Aldi, you either love em or hate em.
I'm an Aldi convert, and lover! From their quirky adds to their no nonsense approach, I'm a huge fan.
And let's get real for a minute: I don't need a grocery store to look like Whole Foods when it's prices are this good. And you know what - I'll happily bag my own groceries without a breath of complaint. I've been bagging my own food for years since living in Europe anyway, so bring on the savings!
If you're looking to save some cash, and also like affordable organic finds, check out my personal Aldi Australia favs:
1. Organic Olive Oil
Delicious, fruity, organic, and oh so affordable.
2. Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
I usually buy natural peanut butter for $5 a pop at the grocery store. Their Oh So Natural smooth/crunchy peanut butter is a very close second and will save you some cash. This is my go-to peanut butter I'll use for baking, energy balls and smoothies.
3. California Walnuts
I love California walnuts! Call me crazy, but I think they really are the best in the world. They are packaged in plastic, so I just empty the nuts into my glass jars and then recycle the bag with my other soft plastics at Red Cycle.
4. Dry Gnocchi, by Remano
5. Organic Cacoa
6. Organic Eggs x 6
"You eat what you eat eats." This is one of my favourite quotes from the incredible mind of Michael Polen. So if you're eating eggs from a chicken that's been fed GMO corn, then you're eating GMO corn. Ew. Organic all the way.
7. Tamar Valley Dairy Kid's Yogurt (110 grams)
I try not to give my daughter yogurt on the go, but if we have a long road trip coming up, I like to grab one or two of these pouches for emergencies. They have a variety of flavours to choose from, and I pick whichever flavour has the lowest amount of sugar.
8. Almond milk
Inner Goodness almond milk can be found on the shelf or in the fridge at Aldi. The reason I like it is because of the ingredient list and it's also carrageenan free (a must if are consuming plant based milk. Carrageenan is a known carcinogenic!). Make sure you read your labels guys!
9. Goji Berries
These berries are a real superfood and are great value at Aldi, a lot cheaper than buying them in bulk. I add them to oatmeal in the morning, but more often then not, my daughter will eat them dry for a quick snack at the park or on the go.
10. Organic Kombucha (Lo Bros Peach and Ginger and the Raspberry Lemonade)
Everywhere else you'll pay at least $4, or more, for a single bottle of 330ml of 'buch. For $2.79 these are hard to beat, and the two flavours I mentioned above are stand outs! They also have 750ml bottles for purchase as well.
Well done Aldi, thanks for listening to your consumers. You really are a force to be reckoned with!
If you have been following along for a while, you'd would know that I'm new to this low-tox wellness journey. Unfortunately, it all started after my daughter was born. I still cringe thinking about all the chemical laiden rubbish I rubbed on my stomach in an attempt to avoid stretch marks. The things you learn, hey?
"Low- Tox" is a term that is very on trend at the moment and was coined by none other than Alexx Stuart, author of Low Tox Life. If you have not purchased this book yet, please do yourself a favour and START here. This book will lay it all out for you and it's the perfect stepping stone to start furthering your education about chemicals in the home, plastics, the war on waste and how you can lower your toxic exposure in surprisingly easy steps.
My husband came across an article shared by Dr. Rhonda Patrick on Twitter about air pollution and mortality in the New England Journal of Medicine. Studies have shown that long term expose to air pollution increases mortality. As a young family that just moved to Australia's busiest and most congested city, we were on board to keep our home as clean as possible in anyway we tangibly could.
After many hours of research, probably 5 or more reading and investing, my husband came to me with his I think we should invest in an air purifier pitch. He had already sent me all the medical journals and research papers and I was on board 100%. The next predicament was, which brand do we choose?
Here are a few things that helped us decide to go with Inovaair, "where clean air comes first."
1. Inovaair is an Aussie made and Aussie run company!
2. Recycles the air five times per hour in a 100 square foot room.
3. It doesn’t use an ioniser, so it’s just straight air filtration, no ozone emitted at all.
4. It’s in an all metal casing, so there is no plastic.
5. It has a 6 kilo (13 lb) activated charcoal filter, which was the biggest we could find on the market. We wanted to eliminate VOCs and our main focus was to eliminate gasses/pollution from our home since we live near a very busy highway. Air purifiers cannot eliminate harmful gasses from the air unless they have a carbon filter.
6. The reviews for their products were simply outstanding. There are over 240 to read and review, and I recommend having a look.
7. No bells and whistles, digital touch screens and fancy-schmancy nonsense.
8. Living in Sydney, it was only a 1-2 day delivery (Adelaide 2-3 days, Perth 4-5days).
9. The filters last 2-3 years (discount on replacement filters are offered when making your purifier purchase).
We started with the Airclean E20 Plus and then we loved it so much that we decided to get two more small filters for the bedrooms. Why? While the E20 can filter the entire town home, we wanted to have a small filter in the bedroom because it's where we spent approximately 8 hours of our day! And, we usually sleep with the doors closed, so it made sense to purchase another. We put one in our bedroom and one in our daughter's bedroom to keep our health as optimal as possible. They work so well: they eliminate odours in minutes, we no longer have dust bunnies, we haven't been sick and we don't need to open the doors for "fresh air." I am so thrilled we decided to take this low-tox plunge and invest in the very air we breathe in our sanctuary of a home.
Hope you found that interesting! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below or send me an email: email@example.com
Did you make New Year resolutions?
Were they associated with health and wellness in is some shape or form?
I'm going to assume the majority of you would say a BIG FAT yes!
I've teamed up with Black Chicken Remedies to giveaway their newest Gym Time Essentials Kit! Link to enter AT THE BOTTOM of this post!
100% Cotton Canvas Tote Bag
This bag looks so cute online, but what you can't see is how good the quality is! So many totes are open, but this one is nice and secure with a zipper, so it's great for the markets or as a carry on for a flight. I love versatility when it comes to reusable bags!
The Balm of Ages
I love how light this balm is. In the past, I've used balms that are nourishing, but far too greasy! This can be applied right onto your skin and you don't need to worry about it ruining your clothes or linen. And let's not forgot how good it smells thanks to the beautiful infusion of Sandalwood, lavender, patchouli and mandarin essential oils. I love that every member of our household can use this, even my daughter who suffers from eczema.
Their best selling all natural deodorant, The O.G., Axilla Deodorant Paste
BCR have sold over 750,000 deodorant pots.... and counting! There is a reason why too, and if you use this product, you already know why! There are also over 960 reviews if you want to have a read about what other people are saying.
HOT TIP: I also answered your top FAQ's on natural deodorant here - check it out!
2 Muslin Face Cloths
These are outstanding for cleaning your face. They're 100% pure cotton and gently exfoliate and clean the skin. Have you ever gone to the gym and then not showered right away, only to find that your skin kinda broke out? Take this baby to the gym with you to keep your skin clean and fresh.
How to use:
During my morning shower, I simply use these cloths with water only. In the evening when I wash my face, I apply my oil cleaner to dry skin and massage well. Then place your cloth under the hottest water you can, wring it out, and place on your face, steaming off the impurities. Gently wipe away the cleanser until it's all gone. I'm obsessed with these cloths, and I love that they are machine washable!
SO there you have it! Everything you need to hit the gym in style and keep smelling good and looking fresh!
ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
HOT TIP: Giveaway ends tonight 18/1/19 at 9pm AEST!
Want to buy or gift someone the Gym Time Essentials kit? If you use the code GYMREADY you will get a dry shampoo mini added to your cart! I have blogged all about this incredible product and it's an essential staple in my bathroom cabinet! This offer expires Feb 1st at 9am AEST
I have received a ton of questions on Instagram about natural deodorant, so I thought I'd do a blog post addressing some of the most FAQ's.
I'll be answering in regard to what I use currently, which is Black Chicken Remedies Axilla barrier boost deodorant paste. If you want to read other people's reviews as well, there are a whopping 922 reviews on their axilla deodorant alone.
1. Does it actually work?
Just because it's made of natural ingredients doesn't mean you won't get results!
2. How long does it take to work?
I went through a little bit of a detox period. I'd call this a transition phase as I made the switch from chemically dense, aluminum products to an all natural alternative. It took me about 2-3 weeks to purge all the toxins from my body, so I just weathered through the detox, or reapplied the paste around midday if it seemed fitting. My husband had a similar transition, but from memory his lasted a week or so. He plays sport professionally, and uses the deodorant paste daily with great results.
3. Can I shave before using it?
I find that my skin is a bit sensitive, so if I applied the Axilla Deodorant immediately after shaving, I would feel a bit of a burn (do to the sodium bi carb). I switched to the Barrier Boost sensitive skin formula, and have had no issues since. I can apply it to my underarms as soon as I'm out of the shower after shaving.
4. If it doesn't have aluminum in it, how does it work?
It's not an antiperspirant, so keep that in mind! It's job is to neutralise odours, not to avoid sweating. Sweating is natural body reaction - you shouldn't apply anything to stop that from happening!
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Paste:
Organic coconut oil: acts as an antibacterial agent and neutralises odours
Sodium Bicarbonate: neutralises odours
Arrowroot: absorbs moisture
Kaolin Clay: absorbs moisture and increases blood circulation
Organic Camellia tea oil and Vitamin E: soothes skin irritations
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Barrier Boost Paste (sensitive skin formula):
Magnesium hydroxide: acts as an antibacterial and helps to detoxify the skin
Organic shea butter: soothes skin and is also an anti-inflammatory
Diatomaceous Earth: ph neutral, rich in silica and an antimicrobial agent
Tapioca: absorbs moisture
*Sodium Bicarb free
HOT TIP: The signature blends in both of these products have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
5. Does it have a smell? If so, what makes it smell good?
Yes, it smells nice. It isn't odorless. Black Chicken uses essential oils to make their products smell next level nice. A few of the essentials oils they use are: pink grapefruit, mandarin, geranium bourbon, ylang ylang, cedarwood, lime, and lavender.
6. How long does it last?
I wasn’t sure if this question was meant about daily product results or monthly consumption of Axilla, so:
A. It lasts all day, no need to reapply it.
B. A tub of the paste lasts us between 2-4 months (depends if my husband and I are sharing!)
7. How do you apply it if it's a paste?
Place a small amount between your fingers and rub them together, gently warming up the paste. Rub on both armpits, and voilà! Or, you can just watch this watch this 28 second clip on YouTube.
Still have questions?
Email me or comment below!
The bad news: Two in three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70.
The good news: 95% of skin cancers can be successfully treated IF detected early.
Sunscreen. It's an absolute necessity.
Coming from a girl who has A LOT of freckles, listen to me when I say.... you need to wear it. I was relatively sun smart as a kid playing soccer for many, many hours a week in the California heat. A smear on the shoulders and the cheeks always seemed to suffice. However, it wasn't until I was in college that I started to wear sunscreen regularly on my face as a preventative measure. On my body? Sure, but only when I was lying out by the pool.
If you live in Australia you'd know the expression "Slip, Slop, Slap" by heart. I'd obviously never heard of it before moving here, but it's a really easy way to remember sun safety. It is also a requirement for children to follow when attending school if they want to play outside!
Slip on a shirt
Slop on some sunscreen and
Slap on a hat.
Australia has the world's highest rate of skin cancer... Eek! Beach culture is quintessential to living that Aussie lifestyle, but we must look after our skin to prevent harmful melanomas, keep our skin healthy and the added bonus of a youthful complexion doesn't hurt!
I've made a list of my favourite sunscreens, (and I tell you why I love them), as well as what part of the body to use them on. Couldn't spell it out any clearer.... Let's dive in shall we?
And there you have it! If you have any questions, comment below or send me an email so I can help you out.
Gimme all the collagen! I'm officially closer to middle age (as of September) and I find myself lusting after my daughter's collagen rich skin more frequently.
All jokes aside, I'm just starting to really look toward, what I call, skin repairing now. I've been on the prevention path for a while, but the time has come for lots of TLC and repair. I think that's part and parcel of becoming a mum and running on less sleep and longer days.
So what two things have I been doing to warrant my latest barrage of complexion compliments?
1. Using Mukti's microneedle derma roller twice a week. The needles create micro channels in the skin which help your skin to absorb the products you already use more efficiently.
2. Using Black Chicken Remedies newest Nocturnalist Night Serum nightly. This new, uniquely formulated serum rejuvenates skin cells during our sleep cycle, so it does all the heavy lifting while you catch up on your much needed Zzz's.
During the day our skin tries to stay hydrated and protected from the elements. However, during the nighttime, our skin goes into recovery mode, much like humans actually. This serum is designed to assist in your skin's recovery, hydrate and reduce oxidation and inflammation.
Directions: Before going to bed, I apply 3-5 drops to clean skin and massage it well into my cheeks, forehead and neckline.
HOT TIP: If I'm doing a little extra for Self Care Sunday, then I Gua Sha immediately after applying the serum.
What are the active ingredients you ask?
Prickly Pear: is rich in amino acids and encourages collagen production and elasticity to brighten + tighten pores
Lemon: is loaded with Vitamin C. It's also one of the best-known anti-aging agents
Frankincense: helps promote healthy circulation and reduces the appearance of sun spots
Geranium Bourbon: helps with cellular regeneration
Neroli: boosts luminosity and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Myrrh: rejuvenates aging skin
Cypress: has antimicrobial properties that help remove toxins from the skin
I love how thick and nourishing the serum is and it smells so bloody good. You can tell they spared no expense sourcing the best of the best ingredients. My favourite part is that this serum is 100% natural, completely free of chemicals, toxins, preservatives and Australian-made. It's totes a necessity in every "30- something year old's" medicine cabinet!
What does your night time routine look like? Tell me in the comments below.
Cedar + Stone is a 100% plant based vegan skincare company based in the Currumbin Valley, Australia.
The company was founded by Kate and Anna, two sisters that were tired of shopping at organic health shops only to find that many skincare products still had unnecessary chemicals. The sister duo decided to whip up some homemade alternatives, and Cedar + Stone was born.
Their line of skincare products are proudly cruelty free, gluten free, paraben free, sulphate and SLS free.
My Latest Haul from Cedar + Stone:
If you sign up for Cedar + Stone's newsletter, they will email you a voucher for $20 off your next purchase.
Also, you'll get free shipping on orders over $100
So, long story short, I haven't purchased make up for many, many years.
When I started my low-tox lifestyle transition after my daughter's birth, I threw out make up I'd held on to for years (as in 5+ years old). Shock horror, am I right! GROSS.
I've been wearing sunscreen and mascara, or a simple BB cream for years now with the occasional eyeliner when I needed to really spruce up.
My daughter is now 18 months old and I'm quickly approaching my mid 30's. The last few months, I've felt as if BB cream isn't cutting it. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with my La Mav BB cream and tell everyone about it. I just felt like it was finally time to simply add something to the mix and help this tired mama perk up her appearance just a bit.
But where to start?
What are those puffy egg looking things used for anyway?
I had no clue, but I decided to see what had happened within the beauty world the last decade.
I'd recently seen Mon from The Beauty Journal feature some clean beauty items on her instagram that peaked my interest. I wanted them to be cruelty free, non-toxic and "clean" because it would be pretty pointless to lead a low-tox life in every aspect except what went directly on my skin.
I decided to check some products out online from Conscious Kin. If you live in Brisbane, I highly recommend visiting their stunning shop which is tucked away on the gorgeous James Street. They also just opened a new shop in the Gold Coast as well if that is closer to you. If you're looking to make some clean beauty swaps, Conscious Kin is a great place/website to start your journey.
What are your favourite clean beauty brands? Tell me in the comments below!
She is also the founder of Love Mae, which is one of my all time favourite brands that I came across as a new mum myself. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, I adore their bio-degradable, non-toxic, plastic free, bamboo dinnerware which we use daily for my daughter. I didn't know that their range is actually a lot more broad, including; lunch boxes, stickers, wall decals and kid's room decorations.
I wanted to know more about this ambitious Mumprenuer in Byron Bay, and I want you to know more about her as well!
WELCOME Peta!!!!! SO happy to have you!
A lot of people might not know that you used to be a photographer and a chef before starting Love Mae in 2008. What did you learn most about yourself when you were in these professions?
I learned early on that you can do anything if someone gives you the chance…. and that I work well under pressure. The pressure makes me tap into this "can do" space in my brain and all the noise of failure and insecurity disappears. At that point I can just do what needs to be done. It’s such an empowering feeling, and these days I feel like I can tap into that space whenever I like. My brain is wired to achieve.... some days that is good…. and others it is just purely annoying! he he
What's your house like in Byron Bay? Is it as perfect and whimsical as your designs?
Actually I think I’m a little in between styles at the moment. We moved from our renovated hinterland cottage about three years ago and headed back to the beach… worst house, best location kinda situation. I live about 15 minutes north of Byron in an old holiday house, that is small and desperately in need of a makeover. I’m not too precious though and I can easily wait while we work on the plans. Meanwhile, we can hear the waves and we’ve made it comfortable with relaxed furniture and landscaped the backyard. We spend our time on our large back deck where there is a huge table for hanging out with friends, as well as a lounge area for lazing…. although being winter we spend more time around the fire pit than anywhere else.
My favourite restaurant in Byron is Folk. What's yours?
Oh I love Folk, I could live there… quite literally. It’s hard to talk favourites… do you mind if I give you my Top 5? For lunch, they would be 100 Mile Table (The Best!), The Farm, Luscious, Barrio and the pop up Japanese that you’ll find in a caravan Tuesday to Friday out the front of the surf shop. We are spoiled for choice and that is not even taking into account the cafes and restaurants in the town centre of Byron.
Why did you choose bamboo for the dinnerware range?
We originally used to make our dinnerware in melamine. It took a lot of time to allow myself to free the guilt from producing something so disastrous for the planet and it’s oceans. That stuff will never break down, and I still cringe a little that we did it. When I went looking for an alternative, bamboo was the one that stood out for us because it ticked all the right boxes. What a brilliant thing that these sets will not cause the troubles that melamine and other products do.
What's the very first thing you do every morning?
Meditate…. it’s the only way my brain won’t self destruct. ;-)
Childbirth: Traumatic, transformative or ___________?
Interesting… slightly questionable that it needs to be like that (he he)…. but in the end, amazing! Nothing beats that moment of the last push and the sound of your baby realising they are filling their lungs with air.
My favourite time of day is….
This is hard, I love so many parts of the day. At a push my favourite part is my swim in the ocean. I swim almost every day of the year… including winter. Nothing beats the rush in winter and in summer it’s just pure weightless bliss.
The best thing about being a small business owner…..
Giving a shit about everything… employees, customers, products… even the layout and look of the studio. It feels so good to care and to ride the ups and downs of your own decisions. It’s not like I ever feel in control, but if I lean enough in a certain direction it steers the ship and that feels great.
The worst thing about being a small business owner….
I find hiring and firing very painful. I get so nervous interviewing and need help throughout the whole process. I’m a bit awkward at the best of times and in that situation I’m a mess. As for firing…. no words needed! No one enjoys that process and I’m lucky it's so rare I don’t usually have to worry about it.
How do you practice self care?
Every morning I rise before anyone in my house and sit still for 15 - 20 minutes (meditate), then exercise and finish off with a swim. I’ve only just gotten back to the exercise bit, and I’ve sworn to my body to never give it up…. even when I get back to fitting into my clothes!
Recently I fell off the wagon and it wasn’t pretty. I now find the strength to get up every morning and show the body and mind complete respect.
What’s the best book you have have ever read?
Again I’m sorry…. it’s too much pressure for something I have such passion for… I LOVE reading! Here’s my Top 5.
Aztec, by Gary Jennings (History is so disturbing and intense and this is not for the feint hearted!)
Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (my kind of bible)
The Signature of all Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mallawindy, by Joy Dettman
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
I know that as soon as I press send I’ll think of another 5 books I wish I had of put here. I love books so much.
In your opinion, what determines success?
Perseverance and endurance. You need to wholeheartedly want to complete things no matter the odds. Admittedly, sometimes the stars need to align and I have all sorts of personal theories on that. The important things it to know how to get things done and keep at it no matter how rough the road may seem.
Your work culture at Love Mae is “Family First,” which I love. Over the last ten years, has it been difficult to put your family first juggling life, work and two daughters?
In all honesty, it is easy to create that ethos for everyone that works here, but for me it’s the hardest thing ever. The assembly performance coincides with deadlines for the new range, or the NY trade show falls on my husband's birthday, my girls are sick when I’ve got meetings that took months to get… the list goes on, but I just take each day as it comes. I hope that my girls have memories of my being there for them despite the fact that sometimes I cannot.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to our readers who are new to the War On Waste
This shit needs to be taken seriously….. start making changes! There is so much more we could be doing. And why isn’t unnecessary packaging controlled? Imagine how many plastic containers are being opened right now, whether it be toys or fruit and veg, that are immediately put in the landfill bin. It's insane!
As a mum to two girls, what are your aspirations for them as young women?
I’m not sure this is my biggest aspiration, but it’s a theme in our house at the moment.
We are working on taking responsibility for our own reactions as no-one can make you feel anything unless you give them permission. Sometimes a tilt of the head, a smile on your face and a feeling of curiosity can get you through the most hurtful situations. When people hurt others, it’s because they are hurting. We can help make them feel better if we just know how to forgive and not take things personally. Concentrate on the good of a person and hopefully they will give you that same grace when you are having a bad day. Anything can be turned into a positive if we just leave our defensive responses aside.
What exciting things can we anticipate for Love Mae in 2018/19?
All going well, new products! You’ve no idea how much I wish I could tell you more…. but I’m seriously very excited about the processes we are going through at the moment to make this happen.
Still wanna know more?
You can follow Import Ants on Instagram
or on Facebook
Check out Strass & Co 's beautiful line of plastic free beauty
They are on Facebook and Instagram too
Still unsure about what to do?
Watch this video about how to dry brush
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.