some sweet ideas: cooking with natvia

Posted on May 31st, 2011

In my quest to make sugar-free life, well, sweeter, I’ve been scouting different fructose-free sweeteners for you. It’s a minefield. There are a lot of sugar-free chocolates and treats out there…but the sweeteners read like something from a box of Ratsak.  I’ve shared on the safe and not-so-safe alternative sweeteners before. One or two alternatives do exist. One of them being stevia, which is extracted from the leaves of a South American plant.

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It’s a stack sweeter than sugar and is fructose-free. Native Americans used it medicinally as a digestive aid. I first read about it via Donna Gates’ Body Ecology and have been trying it out in a few recipes. It’s great with berries and yoghurt…it has a slight licorice tang to it. Anyway… For this sponsored review, Natvia asked to share three of their stevia recipes. To give you a taste of the stuff. Cut’n'keep!

Natvia is a natural sweetener made from Reb A stevia, and erythritol. Reb A is the purest and sweetest parts of the stevia plant, and erythritol is a naturally occuring nectar in some fruits, such as melons and grapes.

Things you should know about Natvia:

  • it’s 100% natural
  • it has 95% fewer calories than sugar
  • it’s fructose free
  • it contains no aspartame, or saccharin
  • it’s great for baking and cooking

almond Tea Cake Loaf

This recipe makes one tasty, coconuty loaf. It’s made denser with the almond meal. Read more

the best toxin-free cosmetics: a listicle

Posted on May 30th, 2011

So, in yesterday’s Sunday Life column, I shared how I tested the toxicity of my body following an extended period of wearing a shit-load of VERY toxic makeup and other beautifying guff. And then decided to clean up my beauty act. It’s been a long process. I’ve been investigating it for months.  Thinking of learning more? Know this: it’s a VERY complicated issue and answers are not definitive.

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I’ve spoken to a lot of people about how you and I can best act on the very real fears we have that our foundations and hair dye’s and deodorants are not good for us.

There are three things we feel we can all do:

1.Learn a little more.

Follow the debate and support groups that are agitating for the government to police these chemicals better. The Environmental Working Group’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics should be followed. In Australia, sign up with National Toxics Network.

2. Use less stuff.

Reduce the chemical load where you can. It takes some getting used to – wearing less makeup and less products. But, hey, the natural look is back in.

3. Use the stuff the experts recommend.

This topic is waaaaay too hard to navigate without a chemistry degree. Best to be inspired by women in this realm who’ve researched their choices. This way you also make a difference with your shopping $$$s.

So. To this end, I’ve asked my contacts for their best buys. It’s not a definitive list. It’s not perfect. Talking to Read more

the scary truth behind my cosmetics… and why I’ve ditched foundation

Posted on May 29th, 2011

Sunday Life: This week I detox my cosmetics

a little note: in my next post I will be listing the safe products I’ve decided to use as result of this week’s experiment, as well as those used personally by the top experts in safe cosmetics around the world. Check in tomorrow!

In 2009 Rick Smith & Bruce Lourie, two Canadian environmentalists locked themselves in an unventilated apartment and polluted themselves with household items like hand sanitiser and antiperspiran, which saw their triclosan levels rocket, and tinned tuna, which led to mercury poisoning after just seven serves. They offered themselves up as guinea pigs and emerged with a bestseller, Slow Death by Rubber Duck, their toxic tales influencing the Canadian government to ban BPA from baby’s bottles.

This week I share with you a similar experiment. This time I’m the intrepid guinea pig and my poison of choice is beauty products. My aim is this: to find out whether my makeup is making me sick. And what I should be using instead. Read more