Glorious Ghee: What, Why & How

purity-farmsHealth and wellness is a never-ending evolution.  A continual blossoming effect.  I am just having so much fun learning all this newness.

My latest discovery?  GHEE!  My attention was brought to this ancient product because it can withstand high heat without breaking down or degrading as other oils do.  Although coconut oil has been a great option to cook with (because it too can withstand high heat), sometimes you just don’t want that coconut taste.  But ghee ticks all the boxes.

An important thing to remember when looking for a good ghee product:  Make sure the cows are “pastured”, meaning that they eat GRASS and not grain.  One of the main reasons ghee is so good for us is because of all the green grass the cows have grazed on.  Don’t think this can be sidestepped or ignored.  It is the natural way and a very important detail.

WHAT

  • Boiled butter that turns into pure fat after the milk solids have been skimmed off the top.
  • Also known as clarified butter.
  • Casein-free.
  • Lactose-free.

WHY

  • Tastes so good.
  • Anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • A great source of saturated fat/cholesterol/MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides).  We need this stuff!  Saturated fat is very important for our nervous system and cholesterol is the base for all hormone production.  We will seriously break down without healthy fat in our diet.
  • A great source of fat-soluable vitamins: A, D, E, K.
  • One of the best sources of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).  See here for CLA benefits.
  • Support brain function/memory.
  • Digestive aid.
  • Lubricates our joints and connective tissue.
  • First aid ointment.
  • A great lotion.
  • Has a really long shelf life; will not go rancid easily.

HOW

  • Check out the below video of my great friend Monica Yearwood explaining the process of making ghee at home.  She is an ayurvedic practitioner and owner of Hamsa Ayurveda and Yoga in Chicago IL!

Whole Food Fun in Cape Town

DSC04250Now … in this new life of mine … the one where I’m obsessed with all things nourishing, whole, natural and organic … my favorite thing to do when I get to any new city is to scout out all the whole food sources.  I usually start with trying to find raw milk, since it’s illegal in Hong Kong and I long for it so, as well as locating a trustworthy deli selling grass-fed meat and pastured eggs.  And I always look for farmer’s markets too!  This is the perfect place to find locally grown (and hopefully organic) produce and connect with local people who share the same passion for natural living.

After lots of googling and poking around, I found two places that checked all of the boxes for me and that I would recommend to anyone coming through town:  Gogo’s Deli in Newlands and Farmer Angus McIntosh of Spier Farm in Stellenbosch, who sells some of his products around town and also recently began doing home deliveries.  (Wellness Warehouse wasn’t too bad either.  They carried some great products, including Angus’ eggs.  I would just say, read the labels!)

So what are those boxes they tick, you ask?

  • Angus McIntosh of Spier Farm

    Angus McIntosh of Spier Farm

    All the animals are pastured/free-range/grass-fed.  Somehow this criteria has become special to us this day in age, but really, this is just the natural way.  Cows and lambs are meant to eat grass.  Chickens are meant to eat bugs and grass.

  • The animals are treated humanely.  The chickens keep their beaks.  The cows are slaughtered close to home to lessen levels of stress.
  • Organic: No hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, toxins, etc.
  • Local: Everything is sourced from the Cape Town area.
  • And an added bonus … the people are really cool!

So here are a few of the favorite things we found!

Organic, local veggies @ Gogo's

Organic, local veggies @ Gogo’s

Raw cow's milk from Camphill Dairy @ Gogo's

Raw cow’s milk from Camphill Dairy @ Gogo’s

Grass-fed beef biltong @ Gogo's

Grass-fed beef biltong @ Gogo’s

Raw goat's milk from Foxenburg @ Wellness Warehouse

Raw goat’s milk from Foxenburg @ Wellness Warehouse

Raw chocolate spread @ Wellness Warehouse

Raw chocolate spread @ Wellness Warehouse

Liver pate from The Food Barn @ Gogo's

Liver pate from The Food Barn @ Gogo’s

Products I Love: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

I think I’m going to call 2012 the year of Immeasurable Revelation.  So many things I’m uncovering and discovering …

in health and wellness,

in mind and body,

in soul and spirit.

There’s nothing more exciting to me, than learning something new in this grand ole life of mine.

And one of those lovely health and wellness discoveries?  Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.  I simply adore this stuff.  My goal one day is to be able to eat absolutely every product I use (if I had to, that is) … toiletries as well as household products.  The way I see it, putting something onto my skin or into my lungs is getting into my body just as easily as food or drink, so it might as well be edible.  Non-toxic is the name of the game!

Just looking at the ingredients alone is enough to sell me on the product:

Water

Organic Coconut Oil

Organic Olive Oil

Organic Jojoba Oil

Organic Hemp Oil

Essential Oils (available in Almond, Citrus Orange, Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Rose)

Citric Acid

Vitamin E

***I dare you to go and compare these ingredients to most other brands, maybe even the one in your shower.  I haven’t found a comparison yet.

And a few more cool things to know about his great soap:

  • Completely biodegradable and vegetable-based
  • Made with certified fair trade and organic oils
  • Multi-purpose: 18-in-1 uses (example: dilute with water for house cleaner)
  • No synthetic foaming agents, thickeners or preservatives
  • 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) cylinder bottles and paper labels
  • Simple, ecological formulations based on old-world quality and expertise
  • #1-selling natural brand of soaps in North America

Let me know if you’re a fan too!

My fav is definitely the almond one …

Products I Love: “Coconut Secret” Product Line

Well here we go again with coconut, but I’m serious, this product line is just too cool not to talk about it.  Basically, Coconut Secret has created several low glycemic (does not spike insulin), gluten-free products such as:

* Please click on each product above for a very detailed and in-depth look at why they’re oh-so-cool.

For me, these products are a dream come true.

The story:  After their parents both became diabetic, two siblings came together in search of a healthy, tasty alternative to sugar.  After using agave nectar for awhile and later becoming very disenchanted with it, their searching lead them to coconut sap.  Did you ever know such thing existed???  Not me!

So let’s first understand how this miracle sap is obtained in the first place:

Continue reading

Products I Love: Sprite Shower Filter

Ever since landing on Hong Kong soil, my hair and scalp have turned into quite an unfortunate place. Itchy, flakey, dry … yuck.  Every time I washed and dried it, the roots would feel oily and the ends brittle, and my poor little head would get itchy and flakey quite quickly.

So a couple of months ago, I decided to figure out the problem.  Why on earth do I have dandruff!?!?  Not cool.  Most research I did pointed to deficiencies in diet, but with all of the positive diet changes I’ve made lately, my instinct told me this wasn’t it.  And if it wasn’t my diet, than it must be the water.  There weren’t too many other possibilities.  Knowing how much our tap water had changed once we put a filter on it, I decided my skin and hair were just as important as my insides and deserved some better treatment.  If I didn’t want to drink the water, why would I want to bathe in it?

After a little internet research, and suffering through several phone calls with barely-English-speaking chinese sales people (bless them), I finally found the filter I was looking for: the Sprite Perma-Seal.  The reviews looked good, it would fit on a hand-held shower handle, and it was something I could find in Hong Kong, albeit in Sheung Wan, but hey, at least it was somewhere in this country!  (Wing On Department Store for those of you interested)

So it’s been about a month of using it, and I only have very positive reviews.  The dandruff is gone, the itchiness is waaaay better, my hair feels lighter and softer, and my skin doesn’t feel nearly as dry.  And a double bonus, my hubby can now drink the water while showering when he’s thirsty after exercise.  So benefits for everyone!  Ha!

 

A bit about the filter:

  • About $500 HKD ($65 USD)
  • Effective for 1 year
  • Effective in hot water
  • Super easy installation
  • Removes: free chlorine, combined chlorine, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell), iron oxide (rust water), dirt, sediment, odors, plus its pH balanced

 

So if you’re battling with a bit of dandruff, itchy scalp, dry skin or just want to drink your shower water, check out the Sprite, yo!