Tag Archive | oats

skin series #2. body love.

I think it’s time we had a talk.  A little chat about our bodies.  No, no that talk, but this one for me, has been pretty significant.

Would you believe until a few months ago, I would never bare my legs?  I was the ‘girl who always wore black leggings,’ (title for my new novel?)  In Melbourne, this what not an issue, as the weather there is so sporadic you will get rain, wind, hot and freezing all in the space of a few hours.  You have to be clothing-ly prepared.  Also, people wear a lot of black in Melbourne; I think it’s to do with being trendy and mysterious or something.  In New Zealand, the black leggings were fine, as come on- it’s generally freezing there, even in the middle of Summer.  I fitted in well, wearing my leggings by day – spending my nights next to a cozy fire, braiding my leg hair.  It was all good.

Then I moved to Queensland.  A place that could be considered on the border of being sub-tropical.  A place where the catch phrase is ‘Queensland.  Beautiful one day, perfect the next.’  It’s actually called the ‘Sunshine State.’  So yes, it is warm and sunny.  All the time.  Black leggings?  Hmmm not really appropriate attire.  Especially at the beach.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the heat.  I love the sunshine, the outdoors, the beach, the water – it all makes me so happy.  What was making me unhappy was the state of my skin.  In particular, my legs.

The leggings were because my legs were pretty much constantly covered in a gross itchy rash.  If I shaved or waxed my legs, it would make it worse.  So I had hairy, rash covered pins.  Sexy.  I tried everything – super fancy supposedly sensitive razors, different creams/gels, different waxing techniques, you name it, I tried it.  Those depilatory creams are just so toxic it’s unbelievable (the smell along should be warning, I think I got a buzz off one) not to mention what they did to my skin.  Burning off your hair?  Oh yes, please, burn me!  I’ll pay money for you to burn me.  Amazing.

See the gap between where pants stop, and feet start?  That’s all that was ever bared.

So I kind of just gave up.  Resigned myself to constantly having tanned feet and ankles, with the rest of my legs being hairy, blue and rashy.  It was really depressing actually.

mmm, looks delicious, can I have a slice?

You actually could if you wanted to, but I’m not sure how you’d do swallowing this bad boy.  This (well, actually coconut oil) has given me the gift of bare legs… this Summer I’m wearing shorts.  Yeah.

I decided a few months ago I was over the leggings.  Over wearing any sort of long pants or skirts in Summer.  It’s ridiculous, and I want brown legs for once.  My cure?  Going back to basics.  No fancy pharmacy products with all their claims… just keeping things simple.

I figured if I can eat it, I can use it on my body… I came up with this idea, the concept of using coconut oil in the shower as a protective layer over my skin before shaving.  I already use it as a moisturiser, so I know my skin likes it.  Yes, it clogs up my razor, but now I can even use the crappiest of crappy cheap-o razor and my legs stay rash free.  Seriously, I love coconut oil.

I decided to take things a step further (read: had too much time on my hands, and a bag of beeswax I’ve been meaning to do something with for ages) and created a type of exfoiliating/moisturising shaving bar.  This is really simple.  Stupidly simple.  If you don’t have the shaving problems I did, this is just a lovely treat for your skin.  One side has oats and herbs to scrub away dead skin, and the other is a beautiful moisturiser.

Lou’s  Lotion Bar For Lovely Legs (and other bits)

  • Equal parts grated beeswax and coconut oil (pack beeswax down tightly) I used 3T of each.
  • 1/8t baking soda
  • 1t honey
  • 1/8C oats, roughly chopped
  • 1t rosemary (dry)
  • 2t lavender flowers (dry)
  1. Use a double boiler or a stainless saucepan that you don’t care about (I have a designated, non food creating one).  Gently melt down beeswax and add coconut oil.  Do not let it boil, you just want it melted.
  2. Add in everything else.  (This is super easy and quick as the heavy stuff sinks and the layers sort themselves out).
  3. Pour into desired moulds, or clean plastic container which has been lightly greased with olive oil. (I just use whatever is in my recycling bin).
  4. Place in fridge.
  5. Using a blunt butter knife, ease out of mould(s).  Chop up into pieces/slices if you made one large bar.
I store mine in the fridge due to the humidity here, and it prolongs it’s life.  Use within 2 weeks.
So that’s about it.  I have been wearing shorts constantly for the last 6 weeks – I actually have brown legs for the first time in years.  All thanks to coconut oil.   I got a wolf whistle yesterday… gotta love tradies (sorry, it is totally demeaning as a woman to be heckled at like an object by men on a building site.  Come, on you know you love it).
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Lord of the Bars

So, you’ve seen the movie.

I only remember the first one.  The other 2 are a bit of a sleepy daze… I think I fell into a sugar-induced coma after eating too many lollies.  I don’t really dig the fantasy genre.  Or science fiction.  Viper loves both.  We make it work; it can’t always be rose petals and sweet guitar serenades (particularly as he can only play 3 songs on the guitar, which he repeats and repeats and repeats, ah bless).

At least now, if someone has no idea about New Zealand, you can just say “Lord of the Rings,” and they will know what you are talking about.

The movie does look nice, but the real New Zealand is better:

Green is good.  Makes me happy.

I reckon this tree is older than Yoda.

Tiny man or huge rock?  You decide.

Way better than the movie.

According to Viper, to explore this wild and unspoilt land, you need much sustenance to fuel your intrepid journey.  He likens the satisfying power of this next recipe to that of “Hobbit-food” whatever that may be.   See the movie, now eat the bar.

Oaty Fruity Filler Bar:

My slightly more interesting version of these Friendly Fruit Bars – again, these would be very suitable for kiddies, just omit nuts if you are giving them to a baby/toddler (choking risk).

This recipe is kind of fool-proof.  You can make it how you like it.  Super fruity?  Blend extra fruit and have a nice thick fruit filling layer.  Like it a tad nutty?  Just add more nuts, it’s really that simple.  Don’t be afraid to play around – I would call myself an intuitive cook (just a fancy way of saying that I can’t stick to a recipe) Mistakes are good in the kitchen – it gives you the opportunity to work out a different flavour combination, method or technique.  Learn by DOING.

  • 1/2C dried fruit
  • 1C whole oats
  • 4T apple puree
  • 1T cinnamon (I’m crazy for the stuff, feel free to use less)
  • 1/4C walnuts
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t vanilla extract (optional)
Chose your dried fruit.  I went with what I had on hand (no, really?) apricots, prunes, fig.  Admittedly, not the most attractive when blended (see evidence further down) but tasty nonetheless.
Blend
Scrape out blended fruit “paste” and set aside.
I always blend the fruit first, as you don’t need to be too picky cleaning out the food processor – any bits of fruit left will just be blended back in the the oats (mmm fruity oaty).
Pulse your oats, apple, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and baking powder in a food processor.  The finished texture is up to you; a few oats left a bit chunky is nice for texture.  You could blend 3/4C oats, and fold in 1/4 cup of whole oats if you want, that’s the beauty of it, play around.
Spread half of your oaty mix into a lined baking tray.  Push down firmly.  Spread over your fruit paste.
Sprinkle over nuts.
Spread over remaining oaty mix, push the whole lot down firmly.  As it is a pretty crumbly mixute, I just sprinkle over the rest of the oaty mix, and kind of squash it together.  It doesn’t matter if you have gaps or holes – this is not a fussy appearance-driven bar, it’s all about taste.  This is what I like to call “rustic” food (this was a trick used in the cafe I used to work at – if something wasn’t perfect looking, we would just call it “rustic” – covers a multitude of sins).
Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven.
This recipe was made in a 20cm by 10cm loaf pan.
I think Gollum is angry, ‘cos I won’t give him any of MY “precious” bars.  Ha.