Monday, January 25, 2016


T H E   G U I D E   |  I N   D E F E N S E   O F  F A T

Although we're creeping away from Holiday feasts filled with roasting, baking, and cooking, many are just now moseying into the kitchen to reacquaint themselves with cooking and their sense of health. In a world in which dollops and tubs of processed fake spreads such as I Cannot Believe It's Not Butter [I sure can . . .] or hydrogenated vegetable oils are dripping,  it's well time to strip down the base of our food—fats. Here is a guide to oils to avoid, oils to use, + when to drizzle them on . . .

To spread + sizzle your oil of choice on a garden of noshes, consider supporting your local farmers and join a delivery program like From the FarmerWith seasonal produce like heirloom, ombré-hued carrots, this locally-driven program subtracts the effort of seeking, shopping, and schedule so you can enjoy a fresh start to your New Year. Plus! if you use the coupon code thirlby2016, you'll receive 20 percent off of your first four farm-to-front door deliveries! Once you receive your bagful of bounty, roast any vegetables with coconut, MCT, or avocado oil at 425 degrees with a sprinkle of sea salt + herbs like oregano or thyme!

O I L S   T O   A V O I D
Canola Oil  |  Corn Oil  |  Soybean Oil  |  Peanut Oil  |  Sunflower Oil
Safflower Oil  |  Cottonseed Oil  |  Grapeseed Oil  |  Margarine
Shortening |  I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter  |  Smart Balance
Any fake butter or vegetable oils products

i m b a l a n c e d   o m e g a   p r o f i l e  |  This list is essentially all vegetable oils that are extremely toxic for our bodies. Vegetable oils contain a very high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats that cause imbalances. An unbalanced ratio of healthy Omega-3 and unhealthy Omega-6 fats can cause disease in the body, ranging from inflammation to cancer.

c h e m i c a l s  |  These vegetable oils are also fraught with pesticide residue + chemicals that are used in the production of the often genetically modified vegetables, such as soy or corn [hello, Monsanto!]. They are overheated, over-processed, oxidised, + chemically-deodorised toxins . . . The chemical processing of these oils also lace them with chemicals such as BHA [Butylated hydroxyanisole] + BHT [Butylated hydroxytoluene] that are not only hard to pronounce but also hard for our bodies to process to say the very least—they have been linked to organ damage, immune dysfunction, infertility, high cholesterol, + even behavioural problems.

a n t i - o x i d a n t   d e p l e t i o n  |  Also, due to their low oxidation point, vegetable oils rid the body of its precious antioxidants that are used in attempt to neutralize the oxidative effect these oils cause. When consumed regularly, they can consequently deplete the body of essential minerals + vitamins, such as Vitamin E.

r e p r o d u c t i v e   h e a l t h   +   h o r m o n e s  |  Most importantly, vegetable oils are highly detrimental to the reproductive system + infant development. They can potentially cause birth defects, abnormalities, + hormone imbalances in both women and men. This is because hormone production depends on fats as a vehicle. When the cells are oxidized with the regular consumption of these oils, the new cells that are generated could potentially mutate. These mutated fat cells then become damaged carriers that halt healthy hormone production.

O I L S   T O  U S E 
Coconut Oil  |  Butter  /  G h e e  |  Olive Oil  | Avocado Oil 

c o c o n u t   o i l   |  yes, believe the hilarious hype about the magical miracle that is coconut oil. You might not be able to 'see into three galaxies away to a planet named Gå4n,' but your body will surely be nourished enough to reproduce a generation that might be able to do so. This oil is composed of Medium Chain Fatty Acids + Lauric Acid that can charge your cells to provide you with sustained + stable energy throughout the day. It's also highly beneficial for the reproductive system since the fat cells in our bodies are predominantly composed of saturated fats for which coconut oil is an excellent source. Not to mention it's great to slather on as a moisturiser from your lips to your toes . . .

b u t t e r  /  g h e e  |  I was so sad to see butter get such a beating over the years + glad to see it have the comeback that it deserves. When it is sourced from pastured grass-fed cows, butter not only tastes exponentially better but is a phenomenal source of fat-soluble vitamins + saturated fats. It also contains a compound identified by Weston A. Price as Activator X that has preventative effects against disease.

o l i v e   o i l  |  a staple of my Mediterranean family's diet—one of my uncles even takes shots of it in the morning—this oil is pure gold. When it is of a high-quality source, its colour will almost be reminiscent of deep dish detergent green + taste of pure, earthy olives. It's high in monounsaturated fats, which make it great for cold recipes but unsuitable for cooking since monounsaturated fats oxidise when heated.

a v o c a d o   o i l  |  like olive oil, avocado oil should only be used in cold recipes such as in salads or to dress cooked + cooled vegetables [perfect of green beans with a dash of Maldon salt!] It has a creamy flavour and is therefore perfect to make dressings with [I love it with some stone-ground organic dijon mustard, fresh black pepper, a dash of cumin, + raw apple cider vinegar]. This is also another oil I love applying on my skin for its deeply hydrating qualities.

Friday, January 22, 2016


F A R M A C Y  |  I N T E N T I O N A L  R I S E S
Mornings are such a sacred time to resolve each and every day to commit to a healthier year. The kitchen can seem a daunting place, but there’s nothing to fear with simple, healthy meals and chic kitchen utensils. Here is a guide Kevin of Thou Swell and I have curated in partnership with Target for the first meal of the day, to lead you into the kitchen and help you rise, sunny side up . . .

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  G R A I N  -  F R E E   S P I C E D  B A N A N A  B R E A D
With many entering the New Year abundant in resolutions centering on lack, deprivation, and desensitization, this is a cake to stick pleasure back to your bones and your palate without over-indulging. A dashing of seasonal spices married with the gooey comfort of banana bread for a resolution to savour in the New Year, find it up on the beautiful Thou Swell today . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


T H E   G U I D E   |  F R O M   T H E   F A R M E R
Amidst the spinning resolutions to support our body in the New Year lies community. When we foster the work of the local farmer to baker, we fuel both our own physical and the economy of our surrounding bodies. From the Farmer's mission is precisely that, substracting the effort of  seeking, shopping, and schedule. A local farm-to-door delivery service that not only brings a bounty of produce but also sundries like local Vigilante coffee or fresh grass-fed beef. Here are pickings à la From the Farmer and beyond to nosh on + imbibe in locally . . .

Local selections to add to your to your from the farmer bag + surrounding markets to tote around the town . . .
vigilante coffee |  a directly-sourced coffee bean-to-roaster that supports the local community, works directly with the farmers, and honours the unique essence of each source country's bean. 
compass coffee | a cup and a spoonful of cosy galore in the store of compass coffee, which brings coffee at its seasonal peak flavour to your brew.
greenheart organic | a squeeze of my heart topped with a shot of ginger—I am mesmerised by greenheart's commitment to quality plants, ayurvedic principles, + environmental awareness. I measure my life out in [spoonfuls of greenheart juice] . . . 
undone chocolate | a bean-to-bar sans trickster bearded brothers, undone chocolate gently crafts their chocolate from farm-direct organic cocoa beans ground with ingredients like himalayan pink salt + cardamom.
mto kombuchathe master brew that popped my kombucha cherry, made-to-order kombucha has a seemingly endless line of flavours ranging from coffee to hops to my favourite, lemon rosemary.
the organic butcher | the little shop that simmering in the scents of roasing ,smoking, + broth-boiling of tender local, grass-fed + pastured meats that will overtake your poor little mouth . . .
CAVA | with shops peppered along streets of D.C. that serve tahini-drizzled pick-your-own bowls, CAVA has a selection of spread + savouries crafted in-house to take home.
rise bakery | a dedicated local gluten-free bakery that even further accommodate egg, soy, dairy, and nut allergies for the taking of toast + tea! 
oasis creamery | a beautifully fed and churned butter from grass-fed cows for a frothy bulletproof drink or to simmer for a full-moon ghee
No. 1 Sons | a pickle to pick on when you're in a pickle with your last forkful of sauerkraut—this is one of my go-to brands I reach for when I crunch on the last leaf in my torso-sized sauerkraut jar . . . 
Misfit Juicery | an endless toast for this young entrepreneur-driven juice company that believes dimpled apples and produce that falls by the wayside due to high aesthetic standards provides equal fuel.  
Goûter | made of organic produce, 9.5 alkaline water, + made to order, goûter is both conveniently sold in local locations such as wydown + yes! organic market as well as delivering to homes and offices.

Friday, January 8, 2016


T H E   C O N S T R U C T I O N  |  N E W   M O O N  I N  C A P R I C O R N

Time to steep in time and take in sweet sips of your own heart's nectar—it's Mercury in Retrograde. Coupled with the lunar shift of tomorrow's first New Moon of 2016, the planetary bodies are fusing their energies to push us into the New Year with re-rooting, re-surfacing, and re-bounding. It's about working on and doing the dark inner excavations to build a foundation to stand upon + construct the light. It's time that we realise that we are the digger + the doer, to step into our authority + pave our own roads . . .

This period of the calendar is a reminder to turn inwards with an ear to the planetary push and pullbacks. As I mention my re-shifting definition of Mercury Retrograde in my guide on how to manage it, this planetary movement is an optical illusion of sorts—the retrograde occurs according to the perspective from the Earth. Take the time on this New Moon to scribe and burn into ashes all to distill a clearer internal vision and communication, trickling into your true self. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  C R E A M Y   L E E K   G R E E N  S O U P 
a i p  |  v e g a n  |  p a l e o
I am smitten to share with you another article over on the Glitter Guide—a simmering soup to heat frosted noses + sip bellyfuls over warm conversations . . . 

Monday, January 4, 2016


F A R M A C Y :   M E N T A L   F U R N I T U R E 

Taking a week-long hiatus from social media in honour of the Holidays has allowed me to shift + shuffle around the creaking floorboards of my mind. I have come to wake up to the blatant fact that my (over)usage of technology has become a dependency. 

La petite mort: parts of my self were dying. My mind was starting to resemble a cotton and soap-smelling muted living room of a grandmother—of slow energy and movement. Swiping down to refresh Instagram or Facebook, my eyes would dart at the half-read copy of full-forgotten book or stare into the memory of regular meditation. At work, I force myself to not pick up (or rather click on) a calculator to plug in elementary arithmetic problems. I peek over the desks of colleagues who do the same. We're all hopping or tripping amidst one mental dusty bunny or another, staring mindlessly at our phones. 

So, here's to patting down on the old floorboards + rising from dusty seats of our minds. This is a rearrangement of our mental furniture. The first of my challenges and my very first New Year's resolution is to memorise a poem. Exercising the body is a commitment and so is this mental exercise. I had once read a comment from someone who recalled how her professor at Columbia called this kind of memorisation "investing in your own 'mental furniture.' He had memorised most of Shakespeare's sonnets, and he loved the idea that he'd always have those words as furniture in his head for his thoughts to sit on, even in old age. " 

Here's a sofa that one day I will eventually lie on, but in the meantime, I'm looking at this poem by Jane Kenyon, another one by T.S. Eliot, one by Pablo Neruda, and another loving last one from Pablo Neruda. Share below your favourite poem!