You put WHAT on your face?

My evening face care routine is very simple:

* wash face with washcloth and warm water

* use cotton ball to wipe face with homemade toner

* smear face with the clarified adipose tissue of a grass-fed bovine

WHAT?

My face has never been so moisturized and clear since I started using this method!

I learned a long time ago that I cannot use “oil-free” products on my oily skin.  My skin gets dry, irritated, and reacts with more oil than I had in the first place.  It sounds like it would be counter-intuitive, but putting oil on your face actually helps calm oily skin and keeps it from over-producing.  I already practice oil-washing a few times a month which is the same concept (more on that in a later post), so this wasn’t a big hippie leap for me.   The tallow is apparently very similar in chemical structure to our own sebaceous glands that our skin is able to use it as a moisturizer.  Since Mommypotamus already had a wonderful post on it, I will just direct you there to learn all the science behind the tallow.

In my personal experience with tallow, I have found it absolutely wonderful as a skin care product.  Sure, I smell like hamburger for a minute every time I put it on, but it’s shelf-stable, you only need a tiny bit for your whole face, and it absorbs quickly.  I wake up in the morning and my skin is bright, clear, and markedly more moisturized.

I render my own tallow using the crock pot method, but you can also purchase some here.

 

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How to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha at Home

In Liz Wolfe’s book, Skintervention, she suggests eating something fermented every day to improve gut health.  So, in keeping with her “improve gut health and you will improve skin health” philosophy, I have braved the world of fermentables.

Why would you eat moldy foods?

First off, no, I do not eat moldy foods.  There is a difference between “moldy” and “fermented”.  And thank goodness there are more options than just pickles or sauerkraut. Foods can be fermented by using some sort of starter.  I make beet kvass with a whey starter (or you could also use a whole lot of salt) and kombucha with a SCOBY.

Foods that have been fermented by bacteria and yeast are especially good for the gut lining because as they eat the sugar of whatever you are fermenting, they produce probiotics.  You’ve heard that it’s good eat yogurt when taking antibiotics because the yogurt has the “good bacteria.”  Antibiotics don’t play favorites; they are created to kill everything.  Good news if you’re sick, bad news if you want to stay healthy.

There is a battle in your belly.

Think of it this way:  there is a limited amount of food that all the bacteria in your gut lining can eat.   (in case you were wondering, there are about about 3 pounds worth of bacteria living inside of you…but maybe don’t dwell on that).  If there are more good guys (bacteria that are supposed to be there) to eat the food than bad guys (disease-carrying germs that make you sick), then the bad guys starve.  Therefore, being careful to maintain a diet with lots of probiotics that add to the naturally-occuring good bacteria in your intestinal lining is vital to overall health.

What foods are good?

Personally, I’m not a sauerkraut fan, and everyone who knows me know my distain for pickles.  Instead, I have a continuous brew kombucha system on my counter and have recently started making beet kvass.  Both of these are very low maintenance.  Both of these projects are easy to do, and the benefits are visible.  I started drinking these consistently about a month ago, and as I was walking into my third night shift in a row a few weeks ago I noticed that I felt very alert and energetic.  I don’t usually sleep well on night shift and I hadn’t had any extra coffee. The only thing that I’ve changed was the increased probiotics.

How to make continuous brew kombucha:

8 teabags of plain black tea

1 cup white sugar

2 gallons water, separated

1 bottle plain kombucha

1 glass container with a plastic spout (I use this one)

bottles for your new brew (I like these!)

Instructions:

Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Remove from heat, steep tea bags 10-15 minutes. Remove tea bags and add sugar, mixing until dissolved. Pour into drink dispenser. Add second gallon of water (this speeds up the cooling process). Pour in bottle of store-bought kombucha. Cover opening with cloth, let sit in warm area at least 5 days. After 5-7 days, dispense most liquid into bottles, leaving 1-2 cups as your “starter” for the next round. Repeat all previous steps (except now there is no need for store-bought kombucha).

If you like flavored kombucha, now is the time to add the different options! My favorites are lemon juice, ginger juice, and whole blackberries. Close the bottles and let sit for another 5-7 days. This develops the delicious “fizz” that makes kombucha seem like a healthy soda alternative!

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