DIY recipe for a Slim Down Tea!

I grew up as a girl, so it was hard to avoid seeing all the fads diets, the pills, plans, everything marketed at women to buy into and believe some product that would make you slimmer.  The problem with big business using vanity to dupe us and get an extra buck has always been there. It seems to be a way for companies to grab the last dollar you have at the bottom of your messy purse…As if life wasn’t hard enough with everything to juggle, but we also have to constantly weed out false marketing scams and claims of companies bent on taking advantage of the situation. What a hard sell! But I know we’ve all fallen at least once for any of these product claims.  Wouldn’t it be great to find something that really works, is healthy, simple and DIY?

So recently I concocted something I believe to be the real deal.  All natural, detoxifying and healthy.  I’ve made an awesome tea drink with simple ingredients that can fight the bodily malfunctions that add short term gain to the frame.  Things such as water retention, bloating, gas.  These are huge factors in the difference between having a slim pretty day, and a bloated chubby day.  And I will share this recipe with you, because, you know…we’re friends! 🙂  Best thing of all? It’s caffeine free!

It looks kind of murky, like pond water, it will be a greenish brown! It tastes kinda bitter and spicy, but it works!
It looks kind of murky, like pond water; it is greenish brown in colour! It tastes kinda bitter and spicy, but it works!

Recipe for my “Slim Down Tea”

  • 1/4 cup of finely sliced ginger root (fresh)
  • 2 bags of herbal dandelion leaf tea (find it at health food stores)
  • 1.5 liters of fresh cold water
  1. Start to boil the water in a a small/medium sauce pan
  2. Slice up a knob of ginger finely. I like to do 1″ long thin slivers of ginger because I think the ginger really releases all its magic into the tea when it is cut finely.
  3. Place the sliced ginger into already turned on pot of water…wait for it to reach rapid boil, then lower the heat to a gentle, but rolling simmer.
  4. Simmer the ginger for 15-20 min. Any longer and it gets kind of bitter and burned, too soon and you don’t have the ginger spiciness in it.
  5. Turn off the heat.  Drop the bags of dandelion leaf tea into it, and cover the pot with a lid, while steeping everything for another 30 mins.
  6. Remove tea bags and strain the tea with a spoon while pouring into a pitcher.  Refrigerate and enjoy for up to 1-3 days!

Why does this concoction work? The reason is because ginger is a soothing cure all to stomach pains and digestion problems.  It can also control bloating to a minimum.  It is also super good for you! Antioxidants!  Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic and aids in helping your body shed excess water, discouraging water retention and also providing potassium, a mineral which many people lack day to day. Put these two plant powers together and your stomach and body will be thanking you, and you will feel a difference.  I like to take this tea cold, in the afternoon to evening…and also all day before any big event! What tricks do you pull to give you an extra edge against feeling pudgy?

Yummy! I like using this tea all day before an event in the evening.
Yummy! I have a tendency to retain water like crazy, but little tricks help me.

Bold lipstick colours are fashionable but also kinda gross…

There is something that is not often talked about in the make-up world, or actually should I say, over looked: and that is the sad fact that almost all bold lip colours are made up of heavy toxic chemicals and metals, some trace, and some not so trace.  The bottom line though, is that it’s in there, and that wearing a fashionable shade of red, or the current trend of fushia, is probably loaded with not so great stuff.

the classic bold red lip.
the classic bold red lip.
Lorde made fashion waves with her bold dark lips recently...
Lorde made fashion waves with her bold dark lips recently…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was younger, say ten years ago, I would always wear lipstick.  After using the restroom, I would wash my hands and reapply that creamy stick, covering up my natural lip colour.  It looked good, so I did it, ignoring the fact that lipstick gets everywhere, on clothes, on coffee cups, on ciggy butts.  But the place that it was probably getting into the most was my stomach when I inadvertently ate it.  There are statistics out there about the staggering amount of lipstick a woman ingests over a year, and over her lifetime and it’s gross.  But we don’t need statistics to use our common sense and know that we are eating it.  Anything on our lips eventually makes its way to our stomachs.  It’s on our mouths after all.  Which is why these fashionable bold lip colours are kind of scary to wear if you want to think about it.  You don’t ever want to eat lead, or mercury, or cadmium, but it’s in almost all lipsticks.  Just do the foil test to see this in your favourite lipstick shade.

My suggestion is is that if you’re not going to a red carpet event, do we really need bold lips on a day to day basis?  Probably not.  Why not wear a tinted lipbalm?  Sure, it’s usually very sheer, and less noticable, and less fashionable, but it’s healthier for your lips.  Since I stopped wearing lipsticks, my lips have naturally turned more pink, meaning I don’t actually need thick lipsticks to put colour into my lips.  Also, I barely need chapstick because my lips stay so moist, even in the winter!  I’m a bit of a crafter, so I made my own tinted lipbalm made with coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax, coloured it with a bit of fushia mica, and what I got was this:

Lot's of colour in tinted lipbalms, without all that gunk...
Lot’s of colour in tinted lipbalms, without all that gunk…

So pretty, no?

Am I going back to toxic lipsticks and stains? Yes, it is fashionable, and unavoidable, but for day to day, I got this moisturizing tinted lip balm to carry me through!

 

How not to get fat…

There are so many fad diets and cleanses out there. Low carb diet, raw veganism, south beach, lemon cleanse…the list goes on and on.  Well, I actually find all of those diets very stupid.  Obviously, if you eat a healthy variety of foods and exercise, this is the best way.  But are there also certain lifestyles that can help with weight control? For example  there are so many books and rumors out there about how French women do not get fat, and how Japanese women do not get fat or old!  So what to make of it all?  Are some cultures and lifestyles more conducive to a slimmer more attractive frame?  Is it something that us North Americans are doing wrong?  I don’t think so.  It’s got to do with just common sense. A diet based on culture can only help a little.

This is what I was bombarded with daily in France.  But looking back that was when I struggled with weight the least!
This is what I was bombarded with daily in France. But looking back that was when I struggled with weight the least!

French women do not get fat because of portion control.  They’ll have that buttery croissant, but then they’ll only have one.  When I lived in Paris, this was true.  I only had treats once in a while, and a fresh food market was on every corner for most of my main food…And what about Japanese women?  I used to work with a bunch of Japanese girls from different parts of Japan.  The reason I think that they were skinny was partly due to their work ethic.  They ate simple foods like rice and fish, but also, they worked non-stop…burning off little calories they did consume.  So yes, in a way culture can help in terms of weight control, but still, it’s a lot based in common sense.  Eat less, eat well and be active.

Can you imagine getting fat on just rice?  Asians do tend to be slim, but then there are sumos!
Can you imagine getting fat on just rice? Asians do tend to be slim, but then there are sumos!

I’m a true North American, born and raised in Toronto, and I’ve NEVER had a weight problem.  At the same time, I’ve never been bone skinny either.  Infact, I am a nice in between…just plump enough to have curves, but not too chunky anywhere.  Here are some tips or common sense that I find works:

1. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry.  I am naturally not much of a snacker.  I try to keep busy most of the day, so eating for fun or for taste doesn’t really appeal to me.  Think about why you are eating.  Is it because you are bored, or depressed?  Don’t just snack blindly.

2. Stay away from processed, greasy food.  I am lucky that I actually do not find fast food or pizza all that appetizing.  After eating it, I often feel kind of gross, so it’s a great deterrent.  Think about the processed food you are eating…does it really taste good?  I’m sure you will answer no.

3.  Drink water instead of juice or pop, or sugared beverages.  I’m usually kind of broke, so having tap water instead of a fizzy drink works well for me.  But it also keeps me away from a lot of unneeded calories.  Think about how optimal hydration is simply achieved by water.

4.  No chocolate or ice cream, at least not regularly.  These two foods are the death traps for weight control.  You can have other kinds of candy and dessert, but just not these two things for a simple reason.  They taste so good, but are basically fat welded together with sugar.  It’s true.

5.  Everything in moderation.  I drink only one glass of wine, I don’t smoke, I’m not super healthy organic, but I try when I can.  These are the best most simple ways.  And also, read packaging if you’re eating ready made foods.  They tell you what is in it!  If the second ingredient is something like hydrogenated anything…it makes sense to not waste your money on it!

It’s as simple as that.  No fad diets,  and don’t follow another culture for an easy out.  Everything makes sense if you just realize obvious bad eating habits and cut it out.  But most important is to be yourself.  Many girls around me developed eating disorders back when I was in high school.  They had bad self esteem, or were just distracted by media messages that didn’t matter.  Some girls had said to me that I was the “perfect weight” and saw themselves as “fat”.  Now that’s just not right.  Everyone can have their own perfect weight and it is not dependent on models, or women you think are skinnier.  Just be yourself and all will fall into place!

Venus, by Henry Selous.  See this magnificent piece of art?  This woman is not skinny, but she she working it by being herself!
Venus, by Henry Selous. See this magnificent piece of art? This woman is not skinny, but she she working it by being herself!