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Lets get messy…Ethically!

Watch out guys! Today, in OiB, I intend to ignite to taste buds widely! Oh Yes 😉 Since starting OiB 4 months ago, I love teasing you with one or two mouthwatering recipes of simple yet good food. Eggs, Avocado, rice, quinoa… the list is long. Those same products are also the one I rely on in my daily skin care routine:

6 Natural Cures to Dry Skin? Yes – DIY tutorial 

→ 

The (Surprising) Beauty Benefits of Rice and Green Tea Powders. 

Lime, Lemon & Lemongrass

Natural Preservatives
Lemon Water | OrganicIsBeautiful

I love simple. My kitchen is my Bathroom and vice versa. Yet, a question arises this morning after I drunk my lemon water, scrubed my face with green tea and and my hair with coconut oil, (Yes, a pampering sunday morning):

How, as a ordinary consumer, can I know that my food and skin care ingredient are not only healthy & natural but also ethically processed?

Thats a hard one, isn’t it? The short answer: CERTIFICATION. The longer one? read below 😉

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What are Organic Certification for?

I wrote in the past about the difference between “organic” and “nature” and that its all about personal choice. This is where Organic certification comes in, giving me those much desired assurances that what I am consuming is exactly what I expect it to be. Like you, organic products I consume vary in range and include

  • Fruits – The good think of living in Malaysia, I am surrounding by exotic and delicious fruits. (Will write a post about my fancy love/hate relation with the local foods here).
  • Vegetables
  • Wines
  • Cheeses

I source my products from a range of places such as local Organic markets, shops and direct sales farms where the foods were produced. Having the foods from different sources further enhances my requirement to ensure my foods are organic. This is where certification comes in…

Do you live in Italy, Uk or Bolivia (Hola Boliviano) ? Don’t worry, the table below lists the major state entities.

So, how does it work?

In simple terms Organic certification is a set a rules and regulations that apply to the organic production, labelling and control of something that is going to be classified as an organic product. Organic control bodies licence and regulate organic operators to ensure compliance to a set of standards and that we as a consumer have our requirements of a product being organic met.

Below you will find a brief list of some the processes involved in the production of organic food which may be regulated:

  • Production process of organic foods or products
  • Importation of organic foods from third countries
  • Labelling of organic products

To further enhance the Organic identity of a product, labelling of organic products usually contain a list of ingredients as well as the name of the producer, processor or distributor.

Some Local Involvements

USA FLAG OrganicIsBeautiful
The Organic food production act is what legislates organic food production in the USA.

Historically federal legislation defined three levels of organic foods:

 

  • Products made entirely of certified organic ingredients which could be labelled “100% organic”
  • Products with at least 95% organic ingredients which could be labelled “organic”
  • A minimum of 70% organic ingredients that could be labelled “organic ingredients”

Similar to the USA, in Europe the term organic is defined by law where rules apply to organic production. Organic control bodies (CBs) license individual organic operators who need to comply with a specific set of standards and meet requirements in order for something to be marketed as organic. Each or all of the activities involved in organic product production require registration with an approved control body.

… and Limitations.

Historic differences between the USA and Europe made it difficult for producers from overseas to get their organic practices recognised accordingly.

Why? Those wanting trade both sides of the Atlantic may have required two lots of certification (one for USA standards and one for European) which also resulted in increased costs. An agreement was recently made between the US and Europe that allowed for European organic certification to be allowed with impunity into the US. Within this is the concurrence that organic standards are fairly equivalent across both markets. The agreement also brought with it a number of others advantages such as:

  • Connecting farmers and organisations both sides of the Atlantic
  • New opportunities
  • Less bureaucracy & costs
  • Improvements in transparency on organic products and standards

The most important thing for me and you as consumers of organic products is the increased uniformity between Europe and the US symbolising increased confidence in the recognition of what I can truly believe is an organic food and product.

Furthermore this huge step gives recognition for Organic produce itself and emphasises the importance of Co-operation and relations around the world which ultimately gives you and I the satisfaction as a consumer that we are getting exactly what we want and that is 100% Organic.

Amanda,

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With Love.

You know you are awesome, right? So, lets keep it simple and straightforward. I know your time is precious on this Valentine Day. OiB is all about self-love and exploration. I always say:

A bad day is a wasted day.

Simple. Right? I thought on this day of love, we should all treat our own self, and celebrate the beauty of…being happy! Empowered by a lifestyle full of simple dreams, daily joy and overall, surrounding by positive vibes. The type of vibe that makes you say, with no blink, no doubt or no discomfort, to your loved ones, today:

A bad day is a wasted day. 

If you can apply this motto today, and why not tomorrow as well, then it is my duty to tell you something: you are awesome! Inspired by Catherine, the little list below compels the top of the top treats that, I hope, will put a smile on your face ;

♥ You deserve:

To be pampered

Meaning, to have your favourite flowers sitting on your windowsill in a beautiful, brightly colored vase. From OiB, to your little heart, I’m sending you a massive hug and those beautiful hand picked bunch of flowers 😉

To look in the mirror and feel completely at peace with the reflection.

Easy to say, I know. So, remember that you are unique and perfectly imperfect.
There is no one in the world exactly like you and that makes you wonderful. Then, write a list of all the things you love about yourself both physical and not.

For instance, from my previous post, you know that I now loooove my legs 😉

You deserve to feel healthy and beautiful.

Lemon water, a kick start morning additive to consider - organicisbeautifulWhat I do? I kickstart my day with a glass of warm lemon water. So drink some tea, eat some fruits and veggies, and remember to drink lots of water.

Also remember that food is fuel for your body and you need it if you’re going to be doing amazing things today. Which you are.

To have a long, lovely day.

Today and every day. Since we are not greedy, we will start a day at a time 😉
A sunrise to start off your day with a peaceful smile? Or why not go outside of your comfort zone and try something that you’ve always wanted to do, but were always too afraid to.

Sunrise | OrganicIsBeautiful
Sunrise | OrganicIsBeautiful

To feel silly and goofy.

How does it work? 3 things.

  1. Dance wherever you want, whenever you want, and act like no ones watching.
  2. Make fun of yourself, constantly. Auto-derision as we say in French is a keen company!
  3. Always feel confident. No matter what you wear, how you hair looks like or makeup you went for this morning.  It’s your body, so who cares what anyone else thinks?
Love | OrganicIsBeautiful
Love | OrganicIsBeautiful

And, the most important, 

And, finally, always remember: you deserve love ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Love your surroundings. Love the earth. Love what you do. Love what you wear. Love the people in your life. And most importantly, remember to love yourself. 

Happy Valentine Day.

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Let the Monkey Year Begins – Happy CNY 2016!

Gong xi fa cai! (Or Kung hei fat choy! if you’re speaking Cantonese.) The eighth of February on year 2016 is the first day of a new year according to the Chinese calendar.

The annual celebration of Chinese New Year sees endless baked treats and other savoury delights being sold, served and consumed by Chinese communities in Malaysia throughout the 15-day festive period. Kuala Lumpur becomes an empty, shops closed, same goes with restaurants. 

The Red Envelop

There are, of course, many delicious and luxurious food to savour in utter delight. I still remember in 2014, Chinese New Year felt on a working day, we all received a red envelop from our managers with some money inside. This symbolic tradition comes with a Chinese new year gold red decoration with the writing “年年有余 (nian nian you yu)” meaning “abundance of everything every year”.

It’s all about Mandarin and Pineapples tart!

Ever wondered why the exchange of Mandarin Oranges is so important, and why there would always be pineapple tarts in each home?

Exactly eight pineapple tarts.

Mandarin Oranges are believed to bring prosperity thanks to its Cantonese pronunciation, which sounds similar to gold. It is part of Chinese New Year tradition to offer a pair of Mandarin Oranges to respected seniors and hosts during house visiting

Chinese New Year | OrganicIsBeautiful
Chinese New Year | OrganicIsBeautiful

The repetition of Chinese New Year Goodies is no random occurrence, as each snack is essentially symbolic of a meaningful purpose. The next time someone in the family asks, “Why do we always have to eat xxx during Chinese New Year?”

The Number 8.

Eight is a number favoured by the Chinese because it sounds similar to the word “wealth”. Nine and ten are also considered good numbers because they mean “infinity” and “perfection” respectively. If you closely observe Chinese paintings of koi fish, horses, deities, or dragons, there would always be eight, nine, or ten subjects in a painting.

Number 8 OrganicIsBeautiful
Number 8 | OrganicIsBeautiful

EIGHT The number 8 symbolizes good luck and wealth because the Chinese word for 8 sounds like the Chinese word for fortune or wealth.

Now, I would like to wish everyone.

新年快乐,恭喜发财!祝你一帆风顺,二龙腾飞,三羊开泰,四季平安,五福临门,六六大顺,七星高照,八方来财,九九同心,十全十美。
Happy new year, gong xi fa cai! Wish you one smooth sailing, two dragons soaring, three lambs good luck, four seasons peace, five blessings nearing, six big accomplishments, seven stars shining, eight sides prosperity, nine always together, ten perfection. (Note: The words “nine” and “infinity” sound similar; ten is a perfect number.)

Amanda,

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Categorie: DIY | www.organicisbeautiful.com

DIY Essentials Oil Candle at Home

I love when my home feels cosy and smells like a flower. How to do so naturally, myself and without hurting  my budget? OiB has the answer 😉 It is in itself a very simple and effective method to begin to diffuse essential oils around your home. It requires no specific instrument – just a non-scented candle and an essential oil of your choice.

In summary, light your non-scented candle and allow to burn for a few minutes or until a pool of melted wax forms. Add two or three drops of your favorite essential oil. Within seconds the beautiful aroma will start to spread around the room. Thank you ThehomemadeExperiement for compelling the tutorial and pictures below.

Categorie: DIY | www.organicisbeautiful.com
Categorie: DIY | www.organicisbeautiful.com

What You Need.

  1. Votive candle
  2. Essential oils
  3. Fire

And your best happy face 😉

Candle - DIY | OrganicIsBeautiful
Candle – DIY | OrganicIsBeautiful

The Tutorial

  •  STEP 1 – MELT THE WAX

Light your votive candle and let the wax melt as much as possible. It took my votive candle 30 minutes to get good and melted.

Just keep an eye on your candle and when it looks something like the picture on the right, you’re good to go.

  • STEP 2 –BLOW IT OUT

After the wax has mostly melted blow out the candle. This is very important as essential oils can be very flammable when they come into direct contact with flame.

A Warning: Be extremely careful, and follow my instructions closely. Some essential oils are very flammable and should never come into contact with an open flame in their pure form. As an example, my pine essential oil immediately burst into flame when added to a burning candle. I lost a few hairs figuring that one out.

  • STEP 3 – Add 5-8 Drops Essential Oil

Add between 5-8 drops of essential oil to the votive candle. For mine I used peppermint essential oil. As with most essential oil things use as much or as little as you like.

Because the wax is very hot the essential oil will heat up and disperse evenly into the wax.

Essential Oil | OrganicIsBeautiful
Essential Oil | OrganicIsBeautiful

It might take some trial and error to find essential oils that will work well for this. I tried doing the same thing with pine essential oil and all I got for that effort was a little bit of a burning smell. I’m not quit sure what the difference is chemically between the two, but my peppermint essential oil works just fine for this.

  • STEP 4 – MIX

You can give the candle a little, I mean very small, jiggle if you want to help the essential oils mix into the wax. Be careful not to slosh the wax though, I don’t want you to burn yourself.

  • STEP 5 – LIGHT IT UP

That’s it, now you can safely relight your votive candle, and you’ve got a quick and easy scented candle without having to make your own from scratch.

– HOW’S IT WORK –

I think that this diy scented candle trick works great. It’s not as good as a really nice scented candle, but it does the trick. Right now my little votive candle is filling my living room with the smell of peppermint and that’s just what I wanted it to do.

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Essentials

How to Select The Chocolate that Makes You Happy!

Happy, Happy, Happy + Energy = Chocolate. A dessert. An antidepressant. A favorite indulgence. Eating cacao makes you happy! It contains phenylethylamine which is responsible for our state of mood and pleasure and the same feelings you get when you are in love. It also acts as a stimulant and can improve mental alertness.

A bit of History

Our word chocolate comes from the Spanish version of the Aztec Nahuatl word chocolatl, which in turn derives from a word xococ, meaning bitter. Literally chocolate means bitter water.

It all started in 1500 BC-500 BC in the ancient Olmec civilisation in Mesoamerican and continued on through the time of the Maya and Aztecs before making its trek across to the Old World in the 16th century.

Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful
Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful

Did you know? Chocolate was much more than just a piece of indulgence. Below are some of the traditional  usages of Chocolate in the Aztecs culture:

  1. The Aztecs associated the cacao bean with the goddess Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility.
  2. Aztecs also used them as a kind of sacred currency with which the captive peoples of their empire could pay tribute.
  3. The Aztecs believed that chocolate was a powerful aphrodisiac, able to arouse the sexual passions.

The Cacao Tree

According to HeritageDaily, the tree produces fruits approximately the size and shape of an American football! Actual cacao beans are found inside the fruit of the tree in fleshy, oval-shaped pods. The beans are harvested, fermented, and dried.

Each pod contains an average of 40 seeds (or beans), which are what is used to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter and chocolate.

Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful
Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful

Difference Between Cacao and Coca

  • CACAO

According to Obsev, the cacao bean is the source of both cacao and cocoa powders.
It is to the raw form of chocolate. The cacao bean is what any type of chocolate (cocoa powder) is initially made of.

Cacao contains an abundance of antioxidants, because it’s raw and pure.

It’s also a fantastic source of fiber, magnesium, essential fatty acids, iron, copper, zinc, sulfur, and calcium.

NOTE: Raw cacao is a stimulant so it is advised not to consume it after about 2-3pm as to not interfere with a good night’s sleep!

  • COCOA

In short, cocoa is what you and I eat. What comes out of the processed and roasted steps of cacao! Cocoa exists because 100% cacao has a rich, chocolate flavour but is also very bitter (The taste of cacao can actually vary depending on the variety of plant, soil, temperate, sunlight and rain that is received during the growing process).
You have to know that once roasted and processed (turning cacao to cocoa), the beans lose much of their nutritional benefits. In your grocery shop, you can find chocolate in different formats. I share som

How to use it

Cacao powder can be added to smoothies, to make chocolate desserts or to make a yummy hot chocolate.

Cacao butter can be used in conjunction with cacao powder and natural sweetener to make your own chocolate (see some recipes below). It is also great to add to bliss balls or nut bases to hold them together and can be used in the place of coconut oil. It will add a lovely velvety, chocolate flavour. Cacao butter is edible but it is also used in skin care products.

Cocoa Butter | OrganicIsBeautiful
Cocoa Butter | OrganicIsBeautiful

Cacao nibs add a lovely crunch to muffins, ice-cream or as a topping on your favourite dessert. They are also great to add to your favourite granola mix for breakfast or on top of a smoothie.
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