I have always had an interest in nutrition, and this was the reason I called my blog groceries and grace.  I always felt it was important to eat healthy foods and I was going to share with the world the importance of eating as naturally as possible.  Eating organic vegetables and dairy, as well as grass fed/organic meat ensures we get the lowest chemical and hormonal  load from our food.  That is, until we came upon hard financial times.  Really hard.

Gone were the organic carrots and butter, the grass fed beef and organic chicken.  These were replaced with fatty mince, sausages, and chemical sprayed vegetables.  I would have to shop from the church’s food relief store, and would have to take what they had. OrganicThis included YoGo, frankfurts, ice creams and white bread. Now don’t get me wrong, I was extremely grateful to have food at all, but I felt I needed to eat healthily to stay healthy.

What was I to do?  Then God gave me a verse:

But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.  Exodus 23:25  NASB

The answer was a simple as saying grace before each meal, with intent. And Who was going to remove sickness from my midst?  Well, not the food!  I found this a hard mindset to break, but here I am and still healthy.

Maybe I should have called my blog ‘justgrace’!

 Photo Flickr

Would you eat your skin care products?

I am usually pretty careful to read food labels, until I found out that our skin is able to absorb up to 60% of what we put on it.  Skin care products can contain hundreds of chemicals.  Look for these ingredients in your bathroom:

  • Behentrimonium Chloride
  • Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl Paraben


    Not all we put on our skin is safe. Photo Flickr

  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate
  • DMDM Hydrantoin
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Synthetic Colours and Fragrances

They can cause hair loss, damage to the liver and kidneys, allergic reactions and even some kinds of cancers.  Even good old baby oil will wrap your skin up like plastic wrap and stop it breathing.

I make my own facial cleanser and moisturiser quickly and inexpensively with a few simple ingredients.

Here is the recipe.

  • 1/2 cup moisturiser
    • I use a chemical free, plant based sorbolene / moisturiser.  It must  not contain any fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, colours or petrochemicals.  It will be labeled that it does not contain these ingredients.
  • 4 – 6  teaspoons oil of your choice.  Add more or less depending on how dry your skin is.  Choose from:
    • Coconut oil
    • Olive oil (virgin, cold pressed)
    • Macadamia oil
    • Avocado oil
    • Rosehip oil
    • Almond oil
  • Mix all ingredients together and put in a suitable container.

Do not use baby oil or regular cooking oils – these are damaging to your skin.

I use this to cleanse my face (by applying to face then wiping off with a moist facecloth.)  I also use it to moisturise my face, body, and hands.  Pretty much on everything!

With Christmas soon upon us, this also makes a great gift idea – make it in bulk, put it in some pump bottles, and finish with some pretty tie-on or stick-on labels.  Decorate with ribbons etc.

You will find that most natural skin care products will contain a small amount of preservative to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination.


Natural facial cleanser

No need to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive man made, chemical filled cleansers.  Coconut oil is an excellent facial cleanser because:

  • All natural, no chemicals

    coconut Flickr

    Coconut and its oil – all round good guy. Photo flickr

  • Very economical
  • Can buy it at the supermarket – look for it in the Asian aisle – make sure it is unrefined
  • Gently removes make-up, even eye make-up
  • Has germ killing properties, so can benefit pimple prone skin
  • Contains Vitamin E which prevents premature aging
  • Lightens age spots
  • Is rich in natural oils which prevents skin drying out, even oily skin
  • Is a natural mild sunscreen
  • Doesn’t go off
  • Rejuvenates skin due to its protein content
  • Not tested on animals

A little goes a long way.  Use about a size of your thumbnail, rub it between the palms of your hands, and then massage into face and neck. Hold a warm washer over your face or let the steam from the shower heat your face – then wipe off with a warm damp washer.

Use a skin freshener of choice (more on that next week), and then pat a little more coconut oil on your face to moisturise.

Coconut oil’s consistency will change with the temperature. In the warmer weather it will be liquid, and in the cooler weather more solid.

How to Make Your Own Air Purifier


  • Buy a pretty pot that matches your decor
  • Fill it with potting mix
  • Put a leafy green indoor plant in it
  • Voila!

Aspidistra or cast iron plant is so called because it is very hard to kill. (Photo

Most of us learned at school about photosynthesis, where a plant will take in carbon dioxide through its leaves and then release oxygen into the atmosphere.  NASA research has now proven that plants can absorb and eliminate more than carbon dioxide.  They can also remove toxins and pollutants – especially:

  • Benzine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Toluene / Xylene
  • Ammonia

These toxic substances can be found in everything from cigarette smoke, plastics, paint, adhesives and most things synthetic, plus more.

Any plant with leaves will purify your indoor air, but the ones that remove the most toxins seem to be:

  • Peace Lily  (removes 5 of the 5 toxins)  A popular and easy care houseplant.
Peace lily

Peace Lily or Spath. The flowers have a delicate fragrance. Photo

  •  Chrysanthemum morifolium or florist’s chrysanthemum (removes 5 of the 5 toxins).  This plant will only last about 6 – 8 weeks indoors.  When spent, you will need to buy a new plant

Affectionately known as ‘mums’. Comes in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Photo from

  • Mother in law’s tongue or snake plant (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)  Also called the bedroom plant because it will continue to release oxygen at night.
Mother in laws tongue

Mother in law’s tongue or snake plant is virtually indestructible.  Photo

  • Red-edged dracaena (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)  Can grow up to 15 feet tall, but is slow growing.  It is sensitive to fluoride in the water.
Red edged dracanea

Red edged dracaena or dragon plant. Keep it dry and warm. Photo

  •  English ivy (removes 4 of the 5 toxins)   Prune regularly to prevent it from running amok and ‘sticking’ to furniture.  Not one of the easier houseplants to grow.
English ivy

English ivy or Hedera Helix. Does well in hanging baskets. Photo

Plants that removed 3 out of the 5 toxins were:

  • Lilyturf  (Liriope muscari) or Monkeygrass
  • Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) or Money Plant
  • Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum) or Painted Tongue / Tail Flower
  • Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) or Little Lady Palm
  • Cornstalk Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans) or Corn Plant
  • Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) or Gerbera / Transvaal Daisy

Use one potted plant per 100 square feet of space, around the size of a second bedroom.

Please note that some of these plants are poisonous if eaten or chewed by children or pets.  Please check with your local nursery.

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