Friday, 2 October 2015

The Beauty of Health

For me, health is obviously a lot about the food you eat, the superfoods and suppliants you can take to support your body, but also about what you are putting on your skin, in your hair and around your home.

Sophia - the clean green beauty machine

You would be amazed how absorbent your skin is and the effect this can have on your health. There have been links to the aluminum in deodorant and breast cancer, skin sensitivities and the use of sodium laurel sulfate in shower gel and shampoo (a chemical also used for cleaning car engines!) and the use of paraffin in moisturizers which block your pores, which in turn can cause ache, sleeplessness, excessive sweating and much more.

So here are my top 5 alternative products for keeping those harsh chemicals away from your skin….

Shampoo and Shower Gel
For both my shampoo and shower gel I use products by JASON. Available in most health food stores and online I absolutely love the small of the Apricot shampoo, not only is it free from harmful chemicals it also makes my hair feel clean, soft and shiny. Of the range of shower gels I adore the lavender scent, it’s so relaxing for post –gym showers, or try citrus for a fresh morning wake me up.
I would also recommend shampoos by Faith in Nature, again free from harmful chemicals I particularly like their range of soaps.

I have been on a mission to find aluminum free, propolyne glycol free deodorant that actually works. Deodorants will often be advertised as ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ but still contain ‘potassium alum’ or other lymph clogging chemicals. One of the best I’ve found is by American company ‘Honestly pHresh’ – available in some health food stores and from it comes in a range of fragrances for women and men. If you have found a good deodorant I’d love to hear from you, leave me a message or Tweet me :)

Most of the major toothpaste manufacturers add fluoride to toothpaste, this can cause a number of health issues including stomach ailments, rashes and acute toxicity. So much so in fact, that all toothpaste brands in the US that use fluoride have had to add a poison warning to every tube.
My favourite fluoride -free toothpaste is AloeDent, it’s super minty, leaves my teeth feeling clean and is available in loads of shops including Waitrose.
Second to that I also like Kingfisher, best known for its fennel flavor toothpaste (you will either love or hate it), Kingfisher also does mint, bicarb, aloe and strawberry for children. Plus Kingfisher prides itself on being cruelty-free and ethical, Yay!

Having a great moisturizer is important to many people, from experience I know I rely on it to keep my skin soft, especially at the change of seasons when I tend to get dry skin. 
It’s certainly hard to find a perfect brand but there are a lot of companies paving the way for organic, clean and green skincare.
The price can vary hugely, for super luxury I love Dr Hauschka, the quality of their products is fantastic.  My mid-range favourites include Neal's Yard, Avalon Organics, and Aromatika. All of which are available online or in stores around the country.
Alternatively, my secret for great skin is Coconut oil, I put it on my face every night before bed and when I need a moisture injection. You can buy a jar from Detox Trading for only £6.95 and it lasts ages.
Finally, it’s always worth buying from a cruelty-free brand, look for the ‘Leaping Bunny’ symbol, check the website or if in doubt email the company to ask.

I realise this is a rather personal matter but I think this is another important health issue that tons of women may not be aware of.
Many conventional tampons are made of rayon, are bleached for whiteness, contain chlorine and come with a plastic applicator. Not only are these contributing to waste levels, there have also been links to reproductive issues from these tampons.
I am on board for sure that sanitary products should be tax-free, after all it’s not a choice for women, but I do also think it’s worth spending the extra money on organic-cotton, biodegradable, chlorine and plastic free tampons.
Why not try Natracare, they have a great range of products available online or in health food shops. They have a great ethos and have been producing eco-friendly, body-friendly sanitary care for many years.

I also just want to give a shout out to two fab websites that you can get some wonderful clean, green beauty products. Love Lula is one of my absolutes faves, such a great range of brands with so many cosmetics that will benefit your health and the planet.
Along with that I also love Being Content Health and Wellbeing, again with fab products you can find them both online and in their London store.

Sophia x

About Sophia
Sophia Harvey is one one of the owners of the successful online health food retailer Detox Trading, and is currently studying to become a natropathic nutritionist with the Nutritional Healing Foundation. Complementary therapy has been in the Harvey family for four generations, Sophia's great grandfather being one of the UK's first Osteopaths.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

My Obsession With Mulberries

In the last few months I have become absolutely obsessed with mulberries, I’m talking in my breakfast, in a smoothie, in all raw cakes & slices and even just munching them as they are for a snack.

Now I have to admit I am not always the biggest fan of dried fruit, raisins and sultanas are not my friends (I have tried many times to like them but it just isn’t happening). But there’s something different about mulberries, something special. What I love so much about them is the soft, gooey texture and sweet, caramel like taste (the white variety in particular).

They are the perfect ingredient to add to raw caramel chocolate slices, blended with medjool dates on a ‘biscuit’ base topped with raw choc you just might eat in heaven

Here’s my ultimate recipe for indulgent and delicious caramel slices, this will make about 10-12 slices…

½  Cup Almonds
½ Cup Pecans
1 Cup Dates
2 tbs Desiccated Coconut
1 tbs Coconut Oil (or more if needed)

A fresh batch of raw caramel slices, made with mulberries of course!

½ Cup Majool Dtaes
½ Cup White Mulberries
½ Cup Cashews (Soaked and rinsed)
2 tbs Almond Butter (or other nut butter)
3 tbs Raw Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup
1 tbs Coconut Oil
Pinch Himalayan Crystal Salt
Water (if needed)

Choc Top
¼ Cup Coconut Oil
¼ Cup Raw Cacao Powder
¼ Cup Raw Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup

Method - Base

- Put all ingredients for the base in a food processor and blend until it forms a sticky crumble consistency
- Spread the mixture evenly on a greaseproof paper lined tin 
- Set in the freezer for an hour

Method - Caramel

- Add all caramel ingredients to the food processor and blend well, you may need to stop and push the mixture down a few times to ensure a smooth consistency
- You may need to add a little water if the mixture is too solid / sticky, keep adding until it is silky and easily spreadable  
- Spread caramel on top of base and return to freezer for a further hour or until set

Method - Choc Topping

Add the coconut oil to a pan and heat on very low temperature until it all melts.
Add the cacao powder and agave/maple syrup to a pan and stir until it forms a chocolate sauce
Pour the chocolate sauce on top the caramel layer and spread evenly. Make sure the caramel has set before adding the top layer
Pop it back in the freezer for an hour until completely set

Once it has all set cut in to squares (best done straight from the freezer) and store in airtight contained in the fridge. 

About Sophia
Sophia Harvey is one one of the owners of the successful online health food retailer Detox Trading, and is currently studying to become a nutritional therapist with the nutritional healing foundation. Complementary therapy has been in the Harvey family for four generations, Sophia's great grandfather being one of the UK's first Osteopaths.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Living Healthy on the Go

“Work to live, don’t live to work” is a saying I hear so much these days. And so often I meet people who are completely burnt out from working all hours, a lack of sleep, eating fast/convenient foods and not taking the time to rest or nurture themselves.

I completely support high achievers and admire career driven individuals who thrive on success. I do however hugely encourage everyone to create a healthy work/life balance. Making time and space to relax, give yourself a little TLC and feed yourself nourishing, live and vibrant foods is so important.

I also understand it’s not always easy to make this time when you have a career, children, a commute to or travel with work while also maintaining a social life. The pressures of balancing all these things can be hugely demanding.

I have lived in the London rat race and know first hand how easy it can be to slip in to an unbalanced lifestyle that in the long run is unsustainable. So here are a few suggestions I have learnt along the way for living healthy on the go…

Hydration Hydration Hydration

Keeping hydrated is absolutely fundamental to maintaining your health. Ideally we need to be drinking at least 2 liters of water each day. This will simultaneously help with the flow of key minerals in to your cells while aiding the elimination of toxins. Drinking this much water can help clear headaches, retain concentration and keep you awake. Trying having a pint of water instead of a coffee and see how you feel…

TIP: If you travel a lot, particularly on airplanes, it is especially important to keep the water up. Flying is one of the most dehydrating things we can do to our body so really bug those air stewards for regular water top ups.

Meals on the Move

Finding truly healthy foods when you’re grabbing a bite from a local supermarket, deli or train station can be really difficult. Often the options include poor quality ingredients on soggy white bread. Take a well-known supermarket (who shall not be named, but my Dad calls them Mordor) meal deal, a sandwich, a packet of crisps or choc bar and a fizzy drink for a few pounds… it hardly screams ‘healthy’ to me.

  • I suggest preparing some wholesome snacks on a Sunday ready for your busy week ahead. A trail mix with dried fruit, nuts and seeds will fill you up, contains essential fats and vitamins and can be carried around easily. Or make oat and nut bars, store them in an airtight container and take one with you each day.
  • One-cup smoothie makers are perfect for a morning mineral and fibre injection. Blend up fruit and nut milk with your favourite superfood powders or use it for making a portable chia pudding.
  • Make a big batch of soup that can be divided in to portions and frozen. Then grab one each day to heat up in the office.
  •  For me fruit is the ultimate snack, there’s nothing better than a juicy nectarine or box of blueberries to satisfy a hunger pang on the move.
Or if you are grabbing lunch out, these are a few of my fave healthy eateries around the UK...

-       Tanyas Café – Chelsea, London
-       Sweet Greens – Bournemouth, Dorset
-       Café Kino – Stokes Croft, Bristol
Yoga on the Train

Yes you heard me, I did say yoga on the train.

Last year I went to Colourfest Yoga Festival and met Eugene from AcroYoga Brighton. He taught us about his fantastic idea of fitting exercise in to your life even when you think you don’t have time.
Now, I’m not talking about headstands in the aisles or down dog on the seats, but you can often find space in the corridors or near doors to do some stretching, a few back bends or even a cheeky warrior pose. You might get a funny look or two but be brave, your body will feel the benefits far beyond the blush that your cheeks feel!

Sophia Harvey is one one of the owners of the successful online health food retailer and is currently studying to become a nutritional therapist with the nutritional healing foundation. Complementary therapy has been in the Harvey family for four generations, Sophia's great grandfather being one of the UK's first Osteopaths.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Protein Shakes, The Veagn 'Whey'

Protein shakes can often be a contentious issue, typically made from Whey and synthetic flavourings these types of powders are readily available and widely used by body builders, gym bunnies and fitness fanatics. Mixed reports in the media make it hard to know what to believe when it comes to the benefits of taking protein.

Most people actually get enough protein in their daily diet, especially with the vast amount of meat that is now part of Western diets. Taking additional protein through a shake can actually add weight if not taken in conjunction with exercise.

However taking protein within half an hour of a work out can help to build muscle. Vegans and vegetarians may also benefit from natural sources of protein if they want to inject some additional protein in to their diet. And if you are skeptical about alternative protein powders just check out The Vegan Body Builder on YouTube… Wow!

Choosing a protein from a natural source such as pea or hemp and adding your own fresh flavours is a much healthier and sustainable way to still get your protein boost without all the added chemicals.

Watch our video for a totally vegan, totally delicious and completely natural protein shake…

By Sophia @ Detox Trading