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Food, Lifestyle

Drink Yourself To Fabulous Skin

January 23, 2014
Every now and then you read a book that changes your life. As much as I loved moving to London, my skin did not. It rebelled against London’s pollution, minimal sunshine, and endless rain, leaving me feeling helpless and frustrated. Then my genius aesthetician friend Kate from The Organic Pharmacy gave me a book that would have a lasting impact – The Clear Skin Cookbook.
You really can judge this book by its cover. I am no medical expert, but if you are battling disorderly skin, varicose veins, eczema, or rosacea, this clear skin cookbook could help transform your skin conditions with tasty all-natural recipes. The author, Dale Pinnock, is a well-regarded UK medical herbalist and chef, who knows how to make up a powerful chemical cocktail with a pinch of dried herbs. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to party with him! Without further ado, here is the recipe for Dale’s Skin Tonic Tea, which I now swear by.
Ingredients for 1 pot of Skin Tonic Tea:
– 2 teaspoons dried red clover
– 2 teaspoons dandelion leaf
– 2 teaspoons cleavers
– 2 teaspoons calendula

You can buy these dried herbs at most organic pharmacies, a herbalist, Whole Foods in the States or Neal’s Yard Remedies in the UK. This tea also requires a teapot or medium sized cafetiere – a minimal amount of ingredients for radiant skin if you ask me!

Skin tonic tea is super easy to make, so you can whip up a brew within minutes, even during the busiest of weeks. All you have to do is:
Start by boiling the kettle. Measure out 2 teaspoons of red clover and pour the herbs in a teapot or cafetiere. 
Then add 2 teaspoons of dandelion herb. 
Followed by 2 teaspoons of cleavers. 
The herbal mixture in your teapot should be starting to resemble rabbit food by now. Thirsty?
Last but not least, measure out 2 teaspoons of marigold flowers, which will add a nice splash of bright colour to the herbal mixture. 
This is what your herbal tea blend should look like before you add hot water. 
I transferred the ingredients from my teapot to a cafetiere to better show you the steeping process, and just in case you don’t know how to use a cafetiere – no judgement!
Slowly pour boiled water on top of the herbs until you fill the top brim of the cafetiere. 
Then give it a good stir with a spoon. 
Here’s a fun little action packed video of the herbal tea bits zipping around the cafetiere. After stirring the tea, let it steep for about 10-15 minutes.
Once the tea has properly seeped push down on the cafetiere slowly, so none of the precious tea comes flying out of the spout abruptly.
Push the handle firmly all the way down the cafetiere, and voilà, your tea is ready to be served – grab a mug or a dainty teacup. 
I adore this tea for many reasons, but its urine like colour is not one of them. 
At first, this tea won’t be as yummy as hot chocolate, instead, it will taste like you are injecting yourself with a dose of health in a cup. I am so used to the taste now that I have grown to love it. 
Sip slowly and enjoy this cup of comforting goodness you are treating yourself to. 
I notice my skin feels softer and looks more clear after 2 pots, so drink as much as possible to really reap the benefits. Your skin will thank you for it. I take a pre-made herbal batch with me when I’m traveling so I can give my skin a dose of detoxifying love on the road. 

I hope this skin detoxifying tea works as well for you as it has for me. Cheers to you and your flawless skin! 

Chronicles Of A 3 Day Juice Cleanse

November 14, 2013
I am a self-confessed juice cleanse addict. I have put myself through numerous juice cleanses and however difficult or unpleasant they might be, the end result keeps me coming back for more. I have previously tried Soulmatefood’s 5 day cleanse and Nosh’s in-flight detox, so when I wanted to prep to look my best for my honeymoon, I knew I had to try Soulmatefood’s new 3 day Perfect Cleanse. It’s far from glamorous only drinking juice for several days, but knowing you will feel like a refreshed new person at the end of your juice journey is somehow worth the battle. Here is my experience from the painful start to the glorious finish of my 3 day Perfect Cleanse:

Day 1
7:15 am: I wake up and treat myself to a green tea for a Monday morning wake up call before a 30 minute Tracy Anderson workout. My Nespresso machine stares at me in disbelief. 

8:30 am: Rather than one last ½ cup of coffee before work. I down a glass of chilled water. This is the start to my week and my body will be a temple!! 

9:00 am: I arrive at work to find my box of 3 day Soulmatefood Perfect Cleanse. I am relieved that I can look forward to starting my work day with a juice in hand. High five to Soulmatefood for delivering nice and early! 

9:15 am: Say good morning to juice Number 1: carrot, apple and ginger – a tasty start to the day. 

11:15 am: My stomach is growling at me. I drink another glass of water and look at Gisele Bundchen on the Daily Mail looking ridiculously hot on a family holiday somewhere tropical. How on earth has this woman had two children recently? She must be on a juice cleanse permanently. 
11:45 am: I try my hardest to drink juice Number 2 slowly. This juice actually looks like pond water and is filled with aloe, kale, apple, spinach, lime, lemon, celery and avocado. Thankfully it tastes better than its appearance! 
2:05 pm: A box of Celebrations make their way into the office and are up for grabs. It’s tough to say no to a chocolate temptation and move onto juice Number 3. Sigh…why is it so hard being good?
Juice Number 3 is my favourite juice of the day yet. It has a nice spicy kick and is a compilation of lemon, cinnamon, chilli and ginger. This juice tastes just like the cayenne pepper and maple syrup diet drink I tried when Beyonce lost an enviable 20 lbs to slim down for her Dream Girls movie. Unlike Beyonce who supposedly stuck to this diet for two weeks, I only lasted half a day! 
5 pm: My stomach is rumbling loudly in a long meeting and I have forgotten to bring juice Number 4 with me. I start drinking water aggressively, like I have just run a marathon. 
6:30 pm: Finally tucking into juice Number 4 with a headache that must be a result of no coffee all day. Juice 4 is just what I need to help pick me up. It’s filled with blueberries, blackberries, raspberry, beetroot, lemon, red currant, kiwi and orange- this is practically like drinking a fruit basket! 
8:30 pm: I stare at my husband’s cooked sausage sandwich filled with cheese and hot sauce in envy. His dinner definitely looks and smells better than mine, aka juice Number 5.

I slurp down this olive green mixture, which is filled with cucumber, kale, broccoli, celery, lime, lemon, pear, spinach and mint before treating myself to last night’s episode of Downton Abbey. Surely The Dowager Countess of Grantham would never dare touch a juice cleanse! 

10 pm: Sipping on my comforting detox tea, which tastes just like chamomile. A day without coffee is going to make me sleep like a log! 
Day 2: 
9 am: I’m at my desk sipping my first green tea of the day alongside juice No 1. feeling full of beans after the best night’s sleep I can remember in ages. Humming “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new daaay, and I’m feeling goood” smugly to myself. 
11:25 am: Trying to restrain myself from smelling the air as wafts of toast fill the office. On a cold and rainy day in London, fresh juice is far from comfort food. I sip juice Number 2 of the day grudgingly. 
2 pm: I’m spaced out, my head is pounding from coffee withdrawal and I am so hungry I could eat my desk. This must be what it feels like to be Amanda Bynes. Not to be dramatic or anything, but I am clutching juice Number 3 for dear life. Here’s hoping this lemon, cinnamon, chilli and ginger mixture works miracles. Cheers! 
5:00 pm: 3 green teas, 5 waters, and juice number 4 later and I’m feeling back to normal again. I am imagining myself this time tomorrow, packing for my honeymoon knowing that the end of the juice cleanse is in sight. I order a bikini on Amazon prime to be delivered overnight to further motivate myself. 
6:15 pm: Dare I say it, but I’m surprisingly not that hungry for someone who hasn’t eaten anything in almost 2 days. Maybe there is some truth to Kate Moss’s famous quote “nothing tastes as skinny feels”…before you gasp in horror just remember I’m on juice only people, clearly I’m not my normal self! 
7:30 pm: Having a non-alcoholic catch up with my fabulous cousin Clarissa over manicure and pedicures is truly delightful. It might be the festive season but we don’t need mulled wine or canapés to have a wonderful evening. 
8:00 pm: I layout all my summer clothes for my honeymoon as I sip on juice number 5. In 2 days time I will be on the plane to Africa!! 
10:00 pm: I am hungry and my stomach is making odd noises, but I continue drinking my detox tea knowing that tomorrow is the last day. I am almost done and my body will thank me for it. 
Day 3: 
7 am: I spring out of bed and do a Tracy Anderson workout video. I cannot believe I don’t even need a coffee to jump start my day. It’s the last day of my juice cleanse and I am literally jumping for joy! 
10 am: I slowly sip on my last juice Number 1 at my desk. I have become strangely used to this carrot, apple and ginger liquid breakfast. 
12:10 pm: I am so hungry that I have just chugged juice Number 2. I am already dreaming about my breakfast tomorrow morning. Blueberry pancakes or poached eggs with smoked salmon on toast… big decisions.

1:45 pm: The lingering smells of delicious lunch in the office are almost too much for me to bear. I have to go outside for some fresh air and a quick chat with my bestie, Boo, for a  much needed mental break.

5:00 pm: I am on my last juice of the cleanse – hooray!! I feel drained and my thoughts keep returning to what I should have for my victory breakfast tomorrow.

7:30 pm: After having the last sips of juice Number 5 at my desk I leave the office feeling tired, deflated, and far from excited about finishing my packing. Why has day #3 been the hardest? I look at the weather forecast in Botswana to cheer myself up. Nothing like knowing you are sunshine bound in less than 24 hours!

9:45 pm: I sip on my last detox tea as I finish packing. I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow and treat myself to a well-deserved chewable breakfast.

My final verdict: This new Soulmatefood Perfect Cleanse is straightforward and majority of the juices taste good. I lost 6 lbs in 3 days and my skin is glowing like I have undergone a week’s worth  of facials at a fancy spa. After my first breakfast, which was the best bowl of granola I have ever tasted, I went for a quick morning run and felt absolutely incredible, like a new lease of life had been injected into me. If you’re looking for quick results and have the willpower to stick to juice only for a few days, then I would definitely recommend this cleanse.

Watch out Africa, here I come!