Menopause at Work and 9 Practical Steps You Can Take to Help Yourself

How to manage menopause at work

Managing menopause at work

Did you know there are over 3.5 million women aged over 50 in the workplace – and that’s just in Britain. The average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51 and in the United Kingdom we retire at 68. This means there are 17 years on average that women are menopausal and post menopausal at work. In fact one third of a woman’s working life.

 

The emotional and physical changes you experience during and after menopause may impact various aspects of your work. For example just like all other relationships,  the relationships you have with co-workers and bosses can change and maybe feel awkward. Your productivity may decrease as you experience the physical and psychological  symptoms and take time to adjust. In a recent survey, a quarter of women questioned said they had considered leaving working due to menopause symptoms, so it is a very real issue for women at work.

 

In previous years women have felt embarrassed about being menopausal and largely kept their symptoms and feelings private. Fortunately menopause is increasingly being recognised as a valid occupational health issue which is a great help to women where awareness exists. However there is still some way to go.  You need to take charge and make sure your working environment is one where you feel you want to stay.

How to manage your menopause at work

In addition to the lifestyle changes you can make to help with menopause symptoms, there are a few options open to you at work:

 

  1. Discuss your symptoms with your line manager or other sympathetic management and see if adjustments can be made to your working environment. It may help you to have a fan for hot flushes or flexibility in working hours.
  2. If your company is large enough, you may have an occupational health department who have already thought about how menopausal symptoms can be accommodated within the work place.
  3. Brain fog may affect your cognitive abilities at work (and home). Use technology to give you reminders and assistance where possible.
  4. Avoid hot flush triggers at important times e.g. before an important meeting by reducing caffeine and spicy food intake.
  5. Manage your diary around your symptoms where possible. For example if you can set the clock by your hot flushes avoid meetings and presentations at these times.
  6. Get help from your colleagues, especially the ones in the same boat as you. It really helps to have some friendly and upbeat mutual support around you.
  7. Lifestyle changes such as reducing your weight or giving up smoking will really help not just your menopause symptoms but health in general.
  8. Manage anxiety and mood swings using meditation and mindfulness. The 4-7-8 breathing technique will also help if you are feeling stressed and panicky. Breathe in through nose for 4, hold for 7, breathe out through mouth for 8. Repeat 4 times.
  9. If you feel your confidence waning due to menopause remember positive affirmations can be a great help. These are positive statements to get your mindset in the right direction. You need to repeat them regularly and out loud to yourself. We frequently  publish affirmations on our Instagram and Facebook profiles or you can make up your own.

 

Above all do not suffer in silence. There are plenty of things you can do to make your working and home life easier.

 

 

 

The wonderful thing about menopause!

The wonderful thing about menopause

‘The number one secret to a healthy happy menopause is hormonal balance!’  We have stressed that many times in our newsletters to you.

But, that taken care of, the next most important thing is to embrace the fabulous opportunities that menopause brings.

It’s Freedom, Baby!  Freedom from debts to children, husbands, lovers, or the species. You can use your creativity, energy and power to plan your life with you as Numero Uno!

It’s time to re-think how you feel about yourself. Don’t assume because ‘you’re a woman of a certain age’ you have to conform to the norm. If you want to grow your hair long, wear shocking pink and get a tattoo, do it! Go through your wardrobe, and apart from discarding anything you haven’t worn for a year, or anything that makes you look like everyone’s favourite maiden aunt, ask yourself if you love it? If not, it’s off to the charity shop!

Now is the time to take up new hobbies; learn a language, do a Cordon Bleu cookery course, take up sky diving! The opportunities are endless, and it’s all about you and what you want and haven’t been able to do before.

And we’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you’re doing, what challenges you are tackling, and any triumphs you’ve had.

As Dr Christiane Northrup says  “The good news is that the menopausal transition is an exciting developmental stage that changes you at the core level. It is designed to heal all the unhealed parts of you. That IS the wisdom of menopause.”

Sorry can you say that again? HRT linked to hearing loss

Hearing difficulties in menopause

Synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be linked to hearing loss in menopausal women, according to recent research. A long-term health study in the US that examined data on over 80,000 women found that those who took hormone replacement therapy for between five and ten years had a 15 per cent higher risk of hearing loss. And those who took it for longer had a still greater chance of suffering from deafness.

Scientists said it was not clear why the pills were linked to a higher chance of hearing loss. Some studies had previously suggested the therapy could protect hearing, as oestrogen influences the auditory pathways. 

The findings, from the North American Menopause Society, also unexpectedly found that women who had a late menopause were more likely to suffer hearing problems – with a 10 per cent higher risk among women who were above the age of 50 when they entered “the change”. The study – believed to be the first large prospective study to examine the links between menopausal onset and risk of hearing loss – did not prove that age or hormone therapy caused the increased risk of deafness, as the research was observational. But other studies in animals have shown that administration of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone can worsen hearing.

 

“These findings suggest this treatment may have implications for hearing,” states Menopause:The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.

 This is a further nail in the coffin for synthetic hormones treatments! Another study, The Women’s Health Initiative, which began in 1991, was halted in 2002 when it showed that HRT increased the risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke 
  • pulmonary embolism.

As a consequence of these findings, which indicated that the incurred risks of HRT outweighed the supposed benefits, it was recommended that HRT not be prescribed for the purpose of chronic disease prevention in postmenopausal women.

More and more, this shows the need to move away from all synthetic treatments for menopause symptoms and towards natural bio-identical remedies, which are both more effective and safer.

 

Guilt Free and Good For You – What a Treat!

Natural stress free menopause superfood bars

We were delighted when Stacey and Katharine of Bar and Girl Naturals contacted us through our Instagram feed to offer us some of their superfood mini bars to try. As avid testers and tasters of anything ‘healthy’ and natural we accepted straight away.

The bars are designed for women over 40 to help support women with some of the symptoms associated with peri-menopause and menopause. They come in three varieties which each contain ingredients to help particular symptoms.

The Superfood Bars

Stress Free Menopause, superfood bars Bar and GirlApricot and Citrus: may help hot flushes. Contains  organic flax, wild yam and superfoods. Wild yam is one of the ingredients of the natural progesterone cream we are so fond of, so it’s great to see it in this bar. The bars are really tangy and taste delicious.

Chocolate Spice: may help low libido. Contains organic flax, maca, turmeric and superfoods. Probably my favourite (Caroline) though it’s very difficult to choose between them. There are some lovely chocolates hits with organic chocolate chips in these bars. Turmeric is a well known anti-inflammatory and extremely beneficial for a variety of ailments.

Cherry Almond: may help sleeplessness. Contains organic flax, tart cherries and superfoods.  Helen doesn’t have a sweet tooth and these were her favourites. Tasty and tangy, the tartness of the cherries and nuttiness of almonds are a real treat for the taste buds.

The bars are small with a serving size of four bars making 28g. However they are like eating four chocolates out of a box and in my opinion you wouldn’t want any more than that at once. They are packed with nutritious superfoods such as nuts, seeds and chia. Additionally, all the bars are gluten free, dairy free, non GMO, vegan, kosher and soy free.

They were developed when Stacey Rosen noticed that her health-obsessed friend appeared not to suffer any of the symptoms associated with peri-menopause and menopause. She then worked with a top Manhattan pastry chef to develop bars especially for women over 40s. I would thoroughly recommend the bars and you don’t have to be over 40 or a woman  to enjoy them. However they contain  ingredients particularly beneficial to women.

I love everything about them, the size, the re-sealable bags, the flavour (it was difficult to pick a favourite), and the added bonus that they are good for me. Thank you Stacey and Katharine.

If you’d like to try for yourself visit Bar & Girl Naturals website www.barandgirlnaturals.com

Our Intstagram feed

 

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about peri menopause

Everything you ever want to know about peri menopause

It is only relatively recently that science has been able to break down the female experience they simply called ‘change of life’ and give each stage of it a name, like ‘peri menopause’, ‘menopause’ and ‘post menopause’. What every woman over the age of fifty could have told them, it took scientists painfully long to recognise as a serious complication of the process of ageing, and the wait was costly in terms of misunderstanding, misdiagnosis and mistreatment.

So now it is official. It’s in the books. ‘Peri menopause’ is first stage menopause and the one it is vital to understand and crack right at the beginning. It is when the body begins to prepare itself for a time when child bearing is over and no longer therefore the focus of the body biology. 

This usually happens in a woman’s 40s and is generally a fairly measured process, a gradual build-up to the time when the menstruation cycle ceases completely. From a body chemistry point of view, peri menopause is signalled by a dropping off in progesterone production. Progesterone is such a critical hormone in females that when its production slows down or ceases much trouble can be expected. That’s because normal health requires a hormonal balance between progesterone and its opposite, oestrogen. Take one away and the other becomes dominant.

Signs of peri menopause

Here are some of the ‘symptoms’ that have been found to be the signatories of progesterone decline:

  • Anxiety 
  • tearfulness 
  • weight gain (or loss)
  • lowering libido 
  • night sweats
  • increased menstrual cramping
  • cracked and dry skin, and many more still to be documented. 

 

These uncomfortable symptoms are because the body is trying to adjust to the relative oestrogen excess.

Now, oestrogen and progesterone are what are known as the ‘sex hormones’. But when they are unbalanced it affects other hormones too. For example, cortisol levels may increase and insulin resistance can become more common. 

As you will readily understand all these hormones are synthesised in the body using nutrients absorbed in the digestive process. And so it is absolutely vital at this potentially unbalancing time to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get that right and the business of managing and coping with the effects of peri menopause can become a little easier.

Another word of explanation! Before menopause the ovaries are the main source of oestrogen manufacture, but as  they become less active the balance shifts. Eventually at least half of the body’s oestrogen and progesterone is made in the adrenal glands. 

At times of stress the adrenal glands will always prioritise the secretion of the stress hormones over the creation of sex hormones – that’s their prime function, you see. Stress therefore is a key factor in keeping your body hormonally balanced from your 40s onward. The body, meanwhile, can also seek oestrogen from other sources – like the fat cells which store it – once the ovaries start to slow down. Of course this may explain why some women put on weight at this time – the body craves more oestrogen which translates as more food. 

Oestrogen dominance is actually a dreadful condition, particularly during peri menopause. It is the cause of decreased sex drive, irregular or absent periods, bloating, swollen and tender breasts, not to mention depression and irritability, wild mood swings, cold hands and feet, weight gain, and headaches.

 

 How to manage peri menopause

So all in all, you have to find ways of managing or alleviating what is happening to you during peri menopause. On a scale of one to ten proper nutrition must be a ten and your first priority.

Healthy diet in peri-menopause and menopause

Eat a healthy balanced diet, avoiding refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, cake and biscuits, and choosing fresh vegetables, white meat and fish, pulses and whole grains instead.

Switch to organic if you can possibly afford it, it is after all just another investment in your own health! (It can be expensive, but at least you should go organic or be prepared to leave out apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, peppers, kale and courgettes. Here are some that it is supposedly ok to go with ‘organic or not’: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, melon, sweetcorn, aubergine, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, mushrooms, onions, papaya, pineapple, frozen peas, and sweet potatoes.)

If you can handle it, try to cut out the use of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, but don’t be too hard on yourself! In other words, don’t make yourself miserable. 

And then there is the question of keeping yourself ‘busy’. Exercise is obviously number one here because not only can it keep your mind off your problems, it is so good for you! And in this bracket you can include things like regular reflexology or massage treatments, daily meditation, better time management, spending more time outdoors, spending time with animals/nature, and even keeping track of your actions and thoughts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Menopause! – Your gateway to new adventures

new adventures in menopause

Menopause is not all gloom and doom! Once you’ve got those hormones under control (more here), it’s a wonderful opportunity to say:

 

“Hey, Guys, it’s my turn!  I’ve done the baby making, child rearing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, school runs, and the rest. You’re wonderful, I love you, and I’ll always be here for you but now it’s ME TIME!

 

natural treatments in menopauseSo pat yourself on the back, and make some lists of what you have always wanted to do but never had time for:

  • beauty treatments
  • learning a language
  • starting a business
  • travelling
  • learning bridge/chess/
  • learning to Tango
  • etc, etc

 

Read all about it! There are inspirational women out there who’ve been there, done that and got the T shirt! One of our favourites is the wonderful Dr. Christiane Northrup. You can find out more about her here: 

 

 

natural menopauseBetween us (Helen and Caroline) we have recently had a go at zip lining, starting new businesses, white water rafting, canoeing along the Zambezi river and singing.  Still  on our list of things to do we have learning the tango, writing a book and continuing to take the fear out of menopause by bringing you the latest information and research into natural and holistic methods, showing you that this time is actually your gateway to some wonderful new adventures.

 

Why don’t you make a list of all the things you’ve longed to do but felt you never had time for. Pick one and make a plan to start. Why not share your ideas in our Facebook group which is free to join by clicking here.

 

 

 

10 Signs of Oestrogen Dominance and What You Can Do About It

How oestrogen dominance affects your menopause and what to do about it

Oestrogen dominance has become a hot topic, particularly during peri-menopause and menopause when progesterone levels start to decrease. We all have much to be thankful for in our modern world, but unfortunately, a side-effect of greater industrialisation is the introduction of harmful chemicals in our daily life, such as ‘xeno-oestrogen’, an unnatural substance which mimics oestrogen in the body, leading to oestrogen dominance.

Signs of Oestrogen Dominance

1. Heavier than normal periods
2. Severe PMS (breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches)
3. Loss of libido
4. Weight gain (especially round middle)
5. Tiredness
6. Brain fog
7. Hair loss
8. Abnormal thyroid function
9. Sluggish metabolism
10. Sleeping problems

Xeno-oestrogens can be found in some surprising places so it pays to be aware of them and reduce your exposure to them where possible

Here are some of the top offenders:

  • Plastic water bottles
    Plastic food containers
  • Cosmetics, makeup and toiletries, cleaning products (opt for natural lines)
  • Non-organic dairy, vegetables, meat, fish, chicken
  • Tap water
  • Cans lined with BPA (bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in plastics)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Birth control pill
  • Non-fermented soy protein

 

These 3 simple steps will help you bring your hormones back into balance.

 

  1. Avoid constipation:
  • Drink 2-3L of water per day
  • Fill up half your plate with vegetables at each meal
  • Eat probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, plain full cream yogurt and tempeh
  • Add a scoop of fibre to your daily smoothie

body brushing to reduce oestrogen dominance

To support elimination throughout the body, do the following as well:

  • Take deep breaths to support the lungs
  • Go for a massage to support the lymph system
  • Work up a sweat through exercise or sit in a sauna to support the elimination of toxins through the skin
  • Use a dry skin brush to remove dead skin cells

 

  1. healthy food for oestrogen dominanceSupport your liver!
  • Eat a real, whole-foods based diet , and avoid processed food
  • Drink plenty of clean, filtered water
  • Avoid overeating
  • Avoid alcohol abuse
  • Eat plenty of foods that support liver health:

beets, dark leafy greens, artichoke, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, eggs, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale etc.)

 

  1. Natural progesterone

Find a source of natural progesterone, preferably in cream form, as it is the natural antagonist to oestrogen dominance.

 

(Sources; Sally Longden, holistic health practitioner,

Alina Islam, nutritional practitioner)

 

 

 

Why you need Vitamin D during the menopause

Why you need vitamin D during menopause

VITAMIN D during menopause

Although vitamin D is vital for everyone, it is particularly important for women going through menopause. Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin, although scientists refer to it as such. It’s a steroid hormone that you get from sun exposure, food sources, and/or supplementation. The term refers to either vitamin D2 or D3, but D3 (chemical name 25-hydroxy vitamin D) is real vitamin D—it’s the same substance produced naturally through your skin by sun exposure.
Optimising your vitamin D levels could help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer. According to one large-scale, randomised, placebo-controlled study, it can cut the risk by up to 60 percent.
The most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. To prevent a wide variety of diseases and health ailments, your vitamin D level needs to be between 50 and 70 ng/ml year-round. According to the most recent research, adults need about 8,000 IU’s of oral vitamin D3 per day in order to get serum levels above 40 ng/ml.
The ideal way to optimise your vitamin D level is through sun exposure in summer, or a safe tanning bed during the winter months. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, a tanning bed comes a close second after natural sun exposure as an ideal way to optimise your vitamin D levels, as opposed to getting it from fortified food items or supplements. However, it must be the right kind of tanning bed—one that produces UVB without dangerous EMF radiation produced from magnetic ballasts used in most conventional tanning beds. Vitamin D is also found naturally in foods such as eggs, organ meats, animal fat, preferably organic, and cod liver oil. If you take a vitamin D3 supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2 as it helps move calcium to your bones and teeth, and remove it from your arteries and soft tissues.
 As a very general guide, you need to expose about 40 percent of your entire body for approximately 20 minutes to the sun, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is at its zenith, as UVB rays will only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon.
I love this infographic from Dr Mercola – 7 signs you may be Vitamin D Deficient 

Why am I getting fat? Weight gain in menopause

weight gain in menopause

Weight gain in menopause

One of the most distressing symptoms of menopause is weight gain, and of course, it’s hormone related.

New research shows that a fat-burning hormone called Irisin, which is released during exercise, helps you shed fat and keeps body fat from forming in the first place.

Exercise is the key

Tests show Irisin is able to suppress fat cell formation by 20 to 60 percent. Normally, your body produces only small quantities but exercise is the key to boosting its production.

 A recent report states:

 “Irisin appears to work by boosting the activity of genes and a protein that are crucial to turning white fat cells into brown cells, which burn energy rather than storing it. It also significantly increases the amount of energy used by those cells.”

 

What is brown fat?

 

Everyone has at least a little bit of brown fat. Unlike regular old white fat, which stores calories,  brown-fat cells burn energy and produce heat.

As newborns we have a healthy supply of brown fat to keep warm, but by adulthood we lose most of our brown fat stores.  The good news is that in addition to exercise, brown fat can be activated through exposure to cold temperatures such as ice baths or cold showers!

So, in addition to a healthy, organic diet, no sugar or processed foods,  and turning down the heat when showering, make sure that you follow an exercise routine that you enjoy, to ensure that you stick to it.

 

One of our favourite exercise routines is the 7 minute workout. You don’t need any equipment and it’s over in 7 minutes. There are several apps available for phones or you can check out this site 7-min workout 

fat lush soup

FAMOUS FAT-FLUSH SOUP

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 500gms minced chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (32oz) bottle of tomato juice
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (14 oz) can rinsed and drained black beans 
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish
Directions

1.  Heat olive oil and brown mince  Drain and set aside.

2.  Saute onion, garlic and peppers until soft (about 5 minutes).

3.  Stir in all remaining ingredients and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Stir in coriander and cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer.

 

 

Weight gain in menopause - lemon waterThe Morning Lemon Trick

First thing in the morning, squeeze half a lemon, preferably organic, into a mug of warm water. Drink on an empty stomach.

 

  • Helps with weight loss (for an added kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • Reduces bloating
  • Helps if you’re constipated
  • Clears up skin blemishes & acne
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps maintain pH balance in the body (more alkaline = better energy & overall health)
  • Replenishes electrolytes lost through exercise
  • Makes digestion stronger i.e. easier to break down food, especially fat

Reduces pain & inflammation in joints

Naturally delicious ways to treat yourself during menopause (or any other time)

Naturally delicious ways to treat yourself during menopause

We all love a treat and what better time to treat yourself than during menopause and peri-menopause. We’ve sourced some delicious goodies for you to enjoy either by eating, putting on your skin or bathing in. Making your own eliminates all the horrible hormone disrupting ingredients that can be found in processed products.

When shopping for ingredients remember organic is best.  Virgin or cold-pressed oils contain a larger portion of beneficial components like antioxidants and fatty acids. You can buy the ingredients in health food shops or online

 

DIY makeup remover wipes
  • An airtight glass jar to store your wipes in
  • Cotton wool pads
  • 1 tablespoon pure aloe vera
  • 3 teaspoons pure witch hazel extract
  • 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
  • 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil (or your favourite skin-cleansing oil)
  • 8-12 drops skin-soothing essential oil like lavender or frankincense
  • optional: 1 tsp vitamin E oil or 6-8 drops rosemary essential oil as a preservative
  1. Combine all ingredients except cotton wool pads in the glass jar and mix well.  Place cotton wool pads in the jar and cover with mixture making sure all pads are soaked.
  2. Use to remove make up whenever you need to.

 

Whipped Body Butter
  • ½ cup Shea Butter
  • ½ cup Cocoa Butter or Mango Butter
  • ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup light oil (like almond, jojoba or olive)
  • Optional: 10-30 drops of essential oils of choice (Lavender is lovely and calming)
  1. In a double boiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except essential oils.
  2. Bring to medium heat and stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add essential oils if using.
  4. Move to fridge and let cool another 1 hour or until starting to harden but still somewhat soft.
  5. Use a hand mixer to whip for 10 minutes until fluffy.
  6. Return to fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.
  7. Store in a glass jar with a lid and use as you would regular lotion or body butter.
Naturally delicious ways to treat yourself during menopauseAvocado Coconut Body Oil
  • ¼ cup Avocado Oil
  • ¼ cup Sweet Almond Oil
  • ¼ cup Melted Virgin Coconut Oil
  1. Combine the oils in a 6 to 8-ounce bottle and shake well.
  2. Apply from shoulders to toes daily. It also makes an excellent massage oil.

 

Magnesium Foot Scrub
  • 1 cup Epsom Salt (a natural source of magnesium) or Magnesium Flakes
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil or Almond Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Castille Soap
  • Optional: 10-15 drops of Essential Oil of Choice (peppermint is cooling and refreshing)
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients and add essential oils until desired scent is achieved.
  2. Store in an airtight jar and use a teaspoon sized amount to exfoliate feet or body as needed.
  3. Rinse after use.

 

Cocoa Butter Bath Bomb Recipe
  • 250g Baking Soda
  • 125g Citric Acid
  • 50g Corn Flour
  • 15ml/3tsp water (add slowly!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Cocoa Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ylang ylang oil*
  • 1/4 teaspoon musk oil*

*(or substitute your favourites)

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, EXCEPT the citric acid
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl
  3. Mix the two together – the mixture should be the texture of damp sand and hold together when you squeeze it
  4. Add citric acid and mix with a spoon or gloved hand (do not use your hands as pure citric acid is abrasive)
  5. Mold into bath bomb shape and let dry overnight

 

Naturally delicious ways to treat yourself during menopauseHoney Lavender Homemade Relaxing Bath Melts
  • 50g Shea Butter
  • 50g Cocoa Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon Honey Lavender Herbal Tea (split open a teabag)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Lavender Flowers (available from craft shops or you can dry your own)
  • 30 drops Lavender Oil
  1. Melt the shea and cocoa butters in a double boiler. Add the honey lavender tea, lavender flowers and lavender oil. Mix well and pour into a silicone mold – a heart shape mold looks lovely.
  2. Allow to cool and harden then pop melts out of the mold. Store in an airtight jar. Use in in your bath and relax. Makes around 15 melts.

You can ring the changes by swapping the scented ingredients. I love anything that’s smells of roses so use rose petals and rose oil but would love to hear what you’ve tried.

Moisturising Orange Face Mask
Magnesium and Resveratrol Rich Chocolate
Creamy chocolate mousse

 

Cheese crisps
  • Cheddar, parmesan, red Leicester, or other hard cheese of choice (recommend freshly grated)
  • Herbs or spices of choice (optional – we like to add a dash of Italian, Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika)
  1. Very lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil (very lightly!), or use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Put small piles or folded slices of cheese onto the baking sheet. I recommend cheddar, real grated parmesan,  or other firm cheese.
  3. Put the cheese in a medium oven
  4. Watch carefully. It may take a little practice to learn timing. When bubbles slow down slightly and at first sign of browning, it’s time to take them out.
  5. Take out the cheese chips when edges are slightly brown and gently remove them using a thin spatula. Place on towel covered plate to cool.
  6. When cooled, use just as you would use chips for snacking or dipping into homemade sauces.

 

Please feel free to share your favourite naturally wonderful treats in the comments section below