Natural Shampoo Options and Why You Shouldn’t Use the “No ‘Poo” Method

One of the first things I did when I started out on my natural health journey was read the ingredients on my shampoo and conditioner bottles. It didn’t take much for me to chunk most of my body care products in the trash, especially my sons skin care (which I trusted to be safe because it was for babies!). I started looking for natural store-bought options, shampoo and body wash recipes, and I put everything through Environmental Working Group’s  Skin Deep. I couldn’t feel comfortable slathering chemical laden lotion on after a chemical laden bubble bath, or putting chemicals into my hair or my sons hair. So, I used homemade shampoo bars for a while, then, I went to using the no poo method. I liked it for a while because I didn’t have to wash my hair every day. My hair seemed to be healthier. But, after about 6 months of using that method, my hair started to tangle easily, looked dry, and felt straw like. I hated it so, I immediately switched to Shea Moisture and Argan Oil. I have loved these two so far. After stopping the “no ‘poo” method I have since done some reading on the method and have learned that it is horrible for your hair. Many women have problems with their hair drying out and breaking off. They’ll have INCHES of hair break off all over their head. I just recently read an article about this woman’s experience with the” no ‘poo” method and how it ruined her long, beautiful hair (link below). All I can think is, I am so glad I stopped when I did. I also read another article a couple of months ago about the damage baking soda does to your scalp and how it imbalances your natural ph (link below).

Anyway, I’m writing this post to give you options for natural hair care that isn’t the “no ‘poo” method or just using water.

 

Here are some links to recipes-

Coconut Milk Shampoo Recipe

Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar Recipe

DIY Honey Shampoo

 

Here are some links to posts from other blogs-

Does the No-Poo Method Damage Hair?

What Years of Baking Soda “No Poo” Did to My Long, Healthy Hair

Yes, I’m Sure it Was the Baking Soda

 

Here’s a blog post with store-bought alternatives-

9 Natural Shampoo Products You Can Trust {for the Non-DIYers}

 

I hope you all chose a more natural option to cleanse your hair. Usually natural shampoos won’t suds up as much as normal shampoos because they don’t contain the chemical surfactants that normal shampoos use to give you that nice, rich lather. It did take me a little while to get used to less suds but, now that I am used to it, it seems like I have just as many suds as with normal shampoos. Also, we each have different ph and our hair is unique so, if one of these shampoos or recipes aren’t working for you, don’t give up. Just try another one until you find something that does work for your hair type.

 

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5 Blog Posts That Helped Me Keep My Cool

My 10 month old was sick this past week, running a fever of 102-103. Before this past year, I would have immediately turned to Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen to keep their fever around the 99-100 mark. But, I’ve done a lot of research into letting a fever run it’s course and how fever reducers can cause febrile seizures and prolong your child’s (or your own) illness and decided to treat his fever naturally. Unless your child is acting lethargic (more than you think they should while running a fever), refusing to eat or drink, or your mommy instinct is telling you something is wrong, a fever under 104 is usually nothing to worry about. So, I listened to my gut, fed him as much as he would eat, and offered him water every 10 minutes. I monitored his nursing, eating, drinking and the number of wet diapers he had to make sure he was getting enough fluids so there was no danger of him getting dehydrated. I fed him soup and foods high in fat and protein so that his body would have plenty of nutrients to use to fight the virus in his system. I applied essential oils to his feet and back and diffused them in the house (Only do this when you know what you’re doing.). And, of course, there was lots of prayer 🙂 His fever was gone by the 3rd day.

Now that you know what I did and  plan to do in the future, I’ll let you know where I learned to do what I did. Here’s the posts that influenced my decision to forego the fever reducers-

5 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally

This post written by Mommypotamus gives 5 natural remedies to treat a fever. I didn’t use any of these, but was considering using the egg white or garlic paste method if his fever didn’t drop by a certain time. Thankfully, his fever dropped a degree in an hour and I just let it run it’s course with the aid of essential oils.

Why I Don’t Reduce a Fever and What I Do Instead

This post was written by Wellness Mama and she tells you what she does when her children run a fever. I did  the homemade soup, gave him a small dose of elderberry syrup, and added coconut oil to some of the foods I fed him.

Lemon Socks for a Fever

This post was written by Holistic Squid and she shares with you how she treated her 5 year olds fever with lemon socks.

A Detox Bath for Your Child’s Next Fever

Modern Alternative Mama shares a recipe for a detox bath in this post. I didn’t use this one either but ginger will be a medicine cabinet staple in the future.

How to Treat Kid’s Fevers Naturally With Essential Oils

Here’s a post, written by Meagan Visser author of Treating Fevers Naturally: A Parents Guide to Keeping Their Cool While Managing Fevers in Children, with 3 DIY essential oil recipes for treating your child’s fever. Since the FDA allows essential oil companies to label their products as 100% pure, even when they’re sometimes only around 5%, I suggest going with Young Living, the only essential oil company I trust.

 

Even with all the reading and research I’ve done on the subject, it still scares me for my kids to run high fevers. So, these blog posts written by other moms in the natural health care world really helped keep me calm.

Each woman gives information on what fevers are, why your child gets a fever, how to treat them, when to seek medical attention, and how a fever means that your child’s immune system is working to fight off the bug in their system. So, next time your child is running a fever, try one of the natural remedies in any one of these posts before reaching for the fever reducers. You may be surprised.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information in this post is not to be treated as professional medical advice. 

Asher’s Birth Story Part 1: Intro

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I will start off by saying that my birth experience with Titus was less than desirable and very painful and stressful. I gave in to the pressure of hospital staff and caved to pitocin and an epidural at the end. I felt like I had failed because, during my whole pregnancy, I was determined I was going to have a natural birth. But, I didn’t do what I needed to do to prepare for it. I read a little, but not near enough, took no birth class, watched no videos, and read no birth stories. I was totally unprepared for what I was about to go through and I really believe that’s why I was so weak during labor. My husband was also unprepared on how to deal with the hospital staff and their “rules”. He was very unhappy with how everything played out. We both decided after we came home from the hospital that we never wanted that type of birth again. We were going to do what needed to be done for me to have the birth that I wanted. (For my tips on how to have a natural pregnancy and birth, go here)

When I became pregnant with Asher, I knew what I wanted and knew what I needed to do to have the kind of birth I had hoped for with Titus. Even though I had liked the doctor I had when I was pregnant with Titus, I held off on making an appointment with him and looked into my options. My hope was that I could either have a home birth, a birth at a birth center, or a natural birth in the hospital. Having a natural birth in the hospital was my absolute  last option. Thinking about having to labor in the hospital stressed me out. That wasn’t at all the kind of environment I wanted to labor in. I wanted to labor in a peaceful environment like my home or a birth center provides.

My sister-in-law, who was also pregnant at the time, was also looking into her options and ended up finding a midwife about 2 hrs away in Texas. She gave me the midwife’s contact information and we went for a consult. I ended up loving Charlotte (the midwife), birth center, and staff. I knew this was where I wanted to have my baby. THIS was what I wanted. So, we made follow up appointments with Charlotte and I became her client.

Going to a birth center is so much different than going to a doctors office. The birth center was very flexible. It was okay if you missed an appointment. No big deal, I’ll see you next month. It was okay if you couldn’t make a payment that day. No pressure, pay when you can. We understand. It was okay if you wanted to opt out of a test.  Here’s what you need to make an informed decision about this test. Check here or here and sign here. ( I only took one blood test and my protein tests…that was the extent of my tests during my pregnancy. I opted out of every test I could. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, so was free to do so). I built a relationship with Charlotte and her staff. When I called, Charlotte was the one that answered. We wouldn’t just talk about the changes my body was going through, my blood pressure, or swelling, we talked about names I was thinking about, how I hoped my labor would be, how the nursery was coming along, etc. It was amazing being able to build a relationship with my midwife. The more I got to know her and her staff, the more secure I felt under their care. I knew that they cared about me and wanted me to have the best birth experience possible.

Charlotte had her own library of books. Books ranging from getting pregnant to raising your kids. I loved being able to look through the books while I was waiting for my appointment, choosing ones that I thought would help me, and reading them later. I read every book I could get my hands on, watched all of The Business of Being Born films, and read lots of natural birth stories. I read blogs of doulas and women who had had natural births, I read Charlotte’s testimonials, I looked into birth classes, I did Bradley exercises and Barre… I did absolutely everything I could to prepare my mind and body for birth. I was hungry for information and knew that I needed all the information I could get so that I would understand what my body was going to experience, the emotional stages I would have to go through, and so that I could prepare my mind. The only thing I was afraid of was the pushing stage. You’ve heard of the ring of fire right? That’s real and I was scared of it. I finally read Birthing From Within in my last month of pregnancy and changed my mindset from “if I relax enough, this isn’t going to be very painful” to “this is going to hurt like heck, but I can deal with it. I’m a strong woman and the pain of labor will not last forever.” I needed that reset in my mind. That really helped me deal with labor.

Continued in Asher’s Birth Story Part 2: Labor and Delivery

Citrus Dishwasher Powder

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Before just recently, I had been out of a dishwasher for about a year. So, I hadn’t made or used this home-made dishwasher powder in a LONG time. I had actually forgotten the recipe and had to refer to an old blog post to remember what I did. Anyway, since I have a dishwasher again (praise The Lord!), and am running low on this powder and will have to make it again soon, I thought I would share it with y’all.

 

Citrus Dishwasher Powder

This powder has worked wonders for me and makes my kitchen smell nice and fresh while the dishwasher is running. 

2 C Baking Soda

2 C Borax

1 C Oxiclean*

1/8-1/4 t Lemon Essential Oil

 

Mix well, put in jar and store under sink (or wherever you would like to store it 😀 ). Use 2-4 Tbsp each load. I usually put about 2 Tbsp in the main wash and 1 Tbsp in the prewash. But, you can experiment and see what works best for you. You’ll also want to use hi-temp wash and rinse. The oxiclean especially needs hot water to work well. I wish you sparkly clean dishes!!

 

*Do not put aluminum dishes in dishwasher if you are using this home-made powder. The oxiclean will eat away at the aluminum and ruin it.

Simple, Delicious Salsa Recipe

My husband used to be the salsa king. He holds that title no more and I can’t say he’s disappointed. He tries to work himself out of a job with all of his famous dishes, I believe. 🙂 He shows me what to do so that I will do it and then he won’t have to anymore. I’d watched him make salsa countless times and he would never measure anything he put in his, so his would usually turn out different every time and he may not always like it. Me, being a woman, told him he should measure each ingredient so he could make adjustments until it was just perfect, write down what he did, and make the same salsa every time but, he, being a man, didn’t listen to me. You know, it’s kinda like when you tell them to read the instructions and they say “I’ll figure this out on my own woman! Because I’m a MAN.” So, we just smile and continue on with what we were doing. Anyway, while watching him, I calculated in my head how much of each ingredient would probably be perfect and decided to do it my way one day. I did and both he and his brother agreed that mine was better than any that Nick had made. 🙂 Nick was so not upset over that though. To him, that meant he wasn’t asked to make salsa anymore. He was FREE!

Since I just made this salsa a few days ago and it’s on my mind, I decided I would share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

This salsa isn’t made with fresh tomatoes. I haven’t created a recipe for that yet. But, that doesn’t mean this salsa isn’t delicious and the tomatoes being canned, makes it simpler to make.

Salsa

1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can original rotel
Half a medium yellow onion (approx. 1/2 cup), diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you want it
1-2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4-1/2 C. fresh cilantro, chopped

Drain tomatoes. Do not drain rotel. Add tomatoes, rotel, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to a skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions begin turning clear. Turn off heat and add lime juice and cilantro. Stir well, taste, add more cayenne and/or cilantro if needed and let cool. Once cool, enjoy!

This salsa will stay good in the fridge for up to a week. If we aren’t eating it fast enough, or I make a double batch, I’ll freeze some. It freezes well. I put 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/2 cup of cilantro in mine but, I understand that some of you may not like cayenne and cilantro as much as I do. 🙂 I LOVE cilantro! ALso, if you aren’t a fan of rotel, you could add about 2/3 of another can of petite diced tomatoes and a few of your favorite peppers. I haven’t ever done that because, in this house, rotel is a staple. 🙂 I will tell you that the rotel is not an overpowering flavor in this salsa. I suggest you go by the recipe first and then make changes to suit your taste buds later.

If you end up making this, let me know what you think, what changes you made (if any), and how it turned out.

We love this salsa, and I’m sure you will too. 🙂 Happy cooking!