The Best Facial

The good news is that you don’t need to hand over a lot of money for well marketed beauty products to keep you looking your best. These products are expensive and can also have questionable ingredients. The good news is that you may already have the secret weapon in your fridge- Greek yogurt (preferably organic).

Yogurt works as to improve the look of  skin because it contains lactic acid, which is found in many beauty products. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to exfoliate by removing dead skin, which smooths rough, dry skin. A yogurt mask also helps to clean out pores by this gentle exfoliation, and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

Directions

  1. If you have long hair, you might want to pull your hair back off your face so you don’t get any yogurt in your hair.
  2. Use a natural, preferably organic yogurt that doesn’t have any added flavour or sweeteners because they can irritate the skin. I’ve used Greek as well as regular yogurt before. Apply a thick layer of yogurt all over the surface of the face.
  3. Allow the yogurt mask to remain on your face for 10-30 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
  4. Splash with cold water to close up your pores again.

Tip: Prior to doing the mask you can do a facial steam to open up your pores to allow the mask to penetrate deeper into your skin.

A yogurt mask is a gentle and natural way to exfoliate your skin and it should be an okay mask to repeat twice a week, depending on your skin. Some people are sensitive to it and may find they get irritate with the yogurt mask and may not want to continue it. Also, a yogurt mask should be helpful for acne prone skin, but just like with any skincare routine changes, you might get a breakout from trying this.

I personally love doing a yogurt mask once a week. I notice that my skin feels and looks better and I find it refreshing. This is part of my “food face” routine.

Healthy “Ice Cream”- Banana Raspberry

Banana raspberry ice creamI have a weakness for ice cream, ever since I was a child. There’s just something so appealing about the sweet creaminess of it, and add in the fact that it’s cold and you get a pleasing sensation overload. There’s also a big nostalgia factor. Going out for  for ice cream with my family was something we did frequently in the summer, and I’d anguish over which 1 or 2 flavours I had to limit myself to choosing that day.

I love this recipe because it actually is a healthy and delicious alternative to regular ice cream. I know my family and friends roll their eyes when I say “this actually is…” because that sets you up for thinking it’s really awful but I’m trying to convince everyone that it’s not. Try this yourself and you will see what I mean, it is truly delicious and so simple.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Directions

  1. You need to make this using an already frozen banana. I always have bananas waiting in my freezer for smoothies. If you don’t, simply peel and cut up (or I like to break it in half) a banana and freeze it for at least an hour.
  2. Place the banana and raspberries in a food processor and blend until smooth. Note that this can be made with just bananas. You can also substitute the raspberries for another type of fruit like mango, blueberries, etc.
  3. Enjoy is right away. I haven’t tried to refreeze it and it might turn out okay but I’m not sure. If you have experience freezing it again please comment below and let me know how it turned out.

Honey Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette

balsammic vinegar picThis is a versatile vinaigrette that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge for a few days.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (better quality balsamic is less harsh and has a sweeter taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons* see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 minced clove of garlic (optional but adds to it)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl. Mix well. Drizzle over your salad and enjoy! Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.

* Note: If you use a good quality balsamic vinegar you may not need to sweeten it. Make your dressing without the honey and taste test it. If it is too harsh then you may need to add the honey. Start with 1 teaspoon at a time and try it out.

Masala Chai with Green Tea

Chai tea mix

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 10 mL cardamom pods (24 -26 pods)
  • 3- 3 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp red peppercorns
  • ¾ cup green tea

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. On a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the cardamom pods in half. Place on a baking sheet along with the peppercorns, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Remove and cool.
3. Crush spices lightly with a rolling pin or in a mortar and pestle. You may have to crumble the cinnamon stick with your hands or chop roughly on a cutting board.
4. In a bowl, toss the spices, and tea together until blended. Spoon into your container of choice such as a mason jar or fill single use tea loose leaf tea bags.
Chai spices

 

 

 

 

Brewing Instructions- To make 1 cup:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I like almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of chai Mix placed into a tea bag
  • Sugar or honey to taste (1 tsp-1 tbsp)

Bring the water and milk to a boil over medium heat and add the spices. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the sweetener, and turn off the heat. Strain spices using a fine mesh over your cup.  Enjoy!

Kale and Red Cabbage Salad

Carrots add colour and blend well with the pumpkin, chia seeds and hemp heartsThis tasty salad boasts several superfoods in one, making this an excellent addition to any meal. Kale has been popularized for all of the nutrients it has, and I’ve previously posted about it. Red cabbage is not often thought of as being very nutritious, but it should be. Red cabbage has a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which are anti-inflammatory and act as antioxidants. Red cabbage is also very high in vitamin C and vitamin K and can be part of a diet for cancer prevention. Cabbage (especially when steamed) has some cholesterol lowering benefits. The pumpkin, hemp hearts and chia seeds add  vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (optional if you want it a bit spicy)
  • 1/2-1/4 clove crushed garlic (depending how garlicky you like your food)
  • 1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
  •  pinch of salt to taste
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Directions
1) In a bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients to make the dressing
2) Wash, de-stem and finely chop the kale. Use your box grater (cheese grater) to make your cabbage into smaller bite sized pieces. I like to use the “slicer” side which is the slot that is about 5 cm wide (2 inches) and 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) tall.  Peel and julienne the carrots, or if you have a spiralizer you can use it like I did. Place the kale, carrots, and cabbage into a large bowl
3) Add the pumpkin and chia seeds and hemp hearts to the bowl. Drizzle the dressing on and toss to mix everything.

This recipe was modified from here.