Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Knives in Corks and Coffee Grounds in Showers

Well, I have been a real MacGyver this week, it seems. I learned that you can open a wine bottle with a serrated knife when your wine opener goes AWOL.  You just basically stab the ever living daylights out of the center of the cork until you get it in there about halfway. Then, carefully twist and twist and twist until you get the cork out. I was so thrilled to have finally opened the bottle that I celebrated... with a drink.

You saw that coming.

Anyway, here in Austin, I have become very intimate with my sweaty self. I don't think there's been a single day here where I haven't ended up in a puddle of perspiration. I've now taken to carrying around an extra change of clothes and deodorant and explaining to people that I've been stanky for so long I've forgotten what I smell like clean. So sorry, everyone, but you try doing all this in 95 degree weather every day. Anyway, my skin definitely felt the burden of all those layers of grime that simply would not wash away in the shower. Finally, I realized I needed a good body scrub to bring that glow back. You know, that one you're supposed to get after a good day of exercise.

In short, I was sick of looking like a glistening pig.

There was no body scrub around though. Or even the usual characters in a body scrub like sugar or sea salt. There was, however, an abundance of coffee grounds thanks to our morning cups of sweet pour-over coffee. Probably the next best way to make coffee other than a french press. So one morning, in a pinch, I mixed together fresh coffee grounds and coconut oil and made a quick body scrub that ended up being so effective, I slathered it all over my face and my hair. (Those parts sans the coconut oil though.)

Turns out that I knew what I was doing! Coffee itself is incredibly high in antioxidants and free-radical fighting compounds and the grounds are no different. We know that coffee aids in preventing Alzheimer's and have a list of health benefits, but what does good inside your body also does good on the outside of your body. Caffeine works to firm up collagen, reduce cellulite, and brightens up the skin. The antioxidants are anti-aging and incredibly beneficial for the health of the skin. Plus, it's completely natural and chemical-free, especially if you buy organic or fair-trade coffee. 

So basically it's just: 1/4 cup of coffee grounds and 1/8 cup of coconut oil (or any oil of your preference) mixed together and applied to your skin. Rinse off and feel pretty. Play with the proportions until you get the consistency you want. I don't know how long it lasts really, so stick with making small batches.

In my research, I found other good uses for coffee grounds: 

  • Fertilizer for your plants and garden. It's high in nitrogen.
  • Increases shine in your hair. Just wash grounds in after shampooing and rinse out.
  • Fridge deodorizer. Just place a bowl of dry grounds in the fridge and let it hang out.
  • Pot and pan scrub. Just pile it on a thin rag and scrub.
So the next time I'm getting all bogged down with sweat and humidity, this coffee lover is all set. What do you do with your coffee grounds? And better yet, what's your solution for opening wine bottles without an opener? 

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