Left over raspberry Jam! Quick & Simple

You hear the fridge open and a few seconds later a little face appears with evidence of red markings around the month, he’s been in the raspberries again. You think to yourself, you bought 4 punnets, a few eaten berries should not change what you have in store for those lovely, red bubbly berries. Than you notice a tall figure hovering in the door of the fridge, what could he possible be doing in there, surely not eating the raspberries. Not the ones you had bought to make your first homemade preserve. You realize time is running out, it’s been two days since you bought the 4oz box, but life has been soo busy with school holidays, afternoon activities and procrastination that you pretty much had no time at all to make your preserves. It’s crunch time, another day and there will be nothing left. So you decide it’s time

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Ingredients – what you are left with after everyone has helped themselves to the raspberries

2 cups of raspberries  (preferably organic or pesticide free)

1/2  cups raw sugar

Juice from 1medium  lemon

Preperation:

Jars – I like to do a simple sterilizing of my jar by filling it with extremely hot water from the kettle and covering the lid in a bowl with hot water too. Leave it as is till it is time to fill.

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Wash raspberries and let water drain. Place in pot with sugar and   juice from half the lemon. Stir through and place on high heat. You will notice the raspberries dissolve. Once this begins to happen, begin using spoon to stir. Make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let it boil for about 6mins and stir again. As the sauce starts to thicken, add juice from other half of lemon. Stir through. Continue to let it boil for additional 2-3 mins. remove from burner. Using a metal spoon, dip stop in preserve, let it stand. Once cool. If it becomes jelly like, it’s ready. If still a bit runny, place back on the burner for an additional 5mins on high heat than remove.

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Empty water from canning or masonry jar. Place in your sterilized canning jar, let it stand till cool. Place in fridge and enjoy when ready!

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Things I have learnt so far while caring for my naturally coiling hair!

After 3 1/2 months. My hair is at it’s healthiest. There are a few things I have learnt and discovered while taking care of my hair and  I wanted to share with you!

This weeks hair style: 80’s twist out

After 2 1/2 weeks of up buns for the sake of protective styling, I decided to take a break.  Lets just say I may have taken the leave your hair alone too far. It was a jungle in there. After an hr of careful detangling, I learnt my lesson. Being lazy does not mean neglect  So after a nice deep cleanse and mud wash, I decided this week I am rocking the my 80’s twist out. Loving it already

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Skin, UV and the Melanin inbetween

So as most people that know me know, I am pretty strict when it comes to protecting my skin and my family’s from the harmful rays that shower us all year round. As my annual skin check approaches, I thought it fitting to cover I wasn’t always this way, and perhaps I have already done more damage than good, but these days I am obsessive and I think for good reason.  At 31, I have yearly checks like everyone else to keep an eye on my moles, freckles, and any signs of melanoma in my nails, the palm of my hands and under my feet. You see at my very first skin check, I found out that people of african racial ethnicity  and people with dark skin can get skin cancer too! While the percentage is not as high as those with fair skin, the mortality rate was higher in those with dark skin because it was usually found late by which point likely spread.  You see some people with dark skin and some doctors neglect skin checks because they are not aware that  melanomas can accure among people with dark skin especially those of African racial ethnicity. So in celebration of my up coming annual skin check, I thought I would nag on the importance of protecting your skin whiles still getting the much needed Vitamin D needed.

So a little history….

I spent some of my early years in West Africa, you can imagine how hot it is.  I also spent a lot of visits at the doctor for sore skin and peeling skin, all of which was put down to sensitivity to the  water and some soaps and creams. You see my whole life, I had been getting sunburns and no one realized, not even me!  Why, well because I grew up thinking I was blessed with the gift of melanin and therefore immune from all things related to sunburns, I spent many hours in the sun in my teen years basking in the golden californian sun hoping for that exotic dark complexion with nothing to show but uneven skin tones, moles and sore peeling skin. Since high school, I have been careful with my sun exposure, and life has been wonderful. I stopped peeling, the scabs ceased but the countless moles and freckles on my face and body are a constant reminder of the damage I have caused. Since my teens I have only had 2 major sunburns, both of which were due to my own lack of discipline and over exposure to way too much sun.

Understanding UVA, UVB and Melanin 

So the long and short of it. UVA as I understand it cause oxidative damage to the skin sells DNA. It’s the one that gives you that instant tan on the same day you have been out in the sun and than fades a few days later. It can penetrate glass so don’t think you will be safe from it in the car or in the office whiles you stare out the window. The problem with UVA is that you can’t tell when you are reaching damaging levels because unlike UVB there is no evidence of burning or redness. Thats right folks, fair skin or dark skin you won’t know when you have reached your maximum levels unless you start to show a temp tan which fades after 1 – 2 days which by than is really too late. UVA is also the cause of skin aging. In those with fair skin it might look like wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, and in those with dark skin you might notice an increase in facial moles, darker patches of skin on the neck, forehead and other parts of the body, and  uneven skin tone. And while Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra is common and hereditary in those with dark skin, it can also a sign of skin damage. UVA goes deep in the layers of the skin, and can penetrate through the leaves of trees. There is no hiding from it.

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UVB is what my husband frequently gets exposed to and often quickly reaches his capacity as his skin reddens because he lazily applied his sunscreen with one giant sweep missing everywhere except his nose checks and forearms. Often under the misconception that applying sunscreen is only for days you go to the beach or at bbqs at the park, and that when applied it last the whole day! We are all guilty of not re applying after 2 hrs or after a swim, and thinking that skin cancer is an old age thing, but who really wants to get skin cancer in their old age? Really, who?

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So how does this tie to people with dark skin and wearing sunblock? Well it’s simple, people with dark skin, and that is anyone that has olive skin and darker have higher levels of spf protection naturally in their skin, but still not enough to protect from skin damage or developing skin cancer, with the max level being spf 13 in very dark african skin. Now not every dark skin person has a level of spf 13 protection so we need sun screen to help protect our skin from prolonged exposure, that being 2 hrs or more in the sun. Yes people in africa and other hot countries live without sunscreen and are fine. That’s because all countries don’t all have the same UV readings.In some parts of world. UV readings do not exceed 6 or even 8. However other places have how levels at 9 and up. Most people with dark skin that live in hot countries wear clothing that cover up their bodies, and seek shade from the sun during the hottest part of the day which gives them some protection from sun damage, however, for those of us that live in northern climates  we have taken to soaking up the sun’s rays in summer to make up for the long winter ahead and synthesis of Vit D. After all it’s only 3 months of sun how much damage can you make? Just remember wearing sunscreen will not stop the warmth of the sun from soothing your skin so, put it on.

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at last skin check, 4 of these dark moles were of concern. Not a problem if it stays as it is. If it starts to change than, well, it’s a problem

What I have learnt about UVRs, Melanin, skin and skin cancers

1) People with brown skin to very dark skin can get skin cancer too, and have a higher mortality rate due to late diagnosis

2) Those with fair skin can get their daily dose of Vitamin D with 10 -15mins of sun exposure

3) Those with dark skin need almost 2hrs in the sun to get their daily dose of Vitamin D due to melanin blocking UV

4) Between 10am – 4pm, after 8-15mins without sunscreen or protective clothing for those with fair skin and 2hrs of sun      exposure for those the dark skin ; in regions with high UV reading you are all all in danger!

5) There is a daily forecast for UV

6) UVA can penetrate glass

7) UVA and UVB penetrates clothing. More for light clothing and less for dark clothing. A catch 22 I know since wearing dark clothes will make you hot and cause you to wear less layers. Ahh

8) UVA causes skin aging so protecting your skin with sunscreen or shade will help keep those wrinkles at bay.

9) Skin cell damage and not just sun exposure is what activates more melanin production. So the next time you find a tan line, know that you had to damage your skin for that to happen.

10) Get your Vitamin D between 7am and 10am or 4:30 pm – till the sun sets. That is more than enough time for all skin tones to get exposure without sun protection without causing damage. It is always a good idea to check your cities UV forecast just incase.

Now go book your skin check because living naturally means naturally looking after yourself outside and in.

COMING NEXT:  SUNSCREEN THE BEST NATURAL OPTIONS

This week’s snack idea – fruit salad with rye toast and nut butter

Eating a snack full of foods filled with antioxidants and protein twice a day outside your regular mean meals is very healthy for the body. It supplies much needed energy that the body needs to function. It helps maintain the blood sugur wether you are hypo glycemic or hyper glycemic.  With the continual day to day that results in our bodies being exposed to pollution and other free radicals, it is important to continually eat foods that will help repair some of the oxidative damage that might result.

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Snack ingredients for the week:

1/2 cup of watermelon – high in lycopene , which is important for prostate health. Keep in mind, it is high on the glycemic index and should be eaten with other foods that will help low the glucose effect

1/2 cup of cantaloupe (rockmelon) – extremely high in vitamin A, which I must say is on my top 5 for vitamins we can’t live without. Vitamin A is immune supportive, protects the respiratory system, helps with cell damage, supports vision, maintains normal and healthy skin. A is fat soluble, meaning it stays in the body much longer and stores in the liver, so it is important not to exceed 400o iu per day.

5 small strawberries – high in Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

1/4 cup blueberries –  high in lutein, potassium. Vitamin A & Vitamin K. Lutein has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts. It also can turn the skin bronze. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Be aware K can interfere with blood thinning medication. It is however a good way of getting Vitamin k into breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women with low platelet counts

1 green kiwi – rich in calcium, magnesium, k and Vitamin C. This fruit is a supper food! For those that can’t have Vitamin K but want the remainder benefits, golden kiwi has less k than green. a difference of 40micrograms in green kiwi compared to 5.5 micrograms.

2 pieces of rye bread  – will give you protein

2 table spoons of raw, natural, unsalted peanut butter – that’s 8 grams of protein in just 2 table spoon, no cholesterol, high in B3, folate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. For those sensitive or allergic to peanuts, try tahini as an alternative.

1 cup soy, almond, rice milk with a table spoon of blackstrap molasses – protein from soy, calcium from almonds. A significant amount of  magnesium, b6, manganese, potassium and iron from just 1 table spoon of the blackstrap molasses. so less is more.

HAPPY HEALTY EATING

Hairstyle for the week – Low hawk & Turtle buns

Soo with the heat we have had in the Pacific NW, there was no way I was going to let my hair fry, especially after all the hard work I have put in. Now we all know how lazy I am so I had to come up with some up dos that were quick and easy and sleep proof the result:

The beginning of my hair week which was last saturday, I worked this low hawk, which was totally awesome! I had soo much fun with it and it held up for a good 3 days

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This Weeks hairstyles

This Weeks hairstyles

Day 4 begin the turtle buns. I used this as a way of  keeping y hair from sweating as the weather stayed hot. The spaces between  allowed my scalp to stay dry and breathe whiles the buns protected the ends. I liked this a lot!

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How to do twist outs without the wash & go.

Okay folks, As you well know now, I am loving the whole hair do thing now that I finally know how to work with my coils. This is my first tutorial on how I get my twist out look always looking tidy. This is a tutorial for everyone regardless of your hair type or texture. Just try it and see what happens. If you don’t have curly or coily hair and wish you could try, swap the water for gel and leave out the oil till you open your hair the next day. So if you get the courage to try it and it comes out great or not soo great tag a pic, it’s all in the love of having fun!