Homemade Children’s Toothpaste

I’ve been battling with myself on this for so long. You see, I make so many of my own products (surface sprays, perfumes, face serum, body cream – the list goes on) that I really wanted to draw the line at toothpaste. Aside from the fact that I couldn’t be bothered, it bothered me more that it wouldn’t be in a tube and toothpaste that isn’t in a tube just isn’t as convenient.

But then I realised, as with everything else, that it’s only more convenient because that’s my perception, because I know no different; like how I thought using a menstrual cup was weird because it wasn’t something I’d grown up knowing about (read my post on that here).

But actually using a jar is fine; you just dip your toothbrush in and you’re ready to go. And the great thing about making your own is that you can do as many different flavours as you like, so it doesn’t get boring!

So why did I want to make my own toothpaste? Well, I’ve been using fluoride free toothpaste for a long time now, ever since I learnt about the awful effects fluoride has on our health. It’s so toxic, in fact, that the FDA has ruled that poison warnings must be visible on all fluoride-containing toothpastes in the US. Oh, but it’s OK to put in our drinking water and give to our children. *sense the sarcasm*.

The health risks involved with daily use of fluoride range from bone disorders, thyroid disease, low intelligence, dementia and diabetes to arthritis. It also lowers vitamin B12 levels and prevents the body from absorbing B12 properly. So you can imagine how I felt when I found this out and stopped using it, then started taking B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (a form that my body could absorb), and all of a sudden the arthritis pain in my jaw went away. The reason for this was that the jaw pain was largely nerve-related and fluoride affects the nerve endings. Madness that it’s in all our toothpastes and drinking water and we take it and give it to our children every single day and no one ever tells us how dangerous it is.

From then on I’ve stayed away from tap water and fluoride-containing toothpastes and have only bought fluoride-free toothpastes for Braxton since his teeth started popping through. But as is always the case when you research everything you do relentlessly, I found out that the glycerin that is contained in most fluoride-free toothpastes, though not necessarily bad for health, stops the teeth remineralising, which is not a good thing.

Like I said, I was so against making my own toothpaste so I set about finding a child-friendly toothpaste that was fluoride AND glycerin free but could not find one. I have been using one by Georganics, made with charcoal and clay, which are both brilliant for the teeth, and I still use it as I love it, but Braxton will hate it, so in the end I had to give in.

It was so easy that I really don’t know why I made such a fuss for so long! I got a lot of my info from Meagan at Growing Up Herbal and you can see references for health issues through fluoride here.

Ingredients

3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground Xylitol
6-8 drops essential oils – I only use DoTerra due to their high quality and used lemon and wild orange for Brax, and lemon and peppermint for me and Daniel.

Method

Just mix all the ingredients in a small glass jar and dip your toothbrush into it!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Rose Pistachio Chocolate Bark

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a bite out of a chunk of chocolate, and indeed nothing more satisfying at all than knowing that that chocolate is made of only pure, natural, healthy ingredients than not only are not detrimental to your health, but are in fact beneficial to your health.

I usually make my chocolate truffle hearts when I want good old plain chocolate instead of brownies or cakes or cookies, but this time I thought, You know what, just shove the entire mixture into a silicone baking tray and let it set like that instead of putting it into individual moulds.

I love the combination of rose and pistachio, I think it must be something to do with my Moroccanness! so I decided to put a touch of rose water, just enough to taste it faintly on the tongue, but not enough to take away from the exquisiteness of the chocolate, and the pistachios give it a bit of crunch and a touch of savoury to mix in with the sweetness.

As you take a bite out of it, you will honestly feel like that girl in the Magnum adverts, how she looks when she takes a sensuous bite out of the (rubbish-filled) ice cream; it’s heavenly! And so easy to make my son could probably do it…

So I invite you all to join in the raw chocolate revolution! 🙂

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
2 tbsp cashew butter

Optional fillings:
1/2 tsp rose water
Small handful pistachios, crushed roughly
Small handful coconut chips

Method

Simply put all the chocolate ingredients (not the fillings) into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat, stirring often. Add the rose water if desired.

Once it’s melted, pour it into a baking paper-lined silicone baking tray and sprinkle the fillings into it.

Put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then cut or break into chunks.

Devour!

Love & health,
Lauren

Natural Parenting? You Need Like-Minded Friends…

Your vibe attracts your tribe, that is for sure. But it also means you will lose people along the way. You will lose them because they cannot cope with how different you are, how differently you do things to them, and how that makes them feel. You will lose them because even though you don’t judge anyone, they will feel you judge them just because of how militant you are with your lifestyle. You will lose them simply because they don’t ‘get’ you, because it’s hard to get you, because you are complex and intense and full of passion and constantly striving to improve yourself and not everyone can handle all that intensity in one person. You will lose them, but you will gain so much more in the process. You will gain the understanding that you never really lost them; if they can’t accept you for who you were meant to be, you never really had them in the first place. You will gain the knowledge that the ones who do get you, are the ones you should hold onto forever. And you will, if you are lucky, gain some amazing new people in your life who do things just like you and with whom you will build incredibly special friendships.

Above is a picture of me and Braxton with our friends Deepa & Arjun. Deepa and I may have come from totally different backgrounds, but there is a common thread that binds us, and that’s the great thing about growing up in a place like London.

Our beautiful boys are 2 weeks apart in age and I cannot express enough just how important it has been for me, and just how much I need – crave – to have a friend who parents in the exact same way as I do. From the food we eat, how we prepare it, where it comes from, to the births we strived for, the determination to continue breastfeeding no matter how hard it got, to healthcare, and of course, our gentle parenting methods; we are pretty much identical in our approach.

When your lifestyle is so different to the mainstream, it filters down into every single thing you do. To the point that even a play date with friends holds a little bit of stress…

When she doesn’t bat at eyelid when I whip out a mung daal for his lunch, or a homemade sweet potato brownie for snack; When it’s not weird that I only give him filtered water and she has a filter tap in her house like we do; When we don’t see each other as voodoo witches for not vaccinating; When we choose homeopathy over Calpol and she has a homeopathic kit in her house in case I need it; When either of us whip a boob out and that’s ok; When either one of the children ‘play up’ by being physical, and we are both of the view that it is simply an expression of frustration and no shouting will take place, and when it’s your child who does it and she doesn’t ask you why you’re not ‘disciplining your child’.

I love and appreciate all of my friends equally, regardless of how we decide to parent our children, because they’re all amazing mums, but it’s really nice to have made a friend along the way who just ‘gets it’. I hope Braxton and Arjun will grow up to be proper buddies just like their mummies 💜

She also makes INCREDIBLY HILARIOUS vlogs about parenting so please follow Deepa and her page GirlBoyFoodBaby here.

Your vibe attracts your tribe, so make your vibe a good one!

Love & health,
Lauren

P.s. this is what it really looks like, minus the Instagram-perfect smiles and poses!

 

By Removing Sugary Drinks From Hospital Shops We Are Simply Masking A Bigger Problem

Here they are again, this government of ours, rambling on about increasing tax on sugary drinks and removing them from hospital shops. Don’t they realise they’ve missed the point?

When Jamie Oliver set about to change our diets for the better, he started in schools. Why? Because quite frankly, it’s no good aiming this information at sixty-year-olds who have created lifetime habits and most likely won’t want to change them.

If there are parents out there still giving their children Fruit Shoots and other (for lack of a better word) ‘drinks’ filled with sugar and artificial rubbish, despite the panoply of information so readily available, it is them we need to be targeting. Why are these parents still under the impression that these drinks are okay to give their children, even if it is just as a rare ‘treat’? Why are parents not waking up to the fact that if you give your child nothing but water from the offset, they will not want anything but water because we wouldn’t have created within them an unyielding addiction that leads to ‘cravings’ for sweet drinks to quench their thirst instead of water which they may then describe as ‘boring’? The human body can last up to three weeks without food, but water is a different story. Every living cell in the body needs it to function. It is essentially our life-source, so I’d say it’s anything but boring, and this is what we need to be teaching our children.

We can remove these drinks from hospital shops but the person in question can simply go and find the nearest shop or petrol station and buy their drink of choice there.

What we need to be doing is educating, on a mass level, the population of Britain about nutrition, by giving them a comprehensive understanding of nutrition and how the body responds to it, and not just by telling them to eat their five a day and cut out sugar. Because what happens when people become obsessed with one diet fad, such as removing sugar from the diet, is that they look for substitutes because they have not learnt about nutrition or the body; they have simply learnt what helps them lose weight, and at what price are we losing weight?

Weekly meet-up diet-plan groups that started popping up in the ‘80s and ‘90s are perhaps the worst thing that has happened to our collective health since cigarettes; most of them recommend substituting anything sugary with artificial sweeteners, chemicals that are (if we had to choose) worse for our health than refined sugar. The advice from these organisations to cut out fat and sugar is, in my opinion, one of the reasons that we are seeing a huge increase in early onset dementia. The brain needs fat. It cannot function or grow without it and many adults who began following this fat-free craze thirty-odd years ago are now in their middle ages being diagnosed with early onset dementia, among other things.

The ironic thing is that most of these ‘fat-free’ foods have increased amounts of sugar, which is a lot worse for the heart than healthy fats. A fruit flavoured yogurt, for example, contains about 12 grams of added sugar. This equates to eating a small cup of yogurt with a bowl of frosted corn flakes. We need to forget about all these fads, stop buying convenience food and eat fresh, whole foods that we (heaven forbid) prepare ourselves.

Studies on Aspartame (the sweetener used in Diet Coke) have shown a range of adverse effects, from nausea and dizziness to birth defects and multiple sclerosis. People substituting Coke with Diet Coke should not be under any illusion that this is better for anything other than their waistlines. MS is essentially nerve damage on the brain and the spinal cord, most likely caused by the immune system attacking the fatty myelin sheath around the brain. If we are reducing the one thing that the brain needs to function, and substituting it with a magnitude of toxins known to harm the immune system and the nervous system, we are essentially begging for multiple sclerosis.

What the government should actually be doing is making these drinks illegal, because they have a responsibility to us, the people, not to the pockets of the manufacturers and these drinks are in fact poisonous. These items need to be removed from our country altogether, and money needs to be put into education, at a grassroots level.

If midwives, ante-natal instructors and even general practitioners, most of whom have not had sufficient training in nutrition, were provided with the proper education, and this information was filtered down to new parents, we would see an entire new generation more healthy and health-conscious than ever before, and not just a generation obsessed with weight loss.

Nutrition classes could also be held in schools. Imagine the changes we would see in our society if all aspects of diet were taught to children, including reducing intake of refined sugars and not replacing them with artificial sweeteners or fat-free products, and encouraging people to understand that natural sugar like that found in fruit, in moderation—like everything—is healthy.

Despite the government’s miseducation, we are fortunate enough to live in an age where information is available wherever we are on the planet, at the touch of a button. We are hearing about the dangers of increased sugar consumption everywhere, so why are people choosing to give refined sugar to their children, especially when there are so many alternatives? There really is no excuse anymore to be shovelling this rubbish into our children.

However, the mass population will, as a general rule, do what they are told, therefore it is up to the government to take control when it comes to the health of our children and do a hell of a lot more than just removing sugary drinks from hospital shops.

 

To view this article on Huffington Post, click here

Summer Lunch Salad

Winter Lunch Salad

I’m going to give my mum the credit for this one as she came round and made it for me! So yummy and so full wonderful nutritious organic fruits and vegetables and it really filled me up.

Ingredients

Handful fresh spinach
5 radishes
Some asparagus (we only had tinned but best to use fresh, steam first)
Half an avocado
Half a pear
2 boiled eggs
Handful pomegranate
Tsp organic natural maple syrup
Tsp balsamic vinegar

Method

Chop all the veg and put it on a plate then pour the dressings over and add a bit of Himalayan salt if you like. That simple!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

 

 

Mushroom & Spinach Frittata

Mushroom spinach frittata

Another easy dinner choice, a variation on my last frittata. You can pretty much add anything you want to it – whatever is in the fridge and needs to be used. It’s one of those ‘Thursday night meals’!

Ingredients

6 organic free-range eggs
1 tsp English mustard
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
Half a bag of spinach
A generous helping of button mushrooms
About 8 cherry tomatoes
Handful of parsley
Splash of almond milk
Salt & pepper (I used Oryx desert salt)
Coconut oil or spread of choice for the pan

Method

Boil your potatoes (already sliced) for no more than 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut up the tomatoes into quarters, chop the mushrooms, roughly chop the parsley and wash and drain the spinach.

Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the almond milk, mustard, salt and pepper.

Melt the oil or vegan butter in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the egg mix, then add the potatoes, pushing them down so they are semi-covered by the eggs. Then add the rest of the veg and do the same thing.

Turn the heat to medium-high and let it cook for around 5 minutes. While it’s doing this, turn on your grill.

Once the frittata has cooked on the bottom, put the pan under the grill for a further few minutes, until you can see it has cooked through.

Serve with a crisp, fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Lemon & Poppy Seed Smoothie

Lemon & Poppy Seed smoothie

This is a beautifully fresh smoothie for the last days of summer. The baobab powder intensifies the tartness of the lemon and provides many health benefits. Baobab is an eco friendly African product, which is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Poppy seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Add the vitamin C in the fresh lemon and you’ve got a smoothie which will help to bolster your immunity for the coming winter months.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 a lemon, including skin, pips removed
1 tbsp poppy seeds
10ml chia seeds
1 tbsp baobab powder
1/8 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1 – 2 tsp raw honey, depending on your preference
90ml coconut cream
90ml water
5 ice cubes
optional: 1 scoop plain protein powder (you may need to add some more water)


Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren & Raine