Saturday, August 30, 2014


It's not even a new discovery, but day by day there are new ways to use it!!!

Today's new lesson? SUNBLOCK!!!!

Store bought sun screen can block UVB rays but these are 'good' rays that can provide our body with vitamin D. Coconut oil doesn't block these rays but it does provide a protective layer for your skin against the sun and helps you tan too.
Incidentally, these store bought products also contain cancer causing chemicals (including palm oil derivatives) even if in small doses...(look for: retinyl palmitate)

Coconut oil uses

  • Cooking oil
  • Sunblock
  • Face care
  • Hair care
  • Toothpaste (mix with baking soda & peppermint oil!)
  • In the shower - try coconut oil, baking soda and aloe vera gel!
  • sunburn!
  • Apparently, it can help you lose weight too! SERIOUSLY  check it -


As a side note - raspberry oil has a stronger SPF factor than coconut oil.

Red Rapsberry Seed Oil has SPF as high as 28 – 50
Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6
Macadamia Oil – SPF 6
Sesame Seed Oil SPF 4
Shea Butter – SPF 4
Jojoba Oil – SPF 4
Coconut Oil – SPF 2

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sugar Cookie Scrub!

A mother's day present taken from class blog - 
 This was one of my favourite crafts with the kids!

...And it was certainly the best smelling one too!

When we made Chai tea last month, the class could not get enough of the cinammon!
With this in mind, I knew this was the perfect activity for their Mother's Day present!

We call it Cookie Sugar Scrub and it can be used on the hands, face, feet and body. it is one hundred percent edible too but as it is all sugar, it might not be the best thing to do!

They all had a blast mixing it all and filling the jars!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil (we used pure olive oil)
1 tsbp cinammon
1 tsbp nutmeg
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Shimoda conditions for the creatures...

There is always a big debate with animal lovers about just how much zoos and aquariums can really 'educate' us about each animal.

Shimoda floating aquarium

For example, you don't hear the gibbon song at Ueno Zoo because each gibbon is alone in a cage compared to the wilderness of the forest where they sing from tree to tree. BUT, these places can offer us the chance to see creatures we might never normally come face to face with even if we do travel to their country of origin.

The dolphin 'homes'

The dolphins at Shimoda aquarium are directly from Taiji, but that is not what this is about.

Once captured dolphins, turtles and all sea creatures at this aquarium deserve some semblance of respect and good quality of living conditions especially given the vast area of water they would normally live in. But, as if witnessing the mass murder of their family members or the brutal and heartbreaking separation from their babies, these creatures are then made to live in horrid conditions while still being expected to perform tricks for the visitors as well as accompany snorkelers in the water.

Improve the living conditions at Shimoda aquarium! Sign this petition!


While the whole experience is a learning process for the humans involved, what does it all mean for the animals? The dolphins are supposed to stay in that rectangular compound that is rusting at the sides? We saw plastic bags and garbage floating on the water...

And the loggerhead turtles? 

Please see the pictures below...

I wish I had taken more and some video just to prove the point, but I think you can imagine..

Loggerhead turtles need much more space than what the aquarium is offering them... all nine of them, outside the gift shop.

This is not education. This is cruel.Look at their shells, their sad faces and their horrid 'house'. This needs to change.

I have written some messages to the aquarium because we need to know if they are aware of this situation and they are changing it at all.

Also, to precipitate any futures changes that they should be making, I have started a petition, we need as many signatures as possible to show them that many people care about this situation.  Please sign and share and even though these creatures will have to live in captivity, let's at least make it a more pleasant experience for they deserve that much.


Improve the living conditions at Shimoda aquarium! Sign this petition!


They can grow up to 120cm!! and 140kg....but not in this tank..


Improve the living conditions at Shimoda aquarium! Sign this petition!



Improve the living conditions at Shimoda aquarium! Sign this petition!



And, I forgot to even add this, but when you arrive at Izukyushimoda station, there is a tank with two or three turtles waiting to 'greet' you and remind you of your potential visit to the aquarium. Ugh.

Taken from their facebook page

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Palm Oil...and how to avoid it.

This needs to be shared.

My friends have been asking about palm oil, and it is high time I had a list to hand to give them!

Deforestation in Indonesia is happening on the fastest scale. Even a moratorium is breached because illegal loggers and lax tax loopholes mean that forests can still be cleared for oil palm plantations.

How does this even affect us?

Palm oil is all around us and indirectly, even unintentionally, we are contributing to the deforestation of Indonesia's lush rainforests. 

Over 60% of the world's palm oil is produced in Indonesia.

Palm oil is so hard to trace and it is labeled in such ways that we would never know it is there.

In foods, it is simply labelled as VEGETABLE OIL (植物油)...but this could be any number of oils. It is important to check for the levels of saturated fat - the higher the levels, the more likely it is palm oil.

Then there are the beauty products. Unless you can source your products carefully, expect most drugstore products to contain the following...

(These are ones that I have come across during my daily life at the drugstore  in Japan, hence the translations. For an extensive list, see below.)

At the drugstore- 

(Check shampoos, conditioners, lip balms, face creams, body creams, toothpastes, mouthwashes, laundry detergent, washing up liquid, face masks....)

ラウリン酸 -  SLS Sodium Laurel Sulphate
ミリスチン酸 -Myristic Acid
ステアリン酸 - Stearine (Palm Stearine) Stearic Acid
ラウロアンホ酢酸Na -sodium lauroamphoacetate 
 ドデシル硫酸ナトリウム - Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
ラウリル硫酸Na - sodium lauryl
ラウレス硫酸ナトリウム - Sodium Laureth Sulfate
ステアリン酸グリセリル - Glyceryl Stearate SC 
ラウロイルサルコシンナトリウム - Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

And, I am not even going into detail about the health triggers...
The addition of a palm oil derivative indicates a chemical procedure, which means the product is not good for you in any way, despite any claims of its superpowers.....

Do you know the meaning of the colors ?
Green : Natural.
Blue : Natural + Medicine.
Red : Natural + Chemical composition.
Black : Pure Chemical.


Remember, our ancestors lived without half this nonsense 50 years ago, so why should we 'need' it now?

At the supermarket - 

In foods palm oil is mostly disguised as Vegetable Oil. You need to check for saturated levels ...the more saturated fat, the more likely palm oil. Opt for saturated free fat. 

Watch out for out school favourites too...See hydrogenated vegetable oil on the label? PALM OIL. 

Like palm oil.

Like instant noodles? Like chocolates? Like crisps or potato chips, whatever you call them?...Like palm oil.

Anything that can last a long time on the has palm oil...

Always read the labels too. 
This blog entry was of particular interest - turns out a joint of beef is not just that...:- 


How do you know what to avoid when you go shopping??? 

The tip - KEEP IT NATURALSource your products. That's all.

(Be warned - it can be found in gasoline too...)

You can download a copy of chemicals to avoid  HERE and it fits right in your wallet! - has this concise list in alphabetical order.
Here is the list for 'easy' reference.

Acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472a/E472a)
Aluminium Stearate
Aluminium, calcium, sodium, magnesium salts of fatty acids (470/E470a; E470b)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate &
Cetearyl Alcohol &
Cetyl Alcohol & Glycerin &
Cetyl Acetate
(Face wash)
Ammonium laureth sulphate
Ammonium lauryl sulphate
Arachamide mea
Ascorbyl palmitate
Ascobyl palmitate (304)
Azelaic acid
Butyl stearate
Calcium lactylate 
Calcium oleyl lactylate (482/E482)
Calcium Stearate
Calcium Stearoyl lactylate (482/E482)
Capric triglyceride
Caprylic acid
Caprylic triglyceride
Caprylic/capric triglyceride
Caprylic/capric /stearic triglyceride
Caprylol glycine
Cetyl Alcohol & Glyceryl Stearate &
Glycerin & Propylene Glycol
('Herbal' shampoo)
Caprylyl glycol
Cetrimonium chloride
Ceteareth (2-100)
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetearyl ethylhexanote
Cetearyl glucoside
Cetearyl olivate
Ceteth - 20
Ceteth - 24
Cetyl acetate
Cetyl alcohol
Cetyl ethylhexanoate
Ctyl hydroxyethycellulose
Cetyl lactate
Cetyl octanoate
Cetyl palmitate
Cetyl ricinoleate
Citric and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472c/E472c)
Cocoa butter equivalent (CBE)
Cocoa butter substitue (CBS)
Decyl oleate
Diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472/E472e)
Dilinoleic acid
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
Distilled Monoglyceride Pal
Elaeis guieensis oil
Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 470-8, 481-483, 493-495
Epoxidized palm oil (uv cured coatings)
Ethyl lauroyl arginate (243) 
Ethylene glycol monostearate
Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate
Ethylhexyl palmitate
Fatty alcohol sulphates
Glycerin (Found in soaps)
Glycerin or glycerol (422)
Glyceryl distearate
Glyceryl laurate
Glyceryl monostearate
Glyceryl myristate
Glyceryl oleate
Glyceryl polymethacrylate
Glyceryl stearate
Glyceryl stearate SE
Glycol distearate
Glycol stearate
Guineesis (palm)
Hexyl laurate
Hydrogenated palm glycerides
Isopropyl isosterate
Isopropyl palmitate
Isopropyl titanium triisostearate
Isostearamide DEA
Isosterate DEA
Isotearic acid
Isostearyl alcohol
Lactic and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472b/E472b)
Lauramide DEA
Lauramide MEA
Lauramine oxide
Lauric acid
Lauroyl sarcosine
Lauryl betaine
Lauryl lactate
Lauryl glucoside (from palm)
Lauryl pyrrolidone
Linoleic acid
Magneium myristate
Magnesium stearate
Mixed tartaric, acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472/E472f)
Mono- and di- glycerides of fatty acids (471/E471)
Myristic acid
Myristic Cetrimoium Chloride Acid
Myristyl myristate
Octyl palmitate
Octyl stearate
Octyldodecyl myristate
Octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate
Oleamide MIPA
Oleic acid
Oleyl betaine
Olivem 1000
Palm fruit oil
Palm oil
Palm olein
Palm stearine
Palmitic acid
Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride
Palmitoyl myristyl serinate
Palmitoyl oxostearamide
Palmitoyl oligopeptide
Paltetrapeptide - 3
PEG-100 stearate
PEG-15 stearyl ether
PEG-150 distearate
PEG-2 oleamine
PEG-20 stearate
PEG-4 lauratete sodium stearoyl lactylate (481/E481) Sodium laurate
PEG-40 stearate
PEG-8 distearate
PEG-8 stearate
PEG-80 sorbitan laurate
Pentaeythrityl tetraisostearate
Peptide complex
Polyethylene (40) stearate (431)
Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (475/E475)
Polyglycerol-2 oleyl ether 
Polyglyceryl-3 dilisostearate
Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate
Polyglyceryl-4 oleyl ether
Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20 sorbitan monostearate (435/E435)
Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20 sorbitan tristearate (436/E436)
Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20 sorbitan monoolate (433/E433)
Polysorbate -20
Polysorbate -40
Polysorbate -80
Polysorbate -85
Potassium stearate
PPG-15 stearate ether
Potassium stearate
PPG-15 stearate ether
Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids (477/E477)
Propylene glycol laurate 
Retinyl palmitate &
Proppylene glycol (Boots, UK product)
Propylene glycol stearate
Retynyl Palmitate 
Saponified elaeis guineensis
Sodium cetearyl sulphate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye
Sodium oleyl lactylalfate
Sodium laureth sulphate
Sodium  laureth-13 carboxylate
Sodium lauryl lactylate
Sodium lauryl
Sodium lauryl ether suphate
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Sodium lauryl suphate
Sodium palm kernelate
Sodium palmate
Sodium palmitate
Sodium  stearate
Sodium stearoyl lactylate
Sorbitan isostearate
Sorbitan laurate
Sorbitan  monostearate (491)
Sorbitan  palmitate
Sorbitan  sesquioleate
Sorbitan trioleate
Sorbitan  tristearate
Sorbitan  tristearate (491)
Sorbitan palmitate
Sorbitan sesquioleate
Sorbitan  trioleate
Sorbitan  tristearate
Sorbitan  tristearate (492)
Stearalkonium chloride 
Glycerin & Steareth-2 & Steareth-20
Stearalkonium  hecttorite
Stearmide MEWA
Stearamideopropyl dimethylamine
Steari acid(vegetable oil)
Stearic acid or fatty acid (570)
Stearoyl sarcosine
Stearyl alcohol
Stearyl dimethicone
Stearyl heptanoate
Sucrose stearate
Sucroseesters of fatty acids (473/E473)
TEA-lauryl sulphate
Tocopheryl linoleate
Triacetin (1518)
Vegetable glycerin
Vegetable oil
Vegetable Mono Diglycerides
Zinc stearate
Looking for products without palm oil often feels like this -
((Rocking up at the cash register with nothing in the basket!)) But, it really is NOT that bad.
Even the smallest cut back or action on your part will make the difference - this article mentions Kellog's but imagine if we cut back on one product from more than just one big conglomerate....
"If just 1% of Kellogg's consumers were to stop buying its products, company sales could fall by US$200 million, making sustainable palm oil a comparatively cheaper option for the company."


There are many ways to live without palm oil.

Personally, I have eliminated a lot of pure nonsense from our cupboards and taken it back 50 years...Check out my blog post for how to clean like 1959..!
We haven't been to a drugstore for years, and it feels great!

There is a lot of fun in MAKING your own body scrubs, face scrubs, air fresheners etc...ENJOY!!

Helpful blogs and information for you - 




(Harrison Ford visits Indonesia to learn about the levels of deforestation)


There are many organisations out there doing great work to help this cause, but they cannot do it without the great support from its followers. Want to help? is an organisation I am involved with directly and have seen first hand their amazing efforts and struggles as they work to save not just the animals but the land in which they need to survive. is another global network and ....
May 20th will be a GLOBAL DAY of actions run by RAN (Rainforest Action Network. you can join HERE! Please do! #inyourpalm

And, again, here is the leaflet for your wallet - download a copy HERE!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Natural Food Dyes

Gosh, for so long, I have used synthetic food colouring for cooking, craft and activities with children....

Shocking that I haven't contemplated this until now..

NATURAL FOOD DYES...We should all be using them...they are SOooooo easy to make and we have access to pretty much all the ingredients and, better yet, we have governance over the exact colours should we choose to mix them. BUT, the best and top reason to be using natural food dyes is...the children!!!

We can get our hands even messier now but it's all washes off and it is all yummy in the process!!

A blender works just as well as a juicer.
Keep the will come in handy for something.

Delicious juices...almost there


A lot of the time in cooking recipes, colouring needs to be added in a non liquid form. To get this you will need to boil down the fruits so the water evaporates.
This worked well for the raspberries and the mangoes.
As for the veggies, we used the pulp itself to dye the flour.
It kind of worked.
Finished, evaporated dye. Smells good!

It's so refreshing to be able to do things with the children that they can create, enjoy and remember!

Yes, this is time consuming, but it is sooooo worth it when you take into account the damage continued use of chemical food colourings can do.

***Inspiration for this activity came from Dule Delight Link

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Natural Face Scrubs - Green Tea

Gosh, I feel like I haven't had the chance to research, make and try anything new for the past year...Am safely back in the game now!

There was a pile of used green tea leaves so high, that I was determined to do something with them.

Green tea is an antioxidant inside AND outside the body, so even in teabag form, it is worth saving to reuse.

What I am learning is that adding water into the mix is what might reduce the shelf life of any fun products that you might make, but in general, ANYTHING from your kitchen can work well as a home-made scrub...ANYTHING!!

Green tea, oatmeal, honey (worth mixing in a blender)

Green tea, lemon juice, honey

Basically anything with green tea would tea + sugar, green tea + baking soda.....

What this teaches us is that we have everything we need and we do not need buy any of the high street store, mass-produced crap on the shelves. So much of this stuff contains palm oil, which is the main cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia....more on that in the next post!

Keep it natural,for you and for the rest of the world.