Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Update after over a year!

My how time flies!

Despite my lack of posts, I've been very busy continuing to change my habits and products!

Some of the changes I have made in the last year include:

Using coconut oil for:
-oil pulling in mornings when I get up or on my way (driving) to work, my goal is to do daily but its still been rather sporadic.
-(in place of) body lotion after showers - it works great!  I've also been using it as a facial moisturizer since about March and I've had several compliments on my skin since I made the change!
-use it instead of shortening for cooking and baking.  ratio of 3/4 cup coconut oil to 1 cup shortening
-use it to remove my eye makeup and waterproof mascara

Consuming raw milk:
-daughter has been drinking for over a year
-She had a stubborn spot of eczema on lower back that despite all the creams on the market and some steroid creme from the pediatrician it just lingered - since she has been drinking raw milk it has completely disappeared.
-She also has a stubborn spot of eczema on sides of her biceps, as long as she is drinking raw milk they are gone but if we run out of raw milk and switch to organic milk, it starts coming right back.  Right now its back because we ran out of raw milk several weeks ago and I haven't had a chance to drive to the farm to get more (2 hour drive, round-trip)
-I did a lot of research before letting my child drink raw milk and drank it myself before letting her drink it.  It has a different taste, not bad by any means, it just tastes 'clean'.  If you've ever tried it, you'll understand.  Its almost like i can taste hints of the grass that the cows ate.
If you'd like more info, I'd start researching here:
However, I also learned a lot from other moms and their decisions to turn to consuming raw dairy and  how it has affected their families health.

Drinking Lemon Water
I've read that drinking a glass of water, preferably warm, with some fresh lemon juice squeezed into it  is supposed to help your liver detox.  I've also read it has an alkaline effect on the body when consumed (even though it is an acid, technically)
I personally like the taste and it helps me keep up with drinking the proper amount of water on a daily basis, there are several sites that talk about the many benefits of lemon water that can be found just by google-ing it.  Here's a few links that I came across in my search:

I started making my own dishwasher soap.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and it works pretty darn good!  However, I do still use Cascade in a load if it is extra greasy or my dishes have a lot of food baked on.
Here's the recipe:
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Super Washing Soda
2 cups Lemi Shine
1 cup kosher salt
use white vinegar as a rinse aid
I've read on some blogs that there is concern for using Borax on dishes since you eat off of them.  there are recipes for the same without the borax - maybe eventually I will try one of those but right now this works great.

We try to avoid eating GMOs if we can.
why?  There are lots of studies out there, and its really hard to find studies that are not biased one way or the other.  However, I don't feel like the right type of studies have been done on these - and specifically long term studies.  Most studies are 90 days or less.  There was a study that was released a while back that was a  2 year study but it was retracted - whether that was from errors or from pressure of GMO producers, we will never know.  BUT, I think if they are really as safe as they are touted, then there will be more long term studies released SHOWING the safety of these organisms.
But on the other hand, I'm not sure how I feel about patenting a life form that can live, breed and spread on its own.  Its like Jurassic Park, I know it sounds cliche, but just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should.....  You can bet I will be watching how these play out in the future of our food supply.  Some articles I found of interest include:

We are working towards eating a more paleo diet.  We try to cut out as much processed food as we can (which cuts out a lot of our exposure to GMOs)  Our general rule of thumb is to try to eat our food in a form that is as close to the way it was in nature.  We try to eat our veggies raw (or at least the ones that taste good raw) but we definitely cook all our meats - we don't eat any meat raw.  (unless its a special occasion and me and my husband get to indulge in some beef carpaccio!  Yum!)  We've really started to limit the amount of starches, sugars and grains and flours in our cooking and meals.  We do occasionally eat white rice or basmati and we do occasionally eat pasta, but we've cut back quite a bit from how much we used to eat.  I do think you need carbohydrates to live, I just think the typical American probably eats WAY too much of them.  Since I have cut back on them, I haven't had any trouble keeping my body at an ideal weight and I am not even exercising on a regular basis.  And I have a desk job.  Maybe I'm an unusual case study.  I am not a doctor or nutritionist but this is what I have noticed with the changes I have made in my eating habits.  

I was no pooing for over a year and it was working great - except for the development of a dry and itchy scalp.  I never had trouble with dandruff or anything like that before.  I did some research and found that the no poo is great but it is harsh on your scalp because of the swing in pH.  So I searched for another homemade alternative that was closer to the pH of my scalp.  There are lots of different recipes out there, some of the ones I came across were made with coconut milk, aloe juice or aloe vera or honey.  They all looked great but there was one common issue with all of them.  You had to make the shampoo fairly frequently as it didn't have a very long shelf life.  Yay for no preservatives but a big bummer on convenience.  These were just too time consuming for me to have to make regularly.  However, I decided to give a shampoo bar a try.  I had heard that Babassu oil is great for your hair and my favorite soap website, makes their own shampoo bar with Babassu oil.  Well the experience was heaven!  That shampoo bar makes thick lather that is beyond compare with any liquid shampoo that I can ever remember!  So, I've been using the shampoo bar for about 3 months and I just love it.  And no conditioner needed afterwards.  My hair is shiny, clean, soft.  Its great.

Oil Cleansing Method for Face
I started making the transition from a soap based cleanser to the oil cleansing method back in March.  And it was a very gradual transition.  I had read some horror stories about some awful acne that some experienced when changing to an oil cleansing method.  I started out washing my face only once a week with the oils, and the rest of the days with my soap cleanser.  then a week or two later, I'd do the oils two days a week, and so on.  It seemed that the blackheads that I always had seemed to fade over time and I hardly have ANY now.  I was pretty skeptical of this cleansing method, but I've been won over through this experience.  My face is so clear now and the tone is so even, I don't even wear foundation anymore.  I just wear blush, eye shadow, eyeliner and my mascara and lip gloss.  Its really incredible!  

As I have run out of my conventional makeup products, I have tried to replace each with a less toxic version.  I really like Zosimos botanicals.   I use their blush and eye shadow now.  They actually mix the mineral powders up when you place the order.  It takes a little more time to get your makeup but its nice to know your makeup is as fresh as you can get it!  I have found with the absence of a foundation on my eyes, my eye shadow does fade during the day, so my next task is to find a less toxic eye shadow base or primer.  I still use conventional mascara; I haven't found any less toxic versions that come even close to what I like in my current mascara.  However, I have noticed that my lashes seem to be healthier, longer and thicker since I have been using coconut oil to remove my eye makeup and mascara.  

Well, that's a start.  I'll post more later!

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