Gingerbread scented scrub


This gingerbread scented scrub makes a great last minute present for Christmas. If like me, you’ll be able to find all the ingredients in your cupboards so you won’t need to buy anything. I used recycled tomato paste jars, and the amount fills five of them easily.

The label is from Raining Hot coupons. They use a different recipe from the one below and it is based on sugar and coconut oil. Perhaps I’ll try it next year.

I’ve used Herbie’s Spices sweet quatre epices, which is made up of a traditional combination of spices based on classic French cuisine. If you don’t have this one, just make up 1 teaspoon of each of the following spices: allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

Gingerbread scented scrub recipe

2 cups of salt
1 cup of epsom salts
4 tsps of quatre epices
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond essence

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly together.
  2. Label recycled jars or containers and fill with mixture.

Thank you Herbie’s Spices for the spice sample. 

Salted caramel popcorn


Here’s an easy recipe to make when you get the mid-afternoon munchies. The caramel sauce lifts ordinary popcorn into the I-could-easily-eat-all-of-this realm. It’s good to test your oil with one corn kernel first to tell when you have the right temperature. Num, num.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp water
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
olive oil
sea salt

  1. Stir all ingredients except the oil, popcorn and salt together in a small saucepan over low heat, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter has melted.
  2. Increase the heat and bring to the boil for a few minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Cook the popcorn according to the instructions on the packet.
  5. Pour the caramel sauce over the popped corn, season with sea salt and mix well.

Serves 3.

Detox footbaths

Every couple of days I have a foot bath to help relax the muscles in my feet and detoxify my body.

I fill a small tub up with just enough warm-hot water to cover my feet and then add a handful of one of the following ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Bicarb soda
  • Dead sea salt
  • Epsom salt
  • Seaweed

Sometimes I’ll add couple of drops essential oils.

I’ll sit and try to meditate for about 20 to 30 minutes so it’s my relaxation time. The hot water and salts combination works to leach toxins from your system.

Hands down, or should I say feet down, my favourite is the Epsom salts baths. It’s an easy way to give your body a boost in magnesium.

The Epsom Salt Council lists the following health benefits from the proper magnesium and sulfate levels:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

I will warn you – the seaweed one leaves your feet with a green tinge!

Seasoning with salt

George on Masterchef goes on about the importance of correctly seasoning with salt and pepper. I’d argue that it’s more important to always taste your food, before you season your dish as everyone’s tastes are different.

Normal table salt has been refined to remove impurities, which unfortunately also removes all the good minerals. Common table salt is also known as sodium chloride and these are the two minerals left.

Why not try some of these alternatives:

Murray River pink salt – Removing salt from the ground water in Mildura is one way of helping to prevent salinity in Australia. This is the salt you’ll often find at restaurants were you can add a pinch yourself. I only hope when you are served salt on a plate or a bowl that it’s a fresh batch each time!

Himalayan Crystal Salt – The salt is mined by hand from the Himalayan region of  Kalabagh. It contains 84 minerals and trace elements, which are in a form that is easily assimilated by the body. The colour varies from white to pink to peach.

Celtic sea salt – Little did I know that this salt comes from the North West coastal region of France.

These alternative salts will be available from your local health food store. Coarse salt will need to be ground up or dissolved in hot liquid. Fine ground salt is better for adding at the table. Celtic and Himalayan salt may contain moisture so they are better stored in a clay or wooden container.