Not Conditioner?

Not Conditioner? 


Wont my hair get tangles? I have to use the best brand on MY hair. MY  hair is special, it’s not like anyone elses! I have heard it all…and I still truly believe that we all can use natural products on our hair. if you are reading this, you are probably already ready for a change. 

Will it take getting used to? Yes, it will. Will it be different than your current conditioner? Yes, it sure will. Will you eventually get used to it? Yes, you will. Will your hair smell like vinegar? Yes, but only while you are in the shower. Will you be doing your body a favor? ABSOLUTELY

We are what we eat and how we live and what products we put on and in our bodies. This is very important….our lives and environment are already stressfull enough for our bodies. Don’t you think that we should do what we can to give BACK to our bodies and negate some of the factors we have no control over in the environment? I do! That is why I spend time researching what I do and sharing with you. 

So here we go. Get your pad and pen out for the ingredient list πŸ™‚

 

That’s it! I bet your fingers are tired from writing huh?

1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per cup of water is it. I store it in a squirt bottle in the shower. After I wash my hair with Not Shampoo I finish it up with Not Conditioner. Some folks will have a an adjustment period – but hang in there, you will feel good about one less chemical. One at a time…..that is the only way you will make it! If you hair feels too oily – reduce the amount of vinegar in your mix.

One more point to make – as if saving your scalp which is full of millions of pores, from all the clogged up chemical filled goop you use isn’t enough, you will save mega dollars per month. You can make your shampoo and conditioner for probably around .50 a month. What? You say? It’s true!

Until next time…take care of you.

 

What hair products do you use? 

How much does it cost per month? 

Are you willing to try this?


Chocolate … Healthy Chocolate

No One Does Chocolate like Chocolate Covered Katie
 
Everyone craves something sweet every now and again (or more often). Why not try something healthier?
 
Can you imagine a healthy dessert? Can you imagine a whole blog dedicated to healthy desserts? It’s true. 
 
I found this blog quite some time ago and her recipes are truly delicious. She tests them until they are right. Eating something that satisfies your sweet tooth doesn’t have to include mostly bad ingredients. This blog has taught me a thing or two about eating healthy sweets.
 
Some of the ones I’ve tried are below….
 
Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Larabars. Heathy enough that you don’t have to call them a cookie, delicious enough to totally be a cookie.
  
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/14/oatmeal-raisin-cookie-larabars/
 
Hot Fudge Brownie Larabars – little boo will eat these like no bodies business.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/08/12/hot-fudge-brownie-larabars/
 
 
Eatmore’ Fudge Squares….enough said.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/02/15/healthy-eatmore-fudge-chocolate-bars/
 
Chocolate Bar Pie
You won’t know it’s tofu. I can assure you of that.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/15/chocolate-bar-pie/
 

 So go visit Katie and get your chocolate on, will ya?

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/


Shampoo or Not

Not Shampoo? 

Who is familiar with SLS? (sodium lauryl sulfate) Well, don’t worry, I wasn’t either until I began this journey to decrease chemicals and such in my life. SLS is a chemical that is in many of our products that we expect to suds. It’s only purpose is to create suds. It does not improve cleaning ability. Americans have associated suds with clean since, well, forever!

Today, I urge you to remove this association from your brain. Hocus Pocus remove from my brain! POOF! There, it is done. Now we can move forward….

I have been shampooless for a little while now. I was nervous at first. One side of me that looks in the mirror each morning didn’t want to have to see a greasy mess. On the other hand, the side of me that knows better said, we’ve seen worse! So I went for it! You should too! What will one little bottle of Not Shampoo hurt?

 

Not Shampoo Recipe & Steps


This will step you through per cup of Not Shampoo that you want to make. Just multiply times the number of cups your container will hold. Use an old shampoo bottle that you have rinsed very well.  Good luck getting all the SLS out in just a few rinses πŸ™‚

There are 8ozs in a cup. So if your shampoo bottle is 24ozs then follow this recipe and multiply by three. 

 

Basic Ingredients Include

 

Yep! That’s right. Two ingredients and you are very familiar with both. 

What if I had asked you to find this list … Would you know what to go and find?

Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Cetyl Alcohol

 

If you have soft water heat your water just enough to dissolve the Baking Soda. 

If you have hard water, boil your water for 10 mins. The minerals should form and fall to the bottom of the pot. Do NOT include these when you pour your water in to the shampoo bottle. Let the water cool a bit before pouring in to the shampoo bottle or you will have a melted work of art bottle.

Pour water into the very rinsed out shampoo bottle

Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every cup (or 8oz) of water

Shake this until the baking soda dissolves

Your done! 

 

Using Not Shampoo

Squirt the mixture over your scalp in the shower. Most of the dirt will be on your scalp, not the ends of the hair. Work the mixture in with your figures. Like a scalp massage, NOT a scalp scrub. The feeling should be sleek. If it is not, you may have to add a bit more baking soda to your mixture. Just a little at a time thou ok?

 

Additional Ingredients Should You Want to Know


If you have dry hair you could add oil to the shampoo. Those who know me know that I love coconut oil and say go for that. If you love another oil, try that (olive or jojoba). I would add 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Make sure to shake the container each time before use.

Your hair would really love you if you applied oil to it once a week or every other week and let it sit for a while before you shower.  

Follow up with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse I call Not Conditioner (coming soon)

 

until next time…take care of you

 


Organic Chocolate Syrup

Who don’t love chocolate milk, chocolate syrup, chocolate …

Well, I know that some don’t but I do, we do! BUT the organic chocolate sauce at my favorite food store is Yikes! Five bucks!

We can’t have that now can we? No, we sure can’t! So make it!

1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add 1 cup of water to your pot. Heat on medium until it steams. Add the sugar and whisk until clear. Add the cocoa and salt and whisk until combined. Keep on medium heat and stir almost constantly.

DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS – cleaning the stove if you do will NOT be cool!

Keep the syrup at a low rolling boil for several minutes. You will want the syrup thick enough to not immediately pour off of a spoon.

Once you notice the syrup thickening, remove from heat. Turn off the stove.

Add your vanilla and whisk a few times.

Let the syrup cool to room temperature.

Pour into a squirt bottle and store in the fridge. This will last several weeks in your fridge – well it will if everyone can keep their paws off of it πŸ™‚

Take pleasure in knowing that there are 5 ingredients in your syrup, all of which you know what it is.

Until next time…take care of you.


Yogurt

Several months ago my little boo said daily “My stomach hurts!”. The first thing that came to mind was diet, constipation etc.. The second thing that came to mind was intestinal bacteria or the lack of. The third thing was yogurt! Then I said a big Boo! for the ingredients and sugar content of the kids yogurt.

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So, as you all know, I was on a mission πŸ™‚

Come to find out making yogurt is not hard at all. I ended up buying a yogurt maker that included a cooling cycle because I usually make it at night and my little boo wants it the next morning. (she really does love it)

You can use what ever milk you prefer. I use organic 2%. I pay about 5 dollars for a gallon of milk. I have not tried almond milk, coconut milk or any other milk. I know others have but these instructions are assuming dairy milk is used.

So what is involved?

If you are making it in a yogurt maker like the two below…(I have used both and had wonderful results with each) these instructions will help. I have the second one listed.

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Start your yogurt machine on a cycle that is one hour longer than the yogurt starter calls for. This will allow for the machine to heat to 110 degrees and when you add your milk, it will not get too cool for the starter.

Pour the same amount of milk as your unit will hold into a heavy bottom stainless steel pot on medium heat.

Heat to 185 degrees on a low to medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. The milk will bubble up but you should not boil it. I use this thermometer.

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Once the milk reaches 185 degrees, turn the heat off and leave the milk on the eye to cool. Do not skip this step. Leaving the yogurt on the eye to cool will give the final yogurt that creamy and thick consistency.

Cool to between 110-113 degrees. This depends on what yogurt starter you use. I use this one from Cultures For Health

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If your yogurt cools a few degrees too cool, turn the eye back on and watch it carefully to heat to the needed temperature.

The flavor is mild. The consistency thick. The reviews are favorable. The company is quick.

Add your yogurt starter to the milk and stir side to side, not in circles or whisking, to incorporate.

Pour your milk and yogurt starter into your yogurt maker container(s).

If you did not start the yogurt machine earlier, now is time to do that. Each yogurt starter will state the recommended time to “cook” your yogurt in the machine. Use this suggestion.

Leave the yogurt for 8-10 hours (the longer you leave it, the more tart it will be).

Transfer the yogurt machine container to the refrigerator and cool.

You can puree fruit to add as you eat it. Have yogurt over oatmeal. However you like it … it will not disappoint.

*see Riley’s favorite organic chocolate syrup recipe that we use for her – two teaspoons of the syrup in her yogurt and she loves it AND it is less sugar than the store bought kind


How Can I Start?

You are interested in cleaning up your life, your products, your medications, your home or all of the above! And this is great! I agree…you should! But how did I do it? How do you find the time? Where do you start?

All of this is what we are going to focus on.

Several years ago, I decided that “I want to do what I can to reduce the chemicals in my life.” and so it began. The process started with ONE thing….laundry soap. I chose laundry soap because of the cost savings, to be honest. What you chose to start with will be a personal choice as well.

Below are the areas that I have changed over the years. DO NOT take on all at once. Choose something that you think will help you the most. Becoming overwhelmed will only do that….overwhelm you. One thing, pick one!

Body Products
Deodorant
Shampoo
Conditioner
Lotion / Body Cream
Face Wash
Face Moisturizer
Face Treatment
Toothpaste
Hand Sanitizer
Immune Boost

Home
Shower Cleaner
All Purpose Cleaner
Spray Deodorizer
Spray Disinfectant
Laundry Detergent
Foaming Hand Soap

Medicinal (Applying / Using Essential Oils to my Daily Routine)
Headache
Muscle Ache
Mouth Sores
Stomach Ache
Digestive Aid
Stress Control
Relax Me Please
Sinus Relief
Immune Boost

Food
Yogurt
Cold Brew Coffee
Smoothies
Dehydrating
Flour

Time
I read the Bible and pray and Believe God has a purpose for ME & YOU
I watch almost no TV
I listen to music that reflects God’s love for us
I am always researching

The list is long. Remember, I ask you to pick one. This did not happen over night and it will not happen over night for you. It will however, be easier because I have spent considerable time researching natural techniques and remedies. You can start with my base and grow from there.

I will post on each of these topics. Which one means the most to you? That is what is important to me. We need to cover here what you are wanting to change.

So let me have it….what will we cover first?

Until next time…….take better care of you.


Sugar Body Scrub

Friends. I have gone 6 months with no post and that is terrible of me. I truly want us to learn together but how can we when I didn’t keep my commitment. I hope you forgive me.

Body scrub is one of those pleasures that is so easy to make and the after effects are scrumptious. It is simple yet so divine and the best part is…you will have ingredients at your home. With winter upon us and ice on the way, what a perfect treat in the warm bath.

My favorite is lemon body scrub (this is what I had made for the Cove).

You will need sugar, a liquid oil (such as olive oil) and lemon zest. Lemon essential oil is optional (but totally recommended).

Other liquid oils can be used. I have used other types – Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil or Apricot Oil. Use what you have.

Pour 1 cup sugar in a glass jar with a lid. Pour 1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil (depends on how “oily” you like your scrub). I like mine dry’ish. You have to trust me in that your mixture will be plenty moisturizing without having a one to one ratio of sugar and oil. Add the zest of one lemon in your jar. For super powers add 10 drops of lemon essential oil. I recommend organic and purchase mine from Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com). I am not affiliated with them, just super happy with their quality and service. Stir this around to incorporate the zest and essential oil. Enjoy!

I like to use this scrub all over in the shower. I wouldn’t not recommend using this on your face if you have sensitive skin. This could be too abrasive. This will however, be great for those crackling feet and heels or those splitting hands. The sugar exfoliates all the rough dead skin away, while the olive oil gives your skin a natural moisture. You will be surprised at how your skin will drink it up. Just pat your skin dry after the shower..you don’t want to rub off all the goodness you just gave your body.

I love to treat my hands and feet before I do my nails – after is even better because your cuticles need all the moisture if you just dried them out with polish remover.

Share if you have other body scrub recipes that you make at home. I know there are many out there…..let’s hear em’!

Until next time, take care of you.


Liquid Laundry Detergent

Today we also have a guest post! I feel so blessed.

Sasha – a new friend of mine has shared her very successful liquid laundry detergent!

Thank you so much to Sasha! I appreciate you wanting to share your ways of “choosing simple”! That’s the blog spirit!

I have to try this sometime. First I need a bucket!

Ok now straight from Sasha here we go!

alright the following is the liquid laundry detergent:
5 gallon bucket ( inexpensive, bought min at walmart)
4 cups hot water
1 dove unscented soap bar
1 cup arm and hammer super washing soda
1/2 cup borax
(essential oils optional)

-grate bar of soap (hardest part of the recipe, but its a good work out)
-add grated soap to a saucepan with 4 cups hot water
-stir and heat over medium until melted(maybe ten minutes, i always make sure its really melted thuroughly)
-fill bucket halfway full of hot water
-add melted soap from pan, washing soda and borax
-stir well until all powder is dissolved
-cover and let stand over night
-optional: you can add 10-15 drops of essential oils per 2 gallons, add the oils after soap has cooled down. another option is usung a soap with a scent. i was told to use unsecented, but the last batch i made i used a dove bar with a scent and it worked just as well. scent was not too strong but present.

-to use the soap, you will need your old laundry detergent container or a container to store this in thats smaller than the big five gallon bucket, fill the container HALF full of the soap you made and the rest with water. shake to mix. the soap is thick like a gel, so dont be alarmed. I hold my container over the five gallon bucket and use a small glass jar to fill the container, so whatever spils goes into bucket.

this recipe yeilds 10 gallons
top load machine 5/8 cup per load (180 loads)
front load machine 1/4 cup per load (640 loads)

(i personally just use the cap on my detergent for measurement)

Let us know what you think! I’m excited to try this!


Ahh! Cold Brew!

Coffee that is! Several years ago a friend of mine introduced me to cold brew coffee. I remember feeling bad asking her if I could try her coffee but man, I’m glad I did! The smoothness is so creamy. There is no (and I mean no) after taste. No bitterness.

I have mine with milk – and cold! I make homemade organic chocolate syrup and add a squirt of that too! You can heat your water and add the concentrate to that if you enjoy hot coffee. You can have yours however you like. I just suggest that you not heat the concentrate. This will release some acid.

The best part? My nutritionist approved this for me! Why? Because cold brewing coffee reduces the acidity by 70% or more. The acid in drinks and food is often what makes them bad for us. Did you know that virus, bacteria, disease and sickness CANNOT live in an alkaline state? I urge all of you to read on this topic. It is really interesting. Just Google PH level in foods. Where are you on the scale? Did you see things you could cut back?

So how do you brew the cold brew?

I recommend a 1 to 4 ratio – for example 1 cup of coffee to 4 cups of water. Don’t calculate this and freak on me now! When you cold brew coffee it makes a strong concentrate! So you only use 1/4 to 1/3 cup concentrate per serving πŸ™‚ now you can breath again (those who calculated costs that quickly)! I brew 2 cups coffee to 8 cups water at a time that way I’m good to go for a couple weeks.

Here we go! I added two cups of ground coffee to an eight cup Pyrex.

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Then you add clean water (not tap – but I recommend you never drink tap) some kind of filtered water.

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The coffee grounds will float on top. If you leave it like this the top grounds will never be soaked and will you end up with weak concentrate. Use the back of a big spoon to push the coffee grounds down into the water.

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Keep doing this until you can see that the grounds are wet.

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Now the fun part! Wait! And wait! For 12 hours! After 12 hours you will notice that the concentrate is dark and smells yummy and you’ll be totally excited to try your new goodness. BTW I’ve waited 24 hours before and it not affect the brew πŸ™‚ so don’t stress!

At this point you will want to scoop out as much of the bulk coffee grounds that you can. I use a slotted spoon. This will help make the straining process easier for you.

I have a two step straining process (trust me I’ve gone through pain figuring out what works best). First I strain the coffee through a fine mesh coffee filter I found hanging on the coffee aisle at Publix. I think it was three bucks.

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After the coffee is strained once. I rinse out my Pyrex that I just poured from and strain the coffee back into it. Add layers of cheesecloth in the coffee strainer and strain the coffee again back into Pyrex. You can find cheesecloth in the grocery store or Walmart or a fabric store. I have many pieces of cheesecloth. I use it for many things.

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Now you have a rich and dark concentrate and you are so excited to see if this small amount of work paid off!

Get yourself a cup, and a measuring cup (you won’t need this for long). Measure out 1/4 cup concentrate and add to that 3/4 cup milk of your choice. If you prefer hot coffee heating a cup of water. Heat it hotter than you would drink coffee as the concentrate will cool it down. Add to that 1/2 (maybe) cup of concentrate. Please don’t heat the concentrate with the water! That will defeat the purpose and release acids. Then add whatever you like in your coffee.

After a while you will learn your preference and will not have to measure out everything. It helps the first couple of times so you don’t have to stress over the guess work! You know you….you will either use a measuring cup or not πŸ™‚

The most important part….enjoy your coffee!

I throw the cheese cloth in my towel wash. Like I said, I use it a lot so I’m totally used to having it around!

What do you think? Are you going to try it even once? If you do please let us know what you think. The good the bad the ugly. We are not here to win a blog contest πŸ™‚


Scrub My Teeth in What?

Seriously? Coconut oil? Why? Many of you have asked me this in one form or fashion (or blatantly). I ask .. why not? Coconut oil has amazing healing properties. It’s antibacterial. It’s antiviral. Guess where one of the dirtiest places on our bodies are? You got it! Your mouth. There’s hundreds (yes hundreds) of different species of bacteria in there. (YIKES!)

My story behind homemade toothpaste is this. During chemotherapy, I had read that your teeth and gums sometimes suffers. Well, you see, my mom and dad paid quite a bit to get me my straight teeth and I have always appreciated their whiteness….and wasn’t quite ready to give either up! So I came across many natural toothpastes and one used guess what (I’ll give you a hint …it’s my favorite ingredient to use)? You guessed it! Coconut Oil.

I used coconut oil toothpaste all during chemo (I had 17 treatments). My last visit to the dentist was stressful to me. It was time for the full x-rays and I hadn’t had those since prior to chemo! Guess what? His words (I swear not mine) was that “Your teeth and gums show no damage and no change! I couldn’t be happier!”. Well … me either to be honest.

The other tid bit I have about coconut oil toothpaste is this. I bite my cheeks alot (maybe they’re fluffy) and before the place where I bit would become sore, swollen and ulcerish. Not any more! I’m Serious! It still hurts as bad WHEN I bite it, but afterwards – no swelling, no sores!

So you want to know about this recipe? Gladly, here we go.

Coconut Oil Toothpaste

ΒΌ cup Virgin Coconut Oil

1 TBSP Baking Soda

2 Packets or 2 Tsp Stevia

15-25 Drops Peppermint Oil

Mix all ingredients in bowl until well combined. Transfer to glass container. Use as you would toothpaste. Rinse sink with hot water.
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Truly – that is it! If you already use this toothpaste, share your thoughts.

Currently, I am working on a formula for a friend that will be bubble gum flavored. We will see if this will help her son who suffers from mouth sore issues! I will keep you posted!

UPDATE- If you have a child that deals with mouth ulcers or issues – try to mix half their normal toothpaste and half coconut oil. It will work! You could then slowly decrease the amount of over the counter toothpaste gradually over time.