Rockstar Ingredients: Turmeric

Such a stunningly beautiful spice.

I want to paint my walls to match.

Tantalizing turmeric appears often in these pages,

as you know, Ravishing Ones.

Why?

Because I'm obsessed with the magic of plants. And wellness. And life.

And it is my dearest wish to share it all with you.

As with most rockstar ingredients, turmeric is having her moment in the lights,

center stage and all the rage, but, of course, she has been around for ages, healing and preventing, and generally spicing up people's lives.

Known for centuries as an Ayurvedic healing root, turmeric is valued medicinally for two things: first, the volatile oil, which contains a stunning anti-inflammatory. Second, for the actual pigment, curcumin, which has an even more intense anti-inflammatory: the power of hydrocortizone or Motrin, but without the hideous side effects (such as ulcer formation, intestinal bleeding, and diminished white blood count.)  Curcumin simply has no toxicity.

Among its most astounding properties, is the ability to not only prevent cancer cells, but also inhibit their growth. This is major.

Oh, yeah, and she also dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity in the body, improves brain function, lowers heart disease, can prevent and treat alzheimer's, helps arthritis, and is proven as effective as Prozac in beating depression. Without putting s**t in your system. 

Here's the (spice) rub: The actual curcumin content in ground or fresh turmeric is not all that high. You'd have to ingest crazy amounts of it daily to combat the really bad stuff. For acute conditions, or heavy duty prevention, you should be taking a turmeric extract. But for general awesome health and feeling good, add the spice everywhere you can: to curries, shake elixirs, veggies, grains...actually pairing turmeric with cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) profoundly increases the ability to fight cancers.

Turmeric also needs a little help to be absorbed onto the body, so it's a good idea to always pair it with black pepper, and, as it is fat soluble, a little oil is a smart addition. Depending on the recipe, you could add some coconut oil for cooking or baking, olive oil on top, or a nut milk in a brew.

Speaking of, try this gorgeous ancient potion, Vixen-style:

Golden Elixir

  • 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground organic turmeric
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • Nutmeg, pinch
  • Cloves, pinch
  • Black pepper, 2-3 grinds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • Organic stevia or raw coconut nectar

Heat the nut milk on a slow flame, whisking in the spices until they are smooth. When it's hot, add the sweetener to taste.

It's delicious in a weird way. You'll dig how it feels going down. 

(Keep stirring it as you sip. The spices tend to hide on the bottom of the cup.)

Turmeric is also beautifying from the outside. Further solidifying its rockstar status, skin benefits include the treatment of acne blemishes, blackheads, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It also helps heal and prevent dry skin, and to slow the skin aging process, and is used to diminish wrinkles, keep skin supple, and improve skin’s elasticity.

Interestingly, this gorgeous sunny spice is also being used as an ingredient in sunscreens. And our East Indian sisters rely on it as a daily facial cleanser and exfoliant.

Magically-speaking, turmeric has long been burned for purification. In India, it is burned to detect the presence of dark spirits or daemons. (They are said to detest the smell.)

I'm hooked.

Get on this, and try my Pumpkin Peau de Soie Facial Masque...you'll groove on the results!

Sultry Beasties, I'm off to make some Golden Elixir,

and enjoy a little down time.

Sending you cozy nuzzles,

and sweet kisses,

xxx Alise





Rockstar Ingredients: Coconut Oil

I just love oils,

don't you?

They're so wonderfully lubricating...

(Ahem.)

I want to go there with you,

and the most seductively slippery one of all,

the sweetly aromatic

and lustfully lickable

oil of the comely coconut.

Mmmm...

Don't you feel 

tropical sun breezes just thinking of it?

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Now, everybody knows that coconut oil is good for you,

but,

do we know why?

Here's the dossier on this secret agent of awesomeness:

1. It's a GORGEOUS fat. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides - fatty acids -which are metabolized effectively by the body. Because they go from the liver directly to the digestive tract, they are an immediate energy source that is used, rather than stored, by the body. This means they can up your energy levels and help you burn fat. 

2. Beauty is it's middle name. Those same fabulous fats will make you even more stunning than you already are, my Loves. We need quality fats in our diets for lush hair, juicy skin, and strong nails, and coconut oil is one of the most powerful sources available. So add some to your menu each day and prepare to stop effing traffic with your radiance.

3. Because you like it smooth. Coconut oil makes a deliciously sensual shaving cream, with no need really for moisturizing afterward, so it's kind of the ultimate all-in-one beauty product, no?

4. Run your fingers through my hair. Try this amazing once-per-week hair masque for shiny smooth tresses and a strengthening boost. 

5. Lip lush Get a smouldering smooch with a dollop of coconut oil instead of gloss or balm, and try these tricks. 

6. Deodorant Right?! I know. I didn't believe it either. But it does work. I'm not suggesting you dab a little then run the 15.K, but for languid days, and certainly in a pinch, it will keep you smelling sweet.

7. Kiss the cook. Oh those sexy little medium-chain triglycerides...they make coconut oil the premium fat for sautéing, basting, baking...even a dollop in a late-day shake elixir for an added creamy energy burst.

Not sure where to start? Try these succulent recipes:

Sultry Spiced Scones

Cheeky Ceci Pani

Bursting Berry Tarts

Welsh Moon Cakes

8. Sink your teeth in. I'm not kidding - use it right out of the jar and onto your toothbrush! Top with a few drops of peppermint and clove oils to really cleanse, freshen breath, and heal gums. Leaves your teeth gleaming.

9. Take it off. When you've had your fill of nocturnal prowling, do not fall asleep until you've removed your makeup. (I see you!) Take the three minutes to gently massage your eyes and lashes with coconut oil, softly sweeping it all away...your lashes will thank you by growing long and fluttery.

10. Glow. With your mostly raw, vegan diet (right?) you already glow like starlight, my Moonchildren, but when you like a little extra firefly allure, mix a tiny bit of coconut oil with your foundation, bronzer, or rouge, and tap it lightly onto your cheek and brow bones. You are making me weak...

11. Touch me Oh, yes...the moisturizer to end all. Coat yourself daily and bask in your own silky softness until you realize that your self-caresses are bordering on obscene...Beware, though: mosquitoes find you extra tasty when you slather it, so either swap for another cream when you're outside in Summer or spritz on a little extra homemade insect repellant. 

12. Animal Magnetism When I first began using coconut oil as a body moisturizer, I would emerge from the bath or shower, and the most curious thing would happen. My cat and constant bath time companion, Pedro, would immediately come over and start licking my feet and legs! It was adorable, but got me thinking: cats instinctively go for what they need. This guy was helping himself to digest hairballs. Smart man. Now I offer it to them whenever I see a hairball epidemic coming, and, sure enough, they take it when they need it. I also give them a little in Winter when they are prone to dry skin, and flaky dander. Keeps all our cat coats pretty!

13. Where was I, again? And, of course, I've saved the best for last. Coconut oil as lube. You heard me. It's luscious, and melts upon a touch, so...why not? Gynecologists are actually getting on board with this. Not only is it all natural and chemical-free, but it's also antifungal, decreasing the risk of infections. Just don't road test it with latex condoms, as oils can weaken the latex and cause breakage. Get on it, Lovers!


Well, there we are. The magic 13.

For all these reasons, stock your kitchen and bath immediately with a jar of gorgeous, organic, unrefined coconut oil...and toss one in your valise for travel while you're at it. I can't think of a better thing to find in your luggage. Unless we're talking massive amounts of cash or rubies.

In which case,

I'll meet you on the tarmac, baby.

xxx Alise

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