3 ways to incorporate more Kale into your diet.

Today, October 1st marks National Kale Day and to celebrate we have put together 3 easy and delicious ways to incorporate more kale into your diet. The reasons to include more kale into your regime are numerous; this superfood per calorie has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk and 10x more vitamin C than spinach. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, is jam packed with vitamins, low in calories and carbs and high in antioxidants.

1) Juices and Smoothies

This is a super sweet and nutritious recipe that can be thrown in your juicer/blender and is also great at masking the taste and texture of kale.

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Recipe:

  •  handful of kale
  •  handful of spinach
  •   handful of baby carrots
  •   frozen raspberries
  •  frozen blueberries
  •   frozen strawberries
  •  1 banana
  •   1 apple
  •   few slices of cucumber
  •  1/2-1 cup of filtered water

2) Snacks

My favorite kale snack are lemon kale chips, there are super easy and quick to make and extremely guilt-free.

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Ingredients:

  •   1 bunch of kale (washed)
  •   2 tablespoon of extra olive oil
  •  2 tablespoon of lemon juice
  •   ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Instructions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2.  Chop kale into bite size piece
  3.  Place kale in large bowl and hand massage olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt into kale
  4.   Put onto baking sheet and bake on 350 degrees F until crispy and dark green
  5.   Cool and serve

3) Entrees: 

A few months back, I discovered a tasty dish from Sweet on Veg that combines both kale and quinoa (which is high in fiber and protein) and I was hooked. This recipe seeks about two people and it takes 20 mins to prepare.

Ingredients:

  •  2 handfuls of kale, broken into little pieces (stems removed)
  •  2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  •  2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • sea salt, to taste
  •  1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  •   1 1/2 cups water
  •  1 tablespoon coconut oil
  •  1/2 lemon

Instructions:

  1.  Cook quinoa in one and a half cups of water in a pot, bringing to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed
  2.  In skillet, sauté garlic, mushrooms and kale in coconut oil for 5 minutes
  3.  Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to cooked quinoa and stir. Salt, to taste
  4.  Spoon quinoa into bowls and top with garlic, mushroom & kale mixture

Hope you enjoyed our kale inspired recipes, now go forth and eat more kale.

 

Colcannon - Vegan style for Paddy's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day!!! As some of you may know Ebony and I grew up in Ireland and since it is Paddy's day, we had to post a recipe for a vegan version of the delicious, traditional, Irish fare known as Colcannon. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup kale, chopped

  • 4 thinly sliced green onions,

  • 2/3 cup almond milk

  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • dash nutmeg (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cover potatoes with salted water in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook until potatoes are done, about 20 - 25 minutes. Peel, if desired.
  2. Steam the kale for just three to four minutes and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk, vegan margarine and green onions for a few minutes until they are cooked.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked potatoes, kale and almond milk mixture and mash together with a large fork or potato masher. Season generously with salt and pepper, and nutmeg (optional)

We hope you enjoy it.

Five Reasons Why Coconut Oil Is Truly Awesome!!!

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There is no doubt that coconut oil, also known as nature's moisturizer is truly amazing. At FLO+THEO, we love the white stuff so much that it is an essential ingredient in every single one of our products. But don't just take our word for it; here are five reasons why coconut oil is truly awesome!

Moisturizer - Coconut oil is readily absorbed by the skin and has remarkable deep moisturizing and hydrating properties. It is filled with antioxidants, Vitamin A, C and E, which all work together to heal and repair damaged skin. 

Shaving Cream - Substitute your shaving cream for coconut oil for a smooth shave. This is a great idea for those of you who have sensitive skin and may react to all the chemicals in normal shaving creams.

Eye Make-up Remover - Coconut oil is one of the gentlest ways to remove makeup.  Apply some to your eye area, and wipe off with a warm, damp towel.

Gargling coconut oil also known as Oil Pulling - This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique, touted by yogis as a natural way to strengthen the immune system by killing toxic yeast that makes its way from your stomach to mouth while you sleep.

Hair Conditioner - Coconut oil's has the unique ability to penetrate hair through and through making it very moisturizing and conditioning for hair. Scoop a chunk of coconut oil and warm it between your hands. Apply it through your hair starting from the bottom and focusing on the ends. Wrap your head in a shower cap and let it sit for 30- 45mins (or even sleep with it in overnight). Rinse it out in the shower and shampoo and condition as usual – I promise you’ll feel (and see) the difference!


DIY Day After Thanksgiving Beauty Tip: Cranberry Face mask

Thanksgiving is over and you might wondering what to do with all the left overs.  Why not, treat yourself to a quick and yummy cranberry face mask. This recipe is super easy to whip up, plus cranberries have great dermatological qualities. They are rich in antioxidants, (Vitamins A and C), contain Vitamins B3 and B5 which hydrate the skin and they also fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles.  

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Ingredients:

 6 tablespoons of fresh cranberries (this can be replaced by cranberry sauce)

3 tablespoons of soy yogurt

1 tablespoon olive oil (preferably extra olive oil)

How to:

1. Boil cranberries until they become soft.

2. Drain excess water and mash cranberries into a paste.

3. Mix the yogurt and olive oil into the paste.

4. Once mixture cools, massage onto clean face and leave on for 10-20 minutes.

5. Rinse off with water, moisturize and voila you are done.

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!

Flower Power: DIY Rose Water Toner

A recent trip to New York Botanical Gardens inspired today's quick beauty tip, homemade rose water toner. The therapeutic properties found in flowers are immense and the rose is no an exception. Rose water has mild astringent properties, it helps soothe, tighten and tone the skin. It also works as a great make-up setter and is suitable for most skin types.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 roses (rinsed and preferably organic) 
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 strainer 
  • 1 sterilized glass container
  • 1 spray bottle

How to: Pick rose petals from the rose and place in the pan. Pour the cups of boiling water over the petals and cover the pan. Allow the rose petals and water to infuse for 1-2 hours. Strain the mixture and transfer to either sterilized glass container or bottle. Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

And voilà - your very own rose water toner! 

Ice Ice Baby: DIY Ice Cube Facial

Popular in Asia, a ‘cool’ beauty tip for fresh, dewy skin is ice cube facials. This DIY treatment tightens your pores, smooths out your complexion, soothes acne and promotes blood circulation. It's super quick and easy and only requires two things, ice cubes and a paper towel.

Image courtesy of graur codrin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur codrin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to: Take an ice cube, wrap in a paper towel (direct application of ice cube can cause capillaries to break), glide over skin in circular motion for 1-2 minutes and voila, glowing and rejuvenated skin.

If you want to get a little fancier with it, why not freeze green tea or orange juice or vitamin e into the ice cubes for a burst of antioxidants and vitamins.

Have you ever tried this beauty tip? What are your quick and easy beauty tricks? Comment and share below!

The Facial Oil-Cleansing Method: The Good, The Bad And The Not So Ugly.

True or False? Can slathering, smearing oil all over your face, even if you have oily skin, actually leave your face feeling clean, radiant and moisturized?

Well according to an all-natural skin care regime known as the Oil-Cleansing Method (OCM), the answer is YES!!! So, your first reaction might be one of confusion, skepticism, disbelief and you are probably, most definitely pondering, “Can cleansing my face with oils really help promote healthier skin? Well let’s find out!!!

Image courtesy of m_bartosch/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of m_bartosch/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What is the Oil Cleansing Method?

The basic concept behind the OCM relies on the fact that the skin naturally produces oil and that contrary to popular belief, oil by itself does not cause blemishes. These are caused by a combination of factors such as hormones, bacteria, trapped dirt, etc. OCM focuses on the idea that like dissolves like, therefore massaging oil into the skin dissolves the oil which the skin produces, that has been hardened with impurities and has found itself stuck in the pores.

Acne.org breaks it down even more and says:

Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.

What are the steps involved?

  • STEP 1: Choose the oil or oils you want to use and the ratio you would like to use them in. The oils you pick are important as oils have different properties and therefore will produce different results. For example Jojoba oil is good for all skin types and especially works well with acne-prone skin, Sweet almond and Grapeseed oil is also good for all skin types, but especially oily skin whilst Avocado Oil is desirable for dry and aging skin. Researching and finding the right oils and ratio that work for you is key!
  • STEP 2: Massage the oil/oils with your fingers in a circular motion into your skin and leave for a few minutes.
  • STEP 3: Use a warm damp washcloth to slowly wipe the oil from the face. And voila you are done!!!

The Good, The Bad and The Not so ugly.

The Good: OCM  is a natural skin care regime that has worked for people, to combat blemishes, acne, dryness and to promote healthier skin. It also works well for removing makeup.

The Bad: OCM is a regimen that could require some patience. It may take some time and experimentation to find oils best suited for your skin type. It might also take a week or two for your skin to get used to the regimen.

The Not so ugly :There are a few other things that need to be taken into consideration when trying the OCM.

  • Use quality, organic, cold or expeller pressed ingredients.
  • Be conscious of  your allergies and if necessary test patch  when using new oils.
  • Determine a frequency of use that is best for you skin (you do not want to overdo it).
  • Wash your wash cloths frequently and well.
  • And  most importantly if you are finding the method is not working for your skin, please stop immediately.

So what do you think? Have you ever tried oil cleansing? Was it a success for you? What oils and ratio worked best for you? Please share below!