In my quest to discover the best natural cleansing methods for my face, I went through quite a transition period where I looked far too much like my 13 year old self than I care to admit. After many trial periods, I finally settled upon two methods that I can honestly say I truly love!
The oil cleansing method is fairly well known and has a wide variability in how it's implemented. This can be as easy as using a combination of castor oil and olive oil or as complicated as blending several oils together, adding shea or cocoa butters, and essential oils. Personally, I liked adding shea butter (moisturizing), castor oil (cleansing), and olive oil (moisturizing) together with a few drops of tea tree oil and a sprig of fresh rosemary! The tea tree oil cleanses and the rosemary is antiseptic and also acts as a perservative for the whole mixture. Massage onto skin, wet a washcloth with the hottest water you find comfortable (please don't burn yourself!) and lay the washcloth on your face, letting it sit until it cools. Rinse the washcloth in hot water again and lay on your face, waiting once more for it to cool. Repeat this process as often as you wish for relaxation purposes, and when you're ready simply wipe (don't scrub) the oil from your skin.
The second method is far less complicated, and my primary method of choice. I keep two pretty blue mason jars in my bathroom: one is filled with baking soda, and the other with liquid (not creamed) raw honey. I've also got a little container of olive oil as an effective, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) moisturizer during these cold winter months! Simply take a half teaspoon (don't bother with precise measurements here!) of baking soda and add to a cup, then take one full teaspoon of honey and add to the cup. Stir together until you have a paste and then scoop up the whole mixture (you should have a heaping spoonful) and apply to your face. I prefer to scrape the mixture onto my fingers and apply that way. Go ahead and apply all over your face and let it sit for a few minutes. This is usually when I brush my teeth (toothpaste recipe to be posted later)! When you're ready, take a hot, wet washcloth and scrub the mixture off your face. The amount of scrubbing you do depends on how much exfoliation you want! Scrub hard to gentle; let your skin sensitivity and dryness level determine what you do here. After scrubbing the mixture off your face, it's a good idea to splash with water a few times to make sure the last of it comes off. If you don't get it all, you'll notice some sticky spots later and that's just annoying ;-)
I've been asked so many times for this recipe on facebook, I thought I'd write it down in a blog to make it easier to share the surprising deliciousness of breakfast quinoa!!! Who knew it was more than a fancy dinner food?
We have food allergies in my house, so our diet is pretty limited. We're vegetarian by choice, my daughter has egg and dairy allergies, and my laundry list includes rice, sesame, peanuts, most tree nuts, most seeds and some fruits. This means that our family meals are vegan and nut free. It also means that I'm constantly looking for ways to heal our gut and improve our immune system function so that our bodies don't continue to go haywire and attack things they shouldn't- like the proteins from some delicious food I'd love for us to be eating!
Which leads me to this recipe. I've been a big fan of coconut oil over the last couple of years, using it for everything from cooking to diaper rashes to toothpaste and deodorant (recipes/instructions for all that is to come!). I experimented with coconut water but wasn't a huge fan, but I hadn't tried coconut milk yet. With the controversy surrounding the safety of soy products (which I don't completely believe, but am keeping an eye on), and the fact that my household is pretty soy heavy with dairy, rice, seed and nut allergies largely wrecking our soy alternatives, I decided it was time to get into coconut milk. The cartons of coconut milk beverages still seemed too processed to me and had such a strong coconut flavor that I was really turned off by them... so I decided to start doing some research and I discovered the wonders of canned coconut milk and coconut cream (the latter is positively heavenly in coffee, I discovered)!! So, several searches for coconut milk breakfast recipes later and I pieced together a little of this and a little of that to come up with what I feel is the absolute perfect breakfast food. Even my 3 year old daughter inhales this breakfast!
I like to make enough to have leftovers. This freezes and reheats beautifully!
2 cups quinoa (I like to use white or red quinoa, or a blend of both!)
2 cans of full fat coconut milk (Use the leftovers with your pot of coffee. You're welcome.)
2 TBS vanilla extract (to taste- I usually just splash it in)
Several shakes of cinnamon (to taste- I also like to use a LOT)
Couple shakes of nutmeg (don't use too much! A little goes a long way)
Sweetener of your choice- I prefer to add some raw honey at the very end but sometimes I'll use a few TBS organic white sugar as well if I'm in a sugar sort of mood!
Optional: granola, dried fruit, bananas, berries, etc.- whatever you think would make a good addition!
Rinse quinoa, if desired, to remove saponins so there's no bitter flavor. If you use this brand you don't have to rinse! Put in a small pot on the stove and add 1.5 cans of coconut milk (shake it up before you add it!). Usually this is when I start making coffee in my french press- a full french press pot + a half can of coconut milk = heaven. Just saying. I digress. Anyway, go ahead and add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you're using granulated sugar, now's the time to add that too. If you are using raw honey, don't add it yet! You'll kill all the good enzymes if you do.
Cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat way down to simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you notice it needs more liquid, go ahead and add some. I usually will just add a splash or soymilk here and there if needed (since I used the last of the coconut milk in my coffee! You can just use the rest of the can if you are crazy and don't drink coffee), but you can use whatever creamy milky product you wish!
And that's pretty much it! Cook until the quinoa is tender- by 20 minutes you should be all set. Throw a handful of the addition of your choice in for variety- I really like adding homemade granola for sweetness and texture! Take off the stove, pop in a bowl and eat it up! Leftovers (once cool) can be put into zip lock baggie (or eco-friendly bag of your choice- I haven't got any yet but they're on the horizon!) and frozen flat. When you want to reheat, just add a little more creamy liquid of choice and go to town! I use the microwave because I'm lazy, but I'm sure you could use the stovetop as well <3
Thanks to My Fitness Pal, I was able to figure out the caloric/nutritional content of this breakfast! I usually plan to eat 2-3 servings worth in order to be full. Since the amount of sugar is so variable, I ommitted that so keep that in mind when looking at the image below! :)