Got gut bloat? Here’s the ayurvedic cooking tricks I use.

Posted on May 21st, 2015
Ayurveda is one of the most grounded wellness approaches around. The central thread of Ayurveda is balancing through food and energy restoration. I love this. Catch up on previous tips here and here.  For today, some Ayurvedic cooking tricks to ease digestion and cut the gut bloat.
Image by Philippe Halsman

Image by Philippe Halsman

1. Start your meal with a small piece of fresh ginger or a pinch of salt. Ginger is a rippa root for digestive issues. (Dry ginger is best for kaphas and fresh for vata and pitta.) It acts as a digestive stimulant, ideal for people with constipation, low stomach acid and weak digestion. (A pinch of Himalayan rock salt will do the job if you experience any burning with raw ginger.)

2. Eat warm food. According to Ayurveda, the digestive system works like a fire. Warm foods fuel the fire, while cold food put it out. Stacks of raw vegetables and greens take a lot of time and energy for the system to process, resulting in gas and bloat. Switch to warm, soft meals and see if you notice a difference. This is particularly crucial if you’re a vata dosha. Me, slow cooked stuff and soups are my friend. And I

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The best toxin-free deodorant: an upfront guide.

Posted on May 20th, 2015

I’ve been talking about it a lot, this toxin-free caper. Recently I’ve covered off toxin-free cosmetics, why I use oils in my beauty regime and toxin-free sunscreen. You can catch up on all my toxin-free posts if you’d like.



In terms of deodorants, I’ve used natural, fragrance-free deodorant for five years now. It’s been a long search. I’ve traversed all kinds of stinky cess pits and scaled heights of compromised comfort. But I’ve now found the ultimate deodorant. I share details below.

The difference between deodorant and antiperspirant

Antiperspirants stop you sweating. They do this via ingredients like aluminum and zirconium, which plug the sweat glands. Without sweat the bacteria found in abundance in your underarms don’t have anything to eat, so you smell less.

Deodorants cut down on what makes you stink when you do sweat. They work to counteract the smell that’s produced after the fats and proteins emitted from your cells come to the surface of your skin (in your sweat). Specific chemicals (like triclosan) make the skin in your underarm too salty or acidic to support the bacteria that are meant to thrive there. So without any bacteria to eat the proteins and fats delivered through your sweat, less smell is produced.

What’s the problem with deodorant and antiperspirant?

The list below highlights some of the worst culprits you’ll find inside the average deodorant or antiperspirant. These are the ones to avoid when you’re reading labels.

  • Aluminium: This is the active ingredient in most antiperspirants. It functions by forming a precipitate that physically blocks sweat glands. Most evidence (check out this 2001 study) indicates aluminium is absorbed into

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Have you contemplated the “Hard Problem” yet?

Posted on May 14th, 2015

When I was 21 I got a scholarship to study philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I arrived with my mountain bike and a passion for German existentialism, lived with five lesbians and their eight cats and convinced the university to let me do their graduate course instead of the undergraduate stream. They relented and I signed up for Philosophy of the Universe with an Australian mathematician, David Chalmers.


Image via A Well Travelled Woman

That was 1995.

I’ve now just learned that the year prior Chalmers, a lecturer who supported me through a bunch of things at the time, had shaken up philosophy – existential and beyond – by presenting the world with what is known as The Hard Problem. This article by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian tells the story and dives in deeply to the dilemma Chalmers posed and the controversy that’s pivoted from it since.

Chalmers presented the idea that there are many quandaries to do with the human brain and experience, but most are easy problems and, with time, we’ll no doubt solve them, much as we did the true surface of the earth.

The hard problem – what makes us conscious, or what is consciousness – is possibly one we will never “solve” as our brains might just not be capable of it. Actually, my memory of things was that he didn’t declare the unsolveability of Read more