It’s easy to complicate things. Life, relationships, skincare formulas . . . It’s much harder to stick to what’s essential and cut out the extras, especially in a culture that demands you oversize and get more for your money. Frugality and economizing are values that have gotten lost in the shuffle. Perhaps the silver lining to our economic cloud is a return to simplicity. That’s not such a bad thing.
I start each day with a simple meal. Lately my autumn breakfast trend has consisted of a spread for sourdough toast made with 1 tsp coconut butter, 1 tsp tahini, and 1/2 tsp honey (all organic and raw). For years I have been mixing tahini and honey as a “Persian halvah” substitute on half my toast and coconut oil and honey on the other. Then one day I combined the two halves and Bam!, something “simply” delicious was born.
Sesame tahini is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine providing an abundant source of omega-6 linoleic acid and amino acids. According to my Nourishing Traditions cookbook, it’s best to add flax to balance the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, so I add a teaspoon whenever I grind some seeds (don’t let ground flax sit around because the oils go rancid quickly).
The benefits of whole coconut products (i.e. not processed) are too numerous to cover in this post, but suffice it to say that coconut butter is a good source of lauric acid that “enhances the immune system and protects against viruses, yeasts, parasites and other pathogens in the gut” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 160). That should be reason enough to consume coconut oil on a daily basis! Coconut is a healthy fat that helps nourish skin cell regeneration from the inside.
Raw honey is the third element in this trifecta of health. Teeming with enzymes that help with digestion, raw honey is a living entity. It also has antimicrobial properties that help with immune support and the sugars don’t cause dramatic spikes. I go to great lengths to find locally produced raw honey. Pollen from the plants around us help boost our immunity to our environment.
This blend of tahini, coconut butter and honey is also delicious on steel cut oatmeal and helps sustain blood sugar levels throughout the morning. Sometimes I’ll substitute honey with a drizzle of blackstrap molasses for a “black and tan” version. I also like to add bee pollen, real cinnamon (not cassia) turmeric and coconut milk. Run, don’t walk to the breakfast table!
As if it weren’t enough to simply eat this stuff, make a little extra to use in the shower as a hydrating facial. Add some mochi rice flour (it’s ground very fine) to gently exfoliate. The directions are simple. Scoop some into your palm and add a bit of water to get it started. Rub your palms together and gently spread the paste onto your face. Allow the masque to remain the duration of your shower, then gently massage and rinse off. The combination of oils and honey will draw moisture into your skin. I like to coat my face, neck, shoulders, decollete and hands with this paste. And don’t forget your lips if you can keep yourself from licking it off!
If you shower everyday consider making the basic recipe a part of your routine. The antimicrobial action of coconut and honey are sufficient to balance the microflora on your skin so you don’t need soap which is drying. Exfoliate weekly with the rice flour version of the masque. As a variation, add turmeric to the blend. It is a potent anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-aging (are there any more “anti”s left?) weapon, thanks to the main phytonutrient, curcumin.
There you have it, a simple recipe with multiple benefits, inside and out.