iHerb Haul

It’s time again for another iHerb Haul! (Check out my other ones).
Another small batch with two reorders and two new things!

Earth Circle Organics - Raw & Organic Goji Berries
Okay, not a reorder exactly. We usually go for Navitas Natural’s Organic Goji Berries, but after a closer look we saw that the price had gone up, and that these were cheaper. Goji berry as Goji Berries, no? Not really. I have to admit, these remind me a lot of Buywholefood’s organic mulberries (which you have to try if you like mulberries!), they are bigger, juicier and sweeter in constancy and taste. These are the best goji berries that I’ve tried! They feel almost fresh and sweeter than regular that you’d almost believe they were covered with sugar. So I’m very happy with our switch of brands!

Coconut Secret - Raw Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce
After someone telling me that Tamari isn’t healthy and has tons of salt in it I kind of wanted to look for other options.
But let me explain a bit further:
1) Well duuhh, of course it contains salt! That’s why I use it! Who here thinks it's salt-free? 
2) I have never thought of Tamari as being a “health product”
3) I don’t use it daily. If I use it in a salad dressing I will at most get 1/4 of a teaspoon in me; counting that I use a little every day in over a week.
+) I did my own research and I could only find better and better things about Tamari (estimating it is made in traditional ways). Like did you know that Tamari is the oldest soy recipe, it’s been used for over a century? And that it is made in the process of making miso? And that the only way to digest soy products properly is to have the beans fermented at least 2 years?

Anyway, I knew there was something called Coconut Aminos that could be used as a soy substitute. Kimberly Snyder uses it, but I actually found it while searching for Coconut Nectar of the same brand. So no, she’s not allowed to get any credit for this find.
We still have to bear in our minds that it does contain salt. In fact, the thing is liquified salt. The only up-side is that it has an abundant source of 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamins and a nearly neutral pH. Also contains 2-14 times more amino acids than natural soy.
2-14 seems a bit misleading, but in context it just sounds much better than actual soy or Tamari.
But I’m happy to receive any opinions on this.
I haven’t used the Coconut Aminos yet, just sniffed it a couple of times. It smells a bit different, and from what I’ve read also tastes a bit different. Nonetheless I will come back with a review or recipe, well you choose which medium.
NOTE: I just want to give kudos to iHerbs great packaging! The soy had leaked and been shaken on it’s way to me, luckily it was in a bag that was in another plastic bag so nothing else got ruined! *kisses*
Nubian Heritage - Raw Shea Butter Infused with Frankincense & Myrrh
This thing is addictive! Not only did it save me and my boyfriend from getting sunburned this summer, but it managed to heal my boyfriends dry spot that he’s got on his hand. I tried everything on it, from Coconut Oil to Neem, nothing made it vanish as quickly as this Shea Butter! I even went and bought plain Raw Shea Butter from Akoma, but it wasn’t even close to as affective and smooth as this one.
I use it wherever I’m dry, it sinks in without leaving an oily residue so it’s perfect as a hand cream too. I just love this stuff and had to repurchase!  
Acure Organics - Ultra-Hydrating Body Lotion Unscented
My very first Acure product. I thought with winter coming soon I’d drop some body lotion into the basket. And because I’ve been having an eye on Acure since like 2012, I thought that body lotion would be a great product to get a feel on the brand.
So far I’m a bit disappointed, it says “Ultra-Hydrating” but sinks in faster than I can blink. The consistency is like body butter but when applied I melt in like body milk. To be fair, it does feel hydrating, but because it vanishes so fast you have to use more of the product, which I don’t like doing. In that case I have to say that I like Dessert Essence much better, but this one has a great ingredient list and is unscented!
What's your favorite natural body lotion?
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Preparing Your Nuts & Seeds For Better Digestion

It’s pretty rare to see me snacking or eating any nuts or seeds, mostly because: 1) I kind of never crave them 2) eating too much fat makes me instantly tired and brings back my dizziness and 3) I don’t have the patience to soak nuts for when the craving ever do hit me! 
So eventually I came up with this awesome idea to just do a large batch of soaked and then hydrated seeds to make adding them easy and guilt-free!

But you would’ve thought that with a huge jar with pre-prepared seeds would make me more prone to use them in salads?
Unfortunately, no. But I thought I would share this non-original brilliant idea anyway!
Also, I'm going to get a hair-analysis in the near future, and thought that if I was missing something like zink, I know where to turn.

Want to know why soaking is important? Keep reading…
I trust Isabel enough to ignore the science part: just jump to the Salad Seed Mix Recipe!
Why Is Soaking Nuts, Seeds, Grains and Legumes Important?
Our clever Nature has set up an intelligent defense mechanism for the nut/seed/grain which is made up of nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances to ensure its survival until proper growing conditions are formed. This stops it from germinate prematurely or for predators to consume to the point where no seed is left, which equals no future plants.
These nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid, tannins and goitrogens. Fortunately, they can be minimized or removed by some good old soaking. Naturally a nut/seed/grain would fall to the ground, rain would pour and it would get wet which would then germinate to produce a plant. By soaking our nuts and seeds we’re mimicking nature.

Phytic Acid is one of the biggest enzyme inhibitors that’s on the outer layers of the bran. Every nut & seed has different levels of it and, if eaten raw, their phytic acid may prevent our body from digesting important minerals like calcium, iron and zinc potentially leading to severe mineral deficiency and bones diseases such as osteoporosis. - We don’t want this.

So now that we know the importance of soaking, we can reap several benefits from this simple action:

  • Soaking encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
  • Increases the amounts of vitamins 
  • Improve vitamin and mineral uptake
  • Breaks down gluten and easifies digestion
  • Makes proteins more readily available for absorption
  • Helps neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean
By soaking we boost the production of beneficial enzymes like lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a big portion of the enzyme inhibitors and toxins in grains. So we also get some good bacterias while we’re at it!

How Long and in What?
A minimum of seven hours in warm/room temperature water will neutralize the seeds natural defense.
You can enjoy your soaked batch wet, or store it in the refrigerator. Usually, to prolong their lifespan, anything soaked should be dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting 40-50°C to remove all moisture. 

Here’s a list on the most common nuts and seeds and their recommended soaking time:

Salad Seed Mix Recipe

Okay, so I just did this on a whim and don't know exacly how much seeds I used. Except I know for sure I used 200g organic pumkin seeds. The rest was done using eye-measurements. I did the pumkin seeds first and in an after thought I made the sunflower and sesame seed mix.

1-2 Days
1 1L Jar
1 Bowl
Dehydrater/Oven/Sunny & Dry Weather
A few bags of preferred nuts & seeds

1. Add your nuts or seeds in a bowl and cover them with enough warm/room tempraure water (Optional: with some sea salt ). Soak them over night for about 8 hours or time required.
2. When done soaking, drain and rinse the nuts and seeds.
Either refrigerate the soaked nuts and seeds and consume within 24 hours or dry them in a dehydrator/oven on the lowest setting.
There’s a lot information saying you should dry the nuts and seeds for about 12-24 hours. But I’m unsure, it probably depends on your oven. I have a convection oven which means it blows heated air instead of heating radiators from top to bottom. This makes the food dry faster. The pumpkin seeds and the sunflower/sesame seed mixture I had in the oven for about 3-6 hours with open door until they were completely dry. I also went once an hour to stir the seeds up for even dryness. After six hours they were moisture-free.
I then took them out, letting them cool before putting them in the jar. 

3. Finish off by storing in an airtight container.
NOTE: It’s very important that they are completely dry before going into a container, just the tiniest bit of moisture can set up mold to grow. Remember also that bigger nuts like almonds can take longer to dry if you don’t hack them up nicely.
So tell me, what's your favorite nut or seed?
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Mádara Cosmetics Northern Herbarium Review

One of my favorite things I got in my Naturalbox (review) was this kit from Mádara. I saved this set to use in the summer where we usually spend it at our summer house. Rose seems to be the common thread in these three, which I thought was complimenting from what we've learned from my latest post on Ayurveda and summer skin (☛ check it out).
Even though I will always be faithful to my oils, I do like to go back and test the conventional skincare to see if I’m missing something.

Madara Eco Face Deep Purifying Foam


I’ve practically moved away from foam cleansers but thought to give this one a try when it’s basically just rose water with a foam pump to it (so not technically a foam cleanser).
If you like when it foams a lot, look the other way, this one dies pretty quickly. The honest truth, there wasn’t much I liked about this cleanser. It did nothing to remove my make up, even when used together with a Konjac Sponge. And well, if a cleanser can’t do just what it’s supposed to do, then it’s no point to use. 
The foam is very gentle and feels nice to work with, so it’s too bad it just doesn’t clean. I ended up using it only on days when I had no make up on, just to “freshen up”. But it would work much better as a mist.

INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Sodium Cocamphoacetate, Rosa Damascena, Alcohol, Glycerin, Lactic AcidSucrose Cocoate, Achillea Millefolium, Calendula Officinalis, Chamomilla Recutita, Aroma.

Madara Eco Face Deep Moisture Fluid 


Okay, so I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t love it either. I’ve also tried the Deep Moisture Cream that’s for dry skin during the winter, and that one I kind of liked a bit more, nonetheless the fluid-kind suits better in the summer. It keeps moisture well and your face feels smooth and soft. This is probably just personal preference, but I did reach for my oils to use instead, mostly because I feel allergic to the many ingredients I can’t pronounce. With that said, if I were stuck on an island without my oils and only this, it would be a good substitute. But I just feel cleaner with only oils on my face.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Rosa Damascena, Alcohol, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis, Helianthus Annuus (Oil), Trifolium Pratense, Rubus Idaeus, Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tillia Cordata, Artemisa Vulgaris, Lecitin, Betain(-e)Stearic Acid Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Xantan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mica (CI 77019), Lactic Acid, Aroma, Citral, LimoneneLinalool, Sodium phytate, Palmitic Acid.

Madara Eco Face Regenerating Night Cream 


This one isn’t cleaner either but the feeling of it was more pleasant. Mostly because my outbreaks happens during the day, which makes me less worried of what I put on in the evening. Usually on those days when I would use the night cream I would wake up with a much calmer and hydrated face - looking more “plump” which we all want to look like when we wake up.
So yes, I spent using this one more than the other two, because I felt like it really works!
I also tried blending it with my rose hip oil, which usually leaves some flakiness, but this combo just left me looking young.
Don’t ask me if I’ll re-buy it, because the only thing I usually restock is pure oils, but I wouldn't mind getting another sample of it.

INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis, Persea Gratissima, Rosa Damascena, GlycerinPolyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Theobroma Cacao, Helianthus Annuus (Oil), Cetearyl Alcohol, Hordeum Vulgare, Algae, Humulus Lupulus, Hippophae Rhamnoides, Lycopersicum Esculentum, Plantago Major, Calendula Officinalis Chamomilla Recutita Stearic Acid Palmitic Acid, Sodium HyaluronateTocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Xantan Gum, Sodium phytate, Lactic Acid, AromaCitronellol, Geraniol, Linalool.

Have you tried something from Mádara? Do you agree with my review?
Share in the comments below!
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