Saturday, 28 February 2009
I had a really great day yesterday. My friend and I went on a day course to Harlow Carr Gardens run by Siobhan and Rob from Pringle and Fairweather called "Face Care - The Gentle Way". It was all about making your own face creams and cleansers using natural products. It was terrific, and I made loads of potions. I made two different cleansers - one for me and one for my daughter (if she can be persuaded to try it !). I also made a facial scrub. I don't use scrubs myself, but it may come in handy for my gardening hands later this year. Then I made a green tea toner - I'm going to use it in a spray bottle for when my hot flushes overcome me in the night ! After that we broke for lunch. In the afternoon we made a moisturizer. My first attempt wasn't too successful, but my second one turned out better. Perhaps I need to be a little more accurate in my measuring, and it's just a little tricky getting the oil and water to emulsify. I learned that they both need to be at between 70 - 80 degrees, and within about 5 degrees of each other. We finished by making a lip salve. What a day!! And I got to spend it with my friend. I would definitely do it again, though I might do some research beforehand on essential oils. Being sensitive about oestrogen, and as many plants contain phyto-oestrogens, I might try to find time to check on the oils that would be most appropriate for me. ( I didn't mention my condition as some people get a bit anxious about letting you use essential oils if you mention the C word - and what is life if it doesn't smell nice !?! Some people (who should know better !) do have dire fears of the hazards of some of these oils, whilst at the same time being perfectly happy pushing toxic chemotherapy agents at you !!I think you have to be guided by your own common sense and just do a bit of research.) Let's face it, there's going to be less chemicals in the lotions and potions I made than in anything you buy in the shops. And it was fun to make them.There were glass bottles and jars and tins available to decant and package our precious elixirs in, and I came away with a bagful of goodies. They're all nestling in my fridge at the moment. Rob and Siobhan couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful . There was a wide range - and I mean wide ! - of oils and essential oils to choose from and we all came away with a recipe booklet so that we can make them again at home. I love this kind of kitchen alchemy, and feel a lot more confident having been guided through it. I now smell sweetly of lavender, ylang- ylang and frankincense
Pringle and Fairweather are a Cumbrian based company and can be found at
They sell a range of hand creams, body butters, soaps, and bath products. All produced by hand, in small batches and with healthy skin in mind. They've come to making these products from a similar angle to myself and that really reassures and resonates with me.
The day wouldn't have been the same without Vicky. We had a girly day together and managed to catch up which isn't always easy. It's difficult finding time when we are both busy.But it was really nice to share the day with a friend. As I say, it was just a great day. I hope we do it again soon. I'll have to find something else to stimulate and excite us !
It's just struck me that you might like to know what I put in my magic potions, and I may need to refer back, so below is my aide memoire :
Stimulating Milk and Honey Scrub Cleanser :
dried goats milk
Sweet almond oil
Ylang-Ylang and Geranium essential oils
Avocado and Aloe Vera Cleansing Oil :
sweet almond oil
vitamin E oil
Geranium, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils
(someone in the group added chamomile essential oil and the cleanser turned a lovely shade of green )
Almond Scrub :
sweet almond oil
lavender essential oil ( palma rosa oil was also recommended)
Green Tea Toner :
ylang-ylang essential oil
Super Hydrating Cream :
apricot kernel oil
aloe vera juice
vitamin E oil
rosewood, lavender, and frankincense essential oils
Serum for Mature Skins :
evening primrose oil
borage seed oil
sandalwood, carrot seed, lavender and vitamin E essential oils
Lip Balm / Rescue Salve :
sweet almond oil
hemp seed oil
Friday, 27 February 2009
This is where I remind myself why this stuff is so good for me, and why I decided I should grow LOADS of it !!?!
- Oxygenating the Blood and Body and Cells
"When compared to a molecule of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in human blood, chlorophyll is almost identical. The major difference ... is that the nucleus of chlorophyll contains magnesium (Mg), whereas hemoglobin contains iron (Fe)"
The Hippocrates Diet and Health Programme by Ann Wigmore
Chlorophyll then is important in the oxygenation of the body. It has been established ( by Nobel prize winner Otto Warberg ) that cancer cells live anaerobically (in other words whereas our healthy cells are fuelled with oxygen, cancer cells, those unhealthy and confused cells, are fuelled by sugar fermentation and make no use of oxygen .) Most cancer regimes focus on re oxygenating the body through numerous methods - exercise, deep breathing, and eating oxygenating foods,wheatgrass being one of the better sources.
- Alkalising the Body
Wheatgrass also, in common with other vegetables and fruits is alkalising, and cancer prefers, and indeed creates its own alkaline environment. A shot of wheatgrass/barleygrass quickly alkalises and de-acidifies. This is important in creating an unfriendly environment for cancer ( Encouraging it to pack it's bags and go. ). What's more, as I am on Arimidex and Zoladex treatment, known to strip your bones of calcium, (I've read somewhere - can't remember exactly where at the present - that you can lose the equivalent of 7 years worth of post menopausal bone loss in ONE year if you are taking Arimidex!) it's really important to stay as alkaline as possible. If your body is acidic it will hunt for the mineral calcium to re balance and alkalise. Calcium is what your body uses to neutralise the acid. Where does your body store large amounts of calcium ? Yep, your BONES ! That's why you lose bone density. ( Incidentally, eating protein and carbohydrate push your body toward acidity - I'll post on this another time.) So being aware of how acidic / alkaline my body is figures high on my list.
- Maximising Nutrients
The nutrients contained in wheatgrass couldn't be obtained by eating it ( who would want to ?! ), but they are easily available and digestable in juice form.
- Creating a healing calming environment.
I have read recently in a magazine that simply growing wheatgrass beside your bed creates an environment conducive to sleep and that it will assist you in getting a good nights uninterrupted sleep. I haven't tried that yet, but will let you know. If it works I will be festooning my windowsills with the stuff, and will have to drink it till it's coming out of my ears.
Postscript :- 7th March
I've now juiced it a few times with organic apple and this makes a tremendous difference !! It's palatable, though I don't like the smell as I juice the grass. The apple is a luxury, and it truly transforms the drink. It helps that the apples ( from Tesco's at the moment ) are quite large and are very flavourful, but they are a help in my transition period. I drink out of a crystal wine glass, so the concentration is more dilute, but I'll work towards increasing the proportion of wheatgrass as I go on.
Saturday, 21 February 2009
One of the areas that Pat understands is bone health, having fought cancer and osteoporosis herself. She suggested that I add exercise to my daily life, and not just any exercise, but resistance training ( with some kind of weight, even in the form of a can of beans. ) I was given a sheet with seven simple exercises that she herself started with and that should take no more than seven or eight minutes to do. I was instructed to do them two to three times a day. But the most valuable advice she gave was in how to view exercise, how to think of it in such a way that I would actually DO IT !! What was this great wisdom that Pat imparted ? Simplicity itself.
Think of exercise as you do food. You wouldn't think of eating on just Monday and Wednesday. Exercise as often as you eat.
That's it. Simple. I've not thought of it in this way before. I've always viewed it as tedious and time consuming, needing at least twenty minutes before I even start to get any benefit. So my plan is to do those exercises before breakfast and dinner. If I can also do them or something active around lunchtime so much the better. Associate exercises with food. Doesn't that make sense ? It sounds a little TOO easy ! We'll just have to see how I go on. I'll keep you posted. It's a bit like the concept of browsing as a way of eating ... little and often. I take vegetable juice and vitamin C this way( every three or four hours ), constantly replenishing my reserves. I just need to add these exercises to that routine. That is do-able! And with the days getting longer, I'll feel more enthusiastic about moving. I do seem to hibernate in the dark, cold, wet months. Roll on Spring and sunshine !!
It's just a pity that I came down with a bad cold as soon as I got home, and don't feel like doing much of anything. It's not quite as easy as it sounds !!! Still, I'm starting to pull out of it now, so as soon as I can breathe freely I'll be going for it
If you are interested, Pat's website can be found at http://www.foodalive.org/ She has a resource called ' Blessings For You ' which is really worth a read.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
I call this drink the elixir of life because it has such life enhancing properties, and because the plants have given their life essence into the juice - just for me !! That thought makes the drink more palatable, whatever it tastes of.
THE ELIXIR OF LIFE
carrots I use 1 kg a day at present
other vegetables as available :
you get the idea
I juice all at once in the morning, and decant it into small glass bottles and keep them in the fridge to drink through the day. I make between 1 ltr. and 1 1/2 ltrs a day. This gives me a steady stream of nutrients and ensures my body moves toward an alkaline state all day long.
Why have I only just started sprouting seeds? I actually was sprouting seeds when I finished the chemotherapy and got a little strength back. But I read that Max Gerson (of The Gerson Therapy) believed that sprouted seeds had an immature enzyme that could be harmful to cancer patients. I also read that alfalfa (if I remember correctly ) was particularly bad. So I stopped sprouting. But as I'm feeling stronger and I'm also not seeing any change in my condition I think it's time to step my nutrition up a notch. And as sprouted seeds are powerhouses just chock full of nutrients I am going to start eating them again. It's also gardening for the winter months !! It just needs a little organisation and the capacity to remember to rinse the little darlings every morning and every night. Routine is the key for me. If I can just include it in my morning routine - Essiac tea, water seedlings, make juice, make porridge. Sounds easy doesn't it !
Sunday, 8 February 2009
2 TBSP. OATS (raw if you can find them )
2 TBSP. LINSEEDS (FLAX) ground
1 tsp. CINNAMON ( or nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, etc. )
1 APPLE chopped
NUTS (almonds or walnuts )
Apricot kernals , ground
Soak the porridge overnight in the fridge ( if using raw oats) , otherwise use hot water in the morning. I like the creamy consistency and warm comfort of hot porridge, but nutritionally, raw is better.
Grind the flax seeds and the apricot kernals together in a coffee grinder. I found a nifty little one at lakeland plastic. I give it ten pulses and I'm done !
I mix in the cinnamon, or cloves, or nutmeg, whatever spices I'm using into the porridge. They give taste, aroma, and some contain vitamin B17, and some have anti-parasitic properties.
If using raw, cold porridge the ground seeds can be mixed in at this stage. If the porridge is hot scatter the diced/chopped apple over the top. Follow this with a sprinkling of seeds and nuts, and then sprinkle over the groound seeds.
A word about heat:
Raw food (vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains ) contains enzymes. Enzymes are also created in our bodies and are used to help break down and digest food. One reason for eating as much raw food as you can is to bring in to the body enzymes from the foods we eat. This assists the body by supplementing it's own supply. Heat destroys enzymes at temperatures exceeding 104 degrees F. So cooking above these temperatures ( and all my cooking is at much higher temperatures ! ) destroys these substances. You can see these enzymes at work in your kitchen laboratory. Try marinating fish in lemon juice. The lemon "cooks" the fish. Try pineapple on meat. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which breaks down protein. Pineapple popularly goes well with cheese, again a protein.