Saturday, 26 March 2011

Scents for the Senses

I've been into perfume or cologne these days. I seem to have adapted the idea that it's essential, like conference call to people with international base. In a span of a month, I have amassed bottles of them more than I have in my entire life. If I will let my want of them grow, I'll be downright crazy in panic buying. Although, I must admit I only buy those on special and the scents that I like.

But of course, there are other essential scents.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

One of the most uplifting fragrances, Peppermint instills confidence and helps to clarify thoughts and emotions. Physically, peppermint has the quirky talent of being both warming and cooling, which makes it the perfect digestive remedy, helping to quell nausea, indigestion and bloating. Drink peppermint tea. Also good for sinus congestion, asthma and bronchitis, add peppermint oil to a steam vaporizer.
Rose (Rosa damascena)

Think love. Think compassion. Rose is the most sensual, not sexual of the essential oils. Fabulously aromatic and fantastically expensive, only a couple of drops are needed to work it’s magic. Massage over the heart chakra with rose oil will help mend a broken heart and provide harmony and strength through tough times. Rose is used in cosmetic preparations to reduce redness and improve dry skin.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Derived from the Latin word ‘lavare’ – to wash, lavender is commonly used in soaps, bath oils and detergents. A calming, soothing fragrance, lavender is the perfect stress buster. Studies have shown that the smell of lavender can even lover blood pressure. A drop of lavender oil massaged onto the temples and scalp can treat a headache. Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, perfect for insect bites and rashes.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

The first aid kit in a bottle, Tea tree is an Australian indigenous medicine. Studies have shown it to be amazingly effective against a host of infectious agents including fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is added to soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, disinfectants and even douches. Often used for athletes foot, jock itch and thrush. Tea tree oil is capable of increasing cell growth in damaged tissue, so it is helpful in a diluted wash or cream to treat mild burns, wounds and even acne.
Sandalwood (Santalum album)

The oldest perfume of all, used for at least 4,000 years, Sandalwood is a deeply spiritual essence. Often incorporated into incense, sandalwood sets the scene for meditation and travelling deeper into self, helping one to attain inner calm. In addition to this aspect, Ayurvedic medicine uses sandalwood to help treat urinary tract infections, skin and respiratory tract infections and as an aphrodisiac.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile is a soothing remedy for digestive problems, tension headaches, sleeplessness and even for babies' colic and teething. Drink as a tea, or add a few drops to a bath or on a flannel and apply to the body part as a warm compress. Chamomile is also calming emotionally, helping one cope during a stressful time.

For home use essential oils should not be taken internally, as they can be toxic.

Massage oil - 10 drops essential oil to 100mls of base oil (eg almond oil, olive oil)

Cream – 15 drops essential oil to 100g of vitamin E base cream (from pharmacy)

Bath – 10-15 drops essential oil to bathwater

Steam vaporizer – 5-10 drops

Essential oil burner - 5-10 drops in water

from bodyandsoul.com.au

This gives me ideas for home-made cream and bath that I might try sometimes.

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Fried Lamb

I'm into lamb these days, I mean experimenting on recipe. Last week, it was the very simple recipe I used but the sauce was a bit overpowering that Mcj didn't know what meat I was using. I put too much soy sauce. Entirely my fault as I didnt follow the recipe - usual story.

This week, I fried it. Mcj thought, I was boiling it because I put a bit of olive oil in the pan and it sort of sizzle and boil while cooking. It looked tender enough that I don't have to braise it, what I normally do with pork or beef.

This one from startcooking.com is simple and easy.. and looks yummy as well. I might try this next time. I didn't use the part with handle though, just ordinary chops


I'll surely buy more chops next time as I'm varying the meat that we're eating. I might try kangaroo.. you know, change is like holiday so is variety - so instead of just blogging, I might also look into best creatine supplement. I am having a "me" time tonight. :)
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Arthritis?

or something else? I always thought that I already have arthritis because I sometimes feel knee pain especially when it's gloomy. But after reading this article, it doesn't seem that. I could be feeling something else entirely. But this article is really very informative that I just want to share. It's not really something that I should be very worried about or something that I should include in my disability insurance... but when the pain strikes, it's an inconvenience.

What is arthritis?

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, however the two most common forms are:

Osteoarthritis

Affects mostly mature-aged suffers, it is the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage and is known as the 'wear and tear' arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Affects people at any age, it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and tissue surrounding the joints. The cause is unknown.

Although these two forms of arthritis are very different in nature, they both present with similar symptoms of joint pain and stiffness.
Treat it the natural way

Diet

Naturopath Emma Sutherland says diet plays a significant role in treating arthritis and something as simple as fresh juice is an absolute must in the treatment of this condition.

"When you have arthritis, your body is more likely to be in an acidic condition," she says. So to get your body into an alkaline condition, a natural anti-inflammatory state, Sutherland recommends the following:

* Alkalising wonder juice: drink 400mls of beetroot, carrot, celery and loads of ginger daily.
* Omega-3: a natural anti-inflammatory found in oily fish including salmon, mackerel, and trout, as well as avocado, nuts and seeds.
* Vitamin C: fruits and vegetables like kiwi fruit and berries are a must for their strong anti-oxidant properties.

Foods to avoid

* Packet foods: preservatives, artificial colours and flavours can place unnecessary stress on the immune system.
* Nightshade vegetables: white potato, eggplant, capsicum and tomato contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which can inflame arthritis.
* Coffee and alcohol: both diuretics. Coffee and alcohol have been found to inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, which can affect the body's immune system.
* Red meat: an acidic food, which can aggravate arthritis.

More in bodyandsoul.com.au.


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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lamb Chops

For a change in our menu this week, I bought lamb chops. It's a very common meat here in Oz, but I haven't really tried it myself even in restaurants. So of course, I have to check the net for recipes.. easy and quick ones of course. I found this one from bestrecipes. The ingredients, I already have in my pantry so that makes it special as well. Plus the procedure in cooking is like a walk in park. If only choosing for designer reading glasses is just the same - I've been thinking of replacing my glasses.
http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Caseys-Lamb-Chops-L1012.html

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Stir-fry

I'm running out of recipe (personal recipe, that is) for stir-fry. More often, it is just a mish-mash. No basic recipe, anything that is available in my pantry, fridge and frezer. But from time to time, I seek the assistance of the net (just like when I look up jsp furniture), so here's one simple recipe that I haven't tried yet, but surely will soon.


Ingredients (serves 4)

* 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 500g pork stir-fry strips
* 1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
* 125g snow peas, trimmed, halved diagonally lengthways
* 425g can baby corn spears, drained
* 190g jar Thai chilli jam stir-fry paste


Method

1. Place rice into a sieve. Rinse under cold water. Bring 3 cups of water to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice. Cover tightly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Stand for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Swirl to coat. Add one-third of the pork. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until browned. Remove to a plate. Repeat twice with oil and remaining pork.

3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and onion to wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add snow peas. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. Return pork to wok with corn and stir-fry paste. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with rice.


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