So, here is the awful truth. The products we use daily are full of chemicals and nasties that our bodies truly do not need. So is our food. Things you might not even think about can effect and affect you in ways you would not think possible. I do not believe that the FDA is my friend. It took a lot of research, time, and wisdom and guidance from God for me to learn the things I have in the last year and make some wonderful changes. That being said, I am not a doctor, naturopath, dietician, or certified professional in anything related to natural living. These are articles and findings that have worked beautifully for me and my family. Please consult your doctor or naturopath before taking any supplements or using essential oils and before making drastic diet changes, especially if you are on medication.
I began this journey at 160 pounds in May of 2009. During my first pregnancy I got up to 210+. When I left the hospital I was 190 with an 8 lb 12 oz baby boy. After about 6 months I was down to 170 where I stayed until September of 2011. During this time I was participating in the Bible in 90 Days program. I found myself compelled to change more than just my spiritual life. I felt God telling me it was time to be better to my body and to take better care of my family. I began the research, started making changes, and within 6 weeks (without really adding exercise, I chase a very active toddler around all day) I dropped 25 pounds and my husband dropped 20. I got pregnant with another sweet baby boy in October at 145 pounds, the least I had weighed in 3 years. I am now 21 weeks, 150 pounds and feel so much better than I have in ages.
Chemicals you need to know are in things you use everyday and what they can cause:
SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This is in shampoo, soaps, toothpastes, etc. It is used in clinical studies as a skin irritant (yes, that is correct). It is absorbed into the skin and can cause a multitude of problems, one of the largest being hormone imbalances. The hormone mostly effected in oestrogen. This being out of balance can prevent weight loss. Do you know someone who eats very little, exercises lightly to moderately and cannot seem to lose weight? I do. I was one.
Here is one article. I encourage you to find your own research. Another great resource I love is Facebook. I recommend looking through these pages and visiting their blogs: Wellness Mama, Healthy Families For God, Appetite for Health, Peak313 Fitness and RooMag.
So here is what I replaced in our house to get rid of SLS: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, detergent.
I replaced shampoo with homemade soap bars and Dr. Bronner’s soap (diluted) in Tea Tree.
I replaced conditioner with Dr. Bronner’s organic conditioner rinse and vinegar. Use about 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed with 1 cup of warm water and rinse your clean hair with it. Pour another cup of water over your hair. The smell does not linger. It is gone as soon as your hair is dry and it will leave your hair super shiny.
We decided to make our own soap just for fun, and found that we loved it. If you are not into using lye, I totally understand. Dr. Bronner’s or any other castille soap will not contain SLS. The lathers are a bit different than your traditional soap bars but your skin and your internal systems will thank you!
I make our toothpaste. I use 2 teaspoons of Xylitol, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt, vegetable glycerine (make sure you look for a brand that does not use GMO sources. I like NOW foods brand) till you get the consistency you like, and essential oil to taste. I like orange, my hubby likes peppermint. Be aware that is only takes a few drops of EO to flavor this. If you want something even more simple, you can just use plain old baking soda with a little water, though this does not taste great it works perfectly and even helps whiten your teeth.
Clothing detergent took a few tries (kind of like the homemade deodorant) but the recipe I use now and love is a cup of baking soda, a cup of borax, a cup of liquid castille soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s baby mild for sensitive skin) and 3 gallons of hot water to get it all mixed up in. I store it in cleaned milk jugs and it takes 1/2 cup of liquid per load. This is not a super sudsy detergent but it cleans great!
I also replaced all our household cleaners. Mainly with Vinegar. White vinegar is awesome sauce, people! I use white vinegar and water with a little tea tree oil (I’ll be adding lemon oil to the next batch, too) to clean the kitchen and bathroom counters and floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets. It is a great disinfectant, it is cheap, and it contains no SLS or VOCs or Phalates and other fragrances. If you want a little scent, just add some essential oils. I like lemongrass when I’m just going for a yummy smell.
I do not advocate the use of Grapefruit seed extract. I do not believe it to be a real essential oil, and I would not use it for any reason with my family.
I hope you find this information helpful. I’ll be continuing to post recipes for my cleaners with amounts, and some personal care products. (I’ve even made shaving cream for the hubby!) If you have a good recipe for homemade cleaners please share it in the comments!