Homemade Natural Honey & Lemon facial scrub

It might be worth pointing out that today's post is not being written by Chris! It's Helen here with a quick and super easy home-made facial scrub. After being nagged for a while by my dear husband about the chemicals and toxins I was slathering all over my face/body/hair on a daily basis I have broken down and started researching and making my own. This was my first foray into the natural home-made skin & body care products. And I started off with a good one!

Honey & Lemon Facial Scrub. There are just 4 ingredients and there's a good chance you'll have them all in your pantry and fridge right now so you could have your own scrub ready in the next 5 minutes (but first you need to finish reading this to find out how!)


  • 6 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
Mix it all together! Seriously that's it!! adjust the consistency to what works for you (nice and runny or a bit on the dry side - it's your choice) by adding more sugar. The 6 Tbsp I used is nicely in the middle.

  • You will want to give this a good shake before each use as the oil will separate.
  • This won't have a super long shelf life due to the fresh lemon - mine was fine for a week or so but I probably wouldn't push it much longer - keeping it in the fridge is obviously an option to extend the life but I personally would never remember to take it into the bathroom with me!
  • Use a finer grain sugar for use on the face (but this is awesome over the whole bod' too!)
The benefits

  • Honey - is naturally antibacterial, full of antioxidants and extremely mositurizing and soothing
  • Olive Oil - is very rich in vitamins E & A. Great for anti-aging it nourishes and protects the skin
  • Lemon - is a natural exfoliant since the citric acid acts as a gentle skin peel'can diminish scars & blemishes. It is also has natural antibacterial properties and can lighten & brighten the skin and diminish the appearance of scars and blemishes.
  • Sugar - is an excellent exfoliant leaving soft glowing skin
....So have you made this yet?! 

~ Helen

Pin It Party!

Today I'm linking up with Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean and her 'Pin It Party' - I'm featuring 5 of my posts I’d love to see on Pinterest. Click on the link or the image below to be taken to the original post and PIN away!!

You can also come follow me on Pinterest!

So here are my 5 favourite 'pinnable posts'!;

Make your own awesome Kombucha Pro-biotic
Why you should pay your friends back

White Rabbit Snowshoe Race Recap

It's that time of year; the time that most runners hang up their shoes and find another way to keep fit during the winter. I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where winter sports are everywhere and although my skiing prowess leaves a lot to be desired, I seem to be able to get myself around on snowshoes adequately. There is a difference however between adequately and competently so it was no surprise that Saturday morning found me lining up for the mostly downhill 5 km race rather than the 'start at the bottom of the hill, run to the top, turn round and run back down again' 10 km race! I say mostly downhill as the first couple of kms are undulating and quite the warm-up, so much so that any extra layers worn whilst stood around at the top of the hill, (thankfully the 5 km race ticket includes a lift pass to get to the top!) have long since been discarded with gloves, hat and 'Buff' stuffed into any available pocket.

The White Rabbit Snowshoe Race is an annual event and this was it's 9th year and my third. It's a small and very friendly event with a campfire, hot chocolate and cookies at the finish line, along with the friends and families of runners to cheer you on as you 'sprint' the last 100 metres to the finish line. I say the last 100 metres as that was about the limit of visibility due to the thick fog/clouds at the lower level of the Crystal Mountain Resort. In typical ski resort style though, the weather at the top was stunning with blue skies and sunshine above and the surrounding area below popping up through the thick cloud layer. However grey the sky looks from below, it's only ever a case of how high to climb to get above it. (Mountain fiends and arial sorts people will resonate here!)

Just missing a podium by one place, (I'll catch you next year…) didn't mater in the slightest as prizes are all picked blindly from a bag of race bib numbers. As usual the prizes supplied by sponsors excelled themselves with anything from new snowshoes to poles, thermal wear and other such goodies. This year my wife's number was picked early so she bagged a new snowshoe bag for me - it seemed only fair as last year I'd won one for her!

I 'suppose' now would be a good time to let my wife Helen have her share of the limelight; after numerous 10 km road races, half marathons and even the Chicago full marathon, she secured her first ever podium with an outstanding third place finish in the women's race! Well done honey, what great race. Ok, you can climb down from the step now ;-)

Why the internet is ruining your diet

The internet is a wonderful thing; an amazing tool and for the first time in history us mere mortals have ever increasing access to any and all information out there. We can pick an unknown topic and within minutes, have a basic grasp of almost any subject we can think of; no more one-sided arguments fed to us by well meaning professionals, (doctors, teachers, parents, the church etc.) or those with their own agenda, (insert your own thoughts here - this isn't that kind of post…).

However... the internet with it's vast resources and myriad articles, views and 'ready for you' research can be a double edged sword, and that brings me to the point of today's post. And I'm going to cover just two topics here; diet and exercise, but just let me just start with my own interpretation of the words diet and exercise.
  • Our diet is what we eat, how we eat and where we eat, on a day to day basis. It is NOT a word to describe the pointless starving of our bodies in order to reach some possible, (or not) figure on a scale. Since when did we allow a digital readout of a number on a machine determine the way we should feel about ourselves on a particular day? (If you really want to see a number on a scale, write that number on a piece of paper and tape over the readout - bingo, every time you stand on it you'll be at your perfect weight!) You might just pick up on my opinion of 'dieting' here.
  • By exercise I mean any kind of physical movement; from stretching before getting out of bed and walking the dog, to running marathons, strength training and joining boot camp style gym classes. In other words, everything that encourages us to use our bodies in the way they were very cleverly designed to be used. 
So, back to the internet and particularly social media. Depending on the day of the week and which of our friends' posts we see in our news feeds, we should either be pushing ourselves until failure, until we collapse in a 'crying like a baby' heap - never stop until we have what society has deemed to be the perfect body. Or we should completely ignore that advice and take it easy; be gentle with ourselves, stop if it gets uncomfortable, just move in any way we can or want to.

The same advice regarding our diet is thrust upon us; it is often quite literally, (if virtually) rammed down our throats; eat meat, go vegan, avoid wheat, eat whole grains, eat real whole food, take supplements etc. We've been told for years that if we want to lose fat we should eat less of it - but fats are not only good for us, they're vital to our healthy survival! The same with carbs; one minute we're 'carbo loading' before an athletic event, the next we're being told to eat less of them, even quit wheat forever!

Quite simply, the correct answer is there is no correct answer! Each and every one of us are different and we all have different needs to best serve our bodies. We never question the fact that we all pursue different careers or fall for different types of people. Well, we are or at least should be encouraged to be, just as diverse when it comes to the food we eat and the exercise we take. Both nutrition and exercise are constantly evolving sciences and what we or they, (whoever 'they' are...) thought was right yesterday seems to be wrong today - and vice versa. But like any other species in the animal world; left to our own devices, and notwithstanding the Darwin principle, most of us would survive quite well by figuring out what works and what doesn't.

The only thing I think we all agree on is that everyone needs to eat and everyone needs to move. It's what we do with that knowledge that can get confusing. So my advice to you is this; keep an open mind, do your research, question everything and have fun exploring what works best for you and your unique body. And if all this is too overwhelming for you to figure out on your own - maybe it's time to hire a health coach - helping you figure out your own personal route to health is what we do :-) 

Happy Chickens live at Sterling Springs!

There's been a lot of bad press lately, (and rightly so) surrounding the treatment of animals and the quality of meat that comes from big commercial farms. Well, if you live anywhere near The Okanagan I have the answer for you! This weekend I had the privilege of my own private tour by Lisa and Hans Dueck - owners and 365 days a year workers at Sterling Springs Chicken Farm just outside Falkland.

Nestled in the hills overlooking the valley below can be found one of the most ethical and decent food processing operations I've ever seen. In three heated barns (the size of which would typically hold tens of thousands) live just hundreds of clean, healthy, well fed and stress free chickens. They wander around these spacious rooms with what looks like not a care in the world. There is plenty of feed and more importantly, plenty of access to it. No survival of the fittest here! They don't receive any hormones and not a single antibiotic; to the point that when asked by a Govt inspector what would happen if they caught a harmful bug, Hans replied he'd sooner cull them all than fill them with unhealthy, (to them and us) chemicals. Due to the size of the operation, losing a few hundred chickens worth of profit won't break the bank. Try that when you have tens of thousands!

They manage the whole process themselves on-site, from eggs through to the end product, whether that be whole frozen chickens, parts thereof or 100% chicken breast ground sausage. And by 100% I mean no fillers, no other chicken meat, no added water! Instead of the more financially efficient and business savvy practice of processing the chickens at 30 days, they let all theirs grow naturally and comfortably until eight weeks - the accepted but often ignored optimum age for human consumption.

Come processing time their two kids seem to know as much about the operation as Mum and Dad do and are an integral part of the process. Once the bird is at the point of  butchering and/or freezing each and every chicken is individually inspected inside and out by a Govt inspector - they only process 400 at a time so it's no big deal - I wonder how that works in the larger more commercial farms? Actually, I don't; we've all seen documentaries like 'Food Inc', 'Food Matters' and 'Farmageddon'…

If you're lucky enough to be local; they supply to Urban Fare grocery store in Kelowna, and during the summer season at some of the local farmers markets. They also supply some our of our local high end restaurants such as the Gray Monk Estate Winery in Winfield and Waterfront Wines and RauDZ in Kelowna. And if you're not local, don't worry, these types of farmers ARE out there, you may just have to look that little bit further than the usual chain supermarkets...

A nicer couple you couldn't wish to meet, and if I were a chicken - I know where I'd want to grow up…

For more information visit (and 'like'!) the Sterling Springs Chicken Farm Facebook page where you can find their latest price lists and promos and details of their local deliveries.

Make your own Kombucha

The Ancient Chinese called it ‘The Immortal Health Elixir’, early 20th century Russians called it ‘Tea Kvass’ and claimed it was an anti-cancer tonic, and we in the west now know it as Kombucha - a particularly good source of probiotics that our guts desperately need. Official research has been limited until recently but much research has been done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities; B vitamins, antioxidants and glucaric acid. Regardless of the lack of scientific research, the fact remains that it has been part of a staple diet in some cultures for 2,000 years – and is still as popular today!

Some of the benefits include;
  • Detoxification
  • Joint care
  • Aids digestion and gut health
  • Immune boosting
It’s ridiculously cheap and easy to make at home – possibly explaining the lack of scientific research…Oh, and it’s delicious – add your favourite fruit, (I like apple and ginger) to make the perfect alternative to store bought fizzy drinks. 

  • 4L Glass Jar
  • Paper Coffee Filter & Elastic Band
  • Sieve
  • Drink sized glass bottles (for the finished product!)
  • Kombucha Scoby
  • 1 Cup Kombucha starter liquid (this can either be store-bought Kombucha or a little of the leftover liquid from a previous batch)
  • 1 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
  • 4 Tea Bags (I usually use 2 Black & 2 Green Teabags)
  • 3.5L Distilled water (I used boiled water - always make sure its cooled to room temperature)
My Process
  1. Make your sweet tea solution - I put my teabags in a large glass jug, then pour boiling water from the kettle over them and let steep. Whilst the water is still hot I also add my sugar so it can dissolve into the tea. Let sit for several hours to cool & steep - I usually leave overnight
  2. Put your Kombucha Scoby and the Starter liquid into the 4L Glass Jar
  3. Add the sweet tea solution (the Scoby may or may not float - it doesn't matter!)
  4. Fill with distilled water (leave about 2-3 inches from the top of the jar)
  5. Cover with a paper coffee filter and hold tight with an elastic band so it can breathe but the bugs can't get to it
  6. Let it sit at room temperature on the counter-top or in a cupboard, away from direct sunlight. If it's too cold it will stall the fermentation process.
  7. After 7 days check on it - stick a straw in the liquid and taste it. The finished Kombucha should not be overly sweet and you should not be able to taste too much of the tea. If it's still too sweet leave for a few more days. Depending on how warm your room is the fermentation process could be as little as 7 days or up to 14 days.
  8. When it IS ready; Pour your Kombucha through a sieve into your drinks bottles (using a funnel may be helpful here - I usually just pour it into one giant jug with a spout and then decant into my drinks bottles from there - a funnel would just save you that extra step!) - leave at least an inch air space at the top of each bottle
  9. Make sure to reserve 1 Cup of your Kombucha as your starter liquid for your next batch!

You can totally drink your Kombucha at this point, but continue reading if you want a little something extra!!

  • Add some fruit, spices or fruit juices to flavour your Kombucha (Fresh or Dried Fruit is awesome) and seal the bottles, and leave at room temperature for at least 48 hours
  • The sugars in the fruit will slowly continue your fermentation process and add to the carbonation of your drink
  • After a couple of days your Kombucha will be ready to drink - all nicely flavoured and lightly carbonated (sometimes more than others so be careful when opening those drinks bottles!)
And Voila. I realise this seems a long process and quite possibly fairly daunting. I felt the same way when we started out. But it's easier than it looks! and it only takes a few minutes.

Your Scoby will grow with each fermentation. Using clean hands pull it out the jar and rinse with clean water. You can easily pull it apart - share the Kombucha Scoby love and give it to your friends or people you meet in the supermarket at the Kombucha Fridge whilst lamenting the cost of store-bought Kombuchas. If you have no friends(!) then you can compost the spare Scoby. I usually trim the strange straggly bits and tidy up my Scoby then pop it back into the 4L jar ready to start another round.

Learn more about the health benefits of this amazing ‘superfood’ here, here and here
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