Friday, 6 January 2017

MASHOOQ DEEP PENETRATING HAIR OIL [REVIEW]

It's been a minute since I've done a beauty product review. Let's get into it.

First off, a quick description of what I'm reviewing...

Mashooq Deep Penetrating Oil is a versatile hair oil that has been used for many years by hairdressing professionals. It can be used as a deep conditioner; to protect against heat and chemicals; treat dry scalps, and repair brittle hair. It contains a blend of six natural oils, including coconut, sweet almond, olive, sunflower, palm and wheat germ. You'll be glad to know that it's vegan and free from parabens, preservatives and added colours. 

Although I've read that this oil blend is suitable for all hair types, I am going to be discussing its effectiveness on curly/coily afro hair, for obvious reasons. For those who also rock their natural afro hair, I'm sure you'll agree that keeping our hair hydrated, shiny and nourished can sometimes be such a struggle. Especially when you're as lazy as I am when it comes to hair care! Seriously, I have so much respect for anyone who can spend longer than 20 minutes on their hair without wanting to punch a wall... Anyway, when I think of the insane number of hair products out there on the market promising to deliver on all these key areas, I feel mildly exhausted. I'm a simple girl and I like simple solutions. For example, when I discovered shea butter a few years ago, it very quickly became my single go-to hair product. Melt a bit in the microwave, massage through my hair and scalp... done! You can never go too wrong with nature, and for anyone who wants to cut back on chemical-laden products, I highly recommend turning to natural plant oils and butters.

It is for this reason that I was keen to give Mashooq hair oil a try, it being made up of six natural oils and all. The added bonus is that the product is cruelty-free (i.e. not tested on animals). I used it fairly consistently for a couple weeks, allowing me to get a full sense of how well it works. 

At first, I considered using the oil as a pre-shampoo conditioner to rejuvenate my hair (this is what I've been told happens when you oil your hair before washing it), but the thought of going on to wash all those lovely oils down the drain didn't seem right, and so I used it AFTER washing, applying it to my still damp hair. The combination of the water and oil, and then allowing my hair to dry naturally, created wonderful results. My strands looked visibly shiny and I also experienced less flakiness on my scalp in the few days that followed. I have pretty thick hair, but I found I didn't need to use too much of the oil at a time (generally one capful).

There is a light, almost sweet scent to the oil which isn't unpleasant or overpowering. I imagine you can get away with adding a few drops of your favourite fragrance/essential oils to change things up a bit. Lavender maybe? Tea tree oil?

Another plus is that the oil didn't leave my hair feeling greasy, nor did it clog up my scalp. As the name suggests, the oil penetrates and gets absorbed easily.

I had a positive experience with the hair oil overall and think it is worth checking out. This particular product, along with a range of others, can be found on their official website mashooqhair.com. They come in travel size bottles, 100ml, 250ml, and large 500ml bottles, with a price range of £2.99 to £22.99.

You can also keep up with Mashooq on Twitter and Facebook for more tips on caring for your hair! ;)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

BOOKS & DOCUMENTARIES THAT HELPED ME GO VEGAN

Happy New Year! If you're keen to give the vegan lifestyle a go this year, then the first thing I'd say to you is: knowledge is key! Do your research. Find out the reasons to make the change. Find out what it takes to stay healthy and thriving on a vegan diet. Give yourself the chance to come to an informed decision.

In no particular order, here are some of the books and documentaries that have helped me along my vegan journey. I hope they spark your imagination, get you thinking, and give you the tools you need to take that leap.

Have I missed any important books or documentaries? Leave your recommendations in the comment section below!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you're interested in purchasing any of the books/dvds on the list, simply click the image/link to go straight to the Amazon store. Some of the documentaries mentioned are also available on Netflix, so if you've got an account take advantage of that. The full version of some documentaries may even be available on YouTube; carry out a quick search to find out.

BOOKS


1. By Any Greens Necessary by Tracye Lynn McQuirter



2. The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone



3.The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health by Colin Campbell



4. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer



DOCUMENTARIES


1.  Forks Over Knives - a health focused look at the link between meat consumption and degenerative diseases. Features interviews with top researchers and a team of doctors who offer up a case for a plant-based diet. Visit forksoverknives.com for more info.





2. Earthlings - not for the faint-hearted. Hidden cameras showcasing the appalling treatment of animals on in the meat and dairy industry. Visit Earthlings.com for more info.




















3.  Cowspiracy - one of my personal favourites. This documentary analyses the policies of environmental organisations such as Greenpeace and explores the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Visit cowspiracy.com for more info.





4.  Food Choices - explores a spectrum of reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle; debunks myths and features a wide range of credible doctors, researchers and speakers. Visit foodchoicesmovie.com for more info.





5. Vegucated - follows the lives of three omnivores who go on a six-week vegan challenge. During the challenge, they gain insight into the world of animal agriculture, learn about the health benefits of the vegan diet... and the rest is history. Visit getvegucated.com for more info.





6. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - follows the journey of an overweight and unhealthy Australian named Joe Cross who decides to live on fruits and veg for 60 days in order to try and reverse his rare autoimmune disease. It's inspiring, it's eye-opening, it's worth the watch. There's a sequel too if you're interested in finding out 'what happens next'. Visit fatsickandnearlydead.com for more info.





7. Food Matters - insightful documentary that explores the impact of different foods on our health. 



Friday, 30 December 2016

EASY VEGAN DOUGHNUTS



































These are fried and not baked, knocking them straight into the realm of unhealthy treats. Such are the food cravings you get around this time of year before those healthy eating resolutions come knocking on January 1st (if you're that way inclined).

I made these by mixing a simple bread dough and enriching it with melted vegan margarine as opposed to the milk and eggs used in traditional doughnut recipes. You can fill the doughnuts with jam if you want, or shape them into rings. This recipe provides the basic canvas but you can be as creative as you want. Enjoy! ;)

Ingredients
makes approx. 10-12
- 1 tbsp dried yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vegan margarine (melted)
- 2.5 cups plain flour
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- sunflower oil
- cinnamon and caster sugar, for dusting

Combine the yeast, warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Leave aside for about 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

Mix the melted vegan margarine with the yeast mixture and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the plain flour and 4 tbsp of caster sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients. Mix to form a soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm area for about an hour.

Knead the dough lightly (in the bowl) for a minute. With oiled hands, form the doughnuts (for a ring shape, use the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb to poke a whole through the middle...whatever works) and space them out on a lined baking tray. Cover and leave to rest for another 10 minutes.

In a pan, heat enough sunflower oil to deep fry the doughnuts. You'll know the oil is ready for frying when a small piece of the dough sizzles and starts to brown.

Fry the doughnuts on medium heat, flipping them round if necessary, until golden brown all over. Drain on some kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

CREAMY COCONUT, CORN & SCOTCH BONNET SOUP [VIDEO]
























If you were at the last pop up, then you got to try this beautifully balanced soup. If not, no sweat... this soup was recently featured on the Radiant Health Magazine website, and you can check out the full recipe by clicking here.


Also handy is this quick tutorial video:




Wednesday, 7 December 2016

TRYING DURIAN FRUIT FOR THE FIRST TIME [VIDEO]

I'm in Singapore for the first half of December for a couple of special occasions. And while I'm here, I'm trying to experience as much of the food culture as possible. So far so good, and I look forward to sharing more about that once I have time to put all my footage and images together.

Anywho, durian was high up there on my list of things to try during this visit. After hearing so much about this polarising (and stinky!) fruit, I was curious to see on which side I would fall. When I finally got the chance...well, check out the video to peep my reaction ^_^



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