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So, this will the the first in a series of posts that I had a bright idea about today! I’m trying to get away from just recipe posts and trying to add something a little more interesting to this space. This is a creative outlet for me and a way to share the changes I’ve made to my diet and lifestyle over the last few years in case they inspire some changes in yours. I often forget when I’m talking to people about food or what is in my lunchbox that I probably eat a little different than others around me. I don’t follow any particular diet, I really go with what my tastebuds and curiosity draw me to to be honest. I love to experiment with new ingredients, especially if they are something that is particularly healthful and likely to be beneficial and tasty. I do my best as a rule though to avoid refined, packaged and processed foods though my love for creativity in the kitchen doesn’t make this an issue at all.

One thing that I’ve had in the cupboard for a long time now is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I tend to buy the Bragg’s organic raw unfiltered variety which is available at our local health food shop and is also not very expensive. It comes in a variety of sizes, even bulk. Its not one that I’ve seen in the supermarket but I have bought the Melrose brand from Coles before. Personally I find the Melrose one a little bit too strong as I use it topically as well.

Here are the things I find to do with ACV –

1. As a hair rinse – I switched to the ‘no poo’ method of hair washing about 18 months ago due to allergies associated to hair and body products. While this is not a permanent solution as my priority is finding and reducing the inflammatory cause of the allergies, it works to calm my eczema and dermatitis that results from using shampoo and works as a great hair rinse post ‘washing’ with Bicarb Soda. I also find I tend to suffer less with acne when I’m not using commercial shampoo’s and conditioners.

I have two cups in the shower, one that I fill with Bicarb Soda and the other that I put about 1/2 cm of ACV in the bottom of and fill with warm water to use as a final rinse post the ‘wash’. This dissolves any Bicarb Soda residue and leaves my hair shiny and tangle free. I read years ago that an ACV rinse once a week is good for getting rid of left over hair product residue and reviving tired, dull looking hair. The other was a beer rinse, but given I hate the smell I never road tested that one! Mine is certainly never dull when rinsed with ACV. I often get compliments from people that my hair always looks healthy and shiny.

2. I add 2 Tbsp in the pot when I’m making bone broth, the acetic acid helps to pull the minerals from the bones into the broth when it is cooking.

3. I use ACV in salad dressings. My favourite one is 2 Tbsp ACV, 20-30ml olive oil, 1/2 tsp honey and a crack of salt and pepper to taste.

4. I use it when our dog gets hot spots. I soak a cotton ball in it and dab on the spot a few times a day. I’ve noticed it stops her from chewing it and she is noticeably less distressed by the itching/pain afterwards and leaves it be. It helps to dry them out and possibly helps to heal as well, but I’ve done no solid research on that one.

5. I use it in the kitchen sink with water to clean fruit and veggies prior to packing them away and storing them (when I’m not being lazy…). Technically you could use any cheap vinegar for this as it is the acetic acid content that does the work. It helps to break down pesticides on the skins and helps to remove bacteria that make your veggies spoil faster. Soak them and give them a scrub then rinse and allow to dry fully before packing away in the fridge. I’ve noticed they do last longer this way. Just don’t attempt with foods that have soft skins like berries that will be broken down by the acid and absorb the flavour.

Studies have shown that ACV diluted in water prior to meals can decrease blood sugar spikes in those who are diagnosed pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic. But given this is not a health or medical advice blog, I mention this to spark your interest as this being a possibility so please do your own thorough research if this is of interest to you or someone you know. Just google, you’ll find a heap of information to wade through and make your own judgement if it is right for you. Just be sure to look at the actual studies though, especially if you are diagnosed and are taking medications to treat your condition. Don’t just take some random’s heresy!

Why I opt for ACV over white vinegar? White vinegar is often made from corn which is becoming widely common as a heavily mass produced GMO. This is not to say that I do my research and not buy anything that is a GMO from the supermarket, but given the huge industry of GMO corn in America and the political problems with health and nutrition of their nation that it is causing, I choose not to support the corn industry if I don’t know where the product is sourced from. Thats my choice, do as you please. Another reason, Organic Raw ACV will be obvious in the bottle as it is an unrefined product and still contains the ‘mother’. This is the murky, strand like substance that you can see in the bottom of the bottle and is contains live proteins and enzymes.

So, there you have it. The first instalment of hopefully many to come about the strange things in my cupboard! I hope this has been beneficial and has sparked an interest for you to get experimental yourself.

Enjoy x