Research…and reality (Part Deux)

28 Nov

I apologize that it’s taken me so long to get another post out.  I’ve been side-tracked with the holidays, family, and schooling.  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed blessed time with family and friends.
As a continuation of my last post, here are some more things that I/we have implemented, in order to live a more healthy lifestyle.  This is the first Fall in a very long time, that I can remember, that I haven’t been really sick.  (My immune system sucks)  Something must be working. 🙂

*I haven’t used Shampoo since August

Yes, you read that right, and I was hoping that would catch your attention. :0)  Go grab your shampoo/conditioner bottles and take a gander at the ingredients.  And then wonder at how many of those un-pronouncable ingredients/chemicals are being absorbed into your system.  And if it doesn’t contain those un-pronouncable ingredients, how much of a fortune are you paying for “healthy” shampoo?  Here’s my solution – baking soda and apple cider vinegar – aka: ACV (call me Rachel Ray).  No, I’m not crazy, and yes, it really does work and it happens to be incredibly cheap, like me. ;0)
To use, get some more  of those food decorating plastic squeeze bottles – the ones with the red plastic caps…
For shampoo, use 1 T of baking soda per cup of water.  Shake gently.  Wet hair and squeeze a small amount along your scalp and top of your head.  Massage gently and rinse.  For those of you who are worrying about lather, don’t.  It’s not the lather that makes your hair clean.  Most of the dirt, oils, etc. are found at the scalp and top of your head, and the baking soda will clean those away.  Some people have stated that when using this, there may be an “oily” transition period, after a week or two of using it, but I didn’t have that issue, and my hair tends to go oily pretty quickly.  I’m told that if this does happen, continue use and it should pass in a day or two.
For conditioner, use 1T of ACV per cup of water.  Shake gently.  Use in the same manner as the shampoo.  Now, I know you may be thinking “am I going to reek of vinegar and have fruit flies swarming my head???”  No worries, it rinses right away, and there really is no odor.  My hair is more ‘glossy’ and light than when using regular conditioner, and it only costs me pennies.  I generally put this on right after shampooing, then leave it on and don’t rinse until I’m done in the shower.  As I said, I’ve been using this method since August, with a container that holds about 1 C, and I’ve only had to refill twice.  And lest you think I’m a real freak, I do wash my hair every day.  So this fits my healthy and economical bill perfectly.  That said, I haven’t gotten my husband and kids on this bandwagon, but I haven’t pushed real hard either.  Baby steps.  :0)

*I haven’t bought cleaning products in years

Seriously.  How many times have you cleaned your bathroom, oven, etc. and come away coughing and gagging, or with a headache?  Brand-name products are nasty, and full of nasty ingredients and harsh chemicals.  Those chemicals are released into the air, where they enter your duct work, vents, etc. and are re-distributed throughout your home.  I am a big proponent of this one.  I used to feel sick every time I cleaned the house – and for those of you who know me and my OCD tendencies, I tend to clean the house often. :0)  Now, I use all-natural ingredients, which again, are cheap, and I have no problems whatsoever.  Nor do my children, who have their own cleaning chores.
Here’s what I use: baking soda, vinegar, borax, lemon juice, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide –
not necessarily in that particular combination or order.  For example, when cleaning my windows, I use vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  That’s it.  My bathroom cleaner is a combination of baking soda, borax, a touch of vinegar, and water.  I don’t have to scrub and scrub, either.  To clean my counter tops, I use a combination of water, a squirt or two of dish soap, a little vinegar, and some tea tree oil.  Vinegar has become my best friend.  I use it for many, many things, including rinse aid for the dishwasher – I hated always buying expensive, chemical-laden rinse aid, when I didn’t really feel it was a necessity, but still was pretty handy and made a difference in the dishes.  Well, I read somewhere that you could just use vinegar and achieve the same results.  So I tried it.  I won’t buy rinse aid again.  Just pour the vinegar in, same as the “brand name” stuff.  You might notice a little odor, but after the cycle is done, the dishes don’t smell or have spots, and as a bonus, the inside of your dishwasher is clean and sanitized from the vinegar.  Love it.

*Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot is a large, perennial herb, found in rainforest habitats.  It is cultivated for a starch, obtained from the rootstock. 
Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream. It can also be used as a thickener for acidic foods, such as Asian sweet and sour sauce. It is invaluable in cooking when you wish to have a clear, thickened sauce, for example, a fruit sauce. It will not make the sauce go cloudy, as for example will cornstarch, flour or other starchy thickening agents.  Arrowroot thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing.  So basically, I use it in place of cornstarch, which is a much more highly processed product, and could very likely come from GMOs, which are best to be avoided.  I prefer to use ingredients in their most natural state.  I also use arrowroot to make my own cream of mushroom/chicken, etc. soup mix.  I hated buying the canned kind, full of sodium and yucky, processed ingredients.  This is the lesser of two evils – still high in sodium, due to the bouillon, but I can pronounce everything in it.  And guess what?  It’s cheap. 🙂  Here’s the recipe…
Casserole Soup Mix
2C nonfat powdered milk
3/4C arrowroot powder
1/4C instant bouillon (chicken for cream of chicken, beef for cream of mushroom)
2t dried onion flakes
1t dried basil
1t dried thyme
~Mix all and store in airtight container. For each can of soup called for in recipes, combine 1/3C mix with 1 1/4 C water.  Cook & stir until thickened, add to recipe.
Once mixed, this will make the equivalent of about 9 cans of soup.  As a side note, if your recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup, this of course doesn’t contain mushrooms, so you have a few options: do without, add diced, dried mushrooms to the mix, or add fresh mushrooms to the recipe.
Another great benefit of arrowroot powder is it’s use for athlete’s foot, or if you, or someone in your family struggles with a foot odor.  Of course, you can buy the brand name product for about $8.00 for a 3.8oz bottle, laden with chemicals.  I bought 1lb of arrowroot powder at my local health food store, for $4.47.  Use it in the same way you would the brand name product, and save yourself quite a bit of money, along with a perfectly natural product.  I have a family member that uses this, and they can’t tell the difference.

I have many other things that I am excited to share with you, but for right now, I have a family that is needing my attention, baking that needs to be done, laundry that needs to be folded, yada-yada, yada-yada.
I look forward to hearing back from you and your sharing what you’ve tried, opinions, what worked/didn’t work, questions, thoughts, etc.

This post was linked to Homestead Barnhop:


Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Food, Health/Nutrition, Ramblings


2 responses to “Research…and reality (Part Deux)

  1. Dawn Neu

    December 1, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Hi, Barb I love this! I too have been going this direction for the past year. I have finally had enough feeling like crap and spending $1000’s on Dr.’s telling me “it’s all in your head” I have done much research and figured most of my issues (including my autoimmune issues) are my thyroid. It is sloww changes but I’m seeing some improvement. I haven’t used cleaning products for a long time. No shampoo for over a year, but I have not done this, so I will try it! Trying to get my family on board has been hard so I’ve been making small changes. Doing mostly organic stuff and canned a lot from our garden this year. Going gluten free is hard, but even harder is sugar free. My dad’s cancer responded awesome with the changes he made. When he died he did have a small spot where they thought it might be cancer again but if it weren’t for (what we believe) the dye they put into his body which caused an infection, he’d still be with us today. Anyway, these tips are wonderful! I’m going to set aside time to check out the rest of your blogs! Thanks! Dawn


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