you’ll never look back – the results are just too good: Peace. Clarity. Energy = Happiness!

Here are three simple ways I like to cleanse and centre my body and soul to feel a sense of calm and to reenergise:

indoorjungle

Image | Source

1. Style Your Space – Create a serene place for living.

Your home or at least several rooms should be considered a refuge from the outside world where new technology, frenetic schedules and the cult of consumerism can leave you feeling anxious and unfilled.

  • To regain a sense of spirituality, use simple natural aesthetics such as pebbles, sand and stones as home decor, to help calm your senses, inspire creativity and induce clarity of thought.
  • Have your own personal quiet space where you can find peace and reconnect with your spiritual self, for about 15 minutes a day.
  • Arrange a cluster of small everyday items, such as candles or old jam jars with fresh herbs from your kitchen garden to create a harmonious energy, as their impact is wrought by their intrinsic beauty of †˜found’ objects, rather than a contrived artificial display. Often it is the personal association – a piece of driftwood picked up from a windswept beach on holiday – that has a significance that goes beyond the material value.
  • Candles and natural light are essential in the creation of a peaceful living environment. A soulful experience has a strong dependence on the purity of light to generate energy, amplify space and nurture the soul.
  • Opt for creamy, pale, neutral shades of fabric to turn your sanctuary into a place of softness and warmth. Pale shades reflect natural light making your space seem bigger and brighter – the ultimate in spiritual chic.
  • Or step outside and create a small lush green and/or fragrant place where you can pop a chair or sit on an up turned log. In the evening add a citronella candle and rest peacefully. It’s also a lovely time of day to water your garden or taking a herbal tea.

ritual
Image | Source

2. Immerse your body in rituals.

  • Showers are your standing spa appointments. They are that special time you can rely on daily to be alone in your thoughts and can place attention to yourself. Treat shower time in the morning as the threshold of your day, and step out invigorated and ready for exciting challenges ahead. At night, use it to unwind and drift fresh and peaceful between the sheets for extra sweet dreams. (& lock your door if you have kids!)
  • Baths are a deeper form of devotion to you. As much as they are about treating your body and enjoying some time alone, they can also be blissfully comforting and weightless, allowing you to be enveloped in warmth, with feelings of stress evaporating quickly.
  • Pamper your hands. As we age, the skin on the back of our hands wrinkles and loses elasticity, just as the face does. Pamper your hardworking hands with salt sand and vitamin rich nut oils to make your hands silky soft. Keep your fingernails and cuticles healthy, and pamper yourself with an overnight hand treatment.
  • Your feet need to be nurtured as they carry the weight of your body and mind. Cold and hot foot baths stimulate circulation, while hot stone therapy (soothing stones) help stimulate your senses and reconnects you back to the earth. Have foot massages to stimulate and balance the body’s vital organs.

3. Nurture your soul.

  • Rediscover yourself with contemplation. Comforting yourself to be strong enough enables you to expand your loving kindness towards others. Use music and light to help you appreciate the moments, and to bring a sense of calm, inner peace and awareness.
  • Do Yoga or Meditate by taking it slow. Focus your attention on something in the present moment and improve your mental clarity and peace of mind.

These three simple rituals are food for your soul.

Enjoy!

Cindy

Image via @biancamaycheah on Instagram

How do you like to cleanse and re-centre yourself?

Avocado as Lip Scrub

Natural Remedies for Dry Lips – DIY Lip Scrub

Say goodbye to parched lips for good! If you want smooth, hydrated lips all year round, the natural way, follow these handy tips and our special chapped lips DIY lip scrub. 

LIP LESSONS 101

The lips have it rough, quite literally. That’s because they’re virtually naked in comparison to other areas of the face and body and are therefore more prone to dryness. While you face features a thick, protective layer of skin, the lips often need an extra helping hand to remain smooth and moist. They have no oil or sweat glands, and they’re constantly exposed to irritants: the saliva, our food and drinks, environmental pollutants, the weather, the list goes on and on!

Our lips need just as much care as the rest of our skin, if not more, so keep reading to find out how to fight off some of the most common lip problems. 

Let us explain in a bit more depth…

Lips have a layer of skin (stratum corneum) that is exceptionally thin and transparent, barely covering the vulnerable mucous membrane underneath.

When lips are moist on the surface from your saliva, they attract moisture from deep within the skin which evaporates into the dry air. Adding to this, when you lick your lips, the digestive enzymes in saliva break down the skin, causing the corners to crack, so it is not just the outside elements that cause painful chapping. In fact, water loss on the lips is three to ten times higher than other parts of the face or body!

Lips also have minimal to no sebaceous glands and zero sweat glands.  These physiological facts combined with climate changes all contribute to making dry lips a recurring, persistent problem. Have you ever wondered why lips can turn blue in the winter? It’s because in extremely cold weather, blood vessels in the lips become poorly oxygenated, making the lips change colour as a result.

WHAT TO AVOID DOING

Avoid repetitively licking the lips in a futile attempt to restore moisture. Even though it may make them feel better, it is actually making matters worse! Your tongue transfers saliva from your mouth to your lips which actually eats away and destroys the thin layer of skin covering the lips which leads to soreness and chapping. Try drinking water instead or applying a nourishing balm.

Avoid being constantly out in the sun which can also have a really debilitating effect on the pout as the harsh UV rays can be quite ageing and lip-shrinking. Natural sunscreen ingredients or a layer of Lip Nourish will go a long way toward keeping your lips looking and feeling beautiful.

Avoid using matte lipsticks or long-wearing lip stains as these can cause some damage. Try to also avoid using lip plumpers that contain harmful irritants like menthol and mint oils.

Avoid any lip products that contain fragrances and synthetic colours as these can wreak absolute havoc on the sensitive, thin layer of the lips.

Avoid marketing spin! There are some brands out there which are a chemical cocktail for disaster, and despite claiming to soothe the lips, they actually contain ingredients have no benefit for the lips and end up compounding the problem. Most often they are poorly formulated and lack beneficial oils, emollients, and repairing ingredients, therefore your lips will remain dry.

ARE YOU EATING FOR HEALTHY LIPS?

While a good lip balm can help, so can your diet. The key to preventing chapped lips is eating more of the good stuff! Different vitamins and minerals found in food ca be helpful to your skin by rejuvenating and restoring its healthy glow. Some nutrients serve as antioxidants, which reduce the effect of free radicals on your lip cells.

In particular, the Omega-3 fats in walnuts and fish help regulate cell turnover to keep the lips moist and beautiful.

Avocados are also one of the most important moisturising nutrients you can have to improve the appearance of your skin and lips. That’s because avocado lipids are luscious, they contain lots of skin-healthy polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and because of these luscious lipids, avocados house lots of important beauty-fying nutrients and phytochemicals.

Plenty of water is also important, as the lips are often the first place you’ll see signs of dehydration.

THE CURES FOR CHAPPED LIPS

The very best thing you can do to treat and prevent chapped lips, aside from maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and not licking your lips constantly, is to slather your lips in a hydrating and nourishing lip balm, like Lip Nourish.

When chapping is severe or if you notice flaking along with a dry feeling, using a gently lip scrub (which we’ll get to soon!) prior to applying any other products can work wonders. The scrub quickly removes dead, dry, flaky skin and leaves a smooth surface for lip balm application. If you haven’t done this before, prepared to be surprised at the results!

Right before you go to bed, you might also want to apply a swipe of crème-soft Lip Nourish to your lips. You’ll no doubt awake with the most hydrated set of smackers going around!

chapped lips cure

KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS

Use products that contain healthy ingredients which will keep your lips moist and reinforce their delicate protective barrier.

Just like the skin on the rest of your face, the lips benefit from cell-communicating and skin-identical ingredients, and antioxidants. That’s why it’s important to ensure your lip products are 100% all-natural and include nutrient-rich ingredients like avocado oil, cocoa butter and nourishing citrus and almond oils. What better way to guarantee the purity of what’s going on your skin and into your body than with healthy, natural products that don’t pose any dangers to your health?!

DO IT YOURSELF

Everybody’s lips deserve a spa day †” a lip facial, if you will! So to help you ease your poor, peeling, flaking pout, we’ve assembled together this super delicious chapped lips home remedy lip scrub that you can do a few times a week to gently remove dead skin cells and moisturises the lips all at once.

Follow with your favourite lip nourish natural lipstick (we recommend the Pink Juniper for a feminine touch or Chai Shimmer for a nude look) and they will look, and taste, good enough to eat!

The coconut oil in this recipe works to nourish the lips while honey locks in moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties to improve the look and texture of your kissers. Avocado oil contains antioxidants called polyphenols which fight free radicals that cause cell damage. This multi-tasking oil is also a good source of vitamin K and potassium which is essential for fluid balance in the lips.

lipdiy

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine 1 tsp of coconut oil (at room temperature) and 1 tsp of avocado oil with 1 tsp runny honey

2. Stir in approximately 1 or 2 tsps of  brown or raw sugar. TIP: If the mixture is too runny, simply add more sugar, or if it is too dry add a little more coconut oil.

4. Gently massage the scrub onto clean lips.

5. Rinse with warm water and pat dry

6. Follow with your favourite lip nourish lipstick & pucker up!

TIPS AND TRICKS

Discard any leftovers as the sugar will soon dissolve and will be ineffective in exfoliating the lips.

Be gentle! Your lips are sensitive.

Do not use if the skin on your lips is broken or scabbed.

Featured image courtesy of dollarphotoclub.com

What's in your Beauty Bag - Nat Kringoudis

What’s in your beauty bag – Nat Kringoudis, Founder of The Pagoda Tree

Bio:

Nat Kringoudis is a bona fide women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer with a big heart for natural healthcare.  She is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, an author, speaker and the founder and owner of The Pagoda Tree.  Nat has stepped up to champion fertility BEFORE it becomes an issue. With the belief of †˜Why wait until it’s broken?’ Nat is helping women in their twenties to lay a gangbuster †˜healthy hormone’ foundation, knowing that this is the way forward in the world of women’s health.

Through her blog, she educates women on the benefits of alternative therapies and nutrition for happy hormones.  Nat is also the producer and co-host of the online web series HealthTalks and from time to time you’ve seen her in your favourite glossy mag or appearing as a health expert on your telly.

Nat has penned three books Well & Good, Eat Fat, Be Thin and Eat Fat, Be Lean.

And she tours Australia regularly, holding workshops and speaking at other events to help women get clued up on their bodies and take control of their hormone health.

You can drop by and say hi to Nat on Facebook, Twitter or her favourite way – via Instagram.

www.natkringoudis.com

 

Nat’s Beauty Bag:

Nat Kringoudis

Nat Kringoudis

My beauty bag is a constantly changing situation.  I’m currently obsessed with red lipstick and as a red head, I would have never thought that possible!  Here’s what is in my bag currently:

From top right hand side , clockwise.

  • Pure Papaya Care is my go-to fix for dry skin, lip care and all things in-between.
  • Ere Perez Blush in †˜my blush’
  • Very well used eye pencils!  Black is Inika & the brown is Ere Perez.
  • RMS Beauty living luminizer
  • W3ll People Narcissit Foundation – medium neutral
  • Innika Mineral Foundation  – nurture 04
  • Black mascara
  • Mineral shaddows
  • Luk Lip Nourish in Cranberry Citrus – Fave Red Lippy.

 

*NB: lük beautifood supports our natural beauty community to genuinely share ‘what’s in their beauty bag’ – we don’t endorse products or contents or gain financially or otherwise from this series.

traditional chai tea recipe clean food luk beautifood

Traditional Chai Tea Recipe

Nurture and nourish yourself this Winter with our traditional chai tea. Filled with skin loving herbs and spices, it’s the perfect guilt-free treat to warm and soothe your body. 

Originating from South Asia and also known as masala chai (mixed-spice tea), chai tea is a creation of different herbs and spices in different ratios to create a  personalised treat that is one of the most enriching and  anti-inflammatory teas you can drink. I found whilst savouring my chai [and quiet moment to myself], I was warmed from the inside out and could almost feel myself begin to glow from all those nourishing ingredients. Even the ritual of creating and brewing the chai tea recipe was a lovely way to relax and recharge. This chai tea recipe is perfect for the cooler months to help you look and feel beautiful.  We’ve also got you covered from the outside in with our Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish, try it today to protect your lips this winter!

BEAUTY FOOD BENEFITS

This traditional chai tea recipe is full of nourishing goodies to nurture you from the inside out. The combination of herbs and spices work together to provide a natural and healthy pick me up through the presence of threobromine. They also provide powerful antioxidants for your body to fight free radicals that cause wrinkles,  while its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and puffiness. Not only helping your complexion, the ginger in chai also boosts your immune system to help fight against colds, aids digestion, relieves headaches and inflammation and even improves  the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body.

TRADITIONAL CHAI TEA RECIPE

15 minutes go to whoa. Makes 1 cup.

YOU’LL NEED

2 whole black peppercorns

3 cardamon pods

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Just over 1cm of fresh ginger

1 whole nutmeg

1 tbspn black tea

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup milk of choice [we recommend cold pressed almond milk]

Optional: 1 tbspn of honey

HOW TO

1. To prepare the spice, gently smash cardamon with the side of a knife, peel and thinly slice the ginger, then combine all spices in a saucepan.

2. Add water and milk to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the milk is not burning.

3. Add the black tea to the saucepan, continuing to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4. Strain the chai tea mixture using a fine strainer, into a gorgeous mug and enjoy while warm!

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Use this chai tea recipe as a base, don’t be afraid to try different ratios of the ingredients to find your perfect style!
  • In this chai tea recipe, you can choose to only add the water to the saucepan.  You can then heat the milk separately and add to your mug. Note, simmer time will be reduced if choosing to do this.
  • These spices may be ground together and kept in an air tight container to store until you next use this chai tea recipe!

616a91a916f1aaf69c8d5400da3f7ec6 Featured images from Yummy Supper and Pinterest

Hot Chocolate

Naked Glow Hot Chocolate Recipe

Unlike traditional hot chocolate recipes – potentially sugar laden and low in nutrients, this Naked Glow Healthy Hot Chocolate recipe is packed with goodies to get your cheeks glowing! 

What more can you ask for… warmth in winter, flavanols galore and a delicious drink to bring it all together! There is no need to feel guilty with this hot chocolate and sit back, relax and indulge as it nourishes, calms and creates radiant beauty!

Gone are the days of commercial hot chocolates with loads of fortification, powered dairy substitutes, flavour and emulsifier additives. This new gourmet health conscious era heralds many types of milks, sweeteners, boosters, raw cocoa and organic chocolates which when blended or melted make a smooth, rich and divine hot chocolate.

To make it easy to DIY your own drink I have created this Hot Chocolate Formula Chalkboard.

lük beautifood hot chocolate chalkboard

BEAUTY BENEFITS

Here are a few of the delicious skin food ingredients on the board.

Dark Chocolate: Providing the perfect boost of flavonols to nourish your body, these antioxidants help to fight against free radicals, preserving a youthful, bright complexion. They work to protect your skin from the suns damaging UV rays  while helping maintain it’s elasticity.  The cacao in chocolate slows collagen breakdown by  naturally reducing the amount of stress hormones released.

Raw Cacao: The unheated/ minimally processed base from which dark chocolate is made. Raw cacao is full of flavonols to protect and tighten your skin.  Raw cacao provides a much higher amount of these antioxidants, therefore a greater benefit in your body! Magnesium helps to relax your body and mind while phenylethylamine is a natural mood enhancer, helping you to stay positive!

Mesquite Powder: This high protein powder is the perfect addition to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is low in GI and contains a natural sweetness to tickle your taste buds. It is also filled with vitamins including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc helping to boost the nutrient content of your healthy hot chocolate.

Maca Powder: A healing herb from Peru. Known for the power to energise and revitalise, some like to call maca there very own superfood! It is a complete source of essential amino acids as well as containing alkalising properties. This helps to restore and balance the body, reducing its acidic state while working to maintain correct body processes.

Chia Seeds: Although they may be small, chia seeds are packed with goodness and help thicken your chocolate drink. Their high in omega three fatty acid content is ideal for both your brain and body! They work to reduce inflammation and keep skin cells hydrated to create a gorgeous plump complexion. They also ward off wrinkles as well as help acne – perfect for maintaining a bright, youthful complexion. Chia seeds also have a high protein content which helps to build and rejuvenate cells, creating a fresh and glowing appearance.

Cinnamon: Works to help skin neutralise free radicals, preventing them from causing damage and triggering inflammation, cinnamon is full of protecting antioxidants. It helps to brighten your complexion, as well as tightening and smoothing your skin! 

NAKED GLOW HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE

To make the perfect hot chocolate for glowing skin – simply refer to the chalkboard image and start experimenting with ingredients and quantities for this hot chocolate recipe.
Here, I give you a little more detail on the making!

In a Vitamix or high speed blender that heats as it blends thru friction and creates the most creamy smooth texture, combine ingredients and whiz on high until mixture has heated up and is well blended. You can use traditional chocolate pieces as they will melt as it heats. Fill the bowl 2/3rds max.

On the stove. Heat hot chocolate recipe mixture in a saucepan whisk until all ingredients are combined and or melted.

To Serve: Create a little ritual around the making of your hot chocolate recipe. Select an earthen wear bowl or mug, lay a little tray and find a special place to savour your drink.

luk

Cleanse for vitality

Happy Monday my natural beauties!

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we’re in the throes of Autumn with Winter right around the corner, and dare I say †˜flu season’ is upon us. When the weather gets colder, you can bet your bottom dollar the tissues start to make their return and the throaty coughs begin to emerge. But this year, we’re going to avoid that, aren’t we my loves?

Here are my tips on cleansing for vitality over the next few months to ensure you remain healthy and happy from the inside out and maintain your highest state of conscious living.

  1. Choose eco friendly chemical free household cleaning products or DIY simple products like baking soda and vinegar.
  2. Use pure essential oils, not perfumes, to fragrance your home.
  3. Make sure products aren’t tested on animals (more so for peace of mind than anything!).
  4. Grow your own herb and vegetable garden – a vertical wall if space is tight.
  5. Ditch plastic wraps and pre-packed products for a rubbish-free lunch box.
  6. Buy your food from farmer’s markets or a co-op to support local food growers.
  7. Eat fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables and ensure they’re nice and colourful to optimise your nutrient intake.
  8. Reuse, repurpose and recycle properly – chickens are a great way to get rid of food scraps, OR
  9. Set up a worm farm – the compost you make will be great for helping your garden grow!
  10. Remedy colds or flus the all-natural way – sip on ginger, honey and lemon tea and indulge in steamy showers, lots of water and plenty of sleep.
  11. Take advantage of the great outdoors to feel rejuvenated. Get back to nature. Even if it’s cold outside, throw on some gum boots and feel the crisp air against your skin!
  12. Eat the rainbow! Whip up healthy wholesome soups jam-packed with as many lentils, greens, grains and vegetables as possible.
  13. Dissolve stress and increase happiness in minutes by going for a bike ride or walk.
  14. Make a concerted effort to slow down and relax. Long soaking baths, deep breathing, meditating, and other forms of †œquiet time† will help.
  15. Boost your energy levels and elevate your mood, while detoxifying your body with regular green juices.
  16. Maintain the balance of your skin flora by only using beauty products you’d eat. What goes on, goes in – don’t forget!

Image via Instagram

What are your tips for living a life bursting with vitality natural beauties? xo

cindy luken signature

beauty benefits of eating raw clean food luk beautifood

Beauty Benefits of Eating Raw

You don’t need to undertake a fully raw lifestyle to reap the benefits of eating raw! Here we go deeper to find out what eating raw and how it can help you achieve that natural glow…

At lük we encourage you to nourish your body with beautiful food both raw and cooked to enhance your natural beauty. Balance and moderation is key to a healthy life, ‘crowding in’ and ‘swapping up’ the foods you eat underlies our eating philosophy. Eating raw doesn’t mean you have to change your mindset or diet completely to enjoy the benefits… but a raw food at every meal will provide your body with gorgeous benefits!

What is raw food?

Food that is raw! Meaning it has not been heated over 45  degrees Celsius to ensure the enzymes are not denatured meaning a loss in nutritional value. Raw food can be wholefoods and produce such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils which are eaten in their natural state. It can also be for example ‘raw’ crackers or dehydrated foods providing the temperature is control.  Raw food is also free from additives, preservatives, refined sugars and added fats and can include fresh juices, smoothies, nut milks or butters, soups, salads and sprouted grains.

What are the benefits of eating raw?

Raw foods are rich in enzymes which help our body to digest what we’re eating, convert it to energy, absorb nutrients and put them to use! Enzymes also work to make sure the processes in the body are running smoothly and ensure cells are repaired, meaning hair, skin and nails are kept strong and healthy. Eating raw food also aids the digestive system as a higher number of enzymes help break down the food, putting less pressure on your digestive system so energy can be spent elsewhere.

Eating ‘raw’ can help to flush toxins from your body by cleansing your cells in such a way your body is able to effectively fight against free radicals and repair any damage. By reducing the number of toxins your body to focus its energy on other things such as supporting your immune system or giving you focus and energy while maintaining and enhancing your natural beauty.

Not only does reducing the toxin load help your immune system, but the intake of a variety of vitamins and minerals from the fresh fruit and vegetables also helps to keep your immune system in tip top shape!  Eating food in its raw state means the chances of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals being destroyed is lower.  This reduces the chances of you becoming sick as your body is able to fight and destroy illnesses before they begin to show symptoms.

Eating ‘raw’ ensures you boost your fruit and vegetable intake helping you to increase your nutrients and receive a variety of vitamins, minerals and important beauty nutrients

Some key beauty nutrients include silicon, zinc, sulfur, iron and potassium.  Silicon allows strong, shiny nails as well as stronger hair.  Zinc helps to ward away acne while also helping to rebuild collagen in the skin, to fight sagging and wrinkles while potassium helps to maintain correct levels of moisture in the skin, allowing cells to stay plump and hydrated while creating a smooth complexion.

Eating raw food can boost your energy and fuel your cells which in turn creates a better gut health and a clear complexion so you can look and feel your best.  The abundance and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables helps to maintain the alkalinity of your body to prevent inflammation.

Ways to boost your raw food intake

Eating raw doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it can actually make healthy eating easier.  Here are a few quick ways to include raw food into your diet:

  • Drink Green smoothies – Try our Luk Glow + Go green smoothie which is full of fresh ingredients and a boost of active beauty nutrients!
  • Make Salads and Nourishment Bowls – Whether as a side or as a main meal salads are a great way to include raw foods into your diet, like our Thai style raw zucchini noodles for a quick and simple, delicious dish.
  • Drink Nut Milks – Nut milks are a delicious, simple way to incorporate skin loving nutrients and added vitamins to you diet. Add exotic spices for a luxurious guilt-free treat and be sure to try our Super Skin Milk with almonds, pear, lemon and turmeric for a refreshing pick me up.
  • Create yummy raw treats – Start experimenting with delicious raw desserts which are still high in nutrients and enzymes to nourish your body, like our raw blood orange cheesecake recipe.
quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Asparagus + Tomato

 With a beautiful light, nutty taste, this quinoa, asparagus and tomato salad is the perfect Spring salad for any occasion. 

Not only will this quinoa salad help to reduce bloating or sluggishness, it will also ease you into  the spring mindset, keeping you feeling positive as the sun begins to shine.  This simple salad helps to protect your skin from the suns UV rays while also working to reduce breakouts. What more could you need as spring begins to unfold?!

BEAUTY BOOST

Asparagus allows your body to rid toxins from your cells while reducing that sluggish bloated feeling.  Aside from leaving your body feeling light, asparagine also works to reduce stress and anxiety for a positive, relaxed mind.

Tomatoes are full of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant, which protect our skin from the suns UV rays to slow premature ageing while helping to keep skin toned and firm.  Its high fat solubility makes it especially effective in our skin as our skin cells are full of gorgeous fats to keep them plump while Vitamin A adds shine to your hair.

Quinoa is a warrior for bad skin! Its combination of zinc and fibre work to decrease inflammation and reduce oil production both of which create the perfect environment for breakouts.  Iron also enhances your skin by helping to provide oxygen for regeneration and repair.  Quinoa will help your skin to feel radiant and naturally gorgeous!

QUINOA SALAD RECIPE

30 minutes wo to go. Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

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 chopped red cabbage

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup goats cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

water

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 and tomatoes and stir in vinegar.  Top with goats cheese basil and serve.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Left overs can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and re-heated for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • You can mix up this quinoa salad by adding some snow peas or using a dash of tamari instead of vinegar.
  • I use a rice cooker to cook my quinoa as I can pop it on and walk away and on return it is perfect…even if it has been sitting there for 30+ mins. Use a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 of water.

quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food

 

Simple Ways to Stress Less

From dull skin, weight gain, compromised immune systems and anxiety, stress impacts almost every part of our body, reducing our quality of life and productivity.

In an age where stress is almost an epidemic, it’s time to start focusing on how to manage and reduce stress levels instead of just †˜grinning and baring it.’ Use these simple coping strategies to help you stress less, banish busy and adjust your mindset.

1.  What’s the worst that can happen?

When we feel panic, anxiety etc we are usually working ourselves up into a mess because we’re focusing on the worst-case scenario. Stop worrying about potential problems that haven’t happened yet, you can prepare for the worst and have a plan, but worrying is just  like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain! Because right now, you are ok.

Stress only takes over when you overthink and fret about the future. Don’t worry about things you can’t control in the future. Be present, this moment is the only thing that matters. So let go of that thought, and come back to now. Meditation and yoga are great for training the mind to become more present.

2.  Jump in!

Go for a swim; take a bath or a hot shower. Research shows that the warmth and fluidity of the water help to release serotonin (the happy hormone).  This helps us  to chill out and therefore reduce the stress hormones: cortisol and adrenalin.

3. Laugh

Being social, spending time with friends, trying new things and laughter, not only release serotonin  but are also proven to reduce levels of the cortisol by nearly 40%!

4. Nourish yourself 

Cortisol causes food cravings, usually for comfort food or sugar that often leave us feeling worse (on the inside and out) . Not only can the right foods give you the sustained energy you need throughout stressful periods, but they can actually help you become more focused, even, and balanced.  Be sure to include foods rich in zinc like nuts, pumpkin seeds and green leaves as low zinc levels have been linked to depression and anxiety and magnesium rich foods like oatmeal, wheat bran and brazil nuts to reduce insomnia and relax muscles.

5. Exercise

Let the energies of anxiety, panic and fear move through and out your body.  Keeping them in your body causes adrenalin to start pumping in our veins and sitting still only makes it worse. As well as exercising regularly, try to do short stints of incidental exercise throughout your day like taking a short walk in your lunch break or taking the kids to the park after school, anything that just get’s your body moving to burn that nervous energy.

These are just a few simple solutions that can easily and immediately be implemented to help you stress less. Whilst in some cases there are more serious stressors that are so much more than a heavy workload or tight deadline, that just cannot be controlled,  you don’t need to make huge changes to your life to reduce their impact on your body, it can be a as simple as adjusting your mindset and keeping it simple!

5 Ways To Cleanse and Re-energise Your Body

As we’re coming up to the mid year mark, this is the perfect time to check in with your body physically and emotionally. If you find yourself falling off the bandwagon in any aspect of life, this is as good a time as any to cleanse yourself of what is no longer serving you and to get back to looking after and nourishing yourself to look and feel you best.

Now we’re not talking about drinking juices for 10 days straight, we’re talking about holistically cleansing your mind, body and surroundings to recharge the batteries and keep you on track to living the life you love.

1. Start from the inside out.

Meditation is a fantastic way to regain balance in your life and calm the mind.  Put simply, meditation involves focusing your mind on your breath or one single thought or phrase, and the best thing about it is, it’s free!

Just 20 minutes a day helps to manage stress and anxiety, clear the mind, improve focus and help you sleep better. If 20 minutes sounds too daunting, try doing five minutes twice a day and work your way up from there. There are many different types of meditation so experiment and find what works best for you. Cindy – our founder loves to walk early in the morning (when her little ones are still asleep) and uses her ‘stretch time’ in a pretty spot to focus on her breathing.

Journaling is also another great way to check-in with your self by getting all the thoughts on to paper where you can organise them. Use journaling to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, goal setting, recording memories that bring joy to you and to help you recognise what in your life you want to improve and how to achieve that.

2. Add more nutrient rich foods into your diet.

Ever heard the saying †œfood is fuel†? Without eating the right foods, how can you get enough energy and the right nutrients to reach your full potential each and every day?  The easiest way to do this is to detoxify your body, start fresh and then nourish it with nutrient dense foods in a combination of energy boosting and energy sustaining foods.

For a mini detox, try cutting out caffeine, sugar, refined foods and alcohol for three days and eating plenty of cleansing foods such as beetroot, leafy greens, lemon, green tea, water, coconut, sprouts, berries and dandelion tea. Have a look at our beauty detox here.

To incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your everyday life you can make simple swaps such as:

–       Your morning coffee for a go + glow smoothie

–       Regular dairy milk for almond milk

–       Refined sugars and flavourings for antioxidants rich herbs and spices

–       Refined gluten grains for millet, quinoa, brown or black rice

–       Trans fats with omega 3 and essentail fatty acid rich foods like avocado, nuts, oils, salmon and sardines

Click here for nourishing, simple recipe ideas! Or click here for more information on the best 30 ways to eat better daily.

Smoothies and breakfast bowls are amazing ways to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet

3. Get clean.

Constant fatigue, weight gain, headaches, skin conditions and muscular aches are all signs that there are too many toxins in your life. Toxins interrupt normal physiological processes and reduce the function of our organ and gland systems, basically preventing you from looking and feeling your best.

According to a 2009 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the average home may contain as many as 400 chemicals, some of them toxic and many untested.

Detox your home and work environment by swapping harsh chemical-laden cleaning products to natural alternatives, keeping windows open for fresh air, leaving your shoes at the door, ensure you’re not using plastics containing BPA, using unscented microfiber cloths instead of sprays to clean and always buying organic when possible.

4. Heal your gut

Our digestion determines the health of every cell in our body, when your gut health is suffering, so does your entire body. To achieve and maintain a healthy gut, we need to support the good bacteria in our digestive system because too many bad bacteria significantly contributes to skin problems such as acne, premature aging and rosacea as well as depleted energy levels and tummy troubles like IBS. So to get the glow back in your skin and the spring back in your step, take these simple steps to heal and maintain a healthy gut

– Take a probiotic to encourage the growth of good bacteria

– Eat more fibre rich foods that contain soluble and insoluble fibre to help remove waste

– Stress less

– Eat your meals slowly and chew each mouthful

– Cut down on alcohol, processed foods and sugar

– Eat skin loving foods rich in zinc, chlorophyll, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids as well as probiotic rich fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut and yoghurt.

– drink more water and herbal teas

5.  Detox from the outside in.

As we mentioned before, the build up of toxins reduces our body’s ability to function at it’s best. Now think about this: your skin is your body’s largest organ and absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it. If you’re applying make-up and skin care products daily that are filled with artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates and mineral oil [the list goes on] daily, think about what is then being absorbed into your blood stream. More info here in our Hazardous Beauty Ingredients Guide 

In fact, an Australian report published in the International Journal of Chemistry compared natural beauty products to chemical-based ones and determined †œthat natural beauty products are better for your skin and have far less side effects.†

Now detoxing your entire bathroom cabinet and make-up bag sounds extremely daunting [and expensive!] so just take one step at a time. As you run out of one product, say your foundation, simply replace it with a natural, toxin free version. Plus, watch this space for information on Luk’s upcoming detox your make-up bag workshops where we can start you off on your toxic-free journey and hold your hand the whole way through. In the meantime have a look at our step by step guide on how to Make Over Your Beauty Routine

be delicious.... inside and out

 

Featured image via lovethispic.com and breaky bowl image via breakfastcriminals.com

3 Simple Ways to Cleanse your Mind, Body & Soul

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the kids/work/family, and need to have just a little †˜me’ break? We know you have the best intentions, but sometimes it seems that between being a mother, adhering to social and work commitments and with the stresses of everyday life, it can be tricky to maintain free time for ourselves.

To a lot of us, the idea of living well and spending time working on ourselves seems too hard, almost impossible. We are always at the bottom of the ‘to-do list’ or feel too guilty to take time out. Looking after yourself does require mind over matter and organisation, but once it becomes a savoured ritual, you’ll never look back – the results are just too good: Peace. Clarity. Energy = Happiness!

Here are three simple ways I like to cleanse and centre my body and soul to feel a sense of calm and to reenergise:

indoorjungle

Image | Source

1. Style Your Space – Create a serene place for living.

Your home or at least several rooms should be considered a refuge from the outside world where new technology, frenetic schedules and the cult of consumerism can leave you feeling anxious and unfilled.

  • To regain a sense of spirituality, use simple natural aesthetics such as pebbles, sand and stones as home decor, to help calm your senses, inspire creativity and induce clarity of thought.
  • Have your own personal quiet space where you can find peace and reconnect with your spiritual self, for about 15 minutes a day.
  • Arrange a cluster of small everyday items, such as candles or old jam jars with fresh herbs from your kitchen garden to create a harmonious energy, as their impact is wrought by their intrinsic beauty of †˜found’ objects, rather than a contrived artificial display. Often it is the personal association – a piece of driftwood picked up from a windswept beach on holiday – that has a significance that goes beyond the material value.
  • Candles and natural light are essential in the creation of a peaceful living environment. A soulful experience has a strong dependence on the purity of light to generate energy, amplify space and nurture the soul.
  • Opt for creamy, pale, neutral shades of fabric to turn your sanctuary into a place of softness and warmth. Pale shades reflect natural light making your space seem bigger and brighter – the ultimate in spiritual chic.
  • Or step outside and create a small lush green and/or fragrant place where you can pop a chair or sit on an up turned log. In the evening add a citronella candle and rest peacefully. It’s also a lovely time of day to water your garden or taking a herbal tea.

ritual
Image | Source

2. Immerse your body in rituals.

  • Showers are your standing spa appointments. They are that special time you can rely on daily to be alone in your thoughts and can place attention to yourself. Treat shower time in the morning as the threshold of your day, and step out invigorated and ready for exciting challenges ahead. At night, use it to unwind and drift fresh and peaceful between the sheets for extra sweet dreams. (& lock your door if you have kids!)
  • Baths are a deeper form of devotion to you. As much as they are about treating your body and enjoying some time alone, they can also be blissfully comforting and weightless, allowing you to be enveloped in warmth, with feelings of stress evaporating quickly.
  • Pamper your hands. As we age, the skin on the back of our hands wrinkles and loses elasticity, just as the face does. Pamper your hardworking hands with salt sand and vitamin rich nut oils to make your hands silky soft. Keep your fingernails and cuticles healthy, and pamper yourself with an overnight hand treatment.
  • Your feet need to be nurtured as they carry the weight of your body and mind. Cold and hot foot baths stimulate circulation, while hot stone therapy (soothing stones) help stimulate your senses and reconnects you back to the earth. Have foot massages to stimulate and balance the body’s vital organs.

3. Nurture your soul.

  • Rediscover yourself with contemplation. Comforting yourself to be strong enough enables you to expand your loving kindness towards others. Use music and light to help you appreciate the moments, and to bring a sense of calm, inner peace and awareness.
  • Do Yoga or Meditate by taking it slow. Focus your attention on something in the present moment and improve your mental clarity and peace of mind.

These three simple rituals are food for your soul.

Enjoy!

Cindy

Image via @biancamaycheah on Instagram

How do you like to cleanse and re-centre yourself?

Avocado as Lip Scrub

Natural Remedies for Dry Lips – DIY Lip Scrub

Say goodbye to parched lips for good! If you want smooth, hydrated lips all year round, the natural way, follow these handy tips and our special chapped lips DIY lip scrub. 

LIP LESSONS 101

The lips have it rough, quite literally. That’s because they’re virtually naked in comparison to other areas of the face and body and are therefore more prone to dryness. While you face features a thick, protective layer of skin, the lips often need an extra helping hand to remain smooth and moist. They have no oil or sweat glands, and they’re constantly exposed to irritants: the saliva, our food and drinks, environmental pollutants, the weather, the list goes on and on!

Our lips need just as much care as the rest of our skin, if not more, so keep reading to find out how to fight off some of the most common lip problems. 

Let us explain in a bit more depth…

Lips have a layer of skin (stratum corneum) that is exceptionally thin and transparent, barely covering the vulnerable mucous membrane underneath.

When lips are moist on the surface from your saliva, they attract moisture from deep within the skin which evaporates into the dry air. Adding to this, when you lick your lips, the digestive enzymes in saliva break down the skin, causing the corners to crack, so it is not just the outside elements that cause painful chapping. In fact, water loss on the lips is three to ten times higher than other parts of the face or body!

Lips also have minimal to no sebaceous glands and zero sweat glands.  These physiological facts combined with climate changes all contribute to making dry lips a recurring, persistent problem. Have you ever wondered why lips can turn blue in the winter? It’s because in extremely cold weather, blood vessels in the lips become poorly oxygenated, making the lips change colour as a result.

WHAT TO AVOID DOING

Avoid repetitively licking the lips in a futile attempt to restore moisture. Even though it may make them feel better, it is actually making matters worse! Your tongue transfers saliva from your mouth to your lips which actually eats away and destroys the thin layer of skin covering the lips which leads to soreness and chapping. Try drinking water instead or applying a nourishing balm.

Avoid being constantly out in the sun which can also have a really debilitating effect on the pout as the harsh UV rays can be quite ageing and lip-shrinking. Natural sunscreen ingredients or a layer of Lip Nourish will go a long way toward keeping your lips looking and feeling beautiful.

Avoid using matte lipsticks or long-wearing lip stains as these can cause some damage. Try to also avoid using lip plumpers that contain harmful irritants like menthol and mint oils.

Avoid any lip products that contain fragrances and synthetic colours as these can wreak absolute havoc on the sensitive, thin layer of the lips.

Avoid marketing spin! There are some brands out there which are a chemical cocktail for disaster, and despite claiming to soothe the lips, they actually contain ingredients have no benefit for the lips and end up compounding the problem. Most often they are poorly formulated and lack beneficial oils, emollients, and repairing ingredients, therefore your lips will remain dry.

ARE YOU EATING FOR HEALTHY LIPS?

While a good lip balm can help, so can your diet. The key to preventing chapped lips is eating more of the good stuff! Different vitamins and minerals found in food ca be helpful to your skin by rejuvenating and restoring its healthy glow. Some nutrients serve as antioxidants, which reduce the effect of free radicals on your lip cells.

In particular, the Omega-3 fats in walnuts and fish help regulate cell turnover to keep the lips moist and beautiful.

Avocados are also one of the most important moisturising nutrients you can have to improve the appearance of your skin and lips. That’s because avocado lipids are luscious, they contain lots of skin-healthy polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and because of these luscious lipids, avocados house lots of important beauty-fying nutrients and phytochemicals.

Plenty of water is also important, as the lips are often the first place you’ll see signs of dehydration.

THE CURES FOR CHAPPED LIPS

The very best thing you can do to treat and prevent chapped lips, aside from maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and not licking your lips constantly, is to slather your lips in a hydrating and nourishing lip balm, like Lip Nourish.

When chapping is severe or if you notice flaking along with a dry feeling, using a gently lip scrub (which we’ll get to soon!) prior to applying any other products can work wonders. The scrub quickly removes dead, dry, flaky skin and leaves a smooth surface for lip balm application. If you haven’t done this before, prepared to be surprised at the results!

Right before you go to bed, you might also want to apply a swipe of crème-soft Lip Nourish to your lips. You’ll no doubt awake with the most hydrated set of smackers going around!

chapped lips cure

KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS

Use products that contain healthy ingredients which will keep your lips moist and reinforce their delicate protective barrier.

Just like the skin on the rest of your face, the lips benefit from cell-communicating and skin-identical ingredients, and antioxidants. That’s why it’s important to ensure your lip products are 100% all-natural and include nutrient-rich ingredients like avocado oil, cocoa butter and nourishing citrus and almond oils. What better way to guarantee the purity of what’s going on your skin and into your body than with healthy, natural products that don’t pose any dangers to your health?!

DO IT YOURSELF

Everybody’s lips deserve a spa day †” a lip facial, if you will! So to help you ease your poor, peeling, flaking pout, we’ve assembled together this super delicious chapped lips home remedy lip scrub that you can do a few times a week to gently remove dead skin cells and moisturises the lips all at once.

Follow with your favourite lip nourish natural lipstick (we recommend the Pink Juniper for a feminine touch or Chai Shimmer for a nude look) and they will look, and taste, good enough to eat!

The coconut oil in this recipe works to nourish the lips while honey locks in moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties to improve the look and texture of your kissers. Avocado oil contains antioxidants called polyphenols which fight free radicals that cause cell damage. This multi-tasking oil is also a good source of vitamin K and potassium which is essential for fluid balance in the lips.

lipdiy

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine 1 tsp of coconut oil (at room temperature) and 1 tsp of avocado oil with 1 tsp runny honey

2. Stir in approximately 1 or 2 tsps of  brown or raw sugar. TIP: If the mixture is too runny, simply add more sugar, or if it is too dry add a little more coconut oil.

4. Gently massage the scrub onto clean lips.

5. Rinse with warm water and pat dry

6. Follow with your favourite lip nourish lipstick & pucker up!

TIPS AND TRICKS

Discard any leftovers as the sugar will soon dissolve and will be ineffective in exfoliating the lips.

Be gentle! Your lips are sensitive.

Do not use if the skin on your lips is broken or scabbed.

Featured image courtesy of dollarphotoclub.com

What's in your Beauty Bag - Nat Kringoudis

What’s in your beauty bag – Nat Kringoudis, Founder of The Pagoda Tree

Bio:

Nat Kringoudis is a bona fide women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer with a big heart for natural healthcare.  She is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, an author, speaker and the founder and owner of The Pagoda Tree.  Nat has stepped up to champion fertility BEFORE it becomes an issue. With the belief of †˜Why wait until it’s broken?’ Nat is helping women in their twenties to lay a gangbuster †˜healthy hormone’ foundation, knowing that this is the way forward in the world of women’s health.

Through her blog, she educates women on the benefits of alternative therapies and nutrition for happy hormones.  Nat is also the producer and co-host of the online web series HealthTalks and from time to time you’ve seen her in your favourite glossy mag or appearing as a health expert on your telly.

Nat has penned three books Well & Good, Eat Fat, Be Thin and Eat Fat, Be Lean.

And she tours Australia regularly, holding workshops and speaking at other events to help women get clued up on their bodies and take control of their hormone health.

You can drop by and say hi to Nat on Facebook, Twitter or her favourite way – via Instagram.

www.natkringoudis.com

 

Nat’s Beauty Bag:

Nat Kringoudis

Nat Kringoudis

My beauty bag is a constantly changing situation.  I’m currently obsessed with red lipstick and as a red head, I would have never thought that possible!  Here’s what is in my bag currently:

From top right hand side , clockwise.

  • Pure Papaya Care is my go-to fix for dry skin, lip care and all things in-between.
  • Ere Perez Blush in †˜my blush’
  • Very well used eye pencils!  Black is Inika & the brown is Ere Perez.
  • RMS Beauty living luminizer
  • W3ll People Narcissit Foundation – medium neutral
  • Innika Mineral Foundation  – nurture 04
  • Black mascara
  • Mineral shaddows
  • Luk Lip Nourish in Cranberry Citrus – Fave Red Lippy.

 

*NB: lük beautifood supports our natural beauty community to genuinely share ‘what’s in their beauty bag’ – we don’t endorse products or contents or gain financially or otherwise from this series.

traditional chai tea recipe clean food luk beautifood

Traditional Chai Tea Recipe

Nurture and nourish yourself this Winter with our traditional chai tea. Filled with skin loving herbs and spices, it’s the perfect guilt-free treat to warm and soothe your body. 

Originating from South Asia and also known as masala chai (mixed-spice tea), chai tea is a creation of different herbs and spices in different ratios to create a  personalised treat that is one of the most enriching and  anti-inflammatory teas you can drink. I found whilst savouring my chai [and quiet moment to myself], I was warmed from the inside out and could almost feel myself begin to glow from all those nourishing ingredients. Even the ritual of creating and brewing the chai tea recipe was a lovely way to relax and recharge. This chai tea recipe is perfect for the cooler months to help you look and feel beautiful.  We’ve also got you covered from the outside in with our Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish, try it today to protect your lips this winter!

BEAUTY FOOD BENEFITS

This traditional chai tea recipe is full of nourishing goodies to nurture you from the inside out. The combination of herbs and spices work together to provide a natural and healthy pick me up through the presence of threobromine. They also provide powerful antioxidants for your body to fight free radicals that cause wrinkles,  while its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and puffiness. Not only helping your complexion, the ginger in chai also boosts your immune system to help fight against colds, aids digestion, relieves headaches and inflammation and even improves  the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body.

TRADITIONAL CHAI TEA RECIPE

15 minutes go to whoa. Makes 1 cup.

YOU’LL NEED

2 whole black peppercorns

3 cardamon pods

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Just over 1cm of fresh ginger

1 whole nutmeg

1 tbspn black tea

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup milk of choice [we recommend cold pressed almond milk]

Optional: 1 tbspn of honey

HOW TO

1. To prepare the spice, gently smash cardamon with the side of a knife, peel and thinly slice the ginger, then combine all spices in a saucepan.

2. Add water and milk to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the milk is not burning.

3. Add the black tea to the saucepan, continuing to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4. Strain the chai tea mixture using a fine strainer, into a gorgeous mug and enjoy while warm!

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Use this chai tea recipe as a base, don’t be afraid to try different ratios of the ingredients to find your perfect style!
  • In this chai tea recipe, you can choose to only add the water to the saucepan.  You can then heat the milk separately and add to your mug. Note, simmer time will be reduced if choosing to do this.
  • These spices may be ground together and kept in an air tight container to store until you next use this chai tea recipe!

616a91a916f1aaf69c8d5400da3f7ec6 Featured images from Yummy Supper and Pinterest

Hot Chocolate

Naked Glow Hot Chocolate Recipe

Unlike traditional hot chocolate recipes – potentially sugar laden and low in nutrients, this Naked Glow Healthy Hot Chocolate recipe is packed with goodies to get your cheeks glowing! 

What more can you ask for… warmth in winter, flavanols galore and a delicious drink to bring it all together! There is no need to feel guilty with this hot chocolate and sit back, relax and indulge as it nourishes, calms and creates radiant beauty!

Gone are the days of commercial hot chocolates with loads of fortification, powered dairy substitutes, flavour and emulsifier additives. This new gourmet health conscious era heralds many types of milks, sweeteners, boosters, raw cocoa and organic chocolates which when blended or melted make a smooth, rich and divine hot chocolate.

To make it easy to DIY your own drink I have created this Hot Chocolate Formula Chalkboard.

lük beautifood hot chocolate chalkboard

BEAUTY BENEFITS

Here are a few of the delicious skin food ingredients on the board.

Dark Chocolate: Providing the perfect boost of flavonols to nourish your body, these antioxidants help to fight against free radicals, preserving a youthful, bright complexion. They work to protect your skin from the suns damaging UV rays  while helping maintain it’s elasticity.  The cacao in chocolate slows collagen breakdown by  naturally reducing the amount of stress hormones released.

Raw Cacao: The unheated/ minimally processed base from which dark chocolate is made. Raw cacao is full of flavonols to protect and tighten your skin.  Raw cacao provides a much higher amount of these antioxidants, therefore a greater benefit in your body! Magnesium helps to relax your body and mind while phenylethylamine is a natural mood enhancer, helping you to stay positive!

Mesquite Powder: This high protein powder is the perfect addition to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is low in GI and contains a natural sweetness to tickle your taste buds. It is also filled with vitamins including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc helping to boost the nutrient content of your healthy hot chocolate.

Maca Powder: A healing herb from Peru. Known for the power to energise and revitalise, some like to call maca there very own superfood! It is a complete source of essential amino acids as well as containing alkalising properties. This helps to restore and balance the body, reducing its acidic state while working to maintain correct body processes.

Chia Seeds: Although they may be small, chia seeds are packed with goodness and help thicken your chocolate drink. Their high in omega three fatty acid content is ideal for both your brain and body! They work to reduce inflammation and keep skin cells hydrated to create a gorgeous plump complexion. They also ward off wrinkles as well as help acne – perfect for maintaining a bright, youthful complexion. Chia seeds also have a high protein content which helps to build and rejuvenate cells, creating a fresh and glowing appearance.

Cinnamon: Works to help skin neutralise free radicals, preventing them from causing damage and triggering inflammation, cinnamon is full of protecting antioxidants. It helps to brighten your complexion, as well as tightening and smoothing your skin! 

NAKED GLOW HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE

To make the perfect hot chocolate for glowing skin – simply refer to the chalkboard image and start experimenting with ingredients and quantities for this hot chocolate recipe.
Here, I give you a little more detail on the making!

In a Vitamix or high speed blender that heats as it blends thru friction and creates the most creamy smooth texture, combine ingredients and whiz on high until mixture has heated up and is well blended. You can use traditional chocolate pieces as they will melt as it heats. Fill the bowl 2/3rds max.

On the stove. Heat hot chocolate recipe mixture in a saucepan whisk until all ingredients are combined and or melted.

To Serve: Create a little ritual around the making of your hot chocolate recipe. Select an earthen wear bowl or mug, lay a little tray and find a special place to savour your drink.

luk

Cleanse for vitality

Happy Monday my natural beauties!

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we’re in the throes of Autumn with Winter right around the corner, and dare I say †˜flu season’ is upon us. When the weather gets colder, you can bet your bottom dollar the tissues start to make their return and the throaty coughs begin to emerge. But this year, we’re going to avoid that, aren’t we my loves?

Here are my tips on cleansing for vitality over the next few months to ensure you remain healthy and happy from the inside out and maintain your highest state of conscious living.

  1. Choose eco friendly chemical free household cleaning products or DIY simple products like baking soda and vinegar.
  2. Use pure essential oils, not perfumes, to fragrance your home.
  3. Make sure products aren’t tested on animals (more so for peace of mind than anything!).
  4. Grow your own herb and vegetable garden – a vertical wall if space is tight.
  5. Ditch plastic wraps and pre-packed products for a rubbish-free lunch box.
  6. Buy your food from farmer’s markets or a co-op to support local food growers.
  7. Eat fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables and ensure they’re nice and colourful to optimise your nutrient intake.
  8. Reuse, repurpose and recycle properly – chickens are a great way to get rid of food scraps, OR
  9. Set up a worm farm – the compost you make will be great for helping your garden grow!
  10. Remedy colds or flus the all-natural way – sip on ginger, honey and lemon tea and indulge in steamy showers, lots of water and plenty of sleep.
  11. Take advantage of the great outdoors to feel rejuvenated. Get back to nature. Even if it’s cold outside, throw on some gum boots and feel the crisp air against your skin!
  12. Eat the rainbow! Whip up healthy wholesome soups jam-packed with as many lentils, greens, grains and vegetables as possible.
  13. Dissolve stress and increase happiness in minutes by going for a bike ride or walk.
  14. Make a concerted effort to slow down and relax. Long soaking baths, deep breathing, meditating, and other forms of †œquiet time† will help.
  15. Boost your energy levels and elevate your mood, while detoxifying your body with regular green juices.
  16. Maintain the balance of your skin flora by only using beauty products you’d eat. What goes on, goes in – don’t forget!

Image via Instagram

What are your tips for living a life bursting with vitality natural beauties? xo

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beauty benefits of eating raw clean food luk beautifood

Beauty Benefits of Eating Raw

You don’t need to undertake a fully raw lifestyle to reap the benefits of eating raw! Here we go deeper to find out what eating raw and how it can help you achieve that natural glow…

At lük we encourage you to nourish your body with beautiful food both raw and cooked to enhance your natural beauty. Balance and moderation is key to a healthy life, ‘crowding in’ and ‘swapping up’ the foods you eat underlies our eating philosophy. Eating raw doesn’t mean you have to change your mindset or diet completely to enjoy the benefits… but a raw food at every meal will provide your body with gorgeous benefits!

What is raw food?

Food that is raw! Meaning it has not been heated over 45  degrees Celsius to ensure the enzymes are not denatured meaning a loss in nutritional value. Raw food can be wholefoods and produce such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils which are eaten in their natural state. It can also be for example ‘raw’ crackers or dehydrated foods providing the temperature is control.  Raw food is also free from additives, preservatives, refined sugars and added fats and can include fresh juices, smoothies, nut milks or butters, soups, salads and sprouted grains.

What are the benefits of eating raw?

Raw foods are rich in enzymes which help our body to digest what we’re eating, convert it to energy, absorb nutrients and put them to use! Enzymes also work to make sure the processes in the body are running smoothly and ensure cells are repaired, meaning hair, skin and nails are kept strong and healthy. Eating raw food also aids the digestive system as a higher number of enzymes help break down the food, putting less pressure on your digestive system so energy can be spent elsewhere.

Eating ‘raw’ can help to flush toxins from your body by cleansing your cells in such a way your body is able to effectively fight against free radicals and repair any damage. By reducing the number of toxins your body to focus its energy on other things such as supporting your immune system or giving you focus and energy while maintaining and enhancing your natural beauty.

Not only does reducing the toxin load help your immune system, but the intake of a variety of vitamins and minerals from the fresh fruit and vegetables also helps to keep your immune system in tip top shape!  Eating food in its raw state means the chances of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals being destroyed is lower.  This reduces the chances of you becoming sick as your body is able to fight and destroy illnesses before they begin to show symptoms.

Eating ‘raw’ ensures you boost your fruit and vegetable intake helping you to increase your nutrients and receive a variety of vitamins, minerals and important beauty nutrients

Some key beauty nutrients include silicon, zinc, sulfur, iron and potassium.  Silicon allows strong, shiny nails as well as stronger hair.  Zinc helps to ward away acne while also helping to rebuild collagen in the skin, to fight sagging and wrinkles while potassium helps to maintain correct levels of moisture in the skin, allowing cells to stay plump and hydrated while creating a smooth complexion.

Eating raw food can boost your energy and fuel your cells which in turn creates a better gut health and a clear complexion so you can look and feel your best.  The abundance and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables helps to maintain the alkalinity of your body to prevent inflammation.

Ways to boost your raw food intake

Eating raw doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it can actually make healthy eating easier.  Here are a few quick ways to include raw food into your diet:

  • Drink Green smoothies – Try our Luk Glow + Go green smoothie which is full of fresh ingredients and a boost of active beauty nutrients!
  • Make Salads and Nourishment Bowls – Whether as a side or as a main meal salads are a great way to include raw foods into your diet, like our Thai style raw zucchini noodles for a quick and simple, delicious dish.
  • Drink Nut Milks – Nut milks are a delicious, simple way to incorporate skin loving nutrients and added vitamins to you diet. Add exotic spices for a luxurious guilt-free treat and be sure to try our Super Skin Milk with almonds, pear, lemon and turmeric for a refreshing pick me up.
  • Create yummy raw treats – Start experimenting with delicious raw desserts which are still high in nutrients and enzymes to nourish your body, like our raw blood orange cheesecake recipe.
quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Asparagus + Tomato

 With a beautiful light, nutty taste, this quinoa, asparagus and tomato salad is the perfect Spring salad for any occasion. 

Not only will this quinoa salad help to reduce bloating or sluggishness, it will also ease you into  the spring mindset, keeping you feeling positive as the sun begins to shine.  This simple salad helps to protect your skin from the suns UV rays while also working to reduce breakouts. What more could you need as spring begins to unfold?!

BEAUTY BOOST

Asparagus allows your body to rid toxins from your cells while reducing that sluggish bloated feeling.  Aside from leaving your body feeling light, asparagine also works to reduce stress and anxiety for a positive, relaxed mind.

Tomatoes are full of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant, which protect our skin from the suns UV rays to slow premature ageing while helping to keep skin toned and firm.  Its high fat solubility makes it especially effective in our skin as our skin cells are full of gorgeous fats to keep them plump while Vitamin A adds shine to your hair.

Quinoa is a warrior for bad skin! Its combination of zinc and fibre work to decrease inflammation and reduce oil production both of which create the perfect environment for breakouts.  Iron also enhances your skin by helping to provide oxygen for regeneration and repair.  Quinoa will help your skin to feel radiant and naturally gorgeous!

QUINOA SALAD RECIPE

30 minutes wo to go. Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

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 chopped red cabbage

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup goats cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

water

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 and tomatoes and stir in vinegar.  Top with goats cheese basil and serve.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Left overs can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and re-heated for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • You can mix up this quinoa salad by adding some snow peas or using a dash of tamari instead of vinegar.
  • I use a rice cooker to cook my quinoa as I can pop it on and walk away and on return it is perfect…even if it has been sitting there for 30+ mins. Use a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 of water.

quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food

 

Simple Ways to Stress Less

From dull skin, weight gain, compromised immune systems and anxiety, stress impacts almost every part of our body, reducing our quality of life and productivity.

In an age where stress is almost an epidemic, it’s time to start focusing on how to manage and reduce stress levels instead of just †˜grinning and baring it.’ Use these simple coping strategies to help you stress less, banish busy and adjust your mindset.

1.  What’s the worst that can happen?

When we feel panic, anxiety etc we are usually working ourselves up into a mess because we’re focusing on the worst-case scenario. Stop worrying about potential problems that haven’t happened yet, you can prepare for the worst and have a plan, but worrying is just  like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain! Because right now, you are ok.

Stress only takes over when you overthink and fret about the future. Don’t worry about things you can’t control in the future. Be present, this moment is the only thing that matters. So let go of that thought, and come back to now. Meditation and yoga are great for training the mind to become more present.

2.  Jump in!

Go for a swim; take a bath or a hot shower. Research shows that the warmth and fluidity of the water help to release serotonin (the happy hormone).  This helps us  to chill out and therefore reduce the stress hormones: cortisol and adrenalin.

3. Laugh

Being social, spending time with friends, trying new things and laughter, not only release serotonin  but are also proven to reduce levels of the cortisol by nearly 40%!

4. Nourish yourself 

Cortisol causes food cravings, usually for comfort food or sugar that often leave us feeling worse (on the inside and out) . Not only can the right foods give you the sustained energy you need throughout stressful periods, but they can actually help you become more focused, even, and balanced.  Be sure to include foods rich in zinc like nuts, pumpkin seeds and green leaves as low zinc levels have been linked to depression and anxiety and magnesium rich foods like oatmeal, wheat bran and brazil nuts to reduce insomnia and relax muscles.

5. Exercise

Let the energies of anxiety, panic and fear move through and out your body.  Keeping them in your body causes adrenalin to start pumping in our veins and sitting still only makes it worse. As well as exercising regularly, try to do short stints of incidental exercise throughout your day like taking a short walk in your lunch break or taking the kids to the park after school, anything that just get’s your body moving to burn that nervous energy.

These are just a few simple solutions that can easily and immediately be implemented to help you stress less. Whilst in some cases there are more serious stressors that are so much more than a heavy workload or tight deadline, that just cannot be controlled,  you don’t need to make huge changes to your life to reduce their impact on your body, it can be a as simple as adjusting your mindset and keeping it simple!