I think that there are way way to many products on the market that we just simply don’t need. Maybe it is my minimalistic side, or my hatred of plastic – but I just dont feel like we need all these products. It is not that I don’t like to shop – i do, and I have plenty of clothing and home decor.. the products I don’t like being sold are the toiletry, cleaning and kitchen cheats products. I prefer a more minimalistic side – I get grumpy when my bathroom cabinet gets to full.
I get many people saying things like “Oh, I am sure it is just a little bad in that, surely it is ok”. Well, I have a few things to say to that. First of all, one of the best counter arguments I ever heard about having just a little of something bad: If you make brownies and take them to a friend, they ask whats in them. So you start to list off the ingredients.. chocolate, sugar, vanilla - at this point they pick on up to take a bite – flour, salt, cocoa powder, dog poo. Of course they are going to spit them out and be like WHAT! But you can say, ‘You know, it is just a little bit’. Still the same, just that little bit renders all that yummy (but gluteny) goodness bad bad bad! I was told this story when I was younger when I had one rather ‘bad’ friend in my group that I kept saying was ok – when they were harming us. The same goes for your body.. you eat and use all these other great, good, healthy, life promoting ingredients to then just add a dab of poo on top.
Secondly, I am working so hard to make sure that I have a clean diet, keep plastics out of my house due to the chemicals they leach – but sure I can just slather my body with all these small chemicals. I want to be chemical free. I want to have healthy kids someday and not worry that I poisoned my body and passed it to them. With the knowledge I have gained in the last few years I just cant take a little ‘poo’ into my life. I know it is a nasty comparison – but I find it to be the best to drive home the point.
However, due to popular demand I will be sharing with you which products I do use and what I use them for.
Cleaning the body and the house
- Pure Olive Oil soap (Castile Soap, any scent/version works)
- Hand dishes, toothpaste, shampoo, handsoap.
- Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, floor cleaner, multipurpose spray.
- Deep cleaning of teeth, mixing in multi-purpose cleaner, oven cleaner
- Mixing in multi-purpose cleaner, Glass cleaner.
- Floors, shower, toilet ect.
For washing the body…
Deodorant is still one of those things I am working on. Now that I have gotten my magnesium/vitamin D3 levels good – I don’t need it like I used too (ie. a bottle of the strongest stuff everywhere – an extra in the car, purse, desk ect). Now I put deodorant on when I shower (on average 2x a week) and maybe once more in-between. I have tried many natural deodorants in my time. Crystals, smelly things, homemade ones with baking soda or vodka or witch hazel, sprays, pastes, you name it! They tend to work for a few weeks, then I need to switch them up. One of the best of them was Coconut Oil – it really seemed to work really well and for a rather long time. It might work better for me now that I got the problem better managed.
What I am doing now is rotating a few deodorants. I have two Dr. Hauschka’s and rotate them. I am not sure why it works better when I rotate. The only thing that I think of is how you build up a resistance to certain medicines – like painkillers or antibiotics – and that after using the same deodorant to long I render it inactive. I think that I will be able to get it down to one, once I have had the good balance of magnesium/vitamin D3 for a few more months. Cheeseslave has been able to get all the way off the deodorants by using magnesium. Which I find very encouraging – however it can take a few months to get to that point.
Body Wash seems to be a big thing with people. They want to smell like flowers next to a waterfall. To be honest, I don’t get that. I am just not a big fan of these smelly lotions and potions. I have a bar of olive oil soap in the shower, and I used it on the pits and privates. Sometimes I will wash my face, but to be honest I feel that every time that I do my face breaks out or gets way to dry. You see I think (and science does too) that you should leave the natural oils on your body. If you were to get really caveman about it.. I highly doubt that they were scrubbing all the oils off them – they probably just used some water and had more of a rinse to get dirt and gunk off. The oils on your skin are there to form a barrier from the gunk we come in contact with in the world and out precious insides. Our skins absorb so much – it is our first defence and in my opinion (and many science papers too) we are harming ourselves by stripping it away every day. So I am a big fan of the rinse aways the dirt and excess oil (if there is any) and get on with life theory.
“Stop scrubbing – your skin is not the bathroom floor.”
So many times people say things about how they have such oily skin or such dry skin and that they are trying this + this + that product to combat it. I have read and seen in friends that when they just stop scrubbing all that natural oil the body is producing that their skin clears up and looks great! It is the same as the hair/scalp (Read my other article about Washing Hair). When you overwash your hair – meaning that you strip all the natural oils away – your body thinks ‘Oh! We must not have made enough oil yesterday, so we need to up the amount we make today.’ Then you get over oily. It is as simple as that. I can not seem to keep count of the compliments I get about how nice my skin is. I am always asked what lotion it is or concealer it is that I am using as my skin looks so healthy and natural. People are always really surprised at the fact that the only thing going on my face is water, coconut oil (sometimes), and for special events maybe a little concealer under the eyes.
Shampoo As you all know from above and my previous post about Not Washing My Hair that I don’t use shampoo. If you read the old article, it is worth reading through the comments to see what I learned and changed along the way. As of the last 9+ months, I have been using a bar of olive oil soap. About once per week, I brush my hair very well to loosen anything stuck in it and wash it with just bar soap – also not with too hot water, that will lead to dried out skin equalling dandruff. I have also, taken the same bar, chopped it up and put it in a liter of warm water (glass jar). Then left it on the counter for a week and it dissolves into a thick ‘shampoo’ like consistency. I have this in the bathroom too.
Shaving cream Well, we have never been friends. I got so much flack when I was growing up for not using it (Mostly due to knicking myself badly when I was learning and getting told shaving cream was the only way to avoid it). I just did not like the feel. I prefer to just use water sometimes a little olive oil soap on the hands and a rub over the legs.. but really water works just fine. When I have used shaving cream in the past, it has given me really dry skin!
I have also heard about people using coconut oil, think that would work great if you needed an alternative to water or shaving cream.
Lotion & Lipbalm Coconut oil! But really, when you let your skin take care of itself (ie. not stripping away the natural oils) there is not to much of a need to lotions. I use coconut oil maybe 3x a month on my skin. I use it sometimes abit more on my lips, if they get abit wind-dry from the cold and windy Norway. Though unless I am eating poorly, I tend to not need it!
Toothpaste & Mouthwash There is a long post dedicated to this. I would just like to add in additon to using soap, I also use baking soda on Sundays. I just picked Sundays becuase it is easy for me to remember. It is nice to use it once a week, it polishes up the teeth and helps take of any tough stains that have shown up. As for mouth wash, when I feel I need it or when some sickness has been going around I take one capful of Hydrogen Peroxide and swoosh it around for about a minute in my mouth. It also helps remove stains from the teeth and is obviously killing the bad bacteria. Be forewarned - if you have never used Peroxide in your mouth.. if foams like crazy!
Now on to cleaning the house…
There are some eco reasons I prefer not to use standard detergents… if you are interested let me know or do a Google search on natural vs. chemical surfactant’s.
Lanundry I used to use soapnuts.. and while I like them, I wanted to find something 1. easier to get ahold of where I live and 2. abit easier to use. So now I am using Sal Suds, from Dr. Bronner. (More info about Sal Suds below) The downside is that it does come in a plastic bottle, but it is post consumer recycled plastic. The soap itself is super concentrated so it last for ages. I think I might only need two 1 liter bottles per year at this point for the laundry.
Dishwasher Detergent This is one of my newest experiments. Add 1-2 teaspoons Sal Suds to your dishwasher (amount depends on the size you have). Add White Vinegar to the rinse aid. Wash as normal. Sadly this has not worked as well as I wanted it too. It might just be that my dishwasher is not all that amazing or the fact that we cook with fats. The dishes seem to have a odd film and sometimes dirty spots. — so on this it is back to the drawing board, so to speak.
A few words about Sal Suds. Firstly you can buy Sal Suds from my favorite online store - iHerb! Sal Suds are:
- Biodegradable Cleaner
- 100% Cruelty Free
- Preservative Free
- No Added Color
- Best of all - Complete Ingredient Disclosure
So those Ingredients are:
Water, sodium lauryl sulfate, coco-betaine, decyl glucoside, abies balsamea (balsam Canada) needle oil, tsuga canadensis (spruce) oil, citric acid, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium hydroxide.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This surfactant cuts grease and dirt, generates copious suds, and biodegrades quickly and completely. SLS is made by combining a sulfate group with lauryl alcohol from coconut oil, then attaching sodium. If improperly formulated, SLS can irritate skin, but our superb formula uses coco-betaine and lauryl glucoside to counter this.
Coco-Betaine: Mild and easily biodegradable, coco-betaine is formed by combining coconut fatty acids with betaine (a nature-identical synthetic so-named because it was first discovered in sugar beets). This foam-boosting cleansing agent buffers irritation caused by SLS.
Decyl Glucoside: This powerful grease-cutting surfactant is especially mild and quickly biodegradable, and is made by combining glucose from corn with fatty alcohols from coconut and palm kernel oils. Lauryl glucoside not only works with SLS to cut dirt and oily soils with exceptional ease, but also combines with coco-betaine to give Sal Suds smooth mildness.
Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Needle Oil & Tsuga Canadensis (Spruce) Oil: Pure essential oils from fir and spruce give Sal Suds its wonderful aroma. Most other cleaners use synthetic fragrances or cheap harsh pine stump oil.
Sal Suds is NOT for the skin. It is a natural all-purpose cleaner.
Floors, All-Purpose Spray, Windows, Toilet Cleaner Just a few things will get those 3 covered. Sal Suds or a steam vacuum for the floor. I love my steam vacuum/mop! It has attachments that come off and allow me to clean the shower, toilet, windows, floors and more with it. yay! Also, a little bit of Sal Suds in a bucket of water will clean the floors and more! One tablespoon in a spray bottle with water will work for the counters and such. I have also cleaner counters (wooden) with vinegar in a spray bottle. Then if there is a tough spot – like the stove – I break out the baking soda. Sprinkle some baking soda in the over and spray vinegar over it. The chemical reaction will break up all the gunk and make it super easy to clean. Use that same spray bottle of vinegar on glass and mirrors. There is no need to dilute the vinegar. For the toilet bowl, sprinkle in a bit of baking soda and scrub – I think it works great!
That is how cleaning is done in my house! If you have any questions just let me know As you can see I am not a fan of anitbacterial soaps. They kill out bacteria – the good and bad. They are also being attributed to low immunity in the US.
Happy 2013 readers! I hope that you all had a great 2012 where you learned how to care better for your body and the environment. I have been very busy this year in my free time learning about all these little things that interest me. Me and Google are best friends
I was wanting to do a “Top 10 Things I Learned in 2012″ post, but I think it just needs to be a top few. I have been abit slower with the blogging now, as I am busy working full time now – unlike when I started with this journey I hope that you all had a wonderful and insightful 2012, now lets make 2013 a year we learn even more about making ourselves and the world healthier! Below are the top things – the things that stand out the most in my head – that I have learned this year, plus some tips and a few goals for the year.
1.Magnesium! What does it not do!
You really need it! Magnesium used to be in our food, in abundance. Now with all our mass farming and lack of care for the earth, we have depleted the soil of this amazing nutrient. Unless you are swimming in the ocean daily, it is safe to say you are deficient.
Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for more than 300 enzymes to work properly and is needed for proper digestion and elimination. A magnesium deficiency causes a slower bowel emptying which leads to malabsorption and constipation and those are all contributing to gut flora problems.
Magnesium is also very important for proper and restorative sleep, vitamin D function and immune system function, three things that you want on your side when trying to heal the gut and rebuild a good gut flora. -via
This is one of my more recently discoveries, and I plan to write a very long and detailed post on why you need it. The short list of ailments caused by lack, of magnesiums are: Anxiety and Panic attacks, Asthma, Blood Clots, Bowel disease, Depression-Serotonin, Fatigue, Heart disease, Heart disease, Hypoglycemia, Insomnia, Kidney and Liver disease, Osteoporosis, PMS, and tooth decay. In the mean time, if you are interested – start doing some research of your own
2. D3 kicks the odor
Vitamin D3, it is my new best friend. When I take it my body odor leaves! yay! I could not remember where I heard about this, so I had to do some digging. It turns out that I can not find it, I assume I read it as a suggestion in a comment or such. What I do remeber is that earlier this year I wanted oh so badly to avoid the nasty chemical laden sunscreen. So in my searching I read that coconut oil and a extra dose of vitamin D3 a few weeks ahead and through sun exposure would prevent a burn. While it worked great on light sun days – ie. walking around town in and out of cafes and stores – it idid not work on the beach of hours on end. I did end up burning once I spent a full day on the beach – maybe I was not applying the coconut oil enough or maybe it was my “vacation eating”. Who knows! What I know is that I was in pain. Through all of that though, I kept taking the D3 through to the fall. I probably had started taking it around March, if I were to guess. In the late fall (aprx. September) I realized that if I missed a day of deoderant that it was not the end of the world as it would have been before. I could wear a cardigan for more than one day without making the people around me pass out and it was great. Now this is not to say that I am deodorant free just yet (though I feel that I am working toward it) but I am able to survive on natural deodorants with peace.. which is groundbreaking! yay! I am now taking around 300 micrograms per day of liquid drops.
3. Sugar is the devil!
Ok, well I already knew that – but I really got a good kick in the butt reminder about it. When I was growing up all my family knew that sugar made me sick. They always were so good about having alternative desserts and such for me. Sometime these were fruits and chesse (and sometimes sadly slendia laden desserts which at the time we thought were great). My stomach would twist up and cause me tons of pain.. and I was really good at saying “no” and avoiding it. For some reason once I cut out all gluten, I started getting abit more lax on the sugar consumption. I still get kill stomach aches, body aches and sometimes if I really over due it need to all but lay down for a half hour. I still like a treat here and there, so I am going to be looking into some of Sarah Wilson’s (aka: the I Quit Sugar lady) desserts and treats and stick to them instead of say ice cream or chocolate! I have done my fair share of experimenting this year with baked good and sweets with Stevia and fresh dates or berries to sweeten. They all taste amazing, even much more so if you have not been eating white sugar!
For the first time, a direct link has been established between the amount of sugar circulating in the blood and how old a person looks….They found that those with higher blood sugar looked older than those with lower blood sugar. In fact for every 1mm/litre increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by five months. -via
If you are interested in reading some of the articles about quiting sugar that I read this year, then check these out!
- Why sugar makes us fat
- Ten ways to sweeten food without sugar
- Whats the deal with coconut sugar?
- Artificial sweeteners…are any ok?
- The deal with agave
- The Question of Seasonality in Fructose Availability
4. Gluten allergies + coffee = BAD
When I started on the journey to heal my thyroid I read about coffee inhibiting my thyroid from healing, so I cut it out right away. Coffee is really bad on the adrenals, which we really need in tip top shape (if interested, read this article on The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol, and the Adrenals)
Frequent stimulation of the adrenal glands from caffeine eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion whether this be at age 20 or age 60. If you’ve been drinking coffee for years and think you are “just fine thank you”, think again. Feeling bone tired and not being able to get off the couch to do much of anything could be just around the corner as hormonal problems can strike suddenly and seemingly out of the blue (just ask any menopausal woman). It is the sleeping giant you best not ignore.
Other symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include lack of physical endurance and stamina, weight gain, reduced ability to handle stress, impairment of calcium absorption, and depression of immunity. -via
So that was why I kicked the coffee, but I still would occasionally have a small cup here and there. That was until I read this article about Coffee and people with gluten problems, here is an excerpt:
In a nutshell, fairly recent lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.
This means that if you are gluten sensitive or celiac and are avoiding gluten containing grains or perhaps have even gone completely grain free, if you still drink coffee there is a strong likelihood that the protein in the coffee is triggering the very same gluten related health problems you are trying to avoid.
In other words, even if you think you are doing fine with your current gluten free diet, it is very possible that skipping the coffee could take your health to the next level.
5. No more sick days
That once you cut out grains and sugar – you barley get sick! I used to get sick all the time, once the weather got cold – there I was home in bed. I was always having sick days – but this year I did not! I was only missing work a few times for small sickness this past year. It is such and improvement from the past! I think it is also to do with the facet that I am not so OCD about my cleaning anymore. I dont carry around hand sanitizer or bleach the house anymore. You know the saying “a little dirt never hurt” is so true! I also notice that when I eat sugar, I start feeling ill (not the ill I talked about like upset stomach, but sick/flu ill). I feel terrible and get headaches and sleep terrible ect. It is a nightmare. The times when I have been eating lots of sugar are the times that I remember getting sick – sugar weakens the immune system!
6. Gluten, that sneaky *****!
I still hate gluten! It is one tiny little sucker! It can stay in the body for around 6 months when ingested – so once accidental bite or acidental contaminated meal can really cause problems in the body potentially for months. It has taken the whole year with friends and family, but they final remember that I can not have gluten and dont think I am so crazy anymore! yay! If you have not read the book “Wheat Belly” I HIGHLY suggest it. Even if you think that you don’t have a gluten problem, you should learn about the dangerous genetically modified wheat that most people are eating multiple times per day. The book is very informative and a good read for health nerds like us! Gluten issues are up more than 400% in young adults than they are in 50 year olds! That just goes to show that this new modern wheat we young adults have gown up on has reaked havoc on us! It is also thought that one in three Americans have gluten senstivity! ekk! (source)I try to cook everything from scratch to make sure I know whats going in my body, but also to make sure I am not getting gluten. One thing I really noticed this year was how gluten is in everything! eh! I find it most on lazy days, where as I hate to admit it I walk through the store hoping for some quick dinner like soup or such. Soy sauce sweet chilli sauce, brown sauce, white sauce – ok basically all sauces, soups, chili mixes, spice mixes, potato chips, trail mix (ekk! its the pretzels or chocolate with crispy things in it), ice cream and I could go on and on.
All these things I have learned are to help make me healthier … some may say that it is too late for them – but just remember that some of these things might take generations to heal.. so please start now
There’s the Pottanger’s Cats theory. In the 1930s Francis Pottanger ran experiments on cats over 10 years and found that when he fed them the cat equivalent of McDonalds they got sick. He found the illnesses (including infertility and the same degenerative diseases we’re now seeing in humans) took several generations to kick in. And that it took four generations again of being fed good food for normal health to be restored. -via
I suggest that when you are taking on this life style to take one thing at a time.. in the beginning when I started this I wanted to do everything at once. While I though that maybe I could handle it, I did not want to do that to my family so I decided to take one thing – like taking my own shopping bags – and once it became a habit for us, then I would move along to the next. I have made a list of Goals (though that is not all of them) that I would like to accomplish, and I try to tackle a new one every few weeks or at least once per month. It really helps on the stress end and also will help you get through each goal and stick to it!
What I am looking forward to in 2013!
I sold one of my websites this past fall, so I am looking forward to having more time to relax and blog on this site (that site took the majority of my blogging time up).
Reading Magnesium Miricle and writing a post on it.
Writing a post on my cleaning products/methods – I am starting to get lots of questions now, so time for me to get busy writing them out!
I am looking forward to getting the last few chemicals out of my house!
Eating full Paleo, time to cut the excuses out. I feel 100% when I eat clean – but sadly, all to often Ill allow myself some sugar for a “special event” and feel like crap for a few days. In addition to getting off the sugar, I would like to cut out a few of the gluten free alternatives I have been using (like corn based pasta.. ekk, I know!).
Full Paleo + strength training. We will be going to a good friend of ours gym this year. I am looking forward to it. It will be tough, but I am sure worth it!
What have your learned this year? What are you looking forward too? – will you share with us?
Today I watched Genetic Roulette.. these are my thoughts on the documentary:
I hear a lot that I am “over the top” and such. I hear things like these 3 statements and I have even heard them all from the same person(s) before:
“No one used to be so concerned over food, just eat what is at the store, stop worrying. The government is watching out and testing things”
“Back 30 years ago there were no food allergies, I think people are just oversensitive or something”
“People never used to be sick this much, but I just think it must be that we did not have names for all these things people have now or the science didn’t pick up on them. People died, they did not die from XYZ”
These statements sadden me. It is like people have figured it out but are being to naive to accept it. For example in 1996 GMO Corn was introduced to the states. In the years following disease rose majorly in inflammation based disease.
These GMO super bug grains like corn or wheat that can fight off ‘pests’ (pestacides) and kill them by breaking there (the bugs) stomachs open are being ingested by millions daily – not just once but in almost all types of food. These GMO’s deplete the minerals in your food, making your food sick. Then your food (i.e. cow) and you eat this sick food and sick animals… not giving you much nutrition to keep you healthy. Then not only did you eat sick food and therefore have a sick stomach (leaky gut/weak immune system) you have introduced those pesticides into your intestines and they can take over your gut flora (bacteria) and make it bad. Some studies show too that once you get enough of these pesticides in your stomach that they will reproduce themselves in your stomach.. making this problem ever so long.
I think the freakiest part of the documentary to me (mind you, all of this stuff was freaky) was when they were talking about the birth defects. They have done lots of testing on mice with GMO feed. Birth rates went down, testicles changed from pink to a strange blue color, by the 3rd generation some lost the ability to reproduce and (this part with made me sick!) some had HAIR growing in their mouths!!! (pictured below)
Between all my research about food quality – non gmo, organic, whole food, paleo foods ect. paired with my hatred of plastic plus my hatred of cleaning chemicals I have see one common thread in all these. Chemicals. All these things that are making us sick have chemicals that are not natural in them that cause all types of disease in people. Things like leaky guts and autism, BPA factories and infertility, and grains and obesity. Going back to that “they did not have these diseases back in the day” statement.. it is probably somewhat true. People were eating some grains (probably even the late cave-peoples) but they were pure – as nature intended them to be. Now they are all hopped up on hormones and chemicals. It makes so much sense to me that when people switch to whole food or paleo diets that they start having medical break throughs. I have read 100′s of accounts of diseases leaving, aliments being healed, autism reversing and so on.. so much so that I feel like a 1910 fair ground sales man selling magical elixers when I talk to people about this. But I know these things are true, I have had it happen to me when I switched. No more thyroid problems or medicine for me! yay!
The biggest thing for me now is finding a sustainable way of life. In some of my previous post I have stated that I am working toward a guilt free compromise. A small update about that. I have added a few things back into my life that I am ok with. Cleaning for example, I have my vinegar and baking soda of course – but I have added in Grønnsåpe. Grønnsåpe was originally saponfied hemp oil, and sometimes still is. But more often these days they are mixing a few oils together for it like rutabaga or vegetable soaps. I think of it like Castile soap for my floors. As it is a wood cleaning soap. We have also started to buy salad items again. It is next to impossible to get salad items plastic free here. So we just stopped eating salad items due to my plastic hatred. However, chemical absorption from plastic is highest in fatty items. So it should be relatively low in salad lettuce and spinach.
Ok, back to the documentary at hand. Genetic Roulette is one of my top 10 documentaries everyone should see. I highly recommend it, and suggest you set aside a simple hour and half to watch this! I have found a version of it online in full – so you don’t have to run around the internet looking for a version to watch or trying to download it somewhere. I hope that this copy stays up for awhile, but I can not guarantee.. so watch it sooner than later!
So what do YOU THINK?