Sunday, 12 August 2012

Chia Seeds

Being involved in the 'spa wellness industry', I am looking more and more into what our clients can benefit from not only externally but also internally. We recommend a great selection of anti-ageing creams, serums and treatments, however if you don't look after your insides as well as you do your skin, then chances are you could be fighting a losing battle. Our skin care is results driven with proven reults, however at the end of the day, there is only 'so much' a cream can do to plump up the skin. If you suffer from particularly sagging skin, it could just be related to a depleted diet rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Australian Chia Seeds are a great source of Dietary Fibre, Protein, Antioxidants and Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are well known for creating healthy brain function, a healthy heart, increased immunity and healthier skin.

Widely advertised sources of Omega 3 are types of oily fish and/or fish oil. But for those of us who struggle to swallow oil or get tuna and salmon down in regular doses, commonly referred to as 'cat food' by my husband, the Chia Seeds are an awesome plant based alternative!

They are virtually unrecognisable and undetectable by both husbands and kids.
You can throw them into your cereal, porridge, dips, pasta, mix them with water and blend into smoothies, muffins or bread, almost anything you can think of.

Along with some other awesome healthcare products, you can now buy Chia Seeds directly from Cove Spa and if you are investing in anti-aging skin care, then we recommend that for $7.50 you buy some Chia Seeds too, not only for yourself, but to keep your family healthy too.

For more details about Australian Chia Seeds and/or recipe ideas, follow this link

This afternoon I made healthy Chocolate Chia Brownies. Due to the large amount of sweet potato, to be honest, the kids raised one eyebrow so I put a light layer of icing on top and they ate every last crumb!

Recipe below:


  • 2 tbsp Chia Seed
  • 300g Sweet Potato, steamed and mashed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
Preparation time: 40 minutes Cooking time: 20 - 25 minutes
Servings : 24


1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Mix the chia seed with 120g water and set aside.

3. Peel the sweet potato and cut into small pieces. Place in a steamer and steam for 15–20 minutes. Once the sweet potato is tender either mash or place in a processor until smooth and free of lumps. Using the kitchen mixer, beat the eggs to form peaks and set aside in a separate bowl.

4. Melt the chocolate over a double burner.

5. Add the flour, cocoa, walnuts and sugar to the mixing bowl with the chia seed paste, mashed potato, light olive oil and melted chocolate, and lastly fold through the egg whites. Spread the mixture across a 30 x 20cm baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 20–25 minutes, cut into squares and store in air tight containers.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Toxic Skin Care

I've seen a lot of expensive tv advertising recently about supermarket brand face moisturisers promising the world, even offering money back guarantees...its powerful marketing!
But my first thoughts are, what sort of ingredients are being used in these moisturisers to cause such so called dramatic effects? The cost of these miracle creams are considerably lower than 'spa brands' yet they can afford huge advertising costs which means that possibly the ingredients are being compromised.

So I decided to embark on a little reconnaissance mission up to my local supermarket recently to investigate.
Without mentioning specific brands, I was not surprised to find some less than superior ingredients listed on the backs of the packaging. Products containing PABAs (possible carcinogens) and plastics, just to name a few...I just can’t see how the ingredients in these formulas can result to the claims made by these big companies. Ingredients used for degreasing car engines and known carcinogens are still being packed into these creams! Sure, they are easily accessible, offer the world and don't cost the earth, but why would anyone knowingly buy this stuff to use on their face and body? What sort of long term effects will they have on our health?

 With the rate of cancers soaring, I believe that it is worth investigating our personal care products that we use several times per day on our skin. These trace amounts of chemicals are being absorbed and who knows whether our bodies are storing them causing a slow build up which may cause problems in the future.

Our recommended spa brand Pevonia, does not contain these harmful ingredients and while you pay a little extra for quality ingredients, how do you put a price on your health?
We now also stock aluminium free deodorants which are a much safer alternative and our nail polishes are free of formaldehyde, DBP and toluene. At Cove we are working hard to eliminate as many chemicals as possible in the interest of the future health, beauty and wellbeing of both our staff and clients.

Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients (from :

The Food and Drug Administration does not test cosmetics, but cosmetic companies are required to list all the ingredients in their products. As a consumer, you should read all cosmetic labels and be aware of what chemicals may be hazardous to your health.


Several phthalates exist, and they are not easy to spot on cosmetic labels. Sometimes they are referred to as diethyl phthalate, or DEP, or as dinbutyl phthalate, or DBP. Phthalates appear in nail polishes, perfumes, hair products and deodorants. They are suspected to cause reproductive issues in both men and women. Phthalates may also damage the kidneys, lungs and liver.

Found in lipsticks, sunscreens and toiletries, propylene glycol keeps cosmetics from drying out. Propylene glycol is listed on cosmetic labels as polyethylene glycol, or PEG, and as polypropylene glycol, or PPG. This ingredient is known to cause skin and eye irritation. When the body absorbs high doses of propylene glycol, it can lead to heart, kidney and liver damage.


Face powders, blushes and body powders all contain talc. Also known as talcum powder, this ingredient may be laced with asbestos, which is a well-known carcinogen. Talc may cause chronic or acute lung disorders and may contribute to ovarian cancer. You should avoid using body powders that contain talc, especially in the genital area.


Formaldehyde sometimes appears on cosmetic labels as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate or quaternium-15. Formaldehyde may be used as a preservative in a variety of cosmetics, including eye shadows, mascaras, nail polishes, soaps, creams and shampoos. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and may cause breathing difficulties, especially for those with asthma. When it occurs in creams or soaps, formaldehyde is absorbed into the skin and may trigger headaches and allergic reactions.


Small levels of parabens are not considered dangerous, but so many cosmetics contain parabens that you could easily have a high exposure rate to this ingredient. Parabens are listed under the names propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben or ethylparaben on cosmetic labels. They are used as a preservative and appear in products such as shampoos, deodorants, shaving creams and makeup. Parabens have been linked to fertility issues and may increase your chance of developing breast cancer.