Friday, 29 July 2011

Help needed

The week of 22 August is 'Love Your Gut' week, so all about healthy eating. To celebrate this I am doing workshops with children at Grove Park community library on 23rd August, and the workshop I have in mind for the little children involves collecting pictures of fruit and veg so they can make a collage with them on card. I have been collecting pictures from mags and papers but will need lots more in the hope of having lots of participants for it. So here is where I need help from you, my readers out there.

1. If you live near Grove Park community library, please could you hand in any pictures of fruit and veg to them, either to Mhari or Kaiya, and say that it is for Julie Day's event on 23 August.


2. If you don't live near the library, but know me and live locally, please could you email me and I can give you my address to send any pictures to.

The more I have the better, esp if I end up doing a similar workshop at another local community library. Here's to healthy eating.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Natural hair cut

A day late but here I am about to tell you how to have a natural hair cut. I know there are lots of hairdressers who specialise in doing hair with natural products but I believe that most of them are in the city/west end of London and would probably be quite expensive to start with, let alone having to travel there. So here is my way of getting a natural hair cut/wash. Ask your local hairdresser if they would mind if you brought in your own products to use. Mine is okay with this and I take my own shampoo and conditioner, which they use and give back to me at the end of the appointment. I don't have a 100% natural hair cut though as they still use their own mousse and spray, but I am thinking about buying me own to take there too. I know that So Organic in Greenwich sell these, so maybe when I go there again I will buy them. This is a much cheaper way to getting a natural hair cut and wash. You don''t have to travel far and by using your own products you know that you won't be getting chemicals on your skin and the product is okay with your skin as you have used them before.

So if you are like me and prefer to use natural shampoos etc on your hair, give it a go and ask your hairdresser if they'd mind you taking your own things in to use. There's no harm in asking I say.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Natural Hair Care - Part 1

Welcome back to the natural part of this blog. Today I am going alphabetical with natural products, so it starts with A.

A'Kin is the name. I have been using A'Kin Mandarin Shampoo for a while now and it's quite nice. It has a nice smell, as I like citrus smells. They do say citrus smells wake you up.

So where do you get it from? I got mine free as a prize from So Organic ( but you can get it from their retail shop in Greenwich, SE London. It costs £10.50.

Green rating - 5/5 as it is a plastic bottle which I can recycle at home.

So what's the difference between this shampoo and say one like Head and Shoulders. Why buy a natural shampoo when there are others on the market? Well, the answer to both questions is what makes the shampoo foam.

In the A'Kin shampoo the foam is made by gentle products like coco sulphate, which is derived from substances such as corn, sugar or coconut. Therefore, are gentler on the skin and won't cause harm

Whereas in normal shampoos the foam is usually made by something called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). It's harsh on the skin, can cause irritation esp with people with sensitive skin. And why is this? Because SLS is also used as an engine degreaser. So if it's used to degrease the oil in engines imagine what it can do to your skin! This is why I don't use these types of shampoos anymore as I have sensitive skin.

I hope that this post has got you thinking about what you use on your skin. Next post will be about to how have a natural haircut.

Friday, 15 July 2011

STOP PRESS - Shiny Wrappers

I, and others I know, have been wondering what to do with our crisp packets and shiny wrappers as the Philippine Community Fund no longer collects them. I contacted the Foundation in the Philippines to ask if I could send them directly to them. Yesterday I got a reply to say that they no longer collect them either as they have storage problems and vermin trouble over here in the UK. Oh heck, I thought, now what do I do with the 2 biccie boxes full I have of them. I really didn't want to throw them away. That is the bad news. Although they still want toothpaste tubes and ring-pull tabs.

Here is the good news. I remembered an organisation that My Zero Waste mentioned in one of their last blogs called Eco-Centricity, who collect odd things such as sweet wrappers and ribbons. So I emailed them yesterday and got a reply. Yes, they would be happy to take the wrappers off me and I'd have to send them to them as they can't collect. So I now have a home for all my wrappers to go to and am very happy. I can still collect them now and will do so knowing they will be put to use somehow by organisastions. You can find out what they collect at their website As they are based in the UK, the postage won't be that much and there won't be so much carbon footprint than sending stuff to the Philippines. Good news all round on the Green front.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Recycling banks

The last recycling post was all about recycling at home, now I am taking you on a whistlestop tour of Lewisham's (that I know about) recycling banks outside. So here we go:

Forest Hill (Sainsbury's car park) - paper, card, glass, plastic bottles, tetrapaks and texiles

Bell Green (Sainsbury's car park) - paper, card, glass (clear and coloured), plastic bottles, mixed plastics (I put in all plastic that have the recycling symbol on), textiles, shoes, light bulbs.

Catford (behind town hall) - paper, plastic bottles, tetrapaks and small electricals (such as mobiles).

These are the few banks that my mum and I use mostly, with Bell Green coming top as we shop there every week and take a bag of mixed plastics every other week. If I find out anymore then I will let you know on here.

The next post will be about recycling out and about. Spot the recycling spots on your travels in and out of places.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Where to buy...

In 2005 I watched You are what you eat and decided to eat healthier than I did. Up until then I ate for breakfast things like Weetabix, rice crispies and white toast. I bought the book that went with the series and discovered different things I could eat, which I mentioned in my last post. I am now going to let you know where you can buy these things and how much they cost:

Millet flakes by Infinity Foods - local health store called Sheels. Price - £2.46
Quinoa flakes by Infinity Foods - as above. Price - £3.35
Cornflakes by Sainsbury's or Wholearth Organic - Sainsbury's. Can't remember the price but both are quite similar. Mum has been eating the Wholeearth ones because they haven't got the gluten in and I will be going onto them myself shortly.

There are different brands of these but they can be dearer and have found these are reasonably priced. You might think they are dear but if you rotate them with other breakfasts then they don't turn out to be that much so.

Oatly - Sainsbury's. Price - £1.39 (found in the Freefrom aisle)
St Dalfour fruit spreads - Sainsbury's. Price - £1.64. (with the jams)

Organic Wholemeal bread - Sainsbury's. Price - 95p.
Genius white/brown bread - Sainsbury's. Price - £2.89
Sunflower spread (either Pure or Freefrom) - Sainsbury's. Price - Pure = £1.75 Freefrom = £1.15
Peanut Butter - Sainsbury's. Price - £1.35 (I think)

Well, I think that is all that I have for breakfasts. As mentioned I do rotate these so I don't have one the same in days, as this has been said to be healthier so you don't become intolerant to any one of them.

Next healthy eating one will be about healthy breakfasts for intolerances. In the mean time next week were are recycling again.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Healthy breakfasts

I was shocked to read in the papers recently than 1 in 4 children are obese, and that 500,000 school-age children are at risk of fatty liver disease. I think that one problem is that a lot of people don't eat breakfast and they should. It is called breakfast because it breaks the fast you have had over night. It has been scientifically proved, most recently on Embarrassing Bodies, that if you skip breakfast your brain then starts thinking of foods that are bad for you, and you start craving them, eating them and so on. Breakfast, a proper one, sets up your digestion and metabolism for the day. There are a lot of unhealthy breakfasts out there, check the salt and sugar content on their boxes. But there are also a lot of healthy ones too. Weetabix is one of them (not with chocolate with it though) but I can't eat that as it's too much wheat for me. So here are the ones I do eat and what they are:

Millet porridge - porridge made with millet flakes and Oat milk.
Quinoa (pronounced keenwa) - as above with quinoa flakes.
You can get grains of the 2 above but it takes a lot longer to boil than flakes.

Oats - porridge oats with Oat milk.
Toast - either with wholemeal bread or gluten free bread (Genuis white)
Cornflakes with a few bran flakes (check the salt and sugar content on box).

With my porridges I have fruit spread by St Dalfour. I did used to have Meridian but that got dearer and St Dalfour is cheaper. I find that the porridges can taste bland without the fruit spread
Toast - I have sunflower spread on as I am intolerant to dairy. Now and then, like this morning, I might have peanut butter on it too. Quite nice.

I find I now really like all these and wouldn't go back to cereals. A few years ago I did try a bowl or rice crispies and found it really sweet, and that was without any sugar/sweetener on it.

Next post I will let you know where you can buy all these from, although it does mention it at the back of my book Rosie.