Rissoles – save money with leftovers

Rissoles – help you save money with leftovers which are seriously easy to make and delicious.

My Mum’s most delicious meal is rissoles. Well I love her spaghetti carbonara and roast chicken too, actually she hasn’t really cooked a bad meal, although potted beef tongue is a seriously acquired taste and one I haven’t acquired in 40 years. I digress.. how to save money with leftovers. Easy. Read more

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Cut food waste love ugly vegetables

Do you look at how the apple or carrot looks in store and choose a ‘perfect’ looking one?

Do you clear out the fridge each week and throw away or compost some food?

I used to opt for perfect-looking vegetables, I am less bothered today, and I barely throw away any food, and if something has really wilted I compost it. Here’s why: Read more

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Ways to use Herbamare in cooking

I have used Herbamare made by A Vogel for years.

I first bought it when living in England and found that it was a great alternative to salt, which I use, but the addition of the herbs adds a delicious flavour without having to buy mixed herbs and add them all individually. I like Herbamare as it is convenient: salt and herbs in one pot.

Herbamare contains salt but also dried herbs and gives a delicious flavour to foods.  Herbamare contains celery, garlic and leek so gives a piquant flavour to foods, more so than salt would, obviously.

Zesty herbamare can spice up many dishes. www.ActualOrganics.com

Ways to use Herbamare in cooking

I use Herbamare when cooking although I do just use normal sea salt if cooking pasta or vegetables, as I don’t need the herb taste in there.

I add Herbamare to my home made salad dressings, sprinkle on eggs, add to stews, left-over patties, curries and a sprinkle in a sandwich.

Talking of pasta, a favourite supper of ours is to cook pasta (or potatoes) add some freshly cooked peas, butter or extra virgin olive oil, a splash of Herbamare (either original or zesty) and some grated Parmesan. Wonderfully simple and truly yummy!

Herbamare is versatile and contains the herbs: celery, leek, watercress, onion, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and kelp.

BUY Herbamare here:

Amazon (affiliate link at no extra cost to you) or

on A.Vogel’s website.



Ways to use Herbamare in your cooking. www.ActualOrgancis.com

I have used many Vogel products for decades now, most recently their elixir and echinacea, read my reviews.

I was contacted by Vogel’s and asked to try some samples of Herbamare and then write a blog post on it. I replied that I already buy and use Herbamare regularly so it wasn’t like I was trying it for the first time, they were happy to send me samples anyway despite my protestations.

I was sent a little size of all three Herbamare pots; original, no sodium and spicy. I haven’t used the no sodium one, as I like the original and spicy and in the hot weather I find I need a bit of salt!

Disclosure: I was sent samples of Herbamare. I have given my honest view of Herbamare, which is that I like it and used it anyway before being sent samples.


Buy Herbamare online:

Buy a little tub here (affiliate link)

Or buy a bigger tub here (affiliate link)

Please ask your local health food store first, they likely will be able to order it in for you and I’d rather you supported a local store. You can also buy it online at Vogel.ca


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Best ways to keep cool in summer

It is hot here at the moment. I have got up at 0530am and it is pleasant but still warm. I have very pale skin so sunbathing and going to the beach are out for me.

So what are the best ways to keep cool in Summer?

Drink hot tea

When I was staying with a good friend of mine in Darwin, Western Australia I arrived and was struggling to adjust to the difference in heat from Sydney where I was living. She made me a cup of Earl Grey tea – just like we used to drink when we lived near each other in England.
I thought this was a strange thing to give me as I thought an iced water might be more suitable. “Joanna drink hot tea, you’ll notice the difference soon enough.”
How wise she was, within a few minutes I started to cool down, I also was sweating more but that helps to cool the body.

However regardless of whether you drink a cup of tea or ice cool drink, drinking enough fluids in boiling hot weather is important. It goes without saying that avoiding drinking alcohol is sensible in hot weather. No one wants to have a glass of wine, feel sleepy and fall asleep in the sun!

Learn more about the science about hot tea and cooling you down.

Keep your house cool in Summer by closing the shutters. www.ActualOrganics.com

Keep the lights and gadgets off

Obvious really but the more electronics and lights you have on the more heat there is in the house. Gadgets give off heat, so unplug what you are not using.

Likewise if you have blinds, draw them down part of the way as that will shield the sun from beating down into your house.

If you have shutters then use them too, it makes such a difference when we close them,inside the house is about 20c and outside it is 35c. Dreamy cool!

Also avoid using the drier – why you’d need to use the drier in Summer I don’t know as the washing line is so effective on a hot day and that is a HUGE money-saving tip. I put out a big load of washing this morning 0545am and it was dry by 10am! Didn’t cost me a penny, or cent!


Keep your wrists cool

My husband often tells me when I say what a hot Summer’s day it is, “put your wrists on a cold flannel (wash cloth)” or you can put your wrists under into a basin of cold water. The veins are close to the surface at the wrists so cooling the blood I have found cools my whole system. FAR cheaper and more environmentally friendly than air conditioning – which we do not have in our house anyway!

A facial spritz or even the ironing spray bottle is a great way to keep cool too. Spritz your skin and allow it to evaporate off you, it will feel cool. I use this rose water spray, and simply refill the bottle with lavender water or boiled, cool water with a drop of lavender essential oil.

Get rosewater spray here from Miessence (affiliate link)

Buy rosewater from Amazon (affiliate link)

Simple spray bottle, a bit like this (affiliate link) I have a similar one and just use it for water & essential oils to spray the ironing!

Keep cool in summer. www.Actualorganics.com

Get up early and live like those in the Mediterranean

I have been getting up at 0530 the last few days, it doesn’t feel early as it is beautiful and light at that time. The joy of it is that it is blissfully cool, relative to the scorching heat of 12pm. I get up have breakfast and do any chores that require effort and definitely water the garden, hang out the washing, and walk the dog.

Then when at 11am it is roasting and I feel myself flaking, I make a cup of tea (see point above) and read the research I have to read for my next book.  You can read more about my first book The Radiant Woman’s Handbook here.

Later in the afternoon when it is cooler I cook dinner and do more things around the house etc.  It may not suit your lifestyle but if you can go Mediterranean. The siesta is a wise move and one that many in France, Italy and Spain still do. Shops are closed and people conduct business later in the day when it is cooler.


Slow down

Racing about will keep you feeling hot, bothered and likely angry.  Our modern schedules are enough to make my Grandmother sigh, why are we so busy nowadays. We work longer hours and yet are more stressed, is it worth it? In the heat no!

So S L O W down. Take your time. Do less and you will likely find you achieve more.

Our puppy doesn’t race about on a hot day she lolls, and strolls about. She even looks at the chipmunks and casually (slowly) walks on by. Oh, it is too hot for chasing!

Plan your Summer schedule so you have time to appreciate the weather and not give yourself a hard time by piling a ‘to do’ list to rival all lists.


Let yourself sweat

I do not wear anti-perspirant any time of the year, and in Summer that means I sweat but that is something I am happy to see as that is my body doing its thing. I wear a very effective deodorant which means I don’t smell but I do not want to stop my body naturally sweating. Learn more about deodorants here.


What are your tips for keeping cool in Summer?

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©Actual OrganicsTM -2014 This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved – ActualOrganics

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Alternatives to plastic microbead face scrubs


There are many personal care products on sale today which contain tiny micro-plastic “microbeads” made from polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP).

Choose body and face scrubs without microbead microplastics to protect our rivers and oceans. www.ActualOrganics.comPhoto credit: ©iStock.com/pavlinec

Why are plastic microbeads an issue?

What we use in the bath, shower or to wash our hands, obviously gets washed down the drain and at some point in time ends up in our rivers and oceans. There are many studies showing that plastic microbeads are a toxic issue that is affecting crabs, fish and larger mammals. [1]

Richard Thompson, professor of marine biology at Plymouth University, said in The Independent: “plastic microbeads washed into waste water are a needless source of contamination given that there are viable alternatives which have already been used to do much the same job in terms of skin exfoliation.”


We must stop using products with microbeads to protect our oceans. Don’t wait for regulations to catch up TWEET this


These spherical microbeads exfoliate the skin and are an ingredient in some acne washes, anti-aging creams, face scrubs, cleansers, body washes, toothpaste, and face ‘polishes’ which I imagine are scrubs with good PR?

The only way to know if your personal care products contain microbeads is to read the ingredients label, and


look out for, and avoid, polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP).


Alternatives to facial scrubs and exfoliators with microbeads www.ActualOrganics.comPhoto credit: ©iStock.com/ScantyNebula

Alternatives to plastic microbead face scrubs

Konjac Sponge:

Using a Konjac sponge leaves my face clean and soft. Konjac sponges are made from a Japanese vegetable, last about six weeks (when hung up to dry daily) and are fully compostable. Buy online here (affiliate link) or from Japanese Konjac Sponge

Helena Lane’s Lavender and White Willow Mask:

This clay and white willow mask is effective and locally made in Squamish. This is the mask I use each week to brighten my skin. Buy it online at HelenaLane.com


I use some very finely blended oats to exfoliate my skin, when I’ve run out of Helena Lane’s mask! I use a sink strainer in the sink (I’m all for local employment but plumbers in town are busy enough!). I use oats mixed with a little water.

 Fruit acids

Alternatively you can use this oats and strawberry face mask.

Pineapple also has acids in and can be exfoliating too. Learn to make an enzyme mask here


Find out if your products have microbeads:

 Which USA products contain microbeads:


Find out which products in the USA have microbeads

More US products with microbeads

Which Canadian products contain microbeads

Find out which products in Canada have microbeads as well as these products.

Which British products contain microbeads:

Find out which products in the UK (there are lots, sadly) contain microbeads


Further reading on microbeads:

Microbead skin cleansers -SF Gate.

Microbead-free waters act in the US



[1] The Tiny plastic timebomb: pollutants in our cosmetics. The Independent. UK. Steve Connor. 18th May 2014.

[2] Plastics in the marine environment. Plymouth University.



Subscribe here

When you subscribe to regular updates, you can download a free sneak peak copy of my book The Radiant Woman’s Handbook

Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Follow us: @actualorganics on Twitter | actualorganics on Facebook
©Actual OrganicsTM -2014 This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved – ActualOrganics

Subscribe here When you subscribe to regular updates, you can download a free sneak…

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